Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ido in Autismland on Sale at Amazon

Amazon has put my book on a post Christmas sale. I have no control over how Amazon makes its internal pricing decisions, so I have no idea how long the book will be available at a discount — but if you want, it’s a good opportunity for you to get it cheap.

The DSM, Asperger’s, Autism and the Diagnostic Criteria

I think the American Psychiatric Association’s decision to eliminate Asperger’s Syndrome from the new DSM is not very smart and I’m not sure what their motivation is. It can’t be based on seeing people like me and seeing people with Asperger’s as identical in terms of symptoms. In a spectrum, I’d assume we’d be the same, just milder or more severe versions of each other. But it isn’t exactly that.
I think rather than lump everyone together under one big, fat label, the psychiatrists at the APA should try to notice how many differences there are in the symptoms. It is frustrating to me to need to show them the obvious, but researchers, in my opinion, seldom pay attention to non-verbal autistic people. Even when those non-verbal people who can communicate by typing describe physical symptoms different than Asperger’s Syndrome, many researchers look to Temple Grandin and others, not to Tito, or Carly Fleischmann, or me, or other non-verbal people who type to explain our experience of autism.
Let me help the APA.
Temple Grandin
*Independently drives, rides horses, shops, cooks, etc.
*Lives alone.
*Initiates actions throughout her day.
*Excellent fine motor control. Able to use hands to graph detailed engineering projects.
*Has difficulty interpreting people’s behavior.
Ido Kedar
*The opposite.
To make it clear, I have no difficulty understanding human behavior, but my brain and body are not working well together. In common, both of us have sensitive sensory systems, poor eye contact and shyness.  But, people with asthma, and people with heart disease, and some people with cancer all may experience shortness of breath but that doesn’t give them a Breathless Spectrum Disorder.
I think researchers might want to look at the big differences in symptoms and adjust their diagnoses to fit, rather than squeezing everything on a continuum that may actually be different conditions.

Autism Poetry

It is starting to be noticed that non-verbal autistic people are writing books. There is mine, out for one month, and a few others by teenagers. Why is that the books are written by teenagers? I think it is because we are the from the first generation of autistic people to be taught typing.

I have a good friend, Sydney Edmond, who wrote a book of poems, The Purple Tree, four years ago. Like me, she studied with Soma and was released from her solitude. Like me she has a mom who is trying to give her a fully normal experience in life. But unlike me, she is a poet. I wanted to introduce you to another autistic writer, but with a totally different voice and style. Autistic people are as different from  from each other as anyone else.

Here is a taste of Syd’s lyrical poetry.

The Ocean in Winter

As I linger on a thought
looking out to sea
I wonder if a little bit
the sea remembers me.

We wallowed in the summer,
We walked in spring and fall,
Winter’s here, and I fear,
It knows me not at all.

It wails upon the shore,
eating up the sand,
angry, loud, and thrashing,
making it’s demand.

Teaming waves will tear at you,
some will tear you down,
laughing at your thrashing
until you’re surely drowned.

Is this the sea who played with me
beneath a sky of blue;
that tickled at my toes
and lapped my ankles, too?

What is it makes it happen?
I want to understand.
Want my sea that sings to me
to come and take my hand.

And so I’ll wait as patient
as the birds up in the sky
for warm  sunny days,
and a sea that plays,
to return.