New Approach for ASD Parents

Monthly practical sessions to better equip parents in raising their children on the Autism spectrum. I'll be the parent facilitator with great guest presentations from community partners. More information here. What other topics would you like to see covered? Click here to comment.

Ross Glen Waterpark Rededication

It is a privilege to represent the Advisory Committee on Disability Issues at the ceremony on Wednesday.

Each link below takes you to a picture of the features of the waterpark and playground. It has been designed to be accessible and fun for children, parents, and caregivers with and without disabilities (Braille clock, drums, teeter totter, swings). Surfacing - is a resilient recycled tire solid surface that is level with the walkway.  The surface is firm, stable, slip-resistant, and provides outstanding shock absorption. Equipment - offers a mix of both accessible and more demanding features that will appeal to and challenge a variety of children and abilities.  The ramps, accessible stairs and platforms use colour to indicate elevation changes.  The safari bus allows children using a mobility device to experience the movement and bounce of a safari bus trip with their peers.  Water Playground- Seasonal (May long weekend - September long weekend).  Fully accessible offering a variety of spray features (Big bucket, waterspray guns) for all ages. Accessible Parking - In addition to street parking, there is a parking lot with a curb ramp and paved path to access the playground. Picnic Area - The public is encouraged to bring a picnic or snack and enjoy the park.  Picnic tables and benches are located around the playground.

Check out the playground on "Accessible Medicine Hat" for directions and bus information.

Autism Parenting While Eating Out

     As a parent with children on the Autism spectrum, I've been both commended and scolded for how my children behave at restaurants. I'm so thankful my identity is not tied to the varying and variable opinions of others. Impatience by a waiter over a child who (again) needs more time to decide. Strange looks for allowing an older child to sit under the booth to escape the noise. Compassion for a child who believes is independent enough to find the washroom, but needs and receives redirection away from the doors to the kitchen. Congratulations from a table nearby for the excellent manners of my son who adds "thank you" to almost every verbal exchange with strangers. I don't, however, remember any incidents where patrons argued about my parenting right in front of me.
     This video, using hidden cameras and actors, addresses the responses of bystanders who witness a man verbally chew out parents of an Autistic boy. While some of the supportive responses seem equally rude, it is encouraging to see other take action to support this family.
     Have you seen someone take action to support an Autistic family in public? What reactions have you experienced while eating out? What would you do?