Monthly Archives: December 2015

Autism in the Media

 

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Happy Holidays from ACT

ACT Holiday Hours

ACT will be closed December 25th to January 1st and will reopen on Monday, January 4th at 8:30AM. In case of emergency, please call 778-945-1086; this number will be monitored during the holiday season.

If you have a general question that can wait until the New Year, please leave a voicemail at 604-205-5467.

Apply to Present

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research: Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programs

See details and download application Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference will provide a forum for researchers, community organizations, educators and parents to consider the realities facing marginalized families who have children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Intellectual Disabilities.

Apply to present – see details and download application. Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016. The conference will be held April 15 & 16.

ACT Welcomes Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project

ACT – Autism Community Training (ACT) is delighted to be chairing the Parent Coaching Steering Committee that will put in place an innovative research project targeting the needs of B.C. families who suspect that their very young child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The $3 million project has the potential to answer many research questions about the value of parent coaching in changing the developmental path of children who develop autism. It is being funded by the Government of British Columbia and is the only project of its kind in Canada targeting children under three years of age focusing on researching parent coaching. For the Government of B.C.’s news release see: Autism research project to help B.C. parents of young children.

ACT welcomes the opportunity to partner in this project with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and with the Pacific Autism Family Centre, as well as the Ministry of Children and Family Development. One of ACT’s interests will be to see whether this research can help pinpoint ways of supporting families from chronically under-served groups within the autism community, including aboriginal families, recent immigrants, refugees and those living in rural and remote communities.

ACT looks forward to working with the many professionals and agencies across B.C. who will welcome the opportunity to support parent coaching. Collaboration with community health nurses and speech-language pathologists based in public health units, organizations such as the Infant Development Program (IDP) and Aboriginal IDP, professionals who specialize in autism, as well as organizations supporting immigrants, all will be key to reaching vulnerable families and their children.

Upcoming Events

Vancouver Island this Spring

February 20th, 2016 – Sidney
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know! Presented by Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Save the Date! – 2016 Events with Roy Richard Grinker, Michelle Garcia Winner and Sarah Ward

Details and registration coming soon

April 15 & 16, 2016, Vancouver
ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research – co-sponsored by Simon Fraser University

Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programs
Keynote speaker: Roy Richard Grinker, author of Unstrange Minds (www.unstrange.com/)

August 4 & 5, 2016, Vancouver
Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke from Social Thinking®

September 15 & 16, 2016. Richmond
Sarah Ward from Cognitive Connections Therapy, LLP

Apply to Present at ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research

Apply to present – see details and download application.
Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

Conference Focus: Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programming

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference will provide a forum for researchers, community organizations, educators and parents to consider the realities facing marginalized families who have children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Intellectual Disabilities.

Apply to present – see details and download applicationDeadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

Support ACT’s Work this Holiday Season

“Thank you for ‘ACTing’ as a provocative and caring agent for positive social change. All the best for an even better ACT and the world we live in.” – Student

“I want to thank you for your time, your support and everything that you gave and you are still giving for our children. Please pass my full regards to Erika that she supported me through all my phone calls.” – Parent

“This reaffirmed my belief and renewed my faith that parents can and should be active participants in their child’s assessments and intervention.” – Professional

Have you benefited from ACT’s free online videos, information services, bursaries or advocacy advice? As the holiday season approaches, consider donating to ACT – Autism Community Training. ACT’s core government funding has been frozen since 2011. We are good at doing more with less, especially with the support of our terrific staff and volunteers, but our ability to respond to the urgent requests of vulnerable families is stretched to the point where we are having great difficulty meeting their needs. If you or someone you know is in the position to donate to ACT, you can support work that is not funded by ACT’s contract with the provincial government including:

    • Supporting Autism Videos @ACT (AVA) – For families and professionals, tight schedules, limited funding and long distances can make attending ACT’s live events challenging. Help us expand AVA’s library of free online videos to make learning opportunities available to all members of the autism community. www.actcommunity.ca/videos
    • Bursaries for Live Events – Training should be accessible to all. In 2015, over 150 parents, students and para-professionals attended an ACT event supported by an ACT bursary. www.actcommunity.ca/bursaries
    • Supporting New Canadian and Refugees – When your English is not fluent, understanding autism and autism services can seem impenetrable. ACT has translated the Next Steps Guide into Chinese, and is now working on a Punjabi version. Next we hope to translate materials in Arabic and Korean. Reach out to new Canadians struggling to support family members with autism by supporting ACT’s Translation and Interpreter Fund.
    • Supporting Adults with Autism – Adults with autism are extremely vulnerable and receive very little attention compared to children. While ACT is funded to work with children, some 10 % of our calls are now from families and adults themselves looking for information on diagnosis, mental health treatment, employment and housing. In 2015 ACT produced the ACT’s Guide to Employment for Teens with Autism in B.C. We would like to do more with your support.

