Health Canada

Health Canada

October 20, 2007 15:20 ET

Government of Canada Contributes $1 Million in Support of Establishment of Chair for Autism Research and Intervention

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2007) - James Moore, Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today announced $1 million in federal funding to create a national Chair in Autism Research and Intervention, at Simon Fraser University. The Government of British Columbia is also contributing $1 million.

This announcement, made during the Focus on Research Event at Simon Fraser University, comes during Autism Awareness Month, which aims to promote dialogue on autism and to increase Canadians' awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

"I am pleased to announce that the Government of Canada is contributing $1 million in support of the establishment of a Chair for Autism Research and Intervention at Simon Fraser University," said Minister Clement. "We are confident the appointment of this national Chair in Autism Research and Intervention will help to better address the many challenges individuals with ASD and their families are facing."

This support for a national chair on ASD research and intervention is in keeping with the key federal role as a facilitator of knowledge development and dissemination on this important issue.

"This partnership between Canada and British Columbia is an important step toward improving treatment and intervention options for children and youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder," said Mr. Moore. "It will contribute significantly to the body of research on the most effective ways of helping children reach their own unique potential."

ASD affects individuals of all ages and from all walks of life, as well as their families, friends and caregivers. It can be characterized along a spectrum, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe and often including repetitive behaviour and difficulties with social interaction and communication. International studies suggest that autism affects six out of every 1,000 children.

Though much progress has been made through research, we still do not know what causes autism nor the most effective treatments and interventions. This is why the Government of Canada continues to work with partners and stakeholders and to invest in activities which support a stronger ASD evidence base and an enhanced understanding of this condition.

The Government of Canada is confident that an Autism Research Chair, focussing on effective treatment and intervention, will complement existing federal initiatives to enhance the knowledge base for this condition and improve Canada's capacity to address the many issues that individuals with ASD and their families are facing.

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