It’s always amazing to find dedicated people who spend their time sharing and discussing Autism and Special Needs.
Today the Team talks with Marianne Russo, who together with The Coffee Klatch provides informative information and online Radio discussions surrounding Autism and Special Needs.
Let’s move on to the interview, shall we?
Autisable: Thank you Marianne for taking a few moments of your time to share with us about you and your experience
Marianne: No problem, Glad to be here.
Autisable: Tell us, how long have you been blogging, and what inspired you to start?
Autisable: We’ve enjoyed your blog posts, along with Elise’s. Sharing things about one’s own Family can be tough but fulfilling. Blogging is just one thing you’ve done for awhile, but we keep seeing things about The Coffee Klatch on twitter and facebook – especially in regards to the Autism and Special Needs community. What is The Coffee Klatch and how did you get started?
Marianne: The Coffee Klatch started on a whim. I often speak and write about the isolation of parents (mostly mothers) raising a special needs child. Many of these parents are on twitter to share information, seek support or find a friendly ear. Twitter is where I first met Elise and although we initially started tweeting about non special needs issues, we soon found our commonality. We spoke of all the parents that are struggling and the newly diagnosed families looking for direction. I had suggested we start a morning chat to help our fellow special needs parents and give them a place to go each morning to find others and get support. We decided to find two other moderators to help us offer a daily chat who we respected and felt could offer a broader range of disabilities. It became very apparent to me very quickly that many parents were getting misinformation or were not aware of accommodations and the importance of early interventions. Although we have all been at this for quite a while and are fairly knowledgeable in many areas, we are parents and not medical professionals so I felt it was not our place to give expert advice. I decided to seek out the most respected and renowned experts and invite them to join us – the rest is history.
Marianne: The Blog Talk Radio came into play when I found there were some guests that had so much to offer and who’s information was so important to our followers but for reasons of either not being Twitter savvy or who I felt would not be able to truly share all their knowledge in text a talk program was needed. We always have a twitter chat running simultaneously to the Blog Talk Radio shows and we try to take calls for each guest as well to keep the forum interactive.
Marianne: Obtaining the best of the best is our goal. We do our homework and are very careful and cautious about the guests we have on and the information that we put out. As a team we know who are the leaders and who we personally respect. This goes for childrens foundations as well as personal guests. We try to feature at least one foundation a month to share their outstanding work and to bring attention to their cause or disability. At first I would email or call a guest we would like to have on the show and would explain to them who we were and what we do. I have found ALL to be open and excited to join us. As The Coffee Klatch has become more of a well known resource for parents many of my guests now contact me either by email or by sending me their books for review. I honestly feel that our guests are dedicated and incredible professionals who chose their careers to help children – helping the child means educating the parent and I find they join The Coffee Klatch whole heartedly.
Autisable: This must take a serious amount of time, right? What do your family and friends say and think about your online radio program?
Marianne: I spend quite a bit of time working on The Coffee Klatch. Scheduling guests, updating our social media outlets Twitter, Facebook and our website, keeping our Blog full of our moderators writings, collaborating with the team as well as reading the piles of books on my desk is very time consuming but rewarding.
Autisable: We enjoy your online radio program, and thanks again for spending some time with us, and sharing with us some of your Articles and posts.
Until next time,
The Autisable Team