Archived | Autism Speaks Los Angeles June Newsletter | Circa June 4, 2008


Autism Speaks Los Angeles Chapter losangeles@autismspeaks.org via sm1.kintera.com Wed, Jun 4, 2008, 1:52 PM
to Genevieve

June Newsletter

Has it really been a whole month since the Los Angeles Walk?

 Since walk day we have increased our total with an additional $142,000!  That’s quite an accomplishment but we need your help to hit our goal of $2 million!  The website will stay open until the end of July so continue to fundraise and send in your donations from family, friends and co-workers.  You can still hold a restaurant night, have a bake sale or do a lemonade stand as the weather warms up and summer approaches.

Visit www.walknowforautism.org/losangeles  

 For highlights and photos from the Los Angeles Walk, go to http://www.autismspeaks.org/walk_events/los_angeles_walk_2008.
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SCIENCE

On May 17 at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in London, a presentation was given as part of the Baby Sibs Consortium, an Autism Speaks initiative where researchers study infant siblings of children with autism to better understand the early manifestations in order to begin effective interventions as early as possible. 

A network of scientists from 11 sites across North America gathered head growth data on 761 infant siblings at risk and 400 non-risk infants. Through measuring head circumference, a proportion of children with autism showed an atypical pattern of head growth early in life.

Increased head circumference has been the most consistently replicated biological marker of autism as early as 1943 when it was first described by Leo Kanner. It was found that infants who were later diagnosed with autism had a more rapid rate of head growth in the first 2 years of life than infants who did not develop autism. 

For example, they begin with average size head at birth, and enlarged head size by the preschool years.  Monitoring head growth, can easily be done at a well-baby visit, and could be an early risk marker for autism in infants who have an older sibling with autism. 

In another presentation, a team of researchers from UCLA, led by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, presented a “friendship training” model, which was adapted from a program originally developed for typical children facing social challenges. This new intervention for 13-17 year olds with autism targets conversational skills, social networks, sportsmanship, teasing and arguing. The researchers concluded that social abilities significantly improved after the interventions. There were more reported get-togethers with friends, more meaningful relationships, and parents reported less conflict than prior to the intervention. For a full recap of the IMFAR events Read More  


ADVOCACY

Autism Votes, an initiative of Autism Speaks that focuses on advocacy, launched a new website in March.  The website is designed to keep the autism community abreast of a variety of governmental issues on both the state and federal level.  As California continues to grow their grassroots and work on state based initiatives, we will need your help out in the community. 

Our goal is to have 30,000 advocates in the state of California signed up by the end of this year so that next year will be even more productive! Forward this information to your family, friends, business associates, teachers, therapists and neighbors.  Even if they live in another state, their assistance at a grassroots level is very important as we work on a variety of issues! Please take a moment to sign up for advocacy alerts today to find out how you can help in the near future by visiting www.autismvotes.org

This will keep you updated on legislative issues and is the best way that you can personally make a difference in legislation that impacts families.   Thanks! 

AWARENESS  

Third Annual Athletes Against Autism Golf Tournament Bacara Resort & SpaSandpiper Golf ClubJune 22-23, 2008 Santa Barbara 

 Sunday evening, Bacara Resort & Spa will host a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner program and live auction.  On Monday, Sandpiper Golf Club will host the golf tournament, including contests for Hole in One, Closest to the Pin, Accurate and Longest Drives, and an after event BBQ Dinner & Awards Reception. Olie Kolzig, Byron Dafoe, Scott Mellanby, Travis LaBoy, Travis Hall, Campy Russell, Fred Brown, Tom Flores, Jim Gott, Greg Swindell, Andruw Jones, Scott Erickson and Sinjin Smith are among those expected to tee off in support of autism awareness and research.  With over 35 athletes and celebrities, golfers, and supporters from across North America, join us for this spectacular weekend and help raise over $350,000 in support of the research, awareness, and outreach programs of Autism Speaks. 

 View the Invitation.View the list of AAA Athletes.

Interested in becoming a Sponsor?  Visit Us Online.
Interested in volunteering at the event?Email: epetievich@autismspeaks.org or call 323-297-4757 for more information.  

 FAMILY SERVICES

 Interested in Participating in Local Research?

The online Family Services Resource Guide lists opportunities for families to make a significant contribution to scientific research. You can join a clinical trial, enroll in a research study, contribute to our rich genetic database, or participate online by adding your family information to a research database. While 90% of children with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials, only 5% of children with autism currently participate in research, which is why your participation will make a BIG difference! In addition to Autism Speaks’ initiatives such as the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and the Clinical Trials Network (CTN), we also have studies listed for other research organizations in Rolling Hills, Los Angeles, and Pasadena.

Please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org/community/family_services/index.php and click on “Participate in Research” to find a study near you! 

 Take Advantage of the Resource Library!

Family Services has developed a Resource Library to provide you with a variety of information and reference materials. The Resource Library includes the latest blogs, books, catalogs, DVDs/CDs, educational toys, magazines, manuals, toolkits, and autism websites. You can access the Resource Library at http://www.autismspeaks.org/community/resources/index.php.

We hope you find it helpful! If you’d like to recommend a resource for the library, please e-mail the Autism Response Team. 

Thank you! 

COMMUNITY/LOCAL  IHOP Fundraising Dinner

June 22nd come out and support Autism Speaks by having dinner at IHOP in the city of Duarte. 20% of the night’s proceeds will be donated to Autism Speaks! View flyer 

8th annual Joe Mantegna Celebrity Golf ClassicProceeds benefit HomeChoice, a non-profit organization that helps create independent living experiences for people with disabilities.  They help with budget management, credit counseling and offer assistance in finding loans.  

 June 30, 2008 MountainGate Country Club
For information to participate or become a sponsor, call (310) 258-4031 or visit www.homechoices.org 

Back to School Autism/Aspergers Conference

Keynote address will feature nationally renowned author Carol Gray talking about Social Impairment and Social Solutions.  Individual sessions will focus on such topics as Behavior Therapy, IEPs, Family Issues and separate workshops for professionals. View flyer 

Aug 9-10, 2008 Pasadena Convention Center 

The conference is vendored by Regional Center.  Discounted prices for anyone who registers and pays by July 18!  Student rates also available.For more information, call (480) 831-2047 or email autismconferences@gmail.com.  

Orange County Walk Now for Autism

The Orange County Walk is set for Saturday, November 15 at Hidden Valley in Irvine.  Registration is open at www.walknowforautism.org/orangecounty

If you know anyone who would like to participate on the committee and help plan the event, they can contact Liz Carroll at (323) 297-4769 or ecarroll@autismspeaks.org

 Parent Workshop

The Autism Partnership is offering a one-day workshop to help parents with the issues of eating, sleeping and toileting for children affected by autism.  It will be taught by Dr. Ron Leaf, a licensed psychologist with over 35 years of experience treating children, and will offer practical strategies.  June 10, 20088:30 AM-2:30 PMSeal Beach, CA For more information, contact The Autism Partnership at (800) 816-9293 or email AutismPtnr@aol.com 

 Phillip Hain Executive Director, Los Angeles Chapter 

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