By Katie Wright
Julie Gerderding’s recent admission that much of the CDC’s research exonerating vaccines as a trigger for autism was both shoddily done and politically compromised. It felt like a bittersweet victory. The selection bias errors are numerous and egregious. But I didn’t need Dr. Gerberding to admit the obvious in order to know that the CDC endangered my son and an entire generation of children. Like so many other families, we lived the nightmare after Christian received 7 vaccines in one day, initiating the mental and physical deterioration of my child that became autism.
It astounds me that Gerberding has not resigned. But then so much astounds me, such as the AAP’s recent publication on how to “handle” vaccine adverse parents. I had high hopes after speaking with Dr. Louis Cooper from the AAP at the DAN! Conference. Not only did Dr. Cooper show up and listen to parents, he attended numerous lectures and workshops. What happened? The AAP “parent handling” imitative is both condescending and ridiculous. The days when parents unquestionably accepted whatever their pediatrician says are over, especially when they have been wrong about so much and have ignored the needs of our children for decades. Threatening to “fire” families from a practice or telling them that they are endangering other children is not an effective way to go. The fact that the AAP comes out with this guide right as the CDC admits so many of their vaccine safety studies are compromised is bizarre. These are the people we are supposed to trust with our children’s health? Who do they think they are kidding?
We need an autism enlightenment movement, which can move this discussion beyond the flat earth, or scorch earthed policies of the CDC and the AAP. We need more AAP doctors, CDC researchers and AS scientist to come to AutismOne, DAN!, the NAA conference and hear from these parents, meet our children and learn from their stories of hope and recovery. I am so tired of hearing the same old autism careerists put forth the same stale information in the safest of safe environments, where their travel and lodging has been paid for by someone else, lecture more careerists about the “autism is genetic” groupthink agenda. And if they only had $10 million more they would be able to find 2 more genes out of the 1,000 thousand that compromise autism. Enough! None of that has helped one child with autism.
The CDC was invited to speak at the “Greening the Vaccines” rally and, of course, declined, literally afraid to face the community. They missed amazing day. From the Congressional lawn, as far as the eye could see, all the way down Independence Avenue I saw families with autistic kids marching down the middle of the street. TACA literally stopped traffic. It was a beautiful sight.
We have all been to autism marches before. They are usually held on the weekend, often in empty industrial office parks and are a friendly but low-key affair. This was something completely different. We were in the nation’s capital and wanted the world to see our families, read our signs and start thinking about what the hell is in our kids’ vaccines. My friends the Ioannardis of NY had great sign, “Anti-Freeze Is For Cars, Not Kids,” and “IF I Had The Flu, I Would Be Recovered By Now.” As we passed the FDA, I saw a number of people in the windows looking out at us, giving the thumbs up sign. My first thought is that they must be parents of autistic kids and that they looked sad and trapped. The rest of the FDA people looked scared, as if they know what is coming.
Jim Carrey said that this day was all about unconditional love. We have all lost so much, for most of us our children’s health, friends, family members who do not or cannot understand, homes, finances, jobs, dreams of more children. But on that day, at the rally, all I felt was pure joy and pride in this community. The parents I meet were amazing, inspirational and filled with hope and determination. The speakers were passionate, articulate and brilliant. It was a privilege for my family to take part in the rally. I wish every autism organization could have been there, supporting these incredible families. It was a day none of us will ever forget.
Yesterday was also a day I will not soon forget. I attended an amazing David Kirby lecture at NYU packed with fantastically devoted parents. While the history and the raw facts regarding what it took to get access of public vaccine safety database documents is laid out, I literally felt ill- again. It is still hard to believe this happened. Pages and pages of documents marked up with black felt markers, reams of “lost” research, disappearing documents, and so forth. No matter which way Verstratten ran the numbers he, “just couldn’t make it go away.” It being the association between vaccines and autism. Verstratten was right about that, indeed, he could not make it go away. The evidence vaccines are triggering this autism epidemic is, at this point, painfully obvious. To continue to be condescended to by the AAP and the CDC is unacceptable. We need transparency and support from them for objective vaccine research, not arrogant, self-serving dictates.
Katie Wright has two young boys. Her oldest son, Christian, is severely affected by autism. He developed normally; smiling, talking, walking; only to lose every skill and every word by the age of 2 and a half. Upon the advice of medical professionals Katie and her husband were advised to pursue only high quality behavioral therapy, speech and OT for Christian. It had no meaningful impact on Christian until his parents sought help from DAN! doctors who treated the underlying causes of Christian's descent into autism. Christian has improved but still has far to go. He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the measles virus in his gut and an immune system akin to a late stage AIDS patient. Christian does not have a psychiatric disorder. Before autism, Katie Wright was the Clinical Director of Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Stamford Connecticut. Katie is proud to serve on the Boards of NAA and SafeMinds.