20 October 2008

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Forgotten: Autism Ontario Releases Discussion Paper
on Needs of Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Ontario has a "piecemeal" approach that must be dramatically changed to support the estimated 50,000 adults suffering from the developmental disorder, an advocacy group said in a discussion paper released last week. The report entitled Forgotten is the result of a partnership led by Autism Ontario and says the government needs to form a framework to support the estimated 50,000 adults with ASD (and their families or caregivers) with educational, employment and social opportunities, as well as supported living options.

At the press conference to launch the report, Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur is quoted as saying that many concerns included in the report are being addressed by the Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, or Bill 77, which received royal assent the previous week. "I look at their recommendations and quite a lot of the recommendations are the same recommendations we had when we did the review in preparation of Bill 77," Meilleur said. She said the ministry took the recommendations "very seriously" and would study them and come back with an answer "sooner rather than later." The act would eliminate the low-intelligence criteria to receive funding, she said.

For the Partnership, Co-chair Howard Weinroth responded that the act is a step in the right direction.
"There are a lot of questions that still remain," Weinroth said. "There's a lot that isn't in Bill 77 to address our concerns."

Link to read the full report: Forgotten: Ontario Adults with Autism and Adults with Aspergers
Report in Globe and Mail, 16 October 2008
Article in The Star

Ontario Passes New Legislation for People with a Developmental Disability

Passed on 30 September 2008, The Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 replaces the 35-year-old Developmental Services Act, which provided services mainly for people living in government-run institutions.

Click on this link to read the news release, widely relayed in the media, here in The Globe and Mail's Report on Business:
More Independence And Choice For People With A Developmental Disability

Read our review of the legislation and the process of amending it over the summer.



Autism genes can add up to genius
Jonathan Leake in The Sunday Times UK
Some people with autism have amazed experts with their outstanding memories, mathematical skills or musical talent. Now scientists have found that the genes thought to cause autism may also confer mathematical, musical and other skills on people without the condition. The finding has emerged from a study of autism among 378 Cambridge University students, which found the condition was up to seven times more common among mathematicians than students in other disciplines. It was also five times more common in the siblings of mathematicians. If confirmed, it could explain why autism - a disability that makes it hard to communicate with, and relate to, others - continues to exist in all types of society. It suggests the genes responsible are usually beneficial, causing the disease only if present in the wrong combinations. “Our understanding of autism is undergoing a transformation,” said Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the autism research centre at Cambridge, who led the study.

People With Autism Make More Rational Decisions, Study Shows
People with autism-related disorders are less likely to make irrational decisions, and are less influenced by gut instincts, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust. The study adds to the growing body of research implicating altered emotional processing in autism.

Carly Fleischmann: Helping to Redefine Autism
The inspiring story in CASLPO TODAY, official publication of the College of Audiologists and Speech-language Pathologists of Ontario, about Carly Fleischmann who at the age of 13 showed her intelligence and ability to communicate despite not being able to speak.


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


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

Friday, October 24-Saturday, October 25, 2008
Organization for Autism Research hosts its
Sixth Annual Applied Autism Research and Intervention Conference
at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, VA.

Read all about Day One.
Click for information and early-bird registration

25 October 2008, 8:30-5pm, in Pickering
Hiring Support Workers: First Steps
an all-day workshop presented by Judith McGill
for Families for a Secure Future
Click for full details and how to register

November 10, 2008, in Toronto

Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services,
Employer Outreach Secretariat:
Symposium on Disability and Employment

Contact: Tim Hilliard

Email: tim.hilliard@ontario.ca

3rd Floor, Hepburn Block

80 Grosvenor Street

Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9

Tel: (416) 325-5352

FAX: (416) 212-4704

E-mail: employeroutreachsecretariat@ontario.ca

Employer Outreach Secretariat contacts: http://www.infogo.gov.on.ca/infogo/office.do?actionType=telephonedirectory&infoType=telephone&unitId=UNT0027984&locale=en

Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 4:30-6pm, in Kitchener
Social Innovation Generation, at the University of Waterloo (SiG@Waterloo, www.sig.uwaterloo.ca), invites you to
Social Innovation Dialogues: Fall 2008
Frances Westley & Paul Born (SiG@Waterloo and Tamarack)
"Systems Change: Thinking like a Movement"
Venue: Kitchener Public Library, Main Library, 85 Queen Street North, , ON
THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. PLEASE RSVP BY EMAILING info@sig.uwaterloo.ca OR CALLING 519 743 0271 ext 255

November 12-14, 2008 in Niagara Falls ON
National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) 25th Annual Conference: 
"A Quarter Century of Awareness: Assessment, Treatment & Policy Advances (ID/MH)"

At the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel,
Niagara Falls, ON, Canada.
At the end of the conference, participants will be able to:
• Cite advances in the field of co-occurring MH/ID;
• Recognize the genetic underpinning of several MH/ID disorders;
• Identify to relevance of the DM-ID to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with MH/ID;
• Name several integrated system responses that have developed in Canada and the US;
• Interpret relevant integrated research that can be generalized to other individuals with MH/ID issues.
To learn more information about this event, please visit:

November 18, 2008, 7-9pm, in Waterloo (at KidsAbility)

All About Me: an Advocacy Seminar/Workshop
Presented by Beverly Grant.
Also on April 28, 2009

