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US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) March 27 , 2007

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

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Feature Articles

Drug Compounding In Jeopardy; Proposed bill would give the FDA full control over compounding

Senators Kennedy (D-MA), Burr (R-NC) and Roberts (R-KS) have circulated a copy of proposed draft legislation that would greatly restrict access to compounded medications. The legislation would severely restrict and possibly deny your access to critical medications. According to Parents and Professionals for Customized Care (PsC2), if this legislation passes, federal regulators, not your doctor, will decide what medicines you can take. The so-called Safe Drug Compounding Act of 2007 would, among other things, broadly eliminate the availability of many critical, commonly compounded medications that many patients rely on.

Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless states that [for the autism community], "this means that our children would not be able to obtain MB-12 (nasal or injections), LDN, detoxification agents such as DMSA and DMPS, secretrin, transdermals (such as NAC, TTFD, ALA, GSH), etc. (not to mention bio-identical natural hormone replacement and many other extremely important health items that have to be compounded). This is clearly written to benefit pharmaceutical companies, which is also behind the move to restrict or eliminate many of our vitamin- nutrient compounds. We have to become activists to protect our children; it would be devastating to not be able to get many of these compounds that are helping kids to an unprecedented degree now."

What can you do? Act now to stop this dangerous legislation! Write your elected representatives in Congress. Use P2C2's easy to use tool to write your members of Congress.

Click here to take action and to learn more.

Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head
The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain.
by Jill Neimark, Discover Magazine

“There were days I considered shutting the garage door and letting the car run until I was dead,” says Colorado mom Erin Griffin, of the time nine years ago when she learned that both her boys—not just her firstborn—suffered from autism. Brendan, her angular, dark-haired older child, was diagnosed in 1996 at age 4. Kyle, her round-faced, hazel-eyed younger son, was diagnosed in 1998 at age 2½.

But Kyle and Brendan’s story does not have a tragic ending. After interventions that included occupational and speech therapy, as well as dietary change and nutritional supplements, both boys improved significantly. Their tale of slow, steady recovery reflects the changing landscape of autism today. The condition, traditionally seen as genetic and originating in the brain, is starting to be viewed in a broader and very different light, as a possible immune and neuroinflammatory disorder. As a result, autism is beginning to look like a condition that can, in some and perhaps many cases, be successfully treated.

Click here to read entire story.

“In spite of so many years of assumptions that a brain disorder like this is not treatable, we’re helping kids get better. So it can’t just be genetic, prenatal, hardwired, and hopeless,” says Harvard pediatric neurologist Martha Herbert, author of a 14,000-word paper in the journal Clinical Neuropsychiatry that reconceptualizes the universe of autism, pulling the brain down from its privileged perch as an organ isolated from the rest of the body. “I no longer see autism as a disorder of the brain but as a disorder that affects the brain,” Herbert says. “It also affects the immune system and the gut."

by Martha R. Herbert, MD

Click here to read entire story.

Speaker Spotlight
Each week we feature one or more of our 32 conference speakers that will be presenting at the USAAA 2007 International Autism and Asperger's Conference, August 8-11, in Denver, Colorado in our weekly email newsletters. The conference is co-hosted by Autism Society of Boulder County.

This week we feature Steven Gutstein, PhD, Valerie Herskowitz, MA CCC-SLP, and Devin Houston, PhD.

Speaker Spotlight
bradstreetSteven Gutstein, PhD
Dr. Steven Gutstein has more than 20 years experience as a psychologist counseling children, adults, couples and families, conducting applied research, and developing programs for special populations as Professor of Psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital and in private practice. Most recently, Dr. Gutstein has developed the RDI Program© A parent-based developmental approach toward the remediation of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Currently, over 3000 families world-wide participate in RDI Program© and nearly 100 professionals in child development are certified as RDI Program© Consultants. Dr. Gutstein is also founder of the Foundation for Autism Research & Remediation (FARR), a 501(c)(3) public non-profit charitable foundation and father of two children, both artists. Dr. Steven Gutstein will present "Relationship Developmental Intervention (RDI),"at the USAAA 2007 International Conference in Denver, Thursday, August 9, from 4:30pm - 6:00pm. Click here for a bio of Dr. Gutstein.
Valerie Herskowitz, MA CCC-SLP
Ms. Herskowitz's career as a speech pathologist has spanned the past 27 years. Since 1981, as owner of Dimensions Therapy Center, she has been providing private therapy services and special family outings to the families in the South Florida area. She is on the adjunct faculty at Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Herskowitz is the President of the National Autism Registry, a non-profit organization. She was awarded the Stevie Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 for her work with autistic and special needs children. She was honored for starting two innovative community programs, Mothers of Special Needs Individuals (MOSI) and the Family Club. Ms. Herskowitz is also an international speaker on the subject of computer-based intervention with special needs individuals. Her youngest son, Blake, was diagnosed in 1993 with autism. Being both a parent to Blake as well as a therapist has given Ms. Herskowitz the opportunity to reach out and help families deal with the unique problems that they face in parenting a child with autism. Ms. Herskowitz's will present "Computer-Based Intervention for Individuals With Autism," at the USAAA 2007 International Conference in Denver, Saturday, August 11, from 1:30pm - 2:30pm. Click here for a bio of Ms. Herskowitz. Click here to preview Ms. Herskowitz's presentation from the USAAA 2006 conference.
Devin Houston, PhD
Dr. Houston obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Houston’s graduate work focused on how the aging process affected certain enzyme systems. Dr. Houston accepted a post-doctoral position at the University of Virginia where he became involved in several fields of research, including ligand-receptor interactions of the adenosine receptor, diabetes, and mechanisms of how cells respond to environmental signals. In 1990, Dr. Houston accepted a position at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. While there, he obtained the position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. In 1997, Dr. Houston left academia for industry, and accepted a position as Manager of Research and Development at National Enzyme Company. While there, he upgraded the existing lab and instituted more advanced methods of analysis. Instrumental in new product development, he is the formulator and inventor of SerenAid(tm), an enzyme product currently distributed by Klaire Laboratories. In March of 2000, Dr. Houston left National Enzyme and became a scientific consultant to the dietary supplement industry prior to founding Houston Nutraceuticals, Inc. Dr. Houston will present "Using Enzymes to Manage Food Intolerances," at the USAAA 2007 International Conference in Denver, Friday, August 10, from 2:00pm - 3:00pm Friday, August 10th. Click here for a bio of Dr. Houston. Click here to preview Dr. Houston's presentation from the USAAA 2006 conference.
To view the entire conference schedule, click here.

My Baby Can Dance: Stories of Autism, Asperger's and Success Through the Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI®) Program
by Steven E. Gutstein, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2006

My Baby Can Dance is for anyone who needs a reminder about what makes everyday social encounters so wonderful and why sometimes, the simplest forms of communication can lead to the most wonderful moments. For parents of children affected by autism, it is hard to identify exactly when their child slipped away. For one mother it was after planting flowers, for another it was one night in his sleep, for many more it was already too late to say goodbye. The stories in this book are of families that are all very different, and yet, their struggles are strikingly similar. They have made mistakes, they have cried and laughed and prayed. And, in the end, they have done it all for the love of a child. Along with the remarkable stories of RDI® families is a message of hope - that in their own time and in their own way these children will find their way back home.

Click here for more information.

Computer-Based Intervention for Individuals With Autism
by Valerie Herskowitz, MA CCC-SLP

Many children and adults with Autism will frequently tolerate one-on-one instruction via a computer when they won't engage in a human tutorial dyad. Language skills of individuals with autism have been noted to improve through computer-assisted instruction when all other traditional methodologies have failed.

Study: Vocabulary Acquisition for Children with Autism: Teacher or Computer Instruction
by Moore M, Calvert S Department of Psychology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057, USA.

Summary: This study examined the impact of computers on the vocabulary acquisition of young children with autism. Children's attention, motivation, and learning of words was compared in a behavioral program and an educational software program. The educational software program was designed to parallel the behavioral program, but it added perceptually salient qualities such as interesting sounds and object movement. JAutism Dev Disorders 2000 Aug;30(4):359-62. Conclusion: Children with autism were more attentive, more motivated, and learned more vocabulary in the computer than in the behavioral program. Implications are considered for the development of computer software to teach vocabulary to children who have autism.

Click here for more information on Computer-based intervention.

