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

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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.

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.

 

NEWS BULLETIN
5 November 2004

NEW CONTENT ON OAARSN WEBSITE 

HOME SWEET HOME, report by Brian Henson of St Marys workshop
This workshop was announced ”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..."

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CANADIAN AUTISM NEWS


Open Letter to the Autism Community from Autism Society Canada
"As an organization with a 28-year history of dedication to improving the services and opportunities available to people with autism and their families, Autism Society Canada would like to take this opportunity to let our community know more about who we are and the work that we do."

One section of this letter addresses adults with autism:
"ASC, like all voluntary organizations, is working hard to grow and change with the times. We are involving more people with ASD at the Board level.  ASC is actively encouraging people with autism to be participants not only in their own provincial/territorial autism societies but also at the national level. ASC has created a Director-at-Large position on our Board for an adult with ASD. We recently filled this position from a list of candidates nominated by our member societies.
"In addition to Board representation, ASC is also in the process of developing a Consultation Group of adults with ASD. It will be comprised of people nominated by our member societies and chaired by our Director-at-Large. The Consultation Group will act in an advisory role to help ASC work more effectively when speaking to decision-makers about the needs of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
"
ASC is also hoping to serve adults with ASD better by providing more resources for adults in our new website which is currently under construction. The site will feature expanded resources for university and college students as well as an on-line community forum. Autism Society Canada deeply values the opinions of adults with autism, and continues to be willing to learn, consider ideas and make improved efforts to carry out our work in a respectful and inclusive manner on behalf of all people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders in Canada.
Read the full letter

GENERAL AUTISM NEWS

Center for autistic children
Regional Autism Center at Logan in South Bend IN has opened to help parents deal with the complexities of autism and obtain the treatments their children need. The center, announced Thursday, is a joint creation of Logan Center and five partners from the fields of education and health care. The center will sponsor workshops for parents of children with autism as well as for the therapists and teachers who serve them in the schools. The first workshop will feature a 16-year-old boy with autism who has written a book about his experience with the disorder. Other services now available include putting parents in touch with "parent mentors'' -- parents experienced with autism who can act as guides -- a resource library, a support group, a directory of local service providers and an electronic mailing list devoted to problem solving. Another story about this news

ASA's First Annual Biomedical Conference and CDC's 'Listening Session'
The First Annual Biomedical Conference by the Autism Society of America was held in Indianapolis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted one of their 'Listening Sessions". Their senior scientists made brief presentations about the ongoing activities regarding autism research, including the six projects that NIP has underway or planned regarding MMR and Thimerosal. Then a professional facilitator took over and the floor was opened up for several hours for 90+ parents and health care professionals and individuals with Aspergers and Autism to make comments about ongoing and planned activity. All comments were recorded through audio, video and transcriber. Comments from their other two listening sessions as well as there next session in New York will be gathered and organized for consideration and prioritization. They repeatedly stated that they want to hear from the community and provided an email contact. autismresearch@cdc.gov The website for their autism activities is www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/ddautism.htm

SafeMinds Demonstrates Urgency of Autism Epidemic in New Study
A new and compelling review of over 50 autism prevalence surveys from around the world over four decades. The author asserts: "We simply must face the reality that the exploding rate of autism is a major and unprecedented environmental crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of families..It is long past time for public health authorities... to accept this tragic fact and to devote the necessary attention and resources to investigating the root causes of the autism epidemic."

Evidence of Harm
A new book on autism and mercury by New York Times contributor David Kirby.

Deciphering A Mystery: New Research Provides Clues To The Genetic, Neurological, And Molecular Basis Of Autism
In new research, scientists have found that a specific gene contributes to autism and that autistic people have fewer receptors for the brain messenger acetylcholine, as well as more tightly packed columns of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Another study found that autistic children were less able to discriminate similar sounds than were other children.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency, whether related to nutritional or gastrointestinal disorders, remains an important cause of neurologic complaints. The deficiency may present with a variety of manifestations, including effects on any aspect of the nervous system. Highlights of the 2004 American Neurological Association Mtg.

AACAP: Risperidone Linked to Several Improvements in Children With Autism
Children with autism who are treated with risperidone (Risperdal) experience a significant improvement in their behavioral symptoms, according to findings presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting.

