I am an author, artist and speaker. I give speeches with my husband John to schools and support groups, telling the story of how we grew up as aliens on earth, and finally found each other.
I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and Tourette's Syndrome around the age of 11, but labels aren't important to me. We are all individuals, and a diagnosis is just one of humanity's flawed but natural attempts to arrange the world into categories that seem neat and orderly. It's language, and as much as I love language, it is not a perfect way of describing reality. There is no perfect way. No word's definition is universally agreed upon. No written definition can perfectly encompass the idea expressed by a word. And some ideas can't even be expressed by words in the first place.
What I am can be described partially by the words "Asperger's Syndrome," with their definition as printed in the DSM-IV, and as interpreted by my childhood psychiatrist... but really, individual people all have their own unique mental conditions. Mine works for me right now. I see no need to change.
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by Erika Hammerschmidt
Approx. 170,620 words.
Published on December 6, 2011.
It's the 25th century, and humans have learned to end unwanted pregnancies by cryogenically freezing embryos to save for later.
Kea was an exile before she was born. Grown from an embryo that was rejected for having autism-spectrum genes, she's been raised on a starship of unwanted children. When corrupt bureaucracy threatens their quest for a home, Kea joins with other rejects to save the ship.
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