A Conversation About SB277: It’s Not About the Vaccines
Dachel Media Update: NYT's Frank Bruni's Exchange with Robert Kennedy Jr.

Autism Sibling: Living With Acceptable Loss


By Natalie Palumbo

I’m 21, a rising junior Motion Design major at Ringling College of Art and Design, and the younger sister to a brother with low-verbal autism.

I’m facing the future with uncertainty. Wherever I look, stories regarding SB277, which severely limits vaccine exemptions in California, are being reported. People are screaming, and now a referendum to overturn it is being sought. Things are out of control, and many families like mine feel helpless. Now it seems that despite any family history of medicine or vaccine sensitivity, doctors are being compelled to dismiss reports as a coincidence, even if parental concerns are valid.  Adding to the drama are the suspicious deaths of three doctors involved in alternative medicine, including autism researcher, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet. 

As a sibling, I watch the discourse with disbelief and dread. The attacks against parents with concerns are vile. They aim to be so cruel that parents will retreat in silence. I’ve read comments where they will accuse parents of preferring their children be dead to having autism. These same people will say that we must be “genetically inferior” and yet reject a delayed or lighter schedule for medically fragile individuals. How can you claim one and deny the other?

I hear people my age repeating the same vile discourse towards parents without once researching what lies beneath their apprehension. Many began vaccinating only to have a child suffer regression or other debilitating conditions, and are fearful for their additional children. Some have a genuine concern about a vaccine schedule that has sometimes more than tripled since they were children. It does not help to have people shout at them that “vaccines don’t cause autism” when they can’t say what does. You can’t legislate belief. If a parent witnessed a startling change following a medical procedure including high fevers, screaming, hives, swollen joints, and loss of skills, you can’t convince them that they didn’t see it.

Growing up, there were few people to help my brother because nobody knew how to define autism. Now, nobody wants to help because he’s in his 20’s and is “too severe”. From my observations, focus is always on the milder forms of autism.  The children are verbal, highly skilled, and can be “saved” so the doctors have a “success story”. My parents walked out of a neurologist’s office when my brother and I were young because he said, “Just focus on your daughter, she you can save.” They were so upset at his failure to acknowledge they had two children in need they never went back. Now the push seems to be for this mandated protocol, and risk factors are an acceptable loss. How can anyone expect parents to accept this mentality about their own children? It hurts me as a sibling to hear that mentality about my only brother.

My concern is for my future children.  I was lucky to have a doctor who was a former NIH researcher that treated my parents with respect. The current environment does not allow doctors to freely advise their patients. Some of the most vile rhetoric suggests going after any doctor willing to delay or minimize the schedule to the most communicable childhood diseases. If a doctor must fear for their livelihood, how can any honest conversation happen? Neither party feels safe. It’s exhausting to endure vile insults as a counter to genuine concern. My parents live in constant fear of what will happen to Anthony when they are gone. I make the most of every opportunity so my parents will know that Anthony will be safe in my care. These decisions will affect my life. How can I trust in those that could trivialize my brother’s suffering and my parents’ struggle?


 Natalie Palumbo is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.







My son's twin brother is just like you - they are only 10 but he feels what you feel


Oh Natalie, you are wise beyond your years. I wish I had given my son a sibling to advocate and fight for and protect him like you do for Anthony. I believe it is the siblings like you and many others who have seen the TRUTH of what has befallen your brothers and sisters that will turn this autism disaster around. You will be the future legislators and film makers and business owners and educators and therapists who make a difference in all of our lives and theirs...bless you all!


Love ya Natalie! You are an inspiration to all.

Sandi White

Baby Killers! We never had this conversation in the fast track shove this bill down the California voters forced vaccine bill. If nothing is wrong with vaccines and CDC schedules why such a rush?
Do multiple vaccines contribute the high infant mortality rate?
Does a one size fits all dosage contribute to toxic overload?
Do vaccines need to be spaced?
Do vaccine contain mercury?
The Congressional Oversight Health Committee asked these questions point blank to CDC Dr.Boyle and promised some studies that never showed up.


CA SB277 does allow "family medical history" as a reason for a medical exemption. But since autism is not admitted to be vaccine related, a family history of autism most likely would not suffice. But perhaps the specific adverse reaction of a family member could be the basis, with symptoms described. Autoimmune and allergic conditions also are not admitted to be vaccine related. Senator Pan said that any doctor's note will be accepted, and it's totally up to the doctor's professional opinion, yet at the same time he and others say something like "consistent with good medical practice" and it remains to be seen how strictly this will be defined. At any rate, an argument can be made.

120370. (a) If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a licensed physician to the effect that the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances, including, but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization, that child shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325, but excluding Section 120380) and Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 to the extent indicated by the physician’s statement.


