News

ASNL Events

Harvest of Hope

Saturday, October 5, 2019

For more information, please click here.

 

Active for Autism

Sunday, October 20, 2019

For more information, please click here.

 

Be Cool For Autism

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Stay tuned for details!

Third Party Events

Bird in Motion

Saturday, June 1, 2019 – Sunday, August 31, 2019

James Walker and Gadget, a 10 year old Brazilian Caique Parrot, are crossing Canada to help grow awareness and acceptance of ASD all while raising funds for ASNL. Leaving Calgary on June 1, 2019, travel to Glovertown in NL, and then returning to Calgary in September.

For more information and to donate to this cross-country adventure, please click here.  PLEASE NOTE: We can only accept donations through our CanadaHelps page.

Musicians for Autism – Royal Canadian Legion in Corner Brook

Sunday, July 21, 2019 from 2pm – 12am

Come out and enjoy some local talent: Sunday Night Boys, Tragically Hip Cover Band, Colin Mahoney, Big Train, Rev Dave & the Sin Eaters, Alley Cats, Big Talk Sam and more! Show your support for families and individuals living with autism spectrum disorder. There will be a Live Auction with Auctioneer Lenny Benoit and Screech-in featuring Uncle Cletus. For more information please email Amy at aparsons@autism.nf.net or call 709.637.7450.

 

Jake’s Show N Shine

Saturday, August 24, 2019

For more information and to register your vehicle, please CLICK HERE.

 

Atlanti-Con Science FIction & Fantasy Festival

Friday, September 27, 2019 – Sunday, September 29, 2019

For more information, please click here.

Michael Scott Memorial Scholarship

The Michael Scott Memorial Scholarship valued at $1000 annually. It is awarded to one graduate of a senior high school in Newfoundland and Labrador with officially diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for the Michael Scott Memorial Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Reside in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Display integrity and perseverance in overcoming challenges
  • Be involved in co-curricular and community service activities
  • Be graduating high school and entering a post-secondary institution in the fall of 2019
  • Maintain a minimum grade percentage of 65 with a graduation diploma that is either Distinction, Academic, or General
  • Be accepted into an accredited program or curriculum at a NL College or University as a full-time student
  • Have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Applicants for the Michael Scott Memorial Scholarship are required to complete the application in its entirety.  The Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador, will use the application to evaluate you as a candidate. Incomplete and/or late submissions will not be considered.

 

Download the scholarship application form below

Scholarship Application Form 2019

E-mail your completed application and supporting documents by July 26, 2019 to: Scott Crocker, CEO, at scrocker@autism.nf.net

The successful recipient will be notified by August 9, 2019.

Raise Your Hand: NL Election 2019 Resources

Issues That Matter

On Thursday May 16, 2019 Newfoundlanders & Labradorians head to the polls for a provincial election. Each of us has the choice to support representatives we believe will help make the best decisions for our province. This includes decisions about how our province supports people on the autism spectrum and their families. You may be interested in starting a conversation with your local candidate to gauge their understanding and support for issues that matter to the autism community. Our 2018 Position Statement Booklet may help guide your conversations and questions.

Letters to Leaders

Letter to Leader Dwight Ball
Liberal Response Letter to Autism Society, NL

Letter to Leader Ches Crosbie
PC Response Letter to Autism Society, NL 

Letter to Leader Allison Coffin
NDP Response Letter to Autism Society, NL

Our Downloadable Resources

Download our Position Statement Booklet (PDF)
Candidate Question Guide

Election Resources

Liberal Party Platform
Progressive Conservative Party Platform
New Democratic Party Platform

Elections Newfoundland & Labrador
Official Candidate List
Elections Newfoundland & Labrador Accessibility Resources 

Media

NL Votes 2019: Provincial Autism Action Plan must keep channels open, support group CEO says (Gulf News)

Thank you for supporting Be Cool For Autism

We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who participated in our first ever Be Cool for Autism campaign in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2019. We were overwhelmed by the positive response and greatly appreciate all the support and donations we received from Newfoundlanders and Labradorians from all nooks and crannies from across the province.

We’re proud to announce that this campaign raised $24,645!

Your support means the world to us – THANK YOU!

This success would not be possible without our participating schools:

We’d also like to thank those who made monetary donations to our regions.

