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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. April 2, 2008

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

Autistic and Overlooked

By Linda H. Davis
Wednesday, April 2, 2008; Page A19, Washington

How is society going to pay for the permanent care of millions of our citizens? What kind of lives are we going to give them?

As people around the globe acknowledge World Autism Awareness Day today -- proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly last December -- it is important to consider an aspect of this devastating disorder that has been curiously and persistently neglected: the lifelong care of autistic adults.

Suddenly, our plans to keep our autistic son, Randy, living at home with us indefinitely looked highly risky.

While greater media attention on autism is certainly welcome, virtually all coverage of autism in recent years has focused on a cure or on the education of young autistic children. You would think that, like children in a fairy tale, autistic children never grow up. Yet parents are getting old, tired and ill caring for their adult children. And they are doing it while state and federal budgets, already lean, are getting perilously thinner. How is society going to pay for the permanent care of millions of our citizens? What kind of lives are we going to give them? How are we going to support their families, many of whom care for their children into adulthood as they themselves wear down?

The explosion in autism is striking: A disorder on the autism spectrum is diagnosed in roughly one in every 150 American children. Assuming that that rate holds, by 2016, less than a decade from now, the number of American adults (those 22 and over) with autism is expected to be nearly 1.5 million. The costs to society and to American families will be staggering.

Click here for entire story.


Mom wins fights for autism insurance

By Justine Redman

LEXINGTON, South Carolina (CNN) -- Ryan Unumb just turned 7 years old. He has about 100 words in his vocabulary, even if they are difficult to understand. He's potty trained. He loves playing with water. He follows instructions, he asks for food when he's hungry, and he gives lots of kisses.

He's not where a 7-year-old should be developmentally, but for a child with severe autism, his parents are thrilled with his progress.

Lorri and Dan Unumb attribute these achievements to the 40 hours of intensive therapy Ryan gets every week. Tears streaming down her face, Lorri says they know they're lucky they can afford the team of private therapists who spend all day at their house outside Columbia, South Carolina.

"I've met so many other moms who were doing the best they could, and I just wanted to say to them, 'You know, an hour a week of speech therapy for your child is never going to make him better,' " the mother of three says.

"But I didn't want to tell them what they needed is 40 hours a week of therapy, because there's nothing they can do to buy that."

Nothing they can do because most medical insurance policies generally don't cover autism treatment, and it's too expensive for many parents to afford out of pocket. Ryan's therapy costs between $70,000 and $80,000 a year. That's Lorri Unumb's entire salary.

Click here for entire story.


HBO and Autism: Perfect Together

Review by David Kirby
The Huffington Post

A lot of adults (myself among them) are arguing very vocally right now over the scope, cause, and impact of autism in America. Acrid debates over mercury, vaccines, special diets, alternative therapies and conceded court cases are flooding the media almost daily.

It's enough to give autism a bad name.

Then, along comes an honest little documentary like Autism: The Musical. This all-too-real movie lifts the heart up and then slams it right back down on the pavement -- and we love every minute of it.

This simply shot, beautifully conveyed portrait of life with autism premieres tonight [March 25] on HBO (and will stream for free for one week at[contact for more information]. It serves to remind us all that, no matter what "causes autism," no matter what, if anything might "cure" it, children affected by the disorder deserve all of the honor, love and patience that we, a nation consumed by our own attention deficits, can muster.

This moving and funny film opens with the jarring data that autism in America has spiked from 1-in-10,000 kids in 1980 to 1-in-150 today.

Click here for entire story.


The Case for a Link to Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.

In 1976, children received 10 vaccines before attending school. Today they will receive over 36 injections. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control assured parents that it was safe to not only give these vaccines, but that they could be given at one time with complete safety.

Is this true? Or are we being lied to on a grand scale?

When I was in medical school, there was no proof that cigarette smoking cause lung cancer.

The medical establishment has created a set of terms, which they use constantly to boost their egos and firm up their authority as the unique holders of medical wisdom–the mantra is “evidence-based medicine”, as if everything outside their anointing touch is bogus and suspect. A careful examination of many of the accepted treatments reveals that most have little or no scientific “evidence-based” data to support it.

One of the strongest links to this terrible set of [autism spectrum ] disorders was a drastic change in the vaccine programs of the United States and many other countries, which included a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines being given at a very early age.

One often repeated study found that almost80 percent of medical practice had no scientific backing.

This is not to say that medical practice should be purely based on pure and applied science, as understood in the fields of physics and chemistry. Medicine, as pointed out by many of the great men of medicine, is an art. For a discussion on the proper role of medicine I refer the reader to my paper titled –Regimentation in Medicine and the Death of Creativity – on my website (

...Chinese are gradually taking over vaccine manufacturing. In fact, communist China is now the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. They have over 400 biopharmaceutical companies busy making vaccines and poor quality drugs for the world.

Click here for entire story.


Vaccine-autism link divides parents, scientists

By David S. Martin

YUMA, Arizona (CNN) -- At 13, Michelle Cedillo can't speak, wears a diaper and requires round-the-clock monitoring in case she has a seizure. While her peers go to school or the mall or spend time with friends, the Yuma, Arizona, teenager remains at home, where she entertains herself with picture books and "Sesame Street" and "Blue's Clues" DVDs.

Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne, a pediatric neurologist who is a professor at The New School in New York, testified that he thought the measles vaccine was a "substantial factor" in causing the girl's autism. Traces of the measles virus were found in Michelle's gut, leading the Oxford University-trained doctor to conclude the girl's immune system had not rejected the virus. Kinsbourne told the court the measles virus invaded cells in Michelle's brain, resulting in her autism.

Michelle has no idea she is at thecenter of a court case pitting thousands of families of children with autism against the medical establishment. A number of prestigious medical institutions say there is no link between vaccines and autism. The families believe vaccines caused their children's autism, and they've taken their case to court.

"I think there is a link," says Theresa Cedillo, Michelle's mother.

Theresa and her husband, Mike, say their only child was a happy, engaged toddler who responded to her name, said "mommy" and "daddy" and was otherwise normal until she received a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 15 months.

Click here for entire story.


More Students With Asperger Syndrome Going to College
Some Schools Have Programs to Help Autistic Students

April 2, 2008

Like many of his high school classmates, Robby Cvejanovich is trying to decide which college to attend this fall.

While Cvejanovich is concerned about picking a school with a good zoology program, his parents are anxious about what will happen outside the classroom as their autistic son transitions into college life.

"I am very nervous because Robby is the most honest and trusting person I have ever known. He doesn't understand that people can lie. He doesn't understand why people lie," said his mother, Beth Cvejanovich.

The issue is not limited to the Cvejanoviches. As scores of autistic young adults enter universities for the first time, colleges across the country are trying to find ways to deal with the first generation of Asperger's students to hit campuses in large numbers.

Click here for entire story.

New guidance given on autism care

BBC News
New guidance on services for people with autism has been published by the Scottish Government.

The advice is designed to enhance community health and social care services, by offering examples of best practice.
Recommendations include awareness training for all staff and involving people with autism in the planning of services.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
› Autistic and Overlooked
› Mom wins fights for autism insurance
› HBO and Autism: Perfect Together
›The Case for a Link to Autism Spectrum Disorders
Vaccine-autism link divides parents, scientists
More Students With Asperger Syndrome Going to College

USAAA News Around the World
› New guidance given on autism care

World Autism Awareness Day,
April 2, 2008

For more information, click here.

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

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