Alliance for families with autism
july 22nd – July 27th , 2008
to read archived mail
AFA is experiencing VACATION TIME at random times during the summer.
Please be patient with our mail
Attn: Information on the RUN THE DREAM
for tomorrow July 28th!!!
For those not already in the know....Kids Ability is kindly hosting the Waterloo event for RUN THE DREAM. (www.runthedream. ca). Luke will be speaking there as this is his home town and Kid's Ability and Jean have been kind enough to fit him into the schedule.
I strongly encourage the autism community and perhaps even more importantly the extended community to attend even if you can't stay for the whole thing. I know it is often hard for parents to manage something like this because of the very nature of our care for our kids. Bring the kids, their brothers, their sisters...bring the neighbours, the friends, the grand-parents. If you belong to local lists for those who provide services of all kinds to those with disablities please forward this on. They too may want to swing by.
I want to tell you that these two young men Mr. Jonathan Howard and Mr. Terry Robinson (2 time para olympian) are (as I have witnessed myself), creating quite a buzz about Autism and opening doors not tapped into before. It looks like the weather is going to be perfect for the event. I know that if a young man is willing to run across a really large country for my child, and a two time para- olympian is wheeling along with him across one of the largest provices... I WILL BE THERE! :) Looking forward to seeing some old faces.
Pass this along to anyone you think would want to support such a great cause. Even if you're not from the Waterlo area...please feel free to come...I know we had more than a few out of towners come to the City Hall Toronto event.
Here is the information
Run the Dream Events –Waterloo, Ontario
July 28, 2008
Updated as of 7/24/2008 6:54 PM Page 1 of 2
Description Barbecue, welcome by the Mayor, donation challenges, face painting, a
fun castle, and entertainment by the Mom and daughter musical duo,
Location 500 Hallmark Drive Waterloo ON N2K 3P5. t 519-886-8886
Start Time 4:00 PM
End Time 6:00 PM
Run the Dream
Alex Bittner 888-507-5885 ext. 4 alex.bittner@ runthedream. ca
Local Contact Jean Cojocariu - 519-578-6606
Attendance The public is invited
Media The media is invited Jean Cojocariu - 519-578-6606
Other Information KidsAbility has long been recognized as a major facility serving all the special needs children in the Waterloo Region and many of those have autism.
Run the Dream Events –Waterloo, Ontario
July 28, 2008
Parents decry lack of autism services
Ask province to pay for education
Posted 1 day ago
Parents of autistic children in Northern Ontario are worried their children will be denied access to a valuable treatment if a funding dispute is not resolved.
Child Care Resources, a non-profit agency in the north, has accused the Ministry of Youth and Child Services of failing to provide promised funding for children in intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) therapy. The treatment is designed to provide individualized care and education for children with varying levels of Autism.
Maxine King, chair of the Child Care Resources board, said at different times throughout the year, the ministry asked them to add children to the limited program roster with the promise their treatment would be covered.
"They would periodically flow money through and when it got the end of the year we found that we were short $122,000," she said. "They guaranteed they would cover the increased costs ... they have an outstanding bill that has not been paid."
The agency is now facing a $2.5-million deficit if more funding isn't provided.
Child Care Resources treats 61 children with autism -- 15 of whom are in Sudbury. The board chair said while they won't cut service to those already receiving it, they will not be filling vacant spots.
While parents and children have typically had to wait six months on a list without the additional funding, those families will face 2 years on the list, King said.
One such mother of a Sudbury autistic boy said her son has seen a profound improvement in the five short months he has been receiving IBI.
"IBI is a medical treatment," said Laura Bellmore. "It's like telling kids with cancer, 'oh we're going to cut you off because we don't have any more funding.' "
Intently focused on a computer screen, Bellmore's son clicked on a Youtube video clip of an old MGM music theme. He allows it to play for a few short seconds before starting it from the beginning and letting it play again.
He repeats the process with that and other movie studio themes through a 20 minute interview with his mother. The blaring orchestrations underscoring her frustration and hope for a child living with autism.
Dalton Chrétien was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. His mother brought him to their family physician after noticing the boy could not maintain eye contact.
"I would say his name and he wouldn't react," said Bellmore. "At first, I thought he had a problem with his hearing."
In the 10 years since, Chrétien has struggled academically and socially -he was escorted home from school by a police officer on a particularly bad day.
His mother said it has been difficult to contain his aggression at school and that, while they try, the teachers in public school are not equipped to handle his behaviour.
While the cost per child varies, expenses can reach upwards of $70,000 a year for one case.
The Ministry of Child and Youth Services has sent a team of ministry workers and autism care providers to assess the situation at Child Care Resources.
Minister Deb Matthews said talk of cuts in service is premature and that parents are worried unnecessarily.
"Their base budget has gone up every year, far more quickly than the number of kids receiving IBI therapy has gone up," she said.
"The numbers don't make sense to me."
Child Care resources was given a budget of $3.5-million for 2007-08 -- double the budget it had two years ago.
Matthews said she will know the results of the ministry's investigation in a few weeks and would not speculate on possible outcomes.
While the budget is being discussed, Bellmore said she is relieved her son has been given a chance to have the treatment. The problems with aggression are gone and she has begun thinking about what is in the future for her son.
She hopes he will continue to receive IBI until he is 18 and thinks, perhaps, the treatment will equip him to carry on a productive life.
