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Too Busy Too Broke To Teach Autistic Child to Speak? Glossing over Gross.

Tv By Bill Welsh

It is difficult to express how despondent I felt in London following the verdict at the General Medical Council (GMC) in the case against Dr Andrew Wakefield, and Professors Walker-Smith and Murch. The GMC panel chairman’s opening remark prior to his hour long reading of the panel’s verdicts was however still uppermost in my mind as I left the courtroom:
“The panel wish to make it clear that this case is not concerned with whether there is or might be any link between the MMR vaccination and autism”.

 How the media would contrive to ignore this preliminary guidance was already apparent judging by the early editions of the London evening press:

 “Vaccine is Safe, say experts” according to one
”No evidence of MMR-autism link”, stated another.

This level of inaccurate reporting by indolent journalists was to be repeated in the media throughout the UK for 48 hours. None of us will be be surprised at that but it is nevertheless worrying when the entire media of one country can get a simple fact so very wrong.

My personal air of depression was not helped when, as I boarded the train in London for my five hour journey back home to Scotland, I was informed that the on-board buffet bar did not stock whisky.  Five hours without a dram* and me in a state of depression! I thought “is there no end to my misery?”

Nothing else for it, I decided to read some of the documents and clippings that had gathered over time in my briefcase in the hope that the journey Northbound through England would pass more speedily. One clipping from the Guardian, a respected broadsheet, caught my eye immediately:

“Parents too busy to help children learn to talk, expert suggests”

The article told us:

"Children spend so much time in front of the television and computer games, and so little time with adults that one child in six has difficulty learning to talk, according to an expert appointed by the government to improve young people's communication skills.

Results of a YouGov survey published today by Jean Gross, the new "communication champion" for children, found that twice as many boys struggle as girls, and almost one in four of all children have problems talking. "This really matters," Gross said. "Our ability to communicate is fundamental and underpins everything else."

My own first thought was: Why did the government appoint a new ‘communication champion for children’ ? Is there a new problem? The answer is perhaps contained in the next part of the article:

Gross, an educational psychologist, said that while a proportion of children had always had speech problems there was anecdotal evidence of an increase in difficulties.
That begs another question: How big is this problem?

Nearly a quarter of all boys have some difficulties, and 5% experience significant trouble, the YouGov survey of 1,000 parents in England revealed. For girls, the survey's figures are 13% and 2%.

This got me thinking, if 25% of boys and 13% of girls are having difficulty learning to talk, why is this happening? Well according to the UK’s new communications champion for children the answer is straightforward:

This is caused by social factors such as the amount of time they spend "exposed to screens of all kinds" and lack of time with their parents for face-to-face conversation.

Interesting certainly, but that is not all, Jean Gross goes further. Wait for it:

"It's money – mortgages," Gross said. "People would feel able to share childcare or spend more time at home with their children if they didn't have to pay such astronomically high mortgages."

Gross has a bag full of hypotheses, but no scientific evidence to support any of her pet theories. Nonetheless we should all be very concerned that one in six children (a quarter of all boys) is having difficulty learning to talk. Communication difficulty is one of the tripartite of impairments associated with autism. It has been definitively proven that autism has increased massively. Now we must ask ourselves if another new sub-group of children exists.

Perhaps Jean Gross would be better employed investigating whether any potentially damaging environmental factor common to all of these children is at play.

Bill Welsh
Autism Treatment Trust
*Dram is a Scottish term for a small whisky.



My son actually refused to watch TV for a very long time. I thought the other moms who could park their kids in front of the box had it easy! No such luck with my kid. And oh, he didn't talk until after we did BIOMED.

Is this theory along the same lines as, "Joey can't talk because big brother does all his talking for him!"? I *hate* that one. And my SIL who told me my son couldn't talk because I didn't "socialize" him enough with other peers.

It's Refrigerator Mom theory, just called something else. What. Ever. ABV!

Joan Campbell

Gosh I come from a large Irish family, 5 brothers and roughly around 44 cousins. We all loved tv as kids and not one of us has Autism, behavioural or learning dificulties never mind epilepsy. We all hear you Bill and keep up the good work that you do.


They can not have it both ways. Fox news just said last month that the CDC said that it was most autistic kids had parents that were college educated.

These college educated people were paying attention and getting their kids help - unlike the uneducated, dumb masses.


I'm so tired of these know nothing jack asses, with their modern version of blame the mother. I was a stay-at-home granola mom. I made all my son's baby food from scratch. He was nursed for 16 months and I ate an exceptionally healthy diet, complete with EFAs, omega 3s. He was aloud 1/2 hour of tv in the morning and 1/2 hour evening..that's it, no exceptions. My son couldn't talk he became Autistic after a 6 month DPT shot. It is as simple as that.


Our son was planned. We made prior sacrifices to assure us the ability to allow Ben's mother to stay at home with him until he got to school age. Ben began structured educational play almost from birth. In fact he was picking colors at 3 months of age. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNwHPZOmlNc

Ben was meeting and surpassing all milestones prior to his vaccinations at a year.

Since the autism diagnosis, I joined in full time on the education as did the 4 therapist that would come by the house a few times every week. Ben was never parked in front of a TV.

Even now TV is regulated, when it is on, 90% of the time one of us is with him, using it to teach social skills and lately teaching him how to read.

Ive heard before that a study in Seattle showed that it was the amount of rain that correlated to the numbers of children diagnosed with autism. I believe the study had to do with Vitamin D but the way they looked at how much time was spent indoors was the data retrieved from the cable provider as to how many TV sets were tuned to children's programming.

We are now broke, neither of us have really worked in more than two years, but we do not neglect Ben.

God I love autism and all those geniuses who know everything about it!


you hear it everywhere these days- too much tv is causing all the problems with kids and developmental delay. I was wondering why the sudden emphasis on TV - till I realized that most of my sons peers do not speak on an average till 3 years and its more and more common to have a speech delayed toddler.
My son is totally unvaxxed and 19 months old. My husband and I just spent the weekend counting how many words he knows and it was 67.....The only other non vax mom I know gets the same comments about her 16 month old daughter - "wow she speaks and has so many words"
Speech and developmental delays are now the new normal. Autism is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is being done to our precious children.


Out of 21 boys in my son's neurotypical class, 4 have communication and developmental problems. My son is the only one with an official diagnosis. Two of those other 3 boys declined dramatically in those areas following vaccination – MMR for one, and for the other boy it was the separate measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. Both boys have very dedicated and well-off parents, both mums not working and falling over backwards to get their sons back on track. Both boys have siblings who are very verbal and able and progressing well in all areas.

As for the third boy, I haven’t spoken to his parents so not sure whether his problems started with vaccination. His parents are also very devoted and work with him every day, to enable him to keep up academically. They also have another child with no communication or academic delays.

Oh and by the way not one of those 3 boys is diagnosed with anything, due to parents wanting to avoid labels. One of them would fit autism diagnostic criteria, the other two would earn ADD/ADHD with ease, alongside general developmental disorder and possibly juvenile bipolar in one of them.

So much so for explosion in autism and developmental disorders being due to overdiagnosing! If my son’s class of 6-year olds is anything to go by, numbers of children with neuro-developmental disorders are grossly under-estimated and under-diagnosed.


Anyone stupid enough to believe this woman is welcome to her. They will undoubtedly
enjoy each other's company sharing moronic ideas.


What a staggering campaign of propaganda! Everytime I think I have heard it all, it gets worse!

At least the GMC was perfectly honest on this point:

“The panel wish to make it clear that this case is not concerned with whether there is or might be any link between the MMR vaccination and autism".

Getting to the bottom of childrens suffering has never been the concern of the GMC. Shutting Wakefield up has been the agenda since day one. Pesky suffering children don't even enter into the equation. At least they won't deny that.


Yes, I'm quite sure that my child's 40+ food allergies were caused by excessive screen time. Same for my nephew's Type-1 diabetes at age 6.

What a relief.


Yeah, I'm definitely broke. But it's because both of my children have autism and not the other way around. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how much the proof points in one direction, if the powers that be don't want the arrow pointing in that direction, they can just point it whichever way they want to, regardless of the damage they do and depsite all the evidence and facts.


did to much tv cause bowel disease and lead poisioning in my 3 year old?


Ah!! That's it! Good grief, my husband and I have been wondering for 4 years why our son has so much difficulty.
Thanks Jean Gross, it is such a relief to know that his apraxia is because of our strapped finances (NOT). Wow, I never realized what a great job my father must have had to ensure speech for myelf adn all our siblings:)
And thank you Bill for the article.
I will now travel to work unbelievably enlightened!

Eileen Nicole Simon

Developmental language disorder is the core handicap of children with autism. I have been trying to point out for years that the auditory system is the most metabolically active system of the brain, and vulnerable to injury from anoxia and toxic substances. Neonatal Hep B is not safe, and vitamin K injection at birth should also be questioned. These substances are likely to cross the blood-brain barrier disrupted by ischemic injury caused by routine clamping of the umbilical cord within seconds after birth. We need to demand that all interventions around the time of birth be stopped. Even "minimal" impairment of the auditory can impede a child's learning to speak. See http://www.conradsimon.org/Question.html


Jean has a blog pop by and leave a comment..


"She is already pushing for GP surgeries to play DVDs of adults and children interacting and reading stories to show parents how to talk to their children."



I'm a GMC registered doctor and am utterly disgusted and manically depressed that my annual registration fee has contributed this farrago at the GMC.

Alli Edwards

Bill, what a great example of the UK Govt's experts.

I was asked by BBC Correspondent, Fergus Walsh outside the GMC why parents believe Wakefield when all the experts says he's wrong. He wasn't interested in my answer, just in making me feel 'wrong', then sirens went by and my recorded response un-useable anyway.

The point of the GMC case is to bury the three good doctors, parents and this MMR issue once-and-for-all. Facts don't matter and are being replaced with 'Govt and Big Pharma paid for thinking (using OUR taxes) on wishy washy non-science PR.

We must continue and fight fire with fire, do our own PR.

They will NEVER succeed in shutting parents up but they DO currently, and successfully drown out our message in the main media. I tried to tell smug old Fergus over the sirens, "our children are the proof." He said, "Sorry, I can't use this, too noisy, and ditched me!"
You can guess what I thought of him!


Alternative title for your piece could have been....
A GMC Drama With Nae Dram.

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