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Searching For Autism's Virginia


The Rosewood State Training School, Owings Mills, MD Stuart Dahne Photography

By Teresa Conrick

It was a very warm September night in 2008 when I first met with Dan Olmsted. I had first seen Dan in a large auditorium at an autism conference a few years earlier. He had been up on the stage in a plaid shirt, talking about mercury, seeds, and Ceresan. With glasses and a laid back way about him, he seemed like Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper in Jaws, ready, willing, and able to take on Autism's menacing monster -- MERCURY.

 I didn't understand why this "lumberjack guy" was talking to all of us parents about trees, Lignasan, and ethylmercury. My daughter became sickly and regressed in skills after vaccines -- many with the vaccine mercury called thimerosal. Bacterial and viral infections were then to be constant unwanted parasites in her life as her immune system took a direct hit. Meg was diagnosed with autism shortly after and just recently has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Dan seemed to me to be on the wrong trail. It took me a while to connect the research and see that these clues Dan, along with Mark Blaxill, had been discussing and writing about for quite some time were the first "puzzle" pieces to autism.

So on that September night, I was grateful and excited to finally meet with Dan. He had contacted me as he was coming into town to visit his sister, and wanted to know if I could meet them for dinner. I had become entranced with those children of the 1930s, those first canaries in the debut of mercury-containing vaccines, who were subsequently declared to have "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". I had e-mailed Dan and Mark over the years as they researched their book, The Age of Autism -- Mercury, Medicine and a Man-made Epidemic. My father had been an ophthalmologist and surgeon from the 1940s until the 1980s, and thimerosal, the ethylmercury preservative, was a heavily used medical product in that field, too, and in his own office. 

Over dinner, after we shared stories and tears about my daughter's descent into illness after vaccines and the ultimate reality of severe autism, Dan pulled out a crisply, folded copy from his jacket pocket of Leo Kanner's 1971 paper, "Follow-up Study of Eleven Autistic Children Originally Reported in 1943" . Dan and his sister, Rosie, were both so encouraging as he invited me to make history and help trace the roots of autism. It was an easy answer for me, "Yes!" Dan and Mark had already found some of the "original 11," so I knew it could be done and I was ready for the challenge.

Kanner follow-up

Finding the clues to how autism first appeared was like trying to hit a bullseye; slowly, we got closer and closer. To find the cause, we had to go back -- back to the start.


Dan also shared about GPI, General Paralysis of the Insane, a horrific neurodegenerative disease that had quite an interesting story. GPI historically was seen as the end result of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis, a sly spirochete bacteria very similar to the spirochete of Lyme bacteria today, sickening the brain and rendering its victim slowly insane, finally losing the ability to talk, walk or recognize anyone. Yet Dan and Mark's research showed that GPI only seemed to occur in syphilis patients who had been treated with mercury, a standard of care for centuries up to the era of antibiotics that arrived with penicillin in the 1940s. Like acrodynia in childhood, a disease connected to mercury  in teething powders, GPI began to disappear when antibiotics took over as the treatment of choice. It seemed to be a possible interaction between the microbe of syphilis and mercury  that sparked GPI. State mental institutions around the country had thousands of GPI patients, often for years, as their insanity whittled them down to a shell of their former selves.

Continue reading "Searching For Autism's Virginia" »

Dachel Media Update: Goodbye April

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's comments after the jump.

April 29, 2013, ABC7 Chicago: For Your Family: Autism Awareness

April 28, 2013, Augusta (GA) Chronicle: Autism month was mixed

April 28, 2013, NY Daily News: Genetic research is on its way to unlocking the remaining mysteries of autism

April 28, 2013, UPI: Parents noticing toddler regressive behavior, check for autism

April 28, 2013, 1011-TV Lincoln, NE: Group to Celebrate Autism Awareness Month at Children's Zoo

April 28, 2013, Providence (RI) Journal: Record-setting autism walk at Goddard Park

April 28, 2013, Spreading the word: Memorial Middle School shares autism awareness

April 28, 2013, KCRG-TV9 Cedar Rapids, IA: Autism Walk 2013: Hundreds Take Action for Autism 

April 28, 2013,  Eugene (OR) Register-Guard: New options emerge for young students with autism

April 27, 2013, Fox 11 Green Bay, WI: Thousands join in on Walk for Autism

April 27, 2013, Autism on rise for school-age children in Erie (PA) 

April 27, 2013, UK Daily Mail: Children at private schools face greatest risk from measles epidemic, warns leading doctor

April 27, 2013, Autism on rise for school-age children in Erie

April 26, 2013, Boston Globe: Red Sox lend a hand for autism awareness

April 26, 2013, TACA: Dr. David Berger on A Vaccine for Autism?

April 26, 2013, San Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune: UCLA to test drugs for autism in weeks not years

April 22, 2013, CNN Money:

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Goodbye April" »

AOA EXCLUSIVE -- Her Name Was Vivian: Clues From the Age of Autism’s First-Born Child

Vivian ancestry

By Teresa Conrick, Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill
We found her.
Eight years after setting out to identify the 11 children in the first medical report of autism, we have found “Virginia S.”, the eldest child in that landmark paper -- and thus the first-born child of the Age of Autism.

Her real name: Vivian Ann Murdock. Born in 1931, Vivian was placed in a Maryland institution at age 6 and died in a state-run home in 1987, age 56. She was the daughter of a prominent Baltimore psychiatrist, Harry M. Murdock, and his wife, Margaret.

The Rosewood State Training School, Owings Mills, MD Stuart Dahne Photography

The key to finding her real name was the recent online publication of the 1940 U.S. Census – allowing one of us (Teresa) to test her hunch about the institution to which"Virginia" had been committed as a child: The Rosewood School in Owings Mills. The hunch was correct; the Census listed an "Inmate" there named Vivian Murdock, age 8 in 1940, who we conclusively identified as "Virginia S."

In Dan and Mark's The Age of Autism – Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic, published in 2010, we described the seven children we'd identified to that point, and wrote of “Virginia”: “We continue to search for this eldest child of the Age of Autism and whatever clues her identity may hold.”
Now, having spoken with family members, and pored over countless records and archives, we believe her identity does offer important clues, ones remarkably consistent with the other cases in that first report -- exposure to new mercury compounds in their families. 
Vivian was directly in the path of at least three mercury vectors:

-- the first use of mercury-preserved vaccines in Baltimore -- a drive to vaccinate every infant with those shots began the month she was born;

-- her parents' avocation of orchid growing and breeding, which required intensive application of chemicals including mercury;

-- and her father’s psychiatric career, which brought him – and probably his family through second-hand exposure – in contact with mercury treatments for a common form of insanity.

Mercury is no longer used in agriculture or mental health treatment. But each year, 100 million children worldwide get vaccines containing thimerosal, the ethylmercury preservative first used in those shots in Baltimore. In the United States, flu shots, most of which contain mercury, are recommended for pregnant women and for infants beginning at 6 months of age.

Our research on Vivian and the other first cases of autism suggests that is a very bad idea. 

Vivian’s identity also offers insight into how the damaging idea of “refrigerator parents” – supposedly cold and neglectful mothers and fathers responsible for causing their children's disorder -- got its start. We will explain these clues and conclusions in detail, but first the basics about the discovery of Vivian Murdock.


Seventy years ago this month, in April 1943, a psychiatry journal called The Nervous Child published an article titled “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact.” Written by Leo Kanner, a Johns Hopkins child psychiatrist who is widely considered the founder of the field, it begins:
“SINCE 1938, there have come to our attention a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far, that each case merits -- and, I hope, will eventually receive -- a detailed consideration of its fascinating peculiarities.” Elsewhere, he called it "a behavior pattern not known to me or anyone else theretofore."
The three of us have always found those words remarkable, coming as they did from an acknowledged authority who eight years earlier had catalogued every known childhood mental disability in his landmark 500-page book  “Child Psychiatry.” Those pages contained not a whisper of autism, or anything that in retrospect looks similar.
Our own research convinced us the autism rate before 1930 was effectively zero (it is now 1 in 50). A handful of cases over several centuries might conceivably qualify, but there was nothing approaching the cluster of children whose worried parents brought them to see Leo Kanner in the years between 1938 and 1943.
Curious whether the family backgrounds of those first 11 cases might point to common environmental exposures, we began trying to identify them in 2005. The eight boys and three girls were described in the paper only by a first name and last initial. But because Kanner gave birth years for each child, we knew that “Virginia S.” was the oldest; her birthday was listed as September 13, 1931. Even as the number of autistic children seen by Kanner rose in later years, none appears to have been born earlier. (In a 1955 update, Kanner revisited his first 42 cases. The oldest autistic person at that point was 24 -- born in 1931 and presumably Virginia S.)

 We began our hunt with Kanner’s original 1943 "Autistic Disturbances" report and a follow-up paper he wrote in 1971. (In the latter paper, he slipped once and referred to “Virginia S.” by what we now know is her real first name, Vivian.) In “Autistic Disturbances,” he quoted a psychologist noting that Virginia “could respond to sounds, the calling of her name, and the command, ‘Look!’

 “She pays no attention to what is said to her,” the psychologist said, “but quickly comprehends whatever is expected. Her performance reflects discrimination, care, and precision. … She is quiet, solemn, composed. Not once have I seen her smile. She retires within herself, segregating herself from others. She seems to be in a world of her own …”

Continue reading "AOA EXCLUSIVE -- Her Name Was Vivian: Clues From the Age of Autism’s First-Born Child" »

Are We Done Yet?

Blue doorBy Cathy Jameson

As we draw a close to another autism awareness month, I’ll admit I am not sad that this month is over.  Why?  While looking up the history of the autism awareness campaign and when it started, I discovered that the campaign began in the 1970s.  When I did my first search, I thought I had discovered a typo.  Surely they meant the 90s.  Nope.  Not a typo.  Someone was trying to get people to notice autism two decades earlier.

Lots of us are doing a lot more than notice autism now.  We’ve been sounding alarms about the autism rates and what the disorder has done to our children for what we feel is an eternity.  Obviously awareness hasn’t been enough.  Look at that old rate again.  The rate from 40 years ago.  When it was 1 in 25,000.  Look at all those zeros in that number! Twenty five THOUSAND.  That’s the population of a small town.  It was likely that one person out of an entire community was diagnosed with autism 40 years ago.   That’s not so today; we’re able to pick out a handful of affected kids on one play ground!  

Since the earlier campaigns, I think it’s safe to point out that having awareness didn’t slow, curb or end the autism epidemic.  Proof is in the new numbers.  The autism rates skyrocket as this month’s awareness campaign kicked off.  Just days before April began, the CDC revealed a new rate.  An even higher rate.  Another jaw-dropping-rate-but-let’s-do-nothing-about-it rate.  Granted, we’re being told a different formula and strategy were used to calculate this current number, but the number still screams, “THE AUTISM EPIDEMIC IS GROWING, AND IT’S GROWING AT AN ALARMING RATE.”  What response did we get in reply? 

Ho hum, it’s just autism.

This autism awareness month, which other groups chose to celebrate and embrace, saw an announcement that autism is affecting 1 in 50 school-age children.  1 out of 50.  1 out of 50 who struggle with speech, social skills or personal care.  1 out of 50 who are dependent on another human to be fed, clothed and bathed.  1 out of 50 who require intense intervention and therapy that insurance companies refuse to cover.  1 out of 50 who may never live on their own or feel independence as previous generations have.   I find nothing to celebrate, nor embrace in these numbers and what it means for so many children’s futures.

Continue reading "Are We Done Yet?" »

Weekly Wrap: Autism Science, Doing Autopsies on Plane-Crash Victims

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

When the mainstream media and medical establishment talk about autism long enough, they end up babbling incoherent nostrums about early detection, greater awareness, the joys of disability and, finally, pure noise. The "news" product that gets extruded through the tube becomes stupider and stupider and older and older.

That's where we are in Autism Awareness Month, limping to the finish line with the last embers of empathy all but extinguished.  I just read as "new" the idea that valproate can cause autism. Yes, we know. And the most delectable morsel had to be the comment in the Times this week, regarding the wrinkled placenta theory of autism, that one researcher had sent another "Milky Way bar-size sections of 217 placentas."

Yum! Allow me to quote from one of our valued commenters, "Barry," in response to someone touting their scientific credentials on AOA:

"It's little wonder that you arrogant, overeducated buffoons have wasted so much time ... and have yet to accomplish anything! What you 'scientists' are doing, is roughly the equivalent of an air crash investigator completing autopsies on all the plane crash victims ... to try and figure out what caused them all to die!

"These vaccine injured children that you prefer to call autistic, have one big thing in common. They all have severely dysfunctional immune systems, which in most cases are relentlessly attacking their own bodies. Hmmmmn... severely disabled immune systems, that have suddenly become rampant in the most vaccinated generation in the history of mankind. Is it really that hard for you 'scientists' to connect the dots on this?"

Yes, it is hard, when rather than listening to parents or calling for vax-unvax data stat or drawing the logical conclusions about the neurotoxicity of ethylmercury, you are shipping Milky Way bar-size portions of placentas to each other.


Speaking of listening to parents, Joan Campbell told me this week that her site now has 1771 comments from more than 150 countries all saying the same thing -- that injury, including autism, and even death followed directly and swiftly after vaccinations. When I wrote about it just a couple of years ago it had half as many.

As I said at the time, this is one of the most important documents ever assembled regarding children's health and, among other things, a standing reproach to the glib assertions that things like autism just kinda sorta happen around kinda the time when kids get some shots or sumthin' like that.

Let's just take the first entry:

"Ana Maria Abba  I believe my son's issues stem from the two flu vaccines I was strongly advised to take during pregnancy. I did an alternative vaccine schedule. He developed normally until 9 months when he started to get sick a lot. I looked and it seemed to be around when he got the polio shot. I believe he had mild autism at 2 yrs (I didn't know that then but was starting to be suspicious) then I gave him the Hep B shot since I had just moved to Malaysia and was freaked out about the 3rd world country thing. Anyway after that shot he developed a bad fever. He also lost his strength which was visual learning. He stopped reading his books. He really went downhill after that. He was diagnosed about that same time. Polio and others in Littleton, CO Hep B Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia"

And one from the Z's:

"Dustin Zeimet  Our son was administered hib and the flu vaccine in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Within 3 days we started seeing headbanging, hitting and many more meltdowns than usual.  He is almost 4 now and his regression of skills into autism started between 13 and 15 mo."

Now that's the kind of autism awareness we need a lot more of.

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Dachel Media Update: More Awareness, Services, MMR

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary after the jump.
April 25, 2013, The Province: YouDocs: Absolutely no link between vaccines and autism, so get you and your children inoculated

April 25, 2013, NBC 6 South Florida: Miami-Dade County Public Schools Throw Massive Prom for Students With Autism

April 25, 2013, Union (SC) Times: Creating awareness of Autism

April 25, 2013, WHEC Rochester, NY: Autism Awareness Month

April 25, 2013, UK Telegraph: Mother of autistic boy still fears MMR vaccine

April 24, 2013, Boston Globe: Parents applaud autism study recommendations Autism study suggests new model for providing services

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: More Awareness, Services, MMR" »

Nancy Snyderman's Latest Panic: It's a Cin-namon.

CinnamonBy Katie Wright

According to the new issue of “Pediatrics” there is a terrifying new health crisis gripping American teens: “The Cinnamon Challenge!” Thank God for Dr. Nancy Synderman for alerting parents like me of this pediatric crisis sweeping the nation.

Cue the ominous music! The Synderman segment on “The Today Show,” began with Dr. Nancy “sounding the alarm on the Cinnamon Challenge!” Evidently some dim-witted teens are uploading videos onto the Internet of themselves trying to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon. Apparently, according to Dr. Nancy, ingesting large amounts of cinnamon CAN be dangerous.

You are very welcome. I know how many parents out there are there are so grateful to me for sharing Dr. Nancy’s message. That’s right, swallowing large amounts of cinnamon (and maybe paprika and coriander too!) is dangerous. If you are doing this STOP! You are setting a bad example for your impressionable teens! Consider putting a lock on your spice drawer. It is up to you to protect your family and potentially save your child’s life!

The Dr. Synderman segment cut to petrifying video of coughing cinnamon covered teens. It may not be appropriate footage for all to see, so you are forewarned. Synderman informs us that the true danger of “The Cinnamon Challenge” is that the ingestion of cinnamon triggers a gag reflex. This phenomena is artfully illustrated in a video of a coughing teen spewing cinnamon all over his clothes shouting, “Oh my God!” Oh my God indeed! Then- yes it gets worse- there is footage and audio of an ambulance blaring down the street, supposedly taking this cinnamon injured teen to the hospital. I only hope this boy survives…

Dr. Nancy interviewed a pediatrics professor  who informed the viewer that the “Cinnamon Challenge” is on the rise and has serious consequences. The pediatrician warns us that the “Cinnamon Challenge” can lead to inflammation and pain! Hmmmm…inflammation and pain….where have I heard that before? My son’s autism is a direct result of brain and body inflammation, which causes tremendous pain…but Dr. Nancy doesn’t report on that….and I have yet to see one “Pediatrics” article which really addresses the kind of brain and body inflammation autism which affects a million kids.

Continue reading "Nancy Snyderman's Latest Panic: It's a Cin-namon." »

April 27 Health Freedom and Vaccination Exemption Rights Event McLean, VA

Center for personal rights
Celebrating Health Freedom in DC, MD & VA

Vaccine Exemption Rights, Parent Observations, Informed Consent with special guest, internationally renowned academic gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Saturday April 27th
1:00-3:00 p.m.
McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Avenue McLean, Virginia 22101
Suggested donation of $15 at the door*

When the Vaccine Schedule Doesn’t Quite Fit: Parents Making Choices

Many parents today have questions about the CDC recommended vaccine schedule, some choosing to spread out or delay required vaccines; others choosing to skip individual vaccines or even to avoid vaccination altogether. In Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, parents have a legal right to exemption from vaccines for religious or medical reasons. Vaccine Epidemic lead editor and executive director of the Center for Personal Rights, Louise Kuo Habakus, will review these laws and their application for school, camp and daycare entry, and take questions from the audience.

The MMR Story, Eighteen Years Later: Parent Observations Matter

Continue reading "April 27 Health Freedom and Vaccination Exemption Rights Event McLean, VA" »

Dachel Media Update: Placenta and Pills

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Two stories are interesting.  One is the Fox News report on detecting the risk for autism in a child by examining the placenta at birth.  The other is from the Wall Street Journal.  It's on research to find markers for autism in a child's blood.  Put those stories along side the New York Times piece on drug companies seeking to come up with drugs to treat autism, and it's pretty clear, autism is here to stay and we are adjusting to the disorder.  Imagine the possibilities for investments in methods for detecting autism and medicating those with the disorder---for life.  The stories about using the placenta and blood to detect autism reinforce the claim that children are born with autism.  In the end, it's always going to blamed on the parents.
April 25, 2013, Fox News: Abnormal placenta may reveal newborn's autism risk

April 25, 2013, New York Times: Public-Private Effort Seeks to Expedite Discovery of Autism Drugs -

April 24, 2013, (WI): Dr. Zorba Paster: Link between shots and autism is a myth : 77-square

April 24, 2013, CBS Baltimore: Roar For Autism Event Will Be This Sunday

April 23, 2013, The Oregonian: Portland-area pediatricians split ranks over vaccine skeptics |

 April 23, 2013, Wall Street Journal: Blood Test Aims to Detect Autism


Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Placenta and Pills" »

A Vaccine to Treat Vaccine Damage

Irony rustoleumBy Anne Dachel

From Science Daily.

"A first-ever vaccine created by University of Guelph researchers for gut bacteria common in autistic children may also help control some autism symptoms.  The groundbreaking study by Brittany Pequegnat and Guelph chemistry professor Mario Monteiro appears this month in the journal Vaccine.

"They developed a carbohydrate-based vaccine against the gut bug Clostridium bolteae.
"C. bolteae is known to play a role in gastrointestinal disorders, and it often shows up in higher numbers in the GI tracts of autistic children than in those of healthy kids.

"More than 90 per cent of children with autism spectrum disorders suffer from chronic, severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Of those, about 75 per cent suffer from diarrhea, according to current literature. Little is known about the factors that predispose autistic children to C. bolteae,' said Monteiro. Although most infections are handled by some antibiotics, he said, a vaccine would improve current treatment.

"'This is the first vaccine designed to control constipation and diarrhea caused by C. bolteae and perhaps control autism-related symptoms associated with this microbe,' he said. 

"Autism cases have increased almost sixfold over the past 20 years, and scientists don't know why. Although many experts point to environmental factors, others have focused on the human gut.

"Some researchers believe toxins and/or metabolites produced by gut bacteria, including C. bolteae, may be associated with symptoms and severity of autism, especially regressive autism."

So I guess all those experts at the Mayo Clinic and at the AAP who just four years ago said , there is no association between bowel disease and autism have egg all over their faces.

Continue reading "A Vaccine to Treat Vaccine Damage" »

Dachel Media Update: Drugs and Autism

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

April 24, 2013, KARE-TV Minneapolis MN: Raising autism awareness in Minnesota

April 23, 2013, Chicago Tribune: Epilepsy drug valproate may lead to autism in infant

April 23, 2013, Fox 6 TV (Waukesha, WI): Students at Horning Middle School "go blue" for autism awareness

April 23, 2013, (MA) Commonwealth: Doctor: Possible Links Between Antidepressants, Pregnancy And Autism


Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Drugs and Autism" »

Guardian UK This Comment Removed By A Moderator

Anne"Anne Dachel
22 April 2013 6:28pm
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted."
Here is the comment that was published and then removed.
The essence of Ms Chew's article is that autism is a genetic disorder that is inevitable.

There is no evidence that children are born with autism. My son wasn't. He didn't stop talking, stop looking at me and start showing all the signs of autism until he was vaccinated into his disability. Thousands upon thousands of parents say the same thing: theirs was a child that was born healthy and was developing normally until they received certain routine vaccinations.

This piece asks a question that isn't relevant because no official can tell us the cause of autism. The scary fact is that a once rare disorder is now so common we all know someone with an autistic child and we are being brainwashed into autism acceptance. This makes no sense.

Autism is an epidemic and there's never been a genetic epidemic in human history. Something is affecting the normal development of a generation of children and we have to stop covering up the truth.Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism
Kristina Chew, the mother of a son with ASD and an outspoken member of the autism community, published an article in the Guardian in the the UK on April 22, 2013. The title was sobering, Would you abort a disabled child?
And while the headline referred only to "a disabled child," a great deal of the focus was on children with autism.  Chew started the article by asking, "If you found out the baby you're expecting would be autistic, what would you do?"
She continued:
"Currently there is no prenatal genetic test for autism, the neurological developmental disorder that numerous children - 1 in 88 or even 1 in 50 - are being diagnosed with. Such prenatal tests exist for other conditions such as Down's syndrome. On learning their fetus could have this intellectual disability, between 70 and 85% of pregnant women in the US choose abortion, writes Amy Julia Becker, whose 7-year-old daughter Penny has Down's syndrome, in The Atlantic." 
Chew went on to talk about autism as a genetic disorder. She described what autism is like for her son.

"Scientists have been making gradual but continued progress in finding genes linked to autism, so the prospect of a prenatal text is not out of the question and it is often forced me to ask myself the tough question: would I have aborted my disabled child?

If I had known before Charlie was born that he would be severely autistic, I would still have decided to have him. I remember my OB-GYN finishing her explanation of amniocentesis by saying that "you just need to know your options" in case something "was wrong". I had long felt Charlie moving inside me. With memories from my college days advocating for a woman's right to control her body echoing in my head, I said to myself, Charlie's not even born, but I can't imagine life without him.

Continue reading "Guardian UK This Comment Removed By A Moderator" »

Autism Community Action Alert for Rep Darrell Issa

Action alertAs Autism Awareness Month winds down, let’s ask for some action in Canary squareCongress. 

Please contact Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, with the following messages:

1)    Thank him for holding a great hearing on November 29th, 2012. Let him know that you strongly support his investigation.  Last month, the CDC's latest parent survey reported a shocking 1 in 50 school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders - that's 1 in 31 boys - creating even greater urgency in answering the issues he and other members of the committee began to identify during that hearing.

2)    Ask Chairman Issa when the responses provided by CDC (Dr. Coleen Boyle) and NIH (Dr. Alan Guttmacher) will be made publicly available. Not only did Guttmacher and Boyle leave the hearing early, they took over four months to provide answers to the committee's important questions. The public deserves to see these responses in the exact context in which they were submitted to the OGR committee - including cover letters, references, and attachments.

3)    Chairman Issa stated there is nothing that is off-limits for what the OGR committee will continue to explore.  Ask him to promptly schedule the next hearing to investigate government malfeasance in covering up the vaccine/autism connection including, as examples, the following areas:

•    Evidence in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program  showing clearly that vaccines can and do cause autism

•    CDC's cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection

•    CDC's suppression of evidence of the autism epidemic

Four ways to contact Congressman Issa:

1)    Call the office of the committee here -  202-225-5074
2)    Call his office in Washington, D.C. – 202-225-3906
3)    Fax his office in Washington, D.C. – 202-225-3303
4)    Send a Facebook message to the Committee’s page

Let’s take action to ensure more hearings move forward.

April's Autism Images

Gianna High School

By Kim Stagliano

Autism awareness month has been overshadowed by recent news events. The blue glow of landmarks and skyscrapers has faded away for most Americans. Even those of us touched by autism have put aside the month's label for the day-to-day reality of caring for, helping, loving our children. 

Last week was our April vacation here in our Connecticut town. That meant long days of Count_von_countdowntime, which is always difficult for my girls, who depend our their routine. Bella, my youngest, kept handing me her purple knapsack. And off we'd go to look at the calendar and re-count the days until school was back in session. Cue Sesame Street's Count Von Count, a Stagliano entertainment staple, "That's three! Three more days until school starts! Ah! Ah! AAAAAAAAAH!"

My husband and I have tallied 37 cumulative years of caring for kids with autism in our home, if we use age 3 as the starting age for each of our girls.  37 years of facilitating, guiding, dressing, undressing, feeding, cutting food, bathing, toileting (that's mostly completed I'm thrilled to report) micromanaging virtually every aspect of the girls' lives - not because we are helicopter parents - it's simply what's required to keep them alive. I wish I could tell parents of younger children on the spectrum that life gets easier as the kids grow up - but for us and for most of the families I know with high school age children - it's getting a whole lot harder. The gaps of early elementary school turned into chasms in middle school and then canyons in high school and in "adult life?" The current programs available expect my kids to live in a parallel universe of managed care as if they leaped from childhood to advanced old age in the blink of an eye.  (Won't happen.) It's a harsh reality rarely spotlighted by blue lights.

But....   all is not lost. Never.  That photo at the top of the post? That's the showcase at the entrance to our public high school. And that pretty girl holding the Martha Speaks book? That is my beautiful daughter Gianna. She is 16 and considered a sophomore. The book she is holding is for a third grader. But take a look - our high school is saying,"Hey! This terrific kid is a member of our community and we are as proud of her as we are of our honors student who is going to Harvard in the Fall."

When Gianna's teacher sent me the photo, I just sat for second and took in the huge message it sent to her classmates, her schoolmates, the teachers, staff, everyone who walks by. I'm proud of our high school for honoring Gianna where she is - and for who she is.  

I suppose the showcase is about acceptance, a word I usually abhor. Today? I accept it. Now to turn Martha Speaks into, "People with autism speak."

CoverKim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel,  House of Cards; A All I Can Handle 50 pixel Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.




SaneVax: How Gardasil Changed My Life

Kirstie-2Managing Editor's Note: Below is the story of Kirstie, who became "one less" at the age of 12, and whose life was changed. Kirstie, a young woman who reminds me of our own Natalie Palumbo with her spirit, positive attitude and ability to use a trauma as a springboard to a bright future, write about her experience with the genital wart virus that was first sold to American females as a "cancer" vaccine meant to reduce worry. Thank you to Kirstie for sharing her story. And thank you to SaneVax for continuing to educate the American public about the reality of teen and young adult vaccination.

In 2007, Gardasil was a new vaccine which was supposed to make you one less girl who had to worry about cervical cancer. My parents thought it would be a wonderful way to protect me as I grew up. How could we have known the first injection would set off a chain of events that would alter my life forever?

At 12 years old, sports were a huge part of my life. Basketball, soccer, softball, dodge-ball, lacrosse – you name it. If it involved outdoor recreation, you could probably find me there.

I got my first Gardasil shot on the 23rd of April 2007. Shortly after, I started getting strange bruises on my arms and legs. No one thought much of it because we all assumed I had been injured playing the sports I so dearly loved. None of us thought it might be connected to the vaccine I had recently received.

May 29, 2007, I received the second injection. The unusual bruising got worse. Over the weekend of June 29th and 30th I hemorrhaged for two hours during each day. When I went to the doctor on Monday, they immediately sent me to the hospital to meet with a pediatric hematologist. I left the hospital with a diagnosis of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP).

