Phone: 416-224-5959
Fax: 416-224-2772

Notice to ISAND Families

ISAND has been confirmed as an Essential Service, and  will remain open, providing services during the Province’s “Stay at Home Order” period from January 14 – February 11. Virtual and (limited) in-person sessions will continue. If you are having in-person appointments now, please check with your therapist to see if they will continue. One change that you will notice when coming to the ISAND office is that there won’t be anyone at the front desk during this period, clinicians will greet people coming in for appointments.

Upon arrival, please the complete screening form located on the table at the entrance (unless completed electronically) and wait for therapist. If you need to cancel, contact therapist by e-mail and/or call front desk and leave message stating your name, the therapist, time of appointment and your reason for cancelling.

Holland Bloorview and Sick Kids offers COVID Testing for Children with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The complementary nature of the collaboration between Holland Bloorview and SickKids means more choice for children and youth with medical complexity and developmental conditions, and their families, in the following ways:

·         Booking an appointment by calling one central number: 416-419-4623. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, staffed by Holland Bloorview and SickKids staff.

·         The option for testing at a downtown (SickKids) location during daytime hours (Monday to Friday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or uptown (Holland Bloorview) location during some evening hours (Monday and Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·         Having the testing swab taken inside the vehicle or tent outside (SickKids) or in an indoor setting (Holland Bloorview).

Thank You to All of Our 2020 Hope Campaign Donors

Up to December 18, more than $24,000 has been collected from:

Individuals

Jeffrey AlpertCindy BieberJon BrickerBob Butella
Vivian CafazzoTina CapobiancoMichelle CaskieMaya and Steve Castle
Glen DalzellRita DannElia DiLoretoKelly D’Souza
Vivian EllisChristine Fischer GuyBrian FisetAlex George
Nora GoldJeffrey GoodDavid GrayMarion Greenberg
Lou GuadagniUmma HabibaSilham HaddadSusan Harris
Christian HernandezMurray IrvingTammy KempAngela Lai
Amhlaoibh LynchMary MallinUmberto MartiniSteve McDonald
Michael MillerLeah MiltchinMike MoranSaul Muskat
Gail NixonKaran PuriBarry RichlerOscar Rombola
Matthew RosenbergBeatrice SanchezAlexandra SchwabeRosanna Soda
Peter StabinsManon ThiviergeGordon TurnerJackie Ventresca
Michelle VolpattiKenneth YoungPat Zita 

Corporations    

  • Caledon Hills Private Wealth – Holliswealth
  • eCapital Fright Factoring
  • Effective Professional Consulting Group
  • Hop Skip Marketing
  • JC Enterprises
  • JD Factors
  • Phenix Group
  • Silver Apple Foundation

ISAND nominated for 2020 International Peace Award

The International Peace Awards, presented by the Gandian Initiative for Development of Support Services (GIDSS), aim to promote Peace, Harmony and Community Service around the world. There are thousands of people around the world who are dedicating their lives to help the needy and marginalized groups without any personal gain. Through these awards, their efforts will be acknowledged and brought before others to inspire similar initiatives.

ISAND has been nominated for this prestigious award in the category of Disability Empowerment in recognition of our adaptability in providing services during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Winners to be announced at the awards ceremony to be held January 2, 2021.

Anthony’s Story

When a child is born, there are hopes and dreams for the future. Often times when a child has been diagnosed with a condition like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), families feel uncertainty, and maybe even despair about the future of their child.

ISAND is not just in the business of providing leading edge therapies to children with ASD, we are also in the business of providing HOPE to their families. Here’s a story that we heard from a parent of a teen with ASD

For years we’ve been concerned that Anthony will have nowhere to go and nothing meaningful to do when he finishes school. Through his involvement with ISAND, we see Anthony grow and flourish and we now realize that there are possibilities for him after highschool. ISAND has given us hope and direction for the future.

ISAND needs your help to continue to provide HOPE to families like Anthony’s. Your contribution today will ensure that we can continue to provide help and HOPE for families who desperately need it.

Please donate today.

Visit by MP Ali Ehsassi

On Wednesday December 9, 2020 Ali Ehsassi, Member of Parliament Willowdale, came to ISAND for a tour and to provide us with four bags of PPE. Mr. Ehsassi, a supporter of ISAND and the work that we do provided us with mask, hand sanitizer, Canadian Flags, and a Certificate thanking and acknowledging ISAND for our role in helping families by providing leading edge therapy to children, youth and adults with ASD.

Employable Me

Three time karting champion, Austin Riley, the first professional race car driver with autism spectrum disorder sat down with ISAND’s world renowned developmental paediatrician, Dr. Wendy Roberts, to talk about his career as race car driver. The interview was filmed and will be part of an episode of season four of Employable Me, which airs on TVO and AMI. (The date of airing is not confirmed, but likely sometime in April 2021).

Austin has placed high in many races including winning first place in a Saleen Cup race at Portland International Speedway in 2019. He is living proof of his own famous saying that, Just because you have Autism, it doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. For more information on Austin and his acer, visit www.racingwithautism.com.

ISAND disturbed by defence strategy in Minassian trial

The 28-year-old man, accused of killing 10 and injuring 16 after driving a van down Toronto’s Yonge Street in 2018 over the course of several minutes, has pleaded not criminally responsible to the charges.

Through his lawyers, Alek Minassian has pleaded not criminally responsible for his actions that day claiming that because of his Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, Mr. Minassian’s way of thinking is “severely distorted in a way similar to psychosis”, stated Dr. Rebecca Chauhan in a Toronto Star article.

At ISAND we believe this statement to be erroneous and damaging to the thousands of people living with ASD in the GTA. Minassian agrees that he intended to kill, that the murders were planned and deliberate, and that he in fact did cause the death of those people. To say that people with ASD lack the emotional awareness to understand that it is wrong to kill people is both wildly inaccurate and extremely dangerous.

ISAND embraces the uniqueness of everyone and believe that every person with ASD, given the right supports, can and should feel welcomed in their community.

This defence strategy perpetuates harmful stereotypes about people with ASD. In fact, research has shown that persons with who are very intelligent and have ASD tend to be law abiding, highly moral and are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Mr. Minassian does in fact have Autism Spectrum Disorder, however we believe that diagnosis has nothing do with his pre-meditated actions on that April day in 2018. From the court reports, it appears that most of the experts called for both the defence and the crown agree. Dr. John Bradford, a Canadian Forensic Psychiatrist called by the defence stated under oath that that Mr. Minassian showed ritualistic behaviours, but not delusional behaviour or psychosis. In Dr. Bradford’s opinion, the ASD diagnosis does not allow Mr. Minassian to be found Not Criminally Responsible.

We hope that the judge rejects the defence arguments, and allows Mr. Minassian to be judged on his actions, not on a falsely misleading theory based on his diagnosis of ASD.