Parent & Caregiver Education

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Parent & Caregiver Education

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

Parent and Caregiver Workshops

The Winter 2021 workshops will be delivered virtually via our WebEx video conferencing platform. Specific instructions will be emailed to registered participants prior to each 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.

January dates available for our workshops! All workshops are free of charge!


Workshop Topics

Teaching Functional Life Skills

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 children and youth with autism aged two – 18.

Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 from 1 pm – 3 pm

Transitions Done Right

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.

Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Managing Meltdowns and More: Part 1

Let’s add to your managing challenging behaviours toolkit! This workshop will review the basics of behaviour, 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.

Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021 from 1 pm – 3 pm

Building Healthy Eating Routines

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.

Date: Monday, January 11, 2021 from 1 pm – 3:30 pm

Building Healthy Sleep Routines

Sleep concerns can be common in children with autism and many parents struggle with how to address them. You are not in this alone! We are here to support you with ways to develop a healthy sleep routine. In this workshop you will learn ways to track your child’s sleeping behaviours, identify and troubleshoot potential problems with your child’s current sleep routine, establish and introduce a new sleep routine for your child, and discuss some strategies based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) that aim to promote better sleeping behaviours for your child.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Keeping Your Child With Autism Safe

Most parents view keeping their child safe 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, 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.

Date: Friday, January 15, 2021 from 9:30 am – 12 pm

Teaching Physical Distancing to Your Child

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.

Date: Monday, January 18, 2021 from 1 pm – 2:30 pm

Communicating with Words

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.

Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 1 pm – 3 pm

Kinark Kreates Q&A: First-Then Board

If you’ve watched the Kinark Kreates First-Then Board video, you will know that a first-then board is a great tool for increasing your child’s motivation to complete tasks they may not like or find difficult.  This session is intended for parents who have watched the video and would like to ask questions to an ASD Consultant on how to individualize and implement a first-then board with their child. This video is available to watch here.

Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 1 pm – 2 pm

Teaching Functional Life Skills

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 children and youth with autism aged two – 18.

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Introduction to Toilet Training

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.

Date: Monday, January 25, 2021 from 1 pm – 3 pm

Kinark Kreates Q&A: Helping Your Child Learn New Skills

Do you find yourself constantly giving the same instructions to your child? You are not alone! Teaching your child new skills can sometimes be frustrating. This workshop will further discuss the Kinark Kreates Least-to-Most Prompting video which provides tips on how to teach your child new skills quickly and efficiently. This session is intended for parents who would like to ask questions to an ASD Consultant on how to help their child with autism become more independent. This video is available to watch here.

Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Parenting a Child with ASD and Mental Health Needs

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.

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 1 pm – 3 pm

A Parent’s Guide to Bullying

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 who may be concerned about their children being bullied or perpetuating bullying in the presence of their peers. Content includes defining the common types of bullying, identifying a variety of roles that children may play in the context of bullying, and discussing its prevalence. A significant emphasis will be placed on teaching concrete, actionable strategies for parents of children across all stages of childhood (pre-school, school-age, 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 of technology and social media.

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 7 pm – 9 pm

Teaching Handwashing

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.

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Managing Meltdowns and More: Part 2

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. It is strongly recommended that you have attended Managing Meltdowns and More Part 1 prior to attending Part 2.

Date: Friday, January 29, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

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