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16 July 2005


Human Rights Commission files complaint about Safe Schools Act
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has filed a complaint against the Ministry of Education, reiterating its position the Safe Schools Act is having a “disproportional” impact on students with disabilities and those of visible minorities... Students with emotional/behavioural disorders, intellectual and learning disabilities, autism, and Tourette Syndrome and associate disorders such as attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and difficulties with impulse control were particularly affected. The information in the report was collected based on interviews with a variety of sources including a social worker, a community worker, lawyers, mental health experts and advocates for people with disabilities.

McGuinty Government Boosts Support for Adults with a Developmental Disability
“We are taking action to make sure individuals who need our help the most get the supports and services they require,” MCSS Minister Pupatello said. “This investment will really help families to support their loved ones with daily living activities and help our community agencies to provide even better care for their clients.” The government is investing an additional $59 million annually to support:
  • Families who are caring for family members with a developmental disability at home
  • Young adults with a developmental disability who are moving from school to a wide range of community participation activities or work
  • People who are in a situation that requires immediate care, many of whom previously received services from the child welfare system or have aging parents
  • Community agencies so they can strengthen staffing and make their residences even safer for their clients.  Read more in this backgrounder

Over to you. Have we done enough?
"We won't always be here to care for Heather. We have to trust in others." Florence McKie of Alberta writes of the plans for her daughter Heather (46) when her parents are no longer here. "It is easy to put physical and financial matters in place -- but it takes a lifetime to build the trust that will help Heather cope with whatever the future holds. We can only hope that what we have done will be enough. And that those in her life will care enough to protect and respect her." In Macleans, 15 July 2005.

Autistic Success
My brief submitted to The Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology
by janet norman-bain. Excerpt:
"In our world, autism makes us different. Not defective, not in need of "medically necessary treatment", not in need of being made "indistinguishable from our peers". Not mentally ill. Yes, autistics and parents/caregivers need appropriate services, support and help, but those services must be as unique as each of us. We need choices."



Brain-boost drugs 'to be common'?

Healthy people, including children, might one day take drugs to boost their intelligence, scientists predict. The think-tank Foresight, outlined the scenario in an independent report looking at potential developments over the next 20 years. Such "cognitive enhancers" could become as "common as coffee", they suggest... The report was compiled by 50 experts, who set out their predictions for the next two decades.

Antipsychotic drug risperidone effective in treating autistic children
In a study sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, and conducted over a number of sites, it has been found that the antipsychotic drug risperidone is a safe, effective treatment for children with autism who display tantrums, aggression and often self-injure.

'The Group' reaches out to autistic kids
A good inclusion story from Connecticut. "The Group" was started last summer by Casey and Molly Day, when they learned that  pre-teen and teenage children often had no one to hang out with. Struggling to socialize because of their autism and how people reacted to it, the children often stayed indoors. That didn't seem right to the Day sisters, who have a family member with autism. So, with their mom's help, they made a list of responsible friends who could serve as role models for the students with autism. Then, they asked the students, whom they already knew, to hang out."



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

July 18-22, 2005, in Hamilton
Accessibly Yours
Enhancing Environments for Wellness and Occupation
Summer Institute
McMaster University - School of Rehabilitation Science
Click for more
Includes on July 20, all-day workshop on
"Enabling Occupational Performance Through Home Renovation & Universal Design"

July 20-21, 2005, in Troy Michigan
Summer Institute!
Supporting resiliency and well-being throughout the lifespan
sponsored by:
Center for Self-Determination and Transition
College of Education, Wayne State University
Click for more details

July 21-23, 2005, at Niagara-On-The-Lake
Fourth Biennial Niagara Conference on Evidence Based Treatments for Childhood and Adolescent Health Problems
Presentations from 19 leading practitioners and researchers who have studied and developed treatments for anxiety disorders, depression and bipolar disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, substance abuse and bullying among other maladies. Visit conference website

July 26 and 28, in Pontiac, Michigan

Workshops in Supporting Communication

Facilitated Communication is one method used in accessing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) equipment.  This series of two workshops provides the opportunity to learn the techniques of facilitated communication within the context of the principles common to all communication support approaches.

