We Are the People Who …

One of the struggles autistic people have begun to join over the last decade or so is over who is to be allowed to define autism, and on what terms. Is it to be defined from the outside, by those who... [Read More]

on 07/23/10 | 8 Comments | Read More

Working, Working … In Which I Make Progress

See that gap between the second and third mulberries? That right there, my friends, is progress. It better be progress as it took a couple hours yesterday to do. I am currently fortifying myself wit... [Read More]

on 07/20/10 | No Comments | Read More

Autistic Grit

First, obsessions. Dr. Michael Burry, according to the profile of him woven into Michael Lewis’ The Big Short, is a man of serial obsessions. His Aspergers diagnosis was arrived at during the cour... [Read More]

on 07/16/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

Morning Symphony

The vertical blinds that cover my kitchen’s sliding glass door are closed against the glare to the east. On this clear July morning, the heat already has started to build. The air conditioner ... [Read More]

on 07/14/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Telling Ourselves New Stories

Tattoos, like other forms of art within our society, are a way of making connections with others and statements about personal identity. When gang members go straight, they often have one or more tat... [Read More]

on 06/23/10 | No Comments | Read More

Autism and the Enlightenment: Sleeping Dogs And Sleeping Giants

I don’t expect that Shift Journal is unique in pursuing this line of thought, but it strikes me that three contributors have now seen fit to comment on the relationship of autistics and “belief.�... [Read More]

on 06/11/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

Randall Munroe Gets It

Minutes before I was going to post what I’d had prepared for this morning, I ran across today’s xkcd web comic, and will likely not be able to get to sleep without writing about it. It features t... [Read More]

on 05/21/10 | 1 Comment | Read More


On top of my bookshelf I keep a Prosperity Tree, which is by far the most ridiculous gimmicky item I own. It’s about the same height and width as my open hand and has pale blue silk flowers, a ... [Read More]

on 05/12/10 | No Comments | Read More

Mountain Goats of the Uncanny Valley

Now that the subject of autism and the uncanny valley has been laid on the table, I’d like to draw on that metaphor by sharing some further imagery that offers new ways to think about autistic peopl... [Read More]

on 05/7/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

The Dark Side Of Theory Of Mind?

“Our reputation-conscious ancestors would have experienced a pervasive feeling of being watched and judged, he says, which they would readily have attributed to supernatural sources since the cognit... [Read More]

on 04/20/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Normie (part two)

In a part of his brain that he seldom communicated with, but fortunately, was ultimately in charge, he knew that the only way he was going to be able to live and support himself would be to join the N... [Read More]

on 04/6/10 | No Comments | Read More

Normie (part one)

How he hated that name, how it made him shrink to hear it. For the longest time, he thought it was the cause of all his problems, the snickering, the disrespect he had endured. He cursed his mother ... [Read More]

on 04/6/10 | No Comments | Read More

Virgil Caine’s Autism

Last November while weighing in on the proposed changes to the DSM which will drop Asperger’s Syndrome as a diagnostic category, I quoted George Carlin’s take on Catholicism’s Limbo as a way to ... [Read More]

on 03/26/10 | 2 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 cur... [Read More]

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

Neurodiversity, Primary Process and Theory of Mind

Imagine that ten years from now autism and Asperger’s are still on the rise. It is discovered that aboriginal matrifocal societies often exhibit what Gregory Bateson described as primary process. �... [Read More]

on 01/7/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Autism as a Secret Society

The idea that autism is humankind’s oldest and largest secret society is one I’ve suggested on this site more than once; here I’d like to explicitly make the case for that idea. Memb... [Read More]

on 01/1/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

He’s Canadian, You Know

“He’s Canadian, you know,” yields 30,800 hits when entered in a Google search, while about half that many are returned for “She’s Canadian, you know.” The phrase is a sort of running in-j... [Read More]

on 12/18/09 | 2 Comments | Read More

Autism, Dance, Performance and Mirroring

Jacqui Russell is the artistic director of Chicago Children’s Theater. My good friend Arnold April mentioned to me the unique program that Jacqui manages at Agassiz Elementary School in Chicago... [Read More]

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

Neurodiversity, Neuropsychology and Evolution

In ancient cultures across the world, there are myths describing a time when women controlled society with a magic more powerful than men’s. These stories go on to describe that there is a loss of t... [Read More]

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

Still a Crowded Room

“Stick to the image” is perhaps the most concise advice one can come away with from James Hillman’s archetypal psychology.  When trying to see through to what is happening in a dream, or in an ... [Read More]

on 10/2/09 | 1 Comment | Read More

Enhanced Gaydar

I have friends with gaydar. Usually women, these friends can conclude a guy is gay after a brief conversation. I don’t think it’s the way they dress or the way they talk. It’s a childlike aspect... [Read More]

on 09/24/09 | No Comments | Read More

Calling the Children Home

As a white boy in the Chicago suburbs who devoured every jazz biography I could get my hands on, my first encounter with the idea of “calling the children home” was a snippet from Nat Shapiro and ... [Read More]

on 09/15/09 | No Comments | Read More

Evolution and Succession of Obsessions

My father was a collector. He maintained a stamp and coin collection. He also had a large collection of tools, including the various gadgets and accoutrements targeted to achieving something useful ... [Read More]

on 08/28/09 | No Comments | Read More

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