The more my children grow, the more I’ve had doubts about posting about them particularly as it pertains to the areas in their lives that are most difficult. I have been struggling to find that balance of keeping my blog “real” so that other families wouldn’t feel alone with respecting my children’s privacy.
I started blogging when my youngest was just two years old. It was an outlet as I trudged through a diagnosis that was rocking my world. It was a small blog meant to only go out to our family and closest friends. I wrote to help keep our loved ones in the loop and for them to learn about autism.
It grew slowly, but steadily, to more and more readers. I was meeting other parents from across the country with similar stories to share. It was my lifeline at times, because there weren’t many people “in real life” who understood what our life was like. Receiving comments like, “I get it. I’ve been there. You WILL get through this. You are strong. You are a great Mama.”, after writing about a particularly hard day is what pushed me to wipe away the tears and hit each hurdle with everything I had.
Then my blog was picked up by The Bangor Daily News. It was such an exciting time as I wanted to spread education and awareness about autism and what it meant to a family like ours. I was thrilled to have a larger audience to reach, as it meant more people would understand and empathize and in turn, make my son’s life easier.
Coming to this conclusion has been a long and well-thought-out journey.
My boys are both “tweens” now. Their peers are getting their own Facebook accounts, they are more tech savvy than their own parents, and cyber-bullying is a very real thing.
Though the response to my blog has been nothing but positive, (minus a few trolls, who usually go nameless and I’m sure are just adults without a life or a heart), I know that it could be different.
I want to respect my boys’ privacy as they grow. Blogging about the special needs in our family was meant to help other families, but I don’t want to do so at the expense of my own family.
If I had known, when I started the blog nine years ago, that it would potentially reach as many readers as it does now I would’ve started it out with giving us all really awesome aliases. But I didn’t, so here we are.
I’m saying good-bye to The A-Word. I am laying it to rest. I have told a great story and touched many lives and have met incredible people throughout this journey and I will forever cherish that.
I continue to be an advocate, educator, and writer. That is who I am. Advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves is really my passion. Educating people so they understand more about different abilities and what they can do to help is my calling.
Though I’m ending my run as the author of The A-Word, I’m happy to announce a new beginning. I will now be the proud author of All The Words. You won’t have to go anywhere, it will live right here at the same domain as The A-Word did. The location, the writer, and the passion will still be the same. The direction of the blog will be different.
This blog will not be based upon my own family’s daily lives. It won’t continue to be AS personal as it has been in the past. However, it will continue to touch upon the areas that I find important- educating, advocating, special needs/learning disabilities, and occupational therapy. I’ll draw from my background of being a parent and an advocate and from my experience in occupational therapy and childhood development.
At All the Words, you’ll find my thoughts on current special education news and educational models. I’ll share advice, activities, tips & tricks to address different areas of concern and growth for our children, special needs or not. I’ll share what works in our household and I’m sure there will still be stories peppered throughout of my children, but more about what’s working for them and the progress they’ve made. I’ll share what doesn’t work and where we are still struggling, because I’m far from perfect and as always, I want to keep it real.
Thank you for being the best supporters during The A-Word’s long history. I seriously couldn’t have overcome the hard spots without the internet reminding me that I wasn’t alone. I hope to find that you all stick along during the next step for my little blog.