The Reading CIC ( Community Interest Company) AutAngel is set to launch its programme 'Exploring Being Autistic' which will help people understand the condition, fostering togetherness and social interaction. Caroline Hearst, the founder and director of AutAngel writes: 

It may amaze you to learn that many autistic adults have no idea that they’re autistic, they just know that while they may have excellent qualifications they can’t keep a job, or they find eating out excruciating because of the pain caused by background noise. 

Until recently Autism was widely misunderstood and seen as merely a disorder, a series of deficits, but nowadays more and more people are realising that it is simply a different way of experiencing the world which brings benefits as well as challenges.

AutAngel, is Reading based organisation run by and for autistic people who are building a local autistic community. We run a 10-week programme “Exploring Being Autistic,” to help enable people with an autism diagnosis or wondering if they might be autistic to look beyond the stigma and gain a good understanding of how being autistic affects them personally. 

This programme provides up to date information about autism as well as an opportunity for people to discuss this and discover they are not alone and others have had similar experiences.  Participants on the course value the opportunity to learn from each other as well as the facilitator.

AutAngel has had lots of positive feedback about the impact of this programme:

“Meeting once per week with a small group of other autistic people gave me a reliable and safe place to both learn and socialise, which was something I didn’t even fully realise I needed at the beginning of the course.”

“It was brilliant. Being with other autistic people in person was such a relief. Beforehand I had no idea of knowing how much of a relief it would be. Being able to learn and share and talk in this environment was invaluable.”

The ten week Exploring Being Autistic will run again in February – AutAngel does charge for this programme but we are also fortunate in having secured funding from the National Lottery to help support their work so are able to ensure nobody is excluded for financial reasons.  If you are interested in this or the other groups for autistic adults run by AutAngel you can find out more and sign up  at AutAngel’s website: