Lonny Sullivan and his son Zachary

Lonny Sullivan and his son Zachary

Autism Expo connects families

NANAIMO – Upcoming event aims to help children with autism and their families find local resources and support services.

Children with autism and their families will have a chance to get together, have fun and socialize while getting hooked up with local resources and community support services at Autism Expo.

The expo, a free community event open to everyone, happens Saturday (Oct. 19) at Beban Park social centre 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Families will connect with one another and local businesses that provide intervention and support services in the mid-Island region.

The expo is hosted by the Autism Society of Central Vancouver Island, created in 2011 by Marilyn Sullivan of Nanaimo whose 10-year-old grandson, Zachary, is affected by the disorder.

“It’s a family day, so we encourage parents to bring their kids,” Sullivan said. “We will have providers for services, some government associations to assist with questions and guide parents in the right direction and we will have games, crafts, entertainment and music and all sorts of things for the kids to do so the parents can do that leisurely and not have to worry about the kids.”

Refreshments and lunch, including gluten-free and casein-free food and beverages, will be served as well.

Sullivan said the subject of autism is not only a subject near and dear to her heart, but is something many families affected by autism need help with.

“There are great needs for information for parents and siblings of kids or adults who are on the autism spectrum, so as a society we have been able to design and create a website that is full of information that can assist and help people find what they need,” Sullivan said. “The members of the board that I created are either parents or grandparents of children or young adults with autism.”

For more information please call Sullivan at 250-716-6110 or visit www.autismsocietycvi.ca.