Category Archives: News Round-Up

Free Early Intervention Resources for Home | Submit Summer Activity Opportunities

Submit your Listing to ACT’s Community Events Page

With social distancing measures still in effect, the range of options for the summer are limited. To help families find what is available, ACT is gathering information on virtual summer camps and fun activities for school-age kids to be posted on a new Summer 2020 BC Community Events page. If you have a camp, program or event to share with families who have children with a range of special needs, please submit your resource. Please note that we are looking for more specialized resources that will address the needs of neuro-diverse children.

Make a Submission Here


Early Intervention Resources for the Home Environment

blankThere are thousands of children across Canada whose autism assessments have been delayed for several months at this point. As the wait time for a publicly-funded assessment in BC was up to 60 weeks even before the pandemic, forcing families to seek a private diagnosis at a cost in the range of $3,000 – $4,000, many families are highly stressed. To help families find ways of engaging with their young children who have either just been diagnosed, or where autism is suspected, ACT has gathered resources on our COVID-19 Page. These suggestions, illustrated by great videos, are focused on play based interventions. Even if a child does not have autism, these suggestions are helpful to encourage communication and social development and have been developed by world leaders in this field.

View ACT’s COVID-19 Waiting for Assessment Resources


blankLooking for some fresh ideas on how to engage your young child who has either been recently diagnosed or where you have concerns about social communications?

Perhaps you work in public health, IDP or in a CDC which has been forced to close? We would welcome professionals forwarding this resource to families who are awaiting a diagnosis or early intervention services.

Don’t miss the free recording of Dr. Pat Mirenda and Dr. Paola Colozzo of UBC: “What Can I Do with My Child All Day? Strategies for Supporting Young Children” It provides a guilt-free framework for thinking about how to encourage engagement in the home – setting realistic expectations for overstretched parents.

We urge parents to watch it – it’s only an hour – and hope that early intervention providers will share the link with their families and help them identify the ideas/resources that are a good fit for their child. The PDF Handout contains example activities, resources, and websites.

Watch this Presentation


Resources to Encourage Social Communication

In addition to the free web stream above, the links to the programs below provide families tips on what to do to encourage social communication while they are waiting for a diagnosis. Ideally there is an early educator, a speech pathologist, or an Infant Development Program worker who knows the child too, and can provide advice remotely. We are not suggesting that parents become therapists, but these programs provide more sharply tuned approaches to parenting.

For children who have a language delay these resources will generally be easier to implement. For those who go on to be diagnosed with autism, it is often harder for families, but the techniques are the same. They are geared toward play and fun!

blank Autism Navigator is a unique collection of web-based tools and courses that uses extensive video footage to bridge the gap between science and community practice.

blankThe Early Start Denver Model is a relationship-based early intervention model created to work with very young children with, or showing signs of, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


Challenging Behaviors: Positive Behavior Support is Key!

The resources below focus on helping families re-consider the challenging behaviours that some of their children engage in. Usually these behaviors occur because the child is frustrated, as they do not understand and can not communicate what they want. The approach of Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is very helpful to change a negative dynamic in the home and ACT has a number of free online videos that can help families understand how to support their child with practical information that is parent-friendly. While you may need more professional support to really take advantage of this approach, watching these videos will help you become a better informed consumer of professional services.

Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know!

Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Toilet Training for Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities

Pat Mirenda, PhD, BCBA-D

Solving Sleep Problems in Children with ASD

Beth Ann Malow, MD, MS

Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD

Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

View all PBS videos


COVID-19 Resources on Autism and Special Needsblank

ACT is continuing to update information on advocacy efforts and resources on our COVID-19 page. We welcome your suggestions for new resources at info@actcommunity.ca.

View ACT’s COVID-19 Page

January 2020 News Round-up

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

Join ACT’s Facebook page for all the latest updates.

B.C. naturopath’s pricey fecal transplants for autism are experimental and risky, scientists say – CBC News

Burnaby widow didn’t leave disabled daughter enough money: judge – Burnaby Now

Families of kids with autism face burnout and false accusations – Futurity

What School Could Be If It Were Designed for Kids With Autism – The Atlantic

Service dog costs should be compensated for people with epilepsy, autism, petition says – CBC News Montreal

Burnout and Expectations – Autistic Scholar

For Tom Cutler, being diagnosed autistic was the happiest day of his life – The Spectator

When People Make Hurtful Comments About My Child on the Autism Spectrum – Yahoo

Adolescent anxiety predicts later psychiatric diagnoses in autistic people – Spectrum News

Greta Thunberg’s father: ‘She is happy, but I worry’ – BBC News

Autism in 2019: What we learned about the spectrum this year – Global News

A major funder of the anti-vaccine movement has made millions selling natural health products – Washington Post

ACT’s News Round-Up – July 2019 Edition

Special Needs Community Events

ACT uses our Special Needs Community Events listing to share information provided by many different organizations. Below are a few of the upcoming events. To see what is happening around the province, visit Special Needs Community Events You are welcomed to submit your organization’s events. Over 7,000 individuals and agencies receive ACT’s News Round-Up.

