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20 September 2005



The Age of Autism
More links to the series of articles by Dan Olmsted about reasons for the apparent explosion in numbers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
The Age of Autism: Research reversal
As public funding all but dries up for research into a possible link between vaccines and autism, advocates are trying to tap new sources, but it's too early to tell if they will find any. 

The Age of Autism: One angry mom

Autism linked to parents with higher levels of education
Parents of autistic children tend to be more highly qualified than parents of children with other mental problems, according to a controversial study in Britain.

Main Autism Behaviour Types Are Not Genetically Linked
Scientists at King's College London, have discovered that two sets of behaviours that co-occur in autism spectrum conditions appear to be caused by different sets of genes. In an autism diagnosis, two types of behaviours must be displayed; those that reflect social impairment such as a difficulty in making friends and non-social obsessive and repetitive behaviours such as sticking to rigid routines. These two types of symptoms can both have massive impact on children's development. The researchers were motivated to investigate these two components separately because they represent two very different types of behaviours and it is not clear why they co-occur in autism spectrum conditions. The study collected data from the UK-based Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) through parent and teacher reports on 3000 pairs of seven-year-old twins.

New learning centre for young adults with autism in Scotland

The National Autistic Society (NAS), the UK's leading charity for people with autism, has announced the development of a new Senior Campus and Continuing Education Centre at NAS Daldorch House School in Catrine, East Ayrshire. The Senior Campus (with 27 residential and 8 day spaces) will be the first of its kind in Scotland, and will benefit young people with autism from across the country. It will provide year-round residential education and care facilities for young adults with autism and complex needs aged 16 to 21 years.

Centre that can open door for autism sufferers
An autism support centre has been launched in Edinburgh for over-16s with high functioning autism or Asperger's. With £750,000 funding from the Scottish Executive, the service, provided by Autism Initiatives, offers a wide range of health, support and self-help services, including social skills development and job training. The centre, which is one of only two in Scotland, also includes a library, internet access, and, most importantly, a detailed social calendar. "For adults with Asperger's there was nowhere to go," says Don. "Because they have no 'disability', there were no services for them once they left school.

Supported Living Model for Adults with Autism in
Wales (UK)
Ringland Circle is a purpose-built supported living scheme in Newport for adults with autism, learning disabilities and behaviour which challenges. The service was commissioned by Newport City Council and Seren Group (formerly Charter Housing) are the landlords.  The building was designed by architects Pentan Design. Ringland Circle is the first of its kind in Wales.  Each tenant will have their own individualised flat and the service will utilise modern SMART technology, creative design features and an individualised autism-specific model of care to allow tenants more control over their lifestyle than if they were living communally. The building which comprises six self-contained flats and a communal area will hopefully be completed in December with the first tenants moving in during February 2006.



Creative Supports for Vulnerable Citizens
A conference on this theme was organized by Guelph Services for the Autistic on April 29, 2005. More than 180 people joined in a full and rich program that opened with a keynote address by John Lord on “Creative Supports that Work: Values, Principles and Processes.”  Then there were four parallel workshops:
Judith Snow on “Building Supports with Individuals”
Barbara Leavitt on “From Housing to Creating My Home”
Peggy Hutchison on “Building Meaningful Supports for Work and Recreation Experiences”
Marlyn Shervill, Alice Quinlan and Michelle Friesen on “How Families and Communities
Can Make Creative Options Work: The Windsor-Essex Experience”
Throughout the day there were many displays by organizations from all over southern Ontario. Several creative initiatives were featured in the early afternoon session. John Lord gathered up the day’s ideas and strategies in a final plenary session, so that we could all “go home with awareness.”

