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
23 October 2003

NEW CONTENT ON OAARSN'S WEBSITE 
 

Please note the wealth of news, announcements and other links in the weekly OAARSN News Bulletins that are archived on our website. Click for the list of earlier OAARSN bulletins
and find the most recent: 
June 19, 2003
June 29, 2003
July 12, 2003
July 21, 2003
July 28, 2003
August 4, 2003
August 11, 2003
September 7, 2003
September 26, 2003
October 6, 2003
October 12, 2003
October 17, 2003
______________________________________________________________________________________
 

AUTISM IN THE NEWS

Antibiotics linked to MMR and autism
"Antibiotics may be to blame for hundreds of children developing autism after having the controversial MMR jab, it has been claimed. More than two-thirds of youngsters with the condition received four or more antibiotics in their first year, a British survey has revealed. It is thought the drugs weakened their immune systems, leaving them unable to withstand the impact of the triple jab." 

The United States Autism Epidemic
An essay that argues that the higher prevalence of autism cannnot be explained simply by better diagnostic awareness. 

A Case-Control Study of Mercury Burden in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in
Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons vol 8 num 3 summer 2003
Read article in PDF format

The Challenge to Mass Vaccination
Where we are now with mass vaccinations. Report of the Online Vaccine Conference at Redflagsdaily.com that provides a comprehensive overview of the vaccine/autism controversy.

Patent awarded for Pancreatic Enzyme Therapy for ADD, ADHD and Autism
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has awarded Dr. Joan Fallon patent # 6,632,429 entitled Methods for Treating Pervasive Developmental Disorders and described as follows: "Dr. Fallon's invention employs the use of digestive and pancreatic enzymes for children with these conditions based upon the presence of a low level of chymotrypsin in the stool. Chymotrypsin is an enzyme secreted by the pancreas in an inactive form which becomes active in the presence of protein in the small intestines as well as a favorable pH. Without sufficient protein digestion, the formation of amino acids, the building blocks of new proteins, cannot occur. The lack of protein synthesis can underlie a significant neurological deficit in the child. Fallon's patent demonstrates that the administration of digestive and pancreatic enzymes produce profound changes in the autistic symptomotology including increases in social interactions, eye contact and speech and reductions in repetitive actions and hyperactivity. It further demonstrates changes in bowel habits including an increase in bowel control and formed movements."

No Rush to Judgment
Views across the 'autism spectrum' including references to the The Vienna University Pediatric Clinic's Heilpadagogik (therapeutic pedagogy) department, headed by Hans Asperger who defined a high-functioning form of autism in 1943.

A clearer picture of autism
A San Diego State University researcher's discoveries published in this month's American Journal of Psychiatry offer a more comprehensive model for the development of autism.

Autistic teen's mum hits out
Mary Hay is calling for greater awareness and understanding of autism in hospitals after her son Niall had to endure "a 12-hour nightmare" while waiting for a minor operation in Aberdeen, Scotland. Niall became hungry, increasingly confused and upset.

Danielle's Law signing to please advocates
First of a two-part series on the rights of people with autism, the efforts of the Family Alliance to Stop Abuse and Neglect, and those who oppose these efforts. 
 

Autism Awareness
Several magazines feature articles about autism in their current issues.
The October 2003 issue of Exceptional Parent magazine includes a six-page article by Stephen Shore, a committed advocate for individuals with autism. In the article, "Life on and Slightly to the right of the Autism Spectrum: A Personal Account," Shore shares openly what it is like to have autism.  Visit the EP website

In the November 2003 issue of Good Housekeeping, "This is what autism looks like..." tells the story of three children, each with different forms of autism. Click for the full text

Today's Parent has an article in this month's issue. "Hannah's World" begins: "Since my daughter's diagnosis five years ago, I've learned a great deal about myself."

Margaret Wente featured autism in her Toronto Globe and Mail column on October 16, concluding: “It shouldn't have to be this hard. If their children had disabilities of the body
instead of the brain, it wouldn't be.”

Why you should go see the movie "the cat in the hat"
Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Pictures and Imagine Entertainment to Host the World Premiere of 'Dr. Seuss' the Cat in the Hat,' Starring Mike Myers, to Benefit Best Buddies, First Book and the Help Group on Saturday, November 8 at Universal Studios Hollywood. Since 1975, The Help Group has been dedicated to serving children with special needs related to autism, Asperger's
Disorder, learning disabilities, emotional development, mental retardation, and abuse and neglect. One of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit organizations of its kind, The Help Group has served over 5,000 young people and their families through its special education and clinical programs on its four major campuses. At the heart of The Help Group's effort is the commitment to helping young people fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. Read press release

Exhibition challenges views of autism
Note in British Medical Journal of the showing ("Not a Camera") of the work of Stephen Wiltshire and other autistic artists.

Broadway man--a friendly face on street corner--will be missed
A human-interest story from Seattle.

Moe Norman's life to be a movie
Details of the life of the Canadian golf great of Kitchener, who is considered to be an autistic savant, are being assembled by Barry Morrow, who won the Academy Award for writing the script for Rain Man.

"Radio" making waves in Hollywood
A "genuine feel-good story" about a man who was the icon in his school and community's sports events for 38 years. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________
 

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EVENTS OR SPECIAL PROJECTS

**  ** means that a new posting--an event being announced here for the first time

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

See past news bulletins for more details of other forthcoming events.
 