"In my mind, I think (children with autism) are going to grow up and collect disability anyway," she said. "So why not help them now, when the outcome can be changed?"
Copyright © 2008 The Sudbury Star
Show challenges autistic stereotypes
Updated 2 days ago
Take one mother.
Add one daughter with autistic spectrum disorder.
Add a dash of music, a pinch of melody and generous heapings of passion and inspiration.
Mix well and you've got "KiSara."
Pronounced "kee'-SA'-ra," the mother/daughter singing duo of Kim Souch and Sara Sobey graced Our Friendship Centre in Lively on Wednesday afternoon.
The audience of more than 100, including clients and caregivers from hosts Community Living Greater Sudbury, as well as other local agencies, gave KiSara a warm and receptive welcome.
Dancing, stamping their feet and swaying throughout the concert, some audience members clapped and cheered as Souch and 19-year-old Sobey sang an Elvis tune from the Disney film "Lilo and Stitch" -- one of Sobey's favourite movies.
KiSara also performed some of Souch's own songs, including "Possibilities" and "Like Mother, Like Daughter."
Souch spoke to The Star about the message she hopes the music transcends to all parents and families of children with autistic spectrum disorder, and the importance of celebrating abilities and talents.
"There's too much focus on "disabilities," Souch said.
"You have so much help assessing what's wrong. Our song, 'Possibilities,' focuses on talents you can build on.
"I've been a musician for many years," Souch said. "Sara's very musical. She literally sang before she spoke."
When Sobey was three years old, her mother began to notice something different about her.
"She seemed disconnected," she recalls. "It was hard to peg down as to what it was and you go through the whole cycle."
Souch said her daughter was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, more commonly known as autism, three years later.
At age 8, Sobey took to the stage, performing in school concerts. Since she was 12, she has been accompanying her mother in performances for audiences whose appreciative members offer nothing but compliments and praise.
Souch, who helped form the Huron Perth Chapter of Autism Ontario located near her Seaforth, Ont., home, said she learned everything she could about autism and how and why it occurs.
She says autism creates an atmosphere of hyper-sensitivity within the child, and that everything surrounding him or her is felt at maximum volume. She said the condition not only affects sound, but can also result in a visual "overload."
For example, a child might claim to see "particles of air."
She said society and the medical profession have come a long way from the days autism was referred to as "The cold-parent syndrome."
Because of these deep-rooted and unfounded diagnoses, Souch emphasized how important it is for parents and families to turn their experience with autism into a recipe for hope and celebration.
Sudbury's visit was part of the final leg of their "Kaleidoscope Ride" tour, which took KiSara -- accompanied by Talia Williamson on bass, Brian Mole on drums and Roger Williamson on lead guitar -- to cities such as New Westminster, B. C., Calgary and Thunder Bay.
Sara, whose rendition of "Over the Rainbow" garnered a standing ovation, was happy to talk about the music she listens to when she's not performing.
"Just about anything," she said, smiling as she clutched her treasured Disney DVDs in her hand.
She shook her head and added, "Except rap and death metal."
Sara Sobey and her mother, Kim Souch, are on Kaleidescope Ride Tour across Canada, promoting autism awareness.
Sara, 19, was born with autism and began singing at the age of three as a way of communicating.
The project evolved because they needed to provide a message of understanding and inspiration.
Because of Souch's background as a singer/songwriter, musician and public educator, she was able to promote her daughter's talent.
Calling their musical band of four KiSara, they began their tour from their hometown of Seaforth (near London, Ontario).
To order their CD, book or book performances go to heartfeltmusic.ca.
There is still room for summer camp in Sudbury
Subject: Child Care Resources Summer Camp
This email is to inform you that Child Care Resources hosts weekly summer camps
for children with special needs throughout the summer. This summer there
remains availability in the camps for the 3-6 age group as well as for the
13-18 age group in both Sudbury and Espanola.
If you are interested in registering your child for a week of summer camp or
would like more information about the camp, please contact you Service
Coordinator at the Children's Community Network at 705-566-3416.
For families residing in Espanola, please contact your Service Coordinator at
Respite Resource Coordinator
Children's Community Network
I had a problem with my Outlook Express this week, and was therefore offline. Here is what came in over the past week:
Run the Dream Event for Northern York Region and South Simcoe County
Saturday, August 2nd, 11 am - Bradford Lions Park
Myself and Marci Evans have started to put together a Meet and Greet Event for August 2nd, and are very excited that we already have MPP Julia Munro confirmed to attend. We just started the process of inviting local dignitaries.
We will meet at 11 am, Jonathan and Terry will be joining us, and they are going to be running from the park at the end of the event.
Following the event, at 12:30 the public outdoor heated swimming pool will be open, and Bradford Parks and Rec have provided us a discount of only $2.50 per person for swimming for the afternoon. As always, kids under 3 are free.
We have a pavillion in the park with picnic tables, so the event will go rain or shine. There is playground equipment for the kids, and open fields if you wish to bring soccer balls, and other games to keep the kids busy and happy.
This will be a great time to come together as a local autism community, and to show our support for all the awareness and advocacy that Jonathan and the Run the Dream are doing.
And for the readers East of the GTA:
Run The Dream in Waterloo Region
Volunteers with the Waterloo Chapter of Autism Ontario are working quickly to make sure that Jonathan’s welcome to Waterloo Region is the best it can possibly be. Jonathan is scheduled to leave Rockton early in the morning on Monday July 28th. He and his travelling team will run up highway 8 through Cambridge and Kitchener with the idea of finishing for the day in Waterloo at King and University Ave.
At KidsAbility, a barbecue (including gluten free food), a Mayor’s welcome, donation challenges, face painting, a fun castle, the Mom and daughter musical duo Kaleidoscope Ride, and lots more will be waiting to get the fun started at 4 p.m.
KidsAbility has long been recognized as a major facility serving all the special needs children in the Waterloo Region and many of those – including my own grandson Ian – have autism. We were so pleased to have the agreement of KidsAbility to host our very special event for us. We could think of no more appropriate facility to welcome Jonathan to our region.
Norrah Whitney's son was an amazing hit in Toronto at Nathan Philips Square for the Toronto welcoming of Run the Dream. Norrah has posted pictures on the FEAT website temporarily.
He did so well, that Luke has been asked to speak again at a few other events in the GTA. Way to go LUKE!!!!!!!
Norrah has graciously shared a copy of the speech that Luke put together. It's wonderful to hear our youth speak out about what they believe in:
Good afternoon everyone
My name is Luke Burrows, I am 12 years old and I have Autism. I became a fan of Jonathan Howard when I joined his group Run The Dream on face book. I starting telling my mom updates daily on where Jonathon was. He started running all the way over in St. John’s Newfoundland and I have been waiting for him to get to Toronto ever since!!! I wanted to meet him so badly because what he is doing is really great.
He is getting to meet important people in government along the way. I think he is smart because on his website he said that those important people have the ability to make drastic changes for kids just like me. His dream is to help me by running for Autism. To me he is a hero because he is doing something amazing most people would never do.
I want to thank you Jonathan for doing this really hard thing because if you can make more people know about Autism and run your dream then maybe I can reach my dream too. Too many kids like me don’t get to learn how to talk, to learn how to do things so they can live on their own one day. My dream is to marry my girlfriend Sammy, but first my mom says I must work hard to be my best so I can get a good job. I want to be a father someday, but I still need help to achieve my goals and I know Run the Dream will change lives.
Jonathan on your website you told a man, “It’s a mystery why we actually close doors when we have the ability to open them.” I hope you keep running and make doors open. I hope you remember me all the way to Victoria British Columbia and be my friend. I will never forget you for telling people and the government that I am a fantastic kid who just wants the same chance to reach his dreams as other kids.
At five years old I could not talk, I could not understand what people were saying to me. Now because of my IBI therapy I can do so much. For all the kids I know with Autism and from my mom and myself thank you for believing in us and delivering the message that we are great kids who just need some help. You said that people along the way help achieve solutions.
Kids with Autism are people too so please give money to run the dream so we can achieve those solutions, or if you can run with Jonathan. Thank you very much Jonathon, I hope your mom makes sure you have good shoes. My mom says with good shoes you can go anywhere in life. Run the Dream!!!!! Thank you.
From MPP Andrea Horwath:
Autism cutbacks devastate Northern Ontario
location: Queen's Park
date: July 21, 2008 - 2:00pm
The McGuinty Liberals have closed the door on essential supports for children with autism and their families in Northern Ontario, says NDP Children and Youth Services Critic Andrea Horwath.
“The McGuinty Liberals brutal approach of denying children with autism their therapy is callous and heartless. How can the McGuinty Liberals so cruelly stand by and watch as these services, that entire communities of children and parents rely on, are cutback?” asked Horwath.
Horwath made her comments after news broke that the McGuinty Liberals didn’t provide the funding it promised to the not-for-profit Child Care Resources to provide intensive behavioural therapy, leaving the agency in a deficit.
The shortfalls are expected to result in service reduction of up to 50 per cent, and a severely limited capacity in the already under-serviced North Region for their Autism Intervention Program. Parents are being warned of an increased wait time of approximately 24 months for treatment.
“Parents of children with autism have begged the McGuinty Liberals to eliminate the waiting list of more than 1,000 children. They have pleaded for increases in funding for autism services and supports. They have been denied by the McGuinty Liberals yet again, with devastating consequences—especially for communities in the North,” said Horwath.
The Regional Autism Intervention Program provides essential services to children with autism and their families across Northern Ontario, including Sudbury, Manitoulin, Sault Ste Marie, Algoma, Thunder Bay and Kenora/Rainy River.
Horwath demanded an immediate increase to the funding of autism services, and full funding required to the Child Care Resources to restore the Autism Intervention Program.
“Each day that children with autism languish on waiting lists and are denied access to services, is another day that their potential for success and growth is thwarted by the McGuinty government’s inaction. It’s unconscionable,” said Horwath.
From the St. Catharines Standard:
Longer wait expected for autism treatment
Posted By By KARENA WALTER and PETER DOWNS
Posted 12 hours ago
Niagara families already waiting an average of two years or more to tap into provincially funded specialized therapy for autistic children may have to wait even longer.
McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, which co-ordinates the autism program available to Niagara children, says a shortfall of $1.8 million from the province will force it to temporarily stop accepting new children when vacancies open up.
“It’s too soon to tell you how many children and families it will impact,” hospital president Dr. Peter Steer said. “There will be an impact. We certainly won’t be able to look after as many children and families as we did last year. We will be doing everything we can to minimize the effect.”
Autistic children in Niagara won’t be alone facing longer waits for service.
Several Ontario agencies that run similar behavioural therapy programs also say provincial funding shortfalls mean they can no longer afford to take on more children for treatment.
