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The Really Big Lie About Autism: Thomas Insel Testifies

Feet to fire By Anne Dachel
 
On Wed, August 5, many of us watched a live broadcast of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee chaired by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.  The focus was on the state of autism research, treatments and interventions. (HERE)
 
A number of autism experts and parents addressed the senators.  Two speakers exemplified the controversy that rages in this country over vaccines and autism.  One was Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health and chairman of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), the other was Dana Halverson, co-founder of BEAT-Iowa and mother of Robin, her seven year old daughter with autism.
 
Sen. Harkin opened the hearing talking about autism.  He made it clear: Autism has environmental triggers and "the rate of incidence is growing." He also said we have to look at "how to address the needs of the growing population of adults with autism."
 
Insel testified first.  He gave the overview of autism with the standard definitions we've all heard over and over.   He said 10 to 20 percent of autistic kids regress.  "[They] seem to develop quite well for the first 18 months and will clearly lose language, lose function."
 
Insel spent a lot of time talking about research on "genomics," "syndromes," and "rare but significant mutations," assuring us that there's "clearly a genetic factor at work here."   He also feels that "we still need to learn how genes and environment interact."
 
Insel then turned his attention to the prevalence of autism.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now reports from 2007 a rate of about one in every 150 children, eight year olds being given a diagnosis.  That's about a 10 fold increase over the numbers coming from the CDC from the 1992-1993 period."
 
He quickly added, "The 10 fold increase in prevalence is of great interest to many of us.  I just want to just caution you that a change in prevalence is not unique to autism.  We've seen a 40 fold increase in the prevalence of pediatric bipolar disorder over the same period.  We've seen perhaps a 10 fold or greater increase in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children over the last three or four decades."
 
What was most astonishing to me listening to this information was Insel's total lack of concern over these increases.  He gave no reason for the changes except to say,  "We have to remember the difference between prevalence, which can be affected by ascertainment, by changes in diagnosis, and the difference in incidence, which we don't have right now, good evidence that there's a true increase in the incidence...the rate of new cases."

He added, "That's an area that requires more research."
 
What?  With autism overwhelming our schools, with hundreds of thousands of children across the country now diagnosed with the disorder, Insel was trying to convince the committee that they're still not sure if autism has really increased.  In the face of parents testifying over a lack of services and bankrupting costs, Insel was trying to pretend that all this autism is nothing new.  How many more years are officials going to be scratching their heads over the autism rate?  The CDC gets billions to run health care in the U.S. and they can't give us the current rate of autism.  It was slightly disingenuous of Insel to say that the rate of one in 150 was from eight year olds in 2007.  Certainly someone in his position knows that rate is from studies done in 2000 and 2002, but not released until 2007.
 
And in 2007, when the CDC announced their updated autism figures, I wrote "The Really Big Lie About Autism" to show that no matter how bad the numbers, officials will never admit that there are really more kids with autism.  Insel's comments are proof that the lie is still alive and well.
 
Furthermore, on April 17, 2007 Insel also testified before Senator Harkin and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. (HERE)

This is what he had to say about the rate of autism. "It is unclear whether the rise in prevalence is due to a rise in incidence, better identification and awareness of the disorder, or both.  A similar increase in prevalence has been observed in many countries outside of the U.S., and in virtually every study, boys are three to four times as likely to have ASDs compared to girls." 
 
So what have Insel and the experts at NIMH been doing for the last two years?  After all that time they can tell us nothing substantial about why hundreds of thousands of our children are now disabled with a devastating disorder no one ever heard about 25 years ago.  They still don't even know if there's been an increase in the rate.  How many more years will Insel be coming back to the senators with nothing worthwhile to report?
 
Insel also told senators, "We need to focus on early diagnosis and good interventions" and he did note, "We have a whole wave of children with autism who'll soon be adults with autism."
 
Listening to his remarks was infuriating.  He painted a picture of autism as this mysterious disorder that they're really trying hard to understand.  There was no sense of alarm or urgency in his remarks.  The words "crisis," "epidemic," and "prevention" were not included.  To hear that a stunning 10 fold increase is merely "of great interest to many of us," showed an astonishing lack of compassion for the suffering of countless thousands of children and their families.
 
