Bad Year for Bad Vaxxes

Let's see, the flu shot doesn't work and the current rotavirus vaccines cause intussusception just like the first one that was pulled from the market. Let's hope it makes parents think twice. -0- How recent is autism? So recent that...

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Current Affairs, Kent Heckenlively

PLAGUE - Praying for "Those Who Are Not Yet My Friends"

Kent Book PlagueBy Kent Heckenlively

(WARNING!! - To my deeply valued atheist readers, you might want to skip this article and come back to me next week where I will once again be deeply involved in the questions of this world.  Thank you for your understanding.)

I've been thinking a lot about how we make progress with various advocacy groups against powerful enemies.  I think of my heroes, people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela.  These are my spiritual guides and I want to deploy the same weapons they used.

Chief among them is prayer.  As a Christian I'm called to pray for my enemies, my real enemies, not just those people who kind of annoy me.  Yes, I'm talking about the major bad guys who if I had my lawyer hat on I'd be calling for their prosecution for crimes against humanity.

I've always liked the formulation of Nelson Mandela (also a lawyer), calling for satyagraha, which means you speak the absolute truth, and ahisma, meaning you wish no harm on your enemies, and you actually want them to come to the fullness of understanding.  It is a hard balance to find, but it is worth our time.

So, in the spirit of the season I am asking for prayers for our enemies, or as Gandhi might have said, "Those who are not yet my friends."  Some of these people are not necessarily the big bad guys, but those who lack courage to fight for the truth.  I have heard accounts and personally witnessed some of the people on this list saying things privately, that if they said them publicly, would be of enormous assistance to our cause.  Let all of these people fulfill the dreams of helping humanity they had when they started their careers.  My athiest friends act as if articles like this are easy for me to write, but I assure you, this is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  

Continue reading "PLAGUE - Praying for "Those Who Are Not Yet My Friends"" »

Current Affairs, Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted , Mark Blaxill

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 11 Vaccines 2.0 The Careful Parent's Guide to Making Safe Vaccination Choices for Your Family

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights... or more.

Vaccines 2.0Vaccines 2.0: The Careful Parent's Guide to Making Safe Vaccination Choices for Your Family

The CDC’s bloated vaccine schedule has doubled since 1988, after the federal government gave pharmaceutical companies immunity from lawsuits. Autism and other childhood disorders like asthma, ADHD, juvenile diabetes and digestive ailments have skyrocketed. And parents are understandably nervous, desperate for objective guidance that takes those concerns seriously.

Vaccines 2.0 looks at the lengthy roster of today’s recommended injections, the documented risks that accompany them, and helps parents choose a schedule based on unbiased, uncensored, unconflicted science. From whether to get a flu shot during pregnancy--and how to avoid dangerous mercury if you do--to the Hep B shot within hours of birth, to the controversial Gardasil vaccine for preteens, Vaccines 2.0/i> provides the tools to decide for yourself.

The three sections cover: Why should you care? What should you know? What can you do? The exclusive Risk-Reward Assessment assigns a numerical score to each of the 14 recommended vaccines. Also included is information on learning to spot, report and treat side effects; talking to your doctor and finding a sympathetic one if you can't, and comparing alternative schedules if you decide to delay or skip shots. When it comes to your child, it's your choice. Vaccines 2.0 will give you the information you need to choose wisely.

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: ABC 7: Alex Spourdalakis' Story

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

ABC7 Chicago, IL

Incredible coverage.  It should outrage everyone.  Lots of people, so far not implicated, should be made to answer for what happened to this teen.

In an Eyewitness News exclusive report, newly-obtained interviews reveal the pain, frustration and fear facing a family as they cared for a suburban boy with a severe form of autism. The videos capture the final months of the child's life before his mother and godmother are accused of murdering him more than a year ago.

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: ABC 7: Alex Spourdalakis' Story" »

Current Affairs, Vaccine Safety

Action Alert: Contact Gov Kasich as Ohio Faces Vaccination Schedule Increase

Action alertVeto needed by Ohio Governor to stop huge increase in Vaccine Schedule - by Autism Action Network

By John Gilmore
The Ohio legislature pulled a fast one on their own citizens last week. Legislators announced that two bills that had been strenuously opposed by Ohio parents and health rights activists had been killed. Senate Bill SB 381 and House Bill HB 364 would have required all Ohio children in day-care, pre-school or Head Start to get every shot included in the CDC’s recommended schedule, none of which are currently required in Ohio. And they would have gutted vaccine choice rights by requiring a physician’s letter to exercise the currently unencumbered rights to medical, religious and conscience exemptions from mandates.  Both bills were killed, but the language requiring the entire catalog of CDC recommended shots was inserted into another much larger bill, House Bill HB 394, which was quickly voted on and passed by both houses.
If Gov. John Kasich signs the bill all Ohio children in daycare and pre-school will be required to get injections for annual flu, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcus, chicken pox, diphtheria, hemophilis influenza type b, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus, and tetanus, none of which are required now.
The only course of action left now is to message, call, write and tweet Gov. Kasich and ask him to veto HB 394. Please saturate Gov. Kasich’s communication pathways with polite expressions of your opposition to the bill. Here is Gov. Kasich’s contact info:
Telephone: (614) 466-3555
Twitter: @JohnKasich
Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6117
Please share this message with friends and family and please post and share on social networks.
Kent Heckenlively

Review of Plague by Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits

Kent Book PlagueBy Louis Conte

A large-scale scientific calamity had been brought to light and most of them looked wary of blinking. Finally, a scientist broke the dead air, standing up to ask a question that prompted a barrage of questions directed at Mikovits, as well as animated whispering among the other scientists.

Frank Ruscetti later told Mikovits that at that moment, Coffin leaned over to Dr. Vineet Kewal Ramani, also of the HIV Drug Resistance Program, and said, “Oh, my God, you mean all those sequences we saw in the 1980s were real?


At some point in reading Plague, the reader realizes that while the notion of a retrovirus infecting millions of people is scary, the corruption of science is downright terrifying.

Dr. Judy Mikovits emerges from Plague as a champion of true science, confronting a system gone off the rails due to political forces, the personal ambitions and a public health establishment that sees what it wants to see and does what it wants for its own purposes. Plague has the feel of a true crime suspense novel as Mikovits pursues the truth about XMRV through the intrigue of the public health establishment and the Nevada research center where she ran her experiments.

Kent Heckenlively’ s riveting descriptions of Mikovits’ arrest and incarceration – she was actually jailed for her work and her principles – renders Mikovits a modern Dr. Stockmann from Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. The skilled telling of the drama that unfolded around Mikovits work on the XMRV retrovirus leaves the reader unable to put the damn book down.

Judy Mikovits took on the autism-vaccine controversy in her 2009 Nevada Public Television interview with host Sam Shad:

“Shad said the news had tremendous potential for parents looking for treatments or cures for their autistic children. Mikovits replied by saying that XMRV: “might be linked to a number of neuro-immune diseases, including autism…“There’s always the hypothesis that my child was fine, then they got sick, and then they got autism. Interestingly, on that note, if I might speculate a little bit. This might explain why vaccines lead to autism in some children because these viruses live and divide and grow in the lymphocytes, the immune response cells, the B and T cells. So when you give a vaccine you send your B and T cells into overdrive. That’s its job…Well, if you’re harboring one virus, and you replicate it a whole bunch, you’ve now broken the balance between the immune response and the virus. So you could have had the underlying virus and then amplified it with the vaccine and then set off the disease, such that your immune system could no longer control the infections and create an immune deficiency.”

In just over thirty seconds, Judy Mikovits pissed off the planet. Heckenlively states “Trying to find answers for the millions of children with autism apparently “rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.” Given the lack of interest, and even outright hostility expressed by those at the Cleveland Clinic conference on XMRV, it’s difficult to understand what part of the “public health” these scientists were interested in protecting.”

Continue reading "Review of Plague by Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits" »

Cathy Jameson, Current Affairs, LJ Goes

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 10 Thinking Moms' Revolution

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights... or more.

Thinking Moms RevThe Thinking Moms' Revolution: Autism beyond the Spectrum: Inspiring True Stories from Parents Fighting to Rescue Their Children

The Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR) is a group of twenty-three moms (and one awesome dad) from Montana to Malaysia who all have children with developmental disabilities. Initially collaborating online about therapies, biomedical intervention, alternative medicine, special diets, and doctors on the cutting edge of treatment approaches to an array of chronic and developmental disabilities, such as autism, sensory processing disorders, food allergies, ADHD, asthma, and seizures, they've come together into something far more substantial. Suspecting that some of the main causes may be overused medicines, vaccinations, environmental toxins, and processed foods, they began a mission to help reverse the effects. In the process, they became a tight-knit family dedicated to helping their kids shed their diagnoses. 

Here, collected by Helen Conroy and Lisa Joyce Goes, are the stories of their fights to recover their kids from autism and related disorders. With each chapter written by a different TMR member, they share how they discovered each other, what they learned from each other, and why it’s important to have close friends who understand what it's like to parent a child with special needs. You'll read about the their experiences, and learn how their determination and friendships have become a daily motivation for parents worldwide.

Anne Dachel

Anne Dachel to Discuss The Big Autism Cover-Up from Skyhorse Publishing on Autism with Dr. Andy

Anne Dachel Book CoverNoon Central Time today!  Tune into:

Autism Autism with Dr. Andy

HealthyLife.Net--All positive talk radio:

Autism with Dr. Andy features Anne Dachel discussing her new book, The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media is Lying to the American Public. 

Dec 18, 2014  12 Noon Central.     Anne Dachel, the author of The Big Autism Cover-Up, Skyhorse Press, is the guest this week on Autism with Dr. Andy, radio. Anne has written extensively on vaccines and their role in the etiology of autism.  She is well known throughout the United States for her interest and activism in addressing what has become an educational and health challenge of  epidemic proportions.

Anne's  book explores how news outlets downplay the impact of autism while backing the official denial of any link between the disorder and vaccines. Don't miss this controversial interview with a woman who provides shocking and eye opening information that has been kept secret from the American public. Anne's interview will be available after Thursday, December, 18th at 12 Noon, Central, and will be archived for about three months. Her show can be downloaded for future listening.

To find the show, Google On the right hand side of the show profile you will see, in the blue box,  Radio Show Guide. Next,  click on All Radio Hosts and scroll down to Thursday, 10 AM Pacific, and you will see the show. Go to Archives and click on 12/18/14, Anne Dachel.

About Autism with Dr. Andy

Continue reading "Anne Dachel to Discuss The Big Autism Cover-Up from Skyhorse Publishing on Autism with Dr. Andy" »

Katie Wright

Guttmacher's Billion Dollar NIH Child Health Boondoggle

GuttmacherBy Katie Wright

In what universe do you blow over a billion dollars on an unworkable, irresponsible project yet be able to keep your job and receive praise, by your boss Dr. Francis Collins, for such work?

At the NIH, of course!

Dr. Alan Guttmacher, the head of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of the NIH, has been the figurehead of the National Children’s Health Study Project (NCHS) for 12 years. Guttmacher lead almost all meetings and a major media spokesperson for the project.

We all know Dr. Guttmacher has sat on IACC- well for an endless amount for yrs- talking a great game but accomplishing nothing. It is quite a feat to sit through probably 100 hrs of autism meetings yet still remain in the dark on autism science.

Almost 2 yrs ago Dr. Guttmacher was asked to testify in front of the Congressional Office of Government Accountability. Congresspersons asked Guttmacher to give examples of treatment progress resulting from the last 10 yrs of NIH funded autism research. Conservatively the NIH has spent almost $500 million dollars on autism research. One would think that such an enormous amount of money would translate into at least 1 treatment intervention.

Well not in Dr. Guttmacher’s world! Guttmacher asserts that progress has been elusive due to lack of funding! Please, Dr. Guttmacher could have $10 billion for autism research and still manage to achieve nothing and possibly even, move the science backwards. Seriously I think if we pasted all autism grant applications on a giant wall and chose them by throwing darts, blindfolded, we would choose better projects to fund and achieve more progress than Dr. Guttmacher.

So finally Guttmacher was asked to give 1, just 1 example, of treatment progress resulting from NIH funded research- excluding early intervention and ABA. Almost 30 years ago Dr. Ivar Lovass created ABA, the premiere behavioral intervention for autism. So guess what was Guttmacher’s answer, “behavioral therapy.” I know, so funny! So the congressperson again asks, impatiently by now, “Give me an example of a treatment innovative, EXCLUDING ABA.” Guttmacher- no answer. Guttmacher has no idea what the gaps in autism treatment research even are. He could not answer the simplest softball questions.  I mean this man is so clueless, so checked out; it is little wonder he managed to lose a billion dollars of taxpayer money.

