A network of technology clubs for children and young people who identify as being on the autism spectrum and who enjoy working with computers

Mentoring by technical professionals in
programming, 3D, Digital Design, and Gaming.

What is The Lab?

The Lab is a growing network of not for profit technology clubs for children and young people who identify as being on the autism spectrum and who enjoy working with computers. The Lab offers mentoring by technology professionals in areas such as programming, 3D, digital design and social gaming. Lab sessions focus on social engagement rather than a formal training structure. While The Lab is not NDIS registered, many Lab participants use their NDIS plans to pay for Lab sessions.

About Lab sessions

The Lab’s approach is unstructured and does not have expectations of specific education or technology outcomes. The Lab is a tech and games based social experience for young people aged 8-18 +.

The Lab News
  • The Lab is opening at St Kilda and Carnegie!
    It’s exciting to have a new Labs opening in Melbourne’s Sth East at St Kilda and Carnegie. See the Join a Lab page for session details and to register for sessions starting soon.
  • A new Lab has set to opened in Victoria’s Sth West at Warrnambool. This is an exciting development with an experienced Lab team from the Bellarine Peninsula now resident in Warrnambool and set to open soon. Go to the Join a Lab page to register your interest.
  • A new Lab has opened at Ipswich in SE Qld. See the Join a Lab page for session details.
  • The Lab Hobart has commenced sessions at the Glenorchy Library on Saturday mornings. Bookings are essential. Please visit the Join a Lab page for more information.
  • Here’s an interesting ABC News item from Brisbane about the positive support provided to young people with autism through tabletop games.
  • The Lab at Bargoonga Nganjin Nth Fitzroy Library has commenced sessions! Visit the Join a Lab page to register.
  • The Lab at Castle Hill in Sydney have commenced sessions at the Museums Discovery Centre on Sunday mornings from 10.30am – 12.30pm during school terms. See the Join a Lab page for more details.
  • This article from ABC News gives a great overview of The Lab on the Gold Coast, their fantastic work and their commitment to opening the door to new skills, friendships and fun.
  • A Lab Online group has been running in Perth since T4 2020 and we’re keen to support the establishment of a face to face group there. Please contact us at admin@thelab.org.au if you are interested in hosting this Lab group with a local venue.

has openned

The Lab Turns 10 Years Old!

We started to celebrate our 10th birthday with a national Tech Challenge and massive online games event in November.
The Tech Challenge was generously supported by IBM and saw fantastic work created in areas of Game Development, 3D Animation, 2D Artwork, Minecraft Builds and Video production. Lab participants created some great work and you can see the project gallery linked here.
On Saturday November 13, 60 Lab participants from across the country came together online for our first Online SuperLab. Participants played tournament style games in Minecraft, Super Smash Bros and super social rounds of Gartic Phone. We’ll be back with more SuperLabs and 10 Year celebrations in 2022.

The Lab Online

The Lab Online sessions are available Monday to Friday from 4.30pm – 6.30pm. These sessions cover a wide range of game play and tech activities using the Zoom platform.

New for 2022 – Lab Online for 16 yrs + participants with a focus on games, project development and transition to further education and employment.

To register for online sessions please complete the registration form linked from the Join a Lab page and register for The Lab Online. We will contact you to discuss the session day and time that best suits you.

Click this link to read full details of Lab Online sessions:
The Lab Online FAQ 2022

See the video of participants PAX 2020 game projects here.

Mentors with technical expertise

By pairing young people who have Autism with tutors who have technical expertise in areas of mutual interest, The Lab seeks to improve the well-being and life prospects of young people who are often highly skilled but whose condition can lead them to fall through gaps in the mainstream education system. The Lab is always on the lookout for enthusiastic and skilled tech mentors.

The Lab resources

Join The Lab to access a great variety of helpful videos and powerpoints for participants, mentors and parents.

Introduction to The Lab