We believe it is vital to build on what was learned at the Guelph conference. Many people noted that the scope of the conference was exactly what they needed. There was a heavy demand for places at the conference:  if there had been space, we could have registered twice as many participants. Many were interested in more than one workshop topic, and wished there could have been time to take part in two or more instead of just one. We've heard from people all over Ontario who were unable to attend on April 29, but want to be kept informed of resources coming out of the conference.

we have edited the audio and video recordings that were made of the conference sessions, and now announce:
-a summary videotape of the essence and highlights of the conference

-a print publication of edited text transcripts of the presentations and of the displays
Thanks to Kerry's Place Autism Services and the Community Mental Health Clinic in Guelph for grants to help us make these resources available at modest cost.
Click for more details and order form

Autism Society Ontario's submission to the Ontario Human Rights Commission
in response to the Commission's Review of Ontario's Human Rights System

Kitchen Table Talks about Special Services at Home (SSAHPC)

The SSAH Provincial Coalition is hosting seminars for families in three locations in Ontario this fall. An evening of dinner and discussion about Special Services at Home and how best to use it will be explored by listening to family stories, learning new strategies for inclusion in your neighbourhood and sharing ideals, connections and networking with other families.

  • Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2005
  • Time: 5:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Real CDN Loblaws Superstore Community Room
    Richmond Road (at Kirkwood), Ottawa
  • Date: Thursday, November 24, 2005
  • Time: 5:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: North Toronto Memorial Community Centre
    200 Eglinton Avenue West (west of Yonge), Toronto
  • Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2005
  • Time: 5:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Siskinds Office, 680 Waterloo Street, London

To register or for additional information
Visit the SSAHPC website

Call for Nominations to the Board of Directors of the Aspergers Society of Ontario
The mission of the Aspergers Society of Ontario is to provide education, resources and support to individuals with Asperger Syndrome, their families, educators, medical and mental health professionals, employers, government and the community, to enable individuals with Asperger Syndrome to realize their potential as fully contributing members of their community.

We are currently seeking two new Directors for the Board of Directors for election in October 2005.
Candidates should:
·        Have a working knowledge of Asperger Syndrome
·        Be able to dedicate three hours a week to the work of the Society
·        Commit to attending monthly meetings of the Board
·        Have an interest or experience in fundraising and/or public relations
Interested individuals may submit a short biographical description outlining their qualifications by September 30th for consideration by the members at our upcoming Annual General Meeting. Submissions or questions can be addressed to aspergers.society@sympatico.ca.  Margot Nelles, Founding Executive Director



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

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)

Monday, September 26, 2005, 1-4pm, in Waterloo
Moving Beyond the “Circle of Friends”:  A New Approach to Inclusion
by Shawna Bailey, B.A. (Psyc). Member of The
Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis.
(705) 791-0475  Click for more

September 27, 2005
at 7 00pm, in Ottawa
First general meeting of Families Matters Co-op in Board Room of Total Communication Environment (TCE), Unit #5, 203 Colonnade Road S.
Click for more details

Friday, October 15, 2005, 9:30-12noon, in Guelph

IRPC and IEP workshop with Lindsay Moir
Sponsored by Kerry's Place Autism Services. Click on title for more and to register.

October 15, in Pickering, all day
Families for a Secure Future and Durham Family Network offer
Creating a Home of One's Own
Morning of story telling, afternoon of small group discussions.
Click for more information and to register

October 16, in Erin, all day
Families for a Secure Future offers
Creating a Home of One's Own
Morning of story telling, afternoon of small group discussions.
Link for more information and how to register

October 18 and 19, 2005, at Orillia

Passports to Community Living
Foundations Conference hosted by Community Living Campbellford/Brighton
Click for full information
Pre-registration before Sept 23 saves $50
Donna Winters
Foundations Outcomes Support Facilitator
Community Living Campbellford/Brighton
99 Centre Street, P.O. Box 414
Campbellford, Ontario
P - (705) 653-5161
Voicemail: (705) 653-1821 ext. 45
F - (705) 632-0756

October 21 and 22, 2005, in Belleville
Kerry's Place Autism Services Spectrum Conference
Speakers include Carol Martin, Dr. McCreary, Leslie Yeates and PJ McKenty
Eastminster United Church, 432 Bridge St. East, Belleville, Ontario
Registration begins at 8:30 am
Click on the links below for more detailed information, or phone (613) 384-7800
Registration Form
Conference Brochure

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 present
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