Continue reading "Guttmacher's Billion Dollar NIH Child Health Boondoggle" »

Current Affairs, Vaccine Safety

Will NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Ban NYC Kids from Daycare over Ineffective Flu Shot?

Di blasioBelow is an action alert from Autism Action Network. New York city readers, see contact info at the end of this post.

Will NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio keep kids out of daycare for not getting the flu shot that doesn’t work?
New York City is a two weeks away from enforcing an unprecedented and possibly illegal City-only mandate for all pre-school, daycare and Head Start children to get annual flu shots.  Several weeks ago, however, a message appeared on the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website that there will be no penalty for failure to comply until 2016.,

“In 2015, the Health Department’s Bureau of Child Care will enforce the requirement by educating childcare staff during routine inspections. Beginning January 1, 2016, the Department will begin issuing notices of violation to childcare facilities that fail to follow the mandate.”
The only penalty there is for families is refusing to allow children into the covered programs. Now the City appears to be waffling on the no enforcement policy.  Several calls to NYC DOMHM officials could not elicit a definitive answer on whether children would be turned away if they do not have evidence of get the flu shot.
It appears that the New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is willing to kick tens of thousands of children out of pre-school daycare and Head Start because they will not have been injected with this year’s annual flu shot, the flu shot that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already admitted isn’t effective against that the flu strains in circulation this year.
The policy becomes even more absurd given that there is no persuasive data in the medical literature that flu shots have any protective affect on children under two years of age, yet the City regulations require children as young as six-months to get two flu shots.  Children who get the inhaled version of the flu vaccine, which contains live flu vaccines and turn anyone who gets it into a potentially infectious flu carrier for 3 weeks will be allowed to attend programs.  And even though mercury-containing flu shots are illegal to give to children under three in New York, many flu shots still have mercury that is wildly in excess of the Federal standards for exposure for children older than three.

Continue reading "Will NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Ban NYC Kids from Daycare over Ineffective Flu Shot?" »

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 9 Bugs, Bowels, and Behavior: The Groundbreaking Story of the Gut-Brain Connection

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights... or more.

Bugs Bowels and BehvaiorBugs, Bowels, and Behavior: The Groundbreaking Story of the Gut-Brain Connection by Teri Arranga

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are sixty to seventy million people affected by digestive diseases in the United States. The old proverb tells us “you are what you eat,” and the latest science shows that this may be truer than we even thought. Diet has a profound effect on both physical and mental health. Most of the body’s immune system is in the gut, so pathology and dysfunction in the gut and imbalanced gut flora can cause neuroinflammation and possibly even neurodegenerative disease over time.

Featuring contributions from dozens of experts on gut disorders and related physical, mental, and behavioral health, this book will fascinate you as you read about the intriguing world of bad bugs, cytokine storms, and the environment in your belly that influences your brain. From the microscopic world of Clostridium to the complex communities of biofilm, Bugs, Bowels, and Behavior emphasizes one simple fact: The gut is connected to the brain.

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Boston Massacre? Targeting Patient Centered Pediatricians

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for

Dec 15, 2014, Boston Globe: On the Front Lines of the Vaccine Debate, Pediatricians Play Both Sides

While many physicians in Massachusetts refuse to treat families who won't vaccinate their children, some doctors don't even offer vaccines, despite the mandate for public school students.

And then, there are those in between. . .

It's time to introduce you to the "vaccine-friendly" physician .  . . .

What is the Boston Globe doing?  Outing the MDs who don't follow the schedule? 

In the world of the Boston Globe there is no Hannah Poling or 83 cases of vaccine-induced autism compensated by the federal government.    IN FACT, ...There is no focus on AUTISM in this story AT ALL.  Seth Mnookin is mentioned in passing, but autism is carefully avoided.

(Remember AUTISM---the raging epidemic affecting 2 percent of U.S. children that no doctor can reasonably explain or prevent?)

We're not told here that both the doctor and the vaccine maker are exempt from liability for vaccine damage.  There's no mention here of just how bad side effects can be. 

It all boils down to the fact that PARENTS ARE SCARED.  While health officials seem unaware of the simple fact that we have the most vaccinated kids on the planet and some of the sickest, parents see what's happening.  Over the last 30 years  more and more children become chronically ill and disabled.   No one can tell us why.  Nothing is being done, but parents are slowly recognizing that they need to take charge of their kids' health.  They're seeking out doctors who will accommodate them.  Pediatricians who rigidly stand by the recommended schedule and even threaten to "fire patients" who won't comply, may find themselves with empty waiting rooms. 

patients with special needs.

Lee Silsby logo 09 The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD.  Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.

Anne Dachel Book CoverAnne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of  The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.

2014 Kim Stagliano to 1994 Kim Stagliano RE VACCINATION ... "Don't!"


By Kim Stagliano

Earlier this week my oldest daughter turned 20.  Above is a copy of my written birth plan I brought to the hospital. Take a good look at it.

What's missing?

In 1994, I knew nothing about the very real dangers of vaccination. I did not know that vaccines have side effects. I did not know that many of the vaccines my daughter would receive contained bolus doses of mercury. I did not know that if my child became ill or died following vaccination, A) no one would believe me and B) I could not sue the manufacturer for product injury.  I did not know about a man named Andrew J. Wakefield whose work would have warned me.  I had never heard of Thimerosal. Mercury was a car that looked a lot like a Ford, oh and a planet, in my parlance. I did not know that I could say "No thanks,' to a vaccine. I did not know that I could space them out or at the time, break them up. I did not know that when her pediatrician made notes in her records, "Watch head size, left side" that likely meant encephalopathy was underway. I never saw those words until we moved and I ordered records. I didn't know.

I. Did. Not. Know.

If you had tried to tell me, daughter of an orthodontist who taught me to love science, and college educated professional, that vaccines would take my daughter out of the game of life to which she was born I'd have either laughed in your face or called you a complete and total ass. Likely both.

Take a look at that birth plan. I was adamant about having an unmedicated birth - I did not want to put any chemicals in my baby's body.  Isn't that rich?  No epidural. No nothing. Not for baby Stagliano. Now there aren't enough pain killers in the world to ease the pain I feel for her, not for myself.  For my daughter.

Mia before and after

Continue reading "2014 Kim Stagliano to 1994 Kim Stagliano RE VACCINATION ... "Don't!"" »

Current Affairs

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 8 Vaccine Injuries: Documented Adverse Reactions to Vaccines

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights... or more.

