Parent Mentor

The Centre for Autism Services Alberta is pleased to offer the services of a Parent Mentor to our families.
What is a Parent Mentor? A parent of a child, youth or adult with autism, who has experience with the systems of support available for families affected by autism and is willing to share that experience and perspective with others.

Examples of situations where families may want to access a parent mentor and how Jackie Ryan, our parent mentor, is well suited to offer assistance:
• Pre-MDT support – I have personal experience with the Multidisciplinary Team process.
• Transition support – (e.g. from Specialized Services to Community Resources; from Kindergarten to Grade 1; from FSCD to PDD, Persons with Developmental Disabilities) available resources, planning, and personal experience. My family has experienced many different transitions in our 16-year journey with ASD.
• Connecting with other families – I may be able to introduce you to other families with very similar experiences. I meet many families through my work.
• PRT generalization, from a parent perspective – I have personal experience incorporating PRT (Pivotal Response Treatments) strategies into everyday life.
• Book, web site and/or blog recommendations - I am an avid reader and come across interesting books and Internet resources frequently


Who is Jackie Ryan?
I am the mother of 3 sons, 2 are married, and my youngest is 16 and has autism. I was a member of the Provincial Expert Panel (2002) on services for Children with Autism. I was the Executive Director of the Centre (when FLFA) from 2000 to 2007, and I am currently the Centre’s Controller and Parent Mentor. I was a Board member of ASEA (Autism Society of Edmonton Area) from 2007 to 2010. I have presented on the parent perspective to new staff as well as been a guest presenter on the parent perspective for a University of Alberta occupational therapy class.

My son, Sean, received Intensive Behavioural Intervention from age 4.5 to 7 years. He was in an inclusive education setting from pre-school to early Grade 10. In November, he transferred to a special program for the balance of Grade 10 and high school. We have been to MDT panel once, for Sean. We have received approval for continuation of services once, without going to MDT. We have recently transitioned out of Specialized Services. We participated in PRT Parent Education, Levels 2 and 4.

Contact Jackie: 780-488-6600 ext. 245 or