1. Communication Partnerships: A Framework for Support

2. Introductory Skills Workshop: Learning to Be a Facilitator
Sponsored by the Autism Society of America, Oakland County Chapter, and held in the Marriott at Centrepoint.

Sunday, August 28, registration from 7am
Cambridge Chapter of Autism Society Ontario announces its
Second annual golf tournament in support of individuals with autism and their families

Grand Valley Golf & Country Club, 1910 Roseville Rd, RR#2, Cambridge ON N1R 5S3, (519) 623-8811
Fee of $75 per person includes 18 holes of golf, a power cart, buffet luncheon and $20 charitable tax receipt. Please make cheque payable to “Autism Society Ontario–Cambridge Chapter” and mail to 160 Hespeler Road Cambridge, ON N1R 6V7 no later than Friday, August 5, 2005.  We are limited to 144 golfers so please register early. For more information: Stacey at (519) 653-8056 thezoo@rogers.com

September 7 - 8, 2005
, 9am-4pm, Mississauga Convention Center
R.D.I. WORKSHOP "Going to the Heart of Autism"
Introduction to the RDI™ Program (CEU's Available).
Early Bird Registration deadline:
July 22, 2005. http://www.rdiconnect.com/workshops/TorontoCA/
Going to the Heart of Autism:
Remediating Autism through Relationships
Opening Doors to Reciprocal Communication,
Genuine Friendships, & School & Workplace Success

Overview: Based on the latest scientific research, discover how people with Autism, Aspergers and PDD can learn to communicate reciprocally, be genuinely interested in others, and not just tolerate, but enjoy change, transition and going with the flow.
The RDI™ Program is a parent-based, clinical treatment program designed to address the core deficits of autism which impact social communication, relationship building, motivation, critical thinking, abstract language comprehension, problem-solving and executive functioning.
Register online for the workshop:   
http://www.rdiconnect.com/workshops/TorontoCA/ or email: Kristin Adiska at adiska@rdiconnect.com or call toll-free: 1-866-378-6405, ext 119, for more information. Group discounts available.
Visit our web site: http://www.rdiconnect.com/
Steven E Gutstein, Ph.D.SteveGutstein@rdiconnect.com

September 16 - 18th, 2005
MiniDAN! (Defeat Autism Now!)
Biomedical Treatments for Autism
2-day Parent and Practitioner workshop featuring
Dr Elizabeth Mumper, Dr Nancy O'Hara, Maureen McDonnell RN.
Guest Speaker - Dr Andrew Wakefield
Holiday Inn Select Airport, Toronto, Canada
visit www.autismcanada.org or www.danconference.com for more information

Thursday September 22, 2005, in North York
Official launch of Revel in the Light”
The story of Rebecca Beayni, produced by Masterworks Productions
Click for more information about premiere
Click for order form (either video or DVD)
For more about Rebecca's remarkable effect on others, read Rebecca is going to the United Nations Helen Henderson will be highlighting Rebecca's story around her video in her column in the Life Section of the Toronto Star on Saturday July 2.

October 20-23, 2005, in Toronto

Come to Your Senses....
From Theory & Research To Practice: Sensory Therapy & Disabilities
An International Conference for professionals, parents, caregivers & consumers
Presented by Muki Baum Association.

Program includes 37 presenters from 8 countries and a special presentation by Dr Oliver Sacks.

Friday October 21, 2005, 9:30am-4pm 
Regional Support Associates presentation on

"Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Mental Health & Behavioural Issues"
Best Western Lamplighter Inn, London, Ontario
Presenters: J. Dale Munro, MSW, RSW, FAAMR and Liliian Burke, PhD., C.Psych.
Click for more information about RSA
including its Video Conferencing service to the Southwest Region



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

Canadians invited to provide views on policies and programs for persons with disabilities

Minister of Social Development, Ken Dryden, today launched online consultations on the topic of persons with disabilities. The consultations, which are on the department’s website, will give Canadians an opportunity to share their stories and provide feedback into Social Development Canada’s effort to advance the full social participation and well-being of persons with disabilities.
"We want to hear from as many people as possible about disability issues that are important to them," said Minister Dryden. "These consultations are designed to get the input of all Canadians and will add to our ongoing dialogues with stakeholders and others from the disability community."
The Government of Canada recognizes that Canadians with disabilities continue to face barriers and experience exclusion in learning, work and community life. The Government is committed to strengthening the country’s social foundations and ensuring the full social inclusion of all Canadians — including the 3.6 million Canadians with disabilities.
SDC launched its first online consultations in May inviting Canadians to share their stories and work through questions on "family/unpaid caregiving". Using a similar format, this new site now seeks input into future policy and program work related to persons with disabilities. Consultations on the social well-being of seniors, children, families and communities are expected to be added to the site between now and the fall.
Direct link to the consultation page

Social Development’s Online Consultations website is at www.sdc.gc.ca
A quick search of this website could not turn up any references to autism spectrum disorders in adults. Perhaps you could ask some questions, so that our concerns may be brought home to our federal lawmakers and the sources of project funds.

Development and Testing of a Resource Kit for Parents of Young Adults Who Receive Individualized Funding for Support, 2004 - 2007
The goal of this project is to develop a Resource Kit that can be broadly circulated to families who receive individualized funding. It is expected to enhance the quality of life and community participation of young adults with disabilities. This five-year project will assist them in the management of the funding and their work as parents to find supports for their children and family. The Resource Kit will be developed with the 10 families who are involved in the Opening Doors project. Researchers will seek input from all families as to the content and format of such a kit. Another goal is to evaluate the Resource Kit as to its use, utility and impact. A prototype of the Research Kit will be given to all families to use during the Opening Doors project in years two to five. This study is funded by the Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services



Autism Society Canada (ASC) launches new website
is a national incorporated non-profit charitable organization. It was founded in 1976 by a group of parents committed to advocacy, public education, information and referral, and support for its regional societies.

Remediating Autism through Relationships
Download a FREE 32-page Booklet: includes information on research, autism myths, and an introduction to the RDI™ Program
. .

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
By Veronica Zysk & Ellen Notbohm, and published in 2004 by Future Horizons (click for how to order).
Ellen Notbohm is freelance writer, parent of a child with autism, and a columnist for Autism/Asperger's Digest. Read one of her articles:  Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Your comments and requests for reprint permission are welcome at ellen@thirdvariation.com
Read the latest issue of Autism Spectrum, a newsletter from Future Horizons

Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone by Douglas Biklen
Presents case studies of successful communicators using FC.
Now being listed by Amazon: hardcover $65 US; will be $21 in paperback.

Philia Dialogue on Caring Citizenship 
The Philia Dialogue is an initiative of PLAN Institute that brings the wisdom of the disability community
to our quest for a more inclusive society. Caring citizenship (or what some simply call neighbourliness) lies at the heart of this quest for a society in which the participation and contribution of all citizens is welcomed and valued.
ooted in the work of PLAN, Philia believes that everyone has a contribution to make, and that those contributions benefit all of us. We want to change how our society thinks about disability and citizenship, so that belonging becomes “part of the air we breathe and the water we drink.” Our new website is an
extension of our dialogues – a place where we share ideas, information and links relating to caring citizenship. Visit Philia You may also ask to receive the Philia e-zine.

Contact Point

Contact Point, supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada, produces the quarterly Contact Point Bulletin. The spring 2005 edition focuses on people with disabilities... 
In fall 2004, Contact Point conducted a survey to find out how we can continue to provide career practitioners with the information and support they need to do their jobs better. We asked participants to provide a list of topics or subject areas they would like to see on Contact Point. In response to the feedback received from survey respondents, this issue of the Bulletin features new articles on the challenges people with disabilities face when seeking employment and strategies they utilize to overcome these obstacles.

Check it out at http://www.contactpoint.ca/bulletins/v8-n4/v8-n4.html




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.

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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