In October 2014, I launched my comprehensive Reader Survey. I benefited enormously from collecting and analyzing your responses . Ultimately, I think it also benefits you, because it helps me improve the content I create, whether on this blog, for my future podcast, or for any future products I create for you.
My purpose, in writing this article, is to help you better understand who your average fellow reader is, and how I am going to better serve you in this upcoming year.
You, the Reader
If I boiled down my results into a “reader profile”, it would look like this, based on the 49 of you who responded.
My average reader is female 73.47% as opposed to male (26.53%).
This is further reflected by my Google Analytics stats, which shows about 70% women readers versus 30% male readers.
Interestingly, 28.57% of you are autism/Asperger adults, and 28.57% of you are parents of a child or young adult with autism, while 38% of you were a mix of professional speech therapists or counselors, grandparents, or spouses of someone with autism.
Some of you had questioned me earlier this year why I directed my blog mainly to Asperger men. Mainly, I felt that, as a man myself, with a son on the spectrum, I could best write to that audience. However, after seeing these statistics and receiving your feedback, I’ll be writing to both men and women! Additionally, I’ll be seeking out Aspergers/Autism women to write guest posts for my blog in the future.
My average reader appreciates posts about friendship (66.67%), parenting (45.45%), marriage (18.18%), and dating (15.15%).
Interesting side note:
Age wasn’t part of my reader survey, but when I broke down the reader ages on Google Analytics, here’s how they panned out –
Age 0-18 13.82%
Age 25-34 25.91%
Age 35-44 28.75%
Age 45-54 16.8%
Age 55-64 10.18%
Age 65+ 4.54%
5 Insights, and What They Mean For You
Personal Experience Plus Respectful and Caring Perspectives
Many, many readers remarked on how helpful it is when I share my own personal experiences on my son, and to others on the autism spectrum.
You also appreciated my caring and yet balanced approach to presenting autism and Aspergers facts on my blog.
What this means for you, is that I’m going to continue to share my personal experience, while also seeking out more perspectives from Aspergers men and women who can share their personal experience with you.
I plan to share Aspergers men and women’s stories via starting a new podcast, and making that information available on the blog.
Specific Help You’ve Received from my Posts
You shared that you’ve appreciated the following specific information:
- Parenting Advice
- Positive Messages about autism and Aspergers
- Learning coping skills for everyday life
- Being able to understand that you aren’t alone
- Understanding how someone with autism experiences the world
What this means for you, is that I will continue to encourage you, talk about your strengths, share daily living tips, especially from other Asperger/autism adults, and seek to create community on my blog.
One way I’m considering creating community is via a Thrive with Aspergers Facebook group.
Let me know whether you prefer a closed, secret group (acceptance only through permission), or a public closed group.
Your Hopes and Dreams
Here are a few common themes you mentioned:
Your hopes and dreams include:
- How to relax and release almost constant stress that comes with everyday living.
- How to mange the challenges of the differences between autism and NTs within a family, so that the differences don’t take the family over.
- How to set realistic goals while accepting one’s current station in life.
- How to deal with disability and life losses, while learning how to realistically proceed going forward
- How to make a living (a couple of areas mentioned included e-learning, and adult learning)
- How to teach independent living skills to one’s child and/or young adult
- How to accept differences between autism/Aspergers and NT (neurotypicals) in a marriage, and have a happy marriage.
What this summary means for you:
I’m going to incorporate these themes into my editorial calendar this year, and I’ll also include these themes in my podcast episodes. Understanding these aspirations and dreams helps me also think potential guest bloggers and people to interview for my podcast.
Your Biggest Challenges
You shared some of your biggest challenges:
- Feeling alone
- Working and living while managing the stress of doing so
- Family Dynamics – communicating, when it’s already so difficult
- Finding trustworthy and qualified diagnosticians (healthcare professionals who can give a competent diagnosis)
- Translating thinking to words verbally
- Gaining respect from others
- Helping autistic young adult when she is away at college, and parent is a state away at home
- Connecting with others, especially in the workplace
- Sex and intimacy in autism marriage, when one partner is NT and the other is not
What these challenges mean for you, in terms of my blog:
Your frustrations and challenges will, again, guide what I write about this year. As mentioned previously, I plan to start a Thrive with Aspergers Community as a closed group on Facebook, to increase support and belonging for you, the reader. I’ll continue to seek input from those on the autism spectrum, since I’m not autistic myself.
How You Like to Consume Information
Almost half (44.83%) of you prefer consuming information by reading the written word.
However, in close second was watching a DVD or video. (27.59%).
What this means to me, and you:
I’m going to continue blogging More seriously, written reports, a digital book or course, seem to be your main preference. But I can greatly enhance my communication with video, which I’ll strongly consider. Right now, my budget constrains me to stick with starting up my podcast first, but after that gets going, I’m going to consider adding video, even if it’s lower quality (like using my iPhone video recorder) to begin with.
Summary: My Plan for You This Year
a) Experiment by starting a Thrive with Aspergers closed group, where we can better connect.
b) Write and talk to others about what you care about. I’ll seek guest writers (preferably those with autism/Aspergers) who can talk about these themes). In addition to writing, I’m also going to start a podcast featuring a mix of research and field experts as well as Autistic/Aspergers women and men to talk about the questions/themes you raised in the survey.
c) Consider adding video to my communication strategy (even if that means I have to get over seeing myself
Question: What additional insights did you see from the survey?