Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Believe in Asperger Facebook Groups

Often we feel a little lonely and unable to communicate with our peers. That much has always been apparent since before I even began to blog. Hell, I get that feeling when I hang with good friends at parties or other social events, where I drift without butting into a conversation, or I'm not sure what to talk about. So often we need a like-minded group to discuss what is going on and how people on the spectrum can connect. I have joined a few Asperger groups on Facebook over the past year to find out more. What I figured out by last week is that experience is nearly the same everywhere. It's almost always an open forum. Though it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I think each of the groups has a similar objective: to help out people on the spectrum with personal issues or to give them some friends. Also for parents of the children on the spectrum to get more advice on how to handle children based on the experiences of people like me. On paper, it's an excellent concept. Many times we answer questions relating to our own experiences, and share some of our interests and fears. It can be very revealing how we perceive ourselves

However, I notice something perturbing. There is a common distressing theme of sensitivity and negativity. I see many posts where people declare they are leaving a group for something more open than the current one, or that opinions are vocalized to a point of rudeness. It's as if our lack of filter and our problems with criticism lead people to perceive commentary as inflammatory in nature. Some could argue that we can be really sensitive due to a lack of acceptance in previous years, so every perceived slight is bad. On the other hand, we are so brutally honest as a people that we don't hold back, which can get us into trouble. I often ask people "am I the only one who ____" among a certain peer group because it's fascinating, but I have at times looked either naive or snobbish due to such thinking.

It would be too simple to ask everyone to be civilized so that we can't be creating so many groups to join and leave. However, what is the key internally is to understand that we will run into these conflicts at another level because we are almost all on the spectrum. There will be fights, but there will also be the constructive conversation from the earlier topic. I'll definitely say that it helped me to gain a greater understanding of how others like me would act in situations. Basically, this entry is asking the question of what pitfalls come about with an Asperger discussion group. That's the greatest construction we can get from all of these, without feeling threatened by the abundance, or lack, of open conversation.

Let's keep this social outlet active in 2015, even if we can never make these forums perfect.