Uniting Alberta's Autism Community

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Free Online Mindfulness Group for Parents

We have been researching how to support parents of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As part of this research, we are holding a free web-based mindfulness parent group for parents to help them cope.

Groups will run for 6 weeks on Tuesdays.
Time: 10:30 AM-12 Noon Mountain Standard Time
Dates: April 4th to May 9th

You will be able to participate in the group virtually using your home computer and a telephone line, that connects you with the group facilitators and other parents.

If this is something you might be interested in learning more about, please complete the information form online by clicking here.

Alternatively, you may contact Michelle at: michelle.dale@camh.ca or at 416-535-8501 ext. 37819

You can also download the form here (PDF format) and fax it in.

Hardly Eating Anything!

By Kitty Parlby

Can you count on one hand the foods your child will eat? Perhaps your family has concerns about nutrition. Maybe your child’s weight is below average as a result. I went through the very same thing with Eric when he was younger, and still have to prep him when I want him to give a new food a chance.

There are so many strategies I’ve used over the years. Today let’s just concentrate on one strategy: make food a play thing! Invent a lot of play opportunities that involve food, when there is NO pressure to eat. This is not done at meal time, and maybe not even at the table where you normally eat, but in places in your home that are associated with fun.

For some people with autism, part of the problem is that they need to build up trust and confidence with food. Meaning, they need to have many experiences with food so that they slowly learn to cope with the overwhelming input that comes through their senses. In this way, you help to prevent them from feeling the overpowering fear and stress they may associate with food, and therefore increase their interest and comfort in eating other things.

Don’t tell them what to do in the activities; show all the ways you can think of participating, by doing it yourself. Be expressive with your words and your facial expressions. Show by example that you can touch the food, smell it, lick it, put it some on your nose or chin and laugh. Lay cooked spaghetti over your head to make long hair.

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2017 Graduate Student Pilot Grants

Autism Edmonton and the Autism Research Centre 
2017 Graduate Student Pilot Grants

The 2017 Graduate Student Pilot Grants will support individuals conducting graduate research in any field related to Autism Spectrum Disorders to begin May 2017. These Scholarships are jointly funded by Autism Edmonton , and the Autism Research Centre at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (affiliated with Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta).  Each pilot grant (maximum $5,000.00) is to be applied towards the operating costs of the successful applicants’ graduate research project.  Applications will be judged on the quality and originality of the proposed project, and on the potential of the research to contribute to the well‐ being of persons with ASD and their families. Each successful applicant will provide a written progress report at 6 months and a final report and presentation of study findings (see below) at the conclusion of the project.

Deadline to apply is March 31, 2017
Funding for May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018. 

Application procedure:
To qualify, the student must be enrolled in a graduate level university program (Masters or PhD) in the
Edmonton area, and be returning to their graduate studies program as a full‐time student in the fall of 2017.
Students who are about to begin their 1st year of a graduate studies program must include a copy of their
letter of acceptance into a relevant graduate program for the fall semester.

To be considered for the review process, the student must submit ALL required documents via
email by March 31, 2017 to:
Carol Wilson, Manager, Autism Research Centre at carol.wilson@albertahealthservices.ca

Click here for details

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Goals: ASA was started over 20 years ago with the goals of:
  • Improving the lives of children and adults with ASD;
  • Providing mutual support amongst families and individuals directly affected by ASD;
  • Creating safety and quality of life for people with ASD and their families in Alberta;
  • Creating a welcoming province that values the participation of people with ASD in all areas of life;
  • Recognizing the worth of every person with ASD and their contribution to society.

Who We Are: Autism Alberta is a registered society in Alberta and a registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency. It is a network and collaboration amongst autism groups comprising parents of children and adults with ASD, family members, individuals with ASD, and caring community citizens. We also have a representative on the Board of Autism Society Canada to collaborate on national issues. Presently four groups are members of Autism Alberta:

We are also affiliated with Autism Canada.

Accomplishments: ASA has had representatives on provincial Advisory Boards to different Government Ministries. ASA has sponsored Autism Awareness presentations in some communities during October, Canada’s Autism Awareness Month. ASA has contributed to the development of resource materials for families, such as handouts on community resources and books on issues affecting those with ASD .

Who to Contact: Contact the ASA group closest to where you live or where you are planning to live, for information, resources, and support in Alberta. For example, if you live in Northern Alberta, contact ASEA; Southern Alberta – contact CAS, etc. Please refer to "Regional Chapters" on the left hand side.

For information and assistance with your local support group, or to join ASA please feel free to contact us at 1-877-777-7192
or email president@autismalberta.ca