Trait d'Union Outaouais Inc.
819 595-1290 | Toll free : 1-866-355-8864
109, rue Wright – local 104, Gatineau (Québec) J8X 2G7

Community Services

Becoming “Autism-Friendly”

To encourage inclusion of autistic individuals within the community, Trait d’Union Outaouais Inc. (TUOI) holds various awareness activities annually. A number of these are implemented during Autism Awareness Month. In addition, TUOI developed a specific “Autism-Friendly” program with multiple components to address various sectors of the community.

Through these actions, we aim to support the general population, staff, field workers and professionals in developing an open and inclusive attitude toward autistic individuals. Anyone can become “Autism-Friendly”.

Recreational Category

Active since 2010, the Autism-Friendly – Recreational program was created to encourage inclusion of autistic children in recreational activities offered by the city of Gatineau and other organizations in the region. It includes:

  • An information kit for parents
    The kit was specifically designed to support parents who wish to register their autistic child in a recreational activity offered in the community. It includes multiple tools to guide parents in choosing an adequate recreational activity and useful information to support the registration and follow-up process. The information kit is available on demand for TUOI Member Families. Information sessions are also held periodically on this topic, within the scheduled activities for families.
  • Training for recreational providers
    This 3-hour training program targets recreational activity providers in the region who wish to better equip their staff in order to welcome autistic children within their groups. It specifically enables staff to better understand autism and introduces simple tips to easily adapt their methods to include an autistic child. An information kit is also provided.

Providers which have received this training recently include:

  • Centre sportif de l’UQO (kinesiology)
  • Ville de Gatineau (lifeguards and adapted aquatics instructors)
  • Unigym (gymnastics and trampoline classes)

Providers wishing to receive this training should contact the program coordinator at 819 595-1290, ext. 41. Requests for information: please contact us at amidesautistes@traitdunionoutaouais.com.

Academic Category

The Differences and Autism awareness program was launched in 2006. It targets primary school students (K-6) who have autistic peers in specialized classes or in the regular curriculum. The program is delivered in two parts lasting one hour each.

  • Part 1 – Experiencing Differences
    This first part of the awareness program helps student understand differences. Through a series of interactive and fun activities in small groups, students experiment what it can be like to be and feel different from peers. Educators then present a few aspects of what everyday school life can be like for students who face challenges and need support in class. 
  • Part 2 – Learning About Autism
    The second part of the program is presented to primary classes 2-6. This workshop helps students better understand various traits related to autism, and how they may affect their autistic peers’ ability to communicate, as well as their social skills. Students are then asked to find parallels between the way they and their autistic peers approach their daily tasks. Educators show them how they can help, as well as point out the strengths and abilities autistic individuals can possess. A video, “Mon Amie Dylan”, is then presented to complete the workshop. It tells a story of the active inclusion of an autistic girl in school. The program as a whole also aims to raise awareness about bullying that autistic children often face.

The program is delivered from September to December in the region’s primary schools.

For additional information, please write to amidesautistes@traitdunionoutaouais.com or leave a message at 819-595-1290, ext. 41.

Self-employed Workers Category

Launching in the Fall of 2017, this branch of the program is designed to help parents who would like to hire self-employed workers for respite, babysitting and accompaniment.  The programme’s goal is also to educate these workers about autism and the special needs of people on the spectrum so they may better support them.  We are the “trait d’union” – the link – between the parents of children on the spectrum and the “Autism Friendly” worker.

Information and support for parents
The information package includes tools to help parents identify their needs, a list of recruitment resources and advice to help them prepare for the worker’s arrival. An information session will be offered to allow parents to share their experiences and concerns, and to learn more about different recruitment possibilities available in the region. In certain cases, financial assistance may also be available.

Training for self-employed workers
A training session, lasting a few hours, is available to those who are registered with a childcare agency, to students studying in the field, and to people the families have recruited. The training teaches participants about autism and its characteristics and shows them how to adapt their approach in order to create more positive interactions with people on the spectrum and their siblings. The list of self-employed workers who have received the “Autism Friendly” training is available upon request to parents of children on the spectrum who are members of TUOI. This list is also available HERE. A minimal fee will be charged for the training and to be added to the list.

For more information, on the “Autism Friendly Self-employed Workers” project, please contact amidesautistes@traitdunionoutaouais.com or leave a message at extension 41.

The autism awareness workshops are not available in English at this time.

Parents and Field Workers Category

This basic autism awareness program is a 6-hour workshop delivered in one or two sessions to parents, field workers, or anyone who wishes to learn more about autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Basic theoretical knowledge is introduced to help participants increase their understanding of ASD and improve their interactions with autistic individuals.

For additional information about this program and upcoming dates, please contact us at 819 595-1290, ext. 41, or by email at amidesautistes@traitdunionoutaouais.com.