Monday, July 14, 2008

June 7-14th Articles

Autism News Articles
Alliance for families with autism
June 7-14th 2008
to read archived mail
Happy Father’s day!
What Is A Dad?

A Dad is a person who is loving and kind,

And often he knows what you have on your mind.

He's someone who listens, suggests, and defends.

A dad can be one of your very best friends!

He's proud of your triumphs, but when things go wrong,

A dad can be patient and helpful

and strong In all that you do, a dad's love plays a part.

There's always a place for him deep in your heart.

And each year that passes, you're even more glad,

More grateful and proud just to call him your dad!

Thank you, Dad... for listening and caring,

for giving and sharing, but, especially,

for just being you!

Happy Father's Day.

~ Author Unknown ~

>2008 Summer Camp Support Fund for Children with Autism
>The 2008 Summer Camp Support Fund is available to Ontario families of
>children and youth with ASK who retain the services of a one-to-one support
>worker for their child to attend a community summer camp or summer program.
>Maximum reimbursements of $600, per child or youth, (18 years or younger)
>will be made to help subsidize services purchased between July 01 and
>August 31, 2008. Approximately 300 families are expected to receive
>Cheques will be issued by Autism Ontario's Provincial Office upon receipt
>of the following three documents:
>1) Evidence of a clear ASD diagnosis from a professional who is qualified
>to make the diagnosis
>2) All original receipts for fees paid to the child's worker by the parent
>of the child with ASD
>3) A complete, signed 2008 Summer Camp Support Application (Application
>available at
>For more information contact Autism Ontario at
>(416) 246-9592 ext 225 or
>Submitted by an Anonymous AFA Member

From a listmate

Friday, June 13, 2008

Brains benefit from CIBC funds
The Gazette
CIBC is donating $500,000 to the Montreal Neurological Institute's Thinking Ahead campaign to create the CIBC Fellowship in Brain Imaging. The fellowship gift will facilitate research projects at the Institute over the next five years, including performing a pivotal role as the only Canadian institution in the Autism Centre of Excellence, a U.S.-based study looking for early indicators of autism.

From Nancy’s list

An important message from Andrew in Ottawa, please take a few minutes to write to your MP to solicit support for Bill S-237 - to ensure Canada recognizes World Autism Awareness Day!!!!!!!

Here is the link to get all the info you need to confirm who your MP is and how to contact them through whichever means you prefer

Hi Folks,
On days when our champions in Parliament are setting things up for a discussion/debate about "autism" (in just two days!), our community should let the politicians know where we stand and what we expect of them so they understand that we are paying attention to this. All this "awareness" stuff is a nice beginning, but we need "action", and we need it now.
Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
World Autism Awareness Day Bill
First Reading
Hon. Jim Munson presented Bill S-237, An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day.
Bill read first time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the second time?
On motion of Senator Munson, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.


I have attached the most recent Run the Dream Newsletter. Jonathan has now finished his run through the Maritimes and come into Quebec. He is expected to enter Ontario just before the Canada Day holiday.

Terry Robinson has an article in this newsletter, Terry was there on Sunday for the Autism Speaks walk. I was able to find the time to speak to him for a short while. He is an amazing man, and it's inspiring to read his story in the newsletter.

I have now joined up on the volunteer team helping with this Run, if you wish to also help out, send me a line and I will connect you up with the lead organizers.


A request for families to share their experiences for an article about wait list issues.

All publicity is great pubicity, it can be amazing how these articles mulitply in advocacy efforts and have an inpact.

If any of you can spare a few minutes to talk to this genteman to help with his article, it would be great. Please contact him directly at:

My name is Daniel Bird. I am a journalism student at Carleton
University. I am writing an article concerning waiting times in Ontario
for behavioural therapy for autistic children.

Iʼve done some basic research on the wait list problem but since I have
not done any reporting in this field before, I donʼt have many
contacts. I was wondering if you would be able to put me in touch
with some sources for the story Iʼve proposed below.

From what I understand, even though there is no specific cut off in
terms of age for children accessing government-funded therapy in
Ontario, because of the lengthy waiting list for therapy, some tough
choices are being made regarding how to use the available resources
most efficiently.

A few days ago I was told a story about a child that is being
discharged from therapy because his therapy team has decided he is no
longer making sufficient progress and that his space in the program
could be more beneficial to a child on the waiting list. His parents
have already decided to continue his therapy after his is discharged
using their own funds.

I would like to do a story on a family facing this sort of situation. I
think the news value of this kind of story is obvious, as this is a
tremendous conflict that I do not think most people know exists.

In addition to the point of view I described above, I would also like
to speak with a family that is on the wait list and someone working
with autistic children that is part of the decision making process as
to who is discharged and when. I think including these kind of sources
would add a great deal to the story by showing the lack of funding has
a wider reach.

I realize that you may not be able to help me with my whole request but
I would appreciate anything you can do. If thereʼs someone else that I
should be talking to I would also appreciate if you could tell me how
to get in touch with that person.

As for the sources I have in mind, they may want more information on
what kind of article I am writing or to meet with me. I would be more
than happy to talk to them either in person or otherwise because this
is obviously a sensitive subject.

If you have any suggestions for me, I would like to hear them.

Thank you.

Daniel Bird

google alert

Jonathan Howard is trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. In his mind, he's just a 24-year-old guy out for a run.
Run the Dream - Jonathan Howard Runs Across Canada for Autism
Running for two months now, he isn't anywhere near done either. His personal finish line will come in December in Victoria, where he hopes to be polishing off a nine month, 8,500 km cross-country trek, and presenting $2.5 million of donations raised along the way to various charities aimed at helping autistic children and their families.
"I'm just a guy from Missisauga going for a run," he said. "I have kept that focus everyday and it helps me reach my goals," Howard said the best part of the run has been meeting autistic kids and their families, whom he considers himself a spokesperson for. He said he remembers one woman in particular, who repeatedly thanked him for bringing awareness to autism, something she didn't have time to do as the parent of an autistic child.
"What really fuels me and keeps me going are the people who write and support me. I wouldn't have even made it off Newfoundland without them," he said. "It's nice I've gotten to meet some dignitaries, but what's most important to me is meeting the families and the people who have to deal with autism on a daily basis."
Outside from working with autistic children as a swimming instructor in university, Howard has no connection to autism, but he said when he saw the statistics "" mainly the fact that autism effects one out of 166 kids and that it's getting worse "" he knew he had to do something.
"I saw that the rates of autism are on the rise and then I looked deeper into it and learned about all the mystery there is about autism and how few support and resources there are across the country," he said. "I figured running across Canada could be the catalyst for strengthening support networks nationally." Howard ran through New Brunswick last week, making pit stops in Saint John. Fredericton, Perth Andover and Edmunston along the way.
He said the run, appropriately dubbed Run the Dream, has been a lifelong goal.
"The thought has been in my head since I was a kid, but when I was in university a professor told us to write down our top 20 goals and the next step required to make them happen. My top goal was to run across Canada and last September I decided I had to do it and that I didn't want to ever be in the position of having to say 'what if'," he said. "Since then I've been running five half marathons a week to get myself prepared and working on the organizational side of things to get this off the ground."
Howard runs six days a week, covering about 40 km a day "" just about the distance of a marathon. When he's not running, he spends his time updating an online blog detailing his journey, exploring the communities he visits and shaking plenty of hands "" so far he has met the premiers off all four Atlantic provinces he has ran through.
An ex-high school football player and veteran of three Missisauga Marathons, Howard said he feels he's prepared to finish the run.
"I have been involved in a lot of athletics and my body has endured a lot so I think I can do it," he said. "Time has flown by too. Here I am in Fredericton and I'm going to be in Quebec City in two weeks and Ottawa two weeks after that and before I know it, it's going to be December and I am going to be in Victoria and there will be a big celebration."
Sarah Hill, spokesman for Run the Dream and an organizer of Voices for Autism "" a charity concert put on in honour of Jonathan in Fredericton last week - said people are pretty excited about the run.
"We're starting to build a lot of momentum now that we have went through all the Atlantic Provinces. It has blown up in the media here in Nova Scotia, P.E.I .and New Brunswick and we are hoping as Jonathan makes it to Quebec and Ontario it will do the same," she said.
Hill said the campaign is unique because money raised in each province stays in that province, including the $10,000 which was expected to be raised in Fredericton last week.
"The bottom line of this campaign is it isn't about Jonathan, it's about helping those with autism," she said. "This run is all about raising awareness and $2.5 million for autism spectrum disorders."
For more information about Jonathan's run, visit

from autism Ontario Sudbury chapter
(see attached)
Hi everyone:

