September 17, 2005

The AAP Ignores Autism this Annum

From John Gilmore at A-CHAMP

The American Academy of Pediatrics is having it's annual convention in Washington DC starting Saturday, Oct. 8. More than 6,000 pediatricians will gather to discuss and learn more about what is important to them. Given the crushing surge in the number of children's lives impacted by autism, now approaching 1 out of 80 boys in the US, a rational person would think this modern plague will no doubt be a top priority at the many educational seminars at the convention.

Autism, though, doesn't seem to be among the AAP’s priorities, according to the AAP convention website (proudly sponoserd by a grant from Astra Zeneca). More than 350 educational sessions are planned. How many do you think are about autism? 30? 15? 5?.

Try 1.

And that session is about the effectiveness of an anesthetic for use on kids with ASD.

For an abstract of the study and others presented at the convention check here. (Sponsored by Shire, your ADHD Support Company)

New treatments? No. Mercury in Vaccines? Is this an issue? Epidemiology? What epidemic? Autistic enterocolitis? Nope. Chelation? Please... Nothing new.

That's why a whole bunch of parents, friends and family of kids with autism are going down to Washington on October 7 and 8 to not only educate our lawmakers on Friday but to educate the physicians who are doing nothing to help our kids.

Please join us. For more info see www.nationalforce.org


This really surprised me.

With ALL that has happened this year, with 1 in 250 diagnosed with Autism, with a child dieing during chelation, with the Senate investigating the only CDC study on vaccines relationship to autism, with parents marching on Washington, with David Kirby's book, with chelation success stories being shown almost weekly on local television... etc. etc... the only question the AAP is interested in is, how to best anesthetize these kids.

Hubris.

UPDATE: Teresa, Queen of Research, has found that the AAP WILL be offering a few seminars on autism, or issues that are associated with Autism. None on chelation, which would make me happy, but enough to know that they not ignoring us. I feel much better as I considered the idea that they were not even going to address the basics of autism this year as a huge slide backward in trying to get docs to really study and treat our kids.

Here is the list she came up with:

Council on Children With Disabilities H108
Saturday, October 08, 2005 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

Update on the Biology of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

8:00 am - 8:10 am
Welcome
-Paul Lipkin, MD, FAAP, Section Chairperson
-Diane R. Edwards, MD, FAAP, Program Chairperson

8:10 am - 9:10 am
The Genetics of Autism
-Ellen Roy Elias, MD, FAAP



9:10 am - 10:10 am

Atypical Autism: Recognizing and Managing the Child with High
Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome F290
Sunday, October 09, 2005 5:00 PM-5:50 PM

HFA and AS, different labels or different entities? The answer is controversial. This session will address characteristics of each and how they are similar and different in regards to clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, screening, diagnosis and management. Upon completion of this session, participants will be
able to:

· List the diagnostic criteria for HFA and AS
· Generate a differential diagnosis for HFA/AS
· Describe the screening and evaluation process
· Describe the important components in management

Speaker(s): Chris Plauche Johnson MD, MEd, FAAP

Track(s): Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics



Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)X307
Monday, October 10, 2005 6:45 AM-7:45 AM

Case discussions will be used to illustrate unique challenges in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and management of children with ASD. In addition to cases prepared by the speaker, cases from practice are welcome. Upon completion of this session, participants will:

· Be aware of existing challenges in screening and diagnosis
· Describe management of challenging behaviors and/or co-morbid health issues
· Adopt a strategy for working with families who choose non-traditional interventions

Speaker(s): Chris Plauche Johnson MD, MEd, FAAP

Track(s): Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics



Nexus on Environmental Health H313
Monday, October 10, 2005 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

9:00 AM - 9:40 AM:
Thermometers to Fish: What Every Pediatrician Needs to Know About Mercury
Christine Johnson, MD

9:40 AM - 10:20 AM
Common Environmental Health Problems: Case Studies
Christine Johnson, MD
James R. Roberts, MD, MPH

10:20 AM - 11:00 AM
Finding and Managing the Child With an Elevated Blood Lead Level
James R. Roberts, MD, MPH

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Annual Business Meeting and Box Lunch

Speaker(s): Christine L. Johnson MD ,James R. Roberts MD, MPH, FAAP



Vaccine Update: The Next 1000 Days
S356
Monday, October 10, 2005 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
The U.S. immunization program has been enormously successful in improving the health of infants, children and adolescents. The near future holds hope for the program to be raised to the next level with the possible addition of conjugated meningococcal, Tdap, rotavirus, MMRV and human papillomavirus vaccines to the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule. The objectives of this seminar are to review the current program, discuss vaccines and vaccine recommendations on the horizon, and outline major policy and service issues these changes will bring.

