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  • Seeking input from parents of children with autism about experiences of support

  • July 14, 2016
  • A York University study is looking to hear from parents of children with autism about the kinds of social support they receive and want. We know that social support can be immensely helpful for families, and the research shows a link between good support and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and burden. This support may come from friends, family, co-workers, neighbours or formal services like the ones provided by St.Amant.

    While we know social support is helpful, we still have questions and there are gaps in the research. We know very little about the factors that can help promote social support for parents. Who receives solid social support? Who is at risk of being isolated or disconnected from a social support network? How can we foster these social connections?

    This study aims to answer these questions. This work is led by Suzanne Robinson, a doctoral student in the clinical-developmental psychology program at York University, along with her supervisor, Dr. Jonathan Weiss.

    What does this study involve?

    Parents can participate by completing an online questionnaire (paper copies are also available). This questionnaire takes about 30 minutes to complete. Parents are also invited to complete shorter follow-up questionnaires 6 and 12 months later if they are interested. Participating parents are entered in a raffle for $50 gift certificates, as thanks.

    Who can participate?

    Any parent of a school-aged child with a diagnosis of autism, living in Canada. The person with autism needs to currently be between 5 and 18 years of age.

    Participation is absolutely voluntary and your decision to not participate will not influence your relationship with the researchers, York University, or St. Amant. This research has been reviewed and approved by St.Amant’s Research Ethics Board, and York University’s Ethics Review Board, and conforms to the standards of the Canadian Tri-Council Research Ethics guidelines.

    If you have any questions or would prefer a paper copy of the survey, please contact Suzanne Robinson at srobinso@yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext. 44032. You can see more work being done by this research lab by visiting their websites at http://ddmh.lab.yorku.ca/ and http://asdmentalhealth.ca/.

  • The Impact of Autism Service Intensity on Children’s Outcomes

  • March 17, 2016
  • St.Amant Research Centre examined archival data of a community-based early intensive behavioural intervention program to determine the effect service intensity has on outcome measures in different domains for children with autism spectrum disorder. Overall, we found that children showed significant improvements after one year of early intensive behavioural intervention service, and that treatment intensity may influence outcomes even at relatively high levels.

    Read more in our latest Research Rundown project summary.

  • St.Amant Presents 24th Annual Canadian Conference On Developmental Disabilities And Autism

  • March 1, 2016
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    With a specific focus on practical tools, behaviour, research, ethics, and best practice, this conference will leave you with innovative strategies and information to better support individuals with developmental disabilities and autism.

    Presented by St.Amant


    Early Bird Pricing Until April 15

    1 day: $225 (includes networking & cocktail event at the end of May 4)

    2 days: $400 (includes networking & cocktail event at the end of May 4)

    Visit www.ccdda.ca to see over 40 speakers scheduled
    on various topics and register today.



    Loretta Claiborne: Journey To Be Fearless

    Loretta grew up during the Civil Rights era partially blind with a developmental disability. The odds were stacked against her. One day, she found Special Olympics and everything changed. She excelled as a world-class runner and became an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.

    Today, Loretta holds honorary doctorates from Villanova University and Quinnipiac College, converses in five languages, was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and sits on the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. Loretta utilizes the power of sport to create social change and inclusion and to promote development and peace.

    Don Gallant: Community Living Movement In Canada

    Don is a principal consultant with a social policy and planning agency-providing support to both public and private sectors to advance social well-being and inclusion, especially for persons with disabilities.

    He has had a long-standing relationship with the community living movement.

    Frank Pastizzo: Common Practices That Most Positively And Negatively Impact Performance

    Seeing all services as human services, Frank draws upon over 30 years of experience as an ER technician, a high school teacher, a health care administrator, marketing executive and entertainer.

    His energetic programs are sparked with comedy, live music, and poignant stories from the arenas of business, health care, and education to assist our workplaces in reflecting the values of kindness and respect.

    Lorraine Fox: Humour In The Workplace

    Lorraine walked into the world of child and youth care in 1964 and found her calling working with children and youth who were declared “emotionally disturbed” as a result of abuse and neglect. In addition to extensive work with private service agencies, Lorraine is a contract instructor, training public service employees serving welfare and child protective clients and their community partners.

    She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and a doctoral certificate in organizational development, and is a Certified Child Care Worker. 

  • Report: Evidence Briefing on Respite Services for People with Intellectual or Developmental Disability

  • November 2, 2015
  • This report will provide a summary of the current state of respite on a global scale, and provide research evidence to support the potential St.Amant respite service expansion. Respite is a range of services aimed at supporting families and individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities with/without complex health needs. For decades, these services have arranged short-term breaks or admissions of these individuals which provides relief to families or caregivers from the demands of care.

    All around the globe, respite is provided under various programs, including weekend, overnight, holiday, and day care programs. Services are available in settings in the community, hospitals/institutions or in the recipient‘s own home. The literature review conducted was a scoping review that aimed to integrate the findings from reports of both quantitative and qualitative studies of respite services or respite related information around the globe. The majority of the literature collected from this study originated in the UK and Ireland.

    This report was produced by request of CEO John Leggat of St.Amant and was created as a summer project by two undergraduate nursing students at the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research (MCNHR) under the guidance of Dr. Beverley Temple. A summer internship program is offered at the MCNHR enabling students to partake in research opportunities with direct supervision of faculty members and other respected researchers.

  • Welcome Charmayne Dubé

  • October 23, 2015
  • Dr. Charmayne Dubé is the newest addition to the St.Amant Research Team. She brings 27 years of experience working in the disability sector from direct service to program administration. Charmayne is trained as an Occupational Therapist and she’s  no stranger to the Research Centre, having completed her PhD in Applied Health Sciences under the guidance of Dr. Bev Temple who has been with the Research Centre for many years.


    Charmayne will remain half time in her current position at New Directions as Director of Services and will join the University of Manitoba part-time, with most of her role focused on the St.Amant Research Centre. She is most looking forward to having time dedicated to research and to being able to focus on what individuals labeled with disability want to know and what will make a difference to their quality of life. She is particularly interested in the topics of self-determination, natural support systems and the needs of direct support professionals.

    Please join us in welcoming Charmayne to St.Amant.