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2513 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

Il Mercurio and the AAP

Fudge By David Kirby

The new thimerosal study published in Pediatrics leaves a lot of open questions. So does the response to the study by the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Dr. Lewis First.

In his blog introducing the study, Dr. First wrote that, "You'll be reassured that the results show essentially no differences between groups who did or did not get thimerosal in their vaccines-and you'll want to know this information when talking with parents of your patients about the safety and benefits of vaccines."

But that made no sense. The study clearly stated that all children received thimerosal in the first year of life - some got 62.5 micrograms and the rest got 137.5 mcg. But there were no children who "did not get thimerosal," as Dr. First urged America's pediatricians to tell parents.

I thought I would write to AAP and clear things up, and see if a correction would be run. Officials there were (and have been) courteous, respectful and professional. So I sent the following email to the press office of the Academy:

Continue reading "Il Mercurio and the AAP" »

Ray Salomone Fitness Tips for Parents

Ray head shot Managing Editor's Note: We're pleased to provide a second workout routine from fitness expert Ray Salomone (who is also a proud new Daddy! His son was born in December.)
His WARRIORS AND GODDESSES WORKOUT PLAN is free for the asking, just
send him an email through his website

By Ray Salomone

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for welcoming me back. The last workout I posted was a quick blast that worked the entire body. (HERE)

This time I want to focus on legs. Many reports have shown that leg
strength, or lack of, is a great predictor of longevity and quality
of life as we get older. So my thought is: Strong legs and the rest
will follow.

Group One is if you have a staircase in your home. Group Two if not.

Continue reading "Ray Salomone Fitness Tips for Parents" »

We're Fruc'ted.

Children_corn_isaac Study finds high fructose corn syrup contains mercury. Read the Washington Post article HERE.  Note the sentence below, "Mercury is toxic in all it's forms." Except vaccines, we've been assured by AAP, CDC and O-F-F-I-T.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

(Dr. Wallinga is a graduate of The U. of Minnesota medical school and holds a Masters from Princeton University (alma mater of our own Mark Blaxill.)

Protest Federal Autism Committee’s Deceitful Reversal on Vaccine-Autism Research

Action alert2 Autism Action Alert: Click HERE to send your letter!

The inexcusable actions of the Federal members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) in retracting vaccine-autism studies must be stopped. Sound science must move forward, not thwarted by Federal agencies with vested interests in on-going vaccine-autism injury litigation.

The autism advocacy organizations listed below implore parents of children with autism - and all those who care about the burgeoning rate of autism and its toll on the health of our children - to take immediate action.

We are asking you to write a letter of disapproval to key government decision-makers on autism. Your letter will be sent to President Obama, your Senators and Representatives,  HHS Secretary Tom Daschle, the Senate HELP Committee, Senators Christopher Dodd, Joe Lieberman, and Edward Kennedy, and Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Barton.

Your letters are needed NOW.  The next IACC meeting is Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - less than two weeks away!

Autism Action Alert: Click HERE to send your letter!

Continue reading "Protest Federal Autism Committee’s Deceitful Reversal on Vaccine-Autism Research" »

Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Letter to President Obama Includes Autism

Usmdf The United States Mitochondrial Disease Foundation has written a letter to President Obama. In it they state their request for more research into their area of science.

Of note to our community, they include this sentence: There is also new evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a role in some children's autism.

Read a PDF of the letter HERE.

The Convention on Modern Liberty: Where Lies, Hypocrisy and State Bullying Remain Acceptable

Tower of london prison Managing Editor's Note: Thanks to John Stone for providing us with info from The UK.

By John Stone

Last weekend the noted Observer journalist and polemicist on civil liberties, Henry Porter, announced a national event to take place in London in a month’s time, an open conference on the dire state of civil liberties in Britain and called ‘The Convention on Modern Liberty’, to which an as yet incomplete list of speakers from many walks of life were invited. The title of his article was ‘Let the war on hypocrisy begin’ (HERE.)

I posted the following comment:

“One place we can begin the war on hypocrisy is to stop believing in the blanket state denial over vaccine damage. This week the information commissioner ruled that MMR vaccine files which the government have fought tooth and nail to remain hidden must be opened. An account of the lengths to which the British establishment and state have gone to to keep this matter under wraps can be found HERE.

Continue reading "The Convention on Modern Liberty: Where Lies, Hypocrisy and State Bullying Remain Acceptable" »

Will President Obama Address FDA Concerns?

Fda titanic Managing Editor's Note: Our Anne Dachel posted several articles about problems in the FDA in a post we ran yesterday HERE.

WASHINGTON – In an unusually blunt letter, a group of federal scientists is complaining to the Obama transition team of widespread managerial misconduct in a division of the Food and Drug Administration.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the scientific review process for medical devices at the FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," said the letter, dated Wednesday and written on the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health letterhead.

Read the full article HERE.

Autism United Coalition Meeting for NY Agenda

Save date Save the Date!  On Saturday, January 31st, the Autism United Coalition is sponsoring a second meeting to work on our state-wide agenda for the 2009 legislative session at . The meeting will be held at The Clarion Hotel in Albany - 3 Watervliet Extension.  Registration is at 10:00am and the formal meeting starting at 11:00am and running until 4:00pm. 
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.  We welcome all input and ideas - particularly those regarding minimizing the impact of state budget cuts.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to work on these issues with us, please forward your full contact information and the names of your local legislators.  Please also extend this invitation to anyone you know may be interested.  We are hoping to have local contact people in every legislative district.
Please email Lisa Rudley at to RSVP or for further information.

