Dachel Media Update: Adult Tasered
Dachel Media Update: Phew

Chicago Tribune Continues Campaign Against Autism Treatment

Support anjuBy Kim Stagliano

The Chicago Tribune has been no friend to the autism community.  And their article about Dr. Anju Usman is no exception - see below. They have consistently dredged up stories that denigrate, belittle and cast aspersions upon all manner of autism treatments.  They have attacked families (from this I know) and the professionals who devote their careers to helping children on the spectrum.  Here is a list of several articles about The Trib that we've written over the years. 

Tribune Watchdog Or Tribune Skunk? Part 1

Tribune Watchdog Or Tribune Skunk? Part 2

The Chicago Tribune and Autism Treatment Community: Thrice Bitten, Twice Shy

Autism Recovery Revisited: Tell the Chicago Tribune They Are Wrong

An Autism Mom's Video Response to the Chicago Tribune Story

Autism Father to Chicago Tribune: "Cancel My Subscription."

On Media: The Chicago Tribune Fails Children with Autism

Chicago Tribune Trumpets Another Anti-Treatment Autism Lawsuit. Why?

Cherry Picking Science: Chicago Tribune's Shotgun Journalism Strikes with Another Shoddy Hit Piece

Chicago is the home of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A union for physicians who used to be the guardians of pediatric sick and well care management.  Peds have become vaccine retailers and gatekeepers to see myriad specialists kids now need thanks to chronic illness, like allergists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, ENTs and psychiatrists.  And let's not forget their great skill in sending our kids to Early Intervention.  Our Editor-At-Large Mark Blaxill wrote in Support Your Pediatrician, Condemn Their Union:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the union of American pediatricians. Their job is to defend the commercial interests and reputations of their constituents regardless of what the larger social interest might be. One activity of the AAP is to lobby the Federal Government to spend more money to help pediatricians to make more money.

Even when they make the case for things like expanded health insurance coverage for children, they’re also making the case for their members. Along the way, they make sure they make a case for things like: “Providing appropriate physician payment within Medicaid and SCHIP to ensure children receive access to care.”

The AAP also has a journal named Pediatrics, a publication that they claim is “intended to encompass the needs of the whole child in his physiologic, mental, emotional, and social structure.” In practice, the journal serves the agenda of the practicing pediatrician, often publishing shoddy science if it furthers the policy interests of the Academy. The stunning failure of Pediatrics to face the facts regarding the autism crisis is one of the sad byproducts of a tragic situation in which so few medical leaders have found a moral compass to guide their choices.

If you want to cut to the chase and find the commercial life blood of the pediatric profession you don’t need to look much further than the pages of the AAP’s web-site where the childhood immunization program is featured under nearly every tab. You can’t underestimate the importance of the childhood immunization program to the business of the practicing pediatrician. The reason goes right to the heart of the economic tension between customers and suppliers in our upside down health care system.

In 2010, The Trib ran this article, Bad Medicine, about my family and the fact that we were using Dr. Boyd Haley's OSR - accusiGianna's shoesng me of sprinkling toxic waste onto my children's breakfast.  It was a twisted display of vitriole - and the former cupcake food beat turned science beat writer did her best to disparage me. And Dr. Haley.  My daughter did so well on OSR that she started speaking and learned to tie her shoes.  I even have a photo from the first day she tied her own sneakers - thanks to increased fine motor skills as a result of OSR.

The Tribune ran this article about Dr. Anju Usman, a physician in Chicago who has devoted her life and put her career on the line to treat sick children - who happen to have autism.  We support Dr. Usman's work. And we thank her for her service to pediatric health and wellness.

Naperville Doctor Disciplined in Controversial Autism Case

A Naperville doctor nationally known for offering alternative autism treatments has agreed to have her Illinois medical license placed on probation for at least a year after state regulators accused her of subjecting two children to unwarranted, dangerous therapies.

Dr. Anjum Usman, whose treatment of a Chicago boy was featured in the Tribune's 2009 "Dubious Medicine" investigation, will continue to practice but will take extra medical education classes and will submit 10 of her patients' medical charts quarterly to Dr. Robert Charles Dumont, an integrative medicine physician who will assess them.

The Tribune investigation found that many alternative treatments for autism are unproven and risky, and are based on scientific research that is flawed, preliminary or misconstrued. The treatments, the Tribune found, amount to uncontrolled experimentation on vulnerable children. Some of these therapies were at the heart of the disciplinary case state medical authorities filed against Usman.

. . . In prescribing chelation, a hormone modulator and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Usman subjected the Chicago boy to unproven treatments and demonstrated "extreme departure from rational medical judgment," state medical regulators originally had charged. . . .

If you've watched any news channel recently, you've probably seen the ads by law firms  about lawsuits for Risperidone - tradename Risperdal. This is a prescription drug and one of the only arrows in the AAP autism quiver. It's a common "go to" Rx for behaviors in autism. And it sucks as a drug, frankly. It causes breast engorgement and lactation in males. Read that again. Slowly. LAC-TA-TION-IN-MALES.  Here is a recent statement on Risperdone by APP "celeb doc" Dr. Vincent Ianelli:

Still, it is reassuring to know that using Risperdal has been found to be safe and effective by the FDA to treat irritability and behavior problems associated with autism, including...:

Of course the BRA SHOPPING can be awkward. 

As we enter a new year, 2015, I can only pray young parents find orgs like TACA and GR and NAA and others to help them make real gains for their children.  And that newspapers like The Trib will follow my 92 year old father's favorite poem, and "shall fold their tents like the Arabs, and as silently steal away." The day is NOT DONE for our children.  Sorry Tribune.

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.


Cherry Sperlin Misra

Here is what is particularly despicable about this type of claim by mainstream medicine ---- After 50 years they will still be saying" risky and unproven" , because they are not interested in finding any good treatment for autism. Cancer treatment is much the same. Your doctor has no alternative to his harmful chemo and radiation and when you ask him about alternatives, he says "The problem is that I have no data on those " Sounds great, but there is a catch- Forty years later he will be telling his patients the same thing. Mainstream medicine will not look for the data and perchance someone else takes a look, they will be smeared, mocked and hounded like Drs. Usman and Wakefield .


In the US it is punishable crime to treat and perhaps recover an autistic child, because it takes away profits of pharma-medical mafias, who plan to poison autistic persons with toxic psychotropic drugs for whole life.


A psychiatrist put my son on Risperdal and took him off Abilify
which he had been using for years. As a result, my son went bonkers, extreme behavior challenges like putting a hole in the wall, screaming and out of control and being a threat to himself and others. We fought this horrible drug to the end and have finally replaced what was lost because when u take off a medicine then it takes awhile to get the person back to usual behaviors. It is one year later and we finally have him almost back to normal behavior-wise. People with autism don't always take to a medicine like a duck in the water. Everyone is different is the lesson that I have again learned.


Nearly a billion dollars has been spent searching for the "Autism gene."

Can those critical of Dr Usman find ...ONE AUTISTIC CHILD... that has been helped by Autism gene research ???

I would think not.

This endless waste will continue while those actually trying to help children are trashed.


This is sad. Dr Usman is brilliant and truly cares about healing our kids by looking at and treating the underlying causes of symptoms of autism. I applaud her courage and her out of the box thinking that is helping to pull so many children from the grips of autism. Why don't you write an article on how alternative therapies are helping children with autism, which is now an epidemic. Please do not attack brilliant doctors who are trying to help our kids heal and have a better life.


In prescribing chelation, a hormone modulator and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Usman subjected the Chicago boy to unproven treatments and demonstrated "extreme departure from rational medical judgment," state medical regulators originally had charged. . . .


Are these the same medical regulators who endorse mercury laced flu shots for babies and pregnant mothers???

If this website really is "The Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism epidemic", shouldn't someone from the paper be finding out who these regulators are, and asking them to explain their abject hypocrisy?


At the very least, she will be in better hands with Dumont. He does homeopathy and is a lot more natural minded. My friends have used him before.....the only GI I would go to. So sad for Dr. Usman. She has been through so much!


As they have been wrong before... it would be nice if the AMA would state how much money they accepted from big tobacco over 60-70 years.

