Category Archives: Education and Training

Halloween Edition ACT’s News Round-Up

A Halloween story, seeking an admin assistant, community events and more!

Child in pumpkin patch

Share your Halloween Story via Facebook

As parents across Canada get their children with special needs ready for Halloween, I am thinking back to 1994 when my then three-year-old son had his first experience of Halloween, after our family returned to Canada from Egypt. We managed only three houses before we had to give up and return home. Rather than saying “Trick or Treat” – Adam would dart into the house and snatch the candy. He was very confused by the whole process. But an hour later (and for the next several nights), Adam started to get his costume on by himself (and normally he only took clothes off) as he had realized costume = candy! In the many years since, Adam has become a Halloween connoisseur but I still remember those early, stressful, but very funny days!

So the message to parents is that Halloween does become easier! Do you have a Halloween story to share? ACT’s Facebook page is very active these days – we are sourcing news and research from across the globe to share with the ACT community. In October we reached 2,550 page likes! But parents always enjoy hearing of the experiences of other families. If you have a Halloween tale to share with ACT’s community post on ACT’s facebook page.

Deborah Pugh – Executive Director
ACT – Autism Community Training

 

ACT is seeking a Part-Time Office Assistant

These are busy days at ACT and we need some extra admin support. We are looking for a part-time office assistant with an excellent telephone manner and competence with Microsoft CRM systems, Excel and Word. Must be organized, highly accurate and enjoy multitasking! Knowledge of autism an asset.
Hours are flexible, up to 20 hours a week; occasional weekend work. $20 an hour – to start as soon as possible. If you are interested in working with a great organization, respected as the leading source of evidence-informed training and information in B.C., in the company of a friendly group of committed people, email your resume and cover letter to sporter@actcommunity.ca . This position will be filled as soon as we find a strong candidate.

 

Special Needs Community Events in November

View and post events in your community on
Special Needs Community Events

Spectrum Lights Parent Group presents Family Information Sessions -November 2nd, Burnaby

Canadian Premiere of “Keep The Change” (Tribeca Film Festival Award Winning Film Starring Actors on the Autism Spectrum) – November 2nd, Vancouver

AutismBC Adults Go to the Museum of Anthropology – November 3rd, Vancouver

AutismBC Goes to Sky Zone indoor Trampoline Park – November 6th, Surrey

familyWORKs Vancouver – November Workshop – Person Centred Planning with Rebecca Pauls – November 14th, Vancouver

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children – November 16 & 17, Vancouver

Spectrum Lights Parent Group presents Family Information Sessions – November 16, Burnaby

BI Basic Training Workshop – November 25 & 26, New Westminster

 

Updates on Degree & Certification Courses Available in B.C.

Capilano University has updated its information on ACT’s information page Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals.

Douglas College has two ASD related programs for practitioners that begin January 2018:

Online Autism Outreach Training
Parents and Behaviour Interventionist, Early Childhood Educators and Education Assistants who work with a child/youth in British Columbia may be eligible. Receive 6-academic credit for $250.00, less half the price of other courses. Apply now – courses begin in January.

Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate email dacs@douglascollege.ca
Learn more about how to support youth and adults who have disabilities find and keep a job. Move forward in your career with the only academic credit program in Canada that is VRA approved. Over $5,000.00 in Awards of Distinction available each year for those that qualify. Apply now – courses begin in January.

 

Autism in the News

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and resources

Is the public school system working for kids with special needs? – CBC Radio

Ontario family takes school board to human rights tribunal for allegedly refusing to allow autism therapy
– National Post

Five myths about autism we need to banish from teaching – TES

Why children with ‘severe autism’ are overlooked by science – Spectrum News

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

How coping mechanisms allow autistic people to manage their condition– The Conversation

72% of kids with autism don’t get the help they need at school, survey finds – CBC News

‘Everyday hero’: Quebec barber finds special connection with 6-year-old client with autism
– CBC News

‘Autism Hour’ helps cut shopping stress – BBC

Mom Uses Jimmy Fallon’s Contest To Send Powerful Message About Autism – Huffington Post

As CBeebies launch their new autistic character Pablo, here’s why he’s important – Metro Lifestyle

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

Mum hails stranger a ‘hero’ after helping calm down her autistic son – Independent

Apps for autism: Silken Laumann campaigns for new technology – CBC

Disability in demand: People with autism offer employers a broader talent pool – CBC News

 

July 2017 News Round-Up

Recreation and Safety Resources from the Autism Information Database

Over the summer we have been enriching ACT’s Autism Information Database (AID) with hundreds of new resources sourced internationally – thanks to the efforts of our two summer students, Nicole Provost and Patrick Dwyer – both of whom have first hand experience of what works and what doesn’t for people with autism.

