Canada Autism

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?

How One Family Handles The Holidays

The Huffington Post Canada | Kate Wells | Posted 12.24.2015 | Canada Parents

Christmas is just around the corner - the hustle and bustle of going from store to store; the magic in the air; the joy of spending time with those yo...

5 Ways To Make Your Bathroom Special Needs Family Friendly

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 12.16.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

There are two main rooms in any family home, special needs or not, that have the most usage. Those rooms, for lack of glamour, are the kitchen and bathroom. Yes, I mention the bathroom, because it is a room that a lot of us spend time in, but when you are the parents of a special needs child, you need A LOT of time in the bathroom.

Make The Holidays Happier For A Family With Autism

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 12.03.2015 | Canada Parents
Linda Mastroianni

When my son was a toddler, I remember a few events that I declined to attend simply because it was too complicated -- I just didn't have it in me. Looking back at the earlier years, I realize just how little people new about my son and his autism. I think our experience would have been different had others been more aware.

5 Questions Special Needs Parents Should Ask Before Buying A Mattress

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 12.01.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Let's say parents decide that it is time for that new mattress purchase for themselves, their child or both. It can be daunting or near impossible to go into a mattress store, any store, with their special needs child. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself about buying the perfect mattress for you or your child's sleep needs

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.