According to the Mayo Clinic, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura, is a blood-clotting disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. ITP results from unusually low levels of platelets — the cells that help your blood clot.

Because of my low platelet count, I could not play any of the sports I loved for over a year. This was very hard for me to understand and accept. It made me very sad not to be able to participate in the activities that I loved. It was difficult to watch everyone else playing and having fun, while my activities were being limited.

Looking back, I can see how when one door closes, another opens. Because I couldn’t play sports, I had extra time to do other things. I discovered a passion for music and began to take private voice lessons and a musical theater class. Since I was unable to play sports, I began to focus on singing and performing.

In the past few years, I have become a very successful classical singer. I have won some prestigious awards and have been accepted into some excellent colleges for vocal performance with a concentration in music education, or music therapy. Had it not been for the extra time I had, I may have never have discovered my musical talent. Now, I focus most of my energy on singing and the performing arts. I am not sure that would have happened if my life had not been changed by ITP. My career path has definitely been influenced by the diagnosis which set me on a path that I am pleased to be on...   Read the full post at SaneVax.

Dachel Media Update: Bursting the April Bubble

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary below the jump.

April 22, 2013, Cedar Falls (IA) Patch: Autism Speaks: An Interview with an Autism Expert

April 22, 2013, NPR: Young Adults With Autism Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs

April 22, 2013, Union students blow bubbles for autism awareness

April 21, 2013, Miami Healthy Living: Some doctors choose not vaccinate their children

April 21, 2013, UK Sunday Times: Clinic fuels false MMR fears

April 20, 2013, Phillies: Phillies recognize Autism Awareness Month, invite autistic children to Saturday's game

April 20, 2013, UK Guardian: Totally untrue facts about Andrew Wakefield

April 20, 2013, Autism Awareness Month -- Treating Autism takes a community

April 19, 2013, MS Press: Mississippi needs better ideas for comprehensive autism services

April 19, 2013, UPI: Up to 10 percent of the population is affected by specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia and autism, British researchers say.

April 19, 2013, UK Telegraph: Measles epidemic claims first death

April 18, 2013, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Alderman rips health officials over vaccination grant proposal

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Bursting the April Bubble" »

Moleculera: New Lab Testing to Help Immune Issues Including Autism

MoleculeraLogoBy Teresa Conrick

It's official.  According to a press release, today April 22nd, Moleculera Lab's website will be live, to start sharing information about testing for Pandas/Pans. I have been writing about PANDAS and PANS for the past few years as they seem related to Autism, and for many of our children, much suffering.

From their website - What is PANDAS and PANS, and now--- CANS?:

"PANDAS is an acronym for "Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococci". PANDAS was first reported over a decade ago by Dr. Susan Swedo at the NIH, and affects children abruptly after streptococcal infections.  Childhood Acute Neuropsychiatric Symptoms (CANS) and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) are proposed as a new, broader classification that would expand both the etiological infectious agents and the clinical manifestations, to the current description of PANDAS. This is an important development since there are reported cases of patients fulfilling the clinical criteria of PANDAS but laboratory studies are negative for a recent group A streptococcal infection. Published reports have postulated that stress  as well as other types of infections can result in neuropsychiatric conditions, which include Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Mycoplasma pneumonia, herpes simplex, common cold and varicella viruses."

How will testing help PANDAS/PANS/CANS and many childen also with an AUTISM diagnosis?

"Moleculera Labs provides personalized clinical testing services for individuals suspected of suffering from PANDAS/PANS, which are treatable neurologic conditions that may be associated with motor tics, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) and sometimes Autism Spectrum Disorders. This perplexing neurologic condition is believed to be associated with an autoimmune response triggered by commonly occurring infections which result in a patient’s antibodies targeting neurologic receptors in the body.."

This is very good news, and I am very thankful to Dr. Cunningham and her lab. Since Megan has an Autism diagnosis, an autoimmune diagnosis, and has had symptoms of PANDAS/PANS over the years, it is significant to finally be able to connect the many children and young adults who have tics, ocd, issues with eating, food and GI pain, rashes, agitation, aggression, sleep issues, enuresis, anxiety, hallucinations, regression in behaviors, regression in academics, and the gut wrenching effect of all of this on the families. Real medical treatments are essential.

Continue reading "Moleculera: New Lab Testing to Help Immune Issues Including Autism" »

Dads Unite at Autism One

Super dadManaging Editor's Note:  Autism One reaches out in a special way to autism Dads.  Men bear a heavy burden in the autism community and are often left out of the conversations. Not at Autism One. Thanks to Cody Jordan, who has written for us in the past,  for sharing this preview of what's in store to help fathers connect and recharge their batteries.

By Cody Jordan

The Generation Rescue/AutismOne conference is just around the corner, and I’m making a call out to all the dads out there who are able to attend.  I’ve been going to this conference for a number of years, and the thing that I really enjoyed, other than learning more and more about recovering my son, is the camaraderie between all the dads.  I’m not so naïve as to think we’re wired the same as our spouses because we’re not, and sometimes we need to gather together to share “war” stories in our own unique way about our fight against autism.  And there’s plenty to do to which we can relate.
The first one I’ve always attended is a parent mixer on Thursday night.  It’s a good way to start the entire weekend, and one thing I notice is that once a few couples start talking, the wives and husbands separately gravitate towards each other.  And that’s just the beginning.
There are a few presentations that I, as a dad, have either attended before or something similar, the first being a presentation by David Geslak of Exercise Connection.  What I like about this is that you get and moving during much of the presentation, and that’s one of David’s main points about our children.  We need to start by getting them up and moving.  And some of the things I’ve learned gave me an excuse to go to the hardware store to buy building materials for makeshift pieces of exercise equipment for my son.  I even tried to include my son in the building process, and then he even got to use the equipment he helped make.  It’s an overall great presentation that gave me many ideas on how to get more involved with my son.

Continue reading "Dads Unite at Autism One" »

Autism One Spotlight: Congressional Panel, RFK Jr. and More

Robert F Kennedy Jr 3Visit the Autism One website to register and learn about the array of presentations coming in May.

Friday, May 24  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will present the keynote speech.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has long been a stout defender of our environment, our democracy, and our American values. Mr. Kennedy serves as Vice Chair and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper and Chairman of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at a Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and earlier in his career he served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.

In the area of vaccines Mr. Kenney was instrumental in the publication of Unanswered Questions, a peer-reviewed investigation of compensated cases of vaccine-induced brain injury. He is the author of the article Deadly Immunity, which documented the government’s efforts to conceal alarming data about the dangers of vaccines.    

Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation he attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Environmental Law. 


Congressman Dan Burton, Congressman Dave Weldon, MD, and Congressman Bill Posey are presenting Friday, May 24th.

Continue reading "Autism One Spotlight: Congressional Panel, RFK Jr. and More" »

Autism and Vaccine Injury: It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Lib World

MadLibsThis week Cathy Jameson shared her post as "Mamacita" from the Thinking Moms' Revolution.  It's a "Mad Libs" take on well visits.  Remember Mad Libs? The small flip over story books where one person asked another for a verb, noun, adjective - and inserted them into a story. The results were always funny, sometimes even naughty.  But never so ________ (adjective) as this post from Cathy.

Everywhere. Every state. Every race. Across many ethnicities, neighborhoods and communities. We Thinkers hear it: All. The. Time. It’s the same story. Different kid. Different doctor’s office. Same regressions and unexpected journey. Surely you, too, have heard it before. It goes something like this:

I took my brand new baby to the ___________ (adjective) pediatrician’s office for the second time. The first “well-baby” visit didn’t go very well at all. The __________ (adjective) nurse told me quite ___________ (adverb ending in -ly) that she wanted to stick __________ (#between 1-15) vaccines into my child. “_____(same #)! __________(exclamation)”, I balked. I looked around the exam room and wondered what my Thinking Moms friends would say about this ___________ (adjective) plan.

**Here’s where things can change for the better. What if more parents realized they had more of a say in their child’s health care? Back in the exam room: I looked around the exam room and wondered what my Thinking Mom friends would say about this ____________ (adjective) plan.

Read the full post at Thinking Moms' Revolution.

Weekly Wrap: Yes, Blame Government For the Return of Measles

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshot

The British media and medical establishment can't get over Andy Wakefield's gall when he claimed, in a post published here, that an outbreak of measles in Wales is squarely the fault of British health officials. Has the man no decency? At long last, has he no decency?

Well, I certainly agree with Andy that the blame for the measles outbreak rests squarely with the public health establishment. Separate measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines were available when Andy was asked, and gave his honest view, that parents should avail themselves of that choice until more research was done. A few months afterward, the government got rid of those shots, and parents were left with all or nothing -- the MMR, about which quite reasonable concerns persisted, or no shot at all.

Many chose nothing, no shot at all, making the quite reasonable calculation that the risk of those diseeases was better than a 1-in-50 shot at getting autism (actually, of the three, the only good case is for the rubella vaccine, to prevent congenital rubella syndrome in babies). The same dynamic has played itself out in the United States, where separate shots were available, then they weren't, then they were going be, but then they weren't -- and still aren't.

The British establishment would like to paint Andy as a uniquely hubristic satanic fraudster -- who else would engender concerns about the safety of vaccines, and then blame the authorities when parents don't get them in the prescribed way?

Well, Jon Poling, for one. In 2008, Hannah's father wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the wake of his daughter's multi-million-dollar award in vaccine court for, yes, vaccine-induced autism: 

 "The current vaccine schedule, co-sponsored by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, injures a small but significant minority of children, my daughter unfortunately being one of those victims. Every day, more parents and some pediatricians reject the current vaccine schedule. In an abundance of caution, meaningful reform must be performed urgently to prevent the re-emergence of serious diseases like polio or measles.

