Dinner for teen peer support

June 11, 2024 BY

The Bendigo Autism Peer Support Teen Dinner aims to offer a space where similar and likeminded families can connect.

YOUNG autistic people between the ages of thirteen and eighteen and their families are invited to the next Bendigo Autism Peer Support Teen Dinner, to be held at the Bendigo Club in Strathdale on 21 June.

The event will be facilitated by Different Journeys, a peer support provider whose monthly teen events are aimed at providing a safe social environment for autistic adolescents and their families or carers to interact with other similar people.

Different Journeys co-founder and CEO Mel Spencer said the event will give participants the opportunity to practise essential life skills such as ordering modified meals, handling money, giving speeches if they wish to, and to write or host a quiz via app-based learning platform Kahoot!.

“Our teens take ownership of the night in regards to how they want to interact,” she said.

“For some it is an opportunity to socialise, but for others it is an opportunity to get out of the house. We understand autism is a diverse spectrum and ranges of supports are different for everyone, the aim being to build up skills that can become transferrable anywhere.”

Warm welcome: Different Journeys provides a safe social environment for autistic adolescents and their families across regular social events and activities. Photo: SUPPLIED

Ms Spencer said the dinner promises to be a great night out with likeminded families.

“You will be free to come and go and be as interactive as you wish to be, or be in a quiet corner if that is your preference too,” she said.

“There’s no judgement, just a strong desire to provide a positive community environment where our teens’ strengths are celebrated.

“Everyone that attends gets something out of it including our attendees, staff, volunteers, and the Bendigo Club staff.”All guests under the age of 18 will be required to have either a parent, carer or support worker with them.

Interested parties can register for the event at bit.ly/4bMLcNW.