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IAN DISCUSSION FORUM FAQ

1. How do I log on to the IAN Discussion Forums?

To read the Discussion Forums, you do not need to log on.

To post a Topic or reply to a Topic in the Discussion Forums, you need an IAN ID and password. Click on the JOIN IAN button at the top of this page. Choose your IAN ID and password and provide your email address, then click the SUBMIT button. (Be sure to write down your IAN ID and password and keep them in a safe place.) We'll send an email confirmation of your registration. Open the email that we send you and click on the link in the email to confirm your registration. You will be taken to a page that will allow you to complete the registration process. This includes choosing a Display Name, indicating if you want to receive the IAN e-newsletter, etc.

2. What if I have an IAN Research ID, password, and PIN already?

If you have already joined IAN Research, you will use your IAN Research ID and password to log on to the IAN Community and the Discussion Forums. (You will not need your PIN.)

3. What is a Display Name? How is it different from my IAN ID?

Your IAN ID is private. Together with your password, it is part of your secure IAN log-on. Other users of the IAN site will never see your IAN ID.

Your Display Name is public. This is the name that appears when you post or reply in the Discussion Forums. To maintain your privacy, please choose a Display Name that guards your true identity. Examples: Aspiemom, Superdad.

4. What are Forums, Topics, and Messages?

The Discussion Forums are like a bulletin board where you can post or reply to messages. As you look through them, you will see that they are organized in logical levels.

At the highest level are Categories, such as IAN RESEARCH. On the Discussion Forums, these appear in black against an aqua background.

Forums are subject areas that fit under these top-level Categories. For example, under the Category IAN RESEARCH, there might be several Forums, such as IAN Research Findings. Forum titles appear in orange text, and clicking on the orange text gets you into the Forum.

The IAN Staff sets up Categories and Forums.

Under the subject area of a Forum, you post Topics. Think of these Topics as notes people are putting up on certain sections of a bulletin board for others to read and respond to. Under IAN RESEARCH (Category) and IAN Research Findings (Forum), you might post a Topic called "Motor Skills Data -- Wow!" where you comment on the number of kids with ASDs who have also been diagnosed with motor delays according to the IAN Research data.

This original post becomes the first Message of the Topic. Any replies to this first post become additional Messages. There can be many Messages under a single Topic.

5. How do I post a new Topic?

Posting a new topic is like putting a message on a bulletin board for everyone to read. It’s also like starting a conversation, since others can reply to you. To start a new Topic, locate the Forum you’re interested in. The Forum title appears in clickable orange text. Simply click on this to enter the Forum. A new page will appear, containing all Topics in that Forum. At the top of this listing, you will see a New Topic button. Click the New Topic button and type your Topic subject in the space provided. Then, in the box below the subject, type your message. When you are finished you can click the Preview button to check your message or the Submit button to post it.

Once you have posted your Topic, you will be able to return to it to delete or edit. Other users will be able to reply to it.

6. How do I reply to another user’s Topic?

When you open up another user’s Topic, you will see their original post and, below it, other users’ replies, if any. All these Messages appear in a list, with the original post first, and then the replies in chronological order.

To post your own reply, click the Post Reply button near the top of the Topic. A message box will pop up for you. The subject will be filled in with “Re:” and the title of the Topic you’re replying to, but you can change this if you wish. In the box below that, simply type your message. When you are finished you can click the Preview button to check your reply or the Submit button to post it.

7. What is the QUOTE function at the top of each post for? How do I use it?

Because many people may reply to a posted Topic, who is commenting on who said what can get rather confusing. The list of replies can become quite long! The QUOTE function lets you copy another user’s Display Name and post so that these appear at the top of your reply. That way, everybody knows to which comment in the long list above you are responding, whether it is the post that began the Topic or the seventeenth reply down the list.

To use QUOTE, find the message to which you want to reply. Click the QUOTE button at the top left of the post. A reply box will open up with the quoted person’s message appearing at the top. (Don’t be distracted by the marks surrounding the quote. These are just computer coding marks that make all this turn out right.) Type your reply a line down from where the quoted material ends. After you click the Submit button, you will see that the Display Name of the person quoted appears in italics; their post appears indented; and your reply appears un-indented below that. This will help other users know to which reply you are responding.

