I recently submitted a proposal to do a workshop for the Romance Writers of America's annual conference. The workshop is on the different ways which people express emotions non-verbally and is based on lists I created to help teach Alex and Nathan to read non-verbal expressions.
As part of the proposal, I explained that I created this workshop because I was the mother of two autistic boys and I created a tool to help them which ended up being useful in my writing. I felt I needed to explain some credentials since I'm not a psychologist or a behavioural specialist.
I recently presented the same workshop at the Ottawa Romance Writers' Association and it went over well, so I don't think I'm misrepresenting my expertise. But it feels strange to use something I created to help my boys to also help myself.
It's funny how easy it is to feel like a fraud. I spent two years researching my list (and continue to research) but because I don't have a university-backed piece of paper, I feel as if I'm somehow being presumptuous.
Maybe it's just the lingering effects of having been sick and exhausted and dealing with sick and exhausted family members for the last two weeks. Or maybe it's just a manifestation of our quick-to-judge society or my own insecurities. Either way, I think I just need to grit my teeth and stop internally apologizing so I can move forward.