February 29, 2008

Call To Help Nate's Family Today

This is just so upsetting. Please take a minute to make a call. (I am attempting to get the email addresses which have been truncated.) The autism community, the entire autism community, needs to address abuses like this with one, loud voice.

Take some time and make some phone calls on behalf of this boy. Let officials know that you are following this story and want to know what is the long term plan for this child and what is being done to try to get this boy reunited with his family.

Which as a former foster care worker I can tell you, is the supposed goal of any intervention by the state. Their job is not to be the parents, but to properly equip parents who are willing and able to raise their own child. What they have done is basically state sanctioned kidnapping.

Also call senators Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553) and Diane Feinstien (202) 224-3841) and complain about this family's treatment, demand that they get involved, investigate it completely and do what is in the true best interest of this child.

The latest from the Tseglins:

Dear friends,

We received very bad news for Nate and our family from the Fairview administration and the doctor today. These people are enforcing our son on Geodon - psychotropic drug which is extremely harmful and poisonous for our son. They are starting this drug from today evening. They took our son from home completely physically healthy and since they started him on different psychotropic drugs against his will and his family he developed Grand Mal seizures - epilepsy. These drugs don't have any medical merit. They are used as chemical restrains which are additional to physical restrains used on him often.It is against medical advice from a number of the doctors including medical experts in neurology. It is not ethical practice of medicine. It is not necessary. Our son who was very energetic before is spending all his days in the bed as the result of the harmful drugs they impose on him earlier. From the psychotropic drugs our son was delivered in critical condition numbers of time to the emergency room of the different hospital. Last time he was admitted to the Hoag Hospital emergency room with epileptic seizures after he was enforced to psychotropic drug as the punishment and chemical restrains to the behaviors which our son doesn't ave control because of his sensory issue and his response to his isolation, harmful drugs, and the environment since he removed from his family. We sow in the hospital his reactions on this poisonous drugs which his body do not accept. He was having terrible pains, his body was all red, his breathing was stopping and his heart rate was high when his blood pressure was low.

We days and nights were sitting at his bed in the stroke unit of the hospital. Since this day January 21, 2008 our son is different. He looks like he suffered stroke or brain damage because his speech is blurred, his coordination is unstable, his memory and eyes visions is effected. We came to this country to live dissent life, free of the suppression.

Please, raise your voice against there actions. Write letters in protest to the facility administrators with your voices protesting this actions for the purpose of the our family retaliation. Made a copy for our E-mail also:

Please, send e-mail every possible official and ask your friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, any official or civic figures and every one you are possible to reach to write e-mails with the protests against this action.

The E-mail send also to Mr. Dwayne LaFon, Clinical Director of the Fairview Developmental Center. E-mail: dlafon@fdc.dds.ca.gov

Please call also to the Executive Director of Fairview - Ms. Karen Larson. Her phone is 714-957-5102.

The E-mail send also to Mr. Carlos Flores, Executive Director of San Diego Regional Center. His E-mail is cflores@sdrc.org His phone number is 858-576-2933

Please, do not forget send a copy of the sending E-mail for us. If you feel comfortable to write your name and address it can be more impressive.

Please, help with your protest to stop it to do for our son. Our Russian community voices are important to be voiced. Put the pressure on this kind of people. Fight for our son today that these people wouldn't come to your doors and grab your children tomorrow. No one is immune from it until we make them listen our opinion.


February 28, 2008

Bring Nate Tseglin Home

I had been writing about Nate Tseglin, the boy who was removed from his family and placed in Foster Care because child services wanted him medicated and his parents didn't believe it was in his best interests.

The family now has a web site up to tell their story.

Please take some time to visit and support this family. What has been done here is horrible and their reports on Nate's treatment in this facility are heartbreaking.

Apparently this facility has a history of abuse and a 14 year old autism/MR child was killed there by a staff person, and even though the judge said that the death was caused by the worker, dismissed the case.

The staff members lawyer argued, "These are socially undesirable people".

So children housed here can be killed and they are not held accountable.

We can't sit by while things like this happen to our children.


Government Concedes Vaccine/Autism Link - The Court Papers

David Kirby has made the documents on Eve's case available, with her family's names redacted, of course.

He also notes additional information, that the court reversed it's last comment this month and recognized Eve's seizure disorder, that developed 6 years after her vaccine injury, was a product of the vaccine injury. I have noted it below.

PS: On Friday, February 22, HHS conceded that this child's complex partial seizure disorder was also caused by her vaccines. Now we the taxpayers will award this family compensation to finance her seizure medication. Surely ALL decent people can agree that is a good thing.

By the way, it''s worth noting that her seizures did not begin until six years after the date of vaccination, yet the government acknowledges they were, indeed, linked to the immunizations of July, 2000, - DK


CHILD, a minor,

by her Parents and Natural Guardians,






In accordance with RCFC, Appendix B, Vaccine Rule 4(c), the Secretary of Health and Human Services submits the following response to the petition for compensation filed in this case.


CHILD ("CHILD") was born on December --, 1998, and weighed eight pounds, ten ounces. Petitioners' Exhibit ("Pet. Ex.") 54 at 13. The pregnancy was complicated by gestational diabetes. Id. at 13. CHILD received her first Hepatitis B immunization on December 27, 1998. Pet. Ex. 31 at 2.

From January 26, 1999 through June 28, 1999, CHILD visited the Pediatric Center, in Catonsville, Maryland, for well-child examinations and minor complaints, including fever and eczema. Pet. Ex. 31 at 5-10, 19. During this time period, she received the following pediatric vaccinations, without incident:

Vaccine Dates Administered

Hep B 12/27/98; 1/26/99

IPV 3/12/99; 4/27/99

Hib 3/12/99; 4/27/99; 6/28/99

DTaP 3/12/99; 4/27/99; 6/28/99

Id. at 2.

At seven months of age, CHILD was diagnosed with bilateral otitis media. Pet. Ex. 31 at 20. In the subsequent months between July 1999 and January 2000, she had frequent bouts of otitis media, which doctors treated with multiple antibiotics. Pet. Ex. 2 at 4. On December 3,1999, CHILD was seen by Karl Diehn, M.D., at Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center ("ENT Associates"). Pet. Ex. 31 at 44. Dr. Diehn recommend that CHILD receive PE tubes for her "recurrent otitis media and serious otitis." Id. CHILD received PE tubes in January 2000. Pet. Ex. 24 at 7. Due to CHILD's otitis media, her mother did not allow CHILD to receive the standard 12 and 15 month childhood immunizations. Pet. Ex. 2 at 4.

According to the medical records, CHILD consistently met her developmental milestones during the first eighteen months of her life. The record of an October 5, 1999 visit to the Pediatric Center notes that CHILD was mimicking sounds, crawling, and sitting. Pet. Ex. 31 at 9. The record of her 12-month pediatric examination notes that she was using the words "Mom" and "Dad," pulling herself up, and cruising. Id. at 10.

At a July 19, 2000 pediatric visit, the pediatrician observed that CHILD "spoke well" and was "alert and active." Pet. Ex. 31 at 11. CHILD's mother reported that CHILD had regular bowel movements and slept through the night. Id. At the July 19, 2000 examination, CHILD received five vaccinations - DTaP, Hib, MMR, Varivax, and IPV. Id. at 2, 11.

According to her mother's affidavit, CHILD developed a fever of 102.3 degrees two days after her immunizations and was lethargic, irritable, and cried for long periods of time. Pet. Ex. 2 at 6. She exhibited intermittent, high-pitched screaming and a decreased response to stimuli. Id. MOM spoke with the pediatrician, who told her that CHILD was having a normal reaction to her immunizations. Id. According to CHILD's mother, this behavior continued over the next ten days, and CHILD also began to arch her back when she cried. Id.

On July 31, 2000, CHILD presented to the Pediatric Center with a 101-102 degree temperature, a diminished appetite, and small red dots on her chest. Pet. Ex. 31 at 28. The nurse practitioner recorded that CHILD was extremely irritable and inconsolable. Id. She was diagnosed with a post-varicella vaccination rash. Id. at 29.

