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Blast from the Past Post: MESSAGE BOARD BUZZ. Autism Speaks Selects Eric London?

Eric London Resigns from Autism Speaks

Wayback machine Managing Editor's Note: Dr. Eric London (founder of NAAR) has left Autism Speaks to join Autism Science Foundation, with Dr. Paul Offit and Alison Singer, also an Autism Speaks alum. Their stated goal is to conduct autism research with the exclusion of investigating vaccinations, as they are certain there is no correlation.  I'll send a T-shirt to the first reader who can tell us what's in the photo and why. (Kevin D. just won!)

By Katie Wright

Autism has been the most humbling experience of my life. I was wrong about so many things for so long.  Despite his nightmarish adverse reactions, I wanted, so badly, to believe that vaccines had nothing to do with Christian’s autism. It took two years of non stop reading, talking to hundreds of parents and traveling all over the country in search of a doctor who could identify, never mind treat, my son’s chronic medical problems, for me to painfully admit to myself I was wrong. In admitting I was wrong I had to let go of my fantasy that doctors know best, the CDC had this under control and all the right research was being done.

I could continue on in a state of denial, comforting myself, or I could dig deeper in all this ugliness. The choice was easy because my son was so sick and even top quality behavioral interventions were failing Christian. If Christian were mildly affected who knows how I would have reacted.

Eric London resigned from Autism Speaks yesterday. Everyone knows I do not speak for the organization (!), but I think I can safely say this is for the best. Despite being in the field of autism research for over a decade London has never doubted himself or his resolute belief that he knows vaccines never trigger autism. Such dogmatic rigidity no longer has a place at AS, especially in the face of the obvious exponential growth of ASD and heterogeneous nature of this disease. No one parent can, or should, attempt to speak for all.

What is true for Christian very well may be untrue for another child. I have always accepted that London’s belief that vaccines had nothing to do with his son’s autism, but no one is going to tell me that they “know” what happened or did not happen to my child. Unless you were there you cannot know and have no right to assume you do.

I am hopeful that London’s departure signals an exciting new chapter for AS science, one that substantially embraces the diversity of our kids’ experiences, with openness, sincerity and humility.

Katie Wright is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

Visitor

"valid biological variation"

Visitor

All the way to critiquing the idea of Autism it seems.

The ASD diagnosis has blocked the discovery of valid biological variation in neurodevelopmental social impairment

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/aur.1832/full

michele pierce burns

KATIE, YOU ROCK!!! Thank you for your ongoing courage, eloquence, humility, patience, wisdom, humor, and most of all love...can't wait for our guys to play together soon :)!!!

P.S. Are you coming to DANSON Book Party Mon at B.Smith's?!? 20% of restraunt profits night are going to our new school :)! Is there a way to notify other parents?

Allison Chapman

Dr. London came to Boston and spoke in one of my favorite places, Fenway Park. It was in the private club, back then and my husband and I were dying for current information, science, something more than we'd been given as our son had completely regressed into autism after 2 sets of vaccination the year before. London's speech left me quite sick and completely out of place as he said in no uncertain terms. "There is NO cure for autism", that's not what we are here for (huh?). He then went on to say that he is doing this for his NT daughter so that when she is ready to have children we can have more information so that she does not have to go through the same thing in having a child like her brother.

I felt sick because it was clear he had given up any hope for his son. Not that he didn't love him, he clearly did, but had cut himself off from having any sort of hope, or even the desire to search for it. I realized Dr. London and I would never be on the same page, never be following the same path. He was on the path of gathering brains after death and I was on the path of healing my son so that he could have a full life...

I thought I would take all of the information on the brain/purkinge cells/etc London did bring and present that day and use it in an entirely different manner than he. Just one of the pieces of research to pay attention to on the quest for answers for my son's healing.

