Non-Clinical Services and Supports

These are some resources that may be helpful for your family. We do not endorse any external organizations or websites, and we encourage you to contact them directly to find the best fit for your family.

For more resources or support, please contact Katie, our Family Resource Coach, at 519-886-9992 ext. 2 or frc@aswr.ca.

Dentists

Butler, Dr. Scott
519-578-2720
225-50 Westmount Rd. North Waterloo, Ontario

Hustwitt, Dr. Robt W.
519-578-7100
65 Glasgow Street, Kitchener, Ontario

Khanna, Dr. V.
519-578-7100
65 Glasgow Street, Kitchener, Ontario

SmileTown
519-749-9981
5 Meadowcreek Lane, Cambridge, ON, N3H 4R8
admin@smiletown.ca

Zettle, Dr. Katherine
519-836-5439
380 Eramosa Road, Guelph, Ontario

Hair Cuts

Cookie Cutters
519-880-0528
36 Northfield Drive East, Waterloo, ON N2L 6A1

Dynamic Family Hair Care
519-342-6249
601 Doon Village Road, Kitchener

The Tree Stump Salon
519-498-7973
3617 Carmel Koch Rd RR1, Wellesley

Information and Tip Sheets

The Autism Collection at the Kitchener Public Library is a special collection of books and audio visual materials on the autism spectrum of disorders (ASD) and related issues.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources for Families: ErinoakKids ASD resources come in a wide range of formats, including tip sheets, brochures, comprehensive kits, and templates that provide information and practical strategies to support families and can be used at home and in the community.

The Best Autism Apps worksheet is a comprehensive list of apps for iPads & tablets and smart phones.  You can find recommendations, reviews, links, and prices.

ConnectABILITY is an online community hub including news, discussion forums, resources, and visuals engine. Recently expanded to include the Waterloo Region.

The Incredible 5-point scale : assisting students in understanding social interactions and controlling their emotional responses (available at the Kitchener Public Library). There is also an Incredible 5-point scale online tip sheet.

Optometrists

Dr. Rezvani has experience working with children with disabilities.  The phone number is 519-620-1991 525 Saginaw Parkway – Unit 1a, Cambridge ON

University of Waterloo also provides this specialized service.

Safety

The Big Red Safety Box is a free-of-charge toolkit given to autism families in need as a means to educate, raise awareness and share simple tools that may assist them in preventing, and responding to, wandering-related emergencies. The Be REDy To Prevent Wandering Safety Toolkit has lots of useful tools and information.

Children’s Safety Harnesses: harnesses in different sizes, belt-to-belt tethers, and tethers and harnesses to use with an Autism Service Dog.

Keyless Entry Locks: has information on autism and helping keep people safe..

My Precious Kid has products to help keep your child with autism safe.

Preventing Wandering: Resources for Parents and First Responders (Autism Speaks): includes a number of helpful resources about wandering

Vulnerable Person’s Registry: This voluntary registry will provide the Waterloo Regional Police Services with emergency contact information, detailed physical descriptions, known routines and special needs of this individual. This information will assist officers in communicating with, attending a residence of, or dealing with an emergency involving this individual.

Recreation Programs (specialized and/or inclusive)

Arts/Dance

Arts Abound: We have some daytime and evening programs designed specially for exceptional children and young adults. For all of our programming, we strive to have an inclusive environment and would love to work with you and your exceptional child to find a program where they can shine!

ARTSHINE: Operated as a social enterprise with the majority of its profits being put back into the community to run subsidized programs such as the sponsorship of children/youth who do not have access to art programs. ARTSHINE’s goal is to create a positive and inclusive atmosphere for your child that fosters creativity, multiculturalism and Canadian culture.

Cambridge Centre for the Arts: Offers quality arts programming through classes, workshops, an art gallery, special events and an artist-in-residence program. Provides full inclusion and access to programs including providing independent facilitators if needed.

Carousel Dance for Everybody: We believe that all individuals should have the opportunity to experience dance and we have developed a unique program which builds a repertoire of movement technique adapted to meet the needs of children and adults with both physical and developmental disabilities.

Carousel Theatre Company: Arts for adults who are differently-abled. Fostering a supportive environment for a group of adults who work together on all aspects of creating a live theatre performance.

Dance Adventure Rhythm Experience offers an exciting weekly class filled with dance, movement, and music. D.A.R.E. is a class that offers active and social engagement for kids across developmental and physical abilities. The program runs from January until June and provides an optional year end stage performance with the Dance Adventure community.

ActOut KW: From weekly classes through to full scale productions act OUT is the place to go in the KW Region for excellent coaching, mentorship and team building in the world of theatre arts.

