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Magna
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08 Oct 2019, 7:55 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Magna wrote:
I'd like to hear ideas about what kinds of things you'd want a small group you'd join to focus on. Your 'wish list'.

What specific things would you like your small group to do and to be for you?

Examples:

>Snacks
>Presentations on self-advocacy tips
>Life skills networking and assistance from within the group (ie sharing talents to help each other)
>Group sharing on anything related to each person's life since the last meeting (support)
>Book club on autism specific books
>Exchanging emails, setting up a group email and people connecting anytime on Google chat, etc.
>Breaking into sub-groups based on interests and reporting back to the main group periodically.
Example: 'Think tank' sub-group focusing on ways to foster positive autism awareness in the community
>Game time
>Group field trips, hikes, museums, picnics, restaurant outings, etc.
>Holiday parties
>Splinter support and friendship group of NT partners and spouses. Field trips and holiday parties could be attended by the autistic group members and their partners/spouses

Those are just some ideas. I'd like to hear from as many people as possible as to their personal desires as to the kind of small group they'd like to be a part of and what kinds of things they'd like their small group to do.

Those are just some ideas.

All of the above are potential good ideas.

At some point, hopefully next year, I hope to create a website that can provide chatrooms, message boards, and email announcement lists for people organizing local groups.

(Mainstream social media such as Facebook should be avoided, for privacy reasons, in my opinion, except perhaps for the purpose of additional publicity beyond the afore-mentioned website plus Meetup plus our sigs here on Wrong Planet and other similar forums.)


Your website idea sounds like a perfect online hub for individual groups to form a network. I like it.


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
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Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Magna
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08 Oct 2019, 7:59 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Magna wrote:
My free consult with an AANE person is next week.

I look forward to hearing about this. Where on AANE's website is this mentioned, if you can find it again?


This page is where I found the free consult for New Yorkers and then for everyone else right below it.


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Mona Pereth
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09 Oct 2019, 3:02 am

Bravo5150 wrote:
As far as snacks, I can speak of reading of four different diets that may be an issue: Ketogenic, GFCF, Tyramine free, and Vegan. I can't seem to come up with anything besides mixed nuts to fit into all four categories. I don't know if you would want to try to make a lengthier list or have another idea on how to do the snacks idea.

Agreed that it's good to be aware of the more common diets and to aim, at least eventually, to accommodate them. In some places, such as parts of NYC, religious dietary restrictions (kosher and halal) are also a concern.


_________________
- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Jakki
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09 Oct 2019, 5:55 am

Bravo5150 wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
One thing we need to keep in mind: Accommodating a variety of different kinds of autistic people in a single in-person group meeting is going to be very difficult. In the long run, we are going to need multiple in-person groups per locale, or perhaps one group with a variety of differently-structured meetings aiming to accommodate different kinds of autistic people.

It won't be possible to accommodate everyone at the beginning, but there should be an aim of accommodating more and more kinds of autistic people at different kinds of meetings as the group grows.

Besides the different "levels" of autism, there are incompatibilities of attention issues. As I see it, autistic people commonly have one or more of the following three kinds of attention-focus issues, with different resulting needs regarding in-person social interaction:

1) Co-occurring ADHD. Results in a strong preference for spontaneity, with lots of free-wheeling tangential conversation.

2) What, for lack of a better term, I will call "reverse ADHD." Little or no difficulty concentrating, but more-than-normal difficulty with multi-tasking and with shifting one's attention from one topic to another. Results in a strong preference for structured, highly-focused, goal-oriented discussions on pre-announced topics of interest.

3) Difficulty filtering out sensory distractions. In extreme cases this means meetings must take place in a well-sound-proofed rented room, plus there may also need to be an additional small room (e.g. a closet) that people can retreat to when feeling sensory overload. An informal get-together at a diner would not work.

Besides the above three kinds of attention issues, a substantial fraction of autistic people also have extreme sensory sensitivities, requiring not only a well sound-proofed rented room, but also careful attention to the lighting in the room and making sure there are no subtle (to most people) bad odors. (Accommodation of olfactory sensitivities can begin by simply requesting that all attendees wear unscented deorderant and no perfume.)

