Alicia Trautwein is an Autism Advocate, Writer, Motivational Speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals. This week she discussed her website The Mom Kind, a resource hub offering a unique perspective to parenting children on the autism spectrum (especially multiple children).
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a mother?
One of my biggest struggles as a mom has been balancing, giving my children all the attention they need while also taking care of myself. Like many mothers, I always want to put the needs of my children first. Having four children, three with special needs, there is a ton they do need from me. The problem, though, is when you do not take care of yourself, you get to a point where you cannot take care of anyone else either.
What inspired you to start your blog?
When our two youngest children were diagnosed with Autism just six weeks apart, I went online to find information and advice on parenting multiple on the spectrum. I also wanted to find information on parenting girls with Autism. However, the only thing I found online was research-based papers and very general information. When it came to Autism in girls, I found only one article that just listed possible symptoms based on one woman’s experience. One piece on the entire internet, can you believe that?!
From there, I realized if there was nothing about parenting multiples on the spectrum or autistic girls, I needed to share our story. My goal was to at least give some hope or inspiration from our account. Since there was no information, I started my own research. I began reaching out to specialists from around the world. Now, almost five years later, I have been so blessed to provide education, inspiration, advice, and sometimes a good laugh to thousands of parents worldwide.
What is your mission through your blog?
My mission through our website and social media is to help as many parents as possible and to provide a community where parents feel they are not alone. There are so many parents of autistic children that are struggling right now to get the resources they need. Worldwide, Autism is still not greatly understood or accepted. I have many parents from all over the globe reach out through our social media and email to ask about how to help their children when their country does not offer resources for Autism. While there is an awareness here in the US, there are still many things lacking when it comes to educating parents on what to expect and how to help their children thrive.
How long did it take to grow your blog?
It took about a year before I started seeing real results in the form of traffic and interaction. I did not have a huge budget to start up with, so I had to put in the hard work myself. For the first three years, I have routinely worked 50+ hours a week on the website. Now, I still work forty hours or so a week so that I can continue growing.
What work do you do outside of your blog?
A lot of my time writing and working on the website is done after the children go to bed. Since the kids have been home full time, I spend a lot of my time working with them so that we do not experience too much regression before school starts back. As a family, we enjoy going on nature walks and geocaching. When I have a few minutes by myself, I love to read.
Do you have advice for any aspiring bloggers?
The first piece of advice I have for aspiring bloggers is to put the time into your website and do it right from the start. Significant numbers of traffic and money are everyone’s goals, but that only comes with real hard work. Make sure to practice proper grammar, master your SEO skills, and figure out your niche. Finally, and most importantly, stay true to you! The one advantage you have over everyone else in your niche is your own viewpoint and life’s experience. Not everyone is going to like you, and that is okay! You want readers that know they can count on you to stay original. Those readers will be the ones to carry you to your dreams!
You can also check out Alicia’s Autism Parenting podcast where she discusses topics that affect everyday life on the spectrum.
Alicia also offers a free ebook for parents starting out their journey with autism titled Autism, A Parenting Journey: An Insight into Parenting Autistic Children in the 21st Century.