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February 23, 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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Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

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Use of deadly force shows autistic community's vulnerability
Investigation continues into death of autistic Utah man after alleged break-in

logo Education News
Former Spartan battled bullies, autism and doubters

health news

Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?
A growing number of scientists are suggesting that depression is a result of inflammation caused by the body's immune system

Caroline Williams,

Barely a week goes by without a celebrity "opening up" about their "battle with depression". This, apparently, is a brave thing to do because, despite all efforts to get rid of the stigma around depression, it is still seen as some kind of mental and emotional weakness.

But what if was nothing of the sort? What if it was a physical illness that just happens to make people feel pretty lousy? Would that make it less of a big deal to admit to? Could it even put a final nail in the coffin of the idea that depression is all in the mind?

George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, has spent years studying depression, and has come to the conclusion that it has as much to do with the body as the mind. "I don't even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more," he says. "It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health."

Related article

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Use of deadly force shows autistic community's vulnerability

by By Kenneth LOUGEE, Opinion, Salt Lake Tribune

I am the proud father of John Kenneth Lougee. John (also known as Buddy) has a severe form of autism. While John has no concept of money or other private property, he is the master of the electronic universe. He has been known to fix video game consoles and DVD players. He is absolutely fascinated by Walt Disney videocassettes. He can tell you the year of production, the length of each movie and the individual voices of the characters. John is often found carrying a Disney video.

"When I read The Tribune's coverage of the death of an autistic young man, who wandered into the wrong house, I was outraged."

"Second, it is impossible to stop an autistic person from escaping 100 percent of the time. We dead bolted our door locks, nailed shut every window, built a six and a half foot fence and John still got out."

"Third, even a homeowner does not get to use deadly force upon an individual who comes to his door, waving a videocassette, with a sick smile. The homeowner has to be in reasonable fear of life or serious bodily injury to him or others. The key word is "reasonable." There are individuals on The Tribune online comment page who believe that any force is reasonable, anytime anyone wanders onto the property."

Related article - Investigation continues into death of autistic Utah man after alleged break-in

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Former Spartan battled bullies, autism and doubters

Chris Solar, Lansing State Journal

Anthony Ianni still commands attention on the court, three years after his playing days ended. All eyes follow him as his 6-foot-9 frame and size 18 shoes pace up and down the gymnasium floor, frantically and purposefully. There is no jersey, there is no ball. Not anymore. These days, he has a microphone and a message: Live your dream.

Anthony Ianni has autism. He was bullied as a child. Doctors doubted he would finish high school. College, a regular job, living independently - none of it seemed possible.

"People made fun of me because of my height and because I took things seriously," he said. "I would break down emotionally, because people would target me all the time.

In first grade, an older boy who had befriended Anthony told him to stick his tongue on a metal playground pole in freezing temperatures. He did it. His mother saw the missing patch of skin that night.

As a high school freshman, a group of seniors would torment him and his classmates relentlessly, even though he was bigger than all of them.

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