2740 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

Age of Autism Wrap Up. What a Week!

Proud-momBy Kim Stagliano

Like a proud Mama, I took a look at our lineup of posts this week and thought, "Wow." 

J.B. Handley kicked off the week with his post, Autism Not Really On The Rise. 96.7% Impossible. 

On Tuesday, Katie Wright wrote, IACC: They Had To Have it Their Way.

On Wednesday, Mark Blaxill ran, Blockbuster Primate Study Shows Significant Harm From One Birth Dose of a Mercury Containing Vaccine.

And on Thursday, Dan Olmsted turned his laser focus toward Hah-vud in, Crimson At Harvard.

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on the posts. Don't forget to forward our links, send them to FaceBook and Tweet them. We appreciate your support. This weekend we have our commenter of the week, cookbook contest winner, Kent Heckenlively and more.

Kim

LifeHealthChoices Reports on Albany NY Vaccination Choice Rally

Albany11 If you haven't added the LifeHealthChoices website to your list of favorites, now would be a fine time to do so. It's a terrific site to forward to friends and relatives who have questions about vaccine safety and choice, launched by our colleague Louise Kuo Habakus.

Louise attended the Albany, NY rally for vaccination choice earlier this week. NY is mandating a seasonal flu vaccine for all healthcare workers. The H1N1 vaccine may be next on the mandated list. Click HERE to read about the event.

An estimated 700 health care workers, activists, and concerned citizens gathered on the steps of the state house at East Capitol Park on Tuesday, September 29, 2009, starting at 10:00 am for a peaceful but passionate three-hour rally to protest the recent Executive Order from the New York State Department of Health requiring seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccination of all health care and related workers in New York State. 

The Albany Vaccine Choice Rally

Albany2a By Sabeeha Rehman

Vaccine Choice Rally - Albany, NY September 29, 2009

One Voice

“Stop the Shots!”
“Stop the Shots!”
“Stop the Shots!”

The crowd chanted, making their voices heard, raising their banners.  At the steps of the East Capitol, they gathered – parents, families affected by autism, advocates, lawyers, doctors, nurses, therapists, scientists, leaders, followers...

They came - to the steps of the East Capitol – from Upstate New York, from Downstate New York, from New Jersey, from North Carolina, from where they came, it didn’t matter.
They spoke with one voice, rallying to the cause of Freedom of Choice.

Freedom from forced vaccinations. Freedom of informed consent. Freedom to choose what is injected in your bodies.

The Rallying Point

This historic gathering of over 700 healthcare workers, advocates, and families affected by autism spectrum disorders was sparked by an unprecedented regulation promulgated by Health Commissioner Daines to invoke the Emergency Preparation Act 2009.  This act requires healthcare workers and pregnant women to be vaccinated with the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine by November 30, or risk losing their jobs.  Under this regulation, there is limited to no recourse for vaccine injuries or death sustained as a result of these mandated vaccines.

This rally was organized by Heather Walker, activist and healthcare student, We the People, Albany chapter organization, with help from the Autism Action Network, Life Health Choices, and many New York state nurses.

Continue reading "The Albany Vaccine Choice Rally" »

Jim Moore on Huffington Post: Why We Worry About Vaccines

Worry Please pop over and comment on Why We Worry About Vaccinations, Jim Moore’s Huffington Post piece about the Thoughtful House Hep B Study. If you missed Mark Blaxill's insightful analysis of the study which has been published by the journal Neurotoxicology, click HERE.

From the HuffPo post:

Even as doctors try to reassure the public, and TV news anchors get their swine flu shots on the morning news, there remains a great unease about vaccinations in the US. People hesitant to take the needle are marginalized as anti-vaccine nuts, regardless of the many justifiable reasons to distrust giant pharmaceutical producers and government regulators. Money can easily trump morality and the five drug companies contracted with the U.S. government to produce the H1N1 vaccines will be paid from $250 to $690 million each for mass production.

Profits are not evil, of course, and making money does not mean a company lacks principle. There are, however, causes for concern...

From SafeMinds: Action Alert – Help Needed to Eliminate a Major Source of Mercury Pollution

Oceana

As written previously HERE, SafeMinds  supports the effort lead by the environmental group Oceana to phase out the use of mercury in chlorine and caustic soda production by 2012.  The Mercury Pollution Reduction Act (H.R. 2190) will be considered by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday, September 30th at 10 AM and amendments have been proposed to weaken the bill, including a proposed delay of the phase out until 2018. 

We need your help to contact Representatives on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday morning to oppose any weakening amendments to H.R. 2190.  To get more information and take action, go to the Oceana Take Action site HERE.

H1N1 Meeting Live Today

Vaccine Program: Health, Safety, and Distribution.  Time 2:00 Tuesday. The link will go up on the Committee's webpage shortly before the hearing begins: www.oversight.house.gov .

Educating Arne and ARRA

Wringing out dollar

Managing Editor's Note:  Arne Duncan is Secretary of the US Dept. of Ed.  Alison's post below indicates a need for better oversight of funds spent on education.

By Alison Davis

I'm waiting for my school system’s Board of Education meeting in October to find out how they are spending the American Recovery and Revitalization Act’s (ARRA) IDEA Part B Stimulus funds.  Towards the end of last school year, Schafer Autism Report had an article on this that caught my eye.  How much did your school system get?  We got almost $8M.  And I want to know where it’s going.

Guidelines to spending, transparency, and accountability appear muddled from every level of federal, state, and local Education agencies.  It’s time for some- what I like to call- Little Red Hen Actions (“’Then I’ll do it myself’, Said the Little Red Hen.  And she did.”).

Here are some questions you may want to ask your children’s Special Education Director:

1. How are we obtaining assistive technology devices (PDAs, Smartboards, alphasmarts, netbooks, etc.) and providing funding for training teachers in assistive technology to aid Special Education students?

2. How many Special Education teaching jobs are we saving?  How many are we creating?

3. What new Special Education professional development will take place to improve:

  • Early learning?
  • Inclusion of Special Ed. students?
  • Transitions, including preparation for college? (Are we hiring transition coordinators/coaches and job developers?)
  • Training school staff to partner with families by supporting parent trainings, family nights, and home visits?

4. How are we spending these funds to introduce reliable data collection and assessments for students with disabilities?

5. What new evidence-based curriculums with instructional materials and imbedded assessments are we purchasing for Special Ed. students?

