Its cold, rainy, and dark today.
At least it isn’t icing or snowing.
Very soon, my autistic son Pete is turning thirteen.
Pete getting ready for the day, love that smile.
I do not often blog about Pete specifically beyond about his learning.
WHY? It’s a potential trope trap.
Autism mommy bloggers (and Dads) often fall into these trope categories when they blog about their children:
- THE BITCHING BLOG : child and/or autism as family destroying, suffering and creating suffering, Sainted mommy martyr shares every detail of what a monster junior is
- THE SAINTED BLOG : child is special, (kid and mom get to be saints) mom only talks abut how amazing junior is and shares their and their child’s continuous saint like insights about autism, life, the universe, everything!!
- THE PITY BLOG: child as being a toddler in the body of an older person. Mom documents her child’s struggles. Its ohh, ohh so hard, but they can’t help it. *sniff* It’s so inspiring.
- THE WARRIOR BLOG! : child and family in a battle against time! Mom pats herself on the back for the child’s every single acheivement
These and other depictions DO NOT tend to portray the kid as a whole person.
There is often also major violation of a child’s privacy. Intimate day to day details are shared.
Sometimes parents also do this with typical children. Often it is obtain attention, to vent and get support or pity.
Parenting is hard.
I know that some people do not see issues with sharing personal information about others.
It is against my rules of engagement.
I feel that venting and ranting about private matters is something that should be done in private, with people who understand the situation not for the whole world to read. (acknowledge there are exceptions especially with abuse)
When I share about Pete or the other children I need to be careful not to fall into those categories or violate their privacy. Pete is exceptionally tricky, because language barriers keep me from knowing if I have his consent.
I ask myself,
How can I share without compromising privacy, giving a one sided view, or otherwise exploiting them?
I cannot share too much detail which leads to the possibility of his being perceived as less than a whole person. If I share only achievements and positivity,it puts me in the position of the sainted blogger. I cannot see how I could avoid it.
Pete is not a toddler in a teenager’s body, a saint, a demon,or spiritually special.
He’s a thirteen year old autistic teenager.
He’s beginning puberty so it goes without saying, he’s a sweetheart and a turkey with developing individuality and self concept.
We have good days and not so good.
When people make snap judgments about my son based on shallow information, they miss out on understanding and knowing a funny and complex guy.
Recently Lego Creator kits have become very cool.
I wish I could share this young man with you more but I fail to see how I could avoid the trap.