Wretches and Jabberers

Filed Under (Acceptance, Activism, Advocacy, Autism and Intelligence, Communication, Inclusion, Travel) by Estee on 19-08-2010


I was very excited when Pascal Cheng told me that Larry Bissonnette and he, both of whom I brought to Toronto several years ago, and Tracy Thresher were traveling the world to change views about autism. They travel to Finland, Japan and Sri Lanka to change minds, attitudes and debunk myths which was documented in the film Wretches and Jabberers. We have learned from anthropologists like Roy Grinker in Unstrange Minds, among others, that the views about autism around the world can be less forgiving because of cultural differences.

 Adam was diagnosed at 19 months of age as a hyperlexic, “high-functioning” autistic boy. Over the years, however, he shows ability, is very bright and intelligent, but Adam has real communication difficulties and more “classic” aspects of autism…so dx is always precarious in the early years. I think of the very different experiences between Adam and Larry — how the world has changed so for autistic people and I am grateful for the generousity of autistic adults. 

As a parent in this for just over six years now, I have to say thank you to everyone who put forth this effort. I often dream of Adam traveling the world, talking to other people, helping other people. That’s my dream, I suppose, and not necessarily his, but that’s what parents tend to do. So even if Adam chooses another path,  I am thrilled that Larry and Tracy are forging a path for all the “Adams” who will grow up very soon.

“We are more like you than not,” says Larry in the following trailer.

That’s for certain.


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (www.taaproject.com), and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.