I left that day feeling very sorry for Dr. London. As I can't imagine how painful it is to have no hope for your child. I would never tell him his son's autism was caused by vaccines, as it may happen differently for all of us, but someone who's lost so much hope in the future is not someone who I wish to have their hands on the pulse of research dollars and where they should be allocated. Those of us who have children with vaccines regression deserve to have someone with that fist full of research dollars representing us and our children.

henderson

I'm with you Heidi R... I'm on vacation too and have been following on my blackberry for days now. I begged my husband to take the kids for a few hours so I can get to the internet.

Katie - Thank you again for you insight. And a big WOOHOO!

Guys - I think Katie said it very well when she shared: "What is true for Christian very well may be untrue for another child..."

I absolutely agree... who are we to tell another parent that their child was vaccine damaged? I certainly do not believe that all of our kids came to this place via the same avenue. We cannot deny the chromosome duplication/etc. kids. Nor, can we deny the gestational kids (mine being one - I know EXACTLY what happened the first trimester - and he has the head overgrowth pattern to go with my suspicions - now certainty). But, that doesn't mean he wasn't vaccine damaged too.

We can never loose site that all of our kids' damage is different, the trigger(s) - initial and ongoing, etc. We must continue to respect everyone's observations about their own families.

Heidi R

Of course I would be on vacation when this, some of the most exciting news this year, hits the airwaves! I hope and pray that Autism Speaks will continue to develop more board members who believe in finding out the truth about autism no matter what the answer is. Thanks Katie!

Nora

I just want to thank all of the contributors to Age of Autism. From the bottom of my heart I am so grateful for everything you do to help these children.

Jenny Webster

There are so many things that I could say...
but... the movers come tomorrow and I am still packing, so I will say --What a merry bunch of idiots.

They all deserve each other.
The history of man will one day show how money hungry and moronic the REAL Three Stooges were.
--actually I suppose... the history of man will include no more than a footnote for Allison Singer and Eric London --and for Paul Offit, well a picture of the devil holding a dollar bill will be his legacy.

mlinn

I think Dr. Martha Herbert also expressed Katie's sentiment during her presentation at Autism One with this quote -- "Follow those who seek the truth, flee from those who claim to have found it." I do think AS is coming around. I heard Dr. Sophia Colamarino speak in Denver a few months ago (I think she is Vice Chair of research)? Anyway, she significantly backed away from the genes cause autism theory, but by the end of the presentation she came across as a little defensive. No one in the audience really challenged her, but she made a statement to the effect that AS is researching a lot more than genes now, so everyone should raise money by participating in the upcoming walk. I almost got the feeling she wasn't expressing her own opinions, I wonder if she is one who will stay or go. Thank you Katie for your continued positive influence (even though you don't speak for them, you speak for us)!

Constructive autism volunteer

We don't know what causes autism but ASF and Generation Rescue stake out the polar extremes of autism research with their respective narrow focus approaches. Meanwhile, Autism Speaks funds environmental as well as genetic research and - like AS or not - occupies the reasonable middle ground in the search for the answers we all want and need.

Raymond Gallup


I know about Eric London because in my limited contact with him (two phone calls) he did not think much of autoimmunity research for autism but thought highly of research using brains of dead children/adults with autism. Also, he and his wife would not speak or deal with a relative because the relative dared to say that she felt that the MMR vaccine caused the autism of the son of Mr. and Mrs. London.

Per.............
"Who else still in Autism Speaks is secretly working for Offit?"

Posted by: Steve | July 01, 2009 at 08:52 AM

Answer:

Scientific Advisory Board

Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, M.D.
Professor
Neuroscience and Cell Biology/Pediatrics (Neurology)
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/overview/advisory_boards/scientific_advisory_board.php

Dr. DiCicco-Bloom, MD was involved with NAAR and closely follows Dr. London regarding autism issues. If London is Frick, then DiCicco-Bloom is Frack.

Benedetta Stilwell

Does anyone know anything about Yunsoo Park Psychiatry neuroimaging Department of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York? They contacted my email wanting adult autistic/Aspergers for MRIs.

Richard

I may be slow I just noticed that we have moved from mercury being the cause of autism to vaccines being the cause of autism.
I think we have passed the era where it is politically incorrect to blame vaccines.
I wonder if London, Offit and Singer are finding it harder to get affirmation from their colleagues for their whacked out views so they are turning to each other so they can say yes they are right to each other and the rest of the world is wrong except for pharma and the aap.


--

Natasa

Tanners dad, on a different note there are some interesting (published) articles about that time in history, and how only the very poorest and most malnourished fell victims of now-dreaded measles virus. The rest of the population lived happily ever after.

Jeanne

Katie, thanks for reporting this news to us. Anne, your comment is my personal fav of the day.

bensmyson

"An autistic child can endanger his siblings," said Eric London, the founder of the National Alliance for Autism Research, an advocacy group in Princeton, N.J. "If you have a small baby in the home, it's intolerable to have an autistic child rampaging through the house. For those families, Risperdal could be a godsend."

FFS this man and Offit deserve each other! Wonder what bar they drink in?

Roger Kulp

You don't suppose it might have anything to do with this would it "?

Laurent Mottron, M.D., Ph.D.
Université de Montréal
$448,827 for 3 years

Behavioral and functional neuroimaging investigations of visual perception and cognition in autistics

It has been consistently found that autism is associated with superior sensory perception, independent of social function. Autistics score very highly on tests of perceptual detection and higher-level visual reasoning. Autistics may tend to perceive the world as it is, whereas non-autistics may tend to perceive the world according to their expectations.

In this research, Dr. Mottron and his colleagues will examine the neural basis of this enhanced visual perception and reasoning in autistics. They will use functional MRI and EEGs to image and measure the activity of specific brain regions in autistic subjects during visual problem solving and reasoning tests. Using various tests of visual perception, they will characterize the versatility, scope, and limitations of autistics' enhanced performance on these tests, and determine which brain regions and neural pathways are involved.

A more complete understanding of autistic individuals' strength in perception and visual reasoning may have important implications with respect to selecting and creating parenting, teaching, and workplace strategies that leverage these abilities.


http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/research/grants/research_we_have_funded_basic_clinical_2008.php

From what I have read in various blogs,AS has been infiltrated more and more by neurodiversity types in the past few years.It didn't surprise me much,when they gave a grant like this,to prove the ND beliefs of a man said this:

"I wanted to go as far as I could to show that their perception — their brains — are totally different." Not damaged. Not dysfunctional. Just different."

I came to see Paul Offit for what he was,not because of his book,not because of his vaccine patents,but when he started cozying up to the neurodiversity movement,and underplaying the frequency of mitochondrial disease in autism.

Only recently have I come to realize that those who are provaccine are also those who deny any medical conditions can cause autism as well.

Becky Estepp

Oh man Kim! Us West Coaster's are at a disadvantage. I could have won in .1 seconds. That is Mr. Peabody and Sherman and the "Way Back Machine." My maiden name is Peabody. A couple of times in my advocacy I have said to people, "I may be a Peabody, but I don't have a Way Back Machine. If I did, the first thing I'd do is go back and fix the vaccine schedule."
Katie-Thanks for this article and thank you for your advocacy. Yesterday was very interesting.

London Bridge

Another piece of good news today. Autism Speaks seems to be shedding ballast.

Here's a telling quote from London that about sums up his contributions:

"An autistic child can endanger his siblings," said Eric London, the founder of the National Alliance for Autism Research, an advocacy group in Princeton, N.J. "If you have a small baby in the home, it's intolerable to have an autistic child rampaging through the house. For those families, Risperdal could be a godsend."

http://www.bridges4kids.org/Disabilities/articles/WashPost8-1-02.html

Lisa in Texas

Katie,
Thanks for your excellent post. As much as the "vaccines may have contributed or did cause our child's autism" group(s) become larger, the "vaccines do not cause autism" group(s) will become smaller. Even President Obama said he is not convinced that there is not a link between autism and vaccines. We are winning this battle. Change is happening. I know of not one parent in the thousands in my circle who are not fearful of vaccines and taking a safer approach to delaying or staggering childhood vaccines. AMA and AAP know this too, and while they may be trying to restore trust in the CDC childhood vaccine schedule they are failing. Bringing in celebrities was one tactic and it failed miserably. Parents (consumers) will not accept that vaccines are safe until they see the proof. The 14 studies have not shown us the proof. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that.
Change is here...and I believe it is happening for the positive. I asked my dad, who is in his late 70s and retired, what the topics of conversations are in his age group. He said (in this order), "the weather, health issues, politics and vaccines." I asked him if this is because he is a grandfather to an autistic child, and he told me he usually never brings up the topic first...another grandparent brings it up.
Autism is everywhere. How did we end up with an entire generation of sick children?
If it was not the vaccines, what was it? Just show us the research so we can all have peace.

Twyla

What wonderful news!! Go ahead, Eric London and Allison Singer -- go work in your own stupid organization ASF! Leave Autism Speaks, the largest autism organization in the world, to people who will look in the right places for answers!

I tried posting some comments at the ASF web site. They posted one of my comments, which was a simple thanks to Karl Taro Greenfeld for an article he wrote. They did not post any of my comments in support of Jenny McCarthy and the biomedical paradigm of autism (causes, treatments). They are not interested in debate, only propaganda. Not science, just dogma.

Katie, I still remember when I first heard -- via the Schafer Autism Report - that the daughter of the founder of Autism Speaks had started using biomedical treatments with her son. Over the weeks and months you became more vocal - it was very exciting to see. Thank you so much for all your work and advocacy. It seems that you may have succeeded in helping to turn this huge AS ship away from the icebergs and toward better destinations.

deb

I'm sure when and if ASF becomes fiscally solvent enough to pay Andy Shih a competitive salary that he too will be gone.

Anne Dachel

Katie,
I too went through a huge disillusionment with the medical community. (And my own brother
is a physician.) The scariest part of all this is the attitude of doctors. They're on the front lines.
These kids are filling their waiting rooms while they continue to chant the official mantra, "Vaccines are
safe, vaccines save lives, better diagnosing, expanded spectrum."

I can't imagine how they can convince themselves that having all these sick kids is normal and acceptable.
Someday very soon we'll have to recognize what's been happening. If we don't, we won't survive as a
country. We're well on our way to becoming a nation of the chronically ill and disabled.

When the numbers, the cause, and the cost of autism finally are acknowledged, the big question will be, How could the medical
community watch this happen and do nothing?

Anne Dachel
Media

AL

What I really want to know is WHO is behind chasing these offspring of Mr. Hanky out the door? I'd like to send them a fruit basket or something, lol.

Who's next?

Kim, can we start a pool by name and month to see who's next to go at AS? Winner gets a free AOA t-shirt? A little mean spirited I know, but hey, lol. So? :-)

Teresa Conrick

Hi Katie,

I think this is fantastic news. All of what you wrote I can identify with so much -- the beginning realization that your child is so sick and it is denied by many, there is little help, and it is still happening to others.

The vaccine deniers are starting to fall more rapidly as well as the whole "genes-r-us" group. I hope we see big, powerful and helpful changes coming.

Curtis

America contiues to lead the world in research funding "looking for the cause" of Autism.

This is only because the rest of the world has already figured out that vaccines and their components cause Autism.

Benedetta Stilwell

Tanner's Dad- there sure was a lot going on in the year 1857

Katie Wright

Hi Tanners Dad,

I did not mention ASF, because I find it to be a sad and hopeless re-trenchment of failed ideas; the endless recycling of 20 yrs of genetic research that has accomplished so little for our children. There isn't anything else to say about it.

The future of autism research belongs to dynamism and innovation and yes, vaccine research. I hope AS science finds the courage to embrace this reality.

Barry Morse

Please follow this hypothesis:
Plastic is the cause of the rapid rise in autism.
The human brain works primarily by electrical energy. Plastic is an excellent insulator. Plastics photo-degrade; they get smaller but remain as plastic. During the time of fetal neural development, at the moment that the nerves should make connection, they are blocked from doing so by a piece of plastic. I believe the autistic mind produces the same amount of electrical energy and that energy has fewer areas of diffusion. This is evidenced by the heightening the various senses experienced by the autistic individual. Note the rapid rise in autism in the last twenty years and consider the time it would take for the plastics to infiltrate our ecosystem or the direct ingestion of photo-degraded liquid by pregnant women.
The easiest way to see this is to take a plastic bottle of drinking water and freeze it. Let it thaw and sit. Turn it upside down, turn it into the light and see the shiny plastic particles descend in the water that you are about to drink.
I believe that this hypothesis bears investigation.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Barry Morse
Morse99@gmail.com

Steve

Who else still in Autism Speaks is secretly working for Offit?

Bob

Thank you Dr. London for your leadership.. Many will celebrate you leaving, I will miss you, but we will meet again!

Tanners Dad

Sorry Katie no disrespect. ASF is another pimple on the landscape of massive sores for parents dealing with Autism. To tell us that they are not even going to give credence to a theory is just a slap in the faces. Thank you for being a powerful voice in moving Autism Speaks in the right direction. I pray one day that the organization comes full circle and walks one day help local families. We need unity not another psuedoscience foundation.

KEVIN D WINS T

Kevin D send me your mailing address. It's the Wayback machine. kimstagliano @ gmail

Tanners Dad

1857 - The Germ Theory - in 1857, demonstrated that decay/fermentation occurred only on exposure to contaminated air. If germs could cause fermentation, they could well cause animal & human disease, and be transmitted. Vaccine theory - he added to Jenner's work on vaccination, and developed anthrax and rabies vaccines Who is the father of modern epidemiology?

Tanners Dad

1857 - XVI. GALLIGO'B CASES.'—In 1857, at Rufina, near Florence, several children contracted syphilis by vaccination from a child of syphilitic parentage. The blood of the vaccinifer is stated to have become mixed with the vaccine lymph.

Maggie

Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Tanners Dad

That is true. And yes I wear one all day and one to sleep in... (Somebody else should get the pleasure). I am working on the rings and membership cards for the AOA Fan club.

Is this it...

In 1857, in a different kind of example of this
spatial and ethnic demarcation of the boundaries
of the early modern polity, the Edo shogunate
sponsored medical treatment and Jennerian
smallpox vaccinations for all Japanese and Ainu
in Ezo. With this policy, shogunal officials,
working through the Hakodate bugyo, placed
medical treatment and smallpox vaccinations in
the same context as the other forms of assimilation
discussed by Howell and Morris-Suzuki.
State-sponsored medicine in Ezo "sought to transform
the place of the Ainu, even at the level of
the individual Ainu body, in relation to the early
modern Japanese polity." Like the Foucauldian
relationship between public medicine and state
power that emerged in modern Europe, medicine
in Ezo was employed by the shogunate to protect
what it viewed as "a newly acquired appendage
of the body politic--or something to be integrated
into the national whole--as well as demarcate, at
the level of the individual body, the borders of the
Japanese state in the north.

I know I should know it I watched everyone of those cartoons on Saturday morning.

Kevin D

It's the wayback machine. If we could go back in time to change things, I think we all would. Heck, I know that my son NEVER would have gotten those "mandatory" shots.

As for AS, well, maybe now they can move on in a direction that 'speaks' for the community in which they represent. Amen.

Managing Editor Kim

Good morning, Tim. Nope. Although, is that so? Really? It's an added twist to my logic, that's for sure. And you have a T-shirt, I believe. You want one for every day? :)

Tanners Dad

1857 Vaccination in England enforced by fines.

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