Category Archives: News Round-Up

Back to School News Round-Up 2017

Back to School Bumps?

The first week of school can have a few bumps for some children with ASD and other special needs. Parents often have questions about the roles and responsibilities of the school. ACT has many online resources to help families of school–age children, available in a page where we pull these all together:

Back to School Resources

Parents! Attend an ACT Event for $25 a Day

MCFD has provided ACT with bursary funding for B.C. parents and caregivers of children with autism to attend ACT events for only $25 a day. Seats will be filled on a first come, first registered basis for as long as funding is available. Bursaries can also be used to register for web streamed events.

Learn more about how to register using the MCFD event bursary program.

ACT Bursaries for Professionals and Para-professionals, Parents of Children with Special Needs

ACT continues to offer bursaries for para-professionals and professionals and for parents of children with other special needs, to improve accessibility to both our live and web streamed events. Please apply early and before you register for the event. ACT provided $27,000 in bursary funding in the form of reduced registration fees in 2016.

ACT’s Fall Training Program

– Attend via Live Web Streaming or In-Person

With five events in July & August (430 registrants; 5000 hours of training!) it was a busy, productive summer for ACT.  We are now gearing up for fall with two valuable trainings which you can attend in-person or via Live Web Streaming from anywhere across Canada.

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies – Oct. 20 & 21, 2017 
Vancouver & Web Stream
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D, Capilano University
Visual Strategies are critical to helping many children and adults with autism and other special needs to understand what they are being asked to do, and why, as well as allowing them to communicate what they want! This avoids many behavioral issues triggered by confusion and related anxiety.  For more information on avoiding challenging behaviors, see Dr. Fossett’s free online video on Autism Videos @ ACT. Save $125 off the early bird rate if you register by September 27th using the MCFD event bursary program!

Two Days of Social Thinking for Young Children – November 16 & 17, 2017
Vancouver & Web Stream
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP, Social Thinking Speakers’ Collaborative
This Social Thinking training focuses on the needs of young children with ASD who need to develop their social understanding. This is the fourth time we have brought this training to B.C. and it always sells out so book your seat early or join via web streaming. Save $175 off the early bird rate using the MCFD event bursary program!
 
Questions? Please call the ACT office. Toll-free: 1-866-939-5188; local 604-205-5467 or email info@actcommunity.ca for more information.

ESSENCE Conference in Sweden
There was an extremely warm response to Dr. Christopher Gillberg’s thought-provoking keynote presentation on his ESSENCE model at the April Focus on Research Conference. For those of you who are prepared to travel to Sweden in April 2018, there will be a fascinating international conference focused on ESSENCE. For more information visit the conference website.

Thank you to ACT’s Supporters

We would like to thank all the organizations and individuals who support ACT to continue providing families with our comprehensive online information and training resources. There are three organizations essential to ACT successful push to move our operations ‘into the cloud’, increasing our efficiency, protecting our users, increasing access to training, while reducing costs:

  • Thanks to Alan Ashton and Marty Hall of Purely CRM for the many hours of volunteer time contributed to our new CRM database. This was the easiest technology upgrade ever!
  • Appreciation of Don de Gouveia and Gilbert Okello of Crest Computing for seven years of great IT services within the confines of our always tight budget.
  • Recognition of Justin Ritchie of XE Live Broadcast who manages the production of our live web streamed conferences allowing ACT to serve families and community professionals across B.C.

ACT is looking for New Premises – Thank You to Adera

ACT is very grateful to Adera for reducing our rent by 80% during the transition period which has followed the cancelation of MCFD funding for community-based information and support services.  ACT is looking for new premises as our current office is now too large for our needs.  Ideally a space for 3-5 desks in the East Vancouver/Burnaby area with a strong internet connection and transit accessibility. Shared meeting rooms would be ideal. Please contact info@actcommunity.ca

Resources from the Autism Information Database – just a keyword search away!

Did you know that a simple key word search provides access to over 1200 information resources? All carefully screened by ACT with oversight provided by the AID’s International Advisory Panel. Here are some of the latest resources we have added to the AID: 
 
 
Autism Training Program for First Responders – this is an excellent comprehensive Canadian training website with a wide-range of videos and materials to support fire safety for children with ASD.
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/4209/ – English
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/4210/ – French

An Explorative Study of Successful Women with Autism
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/4083/

Autism’s Drug Problem – Many People on the Spectrum Take Multiple Medications – Which Can Lead to Serious Side Effects and May Not Even be Effective
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/4119/

Autism and Health: A Special Report by Autism Speaks: Advances in Understanding and Treating the Health Conditions that Frequently Accompany Autism
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/3950/

Acupuncture for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) www.actcommunity.ca/resource/3938/ – English
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/3942/ – Portuguese
www.actcommunity.ca/resource/3940/– French

Resources for the B.C. Special Needs Community

The AID is focused on information resources, useful across Canada and internationally, but ACT also has several resources that focus on providing information specific to B.C.’s special needs community:

B.C.’s Community Resources Database – over 1,000 resources!

B.C.’s Community Resources Database (BC-CRD) is where British Columbians, seeking services for children and adults with special needs, look for service agencies, community professionals, government services, recreational activities, support groups, post-secondary programs, and a great deal more! 

Search the BCCRD by Keyword; Language or Postal Code at:
www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/community/.  

Spot a B.C. resource that we should include? Submit it via:
www.actcommunity.ca/submit-resource/

Special Needs Community Events

There are a number of community events/training opportunities posted by various organizations on ACT’s Special Needs Community Events page.  Here are a few scheduled for September:

Auditions for the Mayday Club Youth Choir September 10 -24 – Abbotsford & Richmond
Attend a ‘mock practice’ session for the Mayday Club Youth Choir! Canada’s first professional youth choir and hip-hop crew for children, youth, and young adults with and without autism and other developmental diversities. Accepts youth ages 5 to 30. All ability levels welcome.

September 10, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Abbotsford
September 24, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Abbotsford
September 11, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Richmond
September 18, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Richmond 

 

Sensory Storytime
September 21 – November 9 – Vancouver
An inclusive story time for children ages 3-6 years of all abilities, especially those with special need, in a small group setting. 
 
PEERS for Teens
September 22 – January 20 – Surrey

PEERS is a 16 week social program for teens aged 12-16. Participants must be willing to practice and want to improve their social skills. Topics covered include entering conversations, appropriate use of humour, hosting get together, bullying and good sportsmanship.
 
September 23 – Autism Speaks Canada Walks
Walks includes fun activities, performers and snacks, before and after the Walk.  Arrive early to give yourself lots of time to visit and enjoy the event with your family and friends! 
Victoria, 12:00pm – 2:00pm;
Courtenay, 12:00pm – 3:00pm;
Colwood, 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Launch Into Life – ASD Parent Workshop
September 30 – Kamloops

This workshop prepares caregivers of children with autism for the transition to adulthood, helping them create an individualized transition plan for their child.
 
Focus Ability WorkAble Solutions Employment Program
Sept. 5 – Oct. 27 – Kelowna
Focus Ability WorkAble Solutions helps adults with ASD, OCD, FAS, and other diverse abilities let their special skills shine through in local workplaces. Please contact info@focusability.ca or 250-253-3045 for more information on intake interviews and the application process.

familyWORKs
A family driven network to empower and educate families about employment options featuring informative speakers; current employment information and networking opportunities.
familyWORKs Vancouver  – September 12th
familyWORKs North Shore  – September 28th

Submitting Your Community Event is Easy
Do you have a community event in B.C. you would like to share? ACT lists events, workshops and conferences in B.C. related to autism and other special. Submit events here www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/submission-form/

Participate in Autism Research

Are you a parent interested in becoming involved in research? Recent postings, which ACT reviews to ensure ethics approval from an accredited university, include:

  • How Do Children Learn From Others?
  • Understanding Autism Service Preferences
  • Sound Sensitivity Study

See ‘Participating in Autism Research‘ for online surveys and studies looking for participants

Autism in the Media

Join ACT’s Facebook page for the latest news and views

ACT scours the media daily to find thoughtful and thought-provoking articles of interest to the autism/special needs community via our Facebook page. Below you will find ‘the best of the best’ for August. But if you prefer a steady stream of stimulating news and views, follow ACT on Facebook!

July 2017 News Round-Up

Recreation and Safety Resources from the Autism Information Database

Over the summer we have been enriching ACT’s Autism Information Database (AID) with hundreds of new resources sourced internationally – thanks to the efforts of our two summer students, Nicole Provost and Patrick Dwyer – both of whom have first hand experience of what works and what doesn’t for people with autism.

Use the AID – a simple keyword search!

