8 June 2008

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Autism - The Past, The Present And The Future, Conference, UK
A major conference on the advances in autism research and practice is to be held on June 12th at Prior's Court, one of the country's leading autistic specialist schools near Newbury.
This year more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than diabetes, cancer, & AIDS combined. Increased awareness and diagnosis have brought a rise in the numbers with autism and today autism is thought to be the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the world with the autistic population in the UK recently estimated at more than 1 in 100.
- Keynote speaker, Professor Sir Michael Rutter, one of the world's most eminent figures in child psychology and psychiatry will give a presentation, entitled "Research into autism: accomplishments, puzzles and challenges"
- Professor Uta Frith, who translated Asperger's original paper, is acclaimed worldwide for her work on developmental cognitive disorders.
- Professor Anthony Bailey, renowned internationally for ground-breaking research into the causes of autism, will outline 'Developments in the neuroscience of autism'
- The Founding Principal of Prior's Court School Robert Hubbard will discuss specialist provision and interventional approaches
- Dame Stephanie Shirley, Founding Patron of Prior's Court and an influential figure in the autism field, will give the opening address.
Click for further information about Prior's Court

Permission To Spend Medicaid Money On Adult Autism
Pennsylvania has become the first state in the nation to receive the federal government's permission to spend Medicaid dollars on services that enable autistic adults to live more independently, Gov. Ed Rendell said Thursday. 
The state received approval earlier this month for a waiver from existing Medicaid rules to spend $20 million a year in combined state and federal dollars on home and community-based services for autistic adults.

Click here to peruse highlights of presentations at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in London in May
This annual gathering brings together scientists to report the latest findings on the causes and treatments of autism May 15-17, 2008.

MMR: The debate that won't go away
It seemed the MMR controversy had been resolved, but does new research point to another possible connection between autism and vaccinations?  The debate has been reignited in the US, with growing concern that an apparent increase in the number of children with autism may have an environmental cause (including MMR and other childhood vaccinations). A lengthy article by Cassandra Jardine in The Telegraph.

Good News In Our DNA: Defects You Can Fix With Vitamins And Minerals
University of California, Berkeley, scientists have found a welcome reason to delve into your genetic heritage: to find the slight genetic flaws that can be fixed with remedies as simple as vitamin or mineral supplements. Research reported in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that there are many genetic differences that make people's enzymes less efficient than normal, and that simple supplementation with vitamins can often restore some of these deficient enzymes to full working order.

College's autism unit hailed a success

Interface, based at South Tyneside College, was set up last summer to help students with autism improve their communication, problem solving and social skills. Five full-time students (aged at least 16) enrolled on the course, with several others accessing its facilities, and now the unit has proven to be a success.....

Quebec Grandfather builds browser for autistic boy
John LeSieur is in the software business, so he took particular interest when computers seemed mostly useless to his 6-year-old grandson, Zackary. The boy has autism, and the whirlwind of options presented by PCs so confounded him that he threw the mouse in frustration.  Mr LeSieur, from Saint Remi, Quebec, tried to find online tools that could guide autistic children around the Web, but he couldn't find anything satisfactory. So he had one built, named it the Zac Browser For Autistic Children in honour of his grandson, and is making it available to anyone for free. (from The Globe and Mail).

Autism: The Musical

A review by Maria Komodore in Greencine Primers.



The Dark End of the Spectrum on CBC Radio One: IDEAS with host Paul Kennedy
Episode 1 with Bernice Landry: Monday, May 26
Episode 2 featuring the story of Darius McCollum: Monday, June 2

Click for link to listen on your computer
CDs of both episodes may be purchased together for a basic price of $18.25, plus shipping and taxes.
Click here for details and to order

Report of National Autism Research Symposium, November 8-9, 2007
Part of a series of initiatives on autism announced by the federal Minister of Health, Tony Clement, in November 2006, the symposium brought together researchers, health professionals, educators, service providers, family members and persons with autism, as well as community organizations and government representatives. Held under the auspices of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, its purpose was to inform participants about the current state of knowledge on autism, to further the dissemination of ideas and to assist the research community in planning research.
In accordance with the symposium's goal of information sharing, the event provided an opportunity for a variety of individuals to convey their knowledge and views on a diverse set of issues related to autism. The opening evening, for instance, featured a group of speakers who shared their insights and knowledge on living with the condition - a young man with autism, the parent of a child with autism, and a prominent researcher in the field. The second day of the event offered an opportunity for participants to learn about the state of the science on autism, with presentations by twelve leading Canadian researchers. The symposium also featured break-out discussion sessions, through which all participants were invited to share their thoughts on many different aspects of the condition.
This report provides an account of these informative presentations, and discussions. While research on ASD in children predominated, OAARSN welcomes the inclusion of adult issues in several of the discussions (see Section 3: Dialogue on Issues related to Autism).


AutismConnects has recently developed an interactive Service Map allowing individuals and service providers to find available ASD services and information.
View promotional poster. [HTML] [PDF]

AutismConnects invites people with ASDs, their families and friends, educators, therapists, service providers, organizations, researchers, legislators and volunteers – anyone with an interest in autism and a desire to improve the health and quality of life of people with ASDs – to become a member.
View promotional poster. [HTML] [PDF]

Thanks to Autism Society Canada for hosting these posters.

