Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mailings for Week of May 7th

Week of May 7th Mailing

An article about our Dear NANCY----- WAY TO GO!!!!


NDP selects Nancy Morrison to fight for York-Simcoes working families

Bradford, May 5 / - At a well attended gathering in the Bradford Community Centre on Thursday evening, York-Simcoe New Democrats unanimously selected Nancy Morrison to be their candidate in the upcoming provincial election in October.

NDP Leader Howard Hampton welcomed Morrison as the NDP candidate.

"The upcoming provincial election is about fairness and trust. Its about deciding who you can count on to stand up for today's hard-working families. Nancy Morrison is a strong effective advocate. She will stand up to Dalton McGuinty and his broken promises and deliver real results for people in York-Simcoe and in the province," Hampton said.

"Nancy is Ontario's principal advocate for children with autism. As a mother of a son with autism, Nancy got Dalton McGuinty to promise to provide treatment to every child with autism in the province who needs it and to end the cutoff age of IBI treatment in schools. She continues to do everything she can to press McGuinty to keep that broken promise." said Bob Ridley, V.P., York-Simcoe NDP.

Shelley Martel, NDP MPP (Nickel Belt) and party critic for autism, who was also in attendance at the meeting, shared her deep respect for Morrison's conviction and passion. "Nancy's ability to hold Premier McGuinty responsible for his broken promises to children with autism and their families has been inspiring. Nancy will make an exceptional MPP for the people of York-Simcoe.

During the meeting, a moment was taken to remember NDP member Carol McPherson who passed away in March. Paul Wessenger, former NDP MPP for Barrie/Simcoe/Bradford shared some of his thoughts and memories of Carol. Prior to being the Innisfil Enterprise owner and editor, Carol worked in Paul's administrative office when he was Parliamentary Assistant to Howard Hampton. "Carol was deeply committed to social justice, and to the promotion of equality for all individuals. Carol was a friend of this party, a friend of mine, and is deeply missed." said Wessenger.

In her acceptance speech, Nancy Morrison addressed several crucial issues facing voters of York-Simcoe. Morrison noted, The Georgina smelter is unfortunately another broken Liberal promise that so desperately needs attention. My shock was to learn that our incumbent MPP lives within a few kms of that site. Yet, she has done little to hold the Liberals accountable for their promise to clean it up.

On the minimum wage and MMP raises, Morrison said The Liberal government held a special extension just before Christmas to ram through a raise to give MPP's a minimum of $110,000 a year, and Premier McGuinty has gone to over $196,000 a year, which the Conservatives fully supported. The NDP voted against this. Meanwhile, the government doesn't think the lowest income earners in this province are worth $10 an hour. Shame on them.

Liberal broken promises, and Conservative inaction. That is what this election is all about. Choosing the party and the representative that will take your concerns and ENSURE ACTION. Someone who won't sit complacent in their position. Someone who will continue to demonstrate their hard working advocacy, their integrity and honesty for the issues that are important to you. continued Morrison.

Nancy Morrison, her husband and two children live in Bradford. She works for the South Simcoe Police Service.

The provincial election will be held October 10, 2007.

Contact: Bob Ridley at: 905-476-6917 or ndpyorksimcoe@yahoo.ca


This article is American however it is one of the HOTTEST

topics in my Google Alerts..

Social Behavior Differs In Children With Family History Of Autism

Science Daily The baby brothers and sisters of autistic children do not seek emotional cues from adults, or respond to them, as often as other toddlers do, suggests new research from the University of California, San Diego.
Baby wearing an ERP cap at UC San Diego's Developmental Cognitive and Social Neuroscience Lab. (Credit: Leslie Carver, UC San Diego)

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The study is the first to investigate "social referencing" behavior in children from families at high risk for autism and also points to profound differences in related measurements of brain activity, said lead researcher Leslie Carver.

"Our results," Carver said, "support two important ideas about autism: That those behaviors that are diagnostic of the disorder fall on one end of a broad behavioral spectrum and also that there is a strong genetic component to autism, evidenced by the behavioral resemblances in close family members."

The heritability of autism has been estimated as high as 90 percent, Carver noted, and siblings are at increased risk of receiving the diagnosis themselves: About 8 percent will go on to develop the disorder, as compared to about .5 percent of the general population.

Social referencing involves checking in with the emotional displays of others (especially those we expect to be knowledgeable about a novel situation) and regulating our own emotions and behavior in response. It is something most of us do and do without thinking. On spying a new caterpillar in the park, a young child might turn to find a parent's smile before toddling over to take a closer look. And an adult, startled by a sudden jolt on an airborne plane, might seek out the expression of a flight attendant to determine whether that was just a nasty bit of turbulence or something really worth worrying about.

Typically, social referencing begins to emerge toward the end of the first year of life. But in individuals with autism, this behavior, along with several other aspects of social cognition, is characteristically impaired.

The current research is in line with earlier work demonstrating that first-degree relatives of autistic children often display milder, or subclinical, features of the disorder. Carver and her colleagues, UC San Diego psychology professor Karen Dobkins, doctoral student Lauren Cornew and post-doctoral researcher Joseph McCleery, tested 18 high-risk toddlers (18-month-old siblings of children diagnosed with autism) and compared their results to those of 28 age-matched counterparts who had no family history of the disorder.

In the behavioral portion of the experiments, the children were presented with three novel and ambiguous toys -- toys that could be taken as either good or bad, scary or fun, or neither -- and their caregivers were trained to react with facial expressions and vocal signals that were positive, negative and neutral. The interactions were videotaped and later analyzed.

After the behavioral testing, the children were shown pictures of the same toys and their brain responses were measured -- specifically by tracking ERP (event-related potential) activity, or the electrical activity of groups of neurons firing in synchrony in response to a specific event.

The high-risk toddlers differed in almost every element of social referencing, the researchers found: Though they sought emotional information from adults as quickly as the low-risk toddlers, they did so about 30 percent less frequently, and they did not respond to the adult's information in ways that were consistent with the adult's reaction.

Brain-activity measurements told a similar story: Where low-risk children showed the expected magnitude of neural response to emotionally tagged objects, the high-risk ones did not. And where the brain activity of low-risk children correlated with their behavior regulation, this pattern was not observed in the high-risk.

"It's as if the high-risk children do not have as clear an understanding of the meaning of an emotion and don't connect it to the object in the same way," Carver said.

Data from children who would later go on to a diagnosis of autism are not included in the study results.

Carver, an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Developmental Cognitive and Social Neuroscience Lab at UC San Diego, is presenting the findings at the 2007 International Meeting for Autism Research in Seattle, Wash.

The study is supported by funding from the National Association for Autism Research, Autism Speaks and the MIND Institute at UC Davis.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of California - San Diego.


Hey everyone!

Nancy sent out a message to tell everyone of the family trying to get a backyard makeover and if they get the most votes for being the family of choice, they win the backyard makeover.

(Nancy has asked me to: Please include the following in the next mailing, to make sure that many within our community will vote. Perhaps a mention to ask others to vote on their behalf too would be valuable to help them win the makeover.

Message from Lianne and Family:

Hey Guys

Votes start Monday May 7 till May 22nd. Please take time to go to www.sunlightlaundry.ca and vote for us daily PLEASE. And pass the word around if possible. It is free and only takes a second.... I will keep you all posted...

Thanks so much

Lianne and Family


Hormone treatment shows promise against autism, conference hears; Daily parent-child play sessions also help, separate study finds
The Edmonton Journal

May 5, 2007
Page: A16
By: Warren King
SEATTLE - The hormone oxytocin has shown promise in relieving some symptoms of autism, scientists reported Thursday at an international conference in Seattle.

Oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contractions and milk secretion in women, has helped some autistic adults reduce repetitive behaviour, such as rocking, and improved their ability to identify emotions, such as anger and happiness, and relate to people better.

"There are still a lot of questions, such as how to administer it daily," said Evodokia Anagnostou, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. "But this is probably a promising avenue to pursue."

In the oxytocin study, which was relatively small with 23 subjects, the scientists found that both injections and nasal sprays of the hormone relieved symptoms for several weeks much better than in patients who received placebos.

Using magnetic resonance imaging, Anagnostou and her colleagues also found that oxytocin improved regions of the brain that are affected by autism. Autism is a permanent brain disorder, usually diagnosed after age three, that can seriously impair social and communication skills and limit people's interests and activities. It manifests itself in a spectrum of ways, from mild to severe, and experts now estimate one in 150 people in the U.S. have the disorder.

Most scientists don't believe there is a single cause of autism. But they have identified abnormalities in several brain regions, and some genetic defects are believed related to the disorder. Conventional drug treatment usually targets problems such as hyperactivity and aggressive behaviour in some patients.

Recently, much research has focused on early diagnosis and treatment to help socialization and language skills. Scientists don't believe symptoms can be detected before six months of age.

But a decade ago, Geraldine Dawson, director of the University of Washington Autism Center, conducted pioneering research showing that autistic children as young as one year exhibit little eye contact with others, and subsequent research has found other early clues.

Dawson and Sally Rogers of the University of California, Davis, showed dramatic videos of toddlers who steadily improved through daily sessions of parent-child play that stimulated socialization and language.

Before the sessions, the children played silently and alone in a room with parents. Afterward, they laughed, looked parents straight in the eye and used words to identify toys and express wishes.

"Intervention during the onset period may slow or minimize the progression," Rogers said.
In other research, Eric Fombonne, of Montreal Children's Hospital, said in a news conference that samples of blood, hair and toenails taken from 71 newly diagnosed children and their mothers showed levels of mercury no different from children who didn't have autism.

Fombonne conceded the samples gave only a snapshot in time, but he said the findings support studies cited by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying there is no link between mercury in vaccine preservatives and autism. Many parents and some scientists believe there is a link.

More than 900 researchers, parents and activists are gathering through today for the sixth International Meeting for Autism Research.


'Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony'
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007

Re: "I'm not doing the talk about the birds and bees," April 27
I was initially happy to see The Sun devote space for a comprehensive series about autism -- it is a widespread and growing reality for many families and deserves better understanding. Unfortunately, I don't know that The Sun did people with autism any favours. To see a photo of a teenage boy, fully identifiable not only by image but by first and last name, and read about his mother seeing him with an erection, was shocking and disappointing. Is there any parent of a 14-year-old boy who thinks his or her child would appreciate this sort of publicity?

One of the biggest reasons for publishing a series about autism should be to demystify the condition. That means explaining what similarities people with autism share with people without it, what unique issues they and their families face and education as to how best relate to a person with autism. First and foremost, drill home the understanding that people with any kind of disability hold the same rights to dignity and quality of life as those without a disability.

This boy's first identity is not autism. It is boy. He is a boy with interests, friends, family, struggles, joys and autism. And for every member of his peer group, he is now the boy whose erection was openly and jocularly discussed in The Sun. If there was a better way to send him and anyone else with autism the message that he is different and somehow less deserving of the rights to confidentiality and respect that the rest of us share, I doubt I could have come up with it myself.

Lauren Brown
'Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony'
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007.
Page: A10
Section: Editorial
Edition: Final
Byline: Sabrina Freeman
Re: Autistic kids' families need help, Pete McMartin; and Ethically and economically, it makes sense to give more help for autism, Editorial, both April 28

The Faces of Autism series, together with the concluding column by Pete McMartin and the editorial, collectively constitute a major public service. Thank you. The Sun's concentrated attention on the epidemic of autism that is currently sweeping North America, and the conclusions that you have reached, deserve to be greatly appreciated by all who care about this extremely serious health care challenge to our society.

