James blogs over at Stories About Autism and is a finalist in the Making a Difference category of the 2020 BAPS Awards.
By raising autism awareness and promoting understanding, James uses his corner of the internet to capture the highs and lows of parenting plus everything in between.
What inspired you to start your blog?
Autism, and the challenges my boys have faced because of it, has meant that life has been quite isolated for us at times. It also means that we have had to miss out on a lot of social occasions. I realised that many of my friends and family hardly knew my boys at all, and in particular, little about autism or how it affects our lives. In those rare moments that I did get to spend time with those closest to me, I could never quite find the right words to say what was really going on with us. I mean, how do you discuss sleepless nights and meltdowns in the middle of a family party? So most conversations tended to go, ‘how are the boys?’ followed by, ‘yeah, they’re good thank you.’
Having read many blogs over the years to try and learn more about autism, I decided that the best thing I could do was to write down what I wanted my friends and family to know. The blog was a way of letting them get to know Tommy and Jude, to be able to learn more about them without seeing them, and hopefully get to understand more about our lives. What I didn’t realise was just how many other people would also be interested, that so many families from all over the world would connect with our stories, and a real sense of community would be created.
What other blogs/organisations do you turn to for advice?
There have been so many over the years that have helped at various points of our journey. Now I’m fortunate enough to call many bloggers friends. The three I turn to the most for a chat or advice are, Our Altered Life, Little Blue Cup and Steph’s Two Girls.
Describe yourself in three words
Kind, patient, empathetic.
Wow, how can you name just one? At the moment, a strawberry tart.
Favourite thing to do if you have some ‘me’ time?
Go for a drink or meal with friends and family.
Which talent of yours are you most proud of?
Being a good listener and empathetic. I love being able to help people.
If you could be one fictional character, who would you be?
Bruce Wayne – billionaire by day and superhero by night.
What’s the closest thing to magic?
Seeing both of my boys happy, especially if we’re all together. It’s not something we’re able to do very often.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start blogging?
Be honest. People will want to know the real you, and that is what will connect them to your stories. Be clear with yourself about why you want to write a blog. Don’t worry about numbers, or what everyone else is doing. Do what’s right for you. If that’s one post a day, one a week or one a month, then do that. Maybe that’s vlogging, or maybe it’s writing long detailed posts, just do what you enjoy.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s BAPS Awards?
After over three months of lockdown, a night away from home having fun, seeing friends, and celebrating with a drink or ten is what I am looking forward to. Plus hopefully being able to give people a hug, if that’s allowed by then!
The Baps Awards Ceremony takes place 4th November from 6.00pm. This year, due to COVID19 the event will be held virtually. Want to join the celebrations? Sign up for free here.
The BAPS Awards
The BAPs (Bloody Awesome Parents) Awards allows SEND bloggers to be recognised for their talents, tales and achievements. Founded by Bringing Us Together and My Family, Our Needs, these awards celebrate SEND Bloggers everywhere. Click here to find out more…