Vaccine Injuries Lou ConteVaccine Injuries: Documented Adverse Reactions to Vaccines
By Tony Lyons and Louis Conte

Reveals the truth behind the controversial issue of vaccine-related injuries.

Proponents declare that vaccines have saved millions of lives. Critics claim that the success is overstated and that vaccines may even be dangerous. Many consider mandatory vaccinations a violation of individual rights or religious principles. Many in public health argue that vaccine mandates are critical and justified and that antivaccination sentiment has resulted in outbreaks of preventable childhood illnesses. Vaccine critics point to mainstream medicine’s denial of and underreporting of vaccine injury.

Vaccine injuries have happened in the past and continue to happen today, and neither the mainstream medical establishment nor the government has ever fully and transparently addressed the issue of vaccine injury. In the 1980s, the United States addressed individual cases of vaccine injury by establishing the NVICP—the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program—a controversial Department of Health and Human Services program. The NVICP was intended to be “non-adversarial, compassionate, and generous” to vaccine-injury victims. However, many vaccine-injury victims and safety advocates believe that the program is not functioning as intended. There are also concerns that the program is keeping the reality of vaccine injury from public inspection.

Vaccine Injuries, a groundbreaking book in the field, reveals cases of vaccine injury from the NVICP—something that has never been offered to the public—and lets readers asses vaccine injuries for themselves.

Dan Burns

For the Duration: A Reflection

Saving benBy Dan Burns

Dreams die hard. As a new Warrior Dad, early in the epidemic, I battled for Ben’s recovery, hoped my 4-year-old-son would join the mainstream soon. Bernie Rimland’s fiery voice, igniting dark facts, blazed up like a whirlwind, lighting our journey. Just beyond the horizon, truth would prevail; the bell curve on the autism incidence graph would trickle down to nothing. Ben, voiceless since his regression, would speak again. Soon.

Decades later, Ben is 27 and still mostly mute. Kindergarten classrooms in Kaufman County, Dallas, Austin, and Gun Barrel City overflow with damaged kids. Moving deeper, I see that the battle is not just about truth and facts. Vaccine promoters, the old warriors, have armies anchored in tectonic plates where hope and money, faith and values, collide with ours. They, too, are dreamers.

Consider John F. Kennedy’s Vaccine Assistance Act, a mass immunization program to safeguard the health of the nation’s youth, improve the vitality of the population, and build a great country by making vaccines available to families that could not afford them (1). And Jimmy Carter’s Childhood Immunization Initiative, launched to eradicate childhood afflictions, prevent mental retardation, protect children from disabilities caused by preventable disease, and reign in the spiraling cost of health care (2). Or Clinton’s Vaccines for Children’s Program and Comprehensive Child Immunization Act, promoted to lower vaccine prices, extend public clinic hours, and shield families that would be bankrupted by illnesses that could be prevented with a cheap, simple shot (3). And now the Affordable Care Act, aimed at reducing health care costs in part with free vaccines and funding for programs to promote them (4).

Ten years, twenty years. The journey continues. Mountains arise. We scale them. Infectious diseases dwindle, replaced by chronic illness. Some vaccines fail, are bolstered by more vaccines. Thirty years, forty years? The horizon recedes, yet the dream beckons still. Promoters study their incidence graphs and plan more shots. And we study ours.


End Notes:

1)     Elena Conis, Vaccine Nation: America’s Changing Relationship with Immunization, pp. 34-38.

Continue reading "For the Duration: A Reflection" »

Current Affairs, Vaccine Safety

The Lady Varnishes: Dorit Reiss Glosses Over Flaws in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Identified in a New Government Report

ReissNote: A new Government Accountability Office (GAO)  investigation highlights some of the shortcomings of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) .  AoA publishes David Foster’s submission to the pharma/government funded website Shot of Prevention in response to Dorit Reiss’s duplicitous review of the report.

By David Foster

Dorit Reiss has a history of glossing over vaccine safety issues so her approach taken here in commenting on a new GAO report [1,2] on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program (NVICP) is not surprising. In the past she has used terms like "plaintiff-friendly", "reduced causation standards" and "relaxed evidence rules" to characterize this program. [3]  I would argue that no one who is actually familiar with this program, or has personally talked with anyone who has had the misfortune to endure it, would consider Dorit Reiss a credible source after reading these comments.

I postulate here that Dorit's conclusions regarding the NVICP are pre-ordained. I do not believe for a second that she had any intention of actually investigating the NVICP or reporting fairly on the GAO report. Why do I say that? Consider the following. She is commenting on a GAO report, and she includes the link to the report's summary in her article, in which she claims:

"Basically, the court removed the requirement of general causation: petitioners no longer have to show that there is scientific evidence supporting a causal connection. If there is a theory that sounds probable to the Special Masters – lawyers, not scientists – and a temporal connection, a case may win even absent scientific support. [...] But it is a very real relaxation of the petitioners’ burden to prove their case, allowing them to win, on occasion, with just a theory supported by one expert." [4]

As is always the case with Dorit Reiss, it is not necessarily what she says that is most important, but what she leaves out. In this case, she neglects to mention the following (which comes from the SUMMARY PAGE OF THE REPORT SHE IS COMMENTING ON):

"Since fiscal year 1999, HHS has added six vaccines to the vaccine injury table, but it has not added covered injuries associated with these vaccines to the table. This means that while individuals may file VICP claims for these vaccines, each petitioner must demonstrate that the vaccine that was administered caused the alleged injury. HHS is considering adding covered injuries associated with these vaccines; but as of September 2014, it had not published any final rules to do so."

Did you catch that?

The NVICP has a list of "Table Injuries" which is essentially a list of injuries for which HHS will presume causation, for each vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP). Don't you think it would be important to mention that HHS has neglected (I use that word very much on purpose) to add any new injuries to the table for ALL vaccines added since 1999? For the record, that is 15 years ago and in that time SIX new vaccines, most in multiple doses, have been added to the schedule.

In our online conversation Dorit claims that for "regular" (off-table) injuries "the requirement of general causation is basically waived". [3]  But this is not consistent with the following from the very GAO report she is supposedly commenting on: "Individuals seeking compensation may submit claims for injuries not listed on the table (called off-table injuries) but they need to demonstrate by the preponderance of the evidence that the vaccine caused the alleged injury."

Did you catch that?

Continue reading "The Lady Varnishes: Dorit Reiss Glosses Over Flaws in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Identified in a New Government Report" »

Current Affairs, Ginger Taylor

Did Pharma Financial Interests Contribute to Decision to Pull Plug on National Children's Study?

