Cool the hype around genetics and health care

We are a long way from identifying definitive biomarkers to illness and personalized gene therapies are likely generations away

Cool the hype around genetics and health careBy Nicole Letourneau and Suzanne Tough University of Calgary Genetics will save the day – that’s the message you see constantly in the media and even in academic literature. But it's a message that can distract us from providing quality care now. Newspapers herald breakthroughs in finding genetic biomarkers for autism. Magazines trumpet finding a…

Three ways you can help families affected by autism

Small gestures can make all the difference to someone’s day

Three ways you can help families affected by autismAbout one in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (one in 42 boys). ASD often includes those with a wide range of challenges and abilities, including linguistic, social and sensory impairment, along with fine motor and gross…

What can we learn from one another today?

Each of us is worthy of dignity and respect. The more we embrace this truth about ourselves, the more we can see it in our neighbours.

What can we learn from one another today?In his book Horton Hears A Who, Dr. Seuss reminds us, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Being mindful of this is one of the keys to finding joy and fulfilment in life. Everyone we meet, above all else, is a person. Each of us is worthy of dignity and respect. The more…

The ‘A’ words – autism and advocacy – go hand in hand

With early intervention and the right supports, children with autism can learn and thrive. But too many doors are closed to these children

The ‘A’ words – autism and advocacy – go hand in hand“As soon as I mentioned the ‘A’ word, I knew she would not be calling me back.” This was what one of the parents I met at my preschool told me it was like trying to register her son with autism in a non-specialized local community program. Once the registrar heard the word autism, they…

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner gifts

The talents of some children are like buried treasure. But you can trust a parent to see these precious gifts and help unearth them

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner giftsWhen asked how important family has been on his life journey, motivational speaker Nick Vujicic replied, “It was the most important factor. I’m very thankful that they loved me, challenged me to never give up, try new things, and often gave me godly advice.” What is unique about Vujicic is that he was born without…

No guarantee of quality supports for disabled Canadians

The tangled web of disability governance and policy in Canada needs to clarified and centralized

No guarantee of quality supports for disabled CanadiansBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca At a recent Senate committee hearing on the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the father of a child with autism made a heartfelt plea and a chilling statement: “We are impacted by the inability to secure our son’s future. We are his…

MedicAlert a voice for autistics in crisis situations

The MedicAlert Autism Program allows emergency responders to make better decisions to help people in times of need

MedicAlert a voice for autistics in crisis situationsThe silver identification bracelet that indicates an existing condition to first responders has been a valuable tool for decades. In 1953, a teenage girl named Linda Collins cut her finger badly. At the hospital, she received a tetanus shot, had a severe allergic reaction and almost died. After that incident, her parents began attaching a…

Music’s power to improve the challenges associated with autism

Music interventions are evidence-based with positive results – so why don’t we use them more often?

Music’s power to improve the challenges associated with autismMy son is practising the piano as I write this and it’s the sweetest sound. He’s spent two years working slowly through the same level but it doesn’t matter; he’s improving and the benefits of both music therapy and music lessons have been clear and measurable. My only wish is that I had started sooner.…

Disability tax credit falls short for too many Canadians

Why is the Canada Revenue Agency denying the tax credit to those who need it most?

Disability tax credit falls short for too many CanadiansBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca “Providing benefits not burdens” is how former Health Minister Judy LaMarsh once described the vision for disability policy in Canada. Unfortunately, this vision is not a reality when it comes to one of the main benefits open to Canadians with disability: the federal disability tax credit (DTC). Administered…

Earlier intervention could help Canadians with autism avoid crises

More resources in the community and better training for emergency services are needed

Earlier intervention could help Canadians with autism avoid crisesBy Yona Lunsky and Jonathan Weiss EvidenceNetwork.ca The long wait times at hospital emergency rooms across the country are not just a cause for complaint. The high costs associated with emergency services also affect the finances of our publicly funded health system. What’s often lost in these discussions are the ways we can reduce emergency…