28 May 2007

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Read about why OAARSN was started and the tasks still ahead

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.

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Events in the Near Future

June 2 (all day) and four June Tuesday evenings, in Oshawa
The Heart of the Matter:
Compassionate Practices in Caring Relationships

An introductory seminar series with Felicia Jervis
Click for brochure

Saturday, June 2, 2007, in London
Treating Autism, PDD, AD(H)D and Behaviour Disorders
Biomedical Treatments That Make a Difference!
Mini-Conference at London Public Library - Beacock Branch
Click for full details and registration form


Sunday, June 3, 2007, in Toronto
3rd annual Toronto Walk NOW for Autism Speaks
at Nathan Phillips Square
Ken Moon of Brampton, a member of our network, will be a flag bearer.
The organizers expect about 5000 walkers and hope to reach half a million dollars in donations!!!!! 

Monday, June 4, 2007
.  Doors open at 6:30pm.  Debate begins at 7pm.
Sheraton Parkway Inn, Richmond Hill, corner HWY #7 and Leslie.
Three party political debate on autism policies in ontario
Organized by The Alliance for Families with Autism (AFA). Members of the autism community, the general public, all interested voters in Ontario and the media are welcome to attend.
MPPs participating in the political debate are:
Shelley Martel, MPP, NDP Critic for Health & Longterm Care and Autism Issues
Frank Klees, MPP, PC Critic for Education
Lisa MacLeod, MPP, PC Critic for Children & Youth Services
Hon. Kathleen Wynne, MPP, Minister of Education
Hon. Mary Anne Chambers, MPP, Minister of Children & Youth Services
For more Information, contact
Cindy DeCarlo (705) 737-0417 advocate.4kids@sympatico.ca
Sam Yassine (613) 229-4444 autism_yassine@rogers.com

June 15 & 16, 2007 (Early Bird Registration discounts available to June 5)
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.
Conference Registration Form

Preliminary Conference Details:




If you or your organization wishes to express support for this initiative, please do so this week!
This document, prepared by the Advocacy Committee of the Families Matter Co-operative, details a federal, provincial and territorial strategy for a comprehensive support system for all people with developmental disabilities. Such a strategy would affect municipal governments too. Everyone concerned with and for people who have disabilities, is invited to read the document. If you agree, please contact any organizations to which you belong who might express support to the Families Matter Co-operative by the end of May.
"With the
Ontario election scheduled for October, we want to distribute the document to the parties in June. We will then ask them to add the ideas therein to their platforms. We will follow a similar process with other parts of Canada with "Champions " leading the way there."
Visit the Families Matter website at
www.familiesmatter.ca where the email contact is  anne.toft@sympatico.ca  and the phone number 613 836-3782


Ontario Government Delivering More Support For Students With Autism:
Nearly $6 Million Being Invested In New Autism Initiatives To Help Students Succeed
The Ontario government is improving the learning environment for students with autism spectrum disorders by directing all school boards to provide Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced.
"All students with autism deserve equal access to this vital teaching approach that can improve their focus on individual projects and strengthen their communication with other students in the classroom," said Wynne. "We are implementing our plan to ensure students with autism receive the best education possible."


Dr Jeanette Holden:
A message from Margaret Spoelstra of Autism Ontario:

Dr Jeanette Holden is currently undergoing treatment in Kingston for acute leukemia (AML). She has given her consent to share this information. This news has been a shock to everyone who knows her professionally and/or her family's story as well. But she is in good spirits and remaining positive in the face of much uncertainty. She has already felt the "winds of good wishes blowing over to Kingston" and is grateful for the many expressions of kindness already received. She will remain in the hospital for many more weeks while she fights to get into and stay in remission from her leukemia. The days ahead will not be easy, and Jeanette welcomes your continued good wishes, thoughts and prayers.

We of OAARSN feel deeply for Jeanette and her family, especially her mother Ann and brother Jim (now in his early 50s). While Jeanette has been intensively concerned with doing and promoting autism research, she has a special interest in adult  issues because of Jim. To read her accounts of Jim’s progress with reading and speaking, please click on these links.

People have asking how they can express their support to Jeanette at this time. To that end, Marg offers a these suggestions:

  • Send a written note of support to Dr Jeanette Holden, C/o Ongwanada at 191 Portsmouth Ave, Kingston, ON K7M 8A6
  • Make a contribution to her garden. An idea that was germinated through colleagues and friends across Canada was to offer support to Jeanette through caring for and growing her dearly loved garden.  Dr Xudong Liu (staff working directly with Jeanette at Ongwanada) will coordinate all designated Garden of Hope and New Life plantings from Ongwanada. The contributions can be brought or sent to Ongwanada at 191 Portsmouth Ave, Kingston, ON K7M 8A6; Tel: 613-548-4419. Ongwanada has very kindly offered a place where they can temporarily store the plants, and these will then be taken to Jeanette's home to plant every other day.
  • Support for the Jeanette Holden Post Secondary Education Entrance Scholarship for Siblings of Students with ASD: As you know, Jeanette is a partner with Autism Ontario on many projects, committees and community research grants. But her ASD-related professional activities and support to so many families quite literally span the globe. In honour of her work, in 2003, Autism Ontario created a Sibling Scholarship in her name at the time of Autism Ontario's 30th anniversary. Over the last 4 years, we have had many Ontario students of brothers and sisters with ASD receive this award. The number of awards granted annually is based on the number of dollars contributed and the number of successful recipients identified.

Jeanette asked that we mention the scholarship fund, because it is deeply meaningful to her. If you wish to make a donation to this scholarship (a charitable receipt will be issued), please contact Ethel Berry ethel@autismontario.com to make those arrangements. You may also send a cheque to Autism Ontario and indicate "Jeanette Holden Post Secondary Sibling Scholarship". These funds will be directed specifically for this purpose. Should we receive more donations than we have scholarships to award in this year, those funds will be restricted for that purpose in subsequent years.

Details about the 2007 Scholarship may be found at this link on Autism Ontario's website www.autismontario.com  


Autism Canada needs your help

We are on the verge of launching our new website.  We are looking for pictures of individuals that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Basically these pictures will automatically change every 10 seconds with a caption below. The caption will have the first name of the individual, the date of diagnoses and the age the individual was when they were diagnosed.  The picture can be recent or older.

If you can help, please send a picture along with the individuals first name, date of diagnoses and age at time of diagnoses.  Send to info@autismcanada.org.

We are trying to put a face to Autism Spectrum Disorder.  We want people to be inspired and compelled to help.  Most people today know of someone that has been diagnosed with ASD.

Laurie Mawlam
Executive Director
Engaging, educating, empowering and uniting people to find the cause and the cure for Autism.

Read more on the OAARSN site at http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca
Please note the Search feature on the Main Page.

OAARSN welcomes discussion of ideas and topics related to adults with autism.
We support freedom of information and expression and encourage everyone
to try to see all sides of issues and to understand the viewpoints of others.
We do not endorse all opinions or interventions that we may report in this bulletin.

Please send news, announcements of autism events, new information,
discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience to

Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield



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.