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OUR MISSION:
to provide the opportunity for everyone living with autism spectrum disorders to achieve their fullest potential, by enriching the autism community with education, training, accessible resources, and partnerships with local and national projects. Learn more.
Our weekly e-newsletter addresses a range of Autism Spectrum Disorder topics.

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ABSTRACTS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Thursday, September 4
5:00pm-9:00pm Registration and Expo open
6:45pm-7:45pm

Panel Discussion: The Siblings
Siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum will share their experiences and answer questions.
Abstract: The siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum will share their experiences and answer questions. Siblings of children with autism carry the burden of extra responsibility and worry about their the future. They also develop compassion and family love. Autism creates an enormous responsibility on siblings, according to educators, therapists and a dozen scientific studies. Children affected by autism can have raging tantrums, which can be frightening or embarrassing to siblings.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify ways that siblings of children affected by autism may cope in different settings at home, shopping, at a restaurant or at school.
2. Determine when familial problems regarding equal attention exist.

7:45pm-9:00pm

Meet and Greet


Friday, September 5
7:00am-5:00pm Registration and Expo open
8:15am-8:30am Welcome
8:30am-9:30am

Self-Advocates Keynote Short Form Presentations and Q&A
Christopher Gauthier, MFA
Jennifer O'Toole
Tim Page, DFA
Stephen M. Sho
re, EdD
Benjamin Tarasewicz
Abstract: Each speaker will provide a 10 minute short-form presentation that will describe his or her personal experiences with autism or Asperger Syndrome in the areas of Sensory Problems, Difficulties with Communication, Socialization, Work Environment, Education, and/or many other challenges they face each day. They will focus on one specific topic. 

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to: 
1. List three areas that are challenging to adults with ASD each day. 
2. Identify the challenges they face throughout their lifespan.
3. Identify lessons to be learned from bullying experiences.

9:30am-10:00am Break and Expo
10:00am-11:00am

Effective Biomedical Interventions: Treating the Underlying Causes of the Symptoms
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
Abstract: Dr. DeMio will address medical issues that present problems associated with ASD throughout the life span from childhood into adulthood that include the gastrointestinal tract, immune system, viruses including HHV6, hormonal imbalances, and other areas.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. List three medical issues that present problems associated with ASD throughout the lifespan from childhood into adulthood.
2. Explain co-morbidity and how it applies to each individual.
3. Explain two underlying causes of the Symptoms of ASD.


Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method
Raun K. Kaufman
Abstract: This presentation is a very practical explanation of some fundamental techniques of The Son-Rise Program that can be used immediately. With humor and inspiration, the speaker will begin by telling the story of his own full recovery from severe autism. He then outlines some simple things that can be implemented at home to substantially boost social engagement by first entering the child's unique world.

Learning Outcomes:
1. State how to help a child move beyond stimming without stopping or discouraging the child's behavior.
2. Describe how to teach a child new skills without having to push or pressure.
3. Identify how to help a child to form meaningful, caring relationships with others.


Core Academics: All Classrooms Begin With a Focus On "Me"
Gil Tippy, PsyD
Abstract: This presentation will explore the four key core academic areas implemented at the Rebecca School located in New York, NY. In April 2005, Dr. Stanley Greenspan, the founder of Floortime™, signed on as a consultant to the school. In 2006, the presenter, Dr. Gil Tippy, was hired became involved in the construction and design of the state of the art Rebecca School that includes large sensory gyms, multiple art and music rooms, large sunny classrooms with smart boards and amplification systems and a rooftop playground. The school opened in September 2006 with 48 students and 53 staff members. Since then the student population has more than doubled and continues to grow each year.

The four core academic areas that will be discussed in this presentation are literacy, math, science and social studies.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Explain the social studies curriculum at the Rebecca School that works to support student’s core challenges of relating and communicating with others.
2. Explain how visual spatial thinking plays an important role in math readiness and the understanding of math concepts.
3. Describe the concept: All classrooms begin with a focus on "me" at the Rebecca School.
4. List three areas that students are exposed to in the academic area of literacy.

