Welcome, new readers. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please be advised that, due to the way my brain functions, my typical pattern of online presence consists of 1-5 days of intense activity, followed by weeks or even months offline. I am trying to learn to engage on a more regular basis, but my disabilities don't… Continue reading Welcome!
This blog is where I write primarily about disability rights, drawing both from my job as a caregiver and from my own experiences as a person with chronic illness. I have a BS in psychology, with a concentration in cognitive and neuro psych. Since graduation, I have worked as a psychology research assistant, tutor, and as… Continue reading Things that need saying
I often think of things from the perspective of a scientist or engineer trying to solve a problem. It can help bridge the gap between different communication styles, such as autistic and non-autistic, in a way that respects both. Here is an example: Autistic children are often taught to look up and make eye contact… Continue reading Behavior diagrams and flow charts
A recent outing with a client taught me a lot. It was one of the days when I take him out somewhere rather than spending time at his home. We've been using a small handful of snapshots on my phone to communicate for the past couple months. It's not ideal, but it's something easily portable… Continue reading Perspective
I am having trouble using language lately, so this will be short. We talk about presuming competence, or intelligence, or potential, in autistic people. But that doesn't mean the person can always act on their understanding. Someone who struggles with OCD knows that it isn't necessary or even healthy to wash their hands 100 times… Continue reading Don’t Mistake Inability for Not Understanding
I haven't posted here recently, and I generally try to avoid political posts. But this isn't a political position; it's a philosophical stance: Black Lives Matter. Period.
I don’t want you to feel at ease. I want you to know that you are the byproduct of a successful racist regime that has capitalized off of Black oppression and suppression for centuries. I want you to shed light on the corners of your subconscious you’ve glossed over for years. I want you to… Continue reading Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do
[slightly expanded from my social media post] The light is fading... My brain isn't working well lately. As someone with life-long depression and decades of chronic pain and fatigue, I regularly go through ups and downs of mental functioning (separate from mood), as I have for many years. I know the cycle, but the downs… Continue reading Musings on Living with Mental Disability
I got some new mints and let 11-year-old Nightingale try one on our way to the beach. He pestered me for another... and another... and another.... the whole way there. Finally, at the beach, I told him, "no more until after lunch." I put them in my purse and set my purse down on a… Continue reading Sneaky Kiddo!
I've decided that, since I'm probably going to embarrass somebody without meaning to eventually, I'm going to put myself through the same treatment. Part of my writing about disability is going to involve sharing my own worst cringe-worthy moments. It's not an easy thing to consider doing. But I feel like it's the right thing to do.
A true story: My 12-year-old nonverbal client and I are having a picnic at the park on a beautiful summer day. We sit on the grass. I try to read to him a bit, but he turns away and begins to vocalize loudly, so I assume he isn't in the mood to listen. I put… Continue reading A picnic, with nonverbal communication
My client and I are walking up the steep, dusty hill from the nature trail to the road. A few years ago, he was terrified of this trail. His older brother would charge up it at full speed while we took the longer, paved path. The first few times he tried this hill, he clung… Continue reading Special Moments