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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.



Parents of Kids with ADHD & Asperger's/ASD Class

The ADHD & Asperger's Centre is hosting a 5 session class, "Parents of Kids with ADHD & Asperger's/ASD."


Join with ADHD and Asperger's experts and other parents/caregivers of kids of all ages with ADHD and/or Asperger's to get your questions answered, support from people who've been there, and a hopeful perspective on your child's future. The ADHD & Asperger's Centre sees ADHD and Asperger's as a gift and focus on managing the negative symptoms while helping to find and harness the amazing super powers of our kids (like high intelligence, creativity, kindness, and hyper-focusing).

Part workshop, part support group, these sessions have been described as "self-care I badly needed", "a safe place to not feel guilty, for once!", and "incredibly informative". Refreshments and snacks are also offered. 


Topics are voted on at the beginning of each course. Topics often discussed include:

  • Homework & Chores
  • Effective Disciplining
  • Time management & Organization
  • Anger Management
  • Parent Self-Care
  • Communication Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Sleep Issues
  • School Transitioning
  • Career Navigation

This group will run September 11 to October 9 from 6:00-7:30pm.


Learn more about this opportunity on their website.  


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Teen Social Group for Youth with ADHD & Asperger's/ASD

The ADHD & Asperger's Centre in Guelph is running a 5 week social group or teens from 13 - 16 yrs old who have ADHD and/or Asperger's/ASD. 


You will meet every week for two hours to:

  • Learn social skills
  • Discuss dating issues
  • Have fun
  • Play games
  • Make friends with other youth with neurodiversity

​​​This group is run by Coach Kate, an ADHD & Asperger's/ASD specialized coach with ADHD and symptoms of Asperger's herself. Kate specilizes in working with teens and youth with neurodiversity as she LOVES helping them find and harness their interests and special abilities! Always ready to break into a smile, invent a game out of nowhere, or craft a comedy routine from scratch, teens love Kate because she's young, energetic, honest, willing to embarrass herself at a moment's notice for the sake of learning, and totally nonjudgmental.


Learn more about this opportunity here.

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KidsAbility Fall Resource Guide

The KidsAbility Program and Activity Guides for Fall is a great resource for local programming.


Program and Activity Guide - Fall 2019


Guides can also be found on the KidsAbility website at www.kidsability.ca.


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In Her Shoes - Employment Training Program

In Her Shoes (Youth) is an employment program for female identifying, transgender and non-binary youth who are experiencing significant barriers to securing employment. In this program, participants receive technical training and work experience in the YW Kitchener-Waterloo bricks & clicks social enterprise store- In Her Shoes, where they sell new and used accessories and shoes. Participants will earning minimum wage, equivalent to 30 hours/week.

Participants will receive technical skills training in digital literacy, computers, operating systems and software, customer service and support, online business and e-commerce, retail work, point of sale systems and cash handling, marketing and photography. They will also receive support to develop life skills and employment skills, build their resume, and to secure employment upon graduation from the program in a related job area that interests them.


  • Female identified, transgender, or non-binary youth between the ages of 15-30;
  • A Canadian citizen, or permanent resident or a protected person as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • Participants cannot be in receipt of EI benefits;
  • In accordance with funding requirements, priority in hiring will be given to youth facing barriers to finding and keeping employment.

Program Details:

  • Program Time: Monday to Friday- 2 pm- 8 pm
  • Program Duration: Each session runs for 18 weeks at a time
  • Program Location: 84 Frederick Street, Kitchener, On
  • Bus Pass, work uniform, and dinner are included.

Session Dates:
Session 1: Starts August 6th, 2019
Session 2: Starts December, 2019 (Date TBD)
Session 3: Starts May, 2020 ( Date TBD)


Registration Information:
Eight participants will be selected to participate during each intake period. To apply for the program please complete the following two steps. If you need assistance, please contact us.

