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Newsletter #15: December 2017
Autism 30 December 2017 Newsletter
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Jingle bells and carols (with noise cancelling headphones), lights flashing (with an epileptic seizure), gingerbread cookies and candy canes (that no one will eat), scheduling and decorative changes (meltdowns occur), entertaining guests at home (stimming alone in the bedroom), and seeing Santa (self-inflicted harm). These are some examples that some of our families can relate to during “The happiest season of all.”
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” But for who? Some of our community members have a joyous and festive time and are able to enjoy all aspects of the holiday season. Some do not, have a more challenging time in December, and long for January to arrive.
The reason I’m choosing to write about this topic is because these are some of the issues that arise when my autism moms talk about the holidays. I’m certain that we aren’t the only ones. My belief is when we speak about our own difficulties to others. They realise that they aren’t the only ones who have such experiences and no longer feel isolated and alone.
The other reason I’m writing this is because I want the general population to learn about our community and how to be a good friend, family member, and guest.
Our community member parents will often receive unwanted parenting advice and comments from uninformed friends, family members, and guests. They believe that their input is helping us, but I’m here to tell them, you are not. I’m writing to bring to the attention of everyone: The most important sentence you can say when you feel compelled to give advice is: “How can I help you” and listen to the parents answer and follow their lead. That’s it. It’s simple. This gift of respect and support will be much more appreciated and helpful than anything else you could possibly say.
We must realise that everyone celebrates differently. Different doesn’t mean less. We also must respect the decisions made by parents to rejoice the best way that works for their families, regardless of tradition and pressure.
We offer you our Autism 30 fans this letter as a gift to share with “helpful” friends, family members, and guest.
If you would like to give Autism 30 a gift, you can. By spreading the news about our podcast to others, and assist us in reaching out to help our community, which is a gift to us. It’s a gift we would really appreciate.
It truly can be the most wonderful time of the year if we all learn to support and respect families’ individual needs.
Quote: “For it is in giving that we receive”
By: Francis of Assisi
We hope you're enjoying and learning from Dr. Wenn Lawson's podcast, which first aired December 1st, 2017. Don't forget to tune into the finale on December 15th, 2017. These are surly not to be missed.
On January 1st, 2018, we will have in studio Nicole Provost, Founder and Director of Mayday Club Choir for Neurodiversity. This wonderful local choir is truly inspiring.
PAFN Employment Club When Fri, 8th,15th, 22nd, and 28th of December and January 5th, 10:00 – 12:00 Description Come network and meet with other individuals on the spectrum looking for work. Hear about employment programs and supports, share job finding tips and support each other in your employment journey! Please RSVP to [email protected]com
Parent to Parent Help & Advice (By Appointment) When Fri, 8th and 15th of December, 12:00 – 14:00 Description Michelle Auton will be available to speak with parents who would like a 1:1 conversation with an experienced parent. Michelle is a mother of 3, and has been involved in the autism community in BC for the past 20 years. She has a son with Autism who is now an adult. If you are a parent who would like to connect with another experienced parent, please phone the centre to make an appointment with Michelle. Tel: 604-207-1980
PAFN Christmas Celebration When Saturday, 9 Dec 2017 Description Save the date! More details to come!
Girls Club When Thu, 14 December, 18:00 – 19:30 DescriptionGIRLS CLUB is an inclusive (all ages and abilities) group that fosters fun, community, friendships, play, and "big sister-little sister" connections. It's a place for parents to connect; it's a place of acceptance, to just be yourself. Free membership & participation. To become a member, simply fill out a membership form on the website: www.ingirlsclub.com
Harry Potter Club When Sat, 16th and 30th of December, 13:00 – 16:00 Description Harry Potter Club will meet in the Library at the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub every other Saturday from 1pm-4pm. All ages are welcome to attend! For more info, please call 604 207 1980.
Connections: A Young Adult Social Club When Thu, 21 December, 18:00 – 20:30 Description Come hang out in our lifeskills lounge, play games, watch Netflix, eat pizza and make friends! Ages 15-29 Meets once a month on every 3rd Thursday of the month. $5 Donation Suggested. For more information or to RSVP, please call our front desk team at 604.207.1980.
