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You may be interested in our Creative Supports Bulletins which carry news about disabilities and special abilities and creative strategies more generally. See for example:  http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/CS-20060720.html

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 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 announcements 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 if you have an online version to which you can lprovide a link.

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


12 January 2007


University of Michigan researchers are leading national effort to find cause of autism
Dr Catherine Lord is leading an 11-university consortium to gather and bank DNA samples from 3000
autism patients over the next three years. It is funded by The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. The databank will be used in efforts to identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.

The Age of Autism: A new environment
A comment on the US Combating Autism Act that says the director of the National Institutes of Health will coordinate research into "the cause (including possible environmental causes) ... and treatment of autism spectrum disorder."

What Autism Epidemic?
An essay in Time Magazine about a new book by George Washington University anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker. "In Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism, Grinker uses the lens of anthropology to show how shifting cultural conditions change the way medical scientists do their work and how we perceive mental health."

Autism and genetics: a briefing paper
An information sheet from The National Autistic Society (UK).

Briefing on mercury and autism
An information sheet from The National Autistic Society (UK).

Music therapy
An information sheet from The National Autistic Society (UK).

NHS prescribing drugs ‘when diet might help children with autism’
A much-quoted news item from The Sunday Herald in Scotland. 
A leading child health dietician accuses the National Health Service of failing to provide advice on nutrition which could help children with conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorder, amid a culture of prescribing powerful drugs with potential side-effects.

Computer applications for people with autism
A detailed introduction by The National Autistic Society (UK) to the use of information and communication technology by and for children and adults with autism. Includes lists of resources and references.

Animation DVD helps children with autism to recognise human emotions
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Cambridge University and David Lammy, Culture Minister, this week launch a novel animation DVD to help young children with autism. The Transporters DVD, commissioned by Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, aims to help children with autism to look at the human face and to learn about emotions. The series of 15 five-minute episodes features the adventures of eight lovable toys with human faces, each focusing on a different human emotion. Stephen Fry is the narrator.



Sleep issues in autism - effects of respite
Research Autism held the first collaborative research forum on sleep issues in April 2006, which identified three important research projects - the first of these, Sleep-Melatonin and Autism (SAM project), is funded and will shortly get underway. Research Autism now looks to scope the second research project looking at the relationship between respite care and sleep, for both children and adults.

As part of the scoping stage we need to get as much information as possible. I therefore need help. If you know of examples of good practice or good examples of respite care for children and adults, I would like to hear from you  by the end of February 2007. All responses will be in confidence.
Richard Mills
Director of Research, The National Autistic Society and Hon Sec, Research Autism
Email: richard.mills@nas.org.uk

Very little effort now goes into communication support for adults with autism, though communication is a key "deficit". A big reason for this neglect has been the absence of funds for research and implementation. It would be great if this new initiative could help to turn that around, and if Canada could be somehow involved:
Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation: Fostering Knowledge and Community for Autism and Beyond
The NLM Family Foundation announces the availability of research funds for projects aimed at investigating communication difficulties, capacities and options for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Deadline for receipt of Letters of Intent is March 15, 2007.
See for general information on the foundation: http://www.nlmfoundation.org/
To see the detailed announcement which states that researchers outside the US are eligible to apply and explicitly encourages research in Supported Communicating and FC: http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/NLM-Communication-Research.pdf

Petition to National Institutes of Health
A petition, posted in the UK during the past week, that "admonishes" the NIH (US) for exclusively funding research on autism "from a perspective of pathology: Autism is envisioned as a disease to be cured and autistic citizens are characterized solely by their deficits and impairments." NIH is asked to meet these goals for future autism research:
  1. to understand autism as a neurological difference that results in atypical modes of perceiving, thinking, and acting;
  2. to identify empirically the strengths and competencies that autistic individuals possess; and
  3. to provide the scientific answer to how autistic individuals can develop and live successfully – as autistic individuals.
Please click on the title to read the full text, and to add your signature if you wish.



The documents and issues in this section, while not limited to persons with autism, are of great relevance to supporting them to have good whole lives in their communities.

Summary Report Consultation on Changing Supports in Ontario For People who have a Developmental Disability
In September 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services began a process of consultation towards "transforming" the system of supports for people with a developmental disability in Ontario. We have posted links to many previous documents. This one, by Mercer Delta Consulting, summarizes points made by about 1000 people who took part in discussions around Ontario
and/or submitted their comments online or on paper.
Click on the title above to read the basic report.
Or click on this link to download a plain language version.

Important New Releases from the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario
IFCO is pressing purposefully to persuade the Ontario Government to move ahead in implementing
the new directions announced in Opportunities and Action – Transforming Supports In Ontario for People who have a Developmental Disability  IFCO members are meeting with Ontario Ministers, members of Treasury Board and MPPs this month.

Rationale for Independent Planning and Facilitation: Why MCSS Should Move Quickly
This document presents nine rationales for independent planning and facilitation which will help build a sustainable, innovative, cost effective direct individualized funding program.  With this document, IFCO calls on MCSS to move ahead with independent planning and facilitation as a vital infrastructure to ensure the success of direct funding.

EXTRA!!! Common Vision EXTRA!!!
A news summary including excerpts from interviews with leaders in the social change movement.

~~~~~~newly posted ~~~~~~~
Investments That Will Make a Difference

This document is a must read!  It clearly explains the important considerations for investing tax payer dollars in Direct  Individualized Funding and Independent Planning and Facilitation.   This document is an excellent resource for people to take with them when they meet with MPP's as they try to help move Individualized Funding and Independent Planning and Facilitation forward.

IFCO issues are vital for Ontario. Look up the many current resources on the IFCO website.


Disability advocates are very upset to learn that the Ontario Government (through the Ministries of Community and Social Services and Health and Long-Term Care) has made plans for adults with a developmental disability and relatively high needs to be admitted to long-term care facilities instead of opening community living opportunities for them. Advocates of inclusion and community living see a discrepancy between this new "access protocol" and the values and strategies discussed in the MCSS "transformation process" for developmental services since mid-2004.
Read the Ministries' Access Protocol (July 2006)
Read a letter of serious concerns by Shelley Martel MPP
Read Doublespeak, a critique by Dr Patricia Spindel
(we have permission to share this).

From Family Alliance Ontario…No to ALL institutions!



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

Six Wednesday evenings, starting Jan 17:: 6-9pm in Oshawa
Keeping People Safe From Harm:
Gentle and Compassionate Caregiving Practices
A six-week introductory series by Felicia Jervis
Key caregiving principles include: bonding and companionship; avoiding power and control over others; a focus on personal connections; a celebration of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity.
Click for brochure with more details 
For further information about Gentle Teaching, visit www.gentleteaching.com
Families who could benefit are most welcome, and there is no charge.
Students and others who attend all sessions can receive a certificate of participation from Gentle Teaching International.

January 17, February 14, and March 14, 2007
Understanding Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome:
A lecture series presented by the Aspergers Society of Ontario

Auditorium, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Clarke Site
250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario
Those who participate can expect to take away valuable information on Asperger Syndrome, how to recognize it in children, youth and adults and the role of the multi-disciplinary team in supporting the individual with Asperger Syndrome and their family.
 January 17, 2007Children and Youth with Asperger Syndrome
 February 14, 2007Adults with Asperger Syndrome
 March 14, 2007 : Multidisciplinary Interventions
Click for speaker and registration information
Monitor the website at

Regional Support Associates
RSA (based in Woodstock) "provides services to adults with a developmental disability. The staff have clinical expertise and training in Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Nursing, Speech Pathology, Behaviour Therapy, and Developmental Services. Services are offered to the individual, their families and agencies supporting them in their community."
Click for RSA Workshop Calendar, January to March 2007

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

January 25 - 27, 2007,  in San Diego
Learning to Listen: Personalizing Supports Across the Life-Span
Conference topics include
  • The role of movement differences/disturbances in communication and behavior challenges
  • Pitfalls of literal interpretation of behavior: Successful interactions with individuals whose unconventional ways of communicating make you think they are not listening and wouldn’t understand
  • Sensory-movement issues and stress
  • Personalizing accommodations and life options for meaningful inclusion.
  • Panels of parents and of self-advocates who address the processes and supports that make a real difference in their lives
Conference presenters
Anne M. Donnellan, Ph.D.
Martha R. Leary, M.A., CCC-SLP
Jeff Strully, Ph.D.
Jodi A. Robledo, Ph.D.
Panel of Parents and Self-Advocates
Click for Winter Autism Conference details

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/

13-14 February 2007
Facilitation Workshop: Building a New Story

