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Showing posts from October, 2012

Fewer Autism Blogs, Infrequent Posts?

I haven't been posting much to The Autistic Me blog in the last six months or so. I could list all the excuses, and there are many, but I've noticed that my blog isn't alone with less frequent updates. I've also noticed many blogs have either been abandoned or changed managers/authors in the last year. My "autism" group in NetNewsWire, my RSS reader of choice, is shrinking. On the Autism-Hub site, some pages haven't been updated in six months. Only ten have been updated within the last 30 days.

What's happened? Have we all shifted to Facebook? I doubt it.

Maybe we are exhausted, as a community? That seems plausible, after several busy years. Maybe there will be another spike in discussions once the new DSM-V is published, but we might have exhausted those debates, too. Opinions seem fairly set on many of the subjects.

Blogging requires some compulsion to address a topic, or at least to tell a personal story. I'm not sure why anyone would car…

Driven to Distraction: City Drivers and Me

I learned in Minneapolis that congested freeways and surface streets can contribute to migraines — fairly quickly, too.

Since I lived in Los Angeles, and I happen to like driving there, I've been struggling to explain why some cities give me a headache and others do not. In a previous post, I explained that I like grid-based cities. But, that alone isn't enough to explain the migraine triggers. Los Angeles is not a great grid and the traffic is notoriously slow. Los Angeles drivers deal with mountains and coastline. The "grid" of L.A. is messy, but navigable for some reason.

My wife noticed that it might be the attitudes of drivers. In Los Angeles, despite the city's image, drivers have been fairly nice. The infamous ramp from I-5 to State 110 (Golden State to Harbor Freeway) near Dodger Stadium is actually not bad after my experiences in other cities. As you exit 5, traffic is two lanes. (I long ago learned to use the "merge lane" as long as possib…

Pet Therapy: Mutt and Misty

Someone asked me if I suggest a pet for children with special needs. That question struck me as odd. Shouldn't everyone have an animal in his or her life? I love animals. I don't think of it as pet ownership so much as having feline "kids" and friends. Our kids are important to us, and we have done everything we can for them.

Though I try to avoid too much social contact with people, I spend as much time as possible with my cats. I think about our little family often, missing old friends no longer with us and doing all I can to love the kids still with us.

Two of our cats (we have four) demand constant attention — and another demands food every two hours, but that's a different topic. Mutt and Misty are our little clingy kitties. They want to be where we are, especially if either of us might be making a lap with room for a cat.

Mutt is elderly in cat years. He is deaf, has arthritic hips, and seems to get a little confused at times. His brother, Alex, is in …

Why (Most) Cities Aren't for Me

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Most cities are not places where I can thrive. My wife knows I can barely function in some cities without wanting to scream. Okay, I have screamed, turned the car around, and headed back to the country. I hate some cities that much.

While my biggest complaints involve the crowds and the sensory overload, I don't think I'd like the cities even if we were the only two people in one of them. An empty city is still a city.

I've written on this site several times about the problems I had living in Minneapolis, an older city with narrow roads and a cluttered, illogical downtown. The cramped nature of older cities is too much for me. The traffic, public transit, and tall buildings add to my anxiety.

Historically, the cities on the East coast evolved "organically" over the decades and centuries. Walking paths became wagon ways, which became roads. The streets of cities were shaped by geography, too, with roads going around hills and avoiding other obstacles. In the rare…