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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. October 5 , 2007

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

Introducing USAAA Parent's Forum

USAAA Parent's Forum is a new section of USAAA WeeklyNews, where you send us your story about your experience with autism and Asperger's Syndrome on a specific topic each week. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, caregiver, or have any experience with autism spectrum disorders, your stories help provide insight into the world of autism.

This week's topic is: "The Financial Journey through Autism".

Please send us your story in 500 words or less. Include your full name, email address, and in the subject line include this week's topic. Submissions are condensed and edited. Because of the volume of mail received, not all submissions are published. Information other than your name are kept confidential.

Click here to submit your story.

Introducing USAAA Expert's Corner

USAAA Expert's Corner is a new section of USAAA WeeklyNews, where we feature information from a leading autism expert.

This week's expert is: James A. Neubrander, MD, FAAEM.

Methyl B12 - In our practice we continue to see that methyl-B12, when used correctly, is still the single most predictable treatment we have to treat children on the autistic spectrum that gives numerous global benefits at the same time. At follow-up our average number of responses during the initial 1st six week methyl-B12 Initiation Phase is 30 to 45 or more. We have now monitored well over ½ million doses of methyl-B12 using numerous protocols. From these data we can document that over 90% of our patients are able to demonstrate undeniable changes as a result of the shots. Of this Responder Group, approximately 20% have remarkable gains, 20% moderate gains, and the remaining 60% show only mild improvements.

Understanding the difference between the deficiency vs. dependency concept of methyl-B12 allows us to understand that when methyl-B12 is used at the doses needed to positively affect children on the autistic spectrum, it is being used as a pharmacologic agent, not as a vitamin to treat a nutritional deficiency. This is no different than when lithium – a nutritional mineral -- is used at pharmacologic doses to treat bipolar disorders. Patients with bipolar disorders are not deficient of lithium but they definitely are dependent upon lithium for its pharmacological, not nutritional effects. So it appears to be with methyl-B12 and autism wherein no true nutritional deficit is present but rather the children are dependent upon its pharmacological effects.

To purchase PDF files of Dr. Neubrander's papers that were published in the Conference Proceedings Manual from the USAAA 2007 annual conference, click here. To purchase DVDs, click here. Proceeds go toward USAAA's scholarship fund which allow individuals to attend USAAA conferences.

Agency shows pattern of denying autism services
by YVETTE CABRERA Register columnist
Orange County Register
October 4, 2007

In legal decisions made over the past four years, judges from California’s Office of Administrative Hearings have determined that the Regional Center of Orange County has repeatedly violated state law in denying behavioral services to children with autism who had been found to urgently need these services.

One judge went so far as to say that the RCOC has a policy of denying behavioral services to children over the age of 3. In at least four OAH fair hearing decisions from 2004 to 2007, the OAH judges ordered the agency to reimburse parents retroactively for thousands of dollars the families had paid to provide their children with one-on-one applied behavioral analysis therapy, or ABA.

Click here for entire story.


My Special Education Journey from Emotions to Advocacy
by Becky Milton

Our special education journey started 10 years ago at a small rural county in southeastern Georgia. My son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 5.

In the 2nd grade he was put in a Behavior Modification class for 30 minutes per day and eventually graduated to 60 minutes and 90 minutes. As a result more time was taken away from his regular classes and more time was spent in school suspension and out of school suspension.

I was contacted by his teachers on a daily basis and principals/vice principals at least once a week. Their theory was “His behavior at school is your responsibility”. Over the next several years, these professionals continued to blame us for my son’s behavior.

We followed their rules and supported their decisions in the process of attempting to determine the reason (s) for his behavior.

I attended every IEP meeting (with the exception of one in which I was not invited) and I was completely available to the district. I listened to their continuous complaints and I punished my son consecutively because of their wishes.

Because my son learned at a very early age how to exaggerate the truth, I believed the teachers/principals/vice principals. I took to him to doctors and paid for testing outside of the district. I noticed the doctors and psychologists raising their eyebrows over incidents that occurred at school. But I continued to believe in the system. After all, I had known most of these professionals for most of my life.

My Son was Slipping Away...

Click here for entire story.


8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker
by Jennifer Bollero

Ms. Bollero, attorney and mother of a child with autism, describes important differences between advocacy and parenting, explains why you need to learn the rules and strategies . When you learn the rules, you reduce the risks when you negotiate for your child; this article includes "Eight Steps to Better IEP Meetings."

Click here for entire story.


Do All Children with Disabilities Have a Right to a Free Appropriate Public Education?

On Monday, October 1, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in New York City Board of Education v. Tom F., on Behalf of Gilbert F., a Minor Child.

The Court will decide whether all children with disabilities, including those who attend private schools, are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The decision will have significant implications for parents, school districts, and children with disabilities who receive special education services.

Click here for entire story.


