NY Bill A883 to Bar Vaccine "Sincerity Testing"
MitoAction Teleconference on Autism and Mitochondrial Disease

Autism Salute's Angela Warner to First Lady Michelle Obama

Autism salutes February 4, 2009

Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,

On January 20, 2009, President Elect Obama was sworn in as our great nations 44th President and you as our First Lady. As I watched the events of the day unfold, and with each passing moment, I became more filled with hope and renewed faith that there will be much needed change in the direction of our country. I was glued to the TV when watching The Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. Tears began streaming down my face when you and your husband began your first dance as President and First Lady. My husband and I dance to Etta James’ “At Last” in our kitchen all the time.

As a proud Air Force spouse, I was still glued to the TV during the Commander in Chief Inaugural Ball, and words will not do justice to the feelings I experienced when I heard you, yet again, voice your desire to support our military families.

Thousands of our families are in crisis, and we desperately need your help. While many aspects of our lives are unique to military service; one thing is not, and that is the autism epidemic. Not only am I a proud Air Force spouse; I’m the mother of four young children, two of whom have autism.

Autism does not discriminate, and is not unique to the military, nor are the lifestyle changes and huge financial challenges that come with raising and medically treating our children with autism. While it is a big one, the only exception is preparing for and living through continual deployments and temporary duty assignments. That said, in the civilian community there are countless parents who travel frequently for work. Our families and children, who make up the autism community, as a whole, do not have the support our families need nor do we have the coverage of treatment our children with autism require. I am positive you can understand some of the challenges our families face on a daily basis. There is much work that has to be done.

Autism is a physiological disorder affecting multiple body systems which impacts neurological functioning. When the physiological disease states our children suffer from are treated, they are then able, neurologically, to acquire necessary life skills imparted through behavior intervention modalities, and benefit and recover. Every child with autism is different, and has sustained differing physiological damage to their body systems in a different way leading to their neurological impairment. Each child requires a different treatment protocol designed specifically for them.

The CDC has a prevalence rate of autism occurring in 1 in 150 children based on selective data from 2000 and 2002. If you look to the Department of Education and look at population instead of prevalence, you will find that for the 2006-2007 school year data shows that 1 in 67 children have autism. In the military looking at population data, you will see that at least 1 in every 57 military dependent children of active duty members has autism.

I am very aware that Senator Durbin and President Obama drafted the “Autism Treatment Acceleration Act of 2008” (ATAA2008), while your husband was still in the position of U.S. Senator for Illinois. The autism epidemic commands consensus language for this Bill that Senator Durbin and your husband planned to introduce. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association are not on the front lines of treating and recovering children with autism. Our long standing autism organizations, researchers, and doctors who are putting the pieces of the autism puzzle together are on the front lines. They are the “troops” who are fighting, and winning against autism, for our children and our future.

As the mother of two boys with autism, I know what I’ve done for my children versus what my American Academy of Pediatrics pediatrician recommended. Her recommendation, which I followed, landed my younger son at age 4 in the children’s psychiatric ward for 11 days. Her recommendations were discontinued 3 years ago, and she has since been “fired” for numerous reasons including that mentioned above. Her plan was not patient centered. Her care, of our children, was not individualized and specific to our children. Our plan for our children, based on research and input from those at long standing autism organizations, has led to recovery. Our youngest son will most likely be completely mainstreamed, educationally speaking, next year.

Our military children do receive some coverage for the treatment of autism, but it is covered as a “special education” benefit under TRICARE (military healthcare coverage), and United States Code 1079. Less than 10% of our children are receiving this benefit due to the failures of TRICARE, and essentially a failure of our Department of Defense.

On October 14, 2008, President Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which included provisions for our military children with autism that would eliminate an arbitrary monthly cap on the medically prescribed treatment our children require and instead placed an arbitrary yearly cap on medically prescribed treatment our children receive under a special education benefit. As of the date of this letter to you it’s been three and a half months going on four months, and this change has yet to be implemented officially or in any capacity for that matter, for our military children. It makes me, again, think of Walter Reed and what a horrible situation. On that note I will share with you that I’ve spoken with several of our Wounded Warriors who have children with autism. They all say the same thing and that is, “our kids have it way worse than we ever did”. Our Wounded Warriors knew the risks involved with signing up for service. Our children had no choice.

Due to the nature of the disease/disorder process of autism, I would ask that the ATAA2008 Bill language be re-visited, and that great consideration be given to input from long standing autism organizations research, and assembled into the necessary revisions of the ATAA2008 language pertaining to treatment of children with autism. I will also point out that TRICARE is an entitlement, and not health insurance, and as such the ATAA2008 will not benefit our military dependent children with autism at all, unless this too is addressed in ATAA2008. Revisions are completely necessary in order to make this Bill effective to heal our children, and healing is what they require in order to become contributing members of society.

Our nation elected and is trusting, your husband, President Obama, and you Michelle, our First Lady, to do what is right, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Our children with autism are a huge part of our nation’s people. Our children and families need your help to stop the autism epidemic, and help our children now be able to recover and reach their potential as contributing members of “our people”.

I have hope and faith that you will bring change for our children and families. Our children need your help. I have hope and faith that you will do right, by our children, and our future.

Very Respectfully,

Angela Warner

Angela Warner is an Air Force spouse and mother of four children (two with autism). She runs the blog Autism Salutes, and is an active volunteer for several autism organizations. Her volunteer work for Feb. 5, 2009 will consist of taking her letter and organizing a briefing package to send to our First Lady on behalf of all our children. Here's to hoping we hear something!



Dear Angela,
Thank you for this letter! As I sat here and read it, tears came down. I too am an Air Force wife, and mother of a 5 year old son with Autism. It seems so unfair that while our government has no problem with sending our soldiers to war and deploying our spouses, which means much more time away from our families that need the most help, we also don't have TRICARE to help us get what is needed for our children. The therapies, tests, are very expensive and it never seems that we have anyone to help us in a timely manner. Meanwhile, we continue to have more and more children being diagnosed daily. The numbers speak for themselves. It's devastating, but I BELIEVE our voices WILL be heard!!
I will continue to advocate for my son and other families who are dealing with Autism every day.
Your words are strong and your voice will be heard!!
Thank you!



Thank you so much for writing this. I read it a few days ago and then mulled it over, trying to pinpoint exactly what's so anxiety-generating about this subject. Then I realized what it was...it's the issue of daring to hope, daring to reach out in the first place. It's as if that faculty has atrophied in the past eight years because there was no one home on the other end.

I see that you've recovered the use of that faculty quite quickly. Beautifully said and I hope that it falls on listening hears.

Angela Warner For Ray and ALL

This is NOT from the Senate version specifically... hence the H.R 1. H.R.1 would be the House Bill. The Senate version of the Bill would be S.1.

I'm really glad the person who sent this to you bothered to check the 206 amendments attached to this Bill thus far. Until you can show me the actual amendments and the original Bill... Welp, I guess there is much in question as to what is actually funded for this.

Until the actual documentation (meaning the amendments documentation) is submitted to AoA and this comments thread, and the Bill is actually passed, I personally think anyone is foolish to take hasty action based on an email from one person.

Balanced action is what our children and our country need. The email that Ray's comment was based on I received as well, and it is not reflective of simpleton facts, which immediately turned me off.


Raymond Gallup

Why is the economic stimulus package handing our money to the CDC for IMMUNIZATIONS???

From the senate version of the bill:


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)


prevention and wellness fund

(including transfer of funds)

For necessary expenses for a `Prevention and Wellness Fund' to be administered through the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary, $3,000,000,000: Provided, That the provisions of section 1103 of this Act shall not apply to this appropriation: Provided further, That of the amount appropriated under this heading not less than $2,350,000,000 shall be transferred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as follows:

(1) not less than $954,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount to carry out the immunization program authorized by section 317(a), (j), and (k)(1) of the Public Health Service Act (`section 317 immunization program'), of which $649,900,000 shall be available on October 1, 2009;