October 25 to November 15
Planned Lifetime Networks: Autumn Workshop series
Four Saturdays mornings, in Kitchener
Planning a Good Life Now
Oct. 25: Planning financial security
Nov. 1: Planning a home of one's own
Nov. 8: Planning for after we’re gone
Nov.15: Planning with our disabled children (capacity assessment, powers of attorney, and supported decision-making.
Click on heading for more details or phone 519-746-1188 or email plnwwo@sympatico.ca
 

Safe and Secure Futures Networks, 2003 - 2004
Monthly forums for mutual support and information sharing among family members of individuals who have a developmental disability--in three Toronto locations. Sponsored by Extend-A-Family and funded by a City of Toronto Community Services Grant.   Click for full details
 

Thursday, November 13, 2003, in Peterborough
Making Sense of It All: 7th Annual Forum on Autism Spectrum Disorder
Presented by Autism Society Ontario (Peterborough Chapter) and Five Counties Children's Centre.  Click for more details
 

November 22, in Markham, Ontario
Families Dare to Dream
Community Living Ontario Family Day (15th annual) 
Click for the program
Click for registration details

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF SPECIAL PROJECTS AND RESEARCH 

The Ontario Mental Health Foundation is pleased to announce that Autism Society Ontario will again be offering a studentship in 2004. The Foundation will administer the studentship on behalf of Autism Society Ontario. The regular Guidelines of the  Foundation will apply to this award, with the  following exceptions: 
The award will be restricted to applicants who can show that their work is in the field of autism. 
The award will be for $20,000.00 per annum. Funds are sufficient to make one award in 2004.
The application deadline is: Friday, November 7, 2003.
Click for application forms etc

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

ISSUES AND ADVOCACY

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

Municipal elections
We urge everyone concerned for the well-being of children and adults with special needs to think about and speak up on relevant issues in these weeks before voting for members of municipal councils and school boards. This is an opportunity to raise awareness and express concerns!
 

Vote for better options for adults with special needs
Family Alliance Ontario is asking the new Ontario government to freeze a project set up by the previous government. This project was designed to fund group homes only, and to fund people to live in group homes only. It discriminated against all people who want better options. Action must be taken before the end of October. The Ministry refused to meet with families to hear their concerns. 
So FAO is asking for the project to be frozen to allow a review with input from families. If you support this action and have a Liberal MPP in your riding, please fax, mail or deliver it to your MPP. Please download, print, and send this letter to your Liberal MPP
If you don't know your riding name, or don't know who is your MPP, see http://www.ontarioliberal.com/en/ridings/
 

Some energetic families in the Barrie (Simcoe County) area are hoping to form the UNITED FAMILY CONGRESS to work together to improve services and treatment of disabled children. Many of the families that started this group have children with ASD. 
See more information
 

"Expanding Individualized Funding: The Time is Now!"
February 20 to 22, 2004 at the Inn on the Park in Toronto.
The goals are:
- To develop an action plan for implementing IF in Ontario; and
- To develop strategies for building the capacity of families & communities for citizenship & IF.
Key stakeholders from all parts of the province are invited to think carefully about who needs to be invited in order to create and train a diverse, energetic and motivated leadership team. Please contact Judith Snow. Phone: 416-538-9344 or Fax: 416-516-1691

__________________________________________________________________________________________
 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

Community involvement is goal of Youth En Route
Family Net has posted an article about the Youth En Route transition program. It is a partnership project of the Thames Valley Children’s Centre and Hutton House Learning Centre. The program serves young people between the ages of 16 and 30 in the areas of Grey-Bruce, Huron-Perth, Oxford-Elgin and London-Middlesex.
 

Effective Needs Statements
Family Net has posted an article by Lindsay Moir on developing effective needs statements for exceptional children. Lindsay also provides some examples of effective needs statements. Click for the link
 

Project to develop software to help Asperger students to learn math
A group of 4th year Systems Design Engineering students at the University of Waterloo is interested in developing software to help Asperger students to learn. It's great to have more university and community awareness of ASD and the possibility of more made-in-Canada software. 
The team wants to know how Math is best taught to Asperger people, what the objectives need to be, techniques that parents and teachers have observed, and special concerns they might have about this issue. Can you recommend papers concerning autism and social interaction and pertaining to computer/software use and math skills? Or anyone with expertise in this area.
Tejinder Virk, spokesman for the project seeks professionals such as counsellors, software designers, and learning experts for advice and sanity checks. The goal is to have a solid methodology by December 2003, leading to the development of high fidelity tool by April 2004.
Click for the project website
Please contact Tejinder Virk
Systems Design Engineering
e-mail: tpsvirk@engmail.uwaterloo.ca
phone: 1.519.589.2004

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

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.
 

"I am diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and always wondered if I was mildly autistic as a child and currently.  How do professionals distinguish those people easily distracted as either ADD or having autism? 
I was reading about how the imagination is impaired.  I have absolutely no drawing skills whatsoever and always wondered if that is a sign of autism.  I got through college even with the obstacles that Tourette's has presented.  So, I know I am of average intelligence.  I hope.  I do have an amazing memory and can remember birthdays of people I met only once. 
Obviously,  this forum is not for diagnosis but I am so embarrassed that I as an adult may have autism due to my being so easily distracted and always rocking my legs and fidgeting.  Perhaps these are signs of other disorders that appear in autistic people as well. 
There never seems to be enough info about adult autism.  There is so much about childhood autism but these children grow up.  Any advice on sites with specific symptoms of adult autism?"
Please reply to  OAARSN
 

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

__________________________________________________________________________
 

{return to the OAARSN Bulletin Board}