Results of ACT’s Resources and Services Survey 2016
Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer ACT’s Resources and Services Survey, released in August 2016. Over 1,000 responses were received from parents, individuals with autism, professionals and para-professionals. There was strong representation from across B.C. which means that the survey provides very useful insights to the perceptions and priorities of families and professionals.
While there were some differences in responses based on whether we looked at parent versus professional perspectives, or whether the respondent lived in Metro Vancouver or a small rural community, in general, the responses were similar across the board:
- Those that have used ACT’s many free online resources or the individualized services of Information Officers rate them highly.
- Many respondents, depending on the resource or service, are not aware of all that ACT provides: we need to do a better job of promoting our resources, especially in Northern B.C.
All of the suggestions we made in terms of areas where ACT could improve our resources were endorsed. The highest degrees of support were for:
- Better information resources for adults;
- A Registry of Autism Service Providers for children six and over;
- Developing a profile tool for all professions on the RASP.
ACT’s next step will be to seek out necessary resources to enable us to meet the challenges we have been set. To review a full report on the results you can download the PDF here.
New RASP Professionals: Interior, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island
The professionals listed below, serving Merritt, Cloverdale, Parksville, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Saanich, and Port Moody, had their status updated or were added to the RASP between Aug. 3rd – Sept 17th, 2016. There are now 650 RASP Professionals listed.
Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)
- Michelle de Beer – Coquitlam, Langley, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey
- Sarah Gentile – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver
- Leanne Scheidel – Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, North Delta, Surrey, White Rock
- Laurel Rankin – Comox Valley, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River, Qualicum Beach
Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)
- Shanna Davies – Comox Valley, Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville.
- Jodi Phillips – Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody
- Christine Schretlen – Richmond
- Chelsea Van Tol – Ashcroft, Barriere, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Logan Lake, Merritt, Savona
Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)
- Sarah Rhodes – Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, Surrey, White Rock
- Catherine Brandon – Kelowna
- Mark Koslowski – Saanich, Salt Spring Island, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria
- Courtney Snider – Barriere, Chase, Kamloops, Logan lake, Merritt, Salmon Arm, Savona, Sorrento
See the RASP list to browse all current RASP service providers. The RASP listing is updated each week and is searchable by location, willingness to travel, languages spoken, and if professionals are currently accepting new clients. There are now 650 RASP Professionals listed.
RASP Professionals can update availability and online
ACT encourages all RASP Professionals to update your availability. It is clear from the Survey (see above), that parents appreciate it! Please use this online form – ACT can usually update the website within two working days. Parents: if you find a listing is out-of-date, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow-up with that professional.
New Survey:Mental Health and Autism Survey for Practitioners
ACT, in collaboration with UBC’s Department of Continuing Professional Development and with the support of an expert Advisory Committee, is developing an online education initiative – the Online Mental Health and Autism Project – funded by MCFD.
To understand the educational needs of professionals, UBC – CPD has developed a survey to gauge their experiences from across the province. If you are a healthcare provider working with children and youth with autism, who also have mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression or OCD, please fill in this Survey:
New ACT Resources for B.C.’s South Asian Community
With support from ACT’s South Asian Autism Project Committee (ASAAP), funding from Autism Speaks Canada and sponsorship from the Surrey School District, ACT is releasing new resources to help families in the South Asian community affected by autism this month.
One Parent’s Journey into Autism (in Punjabi) is presented by Sunita Braich, parent of a child with autism, an Integration Support Teacher in the Surrey School District and a member of ASAAP. In this video, Ms. Braich shares her experience in receiving a diagnosis of autism for her child: “There are some things I wish I had known more about before being thrown into what will be a lifelong journey and there are other things, I am proud to say, I feel I intuitively succeeded at.”
Chapter 13: Guide to Working with South Asian Families Affected by Autism (pdf). In this guide, Preetinder Narang, M.Ed., BCBA, Special Educator with the Surrey School District, uses her own experience to explore the challenges faced by professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse families. Ms. Narang explains the benefits of employing a culturally informed, family-centered approach guided by the “Cultural Assessment Tool.”
Download chapters from ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. at www.actcommunity.ca/autism-manual
Monthly Support Group for South Asian Families
ACT’s South Asian Autism Awareness Project (ASAAP) hosts a monthly support group for South Asian families raising or supporting a child with autism. Parents and extended family are welcome. Topics will be chosen by the group, and the discussion will be held in both Punjabi and English. To RSVP or for more information, contact ACT at 604-205-5467 or email@example.com.
Upcoming meetings will be at the École Henry Bose Elementary School, 6550 134 Street, Surrey, B.C. All meetings are from 6:30pm to 8:30pm: September 28th, October 27th, November 24th, 2016.
Sponsored by Simon Fraser University and the Surrey School District.
Upcoming ACT Live Events: ABA in School; iPads as Learning Tools
ACT’s Live Events are a great way of getting new ideas and inspiration whether for your own child or those you work with. Click on the event titles below for detailed event descriptions, pricing, scheduling or location, or go to: www.actcommunity.ca/events
Presented by: Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D
October 21 & 22, 2016 -Vancouver
CEUs will be available – check the event details page for updates.
Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention
November 26th, 2016 – Vancouver
There are group discounts if you register three or more people at once. Paying by credit card? You can register online at any time. To use Autism Funding Invoice Payment, please see: www.actcommunity.ca/education/funding-invoice-option/
ACT’s Autism Information Database hosts records on over 2,000 carefully chosen Community and Information Resources. Browse for books, videos, agencies, recreational activities and services providers at: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/
Individual Education Plans – Back to School Resources from the AID
School has begun and IEP meetings will be starting soon; the AID has several resources that can help de-mystify the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process for parents:
Individual Education Plans: A Guide for Parents
Provided by the BC Association of Parent Advisory Councils, this resource details important information on IEP’s including what collaboration should look like, sample IEP goals, Adapted and Modified programs, and reporting on a child’s progress. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/430/
Available in additional languages:
- Korean – actcommunity.ca/resource/2407/
- Chinese – actcommunity.ca/resource/2404/
- Punjabi – actcommunity.ca/resource/2405/
- Arabic – actcommunity.ca/resource/2443
Chapter 7 of ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. outlines how parents can better understand the province’s education system. It includes information on what inclusion really means, school legislation, the IEP, and important issues to consider upon school completion. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/9/
Supporting Meaningful Consultation with Parents
This article provided by the BC Council of Administrators of Special Education provides information on what constitutes meaningful consultation by school administrators with parents of children with special needs, assisting parents in advocating effectively for their child. Includes an appendix of sample individualized educational plan (IEP) preparation and planning forms. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/465/
The AID contains many links to research that is useful to parents and community professionals. Dr. Jonathan Weiss and his team at York University have summarized studies on ASD to inform the autism community: www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2064/
Browse the AID for more information and community resources: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/
ACT gathers community resources from across the province for the AID. Whether you are running a parents’ group or you are an SLP working with older children or adults, or a dentist willing to treat children with autism, we would like to share your information with families. Please fill in this online form: www.actcommunity.ca/submit-resource/
ACT Supports Autism Services in Guyana
This summer, thanks to the efforts of Jacquie Jordan (pictured on the left), a member of the B.C. autism community, ACT was able to donate a collection of autism resources to the Step by Step School in Guyana which supports children with autism.
Step by Step opened in 2011 with five children with autism; they now support 19 students. For more information, visit their website: stepbystepguyana.org/
The Special Needs Community Events page lists upcoming community events from around the province at www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events/. ACT recently changed the name from Non-ACT Events to encourage all special needs organizations to post their events. Some of the listings include:
- September 26 – 28th MCFD hosted ASD Workshop Series – Prince Rupert
- September 30th, Introduction to the SCERTS Model – Victoria
- September 30th, New to Autism talk from ASBC- Kelowna
- October 21st, BC Association of SLP’s Annual Conference – Burnaby
Submit special needs events from your community at: www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events/
Early Childhood Intervention Services and Supports Survey
The Family Support Institute, BC Association for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI) and Inclusion BC, have embarked on an information gathering project to determine the key concerns of parents of children and youth with special needs in B.C. Access the survey here: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/FamilyFeedbackServicesforCYSN/
Focus on Adults with Autism
This guide is designed to help adults who suspect they may have autism, as well as those recently diagnosed. This kit provides an overview of autism to help individuals better understand the disorder and decide when to seek out a professional for a thorough evaluation.
This resource can be accessed from the AID at www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2855/
Disability Alliance BC has outlined important changes to the application process for PWD designation, especially for those in the MCFD At Home Program and CLBC Program. See link for details.
Michael McCreary, comedian and Apsie give his insight to life on the spectrum in this YorkU TedX talk. (warning: if you watch at work, your colleague may ask why you are laughing!)
Wanted: Experienced Graphic Designer
ACT requires an experienced graphic designer with prior experience in designing multi-page documents like annual reports using InDesign. Experience in designing in languages in addition to English an advantage. This is a contract position involving the design of translations into eight languages of MCFD’s “A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs”.
The designer will work with ACT staff as well as each of the translators. Please contact Christine Hung at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Share your Back to School Photos with ACT
Nearly all the photos that ACT uses on our website and in our print materials are sent in by B.C. families. They help us project a positive vision of families affected by autism in B.C. Please consider sharing your summer or back to school photos using this form: www.actcommunity.ca/share-photos-form/
Autism in the News
- Minding the gap in B.C.’s mental health system (Vancouver Courier)
- When it comes to creating inclusive classrooms, there is no cookie-cutter approach (Globe and Mail)
- A different first day: Starting school with autism (CBC News)
- When the Barriers Aren’t Just Physical (New York Times)
- Program that helps intellectually disabled adults live independently (CBC News)
- Tracking time can be tricky for children with autism (Spectrum News)
- Is the Most Common Therapy for Autism Cruel? (The Atlantic)
- An Auditory Component to Autism (Scientific American)
- Bridgewater girl, 10, quizzes Nova Scotia Premier about autism (CBC News)
- 6-year-old autistic boy opens store in Kelowna (CBC News)
- Autism & Elevators: The Uplifting YouTube World You’ve Never Seen (Vocativ)
- Measles outbreaks at festivals can’t be blamed wholly on anti-vaxxers (the Guardian)
For more stories and updates follow us on Facebook.
ACT Staff updates
Anne Millerd, Manager of the RASP, has left ACT to work in the area of inclusive employment and to finish her studies at Capilano University. Anne will be greatly missed. Louise Broadley, ACT’s Manager of Autism Information will be taking on the responsibility of RASP Manager for the time being.
Bonita Theron, ACT receptionist, who many of ACT’s callers will recognize as the first voice they heard when they call ACT, is leaving for opportunities in donor development. We wish her the best in her career and thank her for providing a friendly voice to greet our callers.