Another Autism Blog? (#283)

Charlie had a great day. He got out of bed on his own and knelt on the couch, feet smooshed between the pillows, to eat a breakfast of frozen shrimp and an apple (cold, crackle, and crisp–better than Rice Krispies). His schoolday was solid ABA and solidly good, and his verbal behavior session was “all smiles–patient and worked and played really well”; he tried a new bowling game. Charlie sighted a certain local amusement park on the way there and back and grinned, eyes wide; I noted the “NOW HIRING” sign. He again wanted to look at the photos on the computer after dinner and said a lovely sentence on his own: “I see Barney Gingo!”
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It was time for bed at 9pm and Charlie went right up and settled himself on Jim’s and my bed. I had to cough and heard a light cry and some knocking.

Six and a half years of studying ABA and almost nine of parenthood have taught me, make a fuss and no one’s going to bed anytime soon. I requested that Charlie go into his own bed and he did, then took the pile of polaroids of former therapists and amusement park rides and silently put them into a photo album. Charlie watched from his bed and smiled with a crinkle of his brow when I put the album on his bed and–noting that he was trying to tell me something; noting that he was okay with me rearranging his precious photos–I wished Charlie good night.
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Great days in Autismland need not–are never–“behavior” or stress free. (I mean, why did that pick-up truck try to get into my lane on the Garden State Parkway when the back end of the black car was in the middle lane?) Great days do have fewer “behavior squalls” and, even more, moments in which Charlie’s growing understanding shines through and he is more and more able to self-advocate.

And it was also a great day because today, the 6th of April, MMVI, saw the launching of my new autism advocacy blog, Autism Vox.


Autismland and Blogland can both be contentious places as autistic bloggers and autism parents weigh in, disagree, agree to disagree. And yet it is true, more joins us than divides us: A passionate commitment to autism and to getting the truth out about it.

This passion to tell Charlie’s story–our story–impelled me to write my “blog 1.0,” My Son Has Autism back in June 2005, which became Autismland in December 2005. It is through my blog that I have met an ever-growing community of autistic adults, autism parents, autism teachers and professionals, and many, many more. Our day-to-day routine of school and therapy and learning for Charlie and work for Jim and me leaves room for little else besides scrambling for subways and glancing at the newspaper, and certainly not for socializing; I have made many invaluable contacts–friends–thanks to blogging.

While the majority of parent readers of Autismland have children with autism or learning disabilities, I have also met other parents who remind me that, with and without autism, we share much in common. Two of these parents are Mary Tsao of BlogHer and Hsien-Hsien Lei, who not only encouraged me to expand my horizons beyond Blogger but invited me to write a blog for b5media, a blogging network. Hsien edits the Health and Science section of b5media and today Autism Vox officially joined the b5media network.

I leaped at the chance to spread the word about autism, about what it is.

As I wrote in my b5media introduction:

When I think “blog” I think logos–that is, the Classical Greek word that gives us the -log in blog and that means “account, tale, explanation, argument, reason,” and much more. And those meanings of logos are exactly what blogging is about, posting up-to-the-minute accounts and tales across the digital cosmos (another Classical Greek word, meaning “world order” and “universe”).

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Vox is the Latin word for “voice” but by no means is Autism Vox meant to be something like “the voice of autism.” I don’t have autism; my Charlie does and I do my best on Autismland to write about what I see Charlie doing and saying. I am not interested in being a “voice for autism”; I am lucky that blogging gives me a voice on the Internet to tell Charlie’s story and to advocate for Charlie.

I chose the word vox for the title of Autism Vox because vox and the -voc- in “advocate” share the same Latin root word, voco, “I call.” While “Autism Vox” literally means “Autism Voice,” by no means is this blog meant to be the “voice of autism.” There are many blogs by autistic authors that are all about autism from the inside out. As the mother of Charlie, my son who has autism, I am called everyday to translate his sometimes garbled speech and his needs. I am called to action and to advocate, and I believe that blogging on Autism Vox will help to spread the word.

That is my credo for blogging and for autism blogging. I am here to spread the word. Like Homer vis-à-vis the Muse, I am a mere mediator for the realities of living with, in, through autism and telling about those experiences. If I get on my soapbox–“soapvox”–it is because, more than often, I see Charlie and kids and autistic persons getting short-changed by society.

Here’s to many more great days in Autismland.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Another Autism Blog? (#283)”
  1. Hsien Lei says:

    Kristina, The way you share your limited time with the community in such extraordinary ways is amazing. I’m sure I’m not the only who’s excited about Autism Vox.

    PS There’s a glitch in the paragraph where you mention the launch.

  2. Bronwyn G says:

    Add me to the excited list.

  3. Kristin says:

    Congratulations on starting Autism Vox. I think another web site containing your great wealth of knowledge on Autism is a wonderful way of celebrating Autism Awareness this month.
    Thanks so much for all you do to educate, support and continue to raise important questions.

    Kristin

  4. Eileen says:

    I am happy to hear I have yet another place to read what you have to write! Congratulations on Autism Vox!!!

  5. Wade Rankin says:

    I cannot think of anyone better to advocate for ALL of our children.

  6. Laura says:

    Wow! Love your new site. I can’t wait until I have time to read more. Thank you for your insight and research!

  7. squaregirl says:

    I’m with Wade. If there is anyone who I’ve met virtually or non who advocates without bias or discrimination for autism (as well as any disability) and speaks on behalf of all of our children, it is you. Again Kristina, demonstrating you are a true teacher…I’m still looking forward to sitting in on some of your classes one day. Let me know if you will ever be speaking in Southern California (or anywhere in California for that matter).

  8. Bronwyn G says:

    Yes!

    Speaking on behalf of Charlie you manage to represent us all with dignity and grace.

    Thanks heaps, Kristina.

    And I love your classical blogs too!

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