This is a page with resources for making connections in the autism community. We’ve listed online groups and in-person groups, volunteer opportunities, and all sorts of ways to engage.
New feature! Here are some groups we’ve found recently for a variety of purposes: support, skills training, socializing. There are several age groups represented, from preschool through adult. If you’re looking for a group, check them out. If you facilitate a group, leave a comment on this page to get your group added!
Ongoing: Adults with Autism Social Group (Denver GRASP)
2nd Saturday of the month.
Our chapter is a place where adults 18 and older on the autism spectrum can meet and be themselves. The meeting place is at the facilitator’s apartment, so the atmosphere will be homey and food will be served. The next GRASP meeting is on Saturday, May 14. It is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. located @ 1235 E. 18th Avenue. The theme for this meeting is relationships.
Also ongoing: The Downing Group
Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Downing Group takes place at 1235 E. 18th Avenue and it is for people on the autism spectrum ages 17 and above (high school seniors get the privilege that adults get). The Downing Group is an informal group where many different topics are discussed. Most of what is discussed has nothing to do with autism or Asperger’s. Topics that have been talked about range from sports to politics to physics, to TV shows you name it!
Facilitator, Denver GRASP
Also ongoing: DAASM Monthly Adult/Teen Meeting
Monday May 23 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
(This event repeats every month.)
Location: IHOP-International House of Pancakes
City State Zip: Englewood, CO 80045
It’s easy to isolate yourself and your family and feel like you have to go it alone because nobody else knows what you’re going through, but that isn’t true. Fresh off a new diagnosis, we all had that moment of panic because “autism” is a big place. Panic is understandable, but you can’t stay there. Unless you’re a cutting-edge scientist on the brink of fabulous new discoveries in the field, you need to know that there are loads of other parents and caregivers and adult autistics in the same boat. It’s a long haul, but we can do it together.
The best way to help your autie and yourself is to get out there, learn, advocate and engage. These groups will help you understand the resources that are available for you, whether you are the individual with autism or a person who loves the individual with autism.
Online groups: you will need a free Yahoo or Google ID to sign up for groups using those engines. They provide some good opportunities to ask questions, get answers and meet people who are walking the same path. The “home” link to Yahoo Groups is http://groups.yahoo.com/. You can enter search criteria based on interest, browse existing groups. You can do the same with Google Groups, too: http://groups.google.com/
I’m partial to the Yahoo interface. Here are some groups I like:
firstname.lastname@example.org (this is the Colorado Autism Society’s group)
email@example.com (a group for parents of kids with Asperger’s Syndrome. They have a special feature–Brag Friday, where you can share your successes–make sure to tell us, too!)
PEAK@yahoogroups.com (PEAK is a Colorado Springs group, also for people with Asperger’s Syndrome)
firstname.lastname@example.org (a parent group based in Douglas County that shares loads of information about IEPs, therapies that work, problem solving, general questions and a willing ear to listen to gripes and screams of frustration)
In general, if you’re looking for online groups, enter your search criteria in whichever “group” app you like. Explore and find the one that fits your needs.
MeetUp Groups: these are dandy ways to find in-person local groups of folks with your same interests. Again, you’ll need a free ID before diving in. I did a quick search on “Denver adult autistic groups” and came up with this list: http://autism.meetup.com/cities/us/co/denver/. If you’re not in Metro Denver, substitute your city or zip code in the fields at the top of the page, and off you go!
In person: if you haven’t contacted the ARC in your area, do that. They are usually organized by county, so you’ll find the following:
Et cetera. Start at the ARC of Colorado if your area isn’t one of the above and click the Resources link on the right side. You’ll see different area groups and a list of other resources you can use to ask questions and find information.
The Colorado Autism Society (they have an events calendar on the left navigation pane, and there’s always something to do, a way to help and engage)
Colorado Autism Speaks (this is a lively bunch that does fundraising for autism research. They are always doing something in the community)
I hope this list gives you a place to start. The main idea of this page is to offer opportunities to engage with the autism community in the Denver area (or outside Denver Metro, too) in productive, positive ways.