Megan is a mother, Aspie, and a lover of people, music, books, and writing. Megan’s blog is a creative outlet that shares her experiences with Asperger’s Syndrome, among other stories in the hopes of uplifting and starting meaningful conversation for those who seek it. This week she discussed a variety of topics including her diagnosis story, inclusion, disclosure, and supports for new mothers.
Andi Barclay was diagnosed as autistic as an adult at the age of 24 during her first year at graduate school. Within months of that diagnosis, Barclay published a few articles on NeuroClastic on her reaction to that recent diagnosis. Barclay thought it was important to immortalize those raw and honest feelings when they were fresh because she knew she would quickly forget how that felt. Barclay didn’t see her feelings represented in the autism blogs she was reading, and wanted to change that. This week she shared her experience grappling with a new diagnosis, prejudice about autism, and fitting into the Autistic community. Below is a transcript of our interview that has been edited for clarity.
Sarah Henderson is a blogger, speaker, and university student studying math from the U.K. Henderson blogs at I Don’t Look Autistic on a variety of topics related to autism. Today she discussed friendships, self-advocacy, and autism misconceptions.
James Shirley is a truck driver, ordained minister, and vlogger from Pennsylvania with an M.A. in Theology. He identifies as INFJ and is passionate about disability advocacy and is actively involved in many disability and human rights organizations, corresponds with elected officials to improve public policy, and is working on a film about disability experience. This week James shared this experience with the intersection of disability and religion and how he’s managed life throughout multiple abuses.
Khali Raymond is a writer and musician from Newark, New Jersey. He could read at the age of two and his work ethic and love for words has led to a prolific writing career (with 163 books to date). Khali’s love for his city and community is extremely strong and is a primary influence for his work. This week Khali discussed his writing life, the stereotypes he encounters, and the direction of autism advocacy.
Bernard Grant’s writing has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, New Delta Review, The South Carolina Review, Third Coast, and Craft, among other online and print publications. Bernard serves as an Associate Fiction Editor of Tahoma Literary Review and holds an MFA from The Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University where they were awarded the Carol Houck Smith Graduate Scholarship. They have also received scholarships to The Anderson Center, Sundress Academy for the Arts, and Fishtrap: Writing and the West, as well as fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Jack Straw Cultural Center, Mineral School, and The University of Cincinnati, where they are a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, and are at work on a novel-in-stories that focuses on a mixed-raced family and features autistic characters. Bernard is also working on essays on autism and American racism, which they plan to collect and title Unmasking. This week Bernard discussed his life as an Autistic author and ways society can work towards autism acceptance.
Dr. James McGrath is Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett University, UK. His book Naming Adult Autism: Culture, Science, Identity is available in paperback from Rowman & Littlefield International and his poems have appeared in various literary magazines. His next book will be a new set of experimental poems, titled an autistic figuration. This week he discussed autistic representation in literature, transition obstacles and supports, and reframing the autism identity narrative.
Robin M. Eames is a queercrip writer, artist, and historian living on Gadigal land (Sydney, Australia). They are currently working on a PhD in History at the University of Sydney. This week Robin discusses current and past representations of disability in literature and general society.
This is Part Two of a two-part interview with writer, student, and a/Autistic advocate Leanne Libas. Last week she shared her experience discovering her autism diagnosis and how she has developed a positive autistic identity through a transformative experience at a youth leadership forum. She wrote about not wanting to be cured for fear of “losing herself.” This week she discussed autism advocacy practices, different areas she notices ableism in her own life, and practical ways to combat ableism starting today in your own homes and communities.