Autistic in NYC

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

Rules and guidelines of the Autism Politics Discussion Group

Confidentiality / anonymity

Do not reveal the real-world identity of any member or attendee of the group without that person's explicit permission. Please keep this in mind regardless of how you found out the identity of a fellow member/attendee, e.g. please do not amplify someone else's breach of confidentiality.

Members/attendees are encouraged to take steps to protect their own real-world identities. For example, on our Meetup site, it is recommended that you use either a pseudonym or just your first name and last initial (as per the custom of "Anonymous" 12-step groups, although we are not a 12-step group). Note that Meetup.com doesn't care what name you use as long as you do NOT impersonate anyone else. Please see Warnings about online harassment for more info about the potential dangers.

Try to be considerate

Try to be considerate toward other members/attendees.

We won't always succeed at this, of course. We must accept the reality that, as autistic people, we are all highly likely to misunderstand and/or inadvertantly offend each other now and then. This is one of the reasons why most of the topic-focussed meetings of the Queens discussion group will be devoted to autistic-friendly social skills, most of which pertain to conflict resolution and conflict prevention. We should aim to be forgiving toward each other as we each, also, take responsibility for improving how we behave toward each other.

Below are some common pitfalls likely to come up in our meetings, and how we can try to avoid them or at least prevent them from turning into nasty quarrels:

More pitfalls will be listed here later, as they happen to arise in our meetings.

Of course, attendees should also avoid obvious insults like name-calling.

Getting acquainted with other members

Members are encouraged, though certainly not required, to get to know other members/attendees and perhaps become friends.

It is generally best to start by continuing some aspect of a group discussion in private messages via Meetup. To be safe (see Warnings about online harassment regarding some of the relevant dangers), it is recommended that you NOT give the person other, more real-world contact information until after you have gotten to know them fairly well, both via our meetings and via private Meetup messages.

If you are looking not just for friends but for a romantic relationship and/or sex partners, please approach this slowly and cautiously. If two or more members complain about unwelcome sex talk, sexual advances, etc. from you, then you will be asked to leave the group,

Don't bring conflicts with other members/attendees into meetings

If a quarrel or conflict arises between you and another member/attendee outside of the meeting, please do not bring it up in the meeting.

(Possible rare exception: If both/all parties to a quarrel want feedback from the group on some issue pertaining to their quarrel, they may bring it up only with the prior consent of both/all parties, and with the permission of the facilitator.)

If a quarrel erupts during a meeting, try to resolve it ASAP if possible. But, if it cannot be resolved almost immediately, the people involved are asked to put it on hold for the remainder of the meeting, and then discuss the issue separately later, perhaps with input from one or more other members who are trusted by both sides.

Try to resolve quarrels with other members/attendees (outside of meetings)

As noted above, most of our topic-focussed meetings will be devoted to autistic-friendly social skills, most of which pertain to conflict resolution and conflict prevention. It is strongly recommended, though not required, that members/attendees practice using these skills by, among other things, making an effort to resolve any conflicts that may arise among us. Such efforts should happen primarily outside of meetings.

Many autistic people have been repeatedly hurt by NT's suddenly dropping us as friends for no apparent reason, without any explanation. Let's agree not to treat each other that way. We don't all have to be friends, but we should, if possible, seek mutually acceptable solutions to any issues that would otherwise stop us from getting along well enough to function comfortably as a group.

Note that the aim of conflict resolution is not necessarily a total repair of the pre-existing relationship. (For example, sometimes a romantic relationship needs to break up. In that case, the aim of conflict resolution might be merely to quell drama, by reaching enough of a mutually acceptable closure that both parties can move on and cease being too uncomfortable when they happen to run into each other, within our community or elsewhere.)

Do not harass other members/attendees

If another member asks you not to contact them privately anymore, don't contact them privately anymore.

Although we strongly encourage members to try to resolve their differences by talking them out, we don't require this. If another member does not want further private contact with you, please respect this.

At our meetings, do not advocate any illegal activities, of any kind.

Do not invite another member to participate in any illegal activity with you. Do not offer to do anything illegal as a favor to another member.

In our chat meetings, do not post links to websites that feature illegal content.

And, of course, do not threaten violence, harassment, or other illegal activity against another member, or against anyone else.

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