Monthly Archives: September 2009

Blogging therapy… but at what age?

Over the last month, I’ve been remiss in sharing my thoughts and observations through my blog. But with so many ideas still swirling in my head, I’ve come to realize that blogging for me (and perhaps journaling for others) is perhaps the best therapy when it comes to clearing through the cobwebs and making sense of reality.

So to no surprise, after sitting down with my 12-year-old son to talk about some issues that arose today, I suggested that he may want to consider blogging as a way to get things off his chest. While a journal would be more private, a blog would allow him to not only speak his mind, but also provide an opporunity for others to learn from him.

You may be wondering what people could learn from a 12-year-old, but you see, my son has Asperger Syndrome.  It’s an autism spectrum disorder that impacts his ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. A more detailed look at this disorder can be found here and here.

As an Aspie, my son is a frequent target for bullying; he learns differently from others; has some unique traits, talents and gifts; and battles an emotional rollercoaster daily. By publicly providing his perspectives on life, we could all see the world through his eyes.

As parents, we are constantly advocating for our children. But with more kids going online and embracing social media, I’m hoping that by sharing the best and worst of his life as an Aspie, people will gain a better understanding not only of him as a person, but also the struggles faced by the Aspie population as they wind their way through life from childhood to adolescence (and into adulthood), and as they try to make sense of things that everyone else takes for granted.

Of course, my “brilliant” idea also leads to some interesting questions (each of which could serve as an individual blog post):

  • Is there a right (or wrong) age to begin blogging? And if so, what is it?
  • If a tween decides to blog, what is the right platform for them to use?
  • What is the best way to build a following so their message doesn’t fall on deaf ears?
  • Given the issues of privacy and safety when it comes to kids going online, is it best to blog anonymously or using a pseudonym?

If you have thoughts on this topic or answers to any of these questions, please share away.

~ JE