Upcoming Live Events

Join us for inspiration and information! At ACT’s live events, leading practitioners and researchers from across the world share their insights with BC parents and professionals.


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

February 23rd, 2018 - Sidney, BC

Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
Director, Social Thinking Training and Speakers' Collaborative, San Jose, California

At ACT, we hear from many families concerned that their teens with ASD are unprepared to graduate. Academically able students also need help to develop the life skills they need to thrive in higher education and employment.  School and home teams are more effective when they consider these issues at 12 rather than 17! This one day workshop with Dr. Pamela Crooke, who works extensively with able teens and young adults, will provide school teams and parents with a practical approach to helping young people with ASD thrive either in higher education or employment.

Dr. Pamela Crooke, Chief of Research at Social Thinking, is an SLP and academic with long experience in working with youth and young adults with social learning challenges. She is an excellent presenter, blending humour and compassion. Her most recent book geared to adults, Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough, was co-authored with Michelle Garcia Winner.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the impact that social learning challenges have on academics and relationship building during the teen/young adult years.
  2. Discuss how the Cascade of Social Attention relates to styles of learning (concrete vs. nuanced based).
  3. Explain how anxiety can be a "stop sign" in an individual's ability to use Social Thinking and related skills.
  4. Explain how a student can learn to identify and prioritize his or her own treatment* goals.

*Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

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Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD (Surrey)

SOLD OUT! Waitlist available.

March 5 - 9, 2018 - Surrey, BC

Kenneth Cole, PhD, RPsych

This 5-day, 30-hour course, taught by the experienced and engaging Dr. Ken Cole, reflects evidence-based practice in teaching students with autism. A pre-requisite for teaching assistants to work with students with autism in many B.C. school districts, this course has been enthusiastically received by classroom teachers, administrators, social workers, SLP’s and OT’s, as well as parents. The focus is on practical hands-on training through instructor demonstration, and individual coaching, and emphasizes the diversity of students with ASD. There is an optional exam for those who require an official POPARD Certificate.

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Faster than a Speeding Bullet: iPads in Autism Intervention

March 10th, 2018 - Vancouver, BC

Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Since the iPad was first released in 2010, the use of iPads and other tablets have become common learning tool in the educational environment. For individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, they have been seen as “miracle” devices. However, for these devices to be effective, there is a lot to be considered. 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. Current research regarding the effectiveness of iPad and other tablet-based applications in a variety of skill areas, including communication, academic, daily living, social and employment skills will be reviewed. Relevant apps will be discussed and/or demonstrated. This presentation will address the age range, from young children to adult. It is aimed at those who need considerable support in communication and behaviour.

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ACT’s 14th Annual Focus on Research Conference

What is Research Telling Us About Women and Girls with Autism?

April 5 & 6, 2018 - Vancouver, BC, & Web Streaming!

Live stream: Watch and participate live from anywhere by registering for web streaming.  All times are Pacific Standard Time.

Historically, research has accepted that roughly 4 out of 5 of those affected by autism are male but researchers are now recognizing that autism affects women and girls differently. This has resulted in chronic under diagnosis and females not receiving the help they need, with serious implications for their long term mental health and employment prospects.

While this conference will feature recent research, it will focus on the experience and perspectives of women and girls with autism. In particular, discussion will focus on how future research into their needs could better inform the services and resources available to them.

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Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills 2018

May 3 & 4, 2018 - Surrey, BC

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

Live stream: Watch and participate live by registering for web streaming. This event is only available to web streaming registrants in British Columbia.

After a sold-out appearance last summer in Sidney on Vancouver Island, Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, is coming to Surrey to teach hands-on practical strategies to improve Executive Function skills. Whether you've seen Sarah Ward before, or this is all new, you're sure to walk away with practical strategies to help you better assist clients, students, or your own children, that you can implement immediately.

Through demonstration and practice, you will learn how to teach students the following executive control skills: awareness; forethought; waiting and planning skills; shifting; pacing; flexibility; speed of information processing.

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Social Stories with Carol Gray

July 19 & 20, 2018 - Nanaimo, BC

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

Social Stories can play an essential role in enhancing communication and bringing down anxiety among individuals with ASD.  Over the past two decades, Social Stories, and their innovator, Carol Gray, have earned the respect of parents, professionals, and people with autism, for their utility in providing clear explanations of what is often a confusing social world. This Social Stories 10.2 workshop, led by Carol Gray, will devote two full days to the art and science of Social Stories, with the focus on practicing skills and discussing new strategies.   

Join us at the beautiful Nanaimo Conference Centre, to polish your Social Stories skills or discover the versatility of this instructional strategy for the first time. No previous experience of Social Stories is required.

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Social Thinking Conference 2018

August 16 & 17, 2018 - Vancouver, BC

Michelle Garcia Winner,  MA, CCC-SLP
Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
Social Thinking Collaborative, San Jose, California

Social Thinking methodology teaches individuals with social learning challenges to think about the social world, in order to communicate more effectively. It provides practical frameworks and strategies to help interpret and respond to abstract social information. It is relevant to individuals with autism and/or ADHD, whose academic performance is in the normal range but who face significant challenges in social understanding.

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Save the Date: More Upcoming ACT Events

Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Judy Reaven, PhD
September 27 & 28, 2018 in Vancouver, BC & Web Streaming (Day 1)!
Details & registration coming soon

Positive Behavior Support in Schools Conference
October 19 & 20, 2018 in Vancouver, BC & Web Streaming!
Details & registration coming soon

INVESTing in Girls and Women with ASD
Dori Zener, MSW, RSW
November 2nd, 2018 in Vancouver, BC & Web Streaming!
Details & registration coming soon

Past ACT Events

ACT’s Community Training Program 2003 – 2016
Download our archived events from 2016 (pdf)
Download our archived events from 2015 (pdf)
Download our archived events from 2014 (pdf)
Download our archived events from 2013 (pdf)