Ontario Adult Autism Research and Support Network - OAARSN

Ontario Adult Autism Research and Support Network

OAARSN offers information and communication tools to connect adults with Autism, family members, caregivers, friends, support workers, teachers, administrators and policymakers. We can all benefit from the opportunities for mutual support and encouragement and the sharing of knowledge and experience. Our efforts to promote positive approaches and best practices in supporting adults with Autism can help all who live and work on the front lines.

Other Resources for Persons, Families and Caregivers Living with Autism

Electronic information about Autism has increased vastly, to 169 million references on the World Wide Web in March 2021, up from 19 million in March 2009, and 303,000 in March 2000 when OAARSN was first launched.. Adult Autism resources were very scarce in 2000, and Autism issues in Canada hardly registered. In March 2009, an Advanced Google search for “Autism spectrum disorders” combined with the keywords “adults” and “Canada” and excluding “children” found 1,400 hits, while the same search terms found 254,000 references in March 2021. 

Some professionals and commentators completely pan Internet resources. Certainly, as with any innovation that is freely accessible, there is scope for error and misrepresentation. But the potential value of being able to look up new terms and to connect with others far outweighs the risks. A wise Internet searcher will look at a fair number of sources, looking for confirmation of what seems a good explanation, strategy or resource. We know that access to the Internet has empowered many who live with Autism. Of course, before embarking on any course of treatment, we should seek professional advice.

In the first edition of this website, we provided large numbers of links to all kinds of potential resources, throughout the OAARSN site. This time we are more selective. People seeking information and help can now browse the Web more easily. We also want to avoid having to update URL links to other websites too frequently.

We suggest the following advice for search strategies to be used with the Search function for OAARSN, and for the entire World Wide Web.

  1. Think of the keywords that best match your interest, to type in the Search window.
  2. Be specific in your keywords: just “Autism” is far too general.
  3. Try Google Advanced Search or Google Scholar, especially if you are seeking research information. Using Advanced Search to look for information about biomedical issues for adults with Autism, those keywords would all be entered and you may also specifically exclude “children” and “youth” to narrow your search.
  4. You’ll probably want to avoid the sponsored links. Otherwise, the links are displayed more or less in order of likely relevance to your keywords.
  5. A fair portion of the hits may be personal anecdotes or questions or advertising of products or services, rather than balanced expert advice.
  6. Don’t believe everything you find. Try to weigh up the evidence, look for confirmation in several sources, and consider the relevance to your situation and needs.

Archived earlier versions of OAARSN website (2000, 2009)  

Some earlier content has not yet been used in this new 2021 version. For example, information and discussion of creative approaches to support in general, not just for Autism. See Creative Supports for Vulnerable Citizens and various Needs Surveys and Reports in this archived version. Browsing and searching may suggest useful ideas and connections for new projects. However, please note this proviso in using this material: links to external websites will not work, and some links to the old OAARSN site itself may have been broken. Information that is provided may help you to search for an item or source some other way. 

The link to the archived version of the OAARSN site is – https://wayback.archive-it.org/13006/20191101181037/http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/ 

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Please note that OAARSN provides resources for information purposes only. We do not endorse any treatment, program, product or service. The contents of this website are not medical, legal, technical or therapeutic advice. Information should be reviewed with qualified professionals. We will not be held responsible for misuse of information or for any adverse effects of recommendations mentioned on this website or on any other websites linked to it. Views, opinions or announcements posted by subscribers to any area of this site do not necessarily reflect those of OAARSN and we do not assume responsibility for any discrepancies or errors.