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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. January 29, 2010

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


MARK YOUR CALENDER - 5th Annual USAAA World Autism/Asperger Conference,
September 30 - October 3, St. Louis, Missouri

Featuring Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Stephen Shore, plus many more speakers. An unprecedented conference format will be announced soon.

Headlines:

A Conversation with Temple Grandin

HBO’s Temple Grandin Tells the Inspirational Story of Autism Advocate Who “Thinks in Pictures”

At UC Davis MIND Institute, learning can be child's play for autistic

IEP Checklist App iPhone Release

Psychologists Use Non-Expert Student Observers In Autism Research

A Conversation with Temple Grandin

brainHBO and The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) recently held the Chicago premiere of the new HBO Films production, "Temple Grandin", which depicts the life of animal scientist and autism icon Temple Grandin. During the premiere, the TAP film crew had this conversation with Dr. Grandin.

"people have to learn social skills. I mean I had to learn social skills, like being in a play. And this is one advantage that being a child of the ‘50s was. All children in the ‘50s were taught manners, they were taught to say please and thank you, they were taught not to be rude. And I'm seeing some problems today where somebody's losing a job because they made fun of a fat lady that couldn't fit in the elevator. I mean that was the sort of thing that, when I was eight years old, my mother made it very clear to me that that was not okay to say that kind of stuff."

youtubetemple

Click here for entire interview with Dr. Temple Grandin on You Tube - A Conversation with Temple Grandin.

Click here for entire NPR interview with Temple Grandin.



HBO’s Temple Grandin Tells the Inspirational Story of Autism Advocate Who “Thinks in Pictures”

On February 6 at 8PM (ET/PT), HBO will premiere an original film based on the inspirational true story of Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes. Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman’s perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism. Temple is a highly successful doctor of animal sciences, a best-selling author, and an internationally renowned autism advocate. To support the autism community and celebrate the film, HBO and Barnes & Noble will host special displays with Temple’s books and information related to autism and the HBO film in all 775 Barnes & Noble stores. HBO has also created a free, downloadable coloring book that tells Temple’s story through illustrations created by artists with autism. You can download the coloring book through February 17 at bn.com/templegrandin and at HBO.com.

"I am not like other people. I think in pictures." --Temple Grandin

Click here for more information on HBO’s Temple Grandin Tells the Inspirational Story of Autism Advocate Who “Thinks in Pictures”.



At UC Davis MIND Institute, learning can be child's play for autistic

By April Dembosky
Special to The Bee

Most parents never think they'll have to learn how to play with their own children.

But if a toddler is diagnosed with autism, moms and dads can spend years with the child and a therapist, drawing with crayons and playing hide and seek. Research is proving that as parents color and stack building blocks with their kids, they are subtly teaching them to overcome cognitive, language and social delays.

"When we first came in, he wasn't talking, he didn't respond to his name, he wasn't making eye contact," said Cindy Jensen of her son Cooper, who's now almost 3.

After more than a year of specialized play therapy through the UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Cooper is speaking in seven-word sentences, learning to take turns and initiating pretend play. "It's a lot of training, but it's worth it," Jensen said.

Treatments for autism are geared to children between 3 and 5 years old. Researchers said there is growing urgency – even a sense of obligation – to develop effective intervention for much younger children.

"What the child learns is that it's more fun to do things with others, rather than alone," said Sally Rogers, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the MIND Institute.

New diagnostic tools can identify autism in kids as young as 12 months, and prevalence of the disorder is reaching record numbers. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one in every 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder.

Click here for entire story on At UC Davis MIND Institute, learning can be child's play for autistic.


 


IEP Checklist App iPhone Release

iphone appThe Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is pleased to announce the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Checklist iPhone application. The IEP is an individualized program designed to support the educational needs of school aged students with disabilities. This new IEP app helps parents of students with special needs become better-informed advocates by making IEP information easier to access.

The IEP CHECKLIST is currently available on the iTunes application store and is designed as a resource for parents and teachers as they prepare for the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. Looking forward, Nurvee’s interactive services are already working on version 2.0 of the IEP CHECKLIST, which will include advanced features like audio recording, data export functionality, and a multi-lingual user interfaces.

To download the IEP Checklist app, visit the Apple iTunes store, and type IEP Checklist in the search box.

The IEP CHECKLIST is currently available on the iTunes application store and is designed as a resource for parents and teachers as they prepare for the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.

For an iPhone Application demonstration, click here.

Click here for entire story on IEP Checklist App iPhone Release.


 


Psychologists Use Non-Expert Student Observers In Autism Research

Source: Marie Guma-Diaz
University of Miami

miamilogoNon-expert is not often a term that one would associate with scientific research, but it could become a new trend in psychology research. Some recent studies have begun to rely on non-expert students to observe and provide data during experiments.

In a research project about early autism detection in infants, Dr. Daniel Messinger, an associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami (UM), and his research group are doing exactly that.

"We hope people begin to appreciate the utility and the appeal of non-expert ratings, and we are excited about the full range of psychological constructs that these ratings could potentially inform."

"The idea is that human beings are essentially experts on certain aspects of interpersonal interaction. This seems to be particularly true for emotion, as understanding the emotions of others is critical to our own development," says Dr. Jason Baker, a UM postdoctoral researcher with Messinger and first author of the study.

The study entitled "Non-Expert Ratings of Infant and Parent Emotion: Concordance with Expert Coding and Relevance to Early Autism Risk," is published in the January issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Click here for entire story on Psychologists Use Non-Expert Student Observers In Autism Research.




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