Speaker(s): Larry K. Pickering MD, FAAP ,Margaret B. Rennels MD, FAAP

Track(s): Infectious Disease



Vaccine Safety Issues S376
Monday, October 10, 2005 4:00 PM-6:00 PM
This seminar will review: current vaccine safety issues; the nature and scope of vaccine hesitancy and its management in primary care; the components of the US vaccine safety system; school entry laws and immunization exemptions; the balance between preserving individual choice and protecting the public health and the need to sustain a broad immunization consensus to achieve the full benefits of modern
vaccinology.

Speaker(s): Edgar K. Marcuse MD, MPH, FAAP ,Walter A. Orenstein MD, FAAP

Track(s): Infectious Disease



Etiology and Management of Autism
S483
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

This seminar will review standard criteria for the diagnosis of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and will discuss management. ASD children may nor present with indicators of ill health in the same manner as typically developing children and the "Red Flags" suggesting potentially significant medical conditions will be discussed. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

1) Recognize the key core diagnostic characteristics of ASD
2) Be aware of appropriate studies to assist diagnosis
3) Identify atypical symptoms of ill health in ASD children
4) Identify criteria for appropriate interventional strategies
5) Evaluate effectiveness of treatment plans

Speaker(s): Adrian Sandler MD, FAAP ,Margaret L. Bauman MD, FAAP

Track(s): Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics



The Epidemiology of Autism-Is there an epidemic?
-Craig Newschaffer, PhD

10:10 am - 10:30 am
Questions & Answers

10:30 am - 10:45 am
Break

10:45 am - 11:15 am
Arnold J. Capute Award Presentation
Introduction: Fred Palmer, MD, FAAP, Capute Award Committee Chairperson
Recipient: Pasquale J. Accardo, MD, FAAP

11:15 am - 12:00 Noon
Section Business Meeting

7 comments:

Wrigley Fiels said...

Not so much hubris. More like they know they can't win.
Unless they ask Mom's against mercur or No mercury or Mercury is Evil to type up a statement that they will read unquestioningly, they'll have a hundred screaming angry parents trying to jump down their throats.

Tell me I'm wrong here. You already have Paul Offitt ranked up there with Hitler and Beelzebub. Who else is going to be anxious to join him?

Anonymous said...

whut wrigley sed

Ginger said...

Wrigley,

First, the point of the conference is not a PR move to impress parents (clearly as they would have addressed what is currently the most hotly debated children’s disorder, even if only to go over a laundry list of research that is being done, the usual way the establishment tries to appease upset parents). It is to educate their members on what they think is most important topics in medicine today.

Autism did not make that list.

And, respectfully, you are wrong here. Parents on the whole are not going to jump down the throats of doctors who are actually looking at the information coming to light and being straight with them

I met with my own Ped a three weeks ago, and we talked for an hour (he was really generous with his time for me). He was really impressed with Chandler's progress, but when I asked him to look into the idea of telling the parents of his other autistic patients about DAN doctors or even referring to them, he said that the whole discussion was over his head at this point, and that it was hard enough for him to keep up with established western medicine, much less read about alternate treatments. He figured that the AAP was smarter on the subject than he was and he would go by what they recommended. I didn't even mention the AAP.

He was really nice and really honest, and despite the fact that he did not budge at all, I really respect him for listening with humility.

It told me that the AAP really is the linch pin in getting the word out that biomed treatment even exists. When I read that the AAP is not even talking to docs about autism at all this year, I was totally floored.

That is not honest and open. That is hoping that if they just ignore the problem, it will go away.

That is hubris.

As for Offit being evil, I have not mentioned Paul Offit here except to mention that his opinions should be judged on their merit as any other doctor in the debate or that congress found him in violation of ethics in the RotoShield investigation.

