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New Project... Why?

It's currently 1:30 a.m. and I'm typing this without the ability to view it well. For some reason, my vision — literally overnight — went blurry. I can see the shapes of things, but not definite lines. I have to close my left eye to see anything well, but then my right eye tires and things get slightly fuzzy. Slightly fuzzy is better than nothing.

And yet, as I struggle to see, I have launched a new, potentially massive, project:

What is The Autistic Place? And why am I creating yet another Web site? Don't I have a life? (Not to mention school work, teaching, a home to remodel....)

The Autistic Place is a Web portal. Think of a "Yahoo" or "MSN" dedicated to autism. It has discussion areas (forums), full blog capabilities (including Blogger API support), collaborative "book" editing (think Wikipedia with editors), and much more. The system is based on Drupal ( with various modules added and some tweaking of the underlying PHP code. You have to love open source projects!

Honestly, I would have loved another domain name, but most were taken (or for sell at fees that would make Jack Sparrow blush). So, the site has a name that isn't ideal, but will work.

My goal is to have a place where students with autism spectrum disorders, parents, teachers, and researchers call all coexist and share knowledge. I'd love to create a place that is a bridge for various communities. Too many of the autism sites are political. The worst sites are "segregated" to keep out "neurotypical" (aka "normal") individual. That doesn't seem helpful, to me.

The Web site is designed to be as simple, clean, and efficient as possible. The information on the site is supposed to be more important than online toys — but I'm sure someone will want a few bells and whistles added later. (Not actual noises though; I hate noises from Web pages.)

Who knows if anyone will ever locate the site. I hope a few people do. Promoting it won't be easy, but it is worth a shot. So, if you read my blog, please take a look at The Autistic Place and let me know what you think.


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