Saturday, September 18, 2010

Learning from Donald Triplett

I wanted to write about what we can learn about autism from the life of Donald Triplett as detailed in the recent article in the Atlantic Magazine. Triplett was the first person ever to be diagnosed with autism, and if you haven't read the article: do! The man defied expectations and, in many ways, probably defines hope for many parents of autistic children today. There is also a wonderful video segment on the website. But rather than write the post I had in mind, I'll link instead to a marvelously insightful one written by one of my favorite bloggers. And if you aren't familiar with Emily's blog: A life less ordinary?, you'll probably want to visit when you've got enough time to pull up a chair and read awhile. Without fail, Emily manages to write concise and thought-provoking posts about timely subject --  the one linked to here is no exception.


  1. I have been thinking about this SO MUCH these past few days since I read the article. Was thinking about myself and my own slow development. How much I struggled all through school and things just sort of clicked for me in my 30's, well beyond the school years. I'm not saying I'm so smart now :) or that my challenges were that of an autistic person, but the whole idea that the brain NEVER stops developing and we can keep on learning into our 80's even. Also has me thinking about my fathers cousin, who is now in her 70's and though never officially diagnosed autistic, I have no doubt she is. She holds the key to much of my family history (and she is exceptional with dates), so I want to talk with her more and have her give me some insight. She spent much of her young life in an institution. My father doesn't know the answers to the questions I have, and I so wish my grandmother was still around to talk to, but she isn't. So, I have plans to meet with Patsy, my dad's cousin, and find out from her. But as far as her development, my memory of her from when I was a kid, was that of someone who was definitely developmentally challenged and now it really is not that easy to pick up on. She has come far in the past 30 years. So, I calculated that if I live to be at least 80, Andrew will be 47 years old and I can see him living an independent full life. I just need to start taking better care of myself. We all need to live till we are 100 :)

  2. Thank you for linking to that post. I do find this story heartening for so many reasons.

  3. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I hope everything is well with you and your family. I miss your posts.