The following section contains a series of videos of Ann Crabtree, an autistic person, in conversation with Marla Cable (Giant Steps School Resource and Training Centre Coordinator). They were recorded in the fall of 2012.

Giant Steps is a school for children, teens and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder.  Part of the Resource and Training Centre mandate is to provide services to the autism community.  The centre offers workshops, conferences, guest speakers, consultation services and a lending library to the general public.  The centre also strives to give autistic individuals a platform to speak on their behalves.

Anne Crabtree

Ann Crabtree is an autistic and deaf person.   She was diagnosed with autism in 1960 in Montreal at a time when not only the diagnosis but also the word was foreign to the general public and even many doctors.  She grew up in Montreal and Lake Placid not really understanding or having an awareness of her diagnosis.  Throughout her childhood she attended several schools both regular and special needs. 

In later years she found her original diagnosis within her mother’s papers and has spent the past couple of years researching autism. She attempts to find answers to how her diagnosis explains her past life experiences and how it impacts her on a daily basis. 

Ann volunteers in a daycare program and at Giant Steps.  She strives to make an impact in the lives of young children on the spectrum. While at Giant Steps she participates in the Play and Social therapy program where she plays with the students and gives feedback to the staff.  She has made a huge impact on both the staff and students.  Giant Steps is a school for children, teens and young adults with an autism spectrum diagnosis.

Ann’s mission has become to support children with an autism spectrum diagnosis. She strives to improve their lives by changing attitudes about autism, sharing her life stories and spending time with young autistic children.  By sharing her thoughts and feelings she hopes to impact parents, professionals and those on the spectrum.

Autism diagnosis

Are you autistic or a person with autism?

Living independently

Non-verbal communication

Autism and other disabilities

Sense experiences

Clothing and cosmetics

Feeling of overstimulation

Coping with overstimulation


Communicating with a person with autism


In their own world

Reading body language

Running away

Personal likes

Personal interest and learning

Playing with others

Compulsive behaviour

Memory and recall

Abstract concepts