Autism is Beautifully challenging.

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.

Spring Side Park, Napanee, Ontario

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.

Small progress is still progress.


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.

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

Neurodiversity, Uncategorized

Jocelyn Vilneff has accepted LACAN’s offer to join us as an Associate Member.

Jocelyn Vilneff
LACAN’s Newest Associate Member

We couldn’t be more excited about Jocelyn joining our team as an associate member with LACAN.

Jocelyn might appear to be young but don’t judge a book by its cover! Jocelyn has gained great amount of inspiration during her experiences being a dance teacher.

It was here when she learned valuable lessons while working with children. She had a strong sense for a greater need for inclusion of children living with barriers and exceptionalities.

Jocelyn worked at Kool Kamp held at Children and Family Services in Napanee, where she was inspired by each and every child she worked with. Kool Kamp is geared towards inclusion and providing supports for persons with exceptionalities to experience summer camps.

This experience lead Jocelyn to become a respite worker with Children’s Aid Services, as well as in personal residences.

Jocelyn recognizes that with every child, comes new needs, and she believes in fostering a supportive environment, with positivity, for an individual to flourish.

Jocelyn is entering her 4th, and final year of her bachelor of fine arts in dance (honours degree) with a concentration in dance education at York University. She has also earned her certification in crisis prevention and intervention, which is an asset to our organization.

Jocelyn shares her experiences of witnessing children who could fall victim of the injustices of our systems, she hopes to further her education with a master’s degree in disability studies and be an advocate for change.


Join us on Facebook at: Autism Network LAC.

Neurodiversity, Uncategorized

Help Bring Positive Changes to Neurodiversity by Signing E-Petition 2858

We’ve been working on lots of exciting projects in the name of autism. But this project is so important to me because it can create the most change for our future generations.

To do this, I need your help to make a real difference. All I ask is for you to sign the petition linked below. 👇🏻

Be a part of the change.

Any Canadian citizen can sign here 👇🏻 by simply clicking on the hyper-link below.

You can help by bringing e-petition 2858 to the attention of your elected official, your family and friends.

Lennox & Addington County Autism Network will be there to watch MP Sloan while he presents this in the House of Commons.

Please take the time to ensure this petition gets the attention it deserves, no matter your political affiliation.

***Check your Junk folder, you will have to confirm your submission, only The House of Commons sees the signatures.***