Compassion in the Classroom

While catching up on the case of Wendy Portillo, the teacher who led her class in voting a 5-year old boy with Asperger's out of her classroom, I clicked into a story from one of the local papers.

What Is The Value Of A Life?

I was once told that I shouldn't have kids, because the child could be born with Asperger's, like me. I answered with a question - "Would you have given the same advice to my parents?" Interactions like this often prompt me to ask: What is life about? Is life just about avoiding pain, or something more?

Bullying, Hypocrisy, and Church: An Asperger Perspective on Religion

Why do some with Asperger's reject religion? Some suggest it might be neurologically innate...but could it be simpler? Could it be that being bullied impacts how those on the spectrum feel about religious practice? And is it possible that some people on the spectrum avoid places of worship not because they do not believe, but because they do?

Blinded By The Light: Learning The Social Side of Language

For many of us on the autistic spectrum, speech is just the beginning. It can take many years of hard knocks to learn what most know instinctively: communication is much more than just talking. And sometimes, language can stand in the way of true communication.

Through The Lens of Asperger Syndrome

A few years ago, after I learned of my stepfather's death, I found myself reading a deeply empathetic condolence letter, written to a woman grieving the sudden death of her spouse. A letter written by my stepfather. Reading what he had written crystallized a feeling that had been forming in me for some time prior to his death...I had been very, very wrong about him.

Getting To The Root Of It

Since I began my Asperger's journey several years ago, I have observed a lot of troubling negativity in the autism community. Like PT blogger John Elder Robison, many times I have wondered, "Why Can't We All Get Along?". One of the comments on his excellent post particularly resonated with me, and brought up a point that has surfaced in my mind from time to time... When we talk of a cure for autism, what are we talking about? And, are we all defining it the same way? From what I have read, I suspect not.

Making A Pearl

It hurts to be an outsider — but is it really necessary to fit in?

The Positive Side of Reader Comments

Stanton Peele's recent post, "What I have learned from writing a PT blog" got me thinking about my own experience here in the Blogosphere. From the day I began my first blog several years ago, I was surprised by the feeling of community I got from readers, commenters and other writers. Mr. Peele's commentary on the contentious tone many readers can take shows how rare that can be. Given that this is Thanksgiving week, it seems fitting that I take some time to express my appreciation for all those who have made my online experience so memorably positive.

Joe and The Mega-Sized Smoothie: Language and Asperger's

Recently, I read fellow PT Blogger Edouard Machery's posting, Intentional Action and Asperger's Syndrome. In it, he delineates the results of a recent study he conducted with Tiziana Zalla designed to measure differences in how people with Asperger's perceive intentionality. While I find the study's results interesting, I believe the differences indicated have less to do with mindreading abilities, but rather highlight the unique differences in pragmatic language that manifests in those with Asperger's.

The Little Things: Time Is(n't) On My Side

Standing, in my best party dress, my father at my side, a prettily wrapped present in hand, I waited for the door to open. After what seemed like an eternity, the door was opened by a tall, imposing man - who immediately looked perplexed. "Hello?" - he said, rather uncertainly. My father greeted him, in the normal fashion...then I heard the words, "The birthday party? Oh, that's tomorrow..."

Asperger Emotions and Adult Relationships

It has been often said, or implied, that people with Asperger's don't feel emotion.  Anyone who's known me through the years can testify that that is absolutely not true.  As with many others with Asperger's, I feel emotion, and feel them intensely, sometimes more so than a person who did not have Asperger's.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Failure of Empathy

Remembering the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Could there have been a better way to end the war? 

How Far Should You Chase The "Impossible" Dream?

We like to see people beat the odds.  But how do you choose which dreams to chase?  When is chasing the "impossible dream" foolhardy vs. visionary?  

Look Me In The Eye: My Life with Asperger's

Warm and engaging, Augusten Burroughs' older brother John Elder Robison's memoir Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's is at once heartbreaking, inspiring and funny.