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US Autism & Asperger Association
January 27, 2012

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


Victoria Harris's Asperger syndrome 'success story'

By David Fenton
BBC South Health Correspondent

In the world of Asperger syndrome, Victoria Harris is a success story with a job and a long-term relationship.

She is among just 12% of people with the condition currently employed in Britain, according to the National Autistic Society.

""Councils are finding money tight, especially at the moment, so getting a diagnosis is like getting blood out of a stone."

Asperger's can cause behavioural and social difficulties often meaning it is hard to find work and sustain relationships.

But Miss Harris, from Weymouth in Dorset, has now been going out with her boyfriend Matt Dale, who has Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, for four years.

She believes it was only down to being diagnosed at a young age that she was given the support she needed.

FULL STORY

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Study looks at how kids with autism spend their screen time

Jessica Martin
Washington University - St. Louis

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) tend to be preoccupied with screen-based media. A new study by Paul Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looks at how children with ASDs spend their "screen time."

"Data revealed that nearly 60.3 percent of the youths with ASDs were reported to spend "most of his/her time" watching television or videos.

"We found a very high rate of use of solitary screen-based media such as video games and television with a markedly lower rate of use of social interactive media, including email," says Paul Shattuck.

The study examined data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2), a group of more than 1,000 adolescents enrolled in special education. The NLTS2 includes groups of adolescents with ASDs, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and speech and language impairments.

FULL STORY

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How An Asperger Syndrome Diagnosis Saved My Marriage

by David Finch

It was my wife Kristen, a speech therapist who had worked with autistic children, who was most suspicious about my behavior. After we were married and living together, she started noticing little "things" about me that were consistent with Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism: impaired social reasoning; persistent, intense preoccupations with certain interests; unusual rituals and behaviors; and clinical-strength egocentricity.

"Don't change the radio station when she's singing along," "Apologies don't count when you shout them," "It's better to fold the laundry than to take only what you need from the dryer,"

Oh, and my thumbs look like toes, so I'm, like, a total catch.

At that time, things were not going well between us. Though we had been best friends since high school, our relationship had been reduced to little more than delicate coexistence. We were both constantly feeling misunderstood, under-appreciated, and resentful towards each other. We didn't talk very much, because if we did, it usually led to arguments. We felt hopeless, sad, and confused, the way people do when they've lost their best friend.

FULL STORY

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Review of Touch from an Autism Mom

by Hilda Clark Bowen

It has been a long time since I have been profoundly moved by a television show that has left me feeling hopeful regarding the interconnectedness of humanity. For anyone who believes things happen for a reason, this will be your new favorite show. Having previewed their new baby on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, Fox will enjoy seeing news about this series spread in the coming months. When it debuts on March 19, 2012, it will be seen around the globe in more than 100 countries within 3 days’ period of time and try to achieve a level of connectedness by the fan-base as never before. Arguably it has been something people have been complaining about for quite some time about the US or Canada having exclusive access to a show, and other countries having to wait to see it, sometimes many weeks, sometimes many months, sometimes never, which leads to seeking access on torrent sites which ultimately results in the demise of a show because no one is live-viewing it anymore.

"I don’t know if you can even hear me, but I can hear you, Jake?” I’m sobbing at this point. How many times have I said this to my nonverbal son? Jake crawls over to him and for the first time in Martin’s life, gave Martin a hug. I have raccoon eyes by now; my mascara is flowing everywhere."

The story centers around Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) and his son, Jake Bohm (David Mazouz). Labeled “severely autistic”, Martin never believed in the diagnosis given to his child and seems to be just trying to do whatever he could to make a connection with his son, yet fully accepting and loving his child at whatever place he was (very Son-Rise-esque).

FULL STORY

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