Monthly Archives: September 2015

September 2015 News Round-Up

ACT News

New: “ACT’s Guide to Employment for Teens and Adults with Autism in B.C.”

After over a year of research, ACT is publishing The Guide to Employment for Teens and Adults with Autism in B.C. The guide provides teens and adults with autism, and their families, with details of B.C.’s employment services, both public and privately funded. The guide also has much that is relevant to other special needs. It can be found on the ACT website as Chapter 12 in ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. Funding for this guide was made possible by a grant from Autism Speaks Canada.

Increasingly the need for employment is being recognized as crucial to ensuring quality of life for people with disabilities. The provincial government declared September as Disability Employment Month in B.C.

600 RASP Professionals: A Milestone

In September, the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP) reached an important milestone; there are now over 600 professionals on the RASP, including Behavior Consultants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists. To mark this achievement, here are some RASP facts:

  • The RASP is the only such listing of professionals working with children under 6 with ASD in North America. Australia is the only other country that has a similar registry.
  • The RASP Search Tool receives the most traffic of any section of the ACT website, with about 36% of the ACT website’s page views in September.
  • The largest group of professionals on the RASP is Speech-Language Pathologists (238) and the smallest group is Physical Therapists (17).
  • The most northerly B.C. city served by a RASP Occupational Therapist is Fort St. John.
  • All Category A Behavior Consultants added to the RASP since 2013 had, or have acquired, certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, although it is not a requirement.
  • There are fewer Category B Behavior Consultants (43) than Category A (162) listed on the RASP.

For more information on the RASP, visit www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/ 

A Reminder to RASP Professionals – Review Your RASP Listing

In September, ACT contacted all RASP professionals with a reminder that we can update availability online very quickly. We are hoping that if professionals can keep their listing up-to-date, they can save time by not having to respond to families they can’t serve. Parents often express to ACT Information Officers that they really appreciate not having to contact professionals who are not available.

If you are a professional on the RASP, you can review your record here. It is simple to update your listing online or you can contact Jeff Hoffman, RASP Administrative Assistant, at raspadmin@actcommunity.ca or call 604-205-5467.

Parents can also contact Jeff Hoffman if they are not receiving a response from a RASP professional; ACT is happy to check whether the contact information is still current. Emailraspadmin@actcommunity.ca.

RASP Professionals Can Share Criminal Record Check Results with ACT

Historically, ACT has requested professionals on the RASP who are members of professional colleges to provide new Criminal Record Checks (CRCs) directly to ACT. Recently the Ministry of Justice began allowing professionals who are members of professional colleges to share these results with ACT. Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists who are applying to the RASP can request a shared CRC through the Sharing Results area of the Ministry of Justice website. If you have questions, contact Jeff Hoffman, RASP Administrative Assistant at raspadmin@actcommunity.ca.

New Social Thinking Article Available on ACT in Chinese

社交思考、 整合執行功能和心理衛生: 社交、學業與情緒的相互影響 (“Social Thinking, Executive Functioning and Mental Health: The Interplay of the Social Mind, the Academic Load and Emotions”) is now available on the ‘ACT in Chinese’ page of the ACT website. 社交思考、 整合執行功能和心理衛生: 社交、學業與情緒的相互影響. The article, authored by Michelle Garcia Winner and translated by ACT Information Officer Christine Hung, briefly explains what social executive function is and how it can influence not only academics but also mental health.

Visit ACT in Chinese/自閉症社區訓練協會at: www.actcommunity.ca/act-in-chinese/

ACT is Recruiting New Event Volunteers!

Did you know that the individuals who help with registration at ACT events are often volunteers? Typical volunteer duties include on-site check-in and distributing feedback forms. Event volunteers receive free registration for the workshop and a certificate of attendance. Please note that there are a limited number of volunteer spots available for each event. Priority will be given to students, family members and para-professionals. For more information, please email Selina Lai, Event Planner, (slai@actcommunity.ca) or visitwww.actcommunity.ca/volunteer

ACT’s Fall Events in Kamloops and Vancouver

October 2nd, 2015 − Kamloops
Advocacy Tools for Parents of Children with Special Needs
Presented by Deborah Pugh

October 3, 2015 − Kamloops 
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know!
Presented by Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

October 23rd, 2015 − Vancouver 
Thriving in Youth with ASD – What Does it Take? 
Presented by Jonathan Weiss, PhD

November 7th, 2015 − Vancouver 
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know!
Presented by Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

November 20th, 2015 − Vancouver 
Advocacy Tools for Parents of Children with Special Needs
Presented by Deborah Pugh

November 21st, 2015 − Vancouver 
Taking Control of the Future – Planning for Families with Special Needs 
Presented by Blair Dwyer & Layli Antinuk, Dwyer Tax Law, Victoria

December 5th, 2015 − Vancouver 
Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention
Presented by Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Free Events in PunjabiASAAP-email-poster-two-titles new

These free evening events will be presented in Punjabi at the SFU Surrey Campus, adjacent to the Surrey Central Skytrain Station. This series has been organized by ACT’s South Asian Autism Awareness Committee. Thanks to Manpreet Singh, Parbs Bains, Kavita Kamat, Sheija Abraham, Preetinder Narang, Balbinder Gill, and Raminder Kaur for their assistance. Download the poster for details. Register online for free at www.actcommunity.ca/events or call 604-205-5467 to reserve your seat.

These events are sponsored by a grant from Autism Speaks Canada.

October 13, 2015 – Surrey, ਸਰੀ, BC
The Individualised Education Plan (IEP)—what the school is supposed to do and how the parent can support the IEP process (in Punjabi). Presented by Raminder Kaur, Behaviour Consultant, posAbilities

November 17th, 2015 Surrey, ਸਰੀ, BC
Advocacy Tools for Parents— how to help your child get the services they need (in Punjabi) Presented by Deborah Pugh, Executive Director, ACT

December 1st, 2015 Surrey, ਸਰੀ, BC
One Parent’s Journey in Autism— the important role that family plays in supporting their child with autism (in Punjabi) Presented by Sunita Braich, Integration Support Teacher, Surrey School District.

The MCFD Parent Handbook – New Policies on Eligible Expenses

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has updated the MCFD Parent Handbook, including revisions of the Eligible and Non-Eligible expenses. The new travel expense policy allows families to claim up to $150 a night of their autism funding for hotel costs when travelling for therapy or training. There is also a new section on information for Service Providers. The MCFD Handbook is available online.

A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism – a short film

Alexandra Jackman, a 16 year old from New Jersey, has created a 14 minute film, A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism. The video promotes understanding, acceptance and empathy toward individuals with autism, especially teenagers. Alexandra’s goal is to embrace all persons with autism as valuable. ACT has reviewed the video and we think it is suitable as an anti-bullying and awareness tool in middle and high schools. It is available on the Autism Information Database (AID): www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2623/

Post-Secondary Opportunities – New ABA Courses at Capilano University

Starting in January 2016, Capilano University is offering two new courses in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA):

  • ABA 100 Introduction to Behavior Principles is an excellent course for parents, SEAs, BIs, and others interested in learning about the science of human behavior.
  • ABA 101 Observation Practicum will allow students to sample a variety of clinical settings including early childhood/preschool, school aged, adult services and a recreational setting.

For more information on these courses and how to apply, contact Dr. Richard Stock, BCBA-D, (rstock@capilanou.ca).

Community Notes

Sensory Friendly Screenings (Oct 10, Nov 13, Dec 12, Jan 9)

See the Cineplex website for upcoming Sensory Friendly Screenings in Langford, Langley and Richmond.

BI Training in Kelowna (October), Surrey (November) and Prince George (November)

Registration is open for the Autism Society of B.C.’s (ASBC) fall Behavioural Interventionist Basics Training workshop series. The two-day training event, which cover the basic and intermediate levels of the implementation of behavioral autism treatment, will be held in Kelowna (October 17th/18th), Surrey (November 7th/8th) and Prince George (November 28th/29th). Members receive discounted rates but space is limited – sign up online.

UBC’s CIRCA lectures (Oct 29, Nov 17, Dec 8)

UBC’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA) is hosting three lectures this fall.

  • October 29th  “Dotted or Horse Spotted”: Adventures in Pragmatics
  • November 17th  In Their Own Words: The Experiences of Students with High-Functioning Autism Attending College or University
  • December 8th  An Overview of Comprehensive Applications of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®)

For details, download the CIRCA notice (pdf).

CommunityWorks Registration Opens November 23rd at CAN

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is the B.C. partner for the federally-funded, national CommunityWorks Program . CommunityWorks provides an opportunity for teens (15-21yrs) with autism to volunteer alongside typical peers in a variety of community settings to develop work skills and build communication and social skills. Registration will be open for the winter session of CommunityWorks from Monday, November 23rd at noon until noon on Friday, November 27th. For more information see the CAN website.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada

Sunny weather and a beautiful venue at Swangard Stadium set the scene for a brisk walk to support Autism Speaks Canada in Burnaby’s Central Park on Sunday, September 27th. ACT’s Executive Director, Deborah Pugh spoke to the crowd about the ACT projects that Autism Speaks Canada has supported over the last four years. Currently, these include:

Watch for all of the new Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada’s community walks in neighbourhoods all over BC! Checkwww.autismspeaks.ca for updates on towns and venues.

Autism in the Media

Follow ACT on Facebook to receive these stories and more.

MCFD’s New Parent’s Handbook 2015

New Parents Guide
A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs has just been released by MCFD. It describes Autism Programs, including the Autism Funding process and other useful information for both parents and service providers.

The handbook is available through the MCFD website or can be mailed to you by MCFD. Call the Autism Funding Branch toll-free at 1-877-777-3530 to request a copy.

August News Round-Up

ACT News

Back to School Resources

The transition back to school can be exciting, scary, and full of change for everyone. ACT has developed free resources especially for the B.C context to help parents and school aged children with autism manage the transition:

  • Create a student profile to help introduce your child to his or her school team – ACT has developed examples and templates.
  • Chapters on the B.C. school system and how to advocate for your child from ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C.
  • ACT’s free online video Education, Integration, Inclusion by Dr. Suzanne Jacobsen reviews important sections of the B.C. School Act and documents issued by B.C.’s Ministry of Education.