Yet another major category of autistic people to be accommodated, at least eventually, is extreme introverts, for whose sake color communication badges were invented.

It is difficult if not impossible to accommodate all of the above in one group meeting, especially in the early stages when there are too few regular attendees to justify renting a room of any kind, so the only choice at that point would be meeting at a diner.

For this reason, I think any in-person organizing effort needs to be supplemented with locale-based online forums and chatrooms. It's easier for us all to get along online than in-person, at least when there are good moderators. So, people who aren't adequately accommodated by any of the group's in-person meetings can participate in the group's online chat, with the understanding that there will eventually be in-person meetings for them once the local organization gets big enough.

Currently, as far as I can tell, most already-existing local peer-led autistic adult support groups do NOT aim to accommodate a variety of attention-focus issues, sensory issues, etc. They just do whatever happens to most convenient for the leaders, without even an eventual aim of accommodating a wider variety of autistic people.

On the other hand, the earliest autistic adult organization, Autism Network International, did aim to accommodate extreme introverts and people with extreme sensory sensitivities at its conferences. Subsequent similar conferences like Autscape have followed suit.


Since you bought up several differences, do you mind a research project as far as where magna brought up a question about snacks?

Socialization , everyones name tag perhaps beside degree of condition ,possibly interests . Breif individual intro. Fresh fruit snacks , healthier type crackers . Windows , natural light . Not overly bright light if evenings , no flourescents .


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Bravo5150
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09 Oct 2019, 6:15 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Bravo5150 wrote:
As far as snacks, I can speak of reading of four different diets that may be an issue: Ketogenic, GFCF, Tyramine free, and Vegan. I can't seem to come up with anything besides mixed nuts to fit into all four categories. I don't know if you would want to try to make a lengthier list or have another idea on how to do the snacks idea.

Agreed that it's good to be aware of the more common diets and to aim, at least eventually, to accommodate them. In some places, such as parts of NYC, religious dietary restrictions (kosher and halal) are also a concern.


I could be mistaken, but from what I am understanding if you use vegan friendly snacks, you should take care of the religious diets as a byproduct. My understanding of Kosher and Halal is they are both concerned with how an animal is slaughtered. There are no animals slaughtered in vegan practices.



Magna
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09 Oct 2019, 6:20 am

On the snacks: This was not my idea, it was given to me via PM, but a good solution to the conundrum would be to simply have people bring their own snacks if they desire to have one and also to share.


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Jakki
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09 Oct 2019, 6:30 am

Jakki wrote:
Agrees on idea of local groups .. ground up ........

Oakay so here goes , i know new york has some groups ,s kansas city had one..
Breifly . Fell apart ,, inclusion was not a big issue for them. Shyness can be a issue in one on one , situations . For aspies not usually a part of a group.
Kansas City needs one . Ronald Mc donald house here was hosting prior group


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Mona Pereth
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09 Oct 2019, 8:40 am

Magna wrote:
On the snacks: This was not my idea, it was given to me via PM, but a good solution to the conundrum would be to simply have people bring their own snacks if they desire to have one and also to share.

Agreed, if the group is big enough to rent a room and the venue allows food.

In the early phases, when the group is still too small to rent a room and has to meet at a diner or restaurant, it will be much harder, probably impossible, to accommodate everyone.


_________________
- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Mona Pereth
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09 Oct 2019, 11:35 am

Jakki wrote:
Jakki wrote:
Agrees on idea of local groups .. ground up ........

Oakay so here goes , i know new york has some groups ,s kansas city had one..
Breifly . Fell apart ,, inclusion was not a big issue for them.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "inclusion was not a big issue for them." Which of the following do you mean?

1) They didn't even bother trying to be inclusive.

2) They WERE very inclusive, and managed to be that way with little or no difficulty as far as you could tell. (If that's what you mean, I would be very interested to hear specifics of what they did in order to be inclusive.)

3) Inclusiveness issues had nothing to do with the reasons why the group fell apart.

