Just over a year ago my daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have been doing all I can to learn about Autism and specifically learn from the #actuallyautistic community. There are, however, some things I see that should not be just mentioned in regard to neuro-diverse children. For instance, recently I have seen several blog posts, videos, and social media posts about how you should not share videos of your child’s meltdown.
I completely agree but, I don’t think this should be just a truth for parents or family of Autistic children.
Children should be given a sense of privacy and understanding.
You may think, “they’re young, they don’t understand!” Well, how would you feel now, as an adult, after your parents shared your hard and emotional times publicly. You cannot truly delete anything from the internet once it is posted.
Humiliation is not good parenting.
Sharing videos of your children’s tantrums or meltdowns, especially in a manner to make fun of or mock your child is shameful.
In regard to children with Autism meltdowns are shared in the guise of #autismawareness.
There are times it can be rough as a parent, to have those around me, not understand Autism. I can understand trying to share and bring awareness, however, awareness isn’t exactly what needs to be the goal, but rather acceptance.
“Autism Moms” (those who are mothers of Autistic children but are not actually autistic themselves) can be what many within the #actuallyautistic community call “martyr moms.”
The “martyr moms” are the ones that put autism into a negative light specifically focusing on how Autism is affecting her life, using their child to seek pity. The posts of meltdowns or detailing what may have been a rough day for their child is twisted into how their child’s rough day affected them. Instead of “my child had a rough day” they are saying something to the tune of “my child gave me a rough time today” or “autism won today.”
I have always had a problem with this thought process and sentiment.
Our children have their own emotions, fears, and frustrations. They do not have emotional days in spite of us. They’re not trying to “give you a rough day” they are just having a rough time themselves. Emotions can be hard to process for any child. Autistic children can have very big emotions that can be very hard to understand and process. Sharing those times, like tantrums and meltdowns online is not supporting them.
Now, children with other diagnoses, should also be fit within this same category.
Children with ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Anxiety, and many other things, have rough days. Those days can affect you as a parent, I understand. But in an effort to support your child through their rough days it’s important you do not detail every outburst, tantrum, or meltdown for the world. If you need someone specifically to talk to, find a strong support system that you can speak privately to. You as a mother do need support as well, but not at the detriment of your child’s mental health. Sharing every bad moment online is detrimental to their own health and happiness.