Category Archives: News Round-Up

ACT Events, Participate in Research, Community Events, PACE project, and Autism in the News

Upcoming ACT Events

Regular rate ends July 11th! Save $25

Social Stories with Carol Gray

July 19 & 20, 2018
Nanaimo, BC

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



Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych
July 30 – August 3, 2018 – Surrey
October 29 – November 2, 2018 – Vancouver



Social Thinking Conference

August 16 & 17, 2018 – Vancouver

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



Non-Aversive Strategies to Assist Individuals with Autism and Challenging Behaviours

Friday, August 24
Vancouver, BC, & Web Streaming!
Andrew McDonnell, PhD, Clinical Psychologist



Managing the Anxious Symptoms of Children and Adolescents with ASD: Practical Strategies

Thursday & Friday, September 27 & 28
Vancouver, BC
Judy Reaven, PhD



Setting the Stage for Success: Positive Behaviour Support in School, Home and Community

Friday & Saturday, October 19 & 20, 2018
Vancouver, BC, & Web Streaming
Lynn Kern Koegel, CCC-SLP
Ilene Schwartz, Ph.D., BCBA-D



INVESTing in Girls and Women with ASD

Friday, November 2nd
Vancouver, BC & Web Streaming!
Dori Zener, MSW, RSW

Register for any two events and save $50.

Register for any two ACT Events and receive $50 off. Use coupon code 50off2 to at checkout when you register for any two different events at checkout or contact ACT to register by phone.

Cannot be combined with other discounts or bursaries.

Bursaries

Bursaries for those most in need, including para-professionals, parents who have children with special needs, adults with ASD, and professionals who need to travel outside of their home regions are also available, to the best of our financial ability. Bursaries are also available for webstreaming – internationally and Canada!

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



Special Needs Community Events – July & August

Pacific Autism Family Network Summer Camp (ages 6-10)

Monday, July 16 – Friday, July 27, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Richmond

FREE SFU Social Science Camp for children ages 7-12

Saturday, July 21, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Burnaby

Identifying Mental Health and Obesity Related Risk Factors in ASD – FREE Parent Workshop

Saturday, July 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Burnaby

Pacific Autism Family Network Summer Camp (ages 6-10)

Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 10, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Richmond

What? Me Worry?

Monday, August 13 – Friday, August 17, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Surrey

Temple Grandin: Developing Individuals with Different Minds

Friday, August 17, 7:00 pm – 9:45 pm
Vancouver


Participate in Autism Research: Volunteers Needed
Parent Training through Telepractice

Are you a Japanese parent(s) of a child with Autism living within two hours’ drive from Vancouver whose child exhibit problem behaviour at home? Researchers at the University of British Columbia are looking for a Japanese- speaking parent(s) of a 3- to 6-year-old child with autism who is willing to receive parent training via telepractice to improve the child’s behaviour in a home routine.

Telepractice involves the use of telecommunication technology to link a professional with a client who lives at a far distance. The video camera on the computer monitor is employed by users to communicate by sight and sound in real time. The study will last up to nine months. You will receive weekly training from a UBC graduate student researcher to implement a behaviour support plan collaboratively created with you. The effectiveness of procedure in terms of improvement in child behaviour and parent implementation of the plan, as well as acceptability and feasibility of the plan will be examined.

If you are interested in the study, please contact Serina Ando (sando@alumni.ubc.ca) for more information.


Parent and Child Early (PACE) Coaching Project

PACE is poised to start the implementation phase of this important project in a number of communities across B.C. Researchers will evaluate an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of, or diagnosed with ASD. ACT has been involved in the project since 2015 when it accepted the responsibility from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development to administer funding for this important research initiative.

Visit the Parent and Child Early Coaching Project page to find out more, including a video overview of the project, the latest quarterly PACE newsletter, and contact information.


