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December 2012 


In This Issue
DSM-V - Diagnostic Changes to Come in 2013
Voice of ARI's Hotline: Nancy Cale
Subscribe to ARI Instant Video
Addressing Pain & Suffering in ASD
Join Our Mailing List

Autism and
the Specific Carbohydrate Diet 

It 's not too late to join us!

TODAY (Dec. 12th) 

1-2 p.m. Eastern (US) 

6 p.m. GMT  

Click here to join


Many children with Autism suffer from digestive disorders that can affect learning, behavior and mood. This webinar will discuss the potential for improvement using the Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD).  

By Vicki Kobliner, RD, MS.


Can't make it? Sign up for a free subscription to our new YouTube Instant Play Channel and watch it later this week.

Diagnostic Changes Coming with DSM-V
P Compart, MD: Diagnosis Matters 
Watch Pam Compart, MD's presentation Diagnosis Matters for information about changes in DSM-V
The American Psychiatric Association board of trustees met earlier this month to approve changes to diagnostic criteria for autism that eliminate the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and change the criteria for diagnosis - learn why accurate diagnosis matters and what these changes may mean for your family in this presentation from the Fall 2012 ARI Conference.  
Learn More

puzzle pieces Turnkey Fundraising Kit: ARI's Million Dollar Puzzle Project  

Launch your Puzzle Piece campaign today to promote autism awareness in your community. It's easy: we send you a free kit with everything you need - you simply pass it around the office, take it to local stores, or sell pieces at meetings and events. Make ARI your holiday season charity and help research that makes a difference in 2013!
Learn more 

Support Research That Makes a Difference
ARI's work relies on charitable contributions from concerned individuals and organizations. We are proud to again receive the 'Four Star Award" by Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management. All donations are tax deductible; ARI is a 501(c)(3) organization, Fed ID No. 95-2548452.
Year-End Message From the Director:  
Since its establishment in 1967 by Dr. Bernard Rimland, the Autism Research Institute has continued to pave the way forward. Much has changed since Dr. Rimland's passing six years ago, and we continue to follow his lead in the way we conduct and fund research, develop a worldwide network of researchers, clinicians, and parents, and educate the autism community on the most recent advances in the field.

Earlier this year ARI received NGO (Non-government organization) status with the United Nations, based on our record of international initiatives and outreach over the past few years.

We have always felt that those on the autism spectrum and their families deserve only the best; this is reflected in the quality of our events, clinician seminars, nutrition trainings, websites, newsletters, calling centers, think tanks, discussion groups, research studies, and adult initiatives. Learn more about ARI's accomplishments in 2012


ARI has again received the highest, 4-star rating for sound fiscal management, accountability, and transparency from Charity Navigator.  ARI relies on donations because we do not accept financial support from government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, or insurance companies. In addition, we do not receive any for-profit sponsorship at our conferences, think tanks, or on our websites. These policies prevent undue outside influence on our work. Read about our continued commitment to "raising the bar" on behalf of people with autism.  


The staff at ARI is very excited about our new initiatives in 2013, including the production of many more live webinars, the recruiting of experts to write up-to-date summaries on a variety of topics, the creation of websites in other languages, and much more. Learn more about our vision for continued growth and change in the year to come and beyond


Please consider contributing to our efforts to improve the quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families! Donate now 


Steve Edelson, Ph.D., Executive Director

Autism Research Institute  

The Voice Behind ARI's Helpline: Nancy Cale 

nancale Six years ago, at the death of Dr Rimland, I began taking the calls to ARI from parents and caregivers. Having manned the Unlocking Autism Call Center for several years, I knew what to expect, and I am humbled each and every day by the depth of the needs and concerns of those who call searching for help for their loved ones with autism.


I have great appreciation for the "network" in the autism community that enables me to reach out across the country and around the world to find the resources I need to enable me to pass the help forward.


More than 14 years ago when my family was desperately searching for help for my grandson, I met so many concerned and caring people and I am happy knowing the generous heart of our community makes it possible to assure new parents, parents facing new struggles and adults looking for help, that we can, together, find the help they need. Bless you all who take time to reach out to others as we work to make life better for those who ask for our help.


ARI maintains a toll-free helpline for families in need of support and information. Learn More 

Subscribe to ARI's Instant Video Channel on YouTube: Latest Conference Videos & More
At the Autism Research Institute we have focused on providing information that is unbiased and broad-reaching, to assist families in making informed treatment decisions. We also strive to provide professional education that gives thoughtful, inquisitive clinicians the means to offer appropriate support.
 Last month we announced we'll be offering webinars and online trainings as well as a variety of local events and presentations that will allow opportunities for families to learn more without the challenge of travel. We hope you will join us in this exciting new initiative. Read about ARI's commitment to online learning.

Be among the first to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up to date with all our latest videos as they are released. 


Advocacy Focus: Addressing Pain & Suffering for Individuals with Autism
A serious matter that receives too little attention in the autism field is the physical pain experienced by so many on the autism spectrum. Much suffering stems from their medical and sensory problems. To make matters worse, these underlying physiological problems can lead to severe behaviors, such as intense tantrumming, aggression, and self-injury. The autism community needs to be truly aware of the pain and discomfort suffered by those on the autism spectrum, and to begin a dialogue on how best to alleviate these problems.


The notion of pain and suffering in autism might be considered a new concept by some people in the autism community as well as the media, because attention has always been focused on other aspects of autism: improving overall cognitive, communication, and behavioral skills, while reducing or eliminating dysfunctional, inappropriate behavior.


There are a couple of reasons for this lack of discussion. Until recently, much of the focus has been on children so young that they cannot communicate what is bothering or hurting them. Also, given the influence of behavioral psychology as the prevailing treatment, much emphasis has been placed on the behavior itself rather than on exploring underlying causes.


How do we know severe behaviors may be a result of pain and suffering? This is quite evident to direct care providers, who often observe short time intervals, frequently a second or two, between a sensory-related stimulus and a behavior. For example, it is not uncommon for individuals with ASD to cover their ears or engage in severe tantrumming or self-aggression soon after hearing a specific sound, such as a vacuum cleaner. In addition, many parents and physicians report a relationship between ear infections and head banging. Research dating back to the 1960s supports such relationships. Read More  

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