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Not Just Another Social Network- For Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum

Technology and Autism News

National Autism Network offers an abundance of unique features and resources, the most prominent of which is our HIPAA-Secure Social Network. You may have seen us mention the social network on Facebook or within our weekly newsletter or maybe even seen a link to a video on it, and thought to yourself-- 'Great, another social network'.  We are bombarded with a variety of them from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to Instagram.  All of them allow you stay in touch with old friends and possibly connect with new ones.  What they are not though, is specifically designed for the autism community with unique features not found anywhere else. Click here to watch a short video highlighting some of the unique features of the Social Network.

Launched in 2013, our HIPAA-secure Social Network is the backbone of the National Autism Network, allowing you as parents to not only have access to all of the social features ones would expect, but also create a secure private network for your child where you can easily manage your child's care and therapy. You'll enjoy unique features allowing easy communication with their treatment providers and caregivers, store and share information regarding their treatment such as IEPs, therapy notes, plans of care, etc..., send and receive real time status updates and more.  Now you're probably thinking to yourself- 'Ok, this sounds interesting, but how does it actually work? How will this save me time?'  Glad you asked.  The first feature we'd like to explain is the HIPAA Secure File Storage.

HIPAA-Secure File Storage
In a world where everything has become “Cloud-oriented” your child's private network will can first function as a HIPAA-Secure storage cloud where you can organize and easily access important documents such as medical records, therapy notes, functional behavior assessments (FBAs), dietary/nutrition information, list of current medications, etc... Using an easy to use folder system, parents can create both private and public folders in which to keep and share information with their child's providers. More on inviting the therapy providers in a minute. The ease of having everything organized in one place and online negates the need for over-flowing treatment and IEP binders, scrambling to find a specific document you need for an upcoming appointment, or spending countless hours ensuring all of your child's providers and caregivers have the most updated information about his or her therapy.  Also, the network is HIPAA-Secure. Not sure what that means?  It's a fancy way of saying that National Autism Network adheres to the strict national standards to protect an individuals' electronic personal health information by requiring appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure confidentiality, integrity and security.  So you can feel confident that any information you store within your child's private network is secure.  Now let's talk about how you can use the social network to easily communicate with your child's providers and save you A LOT of time.

Invite and Communicate with Providers and Caregivers
As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, you probably have a variety of different therapy providers your child works with. The most common we see are: speech & language therapists, ABA consultants and tutors, occupational therapists, developmental pediatricians, nutritionists, school aides and other specialists.  Does that sound familiar? If so, it's likely one of two things is happening: You're either spending hours trying to communicate with all of them to ensure that they are all updated and on the same page, or they are not all on the same page with regards to your child's therapy.  This is where we can really help save you time and increase the quality of the care provided by the therapists.  Within your child's private network, you can easily invite (by email) anyone involved in your child's therapy, including caregivers (friends and family).  Once they accept the invitation and become a part of your child's network, they can easily access any documents you've shared within a 'public' folder (note: We use the word public, but they are by no means available to the public. Files designated as public are only available to the people you have invited within your child's private network.)  You can now easily communicate with any one or all of the people within the private network. You can do this via a private messenger feature or share real time status updates to the whole group.  Your child has an updated IEP you just uploaded? Let everyone know with one status update and they can access the updated IEP in the folder you've created.  Your child just attained a goal in his morning therapy session? Make a status update so his afternoon therapist, teacher, therapist, etc... can use this information.  The ways you can use these feature are endless.  Invited members can also share updates to the group.  Everything is parent moderated though, so you will need to approve any status updates or files uploaded by a member of your child's network.  Now let's briefly discuss some of the other unique features found on the National Autism Network Social Network.

Other Unique Features
  • Preferred Provider Network - As a parent, you have the ability to create a preferred provider network. You do this by simply doing a name search for the various providers your child works with and then clicking on the 'Add to Preferred Providers' button once found.  This does two things: it allows any of your 'network friends' to see what providers you entrust with the care of your child, and you're also able to see who other parents entrust with their child.  As we all know, there can be a huge difference in the level of care provided between two different providers of the same therapy, and when it comes to our children, we only want the best.
  • Fully Integrated - From your social network profile page you can stay up to date on any Forums posts you're following, comments you've made, status updates your 'friends' have made, private messages you've received, and more
  • Messaging - With our private messaging, you can reach out to both existing people in your network as well as people you'd like to connect with.
  • Advanced Search Engine - You can easily search for new people to add to your network using a variety of criteria including zip code and radius which allows you to connect with other parents local to you.  Also, we are continuing to add new ways to search for others to connect with.
  • Real Time Status Updates - Share photos, updates or video links with everyone in your network
  • Custom Privacy Settings - You control everything about your profile including whether or not you want your profile to be searchable.  If you make your profile not searchable, you can only  be invited to another's network by email.
I hope that we were able to demonstrate that the HIPAA Secure Social Network created by the National Autism Network will not only allow you to connect with other parents and family members who can truly understand you and the joys and challenges you face on a daily basis, but through the Secure Child's Network, you're able to both save time and increase the quality of care for your child.

Join Now!!!!
-Not currently a member of NationalAutismNetwork.com? Click here to Join Now. Select the 'Parent/Guardian' tab if you're a parent or guardian of a child on the spectrum and complete you profile in a few easy steps.
-Already a member? Log in and click on the 'My Autism Network' tab on the blue navigation bar to complete your profile and start building new connections.