Use the AID – a simple keyword search!

Did you know that a simple keyword search will open a world of evidence-informed resources – all carefully screened by ACT for families and community professionals? For access to over 1,200 information resources, ranging from Toilet Training to Mental Health see: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/

Safety Resources

Travel Resources

Recreation Resources & the Canucks Autism Network

ACT has been scouring world websites for quality resources – the very best on recreation and autism are to be found right here in British Columbia – thanks to the Canucks Autism Network! CAN’s resources provide community recreation staff internationally with the key resources they need to include children with ASD. Given the importance of teaching swimming to children with ASD (the most significant cause of accidental death for children with autism is drowning related to wandering), CAN’s commitment to providing effective swimming instructions will certainly save lives. Here are some great resources from CAN, and from further afield:

Resources for the BC Autism Community

Looking for summer camps or swim lessons in your community? Search ACT’s Community Resources Database by your postal code to find out what’s happening in your area of British Columbia: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/community/

Find BC Resources

Special Needs Community Events

There are a number of fun community events on the schedule posted by various organizations: see www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/

ACT’s Summer Training Program

A few seats left for Sarah Ward – Cutting Edge Strategies for Executive Function Skills – Sidney

It has been a very busy July for ACT (the CBT training with Jonathan Weiss was a huge success). Both POPARD courses have been full for weeks. There are a few seats left for Sarah Ward’s presentation on Executive Function Skills in Sidney (just 10 minutes from the ferry terminal). 

August 2nd is the regular rate deadline! Please call the ACT office to register in person. Toll-free: 1-866-939-5188; local 604-205-5467 or email info@actcommunity.ca for more information.

Parent Bursaries for Live & Web Streamed Events – Register Now!
Did you know that parents can attend many of ACT’s events, either in person or via web streaming, for only $35 a day (which can be covered by autism funding)? For more information about MCFD’s bursary program see www.actcommunity.ca/eventbursaries.

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 and bursaries.

Live Web Streaming Now Available for Three Upcoming Events
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 three great presentations available for registration.

Comments from Past Web Streaming Attendeese

  • “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!”

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 ($35 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 for Professionals and Para-professionals

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.

Participate in Research!

Survey for Parents Living in the Greater Vancouver Regional District

Parents of a child or children with autism and who live in the Greater Vancouver Regional District are invited to complete a 10 minute online survey about parent information needs and perceptions. This research will help ACT get a better understanding of the needs of those who use our resources and is being conducted in partnership with Royal Roads University. All submissions are confidential.

More information and survey here

Sound Sensitivity Study

Are you a parent to an individual with ASD? Does your child experience issues with sound sensitivity that impacts their daily life? We want to hear from you! We are surveying parents about their child’s experiences dealing with sound sensitivity. The survey will take under 30 minutes to complete (approx 15-20 min). As a thank-you for your time you will be given the option of being entered in a draw to win a $100 gift card to Amazon.ca.

View the sound sensitivity survey here

Transition Updates from MCFD: News Round-Up May 2017

Transition Updates from MCFD

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

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

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

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

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

We will continue to provide these great resources:

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

How to Donate:

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

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

Upcoming ACT Conferences

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

Live Web Streaming Now Available for Four Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biggest Jump in RASP Approvals since 2005Main Title Here

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

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

New RASP Consultants (including those who shifted category)

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

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

Behavior Consultants (Category B –Supervised)

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

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

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

Occupational Therapists (Non-Supervised)

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

Occupational Therapists (Supervised)

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

Professionals no longer listed on the RASP

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

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

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

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

Special Needs Community Events in B.C:

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

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

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

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

Survey: Inform Future Activities of the Kids Brain Health Network

Main Title Here

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

Teaching Individuals with Autism about Bodies and Privacy

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

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

Helping Medical Professionals Understand Autism and Mental Health

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

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

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

Post-Secondary Opportunities: Upgrade your Skills

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

Autism Videos @ ACT

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

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

Autism in the Media

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

 

4 Web Streamed Events – Registration Open

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 and bursaries available (see below),

Live Web Streaming Available:

Bursary Information for Parents and Professionals

ACT also has MCFD – funded bursaries for parents and bursaries for para-professionals and professionals to improve accessibility to both our live and web streamed events.

Comments from Web Streaming Registrants

“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!”

“Thank you. I enjoyed the web streaming more than I expected to.”

