What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder that affects many areas of an individual’s life. It’s characterized by challenges with social skills, communication, repetitive behaviors, speech, and non-verbal communication.
The onset of symptoms is typically before the age of 3 years and each child diagnosed on the autism spectrum may have very different needs. Strategies that may have been successful in the past for one child may not work with another child. Therefore it is necessary for each child to be individually assessed and a personalized Intervention plan created based on their needs and family goals.
How NONA supports your child & family?
At NONA we work with children from age of diagnosis, which can be as young as 2yrs old up to the end of the month of their 19th birthday. We believe that the parents are the most important part of our team and along with the NONA therapists we look at your families priorities, your child’s unique strengths and abilities to create an individualized program.
Our program uses the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), an evidence based intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We use positive behavior supports to increase age appropriate behavior. All sessions take place at our Clubhouse. This purpose built facility is well equipped to provide a fun learning environment, where your child will have access to individualized sessions as well as social opportunities.
- Autism Speaks
- Social Thinking
- Autism Community Training (ACT-BC)
- Provincial Outreach Program for Autism Spectrum Disorders (POPARD)
- Autism Internet Modules
- A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs, a BC Ministry of Children and Family Development publication.
Once thought to be very rare, autism spectrum disorders are estimated to occur in as many as one in every 68 people.
We will get to know your child strengths, difficulties, and your families main concerns. Based on what we learn your team will develop an individualized plan of intervention that incorporates a variety of strategies to facilitate skill, acquisition, generalization, and maintenance.
6 – 12
The focus of our 6-12 program is on social and life skills. For children over the age of 6, we offer a combination of behavior intervention session, groups and consultative occupational therapy services.
13 – 19
The over 13 program is primarily on skills for transition to adulthood, your team will work with you to develop an individual plan for your child. Social opportunities are presented in a group format and friendships are encouraged to continue into adulthood. Some youth still benefit from a one-to-one model or a small group to build their skills. Sessions are offered at the NONA Clubhouse and in the community.
NONA wants your child to have the opportunity to play with other children and to make friends. We will do our best to give your child a chance to participate in one of our weekly groups with other children diagnosed with ASD who are close to her developmental level. When possible, we also encourage community outings for your child.
During the groups, the NONA’s staff will support your child’s play and interaction. The group leaders organize both structured (e.g., craft, story time) and less structured (e.g., gym time, outside play) activities in your child can practice the skills that she is working on, as well as apply her skills to a new environment.
Other children have an important role in your child’s life because they give her learning opportunities that cannot be duplicated by adults. We develop specific goals for your child to work on during the group and track her progress with these goals. If you have a particular goal that you want us to work on with your child, let us know.
The First Step
If you have concerns about your child please visit your family doctor who will be able to point you in the right direction. NONA’s Autism Program accepts referrals once a child has been diagnosed with Autism.
Referrals to Autism
Please complete our referral form if your child is under 19 and is diagnosed with autism. Currently, there is a waitlist for NONA’s Autism Services Program. Click Here to access the form.
Autism Services Program Manager