JoCo Social Group For Teens & Young Adults With Autism Kicks Off August 1st  

  • Kick-off meeting held outdoors from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1
  • The free meetup provides a safe place to make friends, while observing CDC and State guidelines
  • Group to provide meaningful connections during a time of isolation for at-risk group
Christ Community United Methodist Church in Clayton

CLAYTON  – Teens and young adults with high functioning Autism or related disabilities in Johnston County will have the opportunity to make meaningful connections, at a new group’s first “social distancing” meetup from 2 – 4 p.m. this Saturday, August 1st at Christ Community United Methodist Church in Clayton, at the church’s adjacent soccer field to observe all health and safety guidelines.

“As a mother of a child with autism, I know the struggles a teen can face just trying to make friends, especially at a time like this, when they’re even more isolated than normal,” said Persida Ramos, the founder and coordinator of the group. “As social beings, we all need others with whom to share interests, likes and challenges. We can do this safely, while putting the health of our volunteers and attendees first.”

Volunteers will take great care to ensure the meeting is a safe, healthy and fun experience for all, while strictly observing CDC and State guidelines. The meeting will include a devotional, snacks, and games the teens and young adults can do while practicing social distancing.

Measures to ensure the safety of attendees include:

  • Use of the soccer field next to the church for the meeting.
  • Material provided will be disinfected and/or individually wrapped for the use of one person only.
  • Snacks and drinks will be store bought and individually wrapped.
  • Volunteers will have their temperature checked before the meeting, wear face coverings and follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Attendees will have their temperature checked, be asked questions about their health status, will be provided masks and shown how to practice social distancing.
Christ Community United Methodist Church in Clayton

The volunteers, many of whom speak both English and Spanish, are ready to provide a safe place for 16- 24 year olds to have fun and make friends during this challenging time. Parents and caregivers should RSVP by calling Persida Ramos 919.464.1298 or emailing with questions and to sign up. Parents and caregivers can either drop off their dependents or relax at a lounge onsite.

Christ Community UMC is located at 1082 Amelia Church Road in Clayton and is across the street from Clayton Community Park. The group is sponsored and organized by the church’s Hispanic ministry, but voluntary donations can be mailed to the aforementioned address and directed to Persida Ramos.

You can find the group on Facebook to follow updates and interact with volunteers and members.