ACT's Archived News

Back to School News Round-Up 2017

Posted September 8, 2017

Back to School Bumps?

The first week of school can have a few bumps for some children with ASD and other special needs. Parents often have questions about the roles and responsibilities of the school. ACT has many online resources to help families of school–age children, available in a page where we pull these all together:

Back to School Resources

Parents! Attend an ACT Event for $25 a Day

MCFD has provided ACT with bursary funding for B.C. parents and caregivers of children with autism to attend ACT events for only $25 a day. Seats will be filled on a first come, first registered basis for as long as funding is available. Bursaries can also be used to register for web streamed events.

Learn more about how to register using the MCFD event bursary program.

ACT Bursaries for Professionals and Para-professionals, Parents of Children with Special Needs

ACT continues to offer bursaries for para-professionals and professionals and for parents of children with other special needs, to improve accessibility to both our live and web streamed events. Please apply early and before you register for the event. ACT provided $27,000 in bursary funding in the form of reduced registration fees in 2016.

ACT’s Fall Training Program

– Attend via Live Web Streaming or In-Person

With five events in July & August (430 registrants; 5000 hours of training!) it was a busy, productive summer for ACT. We are now gearing up for fall with two valuable trainings which you can attend in-person or via Live Web Streaming from anywhere across Canada.

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies – Oct. 20 & 21, 2017
Vancouver & Web Stream
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D, Capilano University
Visual Strategies are critical to helping many children and adults with autism and other special needs to understand what they are being asked to do, and why, as well as allowing them to communicate what they want! This avoids many behavioral issues triggered by confusion and related anxiety. For more information on avoiding challenging behaviors, see Dr. Fossett’s free online video on Autism Videos @ ACT. Save $125 off the early bird rate if you register by September 27th using the MCFD event bursary program!

Two Days of Social Thinking for Young Children – November 16 & 17, 2017
Vancouver & Web Stream
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP, Social Thinking Speakers’ Collaborative
This Social Thinking training focuses on the needs of young children with ASD who need to develop their social understanding. This is the fourth time we have brought this training to B.C. and it always sells out so book your seat early or join via web streaming. Save $175 off the early bird rate using the MCFD event bursary program!

Questions? Please call the ACT office. Toll-free: 1-866-939-5188; local 604-205-5467 or email for more information.

ESSENCE Conference in Sweden
There was an extremely warm response to Dr. Christopher Gillberg’s thought-provoking keynote presentation on his ESSENCE model at the April Focus on Research Conference. For those of you who are prepared to travel to Sweden in April 2018, there will be a fascinating international conference focused on ESSENCE. For more information visit the conference website.

Thank you to ACT’s Supporters


We would like to thank all the organizations and individuals who support ACT to continue providing families with our comprehensive online information and training resources. There are three organizations essential to ACT successful push to move our operations ‘into the cloud’, increasing our efficiency, protecting our users, increasing access to training, while reducing costs:

  • Thanks to Alan Ashton and Marty Hall of Purely CRM for the many hours of volunteer time contributed to our new CRM database. This was the easiest technology upgrade ever!
  • Appreciation of Don de Gouveia and Gilbert Okello of Crest Computing for seven years of great IT services within the confines of our always tight budget.
  • Recognition of Justin Ritchie of XE Live Broadcast who manages the production of our live web streamed conferences allowing ACT to serve families and community professionals across B.C.

ACT is looking for New Premises – Thank You to Adera

ACT is very grateful to Adera for reducing our rent by 80% during the transition period which has followed the cancelation of MCFD funding for community-based information and support services. ACT is looking for new premises as our current office is now too large for our needs. Ideally a space for 3-5 desks in the East Vancouver/Burnaby area with a strong internet connection and transit accessibility. Shared meeting rooms would be ideal. Please contact

Resources from the Autism Information Database – just a keyword search away!

