Piece By Piece

Welcome to Piece By Piece!

This website is dedicated to helping raise awareness for the Autism Spectrum Disorder community. It is my hope that you will find the information on this site helpful for either a loved one, a friend, or yourself. Piece of the Puzzle I wanted to focus on just a few main points of ASD. These include:

  • Defining Autism
  • Diagnosis and Symptoms
  • Treatments
  • Sensory Processing Difficulties
  • Ways to Raise Awareness
  • Support for Families or Caregivers
  • Links to Helpful Websites

Most people have heard of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but do they actually know what it is? There are a lot of stereotypes out there in the world; the reason for this is that as a spectrum disorder, there is a wide array of characteristics that can accompany Autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is on the rise with over 1% of the Canadian children's population receiving a diagnosis. Though it very well could be that Autism has always been prevalent and is now more easily recognized and diagnosed. In 2018, Lord et al. said:

“the outlook for many individuals with autism spectrum disorder today is brighter than it was 50 years ago; more people with the condition are able to speak, read, and live in the community rather than in institutions, and some will be largely free from symptoms of the disorder by adulthood.”

This provides great hope to families who are struggling with Autism. The communities within our society are allowing those on the spectrum more opportunity to learn and function rather than being secluded because of a perceived disability. Lord (et al., 2018) also said that:

“in the past 50 years, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has gone from a narrowly defined, rare disorder of childhood onset to a well publicised, advocated, and researched lifelong condition, recognised as fairly common and very heterogeneous.”

This brings me back to my original point about everyone having exposure to ASD. This is also why raising awareness is so vital. It is important to raise awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorder because it is complex to diagnosis, commonly accompanied by other conditions, and can negatively impact the families of those with the disorder. I want to provide you with more information about Autism, as well as open your eyes to a new point of view of those on the spectrum. I hope that if you are also affected by a relationship with a person on the spectrum, that my experiences bring you comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

With so many children affected, society must grow to accept and understand the needs of these individuals. Children will grow up and require different supports throughout their lives. It is up to us to be aware of those needs and strive for inclusion in all aspects of society.

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Who Am I?

You might be curious as to why I would choose a topic such as Autism. The truth is that I am a parent of a child on the spectrum. Personally, I have been learning about and dealing with Autism first hand for 9 years, although only seven of those years had a formal diagnosis.

This site is to share a small piece of my personal experiences with you. Autism is not an easy thing to navigate. It has taken a lot of hard work, advocacy and research to be as successful in our journey as I have been.

Ashley Marshall - Page AuthorMy name is Ashley and I am a 28 year old, full-time college student at Sheridan. I have a 9 year old son and he was officially diagnosed with Autism at age 3. We have navigated the world of Autism services in Toronto and Peel Region, so I can attest to the procedures within those communities. I have also found wonderful friends through advocating and reaching out for support in our community. I hope that each person who needs it finds the company of understanding and amazing people like I did.

If you have any questions about Autism, you can reach me by email at:


info@piecebypiece.ca Click here to email me!