THE CAMERON JOURNAL PODCAST Interview with Martha Engber:
“Our whole life is like the game Telephone.”
That’s the line I remember most from my conversation with Cameron Cowan, host of The Cameron Journal podcast.
Marvelously open about his autism, Cameron was referring to the kids’ game in which one person whispers a sentence to the next person, who whispers to the next person until the sentence travels around a circle of people. Then the last person states what they heard. The joke, of course, is that what the last person heard often bears no resemblance to the original sentence.
“I went to the grocery store for pickles” winds up “Sigh grow up for tickles.”
And that, Cameron said, is what it’s like to be autistic: only ever getting a fraction of the social world around you.
As an allistic — non-autistic — person, that was one of the most understandable explanations I’ve heard for what it’s like to be autistic. Such communication is exactly what’s needed in neurodiverse families to help the neurodiverse members relate to the neurotypical ones, and vice versa.
If you’re neurodiverse, or have neurodiverse family members — those with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, behavioral challenges like ADHD or physical neurological issues such as stroke — I hope you take a listen. Doing so may well expand both understanding and compassion for everyone.
For updates about Martha’s forthcoming books, news and giveaways, subscribe to her website: MarthaEngber.com.
BLISS ROAD a memoir, June 2023
THE FALCON, THE WOLF AND THE HUMMINGBIRD a historical novel, Sept. 19, 2023