Regional staff with Firefly are celebrating World Autism Awareness Day by launching new, free supports for autistic youth and families, and raising autism awareness flags across northwestern Ontario.

Autism Ontario flags have been raised in Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Dryden to bring awareness to the struggles of those on the autism spectrum, and to highlight the work that still needs to be done to support children and families.

Firefly says that their new supports include Behaviour Consultations with Applied Behaviour Analysts. While the launch of these services has been delayed due to COVID-19, staff say they have been preparing online services and education sessions instead.

Firefly adds that Behaviour Consultation services will be available to help address issues such as bed time routines, toileting or transitioning between activities. Interested families are asked to contact Firefly at 1-833-0696-5437 for more.

It’s estimated that 1 in 160 children has Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Canada, the number is estimated at 1 in every 66 children.

Firefly offices across the region remain closed to the public until April 6. Online, telephone and video-conferencing services are still available, and Firefly is still accepting referrals.