Children watch progress as their new building starts to take shape. Photo submitted

Children watch progress as their new building starts to take shape. Photo submitted

Construction starts on Courtenay’s new Autism Centre of Excellence

Fundraising for Comox Valley Child Development Association project ongoing

More than 200 children and youth in the Comox Valley live with a diagnosis of autism.

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects brain development and impacts social and communication skills, as well as behaviour. Currently one in 68 children in B.C. have a diagnosis of ASD.

With the growing number of children diagnosed with ASD the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) responded to the need for specialized services for children with autism. Starting small, in 2005, with seven children, autism services have continued to grow and today the CVCDA provides services for over 50 children, youth and young adults with ASD and their families. But with increased services the CVCDA has simply run out of space to meet the demand. Planning of the past several years is now paying off as the dream to build an Autism Centre of Excellence is becoming a reality.

Construction of the Autism Centre is underway on the site of the CVCDA at the corner of Third Street and Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay. The centre will be a 2,000 square-foot addition to existing buildings, designed and equipped specifically to meet the needs of children with autism. Children with autism can be very sensitive to light, noise, texture and colour. Interior finishes and equipment that provide ideal learning environments are top priorities for the new building.

Receiving an ASD diagnosis for a child can be very difficult for parents and brings so many questions: What does it mean for our family to have a child with autism? What can I do to help my child? What will the future hold? Will my child make friends, go to school, have a job when they grow up? How will I deal with the emotional upheaval of this diagnosis? For parents the new centre will be a welcoming place providing information, support, and services.

A provincial grant, local corporate and private donations, plus support from contractors and suppliers helping to build the new Centre has enabled the work to start but fundraising is ongoing and donations are very welcome. For more information visit www.cvcda.ca.

Just Posted

Brooklyn Elementary was able to get its expanded garden ready this spring. Photo by Comox Valley Schools
Comox Valley school garden in full bloom after setback

Along with COVID delays, Brooklyn Elementary project had lumber stolen in 2020

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Little Brown Bat, Cori Lausen image
Puntledge River bats being studied

Project will use ultrasonic data to collect information on species and habitat

A 30x40 ft boat/car shop in the Little River area near Wilkinson Road was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived on scene. Photo by Comox Fire Rescue
Comox firefighters battle ‘showy’ shop fire Saturday night

Smoke could be seen throughout the Comox Valley

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Most Read