Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Autistic Children "Rotting On The Vine" In Ontario - Why Not Consider "the New Brunswick Autism Model"?

In Wait list for autism therapy growing, critics charge the reports that "the wait list of autistic children who are eligible to receive intensive behavioural intervention therapy, or IBI, reached 1,148 on March 31, up from 985 last year." NDP critics argue that the government is moving at a slow, even glacial, pace resulting in many children "rotting on the vine" in the words of NDP critic Andrea Horwath who was also quoting parents she had met at a town hall meeting. The article describes spending increases by the McGuinty government but does not really describe a plan for getting children off the autism wait lists.

When I was in Ontario last week, as part of the Medicare for Autism NOW! campaign, I had the privilege of meeting some Ontario parents and discussing autism realities in Ontario. I heard of autistic children facing bureaucratic obstacles, waiting on lists for treatment only to "age out" before receiving treatment; or after just getting started. I mentioned the New Brunswick autism model as one that Ontario might want to consider.

In New Brunswick autism services are far from perfect but we have come far with the effort of determined parents, a sympathetic public and ... responsive political leaders. We have also been fortunate that political leaders of both major political parties in New Brunswick, aside from some exceptions, have tended to be genuine in their desire to help autistic children. So what is "the New Brunswick autism service model" and why is it working? (Yes, there are problems and the need to continually improve but generally we are much better off than Ontario.)

The key to "the New Brunswick autism model" is the University of New Brunswick Autism Intervention Training program offered through UNB's College of Extended Learning. The program provides training for autism support workers and clinical supervisors to provide evidence based interventions to children with autism during the pre-school years. Those interventions are provided by agencies which must be approved by the Department of Social Development and must be accountable for the quality of the services provided. The UNB-CEL AIT has also begun providing similar training to teacher/education aides and resource teachers. We are no longer debating whether ABA can be provided in New Brunswick schools as they are in Ontario. Here it has been happening. My son, Conor, has received ABA based instruction for the past 4 years. The teacher aides providing the instruction in school have been trained at UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program. While Discrete Trial Training is used for academic instruction, more general ABA principles are also employed in settings such as the school gym.

The UNB-CEL AIT program began as a response to a call for tenders by the Department of Family and Community Services (now the Department of Social Development) to provide pre-school autism intervention services in New Brunswick. It began, literally, at a meeting of the proposed UNB Autism Centre committee of which I was a member. Asked whether the College of Extended Learning could be of assistance Anne Higgins director of professional development at UNB-CEL listed the administrative milestones that would have to be met. Then, like few people I have ever seen, she and her team at UNB-CEL got the things done to meet those targets. The curriculum and instruction quality were overseen and assured by Clinical Psychologist and Professor Emeritus (Psychology) Paul McDonnell. With other Autism Society and parent reps on the committee we saw the program established from the outset and have complete confidence in the quality and integrity of the program. The program is continually evolving with input from the Departments of Social Development and Education and from the autism community.

A couple of years ago I was offered employment in the Toronto area with a labour organization whose leadership I had already worked with. It was really a dream job but I turned it down. In part because I grew up attending as many as three schools in one year as an "army brat" and my two sons had both had the opportunity to attend the same grade school and middle school without moving from place to place. But the biggest reason for not wanting to move was the fact that Conor was receiving ABA based school instruction from an aide trained at UNB-CEL using programs designed and overseen by a teacher who had received the Clinical Supervisor training at UNB-CEL. He has now had almost 4 years of such education and I am glad, for his sake, I decided to stay in New Brunswick.

I don't know if the Ontario bureaucrats would consider developing the New Brunswick model in Ontario for pre-school and school age children. Nor do I know if parents would want that. In Ontario they seem hung up on the IBI versus ABA labels a distinction without a real difference. But if autistic children are "rotting on the vine" in Ontario they might want to at least take a look at what we have done right here in New Brunswick.

If the people in Ontario are interested in what has happened in New Brunswick they might want to consider the CAUCE 2008 sessions, session five, on May 30 at the University of Western Ontario. Anne Higgins and Sheila Burt from UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training will be participating and speaking about the pivotal role of UNB-CEL in providing multi-partnered, systematized autism intervention services.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RDI Is NOT an Evidence Based Intervention

In New Brunswick several years ago there was little in the way of autism specific services. An interdepartmental committee comprised of representatives of the Departments of Family and Community Services (Now called Social Development), Education and Health, the "IDC", some autism "community" representatives and some professionals met for 18 months before issuing a report which stated that obvious fact. The failure of the IDC Committee, publicly at least, to discuss the need for autism treatments and to identify treatments that should be offered to autistic children in New Brunswick, is what prompted me to become publicly involved in autism advocacy in New Brunswick. One positive development that came out of the IDC review though was a commitment by the New Brunswick government to evidence based treatments.

That commitment to evidence based interventions is of critical importance for New Brunswick's autistic children and youth and has been largely honored since then by the Province of New Brunswick. There is, however, despite the existence of a high quality autism intervention training program at UNB, persistent pressure from some pockets, particularly in the Saint John and St. Andrews areas, to employ non-evidence based interventions with autistic pre-schoolers and students. In Saint John in particular, the "anything but ABA" sentiments of some influential people in the autism "community" have resulted in negative and inaccurate perceptions of ABA amongst some parents busy with the demands of child raising, dealing with their children's autism and, like all of us, struggling to get by. At the same time the "anything but ABA" group tends to promote any intervention with a nice sounding name that looks fun on its face, anything as long as it is not ABA.

The intervention which is currently in vogue amongst New Brunswick's "anything but ABA" lobby is RDI. RDI sounds so nice - Relationship Development Intervention. After all how can one possibly be against "Relationship Development"? And it is an "Intervention"! It sounds so professional it must be evidence based right? Well no, not really.

One of the leading reviews of the evidence basis of the effectiveness of autism interventions is the MADSEC Autism Task Force Report which reviewed the professional literature in 1999-2000 and concluded at pages 60-61:

Based upon a thorough examination of numerous methodologies considered as interventions
for children with autism, the MADSEC Autism Task Force has characterized the interventions
reviewed as follows:

Substantiated as effective, based upon the scope and quality of research:
Applied behavior analysis. In addition, applied behavior analysis’ evaluative procedures are effective not only with behaviorally-based interventions, but also for the systematic
evaluation of the efficacy of any intervention intended to affect individual learning and
behavior. ABA’s emphasis on functional assessment and positive behavioral support will
help meet heightened standards of IDEA ‘97. Its emphasis on measurable goals and reliable
data collection will substantiate the child’s progress in the event of due process.

Shows promise, but is not yet objectively substantiated as effective for individuals with autism using controlled studies and subject to the rigors of good science:
Auditory Integration Training, The Miller Method, Sensory Integration, and TEACCH.

Repeatedly subjected to the rigors of science, which leads numerous researchers to conclude the intervention is not effective, may be harmful, or may lead to unintended consequences:
Facilitated Communication.

• Not scientifically evaluated:
Greenspan’s DIR/”Floor Time,” Son-Rise.

There is no mention of RDI in the 1999-2000 MADSEC review but RDI has emerged more prominently since then in autism workshops offered in New Brunswick and elsewhere and there has been another important and more recent review of the scientific studies of the effectiveness of autism interventions - the American Academy of Pediatrics report Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders published online October 29, 2007. The AAP concluded, at page 1165m with respect to the evidence basis of RDI that:

RDI focuses on activities that elicit interactive behaviors with the goal of engaging the child in a social relationship so that he or she discovers the value of positive interpersonal activity and becomes more motivated to learn the skills necessary to sustain these relationships.56 Some reviewers have praised the face validity of this model, which targets the core impairment
in social reciprocity. However, the evidence of efficacy of RDI is anecdotal; published empirical scientific research is lacking at this time.

(Bold highlighting added for emphasis -HLD)

If a reader wants to understand how weak the evidence in support of RDI effectiveness is, as summarized by the AAP above, they can compare it to the AAP summary, at page 1164, of the evidence in support of effectiveness of ABA:

The effectiveness of ABA-based intervention in ASDs has been well documented through 5 decades of research by using single-subject methodology21,25,27,28 and in controlled studies of comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention programs in university and community settings.29–40 Children who receive early intensive behavioral treatment have been shown to make substantial, sustained gains in IQ, language, academic performance, and adaptive behavior as well as some measures of social behavior, and their outcomes have
been significantly better than those of children in control groups.31–40

When the New Brunswick government committed to evidence based approaches to treating and educating autistic children it adopted a very sound policy which has helped many autistic children. Even in Saint John where the "anything but ABA" sentiment has been strongest, autistic children receive evidence based intervention at the Stepping Stones autism agency. But why is it important to provide evidence based interventions?

