Category Archives: Autism Information Database

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

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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

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!

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/.

Are you a researcher interested in reaching the 8,200 plus subscribers to ACT’s resources? Post your research project on the ACT page.

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

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

November News Round-Up

 

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Four new videos are now available at Autism Videos @ ACT. These training opportunities are free, online, available on your computer or phone – at your convenience.

Sponsors and donors from ACT’s 2016 Seymour Triple G fundraiser funded the recording and editing of most of these videos. A special thank you to them and to our presenters who have generously donated their expertise so that parents and professionals all over B.C. and beyond can benefit.

ACT has several other videos awaiting editing. Today is Giving Tuesday; if you would like to support AVA’s development, donate via cheque, Canada Helps, the United Way, or Employer Charitable funds. Your donations help ACT produce professional, evidence-based programming. See our 2016 donors and information on donating: www.actcommunity.ca/donate

  1. Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know!
    Dr. Brenda Fossett, BCBA-D, does a masterful job in introducing families and community professionals to the benefits of using PBS techniques to help children with special needs develop key functional skills. These range from toileting skills to community outings without tantrums. When parents understand that challenging behaviors are not a permanent feature of autism, or any other special need, and that they can be part of addressing them, the quality of family life and the child’s ability to be included in school and community activities can improve significantly. www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/positive-behavior-support/
  2. Taking Control of the Future –Planning for Families with Special Needs
    Lawyers Blair Dwyer and Layli Antinuk tackle an issue that is a primary source of stress for families who have children with special needs – securing their future. This video will help families better understand planning options to secure the financial future of their children.www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/taking-control-of-the-future/
  3. Thriving in Youth with ASD – What Does It Take?
    Dr. Jonathan Weiss, CIHR Chair ASD Treatment and Care Research, looks at how to promote positive outcomes in youth with ASD, including those with intellectual disability, by focusing on indicators such as happiness, satisfaction and resilience. This video includes a fascinating panel presentation with Dr. Anthony Bailey, UBC; Patrick Dwyer, student and self-advocate; Dr. Stephanie Jull, Canucks Autism Network; Dr. Rashmeen Nirmal, Sunny Hill Health Centre and Dr. David Worling, Westcoast Child Development Group.
    www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/thriving-in-youth-with-asd/
  4. Looking Beyond Autism: Recognising Mental Health Disordersin Children and Youth with ASD
    This is the first of two events which were webcasted recently as part of the Online Mental Health and Autism Project. Funded by MCFD, these presentations were developed in collaboration with UBC Continuing Professional Development, to increase awareness among community professionals of the high prevalence of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression, among children and youth with ASD. Webinar 2 will be available shortly.
    www.actcommunity.ca/mentalhealth/recognising/

ACT hosts nearly 20 professionally filmed and edited talks from experts in their field. Browse for popular topics such as toilet training, recreation, puberty and early intervention: www.actcommunity.ca/videos Many of these presentations are relevant across a variety of special needs.

New YVR Autism Access Sticker

The Vancouver International Airport, with Canucks Autism Network, has developed an Autism Access Sticker. This sticker was developed as part of the I CAN Fly program that provides air travel resources to support individuals and families living with autism. For more information or to get yours for holiday travel: New YVR Autism Access Sticker Gives Expedited Airport Processing .

Have Your Say: Federal Accessibility Legislation

The Federal Government is consulting with Canadians on new accessibility legislation. See below for opportunities to participate online. Some of the questions they will be asking are:

  • What are the main barriers to accessibility that Canadians with disabilities face?
  • What would it take to fix those barriers?
  • How can we change attitudes in Canada to better include and respect people with disabilities?

For details: www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/disability/legislation/index.page#h2.325

calendar

New Live Event – Evaluating Intervention Programs and Peer Mediated PRT

Presented by Isabel Smith, PhD and Ainsley Boudreau, PhD
January 14th, 2017, Vancouver

Across Canada there are very different approaches to autism intervention in both the pre-school and school-age context. Join ACT for a fascinating day to discover more about the experience in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and what we should consider when evaluating and refining the BC approach. The morning will look at a study of two intervention programs in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The afternoon will examine a variation of the parent delivery model of Pivotal Response Treatment, in which typically developing peers are taught to play with their classmates with ASD.
Evaluating Intervention Programs and Peer Mediated Pivotal Response Treatment for Children with ASD

RASP Updates: 9 New RASP Professionals

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Nine RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated between October 26th and November 29th. As of November 29th, there are now 661 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Kate Chase – Serves: Vancouver
  • Sylvia Hunter – Serves: North Vancouver, Pemberton, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, Whistler
  • Danielle Pessah – Serves: Langford, Saanich, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Andrea Schneider – Serves: Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Amy Makaroff – Serves: Victoria

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Hannah Tan – Serves: Richmond
  • Alysha Virani – Serves: Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Surrey

Occupational Therapists

  • Anjelee Khosla – Serves: Delta, Ladner, Maple Ridge, Richmond, Surrey
  • Ashley Reina – Serves: Coldstream, Enderby, Kelowna, Lake Country, Penticton, Summerland, Vernon

Professionals no longer listed on the RASP

RASP service providers may leave the RASP due to retirement or moving to a different job or province. Since October 26th, listings for Levina Chin and Nicholas Watkins have been removed from the RASP.

RASP providers are urged to keep their contact information up to date either online or by contacting the ACT office. If you are a parent who is not receiving a response from a RASP Professional, please update ACT.

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

Special Needs Community Events

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ACT welcomes submissions on events from organizations from across B. C. providing services to children and adults with special needs and their families. Browse current events, or post your own at www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events

Upcoming events in December include:

  • December 3rd. Celebrate Diversity – family WORKs. North Vancouver.
  • December 3rd. Project Everybody: International Day of Persons with Disabilities Celebration – Inclusion BC. Vancouver.
  • December 3rd. Family Holiday Skate – Canucks Autism Network. Kamloops.
  • December 8th. Wills, Trusts and Estates: For Families and Individuals with Disabilities – Inclusion BC. Vancouver.
  • December 8th. Parents as Advocates Workshop – North Shore Disabilities Resource Centre and Inclusion BC. North Vancouver.
  • December 10th. Sensory Friendly Movie: Moana. Cineplex – Langford, Richmond or Langley Cinemas.
  • December 11th. Sensory Friendly Santa – Autism Society of B.C. Park Royal Shopping Mall, West Vancouver.
  • December 18th. Family Holiday Skate – Canucks Autism Network. Kelowna.
  • December 22nd. A Night to Remember – a Sensory Friendly Winter Formal Dinner Dance – Mayday Club. Abbotsford.

Submit your community events for inclusion in this provincial resource listing.

Food and Eating: Resources from the Autism Information Database

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Restricted eating habits are common among individuals with ASD. The Autism Information Database (AID) provides curated resources on this topic and more:

  • Exploring Feeding Behavior in Autism – A Parent’s Guide.From the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network. This article offers guidance on how to address feeding issues and the need for combined effort from the team and family. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/1717/
  • Addressing Problematic Feeding Behaviours Using a Behavioural Approach. This online video by Lauren Binnendyck outlines behavioral approaches to dealing with problematic feeding behaviors. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2032/
  • Just Take a Bite – Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges! This book by Lori Ernsperger provides information and strategies on how to deal with food aversions and eating challenges. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/698/
  • Pica – A Guide for Parents. From the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network. This guide describes pica (the eating of non-food items) and its challenges. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/1775/

Search the AID for resources on advocacy, IEPs, toilet training, service providers and community programs: www.actcommunity.ca/aid“It’s like Google, but better!”
Submit a community or information resource to the AID: www.actcommunity.ca/aid

ABA at Capilano University

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The Applied Behaviour Analysis – Autism Department at Capilano University will be accepting applications for the Bachelor’s and Post-Bac Diploma programs starting January 2017. On-line study is available. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Stock, BCBA-D, for more information: rstock@capilanou.ca

MCFD Sponsored Online Autism Training

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This educational program, with openings for Winter 2017, is open to any BI or family member in B.C. who is working with a child/youth who has an ASD diagnosis and a behaviour plan of support written by a professional, in community, school or centres. For more information: www.douglascollege.ca/autism-outreachor contact dacs@douglascollege.ca

Applications are open for Douglas College’s other ASD related programs: Behaviour Intervention, Classroom and Community Support, Disability and ABA, and Employment Supports Specialty. All programs are for academic credit and some ladder into the next level, as you move forward in your career.

