My pneumonia got much worse and I’m in the process of being admitted to the hospital.


I’m exhausted past the point I knew exhaustion even existed. I’m glad my friends pushed me into this. Both of them were extremely freaked out after finally seeing me.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

6 responses »

  1. I hope for needed rest and antibiotics and lots of fluids ..Sending positive thoughts for recovery, May you stay safe in God’s care, Firm hugs, Mom

  2. Ms. Baggs- I know you said communication would be difficult for awhile, so I’ve been waiting for a post in which you said you were feeling better. But I thought perhaps I’d go ahead and leave you a message and then you could reply when and if you feel comfortable doing so.

    First, I hope you’re feeling better. Aspiration pneumonia is no joke, so I’m sure this has been an awful experience for you.

    Now, why I’m posting. I’m a first year Masters student studying the sociology of autism. This is a new field and as far as I know, there are only a few other people in the world studying this. Looking at the autism spectrum through sociology instead of psychology or biology gives one the ability to see how autistic people affect and are affected by neurotypical society, and how they fit in or do not fit in as individuals. I am coming from a viewpoint that is supportive of neurodiversity and critical of existing beliefs about intelligence, social standards, and emotions. I hope my research will show that many commonly held “truths” about autistic people are not accurate because existing studies have focused too much on quantitative, outside views of human behavior. I plan to start my research by simply talking to people and observing with an open mind instead of making a hypothesis and then trying to show myself as being correct. This latter method is where most autism “knowledge” comes from.

    I am contacting you because I have thus far based a great deal of my work on your writing and videos. Your experiences have disproved sociological theories that abstract thought and a sense of self require a language system that involves other people. Helen Keller has been used for a long time as an example to show that without language you cannot have a self or complex, abstract thought. She self-reported that she was more like a wild animal than a person before she knew language. Since animals were academically believed not to have “minds” (no ideas, no complex thoughts, no ability to see themselves objectively), these are disturbing things to think about human beings. I believe that your experience proves that the way self and thought are assumed to be organized are A) not dependent on a language requiring other humans, and B) not universal in their expression.

    I will be spending the next few years researching the idea of self in autistic people, the demands put on autistic people to learn neurotypical behaviors (looking others in the eye, not stimming, altering their voice), the phenomenon of autistic people “passing” as neurotypical, and possibly emotion in both neurotypical and autistic people. If you have anything to say about these issues, or anything else, I would be ecstatic to hear it.

    As I said, I consider you one of the most important experts in the autism field, especially about the well-being of non-verbal people, alternate thought systems, and alternate understandings of intelligence. I understand that English is a second language to you and that it is difficult to respond when you’re tired. Any time you have to spare in a response would be very helpful to me, even if you don’t have time for a few months.

    You can contact me at marjorieDOTnyeATgmailDOTcom (where the DOT is a . and the AT is an @)

    I am also VAGraduateStudent on WrongPlanet if you would like to check out my posts. Most people don’t feel comfortable talking to autism researchers, so this may help you to get to know me before you commit to talking to me.

    So sorry for the long post. I hope to hear back from you.

    -Marjorie Nye

  3. I know you don’t always have the time or energy to update your blog, but considering this was your last post, I’m worried. Please let us know you’re okay.

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