One parent said, “Our involvement with ABA remains one of my biggest parenting regrets.” Another said, “This treatment saved my son from an isolated and non-productive life. ” A third: “The first consultation was trying.” These are just a few testimonials regarding Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a therapeutic modality for autistic children that involves using… Read more →
A Love Letter to Intellectual Mothers
Marga Vicedo’s Intelligent Love: The Story of Clara Park, Her Autistic Daughter, and the Myth of the Refrigerator Mother is a love letter to intellectual mothers. And Vicedo’s warm and astute delivery exemplifies the blending of love and intellect Vicedo discerns in her subject, Clara Park. The book is centered around Park, whose odyssey of… Read more →
Conditions Are Favorable—For Love!
Tara Staley’s 2013 novel Conditions Are Favorable brings romance to the windswept sand bar of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, positing an emotional relationship between Orville Wright and Madeleine Tate at the start of the twentieth century. Tate is a local woman dreaming of something better than rural poverty and hard work. She seems to find… Read more →
Hannah Gadbsy and the Comedy of the History Lecture
She had me at Douglas’ Pouch. The Mary Toft reference was just a bonus. I went to Hannah Gadsby’s stand up show Douglas expecting searing critique of the patriarchy, sharp commentary on trauma and sexism, a fresh perspective on gender and sexuality non-conformity, and the kind of cathartic laughter that makes everything possible. I didn’t expect… Read more →
The Blame Game in Autism
The interwebz have been abuzz this week, debating Moises Velasquez-Manoff’s editorial in the New York Times on autism and immune function. Although Velasquez-Manoff is a little late on the autism/immune function thesis (which has been posited in research projects since at least 2005), it’s his use of autism stereotypes and ableist language that put this article on my radar. It’s the assumption that autism is a sign of a broken or damaged child that has made me question both his interpretation of that thesis and the implications for the families of children with autism – and the autists themselves.