When we were getting our master’s degree, one of the paramount goals of the degree course work was to insure that we knew how to access the Internet for doing research.  I was resistant because I love doing research in books.  Additionally, it seemed that if you didn’t know the “key terms” to use in your search, you were lost and couldn’t find what you needed.  Now all that has changed for the better.  Slowly, I’ve learned the extreme value of the Internet for researching almost everything. 

If you have Internet access (and you must or you wouldn’t be reading this blog), there is little reason to go anywhere else because the information you need is literally at your finger tips.  I may be preaching to the choir.  Yet, I find that most people over the age of 40 have not discovered the amazing value of this tool. 

I use Google and I google a lot.  In preparing for sermons, I found that most of my in dept research can be done within the confines of my office and before my computer.  When trying to decipher the intricate concerns of certain behaviors associated with a particular disability, the Internet is quickly becoming my best friend.  There is a plethora of information regarding ministry issues and you don’t have to depend on some fly-by-night person who is sitting at their kitchen table in their pajamas.  Valued ministry heads have plugged into this important resource.  However, don’t disregard the person you don’t know, they are probably young and still experimenting.  You may learn a couple of new tricks that will enhance your ministry greatly.

While specialized ministry information may be sparse, the blogs and information available is growing.  Some of the most valued information and teaching has come from parents of children with disabilities who are recording their daily struggles to keep their heads above the water.  Don’t discount their wisdom.  After all, it was parents in the 50’s and 60’s who bucked the conventional wisdom and resisted the “professionals” who told these parents to put their children into institutions and “forget” their child.  These are the people who made much of what we are experiencing today happen.  Parents are still the people at the forefront of research for persons within the autism spectrum.

There is still a learning process when using the Internet.  However, the curve is tiny and the assets retrieved from your search are well worth the effort.  Have you found the Internet easy or difficult to use?  What are you most valued Internet sites?  Let us know what YOUR website or blog is.

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