What is Translate?

Translate is a volunteer-run organisation addressing the needs of all people affected by Asperger Syndrome in adults. It's central focus is to break down the barriers to understanding between those with the condition and those without. To the right of this page you will find details the specific services our group offers.

The Loughborough-based group was launched in June 2008 by Paul and Jo Sandford, a man diagnosed with the condition in his early forties and his wife, with the support and assistance of the Leicestershire Autistic Society. Borne out of frustration at the lack of information and support available to couples in their situation, the group was initially intended as a vehicle to concentrate on the issues within relationships involving adults with Asperger syndrome.

Though these issues are still a key theme at Translate, widening membership has led to a broadening of our remit. We now offer support to all adults with Asperger Syndrome and to all those touched by their lives. Our experience has shown that most areas of everyday life for those on the autism spectrum are equally poorly considered by statutory support services, especially if the true picture is masked by an individual's high-functioning in certain other areas.

The group's current "active" membership numbers around one hundred, of whom around 50% are on the autism spectrum (diagnosed or assumed) whilst the other half consists of personally- (partners, parents and friends) or professionally-interested parties. Monthly meetings draw a regular attendance in the region of 25 - though the informality means that even the most socially-averse among us manage to relax enough to enjoy them!

Group discussions are always interesting and it is a key concept to Translate that all have the opportunity to share their views (though we are not evangelists forcing the unwilling to bare their souls to strangers!). The "Aspie" (autistic) and "Neuro-Typical" (non-autistic) perspectives are always heard, however, often bringing a new level of understanding to a given situation for individuals from each side of the neurological divide.

Asperger syndrome presents itself in a myriad different forms and those who love adults with the condition face an equally diverse series of issues. Translate aims to simply act as a conduit for all those affected to share and gain support, often for the first time in their lives, from others who recognise and can genuinely understand and empathise with their circumstances.

Peer Support

Translate is primarily a group that offers support through the sharing of common experience. Individuals on the autism spectrum and those who love them are among others who have encountered or are negotiating similar issues. Further support is also extended through a "telephone tree" among some group members seeking or offering more immediate advice.

Information

We have a lending library stocked with materials relating to AS in adults. We also infrequently invite speakers, both to our group meetings and to stand-alone events. These have in the past included professionals addressing autism in their work, individuals with AS, representatives of service providers and of other projects with common aims to our own.

Sign-Posting

Our shared experiences include those of the services available and/or relevant to many circumstances and how to access them. We are happy to pass on advice on such matters face-to-face, by e-mail and/or by telephone. We are only a small group but we do not consider geographical boundaries and often assist callers from outside our own locality.

Awareness-Raising

Translate actively works to increase the understanding among the wider public of Asperger syndrome and its effects. We hold our own awareness-raising events (including our inaugural Conference in 2012) and our members also make presentations to professional groups and frequently contribute to autism-related conference and training programmes locally, regionally and nationally.