Autism Awareness Centre Celebrates 20 Years
The month of June marks our 20th anniversary at Autism Awareness Centre Inc. (AACI). Twenty years is a milestone and one I wasn’t sure that we’d reach given the turn of events that happened because of the pandemic. Our world has changed a great deal, affecting everything we do and plan going forward.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to run conferences, workshops, and trainings all over Canada and the UK. Many of the people I met became lifelong friends who have supported me both professionally and personally. You’ve made my life so much richer and I feel deeply grateful to have worked with many different people who shared their wisdom, viewpoints, and experience with me. It has made me a better parent to my two autistic adult children, Marc and Julia.
Technology has changed the way we do things. There are moments when we all feel weary of being on Zoom or other platforms and want to meet in person, but I am grateful the way online offerings have grown because it makes getting together and connecting with new people all over the world so easy. Before the pandemic, I had never used Zoom. I now use it both professionally and personally to connect with family and friends, exercise with my friends, and fuel my interests in history and the arts. I engage all over the world – from Europe to Australia, have developed new interests, and feed my curiosity in ways that I’ve never done before. While I still feel nothing can replace seeing people in person, it’s comforting to be online in a course or meeting with like-minded people who share your passions and beliefs.
I’ve developed as a speaker/presenter online and have had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience throughout Canada, the USA, UK and Europe. The work has been interesting and challenging and has helped me learn new information. I remember how scary it felt to first present online; it now feels like second nature. Since the fall of 2022, I’ve started presenting again in person and have enjoyed this immensely, particularly the conversations I have after the presentation is done. Engaging in person has a different energy and connection – it feels free and exciting, full of possibilities.
We continue to be a strong presence online with a variety of offerings.
We have on demand webinars available on a variety of topics such as toileting, interoception, mental health, anxiety, sensory issues, social skills, behaviors of concern, and more. When you purchase a webinar, you can watch it at a time that is convenient for you. Look for special events coming up over the next year as we continue with online learning.
New blogs are posted twice a month with the exception of July. I’ve been creating presentations around many of the topics I write about. This past year, posts have featured a variety of subjects such as structured play, autistic inertia, aging caregivers, rethinking social skills, financial stability, social-emotional learning and much more! At the end of every blog post are links to other related posts and books/resources that support further knowledge. If you need further guidance, don’t hesitate to ask.
Our Expanding Bookstore and Line of E-Books
Throughout the pandemic, our bookstore has continued to expand with new titles every month. Our bimonthly email blast features a new book or resource. We’ve been shipping every day and offer contactless pick up for local Calgary, AB orders. We look forward to continuing our personalized service in the area of book and resource support in the coming year. I also want to thank everyone for their patience with shipping delays due to supply chain interruptions and labour shortages.
For the past 3 years, AACI has been publishing a series of inexpensive e-books that provide an excellent introduction to a variety of topics. Many resources are listed should you wish to delve deeper into the topic.
An Introduction the Low Arousal Approach Online Course
Much of our Studio 3 Canada Low Arousal trainings had to be put on hold the past 2.5 years because of pandemic protocols. Our 3 day training course must be delivered in person because physical skills are taught. It is not safe to teach physical skills online. We have resumed in-person training slowly with great success. Organizations may book courses by contacting me at email@example.com .
We offer an open 6 hour online Introduction to the Low Arousal Approach once a month. The course has been extremely popular and sells out every month. This training can also be booked by an organization for a minimum of 12 people, up to a maximum of 15 people. The cost is $125 per person plus GST. The course can also be offered in two – 3 hour segments over the course of two days. Our courses will start up again in September so look for the new dates which will be posted soon.
Studio 3 Canada – Low Arousal Approach In-Person Training
We are excited to announce a new Train the Trainer 15 day course taking place in Vancouver, BC starting in October 2023. The course is already full, but if you would like to be placed on the waiting list please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If there is enough interest, we may be able to run a second course in early 2024.
We are hoping to run more Train the Trainer courses in 2024. Let me know if your province would like to have Low Arousal Approach trainers. Our community has grown significantly with nearly 100 Canadian trainers. It’s exciting to see such a dramatic change in how we view behaviors of concern and support individuals in the reduction of anxiety and stress.
Going Forward in a Changing, Unpredictable World
As we continue to adapt and participate in the online delivery of education and in-person training, Autism Awareness Centre Inc. (AACI) will be there with innovative ways to impart information and keep learning current. There are small things you can do to help us keep going and continue the global work that we do like join our email list, follow us on social media, and share our content with your friends and family. If you need resources, consider purchasing them from our bookstore as the proceeds go directly back into AACI operations. Attend the online trainings or watch our on demand webinars. With no sponsorship, grants or funding of any kind, these sources of revenue are the only ones that keep AACI operational.
I thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times. I’m so grateful to have been in your service for 20 years and hope to continue my work for a while longer. Running this company has been a life changing experience. No one knows what the future will bring, but AACI will adapt. Let us know how we can help.
Stay safe, stay well and enjoy the summer days ahead!
Editorial Policy: Autism Awareness Centre believes that education is the key to success in assisting individuals who have autism and related disorders. Autism Awareness Centre’s mission is to ensure our extensive autism resource selection features the newest titles available in North America. Note that the information contained on this web site should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice.