AofA Science Summary: A Review of Traditional and Novel Treatments for Seizures in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Findings from a Systematic Review and Expert Panel
Dachel Media Review: Top Story Mother Kills Two Children - 1 with Autism

CDC Pushes Flu Shots For Disabled: Autism Speaks Agrees

AS fluBy Teresa Conrick

CDC has a new page  freshly out on Friday the 13th.  In it, CDC tries to make the case that, “Among the most vulnerable for influenza-related conditions are children with neurologic conditions,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.”  Disability Scoop picked that up and posted it on their website:

“Despite an increased risk for complications from the flu, many children with intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and other disorders are not vaccinated to protect against the virus.” Though they call themselves, “The Premier Source for Developmental Disability News,” it does not seem that they included any other sources for this important  topic .

Another website also picked up this CDC “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR),” -- Autism Speaks:

 “Only half of children with neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions received flu shots in 2011 and 2012, according to a study published this week in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  The finding is of particular concern because these children are at high risk for flu-related complications. Among the most vulnerable are children with epilepsy, which frequently co-occurs with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).....“This is a serious issue,” says developmental pediatrician Dan Coury, medical director of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Center. “Many families think of the flu as a nuisance illness. But it can lead to more severe complications, hospitalization and even death. Because of this, we began offering flu vaccine to our patients with ASD at our center four years ago......"

There seems to be a lot of information yet we are not told some very important facts that need to be included:


Much research has shown autism to be related to mitochondrial dysfunction.  Vaccination can, for many of these vulnerable children, cause regression:

•         Redox metabolism abnormalities in autistic children associated with mitochondrial disease  

“….This study suggests that different subgroups of children with ASD have different redox abnormalities, which may arise from different sources. A better understanding of the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction in ASD and oxidative stress, along with other factors that may contribute to oxidative stress, will be critical to understanding how to guide treatment and management of ASD children. This study also suggests that it is important to identify ASD/MD children as they may respond differently to specific treatments because of their specific metabolic profile…. Several reports have documented that inflammatory processes, especially involving fever, that are triggered by illnesses or vaccines, can result in neurodevelopmental regression, including regression into ASD, in children with underlying MD,73 even if MD was not diagnosed before the illness.74 Inflammation and inflammatory mediators can inhibit mitochondrial function30, 31, 32 and increased oxidative stress associated with inflammation may cause further mitochondrial dysfunction,33, 34 potentially leading to long-term mitochondrial damage.


“Medical personnel at the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation, Department of Health and Human Services (DVIC) have reviewed the facts of this case, as presented by the petition, medical records, and affidavits. After a thorough review, DVIC has concluded that compensation is appropriate in this case.

In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder…..On Friday, February 22, HHS conceded that this child's complex partial seizure disorder was also caused by her vaccines. ….

By the way, it's worth noting that her seizures did not begin until six years after the date of vaccination, yet the government acknowledges they were, indeed, linked to the immunizations of July, 2000.”
Nowhere in any of the information regarding influenza vaccination from CDC or Autism Speaks, is there any mention of mitochondrial issues.

•         Ontology-based combinatorial comparative analysis of adverse events associated with killed and live influenza vaccines.

“Two different types of seasonal influenza vaccines have been used on the market: trivalent (killed) inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) and trivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV).

Different adverse event profiles induced by these two groups of seasonal influenza vaccines were studied based on the data drawn from the CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Report System (VAERS). Extracted from VAERS were 37,621 AE reports for four TIVs (Afluria, Fluarix, Fluvirin, and Fluzone) and 3,707 AE reports for the only LAIV (FluMist)… previously reported positive correlation between GBS and influenza vaccine immunization were based on trivalent influenza vaccines instead of monovalent influenza vaccines.”

That seems significant and important for a parent to know, considering a flu shot for a child with neurological challenges. Here’s another, acute in its presentation:

•         Post-vaccination encephalomyelitis: literature review and illustrative case.  

“Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that is usually considered a monophasic disease. ADEM forms one of several categories of primary inflammatory demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis, optic neuropathy, acute transverse myelitis, and neuromyelitis optica (Devic's disease)…… Post-vaccination ADEM has been associated with several vaccines such as rabies, diphtheria-tetanus-polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, Japanese B encephalitis, pertussis, influenza, …..”

Oddly enough, on another CDC page this information was posted.  Again, parents of vulnerable children, have a right to know:

•         “Young children who get inactivated flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) at the same time may be at increased risk for seizures caused by fever. Ask your doctor for more information. Tell your doctor if a child who is getting flu vaccine has ever had a seizure……One brand of inactivated flu vaccine, called Afluria, should not be given to children 8 years of age or younger, except in special circumstances. A related vaccine was associated with fevers and fever-related seizures in young children in Australia. “    


The vaccine mercury, Thimerosal has been shown to cause immune and autoimmune issues.  Since autism is now being seen more and more as a disorder of the immune system rather than simply a developmental disorder, there should be concern for any environmental and chemical insult to the immune system:

•         "Mercury induces mitochondrial dysfunction with reduction in adenosine triphosphate, depletion of glutathione, and increased lipid peroxidation. Increased oxidative stress and reduced oxidative defense are common." 

•         " We find that ethylmercury not only inhibits mitochondrial respiration leading to a drop in the steady state membrane potential, but also concurrent with these phenomena increases the formation of superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and Fenton/Haber-Weiss generated hydroxyl radical"

•         " In conclusion, the organic mercury compound thimerosal (EtHg) has initial immunosuppressive effects similar to those of MeHg. However, in contrast to MeHg, thimerosal treatment leads in genetically susceptible mice to a second phase with strong immunostimulation and autoimmunity, which is T-cell dependent, H-2 linked and may at least partly be due to the inorganic mercury derived from the metabolism of ethyl mercury." 

•         "The human immune response to mercury is not well characterized despite the body of evidence that suggests that Hg can modulate immune responses, including the induction of autoimmune disease in some mouse models. Dysregulation of cytokine signaling appears to play an important role in the etiology of Hg-induced autoimmunity in animal models....Low concentrations of HgCl(2) affect immune function in human cells by dysregulation of cytokine signaling pathways, with the potential to influence diverse health outcomes such as susceptibility to infectious disease or risk of autoimmunity." 

•         "Mercury is neurotoxic and increasing evidence suggests that environmental exposure to mercury may contribute to neuropathologies including Alzheimer's disease and autism spectrum disorders. Mercury is known to disrupt immunocompetence in the periphery, however, little is known about the effects of mercury on neuroimmune signaling. Mercury-induced effects on central immune function are potentially very important given that mercury exposure and neuroinflammation both are implicated in certain neuropathologies (i.e., autism). Furthermore, mounting evidence points to the involvement of glial activation in autism..."

•         " Information extracted from studies indicates that: (a) activity of low doses of Thimerosal against isolated human and animal brain cells was found in all studies and is consistent with Hg neurotoxicity; (b) the neurotoxic effect of ethylmercury has not been studied with co-occurring adjuvant-Al in TCVs; (c) animal studies have shown that exposure to Thimerosal-Hg can lead to accumulation of inorganic Hg in brain, and that (d) doses relevant to TCV exposure possess the potential to affect human neuro-development. Thimerosal at concentrations relevant for infants' exposure (in vaccines) is toxic to cultured human-brain cells and to laboratory animals."

•         "Here, we investigated whether prenatal thimerosal exposure causes persistent impairment after birth. Analysis on postnatal day 50 showed significant increase in hippocampal serotonin following thimerosal administration on embryonic day 9. Furthermore, not only serotonin, striatal dopamine was significantly increased. These results indicate that embryonic exposure to thimerosal produces lasting impairment of brain monoaminergic system, and thus every effort should be made to avoid the use of thimerosal."

•         "Low concentrations of HgCl(2) affect immune function in human cells by dysregulation of cytokine signaling pathways, with the potential to influence diverse health outcomes such as susceptibility to infectious disease or risk of autoimmunity." 

•         "The different forms of mercury differ in the type and range of immune disorders, and ethylmercury (thimerosal) and inorganic mercury are similar in that they cause systemic autoimmunity, characterized by a marked increase of IgE and systemic immune-complex deposits " 
•         "This study provides further evidence that mercury exposure may lead to autoimmune dysfunction and systemic inflammation in affected populations."  

•         "Mercury compounds may cause immunosuppression or immunostimulation, autoimmune reactions, or hypersensitivity." 

