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April 2013 


In This Issue
New ARI Webinar Hub Online later this month
Hundreds set to visit UN for WAAD
Online Daily Living Course Set for Later in 2013
Submit your photo to win prizes this month
Send Questions for Our Think Tank Nutrition Round Table
New book demystifies science behind nutritional support
Join Our Mailing List


1-2 p.m. Eastern (US) 

5 p.m. GMT  

Check the Schedule


 RESCHEDULED for April 10  

It's Time for School: Quality ABA Programs in Schools

Some users experienced technical difficulties with the live webinar with Dr. Ron Leaf - we're pleased to announce he has graciously offered to present it again this month - mark your calendars for 1 p.m. ET, Wednesday April 10th. REGISTER    




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

New ARI Webinar Hub Online This Month  
Later this month we will launch an exciting new educational gateway - our new webinar hub - offering free live and archived learning events. The click-and-go interface will include continuing education for professionals, and represents our first steps toward our commitment to help more families and serve our community better by focusing on providing online education for parents and professionals alike.

Hundreds Set to Visit UN for World Autism Awareness Day April 2nd 
ARI's AGI team, in collaboration with The Fiddle Foundation and The Hope Project, is sponsoring World Autism Awareness Day at the United Nations this Tuesday. The event will offer international perspective on abilities and transitions from noon to 6 p.m.

Gatherings like this at The United Nations will help create bridges for the world to have a better understanding of autism and to provide the necessary supports for transitioning into adulthood.

Last month we joined with the other sponsors to announce the event, and we are glad to say hundreds have RSVP'd to join us there (Note; for security reasons, pre-registration was required).
puzzle pieces
Order a Free Kit Now for Your Autism-Awareness-Month Campaign 

Launch your Puzzle Piece campaign today to promote autism awareness in your community & support ARI.  It's so 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.
Learn more

Join the ARI Support Online ListServ 

ARI offers an all-purpose listserv, ARISupport, to more than 1,500 members. It's a free online support group for those interested in treating autism spectrum disorders. Members post questions to the list, and other members respond.  You can choose to get individual emails when you sign up, or you can select "daily digest" and get a handful of list posts all at once, in one email. 

If you don't want to receive any email at all, you can choose to read posts only on the group website.

puzzle piece
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.

From the Director:

Most of us know that this is Autism Awareness month, and tomorrow is World Autism Awareness day. Awareness of autism was a high priority when little attention was given to help these people and their families, especially by professionals in the public and private health sectors.  As of April 1, 2013, health officials as well as practitioners are all too aware of autism, but they appear to be struggling with two questions: what is/causes autism? and what can be done to help these people and their families?

When I interact with people in the general public, they sometimes find out that I am involved with autism.  Most of them are familiar and concerned with the ever-increasing rate of autism, and they usually ask me those two questions.  I try to summarize our current understanding of autism in a few sentences, basically, that recent research indicates that many cases of autism can be explained by epigenetics, a heritable interaction between someone's genetic make-up and the environment. This, in turn, impacts the central nervous system (brain) causing medical problems (gastrointestinal, immune system, metabolism) in many people. Their executive functioning and sensory system are often compromised.  These issues tend to bring about sensory pain, difficulty in social/communication, obsessive-compulsive-type (repetitive) behaviors, and behavior challenges.  In addition, many on the autism spectrum, young and adult, suffer from anxiety and/or depression. I also tell them that autism is treatable, and many on the spectrum benefit from various forms of treatment.

Where do we go from here?  Obviously, there are numerous facets to autism, and many dedicated people and organizations are working hard to find solutions.  At the Autism Research Institute (ARI), we continue to follow Dr. Bernard Rimland's direction, fulfilling our mission to support and conduct research as well as encouraging communication and networking among researchers, professionals, and parents.

This month ARI has a full agenda, including (1) organizing a 3-day think tank of researchers and experienced clinicians; (2) sponsoring two discussion panels at the United Nations; (3) co-sponsoring a three-day conference in Moscow, Russia; (4) premiering a new website for the Global Autism Collaboration; and (5) launching a new questionnaire in an effort to document subgroups of autism; if there are distinct subgroups, then researchers will be able to study very similar individuals to determine particular underlying causes and most effective treatments, rather than the current practice of studying a diverse group of people.

It has been 70 years since the first paper on autism (Leo Kanner, 1943) was published, yet there have been few major breakthroughs in the field.   I am, however, aware of numerous research projects currently underway, many of which are funded by ARI, that might provide insightful answers to the two questions.

I always take the position that we're all in it together. Let's do whatever we can to support and encourage one another, to raise the bar as high as possible, because every person is important.

Steve Edelson, Ph.D., Executive Director

Autism Research Institute  

Online Daily Living Curriculum and Training Course Set for Later this Year

ARI's AGI team has received a $75,000 grant from Autism Speaks to offer its direct support curriculum online later this year.

The Autistic Global Initiative, a program of ARI that is self-directed and staffed by a national committee of adults with autism working in the disability fields, has been awarded a Targeted Family Services Grant from Autism Speaks. The $75,000 grant builds upon funding provided by Autism Speaks in 2012 to support AGI and its content partners in developing a comprehensive residential/daily living training for direct support providers and family members of adults with autism. After successful completion last year of 750+ pages of training materials and hands-on tools for individualized program and portfolio development, AGI will use this year's grant to develop an online training course. Partnering with online curriculum design specialists of the Houlton Institute, the online course is slated to launch this summer. Enrollment pricing is structured for limited family and agency budgets, and scholarships are also available. The course will be self-paced, and supported by an autism specialist as instructor, with weekly assignments that guide learners through all aspects of supporting adults in daily living. The course will also be staffed with TAs who are individuals with autism spectrum disorders. AGI is thrilled to serve our adult and family services in this capacity: by providing critical training to DSPs at a low cost while training and hiring people with autism to help staff the online courses.  

Tell Your 'Story in a Snapshot' - Enter Your Photo for Autism Awareness Month Giveaways
Last year we held a photo contest, and the response was overwhelming. Since then, we've continued to receive lovely photographs from families around the world. This month we hope you'll share your favorite photo of your loved one on the spectrum. When you do, we'll enter you in our drawing to win prizes in weekly drawings in recognition of Autism Awareness month. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more information and links to come.


Five lucky participants will win: A free copy of Dr. Jon Pangborn's new book Nutritional Supplement Use for Autistic Spectrum Disorder and a signed print by ARI founder Bernie Rimland's son, Mark Rimland.

Bonus Prize Drawing April 30th (a $100 value): Win a $100 Gift Card

Professional photos may be entered - be sure to contact the photographer or store where the photos were taken for a release if copyrights apply.
nutrition rt
Send Your Question for Our Think Tank Nutrition Roundtable by April 10th
Send your question, then watch the playback later this month

Earlier this year we held an "Ask the Nutritionist" webinar and received a flood of excellent questions about strategies for nutritional support for people with autism. That got us thinking: with our shift to online training, why don't we offer a panel of experts to answer questions at our Think Tank?

Send your questions in and we'll pose them to ARI's Nutrition Director Kelly Barnhill, CN, CCN, MBA, Tom Malterre, MS, CN, and  Vicki Kobliner, MS, RD.

Send your questions for the nutrition panel
Nutritional Supplement Use for Autistic Spectrum Disorder
by Jon Pangborn, PhD, CCN
Our Price: $25.00
Buy Now


Dr. Jon Pangborn, a biochemist and a certified clinical nutritionist (and a longtime friend of ARI), has written a book describing the many supplements that might be useful for people with ASD--and he has graciously donated all proceeds from the book to ARI.

What experts are saying:


Sidney MacDonald Baker, M.D.

"Jon Pangborn, PhD took hold of questions - and then answers -about biomedical options for individuals caught in the autism epidemic three decades ago. He grasped the subject with a biochemist's brain, a parent's heart, a determined hand, and the steady, literate help of his wife Chris. In your hand this book is a treasure of common sense and empowering clarification."  



Martha Herbert, M.D., Ph.D.

"Science has found many mechanisms whereby nutritional supplementation for autism spectrum and the health consequences of environmental insults can make a meaningful difference for people in need, and Dr. Pangborn has made a unique and valuable contribution by converting his decades of rich knowledge and chemical expertise into practical advice that empowers the reader to make informed, thoughtful choices."   


Jill James, Ph.D.

"Dr. Pangborn has focused his wealth of personal experience and knowledge into a step-by-step 'how to' and 'how much' program for managing nutritional supplementation in the context of other environmental exposures. Parents will find this an invaluable resource for optimizing metabolic health in ASD."

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