In any case, how and why did the group fall apart, as far as you can tell?

Jakki wrote:
Shyness can be a issue in one on one , situations . For aspies not usually a part of a group.

I'm not sure what you mean to say here. Do you mean that, for Aspies, shyness is less of an issue in a group situation than one-on-one? If so, that's true for some of us, but for many of us, it's the other way around.

Jakki wrote:
Kansas City needs one . Ronald Mc donald house here was hosting prior group

Hopefully someone in Kansas City will be interested in starting one again? Thanks for letting us know what the venue was.


_________________
- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Jakki
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09 Oct 2019, 12:55 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Jakki wrote:
Jakki wrote:
Agrees on idea of local groups .. ground up ........

Oakay so here goes , i know new york has some groups ,s kansas city had one..
Breifly . Fell apart ,, inclusion was not a big issue for them.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "inclusion was not a big issue for them." Which of the following do you mean?

1) They didn't even bother trying to be inclusive.

2) They WERE very inclusive, and managed to be that way with little or no difficulty as far as you could tell. (If that's what you mean, I would be very interested to hear specifics of what they did in order to be inclusive.)

3) Inclusiveness issues had nothing to do with the reasons why the group fell apart.

In any case, how and why did the group fall apart, as far as you can tell?

Jakki wrote:
Shyness can be a issue in one on one , situations . For aspies not usually a part of a group.

I'm not sure what you mean to say here. Do you mean that, for Aspies, shyness is less of an issue in a group situation than one-on-one? If so, that's true for some of us, but for many of us, it's the other way around.

Jakki wrote:
Kansas City needs one . Ronald Mc donald house here was hosting prior group

Hopefully someone in Kansas City will be interested in starting one again? Thanks for letting us know what the venue was.


Person whom started the group bailed out . Had administrative skills .
Apparently he had made some aqquaintances with a mid twenties female couple , some point . They pretty much dictated interests of the group.
We did provide some autism awareness booths at 2 venues , with offers to hand out free earplugs . Group varied in size and severity of autism .affectations from 6-9 persons . Questions to the group , other than naming yourself . Was not very inclusive . Ignoring people who were not directly connected with three initial people . Others making suggestions seemed not worthy of consideration .Appeared female couple seemed to dominate ,
Used google hangouts . And apparently you needed to be active on facebook.
To appear to be included . . Lastly group the 3 had decided needed a name and a logo . Which appeared to be the end . Most of that activity was on facebook . Limitedly on hangouts . Last i ever heard of them . Loss of the original person( whom was more able to be outgoing) pretty much was the end. I was the eldest member of the group .
No snacks , they had tried to arrange meet ups online , which cut down participation alot . Of anyone but the three and people , immediate friends .

Sad recollections ,


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Magna
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09 Oct 2019, 8:45 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Magna wrote:
On the snacks: This was not my idea, it was given to me via PM, but a good solution to the conundrum would be to simply have people bring their own snacks if they desire to have one and also to share.

Agreed, if the group is big enough to rent a room and the venue allows food.

In the early phases, when the group is still too small to rent a room and has to meet at a diner or restaurant, it will be much harder, probably impossible, to accommodate everyone.


Meeting places for small groups may be easy for some groups and very difficult for others. There are many places that can be explored including using the space of agreeable churches. There are many non-denominational churches that would probably offer space to a group of people with autism.

I personally hope in the event that I'm able to start a small group in my area that we wouldn't have to meet in a diner or restaurant for a few reasons: 1) I'm very easily distracted in such settings. Even in perceptively quiet restaurants there is a lot of competing sensory stimuli. If it's busy at all, then it's extremely difficult to concentrate and that's even with my discreet earplugs. 2) I would expect that a group would probably share things that are personal and even confidential. I wouldn't feel comfortable at all talking to my fellow group members about my struggles with tables of NTs within earshot.

Hospitals in my area offer space for regularly meeting support groups for grief, cancer, etc. I'm planning on checking if they'd allow space for an autistic support group.

The public library in my town has large and small conference rooms to reserve. They're free to non-profit organizations and government. Any other group costs $60 for four hours. I contacted the head of the library department that handles the room rentals and explained the idea. She said unless it was a non-profit, $60 per four hours...no exceptions. She did end the email with: "Good luck!"

Part of brainstorming the best way to form small groups will be sharing ideas about the best possible options for meeting in suitable sensory friendly places (or as sensory friendly as possible) for free or at very low cost. I wonder if local YMCA or YWCA locations would have meeting places.


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Mona Pereth
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10 Oct 2019, 6:25 pm

Jakki wrote:
Person whom started the group bailed out . Had administrative skills .
Apparently he had made some aqquaintances with a mid twenties female couple , some point . They pretty much dictated interests of the group.
We did provide some autism awareness booths at 2 venues , with offers to hand out free earplugs . Group varied in size and severity of autism .affectations from 6-9 persons . Questions to the group , other than naming yourself . Was not very inclusive . Ignoring people who were not directly connected with three initial people .

Alas, cliquishness seems to be common in groups of all kinds. Indeed it's pretty much inevitable unless the core members make a conscious effort not to be cliquish. Avoiding cliquishness is something that will need to be covered in our leadership training program.

Jakki wrote:
Others making suggestions seemed not worthy of consideration .Appeared female couple seemed to dominate , Used google hangouts . And apparently you needed to be active on facebook.

Again, not good, for privacy reasons. Facebook should be only a peripheral, not central, aspect of a group's online presence.

Jakki wrote:
To appear to be included . . Lastly group the 3 had decided needed a name and a logo . Which appeared to be the end . Most of that activity was on facebook . Limitedly on hangouts . Last i ever heard of them . Loss of the original person( whom was more able to be outgoing) pretty much was the end. I was the eldest member of the group .
No snacks , they had tried to arrange meet ups online , which cut down participation alot . Of anyone but the three and people , immediate friends .

Sad recollections ,

I'm sorry to hear about this.


_________________
- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Jakki
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11 Oct 2019, 8:22 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Jakki wrote:
Person whom started the group bailed out . Had administrative skills .
Apparently he had made some aquaintances with a mid twenties female couple , some point . They pretty much dictated interests of the group.
We did provide some autism awareness booths at 2 venues , with offers to hand out free earplugs . Group varied in size and severity of autism .affectations from 6-9 persons . Questions to the group , other than naming yourself . Was not very inclusive . Ignoring people who were not directly connected with three initial people .

Alas, cliquishness seems to be common in groups of all kinds. Indeed it's pretty much inevitable unless the core members make a conscious effort not to be cliquish. Avoiding cliquishness is something that will need to be covered in our leadership training program.

Jakki wrote:
Others making suggestions seemed not worthy of consideration .Appeared female couple seemed to dominate , Used google hangouts . And apparently you needed to be active on facebook.

Again, not good, for privacy reasons. Facebook should be only a peripheral, not central, aspect of a group's online presence.

Jakki wrote:
To appear to be included . . Lastly group the 3 had decided needed a name and a logo . Which appeared to be the end . Most of that activity was on facebook . Limitedly on hangouts . Last i ever heard of them . Loss of the original person( whom was more able to be outgoing) pretty much was the end. I was the eldest member of the group .
No snacks , they had tried to arrange meet ups online , which cut down participation alot . Of anyone but the three and people , immediate friends .

Sad recollections ,

I'm sorry to hear about this.


Having written this and things to be avoided most likely. Have noted from being here that a great need for aspies, mental health could be a concept
To be covered , any abilities to aid in independance within a life in society.
Things to possibly avoid and identify in potentially toxic persons . Which might impede progress of individuals goals towards self sustenance . Even self sabotaging concepts . Links to support organizations or individuals in business which actually might aid in developing any of the above skills and possible follow up support . Plans for group and commitments for group gathering for entertainment support , simple as going to agreed movies,or simple as gathering to attend some public event. ???? Even a meal outing
The need for logos or name of group might be a rather low priority. Vs other things .. HEY , wait a great idea for a name has come to me just now..
Absolutely brilliant ...... " The Group " .. whew glad thats over..looolz


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