Sunday, January 20, 2008

Autism News Articles Jan 9th 2008-Jan 20th 2008

Autism News Articles
January 9th 2008- January 20, 2008

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

NOTE: AFA appreciates feedback on this mailout DIRECTLY to autismafa@yahoo.ca

To add a friend to our E-List, Email autismafa@yahoo.ca

(Repeat request and dinner details:

Daniel O'Brien obriend@ndp.on.ca
Sends his message below for a tribute book for Shelley Martel. If you could send a few words his way by January 14th he will compile it for her.
(I am posting again, in case there is time to email Dan a few words for Shelley’s Tribute book….

The invitations and ticket info for the dinner/reception are also attached.

Shelley fought hard for many families with people with Autism.
She will be missed.

Trish Kitching
Alliance for Families with Autism
Autism Coffee Chat

"O'Brien, Daniel" wrote:
Hello,
As many of you may be aware, there will be a dinner reception in honour of former MPP Shelley Martel in Sudbury on Saturday, February 2nd.
At this reception, we plan to give Shelley a tribute book, thanking her for her 20 years in provincial politics.
In this light, I'm wondering if any of you would be interested in providing a short written quote that can be used in this tribute book.
Please send your quote to me by Monday, January 14th.
Thank you!
Dan O'Brien
(Former EA to MPP Shelley Martel)

Tribute Dinner
Shelley Martel









Dear Friend,

It's time to celebrate and say good bye. And that’s why we're writing to you.

On September 10, 1987, Shelley Martel was first elected to the Ontario Legislature. She was 24 years old.

Entering politics was a natural thing to do. As the daughter of Elie Martel, MPP for Sudbury East for 20 years, and grand daughter to Norm Fawcett, MP for Nickel Belt for 3 years, Shelley was a third-generation New Democrat. As Party members, we are very proud of such a long and fine tradition of social democratic representation.

We are hosting a “Tribute to Shelley” celebration to mark Shelley's retirement from Ontario political life. Our event takes place on Saturday, February 2, 2008 at the Steelworkers' Hall in Sudbury. It includes dinner, music, speeches, and memorabilia from 4 successful election campaigns. We promise an evening of laughter, great memories, wonderful stories, and fabulous friends.

20 years as the MPP. That’s a lot of meetings, letters, press releases, interviews, speeches, casework, committee work, critic portfolio work, Remembrance Day services, 50th Wedding Anniversaries, Canada Day celebrations, conventions, fund-raisers, and travel - between Queen's Park and home in Sudbury East and Nickel Belt, and throughout Ontario.

Such commitment deserves our thanks. We hope you will join us for this special celebration. We know it will be an evening for all to treasure. Enclosed is an order form to obtain tickets or place an ad in our program for this special event.

Yours truly,
Shelley Martel Tribute Dinner Committee

See ticket info attached in pdf.






From a listmate

A website that uses all whole food recipes!! Meals and desserts! Great for kids with special needs to cook and bake for.

Charlene Parker

http://www.christinacooks.com/recipes/recipes.html


CONFERENCE- SEE ATTACHED PDF.

Please see attached flyer and info below regarding the 2nd annual Stages of Autism: Adolscence & Beyond Conference. Kindly forward to all interested persons.

Thanks,
Marg
Stages of Autism: Adolescence & Beyond
2nd Biennial Conference
Hamilton Convention Centre, Hamilton , Ontario , Canada
April 23rd & 24th, 2008
I would like to take this opportunity to let you know about an enlightening & extraordinary conference that is being presented by Woodview Manor, Autism Support Services, a branch of the Woodview Children's Centre and the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University & McMaster Children’s Hospital.
Due to the overwhelming success of our 1st ever Stages of Autism: Adolescence & Beyond Conference, where we saw 300 parents, educators, service providers and healthcare practitioners from all over Canada and the US come through our doors; we are producing yet another highly informative and multifaceted conference. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to attend a very unique conference that will provide an open forum for discussion and cover a multitude of topics related to adolescent and adult Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Here are some of the great speakers we have presenting:
□ Professor Patricia Howlin, Professor of Clinical Psychology; Consultant Clinical Psychologist; St. George’s Healthcare Trust, London, U.K.
□ Dr. Catherine Lord, Director of the University of Michigan’s Autism and Communication Disorders Centre (UMACC), Michigan, United States
□ Dr. Susan Bryson, Professor & Craig Chair in Autism Research , Department of Pediatrics , IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University , Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
□ Dr. Pat Mirenda, Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
□ Dr. Peter Szatmari, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences; Director, Offord Centre for Child Studies, Hamilton , Ontario , Canada
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this great event with you and would be truly appreciative if you could be so kind as to forward the attached information to any individuals and/or organizations that would find this of keen interest.
Please accept my apologies if you have received a duplication of this notification. Thank you for your valuable time and please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any assistance.
Warm regards,
Michelle McIntyre
Stages of Autism: Adolescence & Beyond Conference Coordinator
P: 289-237-2033
F: 905-957-9294
Email: michelle@innoventmanagement.com
Web: www.autism-woodview.com