Autism in the News

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Staff News – new job posting

ACT is pleased to announce that Andrea Tai has joined ACT as our Administrative Assistant.

Job Posting – Full time Information Officer
ACT Information Officers provide information, support and referral services to families raising children with ASD. The ideal candidate will be knowledgeable about autism and related services with strong communication skills. A second language is an asset.

This position, based in our Burnaby office, is a full time (35 hours per week) family leave contract starting mid to late January 2017 for one year. For a full job description or if you have any questions please contact info@actcommunity.ca. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to info@actcommunity.ca with “ACT Information Officer” in the subject line. We will be reviewing applications upon receipt and scheduling interviews for early January.

ACT’s E.D. Receives Award Recognizing Contributions to Developmental Disabilities

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Recently, ACT’s Executive Director, Deborah Pugh, received a ‘Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Outstanding Contribution Award’, at the annual conference. The award was presented by Dr. Elena Lopez, conference co-chair. For more about the conference, visit the committee website.

ACT’s End of Summer News Round-Up

Results of ACT’s Resources and Services Survey 2016

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer ACT’s Resources and Services Survey, released in August 2016. Over 1,000 responses were received from parents, individuals with autism, professionals and para-professionals. There was strong representation from across B.C. which means that the survey provides very useful insights to the perceptions and priorities of families and professionals.

While there were some differences in responses based on whether we looked at parent versus professional perspectives, or whether the respondent lived in Metro Vancouver or a small rural community, in general, the responses were similar across the board:

  • Those that have used ACT’s many free online resources or the individualized services of Information Officers rate them highly.
  • Many respondents, depending on the resource or service, are not aware of all that ACT provides: we need to do a better job of promoting our resources, especially in Northern B.C.

All of the suggestions we made in terms of areas where ACT could improve our resources were endorsed. The highest degrees of support were for:

  • Better information resources for adults;
  • A Registry of Autism Service Providers for children six and over;
  • Developing a profile tool for all professions on the RASP.

ACT’s next step will be to seek out necessary resources to enable us to meet the challenges we have been set. To review a full report on the results you can download the PDF here.

New RASP Professionals: Interior, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island

The professionals listed below, serving Merritt, Cloverdale, Parksville, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Saanich, and Port Moody, had their status updated or were added to the RASP between Aug. 3rd – Sept 17th, 2016. There are now 650 RASP Professionals listed.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Michelle de Beer – Coquitlam, Langley, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey
  • Sarah Gentile – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver
  • Leanne Scheidel – Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, North Delta, Surrey, White Rock
  • Laurel Rankin – Comox Valley, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River, Qualicum Beach

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Shanna Davies – Comox Valley, Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville.
  • Jodi Phillips – Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Christine Schretlen – Richmond
  • Chelsea Van Tol – Ashcroft, Barriere, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Logan Lake, Merritt, Savona

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Sarah Rhodes – Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, Surrey, White Rock

Occupational Therapists

  • Catherine Brandon – Kelowna
  • Mark Koslowski – Saanich, Salt Spring Island, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria
  • Courtney Snider – Barriere, Chase, Kamloops, Logan lake, Merritt, Salmon Arm, Savona, Sorrento

See the RASP list to browse all current RASP service providers. The RASP listing is updated each week and is searchable by location, willingness to travel, languages spoken, and if professionals are currently accepting new clients. There are now 650 RASP Professionals listed.

RASP Professionals can update availability and online

ACT encourages all RASP Professionals to update your availability. It is clear from the Survey (see above), that parents appreciate it! Please use this online form – ACT can usually update the website within two working days. Parents: if you find a listing is out-of-date, please let us know at info@actcommunity.ca and we will follow-up with that professional.

New Survey:Mental Health and Autism Survey for Practitioners

ACT, in collaboration with UBC’s Department of Continuing Professional Development and with the support of an expert Advisory Committee, is developing an online education initiative – the Online Mental Health and Autism Project – funded by MCFD.

To understand the educational needs of professionals, UBC – CPD has developed a survey to gauge their experiences from across the province. If you are a healthcare provider working with children and youth with autism, who also have mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression or OCD, please fill in this Survey: https://survey.ubc.ca/s/ACT-Survey/

New ACT Resources for B.C.’s South Asian Community

With support from ACT’s South Asian Autism Project Committee (ASAAP), funding from Autism Speaks Canada and sponsorship from the Surrey School District, ACT is releasing new resources to help families in the South Asian community affected by autism this month.

Punjabi- Language Video for Autism Videos @ ACT

One Parent’s Journey into Autism (in Punjabi) is presented by Sunita Braich, parent of a child with autism, an Integration Support Teacher in the Surrey School District and a member of ASAAP. In this video, Ms. Braich shares her experience in receiving a diagnosis of autism for her child: “There are some things I wish I had known more about before being thrown into what will be a lifelong journey and there are other things, I am proud to say, I feel I intuitively succeeded at.”

Guide to Working with South Asian Families – Chapter 13 of the Autism Manual for B.C.

Chapter 13: Guide to Working with South Asian Families Affected by Autism (pdf). In this guide, Preetinder Narang, M.Ed., BCBA, Special Educator with the Surrey School District, uses her own experience to explore the challenges faced by professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse families. Ms. Narang explains the benefits of employing a culturally informed, family-centered approach guided by the “Cultural Assessment Tool.”

Download chapters from ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. at www.actcommunity.ca/autism-manual

Monthly Support Group for South Asian Families

ACT’s South Asian Autism Awareness Project (ASAAP) hosts a monthly support group for South Asian families raising or supporting a child with autism. Parents and extended family are welcome. Topics will be chosen by the group, and the discussion will be held in both Punjabi and English. To RSVP or for more information, contact ACT at 604-205-5467 or info@actcommunity.ca.

Upcoming meetings will be at the École Henry Bose Elementary School, 6550 134 Street, Surrey, B.C. All meetings are from 6:30pm to 8:30pm: September 28th, October 27th, November 24th, 2016.

For more information on the ASAAP project, and more resources in Punjabi, including a video on IEP’s, visit our ACT in Punjabi page.

Sponsored by Simon Fraser University and the Surrey School District.

Upcoming ACT Live Events: ABA in School; iPads as Learning Tools

ACT’s Live Events are a great way of getting new ideas and inspiration whether for your own child or those you work with. Click on the event titles below for detailed event descriptions, pricing, scheduling or location, or go to: www.actcommunity.ca/events

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children

Presented by: Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D

October 21 & 22, 2016 -Vancouver

CEUs will be available – check the event details page for updates.

 

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention

Presented by: Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

November 26th, 2016 – Vancouver

See event details here.

There are group discounts if you register three or more people at once. Paying by credit card? You can register online at any time. To use Autism Funding Invoice Payment, please see: www.actcommunity.ca/education/funding-invoice-option/

Highlights from ACT’s Autism Information Database

ACT’s Autism Information Database hosts records on over 2,000 carefully chosen Community and Information Resources. Browse for books, videos, agencies, recreational activities and services providers at: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/

Individual Education Plans – Back to School Resources from the AID

School has begun and IEP meetings will be starting soon; the AID has several resources that can help de-mystify the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process for parents:

Individual Education Plans: A Guide for Parents

Provided by the BC Association of Parent Advisory Councils, this resource details important information on IEP’s including what collaboration should look like, sample IEP goals, Adapted and Modified programs, and reporting on a child’s progress. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/430/

Available in additional languages:

The BC Education System: An Introduction for Parents of Students with ASD

Chapter 7 of ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. outlines how parents can better understand the province’s education system. It includes information on what inclusion really means, school legislation, the IEP, and important issues to consider upon school completion. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/9/

Supporting Meaningful Consultation with Parents

This article provided by the BC Council of Administrators of Special Education provides information on what constitutes meaningful consultation by school administrators with parents of children with special needs, assisting parents in advocating effectively for their child. Includes an appendix of sample individualized educational plan (IEP) preparation and planning forms. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/465/

Autism Research Summaries from York University

The AID contains many links to research that is useful to parents and community professionals. Dr. Jonathan Weiss and his team at York University have summarized studies on ASD to inform the autism community: www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2064/

Browse the AID for more information and community resources: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/

Submit your Community Resources to the AID

ACT gathers community resources from across the province for the AID. Whether you are running a parents’ group or you are an SLP working with older children or adults, or a dentist willing to treat children with autism, we would like to share your information with families. Please fill in this online form: www.actcommunity.ca/submit-resource/

ACT Supports Autism Services in Guyana

This summer, thanks to the efforts of Jacquie Jordan (pictured on the left), a member of the B.C. autism community, ACT was able to donate a collection of autism resources to the Step by Step School in Guyana which supports children with autism.

Step by Step opened in 2011 with five children with autism; they now support 19 students. For more information, visit their website: stepbystepguyana.org/

New! ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Listing

The Special Needs Community Events page lists upcoming community events from around the province at www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events/. ACT recently changed the name from Non-ACT Events to encourage all special needs organizations to post their events. Some of the listings include:

Submit special needs events from your community at: www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events/

Early Childhood Intervention Services and Supports Survey

The Family Support Institute, BC Association for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI) and Inclusion BC, have embarked on an information gathering project to determine the key concerns of parents of children and youth with special needs in B.C. Access the survey here: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/FamilyFeedbackServicesforCYSN/

Focus on Adults with Autism

Is it Autism and, if so, what next? A Guide for Adults

This guide is designed to help adults who suspect they may have autism, as well as those recently diagnosed. This kit provides an overview of autism to help individuals better understand the disorder and decide when to seek out a professional for a thorough evaluation.

This resource can be accessed from the AID at www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2855/

Changes to Application Process for Persons with Disability (PWD)

Disability Alliance BC has outlined important changes to the application process for PWD designation, especially for those in the MCFD At Home Program and CLBC Program. See link for details.

Latest “Autism’s Own” Journal Issue Now Available

Autism’s Own is a University of Victoria peer-reviewed journal about autism culture, authored and edited by persons on the autism spectrum. Read it at this link.

Autism Talks at TedX

Michael McCreary, comedian and Apsie give his insight to life on the spectrum in this YorkU TedX talk. (warning: if you watch at work, your colleague may ask why you are laughing!)

Wanted: Experienced Graphic Designer

ACT requires an experienced graphic designer with prior experience in designing multi-page documents like annual reports using InDesign. Experience in designing in languages in addition to English an advantage. This is a contract position involving the design of translations into eight languages of MCFD’s “A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs”.

The designer will work with ACT staff as well as each of the translators. Please contact Christine Hung at chung@actcommunity.ca for more information.

Share your Back to School Photos with ACT

Nearly all the photos that ACT uses on our website and in our print materials are sent in by B.C. families. They help us project a positive vision of families affected by autism in B.C. Please consider sharing your summer or back to school photos using this form: www.actcommunity.ca/share-photos-form/

Autism in the News

For more stories and updates follow us on Facebook.

ACT Staff updates

Anne Millerd, Manager of the RASP, has left ACT to work in the area of inclusive employment and to finish her studies at Capilano University. Anne will be greatly missed. Louise Broadley, ACT’s Manager of Autism Information will be taking on the responsibility of RASP Manager for the time being.

Bonita Theron, ACT receptionist, who many of ACT’s callers will recognize as the first voice they heard when they call ACT, is leaving for opportunities in donor development. We wish her the best in her career and thank her for providing a friendly voice to greet our callers.

 

Summer 2016 News Round-Up

This News Round-Up is sent out monthly via email. Be the first to read the news, and sign up for the ACT mailing list.

Parent Coaching Project Intervention Research Project – Request for Applications

ACT, in collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Pacific Autism Family Centre and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, invites applications from teams consisting of researchers partnered with service providers to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based parent coaching intervention(s) for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of or diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), hereinafter referred to as the Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project or “The Project”.

Award Amount and Duration: The maximum amount for the award is $2,850,000. The maximum period of funding is three years. Funding will be allocated to a single Applicant Team composed of both researchers and service delivery partner(s).

Details and documents: For more information and to download the Request for Applications and the Request for Expressions of Interest from Service Providers see www.actcommunity.ca/information/parent-coaching-intervention-research-project

Seymour Triple G raises $15,000 for Autism Videos @ ACT

Natalie Clancy, CBC reporter and ACT Board Member was the emcee for the event

Many thanks to the riders, volunteers and donors who together made ACT’s Inaugural Seymour Triple G a great success. All cyclists safely completed the grueling, ultra-intense 12 kilometer ride up Mount Seymour to raise funds for ACT on June 25th. As well as raising autism awareness, ACT raised over $15,000 from this very fun event which will help fund AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT. See the Triple G Instagram feed for photographs of the evetns, thanks to our volunteer photographers.

AVA is ACT’s free online video platform which shares practical, research-based information targeted to the needs of families striving to understand how to best help their child with ASD at home, school and in the community. There are 16 videos available, tackling everything from sleep to sexuality.

Thanks to the funds raised, ACT has hired an autism specialist to help edit the backlog of 10 presentations we have waiting to be added to Autism Videos @ ACT. Browse the full list of videos awaiting editing.

For more information on the ride or to donate, visit www.seymourtripleg.ca. To see the full list of donors and sponsors, visit the Seymour Triple G Thank You page

14 new RASP Professionals serving Trail, Dawson Creek, Victoria and Metro Vancouver

In June and July, fourteen RASP professionals qualified for the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP). For more information on searching the RASP and what RASP professionals offer, visit www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/information-for-families.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Erin Cornhill – Serves: Langford, Saanich, Sooke, Victoria
  • Bonnie Daudlin – Serves: Delta, Ladner, Richmond, Tsawwassen
  • Doireann O’Brien – Serves: Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Vancouver
  • Roxana Radu – Serves: North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Rita Barsum – Serves: Burnaby, Cloverdale, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey, Vancouver, White Rock
  • Ornela Kutle – Serves: Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Kimberley Hardy – Serves: Vancouver, Burnaby
  • Delena Hills – Serves: Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Rachel Turnbull – Serves: Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Tumbler Ridge

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Max Mosley – Serves: Victoria
  • Anahita Rustom – Serves: Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Tamsin Snodgrass – Serves: Castlegar, Fruitvale, Rossland, Trail
  • Megan Sutherland – Serves: Burnaby, Vancouver, Coquitlam, North Vancouver
  • Alex Thompson – Serves: Langley

To search the RASP for professionals in your community, visit www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search

New! Next Steps Guide Available in Korean

ACT’s Next Steps Guide is distributed to hundreds of families each year by both private and public diagnostic teams. ACT is pleased to announce that it is now available in Korean (download the PDF here). The Next Steps Guide is also a very helpful resource for families who are rethinking their child’s intervention program or who want to know more about ACT’s services.

Many thanks to our volunteer translator Bosang Lee, the Executive Director of Here and Now Community Society, who worked closely with ACT to develop this important resource. The Next Steps Guide is available in English, Chinese, Punjabi and Korean from the New Diagnosis Hub: www.actcommunity.ca/information/new-diagnosis-hub

New Social Thinking article available on ACT in Chinese; “培養組織能力的十步驟: 不只是為了家庭作業 10 Steps to Foster Organization: Homework and Beyond!”

Students with ASD have trouble with organizational skills, regardless of their intelligence and age. This article by Michelle Garcia Winner provides practical strategies to foster organization skills and prepare students with ASD for homework and life. 自閉症患者通常缺乏組織能力。就算是高智商課業頂尖的學生也常忘東忘西,日常生活雜亂無章。 這篇中譯文提供了實用的方法幫助學生培養組織能力,積極面對缺乏整合執行功能對課業及生活上帶來的挑戰。

Read this article at: www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2827 or browse the ACT in Chinese section of the ACT website for more: www.actcommunity.ca/act-in-chinese

AID Resources to Help Families Enjoy Summertime

Summer is in the air! The Autism Information Database (AID) has resources to support families to enjoy a relaxing, stress-free time, including:

Search the Autism Information Database (AID) for dozens of community recreation activities.

Focus on York University AID Resources

The AID also contains links to important research that ACT features because they are of practical use to families and community professionals. Type “York University” into the search bar of the AID to be linked to 32 research summaries that you don’t need a PhD to understand!

Community Events Around B.C.

As a free service, ACT features community events from around the province, including:

  • August 14th – Choir Auditions (Abbotsford)
  • Sept 14th – Introduction to Contemporary ABA and Autism Workshop (Richmond)
  • Sept 15th – Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Advanced Workshop (Duncan)
  • Sept 27th – Language Development for Children with Language Disorders (Vancouver)
  • Sept 30th – Introduction to the SCERTS Model (Victoria)

Do you have an event that you would like to see included? Submit or browse for more at: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Calling All Artists

Two upcoming opportunities for artists with autism or other special needs:

12th Annual INCLUSION Art Show and Sale (October 26th, Vancouver)

posAbilities presents the 12th Annual INCLUSION Art Show and Sale at the Heritage Hall in Vancouver. For more information: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Submit your art to the Pacific Autism Family Centre before August 31, 2016

The Pacific Autism Family Centre is seeking submissions from artists interested in showing their work in its new Goodlife Fitness Family Autism Hub. For more information: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Autism’s Own Conference and Reception (August 21st, Victoria)

Celebrate the publication of the 2016 issue of the Autism’s Own Journal, Sunday, August 21st at the UVic Student Union Building. For more information see www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Mindfulness with the Canucks Autism Network

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is launching a Mindfulness program for adolescents with autism and their parents this coming Fall. This unique program is part of a cross-Canada research study into the effects of mindfulness for adolescents with autism and their parents called MYMind. Online registration for this program opens on Monday, August 15th at noon. For more information about the program, please visit www.canucksautism.ca/programs or contact tara.rodas@canucksautism.ca.

 

Live Events: Michelle Winner, Pamela Crooke, Sarah Ward and Ken Cole

ACT hosts up to 20 events a year, bringing evidence-informed training to parents and professionals relevant to the autism and other special needs. The events below are filling up rapidly. Register early to save and to ensure your seat. Not sure which event would be a good fit for you? Call an ACT Information Officer for individualized information.

Download July – September Events Calendar

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Surrey

Only two spots left – please call the office to register.

August 15 – 19, 2016 (30 hours of instruction)

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych, Consultant, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders

“The biggest thing I learned was dealing with behaviours. I was struggling with this as a SEA and now I definitely have some very valuable tools that I can use.”

Two Days of Social Thinking® – Vancouver

August 4 & 5, 2016

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP

Social Thinking, San Jose, California

“You two have an amazing ability to engage listeners.”

($50 off if you register for both Social Thinking and Cutting Edge Strategies. See event page for details)

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills – Richmond

Sept. 15 & 16, 2016

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

“I learned many practical strategies. I will definitely be implementing the “Get Ready, Do, Done” model and the clock!”

Save the Date! Registration opening soon

New! Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children – Vancouver

October 20 & 21st, 2016.
Presented by Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D – Vancouver

“Richard is a wonderful speaker with lots of thought provoking examples”

For details or to register, visit the ACT Events page: www.actcommunity.ca/events

Can’t attend a live event? Browse ACT’s Free Online Videos

ACT hosts 16 free online videos at www.actcommunity.ca/videos – some of our more popular titles are:

Autism in the News

New AID Resources for B.C. Families & Professionals

New AID Resources for B.C. Families & Professionals

The Autism Information Database (AID) hosts over 2,000 information and community resources. ACT’s staff source great information resources internationally as well as B.C- based support groups and service providers. We want to ensure we cover the province – please submit a new resource from your community.

Summer Camps Searchable on the AID

In May we have been busy collecting information on summer camps – summer is almost here and camps are filling up fast. There are currently over 100 B.C. summer camps listed on the AID. Narrow the search further by searching a specific city or use your postal code to see the closest options. A few examples of camps available on the AID:

  • The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is running a Multisport Day Camp at the Shawnigan Lake School July 16 &17. See the AID link for CAN’s Vancouver Island programs for details.
  • Summer Social offers campers the opportunity to connect with peers while learning Social Thinking concepts.actcommunity.ca/resource/1615/
  • The Hands on Summer Camp from the Elizabeth Buckley School offers programming based on science, technology, engineering, arts and math and is for typical children as well as those with special needs, ages 4-12. actcommunity.ca/resource/1652/

New Tool: Identifying Levels of Social Communication

CanChild researchers at McMaster University have developed a new tool to help identify levels of social communication skills among children with ASD. The Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC) provides a standardized and simplified way for clinicians, therapists, teachers, and parents to talk about what a child’s social communication abilities are. See the AID to read up on this new tool for details and contact information.

Video: The History of Autism and Vaccines

A link to The Vaccines Controversy: The history of the alleged relationship between autism and vaccine is available on the AID. This eight minute video explains the alleged link between vaccines and ASD and outlines various research studies.

ACT Funded by Canada Summer Jobs to Hire Students to Enhance the AID

ACT has received funding from Canada Summer Jobs to hire two summer students to work on the AID and other projects. This federal program helps not-for-profits like ACT to create summer job opportunities to allow students to gain experience.

May News Round-up

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Volunteer or Donate: Seymour Triple G Fundraiser for ACT

The 1st Annual Seymour Triple G Road Cycling Fundraiser is less than a month away. Donate, register to ride or come cheer the cyclists on! Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver.

Sponsored by Loma Bike, Mt Seymour, Cycling BC, and Brite Coaching, this fundraiser will challenge riders with a 15 km ride up a 7-10% grade. This ride will demand heart, stamina and determination – much like the challenge autism presents for individuals and their families.

ACT is seeking volunteers for:

  • Promotions: Friendly, outgoing people to hand out brochures at high-traffic cycling areas including Horseshoe Bay, Mt. Seymour, SFU, Iona Beach, and Galileo Coffee near Britannia Beach, weekend mornings, until mid- June.
  • Photography: High quality photographers to take action photos of the riders and attendees on the day of the event. You’ll have to be fast!
  • Day of Event Support: Help us with setup and registration, cheer on the riders and serve (and eat!) breakfast at the top.

