We welcome all socially awkward adults (regardless of diagnosis) who are seeking a non-judgemental, safe environment within which to hone their social skills, to make friends, to share coping skills and resources, and to have fun while doing it.
In order to improve upon our social skills we must challenge ourselves to enter social situations which are outside our comfort zone. Eventually through the repetition of a challenge, we can gain familiarity and comfort. In a safe environment for learning, people must be allowed to make mistakes and to try again. They would not be expected to already have it all together as they need a venue to practice. Failure and perseverance is necessary for growth and for learning.
It is most easy to connect with people who understand what you are going through because they have experienced or are currently experiencing the same thing. This is probably why it is easier to make friends while we are in school than when we are adults. In adulthood one can easily find that it might be more difficult to make or to maintain personal connections. Within the membership of this group you will find that you are not alone and there is a lot of experience available to be drawn upon.
Whether you have an autism spectrum disorder, a mood disorder, some form of clinical anxiety, or early childhood trauma you are a human being who is deserving of love and human connection. A diagnosis is not a reason to stop trying or to stop learning. As things often go with medical or psychological diagnoses, there is a possibility for wrong diagnosis. It is dangerous and self-limiting to turn a diagnosis into one's identity. Alternatively, once can use a diagnosis as a guideline toward what areas of self-improvement to target. At base, we are all as capable of making connections as any other human being. Indeed, something might have gone off track during our early childhood development which hindered the development of basic skill sets which in turn hindered the development of more advanced social skill sets. For example, if we did not master algebra before venturing into trigonometry and calculus, we would be in over our heads as we had not mastered prerequisite vocabulary needed to succeed in the more advanced math.
The good news is that as adults we can take matters into our own hands and set ourselves on a path to retrofit and back fill those weaker skill sets. We can determine whether our initial programming was sound and we can unlearn the bad while re-learning the good.
Most if not all people have at times felt shy, anxious, or just plain awkward when we are in certain social situations. The more we are exposed to social situations, the more of a social vocabulary we can build and the better we can prepare ourselves for future social challenges.
Let's be honest with each other. Let's be respectful of each other. Let's make some friends and learn how to be more comfortable around strangers until we are strangers no longer.
We have recently partnered with the SDSU's Brain Development Imaging Lab (BDIL http://bdil.sdsu.edu/ ) and the SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders ( http://autism.sdsu.edu/ ). This partnership will help us to plug into the greater San Diego autism community and and some of the important outreach and services to which SDSU can connect us. This also opens the possibility of more frequent and diversified events. The BDIL also provides with the unique opportunity to for volunteers to participate in their ongoing brain imaging studies in adults with autism.
The imaging studies will give a participant free access to IQ tests, memory tests, and the neurological and psychological profiling required for a diagnosis of whether or not one is on the Autism Spectrum. Additionally, participants are paid for the time spent during the testing and evaluation process and they can be provided with a navigable digital scan of their brain from a non-invasive functional MRI. I have personally taken part in the study and I would recommend it to anyone who likes puzzles, who is seeking a diagnosis, or who is interested in seeing detailed images of their own brain.
Please visit the embedded links for more details on the SDSU Center for Autism or the Brain Development Imaging Lab.