An Inconvenient Child

Michael Graziano and his Article "An Inconvenient Child"

Michael Graziano wrote the article "An Inconvenient Child," which was reprinted in Aeon on February 20th. Aeon is a digital magazine focused on ideas and culture based in the United Kingdom. Graziano is a writer, composer, and neuroscientist. He and his wife are both Princeton University professors. As part of his description of what he refers to as "entirely normal" childhoods, he mentions an Inconvenient Child. He writes about his son's suspension from school after allegations that he was a threat to other students. The crime committed by the son is a unique disability that cannot be found in any other class. As such, he can appeal to the emotions of the audience in his essay.

The Son's "Normal" Childhood

In his article, Graziano first sets the stage by describing how he sent his son to one public school in Princeton and by all accounts, the child's path to second grade was normal. He cites an incident that his child was able to make the life another disabled child in school happier. Graziano describes how his son was bullied by adults in the previous school leading him to transfer his child to the new school. Both Graziano and his wife are neuroscientists and thus expected to detect the problem their son had early enough. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Strong Evidence and Credibility

Throughout the article, Graziano uses strong-evidenced incidences that strengthen the credibility of the argument as well as building on the ethos. He cites how the teaching staff in the former and the present school found his son's behavior unheard of and in a way associated it to abuse from home. This way, he can convince the audience that people are less likely to accept abnormalities as a normal occurrence that can happen to any child. He even cites his experiences and the fact that they could not even detect with ease problems with their son.

Logical Arguments and Proof

In addition to ethos, Graziano uses logos in his arguments. He makes reasonable arguments and offers proof to support his claim. Graziano gives evidence that his son's accusation that he is sexually assaultive was not based on wrong judgments. The individuals failed to accuse them of abusing their son, and the school builds scandals of sex assaults from a six-year-old child. In addition, the fact that a different version of notes from what the parents were given is a logical reason that someone in the district was willing to lie and damage the child.

Appeals to Emotions

Along with the strong appeals to logos, Graziano made effective appeals to pathos in most parts of the article. He introduced the essay by describing that their son grew as a normal child. He then created a sympathetic image by describing how his son was bullied at his former school, not by fellow children but by adults. He went forth give a series of encounters where the new school with the support of the district turned their son's behavior of "touching himself inappropriately" was turned to be a sex assault scandal. He describes how it was difficult for him and his wife to care for their child even for being a professional neuroscientist, psychiatrists, and psychologists.

The Conclusion of the Essay

Eventually, the author ends the essay with ethos. He points out the feeling that they are caught in a machine that is shamelessly willing to lie even if it meant destroying the child as well as their families. He began his essay by explaining the good progress that his son is making and ends by appreciating the new school staff and the psychiatrist that helped his son to overcome the coordination movement that resulted from Apraxia.


Michael Graziano. (2014). An Inconvenient Child: How a common disability got my son kicked out of school. Aeon. Retrieved from

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