Friday, May 11, 2012

Thank You for “Like”-ing Me

I resisted Facebook for so long. Then, about 3 years ago, I joined it and quit after about a month because I couldn’t stand the notion of everybody I knew in my business.  Then, I moved away from all my family and friends and my son got an autism diagnosis, and I got really, really lonely.  So, I joined FB again a few months ago.

Now, I don’t use it very much, but it is a place for me to connect my life with just about everyone I ever knew.  It’s also a place where I can share my articles, post pics of what my kids are up to, share exciting updates, or just say to my friends and family: Help…autism is kicking my butt!  Give me some love and encouragement.

And that’s just what they do. 

Here are two of my recent FB status updates:

Jamie Pacton: 
Was at the dentist a few days ago and the hygienist was asking all sorts of complicated questions requiring detailed answers from me. As I was getting my teeth drilled at the time, all I could do was grunt unintelligibly.

 It was so frustrating, and then I realized that this is what Liam must feel like all the time. His brain knows what he wants to say, but he literally cannot make the words come out.

Imagine this being the case for every need, desire, happiness, and moment of frustration, fear.... no wonder he screams! I'd scream too! 

Reminds me of an old cirque du solieil shirt I permanently " borrowed" 
It said "If you have no legs, run. If you have no voice, scream. If you have no hope, invent..."

·       # of Likes: 10. 

Thank you friends and family.


Then, I got that same sentiment tattooed on my arm last weekend and loads of people “Liked” that.

Thank you friends and family.


Yesterday was a rough day. So, I posted this:

Jamie Pacton
Is just having one of those autism mom days where: "really, why my boy, Why?" keeps pounding through her's not the biting, or the screams, or the piles of poop that I catch in my hands, or the introduction of mild aversives to stop problem's just that he has to work so much harder... and it's just so gd'mn him, to all the other kids like him...and when I think before the all those other signs between 12 and 36 months...oh, that's dangerous, dangerous, dangerous. And I know, I know it's a pity party, and I have to press on, keep my chin up and all that, but some days it still boggles my mind. All of it. Autism sucks.

·      # of Likes and comments: 6 and counting. 

Thank you friends and family.


Thank you for listening. For “Like" ing—which I think in this case is really just a sneaky FB-way of saying: “Yep, we hear you and we are here for you. Much love.”

And, so, I guess I’ve done a full 180 on FB. I think it’s a great way for those of us with special needs kids to talk in short bursts about our lives. It’s a way to speak out to those we know and ask for just a little boost when the going gets rough. 

 And then there’s this comment, which sums it all: "You are an awesome Mama, Jamie. Hugs."

Short, sweet, from a friend I haven't seen in a really long time. But, exactly what I needed to hear last night.

Thank you friends and family.

(I like you too!)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Jamie is a writer, professor and mom to two busy boys. She writes a column for the Autism and Asperger Digest and her work has appeared in various other magazines. Visit her at to learn more or email her at


  1. Facebook... :)
    As an autism mum myself, I find it amusing to note that if I make a nebulous comment about my life, I get very little feedback. However, if I make a comment on anything to do with autism, then the feedback is overwhelming!
    I love how facebook enables us (parents with special needs kids) to connect, encourage and support. I think we need it, to have that connection with others who are walking the same journey, it certainly helps me!
    I like that we can also spread autism awareness!

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