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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 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 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 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.
Dione Costanzo is a mother of two young adults 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.
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 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 8 years. Stephanie is the President of the ABA Advisory for the Surrey School District. She expresses how thankful she is for these veteran parents that advocated, fought, and worked so hard for future parents. I have loved gaining a wealth of knowledge from the ASN members and to giving back to the community and parents. Stephanie owns and operates an aesthetics business, and is passionate about her kids, sports, and Autism.
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.
Breana is an adult with ASD, ADHD, and other disabilities, and is also a proud parent of two autistic children. ASN has not only been a welcoming and supportive community, but has provided resources and education to ensure their kids has quality treatment at home and at school.
Breana is passionate about intersectional equity-based education and evidence-based treatments. As a child, they struggled at school and without adequate treatment, Breana made a promise to always advocate for marginalized communities and ensure that others didn't have to struggle in the same ways.
Breana is excited to be a board member of the ASN, and in that capacity, is committed to supporting people with autism and their families.
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.
Jenn is the mother of 2 autistic children. Her older child was diagnosed at age 3 in the US, and her younger one diagnosed at age 5 in Canada. For the past decade since Immigration, Jenn has been focused on Individualized, evidence-based therapies for both kids in both public and independent schooling. Her advocacy background includes meeting with MLA's, organizing protests, letter writing campaigns, public speaking, media and social media, and experience with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Jenn is also one of the co-creators of BCEdAccess' Exclusion Tracker, which is for parents to report when their disabled children are denied an equitable education. She is particularly passionate about the different legal protections and services between the two countries, and the implications that has for the long-term prospects of Canadian children. Her current focus is parents with newly-diagnosed children, and has made it a personal goal to "meet these parents where they are at", connect and educate them on their rights.
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
Vanessa lives with her husband Ryan, and two children on Vancouver Island. She worked in management at the RCMP before leaving work to focus on her children’s home-based ABA programs and schooling. She has become as strong advocate for equitable education for children with disabilities. She has also provided a well-informed indigenous perspective in our communication with MCFD regarding the claw-back of Individualized Funding. “To this day there is still significant prejudice, racism and discrimination and I try to find a balance between the past, present, and future and discovery, healing and advocacy.”
AUTISM SUPPORT NETWORK BC
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