A few weeks ago I caught sight of a tweet which was in fact a survey to find out what autistic people would think if their neurotypical parents referred to themselves as autism mum/dad/parent. Well this intrigued me as I had actually referred to myself being an 'autism mum' on a couple of my social media profiles. I know......oh heck I'm having to confess here but bear with me as I would like to explain why.
I don't really consider myself to be a neurotypical parent to start with so I suppose one reason for autism mum is that I am choosing to self identify as autistic without a diagnosis. That's probably another debate for another day but that suits me. The other reason is that of course my boys are a huge part of my life, I love them more than life itself. I am a single parent and Autism has been a massive part of our lives but I also help to support other families too as a volunteer with the National Autistic Society Derby and District Branch.
So you can see my life is full of Autism and I love it, I never mean to centre myself in it at all but act as a buffer for those who need me. I've never referred to myself as a buffer before but I do remember when Mr T received is diagnosis, for some parents this can come as a bit of a surprise sometimes and leave families a little lost at first. The thing is though when we do hold support groups, everyone in the room whether it be parents, carers, autistic people or those working in the health sector and education, they all feel passionate about wanting the best for their young people or for themselves.
So for me being an 'autism mum' meant that I was a mum first and my world revolved a lot around autism in a good positive way so I wanted to put that out as a beacon for everyone to be able to connect too. I have read all the comments though relating to the twitter survey and found it so enlightening. I had no idea it may not have been a good way to identify oneself and can see it would be slightly wrong coming from a neurotypical person but I have still since taken the decision to change my profiles in light of this and would totally respect the way in which this would make other people feel.
I do hope that explains a little why I did give myself the name of 'autism mum' and I hope it all makes sense. I have probably totally over thought it as I tend to over think all sorts of things but I just found it very interesting. This is what I do love about social media, we can have a healthy debate and give views and opinions, sometimes we just need to make people aware of what they don't know. Every day is a school day is what I say to myself, we are constantly learning, even as a middle aged woman like myself.
Thank you for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now you all take care.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.