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Mona Pereth
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09 Mar 2021, 6:07 pm

Please see my article Longterm visions for the autistic community. It describes plenty of different kinds of groups that don't currently exist, or that I've only begun to build.

For progress so far, see Autistic peer-led groups led by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group (APLeG).

Some of the proposed groups could be in-person. By the way, local in-person support groups for adults on the autism spectrum already do exist (or did exist before COVID and will probably meet in person again after COVID). I just would like to see a lot more of them, not just a few per major metro area. I'd like there to be neighborhood-based groups within large cities, and I'd like there to be more groups in smaller cities and towns too.

Most of the other kinds of groups I envision could be mostly online, but in a locally-focused way and could hold occasional in-person get-togethers.


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22 Apr 2021, 1:33 pm

auntblabby wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
we followed a loose "roberts rules of order" type of protocol, not that different from your description of Aspies for Social Success.

What did your group do? What kinds of discussions or other activities? Also, how did your group recruit new members? AFSS recruits new members via a combination of its website plus other online outreach via Meetup and Facebook, plus monthly announcements by the main leader at a therapist-led free support group for autistic adults run by the Aspergers and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA), an NT-led organization primarily for parents and professionals. (AHA is now merging with AANE.)

we were affiliated with square pegs seattle, an offshoot called square pegs olympia. square pegs did the announcements. our group was for adult aspies and their partners. we were basically a sort of support group, we didn't really do group activities. just a once per month meetup and comparing notes. nothing fancy. had a hard time getting people to agree to do anything more. "herding cats."


Have people experienced with AANE.org chimed-in here on WP?

The original-post in this discussion thread is a good ice-breaker to those new to WP:
viewtopic.php?t=395573



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22 Apr 2021, 3:52 pm

it would be ideal if they AANE would comment on WP.


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25 Apr 2021, 2:46 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
we followed a loose "roberts rules of order" type of protocol, not that different from your description of Aspies for Social Success.

What did your group do? What kinds of discussions or other activities? Also, how did your group recruit new members? AFSS recruits new members via a combination of its website plus other online outreach via Meetup and Facebook, plus monthly announcements by the main leader at a therapist-led free support group for autistic adults run by the Aspergers and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA), an NT-led organization primarily for parents and professionals. (AHA is now merging with AANE.)

we were affiliated with square pegs seattle, an offshoot called square pegs olympia. square pegs did the announcements. our group was for adult aspies and their partners. we were basically a sort of support group, we didn't really do group activities. just a once per month meetup and comparing notes. nothing fancy. had a hard time getting people to agree to do anything more. "herding cats."


Have people experienced with AANE.org chimed-in here on WP?

The original-post in this discussion thread is a good ice-breaker to those new to WP:
viewtopic.php?t=395573


The 'Autism Politics, Activism, And Media Representation' forum is an appropriate forum to bring WP to the attention of AANE.org

Again, the WP discussion thread (LINK) is a "good icebreaker" to guide AANE in augmenting WP to best help adults on Autism Spectrum - even adults with High Functioning Autism (HFA) are terribly under-served!

LINK: viewtopic.php?t=395573



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25 Apr 2021, 3:15 pm

I am not sure how effective AANE is. I sent them an email for help, but never heard back from them.

For interest, this group in Washington DC does have programs: https://www.dcpeers.org/

I have not contacted them as they seem to have a cut off age in the late 20s or so.



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25 Apr 2021, 4:19 pm

Jiheisho wrote:
I am not sure how effective AANE is. I sent them an email for help, but never heard back from them.

For interest, this group in Washington DC does have programs: https://www.dcpeers.org/

I have not contacted them as they seem to have a cut off age in the late 20s or so.


had also attempted to email them but did not get a response either . But then also at one time
repeatedly tried to contact the ACLU with no response other than a membership card initially
was sent ,after sending them money too join them. Had since tried to contact these organisations for over a year without any responses .


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JustFoundHere
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25 Apr 2021, 6:31 pm

One concern here is that aversions to further investigating WP become a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts- even by people who are genuinely concerned about how to best help adults with High Functioning Autism (HFA) -- a self-fulfilling prophecy playing-out...........here on WP! -- WHY??

We have yet to see if the WP discussion thread (LINK) proves to be a "good icebreaker" - which might guide AANE in augmenting WP to best help adults on Autism Spectrum.

AANE seems to offer those rare examples of services - whose qualities seem to help adults with HFA. In other words, opportunities for anybody experienced with AANE to chime-in to WrongPlanet.net (WP) regarding best practices, as well as discussions on what did not prove helpful for adults with HFA!

Another reason why AANE must develop an ample presence here on WP would be to encourage additional financial donations - How many have made small donations of money to agencies like.....AANE?? "Sorry, emailing AANE alone doesn't seem to "break the ice!"

Anybody experienced with AANE? Please chime-in to this discussion thread. After all, there are gains to be made concerning HFA across-the-board!

LINK: viewtopic.php?t=395573



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25 Apr 2021, 7:08 pm

Has anyone yet built a successful autistics-only community that did not require outside support from neurotypicals and/or or steady infusions of funding?

All this talk is great; but how about some valid real-world results?


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25 Apr 2021, 7:58 pm

Fnord wrote:
Has anyone yet built a successful autistics-only community that did not require outside support from neurotypicals and/or or steady infusions of funding?

All this talk is great; but how about some valid real-world results?


"Just a thought " but a few hfa's whom were seriously good at masking . Possibly working on a common direction . And relieving each other as the stress of socializing gets to be overly tasking.


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JustFoundHere
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26 Apr 2021, 12:24 pm

Fnord wrote:
Has anyone yet built a successful autistics-only community that did not require outside support from neurotypicals and/or or steady infusions of funding?

All this talk is great; but how about some valid real-world results?


Yes, at this time, AANE.org seems like that present rare example of best-practices of day-to-day efforts to best serve adults with HFA - that is best practices demonstrated through efforts involving NTs, NT-like HFAs, HFAs, and people concerned with the Autism Spectrum.

The Autistics-only community concept is far in the future - hence any consideration for donating money to agencies like AANE.org who seem to demonstrate how to best serve adults on the Autism Spectrum............presently?



ezbzbfcg2
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26 Apr 2021, 12:47 pm

Doesn't the definition of our affliction mean that we're literally incapable of doing anything successful within a group (even in a group of our own)?



JustFoundHere
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26 Apr 2021, 2:57 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Has anyone yet built a successful autistics-only community that did not require outside support from neurotypicals and/or or steady infusions of funding?

All this talk is great; but how about some valid real-world results?


Yes, at this time, AANE.org seems like that present rare example of best-practices of day-to-day efforts to best serve adults with HFA - that is best practices demonstrated through efforts involving NTs, NT-like HFAs, HFAs, and people concerned with the Autism Spectrum.

The Autistics-only community concept is far in the future - hence any consideration for donating money to agencies like AANE.org who seem to demonstrate how to best serve adults on the Autism Spectrum............presently?


Any feedback regarding WP Post (LINK) whose purpose is guide people new to WrongPlanet.net?
LINK: viewtopic.php?t=395573



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28 Apr 2021, 6:59 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
JustFoundHere wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Has anyone yet built a successful autistics-only community that did not require outside support from neurotypicals and/or or steady infusions of funding?

All this talk is great; but how about some valid real-world results?


Yes, at this time, AANE.org seems like that present rare example of best-practices of day-to-day efforts to best serve adults with HFA - that is best practices demonstrated through efforts involving NTs, NT-like HFAs, HFAs, and people concerned with the Autism Spectrum.

The Autistics-only community concept is far in the future - hence any consideration for donating money to agencies like AANE.org who seem to demonstrate how to best serve adults on the Autism Spectrum............presently?


Any feedback regarding WP Post (LINK) whose purpose is guide people new to WrongPlanet.net?
LINK: viewtopic.php?t=395573


I would add the WP sub-forum (where this discussion thread is posted) 'Autism Politics, Activism, And Media Representation' to the above LINK - that is a WP sub-forum which can also orientate people new to WP.

By the very nature of this WP sub-forum, many of us are here to promote actual concrete approaches favorable to better serve adults with HFA.

Why is it that the very people who are allied with understanding and helping adults with HFA continue demonstrate such blind-spots to participating on WP??