Autism File Magazine January Issue

US30_AF 1 In response to the information coming over from the UK recently, we would like to let readers know that the January 2009 issue of The Autism File USA, which starts reaching stores on January 29, includes Martin Walker's article titled "Vaccine Damage Denial and the British Press." This includes information about the Urabe strain MMR vaccine and obstructionism in the press. Other articles in this issue include:  

"My Daughter, Hannah Poling: Personal Perspectives & Clues to a Larger Puzzle" by Terry Poling, RN, JD; and "Moving Toward a Multi-Treatment Approach to Autism" by Jonathan Alderson, EdM.
For these and more than thirty additional informative articles on education, treatment, advocacy, and more, please visit a bookstore that stocks The Autism File USA or visit to subscribe.

Whose American Life?

Bad apple By Becky Estepp

The December 19th episode of “This American Life” on Chicago Public radio was titled “Bad Apples.”  You can hear the broadcast HERE.

The following is the description of this episode off of the “This American Life” website:
Ruining It for the Rest of Us

Stories of people who ruin things for everyone else...or who are accused of that.  Like the San Diego parents who didn't vaccinate their child for measles.  When their seven-year-old caught the disease on an overseas trip, this decision became a whole community's problem.  The outbreak infected 11 children and endangered many others.

Continue reading "Whose American Life?" »

IACC Insanity

Straight jacket By Katie Wright

Is IACC a serious autism research committee or a daytime drama? I’m confused. This would be funny if so much were not at stake. The machinations, backstabbing, covert agendas, and secret confabs are reminiscent of 2000 Florida re-count. Sometimes rules and laws apply, other times they do not, secret phone calls, secret meetings, anonymous votes, mysterious re-votes on already settled business, broken promises, probably broken laws…

Parents all over this country who worked so hard to see the CAA passed were listening to Wednesday’s goings on thinking, “What the hell, Tom!” When my parents should have been down in Florida with their pals, playing golf and generally being retired, they were pounding the halls the Congress and the Senate working hard to procure this money for autism research. I went with them only a few times, but I never saw Tom Insel or Ed Trevathan there. Now, Tom and his cronies seem to think it is their prerogative to re-write the Combatting Autism Act. Enzi, Kennedy and Dodd, clearly and unequivocally said on the Senate floor that the CAA must finance independent vaccine research. Not, “independent vaccine research- pending the approval Tom Insel and Alison Singer.”

Continue reading "IACC Insanity" »

TACA Receives $300,000 Grant for Autism Progams from Pacific Life Foundation

Pac life Managing Editor's Note:  Congratulations to our sponsor TACA on a "whale" of a grant!  TACA will put this money where it's heart is - with the children.


Costa Mesa, CA - January 21, 2009 -Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) is thrilled to announce the receipt of a $300,000 multi-year grant from the Newport Beach based Pacific Life Foundation.  As a direct result of this generous contribution, TACA will launch three new programs for Orange County, California for families including a Spanish-language program, the addition of an in house advocate to provide education, training and support for families, and scholarships that would allow families to procure independent assessments for their children.  All of these programs are offered at no charge to families affected by autism. 

Continue reading "TACA Receives $300,000 Grant for Autism Progams from Pacific Life Foundation " »

Simon Baron-Cohen Fails to Deliver For Common Humanity

Cat got tongue Managing Editor's Note: You can listen to an interview with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen on Autism One Radio HERE.  (When the show time is highlighted in blue that means it's archived. Click it to to an audio player.)

Simon Baron-Cohen has responded to John Stone's Age of Autism article 'Simon Baron-Cohen: Thinking different about autism' (HERE) which was re-published on One Click News with the header 'Malefic Idiot Psychologist'. The exchange of letters between Prof Baron-Cohen and John Stone can be read HERE.

In it Baron-Cohen concedes a vital point: that environmental factors in autism are as important as genetic. So, why is it that the medical establishment across the Atlantic - including Baron-Cohen - have sought to marginalise environmental factors such as vaccine from the debate for the past two decades amid innumerable reports and expressions of parental anguish? Why is it also that professionals showing concern in the UK such as Andrew Wakefield, Lisa Blakemore-Brown and Jayne Donegan have been persecuted?

Where was Baron-Cohen's voice when this happened?

But pehaps most curious of all in the current context is the question: what was Baron-Cohen's purpose, only two weeks ago, in trying to initiate a debate on autism screening when he seems to agree here that the a purely gene based theory of autism is unsustainable, and that therefore the issue really does not arise?

Commenting Issues on Age of Autism

Many readers have emailed us that they can not comment on the site.  The blog software has changed and commenting was affected.  A wily reader solved the problem. We suggest you type your comment, then hand type your entire screen name and your complete email address in full, DO NOT USE AUTOFILL (that's where you type the first letter and the computer remembers and adds the rest.)  That should make the gray "post" button flip over to black.  We're sorry for any inconvenience.  KS

Simon Baron Cohen on Autism One Radio January 20

Autism one radio Special on Autism One Radio
Tuesday, January 20
1:00 pm ET

Polly Tommey presents: Autism Issues Around the World
Guest:  Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD, MPhil
Topic:  Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen's testosterone theory, his view on what he found, what he is seeing, and how he was misrepresented by the British press.

Join The Autism File magazine editor-in-chief, Polly Tommey, as she talks with Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen. According to Polly Tommey: "Simon Baron-Cohen asserts that he was grossly misrepresented by the British press, he is horrified with the Guardian article, and says this has absolutely nothing to do with terminating pregnancies." Polly continued talking about the British press: "The press is just crap. They grossly misprint anything to do with autism over here. They are stopping all the science...everything in this country, and you can't move forward due to the British press."

For additional background on the obstructionism of the British press and the influences behind it, please see the upcoming article in the January 2009 edition of The Autism File magazine titled  "Vaccine Damage Denial and the British Press" by Martin J. Walker.  Visit


Participants Requested for Autism Treatment Stories

Canada Lea and Litsa are in Canada and seeking stories about how ABA and/or biomedical treatments have helped your child.

By Lea Schizas & Litsa Kamateros

Follow and participate in the journey of our upcoming book: Autism Epidemic: Shaking the System.  We need your voice to be heard and validated through our book to the systems that have the capability to hear us and make necesary changes to benefit one and all.  Autism knows no boundaries, and we welcome input from everyone, no matter where you are situated around the world.  Visit our blog Shaking the System.
We are seeking Personal Success Stories from parents/guardians who have seen a remarkable improvement in their children using ABA and/or a biomedical therapy. The more stories we collect the more proof we have that ABA and/or biomedical treatments to help children with autism. Governments claim there is no cure for autism but if we can present to them remarkable recovery stories perhaps they will begin to be open and hear us out.

Send your personal success stories to us at:

Talk About Curing Autism Faith, Hope & Recovery Project

Ryan-scheckler TACA  is blessed to have friends and supporters who are celebrities and professional athletes, and who care deeply about people with autism and the TACA mission. Many times they asked us how they could help. In response to that question, the FAITH, HOPE & RECOVERY PROJECT was born.

The Hope, Faith & Recovery Project consists of artwork developed by TACA special friends along the theme of three very important words for families living with autism - HOPE, FAITH and RECOVERY. Each artist has been asked to be inspired by infusing hope for families affected by autism and for the finished project to have a child like flare.

Continue reading "Talk About Curing Autism Faith, Hope & Recovery Project" »

National Autism Association on IACC Removal of Vaccine Safety Research

NAA150wideManaging Editor's Note: This press release is from our sponsor National Autism Association.

Feds Rescind Congressionally Mandated Vaccine Research
Advocates Demand Conflict-Free Vaccine Safety Studies

Washington, DC – In an unprecedented move on Wednesday, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) removed previously approved vaccine safety research from the Strategic Plan for Autism Research objectives. With apparent backing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representation, Committee chair and NIMH director Tom Insel implied that vaccine research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would constitute a conflict given the involvement of Health and Human Services with ongoing autism cases filed in federal vaccine court. The committee's action is in direct opposition to the majority of its public members who support vaccine research, and to the Congressional directive of the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (CAA) which specifically called for research into “potential links between vaccines, vaccine components, and autism spectrum disorder.”

Continue reading "National Autism Association on IACC Removal of Vaccine Safety Research" »

Alison Singer Feeds the Hungry Lie – Twice

2 pigs By J.B. Handley
I thought I'd seen everything.
I work in corporate America, and I have never before seen an employee with a managed termination (a nice word for getting fired) issue their own press release announcing their "resignation" from a job, five minutes before their employer does the same thing.
And yet, that's what Alison Singer did – she issued her own press release announcing her termination (in so many words). Go figure.

Continue reading " Alison Singer Feeds the Hungry Lie – Twice" »

TACA: IACC Rescinds Vaccine Research Initiatives

TACA 160 Managing Editor's Note: The following is from our sponsor TACA.

The Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee Meeting Rescinds Vaccine Research Initiatives from the Strategic Plan of Combating Autism Act

Statement prepared by TACA's Rebecca Estepp
January 16, 2009

What happened Wednesday January 14, 2009 in Bethesda, Maryland?

In a dramatic turn of events, the National Institute of Mental Health Director Thomas Insel, MD Chairman of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) called for a vote on a previously voted-on and approved decision to the Strategic Plan of the Combating Autism Act of 2006. December 2008, IACC approved two studies to address vaccine safety as it pertains to autism.  The vote to reverse this previous decision was a surprise to the public members of IACC. It was not listed on the meeting’s agenda. 

Who is IACC and what do they do?

Continue reading "TACA: IACC Rescinds Vaccine Research Initiatives" »

SafeMinds: Federal Members of Advisory Committee Block Vaccine-Autism Research

Safeminds current Managing Editor's Note: The following is from our sponsor SafeMinds.


SafeMinds Withdraws Support for Autism Research Strategic Plan, Asks Daschle to Investigate.
JANUARY 16, 2009 - In a highly unusual departure from procedure, government representatives to the Federal Interagency Autism Advisory Committee (IACC) voted this week against conducting studies on vaccine-autism research despite approval of the same studies at their prior meeting. The research was supported by numerous autism organizations and requested by IACC's scientific work groups and Congress.  The maneuver to re-vote on the vaccine-autism studies was initiated by the IACC's representative from the CDC and pushed through by the IACC Chair, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health of NIH.

Continue reading "SafeMinds: Federal Members of Advisory Committee Block Vaccine-Autism Research" »

Where Will Alison Singer Pop Up Next?

PimpleMaybe here? (This takes a moment to load, it's a large pdf file.)

Alison Singer No Longer Speaks for Autism Speaks

Calls for New Administration to Restore the Intent of Combating Autism Act to Respect and Value Community Input
NEW YORK, NY (January 15, 2009) – Autism Speaks today decried a vote by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to reverse a previously voted-on decision to approve objectives relating to vaccine safety research as part of its deliberations for the Strategic Plan for Autism Research.  The decision to debate removing these objectives was not posted on the meeting's agenda, nor were the public members given any forewarning that this section of the plan – which was resolved at the previous IACC meeting in December -- would be revisited.  As a result, Autism Speaks is withdrawing its support for the Strategic Plan.

Continue reading "Alison Singer No Longer Speaks for Autism Speaks" »

The NYT: Crypt Keepers of Autism Journalism

Crypt keeper By Katie Wright

When I think of the NYT and their autism reporting, certain adjectives just pop into my head: fossilized, stale, stagnant, musty, fusty, clichéd, unoriginal, ancient, torpid and moribund. I think of Dick Cheney, bad black and white movies, the Taliban, out of date calendars, decaying food…

Yesterday’s piece by Donald McNeil was a tour de force of their properties. It was a celebration of the old, the indolent, an elevation of antediluvian thinkers and ideas, a virtual festival of inertia! Well done Mr. McNeil you have now surpassed all your peers in producing the most irrelevant, inaccurate and stale reporting on autism yet! McNeil’s fawning piece on Paul Offit is truly a wonder. The reader is told again and again, at length, of the Paul Offit’s work undercover, the price on his life!  One imagines Offit is interviewed from an “undisclosed safe location.” He is portrayed as a Man Alone, facing an army of threatening, killer parents!

Continue reading "The NYT: Crypt Keepers of Autism Journalism" »

Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Thinking differently about autism*.’

Simon baron cohen By John Stone

I fear things are different between the United States and Little Britain. In the week we learnt that the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is to commit millions of dollars of research money to investigating the potential environmental and medical triggers for autism,
(David Kirby, HERE) and  a re-examination of the California autism data revealed 7 to 8 fold real rise in incidence between 1990 and the  present (UC Davis HERE) in the United Kingdom, Prof Simon Baron-Cohen, of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge  (said sometimes in the UK media to be the world’s greatest authority on autism)  is examining the prospects for screening in the womb for autism.

A statement on our National Autistic Society homepage (January 7, 2009) welcomes such research and emphasises its alleged positive advantages, such as being able to plan better support earlier for infants with the condition.

“Without the right support autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on those affected by it. Screening to identify autism at an early stage has the potential to radically improve the quality of life if the right environment, education and support can be put in place as soon as possible.” (HERE)

Although early diagnosis offers some advantages, suggesting that it can “radically improve” anything about autism is a wild overstatement. What is actually needed for radical improvement in this regard is a thorough assessment of demand for services on a population basis, so that full support can be obtained at the point of diagnosis. It seems altogether fanciful that the specific needs of  an infant 3 years hence could be diagnosed in the womb.

Continue reading "Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Thinking differently about autism*.’" »

IACC Meeting Wednesday to Finalize Federal Autism Research Plan

Important date By Jim Moody

It has taken over a year to write the first-ever strategic plan for federal autism research, but this long and tedious ordeal may come to an end at the meeting of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) this Wednesday in Washington.  The public meeting will be held today 9-2:30 at the Neuroscience Center (NIMH), Conference Room C, 6001 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md. 

In-person attendees should register (HERE), and the meeting will be telecast on 888-455-2920, access code 3857872. 

Slides can be viewed on a webinar (HERE)

The agenda (HERE) includes final decisions on the content of the Plan and the autism research budget, both of which are required under the Combating Autism Act of 2006.  General information about IACC, including charter, members, and documents can be found on its home page (HERE).

This is a crucial meeting as many of the topics to be discussed will determine whether the research spending will actually make a differencer in finding the cause and effective treatments for autism.  The draft strategic plan (HERE), backgrounddocuments relating to development of the plan (HERE), and the 148 public comments (HERE) received in September can be reviewed online.

Continue reading "IACC Meeting Wednesday to Finalize Federal Autism Research Plan" »

Shauna Layton on Autism One Radio

Autism one radio Managing Editor's note: Shauna's first show is scheduled for January 15, 2009 from 2:00- 2:30 PM, ET.  Read about it below.

For those of you who do not know me. My name is Shauna Layton and I am the founder of Together In Autism can be found @ T.I.A's site started as a small mid-western website at the time of my child's ASD diagnosis in 07. During the diagnosis stage I found myself in a region with no support or information systems within hours. I also found myself dealing with not only a diagnosis, but my new job title as CEO "Investigator" for my child. There was no one else to do it, we have all heard this story a million times. There still are not enough resources available in ALL regions. Nor do we have many sources telling us that autism is treatable and recovery is possible.

