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Dachel Media Review: Caregiver Crisis, More Useless Studies

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.

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Mar 10, 2014, Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader: South Dakota panel OKs study of autism's effect on children

Mar 10, 2014, Nashua (NH) Telegraph: Anti-vaccine belief is sometimes made worse (yes, worse) by pro-vaccine information 

Mar 9, 2014, Disney, Treatment for Children With Autism

Mar 9, 2014, Rockford (IL) Register Star: Caregiving in America: Heading toward a crisis

Mar 8, 2014, Pittsburgh TribLIVE: Experts: Anti-vaccine view a peril

Mar 8, 2014, Detroit 'Light it Up Blue:' Wood Creek Elementary takes the lead in drawing attention to autism

Mar 8, 2014, Missing autistic woman found dead in West Phila

Mar 8, 2014, Autism Daily Newscast: Vaccination poll a draw with Autism Daily Newscast readers

Mar 8, 2014, Buffalo (NY) News: A window of opportunity to halt autism?

Mar 7, 2014, Fox 13, Salt Lake City: Utah Autism Coalition official discusses proposed legislation

Mar 7, 2014, Younger Siblings of Kids With Autism May Show Early Signs of Problems

Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader
A South Dakota legislative panel has passed a bill to study the effect of Autism Spectrum Disorder on children in the state.

The House State Affairs Committee voted 12-1 to support the measure. It goes next to the House floor.
They should look into this. look.  Maybe if they find out autism is a real live disability that seriously affects children they'll make insurance companies pay for therapy in  South Dakota. 
Nashua (NH) Telegraph

by David Brooks

It is my firm belief that a free press is good for society, but if you show me sold data indicating otherwise I will re-examine this belief.

I might resist your data - after all, I am human - but I wouldn't accept it as being true and yet cling even more fiercely to an opposing belief. That would be crazy, right?

Yet that's exactly what happened with some parents in a research project designed to test reactions to messages to increase vaccination rates.

Here's how it is put by in the research paper describing the work, published in the March 3 edition of the journal Pediatrics: "Corrective information reduced misperceptions ... but nonetheless decreased intent to vaccinate among parents who had the least favorable attitudes toward vaccines."

Let me rephrase that mind-boggling sentence: Some parents who had avoided the common MMR vaccine for their children out of fear the shots might cause autism learned that the fear is groundless, but then became more (yes, more!) determined to avoid vaccination.

This writer is really angry that parents just don't get it. I posted comments----which he calls "Internet babble."

Disney has become a treatment for children with autism, as Ron Suskind, journalist for The New York Times and Animated Language Learning an Irish company show. One of Suskind's children, Owen, started showing signs of this disease when he was three years old and could only communicate by means of Disney movies, which he watched repeatedly even after he grew up. At the same time, Enda Dodd, the founder of Animated Language Learning developed a technology that educates children with autism with the help of Disney and Pixar movies.

Ron Suskind learned that one of his sons, Owen was diagnosed with a regressive form of the disease which affects the brain's development and, since then on, the child's only contact with the outer world was made through the means of his favorite Disney characters. However, Suskind is not the only one to believe that Disney is a treatment for children with autism; Dodd's two sons are both autistic, . . .

Neither Suskind, not Dodd know why children with autism react to Disney movies, but this unconventional treatment works not only when parents wish to communicate with their children, but also when learning how to label emotions.

I hope Disney movies help kids with autism. I guess it's just more of the mystery surrounding this curious condition.

Rockford (IL) Register Star
For parents of the growing number of children with autism, "overwhelming" is the most common word used to describe caregiving. But that's about all that is common across the autism spectrum. Jennifer Berzok, of Bethesda, Md., whose 9-year-old son, Ben, received an autism diagnosis at age 2 1/2, was told by a doctor, "When you meet one kid with autism, you meet one kid with autism." Unlike cancer or other diseases that have a prescribed treatment backed by science, caregivers for kids with autism face a bewildering menu of expensive therapies that may or may not be effective for their child's issues. Autism spectrum disorder may have some common behaviors - difficulty with social interactions and language deficits - but there's no one-size-fits-all standard of care.
"Given that autistic children often have sleep disorders, parents are exhausted," said Julie Fisher, executive director of the New York Center for Autism Charter School (NYCA) in East Harlem. But, she said, the "culture of the 'super parent' makes it hard for them to ask for help."
Shaniqua Gregg said she feels lucky to have "won the lottery" that allows her son Joshua, 14, to attend NYCA. But it's still difficult at home. "Each year becomes harder because his hormones are raging, he's unable to express himself and he's 5-8 and more aggressive," she says. "We don't have a lot of down time or a moment to regroup or get away from it."
Gregg works in the admissions office of a skilled-nursing facility near her home. When she interviewed for the job, she explained that she and her husband were raising a teenager with autism and a toddler. "At first, my boss seemed to have compassion, but she says when she needs to adjust her schedule slightly to meet her son's needs, "they make me feel as though I have to choose between caring for my child and taking care of my job."
Notice that in a story about caring for the disabled, autism is big part of the focus. That chilling phrase, "for parents of the growing number of children with autism," is further conditioning that more kids have autism--that's just the way it is. The writer doesn't bother to explain it. We're not reassured that it's merely due to greater recognition. No one wonders why there isn't a growing number adults with an autism diagnosis. (Better diagnosing isn't something doctors who treat adults are doing, evidently.) And there's no mention of the rate. "Heading toward a crisis." Maybe when autistic young adults descend on social services big time in this country, AUTISM WILL FINALLY BE RECOGNIZED AS AN OFFICIAL CRISIS. We'll see.
Pittsburgh TribLIVE 

Health experts say there is no proof of a connection between vaccines and autism.

There is proof, however, that vaccines prevent death, said Dr. Willem van Panhuis, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

In the past 50 years, vaccinations have prevented an estimated 35 million cases of measles, he said.
"Despite massive improvements in fighting infectious diseases, we see people who are reluctant to continue with vaccinations," van Panhuis said. "Health agencies do everything they can to inform and promote the usefulness of vaccinations, (but) the reluctance is amplified, especially through the Internet, by mobilized resistance."

I'm tired of infectious disease specialists saying that vaccines save lives as they shut their eyes to all the damage everywhere.
"Dr. Willem van Panhuis, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health."
I posted 8 comments.

If you want to support and shine a light on autism awareness, blue is the color you should embrace in April - Autism Awareness Month.

"I will have blue light bulbs in every classroom," said Jessica Wood, a special education teacher of autistic students at Wood Creek Elementary in Farmington Hills.

On April 2, the whole world will take on a blue hue for Light it Up Blue, a movement started by Autism Speaks, an organization that promotes autism awareness around the world. On that day, even the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building will be brightened with blue lights.

They're starting early with the message that autism is acceptable and all we need is more AWARENESS. How could autism be a bad thing when they're lighting up the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building in blue? Isn't this what we do to celebrate something?

Same as every April: Support autism, it's here to stay.
A 29-year-old woman with autism who disappeared Thursday during a visit to the Macy's store in Center City was found dead Friday morning between two parked cars in West Philadelphia, police said.
The cause of Christina Sankey's death is under investigation
This is so heartbreaking. My big fear is that we'll get so used to stories about autistic individuals wandering away and ending up dead that we'll won't even notice..."Oh, that happens with autism."
Autism Daily Newscast

Most recently we reported on the CDC's disclosure that Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative has been used in the Mumps measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

It should be pointed out the MMR vaccine is a live virus vaccine and has never contained something as deadly as the mercury-based vaccine preservative, thimerosal.
Buffalo (NY) News

Every time I write about autism and its causes, I get a bunch of emails. Some are from the "anti-vaccination" lobby, still touting the scientifically disproved idea that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) or pertussis vaccines cause autism. It does not - despite the intimidating interest groups and websites dedicated to this quackery.

But a fascinating study in the journal Nature offers some insight as to when autism might start, and with that perhaps what we can do to take action to prevent it.

