Autism Support Network

A special “tip of the hat” goes out to the hard working volunteers of the Autism Support Network. The parent led organization previously known as The ABA Support Network has been re-branded to better reflect their role in British Columbia.

For years now, they have been tirelessly assisting parents new to the world of autism. The countless hours that they have spent on the phone have been completely unpaid and invaluable to families affected by autism.

They continue to expand their reach in B.C. with new parent support groups opening every month as well as focused topic meetings hosted in various communities. Other initiatives include expanding the role of ABA Therapy in schools, recruiting therapists and advocating for families in need.

They have merged with the Autism Education Society and have now achieved charitable status. Please give their website a visit and join their organization (it’s free!)

Well done and congratulations on your re-launch.

The ONE Thing You Must Do

Join a parent support group. No really! You thought I was going to write about the AFU, taxes or some such thing didn’t you?

The benefits of joining a local parent support group are numerous and yes, financially beneficial.

Firstly, support groups will understand what you are going through better than any of your extended family. Only someone who has been there will understand the stresses that you are experiencing. As a guy, it pains me greatly to admit that sometimes it helps to talk about it.

OK, what about the money? You can learn many things from other parents in your community. Things such as:

  • Who are the good Behaviour Consultants in your town
  • Who is going to rip you off
  • What does the local Child Development Centre offer (this one varies dramatically across the regions)
  • What schools are supportive of ASD kids
  • What kind of school aides you can expect
  • What BI’s are good and available (yes parents do share this information)

Additionally if parents share the same Behaviour Consultant and live nearby, they can potentially save on travel costs.

I have benefited greatly over the years with the support offered by other parents in my community. My child has excellent aides some of whom we never would have found if not for the connections in our town.

OK then, which support group should you join? There are quite a few out there and I wouldn’t presume to know all of them. You should however vet the groups so their philosophy matches your own. Some are dedicated to Bio-medical treatments only while others are geared to more evidence based treatments such as ABA Therapy.

Two groups to check out are the Autism Society of BC or the ABA Support Network to see if they have a support group in your community. If there are no groups available, this is your opportunity to give back to the community by starting one.  Contact either of the before mentioned organizations for assistance in setting one up.


Special Presentation – What Can My AFU Funds Do?

The ABA Support Network is hosting a presentation that is very relevant to those us managing an ABA program using only the $22,000 or $6,000 available from the AFU. 

It’s a challenging proposition and we are lucky to have some very respected Behaviour Consultants donate their time and energy to help us understand how to manage our programs under very limited budgets.

The following is from the ABA Support Network website:

Special Presentation – based on feedback from many parents, we are going to talk about the challenges of running quality treatment programs with limited funding from the government.  What do families do that don’t have money over and above the $22,000 or $6,000 per year?
Topic:                 What Can My AFU Funds Do?
When:                 Tuesday Feb, 11  7-9pm
Where:                Surrey Sport and Leisure Center, Arena Side Upstairs Meeting Room
(16555 Fraser Hwy, Surrey, BC V4N 0E9)

At this presentation, you will hear from a panel of BCBAs, and their experience with what you can expect from both over-6 and under-6 funding from the Ministry.  Topics to be discussed include:
1.  Quality vs. Quantity — sample ABA programs of different funding models.
2.  Home vs. school — how to ensure that your child is receiving the best support and supervision with the funds you have available to you.
3.  Collaboration — other resources which can be used to help pay for collaboration with other professionals, such as SLP and OT.
4.  Goal setting — what to consider when setting goals with your consultant.
5.  The ethical perspective of your BCBA — ethical considerations for your BCBA providing consultation on a limited budget.
6.  Tips and troubleshooting  — ideas to help use the funding creatively and maintaining a great team.
We will also end with a Q & A, and invite parents to share their feedback.
please rsvp to

Autism and Beer

Two of my favorite subjects (autism and beer) are coming together in a fundraising night for the ABA Support Network. It is being held at the Central City Pub in Surrey on the 8th of May.

ABA Pub Flyer_01ABA Pub Flyer

The Central City Pub has won numerous awards for their craft beers. My personal favorite is the Imperial IPA. For every bottle sold, $5 is being donated to the Canucks Autism Network and Autism Spectrum Disorders Canadian-American Research Consortium (ASD-CARC).

This promises to be a fun night for a good cause.