Tag Archives: Mental Health

Atlantic Minds Wide Open: Friday Nov 25 @ Alderney Landing

Last weekend some members of our parent’s group got together at Alderney Landing to shoot a music video – yes you read that right. We’re participating in Atlantic Minds Wide Open , an exciting film festival focused on mental health and building vibrant communities.

The one-day festival is open to everyone and features screenings, panel discussions, and a showing of Crooked Beauty, a documentary that chronicles artist-activist Jacks McNamara’s transformative journey from childhood abuse to psych ward inpatient to pioneering mental health advocacy

You may have read about the festival’s organizer, Dr. Andrew Starzomski, in an article in the Herald last week. This is a man after my own heart, who is using his own love of music and film to help folks tell and share their own stories.  

There’s a great quote on the film fest’s Facebook page that feels like such a good fit for ASD kids:

“I attribute my sudden boost in scholastic achievement to the fact that I had finally become comfortable with myself through my movies and cartoons… I had a better self-image and my grades went up.” – Robert Rodrigues, American filmmaker, “Rebel Without a Crew”

Cartoons are a huge hit in our house and I’ve heard of several ASD kids whose self-confidence has been unlocked by theatre and film. Last week’s ‘film shoot’ was a perfect example: kids who normally shy away from the spotlight were there, eager to stand up and share a slice of their own story. They, and their parents, had created bold black and white signs with messages about their gifts and challenges and there were many take-your-breath-away moments when they stood side-by-side grinning in front of the camera.

I can’t wait to see our kids’ faces on the big screen and I thank Andrew and everyone who is supporting the fest. Creating the film festival has already widened our Circle of Friends by introducing our group to a great new ASD family, connecting our group with three awesome film industry folks who donated their time on a sunny Sunday, and given us some exciting opportunities to think about in the future. And it’s given us yet another opportunity to marvel at the many talents of our beloved kids.

The festival is just about to launch its website, but you can keep in touch with the latest on Facebook. See you on the 25th!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under ASD events, Celebrating Difference, Films & docs

Atlantic Conference on Learning Disabilities: May 12 – 13



We can all benefit from a better understanding of learning disabilities.  Parents, teachers, psychologists, social workers and others who want to do more to help support youth living with learning disabilities are encouraged to attend the Atlantic Conference on Learning Disabilities, being held May 12-13, 2011 at Mount Saint Vincent University.

This conference will bring together more than 25 experts from the Atlantic region in the fields of psychology, education, justice and social work. Presenters will offer practical advice on how to support the learning, emotional and behavioural needs of youth with learning disabilities.

Here’s a sample of the workshops:

Navigating the School System: The Art of Advocacy for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Identifying LDs in the Classroom – And What to do About It

Supporting Social Skills Development

Making Connections: Successful Transitions to Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities

Thriving, not Just Surviving: How Parents Can Help Children With LDs Achieve Future Success

From Goggledygook to G-Force: Teaching Science to Students with LDs.

Managing Executive Function Deficits: Helping Students Organize, Prioritize and Succeed

Recognizing Mental Health Issues in Youth

Keeping Students Connected: How Teachers Can Help Students Feel Good About School…And Why It Matters

Parenting 911: Managing Learning Disabilities at Home

How Learning Disabilities Affect Behaviour

Opening the conference will be well-known and well-loved author Sheree Fitch. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this conference, as a writer, a learner and a parent,” says Fitch. “We’re all on a huge learning curve. As educators, we need to be educated. As parents, we need to be informed. And as learners, we need to be supported.”  Sheree will also offer workshops during each day of the conference.  Registration for, “Tell Me About It!  Breathe, Stretch, Say and Write!” is limited to 20 participants per day.

Special guest, actor Danny Glover will make a keynote speech on Friday, May 13. He will discuss his experiences living with a learning disability, his views on education and his work as a social advocate in conversation with his friend and fellow actor Felix Justice.

Justice Merlin Nunn will also share his thoughts on the importance of supporting youth at risk in the community. Justice Nunn served as the Commissioner under the Nova Scotia Public Inquiries Act to the Nunn Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the death of teacher’s aide Theresa McEvoy.

Registration for the conference is now open.  Participants now have the option of registering for either one or two days of the conference. 

 

   For more information, please contact:

Rhonda Brown, Director of Communications – w (902) 465-4800 or cel (902) 483-7800

 

Leave a comment

Filed under ASD events