A conversation on neurodiversity

When I was reading Gail Bell’s review of Robert Dessaix’s latest book in the Monthly, I was struck by this quote:

‘What I am best at is giving my readers a sense of intimacy with me. I say, come and sit with me for a few hours and we’ll have a conversation in which I want you to talk back to me. I have a kind of “don’t you think?” at the end of my sentences.’

I so agree – he is brilliant at creating an intimacy with his readers. And it struck me that this intimacy is something people seem to value more in non-fiction writing these days. It’s what I strive for in my writing, particularly in writing about topics like mothering and autism.

I wrote the book to be part of a larger discussion about autism, about difference, about neurodiversity and how we can parent from a perspective that values neurodiversity.

Already, I have had some feedback from readers who joined this discussion with their own thoughts and comments and questions.

Adapting the Dessaix quote, I would say that I have a kind of “what do you think?” at the end of my sentences.

4 Responses to “A conversation on neurodiversity”

  1. You are a writer’s writer, Rachel, and your blog reminds me of the voices I most enjoy reading. Great awareness!

  2. steve dAvis says:

    This approach reminds me of my response to the references in some of Don Paterson’s poetry – and I’m sure more will come to mind. There is a sense that the writer is aware of this natural connection & is clearly waiting on the reader’s response. There is so much more that can be said – for now, thanks for the post.

  3. Rachel says:

    Yes, I agree Steve. That sense of connection between writer and reader can be powerful in poetry too.

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