Our Programs

For information about any of our offerings please contact Sarah White swhite@autism.nf.net

Centre Based Opportunities

Leisure Exploration  

Offered at all Autism Society, NL offices! In small groups, individuals of all ages will explore interests and connect with others on the spectrum who share that interest. Groups will be created surrounding specific interests (e.g Science, Lego, Harry Potter, Comics etc.). For those who have not explored or identified an interest yet, we will have a list to choose from and explore! Please note, this includes what was previously Adult Leisure.  Ages 2 years and up; $180 for 12 weeks 

Frequently asked questions (Centre Based Programs)

How do I register?

ASNL offers program registration in August, November and May. Registration is completed online and is advertised to our members, on our website and though social media. If you miss registration there is the option to enroll during the semester however, space maybe limited.

 Where does the group meet?

Each group meets at your regional office. On occasion groups take part in field trips; families will receive at least one weeks notice prior to the field trip.

Avalon- 70 Clinch Crescent, St. John’s

Eastern- 105 Manitoba Drive, Clarenville

South and Central- 21 Carmelite Road, Grandfalls-Winsor

Western-79 Broadway, Corner Brook

How often/long are the groups?

Groups meet for one hour, once a week

What is the cost?

$180 for a 12-week semester

How do I pay?

An invoice is sent to each family by the second week of the program. For the winter/spring semester two invoices will be sent; one at the beginning for 12 weeks and one part way though for the remaining 12 weeks.

What happens during a group?

Each centre based group follows the same schedule and routine:

  • Welcome Chat
  • Activity
  • Hangout Time
  • Clean Up/Goodbye

What activities each group takes part in depends on their interest; some group really enjoy crafts while others enjoy science experiments. The activities will always relate to the interest group (eg: Legos, trivia, science, movies etc.)

How are groups created?

Families register for their preferred program/interest, then participants are schedule in small groups with participants of a similar age. We also do our best to group participants with peers they know; please let us know if there is a group member you would like your participant paired with.

What if my participant isn’t enjoying their group?

If a participant isn’t feeling connected to their group members or isn’t motivated by the activities, we will do our best to offer an alternative group.

Healthy, Relationships and Sexuality (HRSA)

A 12-module program for adults with autism, developed by Autism Nova Scotia in 2017. HRSA is a  comprehensive sexuality education curriculum on an array of topics relating to relationships and sexuality, specifically developed for adults with autism.  Ages 19+; Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada

Community Based Opportunities

Offered across the province with availability based on facilities in the area. This offering aims to identify and build on individual interests in a variety of community settings to increase social opportunities, physical activity, while increasing accessibility and awareness of community organizations. The programs are facilitated by community instructors who receive consistent and ongoing support from ASNL staff. Sessions generally follow a weekly schedule and the duration of the program depends on the nature of the activity; check out our registration form for individual costs for each activity.

Below are our Avalon offerings however, if you live outside the Avalon and have a suggestion for a community based program we would love to hear from you!

Avalon Offerings:

Swimming Lessons: Swimming lessons are offered as a partnership between ASNL and local recreation facilities.  This program provides individual swim lessons with an instructor who receives instructional supports from ASNL staff. Lessons are designed to meet the individual needs of those who may not be able to take part in typical swim lessons. Ages 2+; Suitable for all abilities and water skill levels. Available at the Aquarena (Funded by GoodlifeKids  Foundation), Summit Centre Mount Pearl (Funded by Community Healthy Living Fund),  CBS Recreation Centre (not funded)

Rock Climbing: In small groups with two climbing instructors, participants will learn the basics of climbing, build self-confidence, and meet others at Wallnuts Climbing Centre. Climbing provides opportunities for gross and fine motor skill development, hand-eye coordination, and building core strength. Ages 6+ 

Music Therapy: Renee White Music Therapy offers individual & small group music therapy programs both in studio and in the comfort of your home. Each session is facilitated by a certified music therapist (MTA) with specialized training in ASD. Family or support person(s) stay onsite. Suitable for all ages & abilities. Located at Take Note Music School. 

Individual Art Therapy: Individual Art Therapy sessions are designed to address specific goal areas through a variety of therapeutic art activities such as experimenting with a variety of art textures and mediums, perceptual art, bilateral art etc.  Suitable for all ages & abilities. Located at Spectrum Consultants Group.  

Video Game Creation Classes: In small groups participants explore video game creation. This includes troubleshooting, creativity, digital art, responsibility, self confidence and socializing. Grades 2 to 9;  Located at Sassy Tuna.  

Horse Discovery Program : The Horses Discovery Program offers weekly 45 minute sessions to small groups with CANTRA Certified instructors to explore stable management, horse care, grooming, horse handling and leading. Suitable for all ages & abilities. Located at Rainbow Riders. 

