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

27 September 2006


AutismConnects Virtual Community: an invitation from Dr Jeanette Holden

Dear OAARSN members, 
        We would like to invite you to join our AutismConnects Virtual Community.  The purpose of this Virtual Community is to develop a network of parents, persons on the spectrum, careproviders, agencies, volunteers, professionals, and researchers, who can work together to help to those who need it, when they need it. There is a Discussion forum and an opportunity to Celebrate the Spectrum as well.  This is in its infancy and evolving - and we will soon have a map showing where there are members, and the types of supports that are present in different regions! To do this, we need you to participate and let us know who you are and what your relationship to ASDs is. There are individual memberships (each family member can have his/her own membership) and service provider memberships. All are free. We hope you will take a few minutes to become a member and build this Virtual Autism Community together.
        To help us Celebrate the Spectrum, please share photos with us!  And for families who have children, teens or adults on the spectrum, who like to write or draw, we hope you will share these with us and the world. If you have a website, we can also put up a link to your website!
        Membership is easy: go to www.asdcarc.com and click on AutismConnects. At the bottom of the description, you are invited to become a member.  It takes only a couple of minutes (at the most!).
        And for those of you not currently members of our Research Program, we hope you will consider that as well.
         Thank you for considering this invitation and spreading the word!
Jeanette Holden, PhD
AutismConnects Program DIrector
Principal Investigator, ASD-CARC (Autism Spectrum Disorders - Canadian-American Research Consortium)
Professor, Dept. Psychiatry & Physiology
Queen's University


Drinking survey: Responses invited to an online survey (from the UK) about the intake of fluids by people with autistic spectrum disorders

We are carrying out a study of problems of unusually high intake of fluids (water, fruit juice, fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, etc) among children and adults with autistic spectrum disorders, currently or in the past. Parents, carers or people with autism may like to complete an online questionnaire which will help to inform our research.

Some people with autistic spectrum disorders of all ages like to drink large quantities of fluids. Some have a preference for a particular type of drink while others are happy to drink anything that is available. Some drink a lot more when they are experiencing some form of stress. For most people drinking a lot of fluid does not present a problem but for some the amount they drink each day can have adverse physical effects. Very little research has been carried out on this subject, so we do not know why some people with autistic spectrum disorders drink a lot of fluid, how many do so, how much they drink and how many drink an amount that is potentially harmful. The question is interesting for various reasons, not least because this behaviour, which seems to be rather common among people in the spectrum, might have some link with the neurological basis of autistic spectrum disorders.

It would be most helpful if parents or other carers of children or adults who have never wanted to drink large quantities of fluids would also complete the first part of the online questionnaire, because we wish to get some idea of how common the problem is. 

To complete the questionnaire, visit http://www.surveyserver.net/?f=1741
The survey runs until 23 October 2006.
Lorna Wing
Richard Mills


NAS Sudokuthon challenge
The National Autistic Society's Sudokuthon is the UK's first Sudoku fundraising challenge to help kids with autism. Grab your chance to be a part of this unique event from 9-13 October 2006 and help the NAS complete 500,000 grids to raise £500,000 for children with autism



Ped Med: Autism debate goes digital
"Making use of digital communication that gives them unprecedented access to a global audience, the challengers of orthodoxy question the validity of studies that nix a connection between autism and vaccines."

Exploring Language

Researchers used to think that grammar and vocabulary were the only things needed to carry on a conversation. But over the last two decades, a much more complex picture of language has emerged. It turns out that words and sentences are just the tip of a huge linguistic iceberg."
Notes about an NPR series, one of which was Autism Reveals Social Roots of Language, featuring Temple Grandin who is quoted as saying it has taken her most of her life to reach the point where she can speak with other people in a way that sounds natural. She says that's because she's had to learn language without the social abilities most people have.

Autistic savant shares his genius

The story of Derek Paravicini (now 27) who is "acknowledged as one of only 23 autistic savants in the world. He is one of those rare people with severe learning difficulties, who is a genius in one particular area. He can neither count to 10 nor tell left from right. He needs round-the-clock supervision: without carers he could not dress or feed himself. But Paravicini has the extremely rare gift of universal, absolute pitch and remembers every piece of music he has ever heard — not only the melody, but what each instrument is playing, just as Mozart could."

Father of Autistic Child Helps Connect Other Parents Facing Autism

The Autism Friend Finder Program, offered by
Autism Key, is a way for parents and caregivers of autistic children to meet others in their community for support and friendship. “The initial response to the program was overwhelming,” said Gary Greaves, owner and operator of Autism Key. “It shows how desperate people are to find others in their area who are experiencing similar challenges. The site, a free resource, also offers information and autism support including message boards, updated news, and links to other websites. Participation in the Friend Finder Program only requires a first name, valid email address and zip code. An automated system then returns results of others who reside within a 30 mile radius, allowing participants to begin communicating via email. For more information or to participate in the Friend Finder Program, visit www.autismkey.com.



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

September 28, 2006, 6-7pm
, in Don Mills, Toronto
"AutismConnects and Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders"
A presentation on this topic by Dr Jeanette Holden precedes the AGMs of Kerry's Place Autism Services and Kerry's Place Residential Service at Parkwoods United Church, 85 Parkwoods Village Drive, Don Mills.  The meetings will follow a presentation by , titled "AutismConnects and Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders". The presentation registration form is accessible through the link below. Registration form.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 7to 9:30pm, in Kitchener
Free Seminar--No Registration Required
Zehr’s Stanley Park Community Room
More and more evidence shows that diet plays a key role in affecting behaviour and development.  Nutritional consultant and DAN! autism practitioner Heather Allsop, B.Sc., Ph.D., RNCP will discuss how and why different diets can be used to benefit those with autism. The Gluten-Free/Casein-Free diet, a yeast-free diet, and the Specific Carbohydrate diet will be discussed, with a perspective on the overall health of the child. Valerie McIntyre, mother of 3 including one ASD son will share stories of how changing her son’s diet has helped her family. Valerie is a professional gluten free baker and will share some easy to use recipes and advice.
Heather Allsop, B.Sc., Ph.D., RNCP 905-257-8180 heather-allsop@sympatico.ca

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 website at 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.

Brian Henson continues his image art series:
Barn and Wildflowers Near a Pond

Brian would be interested to hear of the perceptions of people looking at these images.

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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