Archive for November, 2010

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

Are All “Truths” Equally Valid? Comparing the AoAers to Kesey’s Cuckoo

It seems a silly question to ask, given the self-evident answer: we know that all beliefs and opinions are not equally valid. Obviously, it's important to acknowledge that the person who believe so...[Read More]

on 11/30/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

The “Correctness” of Extroversion

Extroverts frequently hold their way to be the "correct" way as their defining traits are considered desirable in Western society.  However, this is an ad populum mindset.  Their ways are desirable,...[Read More]

on 11/30/10 | 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

A Disturbance in the Family

Who are they? Where did they come from? Where did they go? Was there something not quite right about that level of involvement of siblings with each other’s lives? Did they find whatever it was that...[Read More]

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

A Year Ago at Shift Journal

Nut grafs or otherwise relevant excerpts from entries which appeared last year at this time. • • • • • • • • 2009 •  Predictions Writing these daily en...[Read More]

on 11/29/10 | No 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

If I Could Rewrite the DSM-IV Criteria for Autism (Part Two)

Part Two Diagnostic Criteria for 299.00 Autistic Disorder How to Tell Whether Someone is Awe-tistic, Period (I) A total of six (or more) items from (A), (B), and (C), with at least two from (A)...[Read More]

on 11/26/10 | No Comments | Read More

If I Could Rewrite the DSM-IV Criteria for Autism (Part One)

The very idea that autism appears in any book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is deeply offensive to me.  When I venture in and try to make sense of the current sp...[Read More]

on 11/26/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

The Long Hard Winter

My mother-in-law, who grew up in the rural American South in the wake of the Great Depression, has a lot of interesting expressions that she uses in conversation.  For instance, if someone tells her ...[Read More]

on 11/24/10 | 4 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

A Year Ago at Shift Journal

Nut grafs or otherwise relevant excerpts from entries which appeared last year at this time. • • • • • • • • 2009 •  Autism, Dance, Performance and Mir...[Read More]

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

Forget False Dichotomies: The Bell Curve of the Autism Community

Diane Yapko writes an interesting piece at PsychCentral on neurodiversity, noting that the stark contrasts that many would place, neurodiversity versus cure, on the autism community, really don't...[Read More]

on 11/19/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

“Impaired” Theory of Whose Mind (ToWM)?

According to most scientific literature, an impaired Theory of Mind (ToM) is a core component of autism.  In his 2001 paper Theory of mind in normal development and autism, Professor Simon Baron-Cohe...[Read More]

on 11/18/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

Talking to Ourselves

It's not uncommon for autistics to talk out loud about things that come to mind.  There are different situations in which this might happen.  Sometimes it's just a matter of echoing written input, s...[Read More]

on 11/17/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Bullying (Part 8): Bullying Differences – The Solution

In my previous post, I discussed the problem.  It is my opinion (it would by a hypothesis if I had the means and training to test it), that much of bullying based on prejudice stems from systemic fla...[Read More]

on 11/16/10 | 1 Comment | 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

The Politics of Autism: Finding a Cure vs. Neurodiversity

In a recent interview I did with Steve Silberman (The Well,, Neurotribes and winner of the 2010 Kavli Science journalism award) he asked me what I thought about the "politics of autism" obs...[Read More]

on 11/15/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

A Year Ago at Shift Journal

Nut grafs or otherwise relevant excerpts from entries which appeared last year at this time. • • • • • • • • 2009 •  Neurodiversity Deep Sea Diving We...[Read More]

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

Call for Submissions: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose by Autistics in Mid-Life

Statement of Purpose I plan to publish an anthology of poetry and prose by people on the autism spectrum, aged 35 and over.  I welcome all pieces of writing about your feelings about being autisti...[Read More]

on 11/12/10 | No Comments | Read More

Ten Questions That Make My Head Hurt

Okay, so I’ve got some questions: 1. Why is it perfectly okay for a child to rock back and forth sitting on a swing, but not rock back and forth sitting on the floor? 2. Why is it perfectly o...[Read More]

on 11/12/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

Bullying (Part 7): Bullying Differences – The Problem

One of the things that spurred my series on bullying—before the news decided that bullying was a hot issue and before I realized October was Bullying Awareness month—was a post written by Clay. ...[Read More]

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

Stories of Our Lives

Although blogs have become very popular in the past few years, most blogs currently online are no longer active.  Sometimes that's because a person starts a blog and then gets too busy to keep it goi...[Read More]

on 11/10/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

The Myth of Extrovert Empathy

Popular belief would have it that being effusively social in nature is to be more empathetic, more in tune with others’ feelings.  I would say from personal observation however that the opposite is...[Read More]

on 11/9/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

No Rest for the Obsessive

I've done some more work on my old list of autistic fictional characters, giving it a spruce-up and adding stuff.  I hope it now looks a little bit less ancient and neglected.  This list of mine ...[Read More]

on 11/9/10 | No Comments | Read More

That’s Not What I Hear

"So, okay," I said, moving on to the next topic. "'Why do noises bother Bud?'  Well, we said that our brains control all of our senses, and that means that sometimes Bud's hair-dryer-brain senses are...[Read More]

on 11/8/10 | No Comments | Read More

Going Back to the Place You Lived as a Kid for Pictures to Remember

This “short” was retrieved from the personal journal of a reader who wishes to remain anonymous, on the occasion of his reading Gwen McKay’s The Paradox of Changing the World with Words. Shot th...[Read More]

on 11/8/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

A Year Ago at Shift Journal

Nut grafs or otherwise relevant excerpts from entries which appeared last year at this time. • • • • • • • • 2009 •  Neurodiversity and Speech The mal...[Read More]

on 11/8/10 | No Comments | Read More

Neurodiversity, Self-Determination, and the Magic Pill

Every now and then, I get caught up in the whole question of a cure for autism. It’s not that I believe that a cure is possible.  I don’t.  How can you cure who I am and leave me whole?  How...[Read More]

on 11/5/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Introverts, Asperger’s, Autism

It has occurred to me that many aspies and autists exhibit exaggerated or acute forms of typical introverted traits. In a previous post, I examined the concept of schizoid personality disorder as...[Read More]

on 11/4/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

The Early Years

How did people go about raising children in prehistoric times?  Researchers considering this question have extrapolated from their studies of currently existing aboriginal cultures, identifying com...[Read More]

on 11/3/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

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