At Autism West, we provide unique opportunities for kids, teenagers and young adults to gain skills and experience that enable them to connect successfully with others and the world around them.
We’re committed to promoting and highlighting the unique talents and strengths of our members to the community and how much value they can contribute. Our social groups provide young individuals on the autism spectrum a place to connect, build friendships and learn.
Using a strengths-based approach centred around special interest projects and diverse social groups, our overall aim is to engage and motivate participants and build feelings of self-worth.
We ensure our social groups reflect the diversity, individuality, interests and the rights of our individual members, which is why our groups are developed, planned, and facilitated with active involvement of group members and Autism West staff.
Together, we identify interests and establish goals, planning how to achieve these together. Members then discuss and plan future sessions, which can include incursions, community outings, special guests, and special interest projects.
We help our members achieve and learn:
- Skills development – for example coding, film making, robotics, cooking, art, digital media
- Social skills
- Leadership skills
- How to become an youth / autism advocate
Why We Do What We Do
The social and communication challenges our members face mean many of our young people experience social isolation and bullying which poses a significant mental health risk for later life, with depression being the most common diagnosis in adolescents and adults with autism.
Our approach ensures that participants are given the chance to develop their interests and abilities which have positive effects on increased social engagement, opportunities for success and increased resilience. Our special interest projects now include music visual arts, digital media and film-making. In addition, we are establishing pathways for interested individuals for further training and opportunities in the larger community.