Holiday Autism Supplement Contest from Lee Silsby!
Age of Autism Awards 2008 Mother of the Year: Katie Wright

Age of Autism Awards 2008 Child of the Year: Hannah Poling

Hanhah poling By Kim Stagliano

Managing Editor's Note: I just learned that today, 12/27 is Hannah's 10th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Hannah.  And we're having some difficulties with commenting today - perhaps due to end of year maintenance at the blog company. My apologies.

Age of Autism honors the beautiful Miss Hannah Poling as our 2008 Child of the Year. 

From CNN last Spring, ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The parents of a 9-year-old girl with autism said Thursday that their assertion that her illness was caused by childhood vaccines has been vindicated by the federal government's decision to compensate them.

"We are very pleased with the government's decision," Hannah Poling's father, Dr. Jon Poling, a neurologist in private practice in Athens, Georgia, told reporters Thursday. "It has been eight difficult and heartbreaking years since our daughter's injury."

A federal program intended to compensate victims of injuries caused by vaccines concluded last November that Hannah Poling's underlying illness that had predisposed her to symptoms of autism was "significantly aggravated" by the vaccinations she received as a toddler and that her family should therefore be compensated.

Hannah and her parents, Dr. Jon Poling (a neurologist) and Terry Poling (a nurse and attorney) have worked tirelessly not only to help Hannah, who is profoundly affected by her autism, but to make sure that mitochondrial dysfunction receives adequate attention so that more children are not vaccine injured.  Read more about Hannah here:

Dan Olmsted on the Poling Case.

David Kirby on the Poling Case.

The Press Conference.


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Happy Birthday Hannah,your victory in vaccine court has opened so many eyes to the plight of all our families and for that we are very,very grateful.

Richard F

Jim Witte

"Crimes Against Humanity"

Kathy Blanco said:
"my neuro over fifteen years ago noted, that he was seeing a "trend" that most kids with autism had a mitochondrial disorder"

Good God! They knew this *fifteen years* ago (and was Rimland and ARI finding odd lactate/pyruvate ratios even before that?) When this is all over - three words: Crimes Against Humanity..

Not just for autism, but everything else. All the kids who lost their hair because of autoimmune alopecia, lost their islets because of diabetes, lost their temperature, normal stamina, and normal personality because of hypothyroidism - which of course is rarely treated *correctly* - with a test for rT3 dominance, and then a trial of Armour and T3 if appropriate BEFORE you try the Synthroid..

To all the kids who have to put up with painful and progressive rheumatoid arthritis, neuro-immune caused personality changes, bipolar disorder (which IS autism, according to some). The kid with Asperger's who is bullied at school and even at home because he just don't "fit in" - yet is too "high-functioning" academically to be deemed necessary of special interventions by the 'powers-that-be'. Never mind those powers-that-be have NO idea what those interventions might be - because as everyone know, Asperger's and autism are incurable..

Again, three simple words: Crimes Against Humanity. For all the people at the NIH, CDC, FDA and other places where other "powers-that-be" live, who either did know, or should have known, about the evidence long before autism reached betweem 1 in 166 (5-6 year old US data) and 1 in 88 (presumably recent UK data).

To whoever at the NIH or somewhere else who pulled the plug on the chelation study, instead of redesigning it to avoid any potential "harm" (and somehow autism is not *already* a harm?). Methings someone at the NI*m*H did that..

To Pharma, and the NImH, who desperately want to keep autism as a "neurological problem only", and thus avoid the inconvenient truth that there are "real" medical problems involved, and that kids are in pain. So they stick like gangbusters to the "convenient lie" that it's all genetic.. We can't forget a lot of the ND'ers as well, who appear to hold to this view.

Also to the ND'ers, especially "Not Mercury" - no it's *not* all mercury. It's about aluminum, arsenic, antimony, lead, and all sorts of other metals that should not be in the human body in the concentrations they are. It's about screwed up biochemistry of the methylation cycle, detoxification and antioxidant pathways of the body, not to mention metal metabolism that appears to be shot to hell (cadmium for instance was NEVER in vaccines, or anything else injected into our kids - I hope..) As for criticisms of Dr. Geier's paper on methylation biomarkers.. Perhaps you're right - but then, why do plenty of autistic kids respond so well to mB12 shots and folinic acid supplementation? Coincidence? If we were talking about 10 or even 100 kids, and a "small" degree of improvement (hard to see, easy to confuse with "normal" development) then yes.. But we're not - we're talking about at least thousands of kids, perhaps tens of thousands. And we're not talking about "small improvements" either. We're talking about kids who have been silent for YEARS saying their first words a day or two after mB12 shot are started. Now, perhaps *that* is a minority that can be chalked up to coincidence. But doesn't it at least deserve serious study (however you want to define "serious").

To all the doctors, who along with the politicians, turned a blind eye to a worsening problem, not just for kids and parents, but to society, and *their own medical profession*. To all the vaccine researchers who instead of admitting their were problems and things we just didn't know about the immune system, and looked for better answers and better ways to induce immunity, just turned a blind eye, said "it can't happen", and let the problem grow. You know say were are in for epidemics the likes of which haven't been seen in two generations. Well, to paraphrase Jon Polling, you failed to see the handwriting on the wall. Now you reap your rewards.

I hope everyone I just mentioned as complicit in some way in the creation of the autism epidemic, and the denial of the possibility of treatment, is happy now.

Jim Witte


Hannah, you are a true warrior and an inspiration to us all!


Beautiful Hannah, happy birthday! You are not only a warrior, you are a hero.

Lorraine Harrietha

Happy Birthday Hannah! I want to thank you and your Mom and Dad for fighting for you and all the children injured. One day,very soon all children will be recovered.
I work with children on the spectrum everyday and it is very hard for me, especially when I know that children can recover from ASD. I will continue to fight for them. Take care, Sweetie! Lorraine from Toronto, Ontario Canada

Kelli Ann Davis

Reading these posts brought tears to my eyes. The bittersweet irony that any child should receive an award under these circumstances just tugs at my heart! Nevertheless, this beautiful redhead has rocked the world and *our* world will never be the same because of it.

[Side note: I had a dream last night and Hannah was in it briefly.

I was on a school bus and I was somehow involved in helping to redesign the placement of the seats. I remember the seats being repositioned all along the right side of the bus. There was a gap about ¾ of the way down right before the back side-door and then one last seat on the other side of the door at the very back.

I remember saying I thought there should be a rear-facing seat just before the back side-door and people (faceless, nameless) were telling me there was no room to fit it because of the door. I listened to them at first but when I actually walked to the back of the bus and saw there was plenty of room for a rear facing seat I told them so.

Once the rear-facing seat was in place, I remember Hannah jumping into the seat with her pink backpack, swinging her legs with plenty of room to spare. I remember saying this type of seat was needed for people like her because if the bus had to stop suddenly then she would be moving forward with gravity rather than against it (much the same way an infant seat works).

Somehow, I knew whatever was in the backpack contained the *reason* for her being unique and needing this type of rear-facing seat. I actually saw the force of the backpack going against her (it was on her lap) and pushing her into the seat when the bus slammed on the brakes!]

Yeah, I know. Crazy, bizarre but the symbolism is uncanny.

Bottom Line: Hannah is a beautiful, red-headed trailblazer ;-)

Kathy Blanco

Congratulations all of the Poling family.

As just an end neuro over fifteen years ago (dr brain vlcek swedish hospital seattle), noted, that he was seeing a "trend" that most kids with autism had a mitochondrial disorder. We tested, and our kids indeed had it, but it was never distinguishable, or detectable as a true disorder, only that my kids build up sky high pyruvate and lactic acid. Is it any wonder that I cried a bucket when I read the mercury position paper, only to find that mercury causes the body to do the same? Point being, that environmental research must point to why mito shut down as they do, and unfortunately that science is few and far between.

My question now is that I have grandchildren, who are not vaccinated, but conceivably could still get autism if they are exposed to mercury sources, or viruses or bacteria etc.

Dr Poling, if I were to do a family wide genome, what parts of mitochondrial assays need to be done? (for instance we did the old fashioned urine organic, skin biopsy and muscle sample). Are we to test for OXPHOS or Citrate Synthase problems, can you be specific and email me privately if you can, for we have an OHSU appointment soon with a leading expert. Would also like to test myself and my two NT girls who are now mothers.

Kathy Blanco

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Dear Hannah and brother , I live in India and I know about you. I think people all around the whole world will read about you and remember you all their lives. Just like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, "You'll go down in history !!" I'd really love to see a photo of Hannah with her brother. Happy New Year and lots and lots of thanks for what you have done for all the autistic children and their parents.

Ben's Dad

Happy Birthday Hannah! Through your abundant charm and your parents hard and generous work you changed everything for many kids and their hopeful families. My wife and I watched all of the press conference and interview clips last night and applaud your courage and invaluable contribution to this cause. Thank You! The amount of squirming you have caused the medical/scientific community is amazing. They know now that they do not have the tools needed to vaccinate the general population safely, and if they have any desire to be remembered favorably then they themselves must demand more research and better screening options. Until those tools are available, they should not be coerced into vaccinating the children of concerned parents according to the one size fits all schedule.

I think there is a lot more that can be done for siblings. Our daughter's school tried a Super Siblings group this year with the school counselor that brought siblings of children with autism together to talk. Finding a safe and understanding environment to talk with peers has to be as important for the siblings as it is for parents. I have not yet adopted the goal of trying to convert bullies to advocates, but I think it is possible to empower siblings and reduce the impact of bullies to that of a pathetic minor annoyance. The issue of the sacrifices siblings endure is a tougher one, but that is an area where extended family has been most helpful in providing special attention.

Julie Obradovic

Hugs and love on your special day. God bless you, Hannah, and your parents for all you have done.


Happy Birthday, Hannah!

My redhead, Megan, and I want to thank the Poling family for their eloquent and unwavering appeal for research on vaccines and autism. Your determination on helping your daughter has opened the door to reveal a biological and painful scenario but, a necessary truth to vaccination -- it can cause autism.

It is not an easy life we lead in the autism world, but your powerful entrance into it has provided the shot of reality that the rest of the world needs to see and a wider glimmer of hope for us. Thank you for not giving up.

Maurine Meleck

I have said so many times that when my grandson understands what autism truly is, he is on his way to recovery. The goal has not been reached yet, but I pray for recovery for Hannah and all of our children
and that someday they will hold jobs, marry
or do whatever it is they chose.
Thank you Hannah, Polings for being such an important part of the struggle to save our children.

Terry Poling

Dear AOA editors and community:
On behalf of our daughter Hannah, we wanted to let you know how appreciative we are that Hannah was chosen as child of the year. She had a wonderful birthday outing today and we are having a special GFCF, low carb cake tomorrow! Yum!

Although Hannah does not "appear" to understand what autism is or that she has it, her brother was tickled to see that a community said such nice things to Hannah, especially on her birthday.

As many of you know, siblings of children with autism have a rough road, especially as they get older. They love their brother or sister and it hurts them to see people stare or make rude comments. They have no choice but to handle a lot of disappointments when plans must be changed or canned. I now realize that it is important for siblings to know that there are people other than family and teachers who truly love and appreciate these children and all that they endure.

Thank you all so much,
Terry and Jon Poling

Theresa Cedillo

A great big Happy Birthday Hannah!!

From The Cedillo Family

JB Handley

Through the suffering of our own children, they ease the suffering of future generations.

No Hannah Poling, no Bernadine Healy. And so it goes, God Bless you, Hannah, and may your recovery allow you to live life to its fullest.



The Polings have sacrificed so much to save all of our children. Their whole family will forever be our heroes.

Sandy Waters

Happy Birthday, Hannah!!! My daughter who has autism looks just like you!! In fact, I meet the Poling's at the Autism One conference and when I showed them a picture of my daughter Candace they were stunned at how much they looked a like. They look like they were separated at birth Mr. Poling commented. Candace is now waiting for her day in vaccine court. Another beautiful red-head with autism it's a shame!!!

K Fuller Yuba City

Happy Birthday Hannah. We hope all of your wishes come true.


Hannah Poling looks absolutely radiant, with her parents' abundant love so very evident in her smiles. Happy birthday, Hannah.

And thank you to your parents for asking the hard questions of people in a position to help, but too many of whom abstain.

Doris Dodson

Happy birthday my beautiful little girl. I will certainly miss spending your 10th birthday with you this year but will see you in a couple of weeks. All my love, Nana


Happy Birthday Hannah.
I cried the day your face graced the front page of the AJC. Justice served finally.

Autism mom

"A federal program intended to compensate victims of injuries caused by vaccines concluded last November that Hannah Poling's underlying illness that had predisposed her to symptoms of autism was "significantly aggravated" by the vaccinations she received as a toddler and that her family should therefore be compensated."

It continues to boggle my mind that this finding seems to have made no difference whatsoever to the vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC. It would seem as though human lives are dispensable. It would seem that the CDC is completely uninterested in finding out who else besides Hannah Poling, have been susceptible to the vaccines.

It amazes me that the medical community is not up in arms over the fact that several other children are being injured each day. You would think that medical doctors would want to turn over every rock out there to find out exactly what is harming the children. It would appear that the medical community prefers to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the misery of the children and their families over the so-called fear of acute infectious diseases of old, that are now hiding in the guise of chronic disease.

Hannah Poling I am very sorry all your suffering has so far come to naught. It is my hope that things will change in the future, that the vaccine cow shall be buried in the dust, and justice will be served to ALL as they deserve. Wishing you a great future ahead on your birthday today!


Diane, I told Terry Poling it was extremely difficult for me write up the award. I kept deleting my copy over and over. As you can see, it's brief and relies mostly on the words of Dan and David and CNN.

Happy Birthday Hannah.

We're trying to watch Sleeping Beauty right now. Mia keeps talking about red and orange. Bella is antsy. Gianna is pacing. Mark seems pretty engrossed though! (My own Prince Charming...)


I'm having a hard time commenting on this piece. No child should ever have to receive such an award. :-(

I do, however, wish Hannah a very happy birthday.


Happy Birthday Hannah!! You are a beautiful girl!! We are all so proud of you and your mom and dad. You are all warriors in my book!


Happy Birhtday, Hannah!! What a beautiful smile for such a beautiful girl! We are so grateful to you and your family for your courage and strength to endure and press on...

We wish you only the best in the years to come!

The Wessels


Happy birthday Hannah!!

Angela Warner

Happy Birthday Hannah! You are an inspiration to us all, and you are the epitome of "Warrior Child".

Anne Dachel

This beautiful little redhead gave a face to autism. The undeniable truth is that she was a normally developing child who received nine vaccines in a single visit to the doctor and descended into autism. Regardless of how officials try to spin this, Hannah Poling is proof that vaccines can cause autism.

Anne Dachel
Media editor


Happy birthday, Hannah Poling! Wishing you and your family all the very best in the new year and always. Thank you so much, Dr. & Mrs. Poling, for telling your story to the world, and for working towards better research and treatment.

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