Thursday, 4 July 2013
We Need to Talk About...?
I had bookmarked David Mitchell's article in The Guardian about his son's autism earlier in the week. Finally got around to checking it out today. It really moved me. I highly recommend reading it. I imagine you'll identify with a lot of it if you know somebody who is dealing with autism. And even if you don't, a little empathy wouldn't hurt ahead of any possible future encounters.
One of my sons (fondly referred to as the mancubs on Twitter) has special needs. He isn't autistic. His diagnosis has been recorded as Global Developmental Delay (GDD) in the absence of a more accurate description. He does display some behaviours consistent with autism and attends a special school with a number of other autistic children, however.
I wrote about my son for a Life Writing assignment during my MA in creative writing. It was a therapeutic experience and I've toyed with the idea of working on a non-fiction book about him. But I'm not sure how fair it would be. He didn't choose to have a father that happens to be a writer. Is it ethical to write about somebody who hasn't given you permission to do so, and if he did, might not understand the consequences of such a book going to publication?
Perhaps I could change names to protect the innocent and try to sell it under a pseudonym. It might not help to have a crime fiction writer attached to the project anyway. Could even be detrimental.
But this is a book that keeps asking to be written.
What to do?
All suggestions/opinions welcome.