Thursday, May 30, 2013

CBC Inclusion Interviews: What Did Smith and Carr Mean By Inclusion?

CBC's Terry Seguin conducted two very good interviews with outgoing NBTA President Heather Smith and EECD Minister Jody Carr over the last two days.  However, neither of Terry's guests gave a clear definition of what they meant by "inclusion".  The only clear definition of inclusion offered by the current administration is one provided by the Alward administration's inclusion mentor Gordon Porter. It is a definition of inclusion which Minister Carr has not disavowed and one which is at odds with the New Brunswick government's policy statement which defines inclusion as evidence based and based on a student's best interests. 

The source of much of the uproar over inclusion in NB is Mr. Porter's obsessive insistence that ALL students be educated in the regular classroom as he stated last year in a session on inclusive education in Newfoundland:

"CORNER BROOK — Gordon Porter believes inclusion is the most natural thing in the world. The educator and director of Inclusive Education Initiatives presented a session on inclusive education at the Greenwood Inn and Suites on Thursday. Porter, who is also the editor of the Inclusive Education Canada website, spoke to parents, educators and agency professionals who deal with children with special needs at the pre-conference for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living Conference taking place in the city today and Saturday. The session was sponsored by the Community Inclusion Initiative. 

 Porter’s session revolved around the theme of parents and teachers working together to make inclusion work.“It means kids go to their neighbourhood schools with kids their own age in regular classes,” said Porter.“If you’re seven years, old you go to the school just down the street. You go in a class with other seven-year-olds, and you’re supported if you have extra needs. “It’s so simple, it’s that simple,” said Porter.""

- Diane Crocker, The Western Star, April 13, 2012: Inclusion in the classroom 'simple', says educator.

For some children with challenges, including some like my son with severe autism, inclusion in the classroom was not simple or natural.  He was overwhelmed by the classroom environment and came home each day with self inflicted bite marks on his hands and wrists.  He  was removed from the classroom at our request and  received his instruction from UNB-CEL Autism trained education aides at alternate locations in grade school, middle school and high school.  The biting disappeared and he was able to receive the education promised to all children in New Brunswick. He was accommodated.

Now my son's alternate learning locations are targeted as "segregated" learning by the omniscient Mr. Porter. The accommodation of my son's  disability that has allowed him to receive his education in local schools is at serous risk of disappearing when the Porter Aucoin Report becomes fully implemented in 2013.  It seemed to me in listening to EECD Minister Carr and NBTA President Smith that they were not challenging Mr. Porter's "everyone in the classroom" dictate.  They appeared to disagree only over how many aides would be in the regular classroom to assist the teacher.  My son's accommodated education is at serious risk in the Porter era.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NBTA Acknowledges Education Department's Obsession With Inclusion Philosophy

The New Brunswick Teachers Association has spoken up ... sort of ... about New Brunswick's extreme inclusion philosophy.  The NBTA to its credit  acknowledges, finally, that inclusion is a philosophy not an educational plan as stated by outgoing NBTA President Heather Smith at a meeting of delegates from around the province.  Smith also acknowledged that the education focus during the past year has been  on the Porter Aucoin Report with all "professional development" focused on inclusive education.  Smith, in a recent Daily Gleaner article by Tara Chislett,  also talks about the need for more resources without identifying any of those resources.  Many autism students who require autism trained education aides do not have them.

Outgoing NBTA President Smith also fails to acknowledge that some students with severe autism and other severe difficulties require accommodation of their disabilities by learning outside the regular classroom. Unfortunately the inclusion extremists have targeted such human rights accommodations as constituting segregation and  are trying to eliminate them. What Smith did not say is that in New Brunswick inclusion is a ridiculously simplistic "everybody benefits from education in the regular classroom" belief.

Although Ms. Smith did not go far enough in her critique of the education philosophy that has ruled the minds of New Brunswick educators and civil servants it is a solid beginning.  At last one voice, other than the Autism Society New Brunswick in its submissions to the MacKay and Ministerial inclusive education reviews, and me personally, has spoken out against the decades old mindset that has provide obstacles to the accommodation of students with severe disability challenges.

"The president of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association says the Department of Education has focused too much on inclusive education over the last year instead of giving teachers what they need most: an education plan laying out achievement goals.
“One year ago, I stood at this AGM and made the statement that New Brunswick was still without a publicly unveiled education plan,” she told the crowd. “It’s frustrating that I am here making the same statement today. It is quite clear that the education focus this year has been on the Porter Aucoin Report and that all department-led professional development has focused on inclusive education.
“I have a degree in special education and it is my belief that inclusion is an approach, a philosophy, not an educational achievement goal.”
Smith said in addition to a lack of an education plan, schools continue to struggle with not having enough resources as the government continues to cut away at budgets.    ...  “Inclusion’s not an outcome. I’m sorry. It’s a philosophy. And we’ve had that philosophy in our schools since the mid-80s. It’s a great philosophy, we support it if the supports and resources are there so schools can do it effectively.  “But that’s not a plan for education. It’s not."  (Bold added - HLD)

Excerpts from Teachers Say Education Plan Overdue, Daily Gleaner, May 26, 2013 

Monday, May 27, 2013

CBC News Misrepresents Autism By Omitting Any Reference to Intellectual Disability

In "The  new definition of autism" CBC News provides detailed descriptions of autism as represented by the five pervasive developmental  disorders in the DSM-IV and the Autism Spectrum Disorder in the now published DSM5.  With one major exception the article is a good summary of autism disorders pre and post DSM5. On another positive note the article expressly references ABA/IEBI as the primary evidence based intervention for autism treatment.  The major exception to this otherwise balanced, thorough article is the failure to mention, while describing conditions commonly associated with autism,  the substantial numbers of  persons with autism who also have an intellectual disability:

"What are some of the symptoms of ASD?

There is no single symptom that would lead to a diagnosis of autism. But someone who shows a number of the following characteristics and behaviours would likely be diagnosed with an ASD:
  • Shows no interest in other people
  • May be interested in people, but does not know how to talk, interact with or relate to them
  • Has difficulty initiating and maintaining a conversation.
  • Is slow developing speech and language skills, which may begin to develop and then be lost, or may never develop fully.
  • Has difficulty interpreting non-verbal communication such as social distance cues, or the use of gestures and facial cues, like smiles, that most of us take for granted.
  • Repeats ritualistic actions such as spinning, rocking, staring, finger flapping, and hitting oneself.
  • Has restricted interests and seemingly odd habits, like focusing obsessively on only one thing, idea or activity.
As well, people with ASD may have secondary problems such as:
  • Neurological disorders including epilepsy.
  • Gastro-intestinal problems.
  • Fine and gross motor deficits.
  • Anxiety and depression.
Children with ASD develop motor, language, cognitive and social skills at different rates from other children their age. For instance, they may be very good at solving math problems but have great difficulty making friends or talking."
The only reference to intellectual or cognitive disabilities in the CBC News article is in the last paragraph above which implies that cognitive skills may develop at different rates in conjunction with other skills and immediately mentions possible strengths such as solving math problems.  This is not by any means a clear and accurate representation of the intellectual disability that is present in large numbers of persons with autism. 
The CDC in the United States has estimated the numbers of persons across the autism spectrum who also have intellectual disability in the range of 41-44%:
  • Data show a similar proportion of children with an ASD also had signs of intellectual disability than in the past, averaging 44% in 2004 and 41% in 2006.
The CDC estimates are consistent with other estimates of the "co-morbidity" of autism and intellectual disability that I have posted links to on this site.

There is no legitimate reason to ignore the large numbers of persons with autism disorders who also have intellectual disabilities.  It is a relationship that should be explored and studied (La Malfa)  not hidden  and stigmatized.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Conor Goes For A Swim (and a Dive and a Slide) and Shows Terrific Progress In His Rhabdomyolysis Recovery

Conor home after a great swim adventure;
making terrific progress on his recovery

Conor's autism and profound developmental delay were supplemented by two grand mal seizures between November 2012 and April 2013.  The second seizure occurred two days after he began treatment with the anti seizure medication Lamotrogine.  During the second week of treatment when his dosage was increased from 1 to 2 25 mg tablets a day he began to sleep and medical advice was sought.  The specialists were not available quickly but our family doctor saw us early the next day and advised us to cut back on the dosage which we did.  Later that day though Conor still developed a rash and temperature and went to the emergency ward of the local hospital, the DECH.  He spent 6 days in the Intensive Care Unit and two weeks altogether in the hospital.  Conor's adverse reaction to his medication was diagnosed as Rhabdomyolysis a condition in which the muscles break down and release substances which pose great risk to the kidneys.  But Conor received excellent medical attention and was released to come home where he has continued to make made great progress.

