Why I Write About Autism

Filed Under (Inspiration, Writing) by Estee on 12-04-2011

Meet Amy Hempel, a New York writer. She tells us why she writes.

Sometimes people are really critical of writers, particularly those of us who share our days and our lives with our autistic children. As if a writer doesn’t already have the little voice in the head — the just who do you think you are? one always squeaking in our heads. Sometimes there are real people who tell us the same thing in the “autism community.”

I hesitate to call it a community because people continue to be so divided despite our sameness; despite the fact we all get up in the morning with the same wonder if our children will do something exceptional. Will they utter a sentence? Will they have a good day or a bad one? You know the list as we wake, sometimes waiting with bated breath, other times allowing ourselves to relax in the moment and actually enjoy special moments with our kids. I am continually astonished how similar we all are, despite political interests.

Like Amy, I am also curious in the every day and what enables us to get through our challenges. What is it in each one of us that keeps us going? This, to me, is the gourmet meal of life. In my life with Adam, mustard always comes on the side.

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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.