Category Archives: Autism Information Database

What to do while waiting for your child’s assessment

It is important that parents start the process as soon as concerns emerge as it can be as long as two years to wait for a publicly-funded assessment through the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN).  If your child makes sudden developmental gains, which does happen, then you can cancel the appointment. Because of the long waiting lists, many parents decide to pay for a private diagnosis, but those waiting times are also long, from four to nine months. 

As of October 2021, funding for private assessment is available through Variety – the Children’s Charity for families with limited ability to afford the cost of private assessment.   Their current processing time for grant application is about 8 to 10 weeks because of the volume of applications received.  For information on Variety’s grant for private autism assessment, please see ACT’s Information Database.   For Indigenous children live on reserve, there is also Jordan’s Principle providing funding for private assessment.  For more information on Jordan’s Principle, please see ACT’s Information Database

 

Positive steps you can take while waiting

While an early diagnosis is important, there are many things that parents can do while they wait. This is especially true if they are struggling to understand their child’s challenging behaviors, which often stem from their communication delays. ACT has compiled information and resources on this page to help families navigate this stressful period with a focus on improving family functioning.

Unfortunately, many of the publicly funded services listed below also have waiting lists, so it is important to contact them as soon as possible. If you have concerns about your child’s development, remember that learning how to engage your child in developing their communication skills is important, regardless of their eventual diagnosis.

Ensure your referral has been received by BCAAN

It is a good idea to confirm with the Regional Coordinator for the BC Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) to make sure that they have received a referral for your child – in case the doctor’s office has not sent it in. You can also find out about the latest wait time and if there is any additional information they need. This may not speed up the process, but will definitely avoid any unnecessary delay.

Get on the cancellation list if you are waiting for a private assessment

For a private assessment, ask if the clinic keeps a cancellation list which may allow an earlier appointment if you have flexibility.

Start a folder and keep a record

Organize and keep in a folder your child’s medical records and any previous developmental or behavioral evaluations. Electronically is preferable, as you can share them more easily. You can also keep your own notes and collect video clips observing your child’s behaviour in different places with different people. These will become very useful when the diagnostician requests specific information or when you need help answering the questionnaire.  

Keep a record when you contact service providers – it can be confusing to deal with the many different organization/services listed below. It is helpful to take notes on which organizations you have contacted, including the name of the person you spoke with, the date, and what they said. 

Access services and support within your community

Speech-Language Therapy services

Free speech-language therapy is available through local health units for children aged five and under who are language-delayed. You can ask your family doctor to make a referral or contact them directly. You may be put on a wait list and contacted when a Speech-Language Pathologist becomes available.

To find your local health authority, please see Regional Health Authorities

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Infant Development Program and Aboriginal Infant Development Program 

The Infant Development Program (IDP) is designed for children under age three who have either a developmental delay or disability, or are at risk of developing them. The Aboriginal Infant Development Program (AIDP) continues until age six and includes activities and materials that reflect local Indigenous cultures, customs, beliefs and values.

Both programs provide home-based prevention and early intervention services. Consultants assist families in acquiring the tools, skills and community connections needed to promote optimal child development and support developmental challenges.

Depending on the needs of your child, a consultant can link you to other services, including Supported Child Development, Aboriginal Supported Child Development, and Early Intervention Therapy. Referrals can come from either parents or professionals, such as public health nurses, doctors and others. As both programs are chronically under-funded, do not delay in seeking support as in many communities there are waiting lists.

To find your local Infant Development Program, you can search Healthlink BC Directory

Supported Child Development Program and Aboriginal Supported Child Development 

Supported Child Development (SCDP) and Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) are community-based programs intended to assist families of children who require extra support to attend their community childcare setting. SCDP provides support for childcare staff, families and their children, up to 12 years of age, in licensed daycare, preschool or out of school care programs. Services for youth 13–19 years are available in some communities. Self-referrals from parent and guardians or referrals from community and medical professionals are accepted. Both programs are chronically underfunded and waiting lists are long. 

To find local Supported Child Development programs, see Healthlink BC Directory.

