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The Search for 1 in 100 Elderly with Autism

Turning a Blind Eye to Autism: A Grandfather's Lament on Willful Ignorance

Blind eye By Norm Roberts

Weston Roberts is nine years old. It’s been more than seven years since we realized he has autism. As his grandfather I follow the news on the subject with more than passing interest and am continually disappointed with the lack of progress in understanding the nature of the disease, its causes, and effective treatments.

Not that there hasn’t been any. We’ve seen real progress in Weston’s behavior and in his physical symptoms. He has gotten a lot of help from therapists, doctors willing to prescribe unconventional treatments, from his school who welcomed him into class and assigned a teacher’s aide to watch over him, and most of all from parents determined to leave no stone unturned in doing for Weston whatever they possibly can. He is a precious child and we treasure him. Still, Weston isn’t where we had dreamed he would be by now.

My disappointment is with public health officials and the mainstream medical community. They have been frustratingly slow to deal with this devastating disorder, and maddeningly oblivious to its likely causes, its connections with apparently related medical issues common among children with autism, even to acknowledge that the explosive increase observed over the last twenty years is real, not just the result of increased awareness, better diagnosis, or an expansion of definition to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Weston has classical autism and there are a lot of children like him. Seventy years ago it was vanishingly rare.

In 1943 Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, published the first paper describing 11 children who had what seemed to be a common disturbance. He had never seen it before and was convinced no other psychiatrist had either. Kanner soon labeled the condition early infantile autism. He believed it was present from birth and, incredibly, that it was caused by bad parenting – cold, unfeeling mothers who didn’t give their babies the love and affection they needed early on. Kanner later rejected the refrigerator mother hypothesis but never came close to identifying the true cause. It is sometimes called Kanner’s disease but more commonly autism, reflecting the reality that it can be regressive with onset as late as age 3. It isn’t always present at birth.

Scientists are still trying to blame it on the parents, thinking it must be genetic based on the observation that autism in one sibling appears more likely to occur in another – especially among identical twins. It isn’t unheard of for pediatricians to ask mothers of children with autism if they are related to the child’s father.  I can’t find any reference to research going back to earlier generations to see if it has happened before. If Kanner was right they wouldn’t find it. He thought he was seeing something new. A review of 19th and early 20th century medical literature would seem to bear him out. If it was there it went unreported. Autism’s features are distinct enough to expect it would have been described earlier. Nor have there been any current reports of adults with autism finding the disorder in their children.

An English researcher named Simon Baron-Cohen promotes a theory called assortative mating suggesting that people who are unusually analytical (engineers or computer programmers, geeks if you will) are more likely to marry these days. He would use that as at least a partial explanation for autism’s modern emergence. Professor Baron-Cohen doesn’t really offer any evidence to support his hypothesis and in its absence such a bizarre proposition amounts to offensive speculation.

Nevertheless the assumption that autism is genetic and exclusively behavioral in its nature continues to guide public policy in researching possible causes and treatments. Most public funding for autism research goes to brain and behavior or to genetics, reflecting a predisposition to regard autism as a psychiatric disease unrelated to the physical distress experienced by most children with autism, and a persistent belief that it is not caused by environmental triggers. This is absurd policy if the increase is real and these children are suffering from chemical poisoning as they appear to be. A few independent researchers are beginning to point that out.

CDC is currently sponsoring a study called SEED, for Study to Explore Early Development, involving some 2700 children with developmental disorders including autism. SEED will look at, among other things, overall medical history and risk factors to include interaction between genetic and environmental factors. CDC says it is the largest study of its kind to date. So far as I can tell it is the only government funded study of its kind to date. It is encouraging that they will look at all. Given the prevalence and disastrous consequences of autism it is disappointing that it has taken them so long. SEED doesn’t seem to have gotten much press. I googled the news for it and came up blank.

Many in the autism community (including this grandparent) are skeptical of the motivation behind all this. It appears to come from what can only be willful ignorance. Autism is an epidemic, pandemic actually. More cases are being reported because there are more children affected. CDC will say only that a real increase can’t be ruled out.

It would be easy to check. If it’s been here all along there should be a couple million adults among us with undiagnosed autism. Where are they? Why don’t these people want to look for them? And why don’t they acknowledge autism is a whole body disease affecting not just brain function and behavior but the immune system, sensitivity to pain and noise, and the digestive tract? CDC blandly reports that people with autism have medical costs that run about $4000-$6000 higher than those without autism. My son and daughter-in-law would say it’s higher than that and insurance won’t cover much of it because the treatments are “experimental”.

I don’t see how we can really address autism until we look at it clearly. We need our health care community to deal with this scourge seriously. So far it isn’t clear to me they are ready to do that.

Norm Roberts is a retired business analyst living in Plano, Texas.

Comments

CC

How do you know he does have autism? It could be a brain tumour for all you know.

KATHRYN TURNER

utism and the Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Dear Doctor Adleman,

When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with a form of Autism, by Dr. Tobias(UCLA Shrink from Los Angeles). Dr. T was an "outside the box" doctor, and my parents were not able to afford him for very long. I would not talk to him, unless he pierced my ears for me, which he did, and he was my personal friend until he died. Years later I was diagnosed again, and The Doctor called it "Aspergers". I have suffered greatly because of LACK OF TREATMENT. By now I have given up, sort of.

My Symptoms:

Anti-social behavior. Cannot do crowds and parties. Too noisey. Too confusing.It makes me feel like I am dying. I have a meltdown sometimes. Not Pretty.

Obsessiveness on a single subject or interest.

Cannot grasp social skills, because I cannot grasp "unwritten rules". If you show me something, that I can SEE...then I will "get it." Maybe.

Inability to grasp rules or or situational things, and relate it to me in a normal way. Cannot remember school lessons unless I draw a picture of what I am trying to learn. (Alot of Artists are Autistic)

Inability to understand why people get offended by what I say or do. I went to a friends house, years ago, and my friend ask me if I wanted to see her new baby. I said no, and continued to talk about my artwork. I did not mean to hurt my friends feelings. I was truthful.

When I discuss any subject, I tend to TALK IT INTO THE GROUND.

When I went into purberty(I wish I never gone there), I discovered sex. To me it was just like art. Something pretty to look at. I was arrested for riding my Harley, naked. I was having pretty sex. I saw how pretty it was to have sex with my Harley. Why would that be illegal? I went to jail. Dr. Tobias was still alive, and he called the jail, and I was released. He died shortly after that. I should have found out what he said to the police. I saw "sex" and "Art" as one of the same...something to be admired. Stupid police.

I collect things obsessivley, and have crossed the line, in collecting things that I find extremely beautiful, if I cannot afford to pay for it.This behavior is controllable, but my only teacher is JAIL, so far. I have respect for jail. I would also have respect for a Doctor, or support group. Jail is very disruptive, but I learn from it. I am not an idiot.

I have never had treatment for my condition, and there is No magic pill...really , there is not. There is behavior modification...that is time consuming, and so far, As I see it, there would be alot of less money spent, in this country, if the Autistic people were taught a different way. 50% of the prison population are Autisic. Most of them are not Bad....but they ARE really MAD.

I will allways have to put things in a visual perspective. I will allways have MELTDOWNS...but they will not be severe if I learn some coping skills. I do try to avoid stress and frustration.

I have not had a normal life at all. I HAVE ASPERGERS. AUTISM. PLEASE HELP ME!

My youngest son is like me. He is 25. His father raised him. He is frustrated and heartbroken, and misunderstood. He is a beautiful, talented boy/man. He has been rejected by people, after they get to know him, because he is like me. Some people fall in love with us, and they stay longer. But they leave. He goes to my Alma Mater sometimes. UC JAIL.

We have broken hearts, and we are above average intelligence. We are looking at the world, and loving what we see. We want to join in, but we get kicked to the curb, by the NORMIES. because we are weird. We have Autism, and we will not get a piece of the pie that we long for. But we like crumbs. We love crumbs. We can use our imaginations, for the rest of what we will miss out on. We are artists. He builds beautiful cars that go fast. I paint pictures. It is visual, and beautiful. That is our pie.

We are adults, and there is no place for us to help us cope. We have become way to tough, in order to survive. Doctor....Can you help us.????

Your friend, Kathryn Turner, AKA Chemistkat58. P.S. The Texas Chainsaw part was for to get you to read this. I learn this from politicians.


Bob Moffitt

@ M L Klark

As a grandparent of five .. I would suggest you read Charles Richet's Nobel Prize Award Winning Speech on "anaphylaxsis" at:

http://tinyurl.com/3eey7p

In Dr. Richet's speech .. he explains the human "cellular and humoral" immune system and how each individual inherits an immune system that is as unique to that individual as are their fingerprints and DNA.

While our generation may have been exposed to many environmental toxins .. wouldn't that have affected OUR children .. instead of our GRANDCHILDREN .. in such high numbers?

Shannon

What a wonderful post. Today I am marking the 7th year "anniversary" of my son being diagnosed with autism and I feel like we've gone done every path and are now fully on the doorstep of autism as a whole body disorder. Thank you for speaking out.

patrons99

Dana - the link to the article titled "Self-Organized Criticality Theory of Autoimmunity" by K. Tsumiyama, et al, is VERY interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

"Systemic autoimmunity appears to be the inevitable consequence of over-stimulating the host's immune ‘system’ by repeated immunization with antigen, to the levels that surpass system's self-organized criticality."

I hope that this group continues to explore this area of research. Their findings suggest that the vaccine schedules predispose to autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. If their work can be validated, it would seem to ask the question: why would anyone knowingly risk CAUSING an autoimmune disease or an immune deficiency disease with a vaccination. If their work can be validated, autoimmune diseases such as lupus, should be listed as adverse vaccine reactions on the package inserts and included in the INFORMED CONSENT for each vaccine. Systemic Lupus Erythematosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis may easily end up being added to the growing number of iatrogenic diseases related to the vaccine schedules.

What triggers cytokine storm? Is over-stimulation of the host's immune system by the vaccine schedules and the "super adjuvants" involved? What happens when a host's over-stimulated or deficient natural immune system is challenged with a pathogenic microbe?

Rather than actually protecting us from infectious diseases with vaccines, could we be unwittingly making ourselves more vulnerable to infectious diseases, by means of repeated "immunization" with antigen?

M L Klark

Thank you for a well written article. You could not have expressed my thoughts on the subject better.
I have a 6 year old, non verbal grandson. He has acid reflux besides many gastro issues, food allergies, skin problems, well you all know what these children deal with physically. His older brother has ADHD, and Ulcerative Colitis. Another grandson has GERD and Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is the sickest generation ever and I am furrious that Autism is not taken more seriously by the medical community and our government.
I read today that they are looking into banning a rat poison because it is killing owls, yet still inject our babies with toxins. I'm getting on a rant, sorry.
My question to you all is this; Do you know of any studies that can link autism to the toxins that the parents and GRANDPARENTS have been exposed to?
I am of the opinion that they haven't looked to the baby-boomer generation to find a link that I am convinced contributes to the grandchilds "predisposition" for autism. You who are old enough can remember how bad the polution problems were when we were growing up. I lived not far from a coal fired electric plant and very close to an oil refinery. My older brother used to scoop up mercury laying in pools on the ground at the refinery, bring it home and (without mothers knowledge) we played with the slippery, interesting stuff. There were no precautions taken to protect the public from exposures of toxins and poisons such as these.
Getting to the point of my grandsons various afflictions:
After much reading and searching for the answer we all ask, "why did this happen to my grandson?", I have to believe it most likely started with us grandparents.
Besides the exposures I just described, our generation was starting to ingest artificial food additives and were the recipients of the miracle of pesticides and fertalizers.
In particular in my case, I am RH-Negative and the paternal grandmother is also. I had 3 RHogam shots before my daughter was born and the other grandmother had 7. Is it not reasonable to believe that these shots, at the time extremly high in mercury, is a very big factor. Also, we had approximatly 5 immunizations as children. The parents about 21 as I recall and these children now are exposed from the day of birth to a battery of around 36!
Ok, so am I nuts? or does anyone else see this connection?
Why can't I get anyone in the medical/research community to take this wit even a bit of curiosity?

Dana

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008382

Yes, the ignorance is obviously willful!

patrons99

Autism is not genetic. Autism is iatrogenic. Autism is not the only vaccine-induced brain injury. Brain injuries are not the only vaccine-induced diseases. The reasons this opinion are many and too numerous to discuss in a single comment.

Bob Moffit - you mentioned a cousin with Type I diabetes mellitus. How many ASD kids have diabetes? Is the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, types I or II, greater in ASD victims? Real question, not rhetorical.

Pancreatic cancer and diabetes are linked, but experts aren't sure why. Is the onset of diabetes simply one of the early clinical manifestations of microvascular ischemia to the pancreas? Are pancreatitis, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer related to cumulative, synergistic, toxicity of the vaccine schedules? Do the vaccine schedules induce microvascular ischemia, potentially impairing perfusion to multiple organs? Does chronically-impaired perfusion and cellular hypoxia predispose to cancer? If so, is this effect amplified by dietary sulfur deficiency? Is vitamin D3-sulfate deficiency involved?

“Does having diabetes increase the chance of pancreatic cancer? Would a test at the time diabetes is diagnosed help in the early detection of pancreatic cancer? Does going from diabetes pills to insulin increase the chance of getting pancreatic cancer?”

http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2009/july-31a.html

http://pathology.jhu.edu/pc/BasicRisk.php

Dr Andrew Moulden, MD, PhD, has theorized that microvascular ischemia associated with the vaccine schedules is causally-related to the current epidemic of iatrogenic diseases. Everyone seems to be dismissing his theory. Pharma and orthodox medicine have gone out of their way to marginalize him. IMO, his theories are VERY credible from a physical chemical, toxicologic, bio-organic chemical, functional imaging, and clinical perspective.

The pancreas is an organ which is thought to be particularly vulnerable to ischemic injury, related to it’s blood supply.

I strongly suspect that both subclinical and clinical occurences of pancreatitis are under-reported to VAERS. If we combine ALL reports of post-vaccination incidences of pancreatitis, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer, a stronger epidemiologic “signal” may become apparent. The difficulty lies in the temporal relationship between vaccine administration and the delay in onset of clinical symptoms. The injury to various organs, including injury to the pancreas, brain, heart, kidneys, and gut, may be subclinical at first, cumulative, and later present as subacute and “chronic” diseases, as we get older. This symptom-lag makes it difficult to discern a pattern.

Should compliance with the vaccine schedules and mandated inoculations be considered risk-factors for both diabetes, pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer? cancers of all kinds? Real questions.

Every putative vaccine reaction involving abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and fever, should include an immediate serum amylase and blood glucose measurements. If amylase is elevated, a serum lipase level should be immediately measured. Because the pancreas is an organ which is VERY susceptible to microvascular ischemic injury, serum amylase and lipase levels have the potential to be biomarkers for acute and subacute vaccine-induced ischemic injury to the pancreas. Such microvascular ischemic toxicity is potentially relevant to ALL vaccines.

Andrea

What about the 21 year study? They are comfortable biding their time for 21 years to figure out what is happening to our children!

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/fitness/article_91a993ac-a03c-5cf3-913e-6561c40f3dec.html

God help us.

Bob Moffitt

As a very proud grandfather of a lovable eleven year old .. nonverbal boy .. I share your frustration at the "willful ignorance" shown by public health officials who .. over decades .. have refused to conduct a common sense .. scientific .. independent study of "vaccinated vs. unvaccinated" populations .. to ascertain if BOTH populations .. have experienced the same, inexplicable, dramatic increase in autism?

I have five grandchildren .. two boys (20 & 10) have suffered serious asthma attacks as well as having allergies. 1 boy (11) "regressed" and has autism. I know of one 4 old cousin who has developed juvenile type 1 diabetes and another 2 year old girl cousin who is allergic to peanuts.

In my generation .. I do not recall ANY of these types of chronic autoimmune diseases/disorders among my extended family .. or .. even within the community or schools that I grew up in.

Obviously .. SOMETHING is happening to THIS generation that was not happening to ALL PREVIOUS .. LESS VACCINATED GENERATIONS.

If our universal childhood vaccines and the policies by which they are administered are SAFE .. as our public health officials insist they are .. LET THEM DO THE DAMN VACCINATED VS. UNVACCINTED STUDY AND PROVE IT.

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