ASO is the only agency in Ontario, Canada that is solely devoted to serving those with Level 1 ASD, their families and other interested individuals.

About ASO

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If you have benefited from the free support provided by ASO, please consider making a donation.

ASO Overview

Providing front-line, case-by-case support for those diagnosed with Level 1 ASD.

ASO is a registered charity founded in 2000 by parents of children with Level 1 ASD (including those previously diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome under the DSM-IV) and concerned professionals. ASO is the only agency in Ontario, Canada that is solely devoted to serving those with Level 1 ASD, their families and other interested individuals.

Please take note:

All materials provided or published by ASO are designed for informational purposes only, and should not be considered a diagnosis or comprehensive statement of available options, information, resources, or alternatives related to ASD. We are continually updating our list of resources as new information becomes available, and encourage you to let us know of any supports or services in your area so that we may share them with our community.

Helping the Level 1 ASD Community

We offer all of our services FREE of charge to individuals, families, professionals, and health care providers.

We have the expertise and resources to help in many ways. As email or phone requests for information are received, they are prioritized and responded to within 24 hours by one of our program specialists. If we do not have information readily available, we will conduct additional research to ensure we respond appropriately.

Original Brand

Asperger Society of Ontario

ASO Rebranding

The Asperger’s Society of Ontario rebranded to ASO in 2020 to address community concerns raised around the association between Hans Asperger and the Nazi regime.

Additional information on this topic can be found via the CBC.ca, CJN, and the National Post.

New Brand

ASO - In our own way

Mission

Our mission is to provide educational information and support to individuals diagnosed with Level 1 ASD, their families, educators, medical and mental health professionals, employers, government agencies and the community, to enable individuals with Level 1 ASD to realize their potential as fully contributing members of their community.

Goals

The goals of ASO are to improve public and professional awareness and understanding of the unique challenges, strengths, and needs of individuals with Level 1 ASD and their families. We do this by providing information and easy access to resources for families, professionals and others interested in Level 1 ASD.

Board of Directors

Successful and committed charities require an equally successful and committed Board of Directors. The ASO Board is governed by a group of dynamic volunteers who represent a wide range of expertise.

Jodi Echakowitz

Secretary

Jodi Echakowitz

Jodi is CEO of Boulevard PR, the public relations and digital marketing agency she founded in 2001. She has been a Board Member since 2005 and has held the position of Secretary since 2008. She is the community manager for the ASO on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. One of her two kids was diagnosed with ASD in 2003.

Greg Johnston

Treasurer

Greg Johnston

Greg joined the ASO in 2017 and assumed the role of Treasurer shortly thereafter. He works in the finance industry for the Royal Bank of Canada, holds an Honours B.Comm from the University of Guelph, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. Greg’s commitment to individuals living with ASD comes from volunteering in the Autism classroom that his wife teaches. Their first child was born in March 2018.

Priscilla Burnham-Riosa

Director

Priscilla Burnham Riosa

Priscilla Burnham Riosa is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. She is a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and has been working in the disability field for over 15 years. Her research interests are in mental health and behavioural and cognitive-behavioural interventions for youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder.

Edward Lin

Director

Edward Lin

Edward joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and has a passion for health promotion and advocacy. He believes in improving access to supports and services for those with ASD. Edward was the President of Exercise is Medicine at the University of Toronto and a co-founder of the Medicine in Motion Podcast. He received his Honours Bachelor of Science from McGill University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science at the University of Toronto.

Shawn Avery

Director

Shawn Avery

Shawn has been involved with ASO since 2012, first as a volunteer fundraiser and beginning in 2020 as a member of the Board of Directors. He is a spokesperson with Youth Speak, and openly shares insights on his own experiences living with ASD, and topics related to mental health and bullying.

Doug Bates

Director

Doug Bates

Doug is a former banker and current co-owner of Brown Bag Co, ComGo, and Drummer Dream. He is also the founder of the Kaitlyn Bates Initiative, launched in memory of his daughter. As the father of two boys diagnosed with ASD, Doug gives of his time to ABRAutism and is a returning ASO board member. He is actively involved in his community and has won several volunteer awards.

Chris Caldwell

Director

Chris Caldwell

Chris Joined the ASO Board in 2020, inspired by a close friend and a nephew diagnosed with ASD. He works in finance for Northland Power, a renewable energy focused developer. In his spare time, Chris enjoys composing and playing music. In addition to a Bachelor’s in Management from the University of Lethbridge, Chris is a Charted Financial Analyst (CFA), and holds a Financial Risk Management (FRM) designation.

Adam Greig

Director

Adam Greig

Adam joined the ASO Board in 2020. He works in the insurance industry for People Corporation and holds an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology from Lakehead University. Adam’s commitment to individuals living with ASD comes from volunteering with Kerry’s Place in his young adulthood and from his passion to support and grow a community focused on helping others.

ASO Board of Directors Icon

The Board guides the overall strategic management of ASO and each member is deeply committed to ensuring the financial and operational sustainability of ASO while working toward fulfilling our vision, mission and goals.

Executive Director

Alexandra Prefasi

Executive Director

Alexandra Prefasi

Alexandra Prefasi has held the role of ASO Executive Director since November 2013. In this role, she has expanded ASO’s relationships with key service agencies to further fortify the organization’s reputation for effectively supporting individuals diagnosed with Level 1 ASD (previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome) and their families. She works closely with ASO’s Board of Directors to steward fundraising relationships, build strong corporate and community partnerships, strengthen programs, and balance community need with strategic growth.

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