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2606 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

Now "Tweeting" at "FromAgeofAutism"

Twitter You can click over there on the left sidebar to follow Tweets from the Editors and Contributing Editors at Twitter.  Our official name is www.twitter.com/FromAgeofAutism. Come follow us and learn when Kim is having her fifteenth cup of coffee, when Kent is enjoying the California sun or when Jake is late to class! 

We're also on FaceBook as a group called, Age of Autism.  Thanks to Cathy Jameson for setting up a great looking fb page for us. We hope you'll become a fan.

Popular Science Fiction is Little Comfort to Parents of Children with Autism

Safety first sign Managing Editor's Note: This post is from our sponsor SafeMinds. "Vaccine safety is a primary concern of the general public. An investment in a national vaccination program with a SAFETY FIRST agenda is necessary and it needs to be transparent and accountable to an independent public oversight board with the guiding principal of improvement in total human health outcomes inclusive of reduction in vaccine-associated adverse events as well as occurrence of infectious disease."

By Theresa Wrangham

It was very exciting to see autism take the spotlight on Larry King Live earlier this month.  The offering of science fiction by Dr. Fisher and Dr. Wiznitzer in stating that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is listening to the concerns of families of children with autism; implying that autism screening, as recommended by AAP, is happening as early as 18 months; that there is value in having a child diagnosed with autism due to services and money that follow the diagnosis; there is no autism-vaccine link; and everyone's favorite - autism is a highly genetic disorder is wearing a little thin. 
 
These doctor's opinions do not jibe with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2007 surveillance study, Harvard's study on autism's cost to society and families, vaccine court rulings, or the recent U.C. Davis MIND Institute study.  The CDC's study found that children with autism had a documented history of concerns regarding their development before three years of age, with the median age of earliest documented autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis ranging from 49 to 66 months.  In simple terms, the study found that parents voiced developmental concerns early to their pediatricians and yet screening that should have been performed by pediatricians were delayed resulting in late diagnosis. 

Continue reading "Popular Science Fiction is Little Comfort to Parents of Children with Autism" »

A of A Contest: Angela Moore Autism Awareness Pendant

Angela moore pendant Congratulations to Maria Milik who won the necktie!

Our friends at Angela Moore have generously donated four items from their Autism Awareness Collection to Age of Autism.  We'll be giving away one item each week in April! The Angela Moore "Autism Awareness" collection was created to help increase awareness in the treatment and understanding of autism.  15% of the proceeds from this collection are donated to the Autism Society of America including The Rimland Center.

Set on a crisp white background, this pendant features puzzle pieces in a rainbow of happy colors and includes an 18" sterling silver chain. Leave a comment to enter. (If you've any trouble commenting email kimstagliano@gmail.com)

Manhattan Candle Lighting for Autism 4/22

Manhattan On Wednesday, April 22nd from 6PM to 7PM, NAA NY Metro Chapter is inviting all families (from the Metro area) to join them in the first Candle Lighting Ceremony to honor Autism Awareness Month.  It will be held at City Hall in New York City.  Councilmember Garodnick is sponsoring this event.  All Manhattan borough council members and Mayor Bloomberg are being invited to join us at the event.  Please arrive at 5:45 PM to allow time to go through routine security.  Please bring a picture of you child as we will be asked to raise our pictures during the ceremony in honor of Autism.

If you live in one of the 5 boroughs of Manhattan, please contact your local councilmember to join us.  Go to this site and enter your address to find contact information for your council member HERE.  Please call as it makes a difference!!!   We are hoping for many media sources to cover this event.

Happy Anniversary to the EOHarm List

Jump out of cake This month marks the fourth anniversary of the Environment of Harm list created and moderated by Lenny Schafer. Happy Anniversary, Lenny.

Lenny also provides the Schafer Autism Report, an online newsletter that gives you the current autism news at a glance and a calendar of events around the world. If you are not a subscriber, please go to www.sarnet.org and click through to a paid membership. Lenny's work has been invaluable to our community.

 

Ball State 4/20 Flu Shot Debate CANCELLED

Cancelled We've been alerted by Tony Farmer at Ball State that the flu shot debate scheduled for Monday, April 20 has been cancelled due to a sudden scheduling conflict (nothing nefarious, just one of life's curveballs.)   We'll let you know if/when the event is re-scheduled. Thank you.

The York Theatre in Elmhurst IL Hosts Autism Friendly Hannah Montana Showing

Hanna montanaManaging Editor's Note: There are movie theaters around the country offering autism friendly showings. This is the first I've seen with a movie for a slightly older crowd. It's great!  Special thanks to the Johnson family who own the Classic Cinemas chain in IL.

On Saturday, April 18, 2009, the York Theatre, located at 150 N. York St. in Elmhurst, will feature Hannah Montana: The Movie, but with special accommodations for children with special needs.

Continue reading "The York Theatre in Elmhurst IL Hosts Autism Friendly Hannah Montana Showing" »

CDC Can Find Two Tainted Spinach Leaves. Fails to Alert DC to Lead Problem.

Lead pipe Managing Editor's Note: Salon.com has been quick to ignore the impact of mercury in children, however, they seem to have a clue that lead is bad, and that the CDC is capable of putting children last.

April 10, 2009 | From 2001 to 2004, Washington, D.C., experienced what may have been the worst lead contamination of city water on record. Tens of thousands of homes had sky-high levels of lead at the tap, and in the worst cases, tap water contained enough lead to be classified as hazardous waste. Not that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government oversight agency for public health, was worried.

