KYABRAM will be the first town in the Goulburn Valley to take on a new program focused on youth on the autism spectrum.
The program - called the I CAN network - will start in town next year and aims to increase those on the spectrum’s self-esteem and employment opportunities through a series of activities including mentoring and camps.
Parents of those on the autism spectrum as well as Kyabram teachers will also be involved in the project through sessions to help them get the best out of youth on the autism spectrum.
Campaspe Youth Partnerships project worker Cheryl Sweeny said the program also looked to include the Kyabram business community.
‘‘We want local businesses, who may find those on the autism spectrum may have a lot to offer them, to come along to the first I CAN network sessions,’’ she said.
‘‘We also want the program to send a strong message to the rest of the community that we should all think ifI cannf rather than ifI can’tnf.’’
The program was developed by Chris Varney, a 28-year-old man on the autistic spectrum, and is run mostly by autistic staff.
The I CAN network is Australia’s first social enterprise founded by people with autism.
Information sessions on the I CAN network will be held at Kyabram P-12 College on October 19 at 3.45pm and 5.45pm.