Current Affairs Feed

Local Oklahoma City Hospital Refuses to Treat Autistic Man Having Seizures

Denied stamp Is it legal for a hospital to turn away a patient with autism saying it's not a condition they treat? How about seizures? The article does not name the hospital. Odd. KFOR News:

CITY -- A metro man is behind bars tonight accused of assaulting a police officer. Stephen Puckett, 28, suffers from autism as well as chronic seizures. After suffering seizures at home over the weekend, emergency crews transported Puckett to a local hospital. However, because of his autistic condition the hospital refused admission.

The local hospital isn't alone; several other hospitals around the state also refused to admit Puckett.

During his time at one local hospital, Puckett kicked a security guard leading to his felony assault charge.

Puckett's mother is frustrated by the inability to get her son proper medical care.

"I'm having problems with the fact, why does he have to be put in jail when he could have been treated in the hospital?" wonders Mary Puckett.

A spokesman at that hospital would only confirm there are certain illnesses and conditions they don't have the ability to treat.

Puckett is being held in jail on an $8,000 bond.

Autism Alert: Missing Child Named Nadia Bloom, Winter Springs FL

Found Alive! Tuesday, April 13.

Kim here. The code provided is too wide for our format and I am no techie. I'd rather get the info out "ugly" than wait.  Please click the photo to enlarge and read or go to: HERE for full details on this missing child. Sunday Morning update: Criminal Investigation Launched.

Police have now launched a criminal investigation in the search for a missing 11-year-old girl. Nadia Bloom was last seen Friday afternoon in her Winter Springs neighborhood of Barrington Estates. Right now, police said they do not have any evidence of foul play, but they have started the criminal investigation in case something suspicious turns up.


Pace U. Law School To Host "A Discussion about Autism & Children on the Spectrum"

PACE Click HERE to learn more and to register.


A Discussion about Autism and Children on the Spectrum, Cosponsored with Pace University's School of Education

"Collaboration Among Lawyers, Politicians, Educators, and Advocates: A Discussion about Autism and Children on the Spectrum"

Tuesday, April 14, 2010, 6:00 PM
NYS Judicial Institute
Pace Law School
78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603


This is timely discussion by a panel of experts and stakeholders who will share their perspectives and, hopefully, open a collaborative conversation about autism and children who are on the spectrum.

CLE Credit Information:This program will provide 3.0 transitional/nontransitional CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Please note that CLE credit is also available by viewing the live webcast (the webcast link will be available on the day of on THIS Web page.)

Oakley Sets Sights on Helping TACA

Oakley_taca_shades_1209 Managing Editor's Note: Our sponsor TACA ran a full color insert in the  OC Register for autism action month. Here is the second article. You can see a .pdf of the insert HERE. Check out the ad for the Oakley/TACA sunglasses on our right sidebar. Great gift for Mother's and Father's day!

By Lois Evezich

“Imagine you’re in a crowded room, and you can hear everything around you at the same time,” says Patrick McIlvain. “Cars driving by, conversations on the other side of the room, the clatter of plates or glasses, music in the background.”

All are distractions to an autistic child.

“Trying to carry on a conversation is often too much for autistic children to handle,” McIlvain says. “They actually cover their ears in frustration,” he says. “There’s no filter.”  This issue is just one of many affecting those with autism that keeps them more in their world and less in ours.

McIlvain is vice president of global sports marketing at Oakley, Inc. He and his wife, Stephanie, have a 10-year-old son who is autistic.

“We hit bottom when we first heard the diagnosis when my son was a year and a half,” McIlvain says. “We were spinning, trying different things, and scouring the Internet for help. “Then we found ‘Talk About Curing Autism,’ a support group for families with an autistic child. TACA gave us direction. We were wandering through the wilderness, and now there’s a path.”

McIlvain got involved and is now on TACA’s board of directors.

 “These children can be recovered,” McIlvain says. “The team at TACA is dedicated to that.”

Last month, Oakley announced its partnership with the launch of special edition TACA sunglasses which come in both a women’s style and a men’s style and feature a customized “puzzle” piece logo – often associated with autism awareness. Each sale of these special sunglasses means $20 from Oakley and its customers directly support families affected by autism.

Oakley may be best known for its sunglasses, but the company’s passion for innovation and constant improvement is channeled into its community outreach efforts to help those who defy their own limits. The company has many strong partnerships with non-profit organizations including, One Sight, the Young Survival Coalition for Breast Cancer and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, to which it has contributed over $4 million.

Continue reading "Oakley Sets Sights on Helping TACA" »

Autism File Magazine On Classic and Regressive Autism

Mustang Managing Editor's Note: We have permission from our friends at Autism File to run this thoughtful article by Talk About Curing Autism Rebecca Estepp.

By Rebecca Estepp

In June of 2008, I had the pleasure of going to lunch with an amazing autism advocate, Karen Driscoll. Although I am sure Karen doesn’t know it, this lunch would forever change the way I viewed autism. 

Karen and I had been working on passing federal legislation to get Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy covered for military families under Tricare, the United States military’s health insurance plan.  Like many of my relationships in autism advocacy, I knew Karen virtually that is only through email, phone, and text messages. Meeting her face-to-face was a pleasure. And it was under the best circumstances for advocates like Karen and I, we were lobbying together on Capitol Hill.

I had been to Capitol Hill many times prior to advocate for a safer vaccine program.  I had always thought I did a fairly good job on getting my points across at these meetings. The staffers never glazed over in boredom and my appointments typically lasted well over an hour even though I had been warned that I had fifteen minutes to deliver my message.  So I considered my lobbying to be at least somewhat successful.

However on this day, I was with Karen and she is a professional. I recognized it immediately when we walked in the first Congressman’s office and sat down. Karen pulled out a beautiful wire bound booklet from her brief case. This booklet contained her presentation on why ABA therapy should be covered by Tricare.  It incorporated every point she wanted to make. Karen’s booklet even had tabs that included: stories and photos from families that had been denied ABA, handouts on why ABA is effective, and ABA endorsements from every branch of the military. Her delivery was eloquent and polished. I was very impressed.

After our morning meetings we decided that Mexican food was in order. Karen and I went to a restaurant adjacent to the Hill and sat down to eat. It was at this time that Karen and I got to know each other better. We quickly realized that we had a lot in common. Not only are our husbands both Marines but they flew the same aircraft and were stationed at the same base in the 1990s. Karen and I are both from Southern California and our first sons (the sons with autism) were born the same year. I asked Karen a question I always ask my autism advocate friends, “At what age did your son regress and which vaccine do you think harmed him?” Karen caught me off guard when she answered, “My son showed delays from the beginning and I am not sure if a vaccine harmed him.” This is when I heard that scratching record needle sound in my brain. I thought to myself, “What? You mean my amazing new autism friend might not be a fellow ‘bio-medical treatments help and vaccines harmed my child compatriot’?” How could this be? I knew Karen to be intelligent, poised, rational and full of integrity.

I rode home on the train that afternoon with Karen’s words echoing through my head, “My son showed delays from the beginning.”  Those words shook the beliefs I had about the causation of autism.  Until that day, I really believed that parents who thought their children were different from birth did not want to consider that autism was environmental and therefore did not have to happen. I believed these parents to be burying their heads in the sand instead of looking at a horrible truth that I had accepted years and years ago. But I knew Karen was brave; she wouldn’t have buried her head in the sand. So I started thinking about the things I knew to be true regarding my son Eric’s experience with autism. I made a short mental list of these things.

1. Eric experienced a vaccine reaction, after that reaction he was constantly ill and subsequently became developmentally delayed. 
2. Eric was diagnosed with autism at age two. 
3. Defeat Autism Now (DAN) doctors provided Eric with biomedical treatment and were able to move him out of a state of constant illness and (I think) pain back to a happier and healthier child.

Obviously, Karen had a different experience. How could that be? Karen and I had so many similarities, how could our sons with the same disability have such a different experience in the development of their autistic symptoms?

Then it hit me. We were both telling the truth.

Continue reading "Autism File Magazine On Classic and Regressive Autism" »

Formal iPetition Asking President Obama to Rescind Ari Ne'eman Nomination to Council on Disabilities

No thank you Please click iPetitions HERE to send your message in an instant, then forward the petition to your lists, family and concerned friends. Thank you.

Dear President Obama:

We the undersigned oppose the nomination of Ari Ne'eman to the National Council on Disability. Although we salute your effort to include a person with an autism spectrum disorder on the council, the choice of Mr. Ne'eman is wrong for the autism community and wrong for our country.

1) We are a nation in the throes of an autism epidemic, with 1 in 110 afflicted and hundreds of thousands of families struggling to confront the enormous financial and emotional hardships of this disorder. It is an insult to our community and to the people of this nation who will bear the enormous costs of millions of children and adults with autism that a 22-year-old student has been nominated to this position. Mr. President, how can you praise this nominee's "depth of experience" when he has not held a job, earned a degree or experienced life after college?

2) Mr. Ne'eman vehemently opposes curing autism, calling cure "offensive." However, many individuals who would benefit from a cure are incapable of disagreeing with him. Mr. President, will your appointees also recommend ending the search for cures for childhood cancer and diabetes? Or just autism? Mr. Ne'eman opposes the mission of the country's leading autism organization, Autism Speaks, which supports efforts to prevent and cure autism. He also opposes the depiction of autism as a crisis and does not address the very significant needs of the large population of individuals who are profoundly disabled by autism.

Continue reading "Formal iPetition Asking President Obama to Rescind Ari Ne'eman Nomination to Council on Disabilities" »

Age of Autism Contest: 41 Things To Know About Autism by Chantal Sicile-Kira

41 thingsCongrats to Yesim Söderlund  who won a copy of Chantal Sicile-Kira'snew book, 41 Things to Know About Autism.  Order a copy for just $9.99 at AMAZON.

