Frequently Asked Questions
Why should my child participate in SpectrumConnects?
According to Shannon Crozier, Director of the UNLV Center for Autism Spectrum
"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
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
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.