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

This bulletin is best read in Mozilla Firefox or Netscape. You may download Mozilla free from www.mozilla.org

See our archive of past OAARSN news bulletins.
Read about why OAARSN was started and the tasks still ahead

Send news, announcements and comments to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca We welcome news items, announcements of autism events, new information, discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience.

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.

Visit OAARSN's website and keep in touch through the OAARSN Listserv--send a message requesting to join to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca

14 September 2006


Older dads boost risk of autistic children

Men over 40 are almost six times more likely to father a child with autism than younger men, according to a new study. Israeli researchers looked at birth data of more than 130,000 people born in the 1980s, where the paternal and maternal ages had been recorded. Of these 110 – or just over 1 in 1000 – had an "autism spectrum disorder". ASD can include autism, Asperger syndrome and Rett syndrome. “Men who were over 40 at the time of the child’s birth were 5.75 times as likely to have a child with ASD compared with men under 30,” says Abraham Reichenberg at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, US. “The risk was slightly higher for men in their 30s – they were 1.6 times as likely to produce a child with ASD.”

The Age of Autism: About those 'old dads'
A somewhat critical comment on the most quoted news item of the past week.
See also the announcement of a related Canadian research project--below under Ontario Announcements.

X' marks the spot in hunt for autism genes

A previously unrecognised trigger for autism may have been found, in the form of mutations that affects neuron development in a brain region important for learning and social interaction. Autism is around four times more common in boys than girls, which suggests that mutations on the X chromosome play a role, as boys lack a second X chromosome that could compensate for any genetic abnormality. Studies have identified several hundred gene candidates, but no conclusive links to a specific mutation. Now a 15-year-long international screening effort has identified two differen mutations of the same X chromosome gene, which seem to be linked to autism in two unrelated families (Molecular Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1038/sj.mp.4001883). The gene encodes a protein called L10, a vital component of ribosomes - the structures that build proteins. L10 is most actively manufactured in the hippocampus, a brain region important in learning and memory as well as some social and emotional functions.

Study Discovers Statistically Significant Link Between Abnormally Low Cholesterol Levels and Autism Spectrum Disorders
A study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B (Neuropsychiatric Genetics) has found that a small subgroup of children with ASD have abnormally low cholesterol levels (hypocholesterolemia), leading researchers to believe cholesterol may play a role in the cause of some cases of the disorder. The children's low cholesterol levels were apparently due to a limited ability to make cholesterol. Nineteen of the 100 children who participated in the study were found to have total cholesterol levels below 100 mg/dL, which is lower than that found in 99 percent of children. The average cholesterol level for children between 4 and 19 years of age is 165 mg/dl. The study authors found evidence that the low cholesterol levels were caused by a reduced ability of the body to naturally produce cholesterol, and not by inadequate amounts of cholesterol in the diet or gastrointestinal problems that interfere with cholesterol absorption, two of the more common causes of low blood cholesterol levels. Of the 19 individuals in the low cholesterol group, 13 (68%) met criteria for an autism diagnosis and 6 (32%) met criteria for a different disorder on the autism spectrum, such as Asperger syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Asperger's Frequently Confused with Other Psychiatric Disorders

Doctors often diagnose children with attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities or bipolar disorder when their patients actually have Asperger's—a developmental disorder that inhibits the ability to socialize well with others. Misdiagnosing the disorder prevents patients from receiving proper treatment and learning important skills for success in social settings, school and relationships. While a diagnosis can be made for Asperger's Disorder as early as 2 years old, most children are not diagnosed until they reach middle school or later.

Kalam: work for autism-free world
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has outlined five key areas for focussing research in identifying and treating causes of autism, saying researchers must direct their efforts in bringing about a sense of equality among children affected by autism. "Equality can be generated by prevention, early detection, appropriate training to acquire certain skills and engaging the minds of affected children in productive efforts to enable them to lead a normal life," he said. He was
inaugurating an international conference on `Unravelling Autism: Causes, Diagnostics, Interventions,' organised by Tamana, an NGO for the mentally challenged and autistic and the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum.



