Tip-to-Tip for Safety-Training & Education
What we're doing
On July 2nd, 2006, 18 year old Alex Bain will leave North Cape in a bid to be the first autistic to run Prince Edward Island tip to tip. Along the way, he hopes to raise $20/km for his almost 300 kilometre trek that will end in East Point on July 15th. The funds will be used to bring internationally recognized expert Dennis Debbaudt to PEI on September 27 2006, for a series of 3 seminars about what happens and what should happen in encounters between autistics, emergency first-responders and law-enforcement officers. 

Almost every weekend, for most of the year, Alex puts on this trademark yellow t-shirt, heads to a charitable road race on the Island. He runs not only for the charity benefitting from each race, but also for autism. Not to raise money to find a "cure" or to "prevent" people like himself from ever being born, the focus of most autism runs, but to raise awareness and acceptance. His recognition as the PEI RoadRunners 2004 Patterson Palmer Rookie of the Year and 2005 Ewen Stewart Inspirational Runner of the Year reflects both his running and advocacy abilities.

Accompanying Alex on her bike, and organizing Mr Debbaudt's PEI seminar, is Alex's mother, janet norman-bain, known as "jypsy" to many in the autistic community both locally and internationally through a website she ran from 1995-2005, "Ooops...Wrong Planet! Syndrome" at PlanetAutism.com. jypsy and another of her four children are diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, an autistic spectrum diagnosis. jypsy watched Alex start grade 1 unable to speak and graduate from Bluefield High School twelve years later with honours and prizes for top marks in two of his classes. This July she'll be there to see him fulfill his dream to be the first autistic to run PEI tip to tip and help fundraise to make PEI a safer, more inclusive community for all autistic people.

Studies show that autistic people are no more likely to break the law than non-autistic people, but are 7 times more likely to come into contact with law enforcement officers. Dennis Debbaudt, a professional investigator, journalist and a member of the American Society for Law Enforcement Training (ASLET), is the father of a 21-year-old autistic son. He has educated law enforcement, criminal justice, and education professionals, as well as first-responders, autistics, and parents throughout Canada, the US, and the UK but has yet to present in the Maritimes. 

The response of autistic people to encounters with emergency first responders may not always be socially expected or behaviourally typical. Mr. Debbaudt will explain how autistic reactions in some situations, such as running away, unsteadiness, apparently unpredictable or impulsive behaviour, or failure to respond in the expected way, may be misunderstood by first response professionals, resulting in serious consequences. Mr. Debbaudt's law enforcement and first responder seminars offer tips and options for communications and responses designed to successfully resolve a call involving a person on the autistic spectrum, while his seminar for autistics, parents, caregivers, school personnel and other people, will address the many ways that parents can keep their child secure and safe both in the home and in the community and how autistics can increase their own safety and security. Everyone will come away with a good, practical understanding of the best approaches to make interactions with autistics more informed, safer and less stressful for all involved.

Autism is a neurological difference classified as a developmental disability. Autistic people have atypical behaviours in three areas: social interaction, communication, and restricted interests or repetitive behaviours. Autistics are different at the most basic level available: how they experience the world, and how they learn from it. Autism presents with measurable differences in perception, attention, memory, intelligence, etc. The autistic order and progress of development is different from the typical version as is autistic brain structure, allocation, and function. Autism presents strengths not available to the typical population, but the different pattern of strengths and weaknesses characterizing autism results in many difficulties as atypical needs and adaptive but atypical autistic behaviours are at odds with what is considered or expected as "normal".

The PEI Council of the Disabled is assisting PlanetAutism.com in this fundraiser and will be handling the donations. Charitable donations can be made to the "PEI Council of the Disabled" (Runman Fund) by mail or at any Credit Union across PEI. Online donations can be made on the Run's website, http://www.PlanetAutism.com/runman where much more information about the Run can be found including the daily schedule and a blog where you can follow the Run day by day. 

Major Donors, Credits and Thank You's
Home | Top