Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Andy Scott called for a REAL National Autism Strategy that would ensure treatment for autism 12 years ago,  Munson, Thibeault, and Stoffer have continued the fight tirelessy. Will October 19 bring Canadians a government prepared to make it happen? Some good work has been done during this current election campaign

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Andy Scott called for a REAL National Autism Strategy that would ensure treatment for autism 12 years ago,  Munson, Thibeault, and Stoffer have continued the fight tirelessy. Will October 19 bring Canadians a government prepared to make it happen? Some good work has been done during this current election campaign

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?

Andy Scott called for a REAL National Autism Strategy that would ensure treatment for autism 12 years ago,  Munson, Thibeault, and Stoffer have continued the fight tirelessy. Will October 19 bring Canadians a government prepared to make it happen?
Some good work has been done during this current election campaign in drawing politicians attention to the need for a REAL National Autism Strategy.  The Medicare for Autism Now’s 1 in 58 campaign has produced considerable discussion in a number of selected ridings.  In Saskatchewan Shannon Hill and the PAAT group have engaged federal and political politicians.  Hopefully the government elected October 19 will do more than shell out money for a do nothing committee with no serious mandate like the Harper Party did during the past year.  The Green, NDP and Liberal Parties have all expressed some support for a National Autism Strategy that includes efforts to ensure that evidence based ABA treatment for autism will be covered by Medicare across Canada as Andy Scott called for 12 years ago. 
Following is text from a commentary I posted in 2010  which records  Andy Scott’s call as reported by Tali Folkins in the Telegraph Journal and also acknowledges the tireless efforts of Senator Jim Munson, Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer and former NDP MP Glenn Thibeault as reported by MetroNews.ca. 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010

Renewed Calls for a Real National Autism Strategy

Canada does not have a real national autism strategy but it is not for lack of trying by some dedicated federal politicians  including  Liberal  Senator Jim Munson and  NDP MPs Glenn Thibeault and Peter Stoffer who     have renewed calls for a real National Autism Strategy for Canada.
The struggle for a National Autism Strategy began many years ago including here in New Brunswick where Andy Scott issued a public call for a National Autism Strategy on October 18 2003:
“Fredericton MP Andy Scott said Saturday he has been lobbying prime- minister-to-be Paul Martin for a federal program to help young children with autism. “I desperately want a national autism strategy – and let me just assure you that Paul Martin knows it,” Mr. Scott told supporters at a party celebrating his 10th anniversary as an MP in Fredericton Saturday evening.
Early work by therapists with young autistic children, Mr. Scott said, can make a big difference in their capacity to lead fulfilling lives as adults – and can save money in the long run. But the costs of starting such early intervention programs are high and should be borne directly by Ottawa rather than each individual province, he said. “We have responses and therapies and so on that I genuinely believe can work,” he said. “You’re going to save millions of dollars over the lifetime of an autistic adult. If you can get in at the front end, you can make enormous progress.
But it’s very expensive, and there’s not a lot of stuff being added to Medicare, generally – that’s why we have catastrophic drug problems and other things,” he said. “In the province of New Brunswick, P.E.I., or even Quebec or Ontario it’s very, very expensive. The feds are going to have to step up to the plate.” “
Tali Folkins, Telegraph Journal, October 20, 2003
Mr. Scott was successful in getting a commitment by the federal government to a National Autism Strategy recognized in principle but the strategy at that time did not commit to the hard action necessary to provide assistance to all parts of Canada in providing early autism intervention programs.  Even the National Autism Symposium which came out of that commitment was a sham, pure and simple, a sham.  Public autism advocates, including me were excluded from the Symposium.  Those in attendance were all screened by federal health agency involved with organizing the event to ensure that they would go along with the government’s do nothing to help autistic children agenda.
Senator Munson has been literally crossing the country for several years fighting for a real national autism strategy  and he has not given up on his efforts.  He organized and  spoke in Ottawa yesterday at an event to mark World Autism Awareness Day this Friday, April 2, 2010:
There’s no reason why we cannot treat autism within our own communities equitably across the nation,” said event organizer Senator Jim Munson. “There is a crisis and I know that we can come up with a plan to deal with the issue that is so important to all of us.”
MetroNews.ca, Ottawa, March 31, 2010
The event was also co-hosted by  NDP MP’s Glenn Thibeault and Peter Stoffer who spoke at the event.  Mr. Thibeault also  introduced a private member’s bill, seconded by tireless autism advocate Peter Stoffer,  to create a real national autism strategy, one that would actually help autistic children and their families by having the federal government work with the provinces:
““Autism doesn’t discriminate based on geography.  It’s time for federal leadership to ensure that no matter where a child is born with autism, they receive equal treatment and services of the highest caliber.
Glenn Thibeault,  March 30 2010
I’m very pleased that my colleague has done this.  We’ve been asking for many years for the federal government to work with the provinces to develop a national autism strategy. I hope this will become a reality in the near future.”
Peter Stoffer, March 30 2010
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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey Email received October 2, 2015 from Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey stating Liberal Party supports creation of a National Autism Strategy addressing ABA and IBI access and coverage under Medicare: Hi Harold, Thank you for the email. I apologize for the delay in my response.

