Question: Why is it important for me to spend time with other parents of children with autism?
Answer: Networking with other families who have children with autism can be extremely helpful. One of those sources is simply emotional support.
Some people benefit tremendously simply by sharing their experiences with other families who are going through the same thing. Other people may find that less useful.
A second area that other families can be tremendously helpful, are sources of information -- up to date information on other providers, resources in the area, and very practical tips or ideas that work for them when managing their children.
While children with autism are all different, and all have their own unique abilities and difficulties, many times families will have very specific solutions that professionals may not be aware of. For example: discipline strategies, strategies for working with a certain school.
Lastly, many families I work with find tremendous meaning in the larger picture. Doing things like raising funds for research, helping other families of children with autism can give tremendous satisfaction and meaning, feeling that they're doing something.
Everyone is different and they benefit from more or less involvement with those societies, but I encourage everyone to contact their local autism society or other parent networking group and at least check it out.