The "Green Our Vaccines" Initiative for Autism
Alison Singer Feeds the Hungry Lie

Olmsted on Autism: All Hail the New Normal!

New normal By Dan Olmsted



 
The signs have been emerging for a while now – the idea that people with autism are just differently abled, maybe socially awkward but a wonderful raindow of diversity rather than a wounded spectrum of damage; reports claiming the autism rate among adults is 1 in 100, the better to make it "old news” when the latest CDC data arrive; dismissal of the idea that anyone with autism can in any sense “recover” when diets are changed or metals are chelated; the furious attack on people who talk about anything but genes and ABA as denialists, purveyors of “junk science,” liars and frauds who endanger children -- a deadly serious charge.
 
It’s the New Normal.
 
You can see it in little things, like the Washington Post article I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, in which the reporter asked the authors of a new book about babies, “Sensory processing issues seem to be so common now. Do most children grow out of them or should parents be more proactive about getting their kids therapy?” The experts’ reassuring answer: “A lot of people don’t really realize that we all have sensory sensitivities.” And a few pages away, another “expert” from Johns Hopkins assures readers that the mercury in the flu shot has been proven safe.
 
I was surprised by the strong response to that piece, and by the number of commenters who articulated this “new normal” idea:
 
-- From Paul Shapiro: “If things continue at the present rate, in twenty or so years, most children will be on the spectrum, so being on the spectrum will be the new normal.
Children that we consider normal today, will be the oddity. I guess at that time the tables will have turned, the FDA, CDC and society at large will be searching for what causes these formally considered normal kids to act so odd. Huh!
Where did I go wrong? Please help me?”
 
-- From jen: “somebody needs to film what's going on in the schools. It's crazy! The new normal is not normal.
 Remember the scene in Titanic, when Rose, after the Titanic has sunk, tries weakly to blow the whistle and she gets louder each time, and finally, a rescue boat hears her blow the whistle. I wish the rescue boat would hear us.”
 
-- From Deutsche Demokratische Republik, 1985: We can now consider ourselves, at least organized-medicine-wise, to be living in some Eastern Block country regarding the blatant rewriting of history. Hey, but as long as the typeset is nice...
None of this stuff was common when I was a kid -- an epidemiological scan of past medical records and US Census data and a poll would easily establish this fact. The problem is, as you're pointing out, that any such findings would be Bowdlerized in the mainstream press.”
 
I love that “Deutsche” moniker, because the degree to which state-sanctioned Correct Speech is taking hold is a big part of the whole picture. I was reading a piece in The New Yorker about famine in North Korea. What famine? According to the state-run news agency: “All people live a happy life without any worries about food in our land. The state supplies the people with food at a cheap price next to nothing so that people do not know how much rice costs. This is the reality of the northern half of Korea.”
 
Michael Specter’s new book “Denialism,” a big mess that I wrote about recently, captures this reality. Specter is a former New York Times and Washington Post reporter who is now a staff writer for The New Yorker – in short, the pedigree every journalist would die for. And he has had it, simply had it with the know-nothing nonsense being spewed by fringe outlets like Age of Autism, which he incorrectly (nothing new there!) calls “anti-vaccine” (we are not anti-vaccine; we are anti-autism).
 
“Denialism comes in many forms, and they often overlap,” Specter writes. “Denialists draw direct relationships where none exist – between childhood vaccinations, for example, and the rising incidence of diseases like diabetes, asthma, and autism.”
 
Yes, denialism comes in many forms – and using the vaccine-mercury-autism debate as a mere “for example” of wacky thinking is, well, an example. It says something about how far we have to go when we’re relegated to mere chapters in books pushing a much larger point about the decline of scientific rationalism and respect for duly constituted authority.
 
Even so, it may seem extreme – “hysterical,” to use a word that people toss at us – to say that anything about autism could ever become normal. Yet there is historical precedent. Mark Blaxill and I, in working on our book about the natural history of autism, came across a fascinating and disturbing 19th century parallel – the normalization of schizophrenia.
 
This has been so effective that you may not even know (I didn't, despite the presence of the illness in my family) that there is a convincing argument for the fact that schizophrenia is a relatively new disease, at least in its current and widespread incarnation, triggered (like autism) by environmental factors in vulnerable individuals. A masterful book called “The Invisible Plague,” by E. Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller, shows exactly how this normalization happened. They write:
 
“Living amid an ongoing epidemic that nobody notices is surreal. It is like viewing a mighty river that has risen slowly over two centuries, imperceptibly claiming the surrounding land, millimeter by millimeter … Humans adapt remarkably well to a disaster as long as the disaster occurs over a long period of time.”

So yes, we can get used to anything, even autism and the idea it has been around forever and it’s not so bad after all. It’s the new normal. Watch what you say.  

PEOPLE OF AMERICA, LISTEN TO DEAR LEADER: DO NOT BELIEVE (join) THOSE WHO CLAIM AUTISM (the) IS RISING BECAUSE SOMETHING EVIL IN THE ENVIRONMENT (rebel) AND MAYBE IN UNTESTED BABY SHOTS IS (alliance) HURTING OUR CHILDREN IN LARGE NUMBERS! (!)

--
 
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism

Comments

MinorityView

Just another odd bit that jumped out at me...from "The Morningstar Baby Boomer Retirement Guide":

"...I will say that not one of my clients' retirements looked the way they thought it was going to look. They lived longer than they thought, they lived shorter...One thing that we've been experiencing a lot lately is one healthy spouse and another spouse has Alzheimer's or ALS or something along those lines. That changes everything for everyone."

New normal for the elderly? Anything to do with the increase in recommended vaccinations for adults? Besides the flu shot, they are also pushing the new adult DTap and the vaccine for shingles (which is, of course, needed because of the chickenpox vaccine).

bensmyson

"You know what's interesting about cancer? Doctors will actually try to treat it. Too bad we can't say the same about autism."


And insurance covers it.

The Addams Family

My nieces and nephews:

Nephew: seizure disorder, on meds as youngster

Nephew: seizure disorder, on meds, strabismus, operation, undescended testicle, operation, GI problems, allergic to wheat and dairy, untreated in home for lack of convenience

Nephew: Obese, incessant ear infections as child, GI problems, was on Nutramagen formula, tonsils out, adnoids out, ear tubes, frenulum clipped in mouth

Nephew: Late talker, unexplained fainting (syncope)

Niece: Obese, ear infections, food allergies, metabolic disorder before age 10, on ADHD and anxiety meds

Niece: GI problems

Anonymous Special Ed Teacher

"A quick analysis of any American high school's medical records for the last 10 years would put this issue to rest once and for all if people really, truly were interested in seeing the truth. All they have to do is look at the health issues of children born in 1985 and compare them to those born in 1995. Game over."

"1991. Everything changed in 1991."

Yes- it's true. The thimerosal generation (MMR, too) has landed in high school. I see it first hand. In the class of 2012, students who have a learning disability, 1/3 or more have asthma. What is it in the general ed population?

Jessica

"People are always so quick to whine about how terrible Autism is...Think about it the next time all of you are busy whining and complaining about the little things in life."

Thanks to the moderators for letting comments like this through from time to time, just because everyone truly needs to see such garbage and how insanely disrespectful, cowardly and cruel people are.

Maybe it's the definition of "little things." Let us think about these "little things." How about a 15 year old in diapers? How about a 4 year old that beats himself in the face so badly doctors have to put him into a drug-induced coma? How about about seizures that KILL some children with ASD? How about an 8 year old whose family must put him into state care because they are afraid he will kill his baby sister? How about a two year old wearing a hockey helmet because she hits her ears so hard they are afraid she is self-inducing deafness? How about the recent killing of a parent by her ASD child who no doubtedly, did not understand what he was doing?

You know what's interesting about cancer? Doctors will actually try to treat it. Too bad we can't say the same about autism. But there I go, whining again.


Kristina

Out of the six kids under 8 years that I know on our street, 2 have autism, 2 have sensory processing disorder, and 1 has a speech delay, but I don't think she has a diagnosis.

I was talking to the mother of the kids with sensory processing disorder, and she told me the occupational therapist told her, "Everybody has sensory processing disorders. It's just a matter of how it affects your life."

The dad of the one kid without any problems thinks it is because of his superior parenting. When really, I know it is just because his kid has good detoxing genes, because I know he is given all the same vaccines, etc. as everybody else.

My kids don't have any problems because they are unvaccinated, and they were properly treated for Lyme disease. Before I found out they were born with Lyme disease, they never once had any medication, prescription or over the counter.

Stagmom

Tell that to Elias Tembenis, who died 2 years ago yesterday. Tell that to the pretty girl in Maine who drowned two years ago. Or to the children choked to death by ill-equipped zookeepers. Or to the pretty child whose physician mother smothered her with a plastic bag. Or the boy in the UK whose father shot him (and then himself) in the head last month. Autism kills as surely as liquor kills. It's not cancer - nope. But if you put my girls on a busy road and left them there, they would DIE as a result of their autism. Don't split hairs with us. Our children are in danger every minute they are out of our sight. Even as adults.

bensmyson

"Autism will never kill you."

Tell that to John Travolta.

Do you have any idea what the life expectancy is for a person that has been diagnosed with autism? You think it's 75? More? Less? Do we know for sure?

JenB

According to NVIC the CDC recommended HIB for children at 18 months in 1988.

Then the CDC recommended universal HIB and HepB vaccinations for infants in January 1991 (I'm assuming at about the current timeline with HIB beginning at 2 months and HebB at birth).

http://www.nvic.org/Myths-and-Facts.aspx

Anonymous Teacher

1991
1991
1991

This is the year everything changed. An easy comparison of health outcomes, Autism excluded, will show this conclusively.

