Neurodiversity, Uncategorized

November Newsletter 2020

LACAN – Exclusive

It was a very exciting October as our local community came together to raise awareness for Canadian Autism Awareness Month.

Sensory Friendly Alpaca Adventure. Saturday, November 14, 2020 @ 12pm.

Alpaca Adventure November 14, 2020

Here’s what Jocelyn had to say about her experience during a visit to Hickory Lane Alpacas on October 25, 2020:

“I has so much fun participating in the sunset yoga at Hickory Lane Alpacas last weekend. I felt so relaxed on the farm, it was so quiet, peaceful and the animals had this calming effect on me. There were many different animals there including: a horse, alpacas, pigs and almost every type of bird I could imagine.

I was allowed to pet and feed the alpacas and hold a baby goat! An interesting fact about the farm, is that each alpaca has a unique haircut to match their personality. This made me smile the entire time I was there.

I really believe everyone should experience this hidden gem in our community.”


*Hickory Lane Alpacas, admission is free, however, they do accept friendly donations.

To assist us with spacing and numbers feel free to RSVP by email at: or check “going” on the event page.

LACAN welcomes Sarah Fisher, Director/Associate as newest Member

Sarah has been involved with the community for a number of years and we are very excited to have her knowledge, experience and positive attitude with us at LACAN. Please join us in welcoming Sarah to our team.

Director/Associate Member

“My name is Sarah Fisher, I reside in the Town of Greater Napanee. My son is 15 years old and he lives on the autism spectrum.

Our journey has been adventurous in getting to where we are today. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, and the network to help advocate for positive change in our community. 

We were given an opportunity to work with Queen’s Psychology Clinic, who are remarkable in advocating for kiddos on the spectrum. The continous gratitude we feel has no words.

For 15 years I have worked with the vulnerable persons population. My career blends well with our personal values and ethics. Not only as a family,  as an individual. 

Today I am pleased to announce my partnership with LACAN as we advocate in commitment to educate the community about autism and those on the spectrum.

Looking forward to joining our community in neurodiversity.”


Awareness Campaign to support ASD

Changing the Face of Autism in Our Community

Awareness Campaign

This year was the Second Annual Autism Awareness Month the Town of Greater Napanee has supported. Our community has raised the bar of awareness for ASD.

We observed diversity supporting posters, blue lightbulbs, radio announcements and social media postings from you–all in the community.

The first step is to be aware the 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.

Are you interested in volunteering at one of our events? Do you have photos or stories you’d like to share with us?

Contact us:

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, Uncategorized

Autism Network LAC – Exclusive

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.

This girl brings light to every room!

“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.

Visit the Hub and find something special for those hard to buy for people in your life. Something for everyone.

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.

Inclusion Pallet’able Art Project

LACAN is excited to be working on a project with the Town of Napanee, the Arts Council on an inclusion and diversity project.

Good things happening in our community.

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.

Awareness signage – thanks to our community!

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!

Making new friends.

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!

Jocelyn couldn’t contain her excitement for this sweet baby goat.

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.

Great photo – submitted by a friend who joined us at the 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:


Celebrating Childcare Workers & Early Childhood Educators!

Thank you for sculpting little minds.

Educators are resilient, adaptable, and brimming with passion.

This school year is full of challenges that no other teacher in our lifetime has faced.

When things get difficult, they use their incredible adaptation skills to ensure our children never miss a beat.

They give them a haven during the day and teach their growing little minds all at the same time.

Thank you for what you do, you’re so appreciated.


Facebook: @autismLAC

Instagram: autism_network_lac


We want to hear from you!

Don’t miss your chance to be one of the first 10 entries to WIN a free LACAN neurodiversity pin.

Click here.

We want to hear from you!

Simply fill out the form below 👇🏻:

This will allow us to send you our newsletters and free swag.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

neurodiversity #inclusion #acceptance #autismawareness #asdfamily #asdmom #autism #autismsupport #ASD #autismeducation

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. ♾💙♾


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