Sunday, October 18, 2009

2nd Annual Autism/Asperger's Conference in New York City - Oct. 3-4, 2009

James Adams, Nancy O'Hara, and Sabeeha Rehman

They came from all boroughs of New York City, from Upstate New York and Downstate New York, from New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire, from Louisiana and Colorado, and from Montreal. Exhibit space was sold out; an art exhibit displayed the work of artists on the spectrum; gift-bags with food samples for all, colorful booths including an indoor gym set, and parents, grandparents, teachers, therapists, and doctors, settled in for the two-day conference to listen to an array of superb speakers. This was Autism/Asperger’s conference 2009.

Some memorable quotes and take-home messages:

Oreo!” The baby points and crows. He can’t talk yet, but already he knows what an Oreo is…and he knows that if he looks at his mother and points, she’ll give him one. This amazing process of ‘knowing’ is from his birth. An autistic child is missing this innate gift. He might know the name for an Oreo, but not what it’s for, and not how to ask for it”. Eustacia Cutler – 83 year-old mother of 62 year old Temple Grandin

“Early Intervention assessment should not just rely on data, but take into consideration informed clinical opinion i.e parent’s report, and the natural context.” Steven Blaustein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

“To maximize your insurance reimbursement, demonstrate medical necessity and the diagnosis code to support it, and get the physician to sign-off on it.” Christina Peck, CPC

“Yoga has the potential to significantly improve fine & gross motor skills, muscular fitness, muscular strength, and balance.” Deborah Gruber, M.Ed., Ph.D.

“Our children should be on probiotics – the good germs; Our children are not getting enough Vitamin D – they need 20 minutes of sun exposure daily; first build up their mineral level, then get the lead out; rotate foods each week; give them protein for breakfast; avoid MSG – an excitotoxin; and if you first treat their medical problems, the neurologic problems will improve.” Nancy O’Hara, M.D.

“Vitamin/mineral supplement is well-absorbed, and improves nutritional status, porphyrins, possibly neurotransmitters, and possibly autism symptoms.” James Adams, Ph.D.

“There is no perception without attention. We see with our eyes and perceive with our brain. Our eyes view the landscape. Our right brain maps the geography. Our left brain interprets the information”. Melvin Kaplin, O.D.

“We do what we do because we want something, or we want to avoid something…child doesn’t want to stay in school – child cries – child is sent home. Identify what he is trying to avoid. Change the antecedent or the consequence, or both, and you modify behavior.” Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., BCBA

“Top 10 Must Buy Organic Foods: Peaches, apples, pear, winter squash, green bean, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, and potatoes”. Geri Brewster, RD, MPH, CDN

“Family Services offered by Autism Speaks: Online Resource Guide, 100 Day Kit, Resource Library, School Community Tool Kit, Autism Safety Project, Family Services Community Grants, Autism Response Team Coordinators, Family Legal Appeal Project…” Peter Bell.

“Do not delay making your Will and appointing a guardian for your children. You must review your will periodically, as circumstances may change.” Stuart Flaum

And the most memorable moment, as a young lady sitting in the front seat, addressed the writer’s panel:
“I had autism…I have recovered…and I don’t want ever to go back again, it was too painful.” Liz

Sabeeha Rehman


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