Last night, I watched a 40 minute documentary about Autistic adult, Laura Nagle. I highly recommend this documentary to all of you:
Laura is 57 years old and quick to call herself a “loser” — but with a wry smile on her face. It is clear when she says that, that she sees that self-label as complex. In society’s eyes, she both is and is not a loser. She lives in poverty, but she has the respect and admiration of townspeople who recognize her abilities and have invited her to help design buildings and other structures in town. In Laura’s eyes, the label seems even more complex. Watching the documentary, I sensed that Laura knows she is not a loser, yet struggles at times with negative feelings about the things she has a harder time with. For example, like many of us, she struggles with basic housekeeping. But she said that the only thing worse than living in a “pig sty” is to have a pig sty in your mind when you punish yourself by feeling bad about what you can’t do.
Laura is brilliant. She is a whiz with math, architecture, engines, airplanes. She is funny and clever. I got the feeling that she is a very loved member of her community. This documentary is sensitive yet bold, beautiful, touching, and real. She says that she wants other Autistics to fly higher than she has. It looks to me like Laura is flying pretty high, herself. May she continue to soar ever higher.