Author Archives: ACT

ACT News Round-Up: Register for events online with parent bursary, Autism in the News, BC Resources and Autism Information redesign

Upcoming ACT Events

New! Parents of children with ASD can now
register for events online for $25 a day.

Parents are no longer required to call or email to use MCFD event bursaries.

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”

Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World

February 23rd, 2018, Sidney
with Pamela Crooke, PhD, CC  C-SLP
Director, Social Thinking Training and Speakers’ Collaborative, San Jose, California

At ACT, we hear from many families concerned that their teens with ASD are unprepared to graduate. Academically able students also need help to develop the life skills they need to thrive in higher education and employment. School and home teams are more effective when they consider these issues at 12 rather than 17!

This one day workshop with Dr. Pamela Crooke, who works extensively with able teens and young adults, will provide school teams and parents with a practical approach to helping young people with ASD thrive either in higher education or employment.

Event Details & Registration

Faster than a Speeding Bullet:

iPads in Autism Intervention

March 10th, 2018, Vancouver
with Dr. Brenda Fossett

Since the iPad was first released in 2010, the use of iPads and other tablets have become common learning tool in the educational environment. For individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, they have been seen as “miracle” devices. However, for these devices to be effective, there is a lot to be considered.

This workshop will review a number of skill areas in which the iPad can be a useful instructional tool and/or an aid for daily living. Current research regarding the effectiveness of iPad and other tablet-based applications in a variety of skill areas, including communication, academic, daily living, social and employment skills will be reviewed.

Relevant apps will be discussed and/or demonstrated. This presentation will address the age range, from young children to adult. It is aimed at those who need considerable support in communication and behaviour.

Event Details & Registration

Parents can Register for this and any other ACT Event for $25 a day:

Visit any ACT Event and choose
“Parent of Child with ASD” when you add to cart

Bursaries for those most in need, including para-professionals, parents who have children with special needs other than autism, adults with ASD, and professionals who need to travel outside of their home regions are also available, to the best of our financial ability. We will also be providing reduced registration fees to attend our web streamed events. For information on how to apply for an ACT bursary, please visit the Bursaries FAQ page


We’ve moved!

Our new office is located at
204 – 2735 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Our phone number and other contact information are unchanged.


New BC Resources and
Autism Information portals

Our recently re-designed portals to Autism Information and BC Resources are now available. These pages make it easier than ever to discover ACT’s autism resources, community events, and information in multiple languages.

BC Resources

Search B.C. Community Resources, find Community Events, look through the Autism Manual and New Diagnosis Hub, discover educational opportunities, and much more.

Visit B.C. Resources


Autism Information

Search the Autism Information Database (AID), browse by subject, find autism information in Chinese and Punjabi, along with dozens of languages in the AID, browse videos in the Online Mental Health and Autism Project, and discover the latest in autism research.

Visit Autism Information


Autism in the News

Get the latest on our Facebook page

Parents Are Making Their Children Drink Bleach to ‘Cure’ Them of Autism – Newsweek

Finally, a Sensitive Portrayal of Both Autistic Women and Star Trek Fans – Slate

Skirting the wait list, Edmonton schools aim to diagnose autism on their own – Edmonton Journal

Weighing up autism’s obesity crisis – Spectrum News

Drawings connect autistic student with the world – Salmon Arm Observer

How David Bowie helped my autistic son become himself – Slate

Brentley’s journey with autism: A three-year-old Penticton boy has a new direction in life – Pentiction Western News

Edmonton schools cope with explosion in number of students on autism spectrum – Edmonton Journal

Another rug bites the dust: A mom laments the collateral damage of autism – Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area

Sensory sensitivity may share genetic roots with autism – Spectrum News

Lake Nona hospital creates special room in ER for autistic children – WFTV

Autism advocate launches ‘prescription television’ show – Philadelphia Tribune

Girls with autism need help honing social skills in realistic settings – Spectrum News

Professor put on leave after allegedly mocking U of G student with ‘severe anxiety‘ – CBC News

Garda probe into alleged threat to ‘bash the autism out of’ mum’s children – Herald News

France faces down its outdated notions about autism – Spectrum News

Nonverbal Canadian woman appears on ‘Late Show,’ turns tables on Colbert – CTV News

Mom who quit job to care for son with autism questions Trudeau about national ‘crisis’ – CTV News

New measure yields rapid diagnosis in adults with autism – Spectrum News

ACT is offering $50 bursaries to all school district staff for a workshop being held on February 23 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney

The speaker is Dr. Pamela Crooke from the Social Thinking Collaborative in San Jose, California, which was founded by Michelle Garcia Winner. Dr. Crooke will be addressing the transition needs of more able students with autism, who are often ill prepared to graduate because of the assumption that their academic profile will compensate for their lack of social awareness in employment or higher education settings. 

Too often the students themselves have an unrealistic vision of their employment prospects, hence the title of Dr. Crooke’s presentation: “I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World. See ACT’s website for details of the presentation, including learning outcomes, and how to register. You can learn more about Dr. Crooke here. Dr. Crooke has presented for ACT before and audiences have been overwhelmingly positive about her engaging, frank and humorous style.

School District Staff Discount: Register online and receive $50 off when you use your staff email address and this coupon code: sd50. Register by January 11 and save an additional $25.

Registration & Event Details

ACT is moving!

As of Friday, January 19th ACT’s new address will be:
204 – 2735 E Hastings St
Vancouver, BC
V5K 1Z8

Our phone number and other contact information remains unchanged.

We will be moving to our new offices on Friday, January 19th. Please email info@actcommunity.ca for any inquiries on that day.

here

Herring for Autism Sale!

Sunday, January 14 – 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

To kick off fundraising in 2018, ACT – Autism Community Training will benefit from a ‘Herring for Autism Sale’, sponsored by Oceanside Fisheries, on Sunday, January 14 in Steveston, Richmond, the heart of the Lower Mainland’s fishing industry.

ACT is stepping up its fundraising efforts to ensure it can maintain its extensive free online autism resources. The B.C. Liberal Government cut funding for community-based autism information services in 2017.

When: Sunday, January 14: 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Where:  Oceanside Dock, 3080 Moncton Street in Steveston (next to Garry Point Park), Richmond Map

Why: Fresh herring is a delicacy for many international cuisines, from Scandinavia to China.

Cost: The bags are $20 each with all proceeds going to ACT. ACT volunteers will deliver the herring to the cars of eager customers. Payment in cash, credit, or debit.

Steveston’s fishing industry is renowned for its generous support for those with special needs in B.C., but Oceanside Fisheries owners Mike Rekis and Anne McCaw have a special tie to the autism community: “Our daughter is a very able adult now, but we haven’t forgotten how important ACT is to the success of children and adults with autism. We are supporting ACT because our family believes that the next generation of B.C. children deserves to have access to ACT’s impartial information and training resources,” explains Anne McCaw, a former ACT Board Member.

“ACT is heartened by the support we are receiving from Oceanside. We support all of B.C. with our free online information and training resources,” says Deborah Pugh, ACT’s Executive Director, “Every bag of herring sold will help us continue to provide families with vital information on how to help their children.”

 

 

ACT’s Quick Facts 2018

About Autism Spectrum Disorder in BC

  • According to the Government of B.C., nearly 1 out of every 61 children in the province has an autism diagnosis – nearly 13,000 children as of the end of 2016.
  • ASD affects a child’s ability to communicate and engage socially. With effective intervention and support at home and at school, the majority will learn to communicate and to engage effectively in school, the community and in employment environments.

About ACT – Autism Community Training

  • ACT provides evidence-informed information and training on ASD to parents and professionals – the most comprehensive community-level autism information service in Canada.
  • Since the government of B.C. cancelled funding in 2017, ACT’s relies on sponsors, donors and registration fees to support our information resources. ACT is a registered charity; our charitable tax number is #861691236RR0001.
  • ACT’s services support individuals with autism to live productive, satisfying lives within their communities, ensuring that families and professionals, wherever they live in BC, have access 24/7, 365 days a year, to:
  • ACT hosts conferences and workshops featuring leading Canadian and international autism researchers and clinicians:
    • In 2017, ACT held nine events in three communities.
    • 1,200 people received over 14,000 hours of training, in-person and via live web streaming.

Holiday News Round-Up

Volunteer Adam Elsharkawi putting together ‘New Diagnosis Parent Packages’ for diagnostic centres around B.C.

Thanking our Donors & Volunteers for Providing New Families with Key Information

ACT provides parents of newly diagnosed children in B.C. with information on ACT’s resources – ACT is Canada’s leading source of comprehensive, evidence-informed, online resources.

As ACT is no longer funded by MCFD to provide our ‘New Diagnosis Parent Packages’, we depend on volunteer support and donations from the autism community.

The generosity of the autism community in supporting our Holiday Fundraising Campaign is appreciated. See ACT’s website for key projects, how to donate and recognition of our generous donors.


Special Needs Community Events – January 2018

To see what is happening around the province, and to post your organization’s events, visit Special Needs Community Events

Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clinician Workshop
January 19, Vancouver

Parent Training to Address Problem Behaviours of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities
January 20, Richmond

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Vancouver)
January 22 – 26, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Early Years Conference 2018
January 25 – 27, Vancouver

PEERS for Teens – ABA Learning Centre
January 25 – May 3, Burnaby


ACT’s 2018 Events

ACT’s 2018 schedule is set! Many outstanding presenters, including Carol Gray, Judy Reaven, Michelle Garcia Winner, Brenda Fossett and Sarah Ward, are set to provide ACT’s audiences with insights to inspire and inform. To see this year’s line-up, visit upcoming events.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Vancouver)
January 22 – 26, 2018 – Vancouver , BC

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World
February 23rd, 2018 – Sidney, BC

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention
March 10th, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Visit upcoming events and web streaming events for more details and registration.

Parents can register for $25 a day, please email info@actcommunity.ca.
Details on our event bursaries page.


Update on ACT’s Special Projects

Parent Coaching Project

2017 saw the inception of the PACE Coaching Project by researchers at UBC, following a competition overseen by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

The goal of PACE Coaching is to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of, or diagnosed with ASD. ACT was given responsibility by B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to administer this $3 million, three year project, in March 2016.

Visit the PACE Coaching Project page for updates and new developments on this important initiative.

Translated into 8 Languages – A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Program

ACT thanks all those volunteers from the autism community who have ensured the sensitive and accurate translations of MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs (2015) into eight languages: Punjabi, Korean, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic! The handbook is nearly 50 pages long – each language required many hours of painstaking work.

These translations can be found at Autism Information Services B.C. As MCFD took over many of the services that ACT formerly provided under contract, in the middle of this project, these handbooks will need to be updated by MCFD to match the 2017 English version. As soon as these are available, ACT will let you know!

Community professionals will find the translation of key terms used in B.C.’s autism program, as well as general concepts about autism to be very useful to helping new parents. ACT thanks MCFD for the opportunity to provide this key information to B.C.’s immigrant communities.


Autism in the News

ACT’s Facebook page just reached 3,000 likes!
To keep in touch with Special Needs issues provincially, nationally and internationally –
Visit ACT on Facebook.

Immigration Canada reverses decision, grants residency for family denied over child’s disability – Global News

Little boy’s touching video explaining his autism to his classmates goes viral
– Global News

Why intelligence scores do not predict success for autistic adults – Spectrum News

Banned from regular school life, boy with autism asks: ‘When am I going to see kids?’ – CBC News

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

Children with autism tour Kelowna International Airport – Global News

‘They consider that education, I guess’: Father of autistic boy speaks out – CBC News

Family’s heart-rending case prompts call for autism strategy – CBC News

5 things not to say to parents of autistic children – BBC Radio

Autistic Canadians struggling for access to tax credit, says activist – iPolitics

Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools – The Free Press

How Does Autism in Children Affect Parenting Stress?
– Medical News Bulletin

Room for Improvement: Toward better education outcomes for children in care – Representative for Children and Youth BC

It’s time for Canada to measure up on kids with disabilities – The Star

Register now for ACT’s Winter 2018 Training Events – bursaries available!

Early bird pricing ends soon. Parents are eligible for $25 a day registration, see details on our bursary page.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD

January 22 – 26, 2018 Vancouver

This 30 hour course, taught by the experienced and engaging Dr. Ken Cole, with a small group of participants, reflects evidence-based practice in teaching students with autism.

