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THAT'S ALL THERE IS FOLKS - the Government can do Nothing more about Autism

Thats_all_folksBy Anne Dachel

Age of Autism has had several stories recently about the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting on Sept 23, 2014.  I was impressed by what was said by an autism mom, Megan Davenhall, from Virginia.  She used her six minutes of comment time to try and wake committee members up to the reality of regressive autism and ask what they intend to do about it. 

"What we're here to say is absolutely nothing new, nothing that this committee hasn't heard before from multiple public commenters over the years. There's a huge subset of individuals with the label of autism who were not born with autism.  These children, young adults and adults who were born as typically developing healthy children and then regressed into autism. This is not the autism that you see in our highly functioning adults, the way that Mr. Robinson described himself.  This is not what we are talking about.  But we don't have another word; we have autism.  So we are talking about high functioning adults, people who love who they are and should celebrate who they are.  And we're talking about kids who are sick.  They are two different things, and we call it all autism. 

"This is autism is extremely different.  It's a different experience for these individuals. It's pain.  It's bowel disease.  It's mitochondrial dysfunction.  It's seizures.  It's immune deficiency.  And in many cases, it is a silent plea for help through head banging, and self-injurious behaviors and aggression.  Parents have been searching for treatment for these co-conditions for years. We pay out-of-pocket because insurance won't cover the staggering cost of healing the many physical ailments our children suffer from.  Our kids who fall into this model of autism, the ones who are healthy and become urgently ill, need to be treated with respect and like human beings who are sick. Their physical symptoms need to be addressed by medical professionals in the same ways that they would be handled in a person without autism.  Never again should a parent have to hear from a doctor or a psychiatrist that a physical problem such as diarrhea or constipation..., that it's just part of their autism.  But it still happens.  That is what parents are hearing.  When you go to the pediatrician, they hear, 'Well, kids on the spectrum, have diarrhea. They have constipation. It's part of autism.'

"I talked about my son's regression at the pediatrician's.  A regression.  A typically developing child regressed into autism and I was told, 'Well that's the very definition of autism.'  We need to rework how we're talking about these things in

pediatricians' offices across the country. And you need to be the change for that happening. 

"Parents have been telling you for years that there was some trigger that sent their healthy child into a physical and developmental tailspin.  They watched this happen to their kids.  And we're ignored.  You ignore our firsthand eyewitness accounts of damage to our children.  You hold these meetings that accomplish nothing.  And [you] give us the mike a few times a year and we tell you, 'Autism is medical.'  This version of autism that the parents come here and talk to you about.  Let me be clear on that.  Our children get better when we treat the medical problems they have. Their behaviors that land them on the spectrum in the first place, improve when they get healthier.  And you don't hear us. You give us fifteen minutes of your day and interrupt parents who travel on their own dime to come here and speak to you. If they go over their allotted three minutes, they get interrupted--as long as we end the meeting by five. 

"I want to thank Dr. Cory for recognizing the one thing I haven't heard here in all the time I've been listening, watching and coming to these meetings.  I heard the phrase, 'The parents are the experts on their children.'   I heard it from other people in the room too.  And the bottom line is, we are. We are the experts on our children.  We see what they are living with day in and day out--the medical conditions that we are trying so desperately to find the answers for.  But we receive none.  

"I hope today that you hear this well, treating the co-occurring conditions is critical, but it is absolutely not enough.  This committee needs to start getting serious about prevention.  You need to start investigating the dangers of vaccines, pesticide exposure, antibiotic overuse, chemicals that are in our food supply that we know cause neurological dysfunction. 

"We have a medical system that is run by pharmaceutical companies who don't care one bit if our kids are healthy or not.  This committee needs to start working with our government to lessen the toxic burden our children are exposed to.  We parents are watching and don't see this committee doing much of anything.

"The autism numbers continue to climb with no end in sight.  And we have been screaming into the abyss.  We've been telling you what is happening. We've given you clues to study, but you ignore us.

"Are you afraid of what you will find?  Afraid of doing the right thing until it's too late?  It's quickly becoming too late.  How many more kids will die in ponds or in pools, because they wandered off and drowned?  How many more diagnosed will it take for you act?  This epidemic and the U.S. government's inaction is creating a vocal, intelligent, passionate army of loved ones that has reached a critical mass in number and will not back down.  We'll be at every one of your meetings.  We want to hear about what you're going to do about these co-occurring conditions and we want to know what you're going to do to prevent the rise in autism.  It can't be ignored any longer.  We've been telling you these things for well over ten years and what I want to know today is, who in this room is going to be a champion for this?  Who will stand up and force the independent study looking at causation?  Or spearhead individualized effective treatment for our sick children?  If that person is in this room, now is the time to stand up.

"Thank you for your time. And on a separate note, I really would like to thank Lyn Redwood for always being a voice for the families that have been screaming this.  She asks the hard questions and she's not given up on that job. So thank you."

This seems to be the side of autism that Dr. Tom Insel would rather not bring up at IACC meetings, yet Megan obviously wants real help and answers. 

If we look at the list of federal, public and alternate members of IACC, as listed on their website,  it's filled with lots of MDs and PhDs.

This was the agenda for the Sept 23 meeting.  There were a number of well-credentialed experts talking about autism.

Very impressive.  These are the people who are supposed to be focused on doing something.  They should be very interested in what this mom is saying about THEIR WORK.  

Personally speaking, I think something is very wrong when an autism parent comes and accuses this committee of IGNORING HER AND OTHERS.  After all, this body was created by Congress to deal with her child's disorder.  Who else is she going to talk to?

I contacted Megan Davenhall and asked her about her experience at IACC. Here are her answers: 

Megan, after your heartfelt plea to the experts in the room, did anyone respond to what you said?

The response was a general discussion about all three public commenters.  John Robinson spoke first and stated again that he doesn’t believe the vaccine link to autism, but then questioned whether or not the belief that vaccine cause autism is a widely held though out the community.  He admitted that as public servants, the committee should investigate vaccines if the public truly believes that there is a connection.  Lyn Redwood followed up by explaining how she learned that vaccine induced autism is biologically plausible.  She discussed studies that were altered and had data changed to affect the outcomes to show that vaccines are not linked to a higher rate of autism.  She then suggested that the committee bring these findings of fraud to the secretary and request special council to further investigate the fraud. 

Did Dr. Insel acknowledge your remarks?  What was his response?

Dr. Insel did not directly address my remarks.  He went on to discuss what the committee could and couldn’t do and made an analogy of autism being like a fever.  That the fever could be cause by ebola or strep throat, but that it presents the same way and that we are in the ‘early stages’ of this (meaning autism) and that it is all so new, despite parents coming to the IACC for years and discussing co-occurring conditions, vaccines and treatment options. 

INSEL'S RESPONSE(This was where he said, 'We have no money.  We have no ability to fund anybody to do anything.')

What is your opinion of the attitude of IACC toward autism as an epidemic and the link to vaccines? 

I don’t think the IACC will ever investigate the vaccine/autism link.  It is far too messy for our government have this link exposed.  The vaccine program in our country continues to balloon out of control, because it is a huge money maker for the pharmaceutical industry.  There are lobbyists in DC that get paid big money to make sure that no one looks too closely at what causes autism.  I think that the IACC will continue to sit on their hands and do nothing with the information that Lyn Redwood presented to the committee at the meeting.  

While Insel sounded like he was powerless to get anything done about autism, I found this official IACC statement from April, 2014:

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is a Federal advisory committee, composed of Federal and public members, that coordinates all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Consider what that means.  Thomas Insel just threw up his arms in response to Megan Davenhall and said he can't be expected to do anything about autism and the IACC website says that HHS has assigned ALL EFFORTS regarding autism to him and his committee.. 

I can only think that Megan's trip to IACC was a waste of time.  No one was listening.  No one really cares about these children.

Anne Dachel Book CoverAnne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of  The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.



To headache girl: I have recently been wondering about concussions myself. A friend has a child who had a concussion last school year and the child now wears glasses, not to help w/vision, but to help with her dizziness/motion sickness which happens when she looks up or down or moves her eyes really fast to the side. Can a cytokine or microglial response to a head/brain injury of any type cause a lack of oxygen or secondary cellular damage in the brain due to reactive oxygen species or reactive nitrogen species? So many ways to end up with cellular damage in the brain. I wonder if there has been research testing oxygen/glucose level and/or action in the brain during the actual process of vaccination. What do doctors use to monitor oxygen levels in the body and brain? Couldn't those be hooked up to adults and their kids who choose to get vaccines, without having to worry about the false protest that it's unethical to NOT vaccinate people, so that we can see in real time if vaccines cause temporary oxygen deprivation leading to cellular damage that leads to autistic symptoms? Is fainting and headaches after HPV shots (and other shots) a form of anaphalaxis that is cutting off too much oxygen and setting off a cascade of cellular damage in the brain.

So if that kind of bad reaction is happening in the brain, for any one of multiple different reasons (cord clamping, concussions, vaccines, heavy metal poisoning, viruses, funguses, bacteria), would something like resveratrol mitigate or control cellular damage in the brain?

I've read about folks saying to take vitamin D and vitamin C to prepare for vaccines, I wonder if a strong antioxidant such as resveratrol has been studied to see if it could be helpful in preventing accidental cellular damage from vaccines. Isn't vitamin C one form of antioxidant? Maybe that's why some take vitamin C before vaccinating.

Eileen Nicole Simon

I continue to try to describe a very specific pattern of brain damage that should more than 50 years ago have been recognized as a likely cause of developmental language disorder.

Language disorder is the most serious problem for autistic children. Repetitive movements are the most visible sign that autism is a neurological disorder. Neurological disorders are identified on the basis of (1) motor disabilities, (2) aphasic language disorders, and/or (3) impaired level of consciousness.

The idea that autism is a "social disorder" is what has led a few people to claim they have autism, and that autism is the result of a neurological difference rather than neurological disability. No, "social disorder" is a euphemism for impaired level of consciousness. "Stimming" is a euphemism for repetitive (choreo-athetoid) movements. "Communication" disorder results from disrupted postnatal maturation of the language areas of the cerebral cortex, Wernicke's and/or Broca's areas.

"Islands of preserved function" are evidence that many brain areas that develop during gestation remain functioaally intact. The brain is (like a computer) a collection of interacting systems. The conscious state requires something like the backplane master chip for multiplexing signals from all brain components to maintain coherent responsiveness among all components of the brain.

Neurologists are experts at determining which sensory and/or motor systems are impaired. Neurologists (rather than psychiatrists) should be more involved in diagnosing autism, and the search for treatments. Neurologists can assess damage caused by head banging, as they can for concussions caused by sports injuries.

The Combating Autism Act and the IACC were originally intended to investigate causes for the frightening increase in severe autism that becomes evident in early childhood. Language development is the greatest concern for those of us who are parents.

Headache girl

Eileen, I was just wondering if anyone had ever done concussion testing on autistic toddlers, or on the Gardasil girls, for that matter. I happen to have gotten a concussion recently, and a few things really struck me:
1) My instinct is to bang my head to make the pain go away,
2) I can't do eye contact well, because I can't focus on ANYTHING for more than a few seconds
3) I have great difficulty focusing
4) I have problems with nausea and dizziness
5) I'm having significant problems tuning out background images (visual processing) and background noise (auditory processing)
6) My reaction time is ridiculously slow
7) I'm having sleep difficulties for the first time in my life

NONE of these have ever been issues for me.

On the other hand, I have no desire to spin or toe-walk. Then again, neither do the Gardasil girls, and aren't they suffering from what amounts to concussion symptoms plus autoimmune issues?

More support for the idea that autism is brain damage..

Jeannette Bishop

I pulled this quote from one of Anne's earlier posts on this meeting:

"We have no money. We have no ability to fund anybody to do anything. We are a bully pulpit and the best we can do is to try and inspire some of the funders around the room, the NIH, CDC, Autism Speaks, the Simons Foundation and others, Autism Science Foundation, to make appropriate investments in the issues that are in the Strategic Plan. But there is no real mandate to do that either.

"We have no recourse if someone doesn't. ...I'm not sure that the public fully understands and I can tell from some of the written comments that there is a clear misunderstanding about what our actually authority is in terms of what we can accomplish. We can have these very honest exchange of views. I think it is useful to try to align the community which is now very polarized. ....This is a multi-faceted problem with people having very different experiences."

Doesn't this mean that even if Insel was all behind pinning down environmental causes and effective remedies, using this "bully pulpit," and even made recommendation for studying the rate of autism in unvaccinated, etc., that would still not be enough to bring any such research about?

Isn't this demonstrated in Dr. DeSoto's experience?


The IACC is fulfilling this purpose: look busy, and somewhat concerned and caring, and give the appearance of public participation and input into Congress's and the White House's inaction, and hopefully keep the halls and phone lines of the White House and Congress and various "health" agencies a little less congested by families with children disabled by government recommendations and more open clear for industry lobbying.

John Stone


Yes, you are talking at the point where executive negligence becomes genocide.


Very quick action with a HEARING on the breach of security at the White House. No harm of any kind was done to anyone.

No ...HEARING as of yet... on the problems with the CDC lying to the public about their MMR vaccine data...

and re-working Thimerosal vaccine data for nearly 5 years until they found it to be harmless.

I would suppose pharma is busy paying off Congress to vote to NOT hold a hearing on this issue.


In the ancient world when a plague arrived, children would be sacrificed to stop the plague. This is what our government is trying to sell us--this outdated human sacrifice model of plague control. But obviously the children to be sacrificed had to be distracted for as long as possible before they realized they were the ones...and possibly their parents.

I see no reason to continue human sacrifice to prevent plague, but it must be a deeply engrained archetype in the human psyche because the masses buy it as long as it's someone else's child. The whole system is rigged so that everyone thinks they have escaped being the sacrificial victim: hidden ingredients like peanut oil not disclosed, faulty studies that twist the real numbers of those being sacrificed, and so on. Gatekeeper committees to oversee the dark rituals and make sure the hierarchy of slaughter is protected.

Parents have to opt out and say no to sacrificing their children, that might be the only solution. And they have to realize that these diseases are not plagues in well nourished people with sources of clean water. The big killers of the past were typhoid, typhus, bubonic plague, cholera.. not chicken pox. So, in essence there is no plague and there is no need to sacrifice anyone. Let's stop making big pharm into Mollock

Joy B

John Stone - spot on re the mountebank character....EXACTLY. The subtle transitioning in Insel's face during these hearings from wide eyed-innocent to heartless villain is perplexing to clearly define..but you did it! LOL.

Joy B

Well out of the blue this weekend my Mother In Law asked me if I thought vaccines cause autism. I "went there" with her, and let's just say there was lots of vigorous nodding on her part and we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning. She is not someone who has been keeping up w the news, or any sort of activism; simply a person who added two and two together after seeing autism, fatigue, allergies, and other various health problems in all of the young ppl around her. Not to mention the older ones(her own mother was very nearly institutionalized due to overmedication).

My job, in explaining, was much easier than I figured it'd be. In fact, in the beginning of our conversation, it was she who brought up that 'these people just didn't exist before'. When I told her that the standard response to this fact was that they were 'hidden in institutions', she was completely incredulous and FULL of scorn. I told her this is what the people in charge would have us believe.

Normal people are waking up.


Thank you! To Ms Davenhall and Ms Dachel. Great article!

Was it not Insel who unilaterally killed the hard won $3.5mm grant voted on and approved by full IACC to fund first ever study of health outcomes in fully vaccinated compared with never vaccinated cohorts? Insel's brother is a vaccine patent holder/profiteer at University of Rochester, I believe.

Credit to someone other than myself for coming up with this one: "Vaccines. The leading cause of coincidences in the world!"

BoB Moffitt

"Most discouraging is that the new IACC will include more “self advocates” who reject the idea that autism is a neurological disorder."

"Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy.."

"I can only think that Megan's trip to IACC was a waste of time. No one was listening. No one really cares about these children."

Albert Einstein once described "insanity" as "doing the same thing over and over .. expecting different results".

Continuing the years of unproductive cooperation with the IACC comes as close to Einstein's definition of insanity as I have seen in my life time.

Eileen Nicole Simon

Megan Davenhall’s presentation was a powerful statement about how parents have been rebuffed by those who claim to be the experts. Her trip to IACC was not a waste of time. I hope my trip from Boston was not a waste of time, and I am grateful for my husband’s encouragement, and he bought me a train ticket so this time I did not have to travel by bus.

Our son who just turned 52 was not injured by vaccines. He suffered head trauma and asphyxia at birth. This is another cause of developmental “delay” that has been ignored for more than 50 years. I am a PhD, and my dissertation research was on the neuropathology of oxygen insufficiency at birth. I don’t know if I have been ignored because I am a parent, or if obstetric injury is as taboo a subject as vaccination.

Most repugnant to me is the statement that we are only at the beginning of trying to understand autism. Now (and since the mid 1980s) obstetric authority mandates clamping the umbilical cord immediately after birth. Ongoing placental circulation after birth means that the fetal heart valves have not yet closed. What about patent ductus arteriosus and patent foramen ovale??? These “defects” must be repaired by surgery. And, asphyxia will occur if the cord is clamped before the first breath. Even a brief period of asphyxia will cause at least minimal injury of relay nuclei in the brainstem auditory pathway.

Most discouraging is that the new IACC will include more “self advocates” who reject the idea that autism is a neurological disorder.

John Stone

Can anyone make sense of this from Insel?

"Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy.."

How does the committee not being there in full reflect on whether it is a matter for the committee. And what if this particular meeting is not expected to decide matters of policy, should it at least not be admitting evidence for further consideration.

He is prevaricating incoherently over a logically untenable position.

John Stone

Thanks Anne for featuring Megan's morally dignified address to the benighted and abject IACC. Note the comment of Insel:

"Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy and I wish I knew more about that particular instance. I don’t. I can tell you that the 2004 PEDIATRICS paper was one of about fourteen papers in the IOM [Institute of Medicine] review and there have been another multiple papers since then that have weighed in on this all of which the IOM have said in 2011 are consistent with not finding a relationship between vaccination and autism. What the IOM doesn’t say and what nobody has said in a way that I find intelligible (?) is that there could still be the rare cases in which that could occur and what we need to think about is how one would investigate that if that were the case.”


So, why is Insel still wondering after all these years? All you would need to do is to extend the normal privileges to medical examination of someone who is unwell to the vaccine injured: you would routinely and actively monitor and investigate adverse reactions and their sequelae - instead of telling the parents to give the kid some Tylenol and stand well back (the usual strategy I think).

On top of that I note as ever that epidemiology is not a sure way of eliminating the possibility that autism can be induced by vaccines in large numbers (as Bernardine Healy pointed out you would need to research sub-groups) even if they had not cheated in the big studies (which they patently have).

I don't know what it is about Insel. He reminds me of one Groucho Marx's mountebank characters. But it isn't funny.

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