6. Are we using funds for extended learning time for Special Ed. students (after school/summer programs)?

7. How are we measuring the effectiveness of our use of the allotment?

Alison Davis lives in Durham, NC with her husband (thank God!) and her three boys with autism.  She sincerely hopes that No Child Left Behind does not mean if it’s meant to be it’s up to me.  Additionally, it’s her fervent wish that IDEIA no longer means if you don’t know your rights you don’t have any.

Defend American Freedom: Albany NY Forced Vaccination Rally

American Freedom

Rally to Stop Forced Vaccinations
East Capitol Park, Albany, NY
Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 10 am - Noon

New York State has issued an illegal order forcing all healthcare workers in the state to get seasonal flu shots by November 30 or face termination. The State has already announced that the experimental H1N1 shot will be next.

Every state health department in the United States is carefully watching what happens in New York. If they get away with is here, your state will be next.
 
The stakes are getting higher all the time. Come fight for Vacccine Choice.

Followed by visits to your legislators, the Governor's Office,
the Department of Health
 
Speakers include Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, Sue Fields, RN, Ralph Fucetola, JD, John Gilmore, Louise Kuo Habakus, MA, HHP, Gary Null, PhD, Alan Phillips, JD and Heather Walker
 
What You Can Do if you can't get to the rally:
 
Email, Click on THIS LINK to send email messages to your State Senator, your Assemblymember, Commissioner of Health Richard Daines, and his boss, Governor David Paterson, and demand that this illegal action stop immediately.

Continue reading "Defend American Freedom: Albany NY Forced Vaccination Rally" »

Hot for Teacher? How About Jail for Teacher?

Tabasco

Read the full story from WPTV in Florida HERE. Thanks to "NR" for sending us the link.

MIAMI, FL-- A Miami-Dade County jury has found a special needs teacher guilty of abuse after authorities say she put hot sauce in a student's soda.
  
Sylvia Tagle was convicted of abuse Tuesday.
  
Authorities say she gave the soda with hot sauce mixture to an autistic student to teach him a lesson. But Tagle says the boy grabbed the soda from her desk when she was with other students...

Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAFLinda is our commenter of the week.  Please email me at KimStagliano@gmail.com with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats! Linda commented on our coookbook contest. I would really like to have the book as i am trying my best to learn all i can before starting my autistic 20 yr. son in hopes &prayers that when i get something that is easy for a 54 yr. old mom to understand.

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week" »

UK's NHS Report Suggests Autism Increase Due to Oversight?

Survey says

London, UK

NHS Autism Report suggests the increase in autism in recent years was all down to an oversight …

Polly Tommey is the mother of a thirteen year old son with autism.She is also the Editor of www.autismfile.com. In both roles, as a mother speaking with other parents day in, day out, and as a journalist dealing withconstantly increasing numbers of calls describing personal crises for the lastten years, she has had direct experience of the increasing pressure being causedby the numbers of people dealing with autism.

Polly, like many others, has also attended conferences, seminars and workshopsworldwide for the last decade and has heard endless research reports and debates on what is the cause of the increase in the prevalence of autism in countriesacross the world.Statistics citing 5 in 10,000 with autism in 1990 increasing to 1 in 100 today have been used bymany from all backgrounds. However it ‘appears’ that it was all now a mistake and that there has been no increase at all … the apparent 95% step up was simply down to an oversight, a lack of awareness and non-diagnosis.Autism isn’t a new problem at all, we’ve had the same level all along – and perhaps, if the data is critiqued, it is actually in decline!

Scepticism surrounds the interpretation of this new report … “Why on earth did this ‘ground-breaking’ news get forced up the news bulletins in the way that it did on Monday evening here in the UK?”, asks Polly, “Are we really able to believe all that we hear on such important subjects, or is there a stronger hand with adifferent agenda behind it?”

A review of the detail behind the headlines will enable any objective reader to draw their own conclusions …

Continue reading "UK's NHS Report Suggests Autism Increase Due to Oversight?" »

AoA Contest: Classic American Cuisine for the GFCF Diet

Classic American Cuisine

Stephanie Hemenway has given us two copies of The Autism Mom Cooks Gluten-Free Casein-Free Classic American Cuisine for a contest.  Leave a comment with your email address in the email field to enter. If you have trouble commenting send me an email at kimstagliano@gmail.com.

You can order this book and learn more at Stephanie's website, Autism Mom Cooks GFCF. Stephanie sent me a batch of the brownies and a loaf of the white bread. Both were delicious and few would ever guess they were GFCF. I really think my kids would have liked the brownies...  ;)

Gluten-Free Casein-Free food that is inexpensive, easy to prepare and utterly delicious!

You shouldn't have to sacrifice taste or your family's grocery budget to enjoy (yes.....enjoy!) a GF/CF diet.  Those on the GF/CF Diet because of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Celiac Disease or severe allergies, no longer have to settle for unappealing food.  The days of crumbly, dry bread or gritty, odd-tasting cookies are over.

The Autism Mom Cooks Gluten-Free Casein-Free Cookbook Series is dedicated to providing simple, cost effective and delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

All recipes are taste-tested on individuals who not on any sort of restrictive diets, those on GF/CF diets and finally...... some of the pickiest kids out there.

AoA Contest Winners for Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism

Saving ben CONGRATULATIONS JULIE BROWN AND JASON VOLK. The contest is closed. We'll have another contest on Wednesday.

If you didn't win, you can order a copy at a 30% discount by clicking, HERE, select "add to cart" and use discount code 3B. You can also order the book at . Visit Dan's website at SavingBenBook. Here's a letter from the author. 

Hi Age of Autism Reader,
 
I’d like to tell you about my book, Saving Ben: A Father’s Story of Autism.  People Magazine called it “A wonderful read that will make parents look at their own children, disabled or not—and find so much to cherish”  (Sept 14, 2009).
 
Other reviewers had this to say:

  • “Powerful and inspirational, filled with and tragedy and triumph, it’s the story of one father's journey to hell to rescue his son from the grips of autism. I could not put this book down.” Nancy Master, AoA reader and mother of a formerly autistic child.
  • “A great read, and inspirational, teaching us that we can overcome obstacles with faith, hope and determination.” AoA reader Lisa Hunter Ryden of the NAA Central Texas Chapter.

Continue reading "AoA Contest Winners for Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism" »

Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAFLisa Ackerman of TACA is our commenter of the week.  Please email me at KimStagliano@gmail.com with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats! Lisa commented on: Autism On the SnorePath.

This quote "accepted, supported and valued..." struck me as well.

Speaking out for those who cannot speak or have trouble communicating is the ultimate way to support our children. Their silence and the silence of the issue all around this is unacceptable to me.

Accepting and loving these kids today is what many parents do every day. Helping them to get to the next level is a standard parent responsilbity. No one has a child so they can be institutionalized which is a "standard" set by many doctors for our kids futures. I won't accept that as a future my my son or anyone else's child who is given a "no hope, no treatment" prognosis. That is wrong for anyone to set expectations when they do not know the future.

Valuing our kids is an understatement. I worship both my kids and my husband. I am human and consider this a common characteristic. My goal is that people value the thought of recovery for those on the spectrum so that they can lead the lives they were meant to lead AND CAN lead. They have a future of value.

What I don't accept:
- pain
- suffering
- discrimination
- jeers & negative comments
- lack of support in every category under the sun

For parents who wish to wait or just accept, value & support what is today - I encourage them to leap forward. Hope is real and something to behold. Leap forward to help your child anytime you are ready as their are many to support your efforts. The window never closes.(I know I am speaking/writing the choir here.)

As a parent these statements are something I won't settle for. As a member of our community - I will work to change for the better. What's wrong with that? Isn't that the ultimate example of caring?


Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week" »

AP Reports: California Water Tainted by Mercury

Rozan Brown Read Government Stands By as Mercury Taints Water by Jason Dearen of AP. Photo credit to Jeff Chiu. Here's a clip:

NEW IDRIA, Calif. — Abandoned mercury mines throughout central California's rugged coastal mountains are polluting the state's major waterways, rendering fish unsafe to eat and risking the health of at least 100,000 impoverished people.

Rozan Brown and her son Tiyal, who was diagnosed with autism five years ago, pose for a photograph next to the gate of the Sulphur Bank Mine near the Elem Indian Colony on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009, in Clearlake Oaks, Calif. Brown grew up at the colony The New Idria Mine, once the second largest in North America, sits untouched 27 years after EPA shut it down as an environmental hazard. The site serves as an example of how overburdened environmental regulators overlook a toxic sites, even with mounting evidence of danger. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Continue reading "AP Reports: California Water Tainted by Mercury" »

It's a New Jersey Autism FunnyRaiser Night!

Funnyraiser%20masthead_09-1
WHAT: Autism Funny Raiser, Dinner, Auction and Comedy Show to benefit autism research
WHEN: Saturday, October 17, 2009

WHERE: The Comedy Shoppe @ Suppa’s Italian Restaurant
16 Route 46 West, Pine Brook, NJ 07058

COST: $75 per person / Sponsorships start at $250

Click
HERE to order your tix (and support our sponsor SafeMinds.)

DESCRIPTION: This evening of laughter and fun will fund autism research. Your evening will feature a buffet dinner, a silent auction and a comedy show. This restaurant does not have a liquor license, but you are welcome to bring your own bottle and we will provide ice and mixers.

FEATURED COMEDIANS: 

  • Jeff Norris from My Super Ex-Girlfriend
  • Joe Conte from Opie and Anthony and the Conte and Kenny Show
  • Host Rich Carucci 

EVENT SPONSORS: 

Gold Sponsor

  • Heidi Roger

Bronze Sponsors

  • David Kidd
  • Impact Philanthropy Group
  • Jane Johnson 


 


Science Journalism that is Neither Science nor Journalism

Imposter By Ginger Taylor

Three weeks ago Age of Autism ran a letter that I had written to Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, authors of "Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future", and to Lori Kozlowski freelance writer, in response to a Los Angeles Times piece penned by Kizlowski called "Bringing science back into America's sphere". The article, a trite interview with Mooney about his book during which he disparaged AoA and treated the vaccine/autism connection as a closed case, reported that Americans were rejecting science because they just were, well... pathetic I guess, and needed to be listening to "super smart" scientists.

My letter to them suggested that America might not be listening to the science industries and to people like Mooney because they are treating America so poorly and with such little regard. 

The letter generated a number of responses both privately and publicly in which I (member of the pathetic public in the very same demographic which Mooney suggested that science journalists should be reaching out to) was treated poorly and with little regard.

These included email exchanges between myself and Lori Kozlowski, her editor at the LA Times Rosie Mestel and LA Times science writer Thomas Maugh.

Chris Mooney chose not to respond to the letter. 

David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACSw, breast cancer surgeon at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Associate Professor of Surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine, (known for his cruelty as he blogs under the moniker of "Orac" despite being a senior cancer surgeon who is pushing fifty, and who last week used John Cleese's speech from Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" sketch in a mock eulogy on the death of an alternative medicine practitioner for whom he freely displayed his contempt by calling her  "... an EX-QUACK"), did respond to the letter on his own blog, even though the letter was not addressed to him.  This generated an email exchange between he and I, one of many we have had over the last five years or so, but decidedly less polite then has been the case in the past.

Sheril Kirshenbaum posted a reply to me on her blog, which actually made no reply to me, but merely pointed to David Gorski's rebuttal.  Private appeals to her to respond herself and take responsibility for her own words as a writer, failed to convince her to do so.

Finally Virginia Hughes, another "science writer" in the skeptic community who had written hit pieces on our community (including the initial piece that claimed Paul Offit was in danger from us and tried to slap us with the moniker, "The Mercuries" ) wrote to me this past week posing as an earnest reporter who (again) wanted to hear from our community.  This contact generated yet another email exchange between us.

I have written a very lengthy piece entitled, "Chris Mooney, Sheril Kirshenbaum, Lori Kozlowski, Rosie Mestel, Thomas Maugh, David Gorski, Virginia Hughes, Science Journalists, The Dying of the LA Times and an Angry Autism Mom", which publishes all these exchanges on my own blog so that our community can see how my previous AoA post on the matter, which generated a strong response from our community, played out.  There is so much there I really should have just taken more time and published a short book.

I also published all this so that everyone who has the patience and interest to read it can see that the "science journalists" that they are trusting to discern the truth of the very important autism/vaccine debate are far from professional, objective and earnest, and are not following the evidence where it leads.

And after five years of this bullshit I am fed up.   I am so, so angry.

Continue reading "Science Journalism that is Neither Science nor Journalism" »

Autism File Magazine Caption Contest Winner

Laughter Need a laugh? Autism File Magazine ran a caption contest using a photo of Polly Tommey leaving 10 Downing Street.

Click HERE to see the winning entry.

(Thanks to Janet's Creative Pillows for the neat photo.)

National Autism Association Campaign Sends 167,744 Emails to President Obama and Others

Mailbox Dear Kim,

Thank you for participating in NAA's How Much Longer campaign! 

Together we sent a total of 167,744 messages to President Obama, the FDA, the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department of Education, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and all of America!  
We're not done yet! 

Please join us at our national conference November 12-15th in Fort Lauderdale.  Visit our conference website at http://www.nationalautismconference.org for details!

With our sincerest thanks,
The NAA Team

Will Sky Walker Face Trial for Murder?

Portagecountyohiorealestate-731346 By Kim Stagliano

Last Winter, we informed you about a young man with autism (severe) who allegedly beat his mother to death in Portage County, Ohio (HERE.) Sky Walker has been in a state facility since his release from the Portage County jail. 

Both the prosecutors and the defense have agreed that he is unable to assist in his own defense. A judge will rule on competency shortly. 

"The prosecution would be satisfied if the judge orders Walker sent to a facility that ensures that "the public is protected from any further acts of violence or aggression," said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Francis M. Ricciardi."

Read the full story from AP HERE.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.

Deadline Today: Tell Dept of Ed what Your Special Needs Child Requires

Special education Get Your Questions and Comments in TODAY for America Goes Back to School: A National Town Hall Meeting with Arne Duncan on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Question/Comments Deadline 5 pm EDT *TODAY*

WHAT IS THE EVENT?

On September 15, 2009 at 8pm EDT, Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan will host an interactive national town meeting with parents across the nation by telephone, email, and with a studio audience. Parents can suggest reforms, share their ideas for improving education, and other concerns and comments. Here's an excellent opportunity for parents of children with disabilities and advocates to share their views and concerns with the Department of Education about closing the disability achievement gap and providing a truly meaningful education that enables every child to succeed; shareexperiences about meaningful participation in their child's education; and share information about excellent programs that exist and should be duplicated.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE?

Email your comments and questions to EducationTV@ed.gov by 5 pm today.Call into the town meeting on September 15 by dialing 1-888-493-9382 at 8p.m. EDT.

Continue reading "Deadline Today: Tell Dept of Ed what Your Special Needs Child Requires" »

Best of AoA: Senator Harkin Takes On Tom Insel at Autism Appropriations Meeting

Sen tom harkin Senator Tom Harkin (D) Iowa, was named Chairman of the Senate Health Committee yesterday, succeeding Senator Ted Kennedy who recently passed away. More to follow.

Meanwhile, take a look at what this might mean for the autism community, in this post from Katie Wright from August 7, 2009.

By Katie Wright

Huge thank you's to the eloquent and courageous Autism Moms who spoke at yesterday’s Congressional hearings! View the hearings HERE.  They were so wonderful and made our community proud!

Mrs. Boyd (I did not catch their first names) said we do not have a choice about whether or not to aggressively research causation factors- including vaccines. She stated emphatically that she is pro-vaccination but parents  everywhere are choosing not to vaccinate their children in record numbers because they feel the schedule is too aggressive and no research has been done on the effects of 36 vaccines on babies under two.

Mrs. Halvorson is a farmer’s wife and mother in Iowa. She epitomizes every Mom in America struggling mightily to heal her sick autistic child. Halvorson bravely recounted her daughter’s terrifying descent into autism. Like so many of our children, Halvorson’s daughter regressed in autism and became seriously ill after too many vaccines too soon. Her daughter’s labs revealed toxic levels of heavy metals – metals which have assaulted this child’s brain and body.  The family must also struggle to find the money to pay for the child’s treatment, none of which is covered by insurance.

Continue reading "Best of AoA: Senator Harkin Takes On Tom Insel at Autism Appropriations Meeting" »

93.1 JACK FM Presents: Jack's 4th Show for Talk About Curing Autism!

Top-off_r2_c1Check out 93.1FM Jack's 4th Show, October 10 at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre in Irvine, California, benefitting our sponsor TACA.  Featuring Foreigner, the B52s, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, George Clinton and Parliament Funkdelic, Eddie Money, RATT and Missing Persons. Buy tickets HERE.

Listen to the promo here.

Dr. Bob Sears Talks Autism and Vaccines on HuffPo

Sears_theVACCINEbook Please click HERE to read and comment on Dr. Bob Sears's post about autism and vaccines on HuffPo. Dr. Sears is a pediatrician and the author of The Vaccine Book. You can read more at AskDrSears.

The debate over vaccine safety rages on, with no clear end in sight. On the one side is a medical establishment made up of hundreds of thousands of doctors, researchers, infectious disease specialists, vaccine manufacturers, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and our government, who all insist that vaccines are safe and everyone should comply with the standard recommended vaccine schedule. On the other side is a growing number of parents, and a small but growing number of physicians, who are questioning vaccine safety. Caught in the middle are the 5 million couples who have a baby every year and are faced with the decision of whether or not to vaccinate.

Join the National Autism Association "How Much Longer" Campaign

Naa how much longer It's time!

The How Much Longer Campaign is NOW LIVE in NAA’s Action Center and ready for you to send a LOUD message to President Obama, the FDA, the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department of Education, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and all of America!  Your messages will be sent automatically to the above recipients with just a click of your mouse.

How much longer must our children and families wait for insurance coverage, meaningful research, safer vaccines, effective treatment, appropriate services and support, a safe educational environment and for autism to finally be recognized as a national crisis?

Go to the NAA Autism Action Center now and let your voice be heard!

Marc Rosen of Examiner.Com: Why Autistic People Don't Like Autism Speaks

Strange-bedfellows-thumb This is an excerpt from the Long Island Autism guide for Examiner.com, Marc Rosen. Autism Speaks has created strange bedfellows, have they not?

