Frequently Asked Questions

Main Title

Why should my child participate in SpectrumConnects?

According to Shannon Crozier, Director of the UNLV Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders:

"Children and youth with autism spectrum disorders struggle to connect and develop meaningful friendships. Finding innovative ways to help foster the connections that lead to lasting friendships is critical for developing happy, healthy youth."

SpectrumConnects' goal is to help kids connect and develop meaningful relationships to help them grow into happy, healthy youth and, ultimately, successful members of our community. By connecting children who have similar challenges, it is our hope that children on the spectrum can develop supportive and open relationships to help face those challenges together. And, let's face it, who doesn't need more friends?

Does it cost anything to participate in the program?

There is no cost to submit your child's name for matching. If a match is made, there is a $12.50 fee per child for the initial use of a Sport-Social facilitator and use of the premises. If you are unable to afford this fee, please let us know as this fee may be waived in certain circumstances.

Can my child be matched more than once?

Yes. Our goal is to assist children on the autism spectrum find and make friends. With that in mind, SpectrumConnects will continue to search for other appropriate friend matches when requested to do so by a parent or legal guardian.

Must all meet-ups occur at Sport-Social?

No. While the initial first two meet-ups will occur at Sport-Social, later meet-ups are not required to take place there. SpectrumConnects wants friendships to flourish in real life. As such, we provide a structured beginning, but it is our hope that parents "take the reins" to follow through with later meet-ups as best meets the needs of their child.

What happens at the initial meet-ups?

At the first two meet-ups, children and their respective parents or legal guardians meet at the Sport-Social complex (7055 Windy Street, Las Vegas, NV 89119) at the agreed upon meeting times. The children will meet with each other and with a Sport-Social team member (Facilitator) who will take the kids into the warehouse and assist the children with interactions and communications. The meet-up activities vary, but could include bouncing in a bounce house, skateboarding, bicycling, basketball, video games, arts/crafts and/or music. While the children are in the warehouse, the parents will meet each other and with a representative of SpectrumConnects and/or Sport-Social who will assist in completing any outstanding paperwork and answer any questions the parents may have about the program.

Can additional meet-ups be conducted at Sport-Social?

Yes. The parents may request additional meet-ups be held inside Sport-Social as best meets the needs of their children. To schedule additional times at Sport-Social, please contact a representative and they will be happy to help schedule a time. Please note that additional fees may be incurred as Sport-Social has reduced its fee for the initial meet-up as part of its commitment to the SpectrumConnects goal of connecting children with potential friends.

What happens if the children do not connect with each other?

While we hope this is not the case, we do understand that not all children will connect with one another. If this is the case, we ask that the children and the parents be respectful of the others' feelings. With this in mind, we ask the neither parent/legal guardians request contact information from the other participant's family at the initial meet-ups. A representative of SpectrumConnects will contact each participant's family within 48 hours of the first meet-up to discuss feedback on the event. Each parent/legal guardian will then be given an opportunity to decide whether they wish to schedule a second meet-up between the children. After the second meetup is over, if both parties agree to scheduling any future meet-ups, then contact information for each of the parents will be provided by SpectrumConnects. Contact information will only be given out by a SpectrumConnects representative with the express permission by the parents/legal guardians. However, if either party declines another meet-up, the decision will be honored. Either child may remain in the program and the parents/legal guardians can request that additional matches be pursued.

Is the $12.50 fee mandatory?

Yes. The entire fee goes to help cover the cost of the Sport- Social facilitator and activities available in the Sport-Social complex. However, if the cost is prohibitive, SpectrumConnects may offer assistance when appropriate. If such help is needed, please speak with a SpectrumConnects representative.

What if I want to remove my child from the program?

There is no obligation to participate in the program and parents can withdraw their children at any time.

Can SpectrumConnects assist with transportation?

Unfortunately, SpectrumConnects cannot assist with transportation to/from Sport- Social. A parent or legal guardian must accompany a participant to all meet-ups.

What are the parents' roles?

Family support is crucial to the success of the connection process. A parent or legal guardian must accompany a participant to all meet-ups. At the initial meet-up at Sport-Social, the parents will be introduced and complete any additional paperwork that may be needed. If following meet-ups are desired, the parents will be responsible for contacting each other and arranging time and place for the meet-ups. Additionally, it will be the parents' responsibility to provide the appropriate supervision and care of the children during any following meet-ups.

What happens if appointments are missed?

While we understand that sometimes missed appointments are unavoidable, SpectrumConnects asks that parents/legal guardians do everything in their ability to make all appointments. Children, who are looking forward to the possibility of making a new friend, will be disappointed by a missed appointment. Because of this, if two appointments are missed, SpectrumConnects reserves the right to withdraw a participant's name from the matching program.

Are there any age restrictions to participate in SpectrumConnects?

Yes, SpectrumConnects is only able to match children between the ages of 7 and 18. We strive to make the best possible matches for each child and therefore we have to limit the age range of participants.