What Does Waterloo-Wellington Region Most Need
For Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders?


If you have concerns and ideas about this question (and the questions below), you are invited to a discussion in Guelph on Sunday, April 2, 2-4pm, at Ignatius/Orchard Park, at 5420 Highway 6 North.

PURPOSES:

  • Discussion of priorities for adults with ASD, as a basis for advocacy and policy, with opportunities to share concerns and bright ideas with other family members and friends in our region.
  • Our discussion will also inform a special Colloquium being hosted by GSA later in April 2006, for representatives of parent support groups and agencies that do or might support adults with ASD in Waterloo Region and Guelph-Wellington.
Please let us know that you’d like to attend on April 2, by phone (519) 823-9232 or email gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca


AGENDA:
1. Some background questions and ideas, to think about before we meet:

- Should we support and advocate for total service for a few, or some level of support for many or most adults with autism?

- Should our efforts be focused on the most vulnerable adults with complex needs, or should they be diffused all over the spectrum?

- Do we recognize only funded and staffed models of service, or do we plan supports for the continuing involvement by family and friends in the lives of many adults with autism, including some with severe challenges?

- Is it possible to choose only one model of “best practice”, or do we recognize the wide range of combinations of abilities and challenges in our adults with autism?

- If we can’t achieve everything for everybody, what can we do that will improve the quality of life for the greatest number?

- How can autism advocacy organizations like Autism Society Ontario help? What can GSA and WWAS do?

- How does our advocacy for adults with autism fit with the general trends in advocacy for others with social, communication and developmental challenges How helpful is it to plan within the context of person-centred planning and self-determination, individualized funding, and collaborative efforts between informal supports (family, friends and community) and formal funded agencies.


2. Outline of services and supports now available for ADULTS WITH ASD, from two points of view:

a) What agencies now offer or might be able to provide (Nancy Cherry has produced some wonderful charts and lists for Waterloo Region, and we have equivalent information for Guelph-Wellington)

b) Person-centred approach, with supports designed for and with the person (charts and lists for Waterloo and Wellington)

3. If we can't do everything all at once, what specific innovations could start to improve quality of life for adults with ASD? We suggest that these two innovations would be cost-effective, to start with:

a) Brokerage/co-ordination of supports for to support person-centred planning and funding

b) Autism support centre in our region

Discussion of how these innovations could help with situations (based on real people) that we sketch at this link:

http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/colloq-stories.pdf

 
4. Bright ideas towards an action plan to introduce these innovations in our region......