top of page
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can join your community?

We are currently only accepting new applications from young people living one of our funded areas. Currently this is Greater Manchester area and Bedford, as we have dedicated funding for autistic young people in these areas. We also accept applications from siblings of current members that live outside these areas. Please note we do not operate a waiting list. Previously we have accepted membership from across the UK and when we secure further funding, this will 'unlock' more spaces for members in other areas. However as we do not operate a waiting list, or have any current timescales of when this might be, if you would like to keep up to date on when we are accepting members from other areas, it is best to follow us on social media, as that is where we would post any updates. Our community is also only for young people who are aged 8-17 (or 10-17 in Bedford). Unfortunately we do not support adults, and currently we do not have any plans to expand into this age range. We also do not have any current plans to expand membership to beyond the UK.

Does my young person need an autism diagnosis to join the community?

While our community is for autistic young people, some of our members do not have an official diagnosis. Our founder didn't receive his autism diagnosis until he was 20, so it would be quite hypocritical if people could only join Spectrum Gaming when they are diagnosed! Young people need to fulfil one of the following criteria to join our community: - They have an autism diagnosis - They are on the waiting list for an assessment/ diagnosis - They self identify as autistic Some young people have joined our community, then realised it isn't the right fit for them, and that is perfectly fine. Young people are welcome to leave (and rejoin) our community at any time. It may also be worth noting that we are a very openly autistic community where autism is discussed all the time. Therefore your young person may find this confusing if they join but they are not aware that they are, or could be, autistic.

When will you open up to young people from my area?

While we are currently only accepting new members from the Greater Manchester area and Bedford, we would love to be able to support young people in other areas too. Opening up places to young people in other areas depends on the funding our charity receives. If you are a parent, the best place to keep up to date with when places are available is to follow us on social media, as we do not operate a waiting list. Please also note that you cannot self-fund a place as a parent. We are more than happy to work with commissioners/ funders to look at opening up our community to other areas. We are creating more information about expanding to other areas which will hopefully be ready to be shared on our social media pages some time in November 2023. In the meantime, please feel welcome to email development@spectrumgaming.net if you are a funder/ commissioner or someone who would like to hear more about what we can offer - then we will be in touch as soon as we can.

My child doesn't want to join because they are too anxious or reject autism. What do I do?

Joining a new community is difficult, especially if you have negative feelings towards autism. Here is how we can help with that. We have written some information here which may help when talking to young people who are struggling with their autistic identity: https://www.barrierstoeducation.co.uk/talking-about-autism We understand how overwhelming it can be to join a community like Spectrum Gaming. Therefore, we have created special 'New Members' areas of our servers, which have members of our Young Staff Team called 'Helpers' who help new people to settle in and find their way around. Members of staff can also help with setting up connections between young people in the community if they are struggling with this. There are also pages on our website where you can see how the Discord server looks and works before you join, which some young people might find helpful.

What games do you play in the community? Is is just Minecraft?

Young people in our community play a huge variety of games. Members are able to request to play or talk about any game in our community, and there is usually at least one person who plays any game that is asked about. Any young people are welcome to connect and play games together at any time. There are also server gaming events which are run by members of the staff team. Young people can request events in our dedicated 'event suggestions' channel, then the Events team meet to plan, set up and host events. Events in the past haven't just included games, but also cooking club, film nights, code club, quiz nights and just meeting in voice chat for a catch up.

How do you keep young people safe in the community?

Our Discord and Minecraft servers are all completely safe for young people to use, as they have quite rigorous verification measures in place: Every young person must be verified, to prove they are who they say they are and they are joining with the right intentions before they are able to join. We do this by either having their identity verified by a professional who knows them, or by having a quick 1:1 video call with the young person themselves. Once young people are in our community: - Everything is completely private: No one can join without being added by a member of staff. - We have a set of rules that must be agreed to by members to make sure the community is welcoming for everyone. - Every message on our Discord and Minecraft servers are logged, so the staff team can see every message that is sent. - If young people are worried about anything, they are able to contact a member of staff who will respond as soon as they can. On Minecraft, young people can type ‘/support’ then their issue to notify members of the staff team, who can come along to assist. WHAT WE CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR: While we fully monitor our private Discord community, sometimes members make their own private group chats once they have developed friendships. We are unable to monitor group chats so young people who join them do so at their own risk. However, we will get involved if something happens in a group chat that causes discomfort or tension in our private server. As an extra measure, young people are not allowed to direct message other members or invite them to group chats without asking for permission from them within our server first. Another rule we have is that server members are not allowed to send invites to other discord servers so our members are as safe as possible (we cannot guarantee the safety of our members in other servers). UNDER 13 DISCORD SERVER: In our under 13 Discord server, it is parents who will need to create accounts and join the community, in order to comply with Discord's Terms of Service. Parents are also asked to monitor the private messages of our under 13 members, in order to help keep them and the community safe. OTHER PLATFORMS: On our other platforms, including our Facebook group and Twitch channel, we are more open with who joins and gets involved. As a result, parents *must* take responsibility for ensuring other people they connect with are appropriate.

My young person is not eligible to become a member, do you know of any other similar communities they could join?

Unfortunately we are not aware of any other communities like SG for autistic young people.

How do you keep young people safe in the community?

Our Discord and Minecraft servers are all completely safe for young people to use, as they have quite rigorous verification measures in place: Every young person must be verified, to prove they are who they say they are and they are joining with the right intentions before they are able to join. We do this by either having their identity verified by a professional who knows them, or by having a quick 1:1 video call with the young person themselves. Once young people are in our community: - Everything is completely private: No one can join without being added by a member of staff. - We have a set of rules that must be agreed to by members to make sure the community is welcoming for everyone. - Every message on our Discord and Minecraft servers are logged, so the staff team can see every message that is sent. - If young people are worried about anything, they are able to contact a member of staff who will respond as soon as they can. On Minecraft, young people can type ‘/support’ then their issue to notify members of the staff team, who can come along to assist. WHAT WE CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR: While we fully monitor our private Discord community, sometimes members make their own private group chats once they have developed friendships. We are unable to monitor group chats so young people who join them do so at their own risk. However, we will get involved if something happens in a group chat that causes discomfort or tension in our private server. As an extra measure, young people are not allowed to direct message other members or invite them to group chats without asking for permission from them within our server first. Another rule we have is that server members are not allowed to send invites to other discord servers so our members are as safe as possible (we cannot guarantee the safety of our members in other servers). UNDER 13 DISCORD SERVER: In our under 13 Discord server, it is parents who will need to create accounts and join the community, in order to comply with Discord's Terms of Service. Parents are also asked to monitor the private messages of our under 13 members, in order to help keep them and the community safe. OTHER PLATFORMS: On our other platforms, including our Facebook group and Twitch channel, we are more open with who joins and gets involved. As a result, parents *must* take responsibility for ensuring other people they connect with are appropriate.

bottom of page