April News Round-Up

What’s Next for Parent Support in B.C.? Parent Questions for MCFD

ACT continues to receive questions from parents and professionals confused about the new service the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD ) is planning as of July 1, 2017. This service will replace those ACT has been providing under contract to MCFD since 2005, including the individualized information and support function provided by ACT’s Information Officers and administration of the Registry of Autism Service Providers.

ACT has requested that MCFD provides details of their plan directly to the autism community, to enhance the transparency of this process. The lack of information makes it difficult for families to ask questions of election candidates about whether they support this initiative.

The results of the independent survey Identifying Need, Delivering Service – The Autism Community Satisfaction Survey Report’ commissioned by ACT and released in April indicates that only 9% of the 1600 respondents support a move of services to MCFD. ACT is especially worried that many vulnerable families, aboriginal and immigrant families in particular, may decide not to approach this new service because it is part of MCFD.

For a list of questions from the autism community and more background on this issue see Parent Questions for MCFD and ACT’s Transitioning Information page.

ACT will update the autism community via ACT’s Facebook page when information becomes available. In the meantime, ACT is maintaining services and welcomes calls from parents, adults with autism and professionals.

Donate to ACT & Support Free Resources for the Autism and Special Needs Community

In June 2017, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is ending funding for a community-based contract to support families with children with ASD.

While ACT is disappointed at no longer being able to provide individualized support to families, our commitment to the autism community remains strong. ACT’s online, community-focused, information and training offer unique evidence-informed resources for the autism community nationally and internationally.

We are seeking sponsorship and donations to support our free online resources. These include Autism Videos @ ACT and the Autism Information Database.

For more information on how to support ACT’s work and to donate see www.actcommunity.ca/donate

Participating in the Political Process on May 9th

There are many organizations that have put together campaign information focused on the needs of families in British Columbia. See a comprehensive list at First Call BC.

Inclusion BC has created an information and participation guide to empower British Columbians with disabilities to vote. Download the guide here.

Report from CAN Family Festival

Despite the cold wind blowing off the Burrard Inlet, there was a great deal of warmth at the ACT Information Table and across the CAN Family Festival event on April 9th – though many of us were wishing that Autism Awareness Month was in July! ACT staff enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new parents. While we are saddened that we will not be able to provide individualized support after June 30, we handed out our two latest publications: ACT’s 2017 Event Calendar and the 2017 Autism Videos @ ACT Guide.

CAN Volunteers Receive CAN/ACT Training Scholarshipsimg_560X250

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship! Fariba Davoody, Ricky Tsang, Angelo Graffos and Maria Stolyarova were selected for the amazing level of support that they have provided to CAN programs as volunteers. This scholarship will provide each recipient with a $500 credit to be used towards registering for ACT’s live events. Find out more about the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship

ACT’s Board of Directors is Seeking a New Treasurer – Volunteer Opportunity

ACT- Autism Community Training’s current treasurer will be stepping down this summer. We are seeking qualified candidates with a CPA designation and, ideally, experience in serving as a board member for a not-for-profit society.

The role of Board Treasurer is to provide oversight and provide the Board of Directors with guidance in maintaining their fiduciary responsibility to the society. ACT employs a chartered professional chartered accountant who completes all accounting procedures and prepares monthly financial statements; we have recently sailed through our 12th annual audit with a clean opinion. The workload for the Board Treasurer would average about 2-3 hours a month, with meetings being held about 4-5 times a year.

If you are interested in this opportunity to join a dynamic not-for-profit, with a commitment to building our considerable autism information and training resources, nationally and internationally, please send your resume to Deborah Pugh, Executive Director at dpugh@actcommunity.ca

Upcoming ACT Conferences

The Focus on Research Conference this Friday and Saturday is sold out (there are spots available for web streaming) but ACT is hosting five training opportunities this Spring and Summer with more booked for the rest of the year. Register soon to ensure your seat and take advantage of early bird rates.

A special thanks to our presenters and volunteers who make it possible for ACT to continue providing excellent training opportunities at a reasonable cost. 

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASDimg_265X130

July 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Jonathan Weiss, Ph.D., CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University

A professional development opportunity for those who are involved in the mental health field and have a background in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. View Event +

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD

img_265X130

July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Aug. 14 – 18 – Vancouver

Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., RPsych

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

View Surrey Event +
View Vancouver Event + 

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skillsimg_265X130

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

I learned strategies I can use with all of my students right away.”

View Event +

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children

img_265X130

Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
In person & via live web streaming
Richard Stock, Ph.D., BCBA-D

“Powerful and easy to implement IEP suggestions”
(CEUs for BCBAs and BCaBAs are available. See event page for details).

View Event +

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 ($35 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.

