Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mahina 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 19 year old Mahina, who is smart, funny, & autistic.

Do you have a website? 

Yes! Check out; I write on my life and other cool things. I also have a music blog and tumblr. My Twitter was my first site before I branched out into blogging.

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

Awesome, cute (according to others), smart, funny, God-fearing, loving young lady.

Do you have any autistic superpowers? What are they?

Not sure if I have any unless visualizing everything and seeing even the little things as images counts. I tend to speak in non sequiturs as well.

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

Reading, history, listening to music, eating good food, blogging, antique shopping, animals, horseback riding (love horses!), spending time with friends (yes, I finally have friends) and doing homework (sike). To be honest, I prefer being by myself most of the time.

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

When people hate on or bully others, are cruel to others and animals, use others, or think of those with disabilities as inferior/not useful to society/stupid and not “normal.” I get anxious in crowded places and very frustrated when I’m overstimulated or when I can’t process everything because the situation is moving way too fast. Sometimes a certain situation will get so loud I must go out or take a break to avoid a mental or (rarely nowadays) physical meltdown. I’m better now at controlling my meltdowns and anxiety though.

Are there specific topics you find particularly compelling?

Human/animal/civil rights, music (rap head here), and history.

What are your preferred ways to be social?

If I don’t know someone well or am meeting them for the first time, I’d speak to them one on one. Once I get comfortable with someone, I’m less reserved and socially anxious and will probably embarrass myself by getting fun and hyper. I like social networks because they don’t make me anxious, let me think for a long time before answering (something I can’t really do offline), and I can be social on my own time. My social skills are way, way better than they were a few years ago so I’m getting more confident with socializing and going out.

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

Loyalty, respect, and patience.

Are there parts of your life you wish were easier?

My sensory issues bother me a whole lot! I’m gradually becoming more independent but I still need quite a bit of help in a lot of areas, even simple things like applications. I just hate when people touch me randomly or suddenly and without saying something or asking first, which startles and annoys me!

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

I’d say finding an internship or job before I graduate from college. Right now I switched from majoring in veterinary technology to accounting (but still not that good at math haha), which is an industry where many employers want experience before hiring you. So I’m trying to get experience.

What does bliss feel like to you?

Look back at what makes me happy or satisfied. :))