Med Schools Not Preparing Doctors for Autism

I Believe the Words You’re Looking for are, “Thank You”

Measles 2024Note: Julie Obradovic wrote this post for us back during the Great Measles Scare of 2015, nine years ago. She details the harrowing agony her daughter endured and the screams she will never forget.  Her 2016 memoir An Unfortunate Coincidence from Skyhorse Publishing shares the full story. EVERY expectant mother should read this, and certainly every parent of an infant. Instead of pillorying us for speaking out, Julie is right, the words only words are "thank you."

We'll be trotting out many pieces from our catalog as measles is weaponized to cajole American families to make pharmaphilic choices, despite their better judgement.


On November 15, 2002, we went out to celebrate my husband’s birthday. My aunt had kindly offered to watch our two children for us while we celebrated. It was generous of her to do so, and we gratefully took her up on it. We had a wonderful evening…. until we returned.

She was standing in the hallway just coming down from the stairs of our split level home as we entered around 1 a.m. Even though it was dark, her face was clear as day, not displaying a good expression. If anything, she looked as if she had just witnessed a horrible tragedy.

Immediately, without asking us about our evening, she urged us to go upstairs and check on our daughter. According to her, our baby girl had let out a scream unlike she had ever heard only moments before. She truly thought someone had entered the house and stabbed her. She was just about to call 9-1-1.

After racing upstairs, she scooped her up out of the crib still mid scream. The way she described it, our daughter was screaming so hard and so violently that she couldn’t breathe, her face red with excruciating pain, arching her back as if to fall back into the crib the whole time. 

Eventually, she stopped, but not in a normal way. She collapsed in my aunt’s arms, as if to pass out. Although still breathing, she wouldn’t wake. My aunt feared she was dying.

Right then, we got home.

Because I didn’t hear the scream, something I have only heard in my dreams since, I couldn’t gauge the seriousness of what had happened accurately. I knew my aunt was the last person to over-react, and given her panic, I realized something was very wrong. We ran upstairs to find our daughter just as she had left her, appearing to be sleeping peacefully in her crib.

I called her pediatrician immediately. She had been suffering from repeated and chronic ear infections for over 14 months at that time, at least 11 at our last count, and had been on at least that many rounds of antibiotics, each one a stronger, harsher version than the next, none of which ever did anything to alleviate them. 

In fact, her gums, her lips, her vagina, and her butt were covered in yeast as a result, and patches of eczema were popping up on her elbow and knee creases as well (something that finally cleared with an antifungal).

I suspected she had another ear infection, which often made her cry at night, and tried not to worry too much. I also tried to calm my aunt who said she knew what a baby crying from ear pain sounded like, and this was not it. She was adamant we go to the hospital.

When the doctor finally called back, he believed it was likely ear pain too, given her history. He told us to give her some pain reliever (aka, Tylenol), and to bring her to the office in the morning. If anything else happened, we were to go to the emergency room, but he didn’t believe it was worthy of a trip right then.

Because over a year’s worth of my instinct that something was seriously wrong with her had been repeatedly dismissed by my pediatricians, and twice, I had been criticized for it, I chose to obey the doctor’s orders. I was tired of being made to feel like I was a bad mom by wanting to do other than what they said.

My aunt was upset. 

She offered to stay overnight with our son if we would just go. She offered to go with me if my husband wanted to stay home. She pleaded. She begged. 

And when I finally promised to take her first thing in the morning, she reluctantly got her coat and said in a way she had never spoken to me before, “I have been a mother for 30 years. I was an aunt to you and all of your cousins. I have been around children and babies my whole life. I am telling you, Julie Ann, I have never heard a baby scream like that. Something is wrong.”

The next day my little girl was not diagnosed with another ear infection. She didn’t have one, oddly, but in an effort to try to prevent them anyway, they scheduled her for ear tube surgery. 

She would have it December 16th. It did not stop the ear infections that continued for the next two years, however, and no explanation for the high pitched, back arching screaming fit was ever given. It was as if it never happened.

On December 21st, five days after surgery, I gave her a bath careful not to get any water in her ears. I was so hopeful that the surgery would put behind the nightmare of illnesses and strange symptoms that had started with an undiagnosed, hot burning rash on her face at one month old, continued with a large, hot, lump on her leg where she received several shots at 4 months old (and took months to go away), and then finally manifested as one long ear infection beginning at 5 months old until now.

Between the constipation interspersed with yellow diarrhea, the eczema, her hair starting to fall out, the gait she was walking with, the incessant drooling that began around 12 months, and the hypotonia that had developed around 10 months, I had had enough.

Finally, finally, finally, I thought, this would be behind us. Finally, my baby girl would be healthy. No more antibiotics and their side effects. No more nebulizers for respiratory infections. No more covering her ears at the sound of the vacuum or singing. No more prescription creams for skin rashes. No more sleepless nights. No more.

I wrapped her in a towel and called my husband to grab the camera. In my newfound sense of relief and hope, I wanted to capture the beginning of a new chapter for her. He met me in her bedroom and together we tried our hardest to make her laugh and smile to get a great photo. (These were the days before digital cameras, and film was not something you wasted.)

Within a few minutes, I realized something I hadn’t until then. My daughter had stopped smiling. No matter what we did, no matter how hard we tried, there was nothing, just a vacant, expressionless, unengaged face of angel looking in our direction but not really at us.

Worse, I simultaneously realized, she hadn’t spoken in weeks either. She didn’t have a lot of words that year, but she had words. She pointed, she repeated, and she tried. On the floor of her bedroom that night, actually ever since my husband’s birthday, I could prove with a video, they were gone.

I quietly asked him to put the camera away and got her ready for bed. Without saying another word, I went to my room, turned off the light and lay in the dark on my bed facing towards the direction of her nursery. Still in my clothes, I stared wide-eyed into the dark, filled with fear and anxiety that has not left me since.

I knew in that moment…I knew in a way that only a mother can know…that my life, her life, and our baby girl was forever changed, even though I would spend the next two years believing that because a doctor didn’t confirm it, I must be wrong.

A few weeks before my husband’s birthday, she received her fourth DT DTP vaccine, her fourth Prevnar vaccine, her third polio vaccine, and her first MMR all at the same time. This occurred within days of ending her eleventh round of antibiotics. 

We had also “loaded her up” on Tylenol per a doctor’s suggestion prior to her appointment, “so that it will be in her system before the shots”.

Although we can never prove it because we didn’t go to the hospital that night, nor were the proper tests done the following day, the description of what she experienced that night is identical with a condition called “encephalopathy”. That’s a fancy word for brain inflammation and swelling. A high-pitched scream, an arched back, and neurological damage afterwards are a textbook description of the condition.

The package insert of the MMR vaccine lists encephalopathy as a potential, albeit rare, vaccine reaction. So does the DTP. The United States Federal Claims Court for vaccine injuries has also awarded numerous families compensation for children who have suffered encephalopathy following the DTP and MMR, including dozens of children who have actually been killed. 

Yes, according the US government, more children have been killed by the MMR vaccine in the last 15 years than have died from the measles. The threshold of risk-reward benefit appears to have been reached.

Within a year of this episode, I began to research what could possibly be wrong with my daughter and why. Until then, I had implicitly trusted the medical establishment with both of my children’s lives, and my third that was on the way. 

Even when I doubted their choices, I always did what they told me to do. Always. So when they told me that my daughter was likely not talking because of her brother, and that not all kids crawl, and that it’s normal for kids to shake their heads back and forth repeatedly, and it’s normal to have constipation for a year, and on and on and on…. I believed them.

It wasn’t until I heard about the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the secret “Lilly Rider” that had been anonymously sneaked in at the eleventh hour to protect Eli Lilly and their vaccine preservative, Thimerosal, from liability, that I ever, ever, ever questioned vaccines or anything about them. 

As many people currently believe, I also believed vaccination was a miraculous duty in the modern world. If I needed to get my child a shot at two months old, I was there on that day, no questions asked.

There was no Jenny McCarthy in 2004 when this discovery happened. I had no clue who Dr. Wakefield was, what he had published, or how that was remotely relevant if at all to my life. (It is a common misconception that many Americans did.)

There was no Generation Rescue, no Autism Speaks, no Facebook, no Twitter, and very little social media available. At best, you found Yahoo groups where you could gather ideas to consider and keep up with political developments around the controversy. I, like thousands and thousands of other parents across the globe, had to do the actual research my self.