ACT’s Autism Information Database has links to great local and international resources:

Contact ACT at 604-205-5467, 1-866-939-5188 or info@actcommunity.ca to speak to an information officer

Share your Family, Fun and Work Photos with the Autism Community

ACT is collecting new photos of kids or young adults with their peers or families, engaging in work, community or family activities to include in ACT print and online materials. We are especially keen to feature adults with autism in the workplace as we are preparing an employment guide!

Please consider sharing your photos with the autism community. Send your photos*, using this online folder or the online submission form. Our designer is eagerly awaiting your submissions!

* When you submit your photos to ACT, please note:

  • You are giving us permission to use them in our information and promotional material both in print and online.
  • ACT is a not-for-profit; we will not use these photos commercially.
  • ACT will not name any of the individuals in the photos.
  • ACT cannot use every photo submitted but we do appreciate every one sent to us.

Thank you in advance. You can send photos using this online folder or the online submission form.

ACT’s Fall Events in Kamloops and Vancouver


September 17 & 18, 2015 − Vancouver – regular rate ends Sept 9th
Social Thinking and Mental Health Frameworks – Blending Strategies to Reach Our Students Presented by Nancy Clements, MA, CCC-SLP & Nancy Cotton, PhD

October 2nd, 2015 − Kamloops – regular rate ends Sept 23rd
Advocacy Tools for Parents of Children with Special Needs Presented by Deborah Pugh

October 3, 2015 − Kamloops – regular rate ends Sept 23rd
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know! Presented by Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

October 23rd, 2015 − Vancouver – early bird rate ends Sept 14th
Thriving in Youth with ASD – What Does it Take? Presented by Jonathan Weiss, PhD

November 7th, 2015 − Vancouver – early bird rate ends Sept 30th
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know! Presented by Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

November 20th, 2015 − Vancouver
Advocacy Tools for Parents of Children with Special Needs Presented by Deborah Pugh

November 21st, 2015 − Vancouver
Taking Control of the Future – Planning for Families with Special Needs Presented by Blair Dwyer & Layli Antinuk, Dwyer Tax Law, Victoria

December 5th, 2015 − Vancouver
Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention Presented by Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Free Online Videos

Access all 16 of ACT’s videos online at www.actcommunity.ca/videos. These free videos can be viewed on your computer or mobile device. Each video is edited into smaller chunks, so you can watch a few segments at a time on a range of topics including:

MCFD New Parent’s Handbook 2015

A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs has just been released by MCFD. It describes Autism Programs, including the Autism Funding process and other useful information for both parents and service providers.

The handbook is available through the MCFD website or can be mailed to you by MCFD. Call the Autism Funding Branch toll-free at 1-877-777-3530 to request a copy.

Facing Your Fears: Free Anxiety Treatment Group for Pre-Teens

The Neuropsychiatry Clinic at B.C. Children’s Hospital invites applications for the “Facing Your Fears” therapy group specifically designed for the needs of 8-12 year olds with autism and clinically significant anxiety. Children, aged 8-12, must have average or above average verbal skills and a caregiver who can participate in the group. For full information, and to apply, call Julia Eng at 604-875-2345 ext. 2719. Questions? Call Dr. Melanie McConnell at 604-875-2345, ext. 5576.

Employment Matters – a documentary

Employment Matters, a documentary about employment of people with intellectual disabilities aired on CBC last Saturday – watch the full documentary online. Employment Matters Too will air Saturday, August 29th at 7pm on CBC or online. For more information, or to purchase DVDs, contact Brandy at employmentmatterstoo.com.

Community Notes

Employment Roundtable – Surrey, Sept 17th

Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) is hosting a day of self-advocate stories. The focus is on self-advocates’ experience of being supported to seek employment and their experiences of being employed. The speakers will provide tips to job coaches and their personal reflections regarding employment. The Roundtable is open to all, including family members and self-advocates. Register online.

Fundraising Gala for Canucks Autism Network – Vancouver, Sept 24th

Join the Canucks Autism Network on Thursday, September 24 at Rogers Arena for their one-of-a-kind, inaugural Reveal Gala in support of families living with autism in British Columbia. The Reveal Gala promises key representation from the Vancouver Canucks, participation from individuals with autism, and exciting surprises throughout the night. To reserve your seats now, visit www.canucksautism.ca/reveal or email events@canucksautism.ca.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks – Burnaby, Sept 27th

Autism Speaks Canada’s ‘Walk Now’ at Swangard Stadium, Central Park Burnaby, Sunday, Sept 27. More food, More Kids Zone, More entertainment – more fun!! Register, volunteer or donate

Help Translink be More Accessible – Application deadline Sept 30th

The Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee assists Translink in implementing the Access Transit Strategy by focusing on the universal accessibility of public transportation in Metro Vancouver. They are accepting applications for the 2016 calendar year. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2015. For details, eligibility requirements and application, see their website.

Autism in the Media