CARD Helps Raise Thousands of Dollars at Autism Care and Treatment's 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Autism Care and Treatment (ACT Today!) announces its 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament held on Monday, May 17, 2010 was an enormous success raising nearly $40,000 net for children with autism. The event was held at Braemar Country Club, located at 4001 Reseda Boulevard in Tarzana, California. It was hosted by Actor Joe Mantegna (CBS "Criminal Minds") and Comedian John Mendoza. The tournament was titled sponsored by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), the world's largest organization effectively treating children with autism.

"The Center for Autism and Related Disorders is proud to be a part of this year's tournament fundraiser," says CARD Founder and Executive Director Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh. "Through direct donation, corporate sponsorship and community generosity, ACT Today! is changing the lives of children with autism."

CARD was joined by celebrity golfers, including: NFL Super Bowl Champions Chris Hayes and Ed Marinaro, Racecar Driver / Model Ashley van Dyke, Mark Christopher Lawrence ("Chuck"), Ron Masak ("Murder She Wrote"), Basil Wallace ("Blood Diamond"), Racecar Champion Charles Downes, Bill Smitrovich ("Castle" and "Seven Pounds"), the LA Kings Girls, Veteran Entertainment Reporter Tina Marie Tyler, and Comedian/Actor John Byner.

One in 110 children in America is diagnosed with autism. Autism is more prevalent than pediatric cancer, AIDS, and diabetes combined.

"The funds raised through ACT Today!'s 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament will help provide therapy, social skills groups, biomedical treatment, helmets and more," says Tournament Director Stefan de Nocker. "These funds will provide these tools for children whose parents can not afford to provide these necessary tools for their child to live a productive life."

Tournament Award Recipients
Closest to the Pin - Scott Ackerson
Longest Drive - Randy Carpenter

Highest Score
Keith Miler
Gary Gulden
Jim Ullrich
Ben Nemeth

2nd Net
David Ross
Harry Bavis
Jerry Schlegel
Howard Laurin

1st Net
Michael Spagnoli
Scott Ackerson
Ed Marinaro
Doug Sellars

1st Gross
Greg Goad
Chris Pulling
Steve Conley

Other corporate sponsors of the 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament include: TWIW Insurance (Presenting Sponsor), United Healthcare, City National Bank, Apothe'Cure, Inc., Paul Mitchell, GolfSmith, Five Star Golf, Carole Young Brooke Foundation, Hope Wine, The Auto Gallery, Food Should Taste So Good, Wines for Autism, Ener-G Foods, Anhueser Busch, Mandalay Bay, Murad, Inc., One West Bank, The Littlest Golfer, Vista Automotive, Wendy's, Capital Retirement Group, Lockheed Federal Credit Union, Allied Beverages, Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Links for Luv, and Players' Golf Club.

Visit for a listing of all sponsors and donors who made the 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament a success.

For more information about the Title Sponsor, visit

For more information about Autism Care and Treatment, visit

For more information about the annual Charity Golf Tournament, visit

Click on each image to enlarge.

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), world renowned for effectively treating children with autism.

Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh waves to golfers and cheers them
on during Shotgun Start

CARD Founder and World-renowned autism expert, Dr. Granpeesheh thanks golfers for joining CARD (Title Sponsor) in supporting
ACT Today's 4th Annual Charity Tourney

Eric Schwartz of The Auto Gallery listens to Comedian John Mendoza
and Actor Joe Mantegna as they host the Dinner Program

Porsche Panamera Provided by The Auto Gallery

Paul Mitchell's Director of Media Alexandra Goodman
mingles with golfers during Tournament Registration

Firemen's Brew sets up a tent on course
with an assortment of beers for the golfers

Ford GT Provided by Vista Automotive






Provided by Fat Stogies


Provided By
Anhueser Busch and Allied Beverages


Provided by Hope Wine


SNACKS Provided by

Provided By Trillium Sports


Seated - Actor/Comedian John Byner, Comedian John Mendoza, LPGA Golf Pro Karyn Dunphy, Champion Racecar Driver Charles Downes. 2nd Row: Actor/Comedian Mark Christopher Lawrence, World-renowned autism expert Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Golf Pro Eva Yoe, Entertainment Reporter Tina Marie Tyler, ACT Today! Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, Tournament Director Stefan de Nocker. 3rd Row-Actor Ron Masak, Racecar Driver/Model Ashley van Dyke, NFL Super Bowl Champion Chris Hayes, Actor Joe Mantegna, Actor Bill Smitrovich, Actor/NFL Super Bowl Champion Ed Marinaro.

