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Access to the Facts?

London shotA recent discussion online was held between Mrs Isabella Thomas and Jan Goodenough, both parents of youngsters with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mrs. Thomas is parent of two boys who took part in the frequently cited study of 12 children with ASD and gastrointestinal disease which was originally reported in the Lancet medical journal and then subsequently  withdrawn (Wakefield et al. 1998). The discussion between the two parents referred to the work of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, and reference was made to an interview that Jan Goodenough carried out with Professor Baron-Cohen for Mensa magazine in August 2010. At the time of publication the article came to the attention of an ex-colleague of mine, Dr Tilly Storr, a member of Mensa. Our response, which is clearly relevant to the recent discussions, was not submitted for publication at that time but has since been sent to Mensa. The response highlights several important issues: the likely contribution of environmental factors to the observed rise in autism diagnosis, the well reported association between autism and gastrointestinal (GI) disease, the possible benefit of dietary interventions in autism and related conditions, and the public right of access to factual information.

Carol Stott, PhD                                                                     Dr Tilly Storr
Lead Consultant and Trainer                                              Cambridge, UK
BeginningwithA

www.beginningwitha.com
www.twitter.com/drcarolstott;
www.facebook.com/carolstottphd

In the August 2010 issue of Mensa magazine, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is asked by Jan Goodenough about the genetics of autism: specifically, he is asked, if autism is a genetic disorder then, ‘....how can there be identical twins where one has autism and the other does not?’ In his response Professor Baron-Cohen refers to there being 60% concordance (agreement regarding presence/absence of ASD) in identical twins vs. 5% in non-identical twins – an estimate which is based on three major twin studies: Ritvo et al., 1985; Steffenburg et al., 1989 and Bailey et al., 1995). The suggestion is that autism is not explained entirely by genetics; indeed Professor Baron-Cohen acknowledges this by saying in the Mensa interview that the findings mean‘...there are environmental factors, and probably interactions between genes and those environmental factors...’ involved in autism. The studies Baron-Cohen refers to are on twins born before the 1990s, and pre-date the recent rise in autism diagnosis and actually report a wider range of identical-twin concordance than that cited by Baron-Cohen: from 60-90% compared to as low as 0% in non-identical twins.

However, whilst Professor Baron-Cohen cited these older studies, much lower concordance in identical twin pairs, and higher concordance in non-identical pairs had  been reported at the time of writing (Croen et al., 2002; Constantino and Todd, 2003). Croen and colleagues presented a population-based California study at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR, 2002) which concluded that ‘..heritability estimates from previous studies may have overestimated the role of genetics and underestimated the role of environmental factors in the etiology of autism.’  

It surely cannot be the case that Professor Baron-Cohen is unaware of these later studies; at the time of the Mensa interview he was the chair of INSAR – the organisation responsible for the annual IMFAR conferences in which the Croen et al. study was reported. As such, one would expect him to be aware of IMFAR archives and Croen et al’s work. It is surprising and curious, therefore, that he fails to refer to any of these studies in the Mensa interview.

Why might the studies provide crucial information? Perhaps Richard Lathe has the reason. In his book ‘Autism, Brain and Environment’, Lathe, (2006), points out that, in comparing autism-twin concordance estimates from the late 1980s to those of 2003/4, a critical consideration is that a real change over time would provide strong evidence for an increasing environmental contribution to onset at a time when autism diagnoses have appeared to increase, and when debate has raged as to the possible factors involved. Crucially, the data suggest that the emerging ‘new paradigm’ autism phenotype is one which is increasingly determined by environmental factors that were not present, or were different, at the time the original twin studies were carried out.

In ‘Autism, Brain and Environment’ Lathe covers this issue, and its implications, in some detail. Professor Baron-Cohen provided a very positive review of Lathe’s book on its back cover, yet again fails to refer to this relevant work in his Mensa interview.

Continue reading "Access to the Facts?" »


It's Time to Occupy Pharma: Government Blames Parents for Low Gardasil Vaccine Uptake & Expands Routine Use for Boys

Adriana Gamondes GardasilGovernment Blames Parents for Low Gardasil Vaccine Uptake & Expands Routine Use for Boys
Merck Strikes Back with Blatant Corporate Influence on Government & Media
It is Time to ‘Occupy Pharma’

By Leslie Carol Botha
Women’s Health Educator
Author & Broadcast Journalist

10.28.11 – See Merck run. The aftermath of the discovery of a genetically engineered virus in 100% of the Gardasil vials tested by SANE Vax Inc. has had global governments running and Merck’s marketing department at a loss for words.1 That coupled with Michelle Bachmann’s remarks on not getting her daughters vaccinated with Gardasil at the September 12 Republican Party Tea Party debate in front of millions of viewers – and then stating the next day that she met a mother of a now ‘mentally retarded’ injured girl who had received Gardasil.  On October 9 Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 499 into law giving the custody of minors age 12 and over to the State of California for the treatment of STD’s.  All three issues have spotlighted Gardasil and have brought negative attention to Merck’s multi-million dollar award-winning creating a market out of thin air ‘One Less’ campaign.  

Merck’s first-round counterattack was to use the media to politically sabotage Bachmann’s chances of becoming a Republican Party candidate.  Headlines raged – Michele Bachmann's HPV vaccine remarks continue to draw criticism filled with spin and misinformation about Gardasil from the medical profession noticeably funded by Big Pharma – who were placing bets on whether or not Bachmann could produce a mentally retarded Gardasil injured girl followed by erroneous comments from ‘experts’ like Dr. Kenneth Alexander, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center who told Reuters "There are people out there who, because of this kind of misinformation, aren't going to get their daughter immunized. As a result, there will be more people who die from cervical cancer." 2. Then Governor Jerry Brown jumped in on the mix by signing AB 499 into law allowing a minor – ages 12 years and older– to ‘consent’ to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease.  Not only does the act violate federal vaccine law, but it casts doubt on the governor’s integrity as he succumbed to Big Pharma pressure, and Merck funding, when he mandated vaccination without parental consent. On October 21, Medical Marketing and Media posted an article titled Despite HPV vax ad bonanza, low awareness and slacker docs dog uptake that reporting only a little more than half of U.S. girls ages 13 to 17 have not gotten even one dose of the HPV vaccine, and among the main reasons are poor awareness and the failure of doctors to recommend vaccination, a study shows. 3.

Follow that with the Tuesday announcement by the major media networks that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that “All males starting at age 11 should receive the HPV vaccine Gardasil to protect themselves against sexually transmitted forms of human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical and anal cancers as well as most mouth and throat cancers.” 4.  By Wednesday, October 26, the story was on the front page of newspaper around the country from the LA Times to the Herald Tribune in Sarasota, FL.

And the media did not stop there.  In conjunction with the news or vaccinating boys with Gardasil, CBS News reported that the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published an article on October 24 linking HPV to a disease that takes even more American lives - heart disease suggesting that people who have HPV are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. 5.

CBS took up the cry again on October 25 – with their headline CDC Panel Votes to Extend HPV Vaccine to Young Boys and 30 minute video series on the benefits of Gardasil vaccination and the dangers of HPV. 6.

On October 27, the New England Journal of Medicine newsletter included an article titled HPV Vaccine for Men – citing a study on the ‘safety and efficacy of quadrivalent HPV vaccine (qHPV) against anal intraepithelial neoplasia associated with HPV-6, 11, 16, or 18 infection in men who have sex with men.’ 7. Needless to say the funding for the study came from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

Talk about backlash. Retaliation ain’t education folks.  Merck is on blatant overdrive shoving the Gardasil vaccine down our throats - any which way they can - using their money and their clout with the media and federal and state governments.

Ed Silverman with Pharmalot has uncovered the real reason for the aggressive Merck Gardasil campaign.  In an article posted October 25 titled: Where The Boys Are: Merck, Gardasil And HPV Silverman wrote “Last year, Gardasil sales slowed considerably, from $1.4 billion in 2008 to $988 million, although for the first half of this year, revenue climbed about 10 percent, to $490 million, from a year earlier. Besides controversy, cost has also been a factor - Gardasil costs about $360 for a three-course dose. The drug maker will welcome the increased sales that come with the ACIP recommendation, given that 13,000 jobs are in the process of being eliminated. In fact, Merck employees in numerous locations this week are being notified of pending layoffs.” 8. >One could speculate that Merck’s marketing department is about be laid off since their ‘One Less Girl to Get Cervical Cancer’ campaign has been countered with a successful ‘One More Girl Adversely Injured’ campaign – conducted by vaccine safety advocates, professional experts and medical professionals who are beginning to speak out about the ‘dangerously completely useless at preventing cervical cancer’ vaccine. 9.

Let us not forget that the National Cancer Institute has not even linked a causal relationship between the human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. 10.

Big Pharma and the government have never launched such an egregious campaign on the citizens of the United States. I believe it is time to launch an ‘Occupy Pharma’ campaign and join the tens of millions of people who now belong to the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ campaign to alert more people to the dangerous covert efforts of the pharmaceutical to use fear tactics for compliance. Their actions are despicable and illegal. Big Pharma and the government need to be held accountable for fraud and deception regarding the safety and efficacy of Gardasil.

Source:

Continue reading "It's Time to Occupy Pharma: Government Blames Parents for Low Gardasil Vaccine Uptake & Expands Routine Use for Boys" »


Action Alert: Two Doctors To Avoid for Autism Treatment in PA

BewareFrom our friends at Autism Action Network:  In a recent article in the Scranton Times Tribune two physicians who treat autism at the Geisinger Health System, Thomas Challman and David Ledbetter, expressed some ideas that might give pause to anyone looking for a doctor to treat a family member with autism.

According to the article the two said:

  • There has been no increase in the prevalence of autism
  • Autism is primarily caused by genetics
  • Vaccines have nothing to do with autism

Challman and Ledbetter are entitled to their opinions, but prospective patients are also entitled to select physicians based on those opinions.

You can read the article for yourself here:

http://thetimes-tribune.com/lifestyles-people/cdc-autism-...

And check out Anne Dachel’s excellent autism media blog that brought the article to our attention: annedachel.com

Please share this email with friends and family and post to Facebook and other social networks. If you support the work of the Autism Action Network, please consider making a donation at AutismActionNetwork/Donate


Emotionally Invested

Dark Woods Moonlight

By Cathy Jameson

A lump the size of Texas fills my throat as I think about the last six days of events:  a little boy in Virginia went missing on Sunday of last weekend.  He’s eight-years old, non-verbal and has autism.  Five nights. Six days.  No food.  Rain.  The dark of night.  Dropping temperatures.  Alone. 

I watched the story unfold from my computer screen.  Each day this week I sat and read one terrifying internet news story and then another about Robbie Wood, Jr.  By Thursday I was beyond scared for this little boy.  I didn’t want to check the news that morning fearing the worst possible outcome, but felt I had to.  Robbie, a little boy the same age as my son, was still out there.  A little boy who can’t cry for help was missing.  A little boy who needs to be found was still lost, far from home and in a strange place all alone. 

Every time I thought of the horrible what ifs that Robbie might run into, a lump formed in my throat.  I had to physically shake my head to make it go away.  Tears started, but I couldn’t stop them.  Over the week, one day turned into another with no sign of Robbie.  I honestly started to lose hope.  I went back to read the updates Thursday morning and discovered that Robbie still hadn’t been found.  Status updates continued to be shared with prayer requests in the hopes that more help and awareness of the situation would draw volunteers to help bring Robbie home safely. 

Prayers were said.  Hope stayed alive.  More and more volunteers answered the plea to help find Robbie.  Every day citizens turned into quickly trained search and rescue team members.  News snippets showed those people standing in long lines in the cold ready to offer whatever assistance they could.  They got the latest briefing and search locations and were sent out into the woods where we all hoped Robbie would still be alive. 

A nightmare I fear I have for my own son turn into real-life terror for another boy.  After I read the news updates on Thursday morning I decided I couldn’t sit at home and just pray. Of course prayer is very powerful, and I wasn’t going to stop saying any.  I’m a firm believer in God’s everyday miracles, but I felt I had to do more.  I called the sheriff’s office in Hanover County and asked what I could do to help. I said I was just a Mom, but I’ve got a kid like Robbie—I could offer some autism advice, bring some food, help man the volunteer tables.  Give me something to do. I can’t sit here any longer.  I got patched through to two other departments, gratefully thanked for making the call and then got directions to the central location where volunteers were gathering.

The fire department that was collecting food donations gave me the go ahead to come by and drop off groceries.  I packed three bags of food and raced out the door.  One bag was full of Ronan’s gluten-free snacks and organic fruit.  I wanted to do this because I thought if other families like mine who have food restrictions also answered the call to bring more support, having alternative food choices would be helpful.  When I arrived to the fire department I saw that other people had made generous donations and left hopeful well wishes to the professionals in charge. 

I didn’t want to just drop off the groceries and go home though.  I ached to be of more help.  Only one other citizen was at the fire department while several state police officers, EMTs, first responders and fire department personnel were working.  I thought maybe I could share some info on autism awareness or sensory issues to the guys at the station.  I wanted to learn what they knew of Robbie’s potential behaviors and what how they would approach a child like Robbie if they were the ones to be his rescuer.   I wondered what they knew of the Project Lifesaver program available in their county and in others in the surrounding area.  I needed to hear their answers because in the back of my mind, as much as I don’t want to think about the thought of losing a child to wandering, it is a real fear of mine because my son has wandered before.

Continue reading "Emotionally Invested " »


Petula Dvorak’s Symphony of Pharmaceutical Lies

Petula DvorakBy Jake Crosby

 My Great-Grandmother Dvorak liked to say we’re related to the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, but I seriously hope I am not related to the pharma-influenced Petula Dvorak, who writes a column for The Washington Post. She recently wrote a very unoriginal piece bashing Dr. Andrew Wakefield and alleging the reason people support him is because they are won over by Jenny McCarthy’s sexiness:

“That woman. With the swinging blond hair and spray tan. People listened to her. They still listen to her,”

Actually, they listened to the former chief science advisor for the UK’s Department of Health, Dr. Peter Fletcher, who said:

"There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves."

People also listen to the US Government, which compensated many cases of children who developed autism as a result of their vaccinations. People listened to the previously suppressed  CDC data showing mercury in vaccines multiplied the risk of autism. People listened to the studies showing vaccine-strain measles in the  guts, blood and cerebrospinal fluid of children with autism. People listened to the scandal in Denmark where the team led by indicted fraudster Poul Thorsen used fudged statistics to argue that autism continued to rise after thimerosal was removed when just the opposite was the case. People listened to the fact that most of the tobacco science Dvorak invokes but probably only knows about through oft-repeated talking points actually found relationships between vaccines and autism but those findings were suppressed. People also listen to the side effects listed on vaccine package inserts. And finally, people listened to the increasing number of parents who reported eerily similar stories of their children regressing into autism following their vaccinations. Petula Dvorak didn’t listen to any of this; I guess she doesn’t have a very good ear.

She is a metro reporter who specializes in parenting issues and has also won praise from Lisa Belkin – the former writer of the “motherlode” blog for the ethically bankrupt and pharma-directed newspaper called The New York Times

Belkin once loaned her blog out to a member of Alison Singer's pharma front group that pretends to be an autism charity, resulting in another long, bitter and obsessive screed against Jenny McCarthy, similar to Dvorak’s recent piece.

Belkin is also colleagues with a reporter named Susan Dominus - who added to the chorus of lies about Dr. Andrew Wakefield by writing a similar story for The New York Times Magazine earlier this year suggesting he wins support by engaging in some covert form of mind control. Dominus’ article was moderated by Belkin’s blog, which censored many critical comments (I’ve never seen a comment of mine successfully uploaded to The New York Times website – and I don’t think I ever will). Susan Dominus previously wrote a puff piece for Seth Mnookin's Uncle Bob.

Continue reading "Petula Dvorak’s Symphony of Pharmaceutical Lies" »


27th International Neurotoxicology Conference: Environmentally Triggered Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Focus on Endocrine Disruption and Sex Differences in Autism, ADHD, and Schizophrenia

Webcast2LIVE WEBCAST ON 10/31 SEE BELOW

Environmentally Triggered Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Focus on Endocrine Disruption and Sex Differences in Autism, ADHD, and Schizophrenia

October 30 – November 2, 2011 Research Triangle Park, NC

The Office of Autism Research Coordination is pleased to be a co-sponsor of the 27th International Neurotoxicology Conference: Environmentally Triggered Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Focus on Endocrine Disruption and Sex Differences in Autism, ADHD, and Schizophrenia, and will be offering a free live public webcast of Day 2 of the conference (Monday, October 31, 2011), which will be focused on autism. 

Continue reading "27th International Neurotoxicology Conference: Environmentally Triggered Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Focus on Endocrine Disruption and Sex Differences in Autism, ADHD, and Schizophrenia" »


XMRV (HGRV) is Not Dead - The Rituximab Story

Rituximab-rituxan-715856By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

I think that we have not cared for people with ME (myalgic encephelomyelitis, otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome) to a great enough extent.  I think it is correct to say that we have not established proper health care services for these people, and I regret that." - Apology from the Norwegian Directorate of Health on publication of a study showing that the cancer drug rituximab is effective in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/ME.

What was reason for this unprecedented apology from the public health authorities in Norway?

It was the publication of a study which showed that the drug rituximab improved the health of 10 of 15 patients (67%) with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME and that 2 of the 15 patients given the drug staged a complete recovery from their condition.  You can read about the study in Medscape.

Why is this important to the autism community?

It's important because chronic fatigue syndrome/ME and autism share many common clinical indicators, including immune disregulation, increased oxidative stress, heavy metal retention, co-infection by other pathogens, and mitichondrial insufficiency.  What is effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome/ME may end up having some relevance to treatments for autism.  I have written before about my daughter with autism having tested positive for XMRV.  You can read my previous article for background on XMRV.

The researchers I have spoken with about XMRV and autism have told me their suspicion that the retrovirus likes to enter B cells which have the CD20 receptor.  They also suspect that it isn't the retrovirus itself which is doing the harm, but the toxins or auto-antibodies which are produced in response to the retrovirus.  Rituximab specifically targets those B cells which have the CD20 receptor.  It is a very targeted type of chemotherapy, although it is not without significant risks.

B cells are part of the immune system, but when they go haywire they may cause cancer, or diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.  Rituximab is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and many types of lymphoma.

The question of why rituximab's depletion of B cells helps those with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME remains unexplained.  The researchers specifically noted they had searched for XMRV and not found evidence of its presence, but that touches on the greater issue of whether the currently validated test for XMRV is accurate.

Continue reading "XMRV (HGRV) is Not Dead - The Rituximab Story" »


Richard Halvorsen -- a Voice of Reason on Vaccination

RationalEditor's Note -- John Stone recently posted on a British Society for Ecological Medicine conference titled The Health Hazards of Disease Prevention. I took a look and found a presentation by Dr. Richard Halvorsen to be particularly interesting. He is that rarity - a practicing doctor in Britain who does administer vaccines -- in fact, he operates a vaccine clinic called BabyJabs -- but does not deny the reality of vaccine damage. He believes we're taking unnecessary risks with children's health -- provoking allergies and other problems with the so-many-so-soon mantra of the medical industry. It's perfectly possible to prevent life-threatening diseases without causing chronic conditions, he says.

Sample comment: "It is unnecessary to give the three vaccines contained in the triple MMR vaccine together. These can quite easily be given in separate single vaccines. However the case for vaccinating against mumps is extremely weak as mumps is nearly always a mild and harmless illness. Many parents are concerned about the risk of infertility in boys; this is an extremely rare complication of mumps. Rubella is a relatively harmless illness except in pregnant women who are not immune; for this reason it could be argued that rubella vaccination is unnecessary in boys.

Is it still necessary to give polio vaccine to those who live in countries where there have been no cases for over 20 years?" Check it out HERE --D.O.


"Minute" Amount of Mercury in Millions of Vaccines Adds Up in Environment

ThimerosalOur friend Michael Wagnitz submitted this letter to the editor on environmental mercury and a treaty ban. He is a Senior Chemist from Madison, Wi. He has over 30 years of experience analyzing materials for Mercury, Lead and other heavy metal contamination.

Dear Editor: The article, “Talk of treaty ban on mercury (in vaccines) concerns scientists” (Oct. 21) is mind-boggling. What kind of scientists are they talking about? In the article, the head of the chemicals branch at the United Nations Environment Program says, “The amount of mercury in vaccines is so minute it doesn’t threaten the environment.” This statement couldn’t be further from the truth.
 
The concentration of mercury added to multi-dose vaccine vials is 50,000 micrograms per liter (ug/l). According to the EPA, any liquid that contains more than 200 ug/l mercury needs to be managed as hazardous waste (based on toxicity characteristics). Who in their right mind would refer to the amount of mercury in vaccines as “minute”? What is wrong with these people (those quoted in the article)?
 
Michael Wagnitz
 
Madison

Read and share HERE.


Action Alert: Never Leave Your Child Alone with an MD or Nurse in CA

Action alertIn California Never Leave a Minor Alone with an MD

The Autism Action Network is advising all parents in California to never leave children unsupervised in the presence of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, nurse practitioner or other medical personal permitted to administer vaccines. (Click the AAN link above to FB and Tweet this alert.)

In the wake of Governor Jerry Brown signing Assembly Bill 499, healthcare workers can give minors vaccines for sexually-transmitted diseases, including shots for HPV and hepatitis b, without a parent’s knowledge or consent. And California’s medical industry isn’t wasting any time in taking advantage of this expansion of the increasing lucrative vaccine business. 

A shocking report has come out this week of an 11-year old boy in San Diego was given an HPV shot during an visit to the office of Sandra Perez, MD, in National City without apparently getting either permission of the child or the child’s guardian. 

Follow this link for a news report from 10News ABC San Diego:

Even under the new law an eleven year-old is too young to receive the HPV, which may constitute medical battery under California Law. And the boy’s family has filed a complaint with the California Medical Board.

Relationships between many parents and physicians are already under stress. If HMO and insurance company policies, too cozy relationships with drug sales people, and indifference to information that questions medical orthodoxy weren’t  already straining relationships between parents and healthcare workers, now we have to worry about them actively trying to interfere with our management of our children’s healthcare and keeping knowledge of  their actions from us.  But the obvious conclusion, unfortunately, from these developments in California is simply to never let your child out of your slight while in a doctor’s office.


Vaccines: Catalyst for the AIDS Epidemic

Unthinkable

Editor's Note: Last week I wrote about a new book -- favorably discussed in The New York Times and elsewhere -- about the origin of AIDS. It contains an explosive claim that has not really gotten the attention it deserves -- that mass injection campaigns in Africa beginning in the 1920s "amplified" the spread of the virus from a handful of hunters into a worldwide epidemic. A blogger called EMFguy has written about this at length and his post is well worth reading. There is going to be much more to say about this and its implications for some of the basic tenets of mainstream medical interventions. "New research on the origins of AIDS suggests vaccines may be the villain of this horrific piece of history. Is HIV-AIDS a self-inflicted epidemic? Without vaccines -- and outsiders' insatiable appetite for interventions in Africa -- the AIDS epidemic might never have happened. “The Origins of AIDS” is a new book by Dr. Jacques Pépin, an infectious disease specialist who worked in Africa in the early ‘80s."

Read Vaccines Catalyst for the AIDS Epidemic HERE.


READY. SET. HOPE! National Autism Association Conference in St. Pete Beach.

November 10 - 13 at St. Pete Beach. Register HERE.

"I returned home with renewed hope, and feeling like I'd had a vacation!"

                                               - NAC attendee

Relaxing, informative, hopeful, casual, laid-back, rejuvenating, affordable, tropical, FUN...are we talking about a conference?  Absolutely!

If you're an autism parent, this conference is for YOU!  The NAC features the world's leading experts on autism in a relaxed, environmentally-friendly tropical resort setting.  The schedule is designed to keep you from running frantically from one presentation to another - take some time to dip your toes in the pool or do some shopping in the exhibit hall.  Sleep in! - There's nothing on your agenda before 9 am!  The on-site spa will give you a chance to pamper yourself - can you even remember what that's like?  The intimate atmosphere allows opportunities to network with speakers, community leaders, fellow parents and friends.  FREE food items and beverages will be available in our exhibit hall throughout the conference to help keep your expenses down.  Use the money you save to get a massage, or have cocktails by the pool!  This is YOUR conference, don't miss it!

TradeWinds has been designated an "Autism Friendly" Resort!

Print a copy of the TradeWinds Social Story to prepare your child for his/her trip! Print Social Story

NAA Members - Bring a friend and save! 
When you register to attend the full conference, you can choose to purchase a companion pass for just $100!  Bring your spouse, your Mom, your best friend, your child's therapist - you get the picture!  And be sure to tell them to pack their flip-flops!

 


60 Minutes Glosses Over the Lifetime Reality of Autism

La La Land Postcard
By Anne Dachel

CBS used to give us the most worthwhile coverage of autism.    Sharyl Attkisson bravely presented reports on the shoddy oversight given to vaccine safety, the children damaged by an out-of-control vaccine schedule, and the conflicts of interest of those who deny that vaccines are behind the epidemic of autism.

Now it seems CBS is determined to downplay the autism disaster.  Vaccines are no longer the issue.  These clips from recent 60 Minutes stories on autism make it clear that CBS isn’t interested in what is causing autism.  We only need to accept an autism diagnosis in a child and struggle on the best we can.  Autism happens—just hope your child is another Temple Grandin.

Lesley Stahl did several interviews about autism.  One was with Neuroscientist Walt Schneider and one was with Grandin, an outstanding woman with high-functioning autism. (HERE)

Dr. Schneider described a brain image of Temple Grandin’s brain as “interesting” and “a cool opportunity” to understand the brain better.

Lesley Stahl: “Do you see the day when you’ll be able to say to a parent, ‘Your child will never speak …so don’t put all your energy into trying to teach them this.  Put it into other ways for this child to communicate.’”

Schneider: “I see a day when we’ll be able to say to a parent that there are multiple subtypes of autism. Your child looks like this subtype.  And in other individuals of this subtype, they did or did not acquire language through various methods.  That would be information that would help these parents who are desperately trying to find something that works, to perhaps, make a better first choice of which method.”

Stahl: “I wonder if you did have an autistic child, who had a brain like that, and showed it to a parent, if the parent would be almost relieved.”

Schneider: “When you have a serious disorder, the parents or the family have to come to understand it.  You’ll find in communities people want to say, ‘Well what really went wrong? Can you show me what’s different?  What’s wrong?’  Once you can see a pattern, then you can go through the grieving process, understanding that it’s not typical.  And what you have to work with.”

Continue reading "60 Minutes Glosses Over the Lifetime Reality of Autism" »


Grandmother Protests Gardasil Dosed on CA Boy Without Parental Consent Under AB499

Adriana Gamondes GardasilReaders have likely heard that CDC's ACIP  is recommending HPV (Gardasil from Merck) vaccination for 11 and 12 year old boys. And a study now says HPV might be related to heart disease. Interesting timing, yes? You might recall that the former head of the CDC now runs the vaccine division for Merck. Then there's this story out of CA. 

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. --
A San Diego grandmother told 10News on Tuesday that she is outraged after she says her 11-year-old grandson was given a vaccine for human papillomavirus -- or HPV -- without parental approval.

Read the full story at 10News.com.

How many families will be shocked to learn that their children have been legally vaccinated without consent since AB499 passed in California?  Looks like we'll need to ask Adriana to create a boy version of this artwork. Perhaps holding a little league baseball bat with the Gardasil logo.  Let's hope this youngster in CA is OK. today, and through out his reproductive life.


Surviving Stoplight Stares

Stop1By Donna Laken

There we were, my son and I, minding our own business, waiting patiently for the traffic light to turn from red to green.  It was a beautiful, sunny fall morning and I was feeling extremely grateful that John was not crying or upset, as he often is, on our drive toward his autism school.  He was calm, I was calm, and we were both lost in thought as we gazed at the view of downtown from our car windows.  I glanced to my right at a large white SUV and noticed that the driver, a middle-aged mom like myself, was pointing at my son and laughing.  Then I watched her lips move as she said something to the little girl, maybe nine years old - presumably her daughter - sitting next to her in the passenger's seat.  The daughter then practically crawled onto her mother's lap in order to get a better view.  There they were, two faces in the window, both laughing and pointing at John.  I quickly maneuvered the rearview mirror in order to get a better look at him in the backseat, thinking to myself, What? Is he suddenly naked? Is he standing on his head? Is his hair on fire?  Nope, none of those things.  Rather, John was simply sitting peacefully, looking intently outside his window (thankfully in the other direction); he held both hands up near the sides of his face with his fingers splayed, and he was rocking slightly back and forth. Was it funny?  Not at all.  Was it different?  Well, yeah, I guess maybe it was.

I am, by nature, notoriously slow to anger.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, perhaps far more frequently than I should.  So as the light changed and the SUV pulled away, I was actually more baffled than anything else. (It didn't help that I hadn't yet maxed out my caffeine intake for the day.)  But the more I thought about it, the madder - and sadder - I got.  I tried to recreate in my mind the conversation that would have had to have taken place inside that white SUV.  Did the mother actually say to the little girl, "Oh honey, look, you've gotta see this!  Look what this kid is doing!  There has to be something really wrong with him!"  Could a conversation like that have actually taken place in this day and age?  Obviously, I have no idea.  But I have a hard time conjuring up what else might have been discussed in order to bring about the behavior that I know I saw.

So by that afternoon, after a lot of thinking (and a whole lot more coffee), I was pretty enraged and disgusted with the SUV mom.  I even had a few of those George Costanza moments, you know the Seinfeld episode in which George doesn't think of an appropriate comeback until far too long after the fact (as in his famous, "The jerk store called...they're running out of you!").  The message I wanted to go back and tell that woman was twofold: One, if you've been a parent for more than a year or two, you ought to be familiar with the concept of the 'teaching moment' - how nearly every moment with a child is a teaching moment, and lady, you just really blew it; in case you've missed the news over the past few years, children as young as ten and eleven are killing themselves as a result of being mocked and ridiculed and bullied by other kids. And what you just did at that stoplight - in essence, invite and encourage your own child to laugh and make fun of another child who appears different - is exactly what kids around the country are doing to other kids, and those emotionally traumatized kids quite often go on to commit suicide.  Suicide, in ten and eleven year olds.  Do you really want to be a party to that?  Is that really what you want to teach your child?

Continue reading "Surviving Stoplight Stares" »


Best of Age of Autism: Paul Offit and the Milgram Experiment

Obedience Managing Editor's Note: John Stone wrote this post in 2010.

By John Stone
 
Question: "How many vaccines is it safe for a pediatrician to give a two month old infant?" 
Answer: "It depends how much they are getting paid."
 An old joke

The Milgram experiment has long passed into modern folklore. In 1961 a 28 year-old psychologist at Yale, Stanley Milgram, devised an experiment to test the preparedness of ordinary citizens to co-operate in performing inhuman acts.



In the experiment volunteers were induced (as they believed at the time) into subjecting another party to ever larger doses of electricity:

“The subjects believed they were part of an experiment supposedly dealing with the relationship between punishment and learning. An experimenter—who used no coercive powers beyond a stern aura of mechanical and vacant-eyed efficiency—instructed participants to shock a learner by pressing a lever on a machine each time the learner made a mistake on a word-matching task. Each subsequent error led to an increase in the intensity of the shock in 15-volt increments, from 15 to 450 volts.

“In actuality, the shock box was a well-crafted prop and the learner an actor who did not actually get shocked. The result: A majority of the subjects continued to obey to the end—believing they were delivering 450 volt shocks—simply because the experimenter commanded them to. Although subjects were told about the deception afterward, the experience was a very real and powerful one for them during the laboratory hour itself
.” (See Psychology Today HERE)

65% of participants complied with the experiment to the bitter end. Milgram subsequently explained the experiment:

Continue reading "Best of Age of Autism: Paul Offit and the Milgram Experiment" »


A Request To Readers

FamilyHi, friends. We have a unique situation whereby we're asking those readers who are able -- to pay it forward to a family we all know (and love).  If you can make a donation of any amount via our PayPal button (on the right hand side of the site) and type FAMILY after clicking the comments box, the money sent between today and Thursday will go toward a legal fund that will help the entire community in the long run. In order to respect the family's privacy, we can not tell you much more. But please know, we would never post a request like this without careful consideration. We are the Age of Autism family, we appreciate your trust in us, and if you can help with any amount financially or simply with good thoughts and a prayer or two, we thank you. Please type FAMILY in the comments box on the Pay Pal page. If you can't find the box, don't worry!  We're using all donations for this fund this week. Thank you. KS


Best of Age of Autism: Paul Offit’s Message: CDC, FDA, NIH, IOM, AAP, WHO and Merck Engaged in Pseudoscience

Finger-pointing2 Managing Editor's Note: Dr. Offit has been appointed to the IOM.

By Jake Crosby

Did Age of Autism move the goalposts? Paul Offit says yes, but statements from the CDC, FDA, NIH, IOM, AAP, WHO and even Merck say otherwise.
In the PBS documentary Frontline, responding to concerns about vaccine-related factors in the etiology of autism other than just thimerosal or the MMR vaccine, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit said:

“So now this is classic for pseudoscience, is you just keep moving the goalpost. So now the goalpost is, no, we didn't mean actually MMR caused autism or thimerosal caused autism”

First of all, we continue to mean that the MMR and thimerosal clearly do cause autism as actual science shows - even if routinely denied by the tobacco science Offit regularly cites.

Secondly, his dismissal of any further criticisms of vaccines beyond these two factors as “pseudoscience” conflicts with the expressed concerns of many high-ranking members of public health and the pharmaceutical industry. They voiced opinions that other factors such as aluminum and receiving too many vaccines at once may cause autism and related disorders.

At the secret Simpsonwood meeting 10 years ago, Dr. Richard Johnston - a pediatric immunologist funded by SmithKline Beecham - said (on page 20):

“Aluminum and mercury are often simultaneously administered to infants, both at the same site and at different sites.

Continue reading "Best of Age of Autism: Paul Offit’s Message: CDC, FDA, NIH, IOM, AAP, WHO and Merck Engaged in Pseudoscience " »


Age of Autism Science Summary lteration of plasma glutamate and glutamine levels in children with high-functioning autism.

Science post imagePLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25340. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Alteration of plasma glutamate and glutamine levels in children with high-functioning autism.

Shimmura C, Suda S, Tsuchiya KJ, Hashimoto K, Ohno K, Matsuzaki H, Iwata K, Matsumoto K, Wakuda T, Kameno Y, Suzuki K, Tsujii M, Nakamura K, Takei N, Mori N.

Source

Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It has recently been hypothesized that hyperglutamatergia in the brain is involved in the pathophysiology of autism. However, there is no conclusive evidence of the validity of this hypothesis. As peripheral glutamate/glutamine levels have been reported to be correlated with those of the central nervous system, the authors examined whether the levels of 25 amino acids, including glutamate and glutamine, in the platelet-poor plasma of drug-naïve, male children with high-functioning autism (HFA) would be altered compared with those of normal controls.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Plasma levels of 25 amino acids in male children (N = 23) with HFA and normally developed healthy male controls (N = 22) were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography. Multiple testing was allowed for in the analyses. Compared with the normal control group, the HFA group had higher levels of plasma glutamate and lower levels of plasma glutamine. No significant group difference was found in the remaining 23 amino acids. The effect size (Cohen's d) for glutamate and glutamine was large: 1.13 and 1.36, respectively. Using discriminant analysis with logistic regression, the two values of plasma glutamate and glutamine were shown to well-differentiate the HFA group from the control group; the rate of correct classification was 91%.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The present study suggests that plasma glutamate and glutamine levels can serve as a diagnostic tool for the early detection of autism, especially normal IQ autism. These findings indicate that glutamatergic abnormalities in the brain may be associated with the pathobiology of autism.

PMCID: PMC3187770

Free Article

PMID:

21998651

[PubMed - in process]


Study on Facial Structure and Autism

Black and white faceManaging Editor's Note: New study looks at facial features and autism. Read more at ThirdAge.com.

The origins of autism may be better understood by kids’ facial features, according to a new study published in the Oct. 14 issue of Molecular Autism.

One out of every 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People with an ASD may experience difficulties with communication, intelligence, behavior or social interaction, according to WebMD.

Children with autism have noticeable differences in facial characteristics than normally developing children, researchers noted.

"There is no clear answer about whether autism is caused by genetics or by environmental influences," study author Dr. Kristina Aldridge, assistant professor of anatomy at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said in a written statement, CBS News reports."If we can identify when these facial changes occur, we could pinpoint when autism may begin to develop in a child."

Facial features in 64 boys with autism were compared with faces of 41 typically developing boys, all 8-12 years old, with a 3-D camera system. After mapping out 17 points on faces, the researchers discovered considerable differences between the two groups.

According to the study, the autistic children had wider eyes, and a "broader upper face," compared with typically developing children.


Hide and Seek

Hide_and_seekBy Cathy Jameson

Ronan is usually aloof (oh, how I hate that word).  He tends to veer away from the natural conversation and flow of activity our household produces.  It’s always painful to watch Ronan be more settled into his own activity than with the games his siblings play.  Those sibs have loads more energy and volume than Ronan has.  When they pile in a room it’s a cue for Ronan to scamper away.  For years I’ve longed for my children to all play together.  My kids hope for this, too.  My seven-year old son prays daily for Ronan because he wants to share his LEGOs with his brother.   Ronan is more content to go to the kitchen to check out what’s in the snack cabinet instead of enjoying the creations little bro makes. 

Another place that captivates Ronan is his bedroom where a myriad of well-loved books and puzzles await him.  Some books are dog-eared, but I dare not give them away.  Ronan knows the content by heart, skipping quickly from one page to the next.  He points to the pictures and signs what he sees.  If Ronan has a sign for a word, he will show you that sign until you acknowledge the word he’s pointing to.  Every now and then I do see Ronan peek in his brother and sisters’ rooms, but it’s only for a brief moment to rifle through something, not to play meaningfully with the toys they have.

I’ve noticed in just the last few weeks though that Ronan seems to be having a growth spurt.  I don’t mean buy-new-pants-because-I-can-see-the-tops-of-your-socks kind of growth spurt.  I am talking about a cognitive spurt of gains.  Ronan is going through some kind of awakening, and it’s much greater than past awakenings he’s had.  I noticed this change toward the end of the summer when we started a new therapy.  I am pretty sure I can couple the intensity of that program and with some biomedical intervention introduced just a few weeks later.  Ronan is a much more aware child.  He’s more engaged emotionally.  He actually seems happier.  This child, who used to act like a stranger toward me, is now purposefully seeking me out. 

This seeking Ronan is doing isn’t just for the basics (food, drink, turn the TV on or change the movie).  Ronan is bringing me books to look at with him.  He takes my finger and hand-over-hand has me pointing to the words on the page.  If I say the wrong word on purpose (because that’s what a former teacher turned Mommy does) Ronan makes me go back to the word to try again.  If I skip over labeling a picture, he draws my finger over to it again.  The random taps he used to do all over the page when I’d say, “Point to the word___,” or “Show me where the picture of the cat is,” are now specifically and correctly directed to each item.  I know Ronan can read, but he started to hide that skill from me awhile back.  He had even refused to make contact with me during my attempts to work with him.

Hopefully this recent breakthrough Ronan is experiencing is going to keep a forward momentum.  Ronan has had years of therapy with some stellar therapists and teachers.  He’s had to work harder than any of my other children.  It would be so rewarding for him to not have to work as hard as he has to in order to find those hidden skills I know he has.  It’s not just cognitive gains and an increase in Ronan’s awareness that I am sensing, but this week I’m also seeing a level of comfort.  He isn’t so skittish.   He isn’t pulling away when I try to get him dressed.  Ronan’s asking me for belly zerberts.  We’ve even gotten to snuggle on the couch!  Twice!  Getting in and out of the car is still a struggle, but I can see a glimmer of mischief in Ronan’s eyes when he reverts back to that behavior choice.  I’m convinced higher level thinking is needed to attempt to outsmart the Mommy when he refuses to cooperate.  I should be frustrated about that defiance, but knowing how to be a sneaky little pickle secretly makes me proud. 

The biggest step Ronan and I have taken together this week is some rough and tumble playtime I usually don’t do with him.  I wanted to try that this week in particular because my husband was away on a business trip--I needed to fill the void of some of the evening fun “boy” playtime Ronan enjoys.  I’ve tried rough and tumble play with Ronan in the past with little success.  It’s only been on and off, mostly off, that Ronan has asked for this type of play from me.  He figures out very quickly that I’m not a good playmate.  My husband is more willing and able to roll around on the floor bouncing children off the couch by swinging little people around until they all plop on a pillow howling in sheer delight.  Ronan has the most infectious laugh that is so enjoyable.  He almost gives himself hiccups when he gets this type of Daddy time.  I’m usually watching the two of them as they get this testosterone fix of fun witnessing pure fatherly love in action.  I’m sure I could jump right in and tickle the laughs right out of Ronan, but I see that this type of bonding is very important for father and son.  Why then did I get a teeny bit jealous a few weeks ago when I tried to illicit a similar response from Ronan?  It’s because I got rejected by him instead. 

Continue reading "Hide and Seek" »


Kim Stagliano on The Organic View with June Stoyer

Retro pink radioJune Stoyer of The Organic View on BlogTalk radio interviewed me last Monday for a full hour. We discussed the abuse Bella went through on the bus and how that story ends - as if it ever does, vaccination, finding joy even in dark moments and much more.  We laughed a lot too.  Many thanks to June for the thoughtful questions. Enjoy.  KIM

 

Listen to internet radio with The Organic View on Blog Talk Radio

Best of Age of Autism: Paul Offit and the Original Sin

Snow fieldManaging Editor's Note: JB wrote this post last January. We're running it as a follow up to Dr. Offit having been appointed to the IOM. 

By J.B. Handley

OK, let me be clear: I think Paul Offit is a blowhard liar, a vaccine profiteer and apologist, and every time he opens his mouth he disrespects my son. When the final chapter is finally written on this man-made autism epidemic, I will do everything within my power to ensure that Offit is remembered by history as one of the most sinister, dishonest, well-funded talking heads pharma ever produced, and that his efforts served to afflict so many children with autism who may otherwise have avoided it.

In one of the most absurd snowjobs ever put on the media, Offit, a doctor who has never seen a patient with autism, never treated autism, and never published a study about autism, is somehow considered to be an expert on autism. Given his status as a multi-millionaire vaccine patent holder who has had much of his career supported by Merck, this isn’t just absurd, it’s highway robbery, and yet the media persists, and rarely even mentions Offit’s Mount Everest-sized pile of conflicts.

In the latest example of Offit’s dishonesty, AOL recently published a two-person interview HERE with Offit and Geri Dawson, chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks.

In this interview, Offit commits what I consider to be the “Original Sin” of Autism, and something that should be condemned by every autism organization in the country, including Autism Speaks. To quote Paul Offit:

“It's not an actual epidemic. In the mid-1990s, the definition of autism was broadened to what is now called autism spectrum disorder. Much milder parts of the spectrum -- problems with speech, social interaction -- were brought into the spectrum. We also have more awareness, so we see it more often. And there is a financial impetus to include children in the wider definition so that their treatment will be covered by insurance. People say if you took the current criteria and went back 50 years, you'd see about as many children with autism then.”

Continue reading "Best of Age of Autism: Paul Offit and the Original Sin" »


Will the Real Doctors and Journalists Please Stand Up?

Truth_bigBy Lisa Goes

On November 28, 2011, my son's physician, Dr. Anju Usman, will appear before a judge from the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board to schedule a hearing for crimes unknown.  You can read the latest in a string of strange and accusatory articles that detail a father's quest to punish his ex wife by destroying Dr.Usman and denying the origin of his son's illness, at The Trib here.

Like most stories about autism that make the headlines, you'll soon gather this sensationalized drama is not about Dr. Usman at all.  It's about Mr. Conan and his personal problems. It is about our medical community's inability to embrace any departure from the lucrative foundation of group think, and the media's financial need to maintain an archaic and incomplete belief system whose origins resemble religious fanaticism more than scientific research.  Lucky for Mr. Conan, those in power have a vested interest in keeping the work and research of Dr. Usman and her colleagues as far away from the general population as possible.  She and her contemporaries are starting to have a tragic effect on the bottom line. If you are wondering what that elusive bottom line is, and you have been indoctrinated into the well-you-know-they-don't-really-make-any-money-off vaccines-anyway school of thought, let's just put that to bed right now.   Take a good long look. Couple that pure profit with unchecked legislative freedom and unethical business practices and you have what is known as the perfect crime.  Which is what it is.  A CRIME.  Because these folks, who are ethically appalled that my doctor may give your child an enzyme with some vitamin A, do not pay their taxes, (HERE). Mr. Conan is nothing more than an angry man with an ax to grind who is in the right place at the right time.  

Whew.  Now that we've got those pesky facts out of the way (something my well-paid journalist contemporaries fail to check) I would like to get to the heart of the matter. The loss of the American media.  Where'd they go? Anybody know? Our reporters, our chase that story/just the facts Lois Lanes have all retired to Boca and they've been replaced with dictation-takers.  Play it safe, establishment-loving, approval-craving dictation-takers.  My friends and I, busy concerned moms with incredibly sick kids, we are the new media. If that seems like a bold assertion for a suburban housewife to make it might behoove you to know that real reporting is not all that glamorous. Mostly because of all the annoying, necessary fact checking.  For instance, how do you think I got access to all the links I just provided for you?  Do you think I called the CDC and they said, "Why Mrs. Goes, we would be delighted to sit down with you and talk about all our secret and lucrative deals with pharma.  Oh, I can hear the little ones in the background. You must be terribly busy.  Tell us, when is a good time for you? We'll make ourselves available."  No, that's how it works for the dictation takers. Read, Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby, if you'd like to know how the government treats concerned parents who attempt to educate themselves about westernized preventative medicine.  God, what I would have given to have had someone gift me with that eye-opening chronicle of Sally Bernard et al., before the birth of our precious Noah.  The discovery process in the medical world of immune system and neurological damage is like waking up each new day to a sucker punch. It's not autism at all.  At...all.  

Continue reading "Will the Real Doctors and Journalists Please Stand Up? " »


Age of Autism Science Source: Research proposes common link between autism, diabetes

Science post imageStudy implicates hyperinsulinemia in increased incidence of autism

HOUSTON -- (Oct. 19, 2011) -- A review of the genetic and biochemical abnormalities associated with autism reveals a possible link between the widely diagnosed neurological disorder and Type 2 diabetes, another medical disorder on the rise in recent decades.

"It appears that both Type 2 diabetes and autism have a common underlying mechanism -- impaired glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia," said Rice University biochemist Michael Stern, author of the opinion paper, which appears online in this month's issue of Frontiers in Cellular Endocrinology.

Hyperinsulinemia, often a precursor to insulin resistance, is a condition characterized by excess levels of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin resistance is often associated with both obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

"It will be very easy for clinicians to test my hypothesis," said Stern, professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice. "They could do this by putting autistic children on low-carbohydrate diets that minimize insulin secretion and see if their symptoms improve."

Stern said the new finding also suggests that glucose tolerance in pregnant women may need to be addressed more seriously than it is now.

Stern said he first realized there could be a common link between Type 2 diabetes and autism a few years ago, but he assumed someone else had already thought of the idea.

Stern's lab, which is located at Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative, specializes in investigating the genetic interactions associated with genetic diseases like neurofibromatosis, a disorder in which patients are several times more likely to be afflicted with autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) like Asperger's syndrome.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Science Source: Research proposes common link between autism, diabetes" »


Governor Brown Signs Parent’s Worst Nightmare into LawGives Custody of 12 Year Olds to the State

Gardasil girl dangerOct 20: The fatality of a 14 year old California girl was entered into the VAERS database on August 23, 2011 – 134 days after her death in April. The latest Gardasil victim died of cardiac arrest 14 days after vaccination.  According to VAERS report # 430780 , the adolescent was vaccinated on March 28, had no other life-threatening illnesses, and received no other vaccinations.

The VAERS write up includes this statement: “Found dead in bed in a.m. by family. Pathologist stated cause of death as consistent with cardiac insufficiency, due to cardiac arrhythmia, due to probable early cardiomyopathy. Child Death Review Team felt this death was consistent with a diagnosis of sudden cardiac death.”

The untimely and sad passing of this innocent previously healthy young girl now marks the 4th death post-HPV vaccination in the state of California. Janny Stokvis, VAERS Analyst for SANE Vax Inc. who found the latest VAERS fatality also reports that there have been 1548 adverse injuries* from Gardasil and Cervarix reported in the state.

California VAERS Reports on Adverse Injuries from HPV 4 Gardasil & HPV 2 Cervarix

Life Threatening – 25
Serious  – 102
Emergency Room/Doctor Visits – 680
Hospitalization – 57
Extended Hospital Stays – 14
Did Not Recover – 249
Disabled – 46
Death – 4:  ages 14, 19, 13, 16

*1 to 10% of the vaccinated population reporting

The Government of California now has Custody of 12 year old Children

SANE Vax Inc. wants to know, “Governor Brown – were you aware of the mounting injuries and deaths of innocent, previously healthy adolescents in the state of California before you signed AB 499 into law last week?”

The bill, sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Merck – the manufacturer of Gardasil, allows health care providers in the state of California to by-pass parental consent giving children as young as 12 years old the ‘power’ to consent to Gardasil without their parents’ knowledge. How many more families will have to find their loved ones dead in their beds – before the governor realizes that the HPV vaccines are posing serious threats to the children of California?

Although the threat to parental informed consent is a huge issue – there are other serious allegations about AB 499 regarding wasteful taxpayer expenditures in a financially disparate state, the relationship between the bill’s sponsor and Merck, and the states prerogative to strip parents of their right and responsibilities.

Was money passed under the table to convince you to sign this bill into law? How can you turn your back on the very parents/families whose rights you have historically defended over your years in office? What happened to responsibility, accountability and government transparency?

SANE Vax Inc. is tired of the rhetoric surrounding the HPV vaccine issue.  Peer-reviewed analysis and studies many of them on the FDA, NCI and CDC web sites point out the dangers of many of the vaccine ingredients including the potential for the HPV vaccines to increase the risk for pre-cancerous lesions if adolescents have been previously exposed to the human papillomavirus and then get vaccinated: 44.6% increase post Gardasil; 32.5% post Cervarix.

Continue reading "Governor Brown Signs Parent’s Worst Nightmare into LawGives Custody of 12 Year Olds to the State " »


Dr. Bradstreet, Nagalase, and the Viral Issue in Autism

JeffBradstreetBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

Although my daughter is not a patient of Dr. Jeff Bradstreet I've always had an enormous amount of respect for the good doctor.  I'll usually go on his website once or twice a month to find out what has most recently attracted his interest.  Often it seems we're looking at similar questions; which either means great minds think alike, or we suffer from some of the same delusions. 

I was intrigued by his October 11, 2011 entry, "An Update on Viral Issue in Autism" since it dovetailed with some of my own recent investigations.

In the past months Dr. Bradstreet has become interested in nagalese, which he describes as an enzyme "produced by cancer cells and viruses."  He thinks it unlikely that children with autism have undiagnosed cancers, and thus suspicion falls on a viral etiology.  Dr. Bradstreet writes, "Viruses make the nagalese enzyme as part of their attachment proteins.  It serves to get the virus into the cell and also decreases the body's immune reaction to the virus-thereby increasing the odds of viral survival."

Further on Dr. Bradstreet writes, "It is reasonable and likely that the nature of the immune dysfunction and the frequently observed autoimmune problems in autism are mediated by persistent, unresolved viral infections."  He claims to have tested approximately 400 children with autism for the viral marker, nagalese, and found that nearly 80% have significantly elevated levels.  He hopes to publish soon on this study and believes this information "is one of the most important developments in the clinical treatment of children on the spectrum that I have experienced in the last 15 years."

Continue reading "Dr. Bradstreet, Nagalase, and the Viral Issue in Autism" »


LA Times Reviews Leslie Manookian's Film THE GREATER GOOD

GGPoster_HomeLast week, the LA Times reviewed THE GREATER GOOD, our new documentary on vaccines. As filmmakers, we truly appreciated their fair and open assessment of a very difficult and controversial subject.  We took great pains to ensure that we had treated the subject of vaccines as well as all the film participants with respect and dignity so that we could create a safe and sane space for people to come together and discuss this very charged and very important topic. We hope THE GREATER GOOD will enable communities to have an informed and reasonable conversation about what we do and don't know about vaccines and will help all Americans to understand that everyone deserves the right to informed consent. Thank you LA Times for dealing with this film and this issue seriously and fairly.  Read the LA Times review HERE.

THE GREATER GOOD looks behind the fear, hype and politics that polarize people into emotionally charged pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine camps with no room for middle ground. Exploring the cultural intersection where parenting meets modern medicine and individual rights collide with politics, our character driven documentary weaves together the stories of three families whose lives have been forever changed by vaccination. By reframing the vaccine debate and offering, for the first time, the opportunity to have a rational and scientific discussion on how to create a safer and more effective vaccine program in America today, THE GEATER GOOD challenges viewers to think again.
Watch the trailer: HERE
THE GREATER GOOD opens in New York City Nov. 18 for one week at the IFC Center.

Go to greatergoodmovie.org and click on the purchase tickets link in the upper right of the page and scroll down for a full schedule of events.

Age of Autism Science Source: Are thyroid hormone concentrations at birth associated with subsequent autism diagnosis?

Science post imageAutism Res. 2011 Aug 31. doi: 10.1002/aur.219. [Epub ahead of print]

Are thyroid hormone concentrations at birth associated with subsequent autism diagnosis?

Hoshiko S, Grether JK, Windham GC, Smith D, Fessel K.

Source

Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, California. sumi.hoshiko@cdph.ca.gov.

Abstract

Thyroid hormones substantially influence central nervous system development during gestation. We hypothesized that perturbations of early thyroid profiles may contribute to the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Thyroid pathways could provide a mechanism by which environmental factors that affect the thyroid system may impact autism occurrence or phenotypic expression. We investigated whether thyroxine (T4) levels at birth are associated with subsequent ASD, using two existing California study groups in multivariate analysis. One study group included children born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994, with cases identified through the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and/or the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California (244 cases, 266 controls); the other included children born in California in 1995, with cases identified through DDS (310 cases, 518 controls). Matched controls were selected from birth certificate records. This exploratory analysis suggested that infants with very low T4 (<3rd percentile) may have higher ASD risk, although results reached statistical significance only for the 1995 study group (1995: OR = 2.74 (95% CI 1.30-5.75; 1994: OR = 1.71 (95% CI 0.57-5.19). A variety of alternate analyses were conducted with available data, without further resolution of the difference between the two study groups. The results of our study indicate that further studies are warranted to investigate whether thyroid hormone perturbations play a role in the development of ASD by evaluating additional potential confounders and genotype or phenotype in larger studies. Autism Res 2011,4:xxx-xxx. © 2011 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Copyright © 2011, International Society for Autism Research, Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:

21882364

[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


"What About Immunizations?" -- Q&A With Cynthia Cournoyer

Q&A2By Anne Dachel

I recently read the book, What About Immunizations? Exposing the Vaccine Philosophy, by Cynthia Cournoyer.  It’s an excellent account that explores the almost sacred status given to the vaccine schedule.  (At Amazon HERE.)

Cynthia mentioned Barbara Loe Fisher, head of the National Vaccine Information Center in her book and I couldn’t help but notice Barbara on the trailer for The Greater Good.   She is heard saying, “A number of prescription drugs have been licensed as safe and have been found to be unsafe.”

We’re willing to accept that medications that were tested, approved and prescribed by countless doctors ended up hurting and even killing people.  Vioxx is said to have killed tens of thousands of people and Crestor, Fosamax, Prozac, Yaz, Chantix, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexipro, Celexa and lots of other drugs are the subjects of ads for lawsuits over side effects.  “Have you or a loved one taken the drug…. and suffered a stroke, heart attack, or…. given birth to a child with congenital heart defects…”

Yet, when it comes to vaccines, it’s a whole different world.; First of all, vaccines are so important that they are mandated by the government and universally promoted by pediatricians. How could the government mandate something that ends up hurting certain children? How could doctors insist that your child have a vaccine that could damage them for life? It would mean that lots of people we have faith in can’t be trusted. This is the unthinkable for many,

There is this almost mystical aura that surrounds vaccinations. I’m sure lots of parents have had experiences similar to mine. You've been talking to other parents about your child’s autism and you mention that he or she was fine until they were vaccinated and that this led to the descent into autism. Suddenly, the conversation stops. The subject is changed. This is too much to handle. We can’t go there. Vaccines are responsible for eradicating life-threatening diseases. It’s impossible to believe that they might be bad for some kids.

Continue reading ""What About Immunizations?" -- Q&A With Cynthia Cournoyer" »


Twenty Years Later

Wedding cakeMark and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary today.  When I married Mark, little did I know I'd be finding my way toward a new family - all of you in the autism world.   You mean the world to me and my girls. Thank you.

(PS) I didn't know what gluten free meant when I cut into that cake....

 

 

All I Can Handle 50 pixel
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism, she writes for Autism File Magazine, HuffPo, TodayMoms and elsewhere. Her book All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is now available in paperback with bonus content, recipes and a book club/academic guide.  


Age of Autism Science Summary: Perinatal and neonatal risk factors for autism: a comprehensive meta-analysis.

Science post imageManaging Editor's Note: We'll be posting science abstracts for your information.

Pediatrics. 2011 Aug;128(2):344-55. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

Perinatal and neonatal risk factors for autism: a comprehensive meta-analysis.

Gardener H, Spiegelman D, Buka SL.

Source

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. hgardener@med.miami.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The etiology of autism is unknown, although perinatal and neonatal exposures have been the focus of epidemiologic research for over 40 years.

OBJECTIVE:

To provide the first review and meta-analysis of the association between perinatal and neonatal factors and autism risk.

METHODS:

PubMed, Embase, and PsycInfo databases were searched for studies that examined the association between perinatal and neonatal factors and autism through March 2007. Forty studies were eligible for the meta-analysis. For each exposure, a summary effect estimate was calculated using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity in effect estimates across studies was examined, and, if found, a meta-regression was conducted to identify measured methodological factors that could explain between-study variability.

RESULTS:

Over 60 perinatal and neonatal factors were examined. Factors associated with autism risk in the meta-analysis were abnormal presentation, umbilical-cord complications, fetal distress, birth injury or trauma, multiple birth, maternal hemorrhage, summer birth, low birth weight, small for gestational age, congenital malformation, low 5-minute Apgar score, feeding difficulties, meconium aspiration, neonatal anemia, ABO or Rh incompatibility, and hyperbilirubinemia. Factors not associated with autism risk included anesthesia, assisted vaginal delivery, postterm birth, high birth weight, and head circumference.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is insufficient evidence to implicate any 1 perinatal or neonatal factor in autism etiology, although there is some evidence to suggest that exposure to a broad class of conditions reflecting general compromises to perinatal and neonatal health may increase the risk. Methodological variations were likely sources of heterogeneity of risk factor effects across studies.

PMID:

21746727

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Andy Wakefield Keeps Telling the Truth

Editor's Note -- This talk by Dr. Andrew Wakefield to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons this month is a reminder of how clear and convincing his message is -- when it's not filtered through the bias and bluster of the mainstream media and medical industry. Here, he offers an update that includes a discussion of DNA in the HPV vaccine. It's well worth everyone's time. -- D.O.


The Attempted Hijacking of “Science” by the Ultra Pro-Vaccine Crowd

Vax NEws

By Sandy Gottstein

Those who unquestioningly support and promote vaccination while at the same time trivializing vaccine safety concerns have tried to co-opt science as their own private fiefdom. 

But is that legitimate?  And what is science, really?  Is it some clear-cut, static system with hard results?  Or is it an ongoing process, and one that depends on asking the right questions in the right way?  Is the   pro-vaccine camp right that only they understand and properly use science and its methods?  Or do such notions suggest a lack of understanding about science, including its strengths and limitations, and/or a propaganda effort (e.g., by inserting the word “science” in the title of your blog) designed to camouflage the truth? 

Among the varied definitions of science are the following:

Science is both a body of knowledge and a process.

There is no philosophical high-road in science, with epistemological signposts. No, we are in a jungle and find our way by trial and error, building our roads behind us as we proceed. We do not find sign posts at cross-roads, but our own scouts erect them, to help the rest.

                           Max Born (1882-1970), Nobel Prize-winning physicist,
                  quoted in Gerald Holton's Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought

Continue reading "The Attempted Hijacking of “Science” by the Ultra Pro-Vaccine Crowd" »


Scout Earns 132 Merit Badges

Nate-Christensen-is-17-years-old-He-plays-theManaging Editor's note: What a great story of success. Congrats to Nate and his family.  Photo credit goes to his Mom. KS

Nate Christensen seems like a typical almost-18-year-old boy. Now in his senior year at Bingham High School in South Jordan, he plays the trumpet in the marching band. He took a longtime friend to the school’s homecoming dance. He loves popular music artists from Justin Bieber to Owl City. He enjoys playing “Just Dance” on his family’s Nintendo Wii and writes a blog in his free time. He admits that his favorite class at school is his sports class.

Nate Christensen is 17 years old. He plays the trumpet in his high school marching band and loves playing "Just Dance" on the family's Nintendo Wii. He took a good friend to the homecoming dance. He looks forward to graduating from high school. He completed 132 merit badges in the Boy Scouts of America scouting program. He also happens to be autistic.

But two things set him apart. One is that he’s earned 132 merit badges — every possible Boy Scout merit badge he could earn. The other is that Nate is autistic.

Nate's mother, Sandy Christensen, said that Nate tests somewhere in the middle of the autism spectrum. One wouldn’t easily guess that when talking to him.

Autism is known for causing marked impairment in social interaction and troubles with communication. But once you get Nate talking about anything that has to do with the Boy Scouts of America, the conversation flows with ease.

“Did you want to see two badges that I liked most?”

“Don’t you notice the badges that are gold framed?”

Nate’s 6-foot-3 frame might be intimidating at first, but he’s anything but. He sits on the sofa in his living room, holding his hands together in his lap, proudly wearing his Scout uniform and sash. He points to a grape soda pin, a tribute to Disney/Pixar’s “Up,” talking about how that’s actually his personal favorite even though it’s not an official badge.

Read the full story at Deseret News.


Gardasil Injury Victims Hold Press Conference Republican Candidates Invited

Canary final logo

Las Vegas, NV, October 17th, 2011:  In response to the discussions surrounding the aggressive mandating of the Gardasil vaccine that have taken place during the Republican debates, the Canary Party will be holding a press conference on the damaging outcomes of this vaccine push featuring families of young women injured by and lost to the Gardasil vaccine, Tuesday, October 18th at 3pm outside the East entrance to The Venetian's Sands Expo and Convention Center at 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South

Las Vegas 89109, prior to the GOP debate.  All of the Republican candidates have been invited to attend.

Hearing directly from these families is crucial:

“Alexis spent six months at the University of New Mexico Hospital enduring plasmapheresis, two spinal taps and ultimately a diagnosis of encephalitis from viral infection, traumatic brain injury and a seizure disorder.”

“She was and honor roll student in the seventh grade, failing in the eighth grade and starting high school in a special education class in diapers. She’s reading at a fifth grade level with maybe the comprehension of fourth grader. She was kicked out of school this year in just the third week.”

“After that day, she never returned to school. She couldn’t focus on homework — BaLeigh used to be very articulate, she had a lot of wisdom for her age, very observant about life. Afterward she was ill, she had a hard time following or carrying on a conversation.”

“We eventually saw a neurologist at Johns Hopkins and we felt like were practically kicked out of the hospital. Turned out his research partner was sponsored by Merck.”

“Chris died 18 days after her third dose of Gardasil.”

“Brittney didn’t want this vaccine in the first place.”

Continue reading "Gardasil Injury Victims Hold Press Conference Republican Candidates Invited" »


Stand Up and Be Counted!

Lin and familyBy Lin Wessels

My nine year old son, Sam, and I have been hitting the campaign trail once again.  For those of you not familiar with us or with our story, Sam has autism.  I am his mom, Lin Wessels.  We advocate.

It’s one of the things we do, seeking out politicians and asking them the really tough questions.  It is one of the ways we feel like we are making a difference.  And if not, at least we know we are trying.  We are giving it our all.  It is something we can do, so we do. 

Now lay aside for a moment your political affiliations and personal beliefs if you will.  That is what we do.  We have to in order to be affective at what we do.  We do not show bias.  We approach absolutely as many high profile political figures as is possible for us.  Mostly, we reach out to them in our own rural Iowa stomping grounds, but we have been known to connect with them in Washington, D.C., their familiar stomping grounds, as well.  Some we have met with several times over.  We take time away from our lives, from our families, and some of the time, we even take time out from school and our jobs, to get out there get to them.  We also always do it on our own dime, and trust me when I tell you that it costs by far more than a measly dime.  Often, we have taken your stories, your family photos, your child’s situations and family’s circumstances along with us.  We do it because we want to.   We do it because we can.  We also do it because many of you want us to.  We do it because we sincerely care about all of you and the world around us.  So whatever you do, PLEASE don’t shoot the messenger. 

Our activism and advocacy goes way, way back to when Sam was but two and recently diagnosed.  It was just as apparent then as it is now that if we are to make a difference in Sam’s life, as well as all of those like him, it was going to be up to us to get out there and stand up and be counted. 

Recently, living in Iowa and all, we have had the good fortune of addressing some of the high profile as well as not so high profile presidential candidates.  We have met Gov Tim Pawlenty, who already dropped out of the race.  That is one of the risks you take.  We have no way of knowing who will make it to the nomination and who will not.  Feel free to view that video HERE . It is a rather poor quality video therefore I have written a note about it and shared that HERE.

We went on to meet Mr. Herman Cain, who has since risen considerably in the polls.  HERE

Since then, we have also met Rep Ron Paul, Gov Mike Huckabee, Gov Rick Santorum, Senator Chuck Grassley and Rep Michele Bachmann.  To view the pics: HERE  To view the video of Sam addressing Rep Bachmann, go HERE . We also took the time to be sure and thank her for her comments on parental rights concerning vaccination.  It matters not what we think of her or her ideals personally.  What does matter is that she and anyone else within earshot understands we want to keep parental rights in place; that it is important issue to us and we are grateful for her very public comments on the matter.

Now granted, we do not always succeed in getting a straight answer to our questions.  Typically, the candidate or political figure will turn the answer into one of their own political platforms which they desire to be heard.  That just comes with the territory.  But, what we are successful at is being heard by every member of the audience, every microphone, every reporter  and every TV crew in the place.  That is a noteworthy accomplishment in my estimation!

You’d maybe amazed at the number of comments and questions we receive afterward from people of all walks of life; teachers, doctors, nurses, attorneys, politicians, news reporters, neighbors, complete strangers, both young and more mature. 
 
We feel our efforts are invaluable and most worthy of our time.  We feel like we are making a difference, albeit small.  I’d love for nothing more than to see and hear about more of us out there, asking the really tough questions.  Showing them we are out here and we aren’t going away.  We most definitely have the numbers to do it!  I’d implore you to give it try the next opportunity that comes your way.  It can be quite exhilarating really.

Continue reading "Stand Up and Be Counted! " »


The Doctors To Feature Barb Loe Fisher on Doctors Turning Away Patients Who Do Not Fully Vaccinate

Barb loe fisherFrom the www.nvic.org Facebook page:

"Barbara Loe Fisher will appear on tomorrow's (TODAY Oct. 17) "The Doctors" (CBS) in a segment entitled "Which Side Are You On?" The topic being discussed is doctors declining to treat patients, who do not follow doctor's orders, including pediatrician's dismissing families from their practices when parents do not vaccinate children or want to use an "alternative" vaccination schedule. There is a lively debate among the doctors and health advocate Jillian Michaels in the segment on "The Doctors" about which side they are on in the tug of war between doctors and parents about what should be done when parents and doctors disagree about vaccination."

Check your local listings HERE.


Adults with Autism Chained in Philly Basement

The adults in the story from PHILLY are not said to have autism - but this article got me to thinking of how little progress we are making in the autism world to prevent the landslide of impaired (yes, impaired) adults from falling into a world of decreased benefits, social apathy and continued insufficient medical care. While our sponsors work tirelessly on shoe string budgets to help families, the larger picture for autism in America is grim. KS

Ranch House

 


Up Your Nose

Welcome-back-kotter-photograph-c10042001
By Cathy Jameson

Good grief, my kids can lay it on thick.  I’ve got doom and gloom peering out from their bloodshot eyeballs.  Why you ask?  Well, we were recently exposed to some kids who had received the Flumist vaccine.  Hours and hours and hours of contact, play time, meal time and chit chat occurred before I found out those children opted to have the live flu virus jammed up their nostrils earlier in the day.  You might have heard the primal scream I let out when I returned to the quiet of my home after discovering this bit of news.  I’m usually the eternal optimist.  Not so much that day. I was cursing like a sailor instead.

I have five kids, one vaccine injured son and another boy with some immune system issues.  I have three healthy daughters who most of the time have nary a sniffle.  After the Flumist discovery, I declared a fortnight of no contact with those children I promise I won’t call potential mini virus spreaders.  I hoped the two week time buffer would give me a chance to keep my kids free from exposure from the shedding a live-virus vaccine does once it enters the body.  But, it was too late.  Like a firing squad, one child at a time came down with fevers, coughs, the chills, achy joints and rotten attitudes.  Antsy yet inconsolable greeted me for too many days in a row.  Of course I blamed my kids’ sickness on the recent source we’d been exposed to—their playmates.

Before my kids got really sick, they retaliated to a two-week-free-from-the-Flumist-friends decree I made.  “Why can’t we play with them?  We promise not to get too close.”  They begged.  They bribed.  “We’ll be extra nice and help you more if we can go play, okay?”  I repeated the decree with a brief explanation as to why it was important to give us time and space away from them—we don’t want Ronan to get sick.  If he catches the flu (or the “flu-like” symptoms lots of people encounter after receiving the flu shot) from these friends, it can really make him very sick.  They understood that part, but there were still terribly ticked that I took two friends away so quickly.  Oh, the looks I got. Ouch, that one from my oldest seared through my heart!  She’d just befriended one of the girls.  They’d planned more hours and hours of fun.  “Please, oh, please, oh, please, achhhhoo, can I go over to see her again?  I’ll be quick.  Please?”  I said no.  I put my foot down and said no again with her pathetic plea, “Awww, Mom.  Please?  Just for a few minutes?”  My other foot went down, NO.  You don’t understand, and I’m sorry you think I’m the bad guy, but no.  Wait a few weeks and then you can play.  “WEEKS?!?!”  Yes, I said, at least two weeks for their flu virus to do what it’s “supposed” to do and then you can play again. 

Two weeks.  A fortnight of frowny faces.  The kids scowled in between napping off their aches, fevers and coughing all over the place.  Oh, well.  Mean Old Mom strikes again.  It’s a title I’ve earned and one I plan on keeping close by. 

Continue reading "Up Your Nose" »


The More Things Change...

1991nikeicarusneon12_1By Julie Obradovic

A few Saturdays ago was my twentieth high school reunion. I had a ton of things to do that day, not the least of which was running three different children to three different activities before noon. After that was over, there were errands to run, and of course, time needed to get ready. The day was planned out carefully in advance, my parents being nice enough to help out.

My dad came into the house with his huge, "hell-OOOO" which sounds like "yell-OWWWW" and a smile. He's a busy man, my father, and often times when you are talking to him you get the feeling there's a mental clock ticking letting him know your time is almost up. You have to talk fast. I could tell from his demeanor this was one of those times. There was a checklist of items he needed to make sure he communicated before he would be out the door. After getting through the first few items or so, he remembered something not on the list. This has happened about, oh, ten times.

"Oh, yeah, so I wanted to tell you," he remembered suddenly. "I wore that pin the other day. I know I tell you this all the time, but man, any time I wear that pin, at least five people start a conversation with me about it. I ended up talking to a bunch of nice people, several whom want your web site and email address. Would you mind writing that down for me again? And you know," he continued, implying somehow this was my fault, "you should really have a card."

My father talks with easily thousands of people a year and has for over thirty years. The pin he is referring to is a blue Autism Speaks puzzle piece he puts on his suit lapel. No matter how many times I have told him I don't have a web site but that I write for Age of Autism, he doesn't remember. And no matter how many times I explain to him that I don't support the blue puzzle piece organization, he doesn't pay attention. He doesn't support them either, he says when I bust him,"but it always starts a conversation." Okay, whatever. Anyway, dad.

I wrote down the information and listened to him describe the same conversation he has had multiple times. I know because many of these people email me or friend me on facebook. This one's grandchild has Autism, and they want to make sure he's taken care of. This one was a teacher for forty years and never saw sick kids like her grandchildren. This one is a young couple that is trying to buy a house but just got the bad news and don't want one by a lake anymore. Regardless, it always ends the same. "You should really talk to my daughter..." And so they do.

We spoke briefly and soon he was back in check with his internal clock. Dad gave me a kiss, told me how proud he is of me, and yelled out a collective good bye that reverberated through the house so all the kids could hear. I love my dad dearly.

The day continued as planned, and by 5:30, I was ready to head out. One of my best friends picked me up right on time. We snapped photos like we were going to homecoming and giggled in excitement as we tore out of the driveway. We pulled up in time to help our other friend, the coordinator, finish up with the last minute touches. Shortly afterwards, our classmates began to come in. (All names have been changed.)

Hi, Jayson! How are you? It's so good to see you! Really? That's fantastic! Gosh, you look the same! Oh, thanks! No, really, thanks! You, too!

And so it went for the first half hour or so. It was genuinely good to see everyone doing so well. I had some wine and made my way around the room. There's Mike! Oh, gosh, I wonder what's up with him? 

Hi, Mike! And then it started.

Mike got cancer last year. He had surgery and appears to be doing well. 

No, they have no idea why it happened, but life is good and my two children are growing up fast. You have a child with special needs right, Julie? I thought I heard about that. Did you use Early Intervention Services? What did you think of them?...Well, no, they seem okay. One of mine has a pretty bad speech delay, and the other, well, he has this thing about insisting on walking on his toes. He has sensory, sensory, sensory something...Sensory Processing Disorder?...Yes! Sensory Processing Disorder, but they think his toe walking is just a habit now, not a real problem...Mike, it's a problem. You need to trust me on this...Oh, no, Julie, I'm making it sound worse than it is. It's fine....No, Mike, it's not fine.

Continue reading "The More Things Change..." »


Autism Research Institute Conference in Las Vegas Features Science & Hope

Las-Vegas-TV-Show-22From KTNV Las Vegas. If you're at the conference, Tweet us @ageofautism or leave comments here throughout the weekend.  Attend an ARI Conference and you'll go home with more than a goodie bag full of puzzle shaped magnets, you'll have a new bag of tricks to help your loved with with autism through medical science. What happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas. ;)


Las Vegas, NV (KTNV)- Leaders in Autism research are introducing the newest information on a disease that now effects one in every 110 children. The Autism Research Institute is holding a conference right here in Las Vegas.

We know so much, but so little at the same time.

Autism is an enigmatic disease, now effecting 6,000 school aged children in the State of Nevada.

The opinions and controversies about the cause have perplexed researchers and families effected by Autism for years.

Some of them are shedding light on the latest findings here in Las Vegas this week.

"Emerging research points to genes and the environment being the issue," said Conference Director Denise Fulton.

Continue reading "Autism Research Institute Conference in Las Vegas Features Science & Hope" »


Chantal Sicile-Kira on Following Ezra

Chantal4Managing Editor's Note: Our good friend Chantal Sicile-Kira wrote about a new book written by Tom Fields-Meyer called Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son. Please read the full post and comment at Huffington Post.

Recently one of my publishers sent me a book, Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son. Having just emerged from many months of researching and writing book number five on autism, I was not predisposed to read anything associated with the A-word. However, being partial to interesting book covers, I couldn't resist the urge to peruse this memoir. Once I opened it, I couldn't put it down. Following Ezra, by author Tom Fields-Meyer, is not just a book about raising a child with autism; it's a very well-written book about the trails and tribulations of being a parent, period.

2011-10-07-book.pngOne reason this book is such a good read is that covering human interest stories is what Fields-Meyer does for a living. He is a former senior writer for People and has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is a master storyteller, and this time he recounts his own personal story and that of his son, Ezra, from age 3, when he was diagnosed, to his bar mitzvah at age 12....


Autism, Hospitals and the Belly of the Beast

Meg MMR EEG
By Teresa Conrick

My daughter, Megan, diagnosed sixteen years ago with Autism, has had an intense twelve months of.medical symptoms.  I call them "symptoms" but they really are clues as to the true nature of her diagnosis of autism.  It began last Fall with seizures, unusual, hormone-related, monthly ones, that had progressed into episodes of behavioral concern.  An earlier EEG had showed no seizures but instead, a pervasive and ominous diffuse slowing of the brain waves. Excessive estrogen can trigger mania, agitation and seizures in a typical female, so combine that with a diagnosis of autism and you get a full blown detour into an abyss, frighteningly far, far away from normalcy. More testing had shown "estrogen dominance," another "symptom" in Meg's body. Hormone therapy has not yet stopped the behaviors.  Anti-seizure medication has not yet stopped the seizures. An autoimmune diagnosis also has now surfaced, which helped make sense of the increasing irritability, enuresis, plus motor and vocal tics, often screamed out of my lovely daughter's mouth.  Her sister, two years younger, has lived in a path of bewilderment, fear and I am quite sure, shame, as the odd and erratic behaviors of her "older", yet really "younger" sister infiltrated our house. No friends or family have been in our home for so long as we have been living a nightmare. The behaviors were not a choice made by Megan, but instead have been a "symptom" of her immune system kidnapping her.  For me, it has been a painful reminder of how sinister Autism can be, especially when bacterial and viral infections seem to trigger Meg's body into a twilight zone in which I can't reach her.  Was this STILL autism or were we in a new place, like P.A.N.D.A.S. (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with Streptococci)?  It is like watching her regress again, as she did sixteen years ago. Her recent years have been positive for numerous Strep, candida, clostridia, and other viral infections.

It was decided that Meg needed an MRI and a 24-hour, closed circuit televised, EEG.  Her neurologist, new since Summer for us, saw how my daughter's behaviors were concerning and listened to my description of aggressions, involuntary movements and vocal tics/yells that I am sure the neighbors down the block could hear.  I am thankful that he didn't just see an eighteen year old, severely affected "with autism," and just needing something for the behavioral "symptoms."  Going into a hospital with Meg, overnight and away from the safety of home, took my breath away with fear as I thought about it.  Meg had a 24 hour EEG at age six but the electrodes were fastened to her head at the hospital, yet we were able to go home with a fanny pack monitor. Other EEGs had been just a few hours long.  This EEG was to be video monitored, an important addition as that 24 hour EEG twelve years ago was normal, yet she had just developed generalized tonic clonic seizures at age seventeen.  The video would be able to help us determine if there were subclinical seizures causing these scary behaviors.

There were many departments that we had to pass through in our journey.  Admissions, Ambulatory Services and then MRI, all before noon. Others were to follow later. More than one (in fact 6 people that day) asked if Meg needed, or if I wanted her to get a flu shot. October in a hospital is a continuous infomercial for Flu and Pneumonia vaccines.  I politely declined and wondered if our record had now been flagged, similar to Elaine's from Seinfeld, where it labeled her as a “difficult” patient.  I wasn't trying to be difficult but Meg's decline in health started with mercury-containing vaccines and then the fever and full body rash after her MMR significantly hastened that decline with loss of speech, loss of eye contact and loss of relating to us. 

Continue reading "Autism, Hospitals and the Belly of the Beast" »


What's up at South Park and CBS? Turning their Backs on America’s Vaccine-damaged Children

South-park-aspergers

By Anne Dachel

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the creators of South Park, a cartoon show on Comedy Central described as “the breathtakingly irreverent and ruthlessly funny misadventures of four foul-mouthed, troublemaking young boys in a small town nestled in the Colorado Rockies.”  The website tells us that it’s been “praised” as ‘COMEDY CENTRAL's notoriously rude, undeniably fearless lampoon of all that is self-important and hypocritical in American life, regardless of race, creed, color or celebrity status.’

I guess that’s true since on their season premiere just out they mocked people with Asperger’s and slammed those who believe that vaccines have damaging side effects, namely autism/Asperger’s Syndrome.  The entertainment news site, Gather , had this to say about South Park. South Park poked fun at those with Asperger's syndrome and lumped it in with the current fuss surrounding HPV vaccines.

“It's apparent that this season premiere of the hit Comedy Central show will upset those who have Asperger's as well as those who represent these individuals. But what did you expect? Trey Parker and Matt Stone are famous for making relentless fun of anyone and everyone, so why would someone with this autism spectrum disorder be excluded? It's insensitive, but to some it's quite funny.”

For a disorder that has no official cause and affects an epidemic number of children to be a topic for a cartoon show is about as insensitive as one can imagine.  I suppose the comedy team of Parker and Stone could work with Asperger’s but it would definitely be a task if they used a young boy with full-blown autism, non-verbal, and in diapers.  Hard to make anyone laugh with that scenario.  One has to wonder if Parker and Stone will next use their talents to make us laugh at a kids with Down Syndrome.

As objectionable as the South Park episode was, I was surprised to see that CBS News reported (here) on it.  On Oct 6, 2011, they published the story, Asperger's syndrome in spotlight as South Park spoofs vaccine fears by Ryan Jaslow.  Laughing at people with Asperger’s on South Park was a “spoof” according to CBS:

“Fourth-grader Kyle, one of the main characters in the quartet, breaks down the controversy for his friends, explaining that some people believe vaccines can cause autism or Asperger's. That hubbub picks up when another character, Stan, visits the school's guidance counselor in a sullen mood, which the counselor mistakes for symptoms of a developmental disorder. The counselor then calls the school nurses and and asks, ‘Did we vaccinate Stan Marsh for the flu last year? I think he's got Asperger's.’

“People with Asperger's display symptoms including repetitive rituals, odd speech, and socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior.

“Stan's story gets national attention as the first confirmed case of Asperger's caused by a vaccine and the President even signs a bill, ‘Stan's Bill,’ to ban mandatory vaccinations. The oft-controversial quartet member, Eric Cartman, then joins the brouhaha by shoving hamburgers down his pants, claiming the vaccine caused him to develop Asperger's as well.”

Continue reading "What's up at South Park and CBS? Turning their Backs on America’s Vaccine-damaged Children" »


Age of Onion: Sex Outlawed! Only In Vitro Babies Allowed!

BABY-PHOTO-200x300 In an effort to prop up sagging pharmaceutical company profits as blockbuster drugs go off patent or off the rails with liability payouts, the Obama adminstration, SCOTUS, FDA, CDC, HHS, and  DPST(department of pokey sexy things) has announced that sex for the sake of procreation will be against the law.

In order to conceive, couples will have to register with the Fertility Uptake Care Clinics for Kids. Also known as FUCCK, this new quasi government agency will be administered by a commission of pharmaceutical company executives, under the leadership of Dr. Julie Gerberding, whose tenure at CDC before joining Merck as President of the Vaccine Division, makes her the ideal candidate to perfect screwing for profit.

Bolus doses of birth control will be added to the national water supply to ensure that couples do not conceive via sexual congress, and that pharmaceutical profits flow freely.

If you have any questions, FUCCK has a hotline:  1-800-SCR-EWU2.


92 Pandemrix Vaccine Narcolepsy Awards Exceeds Compensation Pool Limits: See Why Vaccines are Protected Here?

Vaccines money Pandemrix was the H1N1 vaccine used in Finland. It caused narcolepsy in children. 92 cases with more to follow is expected to  exceed the compensation pool limit and the Finnish government will step in to pay the remainder. Compensation to last up to 80 years.  Does this help explain why vaccines are protected so fiercely in America? And why vaccine court is an impermeable gauntlet?  If every child and adult who had been injured received even a small compensation, America would go broke(r). Remember that these Finnish families were trying to protect their children because the media campaign to instill fear over H1N1 was in full force. They thought they were doing the right thing for their kids. Our hearts go out to them.

The Finnish Pharmaceutical Insurance Pool said in a statement Wednesday that it would pay compensation to children and young people who have developed narcolepsy since they were given Pandemrix, an influenza vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, in 2009 and 2010.

With 92 claims recorded by Wednesday, the pool's 30-million-euro compensation limit is expected to be exceeded, with the government picking up the remainder of the bill.

A government agency confirmed the link between Pandemrix and the narcolepsy cases last month.

Some of the sufferers of the debilitating disease may be paid compensation for lost earnings for up to 80 years.

Read the full article in The Helsinki Times.