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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. October 21, 2008

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


BitTorrent's Bram Cohen Isn't Limited by Asperger's

Bram Cohen has Asperger's, which makes it hard to deal with everyday life. Even so, he started his own company, BitTorrent

By Susan Berfield, BusinessWeek

Cohen in San Francisco, where his quirks aren't seen as a big deal
Eric Millette

Bram Cohen's brain works differently from most people's. He has Asperger's syndrome, a condition that keeps him rooted in the world of objects and patterns, puzzles and computers, but leaves him floating, disoriented, in the everyday swirl of human interactions.

When Cohen was in his late twenties he sat on a wooden chair with a Dell (DELL) keyboard on his lap for the better part of nine months writing a software program. In 2001 he introduced BitTorrent, an ingenious, disruptive, and controversial piece of technology that is available for free and lets people easily exchange huge amounts of digital information,from software upgrades to videos. Pirated movies have always been the most popular files shared. They, along with more legitimate files, now generate about half of all traffic on the Internet.

"New employees didn't know they could tell him they had to get back to work." And his overly blunt but rarely ill-intentioned comments didn't always go over well.

BitTorrent brought Cohen fame and notoriety. It turned him into a folk hero and a Hollywood villain. Later, to reclaim the program for himself and possibly for some greater good, Cohen was obliged to become something else he had never considered: a boss. Four years ago, at age 29, he co-founded a company, BitTorrent, to build a business around his software. He got good money from venture capitalists but is still trying to find a convincing strategy.

For Cohen, this has been a fraught journey into the sometimes bewildering world of the office.

There is no point in sugarcoating things, because if you do, he may miss the whole point. You just tell him: 'Bram, you're wrong. Bram, don't say things like that.' Usually you would never do that to your boss."

Click here for entire story.


 

Why Couldn’t Autism be the Result of a Monkey Virus?

By Kent Heckenlively, Esq., Age of Autism

Even when you’ve taken on a case as an attorney you keep investigating the claims of your client. Because there are few things worse than sitting across the table in arbitration when the other side makes an assertion you’ve never heard before.

You start to sit back in your chair because you’re certain your client would’ve told you of such a fact, but then see your client starting to sweat. You call a recess, take your client outside to find out what’s going on, only to find a good deal of your case has now crumbled.

It’s because I’ve had that happen a few times in my legal career that I continue to research the question of monkey viruses and autism, despite having spent many hours in conversation with Dr. Martin and various parents who are using his therapy with their children. It's a theory which keeps me scratching my head because it seems to come from so far out of left field.

Click here for entire article.


 

See the Light; Mercury is NOT Green!
The Urgent Need to Recycle

From the SafeMinds Environmental Committee

With the massive push that is underway to promote the use of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), it is highly unfortunate that equal effort has not been put into promoting the need to recycle them. All fluorescent lamps contain mercury and should be recycled at the end of their life cycle. Fluorescent lamps should never be disposed of in household trash. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists estimate that nearly 100% of fluorescent bulbs placed in regular trash collection will break by the time they reach our landfills contaminating both the transportation chain and the landfills themselves.

The EPA estimates that 670,000,000 fluorescent bulbs of all kinds were disposed of in the United States in 2004. "These discarded bulbs can release approximately 2 to 4 tons of mercury per year into the environment." The use of compact fluorescent bulbs in particular has exploded. From an estimated 17,000 bulbs sold in 2000, CFL sales increased to approximately 150 million in 2006 and a whopping 380 million in 2007.

The most pressing unanswered question for recyclers is exactly how many fluorescent bulbs are being disposed of in 2008.

Click here for entire article.


 

My Child IS Making Progress - WHY Would the School Switch Reading Programs?

[Wrightslaw] published a series of articles about reading and how essential a good reading program is for preventing reading failure. If you have not seen progress in reading, you may need to consider a remedial program for your child.

You've read about the importance of research based programs used with young children to foster early literacy.

If your child is making documented progress in a reading program, why would you want to switch programs?

Click here for entire article.


 

Doctors Told to Curb Use of Ritalin in Hyperactive Children

mercola.com

According to new British health guidelines, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be treated with drugs such as Ritalin only in severe cases and never when they are younger than 5.

There is widespread concern that such medication is used too freely to calm hyperactive children. The new policy is that most children with ADHD should instead be offered psychological therapy to improve their behavior, backed up by training to support their parents and teachers.

"American children are three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs like Ritalin than children in Europe. "

Up to 3 percent of school-age children in Britain may be affected by ADHD, but only about a third to a quarter of these would qualify as severe cases. The symptoms of ADHD include an inability to concentrate for long periods, hyperactive and restless behavior, and impulsive actions.

A study just came out that found American children are three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs like Ritalin than children in Europe. This guideline urging for a cut-back in the use of Ritalin came from Britain, but it should be blasted through the offices of every pediatrician in the United States as well.

The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has on two recent occasions written to U.S. officials expressing concern about the six-fold increase in Ritalin usage since 1990.

Every year there are 6 million prescriptions filled for Ritalin. U.S. pharmacists distribute five times more Ritalin than the rest of the world combined, according to Dr. Samuel Epstein’s Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC). In fact, CPC states that the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has on two recent occasions written to U.S. officials expressing concern about the six-fold increase in Ritalin usage since 1990.

In all, 60 percent to 90 percent of U.S. kids with attention deficit disorders are prescribed this powerful drug, which amounts to 3 percent to 5 percent of U.S. children and teens on Ritalin.

Click here for entire article.



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2008 USAAA International Conference
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In This Issue:

BitTorrent's Bram Cohen Isn't Limited by Asperger's

Why Couldn’t Autism be the Result of a Monkey Virus?

See the Light; Mercury is NOT Green!

My Child IS Making Progress - WHY Would the School Switch Reading Programs?

Doctors Told to Curb Use of Ritalin in Hyperactive Children

Click here for Conference DVDs


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