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The Power of Community and Social Media: A discussion with Ellen Seidman

Ellen Seidman is a magazine editor, a wife and the mother of fifteen year old Max, thirteen year old Sabrina and two a half year old Ben. She is also a blogger and has been writing "Love That Max" for nearly ten years. Max had a bilateral stroke at birth and has cerebral palsy and significant developmental disabilities as a result. He is "the happiest human being I've ever met," Ellen states and shares his love for all things red and fireman-related.

Max was five years old when Ellen started blogging. In a much better place emotionally than when he was born, she thought it'd be really great to be able to help other parents who were struggling and continue to work through some of her own challenges. Both Ellen and Elizabeth agreed that despite the decade that's passed, blogging never gets old, and they treasure the communities that have nurtured them.

In today's podcast Ellen also spoke with Jason and Elizabeth about mothering two teenagers and a toddler, the intricacies of sibling rivalry and birth order, and how even the tiniest toddlers learn to "help" their older disabled sibling.

Jason, Elizabeth and Ellen had a rousing discussion about ableism and its various manifestations on social media. "The disabled community is the minority community that is most often ignored," Ellen stated, and the three agreed that the many voices on social media are working to change things, even for those living in isolated and rural areas. They agreed that social media, particularly Facebook, gets a bad rap for many good reasons, but that what's often overlooked is the incredible connections and support it provides in the disability community. They covered the plastic straw controversy and the various eruptions that occur on social media around controversial subjects.

"I usually find that as with any engagement in real life, just trying to not get all riled up helps. Even if I get up and away from the computer, and go off to my husband," Ellen added. "I'm not using social media to stir up controversy. Because it's my outlet. It's my comfort spot."

All three agreed on the necessity of keeping one's blood pressure low and that, above all, social media has been a force for good in the disability community.

Lightning Round

Purchase < $100

Inspirational Book

Ellen prefers really good fiction when she reads and doesn't often find inspiration in self-help books.

Inspirational Person/Group

Pediatric Stroke Network

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