Programs

Our Programs

Our Programs

Autism Edmonton helps families and individuals navigate their options for services, find vital information, and develop skills and peer support through facilitated activity and discussion groups.

Explore the variety of services and programs we offer by clicking on any of the titles below.

Opportunity looks different for everyone. The goal of Occasio is to provide opportunities for growth for individuals and support for families. Occasio helps autistic kids and youth make friends, practice independence, gain confidence, and stay active. Participant to staff ratios is based on the level of independence and can vary from 1:1 to 4:1, this maintains social interaction while providing support as needed so all can participate. 

We want to encourage the development of healthy friendships among peers, that’s why we run activities for two chronological age groups:

  • Junior (7-12 years)
  • Senior (13-18 years)

Once registered, you can register for activities that interest you and your child by clicking on the upcoming activities.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Activities are ad-hoc, non-session style activities, and focus on supportive inclusion.
  • Spectrum-inclusive
  • Variety of activities to choose from offered multiple times a week
  • Helps practice independence, social skills and grow many other valuable life skills
  • Opportunities to engage with peers who share similar interests
  • Develop friendships
  • Respite hours may be covered by FSCD, CFS or PDD

Want to join? Please click here to begin the intake process. Once your intake form has been processed and your rate has been approved, you will be able to register for activities online.

Check out our event calendar to see some upcoming events!

Are you an autistic adult who would like to meet new people? Perhaps learn something new? Come join The League! This is a social-recreational program for adults on the spectrum. The League helps participants to expand social circles by participating in community activities with peers and developing relationships with one another.

The league offers a range of free to low-cost activities to suit our members’ wide range of interests and hobbies. Activities vary each month and may include game nights, movie nights, bowling, and dinner outings. 

Peer facilitators are present. However, individuals must be able to function independently or bring their own supports. 

KEY FEATURES:

  • Ages 18 and up
  • Spectrum-inclusive
  • Fun, casual, inclusive hang out with peers
  • Peer facilitators are present
  • Group meets multiple times monthly

Want to join or find out more? Please contact our Adult Support Coordinator at (780)-453-3971 Ext. 1 or by filling out this form.

Check out our event calendar to see some upcoming events! 

Grey & Great Discussion Group

Are you an older adult / senior on the autism spectrum looking for emotional support? Would you like to meet peers who understand some of the things you may be going through? We invite you to join our Grey & Great discussion group. This group is open to adults on the spectrum (ages 50+) who are looking for opportunities to build up their peer support network. Emphasis is placed on self-care, support one another and developing a community among members.

Please check out our event calendar to see when the next group meeting is.

Golden League

Are you looking for fulfilling social opportunities where you can connect with your peers? Come join the Golden League! It’s a social-recreational group for adults on the autism spectrum (ages 50+) that helps participants expand social circles by participating in community activities with peers and developing relationships.

The Golden League offers free to low-cost activities to suit our members’ wide range of interests and hobbies. Activities vary each month and may include game nights, movie nights, bowling, and dinner outings. Individuals must be able to function independently or bring their own supports.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Ages 50 and up
  • Spectrum-inclusive
  • Drop-in format
  • An official diagnosis is not required to be included
  • Casual and inclusive activities with peers
  • Group hosts are present and help provide directions
  • Small groups of 5-15 people

Want to join or find out more? Please contact us at (780)-453-3971 Ext. 1 or by filling out this form.

Check out our event calendar to see some upcoming events!

Our Support Services Team hosts a variety of ongoing drop-in groups to serve as a safe place for people to share their experiences, ask questions and receive guidance. Find the group right for you.

Autistic Adults Discussion Group

Are you an adult on the Autism spectrum looking for a safe place to share? Would you like to meet peers who understand some of the things you are going through? We invite you to join this discussion group.

This group is open to adults on the spectrum who are looking for opportunities to build up their support network. Emphasis is placed on self-care, peer support and developing a community among attendees.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free drop-in
  • Official diagnosis is not required to be included
  • Ages 18 and up
  • Spectrum-inclusive

Please check out our calendar to see when the next group meeting is.

LGBTQ2S+ Discussion Group

Let’s open up the conversation. If you are an autistic adult who is part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, we invite you to join this group. This is a province-wide initiative hosted in partnership with Autism Calgary, Autism Alberta, and Autism Edmonton.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free, drop in
  • Open to members who identify with or exploring the LGBTQ2S+ community
  • Focused topics paired with open discussion
  • Respectful and inclusive
  • A safe space

Please check out our calendar to see when the next group meeting is.

Partners of Autistic Adult Discussion Group

All relationships are hard work, they take a lot of effort. This drop-in group is geared towards talking about the ways that autism affects your relationship, learning from other people, and strengthening your social support network.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free, drop-in
  • Open to partners of autistic adults only

Please check out our calendar to see when the next group meeting is.

Parents of Autistic Adult Discussion Group

This group aims to create a community of parents and caregivers and establish a support circle for people who have adult children on the autism spectrum. It offers a place to learn more about what other families have experienced, find empathetic support, and share ideas and information with each other.

Discussions cover a variety of topics of interest to the group, and we also regularly invite guest speakers to present. 

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free, drop-in
  • Open to parents of autistic adults only

Please check out our calendar to see when the next group meeting is.

Women’s Peer Discussion group

Are you a woman on the autism spectrum looking for emotional support? Would you like to meet peers who understand some of the things you may be going through? We invite you to join this new discussion group.

This group is open to women on the spectrum who are looking for opportunities to build up their peer support network. An official diagnosis is not required to be included. Emphasis is placed on self-care, supporting one another and developing a community among members.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free drop-in
  • Official diagnosis is not required to be included
  • Ages 18 and up
  • Spectrum-inclusive

Grey & Great Discussion Group

Are you an older adult / senior on the autism spectrum looking for emotional support? Would you like to meet peers who understand some of the things you may be going through? We invite you to join our Grey & Great support group. This group is open to adults on the spectrum (ages 50+) who are looking for opportunities to build up their peer support network. Emphasis is placed on self-care, support one another and developing a community among members

KEY FEATURES

  • Ages 50 and up
  • Spectrum-inclusive
  • Drop-in format
  • An official diagnosis is not required to be included
  • Casual and inclusive activities with peers
  • Group hosts are present and help provide directions
  • Small groups of 5-15 people

Please check out our calendar to see when the next group meeting is.

With a collaborative and person-centered approach, Autism Edmonton’s Community Advocate works alongside families and individuals, who have been identified as being on the autism spectrum. While using a strength-based lens, we provide a supportive hand, in establishing and attaining meaningful goals, which contribute to a heightened quality of life. 

Respecting the diversity and autonomy of our members at Autism Edmonton, we appreciate walking this path in unique steps to best cultivate positive and balanced outcomes.

Want to find out more? Please contact us by filling out this form to enquire further how we may assist you in your current situation.

Autism 101

This presentation gives participants a basic overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is an introduction to what autism is and how it affects the way people interact with others and the world. In our Autism 101 presentation we hope to provide education while dispelling the myths and falsities about autism. With this presentation we hope to encourage our community to become more autism friendly and help us create a more inclusive society for all.

This presentation covers the following topics:

  • Autism spectrum disorder overview 
  • Characteristics of ASD
  • How sensory processing works
  • Sensory toolbox
  • Sensory diet
  • Introduction to visual supports for autism

Please check out our calendar to see when the next in-house presentation is happening.

If you are interested in having a presentation done for your organization, please fill out this contact form

Autism 201

During this presentation, we dive deeper into what ASD is and share practical strategies that can help you interact with and support autistic individuals. The presentation also covers the strengths and challenges experienced by many autistic people and how to respond to create enabling environments. Lastly, we unpack what might trigger a meltdown and how to help de-escalate the situation. Autism 201 is a follow-up session to Autism 101. By joining this presentation, you will be able to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of autism spectrum disorder
  • Learn about characteristics of ASD and how to support
  • Identify the impact of sensory differences and respond to sensory needs of autistic people (sensory toolbox)
  • Discuss environmental accommodations
  • Learn about comorbidities
  • Learn how communication can be a challenging behavior
  • Discuss meltdowns, including
    • Triggers
    • Relationship recovery and repair
    • De-escalation techniques

If you are interested in having a presentation done for your organization, please fill out this contact form

Family Resource Centers

Led by Autism Society of Alberta, Autism Calgary, and Autism Edmonton in partnership with the Autism Society of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Peace Autism, Chinook Autism Society, Inclusion Lethbridge, and the Crowsnest Community Support Society. We bring you the Family Resource Centers. With this, we can host a variety of workshops, trainings, and information sessions. These educational opportunities can cover topics such as 

  • Abuse Prevention and Response
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention,
  • Behavioural Supports
  • Restrictive Procedures
  • New Diagnosis
  • Transition to Adulthood
  • Funding sources other than FSCD, PDD and AISH
  • Sexual Health
  • And many more!

Please check out our calendar to see what Educational Opportunities are coming up.

Think you have a presentation that would benefit with autism community? We would love to hear from you! Fill out this form to get in contact.

Stay At Home Alone

Would you like to help your son/daughter develop capacity for independence at home in a safe way?

As a project under the Occasio program, Autism Edmonton has contracted staff from Cassidy Brown Behavior Consulting Services to offer learning sessions where participants will be taught strategies to navigate scenarios they may encounter while staying home alone appropriately. This also includes training devoted to educating parents on transferring skills learned at the workshop to the home setting.

What sets this program apart from similar training courses is that it includes direct teaching and modelling in a small group setting, using methods suitable to neurodiverse learning profiles. A parent-learning component will assist with successful transfer of skills to the home environment.

Launch Into Life!

Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood and moving beyond high school can be a trying time for youth – particularly for those with ASD.

To help families plan and prepare for their child’s transition to adulthood, Autism Edmonton is excited to offer Launch into Life! – a set of workshops designed to help families of youth with autism prepare for and respond to key life transitions and create an Individualized Transition Plan.

Transition Planning Benefits

Transition planning helps individuals, and their families make informed choices around future living arrangements, education and employment, finances, and community and social involvement. Everyone with autism is unique and transitioning may go smoothly or take longer and be more challenging depending on circumstances. But with support and careful planning, many individuals with autism can successfully prepare for adulthood.

Start Early

The transition planning process can begin at any age. Starting the planning process as early as possible (ideally, around the age of 13) allows having more time to prepare and implement a plan that can effectively address the challenges of preparing for adulthood. However, no matter when you start it, or how old your child is, the Launch program will be valuable to you.

About the Launch Program

The Launch Program, an initiative of The Sinneave Family Foundation, began by helping families create individualized transition plans one family at a time. Over time, the program evolved into a group-based workshop format to allow families to come together to share their experiences, connect, and learn from each other.

Launch into Life! workshops focus on discovering personal strengths and areas for growth based on an individual’s interests, abilities and needs. They provide valuable information about the following topics:

  • Understanding and preparing for key transitions across a person’s lifespan
  • Managing health and mental health issues related to ASD
  • Navigating change from pediatric to adult health and support care systems
  • Finding the right social and recreational programs in the community
  • Creating a shared vision for your child’s future
  • Developing life and vocational skills
  • Exploring volunteer and work opportunities
  • Legal and financial issues, including guardianship and program funding
  • Understanding housing and supportive programming options in adulthood

The Pantry program brings fresh and nutritious foods to the tables of autistic families who are experiencing food insecurity. It is designed to provide access to healthy food and other essential items in an autism-friendly environment for people on the spectrum with limited income and their families.

The items we distribute are received from the Edmonton Food Bank and depend heavily on food donations made to the Edmonton Food Bank. Generally, members can access fresh, frozen, and packaged/canned food and toiletries at our office.

Key Program Features:

  • All ages welcome
  • Open by appointment only; please call 780-453-3971 ext. 1 to book a visit
  • Pick-ups can be booked for Wednesdays or Thursdays between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm
  • Open to all Autism Edmonton members in need
    • An intake form will be needed to be filled out
  • Free

We hand out approximately 530 hampers of food every year. The Pantry is not a government program but funded privately through individual and corporate donations. Besides relieving some stresses around food insecurity, the secondary purpose is also to inform members of alternative resources and supports for other areas of their lives.

Want to join or find out more? Please contact a member of our Support Team 780-453-3971 Ext. 1 or fill out this form

Sometimes it’s hard to know what type of support you’re looking for, and it helps to have someone to talk with to figure it out. That’s what Autism Edmonton is here for.

Whether you are an individual on the spectrum, a caregiver who has a family member that has been diagnosed, or a professional looking to support a family or individual, we are here to help. We can assist with connecting you to the appropriate supports and services within the community or help navigate the funding systems and resources that are available. 

A key part of our role is providing telephone support and helping callers connect to relevant and useful resources in their area.

Key Program Features:

  • Support individuals and families
  • Listen to struggles/challenges, offer solutions and resources
  • Identify goals and strengths
  • Create an action plan
  • Build skills and help access community resources
  • Connect people to community services and resources
  • Assist in finding the right support services
    • Help families feel supported in finding and accessing services
  • Navigating resources

To reach our support services team call 780-453-3971 Ext. 1 or fill out this form

Sometimes it’s hard to know what type of support you’re looking for, and it helps to have someone to talk with to figure it out. That’s what Autism Edmonton is here for.

Whether you are an individual on the spectrum, a caregiver who has a family member that has been diagnosed, or a professional looking to support a family or individual, we are here to help. We can assist with connecting you to the appropriate supports and services within the community or help navigate the funding systems and resources that are available. 

A key part of our role is providing telephone support and helping callers connect to relevant and useful resources in their area.

Key Program Features:

  • Support individuals and families
  • Listen to struggles/challenges, offer solutions and resources
  • Identify goals and strengths
  • Create an action plan
  • Build skills and help access community resources
  • Connect people to community services and resources
  • Assist in finding the right support services
    • Help families feel supported in finding and accessing services
  • Navigating resources

Click here to access the Resource Directory.

To reach our support services team call 780-453-3971 Ext. 1 

Join us with your family! Community Connections are events and community outings that are hosted throughout the year and are open to everyone. Events include sensory accommodations to prompt positive experiences and participation. Community Connections aims to help your family come together in an environment where you do not have to worry about explaining who your child is and what they are doing.

Look at the upcoming events – feel free to invite your entire family and friends!

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