•         "Evidence is emerging that exposure to mercury (Hg) may elicit many pathological manifestations, including immunomodulation."

•          "Hg was shown to actively increase the reactivity of the immune system in rodents. This immunostimulation led to the development of immunotoxic problems such as allergeric responses and autoimmune disease."

•         "low-level, nontoxic iHg preexposure may interact with other risk factors, genetic or acquired, to promote subsequent autoimmune disease"  development.
It appears that information showing any dangers of influenza vaccination for “neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions” is absent from the CDC and also Autism Speaks.  It is unfortunate that parents can’t get honest, research-based facts so they can make an informed choice. Has promoting vaccines become more important than looking at increased risk for injury?

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.



"It is not a simple issue. My ASD son has been in the ICU twice from flu complications in the past four years. I understand the issues involved, but its a very difficult decision for some of us."

There are other, more effective ways IMO to boost his immune system--work with a MAPS doctor on this.

The biggest thing by far, IMO, though is to avoid the multi-dose thimerosal-preserved flu shots. Even "reduced-mercury" is not enough.


Here in the UK children under 5 are being offered the flu nasal spray this winter and all A/E staff will have to have the flu shot to protect the patients. There was some talk in the media that the Health Minister concerned about the low uptake in medical staff this might be compulsory otherwise they would not be permitted to work. This is despite a report by The Royal College of GP'S that this vaccine has very few benefits and is costly to administer.

Carolyn Flannery

I honestly think they are trying to harm the children injured even more so that the parents can never get out from under the difficulties enough to challenge them. When I stopped my sons shots at 18 months he began to recover. Every time I tell someone that they begin to wake up. Had I not stopped due to moms on this site and stories at dan conferences, we would be living a different life and I would not be able to educate anyone. The people recommending that the weak and harmed get further poisoned are surely going to a purgatory of gut wrenching pain, no way to communicate, and no one to believe them.


What Splat said reminded me of what my daughter said when I told her no - do not get that flu shot.

She danced off saying, but I get so really sick with the flu.

A year later; my daughter said of the flu shot - that it made her have flu like symptoms all year long - hurt her legs like the flu all year long - the most horrible thing to have happened to her.

That was also the year that we found out she had bipolar. She probably had - had it since she had Kawasakis as a child - but the mood swings were not so obvious and large untill that year. Three months later the high manias began and by 8 months later - still hurting, painful legs by the way -- she had pyschosis form the lack of sleep.

Even when she could cut imaginary bot worms out of her hand -- no pain -- the back of her legs killed her that night in the hospital.

concerned mama

Dear splat123,

So sorry that your son has had such illness. I just want to offer that there are other ways to boost the immune system than getting the flu shot, which does seem problematic for so many, and dangerous for many others.

I hope you are working with a good Immunologist, as they can recommend more than the flu shot. Many of the PANDAS/PANS kids see doctors who would work with you on avoiding vaccinations, as many of those patient's symptoms are exacerbated after vaccines.

This article kind of reminded me of that.

Best to you and your dear son.


I am very sorry about your son. Needing hospitalization in the ICU is scary. And every person needs to make the medical decisions that are right for their particular situation. I hope it all works out well for you and your son.
May I ask; did you vaccinate against the flu on the years that he ended up in the ICU?

Jen; yes, I think I read something about increased hospital admissions for asthmatic kids who were vaccinated with the flu shot; think it might have been at a presentation for doctors who deal with pediatric respiratory diseases?? It would be great if anyone had a link?

Imo half the reason we are having all the problems is the "one size fits all" medicine ( vaccinate everyone regardless of medical history or family history of immune problems, and then ignore the fall out..)
For example there are studies that show that some kids with primary immunodeficiency will react badly to live virus vaccines; and perhaps not surprisingly, autism cases are linked to families with a family history of immune problems.
We stimulate the immune systems of tiny babies (with a family history of immune problems), with varying adjunctants and the odd live virus in a total of 36 shots, before the age of 2, then can't work out why they seem to develop autism, inflammatory problems and mitochondrial dysfunction. Must be coincidental.. Of course.
Its not like we are repeatedly doing things that are designed to stimulate the immune system, over and over again, and then being surprised that it is getting damaged in susceptible people......


