OAARSN NEWS BULLETIN
17 May 2005
conference reports advances in early diagnosis, role of immune system
Some 700 scientists
from around the world who gathered in Boston this
week shared exciting advances in understanding the causes of and
treatments for autism disorders, which affect up to one of every 166
people. Autism is a brain disorder that can severely impair a child's
communication and social skills, leaving them in apparent isolation
from their families and communities. Among the advances reported by
Early Detection: Identification of both
potential biological markers in the blood (biomarkers) and behaviors
that will allow scientists and physicians to identify autism in
infants, and thus initiate early treatment.
Immune System: Strong
evidence that autism may be a disorder involving the immune system as
well as a disorder of the brain.
Genetics: Studies homed in
on chromosomal regions implicated in autism. Exciting results came from
looking at autistic-like traits.
Environment: Scientists documented overlap
between environmentally responsive genes and genes associated with
autism, and found evidence into the potential role of environmental
toxins such as PCBs.
May Enable Early Diagnosis of Autism
The immune system responses of children with autism differ from those
of children who do not have the disorder, according to a new study
released at the 4th International Meeting for Autism Research. This is
important evidence that autism, currently defined primarily by distinct
behaviors, potentially may be defined by distinct biologic changes as
well, say the researchers behind the work.
Age of Autism: Series of articles in UPI by Dan
intriguing questions of whether autism spectrum disorders have been
always with us or
whether they appeared only in the 20th century. And if so, why? See
links to earlier instalments.
The Age of Autism: The Amish anomaly
The Age of Autism: Julia
The Age of Autism: Sick children
Transcript of a United Press International interview with Dr Elizabeth Mumper, newly appointed medical director of the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, a group that suspects mercury -- and possibly some vaccines themselves -- are implicated in an alarming increase in childhood disorders.
The Age of Autism: A new approach
Second part of interview with Dr Mumper.
Links to earlier articles in the series:
The Age of Autism: Donald T. and Fritz V. (9 February 2005)
Behaviors In Infants Can Predict Autism
Canadian researchers at McMaster
University have become the first
to pinpoint specific behavioral signs in infants as young as 12 months
that can predict, with remarkable accuracy, whether a child will
develop autism. The preliminary findings, published this month in the
Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, were taken from an ongoing study
of 200 Canadian infants, the largest study of its kind in the world.
The infants, many of whom have been followed from birth to 24 months,
are younger siblings of children who have been diagnosed with autism.
Canadian Study Indicates Autism Could Be
Potentially Spotted Earlier
two-year study of 150 children at several Canadian
hospitals who were already at a higher risk of developing autism is reported in the
April-May edition of the International Journal of Developmental
Neuroscience. Common behavioral traits were found in the
19 infants who actually went on to develop autism.
therapy that focuses on parents' interactions with their children could
treat autism at a far lower cost than other strategies for the
according to researchers. Their study found that a therapy called
teaching, given over one year, led to gains in language and behavioral
development among young children with autism or other pervasive
disorders — a group of disorders marked by problems in the development
communication and social skills.
diet link to disorders
British children are
suffering behavioural and learning disorders because their diets are
deficient in vital nutrients needed for their brains to function
normally, a study reveals today. Rigorous scientific research shows
that the performance of underachieving children, some of whom were also
disruptive, improved dramatically when their diets were supplemented
with fish oils. The fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that are
essential for brain development and function but are largely missing
from modern processed diets. The
study, published in this month's issue of the American journal
Pediatrics and conducted by researchers from Oxford University's
department of physiology, found that some 40% of the children made
dramatic improvements in reading and spelling when given supplements
high in omega-3 essential fats.
submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and
Board in plain text format by email to email@example.com
with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
details of the following as BRIEFLY as possible:
Speakers and Topics of Event
and Location of Event
information to learn more about event
URL Link for more information/registration
Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments
May 22, at 8 pm
Presents..."Autism is a World"
“Autism Is a World,” a
co-production of CNN Productions and State of the Art Inc., will make
its television premiere as a CNN Presents documentary on Sunday, May
22, at 8 p.m. (ET) The film, nominated for an Academy Award® for
Best Documentary Short Subject by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences in February, is a candid and compelling look into the mind
of Sue Rubin, a 26-year-old Los Angeles woman living with autism.The
film is directed by Gerardine Wurzburg. “Autism Is a World” combines
Rubin’s courageous writing with a sensitive, dramatic reading by
actress Julianna Margulies. Brought to life through the powerful
filmmaking of Gerardine Wurzburg, “Autism Is a World” offers a view of
autism as it has rarely been seen—from the inside out.
for more about CNN Classroom Edition aired Monday, May 23, 4-5pm
for availability of the film
22-23, in Philadelphia
Making Sense of Autism
Practical Skills for Working
with Autistic Children
Unique workshops by two
clinicians, one with Asperger's syndrome and one autistic.
Free American Sign Language Classes
of Waterloo, May 24th-July
Once a week for an hour and a half on Tuesdays in PAS 1056 for 8
Everybody is more than welcome to come and learn.
information, contact Doreen Siu firstname.lastname@example.org
May 26-29, 2005, in
Autism One Conference in Chicago
Features four major tracks to
help parents and professionals make the most informed choices and
Communication / Education Therapies
/ Personal Issue
May 29-31, 2005,
that Works for Everyone"
Living Ontario 2005 - 52nd Conference and AGM
Hilton London Hotel, London, Ontario.
Contact: Shirley Yuen,
416-447-4348, ext. 226
Aspergers Society of Ontario Workshop Series in
June 20: Financial Planning for
the Future, Mary
for more information and registration form
Note the new Canadian
book on Asperger Syndrome from Jessica Kingsley Publishers: "Children,
Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Integrating Multiple
Perspectives." For more information go to www.jkp.com
July 10-13, 2005
Toronto Summer Institute: Inclusion,
Community and Diversity
Hall - Humber College - Lakeshore Campus
working actively on the complex issues
of inclusion and diversity in communities, workplaces and schools will
attend this event. This Institute is for Thinkers and Doers. - for
know there are no easy answers and who are seeking new ways of thinking
acting. This will be a unique adventure in building a learning
together. The faculty see themselves as a jazz combo who have a
and a flair for improvisation - harmonizing with the participants.”
Pearpoint & Cathy Hollands
Inclusion Press International &
The Marsha Forest Centre: Inclusion•Family•Community
Tel: 416-658-5363 Fax: 416-658-5067
18-22, 2005, in Hamilton
Environments for Wellness and Occupation
McMaster University - School
of Rehabilitation Science
Issues--new OAARSN Discussion Boards and Topics. Press the
bar on OAARSN’s main page
then choose Discussion Area
wins struggle with Revenue Canada
Shirley Joris of
Windsor has just won her appeal against Revenue Canada, arguing
successfully that self-employed support workers are not engaged in
insurable and pensionable employment while supporting her daughter
Shannon who has autism.
BOOKS, WEBSITES AND OTHER RESOURCES
ODSP Activism & Support
"Autism information all in one place"
The Public Autism Resource & Information Service (PARIS) is a new online service provided and managed by the National Autistic Society (NAS) in Britain.
to all legislation and directives that directly affect ODSP
recipients and applicants.
-an Advocacy center
point for challenging ODSP legislation and policy
that is unfair, restrictive, unconstitutional, demeaning, punitive,
where ODSP recipients can go to exchange ideas, seek assistance,
get support, and find current information on ODSP changes and
-Promoting advocacy efforts, provide information on current campaigns and advocacy groups
Reducing The Risk
Safety Strategies for People who Use AAC, including:
The Speak Up Project: Safeguarding People who use Augmentative Communication from Sexual Abuse/Victimization
Evidence of Harm Discussion List Starts Up
An Evidence of Harm email discussion list has been created in response to the growing interest in the book and the issues it chronicles. Here is the list description:
The purpose is "to track and discuss the progress of events as told by David Kirby in his book... Loosely, we will try to pick up on events since ... November of 2004. Of keen interest to participants are the issues of government public health negligence and corruption and the various political efforts by parents to end the spectrum of epidemics that is being revealed as mercury poisoning, especially autism. This list is independent of David Kirby or the book publisher, or any commercial interests. Some material will be supplied by the Schafer Autism Report that has not appeared in the newsletter itself. The focus of this group is not vaccines, although it is a core element in these events." Here is how to subscribe (no cost): EOHarmemail@example.com
Hosts Needed The EOH Discussion list is recruiting hosts. There is not much to this. There is no moderating of messages, aka censorship. But you may have to privately ask anyone being rude to cool it. If they don't you would ask them to leave. You could help keep conversations going, if so inclined. And you could submit interesting, relevant items for discussion. But that's
optional. Let us know: EOHarmfirstname.lastname@example.org
Other relevant lists:
For bio-med techies:
email@example.com Autism Biomedical Discussion (abmd) is a group of parents and professionals dedicated to the exploration and pursuit of biomedical research and treatments for children with autism. This list has over 2000 members.
On issues of treatment for mercury and support, mostly:
firstname.lastname@example.org To discuss current issues related to the increasing incidence of autism the potential link between excessive mercury exposure via thimerosal in infant vaccines. Topics include: mercury detoxification ("chelation"), mercury-related issues/news, and
vaccination-related issues/news. Most members are parents of children with autism, aspergers, ADD, ADHD, PDD, PDD-NOS, SID, oppositional defiance disorder, apraxia, speech disorders, and/or other related symptoms. This list is just under 5,000 and is probably the largest autism discussion list.
http://www.909shot.com The best, level-headed vaccine information website is one by the National Vaccine Information Center. If you are trying to make a decision about whether to vaccinate yourself or your child we hope you find the information on our website helpful in making an informed decision. We recommend that you not only use NVIC's information in making a
decision but also talk to trusted health professionals and consider browsing through other vaccine information web sites, many of which are linked directly from this web site.
CALLING FOR HELP AND
adults with autism is usually negative. We receive many appeals for
on where to turn for help--with diagnosis and assessment, advocacy,
for the future, alternatives to approaches that are not working. There
are virtually no obvious sources of help for isolated adults with
and their caregivers.
some adults and their families and caregivers are heroically using what
resources they have to achieve some successes with their challenges.
can report remarkable progress. We invite you, as an adult or caregiver
living with autism, to share your perceptions, problems and success
you think others might help or benefit.
Rose, By Any Other Name...
If you had AS, just what would
it "feel" like?
To me it's a rose bush all lavish with blooms,
And although many others do search out the flowers,
There's more to a rose bush than what one assumes.
For one thing, the rose bush
is often quite viney,
And needs to be held back or grows out of shape;
But one thing that makes it quite awkward to handle
Is that it has thorns on it's bio landscape.
These thorns are a nuisance,
and often cause scratches,
And while many feel they would like them to part,
Those thorns are a part of the rose's own makeup,
And one must take thorns with a feeling of heart;
But lest we forget all the
petals and blossoms
That show all the beauty a rose can expose,
The one thing that makes this rose unique in essence,
Is non but the scent that it gives in one's nose.
So, AS is seen as the thorns
and the blossoms,
But under the surface, the scent is the key,
And as there are so many types of rose bushes,
The AS is ladened with diversity....
you wish, we will not print your name or email address. You may send a
to email@example.com for
Or you might use the OAARSN Discussion Board, reached by pressing the
bar on our main page