I’ve had another lovely surprise. I’ve been nominated for another award, this time for the MADS (Mum and Dads) blog awards in the categories of Most Helpful, Most Inspiring, Best Blog Writer and Blogger of the Year. After being shortlisted for a Bibs award I am feeling so overwhelmed by all this but also very appreciative of those of you who have nominated my blog. It’s a fantastic feeling to think that people think my blog is worthy of a nomination.
When I first started blogging I never knew this sort of thing existed; I hadn’t heard of parent blogging or even special needs blogging. I had heard of blogging as a growing trend but the idea of nominations and awards just went over my head, mainly because I thought that I would never be part of this phenomenon. It never occurred to me that what I wrote would be of interest to anyone so to think that my writing is engaging people gives me a fantastic sense of achievement. This is particularly important to me at the moment as I don’t have a proper job or career to call my own so to do well in another area is a good feeling.
I started to blog as a way of sharing my story perhaps with the hope that other similarly affected people would find solace in knowing they were not alone. And it seems that I’m not alone. I started to receive emails, comments and tweets from people who were going through similar experiences. I enjoy your feedback though I think the word enjoy is not quite right as I realise that many of you are experiencing as challenging times as myself. Nevertheless it is reassuring to know I’m not alone and I hope you continue to be reassured that you’re not alone either. We may be hundreds or even thousands a miles apart but we are still united by shared experiences and the more we talk, share and discuss the more people will learn about the wonderful people that we are caring for. Indeed one of the most encouraging aspects of my blog is receiving comments from other people including professionals who have found my blog informative and helpful. It makes me feel quite proud that my blog can help others.
As my blog has grown I have also been aware of a growing sense of responsibility in what I say on here. I am as honest as I can be and while some people may feel it’s negative, this is the reality for me and my family and many others as well. If I don’t write about what is happening to families like mine then people cannot know what is going wrong in our society and what we need to do to address it. This is no way demeaning to autism and asperger syndrome or to my children whose dignity I protect like a hawk. As you may have noticed I do not write personal or day to day accounts of my children as they are older now and it doesn’t feel quite right to write about their lives in such a detailed way.
However, I do write about aspects of autism and asperger syndrome that I have to deal with as a parent that I hope provide an insight into some of the uniqueness of my children. This is not intended to be a negative portrayal of autism or asperger syndrome but if we are to raise awareness then we have to discuss aspects that are somewhat different to the usual ‘human’ experiences. If people perceive this in a negative way then I would politely suggest that the reader considers their own response to disability and why they may consider such issues to be difficult to read.
Sometimes we have to make ourselves read things that we are not familiar with and that perhaps are outside our comfort zone. In that way I believe we can learn about the lives of others and develop greater tolerance for other people. All too often people are too quick to judge others and are too ready to blame parents for any unusual behaviours in their children. By writing about special needs we can work towards breaking down these attitudes and pushing for greater acceptance of difference in our society. This is one of the goals of my blog.