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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team
Lizziesfolks

Help required - online forum for Aspergers teenagers to chat

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Hi

This may have been discussed before on here so sorry if it has, are there any teenager specific online chat forums for girls with AS.

 

Many thanks

 

Chris

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Something similar to this was brought up yesterday or the day before (it was buried in a different post though).

 

I have asked the moderators (yesterday I think - it might have been the day before) if they would ever consider putting a kid/teen only board so if the younger crowd did want a place to chat (without adults sticking their complicated oars in) they would have their own place to do so....

 

As for girl specific forums I wouldn't have a clue - but I do think this forum could consider catering for them - and by having the adult side to it as well - the younger crowd could make their own decisions whether they wish to speak with the adult crowd or not.

 

I do not know if things are as simple as that though :)

 

Best

 

Darkshine

 

PS - did a google search and found this:

 

http://www.aspergersgirl.com/index.php

 

If you want to see the welcome page with "some" extra info click this one instead

 

http://www.aspergersgirl.com

 

I haven't a clue about this site - its just the first result I got that specifically mentioned girls - I do not know if there's any specific age range, but like this forum it says family friendly........... All I would recommend is have a good look round and see what you think :)

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Your welcome :)

 

If it is any good - and this forum won't/cannot do a teen/kid section then let us know - maybe there are others who would be interested in it.

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Darkshine

 

Have had a look and it seems to be all ages male/female and not exactly what we were looking doesnt seem very active or accepting new members at the moment ,but maybe of use to others

 

Chris

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That's a shame - maybe too small a project....

 

I've just spent some time messing with google and the only thing that seems to come anywhere close is the wrong planet adolescent forum - about 4/6 of the way down the page

 

http://www.wrongplanet.net/forums.html

 

If there's others out there I cannot find them - the problem is that certain sites pay google to come out on top when people search - wrong planet do seem to have a vast majority when I searched... make of that what you will ;)

 

I'm not familiar with wrong planet at all - I've heard mixed views... And again - the forum they do have for it is for kids or teens generally (there's a board called "kids crater" right below the adolescent one).

 

I'm quite surprised that nothing comes up easier when searching - I hope that my searches were merely inadequate - but if they weren't it would be quite shocking that there isn't a young people's forum (including just for girls) out there...

 

If you feel up to a more lengthy search I did find this...

 

http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2010/12/top-100-aspergers-forums-for-2010.html

 

Maybe there's something there - but as you see in the web address there's like a hundred to look through ;)

 

Best

 

Darkshine

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Darkshine

 

Just a quick message to say thanks for taking the time to do this for me, I did see Wrong Planet forum and will have a look at it in more detail and the link you have added.

 

Thanks again

 

Chris

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Kathryn   

Hi Lizziesfolks

 

I hope you find what you are looking for. There are a couple of blog based sites recommended by my own daughter: Live Journal has many communities catering for all kinds of people so you might find something there. Dreamwidth is another similar site but smaller.

 

The question of whether there should be a section of the forum for teens has come up before - see below for one such discussion:

 

http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/19323-kids-forum-board/page__p__237298__hl__+forum%20+teenagers__fromsearch__1#entry237298

 

I would still hold the same view as I did back then. The problem is that such a forum is always going to have to be tightly and constantly moderated - by somebody - and that's going to require a huge commitment - from somebody. It's not surprising that no one has volunteered to do it.

 

There have been teens on this forum, but not many stick around and there is no indication that many young people are desperate to post here - it's the adults who tend to think it's a good idea. There are probably more interesting places on the web for young people to be.

 

K x

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Thanks for posting the link to that discussion Kathryn, its really useful to read... There's a lot of points raised there and it's quite interesting to see people's differing points of view.

 

For the time being I personally am not going to push this issue (although I do think it is a good idea to have a teen section) because I think there would be a hell of a lot involved and I don't think there are enough people on here who would feel confident to step up to such a commitment - which it would be!!

 

However, I do think it would be worthwhile thinking about having a sister site (is that the term?) linked from this forum purely for kids and teens - but I think that it would require someone with real drive - and the necessary knowledge to get it off the ground. I think this is the only sure fire way of not mixing kids into some of the highly inappropriate posts that exist on the adult forum.

 

Maybe a thing to keep in mind for the near future?

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LancsLad   

As someone new to the forum since the new year I feel that there should be far more involvement by teenagers and young people on the forum.

 

A big issue for teenagers in my experience is that they are much happier in controled cultures which they often prefare to be age specific. If there is a potential problem in this attitude is that at times it can exclude slightly more mature thinking in a number of areas. I personally would be concerned as to where a teenage only discussion on for example self harm and suicide might lead without some mature insights guiding the discussion along the right sort of path. I have for example been in disucssions on a forum related to self harm with teenagers and felt they had been able to take on alternative ideas and possibly be a bit better informed and where given the space to draw their own conclusions. There were also conclusions following a spate of teenage suicides in South Wales a year or so back that face book type closed discussions which possibly lacked mature insight had been a contributing factor in a particular sub cultural group.

 

I also think when adults with experience in certain areas do engage with teenagers for example this throws up potential issues in respect to parents values and those of the adults engaging with them. To use the same example of self harm it has taken me a number of years to get rid of the guilt surrounding my self harm rituals. I now see self harm as something which is still in my life but something I understand and have control over. As such at times and in appropriate scenarios I think self harm is acceptable behaviour. I know given these views a number of parents would not think me as being a suitable individual for their son or daughter to have a conversation with, I have to respect their views though might not agree with them.

 

A very good example I can remember was as a teacher undertaking sex education lessons alongside a community health nurse to groups of in this case 13 and 14 year olds. On one such occassion there were workmen in the school doing electrical work and I asked them if they could stop work in the corner of a large open area we wanted to use with three tutor groups as sometimes the students could get a bit immature and distractions didn't help. The three guys all over the age of 30 stayed in the back corner and listened in. Once the kids had gone one came up to me and said "I didn't know you covered that sort of stuff when we signed a parental request form, in fact we were surprised about how much stuff we learn't listening in". I asked him now you know what are your feelings, he basically said he was glad we did this as there is no way him and his partner either knew enough or were skilled enough to deliver the content. He felt this was a young age to deliver the content but when I told him of cases of for example sexually transmited diseases that had been passed on as statistics from the local clinic relating to our own student population he was very shocked.

 

I use this example in that I think at times parents would rather not know and trust adults dealing with young people to be professional in their approach. To use the school example on very rare occassions I have had parents come into school because they have been told what we had gone through in sessions and even though they had signed a consent form and we were following national guidelines they were not happy after the event. In such circumstances I simply had to try and understand them and take the flack. I have to admit in these moments I questioned why I volunteered to undertake this work in schools. The majority of other staff were always very happy I did it rather than they went through it with their own tutor groups.

 

I can see that there could be real issues for any potential moderators on a child/teenage forum as parents will inevitably not agree with what you might have said, what happens then. The conclusion is you vet moderators to the extent they only ever share parental views. In so many situations this might not be beneficial to the young people concerned, the very reason they might turn to a forum in the first place is because they can not find the answers they are looking for in their current life situations.

 

I am really not sure what the answer is. In other aspects of my life I have had the security of the establishment behind me and as long as I was professional and thoughtful I could engage freely with young people be it teaching, coaching or working as a carer. In society there should be this level of establishment responses in a large number of areas and that should include support networks for and by young people, unfortunatly that is not the case, and as a result young people have to create their own support networks. For some that will be in finding peers with similar experiences it might be following blogs of individuals, or being active on a range of specialist forums based on their individual needs. If someone is to provide a one stop shop for these experiences I guess it should be a national charity or government. We then get into a professional vetting procedure and guidelines around adults, the disadvantage of this is it often excludes individuals with real life experiences on which to draw, rather it is structured by adults, for adults and when the kids get into the mix the things often do not feel right to them and so they don't engage in the thing. Adults then pressume that there is no real need for a service and blame the kids for not being more active.

 

My gut reation is if a group of teenagers or children came to the forum asking for a space on it then, whoever has a role in making such a decision should ask them how do you want it, my guess would be they would get it 95% right and an odd tweek here and there might simply make the thing tick over effectivly, I suspect that tweak might be one or two well respected adults from the forum who wanted to help. I do not necessarily think the answer is in adults here setting something up and then see if there is a demand, we would probably get the structure and tone of the thing wrong. All good projects need ownership and so the energy needs to come from the end users.

 

Just a few thoughts.

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Canopus   

A big issue for teenagers in my experience is that they are much happier in controled cultures which they often prefare to be age specific.

 

Interesting that you mention this. Decades of mass education that separates teenagers from adults (other than their teachers) and the workings of the real world for much of their time have created an artificial parallel society and a youth subculture. In centuries gone by (and in tribal areas today) this youth subculture did not exist as children moved directly into adulthood without having to go through this 'teenage' period with its own culture and social norms. By the age of 12 most children were working alongside adults in the real world, so they had to understand the real world and take on board adult social skills. Youth subculture did not exist anywhere near the level that it exists today.

 

Many teenagers (including my parents) enjoy this youth subculture and much prefer to be with their own mates doing things that other teenagers do rather than mixing with adults and learning about or participating in the real world. The situation is notably different for a high proportion of teenagers with AS who have difficulty relating to their peer groups at school; difficulty in understanding teenage social skills and communication; and little interest in teenage popular culture. They often prefer the company of adults as they find them more predictable and interesting people to be with than other teenagers. Their interests overwhelmingly lie in the real world rather than in what they often see as shallow and silly teenage popular culture.

