This post initially describes a mother’s frustration at the unwarranted sympathy she usually receives when she informs someone that her son has autism. She then narrates a story about their guide on a family rafting trip, whose response was “Really? Cool,” and her approval of that reaction.
In this post, the blogger first explains her firm stance that having autism is not an excuse for being violent. She then describes several instances of her autistic son being bullied by other autistic children, and their parents did nothing to change this behavior. She concludes that autistic children can have good parents or bad parents, and there is not a link between either pairing.
This post expresses the frustration of a mother who feels that her autistic child is not receiving proper treatment at his public school. She describes a couple scenarios that upset her child and indirectly claims that schools agitate autistic children deliberately, or at least do not put as much effort into understanding the children as they should.
This post is by a mother who is frustrated with the lack of familiarity with autism in the general public. She describes a couple misunderstandings she has heard in conversation, then details several of the struggles her son deals with daily that she wish people would try to understand.
In this post, written on the International Day of Peace, the blogger describes the Battle Parents of autistic children and the various bureaucratic and public struggles they face daily. She states her ideal image of peace as a world where these parents could focus their efforts on caring for their children instead of fighting for their basic rights.
This post illustrates a story of a mother with an autistic son who is a senior in high school, and how she is learning to give him more space as he grows up. It addresses a key issue for all parents: how much independence to give your child, and when. She also provides a link to a website dedicated to helping parents of autistic children.
Unlike many of the others, this post does not explicitly say that it was written by a parent of an autistic child. It announces an upcoming presentation, “Positively Autism: Parents’ Optimistic Journeys and Success Stories,” then suggests some ways that parents can view autism from a different, more positive perspective.
This post relates the conclusions of an interview with two military mothers of autistic children, Kristin Proffitt and Kristina Matthiesen. The moms share stories and suggestions for other parents, five for everyone and six for specifically military parents.
This blogger writes to autism parents, specifically one whose children were recently diagnosed. He describes in detail the mercury poison hypothesis and the chelating process, then critiques them to inform parents why they need to know the facts before accepting any treatment methods.
The majority of this post is a reblog from a mother who narrates an interaction she had with her friend’s autistic son (who is also the blogger’s son). The child, who has no knowledge of the disability movement or neurodiversity, insisted that his autism was part of his personality. This impacted her and his father profoundly and demonstrates the relevance of the movement.
The topics of these blog posts all concern parenting and autism, all of which fall under one of two themes: expressions of frustration or messages of encouragement. In the first category, posts are written by parents addressing various groups: teachers, bureaucracies, the general public, and even other parents with autistic children. In the other theme, posts aim to benefit the general parent community from personal experience. Under this category, I include a post about presentations on parenting autism, one by a mother learning to let her autistic son become more independent, one with general advice for parents, a critique of the chelating process to inform parents, and a post with a positive message to all people involved with the autistic community.
The variety of subjects and positions present in the virtual world reflects that in reality. Parenting can be a touchy subject in any case, but especially with autistic children. For obvious reasons, parents are very protective of their kids and will go to great lengths if they think they are being mistreated. The blogs that expressed the parents’ frustration frequently lacked an effort to look at the situation from a different perspective. A mother was extremely angered by how her child’s school wouldn’t accommodate an autistic child, but did not stop to think about the other twenty or so children that the teacher is responsible for. Another mother complained about how uninformed some people’s comments about autism are, but did not allow that these people are simply unaware because it doesn’t affect them. Obviously, bloggers are under no obligation to be diplomatic in their posts, but I find it ironic that they are complaining about other people not trying to understand, while they themselves put forth no effort to do the same. I do agree that the public should be better educated about this topic, but angry posts to a closed community will not change much. The posts that are legitimate to this audience are the advice from personal experience, research-backed suggestions, and positive stories.
Feel free to check out my visual map!