The TAP classroom is an on site program that provides up to 10 hours per week of intervention for children under six.
Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 1 out of 110 children.
Individuals with autism demonstrate characteristics in three areas:
- Difficulty forming social relationships
- Impaired understanding and use of language
- Restricted patterns of activities and interests
Although all three features must be present for a diagnosis of autism, the specific behaviors exhibited may vary widely from person to person. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because the symptoms and characteristics may be present in different combinations and at different levels of severity.
What is the Autism Program?
The Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) is a non-profit agency that has been serving children with special needs in the Comox Valley since 1974. We offer family-centered services to children from birth to nineteen, with a special emphasis on preschool children.
As a result of a landmark decision by the BC courts in 2001, establishing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a medical condition requiring appropriate treatment, the BC government introduced individualized funding for autism treatment. This means that families may access funds to purchase treatment for their children. In 2003 The Autism Project (TAP) was born when the CVCDA met the challenge of providing an intervention program that is funded solely by parent fees.
The Tap classroom is an on site program that provides up to 10 hours per week of intervention for children under six. Each child has an individual program that includes one to one intensive teaching, natural environment teaching and peer and small group teaching. The individual programs are designed by our Behavior Consultant and implemented by our Autism Interventionists. One to one intervention programs can also be run in the home.
Small social/recreational groups:
We are currently running three after school groups for school aged children. The goal of these groups are to teach social skills and foster friendships with peers in a structured predictable environment.
The SuperFlex Academy teaches flexibility through the use of 'super villians' (such as 'Rockbrain', 'Body Snatcher' and 'Worry Wall') who can interfere with social successes.
Integrated social/recreational group:
The goal of this program is to jump start friendships with typical peers in the child's school or neighborhood. An autism interventionist facilitates an after school group with a focus on learning activities to share with friends and learning social skills to make and maintain friendships.
This is a two-week summer day camp held at the end of July for youth between the ages of 11-19 with a diagnosis of ASD . The camp is based at the CVCDA and includes daily outings throughout the Comox Valley and beyond. Activities include visiting beaches, hiking, canoeing, visiting the Errington Animal Recovery Center, mini golf and Parksville beach, Fossil hunt with the Museum, Mount Washington, and a Family BBQ to wrap up the two-week adventure. The camp is led by staff with training and experience in ASD. International volunteers with Canadian Alliance for Development Initiatives and Projects (CADIP) www.cadip.org come from around the world to help with the camp. We welcome local volunteers as well. Prior to the camp all volunteers take part in a week long training about ASD and are involved in camp planning specific to the camp participants. The camp has been a huge success since its start in 2006.
Submitted by April Statz, Program Manager: The Autism Program
250-338-4288 Ext. 245
Special thanks to the Comox Valley Ladies of the Royal Purple for their ongoing financial support of this program.
For more information on Autism, visit: