The Adult Autism Group meets monthly to socialize and discuss topics of interest to those on the spectrum and their allies. Topics are determined by the needs and interests of people in the group. They have included employment, education, housing, money management and budgeting, and services available in the community. Social service agency representatives have offered presentations about services available to our members. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation in Springfield, Illinois.
The Adult Autism Group offers a variety of recreational activities for adults on the autism spectrum and their families. Our activities have included bowling, pool, game nights, trivia, a night at the zoo, movies, a museum tour, and an annual Christmas party. In 2016, we chartered a bus for a trip to St. Louis, and in 2017, we went to Chicago. We returned to Chicago in 2018, where we attended ComicCon and Medieval Knights.
Support group participants have discussed the difficulty they experience making friends, and recreational activities provide a comfortable outlet to meet people and share similar issues, goals, and dreams. Through the PEERS program, participants learned basic skills such as making and receiving telephone calls, emails and text messages, arranging gatherings and how to initiate, hold and end conversations.
Community Education and Advocacy
The Adult Autism Group has board members and volunteers available to engage in public speaking and staff information tables at social service agencies, civic organizations, and public events to inform people about our group and the issues our members face. These presentations have resulted in donations and recruitment as well as educating the public about the realities and needs of adults on the autism spectrum. The Adult Autism Group produces fact sheets and other printed materials to educate the public about these issues and advocate for adults on the spectrum.