How We Came To Be
Raymond Thompson is the Chairman of the Cloud 9 group of companies which produces family orientated television shows distributed to over 125 countries around the world. Both Raymond Thompson and his sons have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Raymond felt that New Zealand needed more readily available information and support for children with Asperger’s Syndrome and in October 2000 he established the Cloud 9 Children’s Foundation as a non-profit charitable trust. As a successful film director Raymond feels he is a positive role model for children touched by Asperger’s syndrome.
What We Are All About
We are a support oganisation that works on both the national and regional level in New Zealand to help children and teenagers who have Asperger’s Syndrome. We also aim to assist those who help children with Asperger’s Syndrome such as the child’s family and carers, teachers and professionals. An important first step in helping children is increasing the awareness of the syndrome in New Zealand. We run programs and activities aimed at lifting the profile of Asperger’s Syndrome in the community, as well as assisting children in their daily social interaction with others.
Towards the end of 2007, the Cloud 9 Children’s Foundation rented an office in the Tawa Community Centre. This followed several long months, during which the Foundation struggled to find a suitable location after vacating the Cloud 9 film studio premises in Lower Hutt.
The Tawa Community Centre is located in central Tawa at 5 Cambridge Street, just off Main Road and there is someone at the office daily from Mondays to Fridays during school terms. Although officially closed during school holidays, telephone messages and emails will be checked and answered on a regular basis. The Community Centre facilities are more than adequate, with lots of space and seating for various types of meetings. We also have a separate boardroom and a fully equipped kitchen – useful for our coffee mornings and evening functions.
If you can’t make it to one of our formal functions, please feel free to pop in any time during office hours if you need advice or just for somebody to chat to. And if you’re a member of Cloud 9 you’re more than welcome to borrow a book or two from our little library located at the office.
Wellington Coffee Mornings
A great get-together for parents who can’t make it to the evening meetings and for those who would prefer to attend a social while the kids are at school. Coffee mornings provide an opportunity to chat to people who understand what it means to bring up a child with Asperger’s syndrome. Speaking ‘the same language’ allows parents to swap ideas and anecdotes and assist each other with useful tips and guidance. Coffee mornings also provide an opportunity to take out a book or DVD from the Cloud 9 library and return items previously borrowed. Relaxing with people who understand is a great stress reliever. Dates of future sessions are advised to members electronically. Sessions last approximately two hours and start around 10.00am. There is no charge.
What Else We Have On Offer
The Foundation is based in Wellington with an office in the Tawa Community Centre. For this reason it has proved to be cost-effective to run most of our activities and functions at the Tawa centre.
We employ a part-time co-ordinator who is responsible for organising local activities, as well as providing information and advice to people at a national level.
Being a relatively small support group, we like to work in conjunction with like-minded organisations and we’re always willing to share our knowledge and programme structures with other groups.
Below is a list of sample activities and programmes at each of the levels.
* Support by phone and email
* Informative and interactive website
* An Information leaflet on aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome.
* An “open door” office for people to drop in for advice and guidance.
* Small library
* Coffee morning meetings
* Information evenings
* Saturday Clubs (1st Saturday of every month) – Teen Club (from 13 up) from 2pm to 4pm and the Pre-Teen Group (age 9-13) from 11.30am to 1pm. There is no charge, you don’t need to make a booking and Serena and her volunteers are always around
* Social skills courses
* fortnightly Minecraft sessions – see here
How You Can Find Out More
Join the Foundation on-line – it’s free. For more information or to join up please click the Contact Us tab above.
Leave a telephone message for the co-ordinator to get back to you. Or email the co-ordinator with your query and you’ll receive a reply by the following working day. We are happy to help with any enquiry you may have.