Waterloo-Wellington Community Faculty Project

Waterloo ON – Adults with autism are the focus of an innovative teaching partnership between families and local post-secondary schools. Please click to view the brochure with vision, mission, values etc

The Waterloo-Wellington Community Faculty Project has received funding through
SickKids Foundation to work in university and college classrooms.


Community Faculty members are adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families. By sharing their personal experiences of living with autism, community faculty plan to increase the students’ knowledge of and sensitivity to adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


The Waterloo-Wellington Community Faculty Project is part of a larger initiative, Working Together For Change. Detailed information may be found on the project’s website at http://www.communityfaculty.ca/.


If you are interested in becoming Community Faculty or are a Faculty member who is interested in involving Community Faculty in your research or in your classrooms, please contact:


Nancy Cherry

136 Weston Place

Waterloo ON N2J 3W1




A month-long celebration of the art, words and insights of persons with autism, in Toronto

The Joy of Autism: Redefining Ability and Quality of Life

presented by The Autism Acceptance Project, led by Esteee Klar-Wolfond

Presentations by authors, parents, researchers and autistic people,
with a variety of views
A gallery exhibition will be held from October 5 through November 5, 2006 at the Lonsdale Gallery.
Lectures by researchers will discuss recent studies of autistic cognitive abilities.
Clinicians and autistic people will present views based on their lives with autism.
Parent authors and advocates will talk about their journey.

Lectures on October 10, 11 and 12 at the Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal, Toronto JCC and on October 14 at the Lonsdale Gallery.

Panel discussion on October 16 at the Al Green Theatre including several autistic people, parents and researchers.
Full information & tickets at http://www.taaproject.com/


Special Survey About Older Dads and Autism

Message from Jeanette J.A. Holden, PhD, Program Director, ASD-CARC and AutismConnects

"Many of you will have heard about the new research study that suggests that the age of the father may be a risk factor for autism in a child in some families.  This is based on a study in Israel, and clearly additional studies are needed to test this hypothesis.  We would like to invite you to participate in a short survey asking about the ages of children and parents to see if this observation holds true here in North America. Please feel free to send this message to your friends who you think would be willing to participate.  We are also interested in families who do not have children with autism, so spreading the word is really important.

Click to view interim results: http://asdcarc.com/index.php/publisher/articleview/frmArticleID/170/staticId/847/
go to http://asdcarc.com/index.php/form/action/runSurvey/formId/328/ to participate (Older Dads and Autism).


Brief from Families Matter Co-operative Inc of Ottawa to Finance Committee of the House of Commons for its pre-budget consultations   

Click for Executive Summary

Families Matter proposes changes in legislation in two areas: Estate Planning and Government Purchasing Policies. Specific proposals address tax and spending measures that would enable people with developmental disabilities to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives, and develop better employment skills.

People are invited to write letters of support to John Toft, Secretary of the FMC at anne.toft@sympatico.ca and to the Committee at FINA@parl.gc.ca.

The full brief will be posted on the Families Matter Web site at www.familiesmattercoop.ca




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

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

Sunday, September 17, 7 pm, at The Bookshelf in Guelph.
Launch and book signing of
More Than a Mom: Living a Full and Balanced Life
When Your Child Has Special Needs

by Amy Baskin and Heather Fawcett
Click for invitation details
Click for more book information

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

Saturday, September 23, 2006
Golf Tournament for Charity to benefit Autism Ontario Durham Region Chapter
at Winchester Golf Club, 750 Winchester Road E., Brooklin, ON
6:00 a.m. Sign In; 7:00 a.m. Shot Gun start (to 3:00 p.m.)
Early Bird Registration and Payment by August 1st: $110/golfer
Registration and Payment Deadline by September 1st: $125/golfer
Fee includes: 18 holes of golf with power cart, steak lunch, tax receipt for portion of registration fee, door prize and gift bag for every golfer, contests, raffles, 50/50 draw, and silent auction
For registration, call (905) 862-0860 or e-mail autismdurham.Golf@Gmail.com
To sponsor a hole or donate prizes, please call Kathy Sima (905) 862-0860 or Susan Brady (905) 839-0798 or e-mail autismdurham.Golf@Gmail.com Details online at www.autismontario.com
All proceeds of tournament will benefit Autism Ontario Durham Region Chapter, whose mission is "providing information, support and friendship to families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Durham Region".

