Monday, April 12, 2010

New E-Mentoring Program at Autism Women's Network Seeks Peer Mentors

I was just thinking that this Friday, April 16th is the 3 month anniversary of my first Aspierations blog posting. I'm not planning a big celebration or a cake but if my husband wants to get me flowers and if my two kiddos would like for me to sleep in, I have no objections!

I was having a bit of a writer's block (or as I explained it in a previous blog, "writer's dam") trying to figure out what to blog about tonight so to try and stir the creative juices, I went back and read my first post.  If you have not seen it, feel free to check it out.  It's a quick read and gives a brief bio as well as a bit of insight into why I started my Aspierations blog. 

One of my hopes is that my blog will help inspire, motivate and empower my fellow journey travelers to follow their dreams, goals and "Aspie"rations.  You will periodically see me say in my blog postings, "Come As You Are" (wherever you are at this point in time) and to "Let Your Light Shine".  I want my readers to know that although they may often feel alone, there are others out there who can very possibly relate to they have gone through.

When I hit the publish button on January 16th for my first post, I did not realize just how many amazing female bloggers there were already out there on the autism spectrum.  (I'm sure there are amazing guy bloggers too but it was the quantity of females that just boggled my mind considering I hadn't had much life experience with females on the autism spectrum.)

I received a couple comments on my blog and wanting to get a feel for my spectrum peers, I soon got a Twitter account (follow me at: http://twitter.com/aspierations - Aspie Gal Karen) and subsequently began reading posts from all sorts of intriguing and amazing women, some whose life stories I even shared some parallels with.  How empowering that was to see others "like me" that I could relate to.

This lead me to a website called the Autism Women's Network. 

(Copied from their homepage) The mission of the Autism Women's Network is to provide effective supports to autistic females of all ages through a sense of community, advocacy and resources.

The AWN's Executive director, Sharon daVanport welcomes all visitors and explains that AWN is dedicated to building a community of autistic females, their families, friends, and supporters who have a place where they can share their experiences amongst a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment.

I highly recommend you check the site out!  From what I've seen in my personal visits to the website, they have a lot to offer and their Directors and Advisory Board contain a lot of familiar names in the greater autism community.  In my opinion, coming together as a network of empowerment, the Autism Women's Network provides the kind of advocacy and resources that women and girls on the spectrum, as well as their parents, friends and caregivers can really get value from.

On April 10th, 2010, the AWN announced the formation of a new e-mentoring program that will enable women on the autism spectrum to support each other through a peer mentor program conducted online.

Katharine Annear, AWN International Director of Australia will head up the program; she has been involved in the delivery of face-to-face mentor programs for 15 years, and has developed an ASD specific peer mentor program.

Right now, the AWN website indicates that they are seeking to recruit Mentors.  Those interested in becoming Mentees will be invited in the near future.

Personally, I think this is a WONDERFUL idea and will be contacting them soon to see if they think of my background and life experience would possibly be of some use.  Being a Mentor ties right in with my Aspierations theme & mission.

I can truly see how one could be both a Mentor AND a Mentee being that there are some areas I feel very strongly skilled in and others where I often find myself feeling like a hopeless wreck!  I look forward to seeing how their program develops and very well may blog about it again in the future! 

** Remember your dreams and aspierations! **
Come As You Are ~ Let Your Light Shine

Best wishes for an awesome day or evening wherever you are!
Karen

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