US Autism and Asperger Association wishes you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with opportunities.
Dear supporters of USAAA:
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 Providing the Opportunity: the way to a more purposeful life through Education, Research, Support, and Solutions. We reflect on the year 2007 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.
As I look back over the last two and one half years, it is clear to me that it takes a whole group of dedicated individuals that include Board of Directors, Advisory Board members, conference volunteers, sponsors, conference speakers, conference exhibitors, members, researchers, web designers and many more people to develop and strengthen an organization. The triumphs we have had this past year have been the result of inspiration, taking chances and demanding work of many people. All in all, there were hundreds of individuals who contributed their efforts to help support the USAAA mission.
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,
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD
USAAA Executive Director and Founder
Reflecting back in 2007
- Conferences - USAAA hosted two conferences that brought over 1600 people together. Leading researchers, clinicians, educators, behavioral & developmental specialists presented biomedical and behavioral interventions. Attendees lives were changed dramatically. They gained important information, empowering them to help their children, family, patients, friends, and others touched by autism. Attendees went home armed with tools of practical protocols, valuable hope, and new resources for support. Over one-hundred companies displayed new and innovative products.
- Autism Today and USAAA partnered to host the Autism Vancouver Biennial Congress 2007.
- USAAA aligned with Autism Society of Boulder County to host the USAAA 2007 International Conference in Denver.
- Live webcasts of both conferences were again offered by USAAA in 2007. USAAA was the first autism and Asperger's organization to offer a live webcast during the annual conference in August, 2006.
- News - The USAAA WeeklyNews reached over 50,000 individuals around the world every week. In 2007, we introduced new areas into the weekly publication.
- Parent's Forum provided an opportunity for you to send us your story about your experience with autism and Asperger's Syndrome on a specific topic each week. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, and others who had any experience with autism spectrum disorders, submitted stories to help provide insight into the world of autism.
- Expert's Corner featured information from leading autism experts in both education and medicine.
- Environmental Issues was introduced to address the ongoing problems of worldwide environmental toxicity associated with autism.
- Research - At the end of this year, USAAA began discussions with organizations, researchers and universities to submit proposals for new research opportunities that will be funded by USAAA.
Two of the studies under consideration are:
- Viral study of various infections with organisms that are afflicting our children.
- The possible brain inflammation of individuals with autism.
- Other -
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) began recommending that pediatricians screen all children for autism twice by age 2. Through US Autism and Asperger Association’s constant efforts in educating pediatricians and the Academy about the autism epidemic, our voices were finally heard. One of Dr. Kaplan's first goals for USAAA was to address the significant delay in diagnosis occurring nationwide. He first brought this issue to the attention of the AAP in 2000.
- USAAA supported many other autism organizations in their advocacy towards legislative acts.
- The following appointments were made during 2007:
- Phillip C. DeMio, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer. As senior clinical advisor, Dr. DeMio will provide management oversight of the organization’s research, surveillance, epidemiology and international programs. He will frequently serve as chief spokesperson regarding medical and scientific policy issues.
- Theresa K. Wrangham as Director of Educational Development and Conference Liaison. Theresa enters into a new role with USAAA as she expands educational programs into new areas to benefit all who are associated with the autism and Asperger's Syndrome communities.
- Raun K. Kaufman, CEO of the Autism Treatment Center of America™ to the USAAA Advisory Board.
- Kurt Woeller, MD, Stillpoint Center for Integrative Medicine, to USAAA Scientific Advisory Board.
- Shannon Kenitz, International Hyperbaric Association to USAAA Advisory Board.
USAAA is excited to continue Providing the Opportunity: the way to a more purposeful life through Education, Research, Support, and Solutions in 2008.
In January, USAAA will introduce the Autism Library, an online virtual library of autism and Aspergers resources. The library will provide information for affected individuals and their families/caregivers, practitioners, students, teachers, and anyone associated with autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
In February, Autism Today and USAAA will host Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008, February 14-17, 2008 at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The conference will feature twenty two of the world's foremost autism experts speaking on a full range of topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan. To register, click here.
In early 2008, USAAA will introduce its autism store, a vast source of information and products. Proceeds from the store will help fund USAAA projects including clinical research projects and a sibling-support program.
USAAA will be funding two new research projects in 2008. The clinical research projects during the year will include a viral study of various infections with organisms that are afflicting our children, and a study of the possible brain inflammation of individuals with autism.
USAAA will launch a sibling-support program in 2008. USAAA will extend beyond the Sibling Panel Discussions presented at USAAA Conferences by partnering with various organizations that provide support for siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
In September 2008, USAAA will host the USAAA 2008 International Conference, September 4-7 at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel in Austin, Texas. Over thirty of the world's leading experts will present a full range of topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders, bringing "Biomedical Treatments, Behavioral and Developmental Therapies Together."
The USAAA Weekly News will continue to be delivered to your email inbox every week.
USAAA is developing new projects for 2008. These include clinical research projects, a sibling-support project and the Autism Library. 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.