April 20, 2011

PBS Newshour: Autism's Causes: How Close Are We to Solving the Puzzle?

It is so crazy to me when we get these normal windows of real discussion on autism causation. I attended the Maine CDC Autism Conference in 2009 and I sat there in the audience next to Harry Tembennis, listening to these discussions that should have been the discussions all along (had not the preservation of the vaccine program necessitated the suppression of science and free expression), and just marveled. Harry kept turning to me and saying, "I can't believe this is a CDC conference!"

That is how watching this episode is. It is like stepping into an alternate universe where science is progressing normally with out the Offits and Mnookins and Oracs and Novella's of the world.

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

I take issue with the statements that there is no research that there is a vaccine link, of course, but note that they are largely qualifying that statement to apply to epidemiology. (The Stony Brook, Heb B autism study finds a link for example, but lets give them a pass on the mis characterization.) Because frankly, I am shocked at the statements on environmental causation by a rep from the Simons Foundation.

They are admitting (as IOM did in their 2004 report) that epidemiology won't find our kids with susceptibility to vaccine regression. But unlike IOM, they are saying in on camera on PBS.

And I am not sure where Dr. Amaral is getting his info on fully vaccinated children having lower autism rates, no such research that I know of exists, but everything else he is saying warms my heart. Worth a phone call to find out from whence he has drawn that opinion.

But again... It is amazing to see earnest researchers coming out of the closet, on camera, to back our belief that our little ones were different and the one size fits all vaccine program did not fit them.

I really pray that this leads to screening BEFORE vaccination to find our little subgroups before they regress. And soon.

Posting Martha Herbert's talk from the Maine CDC Autism conference. He got a standing ovation and the CDC director was in tears when she was done talking.

Maine CDC Autism Conference 2009
Genes and Environment, Developmental and Chronic: An Inclusive Approach to Autism Science, followed by Q&A
Martha Herbert, MD, PhD
Pediatric Neurologist
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School

(I hear Seth Mnookin is already trying to rip her to shreds. It must be hard for him that he joined the Vaccine Program Protection Squad after the glory days. Coming late to the party is not fun. Seth still has time to cut and run though. He can go write another book about baseball or drugs or something he knows a little better.)


Ren said...
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Ginger Taylor said...

Rene, you are misrepresenting my words.

I have attacked Seth for his behavior in this. For calling thoughtful parents "total assholes." For misrepresenting himself to his interview subjects. For his bad faith toward the autism community while claiming to act in good faith. All those are completely in bounds and legitimate criticisms of him as he claims to be an objective journalist.

I have not attacked him for his past drug use (others have).

I am making the point that EVERYONES past will be scrutinized in making judgement about their credibility on a subject. Mnookin, Kennedy, you, me, everyone.

For example, I write about eating healthy, yet I am a big fat, fat lady. It is clearly a ligitimate question for people to say to me, "Hey Ginge.... you are telling me that it is better for me to cut down on gluten intake, but clearly you have an addiction to complex carbs!" To which I can only response, "Yep... all I can say is that I know what is probably best, I am doing better and have not gotten to the place yet where I can do it... pray for me that I will be able to walk past a Green & Black's Organic Chocolate Bar with out pouncing."

And the reader is free to be all, "well she does not practice what she preaches, and I think she is encouraging eating a certain way out of her guilt and her own food issues, so I am not gonna listen to her."

But what I have done there is to enter into a good faith relationship with my readers and to admit that my own issues speak to my credibility on an issue.

What Seth is doing is saying, "Yes I was a drug addict and a criminal, and no one can hold that against me or suggest that it influences my credibility on a subject. Everyone has to be nice to me even if I call reasonable families, "total assholes."

Kennedy cannot say that either. But, to my knowledge, he hasn't.

If you believe that Kennedy's addiction issues (or mine) biases his resulting writing, opinions or stance, then that is ABSOLUTELY your opinion to hold. We all get to make judgments about people and their character and their opinions.

What a professional counseling org would say about my statements about Seth? What I have said to Seth is the equivalent, "Seth, if you jump off a roof, you will fall to the ground, don't be surprised if it hurts."

The BASIC principle in addictions counseling is that actions have consequences. Addiction is pretty much about avoiding life, and the consequences of bad choices, and then avoiding the consequences of bad choices, and then avoiding the consequences of avoiding the consequences of bad choices... and on, and on, and on, until our consequences catch up with us and we have to stop the madness and live in the real world... and face the consequences.

Addicts in recovery work in humility for what they have done and don't expect that they should get a pass on what they have done. Seth seems to think that he is immune to that.

Which is why I believe he has poor judgement.

Does Kennedy expect that no one can mention his past and assume that it might effect his present?

and FYI... I gave up my counseling career when my son regressed into autism.

Ren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginger Taylor said...

Everything you write make me more and more afraid for the people of Maryland, as you work in public health there.

You don't seem to grasp any of the of the points I am making.

You characterized my comments as:

"Seth Mnookin, heroin addict = not a man of good judgement and character, your own words. So his investigation of the anti-vaccine groups like yours should not stand."

That is NOT what I am saying. No those where NOT my own words.

Please go back and re-read my comments.

Never said because of his drug use his writing should not stand.

"Your words, Ginger. Not mine. Not anyone else's. Please explain how THAT RIGHT THERE is not an attack on his work based on his addiction."

You don't seem to be able to differentiate judgments about someones character to attacks on their work. This two different things.

I have not actually attacked his work, I have remarked on his character and his lack of good faith.

"By your standards, recovering, sober addicts should not work in recovery? "

Now you are just making things up from out of the blue.

"Fat people who lost weight should not work at weight watchers?"

This has absolutely nothing to do with what I was talking about. If Mnookin wrote about the hazards of IV drug addiction or worked for NA, he would earn my praise, not scorn. You make no sense.

Re'backpeddling' don't what what you mean. I stand by my remarks.

Seth made his drug use a topic of conversation for the whole world. And it is a double edged sword. Members of the public are free to scorn him for his anti-social behavior or laud him for his recover, or both.


Now it is time for you to either act in good faith with me, and stop misrepresent my words, or leave.

You hold an MPH, so I am going to assume that you are not a stupid man, and are misrepresenting my words for the purposes of trolling. Do not do it again.

Ren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginger Taylor said...


Then let me be clear so there is no question about my questioning your character.

I absolutely, unequivocally question your character.

It is my judgement that you are a man of poor character.

I want to make sure that you are in no way unclear about what I think of you.

The fact that you are an internet troll speaks to your poor character and the fact that you don't understand that holding a position in public health brings with it a burden to serve the public with a modicum of objectivity and respect for the public... that REALLY, REALLY worries me.

I don't think a man like you should be working in public health. I don't care if you have the IQ of Einstein.

I see that you are providing input to the State of Maryland (my home for many years and home to people I love) with information on the flu and communicable disease, disturbs me. You are an unabashedly biased man and you spew contempt on those whose input you should be taking into account in your work.

So yes... I absolutely question your professional integrity. I think you should be fired for your behavior on the internet.

We clear?

Minority said...

I also have a very hard time with G & B chocolate bars...

and with Internet trolls.

You are doing very nicely in one area, anyway :)

Josh Day said...

Looks like the Internet bully troll literally packed up his words and went home.