Enzymes: Q&A with Dr. Houston
by Devin Houston, PhD

Q: Should I be concerned about the post office irradiating enzymes?
A: Irradiation does nothing to enzymes, it only affects things that are alive, like bacteria and viruses.

Q: The school nurse wants to know if she can give enzymes to my child 30 minutes before lunch, due to scheduling challenges. Is that too far in advance?
A: Optimal timing is to give enzymes at the beginning of the meal. If 30 minutes before is the only time they can give the enzymes at school, it's better than not doing it at all. The enzymes should still be good.

Q: Our three-year-old granddaughter has always had a problem with hard stools, sometimes going for over a week without having a bowel movement. A doctor told our daughter that it is natural for some children to go for 10 days without a bowel movement. But when our granddaughter was here, she seemed to have such a struggle with it and her stools were gigantic. She seems to be very rebellious at home and at school. Do you have any suggestions in how we can help her?
A: It is NOT normal to have 1 bowel movement in 10 days; once a day is considered "normal". Try 1 Zyme Prime capsule and 1 No-Fenol capsule per meal. The Zyme Prime should decrease the size of her stools, and the No-Fenol should soften them. If not, stop the Zyme Prime and give 2 No-Fenol per meal until you see the stool becoming softer.

Click here to read frequently asked questions about enzymes.

simpsonwood logoSimpsonwood Remembered Rally
Moms Against Mercury (MAM) and the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD) invite you to attend the Rally

The Simpsonwood Remembered Rally, Atlanta, GA takes place on the 7th anniversary of the infamous, secret, Simpsonwood meetings, June 8, 2007, and is in support of the United Methodist Women Division's, conference at the Simpsonwood Methodist Retreat Center to address the dangers of using mercury as a preservative in vaccines. United Methodist Women have established a legacy of advocacy for children and the goal of their event is to raise awareness in the faith community about the dangers of vaccines that contain mercury and to protect children from this toxin. In addition, the Womens Division advocates for informed consent when mercury containing drugs or vaccines are given.

Click here for additional information.

Autism and the Schools
Teaching even the basics can be challenging
By Paris Achen
Mail Tribune, Oregon

While most first- and second-graders at Medford's Abraham Lincoln Elementary are reading or solving math problems, the pupils in teacher Jennifer McBride's class are reviewing a lesson on how to greet someone. Sporting two paper bag puppets, "Sally" and "Max," to demonstrate each step, McBride asks, "What are the three things you need to do to greet someone?" " Say hello!" a boy shouts out. "You're supposed to smile," chimes in another. "Look at the person's eyes," adds a third. The social courtesies and behavior that most children learn during ordinary interaction early in life are usually a puzzle to students with autism. Significant growth in the number of students with the neurological disorder spurred the Medford School District to launch Abraham Lincoln's STAR (Strategies for Teaching using Autism Research) program three years ago to help meet their unique needs. Autism, the fastest-growing disorder among Oregon school children, changes the way teachers give instruction. Social skills often have to be taught before anything else. The need for specialized instruction span the state and nation, where the perplexing disorder is being diagnosed in record numbers.

Click here for entire story.

USAAA 2007 conference registration online

US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. (USAAA) kicks off its annual International Autism and Asperger Conference in Denver, Colorado, August 8-11, 2007. Thirty-two of the world’s most renowned leading autism experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine. The conference is co-hosted by Autism Society of Boulder County (ASBC) and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. The conference is presented in part by International Hyperbarics Association.

Click here for more conference information. To register, click here. For conference partial scholarship information, click here.

Autistic Kids May Read People's Eyes
Study: Autistic Children May Be Able to Gauge Emotion From Facial Expression
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News

March 26, 2007 -- Autistic children may be able to read people's emotions from their facial expressions, new research shows. The eyes and mouth may be the facial areas that autistic kids pay the most attention to, British autism researchers report in Child Development. Their findings counter previous studies showing that autism hampers children's ability to interpret facial expressions. Elisa Back worked on the study while earning her PhD at England's University of Nottingham. Back is now a research fellow in psychology at England's University of Birmingham. Back and colleagues videotaped an actress as she made facial expressions for emotions including surprise, worry, relief, and disapproval. Back's team showed the video clips to 18 children with autism and 18 children without autism. All of the children were 10-15 years old. After watching the clips, the children got a list of two emotions and picked the emotion they had seen on the actress' face.