Continue reading "CDC Can Find Two Tainted Spinach Leaves. Fails to Alert DC to Lead Problem." »

This Little Piggy Crashed the Market

Animal farm3 -RED copy1 By Adriana Gamondes

Someone I know in the U.K. faction of the vaccine injury movement recently sent me an email with a link to an article by Simon Baron-Cohen, asking whether I might like to “have a go” at him (HERE).  I opened the link, glanced at the photo of a dapper Baron-Cohen in a Cambridge archway (looking either like he was bracing himself for an earthquake or posing as a saint in a niche) and thought, “No, I’m just too tired”. But I did read the article and leave a comment.

The gist of Baron-Cohen’s piece isn’t really the most interesting aspect of it. What he’s doing is pretty obvious—he’s basically calling for more censorship (than has already occurred in the U.K.) of journalists who write criticisms of the vaccine industry, or who write in support of independent scientists whose work criticizes the vaccine industry. 

Continue reading "This Little Piggy Crashed the Market" »

A Message from SafeMinds and Deirdre Imus

Protecting children Fifty years ago, parents had a good understanding of their responsibilities. They were our lifeline and provided us with food, clothing, shelter, education, and, of course, love. Like parents throughout history, they did whatever was in their power to keep us safe and protect us from harm. But in today's society, what does it really mean, to "keep our children safe, protect them from harm"? In today’s society, the responsibility of raising -- and protecting -- our children has become a lot more complicated.In 1998, when my husband and I opened the gates to the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer, we witnessed on a daily basis the many challenges kids face trying to cope with their disease. As the years went by, we began to notice the increased number of children battling not only cancer but also other serious illnesses like asthma, severe allergies, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression and autism spectrum disorders.

Why are so many childhood diseases on the rise?

Continue reading "A Message from SafeMinds and Deirdre Imus" »

Autism vs Sweden (ABBA dabba don’t)

AbbaBy Dr. Ken Stoller

I was first contacted by Magnus’s father in 2007, he is a British national living in Sweden as a translator. His son Magnus lost his speech (bilingual in both English and Swedish) at 2.5 years of age coincident to being weaned off breast milk. He started walking on his tiptoes, stimming, spinning and had a constant high-pitched humming. There was also a total loss of eye contact. His parents did their best to implement suggested biomedical interventions, such as removing dairy and gluten from his diet. In December of 2002, a fever set off his first documented seizure from which he continues to suffer.

This story is all too familiar, but what is unique about Sweden is that insurance plans do not pay for treatment of congenital problems, so in Sweden all the experts believe there is only one type of autism… congenital autism.

Continue reading "Autism vs Sweden (ABBA dabba don’t)" »

Age of Autism Will Save You Twenty Bucks on Max Wiznitzer.

Before you pay $20 to hear Dr. Max Wiznitzer in Austintown, Ohio, be aware that he explained on Larry King Live that there is no autism epidemic, just better diagnosis. (You can watch the show again tonight to see for yourself.) He said symptoms of autism ameliorate with age.  (Talk about false promises.) He said there is no link between autism and vaccines. (He should chat with Bernadine Healy.) He did not say that he is a paid expert witness against families who file in the vaccine court.  (So we did.) In our opinion, his outdated thinking on autism could lead to families seeking help for their children down the wrong path. (Click the photo to enlarge it. And thanks to AK for sending the clip.)

  Wiznitzer

Volcom Youth Against Establishment Creates TACA Autism T-Shirt

Volcom-autism-t-shirt Check out this fabulous T-shirt from Volcom. Click HERE to learn where you can buy yours. Proceeds support our wonderful sponsor TACA.  TACA helps families with kids on the spectrum at the grass roots level. Buy a t-shirt. Or 20.

Is the IOM in Compliance With FACA?

Toe the line By Kelli Ann Davis

If you’ve been reading Age of Autism on a daily basis over the last week, then you’ve most likely read several of my pieces regarding the new IOM Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines which Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded for $1.7 million in September 2008.  And if you are an avid, daily reader of AoA and have been following the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) meetings over the last 2 years, then you know about the multiple FACA violations (one example here (HERE) which finally cumulated in the January “surprise revote” to withdraw two vaccine studies that had been inserted into the Strategic Plan at a previous meeting.  At that time, Generation Rescue announced it had consulted with a prominent DC law firm to assess possible legal recourse for the multiple violations and that process is still on-going. (HERE)

Continue reading "Is the IOM in Compliance With FACA? " »

UPDATE: Generation Rescue Urges Comments to IOM

Update memo By Kelli Ann Davis

UPDATE:  Generation Rescue received a letter this morning from Dr. Judith Salerno (HERE), Executive Director of the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  As I indicated in my earlier piece today (HERE), it is imperative that our community submit comments to the IOM website before tomorrow’s cut-off date (Click HERE and scroll down to the bottom) in an effort to make changes to the current Committee membership and Charge.

The following quote from Kathleen Stratton during the November 18, 2008 Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) meeting clearly states that adverse events that are “important to the program” could be added to the list; suffice to say, incorporating autism into the list is within the realm of possibility: 

Continue reading "UPDATE: Generation Rescue Urges Comments to IOM" »

Merck Demands Omerta

SilencerMerck proves that the drug war isn't just about pot and coke. For all you MDs, university grant gobblers and public health officials carrying Merck's water (Evian, no doubt) - are any you brave enough to speak out on behalf of your patients regarding drug and vaccine safety?  Or is silence the best medicine?

