‘Wereldvreemd’ is a Dutch language word used to explain how some people experience themselves as foreign (vreemd) to the world (wereld) around them, and vice versa.
Jeroen Decates runs a monthly education and support group for both men and women at his Hornsby clinic.
The group provides understanding and skills training in a mutually supportive setting for people with Asperger or Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).
The ASC Group commenced in June 2009. Partners, family or support people do not attend.
What participants say about the group
“The group provides an opportunity to compare experiences as the AS experience is rather unique for everyone. It provides a forum to discuss common issues and to gain more understanding.”
“We learn how others have similar life experiences to us, and how they deal with those experiences. I enjoy the chance to talk to others who have to deal with the problem of being socially isolated by AS, and the frustrations and depression that this can result in.”
“The group gives me insights into how to deal with unforeseen social and work situations; mainly stories about situations that I don't get exposed to that often and sometimes strategies to deal with them.”
How participants feel after the group
“A feeling that I am less alone and not the only one. It was very helpful and I feel so much better now that I have attended. It was difficult to talk myself into attending; I had to convince myself it may be of benefit. The logistics of getting there, walking into a group of strangers was not so hard. People were nice enough, but not over the top and fake. It was good to see that everyone else was there because they are motivated to improve their lives. No one was there under sufferance. There was a nice supportive vibe. The group discussion didn't spiral downwards into self-pity.
“Hearing the issues that others have, being able to express things that I would be too embarrassed to discuss with others e.g. dreading lunch hour at work, having few friends outside family. Being less critical of myself and appreciating some of the benefits of having AS.”
The group is held at the JDPSY clinic at Hornsby on a roughly monthly basis on Saturdays from 3PM to 4.30PM.
Group fees are $55 per session per person. Medicare rebate may apply and eligible group sessions are not counted towards individual session Medicare rebates.
An individual assessment interview is required before attending.