CABA is now offering BCABA and BCBA supervision in Calgary (and remotely)!
Monthly Archives: June 2012
The end of the school year is fast-approaching and for families of children with autism this can be both wonderful (see: lot’s of free time) and stressful (see: lot’s of free time). Yes, summer is almost here, but it’s not too late if you’re looking for a summer camp and there are quite a few options here in Calgary to choose from:
Janus Academy has three, 2-week long, full-day (9am-3pm) summer camps. Kids can go for just one, all three sessions. This is a popular camp, and spots fill up quickly.
Between Friends (BF) offers a range of camps for children with and without disabilities. In most of the camps, kids are in small groups (from 1:2 to 1:6 camper to counselor ratio). As with most of the autism-friendly camps in Calgary, a 1:1 ratio is not offered, BUT they’re super open to outside support coming into the program (wahoo!).
- Bonaventure is their outdoor summer day camp for kids and teens (between 4 and 17) with a list of activities that make ME want to go to camp (like horseback riding, canoeing, wall climbing, swimming, sailing, and arts and crafts).
- Camp Fun’zAmust is a residential camp (i.e., it runs for a week during August, including overnight) and is designed for youth and teens (between 7 and 17). This camp is at the Easter Seals Camp Horizon site near Bragg Creek, and has some really cool activities like ropes courses, river rafting, hiking, archery (for all the Hunger Games fans out there!), and swimming.
- I.C.A.N! (Inclusive Community Activities With No Barriers) Camps is a program set up by Between Friends where they’ve partnered with a number of community summer camp providers to train Recreation Inclusion Coordinators (RIC) to educate staff on inclusion, best practices, and offer some support while your child is at camp (note: this isn’t a 1:1 support model, but rather camp staff have someone to go for guidance). Here are some of the ICAN! camps to check out:
The Talisman Centre is one of the many programs to partner up with BF, and offers a schwack of integrated programs from “play for life” (a little bit of everything camp), to gymnastics to yoga.
The Calgary Zoo has the same deal going on as the Talisman. They’ve also partnered with the BF to make sure that all kids, including kids with disabilities can go to camp. So if your child is an animal lover, or Zoologist at heart, this might be the camp for you! The Zoo Tots (ages 4-6) is sold out, but they still have spots left in their Discover the Zoo Camp (Grades 1-6), Art Camp (Gr. 1-6), and Youth Wildlife Workshop for Teens (Gr. 7-12).
The City of Calgary’s Southland and Village Square Leisure Centres offer your traditional summer day camps to children 3-12, with a range of activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, games, sports and field trips. They have both full day and half-day programs and run from July 3 to August 31 (to see the camps, click on the link and scroll down to page 36).
Let us know if you’re planning on sending your child to summer camp, share your experiences with sending your child to camp (the good and the bad!), and Contact Us and we can help you make the most out of your child’s summer camp experience!
Autism and ABA learning opportunities in Calgary are a bit of a rarity (and I’m hoping to change that – I’ve paired up with Autism Calgary and will be presenting the first of hopefully many workshops in September 2012 on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart: sleep (details to follow). In the meantime, here are my top picks for upcoming conferences and workshops in the summer months (on the web and around the globe):
Penn State National Autism Conference (July 30–August 2, 2012): FREE, yes you heard me, FREE webcasting! With a ton of excellent speakers (Sundberg, Esch, Iwata, Vollmer, and Cicero to name a few), and a myriad of topics to choose from (AAC for ASD, peer support and promoting inclusion, planning for autism emergencies, teaching children to follow instructions, girls and ASD, and effective toilet training and so on), clear your calendars folks because this is one you won’t want to miss! And did I mention FREE?!
Autism Society National Conference and Exposition (July 25-28, 2012 – San Diego, California): With presenters like Turnbull, Dunlap and Durand (aka the godfather of sleep and children with special needs), and an eclectic mix of topics (with a surprising amount focusing on adolescents and adults, which is all too often a rarity in the field), this is another conference that if you can swing it will be a good one, plus if you’ve ever wanted to go to Disney (and who doesn’t love Disney?!), this is your excuse.
Michelle Garcia Winner and Carol Gray Together at the Vancouver Convention Centre (August 16-17, 2012, Vancouver, British Columbia): This doesn’t happen often. Two wonderful, incredible speakers like this, teaming up to host a two-day workshop. Day 1 focuses on social strategies to teach people with ASD and Day 2 focuses on teaching “thinking” and cognitive behavioural strategies.
Beyond these, some of my favourite sites I compulsively check for new, upcoming conferences and workshops are:
Community Education Services (right here in Calgary, run by Alberta Health Services and Alberta’s Children’s Hospital)
Autism Community Training (from our neighbors to the West in Vancouver, BC but often have live webcastings if you can’t make the trek out there)
Geneva Centre for Autism (in Toronto, ON, but also offer most of their workshops as live webcastings)
Autism Training Solutions (an excellent web-based training site that offers FREE webinars, and keeps a large collection of previous sessions that you can access at any time)
If you know of any upcoming conference and workshops (in Calgary or otherwise) share them with us!
There are great resources for children and families with autism and other disabilities in Calgary, but unlike the other cities I’ve lived in, finding them here is half the battle. Today I went on an adventure to explore some of the wonderful resources Calgary has to offer, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. Here are some of the highlights of the day.
Autism Calgary has an extensive resource library that’s open to members (membership to parents and professionals is free), plus it’s open on a frequent basis ( 9am – 5pm Tuesday to Thursday). The only downside is that you can only take two books at a time, which is hard for me because every time I go in there to get a book I find a handful of other books I want to take home with me.
The Ability Hub is another “must have” resource for families and professionals in Calgary. Not only do they boast a large collection of books and other materials (some of which can be accessed online) in their Resource Centre, but they also have a Boardmaker workstation set up in their brand new facility so you can create visuals, print and laminate without all the fuss (and expense) of doing it at home. What a grand idea! The Resource Centre also comes with Ambassadors (aka super friendly knowledgeable types) to help you navigate your way through the the mountain of resources, and questions you may have. As an added bonus, many of the Ambassadors have a personal experience with someone with autism (e.g., a child, a family member or a friend), so if you’re a parent and all of this is new to you, you can be confident that someone knows what you’re going through and can help you find the support you’re looking for.