When my third child was born that year, there were far more questions than answers regarding what had happened to my daughter and why. But within a few months, I learned some frightening things…that my brother had had a horrible reaction to the MMR …and that my mother, in spite of repeatedly being given it, had never developed immunity…and that the measles virus could take up to 30 days to enter the brain upon exposure and cause encephalopathy.

I learned that the symptoms of everything wrong with my daughter were also the symptoms of mercury poisoning. That mercury opens up the blood brain barrier which can allow viruses and bacteria in that should never be able to get in there. That she had been injected with mercury on the first day of her life. 

That the CDC had studied children who received no mercury in the first month of life and compared them to children who had received 25 mcg or more and discovered there was a 7.7 Relative Risk of developing autism (and an 8.35 RR of ADHD), and then redid the study four more times over the next four years to get that risk down to 1.52…. and then destroyed, lost, or sent the original data sets off shore so they could never be independently analyzed…. but only after meeting off site from the CDC at Simpsonwood, Georgia to figure out how to interpret and handle the sensitive data, as well as how to protect themselves from law suits. 

I learned how they then hired the IOM to exonerate vaccines from having any connection, writing their precise request in a memo that they have yet to disclose to the taxpaying public, despite repeated attempts through FOIA to obtain it.

How they lied under oath to Congress on July 18, 2000 that there was no reason to worry about anything (even though they had just spent two days in June in Georgia discussing precisely why they did)...which happened to be my anniversary and the exact day and year I confirmed I was pregnant with my little girl.

You can read the whole story and download all of the emails and studies and verify everything for yourself here atwww.putchildrenfirst.org or by simply reading David Kirby’s award winning book about the whole debacle Evidence of Harm

Or, you can even save yourself all of that time and watch the documentary “Trace Amounts” www.traceamounts.com somewhere near you in the next few months. 

None of this is a secret. None of this is untrue.

Many journalists and bloggers and doctors, however, have simply decided to interpret that the behavior of the CDC was perfectly normal, that it was perfectly acceptable for them to investigate themselves and pronounce themselves not guilty of an egregious oversight error, and that the fact that the explosion of neurological disorders in the generation since (all which are symptoms of vaccine injury… ADHD, speech delay, tics, and more) is nothing more than an unfortunate coincidence. 

That is actually what one doctor said it was in an interview in 2005: “an unfortunate coincidence”. (Which I subsequently named my own book in 2016.)

And so I had a choice as my third baby came into the world. Do the same thing I had with her sister and expect a different result? Or take a step back, really investigate what was happening, read all of the science for myself, and wait. Hold off until I knew more?

For the first 6 months of her life, I actually did the same as I had with her sister. I was too afraid to challenge my doctors. Too afraid to leave my baby unprotected. Too afraid to even bring up the corruption being unearthed at the CDC. I vaccinated my baby on time, every time.

And then she got an ear infection, in the exact same month as her older sister had first gotten hers. 

I fell to my knees that night and begged God…begged him…that if he would just spare me this daughter, that I would do everything in my power for the rest of my life to help affected children and to get to the bottom of what had happened. We stopped vaccinating right then and there.

In my worst moments, I wish every condescending, know-it-all parent, journalist, blogger, and citizen who never had to live through what we did… never had to make the decisions I had to make… never had to learn of the betrayal of their government and medical community on the back of their child like we did… never actually read a study, or the minutes of Simpsonwood… never heard of Brick Township, Frederick Wellman, William Miller and Dr. Elizabeth Peabody Trevitt, and have absolutely no idea why they matter… the pain of a medically brain injured child. (Read The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Manmade Epidemic by Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted to find out.)

I wish all of those people the bullying, the vitriol, the isolation, and the hatred of parents in my position. 

I wish them the suffering of the loss of a child that is still alive. March 27, 2001, I brought a healthy, beautiful, vibrant baby girl into this world with nothing wrong with her. Over the next 18 months she got sicker and sicker, all the while no one doing anything to make her better, and on November 15, 2002, the daughter I once had, the child she was meant to be, basically died. The baby girl I had given birth to was gone, but not.

I wish them a lifetime of regret. A lifetime of never having closure. A lifetime of anxiety and panic and worry. A lifetime of loss and an indescribable, never ending soul wrenching heart ache that taints every moment of every day no matter how hard you try it not to.

I wish them the pain of going it alone. Of knowing that because your doctors didn’t do the right tests and file the right reports, you will never see a dime. 