AN international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be "neutralised" or discredited because they criticised the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced.

Continue reading "Merck Demands Omerta" »

Support Joe Steffy's Poppin' Joe's Kettle Korn

Janet_steffy_poppin_joes Check out this uplifting article (HERE) in US News (via Yahoo) about 23 year old Joe Steffy, an enterprising young businessman with a unique story. (Hint: Down syndrome and non-verbal autism.) 

I'd never heard of kettle corn until I spent a few years in Ohio. It's slightly sweet popcorn. And it's a fine treat!  You can support Joe's business, Poppin' Joe' Kettle korn here: POPPIN' JOE's.

A of A Contest: Angela Moore Autism Awareness Silk Neck Tie

Angela Moore Tie Congrats to Fran Katz - she won the bracelet from last week.

Our friends at Angela Moore have generously donated four items from their Autism Awareness Collection to Age of Autism.  We'll be giving away one item each week in April! The Angela Moore "Autism Awareness" collection was created to help increase awareness in the treatment and understanding of autism.  15% of the proceeds from this collection are donated to the Autism Society of America including The Rimland Center.

Dress to impress with this Angela Moore hand screened 100% silk tie featuring puzzle pieces in a rainbow of colors. Leave a comment to enter. (If you've any trouble commenting email kimstagliano@gmail.com)

The Minnesota Somali Autism Study: That and a dollar will buy you a hot dog.

Super duper weenie By Tim Kasemodel
 
The Minnesota Somali autism study released on March 31st 2009 has created quite a stir, but not as much as it should.  It creates a certain enigma, a conundrum of sorts.  While it attempts to assure the Somali community that the Minnesota Department of Health cares for them and wishes the best for them, it gives them no answers to the questions they have been asking them for so long.

Why?  Why us? they ask.  Yes, the MDH admits the Somali community was right, that their observations were correct.  It appears there are indeed more Somali children receiving autism services than other children.  But the MDH makes the strange disclaimer that the data they used for this study is not actually good enough to say for sure one way or the other.

What?  How much did the taxpayer spend on this study?

Continue reading "The Minnesota Somali Autism Study: That and a dollar will buy you a hot dog." »

Winner A of A Contest: It's Hip Hop Baby DVDs

Hip hop kids 1 Congratulations to Wendy Crumley!
Kiss the Teletubbies "Bye Bye!"  It's Hip Hop, Baby!  We're happy to have two DVDs to give away from this fun series that engages kids with a beat Mom and Dad will enjoy too.  We have "All Your Child's Favorites" and "Things We Do Every Day." 

Click HERE to visit the It's Hip Hop, Baby site and listen to a sample.

Buy your DVDs at Amazon: HERE. Great for the Easter baskets!

Continue reading "Winner A of A Contest: It's Hip Hop Baby DVDs" »

A of A Contest: Angela Moore Autism Awareness Classic Bracelet!

Angela moore bracelet Our friends at Angela Moore have generously donated four items from their Autism Awareness Collection to Age of Autism.  We'll be giving away one item each week in April. The Angela Moore "Autism Awareness" collection was created to help increase awareness in the treatment and understanding of autism.  15% of the proceeds from this collection are donated to the Autism Society of America including The Rimland Center.

We begin with the gorgeous Classic bracelet, set on a crisp white background, this bracelet features puzzle pieces and a rainbow of ribbons in happy colors. Leave a comment to enter. (If you've any trouble commenting email kimstagliano@gmail.com)

MN Somalis Are Now Aware Of Autism. But Still No WHY From Authorities.

Question man By Kim Stagliano

From WQOW (cow?) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A new report confirms that Somali children in Minneapolis are in autism programs at a higher rate than non-Somali children.

But a long-awaited report from the Minnesota Health Department doesn't speculate on why.

The study finds the percentage of Somali children in the Minneapolis district's autism programs is two to seven times higher than for non-Somali children. It was for children ages 3 to 4 for three years starting in 2005.

Some Somali parents have speculated that the higher autism rates were related to vaccines, lead exposure or vitamin D deficiency.

The New York Times reports the story too.

We can assume that the epidemiologists, in an intense and costly effort to solve the mystery, will scour Minnesota Public Television, probe the age of parents and determine that the Somali parents' stress levels are higher than the average Minnesotan without a child with autism in the next decade. Meanwhile, mind the killer pistachios, everyone.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.

Dokedo Gluten Free Casein Free Play Putty is Great for Easter Baskets!

Dokedo 2 What is dokedo™ naturally scented play putty?

Dokedo™ naturally scented play putty is gluten free, casein free and naturally scented. It stretches, rolls, drips, bounces, breaks, twists, molds, textures, crackles, bubbles, bends, snaps and smells great! Dokedo™ is fun and relaxing for kids and adults.  Created by a Mom, and proceeds go to autism.
 
Dokedo  Click HERE to order yours today!

Fossil Fool’s Day & Moving Beyond Coal in Colorado

Wind Managing Editor's note: This is from our sponsor SafeMinds. Click HERE to see their flyer on coal plants.

