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.