I’m very happy to announce that a very important new book, featuring one of my essays, is now out: My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities, edited by Yantra Bertilli, Jennifer Silverman, and Sarah Talbot, features essays on raising kids with a variety of physical and emotional, visual and invisible, disabilities. “This is the most important book I’ve read in years,” writes Ariel Gore, author of The Mother Trip, who recommends this book for anyone, whether “subject or ally.” The anthology covers topics such as navigating acronyms and diagnoses, finding respect and support, balancing family needs when one child has a disability, and all kinds of resources.
My essay, contributed with permission of my son, Daniel, who was diagnosed with a mild case of Asperger’s Syndrome and some typical ADHD when he in second grade, is called “Dragonflies and Inky Blackness: Raising a Child with Asperger’s Syndrome.” I’m including an excerpt from the essay below,a nd if you’re interested in getting a copy of this book for yourself or others who would benefit from it, please see the book’s blog or order a copy on Amazon.
From “Dragonflies and Inky Blackness”:
Metaphors are ways to contain the uncontainable. Symbols to hold what cannot be held, like fear or hope contained in darkness and dragonflies. Illusions, but what other way can we get close to the center of what’s real?
It’s like the myriad of names for god in Judaism — all ways to circle around what cannot be touched.
I remember Daniel at age nine: he sits at the kitchen table, and over his pasta, tells us he’s convinced the universe does actually end at some point, that spaces curves into this ending. So there is an end, but he doesn’t know what’s there. He just knows all things curve into the future, into endings and infinity at once. And he can hold both the endings and infinity in his head at once.
Like dragonflies in the inky blackness. Like Daniel in this world.