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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Andy Scott called for a REAL National Autism Strategy that would ensure treatment for autism 12 years ago,  Munson, Thibeault, and Stoffer have continued the fight tirelessy. Will October 19 bring Canadians a government prepared to make it happen? Some good work has been done during this current election campaign in drawing politicians attention . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Andy Scott called for a REAL National Autism Strategy that would ensure treatment for autism 12 years ago,  Munson, Thibeault, and Stoffer have continued the fight tirelessy. Will October 19 bring Canadians a government prepared to make it happen?
Some good work has been done during this current election campaign in drawing politicians attention to the need for a REAL National Autism Strategy.  The Medicare for Autism Now’s 1 in 58 campaign has produced considerable discussion in a number of selected ridings.  In Saskatchewan Shannon Hill and the PAAT group have engaged federal and political politicians.  Hopefully the government elected October 19 will do more than shell out money for a do nothing committee with no serious mandate like the Harper Party did during the past year.  The Green, NDP and Liberal Parties have all expressed some support for a National Autism Strategy that includes efforts to ensure that evidence based ABA treatment for autism will be covered by Medicare across Canada as Andy Scott called for 12 years ago. 
Following is text from a commentary I posted in 2010  which records  Andy Scott’s call as reported by Tali Folkins in the Telegraph Journal and also acknowledges the tireless efforts of Senator Jim Munson, Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer and former NDP MP Glenn Thibeault as reported by MetroNews.ca. 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010

Renewed Calls for a Real National Autism Strategy

Canada does not have a real national autism strategy but it is not for lack of trying by some dedicated federal politicians  including  Liberal  Senator Jim Munson and  NDP MPs Glenn Thibeault and Peter Stoffer who     have renewed calls for a real National Autism Strategy for Canada.
The struggle for a National Autism Strategy began many years ago including here in New Brunswick where Andy Scott issued a public call for a National Autism Strategy on October 18 2003:
“Fredericton MP Andy Scott said Saturday he has been lobbying prime- minister-to-be Paul Martin for a federal program to help young children with autism. “I desperately want a national autism strategy – and let me just assure you that Paul Martin knows it,” Mr. Scott told supporters at a party celebrating his 10th anniversary as an MP in Fredericton Saturday evening.
Early work by therapists with young autistic children, Mr. Scott said, can make a big difference in their capacity to lead fulfilling lives as adults – and can save money in the long run. But the costs of starting such early intervention programs are high and should be borne directly by Ottawa rather than each individual province, he said. “We have responses and therapies and so on that I genuinely believe can work,” he said. “You’re going to save millions of dollars over the lifetime of an autistic adult. If you can get in at the front end, you can make enormous progress.
But it’s very expensive, and there’s not a lot of stuff being added to Medicare, generally – that’s why we have catastrophic drug problems and other things,” he said. “In the province of New Brunswick, P.E.I., or even Quebec or Ontario it’s very, very expensive. The feds are going to have to step up to the plate.” “
Tali Folkins, Telegraph Journal, October 20, 2003
Mr. Scott was successful in getting a commitment by the federal government to a National Autism Strategy recognized in principle but the strategy at that time did not commit to the hard action necessary to provide assistance to all parts of Canada in providing early autism intervention programs.  Even the National Autism Symposium which came out of that commitment was a sham, pure and simple, a sham.  Public autism advocates, including me were excluded from the Symposium.  Those in attendance were all screened by federal health agency involved with organizing the event to ensure that they would go along with the government’s do nothing to help autistic children agenda.
Senator Munson has been literally crossing the country for several years fighting for a real national autism strategy  and he has not given up on his efforts.  He organized and  spoke in Ottawa yesterday at an event to mark World Autism Awareness Day this Friday, April 2, 2010:
There’s no reason why we cannot treat autism within our own communities equitably across the nation,” said event organizer Senator Jim Munson. “There is a crisis and I know that we can come up with a plan to deal with the issue that is so important to all of us.”
MetroNews.ca, Ottawa, March 31, 2010
The event was also co-hosted by  NDP MP’s Glenn Thibeault and Peter Stoffer who spoke at the event.  Mr. Thibeault also  introduced a private member’s bill, seconded by tireless autism advocate Peter Stoffer,  to create a real national autism strategy, one that would actually help autistic children and their families by having the federal government work with the provinces:
““Autism doesn’t discriminate based on geography.  It’s time for federal leadership to ensure that no matter where a child is born with autism, they receive equal treatment and services of the highest caliber.
Glenn Thibeault,  March 30 2010
I’m very pleased that my colleague has done this.  We’ve been asking for many years for the federal government to work with the provinces to develop a national autism strategy. I hope this will become a reality in the near future.”
Peter Stoffer, March 30 2010

. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Would My Son With Severe Autism Disorder Be Happier If I Had Listened to Robison, Ne’eman, Silberman & Other Strangers?

The picture above was taken a few days ago.  I believe anyone can look at the picture and see the happiness on my 19 year old severely autistic son Conor’s face.   What is truly remarkable is that his happiness has been a constant feature of his life despite the very severe challenges that . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Would My Son With Severe Autism Disorder Be Happier If I Had Listened to Robison, Ne’eman, Silberman & Other Strangers?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Would My Son With Severe Autism Disorder Be Happier If I Had Listened to Robison, Ne’eman, Silberman & Other Strangers?

The picture above was taken a few days ago.  I believe anyone can look at the picture and see the happiness on my 19 year old severely autistic son Conor’s face.   What is truly remarkable is that his happiness has been a constant featur… . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Would My Son With Severe Autism Disorder Be Happier If I Had Listened to Robison, Ne’eman, Silberman & Other Strangers?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey

Email received October 2, 2015 from Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey stating Liberal Party supports creation of a National Autism Strategy addressing ABA and IBI access and coverage under Medicare:


Hi Harold,
Thank you for the email. I apologize for the delay in my response. I want to let you know that the Liberal Party and I fully support the creation of a national autism strategy. Our party recognizes that in certain provinces, autism treatments, including ABA and IBI are covered under provincial Medicare programs and are more readily available in other provinces. Health care access challenges like these are something that the Liberal Party is committed to addressing.
First and foremost, we need a conversation that goes beyond simply mirroring previously made commitments. We need a partner in the federal government that is committed to innovation and collaboration with the provinces and territories to achieve a modern, efficient, equitable system of universal health care. The Liberal Party is committed to that collaboration.
A Liberal government will re-engage the provinces after 10 years of Stephen Harper neglect. We will meet on Canadian health care and negotiate a new Health Accord with the provinces and territories, including an agreement on long-term funding. Furthermore, our party is committed to pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation. We will work with provincial jurisdictions to overcome obstacles to innovation in health care delivery and access.
Thank you again for your email. I hope that I’ve helped to clarify the Liberal Party’s position on support for those living with autism. If you have any further questions please reach out.
Best,

Matt

. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey

Email received October 2, 2015 from Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey stating Liberal Party supports creation of a National Autism Strategy addressing ABA and IBI access and coverage under Medicare: Hi Harold, Thank you for the email. I apologize for the delay in my response. I want to . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Research Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

My son Conor, now 19 1/2 years old, stimming, a recognized feature 
of autism spectrum disorder, in this older picture.
Conor, a couple of years ago, at the Chalmers Hospital 
intensive care unit, where he was being treated for  rhabdomyolisis, 
a serious adverse  reaction to his epilepsy seizure meds at that time. 
As the father of a son with autism spectrum disorder, intellectuall disability and epilepsy I have asked myself if these conditions are in fact related. It has been my non evidence based belief, based solely on observing, caring for and loving my son for almost 20 years that he has one condtion that affects him and causes his deficits.

