#CDCwhistleblower One Year and Counting
Talk Talk

Case 1 Revisited -- 10 Years Later

August 2005

Editor's Note: It's hard to believe it's been 10 years this week since I identified Donald T., autism's Case 1. I remember my shock when I matched his first name and last initial as given in the original 1943 paper by Leo Kanner, popped it into a White Pages directory for the town Kanner said he lived in, and found someone matching all the right details. What was the first person with autism doing with a street address and a published phone number, I wondered. Since then Mark Blaxill and I have visited Donald Triplett (I didn't name him until we wrote our book in 2005) in Forest, Miss., and learned about his amazing recovery after being treated with gold salts. Now, 10 years on, it's worth remembering how much those early cases have to teach us



Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Dan, I reread Kanner's paper, and see that Donald T's language was echolalic, but he appears to have learned to speak normally (using grammatical transformations) as a student included in a regular elementary school class. He walked at 13 months, which is normal. I can't help comparing him with my son who will soon be 53.

My son was echolalic but learned to speak normally just before age 6. Some people would consider my son to now be recovered, but he is not. He could and should be employed doing useful work of some kind. He has been hampered by the "recovery is real" Dept of Mental Health in Massachusetts, and I am angry that he has been placed in a group home for schizophrenic men, and attends a "day program" where the only regularly scheduled activity is one-cigarette-every-hour-on-the-hour.

I cannot accept on the basis of Donald T's story that gold salts cured him, or that he was anymore cured than my son. Research on autism is abysmal, and I congratulate you and Mark for your work in tracing Kanner's cases into adulthood. It is reasonable to question vaccines and mercury as causes of autism, and I admire your persistence in the face of much criticism.

My son's autism was caused by head injury and oxygen insufficiency at birth. I have been criticized for this, and pointing out that clamping the umbilical cord immediately after birth is a clear medical error. Evidence in the medical literature of brainstem injury caused by asphyxia sits unacknowledged by "autism experts," and the brain must be the focus of research for causes of autism to be fully understood.

Keep up the pressure. Question authority. I will continue to try. I had to self-publish my books. They are ebooks on amazon.com and bn.com for 99 cents each.

Birgit Calhoun

Gold salts are not the treatment of choice because not everybody actually eliminates mercury that way. Check with Boyd Haley. He has developed a substance that is in stage 1 trials right now. It is supposed to be safe. He tried gold salts. He can tell you what problems he ran into developing a mercury chelator.

Birgit Calhoun

The reason why there would not be autism from treatment with mercury would most likely be that no children would ever have been treated with mercury for syphilis. My stepfather who was a veterinarian in the 1930s did have mercury poisoning even though he did not have syphilis. He treated racehorses with mercury salves. He rubbed the ointment into the horses' joints so they didn't have pain while running. The mercury poisoning that adults get, used to be called allergy. My stepfather lost his teeth and he suffered big time from erethism. He was very difficult person to live with.

Another person who had mercury poisoning was President Lincoln. He took blue pills that were known to contain mostly mercury. Lincoln was described as very depressed and, at times, is reported to have cowered in a corner for hours with an inability to interact.

CT teacher

A friend of my husband's visited us recently from the Midwest. When he left our house, he was going to travel to upstate NY to visit his autistic brother who was diagnosed by Kanner back in the 1940's. The brother, I believe was 7 or 8 when he was diagnosed and has never been able to live on his own. My memory is somewhat fuzzy about his current living arrangement, whether it is a group home or an institution, but I was amazed to learn this info. My husband's friend, although very intelligent and successful in the academic world, is quirky and could be on the spectrum himself.


Or crazy George the III and arsenic found in his hair.


I thought in the book "Age of Autism" that they the authors went all the way back to Austria - looking at the population that Freud was observing - those that had been around medical mercury - used mostly on those being treated for syphilis and their care givers. So mercury was heavy in the environment -- add to that - uses of other metals, such as lead and arsenic and you get synergy.

So there should have been some autism cases including aspergers some where all along. But add it "mercury" to the vaccines and every one gets a dose; well really two different metals -- aluminium - starting with the diptheria vaccine and we get 12 kids coming into one guy's view, and for every 12 - that made it up there to see Dr. Kanner multiply that by - ? probably a lot more. That was why 12 coming in at one around the same age was - an indication there was many more. And if there is also reports over in Europe about that time of similar disorder -- but milder perhaps - the picture has not really changed - has it?

British Mum

After over twenty years' reading about autism spectrum disorders, I can't remember where or when I first read that mercury compounds were used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (syphilis, gonorrhoea) going back into the nineteenth century. Is there someone out there who could tell me give a date for this information? If one generation was infected (and supposedly successfully treated with mercury compounds), could there have been a knock-on effect down into the second/third generations? I have this (Old Testament) echo in my mind about the sins of the father being visited on the children, yeah unto the third generation.

John Stone


But even with help of Georg Frankl it does note seem that Kanner was finding cases in the US born before 1931 or even for lots of year many cases at all. I don't know whether things may have been environmentally different in Austria. I have noted before the strong Asperger tendencies of Beethoven (who lived most of his adult life in Vienna) and also suffered from lead toxicity (as latterly diagnosed from a lock of his hair).

Louis Conte

Dan and Mark:
Thank you for this research and all of your hard work and dedication.

Angus Files

Dan had this out as well..2005

"In a striking follow-up to our reporting on the first child diagnosed with autism -- and his improvement after treatment with gold salts -- a chemistry professor says lab tests show the compound can "reverse the binding" of mercury to molecules."



Gold Salts--would it work now?

how do we get gold salts and can we treat our kids with it now? It makes sense as a chelator. Mercury is used to take the gold from the ore right? So, not to be gross, but couldn't you recover the gold and sterilize it after it was excreted with the mercury (would that happen? am I crazy to envision gold/mercury nuggets being excreted? Anyhow that's not the point other than the high price of gold. Has anyone tried this?

Laura Hayes

Dan, your book "Age of Autism" with Mark Blaxill was nothing short of brilliant. I remember first hearing you and Mark speak here in Sacramento during your book tour, being floored by what I heard and learned, buying a couple copies of the book, then going home and devouring it...and ordering more copies for others to read.

Can't tell you how much I appreciate all you have done for the cause, all of your incredible and impressive investigative journalism, and your dedicated and tireless perseverance, especially in light of the fact that you don't have a vaccine-injured child like so many of us here on this blog do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you...and please don't stop...we need your skills, talent, dogged determination, courage, and wit!

Denise Anderstrom Douglass

Thank you, Dan. I read your book. You did good then, and every day you are the link to hope for so many.


Perhaps you missed the recent article in The Atlantic that revealed that while Donald Triplett might have been the first identified case of autism that was noted in an article published in a medical journal, he was certainly not the first identified case of autism.

Expert diagnostician Dr. Georg Frankl apparently examined at least the first three of the patients included in Kanner's famous 1943 report. Prior to 1938 (before he escaped Nazi Germany with Kanner's help and joined Kanner in the US) Frankl had served for eleven years at the Lazar Clinic in Vienna, where he worked as a diagnostician with Dr. Hans Asperger, who clearly noted in his 1944 paper (which was submitted within months of Kanner's submission, but was delayed by the war) that he had seen more than 200 patients with autism and various levels of functional ability.

It's important to get this sort of stuff right.



Dan Olmsted, the Columbus of autism sleuthing!
Now if only our CDC could set sail.

Angus Files

Thanks Dan I can remember it all very well, and thinking how the hell,did you manage that...as the say simple, when you know how.

Thanks for all your great reporting this story for one, would have still been in the dark, if it weren't for yourself.


Teresa Conrick


10 years in the blink of an eye and thousands more diagnosed with autism. Thanks always for your invaluable research and dedication. I am with you on this bumpy ride and you were so right to tell us all to buckle up.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Dan. I'm grateful we have someone open to looking at the environment and autism with your investigative skill.

@Not going to say...I don't live anywhere near Mississippi, but there has been some success opening eyes to the fallibility/corruption within the vaccine program through the film Trace Amounts. A screening there, in Forest, Mississippi, if doable, perhaps in conjunction with

"How Mercury Triggered the Age of Autism"

seems, to someone like me just driving in the backseat here, like possibly a worthwhile idea...

Not going to say

My extended family lives in Forest, Mississippi. They had four boys.
Two identical twins with autism, not severe - but like all with autism an enigma, they drive cars - no problem getting their license. They did learn to talk but at a very late age, and they still have communication problems I suppose that makes them have - PDD-NOS.
Still their IQ test came out low enough that they did not receive a high school diploma but a certificate instead. They have had more job failures than I knew there were jobs - but one is working at a school and the other one is now too sick to work. He has esophagus so inflamed and swelled up that all he can do to obtain nourishment is by drinking it. The doctors have stretched it -plus giving him anti- inflammatory medicine, and told him to eliminate gluten and milk -but he likes chocolate milk and that is about all he will eat. The doctors have talked to him and the family about putting a feeding tube right into his stomach to bypass all of his upper GI track.
Another son with bipolar - married a girl with more severe bipolar - divorced this year - after a wild ride.

But the eldest son is okay - as far as we know though I think he is a worry wort and far to serious a young man.
HE though brought to their home - the next generation.

The next generation: The grandies They have two children -- still toddlers and the oldest is not speaking so they put him a a short bus at age three - with a lot of other kids in the area that are also not talking and starting him into a early prevention. Barely two tiny legs getting on a bus.

The two older twins -- they are uncles now but when they were little home health came around to the homes to work with them. Notice now there are too many so the masses have to come to the school.

Yesterday they put on face book a picture of the youngest grandson as cute as can be - great big head -sitting in a chair at the ped's office for his 15 month well patient check up.

Dr. William Thompson ordeal went on for another year. I have prayed ever night to hurry. Too late. Oh weep cause these people of Forest will not accept what I am telling them - they depend up on the word of the doctor and authorities Even thought I have told them and told them.

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