Happy St. Patrick's Day

Weekly Wrap: Alex and His Mom, Autism and Suicide, and Psychiatry's Hysteria Hangover

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

March 16, 2013 -- The drama now playing out at Loyola hospital in Chicago, as detailed in Contributing Editor Lisa Goes' superb reporting for Age of Autism,  is a stark case in point of what so many autism families face -- and so many more will -- as this epidemic unfolds. Uncomprehending doctors, a community not yet organized to intervene effectively, profoundly disabled young men no longer suited for cutesy ad campaigns, a media scared away by their reluctance to challenge medical authorities ... all can be seen in this sad saga.

But another part of the story is as old as autism itself: blaming mom.

The fact the hospital seems to be treating her as trouble is par for the course. But I've been quite surprised and a little disappointed by the feedback in our community that there is something wrong with this picture, namely, the mom. Why is she letting Alex languish with no treatment? Why hasn't she tried biomed, if she hasn't? Who is she taking advice from, and if it's not the right advice, why doesn't she get better advice? Why is she going public when maybe a more discrete and decorous handling of the matter might have been better for Alex? (An answer from a fellow AOA  editor: "That's probably right about the bulk of the situations from a practical perspective. But this crap goes on all the time. And sometimes we need to put a spotlight on it.")

All this reminds me of a sarcastic comment my father, a Roosevelt Democrat, made to lampoon criticism of the poor by the privileged: "If they don't like living in the ghetto, why don't they just move?" I'm half expecting someone to tell me that, Psssstttt,  the mom was turned down for the Junior League because, well, she's just not our kind of girl, don't you know?

I feel a little like Hillary Clinton testifying to Congress, waving her arms in exasperation and saying (about Benghazi): "What difference at this point does it make?" The evidence, visual, eyewitness, documentary, is overwhelming that this child's medical needs are not being properly addressed. What more at this point do we need?

Blaming mom, of course, is the oldest trick in the autism playbook, perfected by Bruno Bettelheim (in Chicago, where Alex now languishes), who said infants retreated into the "empty fortress" of autism because they correctly deduced their mother's homicidal wish for them to be dead.

Brian Deer deceived and savaged the Lancet 12 moms, suggesting they were in it for the money, Andy's willing dupes, and Munchausen-by-proxy head cases. Theresa Cedillo, in the Omnibus rulings, was portrayed as the gullible tool of money-grubbing lawyers, a parent so inattentive she missed the earlier signs (earlier than the MMR! far far earlier!) that her child was descending into autism, and couldn't keep her chronology straight.

But this has all come from the other side. Here's hoping we don't pick up their bad habits.


What to make of the new study that shows kids with autism have a considerable risk of suicide? The key finding for our community -- the community that believes autism is an environmental illness and biomedical treatments can help -- may be that in children with autism whose parents considered them depressed, 77 percent had considered or attempted suicide, according to the Fox News account.

Kids with autism who weren't subject to mood disorders were very unlikely to have done so.

So poor mental health, not autism per se, is the risk.  Of course, autism as presently treated by mainstream medicine (see Alex, above)  is a risk for mental health "co-morbidities," given the lack of support and the tendency to pour toxic psychotropic drugs into kids with unexamined medical conditions (ditto). Many, many kids with autism have problems from GI issues to food and skin and sensory sensitivities that would depress any human being, however neurotypical.

Yet the hospital tells Alex's mother: "We have to heal the mind first and then the mind is going to heal the body." 

Exactly bass-ackwards.

What's more -- to my mind, anyway -- autism makes people prone to psychiatric issues because the causative factor in many cases -- exposure to organic mercury through vaccines and the environment -- also causes depression, irrational anger, and suicidal thinking directly. It's a vicious circle, and the failure to understand it is a catastrophic mistake we can trace back to the very beginnings of psychiatry.


In 1900, in Vienna, Austria, an 18-year-old named Ida Bauer wrote a suicide note that would help shape modern psychiatry.

"One day her parents were thrown into a state of great alarm by finding on the girl's writing desk, or inside it, a letter in which she took leave of them because, as she said, she could no longer endure her life." The father was understandably shaken; soon after that, she fainted during an argument, and he decided to take her to a doctor named Sigmund Freud.

Those are Freud's words, in fact, describing how the young woman he named "Dora" came to see him. Over three months of applying "the talking cure" to what he diagnosed as her hysteria, Freud refined and expanded some of his key concepts.  After "Dora,'" writes Freud biographer Peter Gay, "psychoanalytic technique was never the same."

I've been thinking of Dora recently as the issue of suicide has come to the fore in the media, seeming to crescendo day after day and week after week, from the intractable suicide rate in soldiers and veterans, to the deaths of the nurse who answered the prank call when Kate Middleton was sick, to a seasoned Delta force commander in Afghanistan, to Aaron Swartz, one of our best and brightest tech kids.

Lately, murder-suicides have been at the top of the news, although the horror of killing others often overwhelms the obvious truth that the perpretator was willing, frequently wanting,  to die along with those he took first; they're murder-suicides, too. The phrase "suicide by cop" has become common parlance. 


Yet nobody wants to die; nobody in their right mind, nobody with a reasonable hope of extrication from even the most excruciating circumstances. When you get right down to the particulars, being alive is so inarguably better than being dead that whenever we hear a rationalization for the latter -- whether meeting 40 virgins in heaven or mitigating the pain of a romantic failure or business catastrophe -- we dismiss it as  grotesquely unworthy of the gesture. We're biased, of course. We choose to be here now. But this is a bias built into humanity by long experience of the consequences on those left behind and the wisdom that, despite how dire things are, they must pass. The alternative is literally unthinkable.

Religions, the traditional expression of collective wisdom, know this and find their own way to counsel against self-sacrifice. In Catholicism it's a sin; in Buddhism it's an unskillful way of leaving unfinished karma that you'll  just have to expiate in the next lifetime (so why not wrap it up this time around and get a fresh start?). In our culture, we say "let the dead bury the dead" -- let go of them and keep living, to be blunt -- and in Japan they grieve the departed for a brisk 45 days, then let them move on (except when the ancestors come back to the mountaintops for four days once a year, a custom we would do well to adopt).

What is too often overlooked is the role of the environment -- in the sense of biological assaults on the physical body that can weaken the mind and its judgment, as well as the body and its strength.

As Mark Blaxill and I wrote in The Age of Autism -- Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic, we believe that was the case with Dora, perhaps the prototypical suicidal psychiatric patient. As we looked more deeply into the circumstances surrounding her arrival in Freud's office, we encountered something we never expected.

Dora, we believe -- along with a critical mass of other early Freud case studies -- was actually made physically and mentally ill not by her family drama but by her involvement with her father's illness. He had syphilis and was starting to show the symptoms of its worst outcome, general paralysis of the insane, at the same time Dora had her first symptoms.

These symptoms, as we show, were as much physical as mental, entirely consistent with poisoning from the mercury rubs that were then the prime treatment for syphilis. ("In some of these illnesses," Freud wrote of father and daughter, "he would allow no one but her to discharge the lighter duties of nursing.") Freud, in fact, had prescribed "energetic" anti-syphilis treatment to her father at the time of Dora's first major symptoms -- migraines, sporadic inability to speak, piercing gastric pains, a persistent cough, a dragging foot, depression, fatigue ... suicidal thinking. This child was physically sick; it is tempting to say that only a psychiatrist of Sigmund Freud's caliber wouldn't see it.

Compounding his blindness, Freud even noted that the majority of his most severe hysteria patients had fathers with syphilis. And a lot of the rest were professional nurses just as mercuric chloride came into universal use as an antiseptic.

We found clues to mercury poisoning as a probable factor in several more of Freud's key patients, enough for us to question whether Freud's theories of "psychogenic"  illness -- induced by repressed emotional conflicts and trauma, especially from childhood -- were actually rooted in misdiagnosis of physical illnesses that needed treatment, not talk. Before you guffaw too loudly, please check out "Chapter 2: The Age of Hysteria", in our book.


