Happy New Year to you all

www.auties.org has just added a new category under ‘services’ in our autism-spectrum and autism-friendly sections.

The category is ‘Seeking to Form Skills Group’ and we invite people to seek to form their own groups and list them with us at www.auties.org (its free).

Once upon a time, people in the community passed on skills to one another.

Today we expect to get that on a DVD or have it handed to us in school or trained on a job.

But for some people on the spectrum, by the time they get to their teens or adult years they’ve actively avoided many of the environments and opportunities to develop such skills and so have convinced many people of their incapability, lack of motivation or disinterest in developing marketable skills.

Some have been unintentionally trained through learned dependency to see themselves as the dependent recipients of care rather than responsible for themselves, even enjoying equating being ‘loved’ with being ‘looked after’ in the dependent role.

Some will have failed academically, severing their easy transition to a job and the opportunities to learn ‘on that job’.

Some will be unable to learn from a DVD and have to learn in a hands on, ‘being there’ manner but the services that provide that are scarce, the waiting lists long or the fees too high.

We have many people in the community who are interested in getting together with others with their skills or sharing experiences and tips in refining those skills.

The services ‘out there’ are pretty limited, hence we can either sit waiting passively for others or help ourselves.
If you are on the spectrum or consider yourself autism-friendly, consider whether you have a developed skill you are happy to share with others on the spectrum through a skills group in your area and if so consider listing your skills group.

It could be a gardening group, a woodworking group, a writer’s group, a poets society, a drama skills group, a reading/editing group, a technology skills group, an artists group, a mathematicians group….there are many types of skills and even leaving the house, meeting strangers, staying more than ten minutes or sitting in a room with others can be a skill that requires practice to develop.

Running a group or joining such a group can become a way of developing a skill, staying in practice and something on a CV that demonstrates you are a do-er who can demonstrate motivation through actions not just dream and talk about what you believe you could do or be.

On www.auties.org we currently list individuals, but we are also very happy to hear from teams of people on the spectrum; performance groups, bands, duos, teams of poets or public speakers, gardening and painting teams, groups of exhibiting artists…. so if you are involved with employment and employability then also consider how you might help people organise and develop a marketable skill as a team.

🙂 Donna Williams *)
author of nine books in the field of autism.

Donna Williams *)
Ever the naughty Autie.

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