OAARSN offers information and communication tools that can put you in touch with others. We can all benefit from the opportunities for mutual support, encouragement and information sharing. We hope that OAARSN's efforts to promote positive approaches and best practices in supporting adults with autism can help all who live and work on the front lines. Click on OAARSN's main page

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You may be interested in our Creative Supports Bulletins which carry news about disabilities and special abilities and creative strategies more generally. See for example:  http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/CS-20060720.html

Send news, announcements and comments to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca We welcome news items, announcements of autism events, new information, discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience.

Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in plain text format by email to
ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.

Please provide details of announcements as BRIEFLY as possible: 
 Name of Event
 Main Speakers and Topics of Event 
 Date of Event 
 City and Location of Event
 Contact information to learn more about event
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments if you have an online version to which you can provide a link.

Please note that this service is for information and awareness. We cannot endorse or be held responsible for the validity of any information or the value of any therapy or service. Nor do we necessarily agree with opinions that may be expressed.

Visit OAARSN's website and keep in touch through the OAARSN Listserv--send a message requesting to join to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca

  28 February 2007


Jersey scientists find a possible key to autism
A team of 16 New Jersey scientists believes it has found ways to detect biological risk factors for autism through simple urine and blood tests, a discovery that could lead to groundbreaking medical treatment for the neurological disorder. Their findings, the result of more than two years of study on how the body breaks down fatty acids, could be a breakthrough for what is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the US, with no known cause or cure.

Almost all grown-up - with nowhere to go
An article about young adults with autism in various parts of Pennsylvania. A sample self-help project has been started by Sharing and Caring of Bucks County, a local parent support group. Its Adults Reaching Community Harmony (ARCH), is a social recreation program targeting young adults with autism and other neurological disorders.

'Autistic diet' getting a closer look
This article has interest also in the creation of a home for young adults who share the need for special diet and supplements.

Dallas facility would let autistic adults live independently

Carolyn Garver, director of the Autism Treatment Center in far northeast Dallas, hopes to build a secure apartment community for high-functioning autistic adults who can live independently with occasional assistance from on-site staff members and support from the ATC. A federal grant would pay for the facility's construction and subsidize the rent for residents with low-paying or intermittent jobs.


Important New Releases from the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario

IFCO is pressing purposefully to persuade the Ontario Government to move ahead in implementing the new directions announced in Opportunities and Action – Transforming Supports In Ontario for People who have a Developmental Disability
IFCO issues are vital for Ontario. Look up the many current resources on the IFCO website.


Disability advocates are very upset to learn that the Ontario Government (through the Ministries of Community and Social Services and Health and Long-Term Care) has made plans for adults with a developmental disability and relatively high needs to be admitted to long-term care facilities instead of opening community living opportunities for them. Advocates of inclusion and community living see a discrepancy between this new "access protocol" and the values and strategies discussed in the MCSS "transformation process" for developmental services since mid-2004.
See links to articles and letters on Family Alliance Ontario website



Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in plain text format by email to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
Please provide details of the following as BRIEFLY as possible: 
Name of Event
 Main Speakers and Topics of Event 
 Date of Event 
 City and Location of Event
 Contact information to learn more about event
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments

February 15-March 30, 2007, in Etobicoke
Laser Eagles Gallery Show
Inclusiveness, artistic expression, and unique community partnerships come together in the Laser Eagles Exhibition, on display at the Arts Etobicoke Gallery February 15 to March 30, 2007.
The show features over 40 paintings by 11 artists who are members of The Laser Eagles Art Guild, an organization which provides creative opportunities to individuals whose bodies are limited in mobility and who do not communicate in typical ways.

Regional Support Associates
RSA (based in Woodstock) "provides services to adults with a developmental disability. The staff have clinical expertise and training in Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Nursing, Speech Pathology, Behaviour Therapy, and Developmental Services. Services are offered to the individual, their families and agencies supporting them in their community."
Click for RSA Workshop Calendar, January to March 2007

Autism One Radio Schedule

A Worldwide, Web-Based Radio Station for the Care, Treatment, and Recovery
of Children with Autism  http://www.autismone.org/radio


March 1-4, 2007

Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007
Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan

Leading experts on autism spectrum disorders, from England, Canada, and the United States, will focus on ways to improve the quality of life for the affected individuals and their families/caregivers by conducting presentations in the areas of educational and biomedical interventions, research, adjunct therapies, diet and nutrition, and family issues.

Speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Dr. Phillip DeMio, Dr. Stephen Shore, Shannon Kenitz, Dr. Lauren Underwood, Dr. Barry Prizant, Stan Kurtz, Dr. Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Dr. Teresa Bolick, Dr. William Shaw, and plus more experts in the field of autism.
This theme reflects the reality that autism spectrum disorders present an evolving set of personal, familial, societal, and therapeutic issues as affected individuals pass from infancy, childhood through adolescence, adulthood, and finally old age.
Adopting a life-span perspective is a fundamental requirement for developing a set of comprehensive services to individuals and families who are dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

March 8, 2007, in Guelph
Wellington Agency Information Fair
For Families & Individuals with Disabilities to get information about:
-inclusive & specialized recreation opportunities
-summer day & overnight camps
-year-round sports, art, music and dance programs
-agencies providing services (ex. Mental Health)
-government programs (ODSP, ACSD)
-respite care programs (Hopewell Homes, CLGW)
-case management services
-work and volunteering services
Click for full details

Thursday, March 8, 1-4 pm, at Ryerson University
The Working Together for Change Project is holding another free seminar on issues of relevance to people with disabilities (the portrayal of people with disabilities in public photographs and exploring disabled youth’s experiences securing and managing home supports) and have a participatory component to them.

"One of our project goals is to increase the involvement of people with disabilities and their families in the research process....We believe that we can assist the movement in this direction by helping people in the community, students, people who work in organizations that support people with disabilities, academics and researchers see that working together on research projects is possible and incredibly enriching for the process and players. We do this by offering seminars where people get to hear about actual research projects from the people involved."

For more information, please contact:
Barbara Ostroff
Co-Principal Investigator
Working Together For Change

Visit the Community Faculty website

March 14, 2007

Understanding Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome:
In lecture series presented by the Aspergers Society of Ontario
Auditorium, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Clarke Site
250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario
Those who participate can expect to take away valuable information on Asperger Syndrome, how to recognize it in children, youth and adults and the role of the multi-disciplinary team in supporting the individual with Asperger Syndrome and their family.
March 14, 2007 : Multidisciplinary Interventions
Click for speaker and registration information
Monitor the website at http://www.aspergers.ca/

March 14-16, 2007, Queensland Gold Coast
Australian Biennial National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Keynote speakers include Dr Lorna Wing, PRofessor Catherine Lord and Professor Rita Jordan

Saturday, March 17, 3-5pm, in Guelph
An Afternoon with the Happy Neurotic!
featuring David Graniner, author, counsellor and comedien
and founder of "Stand Up for Mental Health".
Special event at The Bookshelf of Guelph,
41 Quebec Street
Please click on title for details.

March 21, in
Concurrent Disorders Family Forum
Afternoon for clinical staff, evening for families of clients with concurrent disorders.
Free bur registration required
Contact: Cheryl Vrkljan
Project Consultant,  Policy, Education & Health Promotion
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
20 Hughson Street South, Suite 804
Hamilton, ON  L8N 2A1
Tel: (905) 525-1250 ext. 8156
Toll Free: 1-888-857-2876
Fax: 905-527-6957

March 27,
7-9pm, in Waterloo
Amy Baskin on Keeping Strong, Sane and Connected
Amy is co-author of More than a Mom: Living a full and balanced life when your child has special needs (2006).
KidsAbility-Waterloo site
Attendance free but pre-registration required because of limited seating.
Click on title for full details

March 29, 2007, in London UK
Mental Health and People with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Over recent years there has been a growing interest in autistic spectrum disorders. This conference will concentrate on the mental health issues, an area that is often neglected in other conferences. The day will offer an opportunity to hear from a number of experts in the field and will provide plenty of time for discussion.
People with autistic spectrum disorders are vulnerable to developing mental health problems and the conference will explore issues of assessment, intervention and service delivery. People with autistic spectrum disorders span the range of intellectual functioning and some groups may fall between services, the issue will also be discussed.
Click on title for details

Thursday March 29, 2007
, 1-3 pm, in Toronto
Seminar Series on Community Based Research
Audrey King, Hazel Self and Karen Yoshida on
Consumer Participation: The Value of Relationship in Teaching and Research
Location: School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, 99 Gerrard St. E,5th floor, SHE 560
Click on series title for more.  To Register:  e-mail mcnabbn@mcmaster.ca
This FREE seminar series is for you if you believe in the value of collaborative research and want to learn more from people doing it.  You will find this seminar of value if you are interested in:
  • learning from others who have worked to develop a genuine partnership between academia and community
  • are interested in learning more about ways that consumers/people with disabilities can collaborate with educators and researchers