You can support ACT’s work through:

As a federally registered not-for-profit society ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001. For more information and to see past donors: www.actcommunity.ca/donate/

 

Volunteer Opportunity: File Clerk

Are you a detail-oriented person with strong organization skills? If so, ACT is interested in hearing from you. We are recruiting a regular part-time volunteer file clerk who will be involved in the maintenance and reorganization of paper files for approximately five to ten hours per week during regular office hours. Ideally the successful candidate will begin in December or early January. People with ASD are encouraged to apply. For further details or to apply, send your resume and cover letter to raspadmin@actcommunity.ca with ACT Volunteer File Clerk in the subject line.

News Release: Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project Announced

ACT-Logo-V2

 

 

 

 

News Release – December 7, 2015

ACT welcomes Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project

ACT – Autism Community Training (ACT) is delighted to be chairing the Parent Coaching Steering Committee that will put in place an innovative research project targeting the needs of B.C. families who suspect that their very young child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  The $3.1 million dollar project has the potential to answer many research questions about the value of parent coaching in changing the developmental path of children who develop autism. It is being funded by the Government of British Columbia and is the only project of its kind in Canada targeting children under three years of age focusing on researching parent coaching. For the Government of B.C.’s news release see: Autism research project to help B.C. parents of young children.

“Each year ACT receives dozens of calls from families who are very worried about their toddler’s development.  Often it is difficult to make a definitive diagnosis for a child under two, but there is no reason not to engage parents regardless”, explains Deborah Pugh, ACT’s Executive Director, adding, “The international research into parent coaching is very robust, it points the way to empowering parents with techniques that they can use to engage their children before their communication and behavior deteriorate. These techniques are play-based and will help parents concerned about their child’s development to provide them with an enriched home environment with the support of highly trained professionals, whether or not the child turns out to have autism or another developmental challenge.”

ACT welcomes the opportunity to partner in this project with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and with the Pacific Autism Family Centre, as well as the Ministry of Children and Family Development.   One of ACT’s interests will be to see whether this research can help pinpoint ways of supporting families from chronically under-served groups within the autism community, including aboriginal families, recent immigrants, refugees and those living in rural and remote communities.

“Autism intervention in B.C. does a good job of supporting mainstream families”, explains Deborah Pugh, “this project will help us identify how we can do a better job of identifying and supporting marginalized families when their children are as young as possible, so that we can show the value of parent coaching across cultural and geographical environments.”

ACT looks forward to working with the many professionals and agencies across B.C. who will welcome the opportunity to support parent coaching. Collaboration with community health nurses and speech-language pathologists based in public health units, organizations such as the Infant Development Program (IDP) and Aboriginal IDP, professionals who specialize in autism, as well as organizations supporting immigrants, all will be key to reaching vulnerable families and their children.

 

Media Contact: Deborah Pugh, Executive Director, ACT – Autism Community Training

phone: 604-205-5467 or dpugh@actcommunity.ca

 

Holiday 2015 News Round-Up

Holiday Events & Resources.

J.A. Tan Art Show at Hycroft Gallery: December 2nd

Opening Reception for J.A. Tan is Dec 2nd, 6:30 – 8:00PM. RSVP artofjatan@gmail.com or call 778-558-1306. Show is up until January 4th, 2016 at the Hycroft Gallery, 1489 McRae Avenue, Vancouver.

Project EveryBODY talk: Music and Autism: December 3rd

Free talk from a parent of a boy with autism who uses music as a way to help him overcome barriers. At the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver, 3-6PM. Project EveryBody is a collaboration among different community organizations and non-profits, with a focus on community inclusion for people of all abilities. Sign up online or visit Project EveryBODY for more information.

Holiday Concert: December 5th, Surrey

Holiday Concert with the Dansing Tones at the Semiahmoo House Society, 15306 – 24 Ave, Surrey at 7PM, admission by donation. Dansing Tones is designed to support children with special needs by giving them the opportunity to sing and dance as they are able. For details, call 604-536-1242, ext: 255.

