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California Pediatrician Sonia Khan Shows Stunning Lack of Empathy for Autism Wandering Deaths

Dr. Sonia KhanBy Kim Stagliano

Yesterday we ran a post about the sheer tragedy of three, one - two - three - children with autism who wandered and drowned. Such posts usually evoke instantaneous, "My God, that is horrible, I feel for the family!" from readers. "There but for the grace of God..."  You know, normal responses to tragedy. 

Sometimes we get comments from people who may or may not be on the spectrum themselves trying to put miles between the drowning and the autism: "NT kids drown too."  We try to take those comments from whence they come.

But.... sometimes someone who is in a position of authority says something God awful stupid and callous to us and well, we just have to share it with you readers.  Meet Dr. Sonia Khan.

Sonia Khan
Dr. Sonia Khan, "@Sapienist"

Dr. Sonia Khan is a pediatrician in California - ah yes, home of SB277 - and her Twitter handle is @Sapienist.   I know I'm just a dumb autism Mommy and writer and such, but having taken Latin for several years, and paid attention in science class (clean up on the troll aisle, yes, I was an A student in science) I know that sapienist is a play on the Latin word for wise or knowledgeable.  Our species is homo sapiens sapiens, although we might need to reconsider that classification if a "doctor" can be so un-sapiens.  (That 8th grade science report on Linnaeus is really paying off! Thank you, Mr. Raila!)

Her response to our post about three dead children who had autism?

"YR we responsible 4 ppl not watching their kids?"

If this doc has a bedside manner, it's next to a bed of nails.  Even her Twitter profile photograph says, "I look down on you from a position of power."

She missed the point of my post entirely, which was that the public health and pharmatrician community claims to be all about the health, safety and well being of "the herd" when it comes to vaccination mandates, but in reality, it appears that some don't give a fig about actual children.  Dr. Khan illustrates our point perfectly.

Well played, Dr. Khan.  But hardly wise.


9:30pmSonia Khan Twitter 2 EDT - Seems Dr. Khan had a light caseload today as she continued to respond to Age of Autism.   She tweets: " those kids got loose."  Wow. Are they zoo animals?

This pediatrician seems to know exactly nothing about autism and wandering. Again she has missed that this is NOT about vaccination - it's about the facade of care to push an agenda. About how quickly a child can dart off, even bolt from an autism school (Avonte Oquendo's death was a national news story).  About how even the most vigilant family member can not have eyes on arms length 24/7/365 realistically.  I know parents who sleep with hotel locks on their doors.  A bed in front of the front door. Alarms on windows and doors. Fences. Gates. Bolts. And still, their children have managed to elope.  There is a CDC ICD-9 wandering code for autism. 

According to the National Autism Association, the leader in wandering prevention, Only 14% [of families] had received guidance from their pediatrician or another physician.

I believe that.

6:30am - She's back in the Twitter saddle riding that high horse and beating it to death.

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. She is co-author of 101 Tips for Parents of Girls with Autism.

Sonia khan defamation threadUpdate 7/28: A pugilistic, "Bring it!" And a threat to sue.   AofA is a "fake advocacy site?"  Seems pretty real to me!



Maybe "Doctor" Kahn is sampling too many of the free samples the pharma detailers are dropping off at her practice?

One has to wonder about any doctor who has so much time on her or his hands to be spending so much time on social media. I mean: They're "important, God-like people" right? So why so much time available on social media. Crazy indeed.

Anne McElroy Dachel

What really scares me about her attitude is the fact that the whole medical community has no interest in autism. Endless children who are nonverbal and unable to function are a curiosity, not a crisis. Doctors prefer to blame autism on bad genes and bad behavior on the part of parents.

There is no outpouring of support for parents dealing with these children. Studies STILL call for better early intervention and adult services. No one is sounding an alarm over autism.

So what will happen when hundreds of thousands of autistic children become dependent adults? Will they merely be seen as an unwanted burden? With attitudes like those expressed by Dr. Khan, they will.

Dook's Dad

Next up for Dr. Kahn, poaching lions.

Grace Green

It might seem like a small point, but should someone who identifies herself as a paediatrician be using the expression WTF? She should be struck off for that alone. Surely people will not wish to take their children ASD or NT, to such a person, any more than they appear to be queuing up for dentistry from a man who takes pleasure in shooting lions with a crossbow!

Anita Donnelly on another rant

Isn't it "fake emotional guilting" to pretend that those who cannot or choose not to vaccinate are putting others at risk? When it's actually the other way around???

