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Weekly Wrap: Honestly.

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted Mrburns3_2404


The death of my treasured colleague Helen Thomas last week reminded me of her very useful comment that if you want to be loved, don’t go into journalism.
 
Not that I needed much reminding. Recently I’ve read that “lying is in Dan’s nature” (I read that on Age of Autism, because I published it), that I’m “a pimp,” that my correspondent “never would have thought a ‘Buddhist’ capable of such vile bullying tactics,” and that AOA’s “articles never embrace the real issues. Ever.”
 
And these are my friends! From the other camp, I’ve learned that AOA is a “wretched hive of scum, anti-vaccinationism, and autism ‘biomed’ quackery.” And that I am Number 306 in the Encyclopedia of American Loons, because “Although real experts think autism is a genetic disorder and that reported increases are due to changes in diagnostic practices, Olmsted thinks (well, because he thinks so) the (probably non-existent) increases are due to environmental factors and that the genetics is mostly secondary. He has been described as a serious case of confirmation bias.”
 
And that I am a “Moonie blogger.” And that Mark Blaxill “can tell Dan Olmstead [sic] how many breaths he can take per minute” because he is shoveling money at me at an astounding rate. And that I made my name, such as it is, when I “wrote a series about a discredited hypothesis linking vaccination to autism.”

And that my Amish reporting is a “fraud,” and my work “a steaming, stinking pile of rotting feces.”

Earlier this year, a supposed “friendly” named Barry Segal added a minor note to this symphony of opprobrium, telling me and several others, “You guys are out for personal gain, devious and won’t accomplish anything.”

At least I was in distinguished company. Among those whom Barry labeled as “out for personal gain,” devious, and unable to accomplish anything: Mary Holland, Lou Conte, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Kim Stagliano, John Gilmore. “P.S.,” he added as he pulled back funding he had promised in writing, “I had a great dinner with Jake Crosby after the hearings.”

You really know how to hurt a guy, Barry.

Now, Barry is one of those people who thinks the autism advocacy community is a bunch of bumblers that either can’t or won’t make the fact that vaccines cause autism the core belief of every politician and public health official and journalist in the land. Today. The person who called me a Buddhist bully is one of his best buds and attacks relentlessly if anyone forgets to say “vaccines cause autism” once per every three words.

He already had excommunicated Katie Wright for not being tough enough, showing an exquisite lack of comprehension by copying his and her e-mails without authorization to, among other stray addressees, The New York Times – yes, The New York Times.

Barry thinks raising money for Andy Wakefield’s defamation suit is throwing good money after bad. And he says he doesn’t know which side Robert Kennedy Jr. is on.

Bobby Kennedy might really be on the other side -- now that is rad, dude! It takes some fresh out-of-the-box thinking to come up with that one, the kind of new idea we've all needed for a long time now.

Barry elaborated on his Kennedy critique in a comment on Age of Autism: “He’s worse than his uncles; one took advantage of an 18 years old (virgin) intern and the other got drunk and drove his car into the river. His grandfather was no angel.” (What is it with the sexography?)

All this because Bobby Kennedy is not … not what? Not fighting as hard as he can to show that mercury in vaccines causes autism? Now, a reasonable person could disagree with Kennedy’s tactics, but you don’t disagree reasonably with Barry, you dissolve like the Wicked Witch of the West in front of his watery onslaught. (When I told him I thought his comments about well-respected advocates, all parents of autistic children, being in it for personal gain were “despicable,” he responded: "Good to hear from you. Fortunately, we live in a country with a great legal system. Go for it." He has said many times that he loves to sue people.)

But here’s the beauty part. At Barry’s Web site for Focus Autism, his funding entity, it says this: “Do vaccines cause every case of autism? No. Do they cause the autism epidemic? No.”

FA home

Say again? Vaccines do not cause the autism epidemic? We in the rebel alliance, at Age of Autism and elsewhere, have been saying they do every day for years and years, and taking considerable grief -- “stinking pile of rotting feces” that we are -- for saying it. We agree with Bernie Rimland, who along with Helen Thomas is one of my heroes: “The autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause.”


Barry doesn’t believe that, apparently. His site says vaccines aren't causing the autism epidemic.

Now, the site goes on to say vaccines “do contribute,” and they need to be safe. I think the CDC’s Julie Gerberding said that, too. (Oh, and psssttt, Julie had an affair with Bernie Marcus of Autism Speaks, according to multiple posts by Barry that offer no evidence. Really positions him as a serious player in the junior-high lunchroom, doesn’t it!)

Folks, if you want to hop on board the latest holier-than-thou bandwagon and bash everybody for not doing better, while you do nothing but sow discord and division, and, when it gets right down to it, mumble more mush, please to be my guest, dear ladies and gentlemen. Here at good ol’ stumbling bumbling AOA we are not interested in building an empire or, it should be obvious by now, in personal gain.

Or in being loved. If we wanted to be loved, we wouldn’t be journalists.

--
 
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.
 
 
 
 

Comments

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I met Barry Segal and I think he is a smart man who sincerely thinks vaccines are giving our kids autism. He has no hidden agenda, speaks his mind, and it's too bad we couldn't all come together.

The fragmentation of activists in our community is a weakness that slows down our collective ability to help our kids. It's a bummer.

Barry, please keep fighting, the kids need you.

Best, JB Handley

I would like us all to take a moment to actually watch Mark Blaxill stick it to the man in front of Congress.

http://youtu.be/gy2ZcYqk4Bk

Proud to know you and work with you, Mark.

Jim Thompson,

Obviously no one is going to give information to autism parents. There are many colleges that have the people and the ability to analyze data. If they gave the data to three different colleges, they’d all come up with the same results.

I thought that RFK Jr. said that he would give the powers that be until the end of the summer to decide to remove thimerosal from vaccines or else he would publish. How long was he supposed to give them? 24 hours?

Capturing more news cycles when everyone's back from the beach, is that a bad thing?

Linda

Well said.

I can read despair and anger between the lines in Barry's posting. I think we all experience those at different times but I too wish him well.

Barry Segal (sorry for the earlier misspelling),

You say that you plan to focus your efforts on educational outreach. I think that's fantastic. And that you're getting older and you want to see progress. But let me ask you this: How far are you willing to go? How much are you personally willing to sacrifice for the truth? Are you willing to give up everything you have - your home, your social standing, if you were younger, your career? How about your country? Are you willing to leave the US for the truth? Are you willing to be scapegoated and vilified by your professional associates and the media? Would you be willing to exchange a reputation of accomplishment, respectability and honor for one of being a villain? Do you feel so strongly that you would be willing to expose your family, your children, to the social and financial repercussions?

That is how far Dr. Andrew Wakefield has gone. That is what he has sacrificed.

And he still continues to speak the truth and to fight for the restoration of academic and scientific integrity to put an end to the corruption that has brought about this nightmare. He deserves no less than our gratitude and unwavering support.

Dan,

As I mentioned earlier when dealing with the vaccine pushers it’s extremely important that we do not appear dejected since breaking our spirits is their prime goal. What is helpful is to strive to understand them by appreciating their thinking: They also know that vaccines cause autism but for obvious reasons they dare not admit this. And, being denialist, our very existence threatens them to the core. They then consider their options for us. They know that it will be next to impossible to get us anti-vaxxers to switch our views and believe that vaccines do not cause autism. Seriously, even if we wanted to, how can we believe what we can’t believe? The only option left for them then is to disgrace (often involving below the belt insults) us to the point that we will not feel motivated to spread our message. This tactic has been successful to the extent that it has snared on their side a lot of ‘fence sitters’. We are talking about a lot of folks who in their hearts of hearts are suspicious that vaccines do cause autism, but still they will never admit to it lest they be castigated in the same way that we are. Dan, it’s truly a dirty war and not for the faint of heart. Here is a toast to all the brave anti-vaxx patriots.

Barry Siegel,
You make a lot of good points, but your proposal that the community that Andrew Wakefield has fought for and all people who know the truth should not now stand in solidarity with him is morally bankrupt.

Barry Segal

I did not say that the success of any protest movement, whose aim essentially is Vaccine Safety with State regulated trials, (and indemnity to rest with the pharma industry and not just the state), would be dependant upon Wakefield winning his Appeal. Nevertheless I do believe it would open the flood gates of the mainstream press' suppression of the true facts of his case. And a domino effect of retraction would then take place around the world.

Any mass movement of the people (to quote Bob Marley!) begins with the disaffected and now there are thousands of us. Worldwide. Such a movement then looks for a charismatic leader. Would the civil rights movement have been successful without someone like Martin Luther King? These things have their own time agenda.

Let's wait and see....hopefully for not too long.

Dan,

There was something very special about Helen. We heard her speak at a University forum and her desire to report the facts was amazing. She challenged when others cowered. She asked the right questions. That is something that obviously was passed on to you.

For instance, do an online search for news about Poul Thorsen. Try all the major TV networks, newspapers, and cable networks-- there seems to be zero coverage. Age of Autism, Safeminds, and the Congressional Record provide the information. Helen would approve!