I know this because of the school where I teach. Listings of student's health issues are given to teachers every year.

Students born in September 1990- August 1991 started to show dramatic health differences as freshman in 2005-2006. That year, over 1/3 of their class, approximately 100 out of 300 students, was on the health list for Ashtma, Allergies, medicated ADHD, or Diabetes, most of it allergy related.

The class of 2006 however, born in Sept 1987-Aug 1988 had 12 students on the list (also a class of near 300), a pregnancy and clubbed foot included.

The class of 2007, born in Sep 1988-Aug 1989 saw a slight increase in allergies, and the class of 2008, born in Sep 1989-Aug 1990 saw an even greater spike in allergies, even some medicated ADHD. But again, it wasn't until the class of 2009 that we saw the numbers explode.

These are medical diagnoses, not psychological diagnoses, indisputable evidence that something MEDICALLY happened between that time period. To suggest parents (or the school) knew their freshmen had medical issues and not their seniors is absurd.

Any high school or elementary school can conclusively show the same trend. This is not unique to our school. The trend of needing more special services and more special ed teachers also follows this time period exactly. It was the mid to late 1990's when elementary schools started seeing the need for these teachers increase dramatically, and it wasn't until 4-5 years ago we started seeing it in the high schools.

A quick analysis of any American high school's medical records for the last 10 years would put this issue to rest once and for all if people really, truly were interested in seeing the truth. All they have to do is look at the health issues of children born in 1985 and compare them to those born in 1995. Game over.

No one is imagining this. It is 100% provable this very moment.

1991. Everything changed in 1991.

s0_y0u_kn0w

Autism will never kill you.

There are diseases out there that WILL kill children and that's far worse.

And before someone says, "Obviously, you don't have a child with Autism" let me assure you that I certainly do.

It may have been a surprise to hear he had Autism when he was a toddler, but I can tel you it was far more devastating to hear 2 years ago that he has a life threatening disease that hasn't gone into remission (we're out of options at this point with only hope left to sustain us).

People are always so quick to whine about how terrible Autism is and should subscribe to this old saying, "I use to complain I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet."

Well, Autism is having no shoes but a life threatening disease that kills a child is having no feet. Think about it the next time all of you are busy whining and complaining about the little things in life.

Michelle Hatfield

A quick thought popped into my head while reading this article: I worry about our future, our kids future and wonder what our society will be like in 30-40 yrs from now. If most people will eventually be "on the spectrum" then who will take care of whom?

maggie

My neighbor's teenage son was out mowing his lawn yesterday. My husband happened to be outside and noticed that he muttered to himself and threw his hands up randomly while mowing the lawn. He came in the house to tell me and I said "oh yeah, they all do that now. This is what passes for normal now."

bensmyson

With my Sunday School upbringing and my own sense of community and humanity to imagine anyone being insensitive to the well-being of others is hard. Too hard perhaps for me to believe. But then I've been watching the History Channel the past day or two and well.... there was Hitler and the millions that followed and admired him.

So I guess there is some sort of "normal" that isn't my normal, that isn't your normal, but it may be the new "normal" the frog in us is getting used to, little by little, inch by inch.

I can't, I refuse to believe in any such conspiracy anymore than I can believe little green men are spying on us in UFO's. But I will say this about that, if someone knocked on my front door and said there was a UFO parked in my backyard Id stop what I was doing and go take a look...even though it doesn't exist, it's not possible, I don't believe in it.

Benedetta

benmyson;
I have often wondered in the darkest of nights if perhaps it is a population control ploy?

Terri Lewis

Angie,

So--6 out of 22 girls were *not* on medication?

Let's see: Multiply that by the experiences of about a million other people and. . .

You still get people who deny that there's a problem! Even people who have multiple affected children, and see problems in virtually every kid in the neighborhood ("sensory processing problems are so common in kids these days").

Time to forget it and go for a good, stiff drink.

Terri Lewis

Bensmyson,

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it morally despicable to think of population control as a good thing--you know, poisoning those most easily poisoned, and letting them die out--I mean, is that just me?

". . .the next 100 years will be tough, but we will come out much better in the long run."

Well--not really.

Unless you consider "better in the long run" to mean "those who survive and have no moral qualms about hurting others will still be alive and reproducing" and "the best and the brightest will be poisoned into oblivion."

Jessica

"...Autism is what happened to them. And it is also who they are...."

I can respectfully disagree with this. Autism is not my son. It's not how God made him. He was brain damaged by man-made vaccines and was not "destined" or "intended" to be autistic.

I can easily agree that one can purpose to "defeat" the "bad" parts of autism and still keep the wonderful quirky, eccentric mannerisms that so commonly define these children. You can be on the spectrum and not ill. Thing is, with some of these kids, when you heal their bodies you sometimes find out that their "quirky" behaviors were not that at all, and were outward expressions of being sick.

It seems like there are so many types of autism - truly a spectrum. If I was the parent of a severely affected child, you can't possibly ask me to just accept my child "as-is" and not want to defeat his debilitating, painful condition - OR worse, be offended when I say I am anti-autism. My experience may be nothing like yours at all.

bensmyson

I had a conversation few months ago with a sociologist....

He told me all these changes are a good thing for the species. That the next 100 years will be tough but we will come out much better in the long run. Apparently there is some scholarly discussions taking place about population control.

I guess what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

It's amazing how true all this may end up being.

“Living amid an ongoing epidemic that nobody notices is surreal. It is like viewing a mighty river that has risen slowly over two centuries, imperceptibly claiming the surrounding land, millimeter by millimeter … Humans adapt remarkably well to a disaster as long as the disaster occurs over a long period of time.”

Thanks Dan!

Benedetta

Oh to funny angie!
AND so very true!
Cuts to the bottom line don't it!
Okay so the IACC has decided not to do their job, fine!
We are America, we are a creative, free people and we will go around them like we have been doing for the last 250 years.

But DAD BURN! Do we still have to pay these guys!

Gatogorra

Michael Framson-- thanks. More reading for me too!

Anne Dachel

If only autism were just Asperger's--people just a little socially inept and struggling. Maybe then we could accept that we just didn't understand their differences but now we do because there's all this awareness everywhere. Problem is autism also includes countless children who don't talk, are teenagers in diapers,are ones who beat holes in walls and wander off. They're people who have huge meltdowns and are a danger to themselves and to others.
Pretending that all of this is just an alternative lifestyle makes me think we're seeing the end of civilization as we know it.
Anne Dachel
Media

N

My thoughts range from "they are evening the playing field of life for our kids. Don't stop until they are all whacked away. or the other thought is replaying the Wizard of Oz. Never mind that man behind the screen. Only pay attention to me. I am the Great Oz. autism is 1-91; schizophrenia is 1-7 Get this the average age of onset is 17-19 for boys and 19-22 for girls. If you miss that boat I'm sure you'll end up with something else.

curcuma

Hello
This is a very good post about autism and its really interesting to read it.I also agree with some of your points about autism.Thank you very much for this post.

Paul Shapiro

Hey Dan, I am not going to let the incompetence of the people of the CDC, FDA, Paul Offit, the Managers of the Vaccine Companies slide out from the RESPONSIBILITY
of damaging hundreds of thousands of children (making them autistic) and their families, around our world, by defining The
"THE NEW NORMAL"

I WILL NEVER FORGET!

I want to hang these Ba$tards by their thumbs!!!!

Have a pleasant Day! Paul Shapiro

michael framson

Gatogorra, What a great informative post! More to read. The book which I have yet to read, but a little familiar with is "Our Stolen Futures". The parallels seem apparent.

There's a chapter on "Defending Ourselves" and to me, Age of Autism and all the parents involved, is about defending ourselves from reckless, dangerous policies and people, whether the CDC, Merck, DuPont, Monsanto...whatever. These are the people and corporations who have thrown all caution to the wind for their power, profits, prestige, and pensions.

If we are truly to recover our children's stolen futures, it is these entities that need to be the dead and dieing.

Roger Kulp

re:Pink Disease

Some of you may know,I am 49 years old,and I have an autism diagnosis other than Asperger's.This makes me a little too young for Pink Disease,and way too old for the MMR vaccine.Some of you may also be aware I am seeing a DAN! pediatrician.Most DAN!s have a couple of adults on the spectrum in their patient load.A couple of months ago,I had a couple of dozen blood and urine tests done,so many they had to be done over a two day period.One of these tests was for porphyrins.The whole seven item panel.My hexacarboxyl was a high normal,and every other porphyrin was three to four times normal.This was so high they restested it again,same result.

This is somebody coming in cold,who had never had chelation, but did have an autism diagnosis.Once I learned what these results meant,it was pretty scary.

I was also found to have an elevated megaloblastic anemia panel, and to be heterozygotic for both the C677T and A1298C COMT*2 polymorphism,which makes you more prone to environmental neurological damage.

http://www.metametrix.com/pdfs/documents/porphyrins_white_paper.pdf

http://www.center4autism.org/therapyMETH.asp

Note the first article has diagrams of the mitochondrial damage, which I also have.

If got mercury,it was probably in the womb,from my mother's dental fillings.Something we didn't know when I was born,but we know can happen now.We also know mercury can build up in the body,if there is no attempt made to get rid of it.

My point is it's not just "our kids".This has been going on for 70,80,90 years.The children in Kanner's original study were probably ALL high in mercury.

I would also like to challenge any neurodiversity blogger,or activist,who is either on the spectrum,or has children who are,to have these tests done on themselves or their children.

