Speed Friendships, an event for people on the Autism Spectrum to make a friend, was held this past Saturday April 27th. This event paired two people with Aspergers syndrome and/or high-functioning autism. They sat at a table assigned to them for 5 minutes and talked to one another. The participants discussed whatever they like. If they weren’t sure of what to talk about, a list of questions was provided to prompt discussion. When 5 minutes were over they moved to another assigned table and talked to someone else who was also assigned to that table. We did our best to pair people with similar interests based on their answers to our registration form.
Sometimes you have what you think is a great idea on paper. Then it is executed and the idea doesn’t end up being as great as it looked on paper. We are happy to report that Speed Friendships isn’t an idea that falls into that category. The event was held this past Saturday and was much more successful than we had envisioned.
There were many positives to take away from Speed Friendships. Some of these positives included:
Structure. The structure of the event really works for those on the Autism Spectrum. One individual who participated commented that the structure really helped because he normally gets overwhelmed in unstructured social situations.
Individualized to Meet Participants Needs. The registration form that all the participants filled out was very helpful. We notified the participants about the interests they had in common with those they met with. This was very helpful in initiating conversation for those that participated in Speed Friendships.
Conversation Support. We had a long list of questions that participants could ask one another at each table. This visual support was accessed very often by those at the event. Not everyone at the event needed this visual, but for those that did it was very helpful in prompting conversation.
Autism Awareness. Speed Friendships was held at Mavis Winkles, a restaurant in Twinsburg, Ohio. The staff and customers came up to us and thanked Autism Personal Coach for creating this event. One customer told us it was nice to see something in the community for adults, all you ever see or hear seems to be about the kids.
Autism Personal Coach was so happy with this event that we are already planning Speed Friendships 2 this summer, details to come. If you have questions about Speed Friendships or the services of Autism Personal Coach please email us at email@example.com or call us at (216) 336-5889.