Wednesday, February 29, 2012

fINDING a home/The Right to work

Are you or a loved one preparing for adulthood?

We have some great information on residential options and employment just for you! The Autism Society is offering two past issues of the Autism Advocate, the Autism Society's membership magazine. For your gift of $25 or more by March 6, we will send you the following two titles of the Autism Advocate magazine and two Autism Society puzzle ribbon magnets:

Finding a Home Advocate Cover
Finding a Home, Residential Options for Individuals on the Spectrum

Regardless of the age of your loved one on the autism spectrum, it is important to begin to think about future living options. The articles in this issue can provide some helpful suggestions and assist you in creating a vision for an individual’s future. Topics include what to look for in residential services, architectural issues to consider when designing spaces for those on the spectrum, residential options, and more.

The Right to Work, Creating Integrated Employment Outcomes

The Right to Work, includes articles about federal and state government employment efforts and success stories from companies that are taking the lead in hiring individuals with autism. Read this article by an entrepreneur in Denmark who is taking his business model global to enable the creation of one million jobs around the world for people with ASD and similar challenges.

Summer Advocate
Autism Society Awareness Magnets

We will also send you two puzzle ribbon magnets, perfect for a refrigerator, locker or your car!

Please DONATE today to receive these two issues! Thank you for supporting the Autism Society.


Your Friends at the Autism Society

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Autism Conference- Building Bridges

Autism Logo
Registration Includes:
- Breakfast
- Lunch
- Keynote Speech
- Workshops
- Exhibit Hall
- Children's Program
- Networking
- Vast Resources
- ACT 48 & APA Credits (if applicable)
Our Sponsors
Conference Postcard
Keynote Sponsor
IBC Logo
Keynote Speaker
Dr. Peter F. Gerhardt
 Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.
Chair of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research

Conference Postcard Front

Register for one of the region's most prominent autism conferences

Green Tree Partnerships and La Salle University announce the 6th Annual Autism Conference

The Green Tree/La Salle conference is one of the largest, most highly regarded & prestigious autism conferences in the region for individuals with autism, their families & professionals who treat & provide support to this community. 

Event Details
Building Bridges: Supportive Practices from Birth to Adulthood
Date: May 4, 2012
Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Place: Student Union Building, La Salle University, 1900 West Olney Avenue, Phila.
Cost: $40 Students/Parents; $80 All Others

How to Register:
Phone: (609) 518-1259
Fax: (609) 518-1283
Mail: Autism Conference, C/O Event Mood, Corp., P.O. Box 321, Lumberton, NJ 08048

Who Should Attend
Parents and grandparents of children with autism
ASD children ages six and up and their siblings
Community Leaders and Stakeholders
Healthcare Professionals
People who want to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorders among others

Click Image for Exhibitor Form
Exhibitors Wanted
Promote Your Products and Services

Do you offer products and services that support the autism community?
Would you like direct access to this target market? If so, we invite you to exhibit and get positive exposure at the 6th Annual Autism Conference on May 4, 2012

Previous Exhibitors: $125
New Exhibitors: $175

We provide:
- 6ft table displaying your information or products
- Table cloth
- Chairs
- Opportunity to promote your products and services
- Marketing opportunities
Sponsorship opportunities are also available. We invite you to join other companies such as Independence Blue Cross, among others, who have supported this annual conference and the autism community!
Click for advertising form
Advertisers Wanted
Make an even greater and longer lasting impression

Advertise in the 2012 Conference Program Book. This book is a pertinent resource guide that provides information about the various services available to this community. 

Program Book Specifications:
Book Size: 5.5w by 8.5h
Full Color
Deadline: April 4, 2012 (Send ads as jpg or pdf files)

- Full Page $250 (4.5w by 7.5h)
- Half Page $150 (4.5w by 3.5h)
- Qtr Page $100 (4.5w by 1.75h or  2.125w by 3.5h)
- Biz Card $75 (2.125w by 1.75h)

For more information, contact:
Lavinia Awosanya
Event Mood, Corp.
(609) 518-1259

Send ads by April 4 to
This email was sent to by |  
Event Mood, Corp. | P.O. Box 321 | Lumberton | NJ | 08048

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dan Marino Foundation plans vocational college in downtown Fort Lauderdale - Sun Sentinel

Dan Marino Foundation plans vocational college in downtown Fort Lauderdale - Sun Sentinel

Dan Marino Foundation plans downtown Fort Lauderdale college for the developmentally disabled

  • Dan Marino plans to open a vocational college for young adults with disabilities in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Dan Marino plans to open a vocational college for young adults with disabilities… (Taimy Alvarez, Sun Sentinel)
February 07, 2012|By Larry Barszewski, Sun Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Dan Marino Foundation's plans for a downtown college for the developmentally disabled could give students the real-world experiences they need to make it on their own.

For the foundation started by the former Miami Dolphins quarterback in 1992 after his 2-year-old son Michael was diagnosed with autism, the first-of-its-kind college in Florida is a natural next step.

The Dan Marino Foundation Florida Vocational College would help those with developmental disabilities move into adulthood. Marino's own son, now 23, has himself finished college and works as a DJ, performing under the name DJ 1 Tre.

Many of the college's students would live in nearby apartments and use readily available public transportation as they develop their independence. The school's goal is to get students jobs or to prepare them to be successful in a traditional college program.

"We're here to teach the skills, provide the supports and reduce the supports as the program goes along," said Kerri Parmelee, the foundation's transition program director.

A state analysis last year found that of 7,920 developmentally disabled students who left school district programs in 2008, only a fifth of them entered a post-secondary or adult education program the following year.

"A lot of our young adults are sitting at home, doing nothing," said Susan Morantes, the foundation's vice president for disability services. "We need to prepare them."

The foundation's endeavors for the developmentally disabled include Weston's Dan Marino Center — a partnership with Miami Children's Hospital — as well as a research institute and a summer job program for teens and young adults.

To house the college, the foundation paid $2.75 million last year for a three-story building in the 400 block of North Andrews Avenue. The school would be for students ages 18 to 28 who have been diagnosed with autism, Asperger's syndrome, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

Federal and state-mandated services for the developmentally disabled are only available up to age 22. The college would be open to those who have graduated from high school or those who did not graduate and are too old to be eligible for school district services.

Legislation this year to make the Marino Foundation's vocational college part of the state's higher education system passed the state Senate's higher education committee in January. The foundation is also seeking $1 million from the state for building renovations.

Foundation officials aren't confident the state designation will come through — Gov. Rick Scott vetoed similar legislation last year — but they are prepared to run the college as a private entity if the state effort fails.

The goal is to open the campus in the fall of 2013. The college will probably start off with no more than 60 students, officials said.

The North Andrews building would be the heart of college life, housing its student union, an art studio, a student lounge, fitness center and classrooms.

The building won't be a cocoon for students, who will be out on job sites, training programs or taking courses on other college campuses. Some students will participate in existing certificate programs — in auto mechanics, the culinary arts or other fields — offered in the region. The college is also developing a relationship with Nova Southeastern University for students to use its campuses.

"We wanted to create something, much like a two-year community college, but it's totally focused on vocational," said Mary Partin, the foundation's chief executive officer.

Partin anticipates an annual tuition of about $7,500 for the two-year program. The foundation wants students to have access to Pell grants and other financial aid available to college students.

The schedule would be divided into 15-week trimesters with 16 credit hours each, Partin said. Classes and other programs offered by the college would also be available to all.

"We are looking to become licensed and accredited and offering a certificate," Parmelee said.

Carmela Petruzelli, who co-owns The Factory Salon next to the foundation's building, said the college would be a needed shot in the arm for the area.

"They're going to upgrade the neighborhood, get rid of some of the sluminess," Petruzelli said.

The building will be renovated, the parking lot landscaped and improved, and a courtyard for students will be created behind the building, Morantes said.

Partin said the location is ideal for prospective students — close to public transportation, shops and services.

"They are perfect urbanites to live downtown," Partin said of would-be students, many of whom can't drive.

Chris Wren, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said the college would be a welcome addition on the edge of downtown.

"I'm glad to see someone going in there and investing in it," Wren said. "It comes with a great name. I love Dan Marino. I think it's awesome."

Autism Society - The Joint Statement of the Autism Society and Autistic Self Advocacy Network on the DSM-5 and Autism

Autism Society - The Joint Statement of the Autism Society and Autistic Self Advocacy Network on the DSM-5 and Autism

The Joint Statement of the Autism Society and Autistic Self Advocacy Network on the DSM-5 and Autism

January 31, 2012
By Autism Society and ASAN

Basic priorities to keep in mind regarding the proposed definition of autism

As two national organizations committed to working to empower the autism and Autistic communities today and into the future, the Autism Society of America and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network issue the following joint statement regarding the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder within the DSM-5.

The autism spectrum is broad and diverse, including individuals with a wide range of functional needs, strengths and challenges. The DSM-5's criteria for the new, unified autism spectrum disorder diagnosis must be able to reflect that diversity and range of experience. 

Over the course of the last 60 years, the definition of autism has evolved and expanded to reflect growing scientific and societal understanding of the condition. That expansion has resulted in improved societal understanding of the experiences of individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members. It has also led to the development of innovative service-provision, treatment and support strategies whose continued existence is imperative to improving the life experiences of individuals and families. As the DSM-5's final release approaches and the autism and Autistic communities prepare for a unified diagnosis of ASD encompassing the broad range of different autism experiences, it is important for us to keep a few basic priorities in mind.

One of the key principles of the medical profession has always been, "First, do no harm." As such, it is essential that the DSM-5's criteria are structured in such a way as to ensure that those who have or would have qualified for a diagnosis under the DSM-IV maintain access to an ASD diagnosis. Contrary to assertions that ASD is over diagnosed, evidence suggests that the opposite is the case - namely, that racial and ethnic minorities, women and girls, adults and individuals from rural and low-income communities face challenges in accessing diagnosis, even where they clearly fit criteria under the DSM-IV. Furthermore, additional effort is needed to ensure that the criteria for ASD in the DSM-5 are culturally competent and accessible to under-represented groups. Addressing the needs of marginalized communities has been a consistent problem with the  DSM-IV.

Individuals receive a diagnosis for a wide variety of reasons. Evidence from research and practice supports the idea that enhancing access to diagnosis can result in substantial improvements in quality of life and more competent forms of service-provision and mental health treatment. This is particularly true for individuals receiving diagnosis later in life, who may have managed to discover coping strategies and other adaptive mechanisms which serve to mask traits of ASD prior to a diagnosis. Frequently, individuals who are diagnosed in adolescence or adulthood report that receiving a diagnosis results in improvements in the provision of existing services and mental health treatment, a conceptual framework that helps explain past experiences, greater self-understanding and informal support as well as an awareness of additional, previously unknown service options.

Some have criticized the idea of maintaining the existing, broad autism spectrum, stating that doing so takes limited resources away from those most in need. We contend that this is a misleading argument - no publicly funded resource is accessible to autistic adults and children solely on the basis of a diagnosis. Furthermore, while the fact that an individual has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder does not in and of itself provide access to any type of service-provision or funding, a diagnosis can be a useful contributing factor in assisting those who meet other functional eligibility criteria in accessing necessary supports, reasonable accommodations and legal protections. As such, we encourage the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Working Group to interpret the definition of autism spectrum disorder broadly, so as to ensure that all of those who can benefit from an ASD diagnosis have the ability to do so.

The Autism Society and Autistic Self Advocacy Network encourage other organizations and groups to join with us in forming a national coalition aimed at working on issues related to definition of the autism spectrum within the DSM-5. Community engagement and representation within the DSM-5 process itself is a critical component of ensuring accurate, scientific and research-validated diagnostic criteria. Furthermore, our community must work both before and after the finalization of the DSM-5 to conduct effective outreach and training on how to appropriately identify and diagnose all those on the autism spectrum, regardless of age, background or status in other under-represented groups.
Ari Ne'eman
President of
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
 Scott Badesch
President of
Autism Society


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Research Study


Research Treatment Study for 12-21 Year Olds with ASD

Do you have a child between the ages of 12 and 21 who has an autism spectrum disorder?
The STX209 (Arbaclofen) Seaside Therapeutics Research Study at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is looking for participants.

What are the goals of this research study?
We are doing a research study to learn more about an investigational drug called Arbaclofen. We want to know if this drug helps to treat symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, including social withdrawal, listlessness, or inactivity.
Who can be a part of this research study?
We are looking for individuals ages 12 to 21 who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and who exhibit certain behaviors such as listlessness and inactivity, isolation from other children and adults, or fixed facial expressions and lack of emotional responses.
What will participants be asked to do?
We will ask you and your child to come to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia a total of 7 times over the course of about 5 months for study visits. The study involves administration of either the study drug or placebo by mouth for 12 weeks followed by 28 days of withdrawal. Most visits will last between one and two hours, although visits toward the beginning and end will last longer. During each of the visits, a doctor will talk with you about how your child is doing. We'll check your child's weight, height, pulse, blood pressure, and heart function. We'll also take blood samples at certain visits. An electrocardiogram (ECG) will be performed to monitor your heart beating and will be performed twice during the study. As the parent, you will need to answer some written questions about your child and record each dose of study medication taken by your child. For each visit to our center, a small payment may be offered to offset travel expenses.

What are the benefits of taking part in this research study?
If you take part in this study, there may or may not be direct medical benefit to your child. However, your child will receive study-related care, monitoring, and frequent visits with the study doctor at no cost to you. We'll give you information about autism spectrum disorders and possible treatment options.
I want to help! Who do I call?
If you are interested in learning more about participation, please respond by phone or email with your phone number and the best time to reach you, and one of the members of our team will call you. 
Study Contact:
Rosa Kim

Study Contact:
Rosa Kim

Study Contact:
Rosa Kim

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autismMatch is a tool that quickly and easily connects individuals and families in the Mid-Atlantic and adjacent regions with autism research studies on treatment, diagnosis, genetics, and brain imaging, as well as studies focused on common co-occurring problems related to sleep and anxiety. Children and adults with or without autism are welcome to join autismMatch. Click here to enroll online