Autism Experts Only Seem to Know "What Doesn't Work"
Many of us in the autism community marvel at the fact that medical experts can tell us nothing of significance about autism. They spend most of their time in denial. They don't know if the rate is really increasing. They don't know what causes it. They aren't sure how to effectively treat it. They admit there is no known cure. And no one has an idea how to prevent it. I can't think of any other serious health problem affecting as many children as autism does about which so little is known. The fact that hundreds of thousands of children now have this once rare disorder should make autism a national health care emergency. We should be scrambling for answers, but we're not.
Being clueless hasn't stopped authorities from denouncing those who link vaccines and autism or those using biomedical therapies to recover kids. Last month two interesting studies, one in the U.S. and one in Britain, were released simultaneously. Incredibly, they both had the same findings: KIDS WITH AUTISM HAVE NO MORE GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS THAN TYPICALLY DEVELOPING CHILDREN DO.
The journal Pediatrics had the story, Incidence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children With Autism: A Population-Based Study which reported on a study from the Mayo Clinic:
"No significant associations were found between autism case status and overall incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms or any other gastrointestinal symptom category.
"Conclusion: As constipation and feeding issues/food selectivity often have a behavioral etiology, data suggest that a neurobehavioral rather than a primary organic gastrointestinal etiology may account for the higher incidence of these gastrolintestinal symptoms in children with autism."
Important news sources in the U.S. likewise reported on the Mayo study.
The New York Times: Restrictive Diets May Not Be Appropriate for Children With Autism (HERE) "Researchers at the Mayo Clinic reviewed the medical records of over 100 autistic children over an 18-year period and compared them to more than 200 children without the disorder. The scientists found no differences in the overall frequency of gastrointestinal problems reported by the two groups, though the autistic children suffered more frequently from bouts of constipation and were more likely to be picky eaters who had difficulty gaining weight."
WebMD: GI Problems and Autism: No Link Found (HERE)
"Now, a new study from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has found no apparent overall link between GI disorders and autism, although the researcher did find some individual GI problems are more common in children with autism.
"[The study] compared 121 children with the disorder to a control group of 242 age-matched children without a diagnosis of autism, following them for a median (half longer, half less) of about 18 years. The children were all residents of Olmstead County, Minn.
"For years, a suspected link between gastrointestinal problems and autism has been debated, with medical reports describing GI symptoms in up to 84% of children with the developmental disorder."
NBC Today Show: (HERE) Dr. Nancy Snyderman was in Aspen Colorado, but took time to proclaim, The findings are very conclusive: "There is no link between illness in the gut and the signs and symptoms we see in autism. Constipation may be more common but that's just because autistic kids may like a limited diet."
The findings of this study came as a stunning surprise to many parents living with chronically ill autistic children. The study conclusions are also directly challenged by lots of previous research. I did a quick search to see what's been done and it was overwhelming. These weren't the wild claims of ignorant parents; these were studies published in professional journals. Here is just a sample:
From the Journal of Pediatrics in 1999: Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder. (HERE)
"Unrecognized gastrointestinal disorders, especially reflux esophagitis and disaccharide malabsorption, may contribute to the behavioral problems of the non-verbal autistic patients."
In 2005, the Journal of Medical Microbiology: Differences between the gut microflora of children with autistic spectrum disorders and that of healthy children (HERE). "Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) tend to suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems. Such symptoms may be due to a disruption of the indigenous gut flora promoting the overgrowth of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms."
And I also found research from the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2002 titled, Gastrointestinal Microflora Studies in Late‐Onset Autism (HERE) There were lots of impressive names and prestigious institutions connected with these findings. A lot of research must have gone into this report which concluded, "These studies demonstrate significant alterations in the upper and lower intestinal flora of children with late‐onset autism and may provide insights into the nature of this disorder."
Suddenly however, thanks to one small study in the U.S., we can forget about all this research. Rather than conclude that these new findings challenge many previous studies and more research is needed on this important issue, it seems that, in the word of Nancy Snyderman, "the findings are very conclusive."
I did find an article that mentioned the limitations of the Mayo Clinic study. In the Medpage Today story, Most GI Problems Are Not More Common in Autism (HERE), it was reported, "The study authors acknowledged some limitations of the study, including the retrospective design, use of an almost all-white population, and the failure to assess the duration, severity, and recurrence of GI symptoms."
That last point especially got my attention. The researchers failed to "assess the duration, severity, and recurrence of GI symptoms"? Isn't that what the whole study was about? How could they possibly come to definite conclusions if they didn't have any in-depth information?
What does it matter?
Snyderman and others are using the findings from the Mayo study to trash certain treatments that many parents say are recovering their autistic children. If children don't really have any gastrointestinal problems related to their autism, then parents using special diets and supplements are wasting their time.
Snyderman said that "there no reason to" have your child on a restrictive diet or buy extra vitamins or supplements,
And in the New York Times story we were told, "Many parents of autistic children have put their children on strict gluten-free or dairy-free diets, convinced that gastrointestinal problems are an underlying cause of the disorder. But a new study suggests the complicated food regimens may not be warranted." The Times cited the paper’s first author, Dr. Samar H. Ibrahim, who said, 'There is actually no trial that has proven so far that a gluten-free and casein-free diet improves autism.'
Seeing that the Mayo study was being used to dismiss dietary intervention, one has to wonder what other impact it might have. Will it be used to challenge parents who have cases pending in Vaccine Court where they allege that vaccines have caused their child's autism and GI problems?
I asked Judy Converse for her opinion on this latest study. Judy has worked with autistic children for years and has seen great improvement with changes in diet. Judy is the author of Special-Needs Kids Eat Right: Strategies to Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum Focus, Learn, and Thrive (HERE) and she's a registered dietitian with a master of public health degree and undergraduate degree in nutrition. Judy wrote. "This study is not very useful. Just as the authors acknowledge, it is weakened by th its retrospective design - because there is no real--time data to look at. ...The real problem here is that it only looked at one parameter of a typical nutrition assessment or GI work up; and, it used a potentially unreliable source for that paramenter." She went on to criticize the limited research that failed to include all the necessary data to make any type of reputable conclusions.
The British study
Also in July came a study from Bristol in England that coincidentally said the same thing.
The early stool patterns of young children with autistic spectrum disorder by B Sandhu, C Steer, J Golding, A Emond of the University of Bristol:(HERE)
Conclusions: During the first 42 months of life, ASD children had a stool pattern that was very similar to that of other children, apart from a slight increase in stool frequency at 30 and 42 months. There were no symptoms to support the hypothesis that ASD children had enterocolitis.
Reuters published the report, Autism not tied to bowel movement patterns by David Douglas: (HERE)
"Despite some reports to the contrary, children with autistic spectrum disorders do not have bowel movement patterns that suggest gastrointestinal problems, UK researchers report.
"Autistic spectrum disorders are a group of developmental conditions that hinder people's ability to communicate and build relationships. Previous studies, though inconclusive, "have described gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism," Dr. Alan Emonds, of the Center for Child and Adolescent Health, Bristol , and colleagues note in their study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.
"However, based on their results, ’The bowel habits of young children with autistic spectrum disorder, in general, are no different from the rest of population,’ Emond told Reuters Health.
"Emond's team came to this conclusion after studying data from 78 children recognized as having autistic spectrum disorders and 12,906 other children without such disorders."
What reporter Douglas and the Bristol study publication failed to tell us was that researcher Alan Emond has his own reasons for wanting to show that MMR is safe. John Stone wrote about Emond's conflicts including the fact that he also serves on the
the UK ’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. (John also included a list of the subsequent papers that either replicated or supported Wakefield's link between autism and bowel disease.) (HERE)
The JCVI decides the UK's vaccination policy and it was recently given sole legal power by the New Labour Government. (HERE) In 1988 the JCVI approved defective MMR vaccines and failed to call for withdrawal when large numbers of British children were seriously injured.
Emond has been active dismissing damage from the MMR at same time he covers up his own ties to the controversy. In addition, his research on bowel disease and autism reviewed medical data many years old for which no laboratory tests are available and which was also poorly constructed.
This is a much bigger issue in Britain than in the U.S. because of research published in 1998 in the medical journal Lancet. Lead author Dr. Andrew Wakefield reported on 12 children who had developed autism and bowel disease following MMR vaccination. While thimerosal-containing vaccines have long been the focus here, the controversy in Britain rages over the combined live-virus vaccine for mumps, measles and rubella. Wakefield labeled this a new disease, autistic enterocolitis. He concluded, "We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after mumps, measles, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine."
Wakefield came under massive attack for his findings which continue to this day. He's been blamed for a subsequent decline in the vaccination rate in Britain and has been criticized for having conflicts of interest. In March 2004, an investigation by the General Medical Council in Britain was begun against Wakefield and two former colleagues, charging them with professional misconduct.
I couldn't help but think of the video from Britain, Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the GMC. In it we hear from the parents of the Lancet study children. They're strong in their defense of Wakefield and critical of a system that has ignored his findings. They talk about their children's health problems and the care they were given by Wakefield and the other doctors. They report that the GMC has not included them in their investigation of Wakefield . Not one parent of the children involved in the study has ever complained about the treatment their child received at the Royal Free Hospital .
Incredibly, the Bristol study failed to focus on the children who have autism and bowel disease. On this video we hear about children in pain with severe gastrointestinal problems. Allison Edwards talks about her son who regressed after the MMR and is now totally dependent. Heather Edwards describes how her son had to have his bowel removed while we see a photo of the colostomy bag he has to wear. His mother tells how he was "a normal, healthy baby up to the age of 13 months." Then he received the MMR and had an immediate reaction. The next morning she went to wake him and found him having severe diarrhea which lasted for five days. His problems only grew worse and he was eventually diagnosed bowel disease resulting in the removal of his colon. Isabella Thomas speaks about the measles virus--same strain as used in the MMR--that has been found in her children's bowels and blood.
Bill Welsh, President of the Autism Treatment Trust in Edinburgh, Scotland labeled the Bristol study “worthless and misleading.“ He said that no children were clinically examined in this study, especially those children who were normally developing and then regressed into autism. He furthermore pointed to the blatant conflicts of one of the authors which should call the whole study into question.
There are thousands of parents who report that their kids were typical healthy children until they regressed into autism and developed gastrointestinal problems. Why wasn't there a study done looking at this particular group?
And why isn't anyone interested in looking at the kids who were severely autistic but who've make incredible gains after being on a regimen of diet and supplements?
And what about all those doctors everywhere treating autistic kids for their concomitant bowel disease? Are we to believe that they're seeing these patients for imaginery illnesses?
Phony studies designed to protect the pharmaceutical industry and health care officials will never settle this controversy. As much as people like Alan Emond and Nancy Snyderman like to pretend that this is just about the science, in truth it’s always been about who’ll be held responsible if it’s clearly shown that a generation of children has been damaged by unsafe vaccines.
I keep going back to the words of Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer at the UK's Department of Health, (HERE) He said that if it is proven that the MMR causes autism and bowel disease in children, ‘the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history.
" 'There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.’
Dr. Fletcher also said that he found ”‘this official complacency utterly inexplicable’ in the light of an explosive worldwide increase in regressive autism and inflammatory bowel disease in children, which was first linked to the live measles virus in the MMR jab by clinical researcher Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998."
Those ‘very powerful people’ have no choice but to continue the lies.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.
From "across the pond":- to Terri,
Please try to understand that this doctor was a locum (effectively a locum for a hospital specialist)* who was in no way involved at the vaccination level of medical care for children). I was deeply grateful to him for confirming the reality of my experience at a time when I was undoubtedly thought by others to be, at the very least, self-deceiving or variations of "unbalanced".
Please excuse me if this post isn't well phrased - I was due out of the door five minutes ago.
*there are profound differences between USA and UK in the medical organisation of doctors and hospital stafff.
Posted by: ElizaCassandra | September 02, 2009 at 04:12 AM
From ElizaCassandra's doctor:
"You're an intelligent woman, Mrs. X, you know this sort of thing happens."
"And you're an evil doctor, Dr. Z, for misleading your patients, recklessly hurting babies, and then abandoning them when it happens."
Of course there are doctors who know this and understand it completely.
Posted by: Terri Lewis | September 01, 2009 at 09:17 PM
Our son was very sleepy for two days after his vaccine shots. He was later diagnosed on the autism spectrum. We took him to speech and occupational theory starting at the age of 2, until, at the age of 5, he was no longer on the autism spectrum. As you can imagine we feel extremely fortunate about that.
The scientific studies have convinced me, but not my wife, that the vaccine was not the cause. My reasoning is that if vaccines can cause autism, then I can not explain how this would not have been detected by double-blind experiments, and this reasoning forces me to attribute our own experience to coincidence.
I want to comment on the two questions you asked:
(1) Why wasn't there a study done looking at this particular group?
(2) And why isn't anyone interested in looking at the kids who were severely autistic but who've make incredible gains after being on a regimen of diet and supplements?
I think the answer is that scientists do not accept personal testimonies as evidence, not even tens of thousands of testimonies (heartless, I know). The only thing they do accept is results from double-blind experiments, but your questions (1) and (2), as currently formulated they do not fit the double-blind framework. If you want scientists to listen, then you have to propose a double-blind experiment (for instance, an experiment where 100 children receive supplements and 100 receive placebos).
Posted by: Mark | September 01, 2009 at 09:07 PM
Thanks so much for this piece Ann , i can only describe my son,s bowel movements after his MMR vaccination as an explosion , constent diarrhea, this went on for days and then weeks and then months and know years , the connection is a connection ,and there is one thing that stops the connection being made , and we all know that it is money , when will honesty prevail , when will those accountable be made accountable
Posted by: Deborah Heather | September 01, 2009 at 06:21 PM
From "across the pond":- I'll have to be vague on detail but about ten years ago I had to take my non-ASD child to a locum who asked me for details of other related children. My answer included brief details of what I believed to have happened to my ASD child, i.e. regressive autism caused/triggered by the MMR. To my astonishment he said, "You're an intelligent woman, Mrs X, you know this sort of thing happens."
It's my personal belief that more doctors are becoming worried about the visible increase in children with ASDs but very few are prepared to risk their careers by speaking on the record.
I still hope that, eventually, our patience will be rewarded with public acknowledgement of what has happened to our children.
Posted by: ElizaCassandra | August 27, 2009 at 07:07 PM
Richard , You are 100% correct. Senior health officials obviously know perfectly well that vaccines have caused autism. If you begin with that premise, you can easily predict EVERYTHING that they have done and continue to do to prevent the truth from coming out. They have a very long list of tactics and the list is growing. You have to admire them- They are so creative in their deception;So steadfast in their refusal to answer any uncomfortable questions by mercury toxicologists . We are only baffled by their ability to sacrifice the safety of helpless babies for the sake of their own pathetic careers. We shall go to our graves pondering that
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | August 27, 2009 at 04:31 PM
I would be sincerely willing to mail a sample of my son's poop to anyone who denies the connection between Autism and GI disorders. I guarantee that upon receipt of this package your mind will be changed forever.
Posted by: Alison MacNeil | August 26, 2009 at 09:04 PM
I'm more than willing to consider any options for my 33-month old autistic son including a change in diet. However, he eats fairly well for a child his age and he doesn't have any gastrointestinal problems that we know of. I guess my point is, I really don't know what to believe about what causes autism. My own opinion, which is constantly evolving on this subject, is that its safe to be as skeptical about biomedical interventions as it is to believe what conventional doctors tell us about autism. It's a strange, frustrating world that we've been thrust into and the best we can do is try treatments (safe ones of course) and see if they help.
Posted by: mike | August 26, 2009 at 08:04 PM
Thanks so much for all the above the 1 u told about cleaning poop is so trur for i myself have done this for many yrs. & still do as my son age 20 & statement made about a child who eats certain foods well my son eats any thing & has for many yrs. now as to when he was much younger there was only few he would eat so now he as said eats any food & i,m still cleaning the poop which is why i believe i had to put him on home-bound yrs. ag beacuse even tho i sent clothes so he could be changed cleaned ect. the school didn,t want to deal with it as i do every day.
Posted by: Linda | August 26, 2009 at 09:07 AM
You called it the beast! Referring back to Revalations? Maybe autism is the mark of the beast on the fore head! When the Bible refers to marks on the forehead - some people interpet that meaning brain disorders. So autism is the mark of the beast.
Posted by: Benedetta Stilwell | August 26, 2009 at 08:47 AM
Autism is a serious one. It is a neurological development disorder for which there is no cure. Children with autism may have discrepancy in behavioural, communication and social interaction skills. Anxiety and depression also set in with these sufferers. The solution is early diagnosis which is difficult. Training for teachers and parents, autism specific child care centres and playgroups is the key step towards tackling this problem.
Posted by: Autism symptoms | August 26, 2009 at 07:22 AM
It is unlikely that there will ever be revolution inside the beast. Its dogma and indoctrination from every direction. The beast encompasses all the medical journals, trade associations, government/pharma/insurance, FDA/NIH/CDC, media, academia, research, etc. All those who have challenged the beast, pay for it with the end of their carers.
Those who see the size and scope of the beast will just leave as oppose to beating their head against an immovable object.
