When Moe first got his autism diagnosis, I still didn't think of him as having "special needs." After all, he didn't require a lot of special accommodations. I thought that term was reserved for kids with other kinds of disablities, you know, the kind that might qualify you for the Special Olympics. Moe may have been a little slow to develop, and have trouble communicating, but he couldn't be a special needs kid. And I certainly couldn't be a special needs mom.
Though I was thrown into the role, I had to ease into the term. I starting reading autism blogs and realized that in many ways these kids sounded just like Moe. And more importantly, these parents sounded just like me. I found such hope and comfort with some of the first blogs I found, like Both Hands and a Flashlight, Everybody's Boy and Welcome to My Planet. I accpted that I was an "autism mom," but hesitated to go further.
Then one day our speech therapist was explaining some difficulty Moe was having "because of his disability." I carried on like I was right there with her, but inside I couldn't breathe. My son? Disabled?
I started reading more blogs. Some of these included stories of kids who had other challenges, like Love that Max, Rachel Coleman and Hopeful Parents. I realized we had a lot in common. In fact, I probably had more in common with the parents of special needs kids who were not on the spectrum than parents of typical kids. And as Moe started getting older, I couldn't help but hear that word a lot more often: special education, special day classes, special needs.
I was turning the corner. I found Stimey, and My Life as an Ungraceful, Unhinged, and Unwilling Draftee into the Autism Army . I found Little Bit Quirky and Squidalicious and Send Chocolate Now. I identified with my tribe and found Life is a Spectrum and I'm Just That Way and Adventures in Extreme Parenthood. Recently I found Big Daddy Autism. I've found these blogs and more - and the people behind them - and some of them have found me too.
These writers are smart people. The are honest about their lives. They are funny people who also understand how hard it can be. I am proud to be a part of their community. Just as my son is more than his autism, I am more than a special needs mom. But it is a title I wear proudly.
Do you have a favorite autism or other special needs blog that you love? This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the great blogs I read (or at least try to). Feel free to leave a link in the comments to your favorite blog, including your own!