Articles & Blog - Autism Awareness
We’re here for you during COVID-19, providing information and resources like we always have for the past 17 years. Let us know how we can help.

Articles & Blog

Maureen Bennie curates a news blog for Autism Calgary called "What in The World is Going On About Autism". Her blog often mines and expands on the articles and events that she has detailed in that news feed, as well as looking at current best autism resources, news stories, and events on a variety of topics about autism and ASD.

Using Video Technology to Support Autistic Individuals

Video technology can be a powerful teaching tool for autistic people. The use of visual supports is a well-established and commonly used strategy with families and professionals. Using video technology for modeling takes visuals to the next level by combining the visual supports strategy with technology to create an even more effective teaching tool. Video technology is readily accessible through…

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The Increase of Child and Youth Mental Health Issues Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our lives – the workplace, home, leisure activities, health, social life, and the family unit. For children and youth, their childhood experience has been anything but typical with online schooling, lockdowns, school closures, loss of extracurricular activities and separation from friends and extended family members. School opportunities disappeared that can really make a difference…

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The Pandemic Effects on Parent-Teacher Relationships

I read an interesting piece in the Globe and Mail by Bonnie Stelmach, a University of Alberta Education Professor, investigating the changes that happened with parent-teacher relations as a result of the pandemic. She drew her information from an Alberta web-based survey and interviews with parents and teachers. There were positives and negatives which are good to be aware of…

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A Cautious, Open Summer in the Age of COVID-19

Many restrictive measures around the world are being relaxed as we head into summer. With vaccination programs in high gear, life is starting to feel safer. Leaving lockdowns behind and entering back into a more free world can also cause anxious feelings. Will the virus come back or a new variant emerge? What things can we do this summer? How…

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Autism Awareness Centre Celebrates 18 Years

I can hardly believe that this June 2021 marks our 18th anniversary as a company. Where has the time gone? My children were only 4 and 6 years old when I co-founded Autism Awareness Centre Inc. (AACI) in 2003 – now they’re 22 and 24, young adults. Over years, AACI has crossed Canada from coast to coast offering 131 conferences,…

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What is a sensory diet?

A sensory diet, first created by occupational therapists Wilbarger and Wilbarger (1991) , is an individualized plan of physical activities and accommodations to help a person meet their sensory needs. This plan provides the sensory input needed to stay focused and organized throughout the day. For example, some people may feel overwhelmed or overloaded and need to get to a…

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What is Trauma? A Simple Guide

This article was written by Aylish McFarlane, Studio 3 Assistant Psychologist. It was reprinted with permission from Studio 3 UK. ‘Trauma-informed practice’ is a phrase we hear more and more in our work, but what really is trauma, and how can we learn to recognize it? This simple guide illustrates how trauma can affect the body, and how to support…

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Supporting Learning, Interaction, and Interests through Reading

The ability to read can foster greater independence, support mental health, and lead to positive outcomes in adulthood because reading is connected to employment opportunities, which in turn is connected to income and housing. Reading improves self-confidence, increases vocabulary for both internal thought and communication, allows for greater participation in society and the workplace, expands interests, and supports understanding in…

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How do I know if my baby or young child is autistic?

Every week, I get emails from concerned parents who are worried that their baby or young child may be showing signs of autism. Parents send me a list of things they see and wonder if these are early indicators of autism. Every child is an individual and will not develop in the same way, hitting each milestone at the same…

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Introduction to the Low Arousal Approach Online Training

Low Arousal Approach training, developed over 30 years ago in the UK, has been offered in Canada through Autism Awareness Centre Inc./Studio 3 Canada for 6 years. This training is for professionals, support workers and EAs, carers and family members. The Low Arousal Approach emphasizes a range of behaviour management strategies that focus on the reduction of stress, fear and…

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Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood – Part 2

This blog post is the second part of Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood– Part 1. It is a continuation on the theme of what we do now to support children can lead to positive outcomes in adulthood. Sensory Issues Sensory processing involves seven systems: Tactile (touch) Vestibular (balance) Proprioception (body awareness) Visual (sight) Auditory (hearing) Gustatory (taste) Olfactory (smell) Difficulties…

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Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood – Part 1

When a child is diagnosed with autism, parents begin to worry about the child’s future. Will their child be independent? What will happen to them once school ends? Will there be jobs or further educational opportunities? Teachers and therapists also work to provide the skills foundation that will lead to future success and meet the goals of the parent and…

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Caregivers and Increased Demands During the Pandemic

The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. Caregivers have had increasing demands and responsibilities placed on them because of lockdowns, program cancellations, difficulty retaining staff, illness and quarantines, new protocols and school closures. Community organizations have closed their doors to in-person meetings and have switched to online and phone support for their clients and members. Increased isolation has…

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