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US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. February 19, 2010

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


Headlines:

Family learns with autism: Where there's a will, there's a way

Autism and Asperger syndrome underdiagnosed in women, researchers say

Special Education Law and Advocacy Final Exam

Do you or a loved one have Asperger’s syndrome?

Autism Reshaping Grandparent Role, Survey Finds

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Family learns with autism: Where there's a will, there's a way

MADISON (WKOW) - Unless you live with autism, you can't know what it's like. And our story can only touch the surface of the life of a family that's spent the past six years dealing with not one, but two autistic children.

Calvin and Peter are eight-year-old twins. Their differences are more pronounced than just their looks because Peter has extreme autism. The Moen family shows us "Where there's a will, there's a way."

"I don't know that we would have known that he's as bright as he is without that vehicle because Peter doesn't even have a reliable ability to shake his head yes or no."

"Wake up, wake up, sleepy head." Their days start very early with a gentle wake-up. And Peter heading for his swing, his refuge. Jackie Moen intentionally keeps their mornings low stress; to do otherwise is counterproductive. "Calvie, time to come eat. Pete..." They always sit together over breakfast, engaged in word games and singing. Calvin plays along.

And Peter does too, but in his own way. Pete was the first to be diagnosed with autism, when he was two. Click here for more information on Family learns with autism: Where there's a will, there's a way.

Click here for video.


 

Autism and Asperger syndrome underdiagnosed in women, researchers say

David Rose, Health Correspondent and Rachel Carlyle

Autism and related conditions are being underdiagnosed in women and teenage girls, with many cases being confused with eating disorders or other problems, researchers say.

With symptoms such as social isolation, communication difficulties or a fanatical interest in categorising objects or obscure mathematical problems, autism has previously been seen as a male preserve.

"In a study of 60 patients at an English psychiatric hospital, none had an autistic condition diagnosed after routine screening, despite 11 later being shown to have been confirmed cases."

Up to 80 per cent of diagnosed cases of autism are in boys, with the proportion rising to an estimated 15 male cases for every female with Asperger syndrome, a milder form of the condition. However, researchers due to speak at Britain’s first academic conference on the issue will suggest that many more girls are on the autistic spectrum than previously thought, with doctors and parents failing to notice or misinterpreting the telltale signs. Click here for more information on Autism and Asperger syndrome underdiagnosed in women, researchers say.


 

Special Education Law and Advocacy Final Exam

To be a successful advocate you must gather facts and information. Advocates educate themselves about their local school district and state academic standards.

Advocates read special education laws, regulations, and cases to get answers to their questions.

"A child who advances steadily from grade to grade, without failing grades, cannot be classified as a child with a disability.

True / False

Advocates know legal rights. Advocates know the procedures that parents must follow to protect their rights and their child’s right to a free, appropriate public education.

For a good overview of the law and a test of your knowledge, try the final exam they [Pete and Pam Wright] administered to their students. Click here for more information on Special Education Law and Advocacy Final Exam.


 

Do you or a loved one have Asperger’s syndrome?
The condition and autism spectrum disorder manifests as unusual behavior in social settings

By Linda Lewis Griffith | Special to The Tribune

"Focus on your loved one’s strengths. There are many great qualities about this person. Do your best to avoid dwelling on the negative, and enjoy what he does really well."

Do you sometimes hold one-sided, long-winded conversations without noticing that your listener has tuned you out?

Are you fascinated, even obsessed, with topics that hold little interest for other people? Do loved ones complain that you’re insensitive to their feelings? Have you always felt different than other people? Then you may have Asperger’s syndrome, and it’s probably impacting your relationships.

Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is a neurological impairment manifested by odd or inappropriate behavior in a variety of social settings. Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger first identified it in 1944; however, his work remained largely unknown until the mid-1970s when it was translated into English. The American Psychiatric Association first included the syndrome in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1994. Click here for more information on Do you or a loved one have Asperger’s syndrome?


 

Autism Reshaping Grandparent Role, Survey Finds

By Michelle Diament

Grandparents are often the first to suspect that a child may have autism and they play a major role in caring for children once they are diagnosed, according to preliminary findings from what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind survey of grandparents of those on the autism spectrum.

Initial results from the ongoing survey conducted by the Interactive Autism Network, or IAN, paint a revealing picture of life with autism extending far beyond the nuclear family. Across the board, grandparents report being heavily involved in the daily lives of their grandchildren with autism.

"nearly all grandparents said they read or do research to learn about autism and many report participating in fundraisers or advocating on behalf of their grandchild."

Over 36 percent say they take care of their grandchild at least once a week and about 1 in 5 indicate that they provide regular transportation for the child. Moreover, 72 percent of grandparents say they play some role in making treatment decisions for their grandchild. Click here for more information on Autism Reshaping Grandparent Role, Survey Finds.


Quote of the Day

"My mind works just like Google for images" —Temple Grandin, PhD


 

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