Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lydia Wayman 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 Lydia Wayman, a 24-year-old who loves friends, Diet Mountain Dew, and cats. She is greatly looking forward to a part time job and her forthcoming service dog, Lexie. She has a vast preference for communicating via text but has found a greater toleration for speech lately.

What is your name?

Lydia Wayman.

Do you have a website?

My blog is, but I've taken a hiatus from blogging recently.  I may be back, or I may not ... but all the archives are there.

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

I am a creative, inquisitive person who lives life intensely and compassionately.

Do you have any autistic superpowers? What are they?

Nothing spectacular.  I have an interesting connection with animals, especially cats, and I have a pretty good amount of empathy. I can feel others' emotions from across the room, which makes large groups tough sometimes with all the emotion flying around. I suppose I could also mention that I have an uncanny ability to get by with as few words as possible in most situations!

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

I love to be with my close friends.  My anxiety melts away and I'm free to be myself.

I'm also at ease when I'm with my service-dog-in-training.

Church makes me feel at peace.

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

I could go on forever on this one!  I'm not sad very often, but anxious might be my middle name...
  • Being alone in my apartment for too long
  • The grocery store.  Target.  The mall.  Walmart.  Etc...
  • Loud noises
  • Large crowds by myself
  • Fluorescent lights agitate me
Are there specific topics you find particularly compelling?

Autism and doing what I can to help parents of autistic kiddos.

What are your preferred ways to be social? 

I enjoy my Wednesday morning Bible study, but I really love spending one-on-one time with my friends.

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

Loyalty, dependability, and reciprocity.

Are there parts of your life you wish were easier?

I wish I weren't so anxious all the time, and I wish my health issues would straighten out soon.

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

I want to get a job so that I can keep a car!

What does bliss feel like to you?

Laying on a comfy couch with a purring kitty or two piled on top of me :-)