Event Details

Register before December 6th to save $40

 

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World

February 23, 2018 Sidney, BC

Pamela Crooke, Director of the Social Thinking Training and Speakers Collaborative will join ACT in beautiful Sidney on Vancouver Island to deliver training on transitioning to adulthood.

Event Details

Register before January 11th to save $25

ACT is seeking a Part-Time Office Assistant

These are busy days at ACT and we need some extra admin support. We are looking for a part-time office assistant with an excellent telephone manner and competence with Microsoft CRM systems, Excel and Word. Must be organized, highly accurate and enjoy multitasking! Knowledge of autism an asset.

Hours are flexible, up to 20 hours a week; occasional weekend work. $20 an hour – to start as soon as possible. If you are interested in working with a great organization, respected as the leading source of evidence-informed training and information in B.C., in the company of a friendly group of committed people, email your resume and cover letter to sporter@actcommunity.ca . This position will be filled as soon as we find a strong candidate.

Halloween Edition ACT’s News Round-Up

A Halloween story, seeking an admin assistant, community events and more!

Child in pumpkin patch

Share your Halloween Story via Facebook

As parents across Canada get their children with special needs ready for Halloween, I am thinking back to 1994 when my then three-year-old son had his first experience of Halloween, after our family returned to Canada from Egypt. We managed only three houses before we had to give up and return home. Rather than saying “Trick or Treat” – Adam would dart into the house and snatch the candy. He was very confused by the whole process. But an hour later (and for the next several nights), Adam started to get his costume on by himself (and normally he only took clothes off) as he had realized costume = candy! In the many years since, Adam has become a Halloween connoisseur but I still remember those early, stressful, but very funny days!

So the message to parents is that Halloween does become easier! Do you have a Halloween story to share? ACT’s Facebook page is very active these days – we are sourcing news and research from across the globe to share with the ACT community. In October we reached 2,550 page likes! But parents always enjoy hearing of the experiences of other families. If you have a Halloween tale to share with ACT’s community post on ACT’s facebook page.

Deborah Pugh – Executive Director
ACT – Autism Community Training

 

ACT is seeking a Part-Time Office Assistant

These are busy days at ACT and we need some extra admin support. We are looking for a part-time office assistant with an excellent telephone manner and competence with Microsoft CRM systems, Excel and Word. Must be organized, highly accurate and enjoy multitasking! Knowledge of autism an asset.
Hours are flexible, up to 20 hours a week; occasional weekend work. $20 an hour – to start as soon as possible. If you are interested in working with a great organization, respected as the leading source of evidence-informed training and information in B.C., in the company of a friendly group of committed people, email your resume and cover letter to sporter@actcommunity.ca . This position will be filled as soon as we find a strong candidate.

 

Special Needs Community Events in November

View and post events in your community on
Special Needs Community Events

Spectrum Lights Parent Group presents Family Information Sessions -November 2nd, Burnaby

Canadian Premiere of “Keep The Change” (Tribeca Film Festival Award Winning Film Starring Actors on the Autism Spectrum) – November 2nd, Vancouver

AutismBC Adults Go to the Museum of Anthropology – November 3rd, Vancouver

AutismBC Goes to Sky Zone indoor Trampoline Park – November 6th, Surrey

familyWORKs Vancouver – November Workshop – Person Centred Planning with Rebecca Pauls – November 14th, Vancouver

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children – November 16 & 17, Vancouver

Spectrum Lights Parent Group presents Family Information Sessions – November 16, Burnaby

BI Basic Training Workshop – November 25 & 26, New Westminster

 

Updates on Degree & Certification Courses Available in B.C.

Capilano University has updated its information on ACT’s information page Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals.

Douglas College has two ASD related programs for practitioners that begin January 2018:

Online Autism Outreach Training
Parents and Behaviour Interventionist, Early Childhood Educators and Education Assistants who work with a child/youth in British Columbia may be eligible. Receive 6-academic credit for $250.00, less half the price of other courses. Apply now – courses begin in January.

Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate email dacs@douglascollege.ca
Learn more about how to support youth and adults who have disabilities find and keep a job. Move forward in your career with the only academic credit program in Canada that is VRA approved. Over $5,000.00 in Awards of Distinction available each year for those that qualify. Apply now – courses begin in January.

