Our Support Group
Our support and self-advocacy group for adults on the autism spectrum meets monthly in the board room at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation. Generally, meeting topics are determined by the needs and interests of people in the group. Topics have included employment, education, housing, money management and budgeting, and services available in the community. We’ve also watched videos about the disability-rights movement, bullying and various aspects of autism, as well as videos in which people talk about what it’s like to have autism. Social Service agency representatives have addressed services available to our members.
Puzzle Solvers offers a variety of recreational activities for adults on the autism spectrum and their families. Our activities have included bowling, a night at the zoo, movies, a museum tour, and an annual Christmas party. In 2016, the group chartered a bus for a trip to St. Louis, and in 2017, went to Chicago. In 2018, members attended several game nights, went bowling, played pool, had dinner together and are planning to attend ComicCon and Medieval Knights this fall.
Support group participants have discussed the difficulty they experience making friends, and recreational activities provide a comfortable outlet to meet people and share similar issues, goals and dreams. Through the PEERS program, participants learned basic skills such as making and receiving telephone calls, emails and text messages, arranging gatherings and how to initiate, hold and end conversations.
Community Education and Advocacy
Puzzle Solvers board members and volunteers are available to engage in public speaking and staff information tables at social service agencies, civic organizations and public events to educate about our group and the issues we face. These presentations have resulted in donations and member/volunteer recruitment as well as educating the public about the realities and needs of adults on the autism spectrum. Puzzle Solvers produces fact sheets and other printed materials to educate the public about these issues and advocate for adults on the spectrum