If you want to keep only part of a quote, you can delete text between the coding marks until you’ve got the piece you want. (Some people may write LONG posts!)

Note: Quote, in the Forums in general, just means indent. You will notice that, along with options for bolding, italics, and underlining, there is a Quote function above each text reply box. You can use that to indent any text.

8. How do I reply to another user’s reply (rather than to the original Topic post)?

Sometimes, you may want to comment not on the post that began a Topic, but on another user’s very interesting reply. Because messages appear chronologically, there is no way to make your reply appear next to another user’s reply. To help show that you are replying to a specific message, use the QUOTE button inside the message box.

First, find the message to which you want to reply. Click the QUOTE button at the top left of the post. A reply box will open up with the quoted person’s message appearing at the top. (Don’t be distracted by the marks surrounding the quote. Those are just computer coding marks that make all this turn out right.) Type your reply a line down from where the quoted material ends. After you click the Submit button, you will see that the Display Name of the person quoted appears in italics; their post appears indented; and your reply appears un-indented below that. This will help other users know to which comment you are responding.

If you want to keep only part of a quote, you can delete text between the coding marks until you’ve got the piece you want. (Some people may write LONG posts!)

9. What is the "B" function at the top of the reply box?

The "B" function allows you to BOLD some of your text. Simply highlight the text you want to appear in bold, and then click on the B. You will see HTML coding appear (b and /b). This tells the computer which text to bold. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear in boldface type.

10. How do I put text in BOLD?

The "B" function at the top of the reply box allows you to BOLD some of your text. Simply highlight the text you want to appear in bold, and then click on the B. You will see HTML coding appear (b and /b). This tells the computer which text to bold. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear in boldface type.

11. What is the "i " function at the top of the reply box?

The "i" function allows you to italicize some of your text. Simply highlight the text you want to appear in italics, and then click on the i. You will see HTML coding appear (i and /i). This tells the computer which text to put in italics. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear in italics.

12. How do I put text in italics?

The "i" function at the top of the reply box allows you to italicize some of your text. Simply highlight the text you want to appear in italics, and then click on the i. You will see HTML coding appear (i and /i). This tells the computer which text to put in italics. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear in italics.

13. What is the "u" function at the top of the reply box?

The "u" function allows you to underline some of your text. Simply highlight the text you want to appear as underlined, and then click on the u. You will see HTML coding appear (u and /u). This tells the computer which text to underline. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear as underlined.

14. How do I underline text?

The "u" function at the top of the reply box allows you to underline some of your text. Simply highlight the text you want to appear as underlined, and then click on the u. You will see HTML coding appear (u and /u). This tells the computer which text to underline. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear as underlined.

15. What is the "Quote" function at the top of the reply box?

The "Quote" function allows you to indent some of your text. This is often used to set off text to show that it’s a quote from another user, an article, a book, or whatever the case may be. Simply highlight the text you want to appear as indented, and then click on Quote. You will see HTML coding appear (quote and /quote). This tells the computer which text to indent. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear as indented.

Note: this is similar to, but not the same as, the QUOTE function (which appears at the top left of every post on the Discussion Forums) that permits you to copy another user’s name and message in your reply before typing your response.

16. How do I indent a block of text?

The "Quote" function at the top of the reply box allows you to indent some of your text. This indenting is often used to set off text to show that it’s a quote from another user, an article, a book, or whatever the case may be. Simply highlight the text you want to appear as indented, and then click on Quote. You will see HTML coding appear (quote and /quote). This tells the computer which text to indent. These markings won’t appear in your post; the words between them will appear as indented.

17. What is Quick Reply?

Quick Reply allows you to comment on a post in a stripped down, no coding, no bolding, no italicizing, text only manner. If you click on Quick Reply it gives you a plain box to type in at the very bottom of the page. There are no buttons for italics, bolding, or underlining, and there are no smilies. It’s the quickest and simplest way to reply to a message.

18. What are “Smilies”?

Smilies, which are sometimes called emoticons, are pictures which help set the emotional tone of your message. The Smilies you can use in the IAN Discussion Forums appear to the left of the box you type your post or reply in. To insert one, place your cursor where you want the smilie to appear. Click on the desired smilie.

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