Hello from NYC

Hi!  I was here for a while back in October or so, shortly after this site was originally founded.  Apparently I never posted an intro thread (or, at least, I can't find it if I did).

I'm one of the many very belatedly diagnosed autistic older people.  All my life, I've felt like a freak, never quite fitting in anywhere, and especially not in any mainstream social world.  At various times in my life, I've participated in various oddball subcultures, and I've been intermittently involved in the LGBT+ rights movement ever since the late 1970's, long before it became respectable anywhere.  (I'm bi.)

Along the way I managed to gain experience leading small groups of one kind or another.  I'm far from the world's greatest leader, but I think I'm better at leading small groups than I am at participating in groups led by others.

I have great difficulty with unstructured, unfocused, in-person conversation with more than one person at a time.  My mind needs something to focus on, either a person or a topic.

I also have difficulty picking up on subtle hints.  Luckily for me, when I reached my early twenties, there was a fad for "assertiveness training," and there were books and lots of popular magazine articles on how to be assertive without being aggressive.  I took these as a guide not only to my own behavior, but also as a guide to recognizing what kind of person I could be friends with:  I needed my friends to be assertive.

Luckily, because of my general life strategy of seeking out fellow oddballs rather than trying to fit in with the mainstream, and because I live in a highly multi-cultural neighborhood, I've managed to avoid much of the pressure that many other autistic people are subjected to, to imitate culturally mainstream NT body language.  I can't imitate NT eye contact rhythms worth a damn, and I don't try.  However, alas, this and other oddities are probably among the reasons why I'm under-employed.

I'm now a very strong believer in the need for a much bigger and better organized autistic community than now exists.  (See my Longterm visions for the autistic community.) I'm also the facilitator of a small local peer-led support group that met in-person before lockdown and now meets online via text-base chat.

I've decided to list Neurovoice on the following page of my website:  Online forums for autistic people.  I'm under the impression, based on the terms of use, that my link to this forum is okay, but if it's not okay for whatever reason, please let me know and I'll remove or edit the link, as appropriate.

Here on Neurovoice, I noticed just now that the thread Some guidance for the membership levels mentions a category named "Site Discussion," listed as one of the ones that new members can both view and post in, and I remember it as one of the categories I posted in a few months ago.  However, I don't see it on my list of categories.  Does that category not exist anymore, or has it been hidden for some reason?


Comments

  • Good to see you again Mona!
  • Hi, Mona, it's always a pleasure to see you.

    Luckily, because of my general life strategy of seeking out fellow oddballs rather than trying to fit in with the mainstream, and because I live in a highly multi-cultural neighborhood, I've managed to avoid much of the pressure that many other autistic people are subjected to, to imitate culturally mainstream NT body language.

    This is very close to what I did, and when I was young and new in town, what was then the gay community was very welcoming and kind towards me, despite not being gay. Other outliers or fringe types too since the place I live in is very diverse and tolerant.

    I did a fair amount of masking to build my career though, but not having to do much (if any) in my personal life made a huge difference.

    I'm now a very strong believer in the need for a much bigger and better organized autistic community than now exists.  (See my Longterm visions for the autistic community.) I'm also the facilitator of a small local peer-led support group that met in-person before lockdown and now meets online via text-base chat.

    This is very interesting. I'm not in New York, but I'm interested in your ideas. In over a decade of following the autistic community online, I'd say that you're the first person I've seen who's trying to build something IRL going beyond a simple meetup group without being jaded and keeping a realistic and pragmatical view - if you don't mind my bluntness.

    Here on Neurovoice, I noticed just now that the thread Some guidance for the membership levels mentions a category named "Site Discussion," listed as one of the ones that new members can both view and post in, and I remember it as one of the categories I posted in a few months ago.  However, I don't see it on my list of categories.  Does that category not exist anymore, or has it been hidden for some reason?

    Can you see a category called Site?


  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    Welcome aboard. I relate a lot to your experience. I agree about unstructured multi-person interaction. Where I have control over social interaction in person, I try to interact one on one. One of the skill I have worked on is how to do that in context of a small group.

    I found living in multi-cultural neighbourhood has helped as an adult feel I could fit in by not having to fit in, though more recently I have spent a lot of time in a rural locations and like the peace that brings. As I grew up in many different countries, this may have helped in some ways but definitely hindered me when I moved back. I didn't understand reciprocal relationships and social interactions, but this was masked by moving. A lot of my early diagnostic history that resulted in my adult diagnosis, had to patched together from all of these countries and their understanding and theories at the time. Moving back I was unprepared for the culture of my nationality. Bygones, I have found my way to thrive.

    I am happy that you have linked to us. Thank you so much, it is appreciated.

    We do have our rules here

    and Values

  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    How's weather in New York Mona?It's 0 F about 150 miles north of you
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited February 13
    Hi!  I was here for a while back in October or so, shortly after this site was originally founded.  Apparently I never posted an intro thread (or, at least, I can't find it if I did).

    I'm one of the many very belatedly diagnosed autistic older people.  All my life, I've felt like a freak, never quite fitting in anywhere, and especially not in any mainstream social world.  At various times in my life, I've participated in various oddball subcultures, and I've been intermittently involved in the LGBT+ rights movement ever since the late 1970's, long before it became respectable anywhere.  (I'm bi.)

    Along the way I managed to gain experience leading small groups of one kind or another.  I'm far from the world's greatest leader, but I think I'm better at leading small groups than I am at participating in groups led by others.

    I have great difficulty with unstructured, unfocused, in-person conversation with more than one person at a time.  My mind needs something to focus on, either a person or a topic.

