Autism Ontario - York Region

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Autism Ontario - York Region by Mind Map: Autism Ontario - York Region

1. vision/goals

1.1. Educate the community: conducts special speaker and/or training workshops. Topics: Advocacy, Support, latest news in ASD Research.

1.2. Work with community partners to promote and enhance awareness about autism

1.3. Holds various fundraising events throughout the year

1.4. Run programs and events for individuals with ASD and their families Purpose: to get involved, socialize, network

1.5. Provide information about how to pursue diagnostic assessment:

1.5.1. Make appointment with family doctor or pediatrician (who may refer to a specialist for assessment)

1.5.2. Ontario Autism Program: contact diagnostic hub in your area (provides contact info) or Ministry of Children, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Service Regional Office (provides office contact info)

2. Addressing equity, inclusion and historically marginalized communities

2.1. Raise the flag campaign

2.1.1. Purpose: unites families, schools, communities, governments and professionals in recognizing World Autism Awareness Day

2.1.2. Highlights work done, work that still needs to be done to ensure that people with ASD are provided with the means to achieve quality of life

2.2. Autism Ontario and its network of staff and volunteers across the province are dedicated to:

2.2.1. providing quality information and education

2.2.2. supporting research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community

2.2.3. providing people with ASD and their families practical strategies to support their role as advocates as they navigate the system

2.3. Most effective advocates share a combination of important knowledge and skills:

2.3.1. An understanding of regulations and rules

2.3.2. An understanding of the law

2.3.3. A sense of procedural advocacy

2.3.4. A realistic sense of what they want and how to work with others to achieve their goals

2.4. Positive Advocacy Resources:

2.4.1. Autism Ontario has enacted legislation and regulations to support the needs of students with ASD.

2.4.2. All programs and services must be in compliance with current legislation and regulations.

2.4.3. Parents and self-advocates, may still need to advocate to ensure that their rights are being met

2.5. Education and advocacy: Autism Awareness educates and highlights the importance of securing, protecting and advancing the rights of one’s self and others. They outline their position. Autism Ontario:

2.5.1. believes parents and students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (where possible) must be actively engaged throughout the education process as full partners in their education to promote optimal learning across home and school.

2.5.2. recognizes the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) as the current, binding path towards the identification and placement for all students with ASD. We encourage parents, service providers and educators to use this process to develop tools collaboratively.

2.5.3. believes that curriculum must be flexible enough to allow for individual education programming for the diverse needs of students with ASD throughout their education and transition process.

2.5.4. All students with ASD must have access to a range of placement options based on individualized student needs, regardless of geographical location. This must include all ranges from full inclusion to full self-contained in all school boards.

2.5.5. supports the ongoing training and coaching of our Ontario school teachers, administrators and assistants. Educators and practitioners play an invaluable role in the realization of the best educational outcomes for each student with ASD.

2.5.6. advocates and assists in the on–going professional development of all educators, administrators, assistants and parents/guardians on issues of education for students with ASD in Ontario.

3. Services/programs for Ontario students and their families

3.1. Family supports (for children with ASD under 18)

3.1.1. Social Learning Opportunities (SLOs): SLOs provide easy access to a supportive environment in local communities. From movie mornings to recreational and social programs, SLOs allow time for families to come together and connect in autism-friendly environments within the community.

3.1.2. Access to ASD Experts: Workshops and webinars with expert speakers provide information and resources on many topics relevant to ASD.

3.1.3. Support Groups: These groups provide an opportunity to come together, learn and share similar life and learning experiences.

3.1.4. Community Events: Partnerships with local businesses and organizations help provide inclusive and sensory-friendly events in your community.

3.2. Making and Keeping Friends: Programs are available that teach social skill. Children are provided with opportunities to practise during role-play and play activities. Parents learn how to assist their children in making and keeping friends.

3.2.1. Children’s Friendship Training (ages 8-12)

3.2.1.1. Topics of Instruction: How to ‘play detective’ to find common interests How to join a group of kids at play How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying How to be a good host on a playdate How to be a good winner How to be a good sport How to show respect to adults How to make phone calls to friends

3.2.2. PEERS (grade 7-12)

3.2.2.1. How to use appropriate conversational skills How to find common interests by trading information How to appropriately use humor How to enter and exit conversations between peers How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying How to handle rumors and gossip How to be a good host during get-togethers How to make phone calls to friends How to choose appropriate friends How to be a good sport How to handle arguments and disagreements How to change a bad reputation

3.3. Summer Camps:

3.3.1. Autism Ontario Kids “AOK” Camp (ages 4-17): focus: activities and camp, destination trips (e.g., Toronto Zoo, water Parks), active activities

3.3.2. Social Skills Summer Institute: focused on social skills (e.g., friend retention, social media, restaurant etiquette, life skills, professional skills and experience), fun outings, social experiences (e.g., visiting restaurants)

3.3.3. SSSI Program: learn, improve, social and life skills. Includes: work placements, fitness component, social outings (e.g., bowling, movies, lunches), social games

4. How to access services/programs

4.1. After a diagnosis – first step = register your child with the Ontario Autism Program (OAP)

4.1.1. The OAP is offered by the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services

4.1.1.1. Aims to ensure autism services for children and youth are delivered consistently across the province, allows for flexibility and choice based on each child’s needs, and gives families confidence in receiving quality services.

4.1.1.2. Children and youth with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder from a qualified professional are eligible for the OAP up until the age of 18.

4.2. While waiting for OAP programs, families can still:

4.2.1. Connect with your local Family Support Coordinator

4.2.2. Find events and support groups in your area

4.2.3. Visit Autism Ontario’s Education Portal to access autism-related resources: Webinars, helpful articles, information about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

5. Other pertinent information

5.1. Helping to plan for the future:

5.1.1. Some services and supports a child under 18 has access to come to an end and new adult services may begin.

5.1.1.1. Parents may need to develop new expectations, activities, supports and services for a growing adult. The person with ASD will need support identifying their interests, strengths and next steps.

5.1.2. Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP):

5.1.2.1. Plan for the financial well-being of your relative with a disability

5.1.2.2. In-person seminars and one-on-one consultations are conducted by lawyers who provide advice on wills and estate planning, government benefits and disability law.