March 31, 2008

Julie Gerberding Admits on CNN that Vaccines can Trigger Autism

This weekend Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC, appeared on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's show, House Call, and explained that vaccines can trigger autism in a vulnerable subset of children. This is the claim that parents like me have been making since at least the 80's, and have been dismissed and even mocked for making it.

But no one in the main stream media seems to have noticed. Not even CNN. Not even Dr. Gupta who was sitting right in front of her.

[Video updated 4/2/08]

Apparently, if you dress in soft pink and speak in dulcet, reassuring tones, you can indict yourself in the biggest international health crisis of the times and not even your interviewer will notice.

It is time for Dr. Gerberding to be forced to give cogent answers to the difficult questions that it is her responsibility to truthfully address. From all I have seen, it will take an act of Congress to do it.

I am joining Hannah Poling's parents in calling for the immediate release of the Poling case documents, and calling for congressional hearings into the autism cases in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

This obfuscation and double speak must end.

*For more on this interview, read these:

An Invitation to Julie Gerberding to Help Her Find the Missing Information on Autism

Wait! Did Julie Gerberding Just Admit that Vaccines Trigger Autism!?

March 30, 2008

Ken Stoller Files Complaint Against Anne Schuchat

Dr. Kenneth Stoller has filed a complaint with the CDC over Dr. Anne Schuchat's response to David Kirby's piece in the AJC.

The CDC has two months to reply. I will let you know what they say:

Requestor Information
Last Name: Stoller
First Name: Kenneth

Organizational Affiliation:

Best Way to Contact Requestor: E-Mail
E-Mail Address:
Daytime Phone Number:
Address: 404 Brunn School Rd #D Santa Fe, NM 87505
Type of Disseminated Information: Other

Other Information:
Vaccines' benefits outweigh dangers Autism claim shouldn't deter parents By ANNE SCHUCHAT

Request Information

Description of Information:

"the best science indicates that there is no association between vaccines and autism. As part of our efforts to foster understanding of autism."

Specific Reason(s) why Information does not Comply with OMB, HHS or CDC Guidelines:

The best science is not what the CDC relies on to make the above statement and this is a complete misrepresentation of the truth in this matter. As I have pointed out before, there had been no epidemiological study in the USA between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations. The supposed "best science" quoted by the CDC and now Dr.SCHUCHAT as showing no connection between vaccines with thimerosal and autism were funded by the CDC, done by non-USA citizens, mostly done in Europe by individuals involved in producing thimerosal containing vaccines and on populations where the autism rate was more than 13 times less than in the USA. Interestingly, three of the epidemiological studies most quoted by pediatricians as proving thimerosal safety actually showed that thimerosal removal lead to an increase in autism, in one this increase was about 20 fold. To report that decreasing exposure to a potent neurotoxin like thimerosal decreased any specific neurological disease is ridiculous. Perhaps this is why the countries where the data was collected (Denmark, Sweden, England) and the reports filed have not followed the conclusion of the authors and still maintain thimerosal removal from pediatric vaccines. Only the CDC gives any scientific credence to the obviously low quality epidemiological studies done by these Danish, Swedish and English researchers who had obvious vested interests in the outcome.

Requestor's Recommendation for Correction:

The constant mantra of the "best science" does not show a connection without any consideration being taken for know toxicity issues, known (as in the scientific literature showing various heavy metals cause mitochondrial dysfunction) must stop if there is to be anything left of the vaccine program in a few short years. Then, implement a non CDC controlled study of vaccinated versus non-vaccinated populations - this represents straight-forward scientific logic. The fact that the major medical agencies and associations refuse to do this and insist on spending millions on genetic research suggests a force is working hard to prevent such a study----perhaps because the answer is already know (Simpsonwood CDC meeting June 2000). A reliable USA located academic institution needs to be assigned the task to evaluate the vaccinated versus non-vaccinated populations. The recent report from Mannitoba, Canada on an approximate 5% versus 16% asthma rate on adolescents receiving thimerosal containing DPT at 4 months versus 2 months of age, respectively, tells us that there is a lot about the various aspects of the mandated vaccine program that science does not understand at this time. A comprehensive study of the vaccinated versus the non-vaccinated followed by the design of global monitoring of identified "vaccine risk factors" would provide the basis of implementing a much safer vaccine program.

How Were You (the requestor) Affected by the Information?

I am a pediatrician and misinformation about the vaccine program and vaccine safety by the CDC affects me directly.

HT: Heather King

March 29, 2008

Wait! Did Julie Gerberding Just Admit that Vaccines Trigger Autism!?

I think that she did!

She could not have talked around it or downplayed it more... but she said it.

I only saw the video on CNN's web site, but Kirby found the transcript of the whole show.

I am gonna dig through the transcript and get back to you.. in the mean time:

UPDATE: She did. Let's go to the tape.

CNN, CDC, and Some Truth
Posted March 29, 2008 | 02:20 PM (EST)
Huffington Post

It was a big morning in Atlanta today. In case you missed CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding this morning on CNN's "House Call with Dr Sanjay Gupta," it was rather interesting:

If I have read the transcript below correctly, Dr. Gerberding is saying that, yes, in some mitochondrial disorder cases, vaccines can be the trigger that causes "symptoms that have characteristics of autism." So, Dr. Gerberding admits a link -- but then denies that it is a link to autism.

The only problem with this line of argument is that I know for a fact that Hannah, as well as the kids in the new unpublished mito study were, as one doctor told me, "plucked right from autism clinics. They all have autism, there is no question of that."

JULIE GERBERDING, DR., CDC DIRECTOR: "Well, you know, I don't have all the facts because I still haven't been able to review the case files myself. But my understanding is that the child has a -- what we think is a rare mitochondrial disorder. And children that have this disease, anything that stresses them creates a situation where their cells just can't make enough energy to keep their brains functioning normally. Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you're predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism."

So, complications from vaccines can set off damage that causes characteristics of autism (just not autism itself). I don't believe I have ever heard that from a CDC official before, though that doesn't mean they never said it.

At the same time, this language does not quite jive with what Director Gerberding told reporters just over three weeks ago on a conference call:

"Let me be very clear that (the) government has made absolutely no statement about indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism. That is a complete mischaracterization of the findings of the case, and a complete mischaracterization of any of the science that we have at our disposal today. So I think we need to set the record straight on that."

I guess it all depends on what the meaning of the word, "cause," is.

The CNN interview this morning with Sanjay Gupta continues:

GUPTA: Are we ready to say right now that childhood vaccines do not cause autism?

GERBERDING: We can say absolutely for sure that we don't really understand the causes of autism. We've got a long way to go before we get to the bottom of this.

GUPTA: And you are comfortable saying that with everything we know?

GERBERDING: I'll never be comfortable with everything we know. I mean, I think we have to have an open mind about this. We know that there is very little chance that something related to a vaccine is going to cause a serious problem for a child.

Amid the usual "vaccines save lives" answer to questioning if it's possible that childhood vaccines could cause autism, there is some new and interesting rhetoric in the CDC Director's statements:

To wit:

"Set off some damage"

"Have an open mind"

"We don't know"

"Get to the bottom" of vaccines and autism.

"Ill never be comfortable"

"Very little chance" - instead of "there is no evidence"

"Something related to A vaccine" - (as opposed to several vaccines at once)

This seems like news to me, but I could be wrong. At the least, I think it is interesting, and worthy of follow up, should anyone in the media be able to talk with Dr. Gerberding. For some reason, she doesn't return my calls.

An Invitation to Julie Gerberding to Help Her Find the Missing Information on Autism

Yesterday CNN posted an interview with Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, whom many parents of autistic children, myself included, want removed from her post for her… well… I will be generous and call it “mismanagement” of the autism epidemic.

Dr. Gupta, who has seemed to actually want to investigate this since the Poling Case was brought to our attention, did the interview, and unfortunately, could not have made it easier on her. He lobbed softballs and challenged nothing that she said. But he did say he would “stay on this”, so I am not giving up hope on him.

Of course she stuck to the same talking points, ‘CDC cares about autism’, ‘CDC are parents too’, ‘autism rates the same, just better recognition’, ‘more needs to be done’, but failed to mention that she has been saying those same things since she took the job six years ago, but has not actually done one single thing for our kids.

I would just like to call attention to a couple of her bullshit (*) remarks:

“There have been at least 15 very good scientific studies and the Institute of Medicine that has searched this out. And they have concluded that there really is no association between vaccines and autism”

The IOM report and two of those “very good” studies are the thing that got me into this debate in the first place. (David Kirby wrote a very fat book about them, which CDC still has not responded to.) The IOM decision was a horrible one. It was not based on the research presented at the meetings, the findings contradicted themselves and we have the transcripts of one of the first meetings in which they say no matter what information comes to light, they were going to give CDC what they asked for, which was that vaccines would not be indicted.

When asked about the transcripts, Dr. Harvey Fineberg, head of the IOM, states that this is an incorrect interpretation of the comments, but will not offer any alternate interpretation of what else they could mean. (I wrote to him personally, but got no response.)

Additionally… well… if you read my blog you already know how I feel about those “very good” studies.

