Kathleen O’Grady
Kathleen O’Grady is a Research Associate at Concordia University, Montréal, and a political and media strategist, with clients in government, think tanks and NGOs. She has two sons, one with autism.

Entries by Kathleen O’Grady

4 Ways To Save Money On Prescription Medications

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2017 | 7:38 AM

As Canadians, we are proud of our universal health care system, which provides publicly-funded essential doctor and hospital care based on need and not ability to pay. Unfortunately, our health system falls short when it comes to prescription medication.

Canada is the only industrialized country in the world to have...

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What Real Inclusion For Kids With Autism Looks Like

(3) Comments | Posted July 19, 2016 | 2:10 PM

Getting to be a valued member of their community should be the norm for all kids -- but for kids with autism, it is too frequently not the case.

Media stories are full of parental struggles to get their kids with autism included in the larger community. Stories of...

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When You Have A Child With Autism, The Child Becomes The Guide

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 4:16 PM

My husband and I recently received a note home from the school teacher of our eight-year-old son, Casey. She wanted to inform us that Casey had been caught lying about a misdeed, and that this wasn't the first time. Our response? We whooped and high fived.

Yes, that's right...

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10 Medical Expenses You May Not Know Are Eligible For The Medical Tax Credit

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 12:31 PM

As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us -- especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions -- pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services. Studies show Canadians pay...

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5 Things That Happen When I Write About My Child With Autism

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 10:32 AM

I'm not entirely sure why I write about my personal experiences parenting a child with autism for the mainstream media. Mostly I hope my own experiences may help someone else on their autism journey -- and they won't stumble through, as I have done in the early days....

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Why It's Time For A National Autism Strategy

(2) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 3:24 PM

Over a year ago, I was invited to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on Parliament Hill. It was attended by a dozen or more Senators from both major parties, political staffers and invited guests mostly from an assortment of autism non-profit organizations. I expected a somewhat predictable 'feel...

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3 Ways Federal Government Can Improve The Registered Disability Savings Plan

(5) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 3:15 PM

Many of us in the disability community were pleasantly surprised when the Liberal party promised to create a National Disabilities Act that would safeguard disability rights, reduce systemic barriers and establish a foundation of opportunity for those affected by disability. Canada is an outlier among developed...

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Helping Journalists Get The Facts Right On International Health

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 12:26 PM

Comparing the performance of health systems around the world just got a little easier.

One morning, the media headlines pronounce that Canada's health system should model that found in the Netherlands; the next week, we should follow Germany's example, and yet another says Australia is leading the pack....

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3 Things You Need to Know About Autism in Canada

(5) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 5:47 PM

Canadian governments have done little to address the crisis faced by autism families across the country. This sentiment was true in 2007 when it was put forward in the cross-party Senate report on the state of funding for the treatment of autism in Canada, aptly titled, Pay Now...

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How We're Trying to Inject Health Policy Into Mainstream Media

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 12:46 PM

For the last 30 years or so, Canadians have repeatedly flagged healthcare as the most important national concern and the issue they want their political leaders to prioritize. Surveys and studies and polls and panels -- there have been plenty -- all come up with the same finding:...

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My Child With Autism's Imaginary World Is as Vivid as the Real One

(1) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 6:01 PM

When my son, Casey was first diagnosed with autism at age four, I thought our world had ended. I thought our family was doomed to defeat and misery and decades of frustrated, circular searches for meaning: "Why us? Why him? Why anyone?" I can tell you with certainty that I...

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Almost No One From My Son's Class Came to His Birthday Party and it Broke My Heart

(47) Comments | Posted May 10, 2015 | 11:15 PM

"It is with sadness that we will have to decline the birthday party invitation for your son," one mother wrote me, "as such short notice was given." I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Again.

You see, my son Casey has autism, and I had been busily...

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How a B. C. Court Case May Threaten Canadian Healthcare

(9) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 12:58 PM

A long-running dispute between Dr. Brian Day, the co-owner of Cambie Surgeries Corporation and the British Columbia government may finally be resolved in the B.C. Supreme Court this year -- and the ruling could transform the Canadian health system from coast to coast.

The case emerged in...

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What My Child With Autism Has Taught Me

(15) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 5:28 PM

It was an ordinary summer day. People were milling on the main thoroughfare, bikes zig-zagging through traffic, cafés and pubs spilling onto the sidewalk, patrons sipping their way through a lazy Friday afternoon.

We were ordinary that day too. Just another family, managing the hectic jumble of kids' lessons,...

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Five Things Most People Get Wrong About Canada's Health Care System

(6) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 8:58 AM

by Kathleen O'Grady and Noralou Roos

A recent court challenge before the British Columbia Supreme Court threatened to change the rules of the game for the Canadian healthcare system -- should the challenge have made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada and found success there. Dr....

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3 Ways You Can Help Families Affected by Autism

(1) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 12:36 PM

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, and April is World Autism Awareness month. Unfortunately, it's no longer uncommon for most of us to know families struggling just to keep up with the day-to-day tasks required of them because they have a child with autism.


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How To Talk To a Child With Autism

(5) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 5:23 PM

The holiday season means most of us will be socializing with colleagues and neighbours, friends and family. Chances are good this circle of friendly acquaintances and loved ones will include a child with autism.

Why? An estimated 1 in 88 children are now diagnosed with the neurological disorder, with...

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