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2378 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

What Age of Autism's Mark Blaxill Told Congress

Mark_blaxillMark Blaxill, Age of Autism Editor at Large and SafeMinds director, described the urgency of the autism epidemic and how Congress can address it during Wednesday's standing-room-only briefing on Capitol Hill. HERE are slides from his presentation, titled, Why the Autism Crisis Has Become So Controversial and Why Families Need Your Help.

Attendance at Rep. Maloney's Autism-Vaccine Meeting

Veni_vidi_viciSIGN IN SHEET AT MALONEY BRIEFING (Subject to updates)

Zach Wamp (R-TN)  - Attended in person, plus staffer
John Barrow (D-GA) – Attended in person, plus staffer

The following Representatives sent staff members (Note: Rep Maloney, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, was at a hearing with the US Treasury Secretary on the economic crisis).

Continue reading "Attendance at Rep. Maloney's Autism-Vaccine Meeting" »

Libby Rupp is a Warrior Mother

Warrior_mom_photoManaging Editor's Note: I wrote the headline. Libby wrote this post. And take 8 minutes to watch the decline, fall and RISE of Libby's beautiful daughter, Miss Isabella.

By Libby Rupp

The mitochondrial disorder specialist that diagnosed Hannah Poling (HERE) and co-authored the study “Developmental regression and mitochondrial dysfunction in a child with autism” based on her case, last week told a group of parents in Minnesota that despite increased risk of complications, he supports a regular vaccine schedule and that he would never recommend chelation therapy to any of his patients.

In an address Sept. 12 to the Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of the United Mitochondrial Disorder Foundation, Dr. John Schoffner said chelation is dangerous and that there are no studies showing that chelation benefits children or adults. He was unfazed when told that there are no studies, period, and that it is unfair to state there are no studies on the “benefits” when there are no studies on either side of the debate.

Continue reading "Libby Rupp is a Warrior Mother" »

Katie Wright: One of Jenny McCarthy's "Mother Warriors"

Warrior_mothersBy Katie Wright

Like millions of moms and dads of autistic kids I absolutely adore Jenny McCarthy. Jenny had the courage to share her own devastating experience with autism with the world and inspire and empower parents in the process. No one in the public eye was talking about hope for our kids beyond early intervention until Jenny. Jenny McCarthy traveled around the country listening to parents and shared their struggles with the mainstream autism world that had been dismissing our stories, minimizing children's pain and ignoring successful biomedical interventions. We watched on "Larry King" as the president of AAP claimed he had never had seen one bad vaccine reaction in his practice and that injecting anti-freeze or aluminum into babies was as safe as "breathing air." The president of the AAP was so soundly out-debated by Jenny in their last "Larry King" appearance it was almost embarrassing to watch.

Continue reading "Katie Wright: One of Jenny McCarthy's "Mother Warriors"" »

Standing Room Only at Maloney Meeting

Live from Washington, DC. Representative Carolyn Maloney's autism/vaccine briefing. David is speaking live now. 

Follow up: David presented a truncated version of his presentation, hitting on the salient points for brevity.  Mark Blaxill then introduced himself as the parent of a child who had regressed into autism and spoke about the need for research. Both are excellent speakers and bring a gravitas, knowledge and sincerity to the ever present questions of vaccine safety.

STATS (sent by David who is on the train back to NYC.)

Summary - 135 people in room for 80
2 US Reps in person
58 Reps sent staffers
30 Senators sent staffers
Some of those who sent staff - Obama, Kennedy, McConnell, Byrd, Feingold, Kerry, Hatch, Waxman, Murtha, Pallone
Also present - AAP AMA CDC FDA Autism Speaks - America's Health Insurance Plans - AHIP!



Is Your Sen. or Rep. Attending Rep. Maloney's Vaccine-Autism Meeting?

RsvpTune into Autism One Radio TODAY at 1:50pm Eastern for a Curt Linderman's interview with David Kirby before the meeting. And then listen to the meeting live. - details to follow at their site.

The following provides a running tally of the Senators and Representatives who have RSVP'd in some fashion for Representative Carolyn Maloney's (D-NY) vaccine-autism meeting on Wednesday, September 24th at 2:00pm. Click HERE for details. Are your government officials on the list yet?  We've learned that you need to ask for the email address of the "Scheduler" for your Congressperson.  Send that person an email.


