Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

Comments

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A recent post I wrote got a lot of attention.  I’d dashed it out quickly, before starting work, as part of another blogger’s link-up.  It was a sensitive subject: calling out Ann Coulter’s use of the R-word, and no sooner had I published it than I was bracing myself for the backlash. 

I should have taken longer than a couple of minutes to write that one.  I should have made it even more clear that I don’t have a political agenda, but a personal one to do my best to ensure this is as accepting a world as I can make it for my children. 

And I know how ridiculous that sounds, and that I will never be enough change how people think and speak and treat each other, but I also know that I have to try.  I know that I’m not on my own.  And I know that I’d do anything to prevent my children being called that term.

The number of views on that post kept creeping up, until it far exceeded anything else I wrote.  While I was pleased that so many people were interested in learning about why the R-word is offensive to the special needs community, I thought how strange it is that the most read post about my children is about something that shouldn’t apply to them at all.

I got comments that day, but they were all of a consensus with me.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the ways my piece had been shared, and what other people were thinking and saying about it, but nothing negative came my way.

Another autism site occasionally takes my posts and publishes them for a wider audience.  A few days after publishing my post, they shared it too.  Here, the comments became offensive:  I was a “cry baby”, I should “grow up”, “it is just a word”.  There were supportive comments too, but what really stuck in my head was the person who insisted that I was “using a blog dedicated to handicapped children to score points against a Conservative woman (I) don’t like.”

I made a conscious decision not to respond to any of the comments there, and asked the site to no longer use my posts.  I understand that some welcome debate, and encourage opposing views with the aim of persuading them to their own way of thinking.  In this case, no heed was being paid to what I’d written.  Assumptions were made about me, and what I had to gain from writing, that had nothing to do with the actual words I’d written.  There would be no changing minds here.

But that didn’t mean that I forgot about the accusations made against me.  I was angry and hurt.  I’m offended by a person using the R-word be they a friend or celebrity, politically left or right.  Am I using my children?  I’ve always written this blog with the intention of sharing it with them. 

This is our journey.  We laugh, we love, we grow, we make mistakes, we reflect, and we learn.  If what I write helps other people on their journey, I’m happy for that- but there is no ulterior motive here.  This is simply the way we encounter the world, and how the world encounters us.

And yet those words stayed with me.  They held me hostage.  They made me question what I’d done, and if I should any longer write publicly.  It would be so easy to stop, I have so little time anyway. 

Even when I forced myself to write, just so that I wasn’t allowing someone else to make that decision for me, it didn’t stop the little voice in my head from repeating those things over and over.  Then I got a comment from a new reader:

I’ve begun following your blog and I find it so moving, amusing, and delightful that I decided you needed to know! It seemed fitting to share it under one of my favorite posts. This makes me think of “The Moose” by Elizabeth Bishop, and the play on perspective made my eyes tear up a bit! Though I have no children of my own, your blog makes me feel like I can handle whatever comes my way with grace, compassion, and humor. Thanks

That comment made me question if I’d handled this situation in a way that was true of what she’d said.  Not really.  I’d allowed myself to feel all the weight of negativity without sensing any of the light.  Ignoring all the support and community to focus on a person’s opinion that is far removed from us.  Who not only doesn’t understand, but won’t try to. 

And if I stopped writing for any reason other than it was the right time for me and my family, I wouldn’t be living life on my terms.  I thought about what I would want my children to do if they were attacked in a similar way, and found my own example severely lacking. 

When I think about how I want them to handle whatever comes their way, I want it to be with grace, compassion, and humour.  Do I want this reader to be right about me, or a harsh critic?

And what if, what if one day somebody were to call Pudding the R-word?  Would I want her to feel held up by the way we see her, or weighed down by one offensive word? 

Thank you to the lady who wrote that comment just when I needed it.  Thank you to each and every one of you who take the time to read, and particularly those who comment.  I don’t always have time to respond to them these days, but I am going to make sure that I pay attention to what you say.  That I really feel your words, and give those the weight that they deserve.  

Maybe then I’ll handle things that come my way with the grace, compassion, and humour that we’re all capable of.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

That Was 2011

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Well, last year was kind of a big deal for our family.  It felt a lot like we got derailed for a couple of years and we finally got ourselves back on track.  This was how I documented it on Spectrummy Mummy…

January began by receiving official notification of Spectrummy Daddy’s next assignment.  Spoiler alert- it was to Johannesburg.  I drank lots of cups of tea, and figured out the purpose of Time Out.  Over at Hopeful Parents I tackled the idea of Mother Wars…I’m definitely no Tiger Mother, apart from when I have to be.

In February there was even more tea, but this time it was going cold.  Pudding began playing Jedi mind tricks on us, and I mused about how it might be to see things through her eyes.  I got a little more political than I intended.  I learned from Pudding that I too needed a little perspective.

By March, Cubby was chatting up a storm, and we celebrate his birthday.  Pudding went swimming with Miss Arizona.  We had a Yes Day, which is the perfect relief from all those Paper Cuts.

