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

See our archive of past OAARSN news bulletins.

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.


31 March 2003


Keeping the Balance
David and Faye Wetherow
As parents of children with disabilities, one of the vulnerabilities we face is the prospect of personal isolation, a thinning out of relationships to the point where our family’s circle (and ultimately that of our child) narrows down to service providers and 'others like us' – other families who have children who live with disabilities. 
Click for this essay about the vital importance of friends for persons with disabilities and their families



The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California
A scholarly exchange in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (April 2003) over the hypothesis that one factor in the increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorders may be "diagnostic substitution."
Commentary by Blaxill, Baskin and Spitzer who conclude that the "hypothesized  substitution is not supported by proper and detailed analyses of the California data. On the contrary, California continues to provide the strongest evidence for the explosion in the incidence in autism."
Response by the original authors Croen and Grether, who concede some of the limitations of their study.  

Childhood Vaccines Linked to Autism, Heart Disease
Findings of the study published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JP&S), authored by Mark Geier, M.D., Ph.D, President of  The Genetic Centers of America, and David Geier.

Spectrum of hope: Early diagnosis aids autism treatment
Read article in amednews.com: the newspaper for America's physicians. 
These are some of the projects and information sources referenced in the article:
PLAY project at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrician's Role in the Diagnosis and Management of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Children, May 2001
Article "Autism: A Medical Primer," American Family Physician, Nov. 1, 2002
M.I.N.D. Institute,  the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorder Institute at University of
California, Davis 

For Kolzigs, Fog Is Lifting at Last 
A Year After Son's Autism Diagnosis, Caps Goalie, Family Have New Perspective 

Eves shuts door on thousands of autistic children
Michelle Landsberg's column in The Star about the plight of Ontario children and families who cannot get government funding to continue Intensive Behavioral Intervention beyond age 6.

Proposal would give state [New Jersey] say in life-support decisions for disabled



See details of more events on OAARSN Bulletin Board and Calendar
See our archive of past OAARSN news bulletins.

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 

recent posting
Autism Society Ontario:Stimulus Grants for Graduate Study in Autism Spectrum Disorders 
ASO is pleased to announce Stimulus Grants for Graduate Study in Autism at an Ontario University to start in September 2003. The grants (minimum of 2 per year) will support individuals conducting research in any field related to Autism Spectrum Disorders and are offered to attract students to this field of study. 
See more information 

new postings

Kerry's Place Autism Services - Wellington County Update: March 28, 2003
Gail Hurren for KPAS announces that Jim Timmins has been the successful applicant for the one-year contract position of Autism Consultant in Wellington County.
Read the full announcement

Tuesday, April 8th, 2003. 7:00 p.m. in Richmond Hill
Gary Waleski, An Adult With Asperger Syndrome Talks About His Experiences
Sponsored by Autism Society Ontario ~ York Region Chapter

Understanding how the disorder affects the child and tips on how to effectively deal with children in your care. To help parents, teachers and EAs better understand and help facilitate the child's growth in school.
"I am an adult male living in Oakville, and am presently employed at Sheridan College, working on the telephone switchboard. I lived a challenging life, dealing with many hardships with many different situations, being different for unknown reasons and unable to fit properly in society. Ultimately, they were all learning experiences."
Gary is totally independent, works fulltime, has further career goals, does frequent public speaking presentations on autism/PDD. He has a large circle of friends, many hobbies & interests and leads a well balanced and fulfilling life.  Q & A session with Gary will follow his presentation.

Location : 11181 Yonge Street 3rd Floor, Richmond Hill,
Refreshments: 30 minutes before Presentation Start Time
Cost: Free to Member families, $ 10.00 for Non-members. 
Memberships available at the door, $ 30.00 annually

~ REGISTRATION REQUESTED PLEASE ~ by e-mail  asoyork@axxent.ca  by voice-mail: 905-780-1590
To avoid disappointment, please register so that we may ensure enough handouts, refreshments and seats. Those registered will be contacted should any workshop be cancelled due to low registration or poor weather. All parents and professionals welcome! 

April 16th, 2003 at 7:30pm 
Autism Society Ontario - Peel Chapter
Meeting at Peel Board of Education for a panel presentation on Adult issues and services related to Autism Spectrum Disorders. 
For more info call (416) 390-9193 or peelaso@sympatico.ca



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



The Portacom System has a new updated site with even more great visual support ideas for use with children and adults who have communication challenges. Our new site is much easier to navigate and has over 92 full color visual supports for use at home, school and in the community, as well as great resources for picture symbols. We invite all of our friends in the AAC community to check out this exciting new site, bookmark us for the future and please pass it along to anyone you feel may benefit from the great visual supports within.
Main site address http://www.portacom.bc.ca/
Our New visual supports page http://www.portacom.bc.ca/page3.html



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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