Hands The Family Help Network has announced a new series of online autism resources to help support young people and their families as well as caregivers and service providers during the pandemic.
The new programs include autism clinics, seminars and consultations as well as a virtual support group for caregivers and a “how to” learning series to help improve communication and minimize challenging behaviours. The clinics will offer guidance on social interaction and other skills for children and teens while the seminars offer families a chance to learn about a wide variety of topics including addressing difficult topics and dealing with change. Dr. Karen Grattan-Miscio, senior manager of autism services at Hands, said in the announcement that all of the families that Hands works with have successfully transitioned to virtual service, adding that Hands has taken on new clients over the past three months as well.
“Families are telling us that they feel supported and that the virtual service has been meaningful and valuable for them,” Grattan-Miscio said. “As a trusted leader in autism services, our team remains committed to meeting the needs of families and community partners during the current pandemic.”
The support group, clinics, seminars and learning series will kick off in early July while consultations are available for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday. Consultations can be done by video or phone from anywhere in Northern Ontario and are open to families who have a child or youth diagnosed with autism, providing help with service coordination, behavioural consultation and speech-language consultation.
“Hands autism services recognizes the importance of accessible and flexible service options during this time and that families are looking for supports across a variety of areas,” Grattan-Miscio said. “We are pleased to be able to offer these helpful resources in an online format to help people during a very difficult time.”
Visit the Hands website for more information about the Caring for Caregivers Virtual Support Group, the virtual “How To” Learning Series, Online Autism Clinics, Online Autism Seminars and Virtual Autism Consultations.