Two months later, on September 26, 2000, CHILD returned to the Pediatric Center with a temperature of 102 degrees, diarrhea, nasal discharge, a reduced appetite, and pulling at her left ear. Id. at 29. Two days later, on September 28, 2000, CHILD was again seen at the Pediatric Center because her diarrhea continued, she was congested, and her mother reported that CHILD was crying during urination. Id. at 32. On November 1, 2000, CHILD received bilateral PE tubes. Id. at 38. On November 13, 2000, a physician at ENT Associates noted that CHILD was "obviously hearing better" and her audiogram was normal. Id. at 38. On November 27, 2000, CHILD was seen at the Pediatric Center with complaints of diarrhea, vomiting, diminished energy, fever, and a rash on her cheek. Id. at 33. At a follow-up visit, on December 14, 2000, the doctor noted that CHILD had a possible speech delay. Id.

CHILD was evaluated at the Howard County Infants and Toddlers Program, on November 17, 2000, and November 28, 2000, due to concerns about her language development. Pet. Ex. 19 at 2, 7. The assessment team observed deficits in CHILD's communication and social development. Id. at 6. CHILD's mother reported that CHILD had become less responsive to verbal direction in the previous four months and had lost some language skills. Id. At 2.

On December 21, 2000, CHILD returned to ENT Associates because of an obstruction in her right ear and fussiness. Pet. Ex. 31 at 39. Dr. Grace Matesic identified a middle ear effusion and recorded that CHILD was having some balance issues and not progressing with her speech. Id. On December 27, 2000, CHILD visited ENT Associates, where Dr. Grace Matesic observed that CHILD's left PE tube was obstructed with crust. Pet. Ex. 14 at 6. The tube was replaced on January 17, 2001. Id.

Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, evaluated CHILD at the Kennedy Krieger Children's Hospital Neurology Clinic ("Krieger Institute"), on February 8, 2001. Pet. Ex. 25 at 1. Dr. Zimmerman reported that after CHILD's immunizations of July 19, 2000, an "encephalopathy progressed to persistent loss of previously acquired language, eye contact, and relatedness." Id. He noted a disruption in CHILD's sleep patterns, persistent screaming and arching, the development of pica to foreign objects, and loose stools. Id. Dr. Zimmerman observed that CHILD watched the fluorescent lights repeatedly during the examination and

would not make eye contact. Id. He diagnosed CHILD with "regressive encephalopathy with features consistent with an autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development." Id. At 2. Dr. Zimmerman ordered genetic testing, a magnetic resonance imaging test ("MRI"), and an electroencephalogram ("EEG"). Id.

Dr. Zimmerman referred CHILD to the Krieger Institute's Occupational Therapy Clinic and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders ("CARDS"). Pet. Ex. 25 at 40. She was evaluated at the Occupational Therapy Clinic by Stacey Merenstein, OTR/L, on February 23, 2001. Id. The evaluation report summarized that CHILD had deficits in "many areas of sensory processing which decrease[d] her ability to interpret sensory input and influence[d] her motor performance as a result." Id. at 45. CHILD was evaluated by Alice Kau and Kelley Duff, on May 16, 2001, at CARDS. Pet. Ex. 25 at 17. The clinicians concluded that CHILD was developmentally delayed and demonstrated features of autistic disorder. Id. at 22.

CHILD returned to Dr. Zimmerman, on May 17, 2001, for a follow-up consultation. Pet. Ex. 25 at 4. An overnight EEG, performed on April 6, 2001, showed no seizure discharges. Id. at 16. An MRI, performed on March 14, 2001, was normal. Pet. Ex. 24 at 16. A G-band test revealed a normal karyotype. Pet. Ex. 25 at 16. Laboratory studies, however, strongly indicated an underlying mitochondrial disorder. Id. at 4.

Dr. Zimmerman referred CHILD for a neurogenetics consultation to evaluate her abnormal metabolic test results. Pet. Ex. 25 at 8. CHILD met with Dr. Richard Kelley, a specialist in neurogenetics, on May 22, 2001, at the Krieger Institute. Id. In his assessment, Dr. Kelley affirmed that CHILD's history and lab results were consistent with "an etiologically unexplained metabolic disorder that appear[ed] to be a common cause of developmental regression." Id. at 7. He continued to note that children with biochemical profiles similar to CHILD's develop normally until sometime between the first and second year of life when their metabolic pattern becomes apparent, at which time they developmentally regress. Id. Dr. Kelley described this condition as "mitochondrial PPD." Id.

On October 4, 2001, Dr. John Schoffner, at Horizon Molecular Medicine in Norcross, Georgia, examined CHILD to assess whether her clinical manifestations were related to a defect in cellular energetics. Pet. Ex. 16 at 26. After reviewing her history, Dr. Schoffner agreed that the previous metabolic testing was "suggestive of a defect in cellular energetics." Id. Dr. Schoffner recommended a muscle biopsy, genetic testing, metabolic testing, and cell culture based testing. Id. at 36. A CSF organic acids test, on January 8, 2002, displayed an increased lactate to pyruvate ratio of 28,1 which can be seen in disorders of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Id. at 22. A muscle biopsy test for oxidative phosphorylation disease revealed abnormal results for Type One and Three. Id. at 3. The most prominent findings were scattered atrophic myofibers that were mostly type one oxidative phosphorylation dependent myofibers, mild increase in lipid in selected myofibers, and occasional myofiber with reduced cytochrome c oxidase activity. Id. at 7. After reviewing these laboratory results, Dr. Schoffner diagnosed CHILD with oxidative phosphorylation disease. Id. at 3. In February 2004, a mitochondrial DNA ("mtDNA") point mutation analysis revealed a single nucleotide change in the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (T2387C). Id. at 11.

CHILD returned to the Krieger Institute, on July 7, 2004, for a follow-up evaluation with Dr. Zimmerman. Pet. Ex. 57 at 9. He reported CHILD "had done very well" with treatment for a mitochondrial dysfunction. Dr. Zimmerman concluded that CHILD would continue to require services in speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral therapy. Id.

On April 14, 2006, CHILD was brought by ambulance to Athens Regional Hospital and developed a tonic seizure en route. Pet. Ex. 10 at 38. An EEG showed diffuse slowing. Id. At 40. She was diagnosed with having experienced a prolonged complex partial seizure and transferred to Scottish Rite Hospital. Id. at 39, 44. She experienced no more seizures while at Scottish Rite Hospital and was discharged on the medications Trileptal and Diastal. Id. at 44. A follow-up MRI of the brain, on June 16, 2006, was normal with evidence of a left mastoiditis manifested by distortion of the air cells. Id. at 36. An EEG, performed on August 15, 2006,

showed "rhythmic epileptiform discharges in the right temporal region and then focal slowing during a witnessed clinical seizure." Id. At 37. CHILD continues to suffer from a seizure disorder.


Medical personnel at the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation, Department of Health and Human Services (DVIC) have reviewed the facts of this case, as presented by the petition, medical records, and affidavits. After a thorough review, DVIC has concluded that compensation is appropriate in this case.

In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii).

DVIC has concluded that CHILD's complex partial seizure disorder, with an onset of almost six years after her July 19, 2000 vaccinations, is not related to a vaccine-injury.

In February of 2008, the court reversed this decision and concluded that the seizure disorder WAS related to a vaccine injury

Respectfully submitted,

Assistant Attorney General

Torts Branch, Civil Division

Deputy Director
Torts Branch, Civil Division

Assistant Director
Torts Branch, Civil Division

s/ Linda S. Renzi by s/ Lynn E. Ricciardella
Senior Trial Counsel
Torts Branch, Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 146
Benjamin Franklin Station
Washington, D.C. 20044
(202) 616-4133

DATE: November 9, 2007

ABC News Considers Actually Reporting That The Government Has Admitted That Vaccines Trigger Autism

.... and then chickens out.


Here is the letter sent to Dan Olmsted two days ago:

Sent: Tue Feb 26 12:56:31 2008
Subject: Federal Government May Have Conceded on Vaccine-Autism Case -- ABC News Interest

Good afternoon,

This is Dan Childs, producer of the Health page of ABCNews.com. I hope this message finds you well.

There has been a buzz lately about the possible concession of a vaccine-related case by the government. Much of this talk has surrounded a column posted on the Huffington Post. ...

ABC News is still assessing the validity of this report, but we would like to be ready to responsibly cover this issue if the report does, in fact, prove to be true.

In short, the column suggests that the federal government has chosen to concede to one case in which the plaintiff claims that her child developed features consistent with an autism spectrum disorder after receiving her vaccinations. Based on this case, the column further suggests that something about the vaccines may trigger autism-like illness in children who are susceptible to mitochondrial disorders.

