ACT News and Resources

ACT’s Summer 2019 Events – Carol Gray & Sarah Ward

Web-streaming or in-person

In-person seats are limited!

Presented in collaboration with Surrey Schools and the
Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD)

Social Stories 10.2 with Carol Gray

Thursday & Friday, August 15 & 16, 2019
Surrey, BC

Carol Gray, Founder and Innovator, Social Stories Satellite Schools and Services, and Carol’s Club, Michigan

Join ACT for this two day workshop and discover why Carol Gray has earned respect of so many within the autism community over the past two decades. Carol Gray is respected both as the developer of Social Stories, and as a insightful presenter who inspires us to reconsider our views of supporting those with social-communication challenges. A Social Stories approach, when used properly, can play an essential role in enhancing communication and bringing down anxiety among individuals with ASD. They are very useful in reducing challenging behaviors which are often provoked by confusion and fear of the unknown on the part of the individual with ASD.

Social Stories is considered an evidence-based practice endorsed by research. This Social Stories 10.2 workshop, led by Carol Gray, will devote two full days to the art and science of Social Stories, with the focus on practising skills and discussing the many new strategies developed in recent years.

Join us at the Surrey School District Education Centre or via live web-streaming to polish your Social Stories skills, learn new techniques, or discover the versatility of this instructional strategy for the first time. No previous experience of Social Stories is required.

Register before July 11th to save $25!

View event details

School District staff please contact ACT to check whether your district has a special rate for this event.


Sarah WardNew Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Wednesday & Thursday, September 25 & 26, 2019
Surrey, BC
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP

Co-Director, Cognitive Connections LLP, Boston

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, is coming to Surrey to teach hands-on practical strategies to improve Executive Function skills. These two days include many new strategies, so whether you’ve seen Sarah Ward before, or this is all new, you’re sure to walk away with fresh strategies that you can implement immediately.

Sarah Ward is the co-developer of the award-winning 360 Thinking Program which combines core concepts at the heart of executive functioning: situational and intention awareness, mental dress rehearsals, future thinking, time awareness and visualisation, which promote efficient and accurate completion of tasks. This model facilitates the development of 6 key skills for students: initiation, transition, planning, time management, self-regulation and meta-cognition. As the steps of a task are envisioned, potential obstacles can be anticipated for students to problem solve and achieve independence. See event details for a breakdown of each day. Day 2 builds on Day 1 so all registrants for Day 2 need to have attended Day 1.

Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions where she provides instruction to graduate level students in the assessment and treatment of individuals with traumatic brain injury and other cognitive communication disorders.

Join us at the Surrey School District Education Centre or via live web-streaming.

Register before August 22nd to save $25!

View event details

School District staff please contact ACT to check whether your district has a special rate for this event.


Web streaming discounts for groups

Cost-effective training solutions for school districts and agencies

Is your school district, agency or community group looking for a low cost way to make excellent, practical training, featuring internationally respected speakers, available to your teams with reduced fees and without the cost of travel? Join us at our live events! All you need is a comfortable venue, good internet connection, big screen, and a sound system.

ACT uses a professional film crew, streaming high-quality video and sound along with a live-chat your registrants can use to ask speakers questions.

Groups of registrants watch together on one screen and pay a reduced registration fee. ACT sends all registrants links to the handout and the password for the web stream to the organizer.

Contact info@actcommunity.ca to arrange for your group’s web stream registration today!

View web streaming info


Bursaries for web streaming

Bursaries for those most in need, including para-professionals, parents who have children with special needs, and adults with ASD are available for web streaming, to the best of our financial ability.

For information on how to apply for an ACT bursary, please visit the Bursaries FAQ page

Mexico Shark Cruise Online Auction Now Open
Get your Tickets for Songs on the Water
New Video
ACT Videos & Resources Guide Spring Update

Summer with the Sharks in Mexico! – Online Auction is now open!

A Shark Watching Cruise in Mexico for one with Nautilus Tours! Sail to the waters of Guadalupe Island off of Baja California to experience the best Great White Shark diving on the planet!

This package includes accommodation and food on the Nautilus Belle Amie, with a spacious salon, sun deck, an expansive dive deck and, of course, a hot tub.

Bidding is now open and will end at ACT’s Songs on the Water event on June 4th. Visit the Songs on the Water page to book tickets for this fundraiser at the Vancouver Rowing Club, Stanley Park. All funds raised will benefit ACT’s free resources.

This trip is valued at over $3000 USD. Airfare not included.

Bid Now

 


Autism Videos at ACT

Family Centred, Culturally Responsive PBS

Joseph Lucyshyn, PhD, BCBA-D, University of British Columbia
Dr. Joseph Lucyshyn presents a multi-method study of family centered positive behavior support (FCPBS), designed to be culturally responsive to families raising a child with developmental disabilities. A fascinating case study demonstrates how the family was coached to use PBS strategies to transform their child’s ability to eat a nutritious diet and play with her sibling.

Watch now

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

Coming soon: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD with Dr. Brenda Fossett

View all PBS Videos


ACT Videos & Resources Guide – Spring Update

We’ve updated the ACT Videos & Resources Guide – now with 55 videos, as well as details of upcoming events, BC Resources, and the Autism Information Database.

New this issue: ‘Women & Girls with Autism’ and ‘Positive Behavior Support in Home, School, and Community’ learning streams, and a preview of new videos being released later this Spring.

View the Spring 2019 ACT Guide


Autism in the News

Parents decry cuts to B.C. autism program – CBC News

COMMENTARY || You can’t take autism and cut it out of me. I am who I am. – Folio

I’m autistic, not a child: Are casual cruelty and condescension neurotypical traits? – Salon

Kind flight attendant soothes autistic boy, 5, who had ‘meltdown’ on plane – Metro

‘Church’ to offer ‘miracle cure’ despite FDA warnings against drinking bleach – The Guardian

Autism runs in families with history of brain conditions – Spectrum News

How to ‘Hug’ a Kid With Autism – Offspring

Canada’s disability tax credit is valuable, but qualifying for it can be a huge challenge – Financial Post

Restraining students with disabilities is harmful – The Baltimore Sun

Miami Int’l Airport Opens Its First Multi-Sensory Room For Kids With Autism – CBS Miami

Family-Run Car Wash Employs 83 Workers with Autism: ‘It Provides Hope’ – People

3 Ways NYU Is Training New Teachers to Use Special Ed and ELL Strategies to Better Serve All Kids – The 74

Dimmed lights, no noise: Sensory friendly shopping coming to Vancouver Island – CTV News

Different for girls: understanding autism – The Guardian

Children who outgrow autism label end up with other diagnoses – Spectrum News

Every child matters: What principals need to effectively lead inclusive schools – The Conversation

‘Learning to trust himself:’ cook with autism works toward independence – Indiana Daily Student

Unique program pairs students, adults with autism – KARE11

What People Get Wrong About Autism – Esquire

Positive Behavior Support in School: Four New Videos

Visit the Positive Behavior Support video release page


Behavior Technician Training for Paraprofessionals

This presentation discusses an innovative and highly successful program being implemented by the Surrey School District to improve the training of school-based paraprofessionals based on the BACB’s Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential.

Preetinder Narang, MEd, BCBA & Tina Gunn, MEd, BCBA, provide insight into the design and execution of a multi-component training program and offer practical recommendations to guide behavioral training for paraprofessionals supporting students with autism in both school and community settings. Watch now


How Classmates Can Facilitate Positive Social Behaviors for Children with ASD

Few evidence-based interventions target social-communication skills for children with ASD in the school setting. Dr. Ainsley Boudreau presents the evidence and practical applications for a variation on Pivotal Response Training, in which peers learn new ways to play with their classmates with ASD.

Watch now


Membership, Belonging, and Development of “Soft Skills” within a PBS framework

In this presentation, Dr. Victoria Knight articulates research on the importance of membership and belonging, along with development of soft skills (e.g., communication, problem-solving) within a PBS framework.

Watch now


Positive Behavior Support in Schools – Discussion and Question Period

This panel discussion, facilitated by Nathan Ngieng, Director of Instruction for Learning Support Services with the Abbotsford School District, features Preetinder Narang, Tina Gunn, Dr. Ainsley Boudreau, and Dr. Victoria Knight in a lively Q&A and discussion of PBS in schools.Topics include Peer Mediated Pivotal Response Treatment, social skills, and the Surrey School District District Action Team for Autism program.

Watch now


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

 

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

Autism Videos @ ACT

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

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

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

Watch now


WTF – What’s the Function?

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

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

Watch now

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

Visit the Positive Behavior Support video release page


New ACT Fundraiser

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

June 4, 2019

Vancouver Rowing Club, Stanley Park

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

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

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

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

Event Details & Tickets


 

 

Upcoming events

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Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children

April 11 & 12, 2019

Vancouver & Web streamed

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

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

Day 1 – Teaching Social Thinking through Stories and Play

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

Register by April 4th to save $50!

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

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

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


 

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Summer Camps are a hot topic! 

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

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

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

New videos released, February BC Community Events, ACT’s Research Listing updated, Autism in the News

Two new videos, part of the
Women and Girls with Autism series

The Experience of Women with ASD – A Panel

This panel was considered a highlight of our 2018 conference. This is your opportunity to learn from the fascinating insights provided by these four remarkable autistic women. Introduced and moderated by Dr. Rene Jamison, University of Kansas Medical Center.

Iris Gray was diagnosed with ASD in 2005. She organizes two peer support groups for autistic adults in Victoria. One of them is specifically for autistic women. Ms Gray works as a freelance transcriber and editor.

 

 

Nicole Provost is a 23 year old physics student from Abbotsford BC and is the founder of the ‘Mayday Club Youth Choir’ – most members are teens on the autism spectrum.

 

 

Vivian Ly is an autistic self-advocate and the Executive Director of Canadian Autistics United, a grassroots disability rights organization that works to improve the lives of autistic Canadians through self-advocacy. Vivian is a strong proponent of “Nothing about us, without us.”

 

Ryann Calkins grew up on a cattle ranch in central Alberta, moving to BC in her mid teens. She has worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor for six years. She is in the process of finishing her degree at UBC Okanagan studying languages.

 

Watch now


Understanding the Needs of Girls and Women on the Autism Spectrum

In the second part of his keynote, Dr. Mandy provides a developmental perspective of the characteristics of autism in females. In addition to examining the widespread practice by women and girls of “social camouflaging” their autism, Dr. Mandy discusses their mental health needs – with a focus on eating disorders. The presentation ends with a discussion of how women and girls can be better supported, including a question and answer period.

Watch now


Thanks to funding from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration (CIRCA) at the University of British Columbia, ACT is providing an edited version of the Women and Girls Conference held in April 2018. More presentations will be available over the next month.

 


ACT lists workshops and conferences held in B.C. related to autism and other special needs held by community organizations and agencies. Have an event you’d like to submit for your organization? Submit here.

Upcoming BC Community Events

February Events

PEERS© in the Valley

Monday, February 4 – Thursday, May 30, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Abbotsford

Teaching STEM (including coding and robotics) to students with ASD

Tuesday, February 5, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Vancouver

Autism Conference

Friday, February 8 – Saturday, February 9
Richmond

AutismBC Northern Region Family Support Group – Sibling Support

Wednesday, February 13
Prince George

UBC PEERS: Social Skills Intervention for Teens with ASD

Thursday, February 14 – Friday, May 31
Vancouver

Culturally Responsive Group-Based Positive Behaviour Support Workshop for Chinese Families of Children with ASD

Saturday, February 16 – Sunday, February 17
UBC, Vancouver
A special opportunity for Mandarin-speaking families at a UBC-sponsored workshop.

Free Foster Parent Information Sessions – Become a full or part-time caregiver to a child or youth who needs mentoring.

Tuesday, February 26
Vancouver


ACT’s Research Listing

ACT is committed to encourage collaboration between legitimate researchers, autistic individuals and their families. You can find many other projects listed on ACT’s Participating in Autism Research page.

Researchers are invited to submit research projects using this online form.

Sound Sensitivity Study

Are you a parent to an adolescent (aged 13-18 years) on the autism spectrum? Does your child experience issues with sound sensitivity that impacts daily life? SFU Researchers (Dr. Elina Birmingham, Dr. Grace Iarocci) want to hear from you! Recruitment is ongoing for individuals with ASD aged 13-18 years and their parents.

If you are interested in participating, please contact research coordinator Kari Gustafson, kari_gustafson@sfu.ca.


Autism in the News

Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Special needs students routinely excluded from school activities – Delta Optimist

Special needs funding at risk — Coquitlam teachers – TriCity News

“But, you don’t seem autistic!” – McGill Tribune

These moms are building a forever home for their adult autistic children – Washington Post

Florida School Staffers Charged With Using Dark Room, Whistle to Torment Autistic Kids – Daily Beast

An Open Letter To My Autistic Son’s Teacher – Huffpost

Eric Lider: Coaching kids with special needs – KATU2

Maine woman is helping to change autism one jar of salsa at a time – NBC News Center Maine

Why We Need Schools That Better Support Kids on the Autism Spectrum – Yahoo News

Autism Parent, Times Two: When More than One Child in the Family has ASD – IAN

You Can’t “Culturally Appropriate” a Weighted Blanket – Slate

Early risers are not necessarily healthier, wealthier or wiser – CBC Radio

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