One in 68 Children has Autism

QSAC's blog – 2011 – April » 2011 » April

Call your representative in the New York Congressional delegation right now to ask him/her to vote NO on the Ryan budget resolution!

April 14, 2011 3:18 pm Published by

Capitol switchboard:  888-245-0215

The House will be voting on the Ryan budget resolution by the end of the week.  This is a blueprint, so to speak, for the 2012 Federal budget.  It contains some terribly harmful health budget provisions, such as:
— huge cuts to Medicaid through converting the program to block grants
— converting Medicare into a voucher program
— provisions that would gut the Affordable Care Act
In addition, the budget proposal includes a tax cut to wealthy Americans, leaving the rest of us to bear the brunt of massive budget cuts.

Please call your representative in the House TODAY to urge him/her to vote NO on the Ryan budget resolution!

Toll-free number to the Capitol switchboard:  888-245-0215

Here is a link to find out who represents you in the House:  
After you have made your call(s), please send me an email to let me know how the call went and what the staff person said.  Thank you for taking part in this important action today!

April 8 to May 5
Now is the time to stock up on all your sports needs for the baseball, soccer, tennis seasons and your new running shoes for the QSAC 5K. The coupons will be distributed to all the participants during the 5K on April 16 in Astoria Park. The coupon is valid for multiple purchases during the shopping period at all stores listed.
QSAC will receive 5% back on all your purchases. 

U.S. Law Now Requires Many Health Plans to Cover Autism Screening

April 4, 2011 1:10 pm Published by

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond, with most changes taking place by 2014.

Early diagnosis is critical in treating children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Preventive services are now covered under the Affordable Care Act. If you have a new health insurance plan or insurance policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010, preventive services must be covered without having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet your deductible.

Under the new “Affordable Care Act”, autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months must be covered without having to pay out-of-pocket expenses when these services are delivered by a network provider. The new federal reforms also require well-baby and well-child visits with physician’s visits every few months when a child is young.

For more information visit

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Autism

April 4, 2011 1:30 am Published by

Autism is a behavioral expression of a very complex neurobiological (genetic)/ developmental disorder and there is far more we have yet to know about its etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment. In light of all this uncertainly, it often happens that families of individuals with autism get frustrated when conventional medical practice or treatments become unsatisfactory or ineffective. They may turn to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for answers. In fact, CAM has been increasing substantially (Hyman & Levy, 2005).

The true prevalence of use of CAM for families with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been estimated between 32% to 92% (Levy et al., 2003; Hansonetal, 2006, 2007). An online, self-administered survey of adolescents revealed lifetime rates of CAM use of 79% and current use of 48.5% (Wilson et al., 2006). According to a study conducted by Christon and colleagues (2009), the majority of families was well educated and with access to the internet and 70% used at least one CAM treatment with their children. Some studies have hypothesized that the families of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder based their selection of CAM therapies on their perception of safety or less side effects and their feelings that CAM therapies area “natural” or they can have more control over the treatment (Hyman & Levy, 2011; 1-Lanson et al., 2007; Rhee et al., 2004).
One of the challenges of CAM supporters and researchers is how to establish their products in evidence-based medicine. Susan L. Hyman and Susan E. Levy (2011) reviewed several considerations regarding CAM therapies such as characterization of the population of the study, standard dosage, study design, statistical analysis among others. Despite of these methological and principles challenges, CAM supporters are encouraging researchers to present evidence-based examinations.
Hyman & Levy (2011) and Akin and colleagues (2010) review the evidence of more common type of CAM use such as biological therapies [vitamin supplements and gluten-free & casein-free diet (GFCF), immune mediated treatments, Chelation Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Manipulative and Body-Based Therapies, Mind-Body therapies and Energy Healing Therapy.
Gluten-free, Casein-free therapy is one of the most common CAM used. Anecdotal reports and a single-blind study of gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet suggested improvement in features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) after 1 year (Knivsberg et al., 2002). However, due to the limitation of this study, more evidences are needed (Milward, et al., 2008).
Melatonin, which is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, has been found to be safe and effective in reducing sleep onset latency in children with some primary and secondary sleep disorders. Adverse reactions are not common (Buscemi, et al., 2006; El-Sherif, et al., 2003; Andersen, et al., 2008).
The efficacy of Vitamin C is not clear in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Akin, et al., 2010).
Secretin, one of the most studied treatments in Autism Spectrum Disorder, has been found no effective in treating autistic symptoms (Williams, et al., 2005). Moreover, there is no evidence that Vitamin B6 and Magnesium will be effective in reducing symptoms of hyperactivity and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviors.
Carnitine (amino acid), essential fatty acids (Omega-3 fatty acids) and Methyl B12 (methylcobalamine) have also been used for autism, and are safe and well tolerated, but studies are not conclusive about their efficacy in symptoms of Autistm Spectrum Disorder (Akin, et al., 2010).
Chelation Therapy has become popular despite no evidence of its benefit. Research studies have not found significant differences in randomized groups (control group and experimental group) using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO2T). Anxiety symptoms and ear pain have been reported in individual using HBO2T.
There is no evidence-based data (inclusive efficacy) to support the benefits of the Chiropractic manipulation, energey-healing therapy, Acupuncture, Mind-Body-based therapies (music therapy, Yoga, self-regulation techniques), craniosacral manipulation and massage, and therapeutic touching for symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Hyman & Levy, 2011).
Since we are expecting an increase in the use of CAM, it seems that more research studies are needed to assess the impact of CAM therapies in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I would like to recommend to families and clinicians the recent publication by Reichow et al. (2011, Eds). Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children with Autism.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM is ” a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”

AOL and Great Nonprofits Support QSAC

April 1, 2011 5:22 pm Published by

For the past six months, QSAC has been included in the Top-Rated Disability Nonprofits List, giving us significant exposure to donors and volunteers in the media and through the site’s campaign partners. Great Nonprofits is now working with AOL to feature the work and reviews of organizations that focus on autism and has chosen to feature QSAC today, April 1 from their cause-related Twitter account which is @AOL365. Please re-tweet their tweets.


QSAC is a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services.

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.