“33,000 children a year are saved from death associated with vaccines because of our immunization program”

There is absolutely no way for her to know this. As far as I know there is no door way into an alternate universe where everything is the same except that vaccination does not exist so that she can count how many kids there die and come back and make the report to us.

“One of the things that concerns me, while the attention is focused on vaccines, in a sense, it means that people are not looking for other causes."

Nice misdirection, but you forgot to misdirect us to something. What are these other causes that we might be examining? It can’t be genetics because pretty much ALL of the government research dollars have been going into them for decades. What is it that we have become distracted from?

And now for the biggest bullshit statement of the day:

“And we have got to keep reminding ourselves that the vaccine story is one that has been debated for many, many years now. We keep looking and looking and looking and really cannot turn up any information”.

Oh. My. God.

Really? Seriously? (Where are Amy and Seth when you need them).

Because I can. Random mom in a little town in Maine with internet access and the ability to read is finding more information than you can with your thousands of scientists and billions of dollars?

Come on Julie. (Can I call you Julie? I feel like I know you personally since your actions have had such a directly destructive impact on my son and the course of the lives of each of the members of our family) Let's set the bullshit aside. I know that you know that information too, because CDC visits this blog every day, Monday through Friday. (Half the time it is to read about what we are all saying about you personally).

Tell you what. I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one. Perhaps all this information on causes and treatments has escaped your attention. But you are in luck!

The spring DAN! Conference is next week in Cherry Hill, NJ and they have LOADS of this missing information that you cannot seem to find. So I want to offer you a personal invitation to attend the conference with me.

I will pay all your expenses. And by that I mean I will make JB Handley pay all your expenses because I am broke from treating Chandler for his ‘autistic symptoms’. (update: JB confirmed, he's got you covered.)

Just let me know where and what time to pick you up on the evening of Wednesday, April 2. World Autism Day.

* My apologies for using this crass term for those who may not believe that it is appropriate, but after four years of hearing this junk, I have come to the conclusion that it is really the only accurate term to describe these statements any more. I will be using it from now on as a technical term to describe the form of speech described by Princeton Professor Harvey G. Frankfurt in his 2005 ethics book, “On Bullshit”.

UPDATE: Apparently I am a plagiarist. Mark Blaxill gave a talk at the 2006 Autism One conference where he invokes Frankfurt's ideas in reference to Harvey Feinberg's epidemic denial comments. It is a great talk and appropriate to the absurdity of the statements coming out of the CDC and their fellow travelers these days so I will post it. I had heard the speech from the podcast a few years ago and forgot about it. I thought John Stewart had introduced me to Frankfurt, but apparently I misremembered. ;)
HT: Carrie Elsass

More on Mitochondrical Disorders from the Clevland Clinic

Since the Poling's press conference three weeks ago, we have been hearing from health authorities like Julie Gerberding and Anne Schuchat that Hannah's mitochondrial disorder was genetic and rare.

David Kirby's most recent article let us know that the CDC has known since at least March 11th that Hannah's case is not at all rare, and famed The Cleavland Clinic here informs us that mito disorders are not all genetic, but can be caused by toxins.

Which leads us back to the same question as always in dealing with CDC officials... are they incompetent, or are they liars?

I have put the relevant pieces of information in bold.

Myths and Facts About Mitochondrial Diseases

All mitochondrial diseases are known by acronym abbreviations (e.g., MELAS, MERRF, NARP, LHON).

Acronyms were commonly used when these disorders were first described. Today, the naming of mitochondrial disorders is evolving. Mitochondrial disorders are currently named by any of the following methods:

* By acronym descriptions (still in use although most people with a mitochondrial disorder do not have an "acronymic-named" disorder)
* By a name based on a person who described the disease
* By a name based on a specific genetic mutation
* By a name based on a microscopic description of tissue, or
* By a name based on the deficient enzyme

It is important to note that the labels given this disorder do not, in and of themselves, predict the long-term outcome or alter treatment.

Mitochondrial diseases are inherited only from your mother.

The current thinking is that most mitochondrial diseases are the result of one or more complex inheritance patterns. Most mitochondrial diseases are the result of mutations (changes) in DNA located in the nucleus of the cell. Only mitochondrial disorders caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA (a specific structure in living cells, located outside the nucleus) are inherited exclusively from mothers.

Another source of mitochondrial disorders that affects a large percentage of patients is poorly functioning mitochondria that become that way because of:

* another disease process (including other chromosomal disorders)
* exposure to toxins or viruses

* other inherited genetic mutations that are not disease-causing until "triggered" by some other genetic factor

Mitochondrial disease is a childhood disease.

Although mitochondrial disorders are commonly seen in infants and children, they can occur at any age.

An individual with mitochondrial disease has mental retardation, growth problems, and/or seizures.

Only some individuals have these developmental problems. Patients' symptoms can range from extremely mild to severe, can involve one or more body systems, and can emerge at any age. The brain, muscles, heart, liver, nerves, eyes, ears, and kidneys are the organs and tissues most affected. Most patients' symptoms fluctuate over the course of their illness -- patients at some times experience no or few symptoms, and at other times have many and/or severe symptoms. Even family members with the same disorder can experience vastly different symptoms.

Since mitochondrial diseases are incurable, no treatments can be given to these patients.

Even though these disorders are long term and incurable, treatments are available. Early treatment of symptoms can reduce their impact and limit further disability. Avoiding certain medications and stressful situations that worsen symptoms is also helpful. Certain medications and supplements may improve mitochondrial disease-related symptoms -- just as they do for other incurable diseases -- such as diabetes and emphysema.

Patients with mitochondrial disease all have elevated lactic acid levels in their blood.

An elevated lactic acid level, along with other symptoms, typically does indicate a mitochondrial problem and requires further investigation. However, elevated lactic acid levels are not seen in all types of mitochondrial diseases. In making the diagnosis, your doctor will look for other signs of mitochondrial disorders in blood, urine, and spinal fluid samples.

A muscle biopsy is the "gold standard" for diagnosis of mitochondrial disease.

Although the muscle biopsy is a powerful diagnostic tool, it should not be considered a "gold standard." Examination of a biopsy includes microscopic evaluation, enzyme testing, and genetic testing. Although all U.S. labs that offer muscle biopsy meet strict laboratory guidelines, there is no agreed-upon standard approach for enzyme testing. Furthermore, a muscle biopsy with full analysis costs well over $10,000 and poses both surgical and anesthetic risks. In some patients, the diagnosis can be made based on clinical symptoms and a positive blood test (identifying a genetic mutation) or a combination of clinical findings and other non-invasive testing -- in either case, a muscle biopsy is not necessary. Finally, since biopsy results usually do not alter the long-term outcome or treatment considerations, some specialists and patients choose to treat without the need for a muscle biopsy.

A muscle biopsy is a muscle biopsy no matter where and how it is done.

Muscle removed for biopsy can be tested in many ways. For example, enzyme testing can be done on either ground-up muscle or on mitochondria extracted from muscle. Testing on extracted mitochondria is performed in only a few medical center laboratories and must be performed immediately. This procedure is known as a "fresh biopsy." In an alternative procedure, called a "frozen biopsy," the muscle is quickly cooled and stored at -80 degrees Celsius for testing at an outside facility. The scientific community is currently debating the advantages of testing "fresh vs. frozen" mitochondria. Some evidence indicates that the "fresh biopsy" may be the superior method. Other types of mitochondrial testing of the muscle biopsy may need to be conducted; a limited number of laboratories offer such testing.

For additional information on mitochondrial diseases, contact:

The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
8085 Saltsburg Road, Suite 201
Pittsburgh, PA 15239

The Mitochondrial Medicine Society

HT: MomResearch

Cornelia Read: A Shot In The Dark

Cornelia Read manages to sum up my whole blog in one post. But with better images.

March 28, 2008

Autism: The Musical

So I just finished watching it. Kirby was right.

I dare you not to fall in love with these kids.

HBO will be streaming it for free for a few more days online. Go watch it now.

Wakefield and Colleagues Should Be Knighted, Not Persecuted

This press released issued by pretty much everyone in the biomedical community.

I say here, here.

U.K. Medical Inquiry Threatens Scientific Inquiry & Progress in Autism

The National Autism Association (NAA), SafeMinds, Unlocking Autism, Generation Rescue, Autism One and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) wish to express support for Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues who are unjustly facing a fitness to practice hearing by the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom. Dr. Wakefield, a pioneer in autism research and treatment, begins his historic testimony today. The undersigned organizations, along with other U.S. families affected by autism, join in spirit with the U.K. families who are demonstrating today at the GMC offices in London.

The GMC prosecution is a frontal attack on the health and well-being of those around the world who have an autism spectrum disorder. Scientific and medical progress in this field will only be made through open minded thinking on how best to treat and prevent the disabling conditions that accompany this complex diagnosis. The GMC's actions have a chilling effect on the practice of medicine and suppress honest and open scientific inquiry.

Dr. Wakefield and his team of elite researchers at the Royal Free Hospital in London did exactly as they were called to do by their professional curiosity and ethics - find out why so many children have autism and whether gastrointestinal problems play a role in the disorder. Their seminal 1998 paper published in The Lancet reported a series of observations whose common features had coalesced as a new syndrome, autistic enterocolitis. The parents of many patients noted a link between the onset of symptoms and receipt of the measles-mumps-rubella combination vaccine (MMR), but out of an abundance of caution the Lancet paper claimed that the study did not prove an association between MMR and autism. Rather, it prudently called for further research.

The underlying goal of the GMC hearing is to take Dr. Wakefield and colleagues to task for daring to even hint at a vaccine-autism link. The "official" reason is to determine if the scientists profited from their research, but in fact the inquiry is a desperate tactic by vaccination proponents to quiet those who raise questions about the safety of current vaccination practices such as combining three live viruses into the single MMR injection. Recent developments in the U.S. have vindicated Dr. Wakefield's hypotheses. Gastrointestinal problems are now known to be present in many autistic children and gastroenterology has become a standard discipline for autism medical care. The U.S. court for vaccine injury compensation has found that vaccination against multiple diseases on one day led to a case of regression into autism in a child who was developing normally.

Dr. Wakefield should be knighted for his cutting-edge creativity, not persecuted. He made his hypotheses a decade ago, and the rest of science is just now catching up. The public health bureaucrats and their agents - in the U.K. and the U.S. - are more interested in covering up their own misdeeds, poor judgment, or inaction. These include a refusal to make the single monovalent measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines broadly available in response to legitimate concerns over the safety of the triple MMR injection, a refusal to conduct a valid study comparing the rate of autism and other health outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, and a refusal to reexamine infant immunization schedules to increase safety. Autism spectrum disorder rates in the U.K. may be as high as 1 in 66 and in the U.S. they are said to be 1 in 150 children, but the public health establishment refuses to declare autism a health emergency, refuses to apply the resources to understanding the disorder, and refuses to conduct the type of unbiased research required.

The U.K. medical establishment has driven Dr. Wakefield from his home, but his loss is America's gain. We are blessed to have Dr. Wakefield as Director of the Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas. In a few short years, this has become an international mecca for research, education, and treatment for children with autism. We look forward to a fair GMC hearing and to further ground-breaking research from Dr. Wakefield and his team.

For more information about autism and the undersigned organizations, visit Details about today's rally in London are available at

National Autism Association
Unlocking Autism
Generation Rescue
Autism One
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)

March 27, 2008

The Study That FINALLY Got The CDC to Pay Attention

Last night we learned from David Kirby that the CDC is actually waking up to the vaccine/autism connection because of the recent revelation of previously missing middle man Mr. Mitochondria.

Here is the study that was the slap in the fact that has been so badly needed for so long:

Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorder in Portugal: prevalence, clinical characterization, and medical conditions

Guiomar Oliveira MD PhD, Centro de Desenvolvimento da Criança, Hospital Pediátrico de Coimbra; Assunção Ataíde BSc, Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro Coimbra;
Carla Marques MSc, Centro de Desenvolvimento da Criança, Hospital Pediátrico de Coimbra; Teresa S Miguel BSc, Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro, Coimbra;
Ana Margarida Coutinho BSc, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras; Luísa Mota-Vieira PhD, Unidade de Genética e Patologia moleculares, Hospital do Divino Espírito Santo, Ponta Delgada, Açores; Esmeralda Gonçalves PhD; Nazaré Mendes Lopes PhD, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra; Vitor Rodrigues MD PhD; Henrique Carmona da Mota MD PhD, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra; Astrid Moura Vicente PhD, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal.
*Correspondence to first author at Hospital Pediátrico de Coimbra, Av Bissaya Barreto, 3000-076 Coimbra, Portugal. E-mail:

The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and identify its clinical characterization, and medical conditions in a paediatric population in Portugal. A school survey was conducted in elementary schools, targeting 332 808 school-aged children in the mainland and 10 910 in the Azores islands. Referred children were directly assessed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn), the Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised, and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Clinical history and a laboratory investigation was performed. In parallel, a systematic multi-source search of children known to have autism was carried out in a restricted region. The global prevalence of ASD per 10 000 was 9.2 in mainland, and 15.6 in the Azores, with intriguing regional differences. A diversity of associated medical conditions was documented in 20%, with an unexpectedly high rate of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders.

March 26, 2008

David Kirby Drops Another Bomb: Autism Risk May Be 1 in 50

Of the thirty kids with regressive autism that were screened, 100% of them had the same biochemical imbalances as Hannah Poling.

All 30.


Hannah is in no way, rare.

"The biochemistry of 30 children was studied intensively, and in each case, the results showed the same abnormalities as those found in Hannah Poling, participants said. Each child had moderate elevations or imbalances in the exact same amino acids and liver enzymes as Hannah Poling."

And... (I can't even believe that I am typing these words) on the conference call that Kirby is writing about the CDC was discussing adjusting the vaccine schedule to make it safer.

Keep reading...

UPDATE: Kirby offers bullet points to help us wrap our heads around all the info here:

I realize my Huffington essay was rather long and complicated. Here is a brief synopsis of just SOME of the larger points raised in the piece. I will probably alter this a little, but it hits most of the main topics. Please feel free to circulate - DK

● Up to 1 in 50 children (2%) may have a genetic mutation that puts them at risk for mitochondrial dysfunction.

● Up to 20% of all children with autism may have an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction

● Children with mitochondrial dysfunction are more likely to regress into autism between the ages 1 and 2 years, if they have fever or illness from viral infections or vaccines.

● The CDC is aware of this difficult situation and is taking measures immediately to address the current national vaccine schedule.

● The genetic susceptibility for mitochondrial dysfunction in autism is inherited through the father, not the mother, as previously thought, and is not rare at all.

● The DNA mutation might not be enough in itself to confer cellular dysfunction, and many doctors believe there is an environmental trigger as well.

● They note that thimerosal, mercury, aluminum, pollution, pesticides, medicines and prenatal alcohol exposure have all been shown to damage mitochondria.

● Other doctors believe that a corn-byproduct based diet in America has put children in a constant inflammatory state, thus making the DNA mutation more pathogenic.

● While some children with mitochondrial dysfunction regress into autism following fever and illness from a viral infection; other kids, like Hannah Poling, clearly regress following a reaction to vaccines.

● The exact percentage of people with vaccine induced autism is unknown. But even a 1% rate could mean 10,000 Americans with vaccine related autism, at a cost of many billions of dollars for lifetime care.

The Next Big Autism Bomb, Are 1 in 50 Kids At Risk?
Posted March 26, 2008 | 09:30 PM (EST)
David Kirby
Huffington Post

On Tuesday, March 11, a conference call was held between vaccine safety officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several leading experts in vaccine safety research, and executives from America's Health Insurance Plans, (the HMO trade association) to discuss childhood mitochondrial dysfunction and its potential link to autism and vaccines.

It was a sobering event for all concerned, and it could soon become known as the Conference Call heard 'round the world.

The teleconference was scheduled by a little known CDC agency called the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network, a consortium of six research centers working on "immunization-associated health risks," in conjunction with the CDC's Immunization Safety Office and the health insurance lobby -- whose companies cover some 200 million Americans.

The hot topic of the day was mitochondria - the little powerhouses within each cell that convert food and oxygen into energy for use by the body. Recent news events have implicated mitochondria in at least one case of regressive autism, following normal development.

Some researchers on the call reported that mitochondrial dysfunction is probably much more common than the current estimate of 1-in-4,000 people. The potential implications for autism, then, are staggering.

"We need to find out if there is credible evidence, theoretically, to support the idea that childhood mitochondrial dysfunction might regress into autism," one of the callers reportedly told participants.


One person on the call (those interviewed for this article asked to remain anonymous) told me that, "the CDC people were informed, in no uncertain terms, that they need to look into this issue immediately, and do something about it." The clock is ticking, they were told, and if they don't respond, the information will be made public.

Still, the doctor said, he was enormously impressed by the "seriousness" with which CDC officials treated the possibility of a link between mitochondria, autism and possibly vaccines as well.

In the recent landmark Hannah Poling case, filed in Federal "Vaccine Court," officials conceded that Hannah's underlying mitochondrial dysfunction was aggravated by her vaccines, leading to fever and an "immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic reserves."

But on March 6, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding claimed that Hannah's case was a rare, virtually one-of-a-kind incident with little, if any relevance to the other 4,900 autism claims currently pending in the court -- or to any other case of autism for that matter.(There were conflicting accounts about whether Gerberding was on the call or not).

Since then, however, Dr. Gerberding and other CDC officials were made aware of a Portuguese study, published last October, which reported that 7.2% of children with autism had confirmed mitochondrial disorders. The authors also noted that, "a diversity of associated medical conditions was documented in 20%, with an unexpectedly high rate of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders."

"Apparently, the Portuguese study really got their attention," one of the participants said. "It's a highly significant finding. And it's worrisome enough to definitely look into. I think the CDC people know that."

They also know that some reports estimate the rate of mitochondrial dysfunction in autism to be 20% or more. And the rate among children with the regressive sub-type of autism is likely higher still.

Vaccine safety officials on the March 11 call may have been open to discussing mitochondria and autism, but they were probably highly unprepared for what was to come next.

