Allen Frances gave us the Asperger’s “epidemic” — just like Al Gore gave us the Internet

NPR ran a story yesterday about the controversy over the exclusion of Asperger’s from the DSM-V. The story did not really cover the controversy so much as provide a platform for Allen Frances to pr... [Read More]

on 01/6/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

More to Ask, More to Tell

I got an email from President Obama on Saturday; it was one of the periodic updates he sends out to his mailing list of campaign supporters. In announcing the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’... [Read More]

on 12/22/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

Which War Are We In: Good vs. Evil, or The One vs. The Many?

Gwen McKay with what has become trademark optimism remarked in a comment the other day that “Right now I’d say that we are going through a long-term process of discarding our collective identity a... [Read More]

on 12/10/10 | 13 Comments | Read More

Imagine a World Where Aspergers Was the Norm

Imagine a world where Aspergers was the norm, and non-autistics or neurotypicals were the minority. Let’s try it: Those who feel the need to constantly be with a variety of friends are considered f... [Read More]

on 12/3/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

The False Choice of Participation

In any given society, among the greatest of crimes and taboos is simply non-participation in the group’s sanctioned practices and customs. This is a reality to which the extrovert remains oblivious... [Read More]

on 12/2/10 | No Comments | Read More

Are All “Truths” Equally Valid? Comparing the AoAers to Kesey’s Cuckoo

It seems a silly question to ask, given the self-evident answer: we know that all beliefs and opinions are not equally valid. Obviously, it’s important to acknowledge that the person who believe som... [Read More]

on 11/30/10 | 3 Comments | Read More

The “Correctness” of Extroversion

Extroverts frequently hold their way to be the “correct” way as their defining traits are considered desirable in Western society. However, this is an ad populum mindset. Their ways are ... [Read More]

on 11/30/10 | No Comments | Read More

Forget False Dichotomies: The Bell Curve of the Autism Community

Diane Yapko writes an interesting piece at PsychCentral on neurodiversity, noting that the stark contrasts that many would place, neurodiversity versus cure, on the autism community, really don’t ex... [Read More]

on 11/19/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

“Impaired” Theory of Whose Mind (ToWM)?

According to most scientific literature, an impaired Theory of Mind (ToM) is a core component of autism. In his 2001 paper Theory of mind in normal development and autism, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen... [Read More]

on 11/18/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

The Politics of Autism: Finding a Cure vs. Neurodiversity

In a recent interview I did with Steve Silberman (The Well, Wired.com, Neurotribes and winner of the 2010 Kavli Science journalism award) he asked me what I thought about the “politics of autism” ... [Read More]

on 11/15/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Ten Questions That Make My Head Hurt

Okay, so I’ve got some questions: 1. Why is it perfectly okay for a child to rock back and forth sitting on a swing, but not rock back and forth sitting on the floor? 2. Why is it perfectly okay for... [Read More]

on 11/12/10 | 5 Comments | Read More

Neurodiversity, Self-Determination, and the Magic Pill

Every now and then, I get caught up in the whole question of a cure for autism. It’s not that I believe that a cure is possible. I don’t. How can you cure who I am and leave me whole? How can y... [Read More]

on 11/5/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Intersection of Autism and Politics (not where you think it is)

“If we were a voting block, we could run the country.” That’s the phrase I kept coming back to eleven or twelve years ago now, when the full extent of autism’s unbroken spectrum first came i... [Read More]

on 10/22/10 | 6 Comments | Read More

Are Autistics More Honest? If So, What Then?

The placement of Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s Word of Honor immediately prior to this entry is intentional, as it makes for an opportunity to bring up some related observations about autism and honesty... [Read More]

on 10/15/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Identity Politics and Neurodiversity

We’ve had some discussion here on Shift Journal recently about the extent to which characters and behaviors should be described as autistic. Mark Stairwalt speculates that when people feel unco... [Read More]

on 10/13/10 | 10 Comments | Read More

Ari Ne’eman, Behavior-Modding the Lovaasians

The showbiz maxim “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” is one that was nicely illustrated less than a month ago at MTV’s Video Music Awards, when Taylor Swift gave over her entire spotligh... [Read More]

on 10/8/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

How I Feel About Those Who Want a Cure

Please be warned: If you’re hoping for an anti-curebie tirade, you won’t find it in this post. Likewise, if you’re hoping I’ll say that autism is a disease that must be eradicated, you also ... [Read More]

on 10/5/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Wealth, Power, and the Future Thereof

Can American democracy survive what seems to be an alarming concentration of wealth and power? That’s a question often asked nowadays, as statistics show that income inequality has become much more... [Read More]

on 08/25/10 | 1 Comment | Read More

Autism’s Overton Window

I don’t think any of us would call it a game, but I’ve noticed a number of people who write or comment on autism sites seem to approach the issue of defining autism as a “zero-sum game,” in th... [Read More]

on 07/30/10 | 11 Comments | Read More

Children of Lilith (autism contemplated from a silent and considerable height)

“Longevity, like intelligence or good looks, is largely a matter of heredity,” writer Edward Abbey noted, adding, “Choose your parents with care.” Our parents also pass on to us their stories... [Read More]

on 06/18/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

… It’s Hard to Remember Your Original Objective Was to Drain the Swamp

(continued from When You’re Up to Your A** in Alligators) With that in mind then, how to make full and best use of a site like Shift Journal? Actually a tiny, excellent example happened just thi... [Read More]

on 03/12/10 | 4 Comments | Read More

When You’re Up to Your A** in Alligators …

One thing I’ve kept an eye on over the six months since Shift Journal launched has been, “What can we be doing here that isn’t already being done well elsewhere?” Last weekend KWombles and I e... [Read More]

on 03/12/10 | 2 Comments | Read More


Sometimes I ask for feedback on pieces I’ve written before I post them, and sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a reply that’s in itself more compelling than what I’d intended to post in the fir... [Read More]

on 03/5/10 | 2 Comments | Read More

Geeks and Nerds: Autism’s Proxy Warriors

Two articles from the New York Times and one from Wired.com this week have been taking a look at what I’ve long seen as a proxy war between the autistic style in American culture and its detractors.... [Read More]

on 12/25/09 | 1 Comment | Read More

Time for this Elephant to Leave this Circus

Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and Limbo.  Those were the four big places to go. The weirdest of all was Limbo.  Limbo was where they sent unbaptized babies.  The reasoning was, “It wasn’t their faul... [Read More]

on 11/13/09 | 6 Comments | Read More

Notes on Three Dursleys

I THINK IN PICTURES. Words are like a second language to me.  I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head.  When someb... [Read More]

on 10/9/09 | No Comments | Read More


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 08/31/09 | No Comments | Read More

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