Did you know that a simple keyword search will open a world of evidence-informed resources – all carefully screened by ACT for families and community professionals? For access to over 1,200 information resources, ranging from Toilet Training to Mental Health see: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/

Safety Resources

Travel Resources

Recreation Resources & the Canucks Autism Network

ACT has been scouring world websites for quality resources – the very best on recreation and autism are to be found right here in British Columbia – thanks to the Canucks Autism Network! CAN’s resources provide community recreation staff internationally with the key resources they need to include children with ASD. Given the importance of teaching swimming to children with ASD (the most significant cause of accidental death for children with autism is drowning related to wandering), CAN’s commitment to providing effective swimming instructions will certainly save lives. Here are some great resources from CAN, and from further afield:

Resources for the BC Autism Community

Looking for summer camps or swim lessons in your community? Search ACT’s Community Resources Database by your postal code to find out what’s happening in your area of British Columbia: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/community/

Find BC Resources

Special Needs Community Events

There are a number of fun community events on the schedule posted by various organizations: see www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/

ACT’s Summer Training Program

A few seats left for Sarah Ward – Cutting Edge Strategies for Executive Function Skills – Sidney

It has been a very busy July for ACT (the CBT training with Jonathan Weiss was a huge success). Both POPARD courses have been full for weeks. There are a few seats left for Sarah Ward’s presentation on Executive Function Skills in Sidney (just 10 minutes from the ferry terminal). 

August 2nd is the regular rate deadline! Please call the ACT office to register in person. Toll-free: 1-866-939-5188; local 604-205-5467 or email info@actcommunity.ca for more information.

Parent Bursaries for Live & Web Streamed Events – Register Now!
Did you know that parents can attend many of ACT’s events, either in person or via web streaming, for only $35 a day (which can be covered by autism funding)? For more information about MCFD’s bursary program see www.actcommunity.ca/eventbursaries.

ACT is hosting a number of live and online training this summer and fall. Register soon to ensure your seat and take advantage of early bird rates and bursaries.

Live Web Streaming Now Available for Three Upcoming Events
At ACT we know that it is a challenge for some to come to Vancouver to attend an event in-person, so we have been working to make more of our events available for you to watch from your own device via live web streaming. We have three great presentations available for registration.

Comments from Past Web Streaming Attendeese

  • “Thank you for the chat opportunity, resources, webinar modality – I could hear and see very well.”
  • “The webinar worked really well and made it easy for me to attend.”
  • “Thank you for the opportunity to view this conference via webstreaming. It is such a great way to increase community education!”

MCFD-funded Event Bursaries for Parents of Children with ASD

MCFD has provided ACT with funding for a bursary program for parents and caregivers of children with autism to attend ACT events at reduced registration rates ($35 a day*) until March 31, 2018. Seats will be filled on a first come, first registered basis. Each parent is eligible to receive one in-person event bursary up until March 31, 2018. Additional bursaries are available to register for web streamed events. *Learn more about how to register using the MCFD event bursary program.

ACT Bursaries for Professionals and Para-professionals

ACT continues to offer bursaries for para-professionals and professionals to improve accessibility to both our live and web streamed events. Please apply early and before you register for the event.

Participate in Research!

Survey for Parents Living in the Greater Vancouver Regional District

Parents of a child or children with autism and who live in the Greater Vancouver Regional District are invited to complete a 10 minute online survey about parent information needs and perceptions. This research will help ACT get a better understanding of the needs of those who use our resources and is being conducted in partnership with Royal Roads University. All submissions are confidential.

More information and survey here

Sound Sensitivity Study

Are you a parent to an individual with ASD? Does your child experience issues with sound sensitivity that impacts their daily life? We want to hear from you! We are surveying parents about their child’s experiences dealing with sound sensitivity. The survey will take under 30 minutes to complete (approx 15-20 min). As a thank-you for your time you will be given the option of being entered in a draw to win a $100 gift card to Amazon.ca.

View the sound sensitivity survey here

April News Round-Up

What’s Next for Parent Support in B.C.? Parent Questions for MCFD

ACT continues to receive questions from parents and professionals confused about the new service the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD ) is planning as of July 1, 2017. This service will replace those ACT has been providing under contract to MCFD since 2005, including the individualized information and support function provided by ACT’s Information Officers and administration of the Registry of Autism Service Providers.

ACT has requested that MCFD provides details of their plan directly to the autism community, to enhance the transparency of this process. The lack of information makes it difficult for families to ask questions of election candidates about whether they support this initiative.

The results of the independent survey Identifying Need, Delivering Service – The Autism Community Satisfaction Survey Report’ commissioned by ACT and released in April indicates that only 9% of the 1600 respondents support a move of services to MCFD. ACT is especially worried that many vulnerable families, aboriginal and immigrant families in particular, may decide not to approach this new service because it is part of MCFD.

For a list of questions from the autism community and more background on this issue see Parent Questions for MCFD and ACT’s Transitioning Information page.

ACT will update the autism community via ACT’s Facebook page when information becomes available. In the meantime, ACT is maintaining services and welcomes calls from parents, adults with autism and professionals.

Donate to ACT & Support Free Resources for the Autism and Special Needs Community

In June 2017, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is ending funding for a community-based contract to support families with children with ASD.

While ACT is disappointed at no longer being able to provide individualized support to families, our commitment to the autism community remains strong. ACT’s online, community-focused, information and training offer unique evidence-informed resources for the autism community nationally and internationally.

We are seeking sponsorship and donations to support our free online resources. These include Autism Videos @ ACT and the Autism Information Database.

For more information on how to support ACT’s work and to donate see www.actcommunity.ca/donate

Participating in the Political Process on May 9th

There are many organizations that have put together campaign information focused on the needs of families in British Columbia. See a comprehensive list at First Call BC.

Inclusion BC has created an information and participation guide to empower British Columbians with disabilities to vote. Download the guide here.

Report from CAN Family Festival

Despite the cold wind blowing off the Burrard Inlet, there was a great deal of warmth at the ACT Information Table and across the CAN Family Festival event on April 9th – though many of us were wishing that Autism Awareness Month was in July! ACT staff enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new parents. While we are saddened that we will not be able to provide individualized support after June 30, we handed out our two latest publications: ACT’s 2017 Event Calendar and the 2017 Autism Videos @ ACT Guide.

CAN Volunteers Receive CAN/ACT Training Scholarshipsimg_560X250

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship! Fariba Davoody, Ricky Tsang, Angelo Graffos and Maria Stolyarova were selected for the amazing level of support that they have provided to CAN programs as volunteers. This scholarship will provide each recipient with a $500 credit to be used towards registering for ACT’s live events. Find out more about the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship

ACT’s Board of Directors is Seeking a New Treasurer – Volunteer Opportunity

ACT- Autism Community Training’s current treasurer will be stepping down this summer. We are seeking qualified candidates with a CPA designation and, ideally, experience in serving as a board member for a not-for-profit society.

The role of Board Treasurer is to provide oversight and provide the Board of Directors with guidance in maintaining their fiduciary responsibility to the society. ACT employs a chartered professional chartered accountant who completes all accounting procedures and prepares monthly financial statements; we have recently sailed through our 12th annual audit with a clean opinion. The workload for the Board Treasurer would average about 2-3 hours a month, with meetings being held about 4-5 times a year.

If you are interested in this opportunity to join a dynamic not-for-profit, with a commitment to building our considerable autism information and training resources, nationally and internationally, please send your resume to Deborah Pugh, Executive Director at dpugh@actcommunity.ca

Upcoming ACT Conferences

The Focus on Research Conference this Friday and Saturday is sold out (there are spots available for web streaming) but ACT is hosting five training opportunities this Spring and Summer with more booked for the rest of the year. Register soon to ensure your seat and take advantage of early bird rates.

A special thanks to our presenters and volunteers who make it possible for ACT to continue providing excellent training opportunities at a reasonable cost. 

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASDimg_265X130

July 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Jonathan Weiss, Ph.D., CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University

A professional development opportunity for those who are involved in the mental health field and have a background in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. View Event +

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD

img_265X130

July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Aug. 14 – 18 – Vancouver

Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., RPsych

“Amazing and useful information. I wish our whole staff could attend!!”

View Surrey Event +
View Vancouver Event + 

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skillsimg_265X130

Aug. 10 & 11 – Sidney
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP (Boston)

I learned strategies I can use with all of my students right away.”

View Event +

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children

img_265X130

Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
In person & via live web streaming
Richard Stock, Ph.D., BCBA-D

“Powerful and easy to implement IEP suggestions”
(CEUs for BCBAs and BCaBAs are available. See event page for details).

View Event +

New MCFD-funded Event Bursaries for Parents of Children with ASD

MCFD has provided ACT with funding for a bursary program for parents and caregivers of children with autism to attend ACT events at reduced registration rates ($35 a day*) until March 31, 2018. Seats will be filled on a first come, first registered basis. Each parent is eligible to receive one in-person event bursary up until March 31, 2018. Additional bursaries are available to register for web streamed events.

*Learn more about how to register using the MCFD event bursary program.

Two New Free Videos – Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT added two new videos to Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) in April. There are over 25 free online videos now available. Visit AVA for evidence-informed presentations on a wide-range of practical, autism- related topics aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals with ASD and their families. www.actcommunity.ca/videos/

img_560X250 Family Quality of Life and ASD Funding in BC: Opportunities for Culturally Responsive Research

Grace Iarocci, PhD, R.Psych & Emily Gardiner, PhD, BCCH
Drs. Iarocci and Gardiner present findings from a study in which participants reported on their satisfaction with available funds and resources for autism in BC. This research revealed important insights into the strengths and challenges associated with the BC funding model, as perceived by service users. The video concludes with a discussion on the implications for provincial policy and practice, and strategies for including under-served families in research. Watch Video img_560X250

Building a System of Culturally Sensitive Family Centred Positive Behavior Support

Parbs Bains, M.Ed., BCBA & Noreen Dunn, M.Ed., BCBA
As professionals working in culturally diverse communities in Metro Vancouver, Parbs Bains and Noreen Dunn are part of a working group on how to best deliver culturally-sensitive services to the many families for whom English is a second language. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for families and their children by empowering families to use culturally acceptable Positive Behaviour Support strategies effectively. This presentation describes a summary of the group’s work. Watch Video 

A Parent’s Handbook – French and Japanese Translations Ready Soon!img_185X240

Since last summer, ACT has been working on a project on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, translating A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programsinto eight languages. French and Japanese translations of the handbook will be ready the first week of May. The handbook is already available in Chinese, Korean and Spanish; they can all be found on ACT’s website. ACT is working with teams of proof-readers and translators on the remaining translations into Farsi (Persian), Arabic and Punjabi , they will be available by June 30th. See MCFD’s original News Release for details of this project. View all translations +

Free SFU Camp & Parent Workshop – Registration is Open!

Join the 6th Annual SFU Social Science Camp – a FREE, fun, and educational camp for children with and without ASD. At SFU Burnaby campus on July 15 & 22 (9am-3pm), the camp will offer a mix of social games and an opportunity to participate in research using fun activities. This year’s theme is “Celebrating our special interests and skills” and all children will receive a SFU Social Science Camp T-shirt! Parents can also attend a FREE workshops while children attend the camp. Spots are limited so sign up today.

Special Needs Community Events in B.C.

What to know what is happening in the autism/special needs community in B.C.? Browse ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Calendar

Post your community events, and reach a new audience. This listing is a popular part of ACT’s monthly newsletter, which reaches over 7,300 individual, schools and agencies each month.

Post-Secondary Opportunities: Upgrade your Skills

Looking to upgrade your skills or seeking professional certification? ACT lists B.C. Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals on our website. Capilano University and Douglas College are taking applications for programs that begin in September 2017. 

RASP Updates for April 2017

A New RASP Category – Supervised Occupational Therapist

The new Supervised Occupational Therapist category for the RASP has been approved by MCFD and came into effect April 1, 2017. For details, see the ACT website:

Sharp Increase in RASP Applications and Approvals

12 RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since March 30, 2017. As of April 26, 2017, there are 696 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/

Compared to the first four months of 2016, applications and approvals are up significantly in 2017, in part because ACT has urged new applicants to apply before May 1 (see Reminder below). ACT has received a 73% increase in the number of applications submitted, and a 47% increase in the numbers approved. We are working hard to process applicants quickly to ensure that families have access to as many qualified professionals as possible during the transition to MCFD management of the RASP.

Behavior Consultants (Category B –Supervised)

  • Cherry Truong – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Abbey Massar – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Melanie Carrick – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam
  • David Herb –Vancouver
  • Andrea Rushton – Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Jennifer Kennedy – Campbell River, Comox, Comox Valley, Denman Island, Hornby Island, Quadra Island, Tofino, Ucluelet, Victoria
  • Andrea N. Schneider – Surrey, Vancouver
  • Pamela Hood-Szivek – Victoria

Occupational Therapists (Supervised)

  • Naomi Hill – Vancouver
  • Tiffany Kobbero – Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Port Moody, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Kimberly Long – Kelowna, Lake Country, Oliver, Osoyoos, Peachland, Penticton, Summerland, West Kelowna
  • Sarah Tamosetis – 100 Mile House, Williams Lake

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 March 30 listings for Kate Fitzherbert, Jeanine Harper, Louise Hill, and Stephanie Sywak have been removed from the RASP.

Reminder: New RASP Applications Received after May 15th will be processed by MCFD.

ACT will hand over the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers to MCFD as of June 30, 2017. ACT advises that all new applications should be submitted by Monday, May 1, 2017. RASP applications which arrive after May 15, 2017 will be processed by MCFD.

Please note that the RASP application process will remain the same after July 1st as it is a MCFD-regulated process, which ACT has managed on MCFD’s behalf since 2005. For more information on the RASP application process see: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/sp-info/

Autism in the News

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

News Round-Up – February 2017

8 Events Added, 2 New Videos, RASP Updates

Upcoming ACT Events

Join ACT for inspiration and information. At ACT’s live events, leading practitioners and researchers from across the world share evidence-based insights with B.C. parents and professionals.

Mental Health – Looking Beyond Autism: ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Conference
April 28 & 29, 2017 – SFU Harbour Centre – Vancouver – early bird deadline – April 7th.

Attend in person or via live webstreaming! ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Conference will bring together speakers from around the world to provide a forum for community professionals, researchers, and families to learn how to address co-occurring mental health conditions. Join us to consider solutions to the complex realities facing individuals with autism who are also affected by anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. There will be a special focus on how mental health issues affect women with ASD.
View event details >>


Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASD
July 24 & 25- Vancouver
Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
View event details >>


Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych
“Amazing and useful information. I wish our whole staff could attend!!”
View event details >>


Executive Functioning Conference
Aug. 10 & 11 – Sidney
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP (Boston)
I learned strategies I can use with all of my students right away.”
View event details >>


Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
Aug. 14 – 18 -Vancouver
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych
“Ken was excellent in presenting the information in a very natural, straight- forward way.”
View event details >>


Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children
Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D
“Powerful and easy to implement IEP suggestions”
View event details >>


New event from one of ACT’s most popular speakers!
Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD
Oct. 20 & 21, 2017 – Vancouver
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D
View event details >>


Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children
Nov. 16 & 17- Vancouver
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP of the Social Thinking Training and Speakers’ Collaborative.
“Wonderful strategies to use with my students and awesome ideas for ways to structure groups in the future.”
View event details >>


Two New Videos added to Autism Videos @ ACT

Have you seen the new look for Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA)? It’s easier than ever to browse and play one of ACT’s 23 free online videos. Start with these new offerings:

The Invention and Reinvention of Autism: Researching ASD Across Culture

Dr. Roy Richard Grinker, author of Unstrange Minds, addresses issues relevant to autism research:

  • What does it mean to say that a phenomenon is “cultural?”
  • What are the cross-cultural commonalities and differences in how autism is defined and treated?
  • What kinds of cross-cultural research can have an impact on early detection and intervention?

Watch this video >>

Panel Discussion: Supporting Marginalized Families from the Trenches – Perspectives of Parent- Professionals

This panel of parent-professionals provides fascinating insights into their work in supporting other parents of children with special needs, either as professionals or as volunteers.

Panel Participants: Roy Richard Grinker, PhD; Deborah Pugh, Executive Director of ACT; Bosang Lee, PhD, Executive Director of Here and Now Community Society; Sunita Braich, ASAAP Parent Facilitator & Surrey School District; Sawsan Salih, Volunteer translator for refugee families; Betty-Ann Garreck, Coordinator, Autism Kamloops.

Watch this video >>

Tax Time is Coming Up: Taking Control of the Future

Layli Antinuk and Blair Dwyer of Dwyer Tax Law present this important video Taking Control of the Future to help families understand options to help secure the financial future of their children. The goals are to help families:

  • Understand the full range of planning opportunities available;
  • See how these strategies might be used to accomplish the family’s planning objectives;
  • Enable parents to articulate their objectives and communicate them to a professional advisor with greater confidence;
  • Remain in control of the development and implementation of a plan that suits their needs.

Watch this video >>

ACT has several videos awaiting editing. If you would like to support AVA’s development, donate via cheque, Canada Helps, the United Way, or Employer Charitable funds. www.actcommunity.ca/donate

View all videos >>

Looking for Spring Break Activities? Check the AID

Looking for camps for your child with autism? Search the AID – type in “Spring Break Camps” in the Community Resources search box. Or, for more individualized support, email info@actcommunity.ca or call 604-205-5467 or 1-866-939-5188 to talk to an Information Officer.

See spring break camps >>

Help ACT Produce Training and Resources: Donate Now

As a federally registered not-for-profit society, ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001.

How to Donate:

  • By cheque (send to office, made out to ACT – Autism Community Training)
  • Via the United Way (search for ACT- Autism Community Training Society, Burnaby)
  • Online via CanadaHelps or Chimp

Donors and sponsors are listed on our donations page: thank you for contributing to world-class resources.

Donate here >>

Special Needs Community Events throughout B.C:

See what is happening across B.C. or post your community/training event for the special needs community at www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/. Upcoming events in March and early April:

See all events on our Special Needs Community Events listing >>

ASD and Employment Meeting: April 3rd, Ottawa

Fulfilling Lives at Work: Advancing Vocational Opportunities in Autism Spectrum Disorders

A pre-meeting on ASD and employment in conjunction with the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) Leadership Summit in Ottawa. The goals are to discussion employment, develop a community of learning and action, and determine strategies. Contact Amber Young: ayoun@ucalgary.ca or 780-492-7973 for more information.

For more information and to register online: https://fulfillinglivesatwork.eventbrite

Post-Secondary Opportunities: Upgrade your Skills

Looking to upgrade your skills or seeking professional certification? ACT lists B.C. Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals on our website. Both Cap University and Douglas College are taking applications now for programs that begin in September 2017.

New RASP applications received after May 15th will be processed by MCFD

ACT is preparing to hand over the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers to the Ministry of Children and Family Development as of June 30, 2017. In order to minimise delays for those planning to apply to the RASP, and to provide an efficient transition, ACT advises that all applications should be submitted by May 1, 2017. All new and current applications must supply full documentation by May 31, 2017 in order to be processed. If documentation is received after this date, the file will be transferred to MCFD for processing.

Please note that the RASP application process will remain the same after July 1st as it is a MCFD-regulated process, which ACT has managed on MCFD’s behalf since 2005. For more information on the RASP application process see: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/sp-info/

RASP Updates for February 2017

Ten RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since January 31st, 2017. As of February 24th, 2017, there are 670 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Chelsey Matteotti – Kelowna, Lake Country, Penticton, Vernon, West Kelowna
  • Jennifer Neale – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody
  • Joanne Tsui Ying Kwong – Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category A –Supervised)

  • Iwona Powley – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey, Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Julie Peters – Port Hardy
  • Michelle Schaafsma – Victoria

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Brianna Rosenberg – Burnaby, Langley, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, White Rock
  • Winifred Murphey – Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Nicola Paetkau – Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Merritt
  • Samuel Wade – Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Surrey, Vancouver

RASP service providers leave the RASP for many reasons including retirement or moving out of province. The following service providers are no longer on the RASP: Penelope Berinbaum (Behavior Consultant & Speech Language Pathologist) and Shauna Dolan, Rina Dulku, Sara Holland, Barbara Ann Kuhl, Maureen O’Connell, Kathryn Wishart (Speech Language Patholgists).

RASP providers are urged to keep their contact information up to date either online or by contacting the ACT office. The RASP Service Providers page has information for new applicants; the criminal record check process and renewal and professional development.

ACT updates the RASP List weekly. See who is new in your community: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Autism in the News

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

 

January 2017 News Round-Up

Update on the Ending of ACT’s Contract with MCFD

ACT’s staff and board thank all those who continue sending kind comments via Facebook, email and by telephone. It has been an honour for us to provide navigation and information services to families and professionals across B.C. since 2005. When we have information to share with the autism community from B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development on their new vision of service provision, we will post it on our website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, ACT is continuing to provide our always friendly and efficient service as we work to re-design our programs – details below.

ACT’s Live Event Calendar for 2017 – Registration Now Open!

ACT is finalizing the details of our 2017 event calendar. At ACT’s live events, leading practitioners and researchers from across the world share their insights with B.C. parents and professionals. Join us for inspiration and information! See below for the events which have already been confirmed. Special thanks to our sponsors and speakers who make ACT’s training possible.

ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Event – April 28 & 29, 2017

SFU Harbour Centre – Vancouver.
Mental Health is the focus of this year’s Focus on Research conference. We are delighted to announce our two keynote speakers, Dr. Christopher Gillberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Jonathan Weiss (York University, Toronto). ACT’s Online Mental Health and Autism Project committee will finalize the program over the next two weeks – save the dates for what will be a thought provoking two days!

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASD – July 24 & 25- Vancouver

Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
Details & registration coming soon.

The events below are open for registration – register early and save!

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Executive Functioning Conference
Aug. 10 & 11 – Sidney
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP (Boston)

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD
Aug. 14 – 18 -Vancouver
Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children
Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD
Oct. 20 & 21, 2017 – Vancouver
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Two Social Thinking® Days for Young Children
Nov. 16 & 17- Vancouver
Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP & Ryan Hendrix, MS, CCC-SLP

Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT has added five new videos to AVA since the beginning of December 2016. This week we launch a new platform to make this free resource easier to navigate as we now have over 20 videos and we want to make sure our users don’t get lost! Take a look at our new Videos home page which allows you to easily scan all our video offerings and view them when convenient to you, with no passwords. This is a free service made possible thanks to donors, sponsors and of course our presenters, who donate their time to this rich source of evidence-based community training, available internationally to all who need access to positive information on autism and other special needs.

NEW AVA Video for 2017 – The Essentials of Advocacy

The Essentials of Advocacy: A Parent’s Guide to Advocating for their Child with Special Needs

This free online ACT video provides practical, positive guidance on how to navigate various government systems that control access to services for children with special needs.

ACT has several videos awaiting editing. If you would like to support AVA’s development, donate via cheque, online via Canada Helps, the United Way, or Employer Charitable funds. www.actcommunity.ca/donate

Autism Information Database

ACT is considering how we can fund the Autism Information Database as MCFD has indicated that they will not maintain this resource. The AID now has over 2,000 information and community resources carefully sourced from across B.C. and internationally. It is the only key-word searchable, non-commercial, multi-language resource of its kind internationally and we would like to continue it as an important resource for the autism community, nationally and internationally. Email dpugh@actcommunity.ca with any suggestions for sources of corporate/foundation funding.

Donating to ACT Thank you to our donors!

As a federally registered not-for-profit society, ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001.

How to Donate:

  • By cheque (send to office, made out to ACT – Autism Community Training)
  • Online via CanadaHelps or Chimp.net
  • Via the United Way (search for ACT- Autism Community Training Society, Burnaby)

Thank you to our donors and sponsors in 2016:

Individual donors and sponsors are listed on our donations page; thank you for contributing to world-class live and online training.

RASP Alert!

ACT is preparing to hand over the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers to the Ministry of Children and Family Development as of June 30. In order to minimise delays for those planning to apply to the RASP, and to provide an efficient transition, ACT advises that all applications be submitted before May 1. Those applicants who fulfill the experience and coursework requirements, and have full documentation to support their applications, including references, will be processed by May 30th. ACT will not be accepting new RASP applications after May 15th.

MCFD will begin accepting new applications as of July 1st. Please note that the RASP application process will remain the same after July 1st as it a MCFD-regulated process which ACT has managed on MCFD’s behalf since 2005. For more information on the RASP application process see: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/sp-info/

RASP Updates for January 2017

Twelve RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since December 31stth. As of January 26th, 2017, there are 669 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Behavior Consultants (Non-Supervised)

  • Bella Siu Man – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver, West Vancouver
  • Larissa Davies – Bowen Island, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Salt Spring Island, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, West Vancouver
  • Jemana Elsharkawi – Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Port Hardy, Port McNeil

Behavior Consultants (Supervised)

  • Brittney Mailloux – Kitimat

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Shadi Asadi – Cawston, Keremos, Oliver, Osoyoos
  • Clare Wolff – Prince George

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Tara Casorso – Colwood, Langford, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria
  • Brianna Rosenberg – Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Reetpal Brar – Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Vancouver
  • Darlene Clarke – Hazelton, Smithers
  • Emily Lee – Vancouver
  • Adelle Rama – Langford, Saanich, Sidney

RASP service providers leave the RASP for many reasons including retirement or moving out of province. No service providers were removed in January 2017.

RASP providers are urged to keep their contact information up to date either online or by contacting the ACT office. The RASP Service Providers page has information for new applicants; the criminal record check process and renewal and professional development.

ACT updates the RASP list weekly. See who is new in your community at www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Autism on the Hill Seeking Photos for Ottawa event

Each year, Autism on the Hill holds a rally at the Parliament buildings in honour of World Autism Day. They are asking family members, caregivers, and people with autism to send in pictures to go on their banner to raise awareness of the diversity of Canada’s national autism community. Submit your photo.

Highlights from ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Listing

Sports and Recreation Programs for Children and Youth with Autism

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides highly supported sports and recreation programs for children, teens, and young adults living with autism in Kelowna, Kamloops, the Valley, the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Duncan, and Nanaimo. Online registration for CAN’s spring session of multi-week programs will take place from Monday, February 20th at noon, to Friday, February 24th at noon. Not yet a CAN member? Join today for only $25/year at www.canucksautism.ca/join.

