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

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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.

Please note that this service is for information and awareness. We cannot endorse or be held responsible for the validity of any information or the value of any therapy or service. Nor do we necessarily agree with opinions that may be expressed.

19 October 2004



Guelph Services for the Autistic &
Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services offer a
Facilitated Workshop on
Autism and Community
including discussion of ideas of a farm community
and centre
of autism service and expertise.
Date and Time: Monday, November 1, 2004, 7– 9pm
Location: Ignatius Jesuit Centre/Orchard Park
(5420 Hwy 6 North, Guelph)
in the CMHA Boardroom
Facilitated by Bruce Kappel
Read more about  this idea and meeting at this site:
also see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASDFarmCommunityandCentre/
If you have opportunities, please print our flyer and post it:

~Free to all interested~ But Pre-Registration Required by
25 October 2004
Please reply to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca or (519) 823-9232


Autism in the News

Imaging studies clarify brain changes associated with language deficits in autism
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found that a structural difference previously observed in the brains of some boys with autism is found primarily in those with language problems and also appears in boys with a condition called specific language impairment (SLI). The findings suggest that this anatomic feature may underlie language difficulty only rather than overall autism and supports an apparent relationship between the two conditions. Another story about the same line of research

New study to explore genetics of
Aravinda Chakravarti of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is leading a team that will study the genes of people from 465 families, including 979 individuals with autism. "While autism is known to run in families, no single gene has yet been linked to autism. One of the theories about the disease is that extra copies of genes or chromosomes may be involved." Another account from JHU

Jabs and Junk Science
Parents-led anti-vaccination groups are becoming hugely influential. But the information they provide is often extremely dodgy, argues Michael Fitzpatrick, father of an autistic son and a GP in London, England whose book MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know is just out.

Study Will Examine If Diet Can Ease Autism Symptoms
A three-year study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh will look at the effectiveness of three alternative therapies: use of a supplement known as omega-3 fatty acid (the healthy oil found in some fish and flaxseed); a diet free of wheat and milk protein, and a diet that restricts sugar.

Impact Of Anti-Epileptic Drugs On Cognitive Function
A survey by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) showed that nearly half of people with epilepsy experience moderate to severe cognitive impairment, due mainly to their condition and/or the drugs they are taking to control their seizures.

Epilepsy Associated With Higher Risk for Learning Disabilities
A recent study published in Epilepsia, the official journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), indicates that people who have uncontrolled seizures on the left side of their brains are more likely to have learning disabilities, in comparison to people who have seizures on the right side of their brains.

Events celebrating disabled workers
"Alan Meyerson counts every working day a blessing. Even though his job on the production line at Moorpark-based Kavlico Corp., which manufactures mechanical devices for automobiles, might strike others as repetitive, Meyerson remains enthusiastic and on task. For him, a 37-year-old with autism, the work is a lifeline to independence...."



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
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments

Only events in the next couple of weeks and new announcements (indicated by ** **) are listed here.
For more details or for other previously announced events, opportunities and projects that are still current,
please click on this calendar list

Wednesday, October 20, 2-3pm Pacific Time
World Talk Radio presents: Treating Autism Ethically
World Talk Radio is an internet radio talk show committed to lively,
bold discussions about the ethical concerns of our time, personal and professional
Your Host: Kathleen Brooks, Ph.D. www.ethicalife.com
My Guest: Chantal Sicile-Kira www.chantalsicile-kira.com
A frequent speaker to professional and parent organizations on autism spectrum
disorders, advocacy and parent strategies for empowerment, she is the author
Our Topic: Treating Autism Ethically
You're invited to call us toll-free at 888-514-2100.

October 22, in Victoria BC.