Dr. Joshi, Mayo Clinic Study Minneapolis looked at children (asthmatic) from 1996 through 2006 and found triple the rate of hospitalizations for flu vaccinated children.
Rae, certainly in our family, one member who had a flu shot got GB and even though they say 'you would be at just as much risk of getting GB with the actual flu', this has not happened to any family member.


I definitely saw a report from McMaster lately that said flu shots were not a priority for children under 2 (and this was backed up by hosp admission statistics. I think as Jeanette said, that there are higher hospitalizations for those who have had the flu shot children, I believe- not sure of this was children with asthma.


What the ----??????? The Cochrane Collaborative has consistently stated that there is no discernable benefit to the flu shot for pediatric and geriatric groups, nor for medical workers, nor for the patients of those medical workers. There may be a mild benefit to healthy adults (of which there are very few, these days).

How the ---- did they make the jump to suggest that there is a benefit to those with neurological complications, WHEN THEY'VE NEVER TESTED THAT GROUP? In fact, they have excluded all but the healthiest of individuals from testing.

Jeannette Bishop

A few years back they were insisting those with asthma most needed the unproven and not yet universally recommended flu shot. Then a study came out showing higher hospitalization rates in the vaccinated. The conclusion was something like "we need a more effective vaccine...," which I guess I'm supposed to understand is pharma-medical-speak for the vaccine may actually be the source of increased risk?

Then there was research that found a strong healthy user bias in receiving the flu shot with the wider gap in mortality risk in the summer narrowing during flu season and in the spring following flu shot receipt, which may not be due to flu vaccine, but responsible "healthcare" providers would want to know following such research if there is an increased mortality risk for the vaccine before pushing it, right?


Should those children with "neurologic conditions" be given a "mercury neurotoxin" flu vaccine to help prevent flu complications?

Once again, the H1N1 virus of the flu vaccine is harvested from monkey kidney cells along with whatever else the monkey my have.

Most would not think of sharing a toothbrush or silverware with a primate, but injections are modern miracles. After all it is flu season....


It is not a simple issue. My ASD son has been in the ICU twice from flu complications in the past four years. I understand the issues involved, but its a very difficult decision for some of us.

John Stone

I suggest references to Autism Speaks should henceforward be phrased "Industrial lobby group Autism Speaks" or "Pharmaceutical lobby group".

Rae N.

Am I imagining it, or does this CDC page concede that the influenza shot has given people Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

It also says that GB sufferers who probably got the condition from a flu shot "probably" should not be re-vaccinated, but if they're more afraid of flu than of GB, then it's OK.


BTW, always looking to cover themselves, the CDC commissioned study below which only models outcomes using a statistical modeling method called conditional logistic regression. The researchers never actually took blood samples from the children with autism (compared to controls) to see how their immune systems (antibodies) were reacting to each shot.

"Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism."

John Stone

Autism Speaks ought to be re-named Pharma Speaks except that we should not forget that autism is by and large the creation of industry. Anyhow AS are now locked in with a consortium (cartel?) which only stands to benefit from more damage. This was my letter to BMJ Rapid Responses last year, since when the former Pfizer director, Robert H Ring, has taken over from Geraldine Dawson as chief scientific officer:-

When Autism Becomes Good News, John Stone 5 June 2012

A particular concern is population screening projects for autism as a potential target group for newly developed psychiatric drugs.

A Time Magazine article last year [1] publicised a pilot screening project for autism, funded by US charity Autism Speaks, that had taken place in the Korean city of Goyang and apparently discovered an incidence among school children of 1 in 38. Lead author Dr Young Shin Kim was apparently not perturbed by the numbers:

“Kim stresses that the results of her study shouldn't alarm parents into thinking that autism has suddenly exploded in schools. "It doesn't mean there is an increase in new cases," she says. "We just didn't know how to find them and diagnose them. Now we know there are kids with social problems who are not being treated, and we know how to help them."”

Time reported:

“The researchers say they would expect to see similarly high rates of autism emerge in the U.S. and elsewhere if the same data collection strategy were used. "The kids picked up in Korea, many had never been recognized in medical records as having autism," says Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer for Autism Speaks. "That's what needs to be done, that kind of broad screening."”

However, the magazine did not report was that 67% of the screened-positive children seem to have pulled out before the study was completed [2]:

"For the 1,214 sampled screen-positive students, 869 parents (72%) consented to participate in the full assessment. Of these, 286 (33%) completed full assessments. Of those who completed the assessment, 201 (70%) were confirmed to have ASDs (autistic disorder, N=101; other ASDs, N=100), yielding a crude prevalence for any ASD of 0.36% (autistic disorder, 0.18%; other ASDs, 0.18%)."

What the report also did not disclose was that appointment that very same week of Robert H Ring to Autism Speaks:

"Robert H. Ring, previously a Pfizer senior director, will join Autism Speaks in Princeton, N.J., on June 1 in the newly created position of vice president of translational research. His focus will be on helping move drug experimentation from laboratories to clinical trials, "with the goal of improving outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders," according to the nonprofit organization." [3]

While still at Pfizer Ring stated:

“This is a real opportunity to really make a difference for a huge unmet need using expertise we’ve acquired over a number of years. In fact we’re working right now to build a pre-competitive consortium amongst our competitors, including Lilly, Roche, Novartis, Janssen, and trying to agree that this is an important population to be developing medicines for…” [4]

This led to an announcement of a partnership between Autism Speaks, Roche and King's College, London earlier this year [5].

[1] Alice Park, 'South Korean Study Suggests Rate of Autism May Be Underestimated'

[2] Kim YS, Leventhal BL, Koh YJ, Fombonne E, Laska E, Lim EC, Cheon KA, Kim SJ, Kim YK, Lee H, Song DH, Grinker RR., 'Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in a total population sample.' Am J Psychiatry. 2011 Sep;168(9):904-12. Epub 2011 May 9.

[3] Lee Howard, 'Past Pfizer autism unit chief to join major advocacy group
By Lee Howard' 12 May 2011,

[4] Pfizer News, 'Autism research unit at Pfizer to address autism spectrum disorders'

[5] 'Unprecedented Academic-Industry Collaboration Seeks New Drugs and Novel Treatments for Autism',

Competing interests: Autistic son

Victor Pavlovic

This is just another part of their denial on the dangers of vaccination, they are acting as if the very vaccines that devastated them are actually somehow going to help them, while at the same time trying to force everyone into vaccination, especially the vaccine injured that can't help themselves as it is, meanwhile it may also be a push to eliminate the vaccine court, since eventually all children will be required to get the flu shot after birth, meanwhile those that develop autism, or any other vaccine induced condition as a result would be dismissed as being born with it, and their would be no need for the vaccine court, or any other court.


Slightly off topic but I the autoimmune-autism link is key to countering the CDC's vaccine push. For the next congressional hearing in November, I think whomever testifes on our side needs to hammer home the fact that there is growing scientific evidence that a sensitive subset of children exists who are at serious risk of adverse reaction to vaccines based on family history.

These children are not being pre-screened for family history of auto immune, neuropsychiatric and neurological disease prior to vaccinating. I think this point needs to be a focal point of the testimony. CDC I expect will launch the same old argument about protecting against infectious disease.

Here are some supporting studies:

Large study links autism to autoimmune disease in mothers

Brain-reactive IgG correlates with autoimmunity in mothers of a child with an autism spectrum disorder

The role of immune dysfunction in the pathophysiology of autism.

Familial Clustering of Autoimmune Disorders and Evaluation of Medical Risk Factors in Autism


OH, and one more I should add - posted out side Autism Speak Meetings and along routes of Autism Speak walkathons.


By the way -- this article should be reprinted in mass numbers and pasted on telephone poles out in the parking lots of doctor's officies, drug stores, Wal Mart, hospitals, nursing homes.


Question: How are children with neurologic conditions at increased risk for "complications from the flu"? On what research is this based?


They have decided to finish off those damaged the most - so when it finally hits the fan some (50 years later) all are dead and gone and they can apologize to grave stones.


Wow--look at the staggering amount of information the new CDC page and Autism Speaks left out!!

They need to be called to account for these glaring oversights and misinformation.

beth johnson

SHAMEFUL behavior by Autism Speaks.


How do you know when a US State, local, or federal official is lying about safety and efficacy of flu shot? Easy. Their lips are moving.

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