The next Autism Ideas café event will be held on Wednesday 19th May from 10am-12pm using MS Teams.

It is open to anyone with an interest in autism, and we particularly welcome autistic staff and students, or those who are autism allies to attend.

You can register here:

Not sure if it's for you? Read the experiences of one of our students who attended the last event below:

Why did I go?

I decided to go to the LORIC autism café firstly, because I am autistic myself and having this kind of support is incredibly useful to be able to discuss our ideas, share our experiences, concerns and provide support for each other. Secondly, because I am working on several autism focused projects, and believed that attending these would be useful in developing my knowledge for these.

How many times did I go?

I have been to the autism café twice now. The first time I went, it was a small, informal chat but the second time I attended it was a research symposium on autism, presented by postgraduate students. The meetings are usually on every other month, so I look forward to attending again in the future.

Who went to the autism café?

A range of different people attended both café events. The more informal event was mostly autistic people themselves and autistic parents, however there were also people who are autistic allies and people with a general interest in autism. The research symposium was a wide range of people from many different backgrounds and many different reasons for wanting to attend the research symposium.

What happened at each one?

At the first autism café which I attended, it was very informal and a smaller group of people, compared to the second, which I will explain in a moment, but this session was smaller because it was a typical, discussion group, which I loved. We talked about many things during this session surrounding autism, such as our opinions on adult diagnosis, our own experiences and talking about our opinions on current affairs relating to autism and disability in general. This almost followed the kind of ‘support group’ model and provided some good insight into other people’s opinions relating to autism, which is always really interesting. One additional thing I would like to add for this is that in no way was there any debate during this session that I went to, people did have different opinions to each other but I found it lovely that people were very accepting of different opinions.

The second autism café I attended, was very different to the first. It was advertised to be different to the others and the advertisers of the event were amazing in sending out all the information about exactly what the format of the event would be. This event was in the format of a symposium, where postgraduate students at BGU presented their research on autism-based topics and then it gave time for discussion with the other people at the symposium, if you wanted to. You could also talk in the ‘chat’ function if you didn’t want to talk, as such.

Would I recommend it to anyone, if so, who?

I would recommend the autism café to anyone who is autistic themselves, think they or someone they know could be, are wanting to know more about autism, or even if they have a general interest in autism.

Kay Purle - Autism Ideas Café Founder, LORIC

It was very exciting to partner with the Participatory Autism Research Collective to deliver the autism research symposium event and it provided an exciting addition to the calendar of Autism Ideas Café event. These are based on a World Café Model of ideas sharing and collaboration and have been running since April 2019, both face-to-face, and then virtually during the pandemic.

Further bi-monthly Autism Café events are planned, with the next sessions being held in May and July. Plans for a future research symposium with PARC are underway, with an event pencilled in for September. For details of future events, please visit the LORIC events page”.