11:00am- 12:00pm

Assessing and Teaching Functional Living Skills to Individuals of All Ages Using The AFLS™
Jim Partington, PhD, BCBA
Abstract: Individuals of all ages must learn many functional living skills to be able to participate in a wide range of home, school and community-based activities. The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (The AFLSTM) reviews 735 skills in 24 functional skill areas such as travelling in the community, making purchases, seeking assistance as required, preparing meals, participating in household chores, and in social and leisure activities. An emphasis will be placed on helping parents, educators and other caregivers identify functional skills that their child needs to learn. Additionally, practical and easy to implement methods they can use to help their child learn these skills without requiring additional time than is currently needed to do the tasks. By selecting a few learning targets for daily activities, parents can quickly make a significant difference in their child being able to independently perform those skills. A major emphasis will be placed on learning how to break down tasks into easy-to-teach steps (task analysis). Additionally, methods to keep the child motivated to participate in the tasks, and methods for using and then fading prompts to help the child quickly learn those skills will be demonstrated. A review of videos of parents teaching functional living skills to their children in the home will be provided.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify the differences between functional and basic/conceptual skills.
2. Identify 3 broad clusters of functional skills.
3. Identify at least 24 specific skill repertoire areas of functional skills.
4. Develop initial targets to be included in a functional skills intervention program.


The Detection and Treatment of the Most Common Biochemical Abnormalities in Autism
William Shaw, PhD
Abstract: A wide range of chemicals including mercury, lead, organophosphates, pyrethrins, solvents, and other chemicals have been implicated as risk factors for autism. However, is there a single factor that appears to be much more important than all these other factors?

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify the evidence that associates a wide range of toxic chemicals with increased incidence of autism.
2. List which chemicals appear to be the major causes of autism.
3. Identify how to diminish exposure to chemicals and to remove these chemicals if exposure has already taken place.


Unlocking the Precious Precocious Potential of ASD Kids
Jennifer O'Toole
Abstract: Experts agree that "play" is the most important work young people do. Yet for kids on the spectrum, "Just go play!" may be the hardest instruction they are given all day. So what do we do? Simple. We make play PURPOSEFUL. And we make it work. We shake up our parenting, our teaching, and our perspectives with NON-LAME FUN - spectrum style! Using concrete (and somewhat sneaky) strategies, we can develop sophisticated social and emotional skills. Tattoo bananas and explore flexible thinking. Build a Tower of Density to visualize individual-versus-group priorities. Match graded paint chips to explore nuanced "not-so-all-or-nothing" emotions. Make chalk-drawings on trampolines, turn eggshells transparent, plan smart phone scavenger hunts and build Lego look-and-finds. And never forget to have FUN while you're at it.

With a little bit of imagination, just about anything can be turned into an opportunity for learning and growth. That's why this talk is fairly bursting with go-to ideas for making simple play equipment at home and using it to develop skills that Asperkids struggle with, from fine motor and social skills, to planning and organization. And you can count on Jennifer's signature, enthusiastic approach to inspire and motivate parents, educators, and therapists to make purposeful play a part of every spectrum kid's day.

Life, after all, is brimming with “little things.” Little moments. Little lessons. Little breakthroughs. But really, it's those little things, we surely find, that make the biggest differences of all.

Learning Outcomes:
1. To recognize and use the intrinsic learning potential of everyday items to frame complicated psychosocial concepts.
2. To structure play in a way that appeals to the fact-driven spectrum mind, yet encourages collaboration, communication, and consideration of multiple perspectives.
3. To extrapolate, from concrete sensory games, artistic exploration, geometric concepts, and color gradation, a vocabulary with which to discuss nuanced social skills and emotional awareness.

12:00pm-1:00pm Break, Lunch on your own, Expo, and "Meet the Authors"
1:00pm-2:00pm

New Discoveries in the Underlying Pathobiology of Autism
Valerie Hu, PhD
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the multiple factors giving rise to autism which require better integration of the different types of whole genome studies in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying pathobiology of autism. This comprehensive level of understanding is critical to the development of novel treatments that are based on correcting specific deficiencies in different individuals with ASD. Dr. Hu will also stress the need to focus studies on subgroups of individuals with similar clinical and behavioral profiles.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify 3 different gene signatures that are associated with different subgroups of autistic individuals, such as those with severe language impairment, with milder forms of ASD such as Asperger Syndrome and with savant skills.
2. Discuss the association of biological profiles with behavioral profiles that is needed for development of therapies targeted to specific symptoms or subgroups of ASD.
3. Explain why that testosterone and estrogen have opposite effects on the gene RORA; why RORA levels run low, which affects every gene that RORA is supposed to turn on; why RORA is also believed to be help maintain the body's daily circadian rhythm, and people with autism frequently experience sleep disturbances; why the RORA gene has been shown to protect neurons against the effects of stress and inflammation - both of which are elevated in autism; why estrogen raises RORA levels in cells.
4. Describe epigenetic expression.


The Continuums of Autism: Cognition, Sensory Processing and Behavior
Marlo P. Thurman, MS

Abstract: Like everyone else, individuals affected by autism have differing cognitive skills, learning styles, and sensory needs. However, because autism itself is so complex, we often fail to recognize the continuums of autism and focus instead, on what we can easily observe, the behaviors. This session, offered by Marlo Payne Thurman, will detail the complex relationship between cognitive processing and sensory regulation and will provide unique insights and recommendations to address those mechanisms that negatively impact learning, social and emotional functioning and behavior in individuals with ASD.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify how cognitive potentials are not accurately reported in IQ Scores for individuals with autism.
2. Identify how bright kids take in more information and require more energy to filter their sensory input.
3. Describe how children with autism struggle with cognitive energy depletion.
4. List three behavioral issues for individuals with autism that can be addressed through mind/body asynchrony.


Music, the Carrier Signal for Verbal Communication
Stephen M. Shore, EdD
Abstract: This presentation describes the use of music for working with children on the autism spectrum. While many of the techniques and reasoning behind their use is applicable to learners with other disabilities or even no disabilities at all, interacting with people on the autism spectrum using music can bring them into sharper focus. For people on the autism spectrum, music can be used as THE means of communication or to help organize the verbal communication skills they have as well as working with issues in the motoric, social, representation, and other areas.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Describe how music can be come the means of communication for people with autism.
2. List 2 ways how music can help individuals to organize the verbal communications skills they have.
3. Describe how using music can bring people with autism into sharper focus.

2:00pm-3:00pm

Diagnosis of and Treatment for Disorders that are Comorbid with Autism (e.g., depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD)
Ted Henderson, MD, PhD
Abstract: Dr. Henderson will address conditions comorbid to autism spectrum disorders throughout the life span from childhood into adulthood that include anxiety, depression, OCD, and ADHD. Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that produce fear, apprehension, or worry. This includes Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. OCD is a particularly severe form of anxiety. At the heart of OCD are obsessions (thoughts) and compulsions (behaviors). Obsessions are thoughts that create anxiety for the patient. ADHD is a brain disorder involving attention, impulsivity, and distractibility. The diagnosis is not simply based on hyperactivity or poor attention. Periods of low mood are referred to as depression. Depression in children often includes: pervasive sadness with short periods (hours) of normal mood, crying spells, increased sleeping, agitation or irritability, lack of interest in normal or enjoyable activities, social withdrawal or isolation, low energy, slowed thinking and decreased concentration, decreased appetite, suicidal thoughts or thoughts about death, and acts of self-harm. Major depression disorder in a toddler or preschooler can look quite different from the same condition in a school-age child or adolescent.

Dr. Henderson brings a unique blend of expertise in psychopharmacology, neurobiology, and an understanding of human nature to the practice of psychiatry.

Learning Outcomes:
1. List three disorders associated with anxiety.
2. Describe the difference of major depression in a toddler compared to a school-age child or adolescent.
3. List three conditions comorbid with autism spectrum disorders.


A Compelling Story of Recovery
Lori Knowles-Jimenez
Daniel Knowles

Abstract: Lori Knowles-Jimenez, along with her son Daniel Knowles presentation will focus on Daniel's journey out of autism. Daniel was diagnosed with autism at two and one-half years of age. Through intense pursuit of knowledge, Lori learned how she could help Daniel and become his advocate. After four years of interventions, at age six and a half, Daniel finally reached what was considered recovered. Lori emphasizes to parents, "Be a determined parent and persevere".

Learning Outcomes:
1. List three interventions implemented in Daniel's recovery.
2. Describe three warning signs that Lori observed during Daniel's first couple of years.
3. Explain what types of testing that should be done early on and why these special lab tests need to be evaluated by a professional knowledgeable in the area of autism and related disorders.

4. Explain the IgG food allergy test.
5. List three helpful diet suggestions.
6. List two reasons to give supplements.
7. List three complementary treatments that may be an important piece of the puzzle for your child.
8. Describe ways on how to approach the overwhelming amount of information presented.


Panel: New Interventions for Schools
Abstract: With exploding autism rates, increasing budget cuts and narrowing definitions and classification criteria for special education funds, the ability of our schools to meet the demands of our children with autism becomes more challenging each year. Yet, comprehensive assessments, strength and interest based teaching and appropriate school-based interventions and supports continue to pave the way for academic success for individuals with autism. As has always been the case, good educators adapt. In this session, experts in the field of education for individuals with autism will offer insights and creative solutions to assist both parents and educators in establishing and maintaining a multi-disciplinary treatment team to serve children with autism in today's ever changing school systems. In addition, parents and educators will explore new interventions and methods from the panel where they can implement immediately into their educational system or at home.
Jennifer O'Toole
Jim Partington, PhD, BCBA
Stephen M. Shore, EdD
Marlo P. Thurman, MS
Gil Tippy, PsyD

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify 3 basic components to an effective, multi-disciplinary treatment plan for individuals with autism.
2. Describe how good communication and a well thought-out learning plan are keys to success in the classroom.
3. List three different comprehensive treatment programs.
4. List three developmental intervention programs.
5. List three different techniques and therapies to implement into the education system or at home.

3:00pm-3:30pm Break and Expo
3:30pm-5:00pm

Panel: The Doctors and Researchers
Abstract: The panelists presenting in this workshop discuss the most frequently asked questions associated with medicine, research, and interventions. They will review medical cutting edge interventions and treatments as well as cutting edge research. Each panelist will provide a take away message with regards to their area of specialty in the field of autism/Asperger's Syndrome.
Phillip C. DeMio, MD
Ted Henderson, MD, PhD
Martha Herbert, MD, PhD
Valerie Hu, PhD
William Shaw, PhD
Kenneth Stoller, MD
J. Michael Uszler, MD

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify how the parts of the brain are connected and coordinated with each other and describe how one can develop measures sensitive to changes in brain and body function that could result from treatment interventions.
2. Outline new research in ASD on the importance of targeted evaluations and treatments to improve clinical outcomes among patients diagnosed with autism.
3. List and compare a variety of interventions that are supported by research.


Saturday, September 6
7:00am-5:00pm Registration and Expo open
8:15am-8:30am Welcome
8:30am-9:30am

Ten Tips to Reduce Brain Overload
Martha Herbert, MD, PhD - Featured Presentation
Abstract: Environmental factors affect brain development but the problem does not stop there. Environmental exposures persist as body burden, they continue to accumulate, and they have ongoing and active impacts on metabolic and immune function at the subcellular, cellular, organ and systems levels. Therefore autism is more than a developmental disorder. The chronic and persistent features of autism include many treatable features as well as a component of alteration of brain development; the relative contributions of these different aspects are virtually unevaluated, but responsiveness to treatment suggests we have been underestimating the importance of chronic and persistent contributors. It also challenges us to ask how much damage is fixed and how much the mechanisms are dynamic, even if stubborn. Understanding this aspect of autism further underscores the importance of treatment, the importance of research oriented toward environmental contributors and interventions and toward optimization of health and brain plasticity, and the allocation of major resources toward reducing unnecessary suffering. It also highlights how often we see "circular thinking" in autism, where the assumption that autism is fixed and hopeless biases research priorities and interpretations of findings toward looking for fixed impacts on early development, rather than promoting systematic examination of our assumptions and aggressive search for things that can be modulated after birth to improve outcomes.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify how environment impacts brain physiology and how that altered physiology produces autistic behaviors.
2. Identify the cellular problems in the brain and body associated with environmentally vulnerable physiology.
3. State why many different environmental factors may produce similar physiological impacts
4. State how health and well-being is the result of Resilience Minus Total Load, where Total Load is the sum of genetic vulnerability and accumulated environmental stressors.
5. State the difference between epidemiology which studies what causes autism and pathophysiology which studies how autism works.
6. List ten tips to reduce brain overload.

9:30am-10:00am Break and Expo, Book Signing
10:00am- 11:30am

Panel: Self-Advocacy - Challenges Throughout the Lifespan
Abstract: The panelists presenting in this breakout session each describe his or her personal experiences with autism or Asperger Syndrome in the areas of Visual Thinking, Sensory Problems, Difficulties with Communication, Socialization, Work Environment, Education, and many other challenges they face each day. Panelists discuss challenges and transitioning through the life span. One specific area discussed will be bullying and ASD.
Christopher Gauthier, MFA
Jennifer O'Toole
Tim Page, DFA
Stephen M. Sho
re, EdD

Benjamin Tarasewicz

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. List three areas that are challenging to adults each day.
2. Identify the importance of the challenges they face throughout their lifespan.
3. Identify lessons to be learned from bullying experiences the panelists may have encountered early in life.

11:30am-12:30pm Break, Lunch on your own, Expo, and "Meet the Authors"
12:30pm-1:30pm

Functional Imaging of the Brain - New Discoveries
J. Michael Uszler, MD
Abstract: Autism is an actual brain cell function disorder, not a psychiatric disorder. As such it is a medical condition which has areas of the brain under function or over function. You can see this for yourself on a brain SPECT scan. This way we look inside of the "world of autism". Our medical imaging tools look inside at how the parts of the brain are working in autistic individuals. Rather than "guesstimating" only from behavioral observation, we look directly inside the brain and combine the information from both internal and external methods. This evaluation helps you to decide the appropriate therapy path. Brain function imaging technology is known as SPECT and PET. Both have the advantage of showing the functional state of different brain regions throughout the entire brain. SPECT imaging is more widely available, and thus there is much more experience in using it to evaluate the brain function of autistic individuals.

Learning Outcomes:
1. State why Brain SPECT imaging is the appropriate effective imaging to use, rather than MRI or CT (CAT) scanning.
2. Describe how Brain SPECT scanning performed before and after therapies shows you effectiveness of interventions and treatments, both medical and behavioral.
3. Identify how co-morbidities can be recognized.
4. Describe Cerebral Hypoperfusion in ASD children.


From Preschool to Post-Secondary Education: Navigating Systems and Preparing for Transitions
Marlo P. Thurman, MS

Abstract: This session will focus on the various stages of educational planning that are required to support individuals on the spectrum in their transitions from elementary school, through to high school, and beyond, to post-high school learning experiences. The presenter, Marlo Thurman, will highlight primary academic, social, behavioral, adaptive functioning, life skills, and sensory needs for inclusion at each stage of the IEP or 504 plan.

Learning Outcomes:
1. List the various stages of educational planning in their transitions from elementary school, through to high school, and beyond.
2. List life skills necessary for inclusion at each stage.
3. List academic needs for inclusion at each stage.


Special exclusive interview with Tim Page. Grateful for the Diagnosis; It Explained Everything
Tim Page, DFA
Abstract: Learn how Tim Page, currently a professor at the University of Southern California, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his writing in the Washington Post, and a former music and cultural writer for The New York Times, finally stumbled upon his secret biography. As described in Parallel Play, "Here it all was - the computer-like retention, the physical awkwardness, the difficulties with peers and lovers, the need for routine and repetition, the narrow, specialized interests." He was forty-five when he realized that he wasn't alone. That's when he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify that finding work that makes use of your strengths and doesn't test your weaknesses is a huge benefit.
2. Identify how not being able to read faces can be overwhelming and could cause a meltdown.
3. Explain how you can be good at certain things and completely oblivious to others.
4. Identify how unstructured participation in social gatherings may be agonizing.

1:30pm-2:30pm

Get Started Now - Food and Nutrition Matter!
Julie Matthews, CNC
Abstract: Today's science indicates that children with autism have greater incidence of GI problems, food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, and other underlying issues. All of which are directly influenced by food and nutrition. Every child benefits when parents take charge of diet.

In this session you will discover WHY food affects children's health, learning, and behavior and HOW to make diet choices that can help right away! You'll hear a science-backed overview of the most effective diet and nutrition strategies, and learn how to get started or make further progress with dietary intervention. Julie will share her best practices for ensuring adequate nutrition and sustaining success based on her 12 years' clinical (and creative cooking!) experience with autism diets and picky eaters.

Dietary Intervention is about more than the GFCF Diet. There are varied dietary tactics to employ given each child's respective circumstance and need. Julie will explain further "autism diets" such as SCD (Specific Carbohydrate)/GAPS, Paleo, Body Ecology, Feingold/Failsafe, Low Oxalate Diet, and others - and discuss the role of phenols/salicylates, and other food compounds. She'll also cover traditional healing foods, making diets "doable," and introduce her new Nourishing Hope Food Pyramid. Many new ideas will be gleaned by those who've yet to set the benefits of diet changes.

The greatest "autism awareness" is that the trajectory of the disorder CAN be influenced: Taking charge of diet is fundamental.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand why diet matters and how food choices affect symptoms
2. Identify which diet changes are most imperative and how to get started right away
3. Describe how to help your child improve through food and nutrition, even picky eaters
4. Explain how to avoid common pitfalls that can inhibit progress
5. Document the bigger picture of "nourishing hope" and options to customize diet strategy


Improvements in Overall Behavior
William Shaw, PhD
Abstract: This session will discuss the role of cholesterol in autistic behaviors with recent studies from The Johns Hopkins University.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will be able to:
1. Identify the role of cholesterol in autistic behaviors.
2. Explain the ways that lower cholesterol levels in adults are associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures, which place high demands on abstract reasoning, attention/concentration, word fluency, and executive functioning.
3. State that lower cholesterol values were found in chronic fatigue syndrome and in children with dyslexia.
4. Describe how medical grade cholesterol supplementation quickly improved patients in the areas of overcoming aggressive behaviors, decreased rates of infections, reduced skin rashes, reduced self-injurious behaviors, improved muscle tones, rapid growth and improved behavior overall.


10 Key Steps to Finding a Job and Keeping It
Margaret Dillon Katz
Abstract: In this session Margaret will look at the necessary steps that lead to employment. Throughout high school, students have often worked primarily on academic skills at the expense of little to no experience or success in work. Gaining employment is a multi-step process that takes years of creating a portfolio of work experiences beginning in high school and beyond. We will look at team collaboration behavior, sensory safe settings, workplace cultures, and the mind-set necessary to succeed. Particular focus will be on the transition from high school to employment.

Strategies on how to develop more flexibility when your student or child is uncomfortable with change, or has a tendency towards black and white thinking will be explored as it relates to employment.

Learning Outcomes:
1. List the 10 key steps to help those with ASD to find a job and keep it.
2. Explain the areas in which those with ASD often struggle or misinterpret how to go about finding a job and challenges of communication once they have a job.
3. List 2 ways to develop cognitive flexibility to help with workplace challenges.

2:30pm-3:00pm Break, Expo, & Book Signing - Exhibit Hall
3:00pm-4:00pm

Co-Infections Including Lyme Disease and How To Treat Them
Kenneth Stoller, MD
Abstract: Dr. Kenneth Stoller, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the AT Still School of Medicine in Arizona and Chief of Hyperbarics at the Amen Clinics in San Francisco, discusses that many infectious agents are actually at the root cause of many mental health problems. Lyme Disease is the most recognized of the medical illnesses that will cause everything from bipolar depression, dementia to seizures. He believes countless patients have been misdiagnosed with a mental illness when they actually have an untreated infection. He also believes that the conventional testing protocol for Lyme may miss half the infected patients. Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne infectious disease in the country. Over the years, it is clear that there are a group of patients that can be on all the right antibiotics, enzymes, herbs and even receive HBOT, but for reasons that are not clear (most likely genetic) they still can not clear the Borrelia from their bodies. One size does not fit all applies to almost all therapies used to treat chronic Lyme.

Learning Outcomes:
1. List three co-infections that are associated with autism.
2. Explain why conventional testing protocol for Lyme may miss half the infected patients.
3. Explain why there is a group of patients that can not clear the Borrelia from their bodies.
4. Discuss two methods of treatment for Lyme Disease.


Building Relationships, Marriage, and Family in the Context of Autism
Gil Tippy, PsyD
Christopher Gauthier, MFA
Abstract: In this session, a father will discuss married and family life on the autism spectrum. Here is a situation where not only the couple has two of their children diagnosed with autism, but the father is also affected by Asperger Syndrome. The father will discuss being a target of bullying during adolescence; He will discuss finding love and partnership; Raising children on the autism spectrum; Lessons from a "surviving but struggling to thrive" a marriage; Developing a community network of support; Stress; Developing a language to understand one another based on Aspergers Identity/Sensory Issues; Cognitive distortion.

The therapist will discuss how to work with couples on their own interpersonal relationships given that one parent is on the autism spectrum and at least one child is affected by autism; How they cope with each other's behaviors; lack of insight and the pressures of having children with ASD.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify a community network of support
2. State how to avoid isolation in a relationship
3. Identify how to create realistic options for reduction of stress and how to implement these options and for it to be supported by an outside network
4. Document how a therapist works with couples on their own interpersonal relationships
5. Describe what kind of therapy and counseling is available for the couple to have a healthier relationship


Panel: Support Services for Missouri and Kansas
Vonda Minor
Jennifer Smith

Abstract: In this session, the panelists presenting in this workshop each describe their specialty for services that are available for individuals on the autism spectrum. Ms. Minor is a Family Support Coordinator and Autism Navigator for the Kansas City Regional Office. Kansas City Regional Office is the primary point of entry for the following counties: Platte, Clay, Ray, Jackson, Lafayette, Cass, Johnson, and Bates. Kansas City does not provide paid services. However, regional offices purchase services from contracted agencies licensed by the Department of Mental Health or other national accrediting agencies. Support Coordination is available in every county. Support Coordinators provide case management and are responsible for assisting with advocacy, linking people to services and assuring the health and safety of the individual supported. Regional Office staff are available to explain support coordination options in your county. Vonda Minor is an educator and mother of two young sons with autism.

Jennifer Smith is Executive Director for the Autism Society-The Heartland and based in Kansas. She will discuss the variety of support groups in the KC metro area. Jennifer's focus is to be able to bring together the community to collaborate on the issues that touch the lives of those with autism and the organizations that serve them. Jennifer has two children, Corinne, 20, and Cameron, 19, both with autism.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify a community network of support for Kansas and Missouri.
2. List ways create similar models for other states.
3. List support services for individuals with autism related disorders including Parent mentors, Sibling Groups, Residential Options, finding the best Providers for your autism team, Access to College Options and Transitioning into College Programs, Adult Support Groups, and Governmental Programs.

4:00pm-5:00pm

Breakout Session


Living with Aspergers: Navigating a Delicate Balance
Christopher Gauthier, MFA
Abstract: This presentation will be focused on the experiences of Christopher M. Gauthier, an actively exhibiting fine art photographer, teacher, and father living with Asperger Syndrome. Gauthier will address areas of adult life where traits of autism require navigating a delicate balance within seeming dichotomies -- self-affirming versus social conformity, intentional parenting rather than reenacting scripts of parents of origin, perceptions of success and failure, and strategies for maintaining emotional and physical regulation in over and under stimulating environments. He will draw on his experience as an individual on the autism spectrum, as an artist and a teacher to inspire participants to advocate for greater acceptance and opportunities for a growing neurodiverse population.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will learn:
1. To explain why people with Aspergers often feel tremendous pressure to hide traits and "perform" in social situations and in the work place resulting in a sense of exhaustion.
2. To discuss why adults with Aspergers need to develop strategies for reducing anxiety and maintaining self-regulation to improve the overall quality of life.
3. To state how social systems need to respectfully make space for people with autism; providing employment training and opportunities that utilize ability while making appropriate accommodations for possible challenges.


Panel: Parents Facing a Lifetime of Daunting Challenges
Joyce Miller DeMio
Tammy Matassa
Vonda Minor

Abstract: This presentation focuses on the daunting challenges parents face everyday with autism and related disorders. Mothers and Fathers, of children (and adults) with autism, will share their experiences with the school system, beyond the school system, interventions that combine biomedical and developmental therapies that have helped their children, and also the struggles as well as successes that parents (and grandparents face) each day. The panelists will discuss monitoring and charting your child's development throughout the lifespan of the child even after they become adults. Interventions that may work for a young child doesn't always work for a teenage or an adult. Revisiting therapies throughout the lifespan will also be presented.

Learning Outcomes: The participant will know steps to:
1. Identify 3 challenges that parents face when children become adults.
2. Identify 3 challenges throughout the life span of the child.
3. Describe 3 interventions that combine biomedical and developmental therapies.


Sunday, September 7
8:00am-12:00pm Registration and Expo open
9:00am-10:00am

Tips and Tricks for Your New Grocery Shopping Treasure Hunt
Joyce Miller DeMio
Abstract: Joyce Miller DeMio explains, "I am NOT an expert...just a Mom who had to get started". What does the very medical sounding term, Dietary Intervention" mean to you? Dietary Intervention for your child means that your grocery shopping routine will change and you will increase your time in the kitchen. Grocery shopping will become like a treasure hunt as you look for products that are safe and healthy for your child. You will be learning a new language when it comes to food. Gluten, casein, peptide - these are words I was unaware of at the start of our dietary intervention odyssey. And that is what this will be for you as you try to navigate dietary intervention. Let me be clear here - each child is different. What works for my child may not work for yours; in fact what works for Daniel this year is not what worked last year! Trial and error is part of every dietary intervention plan, just as they are for any cook. I will take you through how I got started and how we continually evolve in our commitment to keep our son's diet clean, safe and healthy.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify the hidden sugars on nutritional labels.
2. Describe what dietary intervention means for your child.
3. Define dietary intervention.
4. List naturally occurring proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and milk.


Nutrition Workshop: Supplements, Kids, and Fun with your Blender
Julie Matthews, CNC
Abstract: Julie Matthews, leading autism nutritionist with Nourishing Hope, demonstrates tactics for getting good nutrition and supplements into our kids - using the blender and other easy-to-do ideas. She will discuss how to seamlessly get supplements into foods, when supplements can and can't be heated, and how to make meals as nutritious as possible. She will share tips that stem from years of hands-on experience - as mothers and professionals.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify how to get supplements into our food.
2. Describe when supplements can and can't be heated.
3. List two ways to make meals nutritious.
4. Describe how to get good nutrition into our kids.


Breakout Session

10:00am-10:30am Break and Expo
10:30am- 12:00pm Panel: Bringing It All Together
Abstract: Leading autism experts who are parents of children with autism will share in their personal experiences in the areas of medical/biomedical treatments, behavioral/developmental interventions, diet and nutritional interventions, advocacy, adjunct therapies, family issues, special needs trusts, IEP's, and much more. Q&A.
Joyce Miller DeMio
Phillip C. DeMio, MD

Christopher Gauthier, MFA
Ted Henderson, MD, PhD
Raun K. Kaufman
Lori Knowles-Jimenez
Julie Matthews, CNC
William Shaw, PhD
Marlo P. Thurman, MS
J. Michael Uszler, MD
Theresa Wrangham

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify common obstacles faced by parents of children with autism.
2. Describe three examples of medical, behavioral and nutritional interventions that have been successfully implemented by this panel of professionals.
12:00pm Conference concludes

QUICK FACTS
The US Autism & Asperger Association 2010 World Conference became the most viewed Autism/Asperger conference in the world. This was the first ever Autism and Asperger conference streamed lived in its entirety.


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"In the fall of 2011, the greatest gift we received yet was attending the four-day USAAA conference in Seattle. There I met my heroes and found mentors that gave me hope and expanded my paradigm. Since the conference, we now approach life and our son from the view of acceptance, help him to see and know himself, teach him how to self advocate, and join with him in enjoying the things that make him smile. We no longer fight against our son’s differences but embrace them and this way of loving has even taught us to how better accept and love each other as a couple. We still have a long way to go and even more to learn, but I now know that hope has no limit unless I place it there.
- Sara McCarter, Mom to Magnus "the great"


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"Let's experience what their life is like for a day. Our children are in pretty much of a constant state of overload. Your living room is like LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] to your child. They can't recognize patterns the same way we can, so everything that seems predictable and understandable to you and I seems totally unpredictable to our children."
- Raun K. Kaufman


"I was the kid who grew up with no diagnosis. I'm undiagnosed Asperger's. I refused to do it because of institutional discrimination. I grew up in the 70's, one of the odd balls and I have fought and struggled my way. I was "the dumb one" of the family. I am the only one with a higher education degree at this point."
- Christopher M. Gauthier
, MFA


"The vast majority of persons on the Autism Spectrum (ASD) who make significant gains from biomedical treatments will require care that addresses the triad of dietary intervention, digestive/gastrointestinal problems, and detoxification techniques."
- Phillip C. DeMio, MD


"When we gaze back into the past and evaluate our impressions during the early stages of our children’s lives, we observe an experience unlike anything we had ever expected. When we receive a warning that our baby does not seem to be developing like other “normally developing” kids, we may either shift into early denial or become too intimidated to ask what we feel are appropriate questions. Unfortunately, when we do ask the right questions, the replies often are either not sufficient or are limiting in nature." (from Diagnosis Autism Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes; A Parent-Physician Team Approach).
- Kaplan/Burstein, 2005


"Autism is defined behaviorally, as a syndrome of abnormalities involving language, social reciprocity and hyperfocus or reduced behavioral flexibility. It is clearly heterogeneous, and it can be accompanied by unusual talents as well as impairments, but its underlying biological and genetic basis is unknown."
- Martha Herbert, MD, PhD


Our goal should be to help persons with autism understand and use their strengths to work around any presenting challenges so they, just like everyone else, has an equal chance at living a fulfilling and productive life.
- Stephen M. Shore, EdD


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