Blog: News, Events & Articles

Computer Game about life with ASD November 20, 2017

Autism at the mall is a game made a few years ago by a young man in Calgary with ASD. The game is meant to help others understand, in a fun way, what it is like for individuals with autism when they are having sensory overload in a busy environment like a mall. The aim of the game is to avoid the NTs (neurotypicals) and find your way to your mom at the other end of the mall. Check it out today here!
About the creator:
Peter Locke is an avid electronic music composer and computer game developer who lives in Calgary with his dog Cassie. Peter’s music has been featured in advertisements and educational videos for numerous small Canadian businesses, such as a recent promotional video for Video Games Traders in Calgary. You can watch the video here. Also, his music was used in a NASA online educational game called Space Forensics (check it out here).  His five computer games (Fireball, The Wizja, Sumo Fighter, Autism at the Mall and Sword of Clay) can be played for free on his website www.petermobeter.com.
Aidan visits the Library! New Vlog episode! November 16, 2017

Season 2, episode 2 of the Vlog: Aidan visits the Autism Calgary Library!

Aidan tells us about some of the sections int he library and how you can also get your own library card for free!

 

Lessons Learned as a Behavioural Aide October 23, 2017

Lessons Learned as a Behavioural Aide

By Rachel Pagaling  

 

As an undergrad, I have always been interested in developmental psychology, specifically parent-child relationships and atypical child development. When I graduated in April I wanted to equip myself with practical experience outside the classroom walls in preparation for graduate studies in school and clinical child psychology. When I applied to work as a behavioural aide for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) I thought I knew what I was getting myself into – but I was in for a surprise! Working as a behavioural aide for children with ASD has challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally – all in the best possible way! Each child is wonderfully unique and I am still learning something new everyday. Working as a behavioural aide for children with ASD has contributed to my overall interest in developmental psychology and has greatly influenced my desire to further my studies in this area.

There are four main lessons I have learned working as a behavioural aide for children with ASD. First, they have a fresh way of seeing the world – as adults we can get caught up with daily hassles and strict deadlines. In the midst of our busy lives, we tend to forget and appreciate the simple things. Working as a behavioural aide, I am reminded of how the little things can change a person’s mood and day. The children I work with brought my attention to precious moments and simple objects I would not even look twice at if I were just by myself. Moments as simple as watching a ladybug crawling down your finger, saying, “hi!” to your neighbour walking their dog, or blowing dandelion seeds to the wind can bring a smile to your face and instantly brighten your day.

  playing

Second, in addition to seeing the world with fresh eyes, children with ASD are creative! They do not receive enough credit for their achievements and talents. I had the opportunity to work with a 10-year-old client who was a very talented artist. She absolutely loved Max and Ruby and she could replicate on paper exactly how they were made in the cartoon. Another client I worked with loved reading and writing. She would create worlds and tell me her fascinating stories about each world.
Third, I learned that many children with ASD do have an interest in other people and they can clearly exhibit behaviours that prove so. While I was running with a client at the park, I accidentally fell and hurt my knee. I pulled up my pant leg to see if the fall left a scratch on my skin. There was no scratch but the client I was working with saw what I was doing and calmly said, “You’ll be O.K.” all the while softly patting my knee. I had another client who, during her snack time, broke her granola bar in half, made great eye contact, and offered her other half to me.
Lastly, by working as a behavioural aide I learned that all children need constant support and dependable people to look up to and promote positive interactions. All children need love and comfort when tough situations present themselves, patience when learning something new, and praise and encouragement when they complete a task and achieve their goals. Furthermore, all children want to be accepted; they desire to be understood and acknowledged by their teachers and peers. At the end of each day, all children want to be loved, encouraged, and accepted. I love my job and I look forward to working with children everyday. I have learned so much working as a behavioural aide and I am excited to learn even more from these creative, thoughtful, and amazing children in the future!

Sensory and Mobility Friendly Halloween Event October 17, 2017

Being a part of an inclusive community is a priority for Southcentre. As part of our commitment we are pleased to offer our third annual inclusive Halloween event for children from 2 to 12 years old with special needs.

This free Halloween event runs from 8:30am to 10:30am on Sunday October 29th.

