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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On writing your own social stories

Many parents of children with autism are already familiar with the concept of social stories. I'd like to say I write my own social stories but there is a copyright on the coined term "social story" so for now I will use the words "social narratives" or "social scripts" when I am talking about the stories I've been writing for my son. No question that I find them extremely helpful when I have to tell my son about an upcoming event - social gatherings or trips at school, visits to the doctor, dentist or any other health agencies that we parents of ASD children often encounter. Narratives or scripts do the same job of social stories as defined by the copyright holder, Carol Gray but while Gray insists on following her own formula for writing such stories - one needs to receive training writing the stories at Geneva Centre for Autism in Toronto (the clinic being the leading centre in Canada for training in autism intervention) before one can claim they write social stories or teach social story writing - the rest of us can write our own "narratives" or "scripts". In its basic form, when I am writing a social script all I have to do is 1. include the five Ws (who, what, where, when, why - the usual things relating to an event, 2. talk about what he/she might see, hear and feel during this event, 3. who he/she can ask for help and 4.inform how long will the event be. This kind of narrative can help to build a list of expectations and help eliminate much of the unpleasant sensation likely to be triggered in a child when encountering the unexpected. Works like a charm with my son for me. If you are interested in looking at samples of social stories, there are many floating around on the internet. You can either write your own to fit the need the day for your child or grab one of those on the internet and adapt. It really is easy to do once you get started with the first one.

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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.