Continue reading "Is Your Sen. or Rep. Attending Rep. Maloney's Vaccine-Autism Meeting?" »

Every Child By Two Accuses Us of "Sidetracking" Research

Temper_tantrumManaging Editor's Note: The full court press to convince the American public that vaccinations are safe spills over into your government.  This one sounds more like a temper tantrum. Below is the letter sent by Amy Pisani of Every Child By Two telling your government officials why Representative Carolyn Maloney's briefing is irrelevant: "There is no debate..." She uses Dr. Paul Offit's book as her backup.  And she has the GALL to accuse us of sidetracking research away from finding the true causes(s) of autism and treating children...   

Today you have been invited to attend a briefing to provide "updates on the recent autism-vaccines debate".  While I recognize that most of you will likely be dealing with other priorities and will not attend the Maloney briefing, I write to you this morning because I feel it is critical to clarify that there is no debate among the scientific community regarding vaccines and autism.  Instead, the debate rages on in the media due to the efforts of those who wish to sidetrack critical research away from finding the true cause(s) of autism and treating children and their families struggling with this condition.

Continue reading "Every Child By Two Accuses Us of "Sidetracking" Research" »

Jenny McCarthy on Oprah: Sneak Peek for Age of Autism!

LucyBy Kim Stagliano

I got a welcome surprise tonight! An email with three clips from the folks at Oprah and permission to show them to you before the Jenny program airs tomorrow!  You'll need Apple Quicktime to run the clips.  If you can't open them here, they are up in video format on my Kim blog (blogger is a bit kinder than our platform here) at Enjoy! Kim

Jenny walks with a Mom
Oprah is exuberant 
Jim Carrey

Autism One Radio Airs Maloney Autism Vaccine Meeting

ListenTune into to WEDNESDAY 9/24 at 1:50pm Eastern to listen to Rep. Maloney's 2:00pm meeting, prefaced by an interview with David Kirby.

Dr. Rahul K. Parikh, I Am Becoming Embarrassed For You

Misinformed_sourcesBy David Kirby

Some Pediatricians are thoughtful. Others are just plain, (well, let's be polite) "belatedly informed."

To wit: The recent book review by Rahul K. Parikh, M.D, in Salon: (HERE)

In his overly simplistic way, this pediatrician from Northern California, who has repeatedly ignored third-party invitations to debate me in an open forum, praises Dr. Paul Offit for his attacks on groups like DAN! and Generation Rescue, while holding up Autism Speaks as a bastion of rational scientific thinking, one that does not succumb to what this doctor calls the "slanted science" of thimerosal research:

Continue reading "Dr. Rahul K. Parikh, I Am Becoming Embarrassed For You" »

Extra! Read All About it! Autism & Vaccines in the News this Wednesday!


Even amid the wars, elections, debates and economic meltdowns that are currently grabbing the headlines, the vaccine-autism debate is still attracting attention. To that end, Wednesday, Sept, 24 promises to be a big day, indeed.

Continue reading "Extra! Read All About it! Autism & Vaccines in the News this Wednesday!" »

Email C-Span to Broadcast Maloney Briefing!

EmailInvite C-Span to cover Rep. Maloney's meeting. Just copy and send this post to: Be sure to copy the entire post, not just this intro.

Dear C-Span:  Please send a team to cover Rep. Carolyn's Maloney's (D-NY) special briefing on the vaccine autism debate.

Her meeting is on Wednesday, September 24 at 2:00 PM
210 Cannon House Office Building
Independence Avenue, Washington, DC.

Continue reading "Email C-Span to Broadcast Maloney Briefing!" »

Win a Free Copy of Jenny McCarthy's "Mother Warriors"

Warrior_mothers_2The winners are Julia Myers, Rhonda Gatewood, and Kimberly Muniz.

Our sponsor OurKidsASD is giving away three copies of Jenny McCarthy's new book, "Mother Warriors." Enter at  Hurry! Contest ends Monday at noon.

If you don't win, you can buy the book now at OurKidsASD HERE for just $13.50. Good luck! (Comments are closed for this post.)

A-Champ Advocates Nationally for Autism Issues

Achamp_2We rarely ask our community for help, but we need your help now. ACHAMP has launched a fundraising effort in conjunction with Autism United to support our highly effective online advocacy efforts. Your donation to the ACHAMP team participating in Autism United's Hope Walk '08 will go directly to defray the cost of our online advocacy efforts, and it will be 100% tax-deductible.

We are all volunteers and we have a tiny budget, none-the-less this is just some of what we accomplished and worked on in the last year alone:

1) We were the only Autism group able to get autism and vaccine
safety questionnaires answered by most of the presidential
candidates. We are working to get more in depth commitments from the
remaining two major party candidates.

2) We are fighting to pass the `Kid-Safe Chemical Act" in
Washington DC.

3) We fought threaten mass arrests in Maryland of parents of
children who did not have mandated vaccines.

4) We fought threatened mass expulsions of school children in
New York who did not have all mandated vaccines.

Continue reading "A-Champ Advocates Nationally for Autism Issues" »

Health Care and Autism Debt

Michele and Ralph Iallonardi discussed medical-related debt on a panel with CNN's Roland Martin. As always, Michele and Ralph did a terrific job explaining what we in the autism world deal with in terms of insurance and debt.  They're TV stars!

WINNERS! The Conductors CD Featuring "Smokestack" Joe Hutchinson

ConductorsOur winners are Nancy Smith, "Anne" and Kathryn Johanson.  Please email me your address at KimStagliano at Congrats!

Didn't win? Go to to learn more and to buy copies in time for the holidays! 

All aboard for fun!  Win a copy of The Conductors' "Navigating The Spectrum" CD featuring autism Dad and Indie Rocker "Smokestack" Joe Hutchinson. We have THREE copies to give away, just leave a comment with your name.

Continue reading "WINNERS! The Conductors CD Featuring "Smokestack" Joe Hutchinson" »

CNN's Roland Martin Discusses Autism Debt

IllonardiRalph and Michele Iallonardi of NY will be on "What They're Not Saying...About your Money" with Roland Martin on CNN Saturday night at 8pm. The show will air again at 8pm on Sunday as well.

The Iallonardi's, whom you'll remember from Lauren Thierry's "Autism Every Day" documentary are on a panel, and the discussion is about healthcare.  It is a financial show, and their segment will focus on how insurance does not always pay for necessary treatments, which in turn can put a family in to serious debt.  Michele says their contribution is likely to be brief, but we still appreciate their speaking out of behalf of our situation!

MMR Vaccine Injured Aidan Quinn's Daughter

Aidan_quinnManaging Editor's Note: We report this story with no joy. Although the story clearly bolsters our dedication to continuing to speak out about the lack of vaccine safety. We're not going away. You can write books that call us "fringe" kooks, you can blog that my hair is ugly or that Dan Olmsted is (insert insult here) or that our readers are "desperate." That's a load of crap. Children are being vaccine injured every day, and have been for a long time. Here's another. God bless her.

Irish Voice, NY  IRISH American actor Aidan Quinn

Ava Quinn has, however, been a joy to her parents, Aidan and his wife Elizabeth Bracco (sister of Lorraine Bracco of Sopranos fame.) But it surely hasn't been easy for the family, which also includes a 10-year-old girl. Ava was, according to her dad, a perfectly normal baby, until she got vaccinated.

Continue reading "MMR Vaccine Injured Aidan Quinn's Daughter" »

FDA Says Bisphenol A is Safe. JAMA Studies Say Otherwise.

Who_caresHow is it that the FDA is telling Americans that Bisphenol A is still safe when studies are proving otherwise? Yet again, our health takes a backseat to commercial interests.

Association of Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration With Medical Disorders and Laboratory Abnormalities in Adults
        Iain A. Lang, PhD et al
        JAMA. 2008;300(11):(doi:10.1001/jama.300.11.1303).

Read the article HERE.

Bisphenol A and Risk of Metabolic Disorders
        Frederick S. vom Saal and John Peterson Myers
        JAMA. 2008;0(2008):300111353-1355.

Read the article HERE.

US Government Requires Gardasil For Immigrants

WelcometoamericaThe US government is planning to add Merck's Gardasil to the list of required vaccinations for immigrants. Boy, if that's not a reason to sneak in under the radar, I don't know what is.

Gardasil is not proven safe, has caused death and injury and even the NYT, the newspaper that never met a vaccine it didn't love, has questioned its use. The Journal of American Medicine urges "caution" (HERE.)

In order to become a permanent, legal resident of the U.S., immigrants now must receive a vaccine that is not required of U.S. citizens.

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine -- known as Gardasil -- is one of five the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently added to the required list. The vaccine works to prevent cervical cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide.

Ginky-Lee Torres, an immigration lawyer, questions the government's decision to impose requirements on immigrants that go above and beyond those on citizens.

Read more HERE.

Chelation Study Cancelled

Who_done_itSo who canned the NIMH chelation study as "too dangerous?" Children are given huge doses of chemotherapy and radiation in a desperate effort to save them from cancer - fully knowing the side effects themselves can be deadly.  It's a fair risk most parents are willing to take to help a sick child.

