My visit with Kathy.


Kathy Grant posted a reply on this blog mentioning my visit with her. I just got finished with another visit by autistic people (the post-Autreat visit rather than the pre-Autreat visit), and we were discussing how cool Kathy is. So I decided to blog about how cool Kathy is.

She came into my apartment and ran at my map, pointing at places and reciting the names, including sometimes the names of places they used to be parts of, really fast, while rocking, flapping, and at times jumping up and down. When Laura came by, she heard Laura’s last name and said “Eastern European name, Eastern European name,” and got similarly excited as they discussed Laura’s Slovak family.

It’s hard to describe exactly why Kathy is so cool. I think it’s because she’s so unabashedly herself, and unabashedly autistic-and-proud (she’s one of the co-founders of ANI), and up-front, and blunt, and heavily political, and yet she somehow manages to have the social skills to pull this all off without offending even many people she strongly disagrees with. I’ve rarely heard of anyone disliking her, and I really can see why. I think her fairly contagious enthusiasm is even contagious over long distances, because I can still feel noticeably happier just remembering her. (I am told this is not an uncommon reaction.)

So, Kathy, if you read this, thanks for coming by and I really enjoyed it, and anyone else, if you read this, you’ve got to meet Kathy sometime (and if you do, talk geography at least some of the time). If you don’t get to meet her, you can read some of her writing in the anthology Sharing Our Wisdom or in back issues of ANI’s newsletter Our Voice.


About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Developmentally disabled, physically and cognitively disabled. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died in 2014 and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

7 responses »

  1. Wow I’m jealous now (can’t find a better word.). I can’t really go anywhere as I’m unable to drive independently right now and I don’t know any other auties in this area of MD. Plus my parents wouldn’t like that too much (i only care about that because I am living at home for the summer.) Glad you had fun.


  2. rocobley: I am, when I can understand it…..politics when I can follow it makes for very interesting discussion…


  3. Huh? Sorry I was wondering if Kathy was interested in geopolitics. Hold on a mo…

    Sorry thought you might have been the person who commented on my last blog post about the current situation in the Lebanon. That was someone else tho.

    Politics certainly can make for a very interesting discussion. I am a Marxist, and part of a community of bloggers on the far left, mostly based in Britain. I link to a few of them on my blog. Come and have a visit sometime (don’t know what yr politics are, but I’m sure you’ll have something interesting to say).

  4. Amanda:

    What a sweet blog about me! I love it! I never knew how popular I am. What a great thing to read about!

    Kathy Grant

  5. Amanda:

    Also, tell people who are commenting on ‘My vistit with Kathy’ blog that I am interested in geopolitics. I’ve been reading about what has been happening in Lebanon recently. My favorite website is al-jezeera and I’ve been reading English language Lebanese stuff. Occasionally, I’ll read the BBC website (and they have stuff in foreign languages! Even Pashto!) So as to get a small taste of my political opinion, with the present Lebanese situation, I support the people of Lebanon. I don’t support Hamas, Hezbollah, or Israel. Many people, especially Americans, are ignorant about how Arab Christians (especially Arab Orthodox Christians) are persecuted by both the Muslims and the Jews. The world’s ignorance about this small minority population in the Levant region must be stopped. I’d love to hear people’s comments and opinions on what I have said. My main goal is not agreement or disagreement, but to learn from other people because I learn from every viewpoint that is presented.

    Kathy Grant

  6. Hi Kathy I am very curious about Arab Christians, because of reasons too complicated to go into on someone else’s blog… Coincidentally I had a student from that tradition once but that was a long time ago when I was less curious, and I did not ask him all the questions I ought to have. I would like to email with you about that topic, if that would be agreeable to you.
    nl dot gf dot ss at gmail dot com will be forwarded to me.

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