Barry says, "Schools and states have records that could be accessed easily and it won’t be an invasion of privacy and you will see more than a vaccine-autism connection."

Really? How would that work? I don't think that schools or states would release data to a group of autism parents.

Lately a lot of vaccine defending bloggers have been saying, "Well, why don't you do your own study?" I don't know where the data would come from.

Oh, here is something I don't agree with Barry and that is what he said about Dr. Wakefield.

Nope don't agree on that one at all.

Jeannette,
You are right. The only way to solve this problem is to convince parents that they need to refuse the vaccinations, because the health care industry is never going to admit how it has have become the paper shredder of children's (and adults') minds. Is there any reason to believe that it's suicidal? There you go. Who do they care more about, our children or their prestige, careers, and paychecks?

Sarah W;
Thanks for the link. I have read it before and get this -- I just thought about it a couple of days ago.
I have been thinking it all starts with damage to the hypothalamus considering it is the one thing that links all these symptoms from spiked temperatures, blood sugar, obesity, bipolar, heart arrhythmia - GI problems ---- well a long list, indeed..
. But then I remembered this article and it did occur to me that the problem still may not start at the hypothalamus-- maybe the starting point is in the bone marrow the birth place of what will become T cells. So the hypothalamus is just another victim of our immune system. Unless it is some cycle going on and the hypothalamus and bone marrow feed off of each other. My head hurts with these thoughts - I do want to know bad.

Cia Parker; That was an interesting letter from the speech teacher.

Ahhhh speech teachers; My college room mate was one, they seem to be a smart, articulate bunch. The speech teacher at our school wanted to work with my daughter with the 130 IQ -, my daughter pronounced one thing wrong, and that was the Ch sound, but the speech teacher and all other speech teachers were no where to be found when my son started school and was practically non-verbal. I try not to hold it against them - I had one give me some good pointers -- and really all the pointers were what every good Parent would be doing anyway. It takes one on one - all the time.

This speech teacher in though starts talking about new norms - Aspergers being so smart and looking you in the eye. Once again I would like to point out that in my community right here in Kentucky -- those smart ones above the norm in school have ended up with problems called bipolar-- and drugs -- and there sure is a lot of them. So, I don't think the new norm is gong to be all the great for society.

As for the asthma question you ask - yes, they all had their DPT shots. My friend's daughter, I spoke of - had her first major asthma attack at age 5 (some time probably after her last DPT baby shots). ----------- but the cat got the blame.

Jeannette Bishop;

Good point that disabilities with such wonderful medical advances should be decreasing. I think that was the point missed by Tom Insel when he gave his little speech at an IACC meeting a year or so back. He said that mental retardation was caused by diseases and--- well his point was -?- about what ever anyone would want it to be - since he is a great politician. But I think he meant that if the vaccines are to blame for autism it all equals out in the end anyway, so no real harm done.

. The -- Babies they are now saving-- some one should remind them where the United States is on the bad end of the list for infant mortality rate -- for a developed country.


and at last Barry Segal: Wow.
We agree on everything, that you posted about - don't we!. I even had to laugh at the comment about Snowden - because yes the schools keep detailed records and they are the ones that diagnosed my little one after I had him to a slew of doctors. PDD-NOS -- even the seizures the school teachers complained to me asking me to complain to the doctors. Deaf ears had the doctors! - (that is a Yoda type comment too).

Barry you are 78 and you want to see this come to a head. I understand - it has been a long time for me too -- getting over 30 years coming up soon enough.

I think that things had to boil for a very long time before the American Revolution finally came about-- what kept it on a long simmer was the press - grinding out articles - -lots of articles. I don't think it would have helped if George Washington did to Benjamin Franklin what went on here. Those working for Age of Autism are not the enemy but those grinding out the stories. You are attacking the wrong people.

Your thoughts on trying to educate the Mothers--- You do know that for those mothers hearts and minds you are competing with three or four federal agencies.-that have armies of health department workers, nurses, and doctors scared of losing their license (beside they bought in to what the Universities taught them)

Ah something else that is in there fighting for hearts and minds is the Univeristies.

You should have to sit in on one of those college classes - zealots for the vaccines, the professors are. How about for a Yoda comment

Not only that but they have the media all locked up too.

. There are even task force funded by the federal government -for those kids that slipped between the cracks. I forget it's name "Vaccines for Every Child" or something like that. Kind of sounds like the Black Watch of the Scotland Highlands don't it.

So how do you get your education classes to the masses?

I sent in my little 50 dollars just last week to National Vaccine Information Center. That has been around since at least 1986 -- Barbara Fisher could use some help on that one, if you come up with any suggestions.

You are smart and think out of the box -- maybe you and Bernie of Home Depot (thinker out of the box on that one) might think of something.

Good luck!

Meanwhile it is important that Age of Autism keeps grinding out those stories, as we wait Joy's Methane explosion of Biblical proportions.

Re our perceived mistake of not fighting pharma's 'no real increase in autism' argument more effectively in our efforts to win the public's support, I don't know if this would still make much of a difference. The way I see it, the Average Joe and Joanne who are the 49 out of 50 families that are not directly affected by autism, truly do not care about autism and the issues surrounding it. For these people, they will easily swallow whatever the mainstream media (aka pharma) tells them. Perhaps the only factor that will get these people's attention is when autism starts directly affecting them. When they see autism seriously chewing up their tax dollars then they will wake up and be more inclined to listen.

@Dan

Dan, you are in the midst of a dirty, desperate war so don't expect your foes to play nice. You need to suck it up and keep fighting. I also appreciate how difficult our fight is so I would be the last person to criticize you guys for your valiant efforts. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time with Orac's minions so I am also not a stranger to their nastiness. They sling a lot of mud my way, and I sling it back. I really don't see the point in playing nice.


Finally, if Kennedy has serious dirt on the CDC, then let's have it.

I got a phone call over the weekend that The Age of Autism attacked me. Obviously, they won’t publish my response, so I will respond to my small following.

Probably the cause of the article was my sending Mark Blaxill a note asking him who got to him? At a Facing Autism meeting he read his speech for the November congressional hearing and gave us copies. He left out a lot. The following are examples:
• “…SafeMinds was the first to uncover the Generation Zero data and other materials through the Freedom of Information Act that provides ample evidence to this end. In recent years, the CDC has failed to comply with the FOIA regulations and refused to provide requested information to the community. Compounding this is the fact that a key researcher on the CDC-Denmark collaboration tops the List of the HHS Office of Inspector General’s Most Wanted Fugitive List for 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, after stealing more than a million dollars from the autism grant. At least one CDC employee continues to collaborate with him and is has published numerous papers since the federal indictment. SafeMinds includes in our testimony a full report on this matter.

• … And to be clear, the issue of vaccine injury induced brain injury leading to autism is not off the table. As a research paper published in Pace Law Review last year made public, officials from HRSA lied to Congress and the American public regarding the compensation of autism as a vaccine injury. Dozens of cases were discovered.

• … Root out the failures. This Committee’s purview is waste, fraud and abuse.
Rephrased: Root out the failures, the waste, fraud and abuse."

So basically, somehow Brian Hooker who had worked hard for the congressional meeting and whose testimony would have been much more effective, got eliminated by Safe Minds. Eventually, even Mark Blaxill left Safe Minds.

Safe Minds, I stopped funding because I asked Sally Bernard to stop with “Autism Speaks” and she refused. Over the years I had given them $145,000.

Yes, I tried to get a group together called “Facing Autism”. I funded it but, the powers to be felt that I shouldn’t be an officer or even on the board. I was uneasy with what they were doing and felt the process of hiring a press agency was “a joke” and a rally in Battery Park, NY made no sense – so I bailed, I continued to fund EBCALA – Mary Holland, Kim Rosenberg, Lou Conte & Allen Tate.

I was at an event honoring Katie Wright, Dr. Krigsman & Kim Rosenberg. I spent a lot of time talking to Bob Wright. He questioned me on who told me Bernine Marcus fathered an autistic child – I told him I would never reveal my source & winked at Katie. Katie told me I had gotten to her father and he called a meeting at the end of October to discuss spending some money on environmental issues (by the way, Katie knows I am right).

The night of the Autism Speaks environmental meeting I had dinner with Martha Herbert. We had talked about doing something to educate expectant mothers. She is on the science advisory committee of Autism Speaks, was in their office the day of the environmental meeting, but was not allowed to sit in. Sally Bernard attended by phone. The result is they were going to investigate air pollution – You’ve got to be kidding.

I’m 78, I’m not against the congressional hearings. Certainly, not against Andy Wakefield (but winning his case does not get you there). The vax vs. unvax study will take years and not be done properly. Schools and states have records that could be accessed easily and it won’t be an invasion of privacy and you will see more than a vaccine-autism connection. Snowden could do it. Because of my age, I want to see something accomplished NOW and I don’t see it happening ----- PROVE ME WRONG.

