I am keenly aware that I write here about my son, Oliver, and that what I write impacts his privacy. Until recently he hasn't been able to give consent and when he was much younger that didn't bother me too much. I wrote for me. Because I needed to. I would not have gotten through those early years without it. But I have always written with an eye towards privacy and I don't share everything, although I try to give an honest picture of life with our version of autism. Its a picture I'm proud of. As Oliver gets older, though, I am more and more uncomfortable with the idea that I am sharing things about him that he may not want shared and so I have leaned more towards generalities and topics concerning my own personal growth and understanding. But still: it is mostly about Oliver.
And since Oliver started writing last year a lot more people have visited this little space.
Today I talked to him about my blog and about why I want to continue writing but with his OK. Oliver is an amazing kid and I want to tell the world about him but only with his permission. So in the future I will have a conversation with Oliver before I publish anything about him. That's as it should be. I also asked Oliver if he would like to write about his experiences and share them with people here and he wrote: "that would be great."
So today we set out to do just that. I asked him if he had any thoughts about what he'd like to write about and he said: "I think I would like your ideas." I suggested writing about either what it was like before he could communicate and how things have changed for him now or about how he experiences the water and why that is important to him.
This is what he wrote, without edits (Oliver does not capitalize but Microsoft Word does it automatically):
When I didn't know how to type life was very hard. I couldn't tell people that I understood everything. People treated me like I just didn't think but that is all I did. I wanted to tell them what was on my mind but I couldn't because the words didn't come out. I just couldn't do what people should be able to do easily. People always asked me to do the things that were the hardest for me and I would always fail. or I wouldn'''t even try. My father was the only one who just let me do what I thought was fun. My mom didn't believe that I was stupid and she always just tried to find things that I could do. It was my mom who took me to Syracuse where I learned to type. Now I will go to school and people will see that I am just like everyone else.