Autism Care and Treatment's Executive Director

Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson speaks during Dinner Program

Actor Joe Mantegna - giving send off at Shot Gun Start

Comedian John Mendoza host the Live Auction

portion of the Dinner Program

This was an absolutely AMAZING DAY," says Event Executive Producer Daphne Plump. "We are so thrilled that over 100 advocates came out to support Autism Care and Treatment! The funds raised through this event will help provide much needed therapy, biomedical treatments, social skills groups, and more for children with autism, whose families can not afford these necessary tools for their child to live a productive life."

Tournament Director Stefan de Nocker

Tournament Producer Daphne Plump

Join CARD in Chicago - this Week!


The Crowd: Women speak on autism, Alzheimer’s

They call themselves “Fearless Women.” Last week the “mothers and daughters who move mountains” joined with husbands and other assorted male companions for a luncheon at the Resort at Pelican Hill. They came to raise funds benefiting two very different medical needs: autism and Alzheimer’s disease. And, they came to hear the inspirational message of two close friends, both personalities from the world of television: Leeza GibbonsLeeza Gibbons and Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson. Both champion the search for help on behalf of autistic children and adults fighting dementia associated with Alzheimer’s.

Gibbons, best known for her on-camera hosting roles on TV’s “Entertainment Tonight” and then on her own “Leeza Show,” can be heard on a nationally broadcast radio program, “Hollywood Confidential.” Additionally, Gibbons has established an organization know as Leeza’s Place, which is dedicated to serving people suffering from memory loss. Leeza’s Place was created in memory of Gibbons’ mother and grandmother, both of whom succumbed to Alzheimer’s. She has written a book, “Take Your Oxygen First,” in response to the path of caring for a loved one with the disease.

Alspaugh-Jackson, Gibbons’ dynamic best pal and former producer of Gibbons’ TV show shared the stage and spoke about her very intimate and personal struggle with coming to terms with her young son’s onset of autism. Alspaugh-Jackson is dedicated to an organization known as ACT (Autism Cure and Treatment) Today, which is working to raise funds and awareness relating to autism.

The two women put on quite a performance, bouncing back and forth sharing intimate and emotional personal life details mixed with comedic relief. Their message was filled with self-help instruction.

“Escape is easier than change,” said Gibbons, adding a quote from Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, things you look at will change.”

Alspaugh-Jackson reminded the audience that “choice, not chance” is what makes a difference in life.

“Let go of the life you think you must lead so that you can embrace the life that is waiting for you,” she said.

Both told the audience to be bold and “fearless” seeking what they called the Three Es – education, empowerment and energy.

A significant part of their message centered on the power of passion of true friendship.

“A good friend will sing your song back to you when you have forgotten your music,” Gibbons said.

The Pelican Hill luncheon was produced by Laura Marroquin with dedicated assistance from very serious volunteers. Some of the deserving included Trish Coury, Jill Epstein, Liz Martin, Susan Neas, Kathy Ursini, and Jennifer and J. Ocana. Also involved were Lisa Bancroft, Ilene Fedar, Tamara Hepper, Kim Rice, Sue Taylor and Amy Zhang, to name a few.

Special guests included Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of ACT Today, Poita and Bill Cernius, Marie-France Lefebvre and her daughter, Sophie Kubichek, Catherine Emmie, Shelley Volner and her parents Sandy and David Stone, donors of a surprise gift of $100,000 made on behalf of David Stone’s late business partner.

Missouri Legislators Pass Autism Bill; Insurers Would Be Required to Pay $40,000 Per Year

The Missouri House and Senate yesterday overwhelmingly passed legislation mandating that insurers cover some of the costs of treating children with autism.

The bill requires state-regulated insurers to provide at least $40,000 annually for autism treatment. Still many insurance companies (60 percent of those that operate in Missouri) won't be impacted by the bill because they're self-funded insurers and not backed by the state.


World’s Leading Autism Organization Founder to Host Community-wide Festival in Centreville this Month

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. celebrates 20 years of excellence with 20 worldwide family fun days,
kicking off in Centreville, Virginia.

Doreen Granpeesheh, PHD, BCBA-D, the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, the world’s largest autism organization, will host a Family Fun Festival in Centreville, Virginia. The event will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 1pm until 5pm. It’s the first of 20 Family Fun Festivals CARD will host throughout the country this year, in celebration of its 20th Anniversary.