Klein derided as mean-spirited for comments about handicapped
Almost a third of AISH recipients in Alberta receive aid because of mental illness, 23 per cent because of developmental disabilities and 45 per cent have various physical disabilities. Most are single, without dependants, and sharing accommodation. AISH began in 1979 as a $2.2-million program for 3,000 people. In 2004, that number has grown to 32,000. As well as income support, the program covers prescription drugs, dental costs and health-care premiums. It costs $400 million annually.

Suicide Pact of Couple Driven to Despair by Daughter
Lisa, 32, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism which turned her into a shopaholic demanding designer clothes and expensive meals from her parents.

Repeat attacker, 18, is jailed for UK murder
Paul Smith was bullied as "the odd kid" for all 11 years he spent at school, struggling with a form of autism, but yesterday, as he started a life sentence for stripping and smothering a child ballet star, he was revealed as a repeat attacker of young girls.

Piano teacher with AS found guilty
Franklin "Jack" Burr, a private piano teacher in New Jersey, is facing 15 years in prison after being convicted in Superior Court yesterday of molesting a 9-year-old girl.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EVENTS OR SPECIAL PROJECTS

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

 
For more details or for other previously announced events, opportunities and projects that are still current,
please click on this calendar list



Wednesday, November 10th, at 7 pm
Peel District School Board - Brampton Room
In Their Own Words
Gary W. and Mark K. will be speak on living with Autism.A brief video presentation on Growing Up with Aspergers and Autism will be followed by a question and answer period. If you have a question, please pre-submit it to us for Gary or Mark. Contact info@asopeel.org. We will have copies of the booklet, 'In Their Own Words' available for $5.  Gary is one of the authors and willing to sign the book..


November 10-12, 2004, in Toronto

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 13, 2004, 10am-12:30 in Kitchener
Planned Lifetime Networks provides
Family forum on the MCSS discussion paper:
Transforming Services in Ontario
for People with a Developmental Disability
Forum Leaders: Jan Burke-Gaffney and Sandra Barbadoro (members of the Joint Developmental Services Sector Partnership Table that composed the discussion paper) and John Lord.
Click for more details including questions
Click for PDF copy of discussion paper

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,
BLAZING THE TRAIL

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 http://www.tash.org/2004reno/index.htm
for updates and complete information.

 

Wednesday, November 24, 2004, 7–9pm, in Orangeville
Occupational Therapy: A Practical Approach
Debbie Rodrigues, an Occupational Therapist, will discuss sensory/motor strategies, the “sensory diet” and modifying the environment to reduce unwanted behaviours.
KPAS Dufferin Centre, 29 Centennial Rd. Unit #4
Please RSVP by November 15, 2004 to Lynn Walbourne 519-941-7038 Ext. 11
*Limited space available – Register early*
Childcare is available at the A.S.O Dufferin Centre at a cost of $2.00 per child
Please call
Lynn by November 15 to reserve a spot.


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


November 26, in London
Suicide Recognition and Response
Workshop by J. Arthur Sheil

November 30, in Ottawa
The Ties that Bind
The National Film Board of Canada invites you to the Ottawa
premiere of a film about 28-year-old Chris Jordan, who lives
with multiple disabilities, and his transition toward a more
independent life. Showing at 7:00 p.m. at the National Gallery
of Canada. RSVP by November 24 to 613-947-2306 or click on title.
 

Thursday, December 2, 2004, 9am-4:30pm, in Toronto
DURHAM ASSOCIATION FOR FAMILY RESPITE SERVICES &
THE SOUTHERN ONTARIO TRAINING GROUP CO-SPONSOR
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
www.autismawarenesscentre.com.


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


April 8-10, 2005, in Cornwall
Symposium on Raising an Adolescent/
Young Adult with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hosted by Autism Society Ontario's Upper Canada Chapter
Click for program

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RESOURCES AND RESEARCH

"What is Autism" is a 4 minute video with music and photos from TACA  / Talk About Curing Autism  / Southern California.  It is well worth seeing if you've got 4 minutes to spare. And it's worth sharing with neighbors, family and friends.
http://www.tacanow.com/VIDEO.htm



Why people with ASD have difficulty seeing the forest for the trees
Question: Can the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results from this study showing bravariations help explain some of the learning and perceptual differences in people with high functioning autism?
CAIRN's website provides very useful summaries in plain language of scientific research reports.


Two-hour special, Sunday Nov. 7th on ABC
Special Home Make-Over 

 
Ty Pennington and the rest of the cast on the popular TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recently teamed with Abilitations®, an education company specializing in therapy solutions and equipment for children with special needs and learning differences, to renovate a special home. The two-hour special will air at 8 pm (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 7, on ABC.

