Community recreation provides individuals on the autism spectrum and their families 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 on the autism spectrum and related diagnoses.
Do you know an organization or business you would love to see trained by Canucks Autism Network? Recommend them to us here.
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 autistic individuals:
FREE Online Training
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.
- Booking a campsite online
- Responsible camping behaviour
- Packing and preparing for a trip
- Checking in and setting up your campsite
In collaboration with viaSport, we have developed 9 tip sheets for coaches and community recreation staff to reference when supporting athletes on the autism spectrum in a sports and recreation or community setting. Access the free tip sheets by clicking the links below.
Tipsheets For Coaches:
Building Rapport with Participants on the Autism Spectrum
Collaborating with Caregivers
Crisis Management for Athletes with Diverse Abilities
Motivation Strategies for Athletes on the Autism Spectrum
Team Code of Conduct
Tips for Creating an Inclusive Sports & Rec Program
Tipsheets for Parents & Caregivers:
Finding the Right Program
Talking with other Parents about an Athlete on the Autism Spectrum
Tipsheets for Officials:
Strategies for Officials to Better Include Autistic Athletes
Video Resource Library
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 on the autism spectrum 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”
Have you recently completed a workshop with Canucks Autism Network? We’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’d like to share your feedback, please fill out this Training Feedback form.