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 animal facts lover, acorn enthusiast, and occasional TPGA contributor TH, whose mother Emily Willingham happens to be our Science Editor (she has added an occasional aside).
What is your name?
What would you like a one-sentence description of yourself to say?
Shy, nonsocial, and nerdy.
Do you have any autistic superpowers? What are they?
[He answered, “Superpowers? What does that mean?” Rephrased as, “Is there anything about your autism that you think makes you special?”]
It makes me smart, it makes my arms and upper body weaker, it makes me talented and gifted in certain subjects like science.
What are some situations that make you happy, or satisfied?
When I play video games like SuperMario Galaxy 2, look at books about nature, ride the Big Wheel, go to Yellowstone, or get around acorns and trees. I like to go outside in the back yard and practice baseball.
What are some situations that make you sad, or anxious?
When I’m around a ton of people.
Are there specific topics you find particularly compelling [meaning of great interest to you]?
Extreme facts about animals, general facts about animals. Any nature show, ever, except for Home, which was horrible.
What are your preferred ways to be social?
What traits do you prize in a friend, or companion?
That’s hard to answer. They have to have at least some things in common with me, like maybe they like going outside. My friends are not jerks.
Are there parts of your life you wish were easier?
I wish that being social were easier, but I don’t even care about being social because I’m not social and I never have been social.
What's the next big goal you have for yourself?
I want to have 1000 acorns. I want to go to Yellowstone.
What does bliss feel like to you?
When I have tons of nuts [he means real nuts, not people nuts] around me. When I’m opening a fresh pack of Pokemon cards. When I go to some place that has grizzly bears and bison, which is a double bonus.