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US Autism & Asperger Association
August 6, 2010

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


Headlines:

Ole Ivar Lovaas, professor who pioneered a standard autism treatment, dies at 83

A School District That Takes the Isolation Out of Autism

Campers with autism learn to the beat

IT project gives career hope to autistic Scots

Face cards used by police help autistic pupils in Frome

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Ole Ivar Lovaas, professor who pioneered a standard autism treatment, dies at 83

Ole Ivar Lovaas, a University of California-Los Angeles psychology professor who pioneered one of the standard treatments for autism, has died. He was 83.

He had been recovering from surgery for a broken hip and developed an infection, according to a family member. Lovaas died Monday at a hospital in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few years ago.

"He described some of his research subjects as having "recovered"

Lovaas' 1987 paper, "Behavioral Treatment and Normal Educational and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children," showed for the first time that intensive one-to-one therapy early in life could eliminate symptoms of the disorder in some cases.

He described some of his research subjects as having "recovered," a concept that remains controversial but appealed to parents and helped launch an industry that provides the treatment to the growing numbers of children being diagnosed.

Click here for more information on Ole Ivar Lovaas, professor who pioneered a standard autism treatment, dies at 83.


 

A School District That Takes the Isolation Out of Autism

MADISON, Wis. — Garner Moss has autism and when he was finishing fifth grade, his classmates made a video about him, so the new students he would meet in the bigger middle school would know what to expect. His friend Sef Vankan summed up Garner this way: “He puts a little twist in our lives we don’t usually have without him.”

"It’s a sacrifice,” Ms. Jacobsen said. “But Jonathan’s made such progress. They give him every opportunity to be part of the community."

People with autism are often socially isolated, but the Madison public schools are nationally known for including children with disabilities in regular classes. Now, as a high school junior, Garner, 17, has added his little twist to many lives.

He likes to memorize plane, train and bus routes, and in middle school during a citywide scavenger hunt, he was so good that classmates nicknamed him “GPS-man.” He is not one of the fastest on the high school cross-country team, but he runs like no other. “Garner enjoys running with other kids, as opposed to past them,” said Casey Hopp, his coach.

Click here for more information on A School District That Takes the Isolation Out of Autism.


 

Campers with autism learn to the beat

Ali Gorman, R.N.

ELWYN, Pa. - August 4, 2010 (WPVI) -- Summer camp is an important time for kids to make friends, and build new skills. At one camp in Delaware county, they do it in an unconventional way.

Every day, youngsters at Elwyn Institute's T-camp, or therapeutic camp, pound away on plastic drums.

"Drum leader Julius Rivera says what seem like silly phrases are serious language lessons."

They beat out rhythms, and make up funny stories to go along with them.

Joshua tells his fellow campers, "The slime gets into the water, and makes little aliens."

The drum sessions also give the campers - all on the autism spectrum - lifetime skills that may come easier to other children.

Click here for more information on Campers with autism learn to the beat.


 

IT project gives career hope to autistic Scots
A new social enterprise will create up to 50 jobs for people with autism by harnessing characteristics of the condition as skills to provide IT services for major Scottish companies.

A dozen trainees with autism are to be recruited by Specialisterne Scotland in the next six months and undergo a four-month training programme before being given positions as software testers with starting salaries from £18,000.

"Actually, it is not him who is the problem, it is society which is the problem. He is caring, sweet, clever, charming. He would be a wonderful employee."

Figures show that only 13% of adults with autism are in full-time employment in Scotland, but the new project aims to tap into the insight, attention to detail and desire for consistency that are common traits in people with autism.

The company, which aims to create a working environment with a high degree of predictability and minimal stress for its employees, is the first in the world to stem from a Danish project that was set up by Thorkil Sonne in 2004 after his son Lars was diagnosed with autism.

Click here for more information on IT project gives career hope to autistic Scots.


 

Face cards used by police help autistic pupils in Frome

Cards which illustrate different human emotions are being used by the police in Frome to help victims of crime who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It is hoped the 'face cards' will help sufferers describe their feelings more clearly and improve communication.

"We wanted to be familiar with local autistic students so that they feel more comfortable talking to us and better able to report crime," said Gary.

Twenty sets of cards have been bought with council funding and will be used by local sergeants and PCSOs.

PSCO Gary Maule, came up with the idea, as three schools in Frome specialise in teaching pupils with autism.

Click here for more information on Face cards used by police help autistic pupils in Frome.


 

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October 1-3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. Featured speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Stephen Shore, Areva Martin, Esq., plus more.

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