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2423 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

Autism Speaks' Suzanne Wright on Christian, the CDC and the Vaccine Question

Suzanne_and_christian_2From Anne Dachel, Media Editor: I came across an excellent piece from the Guardian Weekly in UK.  It was a commentary by Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks.  She expertly summarized the autism crisis.  She put it in personal terms too, with her grandson Christian's story.  Suzanne described their struggle trying to understand what had happen to their grandson and how the medical community, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fails to address what is clearly a medical disaster.  She asked the question I keep asking over and over -- where are all the adults with autism? Finally, she cautiously noted that the link between vaccines and autism is an open question.  These are the things that need to be talked about. 

Click HERE to link to The Guardian. Here's the article:

Suzanne Wright with her grandson Christian.

We were so shocked when our grandson developed autism. Christian was our first little boy and he had been growing up beautifully. He was meeting all his milestones – he had a large vocabulary and was almost potty-trained. Then, when my daughter and her husband had another baby and moved from the city to the country, Christian began to lose his speech. He started having tantrums.

We went to several doctors and they said that we should remain calm and not worry.

Continue reading "Autism Speaks' Suzanne Wright on Christian, the CDC and the Vaccine Question" »

Ask Wolf Blitzer To Question Obama: CALL TODAY!

Act_nowAngela Warner just sent us this: Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Obama today at 4pm Eastern. We'd like Blitzer to ask Senator Obama to clarify his position on selection vaccination. You can help!

Call CNN and ask for Beverly Obanion (Wolf Blitzer's personal assistant) at 202-898-7900 today. Stay on the line or press 0 for an operator.

Script: "I am calling from (Your State), and I believe vaccines injured my child.  I am deeply concerned about Senator Obama's statements that he does not believe in selective vaccination. I firmly believe it is a parent's choice.  Can you please ask Senator Obama to clarify his position on the show today?"

You can send a fax too! Fax Numbers 202-898-7923 OR 202-898-2263.

New Jersey and Autism Perfect Together!

Jason_and_freddieBy Katie Wright

Deirdre Imus organized and moderated an amazing vaccine forum last week at Hackensack University Hospital. To my recollection it was the first time staunch defenders and architects of our infant and toddler vaccination schedule have spoken to the public and taken uncensored questions from parents of vaccine injured children. It was exactly the kind of event, promoting open discussion between doctors and parents that Autism Speaks should be facilitating. We all know that Deidre and Don Imus have been huge advocates for kids with cancer and chronic illnesses, like autism, for decades. What many people do not know is that the Imuses have helped create one of the most child friendly, progressive and greenest hospitals in the nation at Hackensack.

New Jersey recently made the flu shot mandatory for every school age child and baby in daycare over the age of six months. Given that an astonishing 1 in 64 boys in NJ is autistic it is both reckless and insane for New Jersey to mandate yet another vaccine for infants and toddlers.

Continue reading "New Jersey and Autism Perfect Together!" »

Autism Is Political: Bob Wright and a UK Perspective

Tree_houseBy Lisa Blakemore Brown

The panel from the "Are we ambitious enough about autism?" event at the TreeHouse School.  From left, Bob Wright, panel moderator and TreeHouse patron Jon Show, Anya Ustaszewski and Virginia Bovell

Bob Wright, ex Head of NBC and co-founder of  Autism Speaks  Autism Speaks, speaks out in UK about vaccines and autism in answer to comments made by Lisa Blakemore-Brown, UK Psychologist Specialist in Autism and related disorders.

"I agree with everything you said" responded Mr Wright in a debate at TreeHouse's   Inaugural Lecture (HERE) at City Hall London during the evening of October 22nd 2008 after I raised various issues and said that the reason autism was taking a back seat in terms of it's understanding and funding, was entirely political and it was political because it was largely to do with the vaccine issue.

Continue reading "Autism Is Political: Bob Wright and a UK Perspective" »

NYT: Kidney Stones on Rise in Children

Kidney_stones_2The New York Times reports HERE that kidney stones are on the rise in children, perhaps a result of salt-laden processed foods and even beverages like sports drinks. So what you put into their bodies can make kids physically sick?  Who knew? They continue to p*ss on our community at the Times, however.

