Happy New Year 2019!

happy ny

It has been some time since I last posted on our website. My apologies! I’m sure you can understand that between work,  kids and caring for a home, it can be hard to find the time to write!

The Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in is still going strong since we opened our doors on Sunday, October 15th, 2017! Since then, more than 30 different girls have visited the Drop-in with an average of ten girls attending each Sunday’s group.

pet visits

2018 was a busy year with many different activities taking place:

  • The Girls on the Spectrum Parent Support Group held its first meeting in January 2018. This group meets once a month at Orleans United Church and offers parents an opportunity to share their stories and discuss resources available in the community.
  • The Teen Girls on the Spectrum Group was started. Teen girls meet monthly and go on fun adventures in the community
  • Monthly visits from Expérience Unik, a local organization that provides animal therapy visits – a favourite with the girls!
  • Girls on the Spectrum was awarded a grant of $1000 from the Awesome Foundation of Ottawa – these funds went to purchasing activity supplies and covering costs for activities such as visits from Experience Unik;
  • The Drop-in also received a grant from Autism Ontario to help with program costs;
  • The Program received the Leading Women, Building Communities Award on International Women’s Day – awarded by MPP Marie-France Lalonde.
  • The Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in was featured in the Observer Magazine.
  • In April, the Group took part in “Autism on the Hill” to show its support for all people with Autism.
  • Author Christine Jenkins visited the Drop-in to discuss her new book she co-authored – Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism.
  • Plus a Hawaiian Day, a pyjama party, a paint day, a Halloween Party a Christmas Party and much more!

friendship

What will 2019 hold for the Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in?

  • The next Support Group meeting will take place on Thursday, January 17th at 7 pm in room 12 at Orleans United Church – 1111 Orleans Blvd;
  • Teen girl group outings take place on a monthly basis – for more information on the next events please visit Teen Girls on the Spectrum on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Autism2019;
  • Monthly pet visits with Expérience Unik – the next visit will be on Sunday, January 13th;
  • Theme Sundays;
  • Music Therapy sessions;
  • participation in Autism on the Hill on April 3rd at 12:15 p.m.;
  • Participation in the Ottawa Race Weekend, Sunday, May 26th and the Autism Speaks Canada Walk on Sunday, June 2nd;
  • an Information Fair for Girls on the Spectrum with Speakers on Girls and Autism on Sunday, March 3rd from 1-3 p.m. at Orleans United Church; and
  • much more!

goat visits

For more information on the Drop-in including interviews and newspaper/magazine articles, please see previous posts below or email us at girlsonthespectrumottawa@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/girlsonthespectrumottawa/

 

 

 

 

Learn More About Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in

Happy August Everyone!

I am re-posting a post from December 2017 to share information about our Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in for those who may be new to this site.

Our next Drop-in takes place on Sunday, August 26th from 1-3 p.m. and then Sunday, September 9th from 1-3 p.m. at Orleans United Church. After September 9th the Drop-in will return to every Sunday afternoon.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions! girlsonthespectrumottawa@gmail.com

Suzanne

P.S.

An article recently written for the UC Observer magazine:

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When we started the Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in back in September we had no idea how quickly it would grow or the interest community would have in what we are doing.

We have been very fortunate to have had a lot of help in getting the word out – through print, television and radio!

If you would like to learn more about the Girls on the Spectrum Ottawa Drop-in please take a look at or listen to the following media pieces –

Accessible Media inc TV – This Week:

http://www.ami.ca/category/ami-week-arts-and-culture/media/girls-on-spectrum

Rogers TV – Daytime:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPkPnpw1qXw

CBC Ottawa Morning:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1084379715558/

Ottawa Community News:

https://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/news-story/7678530-mom-starts-orl-ans-drop-in-program-for-girls-with-autism/

The Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in is held every Sunday afternoon from 1-3 pm at Orleans United Church. Please contact Suzanne Allen at 613-852-0828 or girlsonthespectrumottawa@gmail.com for more information.

 

Friendship

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I have always been blessed to have special people in my life who I count as close friends, but friendship is something that can be taken for granted.

When Miriam was born, I expected nothing different for her. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be that easy. In May 2017, when Miriam was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder it definitely helped us to understand why some things were the way they were for her. While it didn’t seem to bother Miriam that she didn’t have a special friend, it certainly was something I worried about. It didn’t, however, lessen my hope for her that she would develop close friendships too.

We all want to have people in our lives with whom we can confide in, those who can share our joys and sorrows and those who we can be ourselves with. I believe that friendship is a vital component of living a healthy and fulfilling life.

One of the reasons for starting the Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in was that by bringing girls together who are facing some of the same issues, friendships would form. And they have!

When Miriam made her first friend at the drop-in, I was so happy – and now she has many friends! Friends she looks forward to seeing every week and who look forward to seeing her too. This evening as she texted back and forth with one of the girls from the group, I got teary eyed because it gave me hope; hope that my daughter will experience all of the wonderful things that life has to offer – including friendship.

Thank you to all of my friends and family who have always loved and supported me. You mean the world to me.

Suzanne

 

February Girls on the Spectrum Newsletter

Introducing the new Girls on the Spectrum Newsletter (a little late this month!).

Girls on the Spectrum February 2018 Newsletter

The purpose of this monthly newsletter is to share with you what we have coming up at the Drop-in and any interesting information I find related to girls with ASD.

Hope you find this helpful and if you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment!

Stay warm!

penguin-funny-blue-water-86405.jpeg

Suzanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

merry christmas

Girls on the Spectrum Ottawa would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2018!

Fall 2017 has been very exciting for us with the start of the Girls on the Spectrum Drop-in. We have had so much fun together and are looking forward to meeting again in the new year (Sunday, January 7th).

A few things to look forward to in 2018:

Enjoy your holidays!

Suzanne