By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's comments and view the links after the jump.
Nov 18, 2013, (Australia) Special Broadcasting Service Corporation: Should there be prenatal screening for autism?
Nov 17, 2013, RenewAmerica.com: Why VAERS is a passive reporting system that the FDA loves to quote
Nov 17, 2013, Miami Herald: South Florida social entrepreneurs aim to solve society's big challenges
Nov 16, 2013, Shreveport (LA) Times: Autism 24/7: Siblings learn to cope, appreciate
Nov 16, 2013, Louisville (KT) Courier-Journal: Festival brings autistic, non-autistic children
Nov 16, 2013, Orange County Register: Thousands walk to highlight autism
Nov 16, 2013, The Arc: An Open Letter to Suzanne Wright, Co-Founder, Autism Speaks
Nov 16, 2013, Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate: Autism treatment still a mystery, psychiatrist tells EBR educators
Nov 15, 2013, Fox News: Vaccination advice from almost-Dr. Gutfeld
Nov 15, 2013, PRWeb.com: Autism Speaks and Washington Listens
Nov 15, 2013, LA Jewish Journal: What's wrong with Wright?
Nov 15, 2013, Fox News: Young man with autism still seeking higher education after appeal to Obama
Nov 11, 2013, Patch.com: Disney World, "Autism-Style"
(Australia) Special Broadcasting Service Corporation
"The internet was ablaze last week with the news that health authorities in Western Australia (WA) have given approval for IVF clinics to 'screen' embryos to reduce the chances of a couple having a child with autism."
One more red herring. What better way to instill the idea in everyone's mind that autism is a genetic disorder than to start this debate? And all you parents out there with your defective genes---you're to blame for the autism epidemic!
"I have been researching a specific vaccine since February of 2007 and I have learned so much about how the FDA, CDC and the other organizations like the ACIP like to skew the data for their own purposes. It has gotten to the point that you can no longer trust or believe in what they say. They have gotten to the point where they will intentionally underreport the adverse events of any drug or vaccine to suit the purpose of God knows who. Here are the facts in their own words. At the end I will show you the impact this underreporting has on our youth with the HPV vaccine. I will underscore the parts I feel are important for you to remember. . . . "
This is a very timely article considering the VICP hearing coming up.
"The estimates are alarming: 80 percent to 90 percent of adults with autism are unemployed. And for the D'Eri family, the reality hit home - hard. . . .
Partnering with his son Thomas, who had just finished business school, entrepreneur John D'Eri cashed out of his other companies and began researching potential entrepreneurial solutions to help his son, Andrew, who is autistic. They learned that there are types of businesses where adults with autism can thrive as employees. . . .
"'Autism is not a disability that requires sympathy; it's a diversity that be can valuable to a workforce,' said Thomas. 'If your business is structured and you have strong processes in place, people with autism can thrive. You are getting a very engaged employee that will follow your processes. They are the most enthusiastic employees you could possibly have.'"
'Autism is not a disability that requires sympathy; it's a diversity that be can valuable to a workforce.'
This might make sense if you were talking about an individual who's very high functioning and has a lot of support but that doesn't hold true for most people who have autism. For them, everyday life is a struggle. For some, there are overwhelming social challenges and for others, autism has left them nonverbal, in need of constant supervision, and in diapers as teenagers. Some children with autism have severe physical health problems like seizures, bowel disease and sleep disorders. These individuals have little hope of being "valuable to a workforce."
Autism now affects one in every 50 U.S. children, one in 31 among boys alone. Officially, there's no known cause or cure for autism. And the real problem is that the vast majority of Americans with autism are still in school. No one has ever been able to find a comparable rate among adults, especially adults with classic autism with easily recognized symptoms. The forecast is for 500,000 autistic children to be aging out of school in the next decade. Imagine what this disabled population is going to cost the taxpayers for their lifetime support and care. Maybe when the COST OF AUTISM threatens to bankrupt us we'll get serious about honestly addressing the CAUSE OF AUTISM.
Shreveport (LA) Times
"Many facets of autism pose challenges, but brothers, sisters still love, protect
"Marian has always had to pitch in to help out with her brothers, says Denise, a single mom and home health nurse.
"'I guess I've had to grow up quick because I've had to take responsibility more, but I don't think about it much,' Marian says. 'Levi (needs) more than James because James is more independent and less likely to get in trouble.'
"Levi, on the other hand, is nonverbal and unable to care for himself.
"'If I don't have the doors locked, he goes outside. I've had to chase him before,' Marian says. 'But the doors are locked 99.9 percent of the time.'
"She also watches Levi's eating habits because medication he takes gives him a virtually insatiable appetite." . . .
"Twelve-year-old Delaney Armenta has three brothers - 10, 14 and 16 - at varying degrees on the autism spectrum. But, like Marian, she doesn't feel like caring for her brothers is a burden.
