Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lily & Meredith 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 science-loving sisters Lily and Meredith.

What is your name?

Lily, Meredith

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

L: Shark and Lego lover.

M: Hot wing-eating computer genius.

Do you have any autistic superpowers?

L: I have a good sense of hearing and superior intellect. I have the ability to spin a bunch of times and not get dizzy. [Mom’s note: she doesn’t even get nystagmus, she can look straight ahead after 30 spins.]

M: The ability and desire to eat any spicy foods, the ability to be creative and hide things.

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

L: Playing with Alex, having a sleepover with Alex, getting a new Lego (not an easy one), swimming, witty comebacks.

M: Long sleepovers at Caeley’s house, being on an airplane, being with my cat (Mr. Fantastic) and snuggling, drawing complex doodles.

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

L: People at school talking. Teachers having to get kids to shut up. [Mom’s note: she can’t stand loud noise, unless she is making it.]

M: School. Pep rallies. Long car rides. [Mom’s note: To psychiatrist that day.]

Are there specific topics you fine particularly compelling?

L: Science and math and sharks and ghosts.

M: Science, space, Japanese Anime.

What are your preferred ways to be social?

L: Communicating by whiteboard in group or individual (therapy). It’s the only way to keep me from shutting down.

M: Punching people in Morse Code. Just kidding. Telling people to go away.

What traits do you prize in a friend or companion?

L: Love for Legos. Thinks the same way. Gets what you mean. Smart. Imagines.

M: Intelligence. Humor.

Are there parts of your life you wish were easier?

L: I wish it was easier for people to understand how I act and think.

M: School, being around people.

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

L: Getting people at school to understand me.

M: Go to my new school next year.

What does bliss feel like to you?

L: Being away from kids that don’t understand me and being with Mom and Alex.

M: Being alone.