OHEYS Autism Programs is a registered charity in Manitoba that designs and delivers community-based activity programs for children and teens on the autism spectrum. We promote the principles of healthy children and families, and the full and active participation of children with autism in our community.

OHEYS does not duplicate any existing services presently offered in Manitoba. Our mandate is to provide group activity opportunities, with a high coach-to-child ratio, where we will work pro-actively on social and physical skills in that setting. We provide direct community service to families of children with autism, and provide professional and leadership training and experience to high school and university youth as coaches and volunteers. Volunteers are an essential part of our programs, and typical siblings are always encouraged to volunteer. We have a family friendly approach, as we recognize the important role parents play in planning for their child’s success.

We are proud of what we do.

  • We are proud to offer programs to support children and teens with autism,  who work so hard to try to understand and to participate in the world around them.
  • We are proud to work closely with parents, and to set pro-active goals with parents, whose wish 24-7 (24 hours+7 days a week) is to see their child live a happy and included life.
  • We are proud to support community volunteering for youth by providing opportunities for them to work hard, learn more about children with special needs, get a resume booster, and exercise the community responsibility that makes everyone feel good about themselves.
  • We are proud to provide employment and training opportunities for the many enthusiastic coaches and supervisors who will be our future professionals, working directly in the classroom and in the community to provide leadership in autism services.
  • We are proud to work with sponsors in our community to deliver programs that develop skills, yet are affordable and accessible. We recognize that quality activity programs for children and families with autism cannot be both exclusively user-funded and accessible to all. We are proud of our community, which joins us to make a real difference to children and families living with autism.

Take pride… Join the team.

OHEYS offers completely unique programs.

We are unique in proactively dealing with the special needs of children with autism on an individualized basis. Our programs are set up to promote individual goal-setting and achievement and to maximize accountability, accessibility and inclusion.

We have a proven track record of successfully providing community-based physical and social skills activities and services to children and families living with autism since 2002. We offer summer camps specifically for middle-years school-aged children and for older teens on the autism spectrum. We are also developing programs during the school year. We provide affordable, accessible, highly individualized activity programs to a very under-served group of children and families.

Families who have come through our camp program have enthusiastically noted that their child has been more successful in participating in organized community sport-specific programs after camp (see impact statements). We believe that children with autism deserve the same physical activity and social opportunities as every other child, yet they cannot do so without more intensive 1-1 coaching and individual teaching. We encourage families with special needs children to make physical activity a part of their daily lives and provide opportunities for youth and adult volunteers and coaches.

Our program strategy supports children and youth with autism across four key areas of personal development.

  • Education in communications and social skills.
  • Promotion of mental health and well-being.
  • Support for active, healthy lifestyles through sports and recreation.
  • Personal growth in relationship skills and employment readiness.

OHEYS serves an under-served community.

  • Parents of children with autism often refer to the fact that their children have experienced great difficulty in their attempt to participate successfully in regular community-based sports programs in the past.
  • OHEYS is particularly focused on providing opportunities to children who may otherwise be excluded from physical and social development opportunities due to a variety of socio-economic and/or developmental factors, physical or cognitive disabilities, focusing on children with autism.
  • Family registration fees are heavily subsidized, to allow for maximum accessibility to all families. Fees barely cover the cost of the photo memory books each camper takes home after camp. Transportation has been arranged and paid by OHEYS whenever it has posed a barrier to participation in camp.
  • Summer is a very difficult time for families to find services for children who need intensive attention. Many of these children would be unable to participate in sports activities without intensive advance planning for success, involvement of the families, and one-on-one or one-on-two coaching support throughout their camp experience. OHEYS does this!

What is the Province of Manitoba’s Plan for Autism Services?

“Thrive! A five-year plan for helping Manitobans with autism spectrum disorders and their families.”

In June 2011, the Province of Manitoba released this major autism strategy document. This document outlines their comprehensive plan for supporting future development of autism programming across ages and abilities. Government will be “working with the community to get feedback on the Thrive! Strategy and to further develop ideas and priorities”.

Check out/print THRIVE! at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/thrive/publications.html

Contact government for more details on their discussion plan and/or their action plan.