Saturday, November 24, 2007

autism news articles Nov 20th - 24th 2007

Autism News Articles
November 20th – November 24h 2007
GET YOUR CHRISTMAS SPIRIT’s UP!
One month exactly till Christmas Eve!
AFA (The Alliance for Families with Autism) prepares these news articles as a courtesy to your inbox and can be found archived at:
www.autismnewsarticles.blogspot.com
visit often.
Send your articles to:
Ktchmeifucan2002@yahoo.ca


The Alliance for Families with Autism (AFA) would like to share the following information with you. If you have a school age child with autism the following information will be very useful to you. All of this information can be found at the Ontario Government's Ministry of Education website. All of this information has been published in 2007. The Alliance for Families with Autism (AFA) has given a brief description from the website and have also provided you with a quick link.

1) Effective Educational Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Resource Guide. This resource guide is designed to support educators in elementary and secondary schools in Ontario in planning and implementing effective educational programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It contains information, strategies, and practices that can be put to use in the school and classroom.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/autismSpecDis.pdf

2) Policy/Program Memorandum No. 140. Incorporating Methods of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) into programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The purpose of this memorandum is to provide direction to school boards to support their use of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) as an effective instructional approach in the education of many students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/140.html


3) Making a Difference for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Ontario Schools: From Evidence to Action. Report of the Ministers' Autism Spectrum Disorders Reference Group to: Minister of Education and Minister of Children and Youth Services.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/nr/07.02/autism.html







From a listmate

Who will care when the caregiver goes?

VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR
Alec Glen, 21, has autism and lives at home where he loves to be entertained by his mother and stepfather, Jean and Dick Winters. Jean worries about Alec and his future without her
Life can throw curves at the most careful plans
Jeanette Holden, a genetics professor at Queen's University and an expert in autism, also has a 54-year-old brother being cared for by their elderly mother.
Seven years ago, Holden, 60, talked her mother, now 85, into moving halfway across the country from B.C. to Ontario so she could help care for Jim, who has limited speech and needs supervision. Her mother had suffered a fall and was starting to feel the strain of constant care.
"I am single and don't have to worry about a partner," says Holden. "We are looking after him together."
But life has thrown a few curves that make Holden apprehensive about her brother's future. She was diagnosed with leukemia last spring and underwent chemotherapy, forcing her mother to assume all housekeeping and caregiving duties – an exhausting load. Then her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
"I am staying healthy for them and that is all there is to it," Holden says, adding: "We need to figure out a long-term solution."
Holden praises her mother for devoting herself to the disabled child so that her other children were free to fulfill their educational and career aspirations.
From Trish Crawford

Aging parents taking care of autistic kids fear their own mortality will put their children at risk
November 20, 2007
Trish Crawford
LIVING REPORTER

Jean Winters fears what could happen to her autistic son when she is dead.
"We're not going to live forever," says Winters, 53, of Toronto.
It takes five people – Winters, her husband, ex-husband, younger son Adam Glen, 17, and a paid caregiver – to watch over Alec Glen, 21, who needs constant supervision.
She wants to get Alec on a waiting list for residential placement in the next few years, and has arranged for a trust fund for him and a trustee to handle his affairs.
Non-verbal and unafraid, Alec is in danger of both hurting himself and being harmed by others, Winters says.
"All the way through school, there would be bruises," says Winters, remembering. "Alec wouldn't say what happened."
Concern for his future "haunts me," she says.
This parent's dilemma is shared by thousands who have raised children with disabilities and find their responsibilities continue into the child's adulthood – and beyond their own deaths.
The importance of making a good plan for the future was highlighted in an Ontario courtroom a few weeks ago with the manslaughter trial of Allison Cox into the starvation death of her autistic sister, Tiffany Pinckney.
Court heard that Cox took over the care of Pinckney after their mother's death. Assistance set up for Pinckney, the trial learned, was rejected and the 23-year-old died in the basement of her sister's Mississauga home, emaciated and covered in feces.
Crown prosecutor John Raftery told the Star that "it is not a frequent thing" for a caregiver to face a manslaughter charge.
After the judge's verdict in the Pinckney case, expected in January, Raftery intends to call a meeting of witnesses from the various agencies who dealt with Pinckney during her life. Although the crown's involvement ends after the trial, Raftery says a meeting would focus on issues raised by the case and also explore interest in further action.
Community living leaders are already talking about pushing for laws to protect vulnerable adults in Ontario. Mary Rothman, spokesperson for the Community Living Association of Nova Scotia – the four Maritime provinces have such laws – says most cases currently involve elderly people.
Keith Powell, executive director of Community Living Ontario, says the proposed legislation would improve the ability of workers involved with intellectually disabled adults to investigate – and report – if services are rejected, as they were in Pinckney's case.
The case has made people talk, and think, about the responsibility of larger society to the vulnerable, says Powell, adding that more resources are needed to help those struggling to care for family members.
"It's not so much who is guilty and who should be prosecuted," says Powell. "It's important the families not be alone, that there are supports and community interest, so that this child isn't a burden."
Gail Jones, director of community supports with Kerry's Place Autism Services, who met Pinckney a few times, remembers her as having "a good sense of humour. She liked to go out to the park."
Shocked by her death, Jones arranged a memorial service in August, 2005, shortly after charges related to the young woman's death were laid against family members. About 30 people attended the service at the Rexdale Alliance Church, where Jones gave a speech commemorating Pinckney's life.
"Clearly her life and death have affected us very profoundly, to the point that I believe her death has created a different level of community thought and discussions about the welfare of individuals we serve," Jones told the service.
There is growing concern about a large increase in the number of disabled adults needing residential care as their parents die. Community Living Toronto lists nearly 300 parents over age 70 who are caregivers to intellectually disabled adult children. Of those caregivers, 13 are older than 90. All have put their children on the organization's housing list.
Sadly, say experts, those parents might have to die before a placement is found for their children.
Sondra Learn, of Burlington, who has two autistic children, doesn't think she should ask her eldest child Matt, 23, to take on his siblings' care when she dies.
"I don't think it's fair at all. It places a burden," says Learn, 54, a full-time homemaker.
Justin, 21, who has just graduated from high school, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He cannot speak but can read and write, says Learn, adding she has put him on a residential waiting list. Another son, with mild autism, doesn't need extra care.
Learn feels that Matt, who is working and engaged to be married, should be free to live his life without being handed the day-to-day care of his brother. She wants him to be involved in Justin's life but not responsible for him.
Margaret Spoelstra, executive director of the Autism Society of Ontario, says the death of Tiffany Pinckney "highlights the worst scenario. It is every parent's worst fear for the future."
Society members are deeply troubled by the case, she says. "Parents have lost a little bit of their heart."



