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US Autism & Asperger Association
February 27, 2011

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


Autism and Sex

Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA

What I've Learned from Tantrums

Autism's Testosterone Question

Autism and Sex

laura shumakerby Laura Shumaker

I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and overheard a little girl of about 4 ask her mother this question:

"If you have the egg in your tummy, how does Daddy help it hatch? Does he have to sit on you?"

Ah, the early days of "the talk". I remember them well. The questions sneak up on you when you least expect them and you need to be ready introduce the topic without falling

Helping a child with autism comprehend the topic of sex is especially tricky,(at least in my experience), so much so that many parents hope it will never become "an issue".

Today, my friend Lindsey Nebeker, a young woman with autism, shares her perspective about love, sex and autism. Her story was recently featured on ABC.

So What's the Fascination With Autism and Sex?

Click here to read entire article, Autism and Sex.

Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA

ideaThe key portion of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act at 29 U. S. C. § 794 states:

Section 794. Nondiscrimination under Federal grants and programs (a) Promulgation of nondiscriminatory rules and regulations No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in Sec. 705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service . .

Section 504 requires an evaluation that draws information from a variety of sources.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, as it applies to public entities, is identical. Subchapter II, Part A, of the Americans with Disabilities Act at 42 U. S. C. § 12132 and § 12133 states:

Section 12132. Discrimination Subject to the provisions of this subchapter, no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.

Section. 12133. Enforcement The remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in section 794a of title 29 shall be the remedies, procedures, and rights this subchapter provides to any person alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of section 12132 of this title.

The language of ADA tracks Section 504 and explains that the remedies, procedures and rights under the ADA are the same as under the Rehabilitation Act. Except for accessibility of buildings, and modifications and accommodations in testing, Section 504 and ADA provide few protections and limited benefits to children with disabilities.

Click here for entire article on Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

What I've Learned from Tantrums

tantrumsby Kelly Peters, Child Therapist

Everyone has probably heard (and rolled their eyes at the idea) that all you do during a tantrum is ignore it. This is only half-true. In order to ignore effectively, you need to stay calm and be okay with what is happening. It’s hard to be okay while hearing your child scream, yell, hit, and cry tugs at your own emotions and nerves. This is where the learning comes in for you.

When you can find a good spot, sit, find a book, find a toy- entertain yourself. Do not engage.

Find a way to stay calm. Meditate, refocus your attention, and get your inner-self okay with what is going on. It's okay for young people to cry. It's okay for them to feel angry. It's okay for them to feel frustrated. It's their choice to tantrum. What you have to be okay with is, showing them that this choice will not cause you to give in.

Click here to read entire article, What I've learned from Tantrums.
Editor's note: The child may be in pain, which is not addressed in this article.

Autism's Testosterone Question



dr. huA gene that is suppressed in some people with autism may explain evidence of high testosterone levels, and could shed light on why autism affects males at four times the rate of females, according to a new study by GW researchers.

Some researchers have suggested there may be a link between autism and exposure of a fetus to elevated levels of testosterone, however “there’s been no explanation for why or how fetal testosterone gets elevated,” says lead author Valerie Hu, a professor in GW’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. some people with autism, leaves the body with a glut of testosterone...

In the study, published late Wednesday in the online journal PLoS One, Dr. Hu and her colleagues identified a downward spiral that, in some people with autism, leaves the body with a glut of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.

The affected gene is called RORA (short for retinoic acid-related orphan receptor-alpha), which Dr. Hu’s research previously has shown to be suppressed in brain tissue and lab-grown blood cells from some autistic males and females.

Click here to read entire article, Autism's Testosterone Question.

Dr. Valerie Hu is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The George Washington University Medical Center as well as a mother of a son with ASD and will be presenting at the Utah Valley University 2011 Mental Health Symposium: Focus on Autism, April 11. Click here for more information on the UVU Conference.

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