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US Autism & Asperger Association
June 14, 2011

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


Crying in therapy

by Natan Gendelman, Enableedkids.ca
Article contributed by Elaine Hall, USAAA Advisory Board

crying in therapy photoFor many parents, family members and therapists, crying can be a big obstacle to overcome when teaching and working with a young child. While it may be difficult to manage this sort of behaviour, it is important to understand why a child is upset as well as the things you can do in order to see his way of thinking. In my opinion, the key to handling this issue is to try to figure out where the child is coming from and be willing to view things from his perspective. In doing so, you will be able to tell the difference between when he is simply protesting something new or if he is hurt and needs you to stop and assist him in his function.

Seeing from a child’s perspective

"When we do everything for a child however, instead of simply assisting him as he learns to do things for himself, he starts to assume that everything can be done for him.

For this reason, it’s good to take a step back and observe your child. We often believe that since we are older and “wiser,” our primary goal is to teach a child the things that we know and understand. However, every child is different, and each has his own dreams, wishes and fears. In this respect our first response should be to learn as much from him as he learns from us.

"If a child is not willing to do the things which he should, then the approach to take is to explain, follow up, and repeat it again and again and again. This is how a child is able to learn and eventually follow.

The ability to understand a child becomes really important especially when you are working with him to improve his function. In response to unfamiliar situations or tasks, a child will often cry because he does not want to do them. This makes it important to know the difference between crying as a response to new experiences or in response to actual injury. If he is really hurt, you will need to stop and find out what is happening. However, if this is not the case it is important to persist and continue with treatment. Full Story.


Pardon Wrongfully Convicted Autistic Youth Neli Latson

San Francisco Bayview

neli latsonReginald “Neli” Latson is a 19-year-old autistic young man, who on the morning of May 24, 2010, sat on the grass outside the local library in Stafford, Va., and waited for it to open. Police allege that it was reported that there was a suspicious Black male who had a gun. Deputy Calverley then approached Latson and searched him for a gun. No gun was found. Calverly asked Latson for his name, and Latson refused and tried to walk away as he had committed no crime. Calverly then grabbed Latson and attempted to arrest him without reading him his Miranda Rights or calling for backup.

"Latson had done nothing wrong and was completely within his rights to sit on the grass until the library opened, but was accosted by an officer who then proceeded to question, detain and arrest him.

After a three-day trial, Latson was found guilty of assaulting a law enforcement officer, among other charges, and 10 1/2 years in prison were recommended. Latson’s defense centered around the fact that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, part of the autism spectrum, a condition caused by an abnormality of the brain.

This case has raised concerns about how law enforcement deals with the developmentally or mentally disabled. Latson had done nothing wrong and was completely within his rights to sit on the grass until the library opened, but was accosted by an officer who then proceeded to question, detain and arrest him, even after confirming he did not have a gun. Once it was established that he did not have a gun, Neli Latson should have been left alone. Full Story.


Youth Programs and Summer Camps for Kids

by Wrightslaw

summer campFinding the Right Camp

Decide early in the process what type of program you want for your child. Camp should be fun, relaxing, and healthy. Camp should offer positive and rewarding experiences that foster independence and self-esteem. Some camps are for military children. Some camps are free. Some camps offer scholarships. Some camps are specifically for children with special needs....

Resources and Directories

"Surfers Healing Camp - Day camps nationwide for children with autism where kids and their families experience the joys of surfing. Amazing!

Camps for Children with Special Needs. The National Dissemination Center for Children with Special Needs (NICHCY) provides this quick connect to camps and summer opportunities (March 2011).

Camp Dream - GA. Georgia Jaycees in partnership with the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation designed and built Camp Dream to be barrier-free for people of all ages with a wide variety of disabilities and severity levels.

Surfers Healing Camp - Day camps nationwide for children with autism where kids and their families experience the joys of surfing. Amazing!
Schedule and signup or volunteer to help or donate scholarships. Surf Camp for Kids with Autism, July 2010. Full Story.


Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens

from EWG, Environmental Working Group

sunscreensThe best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt. No chemicals to absorb through the skin, no questions about whether they work. But when you can’t get away from exposing your skin to the sun, use EWG’s top-rated sunscreens to provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin. Sunscreen and sunblock makers are awaiting FDA approval for a wider selection of UVA-blocking chemicals. In the meantime, all top-rated products contain either zinc or titanium minerals to help cut UVA exposures for sunscreen users.
Choose from among our top-rated sunscreens for broad spectrum protection with fewer hazardous ingredients. And follow our sun safety tips to protect your skin for a lifetime.

"But when you can’t get away from exposing your skin to the sun, use EWG’s top-rated sunscreens to provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin.

Our top-rated sunscreens all contain the minerals zinc or titanium. They are the right choice for people who are looking for the best UVA protection without any sunscreen chemical considered to be a potential hormone disruptor. None of the products contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and none are sprayed or powdered. Full Story.

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In this issue:

  • Crying in therapy
  • Pardon Wrongfully Convicted Autistic Youth Neli Latson
  • Youth Programs and Summer Camps for Kids
  • Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens

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