A Year Ago at Shift Journal

Nut grafs or otherwise relevant excerpts from entries which appeared last year at this time.


•  Neurodiversity and Speech

The male autistic is extremely maturational delayed, often left-handed, sometimes even ambidextrous and often find themselves speech-challenged. I observe an arc of maturational delay that is also an evolutionary timeline representing tens of thousands of years of recent human evolution. It is interesting to me that at the point we began to bridge gesture to speech, there are those who had difficulty making the transition (today’s autistics) and those who made it through (today’s articulate left-handers), who have unusual facility with language. Then, it seems, that second brain type–today’s brain–achieved a more highly desired status and right-handers proliferated. The brain of today became engaged. It has the right hemisphere slightly smaller than the left and the corpus callosum or brain bridge turned from a highway to a footpath. Eloquence diminished.


Autism is not a disease or a disorder. It is a condition that represents an opportunity to discover who we, as a species, really are. Apprehending autism is to penetrate our origins. Grasping these roots requires our bridging ourselves to a world where few words can be saying more than many, and understanding what these few words mean.

Abortion, Female Infanticide and Autism

Among those fathers now easily finding mates are those maturational delayed, noncombative pattern manipulators and creative types. “Wimps”, “nerds” and sensitive males are marrying in greater numbers than in the past. They are giving birth to maturational delayed sons and maturational accelerated daughters, thus introducing to society greater numbers of the autistic (characterized by extreme male maturational delay) than have ever appeared before. Not only has an increase in abortions contributed to a plummeting in crime, abortion has resulted in an increase in autistics as women choose males that would have less problem with her having an abortion. These are nonpatrifocal, relatively female-centric males.

In just the way that Darwin observed humans breeding pigeons, pruning features not desired in an evolutionary thread, humans prune themselves by killing embryos and babies in order to guide society in the direction of matrifocal or patrifocal points of view. There may be few differences between Republicans and Democrats in foreign policy (or domestic policy, in many cases) but there are major differences when it comes to death. How life is trimmed, when the young are killed, has everything to do with how aggressive the future society will be. As long as Democrats struggle to preserve abortion, providing choice for woman whenever possible, the future will be far less aggressive than the past.

Time for this Elephant to Leave this Circus

Which brings me to the only thing I can add to the discussion about the prospect of seeing Asperger’s syndrome folded into the DSM’s classic autism category.  Whatever kind of elephant autism may be, a Manual of Mental Disorders is by definition incapable of seeing it whole, or of defining it as anything beyond a burden. It’s time for this elephant to leave this circus, to move out of mental health Purgatory, out of a manual whose proper business is “mental disorders” and into bigger, nicer, friendlier digs.

Surely there are enough competent professionals—speech and language experts, cognitive psychologists, educational psychologists, among others, and this time let’s not leave out actual autistic people—who would be willing and able to create, say, a “neurodiversity manual” containing guidelines upon which service providers and insurance companies can base their billing codes.  Removing the divisions that come of having multiple DSM diagnoses for autism is all well and good.  As a stopgap, I hope it happens.  Meanwhile however, “a vital ingredient in all great creations in art and science” continues to be pathologized and stigmatized by its inclusion in our manual of mental disorders.

on 11/8/10 in Art/Play/Myth, featured | No Comments | Read More

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