OAARSN offers a rich 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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13 May 2006



Time Magazine's cover story and two other articles are about Autism
Click this link to read them  Look at the various links for ways to read the whole articles.

People With Autism Daydream Differently

According to researchers, people with autism seem to daydream differently than other people do.
When the minds of non-autistic people are "idle", a network within the brain involved in social and emotional thought is, in fact, active. People often drift into daydreams at these times, but when we have to concentrate on a task, we suppress daydreaming.
A team from the University of California at San Diego used functional MRI to show that while this network is more active in non-autistic people when their brains are resting than carrying out a cognitive test, there is no difference between the active and resting brains of people with autism.
The team's report is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which co-author Daniel Kennedy writes, "The absence of this activity in autism might mean that they have a different sort of internal thought."
Link to the article in Forbes Magazine
Read the BBC story about this item

TIP of the Week - about the way Methyl B12 can help....
"ABA, OT, PT, speech therapy, and all the other forms of therapy finalize the deal"
 "What has happened is methyl-B12 has taken off the earmuffs and blindfold that have been blocking the children's brains from utilizing the neurons and brain cells that were already in place but that were just waiting for the right circumstances to occur. The addition of methyl-B12 allows the conditions to be right! However, methyl-B12 is not what does it, is not what makes the child learn, is not what brings the child back. Instead, it is
ABA, OT, PT, speech therapy, and all the other forms of therapy that finalizes the deal and gives the child back to his parents and to the world. However, without methyl-B12 leveling the playing field, children on the spectrum would never be able to realize the advantage that unaffected children enjoy in a learning environment! And so it is – methyl-B12 the gloves, therapies the hands!" —James Neubrander, MD, FAAEM

from Newsletter of US Autism & Asperger Association, May 8, 2006, http://www.usautism.org



Senator Munson launches an inquiry into the treatment of autism

The Honourable Jim Munson, Senator (Ottawa - Rideau Canal) rose in the Senate today to launch an inquiry on the plight faced by parents of children with autism.

"It is heartbreaking to see what families with autistic children have to deal with," said Senator Munson. "Where is the universality in health care that Canadians are so proud of? It's not to be found if you have autism," continued the senator from Ontario. "The Canada Health Act does not specify autism treatment as an Insured Health Service."

"Autism knows no borders. It is time for the Government of Canada to show leadership - in the same way that we have shown leadership with Canada's Drug Strategy or our Diabetes Strategy. We need a National Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategy."

Senator Munson hopes that with the support of his colleagues that this inquiry may become the focus of a study of a Standing Senate Committee.”

A more detailed record of some discussion in the Senate on this issue may be found in the Debates of the Senate (Hansard), 1st Session, 39th Parliament, Volume 143, Issue 13, Thursday, May 11, 2006.



D.O.O.R. 2 Adulthood Project

“D.O.O.R. 2 Adulthood” (Disability Ontario Online Resource) is a website that was developed for youth with disabilities who live in Ontario.  It is about making the transition to adult life as a person with a disability.


People with disabilities, parents and service providers joined together to plan, develop and evaluate this online resource.  The goal is to make the transition to adult life for youth with disabilities easier. 


The website includes:

·        A database of resources and services related to transition in Ontario

·        Stories and blogs about transition to adulthood

·        An E-chat where people can talk and share information, experiences and ideas about making a smooth transition

·        An “Ask a Mentor” link to youth who have experienced transition


We are always looking for new information about transition services and resources for our database. Please click on the following link to add an entry:  http://www.ablelink.org/public/transition/search.htm

You will see the word Add your service or resource to the D2A database on the left side of the page in the blue sidebar. Click this link for the database template

NAS Parent to Parent support line expands across the UK
The National; Autism Society (UK) has expanded its Parent to Parent support line, a free, confidential telephone support service offered by volunteer parents to other parents of an adult or child with an autistic spectrum disorder. Callers can access the 24-hour service.