Its more likely that the "unwashed masses" will just move to those who provide true health care, and the institutions that comprise the beast will just wither and die.
Posted by: michael framson | August 26, 2009 at 01:40 AM
You are so right, Anne. It's so much more important for people to make up easy answers than to admit when they honestly don't know things? After all, in the end, isn't dishonesty the best medicine?
Posted by: Jordan | August 26, 2009 at 01:06 AM
I suppose I am dreaming when I smell, hear and see the explosion in my bathrooms, and that they hae nothing to do with seizures within a day of...jeez....
Posted by: Kathy Blanco | August 26, 2009 at 12:31 AM
Beween age 2 and 3, my son had nightly coughing fits, the end of which resulted in him throwing up. The doctors, of course, said it was normal (!) and that he would get over it. What else could/would they say? He then was diagnoised at age 4 with autism and at age 4 1/2 we started him on B6. When we (yes we, not his doctor) finally realized that his throwing up problems at age 2-3 were related to his gut, we immediately sought treatment from a DAN doctor, who fixed the problem once and for all. Gastrointestinal problems go hand in hand with the autism illness. The denial is just like the tobacco companies denying the link between cancer and their products. It all comes down to money and those who make money off our children would lose that money if the truth came out.
Posted by: Erich Hans | August 25, 2009 at 09:10 PM
Good work, Anne. This sort of response needs to keep coming from the autism community to studies that the PTB come up with. They will do all they can to deflect awareness from the elephant in the room.
That awareness, and deflection, includes the facts of what 'they' have been putting in vaccines for years. These ingredients - in a product designed to elicit an inflammatory response from the body - include many food proteins, and especially - in terms of dietary usage - wheat and dairy proteins. As more and more laypersons discover these facts for themselves (thanks be to the democratic nature of the internet), the PTB have to work overtime to suppress their cries of outrage, as they now understand why their kids have such gut problems. If there are, really, no gut problems worth mentioning, the public can just go back to sleep....and be good little sheep.
This is an appalling story, in the history of medicine. It will out. The truth will always out. But in the meantime, parents have to look out for their own families, and not let their kids be sacrificed to the herd immunity philosophy & mentality, which has so long - too long - covered a multitude of sins of omission and commission.
I wait for the day when enough persons in medicine realise what has been going on - that something terrible has been going on, IN THEIR NAME - and do their homework, and accomplish a revolution from within the beast; thus bringing the profession of medicine back into the fold of an honourable profession that it deserves, from its roots in the philosophy of first, doing no harm.
Posted by: Stan | August 25, 2009 at 06:24 PM
Anne, the only thing that makes sense is that they know what causes autism and they do not want to admit it because any reasonable group of professionals would be falling over themselves trying to find answers if faced with an epidemic of this magnitude!!!!!!
Posted by: Richard | August 25, 2009 at 03:53 PM
I'm with you. . .I, too, just didn't have much to say our pediatrician after a while about the sleep problems, diarrhea, etc.
This will serve to further discourage parents from doing dietary intervention--and children will suffer because of that.
Posted by: Terri Lewis | August 25, 2009 at 03:49 PM
What does Autism and Tobacco Science have in common?
There has been a history of publishing studies, especially epidemiological studies, that are fundamentally in error and methodologically flawed. Sometimes journals receive a great deal of encouragement (that is the best way to say this) to publish these studies even if they are not worth using as the TP that parents of children on the spectrum have to use to help deal with all the bowel problems that these worthless studies say they don't have.
ASD children don't have bowel problems and tobacco doesn't cause cancer... what is all the fuss now?
Posted by: K Paul Stoller MD FACHM | August 25, 2009 at 02:37 PM
Thanks for another piece of real journalism, Anne.
It is almost laughable the lengths some of these studies are going to "show further proof" that there is no link between vaccinations, gastrointestinal dysfunction and autism. Almost laughable, except that my daughter is a victim of the over vaccination era.
She was a healthy normally developing baby until about 12-15 months when she started getting sick all of the time with severe gastrointestinal pain and ear infections. At 4 we decided to go against everything every medical doctor had told us and try the GFCF diet and put her under the care of a Defeat Autism Now Doctor. And what do you know.....she felt better in a very short time.
She is now six years old and I can't even begin to describe how much healthier and alert she is than when we started almost 2 years ago. Has she recovered from autism....no. However, we have hope that she will.
God forbid we have hope, I know. It seems that these studies are so quick to try to kill any hope a parent my be given for taking control of their child's health. But that is really the only thing we can do is help our kids improve and be our proof and our science if you will that something has gone terribly wrong with the over vaccination of our children.
The saddest think about these reports is that parents of newly diagnosed children are going to believe them and sit in that ugly place of hopelessness we were in just 2 years ago.
After all, that's way easier to do than admit that we live in a world where the pharmaceutical company's bottom line is more important than our children's life line.
Posted by: CJ, mother of LIly | August 25, 2009 at 01:47 PM
Who was the GI doc that spoke at the Maine conference? He showed a picture of as sweet little boy trying to play and soemone had finally wrapped a towel around him and he was standing on a piece of plastic. That picture says it all, put that picture right beside these studies and see what the world will choose to believe!
Posted by: Benedetta Stilwell | August 25, 2009 at 01:07 PM
the studies don't account for the 'duration' of bowel problems? how can this be? Does this mean that a a neurotypical kid with 1 bout of short-lived diarrhea (24 hours) is considered the same thing as and ASD child who, like my son, had diarrhea for over a month at one point? These two things are 'equal' in their 'study'?
So easy in this day and age to create meaningless, dazzling headlines with nothing but fluff.
Posted by: Sorsha | August 25, 2009 at 12:48 PM
Thank you for this article, Anne.
In a commentary on the Mayo Clinic study, published in the same issue of Pediatrics, the authors point out among the limitations that "the racial and ethnic make-up of Olmstead County make it nongeneralizable", but that is exactly what these doctors are doing...saying this one study conclusively shows there is no link.
I have to question the results, also, because it looked back at medical records over an 18 year period--there was no parent or patient interview conducted. How many parents (myself included) stopped telling the pediatrician about their child's diarrhea and constipation after the doctor ignored their concerns? And with many children with autism who are unable to communicate well, isn't there the likely possibility of an underreporting of abdominal discomfort as reported by the patient on the medical record? Personally, when my own children woke up screaming in the middle of the night from stomach pain, I had no idea at the time what was going on, and they didn't have the communication skills to tell me. Everyone told me "oh they are just having nightmares." It wasn't until we changed their diet to GFCF that they started sleeping through the night, and incidental infractions of milk, followed by night screaming helped me determine what the problem was.
It makes me angry and sad when I think about all the children and families that won't try to treat the stomach issues and won't be able to see the same benefits that we have because of these irresponsible reports. The title of the Today show segment was "Study pooh-poohs autism-stomach link"--come clean up the amount of "pooh-pooh" I have had to clean up over the years, and they wouldn't be making light of a problem that is so real to so many parents.
Posted by: Becky | August 25, 2009 at 12:01 PM
Thank you Anne. This is an excellent summary. They can deny it all they want, but it won't change what we as parents see every day in our children.
Posted by: Theresa Cedillo | August 25, 2009 at 12:01 PM
This video sums up the state of the world... Blame it on the Student with Autism, the Aide the admin or even the low blood sugar... Lets look everywhere but into the avoiding eyes of those dealing w Autism. I have come to the conclusion they are not avoiding us... We are avoiding them....
Posted by: Tanners Dad | August 25, 2009 at 09:26 AM
Thank you Anne.
Just to document an interesting feature of this episode. The Emond paper was published on-line as early as the 26 March, while the hard journal publication (officially 1 July) was probably late June - so it is not easily explicable why Emond's Reuters interview was on 22 July unless it was timed to co-incide with the Mayo Clinic/Pediatrics publication (NYT article 27 July). This smacks of politics.
I feel I should also elucidate another matter. I told Ginger Taylor (from memory) that I had warned Chris Fisher about Emond's JCVI membership - having checked my emails I now find that though I did express concern about him to Chris (with regard to ALSPAC) I had not apparently realised at the time that he was on the JCVI.
There is some kind of judgemental imbalance comparing data collected retrospectively many years after the event, and sick children being examined by expert paediatric gastro-enterologists, although the Emond paper did detect a quite marked variations between the autistic group and the controls at 30 and 42 months.
By this time I would also suggest that a significant confounder would be the disaffection of parents concerned about GI problems or vaccine damage with the ALSPAC project, and note once again that they detected only 60 ASD cases in 10,000 as against Baron-Cohen's recent 157.
Posted by: John Stone | August 25, 2009 at 07:35 AM