Shame By Wendy Fournier

The headlines this week have me sitting at my computer with utter contempt for the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The AAP is frantic about a fictional TV show scheduled to air on ABC this week.  The show, entitled "Eli Stone" will depict the story of a family who is awarded a multi-million dollar lawsuit based on the theory that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative still used in many vaccines – caused their child to develop autism.  AAP president Renee Jenkins sent a letter to ABC demanding that this show be cancelled.  Has the AAP got nothing better to do than worry about a TV show?

The media is going crazy over this story and I’m choking on the vocabulary that is being used -  “emotional debate,” “the myth that vaccines can cause autism,” “fantasy,” “reckless irresponsibility.”  The debate that vaccines have contributed to the explosion of autism in the last 20 years is not one of emotion, it is one of science.  The word “myth” should be used only when something is proven untrue, that is certainly not the case here. Suggesting that ABC is being “recklessly irresponsible” is actually laughable when it comes from the AAP - which in my mind is the epitome of those words. 

The AAP suggests that parents viewing the show will refuse vaccines and cause their children “needless suffering”.  What about the needless suffering of hundreds of thousands of children who have been injured by the over-zealous, toxin-containing vaccine program that the AAP so staunchly promotes?

What exactly is the mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics, anyway?  Is it not to protect the health of America’s children?  Why are they turning their backs on the environmentally triggered, therefore PREVENTABLE and TREATABLE epidemic of autism?  Why aren’t they looking at the kids who have recovered and developing treatment standards?  Why are they wasting their time and energy worrying about television shows and fighting state legislation to ban the use of mercury in children’s vaccines?   This organization should be fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with vaccine safety advocates to stop the unnecessary injection of toxins into our children through immunizations.  They should be demanding the safest possible vaccines for our children.  Yet there they sit, on the opposite side of the table. How could they possibly have such blatant disregard for the health of our children?  Could the fact that they receive major funding from the pharmaceutical industry be playing a role here?  Is the AAP selling out our children?

Recently, several autism advocates respectfully attempted to distribute information to pediatricians attending an AAP conference in Washington. Our goal was to educate doctors who are still under the misguided impression that autism is a mysterious, genetic, life-long mental illness for which there is no treatment.  We attempted to give them hope for their patients and empower them with the knowledge that they can increase the quality of life of these children.  The convention organizers didn’t appreciate our message and we were escorted out of the building by security personnel.   What is the AAP afraid of?  As a parent, I would hope they would explore absolutely every avenue of treatment for the 1 in 150 children in this country who are affected by autism.

We now know that autism is biologically based.  There are underlying medical issues that cause the behaviors and symptoms that we collectively observe and diagnose as “autism.”  Those medical issues frequently include gastrointestinal disease, bacterial and fungal infections, chronic viruses that go undiagnosed, heavy metal toxicity, food allergies and sensitivities, chronic inflammation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, auto-immune disease and more. 

Many of our children are in constant pain.  And sadly, far too many are unable to express that pain verbally.  So they are left to suffer in silence. When they scream and act out in frustration, we are told that they have “behavioral issues” and it’s just part of having autism.  Wake up, AAP! Our children are sick.

Perhaps we need to strike the word “autism” from our vocabulary. Medical professionals should be prohibited from slapping that label on a kid and wishing their family luck as they push them out the door without a shred of hope.  Physicians should be looking deeper. Yes, these kids display symptoms of “autism,” but what is causing those symptoms?  That’s what needs to be properly diagnosed and treated.

It is my belief that doctors who choose to specialize in pediatrics do so because they have a genuine desire to care for children. To those doctors, I beg you to step outside the confines of what your guiding organization tells you to believe and look at the children you are seeing in your practices.  It is within your power to restore health to these children and help them to live a pain-free and full life.  Read Dr. Bryan Jepson’s book, “Changing the Course of Autism.” Attend a Defeat Autism Now! Conference and learn from the practicing physicians who are in the trenches and are successfully treating children diagnosed with autism. Talk to the parents who would not accept a hopeless diagnosis and have gotten their children back through individualized medical treatment of their biological symptoms.  You can help these children!

I will close with a heartfelt message to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  You have miserably failed our children.  You arrogantly accuse others of “reckless irresponsibility” as you actively fight for the continued use of unnecessary poison in vaccines. You unapologetically turn your back on a generation of sick children, refusing to investigate potentially helpful treatments and condemning them to a lifetime of pain.  Shame on you!

Wendy Fournier is the President of National Autism Association.



Factual, articulate, and to the point.
The drug cos. via our state 'health' depts.
attempt at silencing the truth is a transparent
effort which is backfiring on them. Their blanket
denials, which in and of themselves are obvious
red flags, point the finger back at them and
people are waking up, finally, to the realization
that a one size fits all vaccine program is not
without its problems. Check out RFK Jr.'s expose
in Rolling Stone a few years back (google search)
for his commentary on the drug cos' scheme to keep
this knowledge out of the public domain. Also, check
out Harris Coulter's research on social violence and
encephalitis (brain inflammation).

Cheryl Gaudino

What else can I say, Wendy....YOU ROCK!


what an awesome and powerful letter. its so sad to see how much effort the AAP made in order to keep the show from airing when there are so many children that are affected by Autism. Its just amazing to see how many people have responded to the show in an effort to help raise the awareness of autism and the importance of doing something about it. thank you for being a strong voice for all of the children who desperately need one.

Michelle's Mom

Very powerful and well written - thank you Wendy.


Donna Rode

Way to go, Wendy. Very well written. We are so proud to have you as our fearless leader in this ongoing battle with the "powers that be". We can't ever give up!


A very nice letter Wendy. It will be very interesting watching the fallout due to the ruckus the AAP stired up this week. I am sure someone in their office is thinking "wow, maybe we should of just let that show blow past us like the thousands of others."

Keep up the great work.

Sandy Gottstein

The meddies doth protest too much.

Angela Warner

WOW! Articulate! Eloquent! And In Your Face!
One of my favorite parts... "Medical professionals should be prohibited from slapping that label on a kid and wishing their family luck as they push them out the door without a shred of hope." I encountered this very message today in a news release from the Oregon Department of Human Services (of course to which I responded as did my mom who sent me the news release to begin with).
Your words and message provide courage for soooo many to continue on the journey.
For what it's worth I pass on to you my super gold star for honesty awarded to me by Kim last night :-) You hit the nail SQUARE on the head!
Thank you Wendy, for all that you have done and continue to do!

Teresa Conrick

Great letter, Wendy! Very passionate and right on target!




Actually, in "Eli Stone" it's something called "mercuritol" that the mom says caused her son's autism.

It's also interesting that in the program, the mom says her son developed autism within a week of receiving a mercuritol-containing flu shot. Here's what a National Autism Association press release had to say in late 2006 about a study into the safety of flu vaccines. (The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, had employed a six-week follow-up period):

“Following-up with these children for a mere six weeks is ridiculously inadequate,” according to National Autism Association (NAA) executive director Rita Shreffler. “The neurological injuries that result in diagnoses such as autism do not typically occur immediately after getting shots. Exposures to vaccine toxins such as mercury are cumulative and symptoms of injury may not be apparent for months or even years. Apparently, this is yet another CDC-drug company collaboration to whitewash thimerosal and ensure that flu shots are as profitable as possible, regardless of their long term adverse effects.”

So ... does the show get this wrong?


Wonderfully worded - why won't they listen???


The AAP's latest frantic posturing exposes itself as just another trade organization intent on protecting its members from financial liability. So much for ethics, morality, altruism -- and science. Toxicology is not welcome there. Patients are the enemy.

Now, I'm all for unions that protect workers from abusive working conditions. But when the union becomes the abuser, that is reprehensible. And because the AAP promotes the injection of children with toxic levels of mercury, they are promoting child abuse in the form of internal neurological damage.

The AAP cares more about misplaced ideals than about real flesh and blood. Their attempts to silence public discussion of their failings defies reason and one's sense of humanity.

Deb Capps

Outstanding letter! A powerful voice for all our children and their suffering.
Thank you.


Wow. Powerful stuff! Excellent, just excellent.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)