Autism Dialogue Online is open for anyone with a connection to autism.
That includes autistic adults, family members, staff and academics. It is a safe and confidential ‘meeting room’ where you are welcome and as important as everyone else, to join in or just listen.
Since 2017 our community dialogues have supported many people towards a deep and positive connection to others, reducing anxiety and improving lives.
This type of approach has not been previously carried out anywhere.
In the current pandemic and unprecedented social circumstances the need for a regular point of contact and an integrated approach to a healthy, proactive community is even more vital.
In the Autism Dialogue model, we invite everyone from the autism community to form and be a part of an active microcosm of society.
Now based online until further notice, dialogues online via Zoom platform are great for people with a predisposition toward anxiety, depression and loneliness.
The rise in mental illness increases the scope and urgency of fundamental questions around definitions of a healthy, joined-up society. Furthermore, despite unprecedented levels of connectivity, there is a widespread sense of communication breakdown.
We are now living through a monumental social paradox.
According to the New Economics Foundation, connecting with others is the most effective way of staying healthy and now social distancing is currently crucial, potentially for our survival as a species.
People who typically self-isolate for mental-health are suddenly ahead of the curve. Life and death is a bit more real for many people on the planet today. What can we learn from this situation and how can it inform our common values?
To address what Quantum physicist David Bohm saw as a crisis of communication resulting in fragmentation of consciousness and under-developed socioeconomic systems, he helped form a method we‘ve come to know as Bohm Dialogue, out of which the Academy of Professional Dialogue was born.
Through mediating conflict within self and across cultures, Dialogue allows multiple perspectives to co-exist in the same space of enquiry and slows down normative modes of interaction. In a safe, unified flow of thought and language, it restores balance and harmony back to the whole.
We are ready to facilitate local, national and international support of all communities in need, especially those concerned with mental health, neurodiversity and wellbeing.
The main aims of Autism Dialogue, our flagship programme since 2017, are improved wellbeing, better communication across society and support for a growing culture of neurodivergent leaders.
Dialogue is a powerful “socio-therapeutic intervention” that can reduce anxiety and improve mental health and well-being.
The method is a facilitated conversation and a set of easily learned skills, wherein members are part of a micro-community who share personal stories, feelings and thoughts on a loosely agreed topic, without an agenda or need for set outcome. Topics are chosen by who is present and are usually widely varied, previously covering for example, health matters, current affairs, life’s purpose, identity, the social battery, emotions, sensory issues, society and communication. With expert facilitation, the necessary fertile ground for deeper learning, understanding and awareness is laid down.
Autistic people are often drawn to online communication as it removes the need for social interaction that many find distressing. At this time of increased global anxiety with unprecedented sociological and psychological effects that COVID-19 virus is having, there is an urgent need for a point of contact and provision of this kind.