School Support – Sensory Donation

Newspaper Article – The Napanee Beaver

Autism Network LAC was proud to be able to make a large donation to the Educational Services Department for the Limestone District School Board.

Late last year, Autism Network LAC was granted $7,200.00 by local not-for-profit, 100 Women Who Care Organization. This donation was to support our neurodiverse community to be successful in school.

Our charity consulted with the Educational Services Team LDSB (Autism Services) to purchase particular items in order to maximize the support through a variety of different needs. These may include, those in the process of a diagnosis where there is no support currently; those with a current diagnosis that have no plan or support and are waiting on a list; and finally those seeking support who have a plan and still require additional items to be fully supported with their sensory needs. 

The following items were delivered to our local and neighboring schools to assist those in need:

Photo left to right: Members of Educational Services Team (Left to right – Nancy Gourdier-Golle – Student Support Counsellor , Nicola Dillard – VP of Educational Services, Mandy Stapley – Autism Network LAC,  Ash Ward – Special Education Coordinator, In front – Sam Banks – Placement Student – St. Lawrence College.

-350 Sensory support necklaces (4D Farms local creator)

-90 Visual timers

-70 Sound cancelling headphones (Autism Canada)

-70 Sensory Squishy balls (Autism Canada)

-8 Sensory connect fidgets Totaling = 588 items 

Autism Network LAC will continue advocate and support our community to ensure each student has the tools to feel relaxed and engaged in their learning environment.


Winchester Park gets Pallet’able Art.

The Napanee Beaver – Pallet’able Art “Inclusion” & “Inspiring Possibilities”

There was a nice turnout to witness the installation of Pallet’able Art by the Town of Greater Napanee.

This project was a collaboration with Community Living Lennox & Addington aimed to raise awareness of disability inclusion within our community. “Inspiring Possibilities” was sponsored and commissioned by CLLA, staff and clients.

“Inspiring Possibilities”

Autism Network LAC – LACAN commissioned the talented Barbara Andrea Grawberger to bring “Inclusion” to fruition.


It was an honour to have Tim Nimigan’s knowledge and experience with the Celebrating Arts and Culture of Napanee, to honour this piece.

Visit the Town of Greater Napanee to see more Pallet’able Art and the artists description of this amazing piece.

Communities who work together make beautiful things happen.

Tim Nimigan and Town of Greater Napanee staff working together.

Today it was this fabulous piece of art.

inclusion #InvisibleDisability #communitysupport #community #autismnetworklac #neurodiversity #autism #supportlocal #supportlocalartists #communityliving #CLLA #InspiringPossibilities #inclusionmatters #palletproject #palletart #winchesterpark #townofgreaternapanee #LACAN #disabilityinclusion #disabilityadvocate #autismadvocacy

Introducing Lee Cowling – Board Member LACAN

Here we grow again!

Lee Cowling has graciously joined our efforts to spread awareness of inclusion in her field of work and our communities.

She lives in Harrowsmith, which is an area we cover in Lennox & Addington County.

Lee is an experienced professional in the healthcare community. Some might even call her an expert in critical care, which is a specialized area of nursing.

Lee has travelled to the United States on a special work visa, spending two years of her career in a trauma hospital located in St. Petersburg, FL.

More recently, Lee held an important role with Trillium (Organ Donation Donor Team) where she experienced grief, tragedy and loss regularly.

She has provided compassion and kindness to many families during the challenging journey of organ donation.

We have no doubt Lee is perfect for a seat on our board to assist us to fulfill our vision of advocating for acceptance and inclusion in our community.

Autism Network LAC is honoured to have Lee’s skill-set, healthcare perspective and integrity on the board.

Please join us in welcoming Lee.

Lee Cowling BIO:

Board Member – Director

Hello! My name is Lee, I’ve been selected for a position, on the board of directors with Autism Network LAC – LACAN as a healthcare professional.

I have been in the healthcare field for the past 20 years. During this time I have seen diversity and with that the knowledge of how important educating our community of different challenges many families face daily. How to be an inclusive; family member, friend, co-worker or neighbour.