(2) not less than $296,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount to carry out Part A of title XIX of the Public Health Service Act, of which $148,000,000 shall be available on October 1, 2009;

(3) not less than $545,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount to carry out chronic disease, health promotion, and genomics programs, as jointly determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (`Secretary') and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (`Director');

(4) not less than $335,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount to carry out domestic HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually-transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis prevention programs, as jointly determined by the Secretary and the Director;

(5) not less than $60,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount to carry out environmental health programs, as jointly determined by the Secretary and the Director;

(6) not less than $50,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount to carry out injury prevention and control programs, as jointly determined by the Secretary and the Director;

(7) not less than $30,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount for public health workforce development activities, as jointly determined by the Secretary and the Director;

(8) not less than $40,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to carry out research activities within the National Occupational Research Agenda; and

(9) not less than $40,000,000 shall be used as an additional amount for the National Center for Health Statistics:


It's not as if we have a choice between raising money for independant vaccine research OR advocating/educating in every arena imaginable. One does not preclude the other.

Educating the first lady is a wonderful goal, especially since she has expressed an interest in helping military families and so may be likely to listen to you.

The Obamas have a good friend with a son who has autism. President Obama has expressed a lot of concern about autism, even though he may not be with us (yet!) on the vaccine-autism connection.

And the Obamas did not grow up with silver spoons in their mouths. They have both seen their share of tribulations.

It's not a matter of dewy-eyed optimism and hero worship. It's not a Democrat or Republican issue. It's just hard work for a very important cause.

An independent vax/unvaxed study will be roundly trashed by the powers that be. By itself, a study may not be enough, even though it is critical for a good vax/unvaxed study to be done.

In conclusion, go for it, Angela! You have our support and cheers and applause!!!


Ang, you are amazing. And yes, I'm with Jeanne, thank God YOU wrote this letter.

I have passed your letter on to several folks 'outside of the community' including some friends I have that work for the DHHS (yes, I fully and openly admit it. I fraternize with 'the enemy', so what?). I posted and reposted links to your letter in a variety of 'public' places.

BUT, I did include a note to 'ignore' or just 'skim over' the comments that were made yesterday to Ang's letter. As pointed out, several of the very negative comments were totally inappropriate in the context and spirit of what Ang is trying to accomplish.

Ang, Pamela, Jeanne - I totally agree. We all had (and continue to have) our share of disappointments, disillusions, harrowing experiences, personal hells that we've lived through and are living through over and over again (and to the broader audience - please no more implications or comments that 'because my child is not that severe, I just don't understand..' I understand plenty). But it's a choice as to what you let these experiences do to you. I too have made the choice to not back down ("And I won't back down... No I won't back down.. You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won't back down.. Tom Petty & Heartbreakers), to keep looking at things as 'the glass is half full', and yes 'to work within the system'. Jeanne's granny is right - honey works a heck of a lot better than vinegar.

Ang, keep doing what you're doing. And keep us posted on what you need and/or how things process with the letter and the briefing package.


Ya know, some people just need to be negative. It's all they've got. We all have reason to be so, some more than others; but all of us to be sure. The people I respect most are those who pull themselves up out of the mire of autism and show their strength by not wallowing and by actually doing something to affect change.

I agree with Pamela in that the negative comments are not quite a good fit with this post, especially considering the fact that a person, a mom, took time out of her busy life to try to help a large population of sick kids.

I think the main purpose of the letter is to (hopefully) capture the attention of our First Lady (and our President by osmosis), and to put a positive light on our community (military and the private sector). I highly doubt our First Lady would even see a letter filled with negativity and finger pointing, as any good aide would be sure to NOT pass on such a letter - it would be ignored and written off as the rants of a crazy person - we know this, we've all been there, we've all done that, (and to quote Petra), we've got the t-shirt.

As my Granny used to say, "You get more flies with honey than vinegar." I think a lot of us have learned that valuable lesson over the years with our autism advocacy.

So Ang, thank you AGAIN for writing this incredible letter. You did a wonderful thing for all of our children. As I keep saying (yes, like a broken record), the work you do for our military families and their children with autism WILL have a trickle down (or downpour) affect for the entire community, military or not.