The Ontario Partnership for Adults with Aspergers and Autism introduces its new website, and will be reporting at the Autism Ontario conference June 13-14--see below

Please visit www.autismontario.com/adults
Click here for information about Pam Button's water colour greeting cards.

Another Innovation in the Region of Waterloo accesswaterlooregion.ca
Each year seven community agencies, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and the Waterloo Region District School Board work in partnership to provide and promote the publication of the Community Connections Booklet and organize an Information Evening for People with Disabilities. This past spring the Committee, with Get Active Now taking the lead, successfully obtained funding from the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation to create this website.
This is a good place to post announcements and news of interst to people who live with special needs becasue of disability.
Send items to info@accesswaterlooregion.ca


It has become known this past week that there is no new money for the Passports initiative for 2008 in Ontario. This means those on the waiting list will not be considered and there will be no new individuals funded.  To stop funding a program that has been so helpful and yet so underfunded already is very worrisome. If you are concerned about the Transformation agenda and ensuring people have choices, consider supporting the event on 26th May and writing a letter to the Minister. 

Thousands of Ontario Families are supporting an adult at home with a Developmental Disability. In May 2007, the Minister of Community and Social Services announced a $200M budget for Developmental Services. Out of that budget only $9M went to people with developmental disabilities and their families to hire support workers to enable their child to participation in community life. The remainder of the funding went to the "revitalization of traditional agency infrastructure and wages." The Minister promised a "transformation" of developmental services to enable people with developmental disabilities to live more meaningful lives of independence and citizenship. Pouring millions of dollars into the old system and then allowing the largest provider of support in this province ‘the family’ to reach a crisis will not accomplish ‘transformation’.
The Passport Program, the only program that provides direct funding to persons with developmental disabilities and their families to hire support workers to enable participation in community life, has been devastatingly under funded. Across the province the statistics are available, in Toronto 400 families applied and there was funding available for 33 people. Our children are leaving high school at age 21 and ending up at home on the couch. Parents are quitting jobs and redirecting respite funds and retirement funds to hire support to insure their son’s and daughters have some meaningful daytime activities or are simply ‘safe’ at home on the couch.

Click for more information, including a model for a letter you might send to the Minister



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


Announcing Series of Events
PLAN Institute offers
Weaving the Ties That Bind
Online Training Course for Facilitating Social Support Networks
"Facilitated social support networks are an effective way to address the isolation and loneliness of many people living on the margins of our society. These networks (also known as “circles of friends”) are proven to contribute to the health, safety and well being of individuals who are vulnerable as a result of age, disability or social circumstance."
Click on title for details of availability and to register--for September, October, or November.

April 11 to July 13, 2008
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto is hosting an exhibit
Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember
organized by the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University
The 13-panel installation premiered in October 2007 at the ten-day Abilities Arts Festival in Toronto.

Learn more on the ROM website

A 60-page catalogue entitled Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember (2008), accompanies the exhibition. Written by the curatorial team and produced by the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University it will be available in soft cover for $30 (plus applicable taxes) at the ROM Museum Store and the Ryerson University Bookstore, 17 Gould Street, Toronto.


Announcing Individual Events

June 9, 2008,  from 7:45 pm at 267 Wychwood Ave. Toronto M6C 2T6
What has happened with the “Transforming Developmental Services in Ontario" initiative?
Haadd (HELPING  ADULTS WITH AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS) invites you to a meeting with speakers Carol Krause, Consumer Engagement Facilitator for the new Developmental Services Council and Tanya Weber-Kinch, a Senior Program Coordinator of the Developmental Services Branch, Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Click for more details and how to RSVP

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

Tuesday June 10, 2008, 8am-4pm, at The Grand Hotel, Toronto
Sexuality Workshop: “Better to be shocked now, and prepared later.”
Autism Partnership presents THE TALK The one talk on sexuality not to miss for parents and professionals of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
Dr. Parker is a behavioural psychologist who has specialized in Applied Behaviour Analysis for children, adolescents and adults with autism for the past 25 years. Dr. Parker lectures throughout the world and consults to numerous families and agencies. She is particularly known for her extensive expertise in social/sexual education and treatment for adolescents and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Cost: $175.00, Earlybird discount deadline extended to May 31, 2008
Register: 416-410-7125 EXT 32 OR email:  sshulhanautpar@aol.com
Tara Raimondo
Program Supervisor
Autism Partnership Toronto
(416) 410-7125 Ext. #27

June 12, 2008, 7-9pm, in Waterloo
Elizabeth Bloomfield on Looking Ahead to Adulthood
for the Waterloo County Chapter, Autism Ontario
KidsAbility Centre in the Library at 500 Hallmark Drive, off Davenport Road (from out of town you can use the University Ave or King St exit off the Conestoga Parkway)
Bloomfield is co-author of Creating a Home and Good Life of My Own:  Strategies and formal agreements developed by Guelph Services for the Autistic in its role as housing trust (2008).

