Zulip chat for Autistic in NYC / Queens groups.
The various NYC-based groups led by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group are invited to use our Zulip chat site to hold online meetings. See the Autistic in NYC / Queens Meetup.com site for announcements of meetings. Please RSVP on Meetup.com if you plan to attend a meeting.
It is our hope that, once the CoViD-19 crisis is over with, some of these groups will be big enough to hold in-person meetings. As groups form, announcements will be posted both on Meetup.com and here.
Note: The instructions below assume you are using a laptop or desktop. Zulip can be used on phones too, but some of the details will be different.
To protect your privacy
We are using plain text chat, not video chat.
When you register on our Zulip chat site, you will be asked your name. We recommend that you not use your full legal name, but instead 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).
If you've already registered using your full legal name on Zulip and want to change it, click on your name in the "USERS" list at the top right corner of the main chat area, then click the drop-down menu at the rightmost end of the newly highlighted area, then select "Edit profile", then click the pen icon in the text field labeled "Full name", then edit your name and click "Change" in the pop-up window, then click the "X" at the top right corner of the big "User Settings" window.
For now, anyone can join our Zulip chat site. (Eventually we'll make it by-invitation-only, to keep out spammers.)
Basic Zulip how-to, and rules for our chatroom
A Zulip chatroom is organized into streams, similar to channels on some other chat sites. You can subscribe to whichever streams you want, and you can unsubscribe from streams you are not interested in.
Once you've registered and then reached the main chat area, here's how to access the streams:
The streams (channels) you are subscribed to are listed in the left column under "STREAMS" on the left panel.
To find new streams you might be interested in subscribing to, including the streams of all the budding groups holding online meetings, click "Add Streams" at the very bottom of the left hand column. (Or go directly here to view the list of streams, once you are already logged n.) A large box will pop up containing a scrollable list of all the available streams on the left hand side. To subscribe to a stream, click its name and description on the left hand side, then click the "Subscribe" button near the top right corner of the big box. Then click the "X" at the top right corner of the big box to return to the main chat areas.
To view all the latest messages from all the streams you are subscribed to, plus any private messages to you as well, click "All messages" at the top left corner of the main chat window.
To view only the messages in just one stream, click its name in the listing under "STREAMS" on the left panel.
To unsubscribe from a stream you are not interested in, click its name in the listing under "STREAMS", then click the drop-down menu on the right
Important information about particular streams:
When you initially sign up, the only streams you will see are "general" and "miscellaneous."
If you haven't used Zulip chat before, it is recommended that you use the "miscellaneous" stream for your initial practice using Zulip before you post chat messages anywhere else.
The "general" stream is where new streams get announced. It's also a place for new users to introduce themselves.
When introducing yourself, please: (1) Tell us whatever you want to tell us that's relevant to why you've joined us (including your diagnosis if you've been diagnosed, or your reasons for believing that you are on the autism spectrum). (2) Let us know your interests and hobbies. (If enough other people share a particular interest of yours, we'll create a stream for it, in which you can then try to schedule regular chats with other members.) (3) If you are working, or aim to work, in some particular field, let us know which field, to help us create groups for work-capable autistic people who work, or want to work, in particular categories of professions / occupations / jobs. (See Autistic workers project.) (4) If you were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or one of its DSM IV precursors) as an adult in the NYC metro area, and if the place where you were diagnosed is not listed here, please tell us where you were diagnosed, so it can be added to the list (at least eventually, when we get around to calling up the place for details).
In the list of streams that you'll see when you click "Add Streams," the streams for various budding groups will be listed further down, with a prefix indicating their general type, e.g.: "hobby:" (for social groups centered around particular hobbies/interests), "support:" (for support groups newer and more specialized than our original one, the Queens Discussion Group), or "societal" (for groups in which to discuss societal and political issues)..
Topics within a stream, and how to post a chat message:
Chats within streams are organized by "topic" (thread), to make it easier to follow a conversation if multiple conversations are going on at once. When you click on a stream in the left column, you will see "topics" listed below the stream's name.
To see all the messages in just one "topic," click the "topic" name in the listing below the stream name (after you've first clicked on the stream name itself) in the left column.
To go back to viewing all the recent messages on all "topics" within the stream, click the stream name in the left column.
To reply to a message within an already-existing "topic," clcik on the message you are replying to, then type your message in the text area at the bottom, then click "Send".
To start a new topic, click the stream name in the left column, then click "New Topic" at the bottom, then type your new "topic" name in the appropriate text field that pops up, then type your initial message in the text area, then click "Send".
When participating in a scheduled chat meeting, please follow the group leader's instructions as to (1) how closely messages within a "topic" should stick to the topic, and (2) whether, and if so how often and under what circumstances, you should be starting new "topics."
In MOST of our groups at least, please do NOT start new Zulip "topics." We generally prefer to have one Zulip "topic" per meeting. Please reespond to the already-existing "topic" rather than start new "topics."
Note: The chat log is not permanent!:
We are using a free Zulip account, which holds only a limited number of messages. Therefore, previous chats disappear eventually.
Feel free to use Meetup.com private messages to exchange contact info with other members. Private messages via Zulip are disallowed in our chatroom (mainly to save space on the Zulip server, given the limitations of our free account as noted above, and also to avoid distracting private discussions during meetings).
As noted earlier, you are welcome to use a pseudonym. However, please do NOT use multiple identities, and do NOT impersonate other people.
Zulip chat can be used either as a website or an app. Once you are familiar with Zulip, you may (optionally) want to download the relevant Zulip app for more convenient use on your smartphone or your laptop/desktop.
Various autistic peer-led groups including support groups, career-oriented groups, and hobby-oriented social groups, led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group. Our newest group is the Autistic Women's Support & Social Group. All groups currently meet via text-based chat. Some groups will hopefully meet in-person after the COVID crisis is finally over with.
Where to get an ASD evaluation as an adult: This page will be expanded and updated sometime after the COVID crisis is over with.