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Pinwheel Wellness Centre

Peer Support Groups

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​Peer support groups create a safer non-judgmental space for people with shared lived experiences to provide emotional and practical support to one another. Recognizing that people are the experts of their lived experience, peer support provides a space for people to share and connect with others who can understand their experiences and mutually support one another’s growth and learning. Peer support groups can help people build social connections and find community.
 

​​Our Current Peer Support Groups:

The Women’s Autism/Autistic Project (WA/AP)​

The Women’s Autism/Autistic Project aims to bring Autistic women and teen girls together to connect with each other in a safe, non-judgemental, and welcoming environment. Recognizing that women can experience autism differently to peers who are of other genders, the Women’s Autism/Autistic Project aims to create a safe and comfortable environment for Autistic women/women who have autism to connect and relate to one another. The project aims to provide new opportunities for making friends, share meaningful experiences, mutual interests, and empowerment. The WA/AP programs are free to join.

WA/AP Adult Group
When: The adult group of WA/AP is a social group that meets once a month on a Wednesday evening from 6:00-7:00 PM
Where: 5945 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS

The group is open to Autistic women ages 19 and older, no formal diagnosis is required to join.
 

WA/AP Teen Girls Social & Wellness Program

Teen Girls Social & Wellness Program aims to support participants in making social connections in a safe non-judgemental environment that promotes empowerment, autonomy, self-esteem, and well-being.

Topics include:

  • Values
  • Emotions
  • Friendship
  • Personal boundaries
  • Self-care

When: The program consists of 7 sessions happening twice a month for 1.5 hours on a Wednesday evening from 6:00-7:30 pm
Where: Autism Nova Scotia, 5945 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS

The next cohort will run from March 30th – June 22nd. Registration will open in March.

Registration for the Adult Group and Teen Girls are currently closed. For more information, please contact Holly MacLellan at hmaclellan@autismns.ca or 902-410-6721 (call or text).
 

SibsCONNECT

Sibling relationships are typically the longest lasting relationships within a family unit, and therefore siblings play a huge role in the overall development of each other. Siblings are often each other’s first best friends, first advocates, and the first person they may go to when they have a problem or something good to share. Therefore, providing opportunities to create a positive sibling relationship is so important.

SibsCONNECT is a free 12-session program designed for the siblings of Autistic individuals. Facilitated by adult siblings or service providers who show interest in working within the field. SibsCONNECT was created to be a safe and nonjudgmental environment where participants will be provided with an opportunity to explore their thoughts, feelings and experiences when it comes to their autistic sibling with others who understand. Through play-based activities, participants are encouraged to have fun, gain friendships, and create a positive outlook on their role as a sibling.

Topics include:

  1. My sibling has autism: What does that mean?
  2. The role of a sibling
  3. Coping strategies
  4. Strengths and weaknesses
  5. Advocacy
  6. Being treated differently from your sibling
  7. Spending time with your sibling
  8. The W's of talking about your sibling
  9. Outings with your family

​During the pilot phase, SibsCONNECT worked with participants between the ages of 9 and 12 years old who had a sibling that was suspected of or had a provisional or confirmed diagnosis of autism. Sessions were held within the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), were conducted in English, and had both an in-person and online method of delivery, based on provincial regulations surrounding COVID-19.

At this time, as long as a participant remains within the eligibility criteria of the SibsCONNECT program, they are permitted to attend more than one cohort.

Registration for the winter cohort is now closed! Thank you to all of those who have shown interest. Please keep an eye out on our website and our social media pages for information regarding the next registration period!

Resource Packets

SibsCONNECT is creating resources for siblings, caregivers, service providers and others within the community to learn more about the sibling relationship. Please see below for completed packets.​

Download Caregiver Resource Packet
Download Service Provider Resource Packet
Download Coping Strategies Resource Packet


​If you would like more information about the program, please contact the Program Coordinator, Alison David, at adavid@autismns.ca or Pinwheel Wellness Centre at pinwheel@autismns.ca or 782-321-811