US Autism and Asperger Association wishes you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with hope and possibilities.
The holiday season is about spending time with family, thinking about others, and reflecting back on this year and looking forward to the new year. USAAA is about Bringing Families Together and helping individuals through Education, Research, Conferences, Support, and Solutions. We reflect on the year 2006 to review what we accomplished as an organization and learn how we can improve to continue to bring hope and possibilities to everyone next year.
Reflecting back in 2006 –
In August at the USAAA Premier International Conference in Park City, Utah, we provided one of the most comprehensive and informative autism and Asperger conferences in North America to parents, caregivers, health care practitioners, teachers, therapists, school administrators, social workers, counselors, and others touched by autism & Asperger’s Syndrome. We assembled 35 leading experts from the U.S., France, Italy, and Canada who focused on ways to improve the quality of life for affected individuals and their families/caregivers by conducting presentations in the areas of biomedical interventions, research, adjunct therapies, diet and nutrition, and family issues.
With over 550 registrants, attendees gained important information, empowering them to help their children, family, patients, friends, and others touched by autism. They met with the physicians who are treating more autism patients than anyone else in the world. They also learned from educators who provide interventions that have successfully improved our children.
Hope and Possibilities was the theme for this year’s conference. Our keynote speaker was Shannon Kenitz, Executive Director of the International Hyperbarics Association. Shannon provided an emotional presentation to all who viewed her interview from The Montel Williams Show. Knowing firsthand the heartbreak and struggles of having a child with a disability, Shannon taught us about hope and possibilities. She emphasized to attendees that when everybody’s telling parents that there’s nothing they can do for their children, they need to surround themselves not only with family and friends that are positive, but find those physicians that have an innovative look at life.
USAAA was the first autism and Asperger organization to offer a live webcast of the annual conference in August.
After four conference days, attendees went home armed with tools of practical protocols, valuable hope, and new resources for support.
In 2006, we provided the complimentary USAAA WeeklyNews to over 50,000 people each week that addressed a range of topics on autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Featured articles included new interventions and new research in both education and medicine.
At the end of 2006, USAAA and Autism Today Education Corporation created a strategic partnership to host the Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007 conference to be held March 1-4, 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Finally, S. 843 bill, "To amend the Public Health Service Act to combat autism through research, screening, intervention and education," was passed in December by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The bill authorizes nearly 1 billion dollars over the next five years to combat autism through research, screening, early detection and early intervention. It includes provisions relating to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and expands and intensifies biomedical research on autism, including an essential focus on possible environmental causes.
USAAA was proud to be aligned with all the organizations who worked tirelessly over the past year to craft verbiage that has created the passage of the bill. The President, along with Mrs. Bush, is scheduled to sign the bill at 10:10am, EST, on Tuesday, December 19. With your continued financial support, USAAA is able to advocate for the autism community on historic issues such as the Combating Autism Act of 2006 which affect the lives of all of our children and future generations.
Looking to 2007 –
We are excited to be aligned with Autism Today for the Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007 in March. Please join us in Vancouver for one of the most comprehensive autism conferences in Canada.
We will be hosting our second annual USAAA International Conference in August. The dates and location will be announced in January, 2007.
We will be making a major announcement in 2007 for a special research project.
We will continue to provide our WeeklyNews bringing you up to date information on autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
As you search to obtain information that may be helpful in finding the resources needed for recovery, advocacy, education and achieving a better quality of life, look to USAAA as your resource through our conferences, email newsletter, and website that contains many links.
Please consider making a contribution to USAAA. With your generous support, we are able to provide all of these resources to you throughout the year. To join as a member or make a donation, click here.
THANK YOU for your support.
As the season of joy sets in, may your days be filled with hope and happiness!
Each individual unique and beautiful
Together, they can change a whole landscape
Moving forward with you into the New Year
Wishing your children & family well on the road to recovery.
Have a safe and joyous season,
Larry Kaplan, PhD
Executive Director and Founder, USAAA