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OAARSN NEWS BULLETIN
9 April 2005
NEW ON OAARSN
note: The Guelph conference
SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS on
April 29, 2005 is now
full, though we increased the number of spaces by 25 per cent.
We regret that we can accept no more registrations. However we plan
a process of
discussion and sharing resources, using the OAARSN website and other
workshops and poster presentations will be recorded and edited into
video resources to share with people and groups who cannot attend. Let
us know if you cannot attend, but would like ot be kept informed of
these resources. Click
planning updates and conference program
Gerald Bloomfield attended the recent
conference on "Epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Behavior"
sponsored by Autism Society of
Michigan & Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan.Read
Nancy Cherry, ASPIRE Advocate has
compiled a guide toTransition
school to adult
and suggestions are welcomed.
at Oaklands Regional Centre Medical experts have joined a
probe into the deaths of 10 residents (at least two of them autistic)
an Ontario home for the mentally disabled, as the province's chief
coroner tries to determine whether an inquest is necessary. The
expanded probe should wrap up by the end of May, and a decision on
whether to hold an inquest will be made then.
Autistic children denied treatment,
judge rules Ontario has violated the
constitutional rights and "human dignity"
of autistic schoolchildren by denying them treatment they desperately
need in order to cope and thrive, an Ontario Superior Court judge has
Madam Justice Frances Kiteley found discrimination based on age and
disability, bringing a dramatic end to a lawsuit launched by 29 groups
of parents whose autistic children were denied autism treatment in the
education system at the age of 6. She awarded the litigants damages
that will run into the millions of
dollars for past and future treatment. She also refused the province's
request for a grace period in which to repair its delivery of autism
programs, saying it has had ample time to fix the problem. ... In
an exhaustive 217-page decision, Judge Kiteley said the province
broke an explicit promise in the Education Act to meet the needs of
disabled children, and then failed abysmally to evaluate its existing
Without treatment, Judge Kiteley said, "the plaintiff children are
deprived of the skills they need for full membership in the human
community. That child's isolation and lack of skills mean that s/he
cannot participate in society and cannot exercise the rights and
freedoms to which all Canadians are entitled. Read the full ruling
Age of Autism: Series of articles in UPI by Dan
Olmsted who addresses
intriguing questions of whether autism spectrum disorders have been
always with us or
whether they appeared only in the 20th century. We've noted five
earlier instalments. The
Age of Autism: Study
links autism, mercury emissions The study, accepted for
publication in the peer-reviewed
"Health and Place," looked for an association between rates of autism
and special education in Texas and levels of mercury released into the
environment. "There was a significant
increase," according to the study.
average, for each 1,000 pounds of environmentally released mercury,
there was a 43 percent increase in the rate of special education
services and a 61 percent increase in the rate of autism."
questions than answers in autism The National Institutes of
Health is expected to
spend $102 million for autism research this year — a five-fold increase
in six years. "We have many
questions than answers right
now," a note in USA Today quotes research psychiatrist and
neuroscientist Thomas Insel,
director of the National Institute of Mental Health and head of an
interagency federal panel on autism.
IMMUNIZATION Medical Miracle or Masterful Mirage
From the Vive le Canada website, comment on an extensive report about
the current massive international
effort to administer artificial immunization to the world's children.
The author quotes research that found "hundreds of children who were
fat and well before being vaccinated, but
who are now chronically ill or seriously mentally or physically
disabled. Of some 600 cases: the most common are autism (202); serious
digestive problems (110); epilepsy (97); hearing and vision problems
(40); arthritis (42); behaviour and learning problems (41); ME (24);
diabetes (9); paralysis (9); blood disorders (5); brain damage (3); and
death (14)." The
report openly challenges the scientific, developmental, and
humanitarian basis of this global public policy, and urges national
governments to adopt a more rational, effective and
harmless inter-sectoral approach in seeking natural immunity to
Mercury: The Winged Messenger From the publisher: "Every American child entering the public school system is required to receive 21 specified vaccinations designed to protect them from dangerous diseases. In his book (now available at online booksellers), Courtney L. Zietzke writes that a chemical added to those vaccines has exposed children to dangerous levels of toxic mercury, that has caused debilitating autism with the government’s full knowledge.
Pre-Term Labor Drug Sensitizes Brain to Pesticide Injury A drug commonly prescribed to halt pre-term labor and stave off premature birth might leave the brains of children susceptible to other chemicals ubiquitously present in the environment, according to research conducted on laboratory animals by DukeUniversityMedicalCenter pharmacologists. Their new study found that rats exposed to the pre-term labor drug terbutaline suffer greater brain cell damage than those not given the drug upon secondary exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos. The result might help to explain earlier suggestions that children whose mothers are administered terbutaline suffer cognitive deficits. The National Institutes of Health supported the research.
Biological link sought to mental illness An increasing number of U.S. researchers are searching for links between viral and other infectious diseases and mental disorders, such as autism and depression. The theory is that viruses and bacteria that assault the immune system might also assault the brain. For example, Susan Swedo, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, documented the sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome in some children who suffered strep throat. If mental illnesses are confirmed to have biological roots, mental health advocates say it might lessen the stigma currently attached to mental disorders.
Study Links Free Radicals to the Spectrum of Autism Many autistic children share a chronic flaw in the body's natural defenses against oxygen free radicals - corrosive molecules in the body that can severely damage developing brain cells, scientists said Saturday in San Diego. The molecular havoc caused by free radicals - natural byproducts of metabolism - is believed to be a major factor in the cell damage that underlies aging.
Genetics: A 'Striking' Fragile X Finding? By Mary Carmichael for Newsweek, April 11 issue. The genetic flaw called Fragile X has a suite of tragic symptoms—mental disabilities, autism and seizures among them. Like most developmental defects, it's permanent, or that's what doctors have assumed. Tom Jongens, though, thinks that there might be hope for a partial cure even after his Fragile X patients—fruit flies—are well into adulthood.
Brain Is 'Smarter' Than We Think, MIT Study Shows "Primitive
structures deep within the brain may have a far greater role
in our high-level everyday thinking processes than previously believed,
report researchers at the MIT Picower Center for Learning and Memory in
the Feb. 24 issue of Nature. The results of this study ... have
implications about how we learn. The
new knowledge also may lead to better understanding and treatment for
autism and schizophrenia, which could result from an imbalance between
primitive and more advanced brain systems.
Clinical study of mirror
neurons provides insights into autism and other disorders Seeing is doing - at least it is when mirror
neurons are working normally. But new research suggests that, in
individuals, the brain circuits that enable people to perceive and
the actions of others do not behave in the usual way. According to the
study, currently in press at the journal Cognitive Brain Research,
electroencephalograph (EEG) recordings of 10 individuals with autism
dysfunctional mirror neuron system: Their mirror neurons respond only
they do and not to the doings of others.
Decodes Human Brain A new magnetic resonance
imaging machine is capable of imaging not just the anatomy but
metabolism within the brain. Researchers at the University of Illinois
at Chicago, where the MRI
machine is located, say that the technology ushers in a new age of
metabolic imaging that will help researchers understand the workings of
the human brain, detect diseases before their clinical signs appear,
develop targeted drug therapies for illnesses like stroke and provide a
better understanding of learning disabilities. The scanner will help
identify and monitor many common conditions
and diseases of the brain -- including stroke, Alzheimer's, autism and
mental illness. "The work we're doing mapping human thoughts brings so
to the future of medical research, specifically to our ability to
really understand more about brain diseases... The
medical and social implications of this technology include more
personalized healthcare and earlier intervention to prevent disease."
'shows if people trust you' US scientists say they can tell whether
one person trusts another, by using an MRI brain scan.The results suggest that a
brain region called the
caudate nucleus lights up when it receives or computes data to make
decisions based on trust. Professor Lyn Pilowsky, professor
of neurochemical imaging and psychiatry at London's Institute of
Psychiatry, said the caudate nucleus was certainly
an important area of the brain involved in schizophrenia and autism.
A Transparent Enigma "Low-functioning autistics
are not supposed to joke, write or
creatively express a rich inner life. But then there's Tito
Mukhopadhyay." So begins an article in Scientific American aboutTito
who combines all the signs of
classic "low-functioning" autism with an ability to write and tell the
world of what it's like to live with autism.
artist having second show
Londoner David Downes is gearing up for his second solo exhibition,
Above and Beyond 2005. David, who is supported by the National Autistic
detailed aerial views of London landscapes despite never getting off
the ground. Using his imagination and keen eye for detail, his
distinctive work captures the meeting of old and new architecture in
Autism film tells a nation's story A film about post-conflict Serbia - with a young, autistic actress in one of the lead roles - is being shown in London as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.
available for growing disorder
A good story
about John Taylor (23) who serves as a
volunteer DJ at Marshall’s WMUL radio station, a placement arranged by
the Autism Services Center in Huntington. Dr. Ruth Christ Sullivan,
executive director.of the center,
was the first elected president
of the Autism Society of America
(1968-1970). Her son Joseph is known as one of two
autistic savants who inspired Dustin
Hoffman’s portrayal of Raymond Babbitt in the movie "Rain Man."
submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and
Board in plain text format by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
URL Link for more information/registration
Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments
Aspergers Society of Ontario Workshop Series in
11: An Introduction to
Asperger Syndrome, Dr. Kevin Stoddart Thursday
April 21: Asperger Syndrome: The
School Experience, Georgina Rayner Monday
May 9: Parenting Children with
May 19: Teens and Young Adults
Asperger Syndrome, Dr. Kevin Stoddart Monday
June 20: Financial Planning for
for more information and registration form Note the new Canadian
book on Asperger Syndrome from Jessica Kingsley Publishers: "Children,
Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Integrating Multiple
Perspectives." For more information go to www.jkp.com
April 29, 2005 in Guelph Guelph conference
SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS Guelph
the Autistic and OAARSN invite Ontario people who want and need to
be creative in supporting good lives with and for adults who are
vulnerable because of disability. We
want to encourage self-advocates, families and friends to take part.
Our concern is practical--how to
and implement the elements of a good life for each person, learning
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
a process of
discussion and sharing resources--during the conference and also
beforehand and afterwards, using the OAARSN website and other media. Highlights of
workshops and poster presentations will be recorded and edited into
video resources to share with people and groups who cannot attend.
Safety Symposium: Crime Prevention and Independent Living
The Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres
(CAILC) is holding a National Symposium, April 28 – 30th 2005 in
Ottawa. CAILC will partner with the Ottawa Police Services, who
are celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2005. The funding for
this project is through the National Crime Prevention Initiative.
This Symposium will bring persons with disabilities
together with municipal and provincial/territorial leaders, crime
prevention experts, and first responders to discuss the issues and
programs that affect the ability of persons with disabilities to live
independently and safely in their own communities. It will foster an
integrated and comprehensive approach to crime prevention and
We will showcase crime prevention and Independent Living
strategies and highlight programs from across the country. There
will be time to share ideas and expertise, create awareness and
educate, and facilitate activities and partnerships from all areas of
Watch for announcements and
registration information on the CAILC website in November at www.cailc.ca
John and Anne Toft describe their success with Ottawa
Resolution Service for Persons with a Developmental Disability, in
getting help for their son of 35. Their difficultt experiences over the
past four years illustrate both the lack of capacity in the system and
the absence of "portability" of entitlement to funding and services
when a family moves from one part of Ontario to another.
from Another Planet: Our Lives in the Universe of Autism "Taken as a
whole, this book is amazing -- and I'm not saying that just
because autistic people wrote it. . . I read it and it gets into my
life as a whole person and an autistic woman, not just the bits and
pieces people want to hear about when they read autism books. Nobody in
the book has a life precisely like mine, but somehow it doesn't matter
-- somehow the most important internal parts are represented. It blends
the personal, medical, and political effectively and gracefully. Most
books about autism, even the personal ones, look mainly at our brains
and "symptoms". This one is not so limited by convention. It looks into
our lives and souls."
Book Covers Autism in Plain Language Autism
Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding
Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Other
ASDs (published by Penguin,
Sept 2004) by Chantal Sicile-Kira, Sicile-Kira taught autistic
adolescents, then worked as a case manager
providing information to families of children with developmental
disabilities, including autism before having a child with autism.
Living and raising her son, who now 15 and severely autistic, in three
different countries forced Sicile-Kira to sharpen her resource finding
and analytic skills, and this clearly shows in her book. As one parent
put it "Sicile-Kira understands that families have been starved for
information presented in a logical format without prejudice or
condescension and this book delivers on all counts."
Two Good Ideas from the The National
Autism Society (UK)
PARIS PARIS (Public Autism Resource & Information Service) is a new online service provided by the NAS. It will provide UK-wide database designed to help people with autism (including those with Asperger Syndrome), their families and the people who work with them professionally to find out more about the services available to them.
The Autism Alert card Developed in consultation with adults with autism and parents, the Autism Alert card can be carried by a person with autism and enables them to identify their needs in situations where they may find communication difficult such as a supermarket, a railway station, or with a policeman.
CALLING FOR HELP AND
adults with autism is usually negative. We receive many appeals for
on where to turn for help--with diagnosis and assessment, advocacy,
for the future, alternatives to approaches that are not working. There
are virtually no obvious sources of help for isolated adults with
and their caregivers.
some adults and their families and caregivers are heroically using what
resources they have to achieve some successes with their challenges.
can report remarkable progress. We invite you, as an adult or caregiver
living with autism, to share your perceptions, problems and success
you think others might help or benefit.
The Silent Spring
The hum, the
grind, the music beat--
They start to surge in force
Until the bang hits in the ear,
And one escapes the source...
The source is the
Where sounds are uncontrolled;
And yet when asked to ease the strain,
The quest is seen as "cold".
As there is no alternative
Than to escape the bang,
It's like one's trying to escape
The bullet and the gang...
Once out, and far away,
Is felt, but now alone,
The individual must face
A life next to a stone.
That stone is not a social
But humans crave to be
Connected to another kin
Through their humanity.
So as the person, who begs
And quiet times, essays
To reach out to the world, he finds
That time is but delays...
Delays in understanding
Delays in silent form,
Delays in seeking inner strength,
Before the silent storm.
But these delays do not
The want of reaching out
To others who have felt the peace,
And put aside the doubt.
As more souls put aside
And listen to their heart,
The silence will increase to force
The noise too, then, depart...
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