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

Lamppost Hierophant

This poem was written for Sam Drezner, the son of filmmaker Todd Drezner who has released a new documentary, Loving Lampposts. Todd and his wife Erika discovered that Sam was autistic shortly before ... [Read More]

on 07/14/11 | 1 Comment | 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.” Wiilu... [Read More]

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

Autism’s Mirror

There was nothing but the roaring sound of rubber spinning on asphalt at a hundred and ten kilometres per hour. In Perth everyone lives as far away from everyone as they possibly can. So it was anot... [Read More]

on 06/28/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Music and the Positive Side of Auditory Processing Disorder

Most of you know my challenges with my auditory processing condition: difficulties filtering sound, fatigue when trying to carry on a conversation with too much ambient noise, words getting jumbled i... [Read More]

on 06/24/11 | 2 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

Of Spice, Epicureanism, and Masochism: Confessions of an Aspergian Food Lover

One day this past week, my fiancé and I went to Lotus Grill, a Chinese eatery that is near where I work. A few weeks back, the owner’s son had given us a Chinese menu, which is a little different ... [Read More]

on 06/17/11 | 5 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 unnotice... [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 Subtle sense of humor

When exposed to group humor, one who doesn’t quite belong must always be under pressure to dissimulate and hide behind a smile. Not only is there nothing to laugh at, it is just another potential so... [Read More]

on 05/30/11 | No Comments | Read More

What Does “Play” Look Like?

Back when Willy was diagnosed with autism, we were told about all the things he would “never” do. Anyone who has read this blog for a while probably realizes that all these things the doctor said... [Read More]

on 05/20/11 | 4 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

It’s Not About Us: Debunking Neurodiversity’s Hero Myth

Avedon Carol at The Sideshow marked the passing of writer Joanna Russ this week in a post that quoted Russ’ observation that ”Homophobia isn’t there to keep homosexuals in line. Homophobia is th... [Read More]

on 05/6/11 | 14 Comments | 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

Color (a modest plea)

“It [autism] delays the most — delays or impairs for life — the most human thing we have, which is our ability to look into each other’s eyes and feel that other person’s existence and what ... [Read More]

on 04/28/11 | 5 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 v... [Read More]

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

She’s Such a Scream (Is there a transitive property to autistic characteristics?)

Coffeehouse musicians sometimes employ a bit of stage banter that plays on everyone’s rudimentary knowledge of music theory; following a well-received song, they will with tongue-in-cheek earnestnes... [Read More]

on 04/22/11 | 2 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

Ableism on Display: The New York Times Review of Wretches and Jabberers

The March 31 issue of the New York Times includes a short review of the film Wretches and Jabberers, a documentary that details the work of two autistic men as they travel the world to change hearts a... [Read More]

on 04/13/11 | No Comments | Read More


If the very existence of one’s proclivities and personality is deemed an illness, a blight, simply the wrong answer to what society desires: … ... [Read More]

on 04/11/11 | 3 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

Introvert Hobbies

Extreme introverts are able to go through life believing they are the only one because all others, like them, are driven underground. However one can find members of a tiny minority by going to places... [Read More]

on 04/4/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

From the Link Cellar this Week

Fresh, resurrected, or newly discovered links from across the internet and the dusty reaches of Shift Journal’s archives. • • • • • • ... [Read More]

on 04/4/11 | No Comments | Read More

When Objects Resonate with Memory

Over at Kitaiska Sandwich, Sarah has a great post about the upset that her autistic son feels when things get broken or spilled. In reflecting upon the reasons for M’s upset, she finds that his res... [Read More]

on 03/31/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Review: All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

Both my children are on the autism spectrum. Since my son Nicholas is almost twelve and higher functioning professionals who meet him for the first time always assume he has Asperger Syndrome. This ... [Read More]

on 03/31/11 | No Comments | Read More

How To Have A Successful Relationship When One Or Both Partners Has Aspergers

Of course it is possible to be on the autism spectrum, or to be in love with someone on the spectrum and have a happy, successful love life. However, while all relationships are complex, there are uni... [Read More]

on 03/31/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

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