Podcast Interview of Ray Hemachandra on Converge Autism Radio

Earlier this week I recorded a podcast with Melanie Vann for Springbrook’s Converge Autism Radio. It posted today. The podcast title is taken from my recent blog post, Autism Adulthood: Caring for the Future and the Present Moment, which the generous interviewer, Melanie, had just read when we had the conversation. However lovely that title…

Autism Adulthood: Caring for the Future and the Present Moment

Part of this piece was written for a recent conference panel talk—that actually instead turned into pure Q&A—so the beginning, at least, starts off pretty formally with background. Like all my work involving him, my son Nicholas has read and approved this article, because he hopes his journey—and ours together—will help others. My son, Nicholas,…

What’s Most Important

We’re in Charlotte waiting for my son Nicholas’ Remicade infusion right now.  We both got up early this morning and Nicholas asked, “Are we going to Charlotte today, Poppa?” I said, “Yes, because I want you to be healthy. That’s the second most important thing I want for you. What do you think is the…

Nicholas Hemachandra

Definition as Destiny: Breaking Autistic Boundaries

We define autism, clinically and socially. It’s a construct, clustering people with certain human characteristics together. Here’s what autism is. You are autistic. This is what you are. On the positive side, at least sometimes, this clustering fosters autistic identity and community. But too often it also separates autistics out from non-autistics and diminishes respect…

7 Values to Live By: Autism Across Schools and Classrooms

I had the chance to participate in Dr. Tiece Ruffin’s Education 379 course — focused on Special Education — at the University of North Carolina Asheville in December. Dr. Ruffin invited me to come to the last class of the semester. Some of the best and most impactful people I’ve known in my life have…

Women and Men and Autism: Love and Bathrooms

My son Nicholas, who is autistic, has never really differentiated between men and women. He’s not much of one for differentiation, anyway. So, for example, Mr., Miss, and Mrs. don’t come naturally to him. For most of his life, he has been as likely to get the honorific wrong as right. He was, and still…

Independence or Connection: Part 6 of a Talk on Autism

[This entry is the concluding post of a six-part series presenting my talk on autism delivered at the Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness conference at the University of North Carolina earlier this year. I invite you to read all the parts in the series — the entire talk. Please see the links at the bottom of…

You As Autism or You As You: Part 5 of a Talk on Autism

[This entry is Part 5 of a six-part series presenting my talk on autism delivered at the Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness conference at the University of North Carolina earlier this year. I invite you to read all the parts in the series — the entire talk. Please see the links at the bottom of…

Acceptance or Self-Acceptance: Part 4 of a Talk on Autism

[Part 4 of a six-part series presenting my talk on autism delivered at the Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness conference at the University of North Carolina earlier this year. To read the other parts in the series, please see the links at the bottom of this post; the series starts with Part 1 here. Thank you!…