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US Autism & Asperger Association
July 21, 2010

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


Second J&J consumer drug plant under FDA scrutiny

New Study Shows Vaccines Cause Brain Changes Found in Autism

Study: Baby's babble could be 'clue' to autism

Designing with SketchUp

100 Web Tools for Learning with a Disability

Shop Our Partners Now

Second J&J consumer drug plant under FDA scrutiny

BY LINDA A. JOHNSON AP BUSINESS WRITER TRENTON, N.J. -- A second Johnson & Johnson medicine factory is under scrutiny from federal regulators, while the company struggles to deal with bad publicity and repeated recalls at another factory.

"contamination with bacteria, a nauseating smell on containers, possible problems with the wrong amount of active ingredient and liquid medicines that may contain tiny metal shavings.

The healthcare giant in April shut down a plant in Fort Washington, a Philadelphia suburb, that's now linked to eight recalls of Tylenol and other nonprescription drugs for children and adults.

Now the Food and Drug Administration has sent the company a critical report after a recent inspection found problems at another Pennsylvania plant, in Lancaster.

New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J said Monday that it's addressing the FDA's concerns as quickly as possible. The news comes just before Johnson & Johnson is to release its second-quarter earnings results Tuesday morning, followed by a conference call with analysts who are sure to grill company executives about the repeated problems.

An FDA official two months ago told Congress the agency had broadened its investigation beyond the Fort Washington plant and also had turned the case over to its Office of Criminal Investigations.

Click here for more information on Second J&J consumer drug plant under FDA scrutiny.


New Study Shows Vaccines Cause Brain Changes Found in Autism

By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill

Abnormal brain growth and function are features of autism, an increasingly common developmental disorder that now affects 1 in 60 boys in the US. Now researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas, have found remarkably similar brain changes to those seen in autism in infant monkeys receiving the vaccine schedule used in the 1990’s that contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.

"However, a specific part of the brain associated with emotional responses that is thought to be important in autism, the amygdala, did not show abnormalities until after the 12-month vaccines had been given.

The group’s findings were published yesterday in the journal Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. They used scanning techniques that assessed both brain growth and brain function in the same animals over time. The research team was able to see differences in the way the brains of vaccinated and unvaccinated animals developed. Scans were performed before and after the administration of primary MMR and DTaP/Hib boosters that were given at the human equivalent of 12 months of age.

In an accompanying editorial Dr. Kris Turlejski, the Editor-in-Chief, described the findings as “alarming”, “support[ing] the possibility that there is a link between early immunization and the etiology of autism.”

Click here for more information on New Study Shows Vaccines Cause Brain Changes Found in Autism.


Study: Baby's babble could be 'clue' to autism

The latest research in autism is showing that those adorable, non-sense syllables of a baby learning to talk could contain key signals that the toddler is autistic.

In a study released Monday, scientists have created a computer program that can differentiate the speech between that of a normal child and those who have autism.

"Early diagnosis plays a key role in autism

Even though this is the first program of its kind, the software has correctly identified more than 85 percent of autistic and non-autistic toddlers.

The program, if it proves to be accurate in later studies, could become the first audible way to screen for autism, making the diagnosis early in a child’s development. Early diagnosis plays a key role in autism, as the earlier the child is diagnosed, the earlier they can begin intensive therapy and the more they will improve.

Click here for more information on Study: Baby's babble could be 'clue' to autism.


Designing with SketchUp

Google SketchUp has come to be recognized as a powerful tool in the autism and Aspergers communities, enabling individuals to design, communicate, and collaborate in fun and interesting ways. Designing with SketchUp can help increase success in school and even improve social skills. SketchUp can also help foster productivity and independence, paving the way for careers in architecture, interior design, game design, film and stage design, urban planning, education - a world of possibilities!

"The following projects, which can be downloaded and used by anyone in the autism / Aspergers community

Google established Project Spectrum as a result of working with the Autism Society of Boulder. They observed that children who had limited verbal communication skills were using SketchUp to design intricate and interesting models, essentially projecting the ideas from their brains onto the computer screen.

Bonnie Roskes has teamed up with Project Spectrum to create the following projects, which can be downloaded and used by anyone in the autism / Aspergers community. More projects are planned, and your feedback, suggestions, and comments are very valuable!

Click here for more information on Designing with SketchUp.


100 Web Tools for Learning with a Disability

"This free screen reader program makes it easy to browse the Web, get email and more by reading all content aloud to users .

The Internet and the computers we use to access it are full of educational possibilities that can help to speed up, complement or provide endless opportunities to expand our knowledge. Unfortunately, sometimes those with disabilities may find these resources more difficult or sometimes impossible to access. Whether you need to use the computer for research, to write a paper or just to learn a new skill, those with disabilities of all kinds can check out these resources to help them improve their learning potential while surfing the Web.

Click here for more information on 100 Web Tools for Learning with a Disability.


Shop Our Partners Now

shoppingClick here to SHOP Our Partners Now! Donations from our partners will enable the US Autism & Asperger Association to enhance the quality of life of individuals and their families/caregivers touched by autism spectrum disorders and provide educational and family support through conferences/seminars and published and electronic mediums.


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US Autism & Asperger Association 2010 World Conference & Expo
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The 2010 US Autism & Asperger Association 5th Annual Conference will be held
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