Neither ranked him up there with Hitler.

I understand that some parents do think that he is Hitler, but I am not here to defend any one else’s Hitler analogies. I only defend my own statements.

Also the only person I think is Hitler was Hitler. So enough with the Hitler comparisons already.

I will be writing about some really bizarre statements Offit put out in regard to vaccine safety, specifically that he believes that research indicates that children can safely receive 100,000 vaccinations in one sitting safely.

I wrote him to confirm that he was not misquoted, and he replied that he was not and that the 100,000 number was a conservative number. All I can think when I hear that kind of stuff is that he doesn’t even take vaccine safety concerns seriously.

That is hubris if I have ever heard it.

The AAP ignoring what could be the biggest iatrogenic disease in history is also hubris.

Bottom line for me, there is a proverb that says, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks".

The fact that the AAP is not addressing causes or treatments of autism, especially now when new studies on what it is and how it might be treated are coming out weekly now, as the entire discussion is coming to a head, let's me know that they really don't want to talk about autism.

How in the world could I get the message that the American Association of Pediatrics cares about my son's medical condition?

Wade Rankin said...

Although our pediatrician is a wonderful person, and seems very knowledgeable on so many issues, her refusal to even take a look at this issue has been frustrating to us. Like most pediatricians with whom my wife speaks on a professional or personal basis (she is a nurse anesthetist and comes into contact with many doctors on a daily basis), our pediatrician doesn't even want to look at anything beyond the official position papar of the AAP.

One of the nice things about being in Chicago during our recent Katrina-forced "vacation" was the chance to take our son to his DAN! doc who practices in that area. Despite the distance, we're really starting more and more to think of her, rather than the pediatrician, as our son's doctor.

And although Paul Offitt is the only person that I have yet labeled a "shill," I have likened him to neither Hitler nor Beelzebub. In the interest of candor, however, I have on occasion referred to him as "Lord Vader." The problem with Dr. Offitt is not that he holds opinions different from us; the problem is his complete lack of candor. He has made countless television appearances, always speaking in kindly tones about how he really feels sorry for all of the misguided and misinformed parents. Not once has he disclosed that he holds a patent on a thimerosal-containing vaccine, or that he is under contract to an industry group that pays him (how much is anyone's guess) to "educate" physicians and the public on the benefits of vaccination. Oddly enough, the newtowks on which Dr. Offitt appears -- who rely so much on advertising revenue from members of that same industry group -- don't seem to feel it's of any relevance either.

No Wrigley, you are wrong. Most of us have spoken to doctors who don't believe the connection or the benefits of biomedical interventions. Indeed, many of us heard of our children's ASD diagnoses from such individuals. I know of nobody who tried to jump down the throats of such doctors. And I would never compare any of those doctors to Paul Offitt. All we are asking is that our pediatricians actually take a real look at a major health issue rather than simply scan what their association is spoon-feeding them.

Tina said...

I have spent the past month visiting schools as an autism specialist. The lack of training, committment, and support for these children is a crime. Parents must advocate and be the experts. Ginger, keep up the fight. You are the specialist in this field, not those of us in education. We are learning from you.

Brett said...

What boggles my mind is not that the AAP chooses to avoid (ignore?) the question of mercury as a possible cause of or contributor to autism, but the fact that they seem to be ignoring autism altogether.

Fine, they don't believe that mercury poisoning is a cause of autism. Something is. With CDC reporting 1 in 166 kids today being autistic I would think they would be at least a little bit interested, as a professional organization, in at least discussing the latest research in cause, identification, and treatment.

How can a pediatrician that does not understand the causes and treatments for a disorder, any disorder, provide the proper and appropriate care for a child that suffers from that disorder? How can a pediatrician help identify early symptoms of autism in children so they can give parents a heads up?

Ginger said...

See above Update on additional seminars on autism offered by the AAP.

Whew. They are not ignoring our kids. Blood pressure dropping.

I would really like to see the Bauman lecture, or all of them really, to see how far into the current biomed treatments they will go.

These aren't seminars on chelation, but it is enough to let me know they have not dismissed us, so I can go ahead and withdraw the "Hubris" charge.