The cigarette preferred by doctors

With a few new decades of "tobacco science" the vaccine industry and the AAP are well on their way with trashing two generations of children with no end in sight.


It is another NEW YEAR approaching. And not much has changed in the last decade. More children become disabled thanks to the successful vaccination policy by the AAP and the like. New doctors are being hunted by the CDC, AAP, NIH, etc. Finding those doctors who are willing to help our children becomes harder and harder. Dr. Usman is one of the smartest and most courageous doctors this country has known. And yet, so many, including media, are willing to close her practice and cut the only help for many severely disabled children. None of these "experts" and "investigative reporters" are offering any "alternatives" and don't really care about our children. None of them (or even "AAP experts on autism") spent a single day with a non-verbal child with regressive autism. Just reporting on that would do more good for our children than all their efforts of pounding doctors who actually care.


People are sick of Pharma and the trashy mainstream articles like the Chicago Tribune put out. As Kim pointed out, the home of the AAP makes the newspaper especially rabid to discredit anything that points to environmental causation for autism. Great article, Kim. I think a list of all their trashy, biased articles would have been good. It keeps the pressure on.

Lila White

If and when Patricia Callahan has a child regress into autism she will suddenly discover the rare and valuable gift a doctor like Dr. Usman is.

Karen Seraphine

Dr. Usman has been a godsend for my son. He is healthier and happier because of her. He, and every child that Dr. Usman and others like her help, is an absolute threat to Pharma and everyone in Pharma's pocket (government, media...). If our kids can heal, if they can recover, then there must be a medical explanation for autism - an actual cause (or causes) other than genetics. I'll give you three guesses what those causes are, and who is behind them.
I'm thrilled that Dr. Usman can continue her life-saving work. She is a hero.


Lisa, it's not that the papers have climbed into bed with the powers that be. They are literally OWNED by the powers that be--Merck and Glaxo. They have no choice in the matter. The former CEO of Reuters, Thomas Glocer, was on the board of Merck. The Murdochs are on the board of Glaxo and own their own vaccine testing facility.

"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

As Hitler's "Reichsminister For Propaganda And Enlightenment," Goebbels was given complete control over radio, press, cinema, and theatre.

Sara DiFucci

The Tribune has no regard for the Journalists' Code of Ethics. Patricia Callahan interviewed me in 2009 for a story on biomedical treatments and autism. She said the story she was doing was to look at the science behind alternative treatments used for autism. She said upfront that the science is very critical of various treatments many parents are using for their children. Her bias was clear right from the start. She would make statements without being open to further discussion as though her opinions were fact. She said things like "the process of chelation, the actual pull of the metals is very painful for a child to go through" and expressed that lab testing through certain companies were not valid/accurate. Unfortunately, any story on this subject from Trish or Trine will always be a slam against our children's healing. We new this before the first word on the subject was ever put in print. F.Y.I. Trine Tsouderos quickly removed her Tweets after I emailed Trish below.

From: Sara DiFucci
Sent: Thu 9/24/2009 9:28 PM
To: Callahan, Patricia
Cc: Papajohn, George W.
Subject: Autism Story

Hi Trish:

I recently emailed Amanda's former special ed. teacher to ask if you had been in touch with her, however, she says that no one from the Tribune has contacted her. When we spoke in August, you asked for her information which I gave you to confirm the huge amount of growth Amanda had while using biomedical interventions.

I'm really uncomfortable participating in your story at this point. From things I have heard in the community, I understand that the Tribune plans to leash an attack on the biomedical autism community and that your stories will be far from balanced. Based on things I've read on Trine's Twitter, I am very concerned that a bias is already formed. While I appreciate your promise to quote check with me before the story runs, I'm concerned that Amanda's story will presented in a negative light.




This seems to be one of the reasons why the circulation of newspapers is falling. They have climbed in bed with the powers that be and refuse to do any impartial reporting a good portion of the time. Even the most cursory study of our medical system will find it overflowing with conflicts of interest. To take the word of these institutions or trade associations at face value is ridiculous. Crack reporting? Oh come on!

Jeannette Bishop

I think this is an interesting google search

"doctors strike mortality declines"

for an indication of the overall benefit of cartel-like policing of healthcare.

