24/7 Crisis Line:
Text size
Français

Recommended for children under 6, our early intervention services are designed for the beginning stages of your family’s journey. Most of the services in this section are focused on teaching parents and caregivers strategies to help manage behaviours and provide support.

The right treatment and supports, particularly at a younger age, can help your child: 

  • Develop skills
  • Improve their overall well-being and functioning
  • Achieve better long-term outcomes.

How should I get started?

Consider starting your journey with some of the following services. You can also view our calendar of events to see what’s upcoming.

Email autism@handstfhn.ca, or call us at 1-800-668-8555 ext. 1333 to get more information, register for services, or book an appointment.


Seminars 

Interpret my Behaviour… Introduction to Applied Behavioural Analysis

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: The science of Applied Behavioural Analysis and skills that will help support your family 

Challenging Behaviours 101: Playing Detective

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: Understand why children engage in difficult behaviours and how to track them. We’ll also share tips on how to manage those behaviours

Challenging Behaviours 102: Steps to Positive Change

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: After Challenging Behaviours 101, take this session to learn in-depth strategies that can be used to decrease and manage challenging behaviours

Communication Chorus Line

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: We give you strategies to help your child increase sentence length, add complexity to communication, and introduce simple conversation skills. This seminar is recommended if you are looking to help your child expand already existing communication skills

The Communication Tango: Creating and Building Communication Opportunities

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: We focus on how the whole body impacts how we send and receive information. You will learn how to understand and respond to your child’s non-verbal communication. This seminar is recommended for early communicators

Change is Hard: Supporting Transitions

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: You will learn how to support your child with transitions as well as changes in their environment or routines. We discuss strategies and practice with hypothetical situations  

Toilet Training 101: Readiness and Routines

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: Are you ready to start the toilet training process? This seminar will identify readiness skills for toilet training, and work on steps to build a successful toilet training routine for your child

Not on My Plate: Picky Eating and Mealtime

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: We will discuss the difference between picky eaters and food refusal, the mealtime routine, and how to increase expectations for trying/eating new foods. You will walk away with a concrete plan to help decrease challenging behaviours around mealtime

Clinics 

Story Time

  • Who it’s for: Children and youth with Autism and their parents/ caregivers
  • What you’ll learn: Children will practice sitting for stories and participating in interactive and educational activities. This is a 4-week long clinic. It is aimed at children preparing for kindergarten or those who struggle to engage with books  
  • Logistics: 1 hour per week for four weeks

Kindergarten Readiness

  • Who it’s for: Children and youth with Autism and their parents/ caregivers
  • What you’ll learn: We will give you and your child the tools to ensure they have a successful transition to kindergarten. Your child will interact with their peers by participating in instructor-led activities, engage in functional play, and practice transitions throughout the day
  • Logistics: This is a week-long bootcamp that spends 30 hours focusing on preschool life skills. Before the clinic, you will do a 2-hour pre-assessment where parents/caregivers can talk with a therapist one-on-one. This time is also used to create specific goals for your child’s time in the clinic 

Learning to Play

  • Who it’s for: Children and youth with Autism and their parents/ caregivers
  • What you’ll learn: This is a group-based clinic to help your child learn to play. We work on playing well with others, and learn how to play appropriately with new types of toys. Parents are given coaching, tip sheets, and take-home assignments 
  • Logistics: 1.5 hours per week for four weeks

Let’s Get Moving

  • Who it’s for: Children and youth with Autism and their parents/ caregivers
  • What you’ll learn: Your child will practice their skills related to various sports as well as the social skills related to being on a team. This clinic is a great opportunity for caregivers to see what sports their child is interested in and if they are ready to join a team in their community 
  • Logistics: 1.5 hours per week for six weeks

Caring for Caregivers

  • Who it’s for: Parents and caregivers of children with Autism
  • What you’ll learn: Meet other caregivers and help mitigate day-to-day stresses by discussing topics that are important to you. This support group meets once a week and is facilitated by a Registered Social Worker
  • Logistics: 1 hour per week for nine weeks

1 on 1 Support

Full details about 1 on 1 support programs can be found on the main Autism page

Consultation

  • Who it’s for: Parents/caregivers and the child/youth they are supporting  
  • What you’ll learn: Get help on service coordination, behavioural consultation, and speech-language consultation. 
  • When: Every Tuesday and Thursday between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm with extended hours the first Tuesday of every month (last appointment at 6:00 pm)

Behaviour Therapy

  • Who it’s for: Child/youth with Autism, with parental attendance as needed 
  • What you’ll learn: Work with a therapist to set goals, build new skills, and minimize challenging behaviours

Speech-Language Therapy

  • Who it’s for: Child/youth with Autism, with parental attendance as needed 
  • What you’ll learn: Work with a speech-language therapist to develop communication and language skills