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1 November 2006



Ped Med: Autism rates hinge on definition
An overview of criteria and methods of defining ASD, mainly since 1980 that begins: "Defining, documenting and recording cases in systematic and consistent fashion over the years, and decades, is a key step for properly accounting for current trends -- and even more importantly for correctly calculating the deposits to be made, in research, education, services and funding, to cover the growing costs of these youngsters' special needs."

Ped Med: Autism's changing face
Many practitioners with autistic patients consider one of their biggest challenges to be keeping up with what one of them refers to as "the changing face" of the disorder.

Gene flaw increases autism risk
A gene mutation which affects brain development increases the risk of autism, scientists have suggested. US researchers looked at 1,200 children with the condition. Mutations were more common in children with autism and having the altered gene increased the risk of autism by more than double. Experts said the findings, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were interesting, but needed to be reproduced in other studies.
The MET gene is known to be involved in brain development, regulation of the immune system, and repair of the gastrointestinal system. All of these parts of the body can be affected in children with autism. The researchers, from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, found that the mutation did not stop the gene working, but made it less active.

Brain Regions Do Not Communicate Efficiently in Adults with Autism
Researchers from the University of Washington’s Autism Center are reporting at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience on the first study that measures neural activity by using high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG) to examine connections in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that deals with higher cognitive processes. Compared to normally developing individuals, the scientists found patterns of abnormal connectivity between brain regions in people with autism. These abnormalities showed both over and under connectivity between neurons in different parts of the cortex, according to Michael Murias, a postdoctoral researcher who headed the study. “Our findings indicate adults with autism show differences in coordinated neural activity, which implies poor internal communication between the parts of the brain.”
The UW researchers analyzed EEGs from 36 adults, ranging in age from 19 to 38. Half the adults had autism and all had IQs of at least 80. The EEGs, which measure the activity of hundreds of millions of brain cells, were collected with an array of 124 electrodes while the people were seated and relaxed with their eyes closed for two minutes.

Rain Man’s real legacy
Barry Morrow gave the Oscar he won in 1989 for writing the blockbuster hit Rain Man to the autistic man who inspired the story. The money he earned from the movie, he says, is long gone. And the limelight that surrounded the film at its release and during the Academy Awards faded as new films came to the big screen. But the real award remains.
"What do I have left? First of all, I have a heart full of satisfaction and the knowledge that this journey, bringing awareness and creating support for (those living with autism spectrum disorders), is never really done," he said Friday, recalling the letters he received from parents thanking him for drawing attention to the neurological disorder. "That was my real Oscar. That was the real legacy. The power the movie had to create awareness and foster support and the things that go with it — community programming and funding."
Mr Morrow, an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities, is the guest speaker at the Provincial Autism Centre’s fundraiser at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.
Work will begin next year on his new film, a movie about the late legendary Canadian golfer Murray (Moe) Norman [of Kitchener], whose family has allowed his name to be associated with the Nova Scotia fundraiser. Mr Norman was never diagnosed, but was suspected by some to have been affected by autism.

Willing, Able -- and Unemployable
My 18-year-old son shambles. ....But these are the least of my worries.
Today, what I fret about most is the fact that after two years of submitting applications, taking tests and going in for interviews, he cannot get a job. Andrew has autism. He was nonverbal from age 4 until 6, and he speaks now, but only with effort. He's also one of the most acute, sensitive young men I've ever known. He is superb at math and chess, weak in the literary arts. Lost when it comes to anything social, from dinner-table conversation to romance. Mostly, he just flashes a persistent, crooked smile....

Meeting the Needs of Adults with Autism: A Blueprint for the Future
New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC) releases white paper about the stuatus of adult autism services and planning in the state.



Unprecedented Debate on Autism in the House of Commons
Hon. Andy Scott (Fredericton, Lib.) opened the debate:
“That, in the opinion of the House, the government should create a national strategy for autism spectrum disorder that would include: (a) the establishment, in cooperation with provincial governments, of national standards for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder and the delivery of related services; (b) the study, in cooperation with provincial governments, of the funding arrangements for the care of those with autism spectrum disorder, including the possibility of transferring federal funds to assist provincial governments to provide no-cost treatment, education, professional training and other required supports for Canadians with autism spectrum disorder without unreasonable wait times; (c) the creation of a national surveillance program for autism spectrum disorder to be managed by the Public Health Agency of Canada; and (d) the provision of funding for health research into treatments for autism spectrum disorder.
The motion appeals to the government to show that leadership and to Parliament to ask the Government of Canada to do that. The rationale for this is relatively simple and stunningly inconsistent with my view of my country.”
Read the whole debate:
House of Commons
Friday, October 27, 2006
Private Members' Business



