Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork is offering a new series of online learning opportunities for those dealing with autism.

On Wednesday, the organization announced a number of new autism services that have excelled in meeting the needs of children and families they work with during COVID-19.

In a press release, Senior Manager of Autism Services at Hands, Dr. Karen Grattan- Miscio says they are pleased to note that all of the families they work with have successfully transitioned to virtual service, and they’ve even added new clients over the last three months.

“Families are telling us that they feel supported and that the virtual service has been meaningful and valuable for them,” Grattan-Miscio said. “As a trusted leader in autism services, our team remains committed to meeting the needs of families and community partners during the current pandemic.”

Hands are now announcing five new opportunities for these clients.

The first is a new ‘Caring for Caregivers Virtual Support Group’ – giving people a chance to chat with a registered social worker and other caregivers about important topics.

It will address current issues and ways to manage and mitigate stress and will take place every Thursday, starting July 9, from 3-4 p.m.

The second, a new virtual ‘How To’ Learning Series will support caregivers in implementing common recommendations, in which each week, Hands’ team will focus on a different strategy by breaking it down into simple steps with examples and models and answering various questions.

That will run every Thursday, starting July 9 at 11 a.m.

Online Autism Clinics for Summer 2020 will also be offered, featuring Virtual Story Time and a variety of other activities starting July 6.

Meanwhile, beginning on July 7, Online Autism Seminars for the summer will feature seminars on talking to your kids about difficult topics such as body changes and an introduction to the autism spectrum.

Finally, virtual autism consultations will be available by video or phone from anywhere in Northern Ontario and are open to any families who have a child or youth diagnosed with autism.

Those will be available every Thursday starting July 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grattan-Miscio notes the services recognize the importance of accessible and flexible service options during this time and that families are looking for supports across a variety of areas.

“We are pleased to be able to offer these helpful resources in an online format to help people during a very difficult time.”

For more information, visit the Hands website.