If Insel is not convinced that autism is on the increase, he shouldn't be concerned about care for adults with autism.  If autistic individuals have always been around, but diagnosed as something else, we should have plenty of services already in place to address their needs.
  
Insel also told us about the IACC, which he chairs.  He had a slide of the IACC Strategic Plan Vision:
 
"The strategic plan will insure research which will profoundly improve the health and well-being of every person on the autism spectrum across the lifespan.  The Plan will set the standard for public-private cooperation and community engagement."
 
Where was goal of stopping autism from claiming more children?  Where was the plan to recover kids with autism?
 
To his credit, Senator Harkin brought up the subject of a link between vaccines and autism several times.  Insel agreed that "there is no question that there are environmental factors at work, maybe prenatal factors."  But he said, "The only factor that has been explored in great detail has been vaccines."
 
Harkin kept referring to the increase in the vaccines schedule and the increase in autism, asking if there could be an association.  Insel tried hard to convince Harkin that while there are more vaccines in the recommended schedule, the good news is that there are far fewer antigens.  He kept bringing up the 16 studies involving hundreds of thousands of children.  He solemnly stated, "There is no evidence at this time of any association with the number of vaccines, the kinds of vaccines and ...autism."
 
When Harkin asked about a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study to compare autism rates, Insel said the IACC had asked the National Vaccine Advisory Committee about it and they felt it wouldn't be ethical to not vaccinate a group of children for such a study.  When Harkin pointed out there are lots of unvaccinated children out there that could be studied, Insel ignored him.
 
Harkin continued about vaccines saying "the problem is we don't know of the effects of vaccines."
 
Insel went on to say that at the IACC this is a "highly charged topic." There are those who feel there's an issue here and there are those who are saying "enough already."
 
"There's an environmental factor at play here and we've spent a lot of money and a lot of time doing these 16 studies and nothing has shown up on this question.  Let's move on."  
 
Funny thing, for someone who acknowledges that there are environmental factors causing autism, he couldn't give us one that they're looking at.  The only thing they know for sure, according to Insel, is that vaccines don’t contribute to autism.
 
Insel assured the senators that all the science is in on a possible link between vaccines and autism.  I couldn't help but note that Insel is a psychiatrist and he's telling us the ingredients in the toxic cocktails injected into our children are safe.  Citing "the studies" proves nothing.  Julie Obradovic has shown why these studies have not and will never settle this controversy.   They're flawed, the results manipulated, and the researchers are financially tied to the vaccine industry.  In Julie's words, "Each and every study was conducted and/or funded by someone who patents, manufacturers, promotes, endorses, profits from and/or defends in a court of law vaccines."

Just once at one of this meetings where experts talk about autism, I'd like to see a toxicologist, one with no conflicts of interest, willing to put his or her reputation on the line vouching for the safety of vaccines containing mercury, aluminum, and fluoride, to name a few of the commonly used toxins.  I've never seen that happen and until Insel can find such an expert, he has no credibility telling us these things are safe.
 
While Insel could say nothing significant about progress in understanding, treating, or recovering victims, he stated, "There's rapid progress.  There's an urgent need and there's a tremendous opportunity right for now for progress."
 
In stark contrast to Insel, was the testimony of Dana Halverson.  I don't know where Insel's words were coming from, but Dana spoke straight from her heart and her testimony was riveting.  I only wish I could have observed Insel's face while she was talking.
 
Dana talked about her daughter's autism.  She brought up the host of health problem Robin has, including, "heavy metal toxicity."

Dana predicted that the huge cost of autism will soon fall on taxpayers as these kids age out into adulthood.  She said we should be alarmed over the sickest generation of children that we've had in 60 years.
 
Next Dana made it clear that this isn't just about the science and everyone knows it.
 
These were some of her comments:
 
"Posing the right questions to unbiased and unconflicted scientists is essential to obtaining constructive answers."
 
"Agencies charged with protecting the health of our children suffer from serious financial conflicts of interest.  These government agencies need to be held accountable."
 
"Senators, it is difficult to sit at this table and tell you that you have been lied to, that we have all been lied to.  Mercury levels exceeding EPA safe levels were in Robin's vaccines..."
 
Dana cited the vaccine makers' material safety data sheet on thimerosal where it says it caused neurological damage in trials on animals.  She had medical experts sitting behind her for backup.
 
She spoke about the power and influence of the drug industry over our health agencies.  "Where else in the world do we see this scenario of no accountability and conflicts of interest?"
 
Dana called for a "valid, unbiased study."
 
She addressed the inaction of government.  "Those in power have not listened and discerned facts and acted on those facts to protect the health and future of the children of this nation... instead [they] have protected industry."
 
Her tears at the end I'm sure were mirrored in many of the faces of those listening to her.
 
It must have been hard to move on after Dana was finished.  There was lots of talk about services and the issue of a vaccinated/non-vaccinated study was again brought up by Harkin.  Dana challenged Insel's criticism of such a study by citing the large unvaccinated population right in Chicago in Dr. Mayer Eisenstein's HomeFirst medical program.
 
What was resoundingly clear from listening to Insel was the fact that little had changed since he last reported to this committee in 2007.  Most of the research he talked about involved genetics, despite the fact that genetics alone couldn't possibly explain what autism is doing to our children.   There was no sense that the IACC would ever have real answers.
 
If Thomas Insel were genuinely dedicated to finding out about autism, he'd have talked about three things:
 
1.  He would have said that they were going to look at the kids who were normally progressing and then suddenly regressed.  He would have called for a close examination to find what might have triggered such a change.  While Insel mentioned regression, he expressed no real concern.
 
2.   Insel would have told the committee that thousands of parents now report great improvement in their children and even recovery following things like changes in diet, chelation for heavy metals, and hyperbaric oxygen treatment; this is a sign of hope and we need to look into these things.
 
3.  Finally, Insel would strongly support a comparison study between vaccinated and unvaccinated children.  Instead he refused to accept that there was an ideal unvaccinated heterogeneous population for study.  He stated again, "Let me be very clear on this point...  This problem has been looked at over and over.  Sixteen large scale studies have plowed into this subject at many levels..." 
 
Harkin was not convinced and still asked why the study couldn't be done.
 
All this makes clear that there is a growing demand for a vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated study to compare autism rates.  It should be pointed out that in June Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) called on HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius to dedicate between 1.6% and 6.6% of the $300 million in federal stimulus funds earmarked for the purchase and distribution of vaccines to fund a major study of health outcomes -- including autism -- among vaccinated and unvaccinated people. (HERE)
 
If I had had the opportunity to ask Thomas Insel a question, I would have said, "Since you truly believe that science has settled the issue of a link between vaccines and autism, why won't you welcome such a study?  It would be the proof to end the controversy.  If the incidence of autism were the same in both study groups, we'd all agree to move on.  If there would be a marked difference between the two, we'd need to stop the horrific damage being done to countless thousands of our children."
 
One statement by Dana Halverson really got my attention: "These government agencies need to be held accountable."
 
That must be a very frightening thought to Insel and lots of other people.  Polio was an epidemic when it struck one in 3,000 Americans in the 1950s.  Autism affects far more and it strikes children.  What's important to remember is that most victims of polio recovered and went on to lead productive lives.  The same won't be said about the victims of the autism epidemic.  They will need support and care for the rest of their long lives.
The cost to taxpayers has been compared to an approaching tsunami.  In the words of Dana Halverson,  "Government agencies need to be held accountable."
--
Anne Dachel is the media editor of Age of Autism.


 

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Honestly, we need governmental changes. We not only need to privatize the vaccines so the companies can be held accountable so that we can have quality vaccines, but we also need to hold the governmental regulatory agencies accountable for not doing their job. Thus, there is a lot of unaccountability. And the problem will not go away till this system is changed, and if it were to change by implementing accountability and elminating conflict of interests, the problems would fix themselves.

At the risk of sounding potentially sympathetic toward a man whose actions are unforgivable, the more I read from and about Insel, the more he himself appears to perhaps be squarely on the autism spectrum. His cold, clinical detachment in the face of such heartwrenching and dramatic testimony, as well as his apparent cognitive rigidity and narrow area of interest, might in another context be dead giveaways, if the subject wasn't so dear to our hearts.

To understand Insel's motives, just substitute "Drug fast tracking" for the word "progress" and "drug sales" for "opportunity".

"There's rapid progress. There's an urgent need and there's a tremendous opportunity right for now for progress."

That's the business that Insel is in and the NIMH is NOTORIOUS-- has been for more than two decades. I knew Insel was same-old-same-old when I saw that, under him, the NIMH website on autism was starting to recommend drugs by brand name. Finding a cause for the epidemic would not only hold Insel's agency's sponsors liable and reduce vaccine profits, it would reduce their cut in terms of disaster capitalism.

great article Anne. Sounds like TInsel is trying to make genetics his bitch. It's a joke. Just saw an article in the Sept. Oprah magazine that has me inflamed- you guys have to read it. Anyways I'm writing a response to it that I'm working on now.

What gets me is when you hear these doctors on TV saying things like, "Parents just mistake the symptoms of autism as being due to vaccines because the symptoms set in around the time of vaccines". Boy, for people who claim to only believe what science says that's an awefully general statement that's not rooted in any scientific study whatsoever.

There have been no scientic studies done that pinpoint exactly when in early childhood Autism is supposed to set in. Some kids regress at 2 months, some at 1 year, some at 2 1/2 to 3 years. That's an awefully broad time range you refer to there docs, for Autism setting "around the time vaccines are given"!

Insel is a classic example of the elite ability to "shrug and play stupid."

After this process, the key is to state how they are on the right track... have spent millions to get to nowhere.... have really not found anything useful yet, but are ready for more funding.

I found Insel's comment about the increased diagnosis rate of multiple neurological disorders to be particularly frightening. We're supposed to be reassured that there are more kids diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD, in addition to autism?!

Either there are tons of undiagnosed adults with ADHD and bipolar disorder out there (I haven't met them), or kids are being unduly medicated for disorders they don't actually have (which is another scary thought), or else (dare I say it?) Insel is missing the boat on the poisoning of America's children, despite staring the data in the face.

Yes, I too wondered if Insel was telling the truth about less antigens. I don't know why these people in Washington think that we will not check on every word that comes out of their mouths? I guess they think if only they get through a meeting and somebody makes up thier minds and then once they are found a liar it is just tooooo late?

Great article Anne.

Sorry for being repetitive, but I wanted to repost my comment to the previous AoA article about this hearing because I'm really curious to know if his statement about less antigens is even true. Does anyone know? Here's a copy of my comment:

Insel focused so much on insisting that today's vaccines have less antigens, but is that even a true statement? What about in 1990 when the amount of mumps virus was SIGNIFICANTLY increased and eventually lowered some in 2007?

Dan Olmsted wrote:
"In 1990, Merck & Co., manufacturer of the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine known as the MMR, made a significant but little-noticed change:

It quadrupled the amount of mumps virus in the combination shot, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. Then in 2007 it reversed course, reducing the amount to 12,500 units. Neither the measles nor the rubella (German measles) component of the MMR was changed at all -- each remained at 1,000 units throughout."
http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/02/olmsted-on-autism-autism-explosion-followed-big-change-in-mmr-shot/comments/page/2/

So isn't there actually more vaccines AND a higher antigen level now than in 1980? Consider the following chart:

--------/--Vaccines given ---/--Amount of mumps virus--/
1980---/ DTP, MMR, Polio----/ 5,000
-----------------------------------------------------------
1990---/ DTP, MMR, Polio,---/ 20,000
-------/ Hep B, and Hib------/
-----------------------------------------------------------
2007---/ DTP, MMR, Polio,---/ 12,500
-------/ Hep B, Hib, Hep A,--/
-------/ Varicella, PCV, -----/
-------/ Rotavirus, and flu---/

Also, no matter how efficient the new vaccines are, their antigen levels are still higher than 0. So wouldn't there have to be more varicella, rotavirus, etc antigen now than there was in 1980? Anyone know more about this?


Additionally, regardless of the antigen amount, the increase in the number of shots has resulted in much higher thimerosal and aluminum levels. Many parents of children with autism have labwork showing that their children do have remarkably high levels of mercury and aluminum.

Insel also said there are some other diseases that have increased at a staggering rate. The two he named are bipolar disorder and ADHD. Both aluminum and mercury are known neurotoxins. Could these neurotoxins also be triggering bipolar disorder and ADHD?.

The CDC's thimerosal study found the following "statistically significant associations or consistent patterns between exposure to thimerosal and neuropsychological functioning":

"Among males, increased prenatal exposure [to thimerosal] was associated with ... poorer performance with attention and executive functioning".

And

"Among males, higher exposure was associated with poorer performance with attention and executive functioning (Brief Parent Rating of Behavioral Regulation test), and a higher likelihood of motor and phonic tics reported by the child assessor were observed."

So the CDC found that thimerosal causes problems with attention, and Insel pointed out that ADHD, like autism, has increased
dramatically. What's also interesting is that these findings showed that males are more susceptible, and autism occurs more frequently in boys than girls...

The CDC study can be read here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vsd/thimerosal_outcomes/


And then there's also the thousands of studies that discuss how toxic aluminum is-- including the study that caused the FDA to limit the amount of aluminum in IV fluids because the aluminum in IV fluids was causing neurological delays in premature babies who were receiving these IVs.

Not giving babies the Hep B vaccine as a newborn is not going to bring back measles!! It doesn't have to be an all or nothing issue. But still, I know many people who had the measles and recovered just fine. Yes sometimes there are complications with the disease such as ADEM, BUT Bailey Banks got ADEM from his MMR vaccine. And the latest statistic I've heard is that every 20 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism. We have got to change something, AND we have got to look at the already existing groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. To not look at these groups when they're already existing is what is unethical. If Insel's group won't look at these heterogenous populations, can Senator Harkin's committee reappropriate the funds to go to someone who will?

Thanks, Anne. Great report!

Dana is a hero for all that she was able to get across to these Senators. Senator Harkin sounds like he is truly trying to help though he may not be an expert on autism just quite yet -- he is willing to listen and help our kids and his integrity is refreshing.

Checkmate,

Thank you for your questions - it is great to start a discussion that addresses what some see as observable contradictions to what most of us who post and comment on Age of Autism believe in such a civil way.

You wrote:

"For example, my son with aspergers seemed generally fine during those ages, but now that he is getting older and I see other kids his age, NOW is when I am seeing the difference. I would say the same is true of one of the lower functioning autistic children I know - it was not as 'noticeable' when the child was younger, but now compared to other 3 year old kids, there is a definite difference."

My opinion is that this is possibly a strong example of the "tipping point".

Here in Minnesota and I suspect everywhere else we see a doubling of the rate of autism diagnosed by ages 10 to 14 as opposed to those diagnosed by age 3 to 5. Is this REALLY catch up on kids that were missed or is this the build up of toxins or the gradual effects of virus' on an "altered" immune system? We can not be sure if those like Insel are unwilling to consider it.

As far as the family history, I agree with Erik - I don't think the city you grow up in matters - they put toxic mercury in the mouths of pregnant American mothers and children in every nook and cranny of the United States they could think of.

Thanks Checkmate for a great thread of discussion.

Thank you Anne, for a wonderful article, and the tremendous freindship and personal support you have been for our family.


Tim Kasemodel
Wayzata, MN

Checkmate - Before vaccines, my kid was talking and picking up cherrios using pincher fingers and tossing them to the dog one by one. After vaccines, my kid could not lift his sippy cup or use his hands other than to hit his face and ceased to speak. Further, his poop turned white and was runny all the time, he lost weight and drooled. Until someone can explain to me why my kid's symptoms are purely genetic, I will continue to fight and believe that this was not a coincidence because it is hard for me to believe that it was a genetic bomb that exploded. Fast forward to today, we chelated and employed DAN/Yasko and now my kid has regained his speech and is mainstreamed.

"[H]e [Insel] did note, 'We have a whole wave of children with autism who'll soon be adults with autism.'"

Doesn't this statement conflict with Insel's equivocating about incidence?

Another great insightful article, Anne.

I want to thank Anne for the column..and ...Sarah for giving me Sen. Harkin's email address.

To me, Harkin's hearing produced TWO undeniable FACTS.

FACT #1: The "vaccinated vs unvaccinated" study MUST be done.

FACT #2: Dr. Tom Insel MUST be removed or forced to resign his position at IACC..because..Dr. Insel will NEVER fund it.

So, my email to Sen Harkin pleaded that he accomplish at least ONE thing in the NEAR future...the removal of Insel from IACC.

I also suggested Dr. Bernardine Healy as Insel's replacement...but..whoever replaces Insel...I recommended it NOT BE A PSYCHIATRIST by profession.

After all, Psychiatry has had DECADES of opportunity to examine and research autism...and..they have provided absolutely NOTHING of substance. Indeed, by THEIR own admission, they are as mystified today as THEY were DECADES ago.

(By the way, been reading Gary Matsomoto's "Vaccine A" book on Gulf War Veterans Syndrome. Not surprisingly, many prominent "military psychiatrists" insist the serious autoimmune disorders our Gulf War veterans suffer...are all in their heads. They are told "get over it and get on with your life".)

Insel emphasized that the protein/antigen content of vaccines has dropped dramatically, but never mentioned that's because almost all vaccines now contain (poorly understood and poorly studied) adjuvants, which stimulate the immune system to respond more strongly to the antigen.

Since we now understand at least a subset of ASD to be associated with inflammation of the neuroimmune system, why are the Insels of the world so blithely unconcerned about the effect of adjuvants? Where are the 16 studies showing that so much adjuvant injected into small infants is safe?

Isn't the IACC just and advisory board? . Don't the Senators have the final say about what gets funded?

We should all email Senator Harkin, thank him for listening to the parents but request that the committee not to accept the IACC's recommendation against funding further vaccine studies.

We should ask Senator Harkin and his committee to go ahead and fund the studies anyway citing the huge data gaps. (sensitive populations, the link between family history of automimmune diseases and autism, mitochondrial dysfunction, complete lack of vaccine culmulative effects studies etc...)

As for Insel, he'll then know how it feels to be ignored.

Here's Senator Harkins web site.. parents can email him from here:

http://harkin.senate.gov/

Checkmate - does your family have digestive issues? Sensitivities to gluten and/or cows' milk can cause the same malabsorption that leads to the Aspie behaviors. This is the case of my 4.75 y.o. son who wasn't vaccinated. I'm convinced that if he were vaccinated, we would have had a profound regression. He is recovering through a strict diet and high doses of vitamins. The food sensitivities can be the genetic link causing the neurological outcome.

Ann thanks for writing on this. I was angry with the senator too, but maybe I did not understand what was going on. I do see that he was trying to be reasonable now through your eyes.

Checkmate;
It is an inflammatory disease - Vasculitis!
It was brought on by vaccines. Three members of my family have or had it. It does go into remission. REMISSION NOT CURED! I am not talking about just a strange personaility, but an autoimmune disease that is systemic can affect the brain, the stomach, the heart, kidneys. My daughter had Kawasakis after a vaccine and I thought she came through it okay, but it left her O-C (she washed her hands till they would chap and bleed, and she would check and recheck her backpack even though she knows what is in the backpack)and then there is something else I can't put my finger on! So it has affected her mentally in very subtle ways. Even though she has two degress in both biology and as a pysch nurse. For my son it went straight for his brain and he had a stroke just a few hours after his booster. He is an epilepitic and a low functioning aspergers, if he really is not PDD-NOS. Maybe this inflammatory disease has always been around, but not in the numbers it is now! I believe if not for the boosters my kids would have been fine.

Checkmate, the triggers that our 'community' believes causes autism involves toxins and viruses. Nobody is saying that vaccines are the ONLY means by which every last autistic encounters such triggers... just that the pediatric vaccine schedule, aggressive as it is, delivers an ample amount of such triggers that is affecting a subset of kids... about 1.5% of all kids.

If you have aspergers in your family going back three generations... other factors could have played into it. Your family could have 1) a genetic predisposition... such as defects on the MTHFR gene (I have this... and so does my daughter) and 2) The men in your family could have been exposed to environmental toxins...either in utero from their mother's dental amalgams... environmental contaminants (anyone live near a coal mine or coal burning power plant?) and 3) Your family could have been exposed to live viruses that caused the autoimmune aspects of the disorder...such as measles... either from a vaccine or a natural strain.

Since I have the MTHFR defect, I am convinced I would have been autistic had I received as many toxins and antigens as my daughter did at 15 months of age (when she regressed). I have had experience with mercury poisoning from my amalgams... that's a long story... but I've been treated with chelation therapy and my health (in every aspect) has improved dramatically... and my life-long digestive disorder has disappeared.

I invite you to research this, since as you say, you're a "neophyte."

Ultimately, as we all may hold different opinions... I think we all want the same things; We all want our families to be healthy, happy and capable. That is the common bond that should unite us.

It's a shame that industry rubes like Insel have to stick their poison into the mix.

Erik

Checkmate,
I was a semi professional chess player in my youth. Hopefully you do know something about Chess. At this point we are approaching a stalemate going on 66 years without answers. The difference is our sides gets to add pieces and the other side loses.

You bring up some great points. We know that there is a genetic component to Autism. We also know that the severity and rate of autism is increasing. As you see in your family... I see in myself and my family. The difference is Tanner can not function in our world with out assistance. Many others have the same situation. Something is making this much worse The rate now is 1 in 58 for those impacted. Actual rate is 1 in 100 but some are recovering.

Regression is loss of attained attributes not a comparison against others. In our case (Medically documented after vaccines) Tanner fed himself, chewed, talked, dreamed, played, smiled, looked us in the eyes, shot the basketball and rode his bike. All that gone.

I wish pray and hope for the Day Autism is as simple as "Great, Let's Fix that"

I am a complete neophyte here, and I do hope that if there is a link between environment and autism that it is found and addressed for the better of our world.

However one thing bothers me - two basic concepts:

1. If vaccines and our environment change over the years, why is it that there are cases such as my grand father, my father, me, and my son all have aspergers? We all were born in different towns (a couple different states), lived in different houses, went to different schools... ??

2. Having 3 kids and seeing lots of kids come over - a couple of them autistic, it seems to me that from the ages of 0-2 or even 3 that the bar is set pretty low as far as what a child is able to do. For example, my son with aspergers seemed generally fine during those ages, but now that he is getting older and I see other kids his age, NOW is when I am seeing the difference. I would say the same is true of one of the lower functioning autistic children I know - it was not as 'noticeable' when the child was younger, but now compared to other 3 year old kids, there is a definite difference.

My point is that my personal experience has been that it is a matter of other kids develop at a certain rate physically or socially, and if my autistic child is not, one way to interpret that is that he regressed, another is that he simply is not developing at the same pace.

Don't take this the wrong way, I do want the best for everyone, and if there is in fact a link between vaccines, great, lets fix that.

If I am not understanding something, please clarify for me.

Thanks.

When was the first time the Autism Community requested researchers do a vaccinated Vs. Unvaccinated study? I would bet we are approaching 20 years? Does anybody know?

Great work Ann...

"How many more years are officials going to be scratching their heads over the autism rate?" -- Anne Dachel www.ageofautism.com #BFH Rt #APE

We are lucky that Twitter is not 280 letters. My next thought was is it their head or their Ass that they are scratching? Then, can they tell the difference? Oh wait maybe we need to research that... ( I better not suggest that... it will be done right after we do research to see if we trip over cats.That was done this last spring)

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