St. John’s, NL – April marks 40 years of advocacy, connection and support for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for the Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador (ASNL), a non-profit community-driven organization. In a province where the incidence rate of ASD is one in 45 for individuals aged 5 – 17, ASNL has proven to be a vital resource as global understanding of ASD has significantly evolved and services and programs have grown and strengthened.
Being a part of peoples’ autism journey began in 1982 when Autism Society Canada held a meeting in St. John’s to create a provincial chapter. Since then, ASNL has been a tireless advocate for autistic persons, providing education, programs and navigational support. ASNL also works to promote acceptance of neurodiversity through empathy-building educational initiatives and campaigns. Moving forward ASNL will remain focused on advocacy, a continuation of evidence-based initiatives for autistic individuals, improved supports and services for an aging population of individuals with autism and an extension of service delivery models.
A host of events, services and initiatives are planned throughout the year. From the Be Cool for Autism campaign in April, the Embracing Neurodiversity Autism Conference in May, to the launch of a redesigned website, the creation of new partnerships and stakeholder relationships, the public is heartily welcomed to join with us in celebrating the accomplishments of the organization and the individuals it is dedicated to serving. Watch www.asnl.ca and ASNL social media for events and updates.
“From its origins in 1982, ASNL is proud to have worked together with all stakeholders to value, respect and support autistic individuals and their families. You can be assured that ASNL will continue to work together to advocate and pursue this mandate as we embark on the next 40 years.”
Elizabeth Churchill, Board Chair, Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador
“Throughout the past 40 years, ASNL has worked with incredibly dedicated and caring individuals, families, organizations, governments and supporters to achieve many milestones. My thanks to each of you for your vision and your contribution to embracing neurodiversity and helping this organization evolve to best serve our community.”
J. Paul Walsh, CEO, Autism Society, Newfoundland & Labrador
ASD is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people and how they experience the world around them;
1 in 50 (2%) of Canadian children and youth aged 1-17 are diagnosed with ASD; 1 in 45 (2.2%) of Newfoundland & Labrador children and youth of the same age are diagnosed (Public Health Agency of Canada);
ASNL is the sole provincial organization dedicated to fostering the development of individual, lifelong and community-based supports and services for people with ASD, those who love them and those who work with them. ASNL operates four offices located in St. John’s, Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor and Corner Brook.