ACT’s South Asian Autism Project’s Monthly Support Group

In collaboration with Surrey Schools and SFU, ACT hosts a monthly support group for South Asian Families raising a child with autism. Come to a meeting and raise your questions; topics are decided on at the meeting, and conversations are held in English and Punjabi.

Next Meeting: February 23, 2017 at École Henry Bose Elementary School, 6550 134 Street, Surrey. For more information, see the ASAAP Support Meeting flyer. Please see the Act in Punjabi page for more on the work of ACT’s South Asian Autism Awareness Project (ASAAP) Committee.

Upcoming Special Needs Community Events

See what is happening across B.C. or post your community/training event for the special needs community at www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/. Here are some upcoming events in February:

View all events on our Special Needs Community Events page

Participate in Research & Build Knowledge!

Are you interested in participating in autism research? Some of the latest projects underway in Canada and internationally are posted on ACT’s website: www.actcommunity.ca/information/research/participate-research/.

Are you a researcher interested in reaching the 8,200 plus subscribers to ACT’s resources? Post your research project on the ACT page.

Simon Fraser University Parent-Child Study

The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab invites parents and children age 7-12 with or without ASD to participate in research about how children develop social skills for communication and interaction. Parents and children will work together on fun and interactive activities. Parents receive $30 and parking remuneration in thanks for participating in the 3 hour study. Please contact addl@sfu.ca for more information.

Autism in the News

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

2016 News Round-up – Looking Forward to 2017

Donate to Secure the Future of ACT’s Free Online Training in 2017

ACT has been receiving many questions about our future, now that we will no longer be funded to provide individualized parent support and manage the Registry of Autism Service Providers. We will keep you informed when the Ministry of Children and Family Development has details to share with the autism community about the delivery of these services post June 30, 2017. In the meantime, please be assured that ACT will continue to provide our excellent live events in 2017 and that we are working hard to find alternative sources of funding and sponsorship so that our website will remain a rich source of evidence-based information and training for parents and community professionals across Canada.

Much of ACT’s training has been independent of government funding, supported by registration fees and sponsorship, benefiting from the skills of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors. However, there are challenges ahead. The most challenging resource to maintain is Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA), our very special free online resource for families and professionals, especially as, starting July 2017, ACT will no longer benefit from sharing overhead costs with other services provided under contract to MCFD.

As this change in government policy was unexpected, we are urgently seeking funding to maintain the 20 presentations available for free on AVA, as well as preparing and uploading presentations recorded in 2016. AVA is a unique resource internationally because of the breadth of the content and the quality of production values. Nothing quite like AVA, with its focus on providing families and community professionals with positive, practical, comprehensive and evidence-based information on many facets of living and working with children and adults with ASD, exists elsewhere.

In 2017, as ACT goes through this challenging transition, we are asking B.C.’s autism community to contribute to the development and distribution of world-class training for community professionals and families across the province.

How to Donate

  • Online via CanadaHelps or Chimp.net
  • By cheque (send to office, made out to ACT – Autism Community Training)
  • Via the United Way (search for ACT- Autism Community Training Society, Burnaby)

Visit our Donations Page for information and ways to donate.

As a federally registered not-for-profit society, ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001.

Thank you to our donors and sponsors in 2016:

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored or donated to the Seymour Triple G fundraiser. We have listed these donors on the Seymour Triple G website; click on ‘Individual Donors’ to see the complete list of donors.

Individual donors and sponsors are listed on our donations page: thank you for contributing to world-class live and online training.

ACT’s Accomplishments in 2016

ACT is refocusing in 2017 on building our information and training resources as a national resource for families and individuals with autism and special needs. In the meantime, we would like to share with you ACT’s accomplishments over 2016, achieved with the support of a large circle of professional and parental volunteers, donors and sponsors, who have enabled ACT to provide a cost-effective, comprehensive service admired across Canada.

Parent Information and Support in 2016

  • Over 1000 families, professionals and self-advocates contacted ACT one or more times for information and support from across B.C. by telephone and email at our office in 2016 – a 7.5% increase over 2015; questions posed by parents are often complex and wide-ranging: from school exclusion, diagnosis across the lifespan, finding a mental health provider to the criminal justice system. (ACT staff answered an additional 400 questions at over 20 community events).
  • 12% of information calls related to adult issues. While ACT has not been funded to provide adult services, we have done our best to answer questions both from families and from adults with ASD.
  • Most calls related to some aspect of the autism funding process, ranging from requests for help in accessing MCFD forms, to support in understanding eligible expenses.
  • On average, an ACT Information Officer spent 43 minutes helping each family on a “case” inquiry; 3% of cases take over two hours, sometimes involving a number of calls and emails over months.

Download the Report on ACT's Parent Support and Information Services

 
 
 
 

Who Contacted ACT in 2016?

The RASP in 2016:

  • ACT added 99 new professionals to the RASP in 2016 – a net increase of 47 as others moved or retired. As of December 31st, there were 658 professionals on the RASP, eligible to serve children under 6 using the Autism Funding Program.
  • There was a 9% increase in RASP searches on ACT’s website in 2016 over the previous year; nearly 14% of searches on the ACT website begin at the RASP Search page. The RASP search tool allows families to search by postal code, language spoken by the professional, availability and whether the professional is prepared to travel.
  • ACT worked closely with the College of Psychologists of B.C. in 2016 to support Behavior Analysts joining the CPBC (69% of RASP Behavior Consultants on the RASP are Behavior Analysts). MCFD and ACT support this initiative because professional colleges provide protection to families. Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists must all be members of their professional colleges to practice in B.C. and be included on the RASP. It is hoped that the Ministry of Health will implement the necessary legislative changes in 2017.
  • Also in 2016, ACT worked closely with the College of Occupational Therapists and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the RASP Advisory Panel to develop a supervised category for Occupational Therapist on the RASP. This already exists for Speech Language Pathologists. MCFD, with ACT’s support, will implement the process.

ACT’s Online Information & Training Initiatives

  • The Online Mental Health and Autism Project (OMHAP) provided two free webcasts each of which reached over 200 professionals across B.C. According to our project collaborators at UBC’s Department of Continuing Professional Development (Faculty of Medicine), this was the highest response to any webinar they have ever done! We believe this reflects the hunger of community professionals to have more information to help their clients with ASD.

The two webinars are now available here, free, thanks to our sponsors, donors and presenters: www.actcommunity.ca/education/mentalhealth/

ACT Live Training 2003-2016

While ACT cut back on the number of live events we did in 2016 (in order to finish special projects and prepare the proposals in response to MCFD’s Request), we provided eight excellent training events which attracted 1,360 participants from across B.C. and beyond, providing 13,000 hours of training. ACT provided $27,000 in bursaries in 2016, in the form of reduced registration fees, to increase accessibility for parents and professionals living outside of Metro Vancouver and/or living on reduced incomes. Our thanks to Odin Books for continuing to support our bursary fund.

ACT Community Training Report

Special Needs Community Events

In 2016 ACT improved our ability to promote community events being held by other groups supporting the special needs community, with a new calendar that provides easier posting and browsing. See www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/ to post your event.

 

Upcoming Live Events

Jan. 14, 2017 – Evaluating Intervention Programs and Peer Mediated Pivotal Response Treatment
Presented by Isabel Smith, PhD and Ainsley Boudreau, PhD
Early Bird Deadline – January 4th, 2017.
Details

Save the Date – details coming soon

ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research – Focus on Mental Health in Autism
Multiple Speakers
April 28 & 29, 2017 – Vancouver

Executive Functioning Conference
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP
August 10 & 11, 2017 – Sidney

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children
Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D
August 24 & 25, 2017 – Vancouver

Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD
Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D
October 20 & 21, 2017 – Vancouver

 

RASP Updates

Six RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since November 30th. As of December 31, 2016, there are 658 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

Karina Frisque – Kelowna, West Kelowna

Maria Turner – Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Port Moody, Sunshine Coast, Surrey, Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

Sarira Ronaghi – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Vancouver, West Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

Sarah Lau – Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

James Donovan – Victoria

Occupational Therapists

Noelle Alava – Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Delta, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver

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. Between November 30th and December 31, 2016, Heather Dorn, Susan Edwards, Christine Gleave, Megan Kern, Julie Leswal, Erika Manarin, Janet Ross, Yvette Thomson and Nagwa Yacoub were 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/.

More Information on the RASP for Families: www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/information-for-families/

 

Post Your Special Needs Community Event

See what is happening across B.C. and post your community/training event for the special needs community at www.actcommunity.ca/special-needs-community-events/. Here are some interesting upcoming events:

PEERS: Social Skills Group for Teens with ASD – Vancouver

Early Start Denver Model Advanced Workshop – Duncan

 

Room in your Heart & Home to be a Foster Parent?

