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A + for The A-Word: The most authentic look at Autism on screen.

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I worked for several years with a succession of autistic children—which mostly means boys—kids who were mainstreamed in regular education classrooms, with a classroom aide assigned to shadow them. That was me, the shadow. 

We also lived next door to a family who had an autistic son who became one of our son’s closest playmates, until we moved away at the end of elementary school. Chris, with his funny idiosyncrasies is the source of some very sweet memories, as well as moments of high drama. That’s what you get with autism, children who can be deeply involved when their needs and passions are directed and shared but who can sometimes find it frustrating when those needs are brushed aside. 

It’s typical for an autistic child to want to talk about dinosaurs—or whatever the passion is—and be frustrated while the rest of the kids have moved on to another topic. The autistic child is focused on that stegasaurus and exactly how cool it is, just not quite getting that the others don't shar…

Songs of My Mother

Que sera, sera was one of my mother's favorite songs; she sang it all the time while I was growing up. That's how I want to remember her, alive and singing the songs she loved.




She passed away on a Sunday, April 13th, 2012. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over a dozen years earlier, she really left us long before that. It's painful to think back on how confused she was, not just at the very end, but in those last years when her memories, her life and its details faded as if they'd been written in disappearing ink. 

While the image of her looking lost and bewildered as her identity slipped away still haunts me, I'm pleased my eternally singing mother is so present in my writing. When I wrote the piece, Of Brasso and Brownies, about growing up in Niagara Falls in the sixties I thought it was about me but, reading it again, I can see my mother, alive and vital, loving and proud, played as big a role in my story as I did. 


Of Brasso and Brownies is #9 in my On the Street Where I Live stories.


Hello Mum, Are you there? It's me, Sim

But She's Not There


Miss Mouse Goes to Work My mother got me my first job.

Where Nobody Knows Your Name What Still Alice meant to me

A bit of a Ditz My biggest fear? That I'll have Alzheimer's disease too.

A Clippie on a double decker bus

My Mother’s Voice


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