Mission Statement: This blog was created to provide information on getting help for autism in general while focussing on locally available resources for families with newly diagnosed children in Belleville and Quinte area.

Please browse the blog at your leisure. You are welcome to comment on the posts. If you are a parent, an autism consultant, counselor, teacher with information on autism resources available in our area, please email your information to benziesangma@gmail.com. Your information will be added within 24 hours.

Local Autism Support Groups

Parents Engaging Autism Quinte (PEAQ), an autism parent support group, meets once a month on the first Tuesday of the month (no meetings in January, July and August) at Kerry's Place, 189 Victoria Avenue, Belleville at 6:30 to 8 p.m. If you have questions or suggestions for autism topics that are important to you so that we can invite appropriate autism professionals to speak at these meetings. Next PEAQ meeting is on June 5.

Autism parent support group meeting hosted by Mental Health Agency, Trenton and Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) meeting is on the Second Thursday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If you have require any further information please contact Marya Peters for more information at 613 392-2811 ext 3953 or email marya.p@trentonmfrc.ca

For info on Community Living Prince Edward County Parent Support group, contact Resource Consultants @ 613 476 6038

Central Hastings Autism Support Group meets in Madoc at the Recreation Centre. Contact Renee O’Hara, Family Resource & Support, 613-966-7413 or Tammy Kavanagh, Family Resource & Support, 613-332-3227

Transition planning for elementary school students with autism

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Signed Speech

"Signed speech" is a term the speaker, Andrea Doucette, CSBD, used to define the kind of signs parents can use with the non-verbal children with ASD, during her presentation at the Quinte Parents Autism Network meeting on Oct. 26 at Family Space. Signs for hearing but nonverbal children on the spectrum, she said, are based on the American Sign Language but taught differently through modifications for the individual child. Signs as a means of communication to ASD children often falls through because parents sometimes try to teach too many things at once. The successful route, according to Doucette, is to teach the child to sign while making requests for things or objects he or she really wants, then focus on labels and then on social interactions. Each category of signs, for example request signs, needs to be fairly mastered first before moving on to the second category of signs - labels. Repeat the situation where the child would need to make the same request again and again (if he/she wants gold fish crackers and signs for it, to give just a few at a time and have them practice signing for it. Doucette did say that it sounds like torture but it gives the child as many opportunities as possible to practice that one sign). As well, it is important to have all agents and caregivers of the child practice same kind of signs to communicate to the child. This requires that the parents make a binder dictionary of signs commonly used by the child to indicate his wants and needs and give a copy of that dictionary to all the agents involved including his teacher and EAs, if school going children. For more info on signing as as communication for non-verbal ASD children, contact Andrea Doucette at andreadoucettesigns@live.ca.

In it for the long haul...

I created this blog with my sincere wish that those of you reading this will want to share your own stories, both good and bad, what worked for you and what didn't and together, we can make it easier for the next family beginning their own journey of discovery. By posting what you know, where you have recieved certain services, who you have talked to, whose expertise you trust, how you navigated the school education services and by responding to questions in the discussion thread, know that you have helped a family in need. So, parents, experts in the field, counsellors, teachers and everyone who has any information on resources available, please feel free to post on this blog.