before i set up a blog for me, and my health, i set up a blog for my son Fionn.
Now let me start by saying that i have 4 gorgeous children – and am the same as the rest of you mums, i spend all day talking about my children worrying about my children and doing things for my children…from the 2 at college, to the 2 at home.
I could have set up 4 blogs and raved about each one… they would- especially the two teenagers- never have forgiven me! And my reason for setting up one for Fionn was a bit different.
He has Asperger’s. He is a very well grounded but textbook Asperger’s Boy. But since he was diagnosed we deliberately saw the condition as a very positive difference and despite the negative and limited attitude of the Autism Advisors at the time, we decided that Fionn would have as normal and mainstream an existence as we could help him access.
In his last few years at Primary School, Fionn was so happy in his setting, so comfortable with his friends and managing so well, that his Paediatrician said to him, “Fionn you would be a fabulous ambassador for Autism. I see a role for you telling other people about your condition and helping them understand it.”
And so i thought about, and eventually set up a blog in his name – i Police it, some of the articles are ours – as we work through and navigate situations with Fionn, but on the main they are brief observations by him.
The name for the blog was a well rehearsed mantra – Fionn would tell people he was “autistic and proud”. At many levels his view on the difference the condition gave him was over positive – he pitied anyone suffering from what was described to me recently as “normalcy”
So the blog began, gently
- talking through some of Fionn’s experiences,
- some of the lessons he had learnt,
- some of the strengths his conditions gave him
we added comments about
- early intervention
- about inadequate advice actually firing our determination that Fionn would be ok
- our tendency to push Fionn outside his comfort zone and as a result his ability to manage friendships!
- our dealing with his transition from Primary to Grammar School.
we do NOT pretend the page is anything more than our way of managing.
Its NOT a rule of thumb.
Its not pretending that we are experts in any area other than being parents who KNOW our child.
We recently heard an interview with a young man with Asperger’s. Adam P Harris. He was extremely articulate and able to describe his life through Asperger’s lens. Fionn was terribly impressed with the interview.
Jimmy and I then saw Adam feature on the LateLate Show. We both were able to identify with his experience, and saw him as a very positive example of the Strength there is in Asperger’s. I spoke to him via Twitter, and mentioned what we were trying to do with Fionn’s blog.
Adam contacted Fionn and asked him, if he would be interested in being a guest blogger, and contributing an article each day for a week, for their website:
Fionn was delighted to take it on.
As the week went onFionn began to contribute more honest and detailed understanding of himself.
We were approached by
and asked if they could use an article which he had written and i had commented on school. Once again an article being used in the “how i learn” section was we hoped going to be of use to pupils, and more so to teachers of SEN children.
Fionn has discovered Temple Grandin and loves the fundamental thought behind her recent book on Asperger’s “Bright not Broken”, and we shared one article with them.
Today i noticed his blog had been posted by Irish Autism Action – for his article on “i like being different”.
That article seemed to strike a chord with MANY people…so many comments, and compliments on his honesty.
We were totally humbled today to have a comment left from a mum of a newly diagnosed little boy, who said she had spent the last few days wondering, as we did 7 years ago about
- how her son would manage
- would he have friends
- would he be ok at school…
and she commented on how the page had given her hope and made her see the diagnosis as something very different.
Today Fionn’s Blog has hat 267 visits so far.
He is overwhelmed.
I am so proud of him, and obviously his ability to relate his condition to people in a way they understand.
He is 12 now.
Please God he will remain the positive child he is so far.
But i want to say THANKYOU….for your interest in him.
It means a lot to him and his confidence – and after all, he does plan to be a creative author.