"'It just feels normal for me now,' Delaney says."
This is what we've come to. Siblings left to deal with an incredible burden of care. These first two girls mentioned have a responsibility for their brothers that will be lifelong. They're talking about boys who wander away and who don't talk and who require constant care. We're being told by so many that all this autism is just a part of the human experience and we shouldn't want to change them or prevent this. Tell that to Marian and Delaney.
"The festival, held at the Lebanese American Country Club on River Road, was founded by Jasmine Booker, who has children on the autism spectrum. She said she launched it to bring families of both autistic and non-autistic children together so they can share a 'family fun-filled experience.'
"'Just because you may not be autistic or have an immediate loved-one that is, I guarantee you know somebody that is autistic,' she said."
This is the insane world in which we live. A national disaster called the autism epidemic has been spun into being an accepted part of the American dream--mostly by the media. All we need to do about autism is provide acceptance and inclusion. Autism isn't a problem, it's the desperate parents who want to know what happened to their children. We don't know and we don't care. And that's the way it's going to be.
The nightmare continues.
Orange County Register
"The old, empty runways at the former El Toro military base became walkways Saturday morning for about 9,000 advocates for autism programs and research during the 10th annual Orange County Walk Now for Autism Speaks at the Great Park.
"Families and friends of autistic people from around Southern California formed 100 teams and, according to Autism Speaks, raised approximately $258,000. Organizers said the walk is intended to underscore the challenges posed by autism.
"Autism refers to a range of cognitive ..."
I didn't have access to the complete article here, but I'm sure it's more of the same. The ordinary reader gets a definite message about autism. We only need awareness. Autism has "challenges." 9,000 people showed up to walk for a disorder that was almost unheard of 25 years ago. But no matter, everyone in the photo is smiling. Autism isn't such a bad thing after all.
"People with autism, or for that matter other developmental disabilities, are not victims of the predations of some evil actor, nor are their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Instead, we appreciate, as stated in the Developmental Disabilities Act, that 'disability is a natural part of the human experience.'
"Unfortunately, your description of children with autism and their families is polarizing and divisive, creating rifts within a community that can ill afford it in these perilous times.
Characterizing people with autism and their families as victims suffering from a dreaded affliction ignores the diversity of the community of people with autism, as well as their creativity, perseverance, adaptability, resilience, and overall beauty of their human spirit. It belittles the many who, rather than seeking to be cured, are striving for their human rights to be accepted and respected. It is far from reality for many people with autism whom I know and who are involved in our work. All are deserving of dignity and respect.
"Certainly, it is true that many individuals on the spectrum, and their families, face serious challenges on a daily basis. The current system of social insurance and social services and supports fall well short of meeting the needs of too many who are in need of assistance. To confront this reality and achieve progress on behalf of and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, the only successful path forward is one which unites, rather than divides. We all must work together."
The Arc is angry about the tone of Suzanne Wright's call for a national plan for autism. It's not nice to talk about the desperate situations many families live with. The Arc wants us to believe that autism "is a natural part of the human experience." Too bad if your experience is a horrible struggle with a very sick and disabled child.
Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate: Autism treatment still a mystery, psychiatrist tells EBR educators
"University of North Carolina psychiatrist Dr. Jarrett Barnhill has many ways to spot potential development disorders, particularly autism, in young children, but is much more tentative about suggesting ways to help them.
"'To me, the evaluation is more important than any specific program, because we don't really know what the best treatment is,' Barnhill, director of the UNC Developmental Neuropharmacology Clinic, told a Baton Rouge audience of parents and early childhood professionals on Thursday. . . .
"Barnhill said autism in particular involves the learning process gone awry. . . .
"Barnard, however, also noted that, unlike years ago, doctors no longer think such diseases are the result of bad parenting.
"Genetics is likely a big factor in development disorders such as autism. The problem is hundreds of genes are involved and can be triggered in many ways, he said.
"'There are lots of ways to be autistic,' he said."
Dr. Barnhill basically says that we know nothing for sure about autism. It's genetic with many triggers---none of which are mentioned here. IT'S ONE BIG MYSTERY---'We don't really known what the best treatment is.' How much worse can it get? Diagnosing seems to be the only thing medicine can do adequately.
This was part of a segment called: "I HATE THESE PEOPLE."
Gutfeld: "There's been an outbreak of measles, an outbreak of whooping cough in adults, mumps. Why is this happening? Because there are parents who are listening to quacks and celebrities telling them not to get their kids vaccinated. The consequence of this is that their kids are infecting other kids. And there are kids actually dying and there are adults actually getting diseases that have been eradicated for decades. So get your kids vaccinated and please, do not listen to celebrities for health advice. . . ."
Gutfeld went on to joke about being "almost a doctor" since he was the editor of Men's Health. Actually he's a poor excuse for a journalist. Everything he talked about is false. Outbreaks of disease, especially whooping cough, have been linked to loss of immunity, not unvaccinated children--even the CDC says so. By what authority does he make the blanket statement that everyone should have their kids vaccinated? And most telling of all, Gutfeld pretends that "celebrities" are the only people concerned about vaccines. Only someone extremely uninformed or extremely biased would ever make that claim because it simply isn't true.
"Parents and their children with autism, self-advocates, volunteers and leading researchers rallied together on the steps of the Capitol building, calling for the federal government to take action in support of the 1 in 88 individuals on the autism spectrum.
"In addition, members of the Autism Speaks leadership team held meetings with high ranking Congressional leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). During the meetings, three lawmakers agreed to join the Congressional Autism Caucus: Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and Reps. Tim Griffin (R-AR) and Kevin Yonder (R-KS)."
What's really going on here is a careful balancing act: How to draw attention to the critical needs of the coming adults with autism all the while pretending there's nothing wrong and nothing to worry about. (And set the stage for Autism Speaks to be put in charge of this "issue.")
Obviously, when Autism Speaks goes to Washington they do get attention---a lot more than when thousands of parents show up at a rally. I was especially interested in what Rep. Smith from New Jersey had to say:
Aging-out is merely an 'issue' and he notes that "we are not prepared for it.' WHY NOT? If autism is just a new name for a condition that's always been around, then why can't autistic young people go where autistic young people have always gone? (BTW, where exactly is that supposed to be?)
IF all the autism is really a new condition that has never been a regular part of childhood as it is today---then we need to do a lot more than reinstate the Combating Autism Act. WE HAVE
TO STOP PRETENDING NOTHING IS WRONG AND ALL WE NEED TO DO IS TO POUR MORE MONEY INTO SUPPORT FOR AUTISM.
What's really maddening about this report is that no one is really worried. We don't want to PREVENT AUTISM. We merely have to provide for those affected. (And speaking of money---there's not one word here about what the taxpayers are going to have to come up with to care for all these adults and it's never going to stop because we refuse to stop the epidemic.)
LA Jewish Journal
"What families and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities need isn't pity. We need an update of that 1963 law to ensure adequate financial assistance for families, with more job opportunities and affordable housing options for adults . Overall, we need a system that is built to help, not hinder, access to needed services and support."
Actually what everyone needs is recognition of the fact that autism is an epidemic destroying our next generation and an unsafe, unchecked vaccine program is behind it. I posted on comment.
"Billy Pagoni is refusing to give up on his hopes for a higher education.
"Diagnosed with severe autism at 18 months old, 21-year-old Billy has trouble speaking and communicating with others, making it difficult for him to integrate into a typical college environment.
"Nevertheless, Billy had always dreamed of attending college, with hopes of one day becoming a professional chef. However, according to his mother, Edith, there are currently no university programs suited to meet his special needs.
"In an attempt to fix this educational gap, Billy made a public plea to President Obama in April 2012, asking for his help to enroll in a secondary school. While his video prompted a response from the White House, the Pagonis feel the problem still hasn't been fully addressed, forcing them to seek more creative routes to further Billy's educational career.
"Now, having just completed his senior year of high school, Billy has enrolled in a special vocational program developed by a Connecticut-based company called G.R.O.W.E.R.S. Inc., where he works in a greenhouse, learning how to tend to plants and herbs."
This story was on Fox News. It's a sad situation of a young man with autism who'd like to become a professional chef. He tried to get Obama's attention, but of course the White House doesn't see autism as a problem. Obama will be out of office before autism bankrupts us. What really bothered me here are two comments that Fox News allowed:
"What happens if she takes him to an auto repair facility? Will he want to build cars then?"
"Give him a paper hat and a plastic spatula and put him to work at the local McDonald's. I'll bet that it would take no more than three or four years to teach him how to flip a burger."
I flagged both comments and am waiting to see if Fox takes them down. This is how some people see a person with autism.
"It's dawn, and I can already hear my ten-year-old son with severe autism's "eeee" reverberate throughout the house, so I hustle faster to quell his enthusiasm just a bit so my six-year-old son with mild autism can get a bit more sleep. I haven't rested well myself and am already anxious, as this is a day of many "firsts" for the McCafferty clan. Within the next twenty-four hours my eldest son will take his first plane ride, sleep in a bed other than his own (which he has done only three times in the last seven years), and will hopefully be able to break out of his daily routine enough to learn to like Disney World."
This is a story that evokes a lot of emotion. We all know the difficulties involved when doing something new when a child has autism. The story is about getting faster access to rides for special needs individual---namely kids with autism. There's been abuse of the system, but autism parents still want their kids to enjoy the rides too. This is another example of the world having to accommodate autism while pretending nothing's wrong. We all better learn to do a lot to make everything accessible for people with autism---it's now a big part of how people are.