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US Autism & Asperger Association
May 27, 2011

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

Asperger's Syndrome: High-Functioning Autism to Lose Its Name

By KATIE MOISSE May 25, 2011, ABC News/Health

school childEileen Parker was 41 years old when she discovered her quirky, misunderstood behavior had a name: Asperger's. The syndrome, which is marked by impaired social interaction and sensory overload, joins other neurological disorders on the autism spectrum. And for Parker, the label came as a relief.

"For Phyllis Anderson, the term "Asperger's" is a ticket to obtaining essential services for her 15-year-old son, Garrett.

"It opened up my world," said Parker, who is now 45. "Having been on the outside, I all of sudden found I was on the inside with millions of other people."

Parker said the Asperger's diagnosis, which is used interchangeably with high-functioning autism, made it easier for her to get along with others -- even her husband and their four kids.

Full Story.

Send your comments to the Committee that is proposing to eliminate the name "Asperger's" in the DSM-5 Manual schedule for 2013.

The Power of Knowing!
Receiving a Diagnosis for Asperger’s, Autism or Learning Differences
Published on March 17, 2011 by Dr Michael P. McManmon, Ed.D. in The Trouble With Eye Contact; Reference Psychology Today

michael mcmanmonThe diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, autism, or a learning difference sets the stage for young adults to get the help needed and gain the self-awareness necessary to make a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood.

"As an adult with Asperger's Syndrome it was time for me to get past denial and resistance and take my own journey toward self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-advocacy.

Young adults have little self-understanding of their diagnosis or what their specific profile of strengths and challenges looks like. By thinking in broad strokes about what it means to have a disability and coming to the conclusion that it doesn't apply to them, these young people try their best to blend in. No parent or teacher can blame them for this.

Full Story.

Dr. Michael P. McManmon is the founder of the College Internship Program, a licensed psychologist and a self-advocate. He is also on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. Dr. McManmon will be participating on two panels at the USAAA 2011 World Conference in Seattle, WA, October 27-30, "Panel 2 Discussion: Self Advocacy - Experiences, Perspectives, and Challenges." and "Panel 6 Discussion: Support Services". More on Conference registration.

"Race to Nowhere”: Stress and Our Youth Part II
Part I was featured in the April 20th USAAA WeeklyNews
by Robert Brooks, PhD

brooksLast month I discussed “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” a thought-provoking documentary that is receiving well-deserved publicity throughout the United States. I noted that 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 as well as many others have long advocated that our educational pursuits focus on “the whole child,” that even at a time when high-stakes testing dominates the educational scene, it is important that we also attend to the emotional and social lives of our students.

Vicki Abeles is the documentary’s creator and director. Several factors prompted her to create “Race to Nowhere,” perhaps the most important of which was witnessing her 12-year-old daughter being diagnosed with stress induced illness. Abeles writes, “After months of long evenings battling homework assignments, studying for tests and panic attacks in the middle of the night, we found her doubled over in pain, and rushed her to the emergency room. Her cheerful facade and determination to keep up had masked her symptoms to us, to her friends, and to her teachers.”

Full Story.

Dr. Brooks is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and has served as Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital. He is the author of a book titled "The Self-Esteem Teacher" and has co-authored over twelve books.

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In this issue:

  • Asperger's Syndrome: High-Functioning Autism to Lose Its Name
  • The Power of Knowing!
  • "Race to Nowhere”: Stress and Our Youth Part II

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