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Fake News is Old News When It Comes to Autism

By Anne Dachel

Lately I’ve heard about “fake news,” especially regarding Trump’s election.  I do think that in general, “fake news” is applicable to how autism is covered by the press.

Not only is there "fake autism news," there's the "fake autism science" that it promotes.


“Fake news is malicious, false information that somehow becomes credible. Most often through the promotion of a major political or media figure.”

“Then there’s fake news, the phenomenon that is now sweeping, well, the news. Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.

The story from KARE11 makes my point. This report is out to convince us that autism is genetic, kids are born with it, and it’s a puzzle that will take years to figure out.

KARE 11 Minneapolis: HEY AUTISM…it’s genetic, now spit in the bottle! We have to be convinced that autism is a natural condition, it's nothing new or anything to worry about. We don't see stories on adults with autism or on regressive autism. "Made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated."

Dec 21, 2016, KARE11, Minneapolis: UMN needs participants for landmark autism study


Smiling autism dad: “We’re going through your baby book. Okay, here’s your milestones. At this age you should be doing this, at this age you should be doing this—Elliot was delayed on language quite a bit at first.”

Reporter:“Both Elliot, 16, and his 10 year old sister Ada were diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Their family’s DNA samples will be compiled on a registry with tens of thousands of others as part of a landmark study called SPARK.”

Dr. Suma Jacob: “It is a study that is mostly focused on the genetics of autism. One of the things we learned is we need tens of thousands, we need large, large numbers of participants to make sense of genetic risks or causal contributions to autism.

“Genetic autism is highly heritable so there are genetic traits, but there are hundreds and hundreds of genes related. Figuring that that piece out is one of the goals.”

Autism mother: “We hope that by participating, it not only helps our children, but everyone’s kiddos and adults.”

Reporter:“SPARKS hopes to collect information from 50,000 people with autism and their families, speeding up research and ultimately helping to improve the lives of families impacted by autism.”

So if the experts can’t explain it, but parents are hopeful, what more can we expect? Notice the way the father talks about his son’s delayed development, very matter-of-fact. Autism happens, learn to adjust.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.


Denise Anderstrom Douglass

Our autism community has been "fake newsed" outrageously for years -- and we know it. Tin foil hats on, everybody! However, people who have been falsely maligned in this way, when they can get a minute to come up for air, start to sniff out other lies upon the wind. When it be government corruption and collusion in YOUR area of experience, you are hit upside the head -- and then, oh my -- this gross injury to your honor and rights suddenly bestows upon you an ability to detect the horseshit going on in other areas of "fake news" and corruption. Guess I'm saying: "don't nobody give up, and don't nobody give in. Things are changing,

go Trump

Does anyone know how much MONEY the U of M doctor is PAID for every sample of "Autism gene saliva" she sends in ???

I would HOPE she sends it in somewhere, she does not seem sharp enough to figure this issue out by herself. What a complete waste.


Damn, our drug companies have found a way to wreck it faster than we thought possible and our current autism epidemic is a potent symbol--tragic as it is--that the media can have a huge impact in messing up things. Ok, gotta go, my death wish coffee is waiting!


If it wasn't for brainwashed parents (.. like me) who blindly obeyed what they were told, we wouldn't be in the middle of an epidemic of vaccine injured children.

In my opinion, this all got started started with the faked polio scare of the 50's. And that same media strategy of scaring the public, has continued to this day with the Swine flus, the Ebolas , the Zikas , ........

Creating an injectable brew of poisons is evil enough. But knowing this, and still fabricating fear to scare people into line ups to receive them?? That's just sick.

The media has messed things up all right. But I seriously doubt that it was done by accident


If local journalists were contacted by every parent of a child with vaccine-induced autism, the epidemic might have ended by now.

Instead the majority of family and friends:
- remain quiet and let an overworked few shoulder the burden;
- stop after a few unfocused or token efforts,
- act as armchair quarterbacks criticizing the doers, yet offer no alternatives.

We now have an emerging minority -- a medical minority -- that is being misrepresented, intentionally or otherwise. And minorities maligned by media deserve to the right to push back against the inaccuracies and stereotypes foisted onto an unsuspecting public.

If anyone has a foolproof master plan to get investigative journalists to provide accurate autism coverage, I'd like to see it. I've taken journalism classes, I've worked for various publications, I've worked with reporters. I know what they should be doing. They're not doing it.

Journalists deserving of criticism need to hear back from viewers -- good, bad, whatever. When they get the story wrong, we should not have to tiptoe around their feelings.


And these would be some of the fact checkers (Snopes)

Tim Kasemodel


I agree. As a matter of fact the other night when I saw the segment coming up and they mentioned "U of M" and "autism" in the same sentence I changed the channel. I don't even have to watch it to know it was going to be a fluff piece and that crap infuriates me.

Anne - thanks for all you do to sort through the news and the "fake news".


Minneapolis/St. Paul "journalists" are idiot lemmings regarding autism.

In 2005 an investigative reporter came to my house. I had been emailing him information about vaccine-induced autism. I covered my large dining room table with pages upon pages of research and scientific articles.

Instead of reading any of it, he photographed it.

No analysis. All that crucial life-changing information reduced to a sound bite visual.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Autism history according to journalists has been accepted by many medical authorities who are members of the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). But from the perspective of medical science, autism is clearly a neurologic (not social) disorder. Language delay, repetitive movements, diminished awareness all reflect injury within the brain.

Autism history should begin with the history of neuropathology underlying impaired language, movement disorders, and level of consciousness. Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) was described 135 years ago as symmetric bilateral injury of brainstem circuits. Alcohol abuse, thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, asphyxia at birth, and toxic substances (like mercury and lead) are known causes of this pattern of brain damage.

Wernicke's encephalopathy progresses to Korsakoff syndrome (similar to Alzheimer's). Failure of brain development occurs in children exposed to toxic substances or hypoxia before or after birth.

Journalists interested in medical history might consider investigating the medical literature (past as well as present) for information on developmental disorders.

go Trump

Years ago in the USSR, it was well known that the “fake news” was being generated by the “REAL news media.”

This came to an end by the use of a series of fax machines tied together where “one real Russian story” was faxed to ten machines which would then quickly be faxed to 10 more which would then fax to 10 more.. things eventually collapsed and are much better now. Putin is said to be a dictator but that is somewhat relative .... he holds a pretty high approval rating.

In the present USAUSSR we are ruled by the unelected drug lords and private central banking lords who print money hand it out to their friends and claim we are in debt as they create wealth for some....

We know where our fake news is coming from. Thankfully we have the internet and e mail.

Gary Ogden

One more thought: Stories like this serve the purpose of distracting us from the colossal failure of our public health system to own up to, address, and fix what they themselves have wrought, just as the "Russian hack" stories serve to distract us from thinking about the actual content of the emails, which were surely leaked rather than hacked, and surely had an effect on the election.

Gary Ogden

To our great misfortune, much of what is printed and broadcast, and particularly in online newspapers, is fake news. We are awash in a sea of propaganda, which this election season made glaringly obvious. I'm most of the way through "The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism," and boy, is it a good read! Everyone should read this book. While there certainly are genetic risk factors for autism, as for most conditions and diseases, it only takes a rudimentary understanding of biology to grasp the obvious: genetic epidemics are biologically impossible. Nor are genes a set-in-stone road map of development, but are potential, and whether an individual gene is expressed or not in an individual's development can certainly be influenced by environmental inputs. Too many of our modern journalists lack even a rudimentary understanding of the fundamentals of biology. And seem to lack intellectual curiosity. Or is it that they know only too well what they are allowed by the corporate office to say? Or have they lost the ability to think and reason, to use logic? Too comfortable in their lives to be concerned about this holocaust? Certainly bodes ill for our future.

Tom Petrie

If you read the article carefully, it begins by stating: "I do think that in general, “fake news” is applicable to how autism is covered by the press." Then, it goes on to SUPPORT how much of "Autism news" is fake news. Of course, it's fake news. But fake news is just one part of propaganda. The OTHER part is how IMPORTANT news is ignored! All of us who read AoA, know how many important stories--from Italy (major Autism win in court), Denmark (massive fraud), CDC (massive deception/fraud), etc., is ignored by the mainstream media. And what is covered is so often fake or manipulated. Anyway, good article and keep up the good work. Eventually, what with our current "Autism bill" approaching $3.2 trillion dollars--yup, $3.2 million per child TIMES one million autistic children...that's a lot of money! The media can't seem to get around to discussing how our negligence on this topic will eventually bankrupt our "health care system,' and I thought not exercising regularly, not eating enough fruits and vegetables and eating too much junk food/drinking soda was wrecking our health. Damn, our drug companies have found a way to wreck it faster than we thought possible and our current autism epidemic is a potent symbol--tragic as it is--that the media can have a huge impact in messing up things. Ok, gotta go, my death wish coffee is waiting!


Look at the "reviews" of Vaxxed. You can't get any faker than those. Parents allowing a look into their lives with severe autism and it's somehow a "hoax". Lies manipulated by that fraudster Andrew Wakefield. Which leads into the real lies (fake news) about him.
Early on after the release of Vaxxed Del Bigtree was interviewed by ABC. All but a few seconds of that interview was left on the cutting room floor. Anyone who has ever been interviewed knows parents are made to look "crazy" & "emotional". Quotes are used out of context. All kinds of manipulation takes place and the "expert" who supports the fake news narrative gets the Lions share of time. Flat out lies repeated over and over and over.

I could go on.

Autism/vaccine news is the fakest of the fake news. And it's nothing new.

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