Noted verbal abuse expert Patricia Evans has said that generally the most nasty things an abuser says to you are actually what is literally true about themselves and the opposite of what is true about those they attack . I have found this to be the case withe these trolls as well. Some of them are apparently sadists they just enjoy tormenting parents of special needs children. They probably don't even care about 'herd immunity' whatsoever. Something is truly missing in their heart. . . they have HATE-ISM. They have found an easy target, one that it is popular to attack. For once, they fit in somewhere. The price is easy, just pile on. They get to feel part of this hate group. But they don't know they are being manipulated by others who are doing this for corporate goals. This is because, apparently, they can't actually read or think or research for themselves. Hence, they call US anti-science.

Our children are loving. And our community is simply trying to heal the children, heal our families, heal our lives, and stop the continual infliction of tragic damage. People like this woman are broken probably beyond repair. So they label their brokenness and project it on to us. I honestly never knew there were people out there who would attack a parent for the worst imaginable tragedies until I saw these trolls popping up all over the internet. Hatred is contagious but so is love. Our love is creating a powerful force, and it's going to beat back these bullying tweets and troller comments like Dorothy's water shrinking the wicked witch. (OKAY, i TRIED to be loving but . . . the thought of the trolls vicious words melting into nothing as they get beaten back by the truth was just too delicious!


All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."


As the world makes it's way to stage three of this truth…. should be really be surprised that paediatricians are clinging so desperately to stage one ?


The last time I saw someone looking down at me like Dr. Khan, it was a horror movie villain dropping shovels-full of dirt.

Mary Southon

She's telling YOU not be judgmental about people you haven't met when that is exactly what she is doing to you and parents of children who wander. What a hypocrite.


"If this doc has a bedside manner, it's next to a bed of nails." Nailed it! (no pun intended)

Angus Files

California land of dreams now Calipharmication shame on all who allow a land of dreams to become what it is now,a vipers nest for Pharma trolls like Khan..



Scarecrow, that video showing a frightened, vulnerable girl (exposed buttocks) seems very inappropriate. It is definitely not funny and it's disturbing that a professional would not know this.


She has the colossal nerve to tweet: "YR we responsible 4 ppl not watching their kids?" "We" meaning pediatricians. I can only speak for my own family and situation, but as the mother of an extremely attractive young man who is 17 years old, my fears of elopment should be about ACTUAL elopement - as in him running off with a girlfriend to get married, or on some wild, pre-college road trip with a bunch of rowdy school buddies. But BECAUSE OF VACCINE INJURY, CAUSED BY PEDIATRICIANS, we have to worry about him running into the street, or into a lake or river, or any number of highly dangerous situations because the brain injury he sustained from the vaccines he was given has caused him to not understand danger appropriately. We watch him. Always. How DARE she criticize, preach, judge or say one FRIGGIN' WORD of disdain towards parents like us. She is an obscene disgrace, and should be barred from ever working in any field that involves being around children.


Correction to what I just said about Kahn not being allowed near children OR people - not that children aren't people, LOL

Jeannette Bishop

California, one state where pediatricians are SOOOOO bad (with a few exceptions) they have to get legislators to mandate that parents seek their "advice" and then move further to mandate that parents take their "advice." And funny thing, there is a lot of money backing that legislation. Where does the money to promote forced vaccination come from? Not from the actual effects of vaccination, surely?

go Rand

As before... we need a special AAP page off the AoA site where doctors can sign up to take the "Six-month well baby visit Challenge."

The page would have a tab for all 50 states / where a pediatrician could sign up to take all the six month shots with the mercury flu vaccine adjusted for their body weight.

There would also be a counter to tabulate the number of site visits made by parents in each state looking for their doctors name...

The doctor could also provide the total percentage of their office revenues generated by the "liability free" vaccine program.


Her Tweets should be sent with a formal complaint to her professional board. This woman should not have a license to practice medicine. She should not be allowed near children, or people.


"YR we responsible 4 ppl not watching their kids?"

And when patient's with Alzheimer's wander away, are their relatives responsible.

This Doctor has no clue about real life with people who face challenges of any kind, obviously.


Dr. Sonia Khan,
I am just a dumb educational assistant who has worked in the behavioural therapy area and I'm pretty sure you have a raging case of NPD (Narcisdistic Personality Disorder). You show zero understanding or empathy of what the real challenges of parenting a severely autistic child are. Really, therefore, you shouldn't even be commenting on it so stridently. I feel sorry for your children; your handle should be @Satanist.


In Kahn's photo she looks like a more crazed version of Kathy Bates looking down on James Caan in "Misery". Remember how she smiled adoringly and menacingly down at him as she lifted up sledgehammer to break his legs?


ignorant bitch


"Are we responsible for watching peoples' kids"?

Indeed Kim, with autism it's always about blaming the family, and often the mom. Take for instance the disgusting and racist responses when news broke on social media that Omarion Humphrey was found drowned. Omarion wandered away from his foster parents in a park, yet it was all about blaming the 'ghetto mom' who bred like a rabbit and was losing her kids to foster care. One site, demonstrating the most 'compassionate' journalism, even reported how she had a drug conviction.

Never mind that the majority of autistic kids that have recently turned up drowned are black boys and many from 'good families' -- sorry Hillary, but black lives do not matter! Never mind that Thompson reported how the CDC covered up the link showing how black boy were at a greater risk at developing autism after MMR. Never mind that other studies show that black kids are more likely to suffer from regressive autism, and their autism is usually more severe. Never mind all these things, but it is the 'deadbeat' mom to be blamed.


Kim, right on target, as always.

Linda1 nailed it, too: "Showing" empathy is what a sociopath would attempt to do. Feeling empathy would be the experience of a normal person.
Sociopath: so·ci·o·path
a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

Is this the same Sonia Khan who uploaded this video ( of a frightened teenage girl receiving a vaccine in her buttocks, clearly against her will, titling it "haha funny injection?"

Yeah, really funny.

Let's see: posting a video of a teenage girl's exposed buttocks without permission (isn't this kind of exposure taboo in Middle Eastern culture even WITH permission?), laughing at a child in fear....a DOCTOR would do this? Sure sounds like a sociopath to me.

Her Twitter photo, with her face looming over us (yes, from a deliberate position of power) with that cold expression and blank eyes is chilling.

David Taylor

Sonia Khan is one of the more infamous pharmatricians on Twitter. Her profile pic until last month was a close up of an angry cat, its mouth open wide, fangs glistening, ready to strike. Her current profile pic, taken from the perspective of a helpless infant who sees a dark and unsmiling presence looming over them, is perhaps even more creepy.

She blocked me after I asked this question: "How do you handle children who become injured by a vaccine in your practice?" She said she found the question "offensive" and I was blocked.

Like many who carry the vaccination flag ("Vaccinate or Die"?), she seems to have a serious personality disorder.

Rate This Doctor

Please rate this doctor so parents can run for the hills. Her thinking is sick.

Louis Conte

Here's how I'm going to deal with SB 277 and the wrath of Khan: I've decided that I'm not buying any products from California.

Keep your computer chips, your fruits and your vegetables until such as time as you stop letting the nuts run the place.


Reading this I am feeling so many emotions: anger, disgust, sadness and I am dumbfounded as to how someone who has such a "callous disregard" for children is actually a pediatrician. I'm a firm believer in what goes around... may she get the wake up call she so desperately needs.

Rate This Doctor

I think this doctor has a sick mind. I also think that future patients should know about her.


I've noticed the press generally omits the fact a child who drowns has autism. The little boy who drowned up in Lake Erie-my local paper didn't say he had autism. I'm sure it was just an AP story they picked up. I was talking with a girl who lives up near Akron. She had no idea Sidney was autistic.

5 years ago a 7 year old with autism was attending a local summer program at our MRDD school. They were under staffed. Did not really know him. Tragically he escaped from the group wandered in to the school pool and drowned. Article in the newspaper never mentioned autism.

The autism is significant. What a disservice to those who are vulnerable to wandering. And what a total jerk of a human being this doctor is. I feel very sorry for her patients especially the ones with autism.
This should be a well known well publized fact. Instead we are criticized for being too "negative".

Wade Rankin

Dr. Khan is so worried about the herd that she doesn't understand that every herd is made up of individuals. She is an utter disgrace, not just to her profession but to her species.


I'm coining a new word assatrician....


Dr. Khan's Twitter presence is certainly acerbic and pugilistic. A simple, "Of course I feel for the families" would have taken up fewer than 140 characters and humanized her. She chose her tone and words. I chose to share them.



Thanks Kim for putting Dr. Khan in her place. The good doctor should be ashamed of herself. What a disgrace. She has no humanity and whoever uses her as a pediatrician should run far, far away.


