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We empower recreation leaders to be more inclusive of individuals on the autism spectrum


Our goal is to empower community recreation providers to connect autistic individuals with opportunities for meaningful inclusion in all community rec activities.


Home » Training & Accessibility Consultation » Recreation

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.

A group of children and staff ready to play dodgeball in a gymnasium.
A large group of adults cheering with a Canucks Autism Network staff.

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.

Take the course >

Camping 101

In collaboration with CAN, BC Parks developed a 4-minute video that showcases what to expect when camping at provincial sites. The video walks prospective campers through:

  • Booking a campsite online
  • Responsible camping behaviour
  • Packing and preparing for a trip
  • Checking in and setting up your campsite

View the 4-minute video >

Tip Sheets

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.
First/Then Board 
Use a first-then board to incorporate a fun/preferred activity and increase motivation.
Wait Card
Use a wait card to provide a concrete representation of the abstract concept of “waiting”


“I can’t say enough about CAN’s training. The session was well organized and the material was engaging and well delivered. The learning facilitators had a strong sense of when they needed to clarify material.

There were 75 staff in attendance and I really feel as though each one left with positive takeaways to use in our rec programs. Well worth the cost. Thank you!”

–Linda Kuntz, Recreation Program Coordinator, City of Delta

Training Feedback

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.