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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eye-tracking for earlier diagnosis of autism

Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) is today regarded highly as the leading treatment option for children with autism spectrum disorder. But experts note that this method is most effective when the child is younger, under age 4-5. This then requires a push for early diagnosis of autism for a child to be able to get the most out of the scarce services we have available today. This will in turn spill over to a greater chance of success when the child starts attending kindergarten.
At this time, the assessment for a diagnosis is done by a developmental paediatrician who would observe the child at play and gather information through interview/s with the parents during a three-hour visit. But the signs and symptoms of autism are so wide and varied, hence the "spectrum", that it is possible for a misdiagnosis at times.
With growing awareness for a need for diagnosis as early as possible, researchers are exploring eye-tracking method to assess baby's gaze in labs both in Canada and U.S. A typically developing baby's gaze, they say, tend to look at the mouth and other parts of the human face when someone is speaking to them but children at risk for autism are noted to have a significantly different scanning patterns. Today, it is, at most, an interesting topic to read about for parents waiting in a long line just to see a developmental paediatrician for confirmation of of what they have always suspected - that their child is on the autism spectrum. But those who'd like to read
more on the subject of using eye-tracking method for early diagnosis of autism, here's one of the many links on the subject: http://jp.physoc.org/content/581/3/893.full

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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.