Autism in the News

The most read stories from the past month.
Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Tackling bullying could help reduce depression in autistic teens – Science Daily

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa – CBC News

Mom’s Facebook post to man who publicly shamed her son with autism goes viral – CBC News
Parents of kids with autism threaten human rights complaint if their children aren’t assigned the same support workers next school year – The Star

Father of autistic child takes to Facebook to criticise people who judge him in public – NewsHub

This special ed teacher promised to one day donate $1M to her students. She wasn’t kidding – North Jersey

Growth spurt in head, skeleton mark autism in boys – Spectrum News

20 years after the MMR scandal the rise in measles shows the consequences of misunderstanding autism – Metro

Can you raise an autistic child to be bilingual – and should you try? – The Conversation

Construction starts on Courtenay’s new Autism Centre of Excellence – Comox Valley Record

Sesame Place is world’s first theme park designated as a Certified Autism Center (video) – NBC News

The CRA makes life more difficult for people with disabilities – The Globe and Mail

Five-year-old boy with autism dies after being found in Calgary pond – CTV News

Important new work on autism could change interventions – UC Santa Cruz

Autistic son faced discrimination at after-school program, mom says – Herald News

Students with special needs asked to stay home from school more often: Report – CTV News

Where Autistic Workers Thrive – Fortune

What happened next to the man with autism whose aide was shot by police – The Washington Post

May 2018 News Round-Up

Autism in the News

Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Takeaways from INSAR 2018 – Spectrum News

What are the educational journeys of B.C. students with special needs? UBC team wants to know – Global News

Brands flock to Spanish special needs designers with ‘surreal’ talents – Reuters

Intellectually disabled students excluded, Western study finds – The London Free Press

Is It Time to Give Up on a Single Diagnostic Label for Autism? – Scientific American

B.C. dad pleads for help for 20-year-old son with autism, as wait times for support grow – CBC News

8 Theme Parks Changing The Game For Guests With Autism – Huffington Post

Girls with autism at high risk of sexual abuse, large study says – Spectrum News

Autism Society Honors Sony Pictures Entertainment, ‘The Good Doctor’ at AutFest – Variety

Vacationing with Autism on the High Seas – WMRA

Neurodiversity: disabilities or neurological differences – BBC News

This parent found no support for her autistic daughter — and decided to change that – UC Observer

Abbotsford firefighter praised for efforts with autistic – The Abbotsford News

The good, the bad and the challenging: A breakdown of B.C. class sizes – The Squamish Chief

‘There was no sympathy’: Brampton mom says H&M store discriminated against her son with autism – CBC News

Girls with autism flying under the radar but new guidelines could help doctors with diagnosis – ABC News (Australia)

News Round-Up April 2018 Edition

Registration Open for Three New Events!

Non-Aversive Strategies to Assist Individuals with Autism and Challenging Behaviours
Friday, August 24
Vancouver, BC, & Web Streaming!

Andrew McDonnell, PhD, Director of Studio3 Training Systems, UK

This one-day workshop will focus on how to manage behaviours of concern using a low arousal approach, developed by Dr. McDonnell to help personnel in schools and group homes manage ‘highly aroused’ and stressed individuals. The emphasis will be on verbal and nonverbal strategies to de-escalate crisis situations. In addition, the approach involves ‘reflective practice’ that is, ‘What is my own contribution to the situation? Low-arousal approaches include interaction, diffusion and distraction strategies; coping with challenging behaviours including debriefing – why it is necessary and how to do it, managing versus changing behaviours, physical avoidance skills and physical intervention strategies. Event Details & Registration


Managing the Anxious Symptoms of Children and Adolescents with ASD: Practical Strategies
Thursday & Friday, September 27 & 28
Vancouver, BC

Judy Reaven, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Colorado

Children and adolescents with ASD are at high risk for developing anxiety symptoms that interfere with functioning at home, school and in the community. Research has shown that children and teens with ASD and anxiety demonstrate significant reductions in anxiety following participation in modified Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) interventions. Facing Your Fears (FYF) is a group CBT intervention for managing anxiety in youth with ASD. Throughout the training, participants will learn about FYF, identify core components of the clinic based FYF program, learn how to modify FYF for teens with ASD and intellectual disabilities, as well as strategies for delivering FYF in school settings. Video examples and interactive small group activities will occur throughout the training

Event Details & Registration


INVESTing in Girls and Women with ASD
Friday, November 2nd
Vancouver, BC & Web Streaming!

Dori Zener, MSW, RSW

Girls and women with ASD largely camouflage their characteristics in an effort to pass as neurotypical. Due to their difficulties reading social cues, girls and women with ASD are disproportionately victims of bullying, sexual assault and abusive relationships. Mental health challenges such anxiety, depression, panic, eating disorders, ADHD, OCD and addictions often come to the attention of professionals before an ASD diagnosis is given, if at all.