    I also have difficulty picking up on subtle hints.  Luckily for me, when I reached my early twenties, there was a fad for "assertiveness training," and there were books and lots of popular magazine articles on how to be assertive without being aggressive.  I took these as a guide not only to my own behavior, but also as a guide to recognizing what kind of person I could be friends with:  I needed my friends to be assertive.

    Luckily, because of my general life strategy of seeking out fellow oddballs rather than trying to fit in with the mainstream, and because I live in a highly multi-cultural neighborhood, I've managed to avoid much of the pressure that many other autistic people are subjected to, to imitate culturally mainstream NT body language.  I can't imitate NT eye contact rhythms worth a damn, and I don't try.  However, alas, this and other oddities are probably among the reasons why I'm under-employed.

    I'm now a very strong believer in the need for a much bigger and better organized autistic community than now exists.  (See my Longterm visions for the autistic community.) I'm also the facilitator of a small local peer-led support group that met in-person before lockdown and now meets online via text-base chat.

    I've decided to list Neurovoice on the following page of my website:  Online forums for autistic people.  I'm under the impression, based on the terms of use, that my link to this forum is okay, but if it's not okay for whatever reason, please let me know and I'll remove or edit the link, as appropriate.

    Here on Neurovoice, I noticed just now that the thread Some guidance for the membership levels mentions a category named "Site Discussion," listed as one of the ones that new members can both view and post in, and I remember it as one of the categories I posted in a few months ago.  However, I don't see it on my list of categories.  Does that category not exist anymore, or has it been hidden for some reason?


    Hi Mona, good to see you again.
    Back in October you helped us out by posting mostly suggestions/feedback for the site, which was appreciated.

    I find your experiences to be quite unique, in that you have successfully been part of outlying social groups, I think your location helped a lot with this.
    I cant relate to that, not really, but I can understand being comfortable around the LGBT+ community. My exposure is again limited, to people I know well but I wear no mask when around them and its such a lovely experience socially.

    Agreed on Autism communities, you and another poster who used to post on WP called JBW gave me some ideas about this. If the Autism communities can co exist and cooperate, Autistic people will benefit from this.

    Brictoria made a good suggestion about the site discussion section, that it needed sub categories to stay organised, which now exist under the SITE Heading
    Information
    Suggestions
    Questions
    Bugs

    We will be making edits to the rules this weekend, to simplify them into an old fashioned netiquette style, I will change the info in Some guidance for the membership levels too.

    Thanks for including a link to Neurovoice on your site, when we set up a links page I would like to include a piece on your site also, if that is agreeable?
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited February 13
    I like a lot of your vision.

    For instance the occupational side. I'm in IT too, and also work for myself.

    A lot of occupational advice services just aren't well catered for Autistic people. Even charities like the National Autistic Society (UK) are more focused on just getting their clients to interviews or trial periods. They do have initiatives with companies who are more autistic friendly but it is not really a whole life-cycle support and advice from the perspective of autistic people by autistic people.

    For me working from home was my own adaptation which took many years, I tried working in office and it was not for me. I have learnt that I do have more power working from home, I have more say (and authority) on how I interact with clients than as an employee. I have become better at conference calls over the years, and I'm more directing meetings, rather than calling in as a subordinate. However I don't share my face and I don't need to.

    I noticed while we do have a life skills section, we may consider an occupational section, as ether a subsection or its own thing. Generally we don't want over specificity, as it fragments the forum, but we can consider it.
  • Mona_PerethMona_Pereth Citizen
    edited February 13
    Amity said:
    Brictoria made a good suggestion about the site discussion section, that it needed sub categories to stay organised, which now exist under the SITE Heading
    Information
    Suggestions
    Questions
    Bugs

    I don't see the "SITE" heading, nor any of its subcategories.  Perhaps they are visible only to "Citizen"-level users?  Seems to be they should be visible to users at all levels?

    Amity said:
    Thanks for including a link to Neurovoice on your site, when we set up a links page I would like to include a piece on your site also, if that is agreeable?

    Yes, certainly.  Thanks!

  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
  • Mona_PerethMona_Pereth Citizen
    edited February 13
    verity said:

    I am happy that you have linked to us. Thank you so much, it is appreciated.

    We do have our rules here

    and Values

    You're welcome.  I've added links to the above pages to the description of Neurovoice on this page.

  • Mona_PerethMona_Pereth Citizen
    edited February 14
    Statest16 said:
    How's weather in New York Mona?It's 0 F about 150 miles north of you

    Here it's about 27 F, and it's going to start snowing yet again today.  Hopefully no significant accumulation this time, though.

    BTW, if your interest in weather happens to go beyond small talk, you might be interested in the Amateur meteorology club -- the first of a series of hobby-oriented social groups I hope will eventually be launched by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.  Next text-based chat meeting of the amateur meteorology club is Monday (Feb 15) evening.  If interested, please join the Queens discussion group Meetup site and RSVP here.

  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    With the Sun out it's only 10F here,still cold here
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    Hello, Mona, and welcome back to Neurovoice.
  • Mona_PerethMona_Pereth Citizen
    edited February 13
    verity said:

    Yes, I see it now.  Thanks.

  • To others who have posted in this thread:  Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for telling me about the relevant personal experiences that some of you have shared.
  • kraftiekortiekraftiekortie Citizen
    edited February 14
    We might get freezing rain tonight.

    Welcome back, Mona!
  • TemTem Citizen
    Hello Mona,

    I don't come here as much as I would like but I try to say hello to as many as I can.

    See you on the treads.


  • Welcome back, Mona.  It's always nice to see you. 
  • Thanks all for the welcomes.

    I finally, reluctantly, decided to get a Twitter account, to help me publicize my support group meetings and other meetings led by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.

    Hopefully I won't get overwhelmed by the mobs that Twitter is infamous for.

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