MCFD’s Vancouver/Richmond Recruitment team is looking for new foster parents to provide occasional respite care for children and youth with special needs. They offer competitive rates for caregivers with skills and experience, as well as one to one support and coaching. Successful applicants go through a home study process which includes family interviews, references, medical and criminal checks.

Interested applicants can find out more information at www.Fosteringconnections.ca. To register for an information session call 604 -775-2169.

 

National Autism Initiatives

The Canadian Autism Leadership Summit will be held in Ottawa on April 4 and 5th, 2017.

For more information or to register see www.casda.ca/#leadershipsummit

The Canadian Autism Partnership Project is actively promoting a new national vision for autism. For more information see: www.capproject.ca/

Participate in International Research & Build Knowledge!

Are you interested in participating in autism research? Some of the latest projects underway in Canada and internationally are posted on ACT’s website: www.actcommunity.ca/information/research/participate-research/.

Are you a researcher interested in attracting the 8,000 plus subscribers to ACT’s resources? Post your project here

How Do People with ASD Understand Language?

Research is currently underway at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCHRI) to understand how individuals with ASD process language. The study, led by Dr. Anthony Bailey and Dr. Keith McLarren, is conducted with the support of UBC. The study uses MRI and EEG scans to take pictures of your brain activity as you read sentences. If you are 14 to 40 years old, live in B.C. and have an ASD diagnosis, you are invited to participate in our study. We are especially interested in people who were late talkers. You must speak English as your first language and be able to read at a grade 5 level or above to be eligible for the study. Those who have epilepsy should not volunteer for this study.

For more information and to sign up, please contact Dr. Keith McLarren at keith.mclarren@ubc.ca or 604-822-4100.

For more details see: Brochure or Study Information

Invitation to Professionals to Participate in Research

Researchers at Dalhousie and McGill Universities are seeking service providers to participate in a project about current practices in the field of neurodisability and emotional dysregulation. Service providers who are knowledgeable about children with neurodisabilities and the emotional and behavioural challenges they face are invited to participate in a telephone or Skype interview. You will be asked about services offered at your site, key approaches you recommend to children and families, how referrals are made and to whom. You will also be asked to comment on a parent coaching intervention being developed specifically for this population. For more information email sacha.bailey@mail.mcgill.ca

Autism in the News: Adults and Employment

Several of the news stories below address employment issues. For ACT’s resources on the topic of adult transition and employment, browse: www.actcommunity.ca/information/transition-adult/

Find the Resources You Need:

For more news and stories, follow ACT on Facebook

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

calendar

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

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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.

October News Round-Up

ACT Seeking a New Executive Director

Deborah Pugh is stepping down as Executive Director in the New Year after 12 years in a leadership position at ACT. The Board of Directors is seeking qualified applicants to lead ACT into a new phase of its development as B.C.’s premier source of information and support for individuals with ASD, their families, and the professionals who serve them. For details see www.actcommunity.ca/job-posting-executive-director-for-act/

Have Your Say: Federal Accessibility Legislation

The Federal Government is consulting with Canadians on new accessibility legislation. Consultations will be held in Victoria on November 7th and Vancouver on November 26th – see below for opportunities to participate online or face to face. 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 more details: www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/disability/legislation/index.page#h2.325

Skill Development for Young Adults with Autism

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is offering the CommunityWorks Canada® program, for individuals with autism, ages 15-21, who wish to volunteer alongside typical peers in a variety of community settings, developing work, communication and social skills. For more information, visit the CommunityWorks Canada® program page

EmploymentWorks Canada (EWC) is looking for participants, diagnosed with ASD , between 18 and 29 years, who are motivated to learn from different businesses in the Lower Mainland to develop employment-based skills; for example, social, communication and professionalism in the workplace. Contact Brooke Straith, EWC Program Coordinator, brooke@pacificautismfamily or 604-700-8614.

ACT Event: iPads in Autism Intervention

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention – November 26th, 2016 – Vancouver, BC. Presented by: Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

This workshop will review a number of skill areas in which the iPad can be a useful instructional tool and/or an aid for daily living. Relevant apps will be discussed and demonstrated. While apps relevant to all ages will be featured, this workshop is for children and adults with a variety of special needs who require adapted educational, communication or life skills supports.

Mayday Club Youth Choir Performance

The Mayday Club Youth Choir had their first public performance on October 23rd at the Autism Speaks walk. Congratulations on your performance! See the choir in action: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qunoXUUhrJg

For upcoming performances, see the Mayday Club Youth Choir Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MaydayClubYouthChoir/

RASP Updates: new Behavior Consultants, SLP’s, PT’s and OT’s

Four new RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated between September 17th and October 26th. As of October 26 there were 654 professionals on the Registry of Autism Service Providers. See who is new in your community at www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search/.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Tina Lin – Burnaby, Delta, Ladner, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen, Vancouver, West Vancouver, White Rock

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Susan Wilson – Serves: Burnaby, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Hanna Nagtegaal – Serves: Campbell River, Comox Valley, Denman Island, Hornby Island, Parksville

Physical Therapists

  • Deborah Humphries: – Serves: Dawson Creek

RASP RESOURCES

Questions? Contact an ACT Information Officer for one to one support in English, Cantonese, Mandarin or Punjabi.

Mental Health Resources from the Autism Information Database (AID)

In recognition that individuals with ASD have significantly higher rates of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, ACT’s Information Officers continue to gather relevant resources for the ACT Information Database.

  • Information about ASD and mental health conditions, including ADHD, anxiety, OCD and depression. actcommunity.ca/resource/2922
  • Summary of a research study that examines the types of mental health conditions that often affect children and youth with ASD. actcommunity.ca/resource/1998
  • Common co-occurring disorders for individuals with ASD, including diagnostic challenges and developing a treatment plan. actcommunity.ca/resource/1945
  • In this ACT online video, Dr. Vikram Dua discusses his Autism Comorbidity Algorithm to frame and guide clinical and diagnostic assessment and treatment decisions though a developmental lens. actcommunity.ca/resource/528/

For more information and community resources, search ACT’s Autism Information Database: www.actcommunity.ca/aid. We welcome your suggestions for information or community resources for the AID – contact info@actcommunity.ca.

Survey of Early Childhood Intervention Services Closes Nov 1st

The Family Support Institute, BC Association for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI) and Inclusion BC have embarked on an information gathering project to determine the key concerns of parents of children and youth with special needs in B.C. Access the survey here: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/FamilyFeedbackServicesforCYSN/ before November 1st, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers on the Impact of Autism

As part of a 4th year / graduate course offered at UBC, the instructor is looking for volunteers with autism in the Vancouver area who would be willing to be interviewed by students in medical anthropology about the impact of autism on themselves and their families. Download this letter for details.

Community Events Across British Columbia

Visit the ACT Community Events page (www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events) for upcoming social groups, BI training, and conferences. Submit your community events for inclusion in this provincial resource listing.

Autism in the News

Alternative treatments in the news

Staff News

ACT’s E.D. awarded Distinguished Service Award by BCASLPA

Deborah Pugh receiving award from Nathan Hoffart, Julia Hodder (left) and Kate Chase from the BC Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

On October 21, Deborah Pugh, ACT’s Executive Director, was awarded the 2016 BCASLPA Distinguished Service Award for individuals who are not speech‐language pathologists or audiologists but who have made outstanding contributions to the professions and/or the communities they serve, in recognition for her “passion and advocacy for children and adults living with ASD.”

ACT’s End of Summer News Round-Up

Results of ACT’s Resources and Services Survey 2016

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer ACT’s Resources and Services Survey, released in August 2016. Over 1,000 responses were received from parents, individuals with autism, professionals and para-professionals. There was strong representation from across B.C. which means that the survey provides very useful insights to the perceptions and priorities of families and professionals.

While there were some differences in responses based on whether we looked at parent versus professional perspectives, or whether the respondent lived in Metro Vancouver or a small rural community, in general, the responses were similar across the board:

  • Those that have used ACT’s many free online resources or the individualized services of Information Officers rate them highly.
  • Many respondents, depending on the resource or service, are not aware of all that ACT provides: we need to do a better job of promoting our resources, especially in Northern B.C.

All of the suggestions we made in terms of areas where ACT could improve our resources were endorsed. The highest degrees of support were for:

  • Better information resources for adults;
  • A Registry of Autism Service Providers for children six and over;
  • Developing a profile tool for all professions on the RASP.

ACT’s next step will be to seek out necessary resources to enable us to meet the challenges we have been set. To review a full report on the results you can download the PDF here.

