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The Government Of Canada Announces Funding Project For World Autism Awareness Month

As the month of April represents World Autism Awareness month, the Government of Canada announced its funding projects this week to better understand the needs of Autistic adults in Canada.


On April 19, Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Health Canada, announced that $214,883 of funding will go to the Autism Alliance of Canada (AAC) to help increase education about the necessities and experiences of adults living with autism over the age of 30 years of age.


According to the news release from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the AAC will use funding to create surveys about quality of life including employment, health, social skills, and daily routines.


The AAC will use the results for experience reports, related to specific autism. The results will also be used for future research and the National Autism Strategy.


The Autism Alliance of Canada (AAC) is an organization that aims to address gaps in knowledge and specific issues that Autistic individuals and their families face.


The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, was quoted in the news release stating, ‘we are taking another step toward the national autism strategy and helping to address gaps in knowledge about the necessities of adults living with autism in Canada.’


According to the Government of Canada Bill S-203, including the Federal Framework on Autism Spectrum Disorder Act received a Royal Assent on March 30.


This legislation commits to the federal developments, designed to support Autistic Canadians, their families, and caregivers.


The developments include high-level guiding principles and best practices that will serve as an umbrella to guide national autism activities, not just in Canada – according to the Government of Canadas website.


The AAC works with over 90 organization members, includes over 400 associate members, and over 100 community members within Ontario - in support of Autism support and education.


Recent Leadership Summits hosted by the AAC included topics such as, “Lessons from Abroad: What Can Canada Learn, Adopt and Implement?” and “Looking Within Canada: Building On Our Momentum.”


The panel presentations discussed international policies as experts presented information on their national level Autism polices within their countries. Further, the panels discussed status updates on Canada’s National Autism Strategies.


The funding project announced this week by the Government of Canada, will be piloted by the AAC and in partnership with the Sinneave Family Foundation, The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the McMaster University.


The organization in Canada called Autism Canada released an article in March about the significance of Bill S-203.


In the article, Autism Canada outlines the significance of Bill S-203 identifying equitable access to financial support, upgraded research, and campaigns to promote education and acceptance of Autism.


The Chair of the Board of Autism Canada, Paul Finch, was quoted in the article stating, ‘they are optimistic about the bi-partisan support with this bill, and it recognizes the need for individuals with autism living in Canada to be directly involved in the development of a federal framework.’


Finch continued stating, ‘they look forward to engaging in the public consultation process outlined in the bill, and making sure voices, caregivers, and families are front and center,” he said.


While April represents World Autism Awareness month, organizations outside of Ontario are reflecting, reaffirming, and updating their educational support for individuals with Autism and their families.


Autism Society located in Rockville, Maryland describes how to connect individuals to the resources they need through education, advocacy, support, information, and community programs.


Operation for over 50 years, the Autism Society announced their #CelebrateDifferences campaign in honor of Autism Acceptance Month.


Celebrating differences creates a world where everyone in the Autism community can feel comfortable and access the support they need.


On the Autism Society’s website, its #CelebrateDifferences campaign also has a donation option for those to help support connecting Autistic individuals to specific needs.


The website breaks down where and how exactly the donations are used.


The minimum of $25 allows for one hour of support from the Autism Society of America’s National Helpline and the maximum of $250 will go to supporting National program development for employment, first responder training, and safety.


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) partnered with the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to reflect and reaffirm its commitment to research supporting the needs of individuals on the Autism spectrum.


Joshua Gordon, the NIMH Director and the IACC Chair, explains the supporting initiatives in the article called, “Autism Awareness Month: The Power Of Community,” on NIMH’s website.


The initiatives discuss different supportive solutions for people across the spectrum, range of solutions for specifically adulthood needs, increasing equity, diversity, sexual orientation, gender-identity, age, language, and socioeconomic status.


The National Institute of Mental Health awarded the Autism Centres of Excellence (ACE) with $100 million in support. This award covered research topics such as health equity, sleep disturbances, analyzing gender, diversity, healthy aging, and overall mental health.


Many people globally live with Autism and many families experience the challenges that individuals face.


Mental health has gradually had a push to the forefront over the past few years by many experts holding panels, more conversations occurring, and services or organizations promoting services.


The Bill S-203, which was given Royal Assent on March 30, includes a federal foundation that identifies important supports needed in Ontario.


These supports include, timely and equitable access to screening and diagnosis for Autism spectrum disorder, financial support including expansion of tax benefits, support for caregivers, and ensuring accountability for the use of federal funds for individuals with Autism and their families.


Various mental health support systems should be considered by the governing figures of every country. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, approximately 1 in 50 children from 1 to 17 years of age in Canada, have been diagnosed with Autism (ASD).


The specific indicators of autism can differ from every person. Individuals show signs within the first few months of being born, while some don't show signs until later in life.


While support is available to individuals and their families, the research about autism is commonly focused on children. Due to this commonality, the understanding of adults living with autism can be improved.


By the Government of Canada and organizations globally putting more time, finance, and research into individuals living with Autism – it will provide awareness, acceptance, and knowledge.



Edited by Kavya Venkateshwaran

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