Joining ASPIRES and List Rules:

(ASPIRES MEMBERS:  Please copy this list of rules and archive it somewhere on your computer.)


Inquiries for membership by third parties "on your behalf" will not be accepted. Linda will respond by asking questions of you by return Email. To apply for membership, contact Linda Newland at  or phone @ 1-541-389-0004.

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Who may join ASPIRES

ASPIRES is a closed, subscription-based, no-charge listserv dedicated to discussion and exploration of adult intimate relationships where at least one of the members is considered to be on the higher end of the autism spectrum. If you have a desire to understand the behaviors of your spouse or partner and are willing to participate in a give-and-take discussion in a positive, safe environment where members share our stories, experiences, and "survival tips" you will enjoy ASPIRES. We ask you to respect our confidentiality and privacy and honor the trust others will place in you.

Nothing from this listserv -- including the identity of the members on the list -- is to be copied, forwarded or distributed to others who are not on ASPIRES, nor is any information you learn here to be used for any purpose related to personal, professional or commercial gain.

Membership Criteria

To become a member, you must be

  • An adult over the age of 21; and A person in an intimate relationship (marriage or partnership, boy-friend/girl-friend) diagnosed by a professional or self-diagnosed, peer-confirmed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) or high functioning autism (HFA); or

  • A non-autistic spectrum spouse or partner of a person on the autistic spectrum who believes or knows that their partner or spouse is on the autistic spectrum; or

  • A person on or off the autistic spectrum contemplating an intimate, permanent relationship with a known person who may be on the autistic spectrum; or

  • A former spouse or partner of an Asperger relationship, either on or off the autistic spectrum where children were involved. Your primary purpose of joining the list must be to understand "what went on" in the former relationship and/or be able to provide positive information to help the child(ren) understand your former spouse or partner.

A Note about Students, Professionals and Authors.
In order to join ASPIRES, you must satisfy the membership criteria above. Even if you satisfy the membership criteria, the List Owner may ask additional questions of you to determine your purpose and interest in joining ASPIRES. If you are a student or work in the field of human services, education (public or private), counseling, or journalism/publishing, you must disclose this information at the time of applying for membership. ASPIRES is not a resource or a place where professionals should expect to receive "continuing education" in their fields of endeavor. The posts and archives of ASPIRES are not to be used for purposes of research or "mining" for subject matter, or for the purpose of privately contacting individuals to further a member's professional's standing in his or her own community of interest.

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  • The relationships discussed here will be filled with challenges. There are occasions that a member of ASPIRES may "vent", may discuss their children's problems, or may request minor medical advice. But if your purpose for joining is confined to primarily to these three interests, please contact our list owner for recommendations and referral to other resources rather than membership. There are other lists that would better serve your desires.

  • ASPIRES is not a listserv for single autistic spectrum adults "looking" for answers on how to initiate adult friendships or how to form intimate, adult relationships. Our members have passed this stage in their personal development.

List Domination. The discussions on ASPIRES are a give-and-take form of conversation. If one individual starts to monopolize the conversation, continually returns the list to a single topic regardless of where the list discussion is actually headed at the moment, or changes the over-all discussion by requiring "crisis assistance" prompting intervention by a large number of our members, the list owner or co-administrators may have to take special administrative action. The action could include being privately contacted to change your habits, being placed on moderation, or being removed from the list.

Mental Health Crises. Serious personal mental health crises cannot be handled on ASPIRES. Individuals seriously threatening suicide, or members with serious mental health problems such as hallucinations or paranoia should find professional assistance. At the sole discretion of the List Owner or the co-administrators, individuals showing signs of any of these problems are subject to immediate moderation or termination of their membership.

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The following standards and rules apply to many listservs. They reflect the courtesy and culture of Email lists developed over time to prevent "takeovers" by small cliques, domination of themes not germane to the mission of the organization or the purpose of the list, and otherwise make common-sense on this electronic medium of exchange. ASPIRES is a closed subscription listserv. That means the general public cannot just log on and participate or have access to our archives. We have developed several additional rules designed to keep ASPIRES a safe place for open, frank exchange between members.

No cross posting.
Members are not to post to ASPIRES Email through the use of multiple "to" addresses that include other persons or lists. If you have received express written permission from another person or list to post something appearing elsewhere, you must "strip" that address header and footer information from your Email to ASPIRES. Members are expected to understand how to operate their Email properties to accomplish such "editing." Members new to Email or not familiar with how to strip additional addresses from their "to" or "from" address headers can ask for technical help from our more experienced members. Because list confidentiality and the private identity of our members is important to all of us, ignorance about how to accomplish this simple editing is no excuse. Members who ignore instructions about "to" and "from" additional addresses in their posts to ASPIRES this rule may lose their posting privileges to the list.

Editing replies
We require members to keep their replies free from prior posts to which they are responding. This requires more than just hitting "reply" or "reply to all" on your Emails. If you are responding to particular text, include only that text through "cut and paste" editing from the original post to your own.  Do not include the entire contents of any post you wish to respond or add too. It takes up space, causes readers' eyes to glaze over, and is a waste of everyone's time to uncritically include an entire previous post with your comments. Learn how to edit by copying from one post and pasting to a new one. If you want to let the writer know how much you liked their post,  it is ok to reply to that person privately.  If you are a newcomer to Email or don't know how to perform this operation, ask for help on the list or contact the list administrators in a private Email.

Changing the Subject Line.
When members change topics, courtesy requires that you change the subject line to reflect the new topic. This makes "tracking" a subject easier than "guessing" what a post is about.

    Changing the Subject

Just a thought
By way of reminder;
Changing the subject
Is great but still kinder
Is letting us know
What you're going to say;
Don't let old topics
Remain the same way.

If the thread you will answer
Is still much the same,
Then how about specifically
Mentioning a name
Then everyone knows
To whom it should be
And I won't waste much time
Reading mails 'not for me?'

As I said, this is just
In case you forgot
That my mailbox can daily
Fill up quite a lot,
So to not nag too much
But just say, 'by the by,'
Kindly take note,
When you next reply.

Rochelle Rober - January 2004

No plagiarism is allowed. People "own" their own words. If you quote someone, be sure to properly identify the author and source.

Copyright Infringement.
If material being quoted in part or in full is copyrighted, we expect members to respect the intellectual property rights of the author and/or the source. Whenever possible, rather than quoting lengthy materials, we ask members to provide the Web site address or publication where such material can be accessed.

Confidentiality. All postings directed to the list are private and confidential. Any sharing of information received from this list with others not on this list is cause for immediate termination.

Any unauthorized disclosure of member identity or posting identifiers (Email address) to others not on the ASPIRES list is cause for immediate termination.

No Commercial Use.
Any use of information derived from ASPIRES is not to be used for professional, commercial, or financial gain and is cause for immediate termination. In addition, the ASPIRES listserv is not to be used for selling or contacting possible purchasers of any item or service.

Harassment, "Flaming" and Disrespect.
The List Owner and co-administrators have exclusive right to determine whether these behaviors have occurred. Any threatening or harassing behavior whether in public or through private posts is cause for immediate termination regardless of whether or not the individual who is the subject of the harassment, flaming, or disrespect is a member of ASPIRES.

"Being Put 'On Moderation'."
arrangement with our host server organization, FEAT, requires that the List Owner and others authorized by the list owner may place a member on moderation or may terminate their membership. "Moderation" means that the list owner will review all posts written by the specific member for content before posting them to the list.

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The Rule on "Me Too's"

Don't do them. The list is primed for moving discussion along. It isn't necessary for members to respond to everything they read just for the purpose of agreeing or to be noticed. "Me Too" responses crowd someone else out who wishes to add to a thread or contribute a comment. If you wish to add something, then by all means, please do. If you want to let the writer know how much you liked their post,  please reply privately to that person.

 The Play Nice with Each Other On and Off the List Rule

Don't say things in private posts to list members that you couldn't say in a public post without being accused of flaming, slandering, belittling, threatening, or harassing another person. If your topic is personal or you otherwise wish to communicate further with a particular list member, please take your communications off the public list serv and between yourselves. Individuals who meet one another on this list often take to private postings, but since you met this correspondence partner on this list, s/he is entitled to the same courtesy and respect you would extend to anyone else on the list, in a public post.

 "Going private" doesn't give anyone license to revert to childish, disrespectful, threatening or harmful behavior. If it comes to the moderators' attention that your private posts to one another are "going off the deep end," the moderators reserve the absolute right to suspend your privilege to access the list, both in receiving and sending posts, as well as having access to the archive. If the moderator decides your behavior is bad enough -- whether you or other listmembers agree or not -- you may be banned from the list entirely rather than merely moderated or temporarily suspended.

Perhaps more simply: We trust that members are all big boys and girls. If you start "losing it" in your private posts, you lose you privilege to post in public.

The Basic Preservation of a Good and Valuable Thing Rule: (It's about behaving yourself!)

The list owner reserves the right to place any person on moderation or remove them from the list if in her judgment the integrity and well-being of the list is in jeopardy as a result of deliberate or reckless behavior, on the list as well as off the list but between list members. The list owner and moderators will exercise this rule pro-actively and even without warning if in the administrators' judgment damage control must come first, and then an unruffling of the feathers can only come second. Remember, ASPIRES is a benevolent and relatively permissive forum for civil discourse. It is not a democracy.

Membership on ASPIRES is a privilege, not a right. Administrative decisions by the Owner and authorized co-administrators are not "democratic." Membership eligibility and retention issues are not subject to a vote by the membership. Terms and conditions of moderation are administrative actions, and will depend on the member's infraction. Administrative actions will be handled through private Email between the List Owner, co-administrators, and the member affected. Any effort by an ASPIRES member subject to administrative action to publicly or privately develop a "clique" or to line up sides, causing public dissention and squabbling among the members regarding administrative actions will not be tolerated.

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"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
We all contribute to the song of life."
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.


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Copyright 2003-2014 A.S.P.I.R.E.S.

Updated 04/02/2014