Spring means different things to different people.  For most Canadians, it brings welcome relief from the harshness of winter, and the budding of spring flowers and trees.  For those pursuing higher education, it typically signals the end of a semester or school year and a time of transition.  Spring signifies all of these things at The Sinneave Family Foundation (Sinneave), where our work is focused on the transition to adulthood for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Since 2011, Sinneave has made knowledge exchange a priority and has provided opportunities for graduate students from faculties such as Pediatric Medicine, Social Work and Counselling Psychology to broaden their knowledge and understanding of autism, and inform their own practice for working in the community. Over the past five years, we have had the privilege of providing practicum opportunities for twelve graduate students from the University of Calgary. 

This week, we say congratulations and farewell to two exceptional students, Michelle Vetsch and Jing Huang, who have completed their practicums with Sinneave and are moving on in their respective career journeys. Over the past seven months, Michelle and Jing have brought a fresh perspective and worked diligently alongside our Launch and Resource Centre staff to help coordinate Autism Summit II, to develop a Mental Health Resource List for the Mental Health and ASD working group, and have helped to analyze data from focus groups on the transition to adulthood.  To expand their knowledge of ASD in a hands-on way, both participated as Peer Mentors in the Worktopia EmploymentWorks Canada program.

We truly appreciate the value that our practicum students have brought to the Sinneave team, and the individuals and families they have worked with during their time with us.  We wish Michelle and Jing much success in their careers!

Dr. Katelyn Lowe

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