What I love most about this is the fact that you are able to put your politics aside and speak respectfully and intelligently to a person who has the power to help us.

Thank God YOU wrote this letter.



That's a great idea! Instead of putting a big downer on other people's efforts, why not get to work implementing your idea. That might be productive. The more independent the funding and the research the better the outcome. I'm all for it.

Again, while I can agree with much of what you are saying...this post is not the appropriate place for this.

Your comment and spirit of intent would be totally appropriate on one of the IACC posts or say on JB's "Big Hungry Lie" Posts (which I loved by-the-way)where the conversation is about how the government has failed us. It just doesn't "feel" right here, where someone has invested their time and talent to be proactive to speak for our kids in a positive and hopeful way...but maybe that's just me.

If we don't all recognize the appropriate places for our anger, frustration and distrust vs. our hope, enthusiasm and energy we may as well just give it up, take down the AoA banner, dismantle our advocacy groups, take our toys and go home.

The way I see it as long as government is mandating public health policy on us we must continue to hold them accountable and to our expectations. We owe that effort to our countries children whether we are immediately successful or not.


Great letter. Keep on keeping on! Michelle Obama seems like a wonderful person to me. I could be wrong -- I don't even know her -- but what would be the point in giving up before even trying? Maybe she won't listen. Maybe she won't pay attention. Maybe she's too busy or close minded or doesn't care. Then again, maybe she does care and will hear you!!

You have an "inside track" because of her interest in helping the military.

Drops of water on stone will have an effect -- bit by bit. The drops of water are all of us with our letters and emails and everything else -- it all adds up.

Angela Warner For Kathy and All

For Kathy and All in Our Community,

Reflecting on your comments, I appreciate your thoughts. I am not glory eyed either, but I refuse to allow myself to become jaded. I do not be-grudge the Obama's or anyone else for that matter because they've not had to live our lives. The only way we will bring change for our children and families is by maintaining a strong and POSITIVE attitude to send our message. And that is what I am trying to do. Do I believe that DC is corrupt? Hell yes! And I’ll post that here in response to a comment on my own letter, but will I send that message in a letter which I am sending to our First Lady in a hopeful attempt to raise awareness and bring forth treatment coverage for our children? Hell no! There is a time and a place for everything.

We can only blame the government for what they are truly responsible for, and yet at the same time we still are part of that because we elected them. We have to accept responsibility for some of what is happening, just as we did when we trusted to have our children vaccinated and then they developed autism. We may not accept what “they” have done, and how they lied or blindly trusted themselves, but we have to accept responsibility for the choice we made for our children whether an educated or uneducated decision.

Let me put it to you this way… I survived many levels of hell personally before my kids were born, and Nathan and Isaac were diagnosed. I made the decision long ago to remain an optimist, and believe me when I say that if there was ever a person who had the right to become a pessimist it is me, and long before kids and autism entered my life. I made a choice in my younger years that I would remain positive, and I would not back down. Jeanne and Pamela’s comments are a reflection of that. We are all very close and they know what I’ve been through, just as I know their life stories. I made one simple choice, but what an incredibly powerful one it was.

One can be an optimist and a realist at the same time. And that is what the autism epidemic commands.

I apologize for the length of my comment on my own post, but I did not intend for my personal letter to our First Lady on Age of Autism to be turned into a political commentary session inspired by pessimism. I intended for my letter to be an inspiration to our community, and especially (unfortunately) the many new names I see on AoA. I intended for my letter to bring action on the part of our First Lady. I also intended it to inspire the newbee’s (sorry for the term) to our community to demonstrate our combined warrior spirit. When you are in combat you can not win a battle, nor can you win a war, with pessimism or a negative attitude. You can not win with a defeatist attitude. To ensure your “buddies” safety, you must be positive, an optimist, and accept responsibility for your actions at all cost. Your “buddies” have your back. And you must have theirs.

Kathy Blanco

Pamela, if there were one organization that accepted at least five dollars for parents, that would fund a study, if all would contribute? I just think it IS that easy....even putting a rider on a tax form for heavens sake...

Perhaps that's because I think people will finally get it, that the government usually and typically, EVEN IF THEY PROMISE to study it, will study it in a junk science way, and then downplay it, ignore it, and most of all distort it. I think that is the goal for most of them.

To implicate the holy shrine of vaccinations, is like asking us to think horribly of our government, and their long years of controlling the citizens by sickness and deliberate mass extinction. Look at the history...the US codes state, they can...and they will.. forever...(see Dr Carley's webpage, tell me I am wrong).

I simply disengage, and do my best with what I know, and what I know ain't good. It actually is quite a rabbit hole, and once you go down it, you never come back. And I know the day will come, when all these new moms with vim and vigor in their eyes, will slowly dim to the truth of this matter. PREVENT AUTISM, don't vaccinate, EVER. No GREEN VACCINE, NO SAFE VACCINE, NO SLOW SCHEDULE, disengage....from this practice pronto. There are other things of course that cause autism, but, this is the bigee.


Kathy if you know where to get that kind of funding...please have it. If only it were that simple and we had that kind of funding the research would have long since been done. That is the reality of the situation.

I would say that more than most of us have a side that absolutely agrees with your "pessimistic ways". We are not so naive that we don't know what you are saying is true to a point but unfortunately giving into that will get us no where.

Our political system leaves a lot to be desired and many, if not most, in Washington are corrupt but it's the framework we have to work in and I for one am not ready to give up.

Diane F.

This is a great letter. President Obama said during his interview with Matt Lauer last weekend he is ordering a full review of FDA operations because of the peanut situation. Here is a quote from the interview:

"Obama said Sunday that he had a personal stake in the problem with
peanut products, especially peanut butter, because "that's what Sasha
eats for lunch probably three times a week." Sasha, 7, is the
president's younger daughter. "I don't want to have to worry about
whether she's going to get sick as a consequence to having her lunch,"
Obama said."

My first thought when I read this quote was that the Obama's really are good parents. As parents, if only they would read letters like Angela's and realize what we must be going through with our children, put themselves in our shoes, maybe they would order a full review of the operations of the CDC, HHS and EPA to get to the truth behind this epidemic and end it.

Raymond Gallup

Dear Kathy:


"Sorry for my very pessimistic ways, or is it more realistic?"

You like me are realistic. I fought for NIH and even CDC research back in the 1990s and tried to enlist polticians in Washington DC including the Clinton and Bush administration. I wasn't alone because other parents and other autism organizations fought too. I got zero dollars from Washington DC but from 1998 to 2005, through The Autism Autoimmunity Project (TAAP) we raised $140,000.00 for independent autism research. Zero versus $140,000.00.

I know next week, next month, next year and decades from now, nothing will change with politics as usual in Washington DC and the political games NIH/CDC and FDA play with families (and the public). Realistic is right!!!


Kathy Blanco

That's the problem, the rhetoric. Why don't we give up on the government bailng us out for once, and go to ingenuity, by ourselves, designing and funding independent research. It's time to not hold our breaths any more that these people's concerns, can turn the tide of the causes of autism, gall darn it, don't we know already, I mean really? I think we are going to waste a lot of time, effort, sorrow, especially when our kids need clear and definable treatments now, and be old and dying before they will officially declare announce what they have done to our kids, if at all.
I was doing a bit of research, for example on viruses that trigger autoimmunity, what they call the primary lesion. Then the toxins, further molecular mimicry and inflammation, is this not vaccines? I just find it a joke and I hush my tone here on this list because it seems to blow too hard, because it is a trusting type of people here, the kind of which trust the our leaders are going to lead the way. I think more on the level of LORENZO OILS mom...who went out her damn self, and found the science, funded it, and knew exactly what was causing her sons myelin to be destroyed. Personally, the way our politicians are conducting themselves of late, leaves me to believe they have as much concern for our children as their interest in paying taxes. All if corrupt in Washington DC...ALL OF IT. I have not seen one movement in our favor, in the last three decades I have been in autism, NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH.

Sorry for my very pessimistic ways, or is it more realistic?

Raymond Gallup


"My daughter brought home a list of funding that the Republicans were trying to get removed and I could not believe the waste. Our politicians should be ashamed at trying to pass this crap while our children are suffering and more are joining their ranks each day."

$1,500,000 for prostitution housing in Akron, Ohio and $500,000 for a dog park in California, etc..............


Also Nancy Pelosi saying that this stimulus package should be passed or we will lose 500 million jobs ....funny, there are only 300 million people living in the US.....see her at



Great letter-- We need to keep our voices being heard. It's craazy that we can't get decent funding for biomedical research or research into the vaccine connection yet the stimulus bill they are trying to pass has millions in tax breaks for hollywood producers, and millions for the CDC and NIH. My daughter brought home a list of funding that the Republicans were trying to get removed and I could not believe the waste. Our politicians should be ashamed at trying to pass this crap while our children are suffering and more are joining their ranks each day. Angela---I hope they hear your voice of reason.


To Kathy

I am certainly not enamored with the Obama's either...in the least.

However I think Angela did a great job holding them to their rhetoric as apposed to glorifying them as human beings.

Time will tell how sincere the rhetoric is.

K Fuller Yuba City

You are right on track. I heard this morning that Mrs. Obama is looking to help military families. Just when I think that you are amazing, you amaze me even more. Our military and their families will help all of us and protect us once again.
Good work.


Angela this is an amazing letter! You are one strong lady and very talented.

You are a true warrior; a warrior for yourself, for our children and for the autism community (both military and civilian). As I have gotten to know you over the past months, your resilience, tenacity and grit have reminded me of the best of my Appalachian ancestry.

My ancestors of North Georgia had very difficult lives. Their ability to survive depended on their willingness to work tirelessly to provide for themselves, literally. They endured great challenges, hardship and loss, yet never complained, never lingered in their misfortune and NEVER felt sorry for themselves. There attitude was “there’s no need to complain, no need to feel sorry for myself…after all there’s work to be done. Get to it.” As a result they prospered over the course of their lives.

In today’s world of convenience and plenty I try not to loose site of their spirit and determination. Sometimes I feel that I need to go break a good sweat in their memory.

Angela you and so many other advocates in our community are the essence of that spirit. I have great admiration for you.

Kathy Blanco

As much as I like the Obama as people, I just can't go there with the attitutude of celebrity or God/Messiah like quality, they are just people. So far, the picks Obama has made, has opened up a new fronteir of people actually thinking that Democrats are just as corrupt as Republicans, maybe even more, so far the tally for Dems outway the Republicans on tax evasion. And, this stimulus package is a joke, if you really look at what it is going for, it's all pork barrel spending, with disgusting inserts here or there, that is going to doom American for a very long time. I have no illusions about this presidency...it's business as usual there, including his EPA pick, which defends coal mercury industries, and no restrictions on pollution.

Angela, I really do respect all of your work, but this time, I am not glory eyed on this couple..as cute as they are, have they had to live our lives? They pretty much have had it easy for a while? I'd like Obama to live a life of autism for a week or two, and see what we go through? Maybe the couple would finally see what couples like us go through? Until then, someone in the higher eschalons of government will care a rats behind for our kids. So far, the government has basically ruined many a families life with their so called psuedo concerned plattitudes.

Charlotte Lee

Excellent Letter!
C Lee

Maurine Meleck

Angela, Thanks for this. My good friend(a pediatrician) works at Ft. Gordon(in Ga) and always refers her patients to me that have been diagnosed with ASD-for help with their diets etc. Lately it seems the numbers are exploding. I've been told there is some progress her patients are having in getting help from Tricare---albeit slow and drawn-out. Your advocacy is much respected and appreciated.


Ang, you are such an asset to our community. You work tirelessly and with ferocity in order to help our military families, their kids with autism, and all of us in the autism community.

I am proud and honored to call you friend, especially today after reading this incredibly well written letter to our First Lady.

I love you man!

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