AUTISM: One Mother’s Perspective


The Canadian National Autism Foundation promotes the positive enhancement and quality of life for people with autism in Canada. We are a foundation of volunteers that was formed in June 2000 by parents and caregivers of people with autism.

CNAF President and Founder Christine Fougere is a mother of twins. Her son, Nathan, was diagnosed at 3 ½ with mild borderline PDD. Nathan was in a regular class with modified programming until 2013, when he was aged out of school. Learning the struggles and the ins and outs of having a son with a diagnosis of autism showed Christine how to advocate for parents, and is what led her to start a foundation in 2000.

Her twins, Nathan and Tasha, have had a research study done on them from all the documentation and medical reports, from the day she found out that she was pregnant until they were 5 years old. This helped make a medical history breakthrough in the Early Detection of Autism.

Following the publication of the twins’ study (Rutherford, 2005), Dr. Rutherford began a longitudinal study following infants with or without a sibling with ASD as they grow into adolescence. This project aims to use eye-tracking technology to measure early social interests in the first year of life and compare early development to later social-cognitive development and ASD diagnostic information. The study is designed to test whether early interest in social information predicts later development of ASD or autistic characteristics.

For more information visit

Debunking Myths about Autism

Myth: Everyone diagnosed with autism is the same.
Truth: There are varying degrees of autism – no two people are alike.

Myth: You can only have a diagnosis of autism, nothing more.
Truth: Many with an autism diagnosis also have a secondary diagnosis, a comorbid. It could be ADD, ADHD, OCD, language delay, depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, seizures, or intellectual disability. Some could even have a dual diagnosis, like Down Syndrome.

Myth: If seizures are not present in someone with autism as a young child, they will not develop seizures.
Truth: Approximately 40% of people with autism eventually develop seizures. If they do not develop seizures in the first 3 years of life, there is a second spike in seizures from 13-17, during puberty.

Myth: Parents who have been making decisions for their child think that once the child turns 18, they still have the legal authority to make decisions for them because they have special needs.
Truth: Once their child reaches 18, parents lose the legal authority to keep making financial and personal care decisions for their adult son or daughter with special needs. Parents need to obtain guardianship of Personal Care and Continuing Guardianship for property.

For more information, or to volunteer, sponsor, or donate, visit WWW.CNAF.NET

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The Canadian National Autism Foundation promotes the positive enhancement and quality of life for people with autism in Canada.


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