From a listmate

Monday, November 19, 2007
Autism: Finding Amanda
Do you know an autistic adult?

Since first meeting 27-year-old Amanda Baggs at her home in Vermont , I've asked just about everyone I know this very question. Surprisingly few people have met adults with autism, but an overwhelming majority knows a child living with the disorder.

That's no surprise, given that the latest CDC statistics say 1 in 150 children has autism. Boys alone have a 1 out of 94 chance of developing it. The rise may be due, at least in part, to a broader awareness and diagnostic criteria under autism spectrum disorder. But without a doubt, the numbers mean a whole new generation of children will be growing up with autism.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and our team have done many stories on autism over the years. Much of our reporting focuses on one approach - detect and treat as early as possible. Everything from behavioral therapy to autism's possible relation to vaccines to alternative therapies including surfing, auditory processing or even swimming with dolphins. That's because much of the research on autism is focused solely on identifying it and intervening while a child is still young. For most parents and doctors, helping an autistic child is about reducing their autistic symptoms and behaving more like a typical, non-autistic child.

But we wanted to find out what happens to those people who don't change, those who go on to live with their autism with all of its challenges and all of its joys. That's when we met Amanda Baggs. She's a young woman living without a guardian. She may not be able to speak or form words in the traditional sense, but she has a loud message for the world when it comes to autism and disabled people. From her small town in Vermont , she has made a name for herself on the Internet. We first profiled her in February. For hundreds of thousands of viewers, she redefined what it means to be autistic. Click here to watch Amanda Baggs, "In My Language" and here to read her responses to viewers.

Amanda Baggs has a strong message for parents of autistic children. She types as a computer voice reads her words: "Listen to other autistic people. In fact, expose autistic children to a wide variety of autistic adults. It may be the autistic adults who do have either typing or speech who are far more equipped to be able to communicate with other autistic people."

It's such a basic concept - introducing young autistic boys and girls to autistic men and women. But finding older autistic individuals is often the last thing on parents' minds when their son or daughter's autism is diagnosed. Jenny McCarthy, actress and bestselling author of "Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism," was one of them. She recently appeared on CNN's Larry King Live.

Jenny McCarthy and Larry King aren't the only ones who are trying to learn more about the process of raising a child with autism. As I reported from the "Autism National Committee" annual meeting last month, parents told me that there is an acceptance process with autism. Louisa Smith, mother of a 5-year-old, told me that she was still in the sad phase of her son's diagnosis. "I just want him to live a happy life. There are actually happy adults here living with autism. I didn't think that was possible when they first told me he was autistic."

Scientifically, so little is known about autism. We don't know the precise cause. There is no cure or proven prevention. On a human level, there is so much knowledge to be learned. Tonight, you'll meet Amanda Baggs and people like her in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special report "Finding Amanda." She will be your guide into the world of living an autistic life to the fullest.

Programming note: Watch "Finding Amanda" on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight at 10 ET


Posted By A. Chris Gajilan, Senior Producer, Medical News: 12:56 PM ET

Google Alert
Website promises relief for families with disabled kids
By RONALD ZAJAC
Staff Writer
When caring for someone with a developmental disability, the breathers can be few and far between.
So Pierre and Denise Marcotte, of Lyn, were grateful when, upon moving here, they found a respite care worker for their disabled son, Jean, through the Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement (BDACI).
Jean, now 39, is autistic and hydrocephalic, the couple said. Caring for him can be a relentless task when there is no one around to provide a little help.
"It's like having a baby in your care for 39 years," said Pierre, 63.
So the Marcottes are giving an enthusiastic thumbs-up to a new website, launched officially Monday evening at the Brockville Arts Centre, that will allow families with developmentally disabled members to find respite care on the Internet.
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Warden Douglas Struthers and Steve Clark, executive assistant for Leeds-Grenville MPP Bob Runciman, were on hand to help launch the local branch of respiteservices.com.
The website (www.respiteservices.com) allows families to find respite workers and services within their local communities.
It now serves 37 communities across the province, with the local portion hosted by BDACI and funded as an inter-agency project between BDACI and 10 other local organizations.
The need for respite care services is apparent through the number of calls Runciman's office receives on the subject, said Clark.
The website allows families to find respite care not only at home, but also elsewhere in Ontario, should they move or go on vacation.
The need to find respite workers when one moves is something of which the Marcottes are keenly aware. Pierre's work as a banker has taken him through 18 moves.
Even before the local website, BDACI did an exceptional job in matching the family with a respite worker when they got here, they said.
Without other family members in the area, "where else do you go?" said Pierre.
Respite care is not only for the parents, but the child as well, they said, noting Jean, like any adult, needs opportunities to be in a different environment away from his parents.
Prescott resident Korrinne Landry, whose four-year-old son, Liam, has been diagnosed with mild autism, has been looking for six months for a respite worker.
"Caring for him is in itself a 24-hour job," said Landry, 30, who must also care for her two-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.
Her husband, Jason, works long hours to enable her to remain at home, so Korrinne is hoping the new website will connect her to a respite worker who will allow her to get a few hours off a day.
"A regular babysitter can't handle the special needs of Liam and then a two-year-old," she said.
The provincial government has provided funding for the technology, training and maintenance of the website until next year, said the project's manager, Tatjana Smrekar, but each local site has to be funded locally.
For Leeds and Grenville, the 11 partners will split the roughly $15,000 annual operating budget, said Kathy Senneker, BDACI's family support co-ordinator, who hopes there could be provincial funding in the future.
So far, three prospective respite workers have submitted their resum├ęs to the local site, she said, while one local parent has signalled a need for a worker.
BDACI will do basic screening of the potential workers, but it will be up to the parents to do a more thorough screening.
BDACI staff agree the demand for respite care is far greater than the supply of workers.
Senneker said the BDACI serves more than 160 families in Leeds and Grenville - a number she suggests be multiplied by five to get the true number of such local families served by other agencies in the two counties.
As the population ages, older people are calling for help, worried about what will happen to their disabled adult children when they are no longer there, said Senneker.
The good news, said Smrekar, is that people who provide respite care are usually passionate about the work and will likely help more than one family.
Respite care providers clearly don't do it for the money.
Mallorytown-area resident Wendy Crawford and her daughter, Oneida, 14, host a 20-year-old Brockville woman named Crystal with a developmental disability once a month on weekends.
Crawford, who is interested in putting her name on the website, said she gets a small honorarium for the work, but the rewards are far deeper than monetary ones.
"It's marvellous," she said. "It gives us an opportunity to have an extra family member. ...
"She's a delight."