Coming soon....
The One Community Project
According to its founder, Brad Littleproud
, this is a new social initiative, not government-funded, to create more opportunities for support for persons with special needs within Canada. It uses "venture philanthropy" (i.e revenue generating services) to fund its desired social support programs. "Our intent is to draw upon the talents within the community to create and sustain the support services we intend to build."
"One of the services that the One Community Project has created is FIND A WORKER--a comprehensive database that brings experienced individuals who have a desire to work with persons with special needs, with those agencies and clients that are seeking those talented individuals. This is not an employment service, but a place where those who wish to do direct service work with special needs clientele on a part-time basis, can create a confidential profile (no name or contact information shown) FOR FREE, and allow prospective clients to search the profiles for the right match.
"The One Community Project receives nominal user fees from agencies and private clients to access, with consent of the worker candidate, information that would allow them to contact one another to further the contracting process. We are now populating our database through recruiting the cooperation from various educational, vocational settings and related associations who connect with members who skill sets are appropriate for our service."
At present it is hard for those wishing to find good support workers and intervenors. Some agencies carry informal lists of persons available for direct service work, but mostly this information is very fragmented and a "word of mouth" process. As a parent myself of a child with special needs, finding someone skilled to work with my child in his preschool setting was a frustrating experience. And I have numerous contacts in the field. Imagine smaller, less connected settings or families for whom this is a new experience.
"The One Community Project is attempting to be innovative, not only in creating a simple, searchable, on-stop location to find great talent, but as well, turn the proceeds generated into further socially relevant programs. On our website you will see that our inaugural project is the Durham Preschool Autism project, that will provide state of the art early intervention to preschooler diagnosed with autism."

Please plan to visit the website, still under construction, at http://onecommunityproject.ca
  or email Brad at blittleproud@onecommunityproject.ca



We urge you to read the following report and respond to MCSS via the feedback page very soon. The report is the culmination of the recent process of transforming developmental services in Ontario, and may become the "blueprint" for services and funding in the next 25 years.

Opportunities and Action: Transforming Supports in Ontario for People Who Have a Developmental Disability
is the Ontario government's response to the challenges facing our developmental services system.  The paper outlines key directions to achieve the Province's vision of an inclusive Ontario for people with a developmental disability, and is the product of 18 months of consultation with people who have a developmental disability, their families, community agencies, academics and clinical experts.  The paper also includes a series of questions to generate thought on how best to implement changes to the system of supports in Ontario.

Opportunities and Action is now available for public comment so that all Ontarians can contribute to shaping the future of a fair, accessible and sustainable developmental services system for Ontario.  Comments may be submitted via a feedback page, e-mail, fax or mail until June 30, 2006.  The government will also be holding focus groups with families to encourage further discussion and obtain their input about how to implement changes to the system. 

The input received from the consultation will guide a blueprint for the future of developmental services in Ontario:  one that is focused on long-term solutions to help individuals with a developmental disability realize their potential and fully participate in our communities.

Read the Full Report
Read the Plain Language Version
Read Executive Summary
Feedback Page

New Study Demonstrates Impact of Making Disability Supports Personalized

The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario has released a new study on the role of individualized funding in Ontario. Moving Toward Citizenship is a comprehensive study of how four projects across Ontario are providing supports to people with disabilities in a unique and personalized fashion. Researchers studied 130 individuals and their families who receive individualized funding for their support needs. Individualized funding is based on a support plan developed by the person and their network. It allows individuals and their families to then personalize who they hire to assist them and what they want workers to do.

“We are very excited about this new study,” said Michelle Friesen, co-chair of the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario, the group that commissioned the study. “The study deepens our understanding of the benefits and potential of individualized funding,” said Friesen. In addition to the personalized approach, Friesen stressed that one key finding is the research showing the important role of independent facilitators in assisting people to build a life in community. This study also showed that the vast majority of people had very positive quality of life outcomes over four years.

Principal Investigator John Lord said that the study showed that families who use this innovative approach tend to be highly involved. “At all sites, we also found a deep commitment to citizenship and choice among staff and families,” said Lord.  In addition to strong values and organizational support, the researchers found that there were three things that were vital to the success of individualized funding; the facilitator that worked closely with individuals and their families, networks and relationships that assisted the person to live in the community, and effective workers that enabled people to build creative supports.
This study is part of a series of policy analysis papers that the Individualized Funding Coalition has been presenting over the last four years. Increasingly, this work is showing the importance of what some are calling “new paradigm approaches” to providing disability supports. More traditional approaches tend to focus on the placement of the person in a program or service. Peggy Hutchison, Professor at
Brock University and advisor on this new study, has researched new paradigm approaches across Canada. “This new study confirms that individualized funding must address the dreams and goals of people for all aspects of their lives in a holistic way,” said Hutchison. The study confirms that people want to build a good life in community.

Please click on title to read more about the research

Click on this link to reach the full report: Moving Toward Citizenship

Click to reach more articles on John Lord's website

Check out all the resources of the IFCO website



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

TASH Teleconferences (mid-May to early June)
TASH is pleased to announce an exciting new series of Telephone Conferences on issues related to Facilitated Communication.  Co-Sponsored by The Autism National Committee
Check out the list of topics and speakers below!  To view complete session descriptions, speakers and registration information for this series please go to <http://www.tash.org/teleconferences/index.htm>
This series includes a range of sessions on Facilitated Communication to increase knowledge and understanding of the research supporting the practice and the experiences of individuals who use FC in their lives. 
Session 1:
What is Competence? Disability, Communication and the Struggle for Performance
Presenters: Doug Biklen
Date: Wednesday May 17, 2006
Time:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern
Session 2:
"I can read...I can read": What We Are Learning From the Literate Lives of FC Users
Presenters: Paula Kluth and Chris Kliewer
Date: Friday May 19, 2006
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Eastern   *Note: Different Start Time*
Session 3:
Breaking the Barriers: Facilitated Communication Users Speak Out
Presenters: Sue Rubin, Jamie Burke, Tyler Fihe, Jim W, Larry Bissonnette and Christi Kasa-Hendrickson as the facilitator of the discussion. 
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2006
Time:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern
Session 4:
Best Practices With Facilitated Communication
Presenters:  Darlene Hanson
Date:  Wednesday May 31, 2006
Time:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern
Session 5:
What We are Learning about Sensory & Movement Differences and Support
Presenters: Martha Leary and Anne Donnellan
Date: Friday, June 2, 2006
Time:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern
Session 6:
Popularizing FC:  A Matter of Research and Overcoming Misconceptions of Intellect
Presenter: Don Cardinal 
Date: Monday, June 5, 2006
Time:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern
To view complete session descriptions, speakers and registration information,
for this series please click on the title of this announcement.

Autism One Radio Schedule
A Worldwide, Web-Based Radio Station for the Care, Treatment, and Recovery
of Children with Autism  http://www.autismone.org/radio

May 15-16, 2006, in Hamilton
Stages of Autism: Adolescence and Beyond
A major two-day conference in the Hamilton Convention Centre, featuring Dr Peter Szatmari and Dr Susan Bryson as keynote speakers, as well as numerous concurrent sessions on various topics relevant to teenagers and young adults with ASDs. Click for the program and to register

Friday, May 26, 2006
in Guelph
The Ontario Self-Help Network is sponsoring a free one day conference
Building Connections: Making Peer Support Work
For self-help members and leaders, community volunteers and professionals who are interested in or active with self-help and peer support initiatives. Six different workshops are offered: Facilitation: Building a Foundation; Building Partnerships: For the Sake of Self-Help; Self-Help 101; Building Facilitator Skills; Building Recovery and Promoting Your Group
Plus Keynote Speaker: Geoff Nelson, PhD., Community Psychologist
This conference is free but you must register. You can download the registration information from www.selfhelp.on.ca OR email shrc@selfhelp.on.ca Questions: 416-487-4355 Toll Free: 1-888-283-8806

May 24-28, 2006, in Chicago
Autism One 2006 Conference
Chicago Westin O'Hare Hotel
”The most comprehensive conference on autism ever assembled…
bringing together over 120 of the world's leading authorities.”

Five tracks to help you make the best decisions and most informed choices.
1. The Science of Autism & Biomedical Treatments
2. Behavior / Education / Communication Therapies

3. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
4. Adolescence and Adulthood

5. Government/Legal/Personal Issues
”We are pleased this year to be adding a track to specifically address adolescence and adulthood."
Click on title for more and to register.

Thurs.  June 1, 2006
Thurs.  June 22, 2006
Day workshop series aimed to assist service providers in supporting Adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities. See also June 22.
Groves Hospital in Fergus
Time:  9am  to 4:00 pm
Cost:  No cost
Click for brochure and map in PDF

June 9th, 2006
Kerry’s Place Autism Services is pleased to host
Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay
Service for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders
“For When It’s Hard to Stop”

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
St. Peter Catholic School
150 Westwood Rd., Guelph
There is a $10.00 fee
Click on title for more

Thursday June 22, 2006
Day workshop series aimed to assist service providers in supporting Adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities. See also June 1.
Groves Hospital in Fergus
Time:  9am  to 4:00 pm
Cost:  No cost
Click for brochure and map in PDF

June 26-30, 2005

Autism Network International presents AUTREAT 2006
Autreat is a retreat-style conference run by autistic people, for autistic people and our friends and families. It is an opportunity for autistic people and those with related developmental differences, our friends and supporters to come together, discover and explore autistic connections, and develop advocacy skills, all in an autistic-friendly environment.
Autreat focuses on positive living with autism, NOT on causes, cures, or ways to make us more normal. We have an exciting lineup of presentations on a variety of subjects of interest to the Autistic community, including communication, relationships, daily living aids, travel, effects of prejudice, and more. Autreat has been approved to offer Continuing Education Units through the Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University.
Autreat 2006 will take place on June 26-30 at a small university campus in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. The campus has plenty of open space for walking, recreation, and enjoying the outdoors. Lodging is in a residence hall with two to four people per room. Registration includes a supervised activity program for children and teens under 18. For fee information, registration form, a list of workshops, and further autreat information, check out ANI's website at: http://www.ani.ac

