Susan's Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Yesterday was a shimmering golden day. I found out that my book, Making Peace with Autism, has won the Exceptional Parent Symbol of Excellence Award! This touched me on many levels; first, because Exceptional Parent is the first magazine many special needs parents come to for help (this is what I did, way back when Nat was diagnosed). Second, because Exceptional Parent was the first place that published me, giving me my start as a writer! And third, because they wrote such a beautiful review of the book; they really “got” it. Fourth, this will absolutely help my agent sell my new book proposal, which she is going to work on this week!

I also learned that the Washington Post accepted an oped of mine, my sixth oped on that page seventh piece for the paper overall (I LOVE the WASHPO!!!! They are one of the three most respected newspapers in this country, the other two being the NY Times and the LA Times, of course. I suppose you could throw in WSJ but do I stand a chance being published with them, they are so conservative. Of course I have tried many times.). My piece is about autism and late intervention. This is a topic that is of increasing concern to me as Nat moves towards adulthood and I see the utter dearth of services, supports, choices, and funding out there for adults with developmental disabilities. Much of today’s attention and funding is going towards early intervention and detection, to the very young. How sadly ironic this is, when you consider that “developmental disability” often implies atypical development, meaning, growth can occur when you least expect it, at a far later age than a typically developing person. My Nat, for example, did not learn to read until he was 8. He did not have a real friendship until he was 15. At 17, he is going through the toddler’s “I don’t want to share” phase! These guys need Late Intervention so that they can blossom, whenever that may be and whatever kind of flower they turn into! I can see that this is going to be my crusade for the next decade: getting the powers that be to wake up to all the potential of guys like Nat, and helping them get there. As the alleged Super Power Nation, I’d like to see the United States earn that moniker, and start helping its most vulnerable citizens thrive (rather than ploughing so much money into a war that should never happened in the first place!) Give us your tired, your poor; hello? Anybody there?

The final wonderful thing about yesterday was that I started taking a class with a new bellydance teacher whose aim is to help us with technique, improvisation, and performance. There were two women in there whom I recognized from performances around Boston! I was actually dancing among performers, and (sometimes) keeping up. At one point one (young!) woman said, “You have a really beautiful shimmy. I wish I could shimmy like that.” I could have floated away out of sheer joy. I have never been told that I do anything well in BD, especially by another bellydancer! Although the class felt at times over my head, it was in that exhilarating way that the ocean can feel too deep but you still know how to get your footing and swim in the waves.


Big high five on your shimmering (and shimmy-ing) day, Susan!

— added by Don on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 10:12 am


— added by Maitri on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 12:16 pm

I got the paperback yesterday. 🙂 (Takes up less room & weight on the shelf long-term….) I now can lend out a copy.

And I found it in Austin’s wonderful independent bookstore, Book People. (So if anyone in Austin is looking at Borders or Barnes & Noble and having a hard time finding it, go to Book People. It’ll be with the Parenting books on the 2nd floor, behind some of the children’s books.)

— added by julia on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 5:59 pm

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