Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 2 - Page 53

we met, instead of meeting in person first, because typing meant more freedom to show who we were. We may socialize differently, but the important thing is that it works for us and that we’re very happy to be friends! What We Admire about Each Other Chloe: There are many things I admire about Lydia. Lydia is one of the strongest, most courageous people I know. She also has a heart of gold, always giving to others and willing to help others, even when she is going through her own struggles herself. Lydia: Chloe exemplifies what we need every parent, professional, and spectrum person to know and then do—she sets goals that seem impossible, and then she comes up with a plan and makes them a reality. I’ve seen it time after time; there is really nothing that will stop her. When something bad happens, she never loses sight of the fact that it’s just a blip on a much bigger path toward something great. I don’t know many people of any age or neurology who do that so well. What We Have Learned about Friendship from this Relationship Chloe: This relationship has taught me that sometimes you’ll meet a friend at a time you are least expecting to meet a friend. It has also taught me that sometimes things happen for a reason. I was reading Lydia’s blog for a reason; we were meant to be great friends! Our friendship has taught me so very much. Lydia: My friendship with Chloe has taught me that there are people who will really stick by me through tough times. I have also met many other adults on the spectrum through Chloe, and so even beyond friendship, I’ve found the most incredible community, something I never had before, and it’s completely changed my life. Since she treats everyone with respect and believes in their competence, she has made me realize that I can and should reach out and give them a chance because everyone can be a good friend. Lydia Wayman is an autistic advocate, writer, and speaker as well as the Media Communications manager at Parents in Toto, an autism nonprofit. She has a B.S. in elementary education and an M.F.A. in English and creative writing. Follow her blog at Autistic Speaks, her column at Geek Club Books and her Facebook page. Chloe Rothschild is a young adult with ASD who is on a mission to advocate and teach others about autism from her perspective. She is on the OCALI advisory board, a young leader for the Autistic Global Initiative, presenter, writer and advocate. Visit her website and her Facebook page.