Category Archives: Education and Training

ACT’s News Round-Up: September 2019 Edition

New ACT Guides for Schools and on Mental Health

ACT has prepared a new set of guides to our free online resources, including Autism Videos @ ACT. These guides are organized to help educators, mental health professionals, and families to discover the many resources that ACT offers.

Visit the ACT Print Materials page to download these guides. ACT can mail copies to your school or organization upon request.

 

Special Needs Community Events

ACT’s Community Events listing highlights training and events provided by organizations across B.C. Below are a few of the upcoming events.

You are welcomed to submit your organization’s events.

September & October Events

Community Outreach Event at WE PLAY KIDS GYM
Saturday, September 21 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm , Surrey

Intuitive/Expressive Arts for Kids
Saturday, September 21 – Saturday, November 30 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm , Surrey

Mindfulness for Autistic Adults
Thursday, September 26 – Thursday, October 31, Online Workshop

TAGteach Workshop for Parents and Professionals
Saturday, September 28 – Sunday, September 29, North Vancouver

Sibshops
Sunday, September 29, Surrey

CONNECT with PEERS for Teens
Tuesday, October 1 – Tuesday, December 17 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm , Burnaby

Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) Course – 8 Week Training & Silent Retreat
Tuesday, October 15 – Tuesday, December 10 6:15 pm – 8:45 pm , Vancouver

View more


Upcoming ACT Events

Starts next week! Web-streaming spots are still available. Details here.

Volunteers are needed for this event!
Volunteers receive complementary in-person registration and a certificate of attendance. Please email info@actcommunity.ca to apply.


POPARD’s District Training Model - Friday, October 25th, 2019 - Alexandra Voroshina, MA, BCBA & Georgina Robinson, PhD

In this one-day presentation, Alexandra Voroshina will present an overview of POPARD’s Student Cooperation Training (SCT) Model. Details here.


Save the date: Upcoming ACT Events

November 15, 2019
Introduction to Navigating BC’s School System
A POPARD Presentation

November 22, 2019
Supporting Indigenous Families Affected by Autism through Engagement and Research
ACT’s 2019 Focus on Research Gathering

November 29, 2019
Behaviors and Mental Health – an Introduction for Families of Children with Special Needs
A POPARD Presentation


Participate in Autism Research

ACT believes that encouraging research is crucial to building knowledge of evidence-informed approaches to help individuals with autism and other conditions. We devote a page on ACT’s website to informing autistic adults and parents of children with ASD about university-affiliated projects which may be of interest.

Visit the Participate in Autism Research page to see all current research projects and project contact information.

Here are few projects which are recruiting volunteers:

  • Virtual Mindfulness for Autistic Adults
  • “Autism in Practice”: Establishing, Maintaining, and Understanding Friendship Among Adults Diagnosed with Autism in British Columbia
  • How People with ASD Experience and Understand Online Gaming as a Communication Learning Platform: A Phenomenological Approach

Submit Your Research Project

Use our online form to submit your university-affiliated research projects related to the field of autism and special needs. It may take up to one week to post.


Autism in the News

ACT carefully sources insightful stories, ranging from research and government policy, to the world of entertainment, culture, and lifestyle.

Join ACT’s Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Summary of Engagement and Research FindingsThe Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is developing a service framework to guide how it provides and funds Children and Youth with Special Needs programs and services for implementation in Spring 2020.

Read the Summary of Engagement and Research Findings (PDF)

Details of the framework timeline are available on the MCFD’s website here.