A window of opportunity to halt autism? Paster has been in the news in the past, slamming parents and pretending autism is just a curiosity. I posted comments.

Fox 13, Salt Lake City

Video: Christine Passey, Utah Autism Coalition: "Families across Utah have gone into bankruptcy, they've mortgaged their homes, and many have gone without therapy. It's a really hopeless feeling as a parent, to know there is a therapy out there for your child but you cannot provide it . . . The cost of the therapy is $40,000 to $50,000 a year, if you're providing it yourself. You can imagine that most families just can't pull that money together out of pocket."

It's incredible that a disorder that affects one in every 47 children in Utah has gotten so little attention from lawmakers. Do insurance companies refuse to provide care for children who are blind and deaf in Utah? Why is there such discrimination if the unfortunate child has a diagnosis of autism?

We're talking about children who often can't speak and who require constant care. Many have concomitant health problems like seizures and bowel disease.

In the face of this, parents are left on their own to deal with an often devastating condition.
Lawmakers in Utah need to realize that when we talk about autism, we're talking about CHILDREN with autism. No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults--especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are easily recognized. If money isn't spent on these disabled children NOW, the taxpayers of Utah will be paying for lifetime care cost when they're adults.

Younger siblings of children with autism may show signs of abnormal development or behavior as early as 1 year of age, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that parents and doctors should keep close watch for such symptoms at an early age among younger siblings of children with autism so problems can be addressed sooner, the researchers said.


It seems the only thing autism research can do look for affected children and  diagnose it early. A once rare disorder is now so common that it affects one in  every 88 children or one in every 50 children, depending on which official  statistic you care to believe and still---IT REMAINS A COMPLETE MYSTERY TO  EXPERTS. U.S. health officials have barely noticed autism and it's never even  been called a crisis by anyone at the Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention.

The disorder that officially has no known cause or cure  continues to strike children for no apparent reason. There's nothing a  mainstream doctor can tell a new mother so that her child that was born healthy  and is developing normally won't also suddenly lose learned skills and regress
into autism by age two. Parents are tired of hearing about new ways of diagnosing a  disorder no one is able to prevent.

Lee Silsby logo 09 The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.  Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is one of the largest and most respected compounding pharmacies in the country. They use only the finest quality chemicals and equipment to prepare our patients’ compounded medications and nutritional supplements. Customizing medication and nutritional supplements for our customers allows them to achieve their unique health goals.


John Stone


Unfortunately, Emma can quite rival this lady in silliness:


Good lord, ELEVEN separate comments in the Autism Daily Newscast article offering hard proof that the MMR never contained thimerosal, and requesting that Shân Ellis correct the article.

And yet both Ms. Ellis and her editor insist that there's no mistake.

I thought, "hm, maybe they know something I don't know." So I reread the article, and when I got to this part:
"Most recently we reported on the CDC’s disclosure that Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative has been used in the Mumps measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine,"
I clicked on the link embedded in the words "CDC's disclosure." (You can see it on the original Autism Daily Newscast page here:

I expected to be taken to a CDC page, or at least a news site telling us of "The CDC's disclosure that Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative has been used in the Mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine." (Even that sentence, by the way, is missing a hyphen, a comma, and capital letters for "Measles" and "Rubella.")

But instead, the link takes us to ANOTHER Autism Daily Newscast page, also posted by Shân Ellis, on February 26, 2014: There is no mention anywhere in that page of the MMR containing thimerosal.

In this page, Ms. Ellis refers to Emily Willingham as "Dr. Emma Willingham." "Another interesting piece written by Dr Emma Willingham..."

I wonder why she thinks it's worth a read if she can't even get the author's name correct? That post has been up for nearly 2 weeks, and she STILL hasn't corrected the name. I assume that Emily Willingham didn't bother to correct Ms. Ellis because she doesn't want to be associated with such obvious stupidity.

It's bad enough that someone with a science degree could make such an obvious error about the MMR. But to refuse to accept that you've made a mistake? And for Roberta Hill, the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, to voluntarily step in and deny any error, likewise displaying absolutely zero understanding of the issue?

With 2 glaring examples of extremely sloppy journalism from Ms.Ellis, and 1 from Ms. Hill, I'm left wondering what other serious errors are on that site.

Jenny Allan

Taximom5 - I find it hard to believe that ANYONE can post internet comments 24/7 and hold down a responsible desk based job at the same time. It's not just Dorit Reiss getting 'sloppy'; a cursory analysis of the equally ubiquitous Lilady's posts throws up lots of inconsistencies, particularly about what 'she' claims about her personal circumstances. Internet articles are plainly 'covered' by teams of shills, all reading from a pre ordained script. It's hardly surprising that some of them get a bit too 'creative' when confronted with issues not covered by their 'scripts'.

Brian Deer's BMJ article, 'How the vaccine crisis was meant to make money', 11-01-11, was so potentially litigious, it was virtually ignored by the UK press. Even in the US, where Dr Wakefied was 'crucified' on CNN following Deer's first BMJ article, 'How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed', 5-01-11, references to the two other Deer BMJ articles in the trilogy, were circumspect. This did not stop Deer, during his own US lecture tours, from accusing Wakefield and his colleagues of being 'F***ing greedy', for apparently defrauding the British Legal Aid system (a jailable offence), and developing a rival vaccine to MMR, to make money. This stuff was and is all highly defamatory on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and we should all question why Deer's often profane and defamatory excesses have not only been protected by officialdom but allowed to continue unchecked.

The TRUTH is simple and easily verifiable. Dr Wakefied developed an ameliorating therapy called 'Transfer Factor'. This is not a measles vaccine, but was designed to treat children, who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons, for the effects of measles virus. It was NEVER intended to 'rival' any measles or other vaccine. The patent for Transfer Factor was and still is held by the Royal Free Hospital. Any profits made from the marketing of Transfer Factor would have gone to the hospital, NOT Dr Wakefield or any of his colleagues.

In the UK, a single measles vaccine was introduced into the child vaccination schedule in 1968. This was replaced by the MMR vaccine in 1988, but single vaccines for measles and rubella were still available on the NHS for several years after the introduction of MMR vaccine. It is still possible to obtain these two single vaccines privately in the UK.


In that Autism Daily Newscast article, the writer and editor keep insisting that there is thimerosal in the MMR, even though multiple commenters have pointed out the error. Ridiculous!

The editor says, "We report news fairly, accurately and where we have made a mistake we print apologies. This is not a mistake."

The writer says, "Dear Anne, thank you for your comment. We at Autism Daily Newscast report on news. The exert taken from our most recent vaccine poll is perfectly correct. Thimerosal is a mercury based preservative used in MMR vaccines. Vaccines contain live strains of measles, mumps and rubella in minute amounts (microlitres) as to introduce the pathogen to the pathogen recognition pathway. Whilst we accept that human error occur, this is not an error. Please clarify your concern, as a news site, we do not take either side of the debate, if indeed there is a debate to be had."

Lol, reads like a parody.


I see Dorit Reiss is on the Trib Live site, shilling away....but I think she's getting sloppy. She is claiming that Andrew Wakefield was trying to patent his "single measles vaccine" (his injectable treatment for persistent measles infection, which did not live up to expectations and which was discarded) when there was no single measles vaccine available, WHICH IS NOT TRUE. The single measles, mumps, and rubella shots weren't withdrawn from the market until years later.

She must be getting desperate. Small wonder. People aren't listening to her any more.

Roger Kulp

Jeannette Bishop

This is just my impression from the Dartmouth study abstract, but it's funny (not really) how a study showing that current inadequate and selective "information explaining the lack of evidence that MMR causes autism from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" about one vaccine and one vaccine concern and diseases-are-scary techniques currently in use actually increase resolve to not vaccinate and this is being twisted by the media to suggest that "anti-vaccine" parents are irrational. How rational is it to continue the propaganda that "backfired" in this study?

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