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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. February 25, 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

Hotel reservations online now. Click here to reserve your room.

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-eight 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.

Asperger's Syndrome and the Voyage Through High School: Not the Final Frontier
By Graetz, Janet E Spampinato, Kim
Sunday, 24 February 2008

James begins his college day like most other students. He gathers his books, notebooks and pens, and starts the walk across campus. For most college students, the walk is an opportunity to talk and laugh with friends. James, however, walks alone, unable to make eye contact with his peers. He appears uneasy and anxious as he approaches the classroom door, only to find it locked when the instructor was supposed to open the door before 8:00 a.m. His heart beats faster.

Counselors both within high school and in the college admission office can assist students with AS to make informed decisions regarding their future.

As other students gather, the noise level of laughter and friendly chatter increases making James even more uneasy. Finally the apologetic instructor arrives, unlocks the door and the noisy students file in. James immediately walks to his usual seat only to find another student already there. James tenses up. The instructor prompts everyone to be seated and James awkwardly slides into an unoccupied seat at the front of the room. His heart is racing as class begins. James sees the instructor's mouth moving, but is unable to process what is said. James drops his head and thinks that maybe college isn't for him. Our college campuses are seeing an increased number of students like James. While the characteristics differ from student to student, James is representative of a student with Asperger's Syndrome (AS).

Click here for entire story.
Additional resources:
College Internship Program
College Living Experience

What Do Toxins Have To Do With Autism?
by Jesus A. Caquias, MD
Medical Director, CARE Clinics

There has been much discussion about various treatment approaches and what are perceived as possible causes for autism and its many related disorders. We approach the autistic patient by performing multiple tests to identify the toxic burden, their nutritional status, their capacity for handling toxicity, their genetic predisposition(s), and their baseline status. We believe that toxic burden and the individual’s ability to handle toxins play a major role in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders.

In a study performed in the Philippines on the first stool of 486 newborn infants, 100% of them had some hazardous chemical found in their stool, clearly reflecting that their mother’s had transferred these toxins to their child.

The term, “toxin” refers to a host of agents, from heavy metals and organic pollutants to infectious agents, electrical pollutants and ionizing radiation. The term, “detoxification” refers to the direct removal of toxins, or inactivation of a toxin’s detrimental effect.

Worldwide, we are inundated with an incredible number of toxic substances. In the U.S. there are over 80,000 recorded chemicals in use, with 4 billion pounds of chemicals released into the environment, including 72 million pounds of known carcinogens. Sadly, we know very little about the effects of these substances on a developing brain. Only 12 chemicals have been tested for neurotoxicity, including mercury, lead, PCBs, alcohol, nicotine and a few pesticides.

Click here for entire article.

Lowe's Pulls Ads From 'Big Brother'
-By Kenneth Hein, Brandweek

NEW YORK CBS got a little taste of its own reality. Lowe's has vowed not to advertise on future episodes of the reality show Big Brother 9 because of a defamatory comment a contestant made about people with autism.

On the episode, which aired Feb. 13, Adam Janinski said he hoped to win the competition so he could open a hair salon "so retards can get it together and get their hair done."

When a cast member chastised him, Janinski said, "Disabled kids. I can call them whatever I want. I work with them all day, okay?" Janinski works for the United Autism Foundation of Florida.

Click here for entire story.

Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?
by David Kirby, The Huffington Post, February 25, 2008

After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case.

The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.

The child's claim against the government- that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism- was supposed to be one of three "test cases" for the thimerosal-autism theory currently under consideration by a three-member panel of Special Masters, the presiding justices in Federal Claims Court.

Keisler wrote that medical personnel at the HHS Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation (DVIC) had reviewed the case and "concluded that compensation is appropriate."

The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal).

Days later, the girl began spiraling downward into a cascade of illnesses and setbacks that, within months, presented as symptoms of autism, including: No response to verbal direction; loss of language skills; no eye contact; loss of "relatedness;" insomnia; incessant screaming; arching; and "watching the florescent lights repeatedly during examination."

Click here for entire story.

Fight for a different normal

Denise Ryan
February 25, 2008

Faced with limited funding, some students with Aspergers drop out of school. By Denise Ryan.

THOUSANDS of young Victorians with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism have dropped out of mainstream high schools and are spending their lives locked in their bedrooms watching television or on the PC, say autism experts.

These young people have serious problems interacting with others and coping with school because of their disability but receive little State Government-funded help because they do not meet the strict criteria for assistance.

Bruce Tonge, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Monash University, says many 16-year-olds with an autism spectrum disorder drop out from about year 9 but are not eligible for adult autism services because they do not have an intellectual disability.

"They can then spend years in their room staring at the computer, becoming increasingly depressed and sometimes aggressive with their parents," Professor Tonge says.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
› USAAA 2008 International Conference, Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008
› Asperger's Syndrome and the Voyage Through High School: Not the Final Frontier
› What Do Toxins Have To Do With Autism?
› Lowe's Pulls Ads From 'Big Brother'
Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?

News Around the World
› Fight for a different normal

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.

The USAAA WeeklyNews® is made possible in part by generous donations from CARE Clinics™ and Oxy Health Corporation.
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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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©2008 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
1-888-9AUTISM (1-888-928-8476) , 801-649-5752