Autism Dialogue acts as a container in which autistic people and/or people working with autism can explore intersubjective consciousness, within that sub-cultural group identity.
‘Bohm Dialogue’ is named after quantum physicist David Bohm, who developed a primary technique of group dialogue, along with Peter Garrett and Donald Factor in the 1980’s. Bohm was inspired by the way Native-American Indian communities regularly come together simply to be with each other and ‘say what needs to be said’, in order to maintain community strengths.
Dialogue techniques have evolved and emerged and are in use globally, in all aspects of society. Experience has shown this radical method of non-judgemental group communication to be extremely beneficial for the consciousness, cohesion and development of organisations and communities and their members. For example, the detailed Prison Dialogue website provides an in-depth view, including videos from the Academy’s founders and users.
How to ‘do dialogue’.
There is a set of easily learned and empirically-derived skills that help to guide an organisation or community into an aligned way of thinking together. Participants sit on chairs in a facilitated circle, there are no obligations except listening and no equipment is required. Minimal (paper-based) note-taking is fine and so is stimming, of course!
A dialogue has no predefined purpose, no agenda, other than that of inquiring into the movement of thought, and exploring the process of “thinking together” collectively, while suspending one’s assumptions and building on each other’s ideas, not challenging them. This activity can allow group participants to examine their preconceptions and prejudices, as well as to explore the more general movement of thought.
Autism is a phenomenon which raises far-reaching questions into the nature of self, identity, science, health, politics, cultures and society, with a wide range of often competing debates, theories and ideologies. Autism Dialogue will provide the opportunity for a better and more dynamic understanding of autism.
Participants from all backgrounds and experiences will be able to explore individual and collective consciousness. We support emerging autistic sub-cultures, stronger autistic identity, greater self-knowledge and a more enriched society.
Read The Four Dialogic Practices here.