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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. March 5, 2008

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

Editor's note:
We would like to acknowledge an inaccuracy that was reported in an article in our February 28th newsletter. The article, "Detoxifying Autistic Children," incorrectly reported that one out of every 150 babies is born autistic. According to the The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every 150 children is diagnosed with autism. There is no mention of children being born autistic, just being diagnosed with ASD.

Click here for additional comments in the readers' comments section.

Approach To Autism Works For Family
By YVETTE C. HAMMETT, The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 5, 2008

VALRICO - Ten years ago, when Aaron VanCleve was a little guy, he rarely spoke. Trips to Disney World or fairs were out of the question. He had no social skills and little awareness of the world around him.

"If you try to treat for too many things at once, you don't know what's really working.

Today, a 17-year-old with great grades and a love for animals, the high school sophomore's life has changed immensely, said his mother, Linda VanCleve.

She credits his doctor, who views and treats his autism as a disease rather than a developmental disorder, and his involvement with FFA and 4-H.

Click here for entire story.


Imus, McCain, Autism, and 08

By David Kirby
The Huffington Post, March 4, 2008

The following is an unofficial transcript of my interview this morning by Don Imus. I post it here, without comment, except to thank Don and Deirdre Imus for everything that they do to help children in dire need.

(PS: To see a summary of the presidential candidates' stand on whether or not autism is epidemic, as gathered by A-CHAMP and ABC News, please click here).

IMUS: Good morning Mr. Kirby. How are you?

DAVID: I'm good. It's been exactly 3 years ago when you and Deidre really started bringing this to the people's attention. Boy, talk about "Ground Hog Day". It just seems like we're beating the same issues all over again, without getting anywhere.

IMUS. I thought it was kind of amusing to me, after Senator McCain said what he said in Texas, which I'll ask you about in a see my name in a couple of columns blaming me for influencing him. When I've never said anything of the kind. I've got my own suspicions, but, any way, what exactly did Sen. McCain say now?

look at the brain studies being done by people from Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Their (subjects) are presenting with oxidative stress, heavy metals and mercury in the brain.

DAVID: Sen. McCain said, after being asked a question in Texas by a woman referring to the big court case, which was just conceded, in which the government said that a girl's vaccine injury led to and resulted in an ultimate diagnosis of autism. She asked him about it and he, to just about everyone's surprise, said he believed there was strong evidence to implicate the vaccine ingredient called thimerosal, in the rise in the numbers of cases.

He said the rise of cases is indisputable, meaning it's not just better diagnosis, we have more autism in America today than we had 10 or 15 years ago. He's trying to figure out what is going on. He recognizes there is a national emergency. It may not be the mercury in the vaccines, it may not be the vaccines at all, but, until we get to the bottom of this it's refreshing, to say the least, to hear a politician out there talking about what a lot of other people are talking about.

Everyone should go online right now and look up the flu vaccine.

At some point, if you want to get into some of the studies that are coming out, McCain -- who's been blasted in the last 24 hours, taking more "incoming" that I've received in 5 years in just 24 hours -- he is referring to actual studies that have been published by very top flight scientists. And he has a very good medical and science staff. He would not have made this statement flippantly, and, it didn't come out of nowhere.

IMUS: The next question: There is scientific evidence out there suggesting that there is a definitive link?

Click here for entire article.


Coping With Autism


It's a disorder that affects one out of every 150 children.

It's broad in scope and leaves a child with a wide spectrum of needs.

Reporter Tracy Fugere has more on the affects of Autism...

"How are you? How are you?" Devon is a first grader and autistic. Kelli Ellenbaum, a speech language pathologist who is autism certified, meets with Devon three times a week to work on social skills. Kelli says children with autism have a hard time regulating their emotions and are usually poor at reading social cues, facial expressions and body gestures.

Click here for entire story.

This week's expert is: Marlo Payne Rice

The Continuums of Autism: Cognition, Sensory Processing and Arousal

Like all children, those with autism have unique sensory needs, cognitive skills, and individual strengths and weaknesses for learning.  However it is common, because autism itself is so difficult to understand, for us to label all autistic children as having the same needs in an attempt to create a clean service model. Autism is messy.  In thinking that all autistic children are alike we fail to recognize the sensory and cognitive continuums of the autistic individual, and in turn we render ourselves unable to provide appropriate arousal states for new learning. Furthermore, by lacking good information about learning styles and different modalities for learning, we limit the ultimate potential for our autistic children by expecting them to succeed in our traditional language-driven model of education.

In order to effectively deal with adrenalin
issues for our autistic children, we must understand arousal, identify the individual sensory issues
of each autistic child, (because each is very different), and provide sensory accommodation and
modulation training to help them feel safe.

For new learning to occur, each of us must have the right amount of information coming in.  Not too much, not too little, a calm yet alert state.  When things are coming at us too quickly, we feel anxious and over stimulated.  This causes us to shut down, tune out or avoid outside stimulation by hyper-focusing on a particular subject or activity. Not enough information results in feelings of boredom, restlessness and irritability. In turn, we fidget, seek novel stimulation, self stimulate or daydream. For the autistic individual, the ability to find the perfect state is difficult because so much energy is consumed through the simple tasks of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, feeling pressure and motion and regulating body systems. When we recognize that autism itself is an extreme state of sensory integration and modulation difficulty, it is not hard to understand why social interaction, attention and learning become problematic. Simply put, these children are not “in” their bodies.

Marlo Payne, M.S., is a School Psychologist and Education Consultant who presented at the USAAA 2007 International Autism and Asperger Conference and will be presenting at the USAAA 2008 International Autism and Asperger Conference in Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008.

To purchase a PDF file of this paper that was published in the Conference Proceedings Manual, click here. Proceeds go toward USAAA's scholarship fund which allow individuals to attend USAAA conferences.

Online autism therapy gets national recognition

A Fredericton company that created an online therapy program for families with autistic children has won a national innovation award.

AutismPro by Virtual Expert Clinics Inc., winner of the Rogers Innovation at Work Award, helps parents and professionals use the internet to plan and deliver individual educational therapy to children with autism.

The program allows parents to get immediate help for their children rather than go on waiting lists, said Cynthia Howroyd, a speech pathologist who founded Virtual Expert Clinics.

"AutismPro provides people with a comprehensive set of resources to deliver effective intervention and education, and individualizes it for each unique child," said Howroyd.

Click here for entire story.

Reaching Out To Siblings In The Shadow Of Autism

Medical News Today, UK

With one out of every 150 people at risk of getting autism, it has become the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S.* For every child who is treated for autism, there are often many more who have to learn to deal with it. They are the brothers and sisters of autistic children. A new program is designed specifically to help them learn to cope with a condition that demands so much from their families.

Ten year old Emily Carder relishes quiet times like these with her sister. Six year old Anna has autism, and interactions like these often turn contentious or even aggressive. Because of that, Anna spends 45 hours each week either in special classes or working with therapists.

"If she has down time, she's doing something inappropriate. The whole idea with kids with autism, with having the intensive therapy that many hours a week, is changing the behavior," says Angie Carder, Anna's mom.

In most cases, changing that behavior takes a lot of resources - time, money and attention - which often leaves less for siblings like Emily. An innovative program at Nationwide Children's Hospital is helping, by focusing on the "other" kids who are dealing with autism. They are the siblings who often learn to cope quietly.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
Approach To Autism Works For Family
Imus, McCain, Autism, and 08
› Coping With Autism

Expert's Corner
› The Continuums of Autism: Cognition, Sensory Processing and Arousal

News Around the World
› Online autism therapy gets national recognition
› Reaching Out To Siblings In The Shadow Of 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!!!


Inbox Readers' Comments are opinions from our subscribers. USAAA is not responsible for the content, accuracy or opinions expressed in this section.

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.

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Readers' Comments:

Detoxifying Autistic Children
I am responding to the article by Meghan Yost entitled “Detoxifying Autistic Children” in which she states that 1 in 150 children is “born” autistic. I do not believe that this statement is accurate. Her statement implies that there is a “genetic epidemic,” which was refuted by Dr. Kartzinel on “Larry King Live” just two days ago. Other guests, including Toni Braxton, Doug Flutie and Holly Robinson Peete, stated that they noted significant regression and or a change in their child’s behavior after he or she received certain vaccinations such as the MMR vaccine. Their observations suggest that there are possible environmental factors, including a “one size fits all” aggressive vaccination schedule, which can trigger autism in children who might be genetically predisposed. I believe the more accurate statement is that 1 in 150 children is “diagnosed” with autism. —Koren

Flu shots
How careless for them [CDC] to recommend flu shots for our children without stressing the need to be mercury free. They continue to harm our young children with reckless use of mercury in flu shots and call it good health. It was recommended to be removed from all vaccines in 1999 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, etc. It was never banned and is still be used as the preservative in multidose vials and in the manufacturing process, leaving a residual. Mercury was never safety tested for safety before being used in vaccines 75 years ago. There are no safety testing being done ongoing with the use of this. Our pregnant women are given this during pregnancy and it concentrates at 200x the concentration in the fetus. Why is the autism numbers still on the rise? We continue to poison our children in the name of "public/personal health". Stop the cycle. —Meg

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©2008 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
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