From the Grandparent of an Autistic Child:
It has been three long years since my grandson (Bobby) was diagnosed autistic. While his diagnosis was a devastating experience for our entire family, we have learned we have much to be thankful for. Such as the pure joy my wife and I experience as we stand curbside with Bobby's baby sister Kristin, eagerly anticipating the moment his school bus doors will open revealing a very happy child smiling ear to ear in clear recognition he is home. The moment is even more joyful on those rare occasions when he manages to blurt out "Hi". It is amazing how much hope we derive from hearing his voice speak such a simple word. Hope for our little guy's improvement is something our entire family can be thankful for on this day of thanksgiving.
I would also like to thank God for all those who have given our family reasons to hope:
David Kirby for his talent as a journalist, writer and now accomplished speaker, whose best selling book "Evidence of Harm" dared raise troubling questions about the cause of autism, at a time when powerful interests work tirelessly to prevent those questions from being raised. David exhibits all the personal courage of a man who remained fearless even after finding he had been tossed into a pit of rampaging, hungry lions.
Dan Schulman of the Columbia Journalism Review for his extremely courageous critical examination of major media's blatant unfairness in presenting the raging debate over thimerosal and autism.
Dan Olmstead for his continuing series of columns asking the right questions and seeking the right answers. This sounds far easier than it actually is, especially after reading Mr. Schulman's review illustrating that media fairness is a rare exception. That rare exception is Dan Olmstead.
Lenny Schafer for his "Schafer Autism Report" which in my family is required reading. We have learned nothing compares with SAR if we want to maintain daily vigilance over quickly unfolding events.
Dr. David Wakefield for his dedicated, determined resolve to pursue medical research that may one day help unravel the mysteries of autism that have stymied his medical colleagues for decades. Dr. Wakefield is a battle-scarred veteran of an often dirty war being waged to shed sunlight on subjects that many would prefer remain unexamined in the light of day.
Prof Boyd E. Haley, University of Kentucky, who has offered a truly remarkable hypothesis: Thimerosal in mandated vaccines is the major etiological agent in the recent increase in autism and ADD. Prof Haley's hypothesis has not been received with enthusiasm by many in the academic or scientific communities who appear desperate the cause and cure of autism remain unexplained and incurable.
Mark and David Geier who have undertaken the thankless task of attempting to penetrate a carefully constructed wall of secrecy behind which too many public health agencies may have hidden evidence of their failure to act responsibly on the issue of thimerosal and vaccines. It is this lack of transparancy that causes a public perception, fairly or not, that public health officials are being less than truthful with the people they are sworn to protect.
DAN doctors and N.Y.S. BOCES teachers who have provided Bobby the best health and educational care our family could hope for. These extraordinary people have made little Bobby's life far better than it would be without their dedication and compassion.
I want to offer special thanks to all those moms and dads who began this lonely fight to ascertain what happened to our children in the quiet isolation of their family kitchens and living rooms. I mean those men and women who are responsible for constructing the support organizations that my family found already in place when we first learned of Bobby's autism. These grass roots organizations provided my family with the comfort and immediate access to information at a time when we thought we were all alone. There are many but here are a few that my family turned to in our time of need: CAN, NAA, Moms and Dads Against Mercury, Educate Before you Vaccinate, DAN, Safe-Minds, ASA, National Vaccine Information Center, Generation Rescue, Autism Research Institute, A-CHAMP. These organizations continue to provide our family with reasons to hope that our little guy is not lost forever. On this Thanksgiving Day, that is something to be truly thankful for.
- Bob Moffitt