We would like to take some credit for Conor's great recovery but the truth is he has led with his own initiative. Conor was jumping up off the couch even before he had his balance and we had to keep a close watch on him. This week Conor returned to school for part days.  His mobility and balance improved dramatically each day and this morning he went swimming at school for the first time since his hospital stay.  The plan was for Conor to go to the pool and sit in the hot tub.  Conor had none of that.  His aide informs us that instead  Conor walked down the accessibility ramp into the shallow end of the pool. He subsequently went to the  diving board where he jumped into the deep end and swam like a fish.  Conor also made for the giant slide where he climbed to the top and slid down.   

I couldn't have asked for a better present then to learn about Conor's swim adventure today.  6 days in the ICU with 5-6 tubes at a time sticking out of my buddy Conor seem  like a bad dream today.  Our Run Jump Fly Boy was flying today and we are happy, very happy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

DSM5 Autism Spectrum Disorder Has Arrived: Are Ari Ne'eman and John Elder Robison Still Autistic?

The DSM5 has been released and is now beginning to impact the world of autism.  Most discussion of the DSM5's New Autism Spectrum Disorder has ignored the effect of the language of mandatory criterion A which will act to exclude from autism diagnosis those with severe intellectual disability. Most of the discussion has focused on the potential exclusionary impact on those who would meet DSM-IV Asperger's criteria.  That being said the DSM5 autism team leaders have assured the high functioning end of the DSM-IV autism spectrum that those currently diagnosed with Asperger's or high functioning autism will not lose their diagnosis.  They will in effect be "grandfathered" in to the new autism spectrum. The answer to this commentary's title question is  therefore NO, Ne'eman and Robison, two very high functioning "Aspergians" will not lose their autism diagnoses.  

Although they will be grandfathered into the new DSM5 autism era will Ari Ne'eman and John Elder Robison and other  very, very high functioning "Aspergians" and "Autistics" remain as credible (in the eyes of mainstream media and Autism Speaks) spokespersons for persons at all points on the DSM5 autism spectrum?  Will persons who routinely appear in high profile media interviews before the Washington press gallery, New York magazines, CNN, CBC, BBC, run successful businesses, establish corporate entities, sit on the boards of directors, participate in IACC meetings  and in some cases raise families be able to speak on behalf of those who meet mandatory  Criterion D of the DSM5 New Autism Spectrum Disorder which states that the social communication and restrictive repetitive symptoms together limit and impair daily functioning?  Can the corporate directors of the ASAN corporate entity, including those with professional and academic backgrounds and some with families, claim to be limited and impaired in their daily functioning in any meaningful way? 

The real answer is that it doesn't matter if they would meet DSM5 autism criterion D.   Convenience is the reason that researchers have so often excluded those with severe autism and cognitive challenges from their studies.  Researchers, like the media, need very high functioning participants and interview subjects to do their autism focused work and earn their pay cheques. Robison and Ne'eman's careers as autism spokespersons/"self" advocates are safe.  Persons at the more severe end of the autism spectrum will remain invisible, hidden from sight, and excluded from research,  while high functioning "self" advocates speak on their behalf.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Conor's Physiotherapy With CBC's Terry Seguin

Conor is still recovering from Rhabdomyolysis, an adverse reaction to anti-seizure medication, Lamotrogine and needs phsyiotherapy to rebuild his damaged muscles, balance and co-ordination.  Just being home is a huge help for Conor, back home with Mom, Dad, his brother and his familiar routines.  One of those routines has been to get out of bed every morning at 6 am.  If he is awake at 5:30 he stays in bed until 6. That is his routine and Conor has a classic autism need for routine.  When he gets up each morning his routine has also included turning on the television and watching  "CBC Terry Seguin".   

