Embarking on the Asperger’s journey alone sucks. A lot. Some (including us) would say that it is almost impossible to succeed (aka thrive in life) without having a solid support system.
When you look at the etymology of the word support, it comes from “sub”, meaning “Up from under” and “portare”, meaning “to carry”. So in essence, a true support system carries you. It is a community; a system that helps ensure that no one has to shoulder the entire burden. It's a village (whether real or metaphorical).
Without a support system you are left exhausted, sick and stressed nearly 24/7 as you try to handle things well beyond the scope of any one human. That’s probably why Autism moms have stress levels similar to combat veterans. It’s FRICKIN' HARD to do this alone.
People with Asperger’s & Autism aren’t exempt from this. Unless you have a supportive group of peers, family members, doctors, therapists and caring individuals, life is not fun at all, and you can usually forget about having a thriving life.
So how do you gain a support system?
Start with the low hanging fruit. Google “Asperger’s support group YOUR CITY” and see if there is anything for you. Sometimes you get lucky!
Next, go on meetup.com and find groups that share passions with you (even if that is just playing video games). A support group doesn’t necessarily need to be Asperger’s specific. A good group of friends works just as well.
Finally, consider online support groups (Like our own AE+ support group with thousands of parents from around the world, a Minecraft server for kids, Q&A calls, expert interviews & more. If you’d like to try our group, you can join for just $1 here).
As you begin to establish connections, you’ll have the people, community and connections ready for you when you need help. Which leads us to our final step:
Ask for help when you need it!
Most people aren’t mind readers. They don’t know you need support until you ask for it. And unless you explicitly ask for what you need, most people will assume you are fine.
Asking for help doesn’t imply any moral failing on your part. It is simply an acknowledgment of a truth: You need help. No one expects you to do this alone. Now you don’t have to.