The Button Factory offers specific ASD art classes.  Call 519-886-4577 for more information.

Love to Move is a specialized dance program for children ages 5-12. For more information, contact Julie Laderoute at 519.741.2200 ext. 7228 or email julie.laderoute@kitchener.ca

Music Together Supportive Family Class:  These classes are designed specifically for families who have one or more children with special needs.

Dream Seekers Special Needs Colour Guard: This colour guard uses flags, rifles, and ribbons while performing their choreographed movements to upbeat music. For youth ages 14+ with special needs. Description in the KidsAbility Program & Activity Guide (6 Years & Up). For more information contact Rob at dreamseekers@rogers.com

Movin’ & Groovin’: Come join our fun, fit, and fab class for adolescents of all abilities ages 10 to 18. Description in the KidsAbility Program & Activity Guide (6 Years & Up). To register, contact: Brianne Redquest at redq9570@mylaurier.ca or 519-884-0710 x4283

Stepping Stones : A special needs gymnastics program designed for children ages 3 years and up. For more information email info@kwgymnastics.ca or call 519-743-4970.

General/Other

Active Souls Project: At Active Souls Project, we believe everyABILITY should be able to easily access health and fitness programs and support.  For more information about our programs and services, please contact us at (519) 500-2156 or activesoulsproject@gmail.com.

City of Cambridge Recreation and Leisure – Inclusion Services: Inclusion Services offers information on municipal services and recreation and leisure opportunities in the community for persons with disabilities. Please contact Inclusion Services at accessibility@cambridge.ca or (519) 740-7681 ext. 4689 OR ext. 4292 for information and support to access city programs and events.

City of Kitchener Accessibility and Inclusion Services: The City of Kitchener is committed to offering programs and services to persons of all ages and abilities.  Our goal is to provide inclusive opportunities that encourage residents full participation in our programs, services, facilities, volunteer opportunities, and our advisory committees. City of Kitchener Specialized Programs include Yoga and Boccia Ball.

City of Waterloo Accessibility and Inclusion Services: The City of Waterloo is committed to offering people of all ages with a disability in our community the opportunity to pursue healthy, balanced lifestyles.

DrumFIT® is a fitness based drumming program that combines the mental health benefits of drumming with the overall health benefits of physical fitness for a full-body workout! DrumFIT® is an innovative program that truly engages everyone!  There is no learning curve, everyone can drum.

Firefly Therapy Services: Our exciting group therapy programs target skills such as early literacy, social communication, and social skills.  We also offer individual speech-language therapy, music therapy and recreational programming on an ongoing basis. All programs and services are offered in the evenings, on weekends, or in camp format during school breaks (March Break and summer vacation).

Light House offers Individualized day programs for teens and adults, After school programs (ages 6-18), Life and social skills programs, Specialized evening programs, Social Events, PD Day, March Break and Summer Camps, Multi-Sensory Snoezelen Space

University of Waterloo Enrichment Programs: many subjects available for a range of ages, see listing for information.

Martial Arts

The Asahi Judo Club was established in 1967, and is the only city affiliated Judo club in the region. As well as recreational Judo classes, and AsahiFit classes, our members can join our successful competitive program that sees athletes routinely winning medals at National Championships, as well as competing for Canada as members of the National Team.

D’Souza Martial Arts Academy: We offer Taekwondo Martial Arts training in Waterloo for a variety of age groups and levels.

Waterloo Kung-Fu Academy: A martial arts school located in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the Waterloo Kung-Fu Academy (WKFA) benefits the body, mind and spirit through the instruction of the martial art of Shaolin Five Animal Kung-Fu.

Sports

Active Start and FUNdamentals are designed to teach children with special needs the fundamental movement skills and fundamental sports skills they need to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Airborne Trampoline is a recreational & competitive trampoline facility open to the public and the gymnastics community alike. They offer a special needs class.

The Cambridge BLADES Special Hockey team are committed to enabling children and adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities to play ice hockey on a co-ed team (ages 6 and up).

The Cambridge Ice Hounds provide a safe & fun environment for children and adults to learn and play hockey

The Central Ontario Developmental Riding Program (C.O.D.R.P.)/Pride Stables offers therapeutic horseback riding lessons to people with disabilities.

Cheer Sport Sharks offers a fun, friendly atmosphere with a wide range of cheerleading programs for athletes of all ages and skill levels.

Crossfit Kitchener has a Foundations class for children 10+ with special needs (co-ed), and Girl Power for girls 10+ with special needs.

Excelsior Fencing Club: Intro to fencing classes, a development and recreation program, and competitive program.

At Fearless Heart Yoga, we teach a Vinyasa and Ashtanga-based style of yoga. We love beginners as well as seasoned practitioners.

The Kitchener Ice Pirates is a special needs hockey program, providing children and adults with developmental disabilities from across Waterloo Region the opportunity to participate in a hockey program that is tailored to their specific needs.

Shining Star Athletics is a non-competitive gymnastics/dance acro club that focuses on learning and having fun.

SkateABLE™ is Canada’s first high-quality adaptive ice skating program for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.

Special Olympics Ontario is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability.

Sportball was one of the first programs of its kind to focus on building developmentally appropriate skills through non-competitive sports, games and activities.

Sports for Special Athletes was formed by coaches, volunteers and parents who acknowledged that many special needs individuals can learn the skills necessary to participate in existing community activities and competitions.

Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre has provided a program of therapy, recreation, sport and life skills training for children and adults with special needs.

Twisters Cheer Athletics is the first all-star cheerleading program in the Kitchener area. They have a team for children, youth and adults with special needs.

The Waterloo Region Track 3 Ski School provides children and youth with disabilities the opportunity to safely experience the pleasure of downhill skiing as a leisure activity.

The Waterloo Stars is a soccer program designed for children on the Autism Spectrum ages 6+. For more information, contact Waterloo Minor Soccer at 519-578-9680 or email reception@waterloominorsoccer.com

Swimming

Cambridge YMCA Adapted Aquatics: This sessional program is designed for children with physical, developmental, and communication disabilities who require specialized instruction in order to progress their swimming skills.

City of Waterloo Adapted Aquatics for Kids and Teens/Adults with a disability (physical, developmental, behavioral) who have no or limited swimming experience and require specialized instruction. See City of Waterloo Program and Activities Guide for more information.

City of Kitchener Adapted Aquatics: This swimming program is designed for persons with disabilities who require specialized instruction in order to progress in their swimming skills. See City of Kitchener Leisure Guide for more information.

Firefly Therapy Services swimming program provides an opportunity for children to learn important basic swimming skills in a safe and supportive environment. Our accessible pool is a welcoming place to practice and grow confident in new abilities.

KidsAbility Intro to Swim is an intervention program designed to support participants ages 3-5 years develop the physical skills and group skills required for success in a community based swimming program, in a fun and encouraging environment.

KW Synchronized Swim Club: Offering year round recreational and competitive programs from the Beginner to Masters Level, KW Synchro provides a fun and supportive team-based environment for swimmers to maximize their individual potential.

Making Waves Kitchener-Waterloo: We improve the lives of children with developmental disabilities through a barrier-free water safety and swimming program, taught by certified volunteers.

Teen Specific

ASPEN social skills is a training group for 12 to up to 18 year old youth with a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum including Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Non-verbal learning disability. Staff create a safe and supportive environment for youth to learn and practice social skills through a combination of role-playing, group interaction and community outings.

Aspace brings together high school students wanting to meet peers who also have Aspergers or High Functioning Autism. Outings and activities are chosen by participants, and every night is supported by trained university volunteers.

Firefly Just for Teens: Check out the current offerings for teens (programs include Social Focus, Eat, Cook and Mingle!, and Firefly Rocks!)

Just Hangin’ Out: This program focuses on life skills and building confidence.  Our experienced staff and volunteer team guide teens with disabilities through food preparation, active games, guest speaker visits and a trip in our community.  Youth ages 13-21.

Lighthouse: Check out the current offerings for teens (programs include Evening Programs, Friday Night Socials, and Saturday Breakfast Club).

Youth Drop In at KidsAbility (last Friday of the month): A fun and comfortable social opportunity for youth and young adults with physical, developmental, communication or behaviour disabilities. Please join us for sports, crafts, cooking, friendship and lots of fun! See the Ages 6 and Up KidsAbility Program & Activity Guide for more information. Ages 13-25.

Youth in Transition program brings teens and young adults of all abilities together in a fun, supportive environment to help them prepare for becoming an independent adult.

FAQ

I think I/my child may be on the autism spectrum. Where can I get an assessment?

Below are some options for getting an assessment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Eligibility and cost varies with each option.

Who can help me to advocate for myself/my child within the school system?

The following agencies/organizations can assist you in navigating the education system and advocating for yourself or your child:

Who can help me/my child with mental health concerns (i.e. anxiety, stress/coping)?

Here are some services in our community that can assist with mental health concerns:

Are there any supports for people who don’t have a diagnosis of ASD yet?

Below are some resources that you may find useful prior to receiving a formal diagnosis of ASD:

See answers to question #3 for mental health supports

What are some sources of funding that I or my family may be eligible for?

*Please note that the Q&A is for general information only and may not pertain to your specific situation. For more detailed and personalized information, please contact the Family Resource Coach directly.