When I first started writing here, I was doing so partly because I didn't know anyone in my own community with a child like mine ( still don't). Sure, I knew other parents of autistic children, but not one of those kids looked like Oliver. I was tired and alone. And everything I read -- everything -- was fearful. So yes, I had a good bit of anxiety about what I could expect from life after we learned to say autism. But even from the start, I nurtured a small seed of optimism and I questioned everything. Writing this blog was what helped me to frame my own thinking. Often I don't know what I think until I write it down! Reading other blogs and finding voices like my own, a chorus that I could join, helped me grow that seed of optimism into a giant tree of belief in my boy. Ten years ago it seemed there were so few positive voices available to parents like me. Today, happily, there are an enormous number of autistic advocates who have rightly taken charge of the conversation. There are also other allies who write eloquently about topics that have often interested me here.
Here are a few of my favorite this week:
http://autism.typepad.com/autism/ -- Kristina Chew was the first person I found who wrote about life with her son, Charlie, in way that I could identified with. She still blogs about life with Charlie as he inches towards adulthood.
http://ollibean.com/2015/02/23/autistic-adults-do-not-look-like-autistic-children/ -- Ollibean is wonderful. This post spoke to me as I see the changes afoot as Oliver moves from childhood to adolescence.
http://respectfullyconnected.blogspot.com.au -- Make sure you have a cup of coffee and some time on your hands if you sit down to read here. Every post is remarkable. How I wish these voices were available to me when I was at the start of my journey!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXXFeKwVQeQ -- Nick Walker. Need I say more? Well, if you haven't been acquainted with the brilliant Nick Walker, start here: http://neurocosmopolitanism.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwIyy1Fi-4Q -- This last one is about unschooling (which is the approach we use). Everytime I get panicky that I our approach to learning is too radical and start to feel controlling, I re-watch this presentation. This week I watched it with Sami, followed by some really enlightening conversations.