Neurodivergence and Mystery

Absence of Evidence
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I’ve taken Charles French up on his generous offer to publish a guest post promoting my latest story on his popular blog. Mystery Weekly Magazine has published my novelette “Absence of Evidence,” a story that’s more than just a murder mystery.

Be sure to check out the background on my latest work. And don’t forget to follow Charles French, whose blog offers a wealth of resources for both writers and fans of speculative fiction. French teaches literature, and is an accomplished writer himself.

Mystery Weekly Magazine is a Mystery Writers of America approved publisher, and is available in digital and print formats on Amazon.

11 thoughts on “Neurodivergence and Mystery”

  1. Bravo, Mike. I think it’s great that you are including neurodiverse characters. In my college tutoring center, we are seeing a rise in neurodiverse populations (Autism, Dyslexia, etc.) due to our college removing the SAT/ACT requirement. Many of these students are doing well in college and wouldn’t have had the opportunity because of standardized tests.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a very important topic.

    I would like to see child-development science curriculum implemented for secondary high school students, and it would also include neurodiversity, albeit not overly complicated. It would be mandatory course material, however, and considerably more detailed than what’s already covered by home economics, etcetera, curriculum: e.g. diaper changing, baby feeding and so forth. I don’t think the latter is anywhere near sufficient (at least not how I experienced it) when it comes to the proper development of a child’s mind.

    It would explain to students how, among other aspects of the condition, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (including those with higher and lower functioning autism) are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent — and mistreated accordingly — when in fact such behavior is really not a choice. Maybe as a result, students with ASD feel compelled to “camouflage,” a term used to describe their attempts at appearing to naturally fit in, which is known to cause their already high anxiety and/or depression levels to worsen. And, of course, this exacerbation also applies to the ASD rate of suicide.

    For one thing, the curriculum could/would make available to students potentially valuable/useful knowledge about their own psyches and why they are the way they are. And besides their own nature, students can also learn about the natures of their peers, which might foster greater tolerance for atypical personalities. (If nothing else, the curriculum could offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally suited for the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood.)

    I believe the wellbeing of all children — and not just what other parents’ children might/will cost us as future criminals or costly cases of government care, etcetera — should be of great importance to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, so do I.

        I believe the wellbeing of all children — and not just what other parents’ children might/will cost us as future criminals or costly cases of government care, etcetera — should be of great importance to us all. A psychologically and emotionally sound (as well as a physically healthy) future should be ALL children’s foremost right, especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.
        And since so much of our mental health comes from our childhood experiences, mental health-care should generate as much societal concern — and government funding — as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable.

        While strengthening parent/autistic-child relationships is always a good idea, I believe there also is a need for creating more positive schooling experiences for children with autism spectrum disorder. A much greater student-body understanding of ASD — including high(er) and low(er) functioning autism — through school curriculum could simultaneously educate and exhibit/induce compassion towards students living ‘on the spectrum’.

        Autism spectrum disorder accompanied by adverse childhood experience trauma — unchecked chronic bullying, for example — can readily lead to chronic substance abuse as a form of self-medicating. If the ASD adolescent is also highly sensitive, both the drug-induced euphoria and, conversely, the come-down effect or return to their burdensome reality will be heightened thus making the substance-use more addicting. …

        Thank you, Mike, for writing on this topic and for allowing me to thoroughly state my obviously passionate views on this subject.

        Liked by 1 person

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