Chantal says, " I wrote this book because parents often write to me and ask, "Is there a book I can give to my mother-in-law or my brother or my neighbor that explains autism in simple terms - that answers the questions people ask : "I'm a grandparent: what can I do to help?" "Why does your child always carry a green plastic snake?" "Why can't he look me in the eye?" "What are the emotional and financial effects on the family?"

I wanted to get out something to help people for Autism Awareness month - so people who wanted to could have a small book to hand out!"

About the book: “A wonderful first introduction to autism for parents, teachers, relatives, and neighbors of a child on the autism spectrum.”   -  Temple Grandin, PhD

Chantal Sicile-Kira provides a clear, instructive explanation of autism. If you know someone with autism and would benefit from a quick, straightforward explanation of the condition, this book is for you. 41 Things explores questions such as: What are the causes of autism? Can vaccines cause autism? How can I recognize the symptoms of autism? What are the emotional effects of autism on the family? Why do children and teens with autism act the way they do?

Chantal Sicile-Kira is an autism advocate and award-winning author of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, and Autism Life Skills. Sicile-Kira lives in California with her family, who has been featured in the MTV documentary True Life series and the Newsweek cover story Growing Up with Autism.

Spa Night at Autism One Courtesy of Wines for Autism

Spa night Christine Roffi, a stay-at-home mom directly affected by autism and founder of Wines for Autism , will be relaxing and retoxing your nervous system with her “Tough Day Chardonnay” from Sonoma Valley at Autism One in May.

Christine tells us a little bit about the wine . . . .

"The bottling occurred at one of the greatest estates in Carneros, tweaking Sonoma Carneros Chardonnay fruit with a touch of Muscat for more accessibility . . . . By the February release we had a Chardonnay exhibiting pristine varietal fruit proudly framed in Sonoma Carneros terroir, accessible to a rank beginner while providing value to the most jaded connoisseur."  (AO note:  Ooh la la.)

Also, meet Christine in the exhibition hall to discover some of her other “Autism Wines.”  (She even has organic wines for those who do not want to retox too much.)

Join us Friday evening, May 28, beginning at 7:30 pm for flickering candles, clicking glasses, refreshments, our own team of Retoxicologists ready to serve you, and some special treats designed to relax, refresh . . . and refill.  There will be mini-express facials, mini-chair massages, Thai yoga therapy/massage, and hand paraffin.

Natural health author, speaker, and founder of, as well as author of the book Mind Your Own Wellness, Alex Ong specializes in helping people reduce stress, increase energy and lose weight NATURALLY.  His passion and mission to help others comes from his own battle with stress, obesity, poor health and even the catastrophic personal event of losing his father to heart failure stemming from high cholesterol. As a special feature of Spa Night, Alex will present "Mind Your Own Wellness - How To Reduce Stress Naturally."

You are welcome to mingle throughout the evening.  Space is limited; mini-spa sessions will be held in half-hour increments.  Please RSVP to
See you in Chicago!  Cheers!


TACA in the OC Register: An Autism Nonprofit’s Call for Action

Oc reg Our sponsor TACA has run a multi-page insert in the OC Register (Orange County, California, USA) to help educate readers during Autism Action Month. Below is the first story in the insert. We'll run the other stories this month. Click HERE to see the beautiful, full color insert in .pdf format.

An Autism Nonprofit’s Call for Action

By Lois Evezich

Imagine if you woke up one day and found the child you knew yesterday had faded away. magine that your child’s body was still there but everything that made them who they were was gone. No smile, no laugh, no acknowledgement that you existed, just a blank stare and a diaper full of diarrhea multiple times a day. That’s exactly what happened to the Ackerman family.

“It’s like Jeff disappeared,” said Lisa Ackerman. “In June of 1998, he was a typical 15-month-old boy but then one day he was gone.”

When the Ackermans went to look for answers they received a diagnosis of autism and were told there was nothing they could do. One doctor told them that they would need to look for an institution to care for their son when he was older as he would never improve.

Hit hard by this diagnosis, Lisa and her husband, Glen, found no reassurance nor direction from doctors or other professionals. The support groups that they found offered no real help. They could find no one to answer their questions. It was this lack of resources that led to their founding of the non-profit organization, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

The Ackermans refused to give up on their son. The boy who had developed normally and met all his developmental milestones suddenly had regressed. He lost language and social skills. He no longer wanted to be held or touched. He stopped pointing or waving. Cold and similar sensations that should cause pain didn’t bother him. His sleep patterns changed and he often had trouble sleeping more than a few hours at a time. His health also deteriorated along with his behavior and cognitive skills.

“We spent hours and hours online,” Lisa says. One parent would take care of Jeff while the other was at the computer until the early morning hours, searching for answers. The Ackermans read books, went to conferences and sought out professionals in the field from around the country.

Soon, the Ackermans found that they had to address issues regarding insurance, education, abandonment by friends, lack of understanding from family, lack of sleep, financial concerns, and marital stress. It seemed there was no place and no one to turn to for answers or support. However, they met many other families who shared the same experiences and were also looking for answers and support. There were also families who reported seeing autistic symptoms decrease and sleep patterns normalize after specific health related issues, outside the autism diagnosis, were addressed.

It took two years to gain any traction, but as the Ackermans gained knowledge, Jeff started to get better.

“Our biggest realization in this process was that the autism world was highly fractured,” Lisa said. “There was no strong parent community and, most like us, were being told the same thing ‘there is little you can do.’” The Ackermans knew that was not true and so the mission began: Families with autism helping families with autism. It felt right and it became their daily guide.

Continue reading "TACA in the OC Register: An Autism Nonprofit’s Call for Action " »

Rodney Peete Shares His Son's Vaccine Injury Story in "Not My Boy!" from Hyperion Books

Rodney peet Today is the first day of Autism Action month. Rodney Peete, former NFL quarterback, recounts the day he and his wife Holly were drafted into autism as a result of his son's vaccine injury in Not My Boy! A Father, a Son and One Family's Journey with Autism, his new book from Hyperion. You can purchase a copy HERE. The chapter excerpt ran on MSNBC books, part of of the channel in which Dr. Nancy "There is no vaccine controversy!" Snyderman apparently doesn't interfere.

Holly Robinson Peete is a vocal advocate for her son and all of our children. So is Rodney. We thank them both.

Chapter Two: The Wake Up Call

A few months before they hit that two-year mark, Holly took the twins in for a checkup with our pediatrician. They’d had ear infections and were both coming off a course of antibiotics. Holly asked the doctor if he would delay their next round of immunizations because she thought loading them up with that much medicine while they were still a bit weak from the antibiotics might be too much for their little bodies. She believes the doctor, a very old-school, by-the-book pediatrician, brushed off her concerns as those of an overly cautious first-time mom. He said he’d immunized hundreds of children and never had any such problems.

This didn’t sit right with Holly. Something about this disturbed what she calls her “mommy gut,” an instinct that moms have that goes beyond what professionals say. She asked him if there was any way he could break up the measles/mumps/rubella vaccination so that they would not have to get such a potent cocktail all at once. The doctor said that that couldn’t be done. Besides, the nurse said, the twins were behind in their immunizations. Part of the purpose of this visit was to get them all caught up.

Holly got even more concerned when she found out that they might be receiving more than just the MMR vaccine. She wanted to know what was in the shots and how many of them there would be. She remembers the nurse looked at her like she was psycho mommy, and told her to relax while she took R.J. in to be weighed.

Holly was sitting in another examining room holding on to Ryan, when she heard R.J. screaming, “No! Mommy!” She ran to R.J. and saw that the nurse had given him the MMR plus the second hepatitis B and the polio vaccines. The nurse said that it usually was easier with the parents out of the room.

Maybe it was easier for the nurse, but for the next eight years, nothing about R.J. would be easy for our family.

At home that night, R.J. had a terrible fever and started shaking violently, just short of something like a seizure. Holly called the pediatrician to ask him what could have caused this. Should we take R.J. to the hospital? The doctor was unruffled and told us that it was not a reaction to the shots. He recommended that we give R.J. some Tylenol to help him with the fever and he promised that R.J. would be fine. R.J. had a terrible reaction to the Tylenol and we rushed him to the emergency room late that night. We believe he went into some kind of toxic overload shock. After that, we didn’t hear the words “Mommy” or “No” for about four years.

Continue reading "Rodney Peete Shares His Son's Vaccine Injury Story in "Not My Boy!" from Hyperion Books" »

Cocktail Party Honoring Bob Krakow, John Gilmore and Mary Coyle Benefits EBCALA Center

Red rsvp
Please Join Us For
 A Cocktail Reception 
To benefit

The Elizabeth Birt Center for
Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA)
An AutismOne Initiative
~Serving the legal needs of the autism community~

Monday, May 3, 2010
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Presentation begins at 7:15 p.m.
Cosmopolitan Club
122 East 66th Street (near Lexington Ave.)
Please reserve your space by April 20th

Honoring Mary Coyle, 
John Gilmore and Robert Krakow

For their years of service and dedication
to the Autism community
$150 minimum donation*
*Donations are tax deductible less $50 per reception ticket

To learn more about the work of EBCALA, please visit HERE 
Host Committee:  Kevin Barry, Lisa Colin, Louis Conte, Daniele Gerard,
Louise Habakus, Jimmie and James Holland, Mary Holland,
David Kirby, Kim Mack-Rosenberg, Lisa Rudley,
Sabeeha and Khalid Rehman and Katie Weisman

Autism and Gut Issues: But Dr. Nancy Said There's No Connection!

Wrong-Answer By Anne Dachel

In Aug. 2009, I wrote the story, Autism Experts Only Seem to Know "What Doesn't Work" .
That was about the news coming out at the time about a Mayo Clinic study on gastrointestinal problems in autistic children.  Contrary to what many parents were dealing with, experts couldn't find any significant gut issues in autistic children.
At the time, a lot of top news sources made up a chorus all saying the same thing:
It's hard to challenge sources like Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York Times, WebMD, and NBC's the Today Show.
I remember Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the Today Show telling us: 

"The findings are important because they really dismiss that link between the gut and these neurological problems that we see in autism.  And primarily they were looking for problems like mal-absorption and inflammation. These findings are very conclusive: There is no link between illness in the gut and the signs and symptoms we see in autism."
And in Oct. 2009, WIRED ran the story, An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All .  In an amazingly one-sided article, Amy Wallace raised Dr. Paul Offit to new heights of expertise and vilified anyone daring to challenge him, all the while blindly ignoring the disaster called autism:

"In August, for example, Pediatrics published an investigation of a popular hypothesis that children with autism have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal problems, which some allege are caused by injected viruses traveling to the intestines. Jenny McCarthy's foundation posits that autism stems from these bacteria, as well as heavy metals and live viruses present in some vaccines. Healing your child, therefore, is a matter of clearing out the 'environmental toxins' with, among other things, special diets. The Pediatrics paper found that while autistic kids suffered more from constipation, the cause was likely behavioral, not organic; there was no significant association between autism and GI symptoms. Moreover, gluten- and dairy-free diets did not appear to improve autism and sometimes caused nutritional deficiencies. "

Suddenly however, it seems the medical/scientific community hasn't closed the door on the possibility of a relationship between GI problems and autism


Continue reading "Autism and Gut Issues: But Dr. Nancy Said There's No Connection!" »

Autism and the Gut: Houston Study

Digest3 By Teresa Conrick

There's a new autism study coming out and hold on ---- it's about the gut.  Now didn't we just have articles, studies, and news reports telling us that there is no connection to GI issues and autism?- ie - Pediatrics, MedPageToday, and WebMD Brain Autism News.

Here is a report of a different study  (ABC KTRK Houston) and it should make us all wonder how it's possible that our FDA is fast tracking a medication for autism and its related GI connection when there has been a constant denial of our kids having chronic, painful gastrointestinal issues:

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Doctors have suspected a link between autism and digestive problems for years. Now Houston researchers are testing a drug with such potential, that the Food and Drug Administration has fast-tracked it. Scientists believe it may improve autistic behaviors.

A month ago, her mother says five-year-old Zoe wouldn't look you in the eye. Zoe, who has autism, didn't talk much, and rarely interacted others. "Zoe is so different now. She actually comes up and talks to me, says look at this look at that, she never used to do that," said Meredith Langford.

Dr. Deborah Pearson also sees changes in Zoe too since she began taking an experimental medicine in a University of Texas-Houston study on autism. "We don't know if she's on placebo or the study medication, but it's a very interesting difference from the little one we saw just a month ago," said Dr. Pearson.

Zoe takes the study medication mixed in her food. It helps her digest protein. Doctors believe many children with autism can't digest protein, which would cause them to lack amino acids that are critical in producing neurotransmitters for the brain. They believe resolving the digestion problem may help the autism.

Continue reading "Autism and the Gut: Houston Study" »

On Being Compared to Hitler and the Nazi Movement

No_pointless_jokes_bumper_sticker-p128607186943544216trl0_400 By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

You know, I'm more often mistaken for being Jewish than I am for being a Nazi.  Even my wife (whose family is half-Jewish) thought for certain I was Jewish when she first met me.

But according to a YouTube video in which the movie Downfall has been given new subtitles so that Hitler becomes J.B. Handley ranting about vaccines and autism, I'm one of the few loyal Nazis that Hitler/Handley wants remaining with him in the bunker.  The others are Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, and Kim Stagliano.  I just can't figure out, though, which Nazi officer the lovely Kim is supposed to be.  Jenny McCarthy is Eva Braun and Dr. Kartzinel is commanding a tank division threatening the bunker.  (Yeah, I don't understand that part, either.)  This gem posted on Heraldblog's YouTube account (aka Autism News Beat, aka Ken Reibel) is so awful that I couldn't stop laughing after watching it.  It's HERE.

After viewing it though I couldn't help but ask a simple question.  With more than a million children with autism, is that the best you've got?

No answers about what causes autism beyond looking for some gene that you haven't been able to identify yet, even though the human genome was mapped years ago?

Oh, and besides, if it is a genetic problem, why hasn't this always been with us?  You think it has?  Then why did Dr. Leo Kanner in his 1943 study claim it was unlike anything he or any of his colleagues had ever seen?  Why when the movie Rainman came out in 1988 were pediatricians in medical school told they might go through an entire career without ever seeing an autistic child?  How did something that was 1 in 10,000 twenty-five years ago become 100 in 10,000 today? 

Maybe the increase from 10 to 36 vaccines before the age of six, with the majority of those administered in the first six months of life?

Continue reading "On Being Compared to Hitler and the Nazi Movement " »

What Can Be Done to Prevent Autism Now?

Scale By Maureen H. McDonnell, RN

Although the entire mystery of what has caused the autism epidemic has not yet been solved, based on emerging science and parents reporting what specific treatment have improved (or in some cases recovered) their children, we now have some strong clues regarding autism prevention and treatment. 
Causation theories range from: it must be due to better diagnosis, (rather than a real increase), to maternal age at the time of conception to the more likely scenario suggesting genetic predispositions plus environmental factors (including an explosive increase in the number of vaccines given before the age of 5) are to blame.  The problem is, while we wait as the experts debate these theories, more and more children are being negatively impacted by this condition.  In the meantime, moms of affected children who want to get pregnant with another child and women who have never conceived ask what can be done to increase the chances of having a healthy baby. Instead of waiting for new guidelines or official policy changes to be issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the American Academy of Pediatrics, savvy individuals are examining the published scientific research as well as listening to parents who have improved their children’s condition and coming up with new strategies for carrying, birthing, and raising healthier children.  

During the last decade, as the debate has raged regarding the causes of autism, one organization: the Autism Research Institute has been gathering experts from around the world to brainstorm and conduct research on the underlying metabolic dysfunctions associated with autism as well as safe and effective interventions to treat this condition. 

Dr. Bernie Rimland, the founder of the Autism Research Institute and cofounder of DAN!” instilled in this group a sense of urgency to focus on solutions that would improve the lives of children now (as opposed to research that would only have relevance for future generations.)   As a result of Dr. Rimland’s  vision, these meetings, subsequent research,  clinical  application and parents following through with what is now termed the “biomedical approach”, many children previously diagnosed on the spectrum have improved and in some instances recovered from autism.

Continue reading "What Can Be Done to Prevent Autism Now? " »

Pentimento: A New Magazine for the Disability Community, You're Invited!

JoinUs Managing Editor's Note: From our friends at NAA:

NAA is launching a new literary magazine for the disabilty community - Pentimento.
The magazine cover will feature artwork by a disabled child or young adult.  Each issue will include  a section devoted to writing by readers on various topics, an unedited first-person perspective piece, essays, poetry, art, photographs and disability-related quotes.
Submissions may be by a disabled individual or an individual who is part of the community such as a family member, educator, therapist, etc.  Submissions by an individual who is not disabled but part of the community must have a disability-related theme.
We are seeking artwork by a child or young adult for the cover and writing by a child or young adult for a section titled "Uncut".  The first two topics for writing by readers are "Taking A Chance" and "Hope".  Submissions can be mailed or emailed via links on the website. 
Please check out the website at  and complete the form to receive the first issue free.
If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me directly at (Lori)

Age of Autism Comment of the Week: 3/27

T-shirt small front

Our commenter of the week is Gatagorra on Olmsted on Autism: Schrodinger's CatSteve is having trouble with absurdity. If Schrodinger's thought experiment is so well known as he says, then he must know it was meant to illustrate something ridiculous about quantum mechanics. Reductio ad absurdum. To the world outside the sealed cat box, the cat is both alive and dead. The special masters are in the world outside the sealed autism box. To them-- who cannot and will not look inside-- the children are both regressive and nonregressive and every state in between because something either did or did not happen inside the box according to the diabbolical experiment of vaccines. They could be anything... bladditty bla bla... type of worsening... woof woof tweet...either exist or do not!

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 on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week: 3/27" »

Ask Senator John McCain to Support a LawTo Protect Disabled Children

Sarah_palin7320 An Important Alert From our friends at the National Autism Association. Senator McCain, please help us to protect our children from harmful restraint and seclusion. The bill has bi-partisan support in the House. Your running mate's toddler faces this problem when he goes to school. We ask you to help protect him, and all of our children. Please. Thank you.



PLEASE TAKE TWO MINUTES TO HELP KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE! Responding is quick and easy! Go the the NAA Action Center!

Dear Parents,

Your help is needed with S.2860, the Preventing Harmful Restraint & Seclusion In Schools Act, introduced by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT). The House version of the bill, which aims to prevent and end dangerous restraint and seclusion in schools, passed in early March thanks to sponsors Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Now we need a co-sponsor on the Republican side to help the senate version pass. WILL YOU HELP? IT ONLY TAKES A FEW CLICKS.

Click HERE to write Senator John McCain and ask him to CO-SPONSOR S.2860, the Preventing Harmful Restraint & Seclusion In Schools Act


Currently NO FEDERAL LAWS EXIST TO PREVENT DANGEROUS RESTRAINT AND SECLUSION IN SCHOOLS. Nineteen States have NO REGULATIONS. Children in special-ed classrooms have been abused and killed due to improper and abusive restraint and seclusion methods. This is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE and should not be left up to States alone.

Responding is quick and easy! Go the the NAA Action Center!

A Chance to Let Your Voice Be Heard Take the Autism Survey by March 30, 2010

Beth clay By Beth Clay

I am a woman of strong opinions, but it is not my opinion that I want to write about when talking about autism during Autism Awareness month.  It is yours – the individuals and families living with autism and the educators and health professionals working in the community.  This is why I have posted a short online survey where you can discuss how you feel about the current state of research for autism HERE.

