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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. January 27, 2008

Welcome to USAAA Weekly News, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger's Syndrome.

Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008
February 14-17, 2008

Click here to hear an important video message from Autism Today founder Karen Simmons

Caribe Royale Orlando All-Suites Hotel and Convention Center is the headquarters for the Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008. Autism Today and US Autism & Asperger Association host one of the most comprehensive autism conferences in America, with twenty-two of the world's most renowned autism experts presenting over four days beginning Thursday evening, February 14th and concluding Sunday afternoon, February 17th. This is the first time that Autism Through the Lifespan is presented in the United States.

Click here for more conference information or visit

Orlando Conference 2008 Highlights

Topics include:

  • Making Significant Progress
  • Advocacy
  • Behavioral-Biomedical Model Approach to Treating Autism
  • Medical Interventions: Getting Started
  • New Treatment Protocol for Autism
  • Examining Five Promising Behavioral Approaches
  • Multifactorial Causes of Autism
  • Issues of Diets, Digestion, and Detoxification/Chelation
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
  • Anti-Viral and Nasal MB12 Therapy
  • Computer-Based Intervention
  • Asperger's Syndrome: Building Confidence
  • Using Biomarkers to Determine the Best Clinical Therapies
  • Gastrointestinal pathology in autism
  • Prioritizing and Immediate Actions to Do Now
  • Electro Pollution Dangers
  • Plus more
Special Panel Discussions
Don't miss two important panel discussions that are trademarks of USAAA conferences
  • Parent & Practitioner Presentation with Open Discussion. Meet with conference presenters who are parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Here is your chance to ask your questions to parents and physicians in this two hour panel discussion. There will be a complimentary buffet for all registrants who attend the panel discussion. The buffet is sponsored by Doctor's Data, the Kirkman Group,, and Care Clinics. Thanks to our sponsors for making this panel discussion possible.
  • Sibling Panel Discussion. Hear from boys and girls that have siblings with autism. Relationships between siblings are very complex. So often the focus is on the children that are affected. Children who are not affected are affected in a different way. Get an insight on how they feel. Audience participation.


Enjoy a fun and relaxing evening featuring a scrumptious buffet dinner with entertainment that includes performing artist and comedian Elijah Wapner who was featured on MTV’s "True- Life: I Have Autism"; and musical entertainment by disc jockey Shane who will spin all your favorite rock and roll tunes! Hors D’oeuvres will be presented in the Atrium East located on the lower level. Meet with conference speakers and exhibitors in a relaxed and fun setting. Dinner will be served in the Martinique Ballroom located on the lower level.

Saturday Night, February 16, Caribe Royale Hotel, Martinique Ballroom.

All this for only $40.00/adult and $20.00/child.

Thank you to our sponsor Oxy Health Corporation for making tonight's dinner and buffet possible.

For reservations or to register for the conference, click here.

Click here for more information on Saturday's entertainment.

Click here for more information, to register, or visit

Candidates on Autism
Autism Blog
By Lisa Jo Rudy, Guide to Autism

Editor's Note:
Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008 has invited candidates to present their views on their plans, to help children and families affected by autism, at the conference February 14-17, 2008 in Orlando. As of this writing, Senator Clinton's office has responded and she may address the issues personally at the conference or via a video presentation. We will know more the week of the conference.

As Super Tuesday draws nearer, it seemed to me to be time to look more closely at what candidates have to say about autism. Interestingly, the three top Democrats all have honest-to-goodness autism "platforms" - while the Republicans seem to have sidestepped the issue. This is not to suggest that Dems care more about people with disabilities, but the issue does seem to be more prominent on the Democratic radar.
Here's what the candidates have to say so far:

Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Help Children And Families Affected By Autism

Barack Obama's Plan for a Healthy America (scroll down for a section specifically focused on autism)

John Edwards' Promise And Potential: A Plan For Autism

The American Association of People with Disabilities has created a 2008 Presidential Election Action Center, which includes not only links to individual candidates' statements on autism and disabilities, but also a very helpful side-by-side comparison of candidates' responses to specific questions posed by the organization. None of the Republican candidates responded to AAPD's survey; only McCain participated in a November 2 Candidates Forum on Disability.

Click here for entire story.

Pediatricians, ABC and Censorship: Facts Are Scarier Than Fiction
by David Kirby
The Huffington Post
January 27, 2008

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics will release the contents of a foreboding letter sent last week to ABC/Disney executives, demanding they cancel the January 31 premiere a new legal drama, "Eli Stone," because it features a family attorney who successfully argues in court that mercury-containing flu vaccine caused autism in one child.

The letter, signed by AAP President Renee Jenkins, borders on near-hysteria over a fictional television entertainment. It ominously warns that ABC "will bear responsibility for the needless suffering and potential deaths of children from parents' decisions not to immunize based on the content of the episode."

Dr. Jenkins calls on ABC to cancel the episode but, anticipating a refusal, urges executives to run a disclaimer that "no scientific link exists between vaccines and autism," if the offending network "persists" in airing the show.

I share the AAP's concern that parents should not be driven away from protecting their children from dangerous, even deadly diseases. But parents are far too smart to base such an important decision as immunization on the "content of the episode" of a single drama on broadcast television.

In fact, if I were Dr. Jenkins, I would be far more concerned about real news happening in the real world - events that not only suggest the possibility of some sort of link between mercury, vaccines and autism, but might alarm parents more than any fictional account written for ratings-grabbing mass entertainment.

If I were Dr. Jenkins, instead of fretting over a fake family engaged in a mock trial held in a make-believe court on some LA soundstage, I would be up at night wondering why the Federal Government recently conceded a real vaccine-autism lawsuit in a real court and will soon pay a real (taxpayer-funded) settlement to a real American family and a very real child with autism.

Click here for entire story.

When autism wears pink
Repetition and routine were keys to success in dealing with four daughters with behavior problems

Sunday, January 27, 2008
By Carol Azizian • 810.766.6245

Rachael Johnson, fashionably dressed in a brown, polka-dot top with matching earrings, arrives home from her first day of high school distraught.

She's cried all the way home on the bus. Between sobs, Rachael, 16, tells her dad why she's upset - her younger sister, Deanna, sat in the seat that belongs to her.

Deanna, 14, is oblivious. She saunters past Rachael, grabs a banana and plunks herself down on a chair to play with her Magna Doodle.

Their father, Jim, an affable, stocky man with a big heart, tries to mediate.

First, he addresses Deanna. "Deanna, that's Rachael's seat. Maybe you can sit in the seat behind her." Then, to Rachael: "Deanna didn't realize it was your seat. It's not that big a deal."

Still hurt, Rachael blurts out, "It is a big deal! I claimed it," then consoles herself by petting their puppy, Oreo.

What seems like a minor moment in the lives of most families could trigger a major drama in this Goodrich family.

That's because the Johnsons' four daughters - twins Rachael and Aletha; Deanna and Kyleen, the youngest at 13 - are autistic.

Click here for entire story.

Master's program focuses on autism

The Ann Arbor News
Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eastern Michigan University is starting a new master's degree program to train special education teachers to meet the needs of the growing number of children with autism.

Approved by the EMU Board of Regents last week, the first 20 graduate students will enroll in the master of arts degree program in autism spectrum disorders in the 2008-09 academic year. Within three years, enrollment is planned to grow to 60 students. EMU officials say the new master's degree fills a pressing need. The number of children diagnosed with autism disorders has increased, and the state lacks enough special education personnel who are prepared to teach them.

Mass. firefighter pushing 'Project Lifesaver'
By Marisa Donelan
Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Massachusetts)

LEOMINSTER — Time can play a huge factor in any search, but when a missing person has Alzheimer's, dementia or autism, finding them quickly is critical.

So Leominster firefighter Lance Mason is heading up an effort to bring Project Lifesaver to the city, and said the radio-frequency tracking device has been proven to find subscribers in 30 minutes or less.

Children with autism particularly are known to be drawn to water, Mason said.

"If an autistic child goes missing, quite often, unfortunately, it ends up in the death of the child, often by drowning," he said Friday. "A lot of kids with autism don't understand danger, fear and safety."

Mason, 33, has drawn on personal experience — his 6-year-old son William is autistic — in more than a year of traveling the state to teach firefighters, EMTs and police officers about autism through the Autism Law Enforcement Educational Coalition (ALEC).

Click here for entire story.

This week's expert is: James Neubrander, MD

A Valuable Lesson in How to Play the Odds with Your Time, Money, and Belief Systems when Searching for Effective Treatments that Work for Children with Autism

The basis for improvement for children with autism builds on the behavioral and educational model.  Such treatments include ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, principles of daily living, etc.  No biomedical treatment will ever replace these as the primary building blocks upon which children with autism must stand. However, biomedical treatments are strong adjuncts to each child’s educational and behavioral therapies and optimize each child’s maximum potential for success.  Biomedical therapies first plow the ground, then water and fertilize it so that whatever educational seeds are sown will take root more quickly and develop into stronger, more deeply rooted plants.

But how does a parent know what treatments to choose from the ever-growing menu of biomedical treatment options?  How does a parent navigate through the maze of Internet posts from other parents or vendors exclaiming the benefits of one treatment over another?  How do parents make the wisest choices when they must consider not only their financial limitations, but also the time they will need to invest before a treatment may potentially work?  How much time should a parent delay while trying one treatment that “should work” before starting another one that usually does not, but surprisingly does for their child?  How do parents balance the time and money spent on their special needs child when they also have other children to tend to?  These are the dilemmas each family faces on a daily basis.  These are the questions that must be answered so families can first survive and subsequently thrive in the difficult world of autism.

Dr. James Neubrander will be presenting, "Don’t Gamble! Learn How to Save Money and Win More Often as You Choose Treatment Options for Your Child," Saturday, February 16 at 8:00am at the Autism Orlando Biennial Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Click here for a complete schedule of the Autism Orlando Biennial Conference.

In This Issue:
› Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008, February 14-17, 2008
› Orlando Conference 2008 Highlights
› Candidates on Autism
› Pediatricians, ABC and Censorship: Facts Are Scarier Than Fiction
› When autism wears pink
Master's program focuses on autism
› Mass. firefighter pushing 'Project Lifesaver'

Expert's Corner
A Valuable Lesson in How to Play the Odds with Your Time, Money, and Belief Systems when Searching for Effective Treatments that

USAAA WeeklyNews encourages readers to send guest columns for publication in our WeeklyNews. These op-eds should address timely topics of autism and Asperger's Syndrome to readers and must not exceed 600 words. Not all we receive can be published. Those that represent a well-reasoned argument, supported by evidence, in a concise and readable manner will receive priority. Click here to submit your opinion.

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The USAAA WeeklyNews® is made possible in part by a generous donation from CARE Clinics™.
Please click on the CARE Clinics' links below to learn more about the use of their proven methodology, using the safest yet modern treatment approaches available, diagnosing and developing a treatment protocol matching the unique set of genetic and physiological factors that underlie each child’s condition.
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GET YOUR DVDs or Video/Audio downloads from the 2007 USAAA International Conference
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©2008 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
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