Early Intervention Therapy Program 

Early Intervention Therapy Program (EIT) provides community-based occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy and support services for eligible children and their families. These services support children from birth to school entry who have, or who are at risk of, developmental delay or disability. The EIT Program accepts referrals from families and professionals involved with the child and family. Often these services are provided through Child Development Centres but funded through the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Unfortunately, services are often limited by financial constraints and there are waiting lists. 

To find the EIT program in your area, ask your public health nurse or physician, or contact your local Ministry of Children and Family Development office. 

Waiting lists for EIT services often force families to hire therapists, privately, but many families cannot afford the fees involved. The Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP) is a good source of therapists who can provide fee for service. 

Child and Youth with Mental Health (CYMH) services

Children and youth can access free and voluntary community-based mental health supports and services from Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH), provided through the Ministry of Children and Family Development. There are about 100 intake clinics in BC providing a range of mental health assessment and treatment options at no cost for children and youth and their families. The services usually include counselling, social work, parenting supports, and psychiatric services.  However, families do experience significant waiting times unless their child is in crisis.

For more information on CYMH services in your area, please see Child & Youth Mental Health Intake Clinics

Learn more about autism and treatment options

Learning more about autism will help you develop questions to bring up during the assessment. It will also help you prepare to take action if your child is diagnosed with ASD as well as giving you practical strategies that can help you resolve challenges. Issues including toilet training and sleep affect many children with developmental delay. The resources below can help regardless of your child’s ultimate diagnosis.

A note of caution: it is important to make sure your information comes from credible sources provided by well-qualified researcher/clinicians. There are many promises of miracle treatments on the internet which can waste financial resources and vital time. ACT’s Autism Information Database (AID) has thousands of vetted resources on autism-related information. There are links to excellent international websites on a wide range of topics relevant to children, youths and adults with ASD and their families. While learning, it is helpful to:

  • Know the signs of autism, and what is NOT autism. Your child is first and foremost a child, and some conditions (i.e. Gastro-intestinal struggles or severe behaviors) should be addressed regardless of your child’s diagnosis.
  • Learn from your child. Every child is different, and every child with autism is different. Start keeping a journal of observations of your child. You can refer back to these to better understand your child’s progress and share them with teachers or therapists, whether your child receives a diagnosis or not. 
  • Begin researching intervention services. Whether your child gets diagnosed or not, the assessment may reveal a developmental delay or social communication challenge that could benefit from services such as behaviour intervention, speech therapy, or occupational therapy. The professionals conducting your child’s assessment can provide you with recommendations on intervention your child needs.  For families who prefer to get the ball rolling on intervention service or those who want to know what to expect after the diagnosis, ACT’s New Diagnosis Hub provides practical and evidence-informed information to help families in BC put an intervention program in place for their child. 

Ways of supporting your child at home 

There are many ways that parents and the extended family can help a child with developmental delays in the home and community environment. Experts are very helpful to provide direction but your child is with you much more than with consultants or therapists. Below you will find a list of online resources, including ACT videos, that can give you new insights on how to help your child while waiting for your assessment. 

Consult with community professionals (listed above) who are already working with your child, share your observations and concerns with them and ask for strategies you can implement at home to help your child.

Here are some free, practical and evidence-informed strategies from  ACT’s Information Database and Autism Videos @ ACT including:

ACT’s staff can direct you to helpful information resources such as those listed above. We can also provide you resources on how to advocate for an end to waiting lists for children at risk of neuro-developmental conditions. Email info@actcommunity.ca to start the conversation. ACT’s Facebook page also provides news updates of interest to parents.

Another source of individualized support and/or referral services, is the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s information service, which manages the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP) list:

Autism Information Services British Columbia (AIS BC)
3688 Cessna Drive, Richmond, British Columbia, V7B 1C7
Toll Free Line: 1-844-878-4700
Email – Info: AutismInformation@gov.bc.ca
Website: autisminfo.gov.bc.ca/
RASP List: autisminfo.gov.bc.ca/rasp/search

Visit ACT’s Registry of Autism Service Providers information page for more on the RASP.

