Check out the most recent article in the local newspaper The Napanee Beaver.
We are so proud of the success in raising enough funds to go towards an inclusion project for the community.
We have been so fortunate to partner with Community Living Lennox and Addington on this project. Barb Fabius has many years of experience to help us get this project right. We couldn’t be more pleased to have their support.
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.
*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.
November Issue – Reflecting on what happened in November 2020.
LACAN partnered with Kate from Lennox & Addington Libraries during the month of November to create a holiday music video. We hope everyone can enjoy it all December long!
We can barely contain our excitement as we anticipate the release of the holiday dance video!🎅🏻🎄☃️❄️
We hope you, your family and friends enjoy this video as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.
“The Hub” located downtown Napanee, Dundas Street. Stop in and see what they have.
Famous for their local fudge and handmade works-of-art. Also great to know, there is NO TAX on anything you purchase at the Hub. All proceeds go directly back into our community.
By shopping at The Hub you will assist in supporting your local community, and at the same time, be promoting equal work opportunities for our vulnerable persons population.
Neurodiversity Project Underway in partnership with Community Living Lennox & Addington.
LACAN is excited to be working on a project with the Town of Napanee, the Arts Council on an inclusion and diversity project.
We hope to share more details as they become available. What we do know, is the funds raised at October’s Autism Awareness DiscoBall Rollerskating event, will be enough to see this project through to the finish-line. Come-on Spring 2021!
Awareness signage installed in local neighbourhood.
Signage for “child with autism” was installed in the community to assist in raising awareness to local traffic. Aimed to alert drivers to take extra caution, as some children living on the autism spectrum do not recognize road dangers or road safety as easily as quickly as others.
Stapley has been working with the Town of Greater Napanee roads department, as well as Marg Isbester – the Mayor of Greater Napanee in advocating for this important sign in hopes to generate ASD awareness in our neighbourhood and community.
Stapley says she is merely “taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of my child who struggles with awareness of road safety. This is what advocacy looks like. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of faith in your community.”
LACAN shares in the excitement of this gesture of “inclusion”, it has made an impact.
LACAN extends their gratitude and thank you to everyone who took involvement to make this act of inclusion happen.
LACAN’s Sensory Friendly Alpaca Adventure with Hickory Lane Alpacas was a huge success.
During LACAN’s visit to Hickory Lanes Alpacas on November 14, 2020 our experience on the farm was unforgettable!
Hickory Lane Alpacas had a relaxing peaceful presence we all couldn’t put our fingers on. Later I came to realize it was the heart and soul of this farm and all their hard work that made it such a beautiful place to be. Everyone chipped in even the youngest family members did their part!
Most people took an opportunity to feed the alpacas while other chose to hold the miniature baby goat!
Each alpaca really did have their very own unique personality! Like Jocelyn said last month, their haircuts are quite fun, and we all believe everyone in our community should get to experience this enchanting farm.
**Trips to the farm are free. Although Hickory Lane Alpaca humbly accepts donations for visiting to help provide for their animals.**
Are you interested in volunteering at one of our events? Do you have pictures you’d like to share? Please tag us on Facebook : @autismLAC
Questions: contact us at: mailto:email@example.com
Autism Awareness Month October 2020, Feature Friday.
My name is Justin and I am 45 years old. I live with Autism Spectrum Disorder but there’s a lot more to learn about me then just an autism label.
I have many hobbies like; doing crafts, listening to music and volunteering.
My ultimate past-time is making collages. My favourite collages to make are ones including MyFM radio station. MyFM holds a special place in my heart and I really love spending time there.
Before COVID I did some volunteering at MyFM and I can’t wait to be able to go back. During my time at MyFM everyone was welcoming and nice to me, that’s what made it so very special.
Being able to volunteer was fun because I got to try new things. This was really fulfilling to me because it gave me responsibilities that were meaningful. I love being able to work and be a part of a team.
I have been living with Community Living since 2002 and I’ve been doing well there. There is a house cat named Taj where I live, he’s a good friend to me.
(Community Living supports individuals with intellectual disabilities live to their fullest potential within their community as independently as possible.)
When I go to social events, with family or friends I like it but only for a little bit then I like to recharge alone. I prefer to do things alone compared to groups of people. Being with people makes me feel tired, just being around a lot of people is exhausting.
(Masking is when an autistic person hides their feelings and discomfort in situations from others. Keeping secret what’s really going on inside them to “blend-in”.)
There is one thing I would like everyone to know about me, especially my neighbours, is that I am a very happy person. I’m a nice person and no different than anyone else really.
If someone wanted to be my friend, they could ask me how I am doing. It’s nice to have friends to make sure I am doing well and check in on me to see that I am doing ok, and I would do the same for them.
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.
Tonight our walk was beautiful, but not without its challenges.
The leaves on the trees were changing colour and dropping to the ground. There is so much beauty in seeing the change in this season and watching the earth prepare for winter.
As Hank and I walked along the path, I could hear the all too familiar sounds of fall. Leaves crunching under my feet, grass being mowed, water rushing down the river and fishermen chatting over salmon running up river.
These sounds so familiar and soothing to some are harsh and new to some. Hank, immediately grabbed for his ears and I knew in that instant ‘mom forgot the headphones’.
The cycle begins, Hank starts stimming to drown-out the busy unfamiliar noises. Humming and whistling familiar Thomas track sounds from YouTube videos that seem to bring him comfort in times of stress.
I instantly felt like a failure, ‘how could you forget the headphones’. We had to try, so we pressed on.
Hank began to enjoy the sensory-seeking feel of walking backwards down the path.
Most passers-by were friendly and warm. One gentleman did a “boo-scare-tactic” that had little to no effect on Mr. Hank. He continued walking backward as if no one said a word. I couldn’t help but chuckle, the man was so proud of his “boo” sound and action.
As soon a Hank wandered onto the boardwalk section, I could feel my heart pound a little faster and there it was – HELLO ANXIETY old friend.
You see, Hank LOVES water.
He is drawn to it. He craves its sensory.
Only problem, Hank can’t swim.
Hank is often unpredictable around water.
He is fast.
He doesn’t understand reasoning.
‘If you go in the water, you will be all wet and cold’
‘The water is deep, and Hank can’t swim’
Hank has always had a habit of splashing/sitting in EVERY puddle. The where, when or why doesn’t really matter.
We took the boardwalk slow, lots of prompting and first/then coaching moments. Unfortunately there was some blocking of behaviours along the way, thankfully they didn’t last long and were easily redirected.
Not all stories are perfect stories, we have hard times.
I struggle with sharing these hard times, the down right heart wrenching times. It vulnerable, but also not fair to Hank.
To all the exceptional families out there. I see you. 💙
Today was mostly a good day and I’m so thankful for that.