Wednesday 3 January 2018

UK Blog Award 2018 Finalist

On New Year's Day, an email dropped into my inbox telling me that this blog made the finalist shortlist in the Health and Social Care category for the UK Blog Awards 2018

It did make me squeal a little bit, and blush, but most of all it made me want to thank every one of you who reads my blog, and who took the time to vote. Voting isn't everything though; given the choice I'd probably rather have people reading and sharing information and telling others about Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

On the other hand, voting was very important as it has given the blog a platform, a chance to spread that word further, and I am very grateful. 

I'll admit it's not the first time that I've paused for a moment to wish that I'd come up with a better, more descriptive name for the blog back when I started it in 2010..... but as I *think* I've mentioned before, the most difficult part about writing a blog is picking a unique name which has not already been used for a webspace! It still stands though, that my reason for naming the blog Steph's Two Girls was because I wanted it to be about both our girls; one autistic, one not, the diagnosis affects both. All of us, in fact.

The second most difficult part of blogging for me is the design and the technology aspect. While others have soared ahead in this area, I feel like my school report would say 'could do better' but I'm incredibly grateful to a few people who have helped me along the way - most notably Renata from Just Bring The Chocolate who is an amazing writer and who designed my lovely header, and my old school friend Nickie from I Am Typecast who has been a constant source of Blogger help for me.

My blog is in no way a polished offering, and much as I would love to write 'an open letter' or the next viral post, that's just not my style. So I know my viewer numbers aren't huge, but I also know that I'd like them to be better, as the more people that read, the more people that might understand PDA. That's why making this list of finalists means so much to me. 

I'm not a fan of self-promotion generally and I suspect I will still shy away from it in the future, but after eight years of blogging there is a part of me that realises that occasionally it is necessary. Let me know if I ever overstep the mark though.

I'd already quietly made two small resolutions for 2018 on top of my boring big resolution; one was that my word for the year would be 'positive' and the other that I am going to take every opportunity I can to take my blog back to its roots. That is to say, as much writing about autism generally, and more specifically Pathological Demand Avoidance, as I can manage. With a little bit of the usual updates about my two girls, of course...

There will be another conference on Pathological Demand Avoidance in April 2018 and I will be there. Over the past few years there have been a few events on this topic, some held by the National Autistic Society, but this will be the second conference organised by the PDA Society, for parents and families of those with PDA. They are a group of volunteers who have all lived with PDA in their family, and I am very proud to have been involved with their work over the past few years. 

2017 was a busy year for us at home but my intention and hope is to refocus on my blog in 2018, to try and spread as much understanding of PDA as possible. Watch this space!

As a quick summary for those who have not visited my blog before, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is one of several Autistic Spectrum Conditions. 

The central difficulty for people with PDA is their avoidance of the everyday demands made by other people, due to their high anxiety levels when they feel that they are not in control.

For more detail on whether someone you know has PDA I recommend this starting point on the PDA Society webpage.

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