On Going Viral, Writing Week, First Week of August 2019

This week, two articles were published. I’m completely exhausted.

I always put a lot of time into publicizing my articles when they come out. I post info on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and two websites. Then I monitor who’s saying what about me and retweet/link/thank when necessary. Those chores are par for the course with any article that I do. It usually takes a full morning to do take care of that business.

On top of those usual publicity chores, this Monday, I had an article go viral. On 9am on Monday, HuffPost published a personal essay about traveling with my kid and dealing with some intolerance about his autism. They put it on their front page under “What’s Hot” for half the day. And they simultaneously sold it to Yahoo News.

It was shared far and wide. It may have been the most shared article that I’ve ever written. (Note to self: personal essays work you.)

I dipped into the long comment threads on both websites and was a little horrified. Yes, most people loved it, but there was some people who thought that I was evil or made up the story. A few people recommended violence to my child. One guy said that I should beat him, another said he should be drowned in a bathtub. Several said that he should have been aborted.

I’ve been writing for the Internet for a loooonnnnggg time, so I’m used to people telling that I’m an asshole. It’s yet another lovely part of doing business these days and doesn’t bother me in the least. But I’ve never had anybody discuss hurting my kid in such graphic language.

I thought I was going to puke.

But I’m not going to stop writing. F@ck ’em. (It does help that my kid has a different last name than me.)

My other article was about students who are completely confused about the college process and don’t get enough help. I really like those kids. We need to do better for them.

It’s a short day for me, because I have to go see Ian’s final computing showcase mid-afternoon; he made the Pong Game, using C++. I have time to do some work on the newsletter. A fellow special ed mom in town is a marketing guru, and she’s going to make a logo for me. When I’m done, I need to use another part of my brain. I’m going to hit some estate sales and look for treasures.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

4 thoughts on “On Going Viral, Writing Week, First Week of August 2019

  1. Don’t read the comments!!!! Esp on something personal…. Get someone else to read them and alert you to anything worth looking at.
    Congrats though, on going viral. You deserve it – just not the bad consequences!


  2. HB said,

    “Don’t read the comments!!!!”

    I love twitter and the back and forth between people I read can be very funny, but as soon as I get more than a few inches into most threads, the comments from random people start getting really stupid. I’ve been trying to make an effort to stop reading as soon as I hit the stupid layer.


  3. I enjoyed reading your article on traveling with your autistic son. As a licensed therapist who has worked primarily with children and teens with OCD, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD/ADD and Autistic spectrum disorders, I completely agree with everything in your article, however, OCD doesn’t result in tics but rather compulsive movements. Compulsions are repetitive, ritualistic behaviors that are usually associated with an obsession and are performed to relieve the tension and anxiety associated with the obsession.

    Tic disorders are neurological conditions composed of involuntary movements (motor tics) or sounds (vocal tics).Tics like lip licking, making vocal sounds or saying words that can’t be inhibited, or having to move an arm, shoulder or foot is due to an automatic vocal or movement that is not normally chosen.

    However, it could be your son is OCD and his compulsions reduce his anxiety. With Tourette Syndrome the sounds and movements also can be exacerbated by anxiety but also create anxiety when in public where they are noticed and not always in a good way.

    The only reason I wanted to clarify the differences is due to the many people reading your article may think that OCD has tics.

    I hope your article will be shared with the various airlines where like in many schools nowadays, teach the school janitor or librarian,who are included with the teachers in a workshop about the multiple signs and sometimes invisible signs of a childhood disorder. Our special needs sons and daughters all grow up to be adults but shouldn’t have to be insulted, ignored, verbally abused and stared at by ignorant people around us in their formative years.
    P.S My son was diagnosed by a 4th grade teacher who was familiar with Tourette Syndrome due to being educated by parents of another child the year prior. She sent me a short article on the signs to look for. His pediatrician never picked up on it as my son was physically developing normally and was considered to be gifted intellectually.

    Also, even expressing her opinion that your son was rude, is not something that flight attendants should ever say to a passenger unless they are being verbally attacked.

    I applaud your honest yet sad story of what so many of us mothers with special needs children have to put up with in today’s world.


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