Dennis Debbaudt's Autism Safety Training Seminars
Wednesday, September 27th, 2006. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Free Admission - Pre-registration required
Session 1 for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice
8:00am - Registration & Refreshments
8:30am - 12:00pm - Law Enforcement Training Session (with appropriate breaks)
Holland College Lecture Theatre (140 Weymouth Street, Charlottetown)
Session 2 for First Responders & Emergency Personnel
1:00pm - Registration & Refreshments
1:30pm - 4:00pm - First Responder Training Session (with appropriate breaks)
Holland College Lecture Theatre
Information brochure for Sessions 1 & 2: http://www.PlanetAutism.com/runman/seminarday.htm

Session 3 for Autistic Individuals, Parents, Educators, Care Providers & the General Public
6:00pm - Registration & Refreshments
6:30-9:30pm - Autism Risk & Safety Training (with appropriate breaks)
Charlottetown Rural High School Theatre
Charlottetown Rural High School Theatre, 100 Raiders Road, Charlottetown, PEI
Information brochure for Sessions 3: http://www.PlanetAutism.com/runman/seminarevening.htm

Pre-registration is required for this free training event. Seating is limited and participation will be on a first come, first served basis. Please Pre-register by Friday, September 22nd by sending your name, address and contact phone number or email address and the session you are attending to jypsy@isn.net.

October 4-11, 2006, online
Awares' second international online autism conference in October 2006
Once again, the free virtual conference will feature the largest ever gathering of world autism experts, including people with autism and leading academics. Anyone is welcome to log on - parents, people with autism, researchers, practitioners, teachers and social workers. So please join us!
Leading international figures will be available to answer questions and discuss topics ranging from biomedical approaches to autism, the immunology and neurology of autism, educational methods and first-hand experiences of living with autism. They include Donna Williams and Wendy Lawson, two of the world's best-known autistic writers and speakers; Jacqui Jackson, mother of seven children (including four on the autistic spectrum) and her son, Luke, a well-known author and speaker with Asperger's syndrome, and the foremost autism authorities Professor Rita Jordan, Professor Laurent Mottron, Professor Anthony Bailey and Professor Margot Prior.
To find out more about Autism2006 and receive email updates with all the latest conference news, please go to www.autism2006.org  An online Foyer Café is also available for delegates to meet and discuss issues prior to the conference. For further details, please contact Laura Morgan on 029 20464940 in Cardiff. To register for Autism2006, simply go to www.autism2006.org  Abstracts and papers will be available online at www.autism2006.org from the beginning of October 2006. Experts will be available on-line to answer questions in person between October 4-11.
Other experts taking part include Stephen Shore (USA), Larry Arnold (UK), Danny Beath (UK), Dr Marco Iacoboni (Italy), Dr Skirmantas Janusonis (USA), Dr Peter Enticott (Australia), Dr Manuel Casanova (USA), Chantal Sicile-Kira (USA), Dr Julie Donnelly (USA), Professor Michael Fitzgerald (Ireland), Professor Helen Tager-Flusberg (USA), Dr Molly Losh (USA), Paul Shattock (UK), Dr Karl Reichelt (Norway), Mitzi Waltz (USA), Dr Cynthia Molloy (USA), Dr Richard Becker (USA), Dr Dawn Wimpory (Wales), Dr Roberto Canitano (Italy), Dennis Debbaudt (USA), Professor Jill Boucher (UK), Dr Shari Au (USA), Dr David Skuse (UK), Olga Bogdashina (Ukraine), Dr Thomas Berney (UK), Dr Paul Ashwood (USA) and Dr Sven Boelte (Germany).

