Parent Advice Videos
Comox Valley, BC
Melissa is the parent of a child in the autism community in British Columbia.
Trevor is a parent of a child in the autism community in British Columbia.
Director on the board for Comox Valley Child Development and a community Scout leader, Sam is a passionate advocate for inclusion and recognizing a child's abilities. A parent of two Autistic children and spouse of an Autistic partner Sam enjoys
sharing her families many talents and gifts with the community as well as food to neighbours from their micro farm.
Rosemary Thomson is a mom to two boys, an eighteen-year-old son with autism and ADHD and a sixteen-year-old son with ADHD. She was diagnosed with ADHD herself two years ago in her 50’s. Parenting children with neurodiversity has been both rewarding and challenging. When not parenting, Rosemary can be found conducting the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Opera Kelowna. A new documentary titled Shiny Objects: The Conductor with ADHD was made about her recent ADHD diagnosis. Rosemary is committed to advocacy and to working for a world in which all diversities are accepted and celebrated.
Shayna Kershaw was born and raised in Richmond, BC, but now calls Kelowna home. She is a stay-at-home mom to her three autistic children and a writer. She has been a writer as long as she can remember and uses her words to reach people. She also
completed a bachelor’s degree at SFU in English and psychology. Since her son was diagnosed in March 2020, after being misdiagnosed several years prior and subsequently, her two daughters and herself, she has found educating people on
what autism truly is to be very important. She has helped many people see autism in a new light and hopes to reach more. Though she is relatively new to the Autistic world, she wants to leave her mark on it, for the better. When not writing
or running around with her children, Shayna loves to bake for her family, read fantasy novels, and watch hockey games (go Canucks!).
Lake Country, Kelowna BC
Lindsay is a proud mama of 3 children, two of them with autism and other diverse abilities. She is an Early Childhood Educator and Behavioural Interventionist. Lindsay enjoys focusing her lived and learned experiences on helping children with diverse needs be and feel their best. Lindsay advocates within her community and school district to help increase awareness and meet the diverse needs of every learner. Lindsay also volunteers as a resource parent with the Family Support Institute, providing peer-to-peer support for families with diverse children. Through life experience, Lindsay has seen the gaps in various societal systems, and has become passionate about bringing equity to those who need it most, including the beautifully diverse population of the autism community.
Lower Mainland, BC
Cecilia is a parent of 2 children diagnosed with autism. She is always trying to find opportunities for her children to be able to participate in an inclusive and meaningful way. She believes in equality for all individuals and wants
to continue to spend her time on projects that focus on acceptance, safety, opportunity and true inclusion for the neurodiverse community. Cecilia has participated in workshops to help support families of Autistic people. She has
also taken many autism training courses and continues to learn strategies on how to better support her children. She is creative and has been known to create original learning materials to help her own children with their learning at
school and home.
J & J
Lower Mainland, BC
Parents of Autistic school aged child
J & J are two parents who are studying & completing their Masters of Educational Technology together at UBC. Dad works at a First Nations organization, serves as a Board Director at a community inclusion organization, and is a strong advocate to ensure that voices of the disability community are heard. Mom is a K-12 educator who is interested in educating people more about ableism, disability, and the use of technology. She has a passion to advocate for children with disabilities and provide them with opportunities to learn, communicate, and connect with others in society.
Amy is a mother of two teenagers. She is a member of AutismBC. She participated in many workshops hosted by AutismBC. Her family also joined many family activities facilitated by Canucks Autism Network. She is also involved with local parent groups. Amy likes to share her life experiences to encourage other parents who are facing difficulties raising Autistic children. She is very optimistic and indomitable. Amy believes parental support is a powerful encouragement for children with autism. In her spare time, Amy enjoys reading and oil painting. For her, every life should be precious.
Lower Mainland, BC
Anne is a parent of an adult in the autism community in British Columbia.
Prince Rupert, BC
Parent of Teen with ASD
Christine is a mom to a teenager living with Autism. She is a teacher in Prince Rupert, B.C. Christine is a strong advocate for strength-based learning in schools and to find the balance in raising a youngster on the spectrum. Christine and her
son spend lots of time in the hockey arena and she is an advocate for inclusion in all settings.
Symbia is an Indigenous woman of Haida/Mi'kmaq descent who lives in the Northwest of BC. She is a mother, nurse, doula, disability advocate and wisdom translator. Her professional background is in the health and disability sectors, but her passion is sharing her knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and their ways of knowing, living and healing, with those on their allyship journey. She is the Co-Lead of the Health Care Advocacy Team with Moms Against Racism Canada.
Alissa is the primary caregiver to a non-verbal autistic individual in his 20s. When he came into her care, he had no means of communication. With time, patience, and dedication she implemented various communication tools to give him a voice. Everything is a work in progress, but the effects of a simple communication system is life altering. Now that he has a way to communicate his wants and needs his dangerous behaviours have reduced, which have opened so many new doors and opportunities for him. He is now able to participate in recreational activities, engage in community events and develop social relationships. Alissa is a recent Master of Social Work graduate who is passionate about mental wellness and ensuring equal opportunities are available to everyone. She has volunteered and worked with individuals with invisible disabilities in a variety of organizations and is a strong advocate for creating environments that are welcoming and accessible. Alissa hopes that these videos provide insight into the challenges that people with invisible disabilities face and offer ideas on how we can work together to improve their quality of life..
Cathy with Amy
Parent and Daughter
My name is Cathy and I am a Mom to a 25 year old daughter with intellectual disabilities. I have recently retired, however worked in the education system for over 30 years. We have lived in the same home in the GTA since her birth. Amy has a rare
chromosomal deletion that doesn't even have a name. It is located on the 11th chromosome. I chose to be in this project as I am happy to share my suggestions and opinions to other individuals and families in hopes that it will help them in some
way. Since Amy's diagnosis is so rare, it is very difficult to find a support group that understands her needs and can advocate for her. As I am a generally quiet and reserved person, advocating has been both challenging and rewarding. Throughout
the years, her needs/wants have also changed which creates new obstacles and opportunities for her. For example, her education path was stable until she entered the secondary level where advocating was essential to support her learning needs.
Making informed decisions about various school boards and segregated vs. mainstream programs they offered was definitely a learning curve; and persistence was needed to make her placement successful. Now that Amy is an adult, new challenges, in
particular her medical needs, has continued my role of advocacy with professionals. I believe, advocacy will always be a big part of her life and I hope that someone will always be able to help her with life decisions.
Zainab is a parent of a child with a dual diagnosis of Autism and intellectual disability. She is a Computer Science graduate, passionate about supporting parents of kids with special needs and different diagnoses. She has also taken many autism training courses. She continues to learn and find ways to improve inclusion for kids with higher needs on the Autism spectrum and with Intellectual disabilities in different settings. She runs an online support group and plans workshops and webinars to help parents in their Autism journey. She also advocates for her son through her Autism Simplified platform on social media.
Susan Baker is the mom to two beautiful, bright children, Andrew, 14, and Abby, 10. Susan is the author of Life, Love & Autism, an inspiring online blog that chronicles her family’s journey of growth and challenge, including love, loss and an autism diagnosis. She has co-authored two books, Lead With Love, a collection of motherhood stories, and For the Love of Our Children, a holistic resource written for parents by parents of children with disabilities. She is a holistic nutritionist by training and has been in the natural health industry since 2001. She continues to inspire others through her social media presence, online speaking and in-person engagements. She lives in Toronto with her husband and children. IG: @lifewithsusan FB: Susan Baker | Life, Love & Autism.