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Current Affairs

The Sad History of Medical Companies

Dr.-WelbyBy Dr. William H. Gaunt

Many years ago there were small medical companies with altruistic motives. They sincerely wanted to produce products that would help people with health problems. Over time these companies have morphed into giant corporations and their motivation has changed to a single-minded obsession with profits.

They found that they could sell more drugs if they had substantial input into the education of doctors and now they do. Doctors learn to prescribe drugs for every imaginable condition and this has become the standard of care that we know today. The doctor's education is further refined by continuing education provided by drug companies and frequent visits by drug reps.

These very profitable corporations also learned that they could increase sales and profits even more by advertising directly to the public through all forms of media. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries that allows this. It is difficult to over-estimate the vulnerability of most people to this type of advertising. Doctors now frequently encounter patients who ask to be prescribed a drug they saw advertised on TV.

More than half the advertising on mainstream media these days is by pharmaceutical companies. Media companies are reluctant to run news stories unfavorable to their largest advertisers for fear of offending the golden goose that funds their operations and salaries. This is called self-censorship. The result is that many legitimate stories unfavorable to drug companies almost never appear in mainstream media. Conversely, stories favorable to drug companies are lavishly reported.

Continue reading "The Sad History of Medical Companies" »

ABC News' John Donvan's Vanilla View of Autism

John DonvanBy Anne Dachel

Autism is clearly changing the face of childhood around the world, yet not one government leader is alarmed and demanding that this crisis be addressed.  It's hard to understand how the media can present this unexplained phenomenon as just something we're going to have to learn to live with, but incredibly they do, day after day.

In this story from Oct 6, ABC News presented a human interest story contrasting two young men with autism and what happened to them from early childhood on.  ABC Nightline has followed both of them for over a dozen years. 

ABC reporter John Donvan gave viewers no explanation of the cause of autism nor did he make any mention of the rate.  Back in 2003 when he first got to know these two individuals, the autism rate was one in every 250 children, today it's one in every 68.  The nonstop increases in a neurological disorder predominantly affecting children has been explained as "better diagnosing" by ABC News whenever rate increases were announced. 

ABC News attributed the recovery of one of these young men to ABA therapy.  Sadly for the other, all the intensive behavioral therapies didn't help.  Donvan explained that while Jake Exkorn is headed to college, Andrew Parles is so severely affected, he is living in a group home in southern New Jersey where caregivers help the 45 residents "cope with the details of daily living they cannot handle themselves--all the basic stuff from eating breakfast to wiping clean their own bottoms."

Continue reading "ABC News' John Donvan's Vanilla View of Autism" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: When Irish Eyes are Cryin'

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International. Aperture

Oct 6, 2015, UTV (Northern Ireland): 900 children left waiting for autism assessment

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: When Irish Eyes are Cryin'" »

Adriana Gamondes

Modern Mass Murder and Autism: Sometimes it’s Just the Drugs


By Adriana Gamondes

On August 18th, 2015, Chris Harper Mercer, the gunman responsible for the murders of 9 people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on October 1st, wrote on his Facebook page:

I have a pill bottle with like five types of pills mixed in. I don't know which ones are the sleep aids so I just took four of each.

The following is a screenshot of this Facebook post taken within minutes of Mercer’s name being released to the media by a PhD in psychology and activist (who prefers to remain anonymous) just moments before the page was taken offline. It was then disseminated by Nancy Rubenstein Delgiudice, a contributor to journalist Robert Whitaker’s blog, Mad in America, and director of public education and volunteer coordinator for the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (

AG Chris Harper Mercer

The chain of possession of the screenshot is probably important to mention since Oregon authorities as well as the FBI are actively researching Mercer’s background for clues about what may have led to his crime. The screenshot was not hacked and no one from Age of Autism actually knew him. Mercer’s page apparently had minimal privacy settings before it was taken down and was accessible to the public.

Providing information about what medications Mercer may have taken is not intended as a plea for sympathy for perpetrators of mass violence. Though children, those detained in psychiatric facilities and the severely disabled may not have a choice or can’t legally consent to treatment, most adults can choose treatment methods—and with choice comes responsibility, particularly in the web age.

Mercer and his mother Laurel Harper Mercer spent a great deal of time online according to reports. Much has been written about Laurel Mercer’s admissions that both she and her son had Asperger’s and their views on guns (she and her son were apparently avid collectors and gun rights proponents), but very little has been written about her views on mainstream medicine. Laurel Mercer, an RN, reportedly spent hours a day answering questions on Yahoo Answers under the tag Tweetybird. Her views on a range of issues— from antidepressant use to the connection between vaccines and autism—are still online (herehere and here).

AG Yahoo Vax Autism


AG Antidepressants


The New York Times reports that Laurel Mercer sometimes had difficulties getting her son to take his meds.

Alexis Jefferson, who worked with Ms. Harper at a Southern California subacute care center around 2010, said the gunman’s mother sometimes confided the difficulties she had in raising her son, including that she had placed Mr. Harper-Mercer in a psychiatric hospital when he did not take his medication.

Continue reading "Modern Mass Murder and Autism: Sometimes it’s Just the Drugs " »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Oregon Tragedy Places Asperger's in Spotlight

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International. Aperture

Oct 6, 2015, CNN: Oregon shooter's mom wrote about loaded guns, Asperger's

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Oregon Tragedy Places Asperger's in Spotlight" »

Teresa Conrick

Research Shows the Microbiome Controls the Microglia: Implications for Autism?

Meg regressing2By Teresa Conrick Meg regressing3

Ongoing research is showing that the microbiome is heavily involved in Autism, a subject that very much interests me as my daughter, Megan, like many others, had severe GI issues, chronic infections, and marked regression before being diagnosed AUTISTIC.  Her regression occurred after vaccinations. Along the years, seizures developed and then an autoimmune diagnosis.  Here is how the microbiome seems to be involved:

Scientists have long wondered whether the composition of bacteria in the intestines, known as the gut microbiome, might be abnormal in people with autism and drive some of these symptoms. Now a spate of new studies supports this notion and suggests that restoring proper microbial balance could alleviate some of the disorder's behavioral symptoms….. Researchers do not yet know how exactly gut bacteria might influence behavior, but one hypothesis is that a leaky gut may allow substances to pass into the bloodstream that harm the brain.

And here are some research quotes on specific abnormalities of the microbiome and Autism:

•   Children with autism appear to have distinctly different levels of intestinal flora, which may increase their vulnerability to pathogenic bacteria and perhaps play a role in autism pathogenesis, new research suggests… "Most notably, we also discovered that the genera Prevotella, Coprococcus, and unclassified Veillonellaceae were significantly reduced in autistic children”  

•   Fecal flora of children with regressive autism was compared with that of control children, and clostridial counts were higher. The number of clostridial species found in the stools of children with autism was greater than in the stools of control children. Children with autism had 9 species of Clostridium not found in controls,  

Continue reading "Research Shows the Microbiome Controls the Microglia: Implications for Autism?" »

Sponsor News

Safeminds: Why Aren’t I Surprised that the Media Got it Wrong AGAIN?

WrongwayFrom our friends at Safeminds:

Wednesday afternoon we got a voicemail from a reporter at Newsweek asking SafeMinds how much money we spent on a primate vaccine safety study that was just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. We weren’t sure why Newsweek wanted this dollar figure, and what relevance it had in the endless mudslinging in the vaccine-autism debates.

We sent the reporter this following statement:

“The epidemic of autism is expected to cost the country $1 trillion by 2025 if prevalence trends continue. In a recent study, over 40 percent of parents agree or strongly agree that vaccines played a part in the development of their children’s autism. The vaccine primate study in question consisted of multiple phases. The initial phase found a series of negative effects in infant reflexes and brain growth among those exposed to vaccines. The second, recent phase purported to find no effect. SafeMinds has concerns about changes in the study design protocol and analysis that may have led to these contradictory results. We are in the process of collecting and reviewing additional information regarding this study.”

The reporter, Jessica Firger, told us she was delaying her article until she could speak with us directly about the statement. We thought this was a good sign, so Thursday afternoon my colleague and SafeMinds Board President, Sallie Bernard, and I spoke with Firger for about 20 minutes by phone.

Continue reading "Safeminds: Why Aren’t I Surprised that the Media Got it Wrong AGAIN?" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Autism and Adult Employment

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International. Aperture

Oct 5, 2015, WTOP Washington, DC: Plans brewing for D.C. coffee shop that trains students with autism

Oct 4, 2015, Yahoo Parenting: The Problematic Obsession With ‘Curing’ Autism

Oct 4, 2015, New Orleans Advocate: Baton Rouge Autism Speaker seminars to give tips for law officers, caregivers

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Autism and Adult Employment" »

Kim Stagliano

Dear Americans Thinking Autism Equates to Shooters, There's This Word: CO-MORBID

SeparateBy Kim Stagliano

I live 15 miles from Sandy Hook, CT, where Adam Lanza brutally murdered his mother, 26 elementary school students and their teachers and staff members just under two years ago.  Speculation in the media was that Adam had autism or Asperger's Syndrome. My heart sunk. The thought process - "autism = violent behavior" bothered me very much.

Chris Harper-Mercer, the man who murdered so many people in Oregon is also falling under the autism umbrella in the media - because he attended a school that accepts students with emotional disturbance COMMA and Autism and Asperger's. Remember the book, Eat Shoots and Leaves?  Could be about violence, or, with the simple addition of a comma, a book about koala bears.  Even if he had a formal Asperger's diagnosis, his violent behavior would seem to signify co-morbid mental illness and/or brain injury.  

I have so many friends whose sons are on the spectrum - they have enough issues with socialization, FB autistic shooters page peer interactions and finding their way in the world without people turning a jaundiced eye toward them simply because of their diagnosis.

Yesterday, there was a horrible FB page that equated autism and shooters. The sting remains. Many of us have reported this hate age.

At the same time, if you know me, you know I also rail against the "normalization" of autism as just another way of thinking, or a brain difference. I think this denies the real struggles of autism and Asperger's. I think it alters the  response to needs for funding and support and medical care and treatment and prevention and housing and employment and schooling and the list goes on for a mile.

After Lanza, I spoke on CBS Radio.

“I don’t want people to hear Asperger’s and think mass murderer,” she said. “If anything, people with Asperger’s tend to adhere to rules, adhere to laws. They prefer order so this anarchy that Adam Lanza created is anathema to what typically would be an Asperger’s diagnosis.”

She said she would be interested to see what medications Lanza may have been taking so medical professionals could try to determine if they played any role in triggering the rampage.

“We really do need to look at the medications. Pharmaceuticals tend to be left out of the equation and I think they may be a very big part of it,” she added.

Adam Lanza's father described his son as having Asperger's Syndrome.  Our Editor Dan Olmsted countered Lanza's comments with the following, to show the interchangeability of terms. The diagnostic alphabet soup that is like pea soup, not a clear consomme.  Dan wrote:

Well, if he didn’t speak until he was three, he didn’t have Asperger’s. Straight from my hefty copy of DSM-IV, retrieved from the box in the garage: “In contrast to Autistic Disorder, there are no clinically significant delays in language (e.g., single words are used by age 2 years, communicative phrases are used by age 3 years).”

Now you tell me, but assuming his own father has his personal history right, Adam as an infant did have clinically significant delays in language. So if he had an ASD, it had to be autistic disorder or PDD-NOS.

You can read Dan's post here.

Back in 2007, I wrote a similar post on Huffington Post, after the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Autism is the new term for psychotic behavior? I THINK NOT.

There are posts buzzing about the autism lists that the media is saying the murderer at Virginia Tech was autistic. Perhaps a relative in S. Korea uttered the word and it got into a press report? Not one individual who has worked with or taught the man has mentioned autism as far as I know. That doesn't mean the rumors aren't already flying.

Continue reading "Dear Americans Thinking Autism Equates to Shooters, There's This Word: CO-MORBID" »

Cathy Jameson

October is National Vaccine Injury Month: Five Things You Can Do

5 numberBy Cathy Jameson

Vaccine injury happens.  It does not discriminate.  It can affect the young, the old, and the healthy.  Sadly, it isn’t as rare as we’re lead to believe.  If you haven’t had the misfortune of being injured by a vaccine, count yourself blessed.  My son wasn’t so fortunate.

When I learned that my son was injured by his vaccine, I found very limited information on what to do next.  In my quest to learn more, I discovered some important things.  I’d like to share some of those ideas with you today.

1 – If you’re considering opting for vaccines, read about them.  Become as fully informed about them as you can.  If it’s for you, look at the adult vaccine schedule.  If it’s for your child, you’ll want to check out the childhood schedule.  Both can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.  Take time to know the dosage(s) recommended, the timing of the dosage(s), the ingredients of each vaccine, the side effects of each vaccine, and the injuries that the government recognizes. 

Continue reading "October is National Vaccine Injury Month: Five Things You Can Do " »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Sharyl Attkisson's Full Measure Debuts 10/4

Full Measure

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International. Aperture

Sept 28, 2015, Sharyl Attkisson was interviewed about her new Sunday morning talk show, Full Measure, on 970 WFLA in Tampa.  

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Sharyl Attkisson's Full Measure Debuts 10/4" »

Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Things Go Better With Massive Conflicts of Interest

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

Most media outlets continually overlook the huge conflicts of interest that help perpetuate the autism epidemic – the studies done by pharma-funded interests, the CDC recommending and tracking the safety of vaccines for children and determining the “autism rate,” the collective obeisance of the media itself to those who buy ad time and space.

When conflicts this large occur in other areas of governance and public health, they get pointed out, making the blind spot when it comes to vaccine safety and scrutiny even more glaring.

For instance, this front-page Washington Post story: "John Roth is the top watchdog at the Department of Homeland Security, a position shielded by law from outside pressure so he can conduct independent inquiries of the government’s sensitive internal workings.

“But during a nearly completed investigation of the Secret Service, Roth’s office has taken the unorthodox step of allowing officials from the service to work alongside his agents as they tried to determine how unflattering information about a congressman was disclosed from the agency’s files, according to half a dozen people familiar with the inquiry.” (The congressman is Jason Chaffetz of the House Government Reform Committee who -- not terribly shockingly -- once applied to be a Secret Service agent!)

So, someone who works at a federal agency is allowed to investigate something that could cast it in an unfavorable light? Reminds me of the CDC’s response to the William Thompson disclosures that the agency hid the truth that the MMR causes autism when given earlier than three years of age:

“CDC shares with parents and others great concern about the number of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Things Go Better With Massive Conflicts of Interest" »

JB Handley

JB Handley: An Angry Father’s Guide to Vaccine-Autism Science (understanding “distracting research”)

Scary-truth_495x150Thanks to JB Handley for this important article - please share.  You can read the entire article at  An Angry Father’s Guide to Vaccine-Autism Science (understanding “distracting research”)

PORTLAND, Oregon — We autism parents are being browbeaten by a mantra from the mainstream media and health authorities spoken so loudly and repeated so often that it seems it simply must be true, namely:

    “It’s been asked and answered, vaccines do not cause autism.”

The science has been done. Deal with it. Case closed.

How do you fight against something repeated by so many seemingly respectable and informed people? Ben Carson just said it yesterday:

    Because we live in a society where almost everybody gets vaccines, they make that false correlation. There’ve been multitudinous scientific studies that have demonstrated that there’s no correlation. It’s sort of like if all of a sudden everybody had to eat carrots, and we say that every week you have to eat a dozen carrots, and then somebody would be saying, ‘You know, that’s what’s causing the autism.’ They’re all eating the carrots, and this certain percentage has autism.

(And, yes, he just compared getting vaccinated to eating a carrot.)
He’d probably prefer the carrot.

If a doctor running for President is saying it, it must be true! Right?

Well, no, wrong actually. If any interested party would devote 30 minutes of their life to looking at the actual details of the “multitudinous” science done to date, they’d understand the truth, too.

If I told you that none of the studies used to “prove” vaccines don’t cause autism come remotely close to asking the right questions about cause and effect or even consider the proper control groups to get to an answer, would you believe me?

If I told you that every time someone like Richard Pan of California or Ben Carson or Bob Wright of Autism Speaks references the “science”, they are just promulgating a lie, would you be skeptical enough of their collective motivations to consider that I might have a fair point?
Backstory: manufacturing doubt

Modern history is replete with examples of the true causation of man-made calamities being obscured and contested for decades by experts producing “science” to support their predetermined conclusions. This “manufacturing of doubt” — an explicit and well-understood process — is not only delaying justice for millions of children around the world, but it’s also falsely reassuring parents right now that vaccines are playing no role whatsoever in permanently damaging the neurology of America’s kids.

Tobacco and lung cancer, coal smoke and acid rain, CFCs and the ozone layer, and global warming are all recent examples of the very same phenomenon: relatively obvious scientific truths (today) had to endure decades of contention from “scientists” publishing “science” that was, at the very least, artfully contrived, and, at worse, downright fraudulent. (You could argue that the “WMD” fiasco justifying the invasion of Iraq was an offshoot of this same phenomenon.)

Continue reading "JB Handley: An Angry Father’s Guide to Vaccine-Autism Science (understanding “distracting research”)" »

Current Affairs

Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act Initiative Filed in California

Parental RightsBy Dan Anderson

Lauren Stephens a member of the Parental Rights Initiative has filed a proposed initiative titled, "PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ACT" on September 24, 2015. The purpose behind this act is to stop Government Outreach in California. The purpose states on the act says, “ To constitutionally restore full parental rights, responsibilities and  control over their own child(ren)

To constitutionally restrict government control and influence over parent(s) and their child(ren)“.

The Proposition reads,

“Article 1 of the California Constitution is hereby amended by adding
Section 32 as follows: Sec. 32. (a.) Parents have the fundamental and
natural right to make decisions related to the upbringing of their
children. These rights shall include, but are not limited to: (1) (a)
The fundamental and natural right of the parent(s) to make informed
medical decisions for their minor child(ren). (b) Medical decision
includes, but is not limited to; treatments, prescription medication,
. vaccinations, surgical procedures (elective or non-elective), mental
health treatments, and other plans or procedures related to the health
and well-being of their children. (2) (a) The fundamental and natural
right of the parent(s) to make informed educational decisions for
their minor child{ren). (b) Educational decision includes, but is not
limited to; the right to choose between public education, private
education, parochial education or home education. (b.) These rights
shall not be infringed.“

On the SB 277 Recall Facebook account, Lauren posted:

#‎SB277‬ - Major Parental Rights News! Please scroll down and read
it all.  I have added some page admins who are from the
Recall Pan committee because our fight for freedom is NOT over with
and will never be over with!! They need your help and they have only a
short time to complete their mission! We must do everything possible
to stop this out of control government, this includes the recalls, the
referendum and we have just filed a Parental Rights Constitutional
Amendment Initiative which you can read here.

Continue reading "Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act Initiative Filed in California" »

Current Affairs, Vaccine Safety

Radio Interview with Laura Hayes RE SB277 and Vaccine Mandates

We also have a TV interview with Laura Hayes on the same program. Click here to watch - and learn. Thanks to Laura for her advocacy.

Kim Stagliano

Flu Shot As Craig's List Ad

Heart-syringeIt's here! Time to save 20% on your CVS (we don't sell cigarettes any longer, they're dangerous!) purchase. All you have to do is submit to a liability free, mercury filled, if it were a car with this fail rate it would be a lemon flu shot!   We ran this post last Fall. But flu shot season, like Groundhog day, happens every year.


MDV seeks GSBWBHAMF for relationship. Could get serious and last a lifetime. Available to hook up anywhere, school, Church, grocery store, community center, drug store, mass merchant store, hospital or walk in medical center. No experience necessary, I'll do all the work. Must appreciate high fail rate, possibility of flu like symptoms for up to several weeks and a bolus dose of neurotoxic mercury.  On the plus side, you might be so injured as to receive compensation from the United States Government. Take a chance. Let me roll up your sleeve tonight, Call (666) 637-2079.

By Kim Stagliano, December 2014

New outlets reported last week that the flu shot is a poor match for the current viruses.   Fox News pointed out the some experts are questioning the CDC's forecasting:

CDC sent an advisory to doctors noting that one component of this year's flu vaccine was only partially protective against the predominant flu virus, known as influenza A (H3N2), which has mutated since the current flu shots were made....

Continue reading "Flu Shot As Craig's List Ad" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Asks Doctors: Thoughts on the CDC Whistleblower

Dr. James Lyons-Weiler

“Hi, I'm Dr. James Lyons-Weiler.  I'd like to speak with you today about vaccine safety research.  Recent allegations by Dr. William Thompson that CDC scientists pressured him to change the results of a study showing an association between a vaccine and risk of autism are deeply disturbing. 

“Rep. Posey entered all of the evidence provided to him by Dr. Thompson into the Congressional Record.  The next logical step are congressional hearings.

Continue reading "Dachel Asks Doctors: Thoughts on the CDC Whistleblower" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Presidential Candidates on Vaccine Choice

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Sept 24, 2015, Yahoo Finance: Presidential Candidates on Vaccines: Too many, too soon.

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Presidential Candidates on Vaccine Choice" »

Teresa Conrick

How Do "Rare" Mutations Cause an Epidemic? Autism and Genes. Again.

Fridge_whitedoorBy Teresa Conrick

Since the end of the “Refrigerator Mother” nightmare, the fanciful search for THE Autism Gene has been ridiculous and expensive. It has never been found since its very profitable start in the 1970’s, yet here we are in 2015 and STILL we are bombarded with headlines and deceptive phrases to keep the money flowing to this cash cow. Studies like this recent one attempt to paint a false picture of Autism:

Genetic analysis: Rare mutations cause half of all autism cases, Sept. 22, 2015  

…Researchers analyzed data on ASD patients and their families collected as part of the Simons Simplex Collection, finding there are about 200 "candidate" autism genes that may be vulnerable to the mutations…Genes considered vulnerable harbor what the researchers refer to as likely gene-disruption, or LGD. LGD spontaneous mutations occur between generations, and researchers said they were often carried by the mother and passed down…Such mutations are often not passed on, as most people with severe ASD do not reproduce…

How absurd and speculative -- HALF of all AUTISM cases? LGD sounds like a lot of BS and another blame the MOTHER?  If anything, this type of research has detoured from the true factors of Autism. Let’s take a peek at some past gene research on Autism. There are some tiny glimmers of reality yet the amount of time studying genes solely and the money invested has done NOTHING to prevent Autism, or to treat so many who suffer from severe gastrointestinal issues, seizures, mitochondrial dysfunction, encephalopathy, allergies, and immune system abnormalities.          

                                        AUTISM GENE RESEARCH THEN AND NOW

 A Twin Study of Individuals with Infantile Autism,   Autism – 1978   

…it is decidedly unusual for a family to contain more than one autistic child…Second, autism is a very uncommon disorder occurring in only about two to four children out of every 10,000…  

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 18, No1, 1988  

Age of onset does not, however, help us predict the nature of etiology.  Infections can have either immediate effects (as in congenital rubella) or delayed effects (as in postencephalatic

Continue reading "How Do "Rare" Mutations Cause an Epidemic? Autism and Genes. Again." »

To Steve Silberman: "Please Stop Whitewashing Autism" in Psychology Today

Remain_calm_mediumNote: We excerpted this piece by Amy Lutz from Psychology today.   The push to normalize the serious diagnosis of autism could mean less funding, fewer programs and opportunities for our loved ones on the spectrum.  It certainly disrespects the plight of many of our families.


Few things are more surreal to the parent of a severely autistic child than the neurodiversity rhetoric that recently culminated in Steve Silberman’s book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. To call the disorder that has left our children with profound impairments in cognition, communication and behavior a “strange gift,” as Silberman does, is truly mind-boggling.

No one is contesting the achievements of the “scruffy geniuses” Silberman profiles in his book, or denying that they should be celebrated. The question is whether a comprehensive, 480-page account of “The Legacy of Autism” should have devoted more space to those with low-functioning autism than the nine pages listed under this topic in the index.

Here’s what we know about the autistic population in the United States: According to the CDC, 40% are also intellectually disabled. Autism Speaks reports that 30% are nonverbal, and a 2013 study published in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders found that over half of autistic children suffer from aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior. So this is not a small fraction, although readers might be forgiven for assuming as much after finishing NeuroTribes. As Jennifer Senior noted in her review for The New York Times, “We don’t see autism in some of its more devastating forms.”

But it’s exactly those forms that need to be confronted before concluding “that much of the suffering associated with autism is the result of the ways that autistic people and their families are habitually denied the services they need,” as Silberman does, rather than the result of brutal neurological symptoms that often necessitate a lifetime of care.  Read the full article at Psychology Today.

Current Affairs

Autism, Letterboard Communication and Intelligence

We're running a contest to win an Aquaponic growing system from Appleseed Ventures - click here to learn more and enter!

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Dr. Ben Carson on Bill Cunningham Show

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Bill Cunningham Show ...interview with Dr. Ben Carson.  The issue of vaccines and autism came up.

Dr. Carson is running for the Presidency of the United States.  He was cited as an expert on the subject of vaccines and autism on WLW on Sunday.  He adamantly denied any link between the two.  He dismissed the association as just coincidence.  He said he has all the science on his side.  He made a veiled reference to Dr. Andrew Wakefield's 1998 Lancet article on the MMR vaccine/autism/GI problems. calling it "propaganda."  He said he was sure that if we didn't vaccinate, we'd still have the same autism rate.

Sept 27, 2015, 700 WLW Cincinnati


Bill Cummingham: "On the issue of inoculations and autism, I heard you last night on Fox News discussing it, you said at the last debate, there are some inoculations you may not want--Trump talked about this dosage--no one knows more about this topic that's ever run for the presidency than Dr. Ben Carson because you're a pediatric surgeon.  Can you put to rest the slam from the radical leftists of the mainstream media that always wants to picture Republicans as stupid, . . . and you have more capital letters after your name than anyone who's ever run for the presidency, and you know more about this subject than anybody in the history of this country, what is the association if any of inoculations on one hand and autism on the other?"

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Dr. Ben Carson on Bill Cunningham Show" »

Current Affairs

Tom Insel, Robert Ring and Something about the Power of One Mother's Emails or Something

SuperMom2By Ginger Taylor

Last month I wrote two letters, one to Tom Insel, head of NIMH and the IACC, and one to Rob Ring, Science Officer of Autism Speaks, pointing out to both the vast amount of research they seemed to have missed that shows that vaccines can cause autism, which contradicts their stated claims that there is no research showing that vaccines can cause autism.

And then this month a funny thing happened. They both actually did something.

Insel resigned as the head of NIMH to go start a new life sciences division for Google. (Note: I strongly recommend you stay away from Google Life Sciences.) His departure is being lauded by those in the autism community far and wide.

And this week, as the unexpected and unexplained resignation of Liz Feld as President of AS is announced, we note that something on the Autism Speaks web site has changed. Rob Ring's claim that vaccines don't cause autism has been scrubbed from

Last February, Mr. Ring made the much heralded statement:

“Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.

Continue reading "Tom Insel, Robert Ring and Something about the Power of One Mother's Emails or Something" »

Dan Burns, Dreams

Age of Autism Contest! Aquaponic Growing System Supports Adults with Autism!

Appleseed ventures
"Appleseed Ventures is a parent-driven enterprise.  We employ autistic teens and young adults to assemble and package Aquaponic Waterfall Gardens.  It's a gateway to a future that works."

If you were fortunate to hear Dan Burns this weekend at the Generation Rescue Autism Education Summit, you learned about his parent-driven initiative for employment of adults on the spectrum. Called Appleseed Ventures, the product they offer is a fantastic aquaponic growing system. And Dan is generously giving a system away to a lucky AofA reader. Imagine growing fresh herbs year 'round in your kitchen!  And you can buy small fish to decorate the water with their color. 

Leave a comment to enter.  Learn more at Appleseed Ventures.

Natalie Palumbo

Scrutiny and Loss in the Age of Autism

915AntAndNat02By Natalie Palumbo

I’m 21, a junior Motion Design major at Ringling College of Art and Design, and the only sister to an older brother with low-verbal autism.

It was a busy summer. I spent most of it working on freelance animation for musician Jim Hossick, known affectionately in the D.C. Metropolitan area as "Kidsinger Jim". I first met "Mr. Jim" when I was in preschool with Anthony. Jim performed at our school, which was a center for special education with an integrated pre-kindergarten. During one performance, one of the special needs kids reached for Jim's guitar. Jim leaned in so he could hold the tuning keys, and just kept playing. True tolerance is so hard to come by. My mom still can't recall that moment without tears. I wanted Jim to be proud of my abilities and surpass his expectations. He was overcome. I presented “Daddy Longlegs” to my animation teacher, and he was overjoyed with the production value.  Surpassing his expectations, too, meant everything to me.


When I was working, Anthony would repeatedly say, "play it", and attempt to sing along. I’d never seen him do that before. The fact he was invested in my animation weighed very heavily with me. Only a select few things make it to his "over and over" list. Whenever I make art, I try to show it to Anthony. He’s a good bellwether for what is visually appealing. Anthony is the one person in my life who remains consistently kindhearted and sincere. I think of him for comfort when I'm overwhelmed by the world exploiting conflict.

There is a part of me that always feels scrutinized for caring so much about my family, especially my brother. Despite attempts to explain Anthony's situation, someone will misconstrue my concern as preoccupation and try to "wean" me off of being "so sensitive". Most making that assumption barely know me, let alone Anthony. They aren't interested in hearing any details from me, but want to persuade me to conform to their idea of what is important. They don't want to be bothered with the details of what makes my concerns so different.

Continue reading "Scrutiny and Loss in the Age of Autism" »

Vaccine Safety

Laura Hayes on "Soapbox!" about Mandatory Vaccines

YouTube Link.

Vaccines: When Fear and Facts Collide

By Cathy Jameson

A question I’ve seen posed before popped up again last week:  Would you let an unvaccinated child into your home?  Most of the commenters were moms.  Some were polite while others were downright rude.

As long as I didn’t have a newborn in the house, I guess it would be okay.

My kids are vaccinated so yeah, I’d let them play.

Unvaccinated kids?  NO WAY! They spread disease and are a menace to society. 

As the conversation continued, the responses got longer and more detailed.  Back-and-forth replies increased.  Facts were added.  So was a lot of fear.  Some of the replies pitted mom against mom.  As more people chimed in, it was moms of the unvaccinated pitted against moms of the vaccinated. 

I welcome conversations about vaccines, but I don’t always care to read some of the ones I see online like the one I’d just witnessed.  By the time I’d had my fill of the ‘your kid is making my kid sick’ volleying, only ten or fifteen minutes had passed.

Having a conversation is not a bad thing.  But when fear and facts collide, emotions tend to flare.  Messages quickly get lost in translation, and people get hurt.  That’s what I’ve seen happen with these sorts of online vaccine conversations.  It’s what I saw again just a few days ago.


Well played, social media.  Well played. 

Continue reading "Vaccines: When Fear and Facts Collide" »

Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: VW and Vaccine World, the GOP and the Truth, the Times and the Fuhrer

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

It’s the world’s largest company in the category. It’s been caught cheating, putting public health and the planet at risk. Bogus tests gave false results that made everyone think the product was working, but in the real world it was a disaster. Resignations are flooding in, criminal investigations are starting, and the future of the company is at stake.

Obviously, I’m talking about Volkswagen, but I’m thinking about the largest firm in Vaccine World – Merck. At least the first part of the story is the same: Merck ($5.9 billion vaccine revenues in 2014, the world’s biggest haul) has been caught cheating, putting public health at risk by – allegedly – faking data to prove the mumps vaccine works when it doesn’t. It only works when you (Merck) run bogus tests using rabbit blood and you (Merck) alter results by hand, but not in the real world where college kids are now getting mumps and becoming sterile for life.

In Merck’s case, two courageous whistleblowers filed suit in federal court five years ago. Merck has so far failed to get the suit dismissed or (presumably) to buy off the whistleblowers with a few measly millions. Recent rulings by the judge overseeing the case have paved the way for the word they hate most in Vaccine World – discovery, meaning the uncovering of (covered up) documents.

There’s no discovery in vaccine “court,” the liability-free protection racket set up by Congress that has led to the epidemic of excessive vaccination and, with it, the autism epidemic and so many more kinds of vaccine damage. Various independent examinations of its “rulings” over the years show clearly that vaccine-induced encephalopathy (brain damage) results in vaccine-induced brain damage (autism), and they all know it.

In the case of the mumps vaccine, regulatory oversight has failed dramatically, far worse than in the VW case where the government pursued the clues and came down hard. In contrast, he FDA was apprised of what was going on at Merck in real time but let the company ‘splain it all away. (Merck now says, hey, the FDA knew about it, you can’t sue us! So far, that hasn’t worked.) And as we know, the “cesspool of corruption” called the CDC has abetted Merck by hiding MMR study data that showed a higher risk for autism when the shot was given before age three (CDC recommendation: 12 months).