Two New Free Videos – Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT added two new videos to Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) in April. There are over 25 free online videos now available. Visit AVA for evidence-informed presentations on a wide-range of practical, autism- related topics aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals with ASD and their families. www.actcommunity.ca/videos/

img_560X250 Family Quality of Life and ASD Funding in BC: Opportunities for Culturally Responsive Research

Grace Iarocci, PhD, R.Psych & Emily Gardiner, PhD, BCCH
Drs. Iarocci and Gardiner present findings from a study in which participants reported on their satisfaction with available funds and resources for autism in BC. This research revealed important insights into the strengths and challenges associated with the BC funding model, as perceived by service users. The video concludes with a discussion on the implications for provincial policy and practice, and strategies for including under-served families in research. Watch Video img_560X250

Building a System of Culturally Sensitive Family Centred Positive Behavior Support

Parbs Bains, M.Ed., BCBA & Noreen Dunn, M.Ed., BCBA
As professionals working in culturally diverse communities in Metro Vancouver, Parbs Bains and Noreen Dunn are part of a working group on how to best deliver culturally-sensitive services to the many families for whom English is a second language. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for families and their children by empowering families to use culturally acceptable Positive Behaviour Support strategies effectively. This presentation describes a summary of the group’s work. Watch Video 

A Parent’s Handbook – French and Japanese Translations Ready Soon!img_185X240

Since last summer, ACT has been working on a project on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, translating A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programsinto eight languages. French and Japanese translations of the handbook will be ready the first week of May. The handbook is already available in Chinese, Korean and Spanish; they can all be found on ACT’s website. ACT is working with teams of proof-readers and translators on the remaining translations into Farsi (Persian), Arabic and Punjabi , they will be available by June 30th. See MCFD’s original News Release for details of this project. View all translations +

Free SFU Camp & Parent Workshop – Registration is Open!

Join the 6th Annual SFU Social Science Camp – a FREE, fun, and educational camp for children with and without ASD. At SFU Burnaby campus on July 15 & 22 (9am-3pm), the camp will offer a mix of social games and an opportunity to participate in research using fun activities. This year’s theme is “Celebrating our special interests and skills” and all children will receive a SFU Social Science Camp T-shirt! Parents can also attend a FREE workshops while children attend the camp. Spots are limited so sign up today.

Special Needs Community Events in B.C.

What to know what is happening in the autism/special needs community in B.C.? Browse ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Calendar

Post your community events, and reach a new audience. This listing is a popular part of ACT’s monthly newsletter, which reaches over 7,300 individual, schools and agencies each month.

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. 

RASP Updates for April 2017

A New RASP Category – Supervised Occupational Therapist

The new Supervised Occupational Therapist category for the RASP has been approved by MCFD and came into effect April 1, 2017. For details, see the ACT website:

Sharp Increase in RASP Applications and Approvals

12 RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since March 30, 2017. As of April 26, 2017, there are 696 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/

Compared to the first four months of 2016, applications and approvals are up significantly in 2017, in part because ACT has urged new applicants to apply before May 1 (see Reminder below). ACT has received a 73% increase in the number of applications submitted, and a 47% increase in the numbers approved. We are working hard to process applicants quickly to ensure that families have access to as many qualified professionals as possible during the transition to MCFD management of the RASP.

Behavior Consultants (Category B –Supervised)

  • Cherry Truong – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Abbey Massar – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Melanie Carrick – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam
  • David Herb –Vancouver
  • Andrea Rushton – Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Jennifer Kennedy – Campbell River, Comox, Comox Valley, Denman Island, Hornby Island, Quadra Island, Tofino, Ucluelet, Victoria
  • Andrea N. Schneider – Surrey, Vancouver
  • Pamela Hood-Szivek – Victoria

Occupational Therapists (Supervised)

  • Naomi Hill – Vancouver
  • Tiffany Kobbero – Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Port Moody, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Kimberly Long – Kelowna, Lake Country, Oliver, Osoyoos, Peachland, Penticton, Summerland, West Kelowna
  • Sarah Tamosetis – 100 Mile House, Williams Lake

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 March 30 listings for Kate Fitzherbert, Jeanine Harper, Louise Hill, and Stephanie Sywak have been removed from the RASP.

Reminder: New RASP Applications Received after May 15th will be processed by MCFD.

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 should be submitted by Monday, May 1, 2017. RASP applications which arrive after May 15, 2017 will be processed by MCFD.

Please note that 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/

Autism in the News

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

Two New Videos added to Autism Videos @ ACT

Have you seen the new look for Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA)? It’s easier than ever to browse and play one of ACT’s 23 free online videos. Start with these new offerings:

The Invention and Reinvention of Autism: Researching ASD Across Culture

Dr. Roy Richard Grinker, author of Unstrange Minds, addresses issues relevant to autism research:

  • What does it mean to say that a phenomenon is “cultural?”
  • What are the cross-cultural commonalities and differences in how autism is defined and treated?
  • What kinds of cross-cultural research can have an impact on early detection and intervention?

Watch this video >>

Panel Discussion: Supporting Marginalized Families from the Trenches – Perspectives of Parent- Professionals

This panel of parent-professionals provides fascinating insights into their work in supporting other parents of children with special needs, either as professionals or as volunteers.

Panel Participants: Roy Richard Grinker, PhD; Deborah Pugh, Executive Director of ACT; Bosang Lee, PhD, Executive Director of Here and Now Community Society; Sunita Braich, ASAAP Parent Facilitator & Surrey School District; Sawsan Salih, Volunteer translator for refugee families; Betty-Ann Garreck, Coordinator, Autism Kamloops.

Watch this video >>

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

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

Presented by Deborah Pugh, Executive Director, ACT – Autism Community Training

Many parents find the most stressful part of parenting a child with special needs is the constant need to advocate for their child’s unique needs to be met. This free online ACT video provides practical, positive guidance on how to navigate various government systems and provides insights to understanding the systems that control access to services for children with special needs. Many of the examples are from British Columbia’s education system, but the basic principles of effective advocacy apply to most jurisdictions and are helpful to families who want to understand how to protect their child’s rights by better understanding the roles and responsibilities of both service providers and the family. The video has been edited down into short chunks to help busy families. No password is required.

Deborah Pugh has been an active advocate on behalf of children and adults with special needs for over 20 years, following a journalism career in which she first learned the importance of advocating for others. For details of Deborah’s experience see the ACT Staff page.

Please click on link below to access Part 2 of the ‘Essentials of Advocacy’. You may also access the handout for the workshop here as well as the full Table of Contents for the workshop here: www.actcommunity.ca/education/the-essentials-of-advocacy/

Online Mental Health and Autism Project – Free Webinars Now Available

About the OMHAP Initiative:

This is a free online resource (links below) that has been developed for community professionals to alert them to the mental health needs of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Children and youth with ASD are often affected by psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders and attention disorders.

It can be challenging for front-line health, education, and social services professionals to recognize these co-existing disorders, especially in children and youth with ASD who have difficulty communicating social or emotional cues.

This first phase of the OMHAP initiative provides two recorded webinars, by leading B.C. professionals, that highlight best practices in recognizing, identifying and treating the most common mental-health issues, in children and youth with ASD and related disorders.

Visit the Online Mental Health and Autism Project page for more information:
www.actcommunity.ca/education/mentalhealth/

Co-Sponsored by:

Division of Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, advised on the development of the webinars and provided Continuing Educational Credits for registrants.


MCFD Logo

British Columbia’s Ministry of Children and Family Development has provided funding for OMHAP.

Part 1: Recognizing Mental Health Disorders in Children and Youth with ASD

Webinar 1 focuses on heightening awareness of the high prevalence of autism across the age span which can mask mental health concerns that require treatment from mental health professionals. Total time: 75 minutes.

Outline and speakers:

  1. Introduction – Deborah Pugh
  2. Background to ASD and Mental Health – Karen Bopp, PhD, RSLP
  3. Why are Psychiatric Comorbidities Important? – Anthony Bailey, FRCPsych
  4. Role of the Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D
  5. Reflections from the Panel – Balbinder Gill, PhD & Grace Iarocci, PhD, RPsych
  6. Question Period

View Webinar 1 videos and resources here:
www.actcommunity.ca/education/mentalhealth/recognising/

Part 2: Treating Anxiety, Depression and OCD in Children and Youth with ASD

Webinar 2 focuses on specific mental health conditions that affect children with ASD and their treatment. It also includes discussion on screening, assessment and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Total time: 77 minutes.

Webinar 2 outline and speakers:

  1. Introduction – Deborah Pugh
  2. Anxiety – Melanie McConnell, PhD, RPsych
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – David Worling, PhD, RPsych
  4. Depression – Anthony Bailey, FRCPsych
  5. Panelist – Georgina Robinson, PhD
  6. Panelist – David Batstone, PhD, RPsych
  7. Questions and Answers

View Webinar 2 videos and resources here:
www.actcommunity.ca/education/mentalhealth/treating/

OMHAP Advisory Committee

Content and structure for OMHAP is determined by an expert advisory committee. Please see www.actcommunity.ca/education/mentalhealth/committee/ for more information about the Advisory Committee and the OMHAP initiative.