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August 2012
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October 2012

Up Your Nose!


By Cathy Jameson (reprinted from 10/11, Cathy has the day off.)

Good grief, my kids can lay it on thick.  I’ve got doom and gloom peering out from their bloodshot eyeballs.  Why you ask?  Well, we were recently exposed to some kids who had received the Flumist vaccine.  Hours and hours and hours of contact, play time, meal time and chit chat occurred before I found out those children opted to have the live flu virus jammed up their nostrils earlier in the day.  You might have heard the primal scream I let out when I returned to the quiet of my home after discovering this bit of news.  I’m usually the eternal optimist.  Not so much that day. I was cursing like a sailor instead.

I have five kids, one vaccine injured son and another boy with some immune system issues.  I have three healthy daughters who most of the time have nary a sniffle.  After the Flumist discovery, I declared a fortnight of no contact with those children I promise I won’t call potential mini virus spreaders.  I hoped the two week time buffer would give me a chance to keep my kids free from exposure from the shedding a live-virus vaccine does once it enters the body.  But, it was too late.  Like a firing squad, one child at a time came down with fevers, coughs, the chills, achy joints and rotten attitudes.  Antsy yet inconsolable greeted me for too many days in a row.  Of course I blamed my kids’ sickness on the recent source we’d been exposed to—their playmates.

Before my kids got really sick, they retaliated to a two-week-free-from-the-Flumist-friends decree I made.  “Why can’t we play with them?  We promise not to get too close.”  They begged.  They bribed.  “We’ll be extra nice and help you more if we can go play, okay?”  I repeated the decree with a brief explanation as to why it was important to give us time and space away from them—we don’t want Ronan to get sick.  If he catches the flu (or the “flu-like” symptoms lots of people encounter after receiving the flu shot) from these friends, it can really make him very sick.  They understood that part, but there were still terribly ticked that I took two friends away so quickly.  Oh, the looks I got. Ouch, that one from my oldest seared through my heart!  She’d just befriended one of the girls.  They’d planned more hours and hours of fun.  “Please, oh, please, oh, please, achhhhoo, can I go over to see her again?  I’ll be quick.  Please?”  I said no.  I put my foot down and said no again with her pathetic plea, “Awww, Mom.  Please?  Just for a few minutes?”  My other foot went down, NO.  You don’t understand, and I’m sorry you think I’m the bad guy, but no.  Wait a few weeks and then you can play.  “WEEKS?!?!”  Yes, I said, at least two weeks for their flu virus to do what it’s “supposed” to do and then you can play again. 

Two weeks.  A fortnight of frowny faces.  The kids scowled in between napping off their aches, fevers and coughing all over the place.  Oh, well.  Mean Old Mom strikes again.  It’s a title I’ve earned and one I plan on keeping close by. 

Continue reading "Up Your Nose!" »

City University of New York Offers Unique Program for Students with Autism

CUNYHere's some good news in a bad news world. City University of New York (CUNY) has implemented a program to assist students on the autism spectrum. Called "Project Reach," CUNY has identified a burgeoning need to educate and support its rapidly growing number of students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, and it hopes to become a national leader in providing a variety of higher education opportunities for these individuals. (In January, the private FAR Fund awarded the University a oneyear, $100,000 grant for a preliminary initiative called REACH: Resources and Education on Autism as CUNY’s Hallmark.

Imagine if our kids could attend college with the necessary support they need to meet their potential? It would be life changing in terms of self-esteem, income earning ability, socialization and more.  Thank you to CUNY for this program.  Feel free to share this info with your local colleges to encourage them to being a program in your area.  Here's their invite for an event (for students only.)

CUNY Central Office of Student Affairs
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
at 101 W. 31 Street, Manhattan,
12th floor conference room
Meet and Greet for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
“Breakfast with PROJECT REACH”
(CUNY Students Only)
More Details to follow soon.

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: LaCrosse Drinks Brian Deer's Kool-Aid

Keep Calm Write OnBy Dan Olmsted

As an English major, I'm really disappointed to see the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse promoting Brian Deer's talks next week at the University. According to the department's blog, Deer "carried out one of the classic public interest investigations of recent times. He probed the controversy over vaccines and autism.  Based on this landmark inquiry, and 25 years of pursuing complex, contentious topics, he gives a reporter's inside perspective on how to break a difficult story." 

"Fears that vaccines cause autism has become one of the biggest health controversies in America. But where did the story begin, and what keeps it going?"

The truth, fellow English majors and would-be journalists, is that the story began when vaccines began causing autism, and what keeps the story going is that vaccines keep causing autism. That's my view, but I'm not alone, and the fact that I and thousands of others hold that view shows that Deer's presentation should be treated as one side of a controversy, not as a how-to session. The promo -- doubtless supplied by Deer or his enablers -- acknowledges it's a real controversy, but then immediately reverts to the idea that some nonsense abroad in the population is perpetuating this ridiculous idea of a vaccine-autism link.

That is the kind of subtle subversion of logic and language to which English majors, especially, should be alert. The medical and scientific community may be in the tank, but this is a story in which close attention to rhetoric and reality can point to the truth as directly as any other evidence.

There's nothing wrong with having Deer speak at an American university, although I can't see much point in it. But the issue needs to be presented as a debate, a dialogue, and prosepective journalists need to study the controversy, not slaver over the author because he has won some awards and the orthodox medical and media establishments are drunk on his Kool-Aid. Andy Wakefield shouldn't have to scratch around for a venue to hold his own press conference. He should be invited in to confront Deer, or to appear in a similarly respectable capacity. Or, if not Wakefield, I've written and presented on the problems with Deer's reporting and would have been glad to do so again (they wouldn't have to pay me, which I can only assume is another difference between myself and Deer).

The title of Deer's other talk, "An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine and Autism," is not really holding up well, either, given developments since the series by that title appeared in the British Medical Journal in January 2011. According to the promo: "Over a period of seven years, Brian Deer investigated the story for The Sunday Times of London and now comes to LaCrosse to reveal what Time Magazine dubbed one of the 'great science frauds' of all time.  Launched from one British hospital in the 1990s, the scare took hold first in the UK, and then spread around the globe, leaving doctors baffled, children at risk, parents frightened, and lawyers with a lot more money. Deer shows how it was done, who did it, and why it will happen again."

The question to be asked is not how was it done, etc., but, What fraud?

Inconveniently, Wakefield's co-author on the 1988 "Lancet" paper, the renowned John Walker- Walker-smith.jpg.displaySmith, was exonerated of the British medical establishment's trumped-up charges this year by a British civil court with a thorough-goingness that directly discredits many of those breathless assertions against Wakefield, including claims that there was no regressive autism, no bowel disease, no genuine case series, no plausible link to the MMR. For instance, here is what Smith said under oath :


Q. What did you believe that you were finding?

A. Just like many times in my career before, we were finding a new disorder. … We were beginning to see a new syndrome, fairly clear features of children [with regressive developmental disorders] presenting with diarrhoea, very often abdominal pain which often was not diagnosed by other doctors. ...There is a characteristic symptom pattern. ... Clearly in the context of autism we felt something new was coming, and that is the motivation, of course, for us clinicians to feel that it was appropriate for Andy Wakefield to take the lead, and write these features for publication.

Q. Having gone through the histology reports, the synthesis of those reports in the histology meetings, it is clear that there are abnormalities there ---?

A. Yes.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: LaCrosse Drinks Brian Deer's Kool-Aid" »

Autism Sucks: And Then I Die.


Mia and Mom!

By Kim Stagliano

It's been a while since I've spooned up a goodly dose of medicine to you.  Today I ask you to open wide, say ahhh, bend over and cough all at once.

Last week I was in Dallas, Texas, speaking to a wonderful group called Metrocare that provides services to low income families with children who have developmental disabilities.  I flew in a airplane all by myself. I was picked up at the airport and whisked to my luxury accommodations in a car that costs more than my annual income. I was ensconced in a room with terry robes and slippers (in case I had the desire for a massage or other treatment in the spa downstairs) and a mini-bar (didn't touch it) and a bathtub my Bella would have sworn was her very own indoor pool.   I was living large, my friends.   I was even.... on TV:

Yesterday I picked up this (below) at Probate Court in my town. What is it? It's a form that enables my husband Mark and me to take away our daughter Mia's adult rights when she turns 18 in December.  You read that correctly.

 Probate papers

Continue reading "Autism Sucks: And Then I Die." »

Your Weekly Constitutional Presents: Vaccination

ListenFrom host Stewart Harris "Next up on "Your Weekly Constitutional: Can you refuse to get your child vaccinated? What if you think that the vaccines in question will cause more harm than good?  Please be sure to visit our Facebook page.  You can also download podcasts on iTunes by clicking here.  Thanks for listening!"

We'll talk to a historian about the government's aggressive efforts to combat smallpox more than a century ago, and to Mark Blaxill, a concerned parent who believes that vaccination may be among the causes of autism.

Saturday at 11:00 AM on WPRR.

Sunday at 1:00 PM on WEHC, 3:00 PM on WETS, and 7:00 PM on WVTF's Radio IQ Network.

Tuesday at 8:00 PM on WETS.

Your Weekly Constitutional is a public radio show and podcast that focuses upon interesting and controversial issues in constitutional law, from gay rights to gun rights.  Produced in partnership with James Madison's Montpelier, it features interviews with knowledgeable lawyers, scholars, and others about current and historical topics, including church-state relations, states' rights, and even the constitutionality of secession.  YWC's host is Stewart Harris, an award-winning law professor who loves to talk about the Constitution in a fun, accessible way that everyone can understand.  He's spoken with many fascinating people, including United States Senator Rand Paul, a leading critic of the Federal Reserve, Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina, who is leading her state's efforts to compensate victims of forced sterilization, and John Bellinger, the former Legal Advisor to the National Security Council.

Continue reading "Your Weekly Constitutional Presents: Vaccination" »

Parents Can Not Sue Vaccine Manufacturers for Injury

Hung out to dry

Managing Editor's Note:  How many American parents know that if their child is harmed by the  side effects of the medicine known as vaccination, they are not able to take the injury up with the person who encouraged (cajoled?) them to administer the product or the company who manufactured the product?  Precious few I'm afraid.  And that's just what pharma and many public health professionals want - ignorant (not stupid) parents.  And when parents become informed? Then they get the "anti-vaccine" label slapped on them for having the audacity to pay attention to what has happened to their kids. 

Our Anne Dachel said, "I am rarely happy about anything the mainstream media says about autism—especially if it has to do with the cause (and of course their one-sided, abysmal coverage of vaccine and autism.)  However, every once in a while a little light shines through.  There are two, count ‘em, two-- TWO CURRENT PIECES THAT LEGITIMATELY COVER THE VACCINE CONTROVERSY. 

The first was from the San Francisco Chronicle blog.  It was a piece called, “Parents can't sue vaccine manufacturers,” and it’s by a real reporter for the Chronicle, Bob Egelko.

It covers the fact that THERE ARE VACCINE INJURIES and it describes what parents are up against if their child is harmed by a vaccine. 

The second story was from the Ventura County Star in Camarillo, CA.  The title was “Rise in Autism Cases.”  (The word “rise” with autism always hits me as the world’s best euphemism.  I can only think of words like “tsunami” or “explosion.”)   

This was a letter to the paper by someone named David Eckerson, It was brilliant, despite the title.  The opening was something like what I’ve asked countless times, “When it comes to autism in our kids, where is the outrage? Why aren't people demanding real answers?”

Eckerson went on to talk about the epidemic of autism—an epidemic without a known cause or any national attention.  He cited both bad food and the shots kids get.  And I agree.  We know the vaccines are damaging kids but be aware that many of the very same toxins are in the foods we’re giving our kids.  He ended by bringing up the issue of exemptions and the passing of laws to remove our parental rights. 

Thank you to both papers for publishing information that is bound to cause a heated reaction from the medical community and health officials.  And please, tomorrow let the other side give their arguments.  Let them tell us “studies show no link.”   Parents are quite intelligent.  Let them hear all the claims.  They will decide who’s right.

And as far as I’m concerned, the greatest thing about these stories is the comment section.   Check out what I put on there…links to CBS and FOX News stories, information about Hannah Poling, the PACE Law School study, and the fantastic epic, the Greater Good.

Maybe this is the start of the mainstream press actually giving us something resembling EQUAL TIME and FAIR AND BALANCED COVERAGE.  We can only hope."

By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer

Parents whose children are harmed or killed by allegedly defective vaccines can't sue the manufacturers for damages in state court and must instead accept no-fault compensation from a national tribunal for vaccination injuries, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of a suit by a Las Vegas couple whose baby son suffered seizures and died after an immunization shot, saying such suits were precluded by a 1986 federal law.

The law established a "vaccine court" where those who claimed injuries from vaccination must file their claims. If a hearing officer determined that the harm was consistent with the vaccine's known side effects, the victim would be awarded compensation without having to prove that the manufacturer caused the harm or acted negligently.

Read more:

Register For Fall Autism Research Institute Conference in Orange County

ARI sidebar logoThe Fall 2012 ARI Conference is set for October 11-14th at the Hyatt Regency Orange County near Disneyland in Garden Grove, CA. The Autism Research Institute has negotiated a block of special discounted room rates of just $119 per night. You must reserve your room by next Monday to take advantage of this special rate.


Don't Miss Our Free Special Event with Ken Cook October 12th Hear Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook's 10 Americans presentation in person at the Hyatt Regency Orange County at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12th.

Enter to Win an iPad and See "Stories in a Snapshot" at ARI's Networking Party Sat., Oct. 13th  

Lee Silsby logo 09 The treatment category is sponsored by Lee Silsby, the leader in quality compounded medications for autism.

Popular Children’s Lunch Contains Hidden Danger, Groups Warn

StarkistMontpelier, VT, September 19th, 9 AM: Some children may be at greater risk from mercury in tuna than previously thought, finds a new study by the Mercury Policy Project (MPP). Tuna Surprise contains the first-ever test results of canned tuna sold to schools, and assesses children’s mercury exposure from canned tuna. Independent studies, not available when government advisories were issued eight years ago, indicate that adverse effects to methylmercury occur at much lower levels of exposure than previously thought. The report, co-released by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Safe Minds, and several other public health, consumer and environmental groups,1 advises schools and parents not to serve any albacore tuna to kids and to limit consumption of light tuna to twice a month for most kids and only once a month for smaller children (under 55 pounds).

“Most children are already consuming only modest amounts of tuna and are not at significant risk,” said Michael Bender, MPP’s director. “So the focus really needs to be on kids who eat tuna often, to limit their mercury exposure by offering them lower-mercury seafood or other nutritious alternatives.”

“Fish, including tuna, is generally a nutritious part of a healthy diet,” said Sarah Klein, staff attorney in the Food Safety program at CSPI. “But especially for our littlest, most vulnerable children, we have to make sure the risks from mercury in tuna don’t outweigh tuna’s benefits. We’re urging parents and schools to limit children’s tuna consumption and, when they do serve it, to choose lower-mercury options.”

“As the report states, light tuna has one-third as much mercury as albacore does,” added Eric Uram of Safe Minds. “But contrary to the current Federal fish consumption advisory, it is definitely not a low-mercury fish.”

Tuna Surprise points out that canned tuna is by far the largest source of methylmercury in the US diet and accounts for nearly one-third of Americans’ total exposure to this toxic mercury compound.

Continue reading "Popular Children’s Lunch Contains Hidden Danger, Groups Warn" »

Autism College News: Mighty is the Fear

Chantal4Managing Editor's Note: Thank you to our friend Chantal Sicile-Kira who allowed us to excerpt this post from Autism College.

Life with Autism: Mighty is the Fear

Two caregivers were arrested this past week in Valley Center (near San Diego, CA) for allegedly abusing a severely autistic non-verbal young man in his home. They had been in the family’s employ for over two years and were caught on videotape over a three week period.

This is a parent’s worst nightmare come true; and if it’s a nightmare for the parent imagine what it is like for the victim.

According to reports in the media, the mother, Kim Oakley,  saw changes in her son, Jamey, indicating he appeared to be unhappy on the days following the men’s shifts. Kim also realized Jamey was trying to communicate something to her. When she questioned the caregivers, “They blamed everything on his severe autism,” according to newspaper reports. Kim set up a surveillance camera after noticing that the wires to a baby monitor had been cut. Videos shot over a three week period led to the arrests.

My heart goes out to Kim and Jamey and the rest of the family. Unfortunately their story is not unique and it highlights the difficulties of all families requiring caregivers and support staff for their severely autistic loved one.

How often do we hear about a non-verbal person that “his behavior is due to his autism”? Bull! All behavior is communication and Kim, like most moms and dads, know this. Watch “Autistic Cases ‘Autism Experts’ Run From”    that Kim Oakley posted on YouTube. Jamey’s behaviors  in this video were particularly bad because he had a Urinary Tract infection and once it was diagnosed and treated, he was better. But is took five days to get it taken care of. Read the full post HERE.

AofA Science Summary: Reversible blindness in bilateral optic neuritis associated with nasal flu vaccine.

Science post imageBinocul Vis Strabolog Q Simms Romano. 2012;27(3):171-3.

Reversible blindness in bilateral optic neruritis associated with nasal flu vaccine.

Crawford CGrazko MBRaymond WR 4thRivers BAMunson PD.


Various case reports have shown possible associations between optic neuritis and different vaccines. Some of the vaccines include influenza, hepatitis B and anthrax


To present evidence for a causal relationship between optic neuritis and Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV), administered as nasal flu vaccine.


Case Report. In a 13-year-old male with bilateral optic neuritis, detailed clinical history, neuro-ophthalmologic examination, magnetic resonance imaging, stereo-disc photos, visual field testing, ocular coherence tomography, blood tests and cerebral spinal fluid analysis were performed.


Exam findings on presentation: BCVA: 20/CF OD; 20/LP OS. Positive relative afferent pupil defect OD. Unremarkable anterior segment and posterior segment exam. No papillitis or papilledema. Global visual field defect OU based on Humphrey 30-2. MRI: diffuse enlargement of Optic Chiasm with inflammation of distal optic nerves bilateral. Blood cultures and CSF were negative. Patient received 3 divided doses of methyl prednisone with mild improvement of vision upon hospital discharge and marked improvement of vision at 2 month follow up.


In this child, no infectious, vascular, granulomatous, viral or immune-related cause of optic neuritis was identified. This case provides compelling evidence that supports the nasal flu vaccination as a cause of optic neuritis.


Rally Friday: California AB2109 Will Take Away Healthcare Rights


By Michelle Gutierrez


Education. Everybody wants it, right? I ask because the legislators of California have pushed through Assembly Bill 2109. The author, Assemblyman Richard Pan, states the bill is about vaccine education. With 300 of us there in opposition at the Assembly Health Hearing, we were treated with extreme disgust as the legislators cut off our testimony to only 6 minutes with NO REBUTTAL. At the Senate Health Hearing, 150+ of us were promised ample time to speak, but were lied to again. Another 6 minutes of testimony can not even begin to address all the problems with this bill. Even actor / comedian Rob Schneider came to oppose, but was treated just as poorly.

AB2109 passed right along party lines (Democrats are majority). See the vote here:

Senate Floor -

Assembly Floor -

It now sits on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. He can sign it into law, let it go into law without his signature, or can veto it. We are hoping for the latter. Here’s why.

Have you read the text of the bill? Read it here:

“The bill would require, on and after January 1, 2014, the letter or affidavit to be accompanied by a form prescribed by the State Department of Public Health that includes a signed attestation from a health care practitioner, as defined, that indicates that the health care practitioner provided the parent or guardian of the person, the adult who has assumed responsibility for the care and custody of the person, or the person, if an emancipated minor, who is subject to the immunization requirements with information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of specified communicable diseases.”

Sounds good, right? Well, not really.

First, we already have a Philosophical Exemption in California to opt out of one or more vaccines based on our Personal / Religious Beliefs. Second, there is plenty of information on vaccines on the Internet and parents have free access to libraries. You can even research Published Medical Documents On-line through the National Institutes of Health. So now, the taxpayers will have to spend money on a new form when there is already a form to opt out at the schools. The bill is redundant. But it’s still about education you say. The Health Practitioner is providing information about the benefits and risks. OK, sounds good.

But wait.

(f) For purposes of this section, “health care practitioner” means any of the following:

Continue reading "Rally Friday: California AB2109 Will Take Away Healthcare Rights" »

Best of AofA: What's Behind Ben Goldacre?

Ben Goldacre GSK

(Reprinted from August, 2010)

By John Stone

After years of secrecy on the matter confirmation has finally come to light that Guardian ‘Bad Science’ journalist Ben Goldacre is the son of Oxford professor of public health  Michael  J Goldacre (HERE). Prof Goldacre has been director since 1986 of the UK Department Health funded Unit of Healthcare Epidemiology (HERE).  The family relationship is mentioned in a review of Goldacre junior’s Bad Science book in the peer-review journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival  (25, p.255-7, 2009)by Dr Ian Fairlie, but there has been a long term lack of candour about the matter. While the reasons for the secrecy remain unknown it is possible that if the relationship, which has never before been mentioned in the mainstream media or scientific publications, had been common knowledge it might have raised questions about the independence of the younger Goldacre’s views.  Goldacre senior was a co-author of a study of the effects of GlaxoSmithKline’s notorious Urabe strain version of MMR, Pluserix, after it was suddenly withdrawn from public use in 1992 (HERE): the Unit has produced several MMR related studies.

Ben Goldacre’s column which started in 2003 has featured his largely epidemiological approach to health issues, most prominently MMR and autism. Coming apparently from nowhere, journalistically speaking, he was promoted to the role of an “opinion leader” from the outset. His early article MMR: Never mind the facts won the accolade of the GlaxoSmithKline sponsored Association of British Science Writers’ award for the best feature article of 2003.
The article, however, used flawed epidemiology for which he later offered no defence (HERE), as well as including an anonymous attack on Andrew Wakefield by one of Wakefield’s colleagues. This was just the first of several notable interventions Ben Goldacre in the MMR affair. A stock-in-trade has been his generalised attacks on parents of MMR damaged children. His Bad Science blogsite for a long time offered this intimidatory advice to would-be contributors:

“..personal anecdotes about your MMR tragedy will be deleted for your own safety”

A fundamental of Ben Goldacre’s journalistic method is the ad hominem and he always talks across opponents: he can always depend on the greater prominence of his published views and he never answers the many awkward criticisms.

The Goldacre dynasty seem to be one of several with on-going connections with the MMR affair:

  • *Dr Evan Harris, the former MP, who accompanied Brian Deer to make accusations against Andrew Wakefield and colleagues, and led a debate under privilege in the House of Commons making further allegations of unethical practices (HERE) is the son of paediatrician Prof Frank Harris who sat on the Committee on Safety in Medicines and the adverse reactions to vaccine committee ARVI in the early 1990s when Pluserix MMR vaccine had to be withdrawn (HERE) , (HERE) , (HERE).

Continue reading "Best of AofA: What's Behind Ben Goldacre?" »

Advisory Council of Childhood Vaccines to the Department of Health and Human Services

Speak_out_for_safety_osha_caution_signBy Wayne Rohde

Has anyone heard of the ACCV, the Advisory Council of Childhood Vaccines to the Department of Health and Human Services?  Most people have not and what is worse, a very large majority of the public does not know about the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Last month I talked about the horrendous injuries of Gardasil and how the Vaccine Court was handling those petitions for compensation.  That has not improved, just more petitions filed and more of them being dismissed.  A couple of them were awarded minimal compensation but that is secondary to the damage that the Gardasil vaccine is causing normal, active teenagers.

The ACCV was formed as the advisory committee to the program or specifically to the Secretary of HHS.  There are several members, most serving as representatives for industry and medical agencies, an attorney representing the petitioner attorneys, and two parent representatives, who have vaccine injured children.  The meetings are held quarterly, the last one Thursday, Sept 6th.  The general public is invited to attend via conference call if they cannot attend in person.  Most of the meetings are setup as a 2 day, 6 to 8 hours each day to discuss topics of concern to the committee plus status reports about the adjudication of petitions, a report from DOJ attorneys on the status of cases that are appealed or remanded back to the Vaccine Court, plus workgroup reports on recommendations that can be sent on to the Secretary of HHS.

After reading the transcripts of quarterly meetings for the past several years, I have noticed that most of the members are not advocates for the general public or vaccine safety, only the attorney member and parent representatives are the ones challenging the status quo of our nation’s vaccine policy. 

A topic that is very important to all of us is the committee’s charge and responsibility of conducting public outreach, in other words, educating the general public and medical communities about the VICP.   But as with all issues regarding vaccine policy, special interests and their political clout enters the chambers of the committee and puts a damper on what should be a clear and laser focused effort to provide information to the general public about vaccine compensation.

In 2009, the committee made an attempt to develop a public outreach program.  Heavy discussion and debate regarding the determination of desired targets occupied the commissioners during the meetings.  Was the end result going to be attendance at a few medical tradeshows handing out a couple dozen brochures to a few doctors who stopped by, or perhaps the development and expansion of the website to provide more information and links to the program, or maybe developing a Public Service Announcement and placing it on TV and Radio outlets, or the use of social media?

The discussion of developing a PSA was very interesting and telling of the motives of several members of this committee.  The discussion about a PSA would actually scare more people not to vaccinate trumped the discussion of educating them on what happens if you suspect a vaccine injury.

But what I find very frustrating is what happens with most federal committees and commissions.  The committee decided to spend   $300,000.00 to contract with a private vendor, Banyon Communications, to develop a public outreach program.  The end result was presented to the committee a year later.  For $300,000.00, the ACCV decided to provide a couple of links on the website and publish a couple of documents of their recommendations of reform measures that were sent to the Secretary of HHS a few years earlier.

Continue reading "Advisory Council of Childhood Vaccines to the Department of Health and Human Services" »

Guess Who's Coming To America? Brian Deer To Speak in Wisconsin. Wakefield Press Conference First.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotBy Ed Arranga Brian deer

Brian Deer – a liar, fraud, and former reporter for The Sunday Times of London – is coming to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse October 4 and 5 to lecture you about Dr. Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine. On Oct. 4 Deer’s lecture is An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine & Autism,” and then on Oct. 5, Stiletto Journalism: Busting the Vaccine Scare.”

Deer’s talks at La Crosse are a continuation of the misinformation campaign to destroy Wakefield and to deny his Lancet case series (here) that was published in 1998. Wakefield found bowel disease in children with autism spectrum disorder and raised questions about the safety of the MMR. (Click here for an overview of the misinformation campaign.)

In 2003 autism rates were exploding. Parents were blaming the MMR. It was time for industry and its cronies to get ugly. Deer was told by his Times editor to find “something big” on the MMR. Deer’s series of stories in 2004 were just what the powers that be needed: Protect the guilty, sacrifice the science, and kill the messenger. Dr. Wakefield and Professor John Walker-Smith were the messengers who lost their licenses to practice medicine when the General Medical Council (GMC, the governing board of doctors in the UK) – eager to quash any further scientific inquiries and shield pharma – circled their wagons. 