You wonder how long it would have taken the VW fraud to emerge if the EPA was as bought off as the regulatory apparatus for Vaccine World. Forever, is my guess.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: VW and Vaccine World, the GOP and the Truth, the Times and the Fuhrer" »

Current Affairs, Sponsor News

Childhood Vaccines Make it Into Presidential Debate

CArson TrumpFrom our friends at SafeMinds

Childhood Vaccines Make it Into Presidential Debate — View Transcript Here
Download Release Here as PDF

SafeMinds is delighted that several candidates for president of the United States have been speaking out on national television about the epidemic of autism in our country, as well as the choice that some parents and medical professionals are making to slow down and spread out the administration of childhood vaccines. Autism prevalence rates have skyrocketed since the 1980s. Prior to that decade, autism was reported to affect 1 in 2,000 children(1). Now, the data show that 1 in 68 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (2).

The autism epidemic continues to escalate unchecked as indicated by the latest California prevalence numbers (3), and it must receive the priority it deserves so that we can better protect children born today. A new study from the University of California-Davis estimates that autism will cost the United States $268 million in 2015, and this number is projected to increase to $1 trillion by 2025 if prevalence trends continue(4). This is far more than Alzheimer’s is expected to cost(5).

While autism is not new, the explosion of environmentally-induced brain disorders is unprecedented. Independent scientists have confirmed what classroom teachers and parents already know—the increase in autism is not just a question of better diagnosis or more awareness. Rather, it is also the result of something environmental, or perhaps several environmental factors, causing harm to children’s brains(6). Autism is one of the major crises of our time.

Continue reading "Childhood Vaccines Make it Into Presidential Debate" »

Current Affairs

Dr. Calvin's Rebuttal to Elmo Selling Vaccines for Pharma on Sesame Street

Did you become a grouch when you saw Elmo selling vaccines with the Surgeon General? We did. Check out and share this Dr. Calvin video response to the Elmo'ization of healthcare.

Adriana Gamondes

Evolution of the National Institutes of Mental Health Revolving Door

Raking in the moneyManaging Editor's Note:  Thank you to Adriana for this series of five infographics that we hope you will share.  They show the "evolution" of the public service to profit model prevalent in American government, and are a result of the recent departure of Dr. Tom Insel, from the National Institutes of Mental Health where he was chairman of  IACC - the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Mind you, autism rates increased from 1 in 150 when Insel joined NIMH to a staggering 1 in 68, 1 in 42 boys.  Is this Insel's idea of a "high point" and a "bright future?"

Why am I leaving? I had always planned to depart after 10 years. I stayed longer because of the fun of first launching a new Institute, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and then the BRAIN Initiative, as well as my passion for what we have been doing at NIMH. I am not leaving because of a problem or crisis. Indeed, I chose this moment because I wanted to leave at a high point: for the first time in many years we have a complete and completely outstanding leadership team at NIMH, we have excellent engagement from the advocacy community, we have unprecedented support from Congress, and we have an inspiring strategic plan. I want to step away at the best of times with all signs pointing to a bright future.

By Adriana Gamondes

  1 Herbert Pardes NIMH Revolving Door Adriana Gamondes

2 Lewis Judd NIMH Revolving Door Adriana Gamondes

Continue reading "Evolution of the National Institutes of Mental Health Revolving Door" »

Current Affairs, Nightmares

Dark Cloud Over Sunnyvale CA: Neighbors Suing Family with Autistic Child as "Public Nuisance"

WeepNOTE: A family in California is being sued because of their child with autism is, according to the suit, a "public nuisance."  He has severe aggressive behaviors. And while we know that our kids can not function in the world if they harm others, we also know how difficult it can be to address, manage and ameliorate aggressive behaviors even with the best team and interventions. Just imagine how this problem is going to grow when the 11 year old turns 21, 41, 61 along with 1 in 68 peers?  Thank you to AofA reader and CA advocate SP for sharing. We wish the family well. There but for the grace of God....  (California has become very cruel, don't you think?)


California is leading the way in gross injustice yet again. You may have seen the news articles about this family being sued by their neighbors, who are claiming their son with autism is a "public nuisance".  The Autism Society Bay Area in CA wrote about this terrible story.

Dear Bay Area autism families,
We wanted to let you know about an extraordinary, unprecedented lawsuit against a local family that could have profound implications for all of us affected by autism.
In June 2014, two Sunnyvale couples, whose homes on Arlington Court flanked a home occupied by a nine year-old autistic boy and his parents, sued the autism family in Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleging a smattering of incidents that had occurred sporadically over the span of about six years. The incidents sound much like those that happen with many autistic children, and include, for example, that the boy had entered a neighbor's garage, had taken a neighbor’s banana, had sought out neighbors' sweets, had kicked a car (no damage), had tossed some objects over a fence, had pulled a child’s hair and had on occasion kicked at people (no injuries), and had tossed a bicycle helmet. The boy was between 3 and 9 years of age, and weighed less than 60 pounds, at the time of these alleged actions.  Read more HERE.
From SP:  The family is understandably devastated. They are the type to do the right thing and believe that others would do the same. They moved from their home in the hopes to leave this horror behind, but still, the neighbors are going forward with the suit. The hearing for the neighbors petitions to get the boys medical records (plus IEP's, Regional Center records, even camp records!) is this morning. Can you imagine the precedent this will set? Any disgruntled neighbor can get access to you child's most sensitive records in order to use against you in a lawsuit?
This is all to terrible to contemplate, but is the reality for this family right now.

Continue reading "Dark Cloud Over Sunnyvale CA: Neighbors Suing Family with Autistic Child as "Public Nuisance" " »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Pharmedia Continues to Attack Republican Debate Snippet

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Sept 22, 2015, Daily Mail (UK): Mother of autistic girl drowned herself after child was refused care

Sept 22, 2015, Medical community criticizes Carson and Paul's view on vaccines By Marjorie Miles

Sept 22, 2015, The New Yorker: The Dangerous Doctors of the G.O.P. by Michael Spector

Sept 22, 2015, Boston Herald: Editorial: Junk science on stage

Sept 21, 2015, WGM Radio Chicago: Doctor Kevin Most Responds to Donald Trump’s Vaccine Comments

Sept 21, 2015, ABC 10 Albany, NY: Local lawmaker to push autism ID cards

Sept 21, 2015, CBS 47 Jacksonville FL: Mother: Daughter with autism wandered from school, staff lost

Sept 17, 2015, MSNBC: No, vaccines have not caused an autism ‘epidemic’

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Pharmedia Continues to Attack Republican Debate Snippet" »

Dan Burns

Five Minutes for Autism

5 numberBy Dan Burns

My daughter and son-in-law own a CrossFit gym. They gave me time to speak as part of their Five Minutes for Autism program. The goal was to raise funds and turn a global spotlight on the impact of autism on families and individuals around the world.

Here’s what I said:

"Autism is a spectrum disorder. Some little kids go to college; some little kids stay home until their parents die.  Today I want to focus on how to reduce the risk if you’re lucky, and how to help your child become more independent if you’re not.

Let’s start with reducing the risk.  Here’s the Three Big Lies. You’ve heard them on CNN, Washington Post, or New York Times.

Lie number one, autism is not an epidemic. The truth is, when Ben was born, the autism rate was one in 10,000. Now it’s one in 68 boys. You’ve heard it’s just better diagnosing. So where are all the adults like Ben? Few and far between. But I’d bet you know kids in your family, or extended family, or even in this gym, who have autism. Classrooms are flooded with disabled children who weren’t there when you and I went to school. Ask a special education teacher.

Lie number two: autism is nothing to worry about; it’s just another way of being, and neurotribes of autistic adults will usher in a brave new world. Truth is, some of our kids are specially gifted, some go on to college and hold jobs with help.  But most don’t. Now, Ben is my hero. He struggles every day. I admire the way he bounces back with his smile and positive attitude and humor when he is misunderstood, excluded and shunned.  But I wouldn’t wish on any child, or any family, the screaming, the gut problems, the sleeplessness, the headaches, and the unrelenting mess and stress that go with severe autism.  Last week Ben wandered off.  He can’t answer when called, ask for help, say his last name or “I’m thirsty.”  Six police cars and a helicopter joined the search.  He was found when reported for stealing a Coke. Barring a medical breakthrough, he’ll require supervision 24/7 all his life. After Sue and I are gone, who will do that job? We can build more prisons. Or we can find ways to help these kids.  As their numbers approach one in ten, they are us.

Continue reading "Five Minutes for Autism" »

Anne Dachel

CNN's Sanjay Gupta was atpuG yajnaS on Vaccines in 2008

Pharmedia Circles WagonsBy Anne Dachel

On Sept 17 I wrote about the immediate reaction of the media to what was said about vaccines during the Republican candidates debate.

It's all over the news right now and I have literally dozens of stories to look at.   CNN's medical expert, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was quick to go on the attack.

Does Dr. Sanjay Gupta or CNN have any real credibility left when it comes to vaccines and autism?

It is simply nonsense to keep saying what Gupta does, "There is no connection between vaccines and autism."  In 2008 Dr. Gupta and CNN told the world that the U.S. government said there is a link.  Now he pretends it never happened.   

CNN Sept 18, 2015, Medical experts slam Carson and Paul's view on vaccines 

Wolf Blitzer: "So Sanjay, it's a well-known fact that vaccines don't cause autism.  . . . Give us the Sanjay Guptafacts.  What's your reaction?"

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: "There is no connection between vaccines and autism. And I'll just pause there for a second because I don't want anybody to think there are any strings attached to that statement.  There just is no connection. There hasn't been.  There was a study done earlier this year, one of the largest, 96,000 children.  They looked at their history of vaccinations, looked for any correlation with autism.  It simply doesn't exist. 

"The issue that they raise as well with regard to spreading the vaccines out over time, really doesn't have merit as well.  And I think this is really an important point.  First of all, you realize this can potentially be dangerous to potentially spread out these vaccines.  When you spread out these vaccines you're leaving children essentially unvaccinated for a period of time. You're defeated that very purpose that you've given the vaccines in the first place.   So that's a huge issue.

Continue reading "CNN's Sanjay Gupta was atpuG yajnaS on Vaccines in 2008" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Carson in Debate

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

(Thanks to Leslie Manookian for reminding me about part of the Republican presidential debate.) 

Sept 17, 2015, Ben Carson says pediatricians realize need to cut down number and proximity of vaccines

Pediatricians have cut down on the number and proximity of vaccines because they recognize there have been "too many in too short a period of time."  

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Carson in Debate" »

Current Affairs, Kent Heckenlively, Vaccine Safety

Memo to Pharma: 97% Wasn't Good Enough for You? Prepare to Lose!

97 percentBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

I really have to hand it to the marketing wizards of the pharmaceutical industry.  In California, the cultural trend-setter of the nation, 97% of the children in our schools were fully-vaccinated, according to the CDC schedule.  But that wasn't enough for you, was it?  You had to try and run the table by jamming SB 277 through the California legislature and threaten to throw the children of thinking parents out of school, didn't you?

It must have gotten under your skin that there was 3% of the market still left on the table.  There was that rebellious 3% that didn't care how many times Dr. Nancy ("Get your damn flu-shot) Snyderman told us from on-high there was no debate about vaccines and autism.  (So sorry Nancy that you lost that cushy NBC job when you decided that Ebola quarantines were for other people!) And we didn't care how much you told us that Dr. Andrew Wakefield was a real-life Dr. Evil, when a much better comparison is Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

And yes, when you got the news media to go to sleep about the fact that even the corrupt "Vaccine Court" had paid out damages to at least 83 children who developed autism after their vaccinations, and $3.1 billion for other vaccine injuries, there were still some of us who knew the truth.  And yes, so far you've been able to keep the news media quiet about CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, but there's at least one Presidential candidate with a big mouth who will probably be spilling the beans on that little issue any day now.  In fact, at my last count, there are at least three Presidential candidates who think we need to ask more questions about vaccines.  

Continue reading "Memo to Pharma: 97% Wasn't Good Enough for You? Prepare to Lose!" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Asks Doctors: Thoughts on the CDC Whistleblower Part 2

By Anne Dachel

Part 1 of this series was an interview with Dr. David Brownstein.

“I’m Dr. David Ayoub, a clinician, a radiologist in Springfield, Illinois.  I have been involved in basically following the vaccine—autism story for the last ten years.  I’ve been a researcher.  I have been involved in some think tanks with regards to assessing the underlying patho-physiology of autism and its potential link to vaccine injury. 

“The Centers for Disease Control has come under—obviously they’re a key organization in diseases, studying diseases that affect the populations, and amongst many of their shortcomings that are really obvious to even me as a parent and as a clinician particularly is the way they have basically ignored the valuation of autism.  You look at how many diseases they chase down with regards to defining the disease, to try and come up with an explanation to even begin formulating a treatment plan.   They have really fallen short.  

Continue reading "Dachel Asks Doctors: Thoughts on the CDC Whistleblower Part 2" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Pharmedia Goes into Lockstep Overdrive RE Vaccine Debate Discussion

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Here's what's being said in the media.  Some is so outrageous, it's hard to imagine anyone having the nerve to say these things. 

Huffington: "Vaccinations aren't open for debate."

The Hill: "Trump is talking nonsense."

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Pharmedia Goes into Lockstep Overdrive RE Vaccine Debate Discussion" »

Beth Clay on the Inaccurate Media Reporting Post Trump Carson Vaccine Mentions at Debate

The factsThank you to Beth Clay for allowing us to excerpt her blog.  Her post provides a factual rebuttal to the press release reporting by the mainstream pharmedia which went into full court press of denial and disinformation following the Republican Presidential debate last week. 

September 18, 2015 

The Autism-Vaccine controversy has become and will remain a 2016 campaign issue. It is not going away, and as someone who led the Congressional investigation with Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) on the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and has stayed engaged on the issue these last dozen years, I thought I should put a framework on the basic issues, which are often ill-framed by the media. The American Academy of Pediatrics has already issued their statement in which they write, “Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature. It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise.”  A very young physician (and fellow South Carolinian) Chad Hays is making a name for himself by posting a Guide to Vaccines for Presidential Candidates which has been picked up by Newsweek and Washington Post. Sadly both of these fail to accurately represent the facts regarding the controversy.

  1.  The Important Role of Vaccinations in Public Health is Not Being Questioned. History will continue to recognize the important role of vaccines in public health – only exceeded by the importance of clean water, sanitation, safe housing, and healthy food.

  2. Vaccines, Like Every Medication, Have a Risk/Benefit Ratio: Vaccines, individually and as a whole, can and do harm some. Public health officials will state that vaccine adverse reactions are ‘rare’ or ‘very rare’. The truth is, no one really knows how rare vaccine reactions are because, like with all medication adverse reactions, they are vastly under reported. (In part because pediatricians have not been educated to recognize vaccine reactions, and now some would say are indoctrinated to deny they can occur.) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on record stating that less than one percent of adverse reactions for drugs in general are reported directly to them. According to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), in the United States in children under age six years vaccinated since January 2000, there are reports of: 900 deaths with diphtheria vaccines (Most of these are vaccines for 3 or more diseases including pertussis, polio, and tetanus); more than 270 deaths with Hepatitis B; and 91 deaths with the measles vaccines (Most of which are for more than one disease including Rubella and Mumps). Since their introduction in 2007, there are reports of 60 deaths in those getting Merck’s HPV vaccines and more than 550 deaths in patients of all ages getting flu shots since 2000.

Continue reading "Beth Clay on the Inaccurate Media Reporting Post Trump Carson Vaccine Mentions at Debate" »

Cathy Jameson

Things Said That Can Make the Parent of a Vaccine Injured Child Cringe

Don't Say That AgainBy Cathy Jameson

Sometimes, the hardest thing for the parent of a vaccine injured child to listen to isn’t their own child’s response to pain; it’s what comes out of another person’s mouth that can be difficult to hear.  Like this admittance that comes after advice from the parent of a vaccine injured child has been given:

“I went ahead and got his shots…” 

Of the few that I’ve heard, that response is one of the hardest ones to hear.  Personally, I think that one sounds like a cop out, too.  “I went ahead and…” doesn’t eek confidence and has a smidgen of guilt added.  When it’s said to the parent of a vaccine injured child after we’ve been sought out, and after facts have been laid out, after websites, and books and journals have been referenced, and after we’ve included the retelling (and subsequently, the reliving) of our own child’s vaccine injury, the response, “I went ahead and got his shots…” actually kind of hurts.  Now, yes, advice certainly does not have to be taken, I understand that, but when the other parent who was so afraid and so worried and somewhat doubtful about vaccines came to me for information but ends up doing the exact opposite of what I suggested, yeah, that hurts.

I’d like to believe this one, but when I hear this, I’m the one who has doubts:

“Well, she got her shots and turned out just fine…” 

I would love nothing more than to believe that statement.  But I can’t when the child who received the shots ends up with signs of eczema, unexplained allergies, attention issues and asthma that didn’t exist before. 

To me, “just fine” means there are no reactions whatsoever.  That means no fever, no swelling, no joint pain, and none of any of other “mild” vaccine reactions that the CDC lists on the vaccine package insert.  “Just fine” also means no resulting eczema, sensory issues, allergies, asthma, attention issues, sleep issues, changes in personality, juvenile arthritis or diabetes, and no need for accommodations to be made in school or home.  

Continue reading "Things Said That Can Make the Parent of a Vaccine Injured Child Cringe" »

Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Vaccine Injury Gets an Audience

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

Well that was quick! Last week I began my column by asking, “Why isn’t there a huge groundswell in the autism advocacy community for Donald Trump? We seemed to like him better when he was not in a position to do anything. Here we have the first leading major party candidate to say the studies are fudged, the shots are too many too soon, and the result is autism.

“I’ve lived in Washington and covered politics here for three decades, and believe me, it is a big freakin’ deal that the Republican front-runner embraces our issues when we aren’t respected in virtually any other way.”

On Thursday, Trump won a whole lot of love from our community by saying, during the GOP presidential debate, that there is an autism epidemic, that vaccines can and do cause autism, that spacing out the shots would greatly reduce the incidence of autism, and that he had an employee whose healthy, happy child got sick and regressed into autism right after a vaccine.

Ben Carson, the pediatric neurosurgeon who in the past had defended vaccine mandates and whom CNN had teed up to go after Trump for his vaccine views, agreed, shockingly, that there are now “way too many shots” in too short a period and even questioned the necessity for some of them, and Rand Paul, an M.D. who emphasized choice as a bedrock of health policy, also supported spreading out the shots.

I felt the ghost of my hero Bernie Rimland in the room, who said, “The autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause.” Wish he could have heard the debate!

This is a breakthrough moment, and to pick at what Trump said or to diminish Carson or Paul is not, to my mind, the right response. As our ever-astute John Stone wrote in a comment:

“Trump's technical grasp of the issue - let alone ignoring [CDC whistleblower William] Thompson - is rudimentary to say the least. With half-an-hour's proper briefing he could give a much better account than that. Though when it comes down to it - and this is where he gets the point - he ignores all the official BS and says in effect 'this is what happens and let's stop pretending'. And, of course, it is what happens.”

What to do next remains a matter of debate, for which Age of Autism is a willing forum – see this week’s posts by J.B. Handley and Dan Burns, both of which are superbly reasoned and written, from opposite perspectives. Should we fall in line behind Trump even if we find his manner and policy ideas atrocious? (I’m a self-professed progressive, and there are libertarians, doctrinaire conservatives, classical liberals and apolitical types among us. The person in the debate whose overall views most agreed with mine was Rand Paul. Horrors!)

The Donald has the perfect name for this dilemma, doesn’t he: Do his views on vaccines and autism trump everything else?


Of course, discussion of this topic in any way, shape or form freaks out the mainstream media. Their new go-to word is “dangerous.”

Washington Post: “The GOP’s Dangerous ‘Debate’ on Vaccines and Autism:

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Vaccine Injury Gets an Audience" »

JB Handley

Trumps Stands with my Son, I Stand with Trump

Trump with Family
Eric Trump, left, Lara Yunaska Trump, Donald Trump, Barron Trump, Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon Trump, Kai Madison Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Donald John Trump III and Ivanka Trump. Christopher Gregory / Getty Images

By J.B. Handley

It’s really not that hard: there is a guy running for President who has a viable chance at the Republican nomination who is telling the truth about what happened to my son and several million other children around the world. He is telling this truth despite the unbelievable influence and pressure of the pharmaceutical industry. He is telling the truth despite the fact that the CDC, IOM, AAP, and many others have all buried their heads in the sand and gone into damage control. He is telling the truth despite the fact that even Autism Speaks has bailed on this issue. And, with 23 million people watching, Donald Trump did not mince his words when given the chance to tell the truth about our kids:

Autism has become an epidemic.  25 years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close.  It has gotten totally out of control.  I am totally in favor of vaccines, but I want smaller doses over a longer period of time.  Because you take a baby in--and I've seen it…I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time--same exact amount.You take this little, beautiful baby and you pump--I mean it looks like it's meant for a horse, not for a child, we've had so many instances, people who work for me.  Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, the child, the beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back an a week later, got a tremendous fever, got very very sick, now is autistic.  I only say--I'm in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time--same amount, just in little sections."

AoA has always been a terrible forum for politics, and rightly so: we Autism parents come from very diverse backgrounds and the chances of us agreeing on something as complex as politics is virtually nil.

But, I will make the point to you anyway: Donald Trump is the best thing that has happened to our kids in a very long time and I hope we can all lay down our issues and stand with him.

Continue reading "Trumps Stands with my Son, I Stand with Trump" »

Current Affairs

Vaccines Covered In Republican Presidential Debate - Exposes Candidates’ Concern Over “Too Many Too Soon”

CArson TrumpFrom Canary Party:

Last night’s Republican Presidential Debate featured a discussion on vaccination in light of the Disneyland measles outbreak that went differently than the debate moderators anticipated.

A question was posed to Dr. Ben Carson asking if Donald Trump should stop linking childhood vaccinations to autism. In the discussion that followed, Dr. Carson made the following statement, “….It is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time. And a lot of pediatricians now recognize that, and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done, and I think that's appropriate.”

Donald Trump added to the conversation that autism has become an epidemic and “has gotten Canary logo 4 22totally out of control.” Mr. Trump then advocated for smaller doses of vaccines over a longer a period of time. Senator Rand Paul also chimed in, “I'm all for vaccines. But I'm also for freedom. I'm also a little concerned about how they're bunched up. My kids had all of their vaccines, and even if the science doesn't say bunching them up is a problem, I ought to have the right to spread my vaccines out a little bit at the very least.”

The Canary Party thanks these three brave candidates, two of whom are physicians, for having an honest conversation about vaccination. We are especially grateful for their recognition that our country has an immunization schedule that many parents see as too aggressive and rigid.

In the inevitable, post-debate commentary, many pundits have attacked the candidates for their remarks, repeating the tired claims that all connections between autism and vaccines have been “discredited.” None of these pundits acknowledge the admissions of fraud by a CDC insider that have discredited the government-funded studies that have fed the propaganda campaigns in defense of the federally-protected vaccine program. Dr. William Thompson, a vaccine safety analyst at the CDC, admitted that he and his co-authors “omitted statistically significant information” in a 2004 study that would have associated the MMR vaccine with autism. Instead, they published a paper in 2004 that exonerated MMR and held a secret meeting in order to destroy the evidence of fraud. Another CDC-funded researcher, Dr. Poul Thorsen, participated in several of the studies that found no role for vaccines in autism and is currently on the Office of Inspector General’s “Most Wanted” list for fraud. Contrary to what is widely reported in the media, and by the former pharmaceutical executives at Autism Speaks, there is a great deal of research that does link vaccines and autism and explores the mechanisms by which this process can happen.

Continue reading "Vaccines Covered In Republican Presidential Debate - Exposes Candidates’ Concern Over “Too Many Too Soon”" »

Vaccine Safety Was a Topic at Republican Presidential Debate

Ben Carson Meme

By Anne Dachel



The vaccine controversy got the media's attention last evening during the Republican presidential debate.   The question was raised by moderator Jake Tapper: "Dr. Carson, Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked childhood vaccines to autism, which as you know, the medical community adamantly disputes.  You're a pediatric neuro-surgeon, should Mr. Trump stop saying this?"

Dr. Ben Carson: "Well let me put it this way, there have been numerous studies and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism.  Vaccines are very important--certain ones, ones that would prevent death of crippling.  There are others--there's a multitude of vaccines that probably don't fit into that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases.  You know, a lot of this is pushed by big government."

Donald Trump: "Autism has become an epidemic.  25 years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close.  It has gotten totally out of control.  I am totally in favor of vaccines, but I want smaller doses over a longer period of time.  Because you take a baby in--and I've seen it. . .  I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time--same exact amount.

Continue reading "Vaccine Safety Was a Topic at Republican Presidential Debate" »

Current Affairs, Kent Heckenlively

Battle for California - Dare to Hope?

HopeBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

A strange thing is happening in California.  From all that I can gather, we have a chance at winning.

And by winning, I mean, getting enough signatures by September 25 to put a referendum on the ballot so that the voters of my home state can decide whether the corporate fascists of pharma can force our kids to follow their vaccination schedule or else throw our children out of school. 

I'm not used to having a chance at winning, but what else can I think when I see on Facebook that people are turning in 7,000 signatures at a time to the leader of our movement, Tim Donnelly?  What can I think when I see posts from groups of people at tables in front of churches who report that hundreds of people are signing the petitions at these events?  Yes, I know we need 365,880 signatures, but it seems like a lot of people are working very hard to make this happen.

I have to start first with the leader of our movement, former assemblyman, Tim Donnelly, who actually ran for governor in California.  Our state has an open primary, which means the two top candidates run against each other, presumably, the democrat against a republican.  Donnelly finished third in the open primary.  I never believed we would get such high-profile support for our cause.

And what about fund-raising?  Last week we tried to raise $100,000 for the effort and hit the goal two days early!  Yes, there are additional challenges to come, but so far, so good.  I'm not used to being in this position.  I'm much more used to losing arguments to family and friends who have no idea of the monstrosity of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act which created the "Vaccine Court" and although they don't remember any kids with autism when they were young, they engage in some sort of magical thinking which makes them believe these kids were all hidden away in some secret colony that would eventually produce people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

You'll forgive me if I believe that this issue is more important than any other this year.  Yes, I care about ISIS, the economy, and tax-dodging hedge-fund managers, but to me this is the burning house in which we all live.  If we can't put aside our differences to figure out how to stop the fire, none of us are going to have a world remotely resembling one in which we want to live.

Continue reading "Battle for California - Dare to Hope?" »

Anne Dachel

AoA on the NYT...P

NYTPBy Anne Dachel

The New York Times has been around for over 150 years and it’s considered the premier U.S. newspaper by many people.  I’ve been monitoring the autism/vaccines/autism and vaccine coverage at the Times for over ten years, and it’s been a constant disappointment. 

Who could forget when Jeannette Catsoulis reviewed the movie, The Greater Good, back in 2011 for the Times?  In that piece Catsoulis openly stated that even if there is a link between vaccines and autism, it doesn’t matter; so many lives have been saved by vaccines, it’s all for the greater good.

2011 New York Times Reviews The Greater Good Movie Tells Vaccine-Injured Children to Drop Dead, By Anne Dachel

Jeannette Catsoulis: “. . .  even were such a link proved definitively, all that matters is that its victims number significantly fewer than those of the diseases vaccinations are designed to prevent.”

Several of us have written about the New York Times on Age of Autism.

2010 The Inconstant Gardiner: The New York Times’ Fervent Disconnect Between Drug and Vaccine Reporting, By Adriana Gamondes

2010 NYT's Gardiner Harris Wears White and Black Hats


And this was addition coverage in 2007.

2007 Why are They Afraid to Look? By Anne Dachel

There have been endless NY Times stories over the years that cited the current, ever-changing autism rate without one iota of concern about the fact that it’s always based on studies of children.  They never questioned the official spokesperson at the time who claimed that this particular increase may just be better diagnosing and no real increase at all.  (It never is for the CDC.)

Continue reading "AoA on the NYT...P" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Community Shuns Boy with Autism?

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Since, according to out-of-date statistics from the CDC, one in every 68 U.S. children has an autism diagnosis, it's bound to be a topic in the media.  Every hour new stories appear on Google News.  I can only sort out a few on any given day.  Here are some recent ones.  Incredibly, the mysterious disorder that can change a normally developing child into a sick, non-verbal, low-functioning one overnight is never a crisis.  Almost everything out there is to condition us to accept autism as just something that happens to kids for some unknown reason.  We're being told in lots of places that it's nothing new, it's always been a part of the human race, we just never recognized or accepted it till now.

Here's what I found.  Parents have to provide a future for their ASD children because, incredibly, since the beginning of the United States, we've neglected this significant disabled population.  (BTW, we're not supposed to call autism a disability.  It's insulting to people on the spectrum.  It's our duty to accept and accommodate this condition.)  Another story also focuses on the lack of a future for a boy with low functioning autism.

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Community Shuns Boy with Autism?" »

Dan Burns

On Attending a Trump Rally in Dallas

By Dan Burns

Trump Dallas
(Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

I attended the Trump rally at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, hoping I could ask him a question. “What about vaccine injuries, autism, and the CDC?”

“Fire them!” Trump would say. And vaccine injury would enter the national discussion.  I printed up an AoA neck hanger and headed for the press entrance.

Trump was late but the crowd was mellow and the music was feel-good eighties. All was well, until the program started. A mangled pledge of allegiance, then the grand entrance. Trump, trump, trump. Who complained that unlike other candidates he had to write a different speech everywhere he went, because TV covers him live. Not fair treatment for someone so rich and exceptional as the phenomenal Trump. When does the speech start, I wondered. Twenty minutes in, he was still talking about his money, his celebrity friends, his great leadership, his mistreatment by the “liberal media,” his fantastic negotiating skills.

I gave up listening for content, listened instead to the mortar of his speech, the mannerisms, vocabulary, subliminal patterns. I learned that in Trump’s world there are two kinds of people: good, strong people, winners like himself. And weak people, incompetent losers, who don’t like him even though he has great money and great hair, which by the way is really his own, as approved by the people behind him who clap when he says so. 

 Then the rhetoric turned darker. We must turn this country around. Make America a great Judeo-Christian nation again. Build a wall. Expel illegal immigrants who lead the gangs and commit senseless killings. We should keep the Latino Ph.D. students who are destined to be winners like Trump, trump trump. But out with babies conceived in Mexico and born on vacation in Texas. And not just Texas. “We have illegals in New York too. They’re everywhere.” The crowd whoops. “We can change that,” he said. “The government doesn’t dictate to us – we dictate to the government! We the people. We, WE ARE the people!” Wild cheering and applause. I imagined I had wandered into an early Nuremberg rally, with immigrants switched out for Jews.

Continue reading "On Attending a Trump Rally in Dallas" »

John Stone

If the IACC had Met It would Have to Consider the CDC Whistleblower

Insel_thumbAs Thomas Insel leaves the National Institutes of Mental Health in a surreal move to join "Google Life Sciences" AoA recalls how Insel prevaricated a year ago over William Thompson's revelations about how the CDC altered data on autism and the MMR. Insel has had a year to find out the answers to his questions during which time the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee have not met.


Dangling by a Thread in Washington: Insel Prevaricates Over the CDC Whistleblower (25 September 2014)

By John Stone

"I wish I knew more about that particular instance."

The excuses are wearing thin. Here is a transcript of the remarks of Thomas Insel, National Institute of Mental Health director, regarding the whistleblowing activities of Centers for Disease Control employee William Thompson at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting two days ago  (view video here.):

“Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy and I wish I knew more about that particular instance. I don’t. I can tell you that the 2004 PEDIATRICS paper was one of about fourteen papers in the IOM [Institute of Medicine] review and there have been  another multiple papers since then that have weighed in on this all of which the IOM have said in 2011 are consistent with not finding a relationship between vaccination and autism. What the IOM doesn’t say and what nobody has said in a way that I find intelligible (?) is that there could still be the rare cases in which that could occur and what we need to think about is how one would investigate that if that were the case.”

What, of course, Insel does is respond as a bureaucrat, not a scientist. He tells you the IOM have rubber stamped 14 epidemiological studies, therefore the matter is decided. Apart from anything else even if the studies were not corrupt (and they all have a very similar line of patronage to the DeStefano study) it would not be enough to say that vaccines only rarely cause autism. It is not only because correlation does not equal causation - as they keep on reminding us - but because you could have tens of thousands of cases and they might not register as statistically significant. However, if you look at the way in which these studies were botched together it is apparent that the effects were so gross that they could only disguise them by fraud. DeStefano 2004 is only exceptional in that it has been admitted by Thompson and not denied by DeStefano (the latter in two interviews with Sharyl Attkisson ), but actually it is just typical of what they were doing in all of them as Lyn Redwood told Insel at the meeting.

Continue reading "If the IACC had Met It would Have to Consider the CDC Whistleblower" »

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