“This is a problem everywhere across the province. We’re not unique,” Steer said. “Every region has got a challenge with their funding this year.”
The autism therapy program run by McMaster — called intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) — covers Niagara, Hamilton, Brantford, and Haldimand-Norfolk.
Bethesda Services of Thorold is contracted by McMaster to deliver IBI treatment to Niagara residents.
The province mandates how many children agencies that receive funding must accept into their IBI programs.
As of the end of March — the last fiscal year — McMaster’s program was at full capacity, providing service to 116 children.
The figure is nearly double the number of kids who were getting IBI treatment through the hospital in 2006, when the program had a cap of 62 children.
McMaster said it received $6.95 million from the province for IBI therapy in 2006-07, $8.14 million in 2007-08 and $8.98 million for the current fiscal year.
Despite annual increases, the hospital said it needs an additional $1.8 million from the province to maintain its treatment target of 116 children this year.
“That’s a fairly significant amount of money we’ve got to find,” Steer said. “What we’re hoping, though, is that doesn’t translate into lots of children.”
Steer said the hospital is trying to find unspent funds from other programs to use in the IBI programs.
At the same time, the hospital is working with officials from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to find solutions to minimize the impact, he said.
“We certainly are going to have to be careful because we’ve got a challenge here to serve and treat the maximum number of children but also come in on budget,” Steer said.
“Certainly, we will have a challenge in managing a wait list which ... at the moment is enormous everywhere.”
As of the end of March, there were 1,148 autistic children across the province waiting to receive IBI therapy, including 86 on the McMaster waiting list.
St. Catharines parent Stacey Marazzo said she and husband Tom have been told it will take at least two years for their autistic son Riley to access publicly funded IBI treatment.
Two-year-old Riley remains on the waiting list, but his parents decided they simply couldn’t afford to put his therapy on hold any longer.
The couple has been paying to receive specialized training to work with their son through a U.S.-based autism treatment centre.
Marazzo said Riley has made remarkable strides in the few months since they began using the home-based Son-Rise Program with him.
Riley didn’t speak at all prior to beginning treatment, but now he has a vocabulary of more than 200 words and can string sentences of two and three words together, his mother said.
“It’s just been day and night the change we see in him,” she said.
Marazzo said she’s aware that funding shortfalls could mean the family will have to wait longer to get Riley into a publicly funded IBI program.
But Riley’s advances make the potential delay easier to take, she said.
“We’re hoping for extensive changes, if not full recovery with our program. Hopefully by that rime, he won’t need IBI,” she said.
Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews said provincial funding for autism services has kept pace with the number of children receiving IBI therapy, which reached 1,400 this year. The funding has more than tripled to $150 million this year from $44 million in 2003, when the Liberals were elected, she said.
But several Ontario agencies reported they’re in the same boat as McMaster Children’s Hospital, facing funding crunches for IBI programs.
Child Care Resources, a non-profit agency in northern Ontario, will be facing a $2.5-million deficit by the end of the year if the province doesn’t deliver promised funds that would cover the cost of providing IBI therapy, said Maxine King, chairwoman of the agency’s board of directors.
“Our backs are against the wall at this point, as far as getting further and further into debt,” she said in an interview from Sudbury.
Markham-based Thames Valley Children’s Centre, which operates in southwest Ontario, found a way to balance its books but only has enough funds to maintain its current level of service, said CEO Dr. John LaPorta.
The agency currently delivers IBI therapy to 87 autistic children, but won’t be able to meet its target of 101 kids this year as set by the province, he said.
Algonquin Child and Family Services, which helps autistic children in northeast Ontario, is facing a $900,000 deficit, although it’s working with the province to deal with the shortfall, said executive director Jeffrey Hawkins.
Critics warn the backlog will lengthen the growing list of autistic children still waiting to receive the therapy.
“It’s obvious that the Liberal government is breaking its promises on autism,” said NDP critic Andrea Horwath.
“It looks like the people holding the bag are these agencies — these not-for-profit agencies — that are going to be stuck having to decide and having to be the bearers of bad news that the government hasn’t lived up to its promise.”
Some reports regarding the Michael Savage incident I shared in the last mailing. I have not had the opportunity to check the links shared:
A listmate sent a message:
I have been following the Micheal Savage article and it appears that several radio stations have dropped his show, after his comments about Autistic Children.
This type of idiot is still living back in the 50's and it is his type of mentality that created "ATTIC CHILDREN" back them.
Savage on Larry King video:
http://www.cnn. com/video/ #/video/bestoftv /2008/07/ 21/lkl.mike. savage.cnn
Radio host angers parents of autistic children
Updated Tue. Jul. 22 2008 1:47 PM ET
The Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Radio talk show host Michael Savage, who described 99 per cent of children with autism as brats, said Monday he was trying to "boldly awaken" parents to his view that many people are being wrongly diagnosed.
Some parents of autistic children have called for Savage's firing after he described autism as a racket last week. "In 99 per cent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out," Savage said on his radio program last Wednesday.
Savage offered no apology in a message posted Monday on his website. He said greedy doctors and drug companies were creating a "national panic" by overdiagnosing autism, a mental disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate.
On his radio show last week, he said: "What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, you idiot."'
The government estimates about one in 150 children have some form of autism. But many experts believe these unsociable behaviours were just about as common 30 or 40 years ago and that the increase is mostly caused by a surge in special education services and a corresponding shift in diagnoses.
Wendy Fournier of the National Autism Association, a parents' advocacy group, said she was invited to speak Monday on Savage's three-hour program by Savage's boss, Mark Masters of Talk Radio Network, which syndicates the show across the country. A spokeswoman from Talk Radio Network did not immediately return a call for comment.
Fournier called Savage's comments "way, way, way over the line and cruel."
"I'm hoping to make him see the reality of what these kids are facing," she said. "You can't fix it by telling a kid to shut up. It's like telling a kid with cancer to stop being sick."
Evelyn Ain, whose eight-year-old son has been diagnosed with autism, said she had never heard of Savage and couldn't believe what she had heard when she first listened to the remarks. She organized a demonstration Monday outside New York's WOR-AM, which broadcasts Savage.
"That isn't just freedom of speech, it is hateful speech when you say 99 per cent of children with autism are brats," she said. "I'll tell you, I wish I had a brat."
Savage, with more than eight million listeners a week, is talk radio's third most popular personality behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, according to Talkers magazine. He's made a living off bold, outrageous statements: His brief MSNBC show was cancelled after he told a caller he should "get AIDS and die, you pig."
Peter Bell, executive vice president of national advocacy group Autism Speaks, said he isn't aware of any big controversy about overdiagnosis of autism. He said Savage's remarks, effectively blaming parents, reflect an outdated point of view.
"He's an entertainer, he does these things for attention," Bell said. "I think we should, to the best we can, ignore it."
A Savage betrayal of humanity:
http://steveyoungon politics. com/a-savage- betrayal- of-humanity- radio->
http://steveyoungon politics. com/a-savage- betrayal- of-humanity- radio-
host-michael- savage-says- autistic- kids-arent- sickjust- brats/
And a listmate shared this article for everyone:
Savage defends autism statements on his radio show
BY CAROL POLSKY | firstname.lastname@example.org;
July 22, 2008
Conservative radio talk show jock Michael Savage used his nationally syndicated show yesterday to defend his controversial remarks on autism as "taken out of context" as outraged parents protested earlier outside the Manhattan offices of his local broadcaster, WOR/710 AM.
He was attacking, he said, the overdiagnosis of autism in children to benefit a "greedy, corrupt medical/pharmaceutical establishment.
"There is no autism epidemic," he said. "Autism in its true form is a tragedy for the child and his parents."
The remarks that stirred the protests and backlash aired on Wednesday's broadcast of "The Savage Nation," which is heard by more than 8 million listeners each weekday on more than 350 stations. On it, he more typically attacks targets like Democrats, lawyers representing prisoners at Guantánamo, the American Civil Liberties Union, gays, undocumented immigrants, feminists and Islamic groups he accuses of supporting terrorism.
In remarks he later characterized as directed at the large number of diagnosed children who he feels are not truly autistic, he called autism "a fraud, a racket. ... I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. ... What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. ... Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.'"
Several dozen parents and protesters stood before WOR's office on lower Broadway in Manhattan, holding signs like "Fire Savage." John Gilmore, executive director of Hicksville-based Autism United, a coalition of advocacy and service groups, said, "If someone wanted to pick the most vulnerable group in the country, you'd be hard pressed to find one easier than autistic children."
Gilmore, of Long Beach, is the father of an 8-year-old nonverbal son diagnosed with autism. He said representatives of Home Depot and Aflac insurance have said their advertising will not appear during broadcasts of "The Savage Nation."
His group says that the number of autism diagnoses has increased by about 15 percent a year for the past 20 years; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says about one in 150 children are now on the autism spectrum. More than half, Autism United says, have an IQ that places them in the mentally disabled range.
Savage attacked the group that disseminated his remarks, Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog with a mission to correct "conservative misinformation," as a "Stalinist communist" organization that took his remarks out of context.
"What Michael Savage said was foolish, mean-spirited, and hurtful," said J. Jioni Palmer, spokesman for Media Matters. "It's unfortunate he would use his radio program to make fun of and belittle these kids."
In the July 16 broadcast, Savage also dismissed the high rate of asthma diagnoses among minority children as a "money racket" by families to get higher welfare payments.
"My comments about autism were meant to boldly awaken parents and children to the medical community's attempt to label too many children or adults as 'autistic,'" he wrote on his Web site and read on his broadcast yesterday. "Many children are being victimized by being diagnosed with an 'illness,' which may not exist in all cases. ... Let the truly autistic be treated. Let the falsely diagnosed be free.
"There is no definitive medical diagnosis for autism, none. It's all subjective," Savage, who has written a book against giving drugs to children, said yesterday. He recounted his own behaviors as a child, like ritualistically lining up shoes and repeatedly counting bathroom tiles, which are now on a list of behaviors used in making diagnoses.
While Savage's tone was more restrained Monday, last week's remarks left many parents wounded and angry.
"Tell him to come to my house and he can spend a whole day to see how we go," said Rick Dombroski of Holbrook, father of a minimally verbal autistic son. "I personally want him, his boss, his sponsors to come spend a day with an actual child and his mom and dad, and come see what it's really like. Then he can tell everybody the truth. They're not brats."
Daniel Edward Rosen contributed to this story.
These workshops are FANTASTIC!
http://www.autismon tario.com/ client/aso/ ao.nsf/
(NoticesForWeb) /203C5161BB7DDAF E852574890051654 2?
Sept. 17, 2008: Ottawa RCP presents Dennis Debbaudt - "Autism Risk &
Safety Management Workshop
Mark your Calendars for a wonderful opportunity to Educate Your
September 17th in Ottawa and September 18th in Cornwall.
Autism Ontario is very pleased to be able to provide the Ottawa and
Upper Canada (Cornwall) communities a workshop providing valuable
information on Autism Risk & Safety Management by Dennis Debbaudt.
(For more information regarding Dennis Debbaudt – visit his website
at www.autismriskmanag ement.com
The morning session is for Parents and Care Providers. Click here for
The afternoon session is dedicated to Law Enforcement, Fire and
Rescue, First Response Teams and Criminal Justice Professionals.
Click here for more details.
For more information regarding the Ottawa workshop, please email
For more information regarding the Cornwall workshop, please email
them at autismcornwall@ gmail.com or visit their chapter website
at: www.autismontario. com/uppercanada
Shared by a listmate:
Sudbury boy is coming up for air
By Kathy Uek/Daily News staff
MetroWest Daily News
Posted Jun 14, 2008 @ 11:25 PM
During most of his early childhood, Zack Barsamian sat quietly under a table lining up his toys; he didn't understand how to properly play with them. Often his hands covered his ears. The Sudbury native, alone in his world, didn't like noise and he didn't show typical child-like expressions of joy or happiness.
When Zack was 3 years old, doctors diagnosed his condition as "mid-functioning" autism. He also suffered from liver dysfunction and had difficulty digesting food.
Five years later and after his parents spent more than $400,000 out of pocket for Zack's treatment, the boy smiles, relates and enjoys other children in his second-grade class at Peter Noyes School in Sudbury. He plays on a Sudbury soccer team. He even has a best friend.
"This is everything we ever wanted for our son," said his mother, Jennifer McInerney-Barsamian. "He is almost completely recovered. He no longer needs assistance in school and is not on an education plan."
The $400,000 paid for conventional autism treatment including speech, occupational and behavioral therapists; neurologists, testing and unconventional treatment to remove heavy metals from Zack's body; expenses to travel to New York, North Carolina, Texas and Mexico to see specialists; and the cost to build an in-home clinic.
Recently, the Barsamians, along with 8,500 other parents of children with autism, participated in the Green Our Vaccines Rally, in Washington, D.C., with celebrities Jenny McCarthy and comedian/actor Jim Carrey spearheading the cause.
The participants hoped to raise awareness and push for elimination of toxins in vaccines, and to change children's vaccination schedules. Some people believe the mercury-based preservative thimerosal found in vaccines is the main cause of autism.
The Institute of Medicine has concluded that there is no link between vaccines and autism after examining the results of 19 major studies.
Jennifer found the rally validating.
"I got the satisfaction of being there with all different parents - most of them are treating their children for a vaccine injury and seeing the improvements," she said. "It makes you realize, we're not crazy. Thousands of people and their kids are getting better."
McCarthy's son, Evan, has seen improvements with treatment since his autism diagnosis, said Barsamian, who stresses "the cure" is not a quick fix.
"The kids getting better started treatment four or five years ago," she said. "And it does not work for every child."
Jennifer and her husband, Paul, a software consultant, tried a variety of treatments on Zack.
"We had heard that there may be a link between autism and the childhood vaccines so we decided to take a medical route and try to reverse any vaccine damage Zack may have sustained," she said.
They began with IVs for nutrition and chelation to remove heavy metals from the blood.
"We continued to have Zack tested for the metals (he had high levels in his blood and urine) and as the metals came out of his body he started to smile, relate, enjoy other kids and many other good things," Jennifer wrote in an e-mail.
"But the frustration was unbelievable," she said. "To see him get better and then take a dive - and try and figure out what was wrong...We were constantly doing blood tests to see what he needed. Each time he got worse, it was not as worse as the last time. Then Zack got better."
In a recent interview on "CBS The Early Show," Zack's physician, Dr. Kenneth Bock, suggested that environmental factors and nutritional deficiencies trigger the conditions in children who are genetically predisposed to them. He said intervention can be effective in treating those youngsters - intervention involving detoxifying them and changing their diets, among other things.
The detoxifying treatment removes toxins in the body caused by internal factors such as diet and external factors such as vaccines, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, Jennifer said.
Zack's treatment also included oxygen therapy, which increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Twice a year Zack and his family travel to North Carolina where Zack receives treatment in a chamber of 100 percent oxygen.
"Zack doesn't like to go, because he misses school and his friends while he's away," said Jennifer. "But after a few days of treatment, he gets more color in his face and says he feels better."
To supplement that treatment at home, Zack does one to two hours of daily supplemental oxygen therapy in a special chamber his parents built in their basement.
"He doesn't mind," his mother said. "He goes in and reads a book or plays with his Legos. Sometimes he falls asleep and we carry him to bed."
The cost the Barsamians pay for treatment is high - between $3,000 and $7,000 each month because it is not covered by insurance.
"We are tapped," said Jennifer. "We have spent the college fund, the 401(k), taken home equity loans and maxed our credit cards. We are as deep in debt as you can probably get, but our child is better.
"Unfortunately, many, many of our friends who have autistic children have not been able to afford the medical treatments," she said. "Though these parents see their children improving, they are often not able to do as much chelation, (hyperbaric) oxygen therapy, nutrition and medical tests necessary to accompany these treatments because of the expense. This is heartbreaking...all children deserve the chance to recover. It is possible. ...Our son Zack is proof."
