March 29, 2006


Hello blog friends.

I am back, and here to offer an apology for my sudden and extended absence. I am finding out how hard it is to both be the parent of an autistic child and write about being the parent of an autistic child.

God willing, I will be ramping the blog back up over the next week or so. I literally have more than 6000 emails/articles to go through so it will take a while to get back up to speed. For all I know, autism could have been cured in the last three months and I will be the last one to hear about it.

I have decided to just post everything I would have posted in the last few months had I been writing, so if you run into old information here over the next week or two, that is why. I will make sure to date the articles so you know if you are re reading something you may have read already.

I have gotten lots of nice email, but have responded to none, so if you have written to me, thank you, and please forgive the non-response. I will be answering all the email that has come in. Thanks for your patience.

FAIR: Politics of Autism

From FAIR:

New Politics of Autism Video:

November, 2005: F.A.I.R. Autism Media
Interviews Attorney James Moody

FAIR Autism Media has just posted a new interview with Jim Moody, a practicing attorney and founder of Citizens for a Competitive Economy. He sits on the executive boards of both SAFEMINDS and the National Autism Association. He is very active in cause related advocacy.

In this interview, filmed Nov. 2005, Mr. Moody discusses recent political issues of concern to parents with autistic children. Some topics covered include the CDC, the FDA, the 2004 IOM (Institute of Medicine) report and some industry-friendly legislation that curtails the rights of vaccine-injured children.

March 28, 2006

Asperger's Ruled A Disability

Federal judge rules that Asperger's syndrome is a disability
January 31, 2006

PORTLAND, Maine --A York County girl who suffers from Asperger's syndrome is entitled to special education services even though she completes her homework, behaves well in class and scores well on tests, a federal judge ruled.

U.S District Judge D. Brock Hornby ordered School Administrative District 55 to assemble a team of teachers and specialists to design an appropriate learning program for the girl, identified in court documents only as "L.I."

In his ruling, Hornby said the girl's parents demonstrated that the disability adversely affects her educational performance "and is thus eligible for special education under (federal law) due to her Asperger syndrome and her depressive disorder."

Richard O'Meara, the family's lawyer, said the decision recognizes that social development is an important part of education, along with academic studies.

"Education is so much more than academic performance," O'Meara said. "Hopefully, this will put that debate to rest once and for all."

While Hornby overturned the district's decision to deny services, the judge also denied the family's reimbursement request for the two years of private school tuition it has paid since taking her out of public school in 2003.

Nonetheless, advocates for the disabled hailed the ruling as a victory.

The decision clarifies the question of who is eligible for services, and it will have an impact both in the state and beyond, said Peter Rice of the Disability Rights Center of Maine.

Eric Herlan, lawyer for SAD 55, declined to comment until he has reviewed the 48-page ruling, which was issued Monday afternoon.

Asperger's syndrome is a milder variant of autism. The name comes from Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian who described the syndrome in 1944.

Hornby's ruling described Asperger's as a "clinically recognized pervasive developmental disability" with symptoms that include "limited interests or an unusual preoccupation with a particular subject to the exclusion of other activities."

School is challenging for Asperger's students because they often have poor social skills and difficulty communicating, Hornby wrote.

L.I., who attended public schools in Hiram and Cornish through 5th grade, performed well academically but in the fourth grade her teachers noticed that she looked sad, anxious and had a difficult time making friends.

When she was in sixth grade, she stopped studying and attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on several medications. A psychiatrist evaluated her and diagnosed her with Asperger's syndrome and "depressed mood."

A team assembled by the school, however, denied special education services to her "since there was no adverse impact on her academic progress." Her family appealed but the decision was upheld by an independent hearing officer.

O'Meara said the decision could have a broad impact. "It should qualify kids for special education even when academically it seems they are able to succeed in school," he said.

Vaccine Schedule Changes

Recommended 2006 Immunization Schedule, American Academy Of PediatricsCategory: Pediatrics News
Article Date: 31 Jan 2006 - 0:00am (UK)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued the recommended 2006 childhood immunization schedule for the United States. The statement represents joint recommendations from the AAP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The 2006 schedule reflects several changes including the following:

-- Hepatitis A vaccine is now recommended for universal administration to all infants 12 to 23 months of age, with a second dose six months later.

-- A single dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, a vaccine to prevent sepsis and meningitis, is recommended for all 11-to 12-year-olds, for adolescents at high school entry or 15 years of age, and for college freshmen who will be living in a dormitory.

-- A single dose of an adolescent preparation of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular petussis (Tdap) vaccine is recommended for 11- to 12-year-olds, provided they have not received a tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster dose, and for adolescents 13 to 18 years of age who missed the 11- to 12-year-old Td or Tdap booster dose.

A licensure application has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for a live, oral rotavirus vaccine. The AAP is considering recommendations for use of this vaccine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

American Academy of Pediatrics

National Press Club Media Mercury/Autism Briefing




WHAT: A panel briefing on the growing evidence of a link between mercury, vaccines and autism, and important new developments on Capitol Hill, in major universities and within the mainstream media.

WHO: Dan Olmsted, journalist for UPI who writes the regular column, “The Age of Autism.” Mr. Olmsted will discuss his recent reporting on unvaccinated populations – including Amish children in Pennsylvania and patients at a holistic medical practice outside Chicago – as well as other investigations into early cases of autism, and reports of improvements after medical treatments.

David Kirby, author of the book “Evidence of Harm – Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic.” Mr. Kirby will discuss newly published science from major US universities that support the mercury-autism link, media reports of recent declines in new autism numbers, and newly leaked IOM transcripts that would indicate undue pressure by the CDC over IOM vaccine committee members to reject the thimerosal-autism hypothesis.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who will unveil a bill to provide for a new study of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations of American children. Data from this relatively simple study could settle once and for all the question of a link between vaccines and autism, ADD, ADHD and other disorders. Rep. Maloney will also discuss the Federal bill to ban thimerosal in vaccines, which she co-sponsors with Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL), and a possible Congressional move to empanel a new committee of the Institute of Medicine that would consider new evidence to support the link.

Katie Wright, daughter of NBC/Universal President Bob Wright and Suzanne Wright, founders of the new autism research charity “Autism Speaks.” Ms. Wright will talk about her son’s autism diagnosis, her belief that thimerosal contributed to his illness, and recent progress he has made using state-of-the-art biomedical interventions. Ms. Wright will also discuss her dismay at the American Academy of Pediatrics, which does not publicly support the Combating Autism Act of 2005, reportedly because the bill earmarks money for research into vaccine preservatives.

WHEN: Thursday, March 30th. Breakfast at 8:30am, briefing from 9:00-10:00am.

WHERE: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC.

CONTACTS: Olmsted: 202-302-3753;

Kirby: 718-230-4250;

Maloney: Afshin Mohamadi, 202-225-7944