Did you know that my story, your story, your child's story is big business? Wanna know how I know? Because I am profiting off of it every single day. I am a blogger edging so close to 'writer' that it hurts and I am using my story, our story, her story, to showcase what I've got. I've got 'chops', I've been told. I've got 'voice' and 'heart', but if I were writing fiction would I be so popular? If I were writing children's literature would I be such a prize? It hurts my brain, you know. Every time I get paid for writing about our family and Kate, I wonder, if I am just another tool (so to speak) in this big business called autism. If you hashtag autism you'll draw in a crowd that is hungry for answers and for solidarity. A crowd that is desperate for help and understanding. I am one of you and I am using us for profit. I can pretend that spreading awareness is the goal but paying off the line of credit is the goal. Paying for Kate to have private therapy is the goal. Saving for her future is the goal.
Your story and my story and their stories are big business. People will take your money and in exchange offer you a small bit of comfort or hope. People will take your money and offer a false promise and a shallow hug. People, like me, will take your money because we know you will click and read on anything related to autism because you are so afraid and so alone.
Be careful, then. Be careful when you listen to the promises people will make to you. Be careful, when so called professionals have news of cures and answers. Be careful, when 'writers' tell their story. Be careful.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)