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Labrador West councils being cool for autism

Front row, from left, Joe Dawe of the Labrador West Autism Group, Wabush Mayor Ron Barron, Abel Dower and Labrador City Mayor Wayne Button. Back row, Ashley Sheppard and Richard Dower of the Labrador West Autism Group.
Front row, from left, Joe Dawe of the Labrador West Autism Group, Wabush Mayor Ron Barron, Abel Dower and Labrador City Mayor Wayne Button. Back row, Ashley Sheppard and Richard Dower of the Labrador West Autism Group. - Contributed
LABRADOR CITY, N.L. —

A provincial initiative is bringing awareness and assistance to families with autism.

Tuesday, April 2, was Be Cool for Autism day across the province.

At the town council office in Labrador City, the mayors of Labrador City and Wabush signed a proclamation declaring this Autism Awareness Week.

The Labrador West Autism Group helps support families of children with autism. They have a Facebook group called Lab West Autism Community.

Local programs to help families dealing with autism include JASPER (Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement Regulation), which provides play therapy for children with the disease. Developed by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the program was introduced in the province by Eastern Health.

The is also the Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) where professionals help teach children and parents ways to cope with different situations that might cause difficulty for the child.

The local group is always exploring other ways to help families.

Ashley Sheppard, a member of Labrador West Autism Group, says she was hoping to start a Sensory Group for local children with autism as well.

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