CARD Founder Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh Discusses Autism on "Give the World Your Heart" this Coming Monday

AUTISM TODAY and BEYOND! Positive Solutions for Promising Lives

The First in a Series of Live Interactive National Town Hall Video Webcasts,
November 1, 2010 at 2PM EST

2:00 – 2:10 Dave Gardy, Sandy Masin & Dr. Laurence Brenner - Give The World Your Heart

2:00 – 2:20 Karen Simmons (confirmed live)

2:20 – 2:35 Dr. Temple Grandin (pre-recorded)

2:35 – 2:45 Dr. Stephen Shore

2:45 – 2:55 Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh

2:55 – 3:05 David Kirby – 718-230-4250 (confirmed live)

3:05 – 3:15 Elaine Hall

3:15 – 3:30 Questions & Answers: Feel The Positive Connection To Your Self, Group & World

Visit Give The World Your Heart TV and find out how the ">CLICK HERE TO VISIT


It’s Halloween Time and That Means It’s Time for Sweets!

Parents everywhere are scrambling to buy costumes and candy for the Halloween weekend. This sure will be a fun year and I can only imagine the great costumes to be seen! This is difficult for any parent trying to navigate through a store full of other determined Halloween-driven families and when one has a child with Autism, this can be a melting pot for a meltdown!

Autistic children are very sensitive to change in their environments, and can easily become over stimulated inside a chain store and all of its customers.

Another important issue is CANDY! Not only because it makes the world-go-round on Halloween Day, but because for those families on a Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) diet, the candy must be free of gluten and casein.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of GFCF candy out there and these are just a few of the most popular Halloween candies that you will most likely receive on your trick or treating outing.

-Dubble Bubble Original Bubble Gum
-Jelly Belly Beans
-Charms Lollipops
-Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy
-Haribo Gummy Bears

Don’t forget to visit the following website for a very detailed list of sweets and treats suitable for any GFCF dieter.



Using a free passcode, you will be able to access Skills™ interactive program through January 1st, 2011. (If you are in need of a passcode, please contact us at (877) 975-4559).

Access CARD eLearning Now!

The CARD eLearning website is now available free of charge and acts as a great companion to the Skills™ program, providing essential information about ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) in the treatment of autism.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (877) 975-4559, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

We look forward to working with you.

The Skills™ Team

What is Skills™?


Skills is a system designed to provide educators of children with autism (including parents, teachers, and other professionals) access to the most in-depth evaluation of the child's development along with step-by-step lessons to teach the skills they need. Additionally, Skills provides a tracking system that allows the user to evaluate progress and the effectiveness of treatment on a personalized timeline.

Stay updated with Skills on Facebook & Twitter.

Preference Assessments and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By: Marlena N. Smith

A recent study conducted by CARD researchers Dr. Amy Kenzer and Dr. Michele Bishop demonstrated that the amount of preferred stimuli identified for use in behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be increased by incorporating high preference as well as low preference and novel stimuli in preference assessments. Delivery of preferred stimuli is an important element of behavioral interventions. Furthermore, possessing a wide variety of preferred stimuli may reduce the possibility of over exposure to and boredom with a particular item or activity. Low preference stimuli and novel stimuli are generally not included in preference assessments; however, the inclusion of these stimuli may boost the number of preferred stimuli identified for application in behavioral interventions. Dr. Amy Kenzer and Dr. Michele Bishop set out to investigate the inclusion of reportedly low preference stimuli and novel stimuli in preference assessments for children with ASD.

Participants included 31children with ASD, ages 2 to 9 years. Each participant’s therapy team completed preference surveys to identify high and low preference stimuli. The experimenters selected novel stimuli that were similar to the high preference stimuli identified via staff report. The participants were administered two paired-stimulus preference assessments. The first compared high preference stimuli to low preference stimuli and the second compared high preference stimuli to novel stimuli.

The results indicated that 87% of participants frequently selected low preference or novel stimuli over high preference stimuli. High preference stimuli were top ranked in both preference assessments for only 4 participants.

The findings suggest that additional preferred stimuli may be identified by including reportedly low preference stimuli and novel stimuli in preference assessments. This is important given that the identification of a wide variety of preferred stimuli is crucial to the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. Further research exploring the incorporation of reportedly low preference stimuli and novel stimuli in preference assessments is warranted.


