Mackenzie Health Foundational Family Services

The Foundational Family Services program is designed to provide caregivers and their support teams with knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The program is delivered through a series of workshops and short term consultations designed to help increase knowledge of ASD and empower children and their caregivers to succeed. You can read more about each Foundational Family Service currently being offered in the list below.


Participants will learn about ASD, mental illnesses, and biological, psychological, and social factors that may impact or contribute to an individual’s behaviour. At the end of the training, participants will be able to identify the characteristics of ASD, have knowledge of mental illnesses that are associated with ASD, and take away some general prevention and skill building strategies.

This workshop explores the idea that sleep is a skill and issues with sleep can be addressed using principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Participants will learn about what “good” sleep looks like, how sleep issues and ASD are related, how challenges with sleep are assessed, and different strategies to encourage good sleep hygiene.

Participants will learn about biological, psychological, and social factors that influence behaviour and ways to support and advocate for individuals based on their identified bio-psycho-social factors. Participants will learn to identify areas needing additional support within their child's circle of care.

Participants will learn about the Canadian criminal justice and mental health systems, and how they can intersect. At the end of the training, participants will be able to identify the different justice professionals in a courthouse, describe what to expect at court, and learn how to best navigate and provide support for an individual with a developmental disability who has had an encounter with the criminal justice system.  

Data collection is the cornerstone of Applied Behaviour Analysis. This training outlines the value of data in ensuring success, common forms of data collection, and how they are used in programming. Participants will practice using several different forms of data collection, including frequency counts or time sampling measurements.   

Understanding and processing grief is a challenge for many of us, regardless of age or diagnosis. In this presentation, participants will learn the basics of grief and how it may manifest in themselves and those they support; how to start conversations around grief and identify any barriers that may arise when having a conversation about grief; and the importance of teaching those we love new coping strategies regarding their grief.

Fundamental to the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis is the belief that behaviours happen for a reason - they have a function for the person. In this training, participants will learn why a challenging behaviour persists over time and how knowing the function informs the development of intervention strategies. Additionally, participants will learn ways to prevent problem behaviour from occurring, including through the use of visuals, priming, and environmental accommodations.   

Participants will learn about the importance of teaching healthy sexuality and boundaries to children/adolescents diagnosed with ASD. They will learn about normal sexual development and any areas that may be of concern. Participants will be provided with information and resources to help them engage with their child or adolescent about these topics.

In this workshop, participants will learn about trauma and trauma-informed approaches to care. Participants will be provided with suggested resources, as well as a list of local sources of support to access further information and education on this topic.

This workshop, offered in partnership by members of the Mackenzie Health behaviour support team and Family Support Workers from the York Support Services Network (YSSN), will provide an overview of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Information will also be shared about what to look for when selecting your ABA services to allow you to make informed decisions for your child. There will also be general information provided about the Ontario Autism Program and the new Core Clinical Services.


To register for the Foundational Family Services workshops, please call 1 888 557 5550 x 2242 or register online.


Behaviour Resource Day is an opportunity for family members to acquire information, education, and resources on a variety of topics, and to brainstorm, consult, and problem-solve with Mackenzie Health’s team of professionals. It also provides an opportunity for the Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences (CBHS) team to understand each caregiver’s situation and help them begin to lay out a plan that best prepares them for participation in the Ontario Autism Program.

The Brief Targeted Consultation is intended to provide family members with three to five (3-5) in home consultations with one of our Behaviour Consultants. You and the consultant will discuss a plan to work on one identified goal to help your child develop a skill – for example, safety skills, daily living skills, develop a sleep routine, etc.

To register for the Foundational Family Services consultations, please call 1 888 557 5550 x 2242 or register online.