ACT News and Resources

Giving Tuesday is just around the corner, and we’re eager to hear from you!

It is difficult to believe that it has been one year since I began the role of Executive Director. Since then, our small but mighty team has accomplished great things and achieved many milestones.

In 2023, we hosted several presenters including Amy Weatherby; Michelle Garcia Winner & Pamela Crook; Ross Greene; Sarah Ward; Greg Hanley; Amy Gravino, Landa Fox and Jessica Cauchi; and our annual Focus on Research event with keynote presentations by Connor Kerns and Tiffany Woynaroski, as well as research presentations by Nichole Scheerer, Patrick Dwyer, Elina Birmingham & Siamak Arzanpour.

Many of our events have included panel presentations highlighting lived experiences and we have offered three ACT Chats – one of which was in collaboration with Kids Physio Group. In addition, we have made improvements to our website and the AID Search. We are proud of our work to break down barriers by providing American Sign Language (ASL) translation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services for our events as well as having volunteers able to provide support in languages other than English. During the past year, we have provided bursaries totalling almost $55,000.

Early last year, ACT sent out a survey seeking input on the direction ACT should take moving forward. In response to your valuable feedback, we will be hosting more neurodiversity affirming content focused on Autism acceptance, and tackling sensitive topics such as the prevalence of mental health needs and suicide among Autistic people and how to provide support.

As we plan further into 2024, we will be guided by your responses to our current survey, as well as our Autistic Advisory, and Indigenous Advisory Committees.

Please take the time to complete the survey here.

As a small Not-for-Profit organization, we rely on the generosity of our donors as well as our volunteers who give of their time in many ways throughout the year. We realize that the current economic climate has made for tough times for many of you, so we are making every effort to ensure registration costs are reasonable by offering “ACT Chats” free of charge, and by broadening our reach in promoting bursaries.

With Giving Tuesday around the corner, and as we near the end of the year, please consider offering your financial support—every amount is appreciated.

As always, if you have any thoughts, suggestions or concerns, please always feel free to reach out to me—my door (virtual or otherwise) is always open.

With sincere gratitude,

Michelle Schmidt, PhD
Executive Director, Autism Community Training

Your Voice Matters!  2023 CYSN Check-in

The Representative for Children and Youth is asking for your response to a survey that will inform a report that will be released in early 2024. Many families across BC have not yet had a chance to complete the check-in. The survey is being kept open until November 30.

The Office of the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) of B.C. is mandated to monitor the child-and youth-serving systems in this province and to make comments and recommendations on how these systems can be improved.

The purpose of this 2023 CYSN Check-in is to do a “temperature check” and hear from families about their recent experiences accessing services and supports for children and youth with disabilities through the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s (MCFD) Children and Youth with Support Needs (CYSN) Programs and other government funded services.

This check-in is for ALL parents and families who are care for children with support needs no matter if they are currently receiving government services or not. We want to hear from biological, foster and adoptive parents, and extended family caregivers (e.g. grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, etc.).

Your input is critical and will be used to inform future RCY reports so that we may provide decision-makers with up-to-date information and evidence to inform actions and accountability. 
Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth
B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth
View the survey

New Video: Physiothereapy & Autism

Join Jessica and Taylor from Kids Physio Group for our latest ACT Chats presentation on how physiotherapy can benefit some autistic kids. Learn what caregivers can watch for as autistic kids develop, what to expect when starting physio, and how they make physio fun for kids of all ages and abilities!

Watch the presentation

News Round-Up: Travel, Parenting, Canada Disability Benefit, and more

ACT carefully sources insightful stories, ranging from research and government policy, to the world of entertainment, culture, and lifestyle.

New Video: Navigating the Education System

Navigating the Education System presented by Michelle Schmidt is our latest video on Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA).

This presentation is part of our new “ACT Chats” series which includes free informational events, content and resources presented by ACT.

This two-hour chat goes over what parents and community partners need to know about their role in schools, including participation in school-based team meetings, referrals for support services, the Individual Education Plan process including meaningful consultation, the role of the case manager and integrated case management meetings.

Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) is a free resource that ACT supports through donations and sponsorship. For more information and to donate see Support ACT’s Work.