Where: Heron Pond/North Side Park off 53rd Avenue and Franklin St (there’s a sign to turn off) in Denver
When: Wednesday April 1st, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Why: Because spending your lunch break to create a renewable future Beyond Coal will more than fill your appetite. 
Event Contact:  Rebecca Sobel at rsobel@wildearthguardians.org

What are you doing this April 1st for Fossil Fool's Day?  SafeMinds is joining forces with WildEarth Guardians, Clean Energy Action, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, local neighborhood associations and community members for a press event and rally in front of Cherokee Power Plant in bringing attention to the dangers of coal in our community and asking Governor Ritter and Xcel Energy to lead the way toward a fully renewable economy.   Armed with banners, pinwheels, and other props illustrating the call to action to move beyond fossil fuels, attendees will be sending a clear message to our leadership that “Coal Can’t Fool Us” and calling for a “Cleaner Colorado.”

Continue reading "Fossil Fool’s Day & Moving Beyond Coal in Colorado" »

New (And Improved?) IOM Panel to Convene on Vaccines

Redux Editor’s note: The IOM is at it again. Julie Obradovic raises some important questions below about the role and accountability of one IOM staffer who has worked on previous vaccine safety reviews, reviews that have shown a greater concern for politics than the truth. (Dr. Stratton:...The point of no return, the line we will not cross in public policy is pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is time to revisit this, but we would never recommend that level. Even recommending research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn't say compensate, we wouldn't say pull the vaccine, we wouldn't say stop the program (p.74).)
Although it has branded itself as a kind of “science court” for controversial issues, the IOM’s performance as a trustworthy tribunal has been poor: when the rules of jurisprudence are unlikely to lead to the outcome the sponsors and the staffers have been looking for, the IOM changed the rules instead of taking the heat. In October 2006, a few members of the autism community met with IOM President Harvey Fineberg to share a blistering critique. A short version of the materials we presented is (HERE) and a longer version (HERE). Mark Blaxill

By Julie Obradovic
 
A New IOM Panel
 
On March 20, 2009 the Institute of Medicine officially notified the public of the provisional appointment of a new IOM Committee related to vaccines. The committee was contracted by HRSA to review epidemiological, clinical and biological evidence regarding adverse health events associated with specific vaccines covered by VICP (Vaccine Injury Compensation Program). Vaccines to be reviewed include Varicella Zoster, Influenza, Hepatitis B, and HPV; additional vaccines could be added to the review if more funding is secured.
 
The committee will author a consensus report with conclusions on the evidence bearing on causality and the evidence regarding the biological mechanisms that underlie specific theories for how a specific vaccine is related to a specific adverse event. The provisional appointments to the IOM's new Committee to Review Adverse Events to Vaccination have been posted on the Current Project System on the National Academies Website. There is a 20 day period for formal public comment beginning the day of this notice.
 
The project will be directed by Dr. Kathleen Stratton.
 
Who is Dr. Stratton?
 
If Dr. Stratton's name looks familiar it is because this is not the first time she has served on an IOM committee regarding vaccines.  In fact, Dr. Stratton has served on several IOM panels, most famously perhaps as project director for the panel that reviewed the role of Vaccines in Autism (2004). In this instance the panel she directed came to the conclusion the evidence favored rejection of a causal relationship; even more, her committee went so far as to suggest further study of the relationship wasn't warranted.

Continue reading "New (And Improved?) IOM Panel to Convene on Vaccines" »

Hope for Autism Training Conference & 2009 Int'l Vaccine Risk Symposium

Charleston Managing Editor's Note: David Kirby and Dr. Mayer Eisenstein ("Holistic MD Has 30,000 Patients – Zero With ASD, All Unvaccinated”) are featured presenters at this conference in Charleston, SC.  Visit www.hopeforautism.us to learn more!

Hope for Autism Training Conference &
2009 International Vaccine Risk Symposium
Developed for Patients, Families and Practitioners

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 15 - 17, 2009
Registration / Exhibits Begin at 7:00 am

The Charleston Marriott Hotel
170 Lockwood Boulevard
Charleston, South Carolina 29403 US
 
This exciting, two day conference offers something for everyone. 

Continue reading "Hope for Autism Training Conference & 2009 Int'l Vaccine Risk Symposium" »

Angela Moore Jewelry Supports The Rimland Center for Autism Treatment

Angela moore bracelet2 Managing Editor's Note:  I'm pleased to announce that Ms. Moore has generously donated four beautiful items from the Angela Moore Autism Awareness collection to Age of Autism, and we will be giving one away each week in April! See the collection HERE. 

Internationally-known jewelry designer Angela Moore will be in the Lynchburg, Virginia area on April 1 & 2 to recognize Autism Awareness month and benefit treatment scholarships to The Rimland Center, a general pediatric practice and autism treatment center founded by Elizabeth Mumper, MD, FAAP.

Continue reading "Angela Moore Jewelry Supports The Rimland Center for Autism Treatment" »

Autism the Scourge of the 21st Century (Somali Immigrants in Minneapolis and Autism – Epidemic or Statistical Fluke?)

The facts Managing Editor's Note: At the end of this magnficent post by Mr. Khalif are links to our past stories about the Somali/Autism epidemic in Minnesota, including J.B. Handley's article that so interested Mr. McNeil.

By Abdulkadir A. Khalif 
    
The story in the New York Times by Donald McNeil Jr. and datelined 03/16/2009 (HERE) has started a storm within the autism community, especially the victims of the scourge in Minneapolis. The author picked on a few unsuspecting Somali immigrant families who could understand neither the English language nor the motive of those chaperoning them for the ‘interviews’.

They were deliberately selected so as to appear as representative as possible (one of the kids was born outside the USA). I happened to know the families involved as well as some of the officials quoted. I have read and re-read the NYT story and I am still at a loss of what purpose it really served, or what the real motive of the author is. Mr. McNeil had no opinions of his own on the topic he chose, nor did he qualify any statements he extracted from the people he interviewed. He went to great lengths to quote people and then used others to unravel their arguments. He quoted from government officials and others from nonprofits, all of who are known to have been working together in their elaborate cover-up schemes. All those he met were officials who helped organize the infamous forum in Minneapolis last November. He excluded the Hmong community from the ravages of autism while showing prevalence of the scourge within Somali immigrants in Sweden. That way he was indirectly alluding to a vulnerable gene within the Somalis everywhere. 

Continue reading "Autism the Scourge of the 21st Century (Somali Immigrants in Minneapolis and Autism – Epidemic or Statistical Fluke?)" »

Brian Deer: Conflicted “Journalist", Industry Toady or Modern-Day Madame Defarge??

Deer By Jim Moody, Esq.

On February 25, 2004, self-styled “journalist” Brian Deer initiated the Complaint with the GMC that led to the hearing presently underway against Dr. Wakefield, and Professors Murch and Walker-Smith by “lay[ing] before” the GMC what he, Brian Deer, concluded was evidence of serious professional misconduct.  Documentary evidence produced during discovery and now presented at the hearing demonstrates that the key charges (unethical research, undisclosed participation in MMR litigation, and unauthorized recommendation of the monovalent components of the MMR as a temporary precaution until safety issues could be resolved) are completely without merit.  Key witnesses during the investigation knew the allegations lacked merit.  What, then, propelled the allegations by Deer into a full-blown fitness to practice hearing with possible risk to their medical licenses?  Deere has most recently taken credit for defeating the “test case” claims in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. 

Who is Brian Deer, and why were his allegations, easily proven either false or irrelevant, taken so seriously?  Who funds his daily vigil at the GMC hearing, now in its 125th day?  

Continue reading "Brian Deer: Conflicted “Journalist", Industry Toady or Modern-Day Madame Defarge??" »

IACC: Ethical Disaster Zone

Mile high mizerManaging Editor's Note: I wonder if Ed Trevathan, Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the CDC, was served a "Mile High Mixer" when he left the IACC meeting early, ostensibly to attend another meeting in DC... And was seen shortly thereafter on a flight to Atlanta, seated in First Class?  Katie Wright reveals the story below.

By Katie Wright

My phone would not stop ringing today. Parents everywhere were appalled by the behavior and actions of the IACC. And that is just the parents listening to the committee via phone lines. What people who attended IACC in person told me they observed shocked me.
 
Many of the committee members are directors of government institutes which conduct autism research. However, some of these directors are sorely lacking basic knowledge about autism. Dr. Story Landis actually asked what IMFAR was! Seriously she did. It was only downhill from there.
 
The discussion regarding public input was enlightening. Lyn Redwood is one of the very few public members who serve on autism national autism advocacy organizations. Redwood said that the public deserves to have more opportunities for input, such as a live town hall meeting.  IACC has not yet presented the finalized plan to the autism community. The public has had no opportunity to comment.  Della Hamm immediately rejected that idea stating that a public forum would involve far too much work. However, the work could easily be contracted out to an organization like the Keystone Group.

Continue reading "IACC: Ethical Disaster Zone" »

March, 24 is Autism Epidemic Day in New York State

New york AED!
Autism Epidemic Day!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
11:00 AM
The State Capitol
Albany, New York

New York Autism Community: Have You Had Enough?

We have a few questions for our fellow New Yorkers who love someone with autism: 

Have you had enough of a State Education Department that repeats the big lie that there is no “real” increase in autism even though their own data shows an explosive increase over the past 15 years? 

Have you had enough of being told by politicians that your child’s special education needs are driving up property taxes?  Have you had enough of those politicians making claims like that without even talking to you? Have you had enough when they put those claims in a report to the Governor calling for the dismantling of autism special education regulations? Have you had enough when our Governor, himself a man who has overcome a disability, declares that the report on “Property Tax Relief” should become law?!

Continue reading "March, 24 is Autism Epidemic Day in New York State" »

Age of Autism Contest: Leeann Whiffen's A Child's Journey Out of Autism

Whiffen Congrats to our five winners, Judy G, Valerie Carlson, Barbara Bucknam, Amy in Idaho and Garth Boyd.

The contest is now closed for Sourcebooks' new release by author Leeann Whiffen: A Child's Journey out of Autism. Visit LeeAnn's website to read more and to buy the book HERE. Sourcebooks has generously donated FIVE books to the contest!

From the publisher:

Told with the intensity of a medical thriller, the extraordinary story of how Clay Whiffen and his family conquered autism.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Contest: Leeann Whiffen's A Child's Journey Out of Autism" »

Young Woman Featured in Gardasil Media Attention Passes Away.

Pajamas_gates_2We've learned today that Jenny Tetlock passed away on Sunday. Her neurologists cited an unusual form of childhood ALS. Others point to Gardasil. Our sincere condolences to her family whose blog is HERE. Below is a post we ran last July.

