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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. March 10, 2008

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

Dr. Kartzinel to be guest on
Today Show on NBC this Tuesday

Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, USAAA Scientific Advisory Board member, is a scheduled guest on the Today Show on NBC this Tuesday, March 11, 2008 along with David Tayloe, incoming president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Schedule may change without prior notice.


Parents fear for children with autism
Wonder who will care for them when fathers, mothers are gone

Staff Writer
Article Date: Sunday, March 9, 2008

Liz Wilson says her son, David, now an adult with autism, always will need someone to help him manage his life.

Wilson said she had to go to court when David turned 18 last summer so she could become his legal guardian and have the authority to make decisions on his behalf.

The South Berwick [Maine] mother felt a sense of urgency about making sure her 21-year-old son would be all right after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February.

She underwent surgery to remove a small lump and is receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

"The first thing I did was call my lawyer, and I asked him if I was all set, and he told me I was," said Wilson.

Her attorney told her the will and special needs trust she set up for David a few years ago was adequate.

Click here for entire story.

Autism Law Would Mean Access
Stan Simpson
March 8, 2008

A decade ago, Barbara Zachs' health insurance wouldn't pay for the speech therapy her 2-year old son needed after he stopped talking at 15 months.

Kyle was diagnosed with autism. The family's insurance wanted nothing to do with the treatments.

Luckily, little Kyle Zachs was later struck with leukemia.

"There is something wrong when a Connecticut child needs to get cancer and [a] brain injury to get the services needed to teach him to talk,"

As a result, the Simsbury boy suffered chemotherapy poisoning, which led to a brain injury. With a brain injury, the insurance company would pay for speech and occupational therapy.

Now 13, Kyle is yakking away these days. His mother said he loves to tell you a long story. "He is doing fantastic," Zachs said of the youngest of her four children, who has recovered from leukemia.

Kyle, his mom says, still has developmental problems, but is on his way to living, for the most part, independently. Zachs is among those who testified to the legislature's insurance and real estate committee this week, supporting a proposed law to expand insurance benefits for children diagnosed with autism.

Click here for entire story and the document.

Woman With Autism Heads Computer Recycler
Turns Talents For Fixing Them Into Green Service For Needy

CBS) A Eugene, Oregon woman with autism has just been named a hero in the annual Volvo for Life Awards, and will be getting a check for $100,000.

Lorraine Kerwood didn't let autism stop her as she channeled her passion for fixing computers into the non-profit operation, NextStep Recycling.

Hattie Kauffman profiled her on The Early Show Friday.
To see Kauffman's report, click here.

According to the group's Web site, "NextStep Recycling is a non-profit computer refurbishing and recycling organization. We are dedicated to providing refurbished computer equipment to schools, non-profit organizations, and economically and/or physically disadvantaged individuals. In addition, we serve the community and the environment by recycling obsolete/nonrepairable donated electronic equipment. We are able to provide computers to the public by refurbishing used computer equipment for which businesses, corporations, and individual donors no longer have a use."

Click here for entire story.

Does your partner have Asperger's?

When Sarah Hendrickx met Keith Newton she thought he was just a little “weird” and was hurt by his apparent lack of concern for her feelings. Although they soon became lovers, she characterised him as a “heartless freak” while he saw her as an “overemotional troublemaker”.

However, understanding Asperger’s has helped the couple to communicate better and Sarah is no longer upset by Keith’s literal and straightforward way of talking...

As a marital therapist, I am familiar with this battle and most couples will have privately thought something similar about their partner at some point. However, Keith has Asperger’s syndrome, a type of autism characterised by an inability to read body language, poor social skills, sensory sensitivity and a narrow, obsessive range of interests.

It is thought that about 1 person in 100 is somewhere on this autism spectrum, but most remain unaware of their condition. So what’s it like loving someone with Asperger’s and, if some of the arguments sound like an extreme version of our own, what can the rest of us learn from the experience?

She wore only three colours: black, white, or grey. She ate only cheese sandwiches and drank tea.

Sarah, 40, and Keith, 39, got together four years ago through an internet dating site. “Being together was idyllically wonderful, yet if something wasn’t quite right it would plummet into a hideous mess,” she says. “He would become colder and colder. I would ask those stupid female questions: ‘Do you think we will live together?’ He would say: ‘Seeing you once a week is enough for me. I don’t want any more.’ I’d get terribly upset and he would just be staring at me emotionless or he’d disappear.” As the couple write in their book – Asperger Syndrome: a Love Story (JKP, £12.99) – their relationship became so painful that they split up for a while

Click here for entire story.

Autism no longer an obstacle for students seeking college degree
Mentors, trained teachers help students to see success

If college were purely academic, 16-year-old Cullen Kappel would have no worries.

But the mostly straight-A student who studies astrophysics just for fun knows his challenge at college will be in what happens between classes.

Cullen has Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Like others with Asperger's, he tends to hyper-focus on topics, can be thrown off-kilter with a slight change to his routine and has a tough time deciphering conversation cues.

"I feel a bit socially challenged," said the junior at Clarkston High School.

Now, universities across the state and the country are reaching out to students with autism and related disorders as their numbers grow rapidly -- thanks to early treatment of the disorders in children.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
› Parents fear for children with autism
› Autism Law Would Mean Access
› Woman With Autism Heads Computer Recycler
› Does your partner have Asperger's?

› Autism no longer an obstacle for students seeking college degree

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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©2008 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
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