The two beautiful photos above bring tears to my eyes. Wonderful article, and beautiful video. Thank you so much for speaking out with such eloquence.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Natalie!


My son is 29. I am his guardian, and his Rogers Monitor (for his medication) which means the state can overrule any decision I make if they believe isn't in his best interests. I don't allow him to a flu shot, he hasn't had the Hep B because when he was 15 I got an exemption, (after going around and around and around with his pediatrician who tried to frighten me into giving him the series.) I am now reminded at each Dr appt that he should have the DTaP, which I will not allow him to have. I live in fear that one day his Dr will report me to The Disabled Persons Protection Commission and he will be forced to have vaccines.
These are extremely troubling times.

Anne McElroy Dachel

This is excellent: emotional words straight from Natalie's heart.

"My concern is for my future children."

"I recovered. My brother did not."

I shared with 5,000 on my Facebook.

Thank you, Natalie

Sophie Scholl

6 doctors found dead within 2 weeks and 2 more currently missing. -

See more at: http://www.healthnutnews.com/2-more-doctors-d-o-m-d-go-missing-after-3-found-dead-in-2-weeks/#sthash.AV7daAyB.dpuf

Is Bill Gates in court in India right now ?

"The perception is that vaccine empires in the western world are crumbling, and Big Pharma is looking to consolidate its position by plugging expensive and often unnecessary drugs in poorer nations in collusion with local authorities."

Hip Hip Hooray !

Laura Hayes

Crying after watching your "Hear This Well" video, Natalie. Sharing it now.

Thank you for yet another well-written, important, and caring article. Wish you were writing for mainstream media versus the corrupt and heartless ignoramuses who continue to lie to the public, so as not to bite the filthy and immoral pharma-hands that feed them.

Angus Files

Well done Natalie selfless and full of truth.

Many thanks


for Patience

Oh but you mustn't say that! The neurodiverse are special snowflakes that can and should be allowed to speak for all persons with autism. In fact they should be promoted to direct policy! It is their inherent right to minimize and even lie about the autism realities of toiletting problems, feeding problems, wandering problems, deaths, communication problems...I guess the special snowflakes have some kind of magic wand we don't know about? A magic wand that can somehow erase the huge financial and human toll that autism is taking.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Natalie, thank you for speaking out on behalf of your brother, and for recognizing the tradition of stigmatizing parents on the basis of "hereditary taint."

Another slap in the face is the neurodiversity movement. It is appalling that these ignoramus people are conning many professional experts into denying the clear neurological signs by which a diagnosis of autism is made.

Aimee Doyle

Another sensitive, beautiful article Natalie. I always enjoy reading your posts. Your brother is lucky to have you. I particularly like the photos of your jerseys - "Palumbo" - with your brother being Number 1.

We need to prevent more vaccine injury. That's critical. But it's also very important that for those who are already vaccine-injured, we need more research. It baffles me that there is so little interest in helping adults with autism, and almost no research into effective treatment, therapies, or cures for adults. Similarly, there is very little research on helping those in the lower 2/3 of the spectrum. The only research I see being done is on drugs to decrease symptoms.

My son is 25, and since he was diagnosed at age 4, we have done pretty much every therapeutic, educational, biomedical, and alternative intervention available for autism (everything from the conventional to the far "fringe"), and although he has made progress, he is still profoundly affected.

We need more research across the spectrum and fresh ideas.

Sophie Scholl

"People are screaming, and now a referendum to overturn it is being sought. Things are out of control, "

meanwhile they found someone who "apparently" died of measles . Criminals .

John Stone

Excellent as ever, Natalie. May the truth be recognised and the criminals be brought to justice. Unfortunately, nothing will ever undo the harm they have done. The abandonment of your generation by our governments, the sacrifice to "policy", is a crime against humanity.

tony bateson

What a wonderful balanced view from a sibling close to the plight of her brother and parents. How simple common sense is her view that it is not possible to accept the claim that vaccines don't cause autism when the real cause 'is not known'.

It is wholly implausible that the cause of autism is not known since 1943 when an enormous amount of writing, research and focus has been made upon the condition. I am left with the conclusion that it is unknown because there is no funding to really look for it.

Tony Bateson, Oxford UK

Jenny Allan

Anthony is lucky to have such a caring sister Natalie.
I understand doctors and health workers in California will now be obliged to implement full vaccination schedules on siblings of children believed by parents to have been vaccine damaged.

This will result in more vaccine damage and of course, vaccine damaged siblings of vaccine damaged children, will not be able to look after their brothers and sisters, but instead will need lifelong care themselves. The hardship and expense will be enormous.

A wonderful article Natalie. Bless you both.

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.)