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Autism Society April 2011 Newsletter

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The Autism Society Calls for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to Immediately Respond to the Crisis in Services and Supports for People with Autism

A letter is being drafted for consideration by the IACC to bring recommendations to HHS Secretary Sebelius on how to address the crisis.
On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Services Subcommittee met to discuss issues related to services and supports for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families in light of the current budget crisis that is facing our nation. Lee Grossman, President & CEO of the Autism Society, and Ellen Blackwell, of CMS, co-chairs of the subcommittee, led the meeting, during which the crisis was laid out in graphic detail. Read more…
Jeff Sell Blogs about Budget Crisis
Jeff Sell, Autism Society Vice President of Public Policy and General Counsel, is a featured blogger on for National Autism Awareness Month. Entitled, Together We can Improve Lives, Jeff's blog outlines the impacts of the budget cuts on services and supports for the autism community. Read more… 

Explore Complementary Therapies in the New Autism Advocate
The recent issue of the Autism Advocate magazine discusses therapies such as video modeling, yoga, music, animal assisted therapy, and more. Complementary therapies can provide people with autism a sense of belonging in the community, improvement in self-esteem and increased confidence. Read more…
Join Wretches & Jabberers on Tour this April!
Coming off a successful opening weekend in 10 cities, Wretches & Jabberers will continue to play in 30 more locations throughout April. Don't miss this opportunity; click here to purchase presale tickets: AMC Theatres is generously donating 10% of ticket sales to the Autism Society to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month. The Autism Society will use this kind donation to increase its advocacy efforts on behalf of adults with autism. Visit for more information!
Did you see the film? Take our survey and let us know what you thought.
Wretches & Jabberers Album on Special Release Now Only at Barnes & Noble
The soundtrack for the new autism documentary Wretches & Jabberers is now available for purchase exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores. Take some time to listen, buy a copy and share it with your friends and family! Every purchase will help the Autism Society's work to advocate for adult services and supports. Read more…
Don't Miss the Next Sensory Friendly Film!
Join AMC Theatres and the Autism Society on April 30 for a special showing of Rio. We will be showing the movie at 10 a.m. local time in participating theatres nationwide. For more information or to find a theatre near you, visit
April 9 show: Please note that theatres in the Washington, D.C.; Kansas City; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego; Dallas; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Denver; Miami; and Norfolk markets will show Hop on April 9, due to scheduled screenings of Wretches & Jabberers.
Autism Society Sponsors PBS NewsHour Special Report on Autism
PBS NewsHour will be airing a special report called Autism Today, a six-part series, during National Autism Awareness Month. Robert MacNeil, co-founder of the PBS NewsHour, and producer Caren Zucker will tell their personal stories in the series.  MacNeil is grandfather to Nick, a 6-year-old on the autism spectrum. Zucker has a 16-year-old son with autism. Autism Today will air on the PBS NewsHour from April 18 to 26. Read more…
Carino's Italian Restaurant to Donate a Portion of its Proceeds to the Autism Society for National Autism Awareness Month
Carino's Italian Restaurant will give a portion of its proceeds gained throughout the month of April to the Autism Society to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month and to help families affected by autism. To learn more about Carino's Italian Restaurant, visit
Gingrich Foundation Names Autism Society Charity of the Month
In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, the Gingrich Foundation has selected the Autism Society as Charity of the Month, recognizing the organization's devotion to improving the lives of all individuals affected by autism spectrum disorders. The Autism Society would like to thank the Gingrich Foundation for this honor. Read more…
Autism Journeys: Zidlow

In Autism Journeys, we ask individuals on the spectrum, professionals and family members of all kinds to share their stories of what they have learned in their journeys with autism. This week, a father of a teenager with autism recounts his “Clarence moment." Read more...

Join the Autism Society on Facebook
The Autism Society is about people helping people.
Thank you to all of our friends who log on to the Autism Society official Facebook page, to share your experiences and knowledge. You are making a difference. Please help us reach out to more people who can benefit from the support of others. Suggest our page to your friends and help us reach 250,000 supporters by midnight on Monday, April 11th! Click here to “like” us.
You can also get your autism policy-related news on Facebook by visiting Vote4Autism.

Autism Headlines Weekly

The Autism Society brings you the most important autism news from around the Web. This week, a family struggles with decisions they must make as their daughter leaves the school setting, getting people with autism to exercise and an Autism Society chapter pushes back on new research findings about the efficacy of autism treatments. Read more…


We Need Your Help: Transitioning towards Excellence & Achievement in Mobility (TEAM Act)

Included in this trio of legislation is the TEAM-Education Act (H.R. 602); TEAM-Empowerment Act (H.R. 603) and TEAM-Employment Act (H.R. 604)
The Autism Society believes early intervention is critical to the future success of all youth in preparation for adulthood, including individuals with significant disabilities. The TEAM legislation is positioned to provide needed assistance during this transition. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor this legislation. Read more…
Re-authorizing the Combating Autism Act
In 2006, President Bush signed into law the Combating Autism Act (CAA, PL 109-416). During National Autism Awareness Month, the Autism Society strongly urges legislators to take action to introduce and pass a bill to reauthorize this important legislation quickly before it expires this September. Otherwise, the growing number of individuals with autism will go without needed services and important research taking place will come to an end. Read more…
IDEA Fairness Restoration Act (S. 613/H.R. 1208)
Recently, legislation was introduced  in Congress to allow parents to recover expert witness fees in due process hearings and litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Autism Society agrees that all students, regardless of background or ability, are entitled to receive an education that gives them the opportunity to live a successful and fulfilling life. Read more…
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Full Committee Meeting
Please join us for an IACC Full Committee meeting that will take place on Monday, April 11, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET in Washington, DC. Onsite registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. Read more…
The Budget Crisis:  An Update from Capitol Hill

The never-ending debate over the federal budget rages on in Washington, D.C. Over the past few days, the partisan back and forth has increased. Here are the most recent developments. Read more…

Workers with Intellectual Disabilities Abused by Texas-based Company for Years, EEOC Charges

Hill County Farms, doing business as Henry's Turkey Service, subjected a group of 31 men with intellectual disabilities to severe abuse and discrimination for more than 20 years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed yesterday in Davenport, Iowa. The company is based in Goldthwaite, Texas, but the work and abuse occurred in West Liberty and Atalissa, Iowa. Read more…


Gene Linked to Severity of Autism's Social Dysfunction

With the help of two sets of brothers with autism, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a gene associated with autism that appears to be linked very specifically to the severity of social interaction deficits. Read more…


Autism Awareness Month: Facts and Tips for Working with Students on the Autism Spectrum
Compiled by Dr. Cathy Pratt, Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, and Autism Society Board Member. Read more…


Have you Registered for the 42nd National Conference?  The Full Conference Program is Now Online.
Conference highlights include a  keynote on Saturday, July 9, with the cast and crew of Wretches and Jabberers; keynote on Friday, July 8, to be delivered by Shonda Schilling, author of The Best Kind of Different and mother of a son with Asperger's. Read more…
Registration is Open! Early Bird Registration Rates are in Effect from Now until April 30, so Register Early for the Best Deal
The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, at the Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Center July 6-9, 2011. July 6 is the preconference day and the regular conference begins on July 7. Visit to register today. Read more…


A Boy Named Mac
A Boy Named Mac was developed by a grandmother and mother who were looking for ways to cope with a family member's diagnosis of autism. The illustrations were inspired by the way this little boy found his way in his world. The book has been used in his classroom and other classrooms to foster understanding and friendships. Read more…
The Help Group's Special Needs Resource Fair

The Help Group will hold its second annual Special Needs Resource Fair on Saturday, May 7, at 11:00 am to 3:00 p.m. at The Help Group's Autism Center, located at 13164 Burbank Blvd. Read more… 

Greeting Card Company Teaches Special-Needs Young Adults and Adults Skills to Gain Independence

A Goodwill program, Paperworks Studio, makes greeting cards. The production team of artists who make the cards are people with special needs, including autism. Read more…