 

This situation often causes problems for teenagers with AS and their parents have a nasty desire to compare their children's lives with the lives of NT classmates who fit in well with their peers, or even their own lives as teenagers. They overwhelmingly high proportion of them want their children to fit into youth subculture without any problems rather than question how recent and artificial such an environment is and that some simply can't fit into it so it would be better to focus on living in the real world instead.

 

If there is a potential problem in this attitude is that at times it can exclude slightly more mature thinking in a number of areas.

 

This is called the blind leading the blind. It is well known within the HE community which holds a distrust of youth subculture and believes that youngsters should be more integrated into the real world rather than caged up in artificial environments with people of their own age group. I happen to know of quite a few teenagers who are aware of this and how it's difficult to get good advice on real world matters from their peer group so instead have to turn to adults. The best teachers are those who have walked the path in which you wish to travel on.

 

If someone is to provide a one stop shop for these experiences I guess it should be a national charity or government. We then get into a professional vetting procedure and guidelines around adults, the disadvantage of this is it often excludes individuals with real life experiences on which to draw, rather it is structured by adults, for adults and when the kids get into the mix the things often do not feel right to them and so they don't engage in the thing. Adults then pressume that there is no real need for a service and blame the kids for not being more active.

 

Like the NAS. Run by NT parents for AS kids who go to mainstream schools whilst making it difficult for adults with AS to share their real life experiences and offer advice. The biggest problem with the NAS is not that it doesn't provide enough support for adults with AS, it is that it doesn't effectively let adults contribute to the organisation.

 

My gut reation is if a group of teenagers or children came to the forum asking for a space on it then, whoever has a role in making such a decision should ask them how do you want it, my guess would be they would get it 95% right and an odd tweek here and there might simply make the thing tick over effectivly, I suspect that tweak might be one or two well respected adults from the forum who wanted to help. I do not necessarily think the answer is in adults here setting something up and then see if there is a demand, we would probably get the structure and tone of the thing wrong. All good projects need ownership and so the energy needs to come from the end users.

 

My experience as a long term user of this forum is that the moderators have acted in a heavy handed and reactionary manner too often. Several active users have left this forum over the years and I'm in contact with some of them.

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LancsLad   

Canopus really good response and could not agree with you more. As someone with a diagnosis pretty recently I am not really super aware of the NAS and its workings. I am aware of the opinions of people I respect as knowledgeable about the Autistic spectrum and in particular adults on it, and they very much share your sentiments.

 

I totally agree that we all need to focus on what is really important here and that is in generating a better understanding of autism and related aspects and how people have been able to work with it in constructive ways in their own lives. The reality is this can often mean being very open about issues which many onlookers might feel uncomfortable about, but that should never be a reason to censor such issues.

 

As adults we totally underestimate the maturity which young people can exhibit when they are dealing with serious issues. I have seen this first hand when dealing with individuals as a foster carer, and as a teacher. I can for example remember situations when children have commited suicide from the school I worked in and their class mates have been better able to talk through and deal with the reality of the situation than many of the adults in the same environment. I have also had frank and open conversations with 14 and 15 year olds about sexuality and coming out as being gay which have simply blown me away due to their depth.

 

I think all too often we have low expectations on our teenage section of society and for a lot of the time in adult company these individuals often live up to these expectations of adults simply to avoid hassle. Behind the gaze from adults there is often a very different story being enacted out in their everyday lives.

 

When it comes to AS and teenagers with the condition I suspect that there is a very split picture because of the reasons you have given Canopus. I suspect that there is one section where parents are very open about many issues and as such the individuals are well informed and can make appropriate decisions in their own lives. I think there must also be a section where adults are not comfortable about a large number of areas and as such the easy response is to think i will deal with this should it ever arrise. In such a scenario it is unlikely that peer information will fill the void even if some of their concepts might be slightly misplaced at times. It is the AS kids in this second group which i really worry about.

 

I also think there might be another layer over both groups and that is issues which the parents have no experience of. I have for example sat down with consultant psychologists and know they havn't the slightest clue about what it is to self harm or be suicidal for example. To be honest why would they unless this is an aspect of their own lives. I often think parents might feel it is far better for their child to go and talk to that nice 'clean' therapist ,rather than to share experiences with that 'dirty' individual who has these elements in their own lives. For me that is a massive mistake to make.

 

Just a few thoughts.

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I also think there might be another layer over both groups and that is issues which the parents have no experience of. I have for example sat down with consultant psychologists and know they havn't the slightest clue about what it is to self harm or be suicidal for example. To be honest why would they unless this is an aspect of their own lives. I often think parents might feel it is far better for their child to go and talk to that nice 'clean' therapist ,rather than to share experiences with that 'dirty' individual who has these elements in their own lives. For me that is a massive mistake to make.

 

Has anyone ever noticed that therapist split into 2 words makes something very very different...

 

 

My experience as a long term user of this forum is that the moderators have acted in a heavy handed and reactionary manner too often. Several active users have left this forum over the years and I'm in contact with some of them.

 

Just wanted to highlight this... not sure why... it's just something that is playing on my mind... amongst other things....

 

That's all I have to say right now. Please forgive my completely irrelevant interjection of a most intelligent and thought provoking topic.

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Canopus   

I think all too often we have low expectations on our teenage section of society

 

I absolutely agree with this one as adults are often unaware of the achievements of teenagers in all sorts of areas. The problem stems from the negative image of teenagers painted by the mainstream media and the segregated society where it is difficult for adults to interact with teenagers to find out what they really do.

 

and for a lot of the time in adult company these individuals often live up to these expectations of adults simply to avoid hassle. Behind the gaze from adults there is often a very different story being enacted out in their everyday lives.

 

This ability to change personality in order to fit in with ones associates at a particular time is an NT trait. I noticed it with one of my NT brothers how his personality and the way he behaved with his family was completely different from the way he behaved with his mates - and he was able to switch between the two personalities almost instantly. People with AS do not have this flexibility and therefore show similar personalities in all environments with all people. It can however be a disadvantage.

 

When it comes to AS and teenagers with the condition I suspect that there is a very split picture because of the reasons you have given Canopus. I suspect that there is one section where parents are very open about many issues and as such the individuals are well informed and can make appropriate decisions in their own lives. I think there must also be a section where adults are not comfortable about a large number of areas and as such the easy response is to think i will deal with this should it ever arrise. In such a scenario it is unlikely that peer information will fill the void even if some of their concepts might be slightly misplaced at times. It is the AS kids in this second group which i really worry about.

 

My findings are that parents roughly fit into two camps. The first camp accepts the AS teenager as who they are; accepts that they cannot function like a conventional NT teenager for most of the time; offers them the support and advice to succeed with real world issues; and sees adult social skills as more important than teenage social skills. This camp also tends to believe that families and local AS groups should bear the bulk of the responsibility for providing services and support. The second camp just wants a 'low maintenance' teenager who makes friends easily at school and relates well with their peer group, but is often unwilling to offer support and advice on real world issues and is obsessed with trying to get the teenage social skills right. This camp also tends to believe that the government and the education system should bear the bulk of the responsibility for providing services and support.

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Kathryn   

My experience as a long term user of this forum is that the moderators have acted in a heavy handed and reactionary manner too often. Several active users have left this forum over the years and I'm in contact with some of them.

 

:rolleyes:

 

And criticism has often been levelled at us for not reacting enough.... Probably means we have got it about right most of the time.

 

Anyway, do I care?

 

Nope. :whistle: :whistle:

 

K x

Edited by Kathryn

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LancsLad   

Kathryn to be quite honest I think you should care!

 

A forum should be based on the concept of free speech. As such we have to accept that there are opinions placed onto the forum that we may no agree with. Personally I think we should be able to take on any opinions think about them in respect to our own ideas and beliefs. If on reflection we still feel the same way which is often the case in life, we have at least shown respect for the other individuals right to free speech which is possibly more important than either of our individual beliefs.

 

I for one would not want to be a moderator simply because I believe in free speech. At some point the forum decided to have moderators and those positions were allocated, I can respect this. If you have one of these positions I think you have to exercise some maturity. The whole tone of this last post for me indicates that you do not want to moderate the forum rather you want to control what is said on it.

 

A more mature response would have been to ask Canopus for instances where he felt the moderators had acted in a heavy handed and reactionary manner and to then either yourself or through the people who made the decisions explain your thinking behind your decisions at the time. In that way we could all have drawn our own conclusions.

 

I also want to know if you think Canopus is making it up that he is contact with individuals who have been active in the past but no longer make a contribution. Again a mature response in my opinion would be to ask why did they decide to leave the forum and what could have ben done in their opinion which would have mean't they had stayed. Again I am not saying you have to agree with the points that might be raised, rather consider them.

 

Just a few thoughts.

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Canopus   

A more mature response would have been to ask Canopus for instances where he felt the moderators had acted in a heavy handed and reactionary manner and to then either yourself or through the people who made the decisions explain your thinking behind your decisions at the time. In that way we could all have drawn our own conclusions..

 

I could elaborate but do not feel that I have to.

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