AVALON REGION

EASTERN REGION

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION

WESTERN REGION

Thank you all so much for the support! We can’t wait for next year!

Autism Society NL Response to Autism Action Plan

Good Day.

The Government of Newfoundland & Labrador has released its long-awaited Autism Action Plan. There are 46 actions in the Plan; we hope they are implemented during the next 3 years. Each action is too important to families to be delayed. Autism Society NL hopes they remain a priority through this upcoming provincial election and, more importantly, after the election. Families waited many years for a time when their loved ones can access individualized, needs-based services and supports that improve quality of life.

It appears department silos may end and there will be a comprehensive, integrated approach to autism service delivery across departments, with ease of navigation for individuals and families being a core feature. We have advocated for this for many years.

ASNL is particularly excited about several of the 46 actions.

Elimination of IQ70: Action 2.9 – Eligibility for Community Support Services will be based on functional need for support rather than intellectual disability.

Access to Quality Professional Development: Action 6.3 – ASD-specific professional development opportunities will be provided for primary health care clinicians.

Wait Times for Assessment/Diagnosis: Action 1.7 – Reduction in wait times for an ASD diagnosis by aligning diagnostic procedures with national standards.

Service Provision Uninterrupted by Transition through Life Stages:Action 2.4 – Seamless service provision for children and youth living with ASD up to age 21, through development of a new Provincial Autism Services Program.

Residential and other Supported Living Options in Community: Action 5.6 – Increased residential and other supported living options for individuals with significant complex needs.

Minister Haggie has noted on many occasions that ASNL provides supports that government does not, and cannot, replicate. They include services, supports, programs and the lived experience connections we have with individuals and families across the province. ASNL supports the Autism Action Plan and actions this government has committed to delivering.

However, while the release of this Action Plan is a huge initiative for families and communities, the $2.5M allotted is not connected in any way to the funding shortfall at ASNL. Presently, ASNL fill a number of important service gaps that cannot be abandoned until the actions in this plan become a reality. We still face incredible financial challenges that can only result in staff layoffs/reassignments. These will impact delivery of services, supports and programs. Those who have now had an opportunity to read the Action Plan can see that some of the actions will remain the responsibility of community agencies, such as ourselves. But we will not be able to deliver on these without changes to our current financial reality.

We still hope that, included in the hundreds of millions of dollars in spending announced in Budget 2019, there is a $300,000 increase in annual core funding for Autism Society NL, effective immediately, in this current fiscal.

You can view the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Press Release here

You can view an online version of the Autism Action Plan here

To read the Autism Society NL 2018 Position Statement Booklet click here

Regards,
Scott Crocker, CEO

ASNL Operations are Unsustainable

Program, Service and Staff Cuts Coming at Autism Society NL

Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador (ASNL), cannot sustain present operations with current revenue streams. Government itself is in a difficult financial situation and seems unable to increase the annual core fund, which provides 50% of ASNL’s budget. Government has helped reduce past deficits, streamlined some ASNL operations and just recently provided rent-free space for ASNL’s South-Central Regional Office in Grand Falls-Windsor. ASNL’s fundraised revenue provides the other 50% of budgeted funds. However, that fundraised revenue has dropped 50% annually ($300,000) since 2016. That annual $300,000 deficit, driven by the province’s economic downturn, is crippling ASNL since 2016.

ASNL provides critical supports – social programs for children, youth and adults; navigation help for families; community engagement; advocacy; and job readiness/employment programs – for those on the spectrum and their families. NL has the highest incidence rate for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Canada, at 1:57. ASNL delivers specific services that government and others do not provide for the ASD community. Program participants have more than tripled since 2013. Community engagement reached almost 20,000 people in 2018, including more than 1200 First Responders since 2016.

ASNL does not want to abandon any of those we serve, in any region of NL. We make a real difference in the lives of those affected by ASD. But if the lost fundraised revenues cannot be replaced quickly, there is no option but to cut programs and services. Staff layoffs will mean the loss of vital supports for the ASD community.

Numerous and varied fundraising activities and events still occur. They net approximately $325,000 that helps cover some of the cost of delivering programs and services. But that amount is 50% less than it was; it is not enough. The core fund from government has not increased since 2012 and fundraised revenue has declined significantly since 2016. Costs for operations and staff have increased.

