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
3 November 2003

NEW CONTENT ON OAARSN'S WEBSITE 

Regional Support Associates of Woodstock organized a conference on Thursday, October 23rd and Friday, October 24th, 2003 in London on the theme. Its subject was AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS IN ADULTS: Exploring (and Exploding) the Myths
Click for a report by Marlene Klimkosz who represented GSA’s ASPIRE project, has a young adult son with ASD, and is secretary of the Autism Society Ontario’s Wellington Chapter
 

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
or click directly for the following: 
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
October 23, 2003
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AUTISM IN THE NEWS

The Human Rights Report is now out. 
THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED:
Achieving Barrier-free Education for Students  with Disabilities 
Access the report
From the Executive Summary
".... it is apparent that many students with disabilities do not have equal access to educational opportunities in Ontario, either at the primary and secondary, or at the post-secondary level. The key barriers are inadequate funding, physical inaccessibility, cumbersome and time-consuming accommodation processes, negative attitudes and stereotypes, and a lack of understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties under the Code and Commission policy."
"In order to assist parties to understand their roles and responsibilities, the Commission will release Guidelines on
Accessible Education as a companion piece to this Report. The Guidelines will rely on key principles outlined in the
Code and the Commission's Policy and Guidelines on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate and apply them to the
education context. The Guidelines will discuss disability, discuss prima facie discrimination because of disability,
identify the parameters of the duty to accommodate, assess undue hardship, and provide suggestions for accommodation planning in the education context."
 

Understanding Students with Autism
By Dawn Prince-Hughes, Ph.D.
An article about how college students with ASD/AS learn.
From George Washington University, HEATH Resource Center.
 

Born blind Born Blind, Mentally Retarded, & Autistic, And A Jazz Savant.
Today, Tony DeBlois plays 20 instruments, knows 8,000 songs, and is forging a career in the music industry.
 

Reaching the Point of No Return in Public
When ‘J’ has a fit, spectators assume poor parenting is to blame. They never suspect that he’s
autistic.
 

Scandal of institutions that lock up the sane
Up to 60 people are being held in British hospital prisons for the  criminally insane despite a recognition that they have been misdiagnosed as schizophrenic and are now accepted to have Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism which is unresponsive to drugs.
 

Mother fears for son's future
A personal account from British Columbia. 
 

Autistic scientist explains sensory jumble
Temple Grandin describes the world of a person with autism.
 

Two Abstracts Describe Canadian Autism Research
Autism Spectrum Disorders:: early detection, intervention, education, and psychopharmacological management by Bryson SE, Rogers SJ, Fombonne E..
Genetic and Neurodevelopmental Influences In Autistic Disorder by Nicolson R, Szatmari P.
 

Nutrition Care for Children
A therapeutic nutrition clinic focused on helping children with autism and other developmental issues, has unveiled its new Web site, www.nutritioncare.net
 

Regressive Autism and MMR Vaccination
Review by Dr. Edward Yazbak, a well-known pediatrician for the online Autism Conference at  Redflagsdaily on November 3.

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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.

**Thursday, November 6, 2003, in Guelph, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Biological Support Group for ASD 
at Zehrs, Imperial and Paisley in Community Room
Rose Bushey will demonstrate baking of a gluten & casein free bread
Discussion of the alternatives treatments available for children with ASD.

Appeal for advice: Mother of a child with autism seeks a broad range of food pictures for her child's
picture board. Any suggestions? 
 

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
 

**Saturday, November 22, 2003: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in Toronto at the Columbus Centre
Kerry's Place Autism Services workshop on "Striking the Balance – The Challenge to Balancing Rights, Risks and Responsibilities" facilitated by Bill Allerton, CEO of Accreditation Ontario and introduced presented by Orville Endicott, Barrister & Solicitor. Information and registration form

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

Meeting Series
October 25 to November 15
Planned Lifetime Networks: Autumn Workshop series
Saturdays mornings, in Kitchener
Planning a Good Life Now
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

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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

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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

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HELPFUL RESOURCES

Ontario Government Ministries 
Family Net has posted an article on the new provincial cabinet and particularly the new ministry for children's services. "Premier, new ministers sworn in: New ministry for children’s services"
Click on this 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

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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.

Where in the world are services really good for autism?
Though our focus is really on adults with autism, we get asked for advice about places and jurisdictions that are good for children and families with autism. One example: a family in Florida, with 3 of its 4 young children autistic,is "looking into possibly relocating due to the lack of services there. Our neurologist recommends intense ABA services as well as ST,PT,OT..."
Who can recommend a good support system in North America? What services and qualities make a good system?
Please reply to  OAARSN

Food pictures: Mother of a child with autism seeks a broad range of food pictures for her child's
picture board. Any suggestions? 

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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