Page 8 - Just Better Care Possible Magazine - Issue 4
P. 8

 When Luke approached his dad about getting a new computer, he had a very special one in mind.
It would require a bit more money, lots of research, and extra delivery time. But it would be the best computer he had owned to date.
Luke, aged 13, has Autism Spec- trum Disorder. His diagnosis is severe autism; he didn’t speak until he was six years old and he experiences difficulty nav-
igating social situations. He is also highly intelligent and his knowledge of computers is advanced. His dad Pete struggles to keep up with the tech vernacular sometimes, but is always supportive of his son’s interests, and guides his ventures by providing some advice.
With Luke’s digital pursuits gain- ing momentum, Pete and his wife wanted to see Luke develop in other aspects of his life; activities where he could explore his passions while also connecting with other people and socialising. Pete wanted to make sure his son had opportunities for personal growth as he was having some difficulty making friends.
“Luke had just started high school and he was having some trouble; he needed an outlet where he could
explore his interest in computers. He’s always loved computers, so I took it upon myself to find an activity that he could enjoy. I went online and searched autism and computers, and I let Google do the rest. That’s when I found The Lab Hornsby,” Pete said.
“The Lab offered sessions for young people with autism to learn more about computers and digital programs in a safe space guided by mentors. It sounded ideal for Luke, but I was more intrigued by the social element that The Lab could offer. Luke can play with his com- puter anywhere, but he has trouble making friends, so I thought The Lab would be perfect for him to share his interest in computers, and develop friendships with other kids like him.
“It’s nice to see him enjoying a semi-social life. He would never say he goes to The Lab for the people, but I know he enjoys spending time with others who have a shared interest. And honestly, to see him sitting in a

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