Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness and Acceptance Opportunities at the OCDSB  

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects one in 66 children. It occurs in all racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups and affects the way people interact and communicate with those around them. Each child and adult with ASD is unique and has their own strengths, gifts and support needs.

The month of April is recognized as World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, and in Canada, the month of October is recognized as Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. In addition, World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day is recognized on April 2nd. The goal of these dates is to help in the building of stronger, more inclusive communities for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

2022 Autism Awareness and Acceptance Webinars

In April 2022, the OCDSB hosted two webinars for parents and guardians featuring guest speaker Lauren H. Kerstein, LCSW. Lauren is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with children through adults with autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression, and relationship skill difficulties.

Session 1: Emotion Regulation Strategies in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Attendees learned to identify characteristics of anxiety in children and adolescents and received concrete, practical strategies for increasing emotion regulation skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.Watch the recording here.

Session 2: Sensory Issues and Emotions: A Guide to Assisting Children and Adolescents with Self-Awareness and Strategy Development
Participants engaged in a deeper exploration of sensory issues and the impact they have on our emotions, mental health system, and self-regulation. The presentation guided attendees through developing a better understanding of sensory challenges and strategies that might effectively assist a child with increasing their ability to understand and manage sensory issues.Watch the recording here.

2021 Autism Awareness Virtual Speaker Series 

In recognition of Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in April of 2021, the OCDSB hosted a virtual speaker series for OCDSB families and staff. Recordings of the sessions can be viewed below, and we have included additional resources for families as well.

In this session, Dr. Jed Baker discussed strategies to support how to handle restricted activities, remote learning, and altered school routines. Download the presentation slides (PDF).

In this session, Dr. Jed Baker discusses strategies to motivate individuals to learn, ways to teach social skills, and how to generalize skills and increase acceptance. Download the presentation slides (PDF).

In this panel discussion, a Community Agencies Panel shares information on supporting families in navigating services and supports locally. The discussion is based around child/youth case management and developmental services. Panelists include Kelsey McDaniel, Autism Ontario; Crystal Betton-Janes, Service Coordination Support; and MarieJosee Samson, Developmental Services Ontario.

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