On the Couch with Kay Kerr

Kay-Kerr-photo-by-Jess-KearneyWho is Kay Kerr?
A tired but wired autistic writer/human.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
In another life I would work with plants or animals, or both. I feel very grounded and content with the life I am living, so I can’t seem to put much energy towards wanting something different. I want to stay on this path, and continue to grow into a truer, more authentic version of myself. I want to love my people well.

Who inspires you and why?
Young autistic people doing creative things in the world. I love their out-of-the-box thinking, playfulness, and sensitivity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would love to have the spoons to do more advocacy work, especially around accommodating and supporting young autistic people with schooling and mental health, and in trying to get more supports in place for autistic adults.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I lost my favourite holiday destination earlier this year, which was the version of Ireland that had my Granda Frank in it. Until then, I did not comprehend that you could lose a place when you lose a person. I lived there as a child, and so his home was my home, and it felt like a secret world that I could retreat to whenever I needed it. I returned with my Mum in January to say goodbye to him, which was unfathomably hard, and the loss is something I will be processing and working to integrate into my life for a long time.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I love taking people to the rainforest and waterfall that is close to my home. Walking through the trees, hearing the creek running, being in nature  – it’s a beautiful way to connect with someone, especially if we haven’t caught up in a while. It is a sensory experience that elicits calm and joy. Forest bathing is good for the soul. And you never know what you are going to see. The sheer excitement of witnessing a goanna stopping at the creek for a drink the last time I was there is something I still think about and enjoy.

What are you currently reading?
A textbook called Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, because I have just started my Masters of Information Studies and Librarianship. It is quite dry, and being back in formal education after 15+ years away is a shock to the system. But it feels good to be pushing myself and learning something new.

What are you currently listening to?
A playlist of my most listened-to songs of 2022, because I feel as though I am mentally still in that end-of-one-year/start-of-the-next place, despite it being almost April.

Happiness is?
When my nervous system is calm and I am able to engage with people I love, the things I love to do, and the places I love to be.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully some rest, and lots of time with my people, and ocean swims, and many more hours spent writing, and a pet cat.

Kay is the Author of Love & Autism – which is published by Pan Macmillan Australia and available from all leading book sellers including QBD Books.

Image: Kay Kerr – photo by Jess Kearney