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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

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?  Will you have to ask whether your child’s teacher has a university education? The answer to both of these questions is obviously no.  Medical and education workers generally are required to be properly trained. Nor do we want untrained “mechanics” servicing our cars.  In New Brunswick (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Inclusion Done Right: Conor at Leo Hayes High School Resource Centre

Pictures above and below: Inclusion done right at Leo Hayes High School Resource Centre Pictures courtesy of Steve at the LHHS Resource Centre

Inclusion done wrong is inclusion as advocated by Gordon Porter of the CACL and NBACL, and the current Conservative government which has very close ties to Mr Porter and the NBACL According to them inclusion  means that ALL children, including those with severe disabilities like my son Conor MUST be educated in the regular classroom.  This is a philosophical belief held by Gordon Porter and those who follow, in a cult like fashion, his teachings.   (Read more…)

Eh Types: Group Homes Are People’s Homes

I could write about how Doug Ford’s comments on a group home showed he was ignorant, selfish, and a shameless liar. I might as well write water is wet. Doug’s comments were despicable and the worst kind of populist fear mongering. In other words, exactly what you would expect to hear from him. I don’t […]

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: For CNN and Francesca Happé Adult Autism Is A Bouquet of Pretty Pink Flowers

CNN which loves to portray high functioning autism and Aspergers as autism has done it again with a feature called “Autism Is Growing Up” which … of course … features only adult persons with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers.  In fact CNN and its accomplice Francesca Happé present 7 full stories of persons with high functioning autism and Aspergers. In addition an 8th adult with Aspergers, Canadian Zoey Roberts, is featured on the opening page of this creative portrayal of Aspergers as autism telling people that “autism is not a tragedy” which of course it isn’t if you happen to exist on (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Toronto Councillor Doug Ford Confirms His Fear of Children With Autism

Dear Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford, as the father of a son with severe autism disorder, my son Conor pictured above, I want to reassure you that you needn’t be so afraid of autistic kids. If you actually get to know any you may find they can even bring a smile to your day.

Doug Ford has stood by his comments that a group home for children and youth with autism is ruining his community.  While his statement, as I said yesterday, is contemptible, and makes no sense,  maybe  inside that big, thug like appearance is just a scared little (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Toronto Star: Toronto Councillor Doug Ford Believes Treatment Home for Kids with Autism "Ruined the Community"

Is Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford so contemptible as to verbally attack autistic children residing at a home for children with autism?   con·tempt·ible

adjective \kən-ˈtem(p)-tə-bəl\

: not worthy of respect or approval : deserving contempt “Contemptible.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. 

The Toronto Star reports that Doug Ford, yup, Toronto Councillor Doug Ford, brother of the allegedly rehab dwelling Mayor Rob Ford, thinks that a treatment home for kids with autism ruined the community.  Doug Ford, constantly defending and enabling his brother, the Toronto mayor filmed with crack pipes in his (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Toronto Star: Toronto Councillor Doug Ford Believes Treatment Home for Kids with Autism "Ruined the Community"

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Shannon Hill Speaks Up About About ABA Autism Intervention Benefits and Autism "Services" in Saskatchewan

Shannon Hill of Saskatchewan, parent of a child on the autism spectrum,  Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst, (Florida Institute of Technology ABA program), autism advocate and BA (Psychology) Following is a letter written by Shannon Hill to Linda Restau director of continuing care and rehabilitation for the Ministry of Health, Province of Saskatchewan, including comments on ABA and its benefits for autistic children. “Dear Ms. Restau, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the article presented by Ashley Wills of 650 CKOM April 22, 2014. In the article you state with regard to Saskatchewan’s funding for ASD (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Shannon Hill Speaks Up About About ABA Autism Intervention Benefits and Autism "Services" in Saskatchewan

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Canada’s Autism Disgrace 2007: 2014 Update

Photo from Ameriquebec.net 

In December 2007 I wrote Canada’s Autism Disgrace, describing the lack of a real National Autism Strategy in Canada.  It is now 2014 and nothing has changed. Canada still lacks a real National Autism Strategy. The words I wrote in 2007, reprinted below, are as true and accurate today as they were then:

What is Canada’s National Autism Strategy? The answer is simple; we don’t have one. And as long as Stephen Harper’s Reform-Alliance-Conservative government rules Canada with an iron fist we will not have a National Autism Strategy. My friends of Conservative background (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Canada’s Autism Disgrace 2007: 2014 Update

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Gordon Porter’s Vanity And Bill 61, An Act To Amend The Education Act, Will Result in MORE EXCLUSIONARY Education Practices in New Brunswick Schools

Gordon Porter believes that inclusive education is simple. Unfortunately most teachers, the NBTA organisation itself, aides and education administrators have been bullied and intimidated into following his simple philosophy unquestioningly even though they know it flies in the face of the truth. They know that many children are present in NB schools with complex learning, behavior, cognitive and sensory challenges which render education under any label anything but simple buy they dare not speak out.  More and more children are, and with the current Bill 61, An Act to Amend the Education Act, more and more in future (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Gordon Porter’s Vanity And Bill 61, An Act To Amend The Education Act, Will Result in MORE EXCLUSIONARY Education Practices in New Brunswick Schools

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Once Canada’s Autism Wasteland Has Saskatchewan Made Meaningful Progress?

Apparently Saskatchewan is still have difficulty providing necessary levels of early autism intervention.  I once described it in a September 2, 2007 commentary as Canada’s Autism Wasteland:  Canada’s Autism Wasteland To Take First Step Forward.   At the time of my commentary Saskatchewan was one of the few provinces with no intervention program for autistic children.   A Global News article by Amber Rockliffe, Saskatchewan Families Moving Due to Lack of Autism Funding indicates that not enough hours of intervention are being delivered to Saskatchewan’s autistic children and some families are moving out of province to find the help (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Proud of Our Conor

Conor looking cool, calm and composed in his grandparents’ yard in  Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley in November. This morning he showed  just  as much calm while enduring an early morning blood sample needle.

We were, once again, very proud of our Conor today.  Not for demonstrating some special “autism” skill, not for anything that would be featured in a sensational media story.  We were proud because Conor had blood tests scheduled again at the DECH, the local hospital where Conor spent 2 weeks in hospital last year, including 6 days in the Intensive Care Unit.  He had blood tests scheduled (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: BC Parents Want Evidence-Based Learning Programs and Supports in ALL BC School Districts

There can be hope for children with autism in BC schools     Parents want evidence‐based learning programs and supports established in all B.C. school districts.     February 17 2014, Surrey, BC:  Recent news stories such as the Seclusion and Restraint report and most recently the story of Susan DeBeck, a Vancouver teacher who claims she was fired for standing up for her students with special needs, shows the education system is in a state of crisis when it comes to providing appropriate supports for students with special needs.  A local non‐profit autism support group is reaching (Read more…)