Swings (Part 2)

It is not always easy to reconstruct an accident.
Maps always misrepresent a place in some important way.

It is not always easy to reconstruct an accident: sometimes the skid marks and the injuries simply indicate that they occurred simultaneously, frustrating efforts to determine which driver caused the harm. […]

the accident’s causes may be multiple – both knowable and unknowable […]

Out of context; Kimberlé Crenshaw, Therí Alyce Pickens

Despite claims of authority over representation of a place, maps almost always misrepresent that place in some important way, making the familiar seem alien.

Counter-mapping […] relies on collective-memory work to understand how communities build meaning and identity.

It poses questions (Who once occupied this space? What was once here? Why is it no longer here? What elements of it are or were meaningful to the people who use or used that space daily?) that subvert singular narratives of home, of belonging, and of what a place should be.

Out of context, Adwoa Afful


Swings (Part 1)

The box is what takes the myriad of people who share the characteristics known as autistic, and draws jagged lines straight through the middle of us.

I am a ‘true’ autistic buried under layers of ‘nonautistic’ as much as I am a ‘true’ nonautistic buried under layers of ‘autistic’.

Out of context, thequestioningaspie

Autism is not the imprisoning box […] The box is what takes the myriad of full, whole, varied, and beautiful people who share the characteristics known as autistic, and draws jagged lines and boundaries straight through the middle of us in ways that cut like a knife […] It defines some characteristics as okay for autistic people to have, and others as definitely not okay […]

Mel Baggs


Stitches (Part 2)

Autism advocacy that narrates autism as some ‘thing’ that is ‘in’ and not ‘of’ some people functions to shape life as having autism as (one of) its condition(s).

As autism is made (and kept) separate from life itself, and as living people’s bodies are split into vital and nonvital parts, life ‘with’ (the condition of) autism becomes life along a vital spectrum […] that inaugurates new, possible categories of life (and death): ‘almost living’ as well as ‘mostly dead’; […] a necessary precognition for acts of violence that are normalized as necessary.

Anne McGuire


Ways in which diagnosis is useful […] It extends the reach of genocide and saves lives.

Eli Clare


Symptoms only take us so far.

My hands create and transform space as much as they occupy it. […] Sometimes I am the only person who knows what my hands are meaning. Sometimes even I don’t know what my hands mean – but why must I always cherish or privilege meaning?

Melanie Yergeau



Stitches (Part 1)

A diagnosis does not add information. Rather, it removes information.

A diagnosis reveals a hidden entity.

The entity turns into a named actor, and the diagnosed symptoms dissolve into signs of its presence.

Out of context; Monika Dos Santos, Jean-François Pelletier, John Mirowski, Catherine E. Ross


Stories often make neurodivergent people without stories. In those stories, neurodivergence is residual.

When I invoke the term residual, I mean to suggest that mental disability always leaves something behind. And, in leaving something behind, mental disability takes over.

When one is schizophrenic, for example, she does things without meaning to: schizophrenia causes the person to act. She does things not because she did them but because the schizophrenia made her. The schizophrenic person doesn’t do anything, or whatever she does is because of the schizophrenia.

Whatever is mental disability – whether schizophrenia, autism, depression, cerebral palsy, ADHD, and bipolar is mental disability – mental disability means doing things without meaning to. Mental disability decides things more than mentally disabled people.

Stories about neurodivergent people are often stories of being without stories. We are made to believe that who we are is not really someone because disability forever stops us from really being someone.

Based on writings by Melanie Yergeau