- About AutChat
- What is AutChat?
- Why does AutChat exist?
- Who is AutChat for?
- When is AutChat?
- How do I participate in AutChat?
- Who creates the #AutChat questions?
- When and where are the questions posted?
- Where can I see a list of all topics you’ve had chats on?
- What happens with #AutChat answers?
- Can I recruit for a research study?
- About the website
What is AutChat?
AutChat is an ongoing Twitter hashtag and weekly scheduled chat for autistic people and people with similar neurodivergences. Self-diagnosed / community-recognized people are welcome, as are people questioning / wondering whether they might be autistic.
Why does AutChat exist?
For autistic and similar people to discuss neurodiversity-related topics of interest, learn from each other, make friends, etc. Also, so that non-autistic/non-neurodivergent people can read about our experiences.
Who is AutChat for?
Everyone who is autistic or similarly neurodivergent (for example, people with hydrocephalus or cerebral palsy often share similarities with autistic people). Neurotypical people are welcome to read along and retweet. We ask that neurotypical people refrain from talking on the tag since it’s a “by us, for us” space.
When is AutChat?
There are hour-long chats Sundays at 1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern. You can also use a time zone converter to look up what time AutChat will be at in your time zone. Feel free to show up late or post answers after the chat. You can also use the hashtag for informal discussion whenever.
How do I participate in AutChat?
See our list of How-To guides.
Who creates the #AutChat questions?
Usually, whoever posts the questions during the AutChat session creates the questions. This might be one of the main moderators (@theoriesofminds or @endeverstar), or a guest writer. If you want to write questions for a topic, or have an idea for a topic, contact @autchatmod on Twitter or use the contact form.
When and where are questions posted?
Questions are posted:
- Via a link in the “Upcoming Topics” area on the AutChat website homepage at least a day ahead of time
- To their entry in Topics at least a day ahead of time
- By the @autchatmod account during the chat
Where can I see a list of all topics you’ve had chats on?
Our master list of #AutChat topics is here. Most topic pages include links to one or more archived past chats.
What happens with #AutChat answers?
Anyone can read your answers on Twitter, either on the #AutChat tag, on their timeline (if they follow you), or on your profile. We make answers accessible on the public web later that week in a Wakelet (AKA transcript). If you don’t want your tweets included in the Storify, tweet or DM @autchatmod or use the contact form.
Can I recruit for a research study?
If you’re an autistic or similarly neurodivergent researcher recruiting for relevant studies, you’re welcome to post a recruitment link outside of chat times.
If you’re an autistic or similarly neurodivergent person participating in a chat, it’s fine to talk about or link to research that’s relevant to your answers to chat questions, including if it’s your own research. You’re also welcome to mention your own research while introducing yourself at the start of chat, and (if you wish) to link to a page that describes your research, even if it also happens to link to actively recruiting studies. (Just wait until after chat time to post any “come participate in my study” links.)
We ask that people who are not autistic or similarly neurodivergent not post to the tag, though you’re welcome to read along.
About the website
How do I use the accessibility plugin on the AutChat.com website?
The AutChat website uses an accessibility plugin (located at the bottom of your screen in the footer) that allows users to change the site’s appearance according to their needs. Our plugin has two options. In order, these are “Toggle High Contrast” and “Toggle Font Size”.
To activate the plugin, simply click on the relevant part of the plugin. To deactivate it, click on that part of the plugin again.
How do I see long descriptions for images on the AutChat.com website?
Long descriptions provide more detail than captions or alt tags. To see a long description, click on the image in question. This will take you to the image’s “attachment page,” where you can read the long description. You can also see the image at original size by clicking the linked dimensions following the text “Full size image” at the top of attachment page.