If your child is full of lead, the doctor will chelate him as a standard protocol. (Children.WebMD.) If removing the source of lead and balancing nutrition do not reduce lead levels, or if the blood lead level is very high, chelation therapy may be used. Chelation therapy is a process that rapidly reduces the amount of lead stored in the body. Drugs called chelating agents cause metals like lead to bind to them, and then they are eliminated from the body through urine. Because chelating agents increase the absorption of lead and other metals, it is essential that sources of lead exposure be removed before a person is treated.

But if your child is full of mercury, too bad.  The mainstream docs won't chelate him. After all, he might just get better and then all the people who've railed against autism treatments and screamed at us that our kids are "uncurable!" would be wrong. 

Read the blip HERE.

The Illinois Autism Coverage that Almost Was

Illinois_politicsBy Julie Obradovic

What do you do if you have a health crisis unparalleled to any other affecting children in your state that isn’t being properly covered by insurance?

Well, if you’re certain Illinois legislators, the answer is simple:  Put politics first.

Continue reading "The Illinois Autism Coverage that Almost Was" »

Obama Campaign Accepts Autism Mom's Info

Notebook By Allison Chapman

Earlier this month, Claudine Liss posted of her encounter with Senator Barack Obama… “Last Friday evening, September 5, 2008, I had the opportunity to ask Senator Barack Obama about childhood vaccine safety/choice.  His response, “I am not for selective vaccination, I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.”

I don’t think even Claudine knew what kind of reaction this would create in a community where so many of us watched our children regress immediately following vaccines.  I know when I read those words my heart sank.  I thought; we have failed to give him the proper amount of information, does he really know what the magnitude of this question was, etc.  As a personal lifelong lefty as well as an A-CHAMP/ACC non partisan district leader, I felt I had failed in some way to make sure he was receiving the information our community so desperately needed him to have. 

Continue reading "Obama Campaign Accepts Autism Mom's Info" »

Autism Insurance Bill Fails in Illinois

Drown_in_debtManaging Editor's Note:  An autism/insurance bill passed in my state of Connecticut this year, effective January, 2009. Since my husband's company's insurance is "self-funded" they are exempt from including my girls. So even with a law (touted here as a huge success) I can count three children with autism who will NOT get their services covered. 

CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports that 5-year-old Brianna Di Cianni talks now. That is amazing to those who remember how silent she was when diagnosed two years ago with autism. Her mother and father have so far spent more than $70,000 to get Brianna the best treatment, none of it covered by insurance.

A proposal that would have mandated such insurance coverage was killed last night in the Illinois House.

"This was our fourth shot at getting this bill passed and I can't believe that we didn't get it," said Peter Di Cianni, Brianna's father. Click HERE to read more.

The Autism File Magazine Now in Bookstores!

Autism_file_3The Autism File: International Autism Magazine Now Available in Bookstores in US & Canada

A North American edition of The Autism File, the longest running international autism magazine, has been released for distribution to 2000 bookstores in the United States and Canada. The Autism File, published in the UK for over 10 years, is also available in Spain (in Spanish) and Australia. The Autism File’s Scientific and Editorial Advisory Boards are made up of leading autism experts and advocates from around the world.

Continue reading "The Autism File Magazine Now in Bookstores!" »

Autism One Organizes Illinois Advocacy Program

Autism_oneTHE ILLINOIS "STAY AT HOME" MOM MARCH: Bringing change home.

We are proud to announce the Illinois Stay at Home Mom March. This January, parents, grandparents, family members and friends will meet with state senators and representatives to enlist their support of legislation to help end the autism epidemic.   

While we might not be able to travel long distances, be away for more than a few hours, spend money that is needed on a thousand and one other expenses, or get ourselves arrested, we can still advocate locally and effectively. This "march," the marchers are "staying home" to bring the message to the Illinois State Legislature, one parent and one legislator at a time.

Continue reading "Autism One Organizes Illinois Advocacy Program" »

Governor Corzine Signs Bill to Assist Autism Community

Star_ledgerFrom the New Jersey Star Ledger on two new bills, one devoted to autism safety. Our little boys and girls are growing into young men and women who will live and work in our communities. Best our safety forces know how to help them when they meet.

The other bill signed by Corzine yesterday requires the state to establish an autism awareness training course for emergency medical technicians, firefighters and police officers.

"Autism is an invisible disability one that is not always immediately recognized," Corzine said. "That's why it's important that we supply our emergency responders with accurate information on how to treat and work with these special needs individuals."

(Thanks to Ray for sending us the link.)

