New app Kaboose provides a safe and supportive space for youth on the spectrum

Research has found that 75 million people worldwide are diagnosed on the autism spectrum and over a billion people are identified as neurodivergent. And according to recent studies, neurodivergent people are three times more likely to have mental health problems in their lives.

This can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are also dealing with their own challenges at this point in life. Therefore, supporting teenagers on the autism and neurodivergent spectrum is vital.

Newly launched social media app Kaboose is attempting to address this issue by connecting young neurodiverse people to their “tribe,” i.e., people of similar ages who share the same interests that they can easily and safely connect with. Kaboose aims to improve mental health and connection for neurodivergent young people and help them find supportive friends, mentors and employers.

Michelle Ridsdale (pictured) founded Kaboose after seeing the struggles her own autistic son went through in his teenage years, particularly the difficulties he had in school making friendships and maintaining healthy relationships, which led to ongoing problems with his mental health. She believes that if he had had a tool like Kaboose to find friends with whom he could relate and feel understood, those formative years would have been much easier to navigate and led to a healthier mindset.

“As a parent of a child with autism, my experience in advocacy, and through my volunteer work in the autism and disability field, I have met too many young people who are struggling to make and make friends,” says Michelle. “Seeing my own son suffer from feelings of loneliness and separation, I decided to start a community that would surely facilitate the building of supportive tribes and allow our young people to form relationships that matter to them , as well as to support their way into employment .”

Kaboose was approved by NDIS Australia and had its soft launch in 2022. Since then, over 1000 people from countries like Australia, United States and United Kingdom have joined the app and made countless friendships. Kaboose was the winner of the 2022 RMIT Tech4Good Spark Festival and a finalist at the StartUp Vic and Victorian iAwards. New app Kaboose provides a safe and supportive space for youth on the spectrum

Adam Bradshaw

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