This event was designed to meet the concerns and challenges of families who have autistic children and children with mobility disabilities who want to celebrate Halloween festivities in a supportive environment. We understand that children with autism sometimes react to a departure from usual routine or become upset by overstimulation. Situations with crowds of people also can be frightening. For this reason, the event will provide safe boundaries to help children stay calm and enjoy the fun and alleviate parents’ worries. We also understand that children with mobility disabilities need to trick of treat in an accessible environment which we are able to offer.
Q and A
1. When will the event happen?
 Sunday October 29th 8:30 am-10:30 am
2. What will happen?
 Our event is planned to take place before the shopping centre is open to provide a quiet, supportive environment
 Costumes are optional for the children. If your child decides to wear a costume, we ask that no one wears face masks or overtly scary costumes.
 Our staff and volunteers will be wearing Halloween themed t-shirts so that you may identify them.
 The lights and music in the shopping centre will be off. Please note that our centre receives plenty of natural light
 We will have 10 trick or treat stations, some with photo opportunity stations (3), so that the children and their families can visit each station to “trick or treat” and take a fun photo. Please bring your own camera for the photo. Saying trick or treat not expected, but is welcome if your child would like.
3. What type of items will be at the trick or treat stations?
 We will have typical Halloween candy items at 8 of the stations. One station will have SunRype juice. One station will have SunRype Fruit to Go, 100% fruit snacks which do not contain peanuts, tree nuts, or gluten and there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Additional stations will have products supplied by our retailers.
 If your child requires non-food treats due to dietary restrictions please let us know in advance when you register. Limited non-food based treats such a small plastic spider rings will be provided at every station in lieu of food based items by pre-request only. We cannot guarantee a nut free environment.
4. How much time will I need to spend at the centre?
 We estimate that it will take approximately ½ -1 hour to visit all the stations and take photos at the booths, however, you may spend as much or as little time as you would like. Please know that our centre begins to open its doors at 11am and we will see some general traffic, including mall employees, prior to retailers’ opening time at 11am. We recommend you book an early slot if you require a quieter environment. The Halloween activities will be taken down at 11am.
5. Will I have to wait in lines?
 We will be staggering entry times in 15 minute increments to assist in decreasing any wait time and congestion.
While we understand that delays can happen, we do ask that you do your best to arrive as close to your allotted time as possible so that wait time can be minimized for everyone, and we can provide the most supportive environment possible for success. Time slots are listed below:
o 8:30 am 8:45 am
o 9:00 am 9:15 am
o 9:30 am 9:45 am
o 10:00 am 10:15 am
o 10:30 am
7. Am I able to bring my child’s siblings?
 Yes, you may bring your child’s siblings with you as well. Please let us know when you register how many children you will be bringing so that we can be sure to have enough treats for everyone. As we have limited space and are trying to provide the most supportive environment possible, we ask that only siblings in the immediate family be brought to the event.
9. How can I make/change/cancel an appointment for my child?
 You can register your child starting by calling (403) 225-9100. We will take registrations until October 26 at 4pm or until the event is full. Please press 4 and leave a voicemail if there is no answer and your call will be returned.
 Space is limited to the first 150 families who register. Once you are registered, further information including confirmation of your time slot, parking, and check- in information will be provided directly to you.
Please note that this year’s event will be filmed to be shared with media post event. Waivers will be e-mailed prior to the event to print off at your convenience, and some copies will be available at the event in case you cannot print yours from home. Should you not wish to appear on camera please let our event staff know.

Volunteers NEEDED Dec 26 & 27 for Autism Calgary Casino October 12, 2017

Volunteers are needed for our upcoming Casino!!!

When: December 26 & 27, 2017

Location: Cash Casino. 4040 Blackfoot Trail SE map

The Casino brings in a significant amount of money for our organization. It will help us provide the best service to YOU our members. It is also a great way to meet other people and did I mention the free meal!

Thank you so much! We can’t do this event without you!

Please sign up for a shift by clicking the button below.

Eventbrite - Autism Calgary Casino

Season 2 of Aidan’s Vlogs are here! September 25, 2017

Well, fall is here and with it comes new seasons of all our favorite shows…

including the ‘Autism Calgary with Aidan’ vlog!

Season 2 episode 1 features Aidan exploring Autism Calgary’s new website!

 

Volunteers NEEDED Dec 26 & 27 for Autism Calgary Casino September 14, 2017

Volunteers are needed for our upcoming Casino!!!