September 2018 events and news

Upcoming Events

 

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Managing the Anxious Symptoms of Children and Adolescents with ASD: Practical Strategies
Thursday & Friday, September 27 & 28
Vancouver 

Judy Reaven, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Colorado

This two-day training is aimed at professionals who have an intermediate/advanced knowledge of CBT and are looking for an evidence-based, manualized program on adapted CBT for children and adolescents with ASD to address the high levels of anxiety in this population. Research has shown that children and teens with ASD and anxiety demonstrate significant reductions in anxiety following participation in modified Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) interventions, allowing many to function better at home, school and in the community.

Facing Your Fears (FYF) is a group CBT intervention for managing anxiety in youth with ASD. Throughout the training, participants will learn about FYF, identify core components of the clinic based FYF program, learn how to modify FYF for teens with ASD and intellectual disabilities, as well as strategies for delivering FYF in school settings. Video examples and interactive small group activities will be provided throughout this training, provided by Dr. Judy Reaven, one of the developers of the FYF approach. Dr. Reaven is an experienced clinician and researcher and is a dynamic presenter.

View Details & Registration


Setting the Stage for Success: Positive Behaviour Support in School, Home and Community Friday & Saturday, October 19 & 20 Vancouver

View Details & Registration


ACT’s Education Resources

Back-to-School Resources

Along with the resources on ACT’s School-Age Children with Autism page, you can find hundreds of resources on our B.C. Community Resources search and the Autism Information Database.

B.C. Community Resources – Education resources

Enter your city or postal code to narrow down service providers, recreational activities, employment and training opportunities, and community organizations near you.

Autism Information Database – Education resources

Find articles, guides, videos, and research on executive functioning skills, anxiety, bullying, and much more.


Special Needs Community Events

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

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September Events:

Social Sprouts 2 (Social Thinking)
September 10, Surrey

Executive Functioning for Preteens
September 11, Surrey

Connect with PEERS(r) for Young Adults (19-30)
September 11, Burnaby

AutismBC Family Support Group
September 12, Prince George Social Sprouts (Social Thinking)
September 15, Surrey

Art and Social for Girls
September 15, Surrey

Incredible Years – Autism Spectrum and Language Delays Parenting Program
September 20 – December 14, North Vancouver

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Relaxed Performance
September 30, Vancouver

Youth & Young Adult Program: Games & Activities
October 2, Nanaimo – Registration deadline: September 21


Ticket Giveaway!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Relaxed Performance – September 30 at 7 PM

Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Vancouver

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Enter now for a chance to win 1 set of 2 tickets to see a relaxed performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a Tony Award-winning play adapted from the novel by Mark Hadden, about a teenager with high-functioning autism seeking to solve the murder of a neighbour’s dog.

Visit the Arts Club website for more information on this play.

This relaxed performance is an inclusive, modified theatre experience designed to welcome people who may find it difficult to follow the usual conventions of traditional theatre.

How to win tickets: Email info@actcommunity.ca with the subject “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Give-Away” before Friday, September 14 at 9:00am.
ACT will randomly select the winning entry to receive a free set of 2 tickets to see the play and will email ticket winners with instructions for pick-up at the theatre box-office.

Click the button below to send your email and be entered into the ticket giveaway.

Enter the giveaway


Autism in the News

Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has released a new simplified Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) application package. Find out more:
New form at Service Canada | Disability Alliance BC CPP-D Guides

TRACKING EXCLUSION: BCEdAccess’ Exclusion* Incident Report Form – BCEdAccess

Resources for autistic students and students on the spectrum transitioning from high school to college – Stairway to Stem

How the Ontario Disability Support Program makes falling in love a challenging proposition – TVO

Treatment to remove metals from children with autism unproven and risky, but no clear regulations – CBC News

‘I’ll break the barriers’: New ad campaign tries to end stigma plaguing youth with disabilities – CBC News

Autism Ups Risk for Depression in Early Adulthood – MedPage Today

For people with developmental disabilities, a job is more than a paycheque – it says ‘I’m valuable’ – The Globe and Mail

The extra layer of back-to-school anxiety when your child has special needs – The Washington Post

‘Atypical’ Team on Bringing ‘More Voices From the Autism Community’ in Season 2 – Variety

Gavin Rose was diagnosed with autism three years ago. Now, he’s competing for a world bull riding title – The Star

Changemaker: Bellevue man living with autism wants to help others understand it – Q13 FOX News

The relief, and heartbreak, of watching my autistic son becoming more socially aware – The Washington Post

Transition Updates from MCFD: News Round-Up May 2017

Transition Updates from MCFD

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has just released information for parents and professionals on the upcoming transfer of individualized support and RASP services from ACT to MCFD.

Effective July 4, 2017, MCFD will offer services through Autism Information Services BC (AIS BC). Families, service providers, ministry staff, and the general public can reach AIS BC at:
3688 Cessna Drive, Richmond, British Columbia, V7B 1C7
Toll Free Line: 1-844-878-4700
Email – general information: AutismInformation@gov.bc.ca
Email – RASP: RASP@gov.bc.ca
Website: live web link available July 4th (www.gov.bc.ca/autisminfo)

View MCFD’s full information releases: Transitioning Information and Support Services to MCFD.

ACT’s Mission Continues! Donate to Support ACT’s Free Resources

ACT is refocusing our work in 2017 to concentrate on training and information resources to ensure that the autism community continues to have access to evidence-based, community-focused information and training.

We will continue to provide these great resources:

During this time of transition and transformation, your financial support would be greatly appreciated. We know that families and professionals have many demands on your financial resources; ACT is approaching foundations and seeking sponsorship.
As a federally registered Canadian not-for-profit society, ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001.

How to Donate:

  • Online via Canada Helps or Chimp.net
  • By cheque (made out to ACT – Autism Community Training)
  • Via the United Way (search for ACT- Autism Community Training Society, Burnaby)
  • Call ACT at 604-205-5467 or toll-free 1-866-939-5188 to donate by telephone

Visit our Donations Page for more information: www.actcommunity.ca/donate

Upcoming ACT Conferences

ACT is hosting a number of live and online training this summer and fall. Register soon to ensure your seat and take advantage of early bird rates.

Live Web Streaming Now Available for Four Upcoming Events

Thank you to our sponsors and speakers who make ACT’s training possible.

At ACT we know that it is a challenge for some to come to Vancouver to attend an event in-person, so we have been working to make more of our events available for you to watch from your own device via live web streaming. We have four great presentations available for registration – bursaries are available:

Comments from Past Web Streaming Attendees
Thank you for the chat opportunity, resources, webinar modality – I could hear and see very well.”
“The webinar worked really well and made it easy for me to attend.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to view this conference via webstreaming. It is such a great way to increase community education!”

New MCFD-funded Event Bursaries for Parents of Children with ASD
MCFD has provided ACT with funding for a bursary program for parents and caregivers of children with autism to attend ACT events at reduced registration rates ($25 a day*) until March 31, 2018. Seats will be filled on a first come, first registered basis. Each parent is eligible to receive one in-person event bursary up until March 31, 2018. Additional bursaries are available to register for web streamed events. *Learn more about how to register using the MCFD event bursary program.

ACT Bursaries
ACT continues to offer bursaries for para-professionals and professionals to improve accessibility to both our live and web streamed events. Please apply early and before you register for the event.

Upcoming Events

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASD
July 24 & 25- Vancouver
Jonathan Weiss, Ph.D., CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
Day 1 available via web streaming
A Professional Development Opportunity

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey – only 2 spots left!
Aug. 14 – 18 -Vancouver
Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., RPsych
“Amazing and useful information. I wish our whole staff could attend!!”

Executive Functioning Conference
Aug. 10 & 11 – Sidney
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP (Boston)
I learned strategies I can use with all of my students right away.”

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children
Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Richard Stock, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Available via web streaming
“Powerful and easy to implement IEP suggestions”
(CEUs for BCBAs and BCaBAs are available. See event page for details).

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD
October 20 & 21 – Vancouver
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D
Popular ACT speaker, Dr. Fossett is the presenter in the ACT video Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know!

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children
November 16 & 17 – Vancouver
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP, Social Thinking Training and Speakers’ Collaborative
Available via web streaming
“Wonderful strategies to use with my students and awesome ideas for ways to structure groups in the future.”

