Our Events

"If they can't learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn." - Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas

Our Programs

School Based (5-12 years)

The school based program is designed to meet the needs of children, between the ages of 5 to 12 years, who have been diagnosed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children attend the Centre in place of attending their home-school, or they attend the Centre part-time during the week with remainder of the week being spent in their home school. The goal for all children is to prepare them for an integrated classroom setting in their neighbourhood school.

The Centre is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily, September to June. We work closely in co-operation with the child’s home school, parents and other caregivers who wish to enroll their child in our program. Children must be registered with School District #73 or a private school which has a purchase of service agreement with Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism Society.

Enrollment: All school age children registered through School District #73 are assessed by the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism staff and then screened by a School District Screening Committee prior to their placement in our program. Children working on a one-to-one or one-to-two basis receive instruction in life skills, play, social integration, pre-academic and academic training in additional to other therapies.

We also provide parent education for all parents and caregivers who have a child registered in our program. A close liaison is maintained between the child’s integrated school placement and Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism Society.

This program is designed to expose children to pre-academic and academic skills and experiences necessary be successful in a classroom setting. Each child has an individual education plan which focuses on developing cognitive, social-emotional, language and sensory-motor skills.

OT works on the development of skills necessary for integration into the family, community and school. The goals for this program are to develop fine and gross motor skills and to help the child’s body to interpret sensory information appropriately. Through therapy, the child is able to sit, attend to tasks and concentrate on developing a higher level of cognitive and problem solving abilities. Children who attend the day program receive weekly Occupational Therapy in groups of two children with an occupational therapist and a rehabilitation assistant.

Speech and language therapy at Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism focuses on helping the children communicate in all of their environments by building on their strengths. The children are encouraged to communicate using whatever means are accessible to them. For example, sign language, picture symbols, spoken words or a combination of any or all of these techniques. This program also focuses on social skills development. Children receive speech therapy on a rotational basis for 6 - 7 weeks on then 6 - 7 weeks off.

Music therapy supports each student’s specific goals. It provides a rhythmical structure through singing, playing instruments, dance and listening. The child’s enjoyment and success increases self-esteem, a growing concept of self, and interest in others. Each child receives at least one session per week in small groups of 2 – 3 children with a music therapist and an educational assistant.

In order to function day to day, it is necessary for us to integrate the sensory system with the cognitive system. For children with sensory dysfunction, this does not occur naturally, which affects the student adversely in adapting to everyday life. The goal of this program is to aid the student in using both the primary sensory system and the higher cognitive systems. These activities encourage the integration of cognitive, social-emotional, communication, problem-solving, and sensory motor skills. Children also participate in relaxation and yoga exercises. Children receive 1 – 3 sessions per week depending on need and days in attendance. Sessions are in groups of 3 with 2 educational assistants.

The goal of the Life Skills program is to teach the child skills required to be part of his/her family and community. Parents set goals for their child such as brushing teeth, going to the hairdresser, shopping, increasing variety of foods, etc. each child has a Life Skills Specialist who helps develop these valuable skills necessary for increasing independence.

Extended Program (6–18 years)

This program is for children aged 6 to 18 who meet the criteria for funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development through the Autism Funding Program.

It provides intensive, goal-oriented intervention services in an environment outside the child’s educational program.

An individualized program is created to match the child’s developmental level and learning strengths and areas of concerns. Services may include occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, social group sessions, community outings, one-to-one intervention sessions.

To register for this program, please contact the Centre. Registration occurs all year round.

Summer Program (5 – 18 years)

This is a recreational based program for children with autism. The program is offered to children 5 to 18 years of age. Each week, small groups will be determined based on child’s age, common goal areas and required staffing ratio. The staff is experienced in working with children with autism.

Language, social, sensory and behavioural issues will be considered when developing the program. Activities include hiking, swimming, day trips, crafts, and cooking. Language and behavioural issues are addressed.

The summer program will operate from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., four days a week for seven weeks. There is a cost for the summer program and autism funding can be used for this camp.

Registration begins once the letter has been received from the ministry and is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Due to the limited number of spots, each child can attend up to three weeks initially. If there are additional spots available, children can be eligible for additional weeks.

Community Inclusion Services for Adults with ASD (19 years and up)

This service is designed to meet the needs of individuals with ASD that are 19 years of age or older and clients of Community Living British Columbia (CLBC). Each person receives an individualized service based on the goals and objectives set out by the individual and his or her support network.

Community inclusion services include employment, skill development, and community-based as well as home-based inclusion. The hours for service will be determined by the Service Terms and Conditions for each contract. The hours will depend on the services provided and the goals of the service.

They said he wouldn't, but he did. They said he couldn't, but he can.
They said he won't but he will.

About Us

Our Mission Statement

The Mission of Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism is to provide educational, therapeutic, life skills and family support services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD.

The aims and purposes of these services include the following:
  • to assist the family in understanding the individual’s special needs and to ensure the integration of the individual into the family unit;
  • to assist other members of the family, teachers, professionals, and paraprofessionals to participate effectively in the individual’s educational program or employment opportunities;
  • to assist the individual to develop to his/her fullest potential;
  • to integrate the individual into the community, home, school, and/or work environment;
  • to maximize the individual’s capacity for independent living;
  • to advocate for more comprehensive services for individuals with ASD; and
  • to act as a resource for other community services.

The Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism Society believes that all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder should have the opportunity whenever possible to integrate into their school, community and become fully participating members of society.

Our Sources of Funding Sources

Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism receives funding from School District #73, The Ministry of Children and Family Development, Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way, The Province of British Columbia, Community Living British Columbia, various community groups, service clubs and local businesses. Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism is a member of the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way.

Our History

In September of 1989, with the encouragement and assistance of parents and educators, Giant Steps West, a program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, was established in Kamloops. It was the first satellite of Giant Steps Montreal.

In 2002, the Centre in Kamloops took on a new name, CHRIS ROSE THERAPY CENTRE FOR AUTISM, as we were no longer associated with Giant Steps Montreal.

The Centre was named after Christopher Rose. For 50 years, Christopher Rose has served British Columbians, young and old, with the greatest distinction as teacher, school principal and school trustee. His greatest focus has been to support those with special needs.

As an advocate for children with special needs and after he retired from the School District in 1996, Mr. Rose accepted the position of Executive Director of Giant Steps West. He rebuilt the Giant Steps West into a stable organization and a strong influence in our community.

Mr. Rose founded the Chris Rose Foundation, which has continued to be instrumental in raising funds for the Centre. Mr. Rose also organized biennial international conferences on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Mr. Rose has also served over 10 years as an elected member of the City of Kamloops Mayor’s Task Force for People with Disabilities and has travelled to Armenia several times to help develop programs and supports for special needs children in that country.

Mr. Rose has earned many awards including the Rotary International Scholarship for Teachers of the Handicapped, and the Hazel Davy Award for Outstanding Service to Handicapped Children. Christopher Rose is an Order of BC Recipient.

In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Thompson Rivers University and in 2012, received the Queen Elizabeth 11 Golden Jubilee Medal.

Some information about ASD

Autism Awareness

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. They include Autistic Disorder (sometimes referred to as “Classic Autism”), Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, and Asperger’s Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention, and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Autism has its roots in early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of Autism and symptoms of Autism tend to emerge between 12 and 18 months of age.

Autism affects around 1 in 68 children. Studies also show that Autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls.

Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. - Albert Einstein