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…

Kids can be the best teachers

Canadian preschool teaches kids with autism and typically developing kids together in a unique integrative program

Kids can be the best teachersMy oldest son came home one day with an excellent idea. Little did we know how it would shape all our lives. In Grade 4, Liam handed me an application to attend Montreal’s Mackay Centre School where he, as a typically developing child, would learn alongside physically disabled and deaf children for one year. The…

Swimming against the current to prevent tragedy

Kids with autism have a significantly higher risk of drowning than the general population. It’s time we had programs across Canada that did something about it

Summer is almost upon us, so the other day I spent $418 on 11 half-hour swimming lessons for my nine-year-old son at the local rec centre. Why so costly? Because my son has autism, the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in Canada. He’s not able to take regular swim classes, which cost a fraction of…

Five things about autism that everyone should know

Media stories that get it wrong can contribute to how others perceive those with autism – and perpetuate potentially dangerous stereotypes

Five things about autism that everyone should knowToo often, well-meaning journalists get it wrong when they write about autism. It’s not so much the content of their stories that misses the mark as the language they use to describe autism. It can be easy to unintentionally offend – or worse, misrepresent – the autism community they are meant to describe. Why does…