July 8-13, 2006
, in Toronto
Inclusion Network presents
The Toronto Summer Institute
FOR: People working actively on the complex issues of inclusion and diversity in communities, workplaces and schools will want to attend this event. This Institute is for Thinkers and Doers. - for people who know there are no easy answers and who are seeking new ways of thinking and acting. This will be a unique adventure in building a learning community together. The faculty see themselves as a jazz combo who have a definite theme and a flair for improvisation - harmonizing with the participants.
Click for flyer

July 17-21, 2006, in Syracuse
The Facilitated Communication Institute at Syracuse University
is hosting a week long summer institute.

There will be conference sessions and hands-on workshops
aimed at both new and veteran FC users and facilitators.
Please check out the flyer by clicking on this link.



Monday 18 September 2006, in Cambridge UK

The Autism Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Cambridge announces its

First Autism Research Conference at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge.

Features include keynote speakers, poster presentations and an autism publishers' fair. 

Calling all artists and musicians. As part of the conference, there will also be a music concert and an exhibition of art by people on the autistic spectrum, taking place on Sunday 17 September 2006 at the same venue. Artwork will be auctioned on the day and proceeds will be divided equally between the artists and autism research. Profits from the concert will also be donated to autism research. The ARC is calling for artists and musicians who would like to get involved in the celebrations and perform or exhibit on the day. They welcome applications from people with autism spectrum conditions (or their carers on their behalf) who would like to be considered as performers in the concert, or have their artwork exhibited. For further information about the conference, art exhibition and concert visit: www.arc-conference.com

October 25, 26, 27, 2006, in Metro
Toronto Convention Centre

Autism 2006 - Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium

Complete program now available on our website.

Go to www.autism.net now to view this year's exciting conference program
including speakers from around the world.

The comprehensive agenda includes presentations on the latest intervention and research in autism and neurology, biomedical interventions, positive behavioural intervention, communication, social skills, sensory processing disorders, anger management, adolescents, adults/employment, first hand accounts, Aspergerís disorder, cognitive behaviour therapy, intensive behavioural intervention, OCD and much more. 

Don't miss this international exhibit hall, art gallery and remarkable opening ceremony featuring the talents of gifted individuals with ASD.

30 October-November 2, 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa
World Congress on Autism "Autism Safari - Exploring New Territories"
Please keep visiting website for updates



A DVD available through Inclusion.com
Personal Stories, struggles and successes with Person Directed Living (82 min.)
Produced by Inclusion Press, the Marsha Forest Centre and Parashoot Productions with Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports, Windsor-Essex Family network, People First of Windsor and Families and Friends. My Life, My Choice profiles seven adults with disabilities living Person Directed lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Rather than relying on a limited number of programs and services to direct their lives, their futures are in their own hands. With flexible funding and with the support of independent planning, they are free to follow their hearts and live their lives as they choose. Their inspirational stories are a powerful testament to what is possible when given a chance to dream.
$150 plus handling. Link to more details and order form

News from Organization for Autism Research
"the only autism organization that foccuses solely on applid research"

I am delighted to announce that OAR has redesigned its Web site, www.researchautism.org, to make it  more functional and user-friendly. Here are some of the new features: 

  1. It’s searchable.  You can search OAR’s site and also Google from within the site.
  2. New organization.  We have taken the work we have done in writing the Life Journey through Autism resource guides and created sections dedicated to Friends & Family and Educator’s & Service Providers. 
  3. The Professionals section provides information for researchers to include: OAR’s research and grants programs, current competitions, and descriptions of the studies OAR has funded to date.
  4. We have expanded the Resources section by adding a discussion Forum, adding Resources to the Research Directory, and including both a Links and Recommended Reading page.  We are still loading information to some of these pages, but I didn’t want to hold up on launching the site.  We will add the remaining information in our regular update schedule.
  5. About Us not only introduces OAR’s leaders and Scientific Council, it tells you all about OAR from values to programs to latest financials.  If you want to know how OAR spends your charitable dollar, take a look at the pie charts in the Support Us section.
  6. It announces programs for volunteers and internships and offers an expanded RUN FOR AUTISM section that gives runners and supporters more information on the races and associated events.




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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