March 29 & 30, 2007, in Ottawa

Autism Awareness Centre Inc. presents two workshops
CAROL KRANOWITZ: Functional Fun for the Out-of-Sync Child
KARI DUNN BURON: Understanding Social Cognition and Its Impact On Autism Spectrum Disorders
Click for full information and how to register
Visit the AAC website

Tuesday, April 3, 2007, 5-8 pm, at St Mary's High School, Kitchener
Community Connections in Waterloo Region
Information for persons with disabilities, families, professionals and caregivers.
Announcement also includes links for online guide to resources.

April 10, 7-9pm, in Guelph
Amy Baskin on Keeping Strong, Sane and Connected
Amy is co-author of More than a Mom: Living a full and balanced life when your child has special needs (2006).

KidsAbility sponsored--at Ignatius-Orchard Park
Attendance free but pre-registration required because of limited seating.
Click on title for full details

May 10, in London Ontario
Autism Ontario London Chapter presents
Temple Grandin at Centennial Hall, London
Click on link to reach information about admission prices.

May 23 – 27, 2007, Sheraton Centre Toronto

2nd International Come To Your Senses Conference

Opening the Sensory World to Children & Adults with Complex Disabilities

By MukiBaum Treatment Centres

Registration is now at http://www.sensoryconference.ca/ and you can take advantage of Early Bird rates.  There will be opportunities for you and your organization to exhibit, become a sponsor of the event and participate in a number of activities throughout the conference.

June 15 & 16, 2007

2007 Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference
Acceptance and Opportunities: See the Potential

A conference that will explore best practices and approaches for increasing quality of life, opportunities and independence. Save the Date! Friday, June 15 & Saturday, June 16, 2007 Toronto, Ontario
Member and Early Bird Registration discounts are available.
Keep an eye on www.autismontario.com for more information to be released in the coming months.

31 August, 1 & 2 September 2007, in Oslo, Norway
8th International Congress Autism Europe
Abstract submission, registration and further Congress information:

E-mail: president@autismeurope.org
Do not miss this opportunity to contribute to take part in ‘a World of Possibilities’ for people with autism and their families, view the 4th International Art Exhibition of Persons with Autism, and to visit Oslo and its charming surroundings.



Adam Feinstein's valuable website and autism news service.

Organization for Autism Research Guides
Valuable guides, which may also be downloaded fom the website.
A Parent’s Guide to Research
An Educator’s Guide to Autism
An Educator’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome
A Guide for Transition to Adulthood

From the overview of the Transition-to-Adulthood process, with an emphasis on:  

  • The importance of early planning beginning no later than age 16 years and, at times, as early as age 14 years (or younger).
  • The importance of collaboration between the transitioning individual, their family and friends, interested community members, the schools' professional staff, and representatives from adult service systerms in the transition to adulthood process.
  • The importance of community-based instruction in the development of skills associated with a more independent adulthood.
  • The fact that individualized, effective transition planning is effortful and time consuming but, when done well, a fulfilling life as an adult is possible.

Review of Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone (Qualitative Studies in Psychology) 
by Douglas Biklen et al. NYU Press, 2005. Review by Sue Bond on
Jan 23rd 2007.
"The co-authors of Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone are not academics nor clinicians, but seven people labeled as autistic who provide the core of this book. Together with Douglas Biklen, they have produced an immensely readable, well-written, enlightening and humane text...."
"Biklen starts with ... the premise that autistic people are 'thinking people with ideas about their lives and their relationship to the world', which he calls a 'presumption of competence'. This valuable book shows the importance of this presumption, and its application."

Click on title to read the full review.




News about adults with autism is usually negative. We receive many appeals for advice on where to turn for help--with diagnosis and assessment, advocacy, planning for the future, alternatives to approaches that are not working. There are virtually no obvious sources of help for isolated adults with autism and their caregivers.

We know that some adults and their families and caregivers are heroically using what resources they have to achieve some successes with their challenges. Some can report remarkable progress. We invite you, as an adult or caregiver living with autism, to share your perceptions, problems and success stories, if you think others might help or benefit.