Who are the Triple A's?

The Triple A's are an entirely autism led peer support charity for autistic people. All of our contact staff and volunteers are autistic, and we are run by autists*. This is for two reasons. Firstly, because a lot of us have felt judged in the past, even by those who are trying to help. But if everyone in the room is autistic, there's a lot less pressure to try to perform to some mythical set of confusing standards. There's less worry about what people will think if one of us becomes overwhelmed than there is in another group.

Secondly, we are run by autists because that means there's a much greater chance of understanding the issues faced by someone with autism. We'll never say that we automatically understand how someone's autism affects someone – but we do understand that their outlook is going to be different, and we understand how draining it can be trying to adapt our own viewpoint to the outside world.

What we do is primarily social – we provide people with autism a place where we can interact with others, in a way that is reasonably natural. We do not sit people in assigned seats and with prescribed activities – part of our groups is that people become more aware of how they want to interact, and begin to feel like they are actually allowed to enjoy being in a social setting. This has led to a number of people who previously had limited willingness or ability to interact with a group becoming far less isolated, and is allowing them to great social bonds of their own.

It's important to note that we do not believe that this process is quick. The process of helping someone who feels unable to leave their room into being able to cope with being out in everyday society with a group can be long in itself, and then the path from that to being able to overcome anxiety by ourselves can be even longer. We believe that autists can walk that path, but pushing too quickly can be just as harmful as not doing anything at all.

The Triple As believe very strongly that autists need to be allowed to develop freedom of choice – many of us have had it taken away from us, either through bullying and anxiety, or through people restricting our options through concern. One of the main things that we therefore attempt to encourage in people is the willingness (and ability) to make their own choices.

* I use autist rather than "person with autism" or "person on the autistic spectrum" as I believe that since it's a condition that will never go away, it's better to own it than by afraid of it. Many people in the autistic community prefer not to use person first language, but regardless, no offence is intended by the use of autist throughout -Alastair


The Team

Alastair Meek

Service Manager


alastair.meek@triplea.uk.com

Alastair is the Triple A's service manager. He is in charge of running the various social groups throughout the week, and also does a certain amount of one to one mentoring. He's finding it strange writing about himself in the third person. Alastair was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when he as 14, but identifies as an autist, rather than a specific subset. He's quite vocal in his belief that autism is more of a sensory disorder than anything else. He worked with other autists while at university, and before joining the Triple As, worked as a PSA specialising in autism. He's also really, really tall, which he finds makes him very identifiable, something he suspects many autists can use as a reassurance

Derry Barclay

social coordinator


derry.barclay@triplea.uk.com

Derry Barclay is one of the volunteers who works at the Triple A's he has been attending groups for over 3 years and helps run the social group for the younger members. Derry Barclay was diagnosed with autism from a very young age and was also diagnosed with ADHD. He has had much experience with working with those on the spectrum. Some of Derry's defining features include his voice acting skills and his ability to brush off almost any insult thrown at him.

Emma Stanley

service support 


emma.stanley@triplea.uk.com

I received my autism diagnosis when I was 15 and have been working for the Triple A’s since 2018. I studied beauty in college for a couple years to help me prepare to train to be a makeup artist. I enjoy playing video games and watching anime in my spare time. I’m a fan of cosplay and really passionate about it.