Update March 30 – Intake Interviews

We continue to conduct Intake Interviews/Assessments, but not in person.

Contact Ann Loeppky, Intake Coordinator, to set up an interview via Zoom or over the phone.

Email: ann.loeppky@autismservices.ca

Phone: 306-230-6873

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Update March 20 – Operations

During this time of uncertainty, Autism Services of Saskatoon is dedicated to doing our very best to continue to support people with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

Operational Changes

Going forward, we will be adapting our operations to best observe the practice of social distancing so that we can continue to support individuals and families without putting them, ourselves, or the community at risk. Starting today (March 20), we will be enacting the following changes:

  • OFFICE: Our office, located at 209 Fairmont Drive, Saskatoon, will be closed to the public. You can continue to reach us at 306-665-7013 or e-mail us at admin@autismservices.ca for general enquiries.
  • TEMPORARY LAY-OFFS: It was with deepest regret that we’ve had to issue temporary lay-off notices to some of our staff – specifically the Behaviour Therapists in ABA-Little Tots and AIP, the Coordinator of Family/Group Programs and an administrative staff. We are so appreciative of the people they are and the work they do and will recall them as soon as it is feasible.
  • PROGRAM AREAS: Each of our program areas will have staff working regular hours, remotely from home, and will return your call or e-mail as soon as possible. Our Directors and senior staff will continue to monitor client requests and direct the staff to respond as appropriate. Programs that can be delivered remotely are being developed and information will continue to be shared.
  • AUTISM INTERVENTION PROGRAM (AIP): For the Autism Intervention Program – If you are connected with a Consultant, continue to reach out to them via telephone or email and they will get your messages. If you are not, and do not know who to connect with, please call or email the Director – Eileen Deswiage at 306-665-4297 or edeswiage@autismservices.ca . Northern services to Keewatin and to Athabasca will continue with those Consultants working remotely.
  • ABA LITTLE TOTS: ABA-Little Tots families will continue to be supported by the Director, Desirae Boutin and the Senior Therapist, Bethan Weeding.
  • FAMILY/GROUP PROGRAMS: Director, Alex Scott will continue overseeing all aspects of Family/Group programs.
  • ADULT SUPPORT PROGRAMS: Day/residential are continuing to be operational under the leadership of Director, Glenda Kpelly and a marvelous senior management team. We cannot begin to express the level of appreciation and gratitude we have for the front-line staff who are on the job day and night – 24/7 – supporting and keeping our participants safe.
  • MEETINGS: All meetings, including those currently scheduled, will take place over the phone or via a remote technology platform. If you have a meeting scheduled with one of our staff, they will be reaching out to you shortly.
  • EVENTS: All of our events for the remainder of March and April have been postponed.

Our primary goal during this time is to ensure the continuity of service and support. As such, we will continue to take calls and emails as well as schedule remote meetings. We know that, at times like this, it is the most vulnerable among us that are the most at risk and we want to assure you that we are here to support you.

Plain Language Resource

For those of you in need of a plain language resource for COVID-19, we received this information from Inclusion Saskatchewan: Green Mountain Self-Advocates have created a guide to COVID-19 for and by self-advocates. Find the plain language guide at this link, and please share with anyone who might need it: https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plain-Language-Information-on-Coronavirus.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2Nm9YBe39XxQ94lc8LJVGkFo6UlZ0AtRV9RTAXbq-dw4U_DnKiHxxvmAI

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us:

Lynn Latta, Executive Director – 306-665-4288, lynn.latta@autismservices.ca

Shirley Kloeble, Director of Finance – 306-665-4293, shirley.kloeble@autismservices.ca

Desirae Boutin, Director, ABA Little Tots – 306-665-4280, desirae.boutin@autismservices.ca

Eileen Deswiage, Director, Autism Intervention Program – 306-665-4297, eileen.deswiage@autismservices.ca

Glenda Kpelly, Director, Adult Support Programs – 306-665-9379, glenda.kpelly@autismservices.ca

Alex Scott, Director, Family/Group Programs – 306-665-4285, alex.scott@autismservices.ca

Over the next few weeks, we will be monitoring the situation closely and continue to update you with any further changes to our operations. We greatly appreciate your understanding and support as we all move through this together.

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Update March 18 – Front Entrance

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:

Please be advised that as of today (March 18) we are locking our front door during business hours. We are doing this to ensure the safety of our clients and employees. If you have an appointment or are coming on legitimate Autism Services’ business, please ring the doorbell and our admin staff will let you in.

Only those with appointments and on legitimate Autism Services’ business will be admitted into the building.

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Update March 17 – Service Delivery

We have had to make some tough service delivery decisions and we have outlined some of those for you:

ABA – Little Tots:

The program will continue running through Thursday, March 19th and will then close for the next two weeks. During that time we will monitor the over-all situation and explore ways to continue supporting the children/families of those attending.

 AIP:

Group programs are postponed effective immediately as are home visits. Individual therapy appointments will continue at the Service Center or via telephone depending on the choice the individual client/family makes. We will be removing the toys from our waiting areas to limit potential exposure. We ask people to please not come to the center if you or anyone who needs to be with you is exhibiting any signs of illness. Also, we ask that as few people as necessary attend the appointment.

Family Programs:

The Winter session was in it’s last week and we have now cancelled this last week’s programs, many of which were held in community-based venues which have also been closed. Registration for Spring session is well underway and we will continue with that for now. Should it become necessary to delay the delivery of those programs, we will let people know as soon as possible.

Adult Support Programs (Day Programs/Group Homes):

Considerable focus and attention is being placed on ensuring these programs continue with as little disruption as possible. Some of the external day programs that our residents attend may be closing and we are already working at putting new supports and programs in place internally.

Our staff are busily keeping in touch with families to inform them of changes to programs and services and we hope that if any of these changes impact you directly…you’ve already heard about them. However, we also know that sometimes connections are missed and so this may be news to some of you. Please know we are doing our best to keep families informed and served.

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Update March 12 – Statement concerning COVID-19

Know that we are monitoring the situation closely and are in contact with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Ministry of Health in order to respond appropriately. Public health officials continue to reassess the national and provincial public health risk, based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.

The health and safety of our clients and staff are of utmost importance to us. We are taking precautions to mitigate the risk of infection, such as enhanced cleaning measures, and supplementary cleaning and sanitizing. We will update you as the situation unfolds and new information becomes available.

To protect yourself and the health of those around you, we are requesting that if you or those with you are displaying signs of illness, that you not come to the Autism Services’ building.

As a reminder, the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses is to practice preventive actions every day:

  • Practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain safe food practices.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Refer to Saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information from the province and the Public Health Agency of Canada.