November 2, in Guelph, from 7pm
Capacity Assessments under Ontario's Substitute Decisions Act
presentation by Elaine Atchison, Senior Program Co-ordinator for the Capacity Assessment Office (CAO), Ontario Ministry of Attorney General.
How families and friends need to plan for how decisions will be made by/for vulnerable persons regarding their property and personal care.
"Capacity Assessments are legal assessments of a person’s capacity to understand information that is relevant to making a decision or to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or a lack of decision regarding their property (finances) and/or any of the six domains of personal care (health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene or safety)....
"A basic tenet of Ontario's SDA is that guardianship should be a last resort when nothing short of guardianship will meet the decisional needs of an incapable person."
Likely to interest people in Guelph-Wellington, Waterloo Region and surrounding places.
Guelph Services for the Autistic sponsors this workshop, free to anyone who is interested, but space is limited. Please pre-register now, requesting an invitation and more information. Please send a message to Nancy Cherry

November 1-2, in Duluth, MN

DHD, Medication and Behavioral Strategies in Autism Spectrum Disorder
For information and registration, see the Conferences page at Spectrum Training website
November 1
Dr. Luke Tsai - ADHD and Medications: Gain crucial knowledge about standard medication treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disorders in layman's" terminology. Learn the definition and diagnostic criteria of ADHD, and how to access the disorder. Dr. Tsai will give up-to-date reviews of medication and ADHD research in autism, and talk about the prevalence of ADHD, both in neurotypical and ASD populations. Medical/non-medical interventions for ADHD will be discussed in detail. Dr. Tsai is a professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan, the Director of the UM Developmental Disorders Clinic and one of our favorite speakers! 
November 2
Maria Bird-West Wheeler - Behavior Strategies: Increase your understanding of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that impact behavior and can foster communication breakdowns and feelings of being overwhelmed. A must attend course for parents, teachers and therapists! Learn how to address both the social and sensory needs of an individual with practical use-now solutions. Topics include: Effective Behavior Interventions, Visual Supports for Maximizing Communication and Minimizing Confusion, and Preventing and Dealing with Shutdowns and Meltdowns.

November 8, 2005, 5-9pm, in Ottawa
Kitchen Table Talks about Special Services at Home (SSAHPC)
SSAHPC hosts an evening of dinner and discussion about Special Services at Home
Real CDN Loblaws Superstore Community Room,
190 Richmond Road (at Kirkwood), Ottawa
To register or for additional information
Visit the SSAHPC website

November 24, 2005, 5-9pm, in Toronto
Kitchen Table Talks about Special Services at Home (SSAHPC)
SSAHPC hosts an evening of dinner and discussion about Special Services at Home
Location: North Toronto Memorial Community Centre: 200 Eglinton Avenue West (west of Yonge), Toronto
To register or for additional information
Visit the SSAHPC website

December 7, 2005, 5-9pm, in London
Kitchen Table Talks about Special Services at Home (SSAHPC)
SSAHPC hosts an evening of dinner and discussion about Special Services at Home
Location: Siskinds Office, 680 Waterloo Street, London
To register or for additional information
Visit the SSAHPC website



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

Now school is back, please check out the website of the
Ontario Coalition for Inclusive Education
Inclusive Education is:
Support to learn better together...
As a member of a regular class...
Going to our own “natural” neighbourhood school...
With support to participate in and contribute to the life of the school...
This is better education for ALL students!


A Yahoo! Group that allows members to chat about ODSP issues:

The Google Group that has more detailed discussions about ODSP
topics:  http://groups.google.ca/group/odspfireside



Special siblings: Making room for siblings of kids with special needs
Article in Today's Parent by Amy Baskin.

Interesting checklists, to use for planning interventions ...
Use these checklists as an ongoing measurement of the independence
skills your child/teen achieves.
Here's a website that has an extremely helpful checklist for parents to use as a guideline for their children.  I'm sure we've all been working on these things with our children (depending on their ages) but there are some things we may have forgotten about. Or maybe we just need a detailed list to keep in one spot. Special needs or not, I think this is helpful for any parent with a child.

