As we wake up to the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU and families take to social media to wonder what this means for our families, it has never been more important for parents to have a voice and share their knowledge and experiences.
It is with great pleasure therefore, that we introduce a new feature on Bringing Us Together. A new feature we hope will inspire you. How many of you read fellow parent blogs? An insight into their lives? A way of feeling less alone? How many of you have considered blogging but not sure if you could write anything people would want to read – a common theme we hear from parents.
We will be introducing you to fellow SEND parent bloggers and asking them to share with you why they do it, what their tips are and what they write about. If you don’t feel able to write your own blog, most of these people would happily host a guest post on their site for you. Or you may just find a new voice you like the sound of.
Meet the Parent Bloggers:
Today we are launching this with the lovely Steph from Steph’s Two Girls.
How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in January 2010, so it’s been about six and a half years now.
Why did you start?
I started as a form of online diary after we saw a paediatrician with our youngest daughter and the word autism was first mentioned. My intention was to try and log everything that happened so I didn’t forget or have to repeat myself! Very quickly it also turned into a way of keeping friends and family who were not so close (in distance terms) informed about how Sasha was developing. A few months later we realised that she probably had a form of autism called Pathological Demand Avoidance, so that is what my blog now focuses on most of all.
What keeps you motivated to continue?
Trying to pave an easier way in the world for our daughter is my main motivation. The more people who understand why she is different, and how she best likes to be communicated with, the more chance there is of her reaching her full potential and being given opportunities. I also feel like there are many other families out there with challenging children who are at breaking point, but who can be helped with just a bit more understanding – for themselves as well as from others. Receiving feedback and comments from complete strangers saying I have helped them means so much to me and spurs me on to do more.
Do you only blog about SEN?
I wanted to try and keep the blog light-hearted and fun rather than serious, so I try to blog about our lives generally. I never have enough time to blog about everything though, and don’t manage to keep up with the diary idea at all any more – far too much goes on in life!
If not, what else do you chat about?
A large proportion of my blog is SEN (and PDA in particular) but we do also take on reviews to lighten the load along the way. As I used to be a Toy Buyer I have a particular interest in that market, but we have been known to branch out a little as there are many good opportunities out there.
What is your most popular blog post?
For a long time, my most viewed post was about how to make Giant Bubbles (try it, it’s fab!). Recently though, the furore over the Baker Small Twitter scandal meant that my post ‘Why Baker Small should be out of business tomorrow‘ has now hit the top spot. Other than that, my post on The Difference between PDA and ODD was next popular.
What would you say to any parent considering starting a blog?
Go for it, it’s a great way of remembering your own life, but don’t stress about it too much.
What one tip would you share with them?
It’s all about the networking slightsmile emoticon In actual fact, it’s all about making it work for you, whatever suits you best. Don’t worry about anyone else.
What one tip would you share with any parent about raising a child with SEND?
Find other parents, ones who are like you, whether that’s tea drinking or wine drinking or book reading etc. Spend time with them for your own sanity. Cast your net wider though to learn from other SEND parents as it is the parents as a whole who have the help you need.
What are you most proud of with regard to your blog?
My greatest achievement is being shortlisted for the BiBs finals this year – never happened before, won’t happen again.
You can find Steph’s blog here
You can find her Facebook page here
You can follow her on Twitter here
If you wish to find other SEND parent bloggers to follow, then have a look at our list – SEND Bloggers.
If you are a parent blogger and would like to be interviewed for the site, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.