My young daughter Emma, who happens to autistic, recently wrote (because she has difficulty with spoken language):
“I want to know what you think about autism and am curious to understand why wasted time is spent being against a way of thinking and being.”
Emma, here is my simple answer to your “why” question: Because most people are idiots.
Myself included. “Idiot” is merely another label, or course, and as such, it is ultimately just another word on a very long list of categorizations intended to “other.”
I will now (idiotically) expound on my statement, attempting to use that label (idiotically) to describe that same label in some sort of useful (yet idiotic) manner–which I have (idiotically) labeled ISD: Idiot Spectrum Disorder.
Idiot Spectrum Disorder is a devastating condition that affects 80-90% of the human population. At this time, there is no known cause of ISD, nor is there any cure. Genetic predisposition, cultural conditioning and environmental toxins may all play a role in this tragic condition, but the best we can do now is analyze the symptoms and attempt to catalog the various subcategories of idiots on the spectrum.
“Delusional idiots” are ego-based consciousness forms who believe themselves to be intelligent (“know what’s what”). This presupposition leads to many dangerous and/or harmful conclusions. (More)
Love. Family. Parenting. Friendship. Service. Compassion. Activism. Kindness. Helpfulness. Humor. Humility. Awe. Wonder. Curiosity. Investigation. Learning. Discovery. Supportiveness. Encouragement. Cheerleading. Sacrifice. Courage. Strength. Emotional availability. Openness. Willingness. Honesty. What stands in the way of what actually matters… Hatred. Selfishness. Self-centeredness. Egotism. Greed. Betrayal. Dishonesty. Closemindedness. Superiority. Bigotry. Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Ageism. Religious extremism. Separatism. Us […]
Okay, I admit it. I’ve been a negligent blogger. Between finishing The Dream Palace (yay!), looking for an agent for The Dream Palace (meh!), pre-production work on The Book of Paul trailer (dyed Paul’s wig yesterday!), trying to get funding for the set design (help!), sending off rewards to donors (yay to you!) and being a husband and DAD, well, blogging has had to take a backseat. However, I’m going to make an effort to be more consistent in the future, and what better way to begin than by honoring the best thing that has ever happened to me…fatherhood.
When my wife Ariane was first pregnant, we didn’t get an amnio, or check the sex. We said we’d “take what we got.” We got a beautiful boy, Nic. Eighteen months later, we got a beautiful girl, Emma. One of each, as they say. We got “one of each” in another way, too. One autistic, one not. Yes, having children is the best thing that ever happened to me. So is having an autistic child. Our journey with autism has made me a better man than I ever thought I could be. It has changed everything in our lives, for the better. If you want to know why, the best place to see is on Ariane’s blog Emma’s Hope Book. My chronicle of our family’s journey is The Dream Palace, a YA fantasy I just completed.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU! For those not subscribed yet there is still time to sign up for the newsletter to get a special thank you from Richard and family. If you sign up before the end of November will also receive access to the first ten chapters of Richard Long’s up and coming young-adult fantasy, The Dream Palace. […]
There’s still time to subscribe to the newsletter and get your Turkey Day mailing of the first 30 pages of my forthcoming YA fantasy, The Dream Palace. The first one page chapter titled “The Door” that I posted yesterday sets the mood, takes you to the threshold of The Dream Palace and introduces our first protagonist and the story’s narrator, Chris Sullivan. The second chapter, “Daisy” brings you into the Sullivan household and kicks off the action.
A bit of backstory here: I began The Book of Paul two years before I met my wife, Ariane. At the time, I had no children nor any interest in becoming a parent. But all that changed when we connected and…presto!…we had a son, Nicholas, followed eighteen months later by a baby girl, Emma. I LOVE being a dad, and love my family more than anything, as anyone who knows me well will attest. Nonetheless, I came from a very dark place and I continued to write about all the creepy, traumatic, highly sexual and violent material that fans of The Book of Paul have come to love and loathe. But as my children grew, it became increasingly clear to me at bedtime that I wouldn’t be reading any story of mine while they were still children. So, I decided to write a book for my kids that they could read before they were old enough to vote.
The theme of the story and the impetus to write it came when our daughter turned 4 years old, two years after she had been diagnosed with autism. Like many parents who receive such news, the “experts” inform parents about the “tragedy” of autism — and basically scare the shit out of you. I knew nothing about autism at the time, so I dug into the internet while Ariane read every book ever written on the subject. The news was not good. No one knew what autism was, what caused it, or how to alleviate the more difficult manifestations (I never use the “cure” word anymore for reasons I’ll go into at a later date). At this point, Emma had lost most of the language she had, was making very little eye contact and had obsessive/compulsive behaviors that could be dangerous to her.