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

Caregiver angst writing

The recent explosion of the #youmightbeanautismparentif tag on Twitter and the Stephanie Rochester case are two good reasons to spend some time thinking about the “caregiver angst” genre: writing...[Read More]

on 12/21/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Metaphors for mental illness

Last summer, my son began having severe, unexplained panic attacks several times a day. At the time, my only framework for understanding his symptoms was the medical model of mental illness. I was i...[Read More]

on 12/6/11 | No Comments | Read More

Putting the Pieces Together

When M was two, a spilled glass of water could send him into a meltdown.  We didn’t have a diagnosis yet, and this behavior was one of the early red flags.  His response to a spill (or an object...[Read More]

on 03/17/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Born That Way

In a doctor’s office when M is 18 months old, he is sitting in a corner reciting a book out loud as he turns the pages, giving a convincing impression that he is reading.  The doctor and medical as...[Read More]

on 01/13/11 | 5 Comments | Read More

Allen Frances gave us the Asperger’s “epidemic” — just like Al Gore gave us the Internet

NPR ran a story yesterday about the controversy over the exclusion of Asperger’s from the DSM-V.  The story did not really cover the controversy so much as provide a platform for Allen Frances to ...[Read More]

on 01/6/11 | 4 Comments | Read More


I am reading through the parent handbook provided by our son’s speech therapist and I reach the section that begins, “Autistic children do not know how to play.” Although I cringe when I read...[Read More]

on 12/16/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Alien Baby

… come back and look at your autistic child again, and say to yourself: “This is not my child that I expected and planned for. This is an alien child who landed in my life by accident. I...[Read More]

on 11/26/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Re-education: Why do we insist on speech therapy for “high-functioning” kids?

When my son was diagnosed with Autism, the assessment team gave us a detailed report of all of his “deficits” — mostly his communication style.  His eye contact was not typical.  His speech wa...[Read More]

on 10/14/10 | 8 Comments | Read More