Did you know that a simple key word search provides access to over 1200 information resources? All carefully screened by ACT with oversight provided by the AID’s International Advisory Panel. Here are some of the latest resources we have added to the AID:

Autism Training Program for First Responders – this is an excellent comprehensive Canadian training website with a wide-range of videos and materials to support fire safety for children with ASD. – English – French

An Explorative Study of Successful Women with Autism

Autism’s Drug Problem – Many People on the Spectrum Take Multiple Medications – Which Can Lead to Serious Side Effects and May Not Even be Effective

Autism and Health: A Special Report by Autism Speaks: Advances in Understanding and Treating the Health Conditions that Frequently Accompany Autism

Acupuncture for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – English – Portuguese– French

Resources for the B.C. Special Needs Community

The AID is focused on information resources, useful across Canada and internationally, but ACT also has several resources that focus on providing information specific to B.C.’s special needs community:

B.C.’s Community Resources Database – over 1,000 resources!

B.C.’s Community Resources Database (BC-CRD) is where British Columbians, seeking services for children and adults with special needs, look for service agencies, community professionals, government services, recreational activities, support groups, post-secondary programs, and a great deal more!

Search the BCCRD by Keyword; Language or Postal Code at:

Spot a B.C. resource that we should include? Submit it via:

Special Needs Community Events

There are a number of community events/training opportunities posted by various organizations on ACT’s Special Needs Community Events page. Here are a few scheduled for September:

Auditions for the Mayday Club Youth Choir September 10 -24 – Abbotsford & Richmond
Attend a ‘mock practice’ session for the Mayday Club Youth Choir! Canada’s first professional youth choir and hip-hop crew for children, youth, and young adults with and without autism and other developmental diversities. Accepts youth ages 5 to 30. All ability levels welcome.

September 10, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Abbotsford
September 24, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Abbotsford
September 11, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Richmond
September 18, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Richmond


Sensory Storytime
September 21 – November 9 – Vancouver
An inclusive story time for children ages 3-6 years of all abilities, especially those with special need, in a small group setting.

PEERS for Teens
September 22 – January 20 – Surrey

PEERS is a 16 week social program for teens aged 12-16. Participants must be willing to practice and want to improve their social skills. Topics covered include entering conversations, appropriate use of humour, hosting get together, bullying and good sportsmanship.

September 23 – Autism Speaks Canada Walks
Walks includes fun activities, performers and snacks, before and after the Walk. Arrive early to give yourself lots of time to visit and enjoy the event with your family and friends!
Victoria, 12:00pm – 2:00pm;
Courtenay, 12:00pm – 3:00pm;
Colwood, 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Launch Into Life – ASD Parent Workshop
September 30 – Kamloops

This workshop prepares caregivers of children with autism for the transition to adulthood, helping them create an individualized transition plan for their child.

Focus Ability WorkAble Solutions Employment Program
Sept. 5 – Oct. 27 – Kelowna
Focus Ability WorkAble Solutions helps adults with ASD, OCD, FAS, and other diverse abilities let their special skills shine through in local workplaces. Please contact or 250-253-3045 for more information on intake interviews and the application process.

A family driven network to empower and educate families about employment options featuring informative speakers; current employment information and networking opportunities.
familyWORKs Vancouver – September 12th
familyWORKs North Shore – September 28th

Submitting Your Community Event is Easy
Do you have a community event in B.C. you would like to share? ACT lists events, workshops and conferences in B.C. related to autism and other special. Submit events here

Participate in Autism Research

Are you a parent interested in becoming involved in research? Recent postings, which ACT reviews to ensure ethics approval from an accredited university, include:

  • How Do Children Learn From Others?
  • Understanding Autism Service Preferences
  • Sound Sensitivity Study

See ‘Participating in Autism Research‘ for online surveys and studies looking for participants

Autism in the Media

Join ACT’s Facebook page for the latest news and views

ACT scours the media daily to find thoughtful and thought-provoking articles of interest to the autism/special needs community via our Facebook page. Below you will find ‘the best of the best’ for August. But if you prefer a steady stream of stimulating news and views, follow ACT on Facebook!