When: December 26 & 27, 2017

Location: Cash Casino. 4040 Blackfoot Trail SE map

The Casino brings in a significant amount of money for our organization. It will help us provide the best service to YOU our members. It is also a great way to meet other people and did I mention the free meal!

Thank you so much! We can’t do this event without you!

Please sign up for a shift by clicking the button below.

Eventbrite - Autism Calgary Casino

Father’s Autism Network – Tues, Nov 14th 7-9pm August 20, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 7-9pm
Location: Bootleggers Bar & Grill
3444 32 Ave NE Calgary AB 

Eventbrite - Autism Calgary Father's Autism Network Multiple Dates

If you are unable to register with the EventBrite link above, leave a voice message at 403-250-5033 (dial zero), leave your name and contact information.
At our next scheduled meeting, come and take a break, join other fathers for a night out.  We will relax, talk about the weather, politics, sports, stock prices for Tea,… whatever interests us.  We may also plan for some outings and activities; sometimes with and sometimes without our children, youth, or adult kids, and/or significant other.  For some meetings we might have a special guest, but we’ll let you know ahead of time on this website blog.

As parents living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we don’t often have time to get together with our friends or to get to know our neighbours.  And so the Fathers Autism Network or FAN is here!

FAN has been Inspired by a volunteer dad that has come forward to lead the team, Mr. Andrew Joseph.  Come join Andrew and other fathers at one of our monthly FAN meetings.

Fathers of children, youth, or adult children with ASD, and fathers that may have ASD themselves are welcome to join FAN.

 

Next KITs will be Thursday, Oct 12 & Monday Oct 23 from 7-9pm. August 10, 2017

 

KIT “Keeping it Together” Mom’s Self-Care Group.

Keeping It Together (KIT) is a “self-care support group” specifically for moms of loved ones with ASD of all ages (toddlers, children, teens and adult children). Consider this your “girls night out” and get together with other moms who go through the same challenges, obstacles and share the simplest of wins. Let’s experience who we are as women not someone’s Mom or wife. We listen, understand and accept. The majority of the evening is focused on self-care through interactive presentations. We empower ourselves and each other. Please bring your journal. If you are new to the group a personal journal will be gifted to you.


Thursday, October 12 from 7-9pm

Topic: TBA

Eventbrite - Keeping it Together - Mom's Group - an Autism Calgary Event Multiple Dates

 

Monday, october 23 from 7-9pm

Topic: TBA

Eventbrite - Keeping it Together - Mom's Group - an Autism Calgary Event Multiple Dates


Where: Autism Calgary Office – 3639 26th Street NE map

*Please note that child care is not provided.
For Questions contact: moc.y1513270428ragla1513270428cmsit1513270428ua@ti1513270428k1513270428

Pokemon Night at Autism Calgary – 1st & 3rd Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30pm! August 5, 2017

Autism Calgary Pokemon Club*

This is a family event.

The Pokemon Trading card game appears complicated to the Neurotypical Brain.  That is because it was created by an Autistic person.   Autistic kids and adults have been drawn to groups playing the game at Pokemon Leagues.   Leagues provide a common interest in which adults and kids learn:

  • A safe environment where it is okay to be different and in fact it may be an advantage
  • Group interaction by playing each other’s decks
  • Negotiation Skills by trading and creating decks
  • Sharing and Support skills by sharing and supporting new players
  • How to be part of group with like-minded peers

Many people have cards but have never learned to play, perhaps because they were unsure going to league would be okay.  This is a safe place to come learn and be with a group.

Come try out our club whether to learn to play or help others play.   Kids (bring a parent) and adults are welcome (most players are adults). Reasons to check us out:

  • Safe non-judgmental environment
  • We will help you learn how to play
  • If you don’t have cards the club has several starter decks you can use, or you can build and take home your own deck from our donated cards
  • If you are already an accomplished player come help out and be a part of the community
  • Safe group facilitated by a father/son
  • We will be a small group (at least to start) which should not be overwhelming from a sensory standpoint

Note sometimes it is hard to learn to play with rules, and meltdowns are okay, but it is required that we all learn to play fairly within the rules, so when we melt after a break  we will commit to begin again and if necessary again……. 

When:

Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday from 6:30-8:30pm.

Where:

Autism Calgary NEW OFFICE – 3639-26 Street NE

Eventbrite - Pokemon Trading Card Game at Autism Calgary

*please keep in mind that caregiving is NOT available