By Kim Stagliano

This article on the paralysis of Miss Jenny Tetlock, perhaps from her Gardasil vaccination, is from US News and World Report, a bastion of mainstream, conservative reporting. 

Note that her father is a professor at a top university. We wish the Tetlock family, especially young Jenny, well. We wrote about her tragic situation HERE. Did blogs help move this story along? We hope so.

About a month after being vaccinated against the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus, 13-year-old Jenny Tetlock missed the lowest hurdle in gym class, the first hint of the degenerative muscle disease that, 15 months later, has left the previously healthy teenager nearly completely paralyzed. Did the vaccine, Gardasil, cause her condition? Her father, Philip Tetlock, a psychology professor at UC-Berkeley's Haas School of Business, has embarked on an odyssey to find out whether the vaccine or random coincidence is to blame.

Read the full article HERE.  Please visit the Tetlock's blog HERE for updates, and to share your support.

Thank you to Cox and Forkum for this fabulous image. Be sure to visit their site!

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. (And back online!)

Experts Agree. Giant Bioengineered Crabs Pose No Threat.

Yes, yes. Trust the scientists. Take 2 minutes and 38 seconds to have a good laugh, courtesy of The Onion.

Panelists dismiss the notion that something could go wrong with the 75-foot-tall crabs that shoot acid from their mouths.

FOUND SAFE: Justin Bailey, Age 20, Autism, Missing in Utah

Justin bailey FOUND! He was found 500 yards from his home in a small shelter last night.

From CBS 2, KUTV in Utah.  Click HERE to read the original story and comment. Thank you to KUTV for the photo.

KUTV -- Authorities are asking for help finding a 20-year-old autistic man.

Justin Bailey walked away from his home in Kamas yesterday, and has not been seen since.

Justin is described as a 5'9" white male, 180 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a brown canvas coat.

Last June Bailey was found safely after going missing for several days in the same area. 

If you have any information regarding Justin's whereabouts, please contact the Summit County Sheriff's Office at (435) 615-3500

Ball State's Truth Movement Seeks Thimerosal Advocate to Share Stage with Dr. Boyd Haley

Challenge Managing Editor's Note: Paging Dr. Paul Offit!  Paging Dr. Nancy Snyderman! Paging the AAP's Dr. David Tayloe!  Paging Dr. Harvey Karp!  Paging Dr. Max Wiznitzer!  Here's your chance to debate the pros and cons of mercury with Dr. Boyd Haley. To reserve your seat, or accept the challenge to share the stage with Dr. Haley, email Tony Farmer at BSU.

MUNCIE, IN (3/9/09) – The Ball State Truth Movement is pleased to announce it will be hosting Dr. Boyd Haley at Ball State’s Pruis Hall on April 20th at 8 p.m.

Haley is a former University of Kentucky professor and Chemistry Department Chair (1996-2005) who has given lectures on the toxic effects of mercury at conferences around the world. Haley, a mercury toxicity expert, has testified before numerous government agencies on the effects of mercury toxicity with regards to neurological diseases and supports the efforts of the Ball State Truth Movement to remove thimerosal-containing vaccines from Ball State’s campus.

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Can Autism Insurance Reform Come to the Insurance Capitol?

Hartford Managing Editor's Note: There's a saying that has served me well, "Don't punish progress."  I live in CT. And while this bill is lacking in including our child in real medical treatment, if we can get coverage for therapies, that will free up money for other avenues of recovery. And perhaps many of the scrips our DAN! docs write can be included in "medications." That remains to be seen. Kim

By Shannon Knall

For years now, Hartford, Connecticut has been known as the Insurance Capitol of the World.  By the same token, the rate of autism’s occurrence in the state of Connecticut is one in 123, higher than the national average of one in 150.  Yet given these higher than average rates, Connecticut’s legislature has failed to mandate insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders, despite the fact that insurance mandates in Connecticut are among the highest in the nation.

In the 2007 Legislative session, House Bill 5696 was introduced to the Insurance and Real Estate Committee.  HB 5696 garnered impassioned public testimony from parents incurring the financial wrath of autism, but yet was stripped of it’s “meat” coming out of committee.  Meaning, coverage for ABA, psychological evaluation/diagnosis and medications were removed, and only speech, occupational and physical therapy remained, among insurance lobbyist claims that the cost to implement the FULL legislation would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket.

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Dr. Jon Poling: I Cannot Fathom Turning My Back on a Child Nor Science To Avoid Inconvenient Questions"

AJC This morning, The Atlanta Journal Constitution is running an editorial by Dr. Jon Poling, father of Hannah Poling.  To see the editorial at AJC click HERE. It doesn't seem that AJC has set up room for comments.

For the million plus American families touched by autism, like mine, there is real urgency to find scientific answers to help loved ones and prevent future victims. Unfortunately, some doctors still fail to even accept the increasing autism rate as real, rather than their own better diagnosis.

The collateral damage of “better diagnosis,” the idea that we are simply better at detecting autism, is the abandonment of families coping with autism by the medical establishment, government and private insurance companies.

Beyond the high emotional toll autism takes on a family, many have been financially ruined. Public school systems are drowning in the red ink of educating increasing numbers of special-needs students.

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Are You Concerned About Vaccine Safety Research? Take Action Now!

Action alert2 TAKE ACTION NOW – Submit your comments at the National Vaccine Advisory Committee Meeting on March 16th!

The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) is holding their next stakeholder meeting this coming Monday, March 16th and is seeking public input into the scientific research agenda (HERE) being developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Immunization Safety Office (ISO).   The meeting will address the CDC’s draft research agenda and broader issues regarding the national vaccine safety program. 

Members of the autism community were represented in a writing group meeting last month in Salt Lake City to identify gaps in research and prioritization criteria.  The group has published a draft joint statement (HERE),  draft documents on Gaps in the Research Agenda (HERE) and Criteria for Assessing ISO Research (HERE) addressing questions around vaccination of special populations, specific diseases which might be caused by vaccines, and the health effects of vaccination practices.  They also acknowledged the public’s strong desire to study total health outcomes as they relate to the full vaccination schedule, recommending that an independent expert panel be convened to review the feasibility of researching  vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations. 

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From the UK: The Betrayal of a Nation's Children

British flag By Martin Walker

Two weeks ago, the Director of vaccine policy at the UK Department of Health, Professor David Salisbury, moved to stifle all criticism of himself and the Department's policies by letters warning of writs for defamation, against a number of vaccine damage campaign websites. These legal letters asked that websites take down Martin Walker's last essay, To Encourage the Others. In the writ Salisbury tried to distance himself from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
 
In two weeks time, in April of this year, vaccination policy in Britain will change radically when it is handed over to a committee appointed by a quango that consists almost entirely of drug company insiders. In this new statute, it will become compulsory for the government to enact the wishes of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). From April onwards the New Labour government will abdicate all responsibility for vaccine policy, mass vaccination programmes, licensing, deaths and adverse reactions to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Generation Rescue, Autism Action Network, Illinois Biomedical Kids

Action alert ACTION ALERT – PART 3
THE WHITE HOUSE

For far too long, medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and governmental health agencies have disregarded the accounts of thousands of family members of children with autism, rejecting their personal experiences of regression, presence of other medical conditions often occurring with autism and the treatments they have seen to be most promising.

Many scientific studies have found that children with autism often suffer from multiple medical conditions including gastrointestinal, immunological, mitochondrial and other underlying pathologies. When appropriately diagnosed and treated with the help of dedicated physicians; thousands of children are improving and some are even recovering to the extent they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria of autism.

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Your Baby's Bath: Gentle! Pure! Formaldehyde?

Dead duck Our friends in the Wackosphere will remind us that formaldehyde is naturally produced in the human body. So is poop, but we don't bath in it or inject it into ourselves now do we?

California Baby products are available at Target. I'm looking at a bottle of their Body Wash which reads, "No formaldehyde or formaldehyde donors, non solvent and non genotoxic. No parabens, sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol or phenoxyethanol."  www.californiababy.com. Trader Joe's also sells non-toxic personal care products at good prices.  Kim

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Press Advisory

Contacts: Stacy Malkan, 202-321-6963; stacy@safecosmetics.org
Jovana Ruzicic, 202-667-6982; jovana@ewg.org
Stephenie Hendrix, 415-258-9151; stephdh@earthlink.net

New Product Tests: Kids’ Bath Products Contaminated with Formaldehyde, 1,4 Dioxane. Chemicals Not Listed on Labels Due to Weak Regulatory Standards

Washington D.C., March 12, 2009 -- Despite marketing claims like “gentle” and “pure,” dozens of popular children’s bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to new product tests released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The chemicals were not listed on product labels. 

This is the first report to document the widespread presence of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in bath products for children. Many products tested for the study contained both chemicals, including top-selling baby shampoos, bubble baths and baby lotions.

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Age of Autism Contest: Teach Toileting by Deborah Bialer

Toilet 003 CONGRATS TO THE WINNER: CINDYPDX!

Deborah Bialer is a consultant in Cleveland, Ohio with over thirty years' experience working with special needs children. She has created a toilet training program that works with kids on the spectrum.  We're giving away a copy of her book. Even better? Ms. Bialer is offering a free phone consultation to the winner!

The book is easy to read and the program is spelled out in detail for you. You can visit her website www.teachtoileting.com to order a copy and to learn more. Good luck!

The contest is closed.

It’s Official: Pediatricians + Autism = Clueless

Clueless no excuse By Kelli Ann Davis

According to a current article in Pediatrics, “Medical Homes for Children With Autism: A Physician Survey” (HERE), most pediatricians report a “lack of self-perceived competency” in treating children with autism; yet ironically, the premise of the article states “primary care physicians can enhance the health and quality of life of children with autism by providing high-quality and comprehensive primary care.”  [Question:  How the hell can that be possible if they don’t know what they’re doing?]  

Of course as most of you know by now, the term “medical home” is a key component in a “bill” poised to be introduced by Senators Durbin and Casey (HERE).  What you may not know is the AAP will get to determine what constitutes a “comprehensive approach to care and coordination” for children with autism:

Definitions: (8) MEDICAL HOME.—The term ‘‘medical home’’ means a concept or model of care delivery that includes an ongoing relationship between a provider and a patient, around-the-clock access to medical consultation, respect for a patient’s cultural and religious beliefs, and a comprehensive approach to care and coordination of care through providers and community services, as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Continue reading "It’s Official: Pediatricians + Autism = Clueless " »

Autism Mothers Unite in The Autism File World Autism Day April 2, 2009

Autism-mothers WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY April 2, 2009.

Go to www.autismfile.com to learn how you and five Autism Mom friends can create your own smashing photo!

Polly Tommey, mother of a child with autism, editor-in-chief of The Autism File magazine, and founder of the UK registered charity The Autism Trust, has launched a national media campaign across the UK, USA, and Canada to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day.

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Autism and a Clean House? Join Joe Hutchinson of The Conductors on "Clean House" Tonight!

Smokestack_Joe_Hutchinson_with_Lisa_Arch,_Matt_Iseman,_HT_BackBeater_&_Gigi_Hutchinson[1] Managing Editor's Note: Tune into Joe and Gigi Hutchinson on Style Network's "Clean House" tonight at 11pm Eastern/10pm Central. Scroll to the bottom of the post for more details and how to download The Conductors music - loved by kids on and off the spectrum alike!

By "Smokestack Joe" Hutchinson of the musical group The Conductors

When our friend Sophia told us that she “turned us in” to the Style Network’s Clean House show, my wife Gigi and I were both mortified and relieved!
 
You see, our oldest son Drayke (7) has Autism, and the challenges we face in our home environment are slightly different than your average working family. Nonetheless, there were certainly rooms and sore spots that needed addressing, but would the producers of Clean House want to work with a special needs family? 
 
Well, to our surprise they not only wanted to help us, but they were excited about sending a positive message and spreading awareness about Autism to the diverse millions of viewers that make up their audience.
 
The producers embraced every aspect of our family’s uniqueness, and I was floored when they asked my kids music group The Conductors to perform during the yard sale segment and provide the soundtrack to the episode.  How exciting! 

Continue reading "Autism and a Clean House? Join Joe Hutchinson of The Conductors on "Clean House" Tonight!" »

Run Your Autism Awareness Month Event on the Schafer Autism Calendar

Schafer Managing Editor's Note: If you subscribe to Lenny Schafer's SARNET (Schafer Autism Report) then you know about the Autism Calendar that advertises events across the country and around the world.  Make sure your April event is on the calendar!

The Autism Calendar™ (HERE) is the most complete compilation of Autism Events for April, and for the rest of the year, too.

Be sure to add your event - small meeting, fundraiser or large conference  
(HERE) here - no charge.

Deadline for April calendar is March 25.

The Autism Calendar is distributed to 20,000 readers worldwide by email and is reader supported. Please forward this message to autism event organizers you know.

Harvard Med School: The Best Money Can Buy...

Drugs and money Managing Editor's Note: Students at the nation's most "esteemed" med school learn that many doctors are no longer healers - they are dealers. Remember though, vaccines don't count. A doctor can ride into the med school parking lot on a solid gold syringe with the Merck logo on the plunger and The Times will take no notice. No ethics issues there. Nope.

BOSTON — In a first-year pharmacology class at Harvard Medical School, Matt Zerden grew wary as the professor promoted the benefits of cholesterol drugs and seemed to belittle a student who asked about side effects.

Mr. Zerden later discovered something by searching online that he began sharing with his classmates. The professor was not only a full-time member of the Harvard Medical faculty, but a paid consultant to 10 drug companies, including five makers of cholesterol treatments.

“I felt really violated,” Mr. Zerden, now a fourth-year student, recently recalled. “Here we have 160 open minds trying to learn the basics in a protected space, and the information he was giving wasn’t as pure as I think it should be.” Read the full article in The New York Times HERE.

 

Generation Rescue Action Alert: Stop The Calls, They've Heard You!

StopBy Kelli Ann Davis

UPDATE ON GENERATION RESCUE AND AUTISM ACTION NETWORK ACTION ALERT -- STOP THE CALLS – THEY’VE HEARD US!

Senator Durbin's office called me today:

1.) They have heard from our community and asked us to halt the "Alerts" until we can see the revised draft bill which they are still in the process of writing;

2.) They initially planned on introducing the bill in February, but because of our concerns (Translation: Action Alerts) they have decided to take the extra time to make changes to the bill based on information from us and others;

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David Kirby: US Health Officials Back Study Idea on Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children – Will Media Take Note?

Do it now By David Kirby

It is not accurate for members of the media to report that the link between vaccines has been “disproven.” This is especially true in light of recent news from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and a series of news items from the Federal Court of Claims, Federal health agencies, leading universities and top autism researchers around the country. There are now many reasons why the media should continue its coverage of this serious and ongoing debate:

THE NATIONAL VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (NVAC)

On Friday, February 27, a special group convened by The Keystone Center on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee Vaccine Safety Working Group (NVAC VSWG) recommended appointing a panel of experts to explore the strengths and weaknesses of conducting studies on health outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations. The group, known as the “Salt Lake City Writing Group,” said it was “desirable” to include autism as one such health outcome.

As they stated in a draft “consensus statement”:

“(There is) a strong desire to study the health impact of the immunization schedule, potentially through a ‘vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study’. Outcomes to assess include biomarkers of immunity and metabolism, and outcomes including but not limited to neurodevelopmental outcomes, allergies, asthma, immune-mediated diseases, and learning disabilities. The inclusion of autism as an outcome is desired”

The Writing Group supported a recommendation to “charge an expert panel with evaluating study designs for research on the impact of the standard schedule of vaccination on an array of health outcomes of significant public interest. This draft charge is responsive to issues raised at community meetings in Alabama, Oregon, and Indiana as well as the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee request for collaboration with the National Vaccine Program Office.”

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