Services and information about Autism Spectrum Disorder can be difficult to access outside of urban Albertan centres. In particular, rural, remote, and northern Alberta regions have unique needs related to ASD information and services. Autism Alberta, the University of Calgary, as well as community leaders and partners, are working together to better understand the information and resource needs related to ASD for rural, remote, and northern communities in Alberta.
In order to learn more, we want to talk to community members (that’s you!) touched by ASD. We are hoping you will share your knowledge to increase the understanding of the resources, gaps, strategies, and strengths that exist within your area. We will be hosting discussion groups in two selected regions over the next few months. We invite community members who have been touched by ASD (individuals with autism, family members, service providers, and other supporters) to participate in guiding the development of a strategy relevant to your community. The voices of individuals and families impacted by ASD are critical to this project. Only you can ensure issues are meaningfully addressed.
Our work has already begun! On March 15th, Dr. David Nicholas (University of Calgary), Dr. Deborah Barrett (Autism Alberta) and Kirsti Mardell (Fort McMurray community leader) hosted two initial teleconference calls for residents of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas to discuss and receive feedback regarding local resources and information. Thank you to all who joined us for providing valuable insight.
As we move forward, we will be scheduling in-person discussion groups in the Fort McMurray and Central Alberta regions to provide further time and space for community members to share perspectives and insight. If you live in either of these regions and are interested in participating in this project, please let us know.
Autism Society Alberta – Central Alberta Chapter will be holding its monthly Autism Parents Support and Information Meeting on Monday May 9th from 6:00-8:00 pm at the GH Dawe Community Center (Meeting Room 2). The first 30 minutes of the meeting will be dedicated to letting everyone know about upcoming events in our community, as well as brainstorming ideas for future community events that parents might be interested in attending. The last 90 minutes of the meeting will be a facilitated discussion on a number of topics. The topic for May is “Dealing with Diagnosis”, and our facilitator’s will be Kerri-Ann Dalstra & Jessica Schurman.
We look forward to seeing you there!
In June we are going to be screening the movie Jack of the Red Hearts at Carnival Cinemas.
Date: To be determined
Location: Carnival Cinemas, 5402 47 St., Red Deer
Aspire is a charitable organization run by a team of caring and optimistic professionals who believe in working with families, and the local community, in order that children with special needs can reach their full potential.
Formerly the Children’s Services Centre, we have been providing an understanding, supportive and knowledgeable experience for families who have children with special needs since 1985.
4826 47th Street
Red Deer AB T4N1R2