There is, however, one point of clarification that we believe must be made. Contrary to the clear inference in the April 26 article on treatment options, FEAT-BC has and continues to advocate for the inclusion in medicare coverage of any and all science-based autism treatments, not only the Lovaas method. At such time as scientific evidence supports a physician-prescribed alternative mode of treatment, then it too should be included by medicare. To date, however, our courts have found that it is only intensive behavioural treatment based on the Lovaas protocol that has generated the requisite scientific data.

Sabrina Freeman
Jean Lewis
Families for Early Autism Treatment of B.C.
'Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony'
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007
Byline: Debra Antifaev
Re: Many options, little research makes choice difficult, Faces of Autism, April 27
Cyndi Gerlach says she tried Lovaas ABA for the eldest of her two sons with autism, but "stopped after a couple of days. She felt it was too gruelling a protocol."

While I would never deny anyone his or her choice of medical treatments, if we had all employed this ideology, I never would have learned to ski, my husband would not be training for a half-marathon, and my other children would not ride horses, play hockey or read. In addition, my severely autistic son never would have been potty trained, learned to ride, swim or communicate with his family.

It is gruelling, expensive, heartbreaking and hard on the rest of the family (my husband and I have five children), but for some of us quitting is not an option. How can someone publicly criticize something she has tried "for a couple of days"? If Gerlach doesn't want to use ABA, that is her prerogative. But to deny its effectiveness without really trying it is irresponsible.

There is not always a logical explanation as to why some medical interventions work for some people and not others, but it does not mean we stop trying. It means we use what the studies say are effective today and we keep searching for a cure.

Debra Antifaev
'Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony'
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007
Byline: Frances Kelly
The Faces of Autism series indicates that people who have an IQ over 70 at age 19 will be denied services. Families need to know that this should not be the case.

The "IQ over 70" rule was successfully challenged before the courts in March 2006 by Neil Fahlman and his mother, Fiona Gow. Neil, who has autism and other disabilities, faced being cut off all services at age 19 because his IQ was 79. The B.C. Supreme Court ruled that this was not permitted under the Community Living Authority Act (see Gow and Fahlman v. CLBC). The government tried to appeal the decision in December 2006. It lost again; in written reasons released in January 2007, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld the lower decision (see CLBC v. Gow and Fahlman).

Parents should not be advised that this is the rule when the courts have said it is not.
Frances Kelly
Barrister and solicitor
Community Legal Assistance Society
'Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony'
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007
Page: A10
Section: Editorial
Edition: Final
Byline: June Yee
Re: Faces of Autism, April 21-27
Thank you for making readers aware of autism, the families affected by it and its challenges in Pete McMartin's recent six-part series. I have an autistic son who is 18 now. Through continued advocacy, our commitment as parents, patience and support, he is taking control of his life and doing exceptionally well. He is happy. As a family, we try not to get caught up worrying about his disability, but instead focus on his abilities and what we can do to support them. I used to worry that he didn't have friends or was always alone. But now I realize that he is content and is OK doing things by himself. In fact, it causes him great anxiety if anyone interferes with his alone time and space.

Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony where one wonders if he or she can take any more. But we do because these are our children. We must accept them for how special they are and realize there is no cure.

Time spent blaming the system for lack of funds and support is energy- draining; instead, out of necessity, our energy is diverted to learning from the experts and finding ways to help our son.

I am disappointed and angry that our government is looking at, but not seeing the importance of helping the most vulnerable of families. These children are no different than other children when it comes to dreams and aspirations. They grow up hoping to have careers, raise families and contribute to society.

We need hope, hope that our children can live independently and well. But don't hope that things will ever be normal. Instead, accept that it is normal to hope for the best.

June Yee
Photo: June Yee
'Living with a loved one who has autism is an emotional roller coaster from pure happiness to sheer agony'
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007.
Byline: Ellen Domm
Pete McMartin neglected to mention in his series on autism that even if families have financial resources to cover expenses, there is a paucity of qualified professionals available to implement treatment programs. There are only a handful of Board Certified Behaviour Analysts in B.C., and they have lengthy waiting lists.

Behaviour interventionists are likely to be young, inexperienced college students, and the turnover rate for these jobs is so quick that families are often left with programs in place, but no one to run them. What the province and autism community desperately need are educated and committed professionals who can work effectively with this clientele.

My colleagues at Capilano College and I are developing a degree program in Applied Behaviour Analysis scheduled to begin in September 2008.

Ellen Domm
Department of Psychology, Capilano College
North Vancouver
Photo: Ellen Domm
Autism series: No one talked to the kids
The Vancouver Sun

May 7, 2007
Page: A11
Section: Editorial
Edition: Final
Byline: Alex Lu
Pete McMartin's series on autism might be touching to the parents of autistic kids.
However, has anyone bothered to interview the kids? Or does the writer just assume that we're all idiots, unable to express our discontent in an intelligible way?

Being a high-functioning autistic kid myself, I have to say that I take offence, and am furious at the way we're portrayed.

First of all, autism is not a mental disability and we do not need to be "fixed." I admit that you do have a tiny section on the bottom of the page for one part of the series proclaiming otherwise, but your wording completely contradicts that fact.

"Therapy," "treatment"-- are they not words that usually inspire pictures of raving lunatics in institutions?
All that's different from supposedly "normal" people and me is the way I think. Although my parents, teachers and peers may pity me for being anti-social, I pity them for being noisy idlers who do nothing but banter with each other all day long. Although people may think that my opinions are flawed, I believe that their opinions are flawed. I have no desire to socialize, and I'm perfectly fine with going through life alone.