New RASP Professionals: Interior, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island

The professionals listed below, serving Merritt, Cloverdale, Parksville, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Saanich, and Port Moody, had their status updated or were added to the RASP between Aug. 3rd – Sept 17th, 2016. There are now 650 RASP Professionals listed.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Michelle de Beer – Coquitlam, Langley, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey
  • Sarah Gentile – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver
  • Leanne Scheidel – Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, North Delta, Surrey, White Rock
  • Laurel Rankin – Comox Valley, Nanaimo, Parksville, Powell River, Qualicum Beach

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Shanna Davies – Comox Valley, Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville.
  • Jodi Phillips – Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Christine Schretlen – Richmond
  • Chelsea Van Tol – Ashcroft, Barriere, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Logan Lake, Merritt, Savona

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Sarah Rhodes – Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, Surrey, White Rock

Occupational Therapists

  • Catherine Brandon – Kelowna
  • Mark Koslowski – Saanich, Salt Spring Island, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria
  • Courtney Snider – Barriere, Chase, Kamloops, Logan lake, Merritt, Salmon Arm, Savona, Sorrento

See the RASP list to browse all current RASP service providers. The RASP listing is updated each week and is searchable by location, willingness to travel, languages spoken, and if professionals are currently accepting new clients. There are now 650 RASP Professionals listed.

RASP Professionals can update availability and online

ACT encourages all RASP Professionals to update your availability. It is clear from the Survey (see above), that parents appreciate it! Please use this online form – ACT can usually update the website within two working days. Parents: if you find a listing is out-of-date, please let us know at info@actcommunity.ca and we will follow-up with that professional.

New Survey:Mental Health and Autism Survey for Practitioners

ACT, in collaboration with UBC’s Department of Continuing Professional Development and with the support of an expert Advisory Committee, is developing an online education initiative – the Online Mental Health and Autism Project – funded by MCFD.

To understand the educational needs of professionals, UBC – CPD has developed a survey to gauge their experiences from across the province. If you are a healthcare provider working with children and youth with autism, who also have mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression or OCD, please fill in this Survey: https://survey.ubc.ca/s/ACT-Survey/

New ACT Resources for B.C.’s South Asian Community

With support from ACT’s South Asian Autism Project Committee (ASAAP), funding from Autism Speaks Canada and sponsorship from the Surrey School District, ACT is releasing new resources to help families in the South Asian community affected by autism this month.

Punjabi- Language Video for Autism Videos @ ACT

One Parent’s Journey into Autism (in Punjabi) is presented by Sunita Braich, parent of a child with autism, an Integration Support Teacher in the Surrey School District and a member of ASAAP. In this video, Ms. Braich shares her experience in receiving a diagnosis of autism for her child: “There are some things I wish I had known more about before being thrown into what will be a lifelong journey and there are other things, I am proud to say, I feel I intuitively succeeded at.”

Guide to Working with South Asian Families – Chapter 13 of the Autism Manual for B.C.

Chapter 13: Guide to Working with South Asian Families Affected by Autism (pdf). In this guide, Preetinder Narang, M.Ed., BCBA, Special Educator with the Surrey School District, uses her own experience to explore the challenges faced by professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse families. Ms. Narang explains the benefits of employing a culturally informed, family-centered approach guided by the “Cultural Assessment Tool.”

Download chapters from ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. at www.actcommunity.ca/autism-manual

Monthly Support Group for South Asian Families

ACT’s South Asian Autism Awareness Project (ASAAP) hosts a monthly support group for South Asian families raising or supporting a child with autism. Parents and extended family are welcome. Topics will be chosen by the group, and the discussion will be held in both Punjabi and English. To RSVP or for more information, contact ACT at 604-205-5467 or info@actcommunity.ca.

Upcoming meetings will be at the École Henry Bose Elementary School, 6550 134 Street, Surrey, B.C. All meetings are from 6:30pm to 8:30pm: September 28th, October 27th, November 24th, 2016.

For more information on the ASAAP project, and more resources in Punjabi, including a video on IEP’s, visit our ACT in Punjabi page.

Sponsored by Simon Fraser University and the Surrey School District.

Upcoming ACT Live Events: ABA in School; iPads as Learning Tools

ACT’s Live Events are a great way of getting new ideas and inspiration whether for your own child or those you work with. Click on the event titles below for detailed event descriptions, pricing, scheduling or location, or go to: www.actcommunity.ca/events

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children

Presented by: Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D

October 21 & 22, 2016 -Vancouver

CEUs will be available – check the event details page for updates.

 

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention

Presented by: Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

November 26th, 2016 – Vancouver

See event details here.

There are group discounts if you register three or more people at once. Paying by credit card? You can register online at any time. To use Autism Funding Invoice Payment, please see: www.actcommunity.ca/education/funding-invoice-option/

Highlights from ACT’s Autism Information Database

ACT’s Autism Information Database hosts records on over 2,000 carefully chosen Community and Information Resources. Browse for books, videos, agencies, recreational activities and services providers at: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/

Individual Education Plans – Back to School Resources from the AID

School has begun and IEP meetings will be starting soon; the AID has several resources that can help de-mystify the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process for parents:

Individual Education Plans: A Guide for Parents

Provided by the BC Association of Parent Advisory Councils, this resource details important information on IEP’s including what collaboration should look like, sample IEP goals, Adapted and Modified programs, and reporting on a child’s progress. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/430/

Available in additional languages:

The BC Education System: An Introduction for Parents of Students with ASD

Chapter 7 of ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. outlines how parents can better understand the province’s education system. It includes information on what inclusion really means, school legislation, the IEP, and important issues to consider upon school completion. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/9/

Supporting Meaningful Consultation with Parents

This article provided by the BC Council of Administrators of Special Education provides information on what constitutes meaningful consultation by school administrators with parents of children with special needs, assisting parents in advocating effectively for their child. Includes an appendix of sample individualized educational plan (IEP) preparation and planning forms. www.actcommunity.ca/resource/465/

Autism Research Summaries from York University

The AID contains many links to research that is useful to parents and community professionals. Dr. Jonathan Weiss and his team at York University have summarized studies on ASD to inform the autism community: www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2064/

Browse the AID for more information and community resources: www.actcommunity.ca/aid-search/

Submit your Community Resources to the AID

ACT gathers community resources from across the province for the AID. Whether you are running a parents’ group or you are an SLP working with older children or adults, or a dentist willing to treat children with autism, we would like to share your information with families. Please fill in this online form: www.actcommunity.ca/submit-resource/

ACT Supports Autism Services in Guyana

This summer, thanks to the efforts of Jacquie Jordan (pictured on the left), a member of the B.C. autism community, ACT was able to donate a collection of autism resources to the Step by Step School in Guyana which supports children with autism.

Step by Step opened in 2011 with five children with autism; they now support 19 students. For more information, visit their website: stepbystepguyana.org/

New! ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Listing

The Special Needs Community Events page lists upcoming community events from around the province at www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events/. ACT recently changed the name from Non-ACT Events to encourage all special needs organizations to post their events. Some of the listings include:

Submit special needs events from your community at: www.actcommunity.ca/education/community-events/

Early Childhood Intervention Services and Supports Survey

The Family Support Institute, BC Association for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI) and Inclusion BC, have embarked on an information gathering project to determine the key concerns of parents of children and youth with special needs in B.C. Access the survey here: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/FamilyFeedbackServicesforCYSN/

Focus on Adults with Autism

Is it Autism and, if so, what next? A Guide for Adults

This guide is designed to help adults who suspect they may have autism, as well as those recently diagnosed. This kit provides an overview of autism to help individuals better understand the disorder and decide when to seek out a professional for a thorough evaluation.

This resource can be accessed from the AID at www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2855/

Changes to Application Process for Persons with Disability (PWD)

Disability Alliance BC has outlined important changes to the application process for PWD designation, especially for those in the MCFD At Home Program and CLBC Program. See link for details.

Latest “Autism’s Own” Journal Issue Now Available

Autism’s Own is a University of Victoria peer-reviewed journal about autism culture, authored and edited by persons on the autism spectrum. Read it at this link.

Autism Talks at TedX

Michael McCreary, comedian and Apsie give his insight to life on the spectrum in this YorkU TedX talk. (warning: if you watch at work, your colleague may ask why you are laughing!)

Wanted: Experienced Graphic Designer

ACT requires an experienced graphic designer with prior experience in designing multi-page documents like annual reports using InDesign. Experience in designing in languages in addition to English an advantage. This is a contract position involving the design of translations into eight languages of MCFD’s “A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs”.

The designer will work with ACT staff as well as each of the translators. Please contact Christine Hung at chung@actcommunity.ca for more information.

Share your Back to School Photos with ACT

Nearly all the photos that ACT uses on our website and in our print materials are sent in by B.C. families. They help us project a positive vision of families affected by autism in B.C. Please consider sharing your summer or back to school photos using this form: www.actcommunity.ca/share-photos-form/

Autism in the News

For more stories and updates follow us on Facebook.

