Hello! This blog has been developed and written by me as a space to reflect on and share my experiences of living with my son Dylan, who is autistic. I set the blog up in August 2013 while transition planning for Dylan who was moving from school to adult services. Despite years of planning my experience of this process was stressful and frustrating, culminating in me taking legal advice on Dylan’s behalf. As a result I became aware of legislation and processes which I decided to share with other carers through this blog.
I’m updating this page in July 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 this battle to secure appropriate provision for Dylan over the last year is told in some of the posts on this blog. The blog also contains some more general pieces which reflect on the nature of autism and on the challenges and celebrations of caring for someone who is autistic.
Keeping a blog such as this clearly 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 :-)