IOM Fails Again to Pursue Science on Vaccine Injury
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Newtown Shooting Prompts School To Worry if Autistic Student a Threat

FalloutBy Anne Dachel

I have a wonderful friend in North Augusta, SC, Maurine Meleck.  As many of you know, I spend most my time writing comments on news reports on autism.  It’s frustrating to no end and I’m always happy to have Maurine adding her viewpoint on these stories.  She’s a tireless advocate for the autism community in addition to caring for her grandson, Joshua, age 15, who has autism.  I talk to Joshua on the phone and he’s always very intense and has lots of information to share.  He’s a great kid. 

Maurine recently had this letter to the editor published in the Augusta (GA) Chronicle.    It was entitled, Don't scapegoat autism. It was about the CT shootings. Maurine warned readers that they shouldn’t associate autism with dangerous or threatening behavior. 

Incredibly, recent events have affected Maurine personally.  Because her grandson likes to have friends, he’s interested in other students.  Joshua likes a girl in his class.  He wanted her to know how he felt.  He found her family’s name in the phonebook and started to make calls asking to talk to her.  He made contact with her grandmother and other relatives and finally her father by calling number after number.  This was disconcerting to these people and they reacted in fear.

Maurine wrote to me that Joshua came to school the next day and was met by the police and the vice-principal.  They were worried that Joshua was a danger to the girl he wanted to be friends with. The vice-principal called Maurine four times and said that the girl’s parents were “terrified” because of “what’s been happening in schools.” 

To Joshua, it was no big deal.  The girl was someone he wanted as a friend.  He didn’t understand what was happening.  Even though the police talked to him at school and ordered him to have no contact with the girl, when he got home he asked when he’d be able to call her again.

This is what we’re left to deal with.  There is a generation of children with autism out there who will have to somehow fit in a world that doesn’t recognize them as anything significant. 

Maybe all those who claim that it’s all just better diagnosing will be able to explain how kids like Joshua are going to survive with the police showing up at their school, telling them they can’t have any contact with other students because they’re a threat to them.

Anne Dachel, Media



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Interview with Dr. David Healy

Not an MD

Sounds to me that the vice principal of the school is every bit as scary and threatening, by making four phone calls to Maureen, as Joshua is. Perhaps a police visit to the vice principal for harassment is in order, too?

So sorry you must contend with this, Maureen. All the best to you and Joshua.


Even with neurotypical kids, this kind of behavior (calling all family members, etc.) would be considered harassing or stalking behavior. If a boy, any boy, was calling all family members to try and make contact with a girl, naturally the girl's father would become concerned. There's a lot of fear of kids... all kids, no matter what their neurological status. All one needs to do is look at the news on any given day to see evidence of this. Kids are suspended for making a 'gun' with their thumb/forefinger and saying, "Bang! Bang!" A girl brings a plastic knife to school to use at lunch time and it's immediately confiscated and she, too, is in trouble. A boy draws a picture of soldiers shooting their enemy, the picture is taken, and he is suspended pending a psychological evaluation. Parents, teachers, and administrators no longer instantly trust ANY of the neighborhood kids or the ones in the school yard; their abilities or lack thereof are a secondary consideration. I am painfully aware of the bullying that an inordinate number of autistic kids suffer. However, it's happening more and more with typical kids, too, and that bullying isn't only coming from other kids. My thoughts and prayers are with Maurine and her grandson as they navigate this challenge.

Paul S

I’m sorry all my friends on this site whose lives are closely connected to an Autistic child; I believe our Autistically damaged children will never be understood nor will they be integrated into what is termed “normal society.” Our society does not accept differences. If one doesn’t fall within the narrow band of acceptable behaviour s/he is considered a threat!

One does not have to go very far. I ask all of you on this board: How many of you engage with a group of adults/children from a group home that sit at the tables next to you in a fast food establishment? We must continue to educate the general population in the hopes that they do not physically harm to our children because they are different.

(Tongue in cheek) There are two solutions as I see it. First (And I donot hold much hope in my lifetime or the foreseeable future.) Finance the research to find what causes Autism, then finance the research to inhibit the cause and to also find the means to reverse the damage done to our children..
One other thought: if every first born of every family were struck Autistic our damaged children would be accepted!!

Paul S, grandpa to beautiful Matthew, who for the first 18 months of his life met all development benchmarks while receiving the FDA protocol of vaccine inoculations. At 18 months days after receiving the MMR jab he receded into the autistic world.


we don't officially know Lanza's dx. His brother Ryan reportedly said he had Aspergers and that got spread around very quickly by the media.

My point is profiling can be damaging. Profiling is what Joshua experienced based on others perceptions or misperceptions.


Perhaps Adam Lanza was just a lonely young man who didn't have many friends and struggled with the stage of life where one enters society as an adult. Maybe Adam Lanza had a psych history. Maybe he had a history of taking street or prescription drugs. Maybe Adam Lanza became someone else's pawn. Maybe Adam Lanza didn't destroy his computer or murder his mother. Maybe his mother found out who was using or influencing him. Maybe what we've been led to believe happened in that school didn't go down exactly that way.

I think definitely professional journalists have known since the beginning that they were spewing what appears to be carefully crafted garbage instead of reporting facts. The mention of autism was no mistake. They don't make mistakes like that. Even if they all did honestly jump to the wrong conclusion, it would have been corrected soon after. There have been no corrections and no facts. Something stinks.


Linda, THANK YOU! I have been actively searching, and have yet to find any article that produces PROOF that Lanza had an autism diagnosis. I have, however, pinpointed the article that purported to quote an unauthorized person (who refused to be identified because they didn't have permission to make the comment) that the estranged brother MAY have claimed that Adam COULD be autistic. This is the same brother that hadn't seen Adam in over four years. Other networks were in such a feeding frenzy that they picked up the quote without vetting the source, and the 'Telephone' game began in earnest.

This quote wouldn't be allowed in court because it's THIRD HAND, and totally unvetted, but apparently, it's 'proof' enough for the media to condemn an entire population of society to increased prejudice and scrutiny. Until I see that a neurologist comes forward and confirms that Lanza was tested and diagnosed prior to his death, I will stand by my assertion that his behavior is far more likely to be a sign of UNTREATED schizophrenia than untreated autism.

I was in the city during 9/11, and the same sort of 'rush to press' occurred in the early days then. It was horrible, because it amped up people's fear, and caused incidents where people were accosted by angry and frightened people who were watching the coverage and believed everything they saw.

If Adam had any undiagnosed mental illnesses, our discussion should have been regarding how to get people connected to the help that they need. Instead, it's been a Chicken Little freak-out, and entirely unproductive except for the ratings jumps for several media outlets. Sorry for the rant, but you're friend's experience is exactly what I expected as fallout from all of this.

Louis Conte

The "Adam Lanza was a rare case" comment resonated with me.

We don't know what Lanza "had".

Perhaps he just "had" "autism-like" symptoms.


"Adam Lanza was a rare case."

We don't have any facts about Adam Lanza's mental or physical condition.


Bullying among students is a huge problem in SC schools. Sorry to hear that your grandson has been the target of bullying by school administrators and police.


noun /ˈprōˌfīliNG/ 

1.The recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.

2. the use of specific characteristics, as race or age, to make generalizations about a person, as whether he or she may be engaged in illegal activity.

This is what happended to Joshua and what could happen to any of our kids. This is why we need build bridges with the police so they understand not all kids are the same. Adam Lanza was a rare case.


You know why the cops bothered to respond to that Father's call?

I have my ideas.

They knew where the school was - so they did have to look your grandson up. They also had a huge audience that saw them do their job.

I myself have been broken into twice, both of my next door neighbors broken into twice - lots of stuff taken. We call the police and they take our complaint over the phone - but do not bother to send a detective out, or anyone else.

The drug problem is that bad.

My poor elderly parents have been broken into three times in three years. Telephone line cut the first time. Broken glass panel the second time. Whole broken glass door the third. All three times my parents were home. The drug addicts fled as soon as they knew my parents were home, for we all have guns.

Which I don't want to ever have to use (another big nightmare).

But the police have time to go to school and do the job of telling a young man what the girl or her father should have told him --- if they did not want him to call.

Kind of reminds me of the woman who called the police because Burger King would not give her the right order.

Louis Conte

It seems that all of the "Autism Awareness" has not lead to much understanding of autism.

Our kids will do things that need to be explained - that is going to be our community's burden (add it to the pile).

However, the law enforcement community is going to have to be open to listening and understanding about how the behavior exhibited by people with autism is going to challenge them.

The conversation should not be about fear and Lanza. It should be about understanding Joshua - and all of our kids - and creating a life of dignity in the community.

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