Welcome to Autism Society Canada's Website
Whether you are a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a parent or caregiver of a child with autism, a family member, a volunteer, an educator, a health or social service professional, or an interested researcher, this site will provide you with reliable information on autism and referrals to many helpful services and resources. You will also find news of our recent activities and publications.
ASC puts special focus on providing information, referral and resources for parents and other family members who are seeking support for children with autism. This site also provides news, resources and links for youths and adults on the spectrum. An exciting feature of our new site is Autism Junction – a searchable Canada-wide Directory of ASD services and related supports.
ASC is working to ensure that people with ASDs can reach their full potential as participating members of their communities.
Autism Society Canada
Happy Canada Day!
Canada Day Art 2014, by Jamieson Placido
Jamieson Placido's drawings are featured on the ASC Arts! page. Explore more creative work by people living with Autism
Autism Society Canada's Statement on Latest Estimated Prevalence Rates of ASD — June 2014
According to the latest estimates (March 2014) of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) 1 in every 68 children is born with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This results in approximately 515,000 Canadians living with an ASD. This figure does not account for the numerous family members and caregivers whose lives are impacted by autism.
"New data from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network show that the estimated number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, and the picture of ASD in communities has changed. This new data can be used to promote early identification, plan for training and service needs, guide research, and inform policy so that children with ASD and their families get the help they need. CDC will continue tracking the changing number and characteristics of children with ASD, researching what puts children at risk for ASD, and promoting early identification, the most powerful tool we have now for making a difference in the lives of children. Learn the 10 things you need to know about CDC's latest ADDM Network report."
In May 2013 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) completed the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5). The DSM is the standard reference for diagnosing mental illness and disabilities in North America, and was last fully revised in 1994. The latest version introduces a new diagnostic category called Autism Spectrum Disorder that replaces the previous diagnoses of Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).
A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder recognizes individuals with a wide range of needs, strengths and challenges. People on the autism spectrum depend on lifelong supports and services. It is the hope of ASC that the updated prevalence rates and changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) will provide a better basis for expanded access to supports and services that will result in better outcomes for those on the ASD Spectrum.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also referred to as autism, is a neurological disorder which affects the way the brain functions, resulting in difficulties with communication and social interaction, and unusual patterns of behavior, activities and interests. Autism Society Canada actively advocates for services and support for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), their families and their communities. Autism Society Canada's mission is to work with our many partners to address the national priorities facing the Autism Community. Autism Society Canada is the largest collective voice for autism in Canada.
Autism Society Canada / Société canadienne de l'autisme
The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance National Needs Assessment Survey for Autism
1400 people across Canada have already been heard!
If you are a person affected by autism—a parent, a caregiver, a professional, or you live with autism—please spend 10-15 minutes to complete the National Needs Assessment Survey for Autism.
Make sure to detail all the gaps in services and areas where you feel more support is needed.
Let’s make it count!
The survey is funded by Health Canada and will give us a picture of autism in Canada.
Artist Tyler Holgate is generously donating a portion of the sales of his beautiful drawing, "The Dragon" to Autism Society Canada. A big thank you to Tyler for helping us to raise awareness of autism in Canada!!
I was in love with the dragon voiced by Sean Connery in the film DragonHeart (dir. Rob Cohen, Universal Pictures 1996). My fascination with his reptilian, and scaly physical appearance is what inspired me for this artwork.
I wish to contribute part of the sales of this artwork to Autism Society Canada. I feel that autism is a condition that is not recognized enough in our society. As a person who has lived with this condition, I believe the awareness of autism needs to be more profound for future research. It is with this proper research that one day a cure can possibly be found or it can be prevented.
The Dragon is dedicated to all those who live with autism. Visit Tyler's website to place your order now.
To support ASC and Autism Awareness, Matthew Kitchen is volunteering his time to make necklaces and bracelets on his Rainbow Loom!
Matthew is an 11 year old volunteer with an ASD. He will be selling his Autism Awareness jewelry in stores in the Orillia and Barrie Ontario area with proceeds going to Autism Society Canada. So watch for Matthew's Rainbow Loom creations and show your support today!
Help us Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2
In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), just wear blue!
An historical moment in Canadian history: On October 23, 2012, Senator Jim Munson's Bill S-206, An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day, was fast-tracked and passed by members of the House of Commons. "Since then and on each and every April 2nd we officially recognize this day as World Autism Awareness Day in Canada".
Thank your for your continued support as we join to celebrate WAAD.
Autism Society Canada
Parents, MPs, Advocates mark World Autism Awareness Day on Steps on Parliament. Meggie Sylvester, Ottawa Citizen, April 2, 2014: Kim Peterson says her son Ryder was diagnosed with autism when he was four years old, though signs were noticeable when he was just two.
Sharon Family Learns about Autism Research in Caribbean. Chris Traber, YorkRegion.com, April 2, 2014: March break trips to the Caribbean to swim with the dolphins isn’t uncommon for winter weary York Region residents ... For one Sharon family, it was a journey of discovery.
Canada Needs National Autism Strategy. Corey Allen, University of British Columbia News, March 31, 2014: Canada needs to re-think how it diagnoses and treats autism, says UBC’s Pat Mirenda.
5 Common Misconceptions about Autism. David Kates, Canada.com, April 2, 2014: Autism spectrum disorder is as pervasive as it is vexing: a recent Health Canada estimate suggested that 1 in 150-160 children have autism, while another recent study suggests as many as 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have autism – a growing number largely attributable to ongoing changes in how the condition is identified, classified and diagnosed.
April 1st at 7:50am, Kali Samagalski and ASC Board Member, Kristian Hooker, will be appearing on CTV Morning Live to talk about the misconceptions of Autism. | Wednesday, April 2nd (WAAD) — Kristian will be the MC of the raising of the Autism Awareness flag at Winnipeg City Hall at 9:30. Be sure to have your televisions tuned into CTV. The flag raising event is open to public.
Good Reason to go Blue. John Shirley, Castlegar News, March 31, 2014: The Government of Canada, in conjunction with other governments worldwide, has declared April 2, 2014 National Autism Awareness Day. In keeping with this day there is a unique global initiative “Light It Up Blue” that is dedicated to raising awareness of Autism.
Opinion: Autism Families are Still in Crisis. Jim Munson, Ottawa Citizen, March 31, 2014: We will mark World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 ... Last month, a select committee of the Ontario Legislative Assembly published an interim report on developmental services in Ontario. The final recommendations will be submitted to the Ontario government in May.
Canadian Politicians Must Address Autism Crisis. Jim Munson, thestar.com, March 28, 2014: Growing autism crisis in Canada needs to be addressed with clear national public policy and political leadership.
Why Autism Doesn't Need Fixing. Daniel Palmer, Victoria News, March 28, 2014: The first things one notices about Iris Gray is her affinity for purple and her aversion to eye contact ...
Jump App Studio, which creates iOS apps for children focused on observation and manipulative skills, is offering free downloads of select apps through the month of April 2014: April 1–4 Cute Food; April 5–8 Kid 'n' Play Animal Puzzles; April 9–11 Puppet Workshop; April 12–15 My Monsters Puzzle Game for Kids; April 16–19 Imagination Box; April 20–22 Little House Decorator; April 23–26 Toy Repair Workshop; April 27–30 Kid 'n' Play Vehicle Puzzles. Find other apps on the ASC Treatment Resources page.
Premiere of Guelph-made Film to Herald World Autism Awareness Day. Joanne Shuttleworth, GuelphMercury.com, March 25, 2014: It's not surprising that a writer and a filmmaker would take a special interest in a support group for people who live with barriers to communication.
Zach Fucalee is Helping to Raise Autism Awareness. Autism Daily Newscast, March 19, 2014: Zach Fucalee is a Canadian ice hockey goalie who currently plays for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Chronicle Herald reports that Fucale decided a few months ago that he needed to share some of his good fortune ...
Mom Using Facebook to Fulfill Autistic Son's Birthday Wish. CBC News, February 19, 2014: A mother from Prince George, B.C., is using social media to make her autistic son's birthday dreams come true.
First Annual Chair Stakeholder Report of the CIHR Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research [PDF], York University, 2014.
Ontario's Autism Spectrum Agencies Welcome Federal Investment in the Working Lives of Youth and Adults [PDF]. Press Release, The Redpath Centre, Kerry's Place: Autism Services, Autism Ontario, February 12, 2014: In the release of the federal budget yesterday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, there was a surprise but welcome offering for youth and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Canada.
Job Training for Canadians with Intellectual Disabilities gets Boost in Federal Budget. Alex Boutiller, Joel Eastwood, thestar.com, February 11, 2014: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget has small boosts for training programs helping Canadians with intellectual disabilities get to work.
Individuals living with ASDs from across Canada share their stories:
Spreading Autism Acceptance – Chris' Story [PDF]
Giving Voice to those who are Silent – Kristian's Story [PDF]
Just a Mom – Michelle's Story [PDF]
Defying the Odds – Jason's Story [PDF]
Being Committee Chair Means Being a Positive Role Model for Others – Tom's Story [PDF]
No Chance for University Graduate – Danny's Story [PDF]
A Canadian Plan for Autism – Vicki's Story [PDF]
A Message of Hope – Cynthia's Story [PDF]
Being Supportive in a Small Community – Larry's Story [PDF]
Strides in Ontario – Leah's Story [PDF]
A Woman's Fight for Recognition – Martine's Story [PDF]
A Fight for Healthcare – Vic's Story [PDF]
Aspergian Love – Georges' Story [PDF] | Un amour de type Asperger – L'histoire de Georges [PDF]
Frustration in Rural Saskatchewan – Arden's Story [PDF]
I Am My Own Success – Leland's Story [PDF]
Finding Hope in Yukon – Karen's Story [PDF]
Bringing Autism to Parliament – Jerome's Story [PDF]