About twenty years ago, Sergio Cocchia and his wife Wendy noticed their son Roy was missing some key milestones. They sought medical testing, speech therapy and other treatments in their home province of British Columbia, but access to care was difficult and the wait lists were impossibly long. Cocchia had the ability and the means to seek private care, but for so many families affected by autism, the $60,000 annual average fee is out of reach.
Cocchia wanted to help. He knew families needed direct support in their own communities. They needed technology, unbiased information and access to researchers. And so, the Pacific Autism Family Network was born.
“The path for many of our families is a long and arduous one, with a financial challenge but also a geographic challenge,” he said. “Autism does not discriminate between urban and rural, and access to services is incredibly limited.”
After a generous outpouring of support, Pacific Autism Family Centre raised over $32 million and opened its doors to a centre for excellence in November 2016. The Hub, as the centre is known, now connects service providers and expertise to satellite locations in Prince George and Kelowna.
This is just the beginning, and a cause Parq Vancouver is proud to support.
The Pacific Autism Family Centre supports the needs of individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities across the province. It aims to breaks down barriers—financial or geographic—with access to state-of-the- art resources for assessment, treatment, education-support and research. Here, no family is left behind.
In 2018, we partnered with Pacific Autism Family Centre to help our staff learn about neurodiversity and working with people on the autism spectrum. We also hosted and sponsored the LAUNCH Holiday Luncheon, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to individuals and families living with autism and intellectual disabilities across British Columbia.
We invite you to get involved. All donor funds go directly to the life-changing programming that help British Columbian families.