Research and the lived-experiences of autistic people are now showing that special interests are an important part of an autistic person’s make-up.

Special interests provide an engaging activity which brings personal benefits of self-worth and enjoyment. They provide opportunities to relax, reduce anxiety and shut-out environmental distractions. Supporting these special interests can have positive effects on their wellbeing, mental health and achievements:

The All Aboard Club provides activities for autistic children who have a special interest in trains and transport. By engaging in their special interest, they are able to develop their social and communication skills.

Our events bring families with autistic children together. These families often struggle to attend public events and activities because they do not meet the needs of autistic children. This can be isolating for many children and families. By providing activities based on this special interest in a suitable setting, All Aboard Club allows them to concentrate, learn and share their love for trains with other children who share their interest.

All Aboard Club provides a safe and understanding environment for the children to develop social and communication skills which can be difficult in a public arena or at home. These skills are vital to the emotional well being of children and for their independence.

The following articles and research help to explain the importance of special interests: