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July 8th: Social circle widening techniques

We shared our resources on how to widen our social circles from what we have read, observed and from the internet.

  • Autism spectrum people are like cat people rather than dog people. We are not necessarily approachable or approach  in a friendly way.
  • We do better one on one instead of in groups.
  • The use of a talking doll in a group helps keep the discussion singular and focused on one person at a time with one conversation which is much less confusing for those on the spectrum. The talking doll focuses the conversation on the person holding the doll.
  • The use of the 4 sentence rule is helpful helpful to prevent the long windedness of our autistic colleagues from boring us. The rule is one can only talk four sentences. then you must wait for a response before continuing.
  • It is helpful to put yourself in multiple social situations. Practice makes perfect. The more time the better. Time alone on a computer does not help.
  • When at a loss for conversation, ask about the other person you are speaking to. “How was your day?” “Did you do anything interesting this week?” “How are you doing?”
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August 26th, 2015: What happens when Relationships Fail.

We welcome any old, new or doubtful adults on the autism spectrum, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Asperger’s syndrome or autistics that would like to listen or engage in a discussion with like minded people. The neat thing about the group is that no one can say anything embarrassing even if they try. We have heard it all and do not take offense. We will meet from 7 till 9 PM at Grace Lutheran Church at 112th and Greenwood Ave in Seattle as we do every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Significant or insignificant others are especially encouraged to come for the following discussion.

In the middle hour we will discuss what happens when relationships fail, what to do to fix them and how to see eye to eye.

May 13th: Square Pegs Meetup.com discussion

During this session we were going to discuss support but the more immediate and pressing issue was how to keep up the www.meetup.com/Squarepegs/ website that Linda Justham is stepping down from administering the position as of May 31st and which she grew from a membership of zero to 800. Monica Cordell is taking over and she is engaging, organized, sufficient and she has two 21 year old autistic boys that are seeking social outlets through this meetup.

The square pegs site is meant for adults on the autism spectrum to meet together for what ever purpose. We had an additional meeting May 26th where we considered forming a non profit entity that could accept donations and form a board. Monica is paying for the site which costs $180 a year. Monica is hoping to encourage fun. There are a number of existing groups that are announced on the site:

1) The second Saturday evening Square Pegs potluck in Seattle that used to by at Marks and more recently has been at Pastor Gumm or Fred Hoffer’s home. We are hoping more people will host this event or we may have park picnics during the summer.

2) The 2nd and 4th Wednesday evening Victor Hellberg discussion group otherwise known by this blog as the Seattle Autism Spectrum Support Group.

3) The first Sunday morning Coffee in Bothell meeting

4) The first and third Saturday lunchtime Olympia Meetup Hosted by Carl

5) The third or fourth Friday Night Ladies Social at the Panama Hotel and Coffee House.

6) Once a month Sunday afternoon Autistic Action Committee on the east side.

7) first and third Tuesday evening Philosophy meeting is just getting started.

June 24th, 2015: Summer Solstice

In the middle hour we were to discuss how we are going to celebrate the summer. Did you attend the Fremont Solstice Parade? Going on vacation, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking or just soaking up the sun? How do you expect to expand your social circles this summer? But the discussion turned to widening social circles.

June 10th, 2015: If you want to have a party, what would it be like?

We welcome any old, new or doubtful adults on the autism spectrum, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Asperger’s syndrome or autistics that would like to listen or engage in a discussion with like minded people. The neat thing about the group is that no one can say anything embarrassing even if they try. We have heard it all and do not take offense. We will meet from 7 till 9 PM at Grace Lutheran Church at 112th and Greenwood Ave in Seattle as we do every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Significant or insignificant others are especially encouraged to come for the following discussion.

In the middle hour each of us can discuss our dream party whether it is among those on the spectrum or among neurotypicals. We can ask advice from others in the room about preparation and get inspiration or insight from others in the room.

May 27th: How to be More Supportive

In the middle hour we discussed how to be more supportive of each other and how others may be more supportive of those on the autism spectrum.

One member stated he needed rides but could offer phone calls to people in need.

Another stated she needed advice on how to tell if someone was snowing her. One suggestion was to move to the east coast, Boston or New York, where most people are not afraid of offending you and tell you straight out how they feel. Another suggestion was active listening where you ask “Tell me more!” at least 5 times to get to the feelings and emotional basis or the conversation. In the business world however, many on the spectrum may benefit by a coach or an advocate third party representing them with their boss who can help them interpret the meaning behind their bosses words and actions and convey their own wishes more clearly.

Another spoke of lack of advancement in his job. A recommendation of further training was hinted by his boss and seconded by the group.

A few spoke of anxiety and the need of quiet, earplugs or time out.

Another spoke of longing for transgender identity and another spoke of sexual orientation. The group was open and listened to their concerns which was support in itself.

April 22nd: Earth Day

Today in the middle hour we talked about Earth Day: How we fit in, how we are helping or hindering, what events or habits we are involved in and how the environment supports us.