ConfessionBy Harry Hofherr

Last year, during one of my son's recurring IEP meetings, the director of special education for our school district said, "I love autism."

My wife began to seethe and turn purple. I just thought the lady had lost her fookin' mind. Nobody loves autism. Ask the parent of a child with autism. Sure, you love the child, but you hate the disorder. There is nothing to LOVE about autism.

Autism sucks.

But, I've come to the conclusion that as bad as it sucks, I'm an Autism Junkie. I'm hooked on this stuff. I start my day with autism and fall asleep dreaming about the CDC and the AAP and the IOM and the FDA and Pharma all kneeling down to kiss my ass.

Like I said, it's a dream.

I'm hooked on The Schafer Autism Report, the Age of Autism, Generation Rescue ads in USA Today, the National Autism Association alerts, the Yahoo Environment of Harm group, and David Kirby's and Dan Olmstead's reporting on autism. Just to name a few of the many fixes feeding my "jones".

To paraphrase Jackson Browne, "Daddy's in the den shooting up the autism news."

I watch Larry King when Jenny McCarthy is on because she can say "Bullshit" on TV and get away with it. (I won't watch Oprah; even if Billy Frist came on to say autism is caused by vaccines and apologized for putting the Lily Rider in the Patriot Act. A man's got to have some pride.)

I'm hooked on the real science that shows ethyl mercury is poisonous to the human body. I've learned enough chemistry in my job to know what a horrific mistake the bad guys are covering up with their phony denials and calls for more studies.

I'm hooked on reading the latest CDC/Pharma study showing old dads, cold moms, too much TV, Teletubbies, GE microwaves, AT&Tcell phone towers, and depleted gene pools are causing all the autism.  I can't wait for the new FDA study linking autism to McDonald's french fries and Big Macs, and the really big report that's coming from DOD linking autism to shopping at Wal-Mart and the insurgency in Iraq. That oughta put a dent in the economy.

I'm hooked on finding out what other countries we ship our poisonous vaccines to and seeing the latest worldwide estimates of rising autism cases. It won't be long before somebody's gonna figure out our latest greatest war on disease is destroying generations of babies. I can't imagine a long line of applicants for Secretary of State when this finally pops up on the radar.

I'm hooked on books about autism, and about vaccines, and Maynard G. Krebs cycles, and glutathione levels, and GFCFSFBFD diets. I built another bookcase for all our books and binders. I'd like to get hooked on cabinetmaking, but I can only afford one good addiction per lifetime. I got autism this time around.

I'm also hooked on homestead security. Eric is an autism runner and we had to lock down the house and build a high fence. I'm hoping to post guards in the corner towers with super soakers and air horns. The neighbors just love what we've done to the place, especially the barb wire.

I'm hooked on Dan doctors and vitamins and minerals and supplements and lab tests and chelation and insurance forms that keep coming back denied, due to an autism diagnosis. Catch 22? Again?

I'm hooked on psychologists with PhD's evaluating our son for hours and telling us in $1,500 increments that our non-verbal self stimming son is autistic. "No shit, Sherlock". There are sweathogs everywhere.

I'm really hooked on epidemiology studies that prove there is no epidemic of autism and that all the kids being diagnosed today are lucky that the doctors are so damn good at spotting autism like symptoms so much earlier than before. When I grow up I want to be an epidemiologist too. Then I can get an AS grant for bullshitting the masses.

I'm hooked on the smug satisfaction I see on the faces of doctors, especially pediatricians, who take enormous pride in the rising autism numbers in California, because it's proof that thimerosal doesn't cause autism because there's no more mercury in vaccines. These are the same people that made it into med school, and took the Hippocratic Oath. Makes me wonder.

I'm hooked on the statement; "We don't know what causes autism, but there is no linkage between thimerosal/vaccines and autism". Huh? If you don't know what causes it, how can you rule out something critical like vaccines? Must be a special science kinda thing. Ya think?

Now, I'm hooked on Mitochondria and the thought that these tiny little pieces of cells can bring down the mighty Pharma. Maybe, if enough scientists say that vaccines can trigger mitochondria disorder, which can trigger autistic disorder, then maybe we can trigger disorder in the house and the senate and put an end to all this crappola.

I look forward to the day Julie Gerberding does the perp walk in front of the cameras. Don't you? I can't wait for Paul Offitt's sentencing.

I'll still have Eric and my autism addiction, but I'll have a big smile on my face.

Like I said, it's a dream.



Teresa Conrick


I am just reading this today, Saturday, as it has been another crazy week for me. This was funny and I can identify so well! It is also so sad that we HAVE to be addicted but I love my daughter and it is not a choice to not be passionate about her health, her life, her future,,,,and all of the kids. You are a master at giving us relief from the pain/grief and showing us that good medicine for us is...laughter and unity.



Like most here I am also addicted to autism. I have a group on yahoo called autism and vaccinations. I have my website called autism hope. I live, breath, sleep and will probably die thinking of autism and my son. And that is ok with me. I have a purpose and a drive I never had until 7 years ago. Some of my friend outside the autism loop would probably say too much drive but they still love me.

However, unlike most of you I don't hate autism. Let me explain before I get jumped on LOL. My son's autism has been a catalyst for so many good things. Our family has grown in so many ways. I have a daughter who has so much empathy and compassion for others. My marriage is stronger than it ever was and my attitude has improved greatly (except when someone tries to screw my kids over). My son is happy, getting healthier and the light of our lives. He leaves a lasting mostly positive impression on anyone who knows him. He's a very loving child and I don't know if I would change things even if I could. So many good things have come from this. I know this is not the case for many or most even but we have been VERY fortunate.


Thank you -- I love reading your articles -- I love laughing about the things that normally make me feel sad or so annoyed. And, yeah -- I'm definitely an addict! Thanks for describing our addiction so well!


First time reader and Manager of a Autism Support. I love it being a parent of kid with Autims it all hit home for me

Woo Hoo

Terri, no offense was taken. Don't even think about it. We are all in this together. I love your brand of energy BTW, its VERY addictive :).


You've explained it all! I keep wondering why I'm still reading all this stuff. My son is recovered and just has chronic allergies and measles living in his guts, but he lost all his ASD symptoms. Still, I can't move on, can't kick the habit. I want to hear Kirby's next bombshell and go to Washington DC to hear McCarthy say "b*llsh*t." I should move on, but I keep hoping to hear that the CDC has admitted they were wrong and now is going to cure my son's chronic measles.

Thank you! Now I know I'm addicted, I'll just add it to my other bad habits, like nail biting, and eating chocolate.

Barbie Hines

This was great! I didn't get a chance to read this until additional locks (way up high) were being installed on all exterior doors of our house, the six foot fence with no cross bars was being erected in the backyard, and the alarm system was being adjusted in order to increase the volume and length of the door beeps...great article! If anyone without a child on the spectrum ever tells me they love autism, they will be given my son for a weekend!

Terri Lewis

Woo Hoo,

I'm sorry if I was insensitive; I couldn't tell from your comments, but it sounds like maybe I was irritating. I'm a mom of three; my son got autism; my younger daughter has vaccine-related asthma (getting better). I'm becoming a regular visitor here and feeling right at home. I'm genuinely sorry if I said things that came across as insensitive or not knowing. I'm in this boat, too, and have lots of weird, bad emotions surfacing again now that all of this is coming more into the light. And some good feelings like maybe things can change. And I feel not alone here.


Woo Hoo

"The energy here today is FANTASTIC!"

It's what having C**P-SHOOT for a life does to you!!

K Fuller

We are not Autism junkies by choice. We are compelled to look where we may find hope,where we may find the answer,where we may find the cure. I think we are all determined to fix the child, so we read and search, read and search, read and search.

Kelli Ann Davis

"I'm hoping to post guards in the corner towers with super soakers and air horns. The neighbors just love what we've done to the place, especially the barb wire."

Oh my gosh. I'm serious. This had me rolling. Harry, this is your absolute best post yet.

Rock On junkie.


Terri Lewis

The energy here today is FANTASTIC!

Let's take some of that and send around e-mails with the headline news of today, that little piece just above at What do you say?

Hello? Educate? Warn? Inform?

Let's do it!

Come back here and let us know how many places you sent this little gem.

(I'm just starting; only one so far; hopefully dozens by midnight, with some of my actual "day job" inbetween.)


Autism mom

"12 step program -- anyone?"

I crossed step 100 a while ago.


12 step program -- anyone?


It's difficult living with the knowledge that federal public health officials lie, and state officials spread the lies. These people either will not disbelieve their superiors, or don't dare defy them.

One can look back in history and find many analogies in which individuals contributed to international tragedies through action or inaction.

We live in an image-conscious, time-compressed, hit-and-run society, and our vaccine program is a sad reflection of that ugly picture.

Cathy Jameson


You couldn't have said it any better!


Teresa Aldrich

I too am a autism junkie. I have to say I'm laughing my ass off right now over your emails. You've all said it so well. I'm a mother of an 8yr old autistic boy in Central Nebraska. I don't know where your all from but I just moved to hell 1yr ago and all of satans workers are located in this state. Insurance won't cover, schools don't want to give services and the medical community is in complete denial.
Keep writing so I can enjoy five minutes of a day.

Josh Day

Has anyone been reading CNN lately? Seems like a whitewash is going on over there since their big autism coverage day.

