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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. August 23, 2008

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

USAAA Sibling Award Announced

Mashal Mirza

US Autism & Asperger Association announced today the winner of the USAAA Autism Sibling Scholarship Award. This year's winner is Mashal Mirza. The thirteen year old from Tennessee was the winning applicant for the scholarship program.

The USAAA Autism Sibling Scholarship Award Program recognizes siblings for their unique contributions to individuals with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome and encourages further contribution to those affected by autism. Scholarships are given to siblings of individuals with autism who demonstrate excellence in assisting their brother or sister and who will use the scholarships for a beneficial purpose that supports the autism community.

"This carnival would be for autistic kids only, because they do not like regular carnivals, which are loud and pushy."

When asked what beneficial purpose she would serve with the cash that would support anyone with autism, Mashal responded, "I would want to hold a carnival for kids with autism. This carnival would be for autistic kids only, because they do not like regular carnivals, which are loud and pushy. This carnival will provide stations along with therapists that give us activity that will stimulate sensory. Soft, comforting music would play, and the kids would have fun, because they will not get over stimulated. Activities will include swimming and jumping."

Mashal will receive a $500 award to begin her project. She will also be a guest on the Sibling Panel at this year's annual conference in Austin, Texas. We will be following Mashal as she develops her program with updates on her progress to host a carnival for children affected by autism spectrum disorders. Congratulations Mashal.


Concert Pianist to perform at USAAA conference

USAAA is honored to announce that concert pianist, Michael Schneider, will perform at this year's USAAA conference during the Special Event, Saturday night, September 6.

Critics have hailed MICHAEL SCHNEIDER as 'a pianist with exceptional insight' and a 'performer with great panache' at venues including Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, the International Chopin Festival at the legendary château of George Sand in France, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Steinway Hall, and the 8th Annual Paderewski Festival in California. He has won top prizes in the 7th San Antonio Competition, the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition in New York, the Paderewski and Liszt Competitions in Poland, the Grace Welsh Prize for Piano, and the Frinna Awerbuch Competition. In 2005, he joined the piano faculty of the Dana School of Music in Youngstown and returned to Texas in the fall of 2007 to study with Anton Nel.

'a pianist with exceptional insight' and a 'performer with great panache' at venues including Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall

In the '07-'08 season, Michael performed the Poulenc Concerto for two pianos, the Gershwin Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue, and the Beethoven Triple Concerto with orchestras. He also had solo performances at the California Music Teachers State Convention, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, was the featured guest artist of the Texas Music Teachers Association State Convention in Houston, and most recently performed two solo recitals at the 2nd Hungarian Festival in Cancun, Mexico.

In November, Michael will perform Rhapsody in Blue with the Plano Symphony (TX) and has a solo recital scheduled at the Liszt Museum in Budapest (May 16, 2009). Please visit for the latest information and performance schedule.

Click here for more information about the USAAA conference. If you have registered for the conference and would like to purchase tickets for the Special Event, Saturday, September 6, click here. You may also purchase your tickets online when you register for the conference.

So join us for a fun and relaxing evening featuring a scrumptious buffet dinner with a special performance by concert pianist Michael Schneider. Later in the evening there will be dancing with music by Penguin entertainment.



Smart IEPs

If you are like many parents, you feel anxious and insecure at IEP meetings. What do you know? What can you offer? What should you do?

Some parents believe that if they are not educators, they have nothing of value to offer in planning their child’s educational program. Other parents realize that their child’s IEP is not appropriate but do not know how to resolve the problem. Diane belongs to this group:

I do not think my son’s IEP is appropriate. The only goal is ‘Commitment o academic success.’ I imagine ‘Commitment to academic success’ is appropriate for all students. If ‘Commitment to academic success’ is not appropriate, what should I propose?

How are measurable goals defined? Can you give me an example of a well-written IEP? (Diane, parent of 15-year-old special education student)

Diane represents countless parents who are confused about IEP goals and objectives. If you are the parent of a child with a disability, you are probably confused too. How do you write IEP goals and objectives? Do you agree with Diane when she says, “Commitment to academic success is not an appropriate goal?”

Click here for entire story.


Special Trusts Can Aid Families
August 24, 2008

My 10-year-old son has autism and will need care the rest of his life. This has put quite an emotional and financial strain on my husband and me. His parents and mine are willing to help, but we've heard it's not a good idea to put our son in their will because it might affect his ability to qualify for financial aid. Can you shed light on this?

First, a word of encouragement: You are not alone, and many support groups and resources exist to help you.

Click here for entire article.


Speaker Spotlight
Mother encourages parents to look at all the options

Shannon Kenitz

Shannon Kenitz will present "Hope and Possibilities" at the USAAA 2008 International Conference in Austin, Texas, on Friday, September 5th. In this one hour presentation, mother and widely sought lecturer, Shannon Kenitz describes the ordeal her daughter, Grace, has had to overcome after being diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disorder and autism. Shannon encourages parents to inform themselves, to look at all the options before them and to never give up.

"Though the path may be very different for each of us, we do have one very important thing in common and that is our unspoken love for our children and our determination to make a difference in their life."

Degreed in psychology, Shannon Kenitz is the Executive Director of the International Hyperbarics Association, a non-profit organization that promotes Hyperbaric Therapy through education and research. Shannon Kenitz knows firsthand the heartbreak and struggles of having a child with a disability.

"Grace has taught me so much more about life than I could ever learned on my own. "

Click here to learn more about the 2008 Conference.


Speaker Spotlight
Treating yourself with your child

Kazuko A I Curtin

Kazuko Curtin, will present "Treating yourself with your child”, at the USAAA 2008 International Conference in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 6th. Kazuko will discuss how she has worked with many parents of children with autism who suffer from chronic conditions and toxicity, including heavy metal toxicity, chronic infections, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety disorder, autoimmune disease, and cancer, to name a few. It is thought that many parents are exposed to toxins similar to their children. It is her experience that parents entering nutritional and detoxification programs with their children can help to improve both parent and child health outcomes.

Kazuko AI Curtin is the founder and CEO of CARE Clinics. Over a decade ago, Kazuko set out to find the very best treatments for her son, James, who was diagnosed with autism at two years-of-age, and given no chance of recovery. Since that time, Kazuko has traveled the world in search of answers for her son. First, Kazuko developed expertise in behavior therapy. She received training in ABA therapy, and invented “Autism Visual Learning Method”, which is patented in the U.S., and is pending in 150 countries. Then she learned about biomedical treatments for James, and began building what later became CARE Clinics. Kazuko was a successful entrepreneur since she was a college student in Tokyo.

Kazuko is the author of New Autism Treatment Paradigm, printed in Japanese. An english version will be available in late 2008.

Click here to learn more about the 2008 Conference.

DID You Know?
The safest fish to eat
Better Nutrition

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program, the safest fish to eat include Pacific Cod, Pacific halibut, sardines, and wild-caught Alaska salmon. The program found that farmed salmon, Atlantic cod, orange roughy, imported shrimp, tilapia, and bluefin tuna are higher in toxins.

In This Issue:

USAAA Sibling Award Announced

Concert pianist to perform at USAAA conference

Smart IEPs

Special Trusts Can Aid Families
Speaker Spotlight - Mother encourages parents to look at all the options

Speaker Spotlight -Treating yourself with your child

DID You Know? - The safest fish to eat

holly robinson Peete

Keynote Address:
Holly Robinson Peete

Actress, Singer, and Author Holly Robinson Peete will deliver the Keynote Address at the USAAA 2008 Autism & Asperger International Conference which will also include more than 30 of the world’s leading Autism Spectrum Disorder experts who will discuss new treatment regimes and effective therapies never before presented to the public. Ms. Peete, along with husband Rodney – a former NFL quarterback, has become a vocal national advocate for autism-affected families. The Peetes have successfully managed marriage challenges and the difficulties faced in raising their son Rodney Jr. who is affected by autism… and they are still going strong as a family after 12 years! Ms. Peete will offer her compelling testimony on the twin miracles of compassion and communication.

2008 Conference
Register Now!

or call 1-866-208-0207

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closes in one week!

USAAA has officially launched its YouTube Video Channel. In the video above, learn from the experts about the USAAA conference. Many more videos will be launched in the next month. Be sure to subscribe to receive notices on new videos uploaded to the channel.

Click here to subscribe to the Official USAAA YouTube Video Channel. There is no cost to subscribe.

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The USAAA WeeklyNews® is made possible in part by generous donations from CARE Clinics™ and Oxy Health Corporation.

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Click here to view the YouTube Video on the conference at The Official USAAA YouTube Video Channel

USAAA 2008 Annual International
Autism and Asperger Conference,
Austin, Texas, September 4-7, 2008

2008 Conference - Register Now!

US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. (USAAA) kicks off its third annual International Autism and Asperger Conference (and 5th overall conference since 2006) in Austin, Texas, September 4 - 7, 2008. Over thirty of the world’s most renowned leading autism experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine. The conference is presented in part by CARE Clinics and International Hyperbarics Association and will be held at the Hilton Austin Airport.


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©2008 US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 532, Draper, UT 84020-0532
1-888-9AUTISM (1-888-928-8476) , 801-816-1234