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Community Groups


ACT has compiled a listing of volunteer community groups from across British Columbia as a community service to those seeking helping or looking for information. These groups provide support to parents of children/adults on the Spectrum, and/or for people who themselves have ASD and/or for siblings and extended family members.

Some of these groups are not specific to Autism, as they assist families and/or persons who have a wide range of disabilities and/or require specific supports which share characteristics commonly found in ASD.

Our list is broken down into six geographical areas; click on link to view the cities listed in each region:

Regarding our geographic areas, ACT has opted to utilize the more ‘user friendly’ breakdown as defined by Travel BC. To view the MCFD/MOE geographic breakdown, please view the following MCFD_Geographic_Regions.pdf.

To view our documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 

 


BC Rockies

Name of Group: West Kootenay Community Group for Autism
Region Served: Castlegar, Trail, Rossland, Fruitvale, Montrose
Focus of Interest: Special Needs, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome
Your mandate or purpose: We welcome anyone who needs to talk and be supported or needs education/information. We discuss a wide range of topics including ABA, education, emotional support, etc.
How often do you meet? Once a Month
Language used:
English
Location:
Trail
Contact person: Susan Henke
Email address: shenke@telus.net

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Cariboo Country

Name of Group: Cariboo ASD Parent Support Group
Region Served: Cariboo – South Central Interior
Focus of Interest: ASD parents, individuals, families and community education
Your mandate or purpose: To support parents, individuals & families living with autism and to create awareness of autism in our community. To promote peer relationships for people with Autism in district schools & communities.
How often do you meet?
Monthly
Language used:
English
Location:
100 Mile House, BC ( Box 1197)
Contact person: Kate Regan
Email address:
MKCRegan@telus.net

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Northern BC

Name of Group: BC Epilepsy SocietyBrain Injury Group
Region Served: Prince George
Focus of Interest: Epilepsy
Your mandate or purpose: To provide information and public education about epilepsy. Provide support to those living with epilepsy
How often do you meet? Second Tuesday of every month from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Language used: English
Location:
1237 4 th Avenue, Prince George
Contact person: Gordon or Karen
Telephone number:
(250) 562-6296

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Thompson Okanagan

Name of Group: Asperger’s Group 14+
Region Served: Interior Kamloops
Focus of Interest: Asperger’s Syndrome and/or High Functioning Autism
Your mandate or purpose: For youths with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism
How often do you meet?
Third Tuesday of each month from 7:30-9:00 pm
Language used:
English
Location:
Community Living Centre, 520D Seymour Street Kamloops (the centre is located behind the Movie Mart).
Contact person: Lorna Woodbury
Telephone number:
250-376-6661

Name of Group: Autism Kamloops
Region Served: Interior Thompson, Nicola, Shuswap
Focus of Interest: Parent Support
Your mandate or purpose: Membership in Autism Kamloops and meetings are free and open to everyone. This includes parents, caregivers and professionals – with an interest in autism spectrum disorder. The aim is to bring people together to share information and to promote a better understanding of autism in Kamloops and region.
How often do you meet? Monthly
Language used:
English
Location:
Kamloops
Contact person: Betty-Ann Garreck
Email address:
bagarreck@shaw.ca
Telephone number: 250-376-5495

Name of Group: Family Fun Night
Region Served: Interior, Kamloops
Focus of Interest: Asperger’s Syndrome – Social Issues
Your mandate or purpose: For Children with social disorders (ADHD, Tourettes, Autism Spectrum Disorder) who social life might be suffering/impacted to socialize with their peers. Activities include floor hockey, basketball, soccer and
hanging out.
How often do you meet? Last Friday of each month – 6:30-8:00 pm
Language used:
English
Location:
Sahali Elementary School – 1585 Summit Drive, Kamloops
Contact person: Tracey Pollard (250) 573-2024 or Chris Yewchyn (250) 320-0154
All volunteers are experienced
Contact email: tracey_butterfly@hotmail.com

Name of Group: Families in Touch (FIT)
Region Served: Central Okanagan
Focus of Interest: General support to families with children of all types
of disabilities
Your mandate or purpose: FIT is a parent driven network. Our primary role is connecting families who have children with disabilities. Fit believes families share unique experiences, knowledge and are a valuable resource to each other. Together families develop supportive relationships with the community and decrease their dependency on services.
How often do you meet? Monthly
Language used: English
Location:
Kelowna
Contact person: Donna Long
Email address:
familiesintouch@shaw.ca