From a listmate

Prosecuters allege woman was frustrated with caring for 4-year-old before bathtub drowning
Nov 21, 2007 04:30 AM
Peter Small
COURTS BUREAU
A mother increasingly frustrated with caring for her autistic daughter deliberately drowned the 4-year-old in a bathtub in the family home, a prosecutor alleges.
A pathologist is expected to testify that bruises found on Scarlet Chen are consistent with her lying on her back and struggling to lift her head as she was held down, Crown prosecutor Joshua Levy told a jury in his opening address yesterday.
Xuan Peng, 35, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her only daughter on July 12, 2004.
The girl's body was found in the bathtub of the ensuite bathroom adjoining the master bedroom of her parents' townhouse on Rosebank Dr., near Markham Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E. in east Toronto.
The Crown has placed a full-size mock-up of the bathroom in the front of the courtroom.
"Peng describes in her statement to police the difficulties and frustrations she was having looking after Scarlet," Levy said.
On the night of the girl's death, Peng called her husband's cellphone 13 times over two hours "inquiring when he would be returning in the hope that she would get some relief," the prosecutor told Superior Court.
"Scarlet was a child that required constant supervision," he said.
Her mother described her as a child with no sense of danger who would run into traffic, jump from high places and would only communicate with gestures, "a child in her own world," Levy said.
In her statements to police, Peng said she and her husband, David Chen, noticed that as a toddler Scarlet was slow to learn to speak.
Because Peng had health problems and couldn't care for Scarlet, the couple sent the girl at age 1 1/2 to live with her grandmother Li Ning in China. She remained there for 2 1/2 years without contact with her parents.
Chinese doctors could not cure her delayed speech, so the grandmother and Scarlet returned to Canada in March 2004 in hopes of receiving better health care.
"Scarlet was, by the age of 4, essentially unable to speak," Levy said.
In Canada, the grandmother remained Scarlet's primary caregiver and they shared the master bedroom.
On the last day of her life, Scarlet was taken to see a pediatrician, who told the couple there was no quick fix and they needed to be patient.
That afternoon Scarlet was left in Peng's care, while the father and grandmother went out.
Two tenants in the house later said they heard nothing unusual.
Peng told police she ran shallow water in the bathtub and added detergent and bleach to clean a few kitchen items and some shower curtains, Levy said.
She said she put Scarlet to bed and the child fell asleep by 6:30 p.m., Levy said.
But after her husband arrived home they found Scarlet not in bed but in the bathtub, naked and submerged. Peng said there was more water in the tub than she had drawn.
Nearby was the shower curtain, neatly rolled, along with the items Peng had soaked.
Levy said the jury will need to consider whether Scarlet would likely have taken the items out of the bath and neatly rolled the shower curtain.

From a listmate

November 21, 2007
THE TORONTO SUN
Crown: Autistic girl was drowned
Mom's murder trial begins
SAM PAZZANO, COURTS BUREAU
Hours after learning that no "quick fix" surgery could cure their 4-year-old daughter's autism, a Scarborough mother killed her child, a Crown attorney alleged yesterday.
In his opening address to the jury, Crown attorney Joshua Levy said Xuan Peng "deliberately drowned" her daughter, Scarlett, in the bathtub of the ensuite bathroom of their Rosebank Dr. home on July 12, 2004.
The tragedy unfolded only hours after Peng and her husband, David Chen, were told by Scarborough pediatrician Dr. James Leung that surgery wouldn't help their only child, Levy told the jury.
Peng, 36, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
The parents were told by Leung in May 2004 that Scarlett had been diagnosed with autism and would need "constant supervision."
The child also had "no sense of danger," Levy said.
FILLED BATHTUB
Peng was alone babysitting Scarlett while two tenants were upstairs watching TV or studying, court heard.
Peng filled the bathtub with soap and water to clean some kitchen items and a shower curtain while Scarlett was eating downstairs.
At 6 p.m., she brought Scarlett upstairs for a nap and told police that's the last time she saw her child alive, Levy said.
How plausible was it, he asked the jury rhetorically, for a 4-year-old autistic child to remove items from the bathtub and place them into another tub, including the folded or rolled-up shower curtain?
The prosecution also alleged that a pathologist will testify the child suffered injuries "consistent with a scenario where the child was on her back and struggling to lift her head up but couldn't do so because such a force was preventing her from lifting her head."
The trial continues today.


From a listmate

From AutismOne.org
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
URGENT - LEAD ALERT
IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED OR RECEIVED A WEIGHTED OR LEAD BLANKET FOR YOUR CHILD YOU MUST READ THIS
Parent Lois Smith, whose daughter was poisoned previously by an alleged “therapy” vest – which turned out to be a lead dental vest treated with antimony – has given us the following information of great concern.

On October 18, Lois was talking to a doctor at a hospital in Chicago about flame retardant and applications to medical devices. She followed up with calls to dental vest distributors to ask about flame retardant being used on a vest with foam backing. This led to Lois being led to the only company anyone knew of that made dental shielding vests with a foam backing (the type of vest that poisoned her daughter) Shielding International of Madras, Oregon. The woman who answered the phone asked why Lois wanted this information. Lois told her that she had a 5-year old daughter who had been diagnosed as autistic and, before Lois could continue, the woman said, “Oh, you have an autistic, then you want a leaded blanket.” Lois replied, “No, ma’am, I do not want a leaded blanket. You actually sell autistic children leaded blankets?” To which the woman replied, “Yep, for that weighted therapy.” Lois asked her if she was concerned about poisoning them. The woman said, “No,” that autistics do not eat them. Lois explained that it was her understanding that 67% of autistic children suffer from PICA and that they would indeed eat these and that her daughter had been poisoned by eating the foam on the backing of a vest. The woman replied, “You do not want to get the foam when you order this, you want to get a material covering.” Lois again said that she did not want to order a lead blanket; she just wanted the information on the foam component of the vests. The woman gave her the number of the foam supplier.

Lois was sickened by the possibility that children were being poisoned by these blankets, and the next day her 17-year old son offered his birthday money to help buy one of the lead blankets, which cost hundreds of dollars. Lois called back the company and told the woman she had changed her mind. The woman said, “Oh, that’s great, honey, what color would you like it in?” After the discussion about color Lois asked about ordering a lap pad, and then Lois explained there were times when she felt that more weight was needed, so she’d like to order an extra long so that she could fold the item in half and get double the weight. Lois was stunned when the woman said this was a great idea, due to the fact that the first rule of lead shielding is that you CANNOT fold it. Lois was directed to the representative for her state to finalize the order. Lois called them. They asked her what color she wanted. Lois gave them the dimensions and said she intended to fold it. The order was placed for a 5-year old little autistic girl to receive a leaded blanket with a hot pink material covering.

The private company that had previously identified the vest in Lois’s home that had poisoned her daughter tested the outside of the package containing the lead blanket with an XRF (X-ray fluorescence) machine. The inspector was astonished at how high the readings came back and stated that there was an extremely high level of lead in whatever was in the package. Subsequently, a lead inspector for the State of Michigan opened the package and tested the blanket inside, getting higher readings. He also dust-wiped for surface lead. The inspector said that with all of the recalls for lead poisoning items, that this was a “lead death” item, and that it would be like a giant “Hershey Bar” to autistic – or even neurotypical children – due to the fact that it has a sweet flavor and that if the outside was compromised a child would have access to massive amounts of lead.

Lois has made the observation that the stitching was done right through the lead. She observes that if pets get a hold of this, it will be further compromised by claws and teeth. Lois wonders if an autistic child who has suffered from seizures goes to the emergency room with seizures from a massive poisoning, will they suspect lead?

And today, the test results of the dust wipes are in. The outside of the blanket is lethal. According to the inspector from the State if Michigan, a child could die from licking the outside of the blanket.

If your child has been exposed to this type of blanket, take precautions, package it, and remove it from the living space of the interior of your home.

Autism One Radio is planning on airing an interview with Lois Smith, the videotape of the initial inspection of the blanket, and test results as they become available at www.autismone.org/radio. Our thanks to Lois Smith for her continued efforts to protect children.

Google alert

Tub and toilet in courtroom prove obstacles for lawyers
ERIKA BEAUCHESNE
November 22, 2007
A bathtub in the middle of the courtroom yesterday set a bizarre stage for the trial in Ontario Superior Court of a Scarborough woman accused of drowning her four-year-old daughter.
Xuan Peng, 35, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Scarlet Chen. The autistic child was found in the family's bathtub on July 12, 2004.
Defence lawyers Kathryn Wells and John Mann had trouble approaching the witness box throughout yesterday's session because of a replica bathroom - complete with tub, sink, toilet and even a roll for toilet paper - that stretched from the court reporter and clerk box to the Crown's desk. By midday, Madam Justice Mary Lou Benotto asked spectators to clear the front row so that co-counsel could use it as a passage.
Detective Sergeant Rick McKeown, who arrived at the townhouse around 9:27 p.m., after several police were already on scene, testified that the water still had "bubbles" and was "cool" to the touch. He said "the water line was just below overflow."
In cross-examination, Mr. Mann asked him why he didn't take any samples from the tub, which Ms. Peng had said she filled with bleach and detergent so she could soak household items.
"The bathwater in the bathtub is a big deal isn't? And the bathwater, if there's laundry detergent in it, is a big deal," he said.
Det. Sgt. McKeown replied, "In hindsight, I should've."
Through two Mandarin translators, Ms. Peng also heard her lawyer question the security of the scene, as he pointed out several differences between two sets of photos, one taken by Det. Sgt. McKeown and the other by his colleague Det. Sgt. John Davidson, who took over the forensic identification three days later.
The jury saw that a blanket in the master bedroom had been moved between the two visits. Dresser drawers in the room were closed in Det. Sgt. McKeown's photo, but open in Det. Sgt. Davidson's.
In another set of photos, a bathmat had been moved.
"And you have no explanation for that?" Mr. Mann repeatedly asked Det. Sgt. McKeown.
The trial began Tuesday with Crown prosecutor Joshua Levy proposing that Ms. Peng couldn't cope with her daughter's autism and that she drowned her in the tub. He said a pathologist would confirm bruises indicating the child was held down, and phone records would show Ms. Peng called her husband David Chen numerous times that evening in a panic.
The trial resumes today.
Rank Headline
1. Knowing the known unknowns of a possible market disaster 1:57 AM 7

2. Critics raise red flag over fluoride in tap water 23/11/07 9:27 AM 79

3. The withering away of several enemies in Iraq 12:00 AM 139

4. Embracing the land of plonk 12:00 AM 3

5. The Irvings: Shaking the family tree 22/11/07 1:48 AM 19



From a Listmate

Subject: Autism Awareness Weekend Snowmobile Ride (February 16 - 18, 2008)
Rainbow Country Snowmobile Association
Volunteer President & General Manager: Dennis Lendrum
182 Syroid St Espanola, ON P5E 1G4
705-869-0164 Cell 705-869-9135 email: dennis@rcsasnow.com
Secretary Treasurer: Betty Heis
R.R. 1, Site 12, Comp 11, Mindemoya, ON P0P 1S0
Phone/Fax: 705-377-5158 email: betty@rcsasnow.com
Visit our Website at www.rcsasnow.com



I am very pleased that the 5 clubs within RCSA have agreed to name the new long weekend in February as “Autism Awareness Ride Weekend”

We will be offering a guided snowmobile tour to anybody that wants to participate. “Bring your cameras”

The ride will start Saturday February 16th, 2008 (9am) at the Pinewood Motor Inn (705) 869-3460 in Espanola Ontario.

We will ride through the LaCloche Mountains to Manitoulin Island for lunch, and then we will ride to Killarney for dinner and a night of relaxation at the Killarney Bay Inn. (705) 287-2011

Sunday we will ride to some of the fantastic sightings in the Killarney area and back to the Killarney Bay Inn for dinner and a night of relaxation.

Monday February 18th, 2008 we will leave the Killarney Bay Inn at (9am) and ride back to Espanola (Pinewood Motor Inn) for 1 pm.

Book your rooms early, as the motels will fill up fast.

