The “Intense World Syndrome” Theory of Autism

In an October, 2007 article, Henry Markram, Tania Rinaldi, and Kamila Markram of the Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, posit a new theory about how ... [Read More]

on 06/3/11 | 7 Comments | Read More

Recovery from JSD–My family’s journey

When my husband and I were about to become new parents, we were typically excited, and also typically naive. We fantasized about our new family and the life our daughter, Serenity Grace, would have. ... [Read More]

on 04/26/11 | No Comments | Read More

Autism Acceptance for Autism Awareness Month

Well, Shakers and public, it is April, and that can only mean one thing to this autistic blogger: Autism Awareness Month is here for another 30 days, and without a time machine, there’s no escaping... [Read More]

on 04/15/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Autistics Speaking Day

Being autistic is being set up to fail again and again, and having your inevitable failure attributed to your disordered brain. Being autistic is being set up to fail again and again, and succeeding a... [Read More]

on 04/5/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Theories of Autism: Lessons from Dr. House

I’ve just been watching House. I say watching. To be honest, the details of this week’s plot passed me by as I was trying to follow it whilst simultaneously eating my dinner and having a convers... [Read More]

on 03/25/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Putting the Pieces Together

When M was two, a spilled glass of water could send him into a meltdown. We didn’t have a diagnosis yet, and this behavior was one of the early red flags. His response to a spill (or an object acc... [Read More]

on 03/17/11 | 1 Comment | 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

This Too Is Autism

I’m usually content to allow Gwen McKay’s light touch and considerable gift for understatement work their magic on their own but her most recent post titled Fault Lines touched a nerve for... [Read More]

on 02/4/11 | 15 Comments | Read More

Born That Way

In a doctor’s office when M is 18 months old, he is sitting in a corner reciting a book out loud as he turns the pages, giving a convincing impression that he is reading. The doctor and medical ass... [Read More]

on 01/13/11 | 5 Comments | Read More

Exploring Time

Over the holidays, I spent some time reading a popular book that I got as a Christmas gift: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s about the author’s experiences of spiritual growth and self-... [Read More]

on 01/5/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Ones Who Make a Brighter Day

The story continues, and it just gets more magical. In the days that followed my meeting with Bud’s classmates, every afternoon yielded a new surprise as I unpacked Bud’s backpack and unearthed th... [Read More]

on 12/27/10 | No Comments | Read More

Why people with Aspergers seem so awkward around others

Non-autistic people or neurotypicals see safety in numbers. We see threat. Unless we are shipwrecked and have been floating at sea in a dinghy for four days with no food we don’t see safety in othe... [Read More]

on 12/23/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Wrapping Up and Moving On

I wrapped up my presentation by thanking the kids for inviting me in to talk with them, and I asked if they had any questions. “Is ‘The Upside Down Show’ a real show?” Noelle asked. “It sure... [Read More]

on 12/20/10 | No Comments | Read More

With a Little Help from My Friends

“The last question that many of you asked,” I said, “was my favorite question: How can I help? “I’ve already given you some ideas – talking slowly, giving Bud lots of time to answer questi... [Read More]

on 12/13/10 | No Comments | Read More

Different Like Me

“The next question that some of you asked,” I said, fast-tracking toward the finish line, “was ‘Does Bud know he’s different?’ “And the answer is: I think he does, but it doesn’t both... [Read More]

on 12/6/10 | No Comments | Read More

Where Are We Headed?

I realized that we were nearing the end of the time we’d allotted for the classroom presentation. The boys who’d gone to recess had returned in the middle of the last question, and I knew I’d n... [Read More]

on 11/29/10 | No Comments | Read More

Friendly Talk

I looked at the next question in my notes, then at the eager faces of Bud’s classmates, and I smiled. “The next questions you asked,” I said, “were ‘How can I be a better friend to Bud?’ a... [Read More]

on 11/22/10 | No Comments | Read More


“The next question that some of you asked,” I said, “was about why Bud misses me so much when he’s at school. And some of you asked why he gets so attached to some adults at school and always... [Read More]

on 11/15/10 | No 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... [Read More]

on 11/8/10 | No Comments | Read More

The Early Years

How did people go about raising children in prehistoric times? Researchers considering this question have extrapolated from their studies of currently existing aboriginal cultures, identifying common... [Read More]

on 11/3/10 | 3 Comments | 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 que... [Read More]

on 11/1/10 | No 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 y... [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 la... [Read More]

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

Grieving the Dream and Living What Is

When I first began delving into the words written by parents of autistic children, I found myself troubled by phrases like “the heartbreak of an autism diagnosis.” At the time, I was just beginni... [Read More]

on 10/12/10 | 2 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 woul... [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 can’t eve... [Read More]

on 10/4/10 | 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... [Read More]

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

Choosing How We View the World and Our Place In It

Here, in West Texas, the heat’s still on. It’s fair week here, so we’ve had the typical showers that everyone associates with fair week. We are, believe it or not, into the fourth week of the ... [Read More]

on 09/16/10 | No Comments | Read More

On Intelligence, Perhaps

So I’m back in Lifeskills for a few weeks, hanging with my favorite AAC-using kids, and it’s got me thinking about the nature of intelligence and intellectual disability. And so I will ramble and... [Read More]

on 08/23/10 | No Comments | 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

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