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Best of: Bernie vs. Brynna The Trouble with Autism Speaks

A Message to Autism Speaks' Singer and Shih: ENOUGH ALREADY!

Snake_puzzle_2By Katie Wright

I did not want to write this piece or share this information.  I was hoping the leadership at Autism Speaks would take care of this problem. For far too long Dr. Andy Shih and Ms. Alison Singer have been representing only their own rigid belief systems in their roles at AS, doing whatever necessary to thwart environmental and vaccine research. In the meantime so many opportunities have been squandered and our children are paying the price.

I will not editorialize here; just give the reader the facts. Families and especially AS supporters have a right to know how their children’s interests are being represented.

1) Dr. Andy Shih, VP of Scientific Affairs, an avowed disbeliever of vaccines as a possible trigger for autism, appeared on “Montel” a few years ago. Shih vehemently argued that vaccines are totally safe, can not and do not trigger autism and that excessive quantities of mercury are perfectly safe to inject into babies and children.

Two years ago AS leadership was excited about a Norwegian study on vaccinated children and autism and promised the study designers full support. AS expressed a desire to take the lead as a funder and facilitator of the project. Shih surreptitiously killed almost all involvement.

2) Shih’s recent comments to the media include, “this issue (vaccines and autism) has really been put to bed!” regarding a tiny Columbia study on autism, regression and GI disease on a dozen children. The study only actually included 5 children who had regressive autism and GI disease and one, indeed, had the measles virus in his gut. The CDC funded this study.

I encourage all to Google Andy Shih + vaccines and read the plethora of Shih quotes about why he believes there is no merit to studying over-vaccination as trigger for autism. Shih is most frequently quoted by pharmaceutical sites and vaccine manufacturers as “proof” of vaccines’ “disproved” relationship to autism.

3) Alison Singer is in control of all media relations for AS and sits on the very important and influential IACC, as AS’ representative. Singer has also overseen AS’ multi-million dollar website. Until recently, the website was devoid off all biomedical news and information.

Singer and Shih maintain a strong professional friendship with Paul Offit, lunching with him on AS’ dime.

4) Singer called CBS “Evening News” to complain about Sharyl Attkisson’s investigative news story on Dr. Paul Offit’s financial interests in the childhood immunization program. Singer copied Dr. Lou Cooper, her AAP ally, in this complaint letter. The CBS news piece uncovered the fact that Offit had recently sold his rota vaccine patent for $104 million dollars. This discovery was, in fact, huge news to all in the autism community.

5) The IACC group had the unique opportunity to effect powerful and innovative change in autism research at the NIH. The CAA was made possible by the hundreds of thousands of parents who supported its passage. Autism Speaks promised to do everything possible to support the promotion of environmental research, including vaccine research.

After nearly a year of work the NIH’s strategic plan is currently being boycotted by the entire community. Tom Insel has done a terrible job of including stakeholders’ opinions and priorities, yet there was a critical juncture when the plan could have been saved. Lyn Redwood and all participating parent orgs (with the exception of minuscule org. ASA) voted for the inclusion of a number of environmental research initiatives which would have SAVED this endeavor. Alison Singer, as AS’ representative, voted against the plan.

OK- those are the facts, everything is true, now for the editorial.

The fact that Ms. Singer voted against the rest of the autism community is disgraceful. Clearly Ms. Singer cannot separate her personal beliefs from the mandate of the organization she is paid to serve. The IACC plan was an opportunity of monumental proportions and now a year’s work has been squandered, thanks to her veto.

Rather then embracing the big tent concept and building bridges with the grass roots parent-run autism organizations, Shih and Singer have focused their energies on building relationships with Dr. Offit (a vaccine patent holder), Ami Pisani and her pharmaceutical organization and old school geneticists. This approach is not getting us where we need to go and gravely disappoints the families who trusted AS to be better than this. It was families, not pharmaceutical reps, who brought the tremendous pressure to bear in order to pass the CAA. Now our families’ interests have been betrayed by the rigid ideological beliefs of one person who would rather see the CAA fail than encompass vaccine research.

Instead of building alliances with family based orgs like the National Autism Association, Ms. Singer’s efforts have been focused on aiding Dr. Paul Offit. Autism Speaks’ PR needed to allow Dr. Offit to take care of himself, he has certainly got the financial resources to do so. Autism Speaks should have been championing the trend of greater financial transparency in autism and vaccine science. Instead, Ms. Singer was so upset by the criticism of Dr. Offit that she called CBS news to complain about the piece. This bizarre behavior is another complete betrayal of our families’ interests and serves to further illustrate the deeply ingrained beliefs and prejudices that do a deep disservice to our families.

