Aspierations and Autieness Meet up Manchester
On Sunday 18th of October from as far as Northumberland, London, North Essex, Birmingham, Newcastle and North Yorkshire members of the Facebook support group Aspierations and Autieness travelled to Manchester to meet at the first Manchester group gathering, held at the Manchester Museum.
Some came up that day others booked hotels especially, including myself as my children would have found the journey to much to undertake in one day.
The support group gives online support and friendship plus much needed advice to adult autistics and parents of autistic children.
It was started one and half years ago by myself and William Vanderpuije after seeing the lack of support in other groups.
It’s purposely kept secret ie only joinable if added by a friend and not found on the Facebook search engine to keep the members safe from trolling and spamming.
Many members have been bullied in other groups , many have been subjected to cure talk and vaccine debates which this group does not have any tolerance for.
Unfortunately there are groups that are extremely negative with a victim mentality, Aspierations is as positive as these are negative promoting acceptance and autistic pride.
Posts abound with sensory integration recommended alongside coping skills and great advice given to parents from an autistic perspective.
As a neurotypical parent hearing from adult autistics is extremely important and gives a unique glimpse into the autistic works that they would not otherwise get.
For a parent to have a non verbal,child for example and read a non verbal adults thoughts is extremely important, comforting almost.
Jules Curtis Akers organised the meet as I have no knowledge of Manchester and did a brilliant job with venue choice.
The members were treated to a tour by the pre informed Museum staff who after allowing us to look at the many wonderful exhibits from a mammoth skeleton, stuffed bears and Egyptian items to live amphibians and reptiles then treated us to exclusive use of the large and comfortable staff room.
We were given tea, coffee, pastries and a choice of biscuits all free of charge with large comfortable chairs in a well lit spacious room.
Perfect for the members to unwind and regulate them selves after dealing with the crowded atmosphere of the Museum.
Members then ventured to the nearby infamous Curry Mile where we dined and were given good quiet seating in the rear of the restaurant while some went looking for Chinese food instead.
I would like to express our gratitude to the staff of the Manchester Museum for a pleasurable visit and for the hospitality provided by them.
Pictured are members Rachel Looby with her guide dog Joy, Bill Appleton, David Wilburn Unger, Jules Curtis Akers, Poppy Akers, Matthew Poutney, Simon Barnes, Dominic Murray and Daniel Hancock.
It’s wonderful for me to see the group growing in such a positive way and for members who otherwise may not socialise, feeling at ease with an accepting peer group.
Roll on the next one!