It will remain open until March 30, 2010 at 11:00 pm.

A large response from the community will give the data more power.  So, please take the survey and get everyone you know to take it as well. 

What is My Connection to Autism? It has been a few years, so there may be some who do not know my connection to the autism community, since I am not a parent of a child with autism.  In fact, it is hard to believe that it has now been 11 years since I first became involved in the community through my service with Congressman Dan Burton leading the health care oversight investigations on the House Committee on Government Reform.  The four years that would follow were full of information gathering, hearings, reports, interviews, conferences and getting to know thousands of families living with autism. We were the first on Capitol Hill to say there was an epidemic rise in autism rates and helped increase the NIH research funding five-fold. At the time there was no Autism Speaks, or Autism One, National Autism Association or Age of Autism.  Unlocking Autism and SafeMinds had just been formed.  Since entering the private sector, I have continued to be involved with the community through various activities both as a paid consultant and a volunteer.  I am doing this survey as an independent activity and not as a representative or consultant to any organization. 

I have kept the survey short, but also included a comment section, so you will truly have a chance to have your voice heard.  I look forward to sharing the results with you.  Thank you.


Commentary on Insel's JAMA Commentary Defending Psychiatrists Under Probe

Madhatter Tom Insel We've written several posts involving Dr. Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health including:

Senator Harkin Takes On Tom Insel at Autism Appropriations Meeting Dr. Insel and the Trick Question About Vaccines
Olmsted on Autism: Why Insel Must Go -- Now!
But There's Mercury in the H1N1 Vaccine! Curiouser and Curiouser.

Below is a post from the HC Renewal blog about Dr. Tom Insel, who is well known to the autism community, regarding a letter he had published in JAMA. We thought you'd find it interesting.


JAMA is out today with a commentary by Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Using indirection, Dr. Insel has risen to the defense of seven academic psychiatrists on whom an ethical searchlight has been trained for the past several years by Senator Grassley and others. With ludicrous optimism and a series of straw man discussions, Dr. Insel makes the case that things are not really as bad as they seemed to be or, if they were, then other specialty physicians were doing much the same things. Dr. Insel needs to recalibrate his ethical compass.

Why is an NIH Institute Director issuing this apologia for the corruption of academic psychiatry? Does he not have better things to do, such as ensuring that longstanding NIH regulations on conflict of interest are enforced? Why does an NIH Institute Director presume to speak for academic psychiatry? Where are the leaders of the major professional and scientific organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Psychiatrists, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the Society of Biological Psychiatry? Why are they not stepping up publicly to the plate? Perhaps they are confounded by the awkward fact that some of the seven individuals are current and past presidents of these very organizations. Even the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has not sanctioned those of the seven who are Institute members.

Why is an NIH Institute Director downplaying the gravity of the ethical controversies surrounding these compromised individuals like Charles Nemeroff at Emory (now at Miami), and Alan Schatzberg at Stanford? To hear Dr. Insel tell it, all they did was fail to disclose income from pharmaceutical companies. That is not the half of it...

Read the full post at the HC Renewal blog.

Child with Asperger's Selected Student of the Year From Over 800 Competitors

Sally Kirk article By Sally Kirk, author of Hope for the Autism Spectrum

Teachers at a public high school in Virginia singled out Will Kirk as the 9th/10th  grade Student of the Year.  He was chosen from over 800 students, of which 200 attend a specialty center for exceptional math and science students.  This honor is awarded annually to the 9th or 10th grader who “most embodies the traits of responsibility, accountability, respect and honesty.”  But how could someone like Will who - in 4th grade – had an Aspergers diagnosis and required a full-time aide, 5-day-a-week tutor, and 1-on-1 math instruction ever become Student of the Year with no aide, no tutor, and no remedial classes?  His name even shines on the A/B honor roll.  His mother, Sally Kirk, author of “Hope for the Autism Spectrum,” points a grateful finger at the biomedical interventions of Defeat Autism Now!

At the close of Will’s 4th grade year - after a lifetime of extensive conventional treatments and therapies - Will was placed in the care of Defeat Autism Now! doctor Mary Megson MD of Richmond, Virginia.  Will improved dramatically owing to treatment with special diets, vitamin supplements, and chelation to remove high levels of heavy metals found in his body.  Later Will began seeing Defeat Autism Now! doctor Dan Rossignol MD of Melbourne, Florida in hopes of attaining even further gains.  Dr. Rossignol’s willingness to allow phone appointments in between annual in-person visits made it possible to overcome the obstacle of an 800-mile separation.  While in Dr. Rossignol’s care, Will has achieved even greater capabilities as evidenced by his recent award.

Dr. Rossignol, along with Anju Usman MD (another prominent Defeat Autism Now! doctor), is being sued by a patient’s father who is engaged in a bitter divorce and custody battle.  At issue is chelation, the removing of heavy metals from the body.  It is a treatment that has been used for decades in heavy-metal poisoning cases of single, high-dose exposure as well as repeated, low-dose exposures.  Over time thousands of autistic children who were found to carry high levels of heavy metals have been treated with chelation.  Reports from parents and treating physicians have been positive.  In fact the voices of over 26,000 parents tabulated by the Autism Research Institute since 1967 rate chelation as one of the most successful treatments for autism among both conventional and alternative choices.

Continue reading "Child with Asperger's Selected Student of the Year From Over 800 Competitors" »

Age of Autism Comment of the Week 3/20

T-shirt small front

Our commenter of the week is ANON on The Autism Vaccine Controversy Continues.

It is very simple.   If you are worrying about measles coming back and maiming or killing people, then go find out what exactly are the adverse effects of measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, live polio, etc.

While Offit likes to argue that there are fewer antigens then ever before, what he fails to tell you is that is because SOMETHING else is put in to rev up the immune system in order to make the attentuated live virus replicate itself.  What is that?  Aluminum, mercury (thimerosal--the reason the flu virus needs it so they need less "virus.")   IF measles disease can cause encephalopathy, then so can measles vaccine.  This is particularly true when you give three different live viruses (or 4 if you also add varivax) at the same time.  Why can you give less antigen?  Well, because you gave a whopping dose of aluminum and other things that the immune system says should not be present. 

IF you seroconvert, you have the it measles, mumps, rubellas, whatever.  So, if you have the virus, anything that you could have experienced from the live disease CAN be experienced from the vaccine.  No amount of BS or rhetoric can change that simple fact.

 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 on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week 3/20" »

Olmsted on Autism: Boys Failing Due to Short Recess, Feminism - Yeah, That's the Ticket!

Stupid factory By Dan Olmsted

New test scores show boys falling behind girls in reading, dropping out of school more often and getting fewer college degrees. It's true everywhere, across every state. "In some states, the boys are trailing girls by as much as 10 percentage points," ABC News reported HERE last night. What's going on? Well, ABC speculates, boys brains are different. Recess is shorter and boys need to move around. And feminism has created opportunities that might make girls want to try harder.

Puh-LEEZE! This is what happens when the national conversation is as warped as it is right now. The most likely, the simplest explanation for a change this big in this short a period of time is obviously some kind of environmental factor. We have a clue from autism, which affects boys 4 or 5 to 1 and is increasing dramatically. But since we can't get real about what's going on, we end up talking about recess and women's rights. If you want to watch the medical community and the media failing our kids in real time, just tune in.

Palm Beach Post: "Victorious at Doral, Ernie Els Out to conquer the Monster that is Autism"

Ernie els From Liezl and I are private people, but we are also very much in the public eye and we recognise that this gives us a platform to help raise funds and awareness for the causes of Autism and its possible treatments. It is something that we both feel very passionate about. We wish the Els family the best in their fight to help their son. You can comment at The Palm Beach Post.

DORAL — The Big Easy may be Ernie Els' nickname, but Easy Street never has been his permanent address.

Half a dozen times the Jupiter resident has been runner-up at one of golf's major championships, and twice in 2004 alone. Ernie's long ago run atop the World Golf Rankings lasted just nine weeks, too, for Tiger Woods has come to own that title and every other in the golfing universe.

On Sunday afternoon, however, when the final putt of a four-stroke victory at the WGC-CA Championship vanished into the cup, Els wore the almost incomprehensible look of a 40-year-old athlete going on 25, all things possible again if not absolutely likely.

Today at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, yet another fresh wave of hope washes in.

A private pro-am tournament featuring Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd and a long list of contemporary PGA Tour stars like Robert Allenby and Mark Calcavecchia is where Ernie will spend the day after his dominating Doral performance.

The event benefits the Els for Autism Foundation, which is as personal as it gets for the affable South African and his transplanted South Florida family.

Ernie and his wife Liezl moved to Palm Beach County, as a matter of fact, to take advantage of intensive therapy and specific educational opportunities for their 7-year-old son, Ben, who as a toddler was diagnosed with the complex neurobiological disorder of autism.

Continue reading "Palm Beach Post: "Victorious at Doral, Ernie Els Out to conquer the Monster that is Autism"" »

Restraint and Seclusion Prevention Symposium at Autism One Generation Rescue Conference

Westin Learn more and register for AUTISM ONE  in Chicago, Illinois  May 24-30.


Wednesday, May 26: 8 am - noon
The National Autism Association Presents: The Restraint and Seclusion Prevention Symposium

The Restraint and Seclusion Prevention Symposium will cover all facets of the R&S issue. From introducing the basic understanding of restraint and seclusion to discussing how to address the issue in your child’s IEP, presenters will offer applicable and useful information to help you preserve your child’s rights, protect your child from harmful restraint and seclusion practices, and provide materials designed to increase your child’s protection in the school setting.  Presenters will also provide invaluable tips on how to spot signs of abuse in your child and students, how teachers and aides can prevent dangerous situations in the classroom, and how you can help with federal and state legislative efforts.  Take-home reference materials will be provided.  Visit our friends at NAA:

Thursday, May 27: 9 am - 5 pm
The Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy presents a day of autism legal and advocacy training with Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Dr. Arthur Krigsman (EBCALA Keynotes); Mary Holland, JD; Jennifer Keefe, JD; Robert Krakow, JD; William Long, JD, PhD, MDiv; and more!

Friday, May 28:  8 am - 2:45 pm
Prediction and Prevention of ASD: Signs to watch out for and treatments that will help you avoid the diagnosis of autism

Dave Humphrey, JD, Kenneth Bock, MD, Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, Kendal Stewart, MD, and Lisa Hunter Ryden, MT, MBA, will take attendees through a 5-part series emphasizing the importance of early detection of the symptoms of ASD as helping practitioners alter the course of diagnosis. With early detection, practitioners can identify treatment strategies and interventions that, when provided intensively, can prevent children from developing the full symptom criteria of autism. These red flags and treatment options will be reviewed. The speakers will include data from young siblings of children with autism illustrating that children who receive treatment at a very early age do, in fact, avoid receiving an ASD diagnosis as their symptoms are effectively reversed. Here's just a sample:

Continue reading "Restraint and Seclusion Prevention Symposium at Autism One Generation Rescue Conference" »

Polly Tommey's "Hello Boys" Campaign Hits the UK

Polly Tommey is in the midst of launching her new campaign. Next week billboards and posters will be displayed nationwide; and Polly’s personal letters will reach Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. This bold move is aimed to persuade the party leaders to provide the help and support so desperately needed by the autism community. Polly’s message is simple: millions of people are affected by autism, most of these people will use their vote to support any party willing to help their loved one.

Polly Tommey Hello Boys

Polly’s new campaign follows the success of her “Dear Gordon Brown…” campaign which last year culminated in a number of meetings at 10 Downing Street. These meetings were instrumental in the government’s move towards helping those with autism. Following these meetings Polly joined the external reference group that helped to formulate the government’s ‘strategy for adults with autism in England (2010)’ which was released earlier this month.

Polly comments, ‘It is important that politicians do not underestimate the power of the autism community. With over 6 million votes and the current likelihood of a hung parliament, we really do have the power to tip the balance in favour of whichever party promises the strongest support.’


Copenhagen Police Investigating Autism Vaccine Researcher Dr. Poul Thorsen for Fraud

Mermaid_Colour_300x374_96dpi(2) This report is from CPHPost Online:

Critics of MMR vaccines say Danish researcher’s alleged fraud casts doubt on studies refuting connection between shots and autism

A Danish autism researcher is being investigated by police for defrauding an estimated 10 million kroner from Aarhus University while he was employed there.

Dr. Poul Thorsen, one of the researchers involved in two well-known autism reports that appeared in the influential New England Journal of Medicine, was accused of fraud last month by the university and East Jutland Police have now got involved in the case.

Thorsen resigned on Tuesday from his position in the US as adjunct professor at Drexel University in Philadephia, Pennsylvania in the wake of the investigation.

Continue reading "Copenhagen Police Investigating Autism Vaccine Researcher Dr. Poul Thorsen for Fraud" »

The Supreme Court takes on Vaccine Court: Turning the Tables with Bruesewitz v. Wyeth

Legal update By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

In the movie Ransom Mel Gibson and Rene Russo play the wealthy parents of a boy who’s been kidnapped and is being held hostage for $2 million dollars.  The business man played by Mel Gibson is a smiling charmer, but also knows how to turn the table on his opponents.

Going on live television with the two million dollars piled high on a table in front of him he announces that he’s turning the ransom into a bounty on those who kidnapped his son.  It’s a bold, risky move, and like most Hollywood movies turns out well.  Gibson’s action causes the kidnappers to start looking over their shoulders, making mistakes, and eventually turning on each other.

That’s the best way to understand the potential implications of Bruesewitz v. Wyeth.  For nearly twenty-five years the pharmaceutical companies have been able to lock vaccine injuries out of the courthouse through the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act establishing the Vaccine Court.  Their potential losses for vaccine injuries as well as the discovery of possible dangers from vaccines have been minimized by this structure.

But like Mel Gibson turning the tables on the people who took his son, parents may soon be able to turn the tables on the pharmaceutical companies.  The money which was once used to influence legislators and medical associations could soon be coveted by legions of trial lawyers.  When I consider the more than one million children with autism, and the 1 in 4 children who have a chronic health condition I really don't care if the wolves of the legal profession gobble them up.  It's called justice and every other industry in America has had to live under the same set of rules.  If their product causes injury they need to pay for the damage.  Why shouldn't vaccines be subject to the same level of scrutiny as other products?

Let me tell you why I think the current legal legal status of the vaccination program in this country is so crazy.  If you got up this morning, put some bread (gluten-free, of course) in the toaster, turned your back, and the toaster was on fire, burning up your kitchen, you’d be able to sue the manufacturer.  In discovery you’d be able to subpoena all the records from the company on toaster fires, design and manufacture of the product, reports to consumer agencies on defective toasters, and eventually you’d be in possession of just about all the necessary information on toaster fires.  You could present this to a jury and twelve of your fellow citizens would determine if the company was negligent in the design or manufacture of their toaster, and if so, how much you should recover.

It’s a pretty simple system and for the most part it keeps everybody honest.  The safety of the majority of the products in our lives is fairly high.

Continue reading "The Supreme Court takes on Vaccine Court: Turning the Tables with Bruesewitz v. Wyeth" »

Vaccine Injury Story on American Idol? We Are the Mainstream. Public Health and Media is the Fringe.

American_idol_tv_show Last night on American Idol, viewers heard that a contestant had had a "bad reaction to pertussis vaccine and seizures." This the most mainstream program on television. Read JB Handley's post on "The Tinderbox"" and how Americans no longer trust the overloaded vaccine schedule. Please comment if you watched American Idol last night.

Casey James, we learn, had a bad reaction to the pertussis vaccine -- lots of seizures -- and his mother was worried about his delayed speech, until he started humming songs in his crib. He sings "It's All Over Now." He has a great time on stage, rocking out. Randy says he is back. Ellen says for most women, their hearts will race just looking at him, but "for people like me ... blondes ... I thought it was fantastic." Heh. Kara says he really was a rock star, unlike last week when he was just trying. Simon says he look great, sang well, played well, but it felt more like an audition than to him doing something incredible on this big stage. 
You can read more in The Baltimore Sun.

Many in Autism Community Opposed Ari Ne'eman On National Council on Disability

ThumbsDown Details on where/how to sign to follow once live.

Dear President Obama:
We the undersigned oppose the nomination of Ari Ne'eman to the National Council on Disability. Although we salute your effort to include a person with an autism spectrum disorder on the council, the choice of Mr. Ne'eman is wrong for the autism community and wrong for our country.
1) We are a nation in the throes of an autism epidemic, with 1 in 110 afflicted and hundreds of thousands of families struggling to confront the enormous financial and emotional hardships of this disorder. It is an insult to our community and to the people of this nation who will bear the enormous costs of millions of children and adults with autism that a 22-year-old student has been nominated to this position. Mr. President, how can you praise this nominee's "depth of experience" when he has not held a job, earned a degree or experienced life after college?
2) Mr. Ne'eman vehemently opposes curing autism, calling cure "offensive." However, many individuals who would benefit from a cure are incapable of disagreeing with him. Mr. President, will your appointees also recommend ending the search for cures for childhood cancer and diabetes? Or just autism? Mr. Ne'eman opposes the mission of the country's leading autism organization, Autism Speaks, which supports efforts to prevent and cure autism. He also opposes the depiction of autism as a crisis and does not address the very significant needs of the large population of individuals who are profoundly disabled by autism.
For a member of the National Council on Disability to not advocate for a cure on behalf of tens of thousands of people who suffer from disabling problems such as self injury, inability to speak, incontinence and dependence on others for their care - and who will cost society $3-5 million over a lifetime - is unconscionable. To fight against prevention and cure for such a serious disorder is inhumane and not representative of the majority in the autism community or the general population. Mr. Ne'eman's views are extremist.
3) Finite resources will not stretch far enough to support the large number of people now diagnosed with autism. Without making the goals of prevention and cure a top priority, there will not be sufficient funding to adequately provide for the growing population of people with autism, rendering Mr. Ne'eman's goal of providing better quality of life for those on the autism spectrum unachievable.

Continue reading "Many in Autism Community Opposed Ari Ne'eman On National Council on Disability" »

Video and Paper on Rules of Using a Public Restroom for Autism Population

Restroom Managing Editor's Note: Our friend's Dennis Debbaudt and Stephen Shore granted us permission to run this video. I was just blown away by how important it is. We use video modeling for small children on the spectrum. This is a version for older kids and adults to learn lifeskills. The first available is on the use of a public restroom. A paper follows the video, please scroll down.

Using a Public Restroom by Dr. Liane Holliday Willey , Dr. Stephen Shore and, Dennis Debbaudt

This short video excerpt from Debbaudt Legacy Productions in progress video Autism & Safe Travel with Dr. Stephen Shore© 2010 illustrates what some of the public men’s room social rules and violations can be.

This video depicts some options and tips for persons on the spectrum, family and educators about social and safety considerations when using a public restroom.

Social Rules for Using a Public Men’s Room

While singing in the shower at home or in your hotel room’s washroom is perfectly acceptable social behavior, carrying a tune or talking in a public men’s room is not. Silence in the men’s room is expected and normal. Silence, in this case, is golden.  

Men who violate the rules of the men’s room risk consequences that include others becoming suspicious of the motives of the violator, confronting the violator or reporting the violator to authorities. Worse, perhaps, is that the violator is thought to be someone looking for an illegal sexual liaison. Difficult interactions with sexual adventurers could result. Police conduct undercover operations to root out this illegal activity. Those who get caught in the sting will be questioned, perhaps arrested.

Continue reading "Video and Paper on Rules of Using a Public Restroom for Autism Population" »

Autism Research Institute Statement Regarding Lawsuits Filed Against Doctors

Custody battle The following is our sponsor ARI’s Statement Regarding Lawsuits Filed Against Drs. Usman and Rossignol (.pdf HERE.)

Recent articles by ABC News and the Chicago Tribune on M.D.s who subscribe to the Defeat Autism Now! approach to treatment indicate the spread of misinformation and misunderstanding in recent months. The complaints about Drs. Usman and Rossignol resulted from a custody case-- a painful situation for any family, one that can lead to accusations that must be sorted out in a court of law—not the media.

The Defeat Autism Now! approach to autism invites the medical community to be more responsive, inquisitive, and knowledgeable about treating these disorders. 

The approach is not in itself a source of controversy, since many treatment interventions are commonly prescribed by traditional health professionals.

The great problem is rather that chronic, unaddressed illness plagues many, if not most, of the children and adults on the autism spectrum. These conditions, thoroughly documented in the scientific literature, often involve the gastrointestinal system and/or the immune system, but the medical establishment has been professionally insensible to what is a desperate situation in the expanding autism population.

The focus of the Defeat Autism Now! approach is twofold: to provide patients with allergen-free nutritional support, to uphold and to repair the immune system as needed, and, if appropriate, to reduce the  body burden of environmental toxins; to provide clinicians in-depth medical and scientific information, with Continuing Medical Education credits.

We assure the public and the autism community that the Autism Research Institute will track developments closely and will provide information as necessary. We will continue our efforts to provide appropriate support to Drs. Usman and Rossignol, as well as to other physicians.

The Inconstant Gardiner:The New York Times’ Fervent Disconnect Between Drug and Vaccine Reporting

The Inconstant Gardiner Harris A Gamondes By Adriana Gamondes

“Everything is permitted the hero”.  ~Jean-Paul Sartre, “No Exit”

The film “The Constant Gardener”—starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, and directed by Fernando Meirelles from the book by John le Carré—is the story of sacrifice and moral constancy against the corruption of fictional corporate giant KVH, maker of pharmaceuticals and pesticides. It’s a beautiful film in many ways, and terrifying; a cross between reality check and forecast.

The book and the film were said to be loosely based on Pfizer’s deadly Trovan trial in Nigeria, which led to the injuries and deaths of over 200 children. The case was since settled for $75 million in civil and criminal penalties 

But if the film’s protagonist, Justin Quayle, had been loosely based on New York Times’ public health reporter Gardiner Harris, the whole thing would have been over in fifteen minutes. As soon as it turned out that the gorgeous activist was concerned with a dangerous pharmaceutical product having anything to do with controlling contagion, Quayle would have called her a fervent conspiracy theorist, while her laptop might have mysteriously slipped into the clutches of KVH. She’s dead, he plays golf, roll credits.

No one could ever accuse Gardiner Harris of being haunted by the “hobgoblin” of consistency (foolish or otherwise)—not in terms of his reporting on pharmaceutical products. On the one hand, when the same companies producing vaccines and drugs engage in cover ups of certain drugs’ side effects, Harris is all over them like a rash, exampled by his latest reporting on Avandia .  In fact, some of his reporting on fraud and corruption in psychopharmaceutical marketing is quite good, such as his coverage of Harvard’s Biederman scandal, illegal marketing to children, drug front groups, FDA capitulation, media ties to drug makers and much more.

Harris has undeniably shown some spine when it comes to drugs. Maybe not as much as Times colleague Alex Berensen, who actually engaged in risky legal maneuvers with activist attorney Jim Gottstein to expose secret Eli Lilly documents showing the company hid the dangers of its blockbuster antipsychotic, Zyprexa  — a report which led to Lilly quickly having to settle $500 million more in injury claims to top off the $1.2 billion in Zyprexa settlements already lost . All the same, at least in regard to select pharmaceutical products, Gardiner Harris reports news generally fit to print. 

But when it comes to rates of vaccine injury, vaccine-defenders’ conflicts and potential vaccine research fraud—all of which is virtually identical in pattern to that stemming from certain prescription drugs— fit to print becomes s*** to print without so much as a blink. He’s been suffering from this biformity for a while .

In Harris’s recent report on the Lancet retraction , he demonstrated his grasp of the concept of inconsistency when he painted vaccine injury proponents as virtual flip-floppers regarding  autism causation theories:

 “After Dr. Wakefield’s study, vaccination rates plunged in Britain and the number of measles cases soared.   

Continue reading "The Inconstant Gardiner:The New York Times’ Fervent Disconnect Between Drug and Vaccine Reporting" »

Coalition for Vaccine Safety Asks Parents to Contact Media

Speak out Managing Editor's note: The Coalition for Vaccine Safety has issued the following request:

We are asking parents who have a child who was injured by vaccines or who had a case the Omnibus Autism Proceedings to please contact their local media outlets and tell them your story and how these decisions impact your family in an effort to get this story out to the public. Feel free to use the talking points provided below. Please report back to AOA the responses you receive and stories published by leaving a comment this post. Should you need any assistance in your efforts please contact the Coalition for Vaccine Safety.

Late last Friday, at the end of week’s news cycle, the Court of Federal Claims released its decisions in the second set of “test cases” for the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. These three cases alleged that thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in vaccines, contributed to autism. The Special Masters who heard the claims ruled against the three petitioners, just as they had ruled against three test cases last year on a related theory that thimerosal and the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine together caused autism. The breaking story of fraud at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving Dr. Poul Thorsen, a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote studies supporting the claim of no mercury-autism link, casts further doubt on the Special Masters’ decisions. The emerging evidence of Dr. Thorsen’s embezzlement of $2 million and falsehoods about his employment raise further questions about the integrity and validity of the much criticized epidemiology that under girds the no mercury-autism link. Especially because the Court in part relies on these studies to reach its conclusions, this deepening imbroglio may explain why the Court sought an eleventh hour release of its long-awaited and critically important decisions. 

Here are the three main take-away points:

1. The Special Masters protected the vaccine program – and denied justice to vaccine-injured children.

2. Vaccines cause autism – this Court and HHS have previously acknowledged that.

3. These decisions highlight the inadequacy and possible suppression of vaccine safety science. 

Continue reading "Coalition for Vaccine Safety Asks Parents to Contact Media" »

CBS News on Thimerosal Vaccine Court Rulings

AoA Contributor Mary Holland was interviewed by Elaine Quijano of CBS News on the recent vaccine court ruling. In case you are unfamiliar with Mary, her bio at NYU School of Law reads: Mary Holland is Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at New York University School of Law. Educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities, Holland has worked in international public and private law. Prior to joining NYU, Holland worked for six years at major U.S. law firms, with three years based in Moscow, Russia. She also worked at a major U.S. human rights advocacy organization as Director of its European Program. After graduating law school, she clerked for a federal district court judge. She has taught international law courses at Columbia Law School and has served as a consultant to the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program. She co-founder of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy and on the steering committee of the Coalition for Vaccine Safety. Thank you, Mary.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Winner: Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism by Ken Siri and Tony Lyons

Cutting edge therapiesOzCeejay has won a signed copy of "Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism" by Ken Siri and Tony Lyons, published by Skyhorse Publishing with an afterword by Teri Arranga of Autism One. The authors are both Autism dads. This book features a compendium of treatments, described by experts in that area, from behavioral therapy to psychiatric drugs to chelation. It's a real A-Z explanation of choices and something I think has been missing from our libraries for some time. I'm glad to see so many options between the covers. The list of the therapies is below. 

Purchase Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism today! Contest is CLOSED.

Allergies, Their Role and Treatment in Autism
by Dr. Marvin Boris 6

Animal-Assisted Interventions and Persons with Autism Spectrum
Disorders by Dr. Aubrey Fine 10

Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy
by Dr. Marga Hogenboom and Paula Moraine 17

Antiepileptic Medications by Dr. Richard E. Frye 22

Continue reading "Winner: Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism by Ken Siri and Tony Lyons" »

Age of Autism Commenter of the Week 3/13

T-shirt small front

Our commenter of the week is "Steve, Autism Dad" on the post: Did Kathleen Sebelius Pressure Media to Deny Vaccine Safety Voices? Here's my idea: every chance we get, when somebody says vaccines have been proven to be safe, refer to it as "tobacco science" great term, Jake!

 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 on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

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ABC News Features TACA's Rebecca Estepp on Thimerosal Autism Cases

Abc news now From ABC News. The video features TACA's Rebecca Estepp. The first line is terribly misleading. The decision of a court doesn't mean the charges are not true. Acquittal does not equal innocent.Right OJ? Thanks to Rebecca for going on camera on behalf of families.

Millions of parents who for years had feared a vaccine was to blame for their child's autism learned today that is not the case. At least according to a special federal court, which -- while expressing sympathy for families -- found no direct link between autism and the vaccine additive Thimerosal. The ruling by the so-called vaccine court means that those families are ineligible to receive federal victim compensation. So tonight, we ask: Is this ruling enough to convince you there is no connection between vaccination and autism?

The New-n-Improved Play Now for Autism Benefits Generation Rescue

Play_Now_Baseball_Logo_w_GR_Logo[1] Play Now for Autism will be returning for a second year. After last year’s successful baseball event, the committee decided to bring it back. The event is set to return March 28, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA. The event will be held at the Montecito Heights Recreation Center (4545 Homer St., Los Angeles, CA 90031). It will begin at 11am and go on until around 4pm. The event will consist of two baseball games. The first game, beginning at noon, will solely be for children with autism while the second game will invite others on to the field for a game too. Children with autism that participate in the baseball game will be given a free baseball and a free t-shirt. 