April was all about Autism Awareness, of course.  We even went to ask The President to Light It Up Blue.  It was full of highs like Pudding beginning to write, and the lows of anxiety.  I had that revelation that my behaviour is communication.  Some of those days I’d be glad to forget.  I got the chance to tell Parents that the 1 child in 110 is mine, and I’m incredibly grateful for her.

In May I got to meet my friend Alysia from Try Defying Gravity in Boston.  I also met Varda from The Squashed Bologna, and that month on her blog I discussed how my two saplings are growing together.  Pudding racked up another three diagnoses.   Over at About.com I talked about being an Autism Mother.  I found that I was Somebody.

By June I was having Flashbacks, which means it must be getting close to moving time.  I said I’m sorry– I’m thinking of having this made into a form so I can quickly email it out in future.  I became a realist, and developed a whole new vocabulary at The SPD Blogger Network.  Most of all, I wondered why my family was so invisible.

In July, we found that concessions could be a piece of cake…but it will only lead to feeling guilty.  Pudding had her last day at preschool, and I learned that the grass is always greener.  In my spare time, I conducted physics experiments.

August, we…erm…moved.  Far.  You can read about the Journey here, and the destination here.  I found that our new community was something of a safe heaven for all of us.

September meant it was time for my Little Sheldon to become a preschooler, whether I was ready or not.   Meanwhile Pudding was planning ahead for Christmas.  I was running my own kind of marathon, contributing to a book, and I started an a-z series.  Phew!

In October we went to the goat’s cheese store.  Steve Jobs died, but left us an incredible legacy.  Just as we’re settling in to our new home, our marriage faces its toughest challenge yet.  I raised some awareness for SPD.

By November I ‘d done enough talking, and left it up to Pudding to take part in Autistics Speaking Day.  Pudding dealt with some pretty big emotions.  I got completely carried away with #youmightbeanautismparentif and said a prayer of thanks (apart from peanuts).

December can only mean one thing: Pudding’s birthday, and Christmas (yeah, I’m no good at counting).  Oh, and she ended the year by displaying her talents for hairdressing and telephone conversations.

You know, looking back on all that makes me realize exactly why I’m so exhausted- that was quite a year!  Thank you for spending it with us…I can’t wait to see what will happen next, and I hope you’ll join us too.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Googled

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Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I’m frequently amused (and often horrified) by the internet searches that bring people here.  Today I thought I’d share some of them with you.

Apparently Google has become self-aware, and gets a kick out of sending people to the wrong place, like with these:

cleaning the house blog tips carpets  – You want tips?  Don’t have carpets.  Or kids.  We have both, and we’re screwed.  Sorry.

social mummy – I’m a blogger with spectrummy kids, exactly how social do you think I am?

valentine’s day – No.

social story – parents going on holiday – You mean without the kids?  This can happen?  Tell me how, then I’ll write a social story for it.  Gladly!

mummy’s curse bouncy castle – Sounds interesting.

on a dark halloween day mummy came in our huse – Okay, so there are lots of searchers for “mummy” around Halloween who were disappointed, but I’m still curious about what this person wanted.

my teenager is saying i want pudding – Can’t have her.

mummy is talking to mummy’s mummy in the motherland – There are few things I’d like to do more than talk to my mummy in the motherland.  Way to make me homesick, googler.

Then there are times when the bog searches are weirdly accurate:

asperger bashful – I don’t know if you’re saying that Aspies can be bashful, or that Bashful has Asperger’s, or what…but you’re in the right place, my friend.

rituals my cup of tea    how important is a cup of tea in the morning?   cup of tea and a biscuit – I am queen of the tea bloggers!  Is Tea Blogging a thing?  By the way, I’m taking “Tea Party” back.

beady eye blog – You have them too?

life in the foreign service special needs children – Yes.

mama bears shoes – Yes, but were they comfy?

paper cuts and autism – If you mean figuratively

blue fountain white house – Ooh yes, right place.  Still don’t know why though.

autism rapunzel – Vindicated!  I’m not the only one who sees it.  Disney, the world is ready for a spectrummy main character.  Or at least myself and another random internet user.

http://www.cubbywords.com – This should totally be a site!

mummy culture shock – Yep, I’m the bewildered woman you’re looking for.

aspergers trickery Yes, right?  Not just mine, then.

christmas syndrome homesickness – I just self-diagnosed.  Now if only I could fly back to Blighty every year to treat it.

pudding autism bolivia – Right here is why I’m glad we don’t use our real names.  Perhaps there is some other reason for this uncanny search, but it makes me want to take out a restraining order.

paersonal space invaders – Right here.

santadaddy – Look no further.

starbucks coffee karma – You suffer from it too?  You must know my husband.

mummys pudding – Yes, she is.

love distance blog  – I think I prefer this to Allergies, Asperger’s and Adventures Abroad.  My new tagline in an economic three words!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 13, 2011 at 9:55 am