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey Email received October 2, 2015 from Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey stating Liberal Party supports creation of a National Autism Strategy addressing ABA and IBI access and coverage under Medicare: Hi Harold, Thank you for the email. I apologize for the delay in my response.

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey

Email received October 2, 2015 from Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey stating Liberal Party supports creation of a National Autism Strategy addressing ABA and IBI access and coverage under Medicare:


Hi Harold,
Thank you for the email. I apologize for the delay in my response. I want to let you know that the Liberal Party and I fully support the creation of a national autism strategy. Our party recognizes that in certain provinces, autism treatments, including ABA and IBI are covered under provincial Medicare programs and are more readily available in other provinces. Health care access challenges like these are something that the Liberal Party is committed to addressing.
First and foremost, we need a conversation that goes beyond simply mirroring previously made commitments. We need a partner in the federal government that is committed to innovation and collaboration with the provinces and territories to achieve a modern, efficient, equitable system of universal health care. The Liberal Party is committed to that collaboration.
A Liberal government will re-engage the provinces after 10 years of Stephen Harper neglect. We will meet on Canadian health care and negotiate a new Health Accord with the provinces and territories, including an agreement on long-term funding. Furthermore, our party is committed to pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation. We will work with provincial jurisdictions to overcome obstacles to innovation in health care delivery and access.
Thank you again for your email. I hope that I’ve helped to clarify the Liberal Party’s position on support for those living with autism. If you have any further questions please reach out.
Best,

Matt

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Research Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

My son Conor, now 19 1/2 years old, stimming, a recognized feature 
of autism spectrum disorder, in this older picture.
Conor, a couple of years ago, at the Chalmers Hospital 
intensive care unit, where he was being treated for  rhabdomyolisis, 
a serious adverse  reaction to his epilepsy seizure meds at that time. 
As the father of a son with autism spectrum disorder, intellectuall disability and epilepsy I have asked myself if these conditions are in fact related. It has been my non evidence based belief, based solely on observing, caring for and loving my son for almost 20 years that he has one condtion that affects him and causes his deficits.

I have attached a copy of the abstract of the reseach review Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?  I  hope to obtain a copy of the study itself and more importantly I hope that the study encourages more study and discussion by neurological researchers and professionals of this subject.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy commonly co-occur. In this review, we consider some unresolved questions regarding the temporal relationship, causal mechanisms, and clinical stratification of this comorbidity, highlighting throughout the interplay between autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. We present data on the clinical characterization of children with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy, discussing distinctive phenotypes in children with this comorbidity. Although some distinctive clinical features emerge, this comorbidity also informs convergent pathways in genetic variants that cause synaptic dysfunction. We then move beyond diagnostic categorization and consider the extent to which electrophysiology as a quantitative biomarker may help guide efforts in clinical stratification and outcome prediction. Epilepsy, and atypical electrophysiological patterns, in autism spectrum disorder may inform the definition of biologically meaningful subgroups within the spectrum that, in turn, can shed light on potential targets for intervention.
© The Author(s) 2015.

KEYWORDS:
autism spectrum disorder; biomarkers; electroencephalography; epilepsy; intellectual disability

Jeste SS1, Tuchman R2. J Child Neurol. 2015 Sep 14. pii: 0883073815601501. [Epub ahead of print]

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Surprise! A Meaningful Autism Disorder Study Provides Evidence of Autism’s Harsh Realities

Autism is a disorder which, far beyond its core diagnostic criteria, brings with it higher than average medical conditions and psychiatric illnesses.   The health status of adults on the autism spectrum study confirms the harsh realities of autism disorders and should not be ignored or lightly dismissed by academics, mainstream media or professional “self” advocates who, despite their very high functioning levels, insist on burying the harsh realities of the severely autistic, like my son, in the mounds of autism ignorance they dump on the public landscape. As the study indicates autism disorders mean significantly higher than average psychiatric illnesses and medical conditions.  Not much joy to be found in those realities.This study though should be helpful in bringing a much needed dose of autism realities to the  public understanding of autism disorders and the harsh realities that accompany them.

The health status of adults on the autism spectrum

  1. Lisa A Croen1
  2. Ousseny Zerbo1
  3. Yinge Qian1
  4. Maria L Massolo1
  5. Steve Rich2
  6. Stephen Sidney1
  7. Clarissa Kripke3

  1. 1Kaiser Permanente Northern California—Oakland, USA

  2. 2Kaiser Permanente Northern California—Santa Rosa, USA

  3. 3University of California, San Francisco, USA
  1. Lisa A Croen, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California—Oakland, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. Email: Lisa.A.Croen@kp.org

Abstract

Compared to the general pediatric population, children with autism have higher rates of co-occurring medical and psychiatric illnesses, yet very little is known about the general health status of adults with autism. The objective of this study was to describe the frequency of psychiatric and medical conditions among a large, diverse, insured population of adults with autism in the United States. Participants were adult members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California enrolled from 2008 to 2012. Autism spectrum disorder cases (N = 1507) were adults with autism spectrum disorder diagnoses (International Classification of Diseases-9-Clinical Modification codes 299.0, 299.8, 299.9) recorded in medical records on at least two separate occasions. Controls (N = 15,070) were adults without any autism spectrum disorder diagnoses sampled at a 10:1 ratio and frequency matched to cases on sex and age. Adults with autism had significantly increased rates of all major psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and suicide attempts. Nearly all medical conditions were significantly more common in adults with autism, including immune conditions, gastrointestinal and sleep disorders, seizure, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Rarer conditions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, were also significantly more common among adults with autism. Future research is needed to understand the social, healthcare access, and biological factors underlying these observations.
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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Surprise! A Meaningful Autism Disorder Study Provides Evidence of Autism’s Harsh Realities

Autism is a disorder which, far beyond its core diagnostic criteria, brings with it higher than average medical conditions and psychiatric illnesses.   The health status of adults on the autism spectrum study confirms the harsh realities of autism disorders and should not be ignored or lightly dismissed by academics, mainstream

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Vancouver, BC – Today, the Medicare for autism Now! Society (“MFAN”), a non-partisan, not-for-profit, all volunteer organization, announced the launch of its nation-wide One in 68 campaign. “We will be holding a Campaign Kick-off this Saturday, June 27th, at Douglas College, New Westminster, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” said MFAN director and campaign manager,

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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Vancouver, BC – Today, the Medicare for autism Now! Society (“MFAN”), a non-partisan, not-for-profit, all volunteer organization, announced the launch of its nation-wide One in 68 campaign. “We will be holding a Campaign Kick-off this Saturday, June 27th, at Douglas College, New Westminster, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” said MFAN director and campaign manager, Dr. Sherri Brown, “It will outline the rationale for our initiative and lay-out our action and advocacy agenda leading to the federal election on October 19th, less than four months away.”
The MFAN campaign takes its name from the fact that, currently in North America, one in 68 children are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). “There is a national epidemic of staggering proportion happening in Canada,” said MFAN director, Jean Lewis, “And, unlike the situation in the United States, our federal government has to date failed miserably to demonstrate long overdue leadership in addressing this major and growing national health care challenge.”
The One in 68 campaign will seek firm commitments from those who wish to hold elected office in Ottawa to vote in favour of necessary changes to the Canada Health Act so that persons living with ASD across our country will have science-based treatment for their core health need covered by Medicare. MFAN intends to focus its efforts on  a limited number of highly competitive electoral districts in various parts of Canada. In Metro Vancouver, these include: Burnaby North-Seymour, Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, Delta, Surrey Centre, Surrey-Newton, Vancouver Centre and Vancouver Quadra.
  
For further information, contact Jean Lewis at 604-290-5737 or at jean.lewis@telus.net.
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Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Medicare for Autism NOW! Campaign Kick Off Today!

Vancouver, BC – Today, the Medicare for autism Now! Society (“MFAN”), a non-partisan, not-for-profit, all volunteer organization, announced the launch of its nation-wide One in 68 campaign. “We will be holding a Campaign Kick-off this Saturday, June 27th, at Douglas College, New Westminster, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” said MFAN director and campaign manager,

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