Autism Societies and Associations in Alberta
A lot of autism societies focus mostly on children, but as those children get older, more of the associations are starting to include adults. This is what’s happened with Autism Calgary Association.
Autism Calgary (AC) – for families of children, teenagers and adults, and people with ASD – member families in Calgary and Area, from Lake Louise to Medicine Hat, and Crossfield to High River. Formed in 1990 and incorporated as a Society in 1992. AC is taking the lead in supporting families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Calgary and the surrounding area. Goals: Provide advice, information and referral; workshops for families, and for allied professionals; building relationships among families and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders; advocacy and public awareness so that those affected by ASD and their families can have a meaningful and rewarding life as part of the community. AC publishes a monthly newsletter with the current happenings in the autism community for Calgary and area. AC has Canada’s largest autism specific library with books and DVDs. AC holds Information and support meetings and peer to peer recreational groups such as weekly swim time at VRRI, the GoGroup and the Pokemon Club. and a Christmas party and Summer party each year to bring families together. Contact: Ph. (403) 250-5033. Fax: (403) 250-2625. Email: info [at] autismcalgary [dot] com . Website: www.autismcalgary.com Address: 3639 26 Street NE Calgary AB T1Y 5E1
Autism Society Central Alberta (ASCA) – families in Red Deer, Drumheller, Sundre, Ponoka, Rocky Mountain House, Drumheller, etc. ASCA seeks to raise public awareness; publishes a bi-monthly newsletter. ASCA conducts fundraising to better the lives of people with Autism and their families; informs health, education and other government agencies about issues and problems of people with Autism; presents seminars and workshops to provide up-to-date information to parents, caregivers, and educators; is a parent support and information group for families with a member diagnosed with Autism or a related disorder; hosts support meetings the third Tuesday of each month to share information, discuss issues/concerns and celebrate successes; coordinates a Swim Program, Summer Program and other Recreational activities for children with Autism and their families. Contact Person: Phone 403.340.2606 ext. 50 | Fax 403.340.2615, email: autismsociety100 [at] yahoo [dot] com Mailing Address: Children’s Services Centre 4826 – 47th Street, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada T4N 1R2
Autism Edmonton – for families of children, teenagers and adults – Answers questions from all of Northern Alberta – Autism Edmonton is composed of families in Edmonton and the surrounding area, helping those in Northern Alberta as well, and was founded in 1971. For its first 12 years, Autism Edmonton operated a private school for children with autism. The mission statement of Autism Edmonton is “to create a community where individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders are valued and achieve their full potential.” Their vision is that “Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders are able to reach their full potential within an accepting community that provides safety, support and opportunity.” Autism Edmonton is a non-profit, charitable organization, founded in 1971 by a group of parents and professionals. For the next 12 years, the society operated a private school for children with autism. In 1983, the school was placed under the jurisdiction of the Edmonton Public School Board. They have: Parent Support Groups – One for parents of individuals with autism, and one for parents of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome/PDD; Adults with Asperger’s Drama Group – run by a local psychologist; Library and Resource Materials – Including books, periodicals, conference proceedings, articles, audio and videotapes; Communication Support Devices and materials including: Boardmaker software, color printer, laminator, for creating visual support materials. Also an augmentative communication devices lending library. All hardware and software was generously donated by Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities. A quarterly newsletter, Autism Now. Family programs: Autism Edmonton provides a summer aide program and various social activities for persons with autism/PDD and their families. Advocacy and Partnerships: Advocacy support for inclusive educational placements; educational program liaison with EPSB district autism sites; initiated and chairs the Autism Collaboration Team with professionals in the field; representation to government focus groups and committees; and member of the Autism Society Alberta and Autism Society Canada. Contact: Autism Edmonton, #101-11720 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5G 0X5. Ph: (780) 453-3971 Fax: (780) 447-4948 website: http://www.autismedmonton.org/ Contact here : http://www.autismedmonton.org/contact