Shirley Sutton presents on
Making Sense of Sensory Integration

Contact: Autism Awareness Centre Inc. wendy.casdc@shaw.ca

October 22, 2004 - in Toronto (Victoria College): 10am -12:30
Building Blocks for Gluten Free Living - workshop for professionals
helley Case RD, one of the leading experts in celiac disease, will present to professionals on Celiac Disease and the Gluten-free diet. Sponsored by Kingsmill Foods. Please click here for workshop brochure

October 23, 2004 - in Toronto (Victoria College): 9am to 4pm
Building Blocks for Gluten Free Living - our first customer workshop, sponsored by Kingsmill Foods. Shelley Case, dietitian and author is keynote speaker, followed by an esteemed panel of professionals--Dr. Peter Durie MD FRCPC, Shelley Case RD, Mary Barron MSc RD and Heather Butt PHEc--on the Top 10 Questions posed by our celiac customers. All registrants will get an information package, refreshments and lunch (made by Il Fornello) on the day of the event.  Please click here for workshop brochure. Registration is set up for all these events on "Shop On-line".  Space is limited for all our workshops, so plan to register early to secure your spot. This information is also available on www.SpecialtyFoodShop.com, on Shop On-line, then Workshops

Saturday, October 23,
9 am - 4:30 pm, in St. Marys Friendship Centre
Home Sweet Home
One day workshop for people with disabilities, families and service providers to hear about unique and different ways people have created a home for themselves.
The first step is having a vision. While this is not a workshop about how to secure funding for individual support needs, it will open minds to what is possible in terms of how people can live.  Click for flyer, map and registration form

October 24, 2004, 9am-4pm, in Toronto

Dr Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child, presents a full day course focusing on children and adolescents who exhibit noncompliance, defiance, oppositional behavior, poor frustration tolerance, intense temper outbursts, verbal or physical aggression, anxiety or marked inflexibility. He will describe a new, effective, practical, and research-based approach that has proven to decrease adversarial teacher-student & parent-child interactions, reduce hostility at school & home, and improve the child’s and adolescent’s capacities for frustration tolerance, flexibility, problem-solving, self-regulation and communication. See full details

October 29-31, 2004,
in Danvers, MA
The 10th annual Current Trends in Autism Conference
Featured speakers include: Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Deborah Fein, Ph.D., Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., Susan Bryson, Ph.D., and Margaret L. Bauman, M.D. Conference information/registration can be found at www.ladders.org

October 29 and November 26, in London
Suicide Recognition and Response
Workshops by J. Arthur Sheil

Monday, November 1, 7-9 pm, in Guelph
Vision and Strategic Plan for a Farm Community &
Regional Centre for Autism Spectrum Disorder Expertise

A workshop offered by Guelph Services for the Autistic and Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services and facilitated by Bruce Kappel. Free, but registration by October 25 necessary as space is limited. Click for flyer

Link to background information about this idea

Email GSA or leave message at phone 519-823-9232.

November 4, 7-9pm
November 5, 8:30am-3:30pm
Coaching to Inclusion
Guest Speaker - Dr. Thomas Armstrong
Best Western Lamplighter Inn, London, ON
Details for Thursday, Nov 4 program and Friday, Nov 5 program

November 10, 11, 12, 2004

Geneva Centre International Symposium
at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The Symposium 2004 brochure has been mailed out and is also available on our website.
This year you have the option to register on-line at www.autism.net

November 18, 2004, 7-9pm, in Toronto

How to Complain Effectively
presented by Ombudsman Ontario. 
This interactive session will include:
  • learning skills to complain more effectively,
  • how Ombudsman Ontario can help solve problems with provincial services & learning how to make changes so others are treated fairly
When: Thursday November 18th 2004, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Where: Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre
  (MacMillan site @ 150 Kilgour Road)
Parking: regular parking rates apply at meters (there is heavy construction in area)
Cost: parents $5.00 and professionals $10.00
Childcare: NOT available
How to register: by phone (Pamela Kearns @ 416-425-6220, ext. 3310) or
e-mail (info@bloorviewmacmillan.ca)

November 17-20, at Reno Hilton

2004 Annual TASH Conference,

The TASH Conference is the largest and most progressive international conference, known for pioneering strategies and blazing trails towards inclusive lives for people with disabilities and their families. You will not want to miss this invigorating conference, which brings together the best hearts and minds in the disability movement, and is jam-packed with over 300 topic specific breakout sessions, exhibits, roundtable discussions, poster sessions and much more.

Visit the conference website
for updates and complete information.