Children with disabilities were excluded from B.C. schools more than 3,600 times last year: report – Global News

There’s no evidence caesarean sections cause autism or ADHD – The Conversation

Greta Thunberg is right: Autism is her superpower. Those who mock her should learn from her – Salon

Lawyer with autism finds her voice – ABA Journal

Artist with autism writes book to help others ‘get the help they need’ – BBC News

Father fuming, board investigating after autistic child sent home on bus with broken ankle – The Standard

“You’re Just Kooky”: Why Women With Autism Aren’t Taken Seriously – Yahoo News

Teen with autism upset after being transferred to a new school — without her knowledge – CBC News

Language expert teaches autistic child to communicate through pictures during long-haul flight – Independent

Autistic Vancouver boy gets to meet his Idol – Vancouver Sun

‘It can cause trauma’: Autism services group concerned after education minister lifts seclusion room ban – Edmonton Journal

Alberta lifts ban on seclusion rooms in schools – The Globe and Mail

A boy with autism wouldn’t sit still on a United Airlines flight. So crew and passengers stepped in to help. – CNN

After mother’s plea, kindergartner will go to school 5 days a week – CBC News

Autism Wristband That Predicts Aggressive Outbursts in Children With 84 Percent Accuracy Created by Scientists – Newsweek

Autism was tough on this B.C. pair. This is how they’re making it easier for others – CBC News

New Event! Gaining Student Cooperation: The First Step to Learning and Inclusion – Register for only $50

Gaining Student Cooperation: The First Step to Learning and Inclusion POPARD’s District Training Model Friday, October 25th, 2019 Vancouver, BC Web-streaming or in-person Special registration rate of only $50 per person

Alexandra Voroshina, MA, BCBA – Behavioral Consultant, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD)

Georgina Robinson, PhD – Principal, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD)

One of the greatest challenges faced by school district staff is how to teach students when they have persistent difficulty following instructions. Gaining student cooperation is vital to set the groundwork for learning in an inclusive classroom. In this one-day presentation, Alexandra Voroshina and Dr. Georgina Robinson will present an overview of POPARD’s Student Cooperation Training (SCT) Model. This approach to intervention, rooted in Behavior Skills Training and Applied Behavior Analysis creates lasting change and increases capacity across multiple layers of the school system. It targets an individual student, but includes training the classroom and school team, and requires district staff to participate and then replicate the model with support from POPARD.

The original seven-district POPARD pilot project of the SCT Model demonstrated that targeting skill development of school and district staff resulted in:

  • An increase from an average of 30% to an average of 80% in successful teaching techniques.
  • Growth in teacher confidence as a result of their students demonstrating positive behaviour change – the pre-requisite for learning.
  • Consistent improvement in student skills, as demonstrated by acquisition data.
  • Increased quality of life reported by family members, in both home and school environments.

The original pilot has now been expanded to three additional districts as part of this new service now being offered by POPARD.

Through this multimedia presentation, participants will learn how the Student Cooperation Training Model can help build capacity across the province. The components of training and outcomes will be outlined. There will be the opportunity to discuss ways in which POPARD can support, through the involvement of its educational consultants, the implementation of this model in the school environment, with ample opportunity for performance feedback.

Join us at the Simon Fraser University’s beautiful downtown Vancouver Harbour Centre campus or join via live web-streaming from your office, home or school.

Get tickets


Free web streaming registration for school districts teams

School Districts in BC are eligible to register their entire district, watching as a group on one screen, via web stream viewing, at no cost, thanks to sponsorship from Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD). Individual school district participants can register for $50 each. To sign up your district for this offer, contact your POPARD District Partner using the District Partner contact list.

Deadline for submissions of school district registrants is October 11th. You must register to receive a Certificate of Online Attendance.

View web streaming info


Save the date: Upcoming ACT Events

November 15, 2019
Introduction to Navigating BC’s School System
A POPARD Presentation

November 22, 2019
Supporting Indigenous Families Affected by Autism through Engagement and Research
ACT’s 2019 Focus on Research Gathering

November 29, 2019
Behaviors and Mental Health – an Introduction for Families of Children with Special Needs
A POPARD Presentation

New Cutting Edge Strategies with Sarah Ward, September 25 & 26 – Register before September 12th to save $25

Sarah Ward

Wednesday & Thursday 

September 25 & 26, 2019
Surrey, BC

View details & registration

Web-streaming to BC & Alberta
In-person seats are sold-out!

