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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why Do You Read This?

Memes like this one show that parents of kids with autism
feel a bond with other parents of kids with autism, and they
don't always extend that feeling of kinship to adults with
autism. 
The other day I was reading a blog post at Autistic Hoya. In the post, she was contemplating why blogs by adults with autism spectrum disorders tend to get less readers than blogs by parents of children on the autism spectrum. She suspected that people without autism tend to avoid blogs by autistic bloggers, for one or more of these reason(and I am putting these into my own words here).

They think if you, as an adult, are saying in a blog that you have autism, you may be faking it just to get attention or because you want to write a book and get rich or something; they think that if you do have autism, if you are able to write a blog you must be very "high functioning" in every way and therefore have nothing in common with their children who have autism; they think that you probably only write about your very specific experiences and that your experiences will be too specific for them to relate to; or you are unable to present an objective viewpoint of autism and they will not be able to learn anything from you. 

I feel that many of these may be true for many people. I know for a fact that there is a lot of tension between certain groups of adults with autism and certain groups of parents of children with autism. But I commented on that blog, that I think another reason why parents of kids with autism don't read our blogs is not because they think we have nothing to say, but because parent bloggers of any kids usually want to read about and hear from other parent bloggers. Homeschooling parents tend to read all of the homeschooling blogs they can find. Religious parents probably read all of the blogs they can by other religious parents. If you have a child with Down syndrome, you probably search for blogs by other parents of children with Down syndrome. If you adopted children, you may look for blogs by parents who have adopted or are in the adoption process. I could go on forever. And probably all of these parents would even read each other's blogs; ie a homeschooling mother might enjoy reading a blog about foster parenting. But often parents do not look for blogs by childless adults, with or without autism.

And, if an adult without children shows up reading a lot of parenting blogs, some parents get a little creeped out. There is a sort of assumption by many parents, that other parents are generally trustworthy, while people without children are a little suspicious. I understand that; I feel similarly about people who don't like dogs. I'm like, "Whaaaat? You don't have a dog? Uh... why not?"

Which brings me to this question. I can't really ask all of my non-readers why they don't read this blog, since they will never see the question. So I will ask my readers... why do you read this blog? Is it because you have an interest in ADHD or autism, for yourself or your child? Are you just dropping by because I comment on your blogs and you want to reciprocate? Is it because you like my fascinating posts? Tell me why in the comments! Also, if you have a child with autism or any special need, do you read blogs by adults with the same special need, or do you stick to parenting blogs? Inquiring minds want to know! 


5 comments :

  1. I've been reading your blog for the past three months, I was actually googling 'personal mental health blogs' when I came across it. My youngest brother is twenty and has Aspergers, he works for his local public school district as a computer technician and is obsessed with computers and tornado sirens.

    I can't relate to parent blogs because I have no children, but I can relate when you said, “And, if an adult without children shows up reading a lot of parenting blogs, some parents get a little creeped out. There is a sort of assumption by many parents, that other parents are generally trustworthy, while people without children are a little suspicious.” I worked in childcare for decades, but a lot of people looked at me strange when I said I didn't have children, most responded, “Well why do you work here for then!” They always discovered pretty quick that not only was I a great childcare provider, but I usually ended up being the children's favorite teacher or caregiver and I couldn't use the excuse, “I can't come in my husband and/or children are sick.”

    This being said, I have a sister who's not only a mother, but a grandmother, yet I wouldn't allow her near a child with a thousand foot pole because she's so abusive! I don't think whether the person has or doesn't have children is any indication whether they're gon'na take care of someone else's children well.

    By the way, I am a dog person, though I haven't had one since our family dog died almost twenty years ago, he was fifteen and was born on Mother's Day. All the stray dogs stop by my apartment window to say, “Woof...Woof...Woof!” (translated, “Hello, might you have some food you can spare, or perhaps an extra hand to pet me with!”)

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  2. Thanks for the comment! I am glad you are reading! When I first started working in schools, one of the kids in the class I worked in was a 1st grader with Aspergers who LOVED the tornado siren! It would go off on the first Tuesday of the month, and he would get so happy and start imitating the noise! There was a siren a few blocks away at a park, so one afternoon the whole class took a walk so we could be there when the siren went off. His mind was blown!
    I agree, being a parent definitely does not make you a decent person. I have known many people with children that I would not trust with a houseplant!
    Also, my small dog Lily was born on Mother's Day too!

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  3. Hi Angel, I read your blog because I seek out others like me. I feel less alone, less strange. I think the only people that I can relate to are other Aspies. Plus, you have a great name! Alien is so appropriate.

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  4. I read your blog mostly because your writing is very interesting and easy for me to read. But I am also interested in what you have to say because my brother has Aspberger's syndrome, I have a lot of ADHD tendencies, as does my oldest son, my son and husband deal with anxiety and I am also a teacher! :) Thanks for writing and sharing.

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  5. Ugh! I misspelled Aspergers. Sorry. :(

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