From a listmate

More genetic flaws linked to autism found
Provided by: Canadian Press
Written by: Sheryl Ubelacker, Health Reporter, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Jan. 17, 2008
TORONTO - Canadian-led research has discovered numerous DNA regions containing gene abnormalities that appear to make children susceptible to autism spectrum disorder, a finding that could help parents get an earlier diagnosis for some kids with the disorder.
Senior investigator Stephen Scherer said these genetic anomalies were found in seven per cent of 427 unrelated children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), representing 13 different regions of the genome.
Similar deletions and duplications of genes were not detected in parents of the children, meaning they were not inherited, said Scherer, director of the Centre for Applied Genomics at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. The missing or extra genes would have arisen spontaneously in the children, likely at conception or in early fetal growth.
Ad
"So one of the messages is there's probably a lot of genes involved in autism and in seven per cent of the cases we'll be able to capture some information that will be clinically relevant for the families to know," he said.
The research was published online Thursday by the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Scherer said hospital autism clinics should begin testing children with a suspected case of the disorder for any of these genetic aberrations as early in childhood as possible. Sick Kids is in the process of developing such a test program in its autism clinic.
A prenatal test could also be developed to look for these genetic changes, he said.
Autism is a complex and baffling developmental disorder that occurs in about one in every 165 children. Depending on its severity, kids with ASD may have difficulty with social interaction, have language and learning disabilities, and engage in repetitive behaviours.
Finding out as early as possible whether a child has an autism spectrum disorder would not only give an answer sooner to worried patients, but would also mean getting their youngster started sooner in programs to help mitigate behavioural and learning problems associated with ASD.
Early intervention has been shown to dramatically improve an autistic child's ability to deal with the effects of the disorder.
Lisa Bond said she and her husband started realizing something was not quite right with their son Joshua when he just over a year old. But it took another five years or so for him to be definitively diagnosed with autism.
"When he was very small he wouldn't make eye contact, he couldn't communicate, he'd get upset at the least little thing, like change the colour of his socks and this kid could scream for hours," recalled Bond of Stouffville, Ont., northeast of Toronto.
What was also frustrating is that while he had some behaviours typical of ASD, others were not - and no one could explain why or what that meant, said Bond, who also has a 14-year-old daughter.
"He has speech and motor issues and everything else, which is common for kids with autism, but a lot of them tend to either catch up or whatnot. We started noticing things that really concerned us and there were a few things that didn't seem typical with him."
It turns out that Joshua, who turns 12 next week, is among one per cent of autistic kids with a gene deletion on chromosome 16, one of the anomalies recently found by Scherer's group and other labs.
International research is now focusing on how such a change might correspond with specific neurological symptoms common to all kids carrying that genetic deletion or addition.
Missing genes in chromosome 16 appears to cause the more severe speech difficulties that have afflicted her son, Bond said, adding that Joshua's autism specialist told her: "Now you know that some of the difficulties he has been having are related to this deletion. Now you know and you can go on to help him."
While that doesn't mean the problems can be "fixed," Bond said understanding what underlies them can help the family improve Joshua's quality of life.
"It's a real gift. It might be a small piece in the research, but it's huge for us. It's life-changing for us and our son."
Mark Daly, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Medicine, said Scherer and his team have been leaders in analyzing and cataloguing genetic mutations known as "copy number variations" - and pinpointing more regions where these occur in autism cases advances scientists' knowledge about the what may cause the disorder.
"So I think this certainly suggests that there's more to be found and more to be learned through this line of inquiry," said Daly, whose lab also is researching the genetics behind autism.
Larger databases of DNA from families with autism need to be analyzed to see how often mutations occur in these 13 regions of the genome, he said Thursday from Boston.
"Even if we can just confirm in a small number of families some of these specific events that this study has identified, they may provide us more of the biological clues to autism."
In some of the Canadian autism cases studied, Scherer and his team found malformations in genes already known to be involved in neurological function, and they identified at least two sites in the DNA previously linked to mental retardation.
Knowing whether a non-inherited chromosomal alteration has occurred in a child with autism helps alleviate parents' fear of having another child - one more reason for making genetic testing available through autism clinics, he said.
"The most important thing is it tells the family that this is the likely contributing factor, so it takes away any blame there might be that: 'I did something wrong in my pregnancy,"' said Scherer. "There's a random chance in all of our DNA, mine and yours and everybody else's. In this case, it just happened to hit genes that are involved in probably neurological development."
"It's a different way of looking under the hood, and if it adds more information it should be available to the families."
Bond said having such a test would be a huge boon for at least some parents waiting anxiously for a definitive diagnosis for their child.
"Maybe someday parents won't have to hear, 'We don't know.' Now a select group of them will be able to hear, 'You know what, we do know."'



