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Congressional Autism Hearing: Take Note

Listen_to_me_by_rachellove147-d34d13dBy Cathy Jameson

Psst, did you hear that? 

Congress talked about autism.  Not just any old autism, but the autism that has increased by 1,000%.  And that it has something to do with vaccines and not "better detecting".  The autism that has something to do with thimerosal.  The autism that can be treated with diet.  Oh, and the autism that has infiltrated Africa.  That same one that never existed on that continent until we, good old' US of A, shipped it over in the form of vaccines.  I know, I know!  It doesn't sound real, does it?  Even I couldn’t believe it. But I was there on Thursday, and I heard it. 

When I got a message that the Congressional Hearing on Autism was being scheduled, and that families were being encouraged to bring their children, I thought long and hard about attending.  Could I do it?  Could I jet to D.C. for the day?  Can I add something political to my busy life?  Should I go?  Could I leave everyone behind and go by myself?  Or with kids? I'd have to rearrange several appointments, figure out how I’d get there, factor in taking some of my children and secure a babysitter for those who weren’t, and pray that they had a normal day with no incidents while I was away.  Could I?  It was a lot to figure out. 

I do so much already, mostly solo with hubby on extended travel again, but was this something I should add to my schedule?  What if there was an emergency back home, or if Ronan had seizures at school again?  Do I have time, energy and back up plans for my back up plans to pull this off?  Should I? 

Why would I not!

Just thinking about coordinating a day in D.C. took an effort.  But the reasons why this Hearing was important were far greater and affects more than just me and my family.  The Hearing, this Hearing, the one that's taken over ten years to be scheduled?  It was important for everyone to be there, and I knew that I really should go if I could. 

If everything lined up, if I could pull it off, I could get there.  And I wanted my older, typical kids to be there as well.  They are beyond being aware of autism and have been ready and waiting for years for other people to finally get up and do something about the type of autism we hoped was going to be discussed, the kind that their brother has.

Oh, yeah, we'd be there.  

I coordinated as much as I could and got my kids' schedules organized and finalized the day before the Hearing. Ronan's big sister and typical brother, Little Buddy, we're excited to go.  They didn't know too much about what the Hearing would cover, so I told Little Buddy that it was a big meeting about autism and that Mommy wanted to bring them too because we might learn something helpful for Ronan and of course later share with other families.  My daughter understands much of why I advocate and frequently asks to read whatever I am currently reading to keep up with the news.  She has a great understanding of how difficult some of these last years have been for our family and why we’ve had to make the decisions we have made for Ronan’s health, his care and his schooling. I am proud of how much she knows and what she has shared (and discusses in depth) with her classmates about autism.  Having two of Ronan’s siblings with me was important.  Not only was I grateful to have my kids in tow, but I was proud that they wanted to be there themselves.

D. C. or bust

I'll be totally honest, before I got to D.C. part of me thought our efforts for the day might be a waste, the testimonies full of fluff and the Representatives less than interested in autism.  I've heard about these types of meetings before and have watched government agencies and other autism advocacy groups say so much yet say absolutely nothing useful over and over again.  Was going live and in person going to make a difference when I have doubted these types of gatherings and our government’s responses for so long?  To say that I was completely caught off guard as the Hearing unfolded is an understatement.  

I couldn’t believe what was being said.  The questions directed toward the CDC and NIH doctors were ones I myself have asked for years now!  The same words, the same topics, the same facts and even the same doubts were being volleyed from the committee members to both Dr. Boyle and Dr. Guttmacher throughout their testimonies. 

Not only were the questions most impressive, but the Representatives were as well because it felt like they were actually representing! They shared stories of their constituents’ children.  They spoke of the same type of symptoms and sufferings what Ronan has had to handle and work through on a daily basis.  These politicians have not only met families like mine, they have listened to them and were offering their stories as evidence.   Each story sounded similar to Ronan’s and included a link somewhere in there with vaccines.  I was floored.

