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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Back to School After March Break

It is hard even for a typically developing child to go back to the long hours of learning at school after the leisurely hours at home or on out-of-town vacation during March Break. It is harder for a child with autism spectrum disorder to do the transition from a week-long break at home in mostly unstructured environment to have to adjust to the school routine and hours of focussing on academic learning. Parents have to be aware of the seriousness of the ordeal of such transitions. But there are ways to help that child better prepare for the return to school. The following are some of the ways a parent can help their child with autism handle the inevitable situation.
1. Review school and classroom rules and expectations:
It has been a week-only break but that might as well have been months or years or never at all for a child with autism. He/she might not remember at all what he is supposed to see, feel and hear at schools or what the rules and expectations are. So, it will be important for parents to make a visual (whether pictures or written) to refresh the list.
2. Tell him/her any new changes expected at school that you might know about.
3. Play a pretend school game with the child.
4. If possible, have the child go and play in the schoolyard the afternoon before and have him look around at the entrance, parking lot and talk about sounds and sights he/she might see.
5. Give appropriate reinforcement for paying attention to back-to-school preparatory activities at home.
I strongly believe that time taken to do the above will have an impact in how well the child transitions back to the school routine. All it needs now will be an equally prepared proactive staff ready to positively help the child back into the classroom with well-planned strategies that works the best with that child. So, good luck to us all tomorrow morning!

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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.