One doctor reported his findings from a five-year study of children with autism, who also showed clinical markers for impaired cellular energy, due to mild dysfunction of their mitochondria.

The biochemistry of 30 children was studied intensively, and in each case, the results showed the same abnormalities as those found in Hannah Poling, participants said. Each child had moderate elevations or imbalances in the exact same amino acids and liver enzymes as Hannah Poling.

All thirty children also displayed normal, healthy development until about 18-24 months of age, when they quickly regressed into clinically diagnosed autism (and not merely "features of autism"), following some type of unusual trigger, or stress, placed on their immune system.

Researchers explained on the call that some data show that mitochondrial dysfunction can convert into autism "in numbers that make it not a rare occurrence," one participant told me. They explained this as "a distinct syndrome; not a mixed bag at all. Every kid had mild mitochondria dysfunction and autistic regression."

Another surprise came when one researcher announced an "inheritance pattern" that linked each case through the genetics of the father: In families where two cousins had autism, the genetic link was always through the father.

This unexpected discovery would clearly implicate nuclear DNA inheritance, and not mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only through the mother.

Gerberding and others had previously insisted that Hannah and her mother, Teri Poling, both had the same single point mutation in their mitochondrial DNA. CDC officials asserted that Hannah had a pre-existing disease, a rare genetic glitch in her mitochondria, that may well have manifested as "features of autism" on its own, perhaps even without an environmental trigger.

"It's not in the mitochondrial DNA, and it's not rare," one participant confirmed. In fact, he said, many people probably carry the nuclear DNA mutation that confers susceptibility to mitochondrial dysfunction, they just don't know it.


On the call, speculation on the prevalence of a genetic mutation that could confer mild mitochondrial dysfunction in the general population ranged from about 1-in-400, to a staggering 1-in-50, or 2% of all Americans.

There was talk about the urgent need to do mapping studies, and find the locus of this gene. Some of the researchers said they want to test all 30 children for the actual DNA mutation. There was some expectation that they might discover that the mutation goes back generations, so parents and grandparents might be tested as well.

One belief is that a particular mutated gene may have become prevalent over the centuries, because of selective advantage. Mild mitochondrial dysfunction reportedly has been associated with intelligence, because it can increase activity of the brain's NMDA receptors. A large number of receptors can produce increased intelligence, but it can also increase risk of brain disease, one doctor explained to me. It's possible that increased receptor activity acts in same way.

But not everyone agrees that mitochondrial dysfunction is a purely inherited affair. Some researchers believe that, while a susceptibility gene for mitochondrial problems certainly exists, some type of environmental trigger, or "adversity," as one doctor put it, is needed to turn the mutation into a dysfunction.

The medical literature is replete with studies on mitochondrial health and the adverse impact of mercury, aluminum and other toxins. Even AIDS drugs like AZT and prenatal alcohol consumption can damage mitochondria and impact cellular energy.

The mercury-containing vaccine preservative, thimerosal, for example, "can definitely kill cells in vitro through the mitochondria," one teleconference participant told me. "And some people are beginning to suspect that the dose of hepatitis B vaccine given at birth might be interfering with proper mitochondrial function in certain children."

While the cause of mitochondrial dysfunction is up for the debate, so too is its potential effect on regressive autism.

All the researchers I spoke with agreed that, in many cases, there was an underlying, asymptomatic mitochondrial dysfunction, aggravated by some other stressful event imposed on the child's immune system, resulting in autism.

Such "metabolic decomposition" occurs when a child's system simply "cannot meet the energy demand needed to fight the stress of illness," one doctor explained.

But what causes the stress? That is a very big question.

Apparently, in only two of the 30 cases, or 6%, could the regression be traced directly and temporally to immunizations, and one of them was Hannah Poling. In the other cases, there was reportedly some type of documented, fever-inducing viral infection that occurred within seven days of the onset of brain injury symptoms.

All 30 of the regressions occurred between one and two years of age, at a time when the still-developing brain is particularly vulnerable to injury.

But if a significant minority of autism cases was caused by mitochondrial dysfunction aggravated by common childhood illnesses, then shouldn't we see fewer cases today than, say, at the beginning of the 20th Century? And wouldn't developing countries likewise show far more prevalence of autism than the United States?

Not necessarily, some experts said. They noted that many viral infections are still quite prevalent in modern-day America, and many children still get these types of viral infections about once a month, on average.

If that is the case, then why doesn't every child with "mito" dysfunction regress into autism? Surely, they must encounter viral infections during their yearlong window of neurological peril.

Again, not necessarily: Some doctors said it would depend on the severity of the dysfunction, the type of virus encountered, and perhaps other factors that are still not understood.

But at least two of the 30 kids with mito deficiencies were pushed over the edge into autism by their vaccines, and some researchers feel the number is probably much higher than that in the larger population.

"Vaccines, in some cases, can cause an unusually heightened immune reaction, fever, and even mild illness," one participant said. "A normal vaccine reaction in most kids would be very different in a kid with a metabolic disorder. We know it happened to at least two kids in this study, and I'm certain there are many more Hannahs out there."

One theory currently in circulation about what happened to Hannah and other children like her, is an apparent "triple domino effect." According to this hypothesis, it takes three steps and two triggers to get to some types of autism, and it goes like this:

STEP ONE: Child is conceived and born healthy, but with an underlying nuclear DNA genetic susceptibility to mitochondrial dysfunction, inherited from dad.

TRIGGER ONE: An early environmental "adversity" occurs in the womb or during the neonatal period, perhaps caused by prenatal exposure to heavy metals, pollutants, pesticides and medicines. Or, it occurs in early infancy, through environmental toxins, thimerosal exposure, or even the Hepatitis B vaccine "birth dose." This trigger results in:

STEP TWO: Child develops mild, usually asymptomatic mitochondrial dysfunction (though I wonder if the ear infections and eczema so common in these cases might also be symptoms of mito problems).

TRIGGER TWO: Child, now with an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, suffers over-stimulation of the immune system beyond the capacity of his or her metabolic reserves. This stress is either via a viral febrile infection, or from multiple vaccinations, as in the Poling case. This trigger results in:

STEP THREE: Acute illness, seizures, encephalopathy, developmental regression, autism.

Such a scenario might help explain why autism has increased right along with the addition of more vaccines to the national schedule.

And it might help explain why autism rates are not plummeting now that thimerosal levels have been significantly reduced in most childhood vaccines.

It's possible that exposures from the flu shot, and residual mercury left over in other vaccines -- perhaps in synergistic effect with aluminum used as an "adjuvant" to boost the immune response - might "contribute to the toxic mix that causes childhood mitochondrial dysfunction in the first place," one of the doctors said.

But like many hypotheses, this one has competition. Some researchers believe that the modern American diet is largely to blame for an increase in the number of children whose underlying mitochondrial dysfunction is "triggered" into autism by febrile infections.

The answer, they hypothesize, is corn.

The American diet has become extraordinarily dependent on corn oil and corn syrup used in processing, these experts contend. They say that corn oil and syrup are inflammatory, whereas fish oil is anti-inflammatory. Could our diet be a factor in making this mutated gene become more pathogenic? It's a biochemical defect that leads to biochemical disease, supporters of this theory say: The gene itself becomes more of a problem.


This information raises so many questions it makes your head swim.

First and foremost among them: What to do about vaccinating children with known mitochondrial dysfunction?

In many respects, these kids should be first in line for vaccination, to prevent some illnesses that might trigger an autistic regression during the window of vulnerability. On the other hand, with multiple vaccinations, such as the case with Hannah, there is also a risk of overtaxing the immune system, and likewise triggering regression into autism.

What's needed most urgently, if possible, is a quick, affordable and efficient method of testing children for low cellular energy, perhaps before vaccination even begins.

There was some discussion on the conference call about altering the vaccine schedule in some way, to lower the risk of immune over-stimulation in susceptible children. Certainly, pressure will grow for a change in the schedule - the question is how, when, and if such changes will be made.

Some of the suggestions may not be popular among public health officials. They include:

1) Establishing a maximum number of vaccine antigens to which any child could be exposed on any given day.

2) Permitting the option of separating out the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) live virus combination vaccines into three distinct "monovalent" shots.

3) Not giving the varicella vaccine (chicken pox) on the same day as the MMR injection - the CDC recently withdrew is recommendation for the Pro-Quad MMR+Varicella vaccine because it doubled the risk of seizures.

Another option is to create new "recommendations for administering multiple vaccines to children who have fallen behind in the recommended childhood immunization schedule," according to the website of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Hannah had missed some shots and her doctor decided to "catch up" with the schedule by administering five shots, containing nine vaccine antigens, at once. But some autism activists have pointed out that giving five shots in one day is not that uncommon.

Moreover, they claim, many children regressed into autism following normal vaccination, when the parents religiously adhered to the official schedule.

According to the Johns Hopkins site, "Additional research is needed to determine if other children with autism, especially those with 'the regressive form' of autism, have the same or similar underlying mitochondrial dysfunction disorders."

It adds that, "the advisory groups who make recommendations regarding vaccines will undoubtedly examine this case carefully and make decisions regarding the potential need for changes."

That day may come sooner than you think. It was just announced that, on April 11 in Washington, DC, the National Vaccine Program Office at HHS will convene a meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee's Vaccine Safety Working Group. The Working Group was established to go over the CDC's Immunization Safety Office draft research agenda, and to, "review the current vaccine safety system."

The meeting is open to the public, and I have my seat reserved. But I honestly don't envy the Working Group's very tricky task at hand.

It remains to be seen how all this plays out. And many important questions still lie ahead.

For example, if mitochondrial dysfunction turns out to be as common as 200-per-10,000, and autism is now at 66 per 10,000, did anything bad happen to any of the other 134-per-10,000 children, apart from autism (i.e., ADD, ADHD, speech delay, etc.)?

Moreover, if 10-20% of autism cases can actually be traced to an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, then what about the majority of autism cases where this did not come into play?

And, if 20% of autism cases are mito related, and 6% of those cases regressed because of vaccines, that would mean that at least 1% of all autism cases were vaccine related. Some estimates of autism go as high as a million Americans - that would mean 10,000 people with vaccine-triggered autism, and billions of dollars in the cost of lifetime care.

(While we are on the subject, isn't it time to fund a study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, to settle this debate once and for all?)

Finally, the goals of the CISA Network, (which convened the teleconference) are rather progressive and far reaching. It remains to be seen how well the Network fulfills its stated mission, which includes:

Conduct research into "the role of individual variation" on vaccine injury;

"Empower individuals to make informed immunization decisions;"

Help policy makers "in the recommendation of exclusion criteria for at-risk individuals," and;

"Enhance public confidence in sustaining immunization benefits for all populations"

Let's see how long it takes before Network members hang out the proverbial banner: "Mission Accomplished."

CDC Offers Another Non Response on Autism and Vaccines in the AJC

The CDC has issued a response to David Kirby’s piece entitled, "Give Us Answers on Vaccines" offered to us in yesterday’s AJC by Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD.

I have done a lengthy break down of it, ridiculous assertion by empty statement, and responded to Dr. Schuchat on several of her statements.
"Vaccines' Benefits Outweigh Dangers"

Let’s start here, with the title. Have you heard this one before? Have you hear this one a thousand times before? We keep finding out more and more information about the dangers of vaccination and the increases in the risks, but no matter how much risk of danger is added to the balance, the scale not only never tips, but it never moves.

Vaccines like RotaShield cause so much damage that they get removed from the market, yet, this statement never wavers. There is never any variation like, "although we have discovered that risk of vaccine injury extends to those with mitochondrial dysfunction which must be taken into account when making vaccine decisions, we believe the benefits outweigh the dangers".

And it is all lumped together. Always. Every vaccine seems to have the same benefit/danger risk for everyone. There is never a CDC press release that says, "benefits outweigh dangers, except in the case of the Hepatitis B vaccine for those with mitochondrial dysfunction and an history of vaccine reaction".

No matter how much new information comes to light on the risks of vaccines, 'benefits outweigh risks' remains the mantra.
"Autism claim shouldn't deter parents"

Ok… she has made an emphatic 'should' statement telling parents what to do. Let's look at the information that she offers to justify giving that direction to parents
Published on: 03/26/08
David Kirby's March 20 opinion column, "Give Us Answers on Vaccines," misinterpreted available information about a case before the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program and may have parents wondering what is best for their child when it comes to immunizations.

So Kirby got it wrong… let's find out where.
"That is unfortunate, given that our nation's childhood vaccines are very safe and are proven to protect and save lives."

Well… she has made the "very safe" safety claim, but that is kind of the statement that Kirby and mom’s like me are demanding proof of in light of the Poling case and the research that got HHS to concede it. We are looking to see what she has to offer us.
"Parents should know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the wide range of scientists and health professionals involved in the nation's immunization programs take seriously questions and concerns related to vaccine safety."

Well… again… we don’t believe that this statement is true, because we don’t see actions that would prove it true. No one at the CDC investigates our vaccine injury claims, when I walked into my Pediatrician’s office with the safety data sheet of the first shot that harmed my son, he wouldn’t even read it because he didn’t have time. He was respectful, but said that he can’t even keep up with what the AAP was sending him.

The AAP takes direction from the CDC, if CDC is so concerned with vaccine safety, then why did my ped, who is only two degrees of separation from them, have no interest in my son’s vaccine injury?

And I myself have raised lots and lots of questions and echoed the questions and concerns of other parents, and CDC has completely ignored them. In the spring of 2005 CDC posted a notice on their web site saying that they would be responding to the questions and concerns raised in David Kirby’s book, Evidence of Harm, and three years later, still no response.

Dr. Schuchat, parents DON’T know that CDC takes questions of vaccine safety seriously, because you completely ignore them. Until you behave differently and actually even discuss and debate the questions and concerns publicly, why in the world would we just accept this easily disprovable statement from you?

I have often compared CDC’s claim of seriousness about dealing with the vaccine/autism connection to my claims of seriousness about dealing with the size of my big behind. If I got up and declared that I was obsessed with fitness, one would merely have to glimpse the size of my two hundred and (cough, cough, cough) pound form to see that such pronouncements, are indeed, malarkey.

You are not addressing the vaccine/autism question any more than I am jogging around the block. Let’s not embarrass ourselves by making claims that are so obviously false.
"Furthermore, our efforts in vaccines, developmental disabilities..."

What efforts in developmental disabilities are you referring to exactly?
"... and the health of children go far beyond our professional interests, as many of the dedicated professionals involved are also parents and grandparents."

While it is nice that many employees have children, I am not sure what that proves. I did note though from your bio that you do not seem to have children, so you are not really in the same risk boat that we are. Vaccine injury will never make you quit your career to care for a sick child as it has for most of us.
"Kirby's column included many inaccuracies related to childhood vaccines."

Great… now we are going to hear what they are and where Kirby was wrong.
"As such,.."

Wait, Doctor… don’t you have to list what those inaccuracies are and counter them with some sort of correction or argument to the contrary? You just made the statement, decided it was true and move onto, "As such"! How is this exactly advancing the vaccine autism discussion?

Are we just supposed to take your word for it that Kirby was wrong?
"As such, it illustrates…"

I guess that we are just supposed to take your word for it.

Except that you have not made your point, and now you want you point to actually prove another point?
"...that when it comes to immunizations, child development and specific medical conditions, the best source of guidance is the child's health care provider."

So now we are supposed to make two leaps here? David Kirby is wrong, which we know because you said so, which somehow also proves that pediatricians are right?
"Parents should not be reluctant to ask their child's doctors or nurses about any health concerns, including immunizations."

Dr. Schuchat, have you ever taken a baby into the office and actually done this? Try this experiment. Take off your uniform, put on a blond wig, borrow a friend’s baby and walk into a pediatrician’s office and say, "doctor, I have concerns that vaccines may cause autism" and watch what happens.

What usually happens to us is that, at best, we get belittled, at wost, reamed and dismissed from the practice. We even get harassed by nurses. I once had a doctor yell at me over the phone and hang up on me.

Is that behavior might make parents 'reluctant' to raise concerns about vaccinations?
"Vaccines are often given early in life in order to protect against diseases that can seriously harm infants and young children. The joint immunization recommendations of CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians do recognize there are instances when a child should not receive a recommended vaccine or when a recommended vaccination should be delayed."

They do? Because that is not what the head of the AAP, Dr. Tayloe, said on the Today show two weeks ago. He was asked the following question:

"Do you believe that all vaccines should be used on every child?"

His complete response:

"Yes. I think any of the vaccines we have today have been tested and proven to be safe, and the credible studies don't show any relationship between vaccines and permanent injury. So we favor this and we know that unless we have vaccination rates that are in the 90 to 95% range we are not going to prevent epidemics from coming into this country of measles, of polio, from countries where these diseases are still endemic. So its very important that we vaccinate all our children."
"Those decisions, however, are best made in consultation with the child's doctor."

This would be the doctor that is the member of the AAP and takes direction from Dr. Tayloe? Because not only does Tayloe not take the vaccine/autism concern seriously, he does not even believe that permanent vaccine injury exists.

How seriously do you think the medical professionals who follow his lead take vaccine injury and parental concerns about autism?
"As the column correctly noted, vaccine injury cases are often handled through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program administered by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration."

They are "often handled" there (as opposed to 'always handled' there)because most vaccine injuries are not handled at all.

Many people who are victims of vaccine injury are not told that they are even victims of vaccine injury (raising my hand), and when they do believe they are, don’t even hear about the compensation program until the three year statute of limitations has run out. Their vaccine injury cases are not handled anywhere.
"This program is charged with determining whether a claimed injury meets pre-established criteria or if vaccination may have contributed to a child's serious medical or health condition. If such a determination is made, the program works to provide timely and compassionate compensation."

And by "timely" she means that it takes around 7 to 10 years to have your case heard, and by "compassionate" she means that when you actually win and award, they hold on to it for you and make you apply for your own money when you have a need of some kind.

A great example of this "compassionate" compensation is the family whose disabled daughter grew out of her wheelchair and when her parents tried to access her VICP money to buy her a new one, the "compassionate" program declined the request because they had already purchased a wheel chair for her. The one that she no long fit into.

Can you feel the government compassion!
"Since 1988, HRSA's vaccine injury program has provided compensation in about 2,100 cases, including some that have involved vaccines and encephalopathy (injury to the brain). While Kirby's column suggested otherwise, to date, this program has never determined in any case that autism was caused by a vaccine."

So says you. Let’s see the proof! Kirby says he has a document, you obviously have all the documents from all 2,100 cases. Get a big black marker out and start blacking out names and let’s get to readin'!

With 2,100 cases of proven vaccine injury, who knows how much we could learn about how many medical disorders and their causes and treatments! Not just autism, but who knows how many! Well... you know how many, because you have all the documents... but imagine the expansion of the knowledge base for everyone else!

I mean look how much we learned about the relationship between mito dysfunction and autism from just that ONE Poling document that Kirby released and then Dr. Poling commented on.

The autism world is abuzz with this new piece of the puzzle and talking with mito experts and I am even learning more about what could be going on in my own son’s little body.

Isn’t the thought off that flood of information entering the scientific community an exciting idea for you?! I mean, you and all the other officials at the CDC, NIH, HHS, AAP are so concerned about vaccine safety, and take these questions and concerns so seriously, so I would assume that you guys would be jumping for joy and the thought of such a big giant bolus dose of proven vaccine injuries to pick through and examine and contrast and compare! I know I am excited about the idea of what it could teach me about Chandler’s vaccine induced autism.

And we could even have some kind of open public forum for doctors and scientists and families and health officials and even the families of the settlement recipients (if they want to share more of their stories) can participate in so that we can all just feed off the information that will be out there!

When do we get started?!
"In comparison, during this same time period, about 100 million American children received recommended childhood vaccinations, and cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. have decreased to record or near-record lows."

That is interesting, but that is not what we are talking about. Whether or not vaccines prevent diseases and whether or not vaccines trigger autism are two completely different, mutually exclusive questions. Both could be true or false and either statement's veracity actually has no impact on the other.

We are not examining the question of whether or not they prevent infectious disease right now. We are examining the question of whether or not they contribute to autism and other autoimmune and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Once we have the correct answer to THAT question, then we can go back and examine your title thesis that the ‘benefits outweigh the dangers” by comparing them to risks associated with disease from non-vaccination.

But you seem to try to get us to ignore the million dollar autism/vaccine question by distracting us with the 'prevents disease' assertion.

So can we set that aside until we actually know the real risk to compare to the benefits?
"Recently, mitochondrial disorders have become the focus of media attention with respect to vaccine injury compensation. Mitochondrial disorders, which occur very rarely in children, are believed to be genetic."

Not by these researchers. They found that thimerosal causes mitochondrial dysfunction.

You claim that the CDC is all about taking questions and concerns seriously. Why then will you not discuss the idea that, as Dr. Poling is asserting, that the first round of vaccines set up his daughter’s mito dysfunction and another round of vaccines interacted with that mito problem to cause the autism? HHS has already conceded the second half, and research clearly shows that the first half is possible too.

So why are you ignoring all this and saying that it is believed to be only genetic?
"Children born with these disorders often appear normal through the first years of life. When placed under severe stress from such things as infections, fever, dehydration, malnutrition or lack of sleep, children with these disorders often experience loss of some brain and nervous system functions."

Or vaccines… you forgot to mention vaccines.
"Some have suggested that infants and children be screened for mitochondrial disorders before getting recommended vaccinations. Unfortunately, mitochondrial diseases are very difficult to diagnose and it is usually not possible to identify children with such disorders until there are signs of developmental decline. A definitive diagnosis often requires multiple blood tests and may also require a muscle or brain biopsy (removal of a portion for testing, usually under anesthesia). Therefore, providing routine screening tests on children who have no symptoms would bring other medical risks and raise many ethical questions."

And honestly, and in all frankness, I don’t care how hard it is to do.

Figure it out.

HHS has admitted that mito dysfunction is a precursor to Autism. I don’t wanna hear "too hard", I don’t wanna hear, "too expensive", I don’t wanna hear any excuses what so ever.

You have billions of dollars at your disposal to figure out this problem. If you want to vaccinate every person in this country then come up with a way to discern which children are at risk for LIFE LONG PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE.


Repeating my mantra… My children are not acceptable losses in your war against communicable diseases.
"At present, we do not know definitively if vaccines can trigger neurological or developmental declines among children with mitochondrial disorders."

Then wait just a minute! HHS said that they did in Hannah Poling! They are paying her a million bucks or so because of it!

You guys need to make a decision. Either they do or they don’t. If they do, then you need to get into high gear and figure out exactly what this all means, and if they don’t and as an American tax payer I don’t want one single penny going to the Poling family for their fraudulent claim.

You don’t get to go with which ever theory is convenient to you in the moment. How dumb do you think we are?
"We do know, however, that infections can cause neurological and developmental declines among these children — and we also know that childhood vaccinations protect children against some of the same infections known to cause developmental decline among children with mitochondrial disorders. These include vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, chickenpox and influenza."

Again… distracting us from question A by diverting us to question B which does not help us answer question A in any way what so ever.
"In the case of children with mitochondrial disorders, we do not yet have sufficient evidence to make general immunization recommendations."

And I am betting, from the complete lack of interest in the mito question that you have shown since the Polings went on CNN (and since the concession was made last year for that matter) you will probably never get around to finding that "sufficient evidence" to make changes in recommendations in the vaccine schedule.

It is most likely on your list right under "Get back to David Kirby on that whole 'Evidence of Harm' thing".
"Physicians who care for children with these disorders usually recommend that these children receive their childhood vaccines, but, depending on the child's health status or medical condition, they may change when those vaccinations are provided."

It would be appreciated if the CDC could provide us a list of these physicians who might actually deviate from the vaccine schedule due to the health needs of an individual child. It is hard for us to find them on our own.
"We recognize that developmental disorders, whether related to mitochondrial disease, autism or other causes, are a serious challenge for many families. In the case of autism, CDC has actively supported vaccine safety research in this area."

Are you joking? Can you seriously say something like this and expect autism parents not to scream at you at this point? After years and years of bogus studies and ignoring us?

You should be ashamed at yourself for making this statement.
"To date, the best science indicates that there is no association between vaccines and autism."

"As part of our efforts to foster understanding of autism, CDC is currently conducting the largest study to date designed to identify potential autism causes and risk factors."

CDC has not yet addressed 'questions and concerns' with their last disaster of a vaccine/autism study, but actually stands by Verstraten, but you think we will be placated by the next one? How about you open up the Safety Data Link, bring Thomas Verstraten back into the country and have an open examination of that study.

Then when we get all our questions and concerns properly addressed there, we can move onto the next study, making sure it is open and transparent and not a piece of crap like that one.
"We recognize that much of the success of our nation's immunization efforts comes from the trust of parents. We do not take that trust lightly. Rather, CDC, FDA and other HHS agencies are continually working to expand efforts in vaccine safety research and science as well as clinician and parent input and involvement. Like parents, we want the best information possible when it comes to protecting and ensuring children's health."

Clearly you don’t understand that you have already lost the trust of the autism community and the rest of the public has taken notice, and call us for vaccine advice instead of their own doctors, or any of you.
"Our nation's high immunization rates are the reason why very few children suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases that in the past used to harm them in large numbers. These high rates show that parents realize the importance of childhood vaccinations."

Well if you keep insisting on touting the effectiveness of vaccines to distract from the question at hand, then I am just gonna post this:

And this:

"CDC is committed to maintaining that high level of support as well as making sure all our efforts are working to foster the health of children."

…Well not for your specific child, per se, but for most children. I mean if all the children in the US were melted into one big child, that child would be kinda healthy. That is the "children" we are referring to.

So that is the CDC's response. We never did get to find out what Kirby wrote that was incorrect, or get any of our vaccine questions answered, but we did get to hear, once again, that "CDC cares", "Vaccines safe and don’t cause autism", "benefits outweigh risks", and we have now added a new point to the old standbys, "Mito dysfunction too hard to screen for".

Truly Anne Schuchat has calmed our fears and addressed our lengthy and complicated questions with her repetition of the ethos, "Just Trust Us".

Except that blindly trusting government is what got us here in the first place. So we don't.

Wrapping up, I would like to point out that Admiral Schuchat has told us what her personal directive is on her bio:

"My top priority is to improve our ability to do excellent infectious disease science leading to public health impact." - Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD

Her top priority is infectious diseases, and autism is not an infectious disease. It is an autoimmune disorder, a toxic injury and a GI disorder, among other things. This is just another example of the phenomena that I have been complaining about for years now.

When we ask for answers on autism, we are not offered responses by immunologists or toxicologists or gastroenterologists, who might actually offer us some real understanding on the processes going on in our children’s bodies, and how vaccine additives like mercury and aluminum may be triggering the dysfunction of those processes.

Instead we are, time and time again, offered the testimony of government virologists Like Dr. Schuchat who are basically trotted out to defend their life’s work.