Email events@actcommunity.ca to volunteer.

ACT’s goal is to raise $10,000 to help us host more of our practical presentations aimed at helping families and professionals learn more about all aspects of autism , Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) currently hosts 16 high quality videos available for free across B.C. We are over half-way to our goal, thanks to generous donations from the employees of Walmart Penticton, Oceanside Fisheries, Maria Carinha, Seymour Triple G riders and pledges to the Loma Bike team! Donate now to support ACT’s free resources.

6 New RASP Professionals – Kelowna, Fraser Valley, Victoria & Vancouver

As of end of May, there are 638 professionals listed on the RASP. The RASP is updated daily and can be searched by name, city, profession or language. Each News Round-Up, we feature the RASP professionals who have been added. These are the new additions for May:

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)
  • Rebecca Keller – Serves: Saanich, Sooke, Victoria
  • Stephanie Sywak – Serves: Abbotsford, Agassiz, Aldergrove, Chilliwack, Hope, Maple Ridge, Mission, Port Coquitlam
Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Celeste Coldwell – Serves: Kelowna
  • Courtney Fearon – Serves: Surrey, White Rock
Occupational Therapists
  • Claire Feltham – Serves: Chilliwack
  • Amy Yee – Serves: Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver, West Vancouver

Correction from the April News Round-Up. This is a corrected listing for Carla Kirk- Behavior Consultant (Category B – Supervised): serves: Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Surrey.

You may also be interested in Chapter 5 of ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C., Contracting with Professionals on the RASP with important information on contracts, timesheets and invoices.

ACT Seeking Designer & Translators in Arabic, Persian (Farsi) and Spanish

ACT is seeking to contract professional translators to translate MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs into Arabic, Persian (Farsi) or Spanish. A knowledge of autism and how the Autism Funding Programs work in B.C. is desirable. Interested candidates should contact Christine Hung chung@actcommunity.ca for more information.

ACT has already identified translation teams for the Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean and Punjabi versions of the Handbook. (See the MCFD News Release for details on this project) Work is beginning in June. If you are a native speaker of any of these languages and you would like to volunteer to proof or advise on wording, please contact Christine. As each version is completed we will announce it in the News Round-Up.

ACT is also seeking a contract print media designer, highly skilled in Adobe InDesign to support this project. Send your CV to Christine Hung chung@actcommunity.ca

“Dr. Joe” Wins UBC’s Killiam Teaching Prize

Dr. Joseph Lucyshyn, presenter for ACT, is the recipient of the 2015-2016 UBC Killam Teaching Prize. This prestigious award is in recognition of his dedication to students, teaching, and learning at the Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education Department at UBC: “His unwavering commitment to kindness and compassion shapes his teaching style, making for a unique and memorable learning experience for students.”

Parents of children with special needs across B.C. know Dr. Joe for his many presentations on behalf of ACT – from Sidney to Nanaimo, from Vancouver to Castlegar and North to Fort St. John. We respect him as an outstanding humanitarian whose commitment to helping parents use positive behavior support strategies to transform family life is inspirational. If you would like to see Dr. Joe present, go to AVA (Autism Videos @ ACT) and watch (free) Culturally Responsive PBS with Families of Diverse Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds.

New AID Resources for B.C. Families & Professionals

The Autism Information Database (AID) hosts over 2,000 information and community resources. ACT’s staff source great information resources internationally as well as B.C- based support groups and service providers. We want to ensure we cover the province – please submit a new resource from your community.

Summer Camps Searchable on the AID

In May we have been busy collecting information on summer camps – summer is almost here and camps are filling up fast. There are currently over 100 B.C. summer camps listed on the AID. Narrow the search further by searching a specific city or use your postal code to see the closest options. A few examples of camps available on the AID:

  • The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is running a Multisport Day Camp at the Shawnigan Lake School July 16 &17. See the AID link for CAN’s Vancouver Island programs for details.
  • Summer Social offers campers the opportunity to connect with peers while learning Social Thinking concepts. actcommunity.ca/resource/1615/
  • The Hands on Summer Camp from the Elizabeth Buckley School offers programming based on science, technology, engineering, arts and math and is for typical children as well as those with special needs, ages 4-12. actcommunity.ca/resource/1652/

New Tool: Identifying Levels of Social Communication

CanChild researchers at McMaster University have developed a new tool to help identify levels of social communication skills among children with ASD. The Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC) provides a standardized and simplified way for clinicians, therapists, teachers, and parents to talk about what a child’s social communication abilities are. See the AID to read up on this new tool for details and contact information.

Video: The History of Autism and Vaccines

A link to The Vaccines Controversy: The history of the alleged relationship between autism and vaccine is available on the AID. This eight minute video explains the alleged link between vaccines and ASD and outlines various research studies.

ACT Funded by Canada Summer Jobs to Hire Students to Enhance the AID

ACT has received funding from Canada Summer Jobs to hire two summer students to work on the AID and other projects. This federal program helps not-for-profits like ACT to create summer job opportunities to allow students to gain experience.

Focus on Adults

Simon Fraser University’s Autism Mentorship Program this Fall

The SFU Autism Mentorship Initiative (AMI) is designed to support and engage SFU students with ASD in university life and to increase their potential for academic retention and success. Students with ASD have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained student mentor for up to two hours per week throughout each semester. New intake for Fall 2016; details online.

EmploymentWorks Canada

The EmploymentWorks Canada program supports youth or young adults with ASD who would like support in developing the skills to succeed in the workplace. The program is 2.5 hours of structured learning and 2.5 hours of workplace sampling each week for 12 weeks starting August 8th, 2016.

For more information, contact Brooke Straith, at 604-700-8614 or brooke@pacificautismfamily.com

Community Events Around B.C.

Did you know that ACT provides a free service to community organizations to advertise their events? Here are a few events that you may want to know more about – see details for these events and more at www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events/

Abbotsford – Youth Choir & ASD Workshop

Auditions for The Mayday Club Youth Choir for Autism Advocacy
Supporting Children with Autism in Sports and Recreation

Burnaby – SFU Social Science Camp – July 16 & 23 – Register now!

This is the 5th Year that SFU has run this fun camp for children with and without autism or developmental disabilities. More info and registration details.

Squamish – Navigating Autism Intervention Services – Information for Parents

June 7, 2016, 9:30 am – 11:30 am at the Squamish Academy of Music. Join ACT in Squamish for a free information session led by Louise Broadley, Manager of Autism Information Services. Learn about navigating autism services and interventions available for children with autism living in B.C. RSVP via info@actcommunity.ca or by calling 1-866-939-5188. Download the poster for details.

(If you would like to host a visit by ACT to your community – email info@actcommunity.ca)

Penticton – Navigating Autism Intervention Services – Information for Parents

ACT’s Executive Director, Deborah Pugh, will be in Penticton on Tuesday, June 14th (receiving a cheque from the generous employees of Walmart Penticton for the Seymour Triple G Fundraiser supporting Autism Videos @ ACT). We will be taking advantage of this opportunity to meet with families on Tuesday, June 14th, 10:30 -12:30 am. Deborah will be demonstrating ACT’s free resources, including: Autism Videos @ ACT; the Autism Information Database and the Registry of Autism Service Providers online search. Location will be confirmed. For updates, check www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events/ or call info@actcommunity.ca for details.

Richmond – Autism Speaks Canada Walks to the PAFC

Autism Speaks Canada’s annual fundraising walk has moved to the Pacific Autism Family Centre in Richmond, B.C. Join them this October. www.autismspeaks.ca

Submit your community event here.

Live Events: Michelle Winner, Pamela Crooke, Sarah Ward and Ken Cole

ACT hosts up to 20 events a year, bringing evidence-informed training to parents and professionals relevant to the autism and other special needs. These events are filling up rapidly. Register early to save and to ensure your seat. Not sure which event would be a good fit for you? Call an ACT Information Officer for individualized advice.

Download July – September Events Calendar

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Vancouver

July 11 – 15, 2016 (30 hours of instruction)

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych
Consultant, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders

“Amazing and useful information. I wish our whole staff could attend!!”

Details and registration here.

Two Days of Social Thinking®

August 4 & 5, 2016

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
Social Thinking, San Jose, California

“You two have an amazing ability to engage listeners.”

Details and registration here.

($50 off if you register for both Social Thinking and Cutting Edge Strategies. See event page for details)

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Surrey

August 15 – 19, 2016 (30 hours of instruction)

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych
Consultant, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders

“The biggest thing I learned was dealing with behaviours. I was struggling with this as a SEA and now I definitely have some very valuable tools that I can use.”

Details and registration here.

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills- Richmond

Sept. 15 & 16, 2016

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

“I learned many practical strategies. I will definitely be implementing the “Get Ready, Do, Done” model and the clock!”

Details and registration here.

($50 off if you register for both Social Thinking and Cutting Edge Strategies. See event page for details)

Post-Secondary Training

ACT has just updated our website listing of post-secondary programs providing advanced and accredited training related to ASD at UBC, Douglas College, Capilano University and Surrey College. Browse the listings here and advance your education to the next level.

MCFD-Sponsored Online Autism Training

Are you a BI working with a child/youth in British Columbia? Are you a family member who wants to support children with behavior interventions based on the science of ABA? The MCFD sponsored Online Autism Training now accepts applicants from across B.C. Apply now – classes start in September. Reduced tuition – get academic credit for less half the price of other programs. Learn more.

Programs at Douglas College

Douglas College also has four ASD related programs: Behaviour Intervention, Classroom and Community Support, Disability and ABA, and Employment Supports Specialty. Application deadlines in June, most classes begin in September. All programs are for academic credit and can ladder into another as you move forward in your career. For more information: dacs@douglascollege.ca Apply Now!

Autism in the News

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April News Round-Up

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Seymour Triple G – Volunteer or Donate to Support ACT’s Free Resources

ACT is delighted to announce the 1st Annual Seymour Triple G Road Cycling Fundraiser. Donate, sign up to ride or come cheer the riders on Saturday, June 25th, 2016, Mount Seymour, North Vancouver.

Sponsored by Loma Bike, Mt Seymour, Cycling BC, and Brite Coaching, this fundraiser will challenge riders with a 15 km ride up a 7-10% grade. This ride is considered “hors catégorie” (more than a Category 1 climb), and will demand heart, stamina and determination – much like the challenge autism presents for individuals and their families.

Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to put together a team for the Seymour Triple G or donate online.

ACT is seeking volunteers for:

  • Promotions: Friendly, outgoing people to hand out brochures at high-traffic cycling areas including Horseshoe Bay, Mt. Seymour, SFU, Iona Beach, or Galileo Coffee near Britannia Beach, weekend mornings, from May to mid- June.
  • Photography: High quality photographers to take action photos of the riders and attendees on the day of the event. You’ll have to be fast!
  • Day of Event Support: Help us with setup and registration, cheer on the riders and serve breakfast at the top.

Please email info@seymourtripleg.ca if you are able to help.

Funds raised will go to the Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) project, which hosts 16 free online videos on topics ranging from community recreation, education, toilet training, and the transition to adulthood. Funding will help expand and develop this free resource available to families and professionals when they need it as well as other autism awareness resources. All donations over $10 will receive a tax receipt. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001

Go to www.seymourtripleg.ca for more information or email info@seymourtripleg.ca

MCFD’s Parent’s Handbook to be Translated into 8 Languages

ACT- Autism Community Training is pleased to announce that we have been funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to manage the translation of MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs into eight languages. We anticipate that these translations will help ensure that more families will have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their child’s intervention program.

This project was announced by B.C.‘s Minister of Children and Family Development, the Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, at ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference on April 15. The handbook will be translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Punjabi and Spanish. The work will begin this summer.

Download the English language version of A Parent’s Handbook. See the Ministry’s News Release for more details on this project.

Sign up for ACT’s Mailing List to receive ACT’s Monthly News Round-Up for updates on provincial autism news, including the release of these translations.

Key Ideas from the 12th Annual Focus on Research

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research was a great success. There were opportunities to share at the lunch tables, on the posters in the foyer and during sessions. Selected presentations were webstreamed, reaching communities across B.C. When ACT has the funding available, the sessions we recorded will be edited and added to AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT.

Conference Highlights

Here are just few of the many interesting insights and ideas that came out of the conference:

The Invention and Reinvention of Autism – Dr. Roy Richard Grinker’s talk encouraged a second look at diagnostic tools to take into account cultural variations in child behavior. He encouraged professionals to consider whether or not it is culturally accepted to sustain eye contact, for adults and children to play together, or to point. If not, then these are insufficient diagnostic measures as it is necessary to consider cultural expectations for joint attention, play, or social interaction. Dr. Grinker’s fascinating book is well worth a read: Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (www.unstrange.com).

An Aboriginal Perspective on Supporting Children and Families with Special Needs – Rona Sterling-Collins, a First Nations consultant and parent of an 18-year-old with autism, described how she organized the gathering of her extended family to share a meal and learn about autism after her son was diagnosed. The workshop included autism awareness information and an opportunity for discussion without the presence of Rona or her husband. This helped the extended family “have a better understanding of autism”.

Family Quality of Life and ASD Funding in B.C. – Dr. Grace Iarocci and Dr. Emily Gardiner talked about encouraging parents to engage in research by folding research into a fun summer camp for children. The tasks are embedded into games or puzzles, and the group (not individual) research results are eventually shared with families. See the ADDL lab page for details on 2016 camps.

Connecting with South Asian Families of Children with Autism – Preetinder Narang’s presentation focused on strategies for service providers to develop cross-cultural competence with the families they support. The content from this presentation will soon be available in a new chapter for ACT’s Manual for B.C. titled Guide to Working with South Asian Families Affected by Autism. Preetinder is a founding member of ACT’s South Asian Autism Project (ASAAP), a dedicated group of volunteers committed to raising awareness of autism in B.C.’s South Asian community.

Bilingualism and Language Development in Children with Autism – Dr. Pat Mirenda’s important presentation analyzed the research on whether the families of children with autism should continue to be discouraged from speaking their language of origin at home. Her conclusion was definitive – there is no reason to discourage families speaking multiple languages at home. Indeed to do so has many negative consequences including cutting off children with autism from their extended families and cultural and religious traditions. Download Dr. Mirenda’s handout for references to this research.

Memorable quotes

  • “Families experiences are likely to be different than those from the dominant culture and for those whose language is not the English language.” (Sunita Braich, Supporting Marginalized Families from the Trenches – the Perspective of Parent Professionals)
  • “Always say yes to tea” – speaking to the need to be polite and culturally sensitive. (Preetinder Narang, Connecting with South Asian Families of Children with Autism)
  • “Keep in mind the historical trauma that First Nations people, families and communities have gone through with colonization and residential schools.” (Rona Sterling-Collins, An Aboriginal Perspective on Supporting Children and Families with Special Needs)
  • “You know what I’m going to say, right? No significant difference” – with regards to language acquisition in bilingual homes. (Pat Mirenda, Bilingualism and Language Development in Children with Autism: One Language or Two?)
  • “Autism is not a ‘thing’, it is contextual and it is the intervention rather than the label that makes the difference” (comment on the poster board)

Seeking New Members for ACT’s Board of Directors

ACT – Autism Community Training is the primary source for objective information and support on autism in B.C. A not-for-profit society led by a Board of Directors, ACT is seeking three new board members in time for our AGM on May 31st. This year we are keen to identify candidates who understand the diverse concerns of families raising children with autism from the perspective of parents, siblings or other members of the extended family, as well as having professional expertise.

ACT’s Board is a governance board and does not involve itself in daily operations. Board members are called upon to provide the board with professional advice. Currently we would like to augment the considerable strength of ACT’s Board in the areas of human resources, media relations, marketing and fundraising.

For more information on ACT’s current Board see www.actcommunity.ca/about-us/board-members/. Those interested in finding out more, may contact the head of ACT’s Nominations Committee, Helga Marshall, c/o dpugh@actcommunity.ca.

The deadline for submitting a resume and cover letter to dpugh@actcommunity.ca is May 9, 2016.

Submit Summer Camp info to the Autism Information Database

Parents are thinking about summer camps already, and contacting ACT for suggestions. ACT’s Autism Information Database (AID) has a list of B.C. summer camps. If you are a service provider or camp director, please:

If you are looking for Behavior Interventionists to attend camp with your child, the Autism Information Database (AID) has several listings that may help:

Four New RASP Professionals – Fraser Valley, Terrace and Vancouver

Over the 12 months of 2015, 93 RASP professionals were approved, and 13 Behavior Consultants moved from category B to category A. This April, traditionally a slower month, four new RASP professionals have been added to the RASP.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-supervised)
  • Carla Kirk – Serves: Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Surrey
Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Kaali Kelso – Serves: Kitimat, Terrace
Occupational Therapists
  • Nushabah Zakir – Serves: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Maple Ridge, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen, West Vancouver
Physical Therapist
  • Megan Mak – Serves: Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Vancouver

Information on RASP requirements:

For more about individual RASP Professionals, their credentials, certifications and degrees, search and view RASP Professionals online: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/

Upcoming ACT Events in Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond

ACT is bringing back popular speakers and courses this summer, including Intro to ASD (POPARD) with Dr. Kenneth Cole, in Vancouver and in Surrey; a Master Class in Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke and specialized instruction in Executive Function Skills with Sarah Ward.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD)

July 11 – 15, 2016 – Vancouver, B.C. Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

“Amazing and useful information. I wish our whole staff could attend!!”

“Ken was excellent in presenting the information in a very natural, straight- forward way. He was always available to answer questions- offer suggestions and re-explain a concept.”

Two Days of Social Thinking®

August 4 & 5, 2016 – Vancouver, B.C. Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP

“You two have an amazing ability to engage listeners.”

“Thank you for your passion, compassion and commitment to supporting people with Social Thinking challenges.”

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD)

August 15 – 19, 2016 – Surrey, B.C. Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

“The biggest thing I learned was dealing with behaviours. I was struggling with this as a SEA and now I definitely have some very valuable tools that I can use.”

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Sept. 15 & 16, 2016 – Richmond, B.C. Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, Co-Director, Cognitive Connections LLP

· “Thank you so much, it was an absolute pleasure hearing you speak and learning such valuable skills to teach.””I learned many practical strategies. I will definitely be implementing the “Get Ready, Do, Done” model and the clock!”

Community Events

Training from Canucks Autism Network

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides autism training workshops throughout the year to build capacity in communities across British Columbia. Training equips community recreation staff, programmers, and managers with strategies for supporting children and youth with autism in community settings. Learn more about upcoming workshops in your community.

Autism Speaks Walks – Vancouver, Kitimat, Courtenay and Prince Rupert

Autism Speaks Canada Walk & Family Festival is open now for registration: www.autismspeaks.ca/get-involved/participate/walk-now-for-autism-speaks-canada/

BCaBA training at Capilano University

Capilano University has seats in both the Bachelor of Arts and Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis – Autism programs. Graduates meet the requirements to become Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analysts (BCaBA). For more information, and to inquire about on-line study, please email Dr. Richard Stock at rstock@capilanou.ca

Autism in the News

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March News Round-Up

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ACT Updates

Seymour Triple G Cycling Fundraiser & Autism Awareness Event

Seymour Triple G
ACT is very pleased to announce the first annual Seymour Triple G road cycling fundraiser. This event will raise cyclists heart rates as they climb Mt Seymour, and raise autism awareness and funds for the Autism Videos @ ACT project.  ACT’s free video project brings professionally filmed and edited videos to families and community professionals who cannot attend our live training.

As a part of this cycling challenge, riders will cycle up Mount Seymour – a 15km, 10% grade route! You can register to ride, or if you prefer not to take on that particular challenge, sponsor a ride or donate to ACT. ACT is also seeking volunteers for this event. Registration for the ride, to volunteer and to donate will open on April 13th. Stay tuned for details!

See below for updates from Autism Videos @ ACT

Two New Free Online Videos from AVA

Thanks to our sponsors, who make it possible for ACT to provide this free resource, we are releasing two new free online videos just in time for April – Autism Awareness Month:

Identifying and Treating Co-occurring Mental Health Challenges in Children with ASD

When Dr. Vikram Dua presented this talk for ACT last year, the event was sold-out. For those of you who missed this great presentation, it is now available for free online as part of AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT at http://www.actcommunity.ca/videos/.

Dr. Dua (who is now Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Surrey Place Centre in Toronto and sorely missed in B.C.), describes how children with ASD frequently have co-occurring mental health challenges, including ADHD, anxiety disorders and tic disorders, which can be more disabling than autism. He introduces his approach, the Autism Comorbidity Algorithm (ACA), which frames and guides clinical and diagnostic assessment and treatment decisions through a developmental lens. While aimed at clinicians and community professionals, many families will find this a very useful orientation to the widely misunderstood linkages between autism and mental health given the significant shortage of mental health professionals with knowledge of autism in B.C.

Punjabi-language: Introduction to Individualized Education Plans

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), when done well, track goals and progress for students with autism and other developmental disabilities. This  free online video in Punjabi, part of AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA), describes the process for developing an IEP and what the school and parent can do to support the IEP process. Presented by Raminder Kaur, a behavior consultant with posAbilities, this presentation was developed by Parbinder Bains and Preetinder Narang, both Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Special Educators with the Surrey School District. All three are members of ACT’s South Asian Autism Project (ASAAP). See the ACT in Punjabi page for more information on ASAAP’s work. This video was sponsored by Autism Speaks Canada, Surrey Schools and Simon Fraser University.

Coming soon:

One Parent’s Journey in Autism – in Punjabi – presented by Sunita Braich.

Taking Control of the Future – Planning for Families with Special Needs – presented by Blair Dwyer and Layli Antinuk, Dwyer Tax Law.

Urgent – Seeking Psychiatrists Prepared to Assess Autism in Adults

ACT is receiving an increasing number of calls from adults across B.C. seeking an autism assessment. We are very concerned, despite extensive research, that ACT has not been able to identify publicly funded professionals prepared to assess adults.  Few of the adults who contact us have the funds to have an assessment done by a psychologist, as this is not publicly funded. Psychiatrists are covered by the B.C. Medical Services Plan but ACT is having increasing difficult in identifying psychiatrists who are willing to see adults who are concerned that they may have autism.  The few psychiatrists that ACT is aware of have extensive waitlists.  If you know of a psychiatrist, or you are a psychiatrist, who is prepared to work with adults who are seeking an assessment for autism, please email info@actcommunity.ca.

