On Wed, Jan 30, 2013, a hearing on insurance coverage for children with autism was held in the MN State House. During that hearing, State Rep. Mary Franson of Alexandria MN addressed the cause of autism.
Representative Norton, thank you for bringing this bill forward. As a mother of three children, I am very thankful than none of my children have had to experience autism, or my family hasn't had to go through that experience.
But also, I'm one of those parents that no longer vaccines either because of the fear that I have had talking to other parents that have experienced their child becoming --experiencing autism after what they found, what they believed correlated with the vaccinations.
But I'm just curious: you know we can talk about insuring and that's great, that's hope for the families that are experiencing autism now, but what I'm really interested is ending autism and so that autism is a thing of the past.
And with my own research online, mercury is one of those things, it's a poison, it's a neurological poison here that affects developing babies in the womb, it affects small children. . . California, Oregon and Minnesota are the three states that have the highest incidences of autism. Could you or do you know of any information that you may be able to share with us on what your beliefs are or theories are from the task force on what is being done to hopefully end this?
At this point, Tina Liebling stepped as chair:
Representative Franson, this is really off-topic. The bill is not about the origins of autism, so I think I'm just going to go on to the next person. I think there will be other opportunities to have this kind of discussion, but today in not the day. And as I said, we're going to reconvene at four in the basement. We can talk about the bill for as long as members want, into the night. . .
The first autism hearing at the Minnesota State Capital back on October 16, 2007, provided legislators with 'an overview of autism.’ Here we are 6 years later having to do the same thing all over again, except now the rate has nearly doubled. Then as now, the demand for research into the cause of autism were ignored. It’s clear that any legislator who dares question vaccines or any other environmental cause of the autism crisis is shut down and disregarded.
It is important that our political leaders are addressing a variety of autism bills in Minnesota and across the nation. That said, we can not shy away from questions asking why the rate of autism has exploded, resulting in what is an incredible growing financial burden on taxpayers.
My son has severe classic autism. He also has many co-morbid medical diagnoses' that scientific research and his medical records show can be linked to adverse vaccine reactions that he experienced. He suffered unnecessarily for years because the behaviors caused by his pain were explained away as “autistic behavior.” We addressed his pain and his behaviors decreased. Our leaders need to understand that autism is not just a behavioral disorder, in many cases it is also a medical disorder.
Medicaid and other costs for my son's education, care and well being will easily be over one million dollars by the time he turns 18 in a couple years. There are many children with needs similar to my son’s; they number in the thousands in Minnesota alone. The cost to our nation will be staggering. It is time our nation's leaders became proactive in trying to stop the rising numbers.
Representative Mary Franson is concerned. She took the time to listen to her constituents, she educated herself about their concerns and spoke up for them and their children. It is time that more of our state and national political leaders stood up and demanded to know why our children are falling prey to autism at such epidemic rates.
A Minneapolis newspaper ran an article about Rep. Franson with the title “Mary Franson spouts bogus autism theories at House hearing, gets shut down”. Writer Olivia LaVecchia ridicules Franson for admitting she went to the internet for information. Soon after she writes “There was that infamous bogus trial -- run by a discredited doc on only 12 children -- that has since been ruled "dishonest and irresponsible" by the UK's medical council”. The sentence includes a hyperlink to – you guessed it – an online article written by Steven Salzberg.
A reporter from the same paper interviewed me in 2008 where he portrayed me as a fat, angry desperate parent spouting an unsubstantiated high rate of 1 in 81 children with autism. The CDC stated rate at that time was 1 in 150, yet even that rate was dismissed by Spokesperson for the CDC Courtney Leonard who said “It's really just the number for those locations, but it is out there as the national average."
Within a few years we were hearing the same thing from the CDC and it showed that I was telling the truth. The rate is now officially one in every 88 children. Let's hope we don't have to wait too many more years to hear that Representative Mary Franson was speaking the truth as well.
Tim Kasemodel is just a dad in Minnesota, father of two wonderful sons, one of which struggles with medical issues due to adverse reactions to vaccines. While he disagrees with Representative Franson on other issues, he applauds her willingness to fight for our children.