What kinds of groups does the autistic community need?

Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,387
Location: New York City (Queens)

12 Aug 2021, 5:00 pm

In my opinion, the autistic community needs many other kinds of groups besides just (1) support groups and (2) generic "social" groups.

Support groups, of both the peer-led and professional-led varieties, are needed IMO, but our community need lots of other kinds of groups too. Not everyone in the community needs every type of group, of course. Different people need different kinds of groups, and many of us could benefit from more than one type of group -- either in-person or online, or both.

The kinds of groups I think we need include those listed on my page Longterm visions for the autistic community, such as:

- Groups of autistic workers in particular categories of professions / occupations / jobs (or who aspire to same). Hopefully the existence of such groups will help foster the creation of more autistic-friendly workplaces too.

- Groups of autistic people with particular hobbies or special interests. Such groups could be an excellent place for many of us to find friends. A few such groups could also play important roles in the larger community as well. For example, some members of a group of sewing hobbyists could make custom-made clothes, at relatively reasonable prices, for those of us who have difficulty finding comfortable clothes for sensory or other reasons.

- Groups of autistic people within particular religions or ethnicities.

- Disability rights advocacy groups, preferably groups whose members stay in touch with the larger local autistic community, both online and by attending one or more local groups of the other kinds mentioned above.

All large thriving organized subcultures, including the LGBTQ+ community, other disability communities, and many ethnic minority communites, have groups in all of the above (or similar) categories.

Most large thriving subcultures, including the LGBTQ+ community, also have plenty of bars/pubs and general social clubs too. Apparently (judging by remarks of some people in the thread linked in the next paragraph), many autistic people (or at least Aspies) would like to have general autistic/Aspie-oriented social clubs too. But I think many (not all) of us would function better in more specialized/focused social groups, e.g. groups centered around a specific hobby or activity.

I'm posting this to begin a new thread in which to divert discussions about kinds of groups other than support groups from the thread Your gripes about peer-led autistic adult support groups?.

I would also be interested in other people's thoughts about the listed kinds of groups more generally, or about still other kinds of groups they think the autistic community needs.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 78,499
Location: Queens, NYC

13 Aug 2021, 4:26 am

Indeed, most definitely. All of these.



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,387
Location: New York City (Queens)

01 Sep 2021, 5:44 pm

In my first post in the separate thread Thoughts about friendship, I quoted a blog post of mine in which I talked about what I regard as the four "foundations of friendship":

1) Companionship: Enjoying each other’s company.
2) Emotional sharing / intimacy.
3) Doing favors for each other.
4) Comradeship: An emotional bond formed by facing common challenges together.

A friendship doesn't necessarily have to have all four of these foundations, but generally, in my opinion, it needs to begin with at least three out of the four.

One of the aims of creating groups of autistic people is to make it easier for us to make friends with each other. To that end, let's consider what kinds of groups can help foster each of the above foundations of friendship.

For example, I think a hobby-oriented social group is probably the best way to foster companionship among autistic people who share the particular hobby.

On the other hand, a support group naturally fosters a kind of emotional sharing/intimacy.

As for comradeship: A sports team might do it for the relatively few of us who are into playing sports. Other possible ways to foster comradeship, for the non-athletes among us, might include political activist groups and volunteering together for a charity that one passionately believes in. It is my hope that the Autistic Peer Leadership Group can foster comradeship among those of us with a desire to build the autistic community, in addition to helping us learn leadership skills together.

As for doing favors for each other: Offhand, I don't see a good way for any kind of ordinary, public-facing, drop-in group of autistic people to encourage this. The only kind of group I can think of that could foster exchange of favors (and have this work out well, with no one feeling exploited or endangered -- at least not very often) would be some sort of fraternal-type organization with a series of membership levels and initiations, with members gradually being expected to do more for each other as they rise in the hierarchy. I don't see such groups forming within the autistic community anytime soon, although they might form eventually. If they ever do form, they would need to be quite different, in various ways, from traditional NT fraternal orgs.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 51,985
Location: Stendec

01 Sep 2021, 5:58 pm

Still pitching for your website, eh?

We do NOT need more “groups”; we need better-quality leadership of the “groups” we already have.



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,387
Location: New York City (Queens)

01 Sep 2021, 7:13 pm

Fnord wrote:
We do NOT need more “groups”; we need better-quality leadership of the “groups” we already have.

We need both. We need more groups and we need the leaders/facilitators of already-existing groups to be committed to improving their leadership skills.

As I've said elsewhere, the autistic community is vastly under-organized, compared to other disability communities and also compared to various other kinds of non-mainstream demographics. Apparently, we may be under-organized even compared to non-autistic intellectually disabled people. (Historically, the self-advocacy movement for intellectually-disabled people started before the self-advocacy movement for autistic people.)

