Category Archives: Events

Registration now open for PBS in Schools Conference

This two day conference will feature a number of presentations focused on the use of PBS strategies in the school environment with children with special needs. Read more on the event page!


Practical Ways to Decrease Challenging Behaviors in School, Home, and Community Settings with Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, Stanford University, California

PBS – Working Together to Support Children and Families with Dr. Ilene Schwartz, University of Washington

More details on PBS in Schools Conference are coming soon. Sign up for our mailing list to get the latest on the schedule, panels, and discounts.

News Round-Up April 2018 Edition

Registration Open for Three New Events!

Non-Aversive Strategies to Assist Individuals with Autism and Challenging Behaviours
Friday, August 24
Vancouver, BC, & Web Streaming!

Andrew McDonnell, PhD, BCBA-D, Director of Studio3 Training Systems, UK

This one-day workshop will focus on how to manage behaviours of concern using a low arousal approach, developed by Dr. McDonnell to help personnel in schools and group homes manage ‘highly aroused’ and stressed individuals. The emphasis will be on verbal and nonverbal strategies to de-escalate crisis situations. In addition, the approach involves ‘reflective practice’ that is, ‘What is my own contribution to the situation? Low-arousal approaches include interaction, diffusion and distraction strategies; coping with challenging behaviours including debriefing – why it is necessary and how to do it, managing versus changing behaviours, physical avoidance skills and physical intervention strategies. Event Details & Registration

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

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

Children and adolescents with ASD are at high risk for developing anxiety symptoms that interfere with functioning at home, school and in the community. Research has shown that children and teens with ASD and anxiety demonstrate significant reductions in anxiety following participation in modified Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) interventions. Facing Your Fears (FYF) is a group CBT intervention for managing anxiety in youth with ASD. Throughout the training, participants will learn about FYF, identify core components of the clinic based FYF program, learn how to modify FYF for teens with ASD and intellectual disabilities, as well as strategies for delivering FYF in school settings. Video examples and interactive small group activities will occur throughout the training

Event Details & Registration

INVESTing in Girls and Women with ASD
Friday, November 2nd
Vancouver, BC & Web Streaming!

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.

INVEST: Identify Needs, Validate, Educate, Strengthen and Thrive has been developed by Dori Zener based on her extensive clinical experience with women and girls with ASD.

Event Details & Registration

More upcoming events

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills 2018
May 3 & 4, 2018 – In-person seats sold out! Web Streaming spots available

Social Stories with Carol Gray
July 19 & 20, 2018 – Nanaimo

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 30 – August 3, 2018 – Surrey
October 29 – November 2, 2018 – Vancouver

Social Thinking Conference with Michelle Garcia Winner
August 16 & 17, 2018 – Vancouver

Register for 2 events and save $50.
Use coupon code 50off2 at checkout or contact ACT.
Valid for both in-person and web streaming registration.
Coupon cannot be combined with other discounts or bursaries.

Bursaries for those most in need, including para-professionals, parents who have children with special needs, adults with ASD, and professionals who need to travel outside of their home regions are also available, to the best of our financial ability. Bursaries are also available for webstreaming – internationally and Canada!
For information on how to apply for an ACT bursary, please visit the Bursaries FAQ page

Printable guides for Events, Videos, and the Autism Information Database

Visit the links below to view our PDF guides to ACT Events, Autism Videos @ ACT, and the Autism Information Database.

Autism Prevalence among Youth in Canada – A Report of the 2018 National ASD Surveillance System

Recorded at ACT’s 14th Annual Focus on Research Conference
Presented by Professor Anthony Bailey, Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Dr. Anthony Bailey’s presentation of the 2018 National ASD Surveillance report is now available, free, on Autism Videos @ ACT. In this video, Professor Bailey, Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UBC, provides an insightful overview of the epidemiology of  ASD in Canada. After discussing the methodology used to develop the NASS Report, Dr. Bailey presents a summary of the findings and compares Canada’s rate of ASD among children and youth, to the situation internationally.
Watch on Autism Videos at ACT

Awareness and Acceptance are Only the Start

Editorial by Dr. Anthony Bailey

April is Autism Awareness Month in most of Canada. For the first time, with the publication by the Public Health Agency of Canada of “ASD Among Children and Youth in Canada 2018”, Canadians have a comprehensive snapshot of autism in Canada. What lies ahead for the 1 in 66 children affected by ASD in Canada as they enter adulthood? Because of inclusive educational policies, today’s’ Secondary School graduates will likely have had at least some contact with an individual with ASD. But improved awareness about ASD has not translated into significant improvements in adult outcomes. Indeed, we need look no further than post-secondary education to see how much still needs to be done.

View the full article

How You Can Support Improving the Employment Prospects of Youth and Adults with ASD

It is very tough to attract research funding for practical projects focused on the needs of youth and adults. A group of researchers at the University of British Columbia, led by Dr. Bailey, have set up an innovative 12-week group workshop to help adults with ASD succeed in higher education and the workplace but they need funding to proceed. To see how you can help, visit the crowdfunding page.

Remembering Michael Price

ACT is saddened to share with the autism community that a long serving volunteer, Michael Price, has died. Michael was a founding member of ACT’s Board of Directors and contributed greatly to our community and our organization for many years. We extend our condolences to his wife Katrina and his three children. We will remember Michael as a kind and collaborative person who not only worked to understand the needs of his own son, but gave selflessly of his time to benefit the community as a whole.

Autism in the News

Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Munson: Here’s what a national autism strategy can do – Ottawa Citizen

A Disproportionate Number of Autistic Youth Are Transgender. Why? – Slate

We grew up not knowing we were autistic – BBC News

I Am Autistic – This Is What The World Looks Like To Me – Huffington Post UK

Drowning death of Saskatoon boy with autism preventable: children’s advocate – Global News

Author Speaks Out After Learning She Has Autism at 45: ‘I Finally Knew Why I Was Different’ – People

‘He’s doing a lot better today’: Here’s what happened when autistic Brampton boy got lost on a field trip – Brampton Guardian

‘I am absolutely furious,’ says mother trying to renew disability tax credit – CBC News

I’m autistic, here’s how to be friends with me – The Daily Telegraph

Four ways to support girls with autism – TES

I have ‘High Functioning Autism’ – but what does it really mean? – Metro UK

Magazine names Channel-Port aux Basques most autism-friendly town in Canada – CBC News

How to help autistic children socialise in school – The Conversation

‘The uniform and the rules attract autistic people to join the police’ – BBC News

Seven things parents of kids with special needs hate, and seven ways to be supportive – The Washington Post

The most autism-friendly town in Canada – Maclean’s

What An Autism Spectrum Friendly Environment Can Teach Us About Good Management – Forbes

Parents of children with autism announce plan to take legal action against government – CBC News

School autism project improving attendance and changing lives of children, families – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

On disability, Twitter is better late than never – CNN

How do you make a destination autism-friendly? – CTV News


iPad’s in Autism March 10th – Last Chance to Register

Faster than a Speeding Bullet:

iPads in Autism Intervention

March 10th, 2018, Vancouver
with Dr. Brenda Fossett, BCBA-D

Save $50 when you register by March 5!

For an update on the latest and greatest educational and communication apps for children and adults with special needs, join Dr. Brenda Fossett, BCBA-D for a day that will ensure you are up to speed!

Since the iPad was first released in 2010, the use of iPads and other tablets have become common learning tool in the educational environment. For individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, they have been seen as “miracle” devices. However, for these devices to be effective, there is a lot to be considered.

This workshop will review a number of skill areas in which the iPad can be a useful instructional tool and/or an aid for daily living. Current research regarding the effectiveness of iPad and other tablet-based applications in a variety of skill areas, including communication, academic, daily living, social and employment skills will be reviewed.

Relevant apps will be discussed and/or demonstrated. This presentation will address the age range, from young children to adult. It is aimed at those who need considerable support in communication and behaviour.

Event Details & Registration

About the Presenter

Dr. Brenda Fossett, BCBA-D is an inspired teacher who is widely admired for her ability to convey complex concepts to those who work with children and adults with special needs, whether they are educational professionals or parent. Dr. Fossett has been on faculty in the Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism Department at Capilano University since 2013.

ACT is offering $50 bursaries to all school district staff for a workshop being held on February 23 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney

The speaker is Dr. Pamela Crooke from the Social Thinking Collaborative in San Jose, California, which was founded by Michelle Garcia Winner. Dr. Crooke will be addressing the transition needs of more able students with autism, who are often ill prepared to graduate because of the assumption that their academic profile will compensate for their lack of social awareness in employment or higher education settings. 

Too often the students themselves have an unrealistic vision of their employment prospects, hence the title of Dr. Crooke’s presentation: “I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World. See ACT’s website for details of the presentation, including learning outcomes, and how to register. You can learn more about Dr. Crooke here. Dr. Crooke has presented for ACT before and audiences have been overwhelmingly positive about her engaging, frank and humorous style.

School District Staff Discount: Register online and receive $50 off when you use your staff email address and this coupon code: sd50. Register by January 11 and save an additional $25.

Registration & Event Details

Holiday News Round-Up

Volunteer Adam Elsharkawi putting together ‘New Diagnosis Parent Packages’ for diagnostic centres around B.C.

Thanking our Donors & Volunteers for Providing New Families with Key Information

ACT provides parents of newly diagnosed children in B.C. with information on ACT’s resources – ACT is Canada’s leading source of comprehensive, evidence-informed, online resources.

As ACT is no longer funded by MCFD to provide our ‘New Diagnosis Parent Packages’, we depend on volunteer support and donations from the autism community.

The generosity of the autism community in supporting our Holiday Fundraising Campaign is appreciated. See ACT’s website for key projects, how to donate and recognition of our generous donors.

Special Needs Community Events – January 2018

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

Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clinician Workshop
January 19, Vancouver

Parent Training to Address Problem Behaviours of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities
January 20, Richmond

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Vancouver)
January 22 – 26, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Early Years Conference 2018
January 25 – 27, Vancouver

PEERS for Teens – ABA Learning Centre
January 25 – May 3, Burnaby

ACT’s 2018 Events

ACT’s 2018 schedule is set! Many outstanding presenters, including Carol Gray, Judy Reaven, Michelle Garcia Winner, Brenda Fossett and Sarah Ward, are set to provide ACT’s audiences with insights to inspire and inform. To see this year’s line-up, visit upcoming events.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Vancouver)
January 22 – 26, 2018 – Vancouver , BC

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World
February 23rd, 2018 – Sidney, BC

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention
March 10th, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Visit upcoming events and web streaming events for more details and registration.

Parents can register for $25 a day, please email
Details on our event bursaries page.

Update on ACT’s Special Projects

Parent Coaching Project

2017 saw the inception of the PACE Coaching Project by researchers at UBC, following a competition overseen by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

The goal of PACE Coaching is to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of, or diagnosed with ASD. ACT was given responsibility by B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to administer this $3 million, three year project, in March 2016.

Visit the PACE Coaching Project page for updates and new developments on this important initiative.

Translated into 8 Languages – A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Program

ACT thanks all those volunteers from the autism community who have ensured the sensitive and accurate translations of MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs (2015) into eight languages: Punjabi, Korean, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic! The handbook is nearly 50 pages long – each language required many hours of painstaking work.

These translations can be found at Autism Information Services B.C. As MCFD took over many of the services that ACT formerly provided under contract, in the middle of this project, these handbooks will need to be updated by MCFD to match the 2017 English version. As soon as these are available, ACT will let you know!

Community professionals will find the translation of key terms used in B.C.’s autism program, as well as general concepts about autism to be very useful to helping new parents. ACT thanks MCFD for the opportunity to provide this key information to B.C.’s immigrant communities.

Autism in the News

ACT’s Facebook page just reached 3,000 likes!
To keep in touch with Special Needs issues provincially, nationally and internationally –
Visit ACT on Facebook.

Immigration Canada reverses decision, grants residency for family denied over child’s disability – Global News

Little boy’s touching video explaining his autism to his classmates goes viral
– Global News

Why intelligence scores do not predict success for autistic adults – Spectrum News

Banned from regular school life, boy with autism asks: ‘When am I going to see kids?’ – CBC News

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

Children with autism tour Kelowna International Airport – Global News

‘They consider that education, I guess’: Father of autistic boy speaks out – CBC News

Family’s heart-rending case prompts call for autism strategy – CBC News

5 things not to say to parents of autistic children – BBC Radio

Autistic Canadians struggling for access to tax credit, says activist – iPolitics

Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools – The Free Press

How Does Autism in Children Affect Parenting Stress?
– Medical News Bulletin

Room for Improvement: Toward better education outcomes for children in care – Representative for Children and Youth BC

It’s time for Canada to measure up on kids with disabilities – The Star