By Anne Dachel
I just finished looking at this Reuters piece on Bob Wright's book, and although I have my own Mt Vesuvius moment whenever I see autism described as a "mental disorder," I like that fact that Jennifer Saba said that Bob Wright's involvement with his grandson's autism would make a book all by itself. ABSOLUTELY.
Yes, Katie Wright makes no bones about it. Her son Christian was born healthy. He was meeting all his milestones. He got vaccinated. He had horrible reactions that the doctor said were "normal." He lost his milestones. He stopped progressing. He developed severe bowel disease.
Saba talks about the Wright family's fears about Christian ability to care for himself as he grows. Scroll down past the Reuters story to the 2007 interview by author David Kirby. Katie explained in detail what happened to her son and how she was left on her own to deal with a vaccine-injured child.
Sept. 2 2016, Reuters: BREAKING VIEWS-Review: NBC chief's deal-heavy memoir merits split
By Jennifer Saba
Like a good TV series, Bob Wright's memoir leaves fans wanting more. In "The Wright Stuff," the former NBC boss engagingly takes readers behind the scenes of how he built the U.S. network from a struggling laggard to a profitable powerhouse over two decades at General Electric. Negotiations with Jack Welch, Bill Gates and Ted Turner enhance the drama. Wright's moving account of his grandchild's autism, however, would have better suited a second book….
In the same year, 2004, that Wright first secured Vivendi Universal in what may have been his professional triumph, his personal life took a dramatic turn. He found out his 2-year-old grandson Christian was autistic. The lack of answers and support prompted Wright and his wife Suzanne, who died last month from cancer, to launch Autism Speaks.
The mental disorder is a complicated subject. Wright's attempt to bookend the tale of his career at 30 Rockefeller with his philanthropic work is jarring. For instance, he devotes one chapter to the controversial matter of vaccines. It ripped apart Wright's own family. His daughter Katie, Christian's mother, told talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey about her belief that the preventative inoculations result in autism. That prompted Autism Speaks to distance itself from Katie's remarks, which led to Katie urging a boycott of her parents' organization.
For all the corporate power Wright may have wielded, he was left feeling helpless by this ordeal. He worries about Christian and the family's ability to care for a growing teenager who will be unable to live independently. Wright's plight is heartbreaking. Rather than merely shoehorning it into a business autobiography, it deserves its own book.
I have to agree with Jennifer Saba, the story of Bob Wright's grandson Christian and how he developed autism after being vaccinated deserves to be a book all on its own.
Christian started out as a “beautiful, healthy six and a half pound baby,” according to his mother. “He was just wonderful. He breastfed wonderfully, gained weight, he hit all his milestones… so affectionate, so loving, big smiles at six weeks. …”
Regarding vaccines, Katie had this to say:
“I had no idea. He was vaccinated without my knowledge of consent at the hospital. …”
His vaccines were continued, “right on schedule.”
“When he was two months old was the worst time. He got six vaccines in one visit….
“Of course I gave him a big dose of Tylenol. He was screaming. Screaming like somebody was killing him, for 12 hours, and he had a fever of 104.
“I called the pediatrician and I said, ‘I’m having some horrible reaction, and what do I do?’ She just said, ‘Keep giving him more Tylenol,…keep giving him more Tylenol.’ …
“He wouldn’t do anything for that entire time except scream. And he just passed out after twelve hours.
“I went back to my pediatrician after that and she assured me that was, you know, maybe more on the extreme, but a normal reaction, nothing to be concerned about. It’s amazing to me to this day that I believed that, and yet I did.
“We continued vaccinating him.” …
After that,“going to the doctor’s office was a nightmare—nightmare.”
Katie continued, “When he was two, he started losing language, and he would look at me with this blank look. …I noticed him looking off into space and not looking as much. Then the tantrums of course started, and they were frightening. …for not reason, hurling himself on the ground, screaming, screaming and screaming. …
“He had a thousand words, he was conversational, very loving. He would get on the telephone and pretend to call people…
“Then it disappeared so quickly, so quickly. And then that was gone and all his physical problems starting worsening dramatically.”
“His pretend play was gone completely.”
“Christian was diagnosed in February 2004. We pursued ABA therapy and speech therapy…but Christian continued a very swift decline because he was sick.”
Katie was told that autism was “happening more often, and nobody knows why. The word mystery was used a thousand times—and genetic. It was genetic and it was mysterious….”
When the link to vaccines became evident to Katie, she reacted. “It’s beyond painful to think that I, as his mother, took him to the pediatrician, I held him down—screaming—and allowed this to happen to him. …”
David Kirby’s book, Evidence of Harm, was what educated Katie about the dangers of mercury in vaccines. Meanwhile she was told that Christian didn’t have bowel disease, despite his rectal bleeding, and she was told not to try and “crazy diets,” etc.
Katie and her husband took Christian to Dr. Krigsman in January 2006, who said, ‘This child is probably in horrible pain.’
Krigsman scoped Christian, and “the picture were horrible….”
“He was no longer toilet trained. He basically spent all day long just lying on the floor, lying across tables and chairs….He’d wake up screaming all night.”
After Krigsman started treating him, Christian stopped screaming, “and for the first time in two years, sleeping.”
Katie also began chelating Christian. His speech was returning and his was becoming more affectionate.
Katie talked about a congressional hearing where Dr. Thomas Insel and Dr. Julie Gerberding testified. She talked about the extreme vaccination schedule we have in the U.S.
David Kirby asked Katie about the “bias” of Autism Speaks toward genetic research. Katie responded by saying that both of her parents believe there are environmental factors. She said that when NAAR joined with AS, they focused on NAAR’s genetic studies.
Katie made it clear that certain “researchers and parents are so resistant, so resistant to change. I think they’re frightened after going down this path for twenty years... They were afraid to offend government officials. …”
Katie said her dad was “flabbergasted at the lack of accountability” by people like Julie Gerberding, then the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to Katie, back in 2007, Autism Speaks was going to fund more environmental research, something that, as it turns out, never included vaccines. Nice years ago, as Katie says on the video, she was hopeful that AS would fund something like a chelation study or a vaxxed vs unvaxxed study.
Finally Katie was very critical of the media’s coverage of this controversy. “…Grossly inadequate coverage. …I think that the coverage of autism, unfortunately, has shown many journalists just to be lazy and doing what’s easy—just picking from a headline, …going to the CDC for the same quote from the same person, getting the same answer. …”
David asked her about censorship.
“Oh I can imagine. There must be, yeah. Absolutely.”
Katie told parents to seek the answer and the treatments that would benefit their children.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.