Please confirm your intent, as I need to make lunch reservations.

Yours in Safe Snowmobiling Always
There is nothing Stronger than the Heart of a Volunteer

Dennis Lendrum
Please contact me ASAP if you need more information.
Book your rooms as they will be limited with this many riders involved.
I thank you all in advance for helping bring attention to Autism, invite you friends all are welcome.
Dennis

There is Nothing Stronger than the Heart of a Volunteer
Yours in Safe Snowmobiling Always
Visit: www.rcsasnow.com
Dennis Lendrum


From a friend
Lecture Series Food Drive
Sudbury Ontario

Hosted by Ostara webcasting and production studios
158 Durham st. Sudbury Ontario 705-671-7311

Come to Ostara Studios and be part of a live audience during their first lunch and learn lecture series.

Speakers:

Dec. 4th at 12:00PM to 12:30PM
Dr. Chris Mazzuchin B.Sc/BSc PT, ND
UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMOTIONS AND HOW THEY AFFECT YOUR HEALTH
Doctor Chris has just finished his new book "Ssshhh Listen; Natural Cures: A workshop for the soul" and has been helping countless patients achieve better health through his holistic approach to wellness. He has an uncanny ability to connect with people from all walks of life and direct them towards higher living.


Dec. 5th at 12:00PM to 12:30PM
Callen McGibbon P.T./N.C
HOW FOOD BECOMES FOOD
Callen has been working as strength and conditioning coach for the past ten years, this past year he was recognized as a certified trainer for Hockey Canada. He has an impressive stable of NHL/OHL/NCAA DIV1 and Olympic athletes. Come out and learn the secret to "the root too inner strength and unlock the champion within.


Dec. 6th at 12:00PM to 12:30PM
Ken Fawcett R.N.C.P./C.H.Ird.
THE LIFE WITHIN US
Ken is one of the best kept secrets in the health and wellness industry. He is the owner of the new Sudbury Nutrition Center and has been a certified nutritional consultant since 1995. In 2006 he became a holistic iridologist and has an unbelievable wealth of insight and knowledge. Learn how probiotics play a major role in supporting your own natural immunity.

Admission to these live video recordings is a non-perishable food item or $5.00 cash.
All proceeds and food will be donated to the Sudbury Food bank.
at: 158 Durham st 705-671-7311
--
"Belief in limitations, creates limited people"
~ unknown


From Many listmates

From the Globe and Mail, Friday, November 23, 2007, page B9.

EVALUATORS

Evaluation of the Ministry's collaborative service delivery models initiative for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The Ministery of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services is soliciting interested parties with demonstrated knowledge and expertise in educational research and program evaluation, in particular in-depth knowledge of ASDs, special education and community services for individuals with ASD. Proposents with such experience are invited to submit a response to a REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS no. SEPPB 07-002 (RFP) to supply evaluation services for the Ministry's Collaborative Service Delivery Models Initiative for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The proponent will perform an analysis of eight school board pilots (7 English-language school boards and one French-language school board), and produe a report that compares the approaches adopted across school boards, effectiveness of the different approaches in relation to identified students/parents and system outcomes, draw conclusions about the effectiveness of collaborative service delivery and provide informaiton about hte components and features of models that contribute to their effectiveness where possible. The proponent will submit progress reports and will make monitoring visits tot he pilot school boards as required to conduct the evaluation. The proponent will prepare a Final Evaluation Report.

RFP No. SEPPB 07-002 can be obtained by faxing or emailing a request to the Ministry of Education, Special Education Policy and Programs Branch, at fax 416-325-3318; or email: cathy.larondelyn@ontario.ca. Attn: Sandra Dell, Acting Manager, Proposal Submission Deadline is 5pm, December 20, 2007. A Proponents' Meeting will be held on December 6, 2007 from 1pm to 2pm EDT at the Ministry of Education, Room 432C, 900 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, so the Ministry can answer questions by prospective proponents. Details regarding this meeting can be found in the RFP No. SEPPB 07-002. A Question and Answer Document will be distributed to all who obtain the RFP document.


From many listees
Please help spread the word.....
Together for Autism PSA Release: “The Happiest Day”
CHECK IT OUT! http://www.togetherforautism.ca/Client/ASO/TFA.nsf/web/PSA
Our PSA is has now been released to all the major networks in Ontario
Now we need your help. Spread the news across the province and contact all your local stations.
Request that they play it as much as possible. They will know it as “The Happiest Day” and will have received a master by the time you read this.

Please send this banner and link to all your contacts. The more the better, schools, parents, politicians, everyone you can think of.
Watch for the commercial and let us know if you see it.
LIST of NETWORKS
The Ontario Networks list is as follows: This list covers the major networks, Northern Ontario and specialty channels

CBC
CTV
GLOBAL
CHUM
Alliance Atlantis
Corus
CHEX/CKWS Peterborough/Kingston
CHFD/CKPR Thunder Bay
*****



End of mailing

Monday, November 19, 2007

Autism News Articles Nov 11th - 19th 2007

Autism News Articles
November 11th – November 19h 2007
AFA (The Alliance for Families with Autism) prepares these news articles as a courtesy to your inbox and can be found archived at:
www.autismnewsarticles.blogspot.com
visit often.
Send your articles to:
Ktchmeifucan2002@yahoo.ca

Come and join us for the next Sibshop!
For Siblings of children with special needs

Sudbury Ontario

For children 8 to 13

Date: Saturday December 8th, 2007

Time: 9:30 - noon

Location: Children’s Treatment Centre

Cost: $5.00 (scholarships available)

Theme: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas


For further information or to register, contact Joanne Tramontini at 523-7337 extension 1483. The Sibshop will proceed if there are enough registrations.