In Children with autism deserve evidence-based intervention,
The evidence for behavioural therapy, MJA 2003; 178 (9): 424-425, Jennifer J Couper and Amanda J Sampson, reviewed some of the evidence in support of the efficacy of behavioral interventions for autism. The authors stressed the importance of an evidence based approach to autism interventions:

While ineffective therapies may be harmless, they waste parents' money and the child's valuable therapy time. Furthermore, the delay in implementing effective treatment may compromise the child's outcome.

The choice of autism interventions offered by New Brunswick autism agencies should be determined by the evidence basis in support of their effectiveness. Failure to provide evidence based effective autism interventions may compromise the outcome for children with autism disorders in New Brunswick.

Autistic children deserve evidence based intervention.

At this time RDI does not meet that standard.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Autism As Disability and Disorder - NOT Deviance

Leave it to Estee Klar-Wolfond host of "The Joy of Autism" to get it wrong again. This self appointed expert on autism actually celebrates autism - a disorder which impairs and restricts the lives of many with Autistic Disorder. And her absurd views of autism are reflected in her response to the speech by Reverend Jeremiah Wright to the NAACP.

In my son's case he can not be left unattended at any time. He can not be left to wander to the end of our neighborhood street unaccompanied without risking his life. Yet this person lectures parents like me that we should find joy in our children's disability. I can not hide my lack of respect for her point of view. It is sheer and utter nonsense and I will not pretend otherwise. Whenever I read of an autistic child gone missing, sometimes thankfully returned to safety, sometimes not, I think of this person's perverse ideology which celebrates disability as something joyful. I am not surprised Estee Klar-Wolfond would seize on Rev. Wright's remarks as she has in her comment titled "Difference Is Not Deviance". Here is a big tip for Ms Klar-Wolfond. I know of no single person who accuses autistic people of being deviants. Not one.

Ms Klar-Wolfond takes issue with other parents who describe their children as ill. Like many who subscribe to the Neurodiversity Ideology that worships autism as a culture or way of life Ms Klar-Wolfond takes exception to those who describe autistic disorder as a ... disorder, a disability, or a disease. What Ms Klar-Wolfond and other ND adherents ignore are the hard realities of autistic children, like my son, who can not walk to the end of our neighborhood street alone for fear of serious injury or death. Nor do they talk much about the autistic persons who hurt themselves even causing brain injury or starve themselves. It is easy to see autism as a joy as Ms Klar-Wolfond does when you simply ignore the unpleasant realities lived by some persons with autism and hang out on the internet with some high functioning persons who write great essays and appear before courts and parliamentary bodies.

Here is another little tip for Ms K-W and the rest of the ND ideologues. If someone is called autistic it is because they have received a medical diagnosis that they have one of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders. They would not have acquired such a diagnosis if everything was joy and bliss in their lives. They acquire such diagnoses, most often as children, because of serious language delay and other serious developmental and behavioral problems. Joy? Not at all. Deviance? No, not that either. Autism is a disorder and a disability and it is also called a disease by medical professionals whose opinions were sought by parents in respect of their children.

Ms Klar-Wolfond is "happy to announce" that she is "a new graduate student of Critical Disability Studies at York University". Congratulations to Ms Klar-Wolfond on acquiring entrance to another university degree granting program. Hopefully the learned professors who mentor Ms Klar-Wolfond will understand that race and religion may not be the most apt comparisons for disorders and disabilities. People of different races and religions suffer when people create obstacles and hardships for them because of their differences. Their races and religions impose no restrictions or impairments on their lives.

People with disabilities and disorders suffer when the physical world, genetic and environmental, create obstacles and hardships for them. Their own disorders and disabilities do in fact impose restrictions and impairments on their lives. Therein lie the "differences" between race and religion on the one hand and disability and disorder on the other. Hopefully the professors and mentors at the York University Critical Disabilities graduate studies program understand these distinctions even if Ms Klar-Wolfond does not.

My son is diagnosed as having Autistic Disorder, assessed with profound developmental delays. He has a disorder, a disability. He is not thereby deviant. And it is silly to suggest that anyone in the real world equates autism with deviance.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Autism Fun - Conor and Dad at the Circle Place

After a long tough winter it is no problem getting Conor outdoors for a walk, especially if we go to "the circle place", the Lawrence Amphitheatre in Nashwaaksis. The Saint John River has flooded this spring and we have to take a different route. Once there Conor loves to walk around the rings and circle at "the circle place". After Conor relaxes with a watermelon treat.

