By Anne Dachel
A while ago I made up my mind to report on doctors who aren't afraid to speak out about what's happening to our children. There really are people like this out there. They're ethical men and women who don't buy the pretend science surrounding autism and vaccines and they're not afraid to say so. They know autism is a serious medical condition affecting a generation of children at an epidemic rate while health officials and most doctors show only a passing interest.
Ken Stoller, MD. is one such doctor. He practices medicine at the Amen Clinic in South San Francisco. He completed his training at UCLA Medical School and has thirty years experience working in New Mexico and in California. He was also a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico from 2002 to 2005.
Stoller has seen autism become an epidemic. "When I went into private practice straight out of residency in the mid 1980's, I had never seen a child with autism--never. When I saw my first child with regressive apraxia, I don't think I even said the word autism to his family. [This was before they introduced the HepB at birth.] Here was a four year old boy who was trying so hard to say something that could be understood. All that would come out of his mouth were grunts and growls. The more he wanted to be heard, the more frustrated he became. It was like an old time switchboard operator plugging in all the wrong phone cords in all the wrong holes."
After being a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics for over twenty years, Stoller felt he had to resign because
"of their hypocrisy and refusal to honor their commitment to remove mercury from vaccines."
Stoller has always practiced what is known as complimentary and alternative medicine. As a pediatrician, he's worked with children who have serious developmental problems and he's firmly convinced that our vaccination schedule is making our kids sick. As President of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, he's seen firsthand what bio-medical intervention can do for a disabled child.
As far as autism is concerned, Dr. Stoller has some very strong opinions. According to him, autism is not a mystery, but a treatable condition. "Autism is an umbrella term that covers a constellation of symptoms, but the label doesn't tell you what is going on in that child's brain, how it happened or how to treat it." He refers to autism as an "environmentally triggered mitochondrial mediated gastro-immune encephalitic syndrome."
Stoller believes that treatments that address inappropriate diet, toxicity, multiple systemic infections (when present), allergies almost always allow affected children to make significant gains in functionality, and hyperbaric oxygen can dramatically alter the clinical course of this encephalitic syndrome.
He knows his treatments work. "I have never treated a child with HBOT [hyperbaric oxygen therapy] that did not improve, be that cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury or encephalitic syndrome [autism]."
Dr. Stoller does more than just address the health of children he sees as a doctor. He's been a very public voice advocating for national attention for autism and effective interventions. In 2004, he was invited to Washington to testify about autism treatments before the House Government Reform Committee Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, chaired by Rep Dan Burton of Indiana. The invitation he received asked him to speak about "hyperbaric treatment for brain injured children."
The title of the hearing was, "Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Update of Federal Government Initiatives and Revolutionary New Treatment of Neuro-Development Diseases
Rep Burton opened the meeting saying: During my tenure as chairman of the full Committee on Government Reform, and as the current Chair of this subcommittee, I have convened 20 hearings on the topics of autism, vaccine safety, and the detrimental health effects of mercury-containing medical products. We've been successful in getting mercury out of almost all children's vaccines except, I think--what--three. The problem is that, still on the shelves, are vaccines that are being given to children that contain mercury that are no longer being produced. We need to have a recall on those, but so far HHS and CDC has not chosen to do that. But we're working on them.During these investigations, numerous scientists from around the globe have testified before the committee and have presented credible peer-reviewed research studies that indicated a direct link between the exposure of mercury, a widely known neurotoxin, and the increasing instances of autism. Because autistic individuals typically have a high concentration of mercury stored in their bodies, many doctors are concerned with how exactly they can safely remove these toxins from their patients without exposing them to greater medical risks...
Another cutting-edge medical development currently being used and tested for the use in autistic patients is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This treatment, which involves the delivery of pressurized oxygen to a patient, has been recently used to assist with the regeneration of neurons in brain-injured individuals. Dr. Paul Harch, president of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, will discuss how the use of hyperbarics may be a viable therapy to administer to persons afflicted with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, Dr. Ken Stoller has been invited to further supplement the testimony of Dr. Harch and discuss additional uses for hyperbaric treatments for patients afflicted with other neurodevelopmental diseases and injuries.. As I stated before, autism is an epidemic, and I sure hope our health agencies are paying attention, because it really is, and it directly affects millions of Americans, including every single taxpayer in the United States and will for decades to come.
Dan Burton and Maxine Waters were the only committee members present. (Rep Dave Weldon was also there, although not a member of the committee.) No video recording was allowed during the hearing and when Dr. Stoller asked why it wasn't being taped, he was told that Rep Henry Waxman "forbid it."
I asked Stoller how he felt after the hearing:
At the end of the hearing in 2004, what did you think the government would do?
A year later, during another trip to Washington, Dr. Stoller talked with a senior health staffer in one congressional office about the possibility of legislation that would encourage biomedical interventions for affected children. He was adamant. "I said that this is a medical problem and children with medical problems deserve to have those problems cared for instead of just getting the standard response, 'Oh, that's just part of autism.'" To his surprise, he was told that there would never be any legislation that had the words "autism" and "treatment" in the bill.
The staff member said that talking about treatment would point anyone in direction of causality and in this case also responsibility. These are topics that Congress is not willing deal with.
Stoller was stunned. He said, "I couldn't imagine how we would get around this. The government was planning to do nothing to help these kids." They may have sounded interested in his treatment of "brain injured children," but they didn't want to talk about what caused the injury in the first place.
I also had this question for Dr. Stoller:
Why does the government refuse to address autism as a national health crisis?
Stoller feels there is no doubt in the minds of top officials what's causing autism, so there is little point in trying to convince them of what they already know but have chosen to obfuscate about. According to Stoller, "The autism epidemic is a neuroenvirnomental disaster that has lasted more than a decade beyond when it should have been resolved because the perpetrators have too many friends in places of control and power." Stoller would also be the first to say that this is not just about autism. The poisons that have damaged a generation of children are taking their toll on each and every one of us. For some, that is increased cancer rates, endocrine disruption, autoimmune disorders and even mental illness.
Stoller feels that we can no longer rely on civil servants who revolve between corporation and state. The FDA is broken. The CDC is hopelessly tied to industry. "We have put our trust in people who don't deserve it and who fail to earn it."
Footnote: In 2006, Dr. Stoller and I were in Washington and we visited the congressional offices of members from Wisconsin. At one meeting, the chief of staff of a congressman listened to what we had to say about vaccines and the autism epidemic and replied, "What do you want us to do? Congressmen don't like problems without solutions."
We both said, "We need to stop it."
There was no response.
(In 2010, I wrote about a Senate hearing on autism and the environment
. I too was hopeful at the time that Congress would finally take action.)
(In 2011, I wrote about Thomas Insel's testimony
before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in support of the reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act.)
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.