Our Friends at Autism BC and SFU.

To be on the spectrum or to be the parent of someone on the spectrum is to open a window on a world view that few others experience.

I think we see things differently, perhaps more intimately than others. I don’t know, because being autistic precludes me from seeing the world through any other lens. I know I delight in my surroundings, and in the simple pleasures of my home. However, it has been a long journey that has led me to this place of serenity and peace.

To my parents, I was an unpredictable, alien-type being who landed in the midst of a family of people who thought of themselves as ‘normal’, a label which could not under any circumstance be applied to me.

My parents would have benefited greatly from the resources that are available to parents today. My early life perhaps would have been far less damaging and debilitating.

Fortunately, today, parents of children on the spectrum have a variety of resources. Here is information on just two in my area of BC, Canada.

Autism BC is a charitable foundation formed to assist families and individuals in their journey through Autism.

Founded in 1975, AutismBC serves the entire province of British Columbia, assisting families with programs and webinars dispensing information about many facets of Autism and the how-to’s of getting assistance from both government and private agencies.

Membership includes access to:

  • Referrals for services 
  • Community support groups 
  • Vetted, credible information & resources 
  • Inclusive social clubs 
  • Free ticket giveaways 
  • Autism BC Goes Community Events 
  • Discounts on workshops and training 
  • Regionally-specific Autism BC Newsletters 
  • Connection to the largest autism network in BC 

Best of all, Membership is free!

In a recent posting, Brock, the program manager at Autism BC listed a number of summer programs and resources currently available to members. These include summer arts and math camps for children, and a discussion on hassle-free toilet training for your child. To access these, go to AutismBC.ca

Brock also mentions the SFU yourlearner.com program in which an Artificial Intelligence supported special needs intervention app is being developed.

The program coordinators at SFU are looking for parents to help test the program.

Parents who have had difficulty finding support for their children due to insufficient funding, long wait lists or unavailable service providers may apply. The final date for applications to this program is June 30, with the program starting in July.

The SFU website also has a video guide for parents on how to get the most from ABA or Applied Behavioural Analysis at: https://yourlearner.com/events.

This is only one of their helpful videos on managing life with someone on the spectrum.

The resources are out there. As more people ascribe to these programs, and as an increasing member and support base is developed, the opportunities for additional programs expand.

The more we become familiar with these programs and foundations, giving feedback and support, the more resources and services will become available to us.

Look up your local and international autism spectrum support systems. Then use them. It’s a win-win situation.

Margaret Jean Adam

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