Name of Group: Gifted Children’s Association Parents Support Group
Region Served: Armstrong & Shuswap
Focus of Interest: Gifted Children
Your mandate or purpose: To foster parent support groups; to encourage the sharing of informational and educational materials; to promote parent growth, understanding, and skills in assisting the development of gifted and talented children. To help parents and other concerned individuals meet the needs of gifted and talented children.
How often do you meet? Visit website at www.gcabc.ca to find times
Language used: Confirm with Regional Group
Location:
Visit website at www.gcabc.ca to find locations
Contact person: Visit website to find regional contact
Email address:
info@gcabc.ca
Telephone number: 1-877-707-6111 (head office)

Name of Group: NONA – North Okanagan Support & Educational Group for Parents of Autism & Related Disorders
Region Served: North Okanagan – Vernon, Armstrong, Salmon Arm
Focus of Interest: Support & Education for Parents of Children with ASD
Your mandate or purpose: We welcome all parents of children with ASD & related disorders (0-18years). We provide support & education to parents and
family events.
How often do you meet? Once a month – first Monday of the month
Language used:
English
Location:
NONA Child Development Centre, 2802 – 34 th Street, Vernon, BC
Contact person: Lorraine Donald
Email address:
Family.support@nona-cdc.com
Telephone number: 250-549-1281 ext. 215

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Vancouver Coast & Mountains

Name of Group: ASBC - Parent Support Group
Region Served: Lower Mainland
Focus of Interest: Parent Support Group
Your mandate or purpose: Provide support to parents/families with autistic children
How often do you meet? Monthly
Language used:
English
Location:
St. David’s United Church, 1525 Taylor Way, West Vancouver (Upper Levels and Taylor Way – 604-922-3961)
Contact person:
Eva Lee

Name of Group: Autism Tri Cities
Region Served: Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam (however we welcome anyone outside these areas as well)
Focus of Interest: Autism-related information forParents of children with ASD as well a para-professionals and professionals. Some meetings are for networking and peer support and are limited to adult relatives of people with ASD.
Your mandate or purpose: To provide good quality information and support to family members who have relatives with ASD and to para-pros and pros that work with children with ASD and their families.
How often do you meet? Third Tuesday of each month during the school year except in December
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Language used: English
Location:
Family Resource Centre – 135 Balmoral Drive, Port Moody
Contact person: Clair Schuman, Volunteer Facilitator
Email address: cschuman@autismcommunitytraining.bc.ca
Telephone number: 604-205-5467

Name of Group: BC Epilepsy Society - Lower Mainland Adult Group
Region Served: Lower Mainland
Focus of Interest: Epilepsy
Your mandate or purpose: To provide information and public education about epilepsy. Provide support to those living with epilepsy
How often do you meet? First Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Language used:
English
Location:
120 – 535 West 10 th Avenue, Vancouver
Contact person: Astarte Sands at Head office
Email address:
info@bcepilepsy.com
Telephone number: (604) 875-6704 ext. 12 or 1-866-374-5377

Name of Group: Canadian Hard of Hearing Association of BC (CHHA-BC)
Region Served:
BC
Focus of Interest: Families of Children who are hard of hearing
Your mandate or purpose: a province wide network of parents, families and friends of hard of hearing children
How often do you meet? Monthly (plus special events)
Language used:
English
Location:
Surrey (some events are held at other locations)
Contact person: Janet Les
Email address:
janetles@canada.com
Telephone number: 604-794-3772

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Name of Group: Disability Resource Centre - Chinese Support Group
Region Served: Vancouver Coastal & Fraser
Focus of Interest: Cross Disability, parents of kids with diverse special needs
Your mandate or purpose:
*
To provide information and resources for people with disabilities
*To explore job opportunities for people with disabilities
* In support of a future residence that will provide independent or assisted living for people with disabilities
How often do you meet?
Monthly: Every Third Saturday
Time: 11:00am – 12:30 pm
Language used:
Cantonese - Mandarin
Location:
Disability Resource Centre, 160 – 5726 Minoru Blvd., Richmond
Contact person: Disability Resource Centre: Ella Huang or Chinese Support Group Katy Kwong
Email address:
elladrc@shaw.ca
Telephone number: Disability Resource Centre: 604-232-2404 or Chinese Support Group: 604-270-0868

Name of Group: Down Syndrome Research Foundation Parent Support Group
Region Served: Vancouver, Burnaby, Fraser Valley
Focus of Interest: Down Syndrome
Your mandate or purpose: To offer a network for parents that provides encouragement and to share experiences, strategies and successes. We welcome parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members.
How often do you meet? First Thursday of every month from 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Language used:
English
Location:
1409 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby
Contact person: Anne Eichmann
Email address:
anne@dsrf.org
Telephone number: 604-444-3773

Name of Group: Family Support Education Networking Making Connections
Region Served: Tri Cities & New Westminster
Focus of Interest: Children & Youth with Special Needs & Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Your mandate or purpose: To provide education, support and networking for parents and caregivers of children with special needs and/or developmental disabilities.
How often do you meet? Times subject to change
Language used:
English
Location:
Locations subject to change
Contact person: Family Support Worker for the Simon Fraser Society for Community Living
Telephone number: (604) 525-9494

Name of Group: Fraser Valley Autism Society
Region Served: Fraser Valley
Focus of Interest:
Supporting Families dealing with ASD
Your mandate or purpose: We offer support, information and resources to families and individuals dealing with ASD. We also provide social outings for families on an on-going basis.
How often do you meet?
Once a month
Language used:
English
Location: Abbotsford
Contact person: Leslie Bowling or Virginia Renaud
Email address: info@fraservalleyautism.com
Telephone number: 604-850-7260 or 604-820-2645

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Name of Group: Gifted Children’s Association Parents Support Group
Region Served:
Various Communities in Lower Mainland
Focus of Interest: Gifted Children
Your mandate or purpose: To foster parent support groups; to encourage the sharing of informational and educational materials; to promote parent growth, understanding, and skills in assisting the development of gifted and talented children. To help parents and other concerned individuals meet the needs of gifted and talented children.
How often do you meet? Visit website at www.gcabc.ca to find times
Language used:
Confirm with Regional Group
Location:
Visit website at www.gcabc.ca to find locations
Contact person: Visit website to find regional contact
Email address:
info@gcabc.ca
Telephone number: 1-877-707-6111 (head office)

Name of Group: Learning Disabilities of BC – Vancouver Chapter
Region Served:
Vancouver , Burnaby, Richmond
Focus of Interest: Learning Disabilities
Your mandate or purpose: To foster the full potential of persons with learning disabilities. To ensure that they have equitable access to education, health and employment opportunities
How often do you meet? The Third Monday of every month
Language used:
English
Location:
3292 East Broadway (Corner of Rupert & Broadway)
Contact person: Doris Cheung – Information Officer
Email address:
info@ldav.ca
Telephone number: 604-873-8139

Name of Group: RAPS – Richmond Autism Parents Support
Region Served: Richmond
Focus of Interest: Parent Support Group
Your mandate or purpose: An informal group which meets on a drop in basis; we provide information to parents of children with autism. We bring in several guest speakers during the course of the year to cover specific topics. We provide an opportunity for parents to network, discuss issues, share their successes, challenges and learn from each other.
How often do you meet?
Once a month; the third Thursday of each month (except in Dec., July and Aug.)
Language used: English
Location: Disability Resource CentreRoom 130 - 5726 Minoru Blvd, Richmond
Contact person: Linda Alblas ( galblas@shaw.ca) or Tamara Kulusic (tkulusic@sfu.ca)
Email address: Linda Alblas ( galblas@shaw.ca) or Tamara Kulusic (tkulusic@sfu.ca)

Name of Group: Ridge Meadows Parent Group
Region Served: Fraser
Focus of Interest: For Parents of Children with Diverse Needs including Autism
Your mandate or purpose:
*
To provide family support through facilitation by a family Support Worker as well as parent to parent support
*
Guest speakers arranged on a variety of topics
*Resource & information sharing for and by families who have children with extra needs, including autism
*Sharing of personal stories and experiences throughout our children’s life
How often do you meet? Monthly: Fourth Thursday every month
Language used: English
Location:
Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living – 11641 - 224 th Street, Maple Ridge (entrance on Callaghan Ave.)
Contact person: Karen De Long
Email address:
karen.delong@rmacl.org
Telephone number: 604-467-8700

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Name of Group: Parent 2 Parent
Region Served: Vancouver (we serve the lower mainland but meet in Vancouver)
Focus of Interest: Parents of children on the spectrum or with other special needs as well as support people, professionals and interested others
Your mandate or purpose: This is an opportunity for parents and people working with children with special needs to share information and make contacts in the community. (Not all parents come to us with diagnosed children. Other parents are dealing with various special needs, i.e. giftedness. Due to the co-morbidity associated with autism, many parents of children with autism can relate to a variety of other special needs as well.)
How often do you meet? Every Tuesday
Language used: English
Location:
Canadian Armed Forces Base in Kits (this group is not affiliated with the service)
Contact person: Janan 604-221-0877 or Jenna 604-724-5509 or
Sheena 604-224-0578
Email address:
Telephone number: Janan 604-221-0877 or Jenna 604-724-5509 or
Sheena 604-224-0578

Name of Group: Parent Network for Parents with Children with Special Needs
Region Served: Delta and Surrey
Focus of Interest: Parents of children (0-18years) with Special Needs
Your mandate or purpose: All parents welcome! We offer an opportunity for parents to meet up, talk about their children, share information and support each other. Parents are able to share their concerns and work to make things better for their children and families. An extensive information service is available via email.
How often do you meet? We meet the last Tuesday evening of every month, except July and December, in either North Delta or Ladner.
Language used: English
Location:
Delta Association Child Development Centre – # 3 - 3800 72 nd Street, Delta, BC V4K 3N2
Contact person: Si Stainton
Email address:
sistainton@dccnet.com or sis@deltachilddevelopment.org
Telephone number: 604–946-6422 ext. 359 or604-943-5767

Name of Group: Shop Talk – Group for Fathers of Sons with Autism
Region Served: Vancouver & Richmond
Focus of Interest: Autism
Your mandate or purpose: To provide a supportive environment within which fathers can talk about and share their experiences of raising a son with autism and hear from other men who face many of those same challenges. Topics of discussion include learning about your child’s disability and how this has affected you; the implications of being a breadwinner and supporting your family; and how raising a child with autism has affected your relationships with other people in your life such as friends, coworkers and family members. The group meets for a total of 8 sessons.
How often do you meet? Twice monthly (every other week on Thursday)
Language used:
English
Location:
Call to confirm location
Contact person: Miriam Elfert of CBI Consultants
Telephone number: (604) 677-7911
Email: melfert@interchange.ubc.ca

Name of Group: To & Through Adulthood
Region Served: Tri-Cities & New Westminster
Focus of Interest: Special Needs
Your mandate or purpose: Provide support to parents with special needs who are transitioning from school to adulthood.
How often do you meet? Meeting times subject to change
Language used:
English
Location:
Meeting locations subject to change
Contact person: Family Support Worker or Transition Planner with the Simon Fraser Society for Community Living
Telephone number: (604) 525-9494

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Vancouver Island & Islands

Name of Group: BC Epilepsy Society - Parksville Epilepsy Support GroupDistrict 69
Region Served: Vancouver Island
Focus of Interest: Epilepsy
Your mandate or purpose: To provide information and public education about epilepsy. Provide support to those living with epilepsy
How often do you meet? First Tuesday of every month from 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Language used:
English
Location:
102A – 156 East Morison Avenue, Parksville
Contact person: Jeff
Telephone Number: (250) 248-5551
Head office:
Astarte Sands – info@bcepilepsy.com/ (604) 875-6704 ext. 12 or 1-866-374-5377

Name of Group: Gifted Children’s Association Parents Support Group
Region Served: South Island
Focus of Interest: Gifted Children
Your mandate or purpose: To foster parent support groups; to encourage the sharing of informational and educational materials; to promote parent growth, understanding, and skills in assisting the development of gifted and talented children. To help parents and other concerned individuals meet the needs of gifted and talented children.
How often do you meet? Visit website at www.gcabc.ca to find times Language used: Confirm with Regional Group
Location:
Visit website at www.gcabc.ca to find locations
Contact person: Visit website to find regional contact
Email address:
info@gcabc.ca
Telephone number: 1-877-707-6111 (head office)

Name of Group: VSCA – Victoria Society for Children with Autism – Parent Group
Region Served: Victoria & surrounding area
Focus of Interest: Autism
Your mandate or purpose: To provide support and education to parents of children and adult members with autism
How often do you meet? Fourth Monday of every month
Language used:
English
Location: Queen Alexandra Centre – Main Bldg, 2400 Arbutus Road, Victoria (250-477-1826)
Contact person: Elizabeth Sparling
Email address:
sparw@telus.net
Telephone number: 250-818-4662

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On-Line Support  

Name of Group: GRACING – Grandparents Realizing Autistic Children’s Involvement, Needs & Growth
Region Served: British Columbia
Focus of Interest: Grandparents of Autistic Children
Your mandate or purpose: To serve grandparents that have autistic grandchildren by supporting each other and helping each other find solutions to problems
How often do you meet? On-line discussion/chat board
Language used:
English
Location: www.yahoo.ca, click on groups and type in gracing. You will need to sign up for a yahoo account in order to join the GRACING group.
Contact person: Jacquie or Dan Bye
Email address:
gracing@telus.net
Telephone number: 604-583-3502

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