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2336 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

Response to Chicago Tribune on Measles

Letter_to_the_editprBy Louis Conte

On August 29, 2008 the Chicago Tribune printed a story about a “measles outbreak” and declining rates of vaccination. As of July 30, this “outbreak” affected 131 people. In a nation of more than 240 million people, do 131 cases really constitute an “outbreak?”  The article, noted that doctors are reporting that vaccination rates are declining due to parents unfounded beliefs that vaccines are linked to autism. The tone of the article implied that medical science had ended the debate about whether vaccines trigger autism and that parents who continue to believe this are doing so for emotional reasons rather than scientific reasons.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Continue reading "Response to Chicago Tribune on Measles" »

How Will Sarah Palin Vaccinate Her Son Trig?

TrigBy Mark Blaxill

John McCain's surprise decision for his Vice Presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has shaken up the 2008 presidential election race. Since Palin, who has served only two years as Alaska's governor, is not well known, her selection as the Republican candidate for Vice President has raised a number of questions. The most obvious and important question is being asked widely: is she ready to be President should something happen to John McCain? In the meantime, this telegenic, 44 year old mother of five has made history as only the second woman in American history to be selected as Vice President for a major party ticket.

But for some of us, the selection of Sarah Palin has a special resonance. Palin's younger son, Trig, born on April 19, 2008, is barely 4 months old now. Trig has Down's syndrome, a disorder that began at conception when he received two copies of his 21st chromosome from either his mother or father (close to 90% of the time, the extra copy is maternal), leaving him with three copies of this chromosome instead of the usual two. This genetic condition, formally known as trisomy 21, affects roughly 1 in 800 American children today, but as many as 1 in 27 children born to mothers who, like Palin, give birth at age 44.

For readers of the Age of Autism, this 4 month child is worth watching. Because trisomy 21 is not just the cause of Down's syndrome, it is also a genetic susceptibility factor for autism.

Continue reading "How Will Sarah Palin Vaccinate Her Son Trig?" »

A of A Contest: Win "Blessed with Autism"

Blessed_with_autism_2Win a copy of Blessed with Autism by Christina Peck.

For the first time in print, Blessed with Autism, the Workbook, author Christina Peck shares her tools for success in receiving monetary  reimbursement for therapy from private insurance companies. 

Stories within the book reflect the author’s personal experience as well as the experiences of hundreds of clients she’s helped over the past five years.  This insightful book aims to give parents of children with Autism and other special needs the help they need to secure financial support for many different types of therapy.  Inside the workbook, readers can find many mportant questions to ask their private insurance carrier, samples of letters to request an increase in covered therapy, and invoice templates to submit bills for reimbursement.

‘This book is an indispensable tool that is a must-have for any parent with a POS or PPO plan who has not yet received reimbursement from insurance.’ - J.S., parent

Leave your name in the comments section to enter. Winner selected within a week.  Go to Blessed with Autism to buy a copy.

Historical Nationwide Walk for Autism to Pass Through Missouri

Naa_logoFrom our friends at The National Autism Association:

Jefferson City, MO – Mid-Missouri will be the next stop for two Massachusetts men taking a journey across America to raise money and awareness for children with autism. Bobby Genese and Robert Williams are expected to be in the Kansas City area this week, making their way to Jefferson City by next week.

Their walk began after the death of seven-year-old Elias Tembenis of Worcester, Massachusetts. Diagnosed with autism and epilepsy, Tembenis passed away two days before Thanksgiving from complications following a seizure. Friends of the Tembenis family, Williams and Genese approached the boy’s parents with an offer to walk across America in memory of Elias. Aptly named ‘The Elias Tembenis Walk for Autism,’ the journey began on San Francisco’s Route 50 in May and will end on the American Trail in Washington DC.

Read more HERE.

Dr. Jay Gordon Responds to Dr. David Gorski and the Anons

EnlightenEditor's Note: Dr. Jay Gordon posted this in the comment section of JB Handley's piece, "The Worldwide Wanker of Woo" He was responding to a piece written by Dr. David Gorski (aka Orac) that you can read HERE. We thought it deserved its own post.


So . . . you asked and I'll answer. I've been on staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for nearly thirty years in good standing. I attend in the nursery for a month at a time with med students, and residents and occasionally spend another month attending in the residents' continuity clinic. I review cases, compare and contrast what I do in my private office with what they're comfortable doing in a clinic setting or a large nursery setting.

Continue reading "Dr. Jay Gordon Responds to Dr. David Gorski and the Anons" »

A Note from the Editors

Kicked_out_2By Mark Blaxill

It has come to my attention that there has been a bit of uncertainty regarding my recent comments here regarding RJ Bates of Celgene. I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify any ambiguity that may have emerged in recent days. I'd like to cover four main points.

First of all, when I post comments on Age of Autism (AoA), I use the author name "Mark." Our regular readers know that this name refers to AoA Editor-at-Large, Mark Blaxill. My dual role as editor and commenter seems to have led to some confusion recently in a number of exchanges between "D's Advocate" or "RJ" and "Mark." In these comments "Mark" was, as always, Mark Blaxill, AoA Editor-at-Large.

Continue reading "A Note from the Editors" »

Hurricane Evacuation Information for Autism Families

HurricaneManaging Editor's Note: I sent out an email asking members of the autism community to share tips and resources for families in the path of Hurricane Gustav.  If you're with an agency, please email me at with any info you'd like to share with your community. I'll add it to this post. Readers, please feel free to add more information in our comments section. To our readers in The Gulf of Mexico region, we're thinking of you.  Kim

Update: I just got this from Scott Greeson, Training Officer /Assistant Director - OEP/Homeland Security Claiborne Parish Emergency 911: Our EOC is fully activated as others are throughout Louisiana.  My only recommendation is that they leave now.  From all reports traffic is moving well.  However, as the day progresses traffic will be slower when the evacuation becomes mandatory.  Also, all gas stations along the coast are recording out of fuel or low fuel supplies.  Those that are planning on leaving need to fill up ASAP while supplies last. If you need any type of information I will be checking my personal email account when time allows.  One further note, if people are unsure where to go there are evacuation/shelter information points stationed at intervals on the major highways and state tourist stops.   

Reducing Stress as You Pack and Travel/Evacuate

___1. Select one backpack to pack all-important papers. Keep together all medical info, maps, emergency numbers and other info you may need while on the road. Place the medical prescriptions in this bag so they are easily attainable during a long evacuation ride.

___2. Use children's school backpacks to pack individual packs for the road for each of them. This makes their bag easily identifiable to them.

Continue reading "Hurricane Evacuation Information for Autism Families" »

McCain Runningmate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

PalinBy Kim Stagliano

John McCain has just selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his runningmate. She's 44 years old and the mother of five children, the youngest of whom has Down Syndrome.

By the way, if you want to continue the political conversation, I've written a piece about Governor Palin at Huffington Post called, "Gov. Palin: Is Not Taking Maternity Leave a Conservative Value?"  You can click HERE to read it. Come on over to comment, won't you? The link loads slowly. HuffPo is busy!


You Tube Video: Indiana Bully Punches Boy with Autism

BulliesManaging Editor's Note:  This story turns a mother's stomach. My three beautiful girls start school today. Two are in middle school. I worry about bullies... and worse. I'm sure you do too. How do you think this Indiana mother feels?

MISHAWAKA — A 16-year-old with autism was punched in the face, and someone posted video of the attack on YouTube. Now the family wants the teen attacker to face charges.

Click HERE to watch the news story from WSBT in Indiana.

Barbara Fischkin on Hillary Clinton and Autism

She_saidManaging Editor's Note: The talented Barbara Fischkin wrote this piece for Huffington Post and kindly allowed us to link it.

Hopefully this will be the shortest post I will ever write. Hillary listened. We in the autism community asked her to recognize us. And she did. Yet again. At the the Democratic National Convention. She spoke about a mother with two kids with autism who also had cancer.

Click here to read "Hillary Said The Word Autism."

Bill Clinton: "Families of Children with Autism..."

Cure_ribbonBill Clinton just said, "I'll never forget the families of children with autism..." as he is talking about the state of healthcare in America during his speech at the Democratic National Convention.  It's you, our readers who blog, write, comment everywhere, and our formidable sponsors Generation Rescue, SafeMinds, TACA, and Autism Research Institute  who have gotten the word out about autism and kept it there.

The Autism Sneetches: Vaxed Vs. Unvaxed

Sneetches_2Karey Williams never thought a parenting decision would come between her and a good friend. The two had known one another for a decade, supported each other through infertility treatment and had their first babies around the same time. But when she told the friend that she had stopped vaccinating her daughter at age 1, the relationship abruptly ended.

"She said, 'Well then, your child can't come into my house,'" recalls Williams, 47, who lives in the Chicago area.

click HERE to read more.

Minnesota Investigates Autism in Somali Children

Crime_sceneMinnesota health officials are examining a "possible surge" in autism cases among Somali immigrant children in the state, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. In Minneapolis, 3.6% of Somali immigrant students were in autism-related programs as of July, about twice the district average. In 2007, Somali children made up 6% of the city's school population and 14 of the 81 children, or 17%, in early childhood education autism programs in Minneapolis. The "numbers have been creeping up for several years, especially among young children," the Star Tribune reports.

Click HERE for more.

NIMH Flip-Flops on Pivotal IACC Workgroup Meeting

Flip_flopBy Kelli Ann Davis

Earlier this year, a “closed door” notice in the Federal Register announced an upcoming meeting of “four science workshops” tasked by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) “to generate research priorities for the Strategic Plan” (SP). (Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.)

In response to the closed door notice, Jim Moody wrote a piece entitled “What’s so Secret About Autism Science” (HERE) in an attempt to pressure officials to open the meeting while raising important process and transparency questions surrounding the development of the SP.  [Please read this article before proceeding and pay particular attention to his comments regarding the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)].  Unfortunately, Jim’s pleas were ignored and the workshops conducted their deliberations behind closed doors as planned.

Continue reading "NIMH Flip-Flops on Pivotal IACC Workgroup Meeting" »

Obama, Are You That Guy (For Autism)? "I Am."

CoyEditor's Note: Coy Barefoot of Charlottesville, Va. -- one of the best friends Age of Autism has -- interviewed Barack Obama on his AM-radio show. He had time to ask only three questions, but the last one was a zinger.  "We are desperate," said Barefoot, "for a political leader to stand up and say, 'We have a national crisis, and we are going to help these children.' Are you that guy?" Obama replied: "I am." Three cheers for Coy, and two for Obama -- we'll use the last one when (and if) we see action. Of course, John McCain has said much the same; either candidate is bound to be an improvement over the status quo. -- Dan Olmsted

HERE'S the podcast.

Read Charlottesville's, "The Hook" article "Under Barefoot pressure, Obama agrees to fight autism" HERE. Please comment at The Hook, won't you?

Cleanse Your Palate

SorbetIt's been a long week. Sorbet, anyone? Enjoy.

Best of A of A: Gardiner Harris: Vaccine Patriot

Benedict_arnoldThis piece originally ran last March. But Gardiner Harris is at it again, blaming "fear of autism" on decreased MMR uptake and increasing measles cases. Click HERE to read his piece in today's NY Times. Come on over to my house, Gardiner, see what autism is all about, then tell me if fears are unfounded.  KS

By J.B. Handley

“but scaring parents away from life-saving medicines is no way to improve this terrible situation. i have met parents who lost their children to vaccine-preventable diseases, and they are haunted. if you had your way, there would be far more of these haunted souls. i hope to prevent that from happening.”

- Gardiner Harris, NY Times reporter, in an email to me, March 9, 2008

The above quote comes from an exchange of emails that I initiated with Gardiner Harris, a New York Times medical reporter, on the eve of the Poling’s historic press conference.

Continue reading "Best of A of A: Gardiner Harris: Vaccine Patriot" »

My Semester With an Asperger's Syndrome Student*

Mentor_2By Allen A. Oldham*

*I am not a psychologist or otherwise professionally qualified to say for certain that “Fred,” the name I am using as a pseudonym for one of my students, has Asperger’s Syndrome.  He never identified himself as such in any way, including by seeking any accommodation.  I have not even been a teacher that long, having recently become an assistant professor after a 30-year career outside of academia. 

Before meeting Fred, I had, however, read the popular media’s coverage of the seemingly swift rise in the reported incidence of autism-related disorders, including the controversy over whether the phenomenon was related to childhood vaccinations.  After meeting Fred, I took it upon myself to do some reading.  From that reading, and from my four months of interaction with Fred, I now feel comfortable that my lay diagnosis has at least some accuracy.  I also recognize that there are infinite degrees of variation in the characteristics and abilities of those with autism-related disorders.

Week One

I completely miss the first clues that something is different about “Fred” during the first class of the semester in an undergraduate class when he comes up after class and fires off several questions.  He is a 20-something man with shaggy hair, and wearing all gray including a gray ski jacket.

Continue reading "My Semester With an Asperger's Syndrome Student*" »

Random House Poisoned Profits on Autism One Radio

Poisoned_profitsAugust 12, 2008
12:00 noon ET
Teri Arranga
Autism One: A Conversation of Hope
HERE to enter the Voice America site to listen.

Teri Arranga of Autism One will interview Philip and Alice Shabecoff along with Age of Autism Editor-at-Large Mark Blaxill and his wife, Elise on Tuesday, August 12 at 12 noon Eastern. Here’s a brief description of the Shabecoff’s new book, Poisoned Profits.

Poisoned Profits: the Toxic Assault on our Children, just released by Random House, unveils alarming facts correlating the rate of disease among America’s children with toxic environmental exposures.  This book, by former New York Times environmental correspondent Philip Shabecoff and his wife Alice, is a meticulously researched, well written and easy to read no holds barred account of industrial polluters, obstructionism, and the epidemic of children’s chronic diseases, including autism.  It discusses the scientific evidence, walks the reader through a typical American day to disclose the surprising places where poisons enter our lives by our own actions and by stealthy trespass, and tells the stories of families, including the Blaxills, and of communities harmed by toxic exposures, from industrial chemicals to pesticides to nuclear-contaminated water.  The book ends with hope and optimism, with ways for parents to protect their children and for citizens to change the economic and political system that allows these assaults to continue. 

See the Poisoned Profits website for more info and to order the book.

Obama and McCain Non-Responses to Vaccine Safety Requests

Obama_mccainManaging Editor's Note: 8/11/08: Who says an old dog can't learn a new trick? I added a pop up window for the letters to the candidates so that you can see them full size. I apologize for the eye strain!

By Rebecca Estepp

In May, I sent out a video of Vaccine Safety Requests to all three Presidential candidates. The rationale behind this video project was to get the Presidential candidates to go on record about vaccine safety.  For those who have not seen the video you can access it HERE.

To refresh memories, here are the two Executive Orders I requested:

The first Executive Order I would like you to consider is within the first 100 days of taking office, would you issue an Executive Order requiring the removal of MERCURY from all vaccines by January 1, 2010?

For the second Executive Order, within 100 days of taking office, would you issue an Order requiring a Moratorium on the addition of new vaccines to the recommended list for children, until the current vaccine schedule can be proven safe?

Continue reading "Obama and McCain Non-Responses to Vaccine Safety Requests" »

Dr. Jenkins, Want to Rethink Your Position?

DiceThe United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) today announced landmark research finding that one in every 200 people has a DNA mutation that could potentially cause a mitochondrial disease in them or their offspring. Mitochondrial disease is a devastating and often fatal disease, and mitochondrial disorders are at the core of many well known diseases and chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and autism spectrum disorders.  Click HERE to read more.

Mary Holland on the Every Child by Two Press Conference

Peet_jenkinsBy Mary Holland, Esq.

The Press Conference

I arrived at my office Tuesday morning in Greenwich Village, to find an urgent email from Jenny McCarthy and the Autism Action Network to attend this ECBT-AAP press conference in New York City.  The press release promised a swank address, celebrity, politics, science and the press – so why not? I thought.  So I hopped on the subway, entered the Peninsula Hotel at 5th Avenue and 55th St., and went to the appointed hall, where outside lay glossy red press kits labeled “Get the Facts: Vaccines Save Lives!” and videos with Amanda Peet’s smiling face and her public service announcements.

Continue reading "Mary Holland on the Every Child by Two Press Conference" »

Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Jon Poling: New England Journal of Medicine

NejmBy Anne Dachel

Managing Editor's Note: You can click into the NEJM to read the two pieces referenced. The body copy also runs at the bottom of the post.

On August 7, the New England Journal of Medicine published the opposing opinions of Dr. Jon Poling, father of Hannah Poling, and Dr. Paul Offit, Infectious Disease Specialist from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, on the Vaccine Court case in which the federal government conceded that vaccines were a factor in the development of autism in Hannah. Titled, Vaccines and Autism Revisited, the letters run in the "Correspondance" section of NEJM. (Click HERE to read the August 7th piece)

In the May 15 NEJM Perspective section, Offit split every hair he could to try and lessen the impact of the Poling case.  He tried to convince the public that there was no scientific basis for the concession. (Click HERE to read the May 15th piece.) Offit's remarks led to the August 7 response by Dr. Poling. 

In his August 7 piece, Poling went after Offit's opinion about his daughter's case using phrases like "Offit misrepresents my position,"  "Offit confuses issues," and "His opinion is unsupported by clinical trials." 

Continue reading "Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Jon Poling: New England Journal of Medicine" »

Closed IACC Meeting Now Open To the Public

Public_invitedBy Kelli Ann Davis

We were informed this week by NIMH Director Tom Insel that an important Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee's (IACC) Implementation Workgroup meeting will be open to the public this Friday, August 8th  by phone 888-455-2920; access code 3857872 or via the web HERE.

During the last IACC meeting on July 15, it was announced that the meeting for the Implementation Working Group would take place in private and the Federal Register entry from last Thursday, July 31st states that the meeting will be “closed to the public” with “attendance limited to invited participants.” Here's the body copy of the letter:

Continue reading "Closed IACC Meeting Now Open To the Public" »

Have You Had Your Google Today?

Google If you enjoy reading Age of Autism, here's a fun exercise. Google "Every Child By Two" and see what pops up. Aw, we can't wait to tell you. It's Age of Autism's JB Handley post outing Every Child by Two as a vaccine industry front group. Isn't that magically Googlicious? Go ahead, Google Every Child by Two. "Wyeth" not?  ;)

Katie Wright on the Every Child By Two Press Conference

High_heelsToday I had the privilege of standing outside the Peninsula Hotel for two and half hours with a great group of autism parents. They are smart, dedicated, hard working parents, who apparently pose a security threat to Rosalyn Carter. We all wanted to hear what Every Child by Two and the AAP had to say at their vaccination press conference. We were denied entry to this public event because of “security risks to Rosalyn Carter.” OK, I have been accused of some crazy things but being a security risk…to Rosalyn Carter???? Insane and laughable. Because we did not RSVP in within the allotted half hour of 9:30 -10PM, when the registration was supposedly open, we were denied entrance.

What a difference between Every Child By Two and a DAN!, AutismOne or NAA event, where anyone who purchases a ticket is welcome.

Continue reading "Katie Wright on the Every Child By Two Press Conference" »

Louise Kuo Habakus on the Every Child By Two Press Conference

UpdateBy Louise Kuo Habakus

Late last night, a dozen of us were online, e-mailing about the ECBT-AAP press conference that we had just learned would take place today.  We shared notes, compiled information and put out the word to get parents to NYC by 10:30am.  I couldn’t make it but I prepared a statement and my good friend and fellow parent and health practitioner, Lisa Rudley, said she’d try to read it.

It’s Tuesday at 12:40pm and Lisa called.  “Louise, it was worse than the AMA seminar we attended.”  We had started calling ourselves “Thelma and Louise” after attending that seminar in June, intended for doctors seeking Continuing Ed credit.  That seminar was bad.  I asked her, could this really have been worse?

Continue reading "Louise Kuo Habakus on the Every Child By Two Press Conference" »

Cris Italia of Spectrum Magazine on the Every Child by Two Press Conference

Logospectrum2_2Managing Editor's Note: Click HERE to link over to our friends at Spectrum Publications. Here is Cris Italia's report on the press conference today. Thank you to Cris for allowing us to run this piece from his blog at Spectrum.

by Cris Italia

I’m not sure what you can call this, maybe some of the readers can come up with a fancy name for the war of words that will begin between Jenny McCarthy and Amanda Peet. On Tuesday morning Every Child By Two (ECBT) an organization created by Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady of the United States and wife of former President Jimmy Carter and Betty Bumpers wife of retired U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers, held a press conference in Manhattan to settle the score about vaccine safety.

Continue reading "Cris Italia of Spectrum Magazine on the Every Child by Two Press Conference" »

Every Child By Two 2006 Tax Return

Tax_return Every Child By Two 2006 Tax Return 

Contribution by Wyeth: $350,769 (page 23)

Salaries: $72,000 - $89,000 (page 10)

The address on the tax return? "666" 11th Street, DC.

Jane Johnson on the Every-Child-by-Two Press Conference

Breaking_newsBy Jane Johnson

My daughter and I showed up in the very pretty and obviously extremely expensive lobby of the Peninsula Hotel, where we were met by a couple of attractive but chilly young women who informed me that we weren’t on the list.  I explained that I hadn’t even heard about the meeting until about 10 pm, but had tried to reserve a slot then.  Finally they took my card, scurried upstairs, and returned to tell me we would be allowed in.  We went upstairs, where they told us it was for members of the press only (bless Spectrum’s Cris Italia—he tried to pull us in), and they were concerned they wouldn’t have enough seats.  I offered to wait and see if spare seats were an issue, and they sent us back down to the lobby. 

By that point Katie Wright and some other parents were milling around, along with an impossibly beautiful, adorable little boy named Rome.  We chatted for a while, until they came back down and apologized, and—eureka!—let me and my daughter in.

Continue reading "Jane Johnson on the Every-Child-by-Two Press Conference" »

Every Child By Two: A Front Group for Wyeth

Clowns_2Managing Editor's Note: That's a photo of the board of Every Child By Two, you can click HERE to see a larger photo and a list of the members and their affiliations.  (10/14/08, ECBT asked us to remove the photo as it is copyrighted. We replaced it with a similar photo.)

By J.B. Handley

17 years ago, in 1991, the DTP Vaccine was under fire for the high rate of autism, brain injury and death it was causing in children. Lawsuits were mounting. In fact, DTP was why Congress created the 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the first place. As Barbara Loe Fisher, co-author of A Shot In the Dark, a book chronicling the problems with DPT, said, "it is important to note that the vast majority of vaccine injury awards in the VICP have been for children suffering DPT vaccine brain injuries and deaths…of all the vaccines which have been routinely used by children in the past century, the brain damaging effects of the pertussis (whooping cough) portion of DPT vaccine is among the most well documented in the scientific literature."

On the firing line was Lederle Laboratories of Wayne, NJ, one of the largest manufacturers of DTP vaccine at the time. A spokesperson for Lederle was charged with working the press to try and defend DTP, mercury, and vaccines in general--he was the Paul Offit of his time. This spokesperson, in January 1991, was quoted in the New York Times saying, "Any chemical product, because it is a chemical substance, does produce some side effects. The current vaccine [DTP], as far as we are concerned, is a very safe and efficacious vaccine."

As we all know, the DTP vaccine was soon replaced with DTaP because of safety concerns.

So what, you say?

Continue reading "Every Child By Two: A Front Group for Wyeth" »

Dr. Frank Engley: Farewell to a Truth-Teller

Engley3_2By Anne Dachel

Most of the time, in the countless articles and news videos I look at, the controversy over vaccines and autism is presented as a debate with scientists and doctors on one side and parents along with the general population on the other side.  We rarely hear about the experts who challenge the claims of health officials.  This is a point of increasing frustration for me and countless others in the autism community. 

This isn't just an argument about proving vaccines have serious side effects.  It's really about who will be held responsible if it's clearly shown that through complete oversight failure, a generation of children has been damaged by unsafe vaccines.   That's it -- pure and simple.  But we don't talk about that.  We pretend that autism is a puzzle we just haven't been able to solve and that officials have earnestly looked for a link with vaccines, but they keep coming up empty.

Late last week, I received word from Linda Weinmaster of No Mercury that Dr. Frank Engley had died.  Dr. Engley has an extremely important place in the story of the autism epidemic and he'll be long-remembered for what he did to expose the truth. 

Continue reading "Dr. Frank Engley: Farewell to a Truth-Teller" »

Adult Onset "Autism?" Is Minnesota our Neurological Damage Capitol?

AlzhemiersOlder American men are sliding into neurological impairment. Have our children been the canaries in the coal mine and now the miners themselves are becoming ill?

Autism tends to strike boys more frequently than girls, which is the same trend being seen in older Americans and this frightening new state called, "Pre-Dementia." The study was conducted in Minnesota, in the county surrounging the Mayo Clinic. This is the same area where Somalian children have been diagnosed with autism at an alarming rate.

From the article which ran earlier this week: "A prime goal is finding drugs to treat the mild impairment before Alzheimer's develops." How about finding out what environmental factors are denigrating human brain function to avoid the condition, rather than simply treat the symptoms? 

CHICAGO - A milder type of mental decline that often precedes Alzheimer's disease is alarmingly more common than has been believed, and in men more than women, doctors reported Monday.

Continue reading "Adult Onset "Autism?" Is Minnesota our Neurological Damage Capitol?" »

CBS Does Not Back Down to Vaccine Industry

Tiffany_box_2The Tiffany Network, CBS, will not retract its report on Dr. Paul Offit, the AAP and Every Child by Two and their financial ties to vaccines.

Sam Miller, of the OC Register's "Inside Autism" blog shares an email from CBS to Voices for Vaccines. If you haven't added "Inside Autism" to your favorite sites list, we suggest you do. Click HERE to leave a comment on "Inside Autism" for Sam Miller. Here's the email Sam ran:

Our report last Friday represents one part of the extensive reporting CBS News has done, and will continue to do, on the issues surrounding vaccines and possible links to autism. That continuing coverage has repeatedly reported on the critical importance of the nation’s maintaining a robust vaccination program for children. Reporting on what critics, including members of Congress, believe to be potential conflicts of interest for vaccine advocates who receive funding from vaccine makers is also an entirely legitimate aspect of our overall coverage. We believe our report was in no way defamatory of any institution or individual, and that no retraction is warranted.

Jenny McCarthy is The Main Event Tonight!

Jenny_wwe_2WWE has teamed with Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue to raise $100,000 toward autism research leading up to Saturday Night's Main Event tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

Jenny McCarthy and Wrestler John Cena on Autism

Et_jennymccarthy_080731_slateClick HERE to watch the video and to read the Entertainment Tonight report on air around the country now about Jenny McCarthy and John Cena, as they get in the ring to fight autism tonight on the WWE Smackdown.

The "Click to View" in the photo is not live. Please click the link in the post, above.

It’s Time for Some Chatter – CDC Style

CdclogoManaging Editor's Note: Scroll to the end of this post to learn how you can follow Kelli Ann's lead and leave a comment on the CDC blog.

By Kelli Ann Davis

As most of you know, a letter was issued to Secretary Leavitt by the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology on July 14th. (Read the Age of Autism Post about it HERE.)

The letter asked the Secretary to ensure that the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee “promote a balanced research portfolio when examining the underlying causes for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” and specifically pressed for research into “environmental exposures” citing two vaccine references.

The Subcommittee is currently investigating CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on several fronts including the recent Beryllium toxic exposure incident.  See the CBS Investigative Report here HERE, and the Subcommittee’s Press Release here: HERE.

Continue reading "It’s Time for Some Chatter – CDC Style" »

Sam Miller of OC Register's "Inside Autism" Blog and Voices for Vaccines

Ocrlogo250Sam Miller, of the OC Register (Orange County, California) contacted Lisa Randall of Voices for Vaccines about her letter requesting a retraction from CBS.

Lisa Randall, executive director of Voices for Vaccines, has asked CBS to retract a story it ran last week that documented financial ties between some defenders of vaccines and the vaccine industry.

The story was by Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative reporter who covers government spending and taxpayer issues for CBS.

“It was a pretty sorry piece of reporting,” Randall told me in an email. “It bothers me when journalists make unfounded accusations and defend themselves with the claim that they’re doing a service simply by raising questions. David Kirby [the author of “Evidence of Harm”] has tried to argue similarly recently. I think ‘raising questions’ without a firm evidentiary basis is exactly the same as ’starting rumors.’”

You can add your own comments on the OC Register blog HERE.

Vaccine Industry Group Calls on Couric and Attkisson for CBS Retraction

Zip_lipsBy Kim Stagliano

"We call upon CBS to issue a retraction of Sharyl Attkisson's report...."

Lisa Randall of Voices For Vaccines has sent a letter to Katie Couric about Sharyl Attkisson's piece last week that questioned the financial ties of the AAP, Dr. Paul Offit and "Every Child by Two" to the vaccine industry. Even The Wall Street Journal picked up the report in its blog, (we wrote about it HERE.)

Here's the letter:

Voices For Vaccines
325 Swanton Way
Decatur, GA 30030

July 31, 2008

Katie Couric, Managing Editor CBS Television Network
524 West 57th Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10019-2902

Via Facsimile

Dear Ms, Couric:

Voices For Vaccines objects to the defamatory allegations made by the CBS Evening News on Friday, July 25, against the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, with our colleague Dr Paul Offit singled out for baseless criticism.

Continue reading "Vaccine Industry Group Calls on Couric and Attkisson for CBS Retraction" »

Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation "Rock 'N Ride"

HarleyDoug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Pitching in for Kids Team up to Host 1st Annual Rock ‘N Ride, Sunday, August 3

Boston, Mass.— July, 2008: Start your engines!  The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Pitching in for Kids will host the 1st Annual Rock ‘N Ride on Sunday, August 3 to benefit children and families affected by autism. The event will kick off with a motorcycle ride from Bruce Rossmeyer's Harley Davidson of Everett to the Hard Rock Café in Faneuil Hall outside Mr. Rossmeyer's  new Harley-Davidson of Boston store. Riders and event participants are then invited to attend a post ride celebration at the Hard Rock Café in Faneuil Hall, where the raffle drawing for a brand new 2008 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle will take place.  For more information on any of the below events, visit or call (617) 367-3322, or 1-866-3Autism. 

Where:  Harley Davidson Store- 1760 Revere Beach Parkway- Everett  (police escorted ride)
When:  Staging time 1:pm-3:30pm,  Ride begins at 4pm SHARP- Rain or Shine
What:  $25 Entry Fee (per bike)- includes ride, wristband, food and beverage at after party at Hard Rock Café in Boston

Continue reading "Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation "Rock 'N Ride"" » Exposes FDA Risks To Americans

ThoreauThere is a website devoted to telling the American public about the problems within the FDA. Please click HERE to visit Thoreau-FDA. From their site:

Welcome to, a website launched and operated by current and former US Food and Drug Administration staff who believe public health is being put at unnecessary risk. These concerned civil servants and ex-civil servants have either experienced or are aware of wrongful directives by US FDA upper management – directives that put public health at avoidable risk. 

Thoreau-FDA stands for Thorough – High – Objectivity – Review – Ends – Are – Us – FDA.

Continue reading " Exposes FDA Risks To Americans" »

Welcome to America! – Hope you like the Autism!

Liberty_2By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

They come to America in search of a better life.  Their children get autism. 

I wonder if they wish they’d just stayed home.

As reported by Elizabeth Gorman in the Minneapolis Post and David Kirby in the Huffington Post (click HERE), there’s something unusual going on with immigrant Somali children in Minnesota and autism.  It might also be happening with other immigrant groups.

According to Gorman’s article, about 6 percent of Minneapolis’ students are Somali-speaking, but “more than 17 percent of the children in the district’s early childhood special education autism program are Somali speaking.”  (It’s estimated that 15,000 to 40,000 Somalis live in Minnesota, the largest Somali population outside of East Africa.)

She later goes on to quote Dr. Chris Bentley, the director of a nonprofit in Minnesota that assists children with autism and their families as saying, “We’re definitely seeing it, and something is triggering it.”

Continue reading "Welcome to America! – Hope you like the Autism!" »

Changes in Michael Savage's Advertisers

DuckBy Kim Stagliano

Pop open a cold Bud, order some Tough Skins jeans (remember those?) grab a pack of batteries, join a buying club, top off your insurance and buy a share of a high tech company..... Several advertisers have pulled their support of the Michael Savage show.  I don't think this means he's "out of business." But it does send a message.

The community that I know and love will not allow people with autism to become acceptable whipping boys, girls, men or women. High functioning, severly impaired, genius Aspergian, verbal, pre-verbal, in recovery, in college, in a group home - if you have autism in any of its Baskin Robbin's array of flavors, you deserve better than Michael Savage's disdain.


Friday, July 25th 2008, 8:45 PM

Six more major companies have yanked ads from Michael Savage's talk-radio show after he branded autistic children "brats."

Continue reading "Changes in Michael Savage's Advertisers" »

My Son is Fine, Therefore Vaccines are Always Safe

Groupthink_2By Katie Wright

My Son is Fine, Therefore Vaccines are Always Safe: CDC Vaccine Science

I just finished reading the CDC transcript regarding “why science is not always enough.” This seminar was contrived in order to convince parents to give a newborn babies 5 vaccines, containing ammonia, aluminum and anti-freeze, at once. The CDC does not understand why American parents do not think this is a great idea.  I encourage all to visit the CDC website [HERE] and listen to this bizarre and convoluted groupthink seminar. No opposing points of views were allowed and no parents of vaccine injured children are included.  Vaccines are presented as completely risk free, in any quantity, with any number of toxic ingredients, at any age.

Where to begin?

Continue reading "My Son is Fine, Therefore Vaccines are Always Safe " »

Watch CBS News Tonight: Vaccine Industry Money, Where Does It Go?

Polings"Watch the CBS Evening News tonight for Sharyl's Follow the Money Investigation on some of the surprising places where vaccine industry money ends up."

Also, read Sharyl Attkisson's entry today on Dr. Jon Poling's response to Dr. Steven Novella. Click HERE.

Wendy Fournier of NAA: "Man Up, Mr. Savage"

Naa_logoMan Up, Mr. Savage.

For the last week, our community has been completely enveloped in the Michael Savage controversy.  It infuriates me that this one man has managed to take away so much of our already limited time and energy by forcing us to defend ourselves and our beloved children against his vile remarks.

Continue reading "Wendy Fournier of NAA: "Man Up, Mr. Savage"" »

Generation Rescue to Savage: "The Numbers are Real"

By Kelli Ann Davis

Yesterday morning, I appeared on Comcast's "Art Fennell Reports" along with Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow with Media Matters for America.

Continue reading "Generation Rescue to Savage: "The Numbers are Real"" »

WWE and Jenny McCarthy SmackDown Autism


STAMFORD, Conn, July 22, 2008 – Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue will take their fight against Autism to a WWE ring during Saturday Night’s Main Event® on August 2, 2008 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

World Wrestling Entertainment® Superstars from RAW®, SmackDown® and ECW® will be joined by Ben Stiller, Toby Keith, Jewel and Billy Ray Cyrus among others for a very special edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event to join the fight against autism and support Generation Rescue. 

Continue reading "WWE and Jenny McCarthy SmackDown Autism" »

Barbara Fischkin on Michael Savage

Barbara_fisckinFrom my friend Barbara Fischkin, on Huffington Post. Please pop over to HuffPo to read the full, moving post and to comment: HERE.

If only it was true that the kids are mere brats and all we need is a visit from The Nanny.

If you were right, then life would be monumentally easier for most of us.

Continue reading "Barbara Fischkin on Michael Savage" »

SuperTalk Mississippi Sends Savage Down the River

MississippiNow here's some Southern Comfort....  You can contact Steve Davenport HERE.

Effective immediately, Michael Savage and his Savage Nation Radio Show has been canceled on all Super Talk Mississippi stations. (Click into their site HERE.) Michael Savage's comments about Autistic children were beyond inexcusable and are unacceptable.  Super Talk Mississippi and the Gallo Radio Show have assisted numerous Autism organizations on the air in the past and will continue to do so in the future.  Autism is a serious condition affecting children and adults in Mississippi.  We appreciate our many listeners who notified us of Savage's comments, especially those listeners who have autistic children.   

Steve Davenport, CEO
Telesouth Communications, Inc.