June 13-14. 2008, in Markham 
Autism Ontario's Annual Conference - The Future is Now: Celebrating 35 years of Building Acceptance
Featuring: guest speakers and panels representing: The Centre for Dreams Inc a day program for adults, representatives from MCYS, MCSS, and MEDU, Ask the Behaviourist, a chance to hear from past recipients of the Eleanor Ritchie Post-Secondary Entrance Scholarship for Individuals with ASD, and more. This conference is suited to parents, professionals, and those connected to individuals with ASD.

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

June 16, 2008, all day, in Rexdale (Etobicoke)
Issues of Power and Control that Lead to Violence in Human Services
Click for flyer with details

June 17, 2008, all day, in Rexdale (Etobicoke)
Exploration of Fundamental Issues of Restraint as a Human Service Technique
Click for flyer with details

Sunday, 22 June 2008, 2-4pm, in Guelph
Sponsored by Autism Ontario--Wellington Chapter
Dr Joan Jory, registered dietitian and research nutritionist, presents an update on
The Importance of Micronutrients in Autism

Click for profile of Dr Jory
Everyone welcome
CMHA Board Room, Ignatius/Orchard Park Centre, on the northern edge of Guelph
5420 Highway North, on left, north of Wal-Mart and just past Marymount Cemetery
Click for map (please enter by main door on the north side).
No fee but preregistration is necessary.
Please leave a message at wellington@autismontario.com with "June 22 meeting" as the Subject and leaving your name and contact email or phone number. Alternatively, you may preregister by leaving a phone message at the Kidsability number: 519 780-0186 ext 300.

June 23-25, 2008

Summer Institute at University of San Diego
Autism: Work With Me, Not On Me
This unique conference brings state-of-the-art ideas from national and international speakers on how to better understand and support individuals who live with autism. Topics will include:
  • Rhythm, Relationship, and Communication
  • The Role of Movement Differences in Communication and Participation
  • Applying Dynamic Systems Theory
  • Communication Supports
  • Supporting Social/Emotional Development
  • Relationships and Relationship-Development
  • Sensitivity Training – Understanding the Lived Experience of Persons with the Autism Label
  • Relaxation Techniques and Yoga
  • Exploration in Using Rhythm as Accommodations
  • Panel of Individuals with Autism
  • Autism Hub Bloggers
Click for a poster

Toronto Summer Inclusion Institute 2008
Hosted by the
Marsha Forest Centre
Ryerson University
, Toronto July 12 -17, 2008
Click to view pamphlet
NB: Early Bird Special expires on May 31

Conference on Autism & Asperger's Syndrome
You and your friends can "attend" from your home or school via your computer---just as if you were there! You will even be able to ask questions of the presenters! Experts in the field of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome will be discussing the disability from a variety of perspectives. Presenters include Dr. Temple Grandin speaking from her new book, "The Way I See It: A personal look at Autism and Asperger's" and Dr Tony Attwood presenting - "The Complete Guide to Asperger's". In addition to these two internationally known speakers, Maria Wheeler will be sharing her expertise in behavioral strategies. Sheila Wagner. Author of "Inclusive Programming for Elementary Schools", and "Understanding Asperger's: Fast Facts" will speak on mainstreaming ASD students. Individual rates---$175.00 for both days---$95.00 for either day (group rates available) For more information contact Teresa Corey at 1-800-489-0727 or teresa@fhautism.com Website: http://www.fhautism.com

ISAAC 2008 - The 13th Biennial Conference of the 
International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

August 2 to 7, Montreal, QC
The conference theme is Leadership. Individuals who use AAC for their daily communication have increasingly taken on leadership roles in many different ways. Examples of leadership will be showcased as part of the 2008 conference program. 2008 is the 25th anniversary of ISAAC. They will be celebrating the history of ISAAC and AAC, which has changed enormously in the last 25 years, and will continue to evolve in the future. For more info visit http://www.isaac2008.org .

September 4-7, 2008

US Autism & Asperger Association presents
2008 International Conference in San Antonio, Texas
featuring Paul Shattock and Doris Rapp
Conference Theme: Treating Autism as a Medical Disorder:
Bringing Biomedical Treatments and Behavioral & Developmental Therapies Together

Click for overview and early registration

October 22, 23, 24, 2008, in Toronto
Autism 2008 – Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium
The Symposium will provide a cross-section of perspectives on the most recent research and information on evidenced based best  practice.  All topics of importance to autism intervention will be addressed including bio-medical and neurobiological research, ABA, intervention, social skills, behaviour, communication, first-hand accounts, Asperger’s Disorder, and more.  Featuring speakers from Canada, U.S., Great Britain, and Australia
Click here for program information
Along the right hand side are topics;  simply scroll through the schedule, and topics specific to adults indicate ‘adults’ in the right hand column, or click on the ‘adults’ topic at the top of the list.

For registration information, visit www.autism.net or contact Eva Finna at efinna@congresscan.com or 416-504-4500 ext. 208.



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 ebloomfi@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 ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca