Available Services

Parent and Caregiver Education

Kinark Autism Services offers a variety of telehealth education opportunities on a wide range of topics for parents and caregivers of children and youth with autism.

Parent Education Workshops

The Fall 2020 workshops will be delivered virtually via our WebEx video conferencing platform. Specific instructions will be emailed to registered participants prior to the session.

Our team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and clinicians have many years of experience training and coaching parents, caregivers, and other professionals using evidence-based practices.

October dates added for our Fall 2020 workshops! All workshops are free of charge!

Workshop topics:

Let’s add to your managing challenging behaviours toolkit!This workshop will review the basics ofbehaviour, answering questions like how to I define a behaviour, what are the functions of behaviour, and how do I begin to collect data. Utilizing a hands-on approach, you will learn how to identify behaviours that you want to change, the power of reinforcement and how to develop a plan to increase or decrease these behaviours. You will leave this workshop with a variety of tips and strategies to feel confident in beginning to address challenging behaviours and have the tools necessary to attend Part 2.
Friday, September 18, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am
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Friday, October 16, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am
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Change happens… but it does not have to be hard! In this session we will help you identify the bigger and smaller transitions in your child’s life and provide you with the tools and strategies for success. You will learn how to prepare your child for the many transitions across their day, their week, and the bigger transitions for years to come. In this workshop we will also share strategies on how to access transition supports at school.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am
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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am
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With the impacts of COVID-19, we are all adjusting to a “new normal”. The Ontario government recommends wearing a face covering in indoor public settings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This training is designed to review how evidenced-based practices can be utilized to teach children with autism to wear a face covering. You will become familiar with strategies to help your child learn to tolerate them by offering choice, breaking down the steps into achievable targets, use of reinforcement, and other effective methods to increase the likelihood of successful face covering wear in your community.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 1 pm - 2 pm
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Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 10 am - 11 am
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020 from 7 pm - 8 pm
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We all know how challenging a picky eater can be, but did you know there are Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) strategies that can help? You will become more familiar with the importance of good eating habits, issues common to picky eaters, and factors that may influence them, how to increase healthy eating routines, and ways to track how your child’s eating habits are changing. Additional resources on creating and managing a healthier lifestyle will be provided.
Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 1 pm - 3:30 pm
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Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 7 pm - 9 pm
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Many children with autism also struggle with mental health challenges like constant worries, low mood, and overwhelming feelings of frustration. When your child is unable to control their emotions, a parent often feels helpless and doesn’t know where to start. This workshop will help you understand the overlap between autism and mental health disorders, explore the ways that emotions can be both helpful and unhelpful, and learn how you can best support your child.
Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 6 pm - 8 pm
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Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 1 pm - 3 pm
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How do we teach our children with autism to effectively wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer for 20 seconds? This training is designed to review how evidenced-based practices can be utilized to teach children with autism how to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer effectively. You will learn how to break down handwashing into achievable steps, how to use prompts and reinforcement to promote successful outcomes. You will leave this session with a variety of strategies that can help in increasing your child’s hand washing skills to keep your child healthy and reduce the risk of spreading germs to others.
Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 9:30 am - 10:30 am
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Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from 7 pm - 8 pm
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Thursday, October 22, 2020 from 10 am - 11 am
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Let’s continue to add to your managing challenging behaviours toolkit! After a brief review of the content discussed in Part 1, you will learn different ways to collect information that will shed light on when and why a child is engaging in challenging behaviours. You will also learn about the common reasons why a child engages in challenging behaviour and how to develop a plan to change behaviours based on those reasons. You will leave this workshop with a variety of practical strategies to address challenging behaviour and understand when and how to seek additional support.
Monday, September 28, 2020 from 1 pm - 3 pm
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Monday, October 26, 2020 from 1 pm - 3 pm
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COVID-19 has introduced some new terminology into our everyday lives. What does “Physical Distancing” mean? How do we teach our children with autism to practice physical distancing? This training is designed to guide parents on how to use evidenced-based practices to teach children to recognize a two metre distance, and when, where and with who they must practice physical distancing. You will explore simple visuals, tools and videos to help explain the rules of physical distancing to your child, leaving this session with a variety of practical strategies and tools that can be implemented to support successful physical distancing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 from 7 pm - 8 pm

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Bullying is pervasive in Canadian schools and communities. Research indicates that children with autism are at a much greater risk of being bullied than their peers. This workshop engages parents of children with autism who may be concerned about their children being bullied or perpetuating bullying in the presence of their peers. Content in this workshop is carefully curated to define the common types of bullying, identify a variety of roles that children may play in the context of bullying, and discuss its prevalence. A significant emphasis will be placed on teaching concrete, actionable strategies for parents of children with autism across all stages of childhood (pre-school children, school-age children, and adolescents) to ensure that you are equipped to prevent and address bullying. Additional strategies are provided to prevent and address cyberbullying due to the increasing use to technology and social media to routinely socialize with their peers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 1 pm - 3 pm

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Do you have a child in the school system or who is just about to start school? This session will teach you how to build and sustain a successful partnership with your child’s school team. Our clinicians have extensive knowledge in collaborating with school board staff during important milestones in their school journey; from beginning school to considerations when changing grades. This session will introduce concepts, policies, and strategies to help you advocate for your child with special needs in the school system, while promoting a positive and collaborative relationship with the school team. Participation is encouraged during group activities and sharing common experiences.

Friday, October 2, 2020 from 9:30 am - 12 pm

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Most parents view safety as a significant concern. Parents of children with autism often have additional issues to consider when addressing the safety concerns of their child. This workshop outlines essential safety skills with regards to fire, water, road and vehicle safety, wandering and elopement, physical and sexual abuse prevention, and abduction prevention. You will learn tips and tools you can use to anticipate the risks, avoid the dangers, and teach the skills your child needs to stay safe at home and in the community. Note: This training covers some potentially difficult topics. While these topics are important to discuss, they can be difficult to think about and may be triggering for some participants.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from 9:30 am - 12 pm

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From the first cry after your child’s birth to learning to say their first word, there are many steps along the way and many more to go before your child masters communicating with words. This session will provide an overview of communication milestones and critical early language skills. You will leave with individualized goals and several key strategies you can use to further your child’s early language and communication development.

Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 1 pm - 3 pm

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Everyone knows it’s important to teach your child their ABCs and 123s. What about the skills they need to get through the rest of their day and lives? Functional life skills are essential skills that allow us to function independently at home, school, work, and in our communities. Skills may include brushing our teeth, ordering take-out, and filing our taxes. In this workshop, you will learn seven steps to teaching your child functional life skills. This workshop is appropriate for caregivers of learners at all stages of development.

Saturday, October 17, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am

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Everyone needs a way to communicate. When speech does not develop, often communication comes via challenging behaviour. There is a better way: using pictures to express your needs and thoughts! This session reviews the types of technologies available (e.g., books, tablets), what to look for, and how to customize communication software (or apps). You will also learn what skills your child will need to communicate through picture exchange. The session is designed for parents of children who have not learned to speak or have limited speech.

Thursday, October 22, 2020 from 1 pm - 3 pm

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Toilet training can be a challenge for anyone! This session will cover what you need to know prior to starting toilet training for your child and set you up to be successful. This workshop will discuss key prerequisite skills and important considerations before starting a toilet training program. You will learn how to decide when to move to the next step of toilet training through the various strategies and tools shared, including communicating their need to use the toilet. We will provide you with the information you need to create an individualized toilet training plan for your child to be successful.

Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am

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We all thrive on routine. Children with autism do especially well with predictability and repetition. But what happens when your child’s regular routine is disrupted? This workshop will teach you how to establish a healthy routine at home with your child or children and how to manage disruptions. You will learn the importance of establishing predictable day-to-day routines as well as how to help your child adapt to changes in routine. You will be provided with several ABA-based tools that will help you create structure at home such as a first-then board, visual schedule template, choice board, table-top activities, and more.

Friday, October 30, 2020 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am

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