One of my sensory problems was hearing sensitivity, where certain loud noises, such as a school bell, hurt my ears. It sounded like a dentist drill going through my ears.
I had people in my life who didn’t give up on me: my mother, my aunt, my science teacher. I had one-on-one speech therapy. I had a nanny who spent all day playing turn-taking games with me.
We have got to work on keeping these children engaged with the world.
Autism is an extremely variable disorder.
Autism is a neurological disorder. It’s not caused by bad parenting. It’s caused by, you know, abnormal development in the brain. The emotional circuits in the brain are abnormal. And there also are differences in the white matter, which is the brain’s computer cables that hook up the different brain departments.
My mind works like Google for images. You put in a key word; it brings up pictures.
I was so afraid to go out west to my aunt’s ranch. But the only choice my mother gave me was to go for two weeks or all summer. I wound up staying all summer. And that’s where I learned about cattle. I could relate to their behavior, their fears.
My problems are sort of more on a nuisance level. I can’t stand scratchy clothes, I’ve got to have soft kinds of cotton against my skin, and I don’t know why some 100% cotton t-shirts itch and others don’t; it has something to do with the weave.
I’ve always thought of myself as a cattle-handling specialist, a college professor first; autism is secondary.
When I was younger, I was looking for this magic meaning of life.