Autistic children have the right to an Open Future 

First, please allow me to say that I personally know many wonderful blog-writers who are also parents, grandparents, or other relatives of Asperger’s/autistic children.  The overwhelming majority (yay!) of them treat their children with dignity, preserving their anonymity (or, alternatively, using common first names only, etc), treat them with respect, and refrain from writing long litanies about the (admittedly-unique, at times) challenges of raising these “unusual” children (enclosed in quotes because while autistic people may be unusual relative to the neuro-majority, it’s not meant to hold any negative connotation).

There is a subset (there’s that word again) of bloggers out there (not any of whom I’ve actually ever interacted with, and probably none of whom would be likely to read this), however, who utilize their blog space as a public forum in which to air any and all dirty laundry.

For this ultra-public subset, no topic is sacred, no information is Too Much Information.  There seem to be no limits or boundaries…or even respect for their children, who are human beings, of course.  Children who can’t control what’s being said about them.  Children who don’t have a say in the matter.  Children who feel, on some level, the extreme negativity from the very people they depend upon.

According to this research abstract, children possess a “unique class of rights called ‘rights in trust’–rights that they cannot yet exercise, but will be able to exercise once they reach the age of majority”.

This means that parents (or any other type of caregiver or authority figure to whom the child has been entrusted) should not act in any way in which the child’s identity, character, options, or opportunities may somehow be compromised.  This is known as the preservation of the “right to an open future”.

It’s crucial to remember that the child may “only” be in school right now, with a small circle of contacts and opportunities, and thus, it might be difficult to imagine that the information written about them now might be detrimental to them in the decades to come.

Furthermore, some of these parents might hold the assumption that their children may “never” lead “normal” lives or be able to take advantage of certain opportunities, and thus, they may not realize any potential further harm done in chronicling their daily lives online.

These presumptions could not be further from the truth.

After all, those opportunities haven’t come knocking yet.  Contrary to what the parents might have learned online or been told by the various “experts” in their lives, there are entire chapters of these children’s stories that have not yet been written.  Those pages are blank; the slate is still clean.

The problem is this: the so-called “experts”, and even these parents themselves, are not psychic.  They cannot foretell the future.  They don’t know which doors might actually open for their children with the passage of time.

Thus, to archive their every move and difficulty online might someday slam doors shut that might have otherwise been revealed to be open after all, despite the bleak forecasts and hopeless predictions made today.

Do any of these people operate a psychic hotline?

No.

Why not?

Because they can’t tell the future with enough accuracy to make a living doing so.  Even medical and psychological practice is called just that: “practice”.

(Seriously, if there is such a thing as being psychic, and I had such a gift, I would certainly be using it in some significant (benevolent) way!)

Employers (and I imagine that, to a lesser extent, certain universities, and/or other entities) will google the names of potential candidates.  Government agencies conduct background investigations for a variety of reasons.  Data mining entities excavate the cyber-landscape with fine-tooth combs to gather and aggregate multiple categories of information, typically for the purposes of selling, renting, or otherwise distributing it to other entities, without regard for the sensitivity of the information or the potentially damaging effects of collecting it and making it available to the highest bidder.  That’s a lot of investigation into people’s personal information, and a powerful set of motives driving this activity.

And of course, much like Las Vegas, what happens online stays online.

Taken in sum, it becomes obvious that the stakes of airing sensitive information could be extremely high.

With so much stigma stubbornly clinging to the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, and with general society being as slow to change and adapt to new findings and information, it is (unfortunately) likely that the myths and misconceptions surrounding Aspergian/autistic people will probably stick around for a while.

Using a personal blog, social media platform, or internet forum as a venue for an indiscriminate “tell-all” exposé might indeed inadvertently diminish a child’s (read: future adult’s) available opportunities, limit and restrict them in ways currently unseen, and slash their odds at a healthy, happy quality of life in the future.