Autism & Stimming, 2000+ Views for Conor Stimming Video

"Conor Counting and Stimming", Conor's Youtube video showing him stimming while counting from 1 to 100, has now received more than 2000 views (2,050 at present, without CNN promotion).

Conor has Autistic Disorder with profound developmental delays. He will not be attending Simon's Rock College for gifted youths. And he will not be writing elaborate screenplays explaining how his stimming is a way of communicating with the physical world around him. His language skills are not that good. As far as I can tell, Conor stims to relieve tension and frustration. He enjoys stimming and we do not try to eliminate stimming behavior. But it is not a "language" in any sense of that word. His favorite stim object is the straw which he manipulates in this video.

Conor's stimming is not dramatic, it is not fancy but ... it is real. It is what he does ... whether there is a camera trained on him or not.

2,050 views. If some of those viewers are new to autism then I am glad that they had the opportunity to see autistic stimming, Conor style. No drama, no profound philosophy, not very fancy but very real.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Four Teens Fully Recover from Autism Through ABA

Press Conference and World Premiere Movie.

Los Angeles, CA, April 25, 2008 --( Four families who were told to institutionalize their autistic children years ago will be honored during the screening of a documentary about their journey to recovery. The four children featured in the documentary were all diagnosed with autism between the ages of 3 and 5, and their parents were told that the children would never be able to have meaningful relationships or even communicate with others. Today, they are teenagers who, through a treatment program with the Center for Autism & Related Disorders, have overcome the bleak prognosis to become active, successful individuals.

Ruffin, Janna, Nick and Brett participate in mainstreamed high school settings, and are exceptional students. They are involved with friends, hobbies and sports. By anyone’s standard, they are typical teenagers. All four children had a formal removal of their diagnosis, exhibiting scores in the normal range in intelligence, language and adaptive skills after treatment.

Their story is told by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), the organization responsible for their treatment. She and her staff developed and administered treatment programs for each of the children using Applied Behavior Analysis techniques and documented the children’s’ stories and progress.

Recovered: Journeys Through the Autism Spectrum and Back is a true and inspiring story of four families who were given no hope, one organization which refused to give up, and four brave children who overcame the odds to achieve success. The documentary includes pre and post treatment interviews and therapy sessions.

“Many people don’t believe it is possible to recover from Autism. Our purpose in developing this film is to show that there is reason for hope. These children can learn to communicate, socialize, and play. I wanted to make sure families hear and see that,” Granpeesheh said.

Press Conference & Star Studded Premiere
7:15pm – Friday, April 25, 2008
Pacific Design Center - Lobby - Silver Screen Theater – 2nd Floor
8687 Melrose Avenue – West Hollywood, CA

Available for interviews:
• Four recovered teenagers (3 from Los Angles Area; one from Midwest) + many, many more recovered children
• The therapists who worked with the children
• Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh
• World acclaimed psychologist, Dr. Ivar Lovaas
• Lou Diamond Phillips, Director/Actor/Autism Activist

Contact Information Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc
Daphne Plu
818-345-2345 X 270

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Study Finds Mercury Autism Link

The rancorous debates about a possible mercury autism link usually focus on vaccines and the mercury component of some vaccine preservatives. Mercury originating elsewhere in the environment is rarely mentioned as a possible causal factor for autism even though mercury is a powerful neurotoxin especiallydangerous for fetuses, babies and toddlers. A recent study by a team of San Antonio scientists may change those dynamics substantially as reported on The San Antonio scientists have found a statistically significant correlation between autism rates in Texas school districts and their proximity to power plants or other large industrial sources of mercury.

The team looked at mercury released from 39 coal-fired power plants and 56 industrial plants around the state and examined the autism rates from 1,040 school districts in Texas.

Researchers found that for every 1,000 pounds of mercury released into the environment, there was an overall 2.6 percent increase in autism rates in Texas school districts.

That rate jumped to 3.7 percent when looking at emissions from power plants alone. But it fell by 1 to 2 percent for every 10 miles from the source.

The study is published in the journal Health & Place.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Autism's Fallacious Grinker Assumptions

1. Non-environmental factors explain some of the exponential increases in rates of autism diagnoses.

2a. Therefore non-environmental factors are responsible for the entire increase in autism diagnoses.


2b. Environmental factors do not and have never caused autism alone or in combination with other factors.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wales Takes National Autism Action While Canada (Harper) Ignores National Autism Crisis

New, wide-ranging efforts to tackle autism and improve services for those who are affected by the condition were announced today by the Welsh Assembly Government. The Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Action Plan is to be launched today at the 3rd Wales International Autism Conference organised by Autism Cymru in Cardiff. Funding for the next three years has been identified with the first years funding of £1.8m being announced to drive forward key actions for the first years. Wales is the first country in the world to have established a cross-cutting national strategic action plan for ASD that will help the estimated 30,000 people that are either directly or indirectly affected by Autism in Wales.


The Action Plan will drive improvements across both children, young people’s and adult services in health, social services and education services – and also expand into areas of housing, leisure and society in general.

- Published by Jon Land for in Communities , Health on Tuesday 22nd April 2008 - 12:13pm

It is encouraging to see a national government tackling its autism issues head on, without hiding behind any contrived excuse they can find to avoid helping the many citizens with autism disorders. Canadians, on the other hand, have a national government led by Prime Minister who is oblivious to autism and the autism crisis in our country. The nicest thing that can be said about Alleged Health Minister Tony Clement is that he doesn't really appear to know much about autism. MP Mike Lake of the governing Conservative party, and father of an autistic child, is an occasional autism "spokesman" for the governing Conservatives; usually helping Harper pass the buck. Of course Mr. Lake has more pressing matters on his agenda .... like presenting a petition to the House of Commons to protect the mythological Bigfoot creature. As for autistic children in need of treatment in Saskatchewan or Manitoba or the Yukon? Well Mike Lake needn't worry he lives in oil rich Alberta his child can receive government funded intervention until age 18.

Congratulations to the Welsh Assembly Government for doing what the Canadian government of Stephen Harper has not done; launch a national autism strategy to provide autism help to all its autistic citizens.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Public Autism Tantrums - Parents Scorned and Accused By Those Who Do Not Know

Yesterday I sat with Conor in the family car while his mother and brother briefly popped into a local grocery store. Conor wanted to stay in the car but after a while, and despite being asked again if he wanted to go in the store with Dad, he began screaming ......... very loudly. I was able to get the screaming to stop in fairly short order but not before a lady walking nearby turned and looked back in our direction - twice.

It was a very mild public reaction in the scheme of things and we have been very lucky with Conor but others I know in New Brunswick have not always been so fortunate receiving visits, and investigations, by child welfare social workers. Negative public reactions, and child welfare investigations by those who do not understand the realities of autism are facts of life for many parents and carers for autistic children.

Talking about such negative realities invites sneering and snide commentary from some who promote autism as a "culture" or a joy. These are everyday realities for the parents and carers of many autistic children who find no comfort in the inane works of Gernsbacher, Mottron and Dawson or the unrealistic dramatizations of autism by CNN obsession, and former Simons Rock college for gifted students attendee, Amanda Baggs. Most parents care too much for their autistic children to pretend that their children's autism is anything but what it is ... a neurological disorder that impairs and restricts the lives of their children. The public meltdowns of their children and the societal reaction that often results are endured courageously by these parents ... because they love their children, they care for them ... and they are responsible for doing the best they can to help their children experience and enjoy life to the fullest.

In When child has autism, excursions are challenge the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review offers an informed and helpful portrayal of the challenges faced by families of some autistic children who must deal with their children's public tantrums and the consequences that sometimes result. The Tribune-Review article tells the story of Catherine Hughes whose son Christian improved dramatically after receiving behavioral intervention. Along the way though Ms Hughes endured criticism by a pediatrician who described her son as "hyper" and declared that she did not know how to control him. On the day of an appointment Ms Hughes had obtained for her son with a specialist he suffered a meltdown in a restaurant where an employee accused her of child abuse. Three police cars quickly arrived and Ms Hughes spent four days in jail before spending thousands of dollars in legal fees to get the charges dropped, clear her name and regain custody of her children.

The Tribune-Review feature offers some helpful suggestions for parents seeking to manage their children's public excursions to reduce the likelihood of tantrums and suggestions on how to handle public reaction. Features like this create real autism awareness and help the autistic children and their families who live with the sometimes harsh realities of autism.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Medicare for Autism NOW! in Oakville, Organizing and Sending A Message

It was a warm sunny day in Oakville yesterday as the Medicare for Autism NOW! team gathered at the Iroquois Ridge Community Centre to meet families in the communities west of Toronto, to organize and to send a message to ALL federal politicians: Canadians are suffering from a NATIONAL autism crisis. Some autistic children, depending on where they live, receive NO treatment for autism. The lack of treatment prevents some autistic children from living a full life and imposes emotional and financial hardship on family members.

