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US Autism & Asperger Association
March 14, 2012

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


Call for Presentations DEADLINE April 17

marlo payne thurmanThe US Autism & Asperger Association invites you to submit a presentation for consideration at the USAAA Annual Conference, September 6-9, 2012 and/or for possible future conferences. If you have a program in the areas of education (K-12), cutting edge research (medical or educational), college support, disability law, IEPs and 504, technology, future planning, support services (local or national), adult services, sibling program (local or national), or residential services, please submit your proposal for consideration.

"Join Temple Grandin, PhD, Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, Phillip C. DeMio, MD, Professor Tim Page, Stephen M. Shore, EdD, Marlo Payne Thurman, MS, Christopher M. Gauthier, MFA, plus many more at the USAAA Annual World Conference September 6-9 in Denver, CO.

Notification to Present
While the deadline for submission is April 17, 2012, we strongly suggest that you submit your proposal before the deadline date. If your proposal is accepted, USAAA will notify you. Please do not contact USAAA by phone as we will only contact you if your proposal has been accepted for you to present. If you have questions about completing the form, contact us via email.

FULL STORY


Parents discuss one of the greatest gifts received to date

parents

Photograph by Christopher M. Gauthier, Evidence and Artifacts

Sara and Jason McCarter are parents of Magnus, a child affected by autism. Sara reflects on when they received their son's diagnosis, the challenges of raising a child on the autism spectrum, and the greatest gift they received yet. Parent or Caregiver is a new feature at usautism.org.

"It’s interesting how the date of my son’s diagnosis sticks with me the same way other dates, such as birthdays, do. Although not on the calendar, and without celebration or ceremony, every July since 2009, I think back and remember all the events that lead up to and marvel at the changes in all of us from that small medical office when the practitioner said the words, "your son has Autism Spectrum Disorder, or classic Autism." For my husband, his initial feelings were that of relief. Finally something to identify and give name to the differences he was starting to see in our sweet boy. My reaction was to collect (not necessarily read) every book on Autism I could find and make my son’s diagnosis my life. Since that moment our life has changed drastically and I can confidently say it was for the better. We’re stronger people and the meaning of what quality of life is has been completely redefined."

"In the fall of 2011, the greatest gift we received yet was attending the four-day USAAA conference in Seattle." Sara McCarter, Mom to Magnus "the great"

"In the fall of 2011, the greatest gift we received yet was attending the four day USAAA conference in Seattle. There I met my heroes and found mentors that gave me hope and expanded my paradigm. Since the conference, we now approach life and our son from the view of acceptance, help him to see and know himself, teach him how to self advocate, and join with him in enjoying the things that make him smile. We no longer fight against our son’s differences but embrace them and this way of loving has even taught us to how better accept and love each other as a couple. We still have a long way to go and even more to learn, but I now know that hope has no limit unless I place it there."

FULL STORY

Who are you is a new feature section at usautism.org

To leave comments, go to our Blog.


Autism - Understanding the process

living with autism

Photograph by Christopher M. Gauthier, Evidence and Artifacts

Stephen M. Shore, EdD and Isabelle Sarikahan reflect on Living with Autism, a new feature section at usautism.org.

""During the mid-1960s ...an autism diagnosis was considered as a sentence to a life of dependency with either family members or in an institution." Stephen M. Shore, EdD

Stephen M. Shore, EdD - "The autism bomb hits the mark, and life is never the same again for the person on the autism spectrum or for the family members, educators, doctors and others who provide support. The first questions that bubbles up are: "What should I do? "What is the best intervention for my child with autism?" During the mid-1960s there were very few choices for a child who became non-verbal, had tantrums and very little body to environmental awareness. At that time an autism diagnosis was considered as a sentence to a life of dependency with either family members or in an institution. Perhaps, with luck and a lot of hard work, employment in a sheltered workshop was a possibility."

Dr. Shore is presenting at the USAAA 2012 World Conference in Denver, Colorado, September 6-9. Dr. Shore is an Assistant Professor at Adelphi University. He serves on the US Autism & Asperger Association advisory board .

"I probably went through 50 or 60 interviews before I really understood the process of how to say stuff, how I am to present myself and the whole aspect of trying to sell yourself to get a job." Isabelle Sarikahan

Isabelle Sarikahan - "I had a hard time graduating. The university kicked me out and said you have too many credits and to go out into the world now and see what's out there. I took a job at the University kind of doing menial laboratory work and then everyone told me I had to start applying for jobs. That was a really steep learning curve. Once you get and learn your education and learn your passion, how do you jump all those little hoops to get through the interviews to get through the things saying that I may not have the best social skills, I may not have the best ability to do teamwork with all the other individuals there, but really if you get me on board to your little company or place, I'm going to really succeed because I have a lot of knowledge and passion in certain areas and you'll forgive me for doing a few social blunders here and there. I had a lot of people pull my hands through that and I probably went through 50 or 60 interviews before I really understood the process of how to say stuff, how I am to present myself and the whole aspect of trying to sell yourself to get a job. If we can instill that and better explain that to autistic people we can exploit those things and find ourselves to jump into the work world."

Isabelle is employed as a Hazards Geologist with the Department of Natural Resources where she manages the landslide program. She is a board member with the Autism Society of Washington (ASW).

FULL STORY

Who are you is a new feature section at usautism.org

To leave comments, go to our Blog.

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QUICK FACTS
"Autism is defined behaviorally, as a syndrome of abnormalities involving language, social reciprocity and hyperfocus or reduced behavioral flexibility. It is clearly heterogeneous, and it can be accompanied by unusual talents as well as impairments, but its underlying biological and genetic basis is unknown." Martha R. Herbert, MD, PhD

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