Am I More Than My Autism? I Refuse to Answer the Question

In the past week, I’ve read two articles in which mothers of autistic children wrote that their children are “more than their autism.” Something about this assertion has been bothering me, and ... [Read More]

on 08/17/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

Goodness of Fit

This post is about pigeon holes. I have AS. I am in the process of being re-diagnosed as HFA, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, or whatever it will wind up being called on my chart given the changing term... [Read More]

on 08/9/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Autistic Imagination: Nothing Is Impossible

Research on creativity has shown that autistic children, when asked to draw a person or thing that could not exist, find it very difficult to do so. Creating more realistic images, however, does not ... [Read More]

on 07/21/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Missing The Point

So let’s talk about the two, interconnected, obligatory buzzwords in the “autistic community” today: “neurodiversity”, and “cure”-specifically, a “cure” for autism. Also a... [Read More]

on 07/19/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

Differences (moving past a deficit-based model of Autism)

I’ve been doing some reading, on Amanda Baggs’ site, various articles linked to from Neurodiversity, and other random internet ramblings. I’ve been trying to give my internet explorations some ... [Read More]

on 07/15/10 | No Comments | Read More

No More Disorders: Debriefing from DSM Diagnoses

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself moving further and further away from the mental health profession and its view of the world. It’s always difficult to know how these things begin, espe... [Read More]

on 07/12/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Big Trucks and the Work that Needs Doing

Years ago, before the coming of the cell phone, I was the driver of a Freightliner FLD 120, an imposing, long-nosed boat of a semi tractor that crisscrossed the United States and parts of Canada with ... [Read More]

on 07/9/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Alexithymia, Autism, and the Many Pagan Deities in the Details

One trait commonly associated with autism in the research literature is alexithymia, which refers to difficulty expressing feelings in words. Although many people have had occasional experiences of n... [Read More]

on 07/7/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

Independence and Supports

I am not interested, in this particular post, in explaining why assistance technology and supported daily lives do not detract from independence, or why independence is not necessarily a goal, or why ... [Read More]

on 06/21/10 | No Comments | Read More

Monks, Mystics, and Mindfulness

Before the modern era, an autistic child born into a family of peasants would have been put to work on the farm, where there was no need to develop fluent speech or to understand complex patterns of s... [Read More]

on 06/16/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

On Brain Transplants

Usually I can go a long and happy time without needing to think about the hypothetical “cure” question. But I’ve had a few disparate thoughts lately, probably because I’ve been taking a class ... [Read More]

on 06/14/10 | No Comments | Read More

Knowing the Mind of God

Theory of mind, which is a social reasoning process that involves drawing conclusions about the thoughts underlying others’ acts, includes the tendency of many people to attribute intent and pur... [Read More]

on 06/9/10 | 7 Comments | Read More

More Doing, Less Empathizing

Today’s college students scored 40 percent lower on a measure of empathy than students a generation ago, according to a review study that was presented last week at the annual meeting of the Associa... [Read More]

on 06/2/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

The Unbroken Spectrum: Ridicule

Having come full circle back to the assertion that there is no clear dividing line between the autistic population and the “non”-autistic population, this seems like an apt time to have a closer l... [Read More]

on 05/24/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

See Seven States!

There’s an implicit perspective behind most of what I write here at Shift, and I think behind much of what others contribute, a perspective that’s not exactly a secret, but one that I don’t thin... [Read More]

on 05/14/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Lili Marlene discovers the cause of autism in between bringing the laundry in off the line and washing some dishes

I was recently perusing some back issues of science magazines, and I came across an article about an aspect of human genetics that is interesting but is not currently connected with any “cutting edg... [Read More]

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

You Could Be An Autistic Person If …

you are a very curious person, in both senses of the word you say goodbye to your husband in the morning as he goes off to work, and your heart leaps with joy at the prospect of spending the day home ... [Read More]

on 04/16/10 | 1 Comment | 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 whi... [Read More]

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

Emotions: who is the expert and who is the dunce and what exactly are we talking about?

Over and over again I read that autistic people are disabled in the ability to understand not only the emotions of others, but also our own emotions. Could this mean that the subject of “emotions�... [Read More]

on 04/7/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Autism, Alloparents and Human Evolution

…This feels significant as it relates to autism. Several things come to mind. Autism studies have shown that firstborn children and children born to older mothers are more likely to have autis... [Read More]

on 04/5/10 | 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 scientifi... [Read More]

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

Who ARE You, Really?

Mark Stairwalt, one of the editors over at Shift Journal wrote an article (about me, or a previous post of mine), and brought up something I’ve been meaning to write about. He writes: ̶... [Read More]

on 03/15/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

The Perils of Normalization

How far would you be willing to go for a more attractive and socially pleasing look? Would you choose to sacrifice part of your cognitive functioning, leaving your brain less able to process verbal a... [Read More]

on 03/1/10 | No Comments | Read More

Uncharted Territory of Autism

We all do it, to some extent anyway. Whether we’re neurotypical or neurodiverse, we find it easier to say things that we’ve already said. When President Obama gives a speech, I’m s... [Read More]

on 02/25/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Autism, Asperger’s, and Chicken Broth

Anyone who has been in the online “autism community” for any length of time, whether they’re autistics or parents, knows that there is a sort of person who trolls autistic advocates&... [Read More]

on 02/2/10 | No Comments | Read More

Estrogen, Puberty and Autism

Consider that those female children with low estrogen levels as they cross over into their teens may find themselves experiencing delayed puberty. This may manifest delayed testosterone surges prunin... [Read More]

on 01/18/10 | 11 Comments | Read More

10 Myths About Autism

by Jennifer Johnson Autism and its lesser-known relatives in the autism spectrum of disorders has found itself on the receiving end of a generous amount of attention lately. Affecting around 3.4 out o... [Read More]

on 12/15/09 | 3 Comments | Read More

Who We Are

“Start Understanding Your Website Traffic In Ways You Never Imagined” is the pitch offered by VisitorVille, a service which provides website owners with a Sims-like representation of visitors to e... [Read More]

on 12/11/09 | No Comments | Read More

Reverse Van Winkle

For all that I’m still learning something new every week about what’s been happening with autism in society over the last decade or so, that fact itself provides me with a perspective that is like... [Read More]

on 11/27/09 | 2 Comments | Read More


There was a cascade of insights and epiphanies that was set off for me from coming to the knowledge, at the age of 36, that both myself and a 7-year-old girl who later became my stepdaughter occupied ... [Read More]

on 10/23/09 | No Comments | Read More

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