Bill-gates_reutBy Ginger Taylor

So here's the thing. Just as CDC has the CDC Foundation, a private non-profit that supports its work, NIH has the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

"Foundation for the National Institutes Of Health Established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the NIH—improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cures—the Foundation for NIH is a leader in identifying and addressing complex scientific and health issues. The foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities.

Dr. Francis CollinsMission Statement: To support the NIH in its mission to improve health, by forming and facilitating public-private partnerships for biomedical research, education and training."

Francis Collins, head of NIH, is a non-voting member of their board.

So who funds the foundation that supports NIH? From their 2011 tax filing:

Merck - $15,051,035
Pfizer - $53,800,710
Eli Lilly - $9,452,484
Novartis - $11,435,208
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a staggering $278,541,858

So I have to ask. With these vaccine interests, funding them to the tune of 386 million dollars per year, is it any surprise that the National Child Study did not include data on the overall health outcomes of vaccinated children?

I think it is fair to ask, since the study was designed to look at the impact of chemicals on children's health, did the data being collected present a picture that might be harmful to the bottom line of these pharmaceutical interests? And, did early study results have have any impact on the decision to pull the plug? And, will the raw data that was collected be open for us to view and process?

HT: Jennifer Stella of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice for the bringing to light the FNIH 990.

Ginger Taylor is the Media Director for

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 7 Plague By Kent Heckenlively (And a Contest!)

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights... or more.

CONTEST!!! - If you leave a comment you will be immediately entered to win one of three free Audible downloads of the book for your electronic device.  The winners will be notified on Wednesday!!!  Why do you want to read PLAGUE???

Kent Book PlaguePlague: By Kent Heckenlively

On July 22, 2009, a special meeting was held with twenty-four leading scientists at the National Institutes of Health to discuss early findings that a newly discovered retrovirus was linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), prostate cancer, lymphoma, and eventually neurodevelopmental disorders in children. When Dr. Judy Mikovits finished her presentation the room was silent for a moment, then one of the scientists said, “Oh my God!” The resulting investigation would be like no other in science.

For Dr. Mikovits, a twenty-year veteran of the National Cancer Institute, this was the midpoint of a five-year journey that would start with the founding of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease at the University of Nevada, Reno, and end with her as a witness for the federal government against her former employer, Harvey Whittemore, for illegal campaign contributions to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

On this journey Dr. Mikovits would face the scientific prejudices against CFS, wander into the minefield that is autism, and through it all struggle to maintain her faith in God and the profession to which she had dedicated her life. This is a story for anybody interested in the peril and promise of science at the very highest levels in our country.


Dachel Media Update: Flu Shot Failure Leads to Stronger Sales Tactics

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 14, 2014, Tampa (FL) Tribune: Special ed debate

Dec 13, 2014, Inquisitr: Will Our Children Be A Different Species? Humans Evolving Right Before Our Eyes [Video]

Dec 13, 2014, Muskegon, MI: Muskegon County health official: Amish influenced just like others regarding vaccines; some immunized

Dec 12, 2014, Portland (ME) Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram: School districts should gear up to create regional autism programs

Dec 11, 2014, Vaccination Protects Children Against Allergic Disease

Dec 9, 2014, Are Flu Shots Harming Seniors?

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Flu Shot Failure Leads to Stronger Sales Tactics" »

John Stone

NIH Cancels Massive Children's Health Study But US Child Health Is In Meltdown

Money down drain dollar sign waterBy John Stone


Federal officials are pulling the plug on an ambitious plan hatched 14 years ago to follow the health of 100,000 U.S. children from before birth to age 21. The National Children’s Study (NCS), which has struggled to get off the ground and has already cost more than $1.2 billion, has too many flaws to be carried out in a tight budget environment, advisers today told National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins. He announced he is dismantling the study immediately. At the same time, the advisers endorsed the aims of the study and urged NIH to fund related research. NIH now plans to figure out a way to do that by redirecting some of NCS’s $165 million in funding for 2015, Collins said today at a meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD)....  Read the full article NIH Cancels Massive Children's Health Study.


In June 2011 I recorded in my letter to NIH director Francis Collins data that 54% of US children are chronically sick and 17% have a developmental disability.

An Open Letter to National Institutes of Health's Dr. Francis Collins: 54% of American Children Suffer from Chronic Health Problems

Dear Dr Collins,

I am writing to you about the health catastrophe currently engulfing US children, but not only US children. Just five years ago you gave testimony to Congress as director of the Human Genome Research Institute (HERE ):

‘But genes alone do not tell the whole story. Recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool as those changes take much more time to occur. They must be due to changes in the environment, including diet and physical activity, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons. Therefore, GEI [Genes and Environment Initiative] will also invest in innovative new technologies/sensors to measure environmental toxins, dietary intake and physical activity, and using new tools of genomics, proteomics, and understanding metabolism rates to determine an individual's biological response to those influences.’

Continue reading "NIH Cancels Massive Children's Health Study But US Child Health Is In Meltdown" »

Current Affairs

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 6 Science for Sale by David Lewis PhD

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights... or more.

Science for Sale by David Lewis PhD
Science for Sale David Lewis
When Speaker Newt Gingrich greeted Dr. David Lewis in his office overlooking the National Mall, he looked at Dr. Lewis and said: “You know you’re going to be fired for this, don’t you?” “I know,” Dr. Lewis replied, “I just hope to stay out of prison.” Gingrich had just read Dr. Lewis’s commentary in Nature, titled “EPA Science: Casualty of Election Politics.” Three years later, and thirty years after Dr. Lewis began working at EPA, he was back in Washington to receive a Science Achievement Award from Administrator Carol Browner for his second article in Nature. By then, EPA had transferred Dr. Lewis to the University of Georgia to await termination—the Agency’s only scientist to ever be lead author on papers published in Nature and Lancet.

The government hires scientists to support its policies; industry hires them to support its business; and universities hire them to bring in grants that are handed out to support government policies and industry practices. Organizations dealing with scientific integrity are designed only to weed out those who commit fraud behind the backs of the institutions where they work. The greatest threat of all is the purposeful corruption of the scientific enterprise by the institutions themselves. The science they create is often only an illusion, designed to deceive; and the scientists they destroy to protect that illusion are often our best. This book is about both, beginning with Dr. Lewis’s experience, and ending with the story of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

Cathy Jameson

Make No Mistake

EraserBy Cathy Jameson

Ronan’s brother, Little Buddy, was struggling with some math homework on Thursday night.  After checking his work, I reached for an eraser and erased the incorrect answers.  Little Buddy went back to the table to redo the problems.  He redid them, but they were incorrect again.  I asked him to fix them one more time, but Little Buddy was getting frustrated and started to cry.   I asked him why he was crying.  “Mom, I made so many mistakes!”  I told him, “Mistakes are allowed.  That’s why God invented erasers,” and then handed him the eraser. 

