We are pleased to introduce Jon Przybyl as a newly-elected member of AutismBC’s Board of Directors. Jon is an occupational therapist based in Kelowna, BC. As a professional and as our first board member located in the interior of BC, Jon brings a fresh perspective on how AutismBC can best serve the autism community. See below to learn more about Jon and join us in welcoming him to the team.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
I’m originally from Stony Mountain, Manitoba just outside of Winnipeg. Our big claim to fame is that we have a penitentiary located right in the town. I spent several years in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island completing my undergraduate degree while playing and coaching baseball. After returning to Winnipeg to complete my Master’s in Occupational Therapy, I officially ended up calling Kelowna home as my then-fiancée absolutely refused to move to -30C winters and mosquito-filled summers.
My wife and I have two young boys (3 and 11 months) who definitely keep us on our toes. We’ve been trying to make the most of the pandemic and our parental leave by camping, golfing, and spending lots of time together. Our oldest, Wyatt, really started to master his strider bike at the local mountain bike skills park this summer while our youngest, Logan, is couch surfing and exploring our kitchen cupboards.
What made you interested in joining AutismBC’s Board of Directors?
I became interested in furthering my involvement with AutismBC when I was working with a client whose mother was supported by Lisa Watson (Regional Coordinator—Interior, AutismBC). The amount of support, guidance and reassurance she provided the mother was evident. It was obvious that AutismBC was doing amazing work and that I wanted to help in any way I could.
For me, it’s so important to have families feel like they are a part of a greater community and aren’t alone. To know there is an organization looking out for their best interests is fantastic. I’m excited to bring my teamwork, leadership, and practitioner perspectives to the Board. I think we, as a Board, can help guide and grow the organization to achieve even greater success.
As our first Board Member from the Interior of BC, Kelowna to be exact, and our first OT, what unique perspective are you hoping to bring to AutismBC’s board?
The Interior is certainly a unique geographical area. I’ve worked throughout various regions (South, Central and North Okanagan, the Nicola Valley, etc.) over the past several years. For these families getting services set up in the first place can be a struggle. They can often feel isolated and less connected than those that live in larger centres. Having worked with these families first-hand, I feel as though my insight and feedback on how decisions will affect families in these remote communities will be valuable.
As an occupational therapist, I will lean on my education and research knowledge to ensure that information being discussed is accurate and evidence-based. A cornerstone of occupational therapy is to enable clients to be as independent as possible. This compliments AutismBC’s vision of “helping people on the autism spectrum live their best lives.” Working in a variety of environments (client’s homes, schools, daycares, the community, and so on) provides me with a broad scope of information to help support and guide decision making.