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February 10, 2015

Welcome to USAAA WeeklyNews, an e-mail newsletter that addresses a range of topics on autism, Asperger Syndrome, PDD, and other related disorders.

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Mother Sues Target After Her Cashier Son Commits Suicide Following Alleged 'Walk of Shame'

Insiders: New Jersey's mental health system broken

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Sensory modulation disorder - the inability to filter and process only what is important

Mother Sues Target After Her Cashier Son Commits Suicide Following Alleged 'Walk of Shame'


A mother has sued Target, claiming her son's July suicide was a result of his being forced to perform a handcuffed "walk of shame" through the Pasadena store where he worked as part of an alleged policy at the retail chain. READ FULL ARTICLE

"His life had been destroyed, right at that moment," Virginia Gentles said. "He lost his family and friends. Those were all his friends for two years...people he socialized every day with...He just couldn't process what had happened.

Officers grabbed 22-year-old Graham Gentles, who had Asperger's syndrome, emptied his pockets, handcuffed him and then led him in front of registers and past guest services to an office within the store, the lawsuit states.

Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2015

Insiders: New Jersey's mental health system broken

Kim Mulford, Courier-Post

The teenager's handwritten letters from Ancora Psychiatric Hospital contain information no child should know.

Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and bipolar disorder, the Burlington County 18-year-old has lived there for more than a month. But she doesn't belong there, her mother says.

Despite the family's strident battles with state officials and insurance providers over the past several years, New Jersey has no better place for the teen to go

"This is what happens when you're in a state facility. They can only offer so much. It's pathetic."

Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2015

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Sensory modulation disorder - the inability to filter and process only what is important

marlo thurman"Children of higher intelligence take in more information than their peers of average cognitive ability. However, because the sensory skills of filtering, regulation and modulation mature with age, innately asynchronous sensory development in the gifted, twice-exceptional and high functioning autism and Asperger's populations places our most intelligent youth at risk for academic, social and emotional problems. When compounded by learning disabilities, most asynchronous children simply cannot access enough cognitive energy to compensate and function successfully in their day-to-day lives. This, in turn, leads to cognitive and emotional fatigue, heightened physiological arousal and ultimately mental health symptoms."
- Marlo Thurman

Marlo will discuss the unique relationship between intelligence and sensory regulation, and will illustrate the impact of modulation abilities on learning, social and emotional function and the mental health diagnoses commonly seen in our most intelligent, yet out-of-sync populations at the US Autism & Asperger Association 10th Annual World Conference July 30 - August 1 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

"I have yet to see a child with autism without severe sensory modulation difficulties. This is not necessarily the same, however, as sensory integration dysfunction, although all kids can have that, too.

Marlo Thurman is an adjunct faculty at the University of Northern Colorado and will be completing her PhD in 2015. Marlo is on the USAAA Advisory Board and has been the director for the US Autism & Asperger Association US College Autism Project initiative since 2010.
Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2015

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