Biggest Jump in RASP Approvals since 2005Main Title Here

The BC professional community has responded with a dramatic increase in the number of applications to the RASP – up over 78% over the first five months of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016 – in response to ACT’s call to submit applications before the handover to MCFD (June 30th). ACT’s staff has been working intensively to process these applications, to ensure families have access to as many professionals as possible – approvals are up 88%.

In May, 26 RASP professionals were added or had their status updated – the largest one month increase since ACT took over the administration of the RASP in 2005. There are now 718 RASP professionals on the RASP, compared to 696 professionals at the end of April. Two people have stepped down. To search the RASP: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/

New RASP Consultants (including those who shifted category)

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Bianca Andreone – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Vancouver
  • Candace Brady – Mackenzie, Prince George, Quesnel, Vanderhoof
  • Andrew Harrison – Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Felicia Harter – Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Delta, Hope, Langley, Surrey
  • Valerie Varasteh – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category B –Supervised)

  • Kelly Carlson – Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Sarah Castell – Coquitlam, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Surrey
  • Nadine Fort – 100 Mile House, Barriere, Chase, Clearwater, Kamloops, Lillooet, Logan Lake, Merritt, Salmon Arm, Williams Lake
  • Nadine Gagnon – Agassiz, Chilliwack
  • Kelli Hansen – Powell River, Sunshine Coast
  • Pamela Lau – Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Hilary Scott – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission
  • Jessica Sproat – Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Richmond, Squamish, Vancouver
  • Alicia Walker-Dighton – Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs
  • Karen Zacharias – Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope
  • Kyla Zachary – Saanich, Sidney, Victoria

Occupational Therapists (Non-Supervised)

  • Kathleen Brooke – Cherryville, Lumby, Vernon
  • Ashley Gorges – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission
  • Maria Hammond – Oliver, Penticton, Princeton, Summerland
  • Brianne Kirkby – Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland
  • Janna Luck – Squamish, Whistler
  • Christine Pearce – Campbell River, Comox Valley, Parksville, Qualicum Beach

Occupational Therapists (Supervised)

  • Amanda Hoffus – Castlegar, Fruitvale, Genelle, Rossland, Trail
  • Kayla Ladouceur – Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Victoria
  • Marie Maratos – Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Alysha Paiaro – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver

Professionals no longer listed on the RASP

RASP service providers leave the RASP due to retirement or moving to a different job or province. Since April 30, Margherita Jessa, and Laurie Patrick have been removed from the RASP.

Reminder: New RASP Applications will be given to MCFD for Processing in July.

ACT will hand over the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers to MCFD as of June 30, 2017. ACT advises that all new applications will be given to MCFD for processing in July.

The RASP application process will remain the same after July 1st as it is a MCFD-regulated process, which ACT has managed on MCFD’s behalf since 2005. For more information on the RASP application process see: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/sp-info/ Early Years Professional Development Web Portal The Provincial Office of the Early Years has developed the EYPD web portal earlyyearsbc.ca. You can search for training events, post your own event, sign on to the Science of Early Child Development and more. Anyone working with young children can now find, plan and schedule professional development in the early years sector. For more information.

Special Needs Community Events in B.C:

Browse ACT’s Special Needs Community Events calendar at www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/

Post your community events, and reach a new audience. This listing is a popular part of our monthly newsletter, which reaches over 7,300 people a month.

Self-Advocacy in B.C: Conference, Newsletter and Support Group

If you know of more self-advocate resources, please submit to info@actcommunity.

Survey: Inform Future Activities of the Kids Brain Health Network

Main Title Here

The results of the survey will be used to inform research and knowledge translation priorities for Kids Brain Health Network over the next several years. The survey is available online until June 30, 2017.

Teaching Individuals with Autism about Bodies and Privacy

Earlier this month there was an article in the Chicago Tribune about teaching young men with autism consent and personal boundaries. Commentary: Autistic men don’t always understand consent. We need to teach them. (Chicago Tribune)

Teaching children and young adults with autism about their bodies, privacy, personal boundaries and puberty can be difficult topics for parent and caretakers. ACT hosts an online video presentation on this topic, and has collected many resources in the Autism Information Database.:

Helping Medical Professionals Understand Autism and Mental Health

The need for GPs (family doctors) to receive proper training in autism is not unique to Canada, according to this article in a UK paper: GPs urgently need training on autism (the Independent).

