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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. March 6, 2008

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

Special Report

Tonight, Larry King Live 7pm EST, CNN.

Do childhood vaccinations cause or contribute to autism? That's the question at the center of a case involving an Atlanta girl. The answer may come today. Meet the 9-year-old and her family who are challenging medical and government experts. A Larry King Exclusive!

Click here for more information.

Recent highlights from Larry King Live.
CNN's Larry King talks with USAAA Advisory Board member Dr. Jerry Kartzinel about autism's effects and hope for future progress.

Case Renews Vaccine - Autism Debate

(AP) -- Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund.

Thousands of families are seeking compensation for disabilities they attribute to vaccines and a preservative.

Medical and legal experts say the narrow wording and circumstances probably make the case an exception -- not a precedent for thousands of other pending claims.

The government "has not conceded that vaccines cause autism," said Linda Renzi, the lawyer representing federal officials, who have consistently maintained that childhood shots are safe.

However, parents and advocates for autistic children see the case as a victory that may help certain others.

Although the science on this is very limited, the girl's disorder may be more common in children with autism than in healthy ones.

"It's a beginning," said Kevin Conway, a Boston, Massachusetts, lawyer representing more than 1,200 families with vaccine injury claims.

"Each case is going to have to be proved on its individual merits. But it shows to me that the government has conceded that it's biologically plausible for a vaccine to cause these injuries. They've never done it before."

Click here for entire story.

The Vaccine-Autism Court Document Every American Should Read
by David Kirby, The Huffington Post, Posted February 26, 2008

Below is a verbatim copy of the US Government concession filed last November in a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims, with the names of the family redacted. It is the subject of my post yesterday.

Every American should read this document, and interpret for themselves what they think their government is trying to say about the relationship, if any, between immunizations and a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

If you feel this document suggests that some kind of link may be possible, you might consider forwarding it to your elected representatives for further investigation.

But, of course, if you feel that this document in no way implicates vaccines, then let's just keep going about our business as usual and not pay any attention to all those sick kids behind the curtain.

Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, evaluated CHILD at the Kennedy Krieger Children's Hospital Neurology Clinic ("Krieger Institute"), on February 8, 2001. Pet. Ex. 25 at 1. Dr. Zimmerman reported that after CHILD's immunizations of July 19, 2000, an "encephalopathy progressed to persistent loss of previously acquired language, eye contact, and relatedness." Id. He noted a disruption in CHILD's sleep patterns, persistent screaming and arching, the development of pica to foreign objects, and loose stools. Id. Dr. Zimmerman observed that CHILD watched the fluorescent lights repeatedly during the examination and would not make eye contact. Id. He diagnosed CHILD with "regressive encephalopathy with features consistent with an autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development."

Click here for entire story and the document.

Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?

by David Kirby, The Huffington Post, Posted February 25, 2008

After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case.

The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.

The child's claim against the government -- that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism -- was supposed to be one of three "test cases" for the thimerosal-autism theory currently under consideration by a three-member panel of Special Masters, the presiding justices in Federal Claims Court.

Click here for entire story.

Jenny McCarthy calls for rally at CDC

By RICHARD L. ELDREDGE | Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 10:10 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Actress-turned-autism-activist Jenny McCarthy appears in a newly posted YouTube video Wednesday calling for the “largest rally ever” in front of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in late June.

“I will be there leading us on,” said McCarthy, punching her fists in the air for emphasis. “This is the time. This is the moment. This is the day.”

McCarthy, who never actually utters the word autism in the video, directs people to sign up on a Web site. The Web site for Talk About Curing Autism, or TACA, an organization urging support and awareness for autism, is taking names and promising more updated information about the event, which is scheduled for late June.

Click here for entire story.

Auteur's autism artistry

The Black Balloon recounts its creator's growing pangs. By Stephanie Bunbury. | March 7, 2008

WHEN Elissa Down first showed her film The Black Balloon to her family, her brother Sean seemed to be enjoying it hugely. There was Luke Ford, the actor who had been hanging out with the Down family for a while and had become Sean's great mate, making the sorts of signs and noises Sean made. And there he was, running down the street in his underpants, pursued by the other bloke who played the brother; it was just like the time Elissa pursued him around the neighbourhood!

"He's laughing like anything," remembers Elissa. "He thinks Luke is just hysterical, probably thinking 'he's just like me; this is all good!' But then there's the scene where Tom picks up his Super Nintendo and threatens to break it." She makes a Sean noise of horror and fear. "And then it all happens and he was rocking; he was really upset. And that was interesting, because a lot of people are reacting to that scene with horror. I found it fascinating he had the same reaction as everyone else."

Elissa Down grew up with three brothers, two of whom are autistic.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue:
› Case Renews Vaccine - Autism Debate
› The Vaccine-Autism Court Document Every American Should Read
› Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?
› Jenny McCarthy calls for rally at CDC

News Around the World
› Auteur's autism artistry

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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