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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. February 28, 2008

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

Detoxifying Autistic Children
By Meghan Yost, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- One out of every 150 babies is born autistic, a number increasing by 10 percent to 17 percent every year. But now, biomedical treatments that heal the body through nutrition and detoxification are showing promising results.

“Things that go wrong biomedically can affect behavioral interventions,” Dr. Underwood told Ivanhoe.

While no one knows what causes autism, researchers agree genetics and environmental factors play a key role. According to Lauren W. Underwood, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist for Science Systems and Applications, Inc. in Lanham, Md., and a mother of a recovering autistic child, biomedical interventions get the body functioning better so it can respond to other autism therapies. “Things that go wrong biomedically can affect behavioral interventions,” Dr. Underwood told Ivanhoe.

Shoemaker warns biomedical interventions that work exceptionally for one child may not work as well in another.

Many biomedical treatments focus on removing environmental toxins, like lead, from the body. “Over 27 million toys have been recalled due to toxic lead paint and only a fraction of the toys being sold have been tested for lead,” David S. Berger, M.D., a pediatrician at Wholistic Pediatrics in Tampa, Fla., told Ivanhoe. “There have been reports that up to 30 percent of inexpensive toys purchased at local retailers contain high levels of lead but have not been recalled,” he said.

Click here for entire story.

SOURCE: Ivanhoe interviews with David S. Berger, M.D., Angela Shoemaker, and Lauren W. Underwood, Ph.D., and Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008 (USAAA /Autism Today conference), Orlando, Fla., Feb. 14 -17, 2008.


CDC panel recommends virtually all children get vaccinated against the flu each year

By Mike Stobbe
The Associated Press

ATLANTA - All children - not just those under 5 - should get vaccinated against the flu, a federal advisory panel said today.

The panel voted to expand annual flu shots to virtually all children except infants younger than 6 months and those with serious egg allergies.

That means about 30 million more children could be getting vaccinated. If heeded, it would be one of the largest expansions in flu vaccination coverage in U.S. history. The flu vaccine has been available since the 1940s.

Panel members waffled a bit on whether to make the recommendations kick in immediately.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said all children should start getting vaccinated as soon as possible, acknowledging that many doctors have already ordered their vaccine for the 2008-2009 season and may not be able to give the shots until 2009-2010. The flu season generally starts in the fall and continues through spring.

The panel's advice is routinely adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issues vaccination guidelines to doctors and hospitals.

"This is the only vaccination that pediatricians in my community don't want to have to give," said Carol Baker, a Baylor College of Medicine professor who sits on the panel.

Flu shots were already recommended for those considered to be at highest risk of death or serious illness from the flu, including children ages 6 months to 5 years, adults 50 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.

The panel said that should be expanded to include children up to age 18.

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Governor urges action on autism mandate

By Andrew Beckett

The Governor [of Wisconsin] is calling on the state Assembly to pass a bill requiring insurance companies to cover autism treatments.

Opponents argue the mandate would be too expensive

The state Senate already approved the measure, but Assembly action has not yet been scheduled. Governor Jim Doyle is urging them to take it up before the session ends. Doyle says the Assembly can still do the right thing in approving the bill, which will provide relief to thousands of Wisconsin families.

Click here for entire story.

This week's expert is: Theresa K. Wrangham

Advocacy - You Can Make a Difference

Everyone’s efforts truly make a difference! What follows are some ideas on steps individuals can take outside their personal needs to aid in affecting larger change that will bring our community closer to desirable long-term outcomes.

Advocacy organizations are usually in critical need of your money and/or time. Choose your passion and what you can reasonably do given your time and finances. Many organizations are also valuable resources you can turn to for assistance when you are in need.

Support funding of IDEA & NCLB – The National Education Association (click here for link) tracks and offers data on this issue, as well as sending out action alerts and having an e-newsletter. They have also formed a coalition with several organizations to aid in funding of these measures (click here for link). Visit your state’s Department of Education web site for information on state funding and how to support appropriate increases to services. Other organizations that may also be useful are the Council for Exceptional Children, American Association of School Administrators, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the National PTA, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National School Boards Association, American Federation of Teachers, and National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc. and local autism and developmental disability organizations.

IEP Process – If you are fairly versed and adept in the IEP process, or have an interest in helping families through this process, consider becoming a volunteer and training as a mentor for your Federal Parent Center (click here for link). Every state has one! They usually offer free training for parents unfamiliar with the IEP process, conferences, as well as phone support and easy to use publications. Find out what opportunities are in your area, and/or call them for IEP support. Another tremendous resource or special education law and advocacy is Wrightslaw (click here for link).

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Assistance Dogs to Help Children With Autism - New Initiative Launched

Sheffield based Support Dogs, one of the UK’s leading charities dedicated to training assistance dogs, has today launched a £1 million appeal to help it to introduce a unique national initiative to provide dogs specially trained to help children with Autism.

This programme is the first of its kind in mainland UK and over the next four years, if it reaches its £1 million target, the charity will be able to help hundreds of people affected by Autism.

Support Dogs has already trained the UK’s first Autism Assistance Dog with the support of Irish Guide Dogs, which has run a successful programme in Ireland for over three years. Lacey (a yellow Labrador) has been partnered with Paula Craik and her 5 year old son Joe (who live in Dundee) and in the last year has made a tremendous difference to their lives. Following on from this success, the charity now plans to make this life changing initiative available to families across the UK.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
Detoxifying Autistic Children
CDC panel recommends virtually all children get vaccinated against the flu each year
› Governor urges action on autism mandate

News Around the World
› Assistance Dogs to Help Children With Autism - New Initiative Launched

The USAAA WeeklyNews® is made possible in part by generous donations from CARE Clinics™ and Oxy Health Corporation.

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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.

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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