AROUND THE STATE: Social Support Groups Bring More Opportunities for Georgians
Every month, there is a gathering of individuals with disabilities who come together to socialize, share and build their own community. “We call them the Social Support Groups,” said Scott Kramer, program director and founder of the Greater Chattanooga Aspies (GCA) Centre for Adult Autism.
“The purpose of the group is for people on the autism spectrum to build their own communities and social circles. What we find is that a lot of children on the autism spectrum seem to lack friends or the opportunity to make friends.” Kramer is also an adult on the autism spectrum and a self-advocate.
The group appeals to people of all ages so children and adults can build a sense of community as they get older. Most importantly, it’s important for them to build a community “between meetings.”
“We established early on that it’s important for these individuals to connect outside of the meetings,” added Kramer. “Connect with each other socially – go to the movies, hang out and really build long-lasting friendships.”
The groups of northwest Georgia meet at Dalton State College or the Anna Shaw Institute. The Metro Atlanta North Social Support Group meets in east Roswell; and the Metro Atlanta Intown Group meets at Kirkwood Public Library.
There are approximately 17,000 - 19,000 people on the autism spectrum in Atlanta alone. And, the plan is to increase the presence of these groups in the city and across Georgia.
“We want to see groups that are close to where people live and can meet their needs,” said Kramer.
For information on going to a Social Support Group or starting one in your neighborhood, email Scott Kramer.
SOCIAL SUPPORT GROUPS IN GEORGIA
Northwest Georgia Social Support Groups
Metro Atlanta North Social Support Group
Metro Atlanta Intown Social Support Group
To read more in Making a Difference magazine, see below: