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Autism's Blue Days of April

Blue fluNote: I wrote this post for HuffPo and they declined it. Writers don't often share their rejections, but it seems appropriate to mention that fact. This post was meant to educate and, I hope, move us forward. April stunk.

By Kim Stagliano

April was autism action/awareness month. It's a designation that doesn't change much of anything except that famous landmarks glow in a blue light and proclamations are made about awareness around the world. There are hot tempers and strong opinions on just about every aspect of autism from whether it's a disability or not, to schooling, to medications and treatment, to the need for special inclusion events like movies and amusement park passes.

And then there was.... "The Hate Debate."

On April 15, Megan, a degreed-lawyer-naturopath-military-wife-of-a-physician-power-yoga-instructor-mother-to-4-blogger who runs the site summed up the bullying in a post she called, "The Hate Debate."

I am sick of it - this vaccination debate. My convictions not to vaccinate have been firm for six years now and I was comfortable living a low-profile life and letting other more notable activists carry the torch; and then I started seeing misleading t.v. interviews, news stories, and backlash against parents and unvaccinated children. I saw reputable medical professionals get crucified and reputations destroyed for questioning the mainstream norm. This isn't a vaccination debate, it's a hate debate, so let's call it what it is. And when it got personal, I got involved.

She had to pull down her site for a short period, to the delight of those who were bullying her. Here are just two comments she received - along with vicious threats that arrived quite literally on her doorstep if you can image the audacity and sheer terror of that.

"Please kill yourself. Thank you for misleading people with your carefully thought out bullshit.

Kill yourself immediately if you believe anything you wrote about vaccinations. "You are selfish, ignorant, foolish and myopic. You're an unfit parent and a menance [sic] to society."

A similar hate debate took place over a Chili's Restaurant fundraising campaign to benefit The National Autism Association, an organization whose Big Red Safety Box is helping to keep people with autism safe from death by wandering and bring peace of mind to beleaguered families. A vociferous social media campaign castigating NAA by people who likely hadn't the foggiest idea about their efforts on behalf of families facing the challenges of autism lead to Chili's cancelling the fundraising effort just 24 hours before the start date.

Now everyone out there knows that social media makes people forget their manners and push the boundaries of decorum but the carnage-by-comment assault attack on autism that seems to have gripped the nation is beyond anything I've seen in my 10+ years writing.

The tone of the comments to Megan at LivingWhole and throughout the NAA campaign wasn't an abberration. And if you think that hostility rests only on the "pro-vaccine" side of the fence, you're dead wrong. It repeats itself blogs, comment threads and articles peppered throughout the month. Even Time magazine compared unvaccinated children to a dangerous loaded gun. Sorry, that's just plain vicious and irresponsible journalism designed to create an enemy. Cui bono?

Fortunately, cooler heads on both sides of the vaccination conversation are taking notice - and action. Enter Dana, an efficiency-expert-blogger-autism Mom who posted a comment on her Facebook page (see below) that caught the eye of my colleague Becky Estepp who then started an email thread between the four of us, Megan, Dana, Becky and me:

Seriously, what's with all the anti vaccine full-out assault going on in social media over the last two weeks? It's ridiculous and over-the-top. I am pro vaccine (very firmly). I did the reading and my husband and I made an informed choice to vaccinate our daughter. I believe that vaccines carry certain risks but that they are safe.

The bottom line for us was that the benefits far outweighed those risks for us. It was the right decision and I don't regret it. I do have concerns that herd immunity will soon not be enough to keep serious diseases like polio at bay and that is a concern for sure. Still, it's not enough to justify the absolute hysteria and nastiness. I am convinced that while there is cause for concern depending on your own personal circumstances, the fear and hysteria this issue is causing is way, way, way over the top.

Stop the verbal assaults. If you want to be passionate about your beliefs and concerns, fine, but stop generalizing about the "other" side. Stop verbally abusing others and their choices. Do the reading and choose what is best for you and your family. Be confident in your choice (if you are, you probably won't feel the need to be so nasty toward others that might sit on the other side of the fence).

I'd like to think Megan and Dana represent real parents who make healthcare choices for their families. They write with their heads and their hearts instead of their spleens. We need more writers on both sides of the conversation to encourage straight debate without the hate. This autism "awareness" month will go down in history as leaving many of us not just blue, but black and blue. See you in 48 weeks.

House of Cards 200 pixelsKim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her new 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.



I am in the public relations field as is a colleague of mine who has a child with autism. We have talked a lot about this and it's clear to us that this is a well-funded large-scale national PR campaign that has its tentacles everywhere. It is not coincidence that there are articles appearing at the same time in all major media outlets. It is not coincidence that editorials are popping up around the nation and folks on MSNC and elsewhere are making parents who dare to question what is put into their children's bodies as at best stupid and at worst, child abusers. Believe me when I say that if the Gates Foundation is routinely tweeting pro-vaccine messages with the hashtag #vaccineswork, clearly there is much money behind this effort. I wish a journalist would have the guts -- no, the balls -- to dig into the money going into this effort but they won't because it is all under the veil of public health. It is disgusting.


I posted this on the Lawrence Solomon article on Financial Post but it went to moderation so I'm not sure you'll get this. I read Dorit Reiss comment minimizing your comment so I though I'd respond to it to support it.

Cia, according to the CDC's National Vital Statics Report these are the measles death numbers:


Increases in reported measles cases in the U.S. can be observed by looking at the CDC’s Notifiable Diseases and Mortality Tables:[24]
-In 2007 there were 43 cases reported nationwide
-In 2008 there were 140 cases
-In 2009 there were 71 cases
-In 2010 there were 63 cases
-In 2011 there were 217 cases
-In 2012 through Feb. 18, 2012 there were 13

You should download a copy just to look up the numbers that the CDC and the pro-vaccine propagandist repeat. Like the 36,000 flu deaths a year never has happened. You'll find those numbers on the Vital Statics Report also. Last Flu season people have openly challenged the CDC's numbers and they finally admitted the numbers wee based on a computer model-not based on the real world. However, did you catch this explanation on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS--me either.

Something that's never discussed on all the pants on fire articles is what strain of measles are people contracting? I'm sure doing a DNA test on blood samples would reveal if it's a lab generated strain or wild measles. The CDC probably doesn't want that information made public but I'm sure they know.

This is what the British Medical Journal reported about a measles outbreak in 1958 of 41,000 children over the Christmas holiday:

Measles Epidemic
Measles epidemic [page 354]

Br Med J 1959;1:351.2 (Published 07 February 1959)
In the first three weeks of this year about 41,000 cases of
measles were recorded in England and Wales. This is well above the corresponding figures of the last two years – namely, about 9,000 in 1958 and 28,000 in 1957 – though it is below the highest levels reached in the last nine years. To give some idea of the main features of the disease as it appears today and of how it is best treated, we invited
some general practitioners to write short reports on the cases they haveseen in their practices recently.

These appear at p.380 (extracts from this page follow this article). It is interesting to note, first, that the distribution of the disease is rather patchy at present. It has not yet reached the areas where two of these doctors practise (in South Scotland and Cornwall), and other areas
are known to be free of the disease so far. On the other hand, in Kent it is reported to have arrived in time to put the children to bed over Christmas. These writers agree that measles is nowadays normally a mild infection, and they rarely have occasion to give prophylactic gamma globulin. As to the treatment of the disease and its complications, the emphasis naturally varies from one practice to another. Amount of bed-rest, when to administer a sulphonamide or antibiotic, the use of analgesics and linctuses – all these may still be debatable problems in the treatment of what is said to be the commonest disease in the world. But there is
probably much in the opinion which one of the writers expresses: “It is the frequent visiting by the interested clinician and not the therapy which produces the good results.”


Br Med J 1959;1:380 (Published 07 February 1959)

EXTRACTS [pages 380-381]

We are much indebted to the general practitioners whose names appear below for the following notes on the present outbreak of measles.

Dr G. I. WATSON (Peaslake, Surrey) writes:
Measles was introduced just before Christmas by a child from Petworth …….
Treatment of Attack.
– No drugs are given for either the fever or the cough; if pressed, I dispense mist. salin. B.N.F. as a placebo. Glutethimide 125 mg. may be given in the afternoon if the child is restless when the rash develops; 250 mg. in single or divided doses at bedtime ensures a good night’s sleep in spite of coughing. I encourage a warm humid atmosphere in the
room by various methods: some electric fires and most electric toasters allow an open pan of water to rest on top; an electric kettle blows off too much steam to be kept on for more than short periods. Parents,conscious of the need to darken the room and to forbid reading, may carry this to an unnecessary extreme, starting even before the rash appears. To save a mother some demands, the wireless is a boon to
children in darkened rooms. They are allowed up when the rash fades from the abdomen-usually the fourth or fifth day-and may go outside on the next fine day. Apart from fruit to eat, solid food is avoided on the day the rash is appearing; fruit drinks or soups are all they appear to want.

Complications. – So far few complications have arisen. Four cases of otitis media occurred in the first 25 children, but only one had pain. No case of pneumonia has occurred, but one child had grossly abnormal signs in the chest for a few days after the fever subsided, uninfluenced by oral penicillin. One girl had a tear-duct infection and another an undue blepharitis. Of three adult males with the disease, two have been more severely affected than any of the children.

Dr. R. E. HOPE SIMPSON (Cirencester, Glos) writes:
We make no attempt to prevent the spread of measles, and would only use gamma globulin to mitigate the severity of the disease in the case of the exposure of a susceptible adult or child who is already severely debilitated. Bed rest, for seven davs for moderate and severe cases and of five to six days in mild cases, seems to cut down the incidence of such complications as secondary bacterial otitis media and bronchopneumonia.
We have not been impressed by the prophylactic or therapeutic use of antibiotics and sulphonamides in the first week of the disease. As soon as the patient is out of bed we allow him out of doors almost regardless of the weather. Otitis Media and Bronchopneumonia.-These conditions often appear so early, sometimes even before the rash, that in such cases one can only conclude that the responsible agent is the virus
itself. Despite their initial alarming severity, they tend to resolve spontaneously, and treatment apart from first principles seems useless.
When, on the other hand, otitis media or bronchopneumonia comes on after the subsidence of the initial symptoms of measles, it is probably due to a secondary bacterial invader, and we find antibiotics or sulphonamides useful…..


Dr. JOHN FRY (Beckenham, Kent) writes:
The expected biennial epidemic of measles appeared in this region in early December, 1958, just in time to put many youngsters to bed over Christmas. To date there have been close on 150 cases in the practice,and the numbers are now steadily decreasing. Like previous epidemics,the primary cases have been chiefly in the 5- and 6-year-olds, with
secondary cases in their younger siblings. No special features have been noted in this relatively mild epidemic.
It has been mild because complications have occurred in only four children. One little girl aged 2 suffered from a lobular pneumonia, and three others developed acute otitis media following their measles. In the majority of children the whole episode has been well and truly over in a week, from the prodromal phase to the disappearance of the rash,
and many mothers have remarked ”how much good the attack has done their children,” as they seem so much better after the measles.

A family doctor’s approach to the management of measles is essentially a personal and individual matter, based on the personal experiences of the doctor and the individual character and background of the child and the family. In this practice measles is considered as a relatively mild and inevitable childhood ailment that is best encountered any time from 3 to 7 years of age. Over the past 10 years there have been few serious complications at any age, and all children have made complete recoveries. As a result of this reasoning no special attempts have been made at prevention even in young infants in whom the disease has not been found to be especially serious.

What's changed about measles in 5 decades? The Vaccine has generated mutated strain call A Typical Measles. This comes only from the vaccine. It was thought to have been created from the dead virus measles vaccine but it has shown up as a manifestation of the live virus one also. this is a more aggressive strain and it can lead to pneumonia. Remember-it came from the vaccine.

What else has changed about the measles vaccine? Pharmaceutical companies now have blanket immunity from being sued when their vaccines cause death or damages.

Top 15 Vaccines of 2012
These top-sellers could be the booster shots the industry needs.

cia parker

This worthy and courageous journalist, Lawrence Solomon, is about to be attacked for this new article, following up on another one he wrote several weeks ago, about measles. It would be great if some of you could comment there.

cia parker

I agree, the hatred toward us is incredible, poured out upon us by the truckload! It is unquestionably financed by the vaccine companies, but I think there are a lot of parents who are enjoying piling on, feeling joy in being able to hate and tear up vaccine refusers as endangering their children, all children, a real mob mentality. They may be brain damaged from their own barrage of vaccines, but still. Kim, isn't Time congenitally pro-vaccine? Newsweek was too. Many articles over the years all holding the party line. Many Time Heartland online articles too, all of them pro-vax.
I hope Laura was right, and this is just desperation, in full awareness that the war is on the verge of being lost. Surely it isn't possible that that many people actually believe that all vaccines are safe and necessary, only one in a million causes an adverse event, and all the VPDs are SO dangerous that EVERYONE must get ALL seventy doses by the age of eighteen.

False Skeptics Make Me Laugh

I think we should have more Hatepril months like we had last month...hear me out, please.

Think about it...nothing says that people are more desperate than the hate-filled spew that we've been seeing from the vaccine fanatics. Nothing shows such a lack of rationality as it does when they send such wonderful comments like, "Kill yourself." We all know how that helped the Westboro Baptist Church, don't we?

Let them continue their hate-filled, rabid injures their credibility. Respond to their hate with rationality...don't threaten them, get angry...just remain calm and rational. Then, watch them spiral into spewing bile and laugh as they descend into the horrible, vile people that they are...

Jeannette Bishop

I've never been completely comfortable politically at HuffPost and I haven't been there much lately, but it used to be a much different place, from my perspective, until it got so much readership that major corporate influences moved in to control dialog. I think that began even before the AOL acquisition, at least in comment moderation, and then the "it's a no-brainer, get vaccinated" posts seemed to come every couple of weeks after that.

Laura Hayes

Who needs HuffPo anyway? We, the loyal and grateful readers of AoA, will share your wonderful article far and wide!

Thanks, Kim, for writing about what a hateful month April was for those of us who've witnessed firsthand the terrible, and often irreversible, harm that vaccines can do. Shame on all of those who want to deny and dismiss the price our children and families have paid, as it is our stories, our voices, and our persistence that will hopefully prevent this nightmare from continuing.


Fox ran a national opinion poll recently on vaccination choice (see link below). In the states with the highest response parents overwhelmingly reponded that yes, parents have a right to choose.

The US poll results map at the top however do not reflect the poll responses as many parents complained in the comments section. Some parents from States like Colorado said they responded but the results were not reflected in the map.

So FOX, blatantly mislead. Shame on Fox media. The saving grace is the comments from the parents are great. Please click here to take the poll:

FOX Nation Poll:

"Is not Vaccinating Irresponsible or a Right Parents have?"


Linda you nailed it. well said!

 Bob Moffitt

Every hour .. of every day .. a child is born in the United States. Unfortunately, every child born in the United States most likely will not receive the same vaccines as did the children born as little as a year before them .. because childhood vaccine schedules are in a constant state of flux .. as vaccines are added .. some of obvious questionable necessity or urgency .. such as .. HEP B within hours of birth .. or .. in newly formed combinations .. allowing up to 8 vaccines during a single visit .. not because the combination vaccines are "safer" .. because they allow easier administration (convenience) for pediatricians as well as parents.

Which means .. if your children are now teenagers and you have a newborn in your family .. it is reasonable or at least well worth considering careful research to learn if your newborn will be receiving either the same number of vaccines as your teenagers .. or .. will be receiving multiple-combinations of vaccines your teenagers did not receive.

As to those who express so much "hate" towards parents who .. for the most part .. voluntarily vaccinated their children without question .. only to witness their child's serious adverse reactions .. I would recommend they read David Kirby's excellent book "Evidence of Harm" .. to learn for themselves how careless public health officials unintentionally caused extreme RISK to children .. recklessly exposing them to thimerosal, a mercury based preservative then commonly found in most childhood vaccines .. not to make the vaccines "safer" .. but .. to make them more "cost effective".

Indeed, David's book .. now almost ten years old .. remains as relevant today as when it was first written. At that time .. the CDC insisted it looked into the matter of thimerosal thoroughly and found "no evidence of harm" .. even though .. as David Kirby notes .. "no evidence of harm" ought not be considered a "definitive answer" as proof that thimerosal is "safe".

We are long past the time that public health officials finally produced EVIDENCE that thimerosal DID NO HARM TO THE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN WHO WERE RECKLESSLY EXPOSED TO IT. Where is the toxicological EVIDENCE that thimerosal is HARMLESS TO CHILDREN?

And so .. parents who have lived through the tragedy of thimerosal laced vaccines have every right to DEMAND public health officials, pediatricians and those "hating" on parents .. provide the EVIDENCE THAT VACCINES ARE AS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE AS THEY BELIEVE THEM TO BE. It is THEIR responsibility to promote legislative efforts to provide funds for a scientific, independent study of vaccinated v. unvaccinated populations .. and .. THEY have no right to "hate" anyone for demanding they do so.

It is called COMMON SENSE.


Nicely done, Kim….I used to absolutely love April.


What people have to understand is that this is not about vaccines. This is 100% about corporate exploitation and control of the global populace. Whether we're talking about vaccines, or the press, or the food supply, or any other aspect of life in 2014. This is about the loss of freedom and individuality the right to decide and forge one's own path.


The media saturation of abuse and hate was not perpetuated by pro-vaccine parents, it was an all out campaign led by the CDC & the Vaccine industry. It was to create a distraction so people will not pay attention to the 1 in 68 numbers that came out thus some may look to closely at the study that generated those numbers and realize that they're wrong: When 1 in 68 is Really 1 in 21 it’s Time to Rally. See You in D.C. :

Last months media blitz was to distract from Dr. Brian Hookers success of obtaining the data from the Danish Study which validates his point that there was a coverup and that thimerosal plays a significant role in the development of Autism. It was to distract people from connecting the dots in all the "illness" outbreaks of measles, mumps and whooping cough that have happened so far this year. Most of all it was to initiate not only hate but fear. The underlying message was we will go after anyone that rocks the boat.

To me the entire full frontal assault by the media, CDC & vaccine industry with their celebrity talking heads and some new ones stuck in there took on the feel of the Bush Administration ramp up to the Iraq War. Any dissenting voice from the political were destroyed on site (Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson). Access to the WH was blocked by any MSM that did not shout the mantra WMD's. People who question vaccines are labeled "anti-vaxx" who are looney, unreasonable, unstable and non scientific therefore worthy of the fear and hate of society whereas "Pro-vaxers" are stable and trying to protect the children of the world-they have science behind them. Junk science but science and these people will be rewarded with front page headlines in the media. Anti-vaxers, no matter what their credentials are are not to be given access or media attention (Katie Couric) because we don't want the people in this country to ask questions. Asking questions is treasonous. Either you are with us (pro-vaccine-patriotic ) or you are against us (anti-VAX-non-patriotic). WMD's are going to rain down on the US if you're against us in this war. Killer diseases are going to kill all the children of the world if you are against us (anti-vax). Only way to stop killer diseases is to have mandatory vaccine laws around the world-no exceptions. Only way to stop WMD's from raining down on this country is to stop Iraq before they get started-we must invade them.

The playbook is the same. I fully believe most if not all the hate is coming from paid operatives of this movement just like the war. I know some parents are operating out of fear but I don't believe they are this extreme. Whenever I read a comment where the person states I'd rather my child have autism as opposed to measles or polio. Somebody is being paid to say that.

Rational sane people are looking back at the month of April and are saying:"me thinks thou protest too much".

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