I got a comment from an anonymous poster who said:
That was a touching story, however, given that your child is 10 and struggling with fitting in don’t you have any concerns that writing such a blog with his pictures and full name might embarrass him and make him feel further alienated? Children are cruel. Not only that but you’re also leaving a trail of history that may follow him throughout his future.My son is the same age and has similar struggles, but I can’t imagine “outing” him since it’s his choice to share his disability – especially as he grows older.I applaud your passion and advocacy but why don’t you keep it about yourself and focused on your expertise?
I wasn’t sure how to respond at first. I told the poster that I would take some time to ponder their words and then come back with a blog post.
So here I am.
I pondered things a bit and I did a little soul searching and I came to this conclusion.
I don’t for one moment feel I am embarrassing my child with this blog. Everything here is honest and objective and is nothing to be ashamed of, from either of us.
Kids are cruel, but also, kids go on places like Facebook to find incriminating stuff. I highly doubt that they would ever find this place unless they suddenly became Sherlock Holmes.
As for “outing” him, I told Nathan when he was 6 what he has. He has always known that he is different than other kids, but I have always said that it is his choice to share it with others if he wishes. I told him that I was going to start writing a blog about our experiences. I asked him for his permission and his input. He is aware what goes on this site. He goes to a wonderful school system that supports him and his classmates for the most part are understanding and encouraging. Some of them are not. That is the web of life. So, no, I never outed my son.
I can’t keep it just about me, as if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to do this. I wouldn’t have his experiences, his words, his thoughts, his processes, it would be very one sided and that’s not how I want to share things with others. The point of this blog is to be a place where like minded folks can see that they are not alone, that there are people out there like them who struggle like we do every day. That there are awful tragedies and amazing triumphs.
That I am here to put out to the world what I have learned, what I am growing into being, what I have seen with these eyes, because when I started this journey, there was nothing. I had no resources, no leads, no help and what really felt like no hope. That’s a scary place that I don’t wish anyone to have to visit. With this blog, there is hope. I have touched people. I have made a difference. And that is all I could ever ask for.
I can’t and don’t want to change your mind about how you feel. Your choice to keep your son’s diagnosis to yourself is completely your business and I will never judge you for that decision. The world is a cruel and cold place for folks with challenges. However, how do we make it less cold and cruel unless we use our voices to make change? Why should we remain in the shadows? Ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds hate. Awareness working towards acceptance is my goal and my purpose. It is my choice to walk into the light and to say that my son has these things, and this is what we do to and that I pray it can help someone, some how, some day.
If you ever choose to walk into the light, please know we are here on the other side.