Clean slate. Mulligans. Do overs.
We can wipe a chalk board clean, some people use Mulligans in golf, and in a friendly game of darts you might be lucky if your opponent allows you a do over when you hit them in the shoulder instead of the board.
Life isn't about do overs. In life, we are given the opportunity to learn from our experiences, grow from our mistakes, and we can decide what attitude we will have along the way. Pretty simple when you think about. Living it is another story.
2009 has been a tremendous year for AutismSpot:
~ Initium House Documentary: after a select screening we have finished the final edits and will release the film to the public in 2010
~ Future Horizons: in partnership with Future Horizons we brought you the Autism Super Conference with Dr. Temple Grandin + Dr. Tony Attwood + Dr. Jed Baker + Carol Kranowitz which is available at our sister property SpotUniversity.com
~ SpotUnversity (our Virtual Learning Environment): our VLE platform is being utilized by more than 40 school districts and expands monthly
~ pLD Creative: our creative digital agency was launched and we immediately began large scale multi-media projects with companies like Dougherty's Pharmacy and OIN/LinuxDefenders and ConsoleWorks. Early next month, we will be announcing a new batch of clients that include some exciting new projects.
~ New team members have joined our creative forces this year. We have film school graduates to classic artists to a new director of business development across the projectLD family of companies.
~ pLD Publishing signed two authors and we took our first step into the music industry which will come to fruition in 2010
.....and a few other fun highlights but you get the idea
What is in store for 2010? Glad you asked.
We did not want to do a superficial refresh of content, site layout, or some juvenile adjustments for WOW! factor and then leave you saying, "so what." In typical fashion, we have been analyzing thousands of new Autism websites, newsletters, blogs and content to determine what they are really providing and what they are preaching to the world. Sadly, we continue to be disappointed by the millions of dollars of waste that we come across and the extremely poor execution by so many big brands and names.
Autism has become a massive industry and don't be fooled by the words "non-profit". There is not a single entity out there that doesn't require income/revenue/cash to exist. Branding. You may ask yourself what branding and Autism have in common. Well, some groups tout major endorsements, some pay millions to host events (with massive celebrities) that ultimately must break even first and will hopefully bring in some money after all is said and done, and some groups may (for example) bring in north of $40 million a year and then not be able to deliver on grants and other programs they committed to.
Oh yeah, what about that branding thing? Some organizations like tag lines....A LOT! Hero this, Hero that, Hero here, Hero there, Hero everywhere. Note to self....yelling at the government, yelling at news outlets, yelling at politicians.....all this will get you in the news, it will make some people think you are actually making significant progress, it makes you sound like a fabulous advocate.....BUT what actual results are you able to show? All that money that is donated each year to pay people to yell, to pay for major brand management campaigns better start showing payoff before people catch on. If we are going to debate what causes Autism then start funding the research with real money. Start putting millions behind the studies and less behind your brand management. Awareness IS DEFINITELY important but the public has received the message. Autism impacts everyone, in every community around the world, the numbers are staggering....so what are we as a global community doing about it? Are all these donations being put to the best use?
Should we start doing a better job of auditing EVERY SINGLE one of these non-profit groups that are more than happy to take our money?
I could care less about another T-Shirt, Walk, or sappy PSA commercial that makes people want to cry about how bad we must have it living with Autism. We're over it and should have been a long time ago. Our kids can get better, we can get better, success is within reach, and we need to remove the blinders that tell us there is only one, single way to do things. Whether it is a new therapy, a new medication, a new diet.....look, learn, and decide if your child or you can benefit from it. Anyone who is telling you that something will not work, don't consider it....doesn't have your best interest in mind. Consider every option and stop doing the things that are not paying off. Expect to be sold to, marketed to.....this is how these companies and groups stay in existence. Be smart and make rationale decisions. If something is NOT resulting in measurable improvement then stop spending the money and move on. If someone keeps pushing something on you, if they keep advocating for a particular group about a particular practice or diet but for some reason they haven't seen any improvement with their child...get real...ask yourself why in the world is someone so passionate about something that hasn't helped? Sometimes people like jumping on the bandwagon or riding the cool train because that makes them feel important and in the know.
If you think 2010 is going to be different here at AutismSpot your are correct. We are going to continue to do the things you have found valuable and rely on. We are getting rid of the things that have limited interest. We are going to introduce some things that will likely shake things up a bit as well. Since 2007 we have said....this is just the beginning. As we enter 2010 we are going to say it again....this is just the beginning! There is a new AutismSpot coming and we are all about carving new paths.
Happy New Year and may the love of friends and family fill your hearts and home during this holiday season!