Author Archive

your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful

The thing about not-being-a-person is: They will say those people and the price of being a person is to nod and agree that yes, those people aren’t people at all. They will have no idea who they are talking to. You yourself will start to forget, too. They will say a million small things that sow the seeds for violence done against you, and you will smile and let them. You will do math, constantly. How much do I want to be a person today? How much do I want this project to succeed? How much honesty can I afford? How much dishonesty will kill me? What is the cost of coming out? Is there a way to delay, soften, transmute? How long can I survive as half a person? Ever since the world ended ... I don't go out as much. People that I once befriended, just don't bother to stay in touch. Things that used to seem so splendid, don't really matter today. It's just as well the world ended -- it wasn't working anyway. Your dreams will be reduced down to breathing. [Read More]

on 03/5/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

Trucking Culture and Chicken Crates

This foreword was written by an angry contributor who tracked down Mark Stairwalt last Friday at the loading dock of Thelma and Louise’s farm in Stink Creek, Kentucky.  A heated conversation follow...[Read More]

on 02/17/12 | 4 Comments | Read More

Occupy The DSM (Open Letter and Petition to the DSM-5 Task Force and the APA)

To the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association: As you are aware, the DSM is a central component of the research, education, and practice of most licensed psychologists in the Un...[Read More]

on 10/25/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Book Review: “Blazing My Trail: Living and Thriving with Autism” by Rachel B. Cohen-Rottenberg

"Blazing My Trail: Living and Thriving with Autism" by Rachel B. Cohen-Rottenberg is a "sequel" to "The Uncharted Path" which I reviewed here and followed up here. When we last left Rachel's story...[Read More]

on 10/7/11 | No Comments | Read More

Cats, Dogs, and Asperger’s Syndrome

Imagine for a moment a person who has grown up in a family where they only ever had pet dogs.  Their friends and neighbours had pet dogs – all different breeds, colours and temperaments, but stil...[Read More]

on 09/13/11 | No Comments | Read More

A quicky on the internet and ASD; how something rotten led me to something beautiful

Because the awareness and (arguably accordingly) the numbers of autism, are on the rise, and yet it still remains mysterious and misunderstood, “autism” is an easy term to toss around when you w...[Read More]

on 08/5/11 | No Comments | Read More

Reflections on a Changing World

The neurodiversity movement got its start in the early 1990s, when a few autistic people got together on mailing lists and dared to imagine a day when they would be seen as equals in society. Their c...[Read More]

on 08/1/11 | No Comments | Read More

Autism Research, Prenatal Testing, and “The Autistic Genocide Clock”

As originally posted, this page was a response to an article published on on Feb. 23, 2005, in which Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, a prominent research scientist, predicted that genetic research on a...[Read More]

on 07/19/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

A Strange Encounter

A stranger observed the playground.  The scene was perfectly normal and just a little bit odd at the same time. It was a bit too quiet for a playground filled with so many children.  A nine year o...[Read More]

on 06/16/11 | No Comments | Read More

Normal? No Thanks.

When we try to push our ASD kids into normal or NT behaviours, what does that mean?  After all there's plenty of NT kids and adults I don't want my children to act like.  Rude, aggressive, selfis...[Read More]

on 06/14/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

It Is Never Okay

It is never okay to blame the victim for sexual abuse. Or any other kind of abuse. It is never okay if the victim-blaming is cloaked in “humor.” It is never okay if the victim-blaming is ...[Read More]

on 05/31/11 | No Comments | Read More

Cohabiting with Autism

“Moms living with autism share their stories!” the headline proclaims.  I know what it means.  I know what it always means.  And I know it will provoke some degree of wrath in me, but I cl...[Read More]

on 05/19/11 | No Comments | Read More

You keep using that word …

“Bullying” seems to be the word of the week here in the autistosphere, and some much-needed attention is being given the harm done by bullies and their supporters.  There seems, however, to b...[Read More]

on 05/5/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

When Is a Disability Not a Disability? Autism Speaks Has the Answer

When is a disability not a disability?  When it is a “disorder.”  Geri Dawson of Autism Speaks made that clear yesterday in her report out from the Research and Innovation session at the White...[Read More]

on 04/29/11 | 12 Comments | Read More

Recovery from JSD–My family’s journey

When my husband and I were about to become new parents, we were typically excited, and also typically naive.  We fantasized about our new family and the life our daughter, Serenity Grace, would ha...[Read More]

on 04/26/11 | No Comments | Read More

Autism Acceptance for Autism Awareness Month

Well, Shakers and public, it is April, and that can only mean one thing to this autistic blogger:  Autism Awareness Month is here for another 30 days, and without a time machine, there's no escapin...[Read More]

on 04/15/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Because Screaming Gets Boring After a While

I’d been on something of a hiatus from online autism advocacy, because I’ve had a real life, and because even my perseverant spirit can occasionally be worn down by circular arguments upon circu...[Read More]

on 04/8/11 | No Comments | Read More

Autistics Speaking Day

Being autistic is being set up to fail again and again, and having your inevitable failure attributed to your disordered brain. Being autistic is being set up to fail again and again, and succe...[Read More]

on 04/5/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Dispelling Ten Myths About Introverts

As most SVP readers know far too well from first hand experience, the myths about introverts abound.  If you get tired of being misunderstood by friends, family, and coworkers, consider printing t...[Read More]

on 04/4/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

To Old Friends and Family

When I speak of Autism, please know I love your support and understanding. When I speak of my Autistic children, please know I understand them very well because I’ve been diagnosed myself. Whe...[Read More]

on 04/1/11 | No Comments | Read More

Review: All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

Both my children are on the autism spectrum.  Since my son Nicholas is almost twelve and higher functioning professionals who meet him for the first time always assume he has Asperger Syndrome.  ...[Read More]

on 03/31/11 | No Comments | Read More

Theories of Autism: Lessons from Dr. House

I've just been watching House.  I say watching.  To be honest, the details of this week's plot passed me by as I was trying to follow it whilst simultaneously eating my dinner and having a conver...[Read More]

on 03/25/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Wandering: A Dangerous New Proposal

Last week, the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee met to discuss the future of medical coding in the United States. The ICD-9-CM stands for the International Classification of Diseases, N...[Read More]

on 03/14/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

The Ones Who Make a Brighter Day

The story continues, and it just gets more magical. In the days that followed my meeting with Bud's classmates, every afternoon yielded a new surprise as I unpacked Bud's backpack and unearthed the...[Read More]

on 12/27/10 | No Comments | Read More

Wrapping Up and Moving On

I wrapped up my presentation by thanking the kids for inviting me in to talk with them, and I asked if they had any questions. "Is 'The Upside Down Show' a real show?" Noelle asked. "It sure is,...[Read More]

on 12/20/10 | No Comments | Read More

With a Little Help from My Friends

"The last question that many of you asked," I said, "was my favorite question:  How can I help? "I’ve already given you some ideas – talking slowly, giving Bud lots of time to answer questions...[Read More]

on 12/13/10 | No Comments | Read More

I am made of books (and trillions of microorganisms)

Biologist Lynn Margulis was recently quoted in the New Yorker saying “there is no such thing as an individual. Humans are walking, talking microbial vats. Nearly all the DNA in our bodies belongs to...[Read More]

on 12/7/10 | No Comments | Read More

Different Like Me

"The next question that some of you asked," I said, fast-tracking toward the finish line, "was 'Does Bud know he's different?' "And the answer is:  I think he does, but it doesn't bother him.  Bu...[Read More]

on 12/6/10 | No Comments | Read More

Where Are We Headed?

I realized that we were nearing the end of the time we'd allotted for the classroom presentation.  The boys who'd gone to recess had returned in the middle of the last question, and I knew I'd need t...[Read More]

on 11/29/10 | No Comments | Read More

Friendly Talk

I looked at the next question in my notes, then at the eager faces of Bud's classmates, and I smiled. "The next questions you asked," I said, "were 'How can I be a better friend to Bud?' and 'How...[Read More]

on 11/22/10 | No Comments | Read More


"The next question that some of you asked," I said, "was about why Bud misses me so much when he's at school.  And some of you asked why he gets so attached to some adults at school and always want...[Read More]

on 11/15/10 | No Comments | Read More

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