INVEST: Identify Needs, Validate, Educate, Strengthen and Thrive has been developed by Dori Zener based on her extensive clinical experience with women and girls with ASD.

Event Details & Registration


More upcoming events

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills 2018
May 3 & 4, 2018 – In-person seats sold out! Web Streaming spots available

Social Stories with Carol Gray
July 19 & 20, 2018 – Nanaimo

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 30 – August 3, 2018 – Surrey
October 29 – November 2, 2018 – Vancouver

Social Thinking Conference with Michelle Garcia Winner
August 16 & 17, 2018 – Vancouver

Register for 2 events and save $50.
Use coupon code 50off2 at checkout or contact ACT.
Valid for both in-person and web streaming registration.
Coupon cannot be combined with other discounts or bursaries.
 

Bursaries for those most in need, including para-professionals, parents who have children with special needs, adults with ASD, and professionals who need to travel outside of their home regions are also available, to the best of our financial ability. Bursaries are also available for webstreaming – internationally and Canada!
For information on how to apply for an ACT bursary, please visit the Bursaries FAQ page


Printable guides for Events, Videos, and the Autism Information Database

Visit the links below to view our PDF guides to ACT Events, Autism Videos @ ACT, and the Autism Information Database.


Autism Prevalence among Youth in Canada – A Report of the 2018 National ASD Surveillance System

Recorded at ACT’s 14th Annual Focus on Research Conference
Presented by Professor Anthony Bailey, Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Dr. Anthony Bailey’s presentation of the 2018 National ASD Surveillance report is now available, free, on Autism Videos @ ACT. In this video, Professor Bailey, Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UBC, provides an insightful overview of the epidemiology of  ASD in Canada. After discussing the methodology used to develop the NASS Report, Dr. Bailey presents a summary of the findings and compares Canada’s rate of ASD among children and youth, to the situation internationally.
Watch on Autism Videos at ACT


Awareness and Acceptance are Only the Start

Editorial by Dr. Anthony Bailey

April is Autism Awareness Month in most of Canada. For the first time, with the publication by the Public Health Agency of Canada of “ASD Among Children and Youth in Canada 2018”, Canadians have a comprehensive snapshot of autism in Canada. What lies ahead for the 1 in 66 children affected by ASD in Canada as they enter adulthood? Because of inclusive educational policies, today’s’ Secondary School graduates will likely have had at least some contact with an individual with ASD. But improved awareness about ASD has not translated into significant improvements in adult outcomes. Indeed, we need look no further than post-secondary education to see how much still needs to be done.

View the full article


How You Can Support Improving the Employment Prospects of Youth and Adults with ASD

It is very tough to attract research funding for practical projects focused on the needs of youth and adults. A group of researchers at the University of British Columbia, led by Dr. Bailey, have set up an innovative 12-week group workshop to help adults with ASD succeed in higher education and the workplace but they need funding to proceed. To see how you can help, visit the crowdfunding page.


Remembering Michael Price

ACT is saddened to share with the autism community that a long serving volunteer, Michael Price, has died. Michael was a founding member of ACT’s Board of Directors and contributed greatly to our community and our organization for many years. We extend our condolences to his wife Katrina and his three children. We will remember Michael as a kind and collaborative person who not only worked to understand the needs of his own son, but gave selflessly of his time to benefit the community as a whole.


Autism in the News

Get the latest on ACT’s Facebook page

Munson: Here’s what a national autism strategy can do – Ottawa Citizen

A Disproportionate Number of Autistic Youth Are Transgender. Why? – Slate

We grew up not knowing we were autistic – BBC News

I Am Autistic – This Is What The World Looks Like To Me – Huffington Post UK

Drowning death of Saskatoon boy with autism preventable: children’s advocate – Global News

Author Speaks Out After Learning She Has Autism at 45: ‘I Finally Knew Why I Was Different’ – People

‘He’s doing a lot better today’: Here’s what happened when autistic Brampton boy got lost on a field trip – Brampton Guardian

‘I am absolutely furious,’ says mother trying to renew disability tax credit – CBC News

I’m autistic, here’s how to be friends with me – The Daily Telegraph

Four ways to support girls with autism – TES

I have ‘High Functioning Autism’ – but what does it really mean? – Metro UK

Magazine names Channel-Port aux Basques most autism-friendly town in Canada – CBC News

How to help autistic children socialise in school – The Conversation

‘The uniform and the rules attract autistic people to join the police’ – BBC News

Seven things parents of kids with special needs hate, and seven ways to be supportive – The Washington Post

The most autism-friendly town in Canada – Maclean’s

What An Autism Spectrum Friendly Environment Can Teach Us About Good Management – Forbes

Parents of children with autism announce plan to take legal action against government – CBC News

School autism project improving attendance and changing lives of children, families – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

On disability, Twitter is better late than never – CNN

How do you make a destination autism-friendly? – CTV News

 

Holiday News Round-Up

Volunteer Adam Elsharkawi putting together ‘New Diagnosis Parent Packages’ for diagnostic centres around B.C.

