I went to my first support group meeting

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hale_bopp
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25 Oct 2006, 6:10 am

Tonight I went along to the aspie support group.

It was kinda odd, I was nothing like the people there and felt out of place. I got talking to a few of the people, some of them were really friendly and we had a laugh, but I really had nothing in common with them.

I could probably be more useful there as a support person to the others. I might go to another one where there is a larger varity of people, to see what it's like.

Worth going to, though. I'm really glad I did.



MrMark
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25 Oct 2006, 6:29 am

I'm glad you did too. :)


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gunit311
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25 Oct 2006, 10:20 am

Hale_bopp i also went to an aspie support group myself on September 2nd in Los Angeles. it was not very supportful but it was cool meeting other people though there were only like 7 of us which was way more comfortable since there were not that many people. of course there were different people as the expression goes you meet one aspie and you have only met one aspie. I am also glad that i went also got to hang out get out of the house for a bit except it took me like 1 hour 30 mins to get there because of the bus system but that is a different story. as well as you i am glad that i went also.



alex
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25 Oct 2006, 10:25 am

hale,

I had almost the exact same experience when I went to a supprt group meeting


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markaudette
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25 Oct 2006, 10:29 am

I really hate and mourn the fact that the stupid town I live in would never have an Aspie support group. And even if we did, it would be full of fretful parents desperately trying to figure out how to cure or deal with their children's Asperger's. (And not their adult children's or even THEIR Asperger's!)

I the truth of the matter is that if I want an Asperger's support group here in my town, I'M going to have to be the one who starts it!

Congrats on attending your first support group!



DirtDawg
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25 Oct 2006, 11:18 am

Markaudette,

Your experience sounds more like my experience, although there is one group, locally, that seems to be more informed and respectful/respectable. There are some school sponsored groups, but they are out of control and change constantly.

Next month, the 'responsible' group are sponsoring something that might be fun. It's an autism movie night at a local theater. The lights will be on, but dimly, the sound will be reasonably lower in volume, you can bring your own health conscious snacks and drinks and pillows or blankets, plus the temp will be warmer for the smaller crowds. They are offering an animated kid movie and an adultish drama.

The theater will be closed to the public! But every other aspect will be in force as an excersize if you want to use it to "train" kids who don't get out much. Or like me, if you just want to have a family evening out, there is a place to go that should be much less annoying than normal movie nights.

I hope they get enough participation to continue these efforts.



hale_bopp,

I would love to be able to help some of the people I see at these places, but too often there is a hovering protector with people that need help and the protector is viscious to maintain their status quo. I just don't have the guts to fight with them. I hope you can get some good from your efforts and do some good along the way.


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25 Oct 2006, 1:00 pm

Aspie support groups are a little bit contradictionary, aren't they? We're not social by definition. A typical aspie usually just socializes with a few close friends and often just one at a time.

I can fake NT-ness pretty good when I want to.


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Emettman
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25 Oct 2006, 1:13 pm

hale_bopp wrote:
Tonight I went along to the aspie support group.

It was kinda odd, I was nothing like the people there and felt out of place.


I'd go with that.

I've done better meeting in non-aspie groups which shared my special interest(s)
That point of contact served better than the AS itself when, beyond the diagnosis, there may be not much in common.


On-line is somewhat different. Here we can touch and go, or stay around,
more easily than in a real-life meeting, with its extra layers of protocols and complexities.



walk-in-the-rain
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25 Oct 2006, 1:45 pm

I think some people like being in support groups and others don't click with the idea. I've been to two support groups and didn't like either one and didn't go back. The AS group though was for families and was NOT very AS friendly. Bright lights, noise, seating at tables with strangers. Seems it did not occur to them that a parent might also be on the spectrum themselves.



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25 Oct 2006, 2:47 pm

I'm an individualist. I don't do things in groups, if I don't have to, so I would never ever go to a group voluntarily.

A true aspie isn't a "group person". A true aspie is more or less a hermit by instinct.


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Steve_Cory
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26 Oct 2006, 1:21 am

As someone mentioned, yes it is contradictory. Adverse effects on your social skills is the most likely result of staying in support groups like that. The best thing to do, in my humble opinion, would be to just go out into public... experiment with social settings.

Learn while experimenting. That's all the support we need.



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26 Oct 2006, 1:23 am

Hey I went to my first support meeting recently too. It was full of contradictions. Three-fourths of the people attending were psychology students, professors, school counselors and parents of young "possible-Aspie" kids. 50 people showed up. Counting me there were 4 adults with AS and 1 that thought she might be AS. So what kind of support group is that?

The ones in charge have apparently little knowledge of AS because the whole environment was uncondusive(is that a word?) to Aspies ...bright lights, someone opened the window and let the freezing, smokey night air inside. Seating was very uncomfortable. I felt like a caged animal in the room. The one younger adult Aspie was doing a presentation that was all cutsie, no doubt he had NT help. All the women were saying 'ah he's so cute", etc.

But after the meeting when I spoke with the other three Aspies I started noticing the dyanamics of the group. The supposedly supportive NT people were avoiding us as if Aspergers was contagious and some of the college psych students were snickering when they overheard me talking. :oops: The AS guy that addressed the group stood there alone in the hall, awaiting to answer any questions and everyone ignored him and didn't even come up to say good job. Shouldn't NT parents have at least been supportive enough to tell an adult AS good job for doing public speaking? I tried to tell him he did a good job, but it sorta came out wrong and when I tried to re-word it the other women Aspie I had spoke to previously came up and sidetracked me. So her and I ended up talking the next 10 minutes. I feel bad having not talked to the girl that said at the meeting she wondered if she was AS. I forgot about her after I was talking with the other woman then we just left the building together.


AS Support group is an oxymoron because for the most part we just aren't supportive and social and definitely not good in large groups. What the support groups really are are just social networking for the parents of kids, they really don't seem to want the adults around. Ironically an awful lot of those parents have some autistic tendacies if you ask me.



Sedaka
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26 Oct 2006, 2:50 am

i haven't worked up the courage to go to one yet.


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DirtDawg
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26 Oct 2006, 3:40 am

Ticker wrote:
....... What the support groups really are are just social networking for the parents of kids, they really don't seem to want the adults around. Ironically an awful lot of those parents have some autistic tendacies if you ask me.


I think you have just hit the nail on the head!

I went mainly for that reason, but quickly saw a possible way to interact with common-minded people. Unfortunately most, if not all those (adults) who are on the spectrum in those meetings, are in total denial of themselves. The NTs who run the "shows" are too much into themselves to even talk to aspies, since they have it all figured out, already.

I did meet a man, almost my age, recently diagnosed, but we had nothing in common and there was not much "exchange" to our conversation. Besides, his wife is a bully. My wife is an angel, on the other hand, and got tired of her BS in an instant.

Sorry to be so damn negative, but I'm being honest. Each time I go, I have less interest in returning, but I keep hoping to find someone with kids the age of ours who wants friends. Silly, I suppose, since I have given all my "friends" the shove.


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MrMark
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26 Oct 2006, 5:10 am

Ticker wrote:
Hey I went to my first support meeting recently too. It was full of contradictions. Three-fourths of the people attending were psychology students, professors, school counselors and parents of young "possible-Aspie" kids. 50 people showed up. Counting me there were 4 adults with AS and 1 that thought she might be AS. So what kind of support group is that?

The 5 of you should set up your own group.


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As in the whole orchards resonant with bees."
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