Has anyone here have/had difficulties in autism groups?

Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

catpiecakebutter
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Joined: 13 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 136

22 Jun 2024, 7:24 pm

So last fall and winter I was in a virtual Asperger group and I had difficulty knowing what to say to people in the group. I was silent quite a bit of the time and when I did speak I didn't say very much. It's somewhat weird that I was silent in a virtual group and yet in real life I'm often loud. Also one of the leaders of the group addressed everyone in the group once saying " hi friends". This leader I emailed said I knew people in the group but I went to that group for some months and didn't really learn anyone's name except for the leader and 1 woman's name I remember and the people in the group kept changing so I could barley keep track of anyone's name. I don't feel comfortable thinking of a bunch of strangers as "friends". I haven't been to the group since January. Anyone have a similar experience in a Asperger/autism/disability/mental illness group?



rse92
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,151
Location: Buffalo, NY

23 Jun 2024, 11:55 am

I have belonged to an ASD group for three years, since COVID calmed down. The woman who created it is a psychologist who has been an autism services provider for 35 years with her own organization and school. Her philosophy is it is open to all autistic adults, but no one has to talk. We have had many people attend who just sit and listen. That is very ok and not a problem for anyone. It is a great deal for some of these folks to get out of their homes for a social like this. I’m willing to bet your mods don’t expect you to always contribute. Speak when are moved to do so about what it is that moves you.



Fenn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,704
Location: Pennsylvania

23 Jun 2024, 12:19 pm

I find support groups (and this Wrongplanet.net set of forums) have limits in what works for me. I still mask even in groups of supposedly like minded people. There are still people who I don’t like or who I have trouble empathizing with.

I say, if you find yourself being silent then it is ok being silent. If some calls all the group members “Friends” and you don’t feel like they are your friends it is ok for you to not think of them as friends. I was in one group where one member always said “hi family”. That is what she needed. I didn’t have to think of her as my family, and so I didn’t.

I also found benefits to groups. Sometimes one or two people said things I could relate to. Even if it was a silent meeting for me listening could help. Sometimes it was a relief to hear someone had a problem like mine. Sometimes it was an eye opener to find someone who had much worse trouble than mine but hadn’t given up. Sometimes I couldn’t relate to the problem but respected that person was putting in the work to make progress as best as he or she could (with set backs and all).

A few pieces of advice: try going to the meeting/group for six times or more before deciding it isn’t for you (or it is). It is ok to be silent until you are ready to share. However many meetings that takes. Also “look for the similarities, not for the differences”. Try to find one person in the meeting who says one thing you can relate to. Are you silent? Look for the other most silent members.

If you tried the meeting, you must have had a reason to think it might help. Give it more than once chance to help.


_________________
ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(diagnosed)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie


catpiecakebutter
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Joined: 13 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 136

23 Jun 2024, 1:56 pm

The size of the group and the talk about mental health bugged me but I don't really do well in most kind of groups. For example I went in Special Olympics and I couldn't make friends with anyone because quite of few of the people are low functioning but the problem with the autism group the virtual autism group are too high functioning. I don't really fit in any group very well since I'm in the middle, not low or high functioning.



Fenn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,704
Location: Pennsylvania

23 Jun 2024, 2:21 pm

I also don’t do well in most groups. Hope it works out for you eventually, I am mostly doing individual therapy now, but there is one group I attend a few times a month. I stopped attending some meetings I used to attend because the cost/benefits were not there.


_________________
ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(diagnosed)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie