Autism Spectrum Disorder

What Real Inclusion For Kids With Autism Looks Like

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 07.19.2016 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

Our son, Casey, has autism, a neuro-developmental disorder that is often characterized by rigid and repetitive behaviours, difficulty with social communication and uneven intellectual development, among many other challenges. Regular participation in an integrated public school has not always been easy for him.

ADHD Deserves More Respect, Recognition And Resources

Patricia Tomasi | Posted 05.30.2016 | Canada Parents
Patricia Tomasi

As the debate rages on in Ontario over access to provincially funded Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy for children with autism over the age of five, let's not forget about autism's close cousin, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Universal Autism Screening Is Instrumental To Early Diagnosis

Laurie Mawlam | Posted 04.27.2016 | Canada Parents
Laurie Mawlam

Over the years, Autism Canada has talked to thousands of parents and there has been a similar refrain. Early diagnosis didn't happen for their children because too many well-intentioned health practitioners and educators dismissed early red flags and parental concerns in favour of a "wait and see" approach.

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

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 04.11.2016 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

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 -- we gave each other a high five. Why?

Why It's Time For A National Autism Strategy

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 01.12.2016 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

It's not an exaggeration to say we have an autism services crisis in Canada. Evidence shows that proper health and educational supports for those affected by autism pay off. Early intervention is key and heads off more expensive and extensive supports that are needed later in life if early intervention is not provided.

5 Early Warning Signs Of Speech And Language Issues

Jeanette Podolsky | Posted 11.27.2015 | Canada Parents
Jeanette Podolsky

At the age of 2, a child has a vocabulary of at least 50-100 words. If your child is still only using a few words and has not caught up with peers, it could be the sign of a language delay.

Adults With Autism Have Few Housing Options: Family, Experts

CP | Keven Drews, The Canadian Press | Posted 11.09.2015 | Canada British Columbia

Deborah Pugh said a "tsunami of teens with autism" will soon reach adulthood, and many families are struggling to plan for their children's future care.

3 Things You Need to Know About Autism in Canada

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 07.31.2016 | Canada Politics
Kathleen O’Grady

Many organizations and affected families across the country have been calling for a national autism strategy. The wide range in disparity of publicly funded services for autism across the country has even generated a kind of "medical migration" with several published accounts of families leaving their home provinces (most commonly, Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Quebec) to move to Alberta or British Columbia where autism services are more readily available and/or more flexible. It is also no longer uncommon to find Canadian families using crowdsourcing campaigns to fund their children's autism and related therapies.

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

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 05.21.2016 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

Kids with autism are also often singular in their attention to the things they love and the things that give them pleasure; this sometimes makes them wholly present and pure receptacles of joy. In my son Casey's case, he dreamt of city buses.

A Parent's Role in the Life of a Child With Autism

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 02.17.2015 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

The problem is that an ASD is a permanent neurological disorder; it doesn't go away, but rather confirms itself over time. As parents of children with special needs, we each have to find our path. Over time, we all find our way. For me this was, and continues to be, a lesson in acceptance and redefining my values.

More Research Isn't the Key to Helping Autistic People Today

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 02.17.2015 | Canada Living
Linda Mastroianni

As important as research is, I truly don't believe this should be the number one priority when discussing how to improve the lives of people with autism. How is research helping the autistic individuals living in our society today? The ones that are stigmatized for who they are; the children who are on waiting lists for government funded therapy that unfortunately never comes and whose parents are forced to go privately, depleting finances at an astounding rate. They are not part of an incomplete puzzle. They are here, they are whole and they are deserving of equal opportunities.

What My Child With Autism Has Taught Me

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 12.17.2014 | Canada Living
Kathleen O’Grady

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, bills, our careers, endless streams of birthday parties, too little sleep and the occasional date night out. But it was all shattered with a single word: autism.

My Son With Autism Fills Me With Hope

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 11.23.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

Alex is only 17 but he understands some things better than I do as an adult. So I tell myself that everything is still possible, that we need to continue to dream, that nothing is lost. I look at Alex and I am filled with hope.

Why Parent Training Is So Important For Families Coping With Autism

Julian Hung | Posted 09.03.2014 | Canada Living
Julian Hung

There is no question in my mind that parent training has made me a better parent. While there is a difference between the theory and practice of ABA therapy and while there is a difference between being a parent and being a therapist, the knowledge gained from the parent training offered by our early intervention team has been invaluable.

How Much Is Too Much Solitude For My Autistic Son?

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 09.01.2014 | Canada Living
Linda Mastroianni

The assumptions of others have always been and continue to be to this day, our worst enemy, especially for my son. Assumptions are always the prelude to judgments; judgments that are always made without knowing his story, his achievements and more importantly, his thoughts.

Don't Think of People With Autism as Belonging to a Homogenous Group

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 08.04.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

Marie Josée explains that there is a beautiful innocence in ASD. A person with autism will never try to manipulate a situation to make themselves look better. They are without malice, and they don't know how to pretend. I say what I need to and I don't mince words! My partner can attest to this. He knows I'm different, that I like to talk about stuff that is real, and he accepts me as I am.

3 Ways You Can Help Families Affected by Autism

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 06.02.2014 | Canada Living
Kathleen O’Grady

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. Here's how you -- as a family member, friend, neighbour or even just as a friendly acquaintance or concerned citizen -- can help families affected by autism.

Maximizing Our Autistic Son's Chance For Success

Julian Hung | Posted 05.26.2014 | Canada Living
Julian Hung

Julian Hung's son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of two and a half. His son has since had three years of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy and has made tremendous progress.

5 More Things Everyone Should Know About Autism

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 05.20.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

I decided to bring to light some information that people should know about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). With a growing number of children living with an ASD, this information will help you better understand the experiences of these children, and their parents. The following are my last five points, though there could have been many more.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Autism

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 05.10.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

I recently noticed that for the most part, when I talk about Autism the people around me don't really know what I am talking about. They all seem to have a vague idea about the problem, but no more. I constantly have to repeat the same information. This demonstrates clearly that we still need to educate people about Autism or ASD.

The Ups and Downs of Living With an Autistic Child

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 03.24.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

A year after our child was given an ASD diagnosis, the word "Autism" still burns my tongue. It is a difficult word to say, but an even harder reality to come to terms with. There have been many positive lessons learned in 2013, which have been accompanied by many difficulties.

Probiotics May Improve Symptoms of Autism

Jason Tetro | Posted 02.08.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

A collaboration of over 20 American researchers found a possible answer although at first glance, it seemed ludicrous. The team looked at the bacteria in the gut of both normal and autistic children in the hopes of identifying any changes. Indeed, there were.

Autism: The Day Our Lives Changed Forever

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 02.04.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

When you have a "special" child you automatically become a "special" parent. Some parents will say that their children's autism has given meaning to their lives. That it unlocked a new-found spirituality within them. Not us. Not yet. Our child's autism has not added any sense of purpose to our lives.

Autism Doesn't Just Happen to Other People

Emmanuelle Assor | Posted 02.01.2014 | Canada Living
Emmanuelle Assor

"Your son lives in a parallel universe." That was the first blow. A harsh sentence uttered by the teacher in charge of the little family daycare center my son had been attending for a few months. It was announced that our son had a "problem." That was in February 2012. A lot has happened since then...

Are Characters On Autism Spectrum On TV Getting It Right?

CP | Nick Patch, The Canadian Press | Posted 02.26.2013 | Canada Living

TORONTO - When "Parenthood" creator Jason Katims created the character Max Braverman — an intelligent, inscrutable, insect-obsessed youngster with A...