The Star.com

From a listmate

Study reveals DNA clue to cause of condition
Jan 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Megan Ogilvie
HEALTH REPORTER
In many ways, that Tuesday evening phone call did not change much for the Bond family.
Stewart Bond still goes to work at IBM every day and walks their dog, Misty, around their Stouffville neighbourhood at night. His wife, Lisa, still runs errands, cooks dinner and plans fun outings with their daughter, Rebecca. And their son, Joshua, still has autism.
But now, because of that phone call from researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children, the Bonds know why Joshua, an often-giggling, book-loving, Transformers-obsessed 11-year-old, has the disorder. And that, they say, has changed their life.
"Because there is very little known about the causes of autism, you get that diagnosis, and you ask yourself if it was because of something that you did," says Stewart. "And now we understand that it's not. ... there's no thinking about that at all."
The Bonds are one of only four families in Canada who know their child's autism is due to a genetic error on his 16th chromosome. Joshua, who was diagnosed with autism at 6, is missing a short string of DNA on a specific region of this chromosome, and it's this teeny nick that makes it hard for him to pronounce certain words, to get accustomed to new foods and sometimes to interact with strangers.
The family is one of the first to get this definitive diagnosis because they, along with about 400 other families, have been involved in a long-term study at Sick Kids that is searching for the genetic roots of autism, one of the most common and debilitating developmental disorders in children.
The results of that study, published yesterday in the American Journal of Human Genetics, revealed that genetic mistakes along a segment of chromosome 16 appear to increase a child's risk of developing autism by as much as a hundred-fold.
These errors – deleted or duplicated pieces of DNA, called copy number variation – are relatively rare, accounting for only 1 per cent of autism cases, says Stephen Scherer, lead author of the paper and senior scientist at Sick Kids.
This genetic hot spot was also identified by two other research groups, including the Boston-based Autism Consortium that published results last week.
The errors on chromosome 16 are usually spontaneous genetic mutations not passed down from parents to children. Of the four people in the study with the mutation, only one inherited it from a parent.
The next step, already underway at Sick Kids, is to develop a simple and inexpensive DNA test that can pinpoint duplications or deletions on chromosome 16. Right now, autism is diagnosed by assessing a child's behaviour and social communication skills, an often difficult and labour-intensive process, says Rosanna Weksberg, a clinical geneticist and head of clinical and metabolic genetics at Sick Kids.
A DNA test performed as soon as a child exhibits some symptoms could catch autism quickly and early, she says. Studies have shown early intervention, especially when an infant's brain is still developing, can diminish some symptoms.
The promise of genetic tests also raises ethical considerations that researchers are just starting to sort out. For example, how would a potential prenatal DNA test for chromosome 16 mutations be used in family planning?
Wendy Roberts, a developmental pediatrician and co-director of the Autism Research Unit at Sick Kids, says even a DNA test of parents would be valuable for predicting the chances of their next child having autism. If the parents do not test positive for the mutation, the likelihood of a second child testing positive is no higher than in the general population, she says. And she knows there is demand for it; the hospital is already fielding calls from parents who have heard about the mutation and want the test.
"If they thought there would be a test available within a year, most (parents wanting another child) would wait that long," she says.
For other families, just knowing a small DNA blip caused their child's autism will be enough. Though the diagnosis doesn't change, the way they understand it will. "It has a very positive effect on the whole family dynamic," says Weksberg.
The Sick Kids team hopes that as researchers continue to plumb the genome, further markers of autism will appear. They've known for a long time that it's a complex disorder and this is just the first fruit of a long struggle to untangle it.
Last year, Scherer co-authored a study that showed as many as 100 genes could be involved or work in combination to cause autism. Previously, scientists believed only 20 genes caused the disorder.
Lisa Bond knows in the big picture the chromosome 16 mutation is one small piece of a larger mystery. But for her family, she says, it's a big, big piece of the puzzle.
In the week after receiving the news about Joshua, the Bonds have tried to make sense of their new peace – and find the best way to tell Joshua himself.
"We don't want him to think that something was missing, that he has a piece missing," says Lisa. "So we explain things to him in another way."
They have told him that he is extra-special, that he is a hero for helping other kids know why they have autism. "I think he thinks that's pretty cool," she laughs. "And in our eyes, he is extra-special."

From a listmate

From the Toronto Star:



Scientists find more genetic flaws linked to autism
Jan 17, 2008 07:54 PM
Sheryl Ubelacker
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Canadian-led research has discovered numerous DNA regions containing gene abnormalities that appear to make children susceptible to autism spectrum disorder, a finding that could help parents get an earlier diagnosis for some kids with the disorder.
Senior investigator Stephen Scherer said these genetic anomalies were found in seven per cent of 427 unrelated children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), representing 13 different regions of the genome.
Similar deletions and duplications of genes were not detected in parents of the children, meaning they were not inherited, said Scherer, director of the Centre for Applied Genomics at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. The missing or extra genes would have arisen spontaneously in the children, likely at conception or in early fetal growth.
"So one of the messages is there's probably a lot of genes involved in autism and in seven per cent of the cases we'll be able to capture some information that will be clinically relevant for the families to know," he said.
The research was published online Thursday by the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Scherer said hospital autism clinics should begin testing children with a suspected case of the disorder for any of these genetic aberrations as early in childhood as possible. Sick Kids is in the process of developing such a test program in its autism clinic.
A prenatal test could also be developed to look for these genetic changes, he said.
Autism is a complex and baffling developmental disorder that occurs in about one in every 165 children. Depending on its severity, kids with ASD may have difficulty with social interaction, have language and learning disabilities, and engage in repetitive behaviours.
Finding out as early as possible whether a child has an autism spectrum disorder would not only give an answer sooner to worried patients, but would also mean getting their youngster started sooner in programs to help mitigate behavioural and learning problems associated with ASD.
Early intervention has been shown to dramatically improve an autistic child's ability to deal with the effects of the disorder.
Lisa Bond said she and her husband started realizing something was not quite right with their son Joshua when he just over a year old. But it took another five years or so for him to be definitively diagnosed with autism.
"When he was very small he wouldn't make eye contact, he couldn't communicate, he'd get upset at the least little thing, like change the colour of his socks and this kid could scream for hours," recalled Bond of Stouffville, Ont., northeast of Toronto.
What was also frustrating is that while he had some behaviours typical of ASD, others were not – and no one could explain why or what that meant, said Bond, who also has a 14-year-old daughter.
"He has speech and motor issues and everything else, which is common for kids with autism, but a lot of them tend to either catch up or whatnot. We started noticing things that really concerned us and there were a few things that didn't seem typical with him."
It turns out that Joshua, who turns 12 next week, is among one per cent of autistic kids with a gene deletion on chromosome 16, one of the anomalies recently found by Scherer's group and other labs.
International research is now focusing on how such a change might correspond with specific neurological symptoms common to all kids carrying that genetic deletion or addition.
Missing genes in chromosome 16 appears to cause the more severe speech difficulties that have afflicted her son, Bond said, adding that Joshua's autism specialist told her: "Now you know that some of the difficulties he has been having are related to this deletion. Now you know and you can go on to help him."
While that doesn't mean the problems can be "fixed," Bond said understanding what underlies them can help the family improve Joshua's quality of life.
"It's a real gift. It might be a small piece in the research, but it's huge for us. It's life-changing for us and our son."
Mark Daly, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Medicine, said Scherer and his team have been leaders in analyzing and cataloguing genetic mutations known as "copy number variations" – and pinpointing more regions where these occur in autism cases advances scientists' knowledge about the what may cause the disorder.
"So I think this certainly suggests that there's more to be found and more to be learned through this line of inquiry," said Daly, whose lab also is researching the genetics behind autism.
Larger databases of DNA from families with autism need to be analyzed to see how often mutations occur in these 13 regions of the genome, he said Thursday from Boston.
"Even if we can just confirm in a small number of families some of these specific events that this study has identified, they may provide us more of the biological clues to autism."
In some of the Canadian autism cases studied, Scherer and his team found malformations in genes already known to be involved in neurological function, and they identified at least two sites in the DNA previously linked to mental retardation.
Knowing whether a non-inherited chromosomal alteration has occurred in a child with autism helps alleviate parents' fear of having another child – one more reason for making genetic testing available through autism clinics, he said.
"The most important thing is it tells the family that this is the likely contributing factor, so it takes away any blame there might be that: `I did something wrong in my pregnancy,"' said Scherer. "There's a random chance in all of our DNA, mine and yours and everybody else's. In this case, it just happened to hit genes that are involved in probably neurological development."
"It's a different way of looking under the hood, and if it adds more information it should be available to the families."
Bond said having such a test would be a huge boon for at least some parents waiting anxiously for a definitive diagnosis for their child.
"Maybe someday parents won't have to hear, `We don't know.' Now a select group of them will be able to hear, `You know what, we do know."'

-----------------------------------------



Canadian scientists find frequent structural changes of chromosomes in autism
Copy number alterations of genes contribute to autism in seven per cent
of cases

TORONTO, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - A Canadian team led by scientists at The
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has discovered numerous chromosomal
regions containing autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-susceptibility genes. Gains
or losses of genes (referred to as copy number variation or CNV) were found in
seven per cent of the 400 autistic individuals examined. Additionally, a new
region was identified on chromosome 16 which conferred risk of ASD in one per
cent of families. These findings are published online today in the American
Journal of Human Genetics.
This study builds on results the group co-published in February of last
year in which genome-scanning methods were used to examine the genetic
architecture underlying autism susceptibility. "In this phase of our work we
applied even newer microarrays allowing us
to better scrutinize DNA for CNV
changes in autism, and we focused on Canadian families because of the detailed
clinical information we've collected over the years," says Dr. Stephen
Scherer, the senior corresponding author of the study, senior scientist in
Genetics & Genomic Biology at SickKids and professor of Molecular Genetics at
the University of Toronto. It was Scherer who discovered with others the
existence of CNVs as the most common form of genetic variation, including that
in some instances CNVs are involved in disease.
Autism is a complex developmental disorder found in roughly one in
165 children. ASD individuals exhibit impairments in reciprocal social
interaction and communication, and show a preference for repetitive,
stereotyped activities. Structural changes (CNV as well as translocation and
inversion of genes) along chromosomes have been identified in some individuals
with ASD, but the
full etiologic role of these changes is unknown.
"Our finding that in seven per cent of families we find chromosome
changes in ASD children not seen in their parents has important clinical
implications," says co-author Dr. Peter Szatmari, director of the Offord
Centre for Child Studies, McMaster Children's Hospital, and head of Child
Psychiatry at McMaster University. "Our experience through this study
indicates that application of these new microarray-based genome scanning tests
may serve to focus clinical examination in a search for undetected syndromes
leading to ASD."
Dr. Wendy Roberts, head of the Autism Research Unit at SickKids and
developmental pediatrician at Bloorview Kids Rehab adds, "The new CNVs we
discovered on chromosome 16 in one per cent of our Canadian cohort are also
now described in two American studies in the New England Journal of Medicine
and Human Molecular Genetics by teams from
Boston and Chicago, respectively."
According to Roberts, the Canadian team also found other families with
chromosome changes that overlap with some genes involved in other medical
genetic conditions such as velocardiofacial syndrome (chromosome 22q) and
mental retardation (chromosome 15q24 and 16p11.2), which in many cases led to
an identification or refinement of the diagnoses. "It will be important to
prepare for a demand for the new chromosome 16 and other tests, to understand
what the data really means, and to realize that the significance could be
quite different for each family requesting testing," adds Scherer.
Dr. Christian Marshall the lead author from SickKids notes, "Our genetic
data held many complexities reminiscent of ASD itself. But in a subset of ASD
cases we found at least six genes known to have a role in neuron function that
were not present in the typical two-copies found in the general
population."
In addition to having potential clinical diagnostic importance these results
also help to further unlock the biological mysteries of why autism comes about
and what parts of the brain are involved.
The Canadian team partnered with scientists in Germany, The Netherlands,
and the U. S. on this study, and also works as part of an international autism
genetics consortium called the Autism Genome Project (AGP). The AGP began in
2002 when researchers from around the world decided to come together and share
their samples, data, and expertise to facilitate the identification of autism
susceptibility genes.
This research was supported by Genome Canada, The Centre for Applied
Genomics, Autism Speaks, Bloorview Kids Rehab, the Canada Foundation of
Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the
GlaxoSmithKline-CIHR Pathfinder Chair in Genetics and Genomics at the
University of
Toronto, the Canadian Institutes for Advance Research (CIFAR),
The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, The W. Garfield Weston
Foundation, Ontario Genomics Institute, the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular
Medicine, the Lee K. and Margaret Lau Genetics Research Endowment Fund, the
McMaster Children's Hospital Foundation, the Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences,
Ontario Innovation Trust, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the
William Rosenberg Family Foundation, and the SickKids Foundation.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University
of Toronto, is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest
centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. As innovators
in child health, SickKids improves the health
of children by integrating care,
research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and
specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our
knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible,
comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information,
please visit www.sickkids.ca. SickKids is committed to healthier children for
a better world.

For further information: Janice Nicholson, Public Affairs, The Hospital
for Sick Children, (416) 813-6684, janice.nicholson@sickkids.ca


From a listmate




Simcoe Speech and Language Clinic

CHATTERBOX SPEECH CAMP
Presents
MARCH BREAK FUN CAMP!!
March 10th -14th, 2008
9:00am-3:00pm

Simcoe Speech & Language Clinic
103 Victoria Street W. Alliston, ON L9R 1T5

705-623-7059

Our Camp program:
Each day’s activities centre on a theme to promote speech and language learning constantly. The speech Camp includes daily individualized therapy sessions focusing on early phonological awareness, sound development and early reading skills.

Cost? $525. receipts provided for income tax or insurance purposes

What does it include?
Speech and Language skills will be enriched in the areas of expressive, receptive and social language as well as articulation, oral motor and writing.

Special Guest Appearance by:
Jungle Jorgy’s Reptile Roadshow
705-627-4178 (call for bookings)

Who Should Attend?
Children ages 3-7 years who want a jump start on phonological skills and sound development as well as those children who need additional support with these early literacy skills.



Chatterbox Speech Camp focuses on the following skills:

Speech- individual and group therapy
Language- vocabulary and grammar
Cognition-letters, numbers and early literacy
Emotional- self esteem and confidence
Physical- fine and gross motor.


Ask about our after camp child watch program, that is available


To Register: contact simcoespeech@sympatico.ca for registration forms or call (705)623-7059 to receive details by mail. Also accepting registration for our Famously, FUN Chatterbox Speech and Language Summer Camp!! Call for details.
Some sponsorship placements are available, find out how to apply.



From a listmate

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give everyone on my email list the date for Tyler's Fishing Derby. It will be February 23, 2008 at the boat launch at Innisfil Beach. Innisfil Beach is at the very end of Innisfil Beach Road East on the left hand side.

Check in time starts at 7am. Everyone comes in from fishing at 1pm for measurement of any fish caught and for prizes to be awarded. A barbecue is served. If you don't fish, come at 1pm to see the fishermen/women/people awarded their prizes and have some lunch. On line auction starts that afternoon or the next day. Children are welcome and encouraged to fish. There is also a Winterfest in the park at the same time so there are lots of activities to partake in. Tyler comes down at 1pm to be present for pictures with all the winners!

Please forward this email on to any family or friends that you think might be interested. We always have a great time and there are lots of prizes. The people that organize this for Tyler are the most awesome people and we are truly thankful for this amazing day.

Any questions or if you need more info please feel free to email me or call 705-436-3607. As more info comes to me from the organizers I will forward it along.

Thank you,

Elisa & Terry



Google alert

HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN


Attention News Editors:
Canadian scientists find frequent structural changes of chromosomes in autism
Copy number alterations of genes contribute to autism in seven per cent
of cases

TORONTO, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - A Canadian team led by scientists at The
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has discovered numerous chromosomal
regions containing autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-susceptibility genes. Gains
or losses of genes (referred to as copy number variation or CNV) were found in
seven per cent of the 400 autistic individuals examined. Additionally, a new
region was identified on chromosome 16 which conferred risk of ASD in one per
cent of families. These findings are published online today in the American
Journal of Human Genetics.
This study builds on results the group co-published in February of last
year in which genome-scanning methods were used to examine the genetic
architecture underlying autism susceptibility. "In this phase of our work we
applied even newer microarrays allowing us to better scrutinize DNA for CNV
changes in autism, and we focused on Canadian families because of the detailed
clinical information we've collected over the years," says Dr. Stephen
Scherer, the senior corresponding author of the study, senior scientist in
Genetics & Genomic Biology at SickKids and professor of Molecular Genetics at
the University of Toronto. It was Scherer who discovered with others the
existence of CNVs as the most common form of genetic variation, including that
in some instances CNVs are involved in disease.
Autism is a complex developmental disorder found in roughly one in
165 children. ASD individuals exhibit impairments in reciprocal social
interaction and communication, and show a preference for repetitive,
stereotyped activities. Structural changes (CNV as well as translocation and
inversion of genes) along chromosomes have been identified in some individuals
with ASD, but the full etiologic role of these changes is unknown.
"Our finding that in seven per cent of families we find chromosome
changes in ASD children not seen in their parents has important clinical
implications," says co-author Dr. Peter Szatmari, director of the Offord
Centre for Child Studies, McMaster Children's Hospital, and head of Child
Psychiatry at McMaster University. "Our experience through this study
indicates that application of these new microarray-based genome scanning tests
may serve to focus clinical examination in a search for undetected syndromes
leading to ASD."
Dr. Wendy Roberts, head of the Autism Research Unit at SickKids and
developmental pediatrician at Bloorview Kids Rehab adds, "The new CNVs we
discovered on chromosome 16 in one per cent of our Canadian cohort are also
now described in two American studies in the New England Journal of Medicine
and Human Molecular Genetics by teams from Boston and Chicago, respectively."
According to Roberts, the Canadian team also found other families with
chromosome changes that overlap with some genes involved in other medical
genetic conditions such as velocardiofacial syndrome (chromosome 22q) and
mental retardation (chromosome 15q24 and 16p11.2), which in many cases led to
an identification or refinement of the diagnoses. "It will be important to
prepare for a demand for the new chromosome 16 and other tests, to understand
what the data really means, and to realize that the significance could be
quite different for each family requesting testing," adds Scherer.
Dr. Christian Marshall the lead author from SickKids notes, "Our genetic
data held many complexities reminiscent of ASD itself. But in a subset of ASD
cases we found at least six genes known to have a role in neuron function that
were not present in the typical two-copies found in the general population."
In addition to having potential clinical diagnostic importance these results
also help to further unlock the biological mysteries of why autism comes about
and what parts of the brain are involved.
The Canadian team partnered with scientists in Germany, The Netherlands,
and the U. S. on this study, and also works as part of an international autism
genetics consortium called the Autism Genome Project (AGP). The AGP began in
2002 when researchers from around the world decided to come together and share
their samples, data, and expertise to facilitate the identification of autism
susceptibility genes.
This research was supported by Genome Canada, The Centre for Applied
Genomics, Autism Speaks, Bloorview Kids Rehab, the Canada Foundation of
Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the
GlaxoSmithKline-CIHR Pathfinder Chair in Genetics and Genomics at the
University of Toronto, the Canadian Institutes for Advance Research (CIFAR),
The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, The W. Garfield Weston
Foundation, Ontario Genomics Institute, the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular
Medicine, the Lee K. and Margaret Lau Genetics Research Endowment Fund, the
McMaster Children's Hospital Foundation, the Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences,
Ontario Innovation Trust, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the
William Rosenberg Family Foundation, and the SickKids Foundation.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University
of Toronto, is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest
centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. As innovators
in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care,
research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and
specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our
knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible,
comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information,
please visit www.sickkids.ca. SickKids is committed to healthier children for
a better world.