The Deer-inspired, GMC-trumped-up charges and findings were so rotten and perverted that when the case finally got before a real judge, in a real court – the High Court of London –  Justice Mitting overturned the findings, criticized the panel's “inadequate and superficial reasoning," and admonished the GMC by stating, "It would be a misfortune if this were to happen again."

By the time Judge Mitting blasted the GMC and Parliament began investigating and arresting Murdoch reporters, Deer had already written another series of articles (hereherehere), falsely accusing Dr. Wakefield of having committed fraud. Published in the BMJ in January 2011, the articles follow the same twisted pattern of deceit Deer learned while working in the criminally-corrupt Murdoch newspaper culture: Lie, lie, and lie some more.

Deer’s BMJ series created the intended frenzy. Finally an answer… well, not really an answer, but any questions about the autism epidemic could now be sidetracked by mainstream media into a “Blame Wakefield” mantra.  Complacent and compliant, mainstream media was free to continue their mission as a casual observer, watching as they did in 2008 as America’s economy melted down, and for the last decade watching as America’s healthcare system melts down. 

Continue reading "Guess Who's Coming To America? Brian Deer To Speak in Wisconsin. Wakefield Press Conference First." »

Life Care Planning and Autism

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9 am Pacific / 12 noon Eastern

A BEACON OF LIGHT AND HOPE FOR LIFE CARE PLANNING:  Dr. Mary Joann Lang and Edward Miguel, COO, interview Michael Sanders, MBA, and Lisa Rudley, MBA

What do you need to do to ensure sufficient resources for your ASD child’s future during adulthood? Dr. Mary Joann Lang, founder, and Edward Miguel, chief operating officer, of Beacon Day School interview Michael Sanders, MBA, and Lisa Rudley, MBA, about the vital topic of life care planning. 

Old Wounds and Righteous Indignation


By Cathy Jameson

As I watched my post last week being shared by other parents of affected children I could see that it evoked emotions similar to those that inspired me to write it.  I had wanted to share the Forgive and Forget? thoughts for a very long time, but I hadn’t found the right time to do that.  Last week, several unfortunate triggers brought out the deep, dark writing of that piece. 

It wasn’t the first time I experienced the overwhelming rage those triggers evoked, and sadly it might not be the last time.  I say that because I have had to turn to several people to aid me with my child.  He has many limitations that I cannot serve as well as others say they can.  Sometimes I have nowhere else to turn but other to people.  But, when I place my child in the hands of someone else fully trusting their every intention to be good and then discover that my child was knowingly placed in harm’s way deep, dark anger has every right to step in.  Not only does it step in.  It takes over.  It occupies every thought.  And every purpose and action I am forced to make.

Detrimental emotions consume me when triggers open up old wounds. Sometimes I can work through the immediate and necessary changes that must be made, but not without some scarring.  Those past ‘didn’t have to happen’ moments, as much I don’t want to dwell on them, are forefront again.  So is something else:  righteous indignation and all of its fury.  It’s right there in front of me, constant and it comes down hard.

Righteous indignation is nothing to mess with.  Parents whose children have been vaccine injured know this well.   With seething eyes we set our gaze.  We focus on one direction—forward.  We blaze a path that will not divert.  We stay determined and do not allow for distraction.  Why?  Because injustice is rampant.  Lies are prolific.  Propaganda is widespread.  And, more children continue to be harmed in the name of ‘science’ and for a ‘greater good’.

How is any of that okay?  When is this going to end?  Why does anyone think they’ll get away with it?  Who does this lying and deceiving thinking no one will notice?! 

I’ll tell you who.  It’s people who don’t care.  People who don’t listen.  People who won’t budge even though they know they should.

Why is this important to someone like me or to other parents with children similar to mine?  Righteous indignation makes us stronger.  It knows no limits.  Righteous indignation fuels what has broken us.  We can go no lower emotionally than we’ve already gone.  We’ve fallen, no—been pushed into the depths of despair by someone whose role was to help.  Not much can make up for that. 

Continue reading "Old Wounds and Righteous Indignation" »

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Poison, Apples, Polio, and Popcorn

DO WA State

By Dan Olmsted

The drumbeat is especially loud this fall -- get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and protect Flu shot flyeryourself from the modern plagues. You know, chickenpox, mumps, hepatitis B in infancy. Not to mention the mercury, I mean flu, shot, and the shingles jab to protect yourself from the population-level consequences of the chickenpox shot. They've practically become Blue-Light Specials at the big box store.

But the pushback to the drumbeat is also more notable this year. Parents (along with the gutsy Rob Schneider) are battling in California, which wants your doctor to harrangue you before you exercise your legal rights, and New Jersey, which wants to require proof that your medical or religious exemption is legit. (Ah, the Golden state, home of the law that lets 12-year-olds get the Gardasil shot without parental consent, and an exploding autism rate. Ah, the Garden state, home of the Pharm team and an astonishingly high autism rate.) 

So all is not lost -- at least the issue is out there and getting bigger by the day. Private school parents -- better off, better educated -- and opting out for their kids more than ever. Last year a restrictive measure was beaten back in Vermont, and the increasing presence of the Canary Party and other autism activists in the debate bodes well for the long run.

But meanwhile we must suffer reports like the one this week in The New York Times, "Washington State Makes It Harder to Opt Out of Immunizations," that begins: "Washington State is home to Bill and Melinda Gates, champions of childhood vaccines across the globe. Its university boasts cutting-eduge vaccine research. But when it comes to getting children immunized, until recently, the state was dead last."

The article extrudes praise on the recent tightening of exemptions there, and soberly notes a new study that "more parents are choosing not to have their children vaccinated, especially in states that make it easy to opt out."

But why would parents do that, especially the most informed and engaged ones? Of course, there's that "false" Andy Wakefield claim linking the MMR to autism, as The Times put it. Well, that's not what Wakefield said, but I will -- the MMR does cause autism and bowel problems. Too many parents know it, and they know that the current cumulative, agglutinated vaccine schedule does, too. And so does mercury in its many manifestations. That, fundamentally, is why they're scaling back, dialing down, opting out. New laws and scornful schoolmarmish mainstream articles won't change that in the long run.

Washington State is an interesting place for this debate, as the article notes. But there's another reason it's apt. Look at the photo with the story -- a mom and daughter on their farm, with what look to be apples in the foreground weighing down the branches. It's that time of year.

In the old days, it used to be the time for polio outbreaks as well. The article says: "Vaccines are among the most important achievements of modern medicine. Since the first major types came into broad use in the 1940s, they have drastically reduced deaths from infectious diseases like polio and measles. But the virtual disappearance of these diseases has lulled parents into considering the vaccines as less necessary, public health experts say." (Cue mandatory quote from millionaire vaccine industrialist -- not "public health expert" -- Paul Offit.)

But let's talk polio for a moment. Mark Blaxill and I have written an alternative narrative of the rise and fall of polio.  We propose that the polio virus was a benign stomach bug until it was potentiated by industrial-age pesticides, beginning with lead arsenate in the 1890s and exploding with DDT after World War II. Yes, the polio vaccine beat the virus into submission, ending the epidemics, and that's a good thing, but the better thing would have been never triggering the epidemics in the first place. Second best, even at this late date, would be learning the lessons of that iconic modern scourge.

Which brings us to Washington state and apples. In our series on polio, we described a study done by Jacolyn Van Vliet Manning in 1912 -- a nice round century ago -- that took note of a stunning phenomenon. At the same time as several of the early polio outbreaks, farm and domestic animals also died. Since experiments showed the virus could not trigger paralysis in animals, that was an early warning sign something more complicated might be going on -- some kind of co-factor or confounder was paralyzing animals at the same time people were contracting poliomyelitis. 

"I have found a disease appearing in one or two year old colts that shows a line of symptoms corresponding closely to anterior poliomyelitis in children," Manning wrote. (Don't you just want to scream, Wake Up!)

Although no one recognized it then, we believe that co-factor was pesticide. One of the coincident outbreaks in man and animal cited in Manning's chart was in Kelley, Washington, in 1910. As we've pointed out, many of the early outbreaks were in places where fruits and vegetables were grown intensively, like the Napa and San Joaquin valleys in California, and the blueberry-growing center in Eastern Maine. Orchard-heavy Washington state would certainly fit that bill. Apples were a prime target for moths, and thus a prime target for the new lead arsenate pesticide. Another early outbreak occurred in  Galesville, Wisconsin, in 1907. Even today, the Chamber of Commerce logo there features an apple, and the annual Apple Affair is held the first Saturday in October. “Orchards from the area set up stands on the square where visitors can purchase apples and apple treats served up by local growers. Apple pie, apple slices, caramel apples, Apple Normandy, Queen's Apple, apple cider, apple juice -- if it's apple, you'll find it here.”

Yes, along with early polio outbreaks. Another example we wrote about from Washington State: 

In January 1920, Veterinary Times published an article by J.W. Kalkus, head of Veterinary Science at the State College of Washington Agricultural Experiment Station, titled “Orchard Horse Disease.”   “The writer recently had an opportunity of making an investigation of a disease which has been causing considerable loss among horses in certain sections of Washington."

It caused paralysis and death, and it went by several names, Kalkus reported, among them orchard horse disease; orchard poisoning; alfalfad horses; arsenate of lead poisoning; mold poisoning.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Poison, Apples, Polio, and Popcorn" »

Polly Tommey Launches "Polly's Place" For Young Adults with Autism

Polly tommey(London, England)

Polly Tommey launches ‘Polly’s Place’: supporting Real World Living for young adults with Autism

Polly Tommey, a mother from London with a son with autism and Founder of The Autism Trust will be opening Polly’s Place in Sunninghill, Ascot as the charity’s first retail, training and administrative facility on Friday 5th October 2012.

Polly Tommey set up The Autism Trust in 2006 to support the creation of a better future with real purpose for children everywhere with autism as her son Billy, approached his teenage years with very uncertain prospects for his own future.

Polly’s Place is an exciting new shop that has been developed as a social enterprise to help people with autism lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives. The retail training shop will provide both customer-­‐facing and administrative experiences whilst showcasing artistic talents of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Many vulnerable young adults with autism live at home, so Polly’s Place will promote home working and individual creativity as a recognisable and important contributor to the local economies of the UK encouraging high quality homemade/handmade products created through artisan skill to be celebrated.

At the very centre of all activities undertaken by The Autism Trust is the concept of “Wellbeing”. It is the core “mantra” of the organisation, the wellbeing of any person involved with the Trust is key. It is about identifying when a person with Autism is becoming stressed and giving them “time-­‐out or a calm down break”. It is also about providing a range of strategies that will help the individual learn to cope with difficult situations.

A parallel programme: ‘AH-­‐HA’ (Autistic Helping Hands in Ascot), will also be started by The Autism Trust in October to provide services for the local community. Initial projects will include garden tidying and maintenance to members of the local elderly at-­‐home population.

Continue reading "Polly Tommey Launches "Polly's Place" For Young Adults with Autism" »

She’ll Have a Good Life

GoodBy Julie Obradovic

“She’ll have a good life,” she said, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay.

The emphasis was on the good, not in a way that stressed “awesome” “great” or “fantastic”, but in a way that expressed “satisfactory”, “acceptable”, or “decent”.

It was meant to be helpful, I know. It was meant to remind me that things could be so much worse. It was meant to make me feel better.

It didn’t. In fact, it just made me angry…and then sad.

When I look back on my life thus far, I’m relieved to find that my feelings about it are overwhelmingly those of joy and gratitude. I have had a great life, I believe. In fact, I feel like one of the most blessed people on the planet. I really mean that.

It’s only when I really start to think about the tragedy that befell my daughter and our family that I begin to question it.

My child was poisoned. Her brain and body irrevocably damaged. Her life’s potential stolen. Her suffering and experience denied by those who caused it, the same people needed to fix it. Betrayed by our country and our media. Our marriage fragmented. Our lives cracked in half. The pain coming this close to breaking us. Breaking me.

Great life? Really?

And yet, the answer to that is still the same, beyond any shadow of a doubt. Yes, I’ve had a great life. One of the greatest I know.

For I have lived in Spain and danced in the fountains of Madrid and on the shores of Ibiza at midnight.

I have celebrated in Wembley Stadium with over 100,000 people singing in unison…including Prince William.

I have completed a marathon…in Alaska…while pregnant. And I swear I’m not making that up.

I have married and stayed married to the most perfect man on the planet for me, twenty years together this November, teenagers when we met.

I have excelled in academics and have never really had to work hard for anything…until marriage…and then Autism…and then marriage again.

I have the most loving, supporting, amazing, and hilarious family anyone could ever ask for.

I have had the same best friends since I was 7 years old, and we are still as close, if not closer, than we ever were.

I live in Chicago.

I have been able to use my favorite creative outlet, writing, to actually make a difference.

I have marched on Washington for what I believe in. Thrice.

I have stroked my children’s hair while I have rocked them to sleep, breathed in the scent of them as newborns just placed in my arms, and in those moments, have repeatedly experienced true, unconditional love.

I have learned what it means to be willing to die for someone if it would mean an end to their suffering, no questions asked.

I’ve had the privilege of teaching at two of the best schools in the nation.

I’ve been healthy and active, running and exercising my whole life without injury or difficulty.

I’ve learned I’m stronger, smarter, and more powerful than I ever could have imagined. And I’ve been really frightened by the responsibility that brings.

I have seen my favorite band in concert five times, and once, I even got chosen from a crowd of tens of thousands of people to sit in the front row while they shot a video.

I have been honored by Oprah Winfrey as one of America’s best teachers, showered in her “Favorite Things” on television (only to come home hours later and receive a diagnosis that would change my life forever).

And most incredible…she recovered.

Continue reading "She’ll Have a Good Life" »

University College London Pulls out of Holding an Inquiry into the Wakefield Affair

MMR-doctor-andrew-wakefie-001By John Stone

Eighteen months after University College London, the parent institution of the Royal Free Hospital, announced their intention of holding an inquiry into the “Wakefield affair” in a controversial BBC radio documentary they have finally backed down according to a report by Zosia Kmietowicz in British Medical Journal. The decision represents a particular defeat for BMJ and its editor Fiona Godlee, who had been pressing for the inquiry after long delays in setting up. At one point Godlee – in November 2011 - appealed in vain to the UK House of Commons and Science and Technology Committee to take over from UCL, but UCL insisted that a chairperson would be appointed and terms of reference published by the end of the year. This never happened.

Now Kmietowicz reports:

“In a paper on the development of its new framework, UCL said that after taking advice from the UK Research Integrity Office and “a senior legal figure” it concluded that “the net result [from an investigation] would likely be an incomplete set of evidence and an inconclusive process costing a substantial sum of money.”

However, she fails to mention that this follows the complete exoneration of John Walker-Smith, the senior author and clinician in the 1998 Wakefield-Lancet paper, in the English High Court earlier this year. Sir John Mitting threw out all the findings of the General Medical Council against Walker-Smith hearing where he had stood accused with Andrew Wakefield and Simon Murch – while Murch as the more junior clinician had been allowed to resume his career after the three year hearing, Wakefield was not funded as Walker-Smith had been to pursue his appeal, and it presently lies in abeyance. The charges against all three were entirely based on accusations by journalist Brian Deer whom the Sunday Times had originally sent on a fishing expedition against Wakefield.

Continue reading "University College London Pulls out of Holding an Inquiry into the Wakefield Affair" »

NVIC Reports: Doctors Engaging in Class Warfare RE Vaccine Exemptions

Doc slappingIt is getting uglier and uglier out there, as angry, frustrated doctors Angry doctorinside and outside of government work overtime to foster fear and hatred of parents making conscious vaccine choices for their children. The latest political dirty trick is to brand parents, who send their children to private schools, as selfish and a threat to their communities because some private schools have higher vaccine exemption rates.

Take pediatrician and California Assemblyman, Dr. Richard Pan, for example. He is angry that many parents and health care professionals opposed AB2109, a bill he authored and pushed through the California legislature this year. [1] Dr. Pan misled his colleagues into believing that that forcing parents to pay for a doctor’s appointment to beg a hostile pediatrician [2] or medical worker to sign a personal belief exemption form is all about education.

Educated, Articulate Parents Defending Parental Rights

Medical trade associations that helped Dr. Pan lobby the state legislature included the California Medical Association, Health Officers Association of California, California Immunization Coalition and the American Academy of Pediatrics.[3] In public hearings this year, educated, articulate mothers and fathers stood up to these powerful medical groups and defended their parental and informed consent rights.

In a syndicated Associated Press article, Dr. Pan lashed out at families sending their children to private schools and accused them of becoming too educated about vaccination. Dr. Pan said: “In private schools, these are people who have money, who are upper middle class, and they are going on the internet and seeing information and misinformation.” [4]

Vaccine Information & Vaccine Exemptions Should Be Free

Dr. Pan is correct about parents “going on the internet” to learn, for example, how he refused in his bill to allow local pharmacists to sign a personal belief exemption form because he wanted to force all parents to first pay for a medical office visit. AB2109 clearly discriminates against parents, who cannot afford to pay a doctor to sign the form. [5] Why doesn’t Dr. Pan post information he wants parents to have about vaccination on the Department of Health website so parents can become educated for free? [6]

Instead of admitting his bill is more about coercion than education, Dr. Pan attacked parents, who send their children to private schools. It looks like what doctors and medical trade groups really want to do is bully and punish parents, who hold sincere religious and conscientious beliefs about vaccination, no matter how much money they have or where their children attend school.

Read the full article at HERE.

Reporters -The Next Generation

RobotsBy Anne Dachel

On Sept 9, 2012, I found the news report, CARLSBAD: Award-winning broadcast class tackles documentary on vaccines, from the North County Times in Escondido, CA. HERE

Award-winning broadcast class tackles documentary on vaccines, from the North County Times in Escondido, CA. HERE

I was hopeful that a class in broadcast journalism might actually tackle this issue an ethical and balanced manner. Sadly, it was clear from what I read that these students were being taught to report on questions of vaccine safety in the same one-sided manner the mainstream media has for years. This class assignment was a HOW-TO GUIDE on how to deceive the public by covering up relevant facts about a major issue.

First of all, from the photos shown, these students are getting access to real broadcasting experience. We can see students with lights, cameras and sound equipment and newsroom settings.

Here was assignment:

“The 16-student crew tackled the issue of immunizations in North County, an area with the second lowest compliance rate for vaccinations in the state of California.

“We are looking at why,” said Camille Posard, who graduated in June from Carlsbad High and helped produce the documentary.”

‘”The whole point (of each documentary) is to educate the public about something,’ said Brad Streicher, 12th-grade lead reporter. ‘Our goal with this film is to make sure we are educating people on the reality of vaccinations.’”

Despite these statements, the class clearly wasn’t really interested in WHY PARENTS WEREN’T VACCINATING. They started with the premise that vaccines are safe and parents should vaccinate. In the end, they produced a documentary to support their viewpoint.

Just like the mainstream media, they put a parent up against doctors, they ignored the reality of what autism is doing to our children and they claimed to do it in the name ethical journalism.

Teacher Doug Green said, ‘I think the students see that film making is so powerful, because you have a potential to move people and affect change. And I think that’s really fantastic.’

Affect change? How about present the issue fairly from both sides and let people make up their own minds?

Actually, Green’s wrong. This documentary won’t change anyone’s thinking on this issue. What was produced here was propaganda. People everywhere (especially parents) will recognize the bias. They’ve heard it all before. There is too much information available on the Internet to challenge what was said by the vaccine promoters interviewed for this film.

Twenty comments were posted on this story. (Seven of them were mine.) I would hope that the teacher and the class looked into the criticism of their film. I cited legitimate news stories from CBS and included the links:

CBS News 2008, “How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?” HERE

CBS News 2010: “Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award.” HERE

CBS News 2008: “The ‘Open Question’ On Vaccines and Autism” Sharyl Attkisson interviews Dr. Bernadine Healy. HERE

I included the Pace Law School story on 83 cases of vaccine injury/autism compensated by the federal government as shown on HDNet TV.

Continue reading "Reporters -The Next Generation" »

Tell Legislators that Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee is Massive Waste of Tax Dollars

Money down the drainPlease take a few moments today to tell your legislators in Washington, DC Action alertthe ugly truth about the massive waste of taxpayer dollars by the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) that’s more interested in covering up the causes of autism than in finding them.

We saw for ourselves, firsthand what a farce the IACC has become. But unless we get messages to legislators IN LARGE NUMBERS, nothing will change in Washington.

Please click on the Take Action Link to the letter below from our friends at the Canary Party to your two US Senators and your member of the House of Representatives.

Please share this message with friends and family and please post to Facebook and other social networks. And if you support the work of the Autism Action Network please consider making a donation at


On July 10, HHS Secretary Sebelius effectively turned the Combating Autism Act into the “Accepting Autism Act.” In her speech to the autism community, she made no mention of prevention, recovery, cure or in any way ending autism.

The Congressional Budget Office states the bill (S.1094) authorizes the spending of $693 million in taxpayer dollars on “programs that support activities to prevent, diagnose and treat autism.” One of the three stated purposes for S.1094 is entirely missing from Sebelius’ plan: prevention. In fact, she highlighted three newly appointed members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) who actually oppose curing, preventing or aggressively treating autism. A fourth new member shares these views, making 20% of the new IACC public members opposed to combating autism.

With the annual cost of autism having tripled in six years to $126 billion (according to Goldman Sachs) we can’t afford this kind of incompetence and complacency. Beyond the financial costs, the emotional toll of autism is incalculable. The mortality rate among the autism population is twice that of the general population. Sebelius even went so far as to question the reality of the explosive increase in autism rates since 1990, claiming scientists “thought” autism was rare in the 1990’s, but now “know” autism affects 1 in 88. Our CDC and NIH directors also downplay the autism crisis, calling autism “common” and merely “a health challenge.” The administration refuses to declare autism a national health emergency or an epidemic.

In her selection of IACC members, Secretary Sebelius made a mockery of CARA (Combating Autism Reauthorization Act) and sent a strong rebuke to the mainstream autism community by rejecting the nomination of a renowned Harvard pediatric neurologist who specializes in autistic regression and treatment among other highly qulaified candiates. She also rejected the president of the National Autism Association that serves 20,000 families, funds treatment research, provides grants and hosts a national conference.

Instead, Sebelius chose public members who defend and protect vaccine industry interests – vaccines being strongly implicated in the autism epidemic. IACC chair Tom Insel, whose brother developed a vaccine on the current CDC schedule, has blocked all research into the vaccine-autism link. More than fifty studies show solid evidence of this link, but IACC helped waste $1 billion chasing a non-existent “autism gene.” We’ve seen decades of cover-up of the autism-vaccine connection – a cover-up exemplified by a leaked memo from the former IOM Immunization Safety Review chair Marie McCormick who said, “…we will never come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…”

No issue more profoundly affects our children’s and our nation’s health than the autism epidemic. I hereby join the Autism Action Network and the Canary Party and its supporters in calling for a long overdue congressional investigation. The current IACC must be dismantled and CARA overhauled to reflect its originally intended goals.


Older Drug Reinvented for Autism

Old dogBy Teresa Conrick

In 2011, I wrote about how drug makers were thrilled about the money expectations in treating glutamate receptor issues and Autism.    Ironically, another new study will be again showing that glutamate receptors [ mGluR1] are not working properly in those who have an Autism diagnosis.  This from The Wall Street Journal:

"ZURICH—Changes in the brain caused by autism can be reversed in mice, a new preclinical study showed, opening a potential path to develop a treatment for the incurable disorder.

Roche Holding AG,ROG VX +17%  a Swiss drug maker, and the University of Basel's Biozentrum said Friday the study identified a way to reverse a dysfunction in the brain's wiring typically caused by the disorder, which stumps intellectual development and can cause aggressive and anti-social behavior, and becomes evident in early childhood.

The study results will be published in the Oct. 5 issue of Science.

Researchers found that reactivating a gene involved in the formation of synapses, or junctions between nerve cells, can scale down the excessive production of a receptor called mGluR1. In some autistic people this gene is not working. Controlling production of the receptor ultimately makes structural defects in the brain--which are typical of autism—disappear."

Yet we are not told WHY there are changes in the brain.  Instead we are whisked off into the land of genes and structural defects.  Here's another, from the NYT, heralding the big release of this study AND the money:

Competitors Form Partnership to Develop Autism Drugs 

"Two of the front-runners in the race to develop drugs to treat mental retardation [WOW - guess Mr. Pollack missed this back in 2010 ] and autism are joining forces, hoping to save money and get to the market sooner......“This deal will establish the biggest effort to date” in autism drugs, Luca Santarelli, head of neuroscience for Roche, said before the announcement. Financial terms are not being disclosed."

...The mechanism that has perhaps shown the most promise, at least in mice, is to damp signaling in the brain by blocking a receptor called mGluR5. [Note that the WSJ said mGluR1]

Roche will provide money to help Seaside complete its clinical trials of arbaclofen. Seaside will halt development of its own mGluR5 antagonist, which it licensed from Merck, and will instead receive royalties on sales of Roche’s drug.

The alliance could pose a challenge to Novartis. “This is No. 2 and No. 3 ganging up on No. 1,” said Dr. Michael Tranfaglia, medical director of the Fraxa Research Foundation, which sponsors research into treatments for fragile X syndrome.

Dr. Randall L. Carpenter, chief executive of Seaside, said the money from Roche was a needed diversification of the company’s funding. Virtually all of the $90 million Seaside has raised has come from the Barony Trust, which is run by Peter Whipp, a British investment manager."

The picture that is emerging is that there is going to be loads of money - a BONANZA - in treating all of these symptoms!  And it's all GENES!  Well, not really though you would not know that from all of these articles.  Autism is a HUGE money ticket for drug development but the reality is that much of the mechanism of action from many drugs always takes us back to the scene of the autism epidemic.

I have posted before about certain drugs targeting Autism symptoms and how each also targets MERCURY toxicity and damage:

Namenda (Memantine HCL)
Rilutek (Riluzole)
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)   [This is an OTC antioxidant supplement that some companies are hoping to "investigate" for Autism. ]

Continue reading "Older Drug Reinvented for Autism" »

AofA Science Summary: Do Childhood Mumps Protect Against Ovarian Cancer?

Science post image Mumps and ovarian cancer: modern interpretation of an historic association

Cancer Causes Control. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 August 1.
Published in final edited form as:
Cancer Causes Control. 2010 August; 21(8): 1193–1201.
Published online 2010 June 18. doi:  10.1007/s10552-010-9546-1


Epidemiologic studies found childhood mumps might protect against ovarian cancer. To explain this association, we investigated whether mumps might engender immunity to ovarian cancer through antibodies against the cancer-associated antigen MUC1 abnormally expressed in the inflamed parotid gland.


Through various health agencies, we obtained sera from 161 cases with mumps parotitis. Sera were obtained from 194 healthy controls. We used an ELISA to measure anti-MUC1 antibodies and electro-chemiluminescence assays to measure MUC1 and CA 125. Log-transformed measurements were analyzed by t-tests, generalized linear models, and Pearson or Spearman correlations. We also conducted a meta-analysis of all published studies regarding mumps and ovarian cancer.


Adjusting for assay batch, age, and sex, the level of anti-MUC1 antibodies was significantly higher in mumps cases compared to controls (p = 0.002). Free circulating levels of CA 125, but not MUC1, were also higher in cases (p = 0.02). From the meta-analysis, the pooled odds ratio estimate (and 95% CI) for the mumps and ovarian cancer association was 0.81 (0.68–0.96) (p = 0.01).


Mumps parotitis may lead to expression and immune recognition of a tumor-associated form of MUC1 and create effective immune surveillance of ovarian cancer cells that express this form of MUC1.

Read the full abstract at

Bachmann Was Right: Government Database Contains Reports of Mental Retardation as Vaccine Adverse Event

Sam and BachmannBy Beth Clay

The United States’ Election Day 2012 is less than 60 days away.  The Republicans and the Democrats have selected their candidates and platform. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (Democrats) are in a dead heat in the race to retain their positions rather than be replaced by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (Republicans). 

In the months since Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann was vilified on the Presidential campaign trail for calling Governor Rick Perry on the carpet during a debate for his circumventing the Texas legislative process and issuing an executive order to mandate the HPV vaccines for girls age 12 years and older in Texas.  The death knell to her campaign was sharing the story from a woman whose daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.  She was vilified for raising a safety alarm, with attacks from the American Academy of Pediatrics; the vaccine industry’s favorite paid spokesperson, Dr. Paul Offit, and media outlets both conservative and liberal. 

No Facts Presented:  What was missing from the dialogue at the time, and to my knowledge remains an area unexplored, is what the facts are on the matter.  No one in the media took the time to verify anything about vaccine adverse event reports. A simple review on the publicly available database of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), available at would have been an eye opener for any reporter.

I conducted a simple search for reports received from 2000 to July 13, 2012, in the United States for all vaccines in which ‘mental retardation’ is listed as symptom in the vaccine adverse events and found 394 reports.  Two of these reports are for the Gardasil (HPV) Vaccine. 

The HPV-Mental Retardation Reports Were Very Limited:  A review of what is published about these two reports finds very limited information.  One was from a reporter from a television show in which a mother reported that her daughter developed mental retardation after the Gardasil HPV vaccine.  The second report notes that a doctor of psychology called to report that she heard a news report on 13 September 2011 a report of Gardasil causing mental retardation.  This report was classified as hearsay. 

Of the remaining 392 “Mental Retardation” reports, the notations are much more specific and cover many vaccines including (but not limited to) the anthrax vaccine, various combinations of vaccines for haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), influenza and varicella.  

Broadening the Search Terms:  A broader search including the terms “mental impairment, mental status changes, mental disorder as well as mental retardation" as symptoms of a vaccine adverse event that occurred in the United States from 2000 to July 13, 2012, returned 1221 reports.  Of these, 65 were HPV reports. 

It should be noted as well that the Rotavirus vaccines have 18 reports - Rotateq has 15 reports, Rotashield has 1, Rotarix has 1 and a rotavirus vaccine, brand not known in 2012 has 1.     

Continue reading "Bachmann Was Right: Government Database Contains Reports of Mental Retardation as Vaccine Adverse Event " »

Forgive and Forget?

Forgive-ForgetBy Cathy Jameson


It isn’t possible when negative emotions stick around and cloud my thoughts. 


It can’t be doled out quickly when constant reminders of an offense surround me.


As many times as I’ve thought about how to come to terms with my reality, finding forgiveness hasn’t been one of those things on my list of things to do.

To forgive and let it all the evils wash away—the guilt, the pain, the anxiety, the despair.

To forget and be free of those negative emotions that linger—the anger, the disappointment, the difficulty.

Can I really do that? 

Can I truly forget how Ronan’s downward spiral began?

Can I honestly forgive the ills that brought Ronan to where he is (and isn’t) today?
Can I totally look past the medical neglect we discovered only too late?

Can I completely overlook the medical abuse I didn’t recognize?

Can I fully embrace the life-long struggles Ronan may face?

How do I accept all of that?    

Here’s what I can accept.  I can accept that all of that did happen to my child, but I will not accept that it had to happen.

Here’s something else I haven’t been able to accept.  Not because I turned it down but because this too hasn’t happened yet—no one has yet to apologize to my son for the opportunities he’s missed, for the childhood he’s lost, for the pain and the complete health he may never regain.

Continue reading "Forgive and Forget?" »

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: All Apologies

Keep Calm Write OnBy Dan Olmsted

Apologies are in the air this week. There's the presidential campaign battle over who if anyone apologized, or should have, or should now, or should not, for what. Then there's the apology the thalidomide manufacturer proffered 50 years after the fact for the damage done by that drug. Anne Dachel wrote about this (see below) and the obvious analogy to thimerosal, the organic mercury component still in flu shots.

There is no reason in this enlightened day and age to be using a chemical like that in shots given to pregnant women and babies in the United States, and in all kinds of vaccines given to children around the world. The same ingredient was banned decades ago in pesticides because of its glaring toxicity. Plenty of evidence has since been marshaled to show its connection with autism and other serious disorders.

But if history is any judge, an apology for thimerosal will probably take another half-century. Meanwhile, there is every reason to push for apologies that could help weaken the grip of orthodox medicine -- and particularly psychiatry -- on the brain damage it likes to call "autism" and to control with prescription drugs and behavioral therapy. Here are a couple that the autism community might consider pushing for now:

DO headApology Number One: From the University of Chicago and its Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School. This was the stomping ground -- literally and figuratively -- of bully boy Bruno Bettelheim, who cooked up the idea of homicidal mothers driving their appropriately terrified infants into the "empty fortress" of autism. Beloved during his life as a wise and benevolent guru of disturbed children, revelations after his death showed him to be abusive to the children at the school. And his blame-mom paradigm slowed by decades the understanding of autism as a biological disorder.

The damage he did to families and individuals coping with autism is beyond description. But you'd never know it by checking the Orthogenic School's Web site. Yes, it's still there, still treating disturbed children -- and, unfathomably, still shilling for Bettelheim!

Under "Our History and Mission": "Founded in 1915, the school received worldwide recognition under the leadership of previous school directors Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, Dr. Jacqui Sanders, and Dr. Betram Cohler. Today it is under the direction of a dynamic team of professional staff that utilizes a wide variety of treatments in the care and support of students at the School. ..." They even recommend two of the sainted Dr. B.'s books.

You cannot be serious! These folks needs to acknowledge the disastrous legacy of Bettelheim, and apologize specifically to people with autism and their families. 

Apology Number Two: From Johns Hopkins. Hopkins is where autism was first identified, and where it was first linked to "refrigerator parents" by its discoverer, Leo Kanner. Vile publications by Kanner and others followed. Kanner recanted without apologizing -- attacking Bettelheim while claiming he, Kanner, never disparaged parents. Hopkins needs to acknowledge the black mark on its record.

I'm sure there are other entities and individuals who ought to offer their regrets and their promise to do better. If you know any, suggest them here. 

The idea of demanding apologies NOW, not after another half-century of damage, is not unique to me. John Gilmore suggested that a couple of years back in a comment on AOA: 

"I have always thought that the American physicians, especially the psychiatrists, who I don't really consider physicians, owe people with autism, their families, and especially the mothers of people with autism an profound apology for the way they adopted and expounded the refrigerator mother theory without a scrap of evidence to support it.

Current physicians like to pretend that this incredibly damaging irresponsible, intellectually lazy and deeply misogynistic policy was from the distant past and has nothing to do with them. I think it has everything to do with current practice.

I have always thought we should have a formal campaign to demand an apology from the American Psychiatric Association to the mothers of people with autism."


Speaking of rewriting history, I was interested this week to see the battle over Sharyl Attkisson's Sharyl A Wikipedia entry. On the subject of vaccines, it says: "Attkisson's reporting on vaccines has been criticized with Steven Salzberg characterizing it as being 'anti-science' and spreading 'anti-vaccine misinformation.'"

This is a little like saying, "Bob Woodward's reporting on Watergate has been criticized, with a writer of Republican press releases calling it biased." On her own blog, Attkisson writes: "Beware the paid naysayers and fringe bloggers who propagate false Web propaganda against me and others who investigate their industry and conflicts. Watch for pharmaceutical interests disguised as 'scientists' or pretending to be average 'commenters' on ridiculously vitriolic blog stories that claim those who look into vaccine safety are 'anti-vaccine' or 'nutty.' They want you to believe that for a reason. You know better. The public is getting wise."

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: All Apologies" »

Action Alert: Federal IACC Autism Committee is a Corrupt Waste of Time and Taxes

Money down the drainPlease take a few moments today to tell your legislators in Washington, DC Action alertthe ugly truth about the massive waste of taxpayer dollars by the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) that’s more interested in covering up the causes of autism than in finding them.

We saw for ourselves, firsthand what a farce the IACC has become. But unless we get messages to legislators IN LARGE NUMBERS, nothing will change in Washington.

Please click on the Take Action Link to the letter below from our friends at the Canary Party to your two US Senators and your member of the House of Representatives.

Please share this message with friends and family and please post to Facebook and other social networks. And if you support the work of the Autism Action Network please consider making a donation at


On July 10, HHS Secretary Sebelius effectively turned the Combating Autism Act into the “Accepting Autism Act.” In her speech to the autism community, she made no mention of prevention, recovery, cure or in any way ending autism.

The Congressional Budget Office states the bill (S.1094) authorizes the spending of $693 million in taxpayer dollars on “programs that support activities to prevent, diagnose and treat autism.” One of the three stated purposes for S.1094 is entirely missing from Sebelius’ plan: prevention. In fact, she highlighted three newly appointed members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) who actually oppose curing, preventing or aggressively treating autism. A fourth new member shares these views, making 20% of the new IACC public members opposed to combating autism.

With the annual cost of autism having tripled in six years to $126 billion (according to Goldman Sachs) we can’t afford this kind of incompetence and complacency. Beyond the financial costs, the emotional toll of autism is incalculable. The mortality rate among the autism population is twice that of the general population. Sebelius even went so far as to question the reality of the explosive increase in autism rates since 1990, claiming scientists “thought” autism was rare in the 1990’s, but now “know” autism affects 1 in 88. Our CDC and NIH directors also downplay the autism crisis, calling autism “common” and merely “a health challenge.” The administration refuses to declare autism a national health emergency or an epidemic.

In her selection of IACC members, Secretary Sebelius made a mockery of CARA (Combating Autism Reauthorization Act) and sent a strong rebuke to the mainstream autism community by rejecting the nomination of a renowned Harvard pediatric neurologist who specializes in autistic regression and treatment among other highly qulaified candiates. She also rejected the president of the National Autism Association that serves 20,000 families, funds treatment research, provides grants and hosts a national conference.

Instead, Sebelius chose public members who defend and protect vaccine industry interests – vaccines being strongly implicated in the autism epidemic. IACC chair Tom Insel, whose brother developed a vaccine on the current CDC schedule, has blocked all research into the vaccine-autism link. More than fifty studies show solid evidence of this link, but IACC helped waste $1 billion chasing a non-existent “autism gene.” We’ve seen decades of cover-up of the autism-vaccine connection – a cover-up exemplified by a leaked memo from the former IOM Immunization Safety Review chair Marie McCormick who said, “…we will never come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…”

Continue reading "Action Alert: Federal IACC Autism Committee is a Corrupt Waste of Time and Taxes" »

Letter to the Editor: Take Seriously Concerns about Vaccine Injury

Risk-Management-ProgramNote: Below is a thoughtful letter to the editor in - in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Thank you, Jerri this rational discussion of vaccine risk, reward and safety in place of the panic and fear put forth by mainstream doctors and public health organizations.

Jerri Johnson: Take seriously concerns about vaccine injury
By Jerri Johnson

Jerri Johnson of Eagan is a board member of the Vaccine Safety Council of
Posted:   09/12/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
September 12, 2012 10:15 PM GMTUpdated:   09/12/2012 05:13:24 PM CDT

"As more parents skip shots for kids, other children put at risk" (Aug. 26) implies that the heartbreak of disease is greater than the heartbreak of vaccine injury. Ask the parents of vaccine-injured babies, whose children are now disabled for life, which is worse. As one mother said to me, "When my son received his DPT shot, he quickly developed whooping cough and encephalitis. He got over the whooping cough. He is brain-injured for life."

Parenthetically, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is admitting that this year's increase in cases of whooping cough is not due to unvaccinated children. It is due to short-lived coverage from the pertussis vaccine. For example, in California's pertussis surge last year -- in cases where immunization history is known -- 83 percent of the people diagnosed with pertussis had been immunized. In Minnesota in 2010, of the 252 cases of pertussis in infants and children through age 6, 71 percent had received at least the full primary series of three doses of vaccine.

In the article, Dr. Greg Poland reasserted his claim that vaccines do not cause autism. "There is no proof that vaccines cause autism," Poland said. "It's not there." However, in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where claims of vaccine injury are meticulously examined, nearly 3,000 cases of serious injury or death have been ruled as caused by a vaccine and compensated by the U.S.

Court of Federal Claims. Nearly half of these cases involved permanent brain damage. A peer-reviewed analysis of successful claims of brain damage caused by vaccines shows that 46 percent of these individuals actually have autism.

Minnesota is home to many of these families, and they are calling for more research on the safety of vaccines. Vaccine safety groups have repeatedly requested that the CDC research the overall health differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The CDC has resisted doing this research, but the small studies done so far have found that unvaccinated children have lower rates of allergies, asthma, diabetes, auto-immune diseases and neurological disorders than vaccinated children...

Read the full letter at

Help Needed to Collect Data on the New DSM-5 ASD Criteria

EBCALAPlease support this data collection effort ( by SafeMinds and The Holland Center. EBCALA is very concerned about the proposed DSM 5 redefinition of autism. The ramifications of a new autism definition are far reaching and could be devastating. Everything from epidemiology to services could be affected for individuals with autism. Those dealing with autism need more answers and support, not more hurdles. Please read the important information below.

A coalition of groups within the autism community is extremely concerned about potential impacts of the proposed criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – 5th Edition. The new criteria are supposed to be finalized by December 2012 for May 2013 publication.

Since February 2012, five studies have been published indicating the proposed DSM-5 ASD criteria will significantly reduce the number of people diagnosed with ASD compared to the current DSM-IVTR criteria:

McPartland and Volkmar – 39.4% decrease
Worley and Matson – 32.2% decrease
Matson et al. – 47.8% decrease
Gibbs et al. – 23.4% decrease
Taheri and Perry – 37% decrease

The Field Trials which identified 83 children with ASD, were reported by Dr. Swedo, chair of the APA’s Workgroup on Neurodevelopmental Disorders. They indicate that the decrease in the number of identified ASD cases using the proposed criteria would be in the single digits, but this would be counter-balanced by the inclusion of some cases that had been missed by the DSM-IVTR. The Workgroup is concerned primarily with the new criteria accurately diagnosing new cases of ASD as they present in the community and does not think that the decreases in the published studies are accurate. Currently, there is no data on adult patients using the new criteria.

Online Survey to Collect Data on New ASD Cases Using the Proposed Criteria

SafeMinds and the Holland Center want to collect and analyze much more data on the proposed criteria through an online survey to assess its impact on autism diagnosis in the community.

This survey can be used by any clinician who speaks English anywhere in the world. The data will be made available to the NDD Workgroup directly. Cases are needed urgently given the tight time frame for publication of the proposed criteria!

Please help us spread this link to any clinician who diagnoses people with autism:

We would like hundreds of clinicians around the world to enter a few cases each. The survey is designed to be quick and straightforward. Thank you!

Chantal Sicile-Kira to Speak at Beacon Day School on Autism and Adolescence

Chantal_Beacon_FlyerBeacon Distinguished Speaker Series

WHERE:  Beacon Day School for Students with Autism and Related Disorders

24 Centerpointe Drive, LaPalma, California 90623 

WHO:  Chantal Sicile-Kira

WHEN:  Saturday, September 22, 11 a.m.  (11:00-1:30)

2-hour lecture followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with refreshments and a book signing

Chantal Sicile-Kira offers award-winning advice to parents about adolescence 

Does your adolescent on the spectrum struggle with keeping good hygiene, going through puberty, or other even-more-sensitive topics? Award-winning author and international presenter Chantal Sicile-Kira (Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum; Autism Life Skills; and more) leads the Beacon Distinguished Speaker Series on Saturday, September 22nd with a 2-hour lecture that begins at 11 a.m. The title of the talk is "Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum," and the areas to be covered include explaining about puberty and changing bodies, hygiene and teaching self-care routines, the importance of modesty, relationship boundaries, sexuality, what to do about masturbation, and preventing bullying and abuse. A 30-minute Q&A session with refreshments and a book signing will follow (Chantal's helpful books will be available). RSVPs by September 20th are appreciated -- especially if you need childcare (peanut-free) -- walk-ins are also welcome. Call Casey DeTorres in the Beacon Day School office at (714) 288-4200.

Childhood American Style

Flag heartBy Brooke Potthast

Many Aof A readers may be too young to remember the very popular, classic 70’s television show called Love American Style. This show made Friday night sleepovers more thrilling than you can possibly imagine! These were the days before sex saturated the media and the three or four lively and flirtatious vignettes featured each week were funny and oh so titillating.

This last week, (the first official week of school where I live) provided me with four
vignettes in what we could call “Childhood American Style.” These sample stories of
really neurologically ill children who live just in my neighborhood are reflective of
stories playing out all over America, every hour of everyday. It is so awful that I can’t
find the right words to express it.

First day of school: Call from a close friend whose daughter has crushing anxiety and
phobia issues. These have been ongoing for years and so much time and energy has been
put forth by this family to help her function and enjoy life. She has established a fragile
truce with life in a big high school but here she is the first day with extreme anxiety and
panic over a situation you and I would consider nothing. Her parents have to
leave work, talk to counselors and determine how much their daughter can push through
and how much assistance to give. “Childhood American Style”.

Second day of school: A good friend from another school district calls to see how
my son is making out this week. Both her children have autism. She shares
with me that she has found a supported typing therapist in our area who works with non
verbal or partially verbal children. We have a long conversation about this and she tells
me about what a breakthrough this has been for two of our friend’s children. I hang up
the phone reflecting on whether this might be good for my son who talks but who cannot
express complex thoughts. As I ruminate on this I realize that I personally know
NINE non-verbal children. This leaves me a bit stunned. This number doesn’t include
families from my larger biomed support group or local autism community. These are
children whose families I know. I ask some people that afternoon if they realize how
insane it is that I know that many children nearby WHO CANNOT TALK. “Childhood
American Style”.

Third day of school: My husband goes to the gym and sees our oldest son’s close friend.
This young man is dear to my heart because he has gone into special education. He spent
last year getting his graduate degree and he now has his first real job. He is a resource
teacher for 2nd graders with IEP’s in one of our local elementary schools. My husband
asks how it is going. He says, “Well today was a really tough day. I got called into a
classroom because one of my students was tipping over file cabinets and throwing glass”.
He said the file cabinets were so big and heavy he had no idea how this kid did it but
the child was very frustrated due to his inability to communicate properly. He was
removed from the room and our friend calmed him down. This is the third day
of class in a typical suburban elementary school. “Childhood American Style”.
Fourth day of School: It’s Friday—finally, and I stick my head in the office
of the principal of the school where my older children use to attend. He is an old
friend and I wanted to see how his summer had been. His family had taken a
missions trip to Africa and it had been wonderful. My big question though
was about his 17 year old daughter who for almost two years has suffered from
dehabilitating headaches. For two years this perfectly healthy bright, athletic
girl has suffered from acute headaches that keep her from school and life. They’ve
searched everywhere for an answer. Molds, toxins, Lymes, TMJ, food allergies. She is
still not better. “Childhood American Style”.

I know we ask ourselves all the time, but I am asking again. What will it take for our
society’s leaders to truly address the extreme childhood health crisis we face.? When
will the right people with the right influence see that we can’t keep going like this, that
we need real help, real research, real answers, real medicine and a real halt to “Childhood
American Style”.

Brooke Potthast lives with her family in Arlington, Virginia and is the founder
of the Shire School, a school for children with autism.

A Sibling Perspective: The Autism Doesn’t Care

NP BowlingBy Natalie Palumbo

One of my mother’s friends sent me an article from the Washington Post entitled “Autism Can Have Large Effects, Good And Bad, On A Disabled Child’s Siblings” written by Ranit Mishori.  I am 18, a senior in high school, and the younger sibling of a 21 year old brother with low verbal autism.  In the article, Ranit Mishori shares her life experiences growing up with a younger brother with autism.  Mishori ‘s recollections are mostly negative, and she is now a family physician and faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine.  I was struck by her acknowledgement that children are more intensely affected when their siblings have more severe autism.  What spoke to me the most was her statement that, “Normal sibling rivalry doesn’t work, because it can never be a fair fight.”  This is a fact that isn’t usually stated, and a truth I live with everyday.  Even with my parent’s help, it is a constant struggle to maintain my emotions.  I am still learning to think clearly so I can manage the autism and relate to my brother in all situations. 

In the article, Mishori defined the challenges growing up alongside severe autism.  I was stunned to see someone articulate the problems we face every day.  For most of my life, autism was defined as hyper-verbal, socially quirky, genius level academic skills, or someone exceptionally talented in art or music.  This perception was so common, friends of mine saying they ‘knew people with autism’ were shocked to see my brother’s low communication, echolalia, and OCD.  However, unlike Mishori, I have many happy memories to reflect on along with the hardships.  I couldn’t help but compare my circumstances as I read her words. 

Mishori talked about “missing out on typical family outings, such as movies, restaurants and NP kissing tower vacations”.  Our mobility as a family has dwindled because of Anthony’s severe echolalia which is very loud, constant, and uncontrollable.  It is easier to stay home than deal with the outside world.  Not everyone has been patient with Anthony.  The stress of trying to keep Anthony’s vocalizations down in order to avoid disturbing anyone outweighs any enjoyment.  Loud places work best.  My favorite family memories are amusement parks, especially Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Anthony loves thrill rides.  The bigger and scarier, the better.  My mother taught Anthony to wait in line by forcibly holding him in place for an entire summer when he was 9.  She used words they used at school over and over again like “wait your turn” and “stay in line” until Anthony got it.  We wait in line to ride like any other family, so it feels normal.  It’s also noisy, so we feel more invisible.  From far away, no one can tell Anthony is echoing.  We have to watch him every second to keep him safe in a crowd.  However, the fun outweighs the stress.  Knowing there is someplace to relax and connect with my brother makes me feel good. 

Mishori spoke about “being embarrassed to bring friends home”.  While I was never embarrassed about Anthony, I was wary of letting people into my life.  I don’t know how people are going to react to my brother’s autism.   Will they be tolerant?  Will they be judgmental?  Is their perception of autism different from how my brother presents?  I am always afraid that I will let someone into my life that on the surface seems understanding, but will mistreat my brother when my back is turned.  This fear can be so consuming, that it’s preferable to avoid acquaintances and just be alone.  There are only a handful of people I trust will be understanding of my brother and me. 

Continue reading "A Sibling Perspective: The Autism Doesn’t Care " »

Age of Autism Contest: Reading Really Rocks iPad App

204_PurpleKangaThe kind folks at Reading Really Rocks have three free downloads of their "Reading Really Rocks" iPad app. From the website: Announcing the Reading Rocks E-Edition only at the Apple Store! Your children will absolutely love to learn to read through more than 100 interactive pages and 50 short videos that reinforce comprehension.   We'll draw the winners in a few days. Leave a comment to enter.

Is Autism an Autoimmune Disease?

  QuestionBy Teresa Conrick

Is Autism an autoimmune disease?  I think for many it evolves into a disease of the immune system so that may swing that answer to a "yes."  I know for my daughter who has an Autism diagnosis, she has tested positive for autoimmunity so the topic of immune functioning is important to me and also many other parents of children with an Autism and/or PANDAS [Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus] diagnosis. Many of us saw both our children's health and behaviors change after vaccination.

Knowing that, it is particularly interesting that in 2010, there was a growing number of vaccine injuries that produced an autoimmune diagnosis, a frightening one -- Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. 
The vaccine implicated was the H1N1 flu shot. Here is a group of related research and letters associated with this phenomenon that seems to be related:

Letter to the Editor—Dauvilliers et al,  Post-H1N1 Narcolepsy-Cataplexy, SLEEP, Vol. 33, No. 11, 2010 

"..The cause of narcolepsy is likely autoimmune based...As for most autoimmune diseases, twin pairs are most often discordant (65% to 80%), and environmental triggers are suspected to play a critical role.1 Most notably, two recent reports have found an association with past streptococcus infections,7,8 leading to the speculation that upper airway infections could be involved in many cases as a cofactor....."

"....In three major centers of reference for narcolepsy—Montpellier, France; Montreal, Canada; and Stanford University, United States—we noticed in the first months of 2010 an unusual increase in abrupt onset narcolepsy-cataplexy diagnosed within a few months of H1N1 onset....Of the 31 cases, 14 post-vaccination cases were identified....The post streptococcal marker ASO was positive in 11 cases

"...Of the 14 post-vaccination cases, 11 cases followed adjuvanated vaccination, while 3 were vaccinated without adjuvant. Delay between vaccination and cataplexy onset in these cases ranged from 2 days (strong local response followed by a generalized reaction following vaccination)to 5 months, although in 9 of the 14 post-vaccination cases the onset occurred 2-8 weeks following vaccination.  As the delay between onset and diagnosis is often long,1,13 more cases are likely to be identified in the future."

"How could H1N1 vaccination or infection trigger narcolepsy?.....a specific immune response to H1N1 (and possibly subsequent molecular mimicry) or generalized stimulation of the immune system.....most cases followed vaccination with ASO3. This vaccine has been reported
to be associated with side effects suggestive of stronger immune stimulation.14 In the United States, where vaccination did not contain the ASO3 adjuvant, only 2 post-vaccination cases were documented......Nevertheless, these correlative findings indicate an urgent need for further examination of a possible link..."

Duty to warn?-the ethics of disclosing information about possible risks associated with H1N1 vaccination. Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, Volume 33, Issue 11  

Continue reading "Is Autism an Autoimmune Disease?" »

Age of Autism Contest: OurKidsASD Autism Supplements

Enter to win Congrats Trina and Carly, our winners. Contest is Closed.

Our good friends from Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD are offering you a chance to try two popular and useful products for back to school for free in this latest contest.

Trina and Carly won a bottle of Kensho Nutritional Support (powder) for the hyperactive child and a jar of  GabaMag cream with NO formaldehyde releasing preservatives. 

Lee Silsby logo 09 The treatment category is sponsored by Lee Silsby, the leader in quality compounded medications for autism.

Off the Grid

Family StoryBy  Cathy Jameson

We’ve had a tough couple of months.  It’s hard to pinpoint the rough patches on just one thing (not that I’m looking to blame any one thing on life’s difficulties).   It’s worth it to point out that my husband is temporarily working far, far away to support our family.  The kids were used to the one to two-week business trips Steve has had in the past, but when we found out he’d be gone for several months nothing could prepare any of us for that. 

I’m not a good single parent, and Steve doesn’t like to be away from us.  The kids adjusted as best they could, but still ached for their Daddy something fierce.  I did too—marriage is a partnership for a reason.   Phone calls, texts and Skype helped a little bit, but we all really wanted his extended time away to fast forward.  We had an 8-month countdown started to when Steve would be back home, but mid-way through Steve had the opportunity to come home.  He was thrilled with this news.  I was thrilled.  The kids didn’t find out right away because life’s plans are so unpredictable, so we decided to surprise them.  I think you’ll agree that they are thrilled as well. 

Littlest Sis’ biggest surprise:

We’re going off the grid for a few days to catch up, to be a family again and to be thankful to have time, precious, precious time together….I hope you don’t mind.

Cathy Jameson is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Which Candidate Will Cause Less Autism (Than the Other)?

Obama pointBy Dan Olmsted

There is a problem with both President Obama and Governor Romney Romney when it comes to autism. They're all for research and treatment and acceptance, but they also want to vaccinate the bejesus out of America's kids -- and that's the main driver of the autism epidemic. Talk about a messed up situation!

One can argue which candidate would cause slightly less autism than the other one over the next four years -- Obama's Big Brother approach to vaccine mandates, or Romney's Big Business push for vaccine development -- but that hardly seems like the basis for much optimism or enthusiasm in either case. (See article below on their response to questions about vaccination.) You can't push policies that cause an autism epidemic, and then expect credit for how you plan to prevent or treat it.

Is this -- the truth about autism, the reality that so many parents and even doctors know, yet so many "experts" and regulators deny -- too down-in-the-weeds, too delicate, too darn complicated to expect the candidates to face? Are pabulum and platitudes OK? I vote no. It's the core issue for American competitiveness, for the health of our children, for the proper relationship between private enterprise and the public good, for competence and accountability. These guys need to "get it" if they want to get our votes. They can't just fall back on nostrums about public health and private enterprise in the absence of informed and sound policy.

For heaven's sake, Obama has had the entire apparatus of the federal government at his disposal for four years to find the cause of autism. Michael Strautmanis, the father of a teenage son with severe autism, is at his side, yet the feds are putting just 5 percent of the research budget toward environmental causes. Speak up, Michael! (As Katie Wright wrote on AOA after listening to him at an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting: "Finally Michael Strautmanis spoke. Mr. Strautmanis is a special counselor to the President. Strautmanis spoke movingly about his own experience with his ASD teenage son and the struggle to maintain safety in the home. It was a poignant speech from a loving father and compassionate man. However, it was a speech we had heard before. Mr. Strautmanis is not interested in autism research. We desperately need someone in the White House or the HHS who closely follows the autism research and can hold the NIH accountable for progress. We cannot continue from this place of research stagnation, with the same people in charge, doing the same things the same way, investing in the same lackluster research and failing our families.")

The irony, of course, is that in the past four years it has become more and more obvious, and scientifically convincing, that autism is an environmental illness -- that there are susceptibilities, to be sure, and those susceptibilities include genes, but that we've been pulling the trigger on a virtual AK-47 full of toxins, from elemental mercury spewing out of Texas power plants, to multiple vaccinations of kids with mito disorders, to loading up pregnant women and infants with ethyl mercury and live viruses at ages (like in utero and by 12 months) when they were never intended to get them, to pesticide-spraying that comes very close, in the case of West Nile, to shooting a gnat with a bazooka. The damage is vast, not limited to autism (ADHD, asthma, etc.), not limited to infants (Alzheimer's, Gardasil, etc.), not limited to the MMR or to thimerosal or vaccines, and not likely to stop anytime soon.

The further irony is that in the last few elections the issue has been at least on the table, but as the evidence for both the epidemic and its origins has increased, the concern evinced by the candidates has diminished. Bush Junior said he'd take thimerosal (mercury) out of vaccines, but he didn't. McCain made all kinds of noise but, back in the Senate, where he might actually have done something useful, he hasn't. Obama told Sam Wessels last week (see below) that he has "a plan," but he manifestly doesn't.

You can thank words like "discredited," "disproven," "much-debunked," "junk science" applied by self-interested parties to the honest and first-hand observations of family members and of a few brave souls like Andy Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy. You can thank the lazy and credulous press. And you can thank the people who run the government, or want to, of both parties and all political persuasions.

Obama, of course, presides in an ultimate sense over the catastrophic Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, whose historic failures defy concise recitation, and the National Institutes of Health, which just poured another $100 million down a gene-centric rabbit hole. Romney's view that we should onshore our vaccine innovation and keep cooking up more moneymaking vaccine remedies to public health failures sounds like a piece in The Economist or a press release from the Chamber of Commerce.

Clearly, there's a crying need for a new way forward. The Canary Party. A third-party candidacy that puts vaccine choice, and the environmental roots of autism, into the public debate. A disruptive candidate to stand up and continue the conversation Michele Bachman began (and good for her).

It's too bad Dave Weldon's quixotic bid for the Senate didn't go anywhere. Remember, he wanted to study the Amish; he described the vaccine damage ratio as "1 in 1." He called the CDC on its continuing coverup. And he's a doctor! With Dan Burton retiring and with a key staffer for Rep. Carolyn Maloney stepping back for family reasons, we need people to step up. 

And they will. But as for this election, fuggedaboudit.


  Pesticide Spraying

Pesticides are in the news again, as a study suggested organic foods aren't any more nutritious than the regular -- one is tempted to say inorganic -- kind. As I pointed out, that's not really the point, and those of us who've taken a close look at pesticides appreciate the fact that there is 30% less bug spray and dust on organic food. These days, though, it's not just food that's a risk -- as Dallas found out when the place was thoroughly dusted by plane to try to kill off the West Nile virus via the mosquitos that carry it. 

Continue reading "Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Which Candidate Will Cause Less Autism (Than the Other)? " »

Autism and Bullying in Time Yields Harsh Comments

Fisher Price BullyTime Magazine ran an article on why autistic students are targets for bullies. Our kids lives are tough enough - whether they have full blown preverbal autism or Asperger's and an IQ of 150. A friend of  mine with an adult family member is in classes at a local state college. She told me that there is a student  who announced at the beginning of the semester that he has autism - in a rather long descriptive manner. She has watched him enter and leave class alone. His perseveration is the middle ages - and kids in college care more about Saturday nights than jousting knights. My friend has watched the other students turn away from him, snicker and avoid him.  How do we help our kids fit into the world while educating the world that our kids have a right to the pursuit of happiness as much as any bully - or commenter like the one below?  Click into Time to read more comments. Especially a rebuttal by a certain media editor we all know and love... KS.

Did anyone stop to consider that autistic kids get bullied more because they are annoying as hell? 

My girlfriend is a High School teacher and she has many, many autistic kids in her classes and they are almost without exception the most belligerent and disruptive students in the class.

The fact that they don't fully understand their actions is little comfort to the other kids whose education is disrupted due to their outbursts and constant inappropriate behavior.

These kids should be in special education classes away from the general student population where their special needs can be met without degrading the learning environment of others.


 Not all autistic students are loud and annoying.  Don't assume that every autistic student is annoying.   You are being dreadfully insensitive with your first sentence.  Please stop offending other people just because they are different.

Continue reading "Autism and Bullying in Time Yields Harsh Comments" »

Actor Rob Schneider Protests California's AB2109

By Sylvia Pimentel

Rob Schneider and JP

Above  is a photo of Joseph Pimentel, my 17 year old son with autism, with actor Rob Schnieder at the California Capitol Building during the AB 2109 (requires a signed doctor's note to use non-medical vaccine exemption) protest. This bill has passed both the Assembly and the Senate, and now sits on the Governor's desk. We hope to convince Governor Jerry Brown to VETO it.
I, his mother, have been fighting this bill since it was first introduced in late February with my fellow Canary Party members, as well as other concerned groups.
Here is a sumation of AB 2109:
Rob Schneider w Sarah

Rob Schneider with Sarah Gutierrez, daughter of Michelle, Canary Party member.

President Obama and Governor Romney on Vaccination

Penny frontPresident Obama and Governor Romney tackle 14 science questions in this Penny back Scientific American article. The last set of answers (below)  will be of interest to our readers. Topics included  1. Innovation and the Economy, 2. Climate Change, 3. Research and the Future,  4. Pandemics and Biosecurity,  5. Education, 6. Energy, 7. Food, 8. Fresh Water, 9. The Internet, 10. Ocean Health, 11. Science in Public Policy, 12. Space, 13. Critical Natural Resources. 

The final question, #14, is below. Not sure why heart disease treatments aren't as pressing as vaccination. Or cancer prevention. Or obesity control. Each of which impacts America in all aspects of health and science, none of which warranted a question - like vaccination.

14. Vaccination and public health. Vaccination campaigns against preventable diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough depend on widespread participation to be effective, but in some communities vaccination rates have fallen off sharply. What actions would you support to enforce vaccinations in the interest of public health, and in what circumstances should exemptions be allowed?

Barack Obama:

Today, there are too many Americans who do not get the preventive health care services they need to stay healthy. Many people put off preventive care because the deductibles and copays are too expensive. That’s why I fought for the Affordable Care Act, which will make sure all Americans have access to quality preventive health care services. Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans can now get vital preventive services – including the full suite of routine vaccines recommend by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – with no co-pay or deductible. The health care law also created the Prevention and Public Health Fund, an investment in promoting wellness, preventing disease, and investing in public health infrastructure across the country. It will help us transform our health care system from a focus on sickness and disease to a focus on prevention and wellness. The law also proves authority to states to purchase adult vaccines with state funds at federally-negotiated prices, supporting state vaccination programs. Ultimately, I believe the health care law is a significant step forward in ensuring that every American has access to the preventive care and immunizations that they need to stay healthy.

Mitt Romney:

The first priority must be to ensure that America has adequate supplies of safe and effective vaccines. Making vaccines requires complex facilities and highly skilled workers, which means that America must continue to strengthen its advanced manufacturing capabilities.

Second, preventing outbreaks of these diseases also requires that these vaccines are used effectively. The vaccines only work to prevent outbreaks when a sufficient number of people are protected from the diseases and thus able to stop a bug from spreading from one person to the next, which means that the vast majority of Americans need to take steps to receive vaccinations.

Continue reading "President Obama and Governor Romney on Vaccination " »

Philadelphia: We Can only Guess about Autism

Liberty_bell_ringing_hg_clrBy Anne Dachel

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently had the op-ed piece, “And the latest cause of autism is . . .” HERE  by Michael Yudell.

In keeping with the usual spin from the mainstream press, Yudell shows no alarm over the autism numbers nor does he talk about any urgency to find answers. His message to us is--we don’t know the cause of autism but we’re sure it’s not vaccines. And we’re going to be very skeptical over any claim that could in any way implicate vaccinations.

He writes,

Autism, the lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder marked by a range of social and communication impairments, has seen its share of reckless claims about causes and cures.

Actually Michael Yudell is giving us only a general description. (If he’s sure it’s lifelong, show us the millions of autistic adults that have been studied.)  His piece doesn’t come close to describing how seriously impaired and desperately ill many children with autism are.

From the belief that the emotional coldness of the so-called refrigerator mother caused her child’s autism to the fabricated science that vaccines were a trigger, such misbegotten ideas have, at best, offered only temporary hope to affected families, and, at worst, done incalculable harm to the public’s health. Because scientists still know so little about autism’s causes – almost certainly a complex combination of multiple factors – it should come as no surprise that claims based loosely or not at all on science continue to attract public attention.

Fabricated science”? That line only works if you believe the endless pharma-funded studies brought to us by the agency that runs the vaccine program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the real world, parents know about Hannah Poling and the 83 cases of vaccine-induced autism that have been compensated by the federal government. The public is also aware that the late Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, went on CBS News HERE in 2008 and said that the vaccine-autism question is still open. She said we need to look at the children who got sick—the ones who were born healthy and were developing normally until they suddenly and dramatically regressed into autism following routine vaccinations—but no one is willing to do that.

Parents also know about the power and influence the pharmaceutical industry has over our health officials and they’re aware that if it’s clearly recognized that an unchecked, ever-expanding vaccine program is behind the exponential increase in autism, lots of people will be held responsible. People like Yudell can defend the official denials all they want but those families dealing with an autistic child are tired of waiting for answers.

At quick glance, a recent opinion article in the New York Times by writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff, claiming that “perhaps one-third, and very likely more” of autism cases look like a brain-damaging inflammatory disease caused by a parasite deficiency that “begins in the womb,” offers interesting insight into the science of autism causation. Researchers around the world are hard at work trying to decipher the puzzle that is autism, and Velasquez-Manoff draws attention to some of their work.

Continue reading "Philadelphia: We Can only Guess about Autism" »

Dan Olmsted at Autism One on The Wakefield Inquisition

VideoWe invite you to watch Dan Olmsted discuss and dissect the GMC and mainstream media's battle against Dr. Andrew Wakefield in his presentation from last May at Autism One.

Abstract: The unprecedented journalistic attack on Dr. Wakefield and colleagues after their 1998 paper on autism and bowel disease has begun coming apart at the seams. Now that Wakefield has filed a defamation suit, and a judge in England cleared the paper's other senior author of all wrongdoing, it's time to ask: How did Murdoch's London Sunday Times and the British Medical Journal get away for so long with getting the story so wrong? How long will it take the mainstream media to do its job and report the real facts? (If the embedded video does not appear click HERE.)



By Anne Dachel

There is recent news that after 50 years of silence the German pharmaceutical company, Gruenenthal, has apologized for the horrific damage caused by thalidomide, the morning sickness drug given to pregnant women in the late 1950s and early 60s. This got my attention immediately because of the obvious similarity of the use of mercury in vaccines.

Mainstream news sources gave the thalidomide story significant coverage.

New York Newsday: HERE

“Victims of thalidomide said on Saturday an apology from the German inventor of the drug that caused birth defects in thousands of babies around the world was too little too late.”

“The thalidomide scandal triggered a worldwide overhaul of drug-testing regimes and boosted the reputation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which refused to approve the drug.

“Gruenenthal said it had acted to the best of its knowledge.”

Chicago Tribune: HERE

Los Angeles Times: HERE

Because its tests failed to detect hazards, many women took the medicine without knowing it could harm their babies, he said, and were left with “a heavy burden.” For almost 50 years, Grunenthal had not found a way to reach out to the victims “person to person,” Stock added.

The analogy is undeniable. How different is the mistaken belief that it’s safe to inject toxic mercury into human beings? How can one medical mistake be recognized while another is continually covered up.

The mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal goes back 75 years. It was invented and tested Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company in 1930. The one study done on thimerosal was done by Eli Lilly on 22 adult patients suffering from meningitis. There was no chance for follow-up to observe long-term effects, as the test subjects died. Even if follow-up had been possible, damage to the developing brains of very young children would have remained an unknown.

The media is giving credit to the FDA for not approving thalidomide in this country, yet in the case of thimerosal, it was never tested or approved by the FDA, yet it’s still allowed in vaccines. Eli Lilly said it was safe back in the 1930s and the medical community just accepted it. After the creation of the FDA, its use was simply continued. This unconscionable oversight failure has yet to be recognized.

Continue reading "Thalidomide/Thimerosal" »

Best of AofA: Autism From a Flu Shot? The Ominous Clue From Kanner's Autism Case #7

Mercury-vaccine Note: Flu vaccine season is upon us, appearing each September along with Halloween Candy and early Thanksgiving decorations. Below is a post from November of 2010.

By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill
Seventy-three years ago, Elizabeth Peabody Trevett, a pediatrician and pioneer in promoting mass vaccination for infants, gave birth to a boy named John who became the seventh child ever diagnosed with autism. She presumably vaccinated her baby, and perhaps herself while pregnant, with the same shots she administered to her own patients. One of those shots, the newly developed diphtheria toxoid, was the first to contain the ethyl mercury preservative, thimerosal.
Today, pediatricians and public health officials scoff at concerns that thimerosal, still used today in most flu shots recommended for all pregnant women and infants older than 6 months, could cause autism. But after researching our new book, "The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic," we are concerned about such an outcome.
Our conclusion: The facts of Case 7 fit with a common familial background exposure in the first cases to newly commercialized ethyl mercury compounds in agriculture and vaccines. They suggest children, then as now, are at risk from the dangerous and indefensible practice of injecting them with mercury for the stated purpose of protecting their health.
Elizabeth Peabody Trevett graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School and won a fellowship to Harvard where she was one of seven pediatricians who pioneered the well-baby visit – at which vaccines are routinely administered. Her son John was born in November 1937. She subsequently divorced her husband, psychiatrist Laurence Trevett, and resumed using her maiden name, Peabody.
A few years later, back in Maryland, she was quoted about the importance of vaccination in an Annapolis newspaper article: “Too many parents, said Dr. Peabody, have the proper shots given and then relax, forgetting that booster shots are needed and that immunization does wear off. Speaking specifically of some of the most prevalent ailments, she stated that a child cannot be vaccinated against smallpox too often and it should be done for the first time when a baby is between three months and one year of age. In the case of diphtheria, booster shots are extremely important.”
Diphtheria was the first mass vaccine to contain thimerosal, starting in the 1930s just as the first autism cases were identified. It would have been widely available at a teaching hospital like Harvard at the time John was born.

Following her passion for public health, Elizabeth Peabody later set up a well-baby clinic in Iraq, again emphasizing the importance of vaccinating thousands of babies, and then joined the Public Health Service in Atlanta as a regional administrator for children’s health programs.
 As flu season kicks into high gear this year in the United States, infants, pregnant women and nursing mothers are among the millions of Americans whom public health officials are urging with unprecedented fervor to get a flu shot. Because most flu shots contain mercury, and because the CDC has declined to express a preference for giving these groups a mercury-free version, this means millions of the most vulnerable among us are getting a significant dose of the dangerous neurotoxin – some at grocery stores and airports and retailers, some without even having to get out of their car. Tracking short-term, localized and mild adverse reactions would seem difficult, and following up on any associations with the onset of chronic or delayed outcomes like autism all but impossible.

Continue reading "Best of AofA: Autism From a Flu Shot? The Ominous Clue From Kanner's Autism Case #7 " »

Advocating in America for Autism: How We Met President Obama!

Sam President ObamaBy Lin Wessels

You know, I get discouraged sometimes with my government, with my president, with my countrymen and women, with my country as whole.  I suppose it is a natural thing.  We all want a better life, especially when it comes to our children.  Add to that, waiting is hard, so hard!  We have been waiting for proper recognition as well as answers from our collective country about the current autism crisis for what seems like forever!  Then take into consideration watching your child with autism grow up before your eyes while still waiting for improvements and unity across the land in services, acceptance, tolerance, acknowledgment, improvements to gainful employment, mentoring, insurance reform, education, protection, better services and resources for adults on the spectrum, and on and on and on.  It becomes nearly all one can bear to continue to wait.  So, we cope.  In our family, one of the biggest ways we cope is we get busy.  We take action!  And we advocate.  We advocate anywhere and everywhere we can!

Our family has been fighting the good fights (there are many) as well as the not so good fights (there are many of those as well) on behalf of those with autism and their families for nearly a decade now.  For the vast majority of those years, we have been pounding the pavement meeting as many of our influential elected officials or soon to possibly be elected officials as time and circumstances would allow for us to.  It is something we CAN do.  So we do.  

Our son with autism, who is now ten, has always played an active role in our mission.  So much so, he takes ownership in what we do.  He has been raised to appreciate our very unique political process here in the United States of America.  He has seen firsthand how our processes works.  He understands how those processes are meant to work FOR him, for ALL people within our great nation; no matter your race, creed, religion, nor your differentiated ability.  It has been a process......oh, the stories I could tell you.  It has not always been an easy process, but it has been a valued and worthwhile process in our family and home, one we don't take for granted. 

We have met and questioned very nearly every candidate who has campaigned in our home state of Sam and RomneyIowa, candidates from the current year's presidential as well as the last.  (See photos at the end of this post.) Our list is long and impressive, however that is not why do what we do.  We do it because we CAN.  We do it because we understand our inalienable basic human rights in this great land of ours; we also understand that with those rights comes responsibility.  We take those rights along with the responsibilities very seriously.  Above all else, we do it because we love our son.  WE love him beyond measure. We do it to help him not only learn that he is every bit as valued as the next person, but to BELIEVE it as well.

And he does.  As he should.

Although our life's mission is very definitely an extremely politically charged one, it can by no means have boundaries or lines which are not easily crossed by any and all.  Autism cannot afford partisanship.  We need every party and every one working together and working hard!  That is a plain and simple fact.  

Most recently, September 1, 2012, to be exact, we were successful in meeting our president.  Yes, our president.  President Barack Obama.  The very magnitude of that still brings tears to my eyes.  I honestly don't think I can describe not only what that meant to us, but how that felt.  I was as giddy as a teenage girl on a first date with the anticipation of the mere POSSIBILITY that we would be successful in meeting our country's leader, let alone speak with him.  It was such a long shot.  

So how does one go about meeting the president of the United States of America?  I don't know.  I only know how we were able to accomplish it.  We used every resource and contact available to us that we had the great fortitude and good fortune to make along the way in this amazing journey of ours.  For example, a former DHS case worker, who is now a national delegate for the Democratic Party, was able to secure tickets for us.  She was very familiar with our political adventures and autism advocacy.  She had been Sam's DHS case worker during the 2008 election.  

I was then successful in turning those general admission tickets into VIP tickets, with a well placed, timely phone call to the Obama for America headquarters in Sioux City, IA where the event was scheduled to be held.  As it turned out, the man responsible for the the event becoming a reality, has a nephew with severe autism.  He loved hearing about our mission.  He was grateful that others were willing to even make an attempt at reaching the president on behalf of individuals with autism.  Both of these individuals were more than happy to take part in helping us in our mission.  And yet, it was still a long shot and we all knew it.   

The rest was purely fate.  How else could have my son Sam and I ended up standing in the very first row, about eight feet away and squarely in front of where the president was about to speak to a crowd of  somewhere between three or four thousand people?  Not to mention, this all took place in less than three days time.

Sam Still WaitingSo then what?  Well, you stand and wait for a very long time in the hot sun, with not a cloud in the sky.  The temp soared at over 90 degrees.  It was an outdoor event.  If you are Sam, your mom finds you a little shade by way of a nearby tree here and there where she can still keep an eye on you while allowing you some relief from the heat and a place to sit.  She also allows you to bring your iPad and two very small, not sharp, nor intimidating, nor intrusive toys to occupy some of your very long wait time. 

Long and grueling?  No, although it could have been.  The entire experience was by far too exciting, compelling, insightful and fascinating to be anything other than phenomenal!  The people we met, the conversations we engaged in, the kindness of strangers, the swelling crowd, the speeches we heard (and we lean right, yet I was able to find substance, unity and even common ground), the motorcade, secret service, the anticipation, and then the presence of our commander and chief. I can't describe the enormity of it all!  I can say that I walked away feeling especially blessed having had the experience at all!

After reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag, a prayer from a minister, the national anthem, the mayor, several speeches by locals, rules and instructions as placed forth by the president's secret service detail, introductions and of course the man of the hour, our president; after all of that, he made his way past the media, toward us rounding his way along the railing that separated us from him.  I repeatedly prepared Sam, "Get ready.  Here he comes.  Know what you want to say to him.  Be ready."

Continue reading "Advocating in America for Autism: How We Met President Obama!" »

Support the Doctors Who Help Children With Autism

AnjuOn September 8th in Chicago, we parents of children with numerous health Support anju issues, will be honoring Dr. Anju Usman, to recognize the outstanding medical care she has provided to thousands of children with complex medical issues and support her ability to continue to provide appropriate medical care for children, including those with autism.

While emerging scientific evidence has determined that children with autism have a higher incidence of immune dysregulation, gastrointestinal disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other complex health issues, many physicians are unaware of these underlying medical conditions and they can remain untreated.

There are dedicated physicians, such as Dr. Usman, who have come under criticism for their willingness to look beyond the autism label to provide appropriate diagnosis and treatment for the various medical conditions.  Their ability to treat children individually while incorporating findings from emerging science may be threatened.  Our children deserve to have access to physicians who are willing to properly identify and treat all their medical conditions.

Please join us to celebrate Dr. Usman's work and dedication to our children. The future of our children's medical care depends on all of us participating.  If you are local, please attend or make a financial gift.  For our long distance families and friends, we would be honored by your donations and your support. Donate HERE.

Republican Party Convention Outrage on Delegate Election Process

In this election year, we will showcase the happenings on "both sides of the aisle." Neither party has been much help to the autism community - each from their own perspective. Labor Day is an often overlooked holiday, seen more as the end of summer and BBQs than a tribute to working Americans and the pursuit American dream.

Timothy P.Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at<>. His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Republican establishment still doesn't get it.

At the Republican National Convention, party officials flouted the rules and railroaded longtime conservative activists, Tea Party newcomers and Ron Paul delegates.

You might think a party whose power in Washington is due to bottom-up, decentralized grassroots passion would not resort to top-down, centralized control.

Establishment arrogance first flared up in two of the convention's standing committees.

In the Rules Committee, D.C. delegate Ben Ginsburg, an attorney working with the Romney campaign, passed two rule changes that conservatives immediately blasted as "power grabs." First, Ginsburg stripped power from delegates by giving the Republican National Committee -- that is, the 50 state committeemen and 50 committeewomen -- the power to amend party rules between conventions. (This was a change to Rule 12, which governs amendments to the platform.)

Second, he stripped power from state parties by giving candidates the ability to replace any of their own delegates. Conservative delegates and activists reacted so negatively to this one that party leaders backtracked. They crafted a compromise on Monday night that leaves state parties with the power to elect delegates, but imposes new rules on delegate selection.

Meanwhile, the Credentials Committee voted to unseat half of Ron Paul's delegates from Maine. Party officials contended -- on flimsy evidence -- that Paul backers had broken the rules in the state party's convention, where they won 21 of Maine's 24 delegate seats.

Continue reading "Republican Party Convention Outrage on Delegate Election Process" »

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Anti-Vaccine Surveillance Alert

SpywareThe Bill & Melinda Gates foundation launched the Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) in partnership with the National Institutes of Health in 2003 which, according to the GCGH website, is aimed at "creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world." So far, 45 grants totaling $458 million were awarded for research projects involving scientists in over 30 countries.1

But where has all the money actually gone? Towards developing and implementing water purification and sanitation systems? Or basic nutritional support aimed at optimizing immune function? How about providing shelter and medical facilities for the homeless? Not even close.

For example, a $100K grant was recently disbursed to Seth C. Kalichman, professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, for "Establishing an Anti-Vaccine Surveillance and Alert System," which intends to "establish an internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting misinformation communication campaigns regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts." [emphasis added] 

Read the full article by Sayer Ji at