Depending on what we find out, various ABC News platforms may be interested in covering this development. I am also interested in writing a story for ABCNews.com on this topic.

With this in mind, I was hoping that you would be willing to lend your expertise to come of the questions that we have about this possible development. Specifically:

1) With regard to the idea that vaccines may trigger mitochondrial disorders, what evidence are you aware of that would point to this possibility?

2) If it turns out that the federal government did concede in this case, what are your thoughts on this move?

Any other comments you have on this are most appreciated.

Please note that your comments will be considered on the record and available for use in a story on ABCNews.com unless you specifically request that your responses be used for background purposes only. Please also be sure to include your full contact information in case we would like to get in touch with you for further information.

If you receive this message after 10AM on Wednesday, Feb. 27, please disregard it as the deadline for this story will have passed.

Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you soon!

Dan (Childs)

Yet here is their health story for Feb. 27th:

All Kids Need The Flu Shot, CDC Says
Feb. 27, 2008

ATLANTA (AP) - Annual flu vaccinations should be given to all children ages 6 months through 18 years of age, a federal advisory panel said Wednesday....


They don't just ignore the biggest story out there, they actually publish disinformation!

In honor of Dan Childs dogged investigative journalism, I am republishing my script for my short film. It is my interpretation of what Watergate might have been like had Bob Woodward worked for ABC News in the early 70's. The part of Bob Woodward will now be played by Dan Childs


Open to interior of Oval Office:

Mr. Childs: Thank you for meeting with me Mr. President. This guy Deep Throat told me that you knew about the break in at the Watergate Building.

Mr. Nixon: Nope. Sorry. Don’t know anything about it. Besides, studies show that Republicans don't commit B&Es.

Mr. Childs: Ok. Thanks for your time.

Fade Out.

Roll Credits

Doug Flutie, Holly Robinson Pete and Toni Braxton Say Vaccines Linked To Autism on Larry King

Three more famous autism parents, come out of the closet and point the finger at vaccines. Here is the CNN link.

For now, read the Age of Autism piece.

February 25, 2008

More On The Vaccine/Autism Case That The Government Coneeded

Update to this huge developing story!

(Re reading this article is kind of blowing my mind, I think that this is as big a story as the revelations in Kirby's Book 4 years ago. Send this to everyone you know and get some reporters writing about it).

Last fall David Kirby reported that one of the three vaccine/autism test cases chosen for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund had been conceded by the government before even going to a hearing. The case was sealed, apparently to protect the child's identity, but now we are learning the details of the case.

Apparently the girl, now known in the autism community as "Eve", had a mitochondrial disorder. Which begs a whole lotta questions when taken with the study he references that found that in a group of people with autism more than a third had a mitochondrial disorder. And that these disorders were milder in people with autism, which makes me wanna know if my son has an undiagnosed mild mitochondrial disorder.

I knew that it was associated with autism, but thought it was rare. I remember reading the symptoms way back in the day and dismissing it from consideration from Chandler's medical picture. I am gonna check it again.

Kirby has a lot more good questions that come from this case.

Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?
David Kirby
The Huffington Post

After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case.

The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.

The child's claim against the government -- that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism -- was supposed to be one of three "test cases" for the thimerosal-autism theory currently under consideration by a three-member panel of Special Masters, the presiding justices in Federal Claims Court.

Keisler wrote that medical personnel at the HHS Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation (DVIC) had reviewed the case and "concluded that compensation is appropriate."

The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal).

Days later, the girl began spiraling downward into a cascade of illnesses and setbacks that, within months, presented as symptoms of autism, including: No response to verbal direction; loss of language skills; no eye contact; loss of "relatedness;" insomnia; incessant screaming; arching; and "watching the florescent lights repeatedly during examination."

Seven months after vaccination, the patient was diagnosed by Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a leading neurologist at the Kennedy Krieger Children's Hospital Neurology Clinic, with "regressive encephalopathy (brain disease) with features consistent with autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development." The girl also met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) official criteria for autism.

In its written concession, the government said the child had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was "aggravated" by her shots, and which ultimately resulted in an ASD diagnosis.

"The vaccinations received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder," the concession says, "which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of ASD."

This statement is good news for the girl and her family, who will now be compensated for the lifetime of care she will require. But its implications for the larger vaccine-autism debate, and for public health policy in general, are not as certain.

In fact, the government's concession seems to raise more questions than it answers.

1) Is there a connection between vaccines, mitochondrial disorders and a diagnosis of autism, at least in some cases?

Mitochondria, you may recall from biology class, are the little powerhouses within cells that convert food into electrical energy, partly through a complex process called "oxidative phosphorylation." If this process is impaired, mitochondrial disorder will ensue.

The child in this case had several markers for Mt disease, which was confirmed by muscle biopsy. Mt disease is often marked by lethargy, poor muscle tone, poor food digestion and bowel problems, something found in many children diagnosed with autism.

But mitochondrial disorders are rare in the general population, affecting some 2-per-10,000 people (or just 0.2%). So with 4,900 cases filed in Vaccine Court, this case should be the one and only, extremely rare instance of Mt disease in all the autism proceedings.

But it is not.

Mitochondrial disorders are now thought to be the most common disease associated with ASD. Some journal articles and other analyses have estimated that 10% to 20% of all autism cases may involve mitochondrial disorders, which would make them one thousand times more common among people with ASD than the general population.

Another article, published in the Journal of Child Neurology and co-authored by Dr. Zimmerman, showed that 38% of Kennedy Krieger Institute autism patients studied had one marker for impaired oxidative phosphorylation, and 47% had a second marker.

The authors -- who reported on a case-study of the same autism claim conceded in Vaccine Court -- noted that "children who have (mitochondrial-related) dysfunctional cellular energy metabolism might be more prone to undergo autistic regression between 18 and 30 months of age if they also have infections or immunizations at the same time."

An interesting aspect of Mt disease in autism is that, with ASD, the mitochondrial disease seems to be milder than in "classic" cases of Mt disorder. In fact, classic Mt disease is almost always inherited, either passed down by the mother through mitochondrial DNA, or by both parents through nuclear DNA.

In autism-related Mt disease, however, the disorder is not typically found in other family members, and instead appears to be largely of the sporadic variety, which may now account for 75% of all mitochondrial disorders.

Meanwhile, an informal survey of seven families of children with cases currently pending in Vaccine Court revealed that all seven showed markers for mitochondrial dysfunction, dating back to their earliest medical tests. The facts in all seven claims mirror the case just conceded by the government: Normal development followed by vaccination, immediate illness, and rapid decline culminating in an autism diagnosis.

2) With 4,900 cases pending, and more coming, will the government concede those with underlying Mt disease -- and if it not, will the Court award compensation?

The Court will soon begin processing the 4900 cases pending before it. What if 10% to 20% of them can demonstrate the same Mt disease and same set of facts as those in the conceded case? Would the government be obliged to concede 500, or even 1,000 cases? What impact would that have on public opinion? And is there enough money currently in the vaccine injury fund to cover so many settlements?

When asked for a comment last week about the court settlement, a spokesman for HHS furnished the following written statement:

"DVIC has reviewed the scientific information concerning the allegation that vaccines cause autism and has found no credible evidence to support the claim. Accordingly, in every case under the Vaccine Act, DVIC has maintained the position that vaccines do not cause autism, and has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination."

3) If the government is claiming that vaccines did not "cause" autism, but instead aggravated a condition to "manifest" as autism, isn't that a very fine distinction?

For most affected families, such linguistic gymnastics is not so important. And even if a vaccine injury "manifested" as autism in only one case, isn't that still a significant development worthy of informing the public?

On the other hand, perhaps what the government is claiming is that vaccination resulted in the symptoms of autism, but not in an actual, factually correct diagnosis of autism itself.

4) If the government is claiming that this child does NOT have autism, then how many other children might also have something else that merely "mimics" autism?

Is it possible that 10%-20% of the cases that we now label as "autism," are not autism at all, but rather some previously undefined "look-alike" syndrome that merely presents as "features" of autism?

This question gets to the heart of what autism actually is. The disorder is defined solely as a collection of features, nothing more. If you have the features (and the diagnosis), you have the disorder. The underlying biology is the great unknown.

But let's say the government does determine that these kids don't have actual "autism" (something I speculated on HuffPost a year ago). Then shouldn't the Feds go back and test all people with ASD for impaired oxidative phosphorylation, perhaps reclassifying many of them?

If so, will we then see "autism" cases drop by tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people? Will there be a corresponding ascension of a newly described disorder, perhaps something like "Vaccine Aggravated Mitochondrial Disease with Features of ASD?"

And if this child was technically "misdiagnosed" with DSM-IV autism by Dr Zimmerman, how does he feel about HHS doctors issuing a second opinion re-diagnosis of his patient, whom they presumably had neither met nor examined? (Zimmerman declined an interview).

And along those lines, aren't Bush administration officials somewhat wary of making long-distance, retroactive diagnoses from Washington, given that the Terry Schiavo incident has not yet faded from national memory?

5) Was this child's Mt disease caused by a genetic mutation, as the government implies, and wouldn't that have manifested as "ASD features" anyway?

In the concession, the government notes that the patient had a "single nucleotide change" in the mitochondrial DNA gene T2387C, implying that this was the underlying cause of her manifested "features" of autism.

While it's true that some inherited forms of Mt disease can manifest as developmental delays, (and even ASD in the form of Rhett Syndrome) these forms are linked to identified genetic mutations, of which T2387C is not involved. In fact little, if anything, is known about the function of this particular gene.

What's more, there is no evidence that this girl, prior to vaccination, suffered from any kind of "disorder" at all- genetic, mitochondrial or otherwise. Some forms of Mt disease are so mild that the person is unaware of being affected. This perfectly developing girl may have had Mt disorder at the time of vaccination, but nobody detected, or even suspected it.

And, there is no evidence to suggest that this girl would have regressed into symptoms consistent with a DSM-IV autism diagnosis without her vaccinations. If there was such evidence, then why on earth would these extremely well-funded government attorneys compensate this alleged injury in Vaccine Court? Why wouldn't they move to dismiss, or at least fight the case at trial?

6) What are the implications for research?

The concession raises at least two critical research questions: What are the causes of Mt dysfunction; and how could vaccines aggravate that dysfunction to the point of "autistic features?"

While some Mt disorders are clearly inherited, the "sporadic" form is thought to account for 75% of all cases, according to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. So what causes sporadic Mt disease? "Medicines or other toxins," says the Cleveland Clinic, a leading authority on the subject.

Use of the AIDS drug AZT, for example, can cause Mt disorders by deleting large segments of mitochondrial DNA. If that is the case, might other exposures to drugs or toxins (i.e., thimerosal, mercury in fish, air pollution, pesticides, live viruses) also cause sporadic Mt disease in certain subsets of children, through similar genotoxic mechanisms?

Among the prime cellular targets of mercury are mitochondria, and thimerosal-induced cell death has been associated with the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane, according to the International Journal of Molecular Medicine among several others. (Coincidently, the first case of Mt disease was diagnosed in 1959, just 15 years after the first autism case was named, and two decades after thimerosal's introduction as a vaccine preservative.)

Regardless of its cause, shouldn't HHS sponsor research into Mt disease and the biological mechanisms by which vaccines could aggravate the disorder? We still do not know what it was, exactly, about this girl's vaccines that aggravated her condition. Was it the thimerosal? The three live viruses? The two attenuated viruses? Other ingredients like aluminum? A combination of the above?

And of course, if vaccine injuries can aggravate Mt disease to the point of manifesting as autism features, then what other underlying disorders or conditions (genetic, autoimmune, allergic, etc.) might also be aggravated to the same extent?

7) What are the implications for medicine and public health?

Should the government develop and approve new treatments for "aggravated mitochondrial disease with ASD features?" Interestingly, many of the treatments currently deployed in Mt disease (i.e., coenzyme Q10, vitamin B-12, lipoic acid, biotin, dietary changes, etc.) are part of the alternative treatment regimen that many parents use on their children with ASD.

And, if a significant minority of autism cases can be linked to Mt disease and vaccines, shouldn't these products one day carry an FDA Black Box warning label, and shouldn't children with Mt disorders be exempt from mandatory immunization?

8) What are the implications for the vaccine-autism debate?

It's too early to tell. But this concession could conceivably make it more difficult for some officials to continue insisting there is "absolutely no link" between vaccines and autism.

It also puts the Federal Government's Vaccine Court defense strategy somewhat into jeopardy. DOJ lawyers and witnesses have argued that autism is genetic, with no evidence to support an environmental component. And, they insist, it's simply impossible to construct a chain of events linking immunizations to the disorder.

Government officials may need to rethink their legal strategy, as well as their public relations campaigns, given their own slightly contradictory concession in this case.

9) What is the bottom line here?

The public, (including world leaders) will demand to know what is going on inside the US Federal health establishment. Yes, as of now, n=1, a solitary vaccine-autism concession. But what if n=10% or 20%? Who will pay to clean up that mess?

The significance of this concession will unfortunately be fought over in the usual, vitriolic way -- and I fully expect to be slammed for even raising these questions. Despite that, the language of this concession cannot be changed, or swept away.

Its key words are "aggravated" and "manifested." Without the aggravation of the vaccines, it is uncertain that the manifestation would have occurred at all.

When a kid with peanut allergy eats a peanut and dies, we don't say "his underlying metabolic condition was significantly aggravated to the extent of manifesting as an anaphylactic shock with features of death."

No, we say the peanut killed the poor boy. Remove the peanut from the equation, and he would still be with us today.

Many people look forward to hearing more from HHS officials about why they are settling this claim. But whatever their explanation, they cannot change the fundamental facts of this extraordinary case:

The United State government is compensating at least one child for vaccine injuries that resulted in a diagnosis of autism.

And that is big news, no matter how you want to say it.

February 22, 2008

Dr. David Ayoub Calls Out the AAP

This week parents held a protest rally outside of the AAP's headquarters to call attention to their irresponsible stance toward autism and vaccines. Dr. David Ayoub's speech is a must read:

I thought I would share with you some of my personal experiences with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

My experience with lobbying for safer vaccine laws in Illinois and Massachusetts gave me some insight into the heart and soul of the AAP. As most of you know, after joining the Public Health Service in a joint statement in 1999 supporting the immediate removal of Thimerosal from vaccines, the AAP has in effect, completely reversed its precautionary position by:

1) endorsing and promoting the expansion of routine influenza vaccinations to pregnant women, infants and young children without a stated preference to Thimerosal-free formulas,

2) joined Public health departments in strongly opposing state and federal legislation that would prohibit the use of Thimerosal,

3) oppose legislative requirements that would require informed consent before Thimerosal containing vaccines are administered,

4) failed to notify its own pediatrician members to preferentially deliver Thimerosal-free shots even after state bans such as the one in Illinois were signed into law and

5) has consistently mislead legislators, journalists, parents and professionals by adhering to the outright lie that all mercury in childhood vaccines, have been removed or reduced to trace amounts when in fact, children today adhering to the flu vaccine schedule will be receiving well over 50% of the total dose given before 2000, a dosage that is likely to continue to increase with further adjustments to the doses and target ages of flu vaccine recipients.

It is perplexing that the AAP has so strongly endorsed these new flu vaccine recommendations yet overlooked the glaring fact that the greatest threat to the supply of the influenza vaccine is not State Thimerosal bans, but ironically is the vaccine industry's ill advisable reliance upon mercury as a preservative. Not only are there numerous scientific reports from decades ago that concluded thimerosal was an ineffective and toxic preservative, but as recently as 2004, Thimerosal again failed after the bacterial contamination of Chiron's 2004 flu vaccine stockpile--- the largest scale contamination of any pharmaceutical product in history. This failure resulted in the temporary loss of over half of the US flu vaccine supply. It has become painfully obvious that the silence of the AAP and public health officials to demand a better preservative or use of nonpreserved single dose preparations clearly and unequivocally indicated that these agencies are incapable and uninterested in making sound healthcare policies for Americans. Is it any wonder that the US infant morality rates rank a dismal 32nd of 33 industrial nations worldwide according to a recent Save the Children Survey. This statistic speaks volumes and no one in that building should be proud of this statistic or the utter deplorable situation we have with escalating incidences of a multitude of chronic illness.

The AAP has played an important role in perpetuating the misconception that current research refutes the thimerosal-autism link. Three key papers have been published in the AAP trade journal PEDIATRICS-Madsen (Danish epidemiological study); The Verstraeten study, of Simpsonwood fame, and Fombonne (Quebec epidemiological study). The editor-in-chief Dr Jerald Lucey received numerous, substantiated criticisms of each of these studies, but has created an effective roadblock in disallowing any criticisms to be published in the letter-to the editor section of the journal. His response to thoughtful and reasonable criticisms has been unprofessional, illogical and insulting. My own letter to Lucey criticizing the Fombonne study was not even allowed to be published on the less publically visible online forum, even though we had obtained a copy of the Fombonne database and vaccine records from, several parents proving Fombonne's work fraudulent.

Why would the organization most influential in pediatric healthcare in America turn its back to our concerns and pleas? That is not a challenging question. The AAP reports annual revenues of about $70 million, but only 1/4th comes from membership dues. Their website lists extensive corporate donors, none more generous than the vaccine makers. Their journal PEDIATRICS generates about $10,000 per page for a drug ad, translating into $200,000 monthly. Even more money is generated for reprint orders, often 6 figures, that are distributed to pediatricians without of course the criticisms.

When I attended the AAP's National Convention in Wash D.C. in 2005, I attended as many talks I could one of 2 topics that interested me-diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities and 2) vaccine safety. From the meeting brochure I made the following observations:

First, 16 speakers contributed to 18 lectures in these categories. According to the AAP's meeting brochure and my own knowledge of the presenters, 15 of 16 speakers had strong connections to the pharmaceutical industry, including the CDC. One Harvard physician claimed 42 different financial arrangements with 14 different Pharmaceutical companies! My… when does he find the time to vaccinate anyone?

It is no wonder that the message delivered by AAP and industry influenced professionals to attending pediatricians was crystal clear: THERE IS NO VACCINE LINK!

Let me conclude by making the obvious conclusions about how I feel about the AAP. The politically correct statement would be to say that key individuals from within this organization have gone to great extents to obscure the vaccine-autism connection and by doing so are protecting profits and liability for one of the world's largest and dangerous industries. In reality, let me be blunt and politically incorrect. The AAP leadership knows very well that vaccines cause autism. We need not waste anymore efforts in trying to educating them, we need to indict them. They may me morally bankrupt, but they are not stupid. They have lied to legislators, they have lied to journalists, they have lied to Pediatricians, and worse of all, they have lied to you and your children. The theme at the 2005 annual meeting was a celebration of "75 years of caring". It was not clear exactly what they cared most about, their corporate sponsors or protecting their leadership status over our nations' pediatricians. One thing is abundantly clear, they don't give a damn about scientific truth and they don't give a damn about you or your children. I hope the autism community continues to move forward and expose all those involved who have put millions of children in harm's way.

February 21, 2008

Lowe's Just Won My Business

I have not yet posted on the guy who said the thing on Big Brother. I have been to disgusted by it to say anything constructive, so I just have not said anything.

But today Lowe's just made my decision on which home improvement store to choose real easy. So next time Webster asks, "Are we going to the Orange Tool Store or the Blue Tool Store", we will be replying, "Blue."

Autism United has received a statement from the Lowe's Companies that they will be no longer advertise with the CBS program Big Brother in response to a broadcast last week that referred to people with autism as "retards."

Karen Cobb, a spokesperson for Lowe's, said in a statement:

"Lowe’s has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Our company advertises primarily in national, network prime-time television programs and on a variety of cable outlets.

Lowe’s constantly reviews advertising buys to make certain they are consistent with its policy guidelines. Lowe’s doesn’t routinely advertise on the show “Big Brother” and has taken steps to ensure that our advertising isn’t appearing on future shows."

Lowe's is the second largest home improvement retailer in the US.

CBS has not apologized for the incident nor have they taken responsibility for the content of their own broadcast. Autism United and a nationwide coalition of autism and developmental disability groups will be mobilizing families affected by autism to call upon advertisers with Big Brother, including Taco Bell, Saturn, Geico, and others to follow the leadership shown by Lowe's Companies and withdraw their support for Big Brother. Details of the campaign will be released later today.

John Gilmore
Executive Director
Autism United
(516) 933-4050

Jenny Goes To Atlanta And She Wants Us To Come!

Sign up
and let her know you are coming.

See you in Atlanta!

UPDATE: I won't be seeing you in Atlanta. Too many people are coming and they won't fit in front of the CDC any more. So things are moving up to DC. Proposed date June 4th.

Stay tuned for updates.

See you in DC!

New Study Implicates Mercury In The Development Of Autism

The American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology has published this study out of Rutgers and UMDNJ that exposed mercury to animals and found "neurobehavioral alterations" such as impaired social interaction, cognition and motor behavior. They also found that they improved when given vitamin E, suggesting that oxidative stress is at work in this process.

This is no surprise to any of us who have been treating our autistic kids for mercury toxicity and oxidative stress for years, but the big surprise in this study is in the credits.

The shocker is that this study is brought to you by Autism Speaks.

IMHO Autism Speaks has finally said something worth saying.

So... will we see this article in the press? Will the AAP recognize it and start looking at Vit. E as a helper for their patients with autism? Will CDC start taking another look at vaccines? Will Autism Speaks start coming around now that their own studies are implicating mercury as a factor in the development of autism?

Or will they all continue to proffer the lie that there is no convincing evidence linking vaccines to autism, while ignoring all the studies that are piling up on the hard drives of parents across the country?

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology 4 (2): 218-225, 2008
ISSN 1553-3468
© 2008 Science Publications

Corresponding Author: George C. Wagner, Psychology, Busch Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08854
Tel: 732-445-4660 Fax: 732-445-2263

Evidence of Oxidative Stress in Autism Derived from Animal Models
1Xue Ming, 2Michelle A. Cheh and 2Carrie L. Yochum,
3Alycia K. Halladay and 2George C. Wagner
1Pediatric Neuroscience, UMDNJ, Newark, NJ
2Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
3Autism Speaks, Princeton, NJ

Abstract: Autism is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that leads to deficits in social interaction, communication and restricted, repetitive motor movements. Autism is a highly heritable disorder, however, there is mounting evidence to suggest that toxicant-induced oxidative stress may play a role. The focus of this article will be to review our animal model of autism and discuss our evidence that oxidative stress may be a common underlying mechanism of neurodevelopmental damage. We have shown that mice exposed to either methylmercury (MeHg) or valproic acid (VPA) in early postnatal life display aberrant social, cognitive and motor behavior. Interestingly, early exposure to both compounds has been clinically implicated in the development of autism. We recently found that Trolox, a water-soluble vitamin E derivative, is capable of attenuating a number of neurobehavioral alterations observed in mice postnatally exposed to MeHg. In addition, a number of other investigators have shown that oxidative stress plays a role in neural injury following MeHg exposure both in vitro and in vivo. New data presented here will show that VPA-induced neurobehavioral deficits are attenuated by vitamin E as well and that the level of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a marker of astrocytic neural injury, is altered following VPA exposure. Collectively, these data indicate that vitamin E and its derivative are capable of protecting against neurobehavioral deficits induced by both MeHg and VPA. This antioxidant protection suggests that oxidative stress may be a common mechanism of injury leading to aberrant behavior in both our animal model as well as in the human disease state.

February 18, 2008

Child Placed in Foster Care Because State Does Not Approve of Parents Treatment For Autism

This makes me absolutely insane.

And it should make every autism parent and adult with autism furious too.

Nate Tseglin was removed from his home not for abuse or neglect, but because the state wanted him drugged and his parents didn't.

I have no idea who to contact about advocating for this family, but stay tuned for information.

Child Abuse by the Government
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Government rips an autistic boy from his home because it prefers a different treatment than the one offered by the parents.
Sr. editorial writer and columnist
The Orange County Register

What kind of society rips a 17-year-old autistic boy from his loving home and places him in a state-run mental institution, where he is given heavy doses of drugs, kept physically restrained, kept away from his family, deprived of books and other mental stimulation and is left alone to rot?

Certainly not a free or humane one.

Yet that's exactly what has happened to Nate Tseglin, after a teacher called Child Protective Services, the county agency charged with protecting children from many forms of abuse and given power to remove children from their family homes in certain circumstances. The teacher reported seeing self-inflicted scratches on Nate's body and complained about the doctor-approved arm restraints his parents used to keep Nate from hurting himself. Nate remains in Fairview Developmental Center (formerly Fairview State Hospital) in Costa Mesa, labeled a danger to himself and others, while his parents fight a lonely battle to bring their son back home.

