Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Julia Bascom and Autism Acceptance Month

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.

We 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 Julia Bascom, a frequent contributor to Shift Journal and the powerhouse behind the Loud Hands Project.

What is your name?

My name is Julia Bascom.

Do you have a website?

juststimming.wordpress.com

What would you like a one-sentence description of yourself to say?

I am not a word/I am not a line/I am not a girl who can ever be defined (this is echolalia, and also meaningful.)

Do you have any autistic superpowers? What are they?

I'm very distractible and forgetful, which can make unpleasant things easier.

I don't really believe in the idea of "autistic superpowers." There are things I am good at, things I am bad at, and things I have developed amazing skills in to compensate for challenges, which is cool and not something people usually realize is a part of being disabled.

Oh! I used to be very, very good at math, which I think is usually what people want to hear when they ask this question. Now my abilities there are a lot shakier, thanks to head trauma and excessive medication, but for a while, it was nice. Numbers are still really beautiful.

What are some situations that make you happy, or satisfied?

When I find the right words that make the world scale and fit correctly.

Organizing.

What are some situations that make you sad, or anxious?

People.

Unclear expectations.

People.

Are there specific topics you find particularly compelling?

Almost anything having to do with how language works.

Multiples of 7.

Music.

What are your preferred ways to be social?

Text-based conversations with one or two people at a time.

Parallel play.

Shared enjoyment of a specific activity.

What traits do you prize in a friend, or companion?

Clarity, patience, shared interests.

Are there parts of your life you wish were easier?

Of course.

What's the next big goal you have for yourself?

Getting a place of my own -- not by myself, but with roommates and the right supports. But a space that is mine.

What does bliss feel like to you?

Being able to see everything.