Join the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) on Wednesday December 5, 2018, from 4pm-6pm, when they host the Grand Opening of the Comox Valley Autism Centre. The Centre, located at 237 – 3rd Street in Courtenay, will be open to the public for the first time for tours, light refreshments and an official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Courtenay Mayor, Bob Wells.

The newly completed CV Autism Centre is located on the site of the current CVCDA at the corner of 3rd St. and Cliffe Ave. The Centre is a 2000 square foot addition to the existing buildings and was designed and equipped specifically with the needs of children with Autism in mind. The new space now includes individual intervention rooms, space for social groups and a small gymnasium linked to an outdoor play space/courtyard. Additionally, the Centre comes complete with a full kitchen and laundry to assist the older participants in developing the skills they will need for independence.

The addition of the CV Autism Centre will build on the CVCDA’s capacity to intervene quickly, to focus on each individual child’s needs and to welcome their families to spend time in the Centre, to share ideas with staff and connect with other parents. It will primarily be used to house these services for children with Autism and their families but it will also be available for their other programs and for the use of community groups. The CVCDA will now have the space and equipment needed to offer services to all children.

Much of the funding needed for the completion of this project came through grants from the Provincial Government and many private donors. Additionally, proceeds from CVCDA’s annual Children’s Telethon have been contributed and are now assisting with to final touches such as furnishings.

Nearly 200 children and youth in the Comox Valley have been diagnosed with Autism. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects the brain’s normal development, impacting on social and communication skills, as well as behaviour. Currently 1 in approximately 68 children in B.C. are diagnosed with ASD. This is over a 300% increase in the last decade.

The CVCDA has been supporting children with special needs and their families for over 40 years. In 2017, over 700 Comox Valley children and their families used services at the CVCDA. Specifically, through The Autism Program (TAP), they provide services to children and youth who have been diagnosed with Autism.

Please visit our website at www.CVCDA.ca for more information.

Brooklyn Galloway

Comox Valley Child Development Association