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... [Read More]

on 03/5/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

Trucking Culture and Chicken Crates

This foreword was written by an angry contributor who tracked down Mark Stairwalt last Friday at the loading dock of Thelma and Louise’s farm in Stink Creek, Kentucky. A heated conversation followe... [Read More]

on 02/17/12 | 4 Comments | Read More

Hard Work, Highway Safety, and the Road Ahead

The smart money never would have bet that Shift Journal would come as far as it has. This was the case for a number of reasons, only one of which I want to talk about below. And for as far as we’ve ... [Read More]

on 02/6/12 | 3 Comments | Read More

Brief Hibernation

Apologies for the light posting as we gear up for an ambitious year. Encouragingly enough traffic remains strong, however the winter break anticipated late last year seems to have finally arrived. Fre... [Read More]

on 01/27/12 | No Comments | Read More

Why Serpents, Dragons, and Shift (part 2)

As I move back toward discussing Shift Journal, it bears mentioning that Andrew Lehman is a man who continues to have an extraordinary and privileged relationship with his unconscious. He had shared e... [Read More]

on 01/23/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

Predictions (regarding aspects of autism)

Writing these daily entries, I discover something new almost as often as I record something I’ve earlier discovered. A year ago this is what I collected connected to the hypotheses or predictions of... [Read More]

on 01/23/12 | 3 Comments | Read More

Tolkien the Introvert

J.R.R Tolkien was the sort of man who tended to stick close to an adored few friends and family. He was an academic who spoke awkwardly and had an uncharismatic presence. He loved obscure subjects tha... [Read More]

on 01/23/12 | 5 Comments | Read More

Why Serpents, Dragons, and Shift (part 1)

You may know Shift Journal as the home from which Julia Bascom’s essay The Obsessive Joy of Autism went viral late last year, to the tune now of over 40,000 pageviews. If you’ve been payin... [Read More]

on 01/20/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Internet and the Iceberg Whole

Item: Ensign James “Peewee” Cobb, at 5’6”, 124 pounds, and 23 years old—in Pat Frank’s 1959 Cold War thriller Alas, Babylon—distinguishes himself as the only pilot in Fighting Forty-Fou... [Read More]

on 01/19/12 | 1 Comment | Read More

Can One Assign the Wrong Intentions to Triangles?

I’ve recently run across two studies in which an ability to impute mental states and empathize with others was measured by having the research participants look at inanimate objects moving across a ... [Read More]

on 01/16/12 | 6 Comments | Read More

Emergence (Shift Journal Inaugural Keynote)

On the autism rights and neurodiversity blogs in July last year, fury erupted around the radio show host Michael Savage’s comments that autistic kids were brats. Savage said that autism was a “fra... [Read More]

on 01/16/12 | No Comments | Read More

Introverts and Night Clubs

Night clubs embody a mentality that is inimical to my own. That is exactly why I have been drawn to them on occasion. To grow we all need challenges and changes. Putting oneself in an unfamiliar insec... [Read More]

on 01/16/12 | 6 Comments | Read More


I’m tired of being misrepresented. I’m tired of seeing the principles of self-advocacy misrepresented. And I’m tired of seeing the autism rights movement misrepresented. Let me be cl... [Read More]

on 01/13/12 | 5 Comments | Read More

Non-speaking, “low-functioning”

I am autistic, non-speaking. I am also labeled “low-functioning”. This label is a pre-judgment based on what I cannot do. It makes people look at me with pity instead of trying to get to know me, ... [Read More]

on 01/11/12 | 67 Comments | Read More

Introducing The Loud Hands Project

Julia Bascom, author of “Quiet Hands” and “The Obsessive Joy Of Autism,” is launching a new project, pursuing ends that parallel and surpass some of the goals pursued at Shift Journal over the... [Read More]

on 01/9/12 | No Comments | Read More

Beyond Introvert Survival: Finding Allies in an Extroverted Society

For many introverts who find themselves isolated, the advice they receive seems reasonable enough: “Get out more. Meet some people.” Yet in practice it never seems to work. One ends up exhauste... [Read More]

on 01/9/12 | No Comments | Read More

The Sad Art of Gaslighting

You know you’re in a full blown Gaslight Effect when you find yourself second guessing your own reality; when you’re unsure of what you really think and feel. Why? Because you’ve allowed someone... [Read More]

on 01/6/12 | 4 Comments | Read More

Saving a Theory, Dismissing its Subjects

… There I was, enjoying a quiet day at home, reading by the woodstove, minding my own business, and wanting nothing more than to have an enjoyably uneventful time, when I stumbled upon the follo... [Read More]

on 01/3/12 | 1 Comment | Read More

Introvert vs. Extrovert: Restaurants

I found the ideal sort of introverted restaurant in England. It’s a dying breed of restaurant except perhaps in the countryside where only 20% of the country’s population lives. It’s another B... [Read More]

on 01/2/12 | 8 Comments | Read More

Anatomy of an Autistic (V/V)

Anatomy Of An Autistic So it looks as if I have two options. Pass and learn, perfect, the art of being a person I’m not. Or don’t, and let everyone else define me as some entwined version of monst... [Read More]

on 12/30/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

Anatomy of an Autistic (IV/V)

Anatomy Of A Monster And what none of us passers want to talk about is what our passing does to those who can’t. Passing is necessitated because without it, we would be stuck being a Scary Disabled ... [Read More]

on 12/29/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Anatomy of an Autistic (III/V)

Anatomy Of A Passing Person Passing is…. Passing is… Well, passing is difficult, first of all. It’s constant anxiety, calculation, cognition, because remember, those of us who pass are trying to... [Read More]

on 12/28/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Anatomy of an Autistic (II/V)

Anatomy Of A Meltdown My brain likes to alternate between being made of swiss cheese (full of holes to fall in and through and down) and wax (for optimal melting). I have meltdowns a lot, in part beca... [Read More]

on 12/27/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

Anatomy of an Autistic (I/V)

Writing is a struggle against silence. ~Carlos Fuentes Passing as a non-autistic, passing as neurotypical, means that you never get to actually be human. Be a person. You just learn how to get really ... [Read More]

on 12/26/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Path That Chose Me

These past few days, I’ve been realizing that, from the time I was small, I’ve lived with an odd kind of bifurcated consciousness about myself. On the one hand, I was The Child Destined to Do Grea... [Read More]

on 12/23/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

How far can autistic culture develop without excluding neurotypical people? (2011 redux)

How far can autistic culture develop without excluding neurotypical people? For many years I have been married (to the same guy). It’s obvious to me that we are both on the autistic spectrum, even ... [Read More]

on 12/22/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

Caregiver angst writing

The recent explosion of the #youmightbeanautismparentif tag on Twitter and the Stephanie Rochester case are two good reasons to spend some time thinking about the “caregiver angst” genre: writing ... [Read More]

on 12/21/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

LA Times Scooped by Shift Journal (seven times)

Directly in the title of the fourth and final installment of a series on autism which has been by turns both predictably biased and reasonably informative, the LA Times last Friday ventured to print w... [Read More]

on 12/20/11 | No Comments | Read More

The Misery of “Happy” People

Surely a culture where everyone must smile must be a happy culture? Surely a merry holiday must be the happiest time of year? Surely a stunning model makes everyone feel good about themselves. Alas,... [Read More]

on 12/19/11 | No Comments | Read More

If Public Opinion Penned an Autism Diagnosis …

I’ve spent far too much time lately fighting with those who have no understanding of what is required for an autism diagnosis. The arguments and myths I’ve encountered are at times upsetting, and ... [Read More]

on 12/16/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

« Older Entries