I do not have the time to detail the myriad of instances in which Autism Speaks PR and Rubenstein Associates worked overtime to kill or diminish stories about biomedical news. Suffice it to say it is a sad and lengthy list. We need more open debate and discussion, not less.

AS PR and AS science need not fear open discussions of the vaccine issue, what they should fear is colluding with the CDC in behaving as if parents’ voices do not matter, regression is inconsequential, GI disease is insignificant, adverse vaccine reactions are non-existent, all successful biomedical interventions are aberrations. I may well be incorrect about many things but we can never be wrong in asking questions -- questions our families want asked.

Mark Roithmayr and Dr. Geri Dawson have been made well aware of Shih and Singer’s serious lapses in judgment and failure to fully represent the community. Mr. Roithmayr appears to want to ignore this situation and its adverse consequences for our children. Maybe the parents who worked so hard to pass the CAA should ask him why?

Managing Editor's note: You can email Mark Roithmayr at [email protected]

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.



Autism Speaks is just another derivative of and in collusion with the CDC. They do not speak for or help the vast majority of families with a child on the spectrum


Well Katie: one down, one to go!! We're with you all the way. What do you have up your sleeve for Dr. Shih?


According to a story in SafeMinds' e-newsletter "Finding the Truth" today:

"During the most recent meeting of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) a substantial amount of the strategic plan was discussed and adopted. However, equally significant in my mind was the display of unity throughout the day by the advocates who comprise the public member portion of the committee.

"Public advocates Lyn Redwood, of SafeMinds, Dr. Stephen Shore, self advocate, and Lee Grossman of Autism Society of America spoke in unison along with Alison Singer, of Autism Speaks and Christine McKee, parent of an ASD individual also voting similarly for the majority of the day. It is hard to describe the power held in these hands, particularly when raised together. Toward the close of the day, Lyn Redwood noted that during many critical votes on research initiatives these five hands went up against those representing federal agencies. Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), acknowledged that while it was true that the advocates were of a common mind set, the federal agencies were voting against the noted objectives due to feasibility and to be consistent with what could reasonably be accomplished. Many agency heads nodded in agreement with this summation of their actions."

Hmmm. Is there hope for Alison Singer?

Lorenzo's Goil

Tsk tsk, Lorenzo - such bad form. Don't they teach you better out there in Steel city?

Katie is the daughter of the founders - even if you have a big fat grant from AS, even if you're Nancy Minshew herself, Katie knows a hell of a lot more about them than you do.



You people need to move on and find another scapegoat


Thank you for sharing this information. It only confirms what I have long suspected. Well done!

Wade Rankin

As society has become more complex, we have become far too willing to look to media, authority figures, and "trusted institutions" to do our thinking for us. We need to pay attention to the man behind the curtain, because he may not really be a wizard. Thanks, Katie, for pulling back the curtain and giving us a peek.

Carmen Goldman

Thank you Katie for telling it like it is.

My years of walk-a-thons and other fund-raising activities ended when I realized most of my funds weren't going to help the parents or the children. I felt like we were getting raked over the coals again and again by the institutions that were supposedly designed to "help" us.


Katie, thank you SO much for yet another courageous, selfless act for our children. This could not have been an easy piece to write, nor do I imagine that it was done without tremendous forethought and trepidation. I applaud you for so many things, but this especially.

As you indicated, this was just a scratch to the surface of what is wrong at Autism Speaks. In the past, I have been quite vocal and critical of Autism Speaks and their true agenda. The difference between us - I was excoriated for daring to speak out years ago. So this piece is very bittersweet to me.

Last year at Autism One, I, along with a few other courageous parents, questioned Peter Bell and his dubious and highly suspect connections to Big Pharma (and the endorsement of Risperdal). My questions were never really answered and he (as well as other AS "supporters") became so uncomfortable with the direction of my questions that Peter Bell ordered his goons to take the microphone away from me. I may have been temporarily silenced but the questions did not go away. Needless to say, the questions were a formality as I already the answers from my own forensic accounting investigation...Autism One was merely a vehicle to make it public.

There are more problems at Autism Speaks than just Allison Singer and Dr. Shih. Follow the money...backwards. It's not pretty and certainly not comforting for parents of vaccine-injured children. From GE’s strong financial ties to the vaccine industry, medical malpractice insurance and even Thimerosal use to Bernie Marcus and his pro-business, strong anti-litigation agenda (his connections to Kennedy Krieger and their “autism is psychiatric and/or genetic” stance are particularly troubling as well). If that doesn’t scare a parent then his strong support of the CDC should be give one pause. I pray with this bold courageous step that you have taken that parents and others will give Autism Speaks closer scrutiny. With the right leadership and transparency, they could help us solve this horrendous problem of “autism” and other similar neurodevelopmental disorders.

I agree that SafeMinds and the National Autism Association are to be commended for their efforts. They have my support and gratitude even though we disagreed on the Combating Autism Act. My late husband, Dr. Alan Clark, served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of both SafeMinds and the National Autism Association so these organizations and individuals such as Lyn Redwood and Rita Shreffler just to name a few will always hold a special place in my heart. There is more that binds us together than separates us.

Speaking of the CAA, I believe that I have earned the right to say, “I told you so” as I predicted that the CAA was nothing more than a Trojan horse. I was not alone in these predictions…Bernie Rimland, Bob Krakow, Bobbie Manning, Linda Weinmaster, Amy Carson, Angela Medlin, Leslie Weed, Sally Coletti, Wade Rankin and numerous others (if I’ve forgotten anyone in particular please forgive me) also voiced similar concerns about CAA and Autism Speaks in particular. Granted, they were more diplomatic about their objections than I but nonetheless, we were right. The CAA was shoved down the throats of parents…Autism Speaks shoved the hardest and made little effort to hide their bullying techniques. Unfortunately, at the time, few in the “autism” community wanted to admit the truth that was staring them in the face so those of us that courageously spoke out then were labeled “trouble-makers” in an effort to silence us or alienate us from the community. To some extent it worked. I became so disheartened at the venom aimed at me from the “autism” community that I largely withdrew working with most parents (I make a few exceptions…when Iowa calls, I try to be there if at all possible). It doesn’t mean that I have stopped working for the children but I have kept parents at a distance for the past two years as a result of the CAA debacle.

This community is so quick to label people “heroes” and in many instances, rightfully so, but there are many among us that know the real heroes of our children have already departed this life…Bernie Rimland, Liz Birt and even my late husband, placed their lives and professional medical and legal careers on the line to fight for our children. I’m glad they are not here to see have far backwards we have allowed Autism Speaks/NAAR/CAN/ASA and their ilk to push our fight for healing, justice and truth for our children. Please do not let Katie’s courageous actions be in vain…demanding change and transparency at Autism Speaks is the right first step.

Lujene G. Clark


Katie ... you are a blessing to us. I can only imagine how hard the truth of all this is when your parents started Autism Speaks because of Christian. I just can't wrap my brain around what is so hard for people to see ... thank you for your honesty and sharing of this information. I've been trying to make peace in my heart on Austism Speaks since so many parents believe it is the organization to raise money for if you have a child with autism. I just can't bring myself to give them a dime. I had a heated exchange with a doctor the other day who recently completed their residency. I'm not the best debater, but I tried my best. One child at a time, one doctor at a time. The truth will be unleashed someday unfortunately too late for the new kids and parents joining our wonderful group ...

Kudos to you for speaking the truth when you could easily crawl in a hole ... my best to Christian and his continued improvement in health.


This fight over food policies deserves the attention of all parents, including those here...

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act

Obama’s ‘Secretary of Food’?
Published: December 10, 2008


Thank you, Katie, for the truth...as disgusting as it is. Time has come for everyone to say NO to the fundraising efforts until our voices are truly represented by AS.
Where did it all go wrong??? Probably where the money piled up..as usual.
Those two need to be given a good "dose" of their own crap...and then be sent on their way...bye bye.
Thanks for bringing the truth to light...now it is up to all of us parents out here to stand up and demand action.
Let's roll!!!!


Thank you, Katie, for being such a strong and vocal advocate for our kids.


To Katie:

You go Grrrrl!
I live in Canada and have a teenage son with autism that I STILL can't get help investigating and dealing with vaccine damage and mercury toxicity. Doctors up here won't touch chelation or look at biopsy for possible vaccine damage and I can't afford to go anywhere. The CBC news (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and TVO (i.e. by someone in a special on autism) up here stated that vaccines don't cause autism which feeds the ignorance and attitude of the public, professionals, politicians - and sadly many researchers!!!

Ill be withdrawing my involvement with AS.

Thanks for your courage and care,


Kelly Langston

Thank you for reporting this information, Katie. I am sure it wasn't easy.

The only thing missing is what action would be suggested for parents to take. Should we call for resignations? What are some practical, hands-on steps that the this autism community can take?


the greatest warning sign for me is that the UK government have embraced Autism Speaks (UK) and are working with them. they are making a big noise about biomedical research but have not even found funds for the "Can diet Affect Autism Study"
their year review highlights some very nice lunches in some very nice stately homes.


Thank you for writing this Katie.

Who do we mass email to demand sacking of those two people?


Then again, maybe Dr. Shih and A. Singer need to feel another poke from Offit's needle, delivered by Offit himself. Then again, judging from the lunacy of their statements, it's possible one or both may already have.