But back to 2013. With our discoveries about mercury and hysteria in mind, I've become more cautious, and at the same time more curious, about what triggers any individual mental illness, or subsequent suicide. Yes, genetic predisposition to depression, mania, or other mental illnesses are often undeniable factors; true, a tumultuous life can exacerbate that; of course, lack of social support, real or imagined, may leave a person feeling they have no exit but to exit.

Yet, to borrow a phrase, while all that loads the gun, we need to realize the environment in the broader sense I'm talking about may pull the trigger in far more cases than generally understood or acknowledged. I'm calling this lack of understanding "the hysteria hangover" -- the general inability to grasp the role of environmental triggers in mental illness and its most dire outcomes, harm to self and others.

It starts with failing to understand that a good many "mental problems" are the body and the mind in biomedical crisis. Bad food, bad chemicals, bad medicines can all play a role, whether the purveyors of those compounds want to admit it or not (not). The denial and suppression leads to useless discussions like whether Adam Lanza focus had Asperger's or was off his meds (whatever they were), rather than whether being on those meds in the first place was a trigger, and why he "needed" to be on them in the first place.

Even Aaron Swartz -- seemingly an obvious case of a young man facing prison time and choosing suicide -- is not clearcut, a topic I'll take up next week..

We are not going to stop every suicide. But we could look a lot harder at perhaps the most malleable factors -- toxins, medicines, socially sanctioned addictions.

It is not surprising -- and it is very encouraging -- that some within our community are starting to broaden their reach to this topic. The psychiatric community would do all of us a favor by welcoming the help, and getting past its hysteria hangover.

It was not, Dr. Freud, all in Dora's head. Nor in Alex's, nor his mother's.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

The Alex Spourdalakis Story

Day 19

Day 21

Day 22

Office of Civil Rights complaint Petition

Second Petition

CNN iReport




lj goes

Thank you Dan. XO LJ


Re "Beth":

This is a prime example of hospital thought, hospital politics, in action. Couldn't be more wrongheaded and untherapeutic.

To "Beth":

I'll tell you what's inappropriate, "Beth". Libelous statements about a patient's family are inappropriate. Frivolous statements about her character, mental state and how she does or does not care for her child, are highly inappropriate.

Your reporting what you've "heard" is inappropriate. Even if you witnessed these behaviors first hand, your shouting them out to the world would be inappropriate.

Your contention that "Dorothy should not receive her parental rights back. She sabotages her son's treatment instead of putting him and his health first", in a public forum, "Beth", is cruel and inappropriate.

Take a look at yourself in the mirror, "Beth". See if you can stand what you see.


Beth your comment really sounds more like someone whose job it is to go on damage control for Loyola than from a parent of a child with autism.

As has already been said, no matter what the state of the family home, the big issue here is the care Alex is receiving (or not receiving) at Loyola. Unless your point is that his mother failed him so no biggie that Loyola does too?

"I have met Dorothy, briefly, and in that brief meeting, I could tell that something was "off" with her. (Socially inappropriate, would not stop talking to other people when the conversation should have ended a long time ago, very loud when talking etc..)"

When I saw the tv interview with Dorothy, my immediate thought was that she was probably on the spectrum as well. You say you have a child with autism and yet in your post you didn't even suggest that Dorothy may have autism herself although you are listing signs. Curious!

"Alex's mother needs professional help herself, from what I have been told. (I am not a mental health professional and am in no position to diagnose her or recommend that she receive counselling or medication etc..)"

Sounds to me like someone is violating privacy issues here. Can't see how a parent of a child with autism would be okay with having your privacy violated like that.

"This is one case where there are facts about the family that are being ignored by the autism community. I know that we tend to blame most parts of conventional medicine, and in this case it is Loyola Hospital. It may not matter where Alex's dad is. I suspect that, if he divorced Dorothy, it was because of her apparent personality issues. It DOES matter what Alex's environment is like at home with his mother.....And, yes, check with the school board, with the police, with DCFS etc. to see if anything has ever been reported about the family situation. You may likely find that there have been reports by the school district or the police etc. about the safety of this child."

Actually Beth, I do think it matters where the father is. If he is aware of these alleged incompetencies and personality issues, and there has been involvement with all these agencies, then he has knowingly left his child in an unsafe environment. This is inexcusable.


Beth, even if every single thing you say about this mother were true, it is entirely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

A child was transferred to this hospital for medical treatment. The specific medical treatment required -- testing for GI issues -- has not been provided, and in fact has been actively obstructed by the hospital. This has gone on for an egregiously long time. The issue has now been compounded by their extended use of restraints and psych meds. The mother is standing up for her child's medical rights. Because of his ASD, he is being treated differently than would any NT kid who was brought through their doors. That's illegal. The hospital using threats of parental rights termination against the mother appears retaliatory and designed to cover for the hospital's breach of their own duties and protocols.

The easiest way for the hospital to solve the problem they themselves have created is to provide the GI care warranted, or to allow the child to be transferred to another hospital that has offered to treat him properly.

Just as there are "fit" and "unfit" parents, there also are "fit" and "unfit" healthcare providers. Alex is currently at the mercy of UNFIT healthcare providers. They have failed in their medical duty to this child, and it is terrifyingly apparent that this could happen to any one of our children. Such practices must be held to public scrutiny, investigated, and halted, or any parent who disagrees about what constitutes proper medical care for their child and has the audacity to demand their symptoms be medically investigated will be threatened with termination of rights in order to shut them up. NOT OKAY.

The time for determination of Alex's long-term best interests is not now. There is plenty of time to consider that AFTER his medical needs have been addressed, especially when (as many of us have discovered first-hand) treating the underlying medical problems so often brings about miraculous improvements in behavior.

For Beth


Your account seems more than a little confused. You claim to have met Alex's mother but to have had some recent revelation about the matter having already signed petitions. Also, you seem to be being fed information from the hospital as if you have status in it, (again, why would you have been signing petitions previously?) And why would you or they be talking about it openly? It has to be said that anything you have raised is almost beside the point when you consider the inadequacy of the hospital in meeting Alex's needs. And anyone with any compassion would not be spilling this garbage about Alex's mother.


"Beth", with all due respect - if a child is shot in Chicago, the ER team does not debate when Mom fed him a proper meal, sent him to school every day, or if she smoked or drank too much or had her own problems. THEY STOP THE BLEEDING. Autism deserves the same. Even if what you say is dead on true - and even if Alex were to go home to the exact same situation and get sick again - if Loyola treats him - helps him - them maybe tomorrow, when a more perfect parent comes in with a sick child with autism - your child might get faster, better treatment than Alex. I think back to wealthy socialite pharma exec Gigi Jordan, here in NY - who with her TV perfect life checked into the Peninsula hotel and stuffed pills down her boy's throat until he choked and seized to death, and then "attempted" suicide. I think of Trudy Steuernagel, neat as a pin, educated, college professor who KNEW her boy would kill her one day - and I know, from living in NE Ohio that she did NOT do much of what we "Good" autism Moms do - and her son's behaviors escalated. She still did not deserve to die. Mothers get precious little support - and even the "bad ones" the ones who may "make us look foolish" by supporting them - deserve help for their kids. And if Mom has issues, I hope this allows her to get help too to move forward in a better way for her son.


I have signed most, if not all of the petitions for Alex. I am not sure that I would have done so now that I know what I know. If the petitions were for Alex alone, then I definitely would sign them.

I am not sure if anyone has commented on this, but there are unfit parents and moms who have children who have autism. This is the case with Alex's mom. I know from a very reliable source, that Dorothy is not caring for Alex properly at home, and that she may be his very worst advocate. For any of the autism parents who are meeting with Dorothy, they probably know this by now. I have met Dorothy, briefly, and in that brief meeting, I could tell that something was "off" with her. (Socially inappropriate, would not stop talking to other people when the conversation should have ended a long time ago, very loud when talking etc..)

Dorothy did not cause her son's "autism", but she his not helping him or his "autism" either.

This is one case where there are facts about the family that are being ignored by the autism community. I know that we tend to blame most parts of conventional medicine, and in this case it is Loyola Hospital. It may not matter where Alex's dad is. I suspect that, if he divorced Dorothy, it was because of her apparent personality issues. It DOES matter what Alex's environment is like at home with his mother. Alex is a danger to himself and to others, so that is why he has been in restraints.

Please, autism community, investigate the mother's mental health, as well as Alex's home environment! Dorothy should not receive her parental rights back. She sabotages her son's treatment instead of putting him and his health first. Loyola is doing the best job that they can do, in a very difficult situation (from what I have been told).

For those of you who are advocates for Dorothy, have her take some mental health tests or be evaluated by a psychologist, if she hasn't already had these evaluations. There are "unfit" parents everywhere, and sometimes, these parents are the parents of children who have "autism" or other illnesses. And, yes, check with the school board, with the police, with DCFS etc. to see if anything has ever been reported about the family situation. You may likely find that there have been reports by the school district or the police etc. about the safety of this child.

I write this anonymously, b/c I do not want to get my "source" in any kind of trouble. I am trying to advocate for Alex. The person who gave me this information worked with the family on an extended basis.

By possibly not being able to look at this situation objectively, those in the autism community who are advocating for the mother, may end up looking very foolish in the end. And, if this story was broadcast in any way in the news, the full story would need to be told, including what the child's home life is like and if his mother is providing a safe living environment for her child.

I am an autism biomed mom myself, and have had to negotiate through conventional medical institutions myself for my son's sake. Alex's mother needs professional help herself, from what I have been told. (I am not a mental health professional and am in no position to diagnose her or recommend that she receive counselling or medication etc..)


For those of you who are interested in learning exactly how the scientific studies that we are being asked to digest over common sense are ‘concocted’, you may want to read Ben Goldacre’s, ‘Bad Science’. Ben Goldacre is a British surgeon, doctor. In his book, Goldacre details phamas connivance and out-right deceptions in their drug trials. For instance, they will test drugs only on healthy, young individuals to get better results even if the drug is intended for the elderly. If a trial was to be done in series and positive results were obtained during the initial stage they will quickly stop the research and publish the results. Conversely, if the results are poor they will continue to run trials until they get better results. They will lower the bar and test their drugs not against a competitive drug but against placebos. When testing they will blanket for everything hoping to find something positive regardless if it fits with the initial hypothesis. If the results are undesirable they will delay publication hoping the study will be forgotten. When they do publish undesirable results they will hide them in lesser read journals. Goldacre details how these insidious practices have resulted in drugs coming to market that have caused countless injuries and deaths. Not surprising, Goldacre work has earned him the ire of pharma figures.

Funny, despite being so critical of pharma’s science, Goldacre does not have many kind regards for our movement. He sees us also as anti-science people for challenging mmr studies. I do not consider myself to be anti-science. I think the scientific method is a wonderful, impressive tool for understanding our world. I am certainly not anti-science, but instead, like Goldacre, I am anti-‘bad science’. And unfortunately, Goldacre is not listening to his own argument when he details how much ‘bad science’ there is but fails to realize that we need common sense to sort through the guck. Usually if scientific studies do not jive with common sense this is a good indication that we are being sold junk science. I say ‘usually’ because indeed there are instances when individuals’ biases or errors in accounting for counter-intuitive phenomena may lead to discrepancies between science and common sense. In these exceptional cases the discrepancies can be easily explained by plausible accounts and the science can be accepted. For instance, in the example I gave in my earlier post of the counter intuitive phenomenon of the earth appearing flat when its round the discrepancy can be explained by accepting that because the earth is so large from our vantage point while on it, it appears flat. Observing a ship in the far distant, we see the ship’s sail before the mast proving that the mast is obscured by the earth’s curvature – and, therein the discrepancy is quickly settled. What explanation can then be offered for countless of parents who witnessed their child’s dramatic decent into autism after vaccination despite studies (albeit studies that merely looked in mmr and thermerosal) saying that vaccines are not responsible? Well, there is the argument that children developing autism during vaccination is merely a coincidental thing, and its implied that these previously healthy kids would have also abruptly and dramatically developed autism even without vaccination. Likewise, we are told that the explosion with kids having autisms in the last decade that corresponds with the expanded vaccination schedule is due to better diagnosis, despite there being no evidence that there are hordes of elderly autistic adults who were missed. Do these explanations sound plausible? They don’t! Even pro-vaccines proponents have a tough time keeping a straight face after uttering such nonsense. There is no plausible resolution for vaccine science and common sense. Vaccine science fails miserable the common sense bar and it leaves us with no choice but to accept it as ‘bad science’.

Christine MacVicar

Regarding suicide: the most common drug prescibed for ASD is Risperidal. According to Robert Whitaker, in Mad in America, he relates the high suicide rate in the trials of this drug.
At aged 50, my son is now bring investigated for porphyria. A medical condition. He has had years of psychotropic drugs with ghastly side effects.
Porphyria can be mercury induced.
There is a duty of care on every psychiatrist to eliminate physical causes. Even when these are so obvious, as Alex's, our children are being discriminated against. It is a Human Rights issue.

I love the idea of a team who could respond to these incidents.


re: "How did we get to this point where the common person has so little power that even his most basic thoughts and observations require expert validation?"

Well put! Why have the keys to reality been handed over to this scientific/govt/pharma caste?


..."When they ask us then to choose 'science' over common sense, be very wary of these people. They like to talk a lot about enlightenment, yet their true motive is to usurp reality and have us believe only what they concoct in their lab."

Couldn't have said it better myself. How many more casualties must we incur before the majority of us, realize the above?



I've been thinking the same thing - about how the human race evolved from the observations, teachings and wisdom of the common person handed down from generation to generation. Then all of a sudden, the common person's observations don't count. They now have to be validated by members of an exclusive, self anointed, self credentialed club calling themselves "scientists". Tens of thousands of common people can observe the exact same phenomena (like their children falling ill after receiving a vaccine) and their reports are mere meaningless "anecdotes". No conclusions can be drawn because these things were only seen by common people. But the same events witnessed by scientists - now that's a different story (if they choose to tell it). Only scientists are considered to have the expertise and the clout to confirm or deny the existence of new knowledge or of noteworthy phenomena.

How did we get to this point where the common person has so little power that even his most basic thoughts and observations require expert validation?



I recently went to the doctor and in that one visit, was subjected to I don't know how many ads on the doctor's website, on office walls and in hand outs for various vaccines - all that hit below the emotional belt (you'll kill your baby'll kill your grandchild if...,etc). I'm old. I can see through it. But were I younger, even now with all the available information, I don't know if I'd be able to figure it out. It seems that the more information that's available on the internet, the fiercer the in your face ads are. They are literally everywhere it would seem in an attempt to directly counter the opposition. The louder our voices get, the louder the ads get. I don't remember the vaccine marketing being anywhere near as aggressive 20 or even 10 years ago.

I understand what you're saying and I agree with you that it is extremely frustrating. I just don't think the average young person is equipped to deal with the onslaught. They also have no frame of reference for how it used to be.


CT Teacher and Linda,

You both made profound remarks regarding the propaganda machine to discredit free thought. Perhaps, we see it at its worst with those with vested interest constantly billing 'science' as superior to common sense. They will have us believe that ‘science’ is infallible. Well actually, often it’s merely the rich and powerful prostitute. They will get it to do and say anything. Then there is talk of how common sense is unreliable. Did people not once believe the earth was flat or the sun circles the earth? If the truth were told though these are just exceptions, and common sense over eons has proven itself to be a most magnificent, efficient tool for navigating our world. Think about it. From the second we get out of bed in the morning we are using common sense to make sense of our world with extraordinary accuracy and success. Call it making guesses, reading cues, looking stuff up on the net, asking questions, watching the news, and so. These are all common sense enterprises because they fall out of the realm of the scientific method. We do not rely on case studies to gauge whether crossing the street on red will be hazardous for our health. Yes, our daily common sense experiments to a high degree are successful and the ultimate Darwinian proof of this is that they enable us get through our day and in the process avoid our grave. When they ask us then to choose 'science' over common sense, be very wary of these people. They like to talk a lot about enlightenment, yet their true motive is to usurp reality and have us believe only what they concoct in their lab.



Today News came that the son of a prominant businessman in our community (business has been around for three generations) committed suicide.

His son was suppose to be the one to carry on the bussiness since there is something a little odd about his other son.

This son also had turned to drugs and this businessman had spent around 40,000 dollars sending him off to drug rehab to the south and then west.

Does he know that it was the vaccines?

No, but I told him back last year.
What I hate the worse is that there are people that know in the CDC and NIH and they don't care and will never pay.

CT teacher

Remember when referring to the sheeple that their brainwashing is complete. Those in power, with the help of the media, constantly broadcast disinformation, and they have devised another powerful way to keep people in line....they marginalize those who think for themselves by calling them "conspiracy theorists" and we all know that these people are "wink wink" a little crazy and very unbalanced. So, the average person is afraid to go against conventional wisdom. I have gotten caught in this trap more than once. My unconventional thinking about the medical profession, educational issues and involvement of the US govt in crimes against its own people and against foreign govts has opened me up to ridicule by family and friends. It is difficult to think outside of the box. Most people are afraid of challenging their accepted beliefs. So, the strategy of disinfo and marginalization of dissidents works.
In reference to the discussion about depression and suicide I feel that my own personal experience might be helpful to some. In my youth, I began suffering alternating bouts of depression, that were accompanied by many physical symptoms such as blinding migraines, IBS, muscle aches and pains, nausea and extreme fatigue and terrible anxiety. I was told it was " all in my head" and sent to a psychiatrist who put me on antidepressants etc., etc. I supposedly suffered from neurosis & anxiety disorder. which caused all of my symptoms. One psychologist said it was all due to sexual repression. Then, I suffered 2 bouts of major depression. I became so suicidal that it is a wonder I am alive today. I can understand how people commit suicide. The depression is so debilitating that it consumes you. I eventually recovered, no thanks to the medical profession, but still suffered for years from alternating bouts of anxiety and milder depression. One day, by accident, my OBGYN noticed that I had a pretty large goiter. It was determined that I had Hashimoto's disease and I was put on thyroid hormone. Immediately, I felt like my personality was once again integrated. I remember thinking, "this is how I should have felt all those years." "This is who I really am." The change was remarkable. The IBS disappeared. The headaches were much improved, the depression and anxiety were seldom experienced. All of this improvement lasted until I entered menopause. Then,I became highly symptomatic again minus the extreme depression. It took me many years and many alternative doctors and my own experimenting with diet and supplements to regain a major improvement in health.
I am sorry for the length of this comment, but I am convinced that messed up hormones have a lot to do with physical and emotional symptoms that young people endure. And yes, I blame vaccines for messing up the hormones.



I may understand more about the 'propaganda machine' than you think. In spite of this propaganda machine (and it works beautifully), it is time for people to WAKE UP, STAY IN THEIR HEARTS and learn to trust their God given instincts.

All of us here have obviously learned the hard way and the only defense I will give most of us is that the Age of the Internet was not really upon us back in the mid-1980's thru to the mid to late 1990's. But there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for today's newbie parents to NOT perform their due diligence on this subject PRIOR to simply handing their children over to the so-called Allopathic Gods and vaccinating the crud out of their kids.

NO EXCUSES. There is SO much information out there than there was at the time I had our son (1993). I would have given anything to have had this type of exposure re: vaccine damage than there was back in those days.

I will always have empathy and sympathy for those parents who continue to vaccinate, but yet the anger in seeing them blindly accepting what these allopathic practitioners tell them, makes me furious.

MOST parents spend more time researching what dealer or mechanic to take their cars to for a tune-up, than they give to this very important issue.

Sheeple they are and sheeple they will continue to be, until they LEARN...

Mary R.

The situation with Alex has definitely struck a nerve in our community, the most since the autism hearings in November and the most for an individual child like nothing I've ever seen. What I find difficult to accept is that we as a community are not doing enough for Alex and Dorothy. We are writing, emailing, contacting anybody and everybody to pay attention to what is happening to Alex.

What we are not doing yet is going out in front of the hospital to protest because we mostly live out of the area and/or we are overwhelmed with the ASD child at home, etc.

Admittedly when I first heard about this case I was completely alarmed that a child was in this situation. . . .at 14 years old. I wondered if there were signs earlier that could have prevented this from getting to this point. I wasn't blaming the mother but definitely questioned the history of the lack of bio-medical treatment that eventually led to this serious crisis.

There is a syndrome that is separate in our community and it is called Apathy. We are not apathetic to help our own children, but we are apathetic to step up and speak boldly to others on treating a child with autism. Not so much the folks here at A of A. But definitely there are still families who only know the Autism Speaks version of autism. And they accept it.

My son fully recovered almost 10 years ago. I have remained fully committed to spreading the word to others that autism is treatable and recovery is possible. We will win this battle, one child at a time.


One more point about sheeple!

This is why there is such a push against parents, you know, "helicopter parents", as they're sometimes called. This is why there is a push to isolate the young from older, wiser family members who are most likely to know enough to be resistant to the machine's agenda.


Also on the topic of sheeple...

How many who are wise to vaccines at the same time risk frying their brains by putting a mini-microwave communicating device to their heads every day even though WHO has stated that these things are a possible human carcinogen and non-industry studies have shown that they greatly increase the risk of glioma? How many go out and buy the latest version the day it comes out, not only for themselves, but for their kids whose brain tissue is more vulnerable to the radiation? How many wise to vaccines chose to formula feed instead of breastfeeding, even though there is abundant mainstream science going back decades showing that formula fed children have a significantly greater incidence of neurological deficits?

My point is that we all, at one time or another, fall prey. I don't care how smart or informed we are or try to be. Let's not forget who the enemy is. The enemy isn't those who fall into the trap. The enemy is those setting the trap - an elaborate, carefully crafted, multi billion dollar trap.

Fight by staying informed, being vigilant in networking and spreading the truth even when it seems to fall on deaf ears, and by denying the machine access to the children. Strictly limit the TV unless you are there to interpret, especially during prime PHarma time. Homeschool if possible to avoid the intense social conditioning that sets one up for acceptance of whatever the machine has to sell in the future. Think twice about teaching kids to do whatever the teacher tells them to do.


Benedetta and Bayareamom,

The propaganda machine works 24/7 to confuse and blunt those instincts. Many, for various reasons whether IQ or because of prior social conditioning, are rendered completely defenseless. Repelling warnings that are contrary to the brainwashing, they walk straight into it and then they accept the machine's interpretation of the outcome. Extremely frustrating and sad to witness.


Agree with Benedetta, here. People DO need to quit acting like sheeple and learn to trust their hearts/instincts. There is a plethora of information out there via the Internet and various forms of social media re: vaccine dangers. This information was most certainly NOT as mainstream back in 1993 as it is today.

Trust your mainstream allopathic physicians at your own peril. There are enough warnings out there for ALL to take heed.


I Oh, Almost forgot about my sister-in-law.
I told her years ago what happened to mine.
I told her in the last few years what happened to mine and told her she just did not catch on -- she had two -- twins that ended up in the hospital with 105 temp and they have autism Bad. The are now 26 years old and OH, they having their problems.

When she had her new grandson -- I warned her.
She calls to tell me the day they got it vaccinated and I said fine, that is all I said.
Two years later it still is not talking and she lets me know in painful detail that it is not speaking and I will never again say vaccines or diet to her.


Shall I not blame her.


first do no harm
Not going to take it back!
I am frustrated.
I tell my aunt in Sept - write her a letter detailing what happened and warn her about the Hep B and her grandchild that is about to be born. She tells me this Jan she had a flu shot and now is feeling really bad.

