Dr. Paul Wang Has Turned Autism Speaks into the CDC's Lapdog
By Katie Wright
I love the movie, “Radio Days.” It’s a comedy loosely based on Woody Allen’s close-knit Jewish family living in Brooklyn in the 1940s. There is a great scene in which Woody Allen’s family, who are mildly observant Jews, are angry and offended by their Jewish neighbors, who happen to be communists, having a noisy party on the Sabbath. Woody Allen’s uncle starts yelling that their neighbor basically thumbing their nose at Judaism and that he is, “going over to make them understand they need to respect the Sabbath!”
The uncle storms out only to return like 30 minutes later with a crazed look in his eye. The family asks why the music next door is still blasting and the uncle says, “why should we be beholden to religion? We are workers who keep the means of production going! What has religion done for the proletariat?” Just under an hour and the Woody Allen’s naive uncle is completely brainwashed by his communist neighbors.
The horrendous interview with Dr. Paul Wang, Autism Speaks Medical Director, and Ronan Farrow reminded me so much of that “Radio Days” scene. Dr. Wang claimed to be “agnostic” about the vaccine issue when hired. Right, I know what you are thinking. “agnostic” seems to always = vaccines are 100% perfectly safe and how dare you ask questions! Still Wang promised that he was “open minded.” Believe me, NONE of this was my call; I am just giving you the public back-story.
Incredibly, Dr. Wang had almost no clinical experience before becoming medical director of AS! So I invited Dr. Wang to AutismOne, the NAA and the Autism Education Summit conferences. These conferences are all about ASD MEDICAL issues and treatment innovations. More importantly I thought it would be valuable for Dr. Wang to spend time with cutting edge ASD clinical experts like Dr. Rossingnol, Dr. Usman and Dr. Bock, doctors I know he has never met or whose work he has never read. Dr. Wang could also spend time with parents of severely medically affected ASD kids, you know, the kind of kids Wang is supposed to be serving. But no and no. Dr. Wang was not interested in learning more about our kids or about the latest ASD medical interventions. Oh, no! Dr. Rob Ring, AS’ Chief Science Officer of Dr Wang will not go anywhere near these conferences!
I will tell you where Dr. Wang and Dr. Ring DO hang out: at super conservative and academic conferences like genetics conferences, IMFAR and in Dr. Tom Insel’s office! At IMFAR one basically “learns” autism is all genetic, except for those trouble making oldie parents! At IMFAR one also learns that the only “treatment” is to “learn the signs and get early intervention.” Oh and if early intervention doesn’t work- tough luck for you and your kid! With Insel, Wang learns all about how parents of vaccine injured kids are just, “looking for someone to blame,” because we all know ASD is basically genetic, and so forth. You get the picture.
Wang and Ring have probably wasted 100s of Autism Speaks hours working on that ridiculous AS/ NIH autism “Biomarker” project with Dr. Insel. Their “groundbreaking” RFA calls for more research into, wait for it…see if you can guess….eye gazing ! I mean it would be so funny if it were not so sad. The hundreds of already published eye gazing studies are apparently insufficient!
Dr. Ring and Dr. Wang have completely and utterly insulated from reality and the real and immediate medical needs of our community. Ring and Wang have cordoned themselves off from the 25- 40% of ASD families whose child has regressive autism. No talking about that at IMFAR, unless it is to say that those parents “missed the signs all along!” In this process Dr. Ring and Dr. Wang have also walled themselves off from hearing anything about adverse vaccine reactions. Ring and Wang will watch no films on regression, attend no workshops on PANDAS, and learn nothing about the latest GI or about autoimmune treatment.
Such information is like kryptonite to them! Stay away!!!
Again, let me remind you that Dr. Ring comes from pharma and has zero clinical expertise. Additionally, Dr. Ring does not have a child with autism and has no consumer advocacy experience. Yet Ring believes he is in great shape to pass judgment on all of us who saw our children regress after over vaccination. In short, he and Dr. Wang have decided we are all wrong and they know better!
Dr. Wang only spouted the Dr. Ring party line in his horrendous MSNBC interview- that it is merely coincidental so many ASD kids experience a sharp regression during and after the time they receive many vaccines. Hmmmm….I love that, a “coincidence.” I suppose it would also be a “coincidence” that my hand hurt after I slammed it with a hammer? That hand was bound to hurt anyway! I suppose it is also a “coincidence,” that football players get concussions after major blows to the head? Why blame football! So unfair!
So, seriously, after Dr. Wang spends all his time with super conservative geneticists and Dr. Tom Insel and Dr. Coleen Boyle and his other “extremely forthright” pals at the CDC. What should we expect he will say? No wonder Dr. Wang sounded as if he were reading directly from the CDC website when answering Ronan Farrow’s questions about vaccine safety? I mean, truly, Wang sounded as if he were doing an CDC infomercial.
Wang obviously ignores all ASD families’ experiences with adverse vaccine reactions by quickly dismissing all their legitimate concerns. Nice work as a consumer advocate!
Instead Wang accepts CDC dogma as a religious like text! Although one of the main authors of the MMR study in question, Dr. William Thompson, insists that his data (in his study!) implicating the dangers of giving the MMR to those less than 18 months was eliminated from the study, Wang insists that Thompson and company did nothing wrong, Thompson released 2 letters to Dr. Julie Gerberding stating that CDC vaccine safety research is compromised and inaccurate. But no, Dr. Wang insists that it is Thompson who wrong because that study shows that the MMR actually prevents autism. I mean, where do you even go after that? We are just so far down the road of crazyland….
Sadly, Wang has turned Autism Speaks into little more the CDC’s lapdog.
Ring and Wang are not bad guys; they are just isolated, somewhat naïve, fairly arrogant academics. That describes like half the ASD research community. Still Autism Speaks is supposed to speak for families, and especially those too disabled by autism to speak for themselves. Wang and Ring do not even know these families, nevermind how to represent them. Instead of standing up for ASD families Wang and Ring speak up proudly for their pals Tom Insel, Marshalyn Allsop and Coleen Boyle. So who needs AS science when we already have the CDC? Maybe a merger is in order?
Katie Wright is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.
The video wouldn't play for me, but I liked the article. I don't know how anyone can deny the link between vaccines & autism--it seems obvious to me. There could possibly be a genetic predisposition which makes some children more vulnerable than others to vaccines. But this is all the more reason why a "one-size-fits-all" policy in regard to vaccination is dangerous. Each child is an individual, and not everyone's body is the same. What can harm one child may not be as harmful to other children. Also, I believe that giving a child Tylenol before or after an MMR vaccination increases the risk of autism. There was a study that showed that. I have a granddaughter, now 23 1/2, who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I don't know about her vaccination history, but I know that she was taken regularly to doctors and that she was frequently on antibiotics as a baby--beginning at birth, as she had some type of rash at birth.
There is a doctor in Burbank, California, by the name of Nancy Mullan, who treats children with autism. She has an ebook about helping your child recover from autism, on her website, which can be downloaded.
Posted by: Marie V. | February 26, 2015 at 02:23 AM
Thank you, Katie! I so look forward to your writings on AOA. You simply have a way of putting things in plain English without pulling punches.
I wish you was in charge of A.S. I believe if you was in charge A.S. this autism epidemic would be on the way of being behind us, and your son & my son would be getting real help.
Katie Wright for President.
Posted by: Jeff Ransom | November 01, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Anne, (and everybody)
Google "kiggs germany vaccinated unvaccinated" and you will find one Study has indeed been done - by a non-Vaccine Industry source. The Kiggs study of vaxed vs unvaxed is at least one Study worth looking at.
Posted by: david m burd | October 21, 2014 at 07:35 PM
Dr. Paul Wang Has Turned Autism Speaks into the CDC's Lapdog
As if it wasn't from Day 1.
Posted by: Barry | October 21, 2014 at 04:56 PM
My first-born participated in an eye gazing study when he was six months old back in 1994. Shouldn't they know everything there is to know about eye gazing by now? I thought I was furthering science by participating in such studies back then. I wish I could take back all the time they stole from me for these studies. Now when I see "studies" advertised, I look to see the PI's angle before I even consider participation. I don't want to be a part of furthering the "autism is genetic" position. If you look at the study design, you can usually guess the goal -- and it's almost always exonerate vaccines and implicate genetics.
Posted by: Betty Bona | October 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Thank you, Katie Wright. Thank you, thank you, thank you! They are garbling the truth with lies so bad!
Posted by: Denise Anderstrom Douglass | October 21, 2014 at 10:25 AM
In the end Autism Speaks is just another facade, a commercial signboard in the valley of ashes. People are maimed and injured but appearances are maintained. Some people might think that manufacturing moonshine is quite a respectable trade in comparison.
Posted by: Carraway | October 21, 2014 at 04:47 AM
Regarding Wang and Ring who I don't see as naïve...when you're involved in the scientific elites autism genome program you're unlikely to participate in events that look at the host of non genetic issues related to autism because you've bought in to the autism is genetic belief system and that is the only correct POV which means everything non genetic can be dismissed. Its like the Emperors new clothes. As long as you side with power and money and further their agenda, you'll be safe.
Its like the cool Kids in high school who act they are in the know looking down at the less popular, nerdy kids like they are beneath them. They would never sit at the same lunch table with the nerds and risk embarrassing themselves in the eyes of their peers. Instead they basically ignore them just as Wang and Ring are doing.
Also I think CDC and AS are Pharma's lap dog. Pharma is their master. Pharma controls them.
Posted by: Autismmom | October 20, 2014 at 07:24 PM
I can't believe that they are wasting more money on eye-gazing studies.
My son with ASD is now age 26. His eye-gaze is just fine. Yet he is still autistic. He has never worked a day in his life. He cannot live independently. So what makes them think that solving the eye-gazing problem is going to make a difference for anyone?
Posted by: Vicki Hill | October 20, 2014 at 07:06 PM
My take on all of this is that there is a deep divide between those who know something and those who think they know something. This starts in Kindergarten or elementary school.
There seems to be a deep lack of rigor in academic thinking. The status of science seems to be accepted without any scepticism. Much of this lack of rigor is almost inbred.
In order to actually know something these people have to do their homework. That's where it starts. They haven't actually got a clue what was in the homework. Then there is the notion that they are really required to know this, and because they haven't done their homework they simply plagiarize others' thought processes. It is the safe thing to do because they know that those people who are believed to be in the know also have not done there homework. The manufacturing of wrong news is kind of inadvertent. But it is safe as far as they are concerned. Am I getting you all sufficiently confused? I hope so because that gets me to my point.
The confusion these people are suffering from lies in a deep-seated lack of understanding of what't going on here.
The simple truth is that the majority of those people who are in the position to spout off the top of their heads are basically confused unless of course they have had too many flu shots that make them Vitamin B1 deficient (mercury toxicity makes you Vitamin B1 deficient) which in turn causes them to have Wernicke/Kosakoff syndrome. This syndrome causes confabulation. Confabulation according to Wikipedia means: "In psychology, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a memory disturbance, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confabulation.
It's unfortunate, but many of the people I talk to are affected by this, and I am not making this up.
Of course the other side would be that they are criminally responsible for causing harm to out children. Do they really mean to do that?
Posted by: Birgit Calhoun | October 20, 2014 at 06:59 PM
Karen: I am so very sorry for the lose of your son.
My son on his first ever DPT shot developed an enlarged left ventricular. We know this because a week after the DPT shot he was not feeling well and we took him in. The doc heard a heart murmur and we had a soft X ray taken.
The previous visit the doctor wrote down in my son's medical records - No heart murmur - so they do check for these things.
My sister-in-law developed acquired mythensis gravis.
Wang what a name.
Posted by: Benedetta | October 20, 2014 at 06:32 PM
"Ring and Wang are not bad guys"--I don't agree with this conclusion. The way they have acted toward parents seems unconscionable. Refusing to engage at all or learn or inform themselves in any meaningful way. Their results seem to be near zero. How can that be defended? They are the Secret Service of medicine. (They can't even keep the door of the White House locked?) Really, they have the future of scores of children in their hands. Being dumb or clueless or arrogant in my opinion is being a bad guy. Acting like this is at the minimum pathetic and arrogant but really they need to take responsibility for being a good deal worse than that.
Posted by: Lisa | October 20, 2014 at 06:17 PM
I totally agree that funding priorities for most autism research organizations are misaligned. The idea of focusing on eye tracking as a biomarker also seems questionable. What are you going to do once you figure out based on an eye tracking measure that the infant / toddler is on an autism trajectory? You can always start ABA but any serious look at autism literature shows that in most cases it is the biochemistry that is behind the neurological and behavioral dysfunction and ABA is not going to do much for biochemical dysfunction. Therefore an attempt should be made to refine biochemical markers and more importantly determine what biochemically can be done when biochemical markers indicate autism-like biochemistry.
I would like to see some research on sulfation requirements to metabolize various foods, vitamins, and chemicals that infants are exposed to. I am especially interested in vitamins. One might try low sulfur diets on animals and expose them to the vitamin drops given to human infants and see what the effect is.
Posted by: Seth Bittker | October 20, 2014 at 04:50 PM
Those who vehemently deny the possibility that the aggressive childhood immunization schedule has anything to do with the explosion in immune mediated disorders among children and adolescents either don't have children, or their children were lucky enough to escape unscathed from this tragedy. My youngest son was one of the lucky ones, my y other two were not.
Our oldest son died suddenly on January 17th, 2014. The details of his immune system dysregulation and subsequent disorders/diagnoses are too numerous and complex to mention here. In summary, he was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis (ages 12 months and 7 years), severe environmental allergies (age 7), ocular myasthenia gravis (age 17), postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS age 19), PANDAS (age 20 but likely existed most of his life), and severe enlargement of the left ventricle and septal wall of his heart (on autopsy age 21). He was found to have at different times of his life to have a low WBC count and hypogammaglobulinemia (IgG and IgM). A pediatric cardiologist who evaluated our other two children feels that it is likely his heart issue was related to his other problems (ie autoimmune). We sent blood samples pre plasma pheresis and IVIG to Moleculera labs, which came back markedly positive for anti-basal ganglia (brain) antibodies.
He saw 39 doctors (not including ER visits and 2 admissions to the hospital). He suffered chronic debilitating headaches and tremor, and ultimately self medicated as no one helped him.
My middle son (age 18 suffers from ADD (inattentive), fatigue, and asthma.
Neither myself nor my husband suffer from any of the above.
Autism is the most obvious and immediate of vaccine injuries; other chronic illnesses of immune dysregulation develop over time. My oldest son's best friend developed ITP which has been linked in large studies to the MMR, and he was subsequently diagnosed with Lupus (age 17). Wow...I wonder how many young boys of yesteryear (pre immunization escalation) ever developed Lupus severe enough to qualify them for the Make-A_Wish Program?
My niece (age 30) has suffered from a lifelong neurodevelopmental/endocrine disorder of unknown origin (normal pregnancy, normal delivery, negative chromosomal and cytogenetics studies). On my husband's side, one niece(at age 15) developed severe autoimmune hepatitis and an eating disorder. Her older sister (at age 18) was diagnosed with an eating disorder, and her younger sister (at age 17) a gut motility disorder. They were all diagnosed and treated at Johns Hopkins. In our large extended families, no one suffered from any of these conditions.
All around us, our friends' and neighbors' kids are affected by ADD, anxiety, bipolar, food allergies, asthma, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, seizure disorders, and childhood onset diabetes. They all have one thing in common; their parents are healthy! There goes the gene theory out the window. The only genetics at play is sensitivity. Some children react severely to foods or medicines such as penicillin. This doesn't mean they are defective or "something went wrong in-utero", it simply means they can't have those offending substances! Injections trigger a different immune response and thus the negative consequences will be different (autoimmunity) than orally ingested substances which trigger anaphylaxis.
My Dad and his brother both developed rheumatic fever and recovered with rest and nutrition alone. Between my brother and sister and myself, we had german measles, chicken pox, mumps,scarlet fever and influenza.Today we are all healthy non-medicated adults.
As physician/pharmacist parents, we were very trusting and did not question the science of immunization; now I live every day of my life wondering 'what if'.
Posted by: Karen Woytowitz | October 20, 2014 at 02:09 PM
The present thinking at Autism Speaks is to take the next umpteen million dollars over the next umpteen years...
swab a few cheeks of some head banging Autistic children for DNA, and use "BIG Google Data" to search the genome for the "Autism Gene"
...the Autism gene arrived in the United States in 1990, in 50 states at the same time.
(they also added 8 doses of mercury preserved vaccines to the "by age one schedule" at that time which is simply a coincidence.
Posted by: cmo | October 20, 2014 at 01:57 PM
I have no words for the disgust I feel watching this CDC infomercial. It's unfortunate that people still even listen to Autism Speaks, but some do. How many more children will be injured because of the misinformation they just spewed out there? The sad thing is people WANT to believe there is no problem with vaccines. That's so much easier than realizing we've all been lied to for so many years. It's only after the fact that there is no more denying. By then, damage has been done.
Is anyone out there doing a vaccinated vs unvaccinated study yet (in any country)? Why are we waiting for the CDC or AS? It's apparent they will NEVER do the one study that begs to be done.
Posted by: Anne | October 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM
The people that found this organization - AS- the ones that got it started with blood, sweat and tears --got it started and nursed it along -know that their grandson was injured by a vaccine.
That is Autism Speaks beginnings - their history -
The founders made the same mistake that I did 30 years ago -- that Barbara Fisher made 40 years ago -- that the government and major pharmacies just did not know vaccines were causing brain injuries.
Well they did know that vaccines (rarely) (lol sarcastically ) caused brain injuries. and then they hijacked the most known organization from the founders who held in their own loving arms a vaccine injured grandson with autism.
I am beginning to believe that there really will be nine layers of hell - reference would be that Hitler in only in layer 8 --these guys are worse then him.
Katie; Think on this a bit. They are bad men -- it is just we think some one that is civil - not yielding a gun around, or has a soft and silver tongue- and can do the tender eye look are not bad men. That is why the law separates out emtional not planned murders from those that were cold and caculated
Posted by: Benedetta | October 20, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Also, Ring and Wang do not seem to have had conspicuously successful careers hitherto - at least they do not seem to be associated with commercially successful products - so Autism Speaks is offering them some kind of professional haven.
Posted by: John Stone | October 20, 2014 at 09:05 AM
So .. from what I "learned" from listening to this paid advertizment for vaccines .. according to Dr. Wang .. the MMR actually prevents autism unless it is given AFTER 36 months .. but .. I remain confused if that means there IS a "link" between MMR and autism?
and .. who knew .. pediatricians can now spot autism way before the symtoms become apparent to their parents .. all they have to do is conduct .. what sounded like simple tests to me.
I wish Dr. Wang could tell me how many children are diagnosed autistic EVERY DAY .. by their pediatricians prior to their symptoms becoming obvious to their parents.
How do they live with themselves?
Posted by: BoB Moffitt | October 20, 2014 at 07:51 AM
All this is grief. There is, of course, no point in Autism Speaks' history where they have made more than a token acknowledgment of the vaccine issue. AS was set up with money from CDC Foundation board member Bernie Marcus ($5m a year for the first five years). Bob and Suzanne Wright hinted at an intent to research the vaccine issue on a vist to the UK in 2008 but nothing ever came of it. Ring and Wang were always what they were (pharma execs) and should never have been appointed. Already - before their appointments - AS seemed to be flirting with the possibility of screening the population as prospective candidates for pharma goods. Gerry Dawson blew hot and cold over the autism epidemic, sometimes warning of its seriousness but also regarding it as a business opportunity. Tragically, it feels like we have always been strung along.
It may very well be that Bob and Suzanne had private ambitions to take AS to places it was never going to go.
Posted by: John Stone | October 20, 2014 at 07:30 AM