I mentioned a few posts (months) back that I’d be presenting at the ASA conference this year. Well, we are a week away, and I will admit that I’m becoming rather anxious about it.
For most people who read my blog, that I’m aware of, you all generally agree with what I have to say on the subject of parenting. Some may even have “picked my brain” on parenting advice. Many may even say I’m an authority since I’m both Autistic and raise two autistic children (to which I often disagree). I do think I have some particular insights. I also think my opinions are grounded in far more than my neurological status, including research, data collection and the input from professionals I highly respect.
So why am I nervous? I know my stuff… At least, I continue to believe that… And I continue to be told that by people… And I know that everyone believes what I have to say “needs to be heard.” (Whatever that means…)
What I’m nervous about is the fact that most people going to the ASA conference aren’t going to know my “credentials.” The program is going to show that I’m one of about 10 presentations they can go to… The only one who has no MD or PhD or SLP-CCC or any other thing of that sort.
I’m nervous that people will argue my points. I have 45+ slides (some are just titles for a section). “We’ll, obviously your children are high functioning.” “Sensory issues can be eliminated by this diet or this supplement.” “Stop using Autistic! You should use person-first language.” “But ABA is the greatest thing since sliced bread!” I have responses to all of these.. But it doesn’t mean I have to like that I’ve had to come up with responses. It doesn’t mean I’m good at confrontation. It doesn’t mean that it frightens me to think I may have to deal with that.
The content in my slides, I’m no longer worried about. I have had 6 sets of eyes look over it. I have been given all the suggestions to make it better (which surprisingly weren’t many). I have gone through revisions. I’ve let parents and autistics and professionals all look at it. And it is good, and robust, and covers most anything any parent needs to know to raise a kid into their teenage years (and perhaps later) while encouraging self advocacy, self determination and building good self esteem. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to get in front of people (whether a small or large group) and profess that I am the utmost authority on how to raise your child.
As a quick final note, if you are attending the conference and would be willing, I’d really love and appreciate if you could live tweet or live blog my presentation. I have had the request that someone do so. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me through social media if you are willing.