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Mother Jones Writer Ridicules Oprahs Free Speech Stance on Vaccination Conversation

20180109-oprah
Sthanlee Mirador/Sipa USA via AP

GOOD GRIEF: This is how fast and furious the vaccine injury denialists (aka pharmaceutical industry) can step on the neck of anyone it fears could call out their bullsh*t.  Oprah Winfrey is pretty much an American treasure.  The mere mention of her as a Presidential candidate must have riled up the troops to get writin' and fightin' and discreditin' Winfrey for having the audacity to allow many of our friends - including AofA's own Katie Wright - to discuss vaccine injury and autism on her talk show more than ten (10!) years ago.   Read a snip of Mother Jones writer Megan Jula, a 2016 college graduate, which puts her at maybe 24 years of age, below. Her tone is classic "debunkisms" fed from the pharma playbook.  Of course, Ms. Jula has a damn good chance of having a child of her own with vaccine injury and perhaps even autism. We'll be here if she needs us. We hope she  never does. We don't roll that way . We don't wish ill on others as so many have wished our kids to die from"vaccine preventable" disease. And we never will.

I hope Oprah takes note of the instant attack. We want a world where 1 in 36 kids does not hear "And YOU get autism! And YOU get autism! And YOU get autism!!!"

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From Mother Jones

Calls for Oprah Winfrey to run for president may have begun as a joke, but in the wake of her rousing Golden Globes speech, speculation has swirled. CNN even ran live updates on a potential “Oprah 2020” campaign on Monday. President Donald Trump told reporters he doubts Winfrey will run, though he also declared he would win a campaign against her. 

Some progressives welcomed the idea that Winfrey, a popular media icon whose star power could eclipse even that of Trump, might take on the president in 2020. Winfrey, who endorsed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is well know for championing a wide range of important causes, such as promoting reading and founding the Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa. But there’s one area in which Winfrey and her would-be opponent are surprisingly alike: Both she and Trump have helped spread the inaccurate—and dangerous—myth that vaccines cause autism or other health problems.


NJ Paper Asks If Autism Is Related to Family Shooting in New Jersey

Grace of godNOTE: Thanks to AofA reader, commenter and contributor Jonathan Rose for his alert to the updates on this macabre story. Scott Kologi is accused of shooting four family members on New Year's Eve with a semi-automatic rifle.  He has autism.  Most of us know that our kids are not aggressively violent - meaning they do not plot violence or retaliation or revenge on others. Most are rule followers and the rule of law is a comfort. However, I know that even in my pretty young women girls, they can have behaviors that are called "aggression."  It's a dark secret for many families.  Patching spackle is always at the ready for holes in walls. Scratches are laughed off as a bad kitty cat in the house. Bruises are fodder for banter between us in quiet talks.   Sudden rage is a problem in autism and Asperger's too. Uncontrolled outbursts are shocking. Share your experience if you want to, in our comments. We'll follow this case - it blows away many of the myths created around autism. And it begs the question the media loathes asking - we're psych medications a factor?   No  matter, a 16 year old with autism is looking at life in prison or a psychiatric ward.  His family members are in deep mourning. It's a horror all around. Surely we can find it in our hearts to at least think about his future - since it may be the same for many of us.....  Also, thanks to John Robison for his contribution to the story below in app.com. Kim

Click here for several in depth stories about the Kologi family.

Nearly a week after a Long Branch teen said to have autism allegedly shot and killed his mother, father, sister and a family friend, a host of critical questions remain unanswered.

Among them: What happened inside the family’s modest brick home on Wall Street leading up to the shootings, which took place minutes before the stroke of midnight ushered in the new year?

And what about the alleged murder weapon, described as a semiautomatic AK-style rifle? Whose rifle was it, and how did the boy accused of the shooting, 16-year-old Scott Kologi, get a hold of it?

The teen is facing four counts of murder and a weapons charge in the deaths of his parents, 42-year-old Steven and 44-year-old Linda Kologi; his 18-year-old sister, Brittany Kologi; and a family friend, 70-year-old Mary Schulz.

More: Long Branch shooting: Victim's death stuns Jersey Shore biz community

Few answers have been forthcoming after a judge barred the press from covering the juvenile court hearing and another judge issued a gag order to prevent lawyers from talking about the case. But one answer may never be known, even to Scott Kologi himself and his surviving relatives: What role, if any, did autism play?

It’s a complex, emotionally charged question, one that has surfaced in the aftermath of other mass shootings by individuals who had exhibited anti-social, autistic-like behavior.

That was the case with Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children and six adults in the 2012 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Lanza, who shot and killed his mother prior to going to the school, and later committed suicide, had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

Continue reading "NJ Paper Asks If Autism Is Related to Family Shooting in New Jersey" »


Presto Change-OH! Vaccine Injury Isn't Magic Mr. Gates.

Rainbow vaccineNote: Terrific article from World Mercury Project on Bill Gates and his rainbows, sunshine and unicorns vision of vaccines. "Magic?" Can you imagine anyone other than "Dr. Bombay" using the word "magic" for a medical procedure of any sort - and being taken seriously? We can't. The hubris of Gates' opining is frustrating and dangerous.   The "magic" many of us have seen is black magic, dark and dangerouns. Thank you, WMP.

###

Bill Gates is fond of using his bully pulpit to talk about “miracles” and “magic.” Gates has featured one or both words in nearly all of his annual wrap-up letters for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017), most often in reference to the Gates Foundation’s outsized financial and ideological support for global vaccine programs. As Gates says, “In the same way that during my Microsoft career I talked about the magic of software, I now spend my time talking about the magic of vaccines.”

Gates’s words give us an immediate clue that he is engaging in his own brand of magical thinking—which social scientists define as “illogical causal reasoning.” How else to explain his simplistic endorsement of vaccines as a miraculous intervention with unmitigated benefits and no down side? The Gates Foundation’s global spreadsheet appears to have no room to tally the massive flood of vaccine injuries afflicting children worldwide, despite abundant evidence that this damage is standing the vaccine risk-benefit calculus on its head and turning childhood into an extended round of Russian roulette.

Let’s report history accurately

In a widely cited 2014 blog post on the “miracle of vaccines,” Gates expressed enthusiasm about the “inspiring” data on vaccines and the “fantastic” and “phenomenal” progress being made to expand vaccine coverage. There is one major problem with Gates’ professed reliance on “data,” which is that the philanthropist ignores fundamental historical facts governing infectious disease and vaccine timelines.  Read more here.


FirstFreedoms.org Files Human Rights Complaint Against Italy for Mandatory Vaccination Law

Italian GestureNOTE: From Kevin Barry of FirstFreedoms.org:

On Christmas Day, we filed a human rights complaint against Italy.  The mandatory vaccination law Italy passed violates international human rights and bioethics standards for Italy's almost 60 million citizens.

We will be filing a human rights complaint against France in the coming days because its recent mandatory vaccination rules violate the same standards for France's almost 65 million citizens.

We need your financial help to see this through!  The goal is to reverse the policies in Italy and France and to educate policy makers worldwide that vaccine mandates violate human rights and bioethics.  Parents are having their human rights taken away by the millions at one time.  We have to draw the line in 2018!!

Please give what you can to help this critically important project either via PayPal or GoFundMe.  (Thank you to Stephanie Stock for starting the Go Fund Me!)

Donations are tax deductible. 

Happy New Year to you and your families!

Kevin Barry


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 12 The Age of Autism

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Today is day 12 of 12 and I thought it only fitting to feature the book that shares the name with our site. Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill drew an exquisite map of the autism epidemic. Sadly, much of the world is unwilling to acknowledge the man made epidemic that threatens to change the fabric of our nation as boys are affected in such numbers that our socio-economic systems will feel a seismic shift. But this is America. So carry on friends. Buy your holiday gifts. Think about which TV show to binge watch next. Wait for the next Apple phone. There's nothing to see after all. In the AGE OF AUTISM.....

The Age of Autism bookDay 12: The Age of Autism by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill

Much of the public discussion about autism has missed the point about the possible causes. To solve this question, two writers began digging into the history of other degenerative neurological disorders. Their research led them to discover incredible and previously unacknowledged links between a strain of syphilis which left suffers raving mad, the spike in incidence of schizophrenia during the Industrial Revolution, and the hidden commonalities between the parents of the first children diagnosed with autism in the 1930s.

The Age of Autism connects these dots to form a startling new thesis: behind each of these disorders – and many more – was exposure to mercury, the most toxic non-radioactive substance known to man.





The Set Up Martin WalkerDay 11: The Setup by Martin Walker

In 1988, the British government launched the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, even though central figures knew that the vaccine could cause brain damage, autism, and other problems.

The Setup traces the extended efforts made by drug companies, with help from the British government, to cover up their responsibility for putting a vaccine known to be damaging on the market. It details the way public relations companies, social media, legal teams, judges, and reporters all utilized covert media tactics and public statements to deceive, ultimately leading to the British General Medical Council (GMC) initiating the famous trial against Andrew Wakefield, Professor Walker-Smith, and Dr. Simon Murch. The vaccine was on the market for over four years, but the parents of the nearly 1,600 affected were not only excluded from that trial but are still awaiting their day in court. Instead, they have all had to shoulder an immense financial burden and many have become the subject of court actions over spurious charges. The trial also destroyed Wakefield’s reputation―despite the fact that within months, a high court judge declared Walker-Smith innocent on the grounds that the GMC panel, acting as jury, had misunderstood the evidence.

Any parent whose child has become sick after a vaccine will appreciate the dedication of investigator Martin J. Walker, and his exposure of a cover-up the British government and pharmaceutical companies hoped to hide forever. Available Spring 2018.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 12 The Age of Autism" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 11 The Setup: How Corporate Greed Damaged Thousands of Children and Censored Andrew Wakefield

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

The Set Up Martin WalkerDay 11: The Setup by Martin Walker

In 1988, the British government launched the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, even though central figures knew that the vaccine could cause brain damage, autism, and other problems.

The Setup traces the extended efforts made by drug companies, with help from the British government, to cover up their responsibility for putting a vaccine known to be damaging on the market. It details the way public relations companies, social media, legal teams, judges, and reporters all utilized covert media tactics and public statements to deceive, ultimately leading to the British General Medical Council (GMC) initiating the famous trial against Andrew Wakefield, Professor Walker-Smith, and Dr. Simon Murch. The vaccine was on the market for over four years, but the parents of the nearly 1,600 affected were not only excluded from that trial but are still awaiting their day in court. Instead, they have all had to shoulder an immense financial burden and many have become the subject of court actions over spurious charges. The trial also destroyed Wakefield’s reputation―despite the fact that within months, a high court judge declared Walker-Smith innocent on the grounds that the GMC panel, acting as jury, had misunderstood the evidence.

Any parent whose child has become sick after a vaccine will appreciate the dedication of investigator Martin J. Walker, and his exposure of a cover-up the British government and pharmaceutical companies hoped to hide forever. Available Spring 2018.

Autism in HeelsDay 10: Autism in Heels by Jennifer O'Toole

Autism in Heels, an intimate memoir, reveals the woman inside one of autism’s most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of thirty-five, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, Jennifer exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Her journey is one of reverse-self-discovery not only as an Aspie but--more importantly--as a thoroughly modern woman. Available Summer 2018.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 11 The Setup: How Corporate Greed Damaged Thousands of Children and Censored Andrew Wakefield " »


CDC Chief and Financial Conflicts

FitzgeraldThe swamp sure is full still.....  CDC Director can't work on matters regarding Opioids and Cancer - and  is hobnobbing with Bill and Melinda Gates. Can we get her to recuse herself from all things autism? Wait, CDC has already done that as an agency. Wouldn't Dan have had a field day this story?  BTW, Fitzgerald has it backward - you get rich in industry AFTER you leave CDC. Ask Julie Gerberding.  

