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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor Enjoyed Nature With An Osprey Day In His "Back Yard" The North Riverfront Trail, Fredericton

Conor embraced his right to enjoy nature a couple of times today (so far) with fun walking and running in his “back yard” Fredericton’s North Riverfront Trail. He also took time to throw some rocks into the St. John River along the way and check out the neighbors, the Osprey family, as they prepared their nest for some new arrivals. It may not be an evidence based treatment for autism but getting outdoors in nature makes his Dad feel much better and I believe it helps Conor too.

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism and Epilepsy from Facebook to Reality: Conor Experiences Another Seizure

Earlier today I posted to my Facebook page and to the Autism Society New Brunswick FB page the link to Tonic-clonic seizures at Epilepsy.com.  I included the note that it was important for persons with autism to be aware of such seizures because of the high number of person who suffer from epileptic seizures including my autistic son.  A few hours later I got a call from the Leo Hayes High School and was informed that Conor had suffered a seizure. They did not think it was Tonic-Clonic although he had fallen and lost consciousness.  When I arrived he (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Severe Autism With Intellectual Disability And Epilepsy Can Be Tough But It’s Still a Wonderful World

My Son Conor Wore The Blue on World Autism Awareness Day I understand some of the criticisms of the day and of thinking that wearing a color in itself creates autism awareness but as long as people  raise real autism awareness of the challenges of autism disorders and  the related  conditions from which so many suffer including self injurious behavior, intellectual disability, epilepsy  and depression;  that’s all I look for and it is what I try to do  365 days a year. Caring for, advocating for, fighting for my son with severe autism disorder, intellectual disability, tonic clonic (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Severe Autism With Intellectual Disability And Epilepsy Can Be Tough But It’s Still a Wonderful World

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: New Brunswick’s Band Aid Adult Autism Disorder Care and Treatment

New Brunswick has an approach to adult autism disorder care and treatment that can most charitably be described as a Band Aid approach.   There are many reasons for this Band Aid solution apart from the consistent waving of the “we are living in hard times” dismissal that usually accompanies the replies written for Ministers of Social Development  by their communications employees. The reality, regardless of the reasons, is that adult autism care in New Brunswick typically involves one emergency solution after another.  These emergencies have existed since before I became in autism advocacy after my 19 year old son’s (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Run Jump Fly Boy Will Soon Return

With the return of Spring after a tough winter will come lots of  outdoor time on our trails in the beautiful City of Fredericton with Conor. .Autism, seizures, seizure meds, reactions to seizure meds and this unusually tough winter will give way to spring and the Return of the Run Jump Fly Boy:

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 19 Year Old Non Verbal Autistic Man Evicted From Miramichi Special Care Home Because He Is An Adult

Huge gaps remain n New Brunswick’s adult autism residential care and treatment system. An autism specific residential care and treatment centre and autism specific group home system is needed to bridge those gaps. 

HON. CATHY ROGERS Minister of Social Development HON. VICTOR BOUDREAU Minister of Health HON. BILL FRASER  MLA Miramichi  HON. STEPHEN HORSMAN MLA Fredericton North As an autism advocate for over 15 years in New Brunswick (and father of a 19 year old severely autistic son) I was saddened, though not at all surprised, to read the report by Samantha Magee of the  Miramichi Leader of (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 19 Year Old Non Verbal Autistic Man Evicted From Miramichi Special Care Home Because He Is An Adult

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 Beaverbrook, June 14, 15, 2012 Mr. Henteleff presented, a paper advocating for a range of learning placement optionsin order to ensure meaningful inclusion:  MEANINGFUL ACCESS, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF A WIDE RANGE OF PLACEMENTS, AS AN INTEGRAL PART (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Larry’s Gulch Inclusive Education Review June 21, 22, 2012

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: #GxE Autism Paradigm Still #MSSNG From Autism Disorders Research, Understanding

Several years ago it appeared that a new paradigm for understanding autism disorders was emerging, one which would allow greater understanding of the cause, or causes, of autism.  Historically, as was noted by Teresa Binstock, researchers, and those who fund autism research, took the view that autism has  “gotta be genetic”.  By 2010 there was hope that finally the autism researchers’ obsessive belief that autism is entirely genetic was giving way to the GxE (Gene Environment Interaction) model.  With the CATS study it appeared that  GxE was actually being reflected in autism studies. Since the CATS study (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Disorders and the 1st International Epilepsy Day, February 9, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015 is the first International Epilepsy Day,   a joint initiative created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)  scheduled to occur annually hereafter on the second Monday in February to promote epilepsy awareness around the world.   Epileptic seizures are much more common among persons with an autism spectrum disorder than among the general population and parents of children with a newly diagnosed autism disorder should discuss the possibility and care implications of autism with their medical advisers.  The autism and epilepsy connection is discussed on (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Disorders and the 1st International Epilepsy Day, February 9, 2015

