Category Archive


How can we explain his brother’s autism to our four-year-old son?

My stepson, A, is 11 and autistic, and my younger son, M, is four. M has just started to question why A isn’t “like his friend’s big brother.” When M asked “Why won’t A play with me? Does he not like me?” it struck us that we really didn’t know how to explain autism in a way that a four-year-old would understand.

Broken Phantoms: understanding visually identifiable and invisible disabilities

If there is any one particularly great experiential divide in the vast disability community, it may be that between the visually identifiable and the invisible disabilities. It’s the difference between a world of unwanted pity, and one of unwanted judgment.

Collaborative photography with my autistic five-year-old

Lately, the line in my photography and Remy’s is blurring just a teeny tiny bit. (No, I am still not letting him shoot with my DSLR. It just weighs too much and would be too expensive to replace if he dropped it.) Remy has moved on from the Canon point-and-shoot I was letting him use when there were fresh batteries to be found. He has also discovered a love of the iPod camera, just as I have.

How do I get my new college roommate in the loop about my anxiety and depression?

Juliana is returning to school time away to tend to problematic anxiety. What does she need to tell her new roommate?

How can we change institutional housing into a home?

People with impaired eyesight and hearing and those with limited mobility have come a long way since the days of homes for the enfeebled. What does it look like when we make it easier people with developmental and cognitive disabilites to live independently as well?

Hear, hear: my experience as a deaf parent

For a long time, I wondered whether I should become a parent — whether it was fair to subject my children to the difficulty of having a deaf mother. I know this sentiment will surprise those close to me but there it is: my secret insecurity laid bare.

A photo essay about a girl and her chair

Michelle’s step-daughter has a disability and spends most of her time in a wheelchair. This is a photo essay about Snail’s chair.

White or brown, girl or boy. It doesn’t matter.

It makes no difference to me whether it’s a boy or a girl, whether he has brown skin like me or she has light skin like my husband. I was born in Mexico City and my husband is from California, he is half Mexican and half Guatemalan with British ancestry (we think, sometimes he seems more Scottish to me) that makes him look white.