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

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). The group also has some other, more specific aims, beyond just general support. And we hope to spawn various other kinds of groups including groups of people with particular categories of occupations / jobs / career goals and groups of people with particular hobbies.

Because we can't hold in-person meetings now due to the CoViD-19 crisis, we are now holding online chat meetings. For now we will use our own simple text-based chatroom here. (We were considering using a Zulip chat site, but decided that Zulip is unnecessarily complicated for this purpose. The Zulip site will still be used for other purposes.)

Please RSVP by no later than the morning of the meeting date. Earlier RSVP's are appreciated if possible. (When we were meeting at a diner, we needed people to RSVP so that we could know how big a table to reserve. Wnile we are now meeting in chat, RSVP's are still helpful so the facilitator(s) can be better prepared.) Please RSVP via our Meetup group, or via the contact info here, or via my private email address if you know it.

Both on Meetup 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 site 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 participate under multiple identities, and do NOT impersonate anyone else.)

Our group is currently facilitated by this website's author (autobiography here), who has had experience leading various kinds of groups in various oddball subcultures. Eventually we hope to train other 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.

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.

Before the CoViD19 crisis, we were meeting on the first Wednesday of each month 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. If that diner doesn't go out of business completely due to being closed under lockdown, we'll be meeting there again when it reopens.

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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.)

Featured page:  Where to get an ASD evaluation as an adult.

It's not easy to find psychotherapists who are qualified to diagnose autism spectrum disorder, especially in adults.

On the above-linked page is a preliminary list of places where some members of local support groups obtained their diagnoses. Soon this list will be updated to include many more places and, for those already listed, more information about insurance, other reduced-cost options, etc.