Although I started my daily blog on January 19, 2013, tomorrow is New Year’s Day and, in the spirit of ‘carving nature at it’s joints’ I feel that this is the time to commemorate my first year in the blogosphere.
Original mission statement
Part of my mission statement was a pledge to offer my thoughts and experiences dealing with my older brother who is low functioning, nonverbal and autistic. I feel that the experience I shared was valuable primarily to parents with both autistic and non-autistic children. I am older than most parents, so I am happy to know that I reached a receptive audience. I deeply appreciate all your comments and acknowledgements.
I believe that the strong, and sometimes negative feelings of siblings of autistic individuals might require a more private forum than a blog. I found an excellent Yahoo group called Sibnet which offers support from other siblings currently in a family dynamic that includes an autistic brother or sister; there is also a group on Facebook, for teenagers, who probably need the most support.
Other points in mission statement
The other statements in my mission are as follows:
- To look at the state of treatment of mental health conditions, past and present;
- To talk about medical ethics regarding mentally handicapped;
- To see if public policy meets the needs of mentally handicapped;
The lion’s share of my posts were dedicated to personal stories about my brother, my family and me. I did address treatment of the mentally handicapped, medial ethics and public policy, but to a much lesser degree.
In the coming year, I hope to populate the proper sections of my blog with the appropriate posts. I regret not having done so thus far.
Reflections about my first post
In my first post, I ended with the statement, “My brother is unreachable: non-verbal, retarded: totally different. What can I do 50 years later?” I arrived at an answer 11 months after that post. I could do nothing more for him. I have done something for myself however, and that was to write and write and write about him and me. As my good friend M told me, the journey was the important thing.
Where to go from here?
I still maintain my interest in neuroscience and will be posting about that in the next year.
I also wish to discover the many different ways that visual artists express themselves. My study thus far of Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism has only touched the surface. I am excited about the prospect of getting into more detail.
I have not abandoned my mission of understanding autistic individuals or those with mental illnesses. I want to broaden that understanding by looking at human creativity in general. I will be approaching this topic by reading the literature about art of the mentally ill (called ‘art of the insane’ in years past), by looking at as much artwork as I can and by trying to put into practice what I have learned by painting.
Speaking of painting
Here is some progress from yesterday’s icon experiment:
Have a Happy and Health New Year Everyone!