From a listmate

Good days and bad days: Seven Strategies to cope
If you have a child with autism, then you know life is NOT like a rollercoaster ride. It’s more like….. (read the rest)
http://www.nlconcepts.com/autism-cope.htm

Seven Dollar Savings
Pick two packs of your choice from the well known Learn to Talk About series and get a $7 discount. This offer is valid for 2 weeks only. To qualify for this discount you must use the following coupon code: nov1410
http://www.nlconcepts.com/index.htm

Natural Learning Concepts
http://www.nlconcepts.com
To unsubscribe reply to this message with unsubscribe in the subject


From a listmate

November 13, 2007 NEW BRUNSWICK TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL PAGE: A1 (NEWS;NEWS)
Dad's blog shines light on autism
Autism Father advocates son's condition via blogging
Melissa Dunne For the Telegraph-Journal
As Harold Doherty's autistic son grows bigger, stronger, and harder to handle, so too does his blog about his youngest child's condition.
The Fredericton lawyer, along with other members of Autism Society New Brunswick, is constantly lobbying the provincial government to provide more funding, more trained individuals to deal with autistic children in schools, and more institutions designed to deal with the needs of adult autistic children.
Doherty's son, Conor, 11, has severe, low-functioning autism and communicates through shrieks and sometimes bites and physically lashes out at his family.
Doherty usually rises before the crack of dawn to update his blog, to answer e-mails from other autism advocates, and to set plans to get his message heard. He reckons he spends close to 20 hours per week on his advocacy work, on top of working full-time as a lawyer since his son was diagnosed nine years ago.
"I don't like it when things are glossed over," says Doherty.
"Nine years ago there were a lot of buzz words like 'community inclusion' being used, but nothing was actually being done, there were no real strategies. I decided to get things done and be very focused about it."
He started out doing traditional advocacy work, writing letters to members of the provincial legislature, picketing, and meeting with like-minded people.
Then, in 2006, Doherty represented controversial local blogger Charles LeBlanc, who went on trial for charges of obstructing a police officer and was later acquitted.
"Charles LeBlanc annoys a lot of people," says Doherty. "But I realized talking to some lawyer friends that a lot of people in the government read his blog just to see what he wrote about them."
A light bulb went off.
Doherty wanted the government to read what he had to say, too - so he started his blog, Facing Autism in New Brunswick, and now gets visitors from all over the world reading and posting on his site.
With about one in 165 Canadian children being diagnosed with some form of autism these days the blog offers a place not only for Doherty to spout his opinions, but also a place to get information and to connect with other families raising autistic children.
The blog has also drawn some criticism.
Some readers do not think Doherty should detail the life of his son on his blog, or advocate for easier access to therapy.
Since autism manifests itself differently in each person, some in the autism community argue intense therapy and isolation is not needed, says Doherty.
In turn, Doherty argues even though not everyone with autism needs the same amount of special care his son does, he has the right to share his story.
"I like to put pictures of my son up showing he's enjoying life, but also showing the realities of living with autism.
"I will always keep on blogging and doing advocacy work, I can't see myself stopping."
Doherty says many New Brunswick families he knows with autistic children end up having to go to Nova Scotia or Maine to find a medical institution that can house and treat the needs of autistic adult children. He does not want the same thing to happen to his family.
"The province shouldn't be sending autistic (adult) children out of province. It has to be tough on parents not to have their kids near home with them."
From a listmate
Dad's blog shines light on autism
Autism Father advocates son's condition via blogging
Melissa Dunne For the Telegraph-Journal
As Harold Doherty's autistic son grows bigger, stronger, and harder to handle, so too does his blog about his youngest child's condition.
The Fredericton lawyer, along with other members of Autism Society New Brunswick, is constantly lobbying the provincial government to provide more funding, more trained individuals to deal with autistic children in schools, and more institutions designed to deal with the needs of adult autistic children.
Doherty's son, Conor, 11, has severe, low-functioning autism and communicates through shrieks and sometimes bites and physically lashes out at his family.
Doherty usually rises before the crack of dawn to update his blog, to answer e-mails from other autism advocates, and to set plans to get his message heard. He reckons he spends close to 20 hours per week on his advocacy work, on top of working full-time as a lawyer since his son was diagnosed nine years ago.
"I don't like it when things are glossed over," says Doherty.
"Nine years ago there were a lot of buzz words like 'community inclusion' being used, but nothing was actually being done, there were no real strategies. I decided to get things done and be very focused about it."
He started out doing traditional advocacy work, writing letters to members of the provincial legislature, picketing, and meeting with like-minded people.
Then, in 2006, Doherty represented controversial local blogger Charles LeBlanc, who went on trial for charges of obstructing a police officer and was later acquitted.
"Charles LeBlanc annoys a lot of people," says Doherty. "But I realized talking to some lawyer friends that a lot of people in the government read his blog just to see what he wrote about them."
A light bulb went off.
Doherty wanted the government to read what he had to say, too - so he started his blog, Facing Autism in New Brunswick, and now gets visitors from all over the world reading and posting on his site.
With about one in 165 Canadian children being diagnosed with some form of autism these days the blog offers a place not only for Doherty to spout his opinions, but also a place to get information and to connect with other families raising autistic children.
The blog has also drawn some criticism.
Some readers do not think Doherty should detail the life of his son on his blog, or advocate for easier access to therapy.
Since autism manifests itself differently in each person, some in the autism community argue intense therapy and isolation is not needed, says Doherty.
In turn, Doherty argues even though not everyone with autism needs the same amount of special care his son does, he has the right to share his story.
"I like to put pictures of my son up showing he's enjoying life, but also showing the realities of living with autism.
"I will always keep on blogging and doing advocacy work, I can't see myself stopping."
Doherty says many New Brunswick families he knows with autistic children end up having to go to Nova Scotia or Maine to find a medical institution that can house and treat the needs of autistic adult children. He does not want the same thing to happen to his family.
"The province shouldn't be sending autistic (adult) children out of province. It has to be tough on parents not to have their kids near home with them."


From a Listmate
Autism Can Be Treated

http://www.newswithviews.com/Dean/carolyn37.htm

From a Listmate
http://ca.geocities.com/bruce_mcintosh2003/culturemyass/index.html


Our reality.