Many of us have talked about a National Autism Strategy to address Canada's national autism crisis for years. Some politicians of character and conscience, people like Senator Jim Munson and MPs Andy Scott, Peter Stoffer and Shawn Murphy have actively campaigned for a National Autism Strategy. Stephen Harper, alleged Health Minister Tony Clement and Conservative MP and autism father Mike Lake on the other hand have largely mocked the efforts for a national autism strategy. Aided and abetted by Dr. RĂ©mi Quirion and the CIHR the national autism strategy has been reduced to a less than mediocre web site and a secretive, politicized and staged National Autism Symposium that resulted in absolutely NO autism information being disseminated to Canadians.

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at the Oakville rally along with Jean Lewis who has led litigation and political autism battles in British Columbia and experienced political organizer David Marley. We were joined by Jennifer O'Brien from Oakville, autism winter trek hero Stefan Marinoiu from Toronto, Barry Hudson from Toronto and constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne from Toronto. Medicare for Autism NOW! is national in scope. We are organizing coast to coast and we have a message for federal politicians of all stripes. Something must be done NOW. We need Medicare for Autism NOW. David Marley, show in the bottom picture below has prepared a strategy. A number of ridings that were decided by 2% or less in the last election will be targeted for election action by the Medicare for Autism NOW team. We will be making an impact in those ridings on behalf of the candidates, whatever their political stripe, who support Medicare for Autism NOW. David Marley is also organizing of team of people with political organizing skills and experience to help get our message across effectively.

One of the key ridings will be the Parry Sound Muskoka riding of Alleged Health Minister Tony Clement. Mr. Clement won by one of the smallest margins of any MP in Canada in the last election. Stefan Marinoiu, David Marley and Jean Lewis toured the riding this week and apparently there is already, for various reasons. substantial dissatisfaction with Mr Clement amongst his riding constituents who were also very supportive of the Medicare for Autism effort. Medicare for Autism NOW! will be active in the riding of alleged Health Minister Clement to remind constituents of Mr Clements refusal to help autistic Canadians and their families.

Iroquois Ridge Community Centre in Oakville

Jennifer O'Brien

Jean Lewis

Stefan Marinoiu

Deborah Coyne

Barry Hudson

David Marley

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Autism and ABA Quote from A Preschool Teacher Who Has " Walked the Walk"

"I am A Developmental Preschool teacher who over the years, has taught many
children with Autism. I have witnessed first hand the many benefits of ABA.
It is important that ABA be covered through health care so all children with
Autism can benefit from it."

Genvieve McEachen Goerz, April 15, 2008

National Autism Strategy / ABA in Medicare NOW! Facebook Group

Medicare for Autism NOW Rally in Oakville Today at 2

"Medicare for Autism Now!" Rally

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Iroquois Ridge Community Center,

1051 Glenashton Drive,

Oakville, Ontario, L6H 6Z4

Medicare for Autism NOW! Meets Sandie Rinaldo and CTV

Yesterday was a big day as Medicare for Autism NOW! met Sandie Rinaldo and CTV

The CTV camera crew sets up

Jean and David arrive

Gary from CTV briefs Stefan, Jean and David

Jean and Sandie Rinaldo prepare for the interview

Afterwards its over to the CTV Toronto offices in the Globe and Mail
building before heading out for lunch

Friday, April 18, 2008

Facing Autism With Stefan Marinoiu and Friends

At the end of my travel day to Toronto I met with autism's winter trek hero
Stefan Marinoiu, Jean Lewis and David Marley. Stefan invited us to dinner at his home
where his wonderful wife Bernadette had prepared an awesome meal for us. We met
Stefan's beautful family, Bernadette, sons Paul and Simon and daughter Lia.

Paul, Bernadette, Lia and Stefan

David Marley, Simon, Jean Lewis

Stefan, David, Jean and me, "the face that was made for radio", in back

Facing Autism Goes To Toronto

Yesterday I headed to Toronto for some autism advocacy as part of the
Medicare for Autism Now! team

An early start to the day

Some interesting landscape heading toward Montreal

Approaching Montreal for the connecting flight to Toronto

Approaching Toronto

The CN Tower, I am definitely in Toronto

On to the Delta Chelsea Hotel on Gerrard St W