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Web Community Guidelines

The purpose of the Autism Speaks Web community is to provide a safe place for people on the autism spectrum and others affected by autism to connect, share stories, support each other and build lasting friendships. 

Because of the live nature of the discussions on this community, it is not possible for Autism Speaks to review and/or confirm the accuracy and/or validity of a message before it is posted. If you believe someone has violated the community guidelines, please report it immediately to editors@autismspeaks.org.
 
Respect
Respect is the name of the game. Please extend courtesy and respect to fellow members at all times. This is a place to support each other and engage in meaningful discussion, not to hurt one another. Please refrain from inflammatory and defamatory comments as well as flaming, taunting and general disrespect. If you disagree with another’s opinion, please explain why respectfully. Do not simply “put down” the opinion or advice given by others or tell them they are flat-out wrong. Do not make uninvited remarks about typos, duplicate posts or posting style. This is NOT a place to aggressively pursue attacks and accusations on one’s opinions or background. Even if you feel upset or angry, consider what you are saying, how you are saying it and how it might affect others before you hit enter.
 
When engaging in opinion-based discussion, refrain from stating things like “there is no argument” as if your opinion is the only one to be had or the only one that matters. When someone has clearly stated their opinion, do not say things like “Are you serious?” and “Are you kidding me?” Remember, this is not a debate club; it is intended to be an Autism support forum. No one is to act as an opinion judge. We can respectfully agree to disagree without being hurtful or aggressive.
 
Absolutely No Solicitation.
Under no circumstances should you contact another member asking for money, help, or offering products or services.
 
No Inappropriate Content.
Please keep all content in your post in the public forum focused on the stated topic of the thread. We reserve the right the right to remove content if it's off-topic or inappropriate. If you want to talk off-topic, please do so on your own blog or Web page. Please note that the following guidelines regarding inappropriate content apply to both public and private spaces: Posting inappropriate content can and will be flagged and reported. Content that is not appropriate on Autism Speaks online community includes, but is not limited to, advertising, publishing of material for which you do not own the copyright*, any content that is vulgar, obscene or contains adult themes, language or imagery. Personal attacks, including name-calling, insulting, spamming, flaming, baiting or otherwise harassing forum members and Autism Speaks employees will not be tolerated, publicly or privately. Engagement in, or encouragement of such attacks is prohibited, and we reserve the right to take appropriate measures, including the deletion of content, and banning from the site for any behavior we determine to be harmful to our community.
 
* When linking to outside content, you must ensure that the content of the link is appropriate for our community and adheres to the aforementioned guidelines. Do not post copyrighted materials (articles, videos, audio, etc.) that you do not have permission to reproduce or distribute. For text articles, it is generally acceptable to quote a small portion of the article and must link to the source. You should not post entire articles on this community as this may constitute copyright infringement.
 
Guard Your Personal Information.
You must use your real name when posting to the Autism Speaks Web page. We do, however, highly discourage members from posting personal information such as telephone number, home address, or other specific information which may make your location easily discovered by others. If you’d like to share such information with other members, we advise you to do so with great forethought and caution, and only via the private messaging system.
 
Please Refrain from Advertising.
It is not appropriate to advertise your business, products or services on the Autism Speaks community in public forums, public image gallery or in comments you leave on other member’s profile walls or blog posts. It is acceptable to mention your business on your own profile page or blog post – SO LONG AS YOU DO NOT DIRECTLY ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICES OR PRODUCTS. Our administrators will delete any content that is construed as advertising.
 
Health Information
Any and all health and medical advice and information given on this community are intended for general discussion and educational purposes only. They are in no way intended to serve as actual, individual medical advice. In no way does participating in this community constitute a formal or informal doctor/patient relationship. All members are invited to participate. Because of this, we assume no responsibility for any posts. It is possible that some information may be inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise flawed. No information is endorsed or verified by Autism Speaks other than what we post ourselves. Your health is important, and you are responsible for your own health care and well-being. If you have any medical concerns, please consult with your physician or other health-care professional.
 
Autism Speaks Administrators
Autism Speaks administrators have the final say on anything. If you have a problem, you may make a complaint to us directly. Please contact editors@autismspeaks.org with any questions or concerns.
 
If you ever need clarification on these guidelines, please contact us privately.
 
When you are participating in this community, please keep in mind that we strive to create a safe, support driven community for those affected by autism. We hope you are able to have fun and enjoy connecting with each other here.
 
Freedom-of-speech rights do not extend to privately owned websites, such as this one. These guidelines detail the types of behavior and activities that are allowed here. If a user violates our guidelines and shows a disregard for them, they run the risk of losing their account. We reserve the right to ban any user without warning. These guidelines are subject to change without notice.
 
Ratings
Ratings are administered by the community for each resource in our resource guide. Like comments, they are intended for general discussion and educational purposes only and do not reflect an endorsement by Autism Speaks or as actual medical advice. We assume no responsibility for these ratings.We want to hear about your firsthand experience, not what you heard from others. Remember you’re part of the larger autism community and that many people may want to follow in your footsteps.