August 1976--Feminism and Motherhood

Reading my 1970's journals is both fascinating and disquieting. Do I still know this woman? Would I make friends with her? Would I read her blog? ...more

Why Do I Feel This Way About Diagnosis of Childhood Mental Illness?

Some parents have asked me why I feel so passionately about preschool psychiatric diagnoses when my own daughters didn't have such serious problems. I will let you in on a secret. Bright, creative children can have a terrible time adjusting to traditional American grade schools. Bright bored children don't finish worksheets, don't pay attention, daydream, forget assignments, leave books and homework home, ignore the teacher, read ahead of the class and miss their place if called upon, miss many days of school. ...more

What's Wrong With My Three Year Old?

I have been taken aback by how many mothers of preschool boys worry that their sons are autistic. In 62 years, I have not encountered seriously autistic children, though I suspect I have known, even been related to, men who would now be diagnosed along the autistic spectrum. They all are scientists, mathematicians, and computer programmers. Sure they are weird; surely they are not the most stimulating conversationalists,; sure they don't have a huge number of friends. But they can be great sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers with successful careers. ...more

Discipline: Baby Boomers and Their Daughters

Reading other mothers’ blogs, I am feeling all of my 62 years and every strand of my silver hair. Although I might feel more comfortable with these eloquent younger women, I belong to their mothers’ generation and might symbolize for them their mothers’ mistakes. I was born the day after the atom bomb was tested in 1945; I am six months too old to be a baby boomer. Most of my contemporaries didn’t stay home with their kids, didn’t have 4 children, and pitied me for my domestic imprisonment. ...more

"Experts," Testing, and Misdiagnosis

Warning: by nature I am a skeptic and a heretic who hasn't forgotten her radical pacifist youth. Joan of Arc is my patron saint. I birthed two children at home, nursed them for years, sent them to a hippy school of 50 kids from 5 to 18. But I am not an ignorant nutcase grandma, ignorant of the "magnificent" advancements in child psychiatry. Before children, I edited psychiatry books for 7 years; our authors were world-famous psychiatrists who knew how to heal people without drugs. ...more