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Autism Awareness

Pile of ribbons

By Norm Roberts

Lynne and I took our grandson for a walk the other day and stopped at a small
playground to see if he would like to use the swings. Weston is ten. There was a boy
about his age there who tried to make friends. After several unsuccessful attempts he
asked Lynne why Weston was ignoring him. Lynne explained that Weston wasn't really
ignoring him. He has autism. He doesn't like to speak and often doesn't like to look at
people. But he knew the boy was there and heard what he was saying. The boy
immediately understood and continued playing with Weston, offering to push him on the
swing, accepting him where he was.

April is autism awareness month but at this point aren't we all well aware of it? We know
that one in every 110 children is "on the spectrum." We all know a family that is affected
by it. We've all seen a child like Weston at a park or the mall and wondered at the odd
behavior. Someone whispers "He has autism" and we say "oh." Weston's friend from
the playground knows what it means. What more is there to be aware of?

After over twenty years of exploding incidence rates we still don't know what causes it or
how to treat it. CDC is expected to release new statistics soon. No one will be surprised
if the rate has gone up again. We don't really even know what it is. It's usually described
as a behavioral disorder characterized by poor communications and social skills. A
psychiatrist first identified it in the 1940s and psychiatrists still control the diagnostic
criteria but they don't really know what it is either. They are currently proposing changes
to the standard manual because they think the label is being applied too broadly.
It isn't mental illness. Those affected have suffered some sort of neurological damage
involving not just their brains but their immune systems, sensory perception, often their
digestive systems, even muscle tone. This is a whole body issue.

It is also a global pandemic, though public health officials still don't acknowledge that.
I'm not sure why. We know it's not something one normally grows out of and most
people who have it are under age eighteen. It can't be explained by genetics, improved
diagnosis, or as some have suggested over diagnosis. The census bureau estimates
that in 2010 there were just over 62 million children in the United States under age 15. If
just under 1% of them have autism that represents well over half a million kids.
Something is happening to our children and we don't know what it it is.

If I had my way we would stop calling April "awareness" month and rename it "demand
answers" month. It's time we did and the demands shouldn't be coming only from
distraught parents whose children have the disorder. At this rate we will soon go from a
society where everybody knows a family affected by autism to one where anybody who
has both siblings and cousins will be a member of a family affected by it.

Even if the incidence rate stabilizes we are for the first time seeing large numbers of
these children becoming adults. I worry about that. It is one thing to see a child
behaving oddly in a public place. It is quite another when it is an adult. People may not
be as understanding. Beyond that many of these people won't be able to live
independently and their families won't always be able to care for them. Most of them are
already broke. Public costs will be staggering. We need to do something about this.

Norm Roberts is a retired business analyst living in Plano, Texas. His grandson has autism.



A new study in Nature states "Our findings suggest that chemicals and genetic mutations that impair topoisomerases could commonly contribute to ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders" (King et al. 2013)

As a posted earlier, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI) , the toxic metabolite of acetaminophen, is a topoisomerase II poison. (Bender et al. 2004)

Caution and research is highly warranted.


It was a good post, I was not in anyway thinking it was bad or even that out of place.
But I understand the misplacement because I have posted twice now on "The Editor" by mistake. I don't know why?
So this is posting for "Inflamation Highway" article.

Norm did nail it as Alison said - I am sick and tired of doctors not having a clue; autism appears on the little TVs in their officies along with healthy food recipes and talk of dibeties and on and on and they don't know it is the immune system/the mitochondria problem.



My post that you have responded to was not intended to be posted in this thread I accidentally posted it here. It follows up on some other thoughts on Mecp2, Microglia, Angiotensiin and other things in another thread. I was not implying that even the vaccines alone start the process without other things usually happening to a child's system that makes them sensitive to the vaccination and Tylenol may in many cases make this response more likely to cause neurological effects in such individuals. Yet, for some the precedding process may not need a vaccine or Tylenol to manifest a neurological condition. The post you are responding to is not meant to be interpreted alone, but based on a number of previous posts in the thread I linked to I am going to repost the info in this thread over to that one for it to be in context.


Patricia, Thank you for that link. Awesome presentation.


If only it was that simple, a combination of Tylenol and a vaccine.

I have thought long and hard on this one.

I think that if I had used asprin instead of tylenol there would not have been immediate reactions to the DPT shot, or such violent ones. But that is only a guess on my part.

I do know that after the initial vaccine injury for my children;they were running high fevers on some kind in a sort of cycle/once every couple of months -- getting rid of the tylenol and using asprin made those cycles for both of my children less severe and shorter.

My guess is:
I think there would have been a slower reaction to the vaccine if I had used asprin and not Tylenol, and I would not have blamed the vaccine.
With asprin; The slower/maybe gentler vaccine reactions might have kept my son from having a stroke,--- but it would have taken a 20/20 vision into the future (at that time) - that would have been the only way that I would have kept giving asprin for 6 weeks after a DPT shot for that was how long it took for both of my kid's immune system to gear up and they came down with Kawasakis. Asprin was the treatment for Kawasakis and it does work. But what parent is going to keep giving asprin to a child for six, seven eight weeks after a vaccine????

It was also about this time that there was a big scare about ryes syndrome (dangerous brain disease) - caused by over dose of asprin and a virus (flu or chicken pox)

Did Tylenol play a role in the vaccine reaction???
My guessssss is No!

I draw that conclusion from my observations of my husband's vaccine reaction at age 28 and again at age 34. He did not take tylenol or asprin when he had his reactions to the tetanus shot on the two different occassions that he reacted to them.

After his last reaction and continual muscle pain and weakness - steroids helped, he became 100 percent better. But as we all know that is something that cannot be tolerated for long periods of time either.


This is tied to the previous posts on Mecp2 and Angiotensin
and is just speculative. Many of you may be familiar with a report linking Tylenol after MMR vaccination to Autism I am not clear on whyy MMR or if others vaccines may produce the same findings if studied relative to Tylenol. ALum does possibly figure in though. Alum mediates cell damage and dna release and repair mechanisms would need to work and work properly. Both Tylenol and Isoniazid bear on 4-nitrophenol hydroxylase and P450 2E1. Isoniazid is likely not a bridge for dysfunction findings for any of you, but was for me.

N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine, the toxic metabolite of acetaminophen, is a topoisomerase II poison.

"Although acetaminophen is the most widely used analgesic in the world, it is also a leading cause of toxic drug overdoses. Beyond normal therapeutic doses, the drug is hepatotoxic and genotoxic. All of the harmful effects of acetaminophen have been attributed to the production of its toxic metabolite, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI). Since many of the cytotoxic/genotoxic events triggered by NAPQI are consistent with the actions of topoisomerase II-targeted drugs, the effects of this metabolite on human topoisomerase IIalpha were examined. NAPQI was a strong topoisomerase II poison and increased levels of enzyme-mediated DNA cleavage >5-fold at 100 microM. The compound induced scission at a number of DNA sites that were similar to those observed in the presence of the topoisomerase II-targeted anticancer drug etoposide; however, the relative site utilization differed. NAPQI strongly impaired the ability of topoisomerase IIalpha to reseal cleaved DNA molecules, suggesting that inhibition of DNA religation is the primary mechanism underlying cleavage enhancement. In addition to its effects in purified systems, NAPQI appeared to increase levels of DNA scission mediated by human topoisomerase IIalpha in cultured CEM leukemia cells. In contrast, acetaminophen did not significantly affect the DNA cleavage activity of the human enzyme in vitro or in cultured CEM cells. Furthermore, the analgesic did not interfere with the actions of etoposide against the type II enzyme. These results suggest that at least some of the cytotoxic/genotoxic effects caused by acetaminophen overdose may be mediated by the actions of NAPQI as a topoisomerase II poison."

Interaction in vivo between the two matrix attachment regions flanking a single chromatin loop.

"In interphase nuclei as in metaphase chromosomes, the genome is organized into topologically closed loop domains. Here, we have mapped the ends of the loop domain that contains the Ifng (interferon-gamma) gene in primary and cultured murine T-lymphocytes. To determine whether the ends of the loop are located in close proximity to each other in the nuclear space, the 3C (chromosome conformation capture) technique, which detects protein-mediated DNA-DNA interactions, was utilized. A strong interaction was demonstrated between the two ends of the loop, which were close enough to become cross-linked in vivo in the presence of paraformaldehyde. Chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with the 3C technique demonstrated that topoisomerase IIalpha and MeCP2, but not topoisomerase IIbeta, heterochromatin-associated protein HP1 or CTCF, were involved in this interaction. The present findings have important implications in terms of mechanisms of illegitimate recombination that can result in chromosomal translocations and deletions."

Heard of NAC and glutathione supplement helping and low sulfate being a problem?

Tylenol linked to autism

"Some observational evidence has suggested that use of Tylenol in pregnant women and young children may increase risk of pediatric autism.

One study of 83 children with autism and 80 children without the condition released in Jan 2009 in Autism showed that use of acetaminophen or Tylenol after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was associated with much greater risk of autism.

Stephen Schultz and colleagues from the University of California San Diego found among children aged younger than 5 years, those who used Tylenol after MMR vaccination were 6 times as likely to develop autism as those who did not.

Among children with regression in development, those who used Tylenol were 4 times as likely to suffer autism as those without.

Among children who had post-vaccination sequelae, those who received Tylenol were 8 times as likely to have autism as those who did not.

On the other hand, the researchers found Ibuprofen use after MMR was not associated with autism.

They concluded that the preliminary study suggested that Tylenol after MMR was associated with autism.

Torres A. R from Utah State University in Logan Utah published an article in Sept 2003 in BMC Prediatrics saying that the etiology of autism involves infections of the pregnant mother or of a young child.

Infections often lead to fever for which Tylenol is often used.

Torres explained that use of Tylenol inhibits processes that evolved over millions of years to protect against microbial attack and interferes with normal immunological development in the brain leading to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism." David Liu

Donna L.

"and the demands shouldn't be coming only from distraught parents whose children have the disorder."
Very well said, Norm. I'm always so grateful to see grandparents speak out on this public health disaster, both here on AofA and elsewhere. Your voices and perspective are so important. I think if you folks organized, you could move mountains!

First do no harm

"Everything a child has is autism, and that's why the numbers are huge."


So where are all these children misdiagnosed with autism? I've never met one. You'll have to try harder than that to deny the autism epidemic.


Humn, well here speaks an 'autistic'.

The fact is that there are people who are labelled with 'autism' that don't want to feel inferior.

Yet there are obviously cases like this where children are disabled truly.

Autism has fallen prey to the forer effect. Everything a child has is autism, and that's why the numbers are huge. At the same time, it helps nobodoy. Since it is so overgeneralized any research fails to track down any specifics.

You once complained not long ago that none of the docs actually know what autism is (since they're changing the DSM again). That is because Autism doesn't exist. It's just a collective name for a huge number of different things.

Cui bono? Who benefits from this lie? Autism Speaks benefits by taking centre stage, hammering down 'autistics' on one side and misling unhappy and yet more caring parents on the other.

Bob Moffitt

"April is autism awareness month but at this point aren't we all well aware of it?"

Autism Speaks would probably disagree .. but .. to me .. the end result that I see arising from "celebrating April as Autism Awareness month" for the ten years following my grandson's regression .. is that the general public has not only learned to be "aware" .. they have also learned to quietly "accept" it as having "always been here".

While creating awareness and acceptance may have been useful at one time .. exclusively pursuing BOTH into the future .. to the exclusion of DEMANDING ANSWERS .. will become more problem than solution.

I wholeheartedly agree with Norm .. henceforth .. April should be called DEMAND ANSWERS NOW!!!


Eileen, keep fighting...


this is AW a month ago. Nice ref to your book guys AoA.


Yes. Love it... "Demand answers month". Perfect way to sum up the situation.

Eileen Nicole Simon

Norm, thanks. The saddest thing is that the neurological impairment in autism could have been understood decades ago, if some of us with affected children could have been included in the conversation. Weren't we told last year, "It's time to change the conversation?" in response to families demanding research on vaccines. No, it is time to include everyone, in every conversation, and I greatly appreciate AOA as place to start.

My first 2 children suffered trauma and anoxia at birth (before the new vaccine schedule). Of course I read everything and even went back to graduate school to learn as much as I could about developmental language disorder. I will continue to try to point out the vulnerability of the brainstem auditory system to all factors that disrupt aerobic metabolism. Brainstem autonomic and motor systems are also vulnerable to injury at birth and in the neonatal period. Brainstem impairments likely also underly GI problems and hypotonia.

Too many invasive procedures have become standard practice in medicine. Even worse than the vaccine schedule, I think, is use of a surgical clamp on the umbilical cord immediately after birth. Placental respiration continues for many minutes following birth, and should not be interrupted until the baby is breathing. Until the mid-1980s this was explicitly taught in obstetric textbooks, about the same time the vaccine schedule was ramped up. Cord clamping plus vitamin K, hep-B, antibiotic treatments, and more all need to be questioned, and those of us affected must be included in the conversation.

See for a proposal for vaccine research that I made to the IACC 3 years ago, ignored of course. Keep up the heat everyone.


"demand answers" month. Love it.

Alison MacNeil

Norm, you nailed it. April should be "demand answers month". Thank you for saying this so well.

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