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US Autism & Asperger Association
October 31, 2012

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


Testing Autism and Air Travel

By RACHEL L. SWARNS, The New York Times

travel airportFOR Dana Napoleon, a flight attendant in Tacoma, Wash., zipping in and out the nation’s airports every week is second nature. Yet she is still filled with dread every time she flies with her 10-year-old son.

In August, Delta Air Lines forced a mother traveling with her 3-year-old autistic son to get off a plane that was taxiing on the runway when the child began crying inconsolably, disturbing another passenger.

Other children might scamper through the airport, delighted by the moving sidewalks and dreaming of sand castles. But for Ms. Napoleon’s son, the crush of unfamiliar faces, the creeping pace of security lines and delays in boarding and takeoff can trigger excruciating anxiety.

So before flights Ms. Napoleon worries: Will he dash through the metal detector without stopping? Will he disrupt other passengers by kicking the seat incessantly? Will he have a meltdown onboard, screaming and crying and hitting himself in the head, and get the entire family forced off the flight?

Full Story

Learn about Airport Social Stories by Carol Gray

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Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2012


York mom wants to raise awareness about Asperger's Syndrome

by Chris Traber, yorkregion.com

mother son aspergersDr. Sheldon Cooper, the fictional theoretical physicist on CBS' wildly popular The Big Bang Theory, is a quirky sort.

Parts of his comedic charm are a strict adherence to routine, suspect social skills, a reluctance to listen, a tenuous understanding of sarcasm and humour and a general lack of empathy.

"My son is Sheldon," Jodi Echakowitz said, putting perspective to her 15-year-old boy's Asperger's syndrome, a neurological disorder on the milder end of the autism spectrum.

"Unfortunately, there are parents who don't want to acknowledge the disorder," she said. "When you understand, you're more accepting. Getting access to services opens doors. Knowledge is power."

A communications and public relations specialist, the Thornhill mom of two is also a director of the Aspergers Society of Ontario.

She skillfully sheds light on the "invisible disability" with which her son, Kyle, was diagnosed in kindergarten.

Full Story

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Autism Developmental Delay Begins After 6 Months of Age

By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on October 31, 2012

childNew research finds that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) begin their life with normal development until they reach six months of age.

This finding is a result of the largest prospective, longitudinal study to date comparing children with early and later diagnosis of ASD with children without ASD.

Some children may be mildly impaired by their symptoms while others are severely disabled.

Experts believe the study, found in the journal Child Development, has implications for clinical work, public health, and policy.

Full Story

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Autism: A "small" thing that was "huge" that your child has accomplished?

By Laura Shumaker

Matthew and I went to lunch the other day, and he ordered water to go with his meal. When he stepped up to the water/soda machine, he decided he wanted root beer instead, but paused and looked at me before he filled his glass. “Isn’t there an extra charge for root beer? I’d better go pay for it first.”

The fact that Matthew stopped himself and wondered "Is this free like the water?" was huge, and I smiled about this victory all day.

"We just about fell over...he cared about someone - his Dad - being cold."

I asked parents on autism Facebook forum to share stories like mine. Here is a partial list:

empathy1) My 9-year old son said to his Dad, "Dad - don't you need a jacket? You might get cold." We just about fell over - one, that he noticed the weather (!!!) and two, that he cared about someone - his Dad - being cold (empathy!!!)".

Full Story

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Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2012


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In this issue:

Testing Autism and Air Travel

York mom wants to raise awareness about Asperger's Syndrome

Autism Developmental Delay Begins After 6 Months of Age

Autism: A "small" thing that was "huge" that your child has accomplished?


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