SaskFEATSaskatchewan Families For Effective Autism Treatment
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SaskFEAT Closure - submitted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:53

The board of SaskFEAT has been following the social media conversations regarding the closure of the organization as of October 1, 2018. We want to thank those who have sent positive comments and private messages about the work our volunteers have done over the last 17 years. We were also disappointed by some of the negative comments that were posted, but understand that change is never easy and loss is hard. Progress never comes as quickly as we want and there is always more to do, but as volunteers, and parents ourselves, the board feels honoured to have supported individuals and families living on the Autism Spectrum in Saskatchewan during our time of operation. The decision to close the doors of SaskFEAT was not an easy one, but it is a decision that will not change. For individuals or community members that may be interested in starting a new autism support group and/or organization we wish you well, but that will not happen under the SaskFEAT incorporation. We ask the community to respect this decision and lastly extend our sincerest gratitude to our families, caregivers, community partners, service providers, and donors over the last 17 years.


Arden C. Fiala

SaskFEAT President 




- submitted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 11:22


Sask. autism support organization closing due to volunteer shortage

"We're taxed, we're frustrated, we're tired and whatever little energy we have is not going to go into volunteering and doing more work with autism."

Updated: August 21, 2018

For 17 years, Saskatchewan Families for Effective Autism Treatment (SaskFEAT) has been supporting families on their journey with autism, but after difficulties filling volunteer positions, the non-profit has announced it will be closing its doors October 1.

Arden Fiala, who has an autistic daughter, has been SaskFEAT’s president for eight of her 10 years at the organization. She’s been trying to find new people to pass the baton to for the last two years.

“We do not have the capacity of a working board, as well as I’ve been now involved for just over a decade and it’s time, like I am burnt out,” said Fiala. She said that parents with autistic children already have a lot on their plate and struggle to take on more work.

“As parents, we’re immersed in autism 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re taxed, we’re frustrated, we’re tired and whatever little energy we have is not going to go into volunteering and doing more work with autism.”

Saskatoon mother Patti Biwer is kept busy by her 13-year-old daughter Acacia — who has autism and Down syndrome — and her 11-year-old son Andrew. It’s the family support SaskFEAT provides that Biwer uses most.

Through donations, SaskFEAT has provided grants to siblings of autistic kids for what Fiala called “sibling respite,” and this is what Biwer appreciates for her non-autistic son.

“That’s just something that people don’t often think about, is the fact that there’s other kids in your family,” said Biwer. “My son gets left out and so SaskFEAT has been awesome in providing a grant so he could go to summer camp and he could do different things.”

A hole will be left in services for families of autistic children in the province once SaskFEAT shuts its doors, said Biwer.

“It’s a loss,” she said. “If your whole family is functioning better then, you know, you can function better as a parent and you can provide better for your child.”

Arden Fiala, president of the Saskatchewan Families for Effective Autism Treatment (SaskFEAT). ARDEN FIALA / SUBMITTED

But the most important service SaskFEAT provides is connecting families on a journey with autism with other families on a similar journey, said Fiala, which has been a help in her own life.

“I’ve been so blessed to find other parents that have daughters on the autism spectrum, because that’s a different perspective versus having a son,” she said.

“The way that I can phone another mom or I can phone a professional and get them (to answer) questions to assist me on the autism journey with our daughter and our family, so that to me is invaluable. You cannot put a number to it.”

Fiala hopes that the organization has been able to connect enough families across the province that the families will be able to maintain a network of their own once the organization is dissolved.

SaskFEAT’s dissolution will also leave a gap in autism advocacy across the province, said Fiala, and she worries that autism will not now have a strong voice calling for government action.

“Sometimes I wonder with the advocacy piece, have we made an impact? Are we being heard?” she said.

“I hope SaskFEAT has connected enough parents with other parents that the impact might not be so difficult, because we still have parents that are advocating for not only their own children but assisting other young families or newly diagnosed families.”

SaskFEAT will begin dissolving on October 1, and Fiala said the non-profit is hoping to have everything sorted out by the end of December, with the website and Facebook page coming down, leaving no way for people to contact the organization.


- submitted: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 10:20

- submitted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 20:07

Read the update below or at the website by clicking here.

An update has been posted to

7 May 2018
Hello and welcome to our new subscribers. We want to let you know that a "forum" section has been added to the website. We have posted specific questions about your opinions on research ethics (organized into five categories for the five guideposts of person-oriented research ethics described on our "about" page). You can discuss these questions in the forum, or answer them privately via the contact form, email, phone, or whatever method works best for you. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your feedback.

- submitted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 18:18

SaskFEAT would like to provide parents/caregivers with an update regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Individualized Funding.  As it was reported on April 10th, $4,000 will be available for children with an ASD diagnosis under the age of six in 2018-19.  The Ministry of Social Services has experience to administer these types of benefits and will be providing the funding directly to parents and will begin taking applications in July.  The benefits will be administered in August; however, payments will retroactive to April 1, 2018. 

There was a teleconference with the ASD Individualized Funding Stakeholder Working Group, which includes SaskFEAT, this morning so that The Ministry of Health can provide further details about the program and the parent/caregiver resources that are currently being developed. This is the information that can be shared by SaskFEAT


  • The $4,000 Individualized Funding will not be ‘income tested.’
  • There will standards in place to ensure the validity of the Diagnosistic Team/Practioner.
  • Only evidence based, best practice services and supports will be eligible for the $4000 Individualized Funding.
  • There will be no added funding for travel expenses incurred to access the evidence based, best practice services and supports.
  • There will be one lump sum of $4000 to each parent/caregiver, with random audits of receipts for accountability and monitoring.
  • A Registry of qualified and regulated professionals is being developed, with the target completion date of June 2018.


Please let me know if you need any more information or have any questions. Once further information is released it will be posted on the Facebook Web and Facebook Page.







- submitted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 14:26

It is because of the thoughtfulness and generosity of a donor, Kathy from SaskFEAT presented a $1000 cheque to the Parent Advocates for Autism Treatment in Saskatchewan’s (PAATS) Autism Family Camp.  This will be PAATS’s third year hosting the Autism Family Camp in Cypress Hills. Camp is a great weekend for families to get away and enjoy a weekend in a beautiful setting with facilities and support workers that make camp a fantastic experience for our autism families.


You can find information about the autism family camp on our website at: autism-family-camp-1

- submitted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 18:41

This is the link to the news clip about the proposed Individualized Funding that was announced in yesterday's budget, it starts at the 10:17 mark of the video

- submitted: Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 13:47


Individualized Funding For Autism Spectrum Disorder March 15, 2016 - submitted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 17:57

Individualized Funding For Autism Spectrum Disorder

March 15, 2016


SaskFEAT has been contacted by the SaskParty in regards to today's announcement "Individualized Funding For Autism Spectrum Disorder March 15, 2016" SaskFEAT also received a written response to the two questions from the SaskFEAT Toolkit that were presented to the SaskParty. The SaskParty's written response will be posted tomorrow.



Box 483
Shaunavon, SK.
S0N 2M0