It gets better.

Put the brakes on

The information our community has been researching, writing, citing, quoting and begging to be addressed for years was being talked about in Congress. Out loud.  On record.  Under oath.  And for the entire world to see on live television. 

The Reps were intrigued, and at some points even infuriated at the lackadaisical responses the public “health” agencies were spitting out (or keeping mum about).  It royally irked some of the politicians as well as many of us in the audience.  That didn’t stop more pointed questions from being fired: 

Including questions peppered with the current 1 in 88 rates (and why so high?). 

Including questioning the reasons behind what has come of useless government-funded studies that have been conducted in the past (along with demanding the justification of those studies and the millions of dollars spent, or stolen, on those projects).

Including heated questions about why some vaccines still have thimerosal (while others do not) and why some states have higher autism rates than others (and how can that possibly be?).

After those questions, and a very lively discussion, Congress made a point of saying that what we have here in these United States is an epidemic: it’s an autism epidemic.  When asked if the doctors thought the same, I felt that the delay in their responses, and the vague and let-me-get-back-to-you-on-that reply, was answer enough.    

There were so many perfect opportunities for the Representatives to segue and remind and also reintroduce that very high, and rising, autism rate while reiterating the fact that autism most certainly is a crisis.  They see that just as plainly as many of us have for years. 

Congress has spoken.  Loud and clear.

Something is seriously wrong   

As announced at the beginning of the Hearings by the Chairman, every topic raised at the Hearings would be considered and no topic would be off limits. Topics like the amazingly high vaccine injury compensation fund (which is at $2.43 billion dollars, collected to reimburse individuals or families who have suffered vaccine injured or vaccine death).  That point, as well as when the Lily Rider and the Homeland Security Act were mentioned, as well as when the CDC’s former Poul Thorsen, who is also on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, was discussed—-all of it, to also include the many queries of vaccines on the vaccination schedule and how they directly relate to our infant mortality and morbidity rates (which are some of the worst rates across the globe)—-when all of that was raised, discussed, documented for the record and promised to be further investigated, was why it was worth the effort of mine to go to Washington, D.C.

The committee members were infuriated at the skyrocketing autism rates and with the inadequate responses the CDC and the NIH offered.  They have every right to be upset!  WE have every right to be upset!  The committee had done their homework and heard firsthand about this epidemic--and it’s come straight from the very people they represent--people like you, parents like me about children like Ronan!

It was liberating to hear what this group was asking and how they were so adamantly asking.  But, it was equally as frustrating as the discussions continued.  As the questions and answering period went on, it’s no surprise that perfectly logically questions being asked of the doctors about vaccines were dodged.  The Representatives continued to demand answers though.  They kept at it just as many of us have.  Truth be told, it was riveting.  As well as frustrating.  But, we’ve been assured that more questions will be asked, and more answers must be provided.

For the children

I have always hoped to one day get to an autism event in D.C. at the government level.  After listening to the testimonies and the questions and answers it made me think that I was no longer there to just say I went, but that I was witnessing history in the making.  I was watching an actual turning of the tide.  I could absolutely feel the shift happen.  And so did many of us present, including the friends I was sitting with and amongst in that room. 

Being able to bring my children who love and adore their brother, who only want for him to be able to talk to them and play with them, for them to be present for these jaw-dropping moments left me full of pride--pride for my children who have promised to look after a brother who they hope can one day catch up to them.

Ronan's siblings were sitting so patiently throughout this incredibly long day.  I thought how wonderful for them to be here to hear everything I and so many of us got to hear.  For them to know that everything we have questioned and researched for so many hours on our own and later discussed with our families and friends, and even strangers we encounter along the way, was promising. 

We personally came to make a stand for Ronan, for his needs and for a chance for him to someday to be able to do more than he’s capable of now.  We came also to bear witness for all the other children like Ronan whose families were unable to attend.  My children fully understood that, so it’s without surprise that even though incredibly great things were said in that room, Ronan’s little brother left me with the most meaningful quote of the day’s events. 

