View this email in your web browser
US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. June 12, 2008

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


Hidden CDC Data Confirms Vaccine-Autism Link

Washington, DC - A newly published study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, [1] the official journal of the World Federation of Neurology, [2] links mercury from the Thimerosal in vaccines with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

This study represents six years worth of effort by independent researchers to gain access to hidden US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] data in the Vaccine Safety Datalink [VSD]. In 2003, the Government Reform Committee of the US House of Representatives asserted, "access by independent researchers to the Vaccine Safety Datalink database is needed for independent replication and validation of CDC studies regarding exposure of infants to mercury-containing vaccines and autism."

Depending upon the specific neurodevelopmental disorder examined (autism, autism
spectrum disorder, tics, emotional disturbance, attention deficit disorder-hyperactivity
disorder, and developmental/learning disorder), the observed overall risk of autism and
other neurodevelopmental disorders was significantly higher (about 2- to 6- fold) following
an additional 100 micrograms of mercury exposure.

Nonetheless, this new analysis of some of the data in the carefully guarded VSD database, documenting the mercury poisoning of a generation of American children, would never have been possible without the intervention of Congressional leaders, parent autism advocacy groups, and legal experts.  Ironically, only a few independent researchers have gained even this limited level of restricted access to the VSD database, despite the fact that the VSD Project is funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The new study, led by Dr. Heather Young, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, examined the CDC-supplied medical vaccination records from the VSD of 278,624 children, born from 1990 through 1996.

This study calculated the average mercury exposure children incurred from routine childhood Thimerosal-containing vaccines, by year of birth, during their first year of life.  After calculating average mercury exposure by year of birth, the study then estimated the prevalence rates of various medical diagnoses for children born in each of the years examined.

Click here for entire article.
Click here for the study, Thimerosal exposure in infants and neurodevelopmental disorders: An assessment of computerized medical records in the Vaccine Safety Datalink

Editor's Note: In reviewing the study, the median age at initial diagnosis was approximately 4.5 years. Thirty-seven percent of the autism cases in the study were diagnosed after 5 years old with about 50% diagnosed after 4.5 years old. This information corresponds with USAAA's Chairman Dr. Kaplan's initial study on early diagnosis of ASD. In this first-ever study on early diagnosis, Dr. Kaplan discovered that there was a significant delay in diagnosis. Approximately 50% of the children were diagnosed after age three and about 29%of those were diagnosed after age 4. For more information on this initial study by Dr. Kaplan, click here.


 

Court Issues Strong Decision on Behalf of a Child with Autism

During early intervention, a district psychologist reported that Tereance needed learning support to receive [Free Appropriate Public Education] FAPE [Extended School Year] . The District placed him in regular kindergarten - no support.

The District's policies regarding ESY [Extended School Year] services did not meet state or federal law - and were actually designed to mislead parents about their ESY rights.

A year later, the District suspected that Tereance had autism but conducted flawed evaluations - or no evaluations at all.

The District's policies regarding ESY [Extended School Year] services did not meet state or federal law - and were actually designed to mislead parents about their ESY rights.

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Any Counts

Read the Court's decision in Tereance D. v School District of Philadelphia. This decision is a result of the school district's motion to dismiss several counts in Tereance D's Complaint.

The judge refused and found that:

  • the school did not properly evaluate
  • the school's evaluator was not competent to evaluate a child with autism
  • teachers of kids with autism did not receive proper training
  • the school evaluator misdiagnosed the child as MR, then as ED,before finally determining that he had an autism spectrum disorder
  • school staff "misrepresented" to the parent the availability of autism support services
  • school staff "misrepresented" to the parent the availability of ESY ("what we have wouldn't be appropriate for him")
  • even after finding the child eligible for autism support services, the district dragged their feet, causing delays for years.

Click here for entire article.



 

Understanding autism can lead to tolerance
by Cara Hetland, Minnesota Public Radio
June 12, 2008

Kristi Sakai and her husband have three children. All the children as well as her husband have Asperger Syndrome, which is a form of autism. She's the author of "Finding Our Way: Creating a Supportive Home and Community for the Asperger Syndrome Family." (MPR Photo/Cara Hetland)

Sioux Falls, S.D. — Nancy DeRoos' son is autistic and every once in a while, she needs to stand up for him. She recalls one woman at a fast food restaurant.

"My son was just moving, moving, moving, because that's what he does, he just moves, moves, moves," DeRoos explains. "My husband got up and walked away and she turned around and looked right at me and she said, 'Can't you control him?' I looked at her and said, 'He has autism.' 'Oh,' she said and then she turned around. That was it. I know it sounds bad, but I love it when I can do things like that just to make people feel as bad as I do when they say things like that."

DeRoos says those comments from other people hurt and her first instinct is to hurt back.

Autism affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. They are resistant to change, have difficulty expressing what they want or need. They often throw tantrums and can come across as aloof.

Click here for entire article.


 

Starting today and for the next eleven weeks leading up to the USAAA 2008 International Conference (September 4-7, 2008), we will highlight our conference speakers.

