Author Archives: ACT

Analysis identifies serious flaws in MCFD’s proposed tools for determining how children with disabilities qualify for support

In late 2021, BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) announced sweeping changes to how it intends to provide funding and services to children and youth with disabilities. Since that time, parents, advocates, and service providers have raised questions and concerns about various elements of the proposed new system. This includes the needs-assessment tools the new system will rely on to decide which children with disabilities should receive support. Caregivers are expected to fill these in online.

An analysis by Dr. Pat Mirenda, Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia, supports concerns that these proposed tools have not been properly assessed by MCFD, in terms of their fit for ensuring that children have access to services. 

To date, MCFD has not provided details of how it intends to use these pediatric evaluation tools, known as PEDI-CAT and Vineland-3. The only jurisdiction where this combination has been used internationally is Australia, where a study revealed that the PEDI-CAT tool disqualified 25% of children whose parents were concerned and whose pediatricians referred them for assessment. The Vineland-3 tool disqualified 4% of children.

In a recent letter to MCFD, a collective of organizations who work with and support families of children with disabilities, including ACT, noted that more consultation is needed to ensure that over reliance on these assessment tools will not cause harm or exclude children and families from the supports and services they need.

The British Columbia Disability Collective is a group of BC-based organizations, as well as clinicians, researchers, and businesses with hundreds of years of combined experience supporting tens of thousands of children and youth with disabilities and complex needs. They thank Dr. Mirenda for her analysis of a complex issue.

Read the full analysis  


Inclusive Rally in Victoria

Wed, February 9, 2022

11:30AM- 1:30 PM PST
BC Legislative Building, Victoria

Join parents, advocates, caregivers and service providers of the most vulnerable children in BC on February 9th in person on the lawn of the BC Legislature in Victoria, as well as virtually for those that cannot attend in person. This is an Inclusive Rally to keep the pressure on the BC NDP and the Minister of Children and Family Development to Stop, Consult and Listen to all concerns with regards to the elimination of individual autism funding, the At Home Program and moving to a hub/centre-based system. There has been extensive criticism of the new framework by families, Indigenous leaders, opposition parties, disability groups and the media.

It is the position of the rally organizers that if MCFD really wants to help children with FASD, Down syndrome, ADHD and other disabilities, then the Minister should engage in meaningful consultation and give the choice of individual funding. 

Details & RSVP Here  


MCFD Announces CYSN Family Connection Centre Sessions


Please join the Ministry of Children and Family Development for small group sessions to discuss and explore the journey of children and youth with support needs and their families in the family connections centres. To maximize time for discussion and answer as many questions as they can, they will email you some pre-recorded materials to watch in advance.

LIMITED SPACES ARE AVAILABLE. REGISTER TO SECURE YOUR SEAT.
 

How to Register:
Families can register here
Service Providers and Sector Partners register here

Remembering Dr. Karen Raye Kester

ACT has sad news to share with the autism community. Dr. Karen Kester, who volunteered at many of ACT’s events, died late in 2021. Karen was a highly respected behavior analyst who supported many children and their families over the years and whose kindness in working with vulnerable families was particularly appreciated. She recently finished her doctorate at UBC, specializing in helping children with anxiety.

This is a great loss for her friends and family, and for those families who have relied on her. Visit her obituary page here

ACT thanks everyone who has donated in her memory.

 
 
 

2021 in review – Donate to support ACT’s work in 2022

Thank you to our Presenters, Donors, Members and Sponsors

ACT has served more people in 2021 then ever before – responding to the acute need during the pandemic for online resources and training to support those with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. In 2022, with your support, ACT will continue with our information and training work. As the provincial government continues to ignore the concerns of families, researchers and clinicians, ACT will step up our work with other disability organizations to raise public awareness of the risks to vulnerable children from MCFD’s new framework.

ACT’s accomplishments are the result of extensive collaboration. A very big thank you to all those who volunteer their time and expertise. Together, our members, donors, presenters and sponsors enable ACT to provide a wealth of free information and training resources for those with autism and other neurodiverse conditions.

See ACT’s Accomplishments in 2021 including a video timeline showcasing our work over the past two years.

In 2021, ACT stepped up global advocacy efforts:

In 2021, ACT provided:

  • 53,000 hours of training to 6,000 registrants  – a 194% increase in hours of training over 2020.
  • 12 evidence-based training opportunities.
  • Training to audiences in 131 BC towns and cities; 10 provinces and 21 countries.
  • $35,000 in bursaries for low-income registrants and for our capacity-building program for Indigenous communities.
  • A highly active Facebook page with over 9,000 followers. Follow ACT on Facebook.

In 2021, Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA):

  • Added 12 new videos on a range of practical topics: toilet training; parent coaching; community recreation, sexuality and mindfulness.
  • AVA now has 77 free online videos, edited versions of our live events, at www.actcommunity.ca/videos.

Donations to support the expansion of our work in 2022 are very welcome.

As a federally registered charity, ACT provides tax receipts.

AdvoCon 2021: BCEdAccess’ 7th Annual Education Advocacy Conference

ACT is a co-sponsor of AdvoCon 2021 in recognition of BCEdAccess’s outstanding advocacy.

Visit the AdvoCon 2021 website for details, full schedule, and tickets.

BCEdAccess is proud to present our 7th annual education advocacy conference! Join us online Wednesday, Sept. 22nd to Sunday, Sept. 26th for workshops, panels, and presentations for parents, guardians, educators, self-advocates, and supporters of students with disabilities and complex learners. ASL interpretation and CART captioning for all sessions.

Watch the conference live with chat and active listeners, or watch at your own pace. Hop onto Zoom for workshops and at the start and end of each day to get to know other attendees.

Registration now open for “Healthy Sleep” & “Improving Family Mealtimes” Workshops

Sleep and Neurodiversity:
Learn to Achieve Healthy Sleep

Friday, October 1, 2021
9:30 a.m.to 2:45 p.m. Pacific Time

Register by August 23rd to save $10

Presented by Hilary McClinton, M. Ed. &
Nicole Shallow, M. Ed., BCBA

This presentation focuses on sleep education, providing practical strategies to encourage healthy sleep.

This presentation will include:

  • An introduction to the architecture of sleep and how it differs in the neurodiverse community. 
  • A review of basic sleep problems (e.g., early waking, insomnia) and how analyzing the child’s behavior can support families to achieve healthy sleep with a positive, pro-active approach. 
  • Through case studies, the process of assessment, plan development and support implementation will be described. 
  • A discussion of tangible takeaways to support healthy sleep for adults and children.

View Details & Registration

Registration closes Monday, September 27 at 4pm Pacific time.
Bursaries are available. 


Improving Family Mealtimes, One Bite at A Time

Friday, November 26, 2021

9:30 a.m.to 2:45 p.m. Pacific Time

Register by September 27th to save $10


Presented by Lauren Binnendyk, PhD, BCBA-D &
Chantal Juilfs, M.Ed. BCBA

Many children and adolescents with autism and other neurodiverse conditions present significant concerns to carers who are trying to ensure proper levels of nutrition. The presentation will begin with a discussion of selective eating and the factors that can affect a child’s eating. Dr. Binnendyk will then discuss how food preferences develop and the importance of children tasting a wide range of foods.

View Details & Registration

Registration closes Monday, November 22 at 4pm Pacific time.
Bursaries are available.