Barbara Fischkin: "Can Facebook Cure Autism?"

SpectrumCheck out Barbara Fischkin's blog entry HERE in Spectrum Magazine titled, "Can Facebook Cure Autism?"

As an Autism Mom, I reflected on all of this nuttiness and had a singular thought. Dan is 21. How can we include him? "Dan," I said. "Do you want to be on Facebook?" He cast me a look that conveyed a mouthful. Since Dan can't talk, he is very good at those looks. Loosely translated this one said: "There she goes again." Fortunately it takes more than a mere snicker to deter me.

Chantal Sicile-Kira Brings Her New Autism Book to Autism One Radio

ChantalChantal Sicile-Kira, award-winning author of Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and other ASD's and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A Parent's Guide to the Cognitive, Social, Physical, and Transition Needs of Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders, international lecturer, & US/Canada Marketing Director of The Autism File magazine hosts Special Series on Autism One Radio.  Click HERE to see her website, including her books.

The Real World of Autism with Chantal Sicile-Kira

Tune in every other Tuesday at 1:30 ET starting Tuesday, October 28 for a special series of programs based on Chantal’s latest book AUTISM LIFE SKILLS : From Communication and Safety to Self Esteem and More: 10 Essential Abilities Every Child Deserves and Needs to Learn. With advice and reflections from adults across the spectrum, as well as Sicile-Kira's own experience as an advocate and parent of an autistic teen, the book (and this special series) covers these ten essential life skills: Making Sense of the World, Communication, Safety, Self-Esteem, Pursuing Interests, Self-Regulation, Independence, Social Relationships, Self-Advocacy, and Earning a Living.

Continue reading "Chantal Sicile-Kira Brings Her New Autism Book to Autism One Radio" »

South Carolina's $21 Million Cut Affects Autism Services

Speak_out2Managing Editor's Note: Many of us are familiar with autism advocate Maurine Meleck. Her letter to the editor about the pending $3,000,000 in budget cuts for autism services in S. Carolina follows this brief intro to the news article in the Augusta Chronicle.  Maurine, thank you for speaking out for our children. It's ironic that S. Carolina is considering slashing $21,000,000 for people with disabilities at a time when disabilities are at the forefront of political conversation. If anyone has more to share about these budget cuts in S. Carolina, please comment.

...Mr. Sanford's vetoes would return cash to agencies. That could bring pressure for him to veto items such as the $21.5 million cut from the state's Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, including $3.3 million for care of children with autism and $2.3 million to help families cope with spinal cord injuries.

Continue reading "South Carolina's $21 Million Cut Affects Autism Services" »

Obama Team on Disability Responds To Palin Speech

Obama_disabilitiesBy Kim Stagliano

Kareem Dale, National Disabilities Vote Director for the Barack Obama campaign sent out this letter yesterday.  I will add that he has taken time to email many of us within the autism community and is listening to our concerns.  Thank you, Kareem. 

Please keep your comments relevant to the information in this post. While we need to inform our readers of the information coming from both campaigns, we don't need to lose our sense of community by getting ugly with each other. We will delete comments that sound like if you were speaking in person, your face would be red and you'd be poking your finger into someone's chest.

I promise you that there are many within the biomedical autism community working hard to make sure both candidates understand our unique perspective on disability and our need to protect and care for our children. I think the Autism One interview with Heather Bruce is a prime example of the benefit of the groundwork by parents and advocates for our kids. We are on the radar screen. And we're not going away. Thanks, everyone.  Here's the letter:

As advocates for, and parents of, children with disabilities, we appreciate the visibility that Governor Sarah Palin has brought to our community.   We understand that it will take strong leadership to build a world free of unnecessary barriers and discrimination for people with disabilities.

However, falsely attacking Senator Barack Obama’s policies and unfairly suggesting that they will hurt families who have children with disabilities is not leadership.  It is nothing more than an attempt to divide people and exploit a serious issue for political purposes.

Continue reading "Obama Team on Disability Responds To Palin Speech" »

The Doctors TV Program 10/28

The_doctors_logoThe Doctors is airing a program that involves autism, vaccinations and ADHD this Tuesday, October 28th. From their site HERE:

Measles are making a nationwide comeback. Are parents who refuse* to vaccinate their children contributing to the problem? Or, are the vaccinations more dangerous than the disease? And, are we overmedicating children who have ADHD?

The program will be interesting.  Feel free to comment here after the program airs.

Check for your local listings HERE.

*If you have a medical exemption, is that still considered "refusing?"

Special Needs Kids: The New Squeaky Wheel

Squeaky_wheelNever before have children with special needs been in the political spotlight to this degree. 

Governor Sarah Palin spoke in Pittsburgh today about the McCain administration's plans to assist families with special needs children. You can read her remarks HERE. If you attended the event please tell us about it in the comments section.  Click HERE for the Yahoo news story on the event.

On October 21, Kareem Dale, the Obama campaigns National Disability Vote Director wrote a blog entry on why Obama is the best candidate for people with disabilities. You can read that entry HERE.  The Obama campaign discusses disabilities HERE on its website.

The countdown to the election is on - it's encouraging to know that our kids are an important part of the political debate. It's good to be a squeaky wheel.

Special Education Attorney on Palin's Record

SpedManaging Editor's Note:  This letter from attorney Jennifer Laviano (below) was featured in David Kirby's Huffington Post piece (HERE) after the last debate. Ms. Laviano specializes in special education law. On October 14th, she sent this email to share her impressions of what we might expect from Palin if elected Vice President.  As you know, we at Age of Autism are extremely concerned about vaccination safety and vaccination choice for parents.  We also have to consider the education and adult services that will be available for the children who are growing older every day. Thank you to Ms. Laviano for permission to reprint her email.

Sent: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 2:14 pm
Subject: Palin and Special Education
Dear clients, friends, colleagues, and all of the above,

As we near the Presidential election in just three weeks, I have been asked by many of you to comment on my thoughts on Gov. Palin and what she can and will do for special education students.  As an attorney whose practice focuses exclusively on the representation of children with disabilities, I always investigate candidates' positions and records on this very critical moral and financial issue.  One of my clients recently suggested that I share with others what I have learned, and so here it is.

When Gov. Palin first came to my attention, I was, as I am sure all of you who care about this issue, intrigued to have someone on the national platform who talks about children with special needs.  Since hearing her say this repeatedly in speeches, I have been waiting, and waiting, to hear some specifics on special education reform.  Most of all, I want to know what her stance is on the IDEA, the federal statute that governs special education.  The IDEA is up for reauthorization by Congress in 2010, and it is crucial that it reflect the policies and funding structure necessary to protect and appropriately educate our children with disabilities.  I needed to know what Gov. Palin thinks about the future of special education legislation in this country.

Continue reading "Special Education Attorney on Palin's Record" »

McCain Addresses Vaccine Safety, Obama Silent

Voting_boothMcCain Supports Parental Vaccine Choice. McCain Addresses Vaccine Safety. Obama Silent.

By Rebecca Estepp

I'm a registered independent voter. 

Since autism blew into my life with the diagnosis of my son, Eric, I no longer subscribe to either party. Autism affects the children of Democrats and Republicans equally.  Autism affects Americans.

My party affiliation is now autism/vaccine safety. While there are many other issues facing our country today - our economy, global warming, alternative energy and fighting two wars among them- autism/vaccine safety is my issue.  For the 2008 election, I am a one-issue voter, and I am not alone.   Many voters are concerned about vaccine safety. (HERE)

As the wife of a Marine who has served three war-time deployments overseas over the last five years, you would think the war would be the most important issue to me, but it's not. 

Continue reading "McCain Addresses Vaccine Safety, Obama Silent" »

McCain Senior Policy Advisor Responds To Autism Questionnaire

Whats_your_answerManaging Editor's Note: This is the companion post to Rebecca Estepp's post on Senator McCain's response to her request for a response on vaccine safety.

From: Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 6:35 PM
Subject: <no subject>
Rebecca:

Sorry to send these to you so late, but I have been traveling and this is the first open window. 

1)   With regard to question number one as to whether or not Senator McCain will issue an Executive Order banning the use of thimerosal in vaccines for children and pregnant women:

Continue reading "McCain Senior Policy Advisor Responds To Autism Questionnaire" »

Win An Autism Puzzle Piece Quilt!