Isn't there anyone out there who can help them?

After the complaint, social workers intervened and decided that the judgment of a psychologist who examined Nate's records but never even met the boy trumped a lifetime of treatment and experiences by his parents, Ilya and Riva Tseglin. Without prior notice, "the San Diego Health and Human Services agency social worker, with the aid of law enforcement, forcibly removed a struggling and terrified autistic boy … from his home, while his mother and father, who are Russian Jewish immigrants, and Nate's younger brother stood by helplessly," according to the complaint the parents, who have since moved to Irvine to be near Nate, filed with the court.

The forced removal came after the Tseglins came to loggerheads with the government over Nate's proper treatment. The parents are opposed to the use of psychotropic drugs and argue that Nate has had strong negative reactions to them. They point to success they've had with an alternative, holistic approach that focuses on diet and psychiatric counseling. The government disagreed, so it took the boy away from home and initially placed him in a group home – where he had the same negative reaction to the drugs that his parents predicted would happen.

Of course, once social workers are involved in a family, they are reluctant to relinquish their power – something I've found in every Child Protective Services case I've written about. And even though the court determined "the evidence is clear that the parents have always stood by and tried to help their son," the court sided with the government. That's another common theme from these closed family-court proceedings – the social workers' words are taken as gospel, and the parents are treated like enemies and given little chance to defend themselves.

The details are complicated and discouraging. But, essentially, the parents were cut out of any decision-making regarding their son. They were given only short visits with him. After he ran away from the group home, the government transferred Nate to a mental hospital. The Tseglins say the drugs the hospital gave Nate caused him to have a "grand mal" seizure, and his health has continued to deteriorate while he languishes in a government mental facility. When they visited him over the summer, they found his face swollen. He faded in and out of consciousness and was suffering from convulsions. They believe he has been beaten and are worried about sexual abuse, given that he is housed with the criminally insane.

The Tseglins claim Child Protective Services has told them they have the "wrong set of beliefs" and even threatened to force them to undergo court-ordered psychological evaluation. The agency at one point suspended the parents' visitations as a way "to assist them in coming to grips regarding their son." The Tseglins, as former citizens of the Soviet Union, have good reason to be fearful of the authorities. But they tell me that they experienced nothing of this sort in the former communist nation. If their descriptions are correct, then the Soviets weren't the only ones who know how to create a totalitarian bureaucracy.

The family's legal argument is persuasive:

"Riva and her husband have cared for Nate, in their home, for his entire life, until he was dragged kicking and screaming away from his parents. … The court found that it was very impressive that the parents 'were able to maintain Nate in the home for the better part of a decade when he was having some severe behavioral difficulties.' … The court found further that when the parents put Nate on a 'more holistic approach' and ignored the professional opinions, that 'for a period of time, Nate responded very well to that.' Even though Nate subsequently deteriorated, the court found that he fared no differently using the more traditional medical approach.' …

"In short, this case turns on value judgments, such as whether it is preferable for Nate to be maintained in his own home, subject to occasional physical restraint, surrounded by the love and devotion of his parents and brother, or whether Nate should be placed in a locked facility, subject to occasional physical restraint and constant chemical restraint, surrounded by strangers and a burden to the California taxpayer. … The real issue in this case is that the agency and some medical personnel believe their opinions regarding Nate's treatment are better than the parents' choices, and have sought the judicial intervention to override the parents' decisions regarding their son."

In a free society, individuals and families get to make those judgments and decisions. As the Tseglins argue, "Riva has a right to raise her child, Nate, free from government interference, as long as he is not at risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect or exploitation."

Sure, the state can and does intervene when parents are accused of abusing or neglecting their children. There are many problems and injustices even in those cases, but at least it's understandable when the government intervenes to protect a potentially threatened child. But in this case, the state is simply saying that it knows best, that no matter how diligently a boy's parents have worked to provide the best-possible care for him, that officials get the final say. And the government's choice of mandatory incarceration seems harsh and cruel, which shouldn't surprise anyone, given the basic nature of government.

At last check, autism is not a crime. It's time to free Nate Tseglin and return him to the love and care of his parents.

Contact the writer: sgreenhut@ocregister.com or 714-796-7823

UPDATE: The Autistic Bitch from Hell has a really good commentary on the state of things the psychiatric profession. Among her points, that "Psychiatry, unlike other types of substance use, always involves coercion, whether directly or indirectly".

The only contention I have with her post is the use of the word 'always' in this statement. There are cases of people who have real trouble functioning; and genuinely both need and want psychotropic medication to be functional. But I fear that is a much smaller subset of the drug taking population than we think it is, and it is getting smaller.

[UPDATE: AFBH left this in my comments section below:
"To clarify, I used the word "always" because the system itself is structured in a coercive way... the medical system generally does not give these people enough information to make an informed decision."

I think that she has made her case here and her use of the word "always" is likely justified considering that true informed consent does not exist.]

IMHO, Psychotropic drugs should be a last resort. And for our autistic loved ones, a VERY last resort. They do not heal our kids physical problems and usually make them worse. Our service to them should be to heal, not to drug them into compliance.

The AAP, after 30 years has finally recognized that the Feingold Diet (basically just simply taking dies and preservatives out of kids "food", and having them eat actual food) works for kids with AHDH. But why do something simple like have kids eat healthy when an entire industry can be built around Ritalin instead?! I have two ADD friends that still, in their late 30's, have loads of emotional baggage from teachers and parents who were frustrated with them, and one of them has been on and off Ritalin up until mid 20's.

How much does it suck that all of the drama in their lives over their 'learning disability' may be nothing more than an intolerance to Red Dye #40?

Anyway... read her post. For two people who are supposed to be on the opposite side of the 'cure/not to cure' debate, I find that I agree with ABFH pretty often.

February 15, 2008

AAP Has To Search For Autism Parents Who Support Vaccination

The PR department of the American Academy of Pediatrics, concerned with all the bad press that vaccines are getting since Jenny hit the talk shows and Eli hit prime time, have put out a call to find parents who can counter the message of parents like be who believe that vaccines triggered their child's regression into autism.

From: Susan Martin (ssmartin@aap.org)
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:29 PM
Subject: parent spokespersons


As part of our ongoing response to media stories regarding autism and vaccines, the AAP communications department is compiling a list of parents who support the AAP and are available for interviews. We are looking for two types of parents who could serve as spokespersons:

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who support immunization and who do not believe there is any link between their child’s vaccines and his or her autism.

Parents of children who suffered a vaccine-preventable illness. This could be a parent who declined immunization, whose child became ill before a vaccine was available, or whose child was ineligible for immunization.

We are asking for your help identifying parents who would be good spokespersons. They do not need to be expert public speakers. They just need to be open with their story and interested in speaking out on the issue. We will contact candidates in advance to conduct pre-interviews, to offer guidance on talking to reporters and to obtain a signed waiver giving us permission to release their name.

If a parent were placed on our list, we would offer their name and contact information to select media. We hope to build a list of parents from a wide range of geographical areas.

As the Jenny McCarthy and “Eli Stone” stories illustrate, this issue is likely to recur in the national and local media. The AAP is committed to doing all we can to counter such erroneous reports with factual information supported by scientific evidence and AAP recommendations.

The anti-vaccine groups often have emotional family stories on their side. The ability to offer a reporter an interview with a similarly compelling parent who is sympathetic to the AAP’s goals is a powerful tool for our media relations program.

Please contact me if you have any questions or to suggest a parent to interview.

Thank you,

Susan Stevens Martin
Director, Division of Media Relations
American Academy of Pediatrics

The outspoken JB Handley of Generation Rescue responds to the architect of this manufactured PR blitz (while it is still in the manufacturing stage) by calling attention to the fact that while she needs head hunters to find her parents to make vaccination look appealing, all you have to do to find parents who can tell the story of the destruction that vaccination has brought into their family is to swing a dead cat.

As has now become the norm in this country, rather than taking responsibility for bad practices, dangerous policies and harmful products, the AAP adopts the corporate model of 'why fix the problem when a PR campaign is so much cheaper and easier!'

I wonder how hard Ms. Martin would have to look to find parents who not only had a sympathetic story to tell about why everyone should vaccinate, but to find parents like those of us who have spent thousands of (unpaid) hours on trying to get their vaccine message out. Because those of us with autistic, vaccine injured children who have become active activists are kind of everywhere. We can't leave home too often to give interviews, and writing is our best tool, but we are everywhere.

I am reproducing Handley's article in full, and I will add this to his comments:

Dear Ms. Martin,

You and the AAP need to realize that continuing on the course of denying your blinding love affair with vaccines combined with the permanent damage to our kids health from over vaccinating them (both of which are readily apparent to anyone with eyes) is destroying your credibility very quickly.

Conversations on the playground between mothers about their children's health is not, "Well the AAP says vaccines are safe, thank goodness. I am going to stop by today and get a flu shot for Johnny". They are about your conflicts of interest, your failure to take the questions asked by parents seriously, and "I am not going back to Dr. Smith because he yelled at me when i asked him if getting 4 shots at once was safe for my three month old baby. Do you know of a pediatrician who is OK with not vaccinating on schedule or at all?"

No one disagrees that viral infections suck, but no one on the playground knows any children who have died or suffered long term problems from getting a viral infection. Sadly, most of those mom's saw what happened to little Jimmy with their own eyes. He looked completely normal to them last month, and now, after being vaccinated and getting a little sick right after, Jimmy can't come to the playground any more because he is in therapy and will be for the rest of his childhood. And many of them have sat and cried at the kitchen table with Jimmy's mom who thought she was doing the right thing when she gave him all his shots, and doesn't understand why her pediatrician keeps saying that they could have nothing to do with his autism. Isn't it as obvious to him as it is to her and everyone else who knew Jimmy before?

Please, stop playing PR games and face the problem. Too many vaccines, too close together, not tested in combination, given to soon, to children who have no medical history and are not screened in advance to see if they have a healthy enough immune system to handle the vaccines, is adding up to tens of thousands of children with life long health problems and developmental disabilities.

The AAP has over estimated what children could handle and it is time to roll back the vaccine program and put common sense safety measures in place.

And Please... Please... stop your pediatricians from sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring vaccine reactions in children. Unexplained fevers and crying for three months is not something that just happens. Years of constipation and bowel problems cannot be explained away with, "some kids are just like that". The answers that my pediatricians gave me when I raised these concerns with them about my child were malpractice and they were fed to them by you.

After Chandler was diagnosed and I went back into my ped with all my research and tried to get him to read the safety and risk information on the actual package insert on the first vaccine my child reacted to. Although he was nice about it, he told me he didn't have time to read what I had to give him because he could barely keep up with all that you had to give him. When I asked him, 'who do i talk to about this then', he said, 'Talk to the AAP, I go by their direction'.

But you don't listen to me. Who cares if I raise reasonable and important questions about the shoddy research you use to promote vaccine safety and can offer you video tapes of my son before and after his 18 month vaccination/autistic regression, right?

After all, I am just another "scientifically illiterate" and "desperate" parent looking for someone to blame for my son's autism.

(Wait a minute, so if the public is supposed to dismiss autism parents stories about vaccine triggering their children's regression because those parents are emotional and not scientific experts, then shouldn't the public also be dismissing the stories of the parents that you are planning on trotting out because their tragedy has made them emotional and they are not scientific experts? Are people supposed to be listening to parents anecdotal stories or not... I am confused...)

I stopped listing to you when you stopped listening to me. Parents are asking questions, lots and lots of parents. If you stop listening to those questions, and pass on giving real answers, not thinly veiled BS flackery, but truthful and earnest answers, they are all going to stop listening to you too.

Admit that there is a problem and fix it. Any other faux solution, like this stupid PR move, is just throwing your time and money, and many children, down a black hole.

Ginger Taylor, M.S.


American Academy of Pediatricians email reveals panic and new low in “media planning.” (Full email at end of post.)

By J.B. Handley

Dear Ms. Martin:

I understand you are the Director of Media Relations for the American Academy of Pediatrics. I read your email of February 13th to medical practitioners (that I have included below in its entirety) describing a nationwide search for parents that, in your words, fit one of two profiles. First:

“Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who support immunization and who do not believe there is any link between their child’s vaccines and his or her autism.”


“Parents of children who suffered a vaccine-preventable illness. This could be a parent who declined immunization, whose child became ill before a vaccine was available, or whose child was ineligible for immunization.”

Apparently, you are trying to establish connections with these families because:

“The anti-vaccine groups often have emotional family stories on their side. The ability to offer a reporter an interview with a similarly compelling parent who is sympathetic to the AAP’s goals is a powerful tool for our media relations program.”

It sounds like you have a system in place to prepare these parents to meet the media, according to your email:

“We will contact candidates in advance to conduct pre-interviews, to offer guidance on talking to reporters and to obtain a signed waiver giving us permission to release their name.”

As the father of an autistic child and the leader of a national autism organization, I found myself sitting at my desk, my chin nearly hitting the floor, in stunned astonishment as I read your email. Where, exactly, has the AAP’s humanity and moral compass gone?

Ms. Martin, let me give you a little insight into my world. If I wanted to find parents who had autistic children and who believed their child’s autism was impacted by vaccines, I wouldn’t need to email the nation’s pediatricians hoping I might find one or two. I could just open my window and yell, because these parents are everywhere in my neighborhood and town! Worse, our numbers continue to grow.

You see, not a day goes by without Generation Rescue receiving an email from a new parent who watched their child decline following a vaccination appointment with their pediatrician. While you search for the handful of parents with autistic children who may support immunizations, we can’t respond to emails fast enough from the thousands we hear from who feel vaccines contributed to their child’s autism. You may think our organizations have some sort of well-orchestrated system for having “emotional family stories” teed up for reporters. What’s actually true is that within a phone call or two, any reporter worth their salt could find parents anywhere in the country who feel exactly like I do.

And, that gets us right back to the problem with your organization as many of us see it. When Generation Rescue rented a booth at your national convention 2 years ago, we were stunned by how many AAP members came to our booth, quietly mentioned that they supported what we were doing, and encouraged us to keep fighting for the kids.

Let me repeat that: Hundreds of your members congratulated my organization for fighting for the kids!

Meanwhile, employees of the AAP like yourself have your head in the sand:

Where is the media story of the AAP sounding the alarm that the prevalence of autism continues to rise?

Where is the media story of the AAP digging into the growing number of stories of children recovering from autism?

Where is the AAP when parents return to the pediatrician and explain to the doctors they trust that their child disappeared after receiving multiple vaccines?

Where is the AAP to help protect our kids from a growing, devastating epidemic of Autism, ADHD, PDD-NOS, asthma, food allergies, learning disorders, and other autoimmune issues?

You are nowhere.

You are looking for the needle in the haystack parent with the autistic child who supports vaccines.

You are looking for the parent with the illness to exploit to scare the masses.

What you should be looking for, Ms. Martin, is your own soul, which you seem to have lost somewhere along the way. Worse, particularly if you are a parent yourself, you also seem to have lost the ability to listen to the parents and to put the needs of our kids first.

Shame on you, Ms. Martin, for planning such blatant manipulation of the media.

Shame on you for being part of an organization that has done nothing to respond to the growing epidemic of autism.

Shame on you and your organization for never exploring the growing body of stories of recovered children.

With deep disappointment and disgust,

JB Handley
Generation Rescue

JB Handley is Co-Founder of Generation Rescue and Editor at Large for Age of Autism.

February 13, 2008

An Ode to Bob Odenkirk

Last month my husband was in LA and spent a day walking the picket lines. He ended up in a long discussion with Bob Odenkirk about autism. Bob has a close friend with an autistic child and Scott said that he knew everything that was going on with him and talked about autism at length as if he were an autism dad himself.

In my Autism in God's Economy series I wrote about friends like this, who have really stepped into the lives of struggling families and helped them carry their burdens. Bob looks to be one of those guys as he really was carrying an emotional burden for his friend and his child. I want to give Bob props and an Autism in God's Economy Award for loving an autism family so much.

February 12, 2008

After 30 Years AAP Finally Admits That Fiengold Diet Works For ADHD

Now will they instruct individual pediatricians to start prescribing dietary intervention to kids with ADHD or will they just stay on the Ritalin train?

Will take them 30 years for the AAP to face the fact that the GFCF diet is a viable treatment for Autism?

Now I don't expect a huge old organization like the AAP to turn on a dime, but 5 years should be plenty and 30 years is just plain malpractice. That is an entire generation of kids that were Ritalined when they could have instead just been fed healthy food.

HEY AAP! Study our recovering kids!!! I can control my son's behavior day to day by what he eats!!

