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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sign language options for non-verbal children with autism

What can you do when your child with autism spectrum disorder is non-verbal? Experts in the field often recommend teaching signs to such children to encourage communication. In North America, deaf and hard of hearing children and individuals learn to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). Children with autism who are non-verbal, too, are usually taught basic signs in ASL. But some parents have concerns about teaching their child with autism to communicate in ASL. They want their child to sign to communicate but in a way in which the structure of their signing will remain the same as in English Language. In ASL, for example, asking a person's name is signed "your name what?" instead of "what is your name?"
Parents who wish to look into another sign language option to teach their non-verbal child might want to check out Sign Exact English(SEE) Sign Language. It is a sign language based on ASL but the structure conforms to the English Language. Here are two links to explore on the subject:
Another option is the Makaton sign language which is based on British English. This would obviously work well if you live in Great Britain but according to this company website, the Makaton language can be accommodated to speech patterns in different countries. Check it out at

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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.