I could tell that wasn’t the answer he wanted.  I sat down with Little Buddy and said, “Honey, is Mommy perfect?  Daddy?  Anyone?  No, only God is.  He makes no mistakes.  Man does.  Man makes mistakes all of the time.  Some of those mistakes can be fixed—like this math paper.  You’re lucky that you get a second chance to work on this.  So erase the mistakes and try again.  And remember, when this homework is done, move onto something else.”

Erase the mistakes, try again, move on. 

Move on. 

If I could only take my own advice. 

As the parent of a vaccine-injured child, moving on is hard to do.  Before that sounds like an excuse, if you are not the parent, sibling or in some way provide personal support to a family raising a vaccine-injured child, it is hard to erase what happened.  Negative effects of a vaccine injury linger for a long time afterward.  Those negative effects don’t just go away.  They complicate the situation.  They add to the problem.  They have the potential to multiply too.    

The negatives of Ronan’s vaccine injury—the delays, the secondary illnesses, the behaviors, the emotional trauma that crept in, that seeped in and that stuck around—may never be erased.  But, like so many other families who have a child like mine, I do what I can to reduce some of the negatives and what that they brought with them.  I’d rather erase a lot of what happened to Ronan and have the chance to start over.  I know that that isn’t entirely possible, but other people have the opportunity to not even have to start over.  The following is a message for them:

When it came to getting my child vaccinated, I wasn’t prepared.  I wasn’t prepared to ask questions about the vaccine process.  I wasn’t prepared to ask about each and every vaccine suggested.  I wasn’t prepared about what happens when there is a problem post vaccination.  I wasn’t prepared for what happened after saying yes to vaccines.  I wasn’t prepared to say no, thank you to vaccines either, something that I had the right to say and now wish that I’d said. 

Continue reading "Make No Mistake" »

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 5 The Vaccine Court by Wayne Rohde

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights...

Vaccine Court by Wayne Rohde

The Vaccine Court Wayne RohdeThe Vaccine Court looks at the mysterious and often unknown world of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the only recourse for seeking compensation for those who have been injured by a vaccine. The NVICP, better known as the ”Vaccine Court,” however, is not without controversy.

Established by Congress as a direct result of the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, the NVICP was supposed to offer a no-fault alternative to the traditional injury claims filed in state or federal courts and was to provide quick, efficient, and fair compensation for those who have been injured by vaccines. The reality, however, is that many cases take several years or longer to complete and require tremendous commitment from families already pushed to the brink of bankruptcy caring for the vaccine-injured family member, only to discover that the end result is manipulated by the government in defense of the US vaccine policy.

Mr. Rohde looks into the inner workings of the US Federal Claims Court and the NVICP. He interviews families who have filed petitions and won compensation, families who have been denied compensation, and families still waiting for a decision. By highlighting the journeys of these families—their efforts to find attorneys willing to represent them, the filing of their petitions, and the subsequent mountain of paperwork, medical records, and other documents that span years—Mr. Rohde exposes the bitter truth behind the NVICP. Through his thoughtful interviews and fact-finding research, The Vaccine Court sheds light on how the NVICP has evolved into something far more treacherous than what Congress envisioned with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986.

Dan Burns, Dan Olmsted

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Rolling Stone’s Agony and the Power of Facts

  AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

The rolling destruction of Rolling Stone’s campus rape investigative report – centered on a woman named Jackie whose story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia just didn’t hold up – is both horrifying and fascinating to watch. Especially if you’re in the journalism world and know how easy it is to really, really mess things up.

I had a friend at the newspaper in Rochester, N.Y., many years ago whose father had been in World War II and, a propos of incoming artillery rounds, he offered his son this life lesson: “It’s the one you don’t hear that gets you.” I think this means that if you hear an incoming shell, it is going to land somewhere nearby, but if it is coming straight down on your head the aerodynamics are such that you won’t hear it. Or maybe it just means that you don’t hear it land, because it landed on you!

Either way, my friend was using this to make the journalistic point that you can try mightily to RS Danavoid serious mistakes and then one lands right on you that you never saw coming. I think a lot of journalists would agree that often it is not the big investigative piece that causes the worst problems, but the piddly little review in the same issue that said the local restaurant used beef that was “obviously less than prime.” If the chef has the receipts for the Grade A steak, you are in big trouble. (Which is why it is always better in a situation like that to go for opinion – “The steak, which was advertised as prime, nonetheless tasted like shoe leather.” That’s protected speech.)

Rolling Stone (I'm a lifelong fan, see my framed 1978 Dylan cover at right) definitely got hit by one they never saw coming, and it was not on a piddly little story at all. Sensitive to handling a rape allegation and not further traumatizing the victim, putting their confidence in a writer with a good track record, and – perhaps – subject to a confirmation bias that frat boys at southern universities are capable of all manner of evil, they simply didn’t see the peril. By not talking to the alleged rapists, and not even to her friends, the whole thing came down to reliance on one version of events.

It would have been so easy to avoid, in retrospect. All you needed was the article editor or the copy editor to ask, did we talk to her friends? (let alone the alleged attackers), followed by a memo to the boss: Questions on Rape Story -- Needs to Hold.

Rolling Stone’s agony reminds me of our duty here at AOA to respect facts and fairness. We are in fact advocacy journalists – we come from a point of view, based on our own research, reporting, and experience – but within that framework we try to be journalistically scrupulous. That’s not to say we’re perfect – and with a blog format, multiple contributors, a mission we champion, and constant battering from people on all sides who can’t bear the fact that we’re right – we have to be extra vigilant. But we do insist on facts. We come up against stories all the time where we need to assess the strength of the evidence and report what we find. Although our critics like to think we just wing it, they would probably be surprised at how much checking and care goes into what we do. Two examples come to mind.

One of the reports I’m proudest of was about the treatment of Alex Spourdalakis. Most of you know that story, and its tragic end. But it began as an e-mail on a Friday night – March 7, 2013 -- from Lisa Goes, one of our contributing editors, describing this god-awful situation and providing photos to go with it. Because of its significance – and, frankly, because I hate getting scooped – we wanted to publish it right away, which we did.  Lisa’s e-mail was titled:

“SUBMISSION: Urgent need hoping you find this worth running”

To which I responded: “Wow, very disturbing and powerful. Kim I'd suggest we post this as soon as we have all the pieces together from Lisa, whether on the weekend or not. … an urgent outrage. I'm sure this happens all the time but it is rare to see it so vividly documented in real time.”

And Kim: “OK, having read this and grateful not to have had breakfast first, I’ve prepped the post”

And me: “One of the very best pieces we ever ran or ever will”

There were lots of e-mails in between – does the mom know we are doing this, what does the hospital say, and so on – that were all nailed down. Still, if anything significant about this story had been flat-out wrong, it would have been Rolling Stone-level bad news for us. But it held up, because Lisa was there, she had the evidence, and even while outraged she stuck to the facts. You can see the differences here with Rolling Stone's story. Still, when you hit that publish button, you say a little prayer to the journalism gods to protect you one more time.

Another case in point was the news that Poul Thorsen, late of the CDC, was being investigated for fraud and theft of agency funds. This one was almost too good to be true – which ought to make an editor extra-cautious. To tell you the truth, I had never registered the name Poul Thorsen when this came up, but Mark Blaxill certainly had.

On March 5, 2010, I got an e-mail from a colleague in Denmark with the unpromising title VS:SV. The text said: “Please see the attached file. Kind regards.” Thank God I opened it. It was a letter from Aarhus University in Denmark outlining Thorsen's alleged misdeeds. I forwarded it to Mark Blaxill, who fired back a note, "This is amazing. I’m writing a short piece right now.” A little later he e-mailed, “Can we verify this somehow? I’ve been looking on the Aarhus web-site and can’t find anything.”

Me: “in this situation you can say that it could not be independently verified but ... it appeared to be a statement on aarhaus university's letterhead.”

Mark: “Seems like Jorgen Jorgensen [author of the letter] does exist and is in the role claimed in the letter”

Me: “yes, and here's what appears to be a danish mainstream paper discussing the issue last month without naming thorsen. we're definitely protected legally here ...”

And so we posted the story a short time later. Over on the skeptic blogs, there was discussion for days about whether the letter was a fake, oblivious to the kind of crosschecking we had already done and lacking the skills, or perhaps the motivation, to do it themselves.

Still, the story was almost literally unbelievable. After we published it, David Kirby – who has a solid journalism background – e-mailed, “Are we sure the document is authentic?”

To which Mark responded: “Dan received the document from a contact in Denmark who alerted him to the story. [She also posted it on her small blog.] I've checked and confirmed that Jorgen Jorgensen does exist and is in the role claimed in the letter. I haven't seen anything on the Aarhus web-site about this. We do have confirmation (see attached) that this has been covered in the Danish press. The early report from the Copenhagen Post doesn't mention Thorsen by name, but based on what I had seen as of yesterday, I predicted it was Thorsen. So seeing this letter naming Thorsen is consistent with everything we know."

I added: “i have a high degree of confidence in its authenticity, given the mainstream reporting in denmark in the past few weeks that matches what the memo said.”

Notice the phrase, “A high degree of confidence.” That is what we were working with at the time. Today, of course, we are certain it is authentic, but in real time you have to constantly assess the possibility that something is amiss versus the possibility of missing the story altogether. In that circumstance, having a high degree of confidence was sufficient for publication. If you had to be certain, you’d get scooped every time. Which makes this such an interesting business.

So this is the kind of thing that goes into our news coverage and analysis here at our humble web site. I would like to think that this kind of collaborative and cautious editing would have saved Rolling Stone, although, as my friend’s said, it’s the one you don’t hear that gets you.

There’s another reason to care about facts and Rolling Stone – it published Bobby Kennedy’s Deadly Immunity, which required some corrections. I said at the time that these were the kind of things that a good fact-checking operation could and should have caught. Bobby’s basic thesis was incontrovertible, but the relatively picayune fact errors were enough to allow some to divert attention from that. Rolling Stone, to its eternal credit, refused to retract the piece after Salon did so. But the Kennedy saga and the Rape on Campus story suggest they might have a systemic problem with rigorous fact-checking and asking the kind of fail-safe (one of my editors called it “bomb-proofing”) questions that can keep the shell from landing smack on top of you.

So, hey, Rolling Stone, deconstruct how you screwed up, get yourself a couple of cranky and skeptical copy editors, the old-fashioned kind who go out back to smoke and probably drink at lunch. And rock on! We need you,  bro.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Current Affairs, Kim Stagliano

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 4 All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights...

All I Can Handle 160
Readers - Kim here - if you purchase the paperback, send me an email with your mailing address and I will sign and send a bookplate for you to have a signed copy.  The book is a good gift for teachers, therapists, docs, family and friends!  Tell me to whom you want the bookplate signed. Thanks!

All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa by Kim Stagliano

Dr. Spock? Check. Penelope Ann Leach (Remember her?) Check. What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Check. I had a seven hundred dollar Bellini crib for God’s sake!

Everything was perfect…”

...and so begins Kim Stagliano’s electrifying and hilarious memoir of her family’s journey raising three daughters with autism. Always outspoken, often touching, and sometimes heartbreaking, Kim Stagliano is a powerful new voice in comedic writing—her “Kimoir” (as she calls it) is the next must-read within the autism community and the literary world at large.

Current Affairs, Vaccine Safety

Help Share Trace Amounts A Documentary by Eric Gladen and Shiloh Levine

Trace amounts banner
By Julie Obradovic

Beginning in January, the long-awaited documentary film Trace Amounts by directors Eric Gladen and Shiloh Levine will screen in theaters across the country. It tells the true story of Eric’s experience with vaccine injury at age 29 that changed his life forever.


Through his harrowing tale of physical and mental anguish, and what it took to get well, he not only learned that what had happened to him didn’t have to happen, but that it had happened to children across the globe. He made it his life’s mission to make it right.

Upon recovery, he gave up his career as an engineer and dedicated his life to telling this story. Using his savings, he bought a tour bus, a camera, hired a film crew, and spent years touring the country interviewing experts and meticulously piecing together the details of what had happened and why.

The result is Trace Amounts, a movie that for those of us who have lived through this will take your breath away…in a good way. It will validate everything you experienced and then some, proving beyond any doubt, this happened: the very institutions that were supposed to look out for our children failed.

