Siksika Community Wellness & Mental Health partner with Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary to deliver youth program

Siksika Health Communications

The 6-week long youth program was a hit among participants and facilitators. The program was spearheaded by Dr. Pearl Yellow Old Woman-Healy and was designed with a focus on relationship building, friendships, social and emotional learning.

Through this partnership with AAFS participants took part in a drop-in style program following the initial registration.

“AAFS was founded by a small, dedicated group of parents who saw a need for social and recreational programming specific to the ASD community. It was known to them that many youth on the spectrum of Autism did not fit within traditional day camps or recreation programs intended for typical children, nor did they feel comfortable with the structure of specialized camps and programs for children with disabilities.

A program was needed that would be tailored to their specific social and recreational needs; a program yet to exist where the staff understood their abilities and they would be accepted for who they were. A place where they could come and be empowered to take part in the world around them, and where they could become a vital part of their community.” – Excerpt from

Programs like this provide a much needed services to this community and the relationship created between Siksika Health Services and Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary is one we are excited to continue.

It was incredible to see how quickly the group went from being shy, quiet and maybe a little uncertain about participating, to opening up about their days, laughing and challenging themselves, both physically and socially. It was a short 6-week program, but I feel like everyone walked away having a new friend, us as staff included!” – Facilitator and Program Coordinator Kelsey Hofstetter.