Phone: 416-224-5959

Anthony’s Story

When a child is born, there are hopes and dreams for the future. Often times when a child has been diagnosed with a condition like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), families feel uncertainty, and maybe even despair about the future of their child.

ISAND is not just in the business of providing leading edge therapies to children with ASD, we are also in the business of providing HOPE to their families. Here’s a story that we heard from a parent of a teen with ASD

For years we’ve been concerned that Anthony will have nowhere to go and nothing meaningful to do when he finishes school. Through his involvement with ISAND, we see Anthony grow and flourish and we now realize that there are possibilities for him after highschool. ISAND has given us hope and direction for the future.

ISAND needs your help to continue to provide HOPE to families like Anthony’s. Your contribution today will ensure that we can continue to provide help and HOPE for families who desperately need it.

Please donate today.

Visit by MP Ali Ehsassi

On Wednesday December 9, 2020 Ali Ehsassi, Member of Parliament Willowdale, came to ISAND for a tour and to provide us with four bags of PPE. Mr. Ehsassi, a supporter of ISAND and the work that we do provided us with mask, hand sanitizer, Canadian Flags, and a Certificate thanking and acknowledging ISAND for our role in helping families by providing leading edge therapy to children, youth and adults with ASD.

Employable Me

Three time karting champion, Austin Riley, the first professional race car driver with autism spectrum disorder sat down with ISAND’s world renowned developmental paediatrician, Dr. Wendy Roberts, to talk about his career as race car driver. The interview was filmed and will be part of an episode of season four of Employable Me, which airs on TVO and AMI. (The date of airing is not confirmed, but likely sometime in April 2021).

Austin has placed high in many races including winning first place in a Saleen Cup race at Portland International Speedway in 2019. He is living proof of his own famous saying that, Just because you have Autism, it doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. For more information on Austin and his acer, visit

ISAND disturbed by defence strategy in Minassian trial

The 28-year-old man, accused of killing 10 and injuring 16 after driving a van down Toronto’s Yonge Street in 2018 over the course of several minutes, has pleaded not criminally responsible to the charges.

Through his lawyers, Alek Minassian has pleaded not criminally responsible for his actions that day claiming that because of his Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, Mr. Minassian’s way of thinking is “severely distorted in a way similar to psychosis”, stated Dr. Rebecca Chauhan in a Toronto Star article.

At ISAND we believe this statement to be erroneous and damaging to the thousands of people living with ASD in the GTA. Minassian agrees that he intended to kill, that the murders were planned and deliberate, and that he in fact did cause the death of those people. To say that people with ASD lack the emotional awareness to understand that it is wrong to kill people is both wildly inaccurate and extremely dangerous.

ISAND embraces the uniqueness of everyone and believe that every person with ASD, given the right supports, can and should feel welcomed in their community.

This defence strategy perpetuates harmful stereotypes about people with ASD. In fact, research has shown that persons with who are very intelligent and have ASD tend to be law abiding, highly moral and are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Mr. Minassian does in fact have Autism Spectrum Disorder, however we believe that diagnosis has nothing do with his pre-meditated actions on that April day in 2018. From the court reports, it appears that most of the experts called for both the defence and the crown agree. Dr. John Bradford, a Canadian Forensic Psychiatrist called by the defence stated under oath that that Mr. Minassian showed ritualistic behaviours, but not delusional behaviour or psychosis. In Dr. Bradford’s opinion, the ASD diagnosis does not allow Mr. Minassian to be found Not Criminally Responsible.

We hope that the judge rejects the defence arguments, and allows Mr. Minassian to be judged on his actions, not on a falsely misleading theory based on his diagnosis of ASD.

Tips for School Success during COVID-19

This school year has brought a whole host of new challenges and experiences for students, parents and teachers alike. Students with ASD at all levels are having to adapt to the new academic landscape due to changes brought about by COVID-19. It is important to understand how these developments are impacting students’ learning and social and emotional wellbeing.

What follows are some of the benefits and challenges students with ASD are reporting across all levels of schooling, and some strategies for success during the time of COVID-19. … Read more.

How to encourage your child to wear a mask

Some children may feel uneasy about wearing masks. They may need extra support and comfort from parents. Parents also can help children understand why they might need to wear a mask, and make them more comfortable and even fun to wear.

  1. Make it familiar – Have parents wear it around the house, and child practice wearing it to become familiar with using one. 
  2. Decorate or help make their mask – Makes it fun and gives them some autonomy/control around the situation. 
  3. Play – Can practice using it in play scenarios such as using it on a stuffed animal, wearing it to play ‘doctor’ or superheroes. 
  4. Talk about what it is for and why it is important in clear terms to set expectations for child.

Some Social Stories regarding wear masks;

I can wear a mask – A social Story by THE AUTISM RESEARCH INSTITUTE

I can wear a mask! – A Social Story for Visual Learners by Meg Stone
Heaberlin, PsyD & Celia Schloemer, MA, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


Toronto Public Health has provided the following information regarding COVID-19 and Preventative Measures:

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Prevention measures include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home when you are ill
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces