Columbus (OH) Dispatch
"Autism advocates celebrated what they thought was a major victory when President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010: They expected the law to require all insurance companies to cover pricey, potentially lifelong treatments for those with the incurable condition.
"But instead of creating a national standard for autism coverage, the administration bowed to political pressure from states and insurers and left it to states to define, within certain parameters, the 'essential benefits' that insurance companies must provide.
"Coverage requirements for autism treatments already vary from state to state. Far from smoothing out those differences, critics say the Affordable Care Act will add a new layer of complexity.
"For example: Advocates say applied behavior analysis, in which a therapist reinforces positive behaviors in the patient, is essential to helping children with autism. But ABA requires hours of intensive, one-on-one therapy, and costs as much as $60,000 a year...."
Maybe a better name for this would be, Obama Care and Not Caring About Autism. I left a comment. Vermillion (SD) Plain Talk
"Archana Chatterjee, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics and senior associate dean for faculty development at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, has edited a new book on vaccinophobia-the fear of the adverse effects of vaccines and preventive medicine.
"Published by Springer, 'Vaccinophobia and Vaccine Controversies of the 21st Century"' explores the phenomenon in detail and offers a foundation for the development of solutions to dispel the misinformation and myths that surround vaccines.
"'With some parents and other caregivers refusing or delaying vaccines for their children/wards, some vaccine-preventable diseases that were well-controlled have staged a comeback,' said Chatterjee. 'Outbreaks of these diseases have been reported from countries where they were virtually unknown for many years. This situation is continuing to worsen, despite efforts by public health agencies and others to curb the spread of misinformation about the risks associated with these diseases and vaccine-related adverse events.'"
Another book to line up with Paul Offit's. "Vaccinophobia" on why parents just don't believe us. 'This situation is continuing to worsen." The Oklahoman
"Johnson Elementary has a class dedicated to meeting the needs of students with autism and similar disorders. The need is growing for such classes, and Oklahoma City Public Schools has 17 such classrooms.
"Most of her students have autism. Some have additional diagnoses, such as attention deficit disorder. Some don't have an official diagnosis.
"Oklahoma City Public Schools has 17 classrooms throughout the district that are designed for students who have autism disorders. More than 200 Oklahoma City students have been diagnosed with a disorder along the autism spectrum, according to district statistics."
"The need is growing for such classes..."
Why do so many news reports from around the country talk about the growing need for classes and even whole schools for students with autism? I posted a comment.NY Times
'Researchers studying two seemingly unrelated conditions - autism and cancer - have unexpectedly converged on a surprising discovery. Some people with autism have mutated cancer or tumor genes that apparently caused their brain disorder.
'Ten percent of children with mutations in a gene called PTEN, which causes cancers of the breast, colon, thyroid and other organs, have autism. So do about half of children with gene mutations that can lead to some kinds of brain and kidney cancer and large tumors in several organs, including the brain. That is many times the rate of autism in the general population.
"'It's eerie,' Evan Eichler, a professor of genome science at the University of Washington, said about the convergence.
'He and others caution that the findings apply to only a small proportion of people with autism; in most cases, the cause remains a mystery. And as with nearly all genetic disorders, not everyone with the mutations develops autism or cancer, or other disorders associated with the genes, like epilepsy, enlarged brains and benign brain tumors."
Every week there's a new association or link to something. What always remains is..."in most cases, the cause remains a mystery" ...but we'll always have another interesting new autism theory.
Sadly, scientists look at autism as an interesting curiosity and await the next "surprising discovery." NY Times:
"Perhaps you saw the headline. God knows, it was eye catching enough: "Autism's Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene."
"That headline and the utterly confusing story that follows it both fail to emphasize two very important clarifications: First, the gene in question isn't just a "cancer gene." It's a gene that regulates the cell cycle, and changes in these genes can and do have effects that aren't confined to cancer. Calling it a "cancer" gene in this context is inflammatory, at best.
"Second, and more important, the autism in question, according to all of the research involving this gene and other similar genes, is part of a syndrome of traits that includes a head circumference that is either significantly small (microcephaly) or significantly larger (macrocephaly) than typical."
I actually agree with Ms Willingham. I thought the Times headline was an exaggeration and it was grossly misleading. The word "cause" was used in their story when there was no real proof of causation.
However, it's almost laughable to read the last sentence, "Autistic people and their families deserve more care than this, and readers of the New York Times deserve careful, accurate science writing placed in an appropriate context."
"Careful and accurate science writing" is something we've never gotten from Ms Willingham in any of her stories about vaccines and autism. LA Times
"Across the country, preschools and elementary schools are declaring themselves nut free or peanut free, asking families not to pack lunch foods that could pose life-threatening dangers to highly allergic children. And the prohibitions are expanding beyond nuts. Some schools, for example, have prohibited powdered cheese products to protect children who are especially dairy sensitive.
"These measures may be excessive, but as a physician, I understand the desire to protect students. Children with serious allergies really can have severe reactions to trigger foods, so it's not that surprising that some schools have reacted aggressively.
"But the great bulk of children face a far greater risk of harm from disease. If the goal is really to protect children, I'd like to see all schools declared 'unvaccinated-free zones.'
"The law in California mandates that students in public and private schools be immunized, but it also allows easy-to-get exemptions for personal beliefs."
Dr. Nina Shapiro, who teaches at UCLA Medical School, starts this piece out talking about protecting kids with severe allergies....with absolutely no concern about why we suddenly have so many children with serious peanut allergies.
"Across the country" schools are now "nut free."
She's concerned about whooping cough and measles, but not a word about autism---THE EPIDEMIC. The NY Post
"An opening disclosure says 'controversial' views will be aired, but 'we also censor no one.' What this means in practice is that several parents bring up the discredited and dangerous idea that autism is caused by vaccines," and the NY Times
"All the while, passionate disputes about causes, treatment and possible recovery are noted but not refereed," make it clear that neither paper likes the fact that 'The United States of Autism' includes parents who believe vaccines caused their children's autism. This can't be allowed in a society where the drug industry dictates what is scientific truth and what the media will cover. WANE-TV Fort Wayne, IN
"The Allen County Health Department is offering free school supplies to school-aged kids who receive an immunization at the health department for the rest of this week and next week.
"The program, which is part of National Immunization Awareness Month, will provide supplies such as crayons, pencils, highlighters and jump drives, to each child who receives a vaccination.
"Indiana requires all children to be current on vaccinations before they enroll in school to protect the health of all students."
This article fails to note that students have a right to a medical or religious exemption from these vaccines.http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspxhttp://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/indiana.aspx
I posted three comments but I don't see them up.