Archive for September, 2011

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

Autism War Fizzles Out

Five years ago, the Combating Autism Act was passed with great fanfare, authorizing a billion dollars in federal spending for autism research.  The act's proponents made clear, in language every b...[Read More]

on 09/30/11 | No Comments | Read More

Welcome, Crow’s Eye Readers

We've been getting a significant traffic bump from the recent comments thread and/or the blogroll (thanks, Jack) over at political blog The Crow's Eye, and since it may not be readily apparent what t...[Read More]

on 09/29/11 | No Comments | Read More

Advice For Children, Unsolicited

Do not trust knowingly decent people. It isn't their native temperament. They want more than simple kindness, or good faith. They want security, the promise of reward, or to pretend that they can ha...[Read More]

on 09/28/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Asperger, Self-diagnosis and the Media

I am aware that the TV show Glee portrayed a self-diagnosed Aspie (someone with Asperger) as someone using this as an excuse for being a jerk. Not only could this not be farther away from the truth,...[Read More]

on 09/27/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Extrovert Success and the Introvert

What kind of life in society is considered a success?  In obituaries we see ‘was a great person/parent’ and all kinds of statements, but never do we see ‘This person was successful.  In thei...[Read More]

on 09/26/11 | No Comments | Read More

A Question of Humanity?

Autism is often referred to in ways that dehumanize autistic people: That autism leaves a child seemingly soul-less; that the person once present in that body and mind is now missing or unreachable....[Read More]

on 09/23/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Unwarranted Conclusions and the Potential for Harm: My Reply to Simon Baron-Cohen

I want to thank Simon Baron-Cohen for taking the time to respond, in his September 10th post on the Autism Blogs Directory, to one of my early pieces on autism and empathy. I am very gratified that h...[Read More]

on 09/21/11 | 9 Comments | Read More

A Safer World

Over the past decade, the United States and other countries have worked to stop terrorism, educating citizens to recognize and report potential dangers. Some terrorist attacks have indeed been preven...[Read More]

on 09/20/11 | No Comments | Read More

Extroverted Critic: “You Need to Be More eMOtional”

“Sometimes you need to let go man and just go with your eMOtions. You think too much.” What Subtle person hasn’t spent years getting bombarded with this platitude? The critic is usually wel...[Read More]

on 09/19/11 | No Comments | Read More

Sometimes it feels like Nice is a Dirty Word.

Being polite is this really tricky thing for me. On one hand, I know that I struggle with being polite, even when I mean to be. There’s lots of little things that even after ages of studying, I...[Read More]

on 09/16/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

Thoughts on Visual Thinking and Empathy

A comment left on one of my posts a few weeks back got me wondering about the connection between visual thinking and empathic response. About the idiom “It’s raining cats and dogs,” Lauren wro...[Read More]

on 09/15/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

The Vividness of Memory

On September 16, my daughter will fly to California to begin life at UC Santa Cruz. These days, I find myself reliving much of her childhood in my memory: The rainy winter night we brought her home ...[Read More]

on 09/15/11 | 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

Introverts: Denizens of a Social Ghetto

When we say the word ghetto, we generally think of rap, thugs, and crime.  What we usually think of  is a modern economic ghetto, a neighborhood where all the poorest people live  and can’t aff...[Read More]

on 09/12/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

The Empathy Issue Is a Human Rights Issue

Empathy. For most people, the word is synonymous with humanity. The American Psychological Association calls empathy “the trait that makes us human.” 1 According to author D.H. Pink, empathy i...[Read More]

on 09/9/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Inside and Outside Safety

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.” -Zora Neale Hurston I think sometimes when we talk about “passing” versus visibility we forget what that ...[Read More]

on 09/7/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Aliens Invade Psychiatric Conference

Autistics Blamed, As Usual:  Confusion in Satire City Earlier today, a small group of extraterrestrial visitors landed their flying saucer in the courtyard of a convention center just as an Amer...[Read More]

on 09/6/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Introverts, Social Loyalty, and Social Immunity

A Subtle person often grows up an outsider and never really bonds with their birth society.   Not only do we lack commonality with the whole, we might very well also have feelings of resentment af...[Read More]

on 09/5/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Introvert Survival: Reducing Your Profile

If you’ve ever seen an oil painting or engraving of two men with dueling pistols, you might have noticed that they have both turned their bodies sideways with their arms tucked behind them so that...[Read More]

on 09/5/11 | No Comments | Read More

A Critique of the Empathy Quotient (EQ) Test: Conclusion

When I first began writing this critique, I tried to take the EQ test, and I found myself so stymied by it that I gave up. As a person who arrives at the “big picture” by putting together all th...[Read More]

on 09/2/11 | No Comments | Read More

A Critique of the Empathy Quotient (EQ) Test: Part 3

In Part 1 of this series, I outlined the basics of the EQ test, introduced the definition of cognitive empathy assumed by the authors of the test, and critiqued the statements on the EQ test that sp...[Read More]

on 09/1/11 | No Comments | Read More