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US Autism & Asperger Association
April 15, 2011

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

Headlines:

Fly Away movie opens today

If You Can't Beat Depression, This Could be Why; The Gut-Brain Connection

Child Dismissed from Team, Parent Wants to File a Complaint

Protecting Students with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities

Fly Away movie opens today
a film by Janet Grillo

Fly Away Trailer
flyaway movie trailer

Fly Away is a gripping, life-enhancing low-budget little film about the physically and emotionally punishing struggles of a single mother raising an autistic child. The actors are so exemplary that it is difficult to imagine this is not a documentary. They might not be household names, but they will be. Jeanne (played by the excellent Beth Broderick) has sacrificed almost every aspect of her own life, devoting herself to her handicapped daughter, Mandy (the remarkable Ashley Rickards, from the TV show One Tree Hill), who is now 16 and scarcely able to brush her own teeth. - The New York Observer

Fly Away captures a remarkable relationship between a mother and daughter and their delicate dance through life.
Katie Scott, CollegeMovieReview.com

[Grillo] spent years focusing mostly on raising her son, but gradually returning to filmmaking, exec producing docu "Autism, The Musical" and directing the short "Flying Lessons," starring Dana Delany. After "Flying Lessons," other parents of children on the autism spectrum pleaded with Grillo to make a feature exploring the same ideas. The project turned into "Fly Away," a narrative feature about single mother of an autistic teenage girl that premiered at SXSW and opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles. - VARIETY

"Writer/director Janet Grillo's drama is intensely heartbreaking and profoundly uplifting. It is a movie that, while not always easy to watch, rewards the viewer with a sense of hopeful-yet-realistic optimism. Moreover, the entire cast excels." - Phoenix Examiner Review

Click here for entire story on Fly Away movie.

Click here for Fly Away reviews.

Elaine Hall, who is on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board, portrays Ms. Quinlan in Fly Away movie. Elaine will also be presenting at the USAAA 6th Annual World Conference in Seattle, WA October 27-30.


If You Can't Beat Depression, This Could be Why
The Gut-Brain Connection

by Dr. Mercola

depressionResearchers examined the performance of germ-free mice, who lack gut bacteria, on a kind of maze used to test anxiety-like behaviors. The maze is in the shape of a plus with two open and two closed arms; normally, mice will avoid open spaces to minimize the risk of being seen by predators.

"Your gut and brain work in tandem, each influencing the other. This is why your intestinal health can have such a profound influence on your mental health, and vice versa."

Normal mice, as expected, spent far more time in the closed arms when placed in the maze. The germ-free mice, however, entered the open arms far more often, spending significantly more time there than in the closed arms.

According to the study in Neurogastroenterology & Motility, when they examined the animals' brains, they found that: "these differences in behavior were accompanied by alterations in the expression levels of several genes in the germ-free mice. ... Bacteria colonize the gut in the days following birth, during a sensitive period of brain development, and apparently influence behavior by inducing changes in the expression of certain genes."

Click here for entire story on If You Can't Beat Depression, This Could be Why


Child Dismissed from Team, Parent Wants to File a Complaint

by Sue Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw

gavelMy child has chronic medical problems. Although he wants to attend school, he is often absent for medical treatments. A few days ago, he was dismissed as manager of a sports team.

He is devastated. This was one of the few ways he can socialize with other students. I am angry. I want to file a complaint. How should I handle this?

Be sure you understand how to file a complaint. If you complain to the school district first, you CAN lose your ability to complain to the Office of Civil Rights.

Although he has a 504 plan, we have had ongoing problems about grades and completing work. I was told that parents are not involved in designing 504 Plans. Since I have firsthand information about his medical problems and needs, I think it is my responsibility to provide the school with information and to have a say in what they provide.

I reported problems with his Section 504 plan to the Office for Civil Rights but my complaint was not upheld.

Click here for entire story on Child Dismissed from Team, Parent Wants to File a Complaint.


Protecting Students with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities

By: The Chicago Office of the Office for Civil Rights

section 504

In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services, OCR invited over 60 administrators, educators, parents and advocates to participate in three focus groups, at Eau Claire, Green Bay and Madison, respectively.

Introduction
childAn important goal of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is to foster partnerships between school districts and parents to address the needs of students with disabilities. Such partnerships empower all parties to secure quality education. OCR has experienced a steady influx of complaints and inquiries in the area of elementary and secondary education involving Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (Section 504). Most of these concern identification of students who are protected by Section 504 and the means to obtain an appropriate education for such students. OCR reached out to parents and school districts to determine the kinds of assistance they needed.

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States … 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…"

Click here for entire story on Protecting Students with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities.


 

 

 

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