For further information: Janice Nicholson, Public Affairs, The Hospital
for Sick Children, (416) 813-6684, janice.nicholson@sickkids.ca



from a listmate

REQUEST FOR BOOK

Has Autism touched your life in a meaningful or unique way? I am currently accepting submissions for a book I'm writing/compiling on the subject of Autism. I am looking for positive, optimistic and hopeful stories, drawings, poems, experiences etc. from anyone including teachers, parents, siblings, therapists and professionals as well as individuals living with Autism. I hope to create a resource which reveals the gifts of Autism and how it affects our lives in a positive way.
>
> If you would like the opportunity to share your piece of work or know someone who may want to contribute, please mail a copy of your submission and your contact information to:
>
> Bend Down Low Books
> 48 Falcon St
> Toronto, ON
> m4s 2p5
>
> OR
>
> benddownlow@gmail.com


From a listmate

To Whom It May Concern,

Here is a wonderful resource for parents with children who have Autism to receive some wonderful ideas and advice...

Ross Greene, Harvard Medical School professor and author of The Explosive Child, with great advice on how to deal effectively with child's tantrums -- from what they mean to how to quell them. He has sections on his site to share with educators as well...

http://www.thinkkids.org/parents/

Sincerely,

Charlene Parker


From a listmate

Canadian Human Rights Museum... http://www.canadianmuseumforhumanrights.com/index.cfm?pageID=1


From a friend
Autism Video Link
http://www.96seconds.com/frinkfest.html

from a listmate

January 8, 2008
Autism / Behavioural Distance Web Consulting Availability for Families

Hi. My name is Brad Littleproud. I am an autism/behavioural consultant with nearly 20 years clinical / ABA experience. I have been a community consultant with a large Toronto agency, autism/behavioural consultant to the Hospital for Sick Children, and consultant to the Toronto District School Board. I wanted to pass along some information about some new clinical consultation that I am currently providing. As a clinician and parent of twins with autism, I am providing some time to families to discuss issues of behaviour, skills development, navigating the system following a new diagnosis etc.

What is innovative is that the service is for caregivers who cannot access services locally, in a timely manner, accommodate home visiting, attend outside agency visits. This consultation is done via online webcam face-to-face contact. I am currently providing consultation hours online, in the evenings, weekends and some arranged lunch hours. If families do not have web cameras, they can email me and I can guide them through this simple process.

I would appreciate it if this information could be passed along to interested clients and fellow colleagues. I know that those whom I have consulted with thus far have found it a valuable alternative to existing services. I have 20 years of autism / applied analysis clinical experience, plus as a parent of children with autism families starting their journey with these children will find our contact worth while. I can accommodate individual and groups of up to 5 online. The fees are low because as a parent I am very aware the expenses involved with having a child with autism. I am listed first on the ABACUS (Autism Ontario ) list. http://www.abacuslist.ca/

Thanks, Brad Littleproud
Autism/ Behavioural Consultant
Parent Pro Consulting
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/parentproconsulting/
Pickering , Ontario
parentproconsulting@yahoo.ca



google alert
http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/January2008/10/c8015.html

Attention News Editors/See CNW Photo Network and Archive:
Instructor's experience inspires new autism therapy degree program at Capilano College
NORTH VANCOUVER, Jan. 10 /CNW/ - Ellen Domm knows intimately how
thousands of families in B.C. suffer due to a scarcity of qualified
professionals to treat children with autism and related developmental
disorders such as Asperger's syndrome.
And the Capilano psychology instructor hopes a unique applied behavior
analysis (ABA) bachelor's degree program inspired by her family's experience,
which the college is launching in 2009, will help alleviate what she says is
clearly a staffing crisis.
When Domm's seven-year-old son, Levi, was diagnosed at age three with
autism, a condition affecting the brain's normal development of social and
communication skills, she and her husband Perri immediately decided on an ABA
treatment program.
Although the scientifically validated therapy would be expensive - as
much as three times the province's $20,000 annual subsidy for autistic
children up to age six, after which it drops to $6,000 - it was their son's
best hope for improvement.
But when they tried to assemble a behaviour interventionist team to
implement the program, Domm said they quickly found out how difficult that
was.
"Even though we had a pool of Capilano students to draw from and train,
the turnover rate is quite high," she said, "and we went through 14 therapists
in two years."
Autism is now the most common childhood developmental or neurological
disorder in the country, affecting more than 4,300 children in B.C.
"But we have only a handful of board certified behaviour analysts," said
Domm, "and they have lengthy waiting lists."
So, she thought, why not offer an ABA course at Capilano with a practical
component so families can count on steady pool of motivated students to work
with their kids.
She pursued the idea with fellow Capilano psychologist Cara Zaskow and
with her help, and input from autism families and professionals, the course
has mushroomed into Canada's first ABA bachelor's degree program. Scheduled to
begin next January, it will operate as a cohort program, accepting about
20 students with associate degrees in psychology to train for work with autism
cases, among others.
"They'll be qualified to become board certified associate behavior
analysts, earning at least $40 an hour to start," said Domm. "Or they can
pursue a master's degree in ABA, special education or psychology."
Thanks in large part to his therapy, Levi, a high-functioning autistic,
is now an attentive, affectionate boy. He attends a mainstream Grade 2 class
and receives 12 hours a week of academic and behavioral therapy at home.
"I still worry about his future," Domm said, "but what mother doesn't?
And I'm pleased that Capilano will soon be producing the professionals the
autism community so desperately needs so other families won't be left in the
lurch like we were."

