SW Washington Tween and Teen Social Club

SW Washington Tween and Teen Social Club 2017-11-03T15:36:35+00:00

SW Washington Tween and Teen Social Club

The SW Washington Tween and Teen Social Club is a game night and social club for tweens and teens, ages 11 to 19 on the autism spectrum who require minimal adult supervision during socialization. Facilitators will periodically monitor the game rooms, but this is an opportunity for our kids to enjoy some independence and have fun with old and new friends.

Parents or guardians must stay on the premises and are invited to join other parents and facilitators in the parent room for connection and friendship.   

Kids are invited to bring their own game devices (Nintendo DS, iPad, iPod, laptop, etc.) or board/card games.  We also have televisions and game consoles available for gameplay.   There is a space for Legos and crafts for those who want to do something creative. We also have a Teen/Tween Book Club that runs concurrently from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Peer mentors ages 11 and up are invited to attend along with siblings.  We are looking for brothers and sisters who are compassionate, understanding, and interested in spending some time socializing with their siblings and making new friends.

When does the group meet?

The group meets the 3rd Saturday of most months ** from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at LifePoint Church in Vancouver.

2017 Schedule

Saturday, November 18th

Saturday, December 16th

** Schedule subject to change based on weather or emergency.

How much does it cost to take part?

The cost for each club night is $10.00 per family. Please also bring a snack to share with others.  We will provide pizza and drinks.  If $10.00 is beyond your capability, please do not let that keep you away. We value you and your family, and we want everyone to feel included and welcome. Bring snacks, offer to volunteer some time assisting with set up or clean up, or talk to us about how you can help our group be successful. There are many ways to contribute if you can. We love our Tweens and Teens and their amazing families!

Where does the group meet?

As of October 2017, we have a new larger location that better accommodates our fantastic group.

We are meeting at LifePoint Church, 305 NE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, WA 98684. (Near Costco.) We will have multiple rooms for meeting, including a larger room for main gaming, a slightly smaller room for board games and quieter activities and Tween & Teen Book Club.

The Tween & Teen Social Club is facilitated by Tara O’Gorman with the help of a variety of awesome volunteers!

Tween & Teen Book Club takes place for an hour during Tween & Teen Social Club and is led by Torin Tashima. This usually takes place from 6:30 – 7:30 PM.

While tweens and teens have the opportunity to socialize and hang out, parents have the option to participate in a casual support group that meets in a nice-sized conference room. This parent support group is currently facilitated by Aaron Blackwelder and may occasionally include guest speakers.

How do you define minimal adult supervision? Would this be a good fit for my son or daughter?

Youth finding success in the Tween/Teen Club usually have an Asperger or similar kind of autism spectrum profile. We welcome youth of varying ability levels and understand that social and sensory challenges may arise.

The expectation is creating a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees where youth can be social with one another with as little adult interference as possible.

If there is a situation which requires adult mediation, our facilitator, Tara and other volunteers are on-hand to assist. If a situation arises which our volunteers determine to be unsafe or not appropriate and can’t be resolved or curtailed (e.g. swearing, spitting, hitting, property damage), the parent/guardian on-site will be expected to assist.

Youth and Parent Expectations

In order to maintain a safe atmosphere for all, we have developed these youth and parent expectations. Parents should go over these expectations with either youth before they come or before they are released to the game areas.

How do you define minimal adult supervision? Would this be a good fit for my son or daughter?

Youth finding success in the Tween/Teen Club usually have an Asperger or similar kind of autism spectrum profile. We welcome youth of varying ability levels and understand that social and sensory challenges may arise.

The expectation is creating a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees where youth can be social with one another with as little adult interference as possible.

If there is a situation which requires adult mediation our facilitator, Tara, and other volunteers are on-hand to assist. If a situation arises which our volunteers determine to be unsafe or not appropriate and can’t be resolved or curtailed (e.g. swearing, spitting, hitting, property damage, facilitator/volunteer unable to redirect behavior), the parent/guardian on-site will be expected to assist.

Youth Expectations

  • It is expected that everybody feels welcome to come in and to if this social club is a fit for them.
  • It is expected that people treat each other with respect and try to resolve any conflict on their own first if possible then if needed ask for assistance from a mentor or group leader.
  • It is expected that people will not use swear, use profanity or disparaging language towards others.
  • It is expected that there are no obscene gestures.
  • It is expected that there will be no damage or attempts to purposely damage any property including but not limited to video games, board games, tables, chairs, walls, windows, doors or other people’s personal property.
  • It is expected that there will be no physical altercations. Hitting, punching, biting, scratching, kicking, spitting or aggressive behavior is never acceptable.
  • It is expected that you follow the guidance of the volunteers if there is a safety issue that comes up.
  • It is expected that youth should have a maturity and ability level where they require limited supervision and support. (Parents stay in a separate room.)
  • It is expected that youth let us know how we can better serve them if they have a suggestion or idea. This social club is for them and we want them to let us know how it can be better run. We value all people that attend.

Parent Expectations  

  • It is expected that parents stay on site (in the building) at all times in the event that an issue comes up.
  • Let volunteers know of any medical issue that they should be aware.
  • It is expected that parents stay out of the youth zone unless picking up the youth or coming in to assist with/de-escalate an issue unless it is during clean up time.
  • It is expected that each family is signed in and assists the club by paying a $10.00 fee per family and bring a snack to share.  

Tween and Teen Club Wish List

We need your help. If you have old game system that you don’t use, electronic or board games you no longer play and/or small TVs that could be used to support more gaming systems, please consider donating them. Here is a list of what we are looking for. Wish List

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Our social club facilitator and founder is Tara O’Gorman. 

My name is Tara O’Gorman, and I am a proud mom to two sons, including a teenager on the autism spectrum.  
 
I am an independent consultant and advocate for individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders and a group facilitator for adolescents and young adults with Asperger’s. I have served on the Board of Directors of Autism Empowerment since October 2016 and am also on the Editorial Advisory Board for Spectrums Magazine.
My vision for the Tween and Teen Social Club is to provide a fun, independent, peer-mentored social group for youth ages 11-19 and a place for families to interact and find support in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

If you have questions about the club, please contact Tara.

941-322-4229

taraO@autismempowerment.org

https://www.facebook.com/groups/aetweenteensocialclub/

If you have questions about Autism Empowerment, please feel free to contact us directly at info@autismempowerment.org or call (360) 852-8369.

We also invite you to join the Autism Empowerment Tween and Teen Social Club Facebook Group. The Facebook group is open to local families throughout the SW WA and Portland metro area, however you will need to request access as we want it to be a safe environment for all our families. Once you request access, you will be contacted by one of our moderators and will be asked to confirm your connection with autism and our region.