Click for full details and how to register

November 17-21, 2008, in Ottawa
Global Forum for Inclusion and CACL 50th Anniversary Conference
CACL (Canadian Association for Community Living) is co-hosting a Global Forum for Inclusion and celebrating its 50th Anniversary November 17-21, 2008 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario. The Global Forum consists of an international gathering of self-advocates and families, Inclusion International’s General Assembly, an International Conference on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Study Tours on Inclusive Practices in Canada and the US. CACL’s 50th Anniversary conference will celebrate the last 50 years and look at next steps needed to address the remaining challenges and barriers to the full inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Join with people from around the world to transform rights into action and make inclusion a reality for all!
To register for the Global Forum for Inclusion visit: www.inclusion2008.com
To register for CACL’s 50th Anniversary Conference visit: www.cacl.ca

advance announcement....

26-28 February 2009, in Herning, Denmark
Meeting of Minds 3, 2007.  a Conference on Autism:

 a multidimensional approach - research and practice

For researchers, parents, professionals, people with autism, and others with an interest in autism and related disorders. Meeting of Minds is a concept which brings different mindsets together. The 2009 conference centres on issues in areas such as the medical, the educational/psychological and quality of life

This conference will build on the phenomenal success of the 2007 International Conference "Meeting of Minds 2" that brought together professionals, families, carers and people with ASD from all over the world. The first Meeting of Minds conference on autism and related disorders was held in 2003 in Copenhagen. The organizers’ vision for the conferences is to impart research based knowledge and establish an atmosphere for the exchange of knowledge between researchers and professionals in the field of autism and related disorders.

Plenary sessions will be presented by the following keynote speakers:  

·        Lorna Wing, Dr., NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism

·        Judith Gould, Director, NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism

·        Elkhonon Goldberg, Professor, New York University School of Medicine  

·        Christopher Gillberg, Professor,  University of Gothenburg  

·        Gary Mesibov, Professor, University of North Carolina (to be confirmed) 

·        Rita Jordan, Professor, University of Birmingham  

·        Mohammad Ghaziuddin, Associate Professor, University of Michigan  

·        Per Hove Thomsen, Professor, University of Århus

·        Maria Råstam, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg

·        Richard Mills, Research Director, Research Autism/National Autistic Society

·        Olga Bogdashina, Visiting lecturer, University of Birmingham

·        Eva Billstedt, Dr., University of Gothenburg

·        Holger Kallehauge, Retired High Court Judge, Disabled Peoples Organisations

·        Kjeld Høgsbro, Professor, University of Aalborg


Further details on the conference, including the full programme can be accessed via the website www.meetingofminds.dk where online booking is now available.



Link for the latest issue of TAP: The Autism Perspective
"The Autism Perspective magazine was founded upon the passionate philosophy that those living with and treating Autism should have a resource that presents the full perspective of options available to inspire us and make every person feel a little less alone in its struggles, hopes and dreams.
"The Autism Perspective, is poised to achieve this goal, to bring a world-class on line publication filled with balanced, cutting edge, informative and educational articles from across the country and the world free of charge.
"You’ll find inspirational stories, new therapies and treatments, personal accounts and advocacy advice. Our goal is to enrich and enhance the lives of those living with autism and offer new sources of hope.
"The Autism Perspective is read by people across the
United States and in over 15 countries.

Announcement of a book series: The Picture Cookbook
No-Cook Recipes for the Special Chef (4 books)

Autism Speaks' Family Services Releases
Aging with Autism DVDs

Autism Speaks' Family Services department is proud to announce the release of a DVD series from the Aging with Autism: Defining the Future conference presented by Developmental Disabilities Institute, Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, and The Eden II Programs. With the permission of the conference presenters, Autism Speaks recorded many of the sessions so that the information could later be made available to families and caregivers who did not have the opportunity to attend. The DVDs provide information on topics ranging from housing and transition issues, to sexuality and employment. Students and clients from Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism and The Martin C. Barell School in Commack, N.Y. are handling the reproduction of the DVDs.
Autism Speaks is pleased to offer these DVDs at no cost outside the price of shipping and handling. To view the available titles and to order the DVDs, click here.


www.childnett.tv offers short videos
including some about Adults and Autism
Autism and Mental Health http://childnett.tv/videos/mari/anxiety_and_depression_individuals_autism 

Sheri and Paul
http://childnett.tv/videos/stories/sheri_and_paul: A couple shares their personal thoughts on love and marriage in this touching portrait. Sheri Pearl and Paul Kiok speak candidly about their relationship and the feelings they were experiencing 3 months before their wedding. (11 min)

-  http://childnett.tv/videos/stories/burt : This film portrays a man who survived decades of inhumane treatment to become a person who enjoys life to the fullest.  The video is also the love story of Burt and Barbara. He is also a talented, self-taught musician and plays a few songs during the video, some of which he composed himself. (25 min)(An elderly man with autism speaks about his life)

 - Supportive job coaching for youth with developmental disabilities and physical impairments as filmed by the interns. ( 5min). http://childnett.tv/videos/services/summer_steps_2007

A Different Mind - Narrated by Simon Baron-Cohen, this trailer presents viewers with the opportunity to see and hear about the nature of Asperger Syndrome (AS) from children and adults with AS and their family members and teachers. (1 min)



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