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, September 16, 2013

Perspective on impact of autism on the whole family

If you have time, read the whole article at this link but I thought the following excerpt would give you an idea of how autism affects not just the individual diagnosed with autism but the whole family. This, from people who know, the experts in the field who wrote this piece.
http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/documents/EBP_autism.pdf

"Families of Children and Adolescents with ASDs
Having a child with an ASD is one of the most difficult things that can happen to a family. Although most families cope remarkably well most of the time, they have some toughchallenges along the way. The needs of families are quite variable, and depend on:
• the particular characteristics of their child (age, level of functioning, particular
symptom severity, response to intervention, and so on);
• the parents' own intrapsychic and interpersonal resources; and
• the availability and effectiveness of supports and services.
Having a child with Autism can have a devastating impact on parents' mental health (most of this research is based on Autism; little has been done on other ASDs). In fact, family stress research has repeatedly demonstrated that parents (especially mothers) of children with Autism experience greater stress, depression, and mental health difficulties than parents of children with other types of disabilities or no disability. Different aspects of life with a child with ASD may affect mothers as opposed to fathers, and evidence indicates that mothers bear the greater burden (although fathers' experiences have been much less studied). Also, the family's culture is an important factor in the meaning they attribute to having a child with ASD and their tendency to seek help outside the family. Other significant stressors include:
• the poor understanding of Autism in the community;
• inferences or outright accusations of improper parenting when the child "looks
normal" but acts "strangely" in public;
• difficulty experienced in the process of obtaining a diagnosis;
• the exhausting process of advocating for scarce intervention and educational
programs; and
• the financial strain of certain therapies.
There are certain issues or needs that parents and siblings (and sometimes extended family members) may have at various times throughout their life with a child with Autism. These needs have important implications for family support services and case management. Table 6 in the full text of this document highlights child and parent issues and clinical responses appropriate at each developmental stage. It is important for mental health professionals to help families work actively on transition-planning at two main junctures: from preschool to school (about age 5 or 6), and from high school to early adulthood (about age 18–21). Intensive case
management and concurrent emotional support may be needed at these times."

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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.