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

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 7-9, 2006
3rd Annual “Passport to Community Participation” Conference
at Horseshoe Valley Resort in Barrie, Ontario
Click for full details

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2006: from 7:30pm
Autism Support Group: a free service of Autism Ontario - Durham Region
meets at
7:30 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of every month
21980 Highway 12, Uxbridge - Precious Minds Resource and Learning Centre
north of Greenbank on the south-west corner of Blue Mountain Road and Hwy 12, just north of the Skye Motel
For more information, call toll free 1-866-495-4680
or e-mail autismdurham@Gmail.com

Anyone who has an interest in autism is welcome to attend

Visit our website: www.autismontario.com/durham
For the times and locations of all of our autism support groups, click here: http://www.autismontario.com/client/aso/ao.nsf/Durham/Support+Groups?OpenDocument
This is one of 3 free autism support groups in the region operated by Autism Ontario - Durham Region. The above group has been established in this specific area in order to better serve our community members living in north Durham, including Uxbridge, Brock, and Scugog.

Friday, December 8th, 2006, 9:30 – 3:30
Presented by J. Dale Munro, MSW, RSW, FAAMR, Clinical Supervisor; Dr. Lillian Burke, Ph.D., C. Psych, psychologist, of Regional Support Associates
Location: Elmhurst Inn, Ingersoll
Cost: $45

To register for RSA workshops or training please contact:
Jayne Joyes - Administrative Assistant   (519) 421-4248
Toll Free: 1-800-640-4108  Fax: 421-4249
or email Jayne Joyes at: jjoyes@wgh.on.ca

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/

May 23 – 27, 2007, Sheraton Centre Toronto

2nd International Come To Your Senses Conference

Opening the Sensory World to Children & Adults with Complex Disabilities

By MukiBaum Treatment Centres

Call for Papers NOW OPEN!

We invite professionals, parents, caregivers, persons with disabilities, researchers and consumers to present on a wide array of topics within the realm of Sensory-Motor Therapy and people with disabilities.  The goal is to share and disseminate knowledge and experience from around the world so that we can better understand the Sensory Reality of people with disabilities and the many forms of treatment that exist. 

If you are interested in presenting at our conference, visit the website at www.mukibaum.com and click on the link for Submit Paper. The complete details and rules for submission are outlined on the website.

Registration is now at http://www.sensoryconference.ca/ and you can take advantage of Early Bird rates.  There will be opportunities for you and your organization to exhibit, become a sponsor of the event and participate in a number of activities throughout the conference.

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.



40-page international autism newsletter
Published by Adam Feinstein, moderator of the Awares international online autism conference.

Articles appearing in the next few issues of Looking Up include:

  • Interviews with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor Rita Jordan and Professor Pat Howlin, three of the world's leading autism experts
  • Autism in Africa
  • What is Fragile X? - Finding a unique blend of educational approaches
  • The immunology of autism
  • At first hand: Marti Leimbach, author of Daniel Isn't Talking, on life with an autistic son
  • Dr Darold Treffert, the world's foremost authority on autistic savants, pays tribute to Richard Wawro
  • The sky's the limit for Kelvin, the pianist with autism
  • Donna Williams (the world-famous autistic author) on Empathy and stereotypes
  • Jerry Newport on living with Asperger's syndrome
  • Can unorthodox treatments work?
  • Autistic teenager's basketball dream comes true
  • Sigourney Weaver stars as autistic woman
  • 'Another way to approach theory of mind (and lack of it)' by Olga Bogdashina
  • 'Ten things an autistic adult wishes you knew.'

See also a selection of free articles to the website, (http://www.lookingupautism.org/Articles/) including

  • 'Building bridges between the educational and the biomedical'
  • 'Autistic actress stars in prize-winning film'
  • Interviews with Professor Gary Mesibov, Professor Tony Attwood, Professor Digby Tantam, Dr Eric Courchesne, Theo Peeters and Dr William Shaw
The website ( http://www.lookingupautism.org ) includes a full list of back-issue contents, as well as an index and a search engine



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.

Image Art by Brian Henson
Niagara: Welland River north side east of Wellandport (art4-960x720-copyright)

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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