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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. January 16, 2009

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


USAAA announces two conferences for 2009

conferenceSave the dates.
USAAA announced today that they have created a strategic partnership to host the upcoming USAAA / CoMeD 2009 Regional Autism and Asperger Conference held April 30 - May 3, 2009, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church is co-sponsoring this conference.

Save the date!

April 30 - May 3
New Jersey

“USAAA and CoMeD are very excited to be aligned with the United Methodist Women, an organization of approximately one million members whose purpose includes advocating for justice,” said Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD, author, researcher and CEO of USAAA. “The main focus of our conference is ‘Autism Education and Treatment: A Path to Wellness’. We are seeking to bring families together through support, hope, possibilities, and solutions.”

A special first time ever presentation will be introduced at the conference about a mother igniting a global debate on autism. A formal announcement will be released to the media next week. Exhibitor registration and conference registration will be available next week. Go to US Autism and Asperger Association home page for more information.

Save the date!

August 6-9
Southern California

USAAA's 4th annual conference will be held August 6-9 in Southern California. More information will be available next week as to the specific location. There will be an exciting new format with a variety of sessions. New presentations will be featured for the first time at an autism conference globally. Go to US Autism and Asperger Association home page for more information.

Click here to read more.


 

High fetal testosterone triggers autism, British group says

Virginia Hughes
SFARI Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

drbergerIn the past few years, studies have linked various chromosomal regions, candidate genes and copy number variations to a higher risk of autism. But none of those findings explain why the condition is four times more common in boys than in girls.

That question has been the focus of psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge University.

Based on dozens of studies exploring sex differences in autism-related behaviors, Baron-Cohen has proposed a ‘fetal androgen theory’: behaviors seen in autism are an exaggeration of normal differences between males and females, probably caused by exposure to high levels of male sex hormones in the womb1.

Since 2001, the group has found, among other things, that high levels of fetal testosterone — in both boys and girls — predicts poor eye contact2, poor social relationships3 and a lack of empathy4.

Click here to read more.

Comments: "The proposed prenatal test for autism will not work, because it is based on a false notion...t would have helped if the Cambridge team had taken due notice of the not-so-complex theory I had published in 1993 (http://cogprints.org/5207 , search for cogprints 5207), which remains entirely unchallenged in both reasoning and evidence, and provides a clear understanding of what causes autism. That theory is now even more confirmed by later findings such as the correlation of body symmetry with IQ and very strong association of autism with mercury burden and lack of ventilation. It explains numerous key facts which the male-brain concept is incompatible with."— Robin P Clarke


Children's National scientists uncover key developmental mechanisms of the amygdala
Findings could have implications for brain alterations associated with autism

brainWASHINGTON, DC—For the first time, scientists at Children's National Medical Center have successfully identified a key developmental program for the amygdala—the part of the limbic system that impacts how the brain creates emotional memories and responses.

This knowledge could help scientists to better understand autism and similar disorders in which altered function of this region is known to occur.

The findings, published in the February edition of Nature Neuroscience, identify a group (otherwise known as a pool) of precursor cells of neurons that are earmarked specifically for the amygdala and comprise part of a unique system of growth and development for this portion of the brain.

"Despite its central role in normal brain function and behavior, little has been known about how neuronal cell diversity is generated during development of the amygdala," said senior author Joshua Corbin, PhD, of the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children's National. "It was thought that development of this region occurred similarly to other brain structures like the cerebral cortex, but our findings indicate that a specific precursor pool exists that is pre-assigned exclusively to the limbic system. It is a breakthrough to our understanding of this little studied region of the brain."

Click here to read more.

Comments: "At a conference in 2003 - one of the physicians reported that ethylmercury damages the amygdyla in the three areas affected: brain, back of the throat and stomach."

 

DVD teaches autistic kids what a smile means

By MARIA CHENG – January 16, 2009

LONDON (AP) — It wasn't until Jude met Jenny that the 3-year-old autistic boy understood what happy people look like. Jenny, a green trolley car with a human face, had a furrowed brow when her wheel buckled and she got stuck on a track. But after being rescued by friends, she smiled broadly — and that's when something clicked for little Jude Baines.

"It was revelatory," his mother, Caron Freeborn told AP Television News in Cambridge, England. Before watching the video, Jude didn't understand what emotions were and never noticed the expressions on people's faces, even those of his parents or younger brother.

Jenny's adventures are part of a DVD for autistic children released this week in the United States called The Transporters.

Jenny's adventures are part of a DVD for autistic children released this week in the United States called The Transporters.

The DVD teaches autistic children how to recognize emotions like happiness, anger and sadness through the exploits of vehicles including a train, a ferry, and a cable car.

It is the brainchild of Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. He also happens to be a cousin of Sacha Baron-Cohen, the comedian behind the characters Ali G, the aspiring rapper, and Borat, the crass Kazakh reporter.

Click here to read more.




Programs For Adults With Asperger’s Syndrome

POSTED BY WESTCHESTER.COM
THURSDAY, 15 JANUARY 2009

aspieWhite Plains, NY - The WJCS Autism Family Center is relaunching two programs for adults over 18 diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Both groups offer a low-key, informal yet structured setting that give participants the opportunity to improve communication skills, develop connections with others and reinforce strengths.

Beginning January 20, The Breakfast Club for adults 30 years of age and older will meet monthly from 10:00 – 11:30 AM at WJCS, 141 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale. Starting January 27, The Supper Club for adults 18 years and older will meet monthly from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at WJCS, 845 North Broadway, White Plains.

Click here for more information.


 

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!Shop Online and Support USAAA

What if USAAA earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our USAAA? Well, now it can!

GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!

GoodShop.com is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to USAAA! Hundreds of great stores including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you’ll be supporting USAAA.

Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter US Autism and Asperger Association as the charity you want to support. And, be sure to spread the word!





Special Offer Extended! Get the entire DVD set, from the USAAA 2008 International Conference, now on 36 DVD's for an unbelievable price while supplies last. Thirty-Two of the world's most renowned Autism and Asperger experts come right into your own home. Listen to them when you want, day or night. That's right, we are offering a special DVD package that has never been offered to the public at this unbelievable price.

Click here and Order Now for this sensational offer.

In This Issue:
USAAA announces two conferences for 2009

High fetal testosterone triggers autism, British group says

Children's National scientists uncover key developmental mechanisms of the amygdala

DVD teaches autistic kids what a smile means

Programs For Adults With Asperger’s Syndrome
Shop Online and Support USAAA

Special DVD Offer!


Save the conference dates!

April 30 - May 3
New Jersey

August 6-9
Southern California


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