Aug 15, 2018, Newfoundland: Newfoundland town leading the way as Canada's 'most autism-friendly' https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/newfoundland-town-leading-the-way-as-canada-s-most-autism-friendly-1.4053768 One small town on Canada’s east coast is leading the way in accommodating people with autism, one sensory calming room at a time. Channel-Port aux Basques, a Newfoundland town of fewer than 5,000 residents, is home to a community group called Autism Involves Me. Co-founders Joan Chaisson and April Billard launched the group after Chaisson, a retired special-ed teacher, started coaching Billard’s son who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “I fell in love with the child and the world of autism,” Chaisson told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday. “It’s so nice to try and figure out what makes them successful.” … They provide parents with a library of resources, they offer training for local businesses, and they even helped turn a local hotel into an autism-friendly environment complete with a sensory calming room, quiet rooms for eating and specialized bedrooms. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that one in 57 kids between the ages of five and 17 have autism in Newfoundland and Labrador. The rate isn’t much lower across the country -- about one in 66 -- but Chaisson’s town has faced particular challenges. Of the 300 children in elementary school there, 14 have been diagnosed with autism. [5%] Chaisson and Billard’s efforts have drawn national attention. On World Autism Day in April, Today’s Parent magazine named Channel-Port aux Basques “the most autism-friendly town in Canada.” The title has caught on, and Chaisson hopes AIM’s initiatives spread across the country. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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