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 22, 2013

Parents have the power to help their child with autism

A world renowned autism specialist Susan Bryson was once noted to have said this. "The brain is so much more plastic when a child is young... There's now evidence showing that behavioural interventions can enhance connections between brain cells." Bryson was at the time doing a test study on a new parent-based treatment for children with autism at the IWK health Centre in Halifax in Canada. She was then studying the benefits of treating children in the presence of their parents. The parents, too, were taught how to employ the special intervention techniques themselves. Intensive intervention for a child with autism suddenly became accessible and affordable with this new idea. This early intervention method was named Pivotal Response treatment, which was found to be highly successful with preschool children with autism. Parents are taught the method and were encouraged to use the techniques with their child at home. Children with autism were taught in familiar surroundings of their own home rather than at the therapist's office. Bryson's idea left the parents empowered to be able to help their children themselves. Personally, I totally believe in Bryson's home treatment idea because there's no one more motivated and more available than parents of a child with autism. No matter how many private therapists are available out there, the cost of hiring one just to do an hour job once a week seems futile to me. From my own experience, I find that my willingness to be heavily involved in giving my time and attention to the progress of my child with mild autism simply works. Therapists and other professionals are willing and able but paying for their time may not be within the means of most families. I believe parents are the first and foremost responders to their child's needs. They do not need to wait in long lines for professional intervention. The key is to believe that they can and make that time to contribute to the progress of their child. Seek outside help if necessary but do not just wait for your child to move up the waiting list for professional help. Parents can do much on their own. Learn, take courses, attend workshops, watch the therapists, if any, at work with their child and employ the techniques any time when presented with the opportunity. Parents have the power to bring about progress in their autistic child's life especially in the early years. No doubt.

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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.