Sunday 10 May 2015

MAD Blog Awards 2015.... please vote!

I know the election is over and no-one wants to talk votes any more... and I'm sure I say the same every year. I don't like begging for votes. Who does, I wonder?! Maybe those who would make good salespeople, those with the gift of the gab. Not little old me.

Anyhow, I digress. I'm not very good at this, you see.

I've been blogging for over 5 years now, ever since we received a diagnosis of autism for our youngest girl. 

Steph's Two Girls may not have been very imaginatively named but it started as a diary to help me, and our family. It's kind of meandered into what it is today - still pretty much a random kind of diary, but with a large leaning towards trying to impart wisdom about the special kind of autism we believe our girl has, PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance). Children with this condition are not naughty, they just 'can't help won't'.

My life has trotted on in a much different way than I ever thought it would since the diagnosis; before children I enjoyed being a toy and stationery Buyer but over the last few years I've worked for a local autism and ADHD charity and become a volunteer for a local parent carer forum. I've also helped to pass on Early Support training to lots of parents and carers of children with disabilities as I know how difficult it is to be sent away from a paediatrician's office after a bombshell has been delivered, with little more than a tiny leaflet, and no follow up support at all.

The next planned step for me is to run a course specifically for parents and carers who believe they have children with PDA. I'm no expert, but I can help to pass on strategies which may make family life easier for some. 

I hope I have some readers who like what I write, but I'm well aware it's kind of a niche topic, and there are plenty who don't want to hear about it. I'm always amazed by how many supportive comments I do get though, and I treasure every single one. I hope I help others by explaining our own situation - of course no two families are the same but some experiences are shared and talking about them really does help. A form of free therapy!

Awards are fantastic and heartbreaking at the same time. Not even making it onto a shortlist is disappointing every time, and yet there are so many thousands of great blogs out there - why should anyone vote for me? I will freely admit that I'm not the best writer in the world; I never aimed to be a journalist or a novelist. I can honestly say that I don't want an award for me personally, but to gain recognition for my little old blog would be fab, to try and spread even more awareness about autism and PDA. 

Last year I had to take part in a Bloggers Flashmob to attend these awards (video evidence is at mad-blog-awards-2014-bloggers-flashmob) and the year before I dressed as a carrot to win a ticket for doing a MAD thing... it'd be so refreshing to go and feel as if I was actually a valid part of the event for once!!