However, I also have no desire to be stigmatized, bullied, mocked or discriminated against for the way my brain works. Some people tell me to change my opinions and socialize to change the way people act towards me. That is akin to one telling a black man to "peel off" his skin and become white, so that people don't discriminate against him. Does this so-called "era of acceptance" apply to us?

Ever since the doctor gave me that death sentence (autism), the only thing my parents talk about is me. Before, they used to talk about each other, their jobs and many other things.

I don't understand what has changed between then and now. I don't act, talk or look any differently. The only difference is that I am now officially autistic. It has not given them relief, it has only sent them into a frenzy.

And don't get me started about school; before, I used to be a "normal" kid, albeit uninterested in socializing. Now, I am autistic. I require a teacher assistant.

Taking on this label has ruined my life. I protest by refusing therapy, because I don't want to become "neuro-typical." I would never give up my ability to think the way I do.

So, what's the solution to this dilemma?
I propose that instead of "treating" autistic kids so that they become "normal," we accept them.
Alex Lu lives in North Vancouver.
Metro Briefing New York: Albany: Parental Access Increased
New York Times
May 7, 2007.
Section: Metropolitan Desk; SECTB
Page: 5
A bill designed to give parents greater access to information about their children who are in residential health facilities was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The law, spurred by the death of a 13-year-old autistic boy this year, requires the facilities to notify parents and guardians within 24 hours of events affecting the children's health and safety. The boy, Jonathan Carey, died in February while under care at the state's Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center. The authorities have said an aide was trying to restrain Jonathan in a van when he stopped breathing. Two aides have been charged with manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty.

The Autism Society of New Brunswick today issued the press release
Autism Society New Brunswick Calls on the Federal Government to
Reply to the Senate with Swift Action on a National Autism Strategy
Fredericton - May 7, 2007 – 
The Autism Society New Brunswick (ASNB) is 
calling on the federal government to respond to the Senate
recommendations regarding the autism crisis in Canada with swift action towards the implementation of a National Autism Strategy (NAS).
Last week a motion by Senator Art Eggleton, the Chair of the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, was introduced in the Senate requesting 
The federal government provide a "complete and detailed response" to the 
recommendations in its report titled "Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism
Families in Crisis" which was tabled in the Senate on March 29, 2007.  The
Ministers of Health, Finance, National Revenue, and Intergovernmental Affairs are designated as responsible for providing the government response.
The Senate Committee's report recognized an autism crisis in Canada and 
recommended that the government work with the provinces to develop a 
NAS and negotiate a funding formula whereby federal budget surplus dollars 
Would be transferred to the provinces to fund autism treatment pursuant to
national standards.
ASNB fully supports a NAS and strongly urges the federal Cabinet to 
Make the development and implementation a top priority.  ASNB realizes much is 
required to address the immediate needs of autistic individuals of all
Funding of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), to date the only proven 
effective evidence based intervention for autism, is critical.  
Properly trained personnel must provide ABA and related services.  Teachers and Teachers Aides must also be properly trained in ABA and autism to 
Enable autistic students to prosper, receiving a real education.  Autistic
youths and adults are in desperate need of decent residential care options 
with caregivers knowledgeable of autism and trained in caring for autistic 
" . . . if you pay for it now, look at the return you get on your 
investment. The people with autism will get out into the real world and
get jobs, and that will stimulate the economy. Or you can pay later, which
means they will go into group homes and it will cost the taxpayers a lot of
money in the long run to keep them there." said Jason Oldford, member ASNB, 
testifying as an autistic individual at the Senate inquiry.
"The facts speak for themselves.  Recently the U.S. Centres for Disease 
Control (CDC) reported that the prevalence rate has reached 1 in every
150 children being diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). To 
Many people this is not just a crisis, but an epidemic.  Yet, not one
province offers autism treatment under Medicare. Similarly, many children with
autism are not being properly taught in the public education system.   The
autism initiatives that Health Minister Clement announced on November 21, 
including the creation of a website and the holding of a future
symposium, demonstrate a lack of willingness to take urgently-needed action.  This is in sharp contrast to the U.S. where President Bush recently signed the 
'Combating Autism Act'.  The situation requires the government to
abandon its ostrich approach to crisis management and take swift action to
address this national problem before it gets worse" said Sam Yassine, advocacy 
friend, Ottawa.
For more information, contact:
Brian Rimpilainen, ASNB federal rep - brimpilainen1201@rogers.com
"Our mission is to promote public awareness, understanding and
acceptance of persons diagnosed with autism/autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while providing support to families for the realization of services and programs within their community"
ASNB works for improvements in our province that affect the lives of 
individuals with autism. We cooperate with other agencies with
complementary mandates, and help ensure that individuals with autism and their
families have a voice in the issues that affect them. ASNB is an active member 
of the University of New Brunswick's Autism Steering Committee working to
establish a Centre for Education, Training, and Research in Autism and related 
neurological disorders. ASNB also supplies support for the Stan Cassidy 
Centre's Paediatric Rehabilitation Team, which is New Brunswick's
traveling tertiary care resource.
ASNB surveys available resources while assessing the needs of the
autistic community, and then works at developing a plan to address those needs.
One area identified is to provide training in Intensive Behavioural 
Interventions for therapists, teachers, and teacher assistants. Another 
issue is the accessibility of post-secondary education, employment 
opportunities for adults with autism, and residential facilities for
those requiring it.
ASNB works on a local level with families/caregivers providing support
and resources based on the need, and where necessary we advocate on an 
individual level attending case conferences, school meetings ensuring 
appropriate support systems are in place.

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May 2, 2007
McGuinty Government Boosting Developmental Services Sector
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is boosting capacity in the developmental services sector by providing multi-year agency base budget and wage and salary increases as part of the 2007 Ontario Budget, Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur announced today. [More]

April 8, 2007
McGuinty Government Takes Another Step Towards An Accessible Ontario
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is taking an important step towards a fully accessible Ontario by opening up recruitment for the next two Standards Development Committees that will develop province-wide accessibility standards in the areas of built environment and employment, Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today. [More]

April 2, 2007
Expanding Opportunity For Children And Families
LONDON - The McGuinty government introduced the Ontario Child Benefit in the 2007 Budget to expand opportunities for children in all low-income families — whether their parents are able to work or not, Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur said today. [More]

March 27, 2007
McGuinty government makes record investment for people with developmental disabilities
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is boosting services and supports for people with a developmental disability and their families by investing an additional $200 million over four years to strengthen capacity in developmental service agencies in communities across Ontario as part of the 2007 Ontario Budget, Minister Responsible for Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur announced today. [More]

March 19, 2007
GOODPARENTSPAY.COM Helping Children Get The Support They Deserve
QUEEN’S PARK – Five individuals who had defaulted on their court-ordered child and spousal support payments have been found thanks to the McGuinty government's www.goodparentspay.com website, Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur announced today. [More]


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I Am The Happy Mother Of An Autistic Child

I am a happy mother of an autistic child.

I do worry about negative representations of autism in the media and the “prevention” and “disease” mindset.

By Citizen Correspondent Estee Klar-Wolfund


Reader Rating rating: 5

Before Adam was born, I knew he was going to be a boy. I had one of those lucid dreams in my first trimester where I actually “saw” Adam. My dreams were typical ones: picturing early mornings at hockey practice, cars, trucks, superheroes, and later a girlfriend hidden away behind a closed bedroom door. My only fear was in not having a child – in never having the joys and the headaches at all. So maybe that’s what made me a happy mother of an autistic child.

The pride and joy I feel for Adam motivated me to form The Autism Acceptance Project and begin a blog titled The Joy Of Autism. Adam, who is now five years old, was diagnosed at eighteen months of age. The word “joy” in our lives isn’t just a mantra, it’s for real. Despite challenges and hurdles, Adam’s affection and affable nature motivates everyone in our family to focus on what quality of life means: in the short time we have on this earth, we try to focus on what is meaningful in our lives. While Adam may never be a “jock,” autism doesn’t mean that he’ll never play hockey.

In the beginning, it wasn’t like this. When Adam was diagnosed at eighteen months of age, my husband and I were terrified of autism. It is a universal theme – most of us are unequipped to deal with autism, let alone any disability. Unless borne to a family with disability in it, or if you went to school with disabled children, there is no way to know how to deal with the sudden diagnosis which many refer to as D-Day. Yet, despite the diagnosis, Adam had not changed. The diagnosis simply changed our perception of him and his future.

All I could picture was a son detached from me, rocking in a corner back and forth for the rest of his life. Isn’t that what most of the world thinks of autism? A child who is among us, but “not quite with us?” Add to that a very negative portrayal of autism for the sake of creating urgency and generating money and careers parents are offered very little hope and support to move on in life with autism.

For the full picture story click here



Autistic Toddlers Easily Study Photos of Faces

Published: Thursday, May 3, 2007 | 9:27 PM ET

Canadian Press

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) - Even though it's often difficult for toddlers with autism spectrum disorders to make eye contact or to focus on people's faces, they have little trouble looking at photographs of faces, U.S. researchers report.

A team from the Yale University School of Medicine also found that toddlers with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) spent most of the time examining the eyes of people in photographs.

"This is a surprising finding, given that avoiding eye contact is one of the classic hallmarks of autism," Katarzyna Chawarska, an assistant professor at the Yale Child Study Center, said in a prepared statement.

"The results are preliminary and will require further replication and extension, but they suggest that pictures of faces and eyes are, by themselves, neither inherently unattractive nor inherently adverse to toddlers with ASD," she said.

"Therefore, the limited attention to faces and eyes observed in natural settings may be due to the fact that faces don't stand out to them as much as other objects in the environment," Chawarska said. "There also may be heightened arousal related to the complex social and perceptual context in which faces usually occur."

The researchers used an eye-tracking system to collect information on the toddlers' visual scanning patterns and their recognition of faces and abstract patterns.

Continue Article

For the full article : Click here:



Hmmmmmmmm more mercury and autism news..

(I don’t know what to believe anymore.. it’s a France article but Canada is mentioned..)

03/05/07 22h02 GMT+1

AFP News brief

No link between mercury and autism: study

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Mercury levels have no relationship to the development of autism, a developmental disorder whose cause remains unclear, according to a Canadian study published Thursday.

"In recent years, hypotheses have been raised concerning a possible relationship between mercury exposure and autism," said Eric Fombonne, head researcher and director of pediatric psychiatry at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

"Specifically, the concerns have been related to childhood thimerosal-containing vaccines, dental amalgams, and methylmercury in food," he said in a statement.

The research team examined mercury levels in hair and blood samples provided by autistic children and their mothers and concluded that the levels observed did not differ largely from those taken from children without autism.

The study also "demonstrated that there was no correlation between the mercury level and the severity of symptoms and level of functioning of autistic children."

Children with autism, a growing developmental concern which appears before age three, often avoid physical contact and communicate with gestures rather than speech.

A February study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that autism is more common in the United States than previously believed, affecting one child in 150.

The Canadian study was performed on 71 autistic children and 75 children without the disorder.

Fombonne said the study's findings also implied that "chelation therapies, whereby heavy metals are removed from the body using specific compounds, are not useful in the treatment of autism."

For full article:



Micheline Demers-Landry stands behind her son, Drew, 11, who was left behind by his school bus driver Wednesday morning, after acting out during the ride. The driver left Drew, who has a form of autism, two kilometres from his Callander home.

Photo: Paul Chivers

School bus leaves behind autistic boy; Mother wants better training for drivers

Local News - Friday, May 04, 2007 Updated @ 10:14:49 AM

A routine trip to school turned into an ordeal for an autistic boy who was left behind by his bus driver on a rural road after acting out.

"It was the scariest moment of my life as a mom," said Micheline Demers-Landry.

"You don't leave a child at the side of a country road, on any road."

It happened Wednesday at about 7:35 a.m. when her son, Drew, 11, and daughter, Molly, 9, were picked up at their bus stop near their rural residence on their way to St. Theresa School.

Drew has Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, although he's high functioning and it's not obvious by looking at him that he has any problems, she said.

The siblings were fighting about toys when the driver told them to stop arguing or get off the bus, she said.

Drew can't handle confusion and he walked off, she said, adding the driver pulled away, leaving the boy two kilometres from his home.

Demers-Landry said she had not yet left for work when the bus company, Stock Transportation, called a short time later to find out if her son had returned home, prompting her to drive along the road until she found him.

The driver is no longer on that route and has been disciplined, she said.

And while she's also happy with the quick response from the school board, Demers-Landry said bus drivers should be trained to deal with special-needs children on their route.

Stock Transportation wouldn't comment on the incident when contacted Thursday.

"This certainly is a very rare occurrence," said Anna Marie Bitonti, director of education for the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic School Board.

A transportation consortium administers bus service to the four boards in the district.

This is not an incident that anyone could have expected, Bitonti said.

Wednesday's incident was handled immediately, she added, noting bus drivers are subject to background checks and receive training in first-aid and driving skills.

Dalton McGuinty Guest Speaker May 10th

The eleventh Annual Meeting of the Children’s Treatment Centre will be held on Thursday May 10th, 2007. Premier Dalton McGuinty will be the Guest Speaker, and his address will be on the spirit of volunteerism. “This topic is most appropriate,” said Pierre Guindon, President of the Centre. “The Centre was started by volunteers and it is maintained by volunteers through organizing fundraising events and offering support services to clinical staff such as reception duties, driving children to their appointments, etc. It is the volunteers, as well as the generosity of our donors, that make the service the Centre offers to abused children and their families possible in our community.”

The Annual Meeting is an opportunity for the Centre’s Board of Directors to pay tribute to the many volunteers and donors who continue to maintain this service in our community. “We feel that the attendance of the Premier as the Guest Speaker at this event to thank our donors and volunteers for their contribution would be the greatest honour and tribute we can give them,” said Mr. Guindon.

The Annual Meeting will be held at the Best Western Parkway Inn, 1515 Vincent Massey Drive in Cornwall at 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.


ACCESS TO JUSTICE (you might have this already!!!)

TheStar.com - News - Should legal bills be tax deductible?

Should legal bills be tax deductible?

As court costs soar, a tax break would help out the middle class and even the playing field for people suing businesses

Apr 24, 2007 04:30 AM

Legal Affairs Reporter

Stephanie Etherington spent nearly $35,000 in a legal battle with the Halton District School Board over her autistic son's education.

But the Burlington mother was stunned to discover her legal expenses weren't tax deductible. After all, the cost of caring for her son's service dog, Millie, is a valid disability-related claim.

As Canadians wrestle with their receipts for next week's income tax deadline, some lawyers argue there should be one more category of paper eligible for filing – legal bills.

"The general philosophical thrust, in this day and age, when justice is so expensive, should be toward giving individuals a break by allowing them to deduct their legal fees," says tax lawyer Vern Krishna, a professor at the University of Ottawa and former head of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

As a rule, businesses can deduct legal fees from their income, while individuals cannot. But with the costs of even simple cases soaring – a three-day civil trial is estimated at $60,000 – Krishna believes it's time to change a tax system that allows businesses and individuals to play by different rules.

"It's not a pure tax issue. It's a socio-economic issue."

Those who stand to gain the most are the middle class, because they don't qualify for legal aid.

For a person in the 40 per cent tax bracket, every $100 spent on legal fees would drop to $60 after deductions. That would have been a big help to Etherington and her husband, Stephen, who spent three years fighting to accommodate their son, Aaron, now 18, at a Burlington high school. "It was a financial strain, no question," said Etherington, who works with a learning disabilities group in Halton. Her husband is a postal worker.

It could have been worse. In British Columbia, residents pay the 7 per cent provincial sales tax on lawyers' fees, on top of the federal GST. Two years ago, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the provincial tax unconstitutional, saying it offends the principle of access to justice.

The B.C. government, supported by other provinces, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, which heard the case last month and reserved its decision.

In most cases, corporations already have a financial advantage when squaring off against individuals in court; being able to write off legal fees tilts the scales of justice even further.

When Barrie Millar sued General Motors in 2002 over his defective SUV, for instance, he could have been stuck with nearly $97,000 in legal expenses, with none of the tax advantages enjoyed by his opponent. Fortunately for Millar, he prevailed and GM was ordered to pay most of his costs.

Companies are allowed to deduct legal expenses as costs of doing business, in order to get an accurate measure of their net income. Though individuals usually can't deduct personal expenses, the government makes exceptions to accomplish certain social objectives, such as charitable giving.

But Toronto tax lawyer David Nathanson doesn't think changing the tax system is the way to improve access to legal services. He argues tax law should be neutral and not favour taxpayers with legal expenses.

"The main way to gain access to justice is to have a good lawyer. The problem is, justice is plain expensive. It's not a great way for ordinary people to resolve disputes."

The solution, says Nathanson, is to have a legal version of medicare. But he acknowledges that's unrealistic because a universal legal aid system would "bankrupt" the country.

John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, also opposes tax breaks for people. The organization wants to see fewer deductions, not more.

But Peter Callahan, Millar's lawyer, thinks giving individual Canadians the right to deduct legal fees is a good idea, worthy of further public debate.

"It's not crazy. It's the inequity that's striking."