Someone close to me lives on the autism spectrum and has given me many reasons to be passionate about advocating for acceptance and inclusion.

I’m looking forward to bringing a voice as a healthcare professional to encourage inclusion now and for our future generations!

Lee Cowling


Characters with personalities with Autistic-coded personalities & experiences

General – Invisible Disability / Undiagnosed

  • Red: A Crayon’s Story‘ – allegory for invisible, undiagnosed disability and identity dissonance. It works for LGBQTI+ youth, but as a young autistic girl growing up undiagnosed and confused, this story hits me in the gut.
A CRAYONS STORY – By Michael Hall

Masking for Social Acceptance

  • A Bad Case Of Stripes – Autistic folks, particularly multiply-marginalized autistics (women, BIPOC, poor, etc.) who don’t have access to support and accommodations, are often forced to mask our pain and natural behavior to fit in and pass as allistic. This leads to all sorts of mental health conditions (see below regarding exposure anxiety) and chronic trauma. We get extremely sick, and instead of encouraging us to relax and drop the mask, often we’re pressured to hide the effects of this stress, too.
WHERE OLIVER FITS – By Cale Atkinson
  • Sophie’s Squash – (Miller) In both of these books, Sophie demonstrates challenges interacting with her peers, so she prefers the comfort and safety of befriending Bernice the Squash, who doesn’t come with the baggage of confusing allistic expectations. In Sophie’s Squash Go To School, Q loved that bernice’s babies turned into 2, was preocuppied by the concept of exponential growth more than the story itself. went a little over hte head of R2 at 4. But it shows how Sophie misses a classmate’s social cues and misconstrues an attempt at friendship as aggression. Not really about back to school, but takes place on the first month or so of school. i didn’t get a lack of consent vibe from the boy’s attempts at friendship, but i can see how folks might see that as problematic. Additional keywords: Making friends, harassment
By Pat Zietlow Miller & Anne Wilsdorf



Lindsay Walsh – Board Member LACAN

Organization Members

View complete Board of Director list by clicking above link. 👆🏻

Please join us in welcoming our newest member to the LACAN board of directors. LACAN is a full volunteer board aimed to assist our community and promote inclusion for everyone.

Lindsay Walsh, Board Member

Hi everyone, my name is Lindsay I’ve accepted a position on the LACAN diverse board of directors.

My son is neurotypical, his name is Archer. We love our boxer named Lyric. Our family has friends of all different abilities and backgrounds. I am dedicated to being an inclusive family as well as a supportive source for our neurodivergent friends.

The decision to accept this diversity position on the LACAN board is an honour. I am delighted to assist in spreading awareness surrounding social inclusion, to teach our children to be good advocates as well as good friends!

Inclusion starts young, it’s learned – we can all be good teachers. Let’s help our youth understand that it’s ok to be different!

Looking forward to an inclusive future with you!

Lindsay Walsh


Ashley Gilbert – Board Member LACAN.

Organization Members

View complete Board of Director list by clicking above link. 👆🏻

Director/Associate Member

Ashley is a self-advocate and identifies as neurodiverse. LACAN is thrilled to have her voice on the board of directors.

Ashley gained a great amount of inspiration while being an older sibling to Avery who is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

When growing up, Ashley sensed she was different from her peers, always seeking a real connection and not really sure how to make it happen on her own. She suffered in silence for many years, not understanding what others were laughing and joking about, which was usually aimed towards her and being bullied most of her academic life.

Ashley enjoys artistic work as well as technology. These activities/work help her to reduce the stress and anxiety of social sensory input throughout her day.

After falling through the cracks of a system not built for her, Ashley hopes to continue her education and learning about disability studies and be an advocate for change.


Autism Network LAC Exclusive – April Newsletter

What have we been up to all Winter?

We have been working behind the scenes this winter to make sure our community knows how much we support autism awareness and acceptance. We might not have been able to be together in person, but that doesn’t mean we stop thinking of ways to support you from a distance. Spring is here and we couldn’t be more excited to get outside and with hopes, see some of you soon!

