Sharyl Attkisson Explores Off Label Use of Risperdal in Children
Could Swine Flu Deaths be the Key to Understanding Autism?

Olmsted on Autism: How to Completely Miss the Story

Swing and miss By Dan Olmsted

The New York Times published a piece over the Memorial Day weekend that must have been painful to write – they now realize they had the Watergate scandal handed to them on a silver platter four decades ago and just plain missed it. “The Watergate break-in eventually forced a presidential resignation and turned two Washington Post reporters into pop-culture heroes. But almost 37 years after the break-in, two former New York Times journalists have stepped forward to say that The Times had the scandal nearly in its grasp before The Post did — and let it slip.”

“Robert M. Smith, a former Times reporter, says that two months after the burglary, over lunch at a Washington restaurant, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, L. Patrick Gray, disclosed explosive aspects of the case, including the culpability of the former attorney general, John Mitchell, and hinted at White House involvement.”
 
Exactly how this big fish got up off its silver lunch platter and swam away is worth reading (HERE).
 
But the bottom line is this: If the account is correct, “The Times missed a chance to get the jump on the greatest story in a generation.”
 
You can watch the same thing happen every day now with the greatest story of this generation, and I mean “this generation” very literally – the catastrophic rise of developmental and chronic diseases in this generation of children, the leading edge of which is starting to age into young adulthood. Start anywhere you want – 1 in 10 with asthma, a forty-fold increase in bipolar diagnoses, record levels of juvenile diabetes and, of course, our focus – the rise of autism and ADD and ADHD and sensory integration problems and etc., the neurodevelopmental kitchen sink that is disabling our future.

The article points out that the Times was preoccupied with covering the Republican Convention when it got the big Watergate tip. It just couldn’t get its institutional mind around what it was hearing – it was an anomaly, a Six Sygma event, so large that it didn’t track with the way their minds had been trained. The same kind of benighted small-minded misdirected perseveration is evident in press coverage these days – preoccupied with the deadly scourge of chickenpox, the failure of parents to submit and obey the CDC vaccine schedule starting with mercury-containing flu shots during pregnancy and Hep B at birth; the alleged inadequacies of the Homefirst medical practice in Chicago.

The latter was flung in the face of Autism One attendees last Friday and Saturday by the Chicago Tribune, which decided that roasting Mayer Eisenstein, Homefirst’s leader, and the Geiers was the single most important use of “The Midwest’s Largest Reporting Team,” as it proclaims directly under its logo on the front page (a bit defensively, since it used to be the Midwest’s Much Larger Reporting Team until a shopping mall magnate drove it into bankruptcy). And talk about missing the story: Eisenstein “proclaims that he’s seen ‘virtually no autism’ in his patient pool of thousands of unvaccinated kids,” the paper reported. Period, end of discussion. It’s clear from the sneering use of the word “proclaim” (when “says” would do just fine) that the reporter doesn’t believe it, and clear from the rest of the story that discrediting anyone who would say (I’m sorry, PROCLAIM!!!) such a thing is job one.

But hold on a second. No vaccines, no autism? As Mark Benjamin and I used to say to each other back at UPI when the media was in bed with Bush and oblivious to the administration's abuse of soldiers and vets, “There’s your story right there.”
 And indeed, there is your story, right there – a medical doctor in good standing (the Trib grudgingly acknowledges) says there’s virtually no autism among his thousands of unvaccinated patients. 

Of course, journalists should take nothing at face value. So I’ve got an idea – let’s be journalists; let’s realize the importance of that statement, if true, and check it out. As many of you will know, I wrote about this several years ago now, along with similar associations between low-or-no-vaccination and low-or-nonexistent-autism rates, including among the Amish and the homeschooled. The response is always the same – first, it can’t be true (Google Olmsted, Amish, fraud); then, it can’t be determined (Google Olmsted, Gerberding, Amish); then, OK, alright, it’s true but it’s meaningless (Google Olmsted, Wiznitzer, Amish).

By now there would have been plenty of time to not merely dismiss or discredit but actually disprove these anecdotal associations based on careful investigation, not ad hominem attacks, but all that happens is that they continue to hold up. Where are the autistic Amish? Where are the 1 in 150 never-vaccinated autistic homeschooled children? What about Homefirst? Instead, we get theories about how I’m the point person between the Moonies and the Scientologists (yes, you can Google that too) in a conspiracy to destroy the vaccination program, or about what a cad Mayer Eisenstein is.