The employer’s internet search 20 years from now might turn up–and collide with–these parents’ blog posts written today, and an opportunity that a child/future adult might have had might evaporate.  A government that has formed a task force to tackle the “pressing” hot topic of “mental illness”, autism, or anything along those lines could stumble across such blogs and create databases of people who fit their criteria, which may or may not be kept around for less-than-transparent agendas, either in the present time or sometime in the future.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist; it has happened.  The Holocaust, the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II in the US, the McCarthy Era, and the present-day “watch lists” are several realistic examples.  The powers that be at any given time, it seems, are not without the tendency toward tyranny.

Blogging without boundaries is character defamation at best, and a life sentence, in terms of employment or even civil liberties, at worst.

I advocate strongly for the right to an open future.

This means that every child has a clean slate–the cleanest slate possible.

This means refraining from posting their pictures, bathroom FunFacts, their names, and other TMI or personal info.

This means refraining from spewing negative thoughts surrounding their neurotype, going on and on about the parenting challenges and hardships related to their type, and lamenting about how the parent wishes that their child were “normal” or that things were different.

This means not burdening them with their 23andMe results–or yours–that show all those scary-sounding mutations.

This is not a frivolous subject.  The potential effects aren’t frivolous, either.  This is not about a personal agenda on my part.  This isn’t about a simple bone to pick or a desire to rant about something.

This is about dignity.

This is about respect.

This is about basic human rights.

This is about protecting them from (and not further contributing to) undeserved humiliation (which they’re probably getting plenty of already from everyone else as it is).

This is about preserving as many opportunities and keeping as many doors open as possible, letting the child him/herself chart their own territory and walk their own path at the appropriate time and place.  Please, let the individual disclose their own spectrum status and other personal information as they see fit, and when and to whom they feel comfortable.

This is about ensuring the greatest number of options and liberties possible, for as many people as possible.

This is about stepping aside and giving people their own voice, and letting them tell their own stories, as they see fit.  And if/because they’re unable to do that now, it’s about avoiding the temptation to press “play” on their public life until they can.  It’s about not stealing a microphone that is rightfully theirs.

It’s about not using innocent children as a pawn to gain attention or sympathy.  It’s about not holding them out on a platter for the world to see, especially while they’re still developing and haven’t yet become who and what they can potentially be.  It’s about letting them become that person in the same privacy the parents themselves enjoyed (and were granted) while growing up.

It’s about not jumping the gun and skipping ahead in their story, inadvertently dictating how it’s going to unfold.  It’s about not writing those chapters of their lives before they’re due to be written, by those people themselves.

A parent’s (or caregiver’s) job is twofold:

  1. To provide guidance, to use their life experience to help their children become full-fledged adults, and
  2. To provide protection from (a protective barrier against) the rest of the world while the children are still young, naïve, and vulnerable.

When parents (and other people to whom their child’s care may be entrusted) write about their children using real names and photos, and give a real-time play-by-play as though they were starring in a real-life Truman Show, the adult isn’t fulfilling either of those duties.

They’re not working in or for the child’s best interest; they’re actually working against it.

Their children’s lives (and indeed the lives of these particular parents and caregivers themselves would be exponentially improved if the adults did two things:

Spend time with their children; love and embrace who they are as individuals, where they’re at, without judgement and without pessimism, and

If information is needed in order to improve the situation or circumstances, to seek out the viewpoints and perspectives of other autistic adults.

Simply running into the arms of other parents for support is indeed a natural inclination, and its not without its logical reasons.  After all, when one finds themselves in a challenging situation, the natural response is to seek out others who share a similar predicament.

But as natural as that may be, it’s not especially helpful here, since many parents have taken the advice of others, even so-called “experts” and professionals, who don’t actually know much about that which they claim to be knowledgeable.  It’s a case of (please pardon the common-but-semi-offensive phrase) “the blind leading the blind”.  Nobody has a road map; nobody knows where they’re going.  Few even know what they’re doing.

There are a few prerequisite steps to take today, however.  The first step is to stop writing any new material.  Don’t add more to what’s already there.

The second step is to review the blog in its entirety and scrub it of names, photos, and any other specifics that could be personally identifiable.  It’s not absolutely necessary that one removes the blog or its posts altogether, just the potentially harmful information, anything that could be used to uncover the child’s identity.  It’s important to use the “search” feature (such as for the child’s name) on the blog itself to ensure that all the posts have been sufficiently altered.  Don’t forget about the image gallery, too; delete all of the pictures with the child in them.

