OAARSN offers information and communication tools to connect adults with Autism, family members, caregivers, friends, support workers, teachers, administrators and policymakers. We can all benefit from the opportunities for mutual support and encouragement and the sharing of knowledge and experience. Our efforts to promote positive approaches and best practices in supporting adults with Autism can help all who live and work on the front lines.

OAARSN’s focus on adult issues balances the emphasis on children in most other Internet resources about Autism Spectrum Disorders. OAARSN provides resources and links to share information about ASD, its various symptoms and types, current research, and helpful treatments and therapies-as these may be relevant to adults.

OAARSN was first launched in February-March 2000. Awareness of Autism has increased since then, with the huge growth of Internet information resources. There is still a role for OAARSN as an independent website representing all kinds of people concerned with adult Autism issues. The website has a simple and logical structure, with all features accessible from this homepage.

Autism Information addresses questions such as “What is Autism?”, “How many people have Autism?”, “What causes Autism?”, “How is Autism diagnosed?”, “Types of Autism” and “Autism in adulthood”.

Treatments and Therapies discusses various helpful interventions for adults.

Autism Resources outlines the values and approaches that can support each individual with the complex needs to have the greatest quality of life. It also provides some guidance in searching for further Internet resources as well as to organizations that we have found helpful.

Creative Supports for Vulnerable Citizens outlines the larger context and values in creating a good life for all people with a disability—including supported decision-making, independent planning and facilitation (aka brokerage of personal supports), direct and individualized funding, building community capacity, and inclusion.

Document Centre presents links to PDF documents on the OAARSN site that may have lasting value—including perspectives on individual and family experiences, statements of helpful approaches and methods, and accounts of special meetings and project plans.

Communications Centre has six sections, to which new materials are continuously added and announced in our OAARSN and Creative Supports news bulletins.
--Books on the Autism Spectrum
--OAARSN’s Adult Autism News Bulletins
--Creative Supports Bulletins
--AROHA-Entities for Personal Empowerment and Support
--Bridges-Over-Barriers Communication Support Initiative
--Guelph Services for Adults with Autism

OAARSN was developed by Elizabeth and Gerald Bloomfield, based on a lifetime of support and advocacy with our son Andrew (born 1968). Our experiences convinced us that “there must be a better way!” We have realized the importance of sharing information and strategies that may help others.

This site is dedicated to the idea that adults with autism can continue to develop and learn. They and their primary caregivers deserve all the support, faith, imagination and patience we can give them. We who are directly involved believe in this idea because we know and love our particular adults and respond to their humanity. But even sceptics should ponder the social and economic benefits of encouraging continued development and increased quality of life.

We honour Andrew for being a brave pioneer, and his friends for their loyalty. We appreciate the dedication and ingenuity of Peter McCaskell in designing the first website in early 2000, and the support of the University of Guelph in hosting OAARSN on its web server. We thank Liana Rowlands of Guelph for working on this revised website. We value the connections made with members of the OAARSN, in Ontario, Canada and all over the world.

You may use the Google Search button under the menu at the top left to look up topics you are interested in--either on the OAARSN website or the World Wide Web.

Contact us: OAARSN@uoguelph.ca
Copyright © OAARSN 2009

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