Echt Charlie
Brownies Aren't For Everyday

Goings On: New DSQ on neurodiversity and a few more words from Charlie

Charlie in mid-run

Variations of the above scene---Charlie in fine run/walk form round our neighborhood---occurred morning (6am), afternoon (3.30pm), and night (8pm) on Monday, with Jim bringing up the rear. 

6am walk following a 5am wake-up (an early, but manageable, start, relatively speaking). 3.30pm after a good day at school. 8pm as a little night sortie seems much to agree with Charlie.

Not a ton else happened yesterday, which is very well by me. One thing of note: The publication of volume 30, no. 1, of Disability Studies Quarterly, on "Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity". More than a few friends have essays in this issue. Mine is on The Disabled Speech of Asian Americans: Silence and Autism in Lois-Ann Yamanaka's Father of the Four Passages and I'm looking forward to reading, and writing, about the volume. Stay tuned.

While I was coming home from work on the train, Charlie used Jim's laptop to watch videos, a small bit of preparation for when I go to on a trip aboard with some students (it's happening in less than a month---!!!?!!!?!---I already miss my two guys). I've made up a calendar for Charlie showing when I'll be gone and---something that Charlie seems to be more concerned about, at the moment---when my parents are coming back, a few days before I leave. 

Indeed, Charlie's been talking quite a bit about Gong Gong and Po Po "coming soon." 

To which, yesterday in the car, I said: "Yes, they're coming in 15 days and they're going to stay with you and Dad while I go to......."

"Greece," said Charlie.

I guess that means I'm really going.



WOW! The calendar and preparations for Charlie seem to be working - exceedingly well!

Charlie looks very light on his feet, and nifty. Guess it's keeping you all in shape - I would be wheezing alone some distance behind :-).


Please enjoy your trip.


I'm smiling at Charlie's response. Hope you can keep up with him when you get seems like he's just growing and developing in huge bursts lately. It's a great thing to read about.


Wow- the trip is coming up fast!


My crystal ball may be a little dusty, but I believe that I see track shoes in your future (smile).

Nice to see that anticipation for the upcoming events [The day you get that weary teen-voice-thing of "yes mom, you're going to (xyz)", you'll be home free.

Take care.

Hai Dang

It is great to hear Charlie has spoken more. I think he will continue to use more language once he see its power. Great job Charlie! Being an Asian, I know full well of this paragraph - "clucking their tongues over Sonia's long list of past misdemeanors. Sonny Boy is seen as Sonia's "payback" for her own life of bad behavior (148-149). Sonia herself wonders if Sonny Boy, the child she decided to give birth to, won't stop screaming and is so difficult to take care of because he is indeed what she "deserves" — penance for the mess she's made of her life so far." It is sad but true in many Asian's households who still think that Autism is caused by the parent's "mistakes" in the past.


"It is sad but true in many Asian's households who still think that Autism is caused by the parent's "mistakes" in the past."

There was a (non-Asian) Virginia politician who stated as much at a press conference in reference to disabilities (although he had an agenda for using this as a scare tactic.) But it made me wonder whether there's a wider unspoken undercurrent of belief that bubbles up like sewer gas under certain conditions.

I'm from an Asian-American family and even though no one in the family came out and measured my transgressions in response to our child's disability, I found myself somewhat reflexively doing so, which makes me wonder if it's more of a human thing in seeking explanation (and potentially penance), than completely a cultural thing - unless this is some forgotten vestige from childhood.

Kristina Chew

I already heard a little of that weary teen-voice when Charlie said "Greece"---not so subtle hint I'm not as necessary as I like to think I am, ha!

I've always thought being Asian colored the response to Charlie's being autistic. Ultimately my family has been 100+ percent supportive and embracing, but it was really difficult in the beginning; no one (speaking of my extended family here) wanted to accept that Charlie was not only disabled, but that he had an intellectual disability.


Human beings are very predictable. I remember reading the "Karen" books about a young girl with cerebral palsy when I was in middle school. The books were written by Karen's mother and at one point, she and her family tried to stay at a guest house when they were on vacation (this was in the 1940s when such accommodations were more prevalent) and the woman who owned the place was all smiles until she realized that Karen was unable to walk. At that point, she threw them out, saying that only evil people could have a disabled child.
That thinking still holds true. We're quick to place blame and the blame usually rests on the parents. "Those people" might have a child with autism, but not "one of ours."


"that he had an intellectual disability."

That's the toughy. I think it was somewhat accepted about the diagnosis, but the one that drew the emotional reaction from folks was that, with various expressions of "maybe it's a mistake", etc. I suspect that it has something to do with knowing how unkind we can be to people who are not on the mean of the bell curve.


I'm just catching up with your blog and so glad to spend a few minutes reading so many good things. I'm very excited for you and your upcoming trip. One of the things I love about the connection we've all fostered via the internet is the thrill I get when one of us has really good things happening in their life! this is one of those times!!

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