How We Do It
When AAFS began, one of our main goals was to immerse our kids in the community around us. Over the years, AAFS members have had a chance to do everything there is to do recreation wise in the Calgary area. The Community is the largest classroom in the world and AAFS takes full advantage.
A Community Outing can be anything out in the community, swimming, bowling, Flames/Hitmen/Stamps games, Laser Quest, paintball, sledding, skating. Whatever is out there!
Club nights are evenings at our Fairmount Drive location. On Clubhouse Nights, many important lessons are learned. Turn taking, sportsmanship, sharing, hanging out (and yes, we were told by one of our youth that how to just “hang out” was definitely a skill he needed to learn).
Here are some examples of popular club night activities;
- Video Games
- Board Games
- Anime Club
- Comic Book Night
- Movie Night (watching Movies!)
- Clubhouse Sleepovers
Specialized Programs (not all programs are offered all the time)
AAFS’ Specialized Programs are programs that take place over 4- 16 weeks with a specific focus. These programs are an opportunity to engage our youth in their special interests and present an opportunity for possible vocations.
Some examples of our specialized programs are:
12-18 youth with ASD collaborate on the writing, filming, editing, acting and everything else to do with movie making. Over the past 8 years, our youth have taken us into a world of vampires with Amulet of Dracul, been sucked inside a Video Game world with “6- The Movie”, watched a group of misfits save the world from a Supersonic Fart in “2012- A Fart Odyssey” and watched a group of students become Super Heroes in “The Hero Initiative: Unexpected Heroes”
Art in Action
Arts based self-advocacy. An amazing program in which youth with ASD come together and identify various challenges they face as a community and then use the Arts to express and advocate for themselves.
Each year (May thru October) we take groups of up to 25 youth on a number of camping trips in traditional camping style. They plan meals, shop for supplies, set up the tents, cook their own food, go canoeing, light fires, and do everything one must do when camping. One of our youth when asked why he enjoyed our camping trips so much said, “Because I get to go camping. I am not going to a camp.”
A purely recreation/social program for adults who do not qualify for PDD funding. Once a week, participants meet up and decide on a group activity to do in the community. We run GO Group in partnership with CASS and Autism Calgary.
Video Game Design
Calgary Game Developers Academy for Youth started 2 years ago to help youth explore their creativity by learning about the many facets of the world of Video Game Design. With CGDAY facilitating, members will learn valuable technical skills which can set them up for future success by fostering conversation surrounding different opportunities in the rapidly growing tech & gaming industry. They also use professional 3D and gaming software as the platform for teaching members.
Participants will be exposed to the game development process, learn concepts like game planning, level design and play-ability. They will also work together to plan, build and test ideas and that is just the beginning!!!
Extreme Sports– Skateboarding, Parkour, Rock Climbing…
If you are a bit of an extremist when it comes to sports, then you will love these programs! Join AAFS and some amazing guests to learn extraordinary new skills. We offer an amazing skateboarding program partnering with our friends from the Calgary Association of Skateboard Enthusiasts, to teach you some skateboarding basics, and for those more advanced, some fancy tricks!
Our Parkour program is facilitated through Calgary’s own Breathe Parkour and is offered at their North & South locations. You will learn the art of movement involving running, jumping, climbing, vaulting, rolling, flipping, and much much more!
Rhythm, Movement and Courage
This eight-week program will, in the words of the folks at Movement With Message, allow participants to:
“Find your inner courage through this movement workshop. We first learn basic movement skills, how to vibe with others with those skills and then learn how to be courageous through the circle.”
Come join us for a unique, innovative program that combines dialogue and dance to develop yourself determination, and, be Courageous!
Earn a Bike (with 2 Wheel View)
Earn-A-Bike is open to bike enthusiasts ages 11 – 17 with all different backgrounds and abilities. Each week, participants will come together to learn all about bike mechanics, teamwork and leadership. At the end of the eight week program, each participant will go home having earned their very own bike lock, helmet and of course, bicycle! Yes … EVERYONE in the program gets a BIKE!
Everything Art is an 8 week long exploration of many artistic mediums including but not limited to: painting, sculpture, tie dye, collage and much more! Whether you’re an expert in the world of visual art or just trying it out, there will surely be something that you will enjoy! If there is a particular type of art or craft that you would like to learn or try out please be sure to let us know on your registration form.
There are many other programs and activities.