Thursday, October 28, 2010

What is it like to raise THREE(!) girls with autism?! Come hear Kim Stagliano speak 11/10. Win a copy of her book!

Come hear from Kim Stagliano, a mother who has been through it all ... raising three girls with autism! Somehow Kim is able to get through it and still maintain an incredible sense of humor about life. Her "Kimoir" as she calls it, will be coming out November 1st. Kim will be speaking in NYC on Wednesday, November 10th at 6:00p at the Rebecca School, 40 East 30th Street.

Kim is a nationally recognized autism advocate and speaker as well as the managing editor of, the nation's first daily web newspaper about the autism epidemic. She writes for the Huffington Post, is on the editorial staff of The Autism File Magazine, and is a feature writer for Spectrum Magazine. Check out Kim's website for more information.

Win a copy of "All I Can Handle: I'm No Mother Teresa" by Kim Stagliano. Visit us here or on our Facebook page the weeks of November 1st and 8th! On Facebook, "Like" us and post a comment. Here, just post a comment between November 1st and November 5th and/or November 8th and November 12th.

Comments the week of November 1st should be about your favorite autism resource, special diet recipe or other tip for parents of ASD kids. Comments the week of November 8th should be about Kim Stagliano's book or talk or about why she is awesome. Remember that on Facebook, to be entered you must "Like" us and post. To be included in both drawings, you must enter twice. Winners will be notified on Monday, November 8th and Monday, November 15th.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Recipe

These homemade peanut butter cups are gluten and dairy free making them a good substitute for Reese's peanut butter cups for anyone who can't have dairy. With a little protein in them, they are a super sweet, but satisfying treat. Some kids are sensitive to peanuts because they can promote yeast overgrowth, so if your child does not do well with peanuts, you can use an alternate nut butter.
In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, confectioners sugar, light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons shortening (or Earth Balance) and mix well until combined.

In a double boiler over water or in the microwave, melt chocolate with the 1/4 cup shortening. Stir with a whisk or a spoon until combined.

Line a muffin tray or sheet tray with 2 inch foil muffin cups.

Drop a rounded teaspoon of peanut butter filling in each muffin cup. Then top each with 2 teaspoons melted chocolate.

Refrigerate overnight or freeze until hard.

Sprinkle almonds or crunchy nuts on top for a little crunch.

Chocolate Peanut Brittle Bark Recipe

Combine 1 bag of marshmallows, recipe for peanut butter filling and 1/4 cup earth balance in a pan over low heat. Stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add 3 cups of gluten free rice cereal. Pour into sheet tray which is lined with greased aluminum foil or parchment. Press down into flat 3/4 inch bar which almost fills tray. Cover with melted chocolate and shortening from above. Sprinkle with almonds. Use a serated knife to cut brittle into candy size pieces. Serve in muffin cups.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEWS: New York Governor David Paterson vetoed Senate Bill S7000b yesterday.

Senate Bill S7000b would have repealed existing anti-discrimination language hard won in 2006, and required that any treatment for autism meet a standard far higher than that required for any other health condition under New York law, or in any other state.

“This standard if passed was so onerously high that we could identify no treatments that we were certain would be covered,” said Marcia Roth, a Budget and Policy Analyst with the Autism Action Network, “And it would have created a dangerous precedent that could serve as a model for other states.”

"Costs currently paid by insurers would have been shifted to county and school district taxpayers," said Tom Abinanti, a Westchester County Legislator and Democratic candidate for Assembly in the 69th district (Greenburgh, Pleasantville and parts of Yonkers).

Read more about the bill on Age of Autism, which has a story on False Promises Autism Insurance Bill Fails in NY Following Grassroots Opposition.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Enter Contest To Win FREE Ticket to Autism/Asperger's Conference this Weekend

ENTER TO WIN CONTEST FOR FREE TICKET to 3rd Annual Autism/Asperger's Conference by leaving a comment with your email.

Hear Temple Grandin, Dr. Ken Bock and other terrific speakers! Leave a comment below between 9am today, Oct 20th, and 11:30pm tomorrow, Oct 21st and (include your email) and your name will be entered in a drawing to win a free pass to BOTH DAYS of the All Ages and Abilities 3rd Annual NYC Autism/Asperger's Conference happening this weekend in NYC.

Please share this opportunity with friends and family! The NAA NY Metro will announce the winner on this blog page Friday morning and will notify the winner via email.

To buy a ticket or learn more about the speakers, please visit "All Ages & Abilities" NYC Autism/Asperger's Conference page.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Announcement of NAA NY Metro - Westchester Branch

We are pleased to announce the formation of the NAA NY Metro - Westchester Branch.

Healing with Homeopathy, spearheaded by Lisa Rudley, and Biomedical Learning Cooperative, spearheaded by Tricia Zarro, have merged with National Autism Association New York Metro Inc. They will constitute the Westchester branch of our Chapter, and will be referred to as the NAA New York Metro Chapter - Westchester Branch.

We are delighted to be able to more effectively reach our community in Westchester and look forward to working closely with Lisa and Tricia in this effort.

Please look forward to receiving emails from NAA NY Metro regarding meetings throughout Westchester. We anticipate having one to two meetings a month in Tarrytown and Briarcliff Manor.

If you would like more information about us, please visit our website.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Journal Pediatrics Reports on MMRV and Seizures

A recent study funded by the CDC and published in the journal PEDIATRICS on Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Varicella Combination Vaccine and the Risk of Febrile Seizures reports that young children who had MMRV vaccine had increased risk of febrile seizures.

Here is the text from the Journal of American Medical Association, 8/25/10 issue.
MMRV and Seizures Bridget M. Kuehn JAMA. 2010;304(8):846. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1198

"Use of combination measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine in young children is associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures 7 to 10 days after vaccination compared with separate vaccination with the varicella vaccine and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The scientists analyzed data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a surveillance system with data from 8 managed care organizations, on more than 450 000 children from 12 to 23 months of age who received either the MMRV or the MMR plus a separate varicella vaccination (Klein NP et al. Pediatrics. 2010;126[1]:e1-e8). They found 1 additional seizure for every 2300 doses of the MMRV vaccine compared with the two separate vaccines.

The CDC recommends using the separate MMR and varicella vaccines for a first dose in children 12 to 23 months old, unless parents have a preference for the MMRV. If MMRV is used, parents should be advised of the risks. The MMRV vaccine remains recommended as a second dose."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autism in The News

We are reprinting below our VP/Treasurer Kim Mack Rosenberg's recent post on her own blog, Embracing Wellness, pulling together the Fox & Friends autism coverage from the past few weekends. We want to be sure everyone is aware of these important news stories.

Fox News Steps Up To The Plate On Autism

Regardless of your political leanings, autism warrior moms and dads should tune in for continuing autism coverage on Fox and Friends - they have made Saturday mornings newsworthy several of the past weekends! To those following autism in the news, CBS's Sheryl Attkisson often seemed like a lone media voice willing to investigate and report on controversial autism issues. Now she is joined by Fox and Friend's Alisyn Camerota. In late September and early October, Ms. Camerota has presented three segments on controversial autism issues.

First, TACA's Rebecca Estepp went head to head to with Dr. Marc Siegel regarding the Hannah Poling case and "Vaccine Court" (the omnibus proceeding), among other things:

The next weekend, Mary Holland, an NYU law professor, and Dana Hall, a parent with a case pending in the autism omnibus proceeding, appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss recent developments in the omnibus proceeding:

Mary and Dana captured in a few short minutes many of the flaws in the omnibus proceeding and why it has failed. Mary summed up with this powerful statement: ". . . we will look back at this proceeding in shame."
Then, on October 2, Dr. Bob Sears, a board-certified pediatrician and author of The Vaccine Book, appeared to discuss the CDC's failure to test vaccines in real world circumstances - i.e., to test the safety of vaccines given in the multi-vaccine combinations in which they are administered to infants and children. Dr. Sears called out the CDC on its testing failures and challenged its blanket claims of vaccine safety, including the CDC's claim that vaccines present lower level exposures than children may encounter in their environment - pointing out that inhaling and injecting are very different! Finally, he touched on the issue of bias and scandal surrounding some vaccine research.

This coverage is welcome and we hope to see more. Let Fox & Friends know that you are tuning in and continue to support Sharyl Attkisson's superb coverage on CBS as well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Age of Autism: An Evening With Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, dozens of people from the tri-state area gathered to meet Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, editors of the online go-to autism newspaper,, and authors of the courageous new book The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic. Mark and Dan spent years studying the history of mercury-induced illnesses, and tie together in this book the history of damage wrought by mercury over the centuries, with many surprising findings. They shared the back story of how the book came to be and read from it as well. Attendees got to spend the evening mingling with Mark and Dan, asking lots of questions, and enjoying good company.

If you haven't already, do read the book and help spread the word - our friends at SafeMinds have great ideas on getting the news out in your community about this book and other important autism information, even if you only have a few minutes to spare - check out their suggestions here.

Mark and Dan recently have appeared on Imus and on WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show to discuss their book and they also were interviewed by Deirdre Imus on Huffington Post. The comment thread on WNYC shows that this book is stirring up controversy on all sides of the autism debate and has people talking. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene even contacted WNYC before the show aired.

Recently, many people also have been discussing the very interesting article in The Atlantic about Dr. Leo Kanner's first identified autism case, "Donald T." The Atlantic piece is certainly a lovely article, however, The Atlantic authors were not the first to find or to write about Donald T. Age of Autism's Dan Olmsted first wrote about him way back in 2005! Read an interesting account of the Olmsted and Atlantic stories by Ginger Taylor, of Adventures in Autism, here.

NAA-NY Metro thanks Katie Wright for her generosity in hosting this wonderful event.

by Kim Mack Rosenberg

(pictured: #1: Dan Olmsted, Katie Wright, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Mark Blaxill; #2: Mark Blaxill & Dan Olmsted)

Friday, October 1, 2010

How Vision Effects the Learning Process in Autistic Children

Dr. Jeffrey Becker (middle) with Mrs. Becker and Mark Raisbeck

On September 22, 2010 the NAA-NY Metro Chapter hosted Jeffrey Becker, O.D., Director of Vision Services, NeuroSensory Center for Eastern Pennsylvania as he gave an interactive lecture on visual deficiency in autistic children. In a room of about thirty people Dr. Becker presented a slide show and spoke about how vision problems affect perception, eye movement and accommodation but he best got his point across by demonstrating how autistic children see things by use of glasses. Dr. Becker showed how seeing things differently altered the way autistic children reacted to certain situations such as walking around and having to touch their surroundings to accommodate for what they couldn’t perceive with their vision. According to Dr. Becker, 80% of learning is through visual experiences and as autism is a sensory disorder, responding to visual deficiencies can make great changes in an autistic child’s progress.

Vision Rehabilitation is an option for autistic children that tests depth perception, poor eye movement, hand-eye coordination, perceptual skill, field loss, and double vision in children. The genetic history is also very important in testing for visual deficiencies. Visual therapy is just as important as a diet, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and should be maintained throughout the child’s life. Computer visual therapy is the most effective as it takes out human error. With early intervention and maintaining visual therapy, there could be a 60-70% recovery rate for children with autism.

For more information Dr. Becker can be reached at
Phone: 570-763-0054

By: Patricia Rollins