Quiet Time with Santa: December 6th, West Vancouver

The Autism Society of British Columbia (ASBC) has partnered with Park Royal to have a sensory friendly morning on Sunday, December 6th. Visit between 8:30am to 10:30am, Park Royal South Centre Court. For more details, visit the ASBC events page. ASBC has also developed a social story for this event: www.autismbc.ca/quiet-time-with-santa/

Holidays Resources from ACT’s Autism Information Database

Many people see Christmas as a welcome excuse to break from routine, to socialize, and exchange presents. But the holidays can prove challenging for those on the autism spectrum who find change, crowds and surprises difficult to handle. ACT’s Autism Information Database includes useful resources to help families managing the holidays:

Search the AID for dentists, support groups, books, videos, recreational activities and more.

Updates from ACT

ACT would like to wish everyone a happy holidays and new year!

Support ACT’s Work this Holiday Season

Have you benefited from ACT’s free online videos, information services, bursaries or advocacy advice? As the holiday season approaches, consider donating to ACT – Autism Community Training. ACT’s core government funding has been frozen since 2011. We are good at doing more with less, especially with the support of our terrific staff and volunteers, but our ability to respond to the urgent requests of vulnerable families is stretched to the point where we are having great difficulty meeting their needs. If you or someone you know is in the position to donate to ACT, you can support work that is not funded by ACT’s contract with the provincial government including:

    • Supporting Autism Videos @ACT (AVA) – For families and professionals, tight schedules, limited funding and long distances can make attending ACT’s live events challenging. Help us expand AVA’s library of free online videos to make learning opportunities available to all members of the autism community. www.actcommunity.ca/videos
    • Bursaries for Live Events – Training should be accessible to all. In 2015, over 150 parents, students and para-professionals attended an ACT event supported by an ACT bursary. www.actcommunity.ca/bursaries
    • Supporting New Canadian and Refugees – When your English is not fluent, understanding autism and autism services can seem impenetrable. ACT has translated the Next Steps Guide into Chinese, and is now working on a Punjabi version. Next we hope to translate materials in Arabic and Korean. Reach out to new Canadians struggling to support family members with autism by supporting ACT’s Translation and Interpreter Fund.
    • Supporting Adults with Autism – Adults with autism are extremely vulnerable and receive very little attention compared to children. While ACT is funded to work with children, some 10 % of our calls are now from families and adults themselves looking for information on diagnosis, mental health treatment, employment and housing. In 2015 ACT produced the ACT’s Guide to Employment for Teens with Autism in B.C. We would like to do more with your support.

You can support ACT’s work through:

As a federally registered not-for-profit society ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001. For more information and to see past donors: www.actcommunity.ca/donate/

“Thank you for ‘ACTing’ as a provocative and caring agent for positive social change. All the best for an even better ACT and the world we live in.”
– Student

“I want to thank you for your time, your support and everything that you gave and you are still giving for our children. Please keep us in your prayers, and please pass my full regards to Erika that she supported me through all my phone calls.”
– Parent

“This reaffirmed my belief and renewed my faith that parents can and should be active participants in their child’s assessments and intervention.”
– Professional

ACT Holiday Hours

ACT will be closed December 25th to January 1st. In case of emergency please call 604-205-5467; we will be monitoring the office voicemail during the holiday season.

New RASP Professionals

To date, the Registry of Autism Service Providers has seen a net increase of 72 professionals in 2015. The professionals below were added to the RASP in November 2015. You can search the RASP by profession, community served, languages spoken and whether or not a provider is prepared to travel.

Behavior Consultants
  • Kalma Arnett – serving Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Mackenzie
  • Carly McDiarmid (supervised) – serving Nanaimo, Victoria
Occupational Therapist
  • Claire Abecia – serving Duncan, Galiano Island, Mill Bay, Pender Island, Salt Spring Island, Saturna Island, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria.
Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Nomi Kaston – serving Victoria
  • Wendy Huang* – serving Vancouver
  • Kari Dul* – serving Armstrong, Coldstream, Enderby, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country, Lumby, Oyama, Salmon Arm, Vernon
  • Lauren Butters* – serving Richmond, Vancouver
  • Lizette Chu* – serving Burnaby, Richmond, Vancouver
  • James Donovan* – serving Victoria

* S-LP’s with a * are supervised by a S-LP with more experience in working with children with ASD under six. This is an initiative to increase the numbers of S-LP’s on the RASP. In 2016, ACT hopes to have a similar process for Occupational Therapists.

Visit the RASP for more information

Volunteer Opportunity: File Clerk

Are you a detail-oriented person with strong organization skills? If so, ACT is interested in hearing from you. We are recruiting a regular part-time volunteer file clerk who will be involved in the maintenance and reorganization of paper files for approximately five to ten hours per week during regular office hours. Ideally the successful candidate will begin in December or early January. People with ASD are encouraged to apply. For further details or to apply, send your resume and cover letter to raspadmin@actcommunity.ca with ACT Volunteer File Clerk in the subject line.

ACT’s Winter and Spring Events in Surrey, Sidney and Vancouver

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

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

February 20th, 2016 – Sidney
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know! Presented by Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Save the Date! – 2016 Events with Roy Richard Grinker, Michelle Garcia Winner and Sarah Ward

Details and registration coming soon

April 15 & 16, 2016, Vancouver
ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research – co-sponsored by Simon Fraser University

Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programs
Keynote speaker: Roy Richard Grinker, author of Unstrange Minds www.unstrange.com/

ACT will be issuing a call for papers in December, please stay tuned! Email slai@actcommunity.ca for more information.

August 4 & 5, 2016, Vancouver
Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke from Social Thinking®

September 15 & 16, 2016. Richmond
Sarah Ward from Cognitive Connections Therapy, LLP

ACT Staff Updates

Corey Sanford, ACT’s Website Officer has left to follow other opportunities. Corey developed the ACT Information Database (AID) and a host of other tools for the ACT website over the last three years. We wish him the best. We are pleased to announce that Ryan Quiring is our new Website Officer. Ryan brings a strong background in design, and we look forward to working with him to redevelop ACT’s website.

Focus on Adults

Reducing Financial Barriers for Persons with Disabilities on Assistance

Individuals with Persons with Disability (PWD) designation will see some changes to how they can treat assets and gifts. Some of the highlights include:

  • Individuals may now hold up to $100,000 in assets; couples $200,000
  • Cash gifts will have no effect on eligibility
  • No cap on trust payments

For more details, visit the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Documentary: Autism in Love

ACT is co-sponsoring a screening of the film Autism in Love, January 20th at the Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver. This film will be screening as part of the Frames of Mind series.

 

Young Adult Peer Mentors needed for CommunityWorks program

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is looking for peer mentors aged 16-21 for their CommunityWorks program to help individuals with autism develop work skills and build communication and social skills. CommunityWorks provides an opportunity for teens and young adults with autism to volunteer alongside typically developing peers in a variety of community settings (e.g.: Science World, community gardens, Canuck Place, Stanley Park Ecology Centre etc.). CAN is currently recruiting for their winter which runs on Saturdays from 9:30am-noon, January 9th to April 2nd. Email volunteer@canucksautism.ca if you’d like to become a peer mentor.

Autism Canada Seeking Adults on the Spectrum for ASD Advisory Committee (CIRCA)

Autism Canada’s ASD Advisory Committee is comprised of adults on the autism spectrum to provide insight into the issues affecting those with autism, across the lifespan. Visit the ASD Advisory Committee page to apply

Autism Speaks Housing Challenge

Autism Speaks is offering $150,000 in prizes for ideas in housing and residential supports for adults with autism, visit Autism Speaks House to Home Prize Challenge for details.

SFU Computer Game Study for Children with Autism (age 4-6 years)

The goal of this study by Simon Fraser University’s Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab is to understand how children with and without autism perform on computer-based tasks to measure cognitive skills (e.g., planning, flexibility). The appointment can take place weekdays or weekends and would take approximately 2-3 hours (including breaks). Parents will receive a free parking spot and a gift card at a rate of $10 per hour of participation. Email addl@sfu.ca for more information and to sign up.

Research Project: Family Centered Framework

The Pacific Autism Family Centre(PAFC) and the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University are collaborating to consider how a family-centred framework may aid in coordinating autism research in BC.

Sessions will be held in Vancouver(various dates Dec. and Jan.), Prince George (Dec. 12th), and Courtenay/Comox (Jan. 9th). For details email Jacqueline Kler at jacquelinekler@ecuad.ca

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 – a 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.

Job Board for Parents and Behaviour Interventionists

The Autism Society of British Columbia has a new online job board to help Behavioural Interventionists (BIs) and parents find each other, with searches based on Care Specialty, Age Range, Locations Served, Languages Spoken and Availability. Whether you are looking for BIs to join your home team, or are a para-professional seeking employment as a BI, the ASBC Talent Bank can help you find the right people – www.asbctalentbank.com

Autism in the Media

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