While I provide services to people with any diagnosis, my experience over the last decade has been within the autism community. Having seen and heard about their various realities, I have been moved to support the community by participating in autism awareness at large. I feel strongly that one of the biggest hurdles for people with autism and their families, is society's knowledge, or lack thereof, of autism. My intention is to provide information which helps create autism awareness that through continued discussion will shift to autism acceptance.
IT IS ONE THING TO BE AWARE; IT IS ANOTHER THING TO ACCEPT
These resources aim to provide knowledge and practical information to anyone interested in learning what autism is, how it affects individuals and families, and what the World may look like through the eyes of an autistic person.
Striving to share the actual reality of those navigating their autism journey, I have partnered with
Elena Jennifer Montecalvo, to offer various learning opportunities.
Through working together, our hope is to move from awareness, to acceptance, to inclusion.
ELENA JENNIFER MONTECALVO
Autism Awareness Advocate, Mom and Volunteer
I am a high school ESL teacher, but my most important role is being a mother. Before having children, I used to think I would have so much to teach them, but the greatest lesson I have learned is that they have so much to teach me. That is especially true about my eldest, Giancarlo, who is on the autism spectrum. Since his diagnosis I have had to question so many of my previous belief systems and my ways of doing things. I have done research, read literature by experts, attended several conferences, but my most valuable lesson has been to trust my instincts regarding what is best for my son. I know all too well what it means to stand up against cultural norms, broken school systems, wait lists, and other challenges that other parents face. I also know about losing yourself in the process. I know, too, about the sheer joy in the daily victories, regardless of how small.
For the past 5 years, I have volunteered in various schools, educating students through different awareness campaigns, and in 2019, my children and I were ambassadors for Autism Speaks Canada. It is an honor to collaborate with Uni-Diversity, because we share the same values regarding the importance of education, awareness, acceptance, and everyone's ability to succeed given the right conditions. Everyone. Parents too!
I look forward to continuing to share my experiences with students and parents alike, whether it be to teach, inspire, or simply to be a voice reminding you that you are not alone, and this journey, albeit a challenging one, can lead to beautiful things - especially with Uni-Diversity to guide you!
A slideshow or PDF lesson for independent exploration in the classroom or at home, to provide more awareness of autism.
Excellent for teachers for student exploration during independent in-class working, or for posting to your online platform for student exploration at home.
Excellent for parents for your child to independently explore, or to provide a guideline to parent-child exploration.
A one hour, in-person presentation for children or teens, including a slideshow and question period.
A one and a half hour, in-person presentation for tweens or teens, including slideshow and guided discussion/reflection time.
This workshop is useful for parents, family members, professionals, intervention aids, educators, staff or anyone who is supporting an autistic individual.
A workshop for anyone looking to understand more about autism, and participate in discussion about accepting and including autistic individuals.
As part of my mission to share the actual reality of the vast autistic community,
this space has been created for the sharing of various stories
directly from the community itself.
Awareness begins by listening.
Acceptance begins by understanding.
Inclusion is the result of both.