"It’s an exciting time for us and we want to celebrate the great strides our clients have made, and bring awareness to the issue of autism,” says CARD Virginia Managing Supervisor Mary Ann Cassell, MA, BCBA. “This event is for everyone in Centreville and surrounding communities. It will be a fun family event, and we invite the community to come out and join us.”

CARD Virginia is one of 20 CARD clinics worldwide that provides effective Applied Behavior Analysis-based therapy and parent training with great success.

“We’ve had wonderful success with our clients and have even recovered several. These kids go on to attend regular school, develop friendships, and lead happy lives,” said Cassell. “This is what we are celebrating.”

The family festival is free and open to the entire autism community. It will feature games, resource booths, food, raffles, prizes and music. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Autism Care and Treatment (ACT TODAY)

About the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD):

CARD, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is among the world's largest and most experienced organizations effectively treating children with autism and related disorders. CARD operates 20 clinics worldwide. CARD has treated thousands of children around the world. Its services include (but not limited to): assessments, supervision, parent/teacher training and one-on-one applied behavioral therapy.

CARD was established in 1990 by Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA. For more information about CARD, visit

For details about CARD hosted anniversary events around the world, visit

Parenting Teenagers on the Autism Spectrum

By Lylah M. Alphonse | The Boston Globe

One of the hardest things about parenting older kids who are on the autism spectrum is recognizing that the issues they’re dealing with as teens are very different from the ones they dealt with in elementary school. It’s so much easier — and more comfortable — for us to think about birthday parties and playground friendships than it is to tackle the prom and dating, isn’t it?

“Suddenly, the question is not simply, ‘How do I teach my child this or that?’ but a much more complicated ‘How do I teach my child not to need me to teach him anymore?’” writes Claire Scovell LaZebnik in Growing Up on the Spectrum: A Guide to Life, Love, and Learning for Teens and Young Adults with Autism and Asperger’s.

LaZebnik is a writer and a mother of four who lives with her family in Los Angeles. She grew up in Newton and earned her bachelors in English Literature from Harvard University; her latest novel is due out this September.

LaZebnik wrote “Overcoming Autism” with Dr. Lynn Koegel in 2005; after being approached about writing another edition of the book, they ended up with an entirely new proposal.

“Both Dr. Koegel and I felt that the needs and issues of older kids on the spectrum really weren’t being addressed by anyone,” LaZebnik says. “There seemed to be an assumption that these kids either ‘got cured’ or ended up in special homes where they lived separate lives. But of course we both knew many teenagers and adults who were on the spectrum and leading fully integrated lives. They and their parents still needed a lot of support.”

The result is “Growing up on the Spectrum,” which was published in March.

“Once your kid reaches middle school, parents are really supposed to fade out of the social picture,” LaZebnik points out. “Kids are supposed to make their own plans, keep up with sophisticatedly crude discussions, and be able to go out on their own without supervision. These are all tough things for kids on the spectrum, and it’s no surprise that many of them have little to no social life during the teen years.”

“Add to that the perplexities of sex, alcohol, driving instruction, standardized testing, dating, eating out, going to clubs … on and on and on,” she says. “There’s so much more they have to deal with and parents just can’t be in the picture all the time.

Her oldest son, who contributed essays to “Growing up on the Spectrum,” was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 1/2; he is now 18. “He had a lot of self-stimulatory behaviors when he was little, like flapping his arms and making little hand puppets,” she says. “Those faded away as he got older. He bites his nails now — much more socially acceptable!” Her two younger sons, ages 16 and 10, and her daughter, age 12, are neurotypical. The difference between navigating the teen years with an autistic child, versus doing so with neurotypical (NT) children, is highlighted when one looks at their thought processes.

“My son who’s on the spectrum is a very rigid thinker,” LaZebnik describes. “He needs clear-cut definitions of right and wrong. Anything hazy or gray confuses him. For instance, if I try to get him to see that a friend behaved badly, he’ll often get upset with me because a friend is a “good guy” by definition, in his book. Whereas my NT son is very intuitive, very thoughtful, very aware. We can talk about anything and discuss every aspect of it and really hash out the confusing ambiguities of high school life.”

She credits Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) with improving her son’s symptoms of autism. (Her co-author, Dr. Koegel, was one of his therapists.) “There is no question in my mind that right now applied behavioral analysis is the only proven approach toward improving the symptoms of autism,” she says. “You want your child to learn the way an NT kid learns: through play and interaction. The idea is to find natural reinforcers to encourage your child to talk and engage. And you never punish: All reinforcement is positive. You ignore or redirect bad behavior.”