led by John Lord and Charlotte Dingwall
sponsored by Community Living West Northumberland
Click for brochure and how to register
Click for more about Facilitation Leadership Group training

March 1-4, 2007

Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007
Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan
Leading experts on autism spectrum disorders, from England, Canada, and the United States, will focus on ways to improve the quality of life for the affected individuals and their families/caregivers by conducting presentations in the areas of educational and biomedical interventions, research, adjunct therapies, diet and nutrition, and family issues.

Speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Dr. Phillip DeMio, Dr. Stephen Shore, Shannon Kenitz, Dr. Lauren Underwood, Dr. Barry Prizant, Stan Kurtz, Dr. Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Dr. Teresa Bolick, Dr. William Shaw, and plus more experts in the field of autism.
This theme reflects the reality that autism spectrum disorders present an evolving set of personal, familial, societal, and therapeutic issues as affected individuals pass from infancy, childhood through adolescence, adulthood, and finally old age.
Adopting a life-span perspective is a fundamental requirement for developing a set of comprehensive services to individuals and families who are dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

For the entire schedule, click here.

March 8, 2007, in Guelph
Wellington Agency Information Fair
For Families & Individuals with Disabilities to get information about:
-inclusive & specialized recreation opportunities
-summer day & overnight camps
-year-round sports, art, music and dance programs
-agencies providing services (ex. Mental Health)
-government programs (ODSP, ACSD)
-respite care programs (Hopewell Homes, CLGW)
-case management services
-work and volunteering services
Click for full details

March 29, 2007, in London UK
Mental Health and People with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Over recent years there has been a growing interest in autistic spectrum disorders. This conference will concentrate on the mental health issues, an area that is often neglected in other conferences. The day will offer an opportunity to hear from a number of experts in the field and will provide plenty of time for discussion.
People with autistic spectrum disorders are vulnerable to developing mental health problems and the conference will explore issues of assessment, intervention and service delivery. People with autistic spectrum disorders span the range of intellectual functioning and some groups may fall between services, the issue will also be discussed.
Click on title for details

March 29 & 30, 2007, in Ottawa
Autism Awareness Centre Inc. presents two workshops
CAROL KRANOWITZ: Functional Fun for the Out-of-Sync Child
KARI DUNN BURON: Understanding Social Cognition and Its Impact On Autism Spectrum Disorders
Click for full information and how to register
Visit the AAC website

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.

31 August, 1 & 2 September 2007, in Oslo, Norway
8th International Congress Autism Europe

Abstract submission, registration and further Congress information:

E-mail: president@autismeurope.org
Do not miss this opportunity to contribute to take part in ‘a World of Possibilities’ for people with autism and their families, view the 4th International Art Exhibition of Persons with Autism, and to visit Oslo and its charming surroundings.



Click on this title for more than 100 titles published in 2005 or 2006 that have been added to the KPL's Autism Collection. You can learn more about each item by clicking on its title in the list and more still, by then clicking on the icon in the upper right part of the screen.
Click on the following URL "hot key" to reach a listing in title order of all the books, videos etc in KPL's remarkable Autism Collection. Search KPL Autism Collection

New books in January
STRANGE SON: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism
by Portia Ivesen (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: January 2, 2007; ISBN: 1-57322-311-5; Price: $24.95).
Details from publisher

UNSTRANGE MINDS: Remapping the World of Autism by Roy Richard Grinker (Pub date: February 1, 2007; Hardcover; $26.95)Click for more

Become a Member of AutismConnects

If you have not already, please become a member of AutismConnects! (click on the following link: http://asdcarc.com/index.php/publisher/articleview/frmArticleID/147/staticId/610/)
Dr Jeanette Holden invites everybody to show how useful our Virtual Community for Autism Spectrum Stakeholders is and will be.  Please pass the word to everybody you know.  Let's make this as large of a community as possible.  We need families, friends, researchers, trainees, students, support workers, service providers, organizations.
After you become a member, please login and contribute to "Celebrate" by sharing photos and artwork.  Please help us to populate our discussion forum.  AutismConnects will continue to evolve so please check back often.
The membership form only takes about a minute to complete!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact:
Melissa Hudson, BSc
ASD-CARC Research Assistant



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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