About Our Normal

Our Normal is run by parents who themselves have children with special needs and abilities.

Interested in finding other families with whom you have had similar experiences? To ask a question, give tips, or maybe decide to meet? Maybe you’re a “new” family looking for support? Or maybe you’re an “experienced” family ready to share some things that you’ve learned? Our Normal is here to open those doors.

What is ournormal.org?

Ournormal.org is an online community that is open to families who live together with children with various types of disabilities/special needs. The service makes it possible to find other families based on various factors, such as experiences with a certain type of disability, but also interests, age, location, etc.
First and foremost at Our Normal, we see and recognize each other as individuals and we all know good and well that experiences with a disability or special ability are only one part of who we are as people.

This service does not have any open discussion forums nor does it provide general advice to families. Instead, our sole focus is to enable individual person-to-person contacts to be forged; between parents, children, or siblings. It works kind of like similar sites for backpackers, or dating, if you like.

Who can create an account?

Ournormal.org is open to families who live together with children with various types of disabilities/special needs; hearing loss, visual impairment, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, autism, muscular disorders, chromosomal aberrations, rare diagnoses or undiagnosable issues. We do not have any restrictions on types of disabilities, rather we believe that this service can make a great difference for families who wish to utilize it to expand their social networks. Sometimes we have similar needs, sometimes they differ.

However, common to our whole community is that we have to adapt ourselves and our lives to some degree and that we value being part of a supportive family network where we have a shared understanding of these different types of adaptations. We care about each other and show each other respect.

Who runs ournormal.org? Who’s behind the service?

Our Normal is run by the non-profit organization “Föreningen Familjevänner” (which roughly translates as “Family Friends Association”), based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The organization was started in order to develop this platform and to develop digital tools for families of children with various types of disabilities. “Föreningen Familjevänner” is an independent, non-denominational, and apolitical organization.

The organization’s vision is a future in which nobody – neither parents nor children – feels isolated or alone due to a disability and we believe that the development of modern and digital tools and solutions can make that vision a reality.

Founder

The initiative was started by Jenny Lindström Beijar, a mother of two girls, the oldest of whom was born with Down syndrome. Jenny’s experience includes running international projects and 8 years of management consultancy. She developed the first version of this website together with a team of interaction designers, web designers, web developers, and with pro bono legal support. You can follow Jenny on her blog, Our Normal Family Story.