Canada Autism

How To Make Halloween Autism-Friendly

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.20.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Halloween is a fun time of year for most children. They love getting dressed up in costumes, going to parties, as well as going trick or treating where they get the best thing of all, candy! But for many children with autism this is a very difficult holiday. What can a parent do?

To The Police Officer Who Helped My Autistic Son

Alexandra Samuel | Posted 10.24.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Alexandra Samuel

When my husband answered the phone you gently took over the job of restraining my son...something that no public servant has ever dared to do. We've had teachers and support workers tell us that they're not allowed to touch a child, even when it's a matter of keeping our son safe. But you held him firmly and respectfully, as gently as you could, without a trace of anger or fear on your face. "I have a lot of experience with autistic kids," you told me, and it showed.

I Just Did What I Swore I'd Never Do With My Child

Julie M Green | Posted 10.05.2016 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

What kind of mom drugs her kid? The mom who is tired of walking on eggshells, wondering who her child will hurt today. The mom who is tired of watching her baby suffer inside his own skin. The mom who, fighting back tears, dutifully takes the scrap of paper from the doctor with the round glasses.... What mom does that, anyway? The kind who will do whatever it takes to help her child feel better, even if it means doing precisely the thing she vowed never to do.

Playdate Tips To Help Kids Make (And Keep) Friends

Julie M Green | Posted 09.09.2016 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

I want my seven-year-old to have friends -- at least one, maybe two. But at heart, I'm a realist. He has high-functioning autism. Socially speaking, the odds are stacked against him. Making friends is a concept as foreign and uncomfortable as the wooly sweater knitted by a well-meaning great aunt.

The Blended Family With Autism: Tips For A Smooth Transition

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 07.25.2016 | Canada Parents
Linda Mastroianni

Blended families don't feel in unison or in sync right off the bat; it's not something that happens overnight. It takes patience, love, understanding, compromising and time. In our case, it took us a few years before we felt in sync, like a real authentic family. Having a child on the autism spectrum made this journey even more delicate.

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.

Autism Friendly Attractions For Toronto Families

Julie M Green | Posted 06.15.2016 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

Nowadays, businesses are not only more aware of autism, some are willingly offering special accommodations. They are meeting families where they're at -- so kids like mine can enjoy what's on offer along with everybody else. The following autism friendly attractions is by no means exhaustive, and I would love nothing better than to see this list grow.

The Parenting Secrets We Don't Share

Rebecca Beck | Posted 06.15.2016 | Canada Parents
Rebecca Beck

We all have dirty little secrets. You know, the kind that you would be mortified if anyone were ever to find out. Most people's deepest secrets are well kept. My parenting secrets are not. I have an autistic son with no filter and he ensures that no secret is safe in our house.

We Need To Adjust Our Expectations For Personalized Medicine

Nicole Letourneau | Posted 06.15.2016 | Canada Living
Nicole Letourneau

We are a long way off from identifying definitive biomarkers and personalized gene therapies are likely generations away. The hype is big, but our hope is misplaced. The science isn't there yet, and the sooner we stop putting our faith in near-miraculous breakthroughs, the sooner we can realistically survey the options at hand.

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).

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."