I started The Little Puddins Blog just a short time ago and I could never have imagined all that was about to happen from that first night I started to write online. By creating the Blog I hoped to help raise “Awareness” on behalf of my two sons, my daughter, my self and my husband as parents, on behalf of all Families who may struggle for whatever reason on their own Special Needs Journey.
My Blog’s tagline is “Living a life unexpected” because that is what a Special Needs Journey is; a complete bombshell out of the blue that can make you or break you. I hoped that by writing the real, honest, hard stories that it would get people talking openly about Autism, about SPD, about the reality for many of what living with Special Needs really means.
I hoped to be a Voice for my two boys who are unable to speak, they are children now but in years to come they will be adults. I want the world to accept them just I as do, just as they are perfect little human beings. I don’t want people to mistreat them, I don’t want them to be bullied, hurt or abused. I don’t want Hailey to be picked on because her brothers are “different”, I don’t want my friend’s daughter who has Autism to be left out, I don’t want my future Grandchildren should they have special needs to be picked on, abused,hurt or mistreated because they are different.
I know a lot of what I want and hope for is far beyond my own control but I do hope that by my raising awareness I can get people talking, get people to really see the heart of those who are different. My boys are different but they are not less than anyone else, they are not less then someone you love dearly just because they cannot speak, they are not less because they cannot learn the way you do, they are not less because they have to go to special schools. There are so many ways they are different but not less than anyone else.
It could be You
When I see someone struggling now, it hits me in the heart straight away, it causes a lump to form in my throat and tears to well in my eyes, because that person struggling right now someday could be my child, could be my relative. That is what pushes me, makes me want to help. We only have to look at what was uncovered in a Special Needs Home recently only a stone’s throw away from all of our front doors. The innocent people who were mistreated could have been any of our relatives, could be my uncle, could be your aunt, your brother, your sister, even your child. That is why raising “Awareness” is so important.
For me “Awareness” is people talking openly, acting openly to help, realizing that what they see in the real world may not be the full story, a child or an adult having a difficult time when in public may actually have Special Needs. The child in the class room who has been “referred” to as being odd may have special needs, the child who has no friends may have low self esteem and so on. No one knows the real reality of anyone elses lives, the real hardships they may be living for any reason.
I have been very fortunate in my life in that I have come from a large family of brothers and sisters who are always only a phone call away, my parents and my husbands parents are always there to support us, together we have amazing friends. We are very lucky with the support we have,but the reality for so many people is different. Not everyone is just a phone call from familial support, not everyone has friends who can be there just when they are needed.
I know I am lucky that is why I raise awareness for those who do not have those vital support networks., that is why I have set up the newly formed Mayo Autism Support Association for parents to come along and create their own support networks on their own doorsteps.
Social Media is an amazing way for those who physically for whatever the reason do not have support networks in their daily lives. I am blessed to be a member of many fantastic online support forums, I have been lucky enough to set up some myself as well to help other parents on their Special Needs Journey.
Social Media is also an excellent tool to help raise Awareness and that is exactly why I set up my Blog. I have the ability to write articulately, I have the ability to create digital shareable posts, I have an academic background. I realized after Baby Jack was diagnosed over the Summer, that not everyone has these skills and has 2 children with Autism and SPD who are unable to speak. I decided there and then to help in any way I could to raise awareness, to help create a positive change in anyway I could.
Proof of that change came only a day ago. I regularly create shareable digital posts to encourage people to think and to talk openly about Special Needs, about being different. I have a huge supporter in the fabulous website Family Friendly HQ. They regularly share stories to raise awareness about Special Needs issues, about the many vulnerable in our world. I am so thankful that I have featured on their website many times since I started my Blog.
Just yesterday they shared my Special Halloween Awareness Post. I hoped my creating the post, it would in someway help to raise awareness with the public about children who may be trick or treating this year. Many of the children who were tricking treating last night would have had Special Needs, not every Special Need is visible. By creating the post it got people talking and thinking. With the massive help of Family Friendly HQ the post was collectively viewed and shared online upwards of 100,000 times in the run up to Halloween!! Now that is some Awareness!! A massive thank you to every single person who shared my digital post on behalf of my sons and children/adults with Special Needs. Your positive Act in sharing that post could possibly have impacted in a very special way on the way a child with Special Needs was treated when out last night.
The next time you see someone struggling, the next time you see or hear of an adult or child (Special Needs or not) being mistreated, just stop and think, what IF that was my child, my brother, my sister, my family member, my friend, what if that was ME? What would I wish someone would do to help me, for my world to be better. Even writing that it hits me in the heart like a sledge hammer as these could be the very thoughts Conor and Jack have but cannot tell me as they cannot speak.
On behalf of Hailey, Conor and Baby Jack, on behalf of my family and all Special Needs Families, on behalf of anyone who is or has ever felt so vulnerable but had no way of asking for help, I thank you for helping to raise awareness by raising your voice and your actions when it matters most.