Asperger, Autism Meetup for Teens Planned
Sattler resident Georgina Tennison wants teens like her son David, diagnosed with high-functioning autism at age 11, to be able to enjoy just hanging out with others who understand them and accept who they are.
Seventeen-year-old Sattler resident David Tennison was diagnosed with high-functioning autism (HFA) at age 11.
He works, he socializes — he’s a lot like many of the other teenagers at Canyon Lake High School — but David’s differences can make it challenging for him to enjoy many of the things other students take for granted.
“Socializing and interacting with others is an area that is difficult for him,” explains his mother, Georgina Tennison, who homeschools David.
Asperger Syndrome and HFA diagnoses can be complicated and difficult to explain, but fundamentally they mean that kids like David process the world differently. They can easily be distressed by noises or situations considered normal by others.
To provide David and other teens with a safe and controlled environment to just hang out, have fun and make friends, she started the New Braunfels Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism Meetup for Teens.
The group’s second meeting is scheduled from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Tye Preston Memorial Library, 16311 S. Access Rd., Canyon Lake. To RSVP text 956-739-2152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Looking for a place where you can be yourself and meet other teens that understand and accept who you are? Where you can share the same interest? Come and meet other teens like you. Bring your favorite game, books, comics or hobby to share with others,” says the invitation, posted on social-media sites.
All teeens ages 14 to 19 who have been diagnosed with either Aspberger’s or HFA are invited to attend. Drinks and some snacks are provided. Parents are invited to bring foods their kids like, also.
Tennison said she doesn’t have any particular plans for the event, although she’ll arrive with David’s TV and game console.
There are no particular plans for the event, although she’ll arrive with Davi’d’s TV and game console.
“If they want to play videogames, or if they want to just sit and eat, they may want to be on their own, and it’s okay. We’re not going to push anybody to do anything, this is a safe place for them,” Tennison said.
“We’re trying to have this group for them where they can feel comfortable, while they interact in their own way, without worrying about what to say or how to behave. A place where they can be themselves and share their interests.
“And the group is for parents, as well. Sometimes it can be stresful for us because your kid doesn’t want to be part of a group, or doesn’t want to participate in any social event because he feels out of place.
“In this meeting, parents can share their concerns as well as resources and information that has worked for them and their teen. This is a place for everyone to feel comfortable.”