Kathleen

If I may chime in, I would like to only defeat the "bad" parts of Autism. I try to teach Aspie Pride to my kids. But I am sure that if we can alleviate the seizures, the self-injury and the constant illnesses, they will still be Aspies. Unique, interesting, brilliant. Just not as sick.

Autism is what happened to them. And it is also who they are.

angie

My husband and I were just discussing this the other night in regards to our boys being gluten free and casien free. My husband said "when they go to college, I hope that they will be able to get some of these foods there" I laughed and said that there will be so many kids on the spectrum by then that GFCF could become the norm. I guess being in the gluten/dairy section of the cafeteria would be like being in the smoker section today lol NUTS! My NT daughter is the only one at her lunch table without an IEP. Like JenB, we had a slumber party last week with 22 girls-six of whom were not on medication!!!I've met moms at our IU that have told me that my ASD son has better language skills than their kid that supposingly isn't on the spectrum and not there for speech??? I have no doubt that this is becoming the new norm. I think it will be normal for kids to need an array of support services and therapies and the answer will be that they've always needed them. More dependency on the people who just keep doing us wrong and more acceptance of the lies that things have always been that way. If we don't remain alert we could easily forget what we have been fighting for on exchange for these services over time. Reminds me of this thing I read not long ago...

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without
instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two
people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do
time studies.

Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the
tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and
hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports..

Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So They
created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer,
Then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"
So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an
Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal
Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one
Year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost."

So they laid off the night watchman.

Roger Kulp

Autism as the new "normal" ?
Sounds like the goal of neurodiversity to me.

Kathy Blanco

I had a major appointment, at our teaching university hospital in portland OHSU. I was awaiting results on a gene microarray on our family. They THOUGHT that an autism gene was found, but it wasn't quite on that gene...and so, it was a subnormal gene, or that even people with out autism might have it....right....they kept on saying we know this is genetic for your family, we just don't have the science yet...right....my reply to them was a classic...perhaps that's because we are doing something horribly new and wrong to these children, that our genes cannot take?

As I was waiting for the doctor, I noted that many autistics were at the offices that day. I particularly overheard a parent in the next room describe the slow ascent into autism. She mentioned vaccines. They quickly changed the subject. Poor mom...she is going to have to learn like me, that doctors don't want to talk about it, because they know there is something up and truth to the argument. I noted that mom saying something about terrible diahrreah, shaking and trembling, not sleeping at night...it brought me back...to that awful day of ifammy in my own life when they told me my son had autism. The second worse, when my daughter followed suit.

I am afraid, that we are getting use to having children with subnormal IQ, inability to cope with stimuli, autism, behavioral disorders, allergies, cancers in the brain and bones, asthma, immune dysfunction, obesity, you name it...it is the new norm....and an awful trend. Have we become desensitized by virtue of acceptible loss mindsets? And or, that this or that side effect (from death, to coma, to analphyaxis), is something we must accept when we take in our bodies, modern day drugs? I am sorry, but, I really don't understand our world anymore...it's taking a toll on all our children...and now, we will know more than one child on the street with autism, more than one child with autism in a family (I talked to a dad last night with five on the spectrum), and so on. This, is acceptible?

nhokkanen

And the lowlights keep getting lower... now Chris Mooney at Discover is likening vaccine refusal to "decadence." Wrongly overthinking the issue equals seven years of college down the drain. Whatever happened to simply investigating consumers' product safety concerns?

Cynthia Cournoyer

If one is anti-autism, and one believes autism may have been caused by a vaccine, would one therefore necessarily be anti-vaccine? When one endeavors to help an autistic child with bio-medical interventions, does one necessarily stop vaccinating? If one chooses not to vaccinate because of perceived danger, does that not necessarily make one "anti-vaccine?" If we embrace the label, "anti-vaccine" wouldn't we also necessarily reduce the frequency of autism?
Wanting To Know.

Gatogorra

By the way, Dan, this was inspired.

PEOPLE OF AMERICA, LISTEN TO DEAR LEADER: DO NOT BELIEVE (join) THOSE WHO CLAIM AUTISM (the) IS RISING BECAUSE SOMETHING EVIL IN THE ENVIRONMENT (rebel) AND MAYBE IN UNTESTED BABY SHOTS IS (alliance) HURTING OUR CHILDREN IN LARGE NUMBERS! (!)

How long until we're at that exact point-- tagging dissent on walls and vandalizing government slogans like we're in some South American military junta? Oh, never mind.

JenB

We have homeschool for several years prior to this, but now my daughter, born in 1995 (I believe the year compliance with birth HepB vax really kicked in.), comes home from her freshmen high school classes with tales of teachers yelling at (or perhaps sternly lecturing) the entire class about the need to be performing better in their work, how as a class they are not meeted the expected level of performance. These are typical high school students in both standard and college prep classes.

I've been wondering if this is typical of the past or something else that might become part of the "new normal."

Garbo

I fear that the Orwellian slide into the new normal is going to happen eventually. My friend hosted a birthday party for her daughter recently, and her visiting father-in-law was shocked at the litany of guests' food allergies that she had to work around in planning the menu. He wasn't quite sure whether it was maternal overprotectiveness or real medical issues, but he was darned certain those allergies didn't exist in his day. Once his generation dies, and then ours after it, who is even going to remember that having to carry an epi pen and your own food everywhere you go isn't normal?

Theodore M. Van Oosbree

Aw, shucks, I might as well admit it - I am objectively anti-vaccine and denialist. I basckslid into denialism and anti-vaccinationism after my three sons were diagnosed (respectively) with ADHD, autism and autism. The beneficiaries of my benighted attitude have been my beautiful (and normal!) daughters who have never been vaccinated (not even against the dreaded H1N1 virus!).

Sue

An enlightening moment for me as a young biologist was when I went on a field trip with a professor who encouraged students to look at the surrounding environments we visited and ask "why" does this environment look like this? Why are these plants the dominant species here? Did this place always look like this? What did it look like 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 200 years ago?

Through those questions, and discovering the real answers, gradually came the awareness of how humans have drastically changed nearly all the landscapes and ecosystems of North America. Even places that appear wild and untouched are in reality quite different than they might have been had humans not clearcut the forest 100-200 years ago, or introduced certain plants, or caused the extinction of a particular animal.

In general, I think most people think like I did before that revelation. They look around and think the wild to semi-wild landscapes around them have always looked just as they do now. If a species of bird or mammal was never there in their experience, then they don't miss its' presence. If the landscape is dominated by a particular plant (whether it is foxtail grass, creosote bush, water hyacinth, or poison ivy), then most just think that that plant was always there and a dominant species. If the water in the river is brown and turbid, or green with algae, most folks just assume, without really thinking, that this is how the river has always looked.

I don't remember who tells the story, nor do I know if it is even accurate, but some environmental activist type (Lester Brown, perhaps?) once compared environmental destruction to what happens to a frog in a pot of water, writing that if you drop a frog in a pot of hot water, it will immediately jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and just gradually increase the temperature, the frog won't notice, never responds to the growing discomfort, and will ultimately die of the heat.

If true, it is a good analogy for what is happening to humans--from a growing overload of environmental toxins, declining food quality, and excessive antibiotics/vaccination/medication.

I have been around just long enough to say, NO!, kids have not always had so many health, behavior, and learning problems as today. My kids will have different memories--they will recall their classes where some kids acted strangely, where several kids needed special help to learn to read or do math, where several had inhalers, where some had severe food allergies, and where many had to go to the school nurse to get "medicines" to help them sit still and behave.

I wish my mother could better recall what kids were like when she was young, and/or that there had been more mothers who might have written about the realities of raising kids 100 or 200, or even 500 years ago. I strongly suspect that there may once have been a time when the "terrible twos" were not normal, and when babies weren't constantly sick and were much more alert, interactive and "precocious" than most are today.

I also remember a time when grandparents and great aunts and uncles didn't all suffer senile dementia. Strangely almost all my elder relatives lived into their late 80's and even 90's with their intelligence intact. My own father, however, suffered Alzheimer's, and there is hardly a person I know who doesn't have at least one senior relative with dementia. Hmmm.

The times, they are a changin'. When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?

Gatogorra

Thank you, Dan. I'm personally terrified just by the fact that history is being rewritten and then chilled right to the bone over *what* is being rewritten. If you think about it, this really is phase 1 (or perhaps 2 or 3) of species extinction and humanity is blundering right off the cliff.

It's also like those responsible are saying "Apres moi, le deluge". They'll enjoy the orgy or profits from both making and marketing to the epidemic now and don't seem to care what kind of world their grandchildren or great-grandchildren will be living in or whether their future generations will be spinning in circles in institutions. Either they're jealous of their own offspring outliving them or they have an insane religious faith in this genetic "Eloi" view that they and theirs could never be tainted.

I haven't read Torrey's "The Invisible Plague" but I know about his 1983 book, "Surviving Schizophrenia" which was a bit of a drug promotion manual. Torrey seems to believe the old neuroleptics were "safe and well tolerated" even though industry itself did an about face and used typical neuroleptics as the fall guy-- "suddenly" discovering all the horrors, dangers and side effects of these drugs once "atypicals" began to be marketed and needed a negative comparison in order for the new drugs to appear "positive" (in the end, it turns out that there's little clinical difference between first and second gen antipsychotics).

I don't know if any of Torrey's views had changed in the interim. The only thing I know about "The Invisible Plague" is that it admits to a rise but doesn't supply solid theory about why. I would recommend Robert Whitaker's "Mad in America" which includes a discussion of encephalitis lethargica (a possible viral cause of schizophrenia) and takes the equation a few steps further. Whitaker focuses on the motive for allowing the epidemic of mental illness to snowball-- drug profits and the rising status and power of psychiatry and pharma.

