About

Lydia Brown (viewer's left), laughing and pointing at Quentin Masten (viewer's right), who has a giant stretchy purple spiky ball wrapped all over their head. Photo by Lucas Vizeu.

My name is Lydia Brown. I am autistic, disabled, and proud! I have a variety of experience in grassroots organizing, public policy advocacy, and outreach on disability rights issues. (Link to professional bio.) Outside radical disability justice and disability in public policy, I am a writer with several unpublished novels, and I'm interested in text-based roleplaying/collaborative writing, Sufi music, and Balkan political history.

I have smashed my face into the FBI's property (in front of the Special Agent in Charge of the field office in question), written 20,000 words (of questionable quality and coherency) for a novella in five days, interrupted the moderator in a political campaign debate from the audience (while sitting in the front row and broadcasting on live TV), and driven on well-trafficked streets in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods with Pakistani Sufi music blasting and the windows rolled down (while strangers stare in all the awkwardness). I am prone to screaming in Arabic at strangers (especially when they cut me off in traffic) and chugging minty yum goodness hot chocolate at four am. My hobbies include running across streets while flailing my arms and screaming "ZOMBIIIEEESSSS!" (it's a social experiment, promise), making the lives of my characters suck epicly in my novels and roleplays (as my friends regularly make comparisons to George R.R. Martin), and stuffing my face alternately with pasta, tibs awaze firfir, phở, and saag paneer. 

You can learn everything you need to know about me from this video. (Complete visual and audio transcription in the description.)

Contact me by email at lydia@autistichoya.com or by voice or text message at +1 (202) 618-0187.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Lydia, You don't know me, I'm a blogger and I've read some of your stuff (and I'm think highly of it). I'm originally from a small country town in Australia. A representative of an American organisation called Grafton Integrated Health Network that offers "solution focused opportunities for individuals challenged by complex disabilities" has gotten to know our community and wants to bring their not-for-profit services to our town. Our town is desperate for services and feel honoured to be considered by them. My sister who still lives there has been asked to join the committee and asked my opinion on the organisation (because I have autism and might be able to offer a unique insight or further understanding). Even though their website seems to read well (www.grafton.org), they are in America and I wouldn't know where to start with determining if they really are disability friendly in practice. Could you please tell me if you have heard of them and share anything about them that might be important for our community to know? Thank you so much for your time. Rachel

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    1. Just clarifying for anyone reading this -- I followed up with Rachel by email. :) [smile]

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  2. I came here from AVEN and now I'm curious...you're into Balkan political history? :) You'd better come here someday and educate this melting pot about the rights of asexuals and people with invisible disabilities.

    And I think your "most read" posts will help me learn a lot in terms of understanding my significant other even better, so I am very, very thankful. :)

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    1. Yay! I'd love to visit the Balkans one day! I'm currently in Amman, though. Where on AVEN is someone linking to me?! :D [big smile]

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    2. OK, now I can be me, I was afraid that the second sentence would make me come across as weird, while, in reality, we're really one of the most ignorant places in the western world - wrong people are the loudest ones, those who get things right are not interesting to the major media because the media strives to make money from controversies.

      Hmmm, the link. The topic URL is http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/97545-what-ableist-language-means-and-why-its-bad/ and the topic title, in case you're not registered yourself, is What "ableist language" means and why it's bad. I was intrigued by the site name, then I looked around and realised that your blog covers the exact combination of topics I would like to learn more about, being a NT asexual in a long-distance relationship with an Aspie asexual.

      So, yes, one can say that I'm really happy this morning; not even to mention how much I appreciate prominent bloggers who stay kind despite their exposure in media and respond to people at this pace. Whoa. Thank you. :)

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    3. I really appreciate your comments! I'm also super happy that you're trying to learn more about disability, autism, and ableism, and hope that you and your partner will both benefit not just from here but from all the other resources that exist out there. If you ever need anything, drop me a line -- lydia@autistichoya.com. The metaphorical door's always open. :) [smile]

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  3. Hi Lydia, I am just going perusing through and thought I would share a greeting. I am currently a student at the University of Toronto, and I am just finishing up a paper that I will share some of what you have here on. I like what I have found. I get stuck writing, and frustrated that I will not be able to come up with anything new to add to what has already been said. Fortunately enough for me I feel inspired today, and some of that is thanks to you. Nice to read fresh perspectives lathered in an honest point of view. Have a great day. Carla

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    1. Hi Carla! Thanks so much for posting this comment! I would love to read your paper if you're willing to share -- my email is lydia@autistichoya.com!

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  4. Hello Lydia,

    My name is Teresa Sabga. I am a freelance journalist studying at Syracuse University.

    This December, I found a mass the size of a cantaloupe in my lung. Knowing that my situation was uncommon, I began writing about my journey on the Internet. I didn't want pity. I simply wanted support. I used social media to express my feelings without having to burden my family and friends.

    I'd like to write a feature for Glamour magazine that explores the way the Internet has changed the way we view illnesses, both visible and invisible, and how its changed our acceptance of grief and death, using examples of multiple case studies, and gathering different viewpoints from medical professors, professionals and doctors who study this trend regarding HIV/AIDS, autism and mental illnesses.

    I'd love to interview you sometime next week, if possible. It should only take 30 minutes (probably less) and I strongly believe that hearing your opinion would only benefit my story.

    Please email me at tmsabga@syr.edu.

    Thank you for your time and patience. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    All the best,
    Teresa Sabga​​​​​​​​​

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    1. Hi Teresa! I sent you an email, so you should be able to reply to me directly there. Thanks!

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  5. Hi Lydia! I am interested in speaking with you about supporting self advocacy for students with disabilities on my community college campus, especially autistic students. My email is Sally.Gabb@bristolcc.edu. I hope you have a minute to communicate with me - your insights are invaluable. Thanks, Sally

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    1. Hi Sally! I sent you an email. :) [smile]

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  6. Hi Lydia,
    I am doing my PhD dissertation in Clinical Psychology on autistic individuals and their families as they participate in the Catholic faith community. I would love to include the actual opinions of the individuals in a separate publication, and wondered if you could advise me as to where I might find willing participants who would like to change the way clinicians pathologize autistic people. I believe it is a cultural difference rather than a clinical one, only as I have 8 children, one who is autistic and a husband who is likely. The phenomenological experience and the perception an autistic individual has of him or herself is what interests me most, since the research literature is pathetic and embarrassing. (What? No Theory of Mind? Are they really so arrogant as to believe autistic people have NO theory of mind? Geez!)

    Anyway, if you could direct me to a source where I might be able to find willing victims.,,er,,,recruits for the study, I would be very grateful!

    Best wishes and make sure you take care of YOU! You are REALLY prolific as a writer!

    Maria

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    1. Definitely happy to help -- can you email me at lydia@autistichoya.com? Thanks!

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