The third step is to step back and allow the child to find and use their own voice.

The fourth step is to encourage the child in whatever they are interested in, whatever they accomplish, and whatever they want to do.

Last but not least, love and accept them for them, whoever, whatever, and wherever they are and evolve to be. 🙂


Related/Similar Posts:

Reaching Out To Parents of Autistic Children, With Love From a Newly-Diagnosed Asperger’s/Autistic Adult ~ October 1, 2016

How To Find Your Autistic Child’s Voice ~ February 2, 2017

Autistic, Staring, and Silent ~ January 19. 2017

An Evening With a Mother of a Child Suspected To Be Autistic ~ December 28, 2016

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism ~ Here’s Why ~ January 15, 2016

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78 Comments

  1. This is very important stuff. I’ve always strived for discretion in my writings for these very reasins but you have given me pause for thought in an area or two I had not considered before. Thank you, as always, for being so thorough and enlightening.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Let’s become lawyers, L (I’m only a low paid, overworked paralegal at the moment, ha!). And then let’s open a practice. And finally let’s REPRESENT!

    I honestly have not seen these types of posts, but then I’m known to dig and then discard, ignore, gloss over, forget, and remove such negativity, so I truly cannot speak on it first hand.

    However, you raise an intricate point on data mining. Such a relevant issue. Trashing a child’s rep online is tantamount to abusing their ssn for personal gain, imho. All children’s future should be preserved and never has this issue had more consequences than it does today.

    Parents so need to be educated on this.

    Another great post! 🎈

    Liked by 2 people

    1. with all due respect to the right honourable ❤︎ Just Me ❤︎, i believe we can and should do something to that effect, regardless of whether we take the bar exam.

      however i also strongly agree that those who are admitted to the bar take an active (and when appropriate, pro-bono) role in ensuring this group of people are represented both legally and as a part of society that must and should have the same rights of every other human.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you!! 😊❤️. Luckily I have only seen these in passing; living in Texas, US, I can’t help but to trip over them from time to time. I try not to read them all the way through 😉. But the headlines/titles are bad enough 😔. There are even Facebook groups of parents whose kids had reactions to vaccines, and since the medical professionals are calling that autism too (it’s not–it’s something else), then suddenly everyone is afraid of autism. And every child “with” autism who gets talked about is a “severe case”. Gah, ignorance 😖

      Oooh, you’re a paralegal?? How cool!! That’s awesome. I’ve always had sort of an attraction to law; growing up, my parents would remark that I would make a good lawyer (because I argued so much and so adeptly lol).

      So much agreed with the concept of this parade charade of autistic kids being tantamount to abuse. Omg, yes. Very much agreed. That crossed my mind as well – thank you so much for stating it out loud! 👏🏼👏🏼💖

      Like

      1. I replied to codeinfig’s comment to me yesterday. Why didnt you post it, I wonder?

        I didn’t say that you HAVE to become a lawyer to effect change. I was being silly and making a fun suggestion to a friend. That was the spirit of my comment.

        Like

  3. Leaving autism aside, being a private person and one who hates being in front of a camera, I’m not even comfortable seeing parents who keep posting pictures of their young child on social media. Thank goodness, there isn’t FB etc back in those days when I was a child.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. just a reference to the time i asked her if there was a way to contact her in realtime and she told me about whatsapp, which i turned into a spiel about how no one should ever use facebook, especially because it feeds them not only your phone number and all users phone numbers, but also all the phone numbers stored in your phone (regardless of whether they are whatsapp or even facebook users.) in short– i dont think very much of facebook. i wouldnt use it if it were the only website on the internet.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Good for you, luv! Back when FB was picking up steam (circa 2009, when I joined), their privacy policy would have made us more comfortable; it was short, sweet, plain-English, and respectful of its users. Over time, they got big for their britches and started getting all Fortune-500-y on us, complete with the legal-speak privacy policy changes and increasingly brazen disregard for the rights of the users. But by then, many of us had come to rely on it; before FB, if we wanted to keep in touch with acquaintances or stay current on high school class reunion stuff, we had to sign up with Classmates.com, which wouldn’t let you see any real info until you “Go Gold”, a paid membership, for which they hounded you constantly. FB was our opportunity to say, “suck it, bitches”, and leave My Space and Classmates.com for good.

