support/social groups - do you attend, does it help?

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invisibubble
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17 Mar 2012, 4:37 am

Just wondering if there's anyone who attends a local support group if you can comment on what its like. Is it social or just about dispensing information? Do people go that suspect they have aspergers but haven't been diagnosed? Are partners welcome? Does it feel any easier to approach and talk to people when with your own kind? Are there ever games nights or anything of that nature?



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17 Mar 2012, 4:44 am

I've never attended any, but I consider WP to be my support and social group. :)


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17 Mar 2012, 4:44 am

Um. I didn't get on very well at my local 'support' group. Although that was about both dispensing information & social activities. I think you'd need to find out about your local one, specifically, though. They won't all be run exactly the same way! I'd hope any 'support' group is there to provide support, which means helping you with problems. Not just social activities! That's just a social group, which may be some help but doesn't address issues with any other socializing, if you already had any groups. More useful if you haven't, though.


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izzeme
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17 Mar 2012, 6:48 am

i have been to some.
they were not useful directly, as they were designed to improve the social skills of an NT, but it did give me insights in how neurotypical communication works, allowing me to improve my own compensations and skillsets to match



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17 Mar 2012, 8:21 am

invisibubble wrote:
Just wondering if there's anyone who attends a local support group if you can comment on what its like. Is it social or just about dispensing information? Do people go that suspect they have aspergers but haven't been diagnosed? Are partners welcome? Does it feel any easier to approach and talk to people when with your own kind? Are there ever games nights or anything of that nature?


It would depend on said Group, & we don't really know you. Technically depends what people are there & what they offer. These questions would be better directed at said Group.

Normally is social. Can only see it from a none "As point of view really" as thats all I been took to. Keep repeating activity based, but they only seem to have social based.



chessimprov
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28 May 2012, 9:29 am

There are groups that cater more to helping you work on social skills too, but there aren't many. Seeing a need to serving social needs for individuals is not easily noticed because for many NTs, it "comes naturally" supposedly. They cost money too. If they don't cost money, someone either is doing a lot of people a favor and has a lot of time on their hands or more likely it's purely social based.



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28 May 2012, 9:41 am

invisibubble wrote:
Just wondering if there's anyone who attends a local support group if you can comment on what its like. Is it social or just about dispensing information? Do people go that suspect they have aspergers but haven't been diagnosed? Are partners welcome? Does it feel any easier to approach and talk to people when with your own kind? Are there ever games nights or anything of that nature?

I would recommend watching a movie called "Mozart and the Whale", it's a nice example on how a support group could work. :) But keep in mind, every and any group is different, because it's never the same people in them.


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28 May 2012, 10:07 am

invisibubble wrote:
Just wondering if there's anyone who attends a local support group if you can comment on what its like. Is it social or just about dispensing information? Do people go that suspect they have aspergers but haven't been diagnosed? Are partners welcome? Does it feel any easier to approach and talk to people when with your own kind? Are there ever games nights or anything of that nature?


Yeah, I went to one. I really liked the idea of hanging with like-minded people with difficulties like myself. I was hoping the conversation would be based on the difficulties of life based on ASD/ Asperger's issues (similar to this forum here on WP). However, the conversation quickly went to politics and Christian-bashing so I wasn't impressed. Probably won't go back anytime soon.

I have had thoughts of creating a local group but am debating about spending the time/energy on such an endeavor.


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shampooguru
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26 Jun 2012, 11:56 pm

I was discussing this subject just the other day, as I thought it would be a great idea for WrongPlanet to sponsor real life social groups throughout the country (and beyond), but the question came up as to whether or not people with social issues would be inclined to come to such meetings. I, for one, thrive on supportive social interaction, but I am aware of a Meetup group in my area for High Functioning Autistics and Aspie's that rarely has more than 3 participants at any function. Any thoughts?



2wheels4ever
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27 Jun 2012, 1:00 am

shampooguru wrote:
I was discussing this subject just the other day, as I thought it would be a great idea for WrongPlanet to sponsor real life social groups throughout the country (and beyond), but the question came up as to whether or not people with social issues would be inclined to come to such meetings. I, for one, thrive on supportive social interaction, but I am aware of a Meetup group in my area for High Functioning Autistics and Aspie's that rarely has more than 3 participants at any function. Any thoughts?


The one for OC appears to be another young adult version of Chuck E Cheese. I have no real interest in gaming or watching DVDs so I doubt I would take anything productive with me from that. I would stand to benefit from a group that shared experiences; people who are semi-functional like myself who 'made it' without selling their souls, people who I can model to continue growing, and newcomers that I can share my victories with.

