I’m hoping to start a support group for women on the spectrum. My enthusiasm is tempered by reality; Auties aren’t joiners, we have our own ways and our own routines and comfort zones. For us, even the words support group can be innately challenging, suggesting an event where we are obliged to open up about our deepest anxieties, whether we want to or not. And yet one of the defining qualities of existence for most of us is loneliness, either an actual aloneness, bereft of friends and acquaintances, or the loneliness of difference, and most of us don’t actually want to live like this.
This would have to be an Autie-only environment. Formal diagnosis not necessary, because I think most of us have finely tuned Aut-dar and can spot each other across a room (even if we have no idea how to begin a conversation).
It has to be in a place that is comfortable and not clinical, where there is a low sensory background, enough to fill the spaces without pushing anyone to meltdown.
There needs to be a system in place to help those who want to be part of it, but panic when it comes to actually joining.
Perhaps there needs to be something to do, a craft, a discussion topic, something to distract from incipient overload.
And finally, my hope is for a community where older Auties mentor the younger ones, perhaps forming something important, something lasting, something that is for us, by us, about us, somewhere that feels like home.
I have a dream….