Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stephen Harper's National Autism Strategy - Here It Is Folks!

Stephen Harper's response to the autism crisis facing Canada boils down to 2 components, a national autism stakeholders symposium and an autism web site. Yup, that's it. The stakeholders symposium was cancelled because - hold your breath folks - the Government of Canada couldn't find a big enough room in the National Capital Region in which to hold the symposium. That leaves the web site.

So here it is folks Stephen Harper's National Autism Strategy in its entirety right here on this blog page! Take your time, don't rush through it, you might miss something:


Autism is a complex, lifelong condition that affects a person's development, how his or her brain processes information, and his or her interactions with other people. Signs of autism are usually present by three years of age and it is more prevalent in boys than in girls.

Autism is a spectrum disorder. It is defined by certain behaviours which come in combinations and in degrees of intensity that vary in each child and adult affected. The main challenges of autistic children and adults are related to social interactions, verbal and non-verbal communication, ability to learn (in the usual settings), repetitive behaviours, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. International studies indicate that about one in every 150-160 children has autism spectrum disorder.
The Government of Canada's Role

The Government of Canada's goal is to promote and preserve the health of all Canadians and for Canada to be among the countries with the healthiest people in the world. To achieve this goal, Health Canada promotes high-quality, scientific research as the basis for its work. Disease surveillance, prevention, control and research are also integral to ensuring the health of Canadians. As with all issues of national importance, Canadians also expect the federal government to facilitate sharing of best practices and expertise.

Management and delivery of health care in Canada is within provincial jurisdiction. Health Canada is responsible for bringing together parties to advance work on health issues of national and inter-provincial concern. Research and surveillance are important building blocks in the development of these best practices. In addition, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada communicate with Canadians about health promotion to enable them to increase control over, and improve, their health. Health Canada also conducts ongoing consultations with Canadians to determine how best to meet their long-term health care needs.

In regards to autism spectrum disorder, Health Canada will be working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to co-ordinate research, surveillance and education. Health Canada will continue to support individuals with autism, and their families, in the areas of research and policy development. It will also continue to support Canada's health researchers in their efforts to find better treatments for spectrum disorders such as autism. Moreover, the federal government is working to help families and individuals affected by autism and other spectrum disorders to gain access to needed information on programmes, services and benefits for which they might be eligible.
Related Resources

Some of the following hyperlinks are to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to theNew Window Official Languages Act. The material found there is therefore in the language(s) used by the sites in question.

* Next link will open in a new window Autism Canada Foundation
* Next link will open in a new window Autism Society Canada
* Next link will open in a new window Canadian Autism Intervention Research Network Site
* Next link will open in a new window Centre of Knowledge on Healthy Child Development (Offord Centre for Child Studies)
* Autism Awareness Month 2006 - Message from Tony Clement, Minister of Health
* Next link will open in a new window Aspergers Society of Ontario
* Next link will open in a new window Autism Ontario
* Next link will open in a new window Autism Services (Saskatchewan)
* Next link will open in a new window Autism Society of British Columbia
* Next link will open in a new window Autism Society of Nova Scotia
* Next link will open in a new window Fédération québécoise de l'autisme et des autres troubles envahissants du développement
* Next link will open in a new window The Summit Centre for Preschool Children with Autism
* Next link will open in a new window Thimerosal in Vaccines and Autism - Questions & Answers
(Public Health Agency of Canada)

For other information on autism, visit the Next link will open in a new window Canadian Health Network.


Anonymous said...

Hi HD,

No mater which "camp" you are in with regard to ASD I would suggest that it is a pretty PATHETIC plan on the part of Stephen Joseph Harper. He has failed to do anything remotely responsive. He has failed to meet the needs of Autisitc Canadian Adults. He has failed to assist parents raising Autistic Children. He has failed to consult. He has failed to provide and to assist. He has failed to support treatment and he has failed to support the development of infrastructure that would lead to meaningful supports for children and adults. IT is one big FAILURE to do ANYTHING of meaning or substance.
Dave C.

Unknown said...

Hello Dave C

Personally I don't think "Primp" Minister Harper gives a fig about the 1 in 150 Canadians with an autism disorder. He simply does not care one iota. IMHO.

Harold Doherty