I've been active in a Christian 12-step program that's pretty big since 2006. I've gained a lot of info as to why I self-medicated in the past but only recently have I seen how AS played into it. So far I am the only person at my home group to man up as an aspie. I'm beginning to feel more bored than usual hearing the other small group attendees share and lately I'm just kind of fearful that Christianity is a special interest that's on the way out. I'm 'born again' but I'm getting really burned out on all the 'count it all as joy' platitudes. There are maybe 10 people out of 300 there that I can have real dialog with and not have that wall of BS to filter through


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27 Jun 2012, 1:32 am

I have gone to some. I have been not going to one of my autism groups because of my husband not working so our money is really really right. It's been real bad. I even decided to cancel out this weekend too since it be all the way up in Washington. How do I feel about them? I like it there. One of them is a support group I go to and the other one is more social and I decided to join a anxiety & depression group and a ADHD group.

One of my autism groups takes donations and the other is free but it's at a restaurant and you need money to buy food but the group leader also does events like parties and video game nights and that is free, no donations. The anxiety & depression one is also donations. I am not sure about the other as I have no gone yet. I used to attend the ASAN one but my work hours keep me from going and that group was free, no donation.


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ozman
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27 Jun 2012, 8:20 am

I attend one- helps a little



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27 Jun 2012, 9:07 am

Does WP count?
In all seriousness, I wouldn't attend one because I don't want people seeing my face and pointing my ASD out to others. There's always the risk that your employer may find out and devise a reason why you're no longer fit for your occupation.



VisInsita
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27 Jun 2012, 9:21 am

I attended one group which was aimed at people with social phobias. At that time (over ten years ago) there weren’t really any groups here for people in the spectrum. After that group I haven’t attended any probably because I lack the initiative and generally have difficulty getting engaged (the group was suggested to me within the public services).

I personally didn’t really gain that much of the group. Nature of social problems in autism/AS is maybe different than in “general” social phobia. At times the group caused more anxiety than helped to release. Like once everyone had to name a support person to practice social situations with. Well, I didn’t really have any (my family lived 150 kilometers away at the time). At first I stated this truth openly, but soon after a bit of pressuring (Are you sure you don’t have anyone!?) saw lying as my best option. So I practiced with one of my imaginary friends. I might have even named him in the group. So at least he got some desperately needed IRL attention that he very rarely gets… :lol:

Like you invisibubble, I have also wondered what it would be like attending an autism group. Would it be easier to get friends and be less ridiculed or taken advantage of? Or maybe there are even more social misunderstandings within the group? Plus I am overly sensitive, so I’ve noticed that staying away from groups is a good thing for me. In groups things flame easily, bullying occurs (according to my calculations based on past and present I would be a very probable target) and my overly working guilt would have a lot of chances to blame me for destroying lives with my wrongly put words, gestures and so on… Still it kind of would be nice to have a peer group, where you could get and give tips, survival strategies etc. Luckily we have this planet. :)



Last edited by VisInsita on 27 Jun 2012, 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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27 Jun 2012, 10:32 am

Since spring this year I've found myself in contact with two "AS" support groups. One is a 'club' that supports more needy individuals, mostly young adults with often more than one diagnoses, and the other is a more spontaneous, 'high-functioning' group that's been originally based around a popular blog.

The former group is provided with instructors who help to engage group members in activities. Besides regular meetups they arrange sessions for cooking, dancing and other activities, and organize summer holidays. This is not free, of course, but I'm accepted there as a 'helper', so for me it is.

The second, more albed group has recently managed to launch a support forum with the hope that it would function much like WP, but it's primary language is my native one, not English. I'm trying to help them with some English translations, such as forum policies and online self-assessment tools.

In this second group most of the members don't have a diagnosis, but have definite traits of ASDs. On meetups we talk about a lot of topics, but thankfully political ones are only tangential.


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27 Jun 2012, 1:18 pm

Autism NZ Auckland branch has bi monthly support groups for adults.

At their Morningside Road address (since moved), the room provided was an echo chamber from hell due to acoustic design, hard floors, no drapes

Even though they were well aware of the rooms acoustic problems for autistics, nothing was ever done apart from a few small rugs, which did near zip to improve the clatter. The childrens groups also used this space....

The facilitators, mainly sort of women of children with ASD's, were sweet enough, but had no clout with their absent management bosses to make things better for us.

'Fatherless' aspie males, and/or those with poor fathering, ran rampant with constant chatter and one way conversations, domination and passive aggressive ego manipulations. Meltdowns occurred, and the group dynamics suffered from leadership difficulties.

I was always needing to go outside, as the ear chewing hounding from chatterboxes and constant echos drove me nuts. Well done AutismNZ!