Click here to read entire story.
SOURCES: Back, E. Child Development, March/April 2007; vol 78: pp 397-411. News release, Society for Research in Child Development. © 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

The USAAA WeeklyNews® is made possible in part by a generous donation from CARE Clinics™.
Please click on the CARE Clinics' links below to learn more about the use of their proven methodology, using the safest yet modern treatment approaches available, diagnosing and developing a treatment protocol matching the unique set of genetic and physiological factors that underlie each child’s condition.
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In This Issue :
Feature Articles
Drug Compounding In Jeopardy
Proposed bill would give the FDA full control over compounding

Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head
The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain.

Speaker Spotlight
Steven Gutstein, PhD
Valerie Herskowitz, MA CCC-SLP
Devin Houston, PhD.

My Baby Can Dance: Stories of Autism, Asperger's and Success Through the Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI®) Program
by Steven E. Gutstein, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2006

Computer-Based Intervention for Individuals With Autism
by Valerie Herskowitz, MA CCC-SLP

Enzymes: Q&A with Dr. Houston
by Devin Houston, PhD

Simpsonwood Remembered Rally
Moms Against Mercury (MAM) and the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD) invite you to attend the Rally

Autism and the Schools
Teaching even the basics can be challenging

USAAA conference registration online

USAAA News Around the World
Autistic Kids May Read People's Eyes
Study: Autistic Children May Be Able to Gauge Emotion From Facial Expression

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Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes; A Parent-Physician Team Approach (Softcover)
by Lawrence P. Kaplan, Ph.D., Jay D. Burstein, M.D. (Editor)

Review: by Midwest Book Review
Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes is a guide written particularly for parents confronted with the unique challenges of raising an autistic child. Each of the ten steps is discussed and supported with the latest research and understanding of the nature of autism and successful means of treating it with the aid of a physician. Diagnosis Autism focuses above all on cultivating a strong family-physician bond in the best interests of an autistic child; thus the steps range from "Monitor and Chart Your Child's Development" and "Organize Information for Physician Interview" to "Formulate Questions for Physician Appointment", "Initiate Treatment and Program Approaches", "Listen and Be Open Minded", and "Review, Negotiate & Follow Through". Diagnosis Autism is not a complete instructional manual on autism and how to treat it, but rather focuses upon the most difficult and challenging issues that parents and physicians have to deal with, and the common situations and misunderstandings that can crop up over sensitive issues. Highly recommended for families with an autistic child or adolescent member. Available at, Barnes and, and many other bookstores.


USAAA International Conference

presented in part by International Hyperbarics Association


International Hyperbarics Association

Featured participating exhibitors for USAAA conference

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The official Bookstore for the USAAA 2007 International Conference

Inbox Readers' Comments are opinions from our subscribers. USAAA is not responsible for the content, accuracy or opinions expressed in this section.

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Comments from INBOX:

  • Dear Friends at Hopewell Pharmacy,
    My grandson is a patient of yours. He gets MB12 injections. I'm writing this because I am really afraid that something might happen to his ability to get his medicine. I hope you already know this but if you don't , the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists has received a draft of a bill proposed by Kennedy, Burr and Roberts to limit what compounding pharmacies can do. Here is their web page address. Please see for yourself: Click here. I spoke to Senator Kennedy's office today and was told that he will reconsider the language of the bill if enough people contact him and let him know that compounding pharmacies are important to them, and why. I'm sure that your patients, like my family, would call him in a heartbeat if asked. Please ask them. Without you, our family would be hopeless. MB12 has been our lifeline. Without it, I just don't know what we would do. I know we are not alone in our need for what you do, or our appreciation for you. Please do whatever you can to protect yourselves and the incredibly valuable work that you do. I will do my best too.

(Editor's note: Hopewell Pharmacy, College Pharmacy for Advanced Medical Therapeutics (AMT), and Wellness Health and Pharmacy, all exhibitors at the USAAA conferences, are asking everyone to contact Senator Kennedy's office and also write your own Senators to voice your opinion and stop this dangerous legislation).





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