From Fiengold.org:

The American Academy of Pediatrics -- the organization that sets practice parameters for pediatricians to follow -- has finally acknowledged that dietary intervention is a valid treatment for children with ADHD in the February 2008 issue of its publication, AAP Grand Rounds [full report attached]. We encourage parents to print this page and share it with their pediatricians, in case they have not seen the AAP's article.

After reviewing the British study published in the September 2007 Lancet, in which researchers found that food colorings and/or sodium benzoate increase hyperactive behavior in children, the AAP concludes with an Editors' Note and a commentary by Alison Schonwald, MD, FAAP, of the Developmental Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Schonwald writes:

"Despite increasing data supporting the efficacy of stimulants in preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) parents and providers understandably seek safe and effective interventions that require no prescription. A recent meta-analysis of 15 trials concludes that there is "accumulating evidence that neurobehavioral toxicity may characterize a variety of widely distributed chemicals." [Schab DW, et al. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004;25:423–434] Some children may be more sensitive to the effects of these chemicals, and the authors suggest there is a need to better identify responders. In real life, practitioners faced with hyperactive preschoolers have a reasonable option to offer parents. For the child without a medical, emotional, or environmental etiology of ADHD behaviors, a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring–free diet is a reasonable intervention."(emphasis added)

And the Editors' Note which follows states:
"Although quite complicated, this was a carefully conducted study in which the investigators went to great lengths to eliminate bias and to rigorously measure outcomes. The results are hard to follow and somewhat inconsistent. For many of the assessments there were small but statistically significant differences of measured behaviors in children who consumed the food additives compared with those who did not. In each case increased hyperactive behaviors were associated with consuming the additives. For those comparisons in which no statistically significant differences were found, there was a trend for more hyperactive behaviors associated with the food additive drink in virtually every assessment. Thus, the overall findings of the study are clear and require that even we skeptics, who have long doubted parental claims of the effects of various foods on the behavior of their children, admit we might have been wrong." (emphasis added)

~ The following are PDF files. If you need a PDF reader, get it here.
Read AAP Grand Rounds article
Read Lancet study, full text
Read Behavior, Learning and Health: The Dietary Connection 2007
See more information at ADHDdiet.org

USA Today Ad

JB Handley from Generation Rescue, with an assist by Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

Click to see larger, readable image.

February 4, 2008

CFL Mercury Light Bulbs Must Now Be Treated As Hazardous Waste in New Hampshire

Heads up.

New rule for new light bulbs

New Hampshire Sunday News Staff
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008

The message seems to be everywhere these days: "Change a light, change the world."

Environmental groups, utilities, government agencies, retailers -- even Oprah Winfrey -- all have promoted the switch to compact fluorescent lights as an easy way to save money, reduce energy consumption and limit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

But another message has been nearly lost in all the enthusiasm: These bulbs contain mercury, a highly toxic heavy metal, and have to be disposed of carefully, especially if they're broken.

As of Jan. 1, New Hampshire bans the disposal of any "mercury-added" product, including spent CFLs and "button-cell" batteries, in landfills, transfer stations or incinerators. So now, instead of throwing those lightbulbs in your household trash, you'll have to recycle them, either through your municipality or a participating retailer.

And if you break one, you need to handle it as hazardous waste.

Whatever you do, don't vacuum a broken bulb, advises Pamela Schnepper, a toxicologist in the environmental health program at the Department of Environmental Services. "That will spread it through the house, it will put it in the air, and then the vacuum cleaner will be contaminated."

Instead, environmental experts advise, ventilate the room and leave it for 15 minutes. The safest approach is to wear gloves, and use cardboard and duct tape to pick up small pieces and powder, seal everything in a screw-top jar, and store the jar in a safe place until you can dispose of it at a hazardous waste collection.
feb3 compact lights 270px (SHAWNE K. WICKHAM)

Linda Farruggio of LeBlanc's Hardware holds a pair of compact fluorescent light bulbs. (SHAWNE K. WICKHAM)

The risk of mercury exposure from one broken lightbulb is low, Schnepper stressed. "All we want to do is make sure people know to clean it up properly."

She said DES plans to update its cleanup and disposal guidelines after the upcoming release of a Maine study about the mercury risk from broken CFLs.

Noting her agency bases its mercury advisories on the most sensitive populations, Schnepper said she expects DES will advise keeping pregnant women and young children -- the developing nervous system is most vulnerable to the harmful effects of mercury exposure -- out of the area while a broken bulb is cleaned up.

Stephanie D'Agostino, supervisor of the pollution prevention section at DES, has worked on mercury reduction for a decade. She cited "disconnect" between researchers working on mercury reduction and those pushing energy efficiency and said her agency recently sent municipalities information packets about the new law for mercury-containing products.

A typical household CFL contains about 5 mg of mercury (about the size of a ballpoint pen's tip). To put that in perspective, an old-fashioned mercury thermometer -- the kind you can't even buy anymore -- contains about 500 mg, according to the EPA.

Experts point out that compact fluorescents, because they use less electricity and last longer than incandescent lightbulbs, reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. But they say it's important not to put the mercury back into the waste stream when the bulbs eventually do burn out or break.

It only takes a small amount of mercury to harm the environment, according to D'Agostino. One gram "is enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake to the point where you would have to issue a fish consumption advisory."

D'Agostino said CFLs are now the "largest source of mercury in the solid waste stream."

"It used to be batteries, but since 1996, mercury in alkaline batteries has been banned ... In the meantime, we're all using more and more fluorescent lights, so that's causing there to be a higher level of disposal."

To address that, the state partnered with more than two dozen True Value hardware stores to recycle spent CFLs, and DES is now setting up a similar program with Ace Hardware stores. D'Agostino said she's also hoping some of the big-box stores, such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart, that promoted the sale of CFLs will start recycling them.

Currently, about 60 municipal facilities accept unbroken CFLs for recycling.

The new state law banning disposal of CFLs and other mercury-added products does not specify penalties for violators. However, it comes under the state's solid waste law, RSA 149-M, which authorizes fines and even criminal charges.

Scott Bradford, manager of the Peterborough Recycling Center, said his facility has been recycling fluorescent lamps for years. He said some residents recently have brought in brand-new CFLs to recycle after learning they contain mercury.

Bradford contends CFLs need better product labeling. "I definitely think on the side of the box in big print there should be some kind of a warning, not so much as a deterrent but just an informative piece on there that says, 'Hey if you do buy this, be wary.' "

Jennifer Dolin is environmental marketing manager for Osram Sylvania, which has three manufacturing plants in New Hampshire. (None make lightbulbs; those are all made in China, she said.)

Informing the public about proper handling of CFLs should be a "shared responsibility" among manufacturers, retailers, utilities and government agencies, Dolin said. She said that as Sylvania's packaging is updated, it will include a link to the company's Web site, where such information is posted.

Julia Dundorf, co-director of the New Hampshire Carbon Coalition, said she doesn't want the mercury issue to discourage people from buying CFLs. But, she said, "I think it is critical that at the point of sale there is more information for the public."

The issue is about to get even more pressing.

The energy bill Congress passed late last year included new efficiency standards for lightbulbs that effectively phase out most incandescent bulbs by 2012. (There are a few exceptions, such as the low-watt bulbs used in appliances.)

Osram Sylvania's Dolin said manufacturers are working on new products that will meet those standards, including some that won't contain mercury.

For now, D'Agostino suggests consumers should make choices based on their own comfort levels, perhaps avoiding using CFLs in a child's room or an area where they are more likely to break. "I don't think there's a huge harm done if you don't put them in every single light socket in the house," she said.
What to do

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has a list of municipalities and hardware stores that accept unbroken compact fluorescent lights for recycling. DES also provides instructions for cleaning up and disposing of a broken CFL.

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the federal Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency. For information about compact fluorescent lights and the "Change a Light, Change the World" campaign, go to energystar.gov.

February 1, 2008

Eli Stone Compares Tobacco Safety Claims With Pharma Safety Claims

With all the vaccine safety claims by Med and Pharma flooding the media to counter the Eli Stone pilot, I thought it would be a good time to repost this from last summer:

Draw Your Own Analogies

Johnson & Johnson Clears Their Own Product of Autism Link

Critique of JnJ's Rhogam Study

If you don't want to find something, look where it is isn't.


Scanning You Tube I found these, and these are not from that long ago: