Category Archives: Research

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

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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

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

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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.

Apply to Present before Jan 18 for ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research

Apply to present – see details and download application.
Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

Conference Focus: Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programming

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference will provide a forum for researchers, community organizations, educators and parents to consider the realities facing marginalized families who have children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Intellectual Disabilities.

Apply to present – see details and download applicationDeadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

Apply to Present at ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research

Apply to present – see details and download application.
Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

Conference Focus: Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programming

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference will provide a forum for researchers, community organizations, educators and parents to consider the realities facing marginalized families who have children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Intellectual Disabilities.

Apply to present – see details and download applicationDeadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

News Release: Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project Announced

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News Release – December 7, 2015

ACT welcomes Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project

ACT – Autism Community Training (ACT) is delighted to be chairing the Parent Coaching Steering Committee that will put in place an innovative research project targeting the needs of B.C. families who suspect that their very young child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  The $3.1 million dollar project has the potential to answer many research questions about the value of parent coaching in changing the developmental path of children who develop autism. It is being funded by the Government of British Columbia and is the only project of its kind in Canada targeting children under three years of age focusing on researching parent coaching. For the Government of B.C.’s news release see: Autism research project to help B.C. parents of young children.

“Each year ACT receives dozens of calls from families who are very worried about their toddler’s development.  Often it is difficult to make a definitive diagnosis for a child under two, but there is no reason not to engage parents regardless”, explains Deborah Pugh, ACT’s Executive Director, adding, “The international research into parent coaching is very robust, it points the way to empowering parents with techniques that they can use to engage their children before their communication and behavior deteriorate. These techniques are play-based and will help parents concerned about their child’s development to provide them with an enriched home environment with the support of highly trained professionals, whether or not the child turns out to have autism or another developmental challenge.”

ACT welcomes the opportunity to partner in this project with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and with the Pacific Autism Family Centre, as well as the Ministry of Children and Family Development.   One of ACT’s interests will be to see whether this research can help pinpoint ways of supporting families from chronically under-served groups within the autism community, including aboriginal families, recent immigrants, refugees and those living in rural and remote communities.

“Autism intervention in B.C. does a good job of supporting mainstream families”, explains Deborah Pugh, “this project will help us identify how we can do a better job of identifying and supporting marginalized families when their children are as young as possible, so that we can show the value of parent coaching across cultural and geographical environments.”

ACT looks forward to working with the many professionals and agencies across B.C. who will welcome the opportunity to support parent coaching. Collaboration with community health nurses and speech-language pathologists based in public health units, organizations such as the Infant Development Program (IDP) and Aboriginal IDP, professionals who specialize in autism, as well as organizations supporting immigrants, all will be key to reaching vulnerable families and their children.

 

Media Contact: Deborah Pugh, Executive Director, ACT – Autism Community Training

phone: 604-205-5467 or dpugh@actcommunity.ca

 

Research Summaries from York University

The ASD Mental Health website is sponsored by Jonathan Weiss, Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research at York University (who will be speaking for ACT on October 23, 2015. The site goal is to share research regarding mental health and autism. It has research summaries of studies published by a range of journals. These summaries are one to two pages long, and make the science more accessible to a wider audience. Access this site via the ACT Information Database.