  • Step 1: Complete our online registration form at https://forms.gle/uZDh2fKpKd9mbQof9
  • Step 2: Once your registration form has been received participants will be contacted to schedule a follow up meeting to talk further about their application and receive a tour of the In Her Shoes retail store and work space.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Gordon Director of Youth Services & Entrepreneurship
Phone: 519-576-8856 x 215
Email: Jennifer.gordon@ywkw.ca

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Secret Agent Society: Operation Regulation – Trasdiagnostic Trial

Do you have a child between 8-13 years of age with Neurodevelopmental Disorders?

York University invites you to participate in a research study: Secret Agent Society: Operation Regulation –  Trasdiagnostic Trial.  
What is the research about?

This study is about a new program aimed at helping youth with neurodevelopmental disorders cope with their emotions and handle the day-to-day stressors in their lives using a variety of activities and tools, like an emotion focused computer game, cue cards, and parent and teacher handouts. 
What does participation involve?

Participating involves weekly 1-hour visits to York University where you and your child will meet with a trained therapist for one-on-one therapy. Your child will get to do an assortment of activities and play games (e.g., computer games, problem solving tasks, and role playing). The activities are aimed to help build emotion regulation skills. 
You and your child will also participate in research to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. 
There is no cost to the program, except for parking and travel to the university. 
I’m interested! What next?

For more information, please contact sasor@yorku.ca or Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Principal Investigator on the study, at jonweiss@yorku.ca
You can also visit the website at: http://ddmh.lab.yorku.ca/secret-agents-society-operation-regulation/ 
Limited space is available, so families will be contacted on a first come, first serve basis.

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Confidential Market Research

Confidential market research occurring in several cities across Canada is looking for feedback from teens with ADHD and their parents - compensation of $175 to $225. 

The study will focus on their perspectives and thoughts on new therapies, and gaining insight into ways in which we can help improve the lives of teens with ADHD. Each duo that participates in this study will be compensated $175 - $225 for their time and help. The research is conducted in person and is not a group session but an individual interview with the parent and child.

This is not a sales presentation. It is strictly Market Research. It will give parent and child the opportunity to voice their opinions about this important topic. All information given is strictly confidential and the sponsoring client (a pharmaceutical company) of the research will not get any identifying information about any of the participant. The study is being conducted in several cities Canada.

Basic Qualifications

  • Believes that medication plays a role in the ADHD treatment
  • May or may not be diagnosed with ADHD themselves


  • Between the ages of 13-17 (recruit a mix of age ranges) – must be in High School or planning to attend in the fall
  • Must have taken medication for the treatment of ADHD for minimum 2 years during the past 5 years – they do not have to be taking medication today
  • Mix of genders if possible

90-minute sessions: 45 min interview with the parent followed by 45-min interview with the teen. Payment $225
60-minute sessions: 30-40-minute dyad (parent and adolescent together), then 15-20 minutes with the teen only. Payment $175

This session is being held in Toronto on June 24th and 25th.  


Contact info: 
dlabkin@marketresearch2go.com, 416-799-1496.

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KidsAbility Youth Advisory Council (KAYAC)

KidsAbility is currently recruiting for KidsAbility Youth Advisory Council (KAYAC) 2019-2020. 

  • Monthly meetings September to June
  • For youth aged 14-24
  • Get volunteer hours
  • Plan youth events, gain advocacy skills
  • Make a difference in your community
  • Be the youth voice for KidsAbility

For more information, contact:
Joanne Duddy, transitions@kidsability.ca.

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Autism Ontario 2019 One to One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund

Need support so your child with ASD can go to Summer Camp?


The 2019 One-to-One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund is available to Ontario families of children or youth with ASD who retain the services of a one-to-one support worker for their child to attend a community summer camp or summer program.  Maximum reimbursements of $600, per child or youth, (up to 18th birthday) will be made to subsidize services purchased between June 24 and August 30, 2019. 