            But yeah, I’m not liking this Orwellian crap, Sam I Am 👎🏼👏🏼💞

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Just read through the whole fascinating conversation about FB and have to add my thoughts. I have felt a lot of this 1984ness for quite some time. I didn’t even jump into the FB crud till I tried to seriously launch my writing career, because, for some reason, you “have to have it” to make anything of yourself. (major eyeroll) Solid writing has very, very little to do with it, sadly. It’s more like “air your dirty laundry complete with pics”, get called “authentic”, and you’re golden. Oh, and don’t forget to report your every move and what you had for lunch every day! 😉 Two short years and a lot of drama-filled, shallow, pointless crap later, and I have kicked that profile to the curb as part of my great big social media purge. This is about the only area I still spend much time in anymore. lol.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Yeah!! You’ve got plenty of company, my pretty 😘❤️. Good on you for making the social media purge. It feels like a cleanse, no? 😊. I grinned at the fact that WP is the only place you spend much time anymore. The same holds true for me as well. WP is my top priority, and then, if time permits (which it usually doesn’t), I might scuttle over to Facebook and/or Twitter.

            For a long time, I was on FB quite regularly. Five or ten minutes here and there, about 4-7 times a day. Then I found Twitter, which took up more time, and I moved away from FB, although not entirely. Then Twitter exploded for me during the first quarter of this year, and it hasn’t been quite the same experience since. I find WP much more rational and varied, without quite the excess emotion and drama that FB and Twitter seem to invite and encourage.

            I love all my Twitter and Facebook peeps, of course. The reason I don’t leave those platforms entirely is because I don’t want to lose touch with those people. But I no longer chain myself to either one. It’s like being stuck on a merry-go-round that spins too fast, makes me dizzy and uncomfortable, but I can’t get off. So, I rarely get on anymore. 😊

            I’ve gone back to FB a little more now, but not nearly with the intensity of the pre-Twitter days. Mostly I just check the Silent Wave page and my notifications and that’s about it.

            I’m so glad you’re still on WP! It’s so cool to be able to interact with you and keep in touch. I adore your writing, too. It’s utterly amazing 😘❤️👏🏼

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Yes, very cleansing! I can understand where you are coming from, though. Certain people are why I stuck around as long as I did. Then, it got to a point where I examined my list and realized it was mostly family I was wanting to duck from, local folks that only latched on to me hoping I was going to become a famous author, former co-workers I quickly remembered why I’d been glad to leave behind. Oh, and the occasional “blogging mom”, most of which I had nothing in common with. When I realized there was only one person I truly cared about staying in contact with there, it was a real eye-opener. One out of hundreds! I got this one nice young lady’s e-mail before I parted. Very grateful for WP. Has a much different vibe. And definitely didn’t want to lose contact with you and all the lovely folks that interact here. Thank you! ❤ I feel the same about yours! 😊

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Very interesting how things change over time, isn’t it? Omg that must have felt so good, so much lighter to sever the ties, I imagine? Given the family you’re up against, I certainly can’t blame you, and I probably would have done the same thing. So happy for you!! 😊❤️. Also so happy you’re finding connection and solace in WP?

            I’m making a lot of assumptions here; please forgive me, and please feel free to correct me 💓💓

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol 😉

        And here I am with like 5 pages on FB, 4 WordPress blogs, 3 Twitter accounts, 2 Gmail accounts, and a partridge in a pear tree lol 😂🌺

        (Oops) 😳

        But hey – I’ve given them each bits of bogus info, so hopefully they’ll get confused, at least for a while 😉

        😘💞💖

        Liked by 2 people

        1. bogus info doesnt matter much when theyve got your real name (from your phone) and your real phone number (from your phone) as a filter.

          this is why if youre going to try to fake a website, you should do it on a computer, use websites instead of “apps” and not bother with sites that require a phone number (i cant create a youtube account anymore because the phone number thing is too much of a hassle to fake. theres always a way, but eh. i can upload video to the internet archive if i want.)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “hi facebook, i live at sydney opera house.”

            “hi ‘laina,’ your phones gps says you spend most of your time at these precise coordinates in texas, and the photos your phone takes may also include gps data in the exif header.”

            also face recognition.

            im surprised facebook doesnt go through your trash, but with the amount of uber-stalker data they collect, they can probably guess with some accuracy whats in there anyway.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Yep! And this gets coordinated with credit card purchase history, Google searches, browser cookies, other logins, credit history, residence history, zip/postal code demographics, banking transactions, voting registration, etc etc etc etc. Which will eventually get matched up with DNA via 23andMe, fingerprints, driver’s license, etc. And biometrics (which, for those who haven’t heard of this, works like fingerprints, except it utilizes characteristics of other body parts like eyes. Biometric scanners have already been in use in high-security/high-sensitivity positions forever). 👎🏼👎🏼.

            (Just google “fusion centers”. There’s some F’ed up shizz. Lots of bad potential. They probably started in the ’90s, Bush amped them up under “Patriot” Act, then Obama amped them up a LOT more, and now 45 is showing shit-tons of promise to follow in similar elephant steps.)

            👎🏼💞💞

            Like

          3. ^^ this. And people wonder why I’m not left-leaning (don’t worry, my pretties; y’all have probably figured out that despite my Texan residence, I don’t lean much to the right, either) 😉💖

            Neither mainstream side has done us any favors. America needs a second party 😉😂💕💕

            Liked by 2 people

          4. i think there will always be parties in some shape or form, depending on how much youre willing to stretch the definition.

            ideals aside, making the government more manageable by the people is typically a good thing. not that id want to go for straight democracy and just let idiots in california vote on who to eat for dinner. (it will be men, so i cant really support that initiative, even if half the men in california might.)

            Liked by 1 person

          5. well theyre both enslaved by lobbyists. you cant solve the corporate overlord problem without facing the bipartisan cronyism problem. and you cant solve the bipartisan cronyism problem without facing the corporate overlord problem. of course if the corporate overlords give us neat phones that attach gps coordinates to any pictures we take, then i guess all is forgiven.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Lol 😊. “All is forgiven” – that’s what they think. (And most of the time it’s true.).

            There’s definitely some good in those capabilities. Watching Forensic Files has been an eye opener. Of course, there isn’t a boogeyman in every bush. But the odds aren’t zero, either. The ultimate question becomes, how much privacy do we give up for how much safety? I know that I think it was Ben Franklin(?) who said that those who would give up freedom for safety/security get neither one. But yeah, pros and cons, double edges and all that. Nothing is purely good or bad; just shades of gray. Probably way more than 50 😂😉💞

            About the only way one could get away from everything and be totally out of the system is to have never gotten a birth certificate or social security card, be homeschooled (they took our fingerprints one day in like kindergarten!), never submit a DNA sample, pay cash/barter for everything without a bank, and live off the grid with your own rainwater and solar panels, and never work in a field that requires identity 💖. It’s probably not impossible, but it would be extremely difficult. As things are now, our names pass through databases and mainframes even if all we’ve done is sit on the couch at home 😊. I think there might still be safety in numbers; if enough of us do something, efforts at persecution become more futile; our talents are needed, after all. Can’t round all of us up unless they want to crash the system 😊. There are detention centers, but probably not enough for everyone. They’ll probably have to pick their battles, to a point. People reading this might think I’ve gone off the deep end lol – some may think I’ve gone too far and others may think I haven’t gone far enough. Hell, they’re probably both right lol 😘❤️

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Awesome freaking info, Fig!! Thank you!! 👍🏼🙌🏼👊🏼💓

            Ahhhhhh – so THAT’S why the little mother-F’ers are always nagging you to “download our app!” “Don’t get locked out of your account! Give us your mobile number.” And shit like that. And some stinking social media sites will no longer let you create a new account without giving them your mobile; I set up my first Twitter account in 2010, no mobile number needed. I set up my second one in July 2016–mobile required; no workaround that I could find. Dammit.

            Ok, that makes sense now. Total sense. I got to wondering about this in 2012-2013, when everyone and their dog suddenly had an app and were pushing huge for everyone to download it. I know that nobody is going to put in the time and effort (and money) just to create something out of the goodness of their hearts, there had to be something (and probably a LOT) in it for them.

            They may or may not find me? The name on my phone is a nickname that isn’t tied to me legally. The main account is under my partner’s name, so there’s that. But he may have used his (realistic) nickname (think “Dave” instead of “David” or “Jim” instead of “James”) so they may or may not have his legal name(?)

            Meh, hell. Just by having a birth certificate and a social security number we’re probably all screwed. I should burn off my fingerprints and scramble my DNA while we’re at it. 😉❤️💞

            Don’t get me started on 23andMe… 😂💜

            Liked by 2 people

          8. one piece of data is just one piece of data. but if that piece of data is collected with a bunch of other pieces… WHOA, you predicted this comment– it shows up on the right of this comment box:

            “yep! and this gets coordinated with credit card purchase history, google…” EXACTLY. a far more complete profile than the fbi would have put together on a suspect in the 1970s. it should be called “dystopianpolicestatebook” but i guess “facebook” is better marketing. i just call it stasibook. “tag your friends!”

            Liked by 1 person

          9. “Tag your friends!”

            Oh god yes, this! Interesting how LinkedIn, Facebook, etc will import (suck) your list of email contacts in when you’re setting up these accounts. They used to ask you if you wanted to do this, and you used to could decline. But that has changed; it’s automatic now. And then the nagging starts. I used my gmail to set up LinkedIn and they were all, “hey, do you want to connect with these people on LinkedIn??”

            The scary part was this: the people LinkedIn was suggesting were not people I had sent any emails to from that account! They were people I had emailed from a different email account, the one I use for work, probably because I had used one as a “recovery” email for the other. So now the 2 email addresses are linked, at least in the eyes of some sophisticated websites who have a vested interest in connecting the shit out of everybody 😱😳👎🏼💞

            Liked by 1 person

          10. windows and mac os/x are slowly creeping their way into this stuff too. i mean years ago, windows media player sent information on what you played to microsoft servers. theyve had settings you couldnt really turn off for a long time.

            so there are two things that can be done about this– one is pressure apple and microsoft to change their ways (HA, just kidding) the other is to start moving away from them more. (google too, obviously. i mean their phone marketshare is insane.)

            using free/libre software is a start. but as more functionality is subsumed into the cpu and hardware (including isolated cpus that can run when the computer is “off” and the operating system you install cant touch them– and as usual its a “feature!” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Management_Mode

            in the long run, it will be necessary to run libre hardware, not just libre software. that isnt entirely possible or practical today, but it will probably become easier.

            since that hardware wont likely run windows (and that would defeat the purpose of it anyway) the sooner you can get comfortable with other software, the better.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Ahhh yes, the old “phone home” trick 😊. The cable box works the same way; in fact, if we lose internet, the cable no longer works! They used to be two entirely separate systems.

            You probably already know about Prism, right? (Probably a silly question on my part lol)

            And don’t get me started on the TPP lol 😂💞

            Liked by 1 person

          12. way ahead of you, love. the things i talk about tend to come to the general public about 10 years later, who then promptly ignore them. though not entirely as much as they used to.

            there are no revelations, just confirmation and clarification. a true revelation would be a way forward, instead of just a “you are here” arrow moving backwards.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. Yep, that’s what I’ve heard 😊. Don’t get me started on the cashless society; first heard about that in 2005 (probably old news by then, but to my credit I had already been thinking along those lines for a while by then). I’ve really only entertained these types of topics since the late ’90s, when in the middle of my Business-to-Economics-and-History transition (of university majors) and I got interested in privacy rights and Constitutional law as a by-product of the History component lol. But even though I switched majors (a few more times), I always kept up at least a little with the topic 😊. (That and the general intolerance and out-of-touch-ness of the Republicans ultimately fueled my permanent exit from that party. Eeeewwwww. Couldn’t pay me to align myself with them ever again.) 💜💖💜

            Liked by 1 person

          1. (Giggles) nah – why should we change just because they suck? 😉❤️.

