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Autism "A really interesting story," Unless You Live It

BlahBy Anne Dachel

Dr. Nancy Snyderman is the NBC medical expert who's gone on the record a number of times solemnly declaring that autism is nothing to worry about and that vaccines have nothing to do with it. 

On the Today Show in 2008, Dr. Snyderman defended millionaire vaccine developer Paul Offit, and joined his adamant denial of a link between vaccines and autism. (Offit is featured speaking while we're shown the back of his head.)

JB Handley wrote a piece in 2008 about how Snyderman told parents on the Today Show that there are only 14 vaccines in the childhood schedule (when in truth the total was 36 shots). 

Remember Snyderman in 2009 telling us autistic children really didn't have GI problems?
"The findings are important because they really dismiss that link between the gut and these neurological problems that we see in autism. And primarily they were looking for problems like mal-absorption and inflammation. These findings are very conclusive: There is no link between illness in the gut and the signs and symptoms we see in autism. ...This is a really important study for parents because it means that if you're putting your child on a restrictive diet, ...extra vitamins or nutrients, and you're spending a lot of money and putting your child through that, there's no reason to."

On the Today Show recently Snyderman, along with experts Catherine Lord and Fred Volkmar, weighed in on the upcoming changes to the autism diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).This was the gist of the conversation:

Snyderman: "The standard for diagnosing psychiatric conditions, including autism, is something called the DSM-IV. Today most children with autism fall in one of three categories: autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or PDD-NOS, ...which is characterized by milder symptoms....

"But the guidelines are now changing. Dr. Catherine Lord is a psychologist and on the American Psychiatric Association panel appointed to see that the DSM criteria are up to date."

Lord: "In the new DSM-5 criteria, there's just one category of Autism Spectrum Disorder, so there will no longer be PPD-NOS and Asperger's."

Snyderman: "And that has some parents and experts worried. Dr. Fred Volkmar at Yale University is one of them."

Volkmar: "The problem is, if you take away the autism label or the Asperger's label, it interferes with people thinking conceptually in a very sensible way about what does the person need."

Snyderman: "His study found that over 39 percent of individuals with autism or related disorders would no longer meet diagnostic criteria. Most of them higher functioning children..."

Volkmar: "Sadly, my worry is that the people that are going to be penalized essentially, are the ones who we've included now, the most able people who can the people with support can be productive members of society."

Snyderman: "For many parents...the possibility of losing government funded services is terrifying."

Snyderman: "But Dr. Lord and other experts on the panel caution that these changes are in patients' best interests."

Lord: "One of the things that our committee really wanted to do was to have a single Autism Spectrum Disorder that implies that anyone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder needs services."

Snyderman: "With the DSM-5 expected to come in May of 2013, the stakes are high."

Parent: "What we don't need are economic or political issues to distract us from the fact that regardless of what ...the label is, the needs that these children have, don't change."

Snyderman: "The reasons for the proposed changes is that doctors believe that this field is too segmented, too complicated, and that this move will help narrow the playing field. And in a weird kind of way, ...if we make it simpler, it can include more kids. The idea is if we make if simpler, we can maybe make the tent bigger and include more kids.

Anchor: "But the idea is that if you make these changes, some kids will fall through the cracks."

Snyderman: "And I think that group, the high functioning kids. Look, these kids can be mainstreamed, they need as much help. But those kids, some parents would argue are exactly the kind of kids you should invest in because those children are the Silicon Valley of tomorrow. So this is, I believe a battle in medicine, sociology, and funding. I don't think this ones over."

Anchor: "This is a really interesting story..."


No one here sees a problem, let alone a crisis.

For these experts, this is all academic of course.  Autism in the real world has little relationship to what Volkmar, Snyderman, and Lord are discussing. We're told that changes in the DSM-5 are intended to make things better. Their idea of autism presents no problem: there's no epidemic, there's no acknowledging of the miserable response from the medical community where no one knows the cause, cure, or prevention for autism, and no one is worried about the cost. 

If this were a legitimate interview with honest, in depth coverage, questions would have been raised about the timing of these changes to coincidence with more and more young Americans with autism aging out of the public school system with nowhere to go.  Nothing would make the epidemic more evident than the children with autism now becoming adults in numbers no one has ever witnessed before.  How convenient for those covering this up to have half of these young adults suddenly lose their diagnosis. 

In 2010, in a talk at NIH, Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) created by Congress to deal with autism, said that 80 percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18 and he warned that we need “to prepare for a million people who may be in need of significant services.”

Of course, nothing is being done to provide for the approaching tsunami of dependent adults that will descend on social services in the coming years. The IACC now calls autism “a national health emergency.” Estimates for lifetime care cost start at $3.2 million per individual. That’s a conservative estimate from 2006.

After perpetual studies linking autism to bad genes and just about everything under the sun--EXCEPT VACCINES, there are still no conclusive findings. The numbers are the real problem.  We've had endless lies covering up the exponential increase and now those lies will have to be expanded to include adults.  "Better diagnosing" will now become "over-diagnosing." The message is clear--MAKE THE EPIDEMIC GO AWAY. 

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



This is a cost cutting measure,to exclude the high functioning autistic kids.These kids will loose big time if no help or support available to them.
Autism Grandma is correct.They are
manipulating the data to reduce the actual numbers and to confuse the public even more.You only have to check the schools special education lists to figure out the truth.
Delay,denial and data manipulations are the tools they use.
...and Snyderman,she can take her 10,000 damn vaccines with dr. prOffitt...


Jane Hansen also gets it wrong:

"....Japan never had the MMR vaccine, the vaccine that was the basis of the now discredited 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield, but their autism rates have climbed at the same rate...."


Analysis of New Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Sparks Debate

"Fred Volkmar and his collaborators at Yale University reanalyzed data originally collected in the early 1990s as part of the field tests for the DSM-IV.

The data came from surveys collected during the field trials for the DSM-IV, carried out in the early 1990s. The surveys encompassed criteria from both the DSM-IV and the earlier DSM-III, which were collected from nearly 1,000 people: 657 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and the remainder with disorders not related to autism. To estimate the specificity and sensitivity of the DSM-5 criteria, researchers matched survey questions from the original study to the items in the DSM-5 checklist that they judged to be closest in wording and meaning. (Sensitivity means correctly detecting those who have the disorder, and specificity refers to accurately excluding those who do not.)

The new version is “much more specific but less sensitive,” says James McPartland, one of the researchers involved in the study.

According to the findings, only about 60 percent of people who were given a clinical diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder in 1994 meet the new diagnostic criteria. Specific numbers vary by the type of diagnosis and by intelligence quotient (IQ). For example, about 25 percent of those with Asperger syndrome and 28 percent of those with PDD-NOS are still classified as having autism. Among people with lower IQs, 70 percent meet the new criteria, whereas only 46 percent of people with higher IQs meet the definition.

“It’s not just that the criteria of DSM-5 narrow the spectrum across the full range of IQ,” says Skuse. “According to this analysis, it disproportionately narrows for those on the higher end of the spectrum.”
A handful of other recent studies have come to a similar conclusion4."

Since the current "official" statistic of 1 in 88 is not actually current and is not factually accurate, the real statistic is worse than this. Even with manipulating statistics the autism rate is continuing to climb so the only hope for the medical hierarchy is to simply re-define the diagnostic criteria and presto, by next year there will be 40% less children with autism....and 40% less children who qualify for therapies and assistance. This will not only serve to make the unsuspecting public less concerned about the rising rate of autism, but will also save the insurance companies and government ALOT of MONEY.



Thank you for image. I actually missed the show and sorry that I did for a couple of reasons. First I have much respect for both Dr. Volkmar and Dr. Lord because of their assistance to our family in seeking to assist our son. They both had a direct impact on us.

Dr. Lord was our son's support professional for assessment for over a decade to ensure he obtained appropriate educational supports. She was very dedicated to the families she served while at UMACC and it's closure with her move recently set back our progress here in MI to achieve a Center of Excellence in Autism. She never questioned our belief that our son's vaccine injury caused ASD nor our seeking biomedical interventions. We had several discussions over the years specifically on the subject. As our son progressed from severe autism to now doing quite well, she celebrated his success and he participated in several of their research projects and the develop of the ADOS. I will never forget one session where he was in a room with eight individuals from different countries who were assessing him with the ADOS while learning. Everyone was amazed at how well he did, asking them their country of origin, copying their accents, and doing quite well for a child with autism. Unfortunately it was the one session that was not video taped, but Dr. Lord even praised him after being advised by her staff that he had these practioners in awe because they had seen his case study on paper, and now he was dispelling some of those myths of ASD.

To show how dedicated she was to him she even called in to a conference for his three year review to ensure his educational criteria was correct and assisted us in overturning the district's experts. She did so while in NY and on her own time as she did with several things for families. It's difficult to tell her involvement with families and her direction from these types of interviews. We know her on a professional and personal level and feel she is a good advocate for individuals with ASD and has done much to assist many families, including ours.

