OAARSN offers a rich and expanding collection of up-to-date 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

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.


10 March 2003



The REAL "Rain Man":
On A Roll Presents Kim Peek as Radio Special Guest (Sunday evening, March 9)
Kim Peek was the inspiration for screen writer Barry Morrow's 1988 Oscar-winning movie "Rain Man" starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.  Kim, originally labeled as an "Autistic Savant" is now described as a "Megasavant" because of his remarkable diverse knowledge of 15 subjects and his total recall capabilities of most items read and heard since age three.  An autistic savant generally has two or three specialized subject areas. The Center for Autism at UCLA and several savant researchers believe he is presently "one of a kind." 
Since March of 1989, following the movie Rain Man, Kim and his father, Fran, have flown over 1 million miles, driven about 350,000 miles in the US, and have interacted with over 1,375,000 people, 950,000 of whom have been students. Kim's message: "Learn to recognize and respect differences in others and then treat them as you would like them to treat you.  This will help give us the kind of world we hope for.  Share.  Care.  Be your best."

Cousin Andy
A story about Andy Warhol by Clara Sturak in the Santa Monica Mirror. Warhol has been interpreted as having autism/Asberger's syndrome and the author's son is autistic.

Autistic adults seek treatment support
A story about a young woman who was sucessfully treated early, the Calgary-based Society for Treatment of Autism's plans for a new $3-million centre, and its year-long awareness campaign, Hope Through Treatment.

Autism up 1500 % in Michigan
One example of many accounts of increased prevalence in various states and regions.

Thimerosal and Autism
An article in the journal PEDIATRICS (Vol. 111 No. 3 March 2003, pp. 674-679) that considers current evidence that mercury at any known dose, form, duration, age, or route of exposure leads to autism.

An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS), National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)
Canada Communicable Disease Report, Volume 29 (ACS-1) 1 March 2003

Living with autism
Families show strength while juggling attempts at normalcy and needs of children stricken with lifelong brain disorder. A story from Jacksonville Florida.

Standing up for autistic kids
The fight to extend funding for ABA beyond age 6 in the greater Toronto area..

Mother sues to keep son's educational assistant
The mother of an autistic boy (now 11) is going to B.C. Supreme Court to ensure he gets the same (effective) teacher's aide at school. She has refused to let him attend school since August 2000. 

Early education helps autistic children. A California story featuring earlier intervention for Black autistic children.

Look who's talking
Sign language helps babies communicate

Focus on autism
The currently posted issue of Family Net includes several stories about aspects of autism in Ontario, including one about the Cycle for Autism.


See details of more events on OAARSN Bulletin Board and Calendar
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 
 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments 

new postings

Autism Society Ontario: Summer Student Scholarships
ASO is pleased to announce the ASO Summer Student Scholarship Program to start in May 2003. The Scholarships (minimum of two per year) will support individuals conducting research in any field related to Autism Spectrum Disorders. The $4,000.00 Scholarship is to be applied towards the summer stipends for the successful applicants. Supplementary funds for the student from the researcher are recommended to ensure minimum recommended summer student stipends at the university/clinical setting where the student will be working. To qualify, the student must be returning to University as a full-time student during the fall.
See more details

Thursday, March 20, in Guelph
Autism Society Ontario: Wellington County Chapter meeting.
Click for details

Saturday morning, April 12, 2003, in Kitchener: 
Planned Lifetime Networks-WWO
presents an Information Workshop:
Living with an adult with developmental disabilities?
Who can decide medical care, personal care and financial matters?
How are these decisions made?
Capacity Assessment and Substitute Decision Making with Elaine Atchison
More information and to register

April 25 and 26 (Friday and Saturday):
The London Family Network and Integration Action for Inclusion: London and Area are jointly hosting the Provincial Conference and AGM for both Family Alliance Ontario and Integration Action for Inclusion See more details of the conference program and a poster in PDF format.

June 20-22, 2003 in Vancouver BC
Vela Microboard Association of British Columbia announces the 
First Training Institute on Developing and Supporting Microboards
Learn more about:
-the intent and philosophy of Microboards;
-the  practical tools needed to develop Microboards; how to support and sustain Microboards; and
-how to assist in creating a healthy Microboard network. 
Please note that this workshop is for people outside BC who wish to set up a network of microboards, rather than a single microboard around an individual.
Cost for the weekend will be $1,000.00 Canadian (approx $700.00 U.S). This fee includes: the Institute; all related materials; on site accommodation for two nights/three days; and all meals from dinner Friday through brunch on Sunday. For more information or e-mail Linda Perry and look up Vela website

CYCLE FOR AUTISM : Help Solve the Puzzle
Beginning on July 6th, 2003, John Keating and Luc Vandeermeeren, both fathers of children with autism Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), will embark on a bicycle journey that will take them from one end of Canada to the other. They will begin the cycle in Vancouver, British Columbia and end in St. Johnís, Newfoundland. It will take them 8 weeks to complete this journey. They will stop in many cities along the way. Our goal is to promote awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and raise $1,000,000 in Canada for ASD research through an annual cross Canada Cycle for Autism. The Cycle will begin July 5 to August 24, 2003 with fundraising events held in various cities across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and St. Johnís. These events will not only raise funds but increase public awareness as well. Please click on the link above to reach the project's website which is now under construction.



See also: Funding Issues--in OAARSN Discussion Boards and Topics. Press the Communications bar on OAARSNís main page then choose Discussion Area



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.

We know that some adults and their families and caregivers are heroically using what resources they have to achieve some successes with their challenges. Some can report remarkable progress. We invite you, as an adult or caregiver living with autism, to share your problems and your success stories, if you think others might help or benefit.

If you wish, we will not publish your name or email address. You may send a message to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca for OAARSN. Or you might use the OAARSN Discussion Board, reached by pressing the Communication bar on our main page


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