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

Fall dates and topics are open for registration! All workshops are free of charge!

The 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 Registered Behaviour Analysts, R.B.A. (Ont.)s and clinicians have many years of experience training and coaching parents, caregivers, and other professionals using evidence-based practices.


June Workshops

Let’s Eat – June 11

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: June 11, 2024 from 9:30 am to 12 pm

The Determination of Needs (DoN) Information Session – June 13

To access Core Clinical services through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) a Determination of Needs (DoN) will be completed with primary caregivers to determine funding amounts.

This session will provide an overview of the DoN. You will learn about the overall process, and have a better understanding of how to prepare, what to expect, and next steps. At the end of the session there is time allotted to answer additional questions you may have.

Date: June 13, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

Keeping your Child with ASD Safe: Water and Road Safety – June 17

Most parents and caregivers view safety as a significant concern. Parents of children with ASD often have additional issues to consider when addressing the safety concerns of their children.

This workshop outlines essential safety skills with regards to water and road safety. You’ll 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.

Date: June 17, 2024 from 12 to 1:30 pm

Creating Routines at Home – June 19

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.

We will review and provide you 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, etc.

Date: June 19, 2024 from 9:30 to 11:30 am

Skills for Successful Group Participation – June 25

When we enroll our children in social skill groups, school, and various community programs, we want to ensure they have the pre-requisite skills they need in order to be able to learn in these environments. We want them to benefit from what is being taught and these experiences. There are so many skills that a child needs to possess before learning can take place in a group setting. These are skills that are not always explicitly taught and they differ from those of a 1:1 setting.

In this session we talk about those pre-requisite readiness skills, what they are, why they are important and how you can work on teaching these skills at home. We talk about listening and following directions, tolerating transitions, imitation, joining in, group demands and more!

Date: June 25, 2024 from 9:30 to 11:30 am

Teaching your Child using Behavioural Skills Training – June 27

Have you ever found yourself frustrated when your child just isn’t learning a skill? Teaching a child with ASD new skills may require additional thought and a clear plan. Behavioural Skills Training (BST) is a teaching procedure proven to support learning new skills.

This session will review the steps of BST that parents can use to teach their child a wide range of new skills. Join us for this interactive session to build your own skills as an effective teacher/parent.

Date: June 27, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm


July Workshops

Creating Routines at Home – July 3

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. We will review and provide you 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, etc.

Date: July 3, 2024 from 9 to 11 am

Introduction to Toilet Training – July 5

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. As well, you will learn how to decide when to move onto the next step of toilet training. You will learn various strategies and tools that can be used to help your child meet toileting goals 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: July 5, 2024 from 11 to 1 pm

The Determination of Needs Information Session – July 9

To access Core Clinical services through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) a Determination of Needs (DoN) will be completed with primary caregivers to determine funding amounts.

This session will provide an overview of the DoN. You will learn about the overall process, and have a better understanding of how to prepare, what to expect, and next steps.

At the end of the session there is time allotted to answer additional questions you may have.

Date: July 9, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

Keeping your Child with ASD Safe: Water and Road Safety – July 18

Most parents and caregivers view safety as a significant concern. Parents of children with ASD often have additional issues to consider when addressing the safety concerns of their children.

This workshop outlines essential safety skills with regards to water and road safety. You’ll 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.

Date: July 18, 2024 from 11:30 am to 1 pm

Unstuck and Moving On: Understanding Rigidity and Promoting Flexibility – July 22

Does your child struggle when faced with unexpected events or changes to the routine? Do they insist on having things a certain way or have trouble shifting their point of view? Rigid thinking and behaviours are common and may be tied to anxiety. In this session, we’ll talk about some common issues around rigidity, ways to support your child in these moments, and strategies to help promote flexibility in thinking and behaviour.

Date: July 22, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

Keeping your Child with ASD Safe: Wandering and Running Away – July 23

Parents and caregivers view the safety of their children as a significant concern. Many children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are reported to wander or elope, making them more prone to leaving the safety of a caregiver or support person and wandering from their home, school or community setting. This causes significant risk for those who may not be aware of possible dangers or harm and puts tremendous stress on families.

In this session, you will learn tips and tools you can use to help anticipate the risks, avoid the dangers, and teach the skills your child needs to stay safe at home and in the community.

Date: July 23, 2024 from 11 am to 1 pm

Let’s Eat – July 24

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: July 24, 2024 from 9 to 11:30 am

Transition to Kindergarten – July 30

Wondering how to support your child’s transition to kindergarten? This workshop is tailored to prepare families for this significant milestone with helpful information and tips.

In this workshop you will learn about steps to prepare your child for school, effective communication with the school, visual supports, and more!

Date: July 30, 2024 from 9 to 10:30 am


August Workshops

A Parent’s Guide to Bullying – August 1

Bullying is pervasive in Canadian schools and communities. Unfortunately, research indicates that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are at a much greater risk of being bullied than their typically developing peers. This workshop engages parents of children with ASD 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. Moreover, considering that children may routinely socialize with their peers using technology and social media, additional strategies are provided to prevent and address cyberbullying.


Date: August 1, 2024 from 9 to 11 am

Building Healthy Sleep Routines – August 6

Sleep concerns can be common in children with ASD 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: August 6, 2024 from 9 to 11 am

Transition to High School – August 7

The transition to High School workshop is tailored to prepare families with helpful information and tips to help decrease some of the stress and anxiety related to this significant milestone. In this workshop, we build awareness to support a successful transition including ways to familiarize your child to the new school, prepare you for school meetings, skills, and routines to work on before the transition and more.

The goal of this session is to provide you with ways to prepare your child for this transition, as well to support you in feeling more confident and informed.

Date: August 7, 2024 from 11 am to 1 pm

Introduction to Toilet Training – August 13

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. As well, you will learn how to decide when to move onto the next step of toilet training.

You will learn various strategies and tools that can be used to help your child meet toileting goals 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: August 13, 2024 from 9 to 11 am

The Determination of Needs (DoN) Information Session – August 16

To access Core Clinical services through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) a Determination of Needs (DoN) will be completed with primary caregivers to determine funding amounts.

This session will provide an overview of the DoN. You will learn about the overall process, and have a better understanding of how to prepare, what to expect, and next steps. At the end of the session there is time allotted to answer additional questions you may have.

Date: August 16, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

Ask Me Anything… About Groups – August 20

Interested in enrolling your child in a social skills group, school, or community program? Wondering how you can help them be successful in group settings? Wondering how skills are taught in groups and what skills can be learned?

Meet and chat with one of our group facilitators to learn more!

Date: August 20, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

Going Back to School Successfully – August 21

Transitioning to school after a summer vacation and perhaps having attended school online previously might be a challenging experience for learners and caregivers. Proactive planning and supporting your child with the tools they need ahead of this significant transition can make going back to school in-person a more positive experience.

This session presents safety skills to practice, routines, strategies, and visual resources to prepare for the start of in-person school, as well as the importance of being aware of both child and caregiver mental health throughout this transition.

Date: August 21, 2024 from 9 to 11 am

Teaching your Child using Behavioural Skills Training – August 27

Have you ever found yourself frustrated when your child just isn’t learning a skill? Teaching a child with ASD new skills may require additional thought and a clear plan. Behavioural Skills Training (BST) is a teaching procedure proven to support learning new skills.

This session will review the steps of BST that parents can use to teach their child a wide range of new skills. Join us for this interactive session to build your own skills as an effective teacher/parent.

Date: August 27, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

School Series: Effectively Advocating for Your Child – August 29

This fourth session in the School Series focuses on bringing together the information of the previous three sessions on school policies and procedures to help you to effectively advocate for your child and collaborate with your child’s school team.

This session will provide you with information on what it means to be an advocate for your child and effective ways to advocate. It also provides information on why it is important to collaborate with your child’s school team and ways to enhance collaboration. There will be an opportunity to discuss challenges you may face when working with your child’s school team and tips, tricks, and resources to overcome these challenges.

Date: August 29, 2024 from 11 to 1 pm


September Workshops

The Determination of Needs (DoN) Information Session – September 5

To access Core Clinical services through the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) a Determination of Needs (DoN) will be completed with primary caregivers to determine funding amounts.

This session will provide an overview of the DoN. You will learn about the overall process, and have a better understanding of how to prepare, what to expect, and next steps. At the end of the session there is time allotted to answer additional questions you may have.

Date: September 5, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

Ask a School Consultant – September 11

Parents and caregivers of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may experience challenges with their child’s school placement, helping school staff understand their child’s needs, and understanding the services and supports your school board may offer. Seeing your child struggle with accessing curriculum or thriving in either virtual or in-school placements can be difficult.

Come and chat with one of Kinark’s School Consultants! Each session allows for an interactive experience for parents and caregivers to bring your questions about the school system and receive support from a School Consultant. You will also learn about other experiences from parents and caregivers, how to effectively advocate for your child, school policies and practices, individualized education plans (IEPs) and effective collaboration, as well as other valuable tips and tools for navigating and interacting with the school system.

Date: September 11, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

School Series: Supporting Your Child’s Special Education Placement and the IPRC – September 13

The Ontario Ministry of Education recognizes that students develop and learn in different ways and that some children will require special education programs. The Education Act requires school boards to provide special education programs for children who need them. The IPRC process is the pathway to ensuring proper placements and levels of support are secured for children who require them.

In this session, the IPRC process will be broken down into clear steps and your role in this process will be defined. Our clinicians have extensive knowledge in collaborating with school board staff and they will cover important milestones in your child’s school journey through the IPRC lens. There will be several opportunities to ask IPRC related questions throughout session.

Date: September 13, 2024 from 11:30 am to 1 pm

School Series: Supporting Your Child’s Special Education Program and the IEP – September 16

The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a document that is often described as the cornerstone of special education for children who have exceptional needs. Parents, educators, and community partners all play important roles in the planning and implementation of a student’s special education program. Taking a collaborative team approach to setting observable, measurable and realistic expectations and goals for student achievement will often lead to a positive school climate and the best possible outcomes for your child.

This interactive session will help parents understand the IEP and how to participate in the IEP development, implementation, and review process.

Date: September 16, 2024 from 11:30 am to 1 pm

School Series: ABA Strategies in the School and PPM-140 – September 19

This session provides a brief description of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and an introduction to the PPM 140. PPM 140 is a policy that mandates the use of ABA in schools to assist in the education of students with ASD. Perhaps you have heard of these terms or maybe they are entirely new to you.

Learning about and understanding the principles of ABA and how those are incorporated into your child’s special education program through the PPM 140 is key. You will build awareness of your rights as parents/caregivers when planning for and supporting effective educational programs for your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Date: September 19, 2024 from 11:30 am to 1 pm

Power of Reinforcement – September 23

Reinforcement is a natural process involved in learning virtually all new skills. As parents, reinforcement can be one of the most powerful tools we use to support specific goals with our children. In this education session, you will learn how to use reinforcement to teach your child new skills, increase their motivation, expand their interests, and strengthen your relationship with your child. And the good news is, children don’t have to be reliant on planned reinforcers (special rewards) for all this to be possible.

This session will also discuss how to teach our children to eventually work for naturally occurring reinforcement.

Date: September 23, 2024 from 12 to 1:30 pm

Ask a School Consultant – September 26

Parents and caregivers of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may experience challenges with their child’s school placement, helping school staff understand their child’s needs, and understanding the services and supports your school board may offer. Seeing your child struggle with accessing curriculum or thriving in either virtual or in-school placements can be difficult.

Come and chat with one of Kinark’s School Consultants! Each session allows for an interactive experience for parents and caregivers to bring your questions about the school system and receive support from a School Consultant. You will also learn about other experiences from parents and caregivers, how to effectively advocate for your child, school policies and practices, individualized education plans (IEPs) and effective collaboration, as well as other valuable tips and tools for navigating and interacting with the school system.

Date: September 26, 2024 from 12 to 1 pm

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