Below is a list of the exciting things we’ve been up to over the past few months.

Autism Network LAC provided tablets to assist students with communication barriers

Autism Network LAC presented and donated local schools in the Limestone District School Board with 14 Samsung Galaxy Tab A devices. These devices promote communication for those in the school to community classrooms. This opportunity was made possible by a contest opportunity through Autism Speaks Canada and Samsung. Autism Network LAC was proud to have been awarded these devices for our community schools.

The Napanee Beaver exclusive

Autism Network LAC and Community Living L&A donated Autism Sensory Support Kits to local organizations

Autism Network LAC and Community Living L&A provided 30 Autism Canada Sensory Support Kits to organizations within the Lennox & Addington County. The recipients of these kits are: Provincial Police (O.P.P.), Greater Napanee Emergency Services (GNES), L&A Emergency Services, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC), Limestone District School Board (LDSB), Community Living L&A (CLLA), L&A library and L&A Hospital triage department.

These above-mentioned agencies welcomed sensory support kits along with valuable information as an additional tool to support a variety of situations.

This project would not have been possible without the support of our partner Community Living Lennox & Addington as well as our sponsors, Jamie & Jaclyn’s No Frills and L&A Mutual Insurance Co. and Community Living L&A.

Sensory Support Kits to First Responders – The Napanee Beaver exclusive

Autism Awareness and partnerships with local makers

Autism Network LAC teamed up with local makers and businesses to promote awareness initiatives during World Autism Awareness Day April 2, 2021. Through partnering with local makers, we hope to expand community knowledge of autism while supporting local.

To date, we’ve been fortunate enough to team up with Wanderbird. This hard working entrepreneur used her creative energy to present us with the perfect spring Neurodiversity bracelet. Delicate, fresh and supportive! Thank you Wanderbird!

Wanderbird has generously offered to donate $5 from every bracelet sold to support LACAN’s awareness and program initiatives.


GelMoment Autism Awareness Party with Autism Network LAC

GelMoment Autism Awareness Party with Autism Network LAC on Facebook, join our party for your chance to win free giveaways. This party allows for our community to support our awareness campaign as well as a local community member running an independent business.

Gelmoment Nails by Andrea

LEGO Builders Club – Social Group for teens, young adults and LEGO enthusiasts

Autism Network LAC is currently seeking volunteers to participate in a rewarding LEGO Building Program(s). This group will aim to run between 4-6 weeks with a commitment of 1 hour per week.

Volunteers will be responsible for providing mentoring, peer-modelling, assisting with engineering LEGO projects.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to contact Autism Network LAC by email:

LEGO Builders

World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2021

Communities around the world will come together on April 2nd to recognize autistic individuals and those who love and support them.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder that has been steadily been gaining more understanding globally. This important day of recognition aims to further increase and develop world knowledge of children and adults on the autism spectrum. World Autism Awareness Day is a day to celebrate the talents of autistic individuals, while focussing on embracing and welcoming these diverse skills everyday.

Celebrating World Autism Day
World Autism Awareness Day Video

World Autism Awareness Day

Fourteenth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2021. Communities around the world come together on April 2nd to recognize autistic individuals and those who love and support them.

Celebrate differences

World Autism Awareness Day spotlights hurdles autistic individuals and others living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face daily. As a growing global healthdisorder it’s increasingly gaining more exposure in the press.

ASD is a neurological disorder that has been steadily been gaining more understanding globally. This important day of recognition aims to further increase and develop world knowledge of children and adults on theautism spectrum. World Autism Awareness Day is a day to celebrate the talents of autistic individuals, while focussing on embracing and welcoming these diverse skills everyday.

Please share this short animated video to educate those you around you to understand some of the differences people face all around us everyday. 

AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN –Alexander Amelines. (Autism explanation animated 4 minutes)

Amazing things happen, by Alexander Amelines

Sesame Street – Meet Julia. She is autistic. (Younger explanation 10 minutes)

Sesame Street – Meet Julia (Autistic representation)

Autism Network LAC would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to learn more about autism and by doing this it will hopefully create a more inclusive world for those we love and care about. 