Mayday Club Youth Choir When Wed, 3 January 2018, 18:30 – 20:00 Description Do you know a child, teen, or young adult who loves to sing or dance, and would benefit from meeting an empathetic and team-minded peer group, but struggles in social settings? Who would enjoy being mentored by like-minded young adults, and being part of an award-winning performance crew? The Mayday Club Youth Choir for Neurodiversity is now accepting applicants of all ability levels, between the ages of 5 and 30, to be part of our choral singing and hip-hop dancing performance crew for 2017 / 2018. Train under some amazing instructors, make friends, and tour the province to build confidence, and advocate for a cause you believe in! Visit us online at www.maydayclub.ca To apply, fill out our online application form, which can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VT8PWWV
Gaming Club When Thu, 4 January 2018, 18:00 – 21:00 Description Gaming Club is an inclusive club for teens and young adults with diverse abilities. Games rated E10 and under only please. $5.00 donation requested. WHO: 15-29 year olds DATE: 1st Thursday of every month TIME: 6-9 PM Please call 604-207-1980 for more information!
Pokemon Club Juniors When Sat, 6 January 2018, 15:00 – 16:45 Description A new Pokémon club for 6-14 year olds is her at the Pacific Autism Family Network! The club is a place for kids to come together and socialize about a common interest. Kids can bring their Pokémon cards, games, Nintendo DS, stuffies, toys, clothing, costumes, or anything else Pokémon related. Kids that are new to Pokémon also welcome! When: First Saturday of every month
Gummy Worm Siblings Support Group!
Join the Gummy Worms siblings group Sunday, December 17, for a fun filled afternoon of making GINGERBREAD HOUSES!
When: Sunday, December 17th
Time: 3:00pm - 4:45pm
Where: Art Space on 3rd Ave, Prince George, BC
We will be making Gingerbread houses that the kids can take home for Christmas. Please let us know if you can make it! - Corey
RSVP to [email protected]
Launch into Life!
Transitioning into adulthood and the community beyond high school can be challenging for individuals with autism and their families. Comprehensive transition planning can help to manage the challenges during this time and maximize potential for each person to live a full and meaningful life.
The Launch Program was developed to help families prepare for and respond to key life transitions, and to guide the journey from adolescence to adulthood. It helps families to focus on discovering personal strengths and areas for growth based on their youth’s individual interests, abilities, and needs by answering three key questions: 1-Where are we now? 2- Where do we want to go? 3-How are we going to get there?
We are pleased to offer a workshop series called Launch into Life! that helps families to create an Individualized Transition Plan for their child and provides valuable information in the following domains:
· Education and Employment
· Health and Well Being
· Communication and Social Relationships
· Independent Living Skills and Self-Advocacy
· Legal and Financial Issues
Families MUST be available for all sessions Thursday, January 11th - 6:00pm – 9:00pm (Parents) Thursday, January 18th - 6:00pm – 9:00pm (Parents and Youth) Thursday, January 25th - 6:00pm - 9:00pm (Parents) Venue: The Comox Valley Child Development Association - 237 3rd St, Courtenay, BC V9N 1E1 Cost: $25 per family* Register Here *Please note this program is eligible for AFU funding. Who should attend? Families and young people (13+) living with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Youth attendance is not mandatory, but welcome. Youth who do choose to attend, should be able to participate in a facilitated breakout session independently to identify their goals and create a shared vision.
Okanagan GC - Holiday Party
When: Sunday, December 10, 2017.
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Celebrate the festive season with us! Christmas crafts, yummy baked goods, and a visit with Santa Claus! Come and enjoy: Delicious holiday baked treats, fun holiday-themed crafts, photos by donation by the wonderful Amber McDermott Photography
Location: NONA (https://nona-cdc.com/contact/)
LM GC - Parent's Night Out
When: Thursday, December 14, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
A night for just the MOMS & DADS to get together and connect.... See the event invitation for more details or contact Vicky at [email protected]
Location: at the PAFN Goodlife Fitness Hub.
"What is important is to treat everyone like an individual and learning not to generalize autism. With autism, people make assumptions, but it’s very broad, and everyone’s so different. You have to treat each person as an individual".
By: Nikki Reed
(Actor who has a younger brother on the spectrum)