We know that there are clear concerns that large areas of British Columbia are underserved, without enough local professionals available. These are issues that are of great concern to ACT. Here are a few suggestions which have worked with families in some communities. If you have any other ideas please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Pool Your Autism Funding to Bring in Professionals
It is expensive to fly or drive around B.C. Instead of five families each paying the travel costs, consider bringing up a professional to see multiple families over one or two days, sharing the travel and hotel costs. You can search the RASP to find who is willing to travel. You can call ACT and one of our information officers can help you in this search.
Things to consider:
- The professional will have to be flexible enough to meet the needs of all the families involved. If they specializes in only one approach, they might not be the professional the community needs.
- Meeting other families: is there a local Facebook or community group you can join? If not, start one (download our chapter on Building a Community Group).
- Another great source of support is your local MCFD office which could circulate a request from a parent to others in your region providing the organizer’s contact information.
Call our office and ask to speak to an Information Officer for more ideas on connecting with parents and professionals (1-866-939-5188).
FaceTime or Other Videoconferencing
While the RASP professional could fly to smaller communities every several months, as technologies improve, electronic communication can be used maintain support between visits, and cost effectively. We are starting to hear more about families and professionals who consult using their tablet or smart phone. Did you know that you can search the RASP for professionals who use videoconferencing?
Things to Consider:
- Sound quality: ambient noise can make it difficult to hear. If possible, keep noise from TVs or radios down.
- Following the action: it helps if you can “team up”, with one person interacting with the child, and another holding the tablet to track the action.
- Light: Filming in daylight, or having more lights on will make it easier to see what’s going on. A dimly lit room can be hard to see participants.
- If you are watching: the bigger your viewing screen, the better! If you can watch on a desktop monitor, you’ll get a much better view of what’s going on.
- You might both be new to teleconferencing. You’ll learn what works best for each of you, and in the beginning, expect some bumps!
More ACT Events in Smaller Communities
ACT would like to travel and bring more workshops to a larger number of communities. However, the costs of travel for staff and speakers is very expensive and we do not receive any subsidies to provide this training. Sponsorships can make a big difference in helping us bring workshop to more communities across the province. If you know of a company or organization that would be willing to sponsor us, please help us connect! We cannot accept sponsorship from organizations providing for-pay autism services as there may be a conflict of interest in ACT’s role in managing the RASP. Email email@example.com with your suggestions.