Read the comments under a number of the stories. Clearly someone at the switch is cherry picking comments and many parents who believe autism and vaccines are directly related are being silenced. What's interesting is the fact that one of their Poling stories was pretty even, actually more tipped in the vaccine-autism camp, in regards to the comments.

Also, they have several "faces" of autism stories with headlines stating things like: "Autism is pure love -- there is nothing wrong with my son." It reminds me of one of Nixon's press conferences where a black man, cherry picked and prepped by campaign staff, changed the script at the last second and asked a critical question. The cameras turned to a little girl holding a sign "Bring us together" and boom, the questioner was forgotten and the criticism dodged.

Misdirection at its best. Disgusting and shameful, but masterfully played.


I'll confess I thought this article was going to go in another direction. To be "hooked" on something is not automatically to "love" it. Indeed, I'm sure the overwhelming majority of those who are hooked on autism in the sense of constant research and fact-finding are acting with a view to helping their affected children, and feel quite the opposite.

But there ARE plenty of people who love autism: people in the huge industry of support services that has grown up around the condition. Researchers. Grant-getters. Educators. Behavioral therapists uninterested in the root cause. People who depend on an abundant supply of autistic youngsters to justify their activities. The director of special education in Mr. Hofherr's school district probably belongs to that category.


I could not have said it any better!! I guess we are all Autism JUNKIES. I have it so bad that I look just like Tony Montana with his face deep in the mountain high of cocain. "I bury them cacaroaches"!!! Now pass me the chelator!


"Were they having the same type of morning? I'm sure many were."

Kathy, its the "goodness" of Spring. Allergens are up and the inflammation drives everything out of control. We get socked hard every freaking year. Just love this. I am going to send my kid over the the next pro-vaccine enthusiast who opens his/ her mouth on here. Here, have a taste of vaccine induced disease! And then let's have you talk.


Hi--my name is Grandma and I am an autism junkie too. I pray that in my lifetime the complete truth of what has happened to our babies comes out.

Here's something else to love--a ped. who tells you head banging is completely normal in a 16 month old, also completely normal to loose the word MaMa! Also completely normal to give a speech referral after begging him and then insurance turning it down. The insurance giant wrote the letter to a 26 month old and said, "Declined--if you had throat cancer or a stroke we would approve therapy but...we do not feel your condition will improve with speech therapy." What condition? The ped told us "nothing to worry about." That was the only referral he gave. The really sad thing is that another mother with a child who has autism had to inform me at work that our beloved, beautiful baby, might have Autism and she give me the name of the regional center.
Now that is the AAP at it's finest. When did head banging and losing words become a normal part of toddlerhood?? When did getting 7 vaccines in one day become the norm? When did running a fever of 105 become OK--(per ped. just give extra tylenol, he may have caught a virus.)
I have dreams of sneaking into his waiting room and putting EOH in every chair.


Got to say this, I am hooked on all that you are hooked on and am on the verge of PTSD. Yup, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE autism. This S**T stinks to high heaven - stress, more stress, still more stress. Bankruptcy. Kid tantrumming with no prior warning. Wakes up in the morning to say "Bad morning." And he's right. Every fooking morning is a bad morning. NO, absolutely NO, relief in sight. Anywhere. Look all around you - by golly, there's nothing!!


Well ... that was so well put and it was my first "autism fix" of the day! I'm confused why in the IEP meeting the sped dir said she loves autism. This morning as my mercury poisoned son was tantruming uncontrollably, the thought crossed my mind of all the other parents, some of whom I met at the DAN conference this past week. Were they having the same type of morning? I'm sure many were. So to that sped director and the people responsible for poisoning our children for the "greater good", come enjoy my house when that loving "autism" is at its finest! You'll get to witness first hand two of the caualities of your crimes. But screw them, mine are on the road back to health thanks to the parents before me ...

Anne Dachel

Harry, Excellent summary of the frustrations and heartbreak parents go through while the world ignores autism.

Hearing about raising awareness and early diagnosing as the way to address the epidemic also does it for me.

Along with you, I'm hooked on doctors who congratulate themselves for finding all these kids that they used to just miss at the
same time their own professional organization, the AAP, admonishes them because they're not doing early screening for autism.
That can only mean that there are even more kids yet undetected. Think of the glee in the medical community when the rate
reaches one in 50!!

Of course diagnosing is the only thing we can expect from doctors since as we all know, there's no know cause or cure for the mystery called autism.
And who has time to take on an extra job to pay for speech therapy?

Keep on writing. You say it so well!
Anne Dachel
Media editor

Jack Russell

I just got to work, fired up my computer, and this was the first thing I read. Behind on emails (because I was out yesterday to take the kiddos to a Dr. appointment) but yet I didn't catch up, didn't listen to voice mail. I came here first. So, I'm right in that boat with you.


LOVE IT! And your right......autism does SUCK!

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