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US Autism & Asperger Association
April 20, 2011

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


USAAA's 2010 conference keynote on PBS Newshour tonight

“Race to Nowhere”: Stress and Our Youth Part I

Prescription Drug Abuse Targeted as a 'Public Health Crisis'

USAAA's 2010 conference keynote on PBS Newshour tonight
Dr. Martha Herbert is a guest on tonight's PBS Newshour, Autism's Causes: How Close Are We to Solving the Puzzle? Part 3.

herbertDr. Martha Herbert opened the US Autism & Asperger Association 5th annual 2010 World Conference in St. Louis last October with the keynote address, "How Much of Autism Can Be Explained By Chronic Active Biological Processes?"

After the keynote, Dr. Herbert appeared on two panels, "Current Status of Research and Strategies for the Future" Panel Workshop, and "Medical/Biomedical Cutting Edge Interventions and Treatments" Panel Workshop.

Other people think that there's a much more profound connection between the gut and the brain. And there's a lot of research, not specifically in autism, but more generally in biology and neurobiology, about brain-gut connections. So that abnormalities in the gut -- inflammation, neurotransmitter differences -- can affect the way the brain functions.

On the USAAA website,, read Autism - defined by Dr. Martha Herbert.

Click here to read PBS Newshour Autism Now: Dr. Martha Herbert Extended Interview

Go to our Facebook page to view Dr. Herbert's keynote introduction at the USAAA 2010 annual conference.

Go to our YouTube page to view Dr. Herbert's keynote introduction at the USAAA 2010 annual conference.

Click here to order Dr. Herbert's keynote address, her participation on two panels, as well as all of the presentations (17 hours).

“Race to Nowhere”: Stress and Our Youth Part I

by Robert Brooks, PhD

brooksRecently I had the opportunity to view “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” a riveting documentary that is receiving much-deserved publicity throughout the United States. Concerned school and community groups have arranged to show this movie as a catalyst for parents, educators, childcare professionals, and community members to engage in a dialogue about the epidemic of unrealistic expectations, pressures, and stresses that are confronting today’s youth. I watched the movie with hundreds of others at the Charles River School in Dover, Massachusetts and then served as the moderator for the lively discussion that followed.

“I saw the strain in my children as they navigated days filled with school, homework, tutoring, and extracurricular activities. But it wasn’t until the crisis of my 12-year-old daughter being diagnosed with stress induced illness that I was determined to do something.

Vicki Abeles is the documentary’s creator and director. She writes that “Race to Nowhere” was created “by a series of wake-up calls that made me look closely at the relentless pressure to perform that children face today.” Abeles is very open about her experiences with her own children that prompted her to examine the increasing rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, and cheating among youth in all of our communities.

Click here for entire article on “Race to Nowhere”: Stress and Our Youth Part I.

Prescription Drug Abuse Targeted as a 'Public Health Crisis'


drugsThe Obama administration launched a major campaign Tuesday to combat prescription drug abuse, which it says is the nation's fastest growing drug problem.

The program, announced at a press conference in Washington, aims to reduce abuse rates of some non-medical prescription drugs by 15 percent over by five years and to cut down on the number of unintentional overdose deaths.

The number of people going to the emergency room due to misuse or abuse of prescription drugs has also doubled in the past five years, Kerlikowske said.

It would require drugmakers to raise awareness about the dangers of painkillers like OxyContin and seek legislation to require doctors to get training before they could prescribe such drugs.

Plus it calls for spending more than $200 million more on drug prevention and treatment programs in the 2012 fiscal year.

Click here for entire story on Prescription Drug Abuse Targeted as a 'Public Health Crisis'.

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