Capilano College serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe
Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish
and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 6,800 students in credit programs each term with
an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers
a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business
and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human
services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and
success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees,
post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and
statements of completion.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
members of the media/



For further information: Shelley Kean, Tel: (604) 983-7596

Capilano psychology instructor, Ellen Domm, was motivated by her seven-year-old son, Levi, to start a bachelor's degree program at the college that will teach professionals to treat children with autism and related developmental disorders, such as Asperger's syndrome. (CNW Group/Capilano College)




From Autism Ontario

This message has been sent to all Chapter Presidents and Staff.
Please distribute to your members.
Jobs at Autism Ontario
Make a difference in the lives of individuals with ASD and their families.
Discover the exciting opportunities to work with Autism communities across the province.

Date Posted: January 10, 2008
Position: Bilingual Realize Community Potential (RCP) Program Supervisor
Organization: Autism Ontario
Closing Date: January 18, 2008

Date Posted:January 10, 2008
Position: Office Administrator (part-time)
Organization: Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter
Closing Date: Feburary 8, 2008

Date Posted:December 20, 2007
Position: Resource Development Coordinator
Organization: Autism Ontario
Closing Date: January 18, 2008

March Break Programs – Request for Proposals
Autism Ontario currently has a competition open for up to $4,000 in funding for Chapters to create/increase March Break Programs. The timelines on this application process are tight, so if you have an idea, communicate it to your Chapter leadership very soon. Chapter may submit multiple proposals. Information on how the regions break down for this funding as well as the rest of the details on this program, funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, are available on our website at www.autismontario.com.

Possibilities Fund Committee Update
Thank you to all who submitted expressions of interest to join this committee. The committee received the package yesterday and will be reviewing and discussing the letters over the next week. We hope to let the successful applicant know sometime late next week or early the following week.

Autism Ontario Camps Update
We are pleased to announce that Jen Dundas Consulting and Services has been contracted for the upcoming year to work very closely with both the Provincial Office and our Chapter camps to implement our new Camp Manual and assist our Chapter Camps in the Ontario Camping Association (OCA) accreditation process. Over the next couple of months, Jen and her team will be in touch with the Chapters which run camping programs. Not only to we welcome Jen Dundas back to the Autism Ontario family, but we are also pleased to welcome her team mates, Jane McCutcheon and Sheila Buddell, to the fold. Any questions about the work that Jen Dundas Consulting and Services will be doing with us should be directed to Karyn Dumble .

RCP Program Update – York Chapter
Greetings Everyone,

I am pleased to officially announce the appointment of the RCP Coordinator for York Chapter, Alana Racicot. Alana has accepted our offer of employment and will begin her work officially with us on January 14, 2008. Alana brings to Autism Ontario experience in a variety of settings providing support to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has valuable experience in the design and delivery of a new program with the Boys and Girls Club of York Region/Ontario Early Years – York Region Neighborhood Services. As you meet Alana you will become quickly acquainted with her warm personality and sincere support and commitment to working with families. She has worked with families through the VON in London, London and District School Board as an Educational Assistant, MCYS as a Community Support Worker, and in residential community setting with Hutton House, London.

Sadly, Rose Ann will be completing her work with us in an official capacity as of December 31, 2008.

Please join me in wishing both these ladies continued future success.

Marilyn Thompson
Program Manager

Lots of autism coverage in the news recently – links below and on our website
This is a compilation from Marg Spoelstra, Executive Director:

A video link from last night’s CTV News, featuring Usha Uthayan from our Durham Chapter and her family. CTV called our offices looking for a family and Usha agreed to let us pass her information along.
http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/TopStories/ContentPosting.aspx?feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V2&showbyline=True&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20080109%2fautism_gene080109

Here’s the Star article about the gene: http://www.thestar.com/article/292718

Here’s one about Aspergers - it’s from Dec 27. http://www.thestar.com/article/288858

From the Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080110.wautismgta10/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp

Kaleidoscope Ride
From Kim Souch, a member of our Huron-Perth Chapter. Many of you will recognize Kim and her daughter Sara as the singers of the National Anthems at the annual Autism Day at the Blue Jays Game.

Hi Everyone & Happy New Year,

Many of you know of the music project Sara and I have been working on this past couple of years. When I initially created this music our goal was to contribute to positive messages and hopefully give families the chance to reflect and celebrate their experiences. It has been an amazing experience for both of us. I've seen Sara really grow and flourish from all of the performances, interaction and feedback. Thank you to all who have been so encouraging and receptive to our music! Although Sara doesn't always respond to peoples comments directly or verbally she does hear and appreciate them.

We are embarking on another stage of that project this year - planning to tour further abroad (Sara would like to see more of Canada ) and spread our message of Autism awareness. I have posted a link at the end of this e-mail to a Youtube video - an introduction to our music and the Kaleidoscope Ride song. There are some great pictures in this video of Sara in action!

I have been working on project materials and presentations for special events, conferences, schools and community groups. They can be geared to any age group. They can be in either concert and/or public speaking format. My background (besides music 80) is in Community Relations and I have been developing this project and message for some time now. Our message is also to encourage individuals with ASD, their families, friends and support networks.

Individuals with ASD have so much to offer and so many talents and abilities. Our projects mission is to create more awareness and understanding. My ultimate goal is to build more arts based resources (ie. Music, art, theatre etc.) for those with ASD to explore, build and celebrate their abilities!

Please pass this link on to anyone who might appreciate this positive message and/or be interested in a presentation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lIT8I0IcYc

Kim & Sara


--
Kim Souch
Creative Director
Heartfelt Music
info@heartfeltmusic.ca
(519)522-0598
(519)276-2803 (cell)


From a listmate

Genetic flaw appears to increase risk of autism
Updated Wed. Jan. 9 2008 5:04 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Researchers have made an important discovery in the search for answers in the mystery of autism. They've identified a genetic flaw that appears to increase one's susceptibility to the condition.
The researchers found that a segment of chromosome 16 is either missing or duplicated in about one per cent of individuals with autism or related disorders.
That may not sound like much, but the study's senior author, Dr. Mark Daly, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Human Genetic Research, tells CTV News that those people who have this chromosomal abnormality have "a very, very high risk of autism."
In fact, kids with the chromosomal abnormality have a 100-fold increased chance of developing autism than kids without it.
What's more, the researchers found that the gene flaw did not appear to be inherited in almost all the autistic kids the researchers identified. Of those who had the flaw, only one child appeared to have inherited the gene flaw from one of the parents.
"This tells us this is a spontaneously rising mutation," says Daly.
Dr. Steven Scherer, a senior scientist in Genetics & Genome Biology at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children says it will come as good news to many parents of autistic children to know that almost all cases are not inherited.
"We can actually tell the families - it's not your fault. It's just something that happens randomly, a genetic roll of the dice," he says.
That's reassuring news for parents like Usha Uthayan. Her twin boys, Nakulan and Sadhu, both have autism.
"When parents realize there is something spontaneous and not necessarily something the parent did, it goes a long way to reducing their guilt," she tells CTV News. "Because, naturally, when any parent discovers any sort of disability, the first thing you look at is: is it something I did? Is it a part of me that has been passed on to my child?"
Dr. Wendy Roberts, director of autism research at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, called it a breakthrough in the field.
"To finally have one area of a chromosome where we say as closely as we can tell, this is an association with autism -- wow. So this is at least one of a number of other factors that have come together in this individual to cause autism. It's hard and fast," Roberts told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.
Daly says while science is still a long way from understanding how this chromosomal deletion or duplication increases the risk for autism, the discovery is an important clue.
"This is one piece of a very complex puzzle, as we try to determine the biological roots of autism," he told CTV News.
"But genetics offers hope. In the case of autism, it is the only path of hope in understanding the biomechanical causes of the disease."
Studies suggest that up to 90 per cent of cases of autism spectrum disorders have some genetic component, but only 10 per cent of cases can be attributed to known genetic and chromosomal syndromes.
Daly's team decided to conduct a complete genome scan of samples from the Autism Genome Research Exchange, which contains DNA from families in which at least one child has autism or a related disorder.
The scan of more than 1,400 autistic children and a similar number of their unaffected parents revealed that an identical region of chromosome 16 was deleted in five of the kids with an autism spectrum disorder.
They then looked at clinical testing data from almost 1,000 patients from Children's Hospital Boston - about half of whom had been diagnosed with autism or a related developmental delay.
Among those with a developmental disorder, five children had the same deletion, and four more had a duplicated chromosome segment. No abnormalities were seen in DNA from children without autism or developmental delay.
"These large, non-inherited chromosomal deletions are extremely rare," says Daly, "so finding precisely the same deletion in such a significant proportion of patients suggests that it is a very strong risk factor for autism."
The research appears in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.
Daly says his team is now pursuing more detailed genetic studies to see if other genetic flaws can be found.
The findings could have important significance for improving diagnostic methods. At the moment, autism is diagnosed by observing a child's behaviour and looking for the classic signs of the disorder, such as a lack of eye contact. But since autism is a spectrum disorder, there are wide ranges of autistic behaviour.
By identifying gene abnormalities, doctors could soon have the first clinical diagnostic tool for autism.
That's exactly what Dr. Scherer is hoping for. He has been conducting similar research into the genetics of autism and says he also some exciting research that will be published later this month on other chromosomal abnormalities of autistic children.
He says a test for the chromosome 16 abnormalities is not far off. And when it comes, it will be the first test specific to autism.
"We can perform a very simple DNA-based test that's quite simple, inexpensive and rapid," he says, noting that other hospitals will also likely look to include the test for families that include a child with autism. If the test found that the parents of an autistic child didn't have the gene anomaly, they could be assured that any subsequent children they had would be at very low risk of developing the condition too.
Early detection is key, he says, since it could mean that crucial intervention, such as behavioral and educational therapy, could be started earlier.
With a report by CTV medical specialist Avis Favaro

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080109/autism_gene080109/20080109?hub=Health

Autism On The Seas

Autism Cruises

http://www.alumnicruises.org/Autism/Autism_Home.htm

from a listmate

Autism and Guilt
The Guilt Factor
When a child is diagnosed with autism, parents develop a new vocabulary. Conversations contain words like ABA, receptive and expressive language, discrete trial training, eye contact, floor time and biomedical approaches. Parents share their joys, their fears, their strategies and their dreams. In fact, almost everything is easily discussed except one thing – THE GUILT FACTOR. (continue reading…)

We are giving away 500 FREE social story books
Three NEW social story books are in stock. Buy all 3 and get the 4th book FREE. That’s only $30 for 4 social story books. Enter the coupon code 984612 and type the social story book of your choice in the additional order information box. This coupon is valid for the first 500 orders only. You can take advantage of this offer here.


Natural Learning Concepts
http://www.nlconcepts.com
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1 comment:

YvonneW said...

Shelley Martel did alot to bring attention to the lack of services available for children with Autism. She has been sadly missed.

Yvonne Wu
http://theyppublishing.com