Good guys vs. bad guys


Backtrack a bit to the beginning of the Hearing to sometime within in the first hour as it got underway.  After my kids were settled into their seats, which were the last seats in the room before others were turned away to an overflow area, we were still unprepared for what was going to unfold. Right away I could tell it was going to be a long day.  My two children understood that, too, and promised to do their very best while we were there. 

Remember that I hadn’t told my children too much about the Hearing beyond that it was going to be about autism and that we should be there for it.  We were sitting in the very back of the room and had a hard time seeing the panel of politicians and had no view of those giving testimony.  The television monitors were helpful, but it was still not the best view.  We could still hear everything very clearly which I was grateful for, because as I’ve already shared a lot was said. A LOT. 

Early on it became very clear that these two kids of mine knew exactly what was going on, especially as the committee members grilled the doctors repeatedly on the topic of vaccines. Midway through questioning both of the doctors, Little Buddy looked at me and asked, “Mommy, which ones are the bad guys?”  It didn’t take long for my son to put two and two together.  You see, the autism that was being discussed at that point is the one his brother is affected by.  The one triggered by vaccines.  Little Buddy knows this because he too was injured by vaccines, not nearly to the degree that his big brother was, but enough that it made his early years challenging.  He remembers some of those challenges and the difficulties he had to overcome. Now that he’s healthier and older and very in tune with what happened to his brother because of Ronan’s vaccines, Little Buddy is passionate about vaccine safety.  He’s more knowledgeable about vaccine injury than some adults we run into.  Little Buddy’s a worrier, too, so for him to hear what was being said caused his ears to perk up even more so than other vaccine-autism discussions he’s heard.  He knows exactly what happened to Ronan which is why he is not afraid to ask people to be careful if they want to vaccinate. 

Little Buddy’s a really good listener when it comes to hearing the truth,too, and when something else is pawned off instead.  At one point, when the CDC’s Dr. Boyle glamorized a statement that vaccines have saved many, many lives, Little Buddy could take it no more.  The disappointment in his face spoke louder than words as he leaned toward me and whispered, "Mommy, vaccines don't save lives.  She lied.  Why would she say that they save lives when they don’t?"

Ronan's vaccines did the opposite of save his life, and Little Buddy knows this.  He still sees the negative effects of that vaccine injury – the loss of Ronan’s speech, the onset of the seizures Ronan suffers, the painstakingly slow skills Ronan works so hard to develop.  Little Buddy is just a little kid, but he’s figured out the cause and effect so many refuse to see or believe.  After the doctor’s disappointing statements, my son sat back in his chair clearly, definitely and unequivocally upset.  I'll even say he was a little bit hurt by it, too.


I could go on and on about the remainder of the day’s events and that second half of the hearing was just as riveting as the first, but I want to stop here and let my son’s reflection be the last thing you read of my account of the Hearing.  Our typical children are listening.  They are taking notes. They can quickly sniff out the good guys and the bad guys.  They can also identify a lie as its being uttered.  I don’t doubt that these children want to make those lies stop just as badly as we do. 

Most children know right from wrong.  Our typical children most definitely do.  They know when something or someone is good.  They also know when something or someone is bad.  If a typical eight-year-old child, who is sitting in the back row of an crowded, long-overdue Hearing on autism can instantly understand that something being said is far from the truth, there’s no denying that the discussions from Thursday aren’t over. They are a clear reminder that so much has yet to be done. 

Of course we will still face some serious road blocks and detours as the truth is revealed, and many people will continue to do everything they can to stop us in our tracks.  But I do believe our typical children will be watching right along with us and be more than ready to jump in for support.

As we look to the future and press Congress for more Hearings to continue the many conversations started on November 29th, please remember that more people are watching.  Our children will be watching like a hawk.  They will be listening.  They are motivated to do more.  Let’s make sure we continue the focus on how to make the changes that need to be made and to find ways to help each other.  Our efforts, and those that the siblings are ready to offer, should always be full of honesty and integrity. 

Every child involved in this epidemic, including and especially the typical siblings, needs to be valued.  Our typical children’s passion is as strong, if not stronger, than ours.  I know my children are ready for the next step and will walk the halls of Congress once more, and however many times after that.  I pray that they don’t have to wait too long for the next Hearing.  They’ve waited so long already, not just for the healing of their brother’s vaccine injury resulting in autism, but for justice for every child affected by the autism epidemic.

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

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Cathy
Thank you for your excellent appraisal of the hearing and for that of your son.
I watched Mark Blaxhill presentation - it was excellent.
I first started to listen to the Autism problem after hearing Robert Bransfield at a Lyme Disease conference discussing a significant number of Lyme Induced Autism cases that responded well to long term antibiotics.
More recently my daughter refused to have her child vaccinated and so I have rapidly become interested in the pros and cons of vaccination.
Saturday I watched a presentation from the ILADS conference from a Dad of an Autistic child ( following vaccination) where the child made huge progress on long term antibiotics. I wrote a post on my blog so rather than take too much space here this is the link http://lookingatlyme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/autism-lyme-disease-antibiotics.html

David;
you mentioned that you had been diagnosed with autism. As you may know, to have a diagnosis of autism, you must have speech and language impairments per the DSM iv.
You are very fluent and articulate in your typing; I don't know if you are aware of how untypical that is of most other people with autism diagnoses .
To explain my point; I am quite legitimately on the spectrum of the vision impaired. I wear glasses.My experience though is likely to be very different from someone who is blind.
While I may even not want a cure (through surgery) for myself, since I can do anything I want as long as I wear glasses, someone who is blind may have a very different experience.
And if I went to parents of children who were blind and said that they needed to stop looking for solutions to blindness because my life was just fine and didn't need changing;they might quite legitimately say that my experience did not in any way compare to that of their children.

I was pleased at the hearing when Ari Newman described a gentleman who was non verbal and needed help with communication;he did seem to be aware that there were others who were in a very different position from him. And sensibly suggested the need for a communication board.
I had to wonder though; if someone had offered the gentleman without speech a cure so he could speak; would Ari have refused it on his behalf? And if so, then why was it ok to help him communicate with technology? Wasn't that in a way also looking for a "cure" for his lack of speech?

Cath .. what a wonderful message of hope .. as you have said, the eyes of a child, so clear, penetrating to the core and one is humbled.

I feel so happy that the dam is finally starting to break .. keep up that pressure because what all the Parents of medically damaged children want is truth and justice!

God bless you all for that unrelenting fight.
Ivor

Neurodiversity advocates need to accept the diversity of the autism spectrum.

David, so the evolution of humanity is towards people who can't toilet themselves, bolt, experience some type of gut/intestinal pain and have difficulty communicating -even with communication devices? I really don't understand why/how this would be.

The Age of Autism has been a beacon during this long dark time, sharing information, studies, and like you Cathy and your wonderful family, a glimpse into your lives—a yardstick in which we many readers can relate to the devastation heaped upon Ronan in these missives from the front lines, as we fight alongside to help all these kids and remediate the damage inflicted upon them. Thank you and your sweet, wise children for bearing witness for those of us who couldn’t attend. Little Buddy knows the truth of the situation and the truth will out, though it’s been a slow time coming. An uphill battle where they seek to cut us off at the knees. I read The Age of Autism religiously and admire each one of you who contribute. Many of your accounts bring tears to my eyes for all the struggles, grit, and deep love and commitment expressed. November 29th was a day of gut-wrenching validation where we can discern that—finally—certain members of Congress will no longer tolerate the intolerability of what’s been done, and continues to be done to our children and grandchildren. I, too, had no great hopes for the hearing and for the first time dare to feel that the forces of obstruction, dissembling (lies), duplicitousness, and inaction will finally be swept aside so that our kids will get the help they need and deserve.

"I am a part of the ongoing evolution of humanity"

Thanks for the chuckle David. It's been a few years since the Neorodiversity folks have been trumpeting online. I guess having your leaders getting government positions handed out for no apparent reason has made most of you lazy and feeling entitled, but its good to see some of you are still fighting the good fight. I'm sure your attitude and appraisal of the state of social evolution will fly over well in any public venue. Maybe next time you could go out to DC and let those pompous fools have it.

David -
You have written a lot of angry comments but you have not offered any of the science you claim to revere.

You speak for yourself alone. You do not speak for the nonverbal middle schoolers, the diapered teenagers, the toddlers with chronic G.I. pain, the elementary kids with chronic PANDAS, and so on, ad infinitum.

The science you hold in esteem has long ago been hijacked by industry. The evidentiary documentation is available for anyone willing to face the hard truth.

http://www.amazon.com/Age-Autism-Medicine-Man-Made-Epidemic/dp/B0055X6B9G

Cat,

Thanks so much for going in the face of such adversity. I know adversity - trying to plan a 2500 mile round trip to Texas, staying in a hotel room with a severely affected non-verbal sick child, trying to keep food, and for the last few hours before a GI investigation, even water, away from them so they can be effectively treated for their disease - many of us know of that kind of adversity.

It was so fun watching the grilling, but even more so to see so many of my fellow Canary Party members, and Autism One parents and TMR "troublemakers" in the background! Watching the expressions of the audience was a big part of my overall experience.

I for one welcome David's comments below, and am happy to see them posted on AoA. It is a great reminder that for years we were the ones accused of "co-opting the conversation" - whether at small gatherings or in our own State Capitals trying to pass autism legislation or actions.

Well now it seems the table has turned on people like David. I respect that he states that he has autism, but do not respect the implication that he is representing all people with autism. He has a right to any services he may qualify for and I would fight for those for him as much I will fight for the services my own son needs. I know two young men I consider a good friends that also have HFA and both are tremendous self advocates. But what David, Ari Neiman (sp?) and the other two speakers who spoke for the HFA community do not understand is that they are the minority when it comes to people with autism both in numbers and needs. The resources needs for our severely affected children as they age are much more dire, more expensive and less likely to be allocated. However it seems that our children WILL be taking center stage soon and as I explained to my friends with down syndrome children, it will take up considerable amount of the dwindling resources that we will all be requesting.

People like David would be better served using their "talents" to help all individuals with autism, not just those who are lucky enough to have the ability to choose what to believe may have brought about their condition.

Cat, Thanks again for going in my place, and standing up for my wonderful son.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to do that and loved the reaction from your son. Good luck to everyone in our mission to wake up the masses about vaccine injury. Please add your voice to followingvaccinations.com if your child/children have had an adverse reaction to any vaccine. Over 1,000 parents voices and viewed by over 135 countries worldwide. A pdf can be downloaded from the site and shared.

Hey, has anyone seen this, brand new: "Increasing autism prevalence in metropolitan New Jersey"

http://aut.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/11/27/1362361312463977.abstract?rss=1

... For 2006, a total of 533 children with autism spectrum disorder were identified, consistent with prevalence of 17.4 per 1000 (95% confidence interval = 15.9–18.9), indicating a significant increase in the autism spectrum disorder prevalence (p < 0.001), between 2002 (10.6 per 1000) and 2006....

While sociopathy isn't written in as part of the spectrum, in many ways it does meet definition. While we deal with our children's needs, a sociopath blocking our progress, with the agenda of hurting others through words and deeds seems so evil, but really, these people, were likely pharmaceutical victims as well. I don't understand why the likely low payout for forged documents hasn't been the focus of the Thorson issue, unless the CDC KNEW they were getting what they paid for, "fraudulent signoff science". From bloggers, vaccines as vitamins authors, Offit, members of every institution , there are and will be more sociopaths willing to do anything without concern for "others", that tsunami of empathy free sociopaths is hitting shore ,as well.

David's comments and the responses highlight a problem with just using the one word: Autism. Most parents with concerns about the environmental piece, like those here, have children with REGRESSIVE Autism. That is a completely different subset from Infantile Autism. When babies and toddlers meet developmental milestones only to lose speech, focus, sociability, their shot at independent lives, and their health to boot - you don't just ignore that. You don't say that's okay, let's celebrate it. Something happened. Something's wrong. Nobody calls regressive Alzheimer's a good thing. So, parents whose children developed healthy only to regress are not ever stop trying to get to the bottom of this, if anything to keep such devastation from stunting the lives of babies yet to come. I would hope there are no adults with HFA who would see REGRESSIVE Autism continue unabated just so there are more Autistics in the world.

If what happened to my son is natural selection/evolution then our species must be slated to die out.

Neuro inflammation and immune disfunction. Inability to hold a conversation or a pencil. I can only dream that he will be as articulate and blessed with fine motor skills similar to you. We are screaming and shaking our heads because our kids are so ill and nobody will treat them. Or educate them. Or protect them.

Science is giving us the right to shake our heads behind a witness. More and more research is punching holes in the claim that "vaccines have exonerated in the case of autism".

Ok, call me not very P.C., but I am really struggling to understand these adults with "autism" who are capable of writing full paragraphs, calling other people names, and expressing their feelings.

Somebody needs to change the definition of who they are. David is simply not the same as the kid who is 12, cannot speak, is not toilet trained, and has a zero percent chance of living independently. David, you are welcome to have the term Autism all to yourself, but the 12 year old in my example needs a new name, cause he aint you and you aint him.

When Ari Neeman started talking about how people with autism want to have jobs and want to pay taxes, I thought to myself, "that's great, but you don't look a thing like the kids that we are all pissed off about."

David, you are just like Ari. Trust me when I tell you 98% of the parents reading this site would be absolutely thrilled if they looked into the future and their kid with Autism could write a post as eloquently (although it was immature and bitter) as you just did.

JB Handley

Cat:
Thank-you, thank-you! for making the trip and for taking your children with you. You are spot-on when you talk about how they can see the truth, and they have no tolerance for falsehood. The siblings of severely vaccine-injured children will no doubt be the next wave of warriors. And as we all know, the numbers are rising rapidly - not just the numbers of casualties from vaccines - the numbers of warriors who are now, and will in the future take up the battle flag and fight this fight.

David,

I'm not sure I would use that level of snarkiness and still have the audacity to call someone else a pompous ass. And I would further be careful about oversimplifying the people with whom you disagree as being "undereducated." Most of us are college-educated, and many have multiple degrees (although I would have to admit that few have the multiple doctorates I'm sure you must have to warrant such smugness.

And I don't know anyone who believes this is a simple answer to a complex problem. The environmental triggers behind each individual case on ASD are a unique blend. I believe that it often may include vaccine reactions, but not always. (Likewise, I think that the very need for and existence of the NVIC shows that the vaccine problem is not limited to ASD.) It also seems sensible to hypothesize that the problems go beyond metal toxicity, although that is a likely piece of the puzzle.

No, we are not suggesting a simple answer to a complex problem. And we would love to leave that determination to those in a position to do so. The problem is that those people have shown nothing but reluctance to even address the question. That's what this post is about. We are not demanding that the lords of "science" adhere to our opinions; rather, we merely ask that they honestly seek answers to our questions.

With all due respect to friends who are on the spectrum themselves, I must also point out that you are guilty of the greatest oversimplification of them all: i.e., your implication that autism is nothing more than a step forward in evolution is to ignore the constant of human evolution.

David,

You say that you believe in science. I'm glad, because if you investigate the science that has been performed with respect to vaccines you will discover that vaccines are causing neurological damage every day. That may or may not have happened to you, I can't say not knowing any of your history. Certainly there ARE autistic people who have not been vaccinated, but in my experience they are VERY rare.

