We Are Dedicated to Improving Access to Quality ABA Services in the Community for all Individuals

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The Autism Support Network is an organization of families and professionals educating and supporting families about Applied Behaviour Analysis and its application as a treatment for autism. We seek to strengthen our community across British Columbia by building local networks so that families can connect with other families in their own neighbourhoods.

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What We Do

Autism Support Network Board Members are dedicated to improving and increasing access to quality Treatment services in the home and in the community for all individuals who may benefit from it.

Parent Support and Education

The Autism Support Network holds neighbourhood network meetings where parents can connect with other parents and share trials and tribulations. Most of these meetings also feature guest speakers who give presentations to parents in their area of specialization. Topics have included social skill development, feeding challenges, practical functional analysis, aggression and self injurious behaviour, sexual health, sibling issues and a myriad of other subjects.

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Individual Support

Connecting experienced parents with families who are facing a new situation in their autism journey is the core of why our organization exists. Our intake process involves a network of volunteer parents who value the opportunity to provide an experienced voice. Many hours are spent providing individualized information and support over the phone, via email and in person.Our parent representatives are passionate about empowering others to understand the science and benefits behind evidence based autism treatment.

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Educational Web Series

Parent, Nancy Walton, produced a series of videos that every parent with a child with autism should watch.  The “Welcome to Autism” series helps parents become savvy consumers of treatments. “ABA in Schools” and “Advocacy” are critical videos for parents wanting to have their children integrated into the public or private school system.

Our Web Series

Information Booths at Events

Connecting experienced parents with families who are facing a new situation in their autism journey is the core of why our organization exists. Our intake process involves a network of volunteer parents who value the opportunity to provide an experienced voice. Many hours are spent providing individualized information and support over the phone, via email and in person. Our parent representatives are passionate about empowering others to understand the science and benefits behind evidence based autism treatment.

Thank You to Our Community Partners

One of the most important things to the Autism Support Network is strengthening our community. Businesses, community organizations and individuals can support families that are living with autism in their community by partnering with us in a variety of ways. We rely fully on donations and grants to be able to do the work that we do.

We would also like to thank Ella and Hazel who ran a fundraiser for the ASN at their School.

Thanks to Stephanie, Shauna, Sepideh, Tom, Nancy, Jenn and Jonathan who did Facebook Fundraisers which brought in over $2000.

And thanks to all our Scotiabank Charity Challenge runners and walkers who raised over $7000 in 2021.

Staff and Board of Directors

Our staff and board of directors consists of a variety of professionals who are parents of children with autism. We also, we have an Advisory Panel of community members and Autism Service Providers that we work with. We strongly believe in “Parents Helping Parents.” We highly value our grassroots beginning and will continue to operate with no financial gain.

Nancy Walton

Executive Director

Nancy Walton, a mother of two, has been involved in meetings with MLA’s, MP’s and School administrators regarding ABA services for all children with ASD, since her son was diagnosed in 2000. She facilitated meetings for parents for 7 years first through the Autism Society of BC and later through the Autism Support Network Society, an organization which she founded in 2007. She was also one of the founders of the ABA Advisory in the Surrey School District and was instrumental in the development of the ABA Support Worker program in the district. Nancy currently works part time at the Chilliwack Hub of the Pacific Autism Family Network and as a Teacher on Call.

Elaine Wadell

Educational Coordinator

Elaine was a founding board member of the Autism Support Network. She has been an active member of the Autism community since her oldest son was diagnosed in 2005. She is a parent to 3 boys, an entrepreneur and advocate who believes in equitable access to education and treatment across the lifetime, regardless of socioeconomic and cultural factors. As the Education coordinator for the ASN, Elaine is happy to have the opportunity to work directly with parents. She is an experienced parent who has been through the processes of diagnosis, setting up an ABA program, navigating the school system, homeschooling, working with MCFD, and adult transition with CLBC. She is able to help families find support and navigate through difficulties at any point in their child’s development.

Sara Varaimi

Information Agent
(English and Farsi)

Sara is a single mom whose son was diagnosed as Autistic at the age of 4. She immigrated to Canada 2018, and as a newcomer, she quickly got her son's diagnosis and started a home-based ABA program. Soon after that, she was able to get his school onboard to ensure a consistent teaching approach was used.
Sara is a natural helper and connected within the Persian community. She created a Telegram group for Farsi-speaking families with autistic children and has volunteered many hours helping families. Sara is happy to have the opportunity to expand her skills and to be more available to parents in need of support!

Sissy Lei

Information Agent (English and Mandarin)

Sissy Lei has a daughter who was diagnosed as Autistic at the age of 4. When her family immigrated to Canada from China in 2016. Sissy, quickly researched the best course of action. Now she oversees her daughter’s ABA program at home and at school. Before immigration, she worked for years in an international company in Customer Service, Sales & amp; Marketing and Human Resources. In Canada, she started up a cosmetic e-business. She began working for the Autism Support Network Society in 2019, where she is always pleased to offer help to other families with children with autism through sharing resources and experiences.

Deepika Sheemar

Information Agent

(Punjabi, Hindi and English)

Deepika is the mother of three children. Her youngest was diagnosed with Autism at age 3. She runs a successful ABA program for her son both at school and at home. She is passionate about educating and supporting parents with new diagnoses. She truly believes that parents are the best advocates for their children, so educating and supporting the parents is pivotal. She is a Freelance Makeup Artist and also an experienced BI. She loves spending time outdoors with family and singing.

Stephanie Lawson

President

Stephanie and her husband have one son who was diagnosed with Autism in 2015.  She attended her first Autism Support Network meeting in January 2017 and switched from a center based to a home-based treatment program for her son shortly after. In 2018, Stephanie joined the ASN board of directors as Secretary and became president in September, 2019.  She is thankful for the support of her parents who have allowed her to go back to work where she is Vice President of Operations at Magnum Nutraceuticals.  She enjoys going to the gym, going for nature walks and playground visits with her son, and volunteering for the Autism Support Network.

Jason Thorburn

Vice President

Jason became an activist on a national level when he went to his MP to ask for a National Autism Strategy and Medicare of Autism.  He later joined the Autism Support Network where he is very helpful with advocacy issues and legal documentation for the organization.

Dione Costanzo

Director

Dione Costanzo is a mother of two teenage boys and was instrumental in founding the Autism Support Network. Her youngest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. She is most passionate about ensuring every family and individual has access to science-based ABA treatment. Dione has a wealth of experience in advocating for ABA treatment and services in BC and is continually supporting other families. Dione is a freelance Social Media Director and independent business woman.

Louise Witt

Director

Louise is a registered social worker and parent of two teenage children. Since her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, she has been actively involved in the autism community and was a founding member of the Autism Support Network. Within the ASN, Louise does a great deal of volunteer outreach work with parents in crisis. Louise was also a member of the Pacific Autism Family Network steering committee.

Michelle Auton

Treasurer

Michelle is a mother of 3, and has been involved in the ABA community since 1999. She and her husband, on behalf of their son, are proud and grateful to have been one of 30 families involved in the Auton case, which resulted in funding for children with autism. Michelle works as a Behaviour Consultant. More recently she has concentrated on advocating for ABA services for adults.

Tom Wiebe

Director

Tom has been an active advocate for his son who was diagnosed with autism.  He facilitated the Vancouver Neighbourhood Network meetings with the Autism Support Network since 2017.  Tom is now working as a patient and family engagement advisor at the BC Women’s Hospital.

Stephanie Kluch

Director

Stephanie Kluch is a mother of 2 children. The oldest child was diagnosed at age 3.  Her family has been running a home based ABA team for 4 years. Stephanie is the Vice President of the ABA Advisory in the Surrey School District.  She expresses that she is so thankful for these veteran parents that advocated, fought, and worked so hard for us to have the ABA support worker program. She looks forward to gaining a wealth of knowledge from the ASN board and to give back to the community. Stephanie work from home, and is passionate about her kids, sports, and Autism.

Lola Campbell

Director

Lola is a mum to 2 boys in Vancouver. She is passionate about school advocacy for children on the spectrum, equitable access to education, as well as helping parents with evidence-based therapies. They enjoy being outdoors, whether it’s snowboarding in the winter, paddleboarding in the summer, or hiking year round in our local mountains

AUTISM SUPPORT NETWORK BC

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