Of course, this is likely due to the nature of our common disability, but we do need a more-organized community, both to benefit our personal lives in various ways, in the short run, and also to help ensure that advocacy groups like ASAN (with which I'm not affiliated, BTW) are more representative of the actual autistic community.

As for "pitching my website": Hopefully I haven't been doing what the moderators would consider to be an unacceptable amount of linking to stuff on my website. If I have been, I'm sure they'll let me know. I do try to counter-balance this with plenty of posts on other topics, both without links and with links to websites other than my own.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


Jakki
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,585
Location: Outter Quadrant

01 Sep 2021, 8:31 pm

A Psychologist , With Autism group experience , Might be handy in a moderator role for Autism Support Group perhaps with at least one NT with somekind of experience with support groups..
(As a facilitator )
And a minimum of one person of peer based Autism support group experience to interact and be potential advisor to the
Psychologist .. Just my own thoughts .


_________________
Diagnosed hfa
Loves velcro,
Quote:
where ever you go ,there you are


Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,387
Location: New York City (Queens)

02 Sep 2021, 2:52 pm

Jakki wrote:
A Psychologist , With Autism group experience , Might be handy in a moderator role for Autism Support Group perhaps with at least one NT with somekind of experience with support groups..
(As a facilitator )
And a minimum of one person of peer based Autism support group experience to interact and be potential advisor to the
Psychologist .. Just my own thoughts .

You've described what I call a professional-led support group. These can be valuable, and good to have. They are not the same thing as an autistic peer-led group, which can also be good to have if well-run. The two kinds of groups serve different purposes.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


Jakki
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,585
Location: Outter Quadrant

02 Sep 2021, 3:07 pm

Am agreeing that peer based support groups serve their own beneficial functions as well …! :D


_________________
Diagnosed hfa
Loves velcro,
Quote:
where ever you go ,there you are


Fenn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,140
Location: Pennsylvania

02 Sep 2021, 3:48 pm

Um - maybe a "leave me alone I don't want to be in your group" group?
Like a "nonconformists group" where everyone wears the same "nonconformist" tee-shirt
And blue jeans. All nonconcofmists MUST wear blue jeans.



mohsart
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2020
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 473
Location: Southern Sweden

02 Sep 2021, 4:21 pm

Fenn wrote:
Um - maybe a "leave me alone I don't want to be in your group" group?
Like a "nonconformists group" where everyone wears the same "nonconformist" tee-shirt
And blue jeans. All nonconcofmists MUST wear blue jeans.

That sounds great.
It may seem strange, but I really like the idea!
It's akin to Marxs saying if the club will accept me as a member, I don't want to be a member.

/Mats


_________________
Interests: Comic books, Manga; most things to do with Handicraft, wood, textile, metal etc, modern materials; horror, true crime; languages, art, and history to an extent
Uninterests: All things about motors; celebrities; fashion; sports; career; stock market


Jakki
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,585
Location: Outter Quadrant

02 Sep 2021, 4:39 pm

mohsart wrote:
Fenn wrote:
Um - maybe a "leave me alone I don't want to be in your group" group?
Like a "nonconformists group" where everyone wears the same "nonconformist" tee-shirt
And blue jeans. All nonconcofmists MUST wear blue jeans.

That sounds great.
It may seem strange, but I really like the idea!
It's akin to Marxs saying if the club will accept me as a member, I don't want to be a member.

/Mats


Am gonna join a club and beat you over your head with hit ... ( three stooges)?


_________________
Diagnosed hfa
Loves velcro,
Quote:
where ever you go ,there you are


mohsart
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2020
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 473
Location: Southern Sweden

02 Sep 2021, 5:13 pm

Jakki wrote:
mohsart wrote:
Fenn wrote:
Um - maybe a "leave me alone I don't want to be in your group" group?
Like a "nonconformists group" where everyone wears the same "nonconformist" tee-shirt
And blue jeans. All nonconcofmists MUST wear blue jeans.

That sounds great.
It may seem strange, but I really like the idea!
It's akin to Marxs saying if the club will accept me as a member, I don't want to be a member.

/Mats


Am gonna join a club and beat you over your head with hit ... ( three stooges)?

Is that a song reference? I know of the stoogies, but not a huge fan

/Mats


_________________
Interests: Comic books, Manga; most things to do with Handicraft, wood, textile, metal etc, modern materials; horror, true crime; languages, art, and history to an extent
Uninterests: All things about motors; celebrities; fashion; sports; career; stock market