AofA's Editor at Large Mark Blaxill has written numerous posts about the CDC. Here are three classics from our exclusives you might want to revisit. The swamp has been overflowing for a very long time with no draining in sight.

Mark Blaxill: Lies, Damned Lies and CDC Autism Statistics

What Did the CDC Know And When Did They Know It (part 1)

What Did the CDC Know and When Did They Know It? (part 2)


WaPo: ATLANTA — After five months in office, President Trump’s new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been unable to divest financial holdings that pose potential conflicts of interest, hindering her ability to fully perform her job.

Brenda Fitzgerald, 71, who served as the Georgia public health commissioner until her appointment to the CDC post in July, said she has divested from many stock holdings. But she and her husband are legally obligated to maintain other investments in cancer detection and health information technology, according to her ethics agreement, requiring Fitzgerald to pledge to avoid government business that might affect those interests. Fitzgerald provided The Post with a copy of her agreement.

Last week, Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the senior Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees CDC, wrote that Fitzgerald is raising questions about her ability to function effectively.

“I am concerned that you cannot perform the role of CDC director while being largely recused from matters pertaining to cancer and opioids, two of the most pervasive and urgent health challenges we face as a country,” Murray wrote.  Read more here.


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 10 Autism In Heels

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Autism in HeelsDay 10: Autism in Heels by Jennifer O'Toole

Autism in Heels, an intimate memoir, reveals the woman inside one of autism’s most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of thirty-five, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, Jennifer exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Her journey is one of reverse-self-discovery not only as an Aspie but--more importantly--as a thoroughly modern woman. Available Summer 2018.



The autism job clubDay 9: The Autism Job Club by Michael Bernick and Richard Holden

The Autism Job Club is a groundbreaking book for bringing adults with autism and other neuro-diverse conditions into the work world.

The book has its basis in the autism job club that the authors have been part of in the San Francisco Bay Area, the job-creation and job-placement efforts the club has undertaken, and similar efforts throughout the United States.

The authors review the high unemployment rates among adults with autism and other neuro- diverse conditions more than two decades after the ADA. Bernick and Holden also outline and explain six strategies that, taken together, will reshape employment for adults with autism: the art of the autism job coach; the autism advantage in technology employment; autism employment and the internet economy; autism employment and the practical/craft economy; autism and extra-governmental job networks; autism and public service employment.

The Autism Job Club is a vital resource for adults with autism, their families, and advocates who are committed to neuro-diverse employment, not unemployment. But also speaks to a far broader audience interested in how to carve out a place for themselves or others in an increasingly competitive job world.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 10 Autism In Heels" »


Dr. Bob Sears on 1 in 36 Autism Rate

Ask_Dr_Sears_Trusted_Resource_For_ParentsFrom Pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears on the AskDrSears website:

The Centers for Disease Control just released their latest findings about autism:

  • In 2014 the rate of autism was 1 in 45 children
  • In 2015 it rose slightly to 1 in 43
  • In 2016, the number jumped up to 1 in 36 kids

For boys, the rate is 1 in 28. For girls, it’s 1 in 80.

The survey also found that the number of children diagnosed with any developmental disability increased from 1 in 17 kids to 1 in 14 – about 7% of all children.

It’s important to know that there are two ways in which the CDC researches autism rates. They originally began by gathering surveillance data on reported cases of autism from about 11 different states. They collected data on all 8 year old children who were diagnosed with autism, and extrapolated that to give a nationwide rate. That’s where the numbers 1 in 150, then 1 in 110, then 1 in 68 came from. The main drawback is that it took many years to research and report data this way, and the information is very old by the time we get it. For example, for kids born in 2004, the CDC had to wait until they were are 8 years old (2012), then take two years to gather the data on diagnosis rates, then publish it. So, we didn’t learn the rate of autism in these kids until 10 years after they are born.

Now the CDC has added a second method: the National Health Interview Survey. This nationwide parent survey tabulates health information on a variety of topics, and it gives us an immediate look at the rate of autism in kids now. And this is where these new numbers came from.

Continue reading "Dr. Bob Sears on 1 in 36 Autism Rate" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 9 The Autism Job Club

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.



The autism job clubDay 9: The Autism Job Club by Michael Bernick and Richard Holden

The Autism Job Club is a groundbreaking book for bringing adults with autism and other neuro-diverse conditions into the work world.

The book has its basis in the autism job club that the authors have been part of in the San Francisco Bay Area, the job-creation and job-placement efforts the club has undertaken, and similar efforts throughout the United States.

The authors review the high unemployment rates among adults with autism and other neuro- diverse conditions more than two decades after the ADA. Bernick and Holden also outline and explain six strategies that, taken together, will reshape employment for adults with autism: the art of the autism job coach; the autism advantage in technology employment; autism employment and the internet economy; autism employment and the practical/craft economy; autism and extra-governmental job networks; autism and public service employment.

The Autism Job Club is a vital resource for adults with autism, their families, and advocates who are committed to neuro-diverse employment, not unemployment. But also speaks to a far broader audience interested in how to carve out a place for themselves or others in an increasingly competitive job world.


An Unfortunate CoincidenceDay 8: An Unfortunate Coincidence by Julie Obradovic

In her poignant account, Julie Obradovic discusses her heart-rending struggle with her daughter’s autism and her subsequent quest for answers. She reveals the feelings of depression and helplessness brought on by the diagnosis and her initial inability to find help. Unwilling to give up, however, Obradovic began fighting, finding a treatment for her daughter and going on to campaign on behalf of others. An Unfortunate Coincidence is the result of this fight. The account takes its readers through the political, historical, and scientific developments behind the greatest medical controversy of our time, including:

The findings of the vaccine injury compensation program
Investigations of CDC fraud and the subsequent congressional hearings and findings
The identical symptoms of autism and mercury poisoning
Eyewitness reports of families and educators
The author’s struggle to present her point of view and the backlash intended to silence it

Ultimately, An Unfortunate Coincidence will ask the readers to take a closer look at the evidence uncovered by ten years of research and decide just how many coincidence claims they are willing to accept.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 9 The Autism Job Club" »


Whom Does the Childhood Vaccine Injury Act Protect?

WMP...Hint. It isn't the kids.

Note: We're happy to share this post from Deirdre Imus on the World Mercury Project website. Ms. Imus has been a steady presence of support and education in our community for many, many years.  We owe her a debt of gratitude.

By Deirdre Imus

The laws of a country are, generally, designed to protect its citizens. How this ideal is interpreted is a topic of debate in various circles, but its goal is lofty, if not quite perfect. Of specific necessity are laws aimed at protecting children, including child abuse, welfare, and labor laws. Of zero necessity, in my view, is the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), which sounds like it has the best interests of this nation’s young citizens in mind, but actually serves a much different purpose.

Congress passed the NCVIA in 1986, and President Ronald Reagan signed it into law soon after. Taken at face value, the law has some admirable provisions: it established improved communication regarding vaccines across all Department of Health and Human Service agencies; required health care providers who administer vaccines to provide a vaccine information statement to the person getting the vaccine or his or her guardian; and established a committee from the Institute of Medicine to review the literature on vaccine reactions.

Dig a little deeper, however, and the NCVIA does less to protect patients than it does drug companies making vaccines. When Reagan signed the NCVIA, he also created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which allows anyone—children and adults—who have suffered an injury (or worse) following a vaccination to file a claim. To date, it has paid out nearly $4 billion in compensation since 1988, including the 2008 case of Hannah Poling, whose family received more than $1.5 million in the first-ever court award for a vaccine-autism claim.

Lifting liability

Read more here.

While this might sound like a good thing, one must read between the lines. The NCVIA also sets limits on the liability of vaccine manufacturers. They don’t have to pay a dime, in most cases, if someone is injured as a result of a product they make. Is there any other industry afforded such immunity? The pharmaceutical industry makes billions of dollars annually producing, promoting, and injecting a product that is known to injure people in myriad ways, and bears zero responsibility when a child—or an adult—suffers as a result.

The system is broken, and it’s why the founders of the nonprofit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), which worked with Congress in the 1980s to get the NCVIA passed, began calling in 2015 for its repeal. In a press release, NVIC co-founder Barbara Loe Fisher noted that the federal vaccine injury compensation program has become “a drug company stockholder’s dream and a parent’s worst nightmare.” In the same document, co-founder Kathi Williams argues that the provisions that their organization helped secure in the law are not being enforced, and most children getting government-recommended vaccines are denied vaccine injury compensation.


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 8 An Unfortunate Coincidence

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.


An Unfortunate CoincidenceDay 8: An Unfortunate Coincidence by Julie Obradovic

In her poignant account, Julie Obradovic discusses her heart-rending struggle with her daughter’s autism and her subsequent quest for answers. She reveals the feelings of depression and helplessness brought on by the diagnosis and her initial inability to find help. Unwilling to give up, however, Obradovic began fighting, finding a treatment for her daughter and going on to campaign on behalf of others. An Unfortunate Coincidence is the result of this fight. The account takes its readers through the political, historical, and scientific developments behind the greatest medical controversy of our time, including:

The findings of the vaccine injury compensation program
Investigations of CDC fraud and the subsequent congressional hearings and findings
The identical symptoms of autism and mercury poisoning
Eyewitness reports of families and educators
The author’s struggle to present her point of view and the backlash intended to silence it

Ultimately, An Unfortunate Coincidence will ask the readers to take a closer look at the evidence uncovered by ten years of research and decide just how many coincidence claims they are willing to accept.

Autism AdulthoodDay 7: Autism Adulthood: Insights and Creative Strategies for a Fulfilling Life―Second Edition by Susan Senator

One of the biggest fears of parents with children with autism is their looming adulthood and all that it entails. In this Second Edition of her lauded book Autism Adulthood, Susan Senator further tackles the challenges of adult life on the autism spectrum on the more severe end of the spectrum – those who cannot communicate for themselves, honestly discussing the complex decisions that await all parents and caregivers. To help parents find the guidance they need to provide fruitful lives for their autistic loved ones’ and the support they themselves need, Senator shares her own family’s personal story about her son, Nat, and his struggles and triumphs as an adult with severe autism.

Autism Adulthood
features interviews with parents, caregivers, researchers, and professionals. Each vignette reveals firsthand a family’s needs and goals―the circumstances, thought processes, and unique solutions. Sharing the wisdom that emerges from parents’ and self-advocates’ experiences, Senator adds her own observations and conclusions based on her long-term familiarity and understanding of autism. Told in Senator’s trademark warm, approachable style, Autism Adulthood, Second Edition paints a vivid and thought-provoking picture of many people grappling with grown-up, real-life autism. Senator’s is the only book of its kind, as real families share their stories and their creative solutions.

Environmental Causes of AutismDay 6: The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism By James Lyons-Weiler

The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism delves deep into the full body of past and current research to reveal how genetic predispositions and environmental factors can combine to produce the conditions autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

To make this groundbreaking volume, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler combed through the past fifty years of published research on autism, exploring subjects such as genetic variation, mechanisms of neurotoxicity of metals and pesticides, and the central and combined roles of each in causing autism.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 8 An Unfortunate Coincidence" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 7 Autism Adulthood

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Autism AdulthoodDay 7: Autism Adulthood: Insights and Creative Strategies for a Fulfilling Life―Second Edition by Susan Senator

One of the biggest fears of parents with children with autism is their looming adulthood and all that it entails. In this Second Edition of her lauded book Autism Adulthood, Susan Senator further tackles the challenges of adult life on the autism spectrum on the more severe end of the spectrum – those who cannot communicate for themselves, honestly discussing the complex decisions that await all parents and caregivers. To help parents find the guidance they need to provide fruitful lives for their autistic loved ones’ and the support they themselves need, Senator shares her own family’s personal story about her son, Nat, and his struggles and triumphs as an adult with severe autism.

Autism Adulthood
features interviews with parents, caregivers, researchers, and professionals. Each vignette reveals firsthand a family’s needs and goals―the circumstances, thought processes, and unique solutions. Sharing the wisdom that emerges from parents’ and self-advocates’ experiences, Senator adds her own observations and conclusions based on her long-term familiarity and understanding of autism. Told in Senator’s trademark warm, approachable style, Autism Adulthood, Second Edition paints a vivid and thought-provoking picture of many people grappling with grown-up, real-life autism. Senator’s is the only book of its kind, as real families share their stories and their creative solutions.

Environmental Causes of AutismDay 6: The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism By James Lyons-Weiler

The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism delves deep into the full body of past and current research to reveal how genetic predispositions and environmental factors can combine to produce the conditions autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

To make this groundbreaking volume, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler combed through the past fifty years of published research on autism, exploring subjects such as genetic variation, mechanisms of neurotoxicity of metals and pesticides, and the central and combined roles of each in causing autism.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 7 Autism Adulthood" »


Autism Rocks the Casbah: Tehran Building Schools

Tehran
From Tehran Times:

“Shortage of funds and facilities is impeding establishment of autism schools unless we have enough students nationwide, but it is our policy to set up schools for autistic children in Tehran,” ILNA quoted the organization’s director Majid Qadami as saying on Saturday.

Qadami made the remarks over the 3rd International Autism Conference.

The organization is dealing with different groups of students [suffering different kinds of disabilities] and that the organization is firstly tasked with identifying and then providing services to these students, he added.

The Special Education Organization has 23,000 personnel providing services to some 137,000 children of whom 2,000 are suffering from autism disorder.

“Every year we examine some 1.4 million children to identify those with specials needs,” he noted.

Continue reading "Autism Rocks the Casbah: Tehran Building Schools" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 6 The Environmental & Genetic Causes of Autism

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Environmental Causes of AutismDay 6: The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism By James Lyons-Weiler

The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism delves deep into the full body of past and current research to reveal how genetic predispositions and environmental factors can combine to produce the conditions autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

To make this groundbreaking volume, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler combed through the past fifty years of published research on autism, exploring subjects such as genetic variation, mechanisms of neurotoxicity of metals and pesticides, and the central and combined roles of each in causing autism.

Lyons-Weiler provides a major overview of all aspects of the condition of autism, reviews changes in diagnoses and treatments, and explains how genetic information can be used to tailor effective treatments, and sometimes reversals, of the symptoms. He also presents practical forward-looking suggestions on how to design future studies to facilitate the discovery of biomarkers for autism risk and how to classify the full range of autism spectrum disorders.

Autism is considered one of the most mystifying conditions of our day, and alarmed scientists, doctors, politicians, and parents are desperately trying to understand why the condition is escalating. According to the CDC, rates in the United States have risen from an estimated one in two thousand children in 1980, to one in sixty-eight in 2012, and a new National Health Interview Survey shows a rate of one in forty-five. By the time you read this book, that number may have changed yet again.

While most autism researchers focus on either environmental or genetic causes of autism, Lyons-Weiler’s opus demonstrates that to fully understand the condition and to finally put its rate on the decrease, it is essential to pay attention to the science showing how the two classes of factors interact.


DenialDay 5: Denial by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill

Even as the autism rate soars and the cost to our nation climbs well into the billions, a dangerous new idea is taking hold: There simply is no autism epidemic.

The question is stark: Is autism ancient, a genetic variation that demands acceptance and celebration? Or is it new and disabling, triggered by something in the environment that is damaging more children every day?

Authors Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted believe autism is new, that the real rate is rising dramatically, and that those affected are injured and disabled, not merely “neurodiverse.” They call the refusal to acknowledge this reality Autism Epidemic Denial. This epidemic denial blocks the urgent need to confront and stop the epidemic and endangers our kids, our country, and our future.

The key to stopping the epidemic, they say, is to stop lying about its history and start asking "who profits?" People who deny that autism is new have self-interested motives, such as ending research that might pinpoint responsibility—and, most threateningly, liability for this man-made epidemic.

Using ground-breaking research, the authors definitively debunk best-selling claims that autism is nothing new—and nothing to worry about.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 6 The Environmental & Genetic Causes of Autism" »


Violent Aggression and Autism: The Hidden Shame, Secret, Cover Up

Angry kidNote: Many AofA families have children whose autism includes severe aggression toward him/herself and others. For every pie in the sky feel good story, there are families openly swearing about the reality of autism under their roof. Or, in many instances, at their child's residential school, a placement made necessary by the violence. Each time The Good Doctor comes on TV, or Sheldon makes a funny comment, parents want to throw a dish at the screen to shatter the TV and the illusion that autism is a Swiss army knife of skills and gifts. Do our kids have skills and some sort of gifts? Honestly, only some. 

Below is a common story. Of love, exasperation, desperation and a plea for help. Families snap.  Mothers murder their kids. Fathers commit murder suicide. It's a horrible outcome for some who reach the end of their rope. We never condone killing our children with autism. At the same time, we can say that we understand the raw, visceral despair and fear that strikes - when our children strike us with ferocity. Autism and violence is an ugly secret. These children will not be able to live in group homes. They will not be able to hold even a volunteer or sheltered workshop job. Gone are the days of a day program populated by placid, cognitively disabled but socially able adults. Autism will devour current programs whole - and spit out the bones. Get real, America. GET REAL.

Atlantic CTV News

HALIFAX -- A heart-rending case involving a Halifax-area boy has triggered new calls for a national strategy to help families with children who can become violently aggressive because of severe autism.

The case of nine-year-old Callum Sutherland illustrates what happens when families can't get crisis assistance, according to Autism Canada and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance.

Carly Sutherland took the rare step last week of holding a news conference to plea for help with her sometimes violent son, who is due to be fully released from a confined hospital unit on Thursday.

Sutherland told reporters her son, and her family, are frightened by how they will cope.

Cynthia Carroll, the chairwoman of the alliance, said families across Canada are reporting more severe cases of aggressive behaviour, and a lack of help.

"As we continue to work in silos across the provinces and territories, the risk increases and everybody holds their breath that for each case that hits the media that it's not a fatal case," Carroll said.

Continue reading "Violent Aggression and Autism: The Hidden Shame, Secret, Cover Up" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 5 Denial by Olmsted and Blaxill

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

DenialDay 5: Denial by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill

Even as the autism rate soars and the cost to our nation climbs well into the billions, a dangerous new idea is taking hold: There simply is no autism epidemic.

The question is stark: Is autism ancient, a genetic variation that demands acceptance and celebration? Or is it new and disabling, triggered by something in the environment that is damaging more children every day?

Authors Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted believe autism is new, that the real rate is rising dramatically, and that those affected are injured and disabled, not merely “neurodiverse.” They call the refusal to acknowledge this reality Autism Epidemic Denial. This epidemic denial blocks the urgent need to confront and stop the epidemic and endangers our kids, our country, and our future.

The key to stopping the epidemic, they say, is to stop lying about its history and start asking "who profits?" People who deny that autism is new have self-interested motives, such as ending research that might pinpoint responsibility—and, most threateningly, liability for this man-made epidemic.

Using ground-breaking research, the authors definitively debunk best-selling claims that autism is nothing new—and nothing to worry about.


Your SPED rights Day 4: Your Special Education Rights by Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson

The definitive guide for parents of children with disabilities is out. This book is authored by two special education experts and draws on decades of experience from the front lines of special education advocacy.


The authors, Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson, detail a strong, practical, and results oriented perspective that helps parents cut through the fog of special education to get the services their children deserve.

"Our bottom line is parents are often ineffective at advocating for their child because they don't know their rights," said Jennifer Laviano, co-author and special education attorney. "We see it time and again: The child doesn't get what he or she needs because the parents don't know what they don't know. This book looks to change that," Laviano added.
 
Your Special Education Rights demystifies the federal laws related to public school children with disabilities and explains how school districts often ignore or circumvent the law.

"We're passionate to pull the curtain back on the realities of special education - and tell parents the truths that school districts don't always disclose," said Julie Swanson, co-author and special education advocate, who's also the mother of a child with a disability. "Our message to parents is - plain and simple: Know your rights or run the risk of being taken advantage of," Swanson added.

Your Special Education Rights provides parents with vital information and specific guidance to address key challenges - including: How to respond to special education "urban legends" like your child is "too smart" for services; how to avoid "toothless" language in a special education plan; and overcoming discrimination and low expectations. The book also explains why now, more than ever before, parents must be vigilant to protect children's rights - and how recent Supreme Court case law and changes at the federal level impact children with disabilities.

Though Your Special Education Rights is for parents primarily, educators and administrators can also learn how difficult it can be for parents to understand the special education system, which hopefully helps schools and parents work more closely.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 5 Denial by Olmsted and Blaxill" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 4 Your Special Education Rights

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Your SPED rights Day 4: Your Special Education Rights by Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson

The definitive guide for parents of children with disabilities is out. This book is authored by two special education experts and draws on decades of experience from the front lines of special education advocacy.


The authors, Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson, detail a strong, practical, and results oriented perspective that helps parents cut through the fog of special education to get the services their children deserve.

"Our bottom line is parents are often ineffective at advocating for their child because they don't know their rights," said Jennifer Laviano, co-author and special education attorney. "We see it time and again: The child doesn't get what he or she needs because the parents don't know what they don't know. This book looks to change that," Laviano added.
 
Your Special Education Rights demystifies the federal laws related to public school children with disabilities and explains how school districts often ignore or circumvent the law.

"We're passionate to pull the curtain back on the realities of special education - and tell parents the truths that school districts don't always disclose," said Julie Swanson, co-author and special education advocate, who's also the mother of a child with a disability. "Our message to parents is - plain and simple: Know your rights or run the risk of being taken advantage of," Swanson added.

Your Special Education Rights provides parents with vital information and specific guidance to address key challenges - including: How to respond to special education "urban legends" like your child is "too smart" for services; how to avoid "toothless" language in a special education plan; and overcoming discrimination and low expectations. The book also explains why now, more than ever before, parents must be vigilant to protect children's rights - and how recent Supreme Court case law and changes at the federal level impact children with disabilities.

Though Your Special Education Rights is for parents primarily, educators and administrators can also learn how difficult it can be for parents to understand the special education system, which hopefully helps schools and parents work more closely.


How to Prevent Autism-RGB for web Day 3: How To Prevent Autism by Dara Berger

The statistics are alarming and become more so every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, making it one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States. Further, the CDC estimates that parents with a child on the autism spectrum can have nearly a 20 percent chance of having a second child with autism.