ACT has long recognized this lack of training and provides the following resources:
Create a Medical Profile form (developed in collaboration with BC Children’s Hospital) to help family communicate effectively with emergency departments.

Mental health is a major concern for the autism community. The Online Mental Health & Autism Project provides two presentations, available for free online, with more planned for later this year.

Post-Secondary Opportunities: Upgrade your Skills

Looking to upgrade your skills or seeking professional certification? ACT lists B.C. Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals on our website. Capilano University and Douglas College are taking applications for programs that begin in September 2017.

Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT hosts over 25 free online videos in two languages. Browse for non-commercial, evidence-based presentations on a wide-range of topics relevant to families and community professionals including:

Browse for more free online video presentations: www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/

Autism in the Media

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

 

January 2017 News Round-Up

Update on the Ending of ACT’s Contract with MCFD

ACT’s staff and board thank all those who continue sending kind comments via Facebook, email and by telephone. It has been an honour for us to provide navigation and information services to families and professionals across B.C. since 2005. When we have information to share with the autism community from B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development on their new vision of service provision, we will post it on our website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, ACT is continuing to provide our always friendly and efficient service as we work to re-design our programs – details below.

ACT’s Live Event Calendar for 2017 – Registration Now Open!

ACT is finalizing the details of our 2017 event calendar. At ACT’s live events, leading practitioners and researchers from across the world share their insights with B.C. parents and professionals. Join us for inspiration and information! See below for the events which have already been confirmed. Special thanks to our sponsors and speakers who make ACT’s training possible.

ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Event – April 28 & 29, 2017

SFU Harbour Centre – Vancouver.
Mental Health is the focus of this year’s Focus on Research conference. We are delighted to announce our two keynote speakers, Dr. Christopher Gillberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Jonathan Weiss (York University, Toronto). ACT’s Online Mental Health and Autism Project committee will finalize the program over the next two weeks – save the dates for what will be a thought provoking two days!

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASD – July 24 & 25- Vancouver

Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
Details & registration coming soon.

The events below are open for registration – register early and save!

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Executive Functioning Conference
Aug. 10 & 11 – Sidney
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP (Boston)

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
Aug. 14 – 18 -Vancouver
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children
Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD
Oct. 20 & 21, 2017 – Vancouver
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children
Nov. 16 & 17- Vancouver
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT has added five new videos to AVA since the beginning of December 2016. This week we launch a new platform to make this free resource easier to navigate as we now have over 20 videos and we want to make sure our users don’t get lost! Take a look at our new Videos home page which allows you to easily scan all our video offerings and view them when convenient to you, with no passwords. This is a free service made possible thanks to donors, sponsors and of course our presenters, who donate their time to this rich source of evidence-based community training, available internationally to all who need access to positive information on autism and other special needs.

NEW AVA Video for 2017 – The Essentials of Advocacy

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The Essentials of Advocacy: A Parent’s Guide to Advocating for their Child with Special Needs

This free online ACT video provides practical, positive guidance on how to navigate various government systems that control access to services for children with special needs.

ACT has several videos awaiting editing. If you would like to support AVA’s development, donate via cheque, online via Canada Helps, the United Way, or Employer Charitable funds. www.actcommunity.ca/donate

Autism Information Database

ACT is considering how we can fund the Autism Information Database as MCFD has indicated that they will not maintain this resource. The AID now has over 2,000 information and community resources carefully sourced from across B.C. and internationally. It is the only key-word searchable, non-commercial, multi-language resource of its kind internationally and we would like to continue it as an important resource for the autism community, nationally and internationally. Email dpugh@actcommunity.ca with any suggestions for sources of corporate/foundation funding.

Donating to ACT Thank you to our donors!

As a federally registered not-for-profit society, ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001.

