Asperger Ascent

Tips for Young Adults

Students with autism form social groups on campus

Remember that song “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves,” the classic by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics? Well, students are doing it for themselves. When they see opportunities to improve the college social experience for fellow classmates on the autism spectrum, they are taking the initiative and starting their own social groups. Take Thomas Hamed, a junior economics major at American University who has an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis. He started a social group on his campus because, he says: “I believe in the power of human connection. The easiest way for us Aspies to learn about connections, I believe, is through each other, where we feel safest.”  Thomas says he approached the university’s administration with the idea of forming a social group, and officials agreed to help. Thomas penned an invitation, and the administration forwarded it to students on the spectrum. The group was a success from its first meeting. They had pizza, played Monopoly and got to know each other, says Thomas, who also writes a newsletter for a trade association in Washington, D.C., and is thinking about going into public relations. The group plans to meet regularly, organize games, and even go out to dinner occasionally.  “I am not sure if my group has enough momentum to sustain itself,” Thomas says, “but at least they now know each other, and can relate to each other’s problems.”

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March 18, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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