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Weekly Wrap: Almost At the Top

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaDear Readers,

I've spent the last five days on a mountaintop in the very approximate location (GPS doesn't work here) of Hot Springs, North Carolina, attending a meditation retreat at the end of the most ungodly, one lane, bumping, sharp-dropoff road I have ever bounced up. On the first night, we were asked to give our names and tell one surprising thing about ourselves. One young man said, "I am a very good parallel parker." I had to admire this as the least revealing personal anecdote I had ever heard. Someone else said they had attended seven of the first eight Bonnaroo music festivals -- more informative, although it was hard not to wonder what happened to the eighth. Someone had been to Iceland.

When it was my turn, I said, "I'm a journalist, and there are a lot of people who don't like me."

This got some laughs. Since the retreat was conducted in silence, nobody asked me why a lot of people didn't like me until Friday. I explained the usual -- my reporting has convinced me that autism is new, environmental, and epidemic, that vaccines are a large factor in it and other iatrogenic disorders, and that a lot of us are trying to tell the truth about it, which a lot of people don't like. That we have a Web site called Age of Autism that a surprising number of people read and respond to with insightful comments, that we are out on Google doing battle daily against Death Star avatars like the CDC, the Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks, that are trying to drown us out. (See last Saturday's post.)

When I got home last night and logged into my (423 new) e-mails and checked the snail mail, I was reminded how much I don't care that a lot of people don't like us. While I was off the grid, our readers had pushed us near the top of our own personal mountain -- the $5,000 matching fund drive that Anonymous Donor set in motion at the start of the month.

We are now at $4,600, and I have a feeling we are going to make or exceed our goal. And that is fabulous, so please, before the holidays consume us, consider pitching in tax-deductably and money-doublingly to get us the rest of way up. (Last year we raised $7,000 from readers, so please don't let the matching limit stop you.) And thanks for sending so many kind words along the way. Julia Whiting of Charlottesville sent hers with a Christmas card of her wonderful family, and V. Ward of Santa Barbara, I blush to say, wrote that "I visit your website all the time, and The Age of Autism is one of my all time favorite books." Thanks, V., we will try to keep both coming and with help like yours, we wlll.

One note was addressed, "Dear Dan and Dan's Crew, Thank you for what you do. Luis and Luis Jr." To Luis Tijero and Luis Jr. of Spring, Texas, and all of you, Kim, Mark, myself and the rest of the crew say thanks.

Best Regards,

Dan Olmsted

Editor, Age of Autism

(checks via mail: Make out to Autism Age, c/o Olmsted, 102 Whittier Circle, Falls Church VA 22046)




Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Birgit, thank you. Autism has many known causes. All must affect especially vulnerable circuits in the brain.

I will continue to point out the brainstem auditory pathway as a system susceptible to injury from prenatal rubella infection, prenatal exposures to valproic acid or alcohol, perinatal asphyxia, neonatal injury from mercury, lead, or viral exposure. Abnormal metabolites produced in genetic disorders like fragile-X and PKU are also likely to be most injurious to the auditory pathway.

Blood flow and aerobic metabolism are higher in the brainstem auditory pathway than in any other area of the brain. in PubMed lookup S Kety (1962) and L Sokoloff (1981); both papers are free online.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

David Adrian Thomas, your ideas about "autism" have nothing to do with the neurological injury that (1) disrupts normal language development, (2) underlies choreo-athetoid movement disorder, and (3) diminished environmental awareness.

Your ideas about "autism" are a romantic view based on euphemistic attempts to minimize the seriousness of the disabling disorder too many families are now coping with. Too many people are lately claiming Asperger/autism diagnosed later in life.

No! Developmental language disorder is recognized by all pediatricians, even though they hope that parents will accept a wait-and-see perspective. If you must romanticize "autism" then those of us dealing with severely disabled children must find a more precise designation.

Angus Files

If you had not disclosed the location at the start, I would have guessed you had gone to Scotland .The last time I heard "one lane" wide was when we owned a B&B and an American man and his wife arrived pre-booked.Both were in a state of shock having hired a car and driven the 98 miles to our house from Glasgow airport...he sat down and told us about the nightmare connections from London to Glasgow, then the cramped seating in the plane, and then driving... "you know your roads are only one lane wide!! all the way from the plane, and the closer we were getting to your house! the less tar was on the roads! and then the last hundred yards to your house there is no tar!" ...poor guy he was from South we drove them around for the 3 days, as he refused to drive and at the end of his `holiday` drove them to the airport...bon voyage!! I don't think he will come back..although they enjoyed the stay etc but the roads final straw....


Birgit Calhoun

Hi Cherry! There are genetic forms of autism. I think Fragile X is one of them. But there are others. Not all autism is caused by mercury or environmental causes.

Birgit Calhoun

David Adrian Thomas!
Are you saying that your organization has existed since the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror? Where did you get the date 1066. I would also like to understand where these descriptions of what you call autism came from. I'd like some good references.


David Thomas,
So glad that you figured it all out. Could you also explain how those genes mostly lied dormant for 920 years?

Then can you tell why we have a vaccine injury compensation program that compensates vaccine injuries including autism?

Then can you tell us why vaccine manufacturer inserts list autism among the frequently reported side effects (see Tripedia as one example)?

Then can you explain how, if autism incidence hasn't increased, why all of a sudden society is having to make accommodations, just now, for the flood of autistic children aging into adulthood? All of a sudden, the schools are overburdened, the police force needs special training, theaters need special shows, Sesame Street needs a new autistic muppet, colleges need special counselors for the high functioning, communities are struggling to come up with appropriate housing for the thousands needing round the clock supervision and care, and special employment arrangements and accommodations need to be made.

As the epidemic rages unchecked, a very tragic list of autistic children have wandered and drowned in recent years. Can you match the incidence of these tragic deaths in prior decades? Why all of a sudden are we putting tracking devices on so many children?

Explain why all of a sudden our government has seen a need to form an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to make recommendations on autism research and community needs. Why wasn't there a need for such a committee in 1950, 1960 or 1970?

You say, "Their symptoms were so close to those of the autism spectrum disorder..."

Close, maybe, in one small aspect, but no cigar. Your theory doesn't make any sense and doesn't stand up to the most basic scrutiny.

Cherry Misra

To David Adrian Thomas- Could you give us some more details of the organisation you describe. Sounds interesting. It is still possible for autism to be environmental. Perhaps the well water of this family contained mercury. Perhaps they liked medications with mercury. there are many sources of mercury. it would seem likely that the family had a genetic difficulty in excreting mercury from the body.
I ran into a very interesting case in which autism appeared to be genetic in a family, The mother was somewhat antagonistic to me because I was telling people that autism is caused by mercury in vaccines. She has an autistic daughter and her husband also shows some of the autism symptoms.She was sure the daughter inherited it from the father. Surely someone vaccinated him , I said. No, she was adamant. He had a large number of siblings- they lived in a village . No one received any vaccine at all.Absolutely sure of that. His mother was illiterate. I then enquired about eating fish. No, she was sure- They were all vegetarians. Not a bite of fish. She thought she had triumphed over me, until I thought about it and said " Where did they live?" She named an area of India (Jharkand) where a lot of coal is mined. People would burn it in their homes for cooking and fuel, no doubt and inhale the mercury in the coal. Her husband must have been an unusually good student, for him to grow up, get a good education and come to Delhi, married to a well-educated person - so that would have meant that he spent a lot of time at home studying, and inhaling the coal fumes. When I mentioned the coal, she was a little surprised and said slowly- Yes, some members of the family dealt in coal for a living. She went away not totally convinced, but thinking. I was quite amazed to run into a case of a person with mercury -toxicity symptoms who had never been vaccinated or eaten fish.

David Adrian Thomas, Esq., M.C.I.H.T.

You are barking up the wrong monkey puzzle trees when you say that "autism is new, environmental, and epidemic" and "vaccines are a large factor in it and other iatrogenic disorders". I run an organisation that was originally set up on Christmas Day, 1066, to take care of a family who had an aberrant ruler-warrior-savant bloodline traceable to the Indus Valley civilization in India that resulted in some being remembered as 'idiot savants' and the rest as 'parfit savants' depending on whether they succombed to suicide or not. Their symptoms were so close to those of the autism spectrum disorder called by the UN Asperger's Syndrome in 1992, that all members of it between 1992 and 1997 when it was wound up were either diagnosed by psychiatrists with it or deemed by the government as having it. So it isnt new, environmental and epidemic, and vaccines weren't a large factor in it. It is an ancient, genetic, familial disorder that existed long before vaccines were invented.


I remember the joke going around that if the NSA doesn't have a file on you, you should be ashamed of yourself. Same goes for the industry marketers-- mark of distinction.


Continually grateful that you dedicate yourself to this cause.
Thank you on behalf of my family.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Dan, thanks for taking up the case of autism, and for all of the research you have put into understanding this devastating neurological illness.

My small voice in the wilderness has been blatantly ignored over the past 50 years. The uproar created by AoA hopefully will make it imperative that proper medical attention is paid to understanding all causes of autism.

John Stone


Also not a great way to become rich either.


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