Parenting an autistic child when you have no previous experience of autism can be confusing, stressful, tiring and lonely as there are few chances to talk to people who understand what this life is like. It drove me to create this blog, so I could share what I have learned and help others who may have the same questions or feelings or challenges that I have faced in the past. Primarily the blog is written by me for people like me: allistic parents of autistic children who may be seeking encouragement, companionship, information and to share their experiences.
I am delighted that #actuallyautistic people have found some of my posts relevant and worthy of sharing and I enthusiastically welcome everyone to this blog, autistic and allistic. Please bear in mind though that this blog is written by an allistic person, to educate and encourage other allistics in their parenting, and there will be times that I may express frustrations or negative attitudes about my experiences.
I love my son, I am raising him to be open and unashamed about his autism, to believe in his right to an equal place in society and to believe he can do anything he sets his mind to. I adore him as a person; this blog is a testament to his character and a chronicle of our journey together as we both learn how to integrate his autism into our everyday lives. However to give a true, full picture of life with autism, I will occasionally write about the harder, less joyful aspects of being his mother and my feelings about them. It would do both allistic parents and autistic children a disservice to pretend that at times life is not hard and that relationships are not strained or even that at times I wished my son could behave in a less “challenging” way. I realise that “challenging” does not mean “naughty” or “stupid”, I recognise that all behaviour is communication and I know that the challenge is mine to understand him, teach him and help him to learn those all-important life skills. Nevertheless, sometimes I wish for an easier life and I may very well post about it because if I feel it then so must others. Parenting guilt is a very real thing and is heightened when your child cannot necessarily help what they are doing but what they are doing tests you to your limits and you resent it. Mental health suffers, emotional health suffers, even physical health suffers. This blog was not created to be a fluffy piece of humour but a real resource for those who need it. Writing about the negatives is not a slight on autism, autistic people or my son. It is life, in all its raw complexity.
I want to do all I can to help my son and to help other parents give their children the best possible upbringing and opportunities to succeed in life; if any #actuallyautistic reader would like to share your thoughts and experiences or add to anything I post about, please feel free to post in the comments or to message me privately on my Facebook page. I am still learning and would love to hear from you. Thank you for joining me here and I hope together we can make the world a little kinder and a little wiser.
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