Community recreation provides individuals and families living with autism with the opportunity to improve physical literacy, create social connections, and be a part of their community.
Join the growing number of municipal recreation leaders who are championing inclusion and providing training and resources to their swim instructors, skate coaches, day camp leaders and other key program staff to support the inclusion of individuals with autism and related diagnoses.
Contact us to book a customized training program for your team. We deliver live workshops across the province to hundreds of recreation staff every year.
We have collaborated with organizations and service providers to develop the following publicly-available resources for supporting individuals with autism:
In partnership with BC Recreation and Parks Association and with the financial support of the Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD), Canucks Autism Network has created a one-hour online learning tool to provide recreation staff with foundational knowledge about autism and an introduction to key support strategies. Stay tuned for the launch of the online learning tool!
In collaboration with viaSport, we have developed 10 tip sheets for coaches and community recreation staff to reference when supporting athletes with autism in a sports and recreation or community setting. Access the free tip sheets by clicking the links below.
Building Rapport with an Athlete/Participant with Autism
Conversation Tool Kit: for Coaches and Recreation Staff
Conversation Tool Kit: for Parents of Children/Youth with Autism
Crisis Management for Athletes with Diverse Abilities
Motivation Strategies for Athletes with Autism
Talking with Officials about Autism
Talking with other Parents about an Athlete with Autism
Team Code of Conduct: for Sports Programs
Tips for Including a Child with Autism in an Inclusive Rec Program
What is Autism? Info for Coaches and Recreation Staff
Video Resource Library
Canucks Autism Network’s video resources are proudly supported by Autism Speaks Canada.
Video Modelling for Sports Skills and Community Activities
Video modelling can be a great teaching tool and may help some individuals on the autism spectrum learn specific skills. At Canucks Autism Network, we use a variety of strategies to support individuals with autism in the sport and recreation setting. These strategies can serve as instructional tools for teachers, coaches, and community recreation leaders to increase motivation, communication, predictability, and participation in community recreation.
Canucks Autism Network Video Models YouTube channel features:
- Sports and rec skills – these can be watched before trying a new sports and rec activity or in between practices to remind participants of what they are learning. Our video model library features skills and activities from swimming, soccer, basketball and more.
- Community activities – these can be watched before attempting a new activity in the community or as a helpful reminder for appropriate behaviour in community-based scenarios. Our how-to videos include “riding the bus”, “using a fitness centre” and “what to do when you are lost”.
Visual Supports (or Visuals)
A visual support (or visual) is a picture or other visual item to increase communication and show learners what you are saying. They help provide a concrete representation of what you are trying to communicate when you are using strategies to increase engagement, motivation, and predictability. Visual supports can be pictures, drawings, objects, words, or lists. Download and print our go-to visual support templates below and start using them at home or in the community.
2 Box Choice Board or 3 Box Choice Board
Increase motivation by providing two or three choices
3 Box Visual Schedule
Display the order of activities and increase predictability and structure (can be used as a choice board).
10 Token Board
Reinforce small steps and celebrate with a preferred item or activity after individual receives all 10 tokens.
Countdown Strip or Countdown Strip with Words or Countdown Strip with Numbers
Count down from five to increase predictability and motivation.
Use a first-then board to incorporate a fun/preferred activity and increase motivation.
Use a wait card to provide a concrete representation of the abstract concept of “waiting”