Oh come on you know very well we parents are not allowed to go pee, let alone change a tampon less we lose a kid. We can't cook a stellar gfcfsf meal that our very hungry child needs because it's our job to keep an eye on them. So what if your little Harry Houdini can out run a jack rabbit, on grave barefooted and without clothes on in the middle of winter, it's all our fault if we don't keep an eye on them good least we know they will not get measles. Dear God and this woman works with children and parents??? You and I both know she is an idiot but sadly one in a position to damage and misguide. Just wow. Take her to task nobody can like you can.

How It Is

A long time ago we were in a foreign land seeking help and were weekending with some friends, one of whom was a psychoanalyst by profession with his own theories. We were on a beach and our friend sceptical of our anxiety about our four-year old's safety insisted that we relax and let him run about on his own. Our friend said "Don't do anything and just see what happens". This was the reason for a few seconds delay as our little boy started to hot foot it across a busy car park, the beginning of several terrifying minutes in which we finally managed to round him up (safely, but it might easily not have been).

Ever since this started we have been surrounded by know-it-alls who know nothing.

TannersDad Tim

And on the fith anniversary of the wandering death of Mason Allen Medlam remember #MasonAlert for many his tragic death spur them to work diligently to train others and fight for solutions. I am so sad.

Theresa Cedillo

Khan is arrogant, ignorant and rude. Maybe she should shorten her twitter name to "sap", and change professions.


"Not my job to show empathy to *you* for sure."

"Showing" empathy is what a sociopath would attempt to do. Feeling empathy would be the experience of a normal person.

Melissa Sullivan

Right again. Callousness and complete lack of empathy. It's so easy to judge and so difficult to imagine the struggles of a parent of a child with autism. Her ignorance screamed to be challenged. Thank you, Kim, for taking the time to set the record straight.

Jim Thompson

Dr. Sonia Kahn might want to consider her responsibility for the children under her care that receive manufactured products that are protected by federal law from lawsuits. She might want to consider the motto “First Do No Harm” and realize that this requires a thorough understanding of harm from vaccines.

She might consider reading scientific literature on vaccine injuries that is not biased. She might consider that the CDC and FDA use pseudo-science to support a false claim that it is safe to inject vaccines intentionally containing mercury products into the bodies of children and pregnant women. See .

And most importantly, in terms of her professional responsibility, she might consider a serious review of vaccine injuries at then ask herself “Do I report all of my patients’ vaccine injuries?”

Jenny Allan

"even the most vigilant family member can not have eyes on arms length 24/7/365 realistically."

Absolutely!! Dr Khan - our children, autistic or not, are certainly NOT 'zoo animals' and cannot and should not be kept in cages or pens, even for their own safety. Autistic children often have very little idea of risks or cause and effect.

When my now adult autistic grandon was little, I took him with me to a craft and collectors fair, held in a local school (Sunday). My grandson wanted Coke from a vending machine, but was refused. He still loves Coke, but it makes him manic!! I promised him Ribena from the cafe later.

I was looking at some ornaments for sale, when he slipped from my hand and disappeared into the crowd. I still remember the feeling of utter panic. The school gates were open and a very busy road ran alongside. I attempted to find someone in authority to announce on the tannoy, the loss of a small blond toddler, and ask people to look out for him, but no-one interested in helping could be found.

In despair, I returned to the vending machine, and there was the little boy, who took my hand and smiled beguilingly. 'I'm back Grandma!!' No - I did not 'give in' on the Coke, but bought sweets instead from the machine, then went to the cafe and bought him Ribena and myself a welcome nerve calming coffee!

It only takes a moment like this one, to potentially cause a catastrophe. My grandson then had no idea about the dangers of traffic, even less about drowning risks in rivers and lakes! Fortunately, on that occasion he was not interested in 'bolting' from my care, and just wanted Coke, but I never took him out again without another adult present. (I was giving my daughter a well earned break).

Angus Files

What a dumb Ass!Sapienist Khan is ..words fail me,not that we think for a nano second that Autism Education Awareness has moved in any professional hasn't Un-sapienest Khan has re-indorsed that one...and if anyone wants a picture of the locks broken and still working just say(ingenious how he gets past them must say)mind you the bed/armchair has moved we now sleep in out own bed again after 7 years...
And one exception to the one professional who got it; who pointed out to us when we sought local planning permission for a 10foot fence with slats going up and down(harder to climb rather than across ) "oh! you say he escapes and he doesn't stop he just keeps going? well he's a vanisher then not just a runner"



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