Autism Speaks is easily one of the biggest and loudest voices talking about autism.  However, it is also one of the most despised among autistic adults.  There are various reasons, many of which involve where their money goes, the stances they take regarding issues that are important to autistic people, their outright refusal to have autistic adults on their board of directors (autistic people do not even have a token presence in Autism Speaks's leadership), their continual use of pity advertising, their unreproducable facts and figures, and their insistence that autism is universally tragic and that autistic people should not exist (their insistence on "curing" autism, which can only be done if a prenatal test is designed to facilitate the decision of whether or not to abort the fetus).  Luckily, there are other organizations that are more favorable to the autistic community, though that's for another article.

Autism Speaks has released its 2008 990 tax return form, which is the primary source of the following information regarding its finances.  According to their 990, Autism Speaks has 36 employees who were compensated over $100,000 this year.  The highest paid employee listed, their Chief Science Officer, Geri Dawson, was compensated $644,274.  That's better than most people make in fairly good positions at Fortune 500 companies!  Shockingly, she makes more than the five people listed in the form as "highest compensated employees", who are listed as being compensated less than $150,000 each by Autism Speaks.  Where's the rest of that money that they didn't report, and how much is it to make them more highly compensated than someone getting almost $650,000 from a non-profit organization? 

Read the full Examiner.com post HERE.

 

The Real Healthcare Scare By James Moore on HuffPo

Foodforthought Please pop over to HuffPo to read and comment on The Real Healthcare Scare by James Moore.

In all of the white-hot vitriol being spewed over a national health care plan, very little attention is being directed at the pharmaceutical companies and the potential conflicts of interest involving the doctors doing their research. In America, we are generally of the belief that by the time a drug or vaccine has made it into the marketplace there has been enough testing conducted by the FDA and objective physicians and researchers that we can trust its safety. Frequently, we are wrong. Great profit tempts drug manufacturers to deceive or cut corners to get more quickly to the market. Pfizer recently agreed to pay $2.3 billion in fines as a penalty for marketing drugs "off label," which means for other than their prescribed purpose. Merck, too, has a $4.85 billion legal settlement for Vioxx, a painkiller that doubled the risk of stroke and heart attack, and Eli Lilly agreed to almost $1.5 billion in penalties for illegal marketing of its top-selling anti-psychotic drug...

Offit's Failure To Disclose Financial Interests on Dateline Jeopardizes Swine Flu Vaccine

Assforsale[1] From NAA and making the rounds of several news release services today. 

(Austin, Texas) – As autumn approaches and millions of Americans consider taking an H1N1 Swine Flu vaccination, the integrity of all vaccine developers has been called into question by the financial relationship of a leading vaccine advocate and a pharmaceutical manufacturer.  Dr. Paul Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), who was interviewed for a Dateline NBC television special, failed to tell millions of viewers that while he was promoting MMR as safe he had also made tens of millions of dollars from selling another vaccine patent to Merck, which is the manufacturer of MMR.  According to CHOP documents, Offit’s share of a royalty sale for the Rotateq vaccine to Merck is a minimum of $29 million and may approach $50 million.

“When Dr. Offit went on Dateline he was probably disinclined to criticize the MMR vaccine since it is produced by the same pharmaceutical company that made him a wealthy man,” said Jim Moody, attorney for the National Autism Association (NAA).  “If people are to have confidence in the integrity of the Swine Flu vaccination program this fall then we need full disclosure of all financial relationships between proponents and manufacturers on every vaccine on the market.  Who has an objective opinion about a company that has made them rich?” 

Continue reading "Offit's Failure To Disclose Financial Interests on Dateline Jeopardizes Swine Flu Vaccine" »

National Autism Association Asks: How Much Longer?

NAA logo 09-09-09
HOW MUCH LONGER?
In order to hear their voices, we must first raise ours.

Dear friends,

The National Autism Association is gearing up for a mass faxing/mailing/calling campaign that will cover community-wide autism issues on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (09.09.09).

Will you join us for a LOUD day of promoting change? With autism now affecting 1 in 100 children, it’s time to set aside polite requests and boldly ask our legislators, federal agencies, the media and the entire nation HOW MUCH LONGER?

Visit NAA How Much Longer for information and samples of the messages we will ask you to forward on 09-09-09 via an easy online advocacy system - The NAA Action Center - which will automatically send your messages to your legislators, federal health officials and the media. 

Click HERE to create your personalized advocacy account in preparation for 09-09-09!  All campaign details and instructions will be sent via email through this system.

Is Diana O'Neil Autism's OJ? The Teacher Abuse Case in Sarasota.

Paddle By Sharon Boyd

Abuse complaints about Diana O’Neil, a special education teacher at Venice Elementary School in Sarasota County Florida, appeared as early as the 2001/2002 school year although her record does not reflect this. More allegations surfaced in January 2007. The current Principal, Theresa Baus spoke with O’Neill about the parents concerns in October  after aides in her classroom came forward to Baus expressing their concern for the children.  During O’Neil’s trial for abuse of her students, Principal Baus testified that she “spoke directly with Mrs. O’Neill and stated, “…that she was not to hit my children or hurt them or treat them roughly in any way”. The problem is that Principal Baus did not write this down as a Formal Verbal Warning. Her failure to do so was one of several missteps that have left special needs children in Sarasota, Florida vulnerable to continued abuse in their classroom.
    
O’Neill  was found not-guilty of the criminal charges of abuse on February 13, 2009. On February 20, 2009, she was informed by the Sarasota County School District that she was being dismissed from her position for using inappropriate physical force, making disparaging comments to students and misusing therapy equipment. They also stated that O'Neil disobeyed her principal's directive that she should not strike students. Barry Dubin, Executive Director of the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association, said that the Union would help O’Neil to fight to keep her job. He actually said, “Here is a woman who was exonerated in court. I just have no idea why they rushed to this decision. This woman has been through a lot and I guess she'll have to go through more."

Continue reading "Is Diana O'Neil Autism's OJ? The Teacher Abuse Case in Sarasota." »

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Arrow right Pssst - look to the right side of your screen. See those ads?  Have you clicked through them? Take a moment, won't you?

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Thank you to our advertiser and sponsors alike.

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Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAFNellie is our commenter of the week. There are so many Grandparent Warriors in our community. Thank you, Nellie for being part of the AoA family. Please email me at KimStagliano@gmail.com with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats!

Comment on "Statement from Dr. Wakefield"

Dr. Wakefield, please keep delving into the ties of autism and vaccines.We as "citizens" are overlooked in many things, and this is just one of them. You are in a position to give serious questions which should be answered. As the grandmother of a autistic child,age 19. that I said, before this question became so public was caused by the vaccine. When you watch a child who was walking, talking and interacting with people and normal seeming in every way. suddenly change into a totally different child at 0ne and a half years just two weeks after having his vaccines,it puts alot of "maybes" in our minds. Think you for making this a question for parents to consider concerning their childs vaccines.

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. 

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week" »

ABC News to Cover Extreme Sports Camp for Autism

Extreme
Dear Friends of Extreme Sports Camp,
 
We are pleased to announce that ABC News will be airing segments on Extreme Sports Camp this upcoming week. Our contact at ABC says they are likely to air on Monday night on ABC World News and ABC Nightline. The World News piece will be shorter, a few minutes, while the Nightline piece is longer, about 9 minutes. The crew filmed the camp during the week of August 10th.
 
We are very excited about these shows, and appreciate the time and interest on the part of ABC to feature our summer program. If we receive word that the program time changes, we will let you know.
 
Thanks for all your support and help in making Extreme Sports Camp the success it is. We had a fabulous summer and can't wait to announce our upcoming winter and summer line ups. 
 
To learn more about Extreme Sports Camp, please visit our website at http://www.extremesportscamp.org.

Regards,

Exterme Sports Camp

From SafeMinds: How to Help Stop Two Sources of Mercury Poisoning

Mercury-a-r-before By Scott Laster

This week, a study involving more than 6,000 American women suggests that blood levels of mercury are accumulating over time, with a big rise noted over the past decade (US News HERE).  The current presidential administration is working to negotiate an international treaty to phase out man-made mercury, and President Obama had a history in the Senate of introducing bills to phase out mercury pollution from man-made sources.  Yet there are still entrenched corporate interests, and their friends in Washington, that are actively working to continue out-dated practices that are major sources of mercury poisoning.  Two organizations, Consumers for Dental Choice and Oceana, are fighting mercury pollution and could use the help of our community right now:

1) Consumers for Dental Choice (HERE) have been campaigning for ten years to raise awareness of the risks of mercury in dental amalgams and to eventually ban these dental amalgams in favor of newer, non-mercury-based dental fillings.  After making significant progress towards these goals with the FDA, this campaign experienced a setback in July when the FDA unexpectedly declared amalgams to be safe for the general public (including children and pregnant women).  Further, the FDA stated that amalgams only need to carry a warning of risk to persons who are allergic to mercury.  An investigation by Consumers for Dental Choice has uncovered evidence that the current FDA Commissioner has close ties to the top amalgam manufacturer.  Consumers for Dental Choice has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Inspector-General requesting an investigation (HERE), and is asking the public to:

• Write the Inspector-General (HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov) with your views about the need for such an investigation; 

• Write or telephone your Representative to ask that he or she request an investigation of FDA and the amalgam rule (https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml, House of Representatives switchboard at 202.224-3121 or 202.225-3121)

Continue reading "From SafeMinds: How to Help Stop Two Sources of Mercury Poisoning " »

Best of AoA: Age of Autism Awards 2008 Galileo Award: Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Galileo We first ran this post on 12/31/08.

From the Roman to the Wakefield Inquisition

By Mark Blaxill

As the year draws to a close, all of us at the Age of Autism are very pleased to honor Dr. Andrew Wakefield. As we’ve reported here many times during the past year, Dr. Wakefield has been the subject of a remarkable and unprecedented campaign to discredit his work and character, most notably in a show trial that is still underway in London, in hearings of the General Medical Council. In the face of extraordinary attempts to silence him, Wakefield has stood up to these attacks with grace and determination and has continued his research and clinical work on behalf of children and families suffering from autism. That makes him our first Age of Autism Galileo Award recipient.

Like many of our awards this year, this wasn’t a difficult decision. In fact, this may be one of those unusual cases where the recipient of an award in some ways outshines its namesake. To understand why that might be so, you need to understand a bit more about why we chose to name the award after the Italian scientist Galileo, what he represents to the history of science and how his experience compares with Wakefield’s.

Continue reading "Best of AoA: Age of Autism Awards 2008 Galileo Award: Dr. Andrew Wakefield" »

Darlene Oakley on Autism and Dentistry: Dental Challenges for Families and Treating Dentists

Tooth Below is a preview of a post on EmpowHer about autism and dentistry. Share your dentist visit ideas in our comments and pop over to comment at EmpowHer, won't you? Read the full post at EmpowHer Women's Health HERE.

Autistic patients – and patients with similar behavioral and intellectual difficulties – present a unique challenge for dentists. Dentistry involves bright lights, loud instruments and touching a very sensitive part of the body. Many “normal” people are uneasy about dental treatment, imagine what it’s like for an autistic person.

Autistic patients are usually hypersensitive to their environment and may react out of sensory overload. They don’t take well to a change in their schedules, new noises, smells, sounds, and activities.

Fortunately, dentists are becoming more aware of the needs of special needs patients.

The Angel in the Engine: Reports of Restraint, Seclusion and “Special Treatment” in Special Ed—Part 2

Crossing guard 18 By Adriana Gamondes

Where There’s Smoke there’s an Analogy
 
In the sieve of history, all the perpetrators’ justifications, moral relativism and even victims’ irrational sense of shame are filtered away, leaving only the bare truth of what happened and that it was wrong. That’s the value of historical comparisons—but no one more than parents of vaccine-injured children wishes that so much of what surrounds autism didn’t lend itself so easily to certain analogies. 

My friend Cassandra’s explanation for why the abuses go on—because some in society are distancing themselves from the epidemic in order to feel “safe” from it and dehumanizing the collateral—rang with my own sense that there’s something sort of “T4-esque” about the deadly practices towards disabled, particularly autistic children in schools. Call it “T4-II”.  As some may know, “T4”—an acronym for the program’s address at Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin— was Hitler’s code name for the systematic murders of the disabled which proceeded and acted as a model for the Final Solution. For the sake of accuracy, the “children’s euthanasia” program was a somewhat separate operation; the T4 program was actually the “adult” killing program. But since the collective operation is referred to as “T4” by many modern sources, that’s what I’ll call it. 

The T4 program had several phases, the first two of which—sterilization and killing— were the supposedly secret-but-officially-sanctioned phases. The official medical murders of the disabled spanned from October, 1939 until August, 1941, when Hitler issued a stop order due to public disapproval and church objections. This was followed by the secret-but-not-officially-acknowledged phase of “wild” euthanasia in German and occupied territories in which the killings of adults became more surreptitious, while the killing of children went on unabated until after the end of the war.

Continue reading "The Angel in the Engine: Reports of Restraint, Seclusion and “Special Treatment” in Special Ed—Part 2" »

When Vaccine Development is Family Business: Thomas Insel's Conflicted Role on Vaccines and Autism

By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill

Insel brothers (Four Insel Brothers, Four MDs (left to right) Jonathan, Richard, Thomas, and Paul)

Thomas R. Insel, the psychiatrist in charge of autism research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a family connection to one of the vaccines potentially implicated in the sharp rise in autism rates since 1990. His brother, Richard A. Insel, was part of both the research team that developed the vaccine for Haemophilus influenza B (Hib) and the company that profited from the introduction of the first commercial Hib vaccine formulation. Richard Insel was a co-founder and director of Praxis Biologics--a vaccine development company in Rochester, New York--that together with a research team at the University of Rochester developed and then sold HibTITER®, a vaccine for Hib first licensed for children in December 1988 and for infants in October 1990.  Largely based on the momentum of its successful Hib vaccine, Praxis Biologics was sold in 1989 to American Cyanamid in a deal valued at $190 million. As co-founder and director, Richard Insel held shares that gave him a 2% interest in the company, making his personal share of the transaction worth close to $4 million.

Continue reading "When Vaccine Development is Family Business: Thomas Insel's Conflicted Role on Vaccines and Autism" »

Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAFRosemary is our commenter of the week on THIS post from Barb Loe Fisher's blog. Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? See below.

My 13 year old daughter was injured by Gardasil and completely disabled for the past year. Merck got it right when they used the slogan "One Less" for Gardasil. Because of Gardasil, my daughter was "One Less". She was "One Less Student", "One Less Active Child", "One Less in every aspect of her life". Take it from a mother who has spent the past year sitting by my child's beside wondering if she would die in her sleep. INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU VACCINATE. DO NOT trust your doctor to make this decision. If you want to understand Merck's role in the medical community, investigate some of their former wonderdrugs such as VIOXX and then marvel at how many people died from it before it was pulled off the market. The CDC AND FDA need to do their job and get this off the market before more children are harmed. The public is not aware of VAERS and the #'s are grossly understated. I have had to tell my child's doctors about VAERS and make them file reports or she would not be one of the current statistics in VAERS. Even then, her information has not been entered correctly so I know that VAERS is not what it should be.Please do not let this happen to your child.

Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. 

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Episodes: My Life as I See It by Blaze Ginsberg, Young Adult with Autism

Episodes Managing Editor's Note: You'll be hearing this from me a few times over the next year, PRE-ORDERS ARE IMPORTANT TO AN AUTHOR. So please, consider pre-ordering this new book (details below)  From the publisher: "Episodes is a memoir like no other. Debut writer, Blaze Ginsberg, offers a unique perspective on his life as a highly-functioning autistic 21 year old. Inspired by the format of the Internet Movie Database, Blaze organizes his life events as a collection of episodes. Some episodes are still running, some are in syndication, and some have sadly come to an end. With an innovative style and approach that is all its own, EPISODES reinvents the traditional memoir; and it will inspire young readers to see the world as they've never seen it before."

By Chantal Sicile-Kira

Episodes: My Life as I See It
 
I love this book.  Disclaimer: I have known  Blaze Ginsberg for many years. In fact, he used to ride the special education school bus with my son, Jeremy. Blaze has always had a special place in my heart because of his  unique personality, and because of my friendship with his mom, best-selling author Debra Ginsberg, (she chronicled  Blaze’s early years in Raising Blaze). Debra and I used to meet once a week for coffee and discuss our trials and tribulations about our mutual ongoing struggles with the  school district.  Now we get together and discuss our trials and tribulations about our mutual ongoing struggles with life as a parent of a young adult on the spectrum.

Continue reading "Episodes: My Life as I See It by Blaze Ginsberg, Young Adult with Autism" »

Autism Experts Only Seem to Know "What Doesn't Work"

Non nein By Anne Dachel

Many of us in the autism community marvel at the fact that medical experts can tell us nothing of significance about autism.  They spend most of their time in denial.  They don't know if the rate is really increasing.  They don't know what causes it.  They aren't sure how to effectively treat it.  They admit there is no known cure.  And no one has an idea how to prevent it.  I can't think of any other serious health problem affecting as many children as autism does about which so little is known.  The fact that hundreds of thousands of children now have this once rare disorder should make autism a national health care emergency.  We should be scrambling for answers, but we're not.
 
Being clueless hasn't stopped authorities from denouncing those who link vaccines and autism or those using biomedical therapies to recover kids.  Last month two interesting studies, one in the U.S. and one in Britain, were released simultaneously.  Incredibly, they both had the same findings: KIDS WITH AUTISM HAVE NO MORE GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS THAN TYPICALLY DEVELOPING CHILDREN DO.   
 
The journal Pediatrics had the story, Incidence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children With Autism: A Population-Based Study which reported on a study from the Mayo Clinic:
(HERE)

"No significant associations were found between autism case status and overall incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms or any other gastrointestinal symptom category.

Continue reading "Autism Experts Only Seem to Know "What Doesn't Work"" »

VoiceAmerica on Restraint and Seclusion of Special Ed Students

Handcuff Autism One: A Conversation of Hope
Tuesday, August 25, 12:00 noon Eastern Time
Host: Teri Arranga on the VoiceAmerica Health & Wellness Channel HERE.

Who will teach our children?  From alphabets to abuse, with Dr. Roy Leonardi and Lori McIlwain.

On July 7, we talked with Lori McIlwain of the National Autism Association about restraint and seclusion of special ed students in schools.  An NAA release cited that, in May of 2009, a government report listed 19 state governments that have yet to regulate the practices of restraint and seclusion in schools.  The report also cited multiple cases of improper restraint and seclusion resulting in death, injury, and emotional trauma of children with varying disabilities.  Lori returns with Dr. Roy Leonardi, Assistant Professor in the School of Education & Professional Studies, Department of Special Education, at Central Connecticut State University.  How can we protect our children?  How can we teach our teachers well?

Please see also www.nationalautismassociation.org/abuse.php

Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAFScott Laster is our commenter of the week on the  When Vaccine Development is the Family Business post by Dan and Mark.

At the NAA Conference in Atlanta in Nov 2007, two items stood out to me about Tom Insel's presentation:  1) his comment at the beginning of his presentation that "what we really need is a vaccine for autism" and 2) his strident defense of the Hib vaccine (he asked the audience to raise hands if they'd seen a child die of Hib). 

I chalked the 'vaccine for autism' statement up to an adherence to the traditional orthodoxy of public health officials, but was puzzled by the stridency in which he defended the Hib vaccine.  It seemed to me to go far beyond the standard public health viewpoint ... now it makes sense what was driving this in the background. 

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. 

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week" »

Action Alert: Reminder - Comments Due Today on IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Research

Action alert2 Take Action Today: The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is requesting public comment on year two of the strategic plan for autism research and budget.  The annually updated plan is the heart of the Combating Autism Act and was designed to improve transparency, accountability, and the expansion of research aimed at finding the cause (so that new cases could be prevented) and effective treatments for autism. 

The request for information can be found HERE.  The web-based form for comments can be found HERE.  The form has space for input on six separate questions.  Question 3 relates to cause, and question 4 relates to treatment.  The current version of the plan can be found here HERE.

The most important areas for comment on questions 3 and 4 are that these areas are dramatically under-funded, especially on the question of environmental cause.  Although there is a strong consensus in the scientific literature that autism is caused by environmental triggers in genetically susceptible individuals, most of the “cause” money is devote to searching for the elusive “autism gene” and not for the environmental triggers that might actually lead to prevention.

Continue reading "Action Alert: Reminder - Comments Due Today on IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Research" »

Final Day to Comment on IACC Shortcomings

Iacc REVISION: There's a webform to use. Please click HERE, scroll down to "continue" and you'll get the form.  The webform has 6 questions - in question 3, "What caused this to happen and can this be prevented?" you can ask to have the vax/unvax study returned to the docket, for instance.

Tomorrow is the final day to provide public comment on the proceedings of the IACC. Let them know what you think of the progress and staffing of this committee.

The Angel in the Engine: Reports of Restraint, Seclusion and “Special Treatment” in Special Ed

Circle-timev3 Managing Editor's Note:  Click to enlarge and read the photo, an ad from our sponsor NAA. This is a thoughtful, two part post by Adriana Gamondes. Last week we read of a young man with autism who had bleach thrown in his eyes for a toileting accident. As the numbers of student with autism grows (1 in 38 boys?) and the adult population soars, what can we expect for our loved ones?  The post follows the poem. Grab a coffee, spend some time with this one and share it with friends, family and educators, won't you?

Special Ed—Part 1

By Adriana Gamondes

The Angel in the Engine

It starts with just a little tap
A little jolt
A little rap
They swore the thing was stripped for scrap
But wound in weeds it lay in wait
The angel in the engine
Is whispering your name
And warns you of forgotten freight
 
It starts with just a little cry
Anesthetized
It barely breathes
Gears grind with such a distant grief
Then bear down at the speed of crime
The angel in the engine
Is whispering your name
And tells you it will run on time

It starts with just a little mark
Just for the charts
If memory serves (they like it, see)
But memory fails (then so do we)
It’s only rust on every rail
And loving hands to help them sleep
The angel in the engine
Is whispering your name
And tells you how they spit their teeth

Continue reading "The Angel in the Engine: Reports of Restraint, Seclusion and “Special Treatment” in Special Ed " »

Live Webinar from "Rethink Autism" on At Home ABA Programming

Rethink autism Many biomed families also use ABA for their children. Rethink Autism offers a web-based platform for at home ABA. WPIX TV's Jim Watkins (who has a son with autism),  (HERE) Ch. 11 in NYC says: “In a small office in midtown Manhattan, a revolution is taking place in the field of autism education.” 
 
Live Webinar: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Registration is required @ HERE.

Participants in this Live Webinar will learn how they can:

•Dramatically reduce the costs of your autism education program
•Start and manage an evidence-based approach to autism
•Monitor outcomes for students with autism

The mission of rethink autism is offering parents and professionals immediate access to effective and affordable Applied Behavior Analysis-based treatment tools for the growing population affected by autism spectrum disorders.  Our web-based platform includes a comprehensive curriculum that can be linked to your state standards, hundreds of dynamic instructional videos of teaching interactions, step-by-step training modules, and progress tracking features to measure student outcomes.  Our Senior Clinical Advisor, Dr. Bridget Taylor, personally reviews each of the lesson and training videos accompanying our curriculum, ensuring clinical integrity and the portrayal of research-based teaching strategies.  We have also engaged well-respected leaders in the field of autism to guide our future development through the Scientific Advisory Board (see full list HERE).

You can also check out a recent piece that aired on CBS News about Rethink Autism: HERE.



 

Where Does the Money Go?

Nice work if you can get it. Aw, go ahead and click it. Hint, it's a tax form.

Galen Kirkland, NY State Division of Human Rights, on Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice_Kennedy_Shriver By Galen D. Kirkland, Commissioner, New York Division of Human Rights

The world lost one of the great champions of human rights with the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Born to privilege, she focused her life on the aspirations and dignity of those less fortunate. She was a woman who changed the world for the better.

In 1960 a woman told Mrs. Shriver that she couldn’t find a summer camp for her developmentally disabled—what was then called “retarded”—child. Regular camps wouldn’t take such a child.

“Enough,” Eunice said.

And with that word, she changed the world. Two years later she opened Timberland, her family farm in Maryland to 50 of these challenged children. She paired them with 50 high school students, including her son, Tim. Skeptics, and even many of the counselors, said she was wasting her time, these children weren’t teachable, they said.  

The world was wrong and Mrs. Shriver was right: The children thrived: they played ball, they rode horses they swam and had fun.

Continue reading "Galen Kirkland, NY State Division of Human Rights, on Eunice Kennedy Shriver" »

Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAFRichard is our commenter of the week on David Kirby's Autism in 1 in 100 post. Richard, send me an email HERE with your size and mailing address please. Congrats and thanks for reading AoA.

If 1 in 38 boys were being born blind, do ya think it would cause folks to get serious about what the cause is ?

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us if you want an adult M, L or XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. 

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week" »

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