Wednesday, May 26, 2010

putting it out there

Recently, I've been wondering something that I'm sure many parents wonder - how much do I need to tell any given person who has contact with my son?

I've also been wondering how much to share in my business life - I keep a blog for my business, and I currently neglect a blog about our journey with Asperger's.

I asked the question at a recent workshop I attended, because I really wanted to know - what was the ideal blend of one's personal and professional lives? How much information is too much information? Can I be raw with emotion on my blog and still hope to book jobs? (I do work in a creative field, so there is a little bit more leeway there.)

The answer was - Disclose as much as you feel comfortable with, but be 100% honest with all disclosure.

Part of me really really wants to sit down and write a blog post that says 'This is my son.  He's awesome. He has Asperger's.' Part of me wants to print that on a shirt and wear it around. Maybe make a flyer that I can hand to people who tsk tsk us in public.

But part of me is so so scared. Who will judge him? What will it mean to be judged? I can't erase that first impression, but neither can I erase the first impression of a public meltdown. So I wonder if people would react differently if the public meltdown was tempered with some information. What's really happening. Why. That he's not just being a bad kid.

So. 100% honesty. Varying levels of disclosure. I'm test driving it.







  1. This is a big question and I suppose it is different for each parent. I write a blog, but when I write specifically about my daughter I try to keep her name and other possibly identifying information out of it so there is some level of anonymity. People who KNOW us and read the blog know who I'm writing about, but Joe Schmoe on the other side of the country couldn't pick her out of a line up (unless she was standing next to me, cuz my photo is on the blog) for public interactions, we don't necessarilly announce our daughter's diagnosis (somewhat disputed anyway...) as part of our introduction, but if a situation arises that requires explanation, then we give one. If people want to know more we're happy to tell them. For classes or places where I'm entrusting other adults to work with her I fully disclose what she needs, trying to set her up for success. I think one really has to gauge each situation and how one wants to handle it. I also think this is one reason we spend more time socializing with other special needs families. There is so much less to explain...or wonder if we need to...

  2. I closed my blog for a variety of reasons and one was the fact what I needed it for was TMI... so it was back to paper.
    When it comes to others, I don't even mention my eldest's NLD most of the time. Or for what we do - Karate, Scouts etc - it's a "he's got really high functioning autism so if something gets said, or done that's "off", please correct it - (b/c away from home I've been told he does very well, leaves the worst of it for me - sigh :) ) but don't worry about it, I'll deal with it afterwards". And it's worked VERY well for us.
    Little boy is non-verbal and flutters like a butterfly... Most people try to say "Hi" to him, but it's very obvious he has autism and most don't expect a response... I appreciate that they don't ignore him.