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  • Community Contributor

The #ActuallyAutistic Culture and Identity Project S12

Name, and/or twitter handle: Aviva Seigler @fierceautie Pronouns: she/her Parent/non-parent: Parent Age when you selfdx/were diagnosed autistic: I was self diagnosed at 28 and medically diagnosed at 32. 1.Did you feel you were different from others as a child? I did feel different as a child. I was the odd one out at home and everywhere I went. 2.Are your parents supportive of you as an autistic individual? My parents are not supportive of me as an autistic individual. I was diagnosed as ADHD at 6 years old and autistic at 32. I was in ABA as a child to make me “normal.” My mother had the go to “does your autism make you nasty?” I have cut off my unsupportive family and surround myself with people who support me. 3.How did you determine your ethical system? I really think I determine my ethical system by my Jewish upbringing. I base my parenting on the opposite of what my parents did. I think being jewish and studying Rabbi Hillel was where my drive to be an advocate started from. 4.In which way does your private self differ from your outward facing front? My private self is my true self. I do not have to be afraid of what I am doing is effecting other people. When I am out in public, I constantly have to mask. Having to mask when out all day is extremely exhausting. 5.Do you enjoy finding mistakes/errors in the production of films and television...continuity etc.? I enjoy watching veterinary shows and pointing out what is wrong. Often when watching, I will call out a diagnosis before they announce it on the show and I am always right. My family is very amused by this. 6.What are the top 3 traits you look for in a friend? Acceptance, genuine and sense of humor 7.What are the top 3 traits you perceive as negative but are willing to overlook in a friend?Stubborn, rigid and sometimes treat me with disrespect 8.What are the top traits you look for in a partner/traits your partner possesses? Sense of humor Supportive Can have fun 9.What would you do with your life if you had unlimited funds? Run a cat hospice rescue. There are so many elderly cats that are left to die. I would take them all to give them the best life at the end of their life.

10.What does freedom mean to you. What does it entail? Freedom is being able to be myself in public. Freedom is when autistic kids don’t have to wonder if they are going to be bleached or poisoned by their parents. This is when everyone has equal rights. 11.What does success mean to you? Success is when people are helped. When people write me and tell me that my advocacy is helping them and they stop giving their kids a dangerous treatment, that is success. 12.Are you more stable/happier/productive within the structure of a relationship...partner/good friend/long-term roommate? I am happily married. My husband and I have been together for 20 years and married for almost 16 years. 13.Do you find it stressful to be around other parents at school functions? I do. I have nothing in common with these people. I have a hard time being myself at these functions because I have been trained that my self is never good enough. Thank ABA for that. 14.How often do you pretend to not see people you know if you don’t want to talk? I do this all the time. When I am out, its not very often and I do not want to talk to people. Its easier to socialize online. 15.In which areas do you identify the most with other autistic people? Sensory sentitivities, fine motor issues, stimming. Other autistic people are easier to get along with than non autistic people. 16.What are the most stressful aspects of parenting an autistic child as an autistic caregiver? When we trigger each other into sensory overload. I want to help my children but when I am overloaded myself, its very challenging 17.What are the top 5 things you want your children to know about the world and why? They have the power to change the world, I helped bring a MMS to federal trial. Anyone can make a difference The world does not accept us and they need to be careful. The world can be good depending on how much kindness we put out into it. People will stare, let them and answer questions they may have. People stare at things they do not understand. Life is hard, have a backup plan and a backup to your backup plan. 18.Does living off the grid appeal to you and why/why not? It does! I would have to deal with less people. Having solar panels would mean unlimited electricity for my electric car. 19.What is your favorite style of architecture and why? I love colonial architecture. It reminds me of the Adirondack mountains, my second home.

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