As you are probably aware, I have published a children's book about autism. I have only written a handful of posts, and they have centered around autism. It made sense to me to write about autism on this blog. The truth is that, of course, autism causes challenges in this household, but mental illness causes many more.
A friend at work remarked to me the other day (he didn't know about my blog) that I should write about my life. He said, "It could be really therapeutic for you, and it could help other people at the same time." While I agreed with him on both points, I really felt that this page should deal with autism only. The conversation has popped up in my head repeatedly though.
Then, a family member who has a child with issues very similar to my own daughter's wrote a post on Facebook, detailing her frustration at some recent behavior struggles. Friends and family members quickly responded--and the comments were, in my opinion, without compassion or understanding. My family member was told that her daughter would grow out of it, was just doing it for attention, that she needs a good paddling, etc. I was horrified. Now, I know that they meant well, but it was clear that they did not understand the context of her post.
This situation gave me the push I needed for this decision to write more. You see, autism is gaining more acceptance in our society. Mental illness is not.
It is my sincere hope that by sharing my journey, I can help other people dealing with similar circumstances feel less alone. It is also my sincere hope that people not dealing with similar circumstances can learn about what families like mine face and perhaps gain some compassion.
I am not an autism expert; I am not a mental health expert. FAR from it! I am a mom. I screw up every single day. I worry, I cry, and I panic about the future. I will never pretend I have all the answers.
Still, I feel like I need to do this. I pray that it will make a difference in the life of at least one person. This is a resolution I plan on keeping! Happy New Year!