I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of Mentoring, (mostly) people on the autism spectrum , since first qualifying as a Community Mentor over twelve years ago. This experience , together with post graduate qualifications in ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), and being an ASDian Elder in the ASDian Community, has given me a rather unique insight into the ASD lifespan situation.
As a Peer Mentor, I can offer the following:
I "get" many people who may identify to some extent as an "outsider" , or as "different" in some way ( as perceived by self or others , whether actual or not )
I understand the causes and effects of "alienation", the disorientation and distress in not understanding what’s going on for various reasons, or of being serially mis-understood ( because of "difference")
I can offer a working insight , new deeper perspective ,and analytical problem solving, in relation to the "bind" of a person wanting to be comfortable in their own skin / true to their identity, but who also desires the human experiences of belonging, contribution and purpose.
Here are some more specific, practical examples of the kinds of things I have done as a Peer Mentor to date (however feel free to come up with other ideas ):
Public Transport Mentoring. I can talk to you about what you can do to get confident to use public transport.
Encouraging you through other situations you might find uncomfortable, scary or confusing , e.g. social situations such as shopping, appointments, cinemas, concerts, new living situations or making new friends - until you develop the confidence or skills to do it alone/or with friends.
Social / relationship or living skills Mentoring
Talking over options and goals to support you to see the changes you want in your situation (two heads are usually better than one)...
A video about the NDIS and the importance of peer support. Made by people with intellectual disability for people with intellectual disability.