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US Autism & Asperger Association
March 9, 2012

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

First Bill to Stop the DSM-V

from the Autism Action Network

ny senateThe Autism Action Network - AAN last week we said [that they were not going to take] the self-appointed "experts" at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) putting our kids hard fought access to a free and appropriate education, health care, Medicaid and vitally needed services on the line because they think they have cooked up a better definition of autism. This week AAN is proud to announce that the they have been successful in their efforts to introduce the first legislation in the US that puts the brakes on the APA's self-serving drive to throw our kids lives into chaos. Assemblymember Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) of New York has introduced Assembly Bill A 9180, which will define "autism" under New York state law as the currently used criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IVr (DSM-IVr), the definition that has been in use since 1994.

The Child Study Center at Yale announced that their analysis of the DSM-V autism criteria would result in 55% of people with autism losing their current diagnosis.

The Autism Action Network is asking everyone to Take Action and to send your state legislators a copy of A 9180 and ask them to introduce similar legislation in your state.

text of Bill 9180

To leave comments, go to our Blog.

Grateful to Have Asperger's Diagnosis

bydr and pagePhotograph by Christopher M. Gauthier, Evidence and Artifacts

There are significant changes proposed to the Pervasive Development Disorders category in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which include eliminating Asperger's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

"It was right then that I got the diagnosis. It explained everything; why I was good at certain things and completely oblivious to others."

Tim Page, the author of Parallel Play and Professor at the University of Southern California says, "Before I was diagnosed [with Asperger's ] at the age of forty-five, I looked on my life as this narrative of a completely confused distraught kid who suddenly got energy in his early twenties and was able to do a number of things. Before my diagnosis, but after winning my Pulitzer Prize, after doing a lot of different books, I decided I was all well and took a job running an orchestra [the St. Louis Symphony]. It was a disaster."

"I am very grateful to have the diagnosis [of Asperger's Syndrome] because it explains a lot."

" I went back to the Washington Post and I started to realize that the reason I had done well was because I was accommodating myself to my own needs. It was right then that I got the diagnosis. It explained everything; why I was good at certain things and completely oblivious to others. What I try to do now is not limit myself because of my Asperger's, because I actually think my Asperger's was responsible for the 'good things' I have done in my life as well as a whole lot of embarrassing things."
(excerpt from the USAAA 2011 World Conference, 03 Panel 2 Discussion: Self Advocacy - Experiences, Perspectives, and Challenges) - Video Download only 99 cents.


"When I first received my [Asperger's] diagnosis it was wonderful relief. After all of the years that I had searched for some kind of answer to why I was different, I was so happy to have that tangible piece of confirmation." - Charisse Byrd, attendee at the USAAA 2011 World Conference

If you want to make a change, voice your opinion, sign the petitions below and call the APA 1-888-357-7924.

14,000 people have signed the petitions below!

DSM-5 Committee: Don't Reduce the Criteria for an Autism Spectrum Condition in the DSM-5

American Psychiatric Association: DSM-5 Task Force and Work Group: Improve DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for autism

Do not remove Asperger's Syndrome and other Autism Sub-Types from DSM

American Psychiatric Association: Maintain the current definition of Autism

To leave comments, go to our Blog.

British Court Throws Out Conviction

smtihIn a stunning reversal, world renowned pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith won his appeal today against the United Kingdom's General Medical Council regulatory board that had ruled against both him and Andrew Wakefield for their roles in the 1998 Lancet MMR paper, which raised questions about a link to autism. The complete victory means that Walker-Smith has been returned to the status of a fully licensed physician in the UK, although he had already retired in 2001 - six years before the GMC trial even began.

Mr Justice Mitting called for changes in the way General Medical Council fitness to practise panel hearings are conducted in the future saying: "It would be a misfortune if this were to happen again."

Justice John Mitting ruled on the appeal by Walker-Smith, saying that the GMC "panel"s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it." He said that its conclusions were based on "inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion." The verdict restores Walker-Smith's name to the medical register and his reputation to the medical community. This conclusion is not surprising, as the GMC trial had no actual complainants, no harm came to the children who were studied, and parents supported Walker-Smith and Wakefield through the trial, reporting that their children had medically benefited from the treatment they received at the Royal Free Hospital.


To leave comments, go to our Blog.

USAAA 2012 World Conference

templeOver thirty-five of the world leading autism experts, including Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Martha Herbert, discuss new treatment regimes and effective therapies in many areas. These topics include medical/biomedical, educational, behavioral and developmental evidence-based interventions. USAAA is introducing a special cooking and nutrition session and also featuring a special educators session on Friday, September 7.

Exhibitors and Sponsors, contact Pat at 1-866-208-0207.

Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Martha Herbert will discuss their new books. There will be a special event with Dr. Grandin that has never been presented at any conference.

SCHEDULE AND PRESENTATIONS - The conference features keynote presentations and three separate breakout sessions on Friday and Saturday (Thursday night and Sunday morning are included in the full conference registration pass), along with a special educators track on Friday with an opportunity for all educators to share what works in their classrooms with others in a special breakout session. More breakout sessions include topics on the Continuums of Cognition and Sensory Processing, Asperger's Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, Twice-Exceptional, adult challenges, severe autism, life challenges, jobs, college, cutting edge research, siblings, legal issues, IEP's, preparing for the future, nutrition and wellness, self-advocacy, support services, verbal behavior, technology (apps, etc.), opening up new opportunities, plus much more.

exhibitorsRegistration will be available early in April. Sponsors and Exhibitors should contact Pat at 1-866-208-0207 to exhibit or sponsor. Reservations to exhibit will be available next week.


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