I tell my other aunt one month ago; who had a son in prison for drugs and a daughter that has thyroid and arthritis problems, and she tells my mother she met my cousin up at hosptial while she is getting her whooping cough shot-- '
My cousin is raising her granddaugther cause her daughter is on drugs to bad to care for her.

I tell my other aunts and Uncles what happened in detail and it is well -- is that so.

I blame them -- everyone.

Jeannette Bishop

@Twyla, thank you.

first do no harm

Blaming the American people for believing what their doctors, their government and mainstream media tell them about vaccine safety is nothing more than blaming the victim.

Angus Files

Barry been at that point and you have to believe all you have been told is wrong ..honest doctors will tell you that..

You were told first on here no Thanks required..

Best Angus


Barry You will never be my enemy.
And we every last one know what you are feeling.

But it is the whole American people that stands like sheep as they worship at the alter of the NIH.

Untill they wake up and I think that Generation Rescue and National Vaccine Information, and Age of Autism has slugged it out for a long time now.


Barry, Barry, Barry;
Trust me, The American people are doing it to themselves.
They are slaves to the worship of medical people.

Even today the church people politely listen to me/ my aunt politely listens to me and say things like:
Is that right. no exclamation mark
Undertone "You Nut"

They still believe it is just their lot in life, grand pa had arthristis so my 30 year old daughter should too.

So my other daughter was so obese that she had to have her stomach rubber banded -- she eats too much (never do they ask why, why why!

So Evelyn's grandson who is in the navy committed sucide -- three months ago -- but never you mind he was a nervous child to begin with -- never the question of why..


If we can wake them up!!!!!!

Something will be done

The numbers are not there yet and this is 30 years after my child had Kawasakis - mysterious Kawaskis -- and the other child had an immediate reaction to the DPT with an inflamed heart and an immediate reaction with brain swelling.
Would you really - really believed Barry -- or would you thought if you paid any attention -- that it was the other people that reacted that had something wrong genetically with them???


"...Barry, we closed the comments not to censor - we ran plenty of comments pro and con - and I think Dan and our team handled a contentious issue pretty deftly. We closed the comments in an effort to move forward. I for one was surprised at how quickly some commenters turned on us at AofA and got very personal - after years of reporting and working quite honestly 24/7/365 to keep this site up and running.."

Thank you. KIM


I'm sorry if my comment offended you, or anyone else at A of A. But I do stand behind it, because it truthfully describes how I feel about this affair.

I know plenty about working 24/7/365, I've have had little choice in that matter since my son was injured by vaccines almost 8 years ago. Injuries that he sustained at least 10 years after the initial wave of vaccine injured children, were forming what we now call an "autism epidemic".

Far too many years of "muted" protestation, is part of the reason why I wasn't aware that vaccines are so dangerous. And it's a big part of the reason why so many parents all over this continent, are STILL receiving the same horrible news that I finally received 6 years ago.

Dr Hookers planned presentation to the Congressional Autism hearings, contained a lot of truths that have to be exposed. And he should never have been denied his opportunity to present them. While I've always had respect for Mark Blaxill's efforts, what he presented at that hearing was at best underwhelming, and at worst was intentionally devoid of some hard cold facts. For that reason, I believe Jake was well within his rights to call SafeMinds out on it, by whatever means necessary.

With regard to the claim that AofA hasn't engaged in censoring, I guess that's a matter opinion. All I know is that to date, I've watched AofA initially refuse, and then agree to indirectly run Jake's initial article, and then begrudgingly agree to run his follow up article (...which IMO , created a whole lot of "controversy" where none need ever have been). And then abruptly close comments to that follow up article, based on an apparent consensus that it was time to move on ( ... ie: unilaterally deciding that the "debate was over"). From where I'm sitting, that's exactly how the other side likes to operate.

For what its worth, I'm really not trying to make enemies here. Just trying to offer up some honest feedback to AofA, in response to a caution that was freely offered to me by AofA.


Dan and Mark,

May I suggest your next investigation? Lyme disease (a spirochete like syphilis) and mercury and their role in autism spectrum disorders. I believe this is a huge issue, much bigger than we know and not yet fully understood by our community.


Excellent article. However as a Catholic, I would like to clarify one thing when you say the Catholic Church considers suicide a sin. Actually, any believer (Christian or Jewish) who tries to follow the 10 commandments would consider suicide a sin, strictly speaking. The 5th commandment is "Thou shalt not kill." This not only includes murdering others but also oneself. However, the Church (according to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church which is official Church teaching) says that those who are mentally disturbed may not be fully responsible for their act, therefore we entrust them to God's mercy. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

My husband and I have both had family members who committed suicide. My aunt had a Catholic funeral. Perhaps in the past (and even today) there have been priests and laypersons who were misinformed on what the Church teaches in this respect. We entrust them to God's mercy and believe that a merciful God would not condemn someone who was so sick that they were willing to take their own life.

Cat Kaner

Please join us on Facebook to support Alex & Dorothy:


This is really a becoming a police state, if taking your child to the hospital for urgent help and you get threatened, maltreatment and lack of correct treatment.

First it was the vaccines when they are babies, and now big Pharma wants them put on all kinds of anti psyhocotic meds as teenagers and own your child's life from here on out!!

Where are the Children's rights? Why aren't parents as guardian's rights over their children being upheld? Why does the hospital's have more power and they know nothing about your child?

On another note, if your child has PANDAS/PANS ~ "DO NOT GO TO BOSTON CHILDRENS MEDICAL Hospital". Countless stories of parents going to the ER on advise of their Ped's DR and then the children are put in locked psyh wards. Parents are only allowed to see their child for one hour a week!!
I just thank my lucky stars that we decided to not take our son to BCH, he had gut issues, and PANDAS too.
I don't know if its happening to children with autism too, as the behaviors are so vast of what can being going on with our children.

first do no harm

I don't think the readers who asked those questions deserve to be compared to Brian Deer or Bruno Bettelheim. If a child is suffering, questions need to be asked, not dismissed as "bad habits." I have some questions. AoA reported on Day 19 that Gastroenterologist number two actually acknowledged that Alex is in pain, and then scheduled the appropriate procedures. This seemed very promising. When were they scheduled for? What is the update on Gastro #2?

Another question. Why does AoA join LBRB in accusing biomed moms of having a you're-not-in-our-club mentality? Unlike the Junior League to whom we've been compared, we're inclusive, not exclusive. If we're a club, then all we want is new members and fewer children to endure what Alex is enduring.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Unfortunately the two DJ's in Australia played their little joke on the wrong person,- a woman from the sunny, seaside land of Goa in India. The people of Goa love fish (fish=mercury= depression) and then she had the misfortune to live in the U.K. where you suffer vitamin D deficiency from the lack of sunlight and get even more depressed.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Anna, Thankyou very much for commenting here.- for a whole variety of reasons. Please please understand- We dont want to blame vaccines- We just want to know the scientific truth and Im sure that if you take the time to research, you will understand that you were poisoned by mercury in your vaccines as a baby and you have been suffering ever since- Look what a struggle you have to face! I hope you will get in touch with some of the other Asperger kids and young adults. Please take a look at the earlier articles by jake Crosby. There is one in which he describes how he improved in high school years, by taking some methyl B 12 injections and some supplements.
And the main reason that you must understand that mercury is the cause of your neuro symptoms, is that those symptoms may slowly wane over years, IF - very big IF- you stop taking more mercury into your body through fish, vaccines with Thimerosal, high fructose corn syrup, silver dental fillings- and other possible exposures to mercury. If you do not do this, you will spend your life in an endless struggle against a body that is desperately trying to cope with the mercury that you are putting into it. You might like to take a look at the websites of the people who were poisoned by mercury through dental amalgams. One of the sites is called DAMS . Your symptoms would be somewhat different because you were affected as a developing infant, but you will still find some commonalities. Many of the people affected by mercury from dental work have dozens of symptoms (like you) and have suffered for decades(like you).
Truly, it would be very difficult to recover from what you have experienced as a child, but perhaps you can develop some understanding that tempers the hurt. Probably people were blaming your mom for you being different and maybe she blamed herself too, in some deep way- just as an example.Your mom was surely the victim of her time- a victim of a world that does not understand that mental symptoms often have a physical cause. Please take care of yourself and keep commenting here! The cause of the autistic kids needs people like you- first hand sufferers who can speak about their experiences, and help the bigger cause .


Jeanette Bishop, there is research linking depression and immune system dysfunction, for example:

Elevated macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) [a proinflammatory cytokine] is associated with depressive symptoms, blunted cortisol reactivity to acute stress, and lowered morning cortisol.

Inflammation and Its Discontents: The Role of Cytokines in the Pathophysiology of Major Depression

Plasma cytokine profiles in depressed patients who fail to respond to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy.
Patients with SSRI-resistant depression had significantly higher production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines... compared to normal controls.

Investigating the inflammatory phenotype of major depression: focus on cytokines and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The concept of depression as a dysfunction of the immune system

These were cited in this article by "passionlessDrone":

Another article cited by pD is about bipolar:
Increased excitotoxicity and neuroinflammatory markers in postmortem frontal cortex from bipolar disorder patients
"These data demonstrate the presence of excitotoxicity and neuroinflammation in BD frontal cortex, with particular activation of the IL-R cascade.

Bipolar is another condition which has increased a lot over the past twenty years, in tandem with our expanding vaccine program.
Bipolar Illness Soars as a Diagnosis for the Young - New York Times
"The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003..."


Just another thought on aggression, behaviors, seizures? Folate deficent? Something that could be tested for in the hospital, but maybe not in a Chicago hospital? Too difficult to
run tests, must observe until the patient drift further into darkness of stress and deeper illness.

I have seen children with brain cancer bouncing off the wall. Literally, Up and down like a bouncing basket ball, so much staff had to hold the child down.
And the hospital wants to treat the "A" word different? Cut the crap!!

** Still wondering this is in Chicago,where Autism One conferences are held at? Do these hospital's in Chicago think the Conference's are just a circus act that comes once a year to town?
Of course parents feel like they are walking a tight rope, to get their ASD child better.

Come on folks this is the USA.
What in the world!! We send millions of dollars for foreign aid to assist
other countries in dire need! Oh lets see if we can get Alex included in that foreign aid package deal, add on a house bill for it. Call Senator in the morning...

Jeannette Bishop

So many immune system disorders seem to also carry a higher risk of depression. Maybe just having any illness would, but I wonder if immune dysfunction is what depression is?


Anna; your Mom sounds horrendous.And from what you have described, she did not try and help make life easier for you at all; certainly not the kind of parent who would care enough to spend the money and time to try biomed.
The folks here are the kind who speak out for our children.We pulled my son out of school when he was getting bullied, and found a new small private school that he loves and where the playground is monitored.

My son does not have an autism diagnosis, though he faces many similar challenges with speech, high pain tolerance etc :the physical birth defects (contractures, skeletal problems etc) he was born with were likely caused by the anthrax vaccine my husband was given.
But many of the people here have children who did indeed develop autism following vaccine encephalitis.
I respect these people because they care.They try to help,try to reduce pain, try to make their children have happier lives.They work to help their kids communicate even if their kids are non verbal.
One of the writers here is sueing the school bus monitor and bus driver who abused her child, to prevent them from abusing other children. These people are the exact opposite of your mother, who from what you have described let bullying continue and in fact sounds like a bully herself.
Again, with Alex tied in restraints for 19 days;these are the people who care, who pray, and who try to figure out what they can do to help the 14 year old young man. Charitably ,maybe the reason "left brain right brain" hasn't written a single article about Alex is because they don't know. One hopes it isn't because they don't care about a boy being restrained for 19 days.

Re Alex mother, suggesting she gets help and better advocates is not criticism of her.Its a fact that when you are in a situation where you do not have enough power to change things, you need to find someone who does.When dealing with hospitals, the people who can even out the power differential are other doctors, lawyers, and advocates.
In the military, people with rank often have more more pull than newly enlisted. In many parochial set ups (which tends to include hospitals, since historically physicians with power tend to be males) having men talk often works better than having women talk. This isn't the way the world should be , but it is often the way the world is.
I definitely agree with Stagmom about the fact that the the father should be there if available; it would probably help Alex get better treatment, as well as provide support to his Mom.
My prayers are with both Alex and his Mom; sometimes when you can't think of anything else to do, the only you can do is pray.So; praying for a miracle.


Regarding suicide and depression, much more research is needed on gluten consumption and serotonin production in relation to the gastrointestinal tract.

Factor in all the mothers with mouths full of mercury amalgam tooth fillings who've transferred some of their body burden to their unborn children. Over the years some parents may have had "nuisance" symptoms from mercury exposure -- mild allergies, minor mood disorder, a touch of arthritis -- while other parents manifest rheumatoid arthritis, MS, full-blown depression or mania.

Regarding Alex's lack of treatment, it's as if Loyola staff are afraid of what they will find when they actually LOOK inside his GI tract, where the truth is hiding, and hurting him.

Anyone with a spare room and a lock can simply contain a patient, and for a hell of a lot less money than a hospital at hundreds of dollars a day. Loyola is worse than useless, loading Alex with drugs that add to his toxic body burden. This situation is tailor-made for a crusading attorney.


I think when some one is depressed they really don't have a good handle on why they are depressed.

But I have been depressed some as a teenager and really -- really bad a couple of months after my first child.

I am a reasonable person and I reasoned that there was nothing that had happened to make me depressed except something biological was wrong.

I felt pretty helpless too. For I knew that it was probably messed up hormones - regardless it would be called a mental illness. I just hung on and hoped it would go away. If it had not gone away -- well -- it is not possible to continue to live feeling that bad.


"Even Aaron Swartz -- seemingly an obvious case of a young man facing prison time and choosing suicide -- is not clearcut, a topic I'll take up next week."

In a time of vast political murders it is 100% clear to me Aaron Swartz did NOT commit suicide. Aaron Swartz was suicided. Asron Swartz almost single highhandedly stopped the censoring of our internet, our LAST mass media line of communication with the truth. On a controlled internet how long do you think this site could last without being labeled "hate speech"? For his courage Aaron Swartz was murdered. The very least we can do in his memory is to acknowledge that brave men and women are being murdered for standing up to the burgeoning tyranny. I do not have the details of his murder but we do know what happened to another brave soul who stood up to the tyrants Andrew Breitbart.


Too bad Alex isn't the Presd.'s child in a Chicago hospital!!

Instead Alex gets to be the lamb this month for the world to see how disgusting our health care system can be for any special needs child.
Even if the family does have wonderful health insurance, it does not seem that most hospitals have anyone trained or willing to help him or any other child like him.

Really I have no idea how this family is holding up after all these days, and weeks gone by.
Who can judge this family, not knowing what they are going through.

Oh if Alex is hitting staff at the hospital, why the hell haven't you gotten it through your
head something is WRONG! Alex is limited in his ways of communicating. Look at his body language!! "FEEL BAD", " I HURT", " MY STOMACHACHE's ,"HAVE A HEADACHE!! "
Get someone trained in communication for autisitic children!

There probably is not a medical health book up to date on ASD children and how care needs to be addressed for children who may have gut issue, dietary issues, why the child maybe aggressive, self injury, Mitochondria problems, methylation problems. I am willing to bet it!!
Or we would have more DR's that families could go to.
Oh and insurance could actually cover the costs$$, and these children could start getting better.
Dreaming ~

And then there's the Federal Gov.; they know about the rising numbers of our children with ASD, and they continue to do very very little. The CDC, FDA, AMA, AAP, & all big Pharma names = FAILURE'S!!
They have no one to to tell them Stop it! straighten up! No watch dog, correcting their every move to help the autism community.
Too bad we cannot just shirk our tax dollars being paid to all these agencies for these ghost employees of these agencies.
Then we might be able to fund our own trained DR's and nurses and hospitals.
Is this the future?

Dreaming again....

Again tonight, I will pray for this family in hopes that something good in on the way to help Alex.


@Anna: Is it possible you are missing the point?

I certainly don't doubt that the way you were treated by both family and peers contributed mightily to depression and suicidal thoughts. I am horrified by what you went through, particularly by what you write about concerning your mother. I expect that even the healthiest, most cheerful, and non-Asperger's person on earth would have been severely depressed if (s)he'd had to deal with that.

But you yourself mention something very important: your childhood was "rife with digestive issues."

I have no way of knowing whether your digestive issues were caused by vaccines, or whether you ever HAD any vaccines.

But please do understand that many of us here--maybe most of us, maybe even all of us--have seen our children develop severe bowel disorders AS A RESULT OF VACCINES. This has now been documented in mainstream, peer-reviewed studies: autistic children have a novel bowel disorder. As I said, for many, it is triggered (if not outright CAUSED) by vaccines.

So before you accuse us of "being delusional in blaming crap like vaccines," maybe you should do a little research on what kind of crap those vaccines have caused to others. Those vaccines may or may not have caused your own digestive disorders. They have certainly caused it for others.


What I find interesting is that no matter how many times it's stated that the mother in this case lost decision making powers from the get go (escorted by police to the hospital apparently), some keep returning to this idea that it was a lack of parental protectiveness or lack of proper advocacy that led to the current crisis.

The blame game should be pretty familiar to many in the autism community who deal with bystanders hemming and hawing and nay-saying about what led to our children's injuries or abuse in schools, or any of the many catastrophes which are statistically likely to happen to autism families, etc. It's familiar to my family in any case, and frankly makes me sick. When our kids were assaulted by school staff, it was almost funny how onlookers-- who were frightened for their own children-- began scanning us for some flaw or fault or something we did wrong. ANYTHING rather than admit that the system was corrupt and that the misfortune could happen to anyone. ANYTHING rather than angering the system by standing up for another family. So, for example, the fact that I didn't look my best or present myself with perfect suaveness (while my kids were repeatedly hospitalized from abuse and we suffered institutional retaliation-- go figure) became the bystander excuse to let our children rot. Sometimes someone would pretend to be personally insulted by something that we said as an excuse. Picking a fake fight is an old bystander standby as well. Bystanderism sucks.

I think the tendency to place the onus on parents in these situations is from fear and denial. Denial that the system is so creepy and totalitarian that, every day, parents are losing rights and custody on the whims of a child welfare system which has been endowed with unjustifiable (and greater than) police powers; and fear that their family could be next.

Something I read in a paper on jury consulting: in order to believe that we live in a just and fair democratic system, that God's in his heaven and all's right with the world, and that "only good things happens to good people," there's a knee-jerk compulsion for many bystanders to find something "wrong" which victims did or did not do by way of assuaging ourselves that we would never have gotten into that bind to begin with and, even if we did, we would do things differently and get out of it "easily."

This plays into jury selection because sometimes the very people whom one would expect to sympathize with victims will find everything the victim did, no matter how arbitrary, to be wrong to the degree that the prospective juror fears the same fate could happen to them.

I think that knee-jerk tendency is becoming increasingly dangerous to the people who invest in it considering the actual state of things. Face it, folks-- you're next. Especially if you do nothing to affect the system now or stall by telling yourself you're waiting for the perfect Junior League-worthy "spokes-victim" to get behind before you get involved. That rarely happens: people are not at their best while under fire. Not to insinuate there's any truth to criticisms of the victims in the present case, but do we justify letting children suffer because their parents aren't perfectly presentable? To quote "A Soldier's Story," a film with a plot that doesn't fit the analogy very well, though the final line of the film does: "Who gave you the right to judge, to decide who is fit to be black?"

If only autism itself were that selective.

Teresa Conrick

no vac

The gravity of this issue is being missed. The mother is not allowed to just take her child elsewhere. She was given 2 choices - 1- sign her child over to DCFS or 2- agree to the care plan presented -- period. This is happening elsewhere with both Autism and PANDAS.

Angus Files

As for Deer thinking straight,(not even a Dan Doctor can help the thing)

...Brian Deer and The GMC, Selective Hearing. BMJ Journalist



Dan a superb piece , the problem here is that parents have been brainwashed into believing that the health service has their best interests at heart , when we look at the side effects of many medicines we find that this is just not true , we do not want to believe in fact that the people who take our lives in their hands could in fact be causing us damage , parents should be given the greatest of respect and listened to this saddens me greatly please listen to parents they know their child better than anyone else

Birgit Calhoun

The psychotropic approach was also taken on my nine-year-old son Erik many years ago when he was severely potassium deficient. He had tetany. He foamed at his mouth. His legs were stiff and extended, his arms were pulled up, and his head was contorted as far back as it would go.

The doctors naturally assumed he had seizures since he was a mental case, and they gave him phenobarbital in a water drip. Not only did this drip with the meds not do any good, it nearly killed him because it made his blood even more potassium deficient than it was before. He wound up in intensive care with a heart monitor that showed that he was skipping beats.

His potassium level was at 1.6mEQ that would have been sufficient to kill most anybody. They said at the time that an adult would not have survived that.

This false assumption (that it is mental first) by doctors lies in their mindset that mental cases can't have something physical first.

no vac


In similar situation, I would remove my child from this hospital and transfer him to another. Alternative would be to find an independent gastroenterologist, who knows how to treat intestinal inflammation and abdominal pain, and to bring him/her to Alex. Psychotropic drugs only make him worse, because they are additional poisons, which his body cannot handle. I am almost certain that now he became addicted to these drugs and his treatment must include also detox from them.


Alison and Shelley,
You are right on point. The problems have been identified. Time for folks to come together to find solutions, to make a plan and to make it happen. Who is going to lead?

Teresa Conrick

no vac

It was reported that mom needed medical help for Alex, that her son's GI issues made him agitated and aggressive, something many children with an an autism diagnosis display. His GI issues have not been examined or addressed, instead he was given what I call, the standard treatment of care for Autism -- psychotropic and sedating meds, neither of which have helped Alex, and thousands of other children. She cannot remove him and this is happening around the country. It is concerning that many seem to not understand that she has been trying to get him medical help and thus far, it has not happened. What if this were you?

Birgit Calhoun

There has to be a mindset change. The general population and doctors think that most mental things are mental first. I have learned they they are physical first, meaning there is a toxin at work, the very insidiously slow toxin called mercury. I recently wrote about discrimination when it comes to how autistic people are treated:

But also check out my translation of the German chemist Alfred Stock's paper from 1926 on "The Dangerousness of Mercury Vapor" to which a link can be found in that blog.

no vac

I don't think anybody here wants to blame the parents for scandalous treatment of Alex by this hospital, but... the parents are his only defense from abuse by the medical system, which has been created to harm and exploit rather than heal. We, the parents must take primary responsibility for protecting our children for as long as we can. I think this is the reason, why many people are surprised that Alex's family keeps him in this incompetent and hostile hospital environment.

Managing Editor

Barry, we closed the comments not to censor - we ran plenty of comments pro and con - and I think Dan and our team handled a contentious issue pretty deftly. We closed the comments in an effort to move forward. I for one was surprised at how quickly some commenters turned on us at AofA and got very personal - after years of reporting and working quite honestly 24/7/365 to keep this site up and running.

Thank you. KIM


"....But this has all come from the other side. Here's hoping we don't pick up their bad habits...."


No offensive, but I think AofA would do well to take it's own advice on that front.

The recent so called "controversial" opinions of Jake Crosby on the Congressional Autism hearings, and in my opinion the TRULY controversial attempt by A of A to sensor those opinions, has left an awful sour taste in my mouth. And I would guess, in the mouths of other parents of vaccine injured children.

Even when his article finally was published here, the comment section was rather abruptly "closed for comment". Which in my opinion, means this website affectively censored our opinions too!

Jake was simply doing what he always does, which was to speak the truth. An truly ugly truth, that very few others have the courage to speak in full, and which truly resonated with my assessment of how that whole fiasco went down.

The bottom line isn't complicated. Vaccine are being used to disable the immune systems of children, and they have been since they were first unleashed on an unsuspecting public. We can passively blog about this until the cow come home, which will ensure that the carnage will also continue until the cows come home. Not cool.

Or, we can throw our support behind a guy like Jake, who is one of the few who seems to understand that this will only be stopped by a courageous, forceful, and uncensored trumpeting of the WHOLE truth.

Which is what I used to think this website was about.

Donna L.

That's what I was wondering, Kim. Leaving alone the father issue, Where is the school team? Where is the child's teacher who could certainly provide information regarding Alex's pain and subsequent behavior issues, who could offer some type of support regarding Alex's ability to communicate? And why, oh why, is the good old state of Illinois completely and utterly useless and negligent and entirely absent when it comes to helping autism parents in crisis, but suddenly, when the hospital calls, there is a team of caseworkers ready and willing to step in and threaten to remove the child from his mother's care?? This entire case just highlights what has gone horrifically wrong with this entire epidemic: doctors vaccinating these kids into disability but when the sh*t hits the fan, they are unwilling and unable to help; state agencies who have no funding and no staff to help a child until it is too damn late, and then swooping in to remove a child from the only person in the world who truly cares for him; a herd that wants immunity from disease but then treats the affected child like a 'rabid Rottweiler', to borrow your phrase.

When my son was diagnosed eleven years ago, I remember thinking, Well now, finally, people will know how to help. People will want to and be able to help. And gradually, over the past eleven years, I have come to realize that we are completely and utterly alone. I think I finally understand now what it really feels like to have autism.

Jackie Murphy

Thank you for writing this. You are absolutely right about heaping the blame on mom. The person who has hung in there and is advocating as best she can is attacked. This person has continued to stand by and care for her chilld has extra stress because now she is blamed.....not doing enough....not doing it right. The last thing we need to do is cause that stress on our own.

Anne Dachel

And with no real answers or help when it comes to autism, it becomes the annoying disorder. Feel-good stories about happy children visiting a "Sensitive Santa"/"autism friendly movie" or a nice walk for awareness doesn't make the issue go away.

Researchers are working hard to blame parents (mostly the mom). Studies link autism to bad genes, older moms, older dads, moms who drink, moms who smoke, moms who have babies too close together, moms who live too close to freeways, moms who take anti-depressants while pregnant, moms who don't take enough folic acid while pregnant...and the list continues.

The message is clear--bad parenting in some way results in an autistic child. So when the cost of caring for this disabled generation simply bankrupts social services, will those parents who've been spared this nightmare be willing to pay for the bad choices of others?

Anne Dachel, Media

Alison MacNeil

I'm with Stagmom on this one. I'd be right there in my 21 day old clothes sitting bedside. Even if the mom were bat shit crazy it still wouldn't justify leaving him in restraints for 19 days or their refusal to do appropriate medical testing to find the source of his GI pain. But the mom isn't crazy, she is holding up incredibly well given the circumstances. I would have lost my mind by now. People say "why doesn't she pull him out AMA?" She can't. She cannot manage him on her own. His pain causes him to be aggressive beyond what she can manage. What I take from this is the dire need on our community's part to put together a crisis response team (a lawyer, a doctor, a parent mentor) that can get to the bedside of these families within 24 hrs. We need to fund raise so this is an option. One thing that isn't sitting well with me is that as I naively reached out to some providers I know, asking them to get involved their response across the board was "yeah, this is happening everywhere" as if that justified not getting involved? Not O.K.


If folks want to be critical - I'll start. WHERE IS HIS FATHER. WHERE IS THE SCHOOL TEAM? WHERE IS DDS Case Management? Where is her Church or work colleagues? WHERE WHERE WHERE? Remember Adam Lanza? He shot his mom while his Dad was 30 miles away in a lovely CT town. Sky Walker? Beat his mother to death in her home while his Dad was busy living a separate life.


Maurine Meleck

Or maybe it's when he doesn't understand his limitations.

Maurine Meleck

Thank you Dan for understanding about autism and depression. It's not one or the other, but can be a combination of the two. For my grandson, who understands some of his limitations-gets depressed about it and sometimes self abusive.


Very well said Dan and Kim. I wish I could do something more for Alex and his mom that would fix things for them immediately. I am covering them in prayer.

This week really drives home the point to me that this community needs something of the equivilant of the HSLDA. isn't just the autism community. It is also the community of parents whose kids have learning disabilities that the school is ready to give up on. It is the community of parents who have chronically ill children and want to address those needs by something other than pills. There are so many of us and I'm sure that scares them.

We all need the parental rights amendment to pass. We all need the bio-med equivilant of HSLDA.


Actually, the suicidal thoughts I was plagued with as a teenager had more to do with being severely bullied nonstop in a mainstream school, being blamed and demeaned for my deficits at home and school both especially since I wasn't diagnosed asperger's until I was 17, and on top of it, when I was a young teen, my mother screamed directly in my face that she wished I was never born. Still at 29, those scars run so deep I am not sure if I can even heal them. If you want a kid to end their life, or at least think about it nonstop, definitely bring them up knowing that they are a resented defect on the face of planet earth. Obviously I am still grappling with these issues, and having a video/picture perfect memory doesn't help matters either in remembering how this stuff went down.

But if you want to put all the emphasis on crap like vaccines instead of the very painful experiences of psychological and emotional crap we deal with on a regular basis, then go ahead in your delusion.

Sure, environmentally we are sensitive. I grew up with a childhood rife with digestive issues. There were times I went more than a week without bowel movements, times when my bowel felt like it was full of needles if I ate the wrong thing, and some things gave me diarrhea. My parents even gave my teachers a note, explaining that I had permission to run to the bathroom if I had to. I rarely used the opportunity since I couldn't explain it to my peers what was going on.. The kids in my class found the note in her desk, and you guessed it-- it was yet another source of embarassment and bullying. They giggled, called me a baby, asked if I wore diapers, or if I was being potty trained. Fortunately, when I started eating better quality food as a teen things got better for me in that department. By then my peers found at least 10 more different things to bully me on to replace that.

When it comes to medicines, you are right when it comes to staying away. I have been on two antidepressants in my life. They just made me somber and expressionless and made my sleep even more dysfunctional than it already was (which is no small feat). With Effexor, I only slept 2-4 hours a night. With lexapro, I was fatigued all the time and slept 14 hours a day. Either of these scenarios are not conducive to functioning. As a pre-teen to an early twenty something, I was on ADHD stimulant medicines. They are okay until your body gets tolerant to them and they quit working. By then it's all side effects after that. I got off Ritalin when I had the sensation of bugs crawling all over my skin, the same way I came off Adderall with the same effect and being anorexic with zero appetite. Those meds also made me very jumpy and aggressive too. Heck, there are some OTC medicines that I won't even take. I had a bad cold one time and my dad threw me the bottle of warming relief theraflu. I took the normal adult dosage and ended up bouncing off the walls for 48 hours straight in something that eerily resembled a robo trip. Never again.

Another thing that I have grappled with depression-wise is my ability to momentarily disguise my neurology. I end up in a situation where I am either letting that person down now, or later, and having to choose between the two and all of the social scrutiny that goes along with that. By then I feel worthless.


I wouldn't leave my preverbal child in a hospital room unsupervised for a minute either. Showering would not matter to me. When Mia had seizures I slept in her room in a chair or her father did. She was never out of our sight. You would THINK that the hospital would have arranged for some comfort for Mom. If Alex had cancer he'd be surrounded by flowers and games and toys and love and support. Autism? Gut issues? RED ALERT! DANGER WILL ROBINSON! STEP AWAY FROM THE ROOM!

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