As per your requests, we wanted to send many of you a copy of the May 10th workshop power point presentation-enjoy! We've compressed it so that it can be sent over email (it's a PDF file once it's 'unzipped'). If you're not able to open it, please let us know and we'll try to figure out how to send it in a different format.
Best wishes,
Heather, Chanda, Rebecca and Liz

From a listmate


For Immediate Release


OTTAWA, June 10, 2008 – The Honourable Jim Munson, Senator ( Ottawa – Rideau Canal ), today introduced a bill to recognize April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. By recognizing World Autism Awareness Day, Canada will join 192 other United Nations members who agreed that such a day would bring autism, a neurological disorder that affects an increasing number of families around the world, to the attention of all.

“By recognizing World Autism Awareness Day we are saying to families with autism: You are not alone. We care,” said Senator Munson. Autism affects one in 165 Canadian families and there is no known cure. The number of Canadians diagnosed with autism has grown by 150% in the last six years and there is no national strategy to address the growing problem.

“World Autism Awareness Day will draw the attention of citizens to the plight of the many families, in Canada and around the world, who are affected by autism,” said Senator Donald Oliver, seconder of the bill. Worldwide, autism affects more children than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.

- 30 -

For more information, please contact:

The Honourable Jim Munson
Senator ( Ottawa – Rideau Canal )
Tel: (613) 947-2504

The Honourable Donald Oliver
Senator ( Nova Scotia )
Tel: (613) 943-1445


Diffusion immédiate


OTTAWA, le 10 juin 2008 – Aujourd’hui, l'honorable sénateur Jim Munson (Ottawa / Canal Rideau) a déposé un projet de loi visant à faire reconnaître le 2 avril comme la Journée mondiale de sensibilisation à l'autisme. En reconnaissant cette journée, le Canada se joindra aux 192 autres membres des Nations Unies qui ont accepté de faire que cette journée attire l’attention de tous sur l'autisme, un trouble neurologique qui continue de toucher un nombre croissant de familles de partout au monde.

« En reconnaissant la Journée mondiale de sensibilisation à l’autisme, nous disons aux familles aux prises avec l'autisme : Vous n'êtes pas seules. Nous nous préoccupons de vous », a déclaré le sénateur Munson. L'autisme, qui est incurable, est un problème pour une famille canadienne sur 165. Au cours des six dernières années, le nombre de Canadiens ayant reçu un diagnostic d'autisme a augmenté de 150 %, et il n'y a pas de stratégie nationale pour combattre ce fléau sans cesse croissant.

« La Journée mondiale de sensibilisation à l’autisme attirera l'attention des citoyens sur le sort des nombreuses familles du Canada et d’ailleurs touchées par l'autisme », a affirmé le sénateur Donald Oliver, qui a appuyé le projet de loi. Dans le monde, l'autisme touche plus d'enfants que le cancer, le diabète et le sida réunis.

- 30 -

Pour plus d’information, veuillez communiquer avec :

L’honorable Jim Munson
Sénateur (Ottawa / Canal Rideau)
Tél. : 613-947-2504

L’honorable Donald Oliver
Sénateur (Nouvelle-Écosse)
Tél. : 613-943-1445


Lisa A. Thibedeau
Special Assistant | Office of the Honourable Jim Munson | Senator, Ottawa/Rideau Canal ( Ontario )
Adjoint spéciale| Bureau de l'honorable Jim Munson | Sénateur, Secteur Ottawa/Canal Rideau ( Ontario )
 613-947-2504 |  613-947-2506 facsimile / télécopieur | 
Senate of Canada | Sénat du Canada
Room 375 East Block | 375 édifice de l'Est | Ottawa , ON K1A 0A4

From a listmate

Legal Planning for Special Needs In Massachusetts:
A Family Guide to SSI, Guardianship, and Estate Planning

By Barbara D. Jackins, Attorney, Belmont, Massachusetts

Legal Planning for Special Needs in Massachusetts: A Family Guide to SSI, Guardianship, and Estate Planning (People with Disabilities Press, 2006) represents what Attorney Jackins has learned in over 25 years of practicing law. In a relaxed, conversational style, she explains the essential elements of SSI (Supplemental Security Income), guardianship and estate planning when there is a child with a disability in the family. Jackins first became interested in planning issues when her son, who has developmental disabilities, was a young child.

Although some of the materials are specific to Massachusetts, most of the strategies are valid in any state. People who do not live in Massachusetts can ignore the fine points about that state’s guardianship laws and procedures. The rest of the book will get readers on track wherever they live.

Parents and professionals can find the information they need to:
• Obtain SSI benefits for a son or daughter who is age 18 or over.
• Contribute to an adult son’s or daughter’s financial support without reducing SSI.
• Learn about alternatives to guardianship.
• Protect a son’s or daughter’s inheritance from being lost or mismanaged while assuring continued benefits.
• Coordinate life insurance and retirement assets with an overall estate plan.

This 327 page book has been widely praised.

“…an excellent planning guide. Parents…will benefit by having this book at hand.”
From the Foreword by Theresa M. Varnet, J.D., LCSW, Attorney, Parent
Past President, The Arc of Massachusettts

“…a ‘must have’ reference manual for all parents who have children, teens, and adults with Asperger Syndrome.”
Dania Jekel, Executive Director, Aspergers Association of New England
“This easy-to-read guide answers the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask.”
Susan Nadworny, Chairperson, Families Organizing for Change

“The author’s expertise, empathy, and easy writing style all combine to create the relaxed intimacy of a conversation over coffee with a very good, knowledgeable friend.”
Carol Beard, member, DMR Citizen Advisory Board
DMR Citizen Review Board, past President, Greater Boston Arc

“This comprehensive guide is an amazing resource…”
Jerry Silbert, Autism Society of America National Board
President, ASA Massachusetts Chapter

To review the Table of Contents, read Excerpts, and purchase please go to:
ISBN: 0-9789741-5-8 $24.95

To order by mail, send $28 (including postage and handling) to DisABILITIESBOOKS, Inc.
33 Pond Ave., #807, Brookline, MA 02445. Massachusetts residents, please add $1.20 sales tax.

Fresh Air Fund
A-OK means fun for autistic campers

Autism Ontario Kids Camp attendees and staff get involved in the therapeutic activity of painting, July 10, 2007.
It gives a break from social pressures and provides job skills, too
Jun 10, 2008 04:30 AM
Leslie Ferenc

It's said that necessity is the mother of invention.
So when a group of York Region couples whose children had Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) searched in vain for a summer camp to meet their special needs, they next did what had to be done – they created one.
ASD is the elongated term for autism, a neurological disorder. It covers the full range of individual symptoms and behaviorial consequences that autistic kids experience.
The parents' efforts led to formation of the Autism Ontario Kids camp – as in A-OK – and two decades later it continues to cater to children and young adults who otherwise might never get a well-deserved break from the rigours of their everyday lives.
A traditional camp simply wouldn't work for them, said A-OK camp director Paul Kalmykow.
"For example, summer camps have sports. But because of the disorder, our guys are not particularly social and organized sports aren't great for them," said Kalmykow.
He's among a dozen parents with the York Region branch of Autism Ontario volunteering at the day camp for kids from 4 to 21, which depends on support by the Fresh Air Fund. His son Ben, 18, is a 10-year camp veteran.
Like all camps, A-OK is about having fun. Activities include swimming, day trips, crafts and cooking – all valuable for social and life skills development. Three years ago, a program in job skills training was added for campers 15 and older.
At the windup of each camp, there's an overnighter organized for the adventurous.
A-OK is liberating for the kids. Many find school a source of tension and struggle to relate to schoolmates. Behaviour may be a challenge and others' expectations.
"At camp, there are no expectations," said Kalmykow. "They're there to have fun."
And their parents – single parents in many cases – get a break, too.
The Fresh Air Fund helps send 25,000 special needs children to camp, to build memories that last a lifetime. To make a donation, call 416-869-4309. Our target is $580,000.

google alert
the Mississauga news

Andre Durie back in the running with Argos
2008-06-09 22:53:43.000
Andre Durie was standing on the Toronto Argonauts’ practice field, realizing that at age 26, he has come full circle in his football career.
This is the same Andre Durie who started playing football with the Raiders of the Mississauga Football League, went on to star with Mississauga Warriors of the Ontario Varsity Football League and now finds himself on the roster of the CFL's Argonauts after an outstanding collegiate career with York University.
“Being here means a lot to me,” said Durie during Sunday’s Fan Day at the Argos’ practice facility at University of Toronto Mississauga. “This represents a lot of hard work to get this far. You can do it if you put your mind to it.”
Durie set several team records as well as a few Canadian Interuniversity Sports marks during his three years at York. He had to sit out the 2006 season with a knee injury, but he says he’s raring to go with the Argos this season, his second with the club after signing as a free agent more than one year ago.
“I needed the off-season to get the knee as strong as possible,” he said. “I went through proper rehabilitation. Now I want to stay healthy, strong, be strong-minded and get more playing time.”
When the Argonauts lost Tyler Ebell for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon, Durie, Jeff Johnson and veteran Dominique Dorsey were the running backs left in camp. Toronto quickly completed a deal with Saskatchewan for Jamal Robertson to replace Ebell.
Last season with the Argos, Durie carried the ball five times for 36 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.
But to get a true evaluation of his football abilities, you have to take a look at what he accomplished at York after a stellar career with the Warriors. He set an Ontario University Association single-game record with 349 rushing yards, had a single-season rushing record with 1,367 yards, led the team in scoring with 96 points and had 15 rushing touchdowns in one season.
Durie was ranked second in the country behind the highly-touted Jesse Lumsden, who played at McMaster University.
In 2004, Durie tied a CIS single-game record with six touchdowns in a 55-33 win over Waterloo.
It was also while he was at York that he demonstrated the type of character person he is, showing his strong-minded views.
It was discovered that Malcolm, one of Durie’s two sons, was autistic. Durie, once he was told of his son’s condition, immediately dropped his subjects at York to major in psychology.
“I felt it was necessary from a parenting point of view,” he said. “He was different and rather than try and change him to be like us, I felt I needed to change in order to understand him. I wanted to learn as much as possible about him and his condition.”
Malcolm, now seven, is doing well, his father says.
“He’s in therapy programs at York, actually,” said Durie.
And it’s that kind of character and desire within his 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame that drives Durie to be successful in the CFL.
“I take things as they happen and make the most of everything. I don’t look back and regret anything that I’ve done.”

From the Miramachi leader

The following is a letter open letter, an the autism question I have sent to federal Liberal Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion:
I am the father of two sons, one of whom has classic Autism Disorder with profound developmental delays. I have been an autism advocate for the last eight years. This year, I watched hopefully, but with no illusions, when Liberal MP Shawn Murphy of Charlottetown introduced Bill C-304, a Private Member's bill, which would called for amendment of the Canada Health Act to provide coverage for autism treatments.
As expected, Bill C-304 was defeated by the governing Conservative Party and its partner, the Bloc Québécois. The Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party both voted, by and large, in support of Bill C-304. You personally cast a vote in support of the Bill.
Autism is a serious neurological disorder which affects one in 150 Canadians, including one in 94 male Canadians. Persons with an autism disorder can display a wide range of deficits, including intellectual, communication, behavioural and social deficits. While no known cure exists, a treatment exists that has been empirically demonstrated in hundreds of studies to decrease the negative autism deficits — and in some cases virtually eliminated them.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) has been demonstrated to improve the abilities in all these areas and improve the quality of life of autistic persons in hundreds of studies. Effective, early and intensive intervention with ABA, in addition to being effective in treating autistic children, has also been shown to save governments very substantial sums of money in provision of government services over the life of an autistic person.
Despite these facts, governments in Canada have an atrocious record in dealing with the autism crisis that confronts Canada and in helping these very vulnerable people. In British Columbia and Ontario, governing parties reversed election campaign promises to provide medicare coverage for autism, choosing instead to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight in court the parents of autistic children they had pledged to help.
Mr. Dion, I hope you will not follow these shameful precedents. I hope you will not forget your vote in support of Bill C-304.
Mr. Dion, will you tell me and other parents and caregivers of autistic children and persons if the Liberal Party of Canada will, once elected, introduce legislation in the first year of your taking office as prime minister to include autism treatment in medicare for all Canadians with autism, regardless of residence and regardless of income?
Harold L. Doherty

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