If You’re Lonely, Find An Aspergers Support Group

It takes community to maintain a human.

asperger support groups

Earl Davis

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.

H.E. Luccock

After the Aspergers diagnosis.

Parents.  Adults.  Teenagers.  Kids.

When any one of these people first find out about the Asperger’s diagnosis, they go through a myriad of emotions.

After the dust starts to settle, people start to ask question.  This is brand new territory to some people. Others have lived with Aspergers for a long time.

Often, they all have loneliness in common.

But no one needs to be or stay alone.  Thanks to increased awareness, Asperger support groups have sprung up internationally and locally.  And on the internet!

Here’s some help for people and parents dealing with Asperger.  Check out these different sites and see if you can find a fit for your particular situation.

GRASP

GRASP stands for the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership.

GRASP’s mission, per their website, is to ‘ improve the lives of adults and teens on the autism spectrum through community outreach, peer supports, education, and advocacy.’

If you like Facebook as much as I do, you may want to stop by GRASP’s Facebook Page and join the community.  I just joined, so I hope you’ll join me there! :)

Here’s a state by state listing of asperger support groups in the United States from GRASP’s website.

OASIS @MAAP

The link above will take you to yet another state by state listing of Aspeger support groups in the United States.

Aspergers Meetups

Meetup.Com offers easy access to Aspergers support groups in your area.

Meet with local people affected by Asperger’s Disorder (Asperger Syndrome) for support and discussion.

When you go to Asperger Meetups, you’ll see a search menu on the top right hand side of the page.

What if there is no Asperger support group near you?

Create a meetup group of your own!  Here’s the link.  You may need to pay some ‘organizer’s fees’ to get started.  However, once you get organized, the group members can each contribute dues so that you’re not footing the bill.  Reach out to other people and families in your community through your local newspaper.  It’s a cheap way to get the word out on a mass scale to your community.

Wrong Planet

Alex Plank founded this online autism community years ago when he was still in high school!

Today, this online group has mushroomed to 66,000 members!

Here are just a few of some of the Asperger support topics you can find in this community’s online forums:

  • General Autism Discussion
  • Parents Discussion Group
  • Social Skills and Making Friends
  • Adult Autism Discussion
  • Adolescent Autism Forum
  • Kids Crater
  • Love and Dating
  • Work and Finding a Job

 Aspergers Support Network Group on Facebook

Join the Asperger Support Network on Facebook, and you’ll be linked with almost 13,000 members from around the world!

 I’ve enjoyed the daily discussions that the moderator presents.

Here are some recent topics that have been discussed:

  • ”How do you tell your aspie that they are an aspie?”
  • How do you cope when your child switches from calm to angry in an instant? How do you cope with this and what do you think causes it? Any of you guys on the spectrum, please feel free to let us know how such a swing in mood so quickly makes you feel.
  • For Adults with Asperger…..How did you deal with your diagnosis? Do you have people around you who understand you? How is life for you generally? Thank you so much for sharing your stories/experiences with us.

Aspergers Support Groups in the United Kingdom

If you click on the heading above, you’ll be taken to a site that will help you find an Asperger support group in your regional area of the United Kingdom.

If you have other links you recommend for Asperger Support Groups, please let me know!

Copyright: mangostock / 123RF Stock Photo

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 I'm Steve Borgman.  I'm a licensed clinical professional counselor and blogger committed to bringing you hope, understanding, and solutions that you can apply to your life immediately.
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  • http://www.freefunguides.com troycorley

    There is an Asperger’s social support group for teens and young adults in Ventura County, CA called ASAP Asperger’s Support for Adolescents Plus. It was founded by me six years ago. I’m a mother of a daughter diagnosed with Asperger;s and she wanted friends who also had Asperger’s. You can find us at http://www.vcasap.org. Folks come to our group from Los Angeles as well and we have a group that meets in Sacramento, CA. Follow us asapaspergers

  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com/ SteveBorgman

    @troycorley  asapaspergers thank you for the input, and good for you for founding this group!  I appreciate you letting our readers know about your support group!

  • http://socialmazebook.com/ Aspergers Talks by Christopher

    While Asperger’s groups play a fantastic role in raising awareness of Asperger needs, and offering mutual understanding and support, I don’t believe they are a solid basis for developing a social life. Sure you can meet some great aspie friends, however you are more likely to get the social life you want by mixing in the neurotypical world, and finding those people who are more socially savvy and have social influence in their circles. Aspies need these people, and much of the time the socially savvy types needs an aspie in their lives too!

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Christopher, thank you for your input on this topic. My stance, here, is Both/And. As you said, these types of group can offer mutual understanding and support, which then reduces loneliness. However, you do need to develop the social skills in everyday live situations in order to make more friends and be part of society. Have you ever listened to the Art of Charm podcast? This podcast illustrates what you’re talking about.

  • http://socialmazebook.com/ Aspergers Talks by Christopher

    Hi Steve. Yes I have listened The Art of Charm. It has some good social advice although I feel it’s rather generic like so many other programs out there. While good social skills are a massive help in building a social life and in handling all social situations, it is still possible to develop a great social life even with limited social skills – although it’s no good if you so awful socially that people want to run away from you! However if you think about it, it is common to see people such as uni students or young adults who’s social skills are lacking somewhat who nevertheless enjoy a good social life, because they are surrounded by people such as flatmates or longstanding friends or relatives (the kids that grew up together in the same neighbourhood) who bring in the more socially savvy types into their lives. I have also met many married men who most people would struggle to hold a conversation with, yet they enjoy a good social life, dinner parties with other couples etc, because their wives do all the social legwork. These types of people enjoy good social lives because of their ‘positioning’ in life, and in my product, the Social Life Formula, I share how I, as an aspie managed to position in the same type of situation, and offer a blueprint for how others that struggle socially (asperger’s or not) can do the same. If you’re somewhat lacking in social skills there are many other alternative ways to a social life that can compensate for this.