Whitaker includes some pretty fascinating data from the WHO schizophrenia studies which found that recovery rates from schizophrenia are consistently three times higher in underdeveloped countries (while general rates of schizophrenia are lower) which can't afford to drug sczhizophrenics. It seems that schizophrenia has better outcomes if one does absolutely nothing to help than if modern medical gold standard of treatment is employed.

Whitaker doesn't discuss autism (though he does discuss the silent lead poisoning epidemic), but anyone familiar with biomed could just imagine how much better outcomes would be while doing nothing...but biomed. What's great about the book is that making these extrapolations seems natural and the positive models could be extended to autism.

Loren Mosher (a well meaning but old school reactionary against genetics theory, unfortunately speculated that schizophrenia was extreme PTSD), former head of the NIMH's schizophrenia research, replicated this effect by starting the Soteria project-- drug free residential treatment centers for the most severe cases of schizophrenia. The relapse rate for Soteria "graduates"-- data which was gathered by independent researchers-- was the lowest in American medical history-- also precisely three times lower than is found in any developed country which typically use drug therapies as the first line of treatment. Mosher's results were so outrageously successful that the NIMH, of course, withdrew funding and spent the next ten years harassing and smearing Mosher and the project, despite the fact that other independent researchers replicated the results two more times after the Soteria project was permanently shut down.

My point is that not only the fact that the epidemic of autism is being allowed to spin out of control but the *reasons* for allowing it to continue have many historical parallels. What vaccine injury science provides as far as positive solutions and-- God forbid-- prevention is even more terrifying to the authorities than what Mosher ever provided. If Mosher was merely smeared then, Wakefield is put on trial now. What will the
wage of sin" be when vaccine injury science gets even closer to solving the crime?

Another book I'm currently reading, "Drug-Induced Dementia: The Perfect Crime" by Grace Jackson, MD, provides some very disturbing clinical findings on schizophrenia which overlap with autism, particularly in terms of mitochondrial markers. Jackson doesn't discuss autism (though she's a self-professed fan of Andrew Wakefield), but it's quite easy to look up the overlaps and many autism parents will already be familiar with some of the terms and findings.

For instance, as part of Jackson's discussion of how pharmaceutical products and toxins can replicate the precise damage associated with certain disorders which were formerly believed to be solely genetic, she describes mitochondrial diseases, demyelinating diseases and lipid storage disorders. One sub section describes how un-drugged schizophrenics show elevated APO D protein ("apolipoprotein D") in blood and CSF. APO D is apparently (if I get this right) some kind of distinct marker for brain cell death and cellular damage to lipid metabolism and the protein which is found in the center of most Alzheimer's plaques. After treatments with neuroleptics and atypicals, APO D levels skyrocket even further. These are the same proteins found in the blood and CFS of those with Alzheimers and autism and one might assume that these levels would also be seen to rise after drug treatment.

The book provides some direct and indirect evidence that the rising rates of three epidemics-- Alzheimers, schizophrenia and autism-- might be getting a boost from the "chemo therapies" designed to treat them and that the drugs themselves are giving rise to another epidemic of different forms of dementia and mental illness.

It seems like if pharma was there, there's mito damage, there's lipid metabolism defects and there's brain cell destruction (not to mention liver, kidney, heart and respiratory damage and seizures) no matter what the product.

All things considered (ha ha, wail), if pharma has its way, in forty years the new normal will be "dead" and "dying". All the cool kids are doing it.

Julie Obradovic

PEOPLE OF AMERICA, LISTEN TO DEAR LEADER: DO NOT BELIEVE (join) THOSE WHO CLAIM AUTISM (the) IS RISING BECAUSE SOMETHING EVIL IN THE ENVIRONMENT (rebel) AND MAYBE IN UNTESTED BABY SHOTS IS (alliance) HURTING OUR CHILDREN IN LARGE NUMBERS! (!)

Dan, you forgot to add...

"REMEMBER, THOSE WHO WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE HAVE STUDIED THEMSELVES REPEATEDLY AND HAVE SHOWN THEY AREN'T GUILTY!"

Tracy

Okay, after this I'll get off this but it's bugging the heck out of me. SOME folks with autism (like my brother, daughter and youngest son) DO have genetic disorders that present as moderate to severe autism. NOT ALL - certainly there is a very dramatic increase of envronmental assault going on here that we need to take care of, that I am furious about. My oldest NT son is the one in the family who had a reaction to his childhood vaccines (seizures as an infant then loss of language skills at 5yrs from MMR that he thankfully recovered).
I guess my point is that perhaps we need new language. My daughter has autism, it is her diagnosis and describes her abilities/behaviors/etc as a result from missing genetic material on 2 chromosomes. She has a neurological element to her physiological make up that will always be present. There is nothing for her to be ashamed of if the world treats her with the respect and dignity she deserves.
New language for those with autism brought on by environmental issues? I don't know enough latin, but something more like vaccine-induced? Mercury poisoned?
Going back to bed now 'cause I got the flu. Our local schools started h1n1 vaccines this week, and I have to get well so I can pull the kids out when it's their school's turn to attack them with needles.

Jake Crosby

Michael Specter even defends Vioxx! The guy is crazy!

Jessica

I just knew the term "anti-autism" was going to get a reaction. What's wrong with being anti-autism, again? I am also anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-arthritis, etc... you get the idea. Autism is not my child, nor it is yours. Just like cancer does not define its victim, neither should autism define my son.

Natasa

Tracy, autism is what happened to them, not what they are

Fed Up

I guess the point of the Pink Disease comment is that it took about 40 years for the medical/govt. establishment to come to the conclusion that you shouldn't sprinkle mercury into a child's mouth.

Fed Up

J G Dathan *, C C Harvey **
1 May 1965 British Medical Journal
pages 1181-1182
Since pink disease was described by Swift in 1914 there has been no unanimous view concerning the causation of this disease. Warkany and Hubbard (1948) first suggested that the cause might be chronic metallic poisoning, incriminating mercury, particularly that administered to infants in the form of
teething powders. This view received support from Bivings (1949) who found mercury in 28 out of 31 consecutive cases of pink disease and was reinforced by Gainsford (1949) in Manchester. 3 years later, however; in a reply to a question in the House of Commons, Miss Hornsby-Smith (1952), for the Minister of Health stated:
“Inquiries are already in progress at various children’s hospitals and, although the indiscriminate use of teething powders is clearly undesirable, there is not yet definite evidence to justify general publicity.”
The deaths of 2 infants in 1953 were reported to H M Coroner in Stoke-on-Trent and the verdict at each inquest showed that the death was from bronchopneuumonia due to pink disease resulting from chronic mecurial poisoning from teething powders. On 10 December 1953 the attention of the Home Secretary was drawn to the first of these inquests and he was asked whether, in view of the evidence, action should not be taken to prohibit the use of these substances. During the course of his reply the Home Secretary stated that “inquiries were not yet complete.” Thus his reply differed little from that made on behalf of the Minister of Health some 20 months earlier.
However, as a direct result of these 2 inquests which received wide publicity, the manufacturers of the teething powders concerned, ceased production and subsequently advertised “new and improved powders”, made to a formula which did not include mercury. The “British Medical Journal “ 1954 commenting upon the paper incriminating mercury that appeared in the same issue (Dathan, 1954) stated that “there will be a good opportunity for investigating the residual cases which occur after the present supply of powders containing calomel have disappeared from the chemists’ shops.” This opportunity is now taken after 10 years and results show how correct earlier authors had been in their belief that chronic mercury poisoning was the main, if not the only, cause of pink disease…

Benedetta

The vaccines are not just hurting small kids.
My daughter that had kawasaki's from a whooping shot when she was two, now at 28 is having a reaction to the Hep B.
She wanted to be a nurse and submitted to three shots. Probably would have been able to take one or even two, but the third is too much.
Right now she has high sed rates. ANd just like it was when she and her brother was a child and received no help from the medical community it is still happening.
She is slurring her speech sometimes, and acts kind of strange sometimes. I am sure it is little blood clots or sluggish blood to the brain and yet no help. the rhuematogist sent her on her way with nothing more than a mild pain reliever. He could have at least given her a blood thinner.
Specter I know him, He thinks he is a clear thinker. what do you do with fools like that. How did he reach his age and God did not do something to him to make him humble like the rest of us? Most people find out that what think they know is not what true and gives them humility. Please God give Mr. Specter some humility!
Does anyone have any suggestion of what or who I could get my daughter into see in Kentucky.
Should we go to another rheumatologist? I cannot find a good one?

Madvocate

Tracy,
We are not anti-who-our-children-are because we're anti-autism. Just the opposite, in fact. Autism stands between who are children really are and what has happened to them due to environmental assaults caused by man.

By criticizing the term "anti-autism," you are contributing to the normalization of a form of brain damage that is preventable.

Your loved ones are not autism. And I doubt you consider yourself pro-autism. If we're not allowed to be anti-autism, then how can we prevent and seek a cure for this terrible condition that has so profoundly impacted so many lives?

Tracy

Dear Mr. Olmstead,
While I am a regular reader, I must say that I strongly disagree with the statement that we are "anti-autism". I am the sister of a brother with ASD and mother to 2 kids with ASD. I am NOT "anti-who-they-are", but rather "anti-whatever-the-f**k-happened-here." Please, in an effort to right wrongs, don't alienate those you wish to assist.
Thanks,
From someone who has lived with autism her entire life...

Jack

Water cooler discussions about the type of nebulizer you prefer for your kids...just another part of the new normal.

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