Canada Autism

Why Ontario's Autism Debate Drives Parents To Rage And Tears

Janet McLaughlin | Posted 05.24.2016 | Canada Politics
Janet McLaughlin

The idea that one group of children must be tossed aside for another is flawed and harmful. The problem of wait lists for autism therapy is simply one of government spending priorities. The only reason every single child with autism cannot immediately receive IBI is because the government is not immediately investing enough money for them to do so. But aren't the Liberals investing $333 million? Why isn't that enough?

Life With An Autistic Son Gave This Mom A Voice And Strength

Melanie Braga | Posted 05.17.2016 | Canada Parents
Melanie Braga

Adele noticed changes in her youngest son, Aidan, who was only 14 months at the time. The changes she noticed were: he completely stopped talking; he would not respond to his name; had many night terrors; made no eye contact and he would get much more frustrated.

Someone Tell The Ontario Liberals That Autism Doesn't End At 5

Janet McLaughlin | Posted 05.16.2016 | Canada Politics
Janet McLaughlin

When the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP agree on something, the issue must transcend ideology. On Tuesday the PCs, supported by their opposition colleagues, will move that the Ontario government restore funding for Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy for children five years of age and over.

Toddler With Autism Is Completely Smitten With Snow White

The Huffington Post Canada | Emma Prestwich | Posted 05.10.2016 | Canada Parents

Two-year-old Jack Jack doesn't warm up to new people easily.

Becoming A Special Needs Parent Changed Mother's Day For Me

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 05.06.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

My child was not developing like other children. He was beautiful, happy, but separate from us somehow. I was scared. We still celebrated Mother's Day, of course. I was still overjoyed to be a mom, his mom, yet now I felt I was failing him. A year after that when we knew he had autism, our celebrations took on a new turn.

Can Autism Be A Laughing Matter?

Julie M Green | Posted 05.04.2016 | Canada Living
Julie M Green

If the world of autism is intense and often challenging, then it's also punctuated by moments of hilarity. Michael McCreary's comedy shines a light on those moments, giving audiences permission to laugh out loud. For families affected by autism, it's a much-needed chance to let their hair down and see the funny side of their reality. For the uninitiated, humour provides the perfect segue into a conversation about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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.

Boy With Autism At Coldplay Concert Will Make You Cry

Huffington Post Canada | Chloe Tejada | Posted 04.28.2016 | Canada Parents

Bring out the tissues!

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?

What I Really Mean When I Say "I'm Fine"

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 04.11.2016 | Canada Parents
Linda Mastroianni

Raising a child is hard, and raising a child with special needs has even greater challenges that often leave parents feeling fatigued and depleted. Yet every day we find renewed energy and we continue to push forward and advocate for our children who cannot advocate for themselves. So when I tell you "I'm fine," it can mean a lot of things.

Goodwill's Closing Reflects Reality For People With Disabilities

Lianne Castelino | Posted 04.05.2016 | Canada
Lianne Castelino

The media spotlight has long dimmed on the recent unraveling of Goodwill. But the realities remain. In their own way, each embody a range of significant issues that most of us take for granted. One of them concerns the health, wellness and livelihood of people with disabilities -- many of whom formed Goodwill's very own staff.

Video Lets Us Experience What It's Like To Be Autistic

The Huffington Post Canada | Kristy Woudstra | Posted 04.04.2016 | Canada Parents

"84 per cent of people with autism feel that people judge them as strange." This video is trying to change that.

The Risky Concept Of Mental Illness Assisted Suicide

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 03.28.2016 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

The Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death, nevertheless, urged the federal government not to exclude individuals with psychiatric conditions from being considered eligible. Their reasoning comes down to this: Mental suffering is no less profound than physical suffering, so denying individuals with mental illness access to physician hastened death would be discriminatory and a violation of their Charter rights. It's an excellent point, and one worth seriously discussing.

Anti-Vaccination Propaganda Hasn't Changed Much Since 1887

Jacques Beaulieu | Posted 03.23.2016 | Canada Living
Jacques Beaulieu

In 2010, there were 139,300 deaths worldwide due to measles, a disease that we had hoped to completely eradicate by 2020. One reason for this is that some prejudices that originally circulated in 1887 -- like that measles is a benign, inconsequential disease -- have survived over the ages. Another reason is that an unfortunately growing part of the population believes that vaccination may be more dangerous than the disease itself.

Minister Treated Autistic Woman's Family In 'Deplorable' Manner: Judge

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 03.17.2016 | Canada

The minister forbid her family from visiting, "without providing any rationale whatsoever."

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

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 03.09.2016 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

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. But what I'm never quite prepared for are the letters I get whenever I publish something about autism in the mainstream press. Here are a few responses that never fail to happen.

I Thought I Understood Bullies Until My Son Became One

Julie M Green | Posted 03.03.2016 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

The other thing about bullying is this: no matter which side you're on, it feels awful. When I saw that boy with the icepack, I felt sick. Sad and scared and frustrated. How could my child do this, when I work so tirelessly to teach him to be compassionate and caring? I felt responsible, and desperate.

Autism Doesn't Have To Disrupt Your Child's Potential For Greatness

Ken Rabow | Posted 03.02.2016 | Canada Parents
Ken Rabow

As a mentor for teens with autism and their families, I am struck with the level of trust, humility and indomitable spirit that I see in these families weekly on their paths to rising above others limitations of them. I would like to share one story with you from one of my clients and his mom's perspective.

6 Ways To Help Special Needs Children Understand Valentine's Day

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 02.10.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

For a parent of a special needs child, many of us are faced with the challenges of a day when our children, many of whom don't like touch, affection or cannot understand the meaning, and wonder how to go about celebrating this day. What's a parent to do?

How The Right Teacher Can Make A Difference In a Special Needs Child's Life

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 02.08.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

In those early days of my son's autism diagnosis, I had completely lost my parental instinct in "getting" my son. And then I did find those wonderful therapists and first teachers at my son's adapted preschool. The school showed me the way to getting my son the help he needed. When he started at his adapted preschool, the first thing his teachers taught me was how to enjoy playing with my son, not to "make him" talk, but to "engage him," to bring him into the world where he could see how much fun we could both have when he played with me.

5 Signs Your Special Needs Child Has Mental Health Issues

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 02.16.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

There is still so much misinformation on mental illness in society, especially in the workforce and in schools, where young people and older adults are stigmatized as being unproductive, lazy or exaggerating their behavior, when really they are dealing with very real mental health issues, ADD, ADHD, Autism, Bipolar or other depressive disorders. These individuals need our help, not our judgment.

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.

I Sometimes Suffer From Mom Envy (And It's Not Pretty)

Julie M Green | Posted 01.13.2016 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

Even though you don't want to compare -- comparing is for chumps -- you secretly can't help yourself. A litany of comparisons runs through your mind like a never-ending grocery list. Your child is amazing, but his needs limit his day-to-day life and that of your family. And even after all these years, it stings.

My Son's Autism Does Not Limit His Career Possibilities

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 01.07.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

There is no need to think that, with autism and other anxiety related issues, my son cannot go on to do a job he loves, have friends and even live independently or semi-independently. It's all in how much he is encouraged and given opportunities to explore what he loves to do.

3 Ways The Federal Government Can Improve The RDSP

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 01.05.2016 | Canada Politics
Kathleen O’Grady

The Registered Disability Savings Plan is a savings plan that helps parents and caretakers of those with a disability save for their loved one's long-term financial future with some financial contributions coming directly from the government -- free money, in other words. So why are so few using the RDSP?