2 January 2008

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

This bulletin is best read in Mozilla Firefox or Netscape. You may download Mozilla free from www.mozilla.org

See more about OAARSN at the end of this bulletin. Click for archived lists of links to past OAARSN news bulletins.

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.

Thinking creatively about new opportunities......
.... just published

Strategies and formal agreements developed by
Services for the Autistic in its role as housing trust

GSA has functioned as a housing trust since 1997, its mission to help adults with autism to live in their own homes with dignity and safety, supported by family and friends--and with self-directed planning, individualized funding, and infrastructure services as needed. Other families and organizations are interested in following the paths pioneered by GSA, so we have compiled this 120-page guide to the various agreements and procedures, with some explanatory text.

A new resource that is valuable for anyone who is trying to direct their own person-centred life, and for their families and friends.

  • Introduction, with glossary of terms   
  • Listening to the Person: supported decision-making agreement
  • Aroha: Incorporated Entities for Personal Empowerment and Support: with objects and bylaws
  • Guelph Services for the Autistic as housing trust: with objects and bylaws
  • Aroha in Practice: Agreement between housing trust and incorporated Aroha to maintain quality of life
  • How to Afford a Home of My Own: funding agreement with family lenders financing the home
  • Rights Recognized in Occupancy Agreement between housing trust and person as sole tenant
  • Homesharers Support Occupancy of a “Home of My Own”: Agreement with live-in caregivers
  • Holding Everything Together: A Whole Self-Directed Life: Personal Support Agreement, with strategies for quality assurance/continuous quality improvement
  • Index
Please click on this link for the flyer


What is autism? Beyond the symptoms and stereotypes
Donna Williams' "definition of autism has evolved through [her] experience as an autism consultant with hundreds of children since 1997 together with [her] own experience as a person assessed as a psychotic infant in 1965 at age 2 and later diagnosed with autism. In [her] view, autism is NOT ONE CONDITION and hence there is no one-size-fits-all approach which will best fit ALL people diagnosed with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Atomic Structure Of Proteins Altered In Autism

A new study by an international group of scientists describes in atomic detail a protein complex that is affected by genetic mutations implicated in autism spectrum disorders. The research team, including scientists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS), details the neuroligin family of proteins, which are encoded by genes known to be mutated in certain patients with autism. Their study will be published in the December 20 issue of Neuron.

Helping Police Officers Understand the Autistic

An autistic boy is discovered standing in the middle of a busy road, on his way to the beach. A young girl with autism outsmarts a number of locks, leaves the house before her mother wakes up and is found, naked but alive, in a neighbor’s pool. At a recent training for police officers here, both cases illustrated the often delicate task of dealing with people who suffer from autism, a devastating neurological disorder that often strikes in childhood and that impairs one’s ability to communicate and to relate to others. People with developmental disabilities, including autism, have up to seven times more contact with law enforcement officers than others....

Autistic adults learn about themselves by acting
A story about the theater workshop organized by the Autism Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey together with the College of the Arts at Montclair State University. The nine participants, ages 17 to 39 including two women and seven men with AS or HFA, travel as far as 75 miles each way to get to the weekly sessions. "The individuals who we see in our center are high-functioning, and often brilliant," says the founder. "They have passions and gifts, but they're not able to use them or to take more than a menial job. This could be a path to finding employment, social networks, roadways that would otherwise not be open to them, so then they can get a job in something they're really passionate about."



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


Sunday January 6 starting at
8 pm:
TVOntario repeats special TV-web event on autism (originally on November 18)
The evening begins with an in-depth documentary on the history of the condition and the latest research. Next is a feature-length drama based on a true story of a couple's challenges trying to find help for their autistic child.

The Autism Puzzle – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE 8 pm on TVO
ilmmaker Saskia Baron brings personal insight to this historical examination of autism. Baron's older brother Timothy was one of the first kids in Britain to be diagnosed with the condition in 1961, a time when autism was largely misunderstood by doctors and the general public. The film asks, Is there an epidemic of autism today, or has there been a change in awareness and the definition of autism in the 60 years since the term was first coined? Is there any connection to the infant vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella? The documentary also looks at current research into cause, treatment and prevalence, and explores the latest experimental research into the autistic brain in Finland, England and America. This show repeats on: Tuesday, January 8 at 10PM
by a true story, this moving film depicts the struggles of a couple to care for and communicate with their autistic child. Keeley Hawes and Ben Miles play the parents of six-year-old Kyle (Andrew Byrne), who can't communicate his fears. His mother Nicola has given up everything to care for her only child, and her fierce determination to break into Kyle's isolated world places an intolerable strain on her marriage. Into this setting comes Thomas, a golden retriever who opens the door to possibilities the family could have never imagined. This show repeats on: Monday, January 7 at 3:59 AM
Click for TVOntario schedule in January 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008, all-day,
with 7 half-day weekly workshops to follow
(Tuesday evenings or Wednesday afternoons)

Compassionate Practices: taking care of ourselves and each other
In Oshawa, led by Felicia Claire Jervis
Click on title for the brochure with full information

February 8-9, 2008 Edmonton, AB

Autism Awareness Centre Inc. presents

Dr Lucy Jane Miller PH.D, OTR: Sensory Processing Disorder: How Does It Affect Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders?
Dr Rita Jordan BSc. MSc. MA. PhD. C.Psychol.: Understanding, Avoiding and Managing Behaviours in ASD and, Interventions in Autism Spectrum Disorders 

Click for conference details and to register...

Tuesday February 13, 2008  7 pm - 9 pm

Dr. Kevin Stoddart, PhD, RSW

Youth and Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Psychosocial Issues and Interventions

Youth and young adults are increasingly coming to the attention of clinicians for assessment and intervention. This presentation will review the diagnostic criteria as it may relate to affected youth and young adults. Dr Stoddart has extensive experience in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders.  His focus for the last 15 years has been individuals with Asperger Syndrome.  He is Lecturer in Social Work at U of T and a national speaker on Asperger Syndrome.


Pre-registration is required.  Call 905-780-1590 or email:  rose_ann@autismontario.com
Workshop to be held at Loyal True Blue & Orange Home @ 11181 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill
Cost: $10 for members, $20 for non-members.
Contact: rose_ann@autismontario.com
NOTE: By registering and participating in this event, you are acknowledging that you may be contacted by Autism Ontario or one of its agents inviting you to participate in short surveys as part of the evaluation process for the RCP Program.
However, participation in these surveys is not mandatory.

March 10-12, 2008, in Delta BC
Changing the World One Person at a Time: The Canadian Experience
  • Share what’s been learned in Canada regarding the provision of
  • person-centred options that have been sustained over time
  • Provide inspiration, valuable start up knowledge and guidance to
  • individuals, agencies and systems beginning such work
  • Help organizations change from "fixed" service models to entirely
  • individualized supports
  • Explore the elements necessary for high quality personalized supports,
  • and the safeguards to ensure this occurs
Please click on title to reach website
Sponsored by Community Living
British Columbia, BC Association for Community
Living, Canadian Association for Community Living

April 3 & 4, 2008, in Ottawa
Autism Awareness Centre Presents Michelle Garcia Winner
Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME and Implementing Social Thinking Concepts
and Vocabulary into Our School and Home Day: A Day to Develop Team Creativity

Contact Victoria Harris for more information at vharris@shaw.ca
Telephone Toll Free 1-866-724-2224 or (780) 474-8355 Fax: (780) 477-8350

Register On-Line or download brochure at www.autismawarenesscentre.org

April 23-24, 2008
Stages of Autism: Adolescence and Beyond
2nd Biennial Conference
In Hamilton Convention Centre
Click for preliminary information including call for presentations

May 21-25, 2008, in Chicago
Recovery Rising - Meet the Strongest Gathering of Biomedical Presenters
Ever Assembled at an Autism One Conference
Parents.Doctors..Recovering children together
One Mission
Autism One
Autism One, a member of the Autism Collaboration (http://www.autism.org), the most experienced collective body of autism organizations worldwide covering all aspects of the spectrum, joins in celebrating the message that "autism is treatable and recovery is possible."
The Autism One 2008 Conference will bring together the most recent research and treatments in the most crucial biomedical areas:
-Oxidative stress
-Toxic burden and detoxification
-Immunological dysregulation and autoimmune activity
-Metabolic profiles, including methylation capacity and transsulfation

June 9-11, 2008, in Honolulu, Hawaii
International Conference on Diverse Abilities & Innovative Supports 2008
Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Community

Join us as we explore topics such as:
Dual Diagnosis * Direct Support Worker Issues & Solutions
Supervision & Managment * Clinical Issues
International Best Practices * Self-Advocacy/Independent Living
Autism/Aspergers * Employment * Caregiving
Find out more from http://www.lifelibertyandthepursuitof.com
Questions?  lifelibertyandthepursuitof@craconferences.com
1-888-542-8555 CRA, 373 JaMax Dr., Hillsborough, NC 27278

June 13-15, 2008, in Waterloo
International Conference 2008 presented by Laurier Centre for Music Therapy Research
Making Connections:
Exploring the relationship between music therapy and music education

Music Therapy keynote speaker, Dr Amelia Oldfield of the UK, is specialized with music therapy with autistic children. 
Pre-Conference workshop June 12, 2008
Click for full information



Richard Attfield of England is an advocate for the rights of people with autism to communicate.
Read his article in the latest issue of TAP.
Click on this link to reach the new online edition
(you must register)
Richard's article is in the Fall 2007 magazine, pp. 69-73, and is called
"And as we shed the tears we swore we would not weep."

New Dietary Website from TACA

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) announces their new Dietary website to help families with autism using dietary interventions. The site includes information on:  
  •   Dieting on a budget
  •   Menu plans
  •   Research articles
  •   New recipes
  •   How to get started
  •   Tips for picky eaters
  •   Where to shop
  •   Cooking classes
  •   Time savers
  •   Hidden dangers
  •   Ingredients and substitutions
  •   And many more…..



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.



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

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.

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