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.



17 December 2004

Season’s greetings and best wishes to all 
from the OAARSN team and from board members 
of Guelph Services for the Autistic 
and Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services.

A propos the festive season, persons with ASD are often made aware of their differences most acutely at these times. Their sensory differences, food intolerances, difficulties with interpreting social cues, and sense of being short of friends may all be factors. 

For some tips for relatives and hosts of holiday gatherings who might need a crash course in what to expect from their guest with autism, click on Dear Family and Friends.


U.S. to Launch Massive Study Into Children's Health
The longest, largest study of children's health and development ever conducted in the United States will begin in 2007 under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency. An estimated 100,000 children and their families will be monitored from before birth to age 21, to better understand the link between the environments in which children are raised, and their physical and emotional health and development.

Overloaded: New Science, New Insights about Mercury and Autism in Susceptible Children
The Environmental Working Group has issued a formal report on the link between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. This report directly challenges the conclusions by the United States National Academy of
Sciences' 2004 Institute of Medicine Report and epidemiological studies. The summary begins:
"Scientists have identified a signature metabolic impairment or "biomarker" in autistic children that strongly suggests that these children would be susceptible to the harmful effects of mercury and other toxic chemical exposures (James 2004a). This impairment manifests as a severe imbalance in the ratio of active to inactive glutathione, the body's most important tool for detoxifying and excreting metals. Glutathione works as an antioxidant, keeping in check the potentially destructive process of oxidative stress caused both by normal metabolism and environmental contaminants. Autistic children showed a significant impairment in every one of five measurements of the body's ability to maintain a healthy glutathione defense."

In Autism, New Goal Is Finding It Soon Enough to Fight It
"Propelled by an explosion of public awareness and growing evidence that early treatment with behavioral therapy can improve a child's chances, scientists have set out to diagnose the disorder as early as possible, and slowly, more children with autism are being identified before they turn 2."

Virtual Clinic Will Offer Solution to $25 Billion Autism Crisis
As the incidence of autism grows to epidemic proportions, Cynthia Howroyd, President and CEO of Virtual Expert Clinics (VEC) in Fredericton NB, has enlisted technology and people to wage war on autism with an innovative approach. Her solution will bring training and intervention guidance directly into the homes of those in desperate need of a new solution. According to the Canada NewsWire story the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) have created a syndicate to invest $1.25-million in Virtual Expert Clinics (VEC), specializing in innovative Internet-based solutions for supporting therapeutic services. Visit the VEC website

Virginia Group Helps Adults ADAPT
The Adult Day Activity Program known as ADAPT, just launched, has been planned for 15 years.

Ontario court dissects recent autism ruling
"A massive trial pitting parents of autistic children against the Ontario government that had wrapped up three months ago was back before a judge on Friday 17 December, with lawyers reopening the case after a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling suddenly altered the legal landscape. But the Ontario families say they are waging their battle as an education issue... a failure of a school system with a multimillion-dollar special-needs budget and a two-decade history of integrating disabled children into the classroom to provide the one therapy needed to educate autistic children." Report in The Globe and Mail.



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

.....advance announcements....events in 2005...

Saturday, January 29th, 2005, 2:00-5:00pm, in Ottawa

ASO Ottawa presents...
Finding Work for People with High Functioning Autism,
Asperger's and Non-Verbal Learning Disorders

Finding a job for someone with ASD is probably easier than finding a job for you! Discover how to find jobs for adults & youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the hidden job market. Find out how ASD can actually open employer's doors. Learn tested methods of job development and practice tricks of the trade, taught by Gail Hawkins, owner of Mission Possible, a job coaching firm specializing in ASDs and based in Toronto. The workshop is suitable for adolescents and adults with HFA, Asperger's and NVLD, their parents, educators, support workers and other professionals. Preregistration required. For more information, click here or email Anita at anita_acheson@hotmail.com or Heather at hfawcett@sympatico.ca, or call Anita at 829-4723. 

March 4 & 5, 2005, in Ottawa

Autism Awareness Centre Presents
Jeanette McAfee, M.D. (March 4) on
Navigating the Social World
and Suzanne Murphy (March 5) on 
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - Practical Strategies and How to Use The
Find more and register on-line at: www.autismawarenesscentre.com
Please contact Wendy Benson at Toll Free 1-866-724-2224 or (780) 474-8355
Fax: (780) 477-8350 or (780) 447-5445 E-Mail: wendy.aaci@shaw.ca or maureen.aaci@shaw.ca

April 6-8, 2005, in Barrie
OADD 2005 Conference

The 16th annual conference on developmental disabilities will be held April 6-8, 2005 at the Kempenfelt Centre in Barrie, Ontario. Visit our conference section for information on submitting proposals for your workshop/seminar sessions and posters.

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
Sample of presentations:
-Secondary School Transitions for Students with Asperger’s Syndrome (Richard Hales)
-Planning for Transition to Employment, Community & Post Secondary Education (Lindsay Moir)
-Panel Discussion On Educational Issues - Please come prepared to ask YOUR questions
-ASD Students in High School - Visual Supports for Meaningful Learning  (Sheila Bell)
-Sexuality and People with Developmental Disabilities (David Hingsburger)
Registration must be received ON or BEFORE MARCH 25, 2005.
Early Bird Registration before January 21.
For brochure with all the details about the seminars, accomodations, costs and directions.
contact the Upper Canada Chapter for a brochure dkeillar@sympatico.ca

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


TAP, The Autism Perspective Magazine, is "founded upon the passionate philosophy that those living with and treating autism spectrum disorders and  pervasive development disorders should have a single resource that  presents the full perspective of options for therapies, new understanding, treatments, and services.  Our goal is to enrich and enhance the lives of those living with autism and give them new sources of hope.
"This world-class publication will bring families balanced, informative, and educational articles from across the US and the world.  Within the pages of our magazine, also included are legislative updates, advocacy advice, personal accounts and inspirational stories to encourage and inspire us and make every family feel a little less alone in its struggles, hopes and dreams. http://www.theautismperspective.org
Nicki Fischer, Executive Director & Publisher writes:
"The first issue will cover one family's marriage issues.  Dr. Greenspan wrote an article from his perspective on proper assessment.  How we should learn to listen to each other from a psychologist’s perspective …State Senator Speier’s perspective about autism in
California.  Parents' rights explained by California attorney advocate Valarie Vanaman.  Bill Stillman writes about how he is experiencing  this world.  This is only a sampling of the content.   TAP will have a variety of articles covering many of today’s triumphs, struggles, and hope.  The magazine promises to be about options and different perspectives without taking sides.  This will be a forum for discussion for everyone in the autism community.  I encourage anyone that is interested in talking about their perspective and experience living in the autism community to contact me."

Ontario Children's Info
The Children's Information Portal! brings together information about all the children and youth programs and services provided by the Government of Ontario. A test search for "autism" scored 75 hits. Though these include some duplicates, the tally represents an enormous advance in autism awareness (and needs!) in the past few years. In the year 2000, "autism" hardly figured on the Government of Ontario websites.


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

The National Autism Petition Campaign seeks to impress the Parliament of Canada with the extent of the need of autistic children for treatment. Please visit www.canadaautism.com.
The website allows you to
download the petition in either official language. Just get a minimum of 25 signatures and send it to your MP.

SSAH Provincial Coalition Presentation to Minister of Community and Social Services
On 24 Nov 2004 representatives of the SSAH PC met with the Minister, the Hon. Sandra Pupatello, to share  recommendations for SSAH in light of the Transformation Process that they are about to undertake for Developmental Disabilities Sector in 2005. Click on title to read the slide presentation.

See Weaknesses in Care of Adults with Autism
in our OAARSN bulletin for 4 December



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.

OAARSN Book Review:
Thelma Wheatley, My Sad is All Gone: A Family's Triumph over Violent Autism. Lucky Press. Fall 2004, 284p. $18 US. ISBN 0-9760576-0-3. 
Read Heidi Klaming's review

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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