Additionally Dr. Volmar is a hero in our eyes for resigning his position on the APA panel for the DSM 5. I saw him present in a day long workshop many years ago that was mostly educators and administrators in attendance, I was only one of a handful of parents there. But he showed two videos of two individuals on the spectrum applying for adult services. One seemed to have more challenges due to difficulty with speech and processing. The other individual was very capable and spoke well and discussed some of his difficulties. Volmar used these two to show that the individual who presented as more able actually was the one who obtained the supports because though he could communicate, he was not able to perform daily living tasks that the other individual could. Very interesting and I was so glad as a parent that he was educating these professionals on autism and it's core deficits and how what may not appear as readily for some individuals.

Within all of this however is the discussion of autism from birth and I would ask individuals how did you know on day one that your child had autism? Did you know that first week? But within that first week, how many vaccines had your child been given? I ask this not to be disrespectful, but I know of no child that has been diagnosed at age one day with ASD.

Thank you again and this does come down to the fact that people living with any type of disability or illness will not go away just because you raise or lower a bar of standard for what characteristics meet that critera. They will still be here and in need of services, support, and love no matter what label someone wants to attach as a diagnosis.

Just a mom

jacey smith capurso

Omg Benedetta !!! I love your idea!!!

Send our kids medical and therapy bills to the CDC, NIH......and NBC


Martha Moyer

ct. teacher mentioned the concern about the asian boy Tai Quan do class issue and pointed out the lad might have had autism and thus be unable to perform like the other class members. Keep in mind that asian people are different than many of us. They are extremely high achievers so any failure might have an ethnic connotation...true!

Also, I want to bring to everyone's attention about my 38 year old minimally verbal son with paralyzed bowels who was born with autism. I caught some sort of illness at conception and it probably caused his autism; however, I never put down other people who feel vaccines might be responsible for their son or daughter's issue.


Benedetta, oh lord, you are right, pre-existing conditions for children are in the current law, however, for adults it won't start until 2014. By then likely the entire package will be torn apart and the kids as well as the adults will have nothing. I was always sickened when called on to attend a fund raiser so that a child could get a bone marrow transplant to save their life, in this country how horrible is this. I have argued, lost a few friends over this, as I see every child as important, and all available medicine should be their right. I believe adults should have equal access as well, so I'm called a socialist. I've had many a wealthy person tell me , people shouldn't have children if they can't afford to give them the best. Secretly I hope they have their "day", yet that's not very nice of me.

Audrey  Ang

Dr Snyderman, let me tell you, I am married to a medical Doctor and after my son at age 12 mos got his 5 shots he just totally shutdown non-verbal no looking or talking the diagnosed with PDD-NOS. We had him tested with a DAN doctor found out he had low T-cells killer cells the live virus was still in him MMR and this doctor said that he would only be getting worse. So we started Nystatin antifungal and if I didn't he wouldn't be talkibng today. Also found out his gut was torn apart nothing in there to protect like good bacteria only fingus and yeast. Then started on VSL#3 prescription strenght probiotics due to uncontrollable diarrhea and constipation then digestive enzymes which helped the most brought him to talk again had MRI of brain but it was normal and genetic testing which now showing low and high on amino acids and his body not being bale to get essential nutrients due to malabosorption, One acid is clled quinolinic this is found in alzheimer patients, stroke dementia patients. My son went from being a normal child to this and my husband as a physician sees this cannot do anything and has seen how the DAN protocol has worked for him. He now has Mast cell and GI Motility Disease. Where Dr. Woeller sees these kids and said for our son that food is an invader to his body and starts attacking producing histamine and antibodies always causing inflammtion. So, what can you say to that dr. Snyderman its real!!!!


Too bad no one has been able to establish the "Silicon Valley" of TODAY is unable to do something as simple as use public transportation, let alone wipe themselves. So why are you expecting the disabled to be the "Silicon Valley of tomorrow"? Because you are stupid and corrupt and can't keep your story straight.

Nancy what ever happened to your quote:
"It is a passion of mine to call attention to medical errors and get back to the basics in medicine"

Psst I know of one that needs more attention called to it, not less.

Carter's Daddy

What is the source of these "findings" that say these kids have no gut issues? It's so easy for any of these pharma people to just say that, because they know the general public, out of misinformation and ignorance, trust everything a doctor says on TV.


Barbara J;
My child is 26 this past May.
Preexisting is what the insurance just finished writing us.
Maybe I will send that note from the health insurance along with the bill to the National Institute of Health, and they can take care of it all at the same time.

If there is such a law - it sure did not stop this insurance company a writing it down on paper and mailing it to me -- after two whole months of thinking about it.

I hope my son's neurologist is going to the epilespy conference in Chicago this year. It seems they are waking up to all this inflamation

"Marker of Inflammation May be Elevated with Certain Seizure Types"

And yes "Just get the Dam vaccine" is a great quote too.

We need to gather all these great bits of wisdom from the talking Barbie Doll head and put them together in verse, poem, lyrics or something - they are so memorable.

CT teacher

Silicon Valley, my foot. The other day while watching a board breaking test at my 6 yr old grandson's Tae Kwan Do sp?)class. I noticed a boy who was unable to do the warm up well. He looked uncoordinated and like he had low muscle tone. He walked on his toes and he was taller than the others. When it was his turn to break boards, he of course couldn't do it, even with repeated tries and help from the instructor. Everyone watched nervously because it was apparent that something was wrong with the boy. I kept waiting for the mom to intervene, but no one did. The boy crumpled on the floor sobbing and holding his ears, as the kids were making loud noises. when it was their turn. Again, no one went over to speak with him. As I was about to, my husband said that maybe I shouldn't as it might be a cultural thing, that he was not being consoled. The boy was Asian. When the class was over, he was in tte waiting room crying, and holding his ears. Only when the mother came in the front door, holding a young child, did I realize that no parent was with him. She went over and grabbed him roughly and pulled him out the door. Only then did I finally use my common sense and speak to him. I told him and his mom that he had tried very hard and did a great job. The incident has bothered me, not only because I didn't go over and console him, but also that the mother had left him there alone in all of his vulnerability. The instructors, too, it seemed were not aware of the extent of his problems,and it seemed his mom should have protected him more. I think he might be on the spectrum. I was very sad about the entire incident, and somehow I don't see a poor, sad child such as this becoming a silicon valley whiz in the future....not without a miracle, anyway.


Send the bill to everyone, Benedetta. President, congress members, ./.... Then start fighting the insurance using the N word. Negligence. Turn them into the better business bureau... etc. If you say nothing, they will continue the creepy lack of responsitiblity with you and others.

Chuck Hancock

Is it just me, or, why the hell is autism continously referred to as a psychiatric-based disorder? It's just so not true.


Does anyone know how many "Autism parents" were at the meeting in ....Aspen... in the clip with Dr. Nancy ??? Seems New Jersey would have been a much better location...

As we all know, Dr. Nancy thinks Dr. Wakefield is a fraud.

The Today show, January 2011

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Matt Lauer & Brian Deer on the MMR vaccine

Dr. Nancy adores this man / UK Murdoch news reporter Brian Deer

This man has "the science" ... trusted by Dr. Nancy.

Brian Deer has spent 7 years trying to discredit a 5 page 1998 Andrew Wakefield paper on 12 children. 200 children with similar symptoms followed...

Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the UK Speaks to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

The Chinese director of pediatrics has an Autistic son, following a MMR vaccine....

Maurine Meleck

These famous words are etched into my brain, sadly, for a lifetime
Spiderwoman spreads her web of destruction world wide.
Thanks, Anne.


dsmnightmare, yes, my nephew has gone from, MR to pdd-nos, to autism, to aspergers. Several years ago the doctor from Kennedy said to my sister, " he is so profoundly autistic you must consider putting him in a facility, it would be best for your other children and your family". ahh..but now he's's all BS.
Under the current Obama plan, I believe a child can not be denied coverage because of a pre existing condition, so ya' might want to fight for that while it's still in place. Romney said, he will take nothing away, all programs will remain, however, while yes , anyone with pre existing conditions will be denied the coverage to make these medical and non medical therapies accessible. If you have children, there is no choice but to think politics. We do realize that under the disability act, no one that is considered well can get accommodations, giving government great incentive for declaring our kids well. Hey we are all likely munchausen by proxy in the heads of people like Snyderman, Offit, and Romney anyway.

La Playa

"These children are the Silicon Valley of tomorrow"? Oh, God.


I wonder what happens under the new diagnostic criteria, if a child is diagnosed with Autism, whether they can lose their diagnosis?

According to Paul Offit, the kids get better no matter whether they get interventions or not.

The whole thing is being done to make it impossible to monitor numbers.

On a happier note, the self-diagnosed neurodiverse crowd (narcissists like "autism diva" and "Kev" and the whole of their "ilk") will have to find another, more appropriate DSM disorder to fall under. Their voice will be ignored more than it already is.

Finally, will Neman lose his job?


"In a weird kind of way, Anna -- this will help include more kids, make the tent bigger" -- sorry can't help it- it is stuck in my head. I sure would like that one explained.

Our new insurance this week sent a letter that they will not pay the specialist bill from my son's neurologist because it is a pre-existing condition.

These insurance companies do make deals with specialist and ER types of things. Example; My mother was flown out on a helicopter and Blue Cross had a deal that they could only charge 7,000 for the ride - but without that agreement and if we had to pay out of pocket it was 20,000.

So it is that this sorry excuse for insurance has an agreement with this specialist. But even that is not allowed in this case.

I think I will do a useless thing for anger's sake and send the bill to the NIH.

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