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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crashing social circles

He's 8 now and has had a great year in Grade 2/3 split class. His teacher was great, his EA super and awesome set of classmates, who were helpful, kind and patient with him. But yesterday, the second last day of this year, my son got a taste of what, unbeknownst to him, awaits him when he returns to school in Grade 3/4 split.
For the first time ever, he encountered a situation that left him feeling deeply hurt and sobbing just because a set of his former "awesome" female classmates decided to "transform into the dark side."
Well, to tell you the bits and pieces of the story my husband and I cobbled out of him at the end of the school day when he was still teary-eyed from the incident, he caught a classmate crying her eyes out at recess and as two other girls surrounded her in a protective circle, he heard the first girl tell the other two that her aunt died recently. My son felt sad for her and offered his sympathy by encouraging the sobbing girl to talk more about it by asking if her aunt went to heaven. His attempt was crushed by the girl's two friends who told him in no uncertain terms to buzz off and not to bother the girl. Heartbroken at being shooed away unceremoniously, my son retained the feeling for the rest of the day. My husband and I could see the total confusion on his face at what happened. He trodded on the invisible circle the two girls were trying to envelope their weeping friend and as he blundered on, he got hurt.
The incident highlighted for me how many social blunders he might be charged with next year by the same sweet girls who he used to regard as friends in Grade 1 and 2. Now, he and his classmates are getting older and circles will be formed and he might often find himself outside those close-knit social groups. Is he getting more vulnerable now than ever to bullying? I hope not. We'll see.

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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.