SafeMinds Reminds: IACC Budget Meeting Wed., Sept. 10

Public_invitedNIH Seeks Public Comment on Strategic Plan for Autism Research Public Comment on Strategic Plan Ends September 30th, next Budget Meeting September 10th

Public commentary on the Strategic Plan has begun and budgetary materials are available on request (download 8/8/08 meeting slides HERE and cost estimates HERE.) SafeMinds will issue an analysis of the continued disparity regarding the continued heavy funding of genetic/genomic studies and the lack of funding for environmental factor X gene interaction, vaccine specific research and the associated lack of expertise in the strategic planning process early next week. It is important that the public is aware of the opportunity to provide feedback to NIH and SafeMinds strongly encourages participation in this crucial stage of the process.

Continue reading "SafeMinds Reminds: IACC Budget Meeting Wed., Sept. 10" »

Obama Leads the Pharma Donor Pack

Open_secretsEditor's note: Despite the sensitivities of some -- who seem to believe that offering aggressive and nonpartisan coverage of autism as an election issue will somehow confuse our fragile readers and cause them to vote The Wrong Way -- Age of Autism will continue to be the go-to place for blow-by-blow developments. Here is the latest tally of Big Pharma bucks and who they're flowing to. Hey, we don't write the checks, we just report the numbers. -- Dan Olmsted

Managing Editor's note: If you work for Merck and you donate more than $200 to a campaign, you are a "pharma" donor. This doesn't mean the check came from Merck itself: METHODOLOGY: The totals on these charts are calculated from PAC contributions and contributions from individuals giving more than $200, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. Individual contributions are generally categorized based on the donor's occupation/employer, although individuals may be classified instead as ideological donors if they've given more than $200 to an ideological PAC.

According to Open Secrets: Obama has received: $915,696 and McCain has received: $442,042.

Now that Palin has energized the McCain campaign, it will be interesting to watch donations from this point forward, to see if the smaller donations amount was a function of lack of confidence in McCain's chances in the election. Will pharma and its employees shift their dollars now that the race has picked up?

See the pretty chart from Open Secrets on all the candidates who were in the race HERE.

Alaska Autism Mom to Barack Obama: Will You Listen

Speak_outManaging Editor's Note: You can call the Obama campaign at 866-675-2008. It might take two or three tries to reach a person. Tell them you read about Obama's "Vaccination Selection" opinion on Age of Autism. Or email them at

By Jill Nordtvedt Lenhard

After reading Claudine Liss' piece on Senator Obama's stance on selective vaccination, I was inspired to write to him as one more voice in this complex debate.  Posted here is the letter I just sent. 

September 9, 2008

Dear Senator Obama,

I am the mother of a 5 year old son with autism, and I am depending on you to be a leader in defeating this health crisis by finding out what is causing this terrible condition.  I am inspired by your stance on many issues, and especially your desire to end the divisive nature of politics in our country.  I have been registered as a nonpartisan voter in Alaska for 20 years, but this year I changed my party affiliation to Democrat in order to cast my vote for you in our statewide caucus last winter.  Alaskans supported you overwhelmingly in that vote. 

Continue reading "Alaska Autism Mom to Barack Obama: Will You Listen" »

Obama: "I am not for selective vaccination."

Choice_2By Claudine Liss

Last Friday evening, September 5, 2008, I had the opportunity to ask Senator Barack Obama about childhood vaccine safety/choice.  His response, “I am not for selective vaccination, I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.” 

He went onto say in so many words that he is for more science and the funding of more science if it’s needed.  (His science response is fuzzy, as his first response stunned me for a second). I previously gave his staffer a folder of information on vaccines. The Senator promised me that he would take a look at it. 

Continue reading "Obama: "I am not for selective vaccination."" »

NJ Obama Corzine Autism Vaccine Rally

Obama_be_the_voiceBy Louise Kuo Habakus

It was Friday before Labor Day weekend.  Desperate celebration was in the air as the end of summer loomed before us.  There was a thick envelope in my mailbox.  The flyers and contribution applications were accompanied by a kind note from my neighbors, inviting us to join them and apologizing in advance for any inconvenience their event might cause.

Corzine, Bon Jovi and DNC Finance Chair Phil Murphy were inviting me to a fundraising reception with Senator Obama, benefiting the Obama Victory Fund.  Reception and Photo Line - $2300 per person.

His historic, highly anticipated acceptance speech was that very evening.  And in one week, Obama was going to be two houses away.

Continue reading "NJ Obama Corzine Autism Vaccine Rally" »

Striking New Study -- Thimerosal Threatens Males More

Male_femaleEditor's Note -- Sometimes the most important information comes from people who aren't even looking for it. Here is a case in point, brought to our attention by Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier. Three Canadian researchers were experimenting with Thimerosal on mice for reasons having nothing to do with the vaccine mercury-autism debate. But they stumbled across the fact that Thimerosal was three times more toxic to male rats than female rats -- "the first report of gender-selective toxicity of thimerosal." Given the way it mirrors the gender differences in autism, this is a huge deal, even if preliminary. Below is the Geiers' discussion of the study's significance and HERE is a link to the study itself. As our AOA colleague Mark Blaxill says, "the facts tend to cluster around a good hypothesis." -- Dan Olmsted
In this new study, "Gender-Selective Toxicity of Thimerosal" published in the peer-reviewed journal of Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology by Dr. Donald R. Branch of the Departments of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, the investigator examined the sex-specific toxicity of Thimerosal in a mice model system.

Continue reading "Striking New Study -- Thimerosal Threatens Males More" »

Boomer Wins Blessed With Autism

Blessed_with_autism_2Congratulations to our contest winner, "BOOMER." 

Boomer, please
email me your home address!   If you didn't win (and we're sorry!) you can buy a copy of this book on how to get reimbursement for autism treatments from your insurance company at Christina's site: Blessed with Autism.


Obama and Corzine Listen To New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice

Autism_obama By Kim Stagliano

New Jersey Coalition for Vaccine Choice members greeted Barack Obama and Governor Corzine as they approached a campaign event in New Jersey on Thursday night. And they got to speak with both men, explaining the importance of vaccine safety as a bi-partisan issue.  Governor Corzine said, "We get more e-mails and letters on this than any other issue other than tolls."  We'll run a post on what Obama said later this weekend. In the meantime, here's a clip from The Star Ledger Newspaper on the event.  Read the full article HERE.

As Obama's motorcade drove up to Murphy's house, he waved from his car to a group of about 50 people rallying on a nearby lawn to express their concern about what they consider excessive vaccination of school children.

Ron and Louise Habakus, former investment bankers and neighbors of Murphy, organized the rally in hopes that Obama would meet with them briefly. The couple described themselves as friends of Murphy and said their demonstration was not aimed at either party.

"This is bipartisan. People don't realize how little research is done on vaccines," said Ron Habakus. "There's an epidemic going on."

Continue reading "Obama and Corzine Listen To New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice" »

CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson on the Vaccine Debate

Fat_ladyManaging Editor's Note: I'm not implying anything about Ms. Attkisson by that photo. Just thought I'd mention that.

With the increase in number of vaccinations offered to parents for their children, and mandated by states not only for toddlers but for older children as well, there has been a strong public push to maintain a robust national immunization program while also ensuring vaccines are as safe as they can possibly be. The great majority of public health officials and scientists have long argued that hundreds of scientific studies done to date have answered all the relevant questions, and they imply there is no need for additional, special research because vaccines have been proven so safe.

Continue reading "CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson on the Vaccine Debate" »

McCain Mentions Autism in Acceptance Speech

McpainFrom John McCain's speech last night.

"I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock, coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her master's degree. They have two sons; the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me. And they matter to you."

Why the Panic over Parents Who Don't Vaccinate?

Ruby_slipperWelcome to Oz.

Jenny McCarthy and Lance Armstrong Ante Up for Autism


Our Sponsor TACA announces "Ante Up for Autism" on October 3, 2008 at the St. Regis Hotel in Monarch Beach/Dana Point, CA. Co-hosts are Jenny McCarthyand Lance Armstrong. Purchase tickets here HERE.

Sponsorship opportunities for this star-studded event to benefit TACA are available. Please contact Lisa Ackerman at 949-640-4401.

Lee_silsby_no_tagine  The "Treatment" category is sponsored by Lee Silsby, the leader in quality compounded medications for autism.

Tricare Provider Forced to Drop Patients

Locked_outManaging Editor's Note: This post is an excerpt from Angela Warner's blog Autism Salutes. She's a military wife who has taken on the challenge of fighting for services for children with autism whose parents are serving this nation. Are you listening Obama and McCain?

I love Eva. The kids love Eva. Angie who is Eva’s Medical Assistant is very efficient, full of kindness, and she is just plain great at what she does. After checking Isaac over and looking at a couple observations done recently by therapists in our home, Eva was filling out the EFMP paperwork for Isaac. At the end of our visit, Eva handed me an envelope, and I am still devastated. And still seeing red… red, red, RED!

The envelope… I told her that I “think I know what this is”… one of those surreal moments. She is letting us go because of TRICARE’s re-imbursement rates.

Continue reading "Tricare Provider Forced to Drop Patients" »

Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy Sponsors Age of Autism

Lee_silsby_logo_taglinePlease join us in welcoming our new advertising sponsor, Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy.  LS is also sponsoring our "treatment" category. Alan Israel and Robert Wright, the pharmacists of Lee Silsby, work tirelessly to create safe, innovative and effective products for our loved ones with autism.

They also launched OurKidsASD to give us one-stop shopping for their products and hundreds of the brands you trust.

Lee Silsby is full service compounding pharmacy for all of your medicine needs. No matter where you live, you can trust them to fill your prescriptions. Please visit their site HERE to learn more about them.

Ask your DAN! doctor if he/she is using Lee Silsby.  Look for advertisements and offers from both Lee Silsby and OurKidsASD on our advertising sidebar. Over there. To the right. 

Contact me at to learn about category sponsorship opportunities. To advertise, go to on at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

Julie Deardorff Says It's OK to Ask Questions


Editor's Note: Julie Deardorff, of the Chicago Tribune, continues to be one of the very small handful of mainstream reporters with an independent and skeptical approach to vaccine issues (independent, skeptical -- that's the job description for reporters, by the way). She has a strong column posted now that notes the recent clusters of measles cases "reflect a larger crisis of confidence in public health officials and policy, which has developed partly because so many new, seemingly unnecessary vaccines have been added to the schedule and because no one can explain what causes, how to prevent or how to treat the new childhood disorders: asthma, allergies, attention deficit disorder and autism." Amen, thanks and rock on! -- Dan Olmsted

Vaccination, considered to be one of medicine's greatest achievements, is a personal decision that is often forced on people for the greater good. Parents who question vaccines are simply seeking information and advocating for their children.

We have the right to question everything that goes into our children's bodies, whether it's food, herbs, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs.

Read Julie's full article HERE.

Response to Chicago Tribune on Measles

Letter_to_the_editprBy Louis Conte

On August 29, 2008 the Chicago Tribune printed a story about a “measles outbreak” and declining rates of vaccination. As of July 30, this “outbreak” affected 131 people. In a nation of more than 240 million people, do 131 cases really constitute an “outbreak?”  The article, noted that doctors are reporting that vaccination rates are declining due to parents unfounded beliefs that vaccines are linked to autism. The tone of the article implied that medical science had ended the debate about whether vaccines trigger autism and that parents who continue to believe this are doing so for emotional reasons rather than scientific reasons.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Continue reading "Response to Chicago Tribune on Measles" »

How Will Sarah Palin Vaccinate Her Son Trig?

TrigBy Mark Blaxill

John McCain's surprise decision for his Vice Presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has shaken up the 2008 presidential election race. Since Palin, who has served only two years as Alaska's governor, is not well known, her selection as the Republican candidate for Vice President has raised a number of questions. The most obvious and important question is being asked widely: is she ready to be President should something happen to John McCain? In the meantime, this telegenic, 44 year old mother of five has made history as only the second woman in American history to be selected as Vice President for a major party ticket.

But for some of us, the selection of Sarah Palin has a special resonance. Palin's younger son, Trig, born on April 19, 2008, is barely 4 months old now. Trig has Down's syndrome, a disorder that began at conception when he received two copies of his 21st chromosome from either his mother or father (close to 90% of the time, the extra copy is maternal), leaving him with three copies of this chromosome instead of the usual two. This genetic condition, formally known as trisomy 21, affects roughly 1 in 800 American children today, but as many as 1 in 27 children born to mothers who, like Palin, give birth at age 44.

For readers of the Age of Autism, this 4 month child is worth watching. Because trisomy 21 is not just the cause of Down's syndrome, it is also a genetic susceptibility factor for autism.

Continue reading "How Will Sarah Palin Vaccinate Her Son Trig?" »

A of A Contest: Win "Blessed with Autism"

Blessed_with_autism_2Win a copy of Blessed with Autism by Christina Peck.

For the first time in print, Blessed with Autism, the Workbook, author Christina Peck shares her tools for success in receiving monetary  reimbursement for therapy from private insurance companies. 

Stories within the book reflect the author’s personal experience as well as the experiences of hundreds of clients she’s helped over the past five years.  This insightful book aims to give parents of children with Autism and other special needs the help they need to secure financial support for many different types of therapy.  Inside the workbook, readers can find many mportant questions to ask their private insurance carrier, samples of letters to request an increase in covered therapy, and invoice templates to submit bills for reimbursement.

‘This book is an indispensable tool that is a must-have for any parent with a POS or PPO plan who has not yet received reimbursement from insurance.’ - J.S., parent

Leave your name in the comments section to enter. Winner selected within a week.  Go to Blessed with Autism to buy a copy.

Historical Nationwide Walk for Autism to Pass Through Missouri

Naa_logoFrom our friends at The National Autism Association:

Jefferson City, MO – Mid-Missouri will be the next stop for two Massachusetts men taking a journey across America to raise money and awareness for children with autism. Bobby Genese and Robert Williams are expected to be in the Kansas City area this week, making their way to Jefferson City by next week.

Their walk began after the death of seven-year-old Elias Tembenis of Worcester, Massachusetts. Diagnosed with autism and epilepsy, Tembenis passed away two days before Thanksgiving from complications following a seizure. Friends of the Tembenis family, Williams and Genese approached the boy’s parents with an offer to walk across America in memory of Elias. Aptly named ‘The Elias Tembenis Walk for Autism,’ the journey began on San Francisco’s Route 50 in May and will end on the American Trail in Washington DC.

Read more HERE.

Dr. Jay Gordon Responds to Dr. David Gorski and the Anons

EnlightenEditor's Note: Dr. Jay Gordon posted this in the comment section of JB Handley's piece, "The Worldwide Wanker of Woo" He was responding to a piece written by Dr. David Gorski (aka Orac) that you can read HERE. We thought it deserved its own post.


So . . . you asked and I'll answer. I've been on staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for nearly thirty years in good standing. I attend in the nursery for a month at a time with med students, and residents and occasionally spend another month attending in the residents' continuity clinic. I review cases, compare and contrast what I do in my private office with what they're comfortable doing in a clinic setting or a large nursery setting.

Continue reading "Dr. Jay Gordon Responds to Dr. David Gorski and the Anons" »

A Note from the Editors

Kicked_out_2By Mark Blaxill

It has come to my attention that there has been a bit of uncertainty regarding my recent comments here regarding RJ Bates of Celgene. I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify any ambiguity that may have emerged in recent days. I'd like to cover four main points.

First of all, when I post comments on Age of Autism (AoA), I use the author name "Mark." Our regular readers know that this name refers to AoA Editor-at-Large, Mark Blaxill. My dual role as editor and commenter seems to have led to some confusion recently in a number of exchanges between "D's Advocate" or "RJ" and "Mark." In these comments "Mark" was, as always, Mark Blaxill, AoA Editor-at-Large.

Continue reading "A Note from the Editors" »

Hurricane Evacuation Information for Autism Families

HurricaneManaging Editor's Note: I sent out an email asking members of the autism community to share tips and resources for families in the path of Hurricane Gustav.  If you're with an agency, please email me at with any info you'd like to share with your community. I'll add it to this post. Readers, please feel free to add more information in our comments section. To our readers in The Gulf of Mexico region, we're thinking of you.  Kim

Update: I just got this from Scott Greeson, Training Officer /Assistant Director - OEP/Homeland Security Claiborne Parish Emergency 911: Our EOC is fully activated as others are throughout Louisiana.  My only recommendation is that they leave now.  From all reports traffic is moving well.  However, as the day progresses traffic will be slower when the evacuation becomes mandatory.  Also, all gas stations along the coast are recording out of fuel or low fuel supplies.  Those that are planning on leaving need to fill up ASAP while supplies last. If you need any type of information I will be checking my personal email account when time allows.  One further note, if people are unsure where to go there are evacuation/shelter information points stationed at intervals on the major highways and state tourist stops.   

Reducing Stress as You Pack and Travel/Evacuate

___1. Select one backpack to pack all-important papers. Keep together all medical info, maps, emergency numbers and other info you may need while on the road. Place the medical prescriptions in this bag so they are easily attainable during a long evacuation ride.

___2. Use children's school backpacks to pack individual packs for the road for each of them. This makes their bag easily identifiable to them.

Continue reading "Hurricane Evacuation Information for Autism Families" »

McCain Runningmate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

PalinBy Kim Stagliano

John McCain has just selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his runningmate. She's 44 years old and the mother of five children, the youngest of whom has Down Syndrome.

By the way, if you want to continue the political conversation, I've written a piece about Governor Palin at Huffington Post called, "Gov. Palin: Is Not Taking Maternity Leave a Conservative Value?"  You can click HERE to read it. Come on over to comment, won't you? The link loads slowly. HuffPo is busy!