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US Autism & Asperger Association
May 4, 2012

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

Wellington teen with epilepsy, Asperger's on a mission to become surgeon

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

asperger teenWELLINGTON - A dual diagnosis of epilepsy and Asperger's syndrome hasn't stopped 18-year-old John Hanes from dreaming big dreams (orthopedic surgeon) or traveling around the world (Cambodia) to pursue them.

"Asperger's inhibits social functions, but it makes other areas of my brain stronger, so math and science are relatively easy for me. It also creates some obsessive qualities, so I'm able to really focus on my work," he said.

The Wellington resident, who graduates from Lake Worth High School's medical magnet program this month, interned at a Cambodian HOPE hospital last summer, where a staff surgeon allowed him to help suture an appendectomy patient.

"That would never happen in this country," Hanes said.

Last month, he spent three days training in Washington, D.C., to be the Epilepsy Foundation's youth ambassador for the state of Florida. He also petitioned the staffs of his congressional delegation for better access to care for epilepsy patients.


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Center links Valley autistic adults to jobs

by Eugene Scott
The Republic |

autism jobsMatt McMahon got involved with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center 13 years ago as a father. His son, Sean, then 3, had been diagnosed with the developmental disorder that affects social interaction.

McMahon has been involved with the Valley's autism community since then. Today, in a partnership with SARRC, McMahon is helping provide jobs for adults with autism.

"We have 38,000 people in Arizona with disabilities that can't get employed"

"We have 38,000 people in Arizona with disabilities that can't get employed," said McMahon, who serves on the Arizona Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities.

McMahon launched the Outback Steakhouse franchise in the Valley 18 years ago, one of the many companies now providing jobs for people with autism, including McMahon's now 15-year-old son. Sean will start working at one of his father's restaurants this summer.


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A Welcoming Oasis
More and more museums are working with educators, trainers, guards, and specialized docents to create programs for autistic children and their families

BY ,

elcoming oasisLast summer, thanks to an innovative new program at the Dallas Museum of Art, nine-year-old Dennis Schultze achieved an important milestone in his life, one that comes easily to most children his age: he went to day camp. "This is the first place I've ever been able to drop him off," says his mother, Rachel Schultze. "The teachers know the language of autism."

"This is the first place I've ever been able to drop him off"

Dennis has benefited from a relatively new and growing effort by the nation's art museums to embrace children with autism. The programs they offer typically combine studio work with enjoying museum treasures. Often the entire family is welcome to share the experience. "The fit is perfect, because art gives the students a universal form of communication," says Elizabeth Kerns, director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida.


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USAAA 2012 World Conference
Denver, CO, Sept. 6-9

conference registration

The US Autism & Asperger Association 7th Annual World Conference & Expo headquarters are at the Crowne Plaza International Airport Hotel and Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, September 6-9, 2012. This is the first time USAAA has returned to the Denver area since the 2nd annual conference in 2007 where over 800 people attended. Hotel Reservations.

World leading Autism and Asperger experts, including Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Martha Herbert, discuss new research, treatment modalities, resources and avenues for advocacy. Topics include medical/biomedical, educational, behavioral and developmental evidence-based interventions. There will be a special event with Dr. Grandin that has never been presented at any conference.
Learn more about the topics and schedule.

USAAA is introducing: Emergencies, Surgeries, and Anesthesia: Inside the Hospital From ER to Overnight Stays. There will be a special cooking and nutrition session. USAAA introduces new sessions for educators and professionals: "Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Autism Interventions in the Schools and in the Community". Over 8 of the 17 hours are dedicated to Medical and Biomedical Treatment Modalities and Research.
Learn more about the schedule

The following is partial list of our presenters (Speaker Bios): Martha Herbert, MD, PhD - Keynote
Temple Grandin, PhD** - Keynote
Phillip C. DeMio, MD*
Richard E. Fyre, MD, PhD
Christopher M. Gauthier, MFA*
Jacqueline F. Gauthier*
Debby Hamilton, MD, MSPH
Lynn Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO
Rebecca E. Hutchins, OD, FCOVD
Valerie Hu, PhD*
Sharon Jones, ABD, CCC-SLP
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD*
Raun K. Kaufman**
Patricia Lemer, MEd, NCC
Aaron Likens**
Michael P. McManmon, EdD**
Ron Minson, MD
Tim Page** *
James W. Partington, PhD, BCBA
Eric Peacock, MBA*
Stephen Shore, EdD**
Marlo Payne Thurman, MS
J. Michael Uszler, MD
Theresa Wrangham*

*Parent or family member of an individual affected by autism
**As a child or as an adult, diagnosed with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome


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