Upcoming ACT Events

Live and Online: ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research – April 15 & 16

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programing will highlight the needs of marginalized families who have children affected by ASD and other developmental disabilities who are not receiving adequate levels of support for their children. These families include First Nations, refugees, immigrants; all those isolated by virtue of language, culture or by living in rural or remote areas. There will be opportunities for discussion and information sharing while learning from those who are engaged in this important but neglected area of practice and research.  Researchers, clinicians, educators, social workers, parents and those who work for community organizations are urged to register.

Download the full schedule or visit www.actcommunity.ca/education/act-events/12th-annual-focus-on-research/ for details.

Parts of the program will be available via live web streaming video for those who register in advance.

Two Days of Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner & Pamela Crooke – Vancouver

Many of the families who contact ACT are very concerned about how to help their children who have good language and average or above academic abilities but are still struggling with social awareness and interaction. It is this group of children and adults who are the focus of the Social Thinking approach. Michelle Garcia Winner, founder of Social Thinking, and Dr. Pamela Crooke are back, with two days of Social Thinking inspiration. These events are suitable for those already familiar with the Social Thinking curriculum.

Thursday, August 4Social Thinking – Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies. Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges though assessment tasks and video. You will also hear about factors to consider when running effective Social Thinking treatment groups.

Friday, August 5, Master Class – Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts through Hands-On Activities. Dive deeper into core Social Thinking strategies using videos and hands-on practice.  Longitudinal videos of four different clients will demonstrate how an individual’s competencies and focus of treatment changes across a span of 5, 10 and 15 years.

ACT thanks the Sheraton Wall Centre, our co-sponsors, for making it possible to bring this exciting event to Downtown Vancouver.  For more event details on both the conference and this beautiful venue, see www.actcommunity.ca/social-thinking-2016

Save money and register by the Early Bird Deadline – June 22nd.  Call 604-205-5467 or register online.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – July 11-15 – Vancouver

Registration is now open for the always popular five-day Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications course. It will be held July 11-15 in downtown Vancouver at SFU’s Harbour Centre. The workshop will be taught by Dr. Kenneth Cole. A requirement for teaching assistants in many school districts this course is also open to community professionals and parents. Only 30 seats are available – register soon.

In April, we will be able to confirm a location for the August 15-19th delivery of this course

AID Resources in Korean, Spanish, Punjabi and more!

As part of ACT’s commitment to supporting marginalized families, staff have been identifying evidence-informed resources in languages other than English as these are often a huge benefit to isolated families.  The AID – Autism Information Database  now has over 150 information resources in languages other than English including:

Do you have resources to recommend? Please email info@actcommunity.ca

8 New RASP Professionals

In March 2016, 8 professionals were added to the RASP, serving communities across the province such as:  Salmon Arm, Maple Ridge, Port Alberni, Castlegar and New Westminster. See below for hints on how to get more professional services in under-served communities. Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-supervised)

  • Elisa Hill – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Port Moody, Surrey, White Rock
  • Jacqueline Pun – Burnaby, Richmond, Vancouver
  • Carly van Boven – Armstrong, Enderby, Kelowna, Lake Country, Salmon Arm, Vernon
  • Nicola McCorquodale – Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Jasmine Bracken – Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Sumi Choudhury – Nanaimo, Parksvile, Port Alberni, Qualicum Beach

Occupational Therapists

  • Laura Munoz – Castlegar, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, Salmo, Trail
  • Julia Blanchard – Castlegar, Creston, Fruitvale, Nelson, New Denver, Rossland, Salmo, South Slocan, Trail, Ymir

How to Access Professionals for Rural & Remote Families

While there are over 600 professionals on the RASP, many areas of the province are under-served. This will be an issue for discussion at ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research (you are invited!).  ACT has been developing the search tool for the RASP to help rural and remote families identifying possible professionals. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Families in small communities work together to pool your autism funding to bring in professionals to see multiple families over a few days. Search the RASP for professionals willing to travel.
  • FaceTime or other videoconferencing tools: As technology improves it is easier to use these methods to consult with professionals. The RASP can be searched to find professionals who use videoconferencing.
  • Call the ACT Office and speak to an Information Officer for individualized support

See ACT’s website for details on these ideas: Accessing Services in Smaller or Isolated Communities. Share your ideas on connecting families and professionals across British Columbia.  Email info@actcommunity.ca or call an ACT Information Officer 1-866-939-5188.

April Autism Awareness Month Community Activities

Autism Awareness in House of Commons

Mike Lake, MP for Edmonton-Wetaskwin and father of Jaden, gave his annual statement for World Autism Day. He says of his son:  “It is an indescribable joy to watch him grow up.” See a video of his statement in the House of Commons.

ACT is attending or sending materials to many of these walks. If you would like ACT materials at your Autism Awareness event, please email info@actcommunity.ca

Osoyoos Autism Behaviour Centre Walk for Autism – April 16th

It’s a StarWars theme for this year’s Walk for Awareness in Osoyoos. Starting at Osoyoos Town Square, registration starts at 11am on Saturday, April 16th. See their Facebook post or email Kim at kimlayman@hotmail.com for details. ACT information materials will be available at the walk.

Prince George Autism Awareness Walk – April 23rd

Join the 5th Annual PG Autism Awareness Walk. The walk will begin at 2:00 pm with a 2 km walk together to Lheidi T’enneh Memorial Park (ending at the playgound). Details on Facebook page. Hosted by the Northern Interior Autism Society and Autism Society of B.C.

2nd Annual Rock the Walk to Raise Awareness for Autism – Port Alberni – April 23rd

The Walk will start and finish at the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel; registration begins at 1 pm. Stay after the walk for a hotdog BBQ, snack and games. Details on Facebook Page

5th Annual CAN Family Festival – April 24th, Vancouver

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) on Sunday, April 24th will be at Jack Poole Plaza (Vancouver Convention Centre) for their 5th Annual CAN Family Festival in celebration of Autism Awareness Month. Participate in the autism awareness walk and lighting of the cauldron and enjoy live entertainment, food trucks, exhibitors, face painting, sports activities, trampolines, a mini skate park and more! With special appearances by Vancouver Canucks alumni.

For more information, or to start fundraising for the awareness walk, please visit www.canucksautism.ca/CANFamFest. ACT will have a table at this event.

Light it Blue for Autism – Autism Speaks Canada


Vancouver buildings will join more than 18,000 iconic landmarks, businesses, communities and homes in 143 countries and shine a bright light on World Autism Awareness Day April 2nd. Light it Blue or wear Blue, take a photo and post it using #LIUB or send tojanetanderson@autismspeakscan.ca Register at www.autismspeaks.org/LIUB  or check out www.autismspeaks.ca for ways to shine a bright light on autism.

EmploymentWorks Canada Programs

Developing Employment Skills for Young Adults with ASD


The EmploymentWorks Canada program supports youth or young adults with ASD who would like support developing the skills to succeed in the workplace.   The program is 2.5 hours of structured learning and 2.5 hours of workplace sampling each week for 12 weeks starting April 1, 2016.

Please contact Brooke Straith, EmploymentWorks Canada Program Coordinator, for more information at 604.700.8614 brooke@pacificautismfamily.com

Seeking Peer Mentors to Support Young Adults with ASD

Volunteer peer mentors between 18 and 29 years of age will support youth and young adults with ASD as they complete a pre-employment training program. This is an excellent opportunity to build your resume, broaden your network of professional contacts and learn about individuals with ASD as they transition to paid employment.  Please contact Brooke Straith, EmploymentWorks Canada Program Coordinator, for more information at 604.700.8614 brooke@pacificautismfamily.com

SFU Parent-Child Study on Social Skills

The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University 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 games. Parents receive $30 and parking remuneration in thanks for participating in the three hour study. Please contact addl@sfu.ca to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Autism in the News

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