With a little help from our friends…we can build a PEERS Program for young adults with autism.

This June, help us raise $10,000, and a chance to win an additional $10,000 in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! 

Throughout the month of June, every $1 donated to the Centre for Autism Services Alberta via Canada Helps, earns us a chance to win a matching $10,000 donation from Canada Helps. 

Your donation in June will support a new, innovative PEERS program for young adults with autism.

Young adults with autism can have challenges developing friendships and relationships.  The PEERS program teaches social skills in a supportive and encouraging environment.  Participants, working with social coaches, practice and develop skills to step out of isolation, and build friendships.  PEERS enriches the lives of individuals with autism, encouraging self-determination, while providing skills and opportunities.

Together, we can do it!  Celebrate Canada's 150th by giving back to your community; creating a legacy with a PEERS program for young adults.

On the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday, we are looking for 150 donors contributing $65 each.   That’s all we need to reach our $10,000 goal.  All donations are appreciated, and the more you give, the more chances we have to win an additional $10,000 from Canada Helps.  Contribute as an individual or donate with family, friends or co-workers.   Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for campaign updates.

Simply click on the “Help Us Win” below, to make your donation via Canada Helps today.  Thank you for your interest and support.


Centre Volunteers

April 23 – 29, 2017 is National Volunteer Week and at the Centre for Autism Services Alberta that is cause for celebration. 

Our dedicated team of more than 80 talented and skilled volunteers provides valuable support in the delivery of Centre programs and services for children, youth, and adults impacted by autism.

“Each of our volunteers brings a passion for people and community to our program,” says Catherine Buhr, Administrator of Volunteer Services.  “After comprehensive training, we match volunteers to volunteer opportunities that match their skills set and interests, providing an engaging and rewarding experience.”  “Many volunteers have been with us for some time, some are new.  We see more and more students volunteering time to help others.  It is wonderful to see youth and young adults adopt a philosophy of concern for others, sharing their time through volunteer opportunities here at Centre.  We always offer a warm welcome and show appreciation on a daily basis to all volunteers – the commitment they make has a direct impact on the quality and variety of programs and services we offer.”  “Volunteer Appreciation Week reminds us how important the volunteer contribution is to the work we do here at the Centre.”

The Centre operates under a person/family-centered model.  "Our volunteer program reflects and supports inclusion and family engagement.  Volunteers assist in programs that individuals and families use to participate more fully in their communities," says Executive Director, Deborah Allard Usunier.

University student, Lilian Dang finds that her experience as a volunteer in the Little Aces Summer Camp gives her a sense of joy in helping others and bettering the community.  "Volunteering offers many opportunities to engage in an infinite amount of experiences, and an opportunity to improve yourself," says Lillian.  Most rewarding for Lilian is seeing camp kids, age 3-5, participating in activities, making new friends, and interacting with others.  "It's fun to see them smile," she says.

Kim Lacusta had never worked with kids with autism before joining the Centre's volunteer program.  "Many of my thoughts about autism were challenged when I started to volunteer and spend time with the kids," says Kim.  "Participating most often as a volunteer with the Centre's art programs, I quickly get to know the kids in my groups.  Initially, I was suprised at the range of behaviours, but I also learned just how talented the kids are; talented in their artistic ability, and very creative with strong attention to detail.  I've also experience talent for storytelling, which I thought was cool.  Getting to know the kids in my community program has been the best part of my volunteer experience."  "I've been able to build relationships with them and they get to know me as well."  "I've learned about autism, and I am happy to help kids with autism reach their full potential.  For me it's worth the time."

Thank you Centre for Autism Services Alberta volunteers.  Your passion for people and dedication to our program as always valued and appreciated.

Watch for profiles of some of our amazing volunteers on our facebook and social media pages during Volunteer Appreciation Week.

If you would like more information about our volunteer program, contact Catherine Buhr at cbuhr@centreforautsim.ab.ca or (780) 488-6600 ext.226


April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day

 Designated, adopted, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, this special day raises awareness and acceptance about autism.

"Today, along with our peers across the globe, we recognize World Autism Awareness Day as an occasion for sharing information about autism, and celebrating diversity and inclusion.  This special day also reminds us to renew our commitment and partnership with organizations, governments, self-advocates, and communities dedicated to enriching lives, empowering families, and fostering independence for people with autism," says Deborah Allard Usunier, Executive Director of the Centre for Autism Services Alberta.

"With autism growing world-wide (in North America, one in 68 children will be diagnosed), we acknowledge the importance of building awareness and promoting early intervention, which we know supports positive outcomes.  The many occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, behaviour specialists, and other professionals that are part of the Centre for Autism Services Alberta team, take time every day to raise awareness and acceptance about autism, in addition to delivering innovative programs and services that help individuals with autism reach their full potential."

Raise awareness and acceptance this World Autism Awareness Day by showing your support across social media using #LIUB

Click here to get our #LightItUpBlue frame for your Facebook and Twitter profile photos!

#LIUB and #LightItUpBlue frame courtesy of Autism Speaks Canada  




Registration Now Open

Epic Summer Camps for Teens with Autism 2017

The Centre for Autism Services is pleased to announce the return of our popular summer camps.  Teens build their self-confidence and social skills while having fun with themed camps including: Apple Computer Camp, Adventure Trek Week, Star Dreams Drama Camp, and more.  Registration is now open - space is limited, so register early.

To register or for more information contact:

Gail Stanford, Community and Family Services Coordinator, 780.488.6600 ext. 216 or gstanford@centreforautsim.ab.ca





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Register early for popular Little Aces Summer Camp 2017

Registration is now open for our popular Summer Camp for kids Age 3-5.  Our experts in Autism Spectrun Disorder ensure the best care, while children experience a diverse range of age-appropriate activities like climbing, swing, and water play and creative activities including arts, crafts, and music.  A Summer of fun and friends in a safe, supportive environment.  

Space is limited.  Register Early.
Contact Gail Stanford, Community and Family Services Coordinator at (780) 488-6600 ext.216 for details.

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Registration Now Open for Teen Summer Camps 2017

The Centre is pleased to announce the return of or popular summer camps.  Teens build self-confidence and social skills while having fun and building memories.  Space is limited - register early.

Read the rest of entry »