Continue reading "Shauna Layton on Autism One Radio" »

NYT Mollycoddles Dr. Offit

Hide under desk From The New York Times (HERE): A new book defending vaccines, written by a doctor infuriated at the claim that they cause autism, is galvanizing a backlash against the antivaccine movement in the United States.

But there will be no book tour for the doctor, Paul A. Offit, author of “Autism’s False Prophets.” He has had too many death threats.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get the NYT to mention your book? Let alone a book that came out over five months ago. Why the mollycoddling of Dr. Offit and his book? Why now?

Continue reading "NYT Mollycoddles Dr. Offit" »

Is There a Vaccine Booster for TV Ratings?

Sleep tv By Mary Webster

I just finished watching an episode of ABC's Private Practice titled "Contamination." Read summary HERE. Plot line goes something like this:

Mother has three children - one with autism.  Mother believes MMR vaccine caused her son's autism, so she refuses to vaccinate her other sons.

Family leaves the country for experimental treatment where one of the unvaccinated children contracts the measles.

Pediatrician realizes he has a patient with measles.  He's alarmed -- panic ensues.  Calls to the local health department and, eventually, the CDC follow.

Continue reading "Is There a Vaccine Booster for TV Ratings?" »

New Autism Study Conducted by Boobs?

Pam andersonA study reports that men with autistic children do not prefer curvier women like most "normal" men.  So is it Dad's fault for chasing down Olive Oyl or Mom's fault for resembling a pipe cleaner (in my case, a Q-tip, thanks to the tangle of hair.) Holy Donut Holes! I knew I should have eaten more crullers in college.... You men can thank me for finding a way to get her (jerking head to thataway) on A of A. Send a donation. ;)

Someone spent money on this study.(Quick, check Autism Speaks' grants list and get back to me, won't you?)  KS

Men who do not find the shape of the curvier woman most attractive could be more likely to father children with autism, according to a study.

Researchers showed 100 men with autistic children pictures of curvy women, women with athletic frames and more rounded women and found that they do not have a preference on which figure they find more attractive.

The new research from the University of Bath suggests that fathers of autistic children do not share the preference of men across the world for the curvier woman.

Read more HERE.

Autism Action Network Alert: Sen. McCain


Try THIS link.

We're pleased to announce the introduction of The Action Alert. We will be working in conjunction with the Autism Action Network (formerly A-CHAMP) to get our message out to decision makers on issues affecting the autism community. Autism Action Network has an online advocacy tool that allows you to quickly send an email message to the people that need to hear from us. (See end of post.)

Out kick-off action alert goes to Senator John McCain.

Continue reading "Autism Action Network Alert: Sen. McCain" »

Barbara Fischkin Extends Hand, Heart to Kelly Preston

Holly_robinson_peete_cover_111_150 Barbara Fischkin is a dear friend and Mom to a handsome young adult on the spectrum named Dan. Please read her heartfelt post "For Kelly Preston" to Jett Travolta's Mom in Spectrum.  There but for the Grace of God go most of us.

(PS) How does fellow autism Mom Holly Robinson Peete look so beautiful? Where are the fish oil stains on her dress???

Author Barbara Fischkin's books include a landmark work of narrative nonfiction, Muddy Cup: A Dominican Family Comes of Age in A New America (Scribner 1997) and two satiric novels Confidential Sources and Exclusive (Bantam Dell 2005-6). As an award-winning journalist she has covered stories in Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States for national and international publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Newsday, where she was a staff reporter.

The Vaccine Hard Sell at Pediatrics

No sale Managing Editor's Note: Mike Wagnitz submitted this letter to Pediatrics. They declined to run it, as it their right.  We decided to run it. As is our right. Dr. Offit is pushing harder than a mother delivering triplets to convince moms and dads that anyone who speaks in favor of vaccine safety is wrong. Including Dr. Bob Sears, a pediatric voice of reason whom we have been happy to welcome to Age of Autism. You can read his post, Smart Vaccine Decisions for Families with Autism (HERE).  Sorry, Dr. Offit. No sale.

A Shot of Reality
By Michael Wagnitz, B.S.
As a chemist with 27 years of experience evaluating material for heavy metals, I find it unfortunate that the journal Pediatrics has allowed Dr. Paul Offit to repeat misinformation  regarding the use of neurotoxic metals in vaccines. He scolds Dr. Bob Sears for not giving the proper scientific credit to the paper, "Weight of Evidence Against Thimerosal Causing Neuropsychological Deficits" (1), published in the NEJM.  Let's take a look at the quality of this paper starting with the impartiality of the authors:

Dr. Thompson - the lead investigator - is a former employee of Merck.

Dr. Marcy has received consulting fees from Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and MedImmune.

Continue reading "The Vaccine Hard Sell at Pediatrics" »

MMR: It’s ALL or NOTHING! Say goodbye to choice.

