ACT's Archived News

May 2014 News Round-Up

Posted May 12, 2014

This months News Roundup contains news on the tragic deaths in Prince Rupert, looks at ACT’s new information database, a national autism survey and more.

World Autism Awareness Day 2014 – A Terrible Legacy for British Columbia

Usually ACT takes the opportunity in the News Round Up to look at the all the positive events that happened during April Autism Awareness Month. We can’t do that this year. Angie and Robert Robinson died on April 2, 2014, World Autism Awareness Day in Prince Rupert. It was several weeks before their family bravely brought their tragedy to public attention. One of the most terrible aspects of the deaths of Angie and her son Robert Robinson, was that she was looking for help and no one in authority offered her sufficient hope to carry on. There was no residential placement available for 16 year old Robert locally and his mother was exhausted.

Read more in our news item on the ACT website.

Participate in 1st National Autism Needs Assessment Survey

One way that British Columbians impacted by autism could help develop a better service delivery system in B.C. is by completing the CASDA survey. The survey is looking at the realities of caregivers and professionals supporting those with autism across Canada. Already we have more respondents from B.C. than any other province in Canada, except Ontario, which is very encouraging. For the B.C. results to be useful on their own, however, we need more parents and adults with ASD to respond. For example, only 20 adults with ASD who have done the survey. We need at least 100 for meaningful results. Please complete the survey today and make your contribution a National Autism Plan for Canada.

Search ACT’s New Information Database

ACT’s Autism Information Database (AID) is an online, easy to search website designed with families in mind. It will help you find timely, credible autism-related  information on a wide-range of topics from early intervention to transitioning to  adulthood. The AID will also help you find local services and supports available in your community, whether you are looking for an autism-friendly dentist, a summer camp, a speech-language pathologist or a community group. Resources can be searched by postal code or city.

“Friends of Autism Ride for Success” fundraiser – Slocan Park, B.C.

Many thanks to Nicole Sapriken, creator and coordinator of “Friends of Autism Ride for Success” and the autism community in Slocan Park, B.C (West Kootneys) for their generous donation,which went ahead despite un-cooperative weather: “It was set out to be a snowmobile ride fundraiser, but due to lack of snow at the time, it turned into an event at a local park.” We appreciate the communities perseverance, the donation of $650 and are deeply touched by Nicole’s closing message – “We would all like to thank ACT for helping many of us through difficult times, and know that you will be there for us and our children in the future.”

Community Resources and Events

Canucks Autism Network Summer Programs – Sign up now for Kelowna and Vancouver Island Family camps!

Canucks Autism Network is offering a variety of summer programs, including bike camp, multisport camp, and overnight camps for families, teens, young adults and kids. They will be hosting family camps in Kelowna and on Vancouver Island. Spaces are still available: priority is given to families living in these regions. For more information, please check out our website or email

Walk Now for Autism with Autism Speaks Canada – Vancouver and Kelowna

Vancouver – September 28, 2014. Register for ‘Walk Now for Autism’.

Kelowna – September 21, 2014. Check out the inaugural Central Okanagan Walk at Waterfront Park in Kelowna.

Check out more across Canada.


SFU Autism Mentorship Initiative

The SFU Autism Mentorship Initiative (AMI) is designed to more effectively support and engage SFU students with ASD into university life and to increase their potential for academic retention and success. Students with ASD have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained student mentor for up to 2 hours per week throughout each semester. Contact: Suzanne Leach at

Donate to Row4Autism to create online training for autism in recreational activities

The Row4Autism kick-off fundraising dinner and silent auction was a big success, raising over $16,000 for ACT and CAN, towards our goal of $50,000 from sponsors of John Carinha’s expedition around Vancouver Island. You can donate here to help CAN and ACT create an online training to enable parents and community recreation professionals to better support children with autism in recreational activities – across the province. Read more about Row4Autism and John Carinha, the man behind this adventure in this Burnaby News Leader article or his website.

Autism in the News

Upcoming Events

June 20 – Vancouver. Solving Sleep Problems in Children with ASD.
Presented by: Beth Ann Malow, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Disorders Center. (registration now open)

August 11 – 15 – Vancouver
August 18 – 22 – Vancouver
August 25 – 29 – Vancouver
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practical Appliations (POPARD).
Presented by Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., R.Psych, POPARD Consultant.

September 17 & 18 – Richmond. Social Thinking Providers Conference.
Key Note Speakers: Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP; Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP; Pamela Crooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. (Apply before May 23 to present)

October 24 & 25 – Vancouver. Promoting Speech and Language in Individuals Across the Autism Spectrum:Collaboration for Success, (Details & registration opening soon)
Presented by: Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Executive Director of Eden II Programs