ACT's Archived News

April News Round-Up: Autism Awareness Events, a National Survey, Tax Month and ACT Initiatives.

Posted April 2, 2014

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April is Autism Awareness Month – Events Across B.C.

Each year ACT gathers information about Autism Awareness Month events across B.C. To update ACT’s Autism Awareness event list with your local event, submit your event here.

Osoyoos Autism Behavioural Centre Autism Awareness Walk – April 5th

The Osoyoos Autism Behavioural Centre Walk for Awareness is April 5th, 11am to 2pm at the Sonora Centre in Osoyoos, featuring live music, autism info booths, photos with the storm trooper and batman, open gym play for kids and more.

Victoria – YAM magazine Autism Awareness Walk – April 6TH

The YAM Magazine Autism Walk raises funds for local programs. This family-oriented event is a celebration of community, diversity, and lifelong learning. The event is April 6th, at the University of Victoria will include entertainment, information, raffles, the Kids Zone, and more.

Vancouver – Canucks Autism Network – Family Festival – April 12TH

Join the Canucks Autism Network’s Annual Family Festival on Saturday April 12 from 10-2:30 at Jack Poole Plaza. There will be a fundraising walk, BBQ, and a Family Fun Zone featuring the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canadians, Whitecaps, BC Lions and Seattle Seahawks.

Kamloops – Chris Rose Walk for Autism – April 26th

The Chris Rose Walk for Autism starts at 11am. Registration and pledge forms can be picked up at Save-on-Foods on April 5 and North Shore Safeway on April 12 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm or downloaded from Chris Rose Centre. Contact for details.

Kelowna Walk – April 27th

The 2nd Kelowna Autism Awareness Walk is on Sunday, April 27th. The walk will be at Mission Creek Regional Park from 12-3 pm . Community resources will be present. For more information, email Lisa Watson


A Birthday to Remember for Jeaden Paquette of Prince George

Birthday parties can often be the litmus paper for popularity and a particular source of loneliness and anxiety for many children with autism. 11 year old Jeaden Paquette was no exception until his mother came up with an idea. Visit the Global News site for this heartwarming story.


Global News Seeking Parent Stories

Global BC is featuring a series of stories on autism for April – Autism Awareness Month. They are seeking families who are currently facing a long waiting time for diagnosis and are willing to go on-camera to share their personal story. Those who are interested should email reporter Elaine Yong at


The 2014 Row4Autism Expedition Fundraising Dinner

Join CAN and ACT for a dinner to kick off an amazing adventure. Row4Autism couples an innovative autism awareness campaign, with an action packed expedition, being undertaken by John Carina, a Burnaby father who is preparing to row solo around Vancouver Island to support recreational opportunities for individuals with autism.

The campaign is starting with a Kick-off Dinner on April 27th at the Beyond Restaurant at the Century Plaza Hotel on Burrard Street in Vancouver. You can register for dinner or donate online. Join us for delicious food and inspiring company! Come and find out more about the expedition – a solo journey of 1,100km, planned for this June 2014.

Funds raised will go to the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) and ACT-Autism Community Training (ACT) to support the creation of online training to enable parents and community rec professionals to better support children with autism in recreational activities. Special thanks to Wendy and Sergio Cocchia, founders of the Pacific Autism Family Centre, for providing the fabulous Beyond Restaurant for this event.


Participate in 1st National Autism Needs Assessment Survey

The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) is launching the first national needs assessment survey looking at the realities of caregivers and professionals supporting those with autism across Canada. They need your help to ensure the development of a National Autism Action Plan – complete the survey here to ensure that we get a strong showing from British Columbia!


ACT Initiatives

ACT in the Community During April

ACT will have information tables at the following events. Our tables will be manned by a variety of staff, board members and community volunteers. We look forward to sharing with you our latest resources. Come and say hello.

April 7 – Kamloops – What’s Next? Transition Fair

Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Location: Henry Grube Education Centre, Kamloops, B.C.
This fair will provide information on transition services including post-secondary education, vocational training, employment, community participation, leisure activities and personal growth.

