We're featuring "Slice of Life" conversations with Autistics of all ages -- kids through adults -- throughout April's Autism Acceptance Month.
Our goal is to help TPGA readers understand that autistic people are people who have interesting, complicated lives and who are as diverse and varied as any other population united by a label.
are the people in each other's neighborhoods, and the more we know
about each other -- the more visible autistic people and children are --
the more common autism acceptance will be. That is our hope.
Today we're talking with Jason Ross, who has an infallible internal compass.
What is your name and age?
My name is Jason Ross and I am 32 years old. In two months I turn 33! My closest connections like family and friends call me J.
Do you have a website?
What would you like a one-sentence description of yourself to say?
To quote Popeye, "I am who I am and that's all that I am, I'm Popeye the sailorman."
Do you have any autistic superpowers? What are they?
Yes! I have the power of direction. I know where I am and don't ever get lost. Also I have a very strong Visual mind where I can learn to do things if I visually see it and imagine it in my mind visually. Although we all have talents to give to the world no matter who the person is. Any one is meant to do something important in life.
What are some situations that make you happy, or satisfied?
Knowing I am with a person who really wants to be my friend and I can really connect with.
What are some situations that make you sad, or anxious?
Situations that make me sad are when I see people who like to manipulate for their own gain rather than for everybody.
Situations that makes me anxious are being in unfamiliar large crowds like in urban settings, adapting to the initial changes in my life as they approach, loud noises, and speaking to someone on the phone. I also find derogatory language and confrontations makes me extremely anxious.
Are there specific topics you find particularly compelling?
Disability rights, acceptance, medical ethics in relation to many things like how a doctor is supposed to be a listener, and anything related to spirituality or Jewish mysticism.
What are your preferred ways to be social?
On the internet or in person at the JCC in Manhattan's Adaptations program (www.adaptationsonline.org, which should be a world-wide phenom for all people around the world with disabilities to enjoy since it helped me) or meeting new people at a conference for autism or Cardiovascular Ultrasound!
What traits do you prize in a friend, or companion?
Trustworthy, supportive, non-judgmental, and a person I can talk to who I can really connect with.
Are there parts of your life you wish were easier?
I wish it was easier to be around other people who just don't understand me. I also would not want to be continuously anxious about life. I would just like to one day move forward without the extreme anxieties I feel. For this purpose, I meditate as much as I can during a week to relieve as much anxiety as I can.
What's the next big goal you have for yourself?
I would like to make Autistic Artistic Carnival on Drive Mom Crazy blog the biggest hit in getting any Autistic person from around the world to have their moment to shine to build our confidences. Also my greatest goal would be after I have achieved my integrity, respect, fulfilled my life's dreams of helping others, and enjoying independence moving each day forward: to one day become a shining bright angel from heaven always looking down seeing a peaceful world.
What does bliss feel like to you?
Knowing I have helped a person or animal in need would make me feel so happy. I also find bliss over imagining myself as an angel in heaven in the far off future. I am joyful when I draw fantasy creatures and obsess over many of them.
I will feel more bliss when society can accept people for what it's worth and nobody is left out. There is a place for every one and the beauty of life is how every one is similar. We all also have our differences which is what makes life unique. Nobody should be mocked, bullied, or ridiculed. I feel happy when I see people who really do care about what they say or do. I also meditate as much as I can during the week so I can feel calmer, relaxed, and more set to reach my goals. Hopefully I can finally get to Autreat this year!
The "Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston and "Simply the Best" by Tina Turner are some of my favorite songs. May we all succeed one day in our future as an angel who flies with our wings spread out to always enjoy the essence of who we are and what makes all of us want to love every moment we are here.