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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. January 30, 2008

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

USAAA 2008 Annual International
Autism and Asperger Conference,
Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008

US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. (USAAA) kicks off its third annual International Autism and Asperger Conference (and 5th overall conference since 2006) in Austin, Texas, September 4 - 7, 2008. Twenty-Five of the world’s most renowned leading autism experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine. The conference is presented in part by Care Clinics and International Hyperbarics Association and will be held at the Hilton Austin Airport.

Click here for more conference information.

University of Michigan begins landmark study of toddlers with autism
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Autism researchers at the University of Michigan, the University of California-Davis and the University of Washington have been awarded a $15.3 million grant to determine the impact of intervening with toddlers age 2 and younger as part of the NIH Autism Centers of Excellence Networks.

The five-year study is the first multi-site, randomized trial funded by the National Institutes of Health to determine if such efforts can reduce--or circumvent altogether—the language impairments and social deficits associated with the developmental disorder.

Researchers will also determine the behavioral factors that help predict whether a child will respond well to this early treatment.

Catherine Lord, U-M professor of psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics, and director of the U-M Autism and Communication Disorders Center, will collaborate with UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute researcher Sally J. Rogers and University of Washington Autism Center researchers.

"We very much need to better understand how early intervention works and what interventions work best," Lord said. "Participating in the study allows us to provide high-quality service to families free of charge and to learn more about how to carry out the most effective treatments of autism in young children."

Click here for entire story.

Comment by David Kirby, author, Evidence of Harm
Eli Stone: Now that the country is focused on vaccines and autism… - Jan 29, 2008

I am not surprised by all the attention currently being lavished upon the new ABC Series “Eli Stone” [Pilot, Thursday night, January 31, 10/9c on ABC]. The producers obviously wanted to kick off with a controversial topic ripped from the headlines, and the vaccine-autism debate surely fits the bill.

But now that we know that this is a comedy-drama-fantasy, more “Ally McBeal” than “Law and Order,” maybe everyone should take a deep breath and watch the show for its entertainment value.

But now that the country is paying attention to this rancorous and very real debate over vaccines and autism, I believe it is clearly time to fund a large study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children - to see if there is any difference in the health outcomes of either group.

There are millions of unvaccinated children in this country. If rates of autism among the unvaccinated is the same as vaccinated children, then clearly vaccines are not linked to the disorder. Why won’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support this study, funding for which has been proposed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in a bill described at this link: click here

It makes one wonder why they would not want to vindicate vaccines and thimerosal once and for all.

Virtual Reality Teaches Autistic Children Street Crossing, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2008) — Recent research conducted at the University of Haifa found that children with autism improved their road safety skills after practicing with a unique virtual reality system. "Children with autism rarely have opportunities to experience or to learn to cope with day-to-day situations. Using virtual simulations such as the one used in this research enables them to acquire skills that will make it possible for them to become independent," said Profs. Josman and Weiss, from the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Haifa.

The independence of children with autism depends on their receiving treatment in natural settings. One of the main problems they face is their inability to learn how to safely cross the street, a necessary skill for independent living. While acquiring this skill could greatly improve these children's independence, most of the methods for teaching street-crossing have been designed for use within the classroom, and they have been shown as insufficiently effective among autistic children.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
› USAAA 2008 International Conference, Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008
› University of Michigan begins landmark study of toddlers with autism
› Comment by David Kirby, author, Evidence of Harm
› Virtual Reality Teaches Autistic Children Street Crossing, Study Suggests

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
Purchase downloads of presentations for playback on your computer in QuickTime, iTunes, and on your video iPod. Also, available are conference DVDs either as a single presentation or multiple packages. Click here for more information.
Get all 35 presentations on a Video DVD-ROM: All recorded presentations, for playback on your Computer in iTunes, Quicktime, or video iPods for only $165.00. That's only $4.71 for each presentation!!!


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