Black and African American High Functioning Autistics (HFA) Social Group Ages 18+
The Color of Autism presents a pilot program for a social group specifically for Black and African American High Functioning Autistic (HFA). There are many Black people and African Americans who are High Functioning Autistic and many who are undiagnosed. We are teachers, counselors, lawyers, therapists, etc. As we get older, we get wiser and masking gets harder and harder to do. Where do we go? How do we deal?
The social skill for the first week is the use of eye contact and cultural beliefs, how each person feels about eye contact and respectful use of eye contact where it is not overwhelming. Then the facilitators will then model good and bad eye contact for the members.
Week two, which is being acknowledged and accepted in the Black community. Are family members receptive? Do they act like you're making it up? After explaining the skill the group members can express themselves through art, poem, conversation or sharing song lyrics.
Week Three is about Emotional intelligence (EQ) and the importance of the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
Week Four Group will address confusion in communication when you're being stereotyped and unaware of it. The assumptions of others breed anxiety and fear.
Week Five social skill will focus on helping the group members identify learned helplessness. Learned helplessness can be thought of as believing you are incompetent, that you have no control over the outcome, that it doesn’t matter what you do since outcomes no longer depend on actions.
Week Six members will learn to recognize and respond to the emotions of others by using the lesson from the emotional intelligence group. This group will highlight common miscommunications.
Week Seven being Autistic while Black and assertive, brings attention to an intersectionality of race, disability, safety and stereotypes. The constant walking a fine line. Group members will share thoughts on speaking up for themselves.
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