When it comes to sharing photos online – parents are either for it or against it. Either way, it’s not a decision parents make lightly. And it’s often the subject of great debate.
I’ve been blogging for almost four years, sharing our autism journey and pictures of my son, Norrin. When I first started blogging, I didn’t think about privacy. I just wanted to share our story. When I would tell people that Norrin was autistic, they would question the diagnosis. “Are you sure? He doesn’t look like he has autism.” Blogging and sharing Norrin’s picture became my way of showing the people in our lives what autism “looked like.”
I understand why parents are cautious when it comes to sharing photos online of their children. As parents, we want to protect our kids. We want to protect their privacy and shield them from ridicule and criticism.
When it comes to sharing photos online, there are things I consider before posting pictures of Norrin. And the older Norrin gets, the more careful I am about what I share. I don’t share pictures of Norrin that are embarrassing or portray him in a negative light. I don’t share images that reveal our address or where he goes to school. I’m not using social media to publicly punish my child. I share pictures that reflect his personality while still being respectful of his pride and privacy.
It’s been six years since Norrin was diagnosed, but stigma still surrounds autism. And within the Latino community, children are diagnosed much later than white children because parents are unaware and don’t know the signs of autism.
I use Norrin’s picture because I want people to see beyond the diagnosis. I want them to know that Norrin has autism. And I want them to know that he’s okay. I want people to see all the amazing things my kid can do, all the challenges he’s overcome and I want them to understand him without judgment.
Over the years I’ve wondering if I have a right to blog about my kid. I’ve questioned whether it was right to post his photos all over social media. But when I think about why I started to blog and the need to share what autism looks like, I believe that for us – sharing our photos online is the right thing to do.
How do you feel about sharing your child’s photos online?