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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. October 30, 2009

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

Living With Aspergers

Wiltshire Drawing New York's Skyline

'Shot in the arm' for special ed

Once Convicts’ Last Hope, Now a Students’ Advocate

What Makes Your Child Exceptional?
HBO is looking for children between 8 and 16 years old

USAAA News Around the World
Number of Children Awaiting Autism Treatment Balloons

Shop Online and Support USAAA

Living With Aspergers
Raising my son; This is how it all began

As we sat at the stop light on our way to the hospital, I knew that something was very wrong. I just knew. The sense of impending doom was all encompassing. Everything was dark and heavy, the cold Canadian air, the muddied snow on the ground, my belly, my heart, and my attitude, and I couldn't will the feeling away. I felt every moment was crueler than the last. When the sonogram was finally completed and the death of my much wanted, much loved baby was confirmed, I braced myself for the necessary birth with steely resolve. I would do it, and I would never ever forget it.

"At three months of age, our son was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. At three and one half years, he was diagnosed with PDD (pervasive developmental delays) and within two months, he was diagnosed as Autistic.

It was about four months after the stillbirth of my first baby and I was 38 years old when my husband and I joined another couple for dinner before catching a baseball game at the newly constructed Dome Stadium in Toronto. Anne, a former business colleague of my husband, had recently married a Canadian physician and had relocated from Los Angeles, as we had, to begin a new life there.

"After multiple tests and blood work, it was determined that my son had a severe deadly respiratory virus.

As it happened, Anne's husband was a practicing Obstetrician who had a 22-year-old patient who had decided to put her soon-to-be-born baby up for adoption by a family of her choosing. He asked if we were interested in adopting this babe, and we assured him we would be thrilled to do so. The wheels were set in fast-forward motion for obtaining legal representation, home studies, and the necessary drills for closed adoption (preferred by all parties).

Click here for entire article on Living With Aspergers.


Wiltshire Drawing New York's Skyline
Acclaimed Artist Says He Wanted to Wait to Take on Manhattan in His Panorama Series

(CBS) In the "Early Show"'s "A Beautiful Memory" series, Stephen Wiltshire, an artist with autism, is drawing a panorama of New York City's Manhattan skyline.

Wiltshire, a London-based artist known for drawing stunningly detailed cityscapes from memory, flew over New York City in a helicopter on Friday.

"Wiltshire's sister, Annette Wiltshire, said he can keep memories for years, recalling the same buildings again and again for different works.

A 20-minute weekend fly-over provided the memory for a 20-foot panorama of the city that he is drawing throughout this week at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute.

Click here for entire article on Wiltshire Drawing New York's Skyline.


'Shot in the arm' for special ed


Special-education staff and parents are using terms like "historic moment" and "wonderful thing" to describe how federal stimulus funds are spurring North Jersey districts to transform programs for disabled children.

Some districts have embarked on major overhauls: Wayne plans to reorder and consolidate early childhood programs, in hopes of becoming a state-of-the-art magnet of such services.

"It's historic, because we are headed on the right path toward helping these children become members of the community; to be able to provide them with the tools, the support and the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

Others are solving specific problems: Lyndhurst has brought 20 special-education high schoolers, previously sent out of district, home by providing classrooms and staff tailored to their needs.

And still others — prominently Paterson — are working to integrate special ed programs so disabled children are provided ample opportunity to mix with "regular ed" students.

In all, over the next two school years, New Jersey will receive $371 million in federal stimulus earmarked to enhance such special education and preschool programs for the disabled.

Click here for entire article on 'Shot in the arm' for special ed.


Once Convicts’ Last Hope, Now a Students’ Advocate

New York Times

ATLANTA — “Pick your head up, buddy,” Tom Dunn said to Darius Nash, who had fallen asleep during the morning’s reading drills. “Sabrieon, sit down, buddy,” he called to a wandering boy. “Focus.”

Mr. Dunn’s classroom is less than three miles from his old law office, where he struggled to keep death row prisoners from the executioner’s needle. This summer, after serving hundreds of death row clients for 20 grinding, stressful years, he traded the courthouse for Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

"the lack of a supportive authority figure like a teacher, of a helping hand that might have meant “the difference between a good life and a ruined life.

The turmoil of middle school turns many teachers away, said the school’s principal, Danielle S. Battle. Students’ bodies and minds are changing, and disparities in learning abilities are playing out.

“A lot of people will say, ‘I’ll do anything but middle school,’ ” she said.

Click here for entire article on Once Convicts’ Last Hope, Now a Students’ Advocate.


What Makes Your Child Exceptional?

HBO is producing a TV special on learning differences, by young people, for young people, that will discuss learning disabilities from the vantage point of these children's strengths. It will be a non-traditional showcase for their talents and a celebration of their strengths, gifts and perspectives on learning as a way to inspire other young people - and also to challenge the myths about learning disabilities.

Who They Are Looking For? The producer is looking for bright, expressive children between 8 and 16 years old who can articulate their experiences and the process of discovering their own voice, and can talk about their own talents and strengths .


Click here for more information on how to participate.

Number of Children Awaiting Autism Treatment Balloons

Queen's Park

Ontario’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is citing more troubling facts concerning the McGuinty government’s approach to treating Ontario children with autism.

“The government is cutting off more children from IBI when schools are not able to provide the therapy. Instead of funding treatment, the government is allowing waiting lists to balloon and children to languish,” Horwath said in the Ontario Legislature today after revealing the government’s latest quarterly numbers for April to June, 2009.

"Why are more children with autism waiting for treatment, and why are more children having their autism suddenly cut off and terminated?

Compared to the previous quarter, 1,649 children are now waiting for IBI therapy. That’s 136 more than previously reported (1, 513) and a 9 per cent increase in just three months.

Click here for entire article on Number of Children Awaiting Autism Treatment Balloons.

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!

Watch for the launch of our Facebook page next week. Become a Fan, soon!

USAAA YouTube Video Channel. 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.

USAAA 2009 4th International
Recap, Manual and Powerpoints

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