We set up our first ‘Autism Dialogue’ at the University of Sheffield in 2017 with Jonathan Drury and Professor Liz Milne and around 12 other people – PhD students, parents, professionals, some of whom were autistic. It then moved out into the community every month, attracting people from the region and nationally for our annual conferences.
We are the first organisation in the world to apply Professional Dialogue socio-therapeutically and specifically to the field of autism. Connecting with others is the most effective way of staying healthy (New Economics Foundation, 2020) and autistic people are four times more likely to be lonely than non-autistic people and are more likely to experience social anxiety (NAS, 2018).
In 2020 we received grants from both NHS/CCG and the Royal Society of Arts to support our ongoing work and in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
See video below. In 2021 we began working with Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire CCG and Derbyshire Autism Services. Info here. We are also a regular provider of specialist autism coaching to two national charities.
Dialogue can facilitate recovery, wellbeing and empowerment for autistic people and their families, at the same time as addressing universal, systemic issues in practice, research and public attitudes.
“I’ve never seen an event of this kind for and with Autistic people that was so calm and inclusive.”
– Ian Dale, Head of Research, National Autistic Society.
By facilitating Dialogue groups for people both living and working in the worlds of autism, our aim is to help bridge gaps in its world-view, work towards a deeper understanding and more unified consensus, and therefore help provide a better quality of life for autistic people and a brighter, fairer world. Autism is an ideal focus for Dialogue, because of a perceived growing disparity between viewpoints and a growing feeling among autistic people who feel unrepresented and overlooked in research (Pellicano et al. 2013).
Often views can be polarised and expressed via social media, providing little scope for nuanced discussion and active listening. We believe that Dialogue is highly beneficial in the realm of autism, and that it has the potential to make a positive difference in the way autism is understood by all. A principle of Dialogue is that individuals try to build upon others’ ideas so that new knowledge and a collective understanding can be formed.
In this respect, Dialogue could play an important role in accelerating discussion via a common understanding and increasing social and professional cohesion of the whole autism arena and beyond.
The Autism Dialogue Approach® works with a more flowing, holistic style of language to correlate with the fundamental experience of autism, a phenomena of our time…
We are a growing community that aims for deeper understanding and social cohesion in autism and neurodivergent life.
Dialogica is the first organisation in the world to apply Bohmian Dialogue specifically to the field of autism. It was set up in 2017 by Jonathan Drury, himself diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and Professor Liz Milne (University of Sheffield). According to the New Economics Foundation, connecting with others is the most effective way of staying healthy (2020). Research also shows that autistic people are four times more likely to be lonely than non-autistic people and are more likely to experience social anxiety (National Autistic Society, 2018).
Autism Dialogue Approach® is a registered trademark.
Read ‘Professional Dialogue for Autism’ article on the RSA website.
The internet allows us to do our work easily and research shows people with Asperger Syndrome and (so called) high functioning autism (in this context) are comfortable using the internet for communication purposes (Benford and Standen, 2009). The connection between local and international beneficiaries is important to our developments of perceived cultural differences in autism and this new funding will help build a conceptual framework for proper international scaling, whilst remaining sensitive to trans-national and trans-cultural differences.
We hope you can join us! Ask a question.
Benford, Penny & Standen, Pj. (2009). The Internet: A comfortable communication medium for people with Asperger syndrome (0S) and high functioning autism (HFA)?. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 3. 44-53. 10.1108/17549450200900015.
National Autistic Society (2018). Hidden crisis: Autistic people four times more likely to be lonely than general public (30 April 2018) https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/media-centre/news/2018-04-25-hidden-crisis-autism-and-loneliness.aspx
New Economics Foundation (2020). Five Ways to Wellbeing at a time of Social Distancing. https://neweconomics.org/2020/03/five-ways-to-wellbeing-at-a-time-of-social-distancing
Pellicano, L., Dinsmore, A., & Charman, T. (2013). A Future Made Together: Shaping autism research in the UK