I was asked this the other day and it is a good question and deserves a proper answer so here we go..
1. To support other parents
Over the 7 years between me realising my son was not neurotypical and getting diagnoses I felt lost and alone. Nothing quite fitted until I stumbled across some information on Pathological Demand Avoidance and school refusal just a month before my son was diagnosed using this criteria.
Much of the online information about PDA showed very unpromising outcomes, there were strategies described but I was unsure of how they worked or how to adapt or use them for my son. In short I was afraid and unsure how to best support my son. I needed to hear from someone who understood.
Finding me the right path took a lot of time and cost me and my son a lot emotionally and practically. As things improved I started to share my experiences in groups.
One day I was talking to a parent in a group when it became clear she was at the point of taking her own life due to lack of services and losing the fight to get support for her child. With the help of the groups moderator and group member we managed to locate her address and send an ambulance. Thankfully she was ok but this was really the start of me feeling I wanted to offer some more support to other parents.
2. To promote the rights of autistic people.
My son and I were treated terribly by schools and professionals. He was forced into interventions that did not understand the needs of an autistic child which damaged him greatly. He was misunderstood and misrepresented by professionals.
My son is happy and thriving now in home education but his first choice was to go to school and he had a right to which was taken away from him like many other rights denied to autistic people every day.
3. To raise the profile of PDA.
It took me a long time to find information about PDA and if it had been recognised and understood by health care professionals in my area my sons autism diagnoses would of been quicker coming. If it had been recognised and understood by education professionals he would of had appropriate support instead of standard autistic strategies and may still be in school.
It is too late for my son now but there are thousands of other children who could benefit from the recognition of PDA as a presentation of autism.
4. To share and make sense of our story.
I once read from another blogger (sorry I can’t remember which one) that blogging was free therapy. For me it helps makes sense of the things that have happened to me and my son. Rather like the #MeToo campaign it has made me feel less alone.
In some ways it makes me sad that so many parents and children (as well as now adult autistic people and PDAers) have been through similar experiences but it also makes me feel less alone and realise neither me or my son were to blame. My son knows about my blog and is complete support of me writing it to ‘help other kids not be treated like I was and to be understood like I am now.’
5. Because I love to write and it is a great example to my son.
Writing has always been my creative expression of choice despite being dyslexic. I love words and books and as a child I always carried a small notebook in which I jotted down stories, experiences and thoughts. Although I have always written it was only for myself, never an audience, but then when I was asked to write my very first blog (for Parentkind) it just made sense to use the skill and passion I had to perhaps support others. Having an interest, writing for pleasure, researching and communicating are all great things for you child to see you doing, children learn so much more from example than they do from being coerced.