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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. January 27, 2009

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

Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury, New Study Finds
Brand-Name Food Products Also Discovered to Contain Mercury

iatp logoMinneapolis – Mercury was found in nearly 50 percent of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to a new article published today in the scientific journal, Environmental Health. A separate study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brandname food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient—including products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s. HFCS use has skyrocketed in recent decades as the sweetener has replaced sugar in many processed foods.

"Just published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Health, is the bombshell that
commercial HFCS appears to be routinely contaminated with mercury. It turns out the contamination
isn’t so much accidental as newly recognized, given the fact that much HFCS has been made
and continues to be made using 'mercury-grade' caustic soda.

HFCS is found in sweetened beverages, breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS. Consumption by teenagers and other high consumers can be up to 80 percent above average levels.

"While the FDA
had evidence that commercial HFCS was contaminated with mercury four years ago,
the agency did not inform consumers, help change industry practice or conduct additional

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms,” said IATP’s David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author in both studies. “Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.

We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply.”

Click here to learn more
Click here for IATP site
Click here for Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy report, "Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup"


Autism Action Alert: Protest Federal Autism Committee’s Deceitful Reversal on Vaccine-Autism Research

take action

The inexcusable actions of the Federal members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) in retracting vaccine-autism studies must be stopped. Sound science must move forward, not thwarted by Federal agencies with vested interests in on-going vaccine-autism injury litigation.

The autism advocacy organizations listed below implore parents of children with autism - and all those who care about the burgeoning rate of autism and its toll on the health of our children - to take immediate action.

"Click here or "Take Action" To Send A Message Using the Autism Action Network System"

We are asking you to write a letter of disapproval to key government decision-makers on autism. Click here for a sample letter and instructions on sending. Your letter will be sent to President Obama, your Senators and Representatives, HHS Secretary Tom Daschle, the Senate HELP Committee, Senators Christopher Dodd, Joe Lieberman, and Edward Kennedy, and Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Barton.

Your letters are needed NOW. The next IACC meeting is Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - less than two weeks away!

Here is what happened. Click here ( here ( for more details.

Click here for entire article and take action now.


Click here for more information

Register Now!
Click here to register!

Exhibitors, click here
to reserve your booth.


How to Select Colleges for Students with Asperger's Syndrome

By Nancy Larson, eHow Editor

Your smart and special child with Asperger’s Syndrome has made it to his junior year in high school and it’s time to consider colleges! The good news is that more and more colleges are meeting the special needs of these students to help them succeed.

Step 1. Understand that your child can have a successful college experience. More than likely she is doing OK or even brilliantly at academics and will just need extra help with social and life skills.
Step 2. Research universities. Talk with high school counselors and other parents; search online for schools offering support to Asperger’s students. Some schools designate certain dorm floors for students with social difficulties and facilitate interactive activities to ensure they connect with others right from the beginning.
Step3. Consider broadening your search if your child has additional disabilities such as ADHD, which often co-exists with Asperger’s. Academic programs for children with organizational disabilities may also offer social help for Asperger’s students.
Step 4. Streamline the process by honing in on schools that offer majors in your child’s areas of interest and then contact the departments of disability accommodations in each of those schools to see what they offer.
Step 5. Visit several colleges. Most Asperger’s children are very concrete thinkers and cannot just “imagine” what a school will be like from descriptions and photos.

Tips & Warnings
1. Have your child be as involved as possible in this process.
2. Don’t settle on the state college “all the kids” are attending and just hope for the best. The rest of your child’s life is at stake.
3. Don’t compare the college application search of your Asperger’s child to her older siblings. It may be more time consuming but it will be worth it when you find the right fit.

Click here to learn more

Click here for a list of appropriate colleges

First Year of College: Lessons Learned
By Julie Coulter

My husband and I began a new phase in life last fall as our son left home to attend college. After struggling with ADD and Asperger Syndrome through special education programs in a mainstream environment for 13 years, he had graduated from high school successfully. We are proud of his hard work and the steps he took to get to college. We are very grateful to all the teachers who helped our son prepare for college in high school. We are also very thankful for college programs for students with special needs.

Students and parents have many decisions to make as they evaluate college programs. We visited several colleges and our son applied to four schools. He chose to attend a small liberal arts college with special services programs and without traditional fraternity and sorority life and to live on campus.

Personal Records
"We organized a binder for our son to keep important information such as medical information, insurance forms, important addresses and phone numbers, pre-printed mail labels for family members and postage stamps, bank account records, a “to do” list and calendar listing of family birthdays.

Many students have had a hard time socially in high school and are ready for a change and to make a fresh start. Parents can help the student to approach these changes with a positive attitude and outlook. Parents can also help the student start off the new experience on the “right foot” by assisting the student to plan and organize their new life on campus. Our son was looking forward to this change and to exercise his independence from us. We have to keep reminding ourselves that our children need to learn to function independently. Many parents struggle with giving up control of their student’s day-to-day activities and encouraging independence. After our son’s first week at college and he told me to “Go get a job! Go make a quilt!” I realized quickly that I had been “fired” and had a new role to play.

Click here to learn more


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

In Short:
Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury, New Study Finds
Autism Action Alert


2009 Regional Conference - New Jersey - April 30 - May 2

How to Select Colleges for Students with Asperger's Syndrome

— First Year of College: Lessons Learned
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P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
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