I have attached a copy of the abstract of the reseach review Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?  I  hope to obtain a copy of the study itself and more importantly I hope that the study encourages more study and discussion by neurological researchers and professionals of this subject.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy commonly co-occur. In this review, we consider some unresolved questions regarding the temporal relationship, causal mechanisms, and clinical stratification of this comorbidity, highlighting throughout the interplay between autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. We present data on the clinical characterization of children with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy, discussing distinctive phenotypes in children with this comorbidity. Although some distinctive clinical features emerge, this comorbidity also informs convergent pathways in genetic variants that cause synaptic dysfunction. We then move beyond diagnostic categorization and consider the extent to which electrophysiology as a quantitative biomarker may help guide efforts in clinical stratification and outcome prediction. Epilepsy, and atypical electrophysiological patterns, in autism spectrum disorder may inform the definition of biologically meaningful subgroups within the spectrum that, in turn, can shed light on potential targets for intervention.
© The Author(s) 2015.
KEYWORDS:
autism spectrum disorder; biomarkers; electroencephalography; epilepsy; intellectual disability

Jeste SS1, Tuchman R2. J Child Neurol. 2015 Sep 14. pii: 0883073815601501. [Epub ahead of print]

. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Research Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Research Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

My son Conor, now 19 1/2 years old, stimming, a recognized feature  of autism spectrum disorder, in this older picture. Conor, a couple of years ago, at the Chalmers Hospital  intensive care unit, where he was being treated for  rhabdomyolisis,  a seriious adverse  reaction to his epilepsy seizure meds at that time.  As the father of . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Research Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Surprise! A Meaningful Autism Disorder Study Provides Evidence of Autism’s Harsh Realities

Autism is a disorder which, far beyond its core diagnostic criteria, brings with it higher than average medical conditions and psychiatric illnesses.   The health status of adults on the autism spectrum study confirms the harsh realities of autism disorders and should not be ignored or lightly dismissed by academics, mainstream media or professional “self” advocates who, despite their very high functioning levels, insist on burying the harsh realities of the severely autistic, like my son, in the mounds of autism ignorance they dump on the public landscape. As the study indicates autism disorders mean significantly higher than average psychiatric illnesses and medical conditions.  Not much joy to be found in those realities.This study though should be helpful in bringing a much needed dose of autism realities to the  public understanding of autism disorders and the harsh realities that accompany them.

The health status of adults on the autism spectrum

  1. Lisa A Croen1
  2. Ousseny Zerbo1
  3. Yinge Qian1
  4. Maria L Massolo1
  5. Steve Rich2
  6. Stephen Sidney1
  7. Clarissa Kripke3

  1. 1Kaiser Permanente Northern California—Oakland, USA

  2. 2Kaiser Permanente Northern California—Santa Rosa, USA

  3. 3University of California, San Francisco, USA
  1. Lisa A Croen, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California—Oakland, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. Email: Lisa.A.Croen@kp.org

Abstract

Compared to the general pediatric population, children with autism have higher rates of co-occurring medical and psychiatric illnesses, yet very little is known about the general health status of adults with autism. The objective of this study was to describe the frequency of psychiatric and medical conditions among a large, diverse, insured population of adults with autism in the United States. Participants were adult members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California enrolled from 2008 to 2012. Autism spectrum disorder cases (N = 1507) were adults with autism spectrum disorder diagnoses (International Classification of Diseases-9-Clinical Modification codes 299.0, 299.8, 299.9) recorded in medical records on at least two separate occasions. Controls (N = 15,070) were adults without any autism spectrum disorder diagnoses sampled at a 10:1 ratio and frequency matched to cases on sex and age. Adults with autism had significantly increased rates of all major psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and suicide attempts. Nearly all medical conditions were significantly more common in adults with autism, including immune conditions, gastrointestinal and sleep disorders, seizure, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Rarer conditions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, were also significantly more common among adults with autism. Future research is needed to understand the social, healthcare access, and biological factors underlying these observations.

. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Surprise! A Meaningful Autism Disorder Study Provides Evidence of Autism’s Harsh Realities

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor After Another Seizure

. Conor has been on  a good run for the previous 7-10 days and today was pretty much the same until 6:15 this evening when we heard a loud thump uupstairs.  His mom ran upstairs and screamed for help when she saw him convulsing on the fl… . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor After Another Seizure

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor After Another Seizure

Conor has been on  a good run for the previous 7-10 days and today was pretty much the same until 6:15 this evening when we heard a loud thump uupstairs.  His mom ran upstairs and screamed for help when she saw him convulsing on the floor with thick fluids oozing out of his mouth. . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor After Another Seizure

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Vancouver, BC – Today, the Medicare for autism Now! Society (“MFAN”), a non-partisan, not-for-profit, all volunteer organization, announced the launch of its nation-wide One in 68 campaign. “We will be holding a Campaign Kick-off this Saturday, June 27th, at Douglas College, New Westminster, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” said MFAN director and campaign manager, Dr. Sherri Brown, “It . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Vancouver, BC – Today, the Medicare for autism Now! Society (“MFAN”), a non-partisan, not-for-profit, all volunteer organization, announced the launch of its nation-wide One in 68 campaign. “We will be holding a Campaign Kick-off this Saturday, June 27th, at Douglas College, New Westminster, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” said MFAN director and campaign manager, Dr. Sherri Brown, “It will outline the rationale for our initiative and lay-out our action and advocacy agenda leading to the federal election on October 19th, less than four months away.”
The MFAN campaign takes its name from the fact that, currently in North America, one in 68 children are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). “There is a national epidemic of staggering proportion happening in Canada,” said MFAN director, Jean Lewis, “And, unlike the situation in the United States, our federal government has to date failed miserably to demonstrate long overdue leadership in addressing this major and growing national health care challenge.”
The One in 68 campaign will seek firm commitments from those who wish to hold elected office in Ottawa to vote in favour of necessary changes to the Canada Health Act so that persons living with ASD across our country will have science-based treatment for their core health need covered by Medicare. MFAN intends to focus its efforts on  a limited number of highly competitive electoral districts in various parts of Canada. In Metro Vancouver, these include: Burnaby North-Seymour, Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, Delta, Surrey Centre, Surrey-Newton, Vancouver Centre and Vancouver Quadra.
  
For further information, contact Jean Lewis at 604-290-5737 or at jean.lewis@telus.net.

. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: May Institute National Autism Center Review: Applied Behavior Analysis The One Intervention Determined To Be Effective For Adults With Autism

National Autism Center Completes Most Comprehensive Review of Autism Interventions Identifies Established Interventions for Children, Adolescents, and Adults on the Autism Spectrum  National Autism Center Press Release 0.1  Randolph, Mass. – Researchers at the National Autism Center at May Institute today released the results of the largest systematic review to date of interventions for . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: May Institute National Autism Center Review: Applied Behavior Analysis The One Intervention Determined To Be Effective For Adults With Autism

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Larry’s Gulch Inclusive Education Review June 21, 22, 2012

Meeting of Senior Department of Education Officials With Gordon Porter And Other Advocates of Extreme Everyone In the Mainstream Classroom Inclusion June 20, 21, 2012Information from CANADALAND web site.

L: Yude  M. Henteleff, C.M., Q.C., L.L.D. (Hon.)     R: Harold L. Doherty at the Atlantic Human Rights Centre Inclusion Conference Crowne Plaza Fredericton-Lord . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Larry’s Gulch Inclusive Education Review June 21, 22, 2012

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: "Professor" John Elder Robison’s Limited Understanding of Autism and Autism Research

MIT Technology Review:  John Elder Robison is a professor at the  College of William & Mary and the author of Look Me in the Eye.

John Elder Robison is a former “free ranging “Aspie”, a successful businessman, writer and now apparently a professor as indicated in the MIT Technology Review article Fixing Autism Research We need . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: "Professor" John Elder Robison’s Limited Understanding of Autism and Autism Research

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: DSM5 ASD Criterion D: No Clinically Signifcant Impairment in Current Functioning = No Autism

The DSM5 is certainly open to criticism; particularly in its combining of the pervasive developmental disorders into one Autism Spectrum Disorder ignoring the very large numbers of persons with DSM-IV Autistic Disorder who also suffer from Intellectual Disability.  One point which did make sense in the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic criteria though is the . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: DSM5 ASD Criterion D: No Clinically Signifcant Impairment in Current Functioning = No Autism

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: The Seinfeld-Descartes Autism Diagnostic Tool: "I think I am Autistic therefore I am Autistic"

The Seinfeld-Descartes Autism Diagnostic Tool: I Think I Am Autistic Therefore I Am Autistic

Many, especially many with very, very high functioning autism diagnoses have embraced Jerry Seinfeld’s new test for autism “conditions” one that the great comic borrowed from philosopher Rene Descartes:  “I think I am autistic, therefore I am autistic“. . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: The Seinfeld-Descartes Autism Diagnostic Tool: "I think I am Autistic therefore I am Autistic"

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: My Son With Autism Disorder And Jerry Seinfeld Have Nothing In Common; Not Even An Autism Disorder Diagnosis

(Grainy) Composite Photo 0f Jerry Seinfeld by Harold L Doherty,  Moncton Coliseum,  February 2012, 2 Years Before His Revelation That  He “Might” Be “On “The Autism Spectrum” Picture by Harold L Doherty of My Son Conor Doherty On His 2nd Birthday, The Day Before His Autism Disorder Diagnosis Was Received After Six Months . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: My Son With Autism Disorder And Jerry Seinfeld Have Nothing In Common; Not Even An Autism Disorder Diagnosis

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Canada’s Autism Awareness Month? Not Much Awareness Going On … Once Again

October, for what its worth, is Autism Awareness Month in Canada.   You will probably see performances by persons with Asperger’s or high functioning Autism.  There will be wonderful success stories and accomplishments shared to give parents hope, in many cases false hope, about their child’s future.  There will be little mention, if any, of . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Canada’s Autism Awareness Month? Not Much Awareness Going On … Once Again

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Premier Elect Gallant: Please Develop the Adult Autism Care System NB Has Needed for So Long

September 25, 2014

Premier  Elect Brian GallantProvince of New Brunswick

Dear Mr. Gallant:

 “We need an enhanced group home system throughout the province in which homes would be linked directly to a major centre that could provide ongoing training, leadership and supervision. That major centre could also provide services for those who are . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Premier Elect Gallant: Please Develop the Adult Autism Care System NB Has Needed for So Long

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: I Am Hoping for NDP Voices in the NB Legislature to Help Families Advocate for An Adult Autism Care Facility

The picture above is from Conor’s 2nd Birthday on February 2,  1998.  The next day we received his autism disorder diagnosis, described initially as Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified,  six months after various tests and six months after requesting medical attention because we did not understand his lack of development and we were . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: I Am Hoping for NDP Voices in the NB Legislature to Help Families Advocate for An Adult Autism Care Facility

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Time To Divide The Heterogeneous DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder and Free the Invisible, Severely Autistic From Oppression

Associated Morbidity and Mortality

Health care utilization and costs are substantially higher for children and adolescents with ASDs compared with children without ASDs,89–91 and available data suggest that mortality is increased as well (standardized mortality ratio: 2.4–2.6).92,93 The increased mortality in ASDs is thought to be largely, but not completely, accounted for . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Time To Divide The Heterogeneous DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder and Free the Invisible, Severely Autistic From Oppression

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mother and Severely Autistic Son Evicted by Fredericton Non-Profit Housing Corporation Will Be Homeless Friday, August 1

“People with Autism Spectrum Disorder may be overly dependent on routines, highly sensitive to changes in their  environment, or intensely focused on inappropriate items. … the symptoms of people with ASD will fall on a continuum, with some individuals showing mild symptoms and others having much more severe symptoms“ American Psychiatric Association, Autism . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mother and Severely Autistic Son Evicted by Fredericton Non-Profit Housing Corporation Will Be Homeless Friday, August 1

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Is that Dentist Sticking The Needle in Your Mouth Properly Trained? How About the Therapist Working with Your Autistic Child?

NB Premier David Alward whose government has Produced a New Autism  Intervention Policy with No Provision for Funding Training of Autism Support  Workers treating New Brunswick’s autistic pre-schoolers.  The next time you sit in a dentist’s chair will you have to wonder whether the dental assistant or even the dentist is properly trained? . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Is that Dentist Sticking The Needle in Your Mouth Properly Trained? How About the Therapist Working with Your Autistic Child?