Category Archives: Education and Training

New Cutting Edge Strategies with Sarah Ward, September 25 & 26 – Early-bird rate ends August 15th

Sarah Ward

Wednesday & Thursday 

September 25 & 26, 2019
Surrey, BC

View details & registration

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

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.

Join us at the Surrey Schools Resource and Education Centre or via live web-streaming.

Register before August 15th 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.

Summer Camps Update, Social Thinking for Young Learners – April 11 & 12, New ACT Fundraiser – Buy Your Ticket Today: Songs on the Water: A Musical Showcase in Support of ACT, Two New Videos on Challenging Behaviors – Free!

Autism Videos @ ACT

Practical Ways to Decrease Challenging Behaviors in School, Home and Community Settings

Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, respected internationally for her research and clinical practice, discusses various intervention procedures for decreasing challenging behaviors.

Dr. Kern Koegel also provides many example of how challenging behaviors can be avoided in the first place. This presentation will appeal to both professionals and families for its reliance on important research as well as respect for individuals with autism and challenging behaviors.

Watch now


WTF – What’s the Function?

Problem behaviors are one of the greatest barriers to student learning and is a significant problem for school staff and parents alike. Understanding why they occur is critical to developing preventative and educative solutions in-order-to benefit students and those who support them.

Dr. Richard Stock will dispel myths about why students engage in problem behaviors and teach participants about the four functions of behavior.

Watch now

Thanks to funding from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration (CIRCA) at the University of British Columbia, ACT is able to provide an edited version of the 2018 Setting the Stage for Success: Positive Behavior Support in School, Home and Community conference.

Visit the Positive Behavior Support video release page


New ACT Fundraiser

Songs on the Water:
A Musical Showcase in Support of ACT

June 4, 2019

Vancouver Rowing Club, Stanley Park

Welcome summer 2019 at the Vancouver Rowing Club, with a very special evening of music and friendship to benefit ACT – Autism Community Training. Featured artists include: Melanie Dekker, Yvonne McSkimming, and Mark James Fortin.
Vancouver Rowing Club - Songs on the Water

June 4th is an opportunity for the autism community and its friends to join with us for a fabulous evening in support of ACT’s free online resources. Organize a table or attend on your own. Either way you will meet old friends and make new ones.

Tickets for the evening are $50 – a $30 tax receipt will be provided. Demonstrate your support for ACT’s free online resources – sponsor a table – contact ACT for details.

ACT thanks the Synergy Collective Society, a community-based organization that blends art with social responsibility to support and create cooperative community programming.

Event Details & Tickets


 

 

Upcoming events

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Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children

April 11 & 12, 2019

Vancouver & Web streamed

Kari Zweber Palmer from the Social Thinking Speakers’ Collaborative is back in Vancouver with two days of training focused on younger learners. This is the fourth time ACT has presented this training and it always sells out! Save money and register by April 4th!

Live stream: Watch and participate live from anywhere by registering for web streaming.

Day 1 – Teaching Social Thinking through Stories and Play

Day 2 – What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners
Event Details & Registration

Register by April 4th to save $50!

Please note that this training is geared for children with ASD who have age-appropriate language but struggle with social/emotional engagement. It is also effective for children with ADHD.

You may email ACT before registering if you have questions: info@actcommunity.ca

Special group rates of $150 per person for 3 or more people watching via web-streaming on the same screen – a great team-building opportunity for schools and clinics to train staff. Contact us to learn more.


 

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Summer Camps are a hot topic! 

It is time to plan for summer camps! Parents are welcome to search ACT’s BC Community Listing for camps. We have 100 listed but you can narrow down the results by adding the name of the community where you live.

Are you a camp provider? You can submit your camp here!

If any listing is out of date please let us know or send us an update using the handy alert function on each record.

Two Free Videos & Double Your Donation – $10,000 raised!

Over $10,000 raised on Giving Tuesday

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, including a $50,000 matching fund provided by the Ross-Dwyer family, our fundraising campaign for 2019 is off to a strong start – we raised over $10,000 over the past week. Blair Dwyer, a lawyer based in Victoria explains why his family is prepared to double the contribution of individual donors – right up to December 25th.

“The reason for the gift is really quite simple. We feel a tremendous debt of gratitude for all the help that ACT gave to us in raising our two children. They are both doing better than we could have thought possible after we learned of their diagnosis. ACT is a big part of that.” Blair’s gratitude to ACT was echoed by our donors:

“Thank you infinitely for all that you have provided to the Autism Community. I have been using your website and going to your events since 2015. It helped me in managing the challenges of having a child with autism.”

“Everyone at Constructive Pathways and I have appreciated everything that ACT has provided to the community over the years. Here’s a small contribution for the future. Here’s to many more!”

“Thank you for your excellent evidence-based resources and events! Keep up the great work – quality, up-to-date, freely accessible educational resources are vital for families of individuals with ASD, support personnel and professionals alike! “

“Amazing resource to families – keep up the great work!”

“We need your services…Thank you!!!”

“This is such a fabulous resource for both families and practitioners. Thank you.”

“In recognition of our grandson Adam who has brought us such great joy.”

“It will be a very sad if you are unable to continue the good work you do in the way you currently do it!”

“Keep up the great work! Especially the live/streamed workshops.”

“Thank you for everything you do and all the support that you provide to our families!”

“I am very happy to donate to ACT! ACT was central to my learning about ASD and so much more.”

“ACT is an amazing resource for our province and a precious gem for our country. We must keep ACT doing what it does best. . . training, advocating, sharing and providing the facts.”

Download the Autism Videos & Resources Guide 2019 shown above.

Every donation is appreciated; Donation matching continues until December 25th, please consider donating now to double your donation.

Give more, save more taxes!

Use the CRA’s Charitable donation tax credit calculator to estimate your tax savings. Super-donors can receive additional tax credits on donations up to $1,000.

Donate to ACT


Two new free videos –
ACT’s Online Mental Health & Autism Project

The Relationship between Anxiety and Social Competence – Grace Iarocci, PhD, RPsych

The relationship between the symptoms of anxiety, depression and social functioning among children, with and without ASD, are poorly understood. In this 25 minute presentation, Dr. Grace Iarocci presents a study into whether generalized anxiety and depression symptoms, were associated with social competence. gender. Dr. Iarocci discusses the importance of assessing both internalizing symptoms and social difficulties in children with ASD and the implications for treatment.

Watch now

Implementing Modified CBT in a Group Format to Treat Anxiety in Children with ASD: Insights for Parents, Clinicians, and Researchers

In this 20 minute presentation, Dr. Johnson highlights the growing evidence that group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatments to address mental health issues, such as anxiety, are promising alternatives to standard individual CBT treatments for children with ASD. The presentation includes information to support parents in recognizing anxiety and seeking appropriate services as well as information for professionals interested in learning more about clinical and research efforts related to increasing community accessibility of group treatments targeting mental health concerns.

Watch now


Herring Sale 2019, 20 pounds for $20Volunteers needed: Herring Fundraiser
January 12, 2019

We’re looking for volunteers to help out at the 2019 Herring Sale! Meet sea lions and help raise money for autism training at this one-day fundraiser in Steveston, Richmond. Email info@actcommunity.ca for details or visit Volunteering for ACT.