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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.



13 January 2005



No. 29, January 2005.  Joint newsletter of Guelph Services for the Autistic and Waterloo Wellington Autism Services. Contents include:

  • New Year Resolutions: Welcome to 2005
  • PATH: Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope—questions and answers about PATH and CIRCLES as planning tools for better lives and more secure futures, based on a workshop and several PATH events for young adults with ASD in our region.
  • A Vision and Strategic Plan for a Farm Community & Regional Centre: report on a full-day workshop in Guelph, the final step in a process facilitated by Bruce Kappel. Participants have identified the core values and components of the Farm Community and Centre, including some principles related to each. They decided to proceed with some development steps that will help get some things done soon, develop some experience with various approaches, and provide the context for working together toward a common goal.
  • Some Lessons from British Columbia that Provide Insight Into the Transformation of the Developmental Service Sector in Ontario, by Dr John Lord
  • A Community that Cares: Creating affordable housing through leadership, innovation and collaboration, report on a workshop by Gerald Bloomfield of GSA
  • Guelph conference on CREATIVE SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS planned for Friday, April 29, 2005 in Guelph (at Ignatius Centre/Orchard Park)
  • “Autism and the railway: an unscientific meditation” by Andrew Foster of Cambridge, Ontario. Why do trains and railways appeal to people with autism?
  • Thelma Wheatley, My Sad is All Gone: A Family's Triumph over Violent Autism, reviewed by Heidi Klaming.
  • Brian Henson’s poem: “O-n-e ...in autism”
  • A note about the scope of Implementing Person-Centered Planning: Voices of Experience, edited by John O'Brien & Connie Lyle O'Brien (2002), a sequel to the authors’ A Little Book About Person-Centered Planning (1998).
  • AAIWW Bulletin Board, and note of survey being taken among adults and families of Adults with ASD in relation to possible farm community for adults with ASD.



A one-hour Planet Parent special on Asperger’s Syndrome
another chance to see excellent presentation: Sunday January 16 at 4:00

"Geek, nerd, or the weird kid. Every schoolyard has a couple: the kids on the fringes who play alone and have obsessive interests in say astronomy or insects. It’s painful for these kids who just don’t fit in, and also for their families who aren’t sure how to help. Yet we are now learning that this sort of obsessive behavior could be a sign of a kind of high-functioning autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome, which has only been identified in the last decade. Thousands and thousands of adults may have grown up with Asperger’s and not known it. It’s prevalent -- but tough to diagnose.
"This special program looks at the impact this syndrome has on several families coping with Asperger’s. We tell their stories and talk to researchers and experts on the origin of this mysterious disorder and the hunt for a cure; featuring Dr. Peter Szatmari of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, geneticist Dr. Steve Scherer and social worker Dr. Kevin Stoddart."

Coroner to review 10 deaths of former residents of Oakville facility

New concerns over the deaths of 10 residents of an adult care centre are prompting Ontario's chief coroner to review the cases, with the possibility of a full inquest to follow. A team will review the circumstances surrounding the deaths that occurred between January 2000 and November 2004 at Oaklands Regional Centre in Oakville, Ontario - the facility where a 46-year-old autistic man went missing in October and was later found dead in a nearby creek.

Mainstream miracle
"Thanks to the former Oregon Governor's unwavering belief in her autistic son, Mike Sanders [now 48] surpasses expectations... Barbara Roberts' fight -- now Oregon lore -- to get her older son an education launched the former governor's career and opened school doors statewide to children with disabilities."

Autistic Liberation Front fights the 'oppressors searching for a cure'
Article in The Telegraph UK about the spread of a movement to celebrate autism, stop the search for a cure and "defend the dignity of autistic citizens". "Supporters argue that scientists' efforts to cure autism, a developmental brain disorder that typically appears during childhood and affects the areas controlling language, social interaction and abstract thought, are like attempts by previous generations to cure homosexuality or left-handedness, and are doomed to failure. They see autism as "an alternative form of brain-wiring" with its own benefits and drawbacks rather than as a disorder in need of a cure. 'We need acceptance of who we are and what we are," said one campaigner. "You have to get out of the cure mindset.'"

Today Show - The Epidemic of Autism
The Today Show on NBC is dedicating the month of January 2005 to the "Epidemic of Autism."  Bob Wright, Chairman of NBC, has a 3 year old grandson who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has sent an e-mail out to all NBC/Universal employees to tell them about his grandson and to let them know that Autism is a hidden epidemic that takes an enormous toll on tens of thousands
of families across the country. He also said that his goal is to bring the best and latest information to as wide as possible an audience on the subject of Autism. Please check your local listings for the viewing times in your area.

A new news radio station all about Autism: available through the Net:

Autism One is tremendously pleased to announce Autism One Radio, a
worldwide, web-based autism radio station for the care, treatment
and recovery of children with autism. The station began
broadcasting (webcasting) Tuesday, January 11, 2005.
It works much like a radio, but you listen on your computer. Because
it's on the web, people from all over the world can tune in.
"Our children get better; many recover given the proper treatments and therapies.
Our enemies are time and ignorance. The message is
not getting out.
Successful treatments and therapies are largely
Currently a diagnosis of autism comes with a prognosis of
lifelong and forever. Parents are devastated, time is lost, and children are denied the treatments they need."
Programs are divided into four categories to help listeners learn in the areas of most interest.
Biomedical Treatments and Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Behavior and Education
Family and Home Health
News / Legal / Advocacy
The programs will be live and recorded for later listening.
Click on title to learn more about Autism One Radio


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

Ottawa Resolution Service for Adults with a Development Difficulty
John and Anne Toft explain how this mechanism has helped their son Adrian to reach a residential placement, with supports, after experiencing great difficulty in various other placements. Click on title to read their account.

Dispute resolution services are available in all regions of Ontario. If you have experienced this service, please tell OAARSN about it. 
We'd like to produce a list of all the agencies providing this service.



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

Tuesday, January 18th, 7:30-9pm, in Kitchener-Waterloo
Depression...Beyond the Blues
Hear Dr John Heintzmann. Free admission. Click on title for poster with more details.

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

Wednesday, March 30, from 7:00 in Kitchener
“My Sad is all Gone”:
Various therapeutic techniques for helping Autistic people

with Thelma Wheatley, author, teacher & parent
Kitchener Public Library, in the Schneider Room
In association with Waterloo Wellington Autism Services & Autism Society Ontario
Thelma Wheatley is described as the only Canadian parent of an autistic adult who has published a book about him. “My Sad is All Gone” was just published in October and now you can meet the author and her son Julian. Thelma will speak about the specific drug protocol that helped her son control his violence and aggression, also about other helpful therapy techniques including music and art therapy.

Thursday, March 31 (evening) and Friday, April 1, in Waterloo

2005 Spring LD Conference
Learning Outside the Box
“Piece by Piece: putting the LD puzzle together”
Waterloo Recreation Complex, Waterloo, Ontario
KEYNOTE SPEAKER Thursday evening:Dr Maggie Mamen, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Friday Breakout Sessions include: Learning Styles / Multiple Intelligences; Written Expressive Issues;
Auditory Processing Challenges; Social /  Emotional Impact of LD; Sensory Integration and Motor Deficits;
Programming for the LD student
For more conference details, or to register on-line:
visit our website at www.learningoutsidethebox.ca
Or contact us at

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

May 29-31, 2005
in London
"Creating a Community that Works for Everyone"
Community Living Ontario 2005 - 52nd Conference
and AGM
Hilton London Hotel, London, Ontario.
Shirley Yuen, Conference Coordinator,
tel. 416-447-4348, ext. 226  





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 perceptions, problems and success stories, if you think others might help or benefit.

From a concerned grandparent
We are getting desperate in our search to find a place for our high functioning autist grandson, to get the help he needs, to beable to function in the world on his own.  He was diagnosed ADD as a small child and was not diagnosed Autist until jr high, so has not had the training that he needs to beable to function in the world.  He has no common sense, no social skills, no control when it comes to the computer or computer games, you can't get him to quit playing.  He is agressive, bossy, he is a big guy 6ft 4in and pretty much does as he wants especially at home.  His parents need some advice and help.  He will be 20 this month.  Is there any help for an adult with autism?  I've been searching the computer and there seems to be some help on the east coast and in Canada, is there anything in CA or the west coast?  At this point I guess we should any help or advice we can get.

Speech Therapy for Adults with Autism: appeal from a Speech-Language Pathologist

I am a speech pathologist working with developmentally disabled adults and am being pressured into providing speech therapy for autistic adults who have extremely limited vocabularies.  Is there any research available to help me either learn about the best methodology to provide services or are there cogent argumants to be made that therapy is unsupported for someone who is fifty years old + and has a vocabulary limited to nouns and the simplest of verbs, such as "go" and "eat"? I am willing to listen to any advice you may have available.

If you wish, we will not print 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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