All or nothing By Allison Chapman

Your choice to work with your pediatrician on safer vaccine schedule has just received a very large blow.  Merck and Co. has decided to take away your option of separating the MMR, instead of getting the whole shebang at once.  Forget those who may be predisposed to not handling 3 viruses at once; you know the weak, the infant who may need a bit more time.  What if they are unable to take one of the viruses due to allergy of an ingredient, but have decided to go ahead with one or both of the others?  Well too bad, allergy or not you have lost your right to choose.  It’s now, all or nothing. (HERE)

I’m shocked at such a move.  Why on earth at a time when some Doctors are just barely beginning with work with their patient’s parents by creating a schedule per individual child, is Merck deciding to pull the plug?  Is this something they believe will quiet the supposed anti-vaccine crowd?  Quiet the MMR/Autism controversy?  I highly doubt it.  This is a mistake of monumental proportions that will likely come back to bite them as given only the choice of all or nothing, many more may choose nothing.  So you can stop banging down our doors at that point because the blame will be in the mirror.

Continue reading "MMR: It’s ALL or NOTHING! Say goodbye to choice." »

Silencing Autism

Radar By Sara DiFucci

For those of you who haven't read Julie Obradovic's article "The Autism Treatment Acceleration Act", I suggest you do so now (HERE.)  This very important topic seems to have slipped under the radar a bit.
Essentially, right now there  is a proposed federal bill in draft form that may establish the Medical Home Model as the way of the future for health care, particularly for Autism and other chronic diseases. In essence the MHM is a government run HMO where they along with insurance companies will have the authority to choose our service providers (you know, doctors, therapists, and medical specialists) via government contracts. Actually, it seems it may be even more restrictive in choice than most HMO's. 

Continue reading "Silencing Autism" »

Third Hand Smoke: Dangerous!

Smoking babyBy Kim Stagliano

 I don't condone smoking. I don't smoke. I wouldn't let you smoke near my kids. But this kind of article makes smoke come out of my ears. 

First it was organic baby formula (demon sugar!) and now the mere touch of your nicotine stained hands on the davenport (that's a really outdated word for a couch, by the way) threatens your child's health. Yes, third hand smoke is dangerous, according to the AAP.  Why don't they just publish a study that concludes, "We're doomed. But don't worry. Soon we'll have a shot for that."?

Continue reading "Third Hand Smoke: Dangerous!" »

MSG and Autism

MsgBy John Erb

His name was Bruce.  He was always ready to greet me with a smile whenever I came in to work with him at the residential facility he called home.  Bruce was my first experience getting to know someone with Autism.  Even though he was forty, and had lived all his life with the symptoms, he had never been formally diagnosed.  But even without the paperwork from a psychiatrist to back it up, Bruce had all of the standard signs:  the problems with social interaction, the obsessions, the repetitive physical movement.  He also had one more thing: he was fluent in French.  It was those many years ago when I first met Bruce that I realized, in some ways, he was smarter than me. 

This experience twenty years ago shaped my view of Autism and the direction of the research journey I have taken.  In 2003 I finally put my ideas to paper.  In the book called The Slow Poisoning of America, I theorized that something was actually causing the brains of those with ASD to grow too much.  The culprit:  Monosodium Glutamate. Introduced to the America diet in 1950 it is an amino acid added to food to make it taste better and to vaccines to stabilize the active ingredients.  At the time I published this idea I had little scientific evidence to support it, more of a “hunch” than hard core science.  But over the last 5 years I have gathered enough published medical studies to validate a highly probable link between this excitotoxin and the Autism epidemic.

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Age of Autism Welcomes The National Autism Association

NAAHELPINGHAND We're starting 2009 with great news! We're thrilled to announce that National Autism Association is now an organization sponsor for the year. 

NAA joins our other valued organization sponsors TACA, Autism Research Institute, SafeMinds and Generation Rescue and our corporate and treatment category sponsor Lee Silsby.

NAA is run by dedicated people who do not make large salaries or work in elegant offices (hey Wendy, is your office elegant?) Officers include Rita Shreffler, Wendy Fournier, Ann Brasher, Kelly Vanicek, Lori Brozek. Board members include Scott Bono, Lori McIlwain, Laura Bono, Claire Bothwell, Leslie Davidson, Rosemarie Dubrowsky, Becky Grant-Widen, Deirdre Imus, James A. Moody, Lyn Redwood, Adrienne Rousseau and Katie Wright.

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Wackosphere's To Do List:

Spock Curious as to what the Wackosphere* is doing tonight?

1) Polish Starship Federation badge from 1983 convention (Spock sneezed on it, remember?)

2) Organize Hotwheels collection by engine size, horse power and slip differential

3) Order Saved By The Bell, The College Years DVD set (Screech rocks!)

4) Crash Generation Rescue Autism Question (led by the one eyed king)

*Mark Blaxill wrote about the group of usually anonymous bloggers in a world he called, "the Wackosphere." See below.  Click HERE to read the Age of Autism post on GR's message to that provoked the Wacko's to action.

