ACT's Archived News

July News Round-Up

Posted August 1, 2014

Read about staff news, online BI training, camps, anxiety groups, Autism in the News and more.


ACT Updates

2013 Annual Report

ACT’s 2013 Annual Report (pdf) is now available. Read about ACT’s work in 2013 including:

  • Distributing over 1200 New Diagnosis Parent Packages
  • Managing the Registry of Autism Service Providers – 519 professionals as of December 2013
  • Provided $12,500 in bursaries
  • Launched ACT’s new website – over 111,000 website visits in 2013
  • Added seven new online videos for a total of 14 videos – now all free!

Staff News

New! ACT is hiring an Information Officer

ACT has an opening for a full time Information Officer. Responsibilities include:

  • responding to autism-related inquiries from families and community members, province-wide;
  • researching and evaluating evidence-based information resources from across the world;
  • sourcing community resources from across B.C. relevant to families supporting individuals with special needs.


  • Must be knowledgeable about autism and passionate about communicating knowledge.
  • Compassionate with strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • A related undergraduate degree (e.g., psychology) is preferred.
  • Competency in computer applications including databases and Microsoft Excel is preferred.

A full job description is available upon request. ACT offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. Apply by email with resume and cover letter to with “Information Officer” in subject line. Applications will be accepted until August 11th; ACT is seeking to fill this position by the end of August.

Staff Changes

Ruby Bhandal has changed positions and is now working as the RASP Administrative Assistant and Information Officer. Ruby is fluent in Punjabi and this will enable us to better support many South Asian Families. Tess Zevenbergen has been filling in as a temporary receptionist over the last several months, and she is now moving on to other opportunities. Many thanks to Tess for her excellent work! Anjela Godber, ACT’s Information Officer and Community Outreach Officer has left ACT to pursue other opportunities. We thank Anjela for contribution to ACT and her efforts in working with underserved communities. Bonita Theron has joined ACT as our new Receptionist and will be the first point of contact for ACT’s callers and visitors.

Online Behavior Interventionist Training for Rural and Remote B.C. – Deadline – August 20th, 2014

Douglas College is offering a fourth round of the popular MCFD-sponsored Online Autism Outreach Training to Behavior Interventionists who work outside of the Lower Mainland and Victoria. Please share with your networks. Visit their site for information and application instructions.

Free Camp for Children Ages 7-12 with ASD – August 16, 2014

The SFU Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab (ADDL) is hosting their 3rd Annual SFU Social Science Camp on Saturday, August 16 from 9am to 3pm (SFU Burnaby Campus). Special guests from the Vancouver Aquarium will be present! The camp integrates research and other fun computer, craft, and interactive game activities.

Conference – Creating the Future with Inclusive Learning – August 25-27

Family Support Institute of B.C is hosting a conference August 25 – 27, 2014 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. This year’s topics are Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Positive Behaviour Supports (PBS) and Transition. Visit their site for details or to register.

Walk Now for Autism in Kelowna and Vancouver, September 2014

Register here for Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada and join them for some family fun!

  • Kelowna – Sunday, September 21, 2014
  • Vancouver – Sunday, September 28, 2014

Visit the Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada page for details or go

Children with ASD Age 3-6 Needed For Computer Study

The SFU Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab (ADDL) is studying the skills young children need to successfully regulate their behaviour in everyday contexts such as home, schools and playgrounds. The study will take place at the SFU Burnaby campus and will take about 2-3 hours (including breaks). Upon completion of the study, parents will receive $10 per hour of participation in gift cards. To sign up, please contact Sarah at or 778-782-6746.

Facing your Fears: accepting referrals for fall group sessions at BC Children’s Hospital

The Neuropsychiatry clinic at UBC is currently accepting referrals for our next Facing Your Fears cognitive-behavioural therapy group for treatment of anxiety in children with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s disorder. This is for children aged 8 – 12 who can participate in a group setting for at least 90 minutes. To apply: Phone Julia Eng at 604-875-2345 X2719 and request an Outpatient Groups Referral Form. The group sessions are Tuesdays OR Thursdays, 4:00 to 5:30, September to December 2014 at BC Children’s Hospital, Mental Health Building For additional questions, please contact Dr. Melanie McConnell at 604-875-2345 ext. 5576.

Autism in the News

  • When the Caregivers Need Healing (New York Times)
  • New App Looks to Break Down Barriers of Autism (CTV News)
  • Father of Son with Autism Files Complaint Against Doug Ford (Metro News)
  • Why Parent Training is So Important for Families Coping with Autism (Huffington Post)
  • Autism and Driving: Study Opens Research in to Unmet Needs of Adults (Autism Speaks)
  • Advocate Shows Autistic People How to Have Safe Encounters with Police (LA Times)

ACT Promotional Poster

ACT has recently designed a promotional poster to advertise our services to those who may not know of the information services we provide. Please email us if you would like us to send you some to post in your community centre, doctor’s office or school.

Free ACT Online Videos

Watch where you like, when you like and as often as you like – ACT has recently made all our online videos available for free. We have titles related to:

  • B.C. education system;
  • the transition to adulthood and independence;
  • effective interventions and
  • functional skills such as toilet training.

ACT’s online videos are professionally filmed and edited and range in length from 1 to 5 hours. They are divided into sections for easier browsing, and many have supplemental materials or links to additional information. Register for free online or call our office. Browse the complete list of our 14 online videos or download our online videos handout (pdf).

Upcoming ACT Events in Kamloops, Prince George, Richmond and Vancouver

August 11 – 15 – Vancouver (one spot left – call the office!) August 18 – 22 – Vancouver (full – call to be put on the waitlist) August 25 – 29 – Victoria (one spot left- call the office!) Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practical Applications (POPARD). Presented by Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., R.Psych, POPARD Consultant September 17 & 18 – Richmond 1st Annual Canadian Social Thinking ® Providers Conference: Applying Social Thinking Skills: Where, When, How and with Whom?

  • Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ABA and Social Thinking
  • Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, Cutting Edge Strategies to Teach Executive Functioning
  • Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, Founder of Social Thinking
  • Pamela Crooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, New practical lessons/strategies and rubrics for authentic data
  • And ten local speakers presenting on the Canadian context.

Full schedule and presentation details are now online! October 4th– Kamloops Ready, Set, Coach: Supporting Kids with Autism in Community Recreation Activities. Presented by Stephanie Jull, Ph.D., BCBA-D. October 8th – Prince George Focus on Best Practices – Autism Resources for Families and Community Professionals in B.C. Free presentation by Deborah Pugh, Executive Director of ACT – Autism Community Training and Dr. Karen Bopp, Senior Behavior Consultant at Ministry of Children and Family Development. October 24 & 25 – Vancouver Promoting Speech and Language in Individuals Across the Autism Spectrum: Collaboration for Success Presented by Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP December 5 & 6 – Vancouver The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Presented by Elizabeth Laugeson, Ph.D. Register online or call the office at 604-205-5467 or 1-866-939-5188.