Author Archives: ACT

ACT Acknowledges the Tragedy of Canada’s Residential Schools with Practical Support for Indigenous Communities

Canada Day 2021 is provoking mixed feelings among Canadians including shame that Canada has done so little to mitigate the horrific legacy of residential schools, despite calls to investigate the fate of Indigenous children who disappeared while in government care. Now we are confronted by evidence of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children. ACT believes that offering practical support is the most effective way to express ACT’s respect for Indigenous communities.

At our recent Annual General Meeting, ACT announced to our membership that we would provide free registration to our workshops and events for Indigenous organizations and families affected by autism and related conditions as a practical way of providing support to communities that continue to be severely marginalized.

All that is necessary is to submit a bursary application – apply for Executive Functions Skills with Sarah Ward directly here. We would also like to offer the support of our staff for Indigenous families who wish to better understand the Autism Funding Program but do not want to contact offices of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. We can be contacted at or toll-free at 1-866-939-5188.

ACT’s Updated ‘New Diagnosis Hub’ – Now also in Chinese!

ACT’s ‘New Diagnosis Hub‘ has been updated in English to help families receiving a new diagnosis of autism for their child. It provides clear information on how to access government-funded services in British Columbia and how to spend the funds wisely. It is also helpful to families who may have received a diagnosis some time ago but are wanting to rethink their child’s program. 

ACT has also translated the New Diagnosis Hub in Chinese, as part of ACT in Chinese, to meet the needs of many families across BC. There are several other large immigrant communities, as well as deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, we would like to better serve by providing captioning and translation. It is very difficult to understand autism and services if you don’t have a strong command of English. Indeed it is very challenging even if you do. Please support ACT’s ability to caption and translate resources in additional languages by donating to our special translation fund.

Visit the New Diagnosis Hub


ACT 的這個新診斷中心,是要幫助卑詩省新確診為自閉症譜系障礙(通稱自閉症)兒童的家長們建立一個有效的治療計劃。中心內的資訊同時也適用於一些孩子已經得到診斷有些時日,但正在重新考慮孩子治療計畫的家庭。

新診斷中心 New Diagnosis Hub

New! Registration open for Self-Care for Carers | Combating Compassion Fatigue video

Self-care for Carers – a Mindful Compassion Program: A 10 Week Small Group Program for Caregivers of Neurodiverse Family Members

Wednesdays, April 7 – June 9

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – 10 sessions

Presented by Georgina Robinson PhD & 
Zoey Ryan BSc, PCC

Mindful Compassionate Parenting is a 10-week course that combines empirically-based practices from Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), along with research that supports caregiver and family wellbeing.

This small group program is limited to parents and caregivers in British Columbia, 20 spaces are available. ACT is providing full bursaries for applicants to attend for free. Please apply using this online bursary form. ACT will notify all applicants if they have received a space by March 16th, 2021. Please apply as soon as possible, as we will close the application process once all spots are filled.

The course content is relevant for caregivers who support any child or family member, including those who support adults. Participation will teach skills to help you recharge your emotional and physical reservoir, cope with stress effectively, improve your caregiving relationship and build associated skills in your child or family member.

For those who dedicate their lives to caring for others, this is an opportunity for you to dedicate some time to important self care, learning how to treat yourself with kindness, and soothe any ragged emotions during difficult times.

View Details & Registration

ACT’s Bursary Fund is made possible by the support of our individual donors. If you would like to contribute your support to ACT’s bursary fund, please consider making a donation.

Combating Compassion Fatigue

A new workshop on Autism Videos @ ACT – free!

Presented by Georgina Robinson, PhD 

Caring for children is frequently exhausting. Parenting children with special needs is even more demanding of families, compounded by the need to navigate and advocate across systems. Driven by love, these families are at high-risk of neglecting themselves and developing compassion fatigue. In this 13-part workshop we begin by exploring the “costs of caring” and its potential physical and emotional toll. Then we consider research supported strategies that can empower families and build their resistance to ward off compassion fatigue. Systems supports, self-care, and mindful self-compassion are featured.

Watch here

Report to Donors 2020; Online Herring Sale now open; SFU Panel on the Impact of Pandemic

Thank you to our Donors and Presenters

A very big thank you to all the donors, sponsors and presenters who have enabled ACT to provide a wealth of free information and training resources for those with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. Despite the pandemic, ACT has served many more people in 2020 throughout BC, across Canada and a growing number of fans worldwide. See our full 2020 Report to Donors for details.

A few highlights for 2020 compared to 2019:

  • ACT’s website was accessed 524,000 times, a staggering 40% increase.
  • The COVID-19 Resources Hub has had 15,000 visits since March.
  • Autism Videos @ ACT users increased 64%.
  • ACT’s Facebook followers grew by 31% to 8,500.
  • Subscribers to ACT’s online ‘News Round-Up’ reached 8,900.
  • 2,500 registrants received 18,000 hours of training in 2020.

ACT is facing a $30,000 deficit in 2020, as most of our events were free. Donations to support the expansion of our free training in 2021 are very welcome. As a registered charity, ACT provides tax receipts.

Donate to ACT

View the 2020 Report to Donors (pdf)

Online ‘Herring Sale for Autism’ Fundraiser Open! With full pandemic precautions!

ACT’s annual Herring Sale is back on January 16! For the health and safety of all our customers and volunteers, all orders will be made in advance through our online booking system. Customers can book a one-hour time slot to order 20lb bags for $20. Orders can be picked up during the time slot on your ticket at 3080 Moncton Street in the Steveston Village, where we will have a drive-thru loading system to ensure all COVID-19 safety precautions are in place.

Our thanks to Oceanside Fisheries and the Steveston Harbour Authority for their sponsorship.

Avoid disappointment – Pre-Order Today!

View Herring Sale

Sales end January 14th. Please note that there will be be no sales on January 16 – all orders must be made in advance.

Volunteer at the Herring Sale

If you can donate 2-3 hours of your time on January 16 to lift 20 bags of fish into the trunks of our eager customers, please email

You are invited: free SFU Panel Discussion featuring BC’s Representative for Children & Youth

Addressing the Impact of the Pandemic on Families of Children with Special Needs

Many BC families have been severely shaken by the impact of COVID-19. Research undertaken by Simon Fraser University, the Representative of Children and Youth, ACT, Family Support Institute and Inclusion BC have all highlighted the lack of engagement on the part of the Ministry for Children and Family Development in supporting children with special needs.

To hear parental concerns addressed, join a panel discussion organized by Simon Fraser University on Friday, January 8, 11am -12pm. BC’s new Minister of Children and Family Development, the Honourable Mitzi Dean, has been invited.

Confirmed participants include:

  • Representative for Children and Youth, Dr Jennifer Charlesworth
  • Tracy Humphreys – Chair, BCEdAcess
  • Karla Verschoor, Executive Director, Inclusion BC

For a full list of panelists and to register visit the event page.

Free live web stream

Toilet Training for Everyone - Revised and Expanded! February 4 & 5, 2021

Toilet Training for Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities has been ACT’s most popular online video since 2014. This reflects how important successful toilet training is for a person to be fully included in the community. Now, presenters Pat Mirenda and Katie Rinald return for an updated version of this workshop which will be presented via live web stream.

Register now

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