Mission Statement: This blog was created to provide information on getting help for autism in general while focussing on locally available resources for families with newly diagnosed children in Belleville and Quinte area.

Please browse the blog at your leisure and if you have autism related questions, please join facebook group discussions at Exceptional Minds Quinte If you are a parent, an autism consultant, counselor, teacher with information on autism resources available in our area, please feel free to post your information on this blog. You can do this by emailing your posts to bsangma@cogeco.ca

How to set up autism visual support at home

Local Autism Support Groups

Parents Engaging Autism Quinte (PEAQ), an autism parent support group meeting scheduled on August 7, Monday at Kerry's Place, 189 Victoria Avenue, Belleville at 6:30 p.m. has been canceled due to low attendance interest. Meetings will resume in September. The date for September meeting is 12th.

Email bsangma@cogeco.ca if you have questions or suggestions for autism topics that are important to you so that we can invite appropriate autism professionals to speak at these meetings.


Autism parent support group meeting hosted by Mental Health Agency, Trenton and Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) meeting is on the Third Thursday of the month. If you have any questions or require any further information please contact Orlana Bourgoin at orlana.b@trentonmfrc.ca or 613 392 2811 x 3953

For info on Community Living Prince Edward County Parent Support group, contact Resource Consultants @ 613 476 6038

Central Hastings Autism Support Group meets in Madoc at the Recreation Centre. Contact Renee O’Hara, Family Resource & Support, 613-966-7413 or Tammy Kavanagh, Family Resource & Support, 613-332-3227

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Direct funding for autism is great news but what does it mean for parents?

The news of the direct funding for autism in Ontario that would allow parents to form their own team of autism professionals to support their child with autism is great news but what does it really mean for parents? For one, the onus of getting qualified professional will now fall completely on the parents, some of whom may or may not be in a position to take charge of putting together a team of professionals, who have to be identified, interviewed, scheduled, monitored and paid on time. There is also the matter of providing space in the house for the program sessions. If parents are already financially strained (who isn't, really?), their available time stretched thin on managing work, running the household, caring for other other children in the family (aren't the plates of parents of special needs children already piled to the brim?), and if being organized is not one their strongest skillset (I struggle with it personally but have learned strategies to be as organized as I can be), then taking on the direct funding program might become a highly stressful challenge, which in turn could negatively affect the progress of their child with autism. This would then defeat the purpose of the new program, which is to get earliest possible intervention for the child for autism. But, with the right amount of information and guideline, and by setting up the foundation for success via initial detailed planning and organization, direct funding program is doable for parents.
One of the most important things for parents getting into this program is to lay emphasis on the qualification of the team that they are going to pull together. At this time, those qualified with formal credentials are nowhere near the number that will be needed to meet the demand that's going to hit the communities across Ontario the moment the direct funding begins to roll out by the end of this year. So, planning ahead is key and to plan effectively, one needs information. The first steps are to find out who do you need on the team and what will be their roles? What qualifications do you need to see in these professionals? How to interview them? How often to schedule the sessions? How will they be paid? How to manage the funding from the government, when it comes in.
I'll attempt to gather information on each of these questions and post them here as fast as I get them.

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In it for the long haul...

I created this blog with my sincere wish that those of you reading this will want to share your own stories, both good and bad, what worked for you and what didn't and together, we can make it easier for the next family beginning their own journey of discovery. By posting what you know, where you have recieved certain services, who you have talked to, whose expertise you trust, how you navigated the school education services and by responding to questions in the discussion thread, know that you have helped a family in need. So, parents, experts in the field, counsellors, teachers and everyone who has any information on resources available, please feel free to post on this blog.