A minimum of 500 families from across Ontario are expected to receive reimbursements. Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply between May 6 and May 31, 2019.



  1. Application:  Completed and signed applications will be accepted from May 7 to May 31, 2019. Your application must include evidence of a clear ASD diagnosis from a professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis (see website for details).
  2. Selection: By June 7, 2019, 500 families will be randomly selected and ALL applicants will be informed by letter whether they were selected to receive funds or not.
  3. Payment: Autism Ontario will issue cheques to the randomly selected families who have submitted (by no later than September 13, 2019) all original receipt(s) for fees paid by the parent of the child with ASD for the child’s one-to-one worker.

Note: Membership in Autism Ontario is not required to access the Fund.


Contact Ginny Kontosic with questions, 416-246-9592 ext. 225 or 


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Sleep Quality in Parents of Children 4-10 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sleep Quality in Parents of Children 4-10 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 


What is this study about?
The purpose of this study is to study the relationships between your child’s sleep and your sleep and health. This information might help us learn more about what may help to improve sleep in other parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (referred to as ASD).


Who can participate?
English-speaking parents of a child 4-10 years of age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (1 year since diagnosis).

Parents will be excluded if he/she:

  • Work night shifts or is employed at nighttime
  • Has a physician-diagnosed sleep problem (e.g. sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome etc.)
  • Has infants less than 12 months at home
  • Provides casual care for child with ASD (e.g. grandparent, babysitter, daycare or respite provider) that does not provide nighttime care for the child.
  • Child with ASD also has a permanent movement disorder (e.g. Duchenne muscular dystrophy) or neuromuscular diagnosis (e.g. CP) that requires physical care at night time (e.g. suctioning or repositioning etc.)

What’s involved?
If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey that takes about 60 minutes to complete. The survey asks questions about:

  • You and your family
  • Your child’s autism severity and behaviours
  • You and your child’s sleep
  • Your health, including stress and depression
  • Your coping and support networks

Participants may choose to enter into a draw to win one of ten $100 e-gift cards.


Principal Investigator:
Pam Green and Samantha Micsinszki


To ask questions or to sign up, contact: Samantha at  parentsleepstudy@hollandbloorview.ca

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CMHRT Psychology Consultation Services

Description of the Psychological Consultation Service

The Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment (CMHRT) psychological consultation service is intended for clients or parents and caregivers of children or youth who have had a previous psychological assessment and who wish to better understand the implications of the assessment results for themselves or for their child.

How does the Psychological Consultation Service Work?

First, the client/parent/guardian provides the CMHRT clinician with a copy of all relevant previous psychological assessment reports and other pertinent information (such as psychiatric reports, academic assessments, etc.). The clinician reviews this information in order to translate the technical psychological testing information into accessible language. A basic handout is developed that summarizes the client’s learning strengths and challenges, based upon the available previous psychological assessment information.

Next, the assigned clinician meets with the client or client’s parent or caregiver (and case manager, or others as appropriate) to review the assessment information. The clinician uses knowledge of tests and test results, as well as knowledge of development, to interpret the implications of those results for current functioning. The client or parent/guardian (if a child or younger adolescent) contributes observations of current functioning and together the clinician and the family co-create an understanding of the implications of the assessment data for everyday life. Key strategies and recommendations are also discussed and shared. 

Lastly, the CMHRT clinician provides a consultation document to the client or parent/guardian that summarizes the client’s learning in accessible language. If the previous assessment results no longer appear to fit the client, an outcome of the consultation may include the recommendation for an updated psychological assessment.  

Accessing the Psychological Consultation Service

To begin our intake process, please complete our online intake form or call the Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment at 519-888-4567 x33842 or send us an email at cmhrtintake@uwaterloo.ca.  Please mention that you are specifically requesting a consultation. The CMHRT Director, Dr. Marjory Phillips, will then contact you to discuss the request. 

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Waterloo Region Family Network
August 14, 2019
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