I wish them a lifetime of watching drug commercials with side effects taking up half the time and then being told the side effects of vaccines don’t exist…and that even if they do…even IF they do, they condescendingly say….it doesn’t matter. Your child was an acceptable loss to society. Some kids gotta die so more may live, they believe. Guess you guys pulled the short straw.

I wish them seeing commercials of lawyers offering to compensate you on that same drug five years later because you can actually sue drug makers for their shoddy work with those drugs. 

I wish them knowing what it feels like to know they have no such recourse for their child.

I wish them being told they are liars, and dangerous, and public menaces, even though there is not a shred of evidence of that being true in any capacity of their lives.

I wish them the pain of someone they love, trust, and care about, someone they think has their back and believes in them, post a factually incorrect, not-even-kind-of-based-in-truth article or graphic on a controversy they have spent 5 minutes reading about, but you have spent every day of every year for 10 years living and immersed in, and realizing all this time you were wrong. They think you’re a misguided lunatic, and it was easier for them to tell you this in a passive aggressive way on Facebook than to your face.

I wish them sleepless nights and night terrors where you wake drenched in sweat, certain you are being buried alive, or doing everything you can to save your child from a fire but can’t kick the door down.

I wish them at least one suicidal thought because the guilt of what happened on your watch, and the anger of why and how, and the level of betrayal you feel is so deep, you see no other way out of the pain for the rest of your life.

I wish them a lifetime of wondering what their child would have been like, knowing it could have been prevented. 

I wish them hoping, begging, pleading that there is a heaven so that when they die, they finally get to meet and talk with that child.

I wish them being told they are a horrible person for even having that thought.

I wish them this and so much more. In my worst moments, there is so much more.

And then I think, no. I don’t wish that. I actually don’t wish this on anyone. 

I live in the Twilight Zone, one where my reality is not real according to the authorities. 

Where my pain, my child, her life, and our loss not only didn’t happen, but that it doesn’t matter if it did. No one, even the people who hate me for simply not wanting to lose another child in the same way, and to protect other parents from the same fate, deserves this.

And so then I wish for two more things: forgiveness and faith. I pray for forgiveness for my angry thoughts. I pray for forgiveness of myself and the people, policies, and programs put in place that led to this disaster.

I pray for the faith that some how, some way, this will all get worked out, and we can do what I believe every single person on either side of the controversy ultimately wants: to protect kids. 

I pray for the faith that someday my child’s sacrifice in the war on infectious disease will be honored. Just as we honor those that fall at the hands of disease, I pray someday we will acknowledge, honor, and care for those who fell at the hands of friendly fire. They are just as precious.

I pray for the faith that those responsible for this disaster will someday see justice for what they have done, and even more so, for masterfully taking the blame off themselves and putting it on the families of the victims. Evil genius, I say.

And I pray for faith that there is a reason, even if I never get to know what it is, that this had to happen…to my daughter and to us.

Meanwhile, I kindly ask that if you believe that my husband and I are a menace to society, bad parents, irresponsible, liars, “misguided”, delusional, desperate, or any such negative connotation for talking about our experience, seeking justice, and making the decisions we have henceforth, to have the decency to simply unfriend us, and not just on Facebook, but in all areas of our lives.

If you believe we would truly try to hurt a child, allow the world to explode in infectious disease, or follow quackery, unfriend us.

If you have failed to do your research and do not know that there is a whistleblower law suit against Merck right now by two of their own virologists who claim they were asked to lie about the efficacy of the MMR vaccine, and that is very possibly part of the reason why there is a measles outbreak, unfriend us.

If you believe that we owe you or society the potential loss of the quality of our youngest daughter’s life by exposing her to the same medical protocol that resulted in the actual loss of the quality of our eldest’s, unfriend us.

If you think that didn't actually happen to our daughter, unfriend us.

If you think you know better what happened to our daughter than we do because you watched an Upworthy or Penn and Teller video, unfriend us. (Funny, we’re not supposed to listen to celebrities in this issue unless they hold a certain position, I guess.)

If you think injecting a pregnant woman, infant, child, or anyone for that matter with a neurotoxin made by Eli Lilly, that has never…not even to this day…EVER been tested for safety, not to mention was deemed too toxic for animal vaccines in 1935 and isn't allowed to be injected into your dog… is an inconsequential responsible health policy, unfriend us.

If you think the Bush Administration and the CDC could/can be trusted where autism is concerned and have behaved ethically and reliably, and that parents of sick kids, the ones who did exactly as they were told and have no other agenda than to help you protect your own children are the real enemies, unfriend us.

And finally, if you think that it’s okay for some children to get irreversibly damaged or die so that more may live, I kindly ask that instead of shaming parents who have already given society a child and have decided, you know what…I’m not giving you another one….I’m not even going to take a chance on that…that you reach out them.

Because I believe the words you are actually looking for instead of “stupid”, “misguided”, “maniacs”, “public menaces” and more hateful choices are, “Thank you.”

Thank you, for giving your child to the war on infectious disease. 

Thank you, for taking one for the team. 

Thank you, for dealing with an insensitive, ungrateful government, medical community, and society who have never acknowledged your sacrifice, let alone offered to help you care for your child.

Thank you.

Those are the words you should be using. 

But be prepared. They probably won’t say, “You’re welcome” in return. 

I know I wouldn’t. I would have never, ever, ever given you or any other person on the planet my child had I been asked. Never. I vaccinated her because I believed I was protecting her, not you or anyone else.

And deep down inside, as condescending and self-righteous as you may be, you know you are the same, and that you would never offer up your child, and most certainly not two of them, to the greater good either. You have just have the luxury of never having had to make that choice or live this life.

You should say, “Thank you” for that too.

Julie Obradovic is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and the author of the book, “An Unfortunate Coincidence: a mother’s life inside the autism controversy” (Skyhorse 2016).

An Unfortunate CoincidenceAn Unfortunate Coincidence: A Mother's Life inside the Autism Controversy

In her poignant account, Julie Obradovic discusses her heart-rending struggle with her daughter’s autism and her subsequent quest for answers. She reveals the feelings of depression and helplessness brought on by the diagnosis and her initial inability to find help. Unwilling to give up, however, Obradovic began fighting, finding a treatment for her daughter and going on to campaign on behalf of others. An Unfortunate Coincidence is the result of this fight. The account takes its readers through the political, historical, and scientific developments behind the greatest medical controversy of our time, including:

The findings of the vaccine injury compensation program
Investigations of CDC fraud and the subsequent congressional hearings and findings
The identical symptoms of autism and mercury poisoning
Eyewitness reports of families and educators
The author’s struggle to present her point of view and the backlash intended to silence it

Ultimately, An Unfortunate Coincidence will ask the readers to take a closer look at the evidence uncovered by ten years of research and decide just how many coincidence claims they are willing to accept.



Gerardo-I too never thought my son and our family would be taking the autism journey. The shock, grief, disappointment, anxiety, depression that came with this diagnosis that was something I never even heard of until I saw Rain Man. My son is now an adult and we are still living through the daily challenging behaviors that his autism brings. He was born normal and I wish that I could change what happened to him as it has happened to so many families like ours. I pray every day that some researchers will find a way to reverse the damage that has taken away my son's future life. I hope it will happen in my lifetime.

Visitor IH

I witness your suffering.

Home Free - Brothers in Arms {and Sisters}



The Silent Scream

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Gerardo Martinez

Such an informative post- very hard, but so important to read and know. It is a journey that I chose not to be on, but it chose me and our family. Best to learn from it and warn others. I will never forget those screams, yells for help. Loss of skils. So many milestones just gone in a matter of months!
God be with us all!

Laura Hayes

And here is the measles-related article I wrote 9 years ago. Unfortunately, it, too, is still all too relevant.


Angus Files

Great posts from Julie dont let the Pharma trick you at anytime for anything they lie,lie,lie,.

Pharma For Prison


Joy Garner

Wow. All of those nasty "wishes" for others and their children? Hard to imagine that that wasn't once someone wishing these things of this woman and her children, i.e., the many people who most likely attempted to warn her and were scorned by her as "conspiracy theorists" or nut jobs.

And bemoaning the fact of being forced to "do my own research" - as if this is NOT something every parent should ALWAYS do before allowing a perfect stranger (who stands to $-gain-$) to inject their child with drugs? And then who gets the curses of hope that their children will be injured? Oh yeah, all of the other similarly situated parents who are STILL in the dark and behaving irrationally when it comes to trusting others (strangers) with their offspring.

Maybe it's time we all started wishing better things for all of humanity? Laying curses on others is surely not the answer to anything.

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