            (For whomever might find this useful, here’s what’s only my take on things…). Meh, there are over 300 million people in the US alone; the UK is somewhere around 80 million I think? And then there are emerging countries like India and China, the two most populous places. Even the highest-priority, best-funded agencies still fall really short, at least for the time being, even though they’ll never admit that. Technology moves too fast and there are too many people saying “questionable” things online to be able to monitor everyone all the time 😉👍🏼

            😱😜🤓😎💓💓

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I have a friend in presales who travels a lot to remote locations. She posts a lot of pics on FB and she said this is because in the event she’s gone missing, FB will have all the details of her whereabouts from her last pic. I’m not the type who like to post details of my whereabouts on FB but reading the comments in this post, it makes a lot of sense now and I can better appreciate why my friend is doing it.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. That’s totally cool! Yeah, there’s definitely good reasons for being very public and leaving a cyber-trail footprint. That’s definitely an awesome reason, and a very positive use of this kind of capability.

            The same thing happened with cell phone GPS; in the old days (read: late ’90s and before), if you called 9-1-1 from your cell/mobile, and you couldn’t talk, you were screwed. On landlines, any call made to 9-1-1 sucked all the data associated with that phone number into their system. Kind of like a caller ID on steroids. That’s so that if you dialed emergency but couldn’t talk, they had your info and could send help to that location.

            Word got out about that, and when mobile phones became more widespread, people thought they worked the same way. Back then, they didn’t. These days, they do, to a point. Cell towers are more plentiful and precise, so this provides better info. Guilty criminals have been convicted based on mobile data and innocent parties have been acquitted/exonerated based on that data, too. So yeah, tons of constructive uses 😊❤️

            (You probably knew a lot of this; I just spelled it out for anyone to whom this info might be new and useful) 😉💖💕

            Liked by 1 person

          4. i dont really buy the stats argument, laina. its like saying that people dont really have to worry about getting shot when theyre before a firing squad because most of the gunmen are using blanks.

            obviously theres enough misuse of data to be a concern (i dont think you were trying to say otherwise) and obviously, the real use of this data goes beyond though-policing and fighting terrorism, into places that make it even more unconstitutional.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. Truth. The stats don’t save us, especially when technology moves such that what might not be possible today almost assuredly will be tomorrow. And oh yeah, there’s already some 1984-esque crap going on; they strutted that around publicly in the ’90s. I’ll probably elaborate more on some shizz via email if I can get a sufficient lunch break 👏🏼😘😊❤️

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, thank you for outlining the real-life consequences that can happen as a result of this sort of blogging! Also, speaking as a parent, there are so many private ways of asking for support: Local groups, private chats, friends in similar situations, etc.

    Everything I post about my children is 1. With their permission 2. Anonymous and 3. Extremely vague. If I’m seeking parenting support then I don’t blog about it. If something may come back and haunt their lives later on then I don’t blog about it. Simple.

    Unfortunately, many people in our culture don’t have much respect for any children, let alone Autistic or otherwise disabled children. Children are not the property of their parents – they are full human beings and should be treated with respect. Anything shared publicly about them before they’re old enough to understand the potential lifelong fallout requires the utmost discretion.

    I’ll throw in a couple links for fun 🙂

    Six questions for parents to ask themselves before blogging about their disabled children:
    https://ollibean.com/six-questions-before-publishing-about-children/

    One (my) perspective on even disclosing a child’s autistic status publicly:
    https://mamautistic.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/autistic-disclosure-parenting-edition/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks girl! 😘😘. I love love love your philosophy on blogging about your children; I’ve adored your blog for a long time and I totally agree with your approach ❤️.

      No doubt that parents need support, too 😊. Parenting is tough, and I imagine that if the parent’s and child’s neurotypes are different, they’re probably going to need extra support 😊

      And you’re so right–there are private, more dignified ways to get that support, without compromising a child’s identity, character, or future.

      So very true, too, that society doesn’t respect children much in general. Children are too often perceived as extensions of their parents, without a right to an identity and a future of their own.

