Work of Support Group for Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome in Russia 293
Problems with Asperger's syndrome diagnostic in adults in Russia and obsolete practice of replacement of the diagnosis after age of 18 caused necessity of organization of specialized supports and efforts for social adaptation of such individuals. Experience of organization and leading the support group (that works since 2010) for adults with Asperger’s syndrome and high functioning autism is described: conditions, rules and recommendations for its organization. The discussed topics include autism awareness, social integration, personal relationships, autism symptoms and coping strategies, independent life. The participants report that the group is beneficial as a comfortable place for socialization, life experience exchange, development of self-acceptance, self-awareness and independent life skills. Involvement of psychologists in leading of some group meetings showed the necessity to extend their knowledge about autism spectrum disorders in adults. A review of screening tests and other aspects of self-diagnosis is given. Analysis of functioning of the support group for people with Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism confirmed large demand on this kind of help and its necessity for improving life quality.
The authors are grateful to people with autism who founded the project for support of people with Asperger’s syndrome and to the Federal Resource Center for Organization of Comprehensive Support for Children with ASD of MSUPE for the possibility to discuss the problems of the high-functioning people with ASD and their coping strategies
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