April 10 – Langley – Moving Forward: Career and life options for individuals with disabilities

Time 4 pm – 7pm
Location: Langley Secondary School West Gym, Langley, B.C.
Resource fair targeting individuals with disabilities and their families who are planning for the future. Presented by the Langley Vocational Services Committee.

April 12 – Vancouver – Canucks Autism Network’s Annual Family Festival

Time: 10:00am – 2:30pm
Location: Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver, B.C.
: There will be a fundraising walk, BBQ, and new this year, a Family Fun Zone featuring the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canadians, Whitecaps, BC Lions and Seattle Seahawks.

April 12 – Richmond – Transition Fair

Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Location: Palmer Secondary School, Richmond, B.C.
Description: Hosted by the Richmond Community Transition Committee, this fair is for students with developmental disabilities and their parents or caregivers.

April 19 – Surrey – Vaisakhi Parade

Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Location: Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple, Surrey, B.C
Description: One of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar, parades celebrating the event are held in Sikh communities around the world. One of the largest occurs in Surrey, where 80,000 – 200,000 people attend the annual Vaisakhi Parade and Celebration.

April 23 – Chilliwack – Transition Fair

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: UFV Campus Atrium – Canada Education Park, Chilliwack, B.C.
: The fair aims to provide information about services and resource in Chilliwack to families and individuals with various disabilities. Individuals attending the fair may be involved in transition to employment, post-secondary schooling, recreation, health/government services or community-based supports.

April 25 – Victoria – Community Living Resource Fair

Time: 3:30pm – 8:00pm
Location: Pearkes Recreation Centre, Victoria, B.C.
Description: This year’s Resource Fair continues to build on Community Living Victoria’s theme of services and resources across the lifespan for individuals with disabilities.

May 1 – Vancouver – 12th Annual Assessment Conference: Assessing Assessment: Best Practice & New Research

Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Neville Scarfe Building, UBC Point Grey Campus, Vancouver, B.C
Description: The Assessment Conference will explore the many different formal and informal ways of assessing children’s cognitive, physical, motor, language and social-emotional development.


Upcoming Events

ACT is continually adding new events to our website to bring exceptional training opportunities on a variety of topics. Register online or call the office at 604-205-5467 or toll-free at 1-866-939-5188.

April 4 & 5 – Vancouver
Diagnosing and Treating Young Children with ASD: the Potential of Community-based Diagnosis & Treatment for the 10th Annual Focus on Research – In Celebration of April Autism Awareness Month.
Presented by: Amy Wetherby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director of the Autism Institute, College of Medicine, Florida State University (a few seats left)

April 26 – Kelowna
Teaching Social Thinking Through Stories & Play for Preschool and Early Elementary School
Presented by: Kari Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP (sold out)

June 20 – Vancouver
Solving Sleep Problems in Children with ASD
Presented by: Beth Ann Malow, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Disorders Center. (registration now open)

August 11 – 15 – Vancouver
August 18 – 22 – Vancouver
August 25 – 29
– Victoria
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practical Appliations (POPARD).
Presented by Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., R.Psych, POPARD Consultant. (registration opening soon).

September 17 & 18 – Richmond
Social Thinking Providers Conference
Key Note Speakers: Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP; Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP; Pamela Crooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. (registration now open)

October 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Promoting Speech and Language in Individuals Across the Autism Spectrum: Collaboration for Success
Presented by: Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Executive Director of Eden II Programs (registration opening soon)


iPad Grant Program

The Fraser Valley Autism Society is holding an iPad Grant program. The deadline for applications is April 25th. See the Fraser Valley Autism Society website for eligibility requirements and timelines.


April is also Tax Month – Free Tax & Estate Planning Video

This is the time of year that ACT receives many calls about disability exemptions and other tax-related questions. ACT cannot offer tax advice, but we do provide some excellent resources developed by one Canada’s top tax lawyers , Blair Dwyer, a member of ACT’s Advisory Council.

For the month of April, ACT is offering FREE registration to our online video Estate Planning for Families who have Children with Special Needs in B.C., presented by Blair Dwyer. Register online for free (access expires on May 1, 2014).

There is also a chapter ‘Estate Planning For Families who have Children with Special Needs in B.C., in ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. which can be downloaded free of charge.

Other helpful guides and sites are: