GENERAL AUTISM NEWS
A story about the University of New Hampshire's ninth annual Autism Summer Institute. The four-day conference, beginning tomorrow at Holloway Commons, is open to the public and will focus subjects such as how to help children with autism spectrum disorder do better in school and how people with autism can become more independent and improve the quality of their lives. The article includes excerpts of interviews with Donna Williams and others who were not diagnose until well into their adult years.
Raising Adam: when an autistic child grows up
The story of a Massachusetts man and his family. "Adam's 27 now, and (his mother) Nancy finds herself stepping toward the most major decision of her life. For parents with severely handicapped children, there usually comes a time where they've got to put their faith in another caregiver — when their "kids" have got to move to another living situation for everyone's sanity. Adam has to move on so that Nancy herself can finally live. He is so ingrained in her daily existence that she has little separation from him; and he is an integral part of his sister Sarah's and father Rich's lives as well."
Researchers now believe that autism can be caused by genes in combination with environmental triggers. The question is, what are those triggers? This review in The Boston Globe quotes Dr Martha Herbert, a Harvard neuroscientist and Massachusetts General Hospital neurologist, as noting that "any major article or proposal concerning the causes of autism is coming to be considered incomplete if it doesn't talk about a potential role of environmental factors." Herbert also argues that environmental exposures might not only help trigger autism, they may also continue to influence an autistic child's health and mental state, creating "striking good hair days and bad hair days." The mechanism may involve the immune system or brain chemistry or the body's metabolism -- or all three.
Is anorexia the female Asperger’s?
Professor Janet Treasure explains her controversial theory that eating disorders may be genetic and express some of the same symptoms as Asperger's. As Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, and head of the Eating Disorders Unit at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, she is seeking participants for a variety of research projects.
The Puzzle of Hidden Ability
Sharon Begley's column in NewsWeek discusses the futility of measuring autistic childen's intelligence in standard tests that require the child to listen and respond to spoken questions. Not surprisingly, fully three quarters of autistics are classified as having below-normal intelligence, with many deemed mentally retarded. "If we label these children as below-normal in intelligence, that is how they're treated," says Professor Laurent Mottron of Rivière-des-Prairies Hospital in Montreal, who leads research to develop an alternative intelligence test.
Researchers: New understanding of autism is near
Conference To Establish Autism Friendly Society
Smarter Brunei will be organising its 5th National Conference on Autism, entitled "Strategies toward Advocating an Autism Friendly Society". It aims to identify the type of services required and how the relevant authorities can take lead roles in establishing an autism friendly society, as well as to examine the steps required to establish support services in an autism friendly society.
Autistic adults get on-the-job experience
New Delaware program helps with skills for daily living and work. Productive Opportunities for Work and Recreation (POW&R) is viewed as a gateway to society for adults with autism spectrum disorders. Research before setting up this program found that 90 percent of the costs associated with autism care are incurred after the age of 21. At that point, the amount of state money available to autistic adults drops significantly. Much support comes from parent and family volunteers. Another Delaware initiative is Practice Without Pressure, which works with children and adults in medical settings so that they won't need restraint in order to give blood or undergo dental work.
Science Podcast: Toxins in the Food Web, Autism and the Synapse, Memory Suppression, and More [Listen to MP3]
Unexpected organic pollutants in mammalian and human food chains; how autism's roots may lie at the synapse; new insights on how the brain blocks out bad memories; and more. (26 minutes)
[Transcript of this podcast]
How Your Brain Allows You to Walk In Another's Shoes
The article in Science Journal begins:
"In subtle patterns of brain cells, researchers are exploring empathy -- an essential intuition that helps us understand our fellow human beings. These unusual brain circuits are mirrors in the mind that reflect the actions and intentions of others as if they were our own, new research has revealed. Scientists call them mirror neurons. They allow us to feel a loved one's pain, or suffer the pangs of appetite when we hear someone crunch into an apple. They are a reason we are moved by the images of art and can feel the appeal of characters in a book."....
_____________________________________________________________________________Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
"Spotlight on Transformation" bulletin for August 2007 is now available online.
Please note the focus of this bulletin on:
“More residential options for community living”
“A goal of
“Eligible individuals or their families, together with a service provider, can develop a proposal for an innovative residential model for their community. The proposal must be submitted to their local regional office of the ministry for consideration for funding.”
Click here to reach both Word and PDF formats together with links to earlier bulletins.
ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EVENTS
send submissions for
this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in
format by email to email@example.com with
"announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
September 14, 2007
SENSORY EXPERIENCE, RESPONSE & INTERVENTION
Offered by Regional Support Associates
Individuals with intellectual disabilities may experience sensory sensitivities or processing problems, which can impact on behaviour. This workshop will provide information about identifying and investigating sensory experiences and strategies to handle sensory challenges.
Cost: $50.00 Click for details and registration form
See info on all RSA workshops
Walk A Mile in My Shoes
A Community Outreach Event specifically intended to help people understand difficulties faced by those with differing abilities and to celebrate the diversity of our community. The walk will be led by Bill Hiltz assisted by his support team, and participants will be asked to truly walk in his shoes by walking behind him all the way. Bill faces many challenges and strongly advocates for a life full of community and true inclusion for everyone. Bill would like other people to be able to experience what life is like when a person faces differing challenges.
Participants will be asked to pair up with someone and each couple will randomly choose the challenge that they will live with for the walk. Funds will be directed to Reach for the Rainbow; an organization that is committed to promoting an environment where children with disabilities can mature with their peers; one which encourages awareness and compassion and allows people with disabilities to discover their full potential. Their commitment is to belonging; to ability, not disability; to inclusion, not segregation.
Registration fee is a minimum pledge of $10.00 begins at , festivities at and the walk begins at . Refreshments will provided for participants. Come one, come all. Tell your friends. This promises to be a day of sharing new experiences; laughter; music; good food and great company!
More details and contact information are being posted on the website: http://inmyshoe.ca/
September 27 & 28, 2007, , in
AIMING HIGHER FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGHER NEEDS!
Offered by Regional Support Associates
People with higher developmental needs (severe disabilities) make up a smaller portion of those who receive support in our field, yet are often those who demand the lion’s share of resources. This session will seek to help caregivers Aim Higher with respect to the famed “Three ‘S’s” of support for the person with higher needs. Discussion will centre on understanding what constitutes higher needs, tips for helping people move toward independence, providing an enhanced environment, and avoiding potential difficulties.
Cost: $100.00 Click for more and how to register
See info on all RSA workshops
September 29-October 2, 2007, in Kitchener
A Comprehensive Biomedical Treatment Approach
Conference for Autism, PDD, AD(H)D, & Behavior Disorders
Offered by the Great Plains Laboratory
For parents, care givers, educators, and practitioners. The goal is to improve the health and well being of individuals using integrative medicine and, in particular, biomedical treatment options.
An excellent opportunity for those seeking evidence to support the use of various biomedical treatment options. We will be discussing the role of nutritional deficiencies and supplements, special dietary interventions, food allergies, heavy metal toxins, enzyme deficiencies, inborn errors of metabolism, immune deficiencies, the role of micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract and more. In addition, several parents will be presenting their very different journeys of the treatments that helped their children recover.
Physician training is offered on Monday, October 1--for licensed physicians and practitioners only. The prerequisite for this training is day 1 and 2 of this conference or other biomedical training. All practitioners are encouraged to participate in the entire conference.
PROMOTING COMMUNICATION: A Speech-Language Pathologist Speaks Up on Every Day Encounters
PRESENTER: Aren Hutton, BA (Hons.), M. Health Sc., S-LP (C), Speech Pathologist
Offered by Regional Support Associates
Communication is the base of human interactions. Often, people with intellectual disabilities feel isolated due to their communication deficits. During this workshop you will learn how to identify your client’s level of communication in addition to some tips to encourage positive interactions during every day tasks.
Cost: $50.00 Click for flyer and to register
See info on all RSA workshops
12-13, 2007, In Edmonton
October 26, 2007, in Waterloo
3rd Annual “Learning Outside the Box” conference
Our topic this year is ASD with Marg Spoelstra and Leslie Broun.
Watch for more details to be posted during August.
November 15-16, 2007, in Trenton
Advocates for Community Education (A.C.E.)
4th Annual Self-Advocates Conference
Keynote Speaker: Dave Hingsburger
Click for full details
Contact: Angela Clarke, Outcome Support Facilitator
Special book offer by National Autistic Society (UK)
Profile of a Canadian adult....
Severe Autism, Denied Support: Struggling to Survive in the Mainstream, by Leonard Jayson and Marla Comm. Trafford Publishing, 2007. Paperback: 284 pp. ISBN-10: 1425116213 ISBN-13: 978-1425116217
"At age 3,
Marla Comm was professionally diagnosed with autism but felt to have
intellectual potential. Both parents had socially-conformist values, so
Marla's anti-social behavior was unacceptable. Verbally abused by her
she was disciplined to become a normal child. It was never to be; her
dysfunctional personality was not susceptible to change.
Pathways to Inclusion: Building a New Story with People and Communities
by John Lord and Peggy Hutchison
Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-55322-165-4 (2007 Forthcoming)
Approx. 270 pages, 500 g, 6 X 9, $29.50 (US$26.75)
Read more from the publisher
An examination of various perspectives on disability that provide insightful discussion on the current need for social innovation to move vulnerable citizens from areas of exclusion to social inclusion.
Pathways to Inclusion offers a straightforward approach to addressing the organizational strategies that have been used in the past and highlighting areas for change. Human-services organizations are examined, pinpointing common characteristics that have led to improved quality of life for the disabled.
Highlights of the book
Well-researched, with clear dialogue, and interspersed with insightful anecdotes, Pathways to Inclusion is designed to inspire change within both human-services personnel and the greater community.This text should be an invaluable resource to educators, advocates and practitioners in the fields of Disability studies and human services.
adults with autism is usually negative. We receive many appeals for
where to turn for help--with diagnosis and assessment, advocacy,
the future, alternatives to approaches that are not working. There are
virtually no obvious sources of help for isolated adults with autism
(Brian Henson copyright)
The early years of an autistic person are analogous to a morning with a beautiful red sky.
To that child, the splendor is there, but to others who have been culturally conditioned,
the red sky is taken as a warning of dire thing to come.
Why treat the beauty of the morning as a premonition, when the premonition, itself is just
that--a premonition--based on what others (often with no knowledge of the future) have said?
That is the intended message in the attached picture.____________________________________
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.
MORE ABOUT OAARSN
See our archive of past OAARSN news bulletins.
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
announcements and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org We welcome news items,
announcements of autism events, new information,
discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience.
Visit OAARSN's website and keep in touch through the OAARSN Listserv--send a message requesting to join to email@example.com