Conor has been sleeping on a living room couch since his return so I could be nearby on our other couch to keep an eye on him in case he was in distress. This morning I was in the adjacent kitchen when I heard some loud walking noises in the living room and went in to find that Conor had walked from the living room to the television to turn on CBC Terry Seguin.  Conor has been very wobbly on his feet and he has a long way to go towards recovery so I was startled to see him at our big screen TV.  I was happy though that he had done so without falling and hurting himself. It was a sure sign of progress in his recovery.  His CBC Terry Seguin television walk demonstrated improvement physically and showed that Conor will not stay down, he will keep walking until he is fully recovered.  Two thumbs up for Conor ... and for Terry Seguin!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Unthinking Autism Guide Shannon Rosa Attacks Autism Parents .... AGAIN.

Shannon  Rosa, with the Twitter help of Seth Mnookin and Dr. Jon Brock is at it again, misrepresenting autism disorders and the state of knowledge about autism causation and of course blaming autism parents fighting for their children for the latest report of a professional caregiver abusing an autistic child because they dare talk honestly about the negative aspects of autism DISORDERS :

"At their worst, negative media-sown autism messages influence people like Greg Simard, who brutally beat a 12-year-old, non-speaking autistic boy in his care. Simard justified his actions by saying of the boy, .... Some autism parents never find their way out of that initial horror and negativity, .... These parents see other autistics writing, speaking, participating in online communities, and their furor increases -- how dare those autistics say good things about autism, when their kids need 24 hour supervision?"

Ms. Rosa's wild, hostile opinions are not substantiated by evidence or professional consensus of any kind but that doesn't stop Mnookin and Brock  from spreading her hateful messages.  In the instant case there is no basis whatsoever to the claim that the media focuses on negative stereotpyes or that it does so because of  bad autism parents.  Temple Grandin is celebrated around the world.  John Elder Robison and son Cubby regularly receive promotion on CNN.  Television series inevitably portray autism in the form of the socially awkward but otherwise brilliant, high functioning techie, geek syndrome as autism. 

Rosa's claim that the abusive caregiver is influenced by the alleged overwhelming dominance of negative media stories is absurd and, once again, based on no evidence whatsoever. An abuser makes a cheap comment in the media and Rosa accepts it as reality because, in her mind, it confirms her negative views of other autism parents who do not share her views. This is no accident.  A mother in Colorado killed her autistic child and stated that she did so because she feared the child was autistic.  Rosa leaped to the attack against autism parents speaking honestly about their children's autism disorders blaming them for the mother's actions. What Rosa bypassed in her attack  was the fact that the prosecution had concluded that the woman was insane and for that reason did not prosecute her. 

I am not going to repeat all of Rosa's misinformation about autism on this site.  Her statements of fact are in fact simply her opinions, opinions that reflect her hostility towards autism parents who fight to improve their childrens' life prospects by speaking honestly in the effort to find autism causes, cures, treatments and services  for their children.  These parents, and I consider myself one of them, do not conform to Rosa's angry .... and flat out silly ... mischaracterizations.

While Rosa is out with her non evidence based rants about autism disorders and parents fighting for their autistic kids here is a bit of autism reality from the New England Journal of Medicine, the kind of stuff Rosa doesn't want the world to know about:

"Genomics, Intellectual Disability, and Autism

"Autism spectrum disorders have been estimated to affect as many as 1 in 100 to 1 in 150 children.4,5 Disorders on the autism spectrum share features of impaired social relationships, impaired language and communication, and repetitive behaviors or a narrow range of interests. Many children with autism spectrum disorders also have intellectual disability, and approximately 75% have lifelong disability requiring substantial social and educational support. Thus, autism and intellectual disability together represent an important health burden in the population and are frequent reasons for referral to genetics and developmental pediatrics clinics for a diagnostic workup."

Prediction: the next similar tragedy that befalls an autistic child will also be blamed by Rosa on other autism parents with whom she disagrees.  Her views will unfortunately be promoted by the Mnookins,  Brocks and other professional and academic Neurodiversity subscribers.  Thinking Persons Guide to Autism? Not even close.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Conor Is Home From the Hospital!

Above Conor, and Mom, in the bottom pic,  on the way home.
Conor's Mom stayed at the hospital with him 24/7,  for 2 weeks
Dad spelled her off at times and the nursing students also sat
with Conor and gave Mom some breaks once he was moved
from the Intensive Care Unit to a room in Pediatrics.

In the grainy pic below (taken in dark lighting) Conor rests
at home on one of our living room cozy couches.

Conor is home! After 2 weeks in the hospital, including 6 days in intensive care, it feels great to have our buddy home with us. Yesterday I told Conor I would be back at 8 am this morning to take him home.  I arrived at 7:55 am and Conor Was waiting in the door way of his room ready to go home.

We really didn't know for the first few days if he would survive.  His negative reaction to the anti-seizure medication Lamotrogine resulted in a condition called Rhabdomyolysis which is as bad as it sounds.  Essentially, as I understand it the muscles break down and can cause renal (kidney) failure.

Conor is home now, safe and healthy. We all have lots of work ahead doing phsyio  with Conor as he recovers strength and coordination. Conor has shown substantial improvement each of the last several days and we are very optimistic that our Run, Jump, Fly boy will be back before too long. 

There are many, many people to thank for Conor's well being today. There are literally so many: all the hospital medical, nursing and support staff, our family doctor, people who know and work with Conor at school who visited with him in the hospital,  family friends and Conor's brother Brandon who was a big help at home and at the hospital on visits. 

We are happy, very, very happy to have our buddy home with us. Today is a great day in the Doherty home.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Dr. Tom Insel's Shameful DSM Retreat

Left - Transforming Diagnosis Insel

Right - NIMH Is Not Abandoning the DSM Insel.

In Transforming Diagnosis NIMH Director Thomas Insel said that the DSM was invalid, based on an antiquated system of diagnosis and .... patients deserve better.   Then he retreated, tried to hide and claimed that people were misrepresenting the Transforming Diagnosis article, that the NIMH was just talking about research not clinical practice. Last I checked Diagnosis is a key part of a medical clinical practice. If you are talking about participants or subjects you are talking about research.  If you are talking about patients who deserve better you are talking about clinical practice.  If you say that the DSM is invalid and antiquated you are not supporting the DSM, you are blowing it up.

You can run Dr. Tom but you can't hide.  Your words, your Transforming Diagnosis article are out there in the public domain.  Patients deserve a medical diagnosis based on research.  You said it and I believe it.  I don't believe the excuses offered in your shameful retreat.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Adult Autism Care in New Brunswick: An Open Letter to Premier David Alward


May 6, 2013

Honourable Premier David Alward
Respected Cabinet Ministers and Party Leaders

Dear Premier Alward

I am the Acting President of the Autism Society New Brunswick  and a parent that was involved, with many  other parents, in the advocacy that led to the establishment of the UNB-CEL autism intervention training program, the provision of early autism intervention to children aged 2-5, UNB-CEL  autism specific training of Education Aides and Resource Teachers and the reversal of the decision to close the Stan Cassidy Center tertiary care autism team. We also argued with some modest success for an evidence based, student centered, definition of inclusive education. We have been less successful in advocating for  a continuum of placement options to accommodate the varied, complex needs of autistic students although individualized instruction does continue in some schools. 
Autism successes in New Brunswick have resulted from many factors including access to sound, knowledgeable, professional advice that oriented us toward evidence based, scientific goals to assist our children's very challenging needs and responsive  leadership in the Lord and Graham governments.  Despite these gains, which are in need of further refinement and advancement,  we must, with sorrow, shame, and fear, acknowledge that  we have to date failed to see any substantial improvements in services  for New Brunswick adults with autism disorders. That failure, like the aforementioned successes, must be shared by parent advocates and government decision makers.
Several news agencies have highlighted events in Ontario where parents left their 19 year old severely autistic son with a government office because they were unable to continue providing him with the necessary level of care.  Many New Brunswick parents including me, and my wife, have also long feared that day. That fear grows stronger with each year of non action, each year of failure to address seriously the needs of autistic adults across the autism spectrum. 
Many parents in New Brunswick seek meaningful assistance to help care for their adult autistic children in their homes.  Obviously at some point parents grow too old or exhausted and ultimately become enfeebled and pass on. We do so  with the knowledge that no credible, comprehensive autism care system is in place to care for our adult autistic children who require assistance when we can no longer help them.  Moderately to severely autistic and intellectually challenged autistic adult children will face serious difficulty living in group homes with untrained staff and non existent educational and social options.  Our most severely affected autistic adults will live in the Restigouche Regional Hospital psychiatric unit or in facilities out of  province like the Spurwink facility in Maine. 
Money is always an issue in government decision making and that is understood by all.  However, the failed group home system that exists in NB   also carries costs such as placements in Spurwink Maine at several hundred thousand dollars a year per individual.  Money is part of the problem but so too is the overwhelming dominance of the "community"philosophy in the mindsets of NB's public decision makers.  There is no question that those who have promoted the community/inclusion model in NB have made very substantial contributions to the lives of most persons with disabilities in our province but  the dominance of their beliefs, and the rigidity with which they are maintained, precludes the development of evidence based alternatives and prohibits the development of a facility that can provide permanent residential care and treatment for those with severe autism and co-morbid disorder challenges.  
Autistic residents of group homes have been charged with assault when in conflict with untrained staff.  An autistic youth was housed temporarily on the grounds of the Miramichi correctional facility and at least two New Brunswick residents with autism have been sent to Spurwink in neighboring Maine.  We do not have a modern, professional,  permanent residential care and treatment facility for adult New Brunswickers with severe autism in large part because of the rigid adherence to a decades old philosophy that simply ignores contrary evidence including those persons who are sent to psychiatric and general hospital wards, out of province facilities and correctional facilities to spend their lives.  Public events to discuss disability policies and service requirements are typically organized in pre-arranged "table discussion" formats that prevent serious open discussion of contentious issues.
Over the last decade the Autism Society New Brunswick advocated for a continuum of residential care and treatment options to provide for our autistic adult children.  Three years ago, during the 2010 provincial election,  UNB Professor Emeritus (Psychology) and practicing clinical psychologist Paul McDonnell articulated in a CBC interview the concept of a continuum or network of residential care and treatment center.  Professor McDonnell spoke of the need for a modern adult autism residential care and treatment system in New Brunswick with a center that would provide residential care and treatment for those severely affected by autism, a center that could also assist in the training and service provision in group homes and facilities in communities around the province.  The center would be a modern facility that could provide educational and social elements in the lives of severely autistic adults. No progress has been made in moving towards such a home grown solution notwithstanding the international recognition that NB received for its successful UNB-CEL early intervention autism training program.
On behalf of the Autism Society New Brunswick, and parents of autistic children and adults, I ask you Mr. Premier to commit to the modern, professional system of adult autism residential care  articulated by Professor McDonnell.  An adult autism residential care and treatment facility based in Fredericton, with professional administration, trained staff, evidence based treatment,  education and social programs for the residents is needed.  An autism center would  provide desperately needed  permanent residency for the most severely affected by autism disorders, training and advice for staff in community based group homes, and assistance for parents whose adult children are still living with them.  The Fredericton location would be centrally located and in close proximity to other New Brunswick autism successes and expertise at UNB and the Stan Cassidy Center.  
Much time has passed with no serious response to our calls to address the needs of autistic adults. There has been no progress to date. Hopefully that will now change and work can begin as soon as possible on the development of an autism residential care and treatment facility.


Harold L Doherty

cc. ASNB

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Conor Is Safe Now But We Almost Lost Our Buddy: THANK YOU To ALL Who Saved Him!

In mid-April, pursuant to a neurologist's advice, we started Conor on Lamotrogine, an anti-eleptic drug which is reputed to have benefited many people suffering from seizure activity.  Hours after receiving his third dosage Conor suffered his second Grand Mal seizure, that we know of, since his first in November 2012.  Last week he became extremely drowsy and last Friday April 26, 2013, our family doctor recommended we reduce the dosage (the neurologist is out of town until May 13, 2013). Later, early Friday evening Conor's condition worsened noticeably and a rash had developed.  Rash development is a known warning sign of a negative Lamotrogine reaction and Conor was taken to the DECH (Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital) emergency where he received immediate attention and transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, the ICU.  Conor's reactions have been very serious with risks in several key categories including risk to his kidneys and liver. Thanks to our family doctor and the excellent care and attention of the Emergency and ICU personnel our Buddy is still with us. Without their help he probably would not be.  Conor is still in the ICU but is expected to transfer to pediatrics in the next day or two. He has improved dramatically.  

To everyone involved with protecting and saving our buddy Conor his Mom and Dad say THANK YOU VERY MUCH, THANK YOU!

PS. We can hardly wait for the phsyio and other necessary recovery interventions to give us back our Run, Jump, Fly Boy: