Activities for Children

Social Skills Courses
Due to the popularity and success of these courses in the past, Leigh-Anne Goodyear has kindly agreed to help us out and the Foundation started running courses again in 2008.
Social skills courses are run over eight consecutive weeks during school terms, with one session per week, lasting one and a half hours. The course is based on a model provided by Dr. Tony Attwood and covers feelings and emotions, how to make friends, how to keep friends, interaction, dealing with anxiety, inappropriate behaviour and much more.

Courses are grouped according to age: Pre-teens from ages 10 to 12, teenagers from age 13 upwards and a transition course for school leavers.

The cost to Cloud 9 members will be $100 a head, the balance being subsidised from funding received by the Foundation. Applicants will be interviewed beforehand to ascertain their specific needs and children will be grouped accordingly. An interview does not necessarily guarantee a place on the next course, as some children may be better suited to being placed on a subsequent course.
Members interested in social skills courses should contact the Foundation with their details. Dates of upcoming courses will be notified in email releases to members.

Please note: From May 2016, our social skills course facilitator, Leigh-Anne Shierlaw-Goodyear, will be taking a well-earned sabbatical for a while.  During this time, the Foundation will endeavour to appoint a replacement facilitator.  Members will be advised once somebody has been appointed.

Here is some of the feedback the Foundation received from parents of students who have attended some of our courses in the past:

My son got a lot out of the course and came away better equipped to manage social situations.

My boy loved it and got a lot out of the course although it was hard to talk in too much detail about the course because he was told “What’s discussed on course, stays on course” which he interpreted to mean he couldn’t discuss things with mum and dad.

Yes, definitely our daughter benefited from the course.  If nothing else, she really enjoyed it and certainly absorbed a lot of what was said.

S liked the course facilitator, Leigh-Anne Goodyear who S described as being patient, kind and caring.  He also described Leigh-Anne as being straight-talking which means that what Leigh-Anne was saying made sense.

The social skills course is age appropriate and covered all the social skills teachings.

Would we recommend the course?  Definitely, we have already recommended it to others.

Saturday Clubs
We run two sessions on the first Saturday of each month – the pre-teen group (ages 9 to 12) meets from 11.30 to 1.00pm and the Teen Club (age 13 upwards) from 2.00 to 4.00pm. Both sessions are supervised under the expert guidance of Serena Stace and her team of volunteers. Saturday Clubs are for young Aspies who would like to get out but find it difficult socialising.
Activities include table tennis, board games, TV games, Lego, cards or any other fun activity members decide to bring along themselves.
There is no fee and there’s no need to book.

Many of our children feel totally at home on a computer and love nothing more than becoming engrossed in a computer game.  Because Minecraft is one of their favourites, at the beginning of 2014, the Foundation arranged sessions on Saturday afternoons for children of all ages.  A Minecraft LAN was initially set up and run under the supervision of the Holmes family, whose idea it was.  Tatiana, Wendell and Joshua Holmes kindly contributed most of the hardware necessary to make this happen and generously gave up their Saturday afternoons, bringing immense joy to so many children on the spectrum. After two years, there is evidence of how much the Minecraft sessions have helped children on the spectrum improve their communication skills.  Interacting off-line on a LAN as opposed to talking to faceless people on the Internet has also helped our children develop a greater sense of responsibility.

Minecraft sessions meet once a month on a Saturday afternoon at Tawa Community Centre.  The date of each session is notified to members in the Wellington region in advance as booking a seat is essential.  Sessions always run from 1.30 to 4.00pm, the first half hour to set up and get connected to the LAN.  Playing runs from 2.00 to 4.00pm.

From May 2016, the administration of Minecraft will be taken over by the Wellington office of the Parent to Parent group.  Anyone interested is welcome to contact them on (04)569-9398 or by email at