Autism Parenting: Master of Disaster
LeRoy NY Girls With Neurological Tics: Science Offers Reasons When Government Officials Won't

Autism Speaks Continues "To Sleuth the Causes of ASD"

BaldwinBy Anne Dachel

Autism Speaks caught my attention recently.  I watched a Public Service Announcement from AS featuring American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and his daughter who has autism.

  It actually says nothing about autism but it does remind us that a lot of kids have the disorder and "early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference."  The fleeting seconds at the end where we actually SEE AN AFFECTED CHILD is a sweet feel-good moment.  All in all, it’s a nice tribute to Tommy Hilfiger but contains nothing of substance about autism--so much for any parents who might actually want to learn something about the disorder.  AS’s message is that autism happens-- the best we can do is to find it early.   

Autism Speaks has been around since 2005 and it raises millions of dollars with a lot of it from local fund raising by trusting parents.  AS gets national attention in the press as America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.  Their website announces that they are "dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families."

Autism Speaks regularly sends out a report on "Autism In The News."   There you'll see all kinds of stories about autism including a couple of recent ones again mentioning Dr. Wakefield's "discredited vaccine-autism report."  Autism in the News generally avoids the heated controversy over vaccines and autism.
I also recently got an email with the annual letter from Autism Speaks’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Geraldine Dawson.   Dr. Dawson reviewed what 2011 was like for autism. She started out telling us about the genetic links and the fact that a 2011 Stanford University looking at identical and fraternal twins showed that the environment was a greater factor in the development of autism than genetics. Dawson wrote, "This strongly suggests that environmental influences play a significant role in autism--prenatal influences being among the most likely.  This seemed to have been a big surprise to Dawson who wrote that previous to the 2011 study, “it was taken as fact that the causes of autism were almost completely genetic.”  (Are we to believe then that until 2011 Dawson didn’t believe there’d been a real increase in autism, since it’s impossible to have a solely genetic epidemic?)

In addition, Dawson praised all the research Autism Speaks is funding, which to the outsider looks like they're leaving no stone unturned.  With all these studies going on it's a mystery why, when it comes to what we actually know about autism, it's next to nothing. There is still no known cause, cure, or effective treatment for autism.  There’s nothing that mainstream medicine can tell an expectant mother so that her next child doesn't also end up on the autism spectrum.  

Dawson noted that all these studies have a "great potential for deepening our understanding of autism's causes.  It seems that when it comes to autism, we're always waiting for answers that are years down the road.

Dawson cited studies AS is funding that are looking at how toxins relate to autism. Sifting through the studies there are a couple that I was able to find. One was a study of air pollutants and autism and another with a vague description about pre and post natal exposures to "environmental factors."

The truth is while AS likes to portray themselves as being on the cutting edge of autism research, they will consistently focus on anything other than vaccines as a trigger.  What you won't find among the studies being funded by AS is a comparison of fully-vaccinated and never-vaccinated children to see if both groups have a one percent autism rate. You also won't find a study looking at the thousands of children whose parents report they were born healthy and were developing normally and who suddenly and dramatically changed, lost learned skills and regressed into autism.  On their website, Autism Speaks tells the public that studies haven’t shown a link to vaccines and parents should have their kids vaccinated.  There’s this vague acknowledgement: “It remains possible that, in rare cases, immunization might trigger the onset of autism symptoms in a child with an underlying medical or genetic condition.” 

Dawson was proud of the research that AS funded showing a relationship between low birth rate and the development of autism and the Korean study that showed that if you look closely enough, you can find even more children who have autism. The Korean study found an autism rate of one in 38 children in Korea.  Dawson wasn't alarmed about this. She said, "The methods used in the South Korean study, which involved direct screening of a total population, identified many previously undiagnosed children."  Dawson fully expects that with better screening methods we too could have an even higher rate of autism among U.S. children. This wouldn't mean more children have autism. It'll just be even better diagnosing. Dawson wrote, "By contrast, the CDC's current prevalence estimate of 1 in 110 children is based on children identified through therapy records, which may underestimate true prevalence."

Dawson outlined the long road ahead. "As we continue to sleuth the causes of ASD, we are also learning more about its underlying biology in ways that point toward potential new treatments for the core symptoms of ASD."  The phrase "sleuth the causes of ASD" doesn't sound very encouraging. It doesn't have an energizing ring to it like we're on the verge of big discoveries when it comes to autism.

Dawson did note that millions of dollars are going into research to come up with drugs to treat autism. "This public-private partnership will provide $55 million over 5 years for the development of autism medicines, most of this funding coming from the European Union. This is the largest single research program in the history of autism science."

Dawson was hopeful about even earlier diagnosing of autism. "Fortunately the past year's research also delivered validation of a practical method for autism screening at the 1-year, well-baby checkup."  Still promoting the idea that kids are born with autism, she wrote, "As we learn to recognize autism earlier and earlier, it becomes increasingly important to offer families effective early interventions appropriate for even young infants."

Even though experts have long claimed that all the autism everywhere is the result of all the greater awareness by doctors, Dawson said it's just not good enough. "Unfortunately, although we now have validated methods for recognizing autism symptoms in infants, the average age of ASD diagnosis in the US remains close to 5 years."

Dawson ended her annual message on an upbeat note. "I hope you are as excited as we are about the discoveries that are being made and the wide range of research we are funding, all dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with ASD and their families. The pace of discovery is rapidly increasing, and our fellowships are bringing some of the brightest scientists into the field."

I'm at a loss to understand why we should think anything will change when it comes to autism. The science is all over the place looking for anything that might be associated with autism with nothing conclusive ever showing up. More and more schools have less funding to provide real help for children with autism and no one is prepared for the disaster about to hit communities and states when hundreds of thousands of children age out of school with no place to go.

I was curious about what Dr. Dawson had to report last year in her annual message compared to the one for this past year.

The 2011 letter had the same smiling photo of Dawson, which is good when the topic is something that is a health care nightmare for countless families.  At least the top expert should look hopeful about autism.  Last year Dawson also cited all the ongoing studies focused on all kinds of things associated with autism from GI issues and encephalopathy to mitochondrial dysfunction.  In the end, nothing is conclusive and there's no speculation about the role vaccines may play in these problems.

In both the 2012 and 2011 annual letters Dawson ended on a hopeful note. 

2011: "I've been a scientist and clinician working in the field of autism for decades now.  During all these years, I've never been more optimistic about the scientific breakthroughs that we will witness in the coming years. More than ever before, we have the best scientists in the world focusing their attention on autism. ..."

2012: "I hope you are as excited as we are about the discoveries that are being made and the wide range of research we are funding.  ...The pace of discovery is rapidly increasing, and our fellowships are bringing some of the brightest scientists into the field."

If you're like me, you regularly see stories in the news announcing that autism has no know cause, cure, or prevention.  Autism Speaks's symbol for autism is a puzzle piece.  The most common adjective used with the disorder is "mysterious."  I can't see anything coming from Autism Speaks that tells us anything of significance about autism and I don’t see Autism Speaks addressing autism as a national health emergency.  It seems we have all the time in the world “to sleuth the causes.”

Geraldine Dawson's annual letter didn't include the Baltimore Sun story from this past July, "We don't know enough about childhood vaccines--Researcher asks: Are 36 doses of vaccine by age 2 too much, too little, or just right?" The piece questioned how officials could dismiss vaccine safety concerns when so much safety testing is missing.   

Dawson didn't bring up the stunning report on  HDNet TV and on Fox News where they exposed the fact that while health officials continue to tell us studies show no link between vaccines and autism, the federal government has paid out millions of dollars for compensation for vaccine injuries that included autism. Seeing these children who were born healthy and were suddenly and dramatically affected by their vaccinations should give us all pause.  

Last year Dawson was also asked to appear on the Dr. Oz Show when the topic was vaccines and autism.  Dawson refused.  Her position was explained on the AS website in a piece titled, It’s Time to Change the Conversation February 17, 2011.

"Autism Speaks recently declined an invitation to participate in a Dr. Oz show. In reviewing the pre-taping materials, it was clear that the program’s major focus was again on the vaccine debate, a debate that has been addressed multiple times, without resolution, and more importantly, a debate that prevents other equally important topics surrounding autism from being discussed. Last month, in a letter to the editor published by The New York Times, Autism Speaks’ Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., said it is time now to focus our attention on the future and on the real problem: We still need answers to too many questions regarding causes and treatments for autism and we need to address the generation of a half million adolescents with autism who are about to enter adulthood without adequate supports.

"Autism Speaks has consistently stated that children should be vaccinated to protect public health and the health of the individual child, and has urged families to develop a trusting and collaborative relationship with their pediatrician on all health matters including vaccination. While the Dr Oz show certainly makes for Good TV, this was not the televised conversation in which Autism Speaks believed it could make its most valued contribution on the science of autism. When Good TV presents Good Science, it makes an incredible difference for the families who struggle with autism and this is where we hope to be involved in the future.

This “it’s time to move on” attitude sounds strange coming from an organization that hasn’t given us any real answers about autism.

If Autism Speaks were being honest about what’s happening in the real world, they would present things a lot differently.  Imagine Tommy Hilfiger on a PSA that concludes with a scene of a mom changing the diapers on her 14 year old autistic son.  How about Hilfiger with a child with autism having a meltdown at the grocery shop?  Or imagine a 10 year old autistic boy having a seizure at school.  This is the side of autism that countless thousands of families live with everyday.  It's hard to smile sweetly when talking about children like this.  This is the scary side to autism.

Two things have come up recently involving Autism Speaks that also got my attention because they directly connect AS with the vaccine controversy.


The White House just announced that President Obama was appointing AS Executive Vice President of Programs and Services Peter Bell to serve on the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities—the committee which advises the President and Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues that impact people with intellectual disabilities and their quality of life. This appointment seems to confirm that AS speaks for the autism community.

In response to Bell’s appointment surprising charges have been made. soundly attacked Obama’s choice in the piece, “Does this Obama Appointee Believe Children’s Vaccines Cause Autism?”

Did you know your recent appointee to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Peter Bell of Autism Speaks, has a long history of supporting pseudo-science that can harm children? It’s true; Autism Speaks’ Executive Vice President of Programs and Services supports the widely debunked and incredibly harmful theory that vaccines cause autism.”

It’s amazing that Autism Speaks, an organization that seems to have only recently discovered that environmental factors are more important than genes in determining who develops autism, has an executive officer who’s known for believing that vaccines can cause autism.  Maybe Bell won’t continue the pretense that regression following vaccination is just coincidence.

Even more confusing was a story on Autism Speak’s Autism in the News on January 13.  They included the story, 7-Year-Old Vermont Girl Dies After Flu Vaccine,  with a direct reference to vaccine damage that included autism.

Pressured by public health to do what is right and protect your child from preventable diseases, parents’ hearts have been broken over and over again as children develop autism or other disabilities as a result.

Even those incidents are relatively rare, except perhaps for autism, they happen to families. Even though the link between autism and vaccinations has not been proven, parents know. The same holds true for a tragedy involving the flu vaccination in Vermont.”

Autism Speaks’s Chief Scientific Officer may avoid any reference to vaccines and autism in her annual update, but the issue can’t be ignored.  AS needs to listen to parents and get serious about addressing this health care emergency.  I don’t know how many more years Dawson’s annual letter with a photo of the smiling doctor is going to have any credibility as more and more children are lost to autism.

 Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. Subscribe to her newsfeed at


Tara McMillan

Today I was at a congressional hearing- where we had it lead by "Autism Speaks"- it was for the support of military families and for the support of bill 2288- of which I hope gets passed. But there was Autism speaks- maybe - just maybe they are coming around. I am very hesitant. I know there ties- I know there past stance on "vaccine and Autism" - but maybe just maybe they are listening to the parents. The slogan I saw on the folder today said "it's time to listen" Maybe this peter bell is a good guy, and he is out there
to help us. Maybe.


Funny , actually sad for the complete and utter white tower slap in the face the medical community persist with dispensing regardless of the overwhelmingly obvious present observations in the countless victims homes with their families who have had a lifetime of observations after the smoking gun has been injected.


The Mr. Magoo photo is priceless. I just choked on my coffee. Hahahahahahaha!

...and really. Autism Speaks couldn't find the root cause for autism if the chemtrail planes wrote it in the sky over their Park Avenue headquarters. It's just another business. Their product is hope, their target demographic is the ignorantly hopeful, and they sell to them very well. They do nothing for families, ride the backs of others doing legislative work while they scoop up the credit, and when it comes to science they do nothing more than keep their cronies employed by funding pointless dead-end research projects. If PBS were to do a story on the corporation, they'd probably hire Monty Python to direct it.


Thankyou for straigtening me out, how you stand. I am more than understanding because it takes a long while to figure it out. Even I who saw my son react shortly after his third DPT booster.
But I have had 30 years to think about it and connect dots and had those light bulb moments.
Sure kids are now being born that away; because my generation vaccinated your generation plenty.

If your child was born that away, then your immune system did it -- Why is your immune system the way it is?

Cherry Misra

Dear Onevoice- You are absolutely correct. Please do not expect any answers about autism from Autism Speaks, or Public Health or Pediatric Associations. They are all keeping extremely busy NOT researching vaccines- which should give you a clue that the answers to autism lie in the vaccines. Despite their best efforts to keep causes of autism under wraps, every now and then a tiny ray of truth slips out and then, quickly they catch up , before rolling over and playing dead once again. They wont debate the scientists on our side; they wont do the research we demand; they wont even try to answer reasonable questions and then to defend vaccines, they search out some greedy or foolish doctor, who never studied about vaccines in his whole life- and he writes a media piece on A . How great vaccines are or B. How crazy and desperate the parents of autistic kids are. Their tactics arent working too well anymore, which is a bad thing in that they may have to whip up some new flu vaccine hysteria to get the situation under their control again. They even paid some researchers to virtually weaponize the bird flu virus. But have no fear- The same people who carefully gave children mercury in vaccines are never going to let out the secret of how they weaponized the bird flu virus. They are going to be really, really careful, just as the US military was with their anthrax spores. Hey lets have a contest on AOA - which work of science fiction comes closest to todays autism scenario.

Cherry Misra

To Sam- Cute little "earlidiagnosis", cute little journal, cute little free blood draws. What really matters here is that 20 years from now your son thanks you for not giving him hepatitis B vax at birth or any vaccines such as flu vaccines with mercury and thanks you for not accepting flu vaccine during pregnancy because that saved him from being autistic. In fact , you could even go a bit further and save him from asthma too , by delaying his DPT vaccines and probably Hib could be thrown out too, and then you wont have to worry about juvenile diabetes. Its easy Sam, just think about all those silent doctors who dont vaccinate their own children and their kids are healthy. You can save your child Sam - No one else will do it for you.

cia parker

Sarah C.,
I don't think Benedetta meant to be disrespectful of you. The problem is, as she says, that the dangers of vaccines have been evident for decades (see A Shot in the Dark and the news program Vaccine Roulette from the early 1980s), and anyone who defends them as not causing encephalopathies like autism, ADHD, seizure and learning disorders, and autoimmune diseases like asthma, allergies, bowel disease, and diabetes (et al), has money on the table or has been brainwashed to the point of blindness. I first read about the dangers in Dr. Richard Pitcairn's Natural Medicine for Dogs and Cats in the early 1990s. Vaccines were even then known to be responsible for all the autoimmune diseases appearing in pets since the yearly boosters became standard practice. In 2000, when my daughter was born, I had read in different magazines like Mothering about the dangers of vaccines for babies and children, and told the doctor I didn't want my daughter to get the hep-B vaccine, but they gave it to her anyway, she reacted with the constant screaming for four days characteristic of encephalitis, and was later diagnosed with autism. The Merck Manual admits that vaccines can cause encephalitis, and Dr. Robert Sears says that they often do. The symptoms can be as mild as three hours of crying, somnolence, or staring episodes, but the mildness does not mean that the brain damage is not severe. All the official figures involved, whether in the medical and pharmaceutical cartel or the news media, are fully aware that vaccines are devastating millions. The flu, Tdap, shingles, and meningitis vaccines for adults are causing paralysis, Alzheimer's, and death in millions of them. What is the proper stance in the face of such evil? I asked the pharma troll Chris, who denies that any vaccine has ever damaged anyone ever, and that all reports to the VAERS are unreliable trash, what it profiteth a man to gain the whole world, and he lose his soul? They have created the cult of St. Vaccinia, with countless millions of witless adherents. It is we who hold fast to the true faith. God gave us amazing immune systems, which are screwed up by vaccines, often to a devastating degree. There are many fronts on which we can fight this holy war, and we have truth on our side, but we must give the enemy no quarter, for the sake of our children.
It's too late for you and me, our children are damaged, and I don't know about you, but I don't see how my daughter's brain could ever be repaired. Maybe they'll find a drug? Did you hear the doctor on the news last night who said people should be tested very early for susceptibility to Alzheimer's, and if they took mega-doses of the drugs which have proved ineffectual for treating full-blown Alzheimer's, maybe they might work to prevent it in those not that far along yet. I couldn't believe they would put a mad scientist like that on the CBS national news. So you terrify and depress thousands so you can do a massive experiment on them which will probably show the devastating effects of such drugs used in large doses for a long time, and that it can't reverse the brain damage caused by vaccines. 50% of women on statins get diabetes? No problem, at least we'll prevent a few heart attacks, although we'll lose a lot to diabetes. But we have blinkers on, and are only focused on one clearly delineated goal.
Wouldn't it be easier to tell people not to get the flu vaccine and thereby prevent Alzheimer's?
Statins cause myriad problems, including dementia and cancer. But how many people are lining up now to take statins and will later line up to take the latest Alzheimer's and diabetes drugs? I don't understand how anyone not making money from this can think it's a good idea.


RE Benedetta: What are you trying to point out to me? In 1998, I knew from the day my daughter was born that something wasn't right...I vaccinated as suggested, never had any adverse reactions, regression etc...I'm not saying one way or another what caused her autism...I go by my instinct, gut, and science----I'm not on either bandwagon. I'm focused now on ensuring she and my son can be contributing members of society as much as possible--but will continue to advocate in many areas, not just for more research but to continue to discover effective treatments to help ours and future children.
So whatever happened 30 years order ago was out of my control---I was 20 then---back to my original question---what's your message here? How did that help me in 1998? I don't know---did something 30 years ago affect my daughter in 1998 I have no flipping clue. And you can't blame AS for problems that existed eons before they ever did!!!
This is what I'm talking about---such a divided community where we should be banding together,despite our differences of opinion----name calling, HATEFUL and NASTY NAME calling---
I'm just as pissed as everyone else that my children are affected by autism---but I'm navigating through this with my eyes and mind open and I'm respectful of the differing opinions and experiences we all have. Apparently that's not the case here where someone speaks their opinion it's ok but when someone else doesn't respond in the same way, then shame on them for not having the same opinion.


Is their any year that Autism Speaks has not won the Mr. Magoo award?


One thing is clear: More answers are needed about the causes and triggers of autism. I'm the parent of an autistic daughter. Her yet-to-be-born younger brother is already enrolled in an autism siblings study and will get free autism screenings through age 3. If you are interested, here's the link to the study:
You don't have to do anything special (vaccinate or not vaccinate, take or not take medications, etc) they just want you to fill out a journal of what you did and they take some blood samples, etc. The catch--you have to live in Northern California, Maryland, or Pennsylvania.


Sarah C;
You have been in this for 13 years.
That may seem reasonable to give them more time.
However, I have been in this mess for 30 years.
Unbeknown to me even further back that 30 years were numerous parents. We think one child out of 250 who was reacting to the DPT shot, and parents were in record numbers at the National Capital.
What they did for these parent 35 or maybe 40 years ago was to tell them that this is for the greater good, they had to vaccinate, they had to protect the vaccine companies from going under with lawsuits, they would set up a specical court to protect the vaccine companies, and let it go. America can afford to waste 1 out of 250 kids - that was our estimate.

How well did that decison serve you in 1998 was it?


So nice to see you back here, Willie. You've been missed. Thanks for this post.



When patients come to me and I tell them that they should not vaccinate their children or themselves ever again they generally ask me” What should I tell the pediatrician?”
I tell them that they should tell their Doctor that I said that” he and any other doctor who is giving out these vaccines is going to go to hell for what they are doing to these children”.
Some people are startled by this response. To make my point clear I refer them to the video in the clip listed here and the story below as related by a health care professional that works there as well. There are multiple videos discussing it. Premature children have a rate of autism that is 2-3 times higher than the normal population and typically more severe.

Angel at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC
A couple of Wednesdays ago, I got an evening phone call from the pediatric ICU at Presbyterian Hospital , where I work as a child life specialist. Usually when they call at night, it means something bad has happened. This, however, was different. My coworker told me that the most amazing thing had just happened and she just had to call to tell me.
We had a patient who has really grown up in and out of the hospital. All the staff knows her and her family. She had been in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for about a month, and had been intubated - on life support. She was not doing well. The doctors had approached mom about taking her off life support the Saturday before. Mom was okay with it, and said that she'd been through so much and if was her time to go she wanted to honor that. So they had taken her off.
It was Wednesday and she was still alive. Amazing. The doctors approached mom about taking off her oxygen mask. Mom was supportive, and began praying over her daughter. The mother of another young patient who was in the bed next to her began praying with her.
The nurse practitioner went to the nurses’ station to chart that she had taken off the oxygen mask. While doing so, she looked up at the security monitor that videotapes the double doors leading into the PICU. It records anyone who may be waiting outside the doors to get in since it is a secure unit. She saw a man standing there, and it looked a little funny to her, so she decided to walk down the hall to open the double doors personally. When she opened them, no one was standing there.
She walked back down to the nurses’ station to finish charting, assuming he had walked away, but saw him still standing there on the monitor. So she opened the doors with a button near the nurses’ station and leaned over to see him walk in, but no one was standing there.
She pulled over another nurse and both stood staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. The nurse practitioner leaned in closely to look at the man on the monitor and said, 'Oh my gosh. That's an angel. You can see his wings!'
They said that the sun starting shining so brightly and the whole PICU was strangely filled with light. They said he was a tall man and you could see wings behind him.
They pulled over all the staff of the PICU and the two praying mothers and everyone was staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. Crying, everyone pulled out their camera phones to take pictures, but no one could get it to show up on their camera. The mother of the girl pulled out her camera phone and finally got a picture of the angel who was guarding the doors to the PICU. He turned out as a man of light. I have attached the picture from her phone.
The girl was later discharged from the hospital to go home.
A Miracle.

As you can see from the actual video pictures and from this synopsis of the event and there are numerous news accounts, too numerous to be discounted. There was divine intervention and this girl is clearly severely autistic and she was dying. That is quite obviously an angel in the photograph and it does not really matter what you personally do or do not believe the angel is in the picture and the dying child got better immediately and there was an entire room full of witnesses including physicians and nurses and staff.
Therefore God obviously heard the prayers of the people who prayed for this child. God wants us to know that he knows the situation here with these children and autism and that he has heard the outcry from everyone and it is great. Further you can be certain that he is quite aware of what is causing it, vaccines, and EVERYONE who is at fault. He sent this messenger not just to heal this child but because he wants ALL OF US to know that he knows ALL THE PLAYERS AND ALL OF THE DETAILS.
After I show this video of this autistic child and the angel to my patients , I calmly explain to them that as there is a living God it stands to reason that there must therefore be a heaven. Further there must also therefore be a devil and a place called hell. Should your doctor get indignant or pushy about your refusal to accept vaccines for your child show him this video and tell him EXACTLY what I said.



Unless Dr. Dawson is looking at vaccines as a cause of autism she is just making noise to get paid and should not be taken seriously AT ALL.

ANY organization that does not decry the rampant reckless nonscientific use of vaccines must be categorized as a FRAUD. They are accepting money under false pretenses as they clearly know that they will never find any "ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS". This of course could be a very clever cover should someone actually stumble upon a cure or a definitive reproducible link to the vaccines, then they could always fall back on the vaccines as being "ENVIRONMENTAL" while having never actually looked at the vaccines and all the while discouraging others from looking at the vaccines thus not contributing the actual discrediting of the vaccines as a useful medical tool.
There are a unlimited number of useful idiots in all of the political parties and Dana Commandatore make that abundantly clear. She is grateful for the likes of Kevin Leitch of “no brain no brain” and is willing to let EVERYONE’S CHILDREN SUFFER opining in almost blissful ignorance that at their upcoming retreat
“We are *not* interested in presentations about how to cure, prevent, or overcome autism”
Could anyone ever imagine a sick person declaring that they do not want to be cured? As a physician, if you tell me that you do not want to get better from your disease state, I am compelled to consult a psychiatrist on your behalf immediately and I am duty bound to do so as you are clearly not mentally fit to make decisions.

As far as the Seth Mnookins, Geraldine Dawson’s, Dana Commandatore the vast assortment of Witch Doctors , Vodoo Vaxatricians, ex junkies, and heroin addicts that support the peddling of vaccines to the unwitting public so be it, for now. However I would caution you that if you are in that lot or supporters of the same and a simple and effective remedy presents itself as it most certainly may, and in the near future, you will be held out as a an enabler and coconspirator at worst or a brainless loose cannon at best, going off without rhyme or reason about something you absolutely nothing about.


We need to eliminate the roots of the problem,we do want prevention,we do want stop pain and stop this autism tsunami.
Knowing the signs of autism is not a solution.It is too late then because the damage is done already.Identifying the causes and eliminating them is the best solution for the future.I am tired to see research,fundraisers,more research and NO answers.It is like cancer,millions are made with the fundraisers and still no answers.This is just heart-breaking.

Maurine Meleck

Sarah C-thanks for your input. I know AOA is receptive to all views. The problem with AS and Ms. Dawson is that their focus hasn't changed for years. We,of the autism community,
have learned so much in the last decade about autism, and particularly the contribution of environmental factors on our children and the metabolic effect on their bodies. Many of us have tried to push that vax vs unvaxed study, along with important environmental studies but to no avail. How long can we wait for these studies that need to be done? When the numbers are 1 in 50 children affected? We are not moving forward with AS, or the gov't health agencies and more and more children are being affected. How much longer can we afford to hear, "there is no known cause and no known cure? Best to you and your children, Maurine


Autism Speaks' predecessor, National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), an organization created by parents of children with autism concerned about the serious lack of autism research taking place. They began paving the way for funding scientific research related to autism long before AS came into the picture---and Dr. Dawson had long before been researching autism before NAAR---give her some credit---where would we all be today if someone hadn't stepped up to the plate?
Maybe someone needs to get out and lobby scientists to actually submit research proposals which compare vaxed and non-vaxed children? Sounds like that might be a good idea. I am one of the many parents whose children (I have 2 on the spectrum) are frighteningly close to becoming adults---I am nervous about their futures but the research that has been done has provided a hell of a lot more hope for our children now than there ever was. (There was ZERO information & ZERO hope when I was forced into the club some 13 years ago)
This community full of differing opinions is hindering the process and progress and certainly has cast a negative spin on autism in general---it's the wrong kind of awareness!!! How sad..for ALL of us who have been affected by autism in one way or another.

Donna L.

Maybe we ought to start a new campaign: Change the Puzzle to a Muzzle, since everybody pretty much already knows the cause but nobody is allowed to say it.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Aren't they doing a "car seat" commercial? You want to protect your child? Know the signs of autism.

I wracked my brain to figure out how knowing the signs of autism and early diagnosis is going to "protect" anything. Then it occurred to me!

It's about raising funds and only about raising funds. More awareness (let's light things blue), more potential donations. Then the funds go into stupid commercials!

Angus Files

Autism Speaks get a life why dontcha!!


Angus Files

They hear but they don`T capital meant..



I honestly think if one were to write Autism Speaks and requested 30 pieces of string so your "walking group" could practice carrying string for the "walk day" balloons, they would say "GREAT IDEA" and send them to you...

as before... AS... walk in circles, carry balloons, send in money, and then "reverse the direction of the circle" the next year to see if you can find a cure that way....

Jeannette Bishop

How often does protection of the status quo dress up in the mantle of philanthropy and embark on the course of preventing prevention? Is this just par for the course where a most likely chemically induced or man-made health disorder is concerned? I guess AS should probably get credit for curing me of a non-cynical view of non-profits. Something to add to their list of accomplishments?


Autism Speaks and Geri Dawson are not interested at all in finding the causes or treatments. They can't even talk about autism as a medical illness. Why have they funded no studies investigating the biomedical treatments we all use? MB-12, chelation, LDN, REAL diet studies, folinic acid, hyperbarics, glutathione, IVIG, the list goes on.... Just released the last week was the study by Quadros, Rossignol, etc that studied cerebral folate deficiency and autism- they found that 60% of autistic kids in their study had autoantibodies (BAD!) to the folate receptor. The study was funded of course by ARI. My point of course is that Autism Speaks is not even in the ballpark when "sleuthing" the causes or real treatments (you know, treating sick kids with medical treatments instead of behavioral therapy). Would finding out that our kids have damaged immune systems lead to the cause of that damage?

Theodore M. Van Oosbree

"Autism has no know cause, cure, or prevention" - yep; and AS intends to keep it that way!


I like the picture
Mr. Macgoo was one of my favorite cartoons as a child.
Really blind and bumbling in his assumptions.
He could open his eyes though if he wanted too.

Cindy Waeltermann

Great piece. Autism Speaks needs to be exposed for the fraud they are -- bringing in 5x as much as they fund in research. Are we supposed to stand and congratulate them and help them pat their own backs as they fund $55 million in useless studies over 3 years? That's a drop in the bucket to them. In the end, the only thing Autism Speaks cares about is its own selfish monetary goals. They won't broach the subject that so many of us want to have investigated. Why? Because they know the answer and don't like it. God forbid there's a controversy. Donations will be down.


Nice post. You could replace autism with "CFS" and "Autism Speaks" with the "CFIDS Association" and you wouldn't have to change anything.

The CFIDS association paints themselves as the go-to patient organization for CFS patients, and with their donated money they heavily invest in genetics-only studies which haven't given us any treatments in 30 years. They push behavioral symptoms over immune-system biomarkers, pushing patients into the care of psychologists rather than immunologists. They worked with the CDC to close down retroviral findings in CFS, which were linked in the 1990's and now again are being shut down after another link was found in 2009.

The key buzzword associated with CFS since the CFIDS Association took hold has been..."mysterious".

Media propaganda against linking retroviruses to CFS has been almost as fierce as that against linking vaccines to autism.

The playbook is the same, so who is the coach?

Maurine Meleck

Excellent piece, Anne. I really have nothing to add except
that all her empty words keep her checks rolling in.

Perhaps we should refer to Autism Speaks as ASBSN. Autism Speaks But Says Nothing.

A real unvarnished vaxxed vs unvaxxed study is the only thing we need to find the cause and the cure

"...More than ever before, we have the best scientists in the world focusing their attention on autism. ..."

Unfortunately, AS continually points those scientists in the wrong direction.

A scientist once said "... autism is an epidemic, and you cannot have a genetic epidemic."

If you won't look at vaccines as a possible factor in causation, you are not much of a scientist.

Bob Moffitt

Anne writes that "Dawson outlined the long road ahead" thus:

"As we continue to sleuth the causes of ASD, we are also learning more about its underlying biology in ways that point toward potential new treatments for the core symptoms of ASD."

I would encourage readers of AoA to visit and read a ground-breaking, remarkably well written .. science based .. article titled: "OK. I give up. Vaccines do not cause autism".

Since autism is strictly a "behavioral diagnosis" .. there are no blood tests, body scans or laboratory tests upon which a child can be diagnosed with autism. Which means .. a child must exhibit a certain number of behaviors over a certain time frame .. and .. if the child does not exhibit those "behaviors" .. the diagnosis of autism is not warranted.

What could possibly be "triggering" those behaviors in this generation of children?

Well, vaccines are known to "cause" a myriad of biological dysfunctions that could generate .. over time .. the "behaviors" upon which the child's ultimate diagnosis of autism will be based. Such as ..

Encephalitis .. "causes" .. mood swings, extreme pain, inattention, impulsivity, aggression, balance and difficulties relating to one's environment.

Seizures .. "cause" .. mood swings, inattention, impulsivity and alterations in consciousness.

Immune system deficiencies .. "cause" .. children to have more frequent bacterial infections (ear, upper respiratory, sinusutis, strep, etc.)

Immune system deficiencies .. "cause" children to have more frequent viral infections, high fevers, rashes, hives, conjunctivitis and gastrointestinal viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Gastrointestinal damage from vaccines .. "cause" .. diarrhea, reflux, nausea .. and .. increased vulnerability to viruses and bacteria, which leads to increased administration of antibiotics, which leads to overgrowth of pathogenic yeast.

Pathogenic yeast overgrowth .. "causes" .. intestinal hyperpermeability (leaky gut syndrome), constipation, food allergies, "drunken, silly behavior", inattention, impulsivity.

So .. technically speaking .. Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer is correct .. vaccines do not cause autism.

However, if Autism Speaks were truly interested in "learning more about autism's underlying biology" .. she must cease ignoring the fact that vaccines are .. the single .. most likely "cause" .. of the myriad of biological dysfunctions that eventually produce the "behaviors" upon which a diagnosis of autism will be based.

This would be even more so should those underlying biological dysfunctions remain untreated for any length of time during the child's early development.

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