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Christopher, what a great product it sounds like! If you’d ever like me to review your product in the future, let me know. I’m starting a podcast in January 2015, and perhaps I can interview you at that point, or sometime in 2015.

  • http://socialmazebook.com/ Aspergers Talks by Christopher

    I’m up for an interview thanks

  • Rod

    Hi Steve and Christopher,

    Christopher like you I work with ASD people and have done so for nearly 17 years in a trust

    I founded. .
    There are things you have mentioned here which I don’t entirely agree But people perceive things from there own experiences and may have slightly different perceptions On things. So I don’t believe there are specific right or wrong answers as such.

    Firstly the view you shared about loneliness comes across to me, that you are using the same meaning of loneliness which would apply to a neuro-typical person i.e. No friends

    But in my case and many others we have neuro-typical friends and are successful in our employment but still feel lonely. This is because the loneliness is based on theory of mind or the need for Like mindedness rather than the need to be social for the sake of being social.

    It’s true that we have ASD and it’s true that it can be used against us as a label. It’s also true that many neuro-typical people think that we’re strange and it is also true that they weigh us up against them with comparative reasoning.But what doesn’t occur to these people is a lot of them will be going to Hell.

    Aspergers people

    There are some unsuccessful

    There are those who achieve

    There are those who have given up

    And there’s those who believe

    There are those who are geeky

    And those who are nerdy

    There those you can’t fathom

    And some who are freaky

    There are some which are big

    And some who are small

    But they’re my kind of people

    And I love them all.

    Rod Wintour 2014

    One of the things which does bug me is people speaking about ASD like we are all the same egg’s in the one basket. There are people like I’ve described in the poem which many neuro-typical people would describe as geeks or nerds. In a real social relationship they may get on, but the people who perceive them in this way are not being true friends and 90 percent of the time will stab them in the back when this ASD person is not present.

    Recently I met with a Lady who I have known in our forum for many years. She is a Lady with Aspergers and runs a trust similar to mine at the other end of the country. I have been a volunteer in ASD research and I was identified as high functioning Autistic which comes under the same category as Aspergers, but a trait regarding high functioning Autistic’s is that we prefer our own company. However I have hung around ASD people for many years and these have been the best years of my life. Aspergers people are very fascinating and gifted people and I love to hang out with them. You can generally get into really deep and interesting discussions where these days neuro-typical people I find tend to hold others at arms length and just speak small talk.

    When this lady and I finally met all of my social barriers were down because she came across like an old lost friend rather than a stranger. The forum gave me a chance to form a friendship bypassing the normal methods of which there were barriers.
    So it’s not for anyone to say to another I feel to say that my way is better.
    If a person feels that it is benefiting them and is content in that situation why not?

    But finally we are people and neuro-typical people are at the same status and level. I don’t go through life wishing that I was neuro-typical. We are all people and if there was no such thing as ASD, there are people out there who will be tearing some other poor type of person or group down. Thats humanity.Help those who are in forums who feel they need help , but the ones who are happy let them be themselves. Thats my view anyway.

    .

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Rod, what an honor to have your input here. Thanks for sharing about your experiences and thoughts on this topic. First, I agree with you that I, and other writers, need to be careful about writing about Aspergians as each every person is the same. Second, I appreciated you sharing about the comfort level you have with other Aspergians. Third, I am curious as to whether you define loneliness differently for yourself; in other words, not necessarily having to have a certain number of friends. For example, I am a bit more introverted. While I am comfortable interacting with groups of people, I like to connect with just a few people who know me well.

  • Rod

    Thankyou very much. I consider it an honour to be able to give my input here.
    Notice how my Honour is greater than yours because in New Zealand we spell honour ending with (our) where you over there you spell it ending with (or) So my honour is bigger than your honor. One of the issues and one of our greatest challenges even as an ASD person is appreciating the diversity of people under the umbrella of Aspergers It’s one thing to talk about ones experience. But to speak on every bodies behalf is a major challenge. Society has a culture and Aspergers has it’s own culture.
    I would highly recommend Steve that you Google a site called musings of an Aspergers Woman under the subject heading Characteristic’s of a neuro-typical.
    It’s great reading and she describes on the blog some of our cultural differences.
    I recommend you have a look. If you can’t find it , I’ll send you a link. Autism loneliness I experience is more a long the lines of that we are more alien like.Being with other ASD people are people from my own home planet. It’s nothing against Neuro-typical people , I’m just a different culture and feel more comfortable with people of my own
    culture. But in saying that NT’S are fine as well but I have to work harder to fit in with them.This is where we should becareful with regard to saying who people should or shouldn’t mix with. To say don’t be social in forums but rather go out and socialise with NT’S to me is condescending to ASD people. Many of us love the forums and the socialising within the forums.People are more relaxed and nicer to each other.

  • http://www.myaspergers.net/ steveborgman

    Rod, love the humor of Honour versus Honor :) You’re very correct, and it makes sense, that Aspergians would have a different culture than NTs. If you’re referring to Musings of an Aspie, I love her blog and read it as much as I can. I will look up the article about characteristics of a neurotypical :)