Frequantly Asked Questions (Community Based Programs) 

How do I register?

ASNL offers program registration in August, November and May. Registration is completed online and is advertised to our members, on our website and though social media. If you miss registration there is the option to enroll during the semester however, space maybe limited.

What happens after I register?

Once you complete the online registration, your participant’s name will be added to our master list. As registration is “first come” your participant maybe offered a timeslot immediately however, most community programs host a new group every 8 weeks. Once your participants name is reached on the list, there will be a link sent to you via email that will allow you to select the space that works best for you families schedule – if none of these time slots work for you at that point in time, your name will go back on the list for future sessions.

What is the cost of lessons? How do I pay?

ASNL is very happy to have funding in place for the majority of our swim sessions and continues to seek funding for our other programs as well. The individual cost of each program is listed on the Program Application Form and, if there is a fee, it can be paid at the community organization during your first lesson.

 Will I get a spot every semester?

Not necessarily. In order to be as fair as possible to all families, we are working in order of the list and unfortunately cannot guarantee consecutive lessons from session to session. We greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation during this process – we are trying our very best to get your participant taking part in the community as much as possible.

What makes ASNL community based lessons different?

ASNL helps to educate and support instructors in autism awareness and strategies to make the lesson as successful as possible. A lot of this support happens before your participant even steps foot in the program – including communicating with the community organization, scheduling lessons, actively trying to seek and maintain funding to make it more affordable for you, making instructors aware of your participant’s needs, and following up on your participant’s progress. ASNL’s Community Inclusion Coordinator is regularly in attendance and commits to observing the first week of lessons to the first lesson a ASNL’s Community Inclusion Coordinator will continue to check in with families and the instructors to see how everything is going. Feel free to send along any success stories – we love hearing these! Should you have any concerns during your set, feel free to touch base with either ASNL’s Community Inclusion Coordinator or the Crew Leader so we can help you the best we can.

What resources are available during these lessons?

If you require any visual aids, please indicate on the link you get emailed to you when you get an offer. We are in the process of compiling free visual resources to be placed on the website.

If you have never been to this the community location and would like to do a tour of the facility, you can let ASNL’s Community Inclusion Coordinator know and we would be happy to arrange a time. If you need any further assistance, please reach out to ASNL’s Community Inclusion Coordinator as soon as possible so we can arrange any accommodations or get you the resources you may need to make your lesson as beneficial as possible.

What if I cannot make a lesson? 

Not a worry – life happens and this is completely okay! Please contact the contact the community organization directly if you cannot make a lesson.

Pre-Employment Programs

Transitions

Aims to identify the strengths and interests of individual participants to better prepare them for employment and meaningful community involvement beyond high school. This program provides a full year of classroom learning, enriching community volunteerism, job shadowing, and onsite summer work experience to build the confidence and skill sets of young adults on the spectrum. In the Summer months, participants are employed by our social enterprise, Good Roots Gardening.  This program is funded through the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Government of NL. Ages 18+; Annual registration in August. 

EmploymentWorks

Offers employment preparedness training and support to adults with autism and other disabilities. It is designed for individuals who want to enter or return to the workforce, and who are committed to developing and practicing the skills need to support employment success. For a full program description and to find out how to get involved in this program, check out www.employment-works.ca. The EmploymentWorks program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program.

STEP (Students Transitioning into Employment Program)

The STEP Program enables high school students who self-identify with Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in targeted career development activities and exploration. With an individualized approach, students build self-awareness and skills through structured learning sessions and community mentorship placements with the ultimate goal of identifying appropriate employment or post-secondary choices upon school leaving. The STEP Program is suitable for students in Level 2 up to school leaving year. STEP is designed for students whose primary method of communication is verbal language; are comfortable working independently, or with minimal support; and are interested in exploring career options though work placements and/or attend post-secondary education. To register please click HERE.

Family Supports

Sibling Workshop

Sibling Workshop provides an opportunity for children and youth to learn more about their family members with ASD through various activities and discussions. Participants learn to share with peers and build an understanding of what having ASD means for an individual and the family as a whole. Ages 8-18; suitable for typically-developing children and youth who have a sibling or close family member with ASD. Registration required. 

Other Offerings

Family Events

We are adding more family events so that members and their families can participate in fun activities with other families! These events will occur approximately once a month and will provide opportunities for families to connect with others through a variety of different activities.

No registration required, just ensure your membership and contact info is up to date to get all the details about when and where!  Do you have a suggestion for Family Events? We’d love to hear it!

No registration required, just ensure your membership and contact info is up to date to get all the details about when and where!  Do you have a suggestion for Family Events? We’d love to hear it!

For further information about any of our programs please contact Sarah White swhite@autism.nf.net