There is currently a group receiving money from the Harper government, purportedly to develop a “National Autism Strategy”. It is an election year handout from a government which has consistently opposeed a meaningful role for the federal government in ensuring that autistic children and adults in Canada receive the treatment and services they need to live meaningful, healthy lives. Parents in Canada have fought for many years with varying levels of success for government coverage of evidence based ABA treatment for autism disorders. In 2006 former Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy articulated a REAL National Autism Strategy when he introduced (Read more…)
I was awake at 5:30 this morning, had some breakfast, and was enjoying a mug (not a cup, a mug) of coffee when I noticed that the time was 6:05 am. Startled I jumped up to see if everything was OK with my son Conor. Conor suffers from severe autism disorder and epileptic seizures, including half a dozen grand mal or tonic clonic seizures, since last Christmas. One feature of Conor’s autism disorder is that he gets up at precisely 6:01 a.m. every morning. He often wakes up before 6:01 but stays in bed until that time and then (Read more…)
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. We had to keep him on his side with his head away from any corners or hard objects. This was Conor’s 4th grand mal seizure since Christmas. Conor’s convulsions did not appear to last too long compared to some previous seizures .. approximately 2 minutes. (Read more…)
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 (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!
In the picture above, taken 3 years ago my son erupted in sudden self injurious behavior smashing himself violently in the head a split second after he had been on the swing at his old grade school, Nashwaaksis Memorial School; a split second after he had been very smiling and happy. I captured the image because it was a series of pictures taken with an “athletic” setting on my Canon camera to capture his until then joyful, smiling activity on the swing. In the commentary below from my January 19, 2008 commentary on Facing Autism in New Brunswick, “Autism Disorder (Read more…)
Image from a CBC British Columbia article in December 2014 Reporting on Ground Breaking of Construction on the $28-million Pacific Autism Family Centre in Richmond, B.C..(Pacific Autism Family Centre)
British Columbia, Ontario and New Brunswick are 3 Canadian Provinces at different points on the adult autism care and treatment “spectrum”. British Columbia leads with the beginning of a center and network to provide adult autism resources for BC autism adults and their families. Ontario and New Brunswick, on the other hand, have no systemic, credible approach to the provision of adult autism treatment and residential care for the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: New Brunswick and Ontario Fail to Address Needs of Adults with Autism Disorders and their Families
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.
. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Conor Enjoyed Nature With An Osprey Day In His "Back Yard" The North Riverfront Trail, Fredericton
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…)
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
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…)
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:
. . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Run Jump Fly Boy Will Soon Return
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
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
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…)
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
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…)
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?
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…)
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…)
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
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…)
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
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…)
(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…)
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…)