The Community provides a place where people can talk to each other about their experience of autism, get support from their peers and discuss topics they are interested in.
The Discussion forum
The main area for conversation in the Community is the Discussion forum. This is where you can read and reply to the discussions from other people and start your own.
To visit the Discussion forum just click on its name in the left-hand menu:
These sections are discussed in more detail on the help page called 'Other Community sections'.
How the forum works
The Discussion forum is divided into different categories, under which you will find a number of specific topics. Inside each of these are individual discussions.
Let's look at the forum to see some examples.
Here's the section you'll see at the top of the forum when you first click the link:
In this example the category is 'General discussions'.
Inside this category are the topics - more specific areas that contain individual discussions.
In the example above the topics are 'General chat' and 'Hobbies and special interests'.
Beside each of these topics there is some information about the level of activity:
Discussions shows you the number of discussions that have been created within a particular topic. The 'new' number (such as 3 new or 16 new in the example above) shows the number of discussions with new replies since you've last looked at them.
Last activity shows the latest person to have either replied to a discussion or to have created a new discussion. The time underneath their name shows how long ago this happened.
If we now click on an individual topic you'll see the following view:
On this page you can see the list of individual discussions. You can also see the number of replies to each discussion, who created them and the date they were created.
If you want to start your own discussion this is where you would do it, by clicking on 'Start new discussion'. You can find more detail in the help page on starting a discussion.
If we now click on an individual discussion we'll go to where people are talking to each other:
You can find out how to reply on our help page about replying to discussions. Here you can see how replies to discussions appear - as one message following another.
Each message shows a person's avatar (the picture that appears next to user's name), their name and the date of the message.
When a discussion has lots of replies then it will spread over a number of pages. The first message in a discussion (sometimes called the original post or OP in online forums) will always appear at the top of each page.
When looking at a discussion you can always skip to the most recent comment using the Go to latest post link:
Hopefully this has helped introduce you to the Discussion forum. It may now be a good idea to click around in the forum and see what people are talking about.
If you need any more help please contact us and we'll reply to you about the problems you're experiencing.
The email address is: email@example.com