The cost of litigation is "a very real deterrent" for most people, he said, and a tax break would make "more inclined to address the breach of their rights."

With files from Robert Benzie.


*** this e-List posts messages from time to time with regards to medical treatments and takes no responsibility for the readers choice of treatment.

I will post any conferences you choose to send to me, but relieve myself of any decisions, outcomes and choices you have decided to make in the treatment of yourself or your child.*************** Thank you and much luck!!!!


Subject: Biomedical Autism Mini Conference June 2, 2007, London, Ontario
Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 14:09:26 -0400

Here is the finalized flyer for the London , Ontario conference. If possible, please post this on your website and forward to anyone that might have an interest in attending. I need assistance marketing starting right away. If you have any ideas or contacts for me, please let me know. Also, if you know of any support groups, please forward to them or let me know so that I can get in contact with them.

We only have four weeks to go so I would sincerely appreciate any and all assistance that you could provide.

We are in the process of printing flyers and posters. Please let me know how many you would like. We will reimburse you for postage for any that you send out on our behalf. I need someone in the London area to put up posters for me at the London libraries and any health food stores, therapy centers, speech or other related services.

I also will also have someone in-house working on marketing so anything you could suggest would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.

Christiane Gram

Physician Liaison

The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc.

Office 704-225-3623

Cell 704-756-3087

Treating Autism, PDD, AD(H)D and Behaviour Disorders

Biomedical Treatments That Make a Difference!


Saturday, June 2, 2007

London Public Library - Beacock Branch

1280 Huron Street

London, Ontario N5Y 4M2

9:00am – 5:00pm

(Directions: 401 to London Highbury Ave. Exit, follow Highbury through London to Huron St. , turn left 1 ½ blocks on right or see www.londonpubliclibrary.ca click on “Beacock”)

Register by May 21 & receive $10 off your registration!!!

Space is limited to 100 attendees so please register today!

11813 W. 77th St .

Lenexa, KS 66214


The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. is pleased to provide an educational opportunity for parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators, therapists, physicians and other practitioners seeking practical information on biomedical interventions for the treatment of Autism, PDD, AD(H)D, psychiatric, behavioural and other “neuro-developmental” disorders.

This is an excellent opportunity for those seeking evidence to support the use of various biomedical treatment options. We will be discussing the role of nutritional deficiencies and supplements, special diet interventions, food allergies, heavy metal toxins, enzyme deficiencies, inborn errors of metabolism, immune deficiencies, the role of micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract and more.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life!

Register before May 21 and receive a $10 discount!!!


9:00am - 9:30 Registration & Introductions

9:30am - 10:30 Scott Clack – “Biomedical Treatments for Autism 101”

10:30am - 11:30 Christiane Gram – “A Mother's Success Story - My Son’s Journey with Autism”

11:30am - 12:00 Kelly Konstantopoulos – “AD(H)D Drug Treatments: Effectiveness, Side Effects, Risk Factors and Alternatives”

12:00pm – 1:00 Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00 Irene Swedak - “Nutritional Interventions for Autism and Related Disorders”

2:00pm - 2:30 Dr. Robert Dronyk – “Naturopathic Health Care for the Entire Family”

2:30pm - 3:30 Scott Clack – “Practical Applications - Where to start?”

3:30pm - 4:00 Christiane Gram – “Testing Options with Great Plains Laboratory”

4:00pm - 4:30 Question & Answer (Panel)


About Our Founder

Dr. William Shaw is the Director and Founder of The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition and Metabolism in Lenexa , Kansas specializing in urine metabolic testing for autism spectrum disorders. He is responsible for many breakthroughs in Autism research and continues to fund research that will improve the lives of many children and adults. He is the author of “Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD” and is a frequent speaker at autism conferences worldwide. He is the stepfather of a child with autism and he has helped thousands of parents and physicians improve the health of their autistic children. Dr. Shaw also founded “New Beginnings Nutritionals” a supplement company specializing in Nutritional products for Autism Spectrum Disorders. For additional information, please visit www.greatplainslaboratory.com


Scott Clack, B.Sc., N.D. received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Toronto ( Mississauga ) in 1981, and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle in 1997. He practiced in B.C. for 2 years after graduation, and moved home to Ontario in 1999. Scott Clack has been specializing in the treatment of Autism and related disorders for approximately four years. In working with these families, he has researched and implemented many treatments that are recommended by DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!).

His formal training in treating Autism Spectrum Disorders “ASD” patients includes Open Windows ( Toronto ) training with Dr’s Bradstreet and Kartzinel in 2003, Open Windows ( Toronto ) with Dr. Bradstreet and Elaine Gotschall, Toronto mini- DAN! 2005 Physician’s training along with Great Plains Physician conference in 2006, the DAN! conference in April 2006 and the Great Plains Physician training conference in 2007. In addition, Scott was voted Naturopathic Doctor of the year in 2005 by his Ontario peers.

Dr. Robert Dronyk B.A.Sc., D.C., N.D. received his Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1972. He returned to school in 1977, graduating as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1981 and as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1986. His eclectic practice includes a variety of holistic, integrative and biomedical treatments for autism as well as many other childhood and adult illnesses. Other options include homeopathic medicines, botanical medicines, clinical nutrition including dietary changes, food intolerance and sensitivity testing and parenteral (injection) therapy and more.

Dr. Dronyk became interested in Autism, PDD and AD(H)D after seeing a sharp rise in the number of patients in his practice with these disorders. He attended Dr. Clack’s presentation on autism at a naturopathic convention in 2006 and completed the Great Plains Physician training conference in Lenexa , Kansas in 2007. Dr. Dronyk receives ongoing training and support through the Physician Liaison program with Great Plains Laboratory.

