Susan's Blog

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Good for the Cause, Bad for Me

My paperback is now available for order and will be shipped in two weeks. This should be cause for celebration, the fact that I made it to paperback. But I am very unhappy. I am stuck. I am not getting anywhere with new autism projects/articles. I feel I need to move on but I do not yet know how.

The Worcester Telegram did a piece on me to promote the new paperback. But — this is the least accurate article on me I’ve ever read. It is not factually incorrect, but the spirit is completely wrong. I even know the reporter, but obviously not well enough. The hook is wrong: I have and always will fight for Nat. Where did he get the idea that “Making Peace” means “giving up the fight?” The kicker is wrong, too, that half the time Nat does not know what we are talking about and that as he ages he is creating more problems for us. I do not feel that way. I believe that more and more he does know what we are talking about but only half the time does he show it. And as for creating more problems… all of my children “create” problems for me; it is their job. Nat is not special in that regard. His problems are a bit more evident at the time, however…

I am so depressed and this is the tip of the iceberg. There has been a slew of writing going on about autism and none of it is by me. I have submitted piece after piece to the NY Times, especially on the need for Late Intervention, and they went and assigned it to two other writers, and this is making the rounds in the blogosphere. It is a great article, better than mine, but that is beside the point. And today they are talking about buying toys for kids with autism; I wrote about that years ago in Exceptional Parent Magazine. And yesterday WBUR (Boston’s NPR affiliate) did a one hour program on autism in the later years. Two different friends called me to tell me, how wonderful!!! No one at that station remembered all the things I pitched to them, nor the commentary I did almost exactly a year ago?

I feel so irrelevant. Am I over? I know, I know, huge ego, but yeah, didn’t you already know that? Anyway… this is who I am, and right now, I am so bummed. Yes, sure, I am thrilled that autism is so central to the media these days! But as a writer, I’d like to be a part of that. And I’m not anymore. And it is not for lack of trying.

So if I’m to move on, I need to know what’s next. I don’t feel like I can do another autism book yet, because not enough has happened. And there has been a glitch with the Special Olympics book, as of yesterday. So I don’t know what’s next for me and I am in some kind of hellish stasis at the moment, churning my wheels, gnashing my teeth, wringing my hands.

Going to try to take care of myself. A trip to the gym, lunch with my best girlfriend (I hope) and then — work on my newest project, which I may be calling, “Making Peace with Midlife.”


Whoever wrote that article about you just did not get it. Maybe they didn’t read the book, certainly they don’t visit here. Whatever it is, they completely missed the mark. I am sorry that they got it so wrong. But that’s just one voice, try not to let it get you down.

Personally, if you have any insights on how to deal with aggression, in addition to what your book outlines, I would love to hear it. Our six year old is becoming more and more aggressive. I don’t know if it is inevitable that he will become combative, but I know that a lot of parents who have kids Charlie’s age are telling me that they don’t know what to do about the aggression either. The other day Charlie hit me three times and he is strong for a six year old. Then he hugs me later and I just don’t know who he is.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 8:27 am

Irrelevant? Over? Stop it right now. You are anything but irrelevant and over. You have written things on this page that invoke emotions in readers going well beyond the level of anything being put in print today. Go read some of your own posts about Nat.

You have far too much to offer; get about the business of doing it.

— added by Mike on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 9:33 am

You are not over. The trend these days seems to be about all the babies and toddlers with autism. No one seems to give a crap about what will happen to tehm once they get older. That’s where you’re going to come in Susan. It seems you’ve been ahead of the curve on a few issues concerning autism. I can understand why you feel a bit left behind perhaps?

If you feel a need to move on, you’ll figure out where to go. I think you’re able to accomplish whatever you want. As I said, you’re not over, but you’re only getting started.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 10:24 am

I read your blog daily. I am trying to buy our autistic 3y/o grandson some helpful toys. I used suggestions from your article from today’s blog. Then I googled some of the toys and your name/blog came up. You are not forgotten. Thanks for all your thoughts and what you are willing to share with the world. Carol in Austin, Texas

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 12:13 pm

You might become relevant when you realize that autism is curable and stop writing garbage.

— added by Foresam on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Excuse me, Fore Sam?? What might seem to be curable for one person is certainly not the case for another. Shame on you. Try kicking yourself while you are down next time.

— added by mrs. gilb on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 2:41 pm

What happened with the Special Olympics book? That sounded like the perfect project for you. Maybe the glitch will get unglitched? If not, the right project will come along.

— added by Carolyn on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 4:41 pm


You’re not irrelevant.

Re-read that post of mine that you took down to keep for yourself….


H ‘n’ H in LA

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 7:32 pm

oh, you guys are so helpful; even fore sam in some ways. my work will seem like garbage to some, it is inevitable. i don’t think it is garbage, however.

i did some good thinking today and started a brand new proposal. we’ll see if it has legs. right now, i’m finishing a belly dance workout!

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Susan, I came across your blog two weeks ago when I googled, “how to decorate a gingerbread house.” (Note: it referenced your December 2005 post)
To my great suprise, I found your wonderful blog about your lovely family. I am touched by your writings and identify with your career frustrations. Feeling irrelevant is much like being erased – the fear that you are less than what you were yesterday. Hang in there, these are the times our parents called “growth opportunities.”

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 11:29 pm

I just blogged my 2 cents on cure before reading your post today. Fore Sam hopefully doesn’t have a child that will one day find out that his father thought he was broken. My husband and I could never think cure for Sam. To say they are not perfect and need to be fixed, argggg!

Susan, you are always honest. Even when talking about your ego :)LOL Honesty is to be admired, and is not easy for some people in this world. Chin up.

I was wondering about your Special Olympics jab at writing as well? Your writings about it thus far have me so inspired, that I can’t wait until our Sam is 8!!!!

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 1:20 am

Susan you are brilliant. You are NOT irrelevant!
Tina and Boys

— added by KC's Blog on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 3:33 am

Hey, Sam I Am –
Thank you. Maybe I should blog about what is happening with the SO book…
Meanwhile, are you sure they don’t have anything for younger kids? I was told (by their new president) that they now do. Check it out.

Jan B – I have not forgotten your question. Aggression is the toughest. It is different at 6 than at 16 but I will try to remember all the things we’ve tried.

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 5:39 am

Also, H n H –
Thanks for the reminder. Just lovely, really… mmmmmmm Feel free to chime in anytime.

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 5:40 am

I bet you anything, if you wrote another book…whatever it’s about…it would be a best seller!

— added by Candy on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 8:35 am

I think it’s an enormous triumph that you have written a successful book and so many articles. Remember, so many writers don’t get that far! The next project will come to fruition when it’s ready….all the other stuff yu do each day ( including your Blog) are leading you toward whatever needs to come next.

— added by Em's Mom on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 12:33 pm


You’re not irrelevant, just not enough people are sufficiently clueful about you yet. 🙂

— added by Julia on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 5:07 pm

Honey, if you were over and irrelevant, you wouldn’t still be raising your kiddos. 🙂
Nor would your name keep coming to mind whenever I want to give up.
You’ve been an inspiration to the people who read your book, your blog and get your emails. 🙂
Don’t give up on yourself because of a reporter.
My grandma once told me that no matter what you write, you’re going to piss someone off. But the more upset people get, the more publicity you’re going to get.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 7:51 pm

%d bloggers like this: