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 Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Parent and Caregiver Workshops
Fall dates and topics are open for registration! All workshops are free of charge!
The fall workshops will be delivered virtually via our secure 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.
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Executive Functioning
Executive functions support everyday life skills and behaviours, from simple activities like following one-step instructions to more complex activities like preparing a meal. It is common that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience challenges with executive functions, including focus, inhibition, memory, emotion and planning. This workshop is led by Kinark’s Occupational Therapist and Psychologist and will explore executive functions, how they affect individuals with ASD and how to support your child day to day. You will leave this session with an understanding of the different components of executive function, its impact on daily activities and strategies to support your child with these challenges.
Date: Monday, November 14, 2022 from 11:30 am to 1 pm
Collecting information about behaviour is critical when teaching new skills, especially if you are a parent or caregiver of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This workshop will cover why, how, and when to track behaviour, and how to use the information collected to select effective strategies. Whether you are already involved with a clinical team and looking to generalize skills to the home or community, or you are waiting to begin working with a service provider and want a head start in developing your child’s skills, this workshop is for you! Parents and caregivers will leave this workshop with tools and strategies to track progress and make informed decisions about which strategies to use.
Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 from 10 am to 11:30 am
Sexual Health: Understanding Menstruation
Supporting children as they become young adults is an exciting time with many significant teaching moments, especially when a youth begins their menstrual cycle. This session is designed to support caregivers in building healthy self-care routines for their child and introducing the topic of periods and menstruation in a positive way. This workshop provides practical tips and strategies to help teach the skills associated with getting a period, how to manage symptoms and how to support youth to advocate for their needs. This session is recommended for caregivers of youth aged eight and older.
Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2022 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm
Teaching with Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
This workshop provides parents and caregivers with an overview of ABA strategies and tools to help you teach your child new skills. You will learn different ways to help prompt your child, how to use reinforcement to let your child know when they have done well, how to break down skills into smaller steps to make teaching easier for your child and how to increase your child’s independence. You will leave this workshop with tools and strategies to help support you and increase your success when teaching your child new skills.
Date: Monday, November 21, 2022 from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Ask a Psychologist
Parents and caregivers of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may experience challenges when understanding and managing their child’s behavioural and emotional needs. Children with ASD often struggle with emotional regulation and seeing your child in distress from an angry meltdown, tears of sadness or constant worries can be hard! Come chat with other parents and our psychologist about how to cope when your child has ASD and mental health challenges. This session allows for an interactive experience for parents and caregivers to bring your questions related to ASD and mental health. We will discuss how to support your child, help you understand the assessment process, how to tell your child and/or others about a diagnosis and available resources and strategies to support you and your child.
Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2022 from 12 pm to 1 pm
Let’s Eat: Supporting Healthy Eating Habits
We all know how challenging a picky eater can be, but did you know there are Applied Behaviour Analysis strategies that can help? In this workshop, you will become more familiar with the importance of good eating habits, issues common to picky eaters, factors that may influence common issues, 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: Thursday, November 24, 2022 from 9:30 am to 12 pm
Kinark Kreates Q&A: Visual Schedules
Visual schedules are great tools for assisting children with following routines and increasing their independence. Our Kinark Kreates DIY Visual Schedules video shows you how to create and use a visual schedule with your child. Participating in this Q&A session will give you an opportunity to speak with an ASD Consultant about how to individualize and implement a visual schedule with your child. This video is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/oQVdNJ2AlK0.
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 from 12 pm to 1 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, December 9, 2022 from 10 am to 12 pm
The Behaviour Series: Before Behaviour
The Behaviour Series is made up of three independent, but related workshops, where caregivers learn ways to support their child before, during and after displaying challenging behaviour. This workshop provides a variety of practical strategies that may help you prevent and prepare for challenging behaviour before an escalation occurs to help set your child up for success. Please note that this session may have content that overlaps with our previously offered series, Managing Meltdowns and More: Part 1 and Part 2.
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2022 from 10 am to 12 pm
Is it Sensory or Behaviour?
It is not always easy to determine if a child’s behaviour is due to a sensory response or a behavioural reaction. Sensory responses and behavioural reactions can often feel similar, and by enhancing our understanding of the underlying cause for the behaviour, we can often select appropriate supports or responses as parents and caregivers. Join this workshop led by one of Kinark’s ASD Consultants and our Occupational Therapist, to learn the basics about sensory responses and behavioural reactions to help enhance your understanding and better support your child!
Date: Monday, December 12, 2022 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm
Preparing for Post-Secondary: College and University
Is your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder planning to attend college or university? The idea of your child leaving to attend a post-secondary program can be overwhelming for any parent, and our team is here to help! In this workshop, we will discuss the differences of college and university, potential living arrangements, and life skills your child will need to flourish in this environment. We will also discuss accessibility in post-secondary schools, your child’s rights, how they can access supports, and different resources to help your family plan for this change.
Date: Monday, December 12, 2022 from 5 pm to 6 pm
Safety Series: Household and Fire Safety
Parents and caregivers view the safety of their children as a significant concern. Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have additional concerns to consider when addressing their child’s safety. This workshop outlines essential safety skills on the topics of household and fire safety. You will learn tips and tools that support you to anticipate the risks, avoid the dangers, and teach the skills your child needs to stay safe at home.
Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm
Creating Routines at Home
We all thrive on routine, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder do especially well with repetition and predictability. But what happens when your child’s regular routine is disrupted? This workshop teaches you how to establish a healthy routine at home with your child and how to manage disruptions. You will learn the importance of establishing predictable daily routines and how to help your child adapt to changes in routine. You will be provided with several Applied Behaviour Analysis 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.
Date: Monday, December 19, 2022 from 1 pm to 3 pm
Sexual Health: The Middle Years
Puberty is a stage of life we all experience. As a parent or caregiver of a youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this can be an especially challenging time. Learning how to support your youth with ASD to take care of their own health, prepare for the changes that occur during puberty, and develop a healthy awareness of sexuality can reduce the confusion and anxiety your youth may experience. In this workshop, we will explore the topics of puberty, privacy, sexuality, consent, and self-care; and discuss how the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis can be utilized to teach skills and promote independence. Parents and caregivers will gain information and learn strategies to support their youth during this stage of life.
Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 from 10 am to 12 pm