Here is a taste of her bio:

"…director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and has spent over 18 years at CDC working in immunization, respiratory, and other infectious diseases. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the director of CDC’s National Immunization Program (NIP); acting director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID)…" and on and on.

Read the whole thing. The woman has lived and breathed viruses and vaccines her entire professional life. But the CDC expects that we will see her as an unbiased source from whom we should be taking direction from on the safety of vaccines?

(I have long speculated that the reason that they don’t have a toxicologist come out and allay our fears about vaccines toxins, is that they can’t find one who will do it.)

This pronouncement is nothing more than a continuation of the public misinformation, political bullshit and CYA tactics, that we get every single time CDC addresses autism. Year after year I attend conferences and absolutely drown in new information on what is going on causes and treatments for autism. I can’t keep up with all of it.

But CDC hears none of it, recognizes none of it, discusses none of it, shows up at 0 conferences, interviews 0 parents who claim vaccine injury, and investigates 0 cases where parents claim recovery from autism.

But trust them… we may not be able to see it, but down deep, inside, they care.

The Gardasil Hoax

Oh My God. This looks to be a disaster.

So apparently the FDA decided in 2003 that the Human Papilloma Virus was not a threat to women's long term health, that most infections resolved on their own, and HPV did not put women at much risk for cervical cancer!

Yet they went ahead and approved Gardasil for the prevention of cervical cancer, via prevention of HPV!

And now... it turns out, that women who get the vaccine may have a much higher chance of developing precancerous lesions from the vaccine than they ever had from the HPV virus!

The health officials in this country have lost their minds! Merck is going to have to change their commercials from "One Less" to "One More"

Read Mike Adam's detailed expose, complete with FDA documents and all:

UPDATE: HT to Anne Dachel for pointing out the reports of Merck's marketing of Gardasil.

My Friend's Pediatrician: Jenny McCarthy's Son Never Had Autism

I got an interesting call yesterday. A friend of mine, who has read Jenny McCarthy's book, took her healthy baby into the pediatrician and began asking questions about vaccine safety. Her doctor got annoyed and told her that they were safe and had no link to autism.

Then she mentioned Jenny McCarty. "Medical people do not like Jenny McCarthy", my friend said to me.

Her doctor, now much more annoyed, then told her that Jenny's son Evan was not autistic, he was epileptic.

(I suppose since they can't argue with Evan's recovery, they want to argue that he was never had autism to begin with?)

She didn't believe the doc, and I further told her what the evaluation process is like to try to get services for a child in California (we were living there when Chandler regressed). An autism diagnosis costs the state a great deal of money (I added it up once and Chandler got almost $100,000 worth of services from the state that year), and they don't give 299.0s (the diagnostic code for autism) out capriciously.

So I am curious about this... is this the denial process of just one doctor, or was this information offered to said doc as some sort of 'talking points to counter the McCarthy vaccine backlash'.

Has anyone else heard anything like this from the medical professionals in their life?

March 25, 2008

HHS Public Vaccine Safety Meeting in DC April 11

The public needs to start showing up to these vaccine meetings in full force:


Meeting of the Vaccine Safety Working Group

AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is hereby giving notice that the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) will convene a meeting of NVAC's Vaccine Safety Working Group. The meeting is open to the public.

DATES: The meeting will be held on April 11, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Department of Health and Human Services; Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 705A; 200 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel Salmon, Vaccine Safety Specialist, National Vaccine Program Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 443-H Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201; (202) 260-1587 or

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NVPO has responsibility for coordinating and ensuring collaboration among the many Federal agencies involved in vaccine and immunization activities. The NVPO provides leadership and coordination among Federal agencies, as they work together to carry out the goals of the National Vaccine Plan. The National Vaccine Plan provides a framework, including goals, objectives, and strategies, for pursuing the prevention of infectious diseases through immunizations.

NVPO periodically convenes groups to address specific issues and topics that impact vaccine and immunization.

The Vaccine Safety Working Group has been established to (1) undertake and coordinate a scientific review of the draft Immunization Safety Office (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) research agenda, and (2) review the current vaccine safety system.

Following the advice of the Institute of Medicine in its report ``Vaccine Safety Research, Data Access and Public Trust'' (February 17, 2005), this meeting of the Working Group is open to the public, noting that pubic attendance is limited to space available. Individuals must provide a photo ID for entry into the Humphrey Building. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the designated contact person. Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments at the meeting. Public comment will be limited to five minutes per speaker. Any members of the public who wish to have printed material distributed to meeting participants should submit materials to the NVPO staff person designated as the contact for additional information. All materials should be submitted to the designated point of contact no later than close of business April 9, 2008. Pre-registration is required for both public attendance and comment. Any individual who wishes to attend the meeting and/or participate in the public comment session should contact the designated staff member, Daniel Salmon, by e-mail or call 202-690-5566.

Dated: March 18, 2008.

Bruce Gellin,
Director, National Vaccine Program Office.
[FR Doc. E8-5892 Filed 3-21-08; 8:45 am]

Autism: The Musical - David Kirby's Review

Time to take a break from causes and cures and just appreciate our beautiful babies with autism. If you don't have HBO, you can watch it online starting tomorrow.

David Kirby: HBO and Autism: Perfect Together
Today, March 25, 2008,
Huffington Post
David Kirby

A lot of adults (myself among them) are arguing very vocally right now over the scope, cause, and impact of autism in America. Acrid debates over mercury, vaccines, special diets, alternative therapies and conceded court cases are flooding the media almost daily.

It's enough to give autism a bad name.

Then, along comes an honest little documentary like "Autism: The Musical." This all-too-real movie lifts the heart up and then slams it right back down on the pavement--and we love every minute of it.

This simply shot, beautifully conveyed portrait of life with autism premieres tonight on HBO (and will stream for free for one week at It serves to remind us all that, no matter what "causes autism," no matter what, if anything might "cure" it, children affected by the disorder deserve all of the honor, love and patience that we, a nation consumed by our own attention deficits, can muster.

This moving and funny film opens with the jarring data that autism in America has spiked from 1-in-10,000 kids in 1980 to 1-in-150 today.

But instead of dwelling on the cause of autism, the film focuses mostly on five wonderful kids - two boys with very high functioning autism who are brilliant, charming, and yes, "quirky;" a teenage girl who sings (and looks) like an angel; a little boy who rarely speaks, but who can express himself vividly through his cello; and one Russian adopted boy who is completely nonverbal (until he gets a computer) and who will break your heart when you see him.

Anyway, they put on a show, and it is riveting, joyous and tearful. But the real message here is that kids with autism are human beings, just like everyone else on God's green earth - with their own hopes and fears, intellects and personalities.

They deserve more than our compassion, our love and our dollars. They deserve our respect.

Meanwhile, "Autism: The Musical" unflinchingly shows just how stressful the disorder can be on families. The weight on couples is obvious: One marriage suffers through infidelity, another ends in painful divorce.

Some people might complain that the potential causes and treatments of autism are only touched upon here - though we do see clear evidence of heart-wrenching autistic "regression," and there is some talk about vaccines, environmental toxins and "damaged kids."

Others might worry that the portraits of the two high functioning boys - so bright and charismatic you want to hang out with them for hours (though their peers shun them into a lonely world of their own) - will leave the mistaken impression that most children with autism are like this. If they were, then the epidemic might be slightly less painful to bear.

Sadly, however, most kids with autism are more than just a little "quirky." And as much as we truly adore all the children in this film, few, if any parents of "typical" kids could honestly say, "I wish my child were like that."

"Autism: The Movie," then, gives us the whole unvarnished "spectrum" of autism spectrum disorder. Little Neal, the adopted boy who can neither speak nor hold a gaze, tells us what we should know: These extraordinary children (and many adults with autism, too) need and deserve our attention, and help.

Here, I hope, is a movie that everyone can watch and appreciate. From those of us who think that many autism cases were triggered by environmental toxins; to the "neuro-diversity" people, some of whom think that autism is a natural, inborn variation of human brain wiring, and should be celebrated, not treated; to the CDC, who wishes we would ALL just go away.

Please watch this film: You will be treated to an achingly accurate portrait of what autism is, isn't, and can be.

Pamela Felice on Actually Having a Vaccine Debate

I got an email today from Pamela at The Educated Parent who proposes that Oprah actually hold a real live vaccine debate to address the vaccine debate.

Because that is one thing that is missing from this debate, the experts on both sides actually getting in the same room and debating one another.

From her email:

With autism awareness month approaching in April and in light of the recent court ruling regarding Hannah Polling's vaccine related autism, I thought it might be interesting for Oprah to host a debate on the topic of vaccine safety.

Some suggested guests might include; David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm, Dr. Robert Sears, Author of The Vaccine Book , Dr. Boyd Haley, head of the Chemistry Dept at Kentucky State University, Dr. Jerry Kertzinel, the DAN! Dr. treating Jenny McCarthy's son and Barbbra Lowe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Ctr. on the Critic side.

Possible panelists who support the current vaccine program might include, Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC, a representative of the American
Academy of Pediatrics and/or a representative of Every Child By Two.

I bet I can guess which side of that panel would decline the invitation. If they do all would certainly make for great television.

