Art for autism: patient creations fund programming

Art for autism: patient creations fund programming

Five-year old Aiden McKenna has been a patient at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC) since December 2016. He has autism spectrum disorder, and takes part in the Intensive Behavioural Intervention program offered by RJCHC’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Service. “The tools he has been given and taught have been life changing,” says his mom, Corinna McKenna. The McKennas have already seen a vast improvement in Aiden’s verbal communication skills, most notably in his responsiveness to questions. “We’re really grateful for Aiden’s progress,” Corinna says.

“The tools he has been given and taught have been life changing.”

To celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, Aiden and 50 fellow patients in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Service are taking part in a silent art auction. They and students from Glenwood School have created works of art to be displayed at RJCHC on April 3, 2017. Staff at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) along with patients, families and the general public will be able to bid on the art. The funds raised will be donated to the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation to directly support the service.

“The funds we raise will help to purchase program materials and educational toys,” says Brenda Roberts, one of Aiden’s instructional therapists who is helping to coordinate the auction. “Through the auction, patients like Aiden and their families are able to directly support their own care, which is wonderful.” Many children at RJCHC are enrolled in immersive programming, made possible by the new facility designed specifically for children with special developmental needs. The supplies purchased through the auction will help to enhance this programming.

“This facility is incredible and there are amazing people that work here – they are all very dedicated to the work they do.”

A similar auction was held in 2015 when the service was based at the former Chedoke site. It raised over $1,500. “It was a huge success,” says Amy Phillips, program coordinator with ABA Supports and Services at RJCHC. “We’re confident that this event will be another fundraising success, in addition to raising awareness about autism.”

The silent art auction will take place on the first floor of RJCHC on Monday, April 3, 2017, between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Bids will be accepted in-person, or by phone at 905-521-2100 ext. 77243. Scroll down to see a gallery of some of the art that will be up for auction.

The McKenna’s are committed to educating and supporting any effort to increase awareness regarding autism, and are looking forward to the outcome of the auction. “Aiden’s progress and our experience with the Autism Spectrum Disorder Service have been fabulous,” Corinna says. “This facility is incredible and there are amazing people that work here – they are all very dedicated to the work they do.”