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Siblings of Autism
May 15, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$20
What is it like to grow up with a sibling on the autism spectrum? What kind of relationship do such siblings have, and how does it change over time?
In order to answer these questions and to discover if her experience as a sibling was common, Cumberland (along with Bruce Mills) compiled a collection of essays on the topic. In Siblings and Autism: Stories Spanning Generations and Cultures, siblings from a variety of backgrounds, and in different circumstances, share their experiences of growing up with a brother or sister with autism. Despite their many differences, their stories show that certain things are common to the “sibling experience” – the emotional terrain of looking on or being overlooked; the confusion of accommodating resentment, love, and helplessness; and above all the yearning to connect across neurological difference. Cumberland will read from this collection and discuss her own experiences growing up with a sibling with autism, and how working on this collection shaped her own sibling relationship.
Siblings and Autism is a thought-provoking presentation that will appeal to anyone with a personal or professional interest in autism, including parents living with autism, teachers, counsellors, and psychologists.
Speaker: Debra Cumberland is a professor of English at Winona State University. She has published fiction, nonfiction and scholarly articles in various journals, and recently released an edited collection on Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. Her experience as a sibling living with autism and working on the book, Siblings and Autism, inspire this presentation.