From a Listmate
Compassion and intelligence were sadly lacking in the Taser death of Robert Dziekanski
November 16, 2007.
Vancouver Sun
Gerald Dewan
As upsetting as may have been to him, I had no choice but to show my 15-year-old son Thursday's headlines with pictures showing the death of Robert Dziekanski at the hands of the RCMP. My son, you see, has an invisible developmental disability. Because he's high functioning, many people would not assume that he has a form of autism. But faced with frustration, he has experienced public meltdowns involving kicking inanimate objects and yelling. At these times, he is unable to communicate his needs to others. After a few minutes to collect himself, he is always most apologetic to those around him.
I needed to show him Dziekanski's final, awful moments to teach him that any time he loses it in public he might have less than 23 seconds before being brutally Tasered and perhaps dying at the hands of the authority figures he has been taught to respect.
Gerald Dewan
Burnaby
Ask Lindsay Moir:
The "best" diagnosis to attract resources
Friday, November 16, 2007
Note: This question was a result of a family consultation with a client and I have omitted personal information about the student which I was privy to by telephone and e-mail.
Question:
Our child has a multiple diagnosis. Our school erroneously told us we could list "only one diagnosis", but we now know about "Multiple" as a category of exceptionality! However the process of working through this, has led us to this question:
"In listing the various exceptionalities, is there one that we should list first, in order to get a higher level of support?"
Answer:
The five Ministry Categories & Definitions of Exceptionality are, as follows:
• Communication... listed as "Communication-Autism" or "Communication-LD" etc
• Physical...
• Intellectual... listed as "Intellectual-Gifted", "Intellectual-Mild Intellectual Disability" etc
• Behaviour...
• Multiple...listed as "Multiple-Physical & Communication-Autism" etc
At any stage of the Identification process, I believe that NEEDS attract resources . . . health and safety needs draw resources, because the consequences of failing to meet these needs creates "liability" for the school and board — if a child is a "runner" and adequate supervision is not provided, and something bad happens, the educators can be held responsible. As a principal, it is easier to draw extra resources if there is a health or safety concern. When allocating resources, principals assign resources to cover these NEEDS first. If your child has a HEALTH or SAFETY need, list the category that creates that need first. (i.e. if this is because of their "Communication-Autism", list Communication-Autism first. If it due to a medical condition, list "Physical" first.)
In my experience, there always has been a "flavour-of-the-month" . . . an exceptionality which captures the fancy of the general public, is of high interest to the Ministry and educators, and is funded in a way which allows schools to access extra supports and resources, specific to that exceptionality.
Currently the emphasis is on Communication-Autism. This high-profile exceptionality is on everyone's lips. School boards have "Autism Teams", the Ministry is funding extra teacher and support staff training, new curriculum initiatives are creating support documents.
Before Autism was so prominent, Sign Language for Deaf children caught our fancy, and interpreters were funded and trained, every event had an interpreter prominently included, ASL versus Signed English was a hot topic on PD days, and the debate over amplification versus Deaf Culture was in vogue.
Before that, Learning Disabilities and compensatory technology was the "flavour of the month".
I believe that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome will be the next exceptionality to capture the public fancy.
It is obviously to your child's benefit to emphasize any exceptionality at the peak of its "popularity".
As I have always said, "NEEDS drive everything", but you have raised an important secondary consideration for students who have a "Multiple Exceptionality" . . . the order in which you list their exceptionalities can place emphasis on certain needs or help to access certain resources —thank you for helping me to take a broader look at "identification". Anything which helps students to have their needs met, is a positive step.
Lindsay Moir retired from the Ministry of Education in 1997 and has been assisting agencies, associations and parents in obtaining appropriate special education services for exceptional pupils.
Family Net welcomes your questions about special education in Ontario.
E-mail Lindsay at ask.questions@yahoo.ca He will answer as many questions as possible.


From a Yahoo Group – listmate

Just a reminder to anyone who is interested.

I am presenting to the Catholic board SEAC next Wednesday Nov 21, 7:00p.m.
in the Board Room at the main board offices.

I am asking SEAC to post a motion that there needs to be visual curriculum
for all ASD children and for that matter any child who is a visual learner.

In essence this means that regardless of your child's functional language
level or literacy ability, visual materials would be deemed mandatory for
any course at any grade level and would circumvent language difficulties.

Typically no-one sits in the public gallery for these meetings, because the
gallery is not allowed to speak. I am asking anyone who is willing to come
and fill a seat so that the committee at least feels this is an issue that
is met with considerable interest. Additionally since the only thing I can
request of SEAC is that they take note of my presentation and follow up with
a motion, I would also love it if the gallery followed up with emails to
SEAC to make sure they actually do just that.

For all those with younger children, or those just in the early stages of
school and more concerned with IBI - it has often been said that unless we
are actually going through the journey of a certain age, developmental level
- we are not aware of the issues to come, or how they fit in to the big
picture - so in brief:

Let's assume a child makes jumps in ability, perhaps in part due to IBI
therapy, it doesn't really matter - unless they are fully recovered there
will probably come a time, when they are capable of sitting in a regular
classroom and learning. However chances are their language is in some way
and to some level deficient. It is also probable that even though they may
appear quite literate they actually do not have full comprehension of the
textbooks their peers use. So now you have a child who is older - possibly
in middle school, with 6 teachers, none who know anything about autism, none
of whom have time to make materials suitable for your child, or even learn
that much about your child. Your child may be at an ability level that
surpasses the EA, or just in a class that is not in the EAs repertoire
(music!) - and of course remember, EAs don't teach. So without adequate
language skills your child will not learn in this environment and no-one
will raise the bar to expect anything of them. If every course was
accompanied by a textbook made of visuals your child could achieve and
learn anything expected of his peers. EAs would layer on language as suited
your child, and teachers would be able to interact with your child guided by
an established yet visual curriculum. For heavens sake your child might
actually be expected to graduate.

So if you are not content with the status quo, please come and join me.

Thanks

Carole
Carole Greiss" carolegreiss@yahoo.ca


Google alert
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/2007/11/18/4665069-sun.html

New leash on life for kids
Children with autism paired with trained canine companions
By TARINA WHITE, SUN MEDIA

After waiting 21/2 years, four Alberta children with autism met their new canine companions that will be tasked with providing assistance to keep the kids safe.
The four Labrador retriever service dogs flew into Calgary from Toronto yesterday to begin an intense week of training with their new families.
Wilma Pronk of Coaldale said she's thrilled to be receiving a service dog for her nine-year-old son, Jason, who is prone to running away.
"Unless you have a child like this, you don't understand having to watch somebody 100 percent of the time," she said, adding Jason has twice crossed a busy highway alone.
"Having a dog will just give him so much more freedom.
"If he's with the dog, we know he's safe -- it will just be a huge difference."
The Labs have been donated to the families by National Service Dogs, an Ontario-based charity starting a satellite training program in Calgary, said program director Chris Fowler.
The dog, which is attached to the child's waist by a belt and a leash held by a parent, works for the autistic child, but takes commands from an adult.
For example, if the child tries to walk off the sidewalk, the parent can tell the dog to stop and stay and the dog will use all of its power to slow the child down.
"Our primary focus is around safety," said Fowler.
"Often families that have a child with autism are confined to the house -- having the dog allows them to get out as a family."
Each dog has received two years of training at a cost of approximately $18,000, he said.
In addition to improving the children's safety, the dogs also have a calming effect on the kids and help them socially, said Fowler.
"It breaks down social barriers and a lot more people will approach the child."
Autism is a lifelong communication and behavioural disorder that about 1-in-200 Canadians is born with.
National Service Dogs is the only program in North America training dogs to help children with autism.

