Asperger’s Heroes is conducting a survey

We are asking about how we can best serve the autistic community. So far the results have indicated that people would like some sort of support group and also something that raises the awareness of autism. About half of the responses we have had so far have been from autistic adults themselves a quarter of whom have not had a formal diagnosis. The rest have been from family members, carers and professionals.

These are the sorts of things people said they wanted.

People wanted support workshops

Discussions led by a facilitator on a variety of situations were suggested. It was acknowledged that attending face-to-face sessions was difficult for people and numbers would fluctuate so some form of online support was also suggested. Connecting people via the internet before they meet person can reduce anxiety. Online support can also mean that information can be shared to a wider audience.

A number of topics were suggested

What topics were suggested to be covered in such support groups? Topics suggested were about helping to solve individual circumstances and enabling people to be more independent. These might include mechanisms, strategies or behaviours to deal with difficult situations, to help autistic adults to be more confident in such situations and to enable people to fulfil their potential.

Listening to autistic individuals was seen as important 

However people were cautious that such workshops could turn into training Aspies to want to be more like neurotypicals. It was suggested that it was important to use such workshops to listen to autistic adults discussing how they had had to overcome barriers and what others could do to be more inclusive. It was suggested that ideas and stories from autistic individuals be used in workshops for professionals and campaigns to raise awareness.

Awareness training

Many people talked about campaigning/raising public awareness and educating people as to the needs of the autistic community in a general sense, to “change perceptions of what Aspergers is like” and educate the public regarding what mannerisms might be displayed and why. Use of visual media such as video was suggested to promote positive images.

Networking and volunteering

It was suggested that Asperger’s Heroes as an organisation join up with other groups and organisations supporting people on the spectrum in Birmingham and beyond. The possibility of others co-facilitating was also suggested and some might like to volunteer to help with these workshops.

We are now doing a follow up survey to shape these ideas a little more. Please let us know what you think by clicking here.