People With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Families: What Services Do They Truly Need?

Last modified by Ann Watkins on 2017/06/09 18:12

Individuals on the autism spectrum and their families report a high level of unmet service needs. In this webinar, we will discuss the landscape of perceived service need in autism in Canada and address the gaps in navigation support for clinicians to community resources. Based on new research study, we will look at the top service priorities of individuals with autism across the lifespan and demographic, clinical and systemic factors that predict an individual getting their priority service needs met. In this Canada-wide survey of 3,317 caregivers, we found that priority needs change over time and diversifies with age. Strikingly, 30% of the respondents indicated that none of their priority needs were currently being met. The concepts around service need and the implications of this work will be discussed. For instance, families are often left confused navigating the complexities of an autism diagnosis and do not know where to turn to for support. So, to better address the gap between families and professionals, we will present navigation support for physicians, training tools and helpful resources, and ways to increase capacity for professionals to support families.

Click here to download the presentation slides.

Dr. Jonathan Lai (PhD) is post-doctoral fellow at York University in autism services research with Dr Jonathan Weiss. His current research involves identifying health and service needs for individuals with autism, the factors that influence service use, and predictors of changes in service use over time. He is also involved in knowledge translation to stakeholder groups, including families, policy makers, community organizations, and service providers. Jonathan’s training (MSc Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph; PhD Neuroscience, McMaster University) focused on understanding the link between the genetic and behavioural phenotypes in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, which advanced understanding of the biology of autism subtypes. He is passionate about bridging the gaps between brain science, mental health and society-at- large through translating research into evidence-informed policies and programs.

Esther Rhee is the National Program Director with Autism Speaks Canada. In her role, Esther focuses on supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families across Canada through the organization’s mission to increase resources and services, increase autism research, build awareness and work as a collaborative community. Esther oversees the Family Services program in Canada, which includes the distribution of $4.5 million to over 200 organizations to increase programs. Esther also represents Canada on the Autism Speaks global science team which has supported over $200 million towards autism research internationally. Additionally, Esther sits on a number of provincial and national advisory committees. Esther’s work in the ASD community has focused on building community capacity, collaboration, program development and navigation support strategies. Esther also works as a Clinical Therapist focusing on child and adult mental health. Esther received her Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and also holds a B.A.H in Philosophy from the University of Guelph. 

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Created by Ann Watkins on 2017/05/09 17:47