The last few posts here in this disc. thread mentioned AANE.org -yet, why can't AANE see it in their best interests esp. to boost money donations by developing a presence here on WP??

After all, if AANE is a rare example of best practices regarding services, activities, etc. for adults with HFA, then why can't both staff, volunteers, and clients experienced with AANE post here on WP esp. here in the........... 'Autism Politics, Activism, And Media Representation' subforum??



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29 Apr 2021, 12:14 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
Doesn't the definition of our affliction mean that we're literally incapable of doing anything successful within a group (even in a group of our own)?

Many of us are not completely incapable, though it's generally more of a challenge for us than for NT's.

The moderators of Wrong Planet are a small organized group of autistic people. Ditto the moderators of a few other similar forums.

In many major cities, there are peer-led support groups for autistic people.

Also there are advocacy groups such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the best-known disability rights group for autistic people.

I've organized various small groups throughout my adult life. Within the past couple of years I've been involved in the creation of the groups listed here.

One of the groups I've recently organized (which meets currently via text-based chat, hopefully eventually in-person too) is the Autistic Peer Leadership Group (APLeG), whose aim is to help us develop leadership skills. As I explain on the above-linked page:

Quote:
"What???" some readers may ask. How can a bunch of people who have trouble with ordinary social skills learn leadership skills?

Just as some of us may find academic skills easier to learn than social skills, many of us may also find some social skills easier to learn than others. And, within the social realm too, what's relatively easy or difficult for us may differ from what's relatively easy or difficult for most NT's. (Again see autistic-friendly social skills.) Some of us may even find it easier to lead a group than to participate in groups led by others. (Some of us may, for example, find it easier to focus our attention on a group when we are leading it than when we are not leading it.)

That's not the case for all of us, of course. But, even so, attempting to develop leadership skills can be a good way to help us improve our social skills more generally.

[...]

[...] Members of APLeG are asked to commit to making an effort to resolve any conflicts that may arise among us. Many autistic people have been repeatedly hurt by NT's suddenly dropping us as friends for no apparent reason, without any explanation. Let's agree not to treat each other that way. We don't all have to be friends, but we should seek mutually acceptable solutions to any issues that would otherwise stop us from getting along well enough to function comfortably as a group.

The Autistic Peer Leadership Group has rotating leadership of meetings, so we can all get practice leading the meeting.


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Mona Pereth
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29 Apr 2021, 12:33 pm

Jakki wrote:
"Just a thought " but a few hfa's whom were seriously good at masking .

IMO being good at small-group leadership/facilitation is not the same thing as being good at masking. There are, for example, other ways to accomplish the same things that most contemporary Western NT's do with eye signals. (My support group is considering using something like a talking stick when we meet together in-person again.)

IMO it's much better to develop a leadership/facilitation style that accommodates one's own (and other people's) autistic traits than to try to act like NT's.

Jakki wrote:
Possibly working on a common direction .

Of course. A group needs a common direction IMO.

Jakki wrote:
And relieving each other as the stress of socializing gets to be overly tasking.

The stress of socializing can be greatly reduced, in the first place, with a leadership/facillitation style that relies on accommodation rather than masking. But I agree that it's good to have co-leaders/co-facilitators when possible.


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29 Apr 2021, 1:07 pm

(Disclaimer: I am still not completely sold on the idea of a physical community dedicated to autistics only.)

The term "Talking-Stick" caught my eye.  There is ample precedent for this practice.  In many indigenous west-coast tribes, a special staff is carved to be used by the chief and/or the chief's stand-in to signify that the holder of the Talking-Stick" speaks with the voice of authority.  Some Pacific islander tribes practice the same custom.  In the fictional work, "Lord of The Flies", a conch shell was passed around to designate which person could speak.  In many RPG groups, a special object is held by the player whose turn it is to describe their character's actions, and only the referee may usurp that honor.

My point is that the Talking-Stick is a useful tool for facilitating group discussions, provided everyone involved honors and does not abuse the practice -- such as literally sitting on the Talking-Stick to engage in a filibuster, or to verbally assault someone whose turn to speak has already passed.  A time limit should be placed on the speaker and/or the facilitator should be allowed to take the stick back after a set time (or any time).

Anyway, that is just my Cr0.02...


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