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2441 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

Kids, Say Du"Bye" To Your Health: AAP Heads to the Middle East

Dubai_money_2Thank you to Ginger Taylor of Adventures in Autism for sharing this post with us.  God help America if this foray into the middle east turns into an "Autism for Oil" program.

New AAP President Shows Us His Priorities, And It Is Not The Health of American Children

Last month David 'no such thing as vaccine injury' (HERE) Tayloe, was sworn in as the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Naturally, on day one of his new job, he laid out his priorities for his tenure (HERE):

'Tayloe said that he intends to focus on 5 main areas this coming year -- "Medicaid payments, vaccine financing issues, fair payment of pediatricians, retail-based health clinics and funding medical students' education." "

As Anne Dachel notes in her piece, there are no actual children's health issues on his list of priorities. What is important to Tayloe, is getting pediatricians paid.

His priority is money.

Continue reading "Kids, Say Du"Bye" To Your Health: AAP Heads to the Middle East" »

Suze Orman on Autism One Radio

Suze_ormanDear Friends,

We will be having the Internationally Acclaimed Personal Finance Expert "Suze Orman" as a guest on our Radio Show "The Candy Store" on "Autism One Radio" in early 2009.  If any parent who has a child with autism would like to ask "Suze Orman" a question about their finances please e-mail Robert & Sandy Waters Host's of "The Candy Store" on "Autism One Radio" at

We need your questions no later than the end of December 2008.  Depending on the amount of questions we receive, we will try to ask most of them on air with your name and state where you live.  Or, Suze might even e-mail the answers back if we can not get to the question on the air.  The links to our Radio Show are below.  Thank You!!

Faith, Love & Hope,

Robert & Sandy Waters
Host's of "The Candy Store" on Autism One Radio   

The Grim Future for the Avalanche of Autistic Adults

Now_what Managing Editor's Note:  Jan Randall is a tireless advocate for people with autism. She lives in Massachusetts, which happens to have fairly good services. And yet, there's still very little for her adult son with autism. How is a parent of an adult with autism supposed to earn a living outside of the home, when their child needs assistance? How do we prevent aging parents from burning out completely? The link to the article is HERE.

All grown up — now where to go?

Autistic kids are quickly turning into autistic adults, and the growing population is straining social services and posing new challenges for parents who have to arrange care for them 24/7.

By Jim McGaw

SEEKONK — Andrew Randall swishes the swirls his paint brush around a canvas set up on the kitchen table. Heavy globs of golds, greens and whites blend into a dark, monochromatic work that may end up on his family’s wall — maybe even a gallery. Andrew stays busy as his large frame hunches over the canvas; his arms move quickly and his gaze is rarely diverted.

Working equally as hard is his mom, Jan, who calls herself Andrew’s “apprentice.” Ms. Randall is busy opening new jars of paint, cleaning up drips that have formed at the edge of the canvas and making sure Andrew’s clothes stay reasonably clean. Occasionally, she has to chase her son down when he tries to leave the room, wet brush still in hand.
“More white in green,” says Andrew, as his mom mixes some paint. After about an hour of painting, Andrew stops.

“I’m all done with the canvas. Get out of the canvas,” he says.

Continue reading "The Grim Future for the Avalanche of Autistic Adults" »

Autism United Sponsors Meeting for NY Autism Legislation

On Saturday, December 6, 2008 Autism United is sponsoring a meeting to develop a state-wide agenda for the 2009 legislative session. The meeting will be held at the Albany Clarion Hotel, 3 Watervliet Avenue Extension, Albany, New York, 12206 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

This is an open invitation to leaders and activists within the autism community in New York who are interested in bringing positive change to people and families with autism. A quick list of the issues to be addressed are:

Philosophical Exemption from mandatory vaccines
Enhanced Religious and Medical Waivers from mandatory vaccines
Improving education services for children and people with autism

Continue reading "Autism United Sponsors Meeting for NY Autism Legislation" »

Age of Autism Birthday Winners!

GiftsCongratulations to our birthday contest winners (see below!)  Email me at kim stagliano @ gmail with your mailing address please. 

By Kim Stagliano

It was our birthday, but the gifts were for you! Thank you so much for supporting Age of Autism! Please don't forget you can help us keep the posts coming by making a donation via PayPal. Nicole, Ben's Dad and Dolores, your items are in the mail. KS

1) Jamie Manning's "What Remains" CD (Music that chronicle's the Lives of Parents Raising Children with Autism. Click the link to listen to samples.) Three lucky winners! Maria, Barbara Rodriguez, Dolores Goneau

2) Chantal Sicile Kira's "Autism Life Skills: From Communication and Safety to Self-Esteem and More. 10 Essential Abilities Every Child Needs and Deserves to Learn" Book. Four lucky winners! Erica in Alabama, Nicole Bryant, Roger, Ben's Dad

3) Watch Me Learn's "About Me and You ...and my friends too!" Evidence-based social skills training DVD. One lucky winner!  Dr. Jon

Our Kids Somali or American

CorrespondenceManaging Editor's Note: We are proud to share the correspondence between the Somali community and the Minneapolis Department of Health.

From: Hassan, Hodan M
Sent: Tue 11/18/2008 4:01 PM

Subject: Our kids Somali or American

Hi Edith, Dr.Sanne and Doug.

Per our conversation this morning, you told me that Dr,Punyko is working really hard and putting allot of time in to this issue, and that it will be really irresponsible on her part if she just blurted out the numbers without making sure the numbers are right.

I would like to thank Dr. Punyko for putting all her time in to this matter, however its not changing anything. I for one are not convinced that MDH is going to do anything different for  us as a Somali community than they haven't done for the American people in this state.

Continue reading "Our Kids Somali or American" »

Autism Strikes 1 in 28 Somali Children in Minnesota

Somali_familyBy Nancy Hokkanen

In Minnesota, an estimated 1 in 28 Somali children have autism spectrum disorders. In response many Somali families, advocacy groups and government agencies organized “A Forum on Developmental Delays and Autism in the Somali Community,” held in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 15.

The forum’s primary objective was to raise awareness in the Somali community about developmental delays in children, with specific emphasis on autism, and to engage the community. Presentations were translated into Somali and English.

Shaikh Saad Musse stated in his introduction, “Our children are the foundation of our life.” Saeed Fahia of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM) acknowledged that “we are all worried, and we would like to have a solution to this.”

Continue reading "Autism Strikes 1 in 28 Somali Children in Minnesota" »

Talk About Curing Autism Reaches Out to CA Wild Fire Victims

Tacalogo_full_2Managing Editor's Note: Our sponsor TACA is reaching out to members affected by the wild fires in California. From their site:

Help for Families Affected by California Wild Fires

TACA Families: If you have lost your home or been evacuated (or know a family affected by autism that has) please CONTACT US if you need a place to stay or any other help! 

If your child is a REGIONAL CENTER client, be sure to contact your caseworker for information about emergency housing and food allowances. Find your regional center.

How can you help?

Continue reading "Talk About Curing Autism Reaches Out to CA Wild Fire Victims" »

Email Ideas to Arianna Huffington for the Rachel Maddow Show

AriannaArianna Huffington is hosting the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC on Monday, November 17th.  She is seeking topic ideas.  Do YOU have a topic idea?  I'm sure you do. Please click HERE to leave your idea in the comments section of her post.  It's worth signing into Huffington Post to make your request.

Where are the FDA & AAP on Food Dyes? Commerce Before Calm.

MmsThe UK has just banned six artificial food additives for their connection to behavioral issues in humans (it's not just children.)  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the FDA and AAP choose to appease chemical companies and pharma friends who make hyperactivity drugs.  What? Remove food dyes and help kids sit still in school? No! We need to ply American children with drugs!  And make sure they are all coated in pretty colors!

Most of us who read Age of Autism do not feed our kids artificial colors. But the average American consumer doses her child with chemicals from the rainbow colored morning cereal, to the neon pink yogurt snack through the bright blue bedtime toothpaste. Parents need to effect change with their pocketbooks.

Read the full article from The Daily Mail HERE.

Ministers have backed a ban on six food additives linked to hyperactivity in children.
The decision follows a call from the Food Standards Agency earlier this year for the food industry voluntarily to remove the chemicals.

The news is a major breakthrough for the Daily Mail's 'Ban the Additives' campaign.
It follows research that found children became hyperactive when fed a cocktail of additives used in hundreds of products.

Scientists argued many could be protected from developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder  -  which can blight entire school careers  -  if the chemicals were removed from food.

Fitness Pro Ray Salomone Offers Health Tips to Parent Warriors

Ray_head_shotManaging Editor's Note: I think you'll like our new contributor Ray Salomone, personal trainer in NYC and owner of Greco Roman Wellness. He and I met via the Denis Leary debacle. Ray was born with a rare birth defect that affected his chest muscle and struggled throughout childhood. He has a soft spot on his "hard body" for kids with autism, a result of an experience of his own.

I asked Ray if he'd put together a fitness routine for us autism Moms and Dads that's fast and effective. It's below. We need to stay strong and healthy for our kids and to manage our kids. Little boys and girls don't stay little forever.  My Mia is as strong as an ox, albeit a beautiful ox. Thank you, Ray. KS

By Ray Salomone

Hi Everyone,

You may have heard about my internet rumble with Denis Leary over the stupid comments he made about autism. "Trust me, I know how the game works. He has a book coming out so he needs to be compelling and provocative. But this is disgusting. FULL DISCLOUSRE: I have a book coming out also. I’ve called and emailed his agent and publicist. I imagine a No comment is forthcoming  So I’ll make a comment:  Denis Leary is a piece of shit." Click 
to read the entire blog entry.

He never showed, but two of his buddies from South Boston said they were on their way to NYC. They never showed either.

I know that so many of you barely have a minute to yourself and that exercise, in many cases, is relegated to the back burner. Here is a short, but very intense program that you can do at home in only ten minutes without any weights or other equipment.

Continue reading "Fitness Pro Ray Salomone Offers Health Tips to Parent Warriors" »

Autism Community “United in Expressing Our Disapproval” of the NIH Strategic Plan for Autism Research

RejectedEditor’s note: One core feature of the Combating Autism Act (CAA) was the requirement for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a strategic plan for autism research. Why? Because if the CAA was going to direct NIH to devote considerably more resources to the investigation of autism, then NIH needed to be held accountable for the coherence of its oversight of these resources and the effectiveness of that spending. In the last year, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), headed up by Dr. Thomas Insel of the National Institute of Mental Health, has been working on completing a strategic plan for autism research. Recently, a draft plan had been circulated for public comment (HERE).

On Wednesday, a broad coalition of eleven autism groups, including the three autism organizations represented on the IACC (ASA, Autism Speaks and SafeMinds), and all four Age of Autism sponsors, distributed a joint letter to all the members of the IACC (most of which represent various federal agencies). This letter states that “as a community we are united in expressing our disapproval of the draft plan.”

The eleven organizations that signed the letter were:

Autism New Jersey (formerly COSAC)
Autism Research Institute (ARI)
Autism Society of America (ASA)
Autism Speaks
Generation Rescue
National Autism Association (NAA)
Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)
Unlocking Autism

Click below to read the letter. The link is HERE. 

Continue reading "Autism Community “United in Expressing Our Disapproval” of the NIH Strategic Plan for Autism Research" »

David Kirby on HuffPo: Autism Speaks, Don't Rule out Vaccines

DavidkirbyOur dedicated contributor David Kirby has a post over at HuffPo HERE
titled, "Autism Speaks: Don't Rule out Vaccines." Please pop over there to leave a comment on his post, won't you?  As always, David, thank you.
Is the vaccine-autism debate over? Not according to the co-founder of the largest, most mainstream, most influential autism organization in the world.

Click HERE to read a HuffPo I wrote about when Suzanne Wright promised me in front of hundreds of people that AS would look at the autism vaccine connection. On camera. 

We Remember Veteran's Day

Autism_salutesToday we honor veterans in the autism community. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles alike. Thank you for your service to our country. Angela Warner, a "friend of ours" at Age of Autism, runs a wonderful blog for military families facing autism called Autism Salutes.

Please check out her Veteran's Day post (HERE) about our sponsor Lee Silsby compounding pharmacy - they accept Tricare military insurance. is Hiring an Autism Blogger!

JobManaging Editor's Note:  Please do not call Joshua. Emails only. Thank you.

Want to blog about autism for an audience of hundreds of thousands of activists and nonprofit leaders? launched a social action blog network earlier this month (announced by Newsweek - with blogs covering a dozen major social issues, and we're currently looking to hire a part-time (paid) blogger to run our forthcoming portal. (See our current blogs here:

Continue reading " is Hiring an Autism Blogger!" »

Autism Speaks & David Yurman: Cable for a Cause

BlingManaging Editor's Note: Let's see, I believe I recall Bob Wright saying "Even if you have money, autism makes you broke-" on MSNBC last April. Apparently not so broke that you can't buy a beautiful David Yurman bracelet to help raise money for Autism Speaks.  I called the store. The bracelet is $295.00, which is quite inexpensive for David Yurman jewelry. Stop laughing.

David Yurman and Lux, Bond & Green invite you for a special eveing celebrating Cable for a Cause to benefit Autism Speaks. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Friday November 7th, 2008, 6 - 8pm.  46 LaSalle Road, Hartford, CT. RSVP: 860-521-3015 or email A percentage of the proceeds from this event and Saturday, November 8th as well as the limited edition David yurman bracelet will benefit Autism Speaks.

Diana A. Yeisley
Fundraising Chair
Autism Speaks Community Leadership Council
Greater Hartford
1 in 150 - Autism is an Epidemic

Autism Speaks Sends A Message to Community?

EndorsedAutism Speaks featured Dr. Paul Offit in the "People" category of its website (HERE.) As of this morning, the link has rotated off the AS site for newer stories.

I assume whoever chooses the site's content pays attention to the article/info they post. I certainly do here at Age of Autism. And if I post something controversial, I add a note, so our readers are clear about the choice of content. Nothing from Autism Speaks, just a mention and a link. So, is this a tacit endorsement of Dr. Offit's book, in which he targets Jenny McCarthy, Dr, Wakefield and other people working tirelessly to help chilldren with autism?  Here was the copy:

Author Royalties From Autism Book Donated to Autism Research (Philadelphia, Penn.)  Paul Offit, MD, announced today that all author royalties earned from the sale of his new book, "Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure," will be donated to the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.Here is THE ARTICLE AS linked.

RFK Jr. to Head EPA?

RfkManaging Editor's Note: That's Robert Kennedy Jr. at the Green our Vaccines rally last June where he summarized the autism/vaccine debate better than anyone I'd ever heard. Click HERE to watch his speech at the Jenny McCarthy Green Our Vaccines rally. From your mouth to God's ears, J.B.. 

By J.B. Handley

I didn't weep last night when Barack Obama was elected President, although I voted for him and was certainly thrilled to see him elected for so many reasons.

Truth be told, I was very frustrated by Obama's positions on autism relative to John McCain, and I simply heard many more things and saw a lot more action out of McCain when it came to our kids.

But, I was struck by the decency, intelligence, and compassion of Obama, and I believe he already knows or will soon understand the breadth of what is going on with our kids.

Like I said, I didn't weep when Obama won last night, but I just wept for a rumor now floating around in the blogosphere: Obama is considering RFK Jr. to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

God Bless America. And, let's pray it's true.

J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and contributor to Age of Autism.

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>

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:

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.

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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 

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.  ;)


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.

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"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


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. 

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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, 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.

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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:

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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. 

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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.

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