Autism Network LAC

Our dedicated volunteers
Facebook: Autism Network LAC

Autism Sensory Support Kits

Autism Network LAC in partnership with Community Living Lennox and Addington helped to provide local Emergency Services Autism Canada Sensory Support Kits to aid in assisting those through challenging traumatic experiences with a few more tools under their belts.

Without the support of the following sponsors this project would not have been possible:

L&A Mutual Insurance Co.

Jamie & Jaclyn’s No Frills

Community Living Lennox and Addington.

Town of Greater Napanee
Emergency Services
Libraries Lennox and Addington

The Napanee Beaver’s full story below: 👇🏻👇🏻

Full story by The Napanee Beaver
Autism Canada Sensory Support Kit

Shirt Sale in support of an adult Music Therapy Group

We just launched a shirt sale to support our efforts to bring an adult Musical Therapy Group into our community.

This group will support those with exceptionalities and challenges in communication.

It will also foster peer and social interaction with the gift of song. We hope to encourage healthy relationship and good mental health.

To join our movement in supporting neurodiversity check our shirt selection.

Neurodiversity movement
Neurodiversity, October Autism Awareness Month - Feature., Uncategorized

October’s Autism Awareness Month ‘Feature Friday’ comes to an end this week.

‘Changing the Face of Autism in our Community.’
As pictured above, 1 in 4 persons diagnosed on the spectrum are female, and 1 in 66 individuals in Canada are diagnosed with ASD.

As October’s end is nearing, I’d like to leave you with final thoughts of our campaign aimed at awareness of individuals living within the autism spectrum. Although it goes without saying, we don’t need a campaign to spread awareness, however it has provided a great opportunity to engage with local businesses, media and residents who may not have been aware of autism and how greatly it affects our community every day.

I’ve had a chance over the last few weeks to reflect on the many achievements our community has brought forth in this short month.

The Morningstar Mission has continued to serve hot meals for many individuals in our community who otherwise would not have seen a warm meal over the holidays and beyond.

The list of volunteers who cook, package and deliver these meals is never short of volunteers, which is heartwarming.

I have observed our community working tirelessly to social distance and endeavour to remain close to their friends during these challenging times. Spirits remain high, which I believe reflects strongly on the leadership our community is providing.

Our local businesses continue to show us the value of shopping local, which I believe is the heart and soul of our community.

Our elected officials continue to work hard to maintain a safe place for us to live, work and play.

I am thankful for all of these things.

I am even more thankful for community, I am never disappointed with the show of support for its people. This is the Second Annual Autism Awareness Month the Town of Greater Napanee has seen. Our community has raised the bar of awareness for ASD.

I observed diversity supporting posters, blue lightbulbs, radio announcements, social media postings all from YOU the community.

This fills my heart with joy!

The first step is to be aware, second step is to understand. Understanding leads to education and inclusion.

LACAN’s awareness campaign has begun to shine a light on a spectrum that lives right here in our town.

Hank, Alexandria, Noah and Justin are just a few of the extrordinary individuals living in our community with ASD.

As pictured above, 1 in 4 persons diagnosed on the spectrum are female, and 1 in 66 individuals in Canada are diagnosed with ASD.

Autism Facts:

*The 2018 National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System (NASS) Report estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 66 children in Canada. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

*An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.

*Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.

*Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the above-mentioned persons because without their contribution in this project it would not have been possible. I believe our lives would be a little less sparkly!


Special mention goes to Becky Hinch Photography, for making these portraits possible. By contributing her time and talent in such an amazing way this campaign allowed us to raise awareness of ASD in a beautiful way. Thank you for making our community a better place!

If you want to see more of her great work, check out the Facebook link attached below.

Neurodiversity, October Autism Awareness Month - Feature., Uncategorized

Changing the Face of Autism in our Community.

LACANs Autism Awareness Campaign for the Month of October is gaining attention in our community and I couldn’t be more pleased!

Changing the Face of Autism in our Community.

Big shout-out to the local newspaper for running the editorials of campaign features. The Napanee Beaver is just another reason Napanee is greater!

Thank you to our participants in our “Changing the Face of Autism in our Community” Feature Friday’s.

Because there are only a few weeks left in October, we will be highlighting spectacular people and activities to join in the coming months.

Stay safe. ♾💙♾



Napanee Autism Network – Join the discussion.

Napanee Autism Network

Join the discussion.

This group is a parent-led support group, closed to the general public.

It is a private group for individuals, caregivers, parents and caregivers of persons with exceptionalities.

It remains a safe place, to ask the hard questions and get honest answers to frequently asked questions related to autism spectrum disorder and related diagnosis.

There are no bad questions! Looking forward to hearing from you.

Neurodiversity, Uncategorized

What is an IEP – Individualized Educational Plan?

Many parents and caregivers are learning for the first time what an individualized educational plan or IEP is used for.

IEP’s went out today. What to do now?

I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s been quite scary for me. Each time I enter these meetings I feel just as anxious as the last. Somehow wondering if I’ve done enough to make sure educators and support staff know everything they can to ensure my son is safe and cared for to be able to learn in his own way.

I for one, have at times, felt in the dark and powerless in what has gone into my sons IEP.

It has taken several years for me to discover parents and caregivers have a lot of say in what goes into these plans.

Things to keep in mind when looking over your IEP and heading into a meeting:

1. Write a list of issues that you feel are important.

2. Prepare your own questions and items to address.

3. To be prepared for the process, request the school provide you with evaluations, proposed goals, objectives, and placement recommendations prior to the meeting.

4. Written notice of the IEP meeting will include a list of participants. If you’d like a speech therapist (or any other person) who works with your child there regularly that is your right.

5. Keep in mind this year may look differently and may be a virtual meeting.

You can request a meeting to discuss an IEP at any time. If you feel it is not being followed, speak up and put it in writing, this is important. There is a legal obligation to follow an IEP.

October Autism Awareness Month - Feature., Uncategorized

Autism Awareness Month October 2020 – Feature Friday.

Noah, Age 15

Changing the Face of Autism in our community.

My name is Noah. I am almost 16 years old. I will be getting my drivers license this winter.

I have four cats and two dogs. My favourite pet is Arwyn (cat). I love spending time with her because she’s very cuddly and she makes me feel calm. When I was 5 years old I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome with ADHD. If I could explain to my neighbours what it’s like having Autism, I would tell them it’s been hard making friends and I feel overwhelmed when I have too many things to try and focus on at one time.

Autism has also been good for me because I’m very smart and am really good at things that I’m interested in, like computers and hockey. Since we were able to have an early diagnosis and intervention, I have been able to work towards better social skills and learning how to push myself out of my comfort zones.

A lot of people do not realize I’m ASD but it doesn’t mean I still don’t have struggles every day. The day can be extra exhausting trying to keep myself together for other people. This is why I enjoy alone time. In my spare time I like to play games on my phone, draw and play hockey. I have been a house league goalie for Napanee Stars for about 7 years. I prefer to do things alone but sometimes I enjoy hanging out with friends.

Something about myself I would like to share is that I have awesome curly hair and usually like having it long. In a few years, I hope to go to college and have a career in Computer Technologies.


Special mention goes out to Becky Hinch Photography, for making these portraits possible. By contributing her time and talent in such an amazing way this campaign allowed us to raise awareness of ASD in a beautiful way. Thank you for making our community a better place!

If you want to see more of her great work, check out the Facebook link attached below.


Review by Autistics of Netflix’s ‘Love on the Spectrum’. Autism Ontario.

October 13, 2020

When it was first announced back in July, Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum caused a big stir in the autistic community. The show follows a group of young adults on the spectrum as they navigate the world of relationships and dating. While these things are challenging for neurotypicals, they can be even more so for people on the spectrum. How would the show’s producers treat their subjects? Would they present a balanced and realistic view? Or would it be overly sentimental to the point of being saccharine? 

As part of Autism Ontario’s broader initiative to examine how autistic people are portrayed in the media, we assembled a focus group of adults on the spectrum to review Love on the Spectrum. The group consisted of self-advocates Aaron Lenc, an employee of the City of Brampton; Matthew Lemay, professional writer; Courtney Weaver, freelance writer; and, David Moloney Autism Ontario Board Member. Michael Cnudde, self-advocate and Specialist Communications and Project Development, Autism Ontario, moderated the panel. Aaron’s mother, Tania White was also present.

“I was enthusiastic about it when I first heard about it,” says Courtney Weaver. “There are unfortunate stereotypes that autistic people are incapable of romantic love, or just don’t want romantic love. It was interesting to debunk this stereotype.” 

Aaron Lenc looked forward to the show for another reason. “I really liked this show because I want a girlfriend, but I want to learn how to date. I learned from it and it was a good start.” 

Jodi Rogers works with Andrew

Other panelists commented on the presence of Jodi Rogers, a relationship expert who works with people on the on the spectrum on the show and provided guidance and support where it was needed. 

“I personally really liked Jodi. I have worked with people like her in the past,” said Matthew Lemay. “I feel like the general population thinks that after a certain age people with autism don’t need help, and that’s not necessarily true. She was a wonderful addition to the show as she was able to bridge the gap between what people were needing.” 

The idea of having someone acting as mentor is important, said David Moloney. “They need to proceed with the utmost of care, and really listen to the people they are profiling.” 

“I thought it was easy to watch, refreshing, and the candidness of the participants on the show was so good,” said Courtney. “I laughed out loud when one of the established couples said, ‘When it comes to the two of us as a couple, I am fire, and he is water. When we are together it gets steamy.’  

Aaron found the series very accessible. He watched all five episodes first by himself, and again with his family. “We paused and talked about what was happening,” said Aaron’s mother Tania White. “That was very helpful and a great resource for us as a whole family.” 

Each panel member seemed to have their own favourite cast member. For Matthew it was Michael, whom he expressed a kinship for. “I had a few that I liked… I enjoyed Jimmy and Shenae. They were cute as a couple and their experience was lovely. It made me teary.” 

“My favourite person in the show was Olivia Sharp,” said Courtney. “When she said, ‘Living on the spectrum was like living in a transparent box.’ Mentioning that barrier between people was an astute observation.”  

Kelvin and Maddi sit together eating sushi

Aaron found the show very relatable. “I liked Kelvin because his autism was like mine, he noted. “I hope there is a second season.” 

All the participants agreed the series was worthy of another season and hoped its producers would expand its cast to make it more diverse to include Black, Indigenous and people of colour as well as more LBGTQIA2S+ representation.  

A second season would be especially useful, said Aaron’s mother Tania because it might also explore understanding rejection and picking up social cues. “Even being able read the cues so it doesn’t cross the line when experiencing rejection is a necessary skill.”  

 An issue for many portrayals of autistics in the media was inclusion, fairness, and realism, which the panelists discussed. “I agree that people were portrayed fairly,” said Courtney. “With the genre of reality TV, there is a certain narrative and 1:1 interviews and editing take place within this genre. This was done as organically as you can do this.” 

Matthew agreed with Courtney, adding, “There are certain editing and narrative decisions in a show that are unavoidable, but people were treated and portrayed as organically and fairly as possible.” 

It is important for producers and writers to listen to people on the spectrum, said David when portraying people with autism. “Often people cast individuals who aren’t representing people on the spectrum as they should be…We should be represented as diverse, appreciated, hard-working, welcomed in society, and enhancing the social framework. Inclusion everywhere.” 

Images provided courtesy of Netflix Canada

Credit: Autism Ontario / Images Netflix Canada

Neurodiversity, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving message from LACAN

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the midst of all that’s happening around the world right now, we still have so much to be grateful for. Thanks to your generosity and support, our network and events have continued to make an impact in the lives of people living with ASD.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
The team at the Autism Network Lennox & Addington County. (LACAN)


(C) 613-532-0465

October Autism Awareness Month - Feature.

Autism Awareness Month October 2020 – Feature Friday.

Alexandria, Age 11

Changing the Face of Autism in our community.

My name is Alexandria but sometimes my friends and family call me Alex. Living with ASD brings different challenges forward everyday, I see it as a good thing because it makes me smarter. I think differently than others, and this gives me a different perspective and that’s what makes me unique.

I love spending time with my friends and family! Sometimes you might see me jump and rub my hands together. It’s ok, this is a way for me to feel calm and some call it stimming.

Luna is my pet cat, she is a great friend to me because she head hugs me. I like it when she does this, it’s calming because sometimes the days stresses can be overwhelming.

Cleo is my other cat, she has a cute meow that makes it feel like she’s talking to me. That’s just one of the reasons I love my kitties. I spend a lot of my free time with them, as well as playing with my silicone babies!

Alexandria – Age 11

Special mention goes out to Becky Hinch Photography, for making these portraits possible. By contributing her time and talent in such an amazing way this campaign allowed us to raise awareness of ASD in a beautiful way. Thank you for making our community a better place!

If you want to see more of her great work, check out the Facebook link attached below.

October Autism Awareness Month - Feature.

Feature Friday support Autism Awareness October 2020.

Changing the Face of Autism in our community.

Hank – 7 years old.

My name is Hank and I live in Napanee. I am 7 years old and in Grade 2.

I live with autism, but autism is not who I am. I am playful, energetic, silly as well as empathetic.

Some of my favourite things are: to watch videos of movie credits while I dance, building different train-tracks to add to my collection, and use the slide at the park.

I have a pet named Jimmy, he’s a tabby cat. I enjoy playing with Jimmy, but I don’t like him to touch me or meow loudly. Jimmy knows when I prefer not to play because I stim and he sits close to me without touching me. I like when he does that.

I would want my friends to know I enjoy being around them and like being given the opportunity to join in when I can. Sometimes it may seem like I’m not paying attention to you but I promise I am listening. I enjoy being included in games like: chase, tickle and catch.

One thing I would like people to know about me is, I stim to quiet the many overwhelming noises and thoughts in my head. This makes me feel better and allows me to concentrate on tasks that I need to do. It can sound like high-pitch train whistles, or I can be found jumping or pacing.

I enjoy being back at school around my peers. It’s going to be some time before I get used to all the new changes that are happening around me. Please know, I’m very excited to be there and trying my very best.


Special mention goes to Becky Hinch Photography, for making these portraits possible. By contributing her time and talent in such an amazing way this campaign allowed us to raise awareness of ASD in a beautiful way. Thank you for making our community a better place!

If you want to see more of her great work, check out the Facebook link attached below.

October Autism Awareness Month - Feature.

Light It Up Blue Campaign to support autism awareness.

The month of October has arrived!

2nd Annual Light It Up Blue for Greater Napanee

LACANs “Light It Up Blue” Campaign to support autism awareness and inclusion starts today.

This campaign will run “Feature Fridays” each week in the month of October, featuring four persons in our community living with ASD.

In “Changing the Face of Autism” we aim to share just how uniquely awesome our friends living with ASD are!

We are featuring people to showcase how they make our community better by simply being themselves.

Check our Facebook page and/or website this Friday October 2, 2020 for our first feature.

LACANs Feature Fridays


McDonalds Coffee Day ☕️ – World Autism Day Donation.

World Autism Day Fundraiser was successful in donation of $353.50.

Last week the World united in acknowledging neurodiversity.

Our local McDonalds generously offered to assist our charity to meet our goal of $1500 to support purchasing neurodiversity affirming sensory support tools.

Members of Autism Network visited the Napanee McDonalds location and were met by friendly, kind and compassionate staff who were happy to chat about neurodiversity.

Staff were busy handling the lunch rush but they still welcomed us with friendly faces.

This business has been a supporter to not only our family but our network as well. It is one of many reasons Napanee is greater.

Spin to Win Napanee – World Autism Day Donation.

Spin to Win – Napanee run by Sharon MacDonald

In support of World Autism Day, Spin to Win – Napanee is a local charity operated by Sharon MacDonald. They made a donation of $2,500 to support the neurodiverse community.

Thank you, Sharon, for all the tireless work you do to support your community. You truly are an inspiration.


World Autism Day April 2, 2023

This boy named Hank made me a Mom, and because of him I know about a whole new world. A world filled with more empathy, compassion and patience.

I’m proud to be navigating this journey alongside him.

We celebrate autism everyday in our house, but during World Autism Day I find myself more reflective of our accomplishments, growth as well as setting new goals.

I feel thankful for our family, community, educators, specialists and supporters.

This village is great and I’m proud to call Napanee home.




Plantables – Spring Fundraiser

Plantables – Spring Fundraiser

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve chosen to be a part of the Plantables Fundraising Program for 2023.

We’re aiming to raise $1,500 to fund on-going sensory supports for our neurodiverse community members and every box of plants you buy helps us get closer to that goal.  (We get 10% of the total of every order you place.)

What Is Plantables?

Plantables is an exciting family-owned company based in Forest, Ontario that grow healthy, hardy and happy fruit and vegetable plants.  The best part is, they ship them DIRECTLY to your door, when you want them!

That means that no matter how busy you are, how unsuccessful (successful!) you’ve been at growing plants before, you’ll be able to grow brag-worthy fruits and veggies!

All you have to do is pick what plants you want to grow, choose when you want them delivered and wait for your box of garden-ready plants to arrive on your doorstep. Shipping weeks are available from April- June.

How does the program work?

All you have to do is help spread the plant love! Tell everybody you know to go to and make sure they enter the code AUTISM at the checkout or follow our direct link

We’re really excited to be launching a fundraiser that involves growing healthy fruits and veggies and spending time as a family!  We can’t wait to see how much we all can raise together.

Thank you for all of your support.

Mandy Stapley – CEO

Autism Network LAC


Canadian Autism Awareness recognized by Town of Greater Napanee for another year.

Napanee Today shares Council decision to support.
Town council recognizing Autism Awareness month

The town of Greater Napanee will once again be recognizing Autism Awareness month in October.

Greater Napanee town council received the letter at this weeks town of Greater Napanee council meeting from correspondence from the Autism Network LAC.


Introducing Caylee Ortiz – Board Member

Caylee Ortiz – Board Member/Director

My name is Caylee Ortiz and I have humbly accepted a position on the board of directors with The Autism Network LACAN.

I have a diploma in Early Childhood Education and Community and Justice Services with 7 years of experience in the world of child care. I am wildly passionate about working with children and ensuring that each child I come into contact with feels seen and heard. I currently work as a programming assistant for the early years with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library and I am an ECE & EA with the Limestone District School Board. 

My approach as an educator is one in which I describe as The Whole Child Approach. This can be broken down into three categories, 1. See the child 2. Hear the child, 3. See With New Eyes.

My teaching wheelhouse is driven by adaption, inclusion, diversity, praise and research. 

A child at heart myself I believe connection comes in all forms and the most effective avenue of learning is through organic play. The paramount scale to follow, is that of happiness and joy. To See With New Eyes is to recognize and value the differences in the children of the world. It is to educate ourselves and those around as to how to be successful in being a propeller of success in a child’s life. Change the way we teach, not change the way they learn, find new perspective, in times of confusion. 

My passion for advocacy has many branches but in terms of this particular branch, there is a child close to my heart who is navigating his adventure with ASD and I can truly say, no tiny human has taught me more than this little man. It is because of him and others along my ECE journey that I will continue to work hard to provide equal opportunity for those who have been touched with the wand of neurodiversity. 

I have a deep passion for yoga and holistic approaches to healing, therapy and education. It is through my practice that I am able to provide affirmation, reassurance and support to each family I work with. I look forward to the journey ahead, may you all be happy and free!

Pronouns: She/her.