Category Archives: News Round-Up

Halloween Edition ACT’s News Round-Up

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

Child in pumpkin patch

Share your Halloween Story via Facebook

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

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

Deborah Pugh – Executive Director
ACT – Autism Community Training


ACT is seeking a Part-Time Office Assistant

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


Special Needs Community Events in November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Autism in the News

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and resources

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

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

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

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

Call for better autism diagnosis data for girls – Radio NZ

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

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

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

‘Autism Hour’ helps cut shopping stress – BBC

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

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

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

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

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

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


Fall News Round-Up

New live events, community events, autism in the news, and more in this edition.

New Live Events

Four new events have been added for 2018! Register now for early-bird rates.

Visit upcoming live events , web streaming, or bursaries for more information and how to register.

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World Darla Grey

February 23rd, 2018
Sidney, BC
Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
Director, Social Thinking Training and Speakers’ Collaborative, San Jose, California

view event >>

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARDJustin Greene

January 22 – 26, 2018, Vancouver

March 5 – 9, 2018, Surrey

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

Vancouver event >>

Surrey event >>

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Dee Smith

May 3 & 4, 2018

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

view event >>

Save the Date: More Upcoming ACT Events

ACT’s 14th Annual Focus on Research Conference
April 5 & 6, 2018 in Vancouver, BC
Details & registration coming soon


October Community Events

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

Autism Information Services BC Open House
11am-2pm, Tuesday, October 10, Richmond

Stepping Stones Triple P group
6pm-8:30pm, Wednesdays, October 11 – December 6, Burnaby
Stepping Stones Triple P in Punjabi
6pm-8:30pm, Tuesdays, October 10 – December 5, Surrey

Connect with PEERS for teens (ages 14 – 18)
6:30pm-8pm, Thursdays, October 12 – December 7, Burnaby

Job Club for Youth and Young Adults
4pm-5:30pm, Thursdays, October 19 – December 7, North Vancouver

Spectrum Lights Parent Group Family Information Sessions
7pm-9pm, Thursday, October 19, Burnaby

Creating Positive Behavior Strategies In The Classroom
9am-2pm, Friday, October 20, Vancouver

Autism Expo 2017
11am-3pm, Sunday, October 22, Nanaimo

Registered Disability Savings Plans: Parent Information Event
6:30pm-8:30pm, Monday, October 23, North Vancouver

Facing your Fears Group Therapy
3:30pm-5pm, Wednesdays, October 25 – January 17, Surrey


Autism in the Media

See the latest news on ACT’s facebook page

Mother demands answers after son, 8, put in restraints and injected on first day of school – CBC News

The Missing Autistic Girls – edutopia

Fictional portrayals of autistic people are stereotyped, research suggests – BT

For Those Who can Afford Them, Swimming Lessons Can Save the Lives of Children with Autism – California Health Report

‘We never let him go without supervision’: Daycare worker says Saskatoon boy who died had autism – CBC News

Is the public school system working for kids with special needs? – The Current

Region’s Catholic board asked to reconsider private support for autistic kids – CBC News

Some Special Needs Kids Still Waiting for School to Start – The Tyee

Region’s Catholic board asked to reconsider private support for autistic kids – CBC News

This Is How Much of Autism Is Genetic – TIME

Why the world expert on Asperger’s took 30 years to notice condition in his own son – The Guardian

Celebrating Pablo: As CBeebies launch their new show about autism, here’s why it’s so important – Metro

Helping a Child Living with Autism to Deal with Tragedy – Autism Speaks

Mini village teaches special needs students traffic safety – CBC News

Family provides unique solution for Edmonton teen with disability seeking more independence – Global News

What will it take for the feds to get serious about autism? – iPolitics

My daughter doesn’t have ‘special’ needs. She’s disabled. – Washington Post


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 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

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. – English – French

An Explorative Study of Successful Women with Autism

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

Autism and Health: A Special Report by Autism Speaks: Advances in Understanding and Treating the Health Conditions that Frequently Accompany Autism

Acupuncture for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – English – Portuguese– 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:

Spot a B.C. resource that we should include? Submit it via:

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 or 250-253-3045 for more information on intake interviews and the application process.

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

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:

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:

Find BC Resources

Special Needs Community Events

There are a number of fun community events on the schedule posted by various organizations: see

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 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

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

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

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

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


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


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.

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:

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:

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