Where do I draw the line? How much do I share about my precious kid? Is it okay to spread his lows and highs across the internet? Am I doing it to create autism awareness or am I sharing because it makes me feel better? Do I feel that I need to be perfectly blunt about the realities of living with autism? Or, perhaps, do I gloss over the bad stuff and just concentrate on the positive moments in order to get over my own sadness because life is tough for my kid?
Is my sharing just part of that process of coming to terms with my lot in life? There are literally thousands of autism stories being shared daily. It is possible to completely lose myself amongst the denial, pain, grief, anger, love, acceptance and any other emotion that is being thrown out. It is also incredibly easy to get pulled into those emotions because of the autism connection.
I find myself moving away from all the anger, bitterness and judgmental posts. I don't like feeling those emotions and I refuse to fight on the internet. I like to keep on top of genuinely honest and thought provoking information, although as my child approaches the age of 15, I am finding that my reading is becoming more selective. I choose what suits our situation.
I no longer read blogs written by anonymous Autistic people who write from their own perspective; specifically those that tend to give parents a hard time - their brand of autism is not my son's brand of autism and I refuse to be bashed by them because they think they know my son better than me!
There are so many wonderful people out there and the stories they share create a connection, an online support group of sorts. This is where I tend to hang out!
The Internet is a powerful tool, although one I try to use wisely. Whatever I share is going to be out there in cyberspace, forever and a day. I will continue to write about my son's progress and perhaps some of our struggles, however, I will always respect that he is a person, who at this present time, is unable to speak for himself. I will always presume competence and bear in mind that one day he may have the tools to advocate for himself.
Di is the parent of an autistic teen. She blogs over at The Bright Side of Life.