• On accessibility, Ontario needs less secrecy, more action

    They want to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to jobs, education, public services, restaurants and stores as anyone else in this province. They want buildings and bureaucracies alike to be designed with the challenges of living with a disability in mind. This is what the AODA promises to accomplish… If the government is sincere in that commitment, it should stop fighting… advocates and start working alongside them to ensure that this good law is being enforced

  • A perfect storm: homelessness, mental health, criminal law and no shelter beds

    We are told that the cost of rent is a function of the market. There is widespread public support for benefits for people who cannot work because of disabilities. At a minimum this should include enough money to pay rent and buy food. Instead, my clients are being warehoused in jails while their friends sleep and die on Toronto’s streets.

  • England trials free talk therapy

    England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses. The rapidly growing initiative… offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health

  • Elizabeth Wettlaufer murder inquiry must confront struggling long-term care system

    The key reason why no one suspected foul play, I suspect, is that nursing home patients are expected to die… The government’s political aim is to get eligible seniors off the waiting list and into long-term care beds as quickly as possible without spending too much… nursing homes face no financial loss if a resident dies. There are always people anxious to fill the beds of those who pass on… neither has a material incentive to look too closely if seemingly natural deaths do occur.

  • How a Canadian experimental program helped one child with autism speak

    Known as the Social ABCs, the program teaches parents strategies to help toddlers with ASD to talk or vocalize in more meaningful ways and to smile more with their caregivers… The 12-week intervention… uses objects that grab a child’s attention and motivates them to verbally interact with their parents… Researchers also saw increased verbal responses to parental prompts and gains in their functional language, as well as how often they initiated a verbal connection on their own

  • Province needs strategy to fund ‘systemic’ housing crisis for vulnerable seniors

    TheStar.com – Opinion/Editorials – Ontario’s government has ignored “systemic” problem of dangerous, unlicensed senior care homes. It needs a strategy to provide proper care and […]

  • PET brain scans show many Alzheimer’s patients may not actually have the disease

    A significant portion of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia who are taking medication for Alzheimer’s may not actually have the disease… The findings could change the way doctors treat people in these hard-to-diagnose groups and save money currently being spent on inappropriate medication… “we’re getting a 66 per cent change… of people who are on a drug and didn’t need to be on those drugs.”

  • Makers of OxyContin, Percocet sued by U.S. governments over opioid crisis

    Their suit is part of a wave of litigation against pharmaceutical companies by states, counties and local prosecutors besieged by the worst addiction crisis in American history… Opioid overdoses killed 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015, about three times the number of gun homicides. The intensity of the crisis, and likely the fact that many of the victims are white middle-class suburbanites with political clout, has produced a bipartisan shift in perceptions of addiction.

  • Author of teen autism memoir grows up but can’t escape heartbreak

    … my parents were never in a state of denial about my autism, nor did they ever consign me to a “special needs” pigeonhole. They just strove to help me get better at doing the things I was good at… It seems to be not widely enough recognized that there are positives to be found in the neurologies of people with autism. If the world at large would take a deeper interest in how our brains work and research our uniquenesses — as opposed to focusing on our treatment and cure — we could take pride in our neuro-atypical natures.

  • Thousands of under-65 adults with physical disabilities are being forced into Ontario nursing homes: Ministry data

    More than 90,000 people spent time in “long-stay” beds in Ontario long-term care homes last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care… including… more than 2,300 people in their 50s, and about 500 in their 40s. Doctors and residents say they have seen people as young as 21 entering nursing homes, to live with people older than their grandparents. “Essentially it’s a default scenario because there is nowhere that a young person can go for long-term care, except a nursing home,”