Christiane Gram is a mother of a child who no longer has an Autism diagnosis. She will share her son’s journey of recovery. “Bobby,” a 4 ½ pound preemie immediately displayed “autistic symptoms” following his first vaccination. Christiane also fell into a deep post-partum depression following her son’s birth. She was taking 4 different antidepressant prescriptions when the side effects drove her to seek out alternative solutions. She cured herself using nutritional therapies and once well, started researching alternative interventions for her son.

Three years ago, she attended a seminar held by The Great Plains Laboratory in Cincinnati . She received the hope, the knowledge and the resources she needed to heal her son. Following extensive metabolic testing performed by Great Plains , a specific treatment program was developed for Bobby. Within 4 days of beginning the treatments his world began to change. Bobby is now a typical 5 year old boy in a regular kindergarten class, without an aid.

Since then she has been working with Great Plains , and is constantly self educating through books, feedback from parents and attending conferences. Her passion is to bring hope, education and appropriate resources to areas of the world that are “under-serviced.”

Kelly Konstantopoulos received her degree in Commerce, from Concordia University ; Psychology (Honours), York University , and a Masters of Science in Holistic Nutrition (in progress) at Clayton College of Natural Health. Kelly’s journey with natural medicine began after 16 years of chronic health issues could not be relieved by conventional medicine. She completely changed her career direction after natural treatments helped her regain her health and even saved her life. She has been an independent researcher and student of Natural Medicine for over 7 years and over 17 years in Mental Health.

She has a special interest in “Orthomolecular Medicine” for the prevention and treatment of learning & behavior disorders in children (e.g. ADD & ADHD). Kelly has recently completed an independent research project on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) that covers the latest research on drug treatment effectiveness, side-effects, risks and government warnings for the ADHD class of drugs.

Irene Swedak graduated with honours from the University of Guelph in 1996 where she attained her Bachelor of Science Degree, specializing in biochemistry and nutrition. After receiving an honours diploma in holistic nutrition, Irene began practicing as a Nutritional Consultant and founded Wellness Wizards. She is a registered member of the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants. For two years, Irene had the opportunity to work with several Naturopathic Doctors and Natural Therapists in different clinical settings. Irene's clinical experience and exposure to the Health Food Industry have resulted in her expertise with respect to supplement and vitamin recommendations.

Irene also lectures frequently for both public and private organizations. She has a particular interest in working with families with special needs and has worked with over 24 children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders.


The Great Plains Laboratory is pleased to announce an Outreach Clinic specializing in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders, allergies, AD(H)D, psychiatric and behavioral abnormalities in the London area. Also treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Environmental Illness, Autoimmune Diseases, Hormonal Imbalances, Immune Dysfunction and Other Chronic Disorders/Illnesses.

Dr. Robert Dronyk and Scott Clack, Naturopathic Doctors, specializing in the biological treatments (DAN! protocol) for autism and related disorders, will be seeing patients on Saturday June 16, by appointment only. The Great Plains Laboratory will provide a highly skilled phlebotomist, who will be on site as a convenience for any patients requiring blood draws.

Our Goal is to Assess and Treat: Underlying nutritional deficiencies and oxidative stress, yeast and bacterial imbalances, food allergies and sensitivities; immune and endocrine abnormalities, heavy metal toxicity, auto-immunity issues, impaired detoxification systems

What you can expect from The Great Plains Laboratory Outreach Clinic:

 A multi-faceted, whole-body approach integrating natural and holistic medicine

 Review all signs & symptoms, no matter how ‘seemingly’ unrelated

 Extensive intake form to obtain a detailed and accurate clinical picture

 Extensive metabolic testing – utilizing blood, urine, stool, and hair

Case review from two branches of medicine (naturopathic and biochemistry)

 Design and implement a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan based on each individual’s clinical and metabolic presentation

 On-going support provided through office consultations at Dr. Dronyk’s full service clinic in the London , Ontario area.

To receive a complete flyer, make an appointment, or for specific pricing and details, please contact Sarah Wickens or Bryan Olson at The Great Plains Laboratory 913-341-8949.


1. Register by Mail: London 2007 Mini-Conference

c/o Sarah Wickens

11813 W. 77th St .

Lenexa, Kansas 66214 USA

2. Register by phone: (913) 341-8949 at The Great Plains Laboratory

3. Register by fax: (913) 341-6207 at The Great Plains Laboratory


$49.00 CAD ($40 USD) EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT (must be received by May 21, 2007)


X_______ Multiply appropriate fee by # of registrations



First Attendee Second Attendee:

First Name: ________________________First Name: ___________________________

Last Name: ________________________Last Name: ___________________________

Title/Organization: __________________ Title/Organization: _____________________

Address: _________________________ Address: _____________________________

City: _____________________________ City : _________________________________

Province: _________________________ Province:_____________________________ Postal Code: ______________________ Postal code___________________________

Phone: (H)___________(W)___________Phone: (H)______________(W)___________

Email Address: _____________________Email Address:________________________

___Please check here if you prefer your name NOT be listed on a master list of all conference attendees. The list including name, address, email address and telephone numbers will be available so we may contact you for future workshops, outreach clinics and conferences. We respect your privacy and never sell or give out this information to any other parties.


Credit Card #________________________________Expiration Date: __________________

Name on Card:______________________________

*Discover ____ *American Express ____ *Visa/Master Card ____

Signature of Cardholder: _______________________________________

Overnight accommodations can be made at the Residence Inn by Marriott, 383 Colbourne Street , London , Ontario N6B 3P5 519-433-7222 www.marriottresidenceinnlondon.com


adolfo said...

The real possibility of Saddam Hussein being released after light sentencing looms on the horizon. Instead of prosecuting him for treason, for ruling over the vast socialist, police-state structure that terrorized Iraq for decades or for selling out the country to his Soviet Russian masters.

DrKeithCurrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DrKeithCurrie said...

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