Category Archives: Media

Fall News Round-Up

New live events, community events, autism in the news, and more in this edition.

New Live Events

Four new events have been added for 2018! Register now for early-bird rates.

Visit upcoming live events , web streaming, or bursaries for more information and how to register.

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World Darla Grey

February 23rd, 2018
Sidney, BC
Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
Director, Social Thinking Training and Speakers’ Collaborative, San Jose, California

view event >>

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARDJustin Greene

January 22 – 26, 2018, Vancouver

March 5 – 9, 2018, Surrey

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Vancouver event >>

Surrey event >>

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Dee Smith

May 3 & 4, 2018

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

view event >>

Save the Date: More Upcoming ACT Events

ACT’s 14th Annual Focus on Research Conference
April 5 & 6, 2018 in Vancouver, BC
Details & registration coming soon


October Community Events


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

Autism Information Services BC Open House
11am-2pm, Tuesday, October 10, Richmond

Stepping Stones Triple P group
6pm-8:30pm, Wednesdays, October 11 – December 6, Burnaby
Stepping Stones Triple P in Punjabi
6pm-8:30pm, Tuesdays, October 10 – December 5, Surrey

Connect with PEERS for teens (ages 14 – 18)
6:30pm-8pm, Thursdays, October 12 – December 7, Burnaby

Job Club for Youth and Young Adults
4pm-5:30pm, Thursdays, October 19 – December 7, North Vancouver

Spectrum Lights Parent Group Family Information Sessions
7pm-9pm, Thursday, October 19, Burnaby

Creating Positive Behavior Strategies In The Classroom
9am-2pm, Friday, October 20, Vancouver

Autism Expo 2017
11am-3pm, Sunday, October 22, Nanaimo

Registered Disability Savings Plans: Parent Information Event
6:30pm-8:30pm, Monday, October 23, North Vancouver

Facing your Fears Group Therapy
3:30pm-5pm, Wednesdays, October 25 – January 17, Surrey


Autism in the Media

See the latest news on ACT’s facebook page

Mother demands answers after son, 8, put in restraints and injected on first day of school – CBC News

The Missing Autistic Girls – edutopia

Fictional portrayals of autistic people are stereotyped, research suggests – BT

For Those Who can Afford Them, Swimming Lessons Can Save the Lives of Children with Autism – California Health Report

‘We never let him go without supervision’: Daycare worker says Saskatoon boy who died had autism – CBC News

Is the public school system working for kids with special needs? – The Current

Region’s Catholic board asked to reconsider private support for autistic kids – CBC News

Some Special Needs Kids Still Waiting for School to Start – The Tyee

Region’s Catholic board asked to reconsider private support for autistic kids – CBC News

This Is How Much of Autism Is Genetic – TIME

Why the world expert on Asperger’s took 30 years to notice condition in his own son – The Guardian

Celebrating Pablo: As CBeebies launch their new show about autism, here’s why it’s so important – Metro

Helping a Child Living with Autism to Deal with Tragedy – Autism Speaks

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

Family provides unique solution for Edmonton teen with disability seeking more independence – Global News

What will it take for the feds to get serious about autism? – iPolitics

My daughter doesn’t have ‘special’ needs. She’s disabled. – Washington Post


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

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

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


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


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.

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.

blank 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 2017blank

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:

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:

Autism in the News

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

January 2017 News Round-Up

Update on the Ending of ACT’s Contract with MCFD

ACT’s staff and board thank all those who continue sending kind comments via Facebook, email and by telephone. It has been an honour for us to provide navigation and information services to families and professionals across B.C. since 2005. When we have information to share with the autism community from B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development on their new vision of service provision, we will post it on our website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, ACT is continuing to provide our always friendly and efficient service as we work to re-design our programs – details below.

ACT’s Live Event Calendar for 2017 – Registration Now Open!

ACT is finalizing the details of our 2017 event calendar. At ACT’s live events, leading practitioners and researchers from across the world share their insights with B.C. parents and professionals. Join us for inspiration and information! See below for the events which have already been confirmed. Special thanks to our sponsors and speakers who make ACT’s training possible.

ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Event – April 28 & 29, 2017

SFU Harbour Centre – Vancouver.
Mental Health is the focus of this year’s Focus on Research conference. We are delighted to announce our two keynote speakers, Dr. Christopher Gillberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Jonathan Weiss (York University, Toronto). ACT’s Online Mental Health and Autism Project committee will finalize the program over the next two weeks – save the dates for what will be a thought provoking two days!

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASD – July 24 & 25- Vancouver

Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
Details & registration coming soon.

The events below are open for registration – register early and save!

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

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

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
Aug. 14 – 18 -Vancouver
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children
Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD
Oct. 20 & 21, 2017 – Vancouver
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children
Nov. 16 & 17- Vancouver
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT has added five new videos to AVA since the beginning of December 2016. This week we launch a new platform to make this free resource easier to navigate as we now have over 20 videos and we want to make sure our users don’t get lost! Take a look at our new Videos home page which allows you to easily scan all our video offerings and view them when convenient to you, with no passwords. This is a free service made possible thanks to donors, sponsors and of course our presenters, who donate their time to this rich source of evidence-based community training, available internationally to all who need access to positive information on autism and other special needs.

NEW AVA Video for 2017 – The Essentials of Advocacy


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

This free online ACT video provides practical, positive guidance on how to navigate various government systems that control access to services for children with special needs.

ACT has several videos awaiting editing. If you would like to support AVA’s development, donate via cheque, online via Canada Helps, the United Way, or Employer Charitable funds.

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 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
  • 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!

blank 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:

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:

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

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

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 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:

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 for more information.

Autism in the News

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

November News Round-Up


31f73a8a-ae33-400c-966b-9acf51f90a77 New AVA Videos for the Autism Community – Support ACT this Giving Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

New YVR Autism Access Sticker

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

Have Your Say: Federal Accessibility Legislation

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

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

For details:


New Live Event – Evaluating Intervention Programs and Peer Mediated PRT

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

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

RASP Updates: 9 New RASP Professionals


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

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

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

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Andrea Schneider – Serves: Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Amy Makaroff – Serves: Victoria

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

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

Occupational Therapists

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

Professionals no longer listed on the RASP

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

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

ACT updates the RASP list weekly. See who is new in your community at

Special Needs Community Events


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

Upcoming events in December include:

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

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

Food and Eating: Resources from the Autism Information Database


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

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

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

ABA at Capilano University


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

MCFD Sponsored Online Autism Training


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

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

Autism in the News

  • Court ruling to force hiring of hundreds of teachers in B.C. (Vancouver Sun)
  • The Asperger’s comedy troupe: ‘We want people to like us because we’re funny’ (The Guardian)
  • Search for boy’s ‘life-saving’ blue cup gets incredible response from strangers (the Telegraph)
  • Defying expectations, people with autism are participating and excelling in sports (Sports Illustrated)
  • ‘All my life suddenly made sense’: how it feels to be diagnosed with autism late in life (The Guardian)
  • The Link Between Autism and Trans Identity (The Atlantic)
  • Timely autism treatment better for kids, taxpayers, study finds (the Star)
  • Brooklyn Transit Museum’s ‘Subway Sleuths’ program help autistic children learn, grow (Daily News)
  • What Grandmothers Can Teach Science About Autism (the Atlantic)
  • More aging B.C. parents struggling to raise adult children with disabilities (the Province)
  • LEGO therapy introduced to Abbotsford children with autism (Global News)
  • Movie Review: Off the Rails (Roger
  • Opinion: Five things to keep in mind when writing about autism (Vancouver Sun)
  • Park board to train all employees about autism spectrum disorder (Vancouver Sun)

For more news and stories, follow us on Facebook

Staff News – new job posting

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

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

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

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


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

Summer 2016 News Round-Up

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

Parent Coaching Project Intervention Research Project – Request for Applications

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

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

Details and documents: For more information and to download the Request for Applications and the Request for Expressions of Interest from Service Providers see

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

blankIn June and July, fourteen RASP professionals qualified for the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP). For more information on searching the RASP and what RASP professionals offer, visit

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

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

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

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

Speech-Language Pathologists

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

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

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

Occupational Therapists

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

To search the RASP for professionals in your community, visit

New! Next Steps Guide Available in Korean

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

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

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

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

Read this article at: or browse the ACT in Chinese section of the ACT website for more:

AID Resources to Help Families Enjoy Summertime

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

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

Focus on York University AID Resources

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

Community Events Around B.C.

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

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

Do you have an event that you would like to see included? Submit or browse for more at:

Calling All Artists

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

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


posAbilities presents the 12th Annual INCLUSION Art Show and Sale at the Heritage Hall in Vancouver. For more information:

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


The Pacific Autism Family Centre is seeking submissions from artists interested in showing their work in its new Goodlife Fitness Family Autism Hub. For more information:

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

Celebrate the publication of the 2016 issue of the Autism’s Own Journal, Sunday, August 21st at the UVic Student Union Building. For more information see

Mindfulness with the Canucks Autism Network

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


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

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

Download July – September Events Calendar

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Surrey

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

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

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

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

Two Days of Social Thinking® – Vancouver

blankAugust 4 & 5, 2016

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

Social Thinking, San Jose, California

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

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

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills – Richmond

blankSept. 15 & 16, 2016

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

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

Save the Date! Registration opening soon

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

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

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

For details or to register, visit the ACT Events page:

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

blankACT hosts 16 free online videos at – some of our more popular titles are:

Autism in the News