This is a post about PLN's...or for the acronym shy, thats a professional (or personal) learning network. We all have them, and most of us don't actually realise it, but think about it for a minute.. there's your friends. And their friends, who you may know slightly less well. Then there's your work colleagues and professional and business contacts and probably access to specialist organisations and people through these connections. Then there's the on-line communities to which you might belong. This might be through social networking on Facebook and Google Plus, Twitter, MSM and Skype. Blogs you read and their comments also form apart of your PLN as well as professional networks such as LinkedIn and KILTR. Clubs, societies, alumnus organisations, even those who prop up the same bar as you! (there's always someone who knows 'how to' anything in a pub). All of these make up your network, either personal, professional or both, and these provide help, support, information, recommendations and contacts for you. You can visualise this by using circles which overlap filled with the names and groups and organisations. Go on, try to draw one for yourself- you'll be surprised at the extend of your own PLN
Now I guess the real point of this blog post is about joining Scottish Autism. Membership potentially forms a great addition to your own PLN. If you're a parent, carer, relative or friend of someone with an Autistic Spectrum condition then membership gives you access to valuable help and advice. Or maybe a teacher or educator, social worker, care assistant or play worker, a GP practice or community nurse, a lawyer or court official, a JP, Sheriff or Judge, a police officer, security worker, ambulance paramedic or technician, if you work in Local government in any public offices or places, a local councillor or MSP/MP/MEP or on the staff of any of these, or a bus driver, a taxi driver. All of these folks are likely to have some contact or involvement with someone with Autism or Aspergers and the likelihood of this is increasing with improving diagnostic regimes picking up more and more adults who have struggled all their lives to make sense of a confusing and sometimes hostile world, and whose sometimes seemingly odd little ways and behaviours might have made them stand out or even worse, lead to them becoming either the butt of some stranger's stare or finger point, or being misunderstood by the police, courts, or other authorities, with perhaps devastating consequences for them and their carers. Wouldn't a little knowledge, information or help and support be useful? and maybe a dedicated helpline to answer questions and make suggestions? A website with links and contacts? Social networking for more instant help and support? Training and networking events in most parts of the country, and access to internationally renowned researchers at our conferences? All for £15 per year for individuals, or £25 for families. There's more information here
So make a positive contribution to the work of Scottish Autism, and a valuable addition to your own PLN...
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