ACT Staff updates

Anne Millerd, Manager of the RASP, has left ACT to work in the area of inclusive employment and to finish her studies at Capilano University. Anne will be greatly missed. Louise Broadley, ACT’s Manager of Autism Information will be taking on the responsibility of RASP Manager for the time being.

Bonita Theron, ACT receptionist, who many of ACT’s callers will recognize as the first voice they heard when they call ACT, is leaving for opportunities in donor development. We wish her the best in her career and thank her for providing a friendly voice to greet our callers.

 

Summer 2016 News Round-Up

This News Round-Up is sent out monthly via email. Be the first to read the news, and sign up for the ACT mailing list.

Parent Coaching Project Intervention Research Project – Request for Applications

ACT, in collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Pacific Autism Family Centre and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, invites applications from teams consisting of researchers partnered with service providers to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based parent coaching intervention(s) for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of or diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), hereinafter referred to as the Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project or “The Project”.

Award Amount and Duration: The maximum amount for the award is $2,850,000. The maximum period of funding is three years. Funding will be allocated to a single Applicant Team composed of both researchers and service delivery partner(s).

Details and documents: For more information and to download the Request for Applications and the Request for Expressions of Interest from Service Providers see www.actcommunity.ca/information/parent-coaching-intervention-research-project

Seymour Triple G raises $15,000 for Autism Videos @ ACT

Natalie Clancy, CBC reporter and ACT Board Member was the emcee for the event

Many thanks to the riders, volunteers and donors who together made ACT’s Inaugural Seymour Triple G a great success. All cyclists safely completed the grueling, ultra-intense 12 kilometer ride up Mount Seymour to raise funds for ACT on June 25th. As well as raising autism awareness, ACT raised over $15,000 from this very fun event which will help fund AVA – Autism Videos @ ACT. See the Triple G Instagram feed for photographs of the evetns, thanks to our volunteer photographers.

AVA is ACT’s free online video platform which shares practical, research-based information targeted to the needs of families striving to understand how to best help their child with ASD at home, school and in the community. There are 16 videos available, tackling everything from sleep to sexuality.

Thanks to the funds raised, ACT has hired an autism specialist to help edit the backlog of 10 presentations we have waiting to be added to Autism Videos @ ACT. Browse the full list of videos awaiting editing.

For more information on the ride or to donate, visit www.seymourtripleg.ca. To see the full list of donors and sponsors, visit the Seymour Triple G Thank You page

14 new RASP Professionals serving Trail, Dawson Creek, Victoria and Metro Vancouver

In June and July, fourteen RASP professionals qualified for the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP). For more information on searching the RASP and what RASP professionals offer, visit www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/information-for-families.

Behavior Consultants (Category A – Non-Supervised)

  • Erin Cornhill – Serves: Langford, Saanich, Sooke, Victoria
  • Bonnie Daudlin – Serves: Delta, Ladner, Richmond, Tsawwassen
  • Doireann O’Brien – Serves: Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Vancouver
  • Roxana Radu – Serves: North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Behavior Consultants (Category B – Supervised)

  • Rita Barsum – Serves: Burnaby, Cloverdale, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey, Vancouver, White Rock
  • Ornela Kutle – Serves: Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Kimberley Hardy – Serves: Vancouver, Burnaby
  • Delena Hills – Serves: Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Rachel Turnbull – Serves: Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Tumbler Ridge

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Max Mosley – Serves: Victoria
  • Anahita Rustom – Serves: Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Tamsin Snodgrass – Serves: Castlegar, Fruitvale, Rossland, Trail
  • Megan Sutherland – Serves: Burnaby, Vancouver, Coquitlam, North Vancouver
  • Alex Thompson – Serves: Langley

To search the RASP for professionals in your community, visit www.actcommunity.ca/rasp/search

New! Next Steps Guide Available in Korean

ACT’s Next Steps Guide is distributed to hundreds of families each year by both private and public diagnostic teams. ACT is pleased to announce that it is now available in Korean (download the PDF here). The Next Steps Guide is also a very helpful resource for families who are rethinking their child’s intervention program or who want to know more about ACT’s services.

Many thanks to our volunteer translator Bosang Lee, the Executive Director of Here and Now Community Society, who worked closely with ACT to develop this important resource. The Next Steps Guide is available in English, Chinese, Punjabi and Korean from the New Diagnosis Hub: www.actcommunity.ca/information/new-diagnosis-hub

New Social Thinking article available on ACT in Chinese; “培養組織能力的十步驟: 不只是為了家庭作業 10 Steps to Foster Organization: Homework and Beyond!”

Students with ASD have trouble with organizational skills, regardless of their intelligence and age. This article by Michelle Garcia Winner provides practical strategies to foster organization skills and prepare students with ASD for homework and life. 自閉症患者通常缺乏組織能力。就算是高智商課業頂尖的學生也常忘東忘西,日常生活雜亂無章。 這篇中譯文提供了實用的方法幫助學生培養組織能力,積極面對缺乏整合執行功能對課業及生活上帶來的挑戰。

Read this article at: www.actcommunity.ca/resource/2827 or browse the ACT in Chinese section of the ACT website for more: www.actcommunity.ca/act-in-chinese

AID Resources to Help Families Enjoy Summertime

Summer is in the air! The Autism Information Database (AID) has resources to support families to enjoy a relaxing, stress-free time, including:

Search the Autism Information Database (AID) for dozens of community recreation activities.

Focus on York University AID Resources

The AID also contains links to important research that ACT features because they are of practical use to families and community professionals. Type “York University” into the search bar of the AID to be linked to 32 research summaries that you don’t need a PhD to understand!

Community Events Around B.C.

As a free service, ACT features community events from around the province, including:

  • August 14th – Choir Auditions (Abbotsford)
  • Sept 14th – Introduction to Contemporary ABA and Autism Workshop (Richmond)
  • Sept 15th – Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Advanced Workshop (Duncan)
  • Sept 27th – Language Development for Children with Language Disorders (Vancouver)
  • Sept 30th – Introduction to the SCERTS Model (Victoria)

Do you have an event that you would like to see included? Submit or browse for more at: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Calling All Artists

Two upcoming opportunities for artists with autism or other special needs:

12th Annual INCLUSION Art Show and Sale (October 26th, Vancouver)

posAbilities presents the 12th Annual INCLUSION Art Show and Sale at the Heritage Hall in Vancouver. For more information: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Submit your art to the Pacific Autism Family Centre before August 31, 2016

The Pacific Autism Family Centre is seeking submissions from artists interested in showing their work in its new Goodlife Fitness Family Autism Hub. For more information: www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Autism’s Own Conference and Reception (August 21st, Victoria)

Celebrate the publication of the 2016 issue of the Autism’s Own Journal, Sunday, August 21st at the UVic Student Union Building. For more information see www.actcommunity.ca/education/non-act-events

Mindfulness with the Canucks Autism Network

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is launching a Mindfulness program for adolescents with autism and their parents this coming Fall. This unique program is part of a cross-Canada research study into the effects of mindfulness for adolescents with autism and their parents called MYMind. Online registration for this program opens on Monday, August 15th at noon. For more information about the program, please visit www.canucksautism.ca/programs or contact tara.rodas@canucksautism.ca.

 

Live Events: Michelle Winner, Pamela Crooke, Sarah Ward and Ken Cole

ACT hosts up to 20 events a year, bringing evidence-informed training to parents and professionals relevant to the autism and other special needs. The events below are filling up rapidly. Register early to save and to ensure your seat. Not sure which event would be a good fit for you? Call an ACT Information Officer for individualized information.

Download July – September Events Calendar

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications (POPARD) – Surrey

Only two spots left – please call the office to register.

August 15 – 19, 2016 (30 hours of instruction)

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych, Consultant, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders

“The biggest thing I learned was dealing with behaviours. I was struggling with this as a SEA and now I definitely have some very valuable tools that I can use.”

Two Days of Social Thinking® – Vancouver

August 4 & 5, 2016

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

Social Thinking, San Jose, California

“You two have an amazing ability to engage listeners.”

($50 off if you register for both Social Thinking and Cutting Edge Strategies. See event page for details)

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills – Richmond

Sept. 15 & 16, 2016

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, Co-Director, Cognitive Connections LLP, Concord, Massachusetts

“I learned many practical strategies. I will definitely be implementing the “Get Ready, Do, Done” model and the clock!”

Save the Date! Registration opening soon

New! Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children – Vancouver

October 20 & 21st, 2016.
Presented by Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D – Vancouver

“Richard is a wonderful speaker with lots of thought provoking examples”

For details or to register, visit the ACT Events page: www.actcommunity.ca/events

Can’t attend a live event? Browse ACT’s Free Online Videos

ACT hosts 16 free online videos at www.actcommunity.ca/videos – some of our more popular titles are:

Autism in the News