Autism Exploration Circles (AECs) are a series of study sessions where participants:
- Connect with both autistics and NeuroTypicals in person
- Learn about each other’s perspectives and experiences, especially across the invisible autism divide
- Get to ask me questions about my experiences and my recent insights
- Receive affirmation and support if they choose to share their personal autism journey
- Have opportunities to step out of their comfort zone without being judged by others
Do note that the events require much social interaction and novelty, hence, autistics who participate have to be willing and prepared to step outside their comfort zones.
This dialogue helps to foster mutual learning and understanding. It can also be an opportunity to make new friends from the other side of the spectrum.
Autistics and NeuroTypicals are asked to write down a list of questions to ask each other, ideally before coming to the event. They are then matched into small groups of 4 people containing at least an autistic and a NeuroTypical.
Each person gets to ask a question for the others to answer. If anyone is stuck, they can raise their hands and I will go and facilitate.
After discussing for 40 minutes, they switch to a new group. At the end of the two or three group discussions, volunteers present the most interesting insights to everyone present.
The support group helps participants learn basic self-help skills, share about their own issues, and connect with others facing similar issues across the spectrum. [NeuroTypicals also get discriminated, bullied and misunderstood. Autistics will gain new comrades in their own inner struggles, and put their own challenges in perspective with what others are facing.]
Participants are asked to write down a list of topics that is bothering them (e.g. being bullied), ideally before coming to the event. They then learn the basics of a life coaching technique (e.g. releasing statements) or perspective (e.g. the 6 Universal Personas). They are then matched into pairs of people who share at least a topic in common.
Each person gets to share their own issue that they have in common with their partner. After this initial sharing is completed, each person then tries out the life coaching technique or perspective to help resolve the issue for their partner. If anyone is stuck, they can raise their hands and I will go and facilitate.
After an hour, participants switch to a new group. At the end of the two or three groups, volunteers present the most interesting insights to everyone present.
If anyone wants to explore their own issues further, I can do a life coaching session for them.