November

It just turned November, the month of Thanksgiving. A lot has happened in Novembers of the past: Mike, my older brother, was born this month; Dad died this month; my parents married this month. All so long ago. My brother will be 64 years old; Dad would have been 93 years old; Mom and Dad […]

So Glad

I’m so glad that I can still talk with Mom. Even though we are on different coasts, I can still ask her about things in my childhood. She and I are practically the only ones left who have first-hand knowledge about those times. Over the years I’ve bombarded her with many questions about Michael, my […]

Intelligence Quotient

My brother was tested in 1993 and assigned an IQ of 18. [1] Not to worry, his true Adaptive Behavior composite Score is in the range of 12-28. [2] I am so relieved. If this was 1921 and we consulted the American Association of Mental Retardation (AAMR), Mike would have been promoted from Idiot (IQ […]

More about Stimming

I’ve been doing some reading about stimming. In a previous post, I speculated whether my brother, diagnosed as autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal, was a ‘stimmer’. Although he doesn’t engage in much repetitive behaviors, he performs certain ‘trademark’ actions quite frequently. For instance, he will slap his head, often while biting his hand; he smacks […]

Fruitful Approach to Autism?

Diagnosis of autism I discussed the history of autism diagnosis a previous post. As the science matured, the psychogenic origin (blame for autism on the ‘refrigerator mother’) was replaced by consideration of the premise that autism could arise from biological origins. Both versions of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) use behavior as […]

More About Biomedical Intervention in Autism

Post as I go I am trying to sift through information available about biomedical interventions used in treating symptoms of autism. I realize that my approach is not scholarly or academic, but I would like to write a series of posts that chronicle my efforts to discover what biomedical intervention options are and how I […]

Autism – Biomedical Intervention

I had heard that biomedical intervention was an approach to the treatment of autism. I also had an impression that this topic is controversial. Since I am a biomedical engineer by training and a biological determinist by inclination, I decided to discover what this the buzz surrounding biomedical intervention is all about. Due to the […]

Low Functioning

Since one of the major missions of my blog is discussion of autism, I introduce my brother in each post by saying that Michael is autistic, nonverbal and low functioning. I used to say retarded, but refrain from using that word now due to the negative connotations. What does low functioning really mean? Part of […]

Empathy and Sympathy

Empathy is the ability to vicariously feel what another person is experiencing, while sympathy is the ability to understand what another person is going through. The medical profession has many people who care deeply about their patients. I think this is a fair assumption, even though there may be some who are in the field […]

More Thoughts on Letting Go

An answer In my blog the other day, I wondered whether siblings of handicapped brothers or sisters would necessarily end up being acquisitive, keeping memorabilia and other clutter. I got a wonderful comment from Kristin, who also has a handicapped sib and no problem at all with de-cluttering, or ‘cleansing’ as she so aptly put […]