Over the past few days and weeks, end-of-life issues have surrounded me. A wonderful blogger friend of mine is having problems; on my wife’s side of the family, several of her relatives are gravely ill and not expected to live very long; a former colleague of mine took his own life just a few days […]

Language and Thought

This is a huge topic. I hope to investigate this realm and relate my findings to a long-standing issue of mine: communication with my older brother who is low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. Those of you who follow my posts know that I am probably obsessed with the idea of communicating with Mike. In some […]

Hog Heaven

Today I pigged out at the bookstore. I have given a lot of thought to the idea of communication and language in my attempt to understand the gulf between my autistic, profoundly retarded, nonverbal brother and me. In yesterday’s post I reviewed the basic components of communications systems – without regard to the content of […]

More About Humanness

In yesterday’s post I began with definitions of the what it means to be human. Does the definition of humanness matter? Yes. It matters because many human beings feel free to mistreat others they deem non-human or less than human. Worldview One’s worldview has an influence on one’s view of humanness. There seem to be two […]


My original thought for this post was to explore my sense of skepticism about the possibility of communicating with my older brother, Michael. He is low functioning, autistic and has never spoken.  This is a theme that I have explored before, and I am concerned about repeating myself. What I have tried to say is […]

Through the Eyes of a Teenager

Beautiful summer twilights depress the hell out of me. The same holds true about beautiful music by Bach, Hayden, Mozart and other great composers. I think it is the fact that these things are so beautiful is depressing me. The summer day at about 4:30 to 6:00 to me, represents death. I guess to the […]

Attitudes About Mental Illness in the 1950s

I am trying to understand what it was like in the 1950s for families who had severely mentally ill members to take care of. My family was among that number. I can speak for my own experience as a younger sibling, as my older brother Michael, was very low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. He was […]

Do Not Be Surprised

Why throw away interesting stuff? In preparing to move, I am sorting out my stuff. I always save little tidbits of interesting items. For instance, there was a short article about some man who just won a settlement against a tattoo parlor. The tattoo depicted a man stabbing someone in the back with a knife, […]

1950s and Autism Treatment

As I mentioned previously, Mom remembered that Michael, my older autistic brother was at the Bronx Developmental Center for a little while in the mid to late 1950s. She would schlep there twice a day, once to drop him off and then to pick him up. The ‘state of the art’ thinking of the medical […]

Nineteenhundred and forty-six

(Note: This is another part of my continuing series about the state of mental heath treatment during my parents’ time and how it affected them in caring for their first child, my older brother Michael – autistic, low functioning and nonverbal) 1946 This was a good year. It was the year my parents got married. […]

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