The first Men’s Shed dedicated to dads of kids with autism

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The shed features the usual workshop facilities. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
The shed, which opened in April, is not your typical Men’s Shed — there is the usual workshop element, but it also houses a pool room, computers, art easels and a small library.Scott Slade from Fathers of Autistic Children Together (FACT) was a driving force behind the project.He has a 15-year-old son with autism and said the shed allowed him to seek the support of others.”It allowed fathers to talk about their shared experiences,” he said.”It can be tough on the family, and my wife was more in tune with my son and the challenges he faced and it can be really hard. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“It can also lead to frustration and there are a large number of families that experience breakdowns or separation due to having children that are on the spectrum.”Breaking down barriers for the blokesMr Slade said being able to have a meeting place for the FACT group helped break down barriers among the “blokes”. Photo:
Scott Slade encourages other men to come and talk about their experiences. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“It’s a wonderful way for us to support these men, and through talking with the men I’ve been able to connect with my adult son more now too,” he said.”I love coming here and the diversity of men here is great as we have men from all over the world and different professions.”You learn so much from other people and I’m a firm believer that you’re never too old to keep learning.”The South Brisbane Men’s Shed FACT group has meetings each Friday evening at 141 Merton Road, Woolloongabba. Photo:
The shed houses a small library and bright artwork for the members. For more information visit the South Brisbane Men’s Shed website. Tucked away on Brisbane’s southside, a group of small sheds is giving men with children on the autism spectrum a place to meet, socialise and support each other.South Brisbane Men’s Shed is the first in Australia to have a special interest group for dads, brothers, uncles and grandfathers of children with autism.In partnership with the Department of Education and Training Autism Hub, the shed allows men to get together once a week to gain information, but also to relax around people experiencing similar circumstances at home. External Link:

Autism Hub at Mens Shed
“We talk to each other and offer ways that could work for one father from another father and it gives a better understanding for the child’s and partner’s requirements,” he said.Together with the Men’s Shed members, the group does a variety of activities including ukulele lessons, open mic nights and celebrations around the State of Origin.”It’s exciting to come in on Friday night and catch up with the dads and it gives us a chance to socialise together,” Mr Slade said.He said the feedback, the support from the local community and the success of the shed was a concept he wanted to take further.”We want to take this concept and replicate it across Queensland and across the country,” Mr Slade said. Photo:
Inside the South Brisbane Men’s Shed, which is also home to an Autism Hub. Photo:
Ted Hogan creates wooden items like this coffee cup carrier. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“Now that the testing is getting more prevalent it’s important that opportunities like this exist.”Giving the community a space to meetSecretary of the South Brisbane Men’s Shed Norbert Gaulton said the group enjoyed teaming up with the Autism Hub to offer them a place to come together. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

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Woolloongabba 4102
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Come inside the first Men's Shed for dads with children with autism

(Breakfast)
ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

August 04, 2017 07:00:00

Photo:
Iain Salkield, Norbet Gaulton, Ted Hogan and Scott Slade inside the workshop shed. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)