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 please go to our FaceBook account and post your suggestions so that we can invite appropriate autism professionals to speak at these meetings. There won't be any meeting in December but we are taking local families supporting individuals with moderate to severe sensory challenges to the Christmas Event at the Children's Safety Village half an hour prior to the event being opened to the public.

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

Strategies for challenging behaviours

Monday, March 8, 2010

Screening for Autism

It is surprising to me that screening for autism does not take place, even today, at all those wellness visits to the family doctor's office in the child's first two years. The numbers, they say, currently stand at 1:150 for children diagnosed with autism in Canada. That's amazing statistics but even more amazing is how the red flags for autism do not get the physician's attention until the child is 18 months and still not saying words. Even then, in my case, the referral was given only to a speech therapist, who immediately settled into a speech intervention plan. Did these professionals not notice my child displaying some unusual behaviours and so recommend that he should also be checked by a developmental paediatrician? Looking back, I can see how much precious time was wasted through all these could-have-done-more medical attention my child received in his early years. Those with Asperger Syndrome, in some cases, I'm told, they recieve their diagnosis even later. They are so verbally advanced that their other needs e.g. their lack of skills at social interactions get placed on the back burner until they become older and are found to be running into trouble at school etc. Children on the spectrum need the earliest possible intervention, they all say, but how does one get the treatment for your child if he or she is not diagnosed until they are older and their troubles become obvious to the observant. I think its critical for all new parents to insist on a screening for autism during the wellness visits to the doctor in order to get the earliest possible medical treatment.

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.