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Try This With a Banana: My Goodbye — in 2006

If it seems like I’ve stopped posting here — it’s been long enough that the WordPress default font for writing drafts apparently has changed — really I’ve just been moving and wrestling with what I want to and am going to do next, which impact my thoughts and emotions and so the content I create…

Ray Hemachandra

A new video … and thoughts about online identity and legacy

A new promotional video for Family Support Network of Western North Carolina and Mission Children’s Hospital featuring my friend Roxann Colwell, program manager of FSN, and myself just posted on YouTube. Ferriss Roberts, the communication coordinator for Mission Health in Asheville, N.C., created it from her interviews with Roxann and me. The little video is…

Nicholas Hemachandra

Autism Nation: Implications for a 1-in-68 Planet

Let’s begin here: Whether April is Autism Awareness Month or Autism Acceptance Month, I think the place where autism awareness and acceptance need first and foremost to be engaged is within the autism community. Does the autism community — people on the spectrum themselves, families, autism organizations — accept autism? If not, why would anyone…

Leathe Hemachandra

Leathe Hemachandra: Poems from My Grandmother

Here’s what I think I know: My grandmother Leathe Hemachandra was born Leathe Wade Colvert in New York City on January 19, 1900. She was an English teacher. Her father, William Colvert, I’ve only seen in a photograph — I know nothing about him beyond that he lived. Her mother, Martha Pleasant, was born on…

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Why Cats Stay in Abusive Relationships (Poem)

I look up “poetry” in the dictionary, and the second definition is “the quickest way to lose blog traffic.” Similarly, when you in turn Google “the quickest way to lose blog traffic,” the second listing describes “posting in the middle of a Saturday morning.” Nonetheless, here’s another of my poems — a short one —…

Leah Stroupe, Kate Glance, Roxann Colwell, and Ray Hemachandra at Family Support Network of Western North Carolina, which is part of Mission Children's Hospital in Asheville, N.C.

Mountain Xpress article about Family Support Network

Hi everyone! New real blog post coming later this week, but I wanted to link to an article about Family Support Network in this week’s Mountain Xpress, an independent publication in Asheville and Western North Carolina. I’m included in the piece. I have several formal roles with FSN — trainer, support parent, chair of the…

Sunset over Bellingham Bay, 1996

Boulevard Park, Bellingham (Poem)

I wrote this poem, which I think I posted on Facebook once a year or so ago, in 1996. Around that time I was writing a lot of poetry and doing some readings at Village Books and Stuart’s Coffeehouse in Bellingham, Washington. Bellingham is midway between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. I lived there for 12…

parents wedding

On blackness and autism, identity and essence

Often I’m asked “What are you?” Racial and ethnic identity still inform so much in our culture. The question asked really is a question of identity. “What are you?” masks the underlying question, “Who are you?” When I was young I was black. My father, Neal Hemachandra, was black. His mother, Leathe Wade Colvert, was…

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The Egg Chair

When my son Nicholas was one and a half he lost all his speech. He couldn’t even make coherent sounds. He was already speech-delayed, but he lost all the words he had gained. When he was three years old, he started in a preschool program for autistics in Bellingham, Washington, at Alderwood Elementary. Debbie Haney…