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SafeMinds Action Alert! Explain IACC Disaster to Dr. Ann Wagner After Her Refusal to Meet with Autism Orgs

Safeminds 2018 logoWhen the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the most recent autism prevalence numbers this year, SafeMinds, TACA, and The Thinking Mom's Revolution sent a letter to the U.S. Autism Coordinator, Dr. Ann Wagner, Ph.D. In our letter, we requested a meeting to discuss the development of an urgent response to the growing autism crisis.
The letter specified that our organizations:
" .. recognize that the Interagency Autism, Coordinating Committee (IACC) sets aside time for public comment at its quarterly meetings, however, this forum does not give ample time to discuss and address the severe problems we recognize as priorities for our constituency. The IACC is not a mechanism for creating a Federal Autism Strategic Plan with measurable goals and objectives, and for discussing policy alternatives and best practices from programs across the country." 

Dr. Wagner declined the opportunity to meet with our three national autism organizations, and instead referred us to the IACC. She stated, "The IACC is the venue for the public to share ideas, perspectives, and feedback, including thoughts on federal agency priorities.  In addition, you are welcome to submit written public comment to the IACC."

In August, we'll be issuing a written response to Dr. Wagner's refusal to meet with us. We’ll forward the letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, and some other interested parties in Washington, D.C.

Hopefully, after she reads the public's thoughts and experiences with the IACC, Dr. Wagner will reconsider her decision, and the survey responses will also serve to educate others, such as federal elected officials and the media, about the IACC's failures and limitations.

Please help us in this effort by completing this short, four-minute survey. Please use the comment section if you’d like. There are only two weeks in the survey period—please answer the questions as soon as you can, even if you’ve never heard of the IACC until today! Your email will only be used to ensure that someone completes the survey only once. It will not be put into any database or used in any other way without your express approval. 

We need your honest answers—and we need a lot of people to complete the survey! We appreciate your time and support in answering the survey questions, and getting the word out. The survey period closes on July 31st, so please make sure you answer soon.

We’ll make a difference together! 


John Stone

US Autism

Yes, obviously entirely accidental, but point taken.

US Autism

Please note that NIMH’s Ann Wagner, PhD, is listed as the designated National Autism Coordinator posted on many sites on February 28, 2018. She was identified in this article as the U.S. autism coordinator. US Autism Association, also known as US Autism, is also a major autism organization along with SafeMinds, TACA, and The Thinking Mom's Revolution and Dr. Wagner is not any part of US Autism Association. frequently includes articles from SafeMinds in their own WeeklyNews e-newsletter.

Barry Stern

NIH website describes Dr. Wagner's previous position on Feb.28, 2018:
"Dr. Wagner is currently the Chief of the Biomarker and Intervention Development for Childhood-Onset Mental Disorders Branch in the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this role, she oversees the NIMH Autism Research Program, which supports a wide range of research on the characterization, pathophysiology, treatment, and outcomes of individuals with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders."
It would be informative to know what she did in this position or previously to improve the lives of individuals with autism or their families. The IACC has long been known as a joke in the autism community. What are Dr. Wagner's plans to improve it?


Just like Autism Speaks, IACC is an organization that had been successfully enlisted as opposition control. The best way to control the opposition is to pretend you represent it.

Shelley Tzorfas

Four minutes might be the time it takes for Aluminum or mercury to afflict the brain of a child. Four minutes might be the time that it takes for some children to have a seizure-right there at the doctors office. Four minutes might be the time that it takes for a child to spike a fever. Four minutes might be the boiling point of an egg. This survey might take only 40 seconds...

Jonathan Rose

Oman has the distinction of being the last nation on earth to abolish slavery (in 1970!), but perhaps they've decided to bring it back.

Anna Quandt

The U.S. has an autism coordinator. Wow. Who knew??

Hans Litten

Vaccines are so good they are having to threaten this in Oman now :

Vaccinate your child or face jail term and fine
 17/07/2018 Zainab Al Nasseri

Muscat, July 17 – Parents/guardians who “deliberately do not fulfil obligations” vis-à-vis vaccination of their child will face imprisonment as well as fine, according to Article 19 of the Child Law. The law was issued as per Royal Decree No 22/2014, entitling every child in the Sultanate to convenient life standards that fulfil his physical, mental, psychological and social needs. Parents/guardians shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not less than three months and not more than three years and a fine of not less than RO 100 and not more than RO 500 or one of these penalties. Penalty will be a fine if it has occurred due to negligence.

Failure to comply with vaccination of the child as per the Ministry of Health’s regulations makes parents “legally accountable”, says the Article. Every child has the right to get vaccinated against infectious diseases in government hospitals free of charge as well as in private institutions licensed by the ministry. Parents should be committed to immunise their children as per regulations and dates prescribed by the ministry. These institutions must register details of the vaccination in the child’s health card.


Hmmm, who is her boss and who is her boss's boss --- up the line to who is over who! Except (sigh) ; which leads us to HHS that did not bother to get that report ready for Congress every two years, and on to Congress were no one there bothered to call HHS on not having that report ready every two years.

We have lost at least two if not three generations of kids now in a world were how well our brains works matters. I often think that WWII came about because of the brain injuries suffered in WWI.

It is the bulk of the people that has to shove our lazy; getting rich off of: China deals, and big Pharma deals in Washington; off their hind end. I am getting pretty tired of shocked looks at this date in time of people that never thought to question vaccines safety
and how could I!.

Aimee Doyle

@Bob - absolutely agree with you.

From the National Institute of Mental Health February 28, 2018 • Institute Update

"U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has designated Ann E. Wagner, Ph.D., as the National Autism Coordinator. In this role, Dr. Wagner will play a vital role in ensuring the implementation of national autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research, services, and support activities across federal agencies. This role will complement the activities of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, which includes public and federal members, takes place in a public forum, and focuses on sharing information about ongoing activities and providing advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to ASD."

Sounds like she's just a figurehead.

I did the four-minute survey. Hopefully, there will be enough participants to give these three groups some talking clout. I noted in my comments on the survey that the IACC pretty much ignores public comments - they are never discussed at the meetings (that I've heard) and never have any impact - essentially, written public comments seem to end up in the equivalent of an online circular file. I doubt whether they are even read.

bob moffit

Just curious .. what is the responsibility of Dr Ann Wagner .. US autism coordinator?

For instance .. as US Autism Coordinator .. she receives a letter from SafeMinds, TACA and the Thinking Mom's Revolution .. three major organizations with the sole purpose of exploring the reasons for the "growing autism crisis" .. and .. as Autism Coordinator .. instead of graciously accepting the meeting as a golden opportunity to discuss policy alternatives and best practices from programs across the country .. the very essence of what a "coordinator" should eagerly pursue .. Dr Wagner simply refers the organizations to the IACC?

Having the title of "autism coordinator" should require at least an effort to "coordinate" between interested parties .. no?

Am I missing something here?

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