November 24-26, 2004, in Ottawa
National Summit on Inclusive Education
Hosted by Canadian Association for Community Living
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ottawa, ON
Conference brochure
Information schedule
To register Click Here

Thursday, December 2, 2004, 9am-4:30pm, in Toronto
An Exploration of Some Higher Order Issues of
Restraint as a Human Service Technique

Location:  Room SHE560, 5th Floor, Sally Horsfall Eaton Building,
Ryerson University
Recently, the press, some advocacy groups, and professional organizations have been raising questions concerning the use of restraints in human services.  This workshop provides a forum for concerned individuals, especially service workers, to explore some of these troubling moral questions raised by the use of restraints in human services, especially within the context of the vulnerability of people who receive services.  This is not a how-to-workshop, but rather an opportunity for reflection and learning. Click for information and to register

December 3-4, 2004, in Windsor
Autism Awareness Centre Presents
Jan Casali, Consultant to the Geneva Centre
Introduction to Developing Communication Skills For Verbal and Non-Verbal Individuals with ASD
Susan Aud Sonders, M.Ed, Author of Giggle Time
Giggle Time: Establishing the Social Connection
Hilton Windsor, 277 Riverside Dr. West, Windsor, Ontario
For more information and registration form
Please contact Wendy Benson at toll free 1-866-724-2224 or wendy.casdc@shaw.ca
or Vicki Harris at toll free 1-866-488-9497. Fax: (780) 477-8350 or (780)447-5445.
Website information at

December 3 & 4, 2004, in
Seattle, Washington

Innovative Interventions in Autism/NVLD & Asperger’s Syndrome
– Practical Therapy for Home & School

*Margaret Bauman, MD – Pediatric Neurology – Harvard University Medical Center
*Rosemary White, OTR/L – Occupational Therapy – Private Practice – Seattle, WA
*Martha Burns, PhD – Speech Pathology – Northwestern University
*Jerry Newport – Author – Adult with Asperger’s
Additional Information:  Linda S. Neilson Ph.D, Continuing Education Program of America, cepa@dpc.net



Everyday Heaven

Journeys Beyond the Stereotypes of Autism. The fourth volume of Donna Williams' autobiography.

Announcing Fall 2004 issue of Autism Spectrum Quarterly

  • Articles by, for, and about individuals with ASD
  • A focus on families and family issues
  • Spotlight on Best Practices: Each issue will highlight an educator, clinician, or paraprofessional support person whose work on behalf of those with ASD has been exemplary.
  • A Tips and Strategies section
  • Book Reviews and Recommended Resources
  • Contributions by outstanding professionals in the ASD field
  • The substance of a professional journal and the readability and interest of a high-level magazine

Kitchener Public Library's Autism Collection
"Hot key"
Click on this URL to reach a listing in title order of all the books, videos etc in KPL's remarkable Autism Collection. Search KPL Autism Collection
If you are searching for a specific author you'll have to search the entire KPL collection.
This is a Shortcut to Search by Author

Ann Celestine, KPL's Health Librarian is offering a hands-on internet searching session about once a month at the Library. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday November 17 at 7:00 - 8:30) and entitled “Finding Reliable Health Information on the Internet”. Ann could organize such a session specifically for guidance to KPL's Autism Collection resources, if there is enough interest.

Regional Support Associates announces Video Conferencing for Southwest Region of Ontario

"The Ministry of Community and Social Services and Ministry of Children's Services selected RSA and its partners to implement the Video Teleconference Pilot Project for the Southwest Region. This state of the art equipment will create the opportunity to make all the clinical staff of RSA and other community partners accessible to all corners of the region. RSA has built a model of service which offers its clinical services to the individual in their home community."

Verbal Behaviour Network

Watch a free 53 minute presentation by Vince Carbone on the History and Background of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior.

Some Good Ideas from the National Society for Autism (UK) website

Carers' Card
A new scheme to ease the concerns of families who care for people with a disability at home has been launched by Mencap in the UK. The carers' card described as 'a little piece of cardboard, for a lot of peace of mind' will carry details of two people who have agreed to be a contact should the carer become ill or have an accident. This will make sure the right information gets to the right people if a carer is temporarily out of action.
The carers' card was launched in Surrey by Mencap's president, Lord Rix, earlier this month. If it proves successful, the card will then be promoted nationwide. Six out of ten people with a severe learning disability are cared for at home by family carers.

NAS (UK) webpage with strategies to help students in transition from primary to secondary school
Originally produced as a booklet entitled "Breaking down barriers to learning: practical strategies for achieving successful transition for students with autism and Asperger syndrome".

BBC Radio 4 broadcasts on autism every weekday in October
Guests included Charlotte Moore, author and mother of two boys with autism; Luke Jackson, who has written extensively on Asperger syndrome, including 'Freaks, Geeks and Asperger syndrome'; Dr Judith Gould, a consultant clinical psychologist, and director of the NAS Centre of Social and Communication Disorders; Paul Shattock, director of the Autism Research Unit at the University of Sunderland and Stephen Ladyman MP, health minister.
Following this, the series examines the lives of adults and children with autism and Asperger syndrome through their own words. Topics to be discussed include education, employment, interventions and treatments. A brief outline follows:
  • Tuesday 5 October - interview with Ian Stuart Hamilton author of 'The Asperger's Dictionary'
  • Wednesday 6 October - case study on family strains
  • Thursday 7 October - features three boys with Asperger syndrome from a mainstream school in Dulwich, Charter School
  • Friday 8 October - looks at relationships where one partner has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, featuring Chris and Gisela Slater-Walker, and Gaynor Barrett and family
  • Monday 11 October - genetics research
  • Tuesday 12 October - environmental research
  • Wednesday 13 October - interventions
  • Thursday 14 October - interventions
  • Friday 15 October - interview with Raun Kaufman about the Son-Rise Program
  • Monday 18 October - specialist unit in a mainstream school, Pathways in North London
  • Tuesday 19 October - Jane Asher interview followed by a phone-in
  • Wednesday 20 October - features the NAS Helen Allison School
  • Thursday 21 October - mainstream school package and Step by Step school in East Sussex
  • Friday 22 October - Nick Hornby and Virginia Bovell talk about educational provision
  • Monday 25 October - the Bournewood case, live interview with Senay Camgoz, NAS Parliamentary Officer, on the Mental Capacity Bill and work of the Making Decisions Alliance on this essential Bill that will help people to make their own decisions. A snapshot on what provision there is for adults with autism
  • Tuesday 26 October - tackles the issue of misdiagnosis. Angela Browning MP will be interviewed too.
  • Wednesday 27 October - features the NAS employment consultancy, Prospects
  • Thursday 28 October - employment
  • Friday 29 October - final round-up programme. Stephen Ladyman MP to talk about mis-diagnosis and adult care provision.
British Courses on Autism Spectrum Disorders for Professionals

Asperger Syndrome Professional Network UK is a group of professionals involved in developing services for children and adults with Asperger syndrome.
ASD: a brief guide for criminal justice professionals
There is no evidence that people with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are any more likely to commit crimes than the rest of the population. Indeed, given that rules and regulations appeal to them, they are probably a law abiding group in general. However, the three areas of difficulty they have, communication, social interaction and imagination, put them at a disadvantage in negotiating their way through life.
Information for health professionals
working with children and/or adults with autistic spectrum disorders (references to British context).
Useful websites for professionals in education

Useful websites for health professionals

Real life stories of people with autism and Asperger's



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

Ontario Coalition for Long Term Care Reform
Consisting of over 30 seniors’ advocacy, disability rights, and service provider organizations, as well as individual and systemic advocates, policy analysts, academics, and lawyers, the Coalition believes "in the worth and dignity of every person, irrespective of age, health status, or disability. Our vision is the creation of a long term care system that encourages the empowerment of individuals and families, through choices, involvement, and the promotion of interdependence and self-determination. We envision a greatly strengthened and expanded not-for-profit community services sector, individualized funding, and the building of both formal and informal supports to ensure that individuals remain in their own homes, neighborhoods, and communities throughout their lifetimes.

Mission of the Ontario Coalition for Long Term Care Reform is to promote public policy that strengthens all individuals’ abilities to remain full and contributing citizens throughout their lifetimes, while valuing their worth as individuals.  Our intent is to pursue advocacy strategies that will lead to a long term care system that is increasingly based on principles of not-for-profit services delivery and that stresses interventions that defer, or avoid entirely, the need for institutionalization of any kind."

The Coalition is actively advocating with the Ontario Government to realize this vision. Contact the Coalition for more information and sample advocacy letters.

Ontario Coalition for Long Term Care Reform
P.O Box 11013
97 Guildwood Parkway
Toronto, ON.
M1E 5G5
Fax: 416 261-0264



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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