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP

Co-Director, Cognitive Connections LLP, Boston

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, is coming to Surrey to teach hands-on practical strategies to improve Executive Function skills. These two days include many new strategies, so whether you’ve seen Sarah Ward before, or this is all new, you’re sure to walk away with fresh strategies that you can implement immediately.

Sarah Ward is the co-developer of the award-winning 360 Thinking Program which combines core concepts at the heart of executive functioning: situational and intention awareness, mental dress rehearsals, future thinking, time awareness and visualisation, which promote efficient and accurate completion of tasks. This model facilitates the development of 6 key skills for students: initiation, transition, planning, time management, self-regulation and meta-cognition. As the steps of a task are envisioned, potential obstacles can be anticipated for students to problem solve and achieve independence. See event details for a breakdown of each day. Day 2 builds on Day 1 so all registrants for Day 2 need to have attended Day 1.

Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions where she provides instruction to graduate level students in the assessment and treatment of individuals with traumatic brain injury and other cognitive communication disorders.

Register before September 12th to save $25!

View details & registration

School District staff please contact ACT to check whether your district has a special rate for this event.

Presented in collaboration with Surrey Schools and the
Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD)


Web streaming discounts for groups

Cost-effective training solutions for school districts and agencies

Is your school district, agency or community group looking for a low cost way to make excellent, practical training, featuring internationally respected speakers, available to your teams with reduced fees and without the cost of travel? Join us at our live events! All you need is a comfortable venue, good internet connection, big screen, and a sound system.

ACT uses a professional film crew, streaming high-quality video and sound along with a live-chat your registrants can use to ask speakers questions.

Groups of registrants watch together on one screen and pay a reduced registration fee. ACT sends all registrants links to the handout and the password for the web stream to the organizer.

Contact info@actcommunity.ca to arrange for your group’s web stream registration today!

View web streaming info


Bursaries for web streaming

Bursaries for those most in need, including para-professionals, parents who have children with special needs, and adults with ASD are available for web streaming, to the best of our financial ability.

For information on how to apply for an ACT bursary, please visit the Bursaries FAQ page

ACT’s News Round-Up – July 2019 Edition

Special Needs Community Events

ACT uses our Special Needs Community Events listing to share information provided by many different organizations. Below are a few of the upcoming events. To see what is happening around the province, visit Special Needs Community Events You are welcomed to submit your organization’s events. Over 7,000 individuals and agencies receive ACT’s News Round-Up.

August & September Events 

Social Sprouts 2 (Ages 4-6)
August 12-16, Surrey

Social Sprouts 2 (Ages 7-11)
August 12-16, Surrey

Summer Crew Camp (Ages 7-13)
August 19-23, Burnaby

LEGO Assisted Social Skills Camp
August 26-30, Delta PEERS© in the Valley for Young Adults
Mondays from September 16 – December 16, Abbotsford

PEERS© in the Valley, Pre-teens & Teens
Mondays from September 16 – December 2, Abbotsford

View Community Events


Special rates for those with a disability!

BC Ferries Disability Card & Access2Card

Did you know there are a number of programs that can apply to special kids and adults that can make summer travel more affordable?

BC Ferries Disability Card

  • Discount fares are available for the person with a disability and his/her escort that will save one-half the regular passenger fare for both you and your travelling companion.
  • To receive this rate, you must present a BC Ferries Disabled Status Identification (DSI) Card. Discounts do not apply to vehicle rates.
  • Apply on the BC Ferries website

Access2Card

  • The Access2Card helps those with disabilities who require assistance to access entertainment and recreation at participating venues across Canada, including movie theaters, the Vancouver Aquarium, and Britannia Beach Mine Museum.
  • The person with a disability pays regular admission and the support person receives free admission.
  • Complete the application form here – membership charges apply.

NEW! Find more information on other discounts including camping, fishing, travel, and transit, on ACT’s Recreation & Travel Passes for People with Disabilities page.

Visit the Recreation & Travel Passes page


Submit your photos

Share your Family Photos with ACT 

ACT is looking for photos of children, teens and adults with autism hanging out with their friends, siblings, school mates, parents and grandparents, or on their own having fun.