I'm appalled at the tactics used against doctors like Anju Usman, but with the internet age hopefully informing us, I'm not certain that having a record of disciplinary action by what appears to me to be allopathic monopoly maintenance boards and particularly major corporate-funded media attacks on oneself will not be generally seen as an indication of skill and superior performance by the majority.

Teresa Conrick

There is a despicable irony in the poor (nil?) research of Callahan..."unproven treatments and demonstrated "extreme departure from rational medical judgment..."

Yet the absence of true dangers, like Risperdal, from Callahan is horrendous. How about this for rational medical judgement?

Atypical Antipsychotics and Pituitary Tumors:
A Pharmacovigilance Study

"The higher the adjusted reporting ratio, or EBGM value,
the greater the strength of the association between a drug and an adverse
event. Risperidone had the highest adjusted reporting ratios for
hyperprolactinemia (EBGM 34.9, 90% confidence interval [CI]
32.8–37.1]), galactorrhea (EBGM 19.9, 90% CI 18.6–21.4), and pituitary
tumor (EBGM 18.7, 90% CI 14.9–23.3) among the seven antipsychotics,
and one of the highest scores for all drugs in the AERS database. Some
tumors were associated with visual field defects, hemorrhage, convulsions,
surgery, and severe (> 10-fold) prolactin elevations.:"

and this:

"Increasing S100B concentrations indicate tumor progression. [11] There is evidence that S100 protein in pituitary cells can stimulate prolactin releases [11a]"


Thank you, Kim for defending Dr. Usman and the treatments that are truly helping so many diagnosed with autism. We are so fortunate to have her in our lives.

Louis Conte

This was a witch hunt - pure and simple - against a doctor who had the audacity to treat people with autism.

And treating autism is heresy to the people who run the Cult of Vaccinology who have authority over the AAP.

Every child with autism who improves or recovers is a threat to these people.

John Gilmore

The Tribune and Usman's enemies set out to destroy her. They clearly where going after her medical license in an attempt to wakefield her. They failed. This is a slap on the wrist. Obviously, they could not substantiate the charges made against her. Usman still has her license. And she still will be practicing medicine in Chicago. While I am sure this has been a nightmare for Dr. Usman it appears that the penalty imposed is more of a face saving device to cover the failure of a politically motivated prosecution than anything else.

John Gilmore

As a proud union member I was dismayed to see the American Academy of Pediatrics identified as a "union". The AAP is in no way a union. Unions bargain collectively with employers for their members. The AAP does not bargain collectively. The AAP is a trade association with many aspects of a cartel that seeks to limit the practice of medicine in the US primarily for the benefit of the management of the AAP. It is an insult to unions and the labor movement, as well as factually inaccurate, to sully their reputation by association with the AAP.

Bob Moffitt

"The Tribune investigation found that many alternative treatments for autism are unproven and risky,...."

It is very comforting to hear the Tribune apparently has a "crack team of investigators" who are working so hard to uncover the potential risks of "alternative treatments for autism".

Unfortunately, I don't remember reading of the Tribune's crack investigation regarding recent whistleblower from CDC who publicly admitted participating in "covering up" significant evidence that black children who receive MMR prior to a certain age are at a significantly higher risk of being diagnosed autistic?

Or ..

Trib's investigation of mysterious failure of double protected "fail safe" security systems meant to protect precious "brain specimens" at Harvard University?

Or ..

Trib's investigation of federal indictment of Poul Thorsen for corruption as well as those "un-named co-conspirators" within the CDC?

Or ..

Trib's investigation that found "pig viruses" in childhood vaccines are "safe" ..

As we all know .. I could go on and on about investigations the Tribune SHOULD have conducted to make certain their medical and drug advertisers are providing treatments and products that are in the best interests of protecting their reader's health ... rather than protecting the bottom line profits of the Trib and her most precious advertisers.

As I see it .. I would have more faith in those "private investigators" that OJ Simpson hired to find the "real killers" of his wife .. than I have in a Trib investigation actually uncovering ANY "unproven and risky" treatments approved and recommended by Trib advertisers.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)