Google alert
http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_health_news_details.asp?channel_id=131&relation_id=1883&news_channel_id=131&news_id=23507

Children with autism paired with dogs
Provided by: Sun Media
Written by: TARINA WHITE
Nov. 18, 2007
After waiting 21/2 years, four Alberta children with autism met their new canine companions that will be tasked with providing assistance to keep the kids safe.
The four Labrador retriever service dogs flew into Calgary from Toronto yesterday to begin an intense week of training with their new families.
Wilma Pronk of Coaldale said she's thrilled to be receiving a service dog for her nine-year-old son, Jason, who is prone to running away.
"Unless you have a child like this, you don't understand having to watch somebody 100 percent of the time," she said, adding Jason has twice crossed a busy highway alone.
"Having a dog will just give him so much more freedom.
"If he's with the dog, we know he's safe -- it will just be a huge difference."
The Labs have been donated to the families by National Service Dogs, an Ontario-based charity starting a satellite training program in Calgary, said program director Chris Fowler.
The dog, which is attached to the child's waist by a belt and a leash held by a parent, works for the autistic child, but takes commands from an adult.
For example, if the child tries to walk off the sidewalk, the parent can tell the dog to stop and stay and the dog will use all of its power to slow the child down.
"Our primary focus is around safety," said Fowler.
"Often families that have a child with autism are confined to the house -- having the dog allows them to get out as a family."
Each dog has received two years of training at a cost of approximately $18,000, he said.
In addition to improving the children's safety, the dogs also have a calming effect on the kids and help them socially, said Fowler.
"It breaks down social barriers and a lot more people will approach the child."
Autism is a lifelong communication and behavioural disorder that about 1-in-200 Canadians is born with.
National Service Dogs is the only program in North America training dogs to help children with autism.

For Tuesday Nov 20th
From a listmate
WHO WILL CARE”

Once she’s gone, Jean Winters, 55, worries who will look after her adult son Alec, who has Autism. It is a dilemma for thousands of parents of children with disabilities.

Trish Crawford reports Tues, in the Living Section (Tor Star)
From a listmate
In the Region
Long Island, Westchester , Connecticut and New Jersey
WHEN her son, Matthew, was born seven years ago, Evelyn Ain “set out to be the best parent” that she could be.
Having moved as a child from Russia to Israel , then settling in Valley Stream at age 12, she craved stability. She was an only child, and she wanted to provide her son “with everything that I didn’t have,” she said, including play dates and activities.
For Ms. Ain, 36, who opened a retail cellular phone shop at age 19 and nurtured her business into a nationwide chain of more than 100 stores, “that didn’t mean being a part-time parent,” she said. She walked away from her career and set up her life “to revolve around my family,” she said. Her husband, Gary , 43, is a real estate broker and investor.
She read about raising a child and, from the day Matthew was born, kept a log “just for fun” of every babble and crawl. It turned out to be a very useful document. She noticed that her son at 11 months wasn’t looking at her anymore, no longer babbled and seemed to have “lost his personality,” she said. Her pediatrician told her not to worry, but she saw “a drastic regression.”
Told by specialists to return when Matthew was 2, she didn’t want to wait, she said. At Kendall Speech and Language Center in Florida , an evaluation at 12 months concluded that he had pervasive developmental disorders, another term for autism spectrum disorders.
“I had to learn to be a parent of a child with special needs,” she said; she also became an advocate. Last April she founded Autism United, a national advocacy group, with Robert Krakow of Great Neck, a lawyer, and John Gilmore of Long Beach , who is executive director. It has a mailing list of 7,000.
On Nov. 7, Ms. Ain and 14 other parents from the nonprofit group gathered with protest signs outside the Nassau County Supreme Court here. Facing television cameras at a rally, they said local schools have not been providing the necessary intensive therapies and services to autistic students, and they threatened to sue the state.
“We have such a strong emphasis on early intervention, early detection,” said Ms. Ain, of Oyster Bay Cove, who in 2004 began publishing Spectrum, a bimonthly national magazine for families with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Children are re-evaluated after preschool, she said, and services change. “What good is it if the services” don’t follow them through their school years? she asked.
As the number of children with a diagnosis of autism has skyrocketed, parents are fighting for appropriate education from districts straining to meet the increased demand, Mr. Gilmore said.
“We have parents on waiting lists for years to get into programs,” Ms. Ain said. She isn’t sure where her son, who now attends Variety Child Learning Center , a nonprofit program in Syosset, will be appropriately schooled once he becomes too old for that program next year. Matthew can read but cannot speak and, like all autistic children, has difficulty with social interactions.
The number of students on the Island classified as autistic more than doubled, from 1,343 in the 2001-2 school year to 3,005 in the 2006-7 school year, said Dr. Rebecca H. Cort, deputy commissioner for the New York State Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities. She attributed the increase in the numbers partly to a better diagnosis and “understanding of the range of the autism spectrum.”
The types of services that autistic students receive are “very individually determined,” Dr. Cort said. While there “isn’t any cap on the numbers of students who can be labeled with special education,” she said, there are shortages of professionals “in several areas of special education, not just in autism.”
While some districts offer services, others send students to programs run by one of the Island ’s three Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.
Matthew gets an hour of home therapy from a special education teacher after every school day, except during school breaks and vacations. Ms. Ain asserts that autistic children are entitled to a 12-month program; otherwise, she says, they regress.
Ms. Ain’s group, which raised about $150,000 at its inaugural walk in September, recently started resource centers at two agencies with programs for disabled individuals, the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises in Old Bethpage and Lifespire in Manhattan .
Ms. Ain said school districts need to go beyond academics to help autistic children. “My child needs to learn how to turn on the water to make sure it’s not too hot before he washes his hands,” she said. He can search the Internet and print out pictures of toys, but “he needs to learn how to cross the street in a safe fashion.”
“He needs to learn things that other kids don’t need to learn.”
E-mail: lijournal@nytimes.com

End of mailing