IMFAR- Where Autism Science Stands Still
By Katie Wright
IMFAR may never promote or support any innovative work in autism research, but they do deserve credit for one remarkable discovery: a time machine! Yes, IMFAR organizers and scientists have trumped modern science by inventing a time machine that can take autism research far, far, far into the past. You thought it was 2009? Wrong, as far as autism research goes! IMFAR has turned the clocks back 10 years!
I know all you parents reading this are absolutely dying to know about the latest eye gazing research. Spoiler alert! Autistic kids do not make good eye contact! More useful information disseminated at IMFAR includes: 100s of facial recognition studies; such as facial scanning, impaired object scanning, impaired object recognition, atypical face scanning, impaired facial scanning, sensitivity to animal motion scanning and computerized eye tracking research. There will also be a special eye tracking award presented!
There will also be a celebration of Risperdal and other new anti-psychotic drugs for our non psychotic children. Sure, none of these drugs are safe for kids. Yes, the side effects are often worse than autism itself. Sure, numerous leading pediatric professors/ doctors have been caught taking bribes in order to endorse the widespread prescribing of these dangerous drugs- so what?
Yes, IMFAR will present some good work on early intervention. That is wonderful, needed and highly relevant research. However, if you have a child older than 3, you are out of luck. IMFAR isn’t interested in your kid’s problems. If you have a child who is chronically ill, IMFAR isn’t interested. If your child has serious food allergies, IMFAR isn’t interested. If your child is pain, IMFAR isn’t interested. If your child has horrible bowel disease, you will not find ONE presentation on the subject. If your child regressed after vaccinations, IMFAR, really, really, really isn’t interested. There are 2 presentations, out of hundreds, on vaccines. The gist of these presentations is why crazy parents of ASD kids are not vaccinating the younger siblings. I wonder! What a mystery.
The Autism Science (in a Time Capsule) Foundation must be in heaven with this line- up. Their entire Board of Directors designed this years’ IMFAR. ! This IMFAR is the conference of their dreams. Eye-tracking, facial processing, 1,000s of gene studies, 100 of brain imaging studies, dozens of head size presentations and Fragile X galore! And absolutely no- none- open discussions of vaccine safety.
Congratulation to the captains of IMFAR’s time machine: Manny Bloom, Eric Fombonne (Fombonne took time out of his busy schedule testifying against families in vaccine court to contribute), Catherine Lord and our old pal Nancy Minshew. Great job thwarting any and all innovative research. Fantastic job keeping out nearly all environmental studies, GI disease research, real regression studies and of course, the shut out of all vaccine research.
Seriously, it is absolutely heart-breaking to see this scientific retrenchment in a time of such crisis. I am so disappointed that the sponsors, especially Autism Speaks, did not fight for the inclusion our children’s interests. Why are they paying for this? California recently revealed they have experienced a 1,200% increase in autism over the past 15 years. Autism is a national catastrophe. Vaccine induced regression, GI disease, serious immune dysfunction and other medical problems are real. The suffering of our kids is profound, their needs immediate. We cannot afford to waste money and time like this. IMFAR’s deliberate exclusion of so many environmental scientists, autism clinicians and progressive autism researchers is shameful and indefensible.
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.
Katie, I hope you know how much I appreciate your snarkiness (thanks Kim)! I have spent the past couple days responding in my head to your column. It just didn’t come together until tonight. Happy Belated Mother’s Day!!!!
Please humor me… “Antimatter is the most powerful energy source known to man. It releases energy with 100 percent efficiency (nuclear fission is 1.5 percent efficient). Antimatter creates no pollution or radiation, and a droplet could power New York City for a full day.”
Describes Autism Moms to a tee – correct??? I think we power more than that!!!
“There is, however, one catch…
Antimatter is highly unstable. It ignites when it comes in contact with absolutely anything… even air. A single gram of antimatter contains the energy of a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb – the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”
Well, still to a tee, I say! We ignite when we come into contact with those unwilling to do the research to prove that the 20-kilo nuclear bomb our kids endured did not cause their autism. We ignite because “they” ALL refuse to do this.
Unstable??? I am so glad that my kid’s vaccine injuries were caused by my mood disorder, and my eye color, and the lot. Oh wait, I really don’t have a mood disorder, unless you call being angry as hell that this research has not been done a mood disorder. No, that’s not a mood disorder. That’s just being angry, or snarky; is that a mood disorder? I think not.
“Until recently antimatter has been created only in very small amounts (a few atoms at a time). But [Counseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire] CERN has now broken ground on its new Antiproton Decelerator – an advanced antimatter production facility that promises to create antimatter in much larger quantities.
One question still looms: Will this highly volatile substance save the world, or will it be used to create the most deadly weapon ever made?”
Remind you of anything you’ve heard or read about?
Here’s the opening:
“The world’s largest scientific research facility – Switzerland’s Counseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire recently succeeded in producing the first particles of antimatter. Antimatter is identical to physical matter except that it is composed of particles whose electric charges are OPPOSITE to those found in normal matter.” (Opposite is capitalized as it is italic’s in Angels & Demons)
Akin to the vaccine induced versus the natural immune response to disease, eh? It’s time for change eh?
Thank you Katie and I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. You are a Rock for our community…
Posted by: Angela Warner | May 12, 2009 at 11:37 PM
Perfect analysis Katie. Just perfect.
Posted by: Lisa @ TACA | May 12, 2009 at 04:09 PM
Great piece Katie, I love your sarcasm. Those studies are just a way of life for the useless academic researchers who make them and, worse, a game of smoke and mirrors on a grand scale to avoid looking at the real important issues here: the environmental triggers behind the epidemic, including vaccines of course, and the future support of an increasingly larger autistic population. All the rest can go directly to the garbage dump along with the puzzle logo. What a waste of time, money and effort!!
Posted by: WE SHALL OVERCOME | May 12, 2009 at 02:03 PM
Is it too late for Grassley to inquire about IMFAR's funding?
Posted by: straight up | May 11, 2009 at 12:19 PM
Suzanne: You said “the scientific community has trumped the mercury and chelation debate.”
Perhaps you mean that the scientific community has “failed to show up for” or is “absent without leave from” the debate.
There is NO safe level established for mercury from thimerosal in vaccines by the CDC or FDA. See Kenneth Stoller’s letter at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/117/4/1028 .
He says “The federal government has never tested the type of mercury in vaccines for toxicity. This is an unconscionable oversight failure at best, at worse it is an example that we have left consensus reality to be created by the liars, thieves, cheats, killers, and the PR junk scientists they employ.”
Posted by: Jim Thompson | May 10, 2009 at 10:08 PM
If you can't patent a product meant for pharma, then every study that implicates a dietal change, and non allopathic protocols, won't get funded, this is the truth of the matter. Think ENRON was evil...I hace talked with researchers who put it on equal footing. Universities who do studies don't do studies because they are scientifically challenging and groundbreaking, but would fund their university more money, more time to "work out the hypothesis" and so on. Being healthy doesn't make money. Having healthy babies won't pay the bills for pediatricians, psycho doctors and hospitals. Saying produts are harming, harms their relationships with funders, and lessens prestige. The only way to turn, it to turn the tide of trust over to parents. Who, can trust in their instincts, that such products and procedures are causing the epidemic. Let's bankrupt them, before they bankrupt us. And how do you do that? You stop right now in believing a safer vaccine can be made, and don't vaccinate at all. You don't go to pediatricians, you grow your own garden, and eat whole foods, you don't drink from the tap with fluoride in it, and basically never see a white coat again in your life. That's how you remain healthy, and that's how you have healthy kids.
I was bothered by a report today on google news (search BRAIN INFLAMMATION) about a breakthrough in Alzheiemrs. Yes, devastating to say the least...but isn't a life never lived even more? And let's be honest with ourselves...the rush to reducing brain inflammation would help our kids too, but you don't hear that this is going to mainstream for our kids...no...it's for the adults with alzheiemrs who fetch much more notice on the radar of humanity. They talk about APO genes...which as we know makes the brain less able to detox metals. I am sure the immune therapy angle would never come up in such places where they know this would implicate vaccines as causative. Any immune disturbance would be causative. And, they know that...and won't say it....
Posted by: Kathy Blanco | May 10, 2009 at 06:42 PM
Okay, I am confused by this statement:
but the scientific community has trumped the mercury and chelation debate and the hysteria community have had plenty of time to say what they want to.
What do you mean that scientific community has trumped the mercury and chelation debate??? How exactly is that so? chelation is an acceptable medical procedure, just until now, it was used for lead toxicity.
and this comment:
This site would certainly have little to write about or comment on passionately if new routes were not always being explored.
Forgive me if I am taking you wrong, but I read this as quite an insult. AoA will always have lively conversations about our children and what can be done to help them. This will always be a site that anyone can come to for both sides of this insidious coin, for up-to-date information and potentially a new perspective. (ie: "WOW the new study says vaccines have been studied and they are safe!" After readin AoA..."Wow, the new study sounded like it studied all vaccines but in actuality it only studied on.....blah blah blah...." I appreciate the whole story.
And of course the "hysteria community" is one I haven't visited;)
Posted by: kathleen | May 10, 2009 at 06:17 PM
Face recognition? Helloo, mercury poisoning, enough said.
Posted by: Kathy Blanco | May 10, 2009 at 04:10 PM
To get proposals for presentations you have to have knowlwdgeable people who have enough to present and the desire to spend the time organizing and presenting it. Give organizers a break. They have gathered a lot of money and spread it a long way. Sure they're shotgunning and some outside of the box thinking, but the scientific community has trumped the mercury and chelation debate and the hysteria community have had plenty of time to say what they want to.
What different could be expected from people who have less than a half-dozen years of experience with Autism and until now have gotten results with most of life's troubles by using money and resources?
I am sick that the only adequately research-based effective (and therefore "approvable") studies are ABA based.
This site would certainly have little to write about or comment on passionately if new routes were not always being explored.
Posted by: Suzanne Thomason | May 10, 2009 at 02:29 PM
Well I for one am relieved IMFAR is studying handwriting impairments. How will autistic kids ever make it in life if they can't write neatly??
Posted by: eye roll | May 10, 2009 at 10:13 AM
Your article highlights a problem that I have noted in regards to the scientific agenda on autism research.
I believe strong intellectual and academic arguments can easily affirm that this agenda is not working in the best interest of families or improving the condition of autistic children.
We can use the example of the Canadian experience in research funded by public funds at the provincial or federal. Since 2000 to 2009, these agencies have disbursed over 50 million in research.
If we use the data produce by the CIHR Canadian Institute of Health Research and review individually, we can only come to the conclusion that million dollar’s have been squandered in dead end research, work that was never publish or in most cases paper presenting science that is “deja vue”.
This situation where science is not even bothering to further our knowledge of autism or attempt to improve the condition of these forsaking children is repeated in the United States, France, Great Britain and other place around the world.
The reason is the scientific agenda in autism research is not in the hands of scientist of goodwill, but rather they serve the interest of vaccine manufacturer and regulatory bodies that have been involve in actions of criminal malfeasance.
This establishment that has presented itself as the sacred cow within the medical world , is nothing more than a mad cow that will keep on killing and harming babies until righteous act are taken to stop them.
The objective for parents is simple is to take control of the scientific agenda, by taking action ranging social disobedience and confronting publicly these institution or individual involve in these immoral action .
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about thing that matters“Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.
Posted by: Pierre Morin | May 10, 2009 at 06:58 AM
Kathryn, I agree with you re Autism Speaks, we do need them badly imo. Have you seen their latest pledge - strategic plan to focus on research that can be quickly translated into treatments:
(btw hey, same here re googling those same words at early age :) but my first hit was ARI)
Katie, do you you feel the AS strategic plan is genuine?
Posted by: Natasa | May 10, 2009 at 05:20 AM
Sounds like IMFAR's ideal autistic child for this study is one with a perfectly-defined autism gene (autistic from birth), is fully-vaccinated (yet never had any adverse reactions to any series of shots), has fully-vaccinated siblings who show no signs of autism, has perfect poops, zero food allergies and responds beautifully to Risperdal.
Yeah....good luck with that.
(currently doing face palm)
Thanks for the article Katie! Happy Mom's Day to you :)
Posted by: Julie Swenson | May 10, 2009 at 12:14 AM
I wonder where all the autism parents are overweight and drink too much studies were? Somethings gotta give. As always, thanks for your report and for all you do for our kids!
Posted by: Heidi R | May 09, 2009 at 11:47 PM
Katie, Here is a Good abstract at IMFAR from MIND
134.80 80 Mercury and Autism: What Do We Know? What Don't We
Know?. I. Hertz-Picciotto*1 and I. N. Pessah2, (1)University of
California at Davis, (2)M.I.N.D. Institute, University of
California at Davis, CCEH
Background: The role of mercury and specifically,
thimerosal-containing vaccines, in autism has
received considerable attention. A few large
studies have addressed this concern, using
databases from health practices, health
maintenance organizations, and the CDC's Vaccine
Objectives: To evaluate the strength of the
evidence regarding a role for thimerosalcontaining
vaccines in the risk for autism. To
determine what hypotheses have been addressed
in those studies.
Methods: Searches were conducted using PubMed,
Medline, and citations listed in previously
identified original and review articles. Reports
with scientifically valid data, a minimum of 25
autism cases and a primary analysis focused on
thimerosal-containing vaccines were included in
the review. A total of six studies met these
criteria. These studies were then evaluated for
design characteristics (ecological vs. individual),
presence of dose information, and the nature of
the hypothesis that was tested. Potential biases in
selection and uncontrolled confounding were also
Results: Two were of an ecological design
(Madsen et al 2005, Schecter & Grether 2007) and
four used individual-level data on vaccines
administered. These four had number of vaccines
administered to each child and conducted an
analysis by dose or a surrogate for dose.. Doses
were lower in studies conducted outside the US.
In studies from Denmark (Madsen et al 2003,
Hviid et al 2003), the sources of cases in the postthimerosal
period included outpatients whereas
only inpatients were included in the thimerosalexposed
period, suggesting lack of comparability
in case ascertainment for the two exposure
periods. Several UK-based studies (Andrews et al
2004, Heron et al 2004) addressed the role of
early exposures, e.g., prior to 3, 4 or 6 months of
age, comparing those who received thimerosalcontaining
vaccines by a given age vs. those who
did not and hence may have received them at a
later age. In these studies, most adverse
developmental outcomes were less prevalent in
those receiving the early vaccines, and several
were significantly less prevalent, raising the
possibility of a ‘healthy vaccinatee effect' (similar
to the well-characterized ‘healthy worker effect'
found in occupational studies). In the CDC study
(Verstraeten et al 2003), a relatively large
percentage of births (~20%), including many who
would be considered at increased risk for autism
based on current knowledge (low birth weight,
maternal perinatal conditions, malformations of
genetic or chromosomal origin), were excluded. In
a multi-factorial developmental disorder, those
with predisposing conditions may be most
vulnerable to a later insult. Thus, the exclusion
criteria may have lowered statistical power and
introduced selection bias.
Conclusions: Of published studies meeting preestablished
minimal criteria, none supports an
association between thimerosal-containing
vaccines and autism. However, in each of the null
studies, methodologic weaknesses limit the
conclusions that can be drawn. The strength of
evidence in support of the hypothesis that
thimerosal-containing vaccines play no role in
autism may have been overestimated in previous
reviews and editorials. Bias and confounding,
including that due to indications for early vs. later
vaccine administration, should be addressed in
Posted by: AutismDad | May 09, 2009 at 10:34 PM
Thanks for your tireless efforts to call BS when you see it! Keep looking over those shoulders and holding these folk accountable.
