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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. February 29, 2008

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

Special Edition

Leap year: Leap forward and jump start your approaches to ASD interventions and therapies

Understanding Biomedical Treatments and Behavioral Therapies
by Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
(presented at the USAAA 2007 International conference in August 2007 and the Autism Today/USAAA Autism Orlando conference in February 2008).

Biomedical intervention used in conjunction with behavioral therapies can facilitate the progress of a therapy program; as the body heals, it becomes more receptive to behavioral interventions.

Three Major Treatment Areas
—Behavior/education interventions
—Sensory issues
—Health problems-biomedical interventions

Some of the topics discussed in this paper are:
Behavioral therapies: ABA, DIR, RDI, TEAACH, SCERTS

Sensory integration: Speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, auditory therapy,

Other behavioral therapies: Art Therapy , Augmentative and/or Assistive Communication (ACC), Beckman Oral Motor Therapy, Computer-Based Interventions, CranioSacral Therapy (CST), Daily Life Therapy, Facilitated Communication (FC, Hippotherapy, Music Therapy, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) , and SPELL, Social Stories

Pharmacological Treatments for Autism

Complementary/Alternative Medical Treatments: Chelation Therapy, EPD (Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization), Homeopathy, Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT), Low Dose Immunotherapy (LDI)/Low Dose Antigen Therapy (LDA), NAET, Neurofeedback, Orthomolecular medicine, Provocation/ Neutralization Technique (PNT), Sensitivity reduction technique (SRT),.

Other biomedical interventions: In order understand why biomedical interventions help many autistic children; a general understanding of Biology, including Anatomy and Cell Biology, Immunology and Biochemistry is necessary. This is so that some of the biological approaches currently available for the treatment of the medical condition described as autism, can be understood, and people can make educated choices about applying them responsibly.

Casein - gluten-free diet, Enzymes, Low Oxalate Diet, SCD diet, Methyl B-12, Probiotics, Vitamin supplementation, Essential Fatty Acids, to name a few.

Click here for entire presentation paper.

Click here to view the presentation.

Storytelling with a virtual peer as an intervention for children with autism
Northwestern University

Children spend their time playing with friends, making up stories, and letting their imaginations run wild as they make up scenarios for their toys. Although this is our vision of a carefree childhood, these activities also lay the groundwork for school-based learning of literacy and later academic and social achievement. Our previous work on Story Listening System in general, and Sam specifically, has demonstrated how we can use these imaginative play and narrative abilities in technology to facilitate learning.

However, Children with autism, and related pervasive developmental disorders, can lack the appropriate communication skills, social skills, and behaviors such as imaginative play that make such activities possible; this means they are also missing out on opportunities for learning. Children with autism also have difficulty constructing a narrative so it is understandable by other people.

Click here for entire story.

Financial Struggles Plague Families of Children with Autism
MU study finds this area often overlooked, but has major consequences

Story Contact: Jennifer Faddis, (573) 882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The information that a child has been diagnosed with autism often throws parents into an emotional tailspin. A new study from a University of Missouri researcher says most people don't immediately consider the major financial struggles that follow. She suggests more outreach is needed to help families plan and cope with the profound financial life changes they may face.

"As a parent, the diagnosis of autism upends your world,"

"As a parent, the diagnosis of autism upends your world," said Deanna Sharpe, associate professor of personal financial planning in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences and whose own son was diagnosed with the disorder. "It is important for us to hear the voices of families who have financial struggles. There is strong pressure to do everything you can for your child. However, there is a great potential for families to spend a lot of money on therapy or new ideas that may be ineffective. Careful evaluation of therapies is important."

Click here for entire story.

Speaking up for autism

James Madden and John Stapleton | March 01, 2008
The Australian

LYNNE Miller knows the difficulties of raising an autistic child. But she is also well-acquainted with the daily frustrations of dealing with the wider community's ignorance of the condition.
Lynne Miller

Lynne Miller with her autistic daughter Tyne, who has a cameo role in The Black Balloon. Picture: Vanessa Hunter

"Not only do a lot of people not understand autism, but they also don't recognise that it affects the whole family," Ms Miller said.

Tyne, 19, is the youngest of Ms Miller's three daughters.

"I work at the library, I started last year. It's going well...It's OK work. A happy person? Yeah, I am."

Like many people with autism, Tyne has no obvious physical disability apart from speech impediment, and as a result her behaviour is often misinterpreted by others who are unaware of her condition.

Autism spectrum disorders are often characterised by poor social interaction and communication skills, restricted interests and obsessive behaviours. Autistic people can also become extremely upset by something as simple as a strange smell or noise, a fact not known by many.

It is hoped that a new Australian film, The Black Balloon - which has received rave reviews overseas and will open in Australia on Thursday - will heighten public awareness of autism, and of the experience of living with an autistic family member.

The film depicts a teenage boy (Rhys Wakefield) falling for a girl (model-turned-actor Gemma Ward) while struggling to deal with his severely autistic brother (Luke Ford). Toni Collette plays the boys' pregnant mother.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
Leap year: Leap forward and jump start your approaches to ASD interventions and therapies
Storytelling with a virtual peer as an intervention for children with autism
Financial Struggles Plague Families of Children with Autism

News Around the World
› Speaking up for autism

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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