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

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

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

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

The Eternal Song, Part Eighteen: Coda

The hiking trail was well maintained, wide and smoothly graded, where it led inland from the beachfront hotel. Elaine Dalton looked up from her brightly colored map of tourist attractions, noticed th...[Read More]

on 08/24/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Seventeen: Nightfall

Awiyan counted the stars in the clear sky above the foothills. The familiar patterns of the constellations gave her comfort in a world where so much was changing. She could sense the uncertainty fro...[Read More]

on 08/17/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Sixteen: Unicorn

As Riadne descended the mountain, the bare rock beneath her sandals gave way to hard-packed earth dotted with small shrubs and thin, dry tufts of grass. The afternoon sun had been warm enough, at the...[Read More]

on 08/10/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Fifteen: Ebb Tide

Clumps of seaweed cast up on the rocky beach shriveled and stank under a hot cloudless sky. In the tide pools, small fish darted back and forth while crabs scuttled across the pebbles. Apart from th...[Read More]

on 08/3/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Fourteen: Light

Rain, shadows moving, dim fragments of sight. Not much pain, now. The poppy draught had taken Eldest Grandmother’s pain away. It brought sleep, and tangled thoughts. Hushed voices of women, ...[Read More]

on 07/27/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Thirteen: Pilgrim

Awiyan had picked dandelion greens all morning in the foothills of the mountain, just above the fog line where the rainforest ended. The gentle slopes, sunlight, and colorful spring flowers almost ma...[Read More]

on 07/20/11 | 8 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Twelve: Priestess

As if welcoming a guest to her home, Riadne had swept the cave’s floor and had brought pine branches inside. The fragrant branches both decorated the altar and covered the uneven granite; it was st...[Read More]

on 07/13/11 | 104 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Eleven: Scout

The morning sun seemed too bright to Iwai’s mistrustful eyes as he emerged from the thick fog surrounding the forest. He had gone hunting with his brother many times on these grasslands and had pla...[Read More]

on 07/6/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Ten: Lost

Broken sobs woke Wiilu again, finding their way into dreams of fear and pain that dissolved into the heavy midnight air and left only fragments behind. “The Gods have left us. We are lost.” ...[Read More]

on 06/29/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Nine: Mountain

The stony ground under Riadne’s feet seemed almost as familiar to her as her lost home, although she had marked no path through the stunted trees and thorny bushes. Where the light tread of her lea...[Read More]

on 06/22/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Eight: Forest

Overhead the tree rats chittered, hidden by a thick canopy of laurel leaves. Birds chirped and trilled. A light drizzle fell, its soft patter a near-constant background noise that went almost unnoti...[Read More]

on 06/15/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Seven: Shards and Dust

Leaving Wiilu to raise the alarm, Riadne took a short detour to her potter’s shed just outside the village. The long shelves held jars, bowls, and other crockery. She spared them no more than a br...[Read More]

on 06/8/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Six: Warning

The berry bushes on the slope of the valley had produced a good crop this season. Wiilu dropped another big juicy handful into her basket, which was close to overflowing. Because the weather had bee...[Read More]

on 06/1/11 | 6 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Five: Gifts

Tahu-at had meant to speak with Awiyan early in the day, but she was in the temple. No man could set foot there. A small cave, nestled into the side of the valley and sacred to the Earth Goddess, it...[Read More]

on 05/18/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Four: Midsummer

Awiyan woke screaming before dawn, gripped by terror that had no name. In her dream she had seen the village on a sunny day, with everyone going about their usual work. Then a dark cloud swept into ...[Read More]

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

The Eternal Song, Part Three: Hunters or Hunted

Already the sun had traveled well past its midpoint, and Tahu-at had not seen even one antelope. They were fewer each year, as the settlers took more of the island’s grasslands to pasture their she...[Read More]

on 05/4/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part Two: Rehearsal

As she had been taught, Wiilu took a deep breath and imagined strong magical energy flowing through her body before she began to sing. She was to be a vessel only, a conduit between earth and sky, a ...[Read More]

on 04/27/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

The Eternal Song, Part One: Beauty

Looking down into the narrow ravine, the goatherd Ko-ato saw only a glimpse of the swift-running stream beneath the laurel trees. The sound of its rushing waters, fed by snowmelt from the island’s v...[Read More]

on 04/20/11 | No Comments | Read More

Finding Balance

We’ve recently had some discussion here on Shift Journal about Dan Haggard’s article on the hacker/artist divide, in which he points out that the two groups are much more alike than they may seem....[Read More]

on 04/6/11 | 6 Comments | Read More

Empathy Awareness

Popular actress Kate Winslet has announced that she is writing a book to promote autism awareness and to raise money for an autism charity she founded, the Golden Hat Foundation. The book will featur...[Read More]

on 03/30/11 | No Comments | Read More

False Friends

We’ve all seen it happen many times on the Internet. People with similar interests get together and form a community, sharing their ideas on how to change the world. They find solidarity, friendsh...[Read More]

on 03/23/11 | 3 Comments | Read More


My daughter went back to college on Sunday at the end of her spring break, after complaining at great length—both on her Facebook page and to anyone who would listen in real life—that it had been ...[Read More]

on 03/16/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

Small Changes

The news about my oven is not all stinky, I’m glad to report. I bought a new pair of cloth oven mitts, which arrived in the mail last week. While this may seem a trivial everyday purchase, it wasn...[Read More]

on 03/9/11 | No Comments | Read More

Clearing the Air

Last week I stunk up my kitchen and house by letting the oven go too long without being cleaned.  I had noticed in December that it was starting to get dirty, but I thought it could wait for a day wa...[Read More]

on 03/2/11 | 5 Comments | Read More

The Autism Gene: Maybe Not So Scary

The eugenic annihilation scenario has been giving the autistic community nightmares for the past six years, ever since Dr. Joseph Buxbaum predicted in a notorious article that genetic research would l...[Read More]

on 02/23/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

Elephant on the Loose

As Shift Journal’s sidebar indicates, we spend a lot of time around here discussing alternative ways of defining autism.  That discussion got particularly lively over the past two weeks, with mu...[Read More]

on 02/16/11 | 5 Comments | Read More

Action Words

Among the many ideas that have been put forward in recent years to explain an apparent increase in the autistic population is the concept of assortative mating.  According to this hypothesis, today�...[Read More]

on 02/9/11 | No Comments | Read More

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