August & September Events blank

Social Sprouts 2 (Ages 4-6)
August 12-16, Surrey

Social Sprouts 2 (Ages 7-11)
August 12-16, Surrey

Summer Crew Camp (Ages 7-13)
August 19-23, Burnaby

LEGO Assisted Social Skills Camp
August 26-30, Delta PEERS© in the Valley for Young Adults
Mondays from September 16 – December 16, Abbotsford

PEERS© in the Valley, Pre-teens & Teens
Mondays from September 16 – December 2, Abbotsford

View Community Events


Special rates for those with a disability!

BC Ferries Disability Card & Access2Cardblank

Did you know there are a number of programs that can apply to special kids and adults that can make summer travel more affordable?

BC Ferries Disability Card

  • Discount fares are available for the person with a disability and his/her escort that will save one-half the regular passenger fare for both you and your travelling companion.
  • To receive this rate, you must present a BC Ferries Disabled Status Identification (DSI) Card. Discounts do not apply to vehicle rates.
  • Apply on the BC Ferries website

Access2Card

  • The Access2Card helps those with disabilities who require assistance to access entertainment and recreation at participating venues across Canada, including movie theaters, the Vancouver Aquarium, and Britannia Beach Mine Museum.
  • The person with a disability pays regular admission and the support person receives free admission.
  • Complete the application form here – membership charges apply.

NEW! Find more information on other discounts including camping, fishing, travel, and transit, on ACT’s Recreation & Travel Passes for People with Disabilities page.

Visit the Recreation & Travel Passes page


Submit your photos

Share your Family Photos with ACT 

ACT is looking for photos of children, teens and adults with autism hanging out with their friends, siblings, school mates, parents and grandparents, or on their own having fun.

We use these photos to add life and personality to our print and online materials and to portray people with autism around BC enjoying life in our communities.

To submit your photos, email them to info@actcommunity.ca 

Visit our Share Your Family Photos page for more information on how we use submitted photos. Below are some of the submitted photos we’ve used in our emails, website, and in our print guides. blank

Submit Your Photos 


Participate in Autism Research

Research is crucial to build our knowledge of what are evidence-informed approaches to help individuals with autism and other conditions. Below are selected listings of university-affiliated research projects which parents and community professionals may be interested in exploring.

  • How People with ASD Experience and Understand Online Gaming as a Communication Learning Platform: A Phenomenological Approach
  • Participants Needed for UBC Study on ASD and Bilingualism
  • Addressing the Needs of Students with Autism with Self-Injurious Behaviour: A Narrative Inquiry
  • Healthcare services, stress, and resilience among Canadian children with disabilities

Visit the Participate in Autism Research page to see all current research projects and project contact information.

Submit your research project

Use our online form to submit your university-affiliated research projects related to the field of autism. It may take up to one week to post.


Autism in the News

ACT carefully sources interesting, insightful stories to inform our 6,000 plus followers on ACT’s Facebook page

B.C. serves up $6.3 million boost to province’s respite program – Cloverdale Reporter

$2 an hour for 20 years: Woman with Down syndrome gets chance at minimum wage – CBC News

Majority of autism risk resides in genes, multinational study suggests – Spectrum News

Autism awareness: ‘Better teacher training needed’ – BBC News

Autism, explained: What’s the spectrum and how it develops – Global News

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra launches program for kids with autism – CTV News

South Surrey parent takes continuity concern to teacher-regulation branch – Surrey Now-Leader

New Dating App Hiki Helps People With Autism Find Love and Friendship – NBC NY

6 Misconceptions About Autism Debunked By an Autistic Adult – Yahoo

Alberta disability funding delays worry parents, advocates – Edmonton Journal

Elementary school assistant jailed for sharing pictures of her grandchildren with online predator – CBC News

Medical conditions may mark distinct autism subtypes – Spectrum News

‘It’s surreal’: Vancouver Canuck Quinn Hughes surprises fan with autism at graduation – CTV News

New York High School Holds Heartwarming ‘Silent Graduation’ So Student With Autism Can Receive Diploma – CBS NY

New Autism NS program teaches about healthy relationships – Halifax Today

Blind autistic singer’s church performance attracts America’s Got Talent – BBC News

Special needs kids getting suspended, sent home from school: Autism Calgary – Calgary Herald

Large study supports discarding the term ‘high-functioning autism’ – Spectrum News

Children wise to fear hand dryers, and 13-year-old proves it with published paper – CBC News

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!

blankA 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

blankThanks 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

blankWe’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

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

blankPractical 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?

blankProblem 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

blank 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.