How to Donate:

  • By cheque (send to office, made out to ACT – Autism Community Training)
  • Online via CanadaHelps or Chimp.net
  • Via the United Way (search for ACT- Autism Community Training Society, Burnaby)

Thank you to our donors and sponsors in 2016:

Individual donors and sponsors are listed on our donations page; thank you for contributing to world-class live and online training.

RASP Alert!

blank ACT is preparing to hand over the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers to the Ministry of Children and Family Development as of June 30. In order to minimise delays for those planning to apply to the RASP, and to provide an efficient transition, ACT advises that all applications be submitted before May 1. Those applicants who fulfill the experience and coursework requirements, and have full documentation to support their applications, including references, will be processed by May 30th. ACT will not be accepting new RASP applications after May 15th.

MCFD will begin accepting new applications as of July 1st. Please note that the RASP application process will remain the same after July 1st as it a MCFD-regulated process which ACT has managed on MCFD’s behalf since 2005. For more information on the RASP application process see: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/sp-info/

RASP Updates for January 2017

Twelve RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since December 31stth. As of January 26th, 2017, there are 669 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Behavior Consultants (Non-Supervised)

  • Bella Siu Man – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver, West Vancouver
  • Larissa Davies – Bowen Island, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Salt Spring Island, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, West Vancouver
  • Jemana Elsharkawi – Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Port Hardy, Port McNeil

Behavior Consultants (Supervised)

  • Brittney Mailloux – Kitimat

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Shadi Asadi – Cawston, Keremos, Oliver, Osoyoos
  • Clare Wolff – Prince George

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Tara Casorso – Colwood, Langford, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria
  • Brianna Rosenberg – Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Reetpal Brar – Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Vancouver
  • Darlene Clarke – Hazelton, Smithers
  • Emily Lee – Vancouver
  • Adelle Rama – Langford, Saanich, Sidney

RASP service providers leave the RASP for many reasons including retirement or moving out of province. No service providers were removed in January 2017.

RASP providers are urged to keep their contact information up to date either online or by contacting the ACT office. The RASP Service Providers page has information for new applicants; the criminal record check process and renewal and professional development.

ACT updates the RASP list weekly. See who is new in your community at www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Autism on the Hill Seeking Photos for Ottawa event

Each year, Autism on the Hill holds a rally at the Parliament buildings in honour of World Autism Day. They are asking family members, caregivers, and people with autism to send in pictures to go on their banner to raise awareness of the diversity of Canada’s national autism community. Submit your photo.

Highlights from ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Listing

Sports and Recreation Programs for Children and Youth with Autism

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides highly supported sports and recreation programs for children, teens, and young adults living with autism in Kelowna, Kamloops, the Valley, the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Duncan, and Nanaimo. Online registration for CAN’s spring session of multi-week programs will take place from Monday, February 20th at noon, to Friday, February 24th at noon. Not yet a CAN member? Join today for only $25/year at www.canucksautism.ca/join.

ACT’s South Asian Autism Project’s Monthly Support Group

In collaboration with Surrey Schools and SFU, ACT hosts a monthly support group for South Asian Families raising a child with autism. Come to a meeting and raise your questions; topics are decided on at the meeting, and conversations are held in English and Punjabi.

Next Meeting: February 23, 2017 at École Henry Bose Elementary School, 6550 134 Street, Surrey. For more information, see the ASAAP Support Meeting flyer. Please see the Act in Punjabi page for more on the work of ACT’s South Asian Autism Awareness Project (ASAAP) Committee.

Upcoming Special Needs Community Events

See what is happening across B.C. or post your community/training event for the special needs community at www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/. Here are some upcoming events in February:

View all events on our Special Needs Community Events page

Participate in Research & Build Knowledge!

Are you interested in participating in autism research? Some of the latest projects underway in Canada and internationally are posted on ACT’s website: www.actcommunity.ca/information/research/participate-research/.

Simon Fraser University Parent-Child Study

The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab invites parents and children age 7-12 with or without ASD to participate in research about how children develop social skills for communication and interaction. Parents and children will work together on fun and interactive activities. Parents receive $30 and parking remuneration in thanks for participating in the 3 hour study. Please contact addl@sfu.ca for more information.

Autism in the News

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