I don't know what your own history has been like, but many of the children that I know who have "autism" have extreme difficulty learning to talk, or toilet train, or engage in any kind of social interaction, much less attend a mainstream school. The vast majority have VERY significant impairments in at least one, and most many more, major systems of the body, including immunological, digestive, and neurological problems, as well as autoimmune issues that make their lives extremely difficult in a mainstream world. These children are SICK, some of them VERY sick, and their numbers are rising rapidly. This is NOT an evolutionary adaptation. These children are in no way equipped to excel in our current environment. Survival in and of itself is a huge question for them, and is only facilitated by much more help than the average child needs. Nature cannot have "selected" these traits. The SCIENCE makes it clear that this is so. I can understand why you want to believe what you do, but, in order to do so, you have to blind yourself to the mountains of evidence that are right before your eyes.

This post is so good on so many levels. Thanks, Cathy, for being there to help be the voice for all of our children. And thanks for sharing the experience with us.

Commenter David - you really didn't need to tell everyone you're autistic. That's called redundant.

Clearly you were one of the head-shaking true-believers in the audience. I expected you all to break out in spontaneous choruses of Amen! every time one of those undereducated, pompous asses in the House spewed forth their ignorant nonsense. What is the difference between you folks and a bunch of church-goers worshiping their imaginary friend? None. I'll take science every time over fantasy and delusion. And I am autistic. I am not part of an epidemic; I am a part of the ongoing evolution of humanity. Get used to it. What, you don't believe me? It's no less stupid a notion than yours, so why not? Simple answers to complex problems are the hallmark of the simple-minded. Leave the determination of the facts to those who are most qualified to ferret them out.

Cathy well done!

Our society locks athletes up who are caught cheating with steroids. The media broadcasts this kind of nonsense around the clock. Individuals entrusted with the public health who act dishonestly, cause harm and chaos, who arrogantly squander the public's funds, should not be allowed to get away with just resigning. These crimes against humanity, extending into other continents, demand no less than criminal prosecution and stiff prison sentences.

Cathy,

So glad you were able to make it. What a tremendous experience for your children. I am cautiously hopeful we will start moving in the right direction finally. I say cautiously because I was hopeful when Kennedy's piece came out in Rolling Stone, I was hopeful when the V word was said on Oprah, I was hopeful when we did the March on Capitol Hill, I was hopeful when Hannah Poling was awarded compensation - so many times along this nightmare I was hopeful that we were finally heard. Maybe this time we actually were heard- remember - it will take our government admitting to doing nothing while an entire global generation of children were damaged. Thank you for being there for those of us who could not attend.

"We came also to bear witness for all the other children like Ronan whose families were unable to attend."

Cathy .. God bless you guys for attending and "bearing witness" for the tens of thousands of families like my own that could not attend.

Like you .. while watching the hearing on the internet, I too was struck by the urgent tenor and harsh tone of the questions being asked of the NIH and CDC.

Trust me .. YOUR FAMILY's presence in that over-flowing room gave those Representatives all the more reason to ask the hard questions that have been avoided or ignored for at least a decade now.

The phrase "shot heard around the world" has come to represent several historical incidents .. hopefully,
"Ronan's big sister and typical brother, Little Buddy" witnessed an event that will be remembered as the "shot heard around the world" signaling the end of the autism epidemic as we have come to know it.

Wohoo!

I am so ready to do the next one. We must not stop...we need to make them resign, make the "dr's" go back to school for vaccine safety... go back to school to become an expert at answering questions, and following thru with providing the truth...in other words..they need to be fired, and all ties be cut so they can't lie for money under oath and try to get away with it...

our kids will be the catalyst that sends CDC officials running into a corner...resigning left and right...

more needs to be done congress...legal action..someone needs to be reprimanded in a way that shows "This should have never happened to our kids"

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