Autism Society NL needs $300,000 in additional funding annually, but it does not have one major corporate sponsor. Owning your own property and facilities, and employing trained, experienced staff to deliver programs and services to nearly 400 participants each semester is proving costly. Unfortunately, reductions will negatively impact participants, families, classrooms, community recreation facilities, employers, and the community at large.

ASNL makes a real difference in the lives of people affected by autism. Without a community partnership with one or more corporate sponsors, and additional investment each year, access to programs, supports and services in our ASD community will continue to become more and more limited for children, youth, adults, their families and caregivers.

Scott Crocker

Chief Executive Officer

Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador

Be Cool for Autism

Online Donations:

Donate to Avalon

Donate to Eastern

Donate to South Central

Donate to Western

😎

We want to spread the word that it’s cool to be accepting of everyone, and you can help us! We’re excited to unveil our new event in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Be Cool for Autism is a province-wide campaign aimed to help raise autism awareness and autism acceptance while raising funds for ASNL.

Be Cool for Autism encourages students, teachers, and workplaces to wear their sunglasses on April 2, 2019. We’re asking individuals to wear their sunglasses, make a donation and share their best selfie or group photo with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtag #BeCoolForAutism and tagging us @AutismSocietyNL.

Read the Press Release here!

How can you take part in Be Cool for Autism?

This part is really simple.

  1. Wear sunglasses at school, work, or in the community on Tuesday, April 2nd
  2. Make a donation to Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador
  3. Don’t forget to post a picture of yourself and/or your group with your sunglasses on social media using #BeCoolForAutism and tag us @AutismSocietyNL

What do I need?

Just some sunglasses and a positive attitude. After all, it’s cool to be accepting of everyone!

What if I don’t have sunglasses?

This is also totally cool as we have created a graphic that can be downloaded here. Many groups are choosing this route so everyone’s glasses are the same. You can even colour them or design them however you want!

Where can I donate my money?

Fundraised money can be donated online or by mailing a cheque to any of the four Autism Society, Newfoundland and Labrador offices.

Donate to Avalon Online
Donate to Eastern Online
Donate to South Central Online
Donate to Western Online 

Mailing addresses:

Autism Society Newfoundland Labrador
Avalon Region Office
P.O Box 14078
St. Johns, NL A1B 4G8

Autism Society Newfoundland Labrador
Eastern Region Office
P.O. Box 9194
Clarenville, NL A5A 2C2

Autism Society Newfoundland Labrador
South Central Region Office
P.O. Box 133
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2J4

Autism Society Newfoundland Labrador
Western Region Office
79 Broadway
Corner Brook, NL, A2H 4E1

Downloadable Materials

I’m participating- Facebook Shareable Picture (JPEG)
I’m participating- Instagram Shareable Picture (JPEG)
I’m participating- Twitter Shareable Picture (JPEG)
I’m participating- Linkedin Shareable Picture (JPEG)

Be Cool for Autism Printable Sunglasses Craft
Be Cool for Autism Colouring Sheet

Be Cool For Autism Poster for your School or Workplace

Pledge Sheets

Be Cool For Autism Pledge Sheet – Avalon
Be Cool For Autism Pledge Sheet – Eastern
Be Cool For Autism Pledge Sheet – South Central
Be Cool for Autism Pledge Sheet – Western Region

Questions about autism?– We’ve got you covered!

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. People with autism may see, hear and feel the world differently than other people. Individuals do not outgrow their diagnosis, however, many therapies and interventions have a proven ability to improve outcomes.

Autism is a spectrum condition that presents differently among individuals, but involves similar behaviours and characteristics that are expressed to varying degrees. These are typically related to communication, social interaction, executive function, and sensory processing.

How common is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (2018), the prevalence of autism is 1 in 66 for children and youth in Canada. In Newfoundland & Labrador specifically the rate is 1 in 57; the highest reported in the country.

What does Autism Spectrum Disorder look like?

Autism can be tricky for people to ‘see’ as it does not have a physical presentation.

How should I speak to someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

You should treat someone with autism the same way you would treat anyone; with kindness and acceptance. For some people the processing time in a conversation may be longer which means you may need to be a little patient and provide the person with extra time to process what you have said/asked and respond. It’s best to follow the person’s lead when it comes to their communication preferences.

Understand that some crowded or overstimulating environments may be difficult for people with autism. Acknowledging the stress a person can experience in certain contexts can go a long way in creating a more inclusive community.

 

 

EmploymentWorks Canada

EWC Recruitment Poster

EmploymentWorks Canada (EWC) is a federally funded, evidence-informed 12-week program that offers employment preparedness training, as well as substantial experiential community-based job sampling and work experience for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Focusing on the development and application of skills required in the workplace, the 60 hour program consists of 24 sessions, delivered twice per week over 12 weeks, for 2.5 hours session. The first weekly module comprises structured, yet tailored content aimed at employment and social skill building, while the second module focuses on review of the learned concepts from the previous session, follow-up on homework, and the application of learning through experiential activities in a real work environment.

Criteria for selection:

–       ASD Diagnosis

–       Age 15 and over

–       No longer attending high school

–       Not EI eligible

–       Available twice a week for 2.5 hour learning sessions over the 12 week period

–       Comfortable learning in group and community environments

Locations/dates:

St. Johns: April – June, 2019

Western Region – May – July, 2019

Central Region – September –December, 2019

 

If you are interested in learning more about this program please contact Sarah White at swhite@autism.nf.net or 709-722-2803 ex 225.

 

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program, The Sinneave Family Foundation, and Autism Society, NL

New Online Store

We’re so excited to announce that we have an online store!

Shop for some ASNL swag from the comfort of your home. CLICK HERE

 

New Position Statement Booklet

You can read the full document by clicking here

Today, Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador (ASNL), released the third volume of its Position Statement Booklet, titled Issues That Matter. It details the organization’s advocacy priorities for improving the lives of those affected by autism, and their families.

In October 2018, ASNL surveyed families, adults with autism, and professionals about the issues that matter most to them. This booklet is a summary of the feedback that was received.

The booklet is divided into four sections. Each section provides ASNL’s position on priority issues and gives recommendations for service improvement.

  • Lifelong: Removal of IQ70; Continuity of Care; Access to Mental Health Services
  • Preschool: Timely Assessment and Diagnosis; 18-Month Screening; Timely Referral and Early Identification; Access to Therapeutic Services & Interventions; Improvements to the Early Intervention Program
  • School-Age: Transitioning into School, Between Grades and/or Schools, and Out of School; Public School Supports; Professional Development for Educators and Support Staff
  • Adult: Employment Equity; Post-Secondary Education Supports; Residential Options

Gift of Giving

If you’ve been wondering what to give that special someone who seems to have everything, please consider making a donation to Autism Society NL this holiday season. Give the gift of giving and allow us to continue to be there for families in the upcoming new year.

GIVING LEVELS

AWARENESS – $25

Support autism understanding and acceptance in your community through a variety of campaigns.

Donate to ASNL Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism – St. John’s

Donate to ASNL Eastern Regional Office – Clarenville

Donate to ASNL South & Central Regional Office – Grand Falls-Windsor

Donate to ASNL Western Regional Office – Corner Brook

 

OUTREACH – $50

Fund an autism awareness outreach presentation to an interested group.

Donate to ASNL Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism – St. John’s

Donate to ASNL Eastern Regional Office – Clarenville

Donate to ASNL South & Central Regional Office – Grand Falls-Windsor

Donate to ASNL Western Regional Office – Corner Brook

 

FAMILY SUPPORT – $100

Make a difference to a family who is beginning their autism journey. Help us provide information and support to someone with a recent diagnosis.

Donate to ASNL Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism – St. John’s

Donate to ASNL Eastern Regional Office – Clarenville

Donate to ASNL South & Central Regional Office – Grand Falls-Windsor

Donate to ASNL Western Regional Office – Corner Brook

 

PROGRAM SUPPLIES – $200

Provide supplies to one of our many programs for one month. A donation of $1500 keeps programs supplied for an entire year.

Donate to ASNL Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism – St. John’s

Donate to ASNL Eastern Regional Office – Clarenville

Donate to ASNL Western Regional Office – Corner Brook

 

OPERATIONS – $500

Help us with a utility bill for one month.

Donate to ASNL Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism – St. John’s

Donate to ASNL Eastern Regional Office – Clarenville

Donate to ASNL South & Central Regional Office – Grand Falls-Windsor

Donate to ASNL Western Regional Office – Corner Brook