To provide comprehensive and innovative supports and services to those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders across the lifespan.
About CENTRE FOR AUTISM SERVICES ALBERTA
Twenty years ago in Edmonton, there was no way to help children with autism and their families. They were isolated, confused, and exhausted, with no way to connect to experts or the community. Researchers were beginning to understand the condition, but there was scarcely a link between the science and what was happening in a growing number of households in Alberta.
Then, in 1997, a group of parents of children with autism came together to launch a new organization in Edmonton. The science then, as now, showed that early intervention could make a huge difference in a child’s life. They needed to act quickly. They needed the best science and a team of clinical professionals to help their children reach their full potential through early intervention and programs that evolved with the science as their children grew into adulthood.
They knew there were other families out there who, like them, were searching for answers and they wanted to include them too. And they wanted something else, something revolutionary: to build a community that understands, includes, and creates opportunities for people with autism.
The Centre for Autism Services Alberta embodies these three goals, incorporating a person-centred philosophy, reflecting our family-driven roots, and helping to create a more welcoming community for people with autism.
Today, the Centre is a Canadian leader in clinical intervention, research and therapy, early childhood education, and enrichment programming. The Centre is the only CARF-accredited service provider in the province (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) - accredited in Behavioural Consultation Services - Autism Spectrum Disorder. We partner with Canadian and American autism organizations and researchers, and we’re home to three research fellows.
About a decade ago, the Centre embarked upon an ambitious program to support children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) beyond provincially-supported early intervention. We believe that we have a moral obligation to support children with ASD as they grow. Our mission changed to reflect this obligation and is now “to provide comprehensive, innovative supports and services to those affected by ASD across the lifespan.”
Our programs for children, teens, and young adults with Autism include: therapeutic and mental health programs; skills programs; sports and recreation; summer camps; visual arts; cooking; and social/support groups.
Two new programs for teens and young adults were launched in 2015: CommunityWorks(R) Canada - a community-based volunteer program designed to build employability skills in teens with Autism; and Quest for Independence for young adults which builds life skills leading to independence and self-determination.
Most of our programs are community-based. We work to further the development of individuals with Autism AND to create a more welcoming community for all people.
The Centre has an address, but we like to think of it as everywhere.