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

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

Shake Your Sillies Out

Once I'd wrapped up the "language" portion of the presentation, it was time to address some of the questions that Bud's classmates had about his sensory issues. "Okay," I said. "Next question. So...[Read More]

on 11/1/10 | No Comments | Read More

From the Pro-Neurodiversity Trenches

Early intervention and treatment is important!  If caught early enough, negative attitudes toward autism and other disabilities can be minimized and even reversed! Read more below to see what happ...[Read More]

on 10/28/10 | 7 Comments | Read More

Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Strong

Before I continue telling you about the class presentation, I just want to thank you for the response that these posts are getting.  I'm a bit overwhelmed, but I'm also delighted that so many of you ...[Read More]

on 10/25/10 | No Comments | Read More

Meanings, Feelings, and Wacky Hair

It occurs to me that I left out a critical piece of information that you'll need if you want to have an accurate mental picture of the circle of children and teachers I faced in Bud's classroom last w...[Read More]

on 10/18/10 | No Comments | Read More

A Hair-Dryer Kid in a Toaster-Brained World

Okay, so:  the presentation. First, I should tell you that we orchestrated it with the stealth of CIA operatives.  We didn't want Bud to see me in the building, because we knew that my presence w...[Read More]

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

Circle of Friends

It was incredible. I met with Bud's class today at lunchtime.  I was expecting it to go well.  I was actually expecting it to be great.  But, I'm telling you:  IT.  WAS.  INCREDIBLE. I c...[Read More]

on 10/4/10 | No Comments | Read More

Wearing Masks, or, Thoughts on Foxes

Last October I wrote a short little blurb on passing, using the mythos of the kitsune as an allegory.  Mark e-mailed me back in April about his newest essay on the Uncanny Valley.  Long e-mail now s...[Read More]

on 09/28/10 | No Comments | Read More

Opportunity, Possibility, and Community

I've been given an incredible opportunity.  It's been two weeks since the opportunity was presented to me, and I'm still reeling from the possibilities it holds. I've already told you that Bud's ...[Read More]

on 09/27/10 | No Comments | Read More

Autism as Adverb

As I've mentioned, I'm currently reading Lev Grossman's latest book, The Magicians.  I'm bringing it up again because in the last couple of chapters, I've twice come upon adverbs that made me stop re...[Read More]

on 09/23/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

Why We Fear Passion

"We fear it. We fear passion, and laugh at too much love and those who love too much. And still we long to feel.” -- Jeanette Winterson We long to feel.  This is the irony of a child l...[Read More]

on 09/14/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

My Children Want You To Know

My children want you to know that being of few words does not mean being of little intelligence. My children want you to know that being socially awkward doesn't mean they cannot be wonderful, kind...[Read More]

on 08/19/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Be the Change: How to Shift Autism into the Mainstream

I have a neighbour who can’t say "autism." Both of us having two young kids, we had a casual chat on the lawn the other day as neighbours often do, about the usual stuff.  Except of course, the ...[Read More]

on 08/12/10 | 7 Comments | Read More

Theorem of Compassion

The old trope that autistic people are so withdrawn that they cannot connect to the world, and thus they are inherently selfish and disconnected from people ... they cannot empathize with people ... t...[Read More]

on 06/28/10 | No Comments | Read More

A Changeling’s Alternate Reality Story

A tale of becoming, in others' eyes, something not quite human... You ought to have known better than to walk out of your house, late at night on Halloween, while dark wisps of cloud were briskly blo...[Read More]

on 05/3/10 | No Comments | Read More

Passing For Neurotypical

Officially, we don't exist. The hordes of psychological "experts" who regularly comment on the supposed near-impossibility of productive, independent lives and successful marriag...[Read More]

on 04/23/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

Social Anxiety and Autism

I am aware I have a subtly different style of communication and can see how it contributes to social anxiety.  I tend to stare at the floor and listen.  This way, I can usually get the context of a ...[Read More]

on 04/22/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Road Less Travelled

We all know them, there is a certain tribe amongst us neuro diverse people who speak of cure and curse what they might have been but for the 'demon' of autism that possesses them. They tend to be r...[Read More]

on 04/19/10 | No Comments | Read More

Tips For Socially Awkward Geeks (According to Stanford)

Or perhaps more accurately, according to a certain student at Stanford.  Wait, shoot!  I broke the rules! Philip Guo has a write-up of rules for the successful social interaction of geeks.  Real...[Read More]

on 04/14/10 | No Comments | Read More

Mark Ty-Wharton Speaks

You might not expect an adult diagnosed with autism to be a public speaker, especially an adult with a long history of social anxiety, who gets caught out by the occasional bout of depression. And wh...[Read More]

on 04/12/10 | No Comments | Read More

A Tale of Two Rivers

The following is an informal continuation of Laurence Arnold's musings on autism as geography, featured recently in this space under the title Rainbows End. I suppose I ought to comment on the curr...[Read More]

on 03/25/10 | No Comments | Read More

I Am ——— . . . Who Are You?

I am told I am "sick," that I am "disabled," that I am "abnormal" and that a cure is being searched for for my "condition" and others who suffer from it. So I ponder and back I trace to when I coul...[Read More]

on 03/24/10 | No Comments | Read More

Rainbows End (a landscape model of autism)

I am not a scientist; indeed like Moliere's Monsieur Jourdain I only recently discovered that I have been a Whorfian [1] relativist all my life.  I am in a sense a consumer of numerous scientific and...[Read More]

on 03/22/10 | No Comments | Read More

Melting Down an Autism Stereotype

By now, I expect we've all seen plenty of articles, books, and other media depicting the "autistic meltdown," wherein a slight change in routine supposedly triggers some kind of massive brain shor...[Read More]

on 03/18/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Ghost Dance

The Native American tribes of the Northern Plains, forced onto reservations and near starving in 1890, were drawn in large numbers to a new religion called the Ghost Dance. Led by the shaman Wovoka, t...[Read More]

on 01/25/10 | No Comments | Read More

Autism, Mysticism, and the Natural Self

There is a common phrase that “there is a fine line between genius and insanity.”  I think that line is just the lines imposed by the extreme sensitivity of unorthodox people.  Specifically, I a...[Read More]

on 01/20/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

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