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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. December 4, 2009

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


Asthma drugs may be linked to autism

How to Prevent the Flu -- as Easy as 1, 2, 3...

Teaching the ABC's of crucial social skills

How to Get Early Intervention Autism Therapy for Your Child

Sherrie McNulty to Compete in Rose Bowl Half Marathon to Raise Funds for USAAA

Asthma drugs may be linked to autism

Baltimore -- Common drugs for the treatment of asthma in pregnant women as well as pre-term labor may increase autism-spectrum disorder risk, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. Frank R. Witter of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues said beta 2 adrenergic agonist drugs as a class are widely used in obstetrics to inhibit or slow down labor, and bronchodilators use a similar drug to decrease airway resistance and thereby facilitate airflow.

"Treatment duration should be as short as clinically feasible."

These drugs may act as functional and behavioral teratogens -- an agent which can cause a birth defect -- when given continuously in the mid- to late-second or early third trimesters, Witter said.

"Given the risk of long-term neurophysiologic and behavioral impairment, the use of beta 2 adrenergic agonists should be limited to proven indications when alternate drugs are ineffective or unavailable and the risks of the untreated disease to the mother and fetus are greater than the risk of the beta 2 adrenergic agonist," Witter said in a statement. "Treatment duration should be as short as clinically feasible."

Click here for entire story on Asthma drugs may be linked to autism.

How to Prevent the Flu -- as Easy as 1, 2, 3...

By Dr. Mercola

coldColds are a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from work and school, and this season is no exception. Americans suffer from approximately 1 billion colds per year, or about two to four colds per year for the average adult.

But why do people start getting sick as the leaves start to fall?

Unfortunately in the US, thanks to the CDC, nearly anyone seeing their doctor for a cold will be told that they are infected with H1N1 and will be added to the already inflated CDC statistics.

"Many people believe that colds and flu are caused by bacteria, but this is simply incorrect. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, and using antibiotics to treat a viral infection is inappropriate and completely ineffective."

However, according to the CBS News study, when you come down with chills, fever, cough, runny nose, malaise and all those other "flu-like" symptoms, the illness is likely caused by influenza at most, 17 percent of the time, and as little as 3 percent! The other 83 to 97 percent of the time it's caused by other viruses or bacteria.

So remember that not every illness that appears to be the flu, actually IS the flu. In fact, most of the time it's not.

Nevertheless, as temperatures drop, we begin to congregate indoors and spend less time in the sun. This means our vitamin D levels begin to drop, and we are more apt to spread viruses from one person to another.

It isn’t that these opportunistic pathogens magically appear at certain times of the year—they’re always around. It’s your ability to respond to them that changes with the seasons.

It is important to understand the causes of viral upper respiratory syndromes if you want to avoid them.

Click here for entire story on How to Prevent the Flu -- as Easy as 1, 2, 3...



Teaching the ABC's of crucial social skills
As number of autistic kids rises, schools and programs are being created to aid those with mild form

By Emma Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer

boyThe middle school years, when nothing seems more important or more impossible than fitting in, are rough for nearly everyone. But they are particularly brutal for preteens such as Will Gilbertsen, whose mild autism makes him stand out.

"I don't think keeping them in a very nice, self-contained room where everything is hunky-dory and everyone is like you is going to help them because all you're going to do is shelter them," said Coleen Silverman, whose sixth-grade son has Asperger's syndrome, a specific form of mild autism. "But you can't go to the other extreme and just throw them in there, do or die."

Less than two months into sixth grade at Arlington County's Kenmore Middle School this fall, the freckle-faced 11-year-old with a passion for skateboarding had gained a reputation for racewalking through the halls between classes. "That's so I can't hear the teasing," he told his mother.

As the number of children with autism has ballooned nationwide, so has the population of children who, like Will, are capable of grade-level academics but bewildered by the social code that governs every interaction from the classroom to the cafeteria. Not so profoundly disabled that they belong in a self-contained classroom but lacking the social and emotional skills they need to negotiate school on their own, they often spend the bulk of their day in mainstream classes supported with a suite of special education services including life-skills groups and one-on-one aides.

Click here for entire story on Teaching the ABC's of crucial social skills.


How to Get Early Intervention Autism Therapy for Your Child

US News & World Report

The good news is that it looks like very early intervention programs for children with autism really do help. The bad news is that services can be hard to find, and expensive.

Toddlers who participated in a study testing the Early Start Denver model for early intervention showed improved language skills and IQ, compared with children who didn’t get the specialized training, which emphasizes social skills and communication. The intensive therapy, which included 20 hours a week at home with a trained therapist and additional time working with parents, increased the IQ of the children by 18 points, compared with 7 IQ points in children who got more standard therapy.

Find your state’s early intervention program, which should help you find and pay for treatments. Federal law requires states to provide early intervention services for children with developmental delays through age 3.

Researchers and pediatricians have increasingly thought “the earlier, the better” when it comes to autism treatment, but this is the first hard evidence that working intensively with children who are younger than 2½ helps reduce the social and language deficits typical of autism. The study, which involved 48 children ages 18 months to 30 months, was published online Monday in Pediatrics.

Click here for entire story on How to Get Early Intervention Autism Therapy for Your Child.

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!

Click here and Become our Fan on Facebook! See new video clips from practitioners, parents, and specialists never shown before. New clips are introduced weekly.Also, click here to join our causes.


Get that unique gift for your special teacher, caregiver, doctor, therapist, friend or family member and a $10 donation will be made to US Autism and Asperger Association for each piece that is purchased.

Designs by Ja9 Dichroic Glass Puzzle Pieces are perfect for holiday gift giving! Many more gifts include beautiful pendants, earrings, lapel pins, magnets, key chains and wine bottle stoppers.

Click on the “Support Autism Awareness” link on the homepage at to see these beautiful puzzle pieces and start your holiday shopping early! Be sure to choose US Autism and Asperger Association as the benefactor of the donation upon check-out.

Sherrie McNulty to Compete in Rose Bowl Half Marathon to Raise Funds for USAAA

Join Sherrie in her efforts to raise funds for USAAA. To donate, click here!

Sherrie McNulty of Cloverdale, CA will be running in the Rose Bowl Half Marathon with Train 4 Autism in December 2009 to raise funds for US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA).

Two of Sherrie’s daughters are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders; Makenna was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 4 and Brianna was diagnosed at age 3 with PDD-NOS/Autism. While watching her girls face challenges every day at home, at school, and in the community, Sherrie decided to challenge herself by running. She started running short distances while pushing her daughters in a jogging stroller, and soon discovered Train 4 Autism while searching the Internet for Autism-related resources. Through Train 4 Autism, Sherrie is raising funds for the USAAA in order to “raise awareness for people touched by Asperger Syndrome and Autism.” She supports the USAAA mission to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders “to achieve their fullest potential.”

Join Sherrie in her efforts to raise funds for USAAA. To donate, click here.




©2009 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
1-888-9AUTISM (1-888-928-8476) , 801-816-1234