Our Book: Nine adults share their journeys from discovery to acceptance

“For many adults on the autism spectrum, diagnosis is a profound and liberating moment of self-recognition. But it’s also just the first step on a journey that lasts a lifetime. This encouraging book, enriched by a diverse range of personal perspectives, can help readers orient in this new world and find other members of their tribe.”

Available now, our book Being Autistic – Nine adults share their journeys from discovery to acceptance contains the stories of very diverse autistic adults who share their responses to discovering and accepting their autism. It offers an insider view of the autism constellation to people becoming aware they inhabit it.

​If you are an autism diagnostician or autism lead and might be interested in purchasing copies, get in touch so we can send you a sample to help you decide whether to purchase a bulk order to give to patients.

Please note that hard copies of Being Autistic can only be posted to the UK mainland. However, if you would like to download a PDF copy of the book and leave us a donation, you can do so on this page.

Please not that we don’t have an automated confirmation email on receipt of your order. For UK orders, we aim to dispatch your book within a week. Occasionally, order emails go astray, so please contact us if you’ve not received your copy 2 weeks after making your order.

Learn More

Our groups

Most of our groups are for people living in the Reading area. We do offer an online Queer group for people living anywhere in the UK, and also sometimes run our Exploring Being Autistic programme online, and offer places to people outside of Reading.

Our groups are welcoming spaces where you can meet other autistic adults in a supportive, autism-positive setting.  We run a variety of groups depending on the resources we have available and the interests of our members. We currently run mixed and women’s peer support groups, a craft group, an LGBTQ+ group, a monthly informal drop-in, and we have an allotment. Please note that because of the way we are funded, we are currently only able to offer most of these groups to people who live in and around Reading.

When you contact AutAngel about joining us, we’ll offer you an informal introductory chat, either in person or online, with one of our staff members, just to get to know you a little and so that you can ask any questions you have about us.

After joining AutAngel you can decide which groups you’d like to attend. Most of our members also participate in our “Exploring Being Autistic” programme, which does require the commitment to come to10 sessions, and also means that participants get to know others in the programme, and in AutAngel, quite well.

Whilst we would love to be able to offer free access to our groups, our funding constraints mean that we ask members to make a contribution: an initial £5 to join, and then for ongoing donations, we suggest between £5 and £50 a month according to your means. If this is unaffordable for you, please talk to us, We do not want to exclude anyone on the basis of inability to donate.

For people who live in and around Reading

If you prefer a day-by-day list of our groups, you’ll find one here.

Online groups

Women’s peer support group – currently runs weekly on Zoom at 7-8pm on Tuesdays. Does not run online on the evening of the in-person women’s group.

Crafty Chat (used to be online craft group) – currently runs weekly on Zoom at 11am-12pm on Tuesdays.

Queer peer support group – a safe space for members who are LGBTQ+, this group currently runs on Zoom monthly on the first Tuesday of the month from 7-8pm.

In-person groups

Most in-person groups (with the exception of the allotment group and mixed peer support group) are held at our office in Caversham.

Mixed peer support group – monthly on the 2nd Thursday of the month 7.30-9pm.

Women’s peer support group – monthly on the 1st Tuesday of the month 7.30-9pm

Craft group – alternate Thursday mornings 10.30-12.

Monthly Saturday drop in – an informal drop in group at the office, this runs from 3-5pm on the 4th Saturday of the month.

Allotment group

A weekly group meeting at our allotment in Reading. Individual members of the group are welcome to visit the allotment and do a spot of gardening, harvesting and watering! The allotment group is currently open to new members. Please email us at info@autangel.org.uk if you are interested in joining us.

For people outside our area

Our online queer support group (see above in Reading groups) is also open to people who don’t live locally to us. Please sign up here if you’d be interested in joining.

Our Programme: Exploring Being Autistic

This ten week programme offers autistic adults the opportunity to explore how autism affects them, together with a group of peers. An important element of the programme is the chance for participants to share their responses to knowing or discovering they are autistic with peers, and have the space and support offered to process these responses.

You can see a detailed outline (coming soon) of the programme, read some FAQs and/or listen to and read feedback from some previous participants.

We have now run two iterations of Exploring Being Autistic as an online programme, in addition to a number of previous in person versions. You can sign up to be on the list to join a future course.

We are delighted that the research paper about our Exploring Being Autistic programme has been published; it can be found online here. It was led by Dr Laura Crane, Associate Professor at UCL Institute of Education and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE).

Exploring Being Autistic is a very popular programme, so we operate a waiting list.

If you live in or around Reading, and would like to be added to the waiting list, please sign up here, and we will be in touch when a space becomes available.

If you live outside the Reading area, please sign up here for updates about when a course might become available.

FAQs

What is AutAngel?

We are an autistic run organisation seeking to grow autistic community.

What do you do?

We are growing autistic community. What that means in practice is that we run a mixture of in person and online groups (currently women’s, general and queer support groups, a craft group and an allotment) for autistic people in Reading. We also run “Exploring Being Autistic”, a 10 week programme for people who identify as autistic or are wondering if they might be autistic. This programme offers information about autism and the space to process the relevance of this and discuss it with peers.  We also provide online events on various autism-related topics.

We try to keep our groups small, and we also have bi-annual meetings open to all autistic people in the area. Most of our groups are for people within reach of Reading but for people living further afield, we have an online Queer group and are planning to run online versions of “Exploring Being Autistic”. We run monthly online events on topics of interest to the autistic community.  Our website has resources for autistic people including information about getting a diagnosis and accessing appropriate therapy. 

How can people join your community?

People need initially to sign up via the website (or write to or phone us if they’re not online).  If they live in the Reading area and/or want to join the Queer group, we will then contact them for an introductory chat. People who are interested in the online Exploring Being Autistic programme will be contacted if and when this is available to people nationally. We are a small organisation and currently only have the Queer group and online Exploring Being Autistic as possibilities for people outside of Reading to join our community.

If you are a professional who works with autistic people, and you would like to refer someone to us, please let us know so we can check whether we are a good fit.

Is there a charge to join?

We don’t charge a fee, as we want to be open to everyone regardless of their financial situation. However, we do request donations (our suggested donation is between £5 – £50 per month) to help to meet our costs to enable us to continue to operate despite irregular funding. We ask new members to contribute £5 after they’ve had an introductory chat and have decided they would like to join any of our groups.

Are there are opportunities for volunteering?

We don’t currently have official posts for volunteers, although there are sometimes opportunities for community members to volunteer for occasional tasks such as running stalls. We see providing meaningful paid work for autistic people as part of our mission, so we like to be able to pay people for their work. We have however benefitted hugely from the generosity of autistic people and non-autistic allies in running our events and managing our finances.

Do you offer training about autism?

We have a list of autistic trainers offering training about autism on our website and are sometimes able to offer training on request. Please get in touch with your requirements and we can give you a quote. 

Are you a charity?

We are a Community Interest Company (CIC). A CIC is a limited company set up for the benefit of a community (in our case the autistic community). 

Can you support all autistic people?

No. We are a community not a service.  While we strive to be as inclusive as possible, our mission is to facilitate the building of autistic community: we are therefore suitable for adults who are able to actively participate in our learning programme and offer some reciprocal support to autistic peers.

Who is AutAngel not appropriate for?

While mental health difficulties are common among autistic adults, as well as in our community, we do not have the resources to safely support people with who are currently experiencing an episode of severe mental ill health.