Thanking our Donors & Volunteers for Providing New Families with Key Information

ACT provides parents of newly diagnosed children in B.C. with information on ACT’s resources – ACT is Canada’s leading source of comprehensive, evidence-informed, online resources.

As ACT is no longer funded by MCFD to provide our ‘New Diagnosis Parent Packages’, we depend on volunteer support and donations from the autism community.

The generosity of the autism community in supporting our Holiday Fundraising Campaign is appreciated. See ACT’s website for key projects, how to donate and recognition of our generous donors.


Special Needs Community Events – January 2018

To see what is happening around the province, and to post your organization’s events, visit Special Needs Community Events

Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clinician Workshop
January 19, Vancouver

Parent Training to Address Problem Behaviours of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities
January 20, Richmond

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Vancouver)
January 22 – 26, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Early Years Conference 2018
January 25 – 27, Vancouver

PEERS for Teens – ABA Learning Centre
January 25 – May 3, Burnaby


ACT’s 2018 Events

ACT’s 2018 schedule is set! Many outstanding presenters, including Carol Gray, Judy Reaven, Michelle Garcia Winner, Brenda Fossett and Sarah Ward, are set to provide ACT’s audiences with insights to inspire and inform. To see this year’s line-up, visit upcoming events.

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Vancouver)
January 22 – 26, 2018 – Vancouver , BC

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World
February 23rd, 2018 – Sidney, BC

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention
March 10th, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Visit upcoming events and web streaming events for more details and registration.

Parents can register for $25 a day, please email info@actcommunity.ca.
Details on our event bursaries page.


Update on ACT’s Special Projects

Parent Coaching Project

2017 saw the inception of the PACE Coaching Project by researchers at UBC, following a competition overseen by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

The goal of PACE Coaching is to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of, or diagnosed with ASD. ACT was given responsibility by B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to administer this $3 million, three year project, in March 2016.

Visit the PACE Coaching Project page for updates and new developments on this important initiative.

Translated into 8 Languages – A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Program

ACT thanks all those volunteers from the autism community who have ensured the sensitive and accurate translations of MCFD’s A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs (2015) into eight languages: Punjabi, Korean, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic! The handbook is nearly 50 pages long – each language required many hours of painstaking work.

These translations can be found at Autism Information Services B.C. As MCFD took over many of the services that ACT formerly provided under contract, in the middle of this project, these handbooks will need to be updated by MCFD to match the 2017 English version. As soon as these are available, ACT will let you know!

Community professionals will find the translation of key terms used in B.C.’s autism program, as well as general concepts about autism to be very useful to helping new parents. ACT thanks MCFD for the opportunity to provide this key information to B.C.’s immigrant communities.


Autism in the News

ACT’s Facebook page just reached 3,000 likes!
To keep in touch with Special Needs issues provincially, nationally and internationally –
Visit ACT on Facebook.

Immigration Canada reverses decision, grants residency for family denied over child’s disability – Global News

Little boy’s touching video explaining his autism to his classmates goes viral
– Global News

Why intelligence scores do not predict success for autistic adults – Spectrum News

Banned from regular school life, boy with autism asks: ‘When am I going to see kids?’ – CBC News

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

Children with autism tour Kelowna International Airport – Global News

‘They consider that education, I guess’: Father of autistic boy speaks out – CBC News

Family’s heart-rending case prompts call for autism strategy – CBC News

5 things not to say to parents of autistic children – BBC Radio

Autistic Canadians struggling for access to tax credit, says activist – iPolitics

Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools – The Free Press

How Does Autism in Children Affect Parenting Stress?
– Medical News Bulletin

Room for Improvement: Toward better education outcomes for children in care – Representative for Children and Youth BC

It’s time for Canada to measure up on kids with disabilities – The Star

Halloween Edition ACT’s News Round-Up

A Halloween story, seeking an admin assistant, community events and more!