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New York Times Reports Death of Pharma Kotchkes

Syringe pen Managing Editor's Note: See the lovely syringe pens to promote the Pediarix vaccine? Please keep reminding yourself. Vaccines are exempt from the vagaries of pay to play. Vaccines are exempt from the vagaries of pay to play. Vaccines are exempt from the vagaries of pay to play.  I was in the promotional products industry for fifteen years. I sat at a Celebrex marketing meeting in Indianapolis where I presented diamond earrings for the doctors to give their wives as part of the promotional plan.  I made Coach leather Rx pads with gold monograms for doctors. I go to confession a lot.  Kim

...Last year, besides giving away nearly $16 billion in free drug samples to doctors, pharmaceutical companies spent more than $6 billion on “detailing” — an industry term for the sales activities of drug representatives including office visits to doctors, meal-time presentations and branded pens and other handouts, according to IMS Health, a health care information company.

The industry code also permits drug makers to pay doctors as consultants “based on fair market value” — which critics say means that companies can continue to pay individual doctors tens of thousands of dollars or more a year.

“We have arrived at a point in the history of medicine in America where doctors have deep, deep financial ties with the drug makers and marketers,” said Allan Coukell, the director of policy for the Prescription Project, a nonprofit group in Boston working to promote evidence-based medicine. “Financial entanglements at all the levels have the potential to influence prescribing in a way that is not good.”

Read the full article from the New York Times HERE.

Generation Rescue To on Autism and Healthcare

Dining room Managing Editor's Note:  Kelli Ann has kindly supplied all the info you need to vote if you'll please scroll through the post. If you have your own letter, please run the link to it in our comments so readers can consider voting for it too. I know many of our readers are actively engaged in the process. Thanks. KS

By Kelli Ann Davis

Vote to Promote Change in 2009

Yesterday morning, I received an e-mail from John Podesta at “ The Office of the President-Elect” encouraging me to join with others in submitting and/or voting on questions I thought important for the Transition Team to address: “We recently launched a new feature on called Open for Questions. Thousands of you responded, asking 10,000 questions and voting nearly a million times on questions from others. Now that we've answered some of the most popular ones from the last round, we are open for questions again. Ask whatever you like, and vote up or down on the other questions to let us know which ones you most want the Transition to answer.”

The latest outreach project “Open for Questions: Round Two” follows closely behind two other initiatives undertaken in recent weeks by President-Elect Obama – “Your Seat at the Table” and “Health Care Community Discussions” (HERE).  Apparently, his administration is moving towards greater transparency and public involvement and evidently it is working; twenty-seven hours later, 39,000 questions have been submitted and 2,000,000 votes have been cast!

Recently, Generation Rescue hand-delivered the following document to the Transition Team (Read it HERE) outlining our high priority issues for autism.  We also requested a formal meeting with the new administration in order to discuss the key issues in detail. 

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Age of Autism Awards 2008 Journalist of the Year: David Kirby

Davidkirby By Anne Dachel

It is my great privilege to name David Kirby, Age of Autism's Reporter of Year.  I know that for many of us in the autism community, that's an understatement.  David should be receiving a lifetime achievement award for what he's done.
I'm qualified to write on this, not because of any degree in journalism, but due to my years of dealing with members of the press who report on autism, especially the topic of vaccines and autism.  Many other parents do the same thing.  Our earnest hope is that they'll report both sides of the issue honestly.  It's rare that this happens, however.  Most in the media are content to give the last word to the medical community and to federal health officials who adamantly deny that vaccines could be causing autism.  Even though I always send the facts--the science that disputes the tired mantra of "studies show no link," few reporters take notice, even when what I send directly contradicts what they've written.  Sometimes, someone will write to tell me that they'll save my email, "in case I ever write on this topic again."  Even worse, is an email from a reporter saying, "Please don't send me any more information on autism; I'm no longer covering this issue." 

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Deborah Kotz of US News on AAP and Dr. Paul Offit

My way or highway By Kim Stagliano

Lord, the AAP and Paul Offit are painfully transparent. Deborah Kotz of US News certainly sees straight through their agenda when it comes to managing the health of American children versus mainlining the steady stream of vaccinations per a rigid schedule. (We'll post more about this at Age of Autism soon.)

...Along with this policy statement and numerous research papers, the journal contains a "special article" that quite frankly shocked me for its one-sided treatment of a very important issue with regard to vaccinations. Unfortunately, instead of allowing a pro-and-con debate about the benefits and drawbacks.  ...What's worse, the lead author, Paul Offit, who heads the vaccine education center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, clearly has a conflict of interest. Read the full US News blog entry HERE.

The AAP and Dr. Offit are in full court press mode to counteract the forthcoming book The Autism Book: Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention from Dr. Bob Sears (see his post about vaccinations and how to create a flexible schedule for your child at Age of Autism HERE.)

The AAP doesn't give a rat's ass about children with autism.

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Age of Autism Awards 2008 Couple of the Year: Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey

Jj2 By Kim Stagliano

It's my great pleasure to honor Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey as our Age of Autism 2008 Couple of the Year.

Jenny was smart enough to disbelieve the doctors who told her that Evan's lot in life was cast when he was diagnosed with autism. She roared into action, saying what so many of us have said over the years, "F you, I'm taking care of my son. Get out of my way." (I figure in a post about Jenny I can kind of drop the F bomb.)  Then she got busy recovering him.  But she didn't stop there. She started a crusade to educate parents, doctors, teachers everywhere that autism is treatable. That kids are making great progress and even recovering.

