Types of Adult Autism Support Groups
Adult individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can benefit from participating in peer support groups that allow them to share personal experiences, develop social relationships, and connect with others. The types of support groups can range from understanding the system of care, finding jobs, living in a residential environment, navigating student life, sharing social challenges, and more. These may be offered weekly, monthly, bi-yearly at different locations with many online or virtual options available.
Positive Impacts of Support Groups for Adults with ASD
Whether it be a group or individual setting, having the opportunity to meet other neurodiverse individuals is an essential component of learning and growing as an adult. Attendees are exposed to others who may share a similar autistic culture and ways of interpreting the world. An autism support group for adults is unique in its perspective in helping those on the spectrum grow and find ways to learn and adapt to their environment as it changes. Participation in support groups allows individuals to reinforce learned skills, be exposed to new ideas, and, ultimately, recognize that others have similar shared experiences. Support groups can have a positive impact on one’s mental health, anxiety levels, self-confidence, self-esteem, and more.
Finding Support Group Networks for Adults with ASD
With some online research, there are several autism network resources that can help an adult with autism find a setting and format that is suitable for them. Along with in-person groups, the following list may be a place to start for those with ASD.
- Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN)
- Shift Journal of Alternatives: Neurodiversity and Social Change
- The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
- The Autism Society of America (ASA)
- The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
For those that live in Pennsylvania, there are a variety of state-sponsored services and support avenues available to you. The Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs support people with ASD through the following waivers:
- Adult Autism Waiver (AAW)
- Community Living Waiver (CLW)
- Consolidated Waiver
- Person Family-Directed Support Waiver (PFDS)
Adult Enrichment Programs
In addition to the benefits that autism support groups for adults can provide, UDS offers a variety of Adult Enrichment Program classes based on a person’s interest. These programs give adults with ASD the opportunity to practice important life and social skills, further enhance education, participate in a social club and group games, learn home economics, creative arts (such as painting and photography), acting, and much more. For more information: about our classes, please contact us at 717-397-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the Next Step
The Adult Enrichment Program is for individuals living in Lancaster County, PA. However, we have UDS representatives available if you want to set up a Wellness Call as a stepping stone to jumpstart your journey in seeking external support.