~ why the heck am i calling the girls katie and brooke?

**

A while ago, I went through the very long process of changing the girls’ real names to pseudonyms on the blog. I felt that it was important to try to restore their online anonymity to whatever degree I could. In an effort to maintain both their safety and their privacy, I ask that if you know their real names and/ or where we live, that you do not make reference to either in your comments on Diary or any public forum related to Diary. Any such references will be hastily removed.

Thank you.

19 thoughts on “~ why the heck am i calling the girls katie and brooke?

  1. I call my family by nic-names on one of my blogs but on my main blog I don’t….

    I hadn’t really considered “privacy” or “safety”

    Perhaps I should…

    Email me your thoughts on your decision? Please? It might help me reason out changing my blog names and also my banner (which lists our names under it)

    With everything linked to my facebook and all my info on there…. I guess it didn’t seem important.

    Now I wonder. =/

    • donna, first and foremost it’s a matter of safety. i just didn’t feel comfortable with so much information out there about my kids along with their full names and images. in today’s day and age, it began to feel reckless. the blog had begun as a very personal thing – the audience was very small and mostly friends and family. but it has since spun into something completely different. with thousands of people reading it, i can no longer feel comfortable disclosing so much about my kids publicly. they are also getting to the age where they (and their friends!) become internet savvy. i couldn’t stand the thought that if a friend googled katie’s name, they’d have intimate details of her life in front of them. just didn’t feel right for me. hope that helps!

  2. Hi Jess-

    I got hooked on your blog months ago by a friend, and I am amazed at all you do for BOTH your beautiful girls every day. And I know the blog is being modest. I cannot imagine your daily routine keeping everything going. I was wondering if you ever thought about turning the blog into a book? Complete with name changes and everything. I didn’t know if was feasible for you, as I know your family’s privacy is very important, but if you ever have the urge, I think you have the makings of an amazing author! Thank you for this blog. I do not have a child with autism, but I am a teacher, and it just brings that much more clarity into my understanding of autism. Your blog is your “blue hair”! Thank you!

    • thanks so much, jaime! i’d love to create a book at some point, but i’m just not sure what shape it would take yet. i think it will kind of present itself when the time is right :) thx for the kind words.

  3. I am with you on this one.That is why the names of my children have been changed to protect the innocent, especially as they try to find jobs in our community. My brother and his family all have their full names on Facebook; something which I have said to him is a bad idea. My children have made up last names on Facebook and so do I.

    Autism makes our children more vulnerable than most.

  4. I have nicknames for my kids on my blog, and at first I had images that had my kid’s faces – I thought as long as their names were changed then people couldn’t google them, and that was enough. Then a friend of mine asked to pitch our story to a news program and I said that I didn’t think my daughter would be comfortable with that becausee of privacy issues. My friend responded by telling me that if I was sso concerned about privacy I might want to reconsider the images I had up. So I went through and I removed any image that showed my kid’s faces straight on. I was sad to do it because I don’t want the blog to appear as stories that I’m secretly revealing, but actually ashamed of. So I guess my question to you is – what makes you comfortable leaving those pictures up of your kids? Are you ever concerned about that?
    On a side note I will tell you that I adore your blog, and you inspired me to write my own. My daughter and I have watched all your youtube uploads and you guys make us smile. Brooke helps my Bean to see that autism can look just like her sometimes, which is sometimes as important as seeing the differences.
    So thank you.

    • I’ve struggled with it too, especially since that whole ‘I am adam Lanza’s mother’ debacle.

      But I am fairly certain that it’s obvious that everything that I write is respectful of my children and, while I reveal a lot, that I am keeping what should be private private.

      In the end, though, I think that it’s the three dimensional people – the beautiful faces that look just like anyone else’s beautiful faced kids, that make our story relatable to some who might not otherwise be bothered – who might find it easier to dismiss it without the ‘no, we really are real people who look startlingly like you’ aspect. And then there’s this ..

      “Brooke helps my Bean to see that autism can look just like her sometimes, which is sometimes as important as seeing the differences.
      So thank you.”

      And that is priceless.

  5. Pingback: Why I decided to add pictures and videos. | Deceivingly Normal

  6. I use my real first name, my real last name is a bit of an open secret. My family members are only referred to as “insert relation,” with little detail given beyond that unless they tell me it’s OK to do more. But I can make the decision for myself on what to share of myself, and your kids are not you. (On a related note, I already know my policy for when I have kids. Their existence, approximate ages, and maybe small incidents that do not reveal neurology is all that will be blogged unless and until they consent.)

  7. Hi Jess, thank you for your candor and for sharing your experience with us. I am an RDI Consultant in NY and your writing has helped me to understand parents and children on a whole new level. Thank you for sharing thw importance of acceptance and respect. It is a message that is not expressed nearly enough. I am a parent of 2 NT children; if I am half the parent you are, half of the time, I would be grateful. The girls are blessed to have you.

  8. I’m not sure if you will see this, as obviously this is an old post. But I am a College Student in Michigan, majoring in Psychology and specializing in disability studies. I’ve done a lot of work with Autism and plan to continue it. I wanted to start a blog for my adventures. I’m just curious how you got started and if you had any advice on how I should get started or pursue this? I value your opinion as you are an amazing writer and I admire your blog a great deal. Thank you!

    • oh gosh, thanks .. huge question to which i don’t have time to do justice right now, but given how often it’s asked, i might just write it all out into a post one of these days. i’ll try; promise!

  9. I completely agree – good decision. I blog about life as the mom of a child on the spectrum, and after the first couple of posts I went back and changed my children’s names to nicknames. I only use side or back shots of the kids. Hopefullyl it doesn’t seem to impersonal to readers but I figure you can’t be too careful.

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