Slow down the vaccination schedule. Don’t do the catch up vaccines, don’t vaccinate sick children or children coming off antibiotics and certainly, not if they have earaches. Don’t put thimerosal in anybody’s body especially, a baby directly or indirectly (i.e. breastfeeding).

This country is way behind other developed countries because of the constant tinkering with immune system. A study in Poland: http://progress.umb.edu.pl/sites/progress.umb.edu.pl/files/129-141.pdf says you don’t need any vaccinations ‘till 3 years of age. The Hep B shot at birth – how stupid can you be? Just vaccinate the 1-2 % of the children whose mothers test positive. Like the rest of the world.

Celiac disease, epilepsy, diabetes, allergies, asthma are all growing faster here than in the rest of the world.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
1. I am led to believe tetanus shots can be given after an incident.
2. Gardisil might be effective on some strains but, causes cancer on others. The net effect is negative and the drug companies know this..
3. They also mislead you on the shelf life of medicines.
4. We have an office of about 14 people. Two of our staff recently had family members react to shots, emergency room, etc. Both ended with type 1 diabetes.
5. As you vaccinate against chicken pox, you are going to have a growth in shingles, but don’t worry, now we have a vaccination to prevent shingles.
6. What’s the cause of the growth of peanut allergies? – You wouldn’t put peanut oil in the vaccines or would you?
7. I hear you can’t get food stamps without being vaccinated --- what’s the connection? --- How did that happen?
8. Another major problem is what I call “subtle damage”. A child has a reaction to shots, loses IQ, the parents don’t even know or are in denial and obviously, nothing is reported to VAERS.

I went after Bobby Kennedy because I hoped that he would hear it and do something NOW, not play games. The Kennedy name is big, he’s taped some important conversations and he should go public with it now. Time is of the essence. Why put innocent children at risk?

Besides Focus Autism, I founded The Segal Family Foundation which is active in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here is a link for our partners describing our work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8K3Qz8y6RQ . We have only been active a couple of years and make a big impact. In May, Bill Clinton spoke at our annual meeting.

I tried to set up a similar results-oriented group of organizations on the Autism side to attack the vaccine issue. Facing Autism didn’t succeed, I, as Yogi said “will never, never give up”.

Throwing all the money for research to find the “Autism Gene” makes no sense. Nothing gets accomplished. Vaccines are the cash cow of big pharma. They make billions vaccinating and now make billions treating the aliments they create.

Our goal at Focus Autism is to partner with Moms Against Mercury and fight thimerosal. Focus Autism will do a national campaign to educate mothers, expectant mothers, doctors, nurses about the importance of a safer vaccine program NOW – and help people report incidents to VAERS - others can go after the politicians.

re: autism not really on the rise

Belief in diagnostic substitution (which I can't very much entertain--I see across the board a downhill turn in health in the youth born when my children were), etc. doesn't rule out a role for immune modulating substances, Hg, Al through injection. I wonder if some who've spent much time focused on certain kinds of leaves in a forest might fail to notice a shift in prevalence across the whole landscape, but that doesn't rule out consideration of environmental conditions that may be involved in the growth of some kinds of trees. Some things associated with learning disabilities like lead exposure have supposedly decreased. Maybe all other things being constant we should be seeing a decrease in disabilities. Those certain there is diagnostic substitution I would hope would still be open to considering environmental exposure as the not-so-recent twin study in the news had people saying science now says "environment must play a bigger role than previously thought." It's not like we rule out air pollution having a role in various disorders because we weren't driving cars, refining oil, or whatever when some disorders were known to occur...

Another argument I've heard, that we're saving babies that would have died, born prematurely or whatever, and they are more susceptible to disability--my eight & half pound, born on her due date child, with no apparent complications to protect her from Hep B on day one makes me also resistant to that view--but that particularly doesn't rule out toxic by weight substances (such as injected vaccine metals) or excuse us from an obligation to understand and protect such from debilitating exposures to every extent possible.

One would think that understanding how an "extremely rare" vaccine reaction that "results in" autism might be a hopeful prospect (the understanding the reaction part, not the reaction) and may lead to understanding better all the other "always been with us" cases of autism, and may also lead to understanding how to avoid more vaccine reactions and unacknowledged "side-effects" (ok, my internal questionings of what motivations are really driving some policies always start to nag when I start thinking about the whole potential spectrum of vaccine injury).

I have to ask, do these arguments seem to stem from a desire to protect something in the status quo more than our children? Maybe there is particular discomfort in considering that a "healthcare" practice may play a role. Or maybe, many will feel implicated with some degree of responsibility/irresponsibility (many of us bought the vaccine narrative as cut-and-dried gospel...), or maybe it seems too obvious (it didn't at first for me, but some people seem to be in a position to know somewhat more) and many don't want to think about what it means that they missed it? Maybe it hints of a larger institutional fallibility, something without an easy solution possibly, that some don't want to come to know, but at the cost of the health and well-being of some percentage of our children? What I don't see is many people thinking about that part, or I fear something worse. Are some resisting observations and scientific evidence of a vaccine link in at least some cases because they don't want to face, and have become apparent to others, that if this is true they will not change anything or support any change in practice. Our disabled children and adults are expendable beings?

I hope that goes too far, but whatever reasons, isn't the possible potential to protect more (I think all) of our children better, and maybe some of us older beings also, not worth considering, and investigating, uncomfortable "theories?"

AoA is a fine newspaper. It is not and never can be, an action group. However I do think the time is right for such a protest movement against the Pharma industry and the medical establishment but I think we should all wait for the Wakefield Appeal to be resolved before such an movement could take its first step.
If, as should rightly happen, Wakefield is vindicated, which will cause a chain reaction of vindication all along the line, including the reversal of the GMC decision, then any protest action or movement will have brought down the first obstacle i.e. mainstream media recognition. If the Appeal should fail, then there is every reason to mount an even more massive movement, worldwide, against the Pharma Industry and the State, of all countries represented, in support of him, and of our beliefs and concerns.

AoA could then play its most valuable part in helping to organise and advise such a movement.

This is an excerpt from a comment published in Discover magazine with the link: a friend I met on Shot of Prevention sent it to me, it's by a teacher talking about the tremendous increase in numbers of severely impaired kids in school.

"From Marcia...Anonymous

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2012/07/11/is-autism-an-epidemic-or-are-we-just-noticing-more-people-who-have-it/


I am a speech-language pathologist and have worked in the same elementary school for 25 years. I work with a highly experienced team of professionals who have dedicated their lives to serving to children in public schools. We are not concerned with reimbursement from medical insurance. We do not receive any profit from the marketing and sales of quick-fix, cure all programs. Our work is not dependent on grants or the results of our research. Our work will not make headlines or sell magazines. It will not go viral and be used as a link for web advertising.

I have never contributed to any on-line debate on this topic and have no desire to do so again. However, after reading the comments above I had the feeling that I was a child at a cocktail party, l listening to a room full of adults argue about the statistics of neglected children. What is the point? Why argue about headlines and inconclusive studies? Does anyone really think that statistics will give us an answer? Or is this just a way to avoid fear.

Here is the simple truth. No jargon. No numbers: The children that are enrolled in my classroom today, have very different needs as compared to the children who were enrolled 15 years ago. This is not because, back in the day, there were more children in institutions. It is not because my former students really had the same needs and I just don't remember them very well, or that I just used different terms to categorize children. I don't even use those terms unless I have to communicate with someone who needs big words to feel important. It is not because our busting- at- the- seams, school launched an advertising campaign so we could stretch our budget just a little bit more. It is most certainly not because the hard working families of these beautiful children are just following a popular new trend in in parenting.

I will agree that , over the years, the language that has been used to describe behaviors or skills has changed. More contemporary, politically correct labels have been created. However, those of us who have actually been working with children in a public classroom did not participate in that project. We don't have time to publish, do research, attend committee luncheons, or even go the bathroom. We teach. We observe. We take data. We spend more time with the children in our classrooms than their parents do. We don't need to debate statistics. We know. We are not concerned about what the popular public trend is. We live it.

So here is a fact: We have seen a dramatic increase in children being referred to us who demonstrate significant challenges in sensory processing, motor planning and communication. These children have striking and dramatic differences in the way that they play and interact with people in their environment. Their neurological and biological systems are so overwhelmed that many resort to engaging in repetitive behaviors and routines in order to protect themselves from the constant bombardment of language and sensations that they can not interpret. If they had been here 20 years ago I would remember.

On the other hand, many of these children demonstrate academic skills that are far more advanced than their classmates who do not flap their hands, and are able to look adults in the eye. So statistically these children could help to create a new "norm curve" for academics. The possible result could be that my "typically developing" child could then be statistically, delayed or even worse.....atypical.


Each child is an individual. Knowing how many children exist in the population, that exhibit similar behavior patterns to the individual, is as useful to me as knowing how many children used a binky or picked their nose. It is not about seeing children as a percentage of the group. It is not about identifying everything that is different or lacking and changing it. It is about finding a way to see the world through a child's eyes. It is about understanding that the "norm" is not necessarily better, and different is not a disease. Maybe we need to just understand.

I do not work with statistics.
I do not work with diagnoses.
I do not call my students Asperger's
or ASD, Classic or rock n roll Autism.

They are children
They have names

----------------------------------------------------

From Kelly:


Reading through the comments, I was quite moved by what speech therapist Marcia had to share, as she writes with deep compassion for children with autism. I too work with children on the autism spectrum, and know that recognizing their humanity is the most important way to begin to help them navigate through the complicated "real world."

Willingham raises some interesting points, but she seems unaware of important epidemiological studies that have examined the very question in the headline . A study published in Epidemiology in January 2009 closely examined the question of increased diagnosis and concluded:

"In summary, the incidence of autism rose 7- to 8-fold in California from the early 1990s through the present. Quantitative analysis of the changes in diagnostic criteria, the inclusion of milder cases, and an earlier age at diagnosis during this period suggests that these factors probably contribute 2.2-, 1.56-, and 1.24-fold increases in autism, respectively, and hence cannot fully explain the magnitude of the rise in autism." www.precaution.org/lib/autism_increases_real.090101.pdf In other words, while autism diagnosis in California increased 700% in less than 20 years, only 56% is due to inclusion of milder cases, and 12% is explainable by changing age at diagnosis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19234401

The rising numbers of children diagnosed with autism cannot be mostly attributed to changing diagnostic categories or better diagnostic techniques. We know that environment is a large component, and the many co-morbidities (such as seizure disorders and severe gastrointestinal distress) suggest that we should be looking at some systemic disrupters in the environment (so rain in August, and television since the 1950s, can probably be ruled out, and therefore do not merit study).

CT Teacher

I remember the situation in a London borough in the late 1990s. Provision was having to be made in Special Education for the new flood of ASD diagnoses in my son's special school - the ED children were being moved into mainstream; the MR children were housed in a school next door who did not have a clue about how to deal with my son. There would have been ample opportunity to re-allocate diagnoses in older children if it had been appropriate but it simply did not happen. I think some people with the distance of time have come to think it must have been, but plainly it wasn't.

The fiction that it was always like this - particularly with a National Autistic Society paper which was never peer reviewed - was begun around then, probably in the aftermath of the Royal Free news conference, but the evidence on the ground was completely counter. It just obviously was not so - meanwhile the Department of Health were busily not collecting statistics, though data was collected in Scotland and bears out the picture I am talking about.

Of course, there are various dynamics in this - the government were deeply hostile to the expansion of SEN provision, but it had to be expanded nevertheless. Also, the approach was "state-ideological": autism did not rise despite the evidence all around that it was out of control and there was no existing provision, and no one knew anything about it. One thing was certain: it was against government policy to explore any possible causes.

And Benedetta,
You've got to read the chapter in The Age of Autism on the massive increase and first appearance of many mental illnesses after the start of the Industrial Age in England. Lots of tables and figures, I was absolutely stunned when I read it. I don't know much about bipolar disorder, but I'll say chances are very good that it's caused by industrial toxins like mercury too. I'm sure it gets very exhausting for them to push every conceivable manifestation of brain damage into hundreds of minutely differentiated categories.

Benedetta,
Were your acquantances with asthma vaccinated with the pertussis vaccine as children? I think everyone but the Amish born since WWII had that vaccine, which often causes asthma (one in nine vaccinated children now). Like in everything else, there are genes that make one more susceptible to reacting to the vaccines in that way, but without vaccines there would be no problem.

As for autism being called something else in earlier decades, I can say that both my brother and I reacted to the DPT as infants, me with screaming for days and he with beating his head against the bars of his crib. We were both bookish and socially isolated, unable to converse or interact normally with people, but both so good at academic subjects, that no one really noticed. I realized when I started reading a lot about autism because of my daughter that we both had had vaccine encephalitis and now have Asperger's. I can think of five people I know who are so awkward verbally and socially that I'm sure they are in the same situation.

But I think this is like the Scandinavian autistic children who tend to have much higher-functioning autism than in the US: fewer vaccines, maybe fewer of certain kinds of vaccines, less damage. When I was in grade school, we had thirty children in each classroom, and there were NEVER serious problems of classroom management. ALL the children sat fairly still in rows, didn't interrupt while the teacher was talking, just sat silently, answering coherently when called on. At Halle Hewetson in Las Vegas (where I had measles in the first grade, chickenpox in the second, along with many more), there was one small special needs classroom with a very few Down syndrome or otherwise mentally retarded children. At Thorpe Gordon in Jefferson City it was the same, orderly rows of orderly, well-behaved children, no paras, no aides, because all the children behaved very well nearly all the time. Now such a situation would be inconceivable. If everything has always been the same, why are the schools having to shell out hundreds of millions to manage so many unmanageable children? Call it what you like, do the other older partisans of AoA remember how orderly classrooms used to be? That is the proof of the pudding, not the terms used to categorize, but whether there were insurmountable problems with massive numbers of out-of-touch children in public schools or not. And I can tell you that there were not.

Thanks Twyla for the information.

Hmmm;
Hell will freeze over before I allow Depokote or valproate acid (the same thing)

These B vitamins is getting tiresome too. For bipolar it is the B vitamin insititol, but I see that they now suggest including using vitamin B 12 and folate..

Does that sound familiar.

They use to think insitiol interferred with lithium when in fact - it may be why lithium works in the first place-- it makes insitiol hang around and be resused or something on that order.

And again it is genes I see along with environmental insults.

Just like autism.

IT is going to be a long fight.

As Joy said "how many sacred cows can this society maintain before we get a methane explosion of biblical proportions?"

One Disgusted Parent,
I don't understand the purpose of your comment at all. The Age of Autism, both the book and the website, have made thousands of facts available to all involved in this struggle. I use the information every day, in talking to people and in posting comments. The ready availability of this information is of inestimable value: I'm rereading Stacy Herlihy's Your Baby's Best Shot, and am appalled at all the false information in every paragraph. Simply and demonstrably false. All of it designed to scare parents into fearing the vaccine-preventable diseases and to trust the vaccines for them. Of course the diseases can damage or kill, but their dangers and frequency are greatly exaggerated to sell vaccines, and the frequency and severity of vaccine damage minimized or outright denied. Our movement has been compared to the Gutenberg printing press revolution, in which, for the first time, the masses were able to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. Surely this is revolution is directly comparable to that one: giving the people access to the information we need to protect our children from harm. And people also need to learn about the contemptible tactics of the vaccine defenders, as they cast doubt on the credibility of everything they say, which is only designed to move product rather than help children. I liked Dan's article, as I do all the articles posted here, and I send many of them to friends. There is no reason to throw a rug over their filth to hide it, and every reason to display it to all.

Twyla and Benedetta,

Not sure if you have seen this interview (see link below) with Dr. Mario Capecchi but it is in line with what you are saying regarding the link between MI and immune system function.

According to Dr. Mario Capecchi, a geneticist University of Utah, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, OCD are all linked to immune dysfunction in the brain specifically the microglia. He said defective microglia output defective behavior and to treat mental illness you must treat the immune system.

Very interesting (please watch the full interview):

"Utah scientist makes breakthrough in mental illness research"- KSLV.com


http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=10947928

I just went back to look at Mark Blaxill's Power Point presentation before the congressional autism hearing in November 2012:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/11/safeminds-blaxill-autism-committee-on-oversight-and-goverment-reform.html#more

In Slide 7 he says that mercury levels in vaccines were so high that many believed they caused autism. And of course, everything that went before that in his presentation, about Dr. Kanner's first cohort of autistic children and the Brick Township data on extremely high rates of autism (data monkeyed with to conceal the increase) after the beginning of the autism epidemic in 1990 (which coincided with the addition of several mercury-containing vaccines to the schedule) make no sense unless you realize that both phenomena involved the addition of a lot of mercury through vaccines at the time. It cannot be said that he made no mention of the problem of mercury in vaccines.

My husband believes that autism is a new word to describe conditions that used to be called mental retardation and emotional disturbance. He spent his entire career in the field of special education...as a teacher and then as an administrator. He holds a PhD in that field. When I tell him that I never saw autistic kids in any schools where I taught until after 2000, he says that is because MR and ED kids were in special schools in the past. It is true that some of them were, but I also remember small SpEd classes in some of the schools where I taught and those kids were not like the kids with autism. Many of my husband's former colleagues agree with him. Several also subscribe to the better diagnosis theory. These are all people who should know better but for whatever reason they cannot get below the surface in their understanding of this.
I agree with those folks who think that the issue of the increase in numbers should be front and center for autism organizations. I also think that embracing other advocacy groups where vaccine damage might be a causative factor, such as asthma or bipolar disorder, etc., could be helpful. That said, I applaud everyone who is working hard to get the dangers of vaccines to the attention of the public. Many of you work tirelessly for this cause and your efforts are much appreciated.

Benadetta -
There's research showing a link between bipolar and immune system issues, for example:

"Cytokines in Bipolar Disorder:"

"Patients with bipolar disorder exhibit increased peripheral level of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, mainly during acute mood episodes. These mediators interact in several pathways involved in regulation of mood and energy including hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and monoamine metabolism. Importantly, inflammatory cytokines have a potential role in controlling neuronal and glial cell loss that occurs during mood episodes, especially during mania, as they are the most powerful extracellular stimuli to apoptosis. Bipolar patients have been reported to show imbalanced peripheral production of cytokines both at the mRNA and protein levels, associated signal transduction machinery, as well as to have specific functional polymorphisms in the genes that encode these cytokines. Interestingly, lithium, valproate, and several antidepressants have demonstrated to have immunomodulatory properties. Growing evidence supports the involvement of inflammatory mechanisms in bipolar disorder, opening new paths of investigation using immunomodulatory medications."
http://www.cnsspectrums.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=3596

"The etiology of bipolar disorder is thought to involve multiple genes and environmental factors. Recently the immune system has been implicated in the pathogenesis. Various abnormalities indicate the presence of an activated inflammatory response system. In this presentation evidence will be presented on:1.A higher susceptibility for autoimmune diseases (thyroiditis, gastritis, type 1 diabetes), not only in patients but also in first degree relatives independent from mood disturbances.2.An inflammatory gene-expression signature comprising of 19 pro-inflammatory genes in monocytes, the monocyte (and its descendent cells) being important in the activation of the inflammatory response. The inflammatory gene-expression profile was also found in the monocytes of bipolar offspring, especially in those developing a mood disorder (prognostic value of the test?).3.Common environmental factors (infection, stress and dietary components?) as the factors causing the inflammatory monocyte gene-expression signature (evidenced in a twin study).4.A general T cell activation not only linked to the trait of the disorder, but also to the state of the disorder (i.e. with mania) and in part due to genetic factors (evidenced in a twin study). Also T cell activation is not linked to monocyte activation.5.A poor T regulator activation which is genetically determined and correlates with the presence of above-described autoimmune diseases.In sum, there is clear evidence for an activated inflammatory response system in bipolar disorder, yet different components are separately activated in a complex fashion linked to the phenotype of the disorder and involving both genes and environmental factors. "
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0924933809705206?via=sd

Dan:

I can't imagine where my family would be today without the insightful reportage of AoA. You are my essential link to the latest news and views of the autism community - the good and the bad. My heartfelt thanks go out to you and all of your contributors for helping to make my journey a bit brighter on this long and terrible road.

John;
I thought you were confused and mixed up because Lettmegot has great comments on here.

Easy to get confused.
I am glad you two are okay.

Twyla and Cia Parker since we are on the subject of the real reason (we think) that it has not hit the public in "Methane Biblical Proportions" Yet - Is because the public thinks autism is always been here - just called other names.

I don't know how to change that perception, it is bizarre!

My life time neighbor and friend thinks so. That hurt. Considering she has been wit me at almost the very beginning of everything that happened to me. Considering that her 30 something son-in-law was found dead on the side of the interstate from a heart attack. Not to mention he had bipolar, and his kids have "something", and her daughter had asthma.

Asthma is inherited by the way too - cause she can name several distant members in her and her husband's family that had it.


Speaking of bipolar --
Bipolar has risen 40 percent in children in the last decade, and doubled the rate in adults. The United States is number one in a 11 nation study.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/07/US.highest.bipolar.rates/index.html

Another neighbor walking her dog stopped to talk to me down at my garden and she has a brother diagnosed with with bipolar recently.

Again just like autism, she said that you can have bipolar all your life and never know it, and then it just might show up.

Really!

Yeah, she found out he had bipolar because he decided to start a bussiness and started to spend every cent he had and then some in bizarre ways. He has three kids.

According to her it has always been in the population and only now are we figuring it out and knowing what to look for.

And 30 something year olds are found dead beside the interstate from heart attacks all along too.

Don't know how to get to them.

Letthembegot

My apologies, I confused you with a mutual acquaintance who as far as I can see is engaged in a very tiresome wind-up operation. I think one thing he has to consider is how if we are all going to pull together it is helpful to relentlessly question everyone else's motives (particularly those that are doing all the work). On thing he does is go on about infiltators but if you really want to succeed in smashing things up you just need to make people suspicious of each other. That is about the worst thing you can do: otherwise there isn't very much to infiltrate - just a loosely associated group of people who are trying to stand up for human decency (IMHO).

PS I gather our friend has also been harassing a wellknown autism scientist who has been fighting the corner since before he was born.

I usually feel like I'm biting my tongue online, virtually (though I suspect it's hard to tell), and sometimes really physically while I'm trying to figure things out, but the tone of a piece, written piece particularly, may often be in the eye of the reader? At least, I'm just hearing a spelling out of the tongue-numbing state of being attacked for being beyond the pale on the crazy and vile side and simultaneously for being way too nice and timid about all things vaccines, the latter coming somewhat from a "do as I say, not as I ..." position and then there are attacks for spelling this out, I think...or an attempt to get the focus off track of that spelling out possibly...?

I see the most value in what AoA does in reporting such as on the original Kanner cases, analyses of the quality of "research" we get to hear so much about in the "mainstream" media, giving a place for what the media suppresses to be voiced, and generally the first heads-up on vaccine & autism related developments. Sometimes when my tongue or head or soul or child hurts, I have to leave (or I should), but that pain comes from other sources.

Cia, those are good points about where did the autism children of yore disappear to? And, when we were growing up, we knew when our classmates had baby siblings, when our relatives or neighbors or parents' friends had babies. Are we to believe that those babies developed autism and then were institutionalized and we did not remember them? Nobody talked about them? They just disappeared and nobody wondered what happened to them? Nobody had noticed their descent into autism, and their parents didn't talk about it?

"One Disgusted Parent" said "Well, Twyla and Nancy, both of you should know EXACTLY who I am, since I am a friend to the both of you on Facebook. This being said, however, the reason I chose to not use my real name is the fact that I have no desire to suffer through a childish verbal internet/Facebook attack from the both of you - one that might even employ the use of all capitals, maybe some exclamation points as well, yeah? Both of you are apparently the only ones who are allowed to voice an opinion? ..."

I can't recall Nancy nor me attacking anyone, using all capitals, or lots of exclamation points. If you are my FB friend, how would I know who you are? I doubt that you are my FB friend - if you are, please send me a FB message.

Of course you are allowed to voice an opinion, and others are allowed to respond. But your tone is very hostile, and inconsistent with your supposed opposition to "incessant, childish complaining". I think you are just messing with us.

Kim,Dan and Mark and the many contributors are all Heroes in my
mind and notes.Thank you for all your hard work and contributions to educate the masses to the dangers of vaccinations.
As for not using your name,it is difficult to be anti-vaccine
and in primary health care.After all I need to function and survive in this piranha environment.
Lets stay united,supportive and strong.

Digusted Parent You too seem to have a lot to complain about.

So you are not going to change what you are doing, or you are going to do more of what you are doing, and as you go along with what ever it is you are doing you are not going to
going to not be interested in what is going on in the big world?

I have been there for 25 of the 30 years. Only catching glimpses of what is going on and it is miserable. It wears on your soul, it makes you feel isolated and along. It makes you dwell on things that makes your chest, and throat hurts.

But to have a daily article or articles from others really does help my soul.

I think I can survive this. It gave me the courage to say to my family - my aunts and cousins -- Hey this happened and this is why.

I gave me the courage to speak to my neighbors, and to my suprise the responded back with things they had notice too.

I have been there about not knowing and it just makes you sick at heart.


“Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round – remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.”

― James Corbett

I like to think that Helen Thomas and Molly Ivins are having a good old time together right about now. Thank you for being a real journalist when it comes to autism and other pharmacologic injuries. One has to wonder at the true motivation of the posers at that other site who would allow such incoherent, poorly edited and ultimately counterproductive material to see the light of day.

Well, Twyla and Nancy, both of you should know EXACTLY who I am, since I am a friend to the both of you on Facebook. This being said, however, the reason I chose to not use my real name is the fact that I have no desire to suffer through a childish verbal internet/Facebook attack from the both of you - one that might even employ the use of all capitals, maybe some exclamation points as well, yeah? Both of you are apparently the only ones who are allowed to voice an opinion? Guess what. I'm allowed to voice one as well. That's the great American way.
As far as what have I done? I've done plenty, with other moms from my area, to help other parents as well as their children. We assist with helping to get services for children, we are there for IEP meetings, we also help parents who are new to bio-med. The difference between what we do here and what our "leaders" are doing is that my co-moms and I don't feel an incessant need to blow our own horns and insult everyone with a "Hey, look at us!!" attitude.
That's pretty much it. Have a wonderful evening.

Dan,

Congrats on the #306 Loon ranking and moving up I suppose. Do they have an annual banquet when you reach the top 300 ???

You just have to remember those you are up against...

1) Indicted / most wanted by the FBI / PhD Autism researchers who will "create a study and write up" just about anything the way the CDC requests..

2) A pathetic doctor who has his ...infant vaccines pulled off the US market... and still writes books "How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens us All.. "

3) The "Autism Gene Society" joined forces with the "Flat Earth Society" this past month.