More and more kids are recovering from autism, according Wendy Fournier, president of National Autism Association, a parent-run advocacy organization located in Missouri.
"Doctors are realizing it's medically based. If you treat them medically - treat them with what's going on in the body, they get better," she said. "The problem is the medical community looks at them like they have some incurable mental illness. Autism is thought of as a mysterious mental illness."
But Vincent Strully Jr., chief executive officer and founder of The New England Center for Children in Southborough, said he has not seen any credible evidence that there is a cure for autism.
"To my knowledge, I don't know of any qualified medical or psychological professional who said there is a cure," said Strully. "It's widely accepted there is no cure. While anything is possible, you have to see real evidence in public journals."
War Crimes Suspect Radovan Karadzic felt he could offer a cure for autism....
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
WATERLOO REGION RECORD
Karadzic's secret life as a hippie
War crimes suspect worked in Belgrade as New Age doctor
Peter Finn and Kevin Sullivan, The Washington Post
Dragan Dabic, as he called himself, lectured on spirituality,
practised alternative medicine and promised on his website to vanquish
afflictions ranging from impotence to autism with his "energy healing
His greying hippie disguise -- the ponytail, the big grizzly beard,
the outsize spectacles -- was so good that Serbian secret police running
a surveillance operation at first found it difficult to fathom who was
in their sights. They were tracking suspected associates of the war
crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic, according to a police source, and had
found their way to the strange New Age doctor.
On the run for more than a decade, Europe's most-wanted man was
captured Monday, Serbian authorities announced. The unmasking of
Karadzic, 63, ended a manhunt for the Bosnian Serb leader whose name
will forever be linked with the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of
8,000 Muslim men and boys in the city of Srebrenica, their bodies
bulldozed into mass graves.
"He happily, freely walked around the city,'' Serbian war crimes
prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told reporters here yesterday. "The people
who rented him the apartment did not know his true identity.''
Goran Kojic, editor-in-chief of Belgrade's Healthy Life magazine,
said that Karadzic was a regular contributor to his publication and that
he likewise had no clue as to his true identity. Karadzic was trained in
pre-war days as a psychiatrist, a background that appears to have helped
him fit into the world of alternative medicine.
Yesterday, the magazine released photos of the healer, dressed in
black, attending a conference and glancing toward the camera with a look
that might suggest trepidation.
Karadzic's brother, Luka, who was allowed to see him yesterday, said
the fugitive had been living in Belgrade for two or three years but had
been out of touch with family members for more than a decade. Karadzic
was so confident of his new identity that he reportedly was about to
embark on a vacation at a spa for 10 days when captured.
Karadzic's daughter, Sonja, told The Associated Press that other
family members wished to see him before his likely transfer to The Hague
in the Netherlands to face a UN war crimes tribunal on charges of
genocide, crimes against humanity and other offenses. "We even suggested
travelling under police escort to see him for at least a few hours,''
she said. "For years, we have not seen our father, husband and
grandfather; my mother's health is not very good, and we do not have the
financial means necessary to travel to the Netherlands.''
From the Edmonton Sun:
Campground eager to host autistic child
July 22, 2008
Family had bad experience at another park
By ALYSSA NOEL, SUN MEDIA
The family of five-year-old Keegan Delaney was "speechless" after learning that a local campground wanted to offer them three free nights of camping.
"It's very (compassionate) of them to offer their facility to us and to help us feel more at home," said Craig Winsor, Delaney's stepfather, "being wanted as opposed to being looked at as outcasts."
The family went camping at Pocohantas campground in Jasper National Park on the Canada Day long weekend.
Delaney, who suffers from autism, needs DVD movies to fall asleep every night, but running a generator to power the TV late at night was against park rules.
Winsor got into an argument with a park attendant who he says treated the family unfairly. Eventually, they had to leave at 3 a.m. because Delaney woke up screaming and could not be lulled back to sleep.
The managers at Half Moon Lake Resort, about 15 minutes southeast of Sherwood Park, read about the incident in the Sun and felt compelled to help.
"(We offered it) because we're a family resort and we do have kids and (disabled) kids here," said Donna Malesku, manager at the resort. "It makes us sad that they would have such a bad experience."
She added the resort has full power hook-ups, so the family won't need to bring a generator.
Family comes first for former Tiger-Cat Ralph
Vicki Hall, Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008
HAMILTON -- Brock Ralph hates to think he might have wounded some Steeltown feelings by requesting - and receiving - a trade to the Edmonton Eskimos.
After all, the blue-collar folks in Hamilton have already endured their share of miseries through everything from job losses in the steel mills to a steady diet of defeats on the football field.
The last thing they need is another cocky football player trashing them on the way to boom-time Alberta.
"I was treated absolutely excellent here," Ralph said Tuesday after a sweaty practice in the heat at McMaster University. "I appreciate all they did for me right up to the end in trading me and helping my family situation."
The Tiger-Cats dealt Ralph, 27, to Edmonton over the winter for linebacker Michael Botterill and defensive back Chris Thompson.
"Definitely no hard feelings," Ralph said. "Hamilton is kind of the team I follow and cheer for in the East."
For two years, Ralph considered the Tiger-Cats his second family. On a personal note, the Wyoming product enjoyed a career season in 2007 with 50 catches for 721 yards in 14 games.
But his real family, particularly his daughters, Oakley and Parker, will always come before football. Even if that means stepping into the shadows of the Edmonton receiving corps behind the likes of Jason Tucker, Fred Stamps, Kelly Campbell and Kamau Peterson.
" I'm not seeing a lot of balls right now," Ralph said. "But I'm just trying to wait my turn."
Oakley, 3, suffers from autism. After much research, Ralph and his wife determined their little girl could receive a greater level of professional help in Alberta than Ontario.
And then there's family. Brock grew up in Raymond, Alta., just south of Lethbridge, so there's no shortage of loved ones who can pitch in and help out.
"Oakley has improved a lot," Ralph said. "She can be a handful. She's kind of in herself, but she's a happy girl. We get by just fine.
"We have our challenges, but at the end of the day, we make it and we look forward to the next day. I always tell myself to think day by day with it. I can handle that, as opposed to stressing or worrying about things down the road that are so far away."
The big thing down the road is school. Autism affects every child differently, but the condition can make life in a classroom difficult in the extreme.
"Some of it's sensory stuff with her surroundings," Ralph said. "She can throw tantrums when she's forced to take a bath or change clothes. She gets off doing her own thing, so social interaction can be tough.
"Every autistic kid has their own little quirks. There's such a spectrum in terms of severity. But we know her. We feel we have her more figured out now. She can communicate well, so we're happy."
Ralph has learned to throw the brakes on unhappy thoughts that run away from him like a receiver streaking down the sidelines to snag a long bomb.
"It just depends on the moment," he said. "Sometimes you don't think about it. And then you have your deep thinking moments when you start thinking about her future."
The present is what matters, and Ralph has a lot in front of him. Battling through an undisclosed upper body injury to start the season, Ralph has just eight catches for 40 yards through four games.
"It's tough," said quarterback Ricky Ray. "We haven't done a very good job getting him the ball. Right now, he's just playing a spot that doesn't get a lot of things going his way. He's usually the No. 2 or No. 3 read.
"We've got to find a way to get him involved. He's a great athlete. He's got a lot of speed. He's big. He can go out and make plays for us."
That's precisely what Ralph yearns to do - to help out the cause instead of standing by idle.
"Obviously, it's been a real quiet year for me so far," he said. "I don't feel like I've had a ton of opportunities to make plays up to this point.
"But I'm feeling good about the way I'm feeling now and what I'm doing in terms of my route running. I just hope things turn around sooner rather than later."
His next opportunity comes Friday as the Eskimos take on the Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
Children on autism waiting list will not be served
Posted 5 days ago
By Jon Thompson
Miner and News
Services for autistic children throughout the North are set to decrease by 50 per cent and Kenora’s care waiting list has been suspended.
Child Care Resources, the agency responsible for delivering Intensive Behavioural Intervention therapy throughout Northern Ontario, is not initiating treatment for those on waiting lists of six months to two years after they say the provincial government pulled promised funding.
The agency claims they were mandated by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to provide funding to more children with the understanding that those costs would be compensated. In June, they were notified the funding had not increased and their resulting deficit would be an estimated $2.5 million at the end of this fiscal year.
Children currently receiving services will continue clinical therapy until the point where they can be discharged but will not be replaced.
In Kenora, there are nine children receiving service, six on the waiting list and 32 undergoing assessment, after which they would be placed on the waiting list if the treatment was deemed appropriate.
Maxine King, head of the agency’s board of directors, says none of those students will be served.
“We’re in a position where our backs are against the wall,” she said. “We’re in a deficit position now and every day we’re losing money because we’re not being funded to the degree that the government promised.”
The non-profit group covers a geographical landmass from its office in Sudbury to the Manitoban border. They sunk $122,000 in deficit by the end of their fiscal year on April 1 due to what King describes as broken promises when the provincial Liberals failed to transmit promised funding. The board, she points out, is legally responsible for its program’s fiscal solvency.
King is welcoming a governmental review of their funding, standing behind the program’s one-to-one child to professional ratio, the 20 to 40 hour a week treatment intensity, and maximizing early intervention. She points out the government is not saying the therapy or the program’s one-to-one ratio is wrong, but only that the funding can not satisfy the needs of the program.
The cause of autism is still not known.
The NDP Children and Youth Services Critic, Andrea Horwath has taken on the cause, hoping the government will reconsider. She called the move “irresponsible” and is calling on the province to “make good on their promise.”
She urged families and community members across the North to contact Minister Deb Matthews, Premier Dalton McGuinty and herself.
“Unfortunately, this government has a habit of not keeping their promises,” she charged. “Now community after community is speaking out against this and demanding fair treatment to protect this vital service to the North.”
From Will Davis, the IAN Project
In the interest of sharing information related to Autism Spectrum
Disorders (ASD), I’d like to request your help in spreading the word
about the IAN Project (www.IANproject.org). The IAN Project, the
nation’s largest online autism research effort, connects researchers
with families affected by ASD. In just its first year, over 22,000
people participated in IAN Research; enabling more than 75 research
studies to move forward. This dynamic exchange is not only helping to
influence public policy, but could lead to important breakthroughs about
causes, diagnosis, treatments, and a possible cure.
Please join my effort to get information on this vital project to all
individuals and families affected by an ASD by posting information on
the IAN project, featuring a link to www.IANproject.org, or including
the IAN Parents video, If I Could Do One Thing
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8k5IsGV7ZM), on your blog.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or questions you
With much gratitude,
We all have questions, together we’ll find answers.
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