My first professional blog attempt


Welcome All!

The objective of this blog is to advocate, educate and inform my readers by providing an 'insiders view' to the screening, assessment and interventions for adults with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Timely articles and postings will include topics such as screening, evaluation, self-manangement techniques, specific differences, evidence-based interventions (EBI), Alternative Behavioural Analyses (ABA) and much more.

As a trained counsellor, I was recently diagnosed AS and so this blog also dares to share part of my own journey through assessment & adjustment -- and eventually seeing the issue "with new eyes"; and other salient issues that might affect those struggling to come to grips with their diagnosis (especially those diagnosed later in life, like I was).

Created as a practical and useful resource, this blog will attempt to offer its visitors essential information -- hopefully useful for informing other counsellors & mental health professionals, advocates, barristers, Special Ed instructors, and, most of all, for those NT adults with "Spectrumite" partners.






Friday, 14 October 2011

WHAT 'MASKS' DO YOU WEAR?

I CAN REALLY RELATE TO THIS POET, WHO WRITES OF THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES IN THE DAILY GRIND.  BOY CAN I RELATE -- IT REMINDS ME OF MANY TIMES I SAT IN THE LUNCH ROOM OF A LOGGING CAMP ON THE WEST COAST OF B.C. WITH A PASSLE OF HAIRY, BURLY FALLERS -- NOT RELATING TO ANY OF THEM IN ANY WAY!

... an autistic adult prepares for a day in the workplace ...

Today again I’ll strap on my mask for you;
zip up my ludicrous human suit;
force most of my thoughts into small closed boxes
so that when I speak, you are not made uncomfortable.

When I am not trapped in a room full of chattering
sometimes I can pass for one of your kind.
You few who reach for me with well-meaning thoughts:
even you have no clue how hard this is, nor can you.

If you are sighted and want to try blindness,
bind your eyes for a day, a week – you might come close.
But there are no easy ways to shut down your radar,
lock yourself in my clumsy robot cage and be.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways.


(c) Melinda Smith 2011

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

For my wonderful readers in the USA -- Eastern seaboard (New England)

CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!

Autism Consortium Symposium

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Check in at 8:30am and gather important information at the Family Research and Resource Fair, which will feature enrollment opportunities in the latest research studies as well as materials on local autism programs and resources.   From noon to 1:00pm a box lunch will be available and there will be a poster session highlighting research in progress.

The morning session begins at 9:30am with a welcome by Executive Director, Deirdre Phillips

A plenary session on New Visions for Autism Treatment which will feature 
Christopher McDougle, MD, Head of the Lurie Family Autism Center at Massachusetts General Hospital; Jean Frazier, MD, Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center; and William Barbaresi, MD, Associate Chief of the Division of Developmental Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston. 

A talk on Bridging Clinical Care and Clinical Research by Roula Choueiri, MD, a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center will follow.

Next, Dennis Wall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Director of the Computational Biology Initiative at Harvard Medical School will present on his work on Shortening the Behavioral Diagnosis of Autism Through Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Health Technologies.

Lunch will offer a poster session highlighting research in progress.

The afternoon will begin with an important and timely session on Relaying Research Findings to Families: Ethical and Legal Considerations by Pearl O'Rourke, MD, Director, Human Research Affairs at Partners Health Care System.

Following this, Mark Daly, PhD, Associate Professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute will provide an update on Autism Genetics:  New Advances and Future Considerations.


Next Vijaya Ramesh, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology (Genetics) at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Neurologist at MGH will discuss her work on Neuronal E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Pam in TSC/mTORC1 Signaling and Synapse Development.

After that Ann Graybiel, PhD, Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Investigator at the McGovern Institute, MIT will talk about her work on Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum and OC-Spectrum Disorders: The Basal Ganglia Link.

Finally, Nancy Kanwisher, PhD, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT will talk about her work on Cognitive Phenotype of Autism: Face Perception and

Attention.

The day will end with a reception.


For more information
email: autismconsortium@hms.harvard.edu
call: 617-432-6961

Monday, 10 October 2011

Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Mechanisms to Therapies (Symposium)

What I wouldn't give to attend this top-level symposium...


Autism Spectrum Disorders:  From Mechanisms to Therapies
November 9-11, 2011Sheraton National Hotel, Arlington, VA (USA)
Mark F. Bear, Picower Institute, MIT, MA, USAMarlene Behrmann, Carnegie Mellon University, PA, USA
Thomas Bourgeron, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Nils Brose, Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany
Jacqueline N. Crawley, NIMH/NIH, Washington, DC, USA
Ricardo Dolmetsch, Stanford University, CA, USA
Michael D. Ehlers, Pfizer, CT, USA
Guoping Feng, McGovern Institute, MIT, MA, USA
Daniel Geschwind, UCLA, CA, USA
Michael E. Greenberg, Harvard Medical School, MA, USA
Takao Hensch, Harvard Medical School, MA, USA
Kimberly M. Huber, UT Southwestern Medical Center, TX, USA
Ami Klin, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, USA
Pat Levitt, USC, CA, USA
Alea A. Mills, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, USA
Hannah Monyer, University and DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany
Declan G. Murphy, King's College London, UK
Paul H. Patterson, CalTech, CA, USA
Morgan Sheng, Genentech, CA, USA
Alcino Silva, UCLA, CA, USA
Matthew W. State, Yale University, CT, USA
Thomas C. Südhof, Stanford University, CA, USA
Mriganka Sur, MIT, MA, USA
Christopher A. Walsh, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, MA, USA
An official 2011 SFN satellite meeting, Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Mechanisms to Therapies, will focus on recent advances in understanding the neural basis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It is estimated that 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism and that 1 in 110 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorders each year. While the causes of autism are not clear, in recent years, significant progress has been made towards unraveling the underlying disease etiology and candidate mechanisms.
The aim of this meeting is to bring together key researchers working on autism spectrum disorders at multiple levels, with a specific goal of considering how current basic research findings and candidate mechanisms can be directed towards therapies and treatments.

The topics that will be discussed include: autism genetics; synaptic and circuit level mechanism; cognitive mechanisms; animal models; moving from models and mechanisms to therapeutics.  This meeting will be organized for a high level of interaction and discussion. This three day meeting will include talks from leading researchers in the field, as well as moderated round table discussion workshops and poster sessions, to encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas.
Topics
  • Autism Genetics
  • From Animal Models to Mechanisms
  • Synaptic Mechanisms
  • Circuit Mechanisms
  • Cognitive Mechanisms
  • From Models to Potential Therapeutics