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US Autism & Asperger Association
September 30, 2011

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


Company hires adults with autism to test software

CARLA K. JOHNSON

company hiresHIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) - The software testers at Aspiritech are a collection of characters. Katie Levin talks nonstop. Brian Tozzo hates driving. Jamie Specht is bothered by bright lights, vacuum cleaners and the feel of carpeting against her skin. Rider Hallenstein draws cartoons of himself as a DeLorean sports car. Rick Alexander finds it unnerving to sit near other people.

"Traits that make great software testers - intense focus, comfort with repetition, memory for detail - also happen to be characteristics of autism. People with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, have normal to high intelligence and often are highly skilled with computers.

This is the unusual workforce of a U.S. startup that specializes in finding software bugs by harnessing the talents of young adults with autism.

Traits that make great software testers - intense focus, comfort with repetition, memory for detail - also happen to be characteristics of autism. People with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, have normal to high intelligence and often are highly skilled with computers.

FULL STORY.

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School uses vinegar to discipline children
Are Texas schools getting away with cruel and unusual punishment?

by Valerie O'Berry

cotton ballsChildren at a Texas Elementary School allegedly had cotton balls soaked in vinegar put into their mouths and were forced to go on a treadmill longer and faster than they wanted to as a form of discipline. The children being disciplined suffer from autism.

Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability, which impacts the normal development of the brain, making it hard for children to interact with others and communicate either verbally or non-verbally. Diagnosis usually takes place before the age of three.

"“If I were to attempt to force an adult to do something like this, I would be arrested and charged with assault and battery.

The school’s disciplinary practices are called aversive interventions and vinegar-soaked cotton balls put in the mouth along with similar abusive disciplinary strategies are not illegal in schools... FULL STORY.

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Early, Intense Therapy Benefits Children with Autism

By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 30, 2011

boy blocksAutism spectrum disorders (ASD) are typified by impaired social-communication skills. Children and adolescents with ASD have difficulty understanding, interacting and relating with others.

New research suggests intensive therapy, especially at early ages, can help children achieve the best outcomes.

The intensive therapy helps children with autism improve social and communication skills, say the leaders of a current study.

"Over time, a striking majority (95.4 percent) of children demonstrated improvement for these skills with children who had received behavioral, speech and occupational therapy benefiting the most. The response to therapy was greatest among those with higher nonverbal IQs.

“It’s important for children with autism to begin treatment as soon as possible,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Micah Mazurek, assistant professor in the Department of Health Psychology at the University of Missouri. “The more intense or comprehensive the therapy, the better it is in terms of helping children improve social and communication skills.”

Researchers reviewed data from more than 1,000 children and adolescents with ASD. FULL STORY.

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October 27-30: USAAA 2011 World Conference & Expo, Seattle, Washington

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Whether you've just received a diagnosis of autism or you've struggled for years to find answers, you know how difficult it can be to find hope. The vast amount of information, in cyberspace or print, from doctors to friends, on special diets to social skills, can overwhelm even the most dedicated parent. How can you sort through the junk mail and begin down the road to success?

"The primary function of the USAAA conference is where parents, caregivers, health care practitioners, individuals with autism, students, educators, therapists and anyone who wants to learn more about services and treatment for persons living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can learn about effective interventions – both medical and educational.

Introducing the US Autism & Asperger Association 2011 World Conference & Expo. The theme: "Autism Education and Treatment: A Road to Wellness." The goal: to demystify the confusion around autism and to arm you with tools of practical protocols and new resources. After four days, you will leave the conference with a considerable head start down the road to wellness.

With an unprecedented conference format and presentations from some of the most respected experts in the international autism community, the USAAA conference is a can't-miss opportunity. Here's a sneak peek at just a few of the conference highlights:

  • "Meet Temple Grandin's Mother - Coming to Terms with Expectations"
  • "The 7 Keys to Unlock Autism"
  • "The Doctors Who Treat Autism Spectrum Disorders"
  • Panel workshops on advocacy, adjunct therapies, biomedical interventions, nutrition, support services, and more

"Full 4-day packages start at just $95.

Full conference information.

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ONLY 25 DAYS LEFT to REGISTER ONLINE for the 2011 USAAA WORLD CONFERENCE

Don't miss this extraordinary four day event in Seattle, WA October 27-30!

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Upcoming Conference

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