Tuesday, March 13, 2007
It was the first time that I chatted with the guy and he's not a bad falla!!!!
We had a good little chat.
When my son Conor was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (Initially PDD-NOS, subsequently changed to Autism Disorder) nine years ago our home province of New Brunswick had virtually no autism specific services. Much has changed since then - for the better. And much more desperately needs to be done.
Eight years ago an interdepartmental committee comprised of representatives of the Departments of Education, Family Services and Health and various community "stakeholders" examined the services available and, after approximately 18 months issued a report in late 2001 (the IDC Report) which confirmed what we already knew - there were very few autism specific services available in New Brunswick. There was no government funding for preschool autism treatments, there were no autism trained teachers, or teachers aides, working in New Brunswick schools, the place everyone in the mainstream classroom philosophy which has dominated NB schools did not provide for the accommodation of autistic students in a continuum of learning environments, there were few living accommodations suitable for autistic youths and adults and there were no treatment facilities offering autism specific in residence treatment. Then almost one full year after the release of the IDC report, and its timid recommendations for evidence based autism specific services, the lead minister on the "autism file", Health Minister Elvy Robichaud admitted to a New Brunswick reporter that he had not yet read the IDC Autism Report, that he had "too much on his plate" and would get to the report later. Many parents of autistic children in New Brunswick were disgusted and galvanized into action. Our trust in the good will of government leaders was shattered and things would never be the same again.
Protests were held at the New Brunswick legislature and government buildings housing the offices of civil servants in the Departments of Education, Family Services and Health.
Letter writing campaigns, radio and television interviews and public announcements were made and meetings resulted with cabinet ministers and senior civil servants.
On April 1, 2003 Health Minister Robichaud announced that $2.1 Million dollars would be made available for a variety of autism related projects, a modest start but a start nonetheless.
Then more procrastination and delay as the government took many more months before announcing that funding for evidence based interventions for autistic children aged 2-5 would be provided to a maximum of approximately $17,000,00 per year. After a long period of many months during which funds, treatments, development time and hope were spent in the absence of any system of accreditation and accountability an agency system was established to ensure reliability and accountability in provision of autism interventions.Training of Autism Support Workers and Clinical Supervisors was provided through the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training Program, both developments spurred on by parental agitation and advocacy.
The school system remained resistant to calls for change. The Autism Society New Brunswick enjoyed a nominal place at the table for such events as the Department of Education's Anglophone side Dialogue on Education Committee. ASNB input though carried substantially little weight with the Department's bureaucracy. But parents kept agitating and lobbying and some Teachers' Aides and Resource Teachers working with autistic students have begun to receive autism specific training at the UNB-CEL AIT program and the current government has committed to training 400 more over the next four years.
The Mackay Report on inclusion in New Brunswick schools was largely a disappointment in its discussion and recommendations for autism. Its discussion of autism itself was minimal and shallow. Mr. MacKay's recommendations for training required timelines of 3-5 years before autism specific training would even begin for teachers aides and resource teachers. The process leading up to Mr. MacKay's report though did give the Autism Society an opportunity to speak directly to other stakeholders and parents and to engage department and school district officials in frank, if sometimes unwanted, discussion about the place of autistic students in New Brunswick schools. The philosophy of mainstream classroom inclusion for all had already been losing ground in face of the reality that some autistic children learned better and were not as likely to be overwhelmed in a quieter location outside the mainstream classroom. Social activity and interaction can be scheduled when appropriate to the autistic students capabilities and needs. But the MacKay review process allowed the ASNB to voice its concerns for evidence based child centered education directly to top school, district and department officials. It now appears likely that the Mackay timelines will not be adopted by the Department. The action to improve the educational opportunities for autistic school children is taking place now, not 3-5 years down the road as Wayne MacKay had recommended.
One of the bright lights on the autism scene in New Brunswick dimmed when it was announced that the Stan Cassidy Rehab centre would discontinue its pediatric tertiary care services for autistic children in New Brunswick. The Stan Cassidy had done outstanding work for autistic children with complex issues. The impending loss of its services would have been a devastating loss. Fortunately, the decision was reversed with ASNB and parents playing a substantial role in that decision and with the efforts of people such as Dr. Ron Harris and Dr. Rob Leckey at the Centre, Ken Ross the Assistant Deputy Minister for Mental Health services, and then Health Minister Brad Green. A new pediatric tertiary care team for autism services is now being assembled at the Stan Cassidy's new location on the grounds adjacent to the Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton.
The progress in pre-school intervention and education of autistic school children is not perfect but it is light years ahead of where we started as parent advocates 8 years ago. Now though a huge challenge remains, a black hole which absorbs the lives of autistic youths and adults in New Brunswick. Like many mental health disorders there is little available in the way of decent residential care and treatment for autistic youths and adults. There are group homes in various locations in New Brunswick but the staff, by and large, has no autism specific training. These youths and adults enjoy very little in the way of a quality of life. They are in essence being kept in custody for safety reasons but receive little of the life experiences that most of us take for granted. Frustrations and confrontation with poorly trained staff result in autistic youths ending up in court on assault charges. Treatment facilities dedicated to autism do not exist in New Brunswick and there are very few professionals who are capable of providing the treatment needed by autistic youths and adults .
The abysmal state of youth and adult residential care and treatment in New Brunswick is a disgrace, a black mark against our province in its treatment of autistic persons. There has been much progress in preschool and school services for New Brunswick autistic persons. The battle to help our autistic youths and adults receive decent residential care and treatment must begin and it must begin now.
You can read Harold's blog by clicking below -
You saw this guy uptown. I decided to have a chat with the guy last weekend.
I've learned that he's a very smart guy! You wish to hear stories from the Street level?
Click below -
Isn't it time for New Brunswickers to once again take control of our own Legislature?
Ignorant Quebecois shouldn't be in control of the Legislature.
People like Dan Bussieres will spent Millions of dollars to deny New Brunswickers the right to the People's House.
Put more money into the Legislature so New Brunswickers CAN take care of their own security.
I emailed the Premier's Office this morning but never received an answer about the ban.
I guess this will end up in court? It's going to be very emotional and dirty!!
They said - Hey man? What this guy is doing is cool!
I went outside to investigate and it was two boys from Ontario.
They were two brothers of the age of 16 and 18.
One of them was named- Mike.
They told me that their parents are in the Beaverbrook Hotel and they’re visiting from Ontario.
They both have ADHD!
One of them told me with tears in his eyes that in Ontario
his friends call him Psycho Mike because he has ADHD!
How many times have I heard this sad story?
I told the young man that he wasn’t stupid and just to hang on!
People with ADHD are very intelligent.
All they got to learn is concentrate and keep their mouth shut and listen.
Easier said than done but it can be done!
My God! The hot sun of July came in with a vengeance.
I was hot and craved for an cold ice cream.
I went to a store and asked for two scopes.
I almost drop dead once they told me that the price is $2.50.
During the hot summer months, I sure miss the ice cream at the
Pumpkin Patch in Grand Bay!
Now, there’s a place
that you get your money worth for a ice cream!
After 8 days, I decided to move my tent.
It left a big dry circle on the lawn.
What a terrible mess!
I told the Sargeant At Arms that I was going to spell a big ADHD on the front lawn.
Some people called it my ADHD flying saucer.
My god? It don’t take long for the grass to dry up in this weather.
Once I moved the tent? It
showed the evidence what my tent is doing to the lawn.
It’s doing damage big times.
It didn’t take for two strangers to approached me and told me to get a job!!!!
I told them that I was very sorry for the damage but the Government haven’t came to chat with me!
So what else can I do???
I am staying put and that is that!
When you do a protest like this?
You have your ups and downs.
After the two men left the area?
One woman who’s a teacher bought me a nice Tim’s Horton
We knows that there’s a problem with Ritalin in the
school system and told me not to quit!
Continue to fight!!!!!-- she said!
30 minutes later, two guys
showed up and asked me what I was doing?
I explain to them that I was educating the public on ADD/ADHD!
Once they told me that they were from Ontario?
I always say - Ohh??? You’re escaping scars??
You should look at their faces after I tell them that phrase.
It’s pretty funny!
Anyway, one guy was very interested in my protest but the other guy looked more interested with the women walking by on the streets.
After 15 minutes of debating the issue.
The other guy asked me if I
wanted a joint?
I told the guy that I don’t like
He asked me if I had any money?
I told the guy that I had very little.
At the end, he gave me 20
bucks and told me to enjoy a few cold beers.
That evening, I decided that I deserved a few cold ones
because it’s been very hot and I did talk a lot in the hot sun!
I had rip jeans one and thank God for that because it was just like a air conditioner.
The wind went right through my jeans and it felt good!
Once in the bar, I noticed 3 guys sitting at a table so I asked them if I could join them and grab a seat.
Minutes later, the manager wanted to chat with me.
He asked me if I asked permission to sit down with those people?
I told the bartender that I did asked first but it was at that moment that I really found out that I was no longer in Saint John.
The Loyalist City is a Blue collar town!
People arrive in the bars and sits
anywhere they wish but this is a White collar town so things are different because of all the bureaucrats.
I drank three beers and I wasn’t really comfortable because I didn’t know anyone but there was a young girl who recognizes me as the protester and offered me a nice meal.
I told her to forget it because I was ok!
Sure was nice of her to ask.
Sure are fine people in
The next day, I bumped into a American.
I asked him where he was coming from?
I told me that he was coming from a very long way!
Once again, I wanted
to know which State?
He continue by saying that he
came from a very long long way!
At the end, he said-
I’m from California! Do you know where that is?
I played along and said- Really? You’re from Californie?
< Jethro style >
My God! That’s a long way!
He kept on telling me
that it was a long trek!
I opened my wallet and showed the show off GUY an article of me written in Sacramento
In 1978, I rode a ten speed bicycle across the U.S..A.!
I showed him the article and said - Look what I did!!!!
I guess you are from a very far place.
I might add that I shut him up pretty good!
You should have seen the look on his face? It was funny and I
confronted MANY American on many occasions during the
hot summer months.
The American started this so call
helpful pill < Ritalin > and I wonder why?
Was it for big drug
companies to make a lot of money would it?
Of course it is and those poor little kids are paying the price!
I noticed that there’s many sad people on this planet and they all seem to be attracted to the Legislature.
I wonder why?
Could it be that the Government house is like a shrine?
A guy name John came around my tent and told me that he was going to lose his farm and
The guy bought tears to my eyes and I felt bad for the poor farmer.
I might these are strangers
but it look like they just wish to have someone to chat with.
I just happen to be there I guess?
That same evening, I noticed many people showing up with their fancy clothes.
It was a gathering for the class of 1953 from Fredericton High School. It was their 50th
One of them told me that it’s the
teachers who needs Ritalin.
I found that line pretty funny! Maybe this is what should be done in today’s world???
GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US,
IN THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST
DIED FOR US.
( ROMANS 5:8 *NKJV )
As you already know God loved us so much that He sent
His son Jesus Christ to die for us. Not because we were
perfect, but because He loved us that much! There couldn't
be a greater demonstration of His love than that! He even
loved us when we were living in sin, that is before we
Now that we are Christians we realize the tremendous
price that our Savior Jesus Christ paid for our sins, AND
WE HAVE KNOWN AND BELIEVED THE LOVE THAT
GOD HAS FOR US as well. ( 1 JOHN 4:16 )
After all, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE
GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOEVER
BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE
EVERLASTING LIFE. FOR GOD DID NOT SEND HIS
SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD,
BUT THAT THE WORLD MIGHT BE SAVED.
( JOHN 3:16-17 )
So Charles, never doubt God's Great Love for you, after
all you are His Child. Further, He is not a God waiting
to punish anyone, but a Heavenly Father who has
tremendous love for His Children! So if you ever feel
unloved, and all alone, reach out to Him for He is always
there with open arms waiting for you!
With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545
(c) Copyright 2007 by Apostle Paul Ministries
This Daily Message was sent by request to:
Charles Leblanc at
from John Steeves Sussex based Columist...
I don't normally pretend to be able to 'see' into the future. At least not in specific terms.
However, I will make an exception today.
I predict that tomorrow March 13, 2007:
1. The Telegraph-Journal and other news media (including the CBC) will carry prominent news coverage of Premier Graham's meeting with Governor Duval of Massachusetts. I am even willing to predict that this coverage will use words such as 'warm, enthusiastic' and so-on to describe Duval's reaction to Graham's proposal to let NB solve the energy needs of NB.
2. I further predict that, in the Boston Globe and the NPR Boston station, WBUR, there will be no mention of the meeting (at best a short paragraph buried somewhere in the Boston media's continuing coverage of the Governor trying to cut back on his official duties now that his wife is under medical care for either stress or depression).
In fact, Graham has (through no fault of his own) picked an awkward time to approach the Mass Governor with his energy supply dreams. The governor is new to his office, he has had several problems of his own, and now his wife is under medical care (presumably as a result). He is unlikely to be 'warm, open and enthusiastic'. More likely, he will be 'distracted, vague and uncertain'.
However, those facts are unlikely to prevent the Premier and his spin doctors from presenting their version of the meeting. And since our local media lack either the funds or the desire to send reliable and independent reporters along on such junkets, the news stories New Brunswickers will receive tomorrow will be either direct from the Premier himself or rewrites from the government news wire.
They must think we are mushrooms. They feed us manure and keep us in the dark.
If you think this is worth sending out, go ahead. I have not submitted it anywhere.... and, even if someone would print it, it should be read today or not at all.
Plus tomorrow, I could be proven 100% wrong... The meeting COULD be the lead item in the Boston Globe