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US Autism & Asperger Association
December 9, 2011

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

Autism Frequently Missed in Children With Epilepsy

by Allison Shelley

lightDespite problems, many children with epilepsy are not evaluated for autism or developmental delay.

"Systematic screening should be routine for all children seen in epilepsy clinics," Anne Berg, PhD, from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, told reporters attending a news conference here at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 65th Annual Meeting.

"Our study found a high overall incidence of photosensitivity in 25% of children over 15 years of age with autism spectrum disorder, and an even higher rate of 29% in that age group of children who had both epilepsy and autism."
— Jill Miller-Horn, MD, Harvard Medical School

In a study presented here, the investigators tracked children younger than 5 years seen at an epilepsy monitoring unit and a ketogenic diet clinic for about half a year. They asked parents of the 44 children to complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, as well as an autism screening tool.

Most of the children (77%) screened positive for developmental delay; of these participants, a strong proportion (36%) had autism. More than a third of patients had not been previously diagnosed as having developmental delay or autism and were referred for confirmatory evaluation.

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Continuums of Cognition and Sensory Processing

by Marlo Payne Thurman, MS

marlo thurmanAbstract
Children of higher intelligence take in more information than their peers of average cognitive ability. However, because the sensory skills of filtering, regulation and modulation mature with age, innately asynchronous sensory development in the gifted, twice-exceptional and high functioning autism and Asperger's populations places our most intelligent youth at risk for academic, social and emotional problems.

"It is not at all surprising then, that in my experience with over 5,000 out-of-sync children, most have sensory arousal issues. Furthermore, I have yet to see an autistic child without severe sensory modulation difficulties."

When compounded by learning disabilities, most asynchronous children simply cannot access enough cognitive energy to compensate and function successfully in their day-to-day lives. This, in turn, leads to cognitive and emotional fatigue, heightened physiological arousal and ultimately mental health symptoms.

This paper will discuss the unique relationship between intelligence and sensory regulation, and will illustrate the impact of modulation abilities on learning, social and emotional function and the mental health diagnoses commonly seen in our most intelligent, yet out-of-sync populations.


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Bonbons For Breakfast? Most Kid Cereals Pack Enough Sugar To Be Dessert


cerealTo many a mom, you can't go much lower than a Twinkie. The famous snack sort of epitomizes nutritional bankruptcy.

So now we learn that breakfast cereals such as Kellogg's Honey Smacks are even worse - in terms of sugar content - than a Twinkie. One cup of the cereal has 20 grams of sugar, compared with 18 grams in the cake. (The recommended serving size on the label is three-fourths of a cup.) Well, that gets our attention.

A study by Yale University's Rudd Center have found cereal makers spend upwards of $150 million annually marketing to children just on television. And, overall, the cereals have more sugar, calories and sodium than non-kid cereals, and less fiber and protein, according to the Rudd Center.

A new report by the Environmental Working Group finds that that vast majority of popular cereals marketed to kids - 56 out of the 84 EWG looked at - don't meet the voluntary guidelines proposed earlier this year by the federal Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children.

The top offenders, including Honey Smacks, Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, and Quaker Cap'n Crunch, all contain more than 41 percent sugar (by weight). The guidelines, meanwhile, for ready-to-eat cereals recommend no more than 26 percent added sugar by weight.


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The Worst Possible Place to Eat if You Want to Stay Healthy

By Dr. Mercola

burgerIf you value your health, you would be wise to avoid fast food restaurants at all costs.

Not only does the fast food diet promote high cholesterol, hypertension, heart attacks, obesity and diabetes; such foods are also laden with added chemicals, and virtually all animal based food comes from factory farms.

The company has been cited for at least 13 violations of rules meant to prevent dangerous salmonella outbreaks.

The latter issue is highlighted in a recent announcement that McDonald's and Target will no longer purchase their eggs from Sparboe Farms.

The egg producer was recently 'outed' by an ABC News "20/20" investigation into potentially unhealthy conditions at their egg-laying facilities.


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In this issue:

USAAA Conference Presentation Downloads Holiday Special Offer

All 19 recorded sessions for only $99 or download each individual session for only $10; audio download only $5

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Upcoming Conference

  • 2012 USAAA World Conference - Date and Location TBD

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