Thank you to Canadian Weblog Awards for having nominated Facing Autism in New Brunswick for a 2010 CWA and a big thank you to the jurors in two rounds of voting who selected Facing Autism as the First Place Winner in the Health & Wellness category and Third Place Winner in the Ecology & Social Justice category. I encourage readers to visit the CWA site and check out all the excellent winning and nominated blogs.
I also encourage our Canadian federal government to begin implementing a REAL National Autism Strategy. The current National Autism Strategy is a very bad joke. Canadians with autism disorders and their families deserve much better than the patch work quilt of services that exists across Canada. This is not a partisan issue. As yet no Canadian federal party has used the power of government to help autistic Canadians in any meaningful way. Canadians with autism disorders are Canadians too. They deserve recognition and real help from our federal government.
I also encourage researchers, particularly in the United States, where most significant autism research is done, to continue efforts to finding causes, treatments and ... someday ... cures for autism disorders. Autism is not just a different personality, a life style or a culture. It is a medical disorder that restricts the lives of most affected by it. I also encourage autism researchers in the US to contribute more funding towards environmentally focused autism research. Autism has not even remotely been explained by the total dedication of funding dollars towards genetic autism research. The emerging paradigm recognizes autism as resulting from gene environment interaction. So it might be a very good idea to recognize the fine work done by Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto and her colleagues who have done so much to bring attention to the environmental side of the autism equation.
I encourage everyone .. researchers, doctors, government leaders, media "journalists", bloggers and citizens of all countries to recognize that autism is not just a childhood disorder, that autistic children grow up to become autistic adults. Many will require services in all areas of life including residential care and treatment which accommodates the challenges presented by their autism disorders.