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

Monday, April 29, 2013

Voluntary autism registry can be a win-win for the child with autism and emergency responders

I'm pretty excited to hear that a voluntary autism registry will be taking place in our city of Belleville on May 29. I think it's an extremely important step that allows emergency responders to know vital information about your child with autism that may one day save him or her from a life and death situation. Here's a scenario of a mother (The Globe and Mail article) who had to call the police because her son was chasing her around the kitchen with a knife one day. Panicked calls brought the police to her home almost immediately. But they didn't charge inside with guns drawn or loud aggressive explosive sounds or shouting at the boy to drop the knife. From the information gathered on the child in the registry, the police knew that talking about hockey calms the boy so that's what they did. They arrived and dealt with the situation with a hockey talk. What a story!! The situation could have ended in a horrible mess, possibly in the death of the boy shot by the police. But prior information on the boy helped the police to come better prepared with the tool they needed with this unique situation. This is something that could happen during a fire. The child might hide himself out of sheer fear and being overwhelmed by the smoke, loud shrieking of the fire alarms or people screaming. He might even arm himself and attack the responders. The child also might not want to come out with the firefighter, might not want to be touched or carried out. When he does come out, he might bolt or wander away when people are not paying attention. All of these possible scenarios could be avoided when the child is on placed on the autism registry. The information on the registry would also allow other community agencies such as the Red Cross at the scene to let them properly assess the family situation and their child's needs in terms of accommodation and continued care and support. Same thing with a child/teen with autism at school, who for whatever reason has escalated behaviourally to the point where the police had to be called. When the police arrives, they would have enough information on him to help in the de-escalation instead of jumping into the situation, which easily put both parties in danger. This kind of preparation will no doubt help the child as well as the emergency responders deal with the situation effectively and quickly. Read more on the topic and its advantages here http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/registries-of-autistic-children-arm-police-with-information/article4085778/

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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.