Monday, March 31, 2014

Interview with Alyssa- Autism Acceptance

Interview with Alyssa:

So my name is Alyssa; I'm a 21 year old college student with ALL the blogs. Not even joking, ALL of them. Yes, That Too is mine personally, but I'm also on Autistics Speaking Day, F Yeah Stimming, Autism Positivity, We Are Like Your Child, Autism Experts, and I forget what all else.

What is your life like as an Autistic person?

I have amazing pattern recognition, and I don't need to edit any of my papers because I'm hyperlexic/hypergraphic, but I wouldn't be able to edit if I needed to because what is executive functioning? (I make my grammar be actually correct for papers. For a blog, it's enough that readers know what I'm saying.) I think the best I can say is that I have a lot of challenges, but I generally have solutions if I'm allowed to use them.

What is the most difficult about being Autistic, for you?

Either sensory issues (pain and misfortune!) or executive functioning (what is it?) has got to be my biggest issue. I sometimes have trouble in social situations, but it's not just me making that happen. Other people thinking they can read autistic body language when they can't is just as much a part of it as my not being able to read theirs, maybe more- at least I know I can't read their body language!
What is the most joyful, fun, exciting thing about being Autistic?
I get to STIM! That or my Autistic Obsessions being like a stim for my brain.

How has the Autism Acceptance Day/Month effort over the past three years affected you personally? If you were not aware of it until recently, what meaning does Autism Acceptance Day/Month have to you now?

I showed up in the online Autistic community for the first time in March 2012. Autism Acceptance Day/Month, with the Autism Positivity flash blog (I helped run that in 2013, along the lines of Alyssa does all the flash blogs now) and other positive things helped me have the energy to do the angrier/more demanding side of activism. They help me remember to build a positive community while taking down the negative things. We need both of those parts, after all.

What is one thing about acceptance that would make a difference in the world?

Acceptance would do a lot of things, really. When we get sick, since we're accepted and our lives are thought of as worth living, there'd be more willingness to do life-saving stuff. Autistic people would actually get educations that suit us, none of this "those people shouldn't be going to college" like I ran into with my study abroad (don't worry too much, I still got in and it's going fine. The USA people have done a really good job protecting me from that mess.) Accepting people as we are also leaves us with a lot more energy to actually do the things we care about.

Do you have children or other family members who are Autistic? If you would like to say something about them, please do.

I don't have any kids at all yet- I'm a 21 year old college student. But I figure I will have Autistic children someday, either by birth or adoption. I've got some autistic family members, but I can't say much about most of them because privacy. One of my grandfathers figured out that he is after I told him I was, and the (deceased) aunt I was named for was almost certainly autistic. She's the one who memorized the Sears Catalog.

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