That’s why it’s important to keep stating what I think the story is, and to repeat it every time a mainstream outlet like The Trib tries to hijack it and turn it into something else. So one more time, this is the story: There appears to be a significantly lower rate of autism in never-vaccinated and less-vaccinated American children. No one in a position of authority seems to want to find out, though they could and should have done so several times over by now, and the failure to do so should be suspicious in the extreme to any reporter with a decent skepticism of government and entrenched interests. (You know there’s a problem when the Trib dismisses vaccine-autism concerns as disproved by “government-sanctioned” studies, as if that is the mark of truth. Good Lord, even the government doesn’t trust itself, which is why The Founders enshrined freedom of the press in Article 1 of the Bill of Rights.) Meanwhile, autism is a problem that demands our urgent attention, and the question of vaccine-preventable diseases and whether Lupron is an effective treatment for autism are separate issues that should not be allowed to silence or subordinate this important conversation.

On Sunday afternoon, I went to Mayer’s talk at Autism One. I don’t know if the Trib reporter was there or not, but I’m sure if she was she was rolling her eyes when Mayer talked, once again, about health outcomes in his practice. You see it’s not just autism – that’s the leading edge, the defining disorder of the Age we’re in. It’s many other things, including juvenile diabetes and asthma, too. And on the latter, you don’t have to take Mayer’s word, even provisionally, for it – the larger HMO group that Homefirst belongs to picked up the virtual absence of asthma in his practice based on computerized records of emergency room visits and overnight hospitalizations of children for respiratory distress. 

No one disputes asthma has dramatically increased. No one disputes one in 10 children has asthma – that one in 10 children sometimes struggle frantically for air, and sometimes die because they can’t get enough, to put a human face on this clinical entity. No one disputes, as far as I know, that few if any children delivered at home by Homefirst doctors, treated by them as children and never vaccinated, have asthma. But no one realizes the credibility that fact gives Eisenstein when he talks about the virtual absence of autism in his practice. And, for sure, no one realizes the implications of that for the nature of autism and how to stop it and treat it – the focus of the allegedly “anti-vaccine,” pro-quackery Autism One Conference.

So, I’m going to give Mayer the last word. Think of him as a whistleblower taking Big Media to lunch and telling them they’re missing the story of their generation – here’s the evidence, here’s where to look, here’s what it means, here’s why it matters. Of course, some journalists are going to go back to the office after being told about Watergate and write about the credentials fight in the Mississippi delegation at the 1972 Republican Convention, and some journalists are going to be told that there is a startling association between no vaccines and no autism, and here’s where to look, and here’s the evidence, and here’s what it means, and here’s why it matters, and they are going to go back to the office and write about what a bad guy Mayer Eisenstein is and about what a bad drug Lupron is. For them, there’s no hope. 

But I’m going to keep putting pen to paper, so to speak, here at our Daily Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic, because first of all, what else can I do? And secondly, I figure that sooner or later somebody is going to decide to pay attention to the implications of a second-rate burglary attempt at the Democratic National Committee when it is handed them on a platter – I mean, to the apparent low incidence of autism in never-vaccinated American children when it is pointed out to them time and time and time again. 

Anyway, here’s Mayer, one more time, and folks, THIS is the story:

“[Our practice] has virtually no autism. I don’t know, there may be cases somewhere, but as you’ve seen this weekend, if you read the paper, Mayer Eisenstein does not have a low profile, and I’ve made this statement for two and a half years now [actually, Mayer, I think it’s 3 and a half years now!]. I got all my partners together; we scoured the records. We looked at ICD codes for neurological disorders, and first of all, we didn’t see it.
 
“But it’s more than just no autism. I’ve had three partners for more than 25 years, they’re closer to me than brothers … and we decided 25 years ago we weren’t going to take care of asthmatics, we weren’t going to take care of insulin-dependent diabetics, and every few years we kept saying, how many people are we referring away [to other practices that specialize in these disorders] because we see hundreds and hundreds of children. We were delivering at one time a hundred babies a year at home, and we’re still delivering hundreds of babies at home.
 
“And it never came up. And I can tell you this would be a nightmare when you have to start referring one person a week, two people a week, three people a week, in a large practice, only because, you know, they would say, ‘But Dr. Eisenstein, I want you to take care of me,’ [and I would have to say] ‘No, there are people who are much better at taking care of asthma than me, there’s people who are much better at diabetes than me.’

“It virtually doesn’t exist. For years I thought it was because [mothers in the practice] had their babies at home, they nursed their babies as much as two years, they gave minimal pharmaceuticals. 
 
“Every year I’d be invited a a conference of the LaLeche League, and every year it was the same. They had 40 or 50 children with severe asthma, and I was supposed to figure out what the problem was. ‘You don’t want to talk about home birth?’ [I would ask]. ‘No, we want to talk about asthma.’
 
“Finally, one of my partners said, ‘Mayer, it’s not the home birth, it’s not the breast-feeding [that’s the key factor in developing or not developing asthma], it’s the vaccines.
 
“There was an interesting little study … done in Australia, and they had four groups – breast-fed and vaccinated, breast-fed and unvaccinated, bottle-fed and vaccinated, and bottle-fed and unvaccinated. [This was not a big and conclusive study] but this was a very strong breast-feeding supporting organization. And they looked at respiratory illnesses. … The lowest instance of respiratory illness … was in what we expected – breast-fed and unvaccinated. What was interesting was what was in 2nd – bottle-fed and unvaccinated. That was shocking. … This said for them that breast-feeding wasn’t as important as not vaccinating your child.”
--
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Francie

Does anyone have a link to the Australian study mentioned in the last paragraph of the article?

Jay Gordon

Nicely said.

Jay

Judy Converse MPH RD LD

As a provider and author, now that I'm in the position of being interviewed, I must agree with Anne D's comment earlier about laziness in reporting. It goes like this: A publicist prepares a press kit. She disperses it. Reporters who pick up on it tick through it like a script, asking me questions they've been told to ask. There is no actual thinking going on here.

Who hands the reporters at NYT, Trib, Globe etc a press kit or tip sheet when it comes to autism? Who might be putting up a burst on the McClatchey clip service, for reporters to pick up? Hmmmm I just can't think of who that might be.... A 23 year old new hire, writing copy for Merck's PR firm perhaps?

On the other hand, there are some very passionate and earnest reporters and commentators out there. They just aren't writing for major media outlets (because they'd be promptly fired for angering the pharmaceutical sponsorship). There is, of course, burgeoning web radio and AM radio stuff - my interviews about my book and autism recovery with those outlets have been incredibly energizing, positive, and invigorating.

We ditched our cable subscription nearly 3 years ago. No TV in my house. We don't buy newspapers. Why listen to laundered, watered down, corporate controlled "news" when you can read Dan Olmstead on stuff like A of A's news instead? Parents can wield some clout not just by demanding truth, but by NOT paying for media that is void of truth. Now that's a kidney punch for Big Pharma...nobody seeing their ads - ! Hmm.

CarolynKylesMom

You know what? This is anecdotal BUT: I think in some parts of our country the autism rate is 1 in 20. Here is why. For 3 years, my child was in mainstream classes with an aide. The other 4 classrooms also each had their very own ASD child with an aide. There was ALWAYS at least one other child (usually a boy) in the same class who is clearly HFA but on the spectrum, but his parents either don't know it or are trying to 'pass' him through. And the parents of other ASD children in the other classrooms would confide there was always another child in their class too! Now these are classes of 20 children. My son is HFA. The other child that isn't diagnosed yet is HFA. So we are not even COUNTING the child so severe he or she is in special ed who is the same age, so that there are many more ASD children I am not considering. In my story, the rate is 1 in 10. But I"ll give you that it's really 1 in 20 because maybe this is just a fluke ---Is it? All of you who have ASD kids and know it when you see it--how many undiagnosed kids do you see in your child's school? What is the ratio of ASD children YOU see? In this comment, I happen to be talking about children born 2000-2001. Before they took the poison out of Rhogham.

Amy

Nancy, that is certainly true. In addition to vaccines, my son's mercury exposure was also, sadly, from prenatal exposure via fish consumption - my ob at the time encouraged me to add large quantities of fish to my vegetarian diet, citing that it was "brain food." About a year after he was born, the FDA warnings not to eat fish while pregnant started coming out. I know of other parents who have children with very high arsenic, lead or other toxic levels, and of course there are the viral triggers, as well. I don't think anyone is suggesting that mercury in vaccines is the *only* trigger, but one of the most common and of course, unlike some other toxic or environmental exposures, ridiculously preventable.

Benedetta Stilwell

1:58 or 1:60 in the UK????
1:67 in the USA???
Both articles "The 64 Billion Dollar a Year Question" and "When 1:150 is really 1:67" they are very good, and I needed to review them.
Still the same old stuff is going on in the media, and the doctors that has been going on for the past 30 years.
I use to think some evil foreign government had gotten ahold of our health industry and was trying to undermine us by getting rid of all our engineers. (remember when they use to say families that had jobs in engineering were more affected). Now I am beginning to think it is our government trying to reduce the population like China did(China only allowed one birth per family and all others they would abort, caused girls to be abandon/killed- Now most of the wives of China are from N. Korean)--- I know that is not really what is going on, but it is just as over the top - the stupidity of our government health departments.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Isn't it possible that people are genetically pre-disposed to autism? Then a trigger makes it manifest in children? That would explain, 1) the relative low incidence (1 in 10,000) a generation ago, 2) how there could be a slight few who were not vaccinated, and 3) the current epidemic. The trigger in this era, vaccines. Aren't vaccination rates triple of a generation ago? Not a huge leap to suggest vaccines play a significant role in triggering autism.

However, there is a factor much more worthy of our distain than the lack of action by reporters, and this is more pervasive than any one scandal. It is the very nature of our culture.

Journalists are born and raised in our culture. They were taught that doctors are in a class by themselves when it comes to medicine and science, and that without vaccines, we would be still living in a developing, pre industrial country, with most of the population wiped out by disease and pestulance. That would be a hard lesson to wipe clean from their respective memories, which would be necessary to approach this subject with the fresh, unbiased and naturally inquisitive nature required to actually "do the story."
Cynthia Cournoyer
http://www.whataboutimmunizations.com/

Kathy Blanco

Nancy
I agree with you. I talked with Bill Walsh of Pfieffer (is he retired, because I think he is?) who remarked to me, that he has also seen autism without vaccines. Typically it's because the child lacks Metallothionein, a protein that binds metals. It also is turned off when you have viruses in utero. So, one has to ask, why? The answer is pretty clear. Much of these children are probably mercury/lead/aluminum poisoned in utero by amalgams and the environment, and or their parents shots have increased levels, and viral loads in them and or they are toxic by fluroide, toxins, MSG and the like. And, mother who has in utero viruses or bacteria, definately get to the placenta...even a simple flu virus in utero, with use of antipyretics especially can increase chances of autism, and changes to the way the brain is layed out or mapped. Lots of research on this with regards to schizophrenia...which is known to be caused by flu viruses. Autoimmunity in mother? Yeppers. And, the MIND institute recently had a report that antibodies from mother were attacking fetal brain tisue. The weighd the proteins involved. The proteins are signiatures of the outer surface proteins of borrelia lyme. So, if syphilis can cause autism in utero, and borrelia lyme is a spirochete bacteria like syphils, then....? (see www.liafoundation.org )

IMHO, autism is the result of an early assault on immature developing brains...and the assault can be viral, bacterial, fungal, toxic, lack of homeostasis of nutrients, methylation blocks, glutathione loss, oxidative stress, thyroid lack of mothers to baby, autoimmune, hypoxia at birth, etc.

Vaccines aren't the only cause of autism, we all know this...but we also know, that in such children with that propensity to injury, they are essentially sitting ducks. For some the sitting ducks are kids who were overwhelemed in utero. Or by ioatragenic hypoxia in a birth setting. I am sure most of these children lack liver detox, or have immature and weakened immune responses, metabolic responses...

So, if someone says to me, autism is genetic, I ask them, what if I told you, that some genetics were involved in autism, but that genetics trace every infection, toxin and incorporate and mutate our DNA. So what really is TRULY genetic? Are we the apples that don't fall far from? You bet..that's why we have autoimmunity in our families, cancers, gut problems, allergies, eye problems, brain disorders, heart problems, mitochondrial issues.

The point that has to be asked is, how much can our population take? Is vaccines the trigger? You bet. ARe vaccines the total problem, no. They are the accumulative, the pinnicle, the straw that breaks the camels back. Since pharma never asks IF YOUR BODY can take it, then why should we submit to PHARMA? Why should we trust that our system, our prescious babies, can take ONE MORE THING? Are we truly the VACCA part of vaccines? AS in COW HERD? Are not some cows weaker than others, and actually die by vaccines? And did those cows get adequate selenium (this would make them feeble at birth), did they get proper nutrients, or corn fed diets which are full of mycotoxins?

This is why no one can say, even the CDC can't say it legally, that vaccines are safe, and or effective.

Stop the lie pharma. You know that you accept the acceptible losses, or the herd sometimes won't respond favorably. We are not all cookie cutter.

Nancy Naylor

Overall, I agree with the points made in this article. However, I question a practice with thousands of patients and not one autistic child (even from unvaxinated populations) I have an unvaxed child with autism and it's not virtually unheard of. Check out https://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=923707
Even Generation Rescue's research would seem to indicate that out of thousands of unvaxed kids there is likely to be at least some with autism. According to GR's study vaccinations would increase a boy's chance of having autism by 61% and a girls chance of having autism in no statistically significant way. With these statistics a group of a thousand unvaxed kids would include at least a few cases. So let's check it out. Let's see if there really are virtually no cases in his practice and then find out why.

Stagmom

Meanwhile, this "chemical castration" was recommended by an anon behavioral person on a blog yesterday as a TREATMENT for excessive masturbation in a 20 year old autistic man. RECOMMENDED AS A KNOWN AND CONDONED TREATMENT. So I guess it's OK to use Lupron for behavioral problems, just not for physical problems.

John Stone

"and find ways of doing it which he cannot ignore."

Legal, of course.

John Stone

Benedetta

In the UK it is 1 in 60:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/04/autism-the-64-billion-dollar-a-year-question-for-simon-baroncohen-ben-goldacre-fiona-fox-and-autism-.html

The 1 in 67 figure if for the US calculated by Ray Gallup and F Edward Yazbak from Department of Education data.

https://sites.google.com/site/angelawarnerproject/Home/when-1-in-150-is-really-1-in-67

I think President Obama has to be personally asked what is causing this. I believe President Truman had a plaque on his desk with the words "The buck stops here" written on it. These days the buck is passed left, right and centre - quite visibly like a game of pig in the middle - so perhaps we ought to ask President Obama, leader of the most powerful nation on earth, what causes autism,and why after decades of research his CDC cannot find an answer - and find ways of doing it which he cannot ignore.

John

Teresa Conrick

Dan,

You hit home run after home run as you connect the dots. The Trib and the NYT can't even get out of the dugout (sticking with your baseball analogy :)

I wonder if they just don't want the readers to get this story so they miss the clues, miss the data, and swing at nothing. A regular who's on first with Lupron and what's on second with Eisenstein.

Keep up the pen and paper (mac and mouse) as you are the Babe Ruth of autism news.

Amy

Just hours before this article was posted, I received a threatening letter from my non-custodial ex-husband, stating his directive that I was not, under any circumstances, to take our two children on the spectrum to be "chemically castrated" by Dr. E or any physician affiliated with Homefirst. He went on to spew every cliche from the Trib article as if it were gospel truth. This is a man who has gone to the Public Guardian's office this past year to find support for his claim that I'm mentally disturbed for using dietary intervention and enzymes to recover our daughter and vastly improve our son and, frighteningly, found one Assistant PG there who supports that belief.

It is not only frustrating and bewildering, but for me, somewhat terrifying at times, to be personally on the receiving end of so much hostility and ignorance. Thank you, once again, for reminding me that the voice of reason and sound science is so much saner, not to mention so much better for my now high functioning, happy kids, than the dark side.

Maurine Meleck

Gee, an adjuvant based on a calcium compound. Not hard to imagine what the allergy will be.
Dan, I couldn't make it to Chicago and i know from friends that I missed a lot of crying so I guess I'll do it now. Your brilliant piece just did that to me. Thank you and thank-you.
Maurine

Theresa Cedillo

Thank you Dan! You are the bright shining ray of light that is the truth, piercing through the dark clouds of deception.

God Bless

Theresa

Benedetta Stilwell

Thanks for answering my question. I printed it off and am going to show my sister-in-law that always vigoursly shakes her head,NO. She has twin boys now 20 years old that are autistic and get this! They are undignosed. She has another son a year older that has hyper-activity so bad that he is close to insane. There are a lot of parents out there I liked to show this too. Bill O'Reilly on TV knows, but side steps the whole thing about austism. He paused when the word came up, and I saw that he knew!!!!! He said, "Oh, the autism issue, there are a lot of people suffering out there." He is too afraid to step into this. We are right, and we have to fight, but I am not sure we will win! 1 in 150 but even 1 in 67 in the UK has not brought anybody there around, YET. It is 1 out of 67 isn't it? I am so thankful for NVIC and age of autism.

K Fuller Yuba City

Thank you for your work hardly seems like enough. Please continue to dig and put this information out there.
I keep asking my husband,"where are all of the investigative reporters?" I keep trying to make it make sense,that no one in mainstream media has the guts to stand up and really do a story.
I can only assume that there are not enough affected children*YET*. How many more will be enough to make people stand up and pay attention? Who's children are important enough to the world?

Gatogorra

Thank you, Dan.

I think it's high time to expect the same integrity you're requesting of journalists from EVERYONE who touches the subject of autism or has made autism a "career". I think there are people whose, ahem, "logic barriers" get flacid from being stretched out of all proportion to admit b.s.. It's to the point that any big, honking lie-- something with the girth of Watergate or Vaccinegate, for instance-- doesn't even register. Gives new meaning to the term "mindf***ed".

For every reason that you mentioned, I have almost as little tolerance for the fence-straddlers as I do for the avowed industry defenders. For example, some close friends in the movement and I have pretty much called a moratorium on working with therapists who don't get it-- in the case that it's up to us who we hire or work with. Everyone who used to lecture me that I was setting the bar too high by demanding that anyone working with my children understand what happened to them to make them "clients". But now, some of the parents I know have come around. They're tired of feeling sick to their stomachs every time someone working with their kids comes to their home and rolls their eyes at the sight of a pyramid of supplement bottles on the kitchen counter, or "helpfully" parrots some neurodiversity puff piece they read in Wired or Newsweek.

It goes beyond the insult of having to deal with a closed mind. As with journalists who ape the party line on this subject when there is SO MUCH MORE to be looked into, one has to ask oneself--what else are they wrong about? Where else to they lack integrity? I could no more trust my children with these types than I could wholly trust anything they represent to be true.

Some speech therapists, OT and ABA therapists notoriously like to guard their neutrality on the issue. But to my mind, anyone making a red cent from the epidemic, who is not doing-- or at least not *thinking*-- all they can to end the very need for their services, is a disaster capitalist abd the ultimate parasite.

I'm very confident that if anyone endeavors to research the issue, they would at least be seriously and passionately compelled by the idea that the bulk of autism cases are environmental and iatrogenic. The only way anyone can pompously stick to the mainstream view is by carefully refusing to look at the evidence and by adhering more to ideology than science.

Atkisson fan

I think the only reporter who would have the balls to take on a Mayer Eisenstein report would be Sharyl Atkisson. Those women over at CBS News are not afraid to expose wrong when they see it. Big stark contrast to NBC.

CJ, mother of LIly

Please keep putting your pen to paper on the autism issue. My hope is that eventually, the right people will start listening.

Julie Obradovic

Benedetta,

Three ideas:

1. The reaction is small and therefore not noted or dismissed as coincidental. High pitched screaming, fever (that may have been masked by Tylenol), and irritability are told to parents as being normal.

2. On the Material Safety Data Sheet for thimerosal from Merck and other companies, it clearly states that effects of overexposure can take weeks to months to show up, and that the effects are cumulative over time.

3. The MMR studies indicate that it can take up to 30 days for incubation or a reaction to occur to an attenuated virus. This is the reason one of the studies (done in Finland..in 1982) looked at the relationship between Autism and hospitalizaion up to 30 days after the MMR. It concluded that if the MMR was causing a problem, children with Autism would have likely been hospitalized within those 30 days. Because they were not more hospitalized than children without Autism, the MMR was cleared of having a correlation. Swear.

Julie

WE SHALL OVERCOME

Do not think for a second that your efforts are in vain. You provide the big picture, better than anyone, that helps us parents make rational decisions.

My seven year old eldest son has what Gerberding would call "vaccine induced neurological damage with the symptoms of autism", which most likely occured with the multiple shots given to him at his 2-month old visit. Thanks to your reporting and the experiences of many other affected parents, posted in these pages and other sources, I have long ago realized what was behind his affliction, how to help him get better, and what to do to avoid it in the future. I am happy to report that my unvaccinated three month old youngest son is a completely different child than his brother. He is mesmerized by our faces and gestures and couldn't look more neurotypical as he grows older. He is a very healthy unvaccinated kid who will be spared the tragedy that ruined his brother's life and ours along with it. And all this thanks to the continuous reporting of people like you and to the warrior parents who have gone through the same ordeal as we have and keep fighting in the trenches every day. If your combined efforts help save thousands of kids like my youngest son, or even just a dozen kids for that matter, you have already achieved much more than all the Chicago Tribune, the NY Times and the NPR reporting staff put together.

Jack

Benedetta,

I never discounted the experience of others but at one time I would have been one of the parents shaking their head and saying, "yes, but that wasn't my kids."

For many there isn't that defining moment, just a slow steady slide into overall poor health. All the while with the pediatrician saying, "this eczema is normal, that reflux is normal, this asthma is common, no reason to be alarmed, boys talk later." etc.

It wasn't still we started reading about recovery (and witnessing it) that we started to piece the medical damage (and the cause of it) togehter.

That's why I would love to see more talk of recovery and the medical issues that our kids undeniably have. Let's convince people of the common medical problems and the need to treat them first. Then the vaccine picture will be clear to them. That's at least the path of reasoning I followed and I had every reason not to want to believe it to be true.

Twyla

Benedetta -
These are just my thoughts as a mom who reads, not based on studies etc. It seems to me that perhaps:

- Some vaccine reactions are not so obvious. A child could gradually develop immune system dysregulation, GI issues, neuorinflammation, etc. without pronounced obvious vaccine reactions.

- Probably not all autism is caused by vaccines.

- Parents may not even remember that their baby had vaccine reactions if they did not make the association at the time. My youngest daughter had a febrile seizure a few days after receiving the MMR and varicela vaccines, but it was not until seven years later that I checked the dates and made the connection. At the time it did not occur to me that vaccines could cause seizures.

I have heard some parents say that they went back and reviewed their baby's records and realized that the baby became sick after every round of vaccines (e.g. infections, eczema, kidney problem, fevers...), but at the time they did not notice the pattern.

Veterinarian Jean Dobbs said regarding reactions in pets: "The onset of adverse reactions to conventional vaccinations… can be an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, or can occur acutely (24-48 hours afterwards), or later on (10-45 days) in a delayed type immune response often caused by immunecomplex formation." (from "Changing Vaccine Protocols" by W. Jean Dodds, DVM – reprinted at www.bassetnet.com/Info/VaccineIssuesUpdate.pdf )

Lin

Thanks, as always, for an excellent piece.

ObjectiveAutismDad

Just like the batter in the picture -- they took their eyes off the ball. The ball being the children in this case. The misdirection employed by the other side is malignant. They call us anti-vaccine, the point to the resurgence of childhood diseases, they claim that we're just a bunch of crazy parents; all the while ignoring our children. They are the ball -- focus on the children; like we do everyday. That's where the story is as you've so aptly pointed out. Thanks for another great article!

John Stone

I don't know whether my view of this is very different from the UK. I don't think that in the UK the pharmaceuticl industry has quite the same advertising stranglehold over the media as they do in the US but they have other means: they have friendly journalists (of course) and they have intimadatory lobby organisations. In my experience there are quite a lot of sympathetic and interested journalists, some of whose stories might get published (but not repeated elsewhere) but mostly they know it's a vain task - they'll write a story but won't get it passed the editor (for whom it is more trouble than it is worth). If anything is published it will generally be stated in low key and anodyne terms. Some of the issues were touched on my piece last month:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/04/autism-the-64-billion-dollar-a-year-question-for-simon-baroncohen-ben-goldacre-fiona-fox-and-autism-.html

But then you can also ask how all the media dropped Baxter bird flu story (even the Toronto Sun only managed the one article)?

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/05/a-lethal-mixture-swine-and-bird-flu-can-we-trust-baxter-gsk-and-the-who.html

Above all, the editors, I believe, fear being blamed for deaths as a result of failure of confidence in public health policy - and it is so easy to give prominence to one kind of death and shroud in mystery another.

We had a very significant example in the UK with the trial and conviction for murder of Sally Clark (of course there are many such cases in both countries which don't get the prominence). Sally Clark was convicted on the false testimony of Prof Roy Meadow - who was promptly knighted by the New Labour government - but who was subsequently struck off the medical register (and then re-instated by a High Court judge). Our other apostle of Munchausen-by-Proxy diagnosis Prof David Southall also committed an indiscretion over the case and has also been struck off (and happily not re-instanted by the High Court). Anyhow, to get to the point, the Clark case was in media headlines for nearly a decade until her untimely death two years ago, during which time not one mainstream media outlet reported the key fact that her son died 4-5 hours after receiving 5 vaccines - not only was there a cover up which involved medical and government collusion it extended very effectively through the media, although the information was always available.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/cartoons/30630/what-killed-sally-clarks-child.thtml

The UK media shed bucket loads of tears over the Clark story but could not bring themselves at any stage to report the truth - they were even prepared to see her languish in jail and obfuscate the matter when she was released.

Is there anything to be learnt from this? The real mistake is to suppose that if you back off reporting vaccine issues you will ensure public safety: what you will ensure is not being attacked by angry and powerful people. A return to honest reporting, and healthy scepticism would be welcome - and we just have to go on reminding them that they are not doing their job.

Benedetta Stilwell

I would like to know what are some of your thoughts about this situation. I drove two hours to a meeting with grandparents/parents of autistic children. It was the first meeting I had been too,and I was afraid that I was intruding into a world I did not belong to, since my son was not dignosed with autism/epilepsy (which he did have), but instead was dignosed with tourettes. There were perhaps sixty people at the meeting. I told everyone there that I had watched my son twice react to a DPT shot, the last shot I watched him I thought die, the pupils of his eyes dilating to big black empty things and a small seizure all lasting 20 minutes till he fell asleep. YET, EVERY ONE there just shook their heads and said their children had no problems with any vaccines at all. I know the reaction only took place a short period of time but WHY (if it did happen to these other children) WHY did no other parent witness it???? I really would like to hear some of your thoughts on this?

meg

I think this is a "failure of imagination", similar to the failure of imagination that ignored the possibility of a terrorist attack on US soil in 2001.

The government and media establishment refuse to acknowledge that children today are *actually* much sicker than prior generations, because the implications of that are too frightening to contemplate. It simply can't be true because they don't want to believe it is possible.

Mark Blaxill

As I understand the situation, Julie Deardorff, a sympathetic Trib reporter, was taken off the autism beat after Ken Reibel (long time wackosphere resident) complained. Some of us have had a chance to see Ken's attempts at civil discourse up close and personal, so we can only imagine the kind of mud he threw at Julie. Let's hope that deeper and more thoughtful complaints about Trine's sloppy work have similar effect, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anne Dachel

Dan,

The U.S. media clings so strongly to the mantra that vaccines are safe, vaccines save lives, that they can't allow for anything that challenges that. The press is just as much in the grip of the drug industry as the medical community is. Their credibility is also on the line. For years, the leading newspapers have been right there backing CDC claims, no matter how fraudulent and senseless. It doesn't matter how many examples you present: the Amish, HomeFirst, they will be ignored.

Personally, I've thought the Watergate level story would be about missing adults. Nothing could top the fiction that autism has always been around---but nobody knew it; we just called them something else.

So where are the mislabeled autistic adults?

No journalist ever asks the good folks down at the CDC to prove the claim of "better diagnosing."

SHOW US THE AUTISTIC ADULTS.

No, they get away saying that it would be too hard to find them now. And, according to Paul Offit, many of them don't show the symptoms of autism as they age out of childhood. Magically, inexplicably, they improve on their own. The media buys into that too. It makes their job a lot easier.

Another lie, more junk science sanctioned and promoted by the media.

Somewhere there's an enterprising journalist who'll look for those missing adults. And when he or she can't find more than a few token examples, that should be big news. That should be proof of something. That should get people very very worried.

We simply can't continue to ignore the suffering of so many children. Pretend science that dresses up the definition of autism and won't use the word "crisis" anywhere near "autism" has lulled this country into thinking that there's nothing to worry about.

That's not true however. We all know the sweet-faced little children pictured in autism stories will be entering adulthood with no place to go. That will be the start of the public recognition of AUTISM--THE DISASTER.

The press will have a lot of explaining to do right along with CDC officials and medical organizations like the AAP. I can't wait to see how everyone runs for cover.

Anne Dachel
Media

Harry H.

Dan, I've read and talked to too many journalists that are simply lazy. They don't ask obvious questions and they bring a preconceived point of view to their reporting. For the Trib reporter to COMPLETELY ignore the lack of autism and asthma while fcusing on a ten year old malpractice case is why I cancelled my subscription to that now useless newspaper, and I've been reading it for almost 60 years now.

FedUp

Thimerosal removed - asthma goes down.

http://i334.photobucket.com/albums/m411/trophyfish2/asthma-vaers.gif


A-vaccine-given-babies-increase-risk-childhood-asthma

http://tinyurl.com/67j8ra

John Stone

Dan

Here is a smoking gun from a MarketWatch report of April 2006. This shows that it is an open secret in the pharmaceutical industry that adjuvants are causing allergies. Stephen Simes deserves some credit for trying reduce the risk but he also lets the cat out of the bag:

"The problem with most adjuvants is that they can cause allergies," said Simes. "Ours might not be as potent as others, but it is safer."

http://tinyurl.com/qrnggo

Simes has been in the industry for 35 years according to his corporate biography:

"Stephen M. Simes has served as our Vice Chairman, President and a director of our company since January 1998 and Chief Executive Officer since March 1998.

"From October 1994 to January 1997, Mr. Simes was President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company with a product focus on infectious diseases, AIDS, endocrinology and oncology. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Simes was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gynex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company which concentrated on the AIDS, endocrinology, urology and growth disorders markets. In 1993, Gynex was acquired by Bio-Technology General Corp., and from 1993 to 1994, Mr. Simes served as Senior Vice President and Director of Bio-Technology General Corp. Mr. Simes' career in the pharmaceutical industry started in 1974 with G.D. Searle & Co."

http://www.biosantepharma.com/Board-of-Directors.php

It is perhaps only incidental to this story that from 1977 to 1985 the CEO and President of Searle was one Donald Rumsfeld (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._D._Searle_&_Company ), which was afterwards acquired by Monsanto.

As ever we are grateful to Clifford Miller for discoverning this interesting disclosure:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/333/7566/485#141491

I reproduce the full MarketWatch report below:-


Apr 24, 2006, 3:45 p.m. EST

BioSante: Promise for bird-flu drug
By Val Brickates Kennedy, MarketWatch
BOSTON (MarketWatch ) -- BioSante Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported Monday that a preclinical study has shown its adjuvant drug BioVant, when added to experimental avian-flu vaccines, can double their potency.

According to BioSante , a study in mice showed that when BioVant was added to the vaccine being developed to battle the H5N1 strain of the influenza virus, also known as the avian flu, immune response nearly doubled.

"There's beginning to be a realization that we'll need to add adjuvants to the vaccines," said BioSante President and Chief Executive Stephen Simes, in an interview Monday.

Adjuvants are agents that can boost the potency of vaccines by further stimulating the immune system. By doing so, adjuvants may also be able to reduce the amount of vaccine needed per dosage, which can help stretch a tight vaccine supply.

The only FDA-approved adjuvants currently available are based on aluminum salt derivatives, which can cause allergic reactions in some users, according to BioSante. The company believes that BioVant is an attractive alternative, as it's based on the compound calcium phosphate, which is found in human bones.

"The problem with most adjuvants is that they can cause allergies," said Simes. "Ours might not be as potent as others, but it is safer."

Because of this, Simes said, BioSante hopes to eventually partner with one of the major pharmaceutical firm working on an avian-flu vaccine to create a combination product. The company is also seeking U.S. government funding for the project.

BioSante will be presenting additional data from the BioVant study on May 8 at the Ninth Annual Conference on Vaccine Research in Baltimore.

So far, BioVant has been tested only on mice for avian flu. To be approved for emergency use by the FDA, the company would need to conduct a safety study in humans and an additional efficacy study in rodents, BioSante said.

BioSante also has been working with the government on developing BioVant as a possible adjuvant for vaccines against anthrax and ricin poisoning. Those studies are still in the preclinical stage, indicated Simes.

On Feb. 16, BioSante submitted an application to the FDA for the approval of its hormone therapy Bio-E-Gel for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women. The company expects to receive a decision from regulators within 10 months of submission.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)