Share your feedback – June 17th

Thursday, June 17th, will be our annual feedback session and social. Come join us as we celebrate the connections we’ve made these last few months, and discuss what the A-Team might look like going forward. (Please RSVP by email if you wish to attend.) What aspects of the group are working well for you? What could be changed to better meet your needs? What ideas and suggestions would you like the leadership team to consider? We look forward to hearing from you. This is an ‘open’ meeting, meaning you may bring a family member or friend with you to the meeting. And if you aren’t able to join us, or you prefer not you participate in our virtual format, you are always welcome to send your thoughts to our email address: ateam.waterlooregion@gmail.com

An invitation from Bridges to Belonging

Bridges to Belonging supports the A-Team with meeting facilitation and administrative guidance. They would like to extend the following invitation to our A-Team participants and supporters:

𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐣𝐨𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥 Autism Speaks Canada 𝐖𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞 𝟏𝟑! To register to be a part of the Bridges to Belonging Team, please click this link: https://bit.ly/3eLCtiN

Once you have registered, click on Join a Team in the main menu of the Participant Centre, search for Bridges to Belonging and click Join. You will then be taken to our Team page. For more help, contact Leah Bowman at admin@bridgestobelonging.ca. See attached poster for more information.

** As always, please you your best judgement in deciding if a shared resource or event is a good fit for you. As every individual is different, it is your choice to participate in this fundraising and community building event.

Important Details about COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario

Please Be Aware: In Ontario, Phase Two of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out includes a “high risk health condition” category. This “high risk” designation includes adult individuals with developmental disabilities, including ASD. As such, adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis may consider pre-registration for vaccination with their local public health unit under the “high risk” category. This link contains more information, along with a button to pre-register for the Waterloo Region Public Health vaccination process, should one feel that one meets the specified eligibility criteria.

https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-vaccination-pre-registration.aspx#

April – Executive Functions w/ Guest Speaker

This month we are very excited to welcome Nicola Bywater, of Mayhem Management (ADHD Coaching), to speak to us on the topic of executive functions. This is an “open” meeting, meaning A-Team participants (those who self-identify with Aspergers Syndrome or ASD Level 1) may bring a guest with them to the virtual meeting. The guest may be on-screen with you, or logging on from another location. Please indicate if you’ve invited at guest when you RSVP for the meeting (ateam.waterlooregion@gmail.com).

Here is some information about executive fucntions that may be of interest:

Executive Functions are cognitive skills that impact how the brain engages in mental control and self-regulation. They are sometimes described as the brain’s “secretary” or “conductor”. These skills impact how one is able to manage various aspects of daily life. There is a variety terminology used to describe these skills, Nicola will be using the following terminology (developed by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare). As we will not be able to cover all skills in detail, the bolded terms are the ones Nicola will be focusing on during our meeting.

Response Inhibition
Working Memory
Emotional Control
Sustained Attention
Task Initiation
Planning/Prioritization
Organization
Time Management
Goal-directed Persistence
Flexibility
Metacognition
Stress Tolerance

If you wish to explore your own executive skills further, Nicola suggests the following online questionnaire (free to download and complete):

https://nyspta.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Conv17-305-dawson-executive-skills-questionnaire.pdf

Looking forward to March

In March we will be discussing the language and terminology surrounding autism. What words do you like to use to describe yourself or your autism? Are there any terms you find confusing? Are there terms you would prefer other people avoid using? What words would you like them to use instead? Give these ideas some thought, and hopefully you can join us for an interesting discussion on March 18th via Zoom (RSVP by email required). If you need some ideas to get you started, check out the Language Guide developed by the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance.

January 2021 and beyond!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our virtual January meeting about Managing Feelings. We were thrilled to welcome Donnamarie and Emily (from Bridges to Belonging) as our facilitators, and look forward to their continued involvement in the coming months. The discussion was very engaging, and the resources shared by participants will be included as part of the upcoming February newsletter (don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t done so already).

Our next online meeting will be Thursday, February 18th. It is a private meeting, and the topic is “body language and other non-verbal communication” which ties in nicely with some of the points brought up during our discussing about feelings. Once again, Zoom access details for this meeting will be provided by email to our mailing list, one week prior to the meeting. We hope you can join us next time 🙂

Wishing you a Dashing December!

Our Upcoming Virtual A-Team Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 3rd! (not the third Thursday of the month to accomodate busy end of year schedules). This meeting will be a Private.


** RSVP required for admission into virtual meeting room **
Optional pre-meeting social begins at 7:00pm
Formal discussion to follow at 7:30pm
This month we will be having a holiday season “check-in”.

It’s that special time of year, and the A-Team wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy, albeit different, holiday season.

UPDATES:

  • This will be our last meeting with Kat Pauloff as our official volunteer facilitator. We are sad to see her go, and would like to extend our deepest thanks to Kat for her involvement with the group over the past three years. We appreciate all the time, expertise, and passion she has shared with us. We wish Kat all the best with her future endeavours, and hope she will visit the group again in future, when possible.
  • We are in the process of arranging facilitation for our upcoming 2021 meetings. More details will be shared with participants at the December meeting and in the January newsletter, as we work to make this transition as smooth as possible.
  • Given the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus, we will continue to meet virtually in January 2021, and this very likely to continue for the other sessions thereafter. We apologize to any participants who feel that this platform does not suit their needs, and we look forward to the time when we can meet in person once more. Please reach out to the A-Team via email if you are in need of direction to other supports in the meantime.

We hope to see you at our virtual December meeting where we will be checking-in with participants as we head into this unusual holiday season.
Want to participate? Please email ateam.waterlooregion@gmail.com.

Join us for our Nifty November Virtual Meeting


We had a very interesting discussion on sleep last month. We touched on topics from sleep rituals, sleep needs or patterns, guided relations, weighted blankets, and more. We hope you are able to join us this month when we will be discussing ‘unspoken social rules online.’

The Zoom meeting access details will be sent out to our newsletter subscribers one week prior to the meeting.

We would like to point out that we are using a Professional Zoom account, so you only need to log-in one time and the meeting is not limited in duration (as is the case with free Zoom accounts). You may also choose to participate with your video off, if you are more comfortable that way. Also, for those who shy away from using computers, you can access the meeting via a phone line instead. Phone-in details will also be provided in the same email.

We hope to see you at our next virtual meeting on Thursday, November 19th, 2020!

Optional pre-meeting social begins at 7:00pm
Formal discussion to follow at 7:30pm


** RSVP required for admission into virtual meeting room **
 Want to participate? If you are interested in attending this month’s
A-Team meeting (or know someone who is) please RSVP HERE