“I know you can’t judge by any single experience — which is why research and longitudinal studies are so important,” she adds. “But my family stuck to behavioral interventions from the very beginning and our son, completely nonverbal as a toddler, is going to be a freshman at a regular four-year college next year. So I’m very happy we took the approach we did!”

The challenges she faced as her oldest son navigated adolescence, she says, were similar to ones faced by all parents of teens: exposure to alcohol, driving, and social situations. “You have to hope you’ve instilled the right values from the beginning,” she says. “ One advantage to having a kid on the spectrum: they tend to be rule followers. Socially things are harder for them than most kids.”

The biggest challenge for her as a parent? Teaching him not to trust everyone. “We’ve had a variety of experiences with people — friends and acquaintances — taking advantage of him,” she says. “The problem is, you spend their early childhood teaching kids that everyone at school is their ‘friend’ and it’s hard to un-teach it with a kid who falls into rigid ways of thinking.”

Like many children on the spectrum, her son had to learn social conversation rather than figure it out organically. “Kids don’t talk like adults but kids on the spectrum don’t necessarily fall into the same patterns of speaking or have the same interests as other kids their age,” LaZebnik points out. “If you try to ‘teach’ them social conversation at this age, they start to sound like 45-year-olds and not like teenagers. And it is hard for those who have language processing issues to keep up with the rapidity of teenage conversation. Sometimes they fall behind and then say something that’s really off-topic and others aren’t always kind about that.”

If your child has just been diagnosed with autism, don’t fall for the latest fad treatment, LaZebnik says, and don’t work with anyone who says “I’m the only one who can cure your child.” “The right interventions can be done by anyone who’s thoughtful and caring, including you and the rest of your family,” she says.

But, most important: “Don’t think that there’s a different, better child ‘hiding’ behind the autism,” she warns. “This IS your child. Love the child in front of you. Encourage his strengths, celebrate his quirks, and improve his weaknesses, the way you would with any child. You may have to work harder on some of this, but that’s the goal.”


Rodney Peete Faces Son’s Autism

Rodney Peete — the former NFL quarterback and his wife actress Holly Robinson Peete — have spent much of their time educating about and advocating for autism.

Their son R.J. was diagnosed at age three. ” Not My Boy ” chronicles Rodney’s take on the journey – from denial and anger to acceptance and action.

Peete is in town for a talk at the Marcus Jewish Community Center.



The Center for Autism and Related Disorders Becomes Lead Sponsor of Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament Benefiting Children with Autism

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), one of the world’s leading organizations effectively treating autism, announces it will be the Title Sponsor for Autism Care and Treatment’s (ACT Today!) 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament. The event will be held on Monday, May 17, 2010 at Braemar Country Club, located at 4001 Reseda Boulevard in Tarzana, California. Actors Joe Mantegna and Grant Reynolds will host the star-studded event, along with actor Ron Masak serving as Tournament Chairperson.

“We are without a doubt proud to be a part of this community event where so many people from all walks of life are coming out to support the children and their families who need quality care and treatment,” says CARD Founder and Executive Director Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D.

ACT Today’s! 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars over the past three years – funds that help provide therapy, biomedical treatments, social skills groups and more to children with autism whose families can not afford the necessary tools for their child to live a productive life.

This year’s tournament will see community members from all over Southern California, as well as celebrities from television, film and the sports arena.

For more information about the 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, visit

About the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD):
The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD) 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 each child.

With a mission to increase access to the most effective treatments, CARD has developed strong working relationships with parent organizations, schools and government agencies all over the world, including the Middle East, Europe, and South Africa. CARD was founded in 1990 by Executive Director Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. For more information about CARD, visit

About Autism Care and Treatment:
ACT Today! provides grant money for families that cannot afford or access the treatments their autistic children need. From protective helmets, to social skills groups, to ABA and biomedical treatments, ACT Today! does everything they can to help autistic children achieve their highest potential. Through direct donation, corporate sponsorship and community generosity, ACT Today! is changing the lives of children TODAY. for more information about ACT Today!, visit

Secretary Sebelius Announces New Members Of The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today the appointment of five new members to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee created in an effort to accelerate progress in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research and services.

The committee is composed of a diverse group of federal officials from HHS agencies and the Department of Education, as well as public members that include people with ASD, parents of people with ASD, and leaders of national ASD advocacy and research organizations.

In January 2009, the IACC released its first strategic plan for autism research. The IACC released a second edition of its strategic plan in January 2010.

"Today I am pleased to announce new members of the IACC, who will bring additional points of view and expertise to the committee," Secretary Sebelius said. "I look forward to hearing from the committee members on important matters that affect people with autism and their families as we continue our efforts to address this urgent public health challenge."

ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that cause major social, communication and behavioral challenges with symptoms that present before age 3. ASDs affect each person in different ways and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 1 in every 110 children in the United States has some form of ASD.

For more information on the IACC, visit

New Members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.

As chief science officer for Autism Speaks, Dr. Dawson works with the scientific community and stakeholders to shape and expand the foundation's scientific vision. She also is a licensed clinical psychologist with a research focus on early detection and intervention, early patterns of brain dysfunction and the identification of biological markers for autism genetic studies. Dr. Dawson also serves as research professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, adjunct professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and professor emeritus of psychology at University of Washington.

Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D.

Dr. Fischbach is the scientific director for the Simons Foundation where he oversees the Autism Research Initiative. He has spent his career as a neuroscientist studying the formation and maintenance of synapses, the junctions between nerve cells which allow signals to be transmitted. Before joining the Simons Foundation, Dr. Fischbach served as the Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke from 1998 to 2001 and as the Executive Vice President of Columbia University Medical Center and Dean of the faculties of medicine from 2001 to 2006.

Ari Ne'eman

Mr. Ari Ne'eman is the founding president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, where he works to increase the representation of autistic people in public policy discussions. He is an adult on the autism spectrum and a leading advocate in the neurodiversity movement. Mr. Ne'eman has served on the New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force and the New Jersey Special Education Review Commission, where he authored a minority report advocating legislative action against the use of aversives, restraint and seclusion. He is a board member of TASH, an advocacy group for people with disabilities, and is involved with the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education.

Denise D. Resnik

Denise Resnik is the co-founder and board development chair of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC). She is the mother of an 18-year-old son with autism. Ms. Resnik serves on the Autism Speaks Family Services Committee and Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) Steering Committee. She participated in the 2006 NIMH Autism Matrix Review and the IACC Scientific Workshops to develop the IACC Strategic Plan and subsequent updates.

Marjorie Solomon, Ph.D.

Dr. Marjorie Solomon is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis. She serves on the Faculty of the Medical Investigation of Neurological Disorders (MIND) Institute and the Autism Research Training Program where she conducts research on a social skills training intervention for high-functioning children with ASD, incorporating parents and siblings in the research. In addition to her clinical research work, Dr. Solomon studies cognition and learning in high-functioning individuals with ASD.


Autism Care and Treatment Makes a Difference in the Community

ACT Today!! (Autism Care and Treatment) provides grant money for families that cannot afford or access the treatments their autistic children need. In order to continue giving grants to families, the organization, along with Leeza’s Memory Foundation, put on “FEARLESS WOMEN: Mothers & Daughters Moving Mountains,” at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach. Organizers combined the fundraiser’s silent auction and lunch with an inspirational talk given by nationally acclaimed talk show host, Leeza Gibbons, about empowerment and strength for women.

Assoiciation Between Sleep Disturbances And Behavior Problems In Children With Autism

Reports have suggested that sleep problems in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are associated with challenging daytime behaviors.

A new study on a large group of youths with ASD confirms these reports and will support the development of treatments for sleep disturbances as a way to improve behavior, according to researchers from Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Results of the study, and three others conducted by the ATN, will be presented Sunday, May 2 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

An estimated one in 110 U.S. children has autism, a group of complex developmental brain disorders that affect behavior, social skills and communication.

The ATN, which includes 14 treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada, enrolls patients ages 2-18 years with a diagnosis of autism, Asperger's syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Parents of children participating in the ATN completed the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist. An analysis of 1,056 children found an association between sleep problems and problematic daytime behaviors, especially emotional problems and anxiety. Children who got less sleep had more emotional problems, and children who had parasomnias, including nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking, had more behavior problems overall.

"This study contributes to our understanding of sleep issues and helps us to plan future work addressing more specific symptoms and treatments," said Daniel Coury, MD, medical director of the ATN and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at The Ohio State University. "A better understanding of the relationship between sleep problems and daytime behavior could lead to more effective treatments for both."

Susan Martin
American Academy of Pediatrics