The show assists families that persevere with courage and generosity despite difficult circumstances. Family members are treated to an all-expense-paid vacation while their home is remodeled and decorated.

For the upcoming episode, the producers of Extreme Makeover asked Abilitations to provide consultation and equipment to benefit a 12-year-old boy who is visually impaired and autistic. Both of his parents are deaf.

"Autism is one of the largest spectrum disorders we cater to here at Abilitations," said Ilana Danneman, PT, catalog director at Abilitations, a member of School Specialty Inc. "We are always searching for products and designing new ones that assist children living with autism to become more oriented, enabling them to function at their highest level of ability."

Cecilia Cruse, MS, OTR/L, Product Education director at Abilitations and a specialist in sensory processing disorders, and colleague Sue Wilkinson, OT, worked on-site during the week of shooting outside Detroit, MI. The hectic home renovation and filming process is completed in just seven days. From 50 to 100 workers are on the set at any given time, including designers, landscapers and film crew members.

"The pace is overwhelming, so we did our best to help the staff de-stress and stay positive," stated Cruse. She and Wilkinson taught yoga stretches and provided stress toys or fidgets from Abilitations, based in Atlanta, GA.

""It was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, experiences of my career," Wilkinson said. At Abilitations "we are incredibly proud of our work to provide solutions for children who possess learning or sensory differences. We believe learning and therapy is an everyday activity to be integrated into the school, clinic and home environments."


Dennis Debbaudt's Autism Risk & Safety Newsletter, Fall 2004 Edition!
Table of contents:

  • Wandering & Autism Resources
  • Are You Prepared for an Autism Emergency?
  • Autism Emergency Contact Handout Model
  • Tracking device offers peace of mind
  • Project Lifesaver quickly finds wandering relatives
  • From the Vault--Contact with Individuals with Autism: Effective Resolutions,The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin,  April, 2001
  • Autism & Law Enforcement Awareness in Virginia
  • Autism Spectrum Quarterly
  • Autism Alert Window Gels
  • Silent No More Communication Boards
  • Autism & Law Enforcement Video Update
  • Rising Bird Productions
  • Autism requires that police 'think outside the box'
  • Seminars teach law enforcers how to diffuse tense situations.
  • Save the Dates!! December 2004 Conference & Workshop
  • TO SUBSCRIBE: email Dennis Debbaudt <ddpi@flash.net>

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BOOKS ABOUT AUTISM/ASPERGER'S

Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome



Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Integrating Multiple Perspectives. Edited by Kevin P. Stoddart. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  November 2004. Paperback 1-84310-319-2, Nov 2004, 336 pages, £19.95 $34.95.
Hardback 1-84310-268-4, Nov 2004, 336 pages, £45.00 $79.95  
www.jkp.com

 
This book offers a comprehensive overview of clinical, research and personal perspectives on Asperger Syndrome, including contributions from parents and experts in the fields of psychology, social work, psychiatry, genetics, sexology and vocational counselling. It includes first-hand accounts from adults with AS, highlighting their difficulties in areas such as social competence and education. Specialist perspectives on AS, including sexuality and relationships, finding and keeping employment and anxiety and depression are sensitively addressed. The viewpoints of parents explore experiences of parenting AS individuals. These varied approaches to living with AS complement the emerging literature on theory, research and practice in this area. The broad scope of Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome guarantees a wide readership among practitioners, students, parents, young people and adults with AS, educates service providers how to assist people with AS and suggests a model of interdisciplinary collaboration for administrators and funders.

 

CONTENTS:

 

Introduction to Asperger Syndrome: A Developmental-Lifespan Approach: Kevin P. Stoddart.

 

PART 1: CLINICAL AND SERVICE PERSPECTIVES 1. Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome: Rosina G. Schnurr. 2. Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome: M. Mary Konstantareas. 3. Enhancing Academic, Social, Emotional, and Behavioural Functioning in Children with Asperger Syndrome and Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Barbara Muskat. 4. Tourette Syndrome and Asperger Syndrome: Overlapping Symptoms and Treatment Implications: Trina Epstein and Jennifer Saltzman-Benaiah. 5. Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Psychosocial Issues and Interventions: Kevin P. Stoddart. 6. Getting to Work: Helping the Adolescent with Asperger Syndrome Transition to Employment: Gail Hawkins. 7. Sexuality and Asperger Syndrome: The Need for Socio-Sexual Education: Isabelle Hénault.

 

PART 2: DISCIPLINE-BASED PERSPECTIVES 8. Communication and Asperger Syndrome: The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role: Tracie Lindblad. 9. Integrating Paediatrics and Child Development: Asperger Syndrome and the Role of the Developmental Paediatrician: S. Wendy Roberts and Tamarah Kagan-Kushnir. 10. Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome: Social Work Assessment and Intervention: Kevin P. Stoddart, Barbara Muskat and Faye Mishna. 11. Medication Use in Children with High-Functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger Syndrome: Leon Sloman. 12. Meeting the Educational Needs of the Student with Asperger Syndrome through Assessment, Advocacy and Accommodations: Georgina Rayner. 13. Sensory and Motor Differences for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome: Occupational Therapy Assessment and Intervention: Paula Aquilla, Ellen Yack and Shirley Sutton. 14. Psychological Assessment of More Able Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Lillian Burke.

 

PART 3: THEORETICAL AND RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES 15. Developing a Research Agenda in Asperger Syndrome: Peter Szatmari. 16. In Search of an Asperger Culture: Charmaine C. Williams. 17. Child Social Interaction and Parental Self-Efficacy: Evaluating Simultaneous Groups for Children with Asperger Syndrome and Their Parents: Leon Sloman and Jonathan Leef. 18. The Genetics of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Jeanette Holden and Xudong Liu. 19. Quality of Life for Children with Asperger Syndrome: Parental Perspectives: Anne Fudge Shormans, Rebecca Renwick, Renée Ryan and HeeSun Lim. 20. Depression and Anxiety in Parents of Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome: Kevin P. Stoddart.

 

PART 4: PARENT AND PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES 21. Asperger Syndrome: Perceiving Normality: Peter Jansen. 22. From Despair to Hope: A Mother's Asperger Story: Fern Lee Quint. 23. Searching for Home in a Foreign Land: My Discovery of Asperger Syndrome: Donna Moon. 24. Asperger Syndrome: It's a Family Matter: Margot Nelles. 25. Life on the Outside: A Personal Perspective on Asperger Syndrome: Chris J. Dakin.

 

Click for details of 19 more new books from Jessica Kingsley Publishers

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

Transforming Services in Ontario
for People with a Developmental Disability

In May 2004, the Ontario Budget announced that the Government "will be transforming services for people who have a developmental disability in order to create an accessible, fair and sustainable system of community-based supports." In early August, we reported that the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services was setting up a steering committee to advise the Minister on how to proceed with the "transformation" of Developmental Services in Ontario.

With other advocates, we were concerned that the committee should be fully representative of persons and families who live with disabilities and that its deliberations and recommendations should be open and well reported.

A Preliminary Discussion Paper was released last week by the "Joint Developmental Services Sector Partnership Table." Read the Discussion Paper   Link to associated information on the MCSS website

Responses during November 2004 are invited, especially from groups of people and families concerned with disabilities. It is said that "this very important process will profoundly affect developmental services for many years to come." The paper will be "the basis for broad public consultations to be completed by Feb/March 2005." The committee and paper will "define the all-important terms of reference for the broader provincial consultations." So this is a unique opportunity....

We note that the Partnership Table includes 12 representatives of the Provincial Network on Developmental Services--Community Living Ontario, Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS), Community Living Ontario, "faith-culture" agencies (Christian Horizons, L'Arche Ontario and Reena), the Metro Agencies Representatives' Council (MARC), Great Lakes Society, and a francophone representative. Persons and families with disabilities are represented by three members of Family Alliance Ontario and two members of People First. There are also five senior officials of the Ministry of Community and Social Services and one of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

The Discussion Paper's purpose is to raise questions to help people share ideas and make suggestions, initially by November 30. "Feedback will help the Ministry to prepare a draft plan to transform services in Ontario, as the basis for a broad public consultation. It is noted that "the ideas in this document are presented for the purposes of discussion only and do not represent proposed directions or policy on the part of MCSS."

Members of OAARSN List and disability advocates generally will be pleased by the tone of the discussion paper, with its references to inclusion, removing barriers, building on community, self-determination and choices, individualized funding, and possible alternatives to traditional services.

A vision is proposed, based on In Unison (1998):

Persons with disabilities participate as full citizens in all aspects of Canada society. With commitment from all segments of society, persons who have a developmental disability will maximize their independence and enhance their well-being through access to require supports and the elimination of barriers that prevent their full participation.

A clear set of principles should be embodied in any transformed system:
  • dignity and respect
  • building on community
  • fairness and responsiveness
  • accountability
  • practicality
  • sustainability

Questions are posed, to which we are all invited to respond, initially during November:

  • What should be the roles and responsibilities of different parts of society in supporting individuals who have a developmental disability?
  • What strategies and resources would help individuals receive seamless supports throughout their lives, including points of transition?
  • What supports and services that are currently available work well should be built on for the future?
  • How should a reasonable level of government funding for an individual be determined?
  • Services are changing in Ontario for people who have a developmental disability. What would you like to see happen?
  • What do you think are the priorities the government should address?

What can we all do?

1. Read and think about the discussion paper, in your personal and family situation. Consider the points made in a recent presentation by John Lord who has been so active in the cause of self-determination and individualized funding in recent years. John's presentation "highlights some of the key factors that must go into transformation" and is based on "experience in several jurisdictions as well as on an emerging research literature." He notes that the MCSS consultation paper hints at key elements of transformation, such as Individualized Funding, the funding of Innovation, and the need for Independent Planning supports. But the Ministry needs many more ideas about how to implement such key factors. So we must spell them out in our reactions to their paper. Click to read Citizenship Based Policy Reform

2. Discuss the paper with others who have similar concerns, with a view to presenting a combined submission. That's the kind of response that is wanted this time.  Jan Burke-Gaffney, one of the three Family Alliance members on the Partnership Table, proposes that you send comments to her at hamiltonfamilynetwork@sympatico.ca by November 20, 2004.  If you would like to meet with other parents to discuss the paper and questions please let her know and she will try to connect you. Meetings for similar purposes may be convened in various cities.

3. OAARSN will co-ordinate responses from persons and families who live with Autism. Do the principles and questions of the Discussion Paper speak to your situation? How can the vision be implemented so that each person with Autism has a good life? If you'd like to air your thoughts, please send comments and questions to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca

4. Think about taking part in the conference CREATIVE SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS which Guelph Services for the Autistic is organizing next April 29, 2005. We think this event is timely and relevant. See more below.

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Guelph conference on
CREATIVE SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS
Friday, April 29, 2005 in Guelph

Guelph Services for the Autistic and OAARSN are taking the lead in convening a gathering of Ontario people who want and need to be creative in supporting good lives with and for adults who are vulnerable because of disability. We particularly want to encourage self-advocates, families and friends to take part.
  • Our concern is practical--how to plan and implement the elements of a good life for each person and that we can learn from each other's effective strategies and success stories.
  • Our approach is comprehensive and holistic. We hope to put our minds and imaginations around various strategies, to show the connections among them, and to help persons and families think about and choose combinations that may work for them.
  • We plan a process of collaboration in discussion and sharing resources--during the conference and also beforehand and afterwards, using the OAARSN website and other media. Highlights of keynote, workshops and poster presentations will be recorded and edited into electronic and video resources to share with people and groups who cannot attend.  Click for planning updates and conference program
We welcome the following forms of collaboration with other groups:
a) Ideas of good strategies and models that should be included and represented and of needs that could be addressed by this conference. Questions and comments....

b) Display materials illustrating creative strategies and success stories developed by your group or known to you, for the poster presentations and shorter sessions in the afternoon.
These are some examples we know ourselves, but we want to include more:
-ways of "deep listening" to vulnerable persons who do not speak
-helping self-advocates to direct their own supports
-creating and maintaining circles of support to supplement and succeed living parents
-circles of support for vulnerable persons who have no family
-creative options to have a home of one's own
-independence technologies
-recruiting volunteers to be informal friends
-ways to screen, train and appreciate excellent volunteers
-bridging gaps between adults with special needs and their neighbourhoods and communities
-supporting adults who want to continue learning, formally and informally
-enabling people to develop micro-enterprises
-lifesharing communities in households or larger units
-planning good lives now, to be effective through future transitions when parents can no longer support vulnerable adults

-how brokerage works
-what aroha/microboards can do

c) Someone to be the liaison person for your organization or support group, who will pass on news and updates to your members.

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FROM THE FRONT LINES: 
CALLING FOR HELP AND SHARING EXPERIENCES

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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