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Pacific Autism family Network opening hub-space in Northern BC

Families living with autistic children in Northern BC will soon have a place they can come to for support, guidance, and obtaining helpful resources.

The Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) will be opening an office in Prince George by the summer, with construction already underway.

PAFN Co-Founder Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia says this is the hub-and-spoke facility is the first of its kind in North America.

“Prince George and the North were chosen first because of Minister Bond advocating so strongly for Prince George, and really just willing and able to step up, roll up their sleeves with us, and get this going.”

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She says choosing the location was also inspired by long-time parent advocates for PAFN, Jordan and Jason Oliver, who live with an autistic son in the city.

Lisogar-Cocchia explains the challenges most families, like the Olivers, are currently facing.

“There’s so many challenges with a loved one with autism and related disorders from dental work, going to a physician, getting your haircut ,getting your nails trimmed; things that a lot of people, unless they’re living in the world of autism, don’t realize.”

Local MLAs Shirley bond and Mike Morris, along with Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall, were in attendance for the official ribbon-cutting at the 3,000 square-foot office Saturday morning.

The facility will include activity rooms, media rooms for video-conferencing, quiet rooms, and therapy rooms.

The office is located in the Gateway Centre on Victoria Street.

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