ACT's Archived News

ACT’s End of Summer News Round-Up

Posted September 26, 2016

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

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • 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

Occupational Therapists

  • 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 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.

Punjabi- Language Video for Autism Videos @ ACT

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.”

Guide to Working with South Asian Families – Chapter 13 of the Autism Manual for B.C.blank

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

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

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.

For more information on the ASAAP project, and more resources in Punjabi, including a video on IEP’s, visit our ACT in Punjabi page.

Sponsored by Simon Fraser University and the Surrey School District.

Upcoming ACT Live Events: ABA in School; iPads as Learning Tools

blankACT’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:

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Childrenblank

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

blankPresented by: Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

November 26th, 2016 – Vancouver

See event details here.

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:

Highlights from ACT’s Autism Information Databaseblank

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:

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.

Available in additional languages:

The BC Education System: An Introduction for Parents of Students with ASDblank

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.

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.

Autism Research Summaries from York Universityblank

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:

Browse the AID for more information and community resources:

Submit your Community Resources to the AIDblank

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:

ACT Supports Autism Services in Guyanablank

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:

New! ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Listingblank

The Special Needs Community Events page lists upcoming community events from around the province at ACT recently changed the name from Non-ACT Events to encourage all special needs organizations to post their events. Some of the listings include:

Submit special needs events from your community at:

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:

Focus on Adults with Autism

Is it Autism and, if so, what next? A Guide for Adultsblank

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

Changes to Application Process for Persons with Disability (PWD)blank

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.

Latest “Autism’s Own” Journal Issue Now Availableblank

Autism’s Own is a University of Victoria peer-reviewed journal about autism culture, authored and edited by persons on the autism spectrum. Read it at this link.

Autism Talks at TedXblank

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 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:

Autism in the News

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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.