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Manitoba Autism Crisis Demonstrates Need For A REAL Canadian National Autism Strategy

Canada, despite a private members motion championed by the late Fredericton MP Andy Scott and Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer which called for one, does not have a REAL National Autism Strategy.  The failure to enact a REAL National Autism Strategy means that in some provinces very few autistic children receive intensive early ABA intervention. The  private member’s bill, Bill C-304, introduced by former PEI MP Shawn Murphy, set out below was crushed by the Harper Conservatives and Quebecois MPs.   Had Bill C-304 passed 9 years ago many,  many more autistic Canadian children would have received early ABA (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Is 2015 The Year New Brunswick Finally Addresses Serious NB Adult Autism Residential Care and Treatment Needs?

During the  2010 New Brunswick election  Dr. McDonnell, as noted above, was interviewed by CBC on the subject of adult autism care. The interview and analysis posted on the site are no longer available online but he stated at that time (bold highlighting added by me):

Paul McDonnell, September, 2010

“Our greatest need at present is to develop services for adolescents and adults. What is needed is a range of residential and non-residential services and these services need to be staffed with behaviourally trained supervisors and therapists. In the past we have had the sad spectacle of individuals with (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Is 2015 The Year New Brunswick Finally Addresses Serious NB Adult Autism Residential Care and Treatment Needs?

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Society Canada Misrepresents Autism On Its Web Site Makeover By Hiding The Many with Autism AND Intellectual Disability

The Autism Society Canada web site was down briefly and I had hoped, notwithstanding past experience, that the ASC would have started presenting an accurate picture of autism disorders to the Canadian public and families with autism disorders. My hopes, faint as they might have been, were dashed again.  ASC, on its “new” web site face, once again misrepresents autism disorders by hiding some harsher facts, in particular the fact that  as much as  50% (World Health Organization) of persons with autism disorders also have an intellectual disability:

“Q: Do persons with autism always suffer from intellectual (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: SUDEP The Global Conversation Combating The Myth That Seizures Do Not Kill

Many with autism disorders also suffer from epileptic seizures and should be aware of the risk of SUDEP, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.  The following is a News Release about SUDEP the global conversation a joint effort of several epilepsy and SUDEP awareness ogranizations in the US, Canada and Australia:Families, researchers, clinicians and organisations unite to promote a global conversation on sudden death in epilepsy A global collaboration of charities, researchers and families has created a unique online knowledge resource on sudden deaths in epilepsy. This new, web-based ’Global Conversation’ combats the myth that seizures do not kill. Sudden (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Elected Representatives: New Brunswick Needs Adult Autism Residential Care and Treatment

Dear Hon. Premier Gallant, Deputy Premier Horsman,Speaker Collins,  Ministers, Party Leaders and Government Advisers: Re New Brunswick’s Lack of Adult Autism Care: I am sure that you are all grappling with important issues in these weeks following a provincial election. Many issues have generated intense discussion and serious attention from all of our public leaders.  The issue of adult autism care however was not one of those issues. Neither the current governing Liberal Party nor the previously governing Conservative party mentioned autism in their platforms.  The Green Party did propose regional autism group homes which would certainly help those (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Elected Representatives: New Brunswick Needs Adult Autism Residential Care and Treatment

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Joy of Conor 2014

I will not pretend, I will never pretend, that autism is just a different way of thinking.  Heather and I love our son too much to lie to the world about the nature of his autism realities, his severe autism, intellectual disability and epileptic seizures.  Like many parents of autistic children I believe it is in his best interest that the world knows the realities  of the complex disorder he endures and that often causes him to suffer and puts his life at risk.  I can face his autism realistically while appreciating every ounce of the joy he himself  brings (Read more…)

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 one that is routinely ignored by those who glorify autism disorders … Criterion D (underlining added): Diagnostic Criteria for 299.00 Autism Spectrum Disorder D.Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning. The subscribers to the irrational view that (Read more…) . . . → 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“. With the Seinfeld-Descartes diagnostic tool it is no longer necessary for those who want to join the truly amazing autism club to obtain one of those pesky medical diagnoses.  Nor will it be necessary to demonstrate the presence of that nasty Criterion D in the DSM5 (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

(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 Of Tests And Pediatric Observation Jerry Seinfeld has revealed, at age 60,  that he thinks he might be “on the autism spectrum”.  He may be right, I don’t know and won’t know unless he seeks a professional assessment and makes the result of that assessment known (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: New Jersey Dad: "Reality Of Autism Is Often Very Grim"

I chose the name of my email account “AutismRealityNB@gmail.com” because, from my perspective, the harsh realities of autism disorders are usually ignored or worse,  intentionally misrepresented, by the mainstream media, autism awareness organizations, some high functioning autism “self”advocates and even some parents and autism professionals.  An online friend of mine who shares similar perspectives, Roger Kulp, shared an article on my Facebook timeline yesterday which surprised me because it was a commentary published in the New Jersey Courier-Post which presented a realistic view of some of the harsher realities faced by some with autism (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: SUDEP Awareness Day and Autism Disorders

A much higher percentage of people with autism spectrum disorders suffer from epileptic seizures than among persons in the general population.   At the severe end of the autism “spectrum” it has been estimated that as many as 39% also suffer from seizures.   My severely autistic, intellectually challenged son Conor suffers from seizures including tonic clonic known as Gran(d)  Mal seizures and almost lost his life last year to an adverse reaction to his seizure med at that time.  Among persons with epilepsy there are many risks surrounding loss of consciousness and breathing during seizures.  Approximately 1% (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism and the PC Election 2014 Platform: No Adult Autism Care, More Harmful Forced Classroom Inclusion of Severely Autistic Students

The PC Plan for New Brunswick does not include any provisions that will help severely autistic students or adults, the same people who have been harmed by PC policies during the Alward-Porter-Carr administration.  In fact the the Platform brags about the Gordon Porter-Jody Carr harmful, discriminatory, inclusion remake and is silent on the topic of adult autism care. 

Gordon Porter was a member of the Alward government transition team.  He has relentlessly pushed his own philosophical, non evidence based inclusion philosophy on all NB students since the 1970′s he has collected many ribbons around the world for (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Will Adult Autism Care Issues Be Considered During #nbvotes 2014?

New Brunswick election 2014 is underway with the NDP, Liberal, Green and PANB parties going all out to replace the PC party.  Party signs are proliferating around the city of Fredericton. The Liberal Party kicked off big time in Fredericton with special guest federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and provincial leader Brian Gallant. It was a lively, well organized event and the optimism was clear. I enjoyed my brief chat with the charming greeting ladies pictured outside the Fredericton Ex building.  In a general sense I enjoy elections, I firmly believe, despite the many legitimate bases for criticism that (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Mr Alward, Cardy, Coon, Gallant: New Brunswick Still Needs A Permanent Residential Care and Treatment Centre For Severely Autistic Adults

Photo of my son Conor from a few years ago submitted to the Aquinian for an article by  then Aquinian journalism student Karissa Donkin. No progress in residential care and  treatment for severely autistic adults in New Brunswick has been made since that  article or since Conor’s autism diagnosis 16 years ago at age 2

June 18, 2014

Dear Mr Alward, Mr Cardy, Mr Coon and Mr Gallant:

A provincial election will soon be held and one of you will be premier, once again if it is Mr Alward, for the first time if it is Mr Cardy, Mr Coon (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Dear Mr Alward, Cardy, Coon, Gallant: New Brunswick Still Needs A Permanent Residential Care and Treatment Centre For Severely Autistic Adults

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Shards of Severe Autism Reality

We were cleaning books and papers out of the “China Cabinet” in our kitchen today.  We had never stored China there only photos, albums and papers.  Like other China Cabinets though there were glass doors on the front through which you could view the China.  Over time Conor had, on different occasions, while suffering meltdowns,  put his hands though the glass windows.  I thought I had gotten all the glass  out on each occasion but today after moving a group of albums I found some shards of glass, shards of severe autism realities.   Such events are not talked about (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: US CDC Autism Prevalence Estimates Challenged

I didn’t see this autism “controversy” brewing. The authors of an article published  in the Sage Autism journal have challenged the credibility of the US CDC autism prevalence figures. The full article is on line and free for viewing (PDF also available free) at: Should we believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s autism spectrum disorder prevalence estimates? David Mandell Luc Lecavalier “In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their most recent estimate of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children aged 8 years (CDC, 2014). Their startling finding was that 1 (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: US CDC Autism Prevalence Estimates Challenged