How to use the site

We want Talk about Autism to be as user-friendly and welcoming as possible to new members. Here you can find a guide on how you can use the community.

If you want to learn about how online forums work, please watch the short Online Discussion Forums video on the Common Craft website.

Register to the community

To use the community you’ll first need to register - it's free and only takes a few minutes. Once you’ve registered, please start off by reading our Community Guidelines. Remember that the forums show up in search engines like Google so please be careful about what information you share. You can read more about this in our section on Online safety.

Join the discussions

Now you’re ready to join in the forums, where you can meet and talk with others. A good starting point for joining the discussions is to post a brief introduction about yourself. Have a quick look around the forums and you’ll see that we chat about lots of different topics and issues related to autism. Or you can just relax and chat about things unrelated to autism in the Off Topic section.

If there's something you want to discuss which you don't see on the forums, feel free to start a new discussion.

Your profile

Adding a profile image

To add an image to your profile you need to be signed in to the site. First, go to your profile. Under 'Choose your avatar' you can select a custom image (designed by Talk about Autism member phoebemonkey) or upload your own by clicking 'Browse' and selecting the image on your computer. Once you've selected your image, confirm your password at the bottom of the page and then click the 'Submit' button.

Adding a signature to your profile

A signature is a line of text which runs under all your posts, such as 'Mike - Community Manager'. To add your own you need to be signed in to the site. First, go to your profile. In the signature box add your signature. When you're finished, confirm your password at the bottom of the page and then click the 'Submit' button.

Add a profile description

To add a description of who you are in your profile, you need to be signed in to the site. First, go to your profile. Under 'Tell us about yourself' write the information you wish to share with other members on the community. When you're finished, confirm your password at the bottom of the page and then click the 'Submit' button.

Private messaging

Turn on/off private messaging

To be able to receive private messages from another member on the site you must have private messaging turned on in your profile. You can turn private messaging on or off by going to My preferences, ticking (to turn it on) or unticking (to turn it off) the box under 'Private Messaging'. Confirm your password at the bottom of the page and then click the 'Submit' button.

Private messaging another member

To private message another member you must be signed in to the site. Access the member's profile, either through the Members Directory or by clicking their username on the forums, and then click the 'Contact this member' button (this will only be available if they have turned private messaging on in their profile). This will send an message to them via email, without revealing your or their email address.

Notification emails for replies

You can select to receive a notification email everytime someone responds to a discussion you are involved in. To turn them on you need to be signed in to the site. Go to My preferences. Under the 'Notifications' heading select whether you want to receive hourly, daily or weekly notifications. Confirm your password at the bottom of the page and then click the 'Submit' button.

Sign up to the e-newsletter

Our e-newsletter is sent every fortnight and tells you the latest community news and most  recent discussions. You can subscribe to it in your profile. First, you need to be signed in to the site. Go to My preferences and under the 'Subscriptions' heading tick the box next to 'I would like to receive the Talk about Autism fortnightly e-Newsletter'. Confirm your password at the bottom of the page and then click the 'Submit' button.

Connect with us on social networks

Talk about Autism is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Questions? Need help?

If you have any questions about how to use the site, please email Mike, the Community Manager, at mike@talkaboutautism.org.uk or get in touch with one of our Community Champions.