Celebrating four years since we launched this website!
At first we intended it simply as a means of exchanging
minutes and memos among Board members in one region of southern Ontario,
Canada. But OAARSN took off and now has members and contacts all over the
Since we began, the volume of autism news and features
has increased exponentially. There are now many websites and lists concerned
with autism spectrum disorders in some way.
We are still distinctive with our focus on autism
in adults, and on strategies to help each person with autism have a good
life in which her/his thoughts and wishes are respected.
We welcome news and comments by persons with autism
and by family members, friends, support workers, professionals and administrators
who care about them.
ON OAARSN'S WEBSITE
for the latest AAIWW newsletter in PDF format
-"Hearing the Words at Last" by Dr Jeanette Holden
about her brother Jim
-Lessons learned from Andrew's Life about preparing
for and realizing a good life
-Two poems by Brian Henson
Kevin was diagnosed with autism at age four. Thirty-six
years later, his family and friends celebrate his first year of living
semi-independently in his own home with the support of a microboard.
Please note the wealth of news, announcements and
other links in past OAARSN News Bulletins that are archived on our website.
Click for the list
of earlier OAARSN bulletins.
AUTISM IN THE
AND POSSIBLE CAUSES OF AUTISM
the veils of autism, one by one by one
A very good overview. (Free) subscription necessary
to The New York Times.
to pay for study of causes of autism
The Autism Birth Cohort, led by researchers at
the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, will follow
100,000 babies in Norway and their parents for five years, to identify
biological and environmental factors that could combine to cause autism
and other developmental disorders.
COPING WITH AUTISM
study suggests brains of autistic children can be trained to recognize
Two University of Washington
researchers suggest that the difficulties autistic persons have recognizing
faces may be due to a lack of practice, rather than to abnormal functioning
of the affected region of the brain.
away when I speak to you
For years, parents and teachers have ordered children
to 'look at me when I'm speaking to you'. Children who dared turn away
were accused of being rude or of failing to pay attention. But now a report
suggests that rather than being rude, children turn away to help them think.
Knoxville group to help adults with autism
The Breakthrough Corp. is planning a campus-like
setting where autistic adults could live, attend day programs and get services,
with each individual interacting with the rest of the community at a comfortable
Delaware Autism Program names facility after the
late Mark Galle who died four years ago and was one of the first students
22 years ago. The program now helps about 400 children and young adults
learn to be as independent as their disability allows.
University program helps autistic students
of more events on OAARSN Bulletin
Board and Calendar, and our archive
of past OAARSN news bulletins.
submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin
Board in plain text format by email to email@example.com
with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
details of the following as BRIEFLY as possible:
Speakers and Topics of Event
and Location of Event
information to learn more about event
Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments
Place Autism Services - Guelph-Wellington Area Social Groups
Please call 519-763-5812 for more information
or to register.
for full information on Kerry's Place events in Guelph-Wellington
March 17 Mount Forest Family
Support Group by Kerry's Place Autism Services. For more information,
or to register, please call J. Timmins @ 519-763-5812.
March 24 Guelph Family Support
Group by Kerry's Place Autism Services. For more information, or
to register, please call J. Timmins @ 519-763-5812.
Saturday March 27, 2004, in Toronto
Promoting Functional Speech
in Children with Autism with Emphasis on the Kaufman Assessment and Strategies
... from Brookfield Programs
March 19-21, 2004, in Syracuse NY
Ableism? Classism? Racism? Homophobia? Sexism?
How can we address all of these issues without
add-on programs and disjointed initiatives?
Inclusion and Diversity at the Center
An exploration of how schools and communities
can address social justice issues in integrated ways through curriculum,
pedagogy, school climate, teacher/staff training, advocacy and policy-making.
Keynote speakers: James Banks and Norman Kunc
Also post-Conference sessions on March 21.
Saturday March 27, 2004, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.,
CHOICES, OPTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES:
GETTING TO THE PLAN
This is a practical interactive forum with stories
from families of people with disabilities who
are supported in non-traditional ways, to have
lives of their choosing after leaving high
school, and how they do it. You will learn to
put together an individualized personal plan for
your family member, outlining their desires for
the future, along with the individualized
supports required (including funding) to facilitate
their continued success in the community.
Hosted by London Family Network and other local
Community Living London, 190 Adelaide Street South,
For more information contact Realizations Training
& Resources 519-433-2387
Tuesday. March 30, 2004, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., in London
The Individual Education
Kathy Schaffer – Education Officer, Ministry of
Education will explain the Ministry of Education IEP standards and how
the plan should be written to most effectively support students to be successful
in their learning.
3rd Floor Boardroom, Siskinds, The Law Firm, 680
Waterloo Street, London ON
For More Information and/or to Register
- Call Angie Kehoe 519-672-2251, ext. 363
2 - 3 - 4 avril 2004
TED sans frontières
Congrès international francophone sur l'autisme
et les TED à Laval, Québec, Canada
Friday, April 23rd, 2004, in Toronto
The 5th Annual
New Haven Learning Centre Conference
Manulife Financial Building, 200 East Bloor St.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Patricia Krantz, Executive
Director, Princeton Child Development Centre
Other presenters will include Dr. Joel Hundert,
Dr. Len Levin, and Dr. Bridget Taylor.
Registration information to follow.
April 30 - May 2, 2004, at Gananoque
The Art of
Advocacy: Every Parent is an Advocate
FAO/IAI Annual Conference
Key Note Speaker: Judy Finlay on "Why a
strong family Voice is Essential to Advocacy
in Ontario." Click
for full details
May 27 – 30, 2004, in Chicago
2004 Conference "the Most Comprehensive Conference on Autism
Ever Assembled" Click
for more informationClick on website
Allow Me!: A Guide to Promoting
Communication Skills in Adults with Developmental Delays by Irma
D. Ruiter (The Hanen Centre, 2000).
"This beautifully illustrated book describes the
many interactive strategies that help adults with developmental disorders
engage in communication during daily routines, leisure activities and in
vocational contexts. It addresses a wide range of communication levels
-from nonverbal and nonintentional to verbal and intentional - and includes
information on augmentative and alternative communication systems. Allow
Me contains easy-to-use observation charts and individualized action plans."
-Slow Down and Capture the Moment
-Allow Your Partner to Lead
-Adapt Activities So You and Your
Partner Can Share Then
-Get The Conversation Going And
Keep It Going
-Add Information And Experience:
Help Your Partner Become a Better Communicator
-Encourage The Use of An Augmentative
and Alternative Communication (AAC) System During Interactions
-Create Activities With A Purpose
for more details and how to order
THE MUSIC OF BEINGNESS....
why being a master of calm can be more effecting
than using force.
by Donna Williams www.donnawilliams.net
Here's what I've been doing with
A very cheap home made self calming
strategy that is great modelling and good medicine to others in the household.
I hold up my fingers and ask the
parent to show me where on that scale of 1-10 they think their own adrenaline
level is. Its often up around 9-10.
Then I ask, what happens to your
body when you listen to calming music.
Then I ask what happens if you listen
to raging, excitable music.
I tell them that their child feels
their own adrenaline levels and picks this up like music, so they pick
up on and take on the anxiety/adrenaline state of those around them.
Just like animals do.
I tell them I need them to change
the music in their own body, for their own health and also to model such
self calming in a non-invasive indirectly confrontational way in the household
so their child can pick up these patterns (but NEVER forcing the child
to do so, it is modelled as though for the parent's own benefit, and it
HAPPENS to have an hypnotic and calming effect on others who are around).
As I talk, I start off where they
are but I gradually soften and slow down my voice till their body has relaxed.
I ask them, are you feeling calmer
They notice they are and wonder
how this happened.
I show them what I did with my voice.
I then tell them I'm going to count
backwards from 50 and I want them to eventually join in. A start
and at 40 I have them join me. We progressively get slower and softer
at each interval of 5 so at 35, at 30, at 35 etc the pace slows and the
Several parents have now managed
to notice their own adrenaline levels and 'count these back down from 10/10
to 5/10 and they've done this in the presence of raging children who have
become much calmer. One fell asleep snoring after the mother did
this 'for herself' twice back from fifty then once from 0-529 at which
point he was snoring his head off.
Other sequences can be used instead
of numbers, alphabet, lists of countries, types of furniture, names in
a telephone book etc.
... Donna Williams
Infomercial - "Asperger's:
Millions Undiagnosed" has been airing in February.
This 28 mins and 30 second spot stars Tony Attwood,
Carol Gray, Jerry Newport, and Jeanie Mcafee speaking on various aspects
of Asperger's Syndrome, sponsored by Future Horizons.
Their goal is to inform people about the traits,
difficulties, and attributes of people with Asperger's syndrome. If you
would like a DVD copy of "Asperger's: Millions Undiagnosed" --either
for your organizational use or to disseminate to your local station or
educational institution to be used as a program for public or educational
service- they will give you the DVD FREE. (Shipping and handling fee of
$8.00 applies) Just email your name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org
New video about ASD entitled "Autism:
Now What Do I Do?"
is in all public libraries in BC.
The price is CA$24.95. Click
for more information
FROM THE FRONT
HELP AND SHARING EXPERIENCES
adults with autism is usually negative. OAARSN receives many appeals for
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 email@example.com
for OAARSN. Or you might use the OAARSN Discussion Board, reached by pressing
the Communication bar on our main
Brian Henson of Brantford writes a column for the
new AutisticSociety website.
to read his three columns so far