Category Archives: Essays

Man at the Fire

We shared a birthday, my father and I, July twenty-fifth (1933 and 1959 respectively), and often celebrated with a trip to the Oregon coast. Just the two of us. We’d drive out from Portland on a Friday evening after dad … Continue reading

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Back to the Middle of It

My son Colin has made such incredible progress in recent years. He’s in fifth grade, singing in a choir, playing piano, riding around on roller blades, speaking and singing in church, filling up journals with poems and songs, drawing, dancing, … Continue reading

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Running Band of Brothers

In high school I ran cross country and fell in among true friends. At the core was a half dozen of us who started together in ninth grade and were still running on the varsity team our senior year. We … Continue reading

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Nickle Lauritzen and the Afterlife

Life with my son Colin brings friends back to me—friends who taught me things it took Colin’s autism to wrench into sharper focus. The roots of preparation run deep. My past, if I let it, comes back to show me … Continue reading

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Nemesis

I admit to being in denial about autism as an epidemic, in spite of the tsunami of loud voices to the contrary— including expert-authored analyses in medical journals, countless magazine and newspaper articles, documentary films, TV specials, and memoirs. “Autism … Continue reading

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At Work on a Self Portrait

Colin has taken to drawing self portraits: simple sketches with lines on the face to align the proportions, bright wide-open eyes, a long body and short legs, and always a dark lump on one shoulder—his school backpack. To me this … Continue reading

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We Have Become Travelers

Two years ago when my brother-in-law, John, died in a freak accident, I learned, not for the first or last time, that life goes on in autism’s shadow and light–and death, too.  I couldn’t push the accident out of my mind for … Continue reading

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