Hello! I created this blog in August 2013 while supporting my autistic son in his move from school to adult services. Despite years of planning for this transition the process was stressful and frustrating, culminating in me taking legal action on Dylan’s behalf. Setting the blog up seemed a good way of sharing what I’d learned with other families.
I’m updating this page in September 2014. Although Dylan’s care is not completely settled I am optimistic that we are nearing the end of what has been a difficult journey. The story of my battle to secure appropriate provision for Dylan is told in some of the posts; the blog also contains more general pieces which reflect on the nature of autism and on the challenges and celebrations of caring for someone who is autistic.
There is a contents page on the blog which provides links to the individual posts by title. The posts are grouped into general topic areas using the following categories:
- A Parent’s World: reflections on being a carer
- Dylan’s World: observations of my son
- Environment and Community: Dylan’s interactions with society
- Policy and Provision: education, health and social care sectors (UK)
- Science and Magic: reflections on causes, diagnosis and neurology
- Language and Communication: descriptions of Dylan’s communication methods and reflections on language development
- The Creative Arts: representations of autism in the creative arts and Dylan’s relationship with the arts
The posts which tell the story of Dylan’s legal challenge are located within the Policy and Provision category; the other categories contain the pieces of more general interest. If your interest is in something more specific, the theme cloud in the right hand sidebar will identify posts across categories.
Keeping a blog such as this raises ethical issues; please take a look at the position statement I have developed and which is presented as a separate page. Autism affects individuals and families very differently and my posts can only offer accounts based on the particular experience of myself and my son. Furthermore, this experience is viewed through my lens, affected by my ‘positionality’. I would like to identify myself, here, as an ‘independent thinker’ about autism, rather than someone who aligns herself with a particular philosophical position.
Although I work in a university department which has an autism centre my blog is not connected to their work; these posts are made in my role as a parent rather than as an autism professional. My professional work as an educator does, however, affect my views on autism and the choices I make in relation to my son. These perspectives will sometimes be evident from my posts. Perhaps more importantly in terms of my identity, however, I am a poet. My orientation to Dylan and to autism is, I believe, as much a consequence of my poetic practice as any perspective I might have developed as an academic or mother. This creative and writerly approach to understanding and responding to autism is hopefully evident in at least some of my posts. I hope that you find Dylan’s story interesting and illuminating.
Thank you for reading!
The blog uses the ‘Adelle’ theme which I chose because, although the spelling is different, it’s the name of Dylan’s favourite singer :-)