Autism Connect is a social networking site for people with autism and their families. It is a safe space to interact with others and share knowledge and experiences. Join now to get started!

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Code of conduct

Autism Connect is an online community. This means that it is a page on the Internet where lots of people come to meet and talk to others who share the similar experiences. These people include:

  • People with autism
  • Parents and siblings (brothers and sisters) of people with autism
  • Other family members of people with autism
  • Friends of people with autism

These people want to talk about themselves and their lives and share stories, ideas and help. It is important that they can do that and feel safe and know that they are treated with respect. 

This Code of Conduct is a simplified version of the full Terms of Use , Acceptable Use Policy and gives you tips on how best to use the site. 

Do:

  • Post public comments and statuses about good ideas or experiences you have had.
  • Contribute to discussions if you have something to add that might help others.
  • Respond to other people’s questions if you have something useful to add or some advice that may help them.
  • Only post questions and comments in someone else's discussion if they are relevant (about the same thing).
  • Rate and review services based on your experiences to help others to find great services. Please only rate and review services you have used yourself.
  • Include detail in your reviews to make sure that your review is helpful to others and they can decide whether the service will be helpful to them. "This is great!" is an example of an unhelpful review because there is not enough detail.
  • Search for services that may be similar to or the same as yours before adding them, so that the same service isn't posted lots of times. This will help people to rate and review the service in the same place and make it easier for users to find this information.
  • Search for questions that may be similar to or the same as yours before adding them, so that the same question isn't posted lots of times. This will help people to answer the question in the same place and make it easier for users to find this information.
  • Start discussions and ask questions and advice.
  • Post pictures of yourself that you would like others to see (not private pictures that may make others uncomfortable or scared).
  • Keep more personal ideas and status updates private so they are only seen by people in your circle. People in your circle are not necessarily friends, they may only be interested in an intervention you've tried, a status you have posted or something else that you have done on the site. This means that you should still be careful not to post things that you don't want strangers to see.
  • Remember that other people can see what you write. If you choose the "public" setting then everyone can see your updates, including people who have not joined the site. If you choose the "circle" setting, other people can still see what you post but only if they are in your circle.
  • Make new friends if you get to know someone on the site.
  • Add anyone to your circle who is your friend that you know from somewhere other than the website.
  • If someone does something that makes you feel sad, scared, angry or upset, report what they said using the report option next to their comment, status or message.
  • Accept it if someone finds something you said hurtful or offensive. You may not have meant to make them feel that way but they may not know that.
  • Report any user who asks you for your password. No one should ask you for your password so do not tell them what it is.
  • Use the "count to 10" technique. If you feel angry or upset and are about to post something, walk away from the computer and count to 10 before writing your post. This will help you think about what you are going to say and make sure that you don't say anything hurtful because you have been upset by something.

Do not:

  • Post public comments and statuses with swear words or sexual language in them.
  • Threaten or frighten others by using violent words or expressing violent ideas.
  • Post personal information about anyone. This includes links to personal Facebook pages, personal email addresses or phone numbers. There are other types of personal information so if you are unsure about posting something, ask the person whose information it is first. If this is not possible, check with a moderator or do not post the information.
  • Post pictures of other people without their permission.
  • Post pictures that are scary, violent or sexual.
  • Ask to add someone to your circle if they have already said no – this may make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Carry on contacting someone if they ask you to stop - you may want to make a point but they may feel uncomfortable.
  • Give the names of individual professionals if you have a negative opinion. A detailed review of their service is much more useful.
  • Insult or deliberately upset someone – sometimes you may think something about someone that is hurtful. Even if you don't mean to hurt their feelings, you should not say hurtful things to them.
    • For example, if somebody does not spell very well, it would be hurtful to call them stupid. They may have difficulties with spelling or they may prefer to write in a shortened way so that they can type more quickly.
  • Use racial, sexist or sexual, homophobic or religious slurs. This means language that is upsetting to others about the colour of their skin, the country they are from, because of their gender, because of their sexuality or because of their religion.
    • For example, saying that you think women are stupid is sexist because it is nasty to someone just because of their gender.
  • Be nasty about another person just because you don't agree with something that they have said or you do not agree with their opinion. It is better to calmly explain why you disagree. They may not have thought about it in the same way as you. They also may simply think something different to you and this is allowed.
  • Use Autism Connect to advertise products, research or services.
  • "Spam" by posting the same thing multiple times.
  • Ask another user for their password or try to use their account without their permission.
  • Plan or commit any crime or talk about crime in a positive way.
  • Use all capital letters LIKE THIS. This is usually used to show that you are shouting. This may make you seem angry and may upset another user.
  • Ask the same question lots of times - people will answer, if they can, the first time. If you do not receive a reply, the other users of the site probably don't know how to help.
 

Reporting

You should report to us anything that you see on the site that you find upsetting, scary or offensive. Please give us as much detail as possible about the issue you have found, what you do not like about it and what you would like us to do to fix the problem.

We will then investigate the issue and try to help you and the person you have reported to discuss the problem and agree to a way to solve the problem.

Sometimes comments and updates will need to be removed immediately. We will do this if we think that the thing you have reported goes against our code of conduct.

We can also ban any user that we think has broken our Code of Conduct or Terms of Use. This will be reserved for only the most serious cases.

"Text Speak"

Some users may use "text speak" to write messages. This is a language that was made popular with older style mobile phones. These phones had limits to how many letters and numbers you could use in a message, so people shortened words to fit more into their messages. Some examples are:

4 - may mean the word "for" OR the number "four"

2 - may mean "to"or "too" OR the number "two"

u - may mean the word "you"

ppl - may mean "people"

There are many other examples of "text speak", other than the ones listed. If somebody uses anything like this, it does not mean they are wrong or cannot spell.

If somebody spells something wrong, you do not need to point it out to them and you should not call them a nasty name either.