Pamela is right on two counts. 1. This would be really interesting and 2. There is no way in hell Gerberding et. al. would ever do it. They have everything to loose and nothing to gain.

Right now the only thing that is working to their advantage any more is marginalizing advocates of the vaccine/autism link. Debating them would not only give them credibility, they would expose their own lie that there is no evidence to support the relationship between vaccines and autism.

The only way they can with this battle is by getting people to ignore it and go back to sleep.

But I think that the invitation should be extended none the less.

CFL Mercury Light Bulbs or Landfills Full of Mercury

To quote Will Ferrell from Zoolander... I feel like I am taking crazy pills.

So we are protecting the environment by loading it up with the most toxic non-radioactive substance on earth while telling pregnant women not to eat fish because of all the mercury in them.

And what is this, "we will all have to use CFL's by 2016"? Over my dead body will one of those things come into my home (where stuff gets broken every day because I have an autistic son who is full of mercury.)

Horton Hears An "Ow", And Swats It Down Right Quick

Props again to Jim and Jenny for putting the kibosh on New Mexico's plan to vaccinate kids at the movies.

Again... vaccinations=medications, not popcorn. Our lives stand as a living testament that they are not one size fits all. Vaccines should be given only after a full review of a child's medical history and a checkup on the current state of their health.

I don't know any parents who go to the movies with their kids medical records in tow.

March 24, 2008

Today Was A Very Good Day

On this journey, there are milestones that we wait a long time for and that are huge deals for us when they happen.

The first time Chandler made eye contact, the first time he answered to his name, when he started calling us 'mommy' and 'daddy' (again), the first time he said 'I love you', the day he started potty training and the day (yet to come) when he will be completely potty trained).

Today was one of those days. Chandler learned to swallow pills!

For four years I have been trying every which way to get into his little body all the supplements that he needs, hiding this in a spoonful of that and putting these in those drinks, and longing for the day that I could actually just hand him the darn zinc capsule and a glass of water and know that it will all go into his little belly.

I have tried a couple of times a year for the last few years, and he has not been on board. For the first couple of years he just thought it was funny and didn't get it. For the last year or so he just said a firm, "No." and ran away.

Tonight we tired again, and the credit goes to his big brother Webster who showed him over and over how cool it was and convinced him to give it a real try. Chandler tried three times and couldn't get it down, but kept trying! And on the fourth try, he did it! Then he took two more!

Then he exclaimed, "Excellent!"

I don't know if there has ever been a day that I have actually be able to get all of the supplements down that he needed, but now a new day is dawning! I am gonna try to get some better probiotics in him now that he can swallow pills.

Praise the Lord! This is a very good day!

UPDATE: Well day two did not go so well, but he did try several times and the precedent has been set. Pray for my little guy that he would get to be a champ at this. Just pray for him in general. He is such a great kid.

March 23, 2008

Happy Easter Mainers!

A welcome to my fellow statesmen who are visiting for the first time after reading their local news paper! Come on in and take a look around. Drop me an email and say hi!

While you are here, let me invite you to join me and lots of other autism families on April 18th at the Falmouth Memorial Library at 5 Lunt Road in Falmouth, Maine from 7:00-9:00PM for the World Premier Screening of "Autism Yesterday". See the stories of children who have recovered from autism via the biomedical intervention that is working so well for my son Chandler (he has not recovered yet, but he is halfway home to us!).

I understand that four autism doctors will be on hand, so if you ever wanted to investigate ways to improve your autistic child's health and functioning, (or just meet other families that are) this is the chance. For more information contact: Laura Plourde: 829-3474 or

Check out the trailer:

This week, check back in, I will be posting lots of recovery stories and updating everyone on how Chandler is progressing during chelation (hint: great!)

Thanks for visiting!

Web Gives Autism a Global Stage

Thanks to Josie Huang at the Portland Press Herald:

Web Gives Autism a Global Stage
by Josie Huang
Portland Press Herald

Earlier this month, major news broke in the autism world when the federal government conceded that vaccines worsened a health condition in a Georgia girl named Hannah Poling and triggered autism-like symptoms.

Federal officials, while agreeing to pay for her care, maintained that vaccines do not cause autism, a developmental disorder. Still, the case was seen as a victory by a subset of parents certain of a direct link. And they could learn everything they wanted to know about it from Ginger Taylor, a Brunswick woman with an autistic son.

Search for "Hannah Poling" on the Internet, and Taylor's blog www. will pop up as the first or second search result. In the days after the case became public, readers from around the world converged on the site, with daily visits climbing from about 350 to 1,700, she said. Her lengthy posts prompted some readers to comment online. Even more e-mailed her.

"The Internet is a great tool for all the debate you can have," said Taylor, who also blogs about medical studies and treatments for her 6-year-old son, Chandler. "I don't know what they did before it."

Taylor is part of a group of Maine parents who are using the Internet to share information on an international stage and create a community around a disorder that is as isolating as it is mysterious in its cause.

The thirst for knowledge is growing as more children are diagnosed with autism. About 1 in 150 children have autism or a closely related disorder such as Asperger's syndrome, estimated the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hallmark symptoms include repetitive behaviors and problems socializing, speaking and reasoning. The degree of severity varies, as does the need for educational and social services.

Answers and support

In Maine, diagnoses among school-age children have more than tripled annually since 2000. Cases among people ages 3 to 21 rose from 594 that year to 1,990 in 2007, according to state education officials.

Similar rate increases have been posted nationally. It's not clear whether autism is becoming more prevalent or whether awareness has grown.

Looking for answers and support, dozens of Maine parents are using blogs, Yahoo! groups, YouTube, listservs and social networking sites such as MySpace to share their experiences with other families in their state and beyond.

At least 15 of them are members on, a site founded by Shannon and Steve Johnson of Harpswell, whose older child, Wynn, is autistic.

FoggyRock -- a reference to the uphill climb autism poses -- acts like a FaceBook for members of the autism community. Each member has a home page for posting blog entries, photos, videos and "wit and wisdom." They also can add "contacts" and join groups such as The Autism Sibs and Military Families with Autism.

Shannon Johnson, FoggyRock's editor-in-chief, has her own page, where she writes about the joys of raising 13-year-old Wynn -- like "seeing a genuine smile on his face"-- and the heartbreak of separation. Wynn spent about a year in the hospital, returning in December.

The site has attracted nearly 700 members, some from places as distant as England and Australia, Johnson said. She wants it to be a comforting place for families whose lives change dramatically the moment their child is diagnosed with autism.

Often, one spouse will leave a career to care for the child, as Johnson, a former teacher, did. Many will throw themselves into researching and trying different behavioral therapies, diets and supplements.

For some, family outings, never mind vacations, become a thing of the past.

"I hear from members all the time that they're so isolated," Johnson said. "You can't participate in life the same way you did. When the kids are younger, and they're having behavioral issues, it looks typical. When they're older like my son, and he's having a meltdown, people are afraid."

A Lifeline

For families in more remote areas, where they know of no other people in their situation, the Internet can serve as a lifeline, said Cathy Dionne, program director of the Autism Society of Maine. She said this is especially true in a lightly populated state like Maine.

"A lot of families especially in rural Maine -- we're talking Aroostook County, Washington County -- their connection is their computer," Dionne said.

Dionne, who has an autistic teenager, regularly visits the sites and feels uplifted after reading posts. Though her child does not speak, she is still hopeful for the day she will hear an "I love you."

"The one thing I like about these sites is the 'Guess what my child did today?'" Dionne said. "They share of lot of those type of stories, and I think parents need that inspiration."

Some of the parents say that they feed off one another's advice and encouragement because they feel the medical establishment has abandoned them.

Unlike a condition such as juvenile diabetes, autism comes with less defined guidelines for treatment, parents say.

"When you go to the pediatrician, they say 'there is no cure. Put him in speech therapy. Bye,'" said Taylor, a family therapist before she switched to Web design so she could stay at home with her son. "You're not left with a lot of options."

Taylor belongs to the group of parents who believe autism can be cured in some children. Many blame the mercury-containing preservative in vaccines given to children through the 1990s for causing the disorder, as well as environmental toxins.

On the other end of the spectrum are parents who believe that autism is largely, if not entirely, genetic. Some of them consider the view that autism can be "fixed" as a direct affront to their children.

The Maine-based Web sites and online groups reflect the range of views. Rebecca Waddell of Waldoboro said she falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.

For her blog, www.mainely, Waddell said, she stays away from controversies and topical issues, except for the occasional mention of actress Jenny McCarthy, the parent-turned-activist who's acquired hero status on many autism sites.

Waddell prefers to document her day-to-day experiences with her two sons, the younger of whom, 4-year-old Thane, is autistic. Her site is plastered with close-ups of her sons mugging for the camera and videos of them goofing off with their father and the family husky.

Waddell, who regularly reads four other Maine-based sites, said it is therapeutic to have an online journal and receive feedback from readers.

"I sort of would like people to realize that it's not all horrible," she said. "Yes, there are some challenges. He'll go into a store and scream the whole time. But he can be also incredibly cute and charming and smart."

The rest of the world can see for themselves. Just the other week, she said, another mother in Sweden let her know how adorable Thane is.