Child in pumpkin patch

Share your Halloween Story via Facebook

As parents across Canada get their children with special needs ready for Halloween, I am thinking back to 1994 when my then three-year-old son had his first experience of Halloween, after our family returned to Canada from Egypt. We managed only three houses before we had to give up and return home. Rather than saying “Trick or Treat” – Adam would dart into the house and snatch the candy. He was very confused by the whole process. But an hour later (and for the next several nights), Adam started to get his costume on by himself (and normally he only took clothes off) as he had realized costume = candy! In the many years since, Adam has become a Halloween connoisseur but I still remember those early, stressful, but very funny days!

So the message to parents is that Halloween does become easier! Do you have a Halloween story to share? ACT’s Facebook page is very active these days – we are sourcing news and research from across the globe to share with the ACT community. In October we reached 2,550 page likes! But parents always enjoy hearing of the experiences of other families. If you have a Halloween tale to share with ACT’s community post on ACT’s facebook page.

Deborah Pugh – Executive Director
ACT – Autism Community Training

 

ACT is seeking a Part-Time Office Assistant

These are busy days at ACT and we need some extra admin support. We are looking for a part-time office assistant with an excellent telephone manner and competence with Microsoft CRM systems, Excel and Word. Must be organized, highly accurate and enjoy multitasking! Knowledge of autism an asset.
Hours are flexible, up to 20 hours a week; occasional weekend work. $20 an hour – to start as soon as possible. If you are interested in working with a great organization, respected as the leading source of evidence-informed training and information in B.C., in the company of a friendly group of committed people, email your resume and cover letter to sporter@actcommunity.ca . This position will be filled as soon as we find a strong candidate.

 

Special Needs Community Events in November

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

Spectrum Lights Parent Group presents Family Information Sessions -November 2nd, Burnaby

Canadian Premiere of “Keep The Change” (Tribeca Film Festival Award Winning Film Starring Actors on the Autism Spectrum) – November 2nd, Vancouver

AutismBC Adults Go to the Museum of Anthropology – November 3rd, Vancouver

AutismBC Goes to Sky Zone indoor Trampoline Park – November 6th, Surrey

familyWORKs Vancouver – November Workshop – Person Centred Planning with Rebecca Pauls – November 14th, Vancouver

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children – November 16 & 17, Vancouver

Spectrum Lights Parent Group presents Family Information Sessions – November 16, Burnaby

BI Basic Training Workshop – November 25 & 26, New Westminster

 

Updates on Degree & Certification Courses Available in B.C.

Capilano University has updated its information on ACT’s information page Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals.

Douglas College has two ASD related programs for practitioners that begin January 2018:

Online Autism Outreach Training
Parents and Behaviour Interventionist, Early Childhood Educators and Education Assistants who work with a child/youth in British Columbia may be eligible. Receive 6-academic credit for $250.00, less half the price of other courses. Apply now – courses begin in January.

Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate email dacs@douglascollege.ca
Learn more about how to support youth and adults who have disabilities find and keep a job. Move forward in your career with the only academic credit program in Canada that is VRA approved. Over $5,000.00 in Awards of Distinction available each year for those that qualify. Apply now – courses begin in January.

 

Autism in the News

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and resources

Is the public school system working for kids with special needs? – CBC Radio

Ontario family takes school board to human rights tribunal for allegedly refusing to allow autism therapy
– National Post

Five myths about autism we need to banish from teaching – TES

Why children with ‘severe autism’ are overlooked by science – Spectrum News

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

How coping mechanisms allow autistic people to manage their condition– The Conversation

72% of kids with autism don’t get the help they need at school, survey finds – CBC News

‘Everyday hero’: Quebec barber finds special connection with 6-year-old client with autism
– CBC News

‘Autism Hour’ helps cut shopping stress – BBC

Mom Uses Jimmy Fallon’s Contest To Send Powerful Message About Autism – Huffington Post

As CBeebies launch their new autistic character Pablo, here’s why he’s important – Metro Lifestyle

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

Mum hails stranger a ‘hero’ after helping calm down her autistic son – Independent

Apps for autism: Silken Laumann campaigns for new technology – CBC

Disability in demand: People with autism offer employers a broader talent pool – CBC News