Autism Community Network launches Sydney social event to connect adults with one another

Supportive environment: Steve Drakoulis of Autism Community Network says events that bring adults together is beneficial for social support. Picture: John Veage

Supportive environment: Steve Drakoulis of Autism Community Network says events that bring adults together is beneficial for social support. Picture: John Veage

Autism Community Network is hosting an adults only dinner this Saturday night, July 27, when people will gather to gain skills and create friendships.

The non-profit network is a supportive organisation for families that provides free services for autistic children and adults across 17 local government areas in Sydney and NSW.

It has more than 1500 members, and this is rising due to the increase in autism diagnosis.

The network has teamed up with Melbourne's 'Different Journeys' to bring its successful peer support events for autistic adults to Sydney, with the aim of creating a social scene to break the loneliness and isolation many may experience.

It is hoped the event will be an ongoing one on the calendar. Whether over a chat, a meal or a quiz, the idea is to encourage the community to feel part of a group. People will also be able to use their NDIS funding for this event as a peer support experience.

The event is being held at 6pm at Club Rivers, Riverwood.

Steve Drakoulis from the Autism Community Network says the event has already been well received, signalling a need for something like it in the area.

"For the past few years I have been getting phone calls from adults with autism, saying there isn't anything like this for them," he said.

"It's heartbreaking when I have to say I don't know of anything. They are often alone, don't have friends to socialise with or have a place to go where they can belong.

"I heard about this wonderful group in Melbourne that has grown. I attended one of them and got goosebumps. You look around and it looks like any normal event where adults have a nice time. Only these are people who are autistic. They would otherwise be isolated at home.

"We've had well over 30 people already book in. Some will bring their kids who are now young adults. Even if we get 15 or 20 people that would be lovely."

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