CPRI's PDD Connector reports Adult Study
Dr Deborah Ellison, Manager, Developmental Services and colleagues presented results of a study of how 27 former clients are functioning as adults, at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Boston in May 2005. A more detailed paper is being prepared for publication. Click to read a summary

Individualized Funding Coalition For Ontario
IFCO's website, maintained by Joyce Balaz, contains much up-to-date and relevant material too encourage persons and families who want to direct their own lives.
Note a new document Building a New Story: Transforming Disability Supports and Policies
Revisiting In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues 1997. A commentary by John Lord, Judith Snow and Charlotte Dingwall, for the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (September 2005).

Aging with a Developmental Disability: Transition Guide for Caregivers

A valuable resource from the Ontario Partnership on Aging and Developmental Disabilities. Visit the website

Number 84, September 1, 2005
The Housing Again Bulletin, sponsored by Raising the Roof as a partner in Housing Again. A monthly electronic bulletin highlighting what people are doing to put housing back on the public agenda in Ontario, across Canada and around the world. Our web sites are:
Housing Again

Shared Learnings on Homelessness
http://www.sharedlearnings.org /

Raising the Roof

If you have any tips for the Bulletin please e-mail:
annemariea@nrupublishing.com or haille6@rogers.com

The Philia Dialogue on Caring Citizenship invites you to visit
its newly designed website at http://www.philia.ca The Philia Dialogue is an initiative of PLAN Institute, which brings the
wisdom of the disability community to Philia's quest for a more inclusive society. You can requet a free subscription to the monthly e-zine @Philia. Share your ideas and stories at the website by clicking "Have Your Say" or send longer stories to haveyoursay@philia.ca

Read PLANFacts

The summer 2005 newsletter of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network
an organization created to help families answer the question:
"What happens to our family members with disabilities when we die?"
Visit the new PLAN website

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing
aims to provide Canadians with a clear, valid, and regular accounting of the things that matter to them and the genuine progress of
Canada. Read more

The latest issue (64, Fall 2005) features Abilities Festival: Spotlight on the Arts.

Disability WebLinks
Disability WebLinks is a resource providing access to over 1,500 federal, provincial and territorial government programs, information and services for people with disabilities in Canada.

International online autism conference (NO COST)
This FREE autism online conference takes place October 17 - 21, 2005. Over 30 experts have agreed to take part giving participants free access to these speakers. The target audience is those with autism or Asperger's Syndrome, parents, teachers, social workers, therapists, medical professionals, police officers, researchers and caregivers.

The topics will include:
Autism in Society
Brain Research
Biomedical Aspects
Adults with Autism
Brain Research
Diagnosis and Screening Education
Theories of Autism
Savank Skills
Splinter skills
Language and Autism

Speakers include:
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
Donna Williams
Wendy Lawson
Dr. Geraldine Dawson
Professor Tony Atwood
Professor Uta Frith
Dennis Debbaudt
Dr. Fiona Scott
Dr. Digby Tantam
Theo Peeters
Paul Shattock
David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm
Sallie Bernard of Safe Minds

The presentations will l be grouped in sections. "The Papers section opens one week before the official opening date for the conference. This gives you the chance to read the papers and think about any questions or issues you wish to raise during the conference."

To register go to www.autism2005.org and please do let other parents, teachers, therapists, Doctors and aides about this free online conference. Make sure you also give them feedback on this wonderful service they are providing!




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

Autism: Getting the Truth Out
An eloquent rejoinder by adults with autism to the Autism Society of America's current Getting the Word Out website, as "the Voice of Autism" to celebrate its 40th birthday and raise funds. See Getting the Word Out
Getting the Truth Out is much longer than the ASA statements and is not an easy read. You may feel disturbed. You have to persevere to get all its meanings. Three quotes, to give  an idea:
"As we are now, all of us are people and always will be people"

"We speak with as many different voices as there are autistic people"
"Our existence, our worth, our personhood are not dependent on you"

What do you think?

Common Sense and Autistic Sense
The satirical obituary on the death of Common Sense (author unknown) has prompted Brian Henson to announce the birth of Autistic Sense.

Magic Carpets and Great Performances
An article, submitted by Lucy Mekler, about how Feldenkrais practitioners may help people with abnormal sensitivities to touch.

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