Behind the Mirror – The Story of Autism Treatment Pioneer Jeanne Simons

by eea | Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 4:00 PM

I met Jeanne Simons, the founder of the Linwood Children's Center for Autistic Children in Ellicott City in 1983, when I was entrusted with the job to help tease out and describe the different elements of the methods she had developed to successfully educate children, who until she started working with them in 1955 had been deemed untreatable. Professionals from all over the world came to visit and train at Linwood, the first center of its kind. After a serious illness, she had handed over the day-to-day running of Linwood to staff she had trained and now only acted as a consultant. But it was feared that without her here to train and supervise staff and introduce outside professionals to her methods, they would not survive her. The book that resulted from a year's collaboration is "The Hidden Child". During that time, Jeanne and I discovered a lot of commonalities, from our European roots–she was raised in Holland, I in Switzerland–our early background as teachers to our child-centered approach as therapists. This helped me better understand the elements of her method, but I also began to learn something about her life, though all her accounts initially concerned work she had...Read More

The Benefits of “Searching for Health”

by eea | Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 4:00 PM

Over the span of just two weeks, there were three troubling health symptoms that caught people in my close circle completely off guard. The first friend started suffering from severe headaches every afternoon and evening, seemingly out of the blue. Another one noticed a sharp pain on the right side of her jaw which refused to go away. And a third woke up one day with pain shooting from her neck down one of her arms, which soon became near impossible to move. As each friend fell victim to a new symptom, the same question arose: What is wrong and how can I fix it? We’ve all been there, scrolling through endless websites trying to make sense of some new symptom or illness that we know nothing about. I’ve been there myself, more than a few times. In some cases, it’s a small cough or inconvenient ache or pain. But there have been more serious situations as well. No matter the magnitude of the complaint, the feeling was invariable: confusion, fear, and frustration. When Kapil approached me about working with him on Searching for Health , I could relate to the stories he told me...Read More

Writing “Inside the US Navy of 1812–1815”

by eea | Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 4:00 PM

The anticipation of anniversaries of significant events have often stimulated authors to focus attention on the event or personalities to be celebrated or commemorated. Usually the sequence of these anniversaries occurs every fifty years or so after the initial occurrence. To be a part of the event, the author needs to anticipate by several years the amount of research that will be required to contribute a timely piece of work that would make a difference. At the same time, one must ask “what could I contribute that has not already been written?” To answer that question, there are several possible answers: discovery of new evidence, development of a new interpretation, or simply, or the challenge of writing a better, more comprehensive account of the event than has been done in the past. In my case, it was the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Over time, this two and one-half year conflict between the United States and Great Britain was an almost forgotten, often derided historical event. But between 1960 and 2012, there has been a revival of War of 1812 scholarship that has grown until a new generation of American, Canadian, and even British historians had awakened to the...Read More

Killing Season: A Paramedic's Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic

by eea | Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 4:00 PM

When I started as a 911 paramedic on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut over twenty-five years ago, I believed drug users were victims of their own character flaws. They lacked personal responsibility and their behavior was criminal. Keep using drugs, I’d tell them, and you will end up dead or in jail, which many of them did. Today, my views on drug users are different. As the overdoses escalated, I began asking my patients how they got started on their perilous journeys. While no two tales were the same, they shared unremitting similarities. I heard the phrase over and over “I used to be a normal person once.” Emily was a cheerleader who broke her back when her teammates dropped her. Chloe, abandoned by her heroin user mother as a child, tried heroin herself to find out what made her mother love heroin more than her. Tom volunteered for the armed forces the day after 9-11 and returned from Iraq with a purple heart and a terrible addiction to pain pills. My patients’ entries into addiction – whether through legal drugs prescribed by their doctors following injury or illness, offered by a friend to help with nagging pain, or through...Read More

Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities

by eea | Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 4:00 PM

As urban economists, we are interested in everything that affects the economic well-being of people, businesses, and neighborhoods in cities. Cities are exciting and dynamic places where diverse groups of people benefit from close interaction. However, cities can simultaneously have negative side effects for residents and businesses. Children can be exposed to lead paint in old houses, which affects their cognitive reasoning and contributes to worse performance in school, and increases the chance of being involved in violent crime. Traffic congestion and the separation of places of residence from places with good jobs can make finding gainful employment a challenge. Old, post-industrial cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, and St. Louis have additional challenges with decades of population and job loss combined with the environmental legacy of former industrial sites. In all of these contexts, there is a pressing need to identify the right investment that can attenuate these ill effects and is feasible to implement. In our new book, Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities , we explore the challenges faced by the six post-industrial cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis and provide a roadmap for knowledge of how to address...Read More