Today, I would like to introduce you to one of my daughters. Please meet Natalie. She’s a writer, an adventuress, a Red Cross volunteer, a photographer, and a Fulbright scholar. She is a librarian, a collector of rare books and a grad student specializing in digital librarianship at FSU (visit her at www.theplaintree.com). She is my hero, because she is so confidently herself, and she does not give a darn what people think of her. She has her own style, her own values, and her own dreams, which she methodically turns into realities. Go to college at 16 a thousand miles away from home? Check. Travel to Indonesia and live in a madrassa for a year? Check. Rescue hurricane victims in Houston? Check. Get a JOB in the midst of the recession? Check. You get the idea?
Natalie recently discovered that she has mild Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. She thinks of it as “being green” on the autism spectrum. Coming from a family of eccentrics, her “Aspie-ness” didn’t raise a flag for us. Besides, it wasn’t even available as a diagnosis when she was little. An early and voracious reader, she usually preferred books, her dog, and nature over playing with a bunch of other kids. When she filled out her “About Me” paperwork at the beginning of second grade, she listed her favorite activity to do on the playground as “imagine” and the thing that bothered her most in the world as “injustice”. When the school called us in because they were concerned by her unusual responses, we simply moved her to a new school. We thought her responses were perfect. Natalie didn’t have a ton of friends when she was little, but that didn’t seem to bother her much. Obviously, Natalie never lets being Green interfere with achieving her goals and dreams. If you are interested in learning more about Asperger’s, or if you love an Aspie (or anyone… unusual!), take a minute and watch Natalie’s video, Being Green, and please share it with the ones you love. You may access it on the left sidebar.
One other thing I love about Natalie? She doesn’t mind putting the chickens in their coop at night. Thanks, Natalie.