Little did I know that when I first signed on to the "internet" way back in 1993 searching for information to help me better understand my eight year old son, that seventeen years later I would be writing the first entry to The OASIS @ MAAP blog. At that time, there was almost no information available and my desperate search for help led me to create the OASIS web site.
Not too long after settling down into running OASIS and its forums, I found my way to Susan Moreno and MAAP. In those early years, Susan was a beacon of light for me and for countless other families who were seeking out information on Autism Spectrum Disorders and I found myself the lucky beneficiary of her wisdom and experience. While I worked in cyberspace Susan provided brick and mortar support to families. In other words, she had a real office with a real phone number and published a real newsletter and ran a real conference. Our work complemented each other beautifully.
It makes perfect sense that we decided to combine forces. OASIS never had nonprofit status and MAAP Services is a 501 (c) (3). What this means is that those who wanted to donate to OASIS will now be able to do so. It also means that those who subscribed to MAAP Services newsletter will now be able to access it online. Our new web site includes its own moderated support message boards. This means that we will be moving the OASIS forum members from Delphi forums over to our new onsite boards. No more annoying advertisements!
Current OASIS forum members will now have access to MAAP’s resources and newsletters in addition to the boards. MAAP’s members will now have access to OASIS resources and online support boards.
One thing that has changed is that we are now charging an annual fee of $35 to participate on the message board forums and receive the newsletter. This fee will cover unlimited usage of the moderated message boards, access to the online version of MAAP Services’ Newsletter, discounts for MAAP Services conferences, invitations to special online events, access to MAAP Services phone support. As the web site grows, we hope to include a wider range of support board and more.
Over the years I’ve surveyed members of the OASIS forum and the response to the idea of an annual fee was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, several members responded that not only would they be willing to pay the tax deductible $35 a year, but they’d also be willing to make a contribution to cover the costs of a family or individual who might not be able to afford the fee. Current and past members know the message boards as a place where they can safely and privately access support and they value it highly. The OASIS boards have existed in one form or another for nearly 17 years and I am proud of the high quality of information that has been shared and even prouder of the high standard of online behavior. Not only are the forums recommended by existing members to new members, Autism professionals from around the world have long referred families to the OASIS site and boards. We will continue to maintain the high standards of moderation that led to those referrals. In that light, we are pleased to announce that long time OASIS forum member Leslie Shortridge will be joining us as a moderator of the new General Forum. Many of you know Leslie as [LeslieS12] from the Delphi OASIS forum. Her wise advice, breath of knowledge, and witty approach are well known and well respected and we can’t think of a better moderator. Welcome Leslie!
NOTE: Susan and I are well aware that in today’s economy that there may be some who simply can’t afford to pay the annual fee or may require a fee reduction in order to participate. If this is the case, we urge you to please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the MAAP Services office at (219) 662-1311 and explain your situation. We will never turn anyone away from support because they are unable to pay.
In the future this blog space will be filled by a variety of writers. Professionals. Parents. Adults. The subjects will be varied and the perspectives wide open. We plan to include everything from book reviews to current news to ongoing research projects to interventions to light hearted looks at parenting to more serious concerns.
Last but certainly not least, I would like to wrap up by thanking Jason Hodges of The BHW Group for his tireless work in creating the new web site. We would also like to acknowledge his wife, Kelley, and business partners Brett Burnett and Byron Wier for their support. Simply put, without Jason this wonderful site would not exist.
We have great plans for The OASIS @ MAAP and are thrilled that you will be joining us. Please feel free to send your comments, ideas, good wishes, and concerns to email@example.com
Once again – Welcome to The OASIS @ MAAP! Please know that you are not alone.
It's with great pleasure that I welcome you to The OASIS @ MAAP. This new web site combines two highly respected entities - OASIS (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) which I created in 1993 and THE SOURCE, the online resource for Susan Moreno’s nonprofit organization, MAAP Services. Susan and I are very proud of the result. I am certain that The OASIS @ MAAP will continue to provide the highest quality of information, resources, and support to the Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism/PDD-nos community.
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