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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: IDEA Disorder, Intellectual Disability-Epilepsy-Autism Disorder, On World Autism Awareness Day

Conor  a year ago at the local ICU where he stayed for 6 days while the ICU professionals worked to save his life and return him to us in good health after a serious adverse reaction to his seizure medications.  Other parents of children with severe autism disorders and intellectual disabilities should be made aware that their children are at very substantial risk of seizure activity particularly with the onset of adolescence.  We didn’t know these well established relationships with any certainty until our son started experiencing them.  April 2 will be another World Autism Awareness Day in which (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Early Autism Identification Breakthrough? That’s Funny, Conor Was Diagnosed 16 Years Ago At Age 2!

Above: Conor last month leaving school with his Mom on his 18th birthday  Below: Conor 16 years ago on his 2nd birthday.  The next day he received  his autism diagnosis. 

Our son Conor recently turned 18.  He has an autistic disorder diagnosis.  He was originally diagnosed the day after his 2nd birthday.   As parents we were concerned about developmental and sensory issues almost 1 year earlier and sought medical advice. At the time neither my wife Heather nor I had heard much about autism but we had observed issues with Conor’s development.

Conor’s brother, 19 months older, had (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Early Autism Identification Breakthrough? That’s Funny, Conor Was Diagnosed 16 Years Ago At Age 2!

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Research Into Early Autism Interventions – La Trobe University Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC)

Another excellent, thorough discussion from LaTrobe University’s  Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) focusing this time on early intervention research. 

  “Published on 16 Mar 2014 Dr Kristelle Hudry, Dr Giacomo Vivanti, Dr John McEachin discuss the development and trends of research into early intervention. Topics covered include the neurodiversity v intervention debate, barriers to research into interventions: historical tendency to prefer high functioning autism, lack of understanding about how children learn, lack of sector accepting evidence of research, general lack of scientific culture, priorities of research funders, the problems of randomised control trials as best practice scientific design.”

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Reality Check: Autism Is Not A Person – It Is A Disorder, A Group of Disorders or A Group of Symptoms

Autism is not a person.   Autism is defined by some authorities as a disorder, by others as “autisms” or a varied group of complex heterogeneous disorders and by still other authorities as a group of symptoms which together have come to be referred to as “autism”.  Autism is not, however, a person and because of that indisputable fact it can not sign petitions lobbying government institutions to abolish legislation passed to fight autism.  Autism can not oppose the rights of actual persons to be cured or treated for autism and can not oppose the rights of parents and other (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Stanford Study Provides False Hope For Many Parents, Misrepresents Autism Disorders By Excluding Subjects With Intellectual Disability

A Stanford study which excluded autistic subjects with intellectual disability is being used to spread the false notion that autism is not a disability … just a difference. This misrepresentation of autism disorders appears in the August 16, 2013 San Jose Mercury News (I added the underlining, HLD): “Autistic kids with math abilities show different brain patterns By Lisa M. Krieger lkrieger@mercurynews.com “Stanford researchers have unearthed clues about the formidable brains of some autistic children, suggesting that the diagnosis may signal a different cognitive style, not disability.  Superior math skills were found in autistic Bay Area children with (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Stanford Study Provides False Hope For Many Parents, Misrepresents Autism Disorders By Excluding Subjects With Intellectual Disability

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Parent Observation Based Study: Children With Autism Disorders as Early as 12 Months Display Highly Elevated Range of Repetitive Behaviors

Some study results that don’t surprise me given the use of parent observation, the most, and perhaps only,  reliable source of information concerning autism symptoms during children’s infancy: Longitudinal patterns of repetitive behavior in toddlers with autism Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 

“Conclusions “These findings suggest that as early as 12 months of age, a broad range of repetitive behaviors are highly elevated in children who go on to develop ASD. While some degree of repetitive behavior is elemental to typical early development, the extent of these behaviors among children who develop ASD appears highly atypical.” Jason (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Parent Observation Based Study: Children With Autism Disorders as Early as 12 Months Display Highly Elevated Range of Repetitive Behaviors

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 16 Years After Conor’s Autism Diagnosis: Lots of Conor Joy But No Progress in Autism Research

Yesterday was Conor’s 18th birthday. Today is exactly 16 years after his autism diagnosis, received the day after his second birthday and after several months of testing and observation. Conor, now a young man, is till the happy boy that brings joy to his Mom and Dad, along with many serious challenges, challenges that restrict his life. Here in New Brunswick, Canada, some progress was made by a commitment to evidence based intervention by a determined parent advocacy movement. In the big picture though there has been no meaningful progress and in fact there has been very substantial regression.

The (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: A Humble Father’s Simple Autism, Intellectual Disability and Epilepsy Research Questions

I have been trying to read, and understand, literature about autism disorders since my son was diagnosed with an autism disorder almost 16 years ago. (Many would undoubtedly suggest I have far to go in development of that understanding).  In the last few years I have begun to try and read and learn more about epilepsy and seizures, largely because of my son’s apparent seizure activity confirmed by two classic grand mal seizures in the past 15 months.  An article on recent Companion of the Order of Australia recipients, recognizing accomplishments in their fields of a number of Australians (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: We Must Face Reality: Autism Disorders Can Be Harmful, Even Deadly

After discovering an arm, torso and legs Thursday, police continue the search for human remains along a rocky shoreline in Queens, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. The remains belong to 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, officials confirmed Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)  Neurodiversity cult members, including some autism professionals, academics and neuroscience students like to scream at parents and other family members who speak honestly about the dangers and deficits endured by children and adults who actually suffer from autism disorders.  Television, movies, and the mass media generally, love to provide a Big Bang picture of autism as persons with unique (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Waterhouse & Gillberg: Why Autism Must be Taken Apart

The belief that there is a single defining autism spectrum disorder brain dysfunction must be relinquished. – Waterhouse and Gillberg, Why Autism Must Be Taken Apart I am not going to offer too much comment on the article by Lynn Waterhouse and Christopher Gillberg itself  which, as the title indicates, argues that autism must be taken apart, at least for research purposes.  I have not yet purchased or read the article. The abstract speaks very clearly and even I, as an ignorant, hysterical, misguided parent of a son WITH severe autism disorder, intellectual disability and epileptic seizures can understand. Waterhouse (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: They Just Don’t Give A Damn: 2007 Adult Autism Care and Treatment In New Brunswick Was Abysmal – 2014 Nothing Has Changed, Still Abysmal

Following this comment is a re-posting of a comment I posted on this site 7 years ago in 2007 about the abysmal state of autism youth and adult residential care and treatment in New Brunswick, Canada. 7 years later and nothing has changed. Well, one thing has changed, a very important part of my life has changed.

My son with severe autism and intellectual disability is now 7 years older…. and his Mom and Dad are also 7 years older.

Time marches on. Our autistic children are becoming autistic adults. Our political and government leaders have sat on the sidelines (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Parents Are Not Unbreakable

   The allegedly UNBREAKABLE blade of my window ice scraper snapped off under the strain of several days of heavy ice scraping in this December’s cold and snowy Canadian winter weather. In fairness to the manufacturers and distributors of the “Unbreakable” ice scraper blade I have used it well past the 3 year limited warranty and it has seen lots of use in previous Canuck winters. People, including parents of severely autistic children, can also break particularly if they face other socio-economic and/or family and challenges.

Not all parents break in the face of the challenges and fears that haunt (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Reality Check: Wandering and Tragedy

Some promote the view that autism disorders are “gifts” if only society could understand, change its ways and accept the gifts. The autism as a gift view, is irrational nonsense. It thrives by simply ignoring the evidence of challenges presented by autism disorders including those like wandering or elopement which sometimes lead to tragic consequences.

Like many with autism disorders my son  once left our home unnoticed – he slipped out of the house while I was occupied on a business call. When the call ended and I couldn’t find him I called 911 and was able to recover him (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: For Conor Control Can Make A Difference: HERSHEY"S KISSES Christmas Bells, Autism and Sensory Challenges

Conor would always react negatively when he heard the Hershey’s Kisses Christmas bells  commercial. The sound of the bells, even the sight of the bells, almost invariably agitated him. Recently I recorded a couple of Frosty the Snowman shows for Conor using our television DVR system. The Hershey’s Kisses Christmas bells commercial was included as one of the commercials during the broadcast of the Frosty episodes.  Today I grabbed a coffee from the kitchen to go back upstairs to do some work on my laptop and realized Conor was playing, and replaying several times, the Hershey’s Kisses Christmas bells commercial (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dad Scores A Goal … With A Big Assist From Tim Hortons, Eh!

I felt like a bit of a superstar on the Conor page this morning.  Yesterday we took Conor to see “Frozen” in the mall theater and we got a few things done but tried to avoid going out on the roads with some of the frantic Christmas driving going on. We overlooked a few basics in restocking the fridge.  Conor gets up early at 6 am sharp EVERY day without fail so there was no time to run out for more groceries. Our neighborhood Tim Hortons was open though and it is close enough for a pleasant early morning walk  (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Oh Oh!! Authors of Report Concluding Aluminum Vaccine Ajuvants Are Contributing To Increasing Incidence of Autism Disorders Better DUCK!

Authors of a report published in the Comprehensive Guide to Autism 2014, pp 1585-1609 better duck fast! The article abstract reviews the highly toxic nature of aluminum and conclude that research data suggest that vaccines containing aluminum adjuvants may be a contributing etiological factor in the increasing incidence of autism.  Such an assertion is forbidden by health policy authorities if not by science:

“Abstract  Impaired brain function, excessive inflammation, and autoimmune manifestations are common in autism. Aluminum (Al), the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator. Hence, adjuvant Al has the necessary properties (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Oh Oh!! Authors of Report Concluding Aluminum Vaccine Ajuvants Are Contributing To Increasing Incidence of Autism Disorders Better DUCK!

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Detached Children With Autism Theory Faces Serious Challenge

Emotional Reactions of children with Autism, Ms Heather Nuske  Olga Tennsion Autism Research Centre, Latrobe University

For years the autism professional community accepted the non evidence based speculation that autism disorders were caused by detached, cold mothers.  The professions’ embrace of this fantasy caused serious harm to many families.  The other side of the coin is that persons with autism disorders are also cold, detached, do not show typical emotional responses.  The cold autistic persons theory has endured but is now under serious challenge from some of the innovative, fresh thinkers at the Latrobe University’s Olga Tennison Autism Research (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: THIS Is Autism, Conor’s Autism Reality, Self Injurious Behavior

Suzanne Wright’s recent honest and courageous statements in support of a National Autism Plan in the United States has attracted the wrath of Neurodiversity cult members and they will not relent. All the usual suspects  have been voicing their irrational outrage Emily Willingham, Shannon des Roches Rosa, John Robison etc.  In their modern version of the Cold Mothers Attack on parents that caused so much pain they condemn parents and family members for telling the world the unspeakable truths about autism: autism is a disorder, or group of disorders, harmful disorders that can inflict pain and suffering on those who (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: THIS Is Autism, Conor’s Autism Reality, Self Injurious Behavior

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Severe Autism Disorders: Conor’s Autism Progress: Teeth Brushing and Tickle Shaves!

Conor Doherty sporting a big smile after a quick  tickle shave adventure with Dad this morning Many famous “autistics” were not diagnosed until they were adults and have turned their diagnoses into good career opportunities: John Elder Robison, Michelle Dawson, Ari Ne’eman and Mr. Ne’eman’s colleagues, the fellow corporate trustees of the Autistic “Self” Advocacy Network.  For these extremely high functioning “autistics” autism is merely a difference not a disorder and they object, some even demonize, parents who talk about autism DISORDERS and seek TREATMENTS and CURES for their autistic children.  For my son, who unlike all of the aforementioned, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Severe Autism Disorders: Conor’s Autism Progress: Teeth Brushing and Tickle Shaves!

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear TPGA Autism Experts: Thanks For Advising Us to Love Our Autistic Son! If Only We Had Known Sooner!

During recent weeks the TPGA “autism experts”, have done a great favor to children, like my son, who suffer from severe autism disorders.  The TPGA autism wizards told parents like me who speak candidly about the deficits that limit and impair his ability to function independently in this world that we are making “monsters” of ours and all autistic children.  Our children’s autism disorders, in the view of the humble yet brilliant autism experts are not really disorders, despite the title, despite the medical diagnoses that identified them as autistic. For our children’s benefit we should learn to accept (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Wave of Attacks on Parents of Children with Severe Autism Disorders Is Reprehensible and Based in Pure Unadulterated Ignorance

I have never read or heard any parent of a severely autistic child excuse the murder of severely autistic children by a parent.  The only people who make this allegation are those who themselves who object to parents speaking honestly about their children’s severe autism disorders.  Those who use the word “monster” in autism discussions do so in an attempt to suppress the truth about severe autism challenges by falsely alleging that honest descriptions of severe autism  demonize autistic children.

Those who talk about “autism monsters” are the same New York and Washington press corps media darlings who never met (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: SFARI Highlights Serious Risk of Epilepsy for Young Children and Teens with Autism and Intellectual Disability

“Children with autism who are older than 13 years and have low intelligence are at the greatest risk of having epilepsy, says one of the largest epidemiological studies on the issue to date1. Children are typically diagnosed with epilepsy after having at least two seizures — uncontrolled surges of electrical activity in the brain. About 2 percent of the general population has epilepsy2. Most studies peg its prevalence among people with autism at 30 percent. The new study, published 4 July in PLoS One, breaks down this prevalence by age. It finds that among children (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: SFARI Highlights Serious Risk of Epilepsy for Young Children and Teens with Autism and Intellectual Disability

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor Countdown Continues In Support of FLEXIBLE, EVIDENCE BASED Inclusion

The Conor Countdown continues, as Conor gets up each day at 6 am and changes the number reflecting the number of days until school resumes. My son Conor, and his autism disorder disability,  have been well accommodated in schools here in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.  He has benefited both from the assistance of education aides and resource teachers trained in the UNB-CEL Autism program and by placement, at our request, outside the regular classroom for his ABA based instruction.  His placement is not segregation in the sense of the racial segregation which once prevailed in the American south.  His (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Why I Chose Autism REALITY As My Social Media Name

The picture above, for those visiting my blog for the first time, is my son Conor now 17+ years old.  I love him dearly and he brings great joy into my life every day.  He is also severely autistic with severe cognitive challenges (intellectual disability) and like many with those characteristics he also suffers from epileptic seizures.  As great a joy as he is he also engages in acts of self aggression and suffers from sensory challenges, meltdowns and obsessively repetitive behaviors that are very disruptive in themselves.   For Conor his autism is not a joy, a blessing, a (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Sound Advice for Autism Speaks

In yesterday’s commentary  Autism Speaks Joins Drake And J.Cole In Insulting 40% With Autism AND Intellectual Disability I criticized Autism Speaks for stigmatizing persons with Intellectual Disability, particularly the 40% of persons on the autism spectrum with ID, the 40% that Autism Speaks seldom acknowledges in its promotions and literature.   I received the comment, posted above, from BLOOM – Parenting Kids With Disabilities editor Louise Kinross that expresses my issue with Autism Speaks’ approach to intellectually disabled members of the autism spectrum better than I did. It would do Autism Speaks and the autism community it (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Sound Advice for Autism Speaks