 

Autism in the News

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and resources

Is the public school system working for kids with special needs? – CBC Radio

Ontario family takes school board to human rights tribunal for allegedly refusing to allow autism therapy
– National Post

Five myths about autism we need to banish from teaching – TES

Why children with ‘severe autism’ are overlooked by science – Spectrum News

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

How coping mechanisms allow autistic people to manage their condition– The Conversation

72% of kids with autism don’t get the help they need at school, survey finds – CBC News

‘Everyday hero’: Quebec barber finds special connection with 6-year-old client with autism
– CBC News

‘Autism Hour’ helps cut shopping stress – BBC

Mom Uses Jimmy Fallon’s Contest To Send Powerful Message About Autism – Huffington Post

As CBeebies launch their new autistic character Pablo, here’s why he’s important – Metro Lifestyle

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

Mum hails stranger a ‘hero’ after helping calm down her autistic son – Independent

Apps for autism: Silken Laumann campaigns for new technology – CBC

Disability in demand: People with autism offer employers a broader talent pool – CBC News

 

Fall News Round-Up

New live events, community events, autism in the news, and more in this edition.

New Live Events

Four new events have been added for 2018! Register now for early-bird rates.

Visit upcoming live events , web streaming, or bursaries for more information and how to register.

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World Darla Grey

February 23rd, 2018
Sidney, BC
Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
Director, Social Thinking Training and Speakers’ Collaborative, San Jose, California

view event >>

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARDJustin Greene

January 22 – 26, 2018, Vancouver

March 5 – 9, 2018, Surrey

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Vancouver event >>

Surrey event >>

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Dee Smith

May 3 & 4, 2018

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP Co-Director, Cognitive Connections LLP, Boston

view event >>

Save the Date: More Upcoming ACT Events

ACT’s 14th Annual Focus on Research Conference
April 5 & 6, 2018 in Vancouver, BC
Details & registration coming soon

 

October Community Events

View and post events in your community on Special Needs Community Events

Autism Information Services BC Open House
11am-2pm, Tuesday, October 10, Richmond

Stepping Stones Triple P group
6pm-8:30pm, Wednesdays, October 11 – December 6, Burnaby
Stepping Stones Triple P in Punjabi
6pm-8:30pm, Tuesdays, October 10 – December 5, Surrey

Connect with PEERS for teens (ages 14 – 18)
6:30pm-8pm, Thursdays, October 12 – December 7, Burnaby

Job Club for Youth and Young Adults
4pm-5:30pm, Thursdays, October 19 – December 7, North Vancouver

Spectrum Lights Parent Group Family Information Sessions
7pm-9pm, Thursday, October 19, Burnaby

Creating Positive Behavior Strategies In The Classroom
9am-2pm, Friday, October 20, Vancouver

Autism Expo 2017
11am-3pm, Sunday, October 22, Nanaimo

Registered Disability Savings Plans: Parent Information Event
6:30pm-8:30pm, Monday, October 23, North Vancouver

Facing your Fears Group Therapy
3:30pm-5pm, Wednesdays, October 25 – January 17, Surrey

 

Autism in the Media

See the latest news on ACT’s facebook page

Mother demands answers after son, 8, put in restraints and injected on first day of school – CBC News

The Missing Autistic Girls – edutopia

Fictional portrayals of autistic people are stereotyped, research suggests – BT

For Those Who can Afford Them, Swimming Lessons Can Save the Lives of Children with Autism – California Health Report

‘We never let him go without supervision’: Daycare worker says Saskatoon boy who died had autism – CBC News

Is the public school system working for kids with special needs? – The Current

Region’s Catholic board asked to reconsider private support for autistic kids – CBC News

Some Special Needs Kids Still Waiting for School to Start – The Tyee

Region’s Catholic board asked to reconsider private support for autistic kids – CBC News

This Is How Much of Autism Is Genetic – TIME

Why the world expert on Asperger’s took 30 years to notice condition in his own son – The Guardian

Celebrating Pablo: As CBeebies launch their new show about autism, here’s why it’s so important – Metro

Helping a Child Living with Autism to Deal with Tragedy – Autism Speaks

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

Family provides unique solution for Edmonton teen with disability seeking more independence – Global News

What will it take for the feds to get serious about autism? – iPolitics

My daughter doesn’t have ‘special’ needs. She’s disabled. – Washington Post