28 January 2008

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Haadd: Helping Adults with Autism And Developmental Disabilities

announces new bursaries & grants for residents with autism
in the Greater Toronto Area

Haadd, a family based organization that helps adults with autism to establish meaningful lives and homes in their community, is pleased to announce
The Joseph Umbrico Bursary and Grant Programme
This programme has been developed in honour and memory of Haadd founding member, Joseph Umbrico who was deeply committed to improving the lives of adults with autism and their families.
Haadd welcomes proposals for bursaries from individuals on the autism spectrum for projects that will add to the quality of their lives.  Applications will also be accepted from non-autistic individuals for grants to assist in the development of projects designed to provide opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum. These projects may foster the development of interests and skills in areas which may include work, art, social and recreational pursuits.
Details regarding suitable projects, bursary and grant limitations, the selection process, and downloadable applications are available online at http://dante.med.utoronto.ca/haadd/
or may be requested by writing to:
14 Abbotsford Road
Toronto, Ontario M2N 2P7  
The first grants and bursaries will be awarded in the spring of 2008.


Thinking creatively about new opportunities
for person-centred and self-directed lives.......... 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 "Autistic Disorder" 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, concerned with persons who have other special needs, 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.
Contents: (click the links to reach an excerpt)

Please click on this link for the flyer



Chromosome flaw likely cause of small proportion of autism cases
Canadian Press version of a very widely carried news story)
Researchers have pinpointed a chromosomal abnormality believed to cause about one per cent of autism cases, a finding that fills in a small but significant piece of the puzzle underlying this increasingly common developmental disorder.

In a study published online Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists from the Autism Consortium report that a tiny slice of chromosome 16 is either deleted or duplicated in about one per cent of those with autism or related disorders. What's noteworthy is that in most cases the chromosomal abnormality was present in those affected by ASD, but not in their parents, suggesting that the deletions or duplications of DNA were not inherited but arose spontaneously.
Read The Globe and Mail version of this story, which describes a Canadian research project as well

Towson U. plans adult autism center
$50,000 has been given to Towson University in Maryland to start the Center for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The intent is to balance the emphasis in funded research on autism in young children and not on empowering adults during their switch from home life to independence. 
The center, to be housed within the university’s occupational therapy department, will need at least $300,000 more to fulfill its mission of conducting research on adults with autism, creating undergraduate and graduate classes on autism for students in health-related fields and providing outreach to families who need support. The center will start offering services in September and courses in 2009.

Adults With Autism

A story about Jeremy (20) who was diagnosed with Aspergers at 16. "I am trying to train myself to do things that normal people can do. I am trying to train myself to learn basic social boundaries. Basic social rules, social interactions, like personal space, topics of conversation," he says.

A Leg Up On Life: Adults With Autism Are Getting Help With Life Skills
A story about a new program to offer a comprehensive set of support services to adults with normal intelligence on the autism spectrum. Launched in the New Haven area in July 2006, the program serves 28 people, and state officials hope to receive more money to expand into the Hartford area this year.

Understanding Tito:
His mother taught him to write. Then the world met the person hidden inside the brain
The assumption, once commonly held, was that people at the extreme end of the autism spectrum needed to be locked away, unreachable, unable to perceive, much less communicate meaningfully, express complex or abstract thought or empathize. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay does. In a notebook, on a word processor or a computer, he writes. He writes his memories and musings, mostly about what it's like to be autistic, and often with a certain playfulness and wit. He writes poetry. He e-mails. He blogs. Tito, now 19, has just published his 3rd book, entitled "How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move? Inside My Autistic Mind." The article also explains the Rapid Prompting Method developed by Tito's mother Soma, to help her son focus his mind on what he wants to say.

Josh Harris, autism and the ambition to become a rabbi
Autism can severely restrict an individual's ability to communicate with the outside world, and that poses a big problem when it comes to effectively educating someone with the disability. Josh Harris, a young man with autism from the Orthodox Jewish community in Salford, has learnt this the hard way. But having been classified as what his mother describes as 'mentally retarded', he is now enrolled at a Yeshiva, a Jewish school for advanced religious studies, in his community.

Says Josh: "I want to become a rabbi because I feel mostly sad if religion was not my chosen life. When I complete my training I will begin the grand learning of torah (Jewish Laws) and mitzvot (religious obligations). Faith has affected my approach to autism in that I only see positives. Autism has influenced my training so that I just focus on things I am very capable of doing. Because of autism training it is sometimes harder but also much easier in many ways. It is easier because of my intelligence and memory."

With little official support, Carol says the community has made up the shortfall in other ways. "We are relentless in our search for ways to enrich his life and have learnt to take life a day at a time. We try to give him unconditional acceptance. We don't always succeed, but we have what to aim for."

UK campaign--think differently about autism--enters new phase
In February the campaign "starts to focus specifically on the issues facing adults with autism - including the desperate lack of services and support, which can increase the social isolation that adults face and have a huge impact on people's families as they struggle to provide care themselves. This next stage of the campaign will be called 'I Exist', and the research that backs it up is based on the largest ever survey of adults with autism in the UK.

A new report, think differently - act positively, based on a survey of over 2,000 adults from across the UK, reveals that many damaging misconceptions about autism still remain, with a lack of public understanding and awareness about what it really means to live with the disability. Whilst the report found that the public would be far more willing to engage with people with autism if they understood more about the condition, there remains a significant gap between these good intentions and the reality experienced by people living with autism. Please click to read more



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 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
Message from Michelle McIntyre, event organizer: "The first Stages of Autism: Adolescence & Beyond Conference attracted 300 parents, educators, service providers and healthcare practitioners from all over Canada and the US. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to attend a unique conference that will provide an open forum for discussion and cover a multitude of topics related to adolescent and adult Autism Spectrum Disorders."
Click for links to full conference information

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

May 27-29, 2008, in Detroit
“Everyday Freedoms”
International Conference of Center for Self-Determination
”Cutting Edge in a City with an Edge”
Detroit Marriott, Renaissance Center, Detroit, USA
Conference Highlights:
§                            Discussions about meaningful lives, real freedom
§                            Community membership, income asset & development
§                            Aging with dignity & freedom
§                            Recovery in the context of self-determination
§                            Families truly supported to best assist in developing self-determined lives
§                            International perspectives on these issues as well as discussions of what system change requirements are needed: what works and what interferes
Click for more information

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



Autism Tree Membership Website Provides Information and Support for Parents
"The Autism Tree website is now offering members an exclusive, continually updated and growing website with all of the latest Autism information and resources currently available. Autism Tree’s methods and strategies are written in an easy-to-understand language, and are both practical and effective in their implementation.

"The site itself was planned and drawn up using the feedback of 11,778 parents professionals, family members, and people with autism; subscribers to the “Essential Guide to Autism Newsletter”. Through surveys and other information collection techniques, the most important autism challenges were identified and Autism Tree is continually growing, providing information and resources giving practical steps that can help overcome those challenges and maximize the potential of a child or loved one with autism."

Book: Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach to Medical Treatment

by Bryan Jepson, M.D. with Jane Johnson. Sentient Publications, 2007.
358 pages. ISBN 1591810612
From the National Autism Association: “We're in the midst of a long-overdue shift in our understanding of Autism.  What was once seen as a mysterious, incurable mental illness is now being recognized as a medically treatable, whole-body disorder.”
Click for more details



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