There is no doubt that, blogging has become huge and it is because all you need is a computer. Anyone can be a blogger..writing about things you are passionate about. Your blog can be all about your family, or child, or job, or hobby, the possibilities are endless. The best part is that you don’t even need to have followers!
My passions are celiac disease, food allergies and autism. However; I reluctantly moved into the blogging world. For those of you who first started getting my newsletter back in 2010, you know that I put many articles in the newsletter each week. Sometimes it would take me 5 hours to get it all together. My problem was two-fold: I needed to cut back on the content and the newsletter was not archived. This meant that readers would be calling me asking me to email them an old newsletter or article. I had to make it more manageable by having all articles in a central place so my readers could get to new and old information any time. So, when I had the web-site re-designed, we added a Blog Tab. (I still have not transferred over all articles yet!)
I started reflecting on what GF, Food Allergy and Autism Bloggers “bring to the table”. First, they serve as a voice for their communities. These communities offer acceptance, understanding and support 24-7! You don’t need to wait for the monthly meeting for some support or a sympathetic ear; you just turn on your computer and you are set. Instant gratification!
This is so important to those with Celiac Disease, Food Allergies and Autism. Why? Because if you or a loved one are affected by any of the above, you are subject to scrutiny. Unfortunately, much of the general public feels that the Gluten Free Diet is just a fad diet, that food allergies are just made up and Autism is just a symptom of a discipline problem that you have with your child.
I can’t tell you how many stories I have of my own about being made fun of, about invalidation and doubt from friends and family. There are customers who tell me stories of a family member dangling shrimp in front of their child who has a shellfish allergy. The family members and friends who doubt your Celiac Diagnosis and talk behind your back. The friend or family member who thinks that Autism is made up because “the parent does not want to parent” and hearing “we all did our homework by ourselves growing up…we didn’t need an adult next to us the entire time, he just needs to be disciplined and you need to stop spoiling him and giving into his whims”. Or we hear, “I know how you feel.” When they have no idea what you are dealing with.
Well, that is exactly the crap we have to live with folks. Having bloggers who give a place for sharing and caring in the areas of Celiac Disease, Food Allergies & Autism is so needed and so appreciated. These bloggers create a community that is so far reaching and inclusive by educating, sharing and giving a voice to those who often have no outlet or support system. Sometimes we just need someone to help us find our sense of humor again.
Why has blogging exploded? Well, sometimes, even our doctors are not a support system…they don’t have the time and in some cases they just don’t have the knowledge; leaving some suffering; un-diagnosed for far too long. Support groups meet monthly or quarterly and sometimes you just can’t wait that long. Often, you are in overwhelm and need some support before you explode. You need someone to actually listen to you; not invalidate you. Someone who will actually hear what your are saying; people who are going through the same thing and support you….. via your favorite blogger!
Turn on computer; find favorite blogger and you can be “HEARD” almost immediately!
Thank you to all of you great bloggers out there. You help keep us sane while dealing with Gluten-Free Diets, Food Allergies and Autism. Thank you all for being there to catch us when we fall and most importantly educating us and helping us keep our sense of humor .
There are so many great blogs! Here a just a few of my favorites:
GF Blogs: Gluten Dude, Gluten Free Girl, One Dish Cuisine
Food Allergy Blogs: Food Allergy Mama, Allergy Eats (Paul Antico)
Autism Blogs: Autism Daddy, Confessions of an Asperger’s Mom