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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

PASS-Partout

In April, 2008, Auti Coba was diagnosed with autism. He says that “it felt like I knew it all the time and could explain my whole life. With that (knowledge) I'm able to help others.” To that end he has started a Second Life group called PASS-Partout and opened “PASS-Partout” in the Mayfair part of sl London. In real life, PASS is an organization created by and for autistic people. It is in Belgium which is where Auti lives. There are monthly meetings open only to member, activities open to members, family and friends, and a website, www.pass-partout.be. There is also a PASS group in Holland, which is not connected to the Belgian group.

Auti opened PASS-Partout to raise awareness about autism and to provide information for those who may have questions about it. One in 160 people is autistic, so, as Auti says, there are many in Second Life. Inside PASS-Partout there are links to autism websites, including one that has a test to determine what degree of autism an individual has. Auti also said that he wants people to know “that there is now a Belgian (Dutch) portal to help people with autism and that there will be most of the time somebody available to get answers. Therefore the information is in Dutch and English. For the English speaking people I can show them the way to Wrong Planet, an American based sl-organisation.”

Auti found SL London fairly early in his second life. After not being able to find a Holland or Belgian sim he searched for London because he has happy memories of time he had spent there in real life. Auti observed that “it was hard in the beginning for me, I couldn’t make contact and was just observing the people” but he was helped out by Boone Blanco and gertyflirty Goldlust. He continued “without them I wouldn’t be here”.
In his early days Auti discovered “that I was just as autistic as in real life, and I didn’t expect that and with some conversations with others I discovered that almost every autistic people (sic) experienced the same. That's because SL is so realistic on the screen. I can’t act as another person also, I'm on SL just the same person as in real life.”

In the future Auti hopes to hold meetings in PASS-Partout and possibly even real life meetings connected to SL. He feels this would be a good resource because “not every autistic can come to a meeting because of their autism ... for some people it would be easier in SL, because they can not handle groups, or the have transport problems”.

PASS-Partout is situated near the Mayhem Club in Mayfair. Drop by to learn more about autism. If you have any questions, im Auti Coba, or leave a message for him through the notice board in PASS-Partout.





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