No doubt about it, an ASD life can be an isolated life, especially when what you want is to commune with people who share the shorthand of your traits. We’ll talk another time about the accuracy of the following estimates but for now, it’s the best the world has to go on: Currently the autistic population is estimated to be 1.694% of the United States population1“Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Data & Statistics.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated November 15, 2018.” and 0.625% of the global population2“Autism Spectrum Disorders.” World Health Organization. April 4, 2017.. That’s approximately 77,000,000 people! Point is, you’re not alone, not by a long shot.
But finding people in your area who are aware that they’re on the autistic spectrum, who aren’t in your family, and who share your interests? That’s a tall order.
For us, the internet brings life. We can find loads of people who are eager to find out what each other’s lives are like and whether we share things in common. And being the intrepid detail-hounds we are, it makes it even more exciting when those potential new friends live in cultures that may differ from our own.
Okay. So, you may wonder, where are all these magical friends awaiting my arrival? Here, lemme get you started.
For people who made it all the way to adulthood without knowing about their autistic selves. Share and learn about life after adult identification and/or diagnosis. Why? Because learning you’re #ActuallyAutistic late in life proves how badass you’ve been this entire time.
People are only human so keep your expectations flexible. When groups form, interpersonal dynamics come into play, even in ASD Land. You may encounter strong personalities, conflicting opinions, people for whom everything is an attack, and bullying. Just because a group says it’s for us doesn’t mean every group is for ALL of us. We are infinitely diverse yet bound by our few shared traits.