"As a neurologist, I have cared for those afflicted with SSPE (a rare but dreaded neurological complication of measles), paralytic polio and tetanus. If these serious vaccine-preventable diseases again become commonplace, the fault will rest solely on the shoulders of public health leaders and policymakers who have failed to heed the writing on the wall (scribbled by my 9-year old daughter)."

To repeat, the return of measles would rest solely on the shoulders of public health leaders, according to the father of a child compensated for vaccine-induced autism. 

As I wrote at the time, Dr, Poling is the real deal, educated at Johns Hopkins, devoted both to his daughter and his patients, tempered by reality. He's mild-mannered. He's mainstream. He's credible. And he says that if a disease like measles emerges again, "the fault will rest solely on the shoulders of public health leaders and policymakers."

As I wrote then, "I'm starting to think we should rename the CDC the Centers for Disease Contagion. You've all seen the news that there are suddenly more measles cases in the United States and the CDC is blaming it in part on the increasing reluctance of parents to vaccinate their kids.

"But it's the CDC's fault, and no other. ...  Right now they're triggering a measles outbreak, and that may just be the start of the havoc they're going to cause unless Congress or the (next) president reminds them who's REALLY in control around here."

Oh, and by the way, vaccines  including the MMR are the cause of the autism epidemic. More and more parents, families, and ordinary people know it. Andy Wakefield and Jon Poling are stating the obvious -- parents have lost trust in governments that say otherwise.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


What Happens When You're Gone? Aging Out – ASD Adults & Their Parents Need Solutions for the Future


By Dan Burns

Our ASD kids turn 21 or 22 and the school bus stops coming, “student services” are gone and social services dwindle to a trickle, but life goes on for them. How independent will your adult child be? And what happens to our kids after you and I leave the planet? The good news: creative residential options are springing up around the country. Here are some ideas for creating live/work/play situations and environments that go beyond traditional group homes and could outlast us and our at-home care.

Diane Belnavis. Buy an abandoned house on a cul-de-sac and rehab it. Rent bedrooms to your ASD friends, who pay out of their SSI/SSDI and housing choice (Section 8) vouchers. If vouchers are not available, share with a housemate to offset costs. Your renters hire their own support staff as needed, so you’re off the hook. Your job is to provide vocational opportunities and extra income through home-based microenterprises, horticulture, or job carving. For example, you might grow vegetables and share a stall at a farmer’s market, or partner with a retirement village to provide painting, maintenance, or lawn care service – a job that is often done at cash-strapped senior centers by prisoners – in exchange for cash stipends for your guys. Enrich your day program by holding weekly pot-luck lunch get togethers – or a get together plus Bingo. Invite other DD folks in the area to join you for lunch and bring their support staff as guests. Service clubs and church groups typically come loaded with ideas for educating, employing, and entertaining your guys. For more enrichment, partner with local charities, sororities, and fraternities for outings to parks, nearby cities, and recreational centers. Properly nurtured, your unlicensed “not-a-group-home” can evolve into an attractive, vibrant, mutually supportive community. To spice things up, buy and rehab another house on the same street, and create a microboard to run it when you enter your dotage. You’re not licensed and not accepting Medicaid, so Olmstead restrictions don’t apply. For a shining KISS (Keep It Simple) example, see

Inspired by Cathy Boyle. At age 18, enroll your child on the waiting list for food stamps, a Section 8 rent voucher, and a Medicaid waiver. Use a portion of your child’s SSI/SSDI to offset your own income, which you invest until your child pops to the top of the wait list. Use your investment to make a down payment on a house ($400/month for a ten year wait = about $50K plus return on investment). Lease the house to a service provider who will bring in more ASD guys. Their rent pays the lease which pays the mortgage and most of the cost of services, so your monthly out-of-pocket costs are minimal. Because you’re the owner, you’re the boss, which is the way you want it for your child. For more ideas, go to

Continue reading "What Happens When You're Gone? Aging Out – ASD Adults & Their Parents Need Solutions for the Future" »

Dachel Media Update: Wales Measles

Online newsNEWS VIDEOS FROM WALES---Coverage on the measles outbreaks.

ITV made an attempt at covering both sides of the MMR controversy, although it's clearly NOT BALANCED. Here a mother, seen with her severely autistic son, refuses to vaccinate her youngest child because of the vaccine damage she witnessed in her son, Eddie.

Mother's autism fears despite debunked MMR theory - ITV News

Up against what the mother said is everything else from ITV.

Endless reports from the press in Wales have one strong message: measles has reached an epidemic level because parents didn't vaccinate over fears about side effects.

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Wales Measles" »

Book Review: The Thinking Moms' Revolution

Tmr bookBy Anne Dachel

After reading the Thinking Moms’ Revolution, I know one thing: this is our book.  The twenty-three moms and one dad included in TMR tell all our stories to some degree.  And they are THINKING.  They question, they research, they dispute, and they discover.  The title is a perfect one for what these people do.
As we all know, no two autistic children are exactly alike and neither are their parents’ experiences.  There are however, lots of common threads revealed in the book.  There are the accounts of the bubbling excitement and great expectations parents had when their children were born and the disbelief and fear in the face of regression and developmental stops.  There are the doctors who failed to understand what autism is doing to our children or to provide real help to parents.
TMR is also about hope and success.  It’s moms who struck out on their own to find answers and did it.  It was the Internet that was their lifeline. There they found resources and support groups like the Thinking Moms, the National Autism Association, Age of Autism, and Talk About Curing Autism.  Most of all, they made connections with other parents that empowered and informed them.  The computer provided the education they needed.  Moms learned about homeopathy, organic food, supplements and special diets. 
“Homeopathy brought speech, receptive language, cognitive gains and increased awareness.” 

Continue reading "Book Review: The Thinking Moms' Revolution" »

Dachel Media Update: April Continues

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary after the jump.

April 17, 2013, East
Central IL News Gazette: Learning to 'embrace the challenge' of autism

April 16, 2013, CBS
Pittsburgh: New Study Focuses On Environment & Autism

April 15, 2013, American
Medical News: Study debunks a common autism worry about vaccines

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: April Continues" »

Transcript: Statement from Andrew Wakefield

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotBelow is the transcript from Dr. Andrew Wakefield's video statement (with special thanks to Jeannette Bishop for correcting the text).

Good morning. The first thing that I want to say is that  I did not seek out this latest media maelstrom. It came about because of an outbreak of measles in South Wales in the United  Kingdom for which I have been blamed by her Majesty's government.  So I did not seek this out but now it seems I have been denied the  opportunity to redress the allegations that have been made against me by members of the government; by members of public health and that is clearly unacceptable.
So legitimate debate about the safety of MMR vaccine and the origin of the measles epidemic in Wales have now been effectively blocked by the government insisting that the British media do not give me air time; do not allow me to respond. And that is the purpose of this. So I did not start this current fight.
The important thing to say is that back in 1996 -- 1997 I was made  aware of children developing autism, regressive autism, following exposure in many cases to the measles mumps rubella vaccine. Such  was my concern about the safety of that vaccine that I went back and reviewed every safety study, every pre-licensing study of the MMR vaccine and other measles containing vaccines before they were  put into children and after. And I was appalled with the quality of that science. It really was totally below par and that has been reiterated by other authoritative sources since.

I compiled my observations into a 200 page report which I am seeking to put online once I get permission from my lawyers. And that report was the basis of my impression that the MMR vaccine was inadequately tested for safety certainly compared with the single vaccines and therefore that was the basis of my recommendation in 1998 at the press conference that parents should have the option of  the single vaccines.

All I could do as a parent was to say what would I do for my child. That was the only honest answer I could give. My position on that has not changed.

Continue reading "Transcript: Statement from Andrew Wakefield" »

Mercury Exposure Increases Diabetes Risk

Diabetes linkBy Teresa Conrick

The damage that mercury can cause to a body, continues to grow.  This recent study, Mercury Exposure in Young Adulthood and Incidence of Diabetes Later in Life: The CARDIA trace element study shows us the insidious nature of this poisonous toxin. Mercury compounds are known for their acute effects but less has been studied on long term effects.  This study did just that and the results are alarming, yet not surprising to those of us who have been sounding our own alarm about mercury's danger here, at Age of Autism.

Some caveats from the abstract:

-   Laboratory studies suggest that exposure to methylmercury at a level similar to those found in fish may induce pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction.

-   We examined whether toenail mercury levels are associated with incidence of diabetes in a large prospective cohort.

-    A prospective cohort of 3,875 American young adults, aged 20-32 years, free of diabetes in 1987 (baseline), were enrolled and followed six times until 2005.

-    A total of 288 incident cases of diabetes occurred over 18 years of follow-up.

-    ....toenail mercury levels were positively associated with the incidence of diabetes.

The full study is only available with a subscription/purchase so I was able to read that for more information.  The authors do describe how mercury is a toxin with widespread effects in both the organic and inorganic form.  They also commented that it is fish consumption and amalgam fillings that are the major sources of exposure.  They further elaborated that the mercury in fish consumption are at levels that can induce oxidative stress.  That seems very significant and they do say that is the reason for the pancreatic islet b-cell dysfunction. They actually showed in a mouse that even low levels of mercury can cause pancreatic islet b-cell dysfunction.  This should be national news as the devastating health effects have been shown.

Continue reading "Mercury Exposure Increases Diabetes Risk" »

Andrew Wakefield Responds on Camera to Wales Measles Outbreak

Dr. Andrew Wakefield responds to UK public health officials call for censorship on MMR vaccine safety debate, measles vaccine failure, and issues a further challenge for open debate (full transcript beneath). While he has been booked to appear on several media programs, all have cancelled just prior to airtime.

Below is the transcript.

Good morning. The first thing that I want to say is that  I did not seek out this latest media maelstrom. It came about because of an outbreak of measles in South Wales in the United  Kingdom for which I have been blamed by her Majesty's government.  So I did not seek this out but now it seems I have been denied the  opportunity to redress the allegations that have been made against me by members of the government; by members of public health and that is clearly unacceptable.
So legitimate debate about the safety of MMR vaccine and the origin of the measles epidemic in Wales have now been effectively blocked by the government insisting that the British media do not give me air time; do not allow me to respond. And that is the purpose of this. So I did not start this current fight.

Continue reading "Andrew Wakefield Responds on Camera to Wales Measles Outbreak" »

Statement: Isabella Thomas Mother of 2 Lancet Study Children


AW T boys
Dr. Andrew Wakefield with the Thomas boys
Statement by Isabella Thomas, mother of two boys who were part of the Lancet Study

“It is now time for the truth to be told”

I, as a parent of two children in the Lancet study, have had to speak out about the vicious attacks on Dr. Andrew Wakefield by his own government, the US government and the media blaming him for the measles outbreak in Wales. The Lancet study was not paid for by the Legal Services Commission and our children were referred to the Royal Free Hospital because they were very sick and would still have had investigations done even if they were not part of the Lancet research as many more children have done after the Lancet study by other consultants at the Royal Free and other hospitals in London.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield listened to the concerns of many parents about their sick children suffering with bowel conditions and a form of Autism, a bowel condition and brain damage that was ignored by other professionals. These parents were demonstrably ‘black listed’ for saying their children became ill after the MMR vaccine.

Parents were speaking about this situation years before Dr. Wakefield came on the scene and our government also knew about these concerns years before the Lancet study yet they did nothing to investigate, leaving hundreds of other children at risk of side effects. Our government did not listen to parents but accused them of making the symptoms up and threatening to take their children away if they did not stop making a connection with MMR vaccine. As a result, these children and young adults live in a great deal of pain to this day (one doctor saying to my son ‘we believe you believe you are in pain’).

There is much more I could say about the experience of my family and others but I want to make it clear that the children’s claims in relation to MMR were supported by many other experts in several disciplines all of whom provided reports for the court. I attach a list of them. These experts would all have given evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice on behalf of hundreds of children we claim were damaged by the MMR vaccine had the cases been allowed to continue. In addition, the solicitors representing the claimants were in touch with and drawing on the expertise from many more than these, but many did not want to be formal experts. I don't know how much the experts listed were paid, but they were all paid fees just as Dr. Wakefield was in the normal way that experts are paid in litigation cases (and probably much less than the defendants’ experts were paid!).

Continue reading "Statement: Isabella Thomas Mother of 2 Lancet Study Children" »

Dachel Media Update: April Blur of Same Old

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary after the jump.

April 16, 2013, CNN: Autism: What we know right now

April 15, 2013, Delmarva Daily Times: Full vaccine schedule safe for kids, no link to autism
April 15, 2013, Wilmington (NC) News Star: Area family discusses life with autistic child

April 15, 2013, Chicago Daily Herald: Join the fight for autistic children

April 15, 2013, U.S. News: Study: Autism Has Strong Genetic Link in Mice

April 15, 2013, Huffington: This Is Autism: Parents Share Pictures Of Children With ASDs (PHOTOS)
April 14, 2013, NY Times: Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: April Blur of Same Old" »

And Nothing Happened

To-do-list-nothingBy Julie Obradovic

I’ve long thought about the coincidences of autism. In fact, my very first editorial to my local newspaper back in 2005 was entitled just that, “An Unfortunate Coincidence”.

I called it that because that is how Harvey Fineberg, then president of the IOM, referred to it when he met with David Kirby on Meet the Press that year. Per his perspective, vaccines were nothing more than “unfortunate coincidence” when it came to autism.

I went through all of those coincidences in detail.

It was an “unfortunate coincidence” that autism settled in shortly after vaccination.

It was an “unfortunate coincidence” that parents noticed it at that time and not earlier.

It was an “unfortunate coincidence” that the symptoms of mercury poisoning and autism were identical.

It was an “unfortunate coincidence” that autism affects four times as many boys as girls knowing that mercury and testosterone are synergistic.

The rise in numbers. Simpsonwood. The IOM report. The Lily Rider. The improvement of symptoms when treated medically. The eyewitness testimony of parents. Leo Kanner. Donald Triplett. The list went on.

All of it.

Absolutely all of it was an “unfortunate coincidence”.

Continue reading "And Nothing Happened" »

Western NY Family Magazine Getting Wakefield Treatment for Writing Critically about Gardasil

Stories for thinkingMichele Miller has published Western NY Family Magazine since 1984, Articles-Cover-web_028starting as newsletter from her kitchen table.  She ran an article about Gardasil safety and has since received threats to pull advertising dollars, and a swift and vicious campaign from the medical community.  That said, the article has comments from many readers saying, "Thank you for sharing some reality with us."  Mark Blaxill wrote an insightful series called "Gardasil: License to Kill that explains the background and reality of this vaccine foisted upon our teen girls and boys. The Buffalo (NY) news wrote about this story.  Read more and comment at The Buffalo News

A column in a popular local monthly magazine that criticized vaccinating teenagers against the human papilloma virus has outraged area pediatricians and spurred Erie County’s health commissioner to issue a statement defending the vaccinations as safe and effective in preventing the sexually transmitted infection.

The column appeared in the April edition of Western New York Family magazine, a free publication available in the waiting rooms of many area doctors’ offices.

Local writer and radio talk show host Linda O’Connor cited several anecdotal examples of teenage girls who suffered serious physical ailments after receiving Gardasil, one of two vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent HPV, a virus that causes cervical, anal and throat cancer, as well as genital warts.

O’Connor also wrote that more than 100 healthy girls “have died from the vaccine” since 2006, although she did not indicate a source for the statistic.

Several pediatricians complained to Western New Family magazine founder, editor and publisher Michele Miller, saying the article erroneously portrays the HPV vaccine as dangerous.  Read more and comment at The Buffalo News

The Detail Explores MR Vaccine Death Decision (Dr. Salisbury intervenes)

Their 15-year-old son Christopher was found dead in his bed a week before Christmas in 1994, 10 days after receiving the MR vaccine at school. Ten days is highly significant as this is the exact point when any reaction caused by the vaccine is expected.
Please read and comment on the full article Another rejection but parents maintain vaccine is linked to their son's death at The Detail.   "The Detail aims to help put investigative journalism at the core of the news industry in Northern Ireland. It aims not to challenge existing news outlets, broadcasters or newspaper, but to supplement them.

The site is run and the content produced by Belfast-based independent TV and online production company Below the Radar, which is owned by UK wide independent producer Ten Alps Plc. It is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and Northern Ireland Screen, and it has five full-time journalists."


THE parents of a Co Down teenager who died just days after receiving a combined Measles and Rubella vaccination as part of a government campaign have vowed to continue their fight to prove that the injection caused his death.

Anne and Harry Coulter, from Hillsborough, have spoken to The Detail after learning that an appeal they lodged with the government’s Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme has been refused. They were first turned down for compensation in 1997 and say the system is massively weighted against those who challenge the UK’s vaccination regime.

Please read the full story Another rejection but parents maintain vaccine is linked to their son's death at The Detail.

Dachel Media Update: Climbing Numbers, Enough Awareness

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

April 15, 2013, U.S. News: Parents Who Veto Vaccinations Often Seek Like-Minded Opinions

April 15, 2013, TIME: How Social Networks Influence Parents' Decision to Vaccinate
April 14, 2013, WAFF-TV Huntsville AL: 'Walk for Autism' raises awareness for disorder

April 14, 2013, Connecticut Post: Schools' autism programs increase along with numbers of cases

April 14, 2013, Concord (NH) Monitor: Autism Book Offers Holistic Strategies

April 13, 2013, KFDA-TV--Amarillo (TX) News: Thousands raise awareness during 'Autism in Action' 5K and walk
April 13, 2013, Chippewa Herald (Chippewa Falls, WI): CDC: Autism affects 1 in 88 children

April 13, 2013, Columbus (OH) Dispatch: Autism a disorder begging to be understood

April 12, 2013, Saturday's Autism Resource Fair a godsend for Staten Island families struggling to cope

April 12, 2013, UK Independent: Editorial--Andrew Wakefield's baleful legacy

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Climbing Numbers, Enough Awareness" »

Watch David Gorski Squirm!

Old tv staticBy Jake Crosby


Just go to the 1:14:57 mark to watch David Gorski struggle to respond to a question I posed to him at a talk he gave at a “skeptics” event in March.

One Sunday in Virginia, I met the most prolific defamer the vaccine lobby has ever dumped on the blogosphere: David Gorski, MD, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Science”Blogs' “Orac.” For years, I had known Gorski through his inarticulate, verbose online rants hurling insults and innuendo at anyone who dared suggest any vaccines could cause a particular side-effect while dismissing such concerns out-of-hand, especially safety concerns about the mercury-based,  neurotoxic vaccine preservative thimerosal. In Chicago in 2010, he called me out by name and said I was a “young punk” for revealing his connections to Sanofi-Aventis through his university.  I certainly never met him before.

Continue reading "Watch David Gorski Squirm!" »

UK Health Minister's Reply Undermines Media Claims About The Measles Outbreak and MMR

Earl HoweFrom the Child Health Safety site in the UK comes this post,  Dr Andrew Wakefield Not Cause of Welsh Measles Outbreak – Confirms UK Government Minister In Parliament.

It looks like British Health Minister Earl Howe has put egg over the faces of the British media regarding their claims that Dr Andrew Wakefield is to blame for recent UK outbreaks of measles. But they do not know it yet...

Minister Howe stated in relation to recent cases in 2012 that the highest proportion occurred in those under five years of age and that [CHS emphasis added]:  a “minority of cases in 2012 can be attributed to the fall in coverage with MMR vaccine in the early part of this century …” and that “… MMR vaccination uptake is currently at historically high levels.“ (emphasis added)

...the Department of Health is presiding over the ultimate legacy of their MMR vaccination campaigns: “vaccination failure“.  Measles vaccine failure is not new and will be likely to increase over the years.  The MMR vaccine is failing but the Department of Health and especially Professor Salisbury want instead to deflect blame to Dr Andrew Wakefield and historical events of over 14 years ago which most people it seems have forgotten about.

Read the full post at:
Dr Andrew Wakefield Not Cause of Welsh Measles Outbreak – Confirms UK Government Minister In Parliament.

What Doesn’t Kill You

Typewriter-storyBy Cathy Jameson

During the hype of the flu shot season, I went through our local pharmacy drive-thru to get a prescription filled.  Not being able to avert my eyes from the posters, signage or cheery Flu Shot ribbon hanging from the pharmacist’s name tag, the flu shot propaganda was everywhere. 

I rolled down my window and waited to be greeted.  Within a few seconds, the pharmacist said hello.  I said hello and handed a script to the pharmacist.  Flashing a cheesy smile, he asked me if I wanted to come into the store for a flu shot while I waited for the medicine to be ready.  Caught a little off guard, I looked at him and politely replied, “No, thanks.”  My daughter, who was able to hear the conversations, shot me an I-can’t-believe-he-asked-YOU-that-question look. 

“Oh, did you already get one?” the pharmacist pried. 

Here we go, I thought.

“Nope, we don’t do those.”  Since I felt like I had nothing to lose, I added matter-of-factly, “We don’t do those because my son was injured by his vaccines.”

With a deer-in-the-headlight look, his response to me was, “Injured?  Did the needle break off in his arm?” 

It returned a deer-in-the-headlights gaze back at him.


I was tempted to be very curt with this young man.  More than a handful of slick responses filled my head:  “Are you kidding me?  Break in his arm?  Have you no clue?  What’s wrong with you?  Do they not teach you anything in school anymore?”

But, I bit my tongue.  I shook off the frustration of running into another flu-shot fanatic dressed up as a lab-coat uniformed medical professional.  I continued, “Nooooo, the needle didn’t break off in his arm.  My son got his childhood vaccines and then became quite sick.  He was typical before them, and now he has autism.”

“Really?  Autism?” he inquired.

“Yes, autism.”  Without hesitating, I added, “Vaccine-induced autism.”

Continue reading "What Doesn’t Kill You " »

MMR and the Crumbling Façade of the British State

David salisbury
Dr David Salisbury - Head of UK Immunisation in Victoria Towers Garden by the Palace of Westminster
By John Stone

Truth is a hard game and when people start admitting it you scarcely know where it might end. Today, the BBC and the United Kingdom Department of Health tacitly admitted that a key finding of the GMC hearing against doctors Wakefield, Walker-Smith and Murch was false, to wit that the Wakefield Lancet paper of 1998 was identical to a study commissioned by the Legal Aid Board: with that finding out of the way – dismissed as it was Mr Justice Mitting in the High Court in the appeal of Prof John Walker-Smith – then many of the other accusations against all three doctors crumble to dust.


This is the wording of the BBC report:

 Dr Wakefield's study considered whether there was a link between the three-in-one MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.

It focused on tests carried out on 12 children who had been referred to hospital for gastrointestinal problems.

Dr Wakefield was also paid to carry out another study at the same time to find out if parents who claimed their children were damaged by the MMR vaccine had a case. Some children were involved in both studies.

However,  this  study was not the abandoned  one that the GMC panel insisted on in its findings:

The Panel has heard that ethical approval had been sought and granted for other trials and it has been specifically suggested that Project 172-96 was never undertaken and that in fact, the Lancet 12 children’s investigations were clinically indicated and the research parts of those clinically justified investigations were covered by Project 162- 95. In the light of all the available evidence, the Panel rejected this proposition.

Obscenely, the GMC panel deliberated for three years over this falsehood and yet such is justice that it has only been over-turned in the case of one of the doctors. However, it really is time that the manufacturers of these official deceits started answering questions. For instance, why - if MMR was safe - were such disgusting perversions necessary to protect its reputation?

 John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

Weekly Wrap: Snickering About Shingles, Sticking It To Andy

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

My cousin, a doctor, told me a long time ago that the best way to approach doctors and medicine is this: go to the doctor as little as possible, take as few medications as possible, and take as small a dose of those medicines as possible.

I've tried to live by that, and so far have succeeded pretty well. Recently, it was time for a physical, and I braced myself for a discussion with my doctor about vaccines. Ithink doctors may be a bit like members of Congress -- although Congress in general is held in low esteem, voters tend to think their own Congressperson is doing a pretty good job. So while I spend a lot of time harshing on the medical industry, I've always liked my own doctor, to whom I've been going for two or three decades.

When it came time to talk vaccines, she noted I was due for a bundle -- i think tetanus, some kind of pneumonia thing, and, having recently turned 60, the shingles shot. I had my answer ready -- i just didn't want to get any vaccines, thank you (and I didn't want to argue about it, although I didn't say that -- I just didn't argue). I didn't get into how vaccines have caused the autism epidemic, sudden infant death, a whole mess of chronic conditions, and etcetera.

Saying no seemed to do it. But somehow the shingles shot came round again during my visit -- shingles in the eye making people blind was one of my doctors warnings for the shingles-shotless. And, she noted, shingles is more common these days because people aren't getting the immune "bump" from exposure to wild chicken pox in children, due, she said, to the chickenpox vaccine that's become routine in the last 20 years.

I had to say something about that: "Well you know the same company that makes the chickenpox vaccine makes the shingles vaccine -- Merck. And we're trading a harmless and probably useful childhood illness for something that as you say is really dreadful."

Her response was a smile and an obvious sense of amusement and acknowledgement. "Well, that's true," she said. "You are definitely right about that."

Good grief! How did we go from denial that the chickenpox shot triggers more shingles cases, to laughing about how obvious it is? And who signed up to get shingles in order for the stupid chickenpox vaccine to become ubiquitous? (If it's so critical, why don't they have it in Great Britain and most everywhere else.)

It's the New Normalization of bad illness as a side-effect of preventing minor illness, and it makes no sense. Except financial.

Me, I'm sticking with my cousin's motto -- as few doctors visits, and as little medicine as possible.


Speaking Of Too Many Shots: The big British paper The Independent has picked up on Andy Wakefield's piece, published on AOA, that blames the government for the outbreak of measles in Wales. You can hear the harrumphing clear across the Pond. But thanks for crediting our humble Web site!

Andy pointed out that the government banned single vaccines for the M, M, and R, forcing people to go all in with the MMR or skip the vaccine altogether. I agree -- it's not his fault, especially since, in my opinion, the MMR does cause autism! A small point, I guess.

Continue reading "Weekly Wrap: Snickering About Shingles, Sticking It To Andy" »

Mail Online's Peter Hitchens "Some Reflections on the Measles and MMR"

PeterhitchensFollowing a measles outbreak in the UK, this post has been excerpted from Mail Online: Some Reflections on the Measles and MMR.    Peter Hitchens is an English author and foreign correspondent. You can also read a letter we ran from Dr. Wakefield earlier this week titled UK Government Culpable for Measles Outbreaks. From Mr. Hitchens:

I’m asked for my thoughts on the measles outbreak in Swansea. I’m not sure quite why, as most readers here will know my views on the MMR controversy.

Perhaps there’s some intended suggestion that I am in some way responsible for this outbreak, which is also being attributed by some to a long-ago local newspaper campaign against the MMR vaccination. The local newspaper, I should add, says that it covered the controversy fairly, which I have no reason to doubt. I was interested to hear its current editor rather aggressively and righteously questioned on the subject by a BBC presenter the other day.

Longstanding readers will know that I was myself mysteriously targeted, some years ago, by a skilful anonymous letter writer who faked a letter from a mother claiming that her child’s terrible illness was my fault. As it turned out, the woman whose identity the fraud had stolen (and whom I eventually traced) confirmed that no such thing had taken place. Nor, of course, had she written the letter sent to me with her signature faked upon it. The address from which the letter was sent was also a fake, though a very clever and carefully-planned fake which I only uncovered by going to visit it personally, a step the fraud did not think I would take.

The elaborate faking of the letter, the invention of a real-seeming address, the use of an actual name, have always seemed to me quite sinister and unpleasant. And it is things like this, rather than the science of the matter, which have continued to make me question the behaviour of those who petulantly insisted that the MMR injection was the only option for worried parents. I am still astonished that the supposedly beloved National Health Service, every inch of which is paid for by the public, treats the parents of children in this high-handed way. If it is the people’s service, a national benefit, surely its loyalty is above all to those who use it? Is the state our servant or our master?

Continue reading "Mail Online's Peter Hitchens "Some Reflections on the Measles and MMR"" »

Dachel Media Update: Grandin, Awareness, Gardasil

  Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's comments after the jump.

April 12, 2013, New York Times: Temple Grandin on Autism, Death, Celibacy and Cows

April 11, 2013, Autism expert Michelle Garcia Winner calls for greater understanding of autism in the classroom

April 11, 2013, MyFoxBoston: Autism awareness comes to Mass. statehouse

April 10, 2013, Washington Times: US court pays $6 million to Gardasil victims
April 8, 2013, The Missoulian (MT) Op Ed: It's time to move beyond the autism/vaccine debate

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Grandin, Awareness, Gardasil" »

Eleven Vaccine Myths No One Will Say to Our Face

MythsBy Carolyn Flannery

1) Because Your Child Got Autism, mine got off scott free. Hard to really feel bad about that.

Did your child really get off scott free? Then why are there so many neurodevelopmental disorders? Why is your child overweight? ADD? ADHD? Allergic?  The same toxins and mechanisms that caused autism in our children may well have caused a lower IQ in yours. Especially if he's a boy. Don't you think it's worth finding out before it's too late?  Oh--and AUTISTIC kids have a lack of empathy? ? I don't think so.

2) We have "always" had people who acted like Asperger's. We all have some relative back in the family tree who was a little quirky, right?

Yes, and as long as we've had recorded  human history with enough detail to mention disorders, even the Bible, we've had gold mining (which uses mercury to free the gold), and in the mid 1800's, mercury dental fillings. In the early 1900's through the present,  industrial pollution from steel mills through coal mining. Minamata (Japanese mercury poisoning) victims had many symptoms similar to autism. And it took their government decades to admit it, destroying many lives.

3) The kids who used to be institutionalized and called retarded are now labeled autistic.

First of all California disproved this recently. But sadly, there is another reason this is a total fallacy. Due to abortions of babies who have been detected with Down's and other disorders, the rate of mental retardation and the types of children we may have seen in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, have gone way down. This is not something widely publicized or reported. But Autism is NOT the same thing. If you don't believe me, visit a special ed classroom of severely autistic children who are sometimes writhing in pain on the floor. Compare these to any Down's syndrome child. Visit the Special Olympics ask someone to point out the mentally retarded children vs the autistic children. It is clearly different. Ask some older volunteers how many autistic kids they saw when they started Special Olympics. Also, retarded children did not regress.  Think of your grandmother with Alzheimer's. She was there, now she isn't. That's autism.  Except for the children poisoned in utero. They never had the chance.

There is an easy way to check this. Just find a preschool teacher or daycare owner who has been teaching for over 25 years and ask him or her if they remember seeing autistic children in the 70's or 80's at the rate they are seeing them now. Ask elderly people if they remember stories of children impossible to potty train and nonverbal or vastly behind developmentally at the age of 6, 7, 8. Find some elderly nuns who used to teach. Ask them if they remember classrooms with 60 children in them actually functioning. . . not ideal, but functioning, and ask if that could happen now.

Continue reading "Eleven Vaccine Myths No One Will Say to Our Face " »

Best of AofA: Blue Hurricane

Blue_Storm_by_neXarManaging Editor's Note: Ordinarily when we run a Best of AoA post there is some sort of update or editing required. Not on this post. The blue wave continues exactly as last year - no alarm, no sense of urgency - instead, celebrations, balloons, parties even!

By LJ Goes

Blue.  Everywhere blue.  Buildings downtown.  T-Shirts.  Toys-R-Us and every chain restaurant in you neighborhood. Everyone is Lighting It Up Blue for Autism.  "Care to donate for autism research?"  Your waitress with shiny blue salon manicured nails asks. "You know autism is just a terrible disease. Those poor kids.  You wanna help the kids, right?" She bats her blue mascaraed lashes. 

During this month, the powers that be ask us to simply be aware of autism.  Don't do anything.  Well, if you've got some cash to donate for "research", you can certainly fork that over, but don't ask us who it's going to or what we are going to do with it. You probably wouldn't understand it anyway.  Autism science is super complex mom and dad.  You've got your hands full with junior anyway.  Leave the science to the experts.  Just keep the faith that the money you give us is going to help the kids.  Probably not this generation, the previous, or the next even...but someday maybe someone will be helped.  Perhaps.  Possibly.

This, in a nutshell, is the Light It Up Blue Campaign.  Celebrities, fanfare.  Lots and lots of big corporate sponsors.  Parties.  All in the name of helping the children.

Let us have a metaphorical look at how the real autism community (i.e. activists and parents who know what happened to their kids) feel about LIUB.  

Imagine your life is thrust into shambles by a hurricane. Yes, you live in an area where hurricanes have happened before.  But never to you.  To other folks you know, sure. Never you though. Imagine, you've lost your home, your family, and you've spent the last two days pinned under the wreckage formerly known as your neighbor's garage, screaming for help (for many of us autism parents this is a very true word picture). Finally, under all that detritus, you hear muffled voices, people working toward you.  All is not lost.  Someone is here to help.  You are starved, dehydrated, and your body is broken in too many place to even begin taking inventory. The pain is unbearable. You cannot move or speak. 

"They really did a nice job with the swags over there."  

Continue reading "Best of AofA: Blue Hurricane" »

Dachel Media Update: Beef Candles and Abuse

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary after the jump.

April 11, 2013, Australian TV: Sarah Wilson's apparent support of the 'anti-vax' movement irresponsible, writes Caroline Marcus

April 10, 2013, Parade: How My Kids' Asperger's Diagnoses Turned Me Into an Autism Activist

April 10, 2013, New York Daily News: White Castle candles return for National Autism Awareness Month

April 10, 2013, Baltimore Sun: 'Autism is not disability'

April 10, 2013, Autistic man beaten by caregiver highlights increasing safety issues 

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Beef Candles and Abuse" »

Andrew Wakefield: British Government Culpable for Measles Outbreaks

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotUK Measles Outbreaks

Statement from Dr. Andrew Wakefield

 British Government is entirely culpable for measles outbreak

In the wake of further media distortion, misrepresentation, and ignorance in relation to the measles outbreak in Wales, it is important to clarify some key facts.

In 1998, following an analysis of all published pre-licensing studies of MMR vaccine safety I recommended the use of single measles vaccine in preference to MMR. This remains my position.

At that time, in contrast with the false assertions of many commentators, including Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet, and vaccine millionaire Paul Offit, the single vaccines were licensed in the UK and freely available to the British public.

While MMR vaccination uptake fell from February 1998, there was a reciprocal increase in the uptake of the single vaccines – a fact that is never acknowledged in the press. Vaccination clinics administered many thousands of doses of measles vaccine and children were “protected.”

Six months later, in September 1998, the British Government withdrew the importation license for the single vaccines, effectively blocking this option for parents.  

Measles cases in the UK rose when the government withdrew the importation license for the single measles vaccine leaving concerned parents with no choice.

When I demanded to know why, if the government’s principal concern was to protect children from measles, it would prevent parents with genuine safety concerns over MMR from protecting their children, Elizabeth Miller of the Health Protection Agency responded, “…if we allowed parents the choice of single measles vaccines it would destroy our MMR program.” The government’s concern appeared to be to protect the MMR program over and above the protection of children.    

MMR Vaccine is Not Safe

Despite the claim of David Salisbury, head of the UK’s Immunization Division, that MMR has, “ an exemplary safety record,” two of the three brands introduced in 1988 had to be withdrawn for safety reasons – they caused meningitis.

Continue reading "Andrew Wakefield: British Government Culpable for Measles Outbreaks" »

The Business of Baby by Jennifer Margulis from Scribner Books

Business of BabyManaging Editor's Note: We have a copy for one lucky reader. Leave a comment to enter.  

Scribner is pleased to announce the publication of award-winning journalist Jennifer Margulis’s groundbreaking book: THE BUSINESS OF BABY (Scribner, April 16, 2012). In this important work of investigative journalism Margulis provides an eye-opening look into the common misconceptions of pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of a baby’s life, revealing how the medical-industrial complex and corporate interests often take precedence over the health and welfare of mother and child. 

Margulis asks probing questions: Why, despite our state-of-the-art medical technology, does the United States have among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the industrialized world? Why do American obstetricians and nurses gives pregnant women who are planning to breastfeed free samples of infant formula? Why are American newborns vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease? And she provides- through research and interviews- the answers to these questions and many others, about everything from ultrasounds to cesareans.

Whether or not you’re a mother, Margulis’s revelations will shock you. Prenatal vitamins contain carcinogenic ingredients; foreskins from circumcised newborns are sold to the beauty and artificial skin industry; and the leading proponent of delayed potty training is a paid spokesperson for Pampers. Her impassioned critique reveals how business interests and profit margins undermine the health of pregnant women and their babies.

Through interviews with leading doctors, nurses, midwives, corporations and scientists, Margulis explores the relationship between the vast money-making business of pregnancy and early child care, and the advice-both medical and behavioral- parents are given. Margulis’s passion for her subject and her vast knowledge and experience (she is a mother of four) is evident on every page. I encourage you to pick up THE BUSINESS OF BABY, to empower yourself, and your audience, with the information parents need in order to make informed decisions about their own health and the health of their infants.

Continue reading "The Business of Baby by Jennifer Margulis from Scribner Books" »

Reaction to Autism Action: The “Unofficial Letter of Reprimand”

Rockwell_speechBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

On January 29, 2013 I appeared before the San Ramon Valley School Board as part of a delegation of teachers expressing our concern over what we considered to be practices which did not properly value teachers.  Specifically, we were concerned that even anonymous complaints against teachers were given far greater consideration than the perfectly reasonable explanations provided by teachers.

One of the teachers who felt unfairly singled out by a group of parents was a civics teacher and noted that the bedrock of our justice system is the right to confront one’s accusers, an option which he was not provided.

I provided an example which I felt clearly demonstrated the absurdity of the district’s concern in that a complaint was made against me by somebody I did not even know, whose children had never been in my class, and yet my administrator felt it was necessary to take action.

From the minutes of the January 29, 2013 San Ramon Valley School Board meeting:

“Kent Heckenlively, Gale Ranch Middle School teacher, shared that he has a vaccine-injured child.  Approximately three years ago, he wrote an article about vaccines injuring students.  Someone from outside of the district complained and his administrator said in order to protect him, she was going to put an unofficial letter of reprimand into his personnel file because of this article.  Mr. Heckenlively found this action unjust.  He is telling his story to show support for his fellow teachers.”

In the years since that incident I have been busy.  I became a representative from my school to our union, was appointed head of the Health and Safety Committee, and serve on the Executive Board of the union.  It’s been a good place to get myself known and continue my advocacy for the health of our children.

Last year the President of our School Board wrote a public letter of support after viewing “The Greater Good”, a documentary about the danger of vaccine side-effects.  Since that time other members of our union and the school board have also viewed it and provided me with their supportive comments.  There will be more showings of the film in the district.

Continue reading "Reaction to Autism Action: The “Unofficial Letter of Reprimand”" »