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 Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Parent and Caregiver Workshops

The fall 2021 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.

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

Upcoming Events

View Events Calendar


Workshop Topics

Parenting a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Mental Health Needs

Many children with ASD also struggle with mental health challenges like constant worries, low mood, and overwhelming feelings of frustration. Your child may act in ways you don’t understand, and they may not be able to explain how they are feeling. When your child is unable to control their emotions or actions, you may feel helpless and you may not know where to start when providing support. This workshop will help you understand the overlap between ASD and mental health disorders, explore the ways that emotions can be both helpful and unhelpful, and learn how you can best support your child. This workshop is primarily geared towards parents with a child in elementary school, although much of the information shared is relevant for children of all ages.

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Teaching Your Child to Wear a Face Covering

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 evidence-based practices can be utilized to teach children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 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.

Date: Monday, October 4, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

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: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 from 1 pm – 2 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 evidence-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 help keep your child healthy and reduce the risk of spreading germs to others.

Date: Friday, October 8, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11 am

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: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Sensory Processing and Regulation

Many children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) process sensory information (i.e., information coming in through your vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching senses) from the world around them differently than others. In this workshop led by Kinark’s Occupational Therapist, you will explore the sensory system, how it affects individuals with ASD and how to support your child from day to day. This session aims to provide caregivers with a general overview of sensory processing and emotion regulation strategies. You will also learn about the functions of behaviour, triggers of dysregulation and tools/strategies to support sensory regulation that you can implement at home.

Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 10 am – 11:30 am

Building Healthy Sleep Routines

Sleep concerns can be common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (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: Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 6 pm – 8 pm

School Series: Supporting Your Child’s Special Education Program and the Individual Education Plan (IEP)

The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a document that is often described as the cornerstone of special education for children who have exceptional needs. Caregivers, 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: Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11 am

Preparing Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to Get a Needle

This training is designed to review how evidence-based practices can be utilized to teach children with ASD to successfully receive a needle as comfortably as possible. In this session, you will become familiar with strategies to help your child prepare for a needle by offering choice, breaking down the steps into achievable targets, use of reinforcement, and other effective methods to increase the likelihood of success. You will leave this session with a variety of practical strategies and tools to help your child be more comfortable when receiving a needle.

Date: Monday, October 18, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11 am

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, October 20, 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: https://youtu.be/9zNKARdPm5I.

Date: Friday, October 22, 2021 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Parenting a Teen with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Mental Health Needs

Adolescence is a time that is full of life changes and transitions which can feel overwhelming. Many teens with ASD also struggle with mental health challenges like constant worries, low mood and overwhelming feelings of frustration. When your teen is unable to control their emotions, you may feel helpless and may not know where to start. This workshop will help you understand the overlap between ASD and mental health disorders, consider common stressors your teen may be experiencing, explore the ways that emotions can be both helpful and unhelpful, and learn how you can best support your teen. This workshop is recommended for parents of a teen in high school, although some of the information shared is relevant for children of all ages.

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Sensory Processing and Regulation

Many children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) process sensory information (i.e., information coming in through your vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching senses) from the world around them differently than others. In this workshop led by Kinark’s Occupational Therapist, you will explore the sensory system, how it affects individuals with ASD and how to support your child from day to day. This session aims to provide caregivers with a general overview of sensory processing and emotion regulation strategies. You will also learn about the functions of behaviour, triggers of dysregulation and tools/strategies to support sensory regulation that you can implement at home.

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 6 pm – 7:30 pm

Keeping Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Safe: Wandering and Elopement

Parents and caregivers view the safety of their children as a significant concern. Children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may 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 can cause significant risks for those who may not be aware of possible dangers or harm and can put tremendous stress on families. In this session, you will learn tips and tools 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: Thursday, October 28, 2021 from 1 pm – 2:30 pm

 

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