Kenzer, A. L., & Bishop, M. R. (in press). Evaluating preference for familiar and novel stimuli across a large group of children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.09.011

Time Delays between Initial Parental Concern and First Visit to a Child Psychiatric Facility

By: Marlena N. Smith

In a recent study, Fujiwara, Okuyama, and Funahashi identified factors contributing to time delays between initial parental concern and first visit to a child psychiatric facility in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Early detection of ASD is crucial given the research demonstrating that behavioral intervention for ASD is more effective if delivered at earlier ages. Unfortunately, there are often considerable time lags between initial parental concern and ASD diagnosis. Fujiwara et al. set out to explore factors that contribute to time delays between initial parental concern and first visit to a child psychiatric facility in children with ASD in Japan.

Surveys were distributed to patients across 16 hospitals in Japan that specialized in child psychiatrics. A total of 1513 caregivers of children with ASD completed the survey.

A mean time lag of 2.9 years was identified between initial parental concern and first visit to a child psychiatric facility. Multiple factors were found to contribute to longer time delays, including:

  • Younger age at initial parental concern

  • Having younger siblings

  • Impairments in social interaction

  • Not going to school

  • Parental unawareness over where to arrange a consultation

  • Visiting other facilities prior to a child psychiatric facility, especially if not provided a referral

  • Longer commute to a child psychiatric facility

  • Longer waiting period for an appointment

Findings revealed several factors that contributed to time delays between initial parental concern and first visit to a child psychiatric facility in children with ASD in Japan. The authors stress the importance of maintaining strong networks between psychiatric, medical, and educational facilities in order to ensure timely referrals to appropriate sites. Early identification of ASD is vital given the benefits of early delivery of behavioral intervention.


Fujiwara, T., Okuyama, M., & Funahashi, K. (2011). Factors influencing time lag between first parental concern and first visit to child psychiatric services in children with autism spectrum disorders in Japan. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder, 5, 584-591. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.07.002

Chelation Treatment Is More Harmful Than Good.

By Olivia Maximo

Chelation is the process by which metals are extracted from the body. Chelation therapy is a form of treatment employed by some parents with Autistic children. This therapy stems from the belief that Autistic Disorder is caused by poisonous levels of metal in children’s bodies. Although the theory is unproven, chelation is still practiced.

Companies selling chelators were contacted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after they found the chelation to be harmful to children causing cognitive damage, heart attack and even death.

These companies unlawfully boast the use of chelation to treat not only Autism but Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, all of which are coincidentally incurable. The FDA sent letters to the following companies, warning them of their illegal activities: Artery Health Institute, Cardio Renew, Evenbetternow, Hormonal Health, Longevity Plus, Maxam Laboratories, Maxam Nutraceutics, a nutritionist Rhonda Henry, and World Health Products.

Read more about this topic here.

Cambridge Conference Will Address Latest Autism Research, Treatment

CAMBRIDGE — Parents with autistic children can learn about the latest research and treatments from Canadian and American experts at an upcoming daylong conference in Cambridge.

The keynote speaker is Doreen Granpeesheh, a California autism expert and founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders that develops behavioural modification programs to help children reach their potential.

Also speaking will be two other experts from the United States and Cambridge chiropractor Mark Guker and naturopath Jennifer Hendry-Lynn, who work together in a clinic that offers biomedical treatment to children with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.

“We just feel so lucky to have them come up here and share their expertise,” Guker said.

Guker said parents who have a child with autism are typically left to figure out what’s available to help, often relying on other parents coping with the disorder in their family.

The conference, being held on October 22 at the Galt Country Club from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., will tell parents about the options available and offer practical tips. Health-care professionals and therapists will learn about the latest research and most effective treatments.

All children with autism are different, Guker said, and it’s important for parents to find what works for their child, from behavioural therapy to special supplements and diet.

There will also be an open forum for parents to ask questions of the experts.

“It will be a very interactive conference,” Guker said.

The cost is $75 US for parents and students, and $150 US for practitioners. Email or call 818-345-2345 ext. 270.

Find out more at

Center for Autism and Related Disorders to Simulate Earthquake Disaster Drill on October 21 in Southern California

The simulated drill will involve autistic patients and staff removal from a multi-floor building to an evacuation center.

Tarzana, CA October 21, 2010 – The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), the world’s largest autism treatment center, announces an earthquake evacuation exercise will take place Thursday, October 21, at CARD’s headquarters, located at 19019 Ventura Blvd, in Tarzana, CA. The drill is part of the Great California Shakeout campaign to practice how to protect each other during earthquakes, and to get prepared at work, school, and home.

Major earthquakes can cause catastrophes. With earthquakes as an inevitable part of California’s future, CARD is taking the necessary precautions to ensure potential earthquake disasters do not become catastrophes.

The CARD drill will include sounding the earthquake alarm promptly at 10:21am, the evacuation of all patients and personnel from the three story building, and safely transport them to a designated evacuation center. Moderate to severe injuries will receive care and treatment as part of the simulated training.

“During a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services, so the drill was designed to have a realistic approach in case of an emergency situation, where patients and staff may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference,” says Tiffany O’Day, CARD’s Director of Operations.

“We hope this drill can help employees be efficient and effective without placing themselves in necessary danger, as they assist our patients, who are children with moderate to severe autism, in an emergency situation.”

Press Conference
Evacuation Center - Tarzana Nursery Center
19035 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA

Daphne Plump
818-345-2345 ext. 270

About CARD:

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD) diligently maintains a reputation as one of the world’s largest and most experienced organizations effectively treating children with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and related disorders. Following the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), CARD develops individualized treatment plans for your child. CARD proud provides autism services around the globe.

For more information about CARD, visit:

Recognition of Facial Expressions and Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Marlena N. Smith

In a recent study, Farran, Branson, and King found children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and children with Asperser’s Disorder to show impairments in recognizing facial expressions conveying fear, anger, and sadness. Amygdala has been identified as the region of the brain that processes negative or threatening emotions including fear, anger, and sadness. It has also been speculated that the amygdala may function atypically in persons with ASD. Farran et al. set out to explore the ability of persons with ASD to recognize various facial expressions including fear, anger, sadness, surprise, disgust, and happiness.

Three groups of children participated in the study. Twenty males with high functioning ASD or Asperger’s Disorder diagnoses were matched on chronological age with 20 males with typical development. Furthermore, the participants with ASD were matched on verbal and non-verbal skills with an additional 20 males with typical development. All participants completed tasks in which they were given a specific emotion and asked to identify the appropriate corresponding facial expression within a group of expressions. The task was intended to resemble locating a ‘face in the crowd.’ Responses were evaluated according to accuracy and response time.

No differences were found been the groups in regards to accuracy of responses; however, the participants with ASD were found to be significantly slower in identifying fearful, angry, and sad facial expressions in comparison to the participants with typical development matched on chronological age. No differences in response time were identified between the participants with ASD and the participants with typical development matched on verbal and non-verbal skills. Furthermore, no differences were identified between the groups in the recognition of facial expressions conveying happiness, disgust, and surprise.

When compared to same aged, typically developing peers, children with ASD were found to show impairments in the recognition of facial expressions conveying fear, anger and sadness. These findings appear to support the theory that the amygdala functions atypically in persons with ASD. Further research investigating the recognition of facial expressions in persons with ASD is warranted.


Farran, E. K., Branson, A., & King, B. J. (2011). Visual search for basic emotional expressions in autism; impaired processing of anger, fear and sadness, but a typical happy face advantage. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The Robots Are Here

Although it sounds as unreal as spaceships landing, the researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, in the U.K. have created a robot that they say can help children with Autism learn the social skills that elude them.

The robot, named KASPAR (Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robots) is life, or kid size, and is being used in human-robot interaction studies led by Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn. Her team’s goal is to to demonstrate the “possible therapeutic and educational benefits of "robotic mediators" for children with autism.”

It is interesting how far technology has come, now to the point where it is assisting with the emerging Autistic population. Technology has made our lives much more convenient and continues to do so as time passes; from iPads to Robots, technology is catching up.

See KASPAR in action here and read more about KASPAR here.

Center for Autism and Related Disorders' 20th Anniversary Gala Recap

Laugh to Cure Autism: Mark your Calendars!

Mark your calendars and set your TiVo’s for October 21st at 9 pm when Comedy Central collaborates with Jon Stewart and his production company, Busboy Productions to bring the 3rd annual “Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education.” This benefit’s name is very straightforward and brings many comedians together to raise funds to benefit Autism awareness and research. “Night of Too Many Stars” has raised approximately $7 million and aims to: “benefit a variety of autism education and family service programs across the country, in support of the overabundance of autistic individuals that so desperately need quality services.”

Some of the comedians taking are part are: Lewis Black, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Joel McHale, John Oliver, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and more!

Support this cause and tune in on the 21st for a night of laughter. Click here to read more about this event.

Center for Autism and Related Disorders to Host One-Day Conference in Cambridge, Ontario on October 22, 2010

The comprehensive conference will be held in Cambridge, Ontario on Friday, October 22, 2010 and open to parents, practitioners and caregivers.

Cambridge, ON – October 22, 2010 The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), the world’s largest autism treatment center, will host a CARD Canadian Autism Conference on Friday, October 22, 2010 at the Galt Country Club, located at 750 Coronation Blvd, in Cambridge. World-renowned autism expert / behavior analyst and CARD founder, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, will open the conference with a keynote speech.

“When I began my career, the incidence rate of autism was 1 in 10,000. Today, it’s 1 in 110 children in the US alone,” says Dr. Granpeesheh. “This is an epidemic that we as a society, in both the U.S. and Canada., should address. Autism is treatable. So many children would benefit from the most effective treatment programs. This is why I started CARD 20 years ago, and is why I’m so passionate about spreading quality autism treatment globally.”

The CARD Canadian Autism Conference program will include autism and medical experts who will deliver the most effective and current information to parents, caregivers, and professionals working in the medical, therapeutic, and mental health fields. It will focus on assessment, diagnosis, autism interventions, the most current autism research, and information on the most successful autism curricula to date.

This conference will also feature a screening of the award-winning documentary RECOVERED: Journeys Through the Autism Spectrum and Back, a story of four children who recovered from autism. The film presents documentation of therapy sessions along with interviews of the children who are now teenagers, their parents, and therapists.

For more information about the CARD Canadian Autism Conference, visit:

Conference Presenters

Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. Granpeesheh has dedicated over thirty years to helping individuals with autism lead healthy, productive lives. Dr. Granpeesheh began her studies in autism as an undergraduate student at UCLA. While completing her graduate degree there, she worked with Dr. Ivar Lovaas on the world-renowned outcome study published in 1987 which showed a recovery rate of close to 50% among the study's research participants. She earned a PhD in Psychology from UCLA in 1990.

Dr. Granpeesheh is licensed by the Medical Board of California, the Texas, Virginia and Arizona State Boards of Psychologists, and the Dubai Healthcare City. She earned a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

She is an active member of many boards whose mission is to advance the treatment of autism. She is on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Autism File Magazine, Autism 360 and the 4A Healing Foundation. Dr. Granpeesheh is on the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International , the Board of Directors of InCept and is a member of the Autism Human Rights and Discrimination Initiative steering committee, the North Los Angeles County Task Force of the Senate Select Committee on Autism, and the Oversight Committee of the Department of Developmental Disabilities for the State of Arizona. She also is the founding member and President of Autism Care and Treatment Today (ACT Today!), a non profit organization that helps families access effective treatment.

Dr. Granpeesheh is known throughout the world as an expert in the field of autism research and treatment. Specific areas of expertise and research include curriculum development from early intervention through the early stages of adulthood, diagnostic, developmental and behavioral assessment, higher order skill acquisition, long term outcomes, and the effects of medical interventions in conjunction with behavioral programs. She has trained thousands of professionals and families on her treatment techniques and curriculum, leading to a faster dissemination of quality treatment information.

Dr. Granpeesheh has not only helped tens of thousands of families, but has successfully helped many children and young adults attain their highest potential, giving further merit to the notion that autism is treatable and that affected individuals can lead independent, meaningful lives.

Adel Najdowski, PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. Adel Najdowski graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2004 with her doctorate in Psychology. She was a Manager of Research and Development at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc from 2005 – 2009 during which time she was a co-creator of CARD SKILLS, a comprehensive assessment and curriculum for children with autism. She currently serves as the Director of SKILLS. Dr. Najdowski has served children with autism for 15 years. She began in 1995 as a therapist providing direct 1:1 instruction to children with autism using applied behavior analysis (ABA). Since then, Dr. Najdowski was a behavioral consultant for multiple school districts between 1999-2003 as well as a Clinical Specialist for the Nevada Center for Severe Behavior Problems from 2000-2004 and the Assistant Co-Director of the UNR Early Childhood Autism Center-Based Program from 2001-2002.

Dr. Najdowski has taught multiple undergraduate and graduate level courses in psychology for the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a current member of the editorial board for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and has also served as a guest reviewer for Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Najdowski has been a National Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2003 and a doctorate level BCBA-D since 2009. She has six first-authored publications, 14 co-authored publications, and has been an author on 63 presentations given at conferences.

Her current research interests include teaching higher level skills to children with autism, assessment and curriculum design for children with autism, evaluation of procedures used in early intensive behavioral intervention programs, and feeding disorders.

Dennis Dixon, PhD

Dr. Dennis Dixon received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University with a focus in developmental disabilities. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and specialized in the treatment of severe challenging behaviors. The author of over 20 peer-reviewed articles and multiple book chapters, he currently serves on the editorial board of Research in Developmental Disabilities and Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. He also serves as a frequent reviewer for the Journal of Mental Health Research in Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Dixon is the Director of Analytics at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. In addition to his work at CARD he is also currently affiliate faculty within the Applied Behavior Analysis program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. His research interests have focused on issues related to challenging behaviors, test construction, sleep disorders, and biomedical interventions for persons with intellectual disabilities.

Dr. Mark Guker, BA, DC

Dr. Mark completed his studies in Kinesiology in 2001 at the University of Western Ontario before going to New York State to attend New York Chiropractic College (NYCC). While at NYCC, Dr. Mark had the opportunity to be a part of a revolution for chiropractic. He was selected, with one other classmate, to start-up the Government-funded introduction of chiropractic in the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital system in Buffalo, NY. This program now treats thousands of veterans every year, and is the first undertaking of its kind in North America. Dr. Mark's studies eventually led him to his first clinical placement in Stamford, Connecticut where he practiced in a multi-disciplinary setting alongside Chiropractors, Medical Doctors, Physiotherapists, Athletic Trainers and Acupuncturists. Dr. Mark returned home to Canada to open a private practice and has been doing so since 2006. ReAlign Health is a functional integration of alternative medicines that has been helping the families of Waterloo Region get well and stay well.

Dr. Mark has recently completed Level 1 of Physician Training for Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) and is passionately looking to help those suffering from the autistic spectrum disorders. Dr. Mark is also certified in the low-force chiropractic adjusting technique, Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique. Dr. Mark has been treating pediatrics chiropractic cases since 2005.

Dr. Jennifer Hendry-Lynn, HBSc, ND

Dr. Jennifer Hendry-Lynn ND completed her Bachelor of Health Science degree with first class honours at Brock University. After University, she went on to receive her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario. She completed her 12-month clinical internship at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto, ON. During her internship, she was also selected to be a Naturopathic intern at the L.A.M.P. Community Centre, a Naturopathic outreach clinic. In 2009, Dr. Jennifer Hendry-Lynn ND joined the team at ReAlign Health, an integrative clinic in Cambridge, Ontario, where she helps families all over the Waterloo Region. In her daily practice she focuses on family/pediatric medicine. She utilizes a number of different modalities including: homeopathy, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, lifestyle counseling, and laboratory medicine. She aims to treat the root cause of disease in each patient by developing individualized treatment plans.

Dr. Jennifer Hendry-Lynn ND has had a special interest in autistm spectrum disorders throughout her medical training. She recently completed Level 1 Clinician Training at the Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) conference. She is also trained in Biotherapeutic Drainage™. She is currently fully licensed under the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy. She is also an active member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

Bridging the Gap Between Home and School

Presented by: Jackie Hardenbergh, MA, BCBA

This free workshop is ideal for parents, practitioners and caregivers.

Thursday, October 07, 2010
7:00pm - 9:00pm
St. Rafael Catholic Church
1215 Modaff Road
Naperville, Illinois 60540
(North, off 75th Street)

This workshop is hosted by TACA (Talk About Curing Autism).

About Jackie Hardenbergh:

Jackie Hardenbergh, MA, BCBA is the Managing Supervisor for the CARD Chicago office, and Case Consultant for Specialized Outpatient Services. She has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis with children on the Autism Spectrum and their families for the past 7 years. Jackie received a MA in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in ABA from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She became board certified in 2009.

Jackie’s experience within the field includes supervising clinical home based programs, feeding therapies, challenging behaviors, training staff, parent training, coordinating with school districts and personnel to improve consistency and facilitate open communication between programs.

C.A.R.D. Sacramento Celebrates!

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