Looking back on my life pre-autism, I now know what thick blinders I was walking around wearing. In this insane world of autism, down is up, up is down and "well-child" visits (read: synchronized disease pharming) that neurologically cripple our babies are promoted, encouraged and sanctioned by government colluding with big industry.


As ASD parents, not only do we understand the tragedy of grappling with the challenges of raising vaccine injured children, our hearts are so very heavy with the burden of the knowledge of this moral crisis of government + big industry shoving our precious babies under that express Pharma bus. It has the reached a moral cataclysmic stage. The vaccine denialist pharmapaths can call me and my kind rabid as much as they wish just as long as they acknowledge that we ASD parents are rabidly pro-child. We are fighting for our babies and everyone else's. This is in stark contrast to those three wacky, rabidly anti-child abominations, that (PR)Offit, Shih and Singer clearly are. Your classic good v. evil scenario, just on a global scale.

Sometimes, knowledge can be a tremendous burden but in the case of us ASD parents, the knowledge of the pervasive corruption is not only a burden, it is a bone-chillig moral imperative. What's next, eating our young?

God help us.

p.s. Research the effects of GMO corn on our ASD children, parents. I think the adverse side effects on our ASD children, in particular is being grossly underestimated.

Theresa Cedillo

For Dan: AofA is definitely the richer!

Katie: Once again thank you so much for taking a stand for all of our children.

Kathy Blanco

Dear Katie-
Are there any words to say to you that would buoy you up at this difficult time? I cannot imagine how something that seemed so pure on the onset, can be utterly destroyed/manipulated/maligned, if not mocking my children's plights as Autism Speaks never for them?

True, not all kids are vaccine injury autism kids, but False, is that there is none. In fact, I think vaccines are the last trigger in a series of onslaughts in children with autism. I think in utero infections (lyme, mycoplasma, viruses and bacteria), toxins, damaging birth practices, chemotherapy drugs in our water (mutagens), fluoride, use of tylenol during pregnancy and during vaccine fevers (www.rollingigital.com/autism), pesticides and plastices and dioxins, GMO foods and BT Toxins, HF Corn Syrups, MSG, Baby Formulas, High Iron in our Diets, Bromine in our breads, LOW VIT D, mothers with damaged thyroids due to all of these things above, are causing a perfect storm of children who will vaccine react. We are creating a genetic epidemic, because frankly all of these things mutate genes, express genes, etc.

In fact, by the time children like this are damaged by vaccines further, their cell mediated immune system may be as low as a person with CVID/Iga Deficiency/AIDS, and their ability to recognize self cells is already destroyed. They in fact are the siting duck kids.

I have never heard good of AS. I have never trusted them, ever since they hired people who want to hide the truths of this epidemic. They should be ashamed of themselves. I am ashamed I supported CAN to, with our AGRE blood samples, because of our multiplex family. WHICH, have been misused in non science, or at least non implicating science.

My own parents saw my DPT injure child in the night in question, when he screamed bloody murder, had a horrific fever, as we panicked to take him to ER. To this day, they cannot believe that a vaccine could cause this, even so, and but, would do everything in their power, to destroy the people who uphold it's safety. In like manner, I hope your parents, would do the same...but alas, I think their power has been removed by major players in the pharma industry$. Dr Dawson herself had studies on face recogntion, thinking it of some oddity that the kids displayed the behvior, never VOICING, that this is a symptom of mercury poisoning. Fire her too. She is a genetic butt kisser as well.

In like organizations, the true causes of diseases have often been maligned, cancer organizations, Michael J Fox Org, etc etc. Most of those diseases are caused by toxins, viruses, fungi, bacteria and oxidative stress. Do you think they fund things like that? NEVER. Because there is too much money to be made. Jerry lweis telethon people have longed picketed his work, because they too know what causes the disease, but are not backed by millions of dollars. NO ONE wants to hear that vaccines are unsafe...even the public...

One night when I was walking to an autism medical meeting, set up parents, I walked the grounds of OHSU Portland, in amazement of the "tall and spacious buildings" before my eyes. I could not believe the money it must have taken to erect such buildings. But alas, at that same university hospital, are denialist. Who, on every occasion has and still blasts parents for taking their kids in for Autistic Enterocolitis (sometimes reporting them to child protective services for Munchousens), Vaccine Injury, and immune system disorders, which caused their children's autism. IT makes me feel as a parent, so small to do anything about this situation. Who am I and who are my chidlren to them? We are all up against the big boys. UNTIL, you have a parent deciding WHAT STUDY is to be studied and resarched, autis will not go away. Fire al the professionals, get independent researchers willing to put their names on the line, and we shall get somewhere. Invite me to those meetings, and I could resarch autism for one year, and find the cause.

Some have attempted to embarress the powers that be, Jenny, and others. But what I think really has to happen is mothers boycotting vaccines in masses. This is the only language they understand. I don't understand "Greening a vaccine", I don't understand how taking toxins out a vaccine makes them safe (In fact, it would contaminate the vile more), and I don't understand why parents think they can still deal with the devils? I would never vaccinate again, and my grandchidlren have no autism because they didn't, and because the mothers saw plenty of autism in their lifetimes..they also chose to be detoxed, made sure ther were no infections on board, and the whole kitten kaboodle of what to do right.

The point being, until we get that radical, for all our children, our neighbors hearing our plight, and being educated of what happned to our children on a grand scale, (which takes a lot of money which we don't have), then autism will continue as a major blight in our world. Albeit, I love them, with all my heart, their sweet spirits that teach me everyday of my life, I would prefer that they continue on developmentally, and have the chances for marriage and family, self reliance.

I blast any organization that states vaccines can be made safe, in any form, on any schedule, and I challenge them to challenge me if I am wrong. In fact, some kids will never be able to be vaccinated, ever.

Let's stop this SHAME of an organization, and put them on their knees. Put the other reliant, well meaning organizations, together, like they did with CAN, and let us be a superpower for once? I am sick of being the peon in this world, and my kids are sick of autism, as I.

Strange aftertaste

At the rate that autism is galluping and as the years pass, the chances that the waiters serving these Singer/Offit/Shih luncheon discussions might *not* have a sibling or child effected by autism grows slimmer. The power tripping trio might want to rethink the seafood bisque and stick to french onion in the future. Less risk of "biologics".

dan olmsted

I was interested in Katie's comment that AS has a multi-million dollar Web site. We do, too, kind of -- we have a multi-dollar Web site. But we have Katie and other fearless advocates for vaccine-damaged children writing for us. Now, which site would you say is richer? -- dan.


We support you 110%. Keep their feet to the coals and demand accountability. Thank-you for all your work!


If AS wants to save face the right thing to do is fire those who aren't true to the AS mission statement. Time to show Singer and Shih the door.

Thank you Katie, you rock!

Shauna @ Together In Autism

Here are my two posts on this topic...

1st POST...

Here is my letter titled
"Autism Speaking - Listen..."

sent to : [email protected]

Autism Speaks is supposed to speak for the voice of our children. I hope that one day you open the doors that we have been knocking on, that no one will answer. As parents we are our only child's voice, their advocate. Why would you not listen to the voices of thousands of parents who are screaming vaccine injury and the success' of biomedical intervention. Why ignore us and decline studies that have possibilites of bettering our child's health. If those of you in PR do not believe in the cause or the recovery, well then prove us wrong. I do not understand why a group of people claim to be a voice, when you repeatedly force us to close our mouths and support those that are against further research. I am a huge supporter of Katie Wright and her son Christian which are the result of the creation of AS. I do support your efforts of raising money for research, kuddos. I however have a problem with the fact that those in your PR are trying to silence our children. This was not what the intent of Katie Wright. Listen to autism speaking...

Shauna-Mother & Advocate

Together In Autism
[email protected]
Join Our Newsletter @ Our Site...

Join Our Yahoo Group:


2nd POST...

THANK YOU!!! I know it must have been very difficult, but easing at the same time. A mix of emotions. It would be wonderful if various organizations could unit and raise awareness in some way on AS's intentions. Many of these people who attend their walks are asking what there money goes towards. They do not even know. It represents the main organization for autism to most people, so when people go and raise money, they honestly believe that they are doing good and making their contribution to autism. This isn't right! Just like Amanda Peet has come out and done a PSA on not listening to the anti-vaccine movement, there should be one on AS. This of course would be different as it would be a truhtful statement. I have many in my region trying to get my organization and site tied in with AS, I have declined repeatedly and I can tell there is some unsaid resentment. The sad thing is I don't even think that they know what the truth behind what they are organizing. I had the Co-Chair in my region, state that she was so suprised at the well received response in our community with the 1st AS walk, because of AS being so controversial (because AS was so extreme with believing in Biomedical treatments.) The walkers have no clue, most organizers have none as well. The walk raises money to have a walk in a another city and so on and so on, all with bells and whistles. They are not letting the one's that are a part of the actual autism community speak. When we are able to, they don't listen. Their intentions are not for the betterment of our children. If they were they would not be associating with Paul Offit and would kick the door wide open for research. If there is anything I can do, please let me know, can be reached @ [email protected].
And I know everyone who is a viewer on this wonderful site, are here to help as well. You're a warrior, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You just brought the truth to light for MANY people.

Together In Autism
[email protected]


Possible environmental factors must include our processed foods.