Warrior mothers Somehow she found the time to write two amazing, best selling books to empower other parents; Louder Than Words and Mother Warriors, produce a line of DVD's called Teach2Talk, speak at several autism events and appear on national television and in the press.

Meanwhile, Jim Carrey was busy starring in Horton Hears a Who and his new movie Yes Man. (Have you seen it yet? Go already. You deserve a break.) 

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Age of Autism Awards 2008 Mother of the Year: Katie Wright

Katie and christian BY Mary Webster

If the true measure of a gift is determined by the sacrifice required, Katie Wright has given us the greatest of gifts.  Despite her obviously close, loving relationship with her parents, she was willing to risk a public rift to share her son's struggle with autism and her beliefs about what caused it.  Considering Bob and Suzanne Wright's tireless efforts as founders of Autism Speaks, Katie's willingness to take a public position on such a controversial issue created a situation that would have, undoubtedly, challenged the bonds of even the closest of families. 
Katie could have chosen to quietly seek treatment for her son, Christian, while privately working to affect change, but she didn't.  She was the first to appear on the Imus in the Morning show and wave her son's vaccine chart in the air as she chastised the medical community for not taking these children's illness and their parents' concerns seriously.  She was the first to sit on Oprah's stage and challenge a physician "expert" who stated that vaccines don't cause autism.  In telling her story, Katie is as direct, open, and honest as Dr. Tom Insel is cautious, qualifyingly calculated, and deflecting.  

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Age of Autism Awards 2008 Child of the Year: Hannah Poling

Hanhah poling By Kim Stagliano

Managing Editor's Note: I just learned that today, 12/27 is Hannah's 10th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Hannah.  And we're having some difficulties with commenting today - perhaps due to end of year maintenance at the blog company. My apologies.

Age of Autism honors the beautiful Miss Hannah Poling as our 2008 Child of the Year. 

From CNN last Spring, ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The parents of a 9-year-old girl with autism said Thursday that their assertion that her illness was caused by childhood vaccines has been vindicated by the federal government's decision to compensate them.

"We are very pleased with the government's decision," Hannah Poling's father, Dr. Jon Poling, a neurologist in private practice in Athens, Georgia, told reporters Thursday. "It has been eight difficult and heartbreaking years since our daughter's injury."

A federal program intended to compensate victims of injuries caused by vaccines concluded last November that Hannah Poling's underlying illness that had predisposed her to symptoms of autism was "significantly aggravated" by the vaccinations she received as a toddler and that her family should therefore be compensated.

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Age of Autism Awards 2008 Person of the Year: Dr. Bernadine Healy

Healy By Dan Olmsted

It was the shot -- or, rather, the words about the shots -- heard 'round the world. In a U.S. News column in April and then a brave interview on CBS in May, one person yanked the vaccine-autism debate back into the mainstream of medicine where it has always belonged.

For that, and more, it is a pleasure to name Bernadine Healy Age of Autism's Person of the Year.

This was not a hard decision. Just listen:

 "I think public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the [vaccine-autism] hypothesis as 'irrational,' without sufficient studies of causation... without studying the population that got sick," Dr. Healy told CBS's Sharyl Attkisson. "I have not seen major studies that focus on 300 kids who got autistic symptoms within a period of a few weeks of the vaccines."

 Holy moley.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Awards 2008 Person of the Year: Dr. Bernadine Healy" »

Age of Autism Awards 2008 People of the Year Honorees

  Tip the hat 

By Dan Olmsted

-- Claudine Liss and Louise Habakus for best tag team of the year, staging a rally on the lawn of a house Obama and Corzine had to pass on their way to a party, and then questioning Obama on his vaccine stance at the party.

--  Dr. Alan Sherr. This nomination comes from Kim Bastible, Mom of Luke Bastible 5 y/o ASD:

"Dr. Alan Sherr, Chiropractor and Medical Director of the Northport Wellness Center, has been treating autism spectrum disorder in his practice for many, many years -- long before it became "fashionable" to do so. 

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Happy Hanukkah from Age of Autism Where Miracles Matter

Hanukkah Happy Hanukkah!  If you aren't familiar with this holiday, read this description to see why we might want to consider changing the puzzle piece to a candle. 

Hanukkah -- the eight-day festival of light that begins on the eve of Kislev 25 -- celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.

More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G0d.

When they sought to light the Temple's menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah. 

New! Autism Ribbon Decorative Flag for your Home!

Autism_flagOne of the largest decorative flag manufacturers in the country has designed the first Autism Affinity Flag (with the help of a certain Managing Editor), with a portion of the proceeds going to National Autism Association. The background reads: "Autism One in 150" in yellow, blue and red.

28" x 44" (fits on a flag pole attached to your house): $24.99

11.5" x 18" (fits on a garden sized holder): $14.99

Shipping is free within the Continental US. Hardware is available at home and garden stores and mass merchants. Flag_ad_001_2

To order: 

Send me an email at with the size(s) you want, the quantity and shipping address.
  I'll email you your amount due to confirm you order and you can pay us through the PayPal Donate button on the site.  (I'm working in creating a store, we have T-shirts coming in January!)

If you're interested in a wholesale order through the vendor for your  organization, contact me and I'll connect you with the manufacturer.

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