Seeing the world a little differently

JOHN Copper and Tony Langdon want people to refer to their autism as part of their personality, rather than something that is a hindrance or disability.

After all, having autism means that some of their senses are heightened and they can hone in details others would struggle to comprehend.

But John says that while some aspects of having autism have practical benefits, other traits - such as misunderstanding non-verbal communication - can prove a little trickier to navigate.

"We interpret language differently," John says.

"I've had a number of relationships over the years that haven't worked out ... which I could attribute to communication difficulties."

Adds Tony: "There's this translating going on in our heads all the time."

And this is one of the reasons John started Adult Support for Autistic Personalities - a group that meets every Tuesday to socialise in a non-threatening environment.

At the moment the group has just two members - John and Tony - but they are hosting a barbecue this Saturday in the hope that more Bendigo residents will join up.

The event will be at Eaglehawk Community House, where their weekly meetings take place, from noon until 2pm. 

The men have also started a Facebook page, facebook.com/ASAPBendigo

The page provides another platform on which people with autism can talk about their experiences.

Tony says he hopes the group will provide a way for people with autistic personalities to connect.

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