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

Cohabiting with Autism

“Moms living with autism share their stories!” the headline proclaims. I know what it means. I know what it always means. And I know it will provoke some degree of wrath in me, but I click it a... [Read More]

on 05/19/11 | No 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

Redundancy Cushioning

Most Westerners hold mass society as the self evident highest virtue. Yet mass society is a force of nature independent of human needs and desires. Mass society can be considered independent from thes... [Read More]

on 05/16/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Autism, Disability, and the Obligation to Get Well, Part Two

As a result, we find ourselves in the vortex of a great deal of distortion for wanting to simply be at peace with ourselves and carve out a meaningful life. It’s as though, having given up our “p... [Read More]

on 05/13/11 | No Comments | Read More

Autism, Disability, and the Obligation to Get Well, Part One

I’ve recently begun reading Robert Murphy’s The Body Silent, one of the great books on the social and cultural context of disability. Murphy, a professor of anthropology at Columbia, became a qua... [Read More]

on 05/13/11 | 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

The Listener Test

“At work today, I was socializing with two extroverted co-workers. I wasn’t completely comfortable, but I was able to get a few words in every once in a while. Then, a third extrovert came up, and... [Read More]

on 05/9/11 | No Comments | 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

You keep using that word …

“Bullying” seems to be the word of the week here in the autistosphere, and some much-needed attention is being given the harm done by bullies and their supporters. There seems, however, to be a b... [Read More]

on 05/5/11 | 1 Comment | 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

A Glimpse of Success

… And, for me, that’s success. Explanation. Acceptance. Move on. Maybe it’s lack of imagination, but I really don’t envision a time where everyone just understands. I communicate with ... [Read More]

on 05/3/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Irony of Modern Individualism

Members of the modern industrialized world are typically individualists in the sense of each individual competing for maximum gain with every other and thereby raising overall standards for all. This ... [Read More]

on 05/2/11 | No Comments | Read More

When Is a Disability Not a Disability? Autism Speaks Has the Answer

When is a disability not a disability?  When it is a “disorder.”  Geri Dawson of Autism Speaks made that clear yesterday in her report out from the Research and Innovation session at the White H... [Read More]

on 04/29/11 | 12 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

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

Social Choreography/The Mark of Cain

Quite simply, some of us never picked up basic social norms during childhood. Consider: one can almost tell a Brit and an American apart by their age lines. Each adheres to a different set of ortho... [Read More]

on 04/25/11 | No 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

An Open Letter to Robert MacNeil Regarding PBS’ Autism Now Series

Dear Mr. MacNeil, It has come to my attention that you are spreading dehumanizing stereotypes about us. In an interview to promote your upcoming series, Autism Now (formerly Autism Today), you said t... [Read More]

on 04/18/11 | 7 Comments | Read More

The Myth of Introvert Sociopathy

The stereotype in real life and in Hollywood is that serial killers or those who go on shooting rampages are nearly always described as being “really quiet.” I have repeatedly had people jokingly... [Read More]

on 04/18/11 | 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

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

Because Screaming Gets Boring After a While

I’d been on something of a hiatus from online autism advocacy, because I’ve had a real life, and because even my perseverant spirit can occasionally be worn down by circular arguments upon circula... [Read More]

on 04/8/11 | No 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

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

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

Dispelling Ten Myths About Introverts

As most SVP readers know far too well from first hand experience, the myths about introverts abound. If you get tired of being misunderstood by friends, family, and coworkers, consider printing this ... [Read More]

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

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