Since getting Joshua's diagnosis I have learned to stop judging other moms. It's amazing how harsh moms are about other moms. Reading posts on message boards will show you how critical we can be of other people. I no longer look down on moms in a store with a child melting down. I don't think wow, that kid needs discipline or what is that mom doing. I realize things aren't always as they seem. That everybody needs the benefit of doubt and encouraging words. Most moms just do the best they can and having a child with Autism who looks typical to the outside world helps me be more sympathetic to others.
Belonging to different moms groups has its benefits. I became aware early on that if I had any concerns there was free evaluations through the county even at the age of 2. I never would have known this had it not been for these message boards. I have met some really good friends through message boards and online groups. They definitely have their benefits.
HOWEVER, and this is a big however, they also bring out the worst in people. You realize that parenting is controversial. So many things to debate. So many things to make you feel superior or inferior in your own parenting style. Vaccinate, don't vaccinate. Cry it out, don't cry it out. Spank, don't spank. Co-sleep, don't co-sleep. Everyone becomes so threatened by these debates. Why does it matter if someone chooses one or the other. Why do moms feel threatened by these debates.
There is definitely truth in this humor. http://www.someecards.com/2011/01/28/a-template-for-every-awful-facebook-discussion-youve-ever-witnessed
So whether or not you have a child with special needs, realize that most moms are doing the best they can, don't be so quick to judge and let's just be nicer to each other. It will make the world a better place. Like my mom always taught me, if you don't have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut.