Neurodiversity

Sensory Friendly Alpaca Adventure with Hickory Lane Alpacas

Hosted by Hickory Lane Aplacas

Huge shoutout to Hickory Lane Alpacas for hosting this sensory friendly event.

LACAN – Autism Network LAC

Thank you Jamie&Jaclyn’s No Frills Napanee for their generous donation to the farm. As well as Milk And Cookies Cafe for donating 60 Alpaca rainbow cookies as a gift for those visiting the farm this date.

Jamie & Jaclyn’s No Frills, Napanee

This event was such a hit! Beautiful people coming together to enjoy a fantastic day.

Milk & Cookies Cafe

If you were able to join us today and have photos please share, we want to see how much fun you had!

Tag us on Facebook using @ autismnetworkLAC or Instagram autism_network_lac

Sensory friendly event made possible by supportive local business’

Hickory Lane Alpacas
Neurodiversity

Awareness Signage installed-Raising awareness in local neighbourhood.

Mother/Autism Advocate, Mandy Stapley.

Awareness efforts to support ASD in our local community of Napanee, Ontario.

Signage for “child with autism” was installed on our street to assist in raising awareness to local traffic. Aimed to caution 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.

I have been working with the Town of Greater Napanee roads department, and Marg Isbester – Mayor of Greater Napanee in advocating for this important sign in hopes to generate ASD awareness in our neighbourhood.

This is the face of a determined Mom, taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of her 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.

I’d like to share my excitement with this gesture of inclusion, it has made an impact in my life. Thank you to everyone involved to make this happen.

autismawarenessadvocates #autismawareness #autism #inclusion #asd #asdfamily #autismeducation #neurodiversity #

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.”

-Jocelyn

https://fb.me/e/1JupkKvjn

*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: mailto:lac.autismnetwork@gmail.com 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.”

Sarah

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.

https://lacautismnetwork.com/2020/10/30/octobers-autism-awareness-month-feature-friday-comes-to-an-end-this-week/

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: lac.autismnetwork@gmail.com

@lacautismnetwork
Neurodiversity

Autism Awareness Fundraiser nets enough for pallet’able art project

Photo from The Napanee Beaver

Autism Awareness fundraisers nets enough to cover cost of pallet’able art installation

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.

Mandy

Neurodiversity

Meet Our Newest Director/Associate Member Sarah Fisher

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. 

Sarah

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!

Mandy

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.

https://www.facebook.com/beckyhinchphotography/

October Autism Awareness Month - Feature.

Changing the Face of Autism in our community.

Autism Awareness Month October 2020, Feature Friday.

Justin, Age 45

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.

Justin

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. 

https://www.facebook.com/beckyhinchphotography/

Neurodiversity

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

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.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/273042116909207/?ref=share

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.

Noah

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.

https://www.facebook.com/beckyhinchphotography/