When I started this blog I made a decision for Kate. In reality, I made a decision for all of us. I decided that I would share the details of Kate's autism diagnosis and our struggles and triumphs surrounding it.
I don't remember if it occured to me to use fake names or try and protect our identity in some way. Once, I began reading the other autism blogs, I realized that pseudonyms were common and it began to nag at me. Have I shared too much? Will Kate be angry someday? Am I making things harder for Grace, who shys away from attention? I have friends who would never put their children's pictures on facebook, let alone pen a diary detailing the best and the worst of it all. I understand and I respect that. I guess I have chosen another route.
It rolls over in my mind sometimes, though. Will the things I write come back to haunt us? Will Kate always live with us or will Kate be applying for school one day and upon googling her name will the admissions office decide she might not be the best fit for their program. Will Grace be teased for the silly stories I post. I am a teacher. I know what kids are capable of in terms of cruelty. Sometimes, I say to myself: I will stop when they are old enough to decide if they want to be a part of this or not. Sometimes, I feel like I better stop now.
Most of the time, however, I feel like this:
Kate is in desperate need of the best services out there. All children with autism are. This blog allows networking and learning and is good for the whole family. The community we are building around this site is crucial to accessing the best of the best in terms of services for Kate. I have made priceless connections and learned so much from the people that follow this blog. In the last six months ( has it only been six months?) I feel like I have written a post doc on autism. I have read a stack of books taller than me (and I am tall) and it doesn't compare to the knowledge I have gained talking to other parents of children with autism. The pros far outweigh the cons.
The members of Kate's team read this blog and they have insight into where Kate is in her development and information like that doesn't manifest in hourly office visits. The members of her team understand our philiosphy as a family, in terms of austim treatment, because I have made sure it is clear without a doubt. And one of the best parts; they work hard because they have grown to know and love Kate. Truth be told, another motivator for working hard is that they probably don't want me to write about them if they don't :).
So, when the guilt creeps in, I try and remember the connections and the love that have come flooding in, all in support of Kate and our family and get to typing once again.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)