This is a donation-based, no-frills autism networking event focused on providing self-sustaining solutions for adult autistics after their caregivers have passed on. The forum will invite local experts and pioneers who are developing solutions for adult autistics; international experts and pioneers are welcome but they have to pay for their own travel expenses.
If you are a caregiver, you can propose your plans and team up with other caregivers to create your own projects, organisations or funds. If you are a service provider, you can promote your services, projects and causes.
Date: Tentatively on a Saturday in September 2019 from 1-5pm
Venue: To be confirmed
Status: Interest has been registered, proposal is being discussed. Details of this event may change based on feedback.
Seeking solutions for these 8 topics:
- Substitute Caregiving: Finding ways to delegate and replace personal caregiver duties without compromising the care for autistics (e.g. forming an advisory committee of trusted people to advise on life decisions, moving the autistic to an affordable overseas care centre)
- Investment Solutions: Finding ways to use resources to provide for and protect autistics (e.g. community farms, adult care centres, social enterprises, insurance policies, annuities) in the long-term
- Sustainable Success: Finding ways for autistics to achieve their success that also helps to provide for their own living expenses as much as possible (e.g. teaching autistics how to run a farm to grow food, starting a robot-proof business)
- Living with Dignity: Finding ways to help autistics feel valued, positive and happy (e.g. how to let autistics pursue their harmless interests instead of bossing them around to do chores)
- Building Careers: Finding ways to develop talents and create careers for autistics beyond the formal educational system (i.e. alternatives to just getting paper qualifications and climbing the corporate ladder)
- Personal Development: Finding ways for autistics to master advanced life skills, cultivate personal responsibility, develop resilience, form meaningful relationships and emerge as future leaders.
- Combating Discrimination: Finding ways to bypass or dispel the discrimination that is limiting autistic employability and potential (which includes addressing employer’s concerns rather than trying to compel or shame them to hire autistics)
- Making New Deals: Finding ways for autistics and caregivers to help each other (e.g. parents fund university scholarship for autistics who will serve a bond to help their community)
What is different about this autism event?
- Not for Awareness/Sharings: We need practical solutions more than awareness.
- Not for Therapies/Cures: We make the realistic assumption that adult autistics will remain autistic.
- Not for Charity: We are looking for solutions outside the charity model.
- Not about Talks: We need more solutions and fresh ideas; experts are here more to guide than to share.
- Truly Inclusive: The project is started by and led by autistics for autism parents, not the other way around.
Message to Parents/Caretakers
Dear Parents, boy boy and girl girl have grown up and now we understand some of the pain and sacrifices that you have gone through. We are going to try to help solve our problems. Will you accept our participation, however imperfect our efforts are?
This event is a coming of age for the autistic community. It symbolises hope, not for autism cure/recovery, but that we autistics are willing to take responsibility for their own lives and share the burden with our caretakers. This event will be proof that autistics can stand as equals with parents and professionals; proof that autistics can be taken seriously. This event will plant the seed of true inclusion, providing a contrast to the token inclusion where autistics are seen as dependent on others and only being figureheads of the projects that are meant to help them.
It is also an opportunity for experienced parents/caretakers who are currently doing work discreetly to showcase what their efforts to both inspire and recruit the younger generation of parents. It is an opportunity for like-minded NGOs and employers to create awareness and raise support for their efforts.
This is an event that will help unite the autism community to move together towards a common goal. It is an event that will bring different parties together so that they may sit down and work together for a greater purpose.
We need fresh ideas and new blood. Is reminding existing insurance companies to be more inclusive the only way to obtain fairly priced insurance for autistics? Is asking for government support to build more day activity centres and provide more social welfare the only solution? Are job coaches and life skills training sufficient for autistics to thrive? Is setting up social enterprises based on the charity model the only way out? Let us come together to question our assumptions and exploring new possibilities.
How will the event be organised?
Interested speakers will self-register online. They will be grouped together under each of the 8 categories for their presentation. Priority will be given to proposals/projects (1) with strategic impact and (2) are original / not well-known.
Participants will register online and will be invited to join 8 moderated WhatsApp groups based on the 8 categories. Where a project can be assigned to one or more category, it will be assigned to the category with the least number of projects.
Speakers get 1 minute to introduce themselves and 2 minutes to introduce their proposals/projects to the audience. While they speak, information about them will be shared on the relevant WhatsApp groups. We aim to select a maximum of 8 people for each of the 8 categories. The audience will submit their questions using an app on their smartphone, and the speakers will answer selected questions directly if there is extra time. If not, they will post their answers on the WhatsApp group later.
After the event is over, participants will be allowed to speak freely. The 8 groups will stop being moderated groups and become part of the WhatsApp Autism Community Singapore network under a new category called Action Groups. Participants in these groups can brainstorm ideas, discuss issues and find partners to implement projects and initiatives.
What is Needed?
- A venue for the event with a capacity of 150-250 people
- Ideally, accommodation for adult autistics who come along (e.g. quiet rooms for those with sensory issues)
- Volunteers to help organise the event
- Networkers to help contact and invite the people to participate
If you want to be notified when this event is finalised, you may join the iautistic announcement-only WhatsApp chat group