Friday, April 11, 2008

Last night was the Lit Cafe at the Thank you to Beth Rosenberg for putting together a series of events for Autism throughout the month.

Seven of us presented. Two of us were nypicals (that's John Robison's abbreviated word for neurotypicals.) We did a fine job, blah, blah. I read from my chapter in Embracing Autism. Kristina Chew read from her work in progress about how her son Charlie taught her to conquer her lifelong fear of swimming - a literal and metaphorical description of parenting a child on the spectrum. I got to meet her husband Jim and their son Charlie, a tall, handsome boy, almost 11 years old, who handled a very long day with aplomb.

The evening truly belonged to the adults and teens on the spectrum. I'd like to thank them for their insightful readings.

Jacob Artson: A teen in LA who speaks through assistive technology (typing) proving that being unable to speak has little to do with being unable to communicate. I owe Jacob an apology - I attributed a beautiful quote to him from the CAN! magazine Advances. He pointed out that his friend Mark Nathanson was the originator. Thanks, Jacob!

Amy Gravino: Amy is an adult with Asperger's who was in the documentary, "Normal People Scare Me." Amy read us a story about how she felt at school dances from 8th grade, when she danced with an imaginary partner to college, when she danced with and kissed a young man.

She's working on a book about dating issues for people on the spectrum, currently titled, "The Naughtie Autie." I think this is a very important book as the flood of youngsters with autism are growing into adolescence and adulthood - and unique coming from the female perspective.


Jason Ross:
Jason read his poetry to us, explaining that he feels he can tell you about himself better through the written word than spoken. Personally, I thought he did a fine job with the spoken word. He is charming. You can find his work at his website (most wonderfully titled)

Clifford Schumacher: Cliff wins the prize for the longest commute to the event. He flew from Albany to Newark! Cliff enrolled in Bard College in Massachusetts in their accelerated program, prior to graduating from high school! You can visit his blog at .

Leigh Silver: Leigh loves baseball and is a natural performer. Surely there's a vaudeville connection in his background! He read a poem from his book, "Rhymes on First, Limericks on Second, I Don't Know the Stanzas." I bought a copy and I love how he signed it to me, "To Kim, Keep that happy attitude toward your girls." You can learn more at


kristina said...

Thanks for the write-up --- even sorrier we were late but glad we made it. Best wishes----a very memorable evening.

Jason R. said...

Thanks for the write up. I feel it will be the start of something even bigger for myself because I stepped up and read last night. I forgot to say that another friend and I wrote a short story together that is a fictional piece about two people with aspergers. Anyway, I hope my friend and I win the contest come June/July.

Kim Stagliano said...

Kristina, thanks.

Jason, what's the contest? And you MUST go over to John Robison's blog:

He wrote, "Look Me In The Eye" and refers to himself as an Aspergian. He wasn't diagnosed until age 40! His book is wonderful and I think you'd really relate and enjoy it.

I'll pop into your blog from time to time to see your progress. Good luck with the job search. And thanks again for sharing your writing. I enjoyed it.