Posted by: AutismDad | May 09, 2009 at 10:11 PM
I bet that they found that most parents of autistic kids have RED eyes.......
Red due to fatigue, red due to occaisionaly crying our eyes out, red with the fire of desire to help our kids.
But our eyes are also red from having read so many studies late at night that show us the way to help our kids, from having read so many comforting words from our peers in this funny little world we share, and from having read the wisdom of wonderful tireless mothers like Katie Wright.
Happy Mother's day to you Katie, and all you other warriors out there. And special happy Mothers day to my Laura, a truly incredible woman in her own right.
As one tireless mom always says,
Posted by: Tim Kasemodel | May 09, 2009 at 10:01 PM
Thank you, Katie, I always really enjoy reading your articles.
What I want to know is, has the IMFAR quantified the amount of time that autistic children spend spinning the wheels on toy trucks and cars compared with non-autistic kids? Because, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on this, but we all know that anecdotal accounts are seriously flawed, so how about some rigorous scientific studies?
And, how about the rate of battery use among autistic vs. non-autistic -- like AA and D batteries? And the toys that talk and make noise -- what percentage of the kids with autism don't let the toy finish a sentence and keep making it say the same few words over and over again?
These are the kinds of really important issues that have not been properly researched with sophisticated peer-reviewed statistical analysis.
Posted by: Twyla | May 09, 2009 at 08:56 PM
I assume Big Pharma doubles donations of parents to these groups.
Posted by: Patrick | May 09, 2009 at 08:35 PM
KEEP YOUR FUNDS LOCAL -- WALK AWAY FROM THE WALK.
Posted by: Cindy Waeltermann | May 09, 2009 at 07:52 PM
Katie - What do we do?
I really believe in my heart that Autism Speaks is doing the best they can (my husband is a research science prof - and you can only imagine our n=1 study vs. controlled/statistical research). My son was born Nov 2001 - I came out of denial in Feb 2004 . I have been personally following your story/the story of Autism Speaks - as WE did the exact google searches at the exact same time - I know what an incredible difference Autism Speaks has made. I dream that they were there when I first googled "toddler not pointing waving imitating" when my son was 12 months old. Autism Speaks is incredible. My "mainstream" heros in all of this are YOU, your parents, Portia Iversen & Jonathan Shestack (not negating our "alternative stream" heros). I've watched your interviews - my favourite - the Kirby interview on FAIR media - your parents' interviews. I'm infuriated as to what Alison Singer/Offit/etc. has done.
I'm in a University town (obviously) and am surrounded by one of the most influential "psychiatry/genes stream" bunch around. Just two years ago - one of these scientists pretended to have never heard of the ATN (I said, "you know, Margaret Bauman", "The Neurobiology of Autism", Cleveland (this was when they were still in), UMASS, OHSU? - and he said he didn't think much of bowel/autoimmune/etc. research). URGGHGHHHH.
This is really a full throttle affront - NOT to our stream, "alternative" - but the mainstream at John Hopkins, MIND, Harvard - university scientists trying to study health issues. I'm flabbergasted, I'm in tears right now.
I really believe that Autism Speaks is trying to be the big tent - they can't alienate the 'pyschiatrists/genes/wow kids with asd don't have eye contact idiots" - that they are trying to bring everyone together. They can't just change how funding is done overnight.
This is organizational theory. WE are the environmental trigger advocates pushing Autism Speaks (the centre) our way. BUT... the psychiatry assholes - pushing the centre the other way - are SUCH A BIGGER CAMP - and THEY are University Scientists - not warrior moms - we really cannot compete - now matter how smart/how dedicated we are. We are hobbled a the get go - as we are "moms", "have munchausen", "are looking for excuses", we "don't have the degrees". ahahhdhhahdgshashdf
I really believe this is about research dollars (and not vaccines) - at the level Autism Speaks is playing. This is about the assholes making damn sure the ATN doesn't get the dollars nor the mice/rat doctors doing chemical and probiotic studies (and the $$$$ research programs/grad students/prestige that goes with it) - that the psychiatric assholes keep control.
WHAT DO WE DO? We really, really, really need Autism Speaks to succeed. I WANT TO RAISE THEM MONEY. What do we do?
P.S. By the way - did everyone see the CBC documentary that was just in the shaffer report re: Google Video "the disappearing male"
I'm horrified. We all are.
What do we do? We need Autism Speaks - we need the centre - we need university studies to replicate our n=1 studies. What do we do?
Posted by: Kathryn | May 09, 2009 at 07:01 PM
Thank you, Katie for exposing the disgusting and continual collusion of these folks.
They have to keep denying as the amount of money and job security for each of them is huge. Their behavior and ability to turn their backs on the injured and continual injuring of innocent children gives them each their own dsm diagnosis - sociopathic.
This cannot last much longer as the science and sheer numbers of children are going to take over but meanwhile, to have to read their crap and know that the perpetuation of lies continues, is just sick and heart breaking.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | May 09, 2009 at 04:56 PM
Yeah, I have to agree with others here. If I didn't have a mood disorder before reading about IMFARs disgusting waste of taxpayer dollars, I do now. Eye color? Thank you, Katie, for identifying the target again.
As far as dragnetting for autism parents with mood disorders, I can see where this would kill a few birds with one stone. By personifying autism parents as "mentally ill", IMFAR can:
1) Generally discredit the eyewitness accounts and evidence presented by parents who believe their children were environmentallly injured because the public will be trained to view these parents as "crazy anyway".
2) Discredit the accounts of parents who-- whether or not they believe that vaccines were causal in their children's autism-- object to the outrageously profitable and often dangerous drug treatments which are close to being mandated for children with autism. The view can discredit parents who report side effects.
3) throw a bone to IMFAR's industry backers by creating another juicy niche market for drugging among the families of children with autism, from siblings to grandma. It's like shooting fish in a barrel to find despair in autism families anyway. All that's needed to keep it going is to minimize access to resources and information, drive families into poverty, etc. I think it's particuarly easy to find despair among parents who believe Offit's views that "hope is dangerous" and tend to buy into the genetic view of the disorder. Each niche represents between 10 and 20 billion in profits a year per category of drug-- not a small incentive.
4) bolster the flagging "genetic brain chemical imbalance" theory of depression and mental disorders even among the rapidly shrinking portion of the population who are NOT directly related to a child with autism. The drug companies keep trying to sell the drugs as "prophylactic" against the development of certain disorders, particularly depression, using some really absurd medical models. The public-- scared out of its wits about the epidemic of cognitive disorders in the US-- might believe on some level that they can "ward it off". Autism could get more mileage than swine flu in terms of selling with fear.
It's all so weirdly familiar. During the T4 extermination program in Nazi Germany, if family members complained of their disabled relatives being systematically murdered, the authorities would openly threaten to deem the family members "mentally unfit" and have them exterminated as well-- not hard because the exterminations were performed on eugetic/genetic theories of heritability. This was very successful in squelching the outrage among average Germans.
Minus the threats of extermination (well, sort of, if you don't read VAERS), I think IMFAR's "family studies" are attempting to build into the system a similar means of silencing families. How original.
Posted by: Gatogorra | May 09, 2009 at 03:50 PM
what a wonderful site i work for mencap wicked
keep it up
Posted by: kelly | May 09, 2009 at 12:07 PM
Iam English & writing book as I have MS andmy 36 year old son is autistic - I diagnosed him myself He does have eye contact but a lot of other autistic things. I also have younger girl twin siblings [normal] Autism is hard work but with effort it can be improved but never cured
Posted by: Susan J Hanbury | May 09, 2009 at 11:32 AM
Thank you Katie:
Here is a quick glance at IMFAR’s attack on the mercury problem, a suspect in autism and the most toxic of heavy metals.
The 2009 IMFAR meeting in Chicago announced 850 abstracts submitted--but only four have the word “mercury.” See http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2009/webprogram/start.html .
This seems like a total disconnect considering that:
(1) Every twenty minutes another child in the United States is diagnosed with autism (an average based on four million newborns per year and the CDC estimated epidemic rate of one in 150), and
(2) While the USEPA limits drinking water to TWO PARTS PER BILLION mercury, most flu shots are in multidose vials containing FIFTY THOUSAND PARTS PER BILLION mercury. The CDC says that “143 million to 146 million doses of influenza vaccine” were available for the 2008-09 influenza season. The CDC also recommended flu vaccination for children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday and pregnant women. See http://www.cdc.gov/flu/flu_vaccine_updates.htm .
Posted by: Jim Thompson | May 09, 2009 at 11:22 AM
And I forgot to add (due to the fact that I was cussing up a storm and yelling this info to my husband in the other room):
Thank you Katie.
Posted by: Jeanne | May 09, 2009 at 11:14 AM
Eye color and autism? Are you f'ing kidding me? Maybe I read that wrong; but, if I didn't, I'd like to see a study of eye color and those who came up with this crap - and while we're at it, let's throw the alphabet soup gang, Proffit, and all those other naysayers in the mix as well. I'm willing to bet my left foot the study shows they all have brown eyes.
Posted by: Jeanne | May 09, 2009 at 11:12 AM
Vaccines are mentioned once in the 24 page executive summary of Autism Speaks' ugly 3 year strategic science plan.
This science plan seems designed to compete with ASA and Alison Singer for federal research dollars. While vaccine research may help with autism treatment and prevention, it would likely hurt federal market share. Money is priority #1, 2 and 3.
As Autism Speaks is only doing research which the government supports - supporting them is like paying additional taxes.
So if you like the great work NIH and CDC have done during the autism epidemic, you can show your appreciation by going to an Autism Speaks walk.
Posted by: To thank NIH/CDC, walk for Autism Speaks | May 09, 2009 at 10:46 AM
Well, I am pretty sure that I have a mood disorder now.
Posted by: Louis Conte | May 09, 2009 at 10:26 AM
yes lets start calling and writing to whoever is behind this utter non-scence...come up with a list i will call...
Posted by: candace passino | May 09, 2009 at 10:02 AM
Your words are proof that no one wants to really investigate autism. It raises far too many questions. If an official organization actually addressed autism as the health care disaster it is, actually admitted that it's now an epidemic with environmental triggers, the public would panic. Instead, every group starts over. They call autism a puzzle, not an emergency. No matter how bad the numbers look, no one will officially admit that there's been a real increase in the numbers.
You cite the stunning 1200 percent increase in autism recently announced by the CA DDS. Incredibly, only two newspapers published anything about it! The San Jose Mercury and the Contra Costa Times from Walnut Creek had the same story by reporter Sandy Kleffman, Autism in California increases twelvefold http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_12310147 . It was excellent. Kleffman reported that the numbers are real. There was no mention of "better diagnosing" or "expanded spectrum" as an attempt to explain the numbers. But that was it. The story died. No other papers have covered it.
We get stories about raising awareness about autism everyday. We don’t see stories about finding answers. I read about President Obama'a budget plans. http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/05/08/president-budget/3162/ Autism got a lot of attention. $22 million is planned for the CDC to
"monitor and improve early diagnosis." $48 million will by used by the government to "increase autism awareness." And $140 million for will go into "autism research." What "research" that will include is anyone's guess. It could be more money into the hot pursuit of all those elusive autism genes out there.
SERIOUSLY, I've come to the conclusion that no one is ever going to admit anything is really wrong with having so many disabled kids. If the UK numbers, now alleged to be one in every 60 kids, one in every 38 boys didn't do it, nothing will. It will be the cost that will simply destroy our economy. I imagine headlines like, "Huge increase in disability claims threatens Social Security funds." Everyone will be scratching their heads over the numbers. Where did all these 18 year olds come from? I can't wait to hear how all the people in charge of health care--all those groups out there denying that autism is a problem, are going to explain this. Finally we'll see an end to autism being labeled a "mystery" or a "puzzle." It'll finally be called the crisis it really is.
Posted by: Anne Dachel | May 09, 2009 at 09:43 AM
When my son began his slide, the first touchstone my parents found was Autism Speaks because of an article in some Sunday Parade or whatever that insert is in the Sunday morning papers all over America. Anyway it featured Katie and her family. Bob Wright's name carried a good deal of weight with my senior citizen father and mother, if Bob Wright has a grandchild with autism then it must be OK for others to admit that they have one too.
Not that my parents spend time on the internet or even reading books on the subject, but I have heard over past the year or two these kind of "revelations" mentioned above come out of their mouths and all I can do is thank them for thinking of us when I want to scream, "DUH!!!" or "Have you not been listening to a word I've been saying for the past two years?". Nothing I have handed them to read is even looked at. But they somehow find quotes, or articles that state things like, autistic children have big heads, children with autism outgrow illness, genetics- the cause of autism, vaccine court throws out three cases... and the latest blood boiler, "I am haunted by all these stories of autistic kids growing up to be killers, they don't even realize it either, it reminds me of that story of the chimp that ripped the face off of the woman that raised him, I'm not saying Ben's a wild animal but what do we know differently? Nobody knows why these kids do it. Now I'm not saying Ben will someday grow up to be like this.." Of course not.
When I called them to get them to tune into Larry King the other night they admittedly watched only a few minutes of it, see my folks can't relate to Jenny McCarthy... or me, but they can relate to grandparents with money and fame and problems.
PFLAG, Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays is an extremely successful national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the United States. They do a remarkable job at reaching out to families. Is there any such organization for autism? Any grandparent group?
There must be a reason why Autism Speaks is successful, receiving so much money and attention, I think it is the grandparent factor.
Our parents are a great untapped resource, once we convert them, the world will come to the rescue.
Keep working Katie!
Posted by: bensmyson | May 09, 2009 at 09:28 AM
Thanks Katie for making me sick this morning;)
Andrea, with your wonderful ideas IMFAR can keep themselves busy for many years-
Posted by: kathleen | May 09, 2009 at 08:41 AM
Well, when the President of IMFAR (or maybe the last president, not sure how long the term lasts) works at CHOP that is probably to be expected.
Posted by: J | May 09, 2009 at 08:37 AM
What will they be focusing on next year? Children with autism play oddly with toys? And the following year - children with autism don't answer to their names. And then maybe, children with autism seek isolation. Can you imagine the possibilities?
As each year moves forward on the calendar of life- IMFAR can move further back in time in thier autism research time machine.
What a shameful waste of time and money.
It is clear no one associated with IMFAR wants to find the cause(s) of autism.
If they did identify a true cause they would be jeopardizing their jobs. The autism epidemic can't stop it would unemploy too many people.
Some people are just fine with autsim numbers rising. It ensures job security.
Posted by: Andrea | May 09, 2009 at 07:58 AM
I can see some earnest PhD candidate formulating a thesis in hopes of joining IMFAR: "The role of green stripes on a long sleeve polo shirt in autism."
Posted by: Stagmom | May 09, 2009 at 07:25 AM
Thanks for this Katie. Scandalous to say the least.
Who on earth is funding these people?? Is this "research" funded by tax dollars? If so you guys (US citizens) REALLY need to get together and write/petition their funding bodies, exposing the uselessness and their fraudulent wasting of public money. Go for the top.
Posted by: Natasa | May 09, 2009 at 07:17 AM