Update to Health & Transition Services Families
- April 3, 2020
Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we move through these very uncertain times. Since our last update, we continue to stay on top of the government recommendations by participating in a daily Long Term Care conference call, implementing recommendations and supporting staff to understand and manage the physical distancing requirements.
In addition to limiting access to the main building at 440 River Road, we are now screening each staff as they enter by taking and logging their temperature and asking them the public health screening questions. No one is allowed to work if they are showing any symptoms of respiratory illness.
Staff are required to change into work clothes and dedicated work shoes upon arrival, to change before leaving and to launder their work clothes daily. Phones, name badges, and glasses are sanitized throughout shifts. No jewellery or nail polish is allowed.
We continue to monitor your family members closely for any signs of illness and are working hard to support them to be active, engaged and to have fun under the circumstances. We are also working hard to ensure that they are able to connect to you, in the most convenient way possible.
Last, our environmental services and nutrition services teams are working incredibly hard to ensure that the environment is disinfected and sanitized continuously, and to ensure everyone is eating healthy meals and has access to snacks and treats.
Again, we can’t acknowledge enough how challenging we know this is for all of you, for your family members, for our staff and our community as a whole. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and connected.
We hope you are all well and are taking good care.
Director, Health & Transition Services
Update to Autism Programs Families
On behalf of everyone at St.Amant, I want to thank you for your patience and unwavering support during these unprecedented and challenging times. I also want to express my hopes that your family is staying healthy. We encourage you to take a look at a few wellness resources on our website and social media that you may find helpful for you and your family.
In light of the announcement of an indefinite school suspension earlier this week, I know that many of you are likely wondering how this might affect your child’s services. At this time, I want to assure you that we will be working with our funder to determine what options will be available for families once our services can resume. As soon as we have more information to share, we will be in touch.
During the suspension of services, we are committed to continuing to support you in a family-centred way during this time. Our goal is to provide resources and supports through remote service options (currently via phone and email), and we are working on technology solutions that we hope to have available within the next few weeks. Our hope is to offer personalized supports that will be helpful for your family, without adding any pressure, as we know that each family’s reality may be different right now.
Again, on behalf of our team, thank you for your patience and support. Please take care of yourselves and each other. As always, I invite you to reach out if you have any questions.
Kerri Walters, PhD CPsych, BCBA-D
Director, Autism Programs
Screening now in place at 440 River Road
- April 2, 2020
Screening is now in place for all staff entering the building at 440 River Road. Staff can only enter one door and will have their temperature taken and recorded and answer the public health screening questions before being allowed to enter for work.
A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to get this all in place so quickly.
Province-wide online autism education launches for Manitoba parents, families, educators, and community organizations
- Free, person and family-centred web-based system announced on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2, 2020)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, St.Amant Autism Programs is announcing that it has significantly ramped-up its capacity to provide free online training for any Manitoban who supports, lives, or works with a person who has autism spectrum disorder.
As schools across Manitoba identify innovative ways to indefinitely support students and families with various online learning systems, St.Amant’s expertise and leadership in autism awareness and education is needed now, perhaps more than ever.
“The pressures that families, schools, and children are facing right now are unprecedented. So much rapid adjustment at one time can leave people feeling overwhelmed, isolated, even frightened. And that’s why St.Amant wants to make things easier in these distressing times,” said Brendan Boehr, Behavior Analyst and the Coordinator of Clinical Education & Training who provides St.Amant’s live, online Fulfilling Potential Workshop Series training.
“As of today, we can virtually accommodate up to 500 people at a time in our webinars. This means that all Manitobans who want to learn more about effective behavioural supports, the influence of disability, the characteristics of autism, and about human behaviour in general can now conveniently access high-quality training, based firmly in the scientific literature.”
The Fulfilling Potential Workshop Series content is especially valuable for families of children with autism, and it also serves unique professional training and development needs of those in the education system and other organizations, agencies, and individuals who support neurodiverse children, youth, or adults, including people with autism, ADHD, and other conditions.
Last week, Boehr provided autism awareness training to new recruits with the Winnipeg Police Service.
“We can learn more about our own behaviour and the behaviours of all people, when we learn about autism and disability. The best support is an informed and inclusive community and we all have a role to play in supporting others as they reach their full potential.”
St.Amant’s approach to autism education is person and family-centred and workshops can be customized to meet individualized needs of groups large or small.
To register or to get more information, please contact April Plett at email@example.com.
These workshops are a user-friendly introduction to practical concepts and strategies for teaching skills and managing challenging behaviour with compassion and effectiveness. Classes are developed and instructed by Manitoba’s leading experts in applied behaviour analysis.
This series is open to individuals and teams who support or work with people who present challenging behavioural needs – especially individuals with developmental disabilities or autism. The Fulfilling Potential Workshop Series is especially helpful for those who support children. However, our content is also relevant to youth and adultsUpcoming Fulfilling Potential Workshop Webinar Series:May 7 – June 11, 2020 | 6:30pm-9pmMay 7: Understanding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 1May 14: Understanding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 2May 21: Effective Goals & Teaching Strategies 1May 28: Effective Goals & Teaching Strategies 2June 4: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder and ABAJune 11: Potty Training Like a Pro
In our workshops you can learn:
- Tips for teaching valuable life, academic, social, and play skills, communication, self-management, and more.
- Understanding and managing challenging behaviour of all kinds.
- Overview of autism spectrum disorder, including diagnostic criteria.
- Strategies for the classroom, home, and community settings.
- Introduction to behaviour science and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
- Many examples and case studies, including applications with adults, children, employees, students, and those with and without developmental or learning disabilities.
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behaviour Analysis
Participants are introduced to the common signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The goal in class 1 is for participants to have a better underst anding of what life is like for kids with autism and to imagine how the symptoms of autism can influence the skills and knowledge that children develop as they grow up.
Underst anding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 1
**This class is a prerequisite for Underst anding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 2**
In this class, participants are introduced to a practical way of underst anding challenging behaviour. Using the tools of Applied Behaviour Analysis, participants will be empowered to investigate the causes of challenging behaviour in the lives of the people they support. This class is an essential prerequisite for Challenging Behaviour 2, in which today’s knowledge will be used to begin developing behaviour support plans.
Underst anding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 2
**Participants must first complete Underst anding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 1**
Challenging behaviour can be disruptive, it can be an impediment to learning important skills, and it can interfere with the development of meaningful relationships with peers. In the last class, participants were introduced to the behavioural interpretation of challenging behaviour, why it happens, and the elements in our environment that influence learning. Today we will use that knowledge to begin developing behaviour support plans of our own to help the people we care about to reach their fullest potential.
Effective Goals and Teaching Strategies
We are usually pretty good at identifying big-picture, long-term goals for the people we support (e.g. more independence, meaningful relationships, academic skills, etc.) It can be much more difficult; however, to establish a step-by-step process to reach those goals that takes into account the individual’s strengths, preferences, and unique challenges. Today, effective teaching strategies will be introduced to help participants set goals, teach important skills, and remain optimistic about the future.
Potty Training Like a Pro
In this class, participants will learn to potty train like a pro! Readiness signs for toilet training are covered, and a behavioural plan to toilet training is explained. Practical tips and discussion about common barriers met during toilet training are also a part of this interactive workshop.
COVID-19 Update: We Are Connected
- March 24, 2020
As a family member and loved one of a person supported by St.Amant, helping you stay informed and be connected through these uncertain times – when everyone is concerned about potential health risks – is vital.
St.Amant is committed to sharing the information you need to feel secure and connected with your loved one, and to feel assured they are continuing to be supported with the utmost in caution, cleanliness, and sensitivity to their mental wellness, rights and freedoms, physical and emotional needs.
We will only be updating the St.Amant website and sending e-newsletter as we don’t currently have the staff to maintain mailing hard copies. If you have not signed up for our e-newsletter, please do by clicking here or by visiting the home page of our website and clicking on the “sign up for e-news” button.
Safety & Health for Your Loved One
St.Amant’s teams of Occupational Health, Operations, Facilities and Direct Support Staff are doing everything that should be done – and much more – to ensure the health of your loved one during the COVD-19 outbreak in Manitoba.
We are following all of Public Health’s procedures and recommendations around staff who have travelled, infection control and social distancing guidelines.
Staff are rigorously and repeatedly wiping surfaces and touchpoints with disinfectants, sterilizing all devices, washing floors, and ensuring everyone adheres to strict handwashing practices.
St.Amant has long-term experience with managing the cleaning and disinfecting practices employed throughout any influenza season or outbreak.
Staff at Health & Transition Services and in St.Amant homes are taking care of themselves, so they can fully support your loved one.
All staff at St.Amant are conscientiously self-monitoring for any symptoms of illness that might be in any way concerning, and will not report for work if they are showing any symptoms of respiratory illness.
As an additional precaution, St.Amant has significantly reduced the number of people working in the building at 440 River Road to help ensure the safety of the people supported within Health and Transition Services.
Staff are being provided with extensive information from the provincial government’s Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, Shared Health, and St.Amant with respect to recent travel, potential external health risks, social distancing, and what to do if they have any health concerns.
Frontline health care providers and support workers are heeding the current social distancing precautions while also ensuring that necessary physical contact to support your loved one is not being restricted.
Staff who need to provide physical supports for your loved one are handwashing vigorously and often, and maintaining safe infection control practices.
At This Time, No Visitors, Please
As you know, St.Amant has restricted all visitor access at 440 River Road, in keeping with the Long Term Care directive. We are also discouraging visitors, even family, in our community homes. This is in keeping with the social distancing directive of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to not invite people over or visit in other people’s homes. We know this is difficult, but rigid measures are required at this time to protect your loved ones, the essential frontline staff involved in their daily lives, plus their families, and communities branching out from them.
We will advise you as soon as the visiting policies change. Your understanding and patience is so greatly appreciated.
Social Distancing – Not Social Isolating
No risk of infection or transmission of illness is worth taking at this time.
St.Amant has postponed group activities where the mandated social distancing guidelines would be difficult to meet.
Community activities, internal and external events, meetings and outings are all cancelled for the time being as a caution. When this changes, we will be excited to share the good news!
Our teams are working hard to support people to continue to connect with their family and friends using technology and creativity.
Holistic Support Always Provided
St.Amant offers a wealth of resources and connections within our community to meet a broad spectrum of spiritual, social, mental health, emotional wellness and physical activity needs of the people we support, and family members, whenever possible.
During this challenging time, although the support may look different, we are doing our best to ensure there is no interruption to these provisions, except when/if social distancing requirements cannot be met.
Our Mental Health
This unprecedented time of uncertainty can bring anxiety and social distancing can bring loneliness. Not knowing how long these changes are in place can be unsettling.
St.Amant is working hard to share community mental health resources on our website and social media. Please reach out through those resources if you are struggling.
Please Reach Out, We’re Here
We encourage you to connect as often as you need to, with the staff and Direct Support Staff with whom you are already connected, and who know you and your loved one best.
We’re all in this together, and it won’t be forever.
Thank you for your patience, understanding and support. For now, we’ll all keep doing the right things for the right reasons, and sharing a spirit of compassion and hope with each other.
A/President & CEO