604-207-1980 | info@pacificautismfamily.com

OVERVIEW

PAFC OVERVIEW

The Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) is a centre of excellence and network of supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families across the province. The PAFN’s core purpose is to be a Knowledge Centre: Bringing together state of the art resources for research, information, learning, assessment, treatment and support; and building capacity to address the lifespan needs of individuals with ASD and related disorders. The PAFN will build upon existing lifespan services while at the same time addressing the need for support and services across the province.

Serving British Columbians and ultimately all Canadians is a priority of the PAFN. The centre of knowledge and innovation involves the development of the hub  in Richmond and spokes located in communities across the province, in collaboration with local community partners. The spoke centres will have full access to the expertise and information services offered at the hub.

Fusing individualized “person-centred” values with the best of what technology and research can offer, the PAFN will represent a truly new vision for treating and supporting persons with autism in our province, as families, governments, healthcare, education, and the communities come together to link research, teaching and direct care. Right now, especially for families in remote parts of the province, there are just not enough specialized resources available locally to help them.

The PAFN will be the first organization of its kind dedicated to knowledge creation and knowledge translation targeting applied models that can easily be shared and disseminated to families on the ground. It will be a place that will attract a whole new generation of thinkers and researchers – the people who will bring to life innovative, practical, and effective clinical programs, which up until now, have not been developed due to limited access to an environment that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration over the long term.

The project is being sponsored by the not-for-profit Pacific Autism Family Network Foundation and will be operated by the Pacific Autism Family Centre Society, collectively referred to as the PAFN. The PAFN initiative is a grass roots project created by the BC autism community with a goal to bring together a collaboration of services to fill the service and resource gaps in BC and Canada.

The planning of the PAFN has been an inclusive and collaborative process involving families, individuals with ASD and related disoreders, clinicians, community professionals, researchers and representatives of goverment within the framework of the PAFC Advisory Committee.

The PAFN will be an important addition to the resources available to families with children or adults on the autism spectrum and related disorders in BC.

A Centre Unlike Any Other

The GoodLife Fitness Autism Family Hub, a.k.a., “the hub”,  is a purpose built 60,000–square-foot facility, that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of children, youth, families and adults with ASD. Calming, family-friendly spaces with soft lighting will house clinics, labs, classrooms, observation rooms, multidisciplinary research spaces, libraries, and family information kiosks. The hub is designed to provide an open, unique and collaborative environment for some of BC’s most prominent and proven non-profit autism service organizations across the province.

Improving the way all parts of BC’s autism community interact and support families is at the heart of the concept. The PAFN will help provide a “one-stop-shop” for desperate families looking for support to navigate the vast sea of information, it will also lead to new ideas, innovative solutions and novel streams of research that may never have come to light when services are provided within silos.

The PAFN will provide the opportunity for all these stakeholders to work together towards new solutions. Solutions that are within our grasp. State- of-the-art clinics, wired classrooms and lecture theatres, distance learning programs and new technology will allow for ideas and services to spread beyond the walls and enable a massive outreach effort to serve the entire province.

Fusing truly individualized “person-centred” humanistic values with the best of what technology and large-scale research endeavours can offer, the PAFN will represent a truly new vision for treating and managing Autism in our province, as families, governments, healthcare, education, and the community come together to link research, teaching and direct care. Right now, especially for families in remote parts of the province, there are just not enough specialized resources available locally to help them.

The PAFN will be the first organization of its kind dedicated to knowledge creation and knowledge translation targeting applied models that can easily be shared and disseminated to families on the ground. It will be a place that will attract a whole new generation of thinkers and researchers – the people who want to bring to life innovative, practical, and effective clinical programs, which up until now, have not been developed due to limited access to an environment that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration over the long term. With the establishment of the hub, we have the chance to see, track and examine patterns – to look at similar groups and test approaches that may have been identified in isolated cases and can now be applied to a broader demographic.

Autism is emerging as one of the most pressing issues of our times. The Pacific Autism Family Network is a once-in-history chance for British Columbia to leverage our excellence on behalf of BC families, communities throughout Canada and – increasingly – people all over the world.

Did You Know?

  • In BC, there are currently an estimated 56,000 people with autism
  • There are 8,500 children and youth in the province diagnosed
  • Provincial Wait Lists for diagnosis can run 9 to 12 months
  • Estimates of a standard ABA autism Intervention Program can cost $60,000 per year