Amy Nelson

Monday, November 01, 2004

<>Teen with Asperger's Syndrome Creates Own Website for Everyone on the Autistic Spectrum

"Spectrum Haven" aims to be inclusive of everyone on the spectrum, including kids and teens who want to make friends and have fun. The site is for those with autism, asperger's syndrome, Fragile X, hyperlexia, ADD, ADHD, PDD-NOS and dyspraxia.

Gareth Nelson who is 17 and has Asperger's Syndrome had the idea to create a website for anyone who considers themselves as part of the autistic spectrum. He says "The idea is to be inclusive, get to know others who are the same, discuss issues, and have fun, I want to include everyone, those with autism, aspergers, Fragile X, PDD-NOS, ADD, ADHD, hyperlexia and dyspraxia".

The autistic spectrum is a continuum that encompasses various conditions, and socialization can be a difficult area for many. Autism is known by a "triad of impairments" involving social skills, communication and behaviour. An online meeting place can be invaluable as a way to meet others with similar ideas.

Spectrum Haven will have areas for serious discussion, but importantly, emphasis is put on fun, friendship, and enjoyment. There is also a chat room specifically those on the autistic spectrum, and one for kids under 13.

Gareth says "Being inclusive with age groups is important too, when I was younger there was nowhere to meet others like myself, I wanted to change that". The name was inspired by the feeling that a website should be a safe and comfortable place to express feelings and ideas. Parents are also invited to join and share their views or advice.
The website is www.spectrumhaven.com anyone with an interest in any of the conditions is free to join.


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