October 5-November 5, 2006, in Toronto
The Joy of Autism: Redefining Ability and Quality of Life
By TAAP: The Autism Acceptance Project

Presentations by authors, parents, researchers and autistic people, with a variety of views
A gallery exhibition will be held from October 5 through November 5, 2006 at the Lonsdale Gallery.
Lectures by researchers will discuss recent studies of autistic cognitive abilities.
Clinicians and autistic people will present views based on their lives with autism.
Parent authors and advocates will talk about their journey.
Lectures on October 10, 11 and 12 at the Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal, Toronto JCC and on October 14 at the Lonsdale Gallery.
Panel discussion on October 16 at the Al Green Theatre including several autistic people, parents and researchers.
Full information & tickets at http://www.taaproject.com/

October 17, 2006, in Detroit
Behavior Solutions for Adolescents with Severely Limiting Autism
Maria Wheeler: Adolescence combined with severely limiting autism presents a unique challenge for the effected individual, families, educators and therapists. In this session, we will explore age appropriate interventions for addressing behavioral concerns including aggression, refusal to work, stripping, self-stimulation, ineffective communication, offensive communication, echolalia, sexual behavior, seizure-related behaviors, wandering, non-compliance and other behaviors that commonly interfere with social success and learning. Please click for more details

October 18,
2006, in Detroit
Transitioning to Adulthood
Peter Gerhardt: Increasing attention is being paid to needs of learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they enter adolescence and grow into adulthood. Where job placement was once considered desirable, now the goal is career development. Instead of residential placement, now there is talk of residential choices in support of quality of life. This workshop will provide an overview of this movement toward transition planning for competent adulthood. Social skills and sexuality will also be addressed in young adults with ASD. Please click for more details

October 21, 2006
, in Ottawa
Nevil, an award winning one-act play by former Ottawa resident, Monika Schneider,
is returning to
Ottawa for two engagements, as a fund-raiser for the Families Matter Co-operative
Click for more details and to order tickets

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 this website for updates

3 & 4 November, 2006, in London, Ontario

Autism Canada Foundation presents:
Autism: A Medical Condition
Click for full brochure

November 8-11, 2006, in Baltimore
TASH CONFERENCE: Living the Vision Together: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond
Conference Highlights
  • Keynote Speakers include - Jonathan Mooney, Ann Turnball, DJ and Ursula Markey and Zach Bryant, 14-year-old 8th grade student, Maryland
  • Featuring over 350 breakout sessions, exhibits, roundtable discussions, poster sessions and more
  • Special features include TASH TECH Workshops on restraint elimination, inclusive education, influencing teaching and learning, autism spectrum disorders, lifestyle issues, distance education, self advocates and more.
  • Highlighting Saturday Institutes on inclusive education, positive behavior support, social and recreation life and more.
  • Complete conference registration and hotel information is available on our website at www.tash.org
For more information:
email: mstaley@tash.org
phone: 410-828-8274
web: http://www.tash.org

Advance Notices:

8-10 February 2007, in Herning, Denmark

Welcome to Meeting of Minds 2 - A conference on autism and related disorders

Social Cognition and Emotion in Autism and Related Disorders - A Multidimensional Approach - Research and Practice
Keynote speakers include
Daniel Stern, Uta Frith, Simon Baron-Cohen, Peter Hobson, Paul Harris, Stephen von Tetzchner, Hans-Christoph Steinhausen, Anthony Wigram
For more details, visit: http://www.meetingofminds2.dk/

June 15 & 16, 2007

2007 Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference
Acceptance and Opportunities: See the Potential

A conference that will explore best practices and approaches for increasing quality of life, opportunities and independence.
Save the Date! Friday, June 15 & Saturday, June 16, 2007 Toronto, Ontario
Member and Early Bird Registration discounts are available.
Keep an eye on www.autismontario.com for more information to be released in the coming months.



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.

Attitude, or Latitude?
...That is the Question!
an essay by Brian Henson
When it comes to the need to deal with others on a social, economic, political, or philosophic scale, is one's attitude towards others the basic factor for peace? Or, is one's latitude in accepting the differences in human capacity and capability the leading factor?
Are my emotional feelings, even if basic on rational backgrounds, about the other person or persons what should determine the outcome of the exchange between myself and others? Or, are the emotional feelings of others entering the social interchange to be a guiding principle in my dealings with them during this intercourse?
Click to read the full essay

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

{return to the OAARSN Bulletin Board}