On Disability, Suffering, and Euthanasia

Are there people whose level of disability places them into a category beyond hope? It's easy to think the answer depends on the answers to some other questions. What about that theoretical person I mentioned who has no neocortex, no possibility of conscious thought? Is it our mind that makes us human? Our genes? A thing called a soul that some people believe we have and others don't? But eventually I realized this line of questioning was the wrong approach entirely. It's not a matter of finding that dividing line between human and not human, worthwhile and hopeless, valuable and expendable. The minute you allow yourself to think that way, you've missed the point. You get hung up wondering where that dividing line is rather than seeking a solution that would make it moot.

Words, words, words

Musings first, then the part about words. ******* In my typical way, I have suddenly gotten back into heavily using this blog after months of barely remembering that it exists. It always takes me a while just to remember how to post stuff and where my profile is and what various icons mean and things… Continue reading Words, words, words

A picnic, with nonverbal communication

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

Neurodiversity, Limitations of the Social Model, and Outliers, part 1

[Note: This started as a single post, but it's turning into something more like chapter, so I'm going to break it up into sections and publish them separately.] So, I recently got this thing published: Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About Neurodiversity And, overall, I've been hugely overwhelmed by the level of positive response. Thank you… Continue reading Neurodiversity, Limitations of the Social Model, and Outliers, part 1

Autism and Mindfulness

Why do I keep feeling like we (or at least I) have to be DOING something? He doesn’t want to do, he wants to simply be, and he wants me to simply be there with him.

Autism Appreciation

This is a post I started in April, but then stuff happened and I didn't finish it. So let's just pretend this is Autism Appreciation Month. Actually, all months should be a time for appreciating autism. *** Twice, recently, people have complimented me on how positive I am towards and about my profoundly autistic clients--… Continue reading Autism Appreciation

Steps Towards Communication

After the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of times that he has tried and failed to get someone to understand something, he still cared enough, hoped enough, trusted enough to try to bridge that gap of understanding once more....

Just Amazing

Sometimes my job is difficult, frustrating, or annoying. Sometimes it makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world. This day was the second kind. And not just because I got to wear a bathing suit to work! *** Less than a year ago, I would arrive at his house, pile into the car… Continue reading Just Amazing

We Are Not Amused: Problems with the First Person Plural 

There is a tendency for adults working with the disabled to use unnecessary plurals: that is, to say "we" when talking about something the other person is doing. I've seen some understandably hostile reactions to this in the advocacy community. But I also realized that I do it sometimes. So I started trying to figure out when and why.