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Books by Twilah Hiari

  • Regression

    Smash. Smash. Smash. Ima gotta smash. Tears streamed down my face as I slammed my head into the wall.
    I was thirty-eight years old. I hadn’t banged my head since preschool. What was happening to me?

    Follow the journey of Twilah Hiari, an autistic woman who reached out in desperation to the medical establishment for help. Twilah reveals the devastating consequences she suffered when therapists and physicians failed to acknowledge her childhood trauma, autistic behaviors, and immunological dysfunction years before autism became a commonplace diagnosis, and decades before the medical conditions she lives with entered the medical literature. In the process Twilah discovered the system was sicker than the patient.

    While her experience was a pivotal force for post-traumatic growth, Twilah’s injuries also revealed several of the mechanisms that make regressive autism the reality that surrounds us today. The doctrine of purely genetic neurodiversity is no longer tenable in the face of new scientific findings.

    Regression is a key narrative in ushering out erroneous ideas that autism is a condition that exists and persists independent from environmental and medical factors. It addresses the lies we create and perpetuate as individuals, professionals, and institutions in the face of things we witness but do not understand, or do not wish to accept. Ultimately, Regression is a story of perseverance and hope, reminding us that it’s possible to face incredible adversity and come out a survivor.


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Twilah Hiari is an autistic writer with a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas. She writes about how the siloed nature of Western medicine contributes to misdiagnosis and how clinician biases regarding issues of gender, race, class, education and disability promote a culture that dismisses the credibility of the patient's perspective. She has written for Mad in America and she blogs about her experiences at www.athinkingpatient.com

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