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Katie - thank you for working to keep AS committed to its purpose - our kids with ASD. While their antics are vile to us all as parents of kiddos with AS, I can only imagine the increased pain that it brings you since this organization was formed by your parents as a result of your child.

Know that we support and stand with you!

Kevin Barry

Well said Katie, though this is just the tip of the iceberg.

To make matters worse, Dr. Shih doesn't even know what he is discrediting!

Before the merger with CAN, I sat in his office. We discussed the Bernard, et al paper.

Shih: Well, that paper doesn't explain ALL cases of autism.

KB: No, the hypothesis refers to regressive autism.

Shih: No it doesn't....(I show him the study on my laptop, he reads it)

Shih: Oh.

"DISCUSSION (the relevant passage)

We have shown that every major characteristic of autism has been exhibited in at least several cases of documented mercury poisoning. Recently, the FDA and AAP have revealed that the amount of mercury given to infants from vaccinations has exceeded safety levels. The timing of mercury administration via vaccines coincides with the onset of autistic symptoms. Parental reports of autistic children with measurable mercury levels in hair and urine indicate a history of mercury exposure. Thus the standard primary criteria for a diagnosis of mercury poisoning – observable symptoms, known exposure at the time of symptom onset, and detectable levels in biologic samples (11,31) – have been met in autism. As such, mercury toxicity may be a significant etiological factor in at least some cases of regressive autism. Further, each known form of HgP in the past has resulted in a unique variation of mercurialism – e.g. Minamata disease, acrodynia, Mad Hatter’s disease – none of which has been autism, suggesting that the Hg source which may be involved in ASD has not yet been characterized; given that most infants receive eHg via vaccines, and given that the effect on infants of eHg in vaccines has never been studied (129), vaccinal thimerosal should be considered a probable source. It is also possible that vaccinal eHg may be additive to a prenatal mercury load derived from maternal amalgams, immune globulin injections, or fish consumption, and environmental sources."

Stagmom for 2Snakes



Thanks for such a fabulous piece, and so well written. It was just the thing for me, after hearing that Offit-lauding, anti-vaccine-condemning piece on NPR this morning. Gack!


Claudine Liss

Disgraceful, however, not surprising in this out of contol world we are all living in. Thank you for having the courage to speak out. It is important for us to speak the truth and say it like it is.


Could that be a picture of the 2 poisonous snakes in AS disguised as child-friendly puzzle-piece toys?

Ha, KS, you never cease to amaze me with those apropos pics you dig up!

Way to tell it like it is, Katie!! Expose the poisonous snakes hiding in the country club grass!


Thank you for speaking out. Autism Speaks needs to step up and use their money more effectively.


Anne Dachel

So Dr. Shih thinks "there is no merit to studying over-vaccination as trigger for autism"?
In "Dr. Shih on autism" http://www.revolutionhealth.com/conditions/mental-behavioral-health/autism/just-diagnosed/tips-shih
on December 05, 2006, Shih was quoted in an article saying this about the link between vaccines and autism:
"Just because current evidence doesn't show such a link doesn't necessarily mean that a child, because of genetic predisposition, might not be especially sensitive to vaccines or thimerosal, just as some children are especially sensitive to peanuts or penicillin."
Really? So why isn't Shih looking into the possibility that there's a subgroup of children being harmed by vaccines? He said it was possible.
Anne Dachel
Media editor

Julie Obradovic

This is just the icing on the cake today! Talk about a banner day at AoA!

Katie, thank you.

Ben's Dad

Kaite – Thank you for sharing this with us. It is unacceptable to have these voices in leadership positions at AS. Perhaps AS itself may be a failure if its culture tolerates executives publicly closing doors on any possibility before the specific environmental answers are found.

Just this morning I got a call thanking me for participating in an AS walk this fall and it made me cringe a bit. Before the call, and before this piece, my concern over whether AS represents me was already on red alert. Before the start of the race, an announcer thanked the two full time paid staffers who organized the event (and 2 other walks). Two FT people to plan 3 walks??? There were free t-shirts, and a thank you dinner event is yet to come. The walk route was lined with watered down national statistics – not at all representative of what was happening in NJ. Why wasn’t AS taking the time to educate all of these eager walkers that NJ in particular is seeing higher rates than other places? Why the safe glossy PR effort? I am also concerned about AS involvement in state insurance regulation, and the presumption of whom AS speaks for in arriving at dollar amounts. A piece by Lisa Jo Rudy on About.com recently mentioned that AS has no individuals with autism its board, and that is alarming. After the walk I read through the AS website on their research paths. In particular I am having an increasingly hard time seeing advocacy money being focused on genetics. Yes I want my daughter to have all of the information she needs when she gets older, but the fact that she comes from a family affected by autism is as good of a clue as she is ever going to get from any genetics research into such a diverse spectrum disorder that by nearly all accounts is influenced by the environment. As long as vaccines are mandated, they remain part of the environment that needs to be examined for a wide range of impacts on children, not just autism.


I want my money back!

Anyone from autism speaks having a luncheon with Dr. Offit, who openly admits to knowing nothing about autism, should be fired immediately. One need only google offit's name and know that he is nothing but a talking head for Merck.

Autism Speaks is a non-profit and relies on fundraising and grants. What are we going to do about this?

Autism Speaks needs an HHH enema now!

sue cranmer (sparkil2)

Katie, I admire you greatly. You are a part of the solution. Autism Speaks is a part of the problem.


I will continue to tell people to not waste a dime of their money on AS. If they want to help folks like my son, there are much better ways to support autism research and services. This was the final nail in the coffin for me and AS.


Andy, Alison let me introduce to you to the carpet. You have just been called to the carpet.

Katie: Thank you


Thank you so much, Katie, for your work and for writing this. What a bizarre situation. How do these people have so much power? Can they be fired? Do they have term limits? How can thousands and thousands of parents be ignored by an organization that is supposed to represent them? How can any person high up in this organization say that the increase in autism rates is only due to better diagnosis? If that's what he thinks, he should go work for someone else.

Jackson's mom

Great job Katie!
I feel sorry that Alison's own feelings of hopelessness are dictating the work of a multi million dollar organization that could be changing the world for our children.
I hope her contract is up soon!

Maurine Meleck

All roads lead to AOA today. Amazing writing, all. It's got integrity, honesty, pathos, anger, and undeniable courage.
Thank you katie and everyone.

Maurine-grandmother to Joshua and fighting for his recovery


Thanks Katie for reporting and commenting on two people who really need to be fired from AS. The amount of bold lies, bullshit, and infinite narcissism from Singer and Shih put them into the same territory as Offit -- disgusting.

hope to see some action to their
dismissal real soon -- "Yes We Can!"


Sometimes it is good to remind myself that there is a God who will dispense complete justice regardless of how much men might like to escape it.


I have long spouted my discontent with Autism Reeks. THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP AND BLOWING THE WHISTLE.

Now if only the kool-aid drinkers who are stupid enough to go to these walks every year and raise money for this SHAM of an organization would open their eyes.....


No amount of tolerance should be provided to the pharma whores in AS bedding down and prostituting themselves to the pharma interests. Autism parents have for too long been disgusted and outraged with those claiming to be representing the best interests of our very ill children, but who have seriously comprised principles.

Pharma whores can't be redeemed - if AS wants to redeem itself with the autism families - they need to FIRE the pharma skanks stinking up that autism organization.

Wendy Fournier

Katie, your courage is inspiring. I applaud you for your efforts behind the scenes to make things better, and for your willingness to step out and tell it like it is. You've proven time and time again that your loyalty lies solely with our kids.

Lyn Redwood is a brilliant addition to the IACC and is fighting a lonely battle for the research that our kids really need. Her suggestions for the strategic plan would have been added, if it were not for the votes against them by both Alison Singer and Lee Grossman of ASA.


Thanks Katie for speaking out about those two. I was shocked (not really) to read that Singer voted against environmental research for autism - what is her agenda exactly? I hope Autism Speaks fires her - looks like she has some good friends in pharma who could hire her. Dr Shih is a complete embarassment to Autism Speaks. Heard an interview with him and he went on and on about awareness and diagnosis explaining the "epidemic." Who would miss a kid with autism? He needs to go, too.


Thank you Katie. You never cease to amaze me. How easily you could quietly just go about healing your son and leave us to fend for ourselves.

You could ignore all the things wrong with AS and keep your mouth shut. I imagine this can't be easy for you to do, and it might make things very awkward and uncomfortable for you. But, you choose to speak out for our damaged and ill children. You don't quit. You keep on going.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


from above
Singer and Shih maintain a strong professional friendship with Paul Offit, lunching with him on AS’ dime.

You gotta be kidding me? They are using funds to climb into bed with the likes of this parasite?
I certainly hope no-one does thier walks anymore.
I wonder if the topic of offits rotavax came up......Nah probably not .kinda hard to eat when your thinking about the children you have killed.

Louise Kuo Habakus

Thank you, Katie. You can be sure this is most duly noted. As parents who have done the heavy lifting and know what's truly at stake, we work around the clock, in desperation, to educate, challenge and counter our named adversaries. This deceptive, cowardly and profound betrayal you have outlined on the part of those who appeal to our community for funds and other support, on the part of those who claim to be our community thoroughly disgusts me. As I know it will others. For people who pretend to be one thing and actually are another, let's call it what it is. Naked hypocrisy. And they are significantly more damaging to our community. They work against us while pretending to be us. They work against us as they claim to speak for us. This work we do is a sacred mission performed on behalf of many hundreds of thousands of affected children. The issue is not autism awareness. It's the vaccines, people. It's time to declare. Where do you stand? We rant and rave about conflicts of interest and evidence of impropriety within the Vaccine Establishment. Paul Offit declines to say what percentage he claimed of the $180 million windfall from his rotavirus patent. Let’s open the books of Autism Speaks and see what we shall find. Pharma and, shall we say, other interested donors? Lots of “leadership” with big, corporate-sounding titles. Maybe some six figure salaries? Park Avenue Manhattan offices. A snazzy, expensive website. Any limos and expense accounts? I was a senior corporate executive for fifteen years. I know what this is, why it is and how it works. To effectively fight our named adversaries, our community must first demand integrity and courage from within. If all you say is true and I know it is, Katie, there is one thing I know for sure. Autism Speaks does not speak for me.


Ginger Taylor

Autism Speaks is located at #2 Park Avenue.

Should be a lovely neighborhood to picket in.

When are we going?


Katie, I salute you from my chilly Minnesota basement. Thank you so much for revealing how millions of parents and children have been betrayed by these selfish people at Autism Speaks.

It boggles my mind that they would allow themselves to be so negatively influenced by vaccine marketers. Once again we have an organization perversely captured by industry, thanks to the moral cowardice and greed of a crucial few.

Please continue to speak out against this dishonesty, which is helping to doom countless children to vaccine injury.


Katie, thank you. This could not have been easy to write. Your courage is immeasurable. AS should be ashamed of themselves, and I hope that one day they decide to honestly support the parental concerns we have as parnets of the vaccine injured.


How shameful that an organization that is supposed to be working hard for our children is in fact abandoning them in order to build relationships instead with those that caused the harm. What a disgrace indeed.
Thank you Katie for speaking out about AS, I admire your courage and determination!

Tanners Dad

Thanks Katie...

I have written, called, and spoken directly to the Autism Speaks people. I would have better luck talking to the neighbors dog. Katie thanks for keeping them honest. I know when I attended that meeting by webinar, I felt very little love and support for parents who believe their children were vaccine injured.

Autism Speals ... Mum said: "You have two ears & one Mouth for a reason." Listen twice as much. It is time to listen to parents!

Families need help today. Not another researcher telling me that my son does not mimic me when I yawn. I would have taken the money for that one. Frustrated... You bet.

Never should an organization be spending thousands upon thousands in rent or showing $50,000 to rent a plane on a balance sheet during the economic crisis at hand.

It is time for Autism to listen and act on behalf of the families dealing with Autism. Remember the ones who founded the first walks and ask if they are any better off today? Sorry to get on my soap box.


Shauna @ Together In Autism

Here is my letter titled
"Autism Speaking - Listen..."

sent to : [email protected]

Autism Speaks is supposed to speak for the voice of our children. I hope that one day you open the doors that we have been knocking on, that no one will answer. As parents we are our only child's voice, their advocate. Why would you not listen to the voices of thousands of parents who are screaming vaccine injury and the success' of biomedical intervention. Why ignore us and decline studies that have possibilites of bettering our child's health. If those of you in PR do not believe in the cause or the recovery, well then prove us wrong. I do not understand why a group of people claim to be a voice, when you repeatedly force us to close our mouths and support those that are against further research. I am a huge supporter of Katie Wright and her son Christian which are the result of the creation of AS. I do support your efforts of raising money for research, kuddos. I however have a problem with the fact that those in your PR are trying to silence our children. This was not what the intent of Katie Wright. Listen to autism speaking...

Shauna-Mother & Advocate

Together In Autism
[email protected]
Join Our Newsletter @ Our Site...

Join Our Yahoo Group:


Wow, is AOA busy today!
I too admire you Katie, greatly! I remember when you were on the stage with her on Oprah and she looked like she wanted to jump out of her seat and punch you and the other parents who had the gall to say their children regressed. Her faced was pinched with anger. From what I saw she is not a person full of warmth, she is full of disgust at anyone who is not on the same boat as she. If I had a chance to jump on her boat or swim, I would prefer to swim, everytime.

Keep swimming Katie!

JB Handley


I admire your courage to speak the truth.

I think hiring Alison Singer was the worst decision ever made, and her personal beliefs are impeding the prevention of autism.

I met Andy Shis once, and he was a weasley little liar.

I hope your post is the beginning of the end for the two of them.

It's time for a parent demonstration at AS Headquarters.


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