Guest Blog – In 2008, driven by their own personal experience of having a son diagnosed with autism, Canucks co-owners, Paolo and Clara Aquilini founded the Canucks Autism Network (CAN). For the past six years, CAN has strived to develop high quality, adaptive sports, recreational, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism in British Columbia. CAN currently supports over 1000 families, however, with 1 in 68 children now being diagnosed, and over 9000 individuals in BC alone, the need for our programs continues to grow.
The Canucks Autism Network provides accessible programming in a safe and inclusive environment, with a high ratio of trained staff to participants. For only $25 per year, families have access to over 20 different types of programs, including sports programs (soccer, swim, hockey, skate, gymnastics, basketball, bike, ski), arts programs (music, photography, drama), week-long day camps, overnight camps, social groups (for kids, teens, females, and young adults), and special events for the entire family to enjoy together. In addition, siblings are welcome at many of the Canucks Autism Network’s programs.
In addition to providing programming, the Canucks Autism Network strives to build awareness and acceptance of autism throughout the province through training, school based programs, and the CAN Van Interactive Autism Exhibit which is a mobile exhibit that travels throughout BC educating the public about autism. To learn more about how you can join, support or donate, please visit canucksautism.ca.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that deeply affects not only the individual diagnosed, but the family as whole. Autism is diagnosed based on difficulties with social communication and behaviour, but there is significant variability amongst individuals who share the diagnosis. ASDs occur in all racial, ethnic and social groups, but are almost five times more likely to occur in boys than girls.
The Canucks Autism Network is expanding its presence in the Victoria area, seeking to add programs in Skate, Soccer, and Swim to complement the existing Family Adventure and Camp programs currently offered in the area.
The Canucks Autism Network is expanding its presence in the Victoria area in the fall of 2014, seeking to add a Skate program to complement the already existing Soccer, Swim, Family Adventure and Camp programs in the area. Further information about programs on the island can be found here.
On August 22nd there will be a special movie night for families with an autistic family member specially in Saanichton, BC. You can find out more details on the event here.