Virtually All U.S. Doctors Accept Money, Freebies from Drug Companies
by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Based on four different papers, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the PLoS Medicine, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the efforts to curb drug companies’ courting of your doctors is still ineffective.

In fact, the industry is working harder than ever to influence which medicines you are prescribed, by sending out sales representatives with greater frequency, bringing gifts, meals and offering consulting fees to high prescribers.

Click here for entire story.

news from around the world

Personalising learning for those with Asperger's Syndrome

Although mainstream schools suit most children’s needs, there are some students for whom a typical classroom is an ineffective learning environment.

Eileen Field, Head Teacher at Accipio School, looks at how to accommodate the needs of pupils with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s syndrome is a life-long condition on the autistic spectrum from which approximately one in 200 people suffer, predominantly males.

Those with the condition lack the ability to pick up non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and although they generally have good language skills, they find it hard to understand hidden meanings in conversation such as idioms, jokes or sarcasm....

...Students with Asperger’s Syndrome lack organisational skills yet change and unpredictable situations cause them great distress. Consequently they need those around them to create a sense of order and reduce the confusion and anxiety that can overwhelm them.

To thrive in a mainstream school, students with Asperger’s Syndrome need to share a well-ordered and quiet classroom with relatively few other students. They benefit from considerable encouragement and need very clear instructions and explanations that do not require interpretation.

Click here for entire story.


System spots autism in toddlers
By Leigh Dayton, Science writer
The Australian
October 4, 2007

Children as young as 14 months of age can be reliably diagnosed with autism, according to an Adelaide psychologist who has devised a tool to help experts detect the telltale signs of the lifelong disability.

Robyn Young, head of the Early Intervention Research Program at Flinders University, said the assessment tool could even be used to identify risk in children as young as 12 months.

Until now, there have not been widely available systems for accurately assessing autism because there are no biological markers or tests. People with the disorder have impaired social interaction, communication and imagination, and often engage in repetitive patterns of behaviour.

Associate Professor Young's system - called Autism Detection in Early Childhood - is the first method to assess 16 behaviours linked to the core brain deficits driving autism. "I had two little ones, 12 and 14 months, this week," Professor Young said. Using ADEC, she found the older child had been misdiagnosed as autistic, while the younger was very likely to have the disorder.

Click here for entire story.

In This Issue :
Introducing USAAA Parent's Forum
› Introducing USAAA Expert's Corner

› Agency shows pattern of denying autism services
› My Special Education Journey from Emotions to Advocacy

› 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker
› Do All Children with Disabilities Have a Right to a Free Appropriate Public Education?
› Virtually All U.S. Doctors Accept Money, Freebies from Drug Companies

USAAA News Around the World

› Personalising learning for those with Asperger's Syndrome
› System spots autism in toddlers

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GET YOUR DVDs or Video/Audio downloads from the 2007 USAAA International Conference
Purchase downloads of presentations for playback on your computer in QuickTime, iTunes, and on your video iPod. Also, available are conference DVDs either as a single presentation or multiple packages. Click here for more information.
Get all 35 presentations on a Video DVD-ROM: All recorded presentations, for playback on your Computer in iTunes, Quicktime, or video iPods for only $165.00. That's only $4.71 for each presentation!!!


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

Send in your comments to INBOX.

Comments from readers:

I have a daughter that has autism. She is now 13. Early intervention is definitely the way to go. She has come a long way and has a long way to go. I just want to say to all parents that have kids with autism, don't get discouraged. Just keep fighting for your child. Help is out there. —Constance

I agreed with the jist of the show [Larry King Live] and what Jenny was trying to portray about her situation. However, I do not think that the majority of the audience understood this was her situation and not all of us choose or can afford a DAN doctor, GF/CF diet, etc. I feel that all of the emphasis has been on the diet and not the hard work, commitment, time and effort that our children have given to their therapies. My son is amazing and I feel he deserves the credit for becoming the wonderful little man he is. It is a personal decision and no matter what treatments we choose we need to do what is right for our children and our family. —Missy

The show was good, but enough talk about these celebrities with children with autism. I am a mother of two children with autism and we need to talk about money. We all know how expensive it is to raise any child with special needs. We need more funding for programs to be available for more families. Our medical insurance companies need to provide more for our kids. We pay enough money as it is. I would love to give my child more speech, swimming and other therapies that are not vendered by Regional Center. We need the celebrities to talk about this problem. —Debbie

I'm a school physical therapist and mother of 2 on the autism spectrum (now recovered using biomedical interventions/DAN treatments). Thanks to Jenny for speaking up!!! So many of us have similar stories, but given her celebrity status, she can get the word out to so many more people. I don't believe vaccines are the only trigger for autism, but I believe they are involved in a great many cases (my kids included). The CDC needs to admit this ugly, but increasingly undeniable truth and get on with treating all these kids! Insurance should cover biomedical interventions! —Anne



©2007 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
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