Chinook Autism Society (CAS) – Supporting families in Lethbridge and beyond. Chinook Autism Society has recently incorporated as a Society. They co-sponsor presentations and workshops as well as provide information to families and support each other. CAS is growing and developing through their own fund-raising and with a grant from the Autism Society of Alberta. Email: chinookautismsociety [at] gmail [dot] com
Families for Effective Autism Treatment of Alberta (FEAT/AB) – Advocacy parent group dedicated to providing support, information, education and guidance for parents, educators, and other professionals involved with the Autism community, who believe in the efficacy of Applied Behavioural Analysis/Functional Analysis (ABA/FA) and ABA based interventions, which are research-based approaches to treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. They also have information about alternative, complementary and biomedical approaches relating to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their treatment. These alternative approaches have some anecdotal merit and support which suggests that they can promote overall improved health and improved immune function in individuals suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders, and research is ongoing into their effectiveness. FEAT/AB suggests: “As with all alternative approaches, please consult with your medical practitioner, dietician or homeopathic doctor before embarking on or implementing any alternative approaches.” Contact people: Guy Emond, Ph: (403) 520 7424, email: feat [dot] ab [at] shaw [dot] ca. Website: http://members.shaw.ca/feat.ab/FEAT.html
Autism Society Alberta (ASA): Helping Families to Help Our Children – ASA is composed of all the local autism groups in the province. Members of ACA, ASCA, ASEA, CAS and FEAT/AB are therefore automatically members of Autism Society of Alberta. ASA’s vision is to promote public awareness, education, treatment, advocacy and support for Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders throughout the provinceof Alberta. Members of ASA participate on many committees and boards with various provincial government ministries. ASA’s office is shared with Autism Calgary’s. Contact: 3639 26 Street NE Calgary, Alberta T1Y 5E1. Tel.: 1-877-777-7192. E-mail: info [at] autismalberta [dot] ca. Website: http://www.autismalberta.ca/
Autism Canada: Autism Canada is a new organization which was created out of a merger between Autism Society Canada and Autism Canada Foundation. Autism Society Alberta and all the other provincial autism organizations are members of Autism Canada. Their Mission is to ‘Advocate for and support Canadians with Autism and their families’ and their Vision is ‘That people on the Autism Spectrum have full, healthy and happy lives’. Their new website is well worth visiting at www.autismcanada.org.
Other Family Run Autism Related Groups in Calgary:
Allies for Autism Foundation: “Building support for autism through opportunity”. Allies for Autism Foundation is a Calgary based charitable organization founded in 2000. They raise money primarily through a “Fun Run and Walk” each September, and make grants to organizations working with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the areas of learning, research, independent living and public awareness. Allies for Autism has supported: Janus Academy, Autism Calgary Association, New Heights Learning Services, Society for Treatment of Autism, Renfrew Educational Services, Providence Children’s Centre, Calgary Quest Children’s Society and Calgary between Friends Club. Website: http://www.alliesforautism.com/
Autism Asperger Friendship Society (AAFS):
“The AAFS provides respite care in a recreational environment for families with children, teens and adults in the Autism/Asperger‘s/PDD-NOS spectrum in the Calgary area. We recognize that everyone has very unique social abilities and we do our best to expand on those skills. The outings are in a group atmosphere with AAFS leaders promoting socialization among the participants. Our activities are planned with the help of both the children and their families.” Some meetings are held at the ACA office, and they also meet in many other areas of the city for outings. Sometimes the group uses Public Transit to get to these events. The Little Autism Asperger’s Friendship Society (LAAFS) is for ages 4 – 9. AAFS is for ages 9 and over. There is a leadership group for older teens and adults. Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) contracts cover $16.00 an hour for Respite care for agencies like AAFS. Families usually pay AAFS directly, get receipts and submit them for reimbursement. There is sometimes an activity fee as well for admission and/or snacks. Contact Dean Svoboda, ph. (403) 608-5651, Contact: http://www.aafscalgary.com/contact . Website: http://www.aafscalgary.com/