We use these photos to add life and personality to our print and online materials and to portray people with autism around BC enjoying life in our communities.

To submit your photos, email them to info@actcommunity.ca 

Visit our Share Your Family Photos page for more information on how we use submitted photos. Below are some of the submitted photos we’ve used in our emails, website, and in our print guides.

Submit Your Photos 


Participate in Autism Research

Research is crucial to build our knowledge of what are evidence-informed approaches to help individuals with autism and other conditions. Below are selected listings of university-affiliated research projects which parents and community professionals may be interested in exploring.

  • How People with ASD Experience and Understand Online Gaming as a Communication Learning Platform: A Phenomenological Approach
  • Participants Needed for UBC Study on ASD and Bilingualism
  • Addressing the Needs of Students with Autism with Self-Injurious Behaviour: A Narrative Inquiry
  • Healthcare services, stress, and resilience among Canadian children with disabilities

Visit the Participate in Autism Research page to see all current research projects and project contact information.

Submit your research project

Use our online form to submit your university-affiliated research projects related to the field of autism. It may take up to one week to post.


Autism in the News

ACT carefully sources interesting, insightful stories to inform our 6,000 plus followers on ACT’s Facebook page

B.C. serves up $6.3 million boost to province’s respite program – Cloverdale Reporter

$2 an hour for 20 years: Woman with Down syndrome gets chance at minimum wage – CBC News

Majority of autism risk resides in genes, multinational study suggests – Spectrum News

Autism awareness: ‘Better teacher training needed’ – BBC News

Autism, explained: What’s the spectrum and how it develops – Global News

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra launches program for kids with autism – CTV News

South Surrey parent takes continuity concern to teacher-regulation branch – Surrey Now-Leader

New Dating App Hiki Helps People With Autism Find Love and Friendship – NBC NY

6 Misconceptions About Autism Debunked By an Autistic Adult – Yahoo

Alberta disability funding delays worry parents, advocates – Edmonton Journal

Elementary school assistant jailed for sharing pictures of her grandchildren with online predator – CBC News

Medical conditions may mark distinct autism subtypes – Spectrum News

‘It’s surreal’: Vancouver Canuck Quinn Hughes surprises fan with autism at graduation – CTV News

New York High School Holds Heartwarming ‘Silent Graduation’ So Student With Autism Can Receive Diploma – CBS NY

New Autism NS program teaches about healthy relationships – Halifax Today

Blind autistic singer’s church performance attracts America’s Got Talent – BBC News

Special needs kids getting suspended, sent home from school: Autism Calgary – Calgary Herald

Large study supports discarding the term ‘high-functioning autism’ – Spectrum News

Children wise to fear hand dryers, and 13-year-old proves it with published paper – CBC News

New video: INVESTing in Women and Girls with Autism

INVEST: Identify Needs, Validate, Educate, Strengthen and Thrive

Dori Zener, MSW, RSW

Girls and women with ASD largely camouflage their characteristics in an effort to pass as neurotypical. Due to their difficulties reading social cues, girls and women with ASD are disproportionately victims of bullying, sexual assault and abusive relationships. Mental health challenges such anxiety, depression, panic, eating disorders, ADHD, OCD and addictions often come to the attention of professionals before an ASD diagnosis is given, if at all.

The INVEST model has been developed by Dori Zener based on her extensive clinical experience with women and girls with ASD. The following are excerpts from her one day workshop on the INVEST model filmed at INVESTing in Girls and Women with ASD – November 2, 2018

Watch video

Dori Zener, MSW, RSW

Dori Zener is an Individual, Couple and Family Therapist in Toronto, Dori Zener has been working with individuals affected by ASD and learning differences for over a decade, with a particular interest in girls and women. She hosts “Asperfemme,” a free support group for women on the spectrum in Toronto.

Thanks to funding from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration (CIRCA) at the University of British Columbia, ACT is able to provide this edited version of INVESTing in Women and Girls with Autism.