Saturday, September 30, 2006

Our Handouts - The info we gave all who attended Dennis' seminars

PEI Eastern Graphic, Wednesday July 19th, 2006

Alex & jypsy/janet would like to thank all the people who supported our Run and made these presentations possible.
From the major donors to the small fistfuls of change, from tip to tip on PEI to as far away as Texas, Florida & London, England, thank you all.
~ Thanks to all who helped in any way ~
As always, a very big thank you to the PEI RoadRunners Club and all it’s members. Their support, from the very first race Alex attended in 2004, to all the incredible help & support we received on our tip to tip Run, inspires us beyond words. Alex would never have dreamt of setting this goal, and achieving it, without their influence.

Thank You Dennis Debbaudt, for coming to PEI and for doing what you do.

Thanks to all of you who took the time and initiative to attended Dennis’ seminars
I hope you come away with a better understanding and awareness of the Autism Spectrum


Major Donors


Thank You

  • PEI Council of the Disabled for assisting and supporting our Run and Dennis Debbaudt's seminars. The PEI CoD is in charge of receiving donations and issuing receipts. Thank you so much for your continued support.
  • PEI Credit Unions for accepting donations at your locations across PEI.
  • Prince Edward Island Tourism Department for providing accommodations for us on the Western end of PEI at Jacques Cartier, Mill River, Green Park and Linkletter Provincial Parks
  • Assistant Manager Rob and Charlottetown Superstore for donating water, Gatorade mix, Power Bars, bug spray & sunscreen for our Run
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Education for providing the venue, Charlottetown Rural High School theatre, for the evening seminars
  • Holland College for providing their Lecture Theatre for the morning & afternoon seminars
  • Dale Larkin, owner of Inn at the Pier in Stanley Bridge, PEI, for providing beautiful accommodations for Dennis when he's here.


What we’d like you to know about Autism

Autism is a neurological difference classified as a developmental disability. Autistic people have atypical behaviours in three areas: social interaction, communication, and restricted interests or repetitive behaviours. Autistics are different at the most basic level available: how they experience the world, and how they learn from it. Autism presents with measurable differences in perception, attention, memory, intelligence, etc. The autistic order and progress of development is different from the typical version as is autistic brain structure, allocation, and function. Autism presents strengths not available to the typical population, but the different pattern of strengths and weaknesses characterizing autism results in many difficulties as atypical needs and adaptive but atypical autistic behaviours are at odds with what is considered or expected as "normal".

Autism isn't a disease, or a bunch of behaviours, any more than femaleness is. Autism involves neurological differences, which are basic and comprehensive. Autistic neurology is no more or less valid than non-autistic neurology: both autistics and non-autistics are able to develop, learn, progress, and achieve things, but may do so in different ways and may require different kinds of help along the way.

Progress is part of the natural course of development in autistics, as it is in non-autistics, but development in autism may not proceed in the same order as is considered normal for non-autistics. Autistics may, e.g., seem advanced in some areas and delayed in others. Seen in perspective, this means that in comparison with autistics, non-autistics are likely to be advanced in some areas and delayed in others. Non-autistics may need a great deal of assistance in learning things that autistics learn easily, and the reverse may also be true. Seeing as we don't declare non-autistics to be "succeeding in treatment" or "less severely non-autistic" or "recovered" when they develop and learn, it should be clear that describing autistics in these kinds of terms is misleading and prejudicial.

Autistics are alert and aware of what is happening around us, even though we may not be able to show this or respond in expected, typical ways. Autistics also may not communicate in typical ways, and in some situations, will find it difficult to communicate at all. However, this does not reflect a fundamental inability or unwillingness to communicate. Autistics want to communicate, and can do so when provided with a context in which communication is both possible and responded to. This is also true of non-autistics, but non-autistics are much more likely to be provided with contexts in which they can communicate successfully.

Dividing autism into "severe" and "mild", or in similar ways, is misleading and harmful. Autistics may differ in the extent to which autistic traits are or are not obvious, and this may vary in individual autistics from hour to hour, day to day, and year to year, depending on many factors, including on what kind of context an autistic lives in. The extent to which autistic traits are or are not evident in any individual autistic is unrelated to our intelligence and our outcomes as adults. However, societal prejudices against autistic traits may prevent autistics whose traits are more obvious from being considered able to learn, to communicate, to make decisions about our lives, to walk around freely, to be employed, etc.

Michelle Dawson
Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic
Rivière des Prairies Hospital
University of Montréal


Autism Web Resources

– jypsy’s Picks - /run.htm RUNMAN's Race Page – Alex’s running & race page. Ooops…Wrong Planet! – My website Autistic Success - My Brief to The Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology. The Honourable M. J.L Kirby, Chair Getting The Truth Out - *Highly* recommended, but must be read *to the end*. Autism_Hub - The best in autism related blogging - Honoring the variety of human wiring - The REAL Voice of Autism Library Autistic Advocacy Oddizms The Autism Acceptance Project No Autistics Allowed - Explorations in discrimination against autistics Police and Autism: Avoiding Unfortunate Situations - Dennis Debbaudt Autism Risk and Safety Management - Dennis Debbaudt Dennis Debbaudt ‘s Autism Risk & Safety Newsgroup - For those interested in developing positive interactions within the autism spectrum disorders and law enforcement communities.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Florida man bringing message of hope about autistic people

Florida man bringing message of hope about autistic people
Lectures of U.S. man with autistic son made possible through fundraiser of Islander with disease.
By Jim Day
The Guardian

Dennis Debbaudt won’t unlock any secret code on autism during a series of seminars in Charlottetown today.

Rather, he will give a straightforward talk on this often misunderstood condition.

“This is all common sense information,’’ he said.

“It’s common sense but it’s not common knowledge, regrettably.’’

Debbaudt is a Florida-based professional investigator and father of a 22-year-old autistic son. He educates law enforcement, medical and first respondent personnel on how to recognize and respond to autistic persons.

His audiences at the three sessions today will also include educators, social workers, autism specialists and family members of autistic persons.

Debbaudt said people have been hurt and some have even died in situations involving autistic persons that weren’t handled well.

In criminal situations, for example, a person with autism may not understand his or her rights. He or she may also not understand the consequences of their actions and may even produce a false confession or misleading statement.

Debbaudt suggested that if an officer is able to recognize that he is dealing with an autistic person and if the officer has been informed how to interact with such a person, the situation is more likely to reach a safe and peaceful conclusion.

The key is getting that information out, said Debbaudt.

“Better to know a little about something that may be a low-frequency contact,’’ he said.

“In this case, the low frequency contact (with an autistic person) is often high risk. So those are the ones you want to have a little understanding about.’’

Debbaudt offers a host of tips for interaction with persons with autism. They include:

- Display calming body language and give person extra personal space;

- Use simple language;

- Speak slowly, repeat and rephrase questions;

- Use concrete terms and ideas, avoid slang;

- Allow extra time for response;

- Give praise and encouragement;

- Exercise caution during restraint;

- Seek advice from others on the scene who know the person with autism.

Debbaudt’s seminars were made possible through the fundraiser of Alex Bain, an 18-year-old Oyster Bed resident with autism, who recently ran nearly 300 kilometres from North Cape to East Point.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for what Alex did, so thank you Alex,’’ said Debbaudt.

“It’s a testament to the abilities that people with autism have.’’

It was Bain’s mother who thought to bring Debbaudt to P.E.I.

Janet Norman-Bain became aware of Debbaudt through her strong connection with the international autism community. She hopes Debbaudt’s seminars will result in proper interaction and intervention when Islanders — professionals and the general public alike — deal with autistic persons in any number of situations, most notably ones that hold potential for harm.

“I haven’t heard of any great crisis happening here (on P.E.I.) and I hope that’s the case . . . and we can get in here and do some intervention before any great crisis ever does (occur),’’ said Norman-Bain.

Police, firefighters get help with the autistic - CBC News

Police, firefighters get help with the autistic

Last Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2006 | 5:06 PM AT

CBC News

When you're autistic, it's easy to be misunderstood. A P.E.I. mother and her autistic son wanted to do what they could to keep any misunderstanding from leading to trouble.

'People with autism will view the world differently than you.'- Dennis Debbaudt

Janet Norman-Bain and her son, Alex Bain, spent much of the summer raising money to bring Dennis Debbaudt, a speaker specializing in how to deal with autistic people, from the United States to Charlottetown to have a session with local law enforcement and fire personnel.

Janet Norman-Bain and Alex Bain travelled from one end of the Island to the other to raise money to bring Dennis Debbaudt to Charlottetown.
Janet Norman-Bain and Alex Bain travelled from one end of the Island to the other to raise money to bring Dennis Debbaudt to Charlottetown.
(Laura Meader/CBC)
Norman-Bain wants police and other emergency responders to recognize the disability — and know what to do — for the sake of the safety of her son.

"He's independent and out in the community now, but may not have the verbal skills that are expected," Norman-Bain told CBC News Wednesday.

"If they tell him to stop and he doesn't, is that going to escalate into a situation."

In the summer Alex ran and his mom biked across P.E.I. to raise money to pay for Debbaudt's trip. Alex ran the length of the province in two weeks, a half marathon every day.

"People with autism will view the world differently than you," Debbaudt told officials gathered to hear him speak.

"They may not understand your verbal commands, they may not understand your facial expressions."

Debbaudt hopes his session with Charlottetown officials will keep them from jumping to conclusions, about drugs and alcohol or that someone doesn't want to co-operate, when it could be autism.

"Hopefully, people in the future, when law enforcement and people with autism have contact in the field, these contacts will be better informed, much more safe and risk free," said Debbaudt.

Officials in attendance intend to pass on what they learn to others.

"We as a first responder, fire services, are going to have to understand how to manage the situation where we have an autistic person," said provincial fire marshal Dave Blacquierre.

The meeting with emergency personnel is one of several Debbaudt will do on the Island. He will also be talking with educators and students. For Janet Norman-Bain and Alex Bain, the more people who understand, the better.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hear our CBC Radio interview about the upcoming seminars and our Run

Hear our CBC Radio interview about the upcoming seminars and our Run here, on the Autism Diva's Blog. The interview (done the end of June) is accompanied by a slideshow of Alex's life, from day old to the Run's finish line in July. Thanx Dinah for putting this 8 minute video together & on YouTube and thanx AD for blogging it.

For more YouTube short autism videos, visit "Posautive".

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thanx / Seminar Schedule

Grateful thanks to all our supporters! Our Run was a great success, Alex saw his dream of being the first autistic to run across PEI tip-to-tip come true, and we raised the $6000.00 we were aiming for to bring Dennis to PEI and be able to offer these Autism Safety Training seminars, at no charge to participants.

These important safety training seminars were made possible by the generous donations of Islanders and folks from as far away as Texas & London, England, and the keen interest of law enforcement & first responders who want to be educated about the Autism Spectrum.

Dennis Debbaudt will present 3 seminars on Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 in Charlottetown PEI. The full schedule is here. These Seminars are free to attend but pre-registration is required.

The morning session is for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice, the afternoon session is for First Responders & Emergency personnel. They will be held at the Holland College Lecture Theatre. Brochures for Session 1 & 2 are here.

The evening session is for Autistic Individuals, Parents, Educators, Care Providers & the General Public. It will be held at the Charlottetown Rural High School Theatre. Brochure for the evening session is here.

Pre-Registration is required for this free training event. Seating is limited and participation will be on a first come, first served basis. Please Pre-Register by Friday, September 22nd by sending your name, address and contact phone number or email address and the session you are attending to

While on PEI, Dennis will be staying at the beautiful Inn at the Pier in Stanley Bridge, on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. "This picturesque property is situated on beautiful New London Bay overlooking the sand dunes of Prince Edward Island's National Park. This unique location coupled with the proximity to the ocean offers visitors an experience to be found nowhere else in PEI." Thanks go to Dale Larkin, owner, & his family for supporting the cause and accommodating Dennis.