In How to Prevent Autism, Dara Berger shares her personal journey with autism. She describes everything that went wrong with her son that led to an autism diagnosis and everything she did differently to prevent her daughter from suffering the same fate. She interviews eight well-known ASD experts--including doctors, nutritionists, nurses, and scientists--about the factors that have led to the growing epidemic of autism. Based on the best practices for preventing autism in children, each professional offers perspectives grounded in their own research and their patients’ improvements. The book covers every detail--from the importance of mothers’ cleaning out their bodies preconception, through common genetic mutations that may put children at risk, to the crucial role of nutrition in prevention.

All parents agree that every choice counts when it comes to the health of their children. As Dara Berger makes clear in this personal, informative, and authoritative book, the stakes could not be higher when it comes to autism.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 4 Your Special Education Rights" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 3 How to Prevent Autism

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

How to Prevent Autism-RGB for web Day 3: How To Prevent Autism by Dara Berger

The statistics are alarming and become more so every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, making it one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States. Further, the CDC estimates that parents with a child on the autism spectrum can have nearly a 20 percent chance of having a second child with autism.

In How to Prevent Autism, Dara Berger shares her personal journey with autism. She describes everything that went wrong with her son that led to an autism diagnosis and everything she did differently to prevent her daughter from suffering the same fate. She interviews eight well-known ASD experts--including doctors, nutritionists, nurses, and scientists--about the factors that have led to the growing epidemic of autism. Based on the best practices for preventing autism in children, each professional offers perspectives grounded in their own research and their patients’ improvements. The book covers every detail--from the importance of mothers’ cleaning out their bodies preconception, through common genetic mutations that may put children at risk, to the crucial role of nutrition in prevention.

All parents agree that every choice counts when it comes to the health of their children. As Dara Berger makes clear in this personal, informative, and authoritative book, the stakes could not be higher when it comes to autism.

Day 2: Vaccines Richard Moskowitz Vaccines A Reappraisal by Dr. Richard Moskowitz

Drawing on fifty years of experience caring for children and adults, Dr. Moskowitz examines vaccines and our current policy regarding them. Weaving together a tapestry of observed facts, clinical and basic science research, news reports from the media, and actual cases from his own practice, he offers a systematic review of the subject as a whole. He provides scientific evidence for his clinical impression that the vaccination process, by its very nature, imposes substantial risks of disease, injury, and death that have been persistently denied and covered up by manufacturers, the CDC, and the coterie of doctors who speak for it.

Continue reading "The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 3 How to Prevent Autism" »


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 2 Vaccines A Reappraisal

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Day 2: Vaccines Richard Moskowitz Vaccines A Reappraisal by Dr. Richard Moskowitz

Drawing on fifty years of experience caring for children and adults, Dr. Moskowitz examines vaccines and our current policy regarding them. Weaving together a tapestry of observed facts, clinical and basic science research, news reports from the media, and actual cases from his own practice, he offers a systematic review of the subject as a whole. He provides scientific evidence for his clinical impression that the vaccination process, by its very nature, imposes substantial risks of disease, injury, and death that have been persistently denied and covered up by manufacturers, the CDC, and the coterie of doctors who speak for it.

With the aim of acknowledging these risks, taking them seriously, understanding them more holistically, and ultimately assessing them on a deeper level, he proposes a nationwide debate based on objective scientific research, including what we already know and what still needs to be investigated in the future. He argues that with no serious public health emergency to justify them, requiring vaccines of everyone deprives us all of genuinely informed consent, and prevents parents from making health-care decisions for our children, basic human rights that we still profess to hold dear.

For the present, given the legitimate controversy surrounding the mandates, he proposes that most vaccines simply be made optional and that further research into their risks and benefits be conducted by an independent agency in the public interest, untainted by industry funding, CDC sponsorship, and the quasi-religious sanctimony that is widely invoked on their behalf.

Cooking with leoDay 1: Cooking with Leo by Erica Daniels.

This heartfelt cookbook tells the story of a mother desperate to heal and connect with her hard-to-reach, severely autistic son, Leo, through the most vital everyday activity—cooking.

For many years, Erica Daniels had been out to find a successful dietary intervention for eleven-year-old Leo, who suffers from significant food allergies, gastrointestinal disease and autism. Through trial and error in her own kitchen, she finally hit her gastronomic stride of preparing nourishing meals for her entire family without gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, additives, or GMOS—with Leo by her side.

Part cookbook and part love story, Cooking with Leo takes you into the real life messy kitchen of a family affected by autism and food allergies. You will laugh and cry along with Erica and Leo as they cook, create, dance, act silly, and, most importantly, bond. A family-inspired collection of over 60 allergen-free and autism diet–friendly recipes to be prepared and shared together by your whole family, you will make meaningful connections with your child and nurture their passion for cooking with nutritious recipes.


The 12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing Day 1 Cooking With Leo

12 daysWe'd like to express our gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. Skyhorse is one of the fastest growing independent publishers in America and one of the few to tackle the toughest, most controversial topics in health and autism. For the next 12 days, we'll be creating a list of books that we hope will interest you. Some will be very familiar, like those from Dan, Mark and me (Kim) and others we hope will be new sources of information and stories to help you navigate your family's autism journey.

Cooking with leoDay 1: Cooking with Leo by Erica Daniels.

This heartfelt cookbook tells the story of a mother desperate to heal and connect with her hard-to-reach, severely autistic son, Leo, through the most vital everyday activity—cooking.

For many years, Erica Daniels had been out to find a successful dietary intervention for eleven-year-old Leo, who suffers from significant food allergies, gastrointestinal disease and autism. Through trial and error in her own kitchen, she finally hit her gastronomic stride of preparing nourishing meals for her entire family without gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, additives, or GMOS—with Leo by her side.

Part cookbook and part love story, Cooking with Leo takes you into the real life messy kitchen of a family affected by autism and food allergies. You will laugh and cry along with Erica and Leo as they cook, create, dance, act silly, and, most importantly, bond. A family-inspired collection of over 60 allergen-free and autism diet–friendly recipes to be prepared and shared together by your whole family, you will make meaningful connections with your child and nurture their passion for cooking with nutritious recipes.


1 in 36: ASD Rate Set a New Record High in 2016

Breaking news

By Mark Blaxill

The National Health Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released its latest prevalence rate for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in American children this Wednesday. Their “data brief”, which is based on information gathered in the National Health Information Survey (NHIS), reported an ASD rate for 2016 of 2.76%, or 1 in 36 American children (1).

This is the highest rate ever recorded in a national survey of children in the United States and was an increase from the rate of 1 in 45 children (or 2.24%) reported in the 2014 NHIS survey (2). The ASD information reported in these surveys includes children between the ages of 3 and 17 years of age and any diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, including Asperger’s syndrome.

This startling new peak received virtually no media coverage and was downplayed by the NCHS, whose headline finding was that--despite setting a new American record with a 1 in 36 ASD rate: “There was not a statistically significant change in the prevalence of children ever diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder from 2014 to 2016.” (1)

Yet this new 2016 rate is a sharp increase from a highly similar 2007 report, the first year in which an NCHS survey included the question, “Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that [sample child] had Autism, Asperger’s disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, or autism spectrum disorder?” The 2007 report, also measuring the rate for 3-17 year-old children, reported an autism rate of 1.1%, or 1 in 91 American children (3).

Slide1

The NCHS, like the CDC a department within the Department of Health and Human Services, follows a different methodology in the NHIS than the approach used by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Network (ADDM), which last reported an autism rate of 1 in 68 American children for 8-year-olds born in 2004 (4). The ADDM network’s estimates likely include fewer children with Asperger’s (only about 10% of the ADDM cases have an Asperger’s diagnosis), which may explain why NHIS ASD rates have been generally higher than ADDM rates.

Continue reading "1 in 36: ASD Rate Set a New Record High in 2016" »


ABC News Report Possible 90% Flu Shot Fail Rate in 2018

FAIL-BUZZER-350x233Note: Good grief. The spin here is ridiculous. Even if you are completely pro vaccination, this report has got to make you pause before your roll up your sleeve.   Can you think of another product outside of maybe a cancer drug, where 10% efficacy is not only acceptable, but the product is still recommended? If the flu is so deadly, as Public Health officials warn, why aren't they screaming that we need a 90% effective flu vaccine? Nope. They just tell the public the vaccine is failing, but hey, go ahead and get it anyway. Why not.  "It's better than 0%." Is it?

From ABC News

The upcoming flu season may be a particularly severe one in the U.S., some medical experts warned today, citing preliminary data from Australia, where the flu season is waning.

The flu vaccine used this year in Australia — which has the same composition as the vaccine used in the U.S. — was only 10 percent effective, according to a preliminary estimate, at preventing the strain of the virus that predominantly circulated during the country's flu season,an international team of medical experts wrote in a perspective published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.

"However imperfect, though, current influenza vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated," the team emphasized...


World Mercury Project: Hiding Behind Genetics to Avoid Culpability for Environmental Causes of Autism

WMPNote: Thank you to Robert Kennedy Jr. and the World Mercury Team for this article.  Please bookmark their site.

By The World Mercury Project Team

Genetics is the darling of the biomedical research industry. For diseases ranging from cancer to skin disorders, investigators have been busily at work for decades trying to identify the conditions’ underlying genetic causes. However, these same investigators—and the reporters who communicate their findings to the public—are often strangely incurious about the role of environmental toxins as triggers of disease.

A story about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) published in October 2017 by the news website Vox furnishes an example of this genetics-as-the-explanation-for-everything perspective. Vox senior health correspondent Julia Belluz (a self-described “evidence enthusiast”) interviewed a small sample of five reportedly “cutting-edge” autism researchers, all of whom focus on autism genetics. Given the lack of disciplinary diversity in her selective sample, Belluz’s conclusion that genetic factors are the most “well-established” and “promising” explanation for autism comes as no surprise.

Two of Belluz’s five interlocutors (geneticist Stephan Sanders and psychiatrist Lauren Weiss) are researchers at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), but neither one mentions a rigorous population-based study of 192 twin pairs published in the Archives of General Psychiatry by UCSF researcher Neil Risch and colleagues in 2011. Risch is the director of UCSF’s Institute for Human Genetics. The study’s results indicated that “environmental factors have been underestimated, and genetics overestimated, for their roles in autism-spectrum disorders.” Another study that involved families with two ASD-affected siblings (published in Nature Medicine in 2015) likewise highlighted “substantial genetic heterogeneity” in ASD, again suggesting that environmental or other shared risk factors trump heritability.

…environmental factors have been underestimated, and genetics overestimated, for their roles in autism-spectrum disorders.

To be fair, Belluz’s discussion gives a nod to a “genes plus environment” perspective on autism causation by acknowledging that an “underlying genetic predisposition or mutation” generally needs to “collide” with environmental triggers in order to give rise to ASD. However, Belluz characterizes the research on environmental risk factors for ASD as “blurry,” “murky,” “mixed” and not “robust.” Belluz also cites a study that, according to her, views shared genetic variants in families as “probably more important” as an autism trigger than shared environments. However, the article actually emphasizes gene-environment interactions and concludes that “the amount of evidence supporting a significant contribution of environmental factors to autism risk” makes it clear that “the search for environmental factors should be reinforced.”

A pivotal paper published in early 2017 goes a step further, asserting that “The term ‘heritability,’ as it is used today in human behavioral genetics, is one of the most misleading in the history of science.” The paper’s two authors argue against the “deeply flawed” assumption that “genetic influences…can be separated from their environmental context.” According to these authors, “contemporary biology has demonstrated beyond any doubt that traits are produced by interactions between genetic and nongenetic factors that occur in each moment of developmental time. That is to say, there are simply no such things as gene-only influences [emphasis in original].” Stated another way, the paper suggests that “it makes little sense to attempt to quantify the relative importance of two different factors that interact with one another [dynamically] to produce an outcome.”

Read the full article at World Mercury Project here.


A Review of The Pharmacy Article on Shoulder Injury Resulting from Vaccine Administration

QualificationInfoGraphicBy Wayne Rohde

On November 18, 2017, an article was published in The Pharmacy Times by Ned Milenkovich, PharmMD, JD outlining possible liabilities of pharmacists as they administer vaccines. The writer correctly points out that “pharmacists who improperly administer a vaccine or fail to conform to industry-accepted norms could be found liable. These allegations would be directed to the pharmacist’s administration of the vaccine and not to the product itself”.

Let’s examine in greater detail what the writer is telling us. SIRVA or Shoulder Injury Resulting from Vaccine Administration is the leading injury for all petitions filed in the NVICP since 2015. It is the result of improper administration of a vaccine generally too high in the arm, in the shoulder joint or bursting of the bursa sac, causing severe pain and in many cases, surgery to correct the damage. 

Most of these injuries occur in retail pharmacy or pop up vaccine shops in grocery stores or shopping malls. HHS and CDC acknowledge back in 2015 that the main reason is the poor training or in some cases, the lack of training. Lou Conte and I wrote about this very issue in AoA a couple of years ago.

Pharmacists and those who administer vaccines in retail pharmacies or pop up shops lack medical training to ask patient for contraindications or other medical conditions that should be discussed with doctor and patient. Lack of true informed consent and failure of duty to warn are two areas that are missing from most discussions.

A duty to warn is a legal concept indicating that a party will be held liable for injuries caused to another, where the party had the opportunity to warn the other of a hazard and failed to do so. In this example, did the pharmacist offer the VIS prior to the administration of the vaccine, allowed the customer to read and ask questions, and did the pharmacist ask the proper medical background questions prior? Highly doubtful since this practice is not followed by the “highly trained” doctors and nurses in a clinic or hospital setting.

Can someone who suffered a SIRVA injury file a civil law suit directly against the pharmacist and the pharmacy? You could. However, the best course of action for compensation of the injury probably resides inside the NVICP. Why?

SIRVA injuries are now considered an ON-Table injury within the NVICP and would be fast-tracked for adjudication and compensation if the proper medical records are in order.  It would be faster and less adversarial than a traditional civil lawsuit.  The petitioner will not pay for attorney fees and costs unlike a plaintiff in the civil suit.  The Program allows for lost wages and future earnings compensation.

And there is still the legal possibility for those who filed compensation in the NVICP even after receiving payment for their injuries, to file a civil suit if that person believes the injury warrants further compensation.  That has not been tested.  But it could.

For all my writings and criticisms of the NVICP over the last seven years, this might be the first time that I state the Program is the best choice for those who have suffered a SIRVA injury.

The Vaccine Court Wayne RohdeWayne Rohde, author of The Vaccine Court – The Dark Truth of America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program


AHRP: Dissolving Illusions–“Authoritative” Medical Information Sources Are Corrupted

Alliance-for-Human-Research-ProtectionNOTE: We have excerpted this post with permission from Vera Sharav of AHRP.

A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of the truth” — Albert Einstein

The wisdom of this observation is borne out by empirical evidence demonstrating that so-called “authoritative” sources of medical information are thoroughly corrupted not only by industry manipulation but by government officials, and biased, financially conflicted academic gatekeepers of medical science — i.e., “expert panels” and journal editors.  The most lucrative areas of medicine are the most corrupted by financial conflicts of interest. Our recent focus continues to be the untouchable subject; namely, the largely corrupted vaccine information base.

For me, the most troubling aspect of the corrupting influence of the powerful vaccine lobby is its apparent success in having averted the focus of the medical profession and academia: from the spiraling number of vaccine-injured children whose existence these authorities deny. However, evidence of their existence is demonstrated by the fraction of those who have been compensated by The U.S. Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). 

  •  The VICP has received 18,652 petitions for compensation for vaccine-injured children (and some adults) [This number represents at most 10% of actual serious vaccine injuries.]
  • Of these, 1,236 had died. The following deaths (double-digit or greater) include: 696 deaths attributed to DTP vaccine; 129 deaths due to the flu vaccine; 81 deaths due to DTaP; 61 deaths due to MMR; 57 deaths due to Hepatitis B; 32 deaths due to DTaP-Hep BIPV; 28 deaths due to OPV (polio) vaccine; 14 deaths due to HPV.
  • VICP has compensated 5,680 vaccine injured children in the amount of $3.5 billion — $3,488,760,578.73 
  • From January to October 2, 2017, VICP received 1,213 petitions for compensation by vaccine-injured children (and some adults). The amount compensated in 2017 was $252,650,932.78

Continue reading " AHRP: Dissolving Illusions–“Authoritative” Medical Information Sources Are Corrupted" »


We're Thankful for You! Age of Autism Donor Matching Gift Program.

Giving thanks
November is here,

Giving thanks is due.

I’m donating to AoA,

How about you?

Thanksgiving is today, and a perfect time to express our gratitude for this wonderful forum we know as the Age of Autism blog.

Please take a few minutes to consider the following:

  • How often you read AoA
  • How often you share articles from AoA
  • How AoA has helped you, your child, and your family
  • How supported you feel when you read AoA
  • How encouraged you feel when you read AoA
  • How you appreciate the content of AoA
  • How you appreciate that AoA is a daily blog
  • How you appreciate that AoA includes news that mainstream media refuses to cover
  • How AoA has amazing contributors, both in the form of writers and commenters
  • How there are those behind the scenes who keep AoA up and running on a daily basis, who need and appreciate our financial support

Now that you have contemplated those points, I hope you are feeling inspired to make a donation to keep Age of Autism running strong for another year.

I will match all donations made from Nov. 1st through Nov. 30th, up to $5,000. Last year, we exceeded the matching amount…let’s do it again!

Simply click AgeofAutism.com/donate.html to pay online. Or, if you prefer, you can mail a check made out to “Autism Age” to:

Autism Age

P.O. Box 110546

Trumbull, CT  06611

Please don’t put this off. Click on the donation link, or grab your checkbook, an envelope, and a stamp, and make your donation now. Let’s show Kim and her helpers our support today!

Sincerely,

Anonymous Donor


Holiday Reading List from Skyhorse Publishing

This holiday season, we're thankful for Skyhorse Publishing in New York. Publisher Tony Lyons is not only an autism Dad himself, but he's a brave, sometimes lone voice in the publishing world for every topic within the spectrum that is autism. 

Here are some of SHP's recent releases worth a look.

Denial
Denial by Dan Olmsted (Age of Autism Founding Editor) and Mark Blaxill (Age of Autism Editor at Large)


Your SPED rights
Your Special Education Rights by Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson
(A behind the scenes look a the world of IEPs and how you can negotiate better with  your school district.)

Continue reading "Holiday Reading List from Skyhorse Publishing" »


Dog Flu Pet Threat Campaign Promotes Merck Vaccine

Dog fluAND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO!!!!!!!  Good grief, Snoopy! Merck is now trying to convince you that your dog is in grave danger from the flu and you should be a responsible pet owner and get your dog vaccinated. Dog flu. Ever heard of it? Has your vet ever told you about this threat to your pet?  The website https://www.dogflu.com/ is 0wned by Merck (see below.)  Sounds like a cash cow product to me.

"Dog Flu is a growing concern across kennels and boarding facilities, learn more about prevention and containment.  AAHA reports on how kennels and boarding facilities are reacting to the Dog Flu outbreak in Trends Magazine."

Admin Organization: Merck and Co., Inc.
Admin Street: One Merck Drive,
Admin City: Whitehouse Station
Admin State/Province: NJ
Admin Postal Code: 08889


What Will Johnny Collett Mean for Autism Families?

Johnny collettNOTE: Any AofA readers in Kentucky or with experience with Johnny Collett please chime in in our comments. He serves as an advisory board member of the Kentucky Autism Training Center.  The info below from the White House is more than a bit concerning in that it fails to mention experience with the most demanding diagnosis in special education today, AUTISM.

If you could tell him your most pressing need, what would you say to him?

"President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Johnny Collett of Kentucky, to be the Assistant Secretary of Education for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Mr. Collett is the Director of Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers. In this role, he supports states in their work to raise expectations and improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. He previously served as Director of the Division of Learning Services and State Director of Special Education at the Kentucky Department of Education. In this role, he provided oversight to a division that included special education, as well as other program areas such as English Learners, gifted and talented, response to intervention, the Kentucky School for the Blind, and the Kentucky School for the Deaf. He also served on the board of directors of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, serving a partial term as secretary-treasurer of the board. Mr. Collett also served in various other roles, including exceptional children consultant, assistant division director, and acting division director. Prior to working at the Kentucky Department of Education, he was a high school special education teacher. Mr. Collett is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and Georgetown College (KY)."

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Kentucky Autism Training Center

Director
Division of Learning Services
Office of Next-Generation Learners
Kentucky Department of Education

Johnny W. Collett is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Georgetown College (KY). He has been with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) since 2008 and currently serves as Director for the Division of Learning Services (DLS). Johnny has previously served as an Interim Division Director, Assistant Division Director and Exceptional Children Consultant at the KDE. Prior to coming to the KDE, he served eight years as a classroom teacher in Scott County (KY) Schools, working primarily with students with disabilities. Johnny is married and has three children (17, 11 and 7 years old).


Asking ABC 10 California Reporter About the Vaccine Exemption Loophole

Laura Hayes
NOTE: Thanks to Laura Hayes for her tireless diligence in California on the topic of vaccination. From Laura:

"A few days ago, I sent an email with this link of an ABC news report here in CA re. SB277 and what reporters are now calling the "loophole" of medical exemptions issued by licensed physicians in CA:  http://www.abc10.com/news/local/loophole-in-california-vaccine-law-leads-to-rise-in-medical-exemptions/490980059

After viewing this "news" segment, I immediately emailed the reporter, Gabrielle Karol at gkarol@abc10.com   It has been 3 days now, and no reply from her.  Perhaps you, too, will feel compelled to contact this reporter.  However, as with other mainstream reporters, it appears that her vaccine-related stories are dictated by the hand that feeds her and her network, Big Pharma." 
 
Dear Ms. Karol,
 
I watched your feature last night re. the use of medical exemptions in CA.  It did not include balance or pertinent facts. It also did not mention that the featured child's cancer may very well have been caused by her childhood vaccines (http://fearlessparent.org/do-vaccines-cause-cancer/). Should you want to further educate yourself on the topic of vaccines, here are some starting points for you.  
 
 
(80-min. presentation I gave on 11-13-16 at WAPF's annual conference; a comprehensive overview of many vaccine-related issues, and a great place for you to begin)
 
 
 
 
 
We are in the midst of a Vaccine Holocaust.  Mainstream media is one of the guilty parties, and a major contributor to escalating medical fascism.  It is my sincere hope that you will make the time to educate yourself, then dedicate yourself to exposing the dangers, inefficacies, and lack of need for vaccines, and the corruption that underlies them from manufacture to mandate, and beyond.
 
Sincerely,
 
Laura Hayes

80 Reasons to Amazon Smile and Donate to Autism Age!

Thanks Age of AutismHi, friends. We're in the middle of our November $5,000 matching gift fundraising event for Autism Age - which is the non-profit organization that publishes Age of Autism every day.  $10,000 is a whole lot of money to us!  Your donations are arriving by mail (PO Box 110546 Trumbull CT 06611) and through our Bank of America based online ordering system. DONATE SECURELY HERE.

Thank you! 

Last year, at this time, Dan Olmsted was formulating his next book (on Polio) and how he planned to spend his retirement years.  As part 0f his future plans, he generously turned Autism Age over to me in December.  We are a non-profit registered in Connecticut. As Executive Director, chief, cook and bottle washer, it's my great joy to honor Dan's memory by keeping us up and running each day. I couldn't do it without our team - John Stone and Mark Blaxill, Cathy Jameson and Adriana Gamondes who keep our Facebook page current and fresh, Teresa Conrick with our science updates. Nancy Hokkanen not only writes, but who sends me great email ideas regularly. Anne Dachel with her important media updates. Everyone on our team.  If you want to contribute, by all means send me a submission for review to KimRossi1111@gmail.com.  We love stories from inside the epidemic - your family, your highs and lows, your growing kids, your own life if you are on the spectrum. You don't have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner - just write from your heart and gut. That honesty makes for great posts. The content beast is always hungry!

I just got an email from Amazon - we just earned $80 through the AMAZON SMILE program.  You can donate every time you make a purchase through Amazon. Just click here to get started!  It might not sound like much, but SMILE was a new revenue source for us in 2017.  Passive donations are most excellent!

Below is our Matching Gift program for the month from "anonymous donor."  Ask YOUR EMPLOYER for a matching gift Matching giftform for your donation!

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and is a perfect time to express our gratitude for this wonderful forum we know as the Age of Autism blog.

Please take a few minutes to consider the following:

  • How often you read AoA
  • How often you share articles from AoA
  • How AoA has helped you, your child, and your family
  • How supported you feel when you read AoA

Continue reading "80 Reasons to Amazon Smile and Donate to Autism Age!" »


Action Alert! Senate Should Reject Alex Azar

Urgent call to actionThank you to Autism Action Network for this action alert. You may be able to help stop this appointment by sharing your concerns with your Senator.  The action alert below includes a link, and letter you can use through the convenience automatic system.  Please, take 5 minutes to use the action alert.  The AHA  just changed blood pressure standards to lower them - meaning MORE Americans will test as "hypertensive."  That means millions of additional prescriptions written for drugs and swamp gold for pharma. As head of HHS, Azar, an Eli Lilly alum, will be able to manage American healthcare for the express benefit of his industry.  Don't be naive enough to think our health will be taken into any account other than the pharma bank account.  Thank you.


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CLICK HERE to GO STRAIGHT TO THE ACTION ALERT SYSTEM

President Trump just nominated former chief lobbyist and President of the US division of drug company Eli Lilly to be the next Secretary of the Health and Human Services (HHS). Eli Lilly is the inventor and was the primary manufacturer of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines that is linked to autism and other neurological disorders. Prior to employment at Eli Lilly, under George W. Bush, Azar was general counsel and later deputy secretary of HHS at the time the decision was made to give an expedited efficacy and safety review to Gardasil, a vaccine for human papilloma virus produced by Merck that has enormous safety issues. As general counsel (head attorney) for HHS, Azar participated in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding that denied more than 5000 claims of vaccine injury, even though HHS settled one of the test cases that found that Hannah Poling's autism was indeed caused by vaccine injury.

Azar is exactly the wrong person to head HHS. Azar must be approved by the Senate, and the Autism Action Network will be working hard to stop his confirmation.

Please click on the Take Action link to send an email to the President expressing your disappointment with this nomination, and encouraging the two United States Senators from your state, who must vote on Azar's appointment, to oppose his confirmation.

While the head of Eli Lily in the US, Azar was also on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Association, a trade and lobbying association for manufacturers of biological products including drugs, vaccines and GMOs.  Azar's career perfectly mirrors the "revolving door" door between regulatory agencies and the industries that they supposedly regulate in the public interest. The revolving door is one of the clearest indicators of government corruption.  And Azar is only 50 years old, so we can probably expect several more trips through the revolving door before his career is done.

Continue reading "Action Alert! Senate Should Reject Alex Azar" »


Trump Drains the Swamp to Make Room for More Pharma Gold

Drain the swampPresident Trump promised to "drain the swamp" during his campaign. His hard talk about pharmaceutical influence on our lives was a strong pull for many within the autism community from conservatives, to moderates to staunch liberals. Many held their noses and voted for Trump with a longing for true help and change for this generation of kids and the future.

The nominee for HHS secretary is Alex Azar, former top executive with Eli Lilly, the creator and manufacturer of Thimerosal. Thimerosal. Thimerosal: the  mercury-based preservative used in vaccinations and the launching pad for autism.   Azar was also in HHS under President George W. Bush.   The good news is that his orientation will be a snap. He already knows how to find the bathroom and supply closet.

Even the mainstream media sees the significance of appointing a captain of industry to run a government organization as large as HHS.   From the NY Times:

President Trump, who has repeatedly assailed pharmaceutical companies for the high cost of prescription medications in the United States, nominated on Monday a former executive of one of the nation’s largest drug companies to be secretary of health and human services, which has responsibility for regulating the pharmaceutical industry. Read more here.

I'm reminded of the lyric from the song "The Circle Game." 

And the seasons, they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down.
We're captives on the carousel of time.
We can't return. We can only look.
Behind from where we came.
And go round and round and round in the circle game.

Kim


The Science Behind Dental Mercury and Other Environmental Toxicants

Viceroy-DentistNOTE: My father was a dentist for a decade before becoming an orthodontist. I've often wondered about his (and my Mom's, who was his chair side assistant before their marriage) mercury burden from the 1950s as they relate to my own burden and my girls' autism. It was a hard subject to even bring up with my Dad. Thanks to World Mercury Project for this article. Please visit their site here.

By Amanda Just and John Kall, DMD of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT)

If everyone had the same reaction to environmental toxicants, these hazardous substances would probably be banned immediately. It would be obvious to everyone, as well as their doctors, that exposure to a specific toxic material results in a definitive outcome– the exact same illness shared by all of those who come into contact with the dangerous substance. However, research has demonstrated that individuals respond to environmental toxicants in a way that is unique to their own bodies.

This “personalized response” has been studied in depth in the case of dental mercury. In fact, examining the science behind dental mercury sheds light on the complex variability of environmental illnesses. It also offers hope that this newfound understanding can help heal the ailing state of 21st century public health.

What is dental mercury?

Often referred to as “silver fillings,” all dental amalgams consist of 45-55% metallic mercury. Mercury is a known neurotoxin.  Amalgams are still used for about 45% of all direct dental restorations worldwide, including in the US.

What are some of the health risks that have been linked to dental mercury?

Properly diagnosing “adverse health effects” related to dental mercury amalgam fillings is impeded by the list of potential responses to the elemental form of the substance, which include over 250 symptoms. Not all individuals will experience the same symptom or combination of symptoms. Moreover, scientists have associated the mercury in amalgam fillings with Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), antibiotic resistance, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, infertility, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other health problems.  Read more here.


HPV Vaccine inventor Ian Frazer Backs UK’s “Jabs for the Boys” Lobbyist Group – Conflict of Interest?

Dr. Ian FrazerBy Eileen Iorio

After Peter Doshi’s recent exposé article in the British Medical Journal on how government agencies and vaccine manufacturers use grass roots organizations to push their vaccine agenda, I took a closer look at an upcoming decision about to be made in the UK by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization on whether boys should be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. A decision is expected next week after the same Committee voted against such an extension to the program in July. Currently the vaccine is given in schools to all 12 year old girls with a high uptake rate of 90%. It is also offered free in certain clinics to men who have sex with men under a special National Health Service pilot program.

 Lobbyist group HPVAction.org has been the most vocal in recent years, using its 48-member strong network to push the government to adopt a “gender-neutral” policy for this vaccine by making it available to all boys. A statement from the group recently, outlined the many reasons that the JCVI should add boys to the schedule in a comprehensive policy statement, submitted to the department of health ahead of next week’s decision. They argue, with a slightly threatening undertone, that the current policy “may be in breach” of sexual equality laws.

 According to the website “whois”, the person behind HPVAction is Jamie Rae, a Scottish businessman and philanthropist. Rae has a long history in Scottish politics as a former member of the Scottish National Party. Rae was convicted of fraud in the late 90s and served 15 months in prison on various charges relating to mortgage and benefits fraud. After serving his time, Rae turned his luck around and started up many successful businesses. After developing and overcoming throat cancer in 2010, Rae set up the Throat Cancer Foundation in 2012, to raise awareness for this rare condition and to campaign for the inclusion of males in the HPV vaccination program.  

 The Throat Cancer Foundation (TCF) is a charity but also acts as a lobbying group  and by extension, supports the position of HPVAction as owner of the site and also as TCF is a member. The story begins to get more complicated when two of TCF’s advisory board members have direct conflicts of interest with the vaccine – Co-inventor of the HPV vaccine Ian Frazer, and MERCK/GSK consultant and JCVI advisor Dr. Margaret Stanley, OBE.

 Ian Frazer, a Scottish virologist now an Australian citizen, along with co-inventor, the late Jian Zhou and others, owns rights to the sale of both HPV vaccines in Australia and New Zealand. They also own exclusive rights over the vaccine technology used by Merck and GSK. Expanding the vaccine program to boys would bolster the credibility of his own country’s program and promote this “gender neutral” policy worldwide as so few countries have adopted such an expensive public health measure thus far. In the US, uptake among boys is hovering around 20%. Improving uptake in boys will also offset the dramatic reduction in sales as a result of reducing the dose from three to two in recent years.

 Professor Margaret Stanley, OBE is a British virologist at the University of Cambridge who has been intimately involved in the development of both vaccines with Merck and GSK and served on the special HPV advisory group to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, which recommended that the vaccine program go ahead for girls in 2008. Dr. Stanley has a vested interest in ensuring that boys are included in the program, one which she has invested her entire career in propagating, both with the WHO, the IARC and various other institutions around the world. She has benefited financially from her relationship with both manufacturers as a consultant and as a speaker on behalf of the vaccines.

 The Throat Cancer Foundation states in its policy on ethics that it be transparent in its dealings with partners and sponsors, both public and private, “ensuring that the Throat Cancer Foundation remains independent and autonomous so that there can be no influence – either actual or perceived…” So how does the TCF ensure that their charity is independent and autonomous when two of the HPV vaccine’s heaviest hitters are on its advisory board? At what point is the TCF working for Frazer and Stanley to further their interests?

Rae himself has another company, Nugensis, which has accepted business solution contracts from the NHS and was embroiled in an accusation of cronyism from government ministers in 2015, after Rae made donations to the Scottish National Party before the million pound contract was awarded. The SNP denied all charges of cronyism and no action was taken.

It is difficult to say if the JCVI will be sufficiently influenced by HPVAction.org and by extension the Throat Cancer Foundation, backed by direct profiteers of the vaccine and key stakeholders with influence on policy. However, what is clear is that the public is unaware that such an influence – either actual or perceived - exists. It is this semi-transparency which results in public loss of confidence once such conflicts are revealed, causing more damage to the vaccine program.

Eileen Iorio is a Holistic Health Coach based in Westchester, NY. Eileen is a guest blogger for The Thinking Moms Revolution. She has a background in accounting and finance but now occupies her time with vaccine safety advocacy, research and writing. She is married and has three children.

 


Is there a Confundus Charm at BMJ? Critical of US Vaccine Organizations and CDC

Bella2Note: I admit to being a dedicated fan of all things Harry Potter. Heck, I look like Bellatrix, don't I? (OK, not my teeth.) JB Handley posted on Facebook yesterday this remarkable British Medical Journal piece critical, I repeat, critical of our CDC funded non-profits. That's said, can WE at Autism Age get some of the CDC love? Money? Cash? Our John Stone handles UK issues with aplomb. I rather nicked this piece from his purview. Hope he doesn't call me a git. Cheerio! Kim

The unofficial vaccine educators: are CDC funded non-profits sufficiently independent?
 
By Peter Doshi, BMJ

Vaccines are considered one of public health’s greatest success stories. But is all promotion of vaccines necessarily a good thing, or does it depend on the details? Peter Doshi investigates the semi-transparent world of vaccine advocacy organizations

Vaccination programs have long been a centerpiece of public health activity. But policies of compulsion have always been controversial. Against a backdrop of recent measles outbreaks, France and Italy moved this year to mandate certain vaccines for school entry.12 There’s even a renewed push for mandates in the UK,3 where public health leaders have long resisted compulsory vaccination on the grounds that it undermines the trust between the public and healthcare professionals and is ultimately counterproductive.4

The debate is also alive in the US. Although all states require vaccination as a condition for entry to school, most also allow exemptions for families with non-medical philosophical or religious objections. Overall, childhood vaccination levels remain at or near historically high levels, with under 1% of toddlers receiving no vaccines.56 But beneath the broad national trends there is geographic variation in coverage,6 and survey data have documented that parental concerns over vaccination safety and timing are common, even among those whose children receive all recommended vaccines.7

In 2015, a US federal advisory committee warned that public confidence in vaccines cannot be taken for granted,5 and some prominent vaccine advocacy organizations are pushing for greater compulsion. But are these groups—which present themselves as reliable sources of information—providing the public with independent information?

Removing the ability to opt out

Two years ago, California state legislators passed a law removing the personal belief exemption that had previously allowed families to defer or decline mandated childhood vaccinations.8 In doing so, California became the third state to remove non-medical exemptions, following Mississippi and West Virginia.  You can view the entry here, without sign in.


Levi Quackenboss: How To Win Any Vaccine Debate Part 2

Winner loserDid you read Part 1 of this series yet? Make sure you bookmark it, and stay tuned for parts 3 and 4.

#5 When they say, “There is no autism epidemic. Doctors are just better at recognizing the signs of autism now, so there are more diagnoses.

Then you say, “Whoops! Be sure to let the State of California know that the 680% increase in autism cases shown in their meticulously-tracked incremental climb from 1992 to 2007 proves an epidemic that doesn’t exist. And then explain the last two decades of market demands for diapers to fit adolescents, helmets for seizures and self-harm, special education programs in schools, occupational and speech therapists, sensitive Santas at Christmastime, sensory-friendly clothing, assisted living facilities for people in their 20s, and parents lobbying for the right to treat their children with marijuana.”

It’s groundless to claim that the physical need for these products and services manifested because today’s medical doctors are “better” at slapping a manufactured label on non-verbal children who have epilepsy, chronic diarrhea, extreme sensory issues, and sleep disturbances than doctors in 1990.

Here is just one sobering timeline:  the existence of extra large diapers for the two million kids who struggle to master defecating in a toilet.

The EPA has traced the beginning of the explosion in autism cases back to 1988-89 (coincidentally, Tylenol began their ad campaigns of being the most doctor-trusted pain reliever in 1986). So up until 1993, parents of the front wave of autistic children were able to squeeze their kids into ordinary disposable diapers, but once they passed the age of seven/eight/nine and still weren’t toilet trained, their parents were in a panic. Toddler diapers were too small, and adult incontinence diapers were far too large.

So what did Kimberly-Clark Corporation invent in 1994? “GoodNite Disposable Underwear” for older kids. Why, in 1994– when the disposable diaper industry was already 46 years old– did we suddenly need older kid diapers for the first time? Read more here.


Walking in Quicksand on The Cost of Rejecting a Cure for Autism

NOTE: Thanks to Ashlynn for allowing us to excerpt her blog post below.  I agree with her almost completely. In America, we reject cures every day of the week, because treatments make money for pharma, profit based hospitals, etc.  However, most diseases and chronic diagnoses are at least given the pretense of seeking a cure - Susan G. Komen comes to mind. Thanks, Ashlynn.  K

Read the full post at Walking in Quicksand here. Denied stamp

In the United States, an estimated $262 billion per year is spent on care and services for people with autism. This number does not include social security and benefit payments. If the startling trend of better diagnosis increased autism rates continues, care of individuals with autism in the United States will exceed one trillion dollars per year before we know it.

The staggering costs associated with caring for people with autism starkly contrast the limited and wasteful funds spent on autism research each year. Roughly $300 million is spent on autism research yearly, 75% of which is paid for by the Federal government.

This means that over $800 is spent caring for people with autism for every dollar spent researching autism. Of course, what constitutes autism research is broad and a great deal of it focuses not on relief from symptoms or preventing autism in the first place, but on genetics, validating the usefulness of applied behavioral analysis, and casting blame on fat moms and old dads. In fact, the research to date has been so underwhelming that the best tips WebMD can come up with for preventing autism are: live healthy, don’t take drugs during pregnancy, avoid alcohol, seek treatment for existing health conditions, and get vaccinated.

While neurodiversity proponents vilify people who want a cure, parents lose sleep over who will provide proper care for their autistic children when they die. With many autistics having no chance of partnering or starting their own families, parents rightly worry what will happen when their children are left in a world without a single person who loves them. The darker side of autism is habitually glossed over in any debate about how money should be spent to help people with autism. Families fight for the welfare of children and teens held in four point restraints in emergency rooms for weeks at a time as they wait for an opening at a facility that can marginally manage their needs. Meanwhile, a vocal minority that remains without empathy for the suffering the rest of the spectrum endures, continues to condemn those of us who want better for our kids.

Actively fighting against relief from the symptoms of autism is more than just cruel. It’s financially unsustainable.


Levi Quackenboss: How to Win Any Vaccine Debate

SmartNote: Share this post by Levi Quackenboss far and wide.  We look forward to Part Duh, er Deux...  :)  Levi never fails to hit the nail on the head!

By Levi Quackenboss

We’ve all heard the most common talking points of pharma-sponsored vaccine propaganda in the mainstream media, but sometimes it’s hard to conjure up the right response when the same unfounded soundbites come at you in real life.

Save this blog. And the next and the next. I’ve got your answers for you.

#1 When they say, “Scientific studies have proven that vaccines don’t cause autism!”

Then you say, “Despite what you’ve heard in the media, only one shot and one ingredient have ever been studied for their role in causing autism.”

In the following two CDC (Centers for Disease Control) studies, just one shot– out of the ten single and combination shots on the infant vaccination schedule– and one ingredient– out of more than three dozen– have ever been studied in relation to autism. And both studies reek of scientific fraud.

The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) study

Dr. William Thompson, a scientist on the CDC’s 2004 MMR-doesn’t-cause-autism study, was granted whistleblower protection by President Obama in 2014. Why would a scientist need that protection? Because recordings were released of him admitting that their study originally showed that the MMR does cause autism –most notably a 240% increase in African American boys– and that his co-authors at the CDC conspired to hide that finding.

Other studies that claim to prove the MMR’s innocence are based on this fraudulent study, or they are retroactive cohort studies (not case controlled like the CDC’s MMR study) which are rife with selection bias, unexplained parameters, and creative definitions of what it means to be “unvaccinated.” There is an often-cited 2015 “MMR doesn’t cause autism” retroactive cohort study of over 95,000 kids that Dr. Paul Thomas does an excellent job of dissecting if you’d like to learn more.

The mercury study

Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, the lead author of the CDC’s 2003 mercury-doesn’t-cause-autism study, sounded the alarm when he found that mercury-based thimerosal preservative was causing a 760% increase in autism prevalence. Thimerosal was used in the Hep B vaccines and DTaP vaccines up until 2003, and is continued to be used in flu shots today. But, according to the World Mercury Project, Verstraeten was pushed aside while others reworked his study to bury the damaging discovery. Verstraeten then resigned from the CDC, returned to his homeland, and took a job with GlaxoSmithKline before his CDC study was even published, which Congress found to be a violation of ethics. The nail in the coffin came during a 2004 Institute of Medicine Review of that study, when the CDC’s presentation slides revealed that they had “lost” the study’s raw data sets used from the Vaccine Safety Datalink. Voila! No one will ever be able check their findings. (Note: these CDC slides are now removed from the IOM website, too, but you can read more about them here.)

Does this sound like a comprehensive investigation into vaccination causing autism?

#2 When they say, “But today’s vaccines have less antigens than vaccines from decades ago, so they’re safer now.”

Then you say, “Who said that vaccines had too many antigens? That’s a straw man argument. We’ve been told hundreds of times that infants have the capacity to respond to an enormous number of antigens. Vaccine antigens were reduced to maximize manufacturer profits, not to improve safety.”

When parents say that today’s schedule is “too many too soon,” they mean too many vaccines, not too many antigens. There is a lot more to a vaccine vial than antigens. Heck, the hep B vaccine only has one little antigen. I still don’t want it injected into my kid.

Disease antigens are expensive to produce and vaccine makers want to minimize expenses. Decades ago, only the DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine used aluminum adjuvant. But today, vaccines for seven diseases on the bloated schedule have powerful neurotoxic aluminum adjuvants that cause a little bit of antigen to elicit a huge immune response.

I’ll sit here and wait while you research the safety of aluminum. It has no known use to the human body, it causes an IgE response and increases allergies, it’s a highly reactive and damaging neurotoxin, and rather than being excreted by the body, it accumulates in the brain.

Vaccines are no safer for it.

#3 When they say, “Mercury was taken out of vaccines in 2001 and autism rates rose anyway!”

Read the rest  of the article here.


L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science

Vera SharavAge of Autism links to Alliance for Human Resesearch Protection for Vera Sharav's damning indictment of the British Medical Journal's intervention in the Wakefield affair. She traces its history from the beginning but focuses on the journal's allegations of  fraud in 2011 and its sinister repercussions.

By Vera Sharav

L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science

Introduction: I have undertaken this review of the case against Dr. Andrew Wakefield because the issues involved are far more consequential than the vilification of one doctor. The issues, as I see them, involve (a) collusion of public health officials to deceive the public by concealing scientific evidence that confirms empirical evidence of serious harm linked to vaccines – in particular polyvalent vaccines; (b) the “willful blindness” by the medical community as it uncritically fell in line with a government dictated vaccination policy driven by corporate business interests.

Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies. On a human level, the documented evidence shows a callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children who suffer irreversible harm, as if they were unavoidable “collateral damage”.

All of the documented evidence and testimonies submitted to the General Medical Council, upon which GMC issued its guilty verdicts against Dr. Wakefield and his two co-defendants in 2010, were subsequently forensically assessed by the UK High Court in March 2012, in the appeal of Professor John Walker-Smith, the senior clinician and senior author of the Lancet case series. The High Court determined that the verdicts of professional misconduct and ethics violations were unsupported by the evidence.

Indeed, the adjudicated evidence refutes the case against Dr. Wakefield; the documents and testimonies demonstrate that there is no evidence whatsoever, to support the charges of professional misconduct, much less the accusation of fraud. The accusation of fraud was hurled by the Editor-in-Chief of the BMJ, a medical journal whose corporate ownership is intertwined with the vaccine manufacturing Behemoths, Merck – with whom BMJ signed a partnership agreement in 2008 – and GlaxoSmithKline which provides additional financial support to BMJ. Among their numerous vaccine products, Merck and GSK manufacture the MMR vaccine.

My commentary is buttressed with details from the High Court decision (2012); transcripts of testimony before the General Medical Council (2007- 2010); documents and testimony that have been judicially adjudicated; the sworn deposition of the Deputy Editor of the BMJ with internal BMJ emails(2012); internal correspondence by CDC officials and CDC-commissioned scientists (2000-2009, some uncovered in 2011; new documents obtained in July 2017); the suppressed finding of CDC’s first large-scale epidemiological study (1999) and a transcript of the closed door meeting of the Epidemic Intelligence Service at Simpsonwood (2000); a transcript of the closed meeting of the US Institute of Medicine Committee on Immunization Safety Review (2001); the U.S. Grand Jury criminal indictment of Dr. Poul Thorsen (2011); transcripts of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (1988); a confidential report Re: Infanrix hexa submitted by GlaxoSmithKline to the European Medicines Agency (2012) documenting sudden infant deaths; Cochrane Collaboration MMR reviews (2003, 2005, 2012); HHS Inspector General investigation report – CDC advisory panel corruption (2009); CDC scientists letter of complaint about “rogue interests” “questionable and unethical practices” (2016)...    Read more at AHRP.org here.


The End of an Error

The endScienceBlogs is no more. Home to Orac and others who took a strange delight in the autism epidemic and vaccine injury denial, it appears to have published its last.  Blogging has changed dramatically post social media. Most of us look to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram for quick peek, fast read, easily digestible information and news. It's not necessarily a good thing. Long form reporting and blogging have changed.   I haven't written for HuffPo in a very long time - nor would they publish some of my autism posts even when I submitted them. I let my personal blog wind down too.  Yahoo groups bit the dust years ago. Facebook became King.

I'm sure Orac and others will find another home so that they can continue their missions.

For those ScienceBloggers who were blogging to improve lives and share meaningful information and who had a community, I'm sorry for your loss.   For those who spent their days trying to harm my children, my colleagues, me - good riddance.

Meanwhile, Age of Autism is here, strong as ever despite our great loss of Dan Olmsted last January. If you would like to support us, we welcome your donations and rely on them.  Thank you.

Kim


When Inclusion Means So Little: NC Teen Shamed with Inappropriate Photo

LotteryThere is no pain like the pain we feel when our children with autism, or any disability, are treated badly and abused.

"He doesn't have a voice. Help him. That's your peer."  The boy's Mom from the story below. What more can we say? Where is human kindness, respect for dignity? Next week I am speaking at Norwalk (CT) Community College for their "Common Read" week.  Common Read is a national program in which an entire English department reads, discusses and has talks on the same book. My dear friend and fellow autism Warrior Mom Maria Buchta is an English Professor at NCC and in charge of Common Read. She wanted to find a book that tackled inclusion, special needs, adults with differences.  She asked for my input and I suggested LOTTERY by Patricia Wood. Pat is a friend - and her book is about Perry Crandall, a man with a low IQ ("I am not retarded") who wins the Lottery. You can imagine the fallout. It's a beautiful book. Respectful. Charming. Sharp. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

American students and adults with disabilities deserve respect. End of story. Unlike the story below.  Kim

A North Carolina mom is angry after she says a student took a picture of her son, who has autism, and another special needs student in the bathroom.

Melanie Howard says the picture showed her son, Ben's, backside.

"An individual took it upon himself to pray on the innocent, the sweet, the innocent lives who have no voice and put it on social media," she said.

Ben is not aware of what happened, but his family is outraged.

"I just started getting really frustrated, I couldn't. It was extremely difficult to control how mad I was," his brother Josh said.

Wake County Public Schools says the incident is a "severe violation" of their student code of conduct, warranting a suspension. They said they would work with law enforcement to pursue charges.

Ben's mother is disappointed in students who saw the photo online, and did nothing to interfere.

"Thought it was funny and tons of other people thought it was funny because it took them three days for someone to say something," she said. "Step up and have a voice. He doesn't have a voice. Help him that's your peer. Despite that he has a disability, that's your peer. He's in school with you."  Watch video see more here.


Autism Deserves Its Diagnosis Status

DenialThanks to writer, autism Mom and my personal mentor Barbara Fischkin for alerting me to this great post about the insanity of Neurodiversity.  Written by Jill Escher and posted on the Cortical Chauvinism blog, Escher sums up the extreme frustration that so many of us as feel as our children with true autism - the DSM-V diagnosable autism are being marginalized, wiped off the map and thus, so are their intense needs.  On Saturday we posted an article about one family's 200+ hour wait in an ER following their autistic son's "psychotic break."

If you do one thing today, I implore you to read Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill's new book DENIAL - which shreds the myths that neurodiversity according to Simon Baron-Cohen and others are trying to spread.  We are NOT against accommodations, acceptance, and general human kindness toward everyone with autism. But as with anything, ask yourself, "cui bono," WHO benefits if we convince the public that autism is just a difference that has always been here and as such requires no deep probing into cause or cure? CUI BONO. Hint, it ain't us.  Thanks to Jill for this post.

by Jill Escher

I’m the mom of two kids with profound neurodevelopmental impairments, labeled by multiple esteemed practitioners as “autism.” At ages 18 and 11, they can’t read, write, or talk. They have never played with a toy or dressed themselves. They don’t know their birthdays, much less what “birthday” might mean. They are both gorgeous, healthy and utterly delightful, with smiles and personalities that light up the room, but because of their profound mental dysfunctions they will require one-to-one 24/7 assistance for the entirety of their lives, all at astronomical expense to us and society. In short, no reasonable person denies that they suffer walloping mental disorders of the most alarming magnitude.

So imagine my shock reading “Neurodiversity – a revolutionary concept for autism and psychiatry,” by Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at University of Cambridge and the current president of the International Society for Autism Research. In it, he suggests that the field of psychiatry should perhaps view autism as a variant of normal along the lines of homosexuality or left-handedness, rather than as a mental disorder where brain and behavior involve some sort of impairment.

He argues autism may be neurodiversity rather than pathology because it is “associated with cognitive strengths” and is just a form of “diversity in the set of all possible brains.” In his view, the underlying cognition and neurobiology in autism cannot be said to be “dysfunctional,” just “different.” He contends “there is no single way for a brain to be normal, as there are many ways for the brain to be wired up and reach adulthood.”

Say what? How could anyone—much less a person seated atop one of the highest altars of authority and influence in the world of autism—so trivialize my children’s and others’ disabilities by likening them to traits like handedness which are irrelevant to basic mental functioning? Or shrug off the often drastic consequences of abnormal neurophysiology? Hey, my kids have certain strengths, too, like love for music, gentle empathy, and striking athleticism, but those hardly negate the fact my son might eat his shoe. Moreover, isn’t the very purpose of psychiatry to identify and address serious mental impairments that interfere with normal functioning rather than to offer feel-good kumbaya?

Read more here.


200 Hours in Emergency Room For Family of Autistic Boy

FutureNote: Tots become teens. Tweens become twentysomethings. What will happen when the tsunami of children with autism hits puberty and adulthood and their behaviors need support that frankly doesn't exist in our medical world? We closed our institutions decades ago in America. Will a new population of neurological injury and challenging behaviors be a catalyst to create new institutions? In the story below, the 11 year old with autism is said to have had a "psychotic break." He's 11!  There were no crisis beds available. The push to neurodiversity has covered up this harsh reality. While abc lulls the nation with The Good Doctor and TV viewers now think Sheldon is the face of Asperger's (I do love the Big Bang Theory, and Sheldon), families are long past wit's end. The result can be traumatic horror - murder, suicide. Families can have psychotic breaks too....   Feel free to share your story with reporter Cliff Bellamy below. By the way, this story is from N. Carolina, home of UNC's TEACCH autism programming. NC has been one of the most progressive states for autism for decades. Still, no crisis beds for this raging epidemic.

By Cliff Bellamy

cbellamy@heraldsun.com

October 17, 2017 1:00 PM

CHAPEL HILL

Natania Barron and Michael Harrison waited 255 hours in the emergency room before their autistic son Liam, 11, was finally placed in a program that could provide the psychiatric care he needed.

That call came late Monday, Oct. 16, more than a week after their son had a breakdown.

Barron wrote about her experience on a blog post on glittersquid.com, where she is an editor. Liam had what Barron called a “psychotic break,” and the people at this school, Hope Creek Academy in Durham, could not control him. “I will spare details, but the long and short of it was that in his state we feared for his safety and the safety of those around him,” she wrote.

Barron praised the private school for children with special needs, but said the only way she and her husband could get Liam into a program that could help was to go to an emergency room. From Friday, Oct. 6, until Monday, Barron and Harrison took shifts staying with Liam in a room in the emergency ward of UNC Hospitals.


Read more here: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article179283651.html#storylink=cpy


Quillette.com: The Problem With The Neurodiversity Movement

DenialNOTE: Thanks to JB Handley for sharing this on his FB wall. I was unfamiliar with Thomas Clements. Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted wrote a book about the Neurodiversity movement that tackles exactly what Mr. Clements is writing about as a man with autism himself. Many of our kids are severely affected. However, not all. Some of our AofA family have Asperger's, are married, have kids, careers and so do (or will) their children. We never want to disrespect the ability of anyone with autism. Nor can we ever forget that for most - many - autism is a serious, life-altering diagnosis that affects an entire family.  Enjoy this piece and feel free to comment here and then to say hello to Mr. Clements on his post as well. KAR

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The Problem With The Neurodiversity Movement
By Thomas Clements

Every morning when I wake up I feel a heavy sense of trepidation as I contemplate the complex series of social interactions I will have to navigate in order to make it through the day at work. Being on the autism spectrum makes me instinctively averse to the superficial chit-chat I am expected to engage in in my job as a retail cashier. To my mind at least, small-talk serves no real practical purpose. It just makes me feel on edge and increases my overall stress levels as I expend huge amounts of cognitive energy decoding idioms and non-verbal communication. Unfortunately, retail work is about the only employment option available to me at the moment because my Asperger’s Syndrome affects my ability to relate to others. Because of my condition, I am prone to be blunt, sometimes to the point of rudeness, which is a personality trait that tends not to sit especially well with many members of the so-called ‘neuro-typical’ or non-autistic world.

As a relatively isolated 20-something Aspie with few friends, I decided to take to social media in the hope of finding a community into which I could assimilate and no longer feel like a routinely-shunned outsider. In online autism circles, I frequently came across the term ‘neurodiversity’, a term used to denote a collective of atypically-minded people with a range of conditions including ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and autism. The aim of the movement is to celebrate these distinct conditions as natural variations in the human genome rather than viewing them as pathological disorders deserving of medical interventions and cures. The term itself can be attributed to Judy Singer, an Australian social scientist on the autism spectrum, who wished to encapsulate a notion of neurological difference across humanity akin to the variation we see in plants and animals in biodiversity. The term was an instant hit and went on to spawn a left-wing political movement inspired by past and present civil rights causes. Indeed, the aim of neurodiversity is to champion the rights of ‘neurodiverse’ individuals in society and campaign to achieve the correct accommodations for them in the workplace and the wider society in order that they may live rich, fulfilling lives. The idea of curing conditions like autism is anathema to neurodiversity advocates, who often compare such a notion as akin to curing homosexuality, which was considered a psychiatric disorder until the late 80s.  Read more here.