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    • Balancing social media can certainly be difficult. I want every follower to feel heard but I also find I need to take breaks to enjoy life outside of social media. This is especially true since I focus on a lot of advocacy that does not take place online too. I typically set specific times to check my platforms and then remain offline so I do not burnout. I found that this has helped tremendously, before I was simply online all the time constantly answering follower questions and posting content to build my following. This is not sustainable, and loyal followers will stay even if you only post once or a few times a day.

      Facebook live was a great way to connect with followers in a more personal way. I know it is important for a lot of people to put a face to the name. I am face blind, which means I cannot recognize faces or facial expressions, so to me it did not occur at first that people connecting with me in this way was important. For me, knowing someone's face doesn't hold the same value since I cannot recognize it.

      Facebook live was also wonderful because it allowed me to interact in real time. It can be a little difficult trying to read the questions while answering live (a lot to process) so I often ask followers to submit their questions ahead of time. This gives me the extra processing time I need to deliver the best answers. I then field live questions as well.

      Other ways I stay connected is through my direct messages, email, newsletter, posting more personal content so people can get to know me as a person, and of course connecting in real life at conferences and events. I also always try to support other autistic advocates the best I can by sharing their content and having guest postings on my blog.

      Overall, social media is a wonderful way to stay connected. I am truly humbled by how many people I have been able to reach through these platforms and always inspired by the messages I get from parents and other autistic people about their own personal stories.