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 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

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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

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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

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

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: www.actcommunity.ca/donate

  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. www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/positive-behavior-support/
  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 children.www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/taking-control-of-the-future/
  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.
    www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/thriving-in-youth-with-asd/
  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.
    www.actcommunity.ca/mentalhealth/recognising/

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: www.actcommunity.ca/videos 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: www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/disability/legislation/index.page#h2.325

calendar

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

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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 www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Special Needs Community Events

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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 www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events

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

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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. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/1717/
  • Addressing Problematic Feeding Behaviours Using a Behavioural Approach. This online video by Lauren Binnendyck outlines behavioral approaches to dealing with problematic feeding behaviors. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2032/
  • 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. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/698/
  • 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. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/1775/

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

ABA at Capilano University

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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: rstock@capilanou.ca

MCFD Sponsored Online Autism Training

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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: www.douglascollege.ca/autism-outreachor contact dacs@douglascollege.ca

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

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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 info@actcommunity.ca. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to info@actcommunity.ca 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

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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 www.actcommunity.ca/information/parent-coaching-intervention-research-project

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 www.seymourtripleg.ca. 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

In 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 www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/information-for-families.

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 www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search

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: www.actcommunity.ca/information/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: www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2827 or browse the ACT in Chinese section of the ACT website for more: www.actcommunity.ca/act-in-chinese

AID Resources to Help Families Enjoy Summertime

Summer 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: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

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: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

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: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

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 www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

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 www.canucksautism.ca/programs or contact tara.rodas@canucksautism.ca.

 

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

ACT 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

Only 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

August 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

Sept. 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

October 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: www.actcommunity.ca/events

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

ACT hosts 16 free online videos at www.actcommunity.ca/videos – some of our more popular titles are:

Autism in the News

May News Round-up

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Volunteer or Donate: Seymour Triple G Fundraiser for ACT

The 1st Annual Seymour Triple G Road Cycling Fundraiser is less than a month away. Donate, register to ride or come cheer the cyclists on! Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver.

Sponsored by Loma Bike, Mt Seymour, Cycling BC, and Brite Coaching, this fundraiser will challenge riders with a 15 km ride up a 7-10% grade. This ride will demand heart, stamina and determination – much like the challenge autism presents for individuals and their families.

ACT is seeking volunteers for:

  • Promotions: Friendly, outgoing people to hand out brochures at high-traffic cycling areas including Horseshoe Bay, Mt. Seymour, SFU, Iona Beach, and Galileo Coffee near Britannia Beach, weekend mornings, until mid- June.
  • Photography: High quality photographers to take action photos of the riders and attendees on the day of the event. You’ll have to be fast!
  • Day of Event Support: Help us with setup and registration, cheer on the riders and serve (and eat!) breakfast at the top.

Email events@actcommunity.ca to volunteer.

ACT’s goal is to raise $10,000 to help us host more of our practical presentations aimed at helping families and professionals learn more about all aspects of autism , Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) currently hosts 16 high quality videos available for free across B.C. We are over half-way to our goal, thanks to generous donations from the employees of Walmart Penticton, Oceanside Fisheries, Maria Carinha, Seymour Triple G riders and pledges to the Loma Bike team! Donate now to support ACT’s free resources.

6 New RASP Professionals – Kelowna, Fraser Valley, Victoria & Vancouver

As of end of May, there are 638 professionals listed on the RASP. The RASP is updated daily and can be searched by name, city, profession or language. Each News Round-Up, we feature the RASP professionals who have been added. These are the new additions for May:

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)
  • Rebecca Keller – Serves: Saanich, Sooke, Victoria
  • Stephanie Sywak – Serves: Abbotsford, Agassiz, Aldergrove, Chilliwack, Hope, Maple Ridge, Mission, Port Coquitlam
Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Celeste Coldwell – Serves: Kelowna
  • Courtney Fearon – Serves: Surrey, White Rock
Occupational Therapists
  • Claire Feltham – Serves: Chilliwack
  • Amy Yee – Serves: Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver, West Vancouver

Correction from the April News Round-Up. This is a corrected listing for Carla Kirk- Behavior Consultant (Category B – Supervised): serves: Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Surrey.

You may also be interested in Chapter 5 of ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C., Contracting with Professionals on the RASP with important information on contracts, timesheets and invoices.

ACT Seeking Designer & Translators in Arabic, Persian (Farsi) and Spanish

ACT is seeking to contract professional translators to translate MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs into Arabic, Persian (Farsi) or Spanish. A knowledge of autism and how the Autism Funding Programs work in B.C. is desirable. Interested candidates should contact Christine Hung chung@actcommunity.ca for more information.

ACT has already identified translation teams for the Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean and Punjabi versions of the Handbook. (See the MCFD News Release for details on this project) Work is beginning in June. If you are a native speaker of any of these languages and you would like to volunteer to proof or advise on wording, please contact Christine. As each version is completed we will announce it in the News Round-Up.

ACT is also seeking a contract print media designer, highly skilled in Adobe InDesign to support this project. Send your CV to Christine Hung chung@actcommunity.ca

“Dr. Joe” Wins UBC’s Killiam Teaching Prize

Dr. Joseph Lucyshyn, presenter for ACT, is the recipient of the 2015-2016 UBC Killam Teaching Prize. This prestigious award is in recognition of his dedication to students, teaching, and learning at the Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education Department at UBC: “His unwavering commitment to kindness and compassion shapes his teaching style, making for a unique and memorable learning experience for students.”

Parents of children with special needs across B.C. know Dr. Joe for his many presentations on behalf of ACT – from Sidney to Nanaimo, from Vancouver to Castlegar and North to Fort St. John. We respect him as an outstanding humanitarian whose commitment to helping parents use positive behavior support strategies to transform family life is inspirational. If you would like to see Dr. Joe present, go to AVA (Autism Videos @ ACT) and watch (free) Culturally Responsive PBS with Families of Diverse Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds.

New AID Resources for B.C. Families & Professionals

The Autism Information Database (AID) hosts over 2,000 information and community resources. ACT’s staff source great information resources internationally as well as B.C- based support groups and service providers. We want to ensure we cover the province – please submit a new resource from your community.

Summer Camps Searchable on the AID

In May we have been busy collecting information on summer camps – summer is almost here and camps are filling up fast. There are currently over 100 B.C. summer camps listed on the AID. Narrow the search further by searching a specific city or use your postal code to see the closest options. A few examples of camps available on the AID:

  • The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is running a Multisport Day Camp at the Shawnigan Lake School July 16 &17. See the AID link for CAN’s Vancouver Island programs for details.
  • Summer Social offers campers the opportunity to connect with peers while learning Social Thinking concepts. actcommunity.ca/resource/1615/
  • The Hands on Summer Camp from the Elizabeth Buckley School offers programming based on science, technology, engineering, arts and math and is for typical children as well as those with special needs, ages 4-12. actcommunity.ca/resource/1652/

New Tool: Identifying Levels of Social Communication

CanChild researchers at McMaster University have developed a new tool to help identify levels of social communication skills among children with ASD. The Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC) provides a standardized and simplified way for clinicians, therapists, teachers, and parents to talk about what a child’s social communication abilities are. See the AID to read up on this new tool for details and contact information.

Video: The History of Autism and Vaccines

A link to The Vaccines Controversy: The history of the alleged relationship between autism and vaccine is available on the AID. This eight minute video explains the alleged link between vaccines and ASD and outlines various research studies.

ACT Funded by Canada Summer Jobs to Hire Students to Enhance the AID

ACT has received funding from Canada Summer Jobs to hire two summer students to work on the AID and other projects. This federal program helps not-for-profits like ACT to create summer job opportunities to allow students to gain experience.

Focus on Adults

Simon Fraser University’s Autism Mentorship Program this Fall

The SFU Autism Mentorship Initiative (AMI) is designed to support and engage SFU students with ASD in university life and to increase their potential for academic retention and success. Students with ASD have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained student mentor for up to two hours per week throughout each semester. New intake for Fall 2016; details online.

EmploymentWorks Canada

The EmploymentWorks Canada program supports youth or young adults with ASD who would like support in developing the skills to succeed in the workplace. The program is 2.5 hours of structured learning and 2.5 hours of workplace sampling each week for 12 weeks starting August 8th, 2016.

For more information, contact Brooke Straith, at 604-700-8614 or brooke@pacificautismfamily.com

Community Events Around B.C.

Did you know that ACT provides a free service to community organizations to advertise their events? Here are a few events that you may want to know more about – see details for these events and more at www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events/

Abbotsford – Youth Choir & ASD Workshop

Auditions for The Mayday Club Youth Choir for Autism Advocacy
Supporting Children with Autism in Sports and Recreation

Burnaby – SFU Social Science Camp – July 16 & 23 – Register now!

This is the 5th Year that SFU has run this fun camp for children with and without autism or developmental disabilities. More info and registration details.

Squamish – Navigating Autism Intervention Services – Information for Parents

June 7, 2016, 9:30 am – 11:30 am at the Squamish Academy of Music. Join ACT in Squamish for a free information session led by Louise Broadley, Manager of Autism Information Services. Learn about navigating autism services and interventions available for children with autism living in B.C. RSVP via info@actcommunity.ca or by calling 1-866-939-5188. Download the poster for details.

(If you would like to host a visit by ACT to your community – email info@actcommunity.ca)

Penticton – Navigating Autism Intervention Services – Information for Parents

ACT’s Executive Director, Deborah Pugh, will be in Penticton on Tuesday, June 14th (receiving a cheque from the generous employees of Walmart Penticton for the Seymour Triple G Fundraiser supporting Autism Videos @ ACT). We will be taking advantage of this opportunity to meet with families on Tuesday, June 14th, 10:30 -12:30 am. Deborah will be demonstrating ACT’s free resources, including: Autism Videos @ ACT; the Autism Information Database and the Registry of Autism Service Providers online search. Location will be confirmed. For updates, check www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events/ or call info@actcommunity.ca for details.

