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US Autism & Asperger Association
June 18, 2010

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


Autistic Student's Inspirational Graduation Speech

Apple’s revolutionary iPad a near-miracle for autistic boy (with videos)

Dr. Tom Insel, Head of the IACC, Questioned on Ethics Reform

Continuing education offered at USAAA conference

Eating as if our lives depended on it

Shop Our Partners Now

Autistic Student's Inspirational Graduation Speech

Eric Duquette is the salutatorian of his high school, an honor student, a musician, and he has autism.

The 18-year-old Duquette, who couldn't say a word until age five, gave the commencement speech at his high school graduation ceremony Tuesday night in Smithfield, Rhode Island. "My parents were told I would most likely end up in an institution," said Duquette. "I stand before you accepted into every institution of higher learning I applied to."

"In addition to professional therapy, mother taught son using sign language and cards with pictures and symbols.

He stood at the podium wearing a green cap and gown and a big grin on his face. His speech, funny and touching, was met with enthusiastic applause from his peers.

Duquette graduated from Smithfield High School with the second-highest grade point average in a class of just under 200 students. He will attend Rhode Island College in the fall, with plans to study biology and eventually become a pharmacist.

Click here for more information on Autistics Student's Inspirational Graduation Speech.


Apple’s revolutionary iPad a near-miracle for autistic boy (with videos)

"My son Leo's life was transformed when a five-dollar raffle ticket turned into a brand-new iPad," Shannon Des Roches Rosa reports for BlogHer.

"I'm not exaggerating," Des Roches Rosa reports. "Before the iPad, Leo's autism made him dependent on others for entertainment, play, learning, and communication. With the iPad, Leo electrifies the air around him with independence and daily new skills. People who know Leo are amazed when they see this new boy rocking that iPad."

"With the iPad, Leo electrifies the air around him with independence and daily new skills.

Des Roches Rosa reports, "I'm impressed, too, especially when our aggressively food-obsessed boy chooses to play with his iPad rather than eat. I don't usually dabble in miracle-speak, but I may erect a tiny altar to Steve Jobs in the corner of our living room."

Click here for more information on Apple’s revolutionary iPad a near-miracle for autistic boy (with videos).


Dr. Tom Insel, Head of the IACC, Questioned on Ethics Reform

Dr. Tom Insel, director of the National Institutes of Mental Health and leader of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in autism research ) has come under fire for his response to his agency's ethics reform programs.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: He Worked to Strengthen Ethics Rules, NIMH Director Aided a Leading Transgressor

"For those following the latest scandal at the National Institutes of Health (NIH): POGO is calling for a change in the leadership behind the NIH's efforts towards ethics reform.

A yearlong effort by the National Institutes of Health to toughen its policies against financial conflicts of interest was led by an administrator who quietly helped one of the most prominent transgressors get hired by the University of Miami after a decade of undisclosed corporate payments led to his departure from Emory University, a Chronicle investigation has found.

Click here for more information on Dr. Tom Insel, Head of the IACC, Questioned on Ethics Reform.


Continuing education offered at USAAA conference

Continuing education is offered throughout the entire US Autism & Asperger Association 5th Annual World Conference scheduled for October 1-3, 2010 at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. Certificate of Attendance (COA) will be offered to all professionals.

This program has been approved by the National Association of Social Workers - Missouri Chapter as well as The Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

"“This new format, called a 'conference of panels', features keynote presentations which segue into the themed panel workshops."

Four world-renowned autism experts, Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Stephen Shore, and Areva D. Martin, Esq. will provide keynote addresses in the areas of Learning and Sensory Problems, Medical and Research, Behavioral/Developmental Approaches, and Advocacy.

US Autism & Asperger Association’s unprecedented new conference format will be introduced at the USAAA annual conference. The new design will feature nine panel workshops in non-concurrent sessions in addition to the keynote addresses. Some of the world’s most renowned autism and Asperger experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine.

Click here for more information on the Conference sand Continuing education that is offered at the 5th annual USAAA conference.


Eating as if our lives depended on it

By Erica Gomez, a student at Portland State University

If I could go back to the fifth grade and award myself a superlative, it would probably be "Most Likely to Gag at the Sight of Kale." I was literally bottle-fed Coke as an infant and managed to survive a childhood mostly fueled by refined white flours, hotdogs and cupcakes. Fortunately, my eating habits have changed since then.

After moving to Portland in 2006, I was immersed in a world of sustainable and healthy eating and began to better understand the food system and how diet affects health. I enrolled in the master of public health program at Portland State University, where I have been researching food, nutrition and environmental health issues. While I had long known organic food was better for you, I did not realize how detrimental that pesticides are to our nation's health, especially that of children.

"Oregon has one of the highest rates of autism in the country, and as one of the leading agricultural states, we can't afford to continue pumping countless pesticides into our air, soil, water and food.

Last month was a pivotal month for pesticide awareness. At last, the president's cancer panel released a report that recommends eating organic food to decrease your risk of developing cancer, and a study released by Harvard and the University of Montreal linked ADHD in children with pesticide exposure. Besides being linked to cancer and ADHD, pesticides are a neurotoxin that pose an especially high threat to fetal, infant and childhood development, and can cause all manner of illnesses and conditions in children, including hormonal disruptions, birth defects, developmental disorders and autism. Even small amounts can dramatically affect the chemistry of your brain.

Click here for more information on Eating as if our lives depended on it.


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shoppingClick here to SHOP Our Partners Now! Donations from our partners will enable the US Autism & Asperger Association to enhance the quality of life of individuals and their families/caregivers touched by autism spectrum disorders and provide educational and family support through conferences/seminars and published and electronic mediums.


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Attention Speech-Language-Hearing Specialists and Social Workers!
Click here for ASHA and NASW continuing education information at the USAAA 5th annual conference.

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Newsletter Archives

US Autism & Asperger Association 2010 World Conference & Expo
October 1-3, St. Louis, Missouri


The 2010 US Autism & Asperger Association 5th Annual Conference will be held
October 1-3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. Featured speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Stephen Shore, Areva Martin, Esq., plus more.


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