Quilt_2Managing Editor's Note: Check out this gorgeous quilt that's a raffle prize at the DAN! Conference which begins today. You don't have to attend to win.  Send your check to ARI to buy tickets today (see below!)  Here are the details from Lynda Huggins:

Hi,
 
Attached is a picture of a portion of a beautiful Puzzle Pieces Quilt that my dear friend (college roommate many years ago) has made to be raffled at the upcoming DAN Conference in San Diego .  Puzzle fabric surrounds the larger puzzle pieces.  It is a twin/throw size, valued at $300, one of a kind treasure! 

Continue reading "Win An Autism Puzzle Piece Quilt!" »

Biological Drugs Produce Side Effects But Vaccines Don't?

BiohazardManaging Editor's Note:  This article says, "The drugs are known as biologicals because they're made from living material and they typically affect the body's disease-fighting immune system." Doesn't that sound similar to vaccines? I'll look forward to the comments.

CHICAGO - Nearly a fourth of widely used new-generation biological drugs for several common diseases produce serious side effects that lead to safety warnings soon after they go on the market, the first major study of its kind found. Included in the report released Tuesday were the arthritis drugs Humira and Remicade, cancer drugs Rituxan and Erbitux, and the heart failure drug Natrecor. All wound up being flagged for safety. That might surprise some doctors who may have thought that these new treatments might be safer than traditional chemical-based medicines.

Continue reading "Biological Drugs Produce Side Effects But Vaccines Don't?" »

Autism One Radio: Heather Bruce

Autism_oneThis just in from our friends at Autism One.

On "The Candy Store" Hosted by Robert & Sandy Waters

Everyone Mark Your Calendars!!!

The Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin's sister Heather Bruce will be a guest on our Radio Program "The Candy Store" on Autism One Radio.  Mrs. Bruce will be calling us from Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday, October 22th, 2008 @ 10 a.m. EST.  Heather Bruce will talk about her 13 year old son who has autism and what she thinks about her sister being "The Republican Vice Presidential Candidate".  Also, what her sister "Sarah Palin" will do for children with disabilities if elected among many other topics.  We invite everyone to tune in!!  If you miss this special and interesting interview it will be in the archives after it air's.

Faith, Love & Hope,
Robert & Sandy Waters

http://www.autismone.org/radio/ 
http://www.autismone.org/radio/?radio=schedule&archive
http://www.autismone.org/radio/default.cfm?radio=family#robertw 

Huffington Post Adds Autism Page

Autism_2 Huffington Post has added a page called "AUTISM: Some news is so big it needs its own page."

We kind of think it needs its very own blog. But we sure are glad to see a major national blog following in our footsteps.  ;)

Kim

Autism '08

Obama_mccainThe next president of the United States has autism on his radar screen.  Both candidates mentioned autism in last night's debate.

Denis Leary Responds to Criticism

LearyDenis Leary has made a statement in answer to the uproar of a couple of sentences from his book.  Here it is:
NEW YORK, Oct 15, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Denis Leary issued the following statement today in response to comments about his new book, "Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid."

The people who are criticizing the "Autism Schmautism" chapter in my new book "Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid" clearly have not read it.

Or if they have, they missed the sections I thought made my feelings about autism very clear: that I not only support the current rational approaches to the diagnoses and treatment of real autism but have witnessed it firsthand while watching very dear old friends raise a functioning autistic child.

Continue reading "Denis Leary Responds to Criticism" »

"Real" Firefighter Writes to Denis Leary

FdnyManaging Editor's Note:  The author of this letter is a real firefighter. Timothy Dwyer spent sixteen years with FDNY before leaving his career to become full time caregiver for his son who has autism.

October 15, 2008

Denis Leary
The Leary Firefighter Foundation
594 Broadway, Suite 409
New York, NY 10012

Denis:

Since you make your living off the backs of Firefighters, many of whom like myself have a child with autism which you have now chosen to make fun of, how about you be a man and come to Long Island and see my son’s school.  Observe first hand my fat, lazy, stupid child suffering from autism.   I bet you wouldn’t last 10 seconds with my son or on the fire floor.   You wish you could walk in my shoes.  I am a founding parent of the ELIJA School for children with autism spectrum disorders in Levittown, NY and a 20 year NYPD/FDNY veteran.

There are many firefighters struggling with autism and all your foundation does is buy tools for the city, just more shit for them to carry. You do nothing for Firefighter’s real problems.  So come on out, get your head out your ass and pry open that fat wallet of yours that was filled thanks to the real characters of the FDNY. 

Continue reading ""Real" Firefighter Writes to Denis Leary" »

2008 National Autism Association Conference

NachopeismpostcardThe National Autism Association  is pleased to present NAA's National Autism Conference sponsored by Care Clinics.  The conference is being held at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa, Broward County's First State-Certified Green Hotel located in Fort Lauderdale, FL on November 13 -16, 2008.

Click HERE to learn more and to register!

Denis Leary on Autism.

AssholeIt might be time to add a new category to our lineup. Denis Leary knows the power of the autism community. That's why he's using us to sell books.  Can we have a giant, "Whatever." for Mr. Leary? 

"There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don't give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - yer kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both."

New York Post Gossip section.

(PS) My apologies if you're offended by the graphic. It seemed fitting.

Autism Yesterday at Motherbaby Int'l Film Festival

Autism_yesterday_adThe Motherbaby International film festival is featuring Generation Rescue's Autism Yesterday at its three 2008 festivals including Traverse City, Michigan October 15 - 17.  Click HERE for more information on MIFF.

You can read more about Autism Yesterday HERE.  Purchase a copy at Amazon HERE. View the trailer below.

Trenton Rally for Vaccination Choice October 16th

Join_usManaging Editor's Note:  I'll be speaking at the rally. Hope to see you there!  Kim

One Thousand People Expected To Rally For Vaccination Choice
at the State House in Trenton, NJ on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 12:00 p.m.

Rally Information: Rain or Shine, Thursday, October 16, 2008, Noon- 2 pm, 125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ, www.njvaccinationchoice.org for more rally details. 

NJ Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk, Board-certified Pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Palevsky and National Vaccine Information Center co-founder Barbara Loe Fisher, will join NJ parents and professionals at a rally in Trenton for vaccination choice.

Continue reading "Trenton Rally for Vaccination Choice October 16th" »

Wakefield on Jenny, the MMR and the Fight of His Life

Dr_wakefieldEditor's Note: England's Sunday Express has a great article on Andy Wakefield today with quotes that ought to put the fight back into anyone whose energy is flagging right about now (hey, it happens!). He talks about Jenny McCarthy's courage, his upcoming book and his motivation for persevering. "My sole purpose is to help these children and get to grips with the root of the problem, which is what I am doing," he said. "Despite having discovered an apparently new disease my colleagues and I are being vilified purely because of the vaccine association. This link has threatened Government policy and drug-company profit. What we're witnessing over the triple jab is a propaganda campaign based on who has the biggest budget. I have none while the budget of the UK Government and its allies is limitless." Yes, but Andy has allies, too, including Age of Autism and its thousands of readers. -- Dan Olmsted

Read the article HERE.

A Playground for Autism?

Merry_go_roundA playground designed for kids with autism? I can't decide whether this is human kindness or discriminatory. $25,000 spent on a playground for children with autism. My Lord. When the cute kids are 25 will they still be welcome on the jungle gym?  It makes my head spin.  Read more HERE.

Presidential Politics Autism Style

White_houseClick HERE for a good laugh featuring a dear member of our community during this Presidential political season. Hint: There's no McCain, no Palin, no Obama and no Biden. Those folks are best discussed elsewhere.

I'm sure many of you will enlighten those who are unfamiliar with the candidate in the comments section. You can make your own version at the end of the 2 minute clip.

Front and Center: Follow-Up on Rep. Maloney’s Autism-Vaccine Briefing

FollowupManaging Editor's Note: Many people worked hard to make this post possible. Thank you to David Kirby and Mark Blaxill, Kelli Ann Davis of Generation Rescue, John Gilmore of Autism Action Network and several others. Please read the post carefully, there's a call to action. It requires some thought and will take some time. Our kids are worth it.

By Jeanne Cantkier, Pamela Felice, Lisa Rudley and Angela Warner.

Warrior Help Is Needed and Necessary!

On September 24, 2008 our community experienced a monumental and potentially game changing moment. Thanks to the organized efforts of our dedicated community, there was standing room only at the Autism-Vaccine Briefing hosted by Rep. Maloney and presented by David Kirby and Mark Blaxill.

As a community, it is absolutely imperative that we follow-up now with our legislators to keep the Autism-Vaccine issue front and center. Getting all those people in the room together was just the first step. They have listened, and now we need to let them know what they can do to help our children. Remember, they work for us, the people!

Regardless of whether you initially contacted your Representative or Senator about the Autism-Vaccine briefing, we need you to RALLY NOW to follow up. Contact information to participate in the follow-up and a list of the Senate and House members who attended or sent staff can be found at the end of this post.

Here’s What You Can Do:

Continue reading "Front and Center: Follow-Up on Rep. Maloney’s Autism-Vaccine Briefing" »

Any Ideas for Jacob Hood, Scourge of Evil Science?

Tv_producerEditor's note: I was flipping through the Washington Post TV insert and saw that a new show debuts tonight. It's called Eleventh Hour, and it stars Jacob Hood as "a brilliant scientist ... whose passion is tracking down those who use science for evil instead of good." Each week, the show "delves into topical and science-based mysteries." So I was just wondering -- do any of you have script ideas we could suggest to CBS? You know, any situation in which science is used for evil instead of good? Any dramatic plot lines in which the truth comes out  and justice prevails? Gosh, I can't. But if you can, please post them as comments and next week we'll send them off to the show's producers. -- Dan Olmsted

KOMU's Ashley Reynolds Wins Emmy for Autism Series

Ashley_with_emmy_3Congratulations to Ashley Reynolds, our Age of Autism Best Media winner for 2006 (HERE) on winning a coveted Emmy!

For the Mid-America EMMY Awards, KOMU TV 8's Ashley Reynolds from Missouri, won the student category for the Combating Autism From Within Series. 

"It's an amazing honor to win such a prestigious award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 2008 Emmy Awards.  It's a great feeling to be recognized by the academy for our hard work. It was privileged to be among hundreds of the best journalists in the Midwest.  This would not have been possible without input from the autism community. 

Continue reading "KOMU's Ashley Reynolds Wins Emmy for Autism Series" »

Leather Meets Lace Fundraiser for Generation Rescue at Playboy Mansion

Leather_meets_laceOn October 4th members of the Motorcycle Charity Associates will host the 2nd Annual Hollywood Leather Meets Lace Ride.  The event begins at 9:00 am PT on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame.  Motorcycle enthusiasts and celebrities will join together to ride for Generation Rescue to support families and children with autism. 

Later that evening, the event will move to the famed Playboy Mansion where Jenny McCarthy, board member, spokesperson and mother warrior for Generation Rescue will host the 2nd Annual Leather Meets Lace event. Full details on the event are at the Generation Rescue events page.

Continue reading "Leather Meets Lace Fundraiser for Generation Rescue at Playboy Mansion" »

First National Public Opinion Survey: Americans’ Knowledge and Understanding of Autism, 2008

FitSchool of Psychology
Florida Institute of Technology
Melbourne, Florida

The first national survey of the public’s knowledge and understanding of autism was conducted for the School of Psychology at Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.  The survey includes responses from 1000 men and women, 21 years old or older, randomly selected from throughout the nation. The poll has a plus or minus 3.1% confidence interval at a 95% level of confidence.  The telephone interviews were conducted between August 1 and August 29 by GDA Education Research, Mount Pleasant, SC.

• With autism now the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States, more than 80% of survey respondents say every state should have an early intervention program for children from birth to age three. An even larger percentage (83%) thought that finding a cure for autism should be a national priority. This at a time when the Centers for Disease Control reports that autism affects one in 150 children born in the United States.

• Nearly one in four (24%) respondents said that because vaccines may cause autism it was safer not to have children vaccinated at all. Another 19% were not sure.

Continue reading "First National Public Opinion Survey: Americans’ Knowledge and Understanding of Autism, 2008" »

Caddy Day is Over at Age Of Autism

Many of you have expressed surprise that we had the equivalent of "Caddy Day" in the comments section today on the "Jenny Vote" post.  It seems the folks at Science Blogs enjoyed their time here, doesn't it? Ecorazzi, a gossip site, announced that they'd "poll mobbed" the site. We simply repeated that. And in they came in droves to show us their best cannonballs on the topic of vaccines and autism. But don't worry. They're gone now. Back to their hidey holes, pharmaceutical companies (waving to Merck) and blogs.  We now return to a clean pool. 

Amanda Peet, How Much Are They Paying You?

Hooker_takes_moneyBy J.B. Handley

I hadn't really been paying attention, until an alert AoA reader pointed out a sentence buried in the VaccinateYourBaby website (that features Amanda Peet as the campaign spokesperson):

"Every Child By Two's Vaccinate Your Baby campaign is made possible through an unrestricted, educational grant from sanofi pasteur."

For those of you new to this debate, "sanofi pasteur" (why did they put it in small caps?) is a vaccine company. I guess "educational grant" is intended to throw people of the scent that Sanofi is paying someone to endorse a product from which they profit immensely. We already know that Every Child By Two is largely funded by Wyeth, another vaccine company. (Read "ECBT: A Front Group for Wyeth" HERE.)

Continue reading "Amanda Peet, How Much Are They Paying You?" »

Strange Bedfellows

Peta_got_autism

From PETA about drinking milk. Thoughts?

Reminder - This is Your Chance to Influence Federal Autism Spending - Comments Due Tuesday

BillionsBy Jim Moody, Esq.

If you don’t like the way your tax dollars are being spent, or not spent, on autism research, this is your chance to speak up and take action.  The strategic plan (SP) for autism research will guide federal spending on autism research for the next five years, subject to annual updates.  The draft plan (HERE) was released for comment August 20 (HERE)

Comments are due by Tuesday, September 30, and should be emailed to iacc@mail.nih.gov.  There is a suggested limitation of two pages.  See the above request for further details.  A few thoughts on possible subjects for comment are summarized below.

Continue reading "Reminder - This is Your Chance to Influence Federal Autism Spending - Comments Due Tuesday" »

MySpace: Ask The Candidates

CandidatesWhat Questions Would You Ask The Presidential Candidates? MySpace has an "My Debates" forum where you can post your question to Obama and McCain.

DEADLINE For Comments: Tuesday, September, 30, 2008

You can submit your question HERE.   

Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism Transcript

David_speaksManaging Editor's Note: The following provides a transcription of David Kirby's presentation to members of the Senate and Congress at Representative Carolyn Maloney's meeting on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. The audio was spotty in places, the transcription is as close as was possible under the circumstances.

Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism -- Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Slide Presentation by David Kirby - Rush transcription by Nancy Hokkanen
(Power Point Slides are viewable at www.evidenceofharm.com and HERE.

SLIDE 1: INTRODUCTION

Thank you very much, and I thank you all for coming here today. I know there’s a lot going on in Washington this week, but I think the turnout speaks to the fact that this is a very, very serious issue.

We have people from the left and the right and center representing offices in this room. Autism, of course, is a nonpartisan issues, quite a bit like the financial crisis that we’re all trying to deal with right now. And the parallels go beyond nonpartisanship: The financial crisis is a real threat to our country, and so is the autism crisis. And I hope you will go back to your various offices and talk about ways that Congress can respond even better than it has so far to this crisis.

This is a national emergency.

Continue reading "Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism Transcript" »

Long Island NY: Hearings on Vaccines and Autism

By Louise Kuo Habakus

Nassau and Suffolk County Legislators and Asm Marc Alessi
Demand Answers For Our Children
Health Committee Hearings on Vaccines and Autism
September 25, 2008

Last night was my eighth wedding anniversary.  We had a romantic evening, wading through my two-hour parent vaccine choices presentation to pick the slides for my ten-minute testimony before the Health and Social Services Committee of the Nassau County Legislature today.  Ain't love grand?


Louise Kuo Habakus


This morning (Thursday), I made it to Mineola, NY from Middletown, NJ without getting lost once.  It did take me three tours around the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building before I chose to ignore the "wrong way" and "do not enter" signs into the parking lot, however. 

John Gilmore, Bob Krakow, Rita Palma, Evelyn Ain, Alan Scherr and I were there to tell the truth about vaccines and autism. 

Continue reading "Long Island NY: Hearings on Vaccines and Autism" »

Discovery Health Presents: The Kirtons, Autism x6

Autismx6_2Meet The Kirtons. Wednesday, October 1st of Discovery Health. Check your local listings. You can visit the Kirton's blog HERE.

SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- When John and Robin Kirton first married, they knew they wanted to have a large family -- but like many couples, they had no idea what they were in for. Today, the Kirtons are the parents of six children -- each of whom has been diagnosed with autism.
Discovery Health presents an intimate view of life with multiple autistic children in AUTISM x6, an hour-long special premiering Wednesday, October 1, at 8 PM (ET/PT). Read more HERE.

Mark Blaxill: The Feeling in the Room

FatherManaging Editor's Note: Mark Blaxill is one of the original Father Warriors in our autism community. I'm proud to be his colleague here at Age of Autism.  KS

By Mark F. Blaxill

My reaction to the Maloney briefing surprised me (for those who missed it, thanks to an invitation from Rep. Carolyn Maloney, David Kirby and I gave presentations on the autism epidemic and on the connection to vaccines on Wednesday to a standing room audience in the Cannon House Office Building). For a moment, and mind you it may be a brief moment, I felt a renewed faith in the power of American democracy. One reason I am feeling hopeful is because of all of you here at Age of Autism. You made this happen.

Because of the work you all did in reaching out, calling your representatives and giving them a strong reason to attend, we had a great session. So I’d like to say thank you to the readers of Age of Autism. Thank you for providing a small little civics lesson for how democracy can work, and should work more often. And as part of my thank you, I’d like to report back here and give you more details about what so many of you have asked. What was the feeling in the room? But first, let me tell you why my own feelings surprised me.

Continue reading "Mark Blaxill: The Feeling in the Room" »

Father Warrior on the Maloney Vaccine Meeting

Warrior_father_silhouetteManaging Editor's Note: There are plenty of Warrior Fathers in the autism community. Meet one below:

By Louis Conte

I must admit that lately I have been in awe of many members of our community.  Since March of this year when John Gilmore introduced the Polings to CNN and the world, I have been overwhelmed by the courage of so many to simply tell the truth about autism and vaccines and what has happened to our children. A recent example was Katie Wright’s post here about her son and everything she and he had gone through while just trying to take a simple family vacation. Ms. Wright’s post should be required reading for any medical professional who minimizes the suffering that autism brings.

On September 24, 2008 David Kirby and Mark Blaxill delivered some of that same courage and truth to Washington and informed our nation’s leaders about what has really caused the autism epidemic.

Continue reading "Father Warrior on the Maloney Vaccine Meeting" »

"A Change in Attitude Toward Our Community"

AchampManaging Editor's Note: It's a day for Mother Warriors.  Here, A-Champ's Bobbie Manning talks about yesterday's meeting in DC.

Hi everyone,

Wanted to offer my impressions of yesterday's briefing.

First, David and Mark's presentations were terrific... as they always are.

I was very, very impressed with staff attendance at the briefing and the attention they paid to the speakers. It was standing room only and actually exceeded my expectations given the current financial crisis going on.

I observed a lot of notes being taken. A staffer from Sen. Lautenburg's office was next to me and had five pages of notes.

Continue reading ""A Change in Attitude Toward Our Community"" »

What David Kirby Told Congress

David_speaks_2HERE is David Kirby's slide presentation from the Vaccine/Autism meeting in DC yesterday.

What Age of Autism's Mark Blaxill Told Congress

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

Attendance at Rep. Maloney's Autism-Vaccine Meeting

Veni_vidi_viciSIGN IN SHEET AT MALONEY BRIEFING (Subject to updates)

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

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

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

Libby Rupp is a Warrior Mother

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

By Libby Rupp

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

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

Continue reading "Libby Rupp is a Warrior Mother" »

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

Warrior_mothersBy Katie Wright

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

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

Standing Room Only at Maloney Meeting

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

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

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

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

Maloney

David_speaks