Richmond – Autism Speaks Canada Walks to the PAFC

Autism Speaks Canada’s annual fundraising walk has moved to the Pacific Autism Family Centre in Richmond, B.C. Join them this October. www.autismspeaks.ca

Submit your community event here.

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

ACT hosts up to 20 events a year, bringing evidence-informed training to parents and professionals relevant to the autism and other special needs. These events 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 advice.

Download July – September Events Calendar

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Vancouver

July 11 – 15, 2016 (30 hours of instruction)

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

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

Details and registration here.

Two Days of Social Thinking®

August 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.”

Details and registration here.

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

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Surrey

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.”

Details and registration here.

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills- Richmond

Sept. 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!”

Details and registration here.

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

Post-Secondary Training

ACT has just updated our website listing of post-secondary programs providing advanced and accredited training related to ASD at UBC, Douglas College, Capilano University and Surrey College. Browse the listings here and advance your education to the next level.

MCFD-Sponsored Online Autism Training

Are you a BI working with a child/youth in British Columbia? Are you a family member who wants to support children with behavior interventions based on the science of ABA? The MCFD sponsored Online Autism Training now accepts applicants from across B.C. Apply now – classes start in September. Reduced tuition – get academic credit for less half the price of other programs. Learn more.

Programs at Douglas College

Douglas College also has four ASD related programs: Behaviour Intervention, Classroom and Community Support, Disability and ABA, and Employment Supports Specialty. Application deadlines in June, most classes begin in September. All programs are for academic credit and can ladder into another as you move forward in your career. For more information: dacs@douglascollege.ca Apply Now!

Autism in the News

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April News Round-Up

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If you would like to receive ACT’s Monthly News Round-Up directly in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Seymour Triple G – Volunteer or Donate to Support ACT’s Free Resources

ACT is delighted to announce the 1st Annual Seymour Triple G Road Cycling Fundraiser. Donate, sign up to ride or come cheer the riders on Saturday, June 25th, 2016, Mount Seymour, North Vancouver.

Sponsored by Loma Bike, Mt Seymour, Cycling BC, and Brite Coaching, this fundraiser will challenge riders with a 15 km ride up a 7-10% grade. This ride is considered “hors catégorie” (more than a Category 1 climb), and will demand heart, stamina and determination – much like the challenge autism presents for individuals and their families.

Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to put together a team for the Seymour Triple G or donate online.

ACT is seeking volunteers for:

  • Promotions: Friendly, outgoing people to hand out brochures at high-traffic cycling areas including Horseshoe Bay, Mt. Seymour, SFU, Iona Beach, or Galileo Coffee near Britannia Beach, weekend mornings, from May to mid- June.
  • Photography: High quality photographers to take action photos of the riders and attendees on the day of the event. You’ll have to be fast!
  • Day of Event Support: Help us with setup and registration, cheer on the riders and serve breakfast at the top.

Please email info@seymourtripleg.ca if you are able to help.

Funds raised will go to the Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) project, which hosts 16 free online videos on topics ranging from community recreation, education, toilet training, and the transition to adulthood. Funding will help expand and develop this free resource available to families and professionals when they need it as well as other autism awareness resources. All donations over $10 will receive a tax receipt. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001

Go to www.seymourtripleg.ca for more information or email info@seymourtripleg.ca

MCFD’s Parent’s Handbook to be Translated into 8 Languages

ACT- Autism Community Training is pleased to announce that we have been funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to manage the translation of MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs into eight languages. We anticipate that these translations will help ensure that more families will have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their child’s intervention program.

This project was announced by B.C.‘s Minister of Children and Family Development, the Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, at ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference on April 15. The handbook will be translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Punjabi and Spanish. The work will begin this summer.

Download the English language version of A Parent’s Handbook. See the Ministry’s News Release for more details on this project.

Sign up for ACT’s Mailing List to receive ACT’s Monthly News Round-Up for updates on provincial autism news, including the release of these translations.

Key Ideas from the 12th Annual Focus on Research

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research was a great success. There were opportunities to share at the lunch tables, on the posters in the foyer and during sessions. Selected presentations were webstreamed, reaching communities across B.C. When ACT has the funding available, the sessions we recorded will be edited and added to AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT.

Conference Highlights

Here are just few of the many interesting insights and ideas that came out of the conference:

The Invention and Reinvention of Autism – Dr. Roy Richard Grinker’s talk encouraged a second look at diagnostic tools to take into account cultural variations in child behavior. He encouraged professionals to consider whether or not it is culturally accepted to sustain eye contact, for adults and children to play together, or to point. If not, then these are insufficient diagnostic measures as it is necessary to consider cultural expectations for joint attention, play, or social interaction. Dr. Grinker’s fascinating book is well worth a read: Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (www.unstrange.com).

An Aboriginal Perspective on Supporting Children and Families with Special Needs – Rona Sterling-Collins, a First Nations consultant and parent of an 18-year-old with autism, described how she organized the gathering of her extended family to share a meal and learn about autism after her son was diagnosed. The workshop included autism awareness information and an opportunity for discussion without the presence of Rona or her husband. This helped the extended family “have a better understanding of autism”.

Family Quality of Life and ASD Funding in B.C. – Dr. Grace Iarocci and Dr. Emily Gardiner talked about encouraging parents to engage in research by folding research into a fun summer camp for children. The tasks are embedded into games or puzzles, and the group (not individual) research results are eventually shared with families. See the ADDL lab page for details on 2016 camps.

Connecting with South Asian Families of Children with Autism – Preetinder Narang’s presentation focused on strategies for service providers to develop cross-cultural competence with the families they support. The content from this presentation will soon be available in a new chapter for ACT’s Manual for B.C. titled Guide to Working with South Asian Families Affected by Autism. Preetinder is a founding member of ACT’s South Asian Autism Project (ASAAP), a dedicated group of volunteers committed to raising awareness of autism in B.C.’s South Asian community.

Bilingualism and Language Development in Children with Autism – Dr. Pat Mirenda’s important presentation analyzed the research on whether the families of children with autism should continue to be discouraged from speaking their language of origin at home. Her conclusion was definitive – there is no reason to discourage families speaking multiple languages at home. Indeed to do so has many negative consequences including cutting off children with autism from their extended families and cultural and religious traditions. Download Dr. Mirenda’s handout for references to this research.

Memorable quotes

  • “Families experiences are likely to be different than those from the dominant culture and for those whose language is not the English language.” (Sunita Braich, Supporting Marginalized Families from the Trenches – the Perspective of Parent Professionals)
  • “Always say yes to tea” – speaking to the need to be polite and culturally sensitive. (Preetinder Narang, Connecting with South Asian Families of Children with Autism)
  • “Keep in mind the historical trauma that First Nations people, families and communities have gone through with colonization and residential schools.” (Rona Sterling-Collins, An Aboriginal Perspective on Supporting Children and Families with Special Needs)
  • “You know what I’m going to say, right? No significant difference” – with regards to language acquisition in bilingual homes. (Pat Mirenda, Bilingualism and Language Development in Children with Autism: One Language or Two?)
  • “Autism is not a ‘thing’, it is contextual and it is the intervention rather than the label that makes the difference” (comment on the poster board)

Seeking New Members for ACT’s Board of Directors

ACT – Autism Community Training is the primary source for objective information and support on autism in B.C. A not-for-profit society led by a Board of Directors, ACT is seeking three new board members in time for our AGM on May 31st. This year we are keen to identify candidates who understand the diverse concerns of families raising children with autism from the perspective of parents, siblings or other members of the extended family, as well as having professional expertise.

ACT’s Board is a governance board and does not involve itself in daily operations. Board members are called upon to provide the board with professional advice. Currently we would like to augment the considerable strength of ACT’s Board in the areas of human resources, media relations, marketing and fundraising.

For more information on ACT’s current Board see www.actcommunity.ca/about-us/board-members/. Those interested in finding out more, may contact the head of ACT’s Nominations Committee, Helga Marshall, c/o dpugh@actcommunity.ca.

The deadline for submitting a resume and cover letter to dpugh@actcommunity.ca is May 9, 2016.

Submit Summer Camp info to the Autism Information Database

Parents are thinking about summer camps already, and contacting ACT for suggestions. ACT’s Autism Information Database (AID) has a list of B.C. summer camps. If you are a service provider or camp director, please:

If you are looking for Behavior Interventionists to attend camp with your child, the Autism Information Database (AID) has several listings that may help:

Four New RASP Professionals – Fraser Valley, Terrace and Vancouver

Over the 12 months of 2015, 93 RASP professionals were approved, and 13 Behavior Consultants moved from category B to category A. This April, traditionally a slower month, four new RASP professionals have been added to the RASP.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-supervised)
  • Carla Kirk – Serves: Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Surrey
Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Kaali Kelso – Serves: Kitimat, Terrace
Occupational Therapists
  • Nushabah Zakir – Serves: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Maple Ridge, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen, West Vancouver
Physical Therapist
  • Megan Mak – Serves: Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Vancouver

Information on RASP requirements:

For more about individual RASP Professionals, their credentials, certifications and degrees, search and view RASP Professionals online: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/

Upcoming ACT Events in Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond

ACT is bringing back popular speakers and courses this summer, including Intro to ASD (POPARD) with Dr. Kenneth Cole, in Vancouver and in Surrey; a Master Class in Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke and specialized instruction in Executive Function Skills with Sarah Ward.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD)

July 11 – 15, 2016 – Vancouver, B.C. Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

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

“Ken was excellent in presenting the information in a very natural, straight- forward way. He was always available to answer questions- offer suggestions and re-explain a concept.”

Two Days of Social Thinking®

August 4 & 5, 2016 – Vancouver, B.C. Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP

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

“Thank you for your passion, compassion and commitment to supporting people with Social Thinking challenges.”

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD)

August 15 – 19, 2016 – Surrey, B.C. Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

“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.”

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Sept. 15 & 16, 2016 – Richmond, B.C. Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, Co-Director, Cognitive Connections LLP

· “Thank you so much, it was an absolute pleasure hearing you speak and learning such valuable skills to teach.””I learned many practical strategies. I will definitely be implementing the “Get Ready, Do, Done” model and the clock!”

Community Events

Training from Canucks Autism Network

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides autism training workshops throughout the year to build capacity in communities across British Columbia. Training equips community recreation staff, programmers, and managers with strategies for supporting children and youth with autism in community settings. Learn more about upcoming workshops in your community.

Autism Speaks Walks – Vancouver, Kitimat, Courtenay and Prince Rupert

Autism Speaks Canada Walk & Family Festival is open now for registration: www.autismspeaks.ca/get-involved/participate/walk-now-for-autism-speaks-canada/

BCaBA training at Capilano University

Capilano University has seats in both the Bachelor of Arts and Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis – Autism programs. Graduates meet the requirements to become Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analysts (BCaBA). For more information, and to inquire about on-line study, please email Dr. Richard Stock at rstock@capilanou.ca

Autism in the News

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March News Round-Up

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ACT Updates

Seymour Triple G Cycling Fundraiser & Autism Awareness Event

Seymour Triple G
ACT is very pleased to announce the first annual Seymour Triple G road cycling fundraiser. This event will raise cyclists heart rates as they climb Mt Seymour, and raise autism awareness and funds for the Autism Videos @ ACT project.  ACT’s free video project brings professionally filmed and edited videos to families and community professionals who cannot attend our live training.

As a part of this cycling challenge, riders will cycle up Mount Seymour – a 15km, 10% grade route! You can register to ride, or if you prefer not to take on that particular challenge, sponsor a ride or donate to ACT. ACT is also seeking volunteers for this event. Registration for the ride, to volunteer and to donate will open on April 13th. Stay tuned for details!

See below for updates from Autism Videos @ ACT

Two New Free Online Videos from AVA

Thanks to our sponsors, who make it possible for ACT to provide this free resource, we are releasing two new free online videos just in time for April – Autism Awareness Month:

Identifying and Treating Co-occurring Mental Health Challenges in Children with ASD

When Dr. Vikram Dua presented this talk for ACT last year, the event was sold-out. For those of you who missed this great presentation, it is now available for free online as part of AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT at http://www.actcommunity.ca/videos/.

Dr. Dua (who is now Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Surrey Place Centre in Toronto and sorely missed in B.C.), describes how children with ASD frequently have co-occurring mental health challenges, including ADHD, anxiety disorders and tic disorders, which can be more disabling than autism. He introduces his approach, the Autism Comorbidity Algorithm (ACA), which frames and guides clinical and diagnostic assessment and treatment decisions through a developmental lens. While aimed at clinicians and community professionals, many families will find this a very useful orientation to the widely misunderstood linkages between autism and mental health given the significant shortage of mental health professionals with knowledge of autism in B.C.

Punjabi-language: Introduction to Individualized Education Plans

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), when done well, track goals and progress for students with autism and other developmental disabilities. This  free online video in Punjabi, part of AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA), describes the process for developing an IEP and what the school and parent can do to support the IEP process. Presented by Raminder Kaur, a behavior consultant with posAbilities, this presentation was developed by Parbinder Bains and Preetinder Narang, both Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Special Educators with the Surrey School District. All three are members of ACT’s South Asian Autism Project (ASAAP). See the ACT in Punjabi page for more information on ASAAP’s work. This video was sponsored by Autism Speaks Canada, Surrey Schools and Simon Fraser University.

Coming soon:

One Parent’s Journey in Autism – in Punjabi – presented by Sunita Braich.

Taking Control of the Future – Planning for Families with Special Needs – presented by Blair Dwyer and Layli Antinuk, Dwyer Tax Law.

Urgent – Seeking Psychiatrists Prepared to Assess Autism in Adults

ACT is receiving an increasing number of calls from adults across B.C. seeking an autism assessment. We are very concerned, despite extensive research, that ACT has not been able to identify publicly funded professionals prepared to assess adults.  Few of the adults who contact us have the funds to have an assessment done by a psychologist, as this is not publicly funded. Psychiatrists are covered by the B.C. Medical Services Plan but ACT is having increasing difficult in identifying psychiatrists who are willing to see adults who are concerned that they may have autism.  The few psychiatrists that ACT is aware of have extensive waitlists.  If you know of a psychiatrist, or you are a psychiatrist, who is prepared to work with adults who are seeking an assessment for autism, please email info@actcommunity.ca.

Upcoming ACT Events

Live and Online: ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research – April 15 & 16

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programing will highlight the needs of marginalized families who have children affected by ASD and other developmental disabilities who are not receiving adequate levels of support for their children. These families include First Nations, refugees, immigrants; all those isolated by virtue of language, culture or by living in rural or remote areas. There will be opportunities for discussion and information sharing while learning from those who are engaged in this important but neglected area of practice and research.  Researchers, clinicians, educators, social workers, parents and those who work for community organizations are urged to register.

Download the full schedule or visit www.actcommunity.ca/education/act-events/12th-annual-focus-on-research/ for details.

Parts of the program will be available via live web streaming video for those who register in advance.

Two Days of Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner & Pamela Crooke – Vancouver

Many of the families who contact ACT are very concerned about how to help their children who have good language and average or above academic abilities but are still struggling with social awareness and interaction. It is this group of children and adults who are the focus of the Social Thinking approach. Michelle Garcia Winner, founder of Social Thinking, and Dr. Pamela Crooke are back, with two days of Social Thinking inspiration. These events are suitable for those already familiar with the Social Thinking curriculum.

Thursday, August 4Social Thinking – Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies. Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges though assessment tasks and video. You will also hear about factors to consider when running effective Social Thinking treatment groups.

Friday, August 5, Master Class – Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts through Hands-On Activities. Dive deeper into core Social Thinking strategies using videos and hands-on practice.  Longitudinal videos of four different clients will demonstrate how an individual’s competencies and focus of treatment changes across a span of 5, 10 and 15 years.

ACT thanks the Sheraton Wall Centre, our co-sponsors, for making it possible to bring this exciting event to Downtown Vancouver.  For more event details on both the conference and this beautiful venue, see www.actcommunity.ca/social-thinking-2016

Save money and register by the Early Bird Deadline – June 22nd.  Call 604-205-5467 or register online.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – July 11-15 – Vancouver

Registration is now open for the always popular five-day Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications course. It will be held July 11-15 in downtown Vancouver at SFU’s Harbour Centre. The workshop will be taught by Dr. Kenneth Cole. A requirement for teaching assistants in many school districts this course is also open to community professionals and parents. Only 30 seats are available – register soon.

In April, we will be able to confirm a location for the August 15-19th delivery of this course

AID Resources in Korean, Spanish, Punjabi and more!

As part of ACT’s commitment to supporting marginalized families, staff have been identifying evidence-informed resources in languages other than English as these are often a huge benefit to isolated families.  The AID – Autism Information Database  now has over 150 information resources in languages other than English including:

Do you have resources to recommend? Please email info@actcommunity.ca

8 New RASP Professionals

In March 2016, 8 professionals were added to the RASP, serving communities across the province such as:  Salmon Arm, Maple Ridge, Port Alberni, Castlegar and New Westminster. See below for hints on how to get more professional services in under-served communities. Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-supervised)

  • Elisa Hill – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Port Moody, Surrey, White Rock
  • Jacqueline Pun – Burnaby, Richmond, Vancouver
  • Carly van Boven – Armstrong, Enderby, Kelowna, Lake Country, Salmon Arm, Vernon
  • Nicola McCorquodale – Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Jasmine Bracken – Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Sumi Choudhury – Nanaimo, Parksvile, Port Alberni, Qualicum Beach

Occupational Therapists

  • Laura Munoz – Castlegar, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, Salmo, Trail
  • Julia Blanchard – Castlegar, Creston, Fruitvale, Nelson, New Denver, Rossland, Salmo, South Slocan, Trail, Ymir

How to Access Professionals for Rural & Remote Families

While there are over 600 professionals on the RASP, many areas of the province are under-served. This will be an issue for discussion at ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research (you are invited!).  ACT has been developing the search tool for the RASP to help rural and remote families identifying possible professionals. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Families in small communities work together to pool your autism funding to bring in professionals to see multiple families over a few days. Search the RASP for professionals willing to travel.
  • FaceTime or other videoconferencing tools: As technology improves it is easier to use these methods to consult with professionals. The RASP can be searched to find professionals who use videoconferencing.
  • Call the ACT Office and speak to an Information Officer for individualized support

See ACT’s website for details on these ideas: Accessing Services in Smaller or Isolated Communities. Share your ideas on connecting families and professionals across British Columbia.  Email info@actcommunity.ca or call an ACT Information Officer 1-866-939-5188.

April Autism Awareness Month Community Activities

Autism Awareness in House of Commons

Mike Lake, MP for Edmonton-Wetaskwin and father of Jaden, gave his annual statement for World Autism Day. He says of his son:  “It is an indescribable joy to watch him grow up.” See a video of his statement in the House of Commons.

ACT is attending or sending materials to many of these walks. If you would like ACT materials at your Autism Awareness event, please email info@actcommunity.ca

Osoyoos Autism Behaviour Centre Walk for Autism – April 16th

It’s a StarWars theme for this year’s Walk for Awareness in Osoyoos. Starting at Osoyoos Town Square, registration starts at 11am on Saturday, April 16th. See their Facebook post or email Kim at kimlayman@hotmail.com for details. ACT information materials will be available at the walk.

Prince George Autism Awareness Walk – April 23rd

Join the 5th Annual PG Autism Awareness Walk. The walk will begin at 2:00 pm with a 2 km walk together to Lheidi T’enneh Memorial Park (ending at the playgound). Details on Facebook page. Hosted by the Northern Interior Autism Society and Autism Society of B.C.

2nd Annual Rock the Walk to Raise Awareness for Autism – Port Alberni – April 23rd

The Walk will start and finish at the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel; registration begins at 1 pm. Stay after the walk for a hotdog BBQ, snack and games. Details on Facebook Page

5th Annual CAN Family Festival – April 24th, Vancouver

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) on Sunday, April 24th will be at Jack Poole Plaza (Vancouver Convention Centre) for their 5th Annual CAN Family Festival in celebration of Autism Awareness Month. Participate in the autism awareness walk and lighting of the cauldron and enjoy live entertainment, food trucks, exhibitors, face painting, sports activities, trampolines, a mini skate park and more! With special appearances by Vancouver Canucks alumni.

For more information, or to start fundraising for the awareness walk, please visit www.canucksautism.ca/CANFamFest. ACT will have a table at this event.

Light it Blue for Autism – Autism Speaks Canada


Vancouver buildings will join more than 18,000 iconic landmarks, businesses, communities and homes in 143 countries and shine a bright light on World Autism Awareness Day April 2nd. Light it Blue or wear Blue, take a photo and post it using #LIUB or send tojanetanderson@autismspeakscan.ca Register at www.autismspeaks.org/LIUB  or check out www.autismspeaks.ca for ways to shine a bright light on autism.

EmploymentWorks Canada Programs

Developing Employment Skills for Young Adults with ASD


The EmploymentWorks Canada program supports youth or young adults with ASD who would like support developing the skills to succeed in the workplace.   The program is 2.5 hours of structured learning and 2.5 hours of workplace sampling each week for 12 weeks starting April 1, 2016.

Please contact Brooke Straith, EmploymentWorks Canada Program Coordinator, for more information at 604.700.8614 brooke@pacificautismfamily.com

Seeking Peer Mentors to Support Young Adults with ASD

Volunteer peer mentors between 18 and 29 years of age will support youth and young adults with ASD as they complete a pre-employment training program. This is an excellent opportunity to build your resume, broaden your network of professional contacts and learn about individuals with ASD as they transition to paid employment.  Please contact Brooke Straith, EmploymentWorks Canada Program Coordinator, for more information at 604.700.8614 brooke@pacificautismfamily.com

SFU Parent-Child Study on Social Skills

The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University 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 games. Parents receive $30 and parking remuneration in thanks for participating in the three hour study. Please contact addl@sfu.ca to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Autism in the News

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February News Round-Up

News from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Changes to PWD Benefits in British Columbia

People receiving Persons with Disabilities benefits will see changes as of September 1, 2016. There will be a $77 increase to the monthly allowance; however, recipients will lose access to an annual bus pass for $45.  Those who want to continue receiving a subsidized bus pass will pay $52 per month, plus the annual $45 administration fee. The Disability Alliance BC (DABC) provides a helpful  summary of the issues.  Inclusion BC is organizing a rally and a petition in protest. www.inclusionbc.org/

2016 Service Satisfaction Survey

The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MDSI) is offering its clients an opportunity to provide feedback regarding its service quality. The survey is open to all individuals who receive income or disability assistance. Participation is optional, anonymous and is not linked to eligibility. The survey will run from February 22 to March 29, 2016 and can be accessed online at www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/myfeedback. Clients can also participate by telephone or request a paper version by calling toll-free: 1-877-223-8078 during working hours.

ACT Updates

12th Annual Focus on Research Conference: an Agenda for Change

Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programs
April 15 & 16, 2016, Vancouver early bird deadline ends Wednesday, March 9th
While autism awareness has grown exponentially in the last decade, many marginalized families across special needs are still not receiving adequate levels of support. The goal of this conference is to share perspectives and build relationships between community organizations, researchers, clinicians, educators and family members, to provide researchers with the important research questions that the community wishes to have answered. This event, co-sponsored by Simon Fraser University, features:

  • 11 presentations by 14 speakers
  • 2 panel discussions
    • Supporting Marginalized Families from the Trenches – Perspectives of Parent-Professionals
    • Setting Research Priorities that Address the Needs of Marginalized Families
  • Live online streaming for selected presentations (registration required)
  • Many opportunities to engage with other attendees

Download the complete schedule online or see the event details page for presentation descriptions and presenter biographies.

Join the conversation – Register online or call 604-205-5467 or 1-866-939-5188.

Ways to Support this Innovative Conference:

Updated! ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C.

ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. contains 12 chapters brimming with helpful information relevant to the autism community, with many chapters relevant across special needs. The following chapters have been updated:

Thank you to the dozens of volunteers who contributed to making this information available to parents and professionals across B.C. Please see individual chapters for names of contributors. Browse all ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. chapters.

New! Next Steps Guide now Available in Punjabi –
ਬ੍ਰਿਟਿਸ਼ ਕੋਲੰਬੀਆ ਵਿਚ ਔਟਿਜ਼ਮ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ ਹੋਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਅਗਲੇ ਕਦਮ

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 Punjabi as well as English and Chinese. The Next Steps Guide is also very helpful as a resource for families who are rethinking their child’s intervention program or who want to know more about ACT’s services.

Many thanks to Autism Speaks Canada for their financial support for this translation. This project would not have been possible without Manpreet Singh, member of ACT’s South Asian Action Project (ASAAP), who has worked closely with ACT to fine-tune the translation. Recognition is also due to ACT’s designer Janice Harvey who designs for ACT in English, Chinese and Punjabi!

Download the Next Steps Guide from the New Diagnosis Hub in Punjabi, English and Chinese or contact ACT for hard copies. ਹੋਰ ਪੜਨ ਲਈ ਅਗਲੇ ਕਦਮਾ ਵਾਲੀ ਗਾਈਡ (ਪੀ ਡੀ ਐਫ) ਦੇਖੋ

10 New RASP Professionals Added in February 2016

Did you know that families can rapidly search the RASP to find professionals who speak their mother tongue? Amongst the 633 professionals listed on the RASP, over 32 languages are spoken! 10 professionals were added to the RASP in February, serving communities in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Northern B.C., the Kootenays and Central Vancouver Island. The professionals below are accepting new clients:

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-supervised)

  • Lindsay Parrott – Burnaby, Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, North Delta, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, White Rock
  • Nicole Sweeney – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Surrey

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Heidi Coates – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody
  • Stephen Pierson – Castlegar, Creston, Grand Forks, Kaslo, Nelson, Trail
  • Madeleine Catford – Burns Lake
  • Nicola Keohane – Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Robyn Altmiks – Alert Bay, Port Hardy, Port McNeil, Sointula
  • Bashni Morarjee – White Rock
  • Marissa Lo – Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver

Browse at www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search by city, language, profession or name.

Professional Development Reminder for RASP Professionals

A reminder that RASP Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are required to submit documentation of professional development in the area of autism every two years, when they renew their RASP status, according to MCFD policy. There are many organizations that provide relevant courses and workshops, in addition to ACT. To see what is coming up check the Non-ACT Events listing on ACT’s website.

For more information about RASP requirements, see:

Save the Date: POPARD’s Intro to ASD; Social Thinking and Executive Functioning

July 11-15, 2016 & August 15 -19, 2016 – Metro Vancouver
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders – Practical Applications (POPARD)
Presented by Kenneth Cole, PhD
Details & registration coming soon

August 4 & 5, 2016 – Vancouver, BC
Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke – Social Thinking®
Details & registration coming soon

September 15 & 16, 2016 – Richmond, BC
Sarah Ward – Cognitive Connections LLP
Details & registration coming soon

Autism Awareness Radio Interview in Mandarin – April 1st

ACT 中文諮詢員Christine Hung 日前接受FM 96.1 紹蔚華主持人的專訪,介紹自閉症及相關服務。內容將於四月一日傍晚六點至七點於FM96.1居加生活Q&A 播放,歡迎華裔家長收聽。

For those of you who speak Mandarin, there is an opportunity to hear Christine Hung, ACT Information Officer, in conversation with Carmen Shao, hostess of “Living Q & A”. The interview will be broadcast on FM 96.1 on April 1, from 6-7pm and will include discussions of autism awareness in the Chinese community, early signs of ASD, what to do when a family has concerns, as well as services and support available.

CAN Volunteers Receive ACT Training Scholarships

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship! Angela Law, Priscila Sousa, Nessrin Kalo and Althea Feil 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.

Community News

New Brunswick Wins International Inclusive Education Award

New Brunswick has won an international award from Zero Project for its Policy 322 on Inclusive Education which establishes requirements to ensure that the province’s public schools are inclusive. For details see Zero Project Report 2016.

Advocating For Special Needs in BC Schools Conference

Saturday, April 2 – Vancouver, BC. Presented by BC Parents of Special Needs Students – Equitable Access to Education – Register online.

Sensory-Friendly Theatre Performance, March 19th, Vancouver

A relaxed performance of the play Go Dog Go is taking place on March 19th on Granville Island especially for individuals with special needs. This show will have ample space, adjusted sound and light levels, and pre-show family resources to help your family prepare. Details and ticket purchase.

CAN in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Duncan and Prince George

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) will be providing a free autism workshop on Saturday, March 19th in Prince George. For details and to RSVP, email Sarah.Penner@nbcy.org.

CAN is also expanding into new communities. This spring, CAN is introducing:

  • soccer in Kamloops,
  • physical literacy in Nanaimo, and
  • learn-to-bike clinics in Duncan.

See a full listing of all new and recurring CAN programs,
or email info@canucksautism.ca.

Seeking Teen and Young Adults for Employment Works Canada program

This program is designed to support youth with ASD by encouraging employment readiness and developing employability skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. It will start this spring in Vancouver. Contact brooke@pacificautismfamily.com for details.

Job Opportunity: Behavior Consultant for Vancouver Coastal Health

Vancouver Coastal Health is seeking a Behavior Consultant. See complete job posting for details.

Post-Secondary Training Opportunities

ABA at Capilano University

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism at Capilano University is accepting applications for September 2016. The ABA department is offering ABA 100 – Introduction to Behavior Principles. This course is open to any interested students and they encourage parents, BIs, SEAs, and others to apply. For more information on ABA courses at Capilano University, contact Dr. Richard Stock, BCBA-D at rstock@capilanou.ca

Four ASD-related Certificate Programs at Douglas College

Apply now and be eligible for early acceptance from one of Douglas College’s four ASD related professional programs: Behaviour Intervention Certificate; Classroom and Community Support Diploma; Disability and ABA Advanced Certificate and Employment Supports Speciality Advanced Certificate. For more information attend an information session www.douglascollege.ca

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