There are lots of autism bloggers, and lots of single moms with kiddos on the spectrum. Lots of us have learned so much from experience, and lots of us want to share that because we know how hard it can be. And there a few of us who have the ability to make a few bucks doing this.
Way back when I started this blog, one of the things that inspired me was the inability to find existing social stories online that weren’t for sale. I was tired of being nickel-and-dimed for every little resource I needed for The Boy. Others had experienced just what we were going through, and someone had to have a social story already written, so that I wouldn’t have to re-create the wheel every time, but they were all for sale. And money is hard to come by when your paying for uninsured therapies, prescriptions, diapers or your 5 year old… It’s tough.
I have long considered trying to take this blog to the next level, and maybe “go pro” which means trying to attract companies to advertise here. Most bloggers do this, and I don’t see it as trying to make money off of other autism or special needs parents. Advertising is everywhere, and I don’t think anyone would see this as a blogger trying to take advantage of her audience.
There are other bloggers that sell stuff on their sites, as well. And I think we have to be very careful when we head in that direction. T-shirts are one thing. Resources are another. Trust me – I understand the sentiment behind it – when you work hard to create something, you have a tendency to want to protect it, and while you want to share it with the world, you feel you deserve something in return. I get it. But we cannot forget that person on the other end, spending money on therapy, weighted blankets, chewies, and special gluten-free ingredients. Our community needs to remain one in which we share resources at little cost, and respect each other’s struggles. If we forget that, we’ve lost our way.