Speaker Spotlight
School Psychologist and Education Consultant to present at USAAA conference

 

Marlo Payne Thurman, MS

Marlo Payne Thurman, MS is a School Psychologist and Education Consultant who obtained her Specialist Master’s degree from the University of Utah. Marlo will be presenting "The Continuums of Autism: Cognition, Sensory Processing, and Arousal," at the USAAA 2008 International Conference in Austin, Texas, on Friday, September 5th. In addition to her presentation on Friday, she will also be conducting a special Educator Workshop session on Saturday afternoon, September 6th.

Marlo has founded both the Center for Education Enrichment and the Brideun School for Exceptional Children located in Lafayette, Colorado. In her private practice, Marlo offers assessment, educational consultation, advocacy, cognitive therapy and social skills training.

In designing, directing and administrating the Brideun School, Marlo has created an alternative model of therapeutic education that integrates strength-based learning with individualized, playful teaching allowing different-minded learners to find success. Marlo is active in education reform, researching and speaking extensively on alternative means to reach and teach children with divergent minds. She specializes in sensory-based learning and arousal.

Marlo has created an alternative model of therapeutic education that integrates strength-based learning with individualized, playful teaching allowing different-minded learners to find success.

Marlo is currently working on the expansion of her models towards a franchise for new schools and therapy centers. Marlo holds board positions with Brideun Learning Worlds, The Bridge School and the nationally recognized 2E Newsletter. She has been honored for her achievements with feature articles in the New York Times, People Magazine, ADDitude Magazine, The National Special Educator and numerous local venues.

Click here to learn more about the 2008 Conference.

 


 

Speaker Spotlight
International speaker on Computer-based Intervention to present at USAAA conference

 

Valerie Herskowitz, MA-CCC-SLP

Valerie Herskowitz's career as a speech pathologist has spanned the past 30 years. Since 1981, as owner of Dimensions Therapy Center, she has been providing private therapy services and special family outings to the families in the South Florida area.

Ms. Herskowitz will be presenting "Autism and Computers: Maximizing Independence Through Technology" at the USAAA 2008 International Conference in Austin, Texas, on Friday, September 5th.

Ms. Herskowitz is the President of the National Autism Registry, a non-profit organization. She was awarded the Stevie Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 for her work with autistic and special needs children. Ms. Herskowitz is also an international speaker on the subject of Computer-Based Intervention (CBI) and technology with special needs individuals.

She was awarded the Stevie Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 for her work with autistic and special needs children.

She is the author of the upcoming book, Autism and Computers: Maximizing Independence Through Technology. Her youngest son, Blake, was diagnosed in 1993 with autism. Being both a parent to Blake as well as a therapist has given Ms. Herskowitz the opportunity to reach out and help families deal with the unique problems that they face in parenting a child with autism. Ms. Herskowitz is on the advisory board of US Autism & Asperger Association.

Click here to learn more about the 2008 Conference.


 

TIP of the Week
Fluorescent Lights

"Some autistic people are bothered by visual distractions and fluorescent lights. They can see the flicker of the 60-cycle electricity. To avoid this problem, place the child’s desk near the window or try to avoid using fluorescent lights. If the lights cannot be avoided, use the newest bulbs you can get. New bulbs flicker less. The flickering of fluorescent lights can also be reduced by putting a lamp with an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb next to the child’s desk.” Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism (revised December 2002) Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

(excerpt from "Diagnosis Autism: Now What?", Distraction #3 )
Click here for more information.


In This Issue:
Hidden CDC Data Confirms Vaccine-Autism Link
Court Issues Strong Decision on Behalf of a Child with Autism
Understanding autism can lead to tolerance
Speaker Spotlight- School Psychologist and Education Consultant to present at USAAA conference
Speaker Spotlight - International speaker on Computer-Based Intervention to present at USAAA conference
TIP of the Week- Fluorescent Lights


2008 Conference - Register Now!

USAAA has officially launched its YouTube Video Channel. In the video above, learn from the experts about the USAAA conference. Many more videos will be launched in the next month. Be sure to subscribe to receive notices on new videos uploaded to the channel.

Click here to subscribe to the Official USAAA YouTube Video Channel. There is no cost to subscribe.



Buy GFCF Food From gfMeals And Support USAAA.

GfMeals, from Your Dinner Secret, make eating GFCF easy and convenient. The company ships delicious gluten and casein-free entrees, sides and baked goods all over the U.S. Just click on the gfMeals banner above, and a portion of the proceeds go to support USAAA.



Click here
to learn more about Our Kids


$1,000 prize in honor of service
Click here for more information


Click here for more information about
USAAA Award Programs

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

care logo
menu1
menu3
menu4
menu5
menu6
menu7
menu8

To advertise, click here.


Click here to view the YouTube Video on the conference at The Official USAAA YouTube Video Channel

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

2008 Conference - Register Now!

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.




inbox

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.

Send in your comments to Inbox.

 



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

2008 Conference - Register Now!
   

Disclaimer

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