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

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


Attention Educators

“Autism: Impact on Education” Announced for
USAAA International Conference

First of Its Kind Workshop to Be Offered Nationally Within An Autism Conference Format

by Theresa K. Wrangham
USAAA Director of Educational Development

As Director of Educational Development for US Autism and Asperger Association (USAAA), my mission is to address the critical need for education outside of treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) individuals. To that end, USAAA is proud to announce a new offering to its conference format that will be piloted at the USAAA 2008 International Conference in Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008 – USAAA’s “Autism: Impact on Education”.

This full day workshop [for educators] is the first of its kind to be offered nationally within an autism conference format.

This full day workshop is the first of its kind to be offered nationally within an autism conference format and will be held Saturday, September 6th and is limited to 90 participants with Certificates of Attendance issued. Our focus will be “Creating and Maintaining Programs for the ASD Student and the ASD Classroom” and “The Continuums of Autism: Meeting the Needs of the ASD Individual Through Better Understanding” and center on the ASD individual’s learning style, needs and adaptation to the classroom environment.

Our presenter’s for this groundbreaking program are internationally renowned experts Valerie Paradiz, PhD, Marlo Payne Thurman, MS and Stephen Shore, EdD.

Attendees will be equipped with hands-on strategies to be used immediately in the classroom that are beneficial for all students and assist educators tangibly to lessen classroom distractibility and enhance the learning environment.

For more information on the workshop, click here.

 

Hard Choices About a Child's Special Needs

April 27, 2008
by Jeff D. Opdyke, Personal Finance

On a recent drive home from a party, my wife, Amy, asked our soon-to-be 5-year-old daughter who she had played with. With tears in her eyes, our little girl responded that no one had played with her, because, as she told Amy, "they don't understand me."

...her therapist now wants to triple the number of sessions, which triples our expenses to nearly $1,000 a month,

That doesn't actually capture the real conversation. The words my daughter used weren't nearly so precise. That's because she has a speech disability that impairs her pronunciation. She understands everything she hears, and she always has the appropriate response. Her words, though, are often a challenge to understand.

Our daughter has been enrolled in speech therapy for awhile, but her therapist now wants to triple the number of sessions, which triples our expenses to nearly $1,000 a month, a big dent in our wallet. Our insurance provider won't pay, so all of this is out of our own pocket.

And that gets to the point of this week's column: the cost of a special-needs child.

With limited resources you can't pursue an open-wallet policy forever...

To be clear, I'm not implying money supersedes a child's needs. I am saying, though, that parents at some point do begin to think about the dollars. You have to: With limited resources you can't pursue an open-wallet policy forever when you have so many other needs that ultimately must to be funded, too.

How, though, do you make that call? Do you pump every dime you can into fixing a child's disability? Or do you rein in the spending at some point and accept that this is your child, and you love her just as she is?

Click here for entire story.

 

Major retailers pass on hard plastic

By Tali Arbel
The Associated Press

Wal-Mart has called it quits on plastic baby bottles made with BPA, or bisphenol A. Nalgene Outdoor Products said it would stop using the chemical in its popular clear plastic bottles. Toys "R" Us is nixing BPA-tinged products.

[there is] a link between BPA and higher rates of cancer, reproductive system abnormalities and nutritional and developmental problems among children...

BPA is a man-made plastic found in many household items - including reusable water bottles, baby bottles and epoxy resins lining cans of food and soft drinks - and can leak into food and drinks in those containers.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health suggested a link between BPA and higher rates of cancer, reproductive system abnormalities and nutritional and developmental problems among children who were exposed to BPA while their mothers were pregnant. It may soon be banned in Canada and is also subject to increased regulatory scrutiny in the U.S.

Click here for entire story.
Click here on how to avoid BPA from leaching into your drinkables.

 

Utahns discard plastic bottles and containers for BPA-free alternatives

By Heather May
The Salt Lake Tribune

Ever since she heard that a chemical commonly found in baby and water bottles could be linked to reproduction problems, Salt Lake City mom Emily Baker has been cleaning out her cupboards.

"Why take a chance when you don't have to?"

She's stored away all her baby bottles and sippy cups, as well as her own Nalgene water bottles. For good measure, she's buying glass food containers.

Baker was recently found shopping at Babies 'R' Us in Midvale for a brand of plastic baby bottles made without the offending chemical, called bisphenol A or BPA. The estrogen-mimicking chemical is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics - the hard plastic used for water and infant bottles and other food containers.

"I know the [studies] aren't conclusive, but it's my kids," she said, with her 3-1/2- and 1-1/2-year-olds in tow. "I'm not going to wait until they are. Why take a chance when you don't have to?"

Click here for entire story.

 

Students, teachers, parents work together to address the unique needs due to Asperger syndrome

by Kara Hildreth
Thisweek Newspapers

Content playing independently with his toy race cars for hours, Clint Van Ness is a quiet child with an incredible memory and the ability to be analytical at a young age.

His mother, Sherri Van Ness of Farmington, said since Clint was her first child, she had nothing to compare his behavior to.

“At first, he had a hard time talking to people and keeping up a conversation. He was just very content being by himself and playing all day,” she said.

Teachers suspected Clint may have a form of autism spectrum disorder, so they kept watch on his behavior and social interaction with kindergarten classmates.

Clint was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in first grade. He is now a fifth-grader at North Trail Elementary School.

“Clint has always been really bright and analytical, very quiet and independent,” Van Ness said.

“I always thought he was lonely because I was a very gregarious kid. I didn’t think it was anything medical.”

Clint did not walk until 14 months and had incredible problems as a baby.

Click here for entire story.

 

Author writes about living with Asperger syndrome

by Kara Hildreth
Thisweek Newspapers

Growing up autistic may leave a person feeling uncomfortable in his own skin.

Author Erika Hammerschmidt openly shares her journey through childhood and young adulthood with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, in her new book “Born on the Wrong Planet.”

“I’ve had this feeling ever since early in my life, probably since at least junior high,” said Hammerschmidt, who has told her story to countless area students during school visits. “Being a person with autism spectrum, I feel I don’t fit in among human beings. My brain interacts and thinks completely differently from most humans.”

Hammerschmidt, 26, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and Tourette syndrome at the age of 11. She faced the challenges with the help of family members, friends and teachers. She developed extraordinary language and writing skills.

Click here for entire story.



In This Issue:
“Autism: Impact on Education” announced for USAAA International Conference
Hard Choices About a Child's Special Needs
Major retailers pass on hard plastic

Utahns discard plastic bottles and containers for BPA-free alternatives
Students, teachers, parents work together to address the unique needs due to Asperger syndrome
› Author writes about living with Asperger syndrome

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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.




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USAAA 2008 Annual International
Autism and Asperger Conference,
Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008

2008 Conference - Register Now!
   

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©2008 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
1-888-9AUTISM (1-888-928-8476) , 801-816-1234