I’m so proud of my son, so proud of our family. I long to share pictures of him on here and celebrate how amazing he is. I love this space and being able to connect with you all, so I would love nothing more than to be able to share more than I do. But I made a decision at the start of this journey to protect William’s online identity and footprint.
He cannot yet give fully informed consent for me to share his pictures and more individual information and so I take out any identifying details and make sure there is no online paper trail.
Some of you may think I’m hiding or not being real, but hopefully more of you understand and respect that we all make different decisions and that’s ok.
Maybe one day, William will take an interest in this work and it will matter to him too. Perhaps he will want to join me in this quest, or start his own. If he does, he will make an amazing advocate! His footsteps are for him to make though and I will support him in whatever he chooses to do with his life.
In the meantime my job is to ensure that he develops an authentically positive Autistic identity and as I write about our lives, to use the same litmus test every time. This test is in the form of a question to myself: If my son reads this at any point in the future, will he feel loved, honoured and respected in the narrative? If the answer is yes, I press share.
But the issue of remaining anonymous makes it more difficult for me to connect with others at times, for not everyone is comfortable with me being unknown. And I appreciate that, I really do.
The other difficulty with being anonymous is that people can’t reference my articles. And this is an issue I can more easily resolve. Here’s how. 💛👇
It is clearly not possible to name an author if they keep their name hidden. This work is incredibly important to me, I dedicate many hours to it and it is only right that my writing is referenced properly.
To make this possible, I have chosen a pen name / pseudonym, which I will now use across all my writing…
Jessica Matthews, Author of Changing The Narrative About Autism And PDA.
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