ACT's Archived News

August News Roundup

Posted August 29, 2013

Sent August 28th. In this issue: ACT News, September Autism Awareness Events and more…

In this issue:

ACT News

New Website!

Did you notice our new look? ACT spent the summer developing a new website. We’ve updated the look and feel, modernized the Registry of Autism Service Providers and event listings. We’ve also updated our email addresses, although the old ones will be redirected. Please update your bookmarks and your email address book. Visit: Email:

Fall Events Calendar Now Available

This fall ACT will be visiting Kelowna, Kamloops, Terrace, Chilliwack, and Vancouver, with great presentations from a terrific line-up of speakers. Visit the ACT site for details. You can register online, download the event calendar, or call the office at 1-866-939-5188 or 604-205-5467.

Free Online Videos: Highlights of the 2013 Focus on Research Conference

This summer ACT has been busy editing five videos of presentations that were originally part of the extremely successful 9th Annual Focus on Research event. They are now available, free of charge, at the ACT Online Learning Community, thanks to funding from NeuroDevNet and Autism Speaks Canada:


  • Understanding the Decision-Making Process of Parents Who Choose Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Their Children with ASD – Tara Hodgson, RN, MSN, B.C. Institute of Technology.
  • Emergency Services, Hospitalizations and Mental Health Care for Adolescents and Adults with ASD – Jonathan Weiss, Ph.D., C. Psych., Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
  • Quality of Life Among Families Living with ASD – Grace Iarocci, Ph.D., R.Psych & Emily Gardiner, M.A., Simon Fraser University.
  • Blueprint for University Transition Year Programs for Persons with Autism – Joseph Z. Shepperd, B.A., Co-Director of the Centre for Autism Research, Technology and Education, University of Victoria.
  • Culturally Responsive PBS with Families of Diverse Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds – Christy Cheremshynski, MA, RCC, BCBA & Joseph Lucyshyn, PhD., BCBA-D, University of British Columbia.


Building a Community Group: A New Chapter in ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C.

Interested in building a new community group or revitalizing an existing group in your community? ACT has a new chapter, “Chapter 11: Building a Community Group” in ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. with tips for building a community group for parents of children with autism or other special needs. Developing this free resource was funded by a grant from Autism Speaks Canada.

Awareness Materials from ACT


‘This Person has ASD’ Cards

ACT provides wallet-sized “This Person has ASD” cards which many caregivers find helpful when the person they are caring for is experiencing difficulties in public.

Awareness Cards in English, Chinese, Punjabi and Korean

ACT has ‘rack cards’ with facts about autism and the services ACT provides, available in English, Chinese, Punjabi and – just out – Korean.

Contact ACT to order these materials free of charge. Donations to cover printing are gratefully accepted. We offer tax receipts for donations of $10 and over.

Hiring Qualified Professionals – Be Aware!

ACT occasionally receives reports of individuals who misrepresent their qualifications. These “bad apples” can use up a child’s autism funding, delay access to appropriate treatment and cause families serious stress. ACT has a team of Information Officers, speaking English, Chinese and Punjabi, who can help provide information to families to enable them to become better consumers. We also have extensive resources to help parents make informed decisions. A good place to start is Contracting with Professionals on the RASP, with information on checking someone’s credentials and developing a contract, timesheets and invoices. If you have any questions about hiring or working with professionals, please contact ACT at 604-205-5467, toll- free at 1-866-939-5188, or

Barriers to Children Accessing a Timely Diagnosis

ACT continues to receive calls from parents concerned about receiving a diagnosis within a timeframe set down by the B.C. Ministry of Health policy. We are interested in hearing from parents and professionals who would like to discuss their concerns with ACT, whether or not you have had to pay privately to access a diagnosis in a timely manner. These discussions will be confidential. Please contact ACT at For more information on the diagnosis process in B.C., visit ACT’s autism diagnosis page.

New Ministry of Children and Family Initiative Starting in September

In September, the Autism Funding Branch will be making available new options for families with children ages 12-18 for how they access autism funding. ACT will be updating our website with details as soon as they become available – please check the News Column on our home page for updates.

September Autism Awareness Events

Autism Speaks Walk

ACT will be at the 6th Annual Vancouver Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Sunday, September 29th at the Lumberman’s Arch at Stanley Park. Come by our information table to say hi and pick up latest event calendar and copies of our autism awareness materials.


MJ’s Lemonade Stand

Watch this great story of MJ and his lemonade stand raising awareness of autism. We are hoping that MJ will be serving lemonade at ACT’s live event, September 28th in Kelowna.

Be Bold: An Anti-Bullying Campaign

Be Bold is a photographic campaign that started as anti-bullying and now celebrates self-expression and bravery. In honor of the Begley family who in the news received a hateful letter, they are taking photos on September 15th for a reduced rate, and with a focus on special needs. ACT will be one of the beneficiaries of this fundraiser. Join them on the south side steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery.


Bikers for Autism

This is the second year for Bikers for Autism, raising funds and awareness for ASD. Last year they raised $12,000 for the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event. Organized by a father and son team, their tag line is “Look Bad. Do Good”.

Back to School? ACT Resources for Parents

The beginning of the school year is a great time for parents to be proactive about their child’s educational program. The latest ACT educational resource is an excellent online video presented by one of Canada’s leading specialists in autism, Dr. Suzanne Jacobsen, who is both a Registered Psychologist and a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Education, Integration, Inclusion: Key Information for Parents of Children with Special Needs, reviews the B.C. School Act and Ministry of Education policies to help families better understand their rights and responsibilities as advocates for their child with special needs. Participants will be provided tools to collaborate with school personnel to develop an appropriate educational program that considers the unique needs and abilities of the child, regardless of diagnosis. There is a small charge to view this video. The money we raise we reinvest into new offerings. Bursaries are available for parents of children with autism and other special needs.

Free education-focused resources from ACT and other sources are available on our website. The ACT Information Database collects resources on IEPs.

Children’s Sleep Network – A Free Event – Sept. 27 & 28th – Vancouver

Sleep is vital for health but many children with special needs experience chronic sleep problems of great severity. In B.C. it can be very difficult for sleep deprived families to find help to see if there are underlying medical conditions causing their child’s sleep problems. To raise awareness about this important parenting concern, the Children’s Sleep Network is planning a two-day free public event on September 27 & 28. They are welcoming parents and professionals. For more information, visit their website or join their FaceBook page.

Autism in the Media

Focus on Vocation – ‘The Road Ahead for Adults with Autism’

Vancouver Sun columnist Pete McMartin wrote a column recently reflecting on the love of a father for his very able adult son and the family’s desperate attempts to find him employment.

Theatre Terrific Choir

A story of an inclusive choir that has people with physical and developmental challenges on stage, and pop songs and indie rock on the playlist!

“What I’ve learned from my autistic brothers”

“Please don’t tell me I’m normal” says this sister of brothers with autism. In this 6 minute TED talk, she talks of the joy and singing of one brother and the spectacular memory of another (and also how handsome they both are!). If you are interested in Sibling issues, check out our Sibshops workshop in November.

Post-Secondary Training Opportunities at Douglas College

Douglas College – Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate is for practitioners who want to help people with autism spectrum disorder find and keep meaningful work. This fully online 15-credit public post-secondary credential is the first in Western Canada to address this important area of need.

Douglas College – Online Autism Training for Behaviour Interventionists in for persons in rural and remote BC. There are still spaces left in this MCFD sponsored training. Classes begin September 2013.

Accessible Recreation Programs with Canucks Autism Network

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round programs for individuals and families living with autism in B.C. – including adults. For only $25/ASD individual, your family will have access to sports (soccer, swim, bike, basketball, fitness), recreational (teen, family, & kids camps), social groups, and employment related programs, as well as numerous family events throughout the year. Learn more about how you can join. New programs and locations are always being introduced. Visit the CAN website for a full listing of upcoming programs and events.