My friend Ibby has started her own shiny, new, fabulous blog, called Tiny Grace Notes (AKA Ask An Autistic! *Doing a little snoopy dance*
This is how Ibby describes her blog: “The purpose of this blog is specifically so people can ask me things that may not come up on other blogs, which I completely recommend reading. But let’s say you have a burning desire for the answer to a question that nobody blogs about that week? Come here and ask it in the comments. You can do that right now. I might answer myself, and I might also remember that my friend told me about it a couple months ago, so I could answer from multiple viewpoints in conversation. Also, I may be able to give you a study about it that isn’t insulting and eugenic and horrible.”
This is how Ibby describes herself: “I’m an Autistic member of the Community and an education professor…”
Ib is an educator. She teaches educators. Not only that, but Ibby is patient, incredibly kind, nonjudgmental and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Seriously. (I love saying that after saying someone’s funny…) I know Ibby’s blog will soon have more questions than she’ll have time to give, so I’ve already elbowed my way in there and asked her a question in the comments section! If you want to ask her something go over there NOW and get in line, because I have a feeling that line is going to get pretty long, pretty quickly!
Just to backtrack a little… Most of you have heard me talk about Ibby. We met at a Disability Conference here in New York City where she was presenting last spring. I wrote about meeting her ‘here‘. It was one of those magical moments when you meet someone and you just know instantly, you just know there’s an immediate bond, an indescribable feeling of closeness that defies explanation. That’s what it was like for me when I met Ib. She flapped, I allowed myself to do a tiny little, tentative bounce on my toes, nothing that would call attention, (I was new to the sensation, had not allowed myself to engage in such behavior since I was a kid, but it felt GREAT!) and we hugged.
After that first meeting we kept in touch. In fact, we began “talking” aka IMing each other once or twice a week and then we began talking several times a week. We talked about autism, I asked her if I could ask for advice about Emma and she graciously not only agreed, but patiently explained and re-explained things I found difficult to understand. Over time we began talking about ourselves more. I began to talk candidly with Ibby about my guilt over the things I’d done, the various therapies, the remedies and Ib told me more about her life. This was a post I wrote after one of our epic conversations. (I hadn’t asked Ib if it was okay to use her name at that point, so I didn’t.) We found we had similar senses of humor, we went off on whole riffs together, and I laughed. I laughed with Ib as I hadn’t laughed in a very long time. As our friendship grew, so did my hope. Now, if too many days go by and I haven’t been in touch with Ib I feel a little off, a little melancholy.
All of this is to say, Ibby is rare. She’s brilliant and really, really smart, which aren’t the same thing. You can be brilliant, but not very wise. Ib is both. So go over to her blog and ask her some questions, because honestly, I can’t think of a better person to go to.
Totally unrelated photo taken by Richard of Em at MOMA