ONTARIO ADULT AUTISM 
RESEARCH AND SUPPORT NETWORK 
NEWS BULLETIN
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.

 

NEWS BULLETIN
28 July 2003

OAARSN NEWS AND COMMENT

Please note the wealth of news, announcements and other links in our weekly OAARSN News Bulletins that are archived on our website. Click for the list of earlier OAARSN bulletins
or find the most recent: 
June 19, 2003
June 29, 2003
July 12, 2003
July 21, 2003 
 
 

Click for the latest  ASPIRE update

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AUTISM IN THE NEWS

CANADIAN NEWS

New Brunswick parents protest holding of autistic man
A 21-year-old man, who was ordered placed in Centracare in March by the Department of Family and Community Services, is said to have deteriorated to the point where he is a shell of his former self. 
PLEASE NOTE THIS APPEAL FROM NEW BRUNSWICK:
Contribute to the fight for Waleed's release by emailing your name and address to Nancy Blanchette, a director of the Fredericton Autism Center for Education at nancybl@rogers.com. Your name will be added to the growing list on the petition. The goal is 1000 names by Tuesday (two days from now!) when it will be presented to the Minister of Family & Community Services on the floor of the Legislature by the opposition critic.  Thank you for your continued support of our east coast causes!  Please don't delay!

Heartbreak and Joy
Canadian Living magazine's website now carries various articles published in its March 2003 issue by Pam Harrison, who writes:  "As the rates of autism soar, more Canadians are discovering the roller-coaster ride of parenting a child with  autism. The good news is that discoveries in genetics, nutrition, psychiatry and education are all adding  pieces to the autism puzzle." There are stories of the Del Duca family in Windsor, Maureen Bennie and her children, and Michele Dawson (41) of Montreal who has autism. Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention is stressed. 

"My brother is my best friend"
The heartwarming story of an autistic boy and his champion -- his nine-year-old sister -- in Ottawa.
 

GENERAL AUTISM NEWS

Predicting Autism
Newsweek's account of the new research, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, that links the condition to abnormally rapid brain growth during infancy and raises new hopes for diagnosis and treatment.

Autism cases rise, but the reasons may not be all negative
An article about the apparent prevalence of autism.

'Pointing and showing' problems for autistic children
Research findings could be important for understanding early language and communication problems.

Ways Around Disorder
Growing numbers of parents, scientists finding avenues to reach autistic children. From the Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Breaking the Silence
The transcript of the CBS airing on 60 Minutes II of the story of Tito's remarkable success in communicating, though he does not speak, and his mother Soma's Rapid Prompting Method.

Struggle for Understanding
Set apart by their odd habits, people with Asperger syndrome may have vast amounts of knowledge but few friends. They just want others to know why.

Highs and lows on a wild ride with Josh
By his father in Scotland.

All about Andrew: How an 8-year-old boy is fighting autism 
A detailed story from Pennsylvania.

ABA success story from Nebraska

Autistic man's plight prompts outpouring
Another story about the Philadelphia man of 63, whose father left $1.2 million (US) for his support but all was lost through the alleged fraud of the executor.

Nicky has Asperger's and a special talent
Nicky (15) has been drawing locomotive profiles and pictures since April 2000. See:
Link 1   Link 2   Link 3 

Harry Potter helps autism
An enterprising internet community of Daniel Radcliffe fans from across the world have come up with an innovative way of celebrating the Harry Potter starís birthday. Instead of sending the actor a present, the organisers of Danradcliffe.com website are making donations to the National Autistic Society in the UK to mark Danielís 14th birthday on 23rd July. By donating online, at www.justgiving.com/danradcliffe, Danielís fans can play a part in the birthday celebrations, from wherever they live in the world. Daniel has already shown his support for autism by taking part in an educational DVD for people with autism that enables them to read human emotions more easily.

A right royal private embarrassment
The story of Prince John (1905-1919), youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary, who had epilepsy and mild autism, is central in The Lost Prince, a new two-part dramatization for TV by Stephen Poliakoff. 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EVENTS OR SPECIAL PROJECTS

See details of more events on OAARSN Bulletin Board and Calendar, and 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

July-August 2003
CYCLE FOR AUTISM : Help Solve the Puzzle 
Beginning on July 5th, 2003, John Keating and Luc Vandeermeeren, both fathers of children with autism Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), embarked on a bicycle journey from one end of Canada to the other. They began the cycle in Vancouver, British Columbia and will end in Halifax. It will take them 8 weeks to complete this journey. The 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. Fundraising events in various cities across Canada will also increase public awareness. Please click for the Cycle for Autism website to find out about local events in other Ontario cities and encourage your out-of-town family and friends to get involved in their own communities. 

Special events in Ontario cities include:

1. Metro Toronto Chapter's Beach Volleyball tournament on Friday, August 8, at Ontario Place (South Beach) to mark the occasion and raise some funds. The event will offer fun, fitness, and  refreshments. If you are interested in contributing to this event or registering a team, please contact Kim Taylor at taylor@rogers.com 
Registration is at 3:00 - Volleyball from 4pm-9:30pm - Dancing until 1am. Your registration fee covers all you can eat BBQ!  Visit http://www.asotoronto.org/events.htm for more information.

2. Oshawa, Saturday, August 9th: 8-km pledge ride, followed by the picnic at Lakeview Park.  PLEASE come out and support Cycle for Autism, whether by cycling with John and Luc, or even just showing up at the picnic for a couple of hours.  There will be great food, great entertainment, and great children's activities available, so it won't even be like a sacrifice!  It's open to the public, so ask all your family, friends, and neighbours to come too. 

3. Ottawa on Saturday August 9th at 7:30 p.m. and on August 11. Full details were posted in the OAARSN Bulletin for July 21. 

4. First ever Autism Day on September 7, 2003 at the Toronto Skydome at 1:05 pm. The Toronto Blue Jays will be hosting the Detroit Tigers. This is a family day and the bargain-rate tickets are available through the Autism Society Ontario Provincial office at up to 40% off regular ticket prices. This is not a fundraising event for ASO, and any proceeds earned through ticket sales will be directed to ASD research in Canada and to support families living with autism. We hope to wow the folks at Skydome with amazing ticket sales that show tremendous community support for these children and their families. Orlando Hudson, Blue Jays Baseball star, is thrilled about the event and hopes to be part of the pre-game activities on the field with Cycle for Autism dads Luc Vandermeeren and John Keating and their families. There is already an ad announcing the game and support for autism on the electronic billboard at Yonge and Dundas in downtown Toronto. Check it out! Invite everyone you know to buy tickets and show support for families living with ASD. The attached info can also be found on the ASO website under What's New? www.autismsociety.on.ca
 

Other Events

Kerry's Place Autism Services: Workshops in Central West Region
July-December 2003  Click for more information about all these events
Events are free and most will be held in the KPAS Resource Centre in Brampton, unless otherwise stated.

ASO Wellington Chapter announces
Wednesday 27 August: Family Fun Day at Sportsworld Waterpad, from 2 pm.
Call (519) 822-0279 for more information and to reserve tickets.

The McMurray A.R.T.S. Center & Autism Arts are aware of the many individuals throughout the world dedicated to improving the lives of individuals who are affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder. These advocacy challenges include increasing awareness and understanding of this disorder to the broader community, creating more opportunities in research and medical treatments, and increasing the availability of educational and community based supports. In assuring that individuals affected by this disorder can have the best possible opportunities to achieve a fulfilling life, conferences offer an opportunity where the communications among parents, educational, and medical advocates can secure improved treatment options and hopefully, one day find a cure. 
To show our appreciation of the passionate endeavors of advocates throughout the world, we are initiating a special contest -- the Autism Arts Conference Connection (AACC), where winners may select the conference they wish to attend. DEADLINE: September 1, 2003 [no cost for submission] 
http://www.autismarts.com

Guelph Services for the Autistic announces PATH workshop
Tuesday, September 9 in Guelph
PATH workshop for family representatives, to explain how a facilitated exercise in PATH: Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope can help families, with their sons or daughters with autism and their friends, to plan a good life now and a more secure future. More information may be found on the  ASPIRE page
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ISSUES AND ADVOCACY

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

Nancy Cherry's campaign to find or develop a tracking device system for Ontario persons with ASD
Nancy, Waterloo advocate and mother of two teenagers with special needs, invites other parents and advocates to join her efforts. This story from FamilyNet.

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HELPFUL RESOURCES

Finding the Way was started in January 2003 by parents who understand how overwhelming it is when a child is diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and wanted to fill a void, to provide support, and assist parents and service providers in getting ready to participate in therapy. They have created a number of communication tools and Applied Behavioural Analysis products that will assist parents and professionals to understand and communicate with their children.

Children with Special Needs
A new web page is intended to assist parents and caregivers seeking information about services funded and/or provided by the Ontario government for children with physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, medical problems or those who need specialized services to participate in daily living activities.

New Child Disability Benefit (CDB)
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has announced the implementation of the new Child Disability Benefit (CDB) for children who have a severe and prolonged impairment. The first payment of the CDB supplement will be issued with the March 2004 Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) payment and will include a retroactive amount from July 2003 to March 2004 inclusively. 
The CDB is a tax-free supplement, for eligible recipients, to the CCTB and the Children's Special Allowance. It helps families with the cost of caring for children under the age of 18 who have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment. The CDB will provide up to $133.33 a month in financial assistance for each eligible child.
The CCRA will automatically calculate and include the CDB in the payment in March 2004 for families who have already submitted Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate. They will not have to complete any other forms. 
If you receive the CCTB for a child with a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment but have not submitted Form T2201 on behalf of that child, please complete the form, get it signed by a qualified person, and send it to your local tax centre.
To find out if your child is eligible for the CDB, please see the eligibility conditions outlined on Form T2201. Families with an eligible child who have not submitted Form T2201 are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to prevent delay when payment of the supplement becomes effective.
To get a copy of Form T2201 and for more information about the CDB supplement, the conditions for eligibility, and how to apply, visit the CCRA's Web site at www.ccra.gc.ca/benefits, or call the CCTB enquiries line at 1-800-387-1193.

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FROM THE FRONT LINES: 
CALLING FOR HELP AND SHARING EXPERIENCES

News about adults with autism is usually negative. OAARSN receives 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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