The Autism Acceptance Project
August 3, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Estée Klar is founder and executive director of The Autism Acceptance Project, www.taaproject.com. She’s the mother of a young autistic son, Adam. Dr Kristina Chew is an Associate Professor of Classics at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ. She blogs at http://autism.typepad.com about life with her 13-year-old son, Charlie, who's on the moderate-to-severe end of the autism spectrum. Estée and Kristina explain what acceptance means to parents of children with autism, to children and adults with autism and to the communities in which they all live. They describe the positive changes to their own lives that acceptance brought. But they warn that acceptance is not an easy thing to achieve. They tell us about the things that make the sun shine for them. And they describe the action that they would like to see by government and healthcare systems for more and better support for family caregivers, and children and adults with autism.
Family Caregivers Unite!
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.