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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, March 16, 2006

 

What's in a Name?

Well, it's happening. I've begun incorporation for Canadian Autism Acceptance Network -- C.A.A.N.

The organization will be the umbrella under which the exhibition and lectures this October will be organized -- for the purposes of raising awareness about the need for acceptance of autism.The organization will not advocate for a cure. It will support research only directed and requested by autistic persons. The primary goal of the organization will be event and media driven. Participants in this year's exhibition who are confirmed are:

Donna Williams
Michael Moon
Dr. Nehama Baum
MukiBaum Centre for Complex Disabilities
Jonathan Lerman
Caren and Alan Lerman

I also have a list of prominent unconfirmed participants, who should be confirmed shortly.

I am looking for Canadian autistic persons to consider joining the board. Please send letters of interest to:

estee@wolfond.com

13 Comments:

Blogger Jannalou said...

I will link to this post from some of the other web locations I have (blogs etc.) and I'll poss the link along on some of the lists I belong to.

Good job, can't wait for it to get off the ground!

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there a group called "Cure Autism Now"? Making them C.A.N. and that could easily be confused with your C.A.A.N.
I found your previous post interesting but I can't say if I agree with it entirely. It seems to me that there may be a big difference between what could be considered "high functioning" autism and those with "severe" autism. I agree that people with autism need to be accepted for who the are and are not to be considered "broken", but I also think that the quality of life of those with severe autism would be greatly enhanced if a "cure" were found.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Jannalou said...

It seems to me that there may be a big difference between what could be considered "high functioning" autism and those with "severe" autism. I agree that people with autism need to be accepted for who the are and are not to be considered "broken", but I also think that the quality of life of those with severe autism would be greatly enhanced if a "cure" were found.

This Blog is by someone who, if you met her in person, would probably be one of those you consider to be "severe" or "low functioning".

Also, have you read Getting the Truth Out? I think you need to...

(Apologies to Estee, but I couldn't let that statement go without response!)

1:31 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Good luck, Estee!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

This is why I'm starting the organization and it's already off the ground...just not incorporated yet.

It will be directed by those with autism, not parents. My point the entire time has been that people with autism need to have the stage...there are too many "outsiders" (for lack of a better word) who are making decisions for autistic people. I really don't think, anonymous, that you understand autism if you continue to insist that there is a black and white spectrum. There is only grey matter here -- people are all different and unfortunately, for many who are diagnosed as "severe" as you say, which ususally defines what manifests on the outside contrary to what is on the inside, they really do not receive the respect, recognition, supports and dignity they deserve.

As for my reason to start this: I consider myself a facilitator because I have the wherewithall and desire to do it. I do not intend to speak on behalf of those with autism -- they do a mighty good job of speaking for themselves. I want a tolerant world. I want supports for my son and other autistic kids in school. I want to demolish fear of disability. Ergo, I make stages.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

By the way,

Why do you stay "anonymous?" Why don't you want to join in this debate with an indentity?

4:03 PM  
Blogger Phil Schwarz said...

Good for you Estee...
I am glad to hear ally voices from Canada, amid the shrillness of the curebies.

Anonymous, consider this: there is a difference between mitigating handicaps and seeking a "cure for autism". Mitigating handicaps means enabling people to communicate, to read, to learn, to gain access to what is denied them. It doesn't mean messing with people's individuality, even if that individuality makes them look less "normal". "Curing" autism means making people "fit in" and look more "normal". You don't need to engage in the latter, to accomplish the former. The difference is *tremendously* important to those of us on the spectrum.

-- Phil Schwarz, from south of the border (Boston since 1978, but I did grow up in a suburb of Windsor, Ontario called Detroit... :-))

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Bonnie Ventura said...

I'm looking forward to seeing more about this -- it looks very promising! Please post the URL for the C.A.A.N. website when you have it set up, so that we can all link to it.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

Bonnie -- will do!! Thanks for your support.

10:30 AM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

Hurrah! I am so happy you are doing this! The voice of autism often tends to get drowned out by the loud voices of well-meaning parents of children with autism, as well as professionals with all kinds of credentials and titles and while I realize that most people are just trying to help, I think the voice of autism needs to start coming from those with autism.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:00 PM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

I had a feeling about that...

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Bonnie Ventura said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:35 AM  

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