Dad Playing the Violin for Mike

My brother Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. He was diagnosed shortly after autism was classified in 1952 DSM. Mike was at home until I was 10 years old. My parents then made the decision to send him to Willowbrook where they thought they would take care of him. We visited just about every […]

Imaginary Brother – New Ideas

I began my blog 4 years ago with the idea of sharing my experiences as the sibling of an older autistic, low functioning, nonverbal individual (my brother Mike).  Most of 2013 was a recap of my struggle to get to know Mike. I relied on old family photographs; my journal entries; thoughts about the dynamics […]

The Other Mike

On December 22, 2015, I published the post, Returning to Mike, that explained a series of occurrences that enabled me to construct a portrait of Mike, my older brother, in a way he had never been portrayed before. Mike is severely autistic, low functioning and has never spoken. I photographed him on his 40th birthday at […]

In Transition

My older brother Mike, autistic, low functioning and nonverbal, lived at home until I was 10 years old. I posted a picture taken from that period yesterday and painted a reference portrait. My mother looked everywhere for a place that would take care of Michael. Nobody knew what was wrong with him back in the […]

My Analog Past

I loved doing the graffiti sketches of the past couple of months, and I’m sure I will return to more draftsman-like subjects, but for now I want to challenge myself in a different arena. Here is the basis for the art to follow: My Analog Past Everything is digital these days. These days? How about for the […]

Great Minds

Most of you who have read my blog within the past month or so know that Mom passed away on February 20. My posts have concentrated on the events related to Mom: her 90th birthday party; her trouble getting around the house; my return visit after she was admitted to the hospital and wasn’t doing well. […]

Large Mental Institutions

An article in today’s New York Times about the plans to close the Brooklyn Developmental Center (BDC) in New York City sparked some memories in me.  My brother Mike  is autistic, nonverbal and low functioning. I visited him at the BDC when he was an inmate there. Inmate seems such a harsh word, but it was a fitting term in the era […]

Happy Birthday, Mike

My brother Mike is 65 today (11-11-14).  He is my older brother, autistic, very low functioning, and has never said a word in his whole life.  I began this blog to relate my experiences in trying to get to know him – a daunting task, when you consider I  never knew if he knew who […]

Head Wind

Today’s watercolor study: I used the same earth-tone schema as yesterday. It was fun to scrape up the rough-surfaced paper to see what would happen when I painted it. But today I just used cold pressed paper without making any changes to the surface. I started with dry paper and drew my Van Dyke brown-laden […]

Depression

It is so very sad that Robin Williams found no way to alleviate his suffering.  I’ve read many of the tweets from people who treasured his genius and whose lives had been touched by his wonderful gift.  There are a smattering of tweets who call attention to the serious problem of depression and suicide, but […]