3) The sad US news media who will simply "follow the money" to get their share of it.... rather than seek out the facts and the truth.

To One Disgusted Parent --
Your libelous fabrication calling hard-working advocates "legalized embezzlers and for-profit people" shows how disconnected you are from the pulse of the autism community. For those people, autism is an expense, a fiscal black hole.

Just what have you done to help?
What is your master plan to solve our problems?

But then again, what's the point...
Who can respect advice from anyone too cowardly to use their real name, who complains about whining by whining?

Doodle,
I agree with you 100%. I don't understand it myself, but nearly everyone I know has told me that there has been no real increase in autism rates, it's all just better diagnosis, because that's what all the media have told them. When I say that there were NO autistic children in the schools I went to growing up, they say that they used to be sent to institutions in the country, if they were not kept locked in a closet at home. I say What institutions? Who paid for them? So in the past, one out of every 25 children was sent to an institution, their lifetime upkeep paid for by whom? What, secret underground bunkers paid for by a secret government program that no one has ever heard of? And the families never breathed a word about their interned children again for the rest of their lives? So what did pioneer families (Victorian, medieval, etc. etc.) do with their many autistic children in the days before institutions, why did none of them so much as breathe a word about their existence? It's only now, in the last five years, that our enlightened culture has taught us to welcome and acclaim all the endearing eccenticities of this newly-discovered group of the differently-abled?

I swear to God that this is stunning proof of the widespread nature of brain damage caused by vaccines, that Harris Coulter said had affected everyone in the post WWII generation.

But you are right, Doodle, it should be an absolute priority to strip away this lie, to scare the bejeezus out of the general public so it will be motivated to act. I think Age of Autism should ask Handley to update his brilliant article "Autism Not Really on the Rise? 96.8% Impossible!" Just in the five years since it was written, the autism rate has increased so much that it would be necessary to revise the already horrifying statistics that he cites. He cited an epidemiological study done in South Dakota done to count every single autistic child in the state in 1987, and it was a tiny smidgen of what the number is now, using essentially the same diagnostic criteria. Maybe sponsor a campaign to have it posted on every single website, magazine, and newspaper we can possibly persuade to print it, it was a stunning, excellent article that completely destroys their stupid meme It's just better diagnosed now!

A Mom,
Your comments critical of Dan's article was not fair: there are many aspects of this war which need to be understood in order to participate in it effectively. Sure, treatment for those already damaged is a worthy subject, but so is fighting to prevent others from being similarly damaged. Since the paid pharma defenders have been unable to refute our facts proving the severity and frequency of vaccine damage, they have turned to discrediting the messenger in an attempt to tarnish our facts as well. Look at this comment on the Atlantic Jenny McCarthy article by Stacy Herlihy about me:

"You wrote your usual gibberish, complete with references to the holocaust deniers at whale to, Neil "I Talk to Space Aliens" Miller and Andrew The Quack Wakefield. Your assertions were successfully shown to be wrong. You're relying on a handful of notorious idiots in your deranged belief that pediatricians, health officials, scientists and nearly all medical professionals are engaged in a massive conspiracy to deliberately poison children via vaccines.
Please stop attempting to endanger children's lives and get help for your obvious failure to understand science or confront reality."

This is pathetic, of course, trying to equate concern about vaccine damage with a conscious, overt attempt to endanger children's lives. She herself said in her book that her baby daughter reacted to the DTaP vaccine at two months with a high-pitched, inconsolable scream for maybe tweny minutes, maybe an hour, but fortunately her daughter was completely undamaged by it. I asked her how she would feel if her daughter had gone on to scream like that the way mine did, for four days and nights, and was later diagnosed like her with autism, if she'd still assert with such vehemence that all the vaccines are completely safe, but she did not answer. These people trying to trash and discredit us are not doing so to protect children from the diseases, or they would show the same concern about protecting them from vaccine damage. It is essential that everyone realize the extremely nasty and orchestrated nature of these attacks, designed only to prolong the vaccine gravy train until it goes off the cliff, so that they be on their guard and double-check the veracity of any of their statements which might to some, at first glance, sound credible.

I think that generally the AoA editors have been very restrained in responding to attacks and only occasionally have responded when things got to the point when a response seemed necessary.

One Disgusted Parent wrote, "I think it's time that the 'heads' step down out of their ivory towers and let the parents continue their own fighting."
I'm sure nobody in charge of any autism organization or blog has the power to not let parents continue their own fighting. So, go for it! Are you currently taking any other action besides posting a comment complaining about complaining?

I am a true believer in Dan Olmsted and AoA. The truth is here and we will continue to post it.

“The autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause.”

Thank you to all who understand the road we are on and left such supportive comments. Your support is appreciated!

Enough of the disturbing perseveration about Mark and the Congressional Hearing. My daughter IS not able to talk and IS in pain. I applaud Mark for his compelling, moving and accurate facts that day. EVERYONE - Media, Congress, PHARM, Doctors etc - knows we are talking about vaccines.

This comment sums it all up - thanks, Ottoschnaut:

"....Another argument that does not add up is that there is an "autism movement" with self appointed "leaders." I missed the coronation of AoA. To the braggarts and know it alls who have a problem with this effort- do something effective. Give me a reason to pay attention to you. Ripping on the hard work of others doesn't cut it. TMR, EBCALA, Pete Doshi, Andy Wakefield, Vaccine Epidemic, Greater Good, Generation Rescue, ARI, numerous others- are in the trenches, working to fix this problem. They are making real contributions- not engaged in self promoting swagger. Are the critics pissed at these groups as well?
AoA is effective, the proof of that is the invective from friend and foe. You must be doing something right.
Keep the faith!

Bev

I am sure Dan's Weekly Wrap two weeks ago will be of interest to you:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/07/jennys-view-plane-truth-crazy-drug.html

Not that the vaccine load of the military and their families is not a continuing concern.

John

Just read the weekly Auxilliary magazine for The American Legion. The article "Hurting Heroes, Dark Places" talks about the huge increase in suicides among our military. "Since 2001 more than 2,700 servicemembers have taken their own lives.." It goes on to say the suicides in 2012 outnumbered the combat deaths in afghanistan. Scary numbers. I just wonder what kind of vaccination cocktails our servicemembers receive. I'm sure it is probably a deadly mix of neurotoxins....just curious. No disrespect to AofA which I believe is one of the most trusted, informative sites on the internet.

After Gary Webb wrote "Dark Alliance" he was viciously criticized by the government--and his colleagues. He said that for years he thought his reporting had escaped such attacks because he was meticulous and thorough, but came to realize that he'd just never written anything important before.

You've written something important.

Part of autism's problem is the sad state of journalism. Dan has a right to blog about that. If he's been attacked, he has every right to respond, as many times as he deems necessary. His refusal to compromise on his professional duty and ethics as other so-called journalists stoop to unprecedented lows, is something to be grateful for, something that does greatly benefit not only the autism community, but all people.

I do agree, though, that Robert Kennedy holding back information on the CDC doesn't make sense. That doesn't automatically make him a traitor, but it is hard to understand.

Pot,

you calling the kettle black is a laugh too. How many times have I or some Mother told about what a heart wrenching reaction to a vaccine our children had- and you and the rest of the (I don't know what you would call your crowd) don't you sure don't say I am so sorry or "hugs"
Instead you immediately attack them, ignore that they have suffered a brain injury. All in the name of defending vaccines


John, thats me told then :)

I never intended to offend anyone here at AOA apologies if I have done so.

I want the best for my kids, extended family, those children at see at the park, supermarket, church, school, swimming pool who have been injured by vaccines. I want those responsible held to account.

That is all.

Dan, I know it may not help after enduring all the attacks, but I am so grateful to brave, vocal people like you, who willingly bear the brunt of the fearful mud-slinging thrown at all us parents who saw our kids disintegrate after vaccines. Please know that your efforts, and this paper, mean the world to so many.

Wow! I thought his whole thing was people not being definite enough about the vaccine link?

All you guys at A of A, I appreciate your courage, hard work and staying power.

Thank you all.

Mr. Olmsted:

I agree with the others on here who have posted that this idiocy has gone on long enough. Here are some talking points for you to ponder as you think about writing your next "in-depth, nail-biting piece":

Point: This is no longer the "Age of Autism - a daily newspaper on the autism epidemic." This is the "Age of Complaining - a daily newspaper on who can whine the most, or which one of us holier-than-thou self-appointed leaders has done the most 'stuff.'" You so called heads of this once-united community have done nothing except contribute to its rapid unraveling. What is this incessant, childish complaining from you doing for our children? WHAT IS IT DOING FOR OUR CHILDREN? Nothing. THAT'S what.
Point: As far as those great people that were mentioned . . . I can name more than one from that list who are nothing more than legalized embezzlers and for-profit people. Which one of us have helped children the most? Oh, I'm sorry, I guess they've all been too busy with their self-promotions of "look what I wrote, made, taped, sang...today!" Leaders. Right. Maybe in YOUR twisted world perhaps, but certainly not in mine.
Point: You discussed Robert Kennedy. Let me tell you what all parents are thinking right now, since you're apparently oblivious to it. If Robert Kennedy has credible information that is damaging enough to bring down the CDC and verify what we parents have been screaming all along - HE OWES IT TO THE CHILDREN TO RELEASE IT. The health and welfare of my child - of ALL vaccine-injured children - IS NOT HIS TO NEGOTIATE. It's sickening to see that you are actually defending his position on this.
Point: I don't know who Barry Segal is, and frankly, I'm not sure if a whole lot of other parents do either, or even care. All we see are letters and emails and passive-aggressive columns - from this page. Oh, hey, that's so awesome, and like, gee, so totally grown up.
Point: You state in your last paragraph: "Folks, if you want to hop on board the latest holier-than-thou bandwagon and bash everybody for not doing better, while you do nothing but sow discord and division, and, when it gets right down to it, mumble more mush, please to be my guest, dear ladies and gentlemen. Here at good ol’ stumbling bumbling AOA we are not interested in building an empire or, it should be obvious by now, in personal gain."
Well, guess what, Dan. Have you ever heard of the saying about the pot and the kettle?


I think it's time that the "heads" step down out of their ivory towers and let the parents continue their own fighting. I know that I, for one, am sick of the "he said, she said" and passive-aggressive non-journalistic columns from this camp. Save your high school drama columns (because, although you THINK this is journalism . . . you'd be hard pressed to find the NY Times beating down your door for this one) for your high school drama class. This is old, and we parents are sick of it. Enough is enough.

Mom;
How does this help your child that had four seizures this morning?

First of all -- I am so very sorry and hope that first the docs will acknowledge your daughter is having seizures and second you will be given safe seizure medicine--

We had to scratch and claw (fight) out the information that it is probably mitochondria damage and our kids should not be given Depokote that further damages mitochondria. People that like to make static stood in our way on that information like everything else.

Because we have to fight for sanity of truth; in an deceitful, insane world full of people that try to drown out the truth by causing static.

Never mind the hecklers - I'm sure you have many loyal fans who appreciate that you are one of the only journalists in the world who writes with intelligence and honesty about vaccines, mercury, and autism.

The Age of Autism web site is a constant fountain of information unlike any other, and the Age of Autism book is a great book.

Thank you for all that you do!

ass
jerk
carpetbagger
stupid
full of hot air
empty
vain
paranoid
delusional
sick
evil
liar
unscrupulous internet troll

Just some of the words recently used online by Age of Autism's writers and editors to describe vaccine safety advocates who are critical of AOA. (Kinda makes Dan's complaints of mudslinging ring hollow.)

Caroline, your son sounds like a fine young man - well raised. Thanks for the comment.

Oh Joy - thank you - not only is your comment kind - it reminded me of an old comedy chap named "Mr. Methane" pronounced with a proper Brit "ME-thane" not our American "Meth-ane". Gave me a smile today.

Letthembegot

Perhaps if you were ever to reveal your identity everybody would flock to you recognising you for the magnificent being and true leader you are.

As it is, you have posted here several hundred times under a multitude of names and addresses, never under your own - you talk big, you talk paranoid, and you criticise people who really stick their necks out, but you don't contribute -apart from bulking out the comments a bit and insinuating things which cannot be documented.

This is completely empty and vain stuff, with zero insight or substance. It's tragic.

Honestly, how many sacred cows can this society maintain before we get a methane explosion of biblical proportions? This country better get it together, quick.

And Dan, as I'm sure you know, the same thing would've happened to Helen Thomas had she made a quip about criminal vaccine injury instead of Israel. And then the same "Oh she was great, only a little misguided in her old age" crap that I'm reading from all of the "journalists" who were too weak to stick up for her when it counted.

Thanks for your real journalism, you and everyone else here.

Since 2002 I've seen only hard work and sacrifice from Dan, Mark, Mary Holland, Lou Conte, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Kim Stagliano, John Gilmore, Robert Krakow, and hundreds more child health advocates in the autism community.

The only people gaining from autism are non-parent huckster suck-ups who tell you what you want to hear, hoping to separate you from your money.

People who position themselves as saviors are not saviors. Only we can save ourselves.

We don't need one big autism organization. We need HUNDREDS. We need more leaders and more followers, more visionaries and more doers. There are plenty of autism-related tasks to go around.

Hopefully as more children improve or age into away-from-home care, then their parents, siblings, relatives and friends will find the motivation and time to contribute to the myriad autism prevention efforts dearly in need of more help.

My son has A.S. and he has just graduated from junior high, and when somebody said something disrespectful about blondes the other day, he defended blondes: "Blondes aren't dimwitted", said he. Thank God he can speak at all! Having had his dignity assaulted many times, he jumps to the defense of others. We should learn from his junior high example. The junior high lunchrooms are much classier than some of your mouths. Barry, I loved your comment once about "those vaccine-injured children you choose to call autistic"; that is how I would like to remember you, and not for all this other stuff. Jake, your passion is admirable, but nobody is perfect except God. Dan, I so need the inspiration this paper gives, and I so need you to keep going. Thank you, Caroline

A MOM, I hear you loud and clear and I am with you!

I have asked this question before, why cant this community come together. Its simple Vaccines cause Autism, lets march to the White house, 10 Downing street, we definitely have the numbers 1 in 50 some say 1 in 25..

If they can organise Global protests against Monsanto (a complex issue, a diverse community, stakes much lower)why can this community not wins the hearts and minds of the public.....in my view because the community is perpetually "kept" in a fragmented state.

There are other places now where people are congregating in big numbers and they manage to present a united front and single message "Vaccines Cause Autism"

Personal feelings dont really come into it.Its about our children.

I thank Dan for defending our work - our integrity. I'm the "engine" behind AofA - making sure we're up and running every single day on the main site, with our terrific FB team of Cat and Adriana and on Twitter - while caring for three severely affected daughters. Personal gain? I made more money in 1988 than I do today. My office is a tiny desk in my kitchen. There is no gain when you find your way to a career that is the result of your kids' catastrophic injury.

The skeptic/neurodiverse style attacks against us are right out of the old Autism Hub playbook - right down to the verbiage of "straw man" and "ad hom." In no organization, company or group do you get to disparage your team, call them names and fight them in public and remain part of the team. You get benched or cut. And then y
ou move on. There is enough work for all of us to do - and if we evolve into new groups - alliances - that can make progress in our own ways - I'm all for it.

But keep in mind - this autism work is NOTHING like feeding hungry children in Africa where you are an instant hero. Buy supplies - send them/bring them to Africa - change a life instantly. There IS no instant gratification - every bit of work is scrutinized and/or torn apart by someone else. You don't get to be a hero - it's a slog not a quick march to the winners' circle. Thank you, Dan. Thank you, readers, for your support. KIM

In the Middle Ages scientists were called heretics because they said the earth was round and circled the sun. Especially among people who consider themselves scientists there is a basic bias towards and fear of people who know something. These people feel threatened and for that reason attack the people they are threatened by, especially on the internet because it is so anonymous.

In the Middle Ages the church felt threatened. Now the establishment feels threatened because we might be right and their world view is shattered if they let go of their old beliefs that everything is wonderful.

Helen Thomas was a great journalist. Before she died she probably hated the current state of journalism. She was old school. She was honest.

Like Dad said, the guy who gets tackled is the one carrying the ball. Hold on.

Thanks for summing up just a fraction of what I surmise to be an iceberg of cold hard hate coming from those who don't believe in hope, recovery, or anything that has to do with helping our children. I am thankful that you do write of truth, uncovering some of the most cruelest happenings in our country.
There are sooo many haters out there. So many.

But there are so many journalists, parents, bloggers, and medical professionals that are in the trenches fighting for our kids. That's what matters- thank you for showing us just one enemy. I will be sure to look out for him- and add him to my list.....


All of the journalism that Dan has done is great and I certainly believe it, but the general public does not, and that is the main problem in all of this, a misjudging of tactics. What the Pharma PR machine has done is attack the strongest point Autism groups all have, that there is a real increase in autism, a wise tactical decision as it completely neutralizes everything else in the discussion to the average person. The problem with all of the Autism groups is that they do not actively fight this one single point with tooth and nail. They have conceded it through inaction, when it should have been the main point all along.

A brilliant strategy by Pharma, even if it defies all logic to believe autism rates are the same as ever. The general public likes to believe what they are told, and since they are told the sky is green they are going to buy it, unless some folks with big organizations and websites and blogs can coordinate a simple message that will support all of the other stuff, the stories in books that are dismissed out of hand right now.

If Dan or any others wonder why some folks are annoyed, this is a big part of it. The assumption that an obvious bit of news, autism increase is real, would actually be talked about in the media without something forcing them to do so. If everyone knows everyone in these groups, as it appears, why can't they agree to defend their strongest talking point. Is is complacency, smug arrogance that the truth is obvious, or just a desire to be "more right" than the other groups? Books with a wealth of detail tracing the effects of mercury and its damage to the autism epidemic are of no use if the general public does not think there is an epidemic in the first place.

Why not spend a portion of the time on a book debunking Roy Grinker's pet theories, with sections interviewing teachers and discussing why diagnostic substitution cannot explain all of the disabled kids - something the general public can digest and understand? If the data tells the story, then let it. The message has to be clear and unequivocal that that autism increases are real. This shouldn't be hard, since all of the Autism groups have access to this data.

These are things that were discussed a bit more in the mid 2000's, but now, its like anyone with a voice in Autism politics or journalism has moved onto their own specific agenda, assuming that the foundation is set. Well, it isn't, and that failure has to be looked at critically, without whining or complaining. Unless you like watching the never ending kick in the balls that is the Jenny Witch Hunt.

They're just saying what they know to be true of themselves, thinking that a preemptive strike will deflect the same criticism made of them. It surprises me looking at my old comments and my old Amazon reviews flooded by shills and that I get maybe 150 negative votes for saying things like "I have a vaccine-damaged child who reacted obviously and immediately to these vaccines." No decent person would give that statement a thumbs-down vote, but would say, if they for some reason are totally out of the loop and still trust vaccines, "hmmm, what a tragic situation. I think she's mistaken, but I certainly see why, given what happened, she would think that way." When they get 150 people to all give it a thumbs down, that has to be because BP is pulling out all the stops trying to silence my message. They call me a shill, Lil said last week that I'm a shill for AoA, and I said I think the difference lies in whether one does it for love or money. They are getting increasingly shrill because it's now obvious to all that we are winning, unfortunately at the cost of the diminishment of too many lives, but better than throwing more lives onto the heap and letting those lives be lost for no purpose.

What's their plan? I try to keep up, to read it all, understand it all. I don't see a plan. Just a lot of...Wait till you see what we write about, and plenty of insults.

My child has already had 4 seizures this morning.

How does this article (an article garnering sympathy for a grown able-bodied and able-minded man, and encouraging MORE INFIGHTING) help her or any of the 2 million children like her?

Extremely grateful for all of your continued efforts to bring the truth to light, Dan. You are one of a dying breed, that of the investigative journalist, an occupation which is nearing extinction. Keep fighting the good fight, and thank you for not quitting when the going gets tough.

How does this article help our kids, poor poor Dan? How does this article help parents stay focused on the real problem? We have more important things to worry about than the bruised egos you guys whine about, that are of your own creation.

Copying emails to others without consent has been standard practice with AofA for years, not taboo as you would have readers believe, so you really shouldn't complain when it's also done to you or your friends. Maybe they got the idea to do it from AofA staff. ??

Ah Dan, lost in all the personal attacks and slimy name-calling is AUTISM. We have a generation of sick and disabled children EVERYWHERE. They're changing the face of childhood. We're now used to kids being ill, really ill. No one seems capable of considering what this means for THE FUTURE. Right now, lots of people are making a living off of this mess. Pharma is profiting enormously. Waiting lists just to get in to see doctors are endless and therapists are in demand.

People totally ignorant about what's happening might think that nothing's wrong and we're just finally recognizing and addressing a handicap that's always been around. That's what they want everyone to think. If people buy the "greater awareness" lie, then no one has to do anything. When doctors, officials and the media all promote the "no real increase" claim, we can all relax. If it's your child, he or she is just one of the lucky ones doctors are finally noticing.

BUT, the future is dark. Imagine what's going to happen when mom and dad are no longer able to shoulder the burden of cost and care. Where will they go? How will we pay for them? Will people finally demand real answers?

It took not 100,000, not 200,000, but 400,000 smoking related deaths a year before doctors stopped lying to us about cigarettes. It'll be the billions and billions in cost for lifetime care that will have to wake us up or we have no future. Sick kids will eventually be sick adults and no society can prosper like that.

Never give your enemies more power than they deserve.

I wouldn't worry too much about what they're saying. Those of us who have been engaged in this battle for awhile now -- the ones whose kids should have recovered years ago but did not -- can see this for what it really is: just like Orac and his ilk, it's only a handful of slightly deranged (in my opinion) critics who can't even find the right target. A handful, nothing more than that.

Your strength, Dan, besides your excellent writing ability, has always been in your status as an outside observer looking at this public health catastrophe objectively (since you don't have a vaccine-injured child yourself) and calling 'bullshit', kids are getting injured and killed here, vaccines are doing it, and it needs to stop. You've done it very well and without all the emotional reactivity that we autism parents naturally carry and express, sometimes to our own detriment.

Give them six months. Or a year. If they figure out how to stop vaccine injury in its tracks (and even cure autism!!! as one of them claims he knows how to do), fantastic. But I'm not holding my breath. After all, they can't even figure out who the real enemies are.

There cannot be true heros with really bad villians.

Dan, Mark, Bernie, Kim, Holland,Hooker, and Andrew are on my short list of real, alive, today heros.

I am not much, but I love ya Dan.

You'll always have my support, Dan. I'm proud to be bumbling along beside you in this stinking pile of rotting feces. xoxo, Cat

"The person who called me a Buddhist bully is one of his best buds and attacks relentlessly if anyone forgets to say “vaccines cause autism” once per every three words."

No, just once every five minutes in front of Congress - where Mark Blaxill neglected to say that "vaccines cause autism" in his testimony. Isn't that what this three-decade-long fight is all about?

The title of your post is "honesty." But is it honest to censor critical comments from the autism community as you've been doing in recent months?

Thanks for the compliment that I'm "best buds" with Barry Segal, but I doubt he would concur.

Dan, save your pity party for the kids who can't speak and are in pain and who were betrayed by your managing editor in front of Congress.

Dear Devious Buddhist Amish Moonies, How else to know you're getting under their skin, than to have "them" resort to this kind of childish (not to mention, nonsensical) namecalling? Keep up the good work.

My view is that some players seek to enhance their own visibility by trashing the work of others to get attention. Case in point is Bolen. The Baltimore City Paper series, Amish report, book AoA, website AoA- these are tangible contributions to shedding light on the problem of vaccine induced iatrogenic brain damage. Bolen's breathless hyperbole about the "vaccine construct" "quaking in it's boots" due to WHO mercury ban was demonstrably false. Bolen is an example of a critic seeking to build himself up by tearing you down. What has Bolen done to fix this deal? He says he can mobilize an army of angry supporters with the touch of a mouse? Well, why did he let the thimerosal ban get stripped from the treaty? Oh, that's right- it was AoA and Safeminds that failed, not the mighty omnipotent Bolen (to hear him tell it).
Another argument that does not add up is that there is an "autism movement" with self appointed "leaders." I missed the coronation of AoA. To the braggarts and know it alls who have a problem with this effort- do something effective. Give me a reason to pay attention to you. Ripping on the hard work of others doesn't cut it. TMR, EBCALA, Pete Doshi, Andy Wakefield, Vaccine Epidemic, Greater Good, Generation Rescue, ARI, numerous others- are in the trenches, working to fix this problem. They are making real contributions- not engaged in self promoting swagger. Are the critics pissed at these groups as well?
AoA is effective, the proof of that is the invective from friend and foe. You must be doing something right.
Keep the faith!

Dan when people become abusive, really abusive, they are extremely angry. And what spawns anger? Fear. Always it is Fear.
How does one eradicate Fear? Very often one cannot. It is too personal. Too threatening.

So how should one react to such an onslaught of fear based anger?

Jesus turned the other cheek. He talked of Love. Most religions do. But most people are not so saintly. And many are not religious.
Although ignoring such abuse IS gainful and empowering. I find it so. A strong sense of self conviction and a dark sense of humour also helps. And, giving full publicity, full exposure, such as you have done here, is extremely telling and revealing. It displays the true weaknesses of your ranting opponents.

All we are asking for on this site is an open and proper scientific debate, and if one has the welfare of our children truly at heart, I ask again, wherein lies the terrible threat in such a humble request?

Each one to his or her own Dan. Good luck to you and thank you for being at the front, taking a lot of the brown stuff, on our behalf.

Good post Dan. It's a bit of a rant. You don't usually do that but once and a while it's ok to let off a little steam. Helen Thomas?????

Dan,
It must be hard to listen to all that stuff but know that there are thousands of us who really appreciate your tireless work. Personal gain, seriously? If that was your true motive you would have learned by the first week to follow the money and side with Pharma and not a bunch of stressed out broke parents!

"If you want to be loved, don't go into journalism'

Real journalism that is Dan, but few would take the leap now. The current band of sociopaths and nacissists are of course not journalists, they are extensions of the public relations industry - which is why you are here and not in the mainstream (going with the flow!)

John

Thank you for your continued work on this issue. You are one of my heroes!

Speechless about the mudslinging, Dan. The whole crowd is right out of the junior high lunchroom.

Thank you for the heads up about Focus Autism, I glanced at the site. There are a few good things on there, but I am trying to figure out what motivates someone who is so belligerent, and also manages to say that vaccines "sort of" cause the autism epidemic.

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