Many changes for the event have been made. This year will feature some of the same attractions (petting zoo, arts & crafts, etc) but will have a much bigger and better resource fair. Everything in the resource fair will be related to autism. A book signing by the event’s creator, Zack Gonzalez, will also be held from 2pm-3pm. He will be selling and signing his new book, Saving Deets!: A Family’s Journey with Autism. The event will have a whole houraside from the baseball games & performances where attendees can mingle and go through the resource fair. During this hour (2pm-3pm) autograph signings and mini presentations will be held amongst the different booths. 
The event will host more performances than last year’s event, as well. The event will, again, be selling Dodger Dogs and regular concession stand snacks, but this year,  GFCF (gluten-casein-free) treats will also be available. You can expect to see more Los Angeles Dodger Legends along with last year’s Bobby Castillo and Jim Gott.

Registration to play has already begun. To register your child with autism for this event, be a volunteer for this event, or if you are interested in being a vendor or booth holder for this event please email either, or

All the proceeds from the Play Now for Autism 2010 Baseball Event will be donated to Jenny McCarthy’s non-profit  autism organization, Generation Rescue, and go toward family grants. The grants will help the families fund for biomedical interventions and more!
For more information on this event please visit or Zack Gonzalez or Generation Rescue.


Federal Vaccine Court Rules Against Autism Families

Safeminds current Government's Refusal to Fund  Sound Science Stacks Deck Against Vaccine-Injured Children and Casts Doubt on the Integrity of the National Immunization Program says SafeMinds.

Washington, D.C. - March 12, 2010 - Autism and mercury advocacy organization SafeMinds regrets today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against three families who argued that vaccines which contained the mercury based preservative thimerosal contributed to their child's autism. The denial of reasonable compensation to families was based on inadequate vaccine safety science and poorly designed and highly controversial epidemiology studies supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the defendant in vaccine injury cases and is also responsible for carrying out the very vaccine safety research that should be integral to court decisions. This conflict of interest means the deck is stacked against families when they enter "vaccine court" and is yet one more reason for parents to doubt the integrity of the National Immunization Program. 
"The government has its thumb on the scales of justice," said Laura Bono, parent of a vaccine injured child whose case was dismissed. "The Vaccine Injury Compensation Act passed by Congress in 1986 gave immunity to vaccine manufacturers and diminished the incentive to create safer products. Meanwhile, the law only gives the illusion that parents will have their day in court. The process is dysfunctional and many families will not see justice done."

Continue reading "Federal Vaccine Court Rules Against Autism Families" »

Special Masters Protect Vaccine Program and Deny Justice to Vaccine-Injured Children

Safety first Mercury-Autism Link Not Found Because of Government Policy, not Science.

Washington, DC – The Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) believes that the Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims wrongly decided that thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) do not cause autism.  The Special Masters appear to have based their decisions on the government policy to protect the vaccine program rather than to fulfill their role to do justice by vaccine-injured children.   In these three ‘test case’ decisions in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, petitioners William Mead, Jordan King and Colin Dwyer developed normally through the first year of life and then regressed into autism.  They presented thousands of pages of scientific documentation and testimony.  Their evidence showed that thimerosal, a mercury-laden vaccine preservative, more likely than not contributed to their autism. 

"The deck is stacked against families in Vaccine Court.  Government attorneys defend a government program, using government-funded science, before government judges.  Where’s the justice in that?" asked Rebecca Estepp, a CVS steering committee member and mother of a petitioner in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding.

It is universally accepted that mercury is a neurotoxin and can damage the developing brain and the immune system.  All three boys’ health improved through medical interventions to reduce mercury toxicity and immune dysfunction.  Nonetheless, the Special Masters concluded that petitioners failed to meet their burden of proof, even though Health and Human Services (HHS), the respondent in the proceeding, offered no alternative explanation other than genetic predisposition.  The Special Masters appear to be following a misguided government policy that if they acknowledge a mercury-autism link, parents will stop vaccinating their children.

The breaking story of fraud at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving Dr. Poul Thorsen, a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote studies supporting the CDC’s claims that there is no mercury-autism link, casts further doubt on the Special Masters’ decisions. The emerging evidence of Dr. Thorsen’s embezzlement of $2 million, falsehoods about his employment, and serious questions about his research throw into question the validity of the science at the heart of HHS’s claim of no mercury-autism link.

Continue reading "Special Masters Protect Vaccine Program and Deny Justice to Vaccine-Injured Children" »

Second Round of Autism Omnibus Court Cases Decided

Legal update By Rebecca Estepp, TACA.

March 12, 2010

Today in Washington DC, the Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims released their decisions in the second round of Omnibus Autism Proceeding (OAP) claims. Once again, the OAP has failed children with autism that exhibited regression after their routine childhood vaccinations.  All three cases: Mead, King and Dwyer were denied compensation.

First off, what is the OAP?

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988. The VICP was created to ensure there was an adequate supply of vaccines and stabilize vaccine costs. Prior to this Act, there were only a handful of drug companies that producing vaccines.  These companies faced lawsuits in civil court when their vaccines caused injuries.  The drug companies lobbied for liability protection and the Act was passed.

A responsibility of the VICP was to establish and maintain an accessible and timely venue for individuals found to be injured by vaccines. The VICP was developed to be a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims that decides these claims in court is commonly referred to as vaccine court.  Damages are paid to individuals from a government-maintained fund. Drug companies can no longer be sued in a civil court of law until the claim has gone through the VICP. For more information go to: HRSA Vaccine Compensation.

The VICP was set up for individuals who suffered an “on-the-table” vaccine injury.  That is an injury that happened within minutes or hours after receiving a vaccine.

In 2001, parents of children with autism started filing claims with VICP.  These claims were considered “off-the-table,” meaning the vaccine injury did not occur “on-the-table” or at the time of injection.  In July of 2002, the Special Masters (the term used for “judges” in vaccine court) established the procedure for addressing these claims and the Omnibus Autism Proceeding (OAP) was born. It was at that time that parents started flooding OAP with claims.  More than 5500 claims have been filed in the program to date.
For more information on the Omnibus cases & decision click HERE.

Who are the Mead, King and Dwyer families?

The Mead, King and Dwyer are families with many similarities. All three families have boys with autism.  All of the boys in these cases are the same age, 12 years old. Each family reported that their sons developed typically during the first year of their lives and then suffered a regression after their routine pediatric vaccines were administered.  William Mead and Jordan King are both from Portland, Oregon while Colin Dwyer is from Queens, New York. Interestingly, William Mead was developing so typically that he was a model for Pottery Barn.

Continue reading "Second Round of Autism Omnibus Court Cases Decided" »

Autism Speaks Undercuts NY Autism Health Insurance Reform

Action alert2 The following is an action alert from The Autism Action Network. There is an automatic email action alert below the jump including phone numbers to Autism Speaks to ask them to support the broadly embraced S6123 "Autism Speaks' bill contains vague language that doesn't compel insurance companies to cover any specific treatments, services or therapies. And would require any treatments to be approved by three separate state agencies. There is no time line for the agencies to act and no money to pay for staff. It is a recipe for inaction.:

Autism Speaks gravely jeopardized the chances of real autism health insurance reform in New York State last Friday by undercutting a bill supported by every national and statewide autism advocacy organization in the state by introducing into the legislature their own watered down bill written by a lobbying firm who represent both major health insurance companies and Autism Speaks.
Autism Speaks unilateral action undercuts Senate Bill S6123, the bill the autism community in New York has been working to pass for 15 months to get real autism health insurance reform.
The Community Bill This has no annual spending caps; no age limits, and requires coverage of medical specialists, and therapies including applied behavior analysis, occupational, physical and speech. In short the same kind of coverage that is provided for disorders other than autism.
In an unprecedented show of support, the Community Bill has been endorsed by groups as diverse as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics along with SAFEMINDS and Generation Rescue as well as the Autism Society of America and the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Project. And it has significant bipartisan support.
Autism Speaks has been approached dozens of times since the fall of 2008 about working with a statewide coalition. But they have steadfastly refused to work with anyone. And coming in at this late hour with a competing bill provides the legislators a perfect excuse to do nothing.
Here are some of the groups backing S6123, the Community Bill:
The Medical Societies of the State of New York (the AMA)
American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapter 2
NYS School Board Association
NYS Speech, Hearing and Language Association
NYS Occupational Therapy Association
Autism Action Network
Autism Action NY
Autism One
Autism United
Autism Society of America (National)
ASA, Albany Chapter
ASA, The Bronx
ASA, Hudson Valley
ASA, Nassau/Suffolk
ASA, Western New York
Foundation for Autism Information and Research
Generation Rescue
Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Project
National Autism Association, New York Metro Chapter,
New York Families for Autistic Children
Project Link
Schafer Autism Report
Talking About Curing Autism
Upstate New York Families For Effective Autism Treatment
Upstate New York Autism Awareness
United State Autism and Asperger Association
No groups other than Autism Speaks are supporting their bill.

Continue reading "Autism Speaks Undercuts NY Autism Health Insurance Reform" »

Best of AoA: JB Handley on Henry Waxman "Father of the Autism Epidemic"

Waxman_2Managing Editor's Note: We ran this post in October of 2008. We're running it today as background about the 1986 law that is being challenged in the Supreme Court (see HERE.)
By J.B. Handley

Almost 22 years ago, on October 20, 1986, the Los Angeles Times ran a story regarding a controversial bill making its way through Congress, the headline shouted:


The story went on to explain the highly divisive nature of the bill, intended to shield vaccine makers from liability, and the Reagan administration was speaking out to express their opposition:

In a strongly worded letter to House Speaker Tip O'Neil, the then secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Otis R. Bowen said, "The bill is likely to do little to assure the vaccine supply or to improve our childhood immunization efforts."

Assistant Attorney General John R. Bolton, writing to the Head of the House Judiciary Committee on behalf of the Department of Justice, said the White House opposed the legislation because it was creating, "a major new entitlement program for which no legitimate need has been demonstrated."

Ronald Reagan himself was troubled by the vaccine compensation bill and was quoted as saying, "Although the goal of compensating those persons is a worthy one, the program has…serious deficiencies."

The Reagan administration seemed to be particularly concerned with two issues: who was going to pay for the compensation required for vaccine injury, and the precedent of the federal government indemnifying private companies from liability.

Continue reading "Best of AoA: JB Handley on Henry Waxman "Father of the Autism Epidemic"" »

RFK Jr on HuffPo: "Central Figure in CDC Vaccine Cover-Up Absconds With $2M"

Rfk Click HERE to read the full post and comment over at HuffPo. Thank you, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 

A central figure behind the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) claims disputing the link between vaccines and autism and other neurological disorders has disappeared after officials discovered massive fraud involving the theft of millions in taxpayer dollars. Danish police are investigating Dr. Poul Thorsen, who has vanished along with almost $2 million that he had supposedly spent on research.

Thorsen was a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote several key studies supporting CDC's claims that the MMR vaccine and mercury-laden vaccines were safe for children. Thorsen's 2003 Danish study reported a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark after that country banned mercury based preservatives in its vaccines. His study concluded that mercury could therefore not be the culprit behind the autism epidemic.

His study has long been criticized as fraudulent since it failed to disclose that the increase was an artifact of new mandates requiring, for the first time, that autism cases be reported on the national registry. This new law and the opening of a clinic dedicated to autism treatment in Copenhagen accounted for the sudden rise in reported cases rather than, as Thorsen seemed to suggest, the removal of mercury from vaccines. Despite this obvious chicanery, CDC has long touted the study as the principal proof that mercury-laced vaccines are safe for infants and young children. Mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, has relied on this study as the basis for its public assurances that it is safe to inject young children with mercury -- a potent neurotoxin -- at concentrations hundreds of times over the U.S. safety limits.

Thorsen, who was a psychiatrist and not a research scientist or toxicologist, parlayed that study into a long-term relationship with CDC. He built a research empire called the North Atlantic Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) that advertised its close association with the CDC autism team, a relationship that had the agency paying Thorsen and his research staff millions of dollars to churn out research papers, many of them assuring the public on the issue of vaccine safety.

The discovery of Thorsen's fraud came as the result of an investigation by Aarhus University and CDC which discovered that Thorsen had falsified documents and, in violation of university rules, was accepting salaries from both the Danish university and Emory University in Atlanta -- near CDC headquarters -- where he led research efforts to defend the role of vaccines in causing autism and other brain disorders. Thorsen's center has received $14.6 million from CDC since 2002...  Click HERE to read the full post and comment over at HuffPo. Thank you, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 

NBC 11 Atlanta Reports: Vaccine Researcher Flees with $2M

Flee-5001 Age of Autism has been covering the story of Dr. Poul Thorsen, architect of the "Danish study" that exonerated vaccines as a cause of autism, see: Poul Thorsen's Mutating Resume and First Fraud: Dr. Poul Thorsen and the original “Danish Study” and Danish Scientist Absconds with $2 million, Poul Thorsen "Proved" Vaccines Don't Cause Autism 

Jayne Watson of Atlanta had this story last night.

ATLANTA -- A Danish scientist who was a lead researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Dr. Poul Thorsen was also a research professor at Emory University from 2003 until June of 2009. Emory University officials gave no reason for Thorsen's departure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded research conducted by Thorsen and his colleagues at Aarhus University.

The CDC asked the researchers to conduct studies to determine whether thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, played ay role in causing autism.

The results of the studies, that there was no link between vaccines containing mercury and autism, formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports.

In a statement Aarhus University officials said Thorsen forged documents supposedly from the CDC to obtain the release of $2 million from the university.

Autism advocacy groups are demanding his studies be given a closer look. Those same groups have long claimed that the results of the studies were suspect. (We've linked the video below, but it appears to be unavailable. URL is HERE.) More copy from the report is below the jump. Please scroll down.

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Poul Thorsen's Mutating Resume

Poul Thorsen By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill
In bits and pieces, in Danish and English, from three universities in two hemispheres and the CDC in Atlanta, a picture has begun forming in the past few days that is already startling in its outline: Paul Thorsen, one of the key scientists involved in CDC-backed studies exonerating vaccines as a cause of autism, is under investigation for collecting millions of dollars in bogus “grant” money, misrepresenting himself to his employers and the world and possibly forging the documents that enabled the scam.
Even more astonishing, it appears the CDC and several other major autism research centers have known about this for months and stayed publicly silent, even as the debate over autism and vaccines has reached several decisive moments -- and a new decision is expected any day from U.S. vaccine court. The CDC in particular would have a hard time claiming ignorance about the suspected crime -- at least three of the forged documents were in the agency’s name, and it helped uncover the fraud last year.
In addition, several current CDC employees including Drs. Diana Schendel, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Catherine Rice were affiliated with Thorsen’s now-defunct research group. Age of Autism has obtained Internet-archived pages from the Web site of the North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) that list the members of the “Atlanta autism team” including Schendel, Yeargin-Allsopp and Rice, all of whom have been in leadership positions in the CDC’s autism epidemiology projects. Schendel is described as NANEA’s “coordinator at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.” (The CDC did not respond to phone and e-mail requests for comment.)
Meanwhile, Thorsen apparently continues his involvement on an American Psychiatric Association committee that is revising the classification of autism for the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – a change that could affect how the prevalence of the disorder is calculated and its victims compensated and treated. (The APA did not respond to phone and e-mail requests for comment.)
Thorsen’s resume, dated Jan. 22, 2010, remains on the DSM 5 Working Group members page. (View HERE.) He lists himself as “Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.” (Calls and e-mails to Drexel seeking confirmation of his status there have gone unanswered.)
There is also an earlier Thorsen resume still available on an APA directory dated Jan. 12, just 10 days earlier, (View HERE) that differs substantially from the Jan. 22 update.  On that earlier resume, Thorsen calls himself “Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Denmark, & Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.”
What happened in 10 days to change Thorsen’s bona fides so substantially – going from apparently tenured positions at two leading autism research universities to a part-time adjunct professorship at another school?
Follow the chronology: On Jan. 22 – the day the new resume is dated – the University of Aarhus issued a statement "to whom it may concern" (View HERE) contradicting key parts of that first resume: “In March 2009, Dr. Thorsen resigned his faculty position at Aarhus University,” the statement said, meaning, obviously, he could not have been an associate professor of epidemiology as he was claiming as late as Jan. 12, 2010. “In the meantime, it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Thomsen [sic] has continued to act in such a manner as to create the impression that he still retains a connection to Aarhus University after the termination of his employment by the university.” Of course, one way this could have come to its attention was through a resume posted at the American Psychiatric Association in which Thorsen still stated exactly that.
“Furthermore,” the statement said, “it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Poul Thorsen has held full-time positions at both Emory University and Aarhus University simultaneously. Dr Thorsens [sic] double Full-time employment was unauthorised by Aarhus University, and he engaged in this employment situation despite the express prohibition of Aar- hus University.”

Continue reading "Poul Thorsen's Mutating Resume" »

The Supreme Court Takes Bruesewitz v. Wyeth: Is There Justice for Vaccine Injury Victims?

Legal update By Mary Holland, Esq. and Jim Moody, Esq.

On March 8, the Supreme Court voted to hear Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, an appeal from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Supreme Court will decide whether a vaccine-injured child has the right to pursue a traditional "design defect" claim under state tort law when "Vaccine Court" refuses compensation.  The Supreme Court must interpret the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and decide whether Congress intended to "preempt" all industry tort liability when it wrote, “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable…if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.”

Did Congress intend to extinguish the right to sue for all defective vaccine designs in civil court?  While the statutory language is awkward and thus somewhat opaque, Congress’s legislative intent was not – the statute as a whole shows clearly that Congress intended to leave civil courthouse doors open for petitioners who elect to leave Vaccine Court to sue for design defects.  Lower courts, nonetheless, have decided the question both ways.  So the Supreme Court must step in and resolve the conflict.  The stakes are high: whether a person injured by a vaccine can challenge the safety of the design in any court in the United States.

A three judge panel of the Third Circuit unanimously decided in March 2009 that petitioner Hannah Bruesewitz did not have the right to sue vaccine manufacturer Wyeth, Inc. to assert that its vaccine design was unsafe.  [See Bruesewitz-Decision]  Hannah was born in October, 1991, and received her third DPT shot on schedule on April 1, 1992.  Shortly thereafter she developed "residual seizure disorder," recognized as a Table Injury at the time, meaning that causation was presumed.  "Residual seizure disorder" was deleted from the Table just one month before she filed her case.  Finally, on December 20, 2002, more than ten years later, Vaccine Court categorically rejected her claim.  This hardly complies with Congress’ promise in the 1986 NCVIA that awards be “made to vaccine-injured persons quickly, easily, and with certainty and generosity.”  The Bruesewitz family argues that the safer acellular DTaP vaccine was long available by the time Hannah received the DPT and suffered seizures, and that her vaccine injury was avoidable had the manufacturer used this demonstrably safer vaccine design.

Before Bruesewitz, in October 2008, the Supreme Court of Georgia came out in the exact opposite way in Ferrari v. American Home Products, Inc.  That nine member court decided unanimously that petitioners could pursue their claim for a vaccine design defect in state civil court.  [See Ferrari decision]  The Ferrari family alleged that the mercury-containing preservative in his childhood vaccines, thimerosal, contributed to his autism.  AoA discussed the Ferrari decision HERE

In a recent development, the Ferrari family decided to voluntarily withdraw their claim at the trial court level without prejudice – in other words, the family decided that now is not the most auspicious time to continue the lawsuit, for whatever reason.  Most commentators, although not all, believe that the Ferraris could reopen their lawsuit later, if they chose to, while the child is still a minor.  So, while Bruesewitz and Ferrari interpret the 1986 statute in diametrically opposite ways, the Supreme Court has decided to hear the Bruesewitz case as the vehicle to resolve the conflict.

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