Wellbeing through problem solving and developing positive autism identity

This is a post diagnostic/self-identification support programme for autistic adults.

We are helping autistic people to achieve their goals and improve their wellbeing.

  • Have you recently been diagnosed; or self-identified as autistic?
  • Struggling to set and achieve your goals?
  • Need a supportive community to navigate your autistic identity?

Take a step towards better wellbeing and join our free Pathway mentoring programme.

The programme is designed by autistic people for autistic people. It includes

  1. Weekly one hour online 1- to-1 mentoring sessions,
  2. A series of webinars about exploring autism and wellbeing (online course)
  3. An online support group.

Online means via zoom or forum. Our Pathway mentoring programme will help you to better understand what it means (and doesn’t mean) to be autistic and to help you to formulate and progress towards achieving your personal goals.

The mentoring will help you to problem solve, deal with the complexity of your individual situation, help you to understand strengths, sort out a sense of direction in your life and gain confidence. It will provide tailored support and accountability for progression.

Goal oriented problem solving, positive autistic identity and a sense of connectedness and belonging are central to autistic wellbeing and quality of life. Research has shown that this is best achieved in a community of autistic people.

The Pathway programme provides such a community where you can be your authentic self without being judged. Feeling empathized with, accepted and validated goes a long way towards building wellbeing.

Our free mentoring programme is based on research by Damian Milton et al.*, the prominent autistic autism researcher. It showed that time-limited, goal-directed mentoring helps autistic people deal with challenges and demonstrates an improvement in the wellbeing of autistic participants.

Our programme is based on Dr Milton’s study and designed with his participation. It is developed by autistic people for autistic people.

We are aiming to help autistic people to realise their goals and lead fulfilling lives, including navigating their autistic identity.

The Pathway course designed and delivered by autistic people will provide helpful resources and will take you through various aspects of what it means to be autistic in the 21 century.

This programme will help autistic people to realise their potential, achieve personal growth and connect with the autistic community, thus improving their wellbeing.

Please note that the Pathway programme

  • Is not a substitute for mental health or care support you may have received or are awaiting.
  • Is not a programme for ‘fixing’ the autistic person – It is more about listening to you and working with you in helping you to identify, clarify and resolve issues.
  • We do not offer legal advice or detailed advice on entitlements or benefits
  • The programme is in pilot stage and at the beginning and end of the programme we will ask you to fill out evaluation questionnaires. At the end of the programme we will ask you to participate in the evaluation interview with a researcher evaluating the programme.

Have more questions? Contact us at : toolup@ndsa.uk

Below is the link to the registration forms

*Martin, N.Milton, D.E.M.Sims, T.Dawkins, G.Baron-Cohen, S. and Mills, R. (2017), “Does “mentoring” offer effective support to autistic adults? A mixed-methods pilot study”, Advances in Autism, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 229-239. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-06-2017-0013

Information meeting for prospective mentees

We are holding an information meeting for prospective mentees on Thursday 9 September at 12 pm.

Past mentees will be present.

Details will be emailed after registration or after contacting us on toolup@ndsa.uk.

Become a mentor

We have completed the mentor recruitment for Pathway. We are still looking for people with specific experience of addiction and the criminal justice system.

  • Looking for meaningful ways to volunteer?
  • Wanting to help to make a life changing difference to both your own and someone else’s life?

You could be helping an autistic adult to navigate their autistic identity, achieve their goals and remove the barriers that are getting in the way of their wellbeing.

Find your community, hone your voice, and mentor the next generation

We are looking for autistic people with life experience and who feel positive about their autism, whether they have been diagnosed or are self-identifying – to mentor and create a collaborative resource bank for autistic people who are navigating recent diagnosis. We especially welcome late-diagnosed and older autistics. 

The project aims to build a supportive community to enable people diagnosed, self-identified or wondering if they might be autistic to navigate autistic identity in the 21st century and improve their wellbeing.

The Pathway programme offers access to:

  • Training and professional support to become a mentor and to create impactful content
  • Regular mutual support groups on zoom
  • A private supportive online forum 
  • A modest compensation of £13.20 per mentoring session
  • The chance to be a part of an exciting collaborative production of autistic culture

If you have identified as an autistic person for 2 years or less, please stand by – we are going to advertise for a support programme to help you navigate those first years very soon!

Mentoring can provide a great sense of fulfilment and recognition. You could be helping an autistic adult to achieve life changing positive framing of their autistic identity, achieve their goals and develop your own mentoring skills. Our Pathway programme will train and support mentors throughout.

What is involved?

You will receive a comprehensive free online training developed and delivered by Dr Damian Milton. You will also join a mentors’ online support group and receive individual support and supervision from experienced mentors throughout the programme. You will mentor online one or; if you prefer; two autistic individuals at the rate of one hour per week for a duration of 20 weeks.

You would need to complete enrolment, mid-term and post programme questionnaires, attend the online training, consent to a DBS check and commit to 20 weeks of mentoring. You will receive payment of £13.20 per session.

Information meeting for prospective mentors

We are holding an information meeting for new mentors on Monday’s at 6 pm.

Current Tool Up mentors will be in attendance to share their experience.

Zoom link will be sent after registration.

Tool Up Mentoring Programme helping autistic people in and into work.