Articles & Blog - Autism Awareness
We’re here for you during COVID-19, providing information and resources like we always have for the past 18 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.

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas This Year!

The Christmas season is upon us and with that comes expectations and busyness that many autistic people find anxiety provoking. The holidays mean changes in the schedule, visitors, crowds, line-ups, noise, and socializing. Meeting family demands can be especially nerve-wracking, particularly if you want to break with time-honoured traditions that just don’t work for an autistic person. Here are a…

Read More »

What is autistic burnout?

Maybe you’ve heard the term autistic burnout and wondered what it is and how this term come about. We usually hear the term “burnout” used in professional life, which is characterized by exhaustion. The autistic community began applying the burnout term to all areas of life. Autistic adults have reported times when they could no longer cope, lost skills, had…

Read More »

How Compliance-Based Approaches Damage Interoceptive Awareness & Self-Regulation

Kelly Mahler, regular speaker/presenter at Autism Awareness Centre Inc., is our guest writer for this post. In this post, Kelly talks about interoception, self-regulation and the detrimental impact that compliance-based approaches can have on the development of these critical areas. Compliance often teaches someone to ignore their own body signals/needs in order to comply with a demand and receive a…

Read More »

Masturbation and ASD – A Part of Healthy Sexuality

The subject of masturbation is one that people often feel uncomfortable talking about, yet it is a topic I receive many questions about. Some people believe that if a person is autistic, has intellectual or physical disabilities, they won’t have sexual urges. This simply isn’t true! Masturbation is a normal part of healthy sexuality.  One thing to keep in mind…

Read More »

Autism Community Support – What Can You Offer?

Community based organizations and groups reach a variety of individuals with varying needs and wants. Not every organization will have access to trained professionals in all requested areas of support, but there is a lot you can provide at the grassroots level. There are several options that can be offered in the community around support, interaction, and information. Four ideas…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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,…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »