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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. January 7 , 2007

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

USAAA to announce city of 2007 annual International Conference this week.
Mark you calendar - conference scheduled for August 8-11, 2007.

Speaker Spotlight for Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007

Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007, March 1-4, 2007, has assembled leading experts on autism spectrum disorders, with presenters from England, Canada, and the United States. Speakers will focus on ways to improve the quality of life for the affected individuals and their families/caregivers by conducting presentations in the areas of educational and biomedical interventions, research, adjunct therapies, diet and nutrition, and family issues.

Speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Dr. Phillip DeMio, Dr. Stephen Shore, Shannon Kenitz, Dr. Lauren Underwood, Dr. Barry Prizant, Stan Kurtz, Dr. Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Dr. Teresa Bolick, Dr. William Shaw, and Julia Berle (mother to Baxter who recovered from autism).

Andrew Wakefield, MB BS FRCS FRCPath
Dr. Wakefield will present a keynote address Sunday, March 4th at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm. For the entire four day conference schedule, click here.

Dr. Andy Wakefield is an academic gastroenterologist. He graduated in Medicine from St. Mary’s Hospital, part of the University of London, in 1981, and pursued a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a specific interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985, and in 1996 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellowship to study small intestinal transplantation in Toronto, Canada.

Discoveries made during his time in Canada led him to pursue the scientific investigation of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In 1998, he and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital reported a novel inflammatory bowel disease in children with developmental disorders such as autism; the condition later became known as autistic enterocolitis. The main focus of Dr. Wakefield’s research is an investigation of the immunologic, metabolic, and pathologic changes occurring in inflammatory bowel diseases such as autistic enterocolitis, links between intestinal disease and neurologic injury in children, and the potential relationship of these conditions to environmental causes, such as childhood vaccines.

Dr. Wakefield has published 132 original scientific articles, book chapters and invited scientific commentaries and was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2001. Dr. Wakefield is on staff at Thoughtful House Center for Children, located in Austin, Texas.

Barry Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Prizant will present , "THE SCERTS® MODEL: A Comprehensive Educational Approach for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Disabilities," Saturday, March 3rd at 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm. For the entire four day conference schedule, click here.

Dr. Prizant has more than 30 years experience as a clinical scholar, researcher and program consultant to young children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related disabilities and their families. He is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Dr. Prizant is Director of Childhood Communication Services (CCS), an Adjunct Professor in the Center for the Study of Human Development, Brown University, and a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He has published more than 90 articles and chapters on childhood communication disorders, has given more than 450 seminars and workshops at national and international conferences, and serves on the Editorial Board of six scholarly journals.

He is co-author of the book Autism spectrum disorders: A developmental, transactional perspective (2000), The Assessment Instruments, The Communication and Symbolic Behavior (CSBS) Scales (1993) and The CSBS-Developmental Profile (2002) (all with Dr. Amy Wetherby). Dr. Prizant and his colleagues recent work has focused on developing the SCERTS® Model for children who have or are at-risk for social-communicative difficulties including ASD, and their families. Other research and clinical interests include early identification of young children with disabilities, family-centered treatment, and understanding language and communicative characteristics of children with social-communicative disabilities including ASD.

Reactive Attachment Disorder in Children Previously Neglected or Abused Prior to Adoption
by Lark Eshleman, PhD

Published in Medical Veritas: The Journal of Medical Truth, a publication of Medical Veritas International, Inc.,, November 2005, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp. 732-737.

Attachment disorder is a treatable condition in which there is a significant dysfunction in an individual’s ability to trust or engage in reciprocal, loving, lasting relationships. An attachment disorder occurs due to traumatic disruption or other interferences with the caregiver-child bond during the first years of life. It can distort future stages of development and impact a person’s cognitive, neurological, social and emotional functioning. It may also increase the risk of other serious emotional and behavioral problems. Some traumatic events include: abandonment/loss of family; neglect; abuse; physical illness, including malnutrition and physical problems such as recurring ear infections or other painful medical conditions; and inadequate group care/out-of-home care.

Full story, click here.

Kids Count on Consistency
by Dan Coulter

If you’re a parent or a teacher, can your kids or students count on you? I mean, do you think about being consistent so they know what to expect?

Kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, in particular, often benefit from guidance that’s structured and consistent.

If a child has a habit that you want to modify, or needs to learn a skill, consistently reinforcing a behavior can help make it a part of that child’s repertoire.

Try looking at the teaching process from his or her point of view. If we allow poor table manners at home, but try to enforce proper manners in a restaurant, we’re sending mixed messages. It’s much more practical for kids to learn one set of manners that’s appropriate for both situations.

The world can seem chaotic to kids with ASDs. Think of them as pilots trying to land their planes. It’s hard enough to land on a stable runway on the ground. But navy pilots will tell you it’s a lot harder to land on an aircraft carrier deck that’s heaving on the waves. As much as possible, we need to be the stable runways that our kids can depend on -- and consistently guide them toward behaviors that will be appropriate in the majority of situations they’ll encounter.

Full story, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dan Coulter has written and produced numerous special needs videos, including, "ASPERGER SYNDROME: Success In The Mainstream Classroom." You can find more of Dan's articles at: Dan hosts an Internet radio show, “Life In The Asperger Lane,” at 12 P.M., Eastern (US) Time, on the second Saturday of each month on Autism One Radio at

NHS prescribing drugs ‘when diet might help children with autism’

Glasgow, Scotland, UK
By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent

THE NHS is failing to provide advice on nutrition which could help children with conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorder, amid a culture of prescribing powerful drugs with potential side-effects.

That is the claim made by Dave Rex, lead child health dietician with NHS Highland, who has warned that despite evidence that special diets can help some individuals, nutrition is still being treated as a "Cinderella" subject in the health service.

Speaking ahead of a major conference on diet and children's behaviour later this month, Rex told the Sunday Herald that while many NHS professionals will prescribe powerful drugs, they are reluctant to consider dietary interventions.

"It is very strange that we within the NHS are in the culture of prescribing medication which runs the risk of side-effects," he said, "yet we are so nervous about giving tailor-made advice on what a healthy diet would look like.

"As soon as you talk about diet and autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), people assume you are going to be suggesting something wacky, because some people have done so in the past.

"But you can give responsible, tailor-made advice on diet, which is more likely to do good than harm."

Full story, click here.

Lack of awareness, parental pride thwarts autism therapy

VietNamNet Bridge

VietNamNet Bridge – People's lack of knowledge is the biggest stumbling block to treating children with autism, a communication and behaviour disorder, according to experts.

Tran Thi Thu Ha, vice head of the Function and Physical Rehabilitation Department at the Central Children's Hospital in Hanoi, said recently the best time for treating the condition was when a child was 18 to 36 months old.

However, because they did not know enough about the condition and its symptoms, parents usually brought their children for treatment only after they turned four or five.

"Only one third of the children come to us before the age of three."

More boys had autism than girls: Of every five children brought to her department, four were boys.

Full story, click here.

In This Issue :
City to be named this week for USAAA annual International Conference

› Speaker Spotlight for Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007 - Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Dr. Barry Prizant

›Reactive Attachment Disorder in Children Previously Neglected or Abused Prior to Adoption, by Lark Eshleman, PhD

› Kids Count on Consistency, by Dan Coulter

› USAAA News Around the World:
NHS prescribing drugs ‘when diet might help children with autism’

Lack of awareness, parental pride thwarts autism therapy

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Contact Us

* Monovalent MMR sought
A parent writes to INBOX asking if anyone knows where they can obtain the monovalent MMR vaccine. If you have any information, please send your information to INBOX.

* ABA Instructors Needed
USAAA has received many requests from parents that are in need of employing ABA Instructors especially in the Utah region. If you know of anyone interested in applying for the following job(s), contact USAAA at INBOX.

Job Description:
Instructors will be working in an early intervention, behavioral-based program implementing the methods developed by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas, Ph.D., at UCLA. The program encompasses all areas of functioning. Specifically the program targets the development and acquisition of receptive and expressive language, toy play, peer play, socialization, abstract concepts, and self-help skills. Teaching of appropriate behaviors proceeds in incremental systematic steps in an effort to maximize a child's successes. Cognitively demanding concepts are intermixed with less demanding concepts and one-to-one instruction is interspersed with play activities. Each instructional session lasts approx. two to three hours. During a session, the instructor will engage the child in a specific task for 1-3 minutes and then take a short break (1-3 minutes). During each hour of the instructional session, the child is given a longer 10-minute break. Instructors use secondary rewards as the main reinforcement. Primary reinforcement is used to motivate the child in new, or more difficult programs, or if the child is not receptive to secondary rewards during a session. Instructors use many prompts when teaching novel skills and then systematically fade the prompts out. Overall, the number of successes (even if prompted) always outnumbers the failures in an approximate 9:1 ratio. Instructors will work on a team of three to six adults, together contributing 30-40 hours per week of one-to-one instruction in the home. Each team member should provide 5-12 hours of one-to-one instruction per week: enough time to establish procedural competence, while not spending so much time that the child becomes dependent on any one member. No instructor should work less than 5 hours per week across 2 sessions on different days (One session/day per week will not be beneficial to the child).

Some parents will also train potential ABA Instructors based a six month minimum commitment.

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©2006 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
1-888-9AUTISM (1-888-928-8476) , 801-649-5752