Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Autism Resources in New Brunswick - Chatham Library Hosts Launch of Autism Collection

Chatham Library Hosts Launch of Autism Collection

Miramichi Weekend, Friday, May 11 2007

Representatives of Chatham Branch of the York Public Library, the New Brunswick Public Library Service and the New Brunswick Public Library Foundations gathered at a reception at the Chatham Branch on May 2 to launch a collection of resource books specific to Autism Disorder.

The president of the New Brunswick Autism Society Lila Barry made the presentation of books in honour of her mother-in-law, Emma “Big Momma” Barry.

She thanked the family members of Emma Barry in attendance for their generous donations that made the collection possible. Emma Barry was known for her love of all children but held children with special needs even closer to her heart.

In a disorder in which early detection and treatment is vital to the success of a child with Autism, parents are often desperate for information. Current statistics indicate that 1 in every 150 children will be on the Autism Spectrum. Resources are vital to successful outcome.

Six years ago, Barry’s son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, one disorder on the spectrum of Autism.

“I remember being so overwhelmed and distraught. One of the first places I sought was information at this library, but I was devastated to find no books here, and only two or three within the system in high demand and available only after a long wait. “

After joining the Autism Society of New Brunswick, she and others in the organization created a vision to provide better support for families with better resources and approached the New Brunswick Public Library Service with the idea of donating a collection of resource books.

This donation, the second of two to the New Brunswick Libraries Foundation from the Autism society, now brings the collection to 68 books. The monetary value of this gift was matched by the New Brunswick Library Foundation.

At the launch, Dr. Theresa McKenzie, a licensed psychologist and specialist in this disorder, stressed the importance of this donation. With wait times as they are, parents concerned about some of their children’s developmental behaviours need resources to provide strategies for coping at home and developing social skills. Often their concerns are dismissed but parents know their children best and need accessible resources.”

This collection will be housed at the Chatham Branch of the York Library Service but all New Brunswickers with interest or concerns about Autism Spectrum Disorders can access the books by inter-branch loans

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