Autistic in NYC

Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.

Queens discussion group for autistic (and autistic-like1) adults

Meetings this month and next

Our next

The meetings listed below are online chat meetings (text-based). (Our next in-person gathering is tentatively planned for September.)

To view the meeting details (including a link to our chatroom), you must first join our Meetup.com group (and be logged in to Meetup.com) if you have not done so already.

If you are planning to attend any of these chat meetings, please RSVP on the relevant Meetup.com page.

 

Important safety note for in-person meetings: While eating together at the diner, it won't be physically possible to wear a mask or sit six feet apart. But, until the COVID crisis is completely over with, let's take the following better-than-nothing minimal precautions:

  • Don't attend if you have either a fever or an uncontrollable cough.

  • No handshaking or otherwise touching each other.

  • Even if you feel completely healthy, if you feel an occasional cough or sneeze coming on, immediately grab one of the facial tissues or extra napkins we will have provided and cover your mouth and nose as completely as you can.

  • Wash your hands at least once, as soon as possible after you arrive, before you eat, and again before you leave, after you pay. We will also provide hand sanitizer.

 

About the Queens discussion group

The Queens discussion group is a peer-led support / self-help group for adults (18+) either officially diagnosed or self-diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition, or who have difficulties similar to those of autistic people (e.g. difficulties with social communication, sensory processing, and/or executive function). We hold two kinds of meetings: (1) General support group meetings, with no announced topic. (2) Topic-focussed discussion meetings, usually on some communication-related topic, sometimes on other autism-related topics. (See more about our group's purposeds here.)

Until the COVID crisis began in spring 2020, we met at a diner. We now hold mostly online text-based chat meetings via a Zulip chat site. As of May 2022, we will hold occasional in-person meetings but will still be meeting mostly online.

Please RSVP by no later than the morning of the meeting date. Earlier RSVP's are appreciated if possible. (For in-person meetings at a diner, we need people to RSVP so that we can know how big a table to ask for. For chat meetings, RSVP's are still helpful so the facilitator(s) can be better prepared.) Please RSVP via our Meetup.com group, or via the contact info here, or via my private email address if you know it. RSVP's via Meetup are preferred.

Both on Meetup.com and in our chatroom, if you aren't totally out of the closet about ASD with everyone in your life including any and all conceivable future potential employers, landlords, co-op boards, etc., it is recommended that you protect your privacy by NOT using your legal name. Instead, feel free to use either (1) your first name and last initial or (2) a pseudonym (e.g. your handle on Wrong Planet or AutismForums if you post there). Please note that both our chatroom and our Meetup group are already private in the sense that your identity is hidden from Google Search. Nevertheless, because anyone can join, it is recommended that you take additional measures to protect your privacy. (But do NOT impersonate anyone else.) Please see Warnings about online harassment for more info about the potential dangers.

Please familiarize yourself with the typical structure of our meetings. Meeting topics will usually be announced on our Meetup site and in reminder emails, with details about some of our discussion topics on the Autistic NYC blog.

Please also familiarize yourself with our rules and guidelines.

Brief history

The Queens discussion group is the continuation of a group that originally began meeting off-and on in summer 2018, founded by people who had met each other at older, larger adult autism support groups in Manhattan. We have held regular meetings since summer 2019.

From summer 2019 to early 2022, this group was facilitated solely by this website's author (autobiography here), who has had experience leading various kinds of groups in various oddball subcultures. This group is now co-facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group. Eventually we hope to train more and more of our regularly-attending members to be facilitators too and rotate leadership, thereby also enabling the group to split easily into smaller groups if/when it gets too big, or if/when incompatible meeting-style preferences emerge.

Our in-person meetings are held at the Atlantic Diner, accessible via the A train, the J train, and the E/F trains plus the Q37 bus. (Location and detailed directions here). It also has a parking lot.

As some point when we have enough regular attendees, we will start renting meeting rooms someplace where we can better accommodate people with sensory sensitivities.

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  1. "Autistic-like" is not a clinically-defined term. Anyone who feels that they face the same problems as autistic people can identify as "Autistic-like," similar to the term "cousin" as used by the first autistic adult organization, the Autism Network International. (See Autism Network International -- The Development of a Community and Its Culture by Jim Sinclair, 2005. See also Reviving the concept of cousins by Mel Baggs, 2016.)

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