My Autism Connection Explores Tarpon Bay

July 4, 2019 Play

A group of young people enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves.

Though rumbles of thunder were heard in the distance and ominous clouds on the horizon, mother nature did not deter an enthusiastic group from My Autism Connection Inc. from joining Tarpon Bay Explorers for a Nature and Sealife Cruise at Tarpon Bay this past Saturdays. My Autism Connection is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for individuals with Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism within the Autism Spectrum Disorder to develop skills towards independence in the community while building healthy relationships. “We’ve worked with My Autism Connection before and we really enjoy having them out. Everyone is enthusiastic and you only see smiling faces,” commented Program and Education Manager Adam Sauerland.

The group’s day started with a picnic lunch with a side of drizzling rain on Tarpon Bay’s deck area. Moments of doubt may have been felt here and there, but as the radar started to clear, the group was excited to get underway. Captained by Steve Yetsko and narrated by naturalist, Donna Yetsko, the group was able to experience wildlife ranging from baby pelicans to glimpses of manatee noses. After the boat ride was over, the crew went in to the Touch Tank Aquariums to learn about what they couldn’t see underneath the water. The aquariums are always a highlight as you can really get a feel for what life is like for smaller critters like sea stars or horseshoe crabs. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but the group was extremely thankful. “We greatly appreciate Tarpon Bay Explorers for taking the time to support our organization as well as for spending their Saturday with us,” said Sandra Worth, Executive Director of My Autism Connection. “Supporters like Tarpon Bay Explorers make it so that we may continue to help these individuals succeed in all aspects of life,” explained Worth.

Tarpon Bay Explorers is the concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The company provides educational and recreational opportunities within the refuge and 15% of what is taken in is given back to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the care and protection of refuges around the U.S. Feel free to call Tarpon Bay Explorers for tour reservations or more information at 239-472-8900. You can also visit their website at They are open every day from 8am-6pm.