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Moving Mountains – My AGM Experience

Jessica Schurman
With Autism Alberta’s Annual General Meeting coming up next month, we wanted to share Jessica’s piece from last year, where she talks about why attending our AGM was a meaningful experience for her. We hope we’ll see you at this year’s meeting on August 26th in Red Deer!

I walked into Autism Alberta’s Annual General Meeting feeling lower than low, discouraged; my bucket was empty. Three children, 17 loads of laundry, a van covered in Rice Krispies, and having only 24 hours to prepare for a mini-lake vacation will do that to you. Five hours is a great deal of time for anyone to dedicate and commit to a meeting, but wow, what a five hours it was. Everyone there had their own 17 loads of laundry and cereal covered minivan waiting for them, but they volunteered their time, showed up, and shared! I walked away from the AGM feeling completely inspired by the twenty people from across Alberta who were in attendance at the table and over the phone.

It was not five hours of budgets and reports – it was time spent learning and celebrating the other events and initiatives happening all over Alberta. For myself, on a personal level, it was a chance to spend time and connect with other parents and grandparents from across the province who are actively working to make the lives of all people touched by autism better. They are working tirelessly on policy, fundraising, and awareness. Most importantly (for me), I get the privilege of sitting in a room with parents who have children who are significantly older than my daughter and gaining knowledge and tips from them for when we get there. The advice, in my mind, is invaluable. My Matea is ten years shy of adulthood, but what a fast ten years I know it will be. I am forever thankful to this group of men and women who give of their time and their experience to help me and my daughter.
I would encourage any parent, with a loved one of any age, to attend a future AGM or call in if you ever have the opportunity. Walking away this afternoon, the statement that stuck with me the most was one made by both President Deborah Barrett & Vice President Lyndon Parakin: “we were and are just a group of parents, but if we have learned anything, it is that parents can move mountains.”

Thank you for the inspiration, my autism community friends. We in Red Deer are ready for another amazing year of working together with Autism Society Alberta to move some mountains.

Autism Alberta’s Annual General Meeting

Saturday, August 26, 2017
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Board Room
GH Dawe Centre
56 Holt St
Red Deer, Alberta
RSVP to info@autismalberta.ca
by 4:00 PM, Thursday, August 24, 2017


Child Care is available, but please let us know your needs by the RSVP deadline of 4:00 PM on August 24.

Autism RWMB Receives Autism Ambassador Grant

By Kirsti Mardell

There are not enough words describe how much it means to me, and to my community, to receive The Autism Ambassador Grant.I was born and raised in Fort McMurray. My son was diagnosed with autism at two years old in 2012. We joined the only Autism Support Group we knew of in our area, and until recently things remained pretty much the same in our local autism community.

That all changed last year when our community faced an evacuation. Our families were able to experience supports and services available in other areas, and it was an eye-opener. After the evacuation our group got smaller, and since then we have been trying to bring our autism community back together.

Receiving the ambassador grant means we have been able to connect with families in our region we never knew before. We have been able to provide parent-to-parent support. We have been there for families in crisis. When they had nowhere else to turn, they called us.

Before this grant we were just a bunch of parents who would randomly meet to talk at a friend’s house.  Now, with this grant, we are able to reach out and connect people throughout our whole region. We are bridging the gap so people don’t have to feel so isolated and alone.

I said it before: words cannot describe how much this Autism Speaks Canada Grant means to our community. Thank you.

Kirsti Mardell
Autism Ambassador of the RMWB
To learn more about the Family Services department at Autism Speaks Canada, please visit: www.autismspeaks.ca/
The administrators of this website hereby acknowledge the Family Services Community Grant received from Autism Speaks Canada, the funding agency for the project leading to this publication.  The views expressed on this site do not necessarily express or reflect the views of Autism Speaks Canada.

Meticulon Is Looking For Consultants

  • Are you on the Autism Spectrum?
  • Are you 18 or older?
  • Do you have experience or interest in working with computers and/or knowledge of software applications?
  • Are you fluent in English?
  • Are you a self-driven, motivated individual?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you might just have what it takes!

Please send a completed application form and resume toinfo@meticulon.com no later than August 1st, 2017.

For more information, please visit: www.meticulon.com/apply-now

Download the PDF flyer.


— The Ability Hub Team

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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