      Thank you so much for posting those links!! They made for fantastic, fascinating reading 😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent article. The same holds true for neurotypical children; parents post every sneeze their child does, with no regard to how the child may feel later on. Post your furry children (they don’t care about social media), but not your human ones.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Absolutely, amen! 👏🏼👏🏼. I see this all the time and I wonder, “omg wth?? Consideration of feelings and lives, people!” 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 👏👏👏 Very important! 👏👏👏👏 I’m sure I’m not the only one to suffer from the embarrassment of a family member sharing a photo or “cute story” of an event from childhood with a potential partner or friend. It’s not a nice feeling 😧 Seeking attention at someone else’s expense is a form of abuse IMO.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree 😊❤️. I think it’s fine to have a family blog, with names and pictures and such, as long as it doesn’t share confidential medical or health info, especially mental health (which is where Asperger’s/autism still resides in the eyes of most, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary 😉), and I think it’s perfectly fine to blog publicly about an autistic child, so long as names and faces are kept to a minimum and *especially* that care is taken so that it doesn’t become a “rant blog” or “woe is me” blog for being the non-autistic guardian parading an autistic child (or even an adult being cared for) around in an attention-seeking way 😊❤️

      I think that to write in such a way that a member of the public could track down and identify the autistic person, and their condition could come back to “bite” them is dangerous. And I think that to write in about them in such a way that could hurt them if they found out is also harmful.

      It’s all about having class on the interwebs 😉. I wouldn’t write anything that I wouldn’t say to anyone’s face unless I kept it totally vague and anonymous – that’s my dignity standard for myself 🌺. You’re doing it right 😘💝💖

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I have written an article about this very topic on my blog. I am one such parent and became aware fairly early on of my son’s right to privacy and dignity. I do use his first name and I do post occasional photos but I am careful to keep identifying information to a minimum, to keep details vague and to post with the future in mind. I ask myself if what I am writing now would embarrass him in the future. If I think it would, I don’t write it. It all depends on what you are writing for. I write to educate and help others, so “pity” posts are not appropriate. I can’t write clearly when I am upset so I would rather wait a few days before writing about an event than vomit it out online. It’s not just about respecting your child but also your audience. Nobody wants to read a hand wringing, tear stained account of how hard life is. Everyone’s life is hard. What we want is information, support and encouragement so we can all get through it together. So yeah, keep it classy! 😉

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. Hear, hear! I love your approach 😊😊. So much more productive and proactive than the “pity posts” (I love that term!!)

      No doubt that raising an autistic child, especially when they’re a neurotypical parent, is tough. I’m sure it’s tough for the child, too. Neither party understands the other quite as fully as they would if they were the same neurotype. ❤️. Support is definitely a good thing! But yeah, I agree; there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Martyrdom and sympathy-seeking don’t help anyone; the illusion of support in those cases is merely that: illusion. It’s deceiving; the readers, especially those in the same boat as the author of the post, may feel some momentary support, and it can be comforting for people to know they’re not alone, but then what? If there’s nothing constructive offered, no solutions suggested, then the post falls flat and short. Potential to do some real good is wasted 😊

      I loved reading your comment, if it’s not obvious already 😉❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  8. i couldnt like this one enough. i thought about copying the whole post and posting it as a comment, but that didnt make enough sense.

    instead, i liked it and then read all the comments and liked them, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a wonderful thing to hear! Thank you for all your lovely words; they’re always appreciated! 😘💞🌷🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  9. No, Laina, you’re wrong. All wrong. Autistic children must be watched with keen eyes all the time because you never know when you may hurt themselves, thus being unable to do anything to help themselves. That’s why you have to donate to us so we can dedicate unnamed amounts of dollars to research.

    Lol I think who I’m talking about, but seriously, you bring up a very good point that too few people don’t want to deal with. Opportunities for autistic kids seems to be limited, and we have to work on creating new pathways for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. I’ve been thinking about that too, and when I get some ideas fleshed out, I’ll write posts about them (of course lol) 😉. Thank you so much for your comment, your awesome sense of humor, and your proactive outlook 😘👏🏼❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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