This. Is. Our. Story.

The story is told by a man who had nothing to gain by doing it. By a man who was just that, a man when he was vaccine injured, able to articulate exactly how it happened, how it felt, and what it took to get better. An adult who experienced precisely what so many of our kids have, but unlike them, has the voice to tell the world and who feels obligated to do so on their behalf.

It is hard to put into words the gratitude I personally feel towards Eric and his team for doing this. How do you thank someone for advocating on your child’s behalf in such a powerful and meaningful way?

Well, there’s one way. Help us.

We are looking to make this movie a movement. We have the resources. We have an incredible team in place. We have all of the pieces we need ready to go. Now, all we need is you.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to affect the most change.


Here’s what we are looking for:

  1. People willing to host a screening of the film at a movie theater. (Called Film Captains)
  2. People willing to recruit other Film Captains.
  3. People and organizations willing to partner with Trace Amounts and its mission.
  4. People willing to promote the screening of the film.

The movie will officially launch in theaters on February 4, 2015. Our goal is to have hundreds of additional screenings throughout the country by Autism Awareness month in April.


Hosting a screening is free and easy! This story affects everyone and by partnering Theatrical-On-Demand distribution company Gathr Films, we are able to release the film in theaters nationwide wherever and whenever demand exists.

Here’s how it works:

Continue reading "Help Share Trace Amounts A Documentary by Eric Gladen and Shiloh Levine" »

Current Affairs

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 3 Finding Lina By Helena Hjalmarsson

12 days of Skyhorse

We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights...

Finding Lina smallLina was a precocious toddler—charming, chatty, joyful. At the age of three, in the aftermath of her second MMR vaccine, first came a seizure, and then, to her parents’ horror, the loss of Lina’s ability to play, use language, and control her impulses. Over the next few years they continued to lose Lina. She communicated her acute discomfort by biting, screaming, hitting, laughing maniacally, and throwing violent tantrums. As a single mother, with the help of her ex-husband, Helena Hjalmarsson tirelessly pursued every possible avenue to find a diagnosis, and more importantly a treatment, for her daughter, and the search continues to this day. Lina is nine.

Special schools, restrictive diets, sensory stimulation, relationship-based therapy, gastrointestinal links, homeopathy, and allergy treatment are all explored in detail. Hjalmarsson finds out what helps Lina and what doesn’t. She introduces sign language to Lina. She engages in lengthy daily intensive one-on-one sessions. With the help of her ex, angelic babysitters, Lina’s exceptionally empathetic younger sister, and supportive friends, Hjalmarsson manages to create a meaningful life for Lina, and for herself—a life of love and transcendence.

Lina, for all her challenges, has much to teach, and Hjalmarsson is a receptive student: finding joy in moments of connection, learning to live in the present, taking nothing for granted, accepting what others find unbearable, and finding a strength and spiritual base for inspiration and healing.

Unflinchingly honest and courageous, Finding Lina will open the eyes and hearts and minds of all parents, whether they have a child with autism or not.

Safeminds' Lyn Redwood Deafening Silence: The Systematic Censorship of the Truth about Vaccines

Safeminds lyn shotNote: The article below is from our sponsor, Safeminds.  Please join us in thanking Lyn Redwood for her tenure on IACC, where she fought for families facing all of the challenges of autism, from vaccine induced cause through adult issues. She stepped down this year.  If you're relatively new to Age of Autism and/or the vaccine injury community, please read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby to learn how Lyn Redwood, a nurse, set off the earliest alarm bells about mercury and vaccination, when doctors, scientists and governement watchdogs were oblivious.  From the Safeminds blog:

By Lyn Redwood

Years ago I was interviewed for a news story regarding my son’s mercury toxicity related to medications I received while I was pregnant and his exposure to mercury from his early infant vaccines.

The reporter did an extensive interview with my husband, who is a physician and myself, a registered nurse, at our home. The show was to include a review of my son’s medical records. The television crew also interviewed several local experts for the report, which was scheduled as a hard-hitting three-part investigation regarding mercury and autism.

The promotions began airing the same morning that the first part of the series was scheduled to run. It was to be shown during the evening news.

By 2:00 p.m. that afternoon I received notification that the story had been pulled.

I was shocked.

This was my first time personally dealing with censorship by the media.

Unfortunately it was not my last.

Several years later I was approached by a movie production company that planned to produce a feature film based on David Kirby’s best selling book Evidence of Harm. They wanted to use the personal story of my son as a major part of the movie.

But after purchasing the movie rights to the book and embarking on development of the script for 36 months, the production company decided not to move forward with production of the film. Insiders told us that external pressure from several high-profile individuals caused the production company to reconsider.

Shortly thereafter the production company partnered with CDC and made the movie Contagion, a medical thriller about a global pandemic.

Need I say more?

Over the years I have had investigative reporters tell me that they had never had their reports censored until they started covering the autism vaccine connection.

I have also had researchers tell me that they could not conduct autism vaccine research for fear of losing federal research funding.

So I wasn’t surprised to see that journalist Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., who reports so meticulously and reasonably about vaccines that she has been criticized by both pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine camps, recently had her work censored.

Continue reading "Safeminds' Lyn Redwood Deafening Silence: The Systematic Censorship of the Truth about Vaccines" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Why Some Parents Do Not Vaccinate

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 11, 2014, Why some Michigan parents choose not to vaccinate their children

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Why Some Parents Do Not Vaccinate" »

Current Affairs

12 Days of Skyhorse Publishing: Day 2 The Autism War A Novel by Lou Conte

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights...

The Autism War_revised coverThe Autism War by Louis Conte

Tony Colletti, a good suburban cop and father of a child with autism, finds himself drawn into the controversy over the apparent but rarely acknowledged connection between childhood vaccines and autism. His quest to uncover the truth forces him to risk all he holds dear while confronting corrupt government officials, the powerful pharmaceutical industry, and disturbing elements of his own past. Even while holding down his job and dealing with family crises, Colletti spearheads the drive to contend with industrial espionage, Russian gangsters, and sexual predators preying upon disabled children. He and his colleagues face powerful government and private factions that manipulate the media, fabricate scientific research, conduct shadowy judicial proceedings, and viciously attack those who question vaccine safety.

In this gripping novel, government and industry have formed an unholy alliance that places profit ahead of children’s health, one that compels ordinary Americans to fight back to protect their families and the ideals of justice. In the tradition of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and echoing the infamous Minamata, Japan, mercury poisoning tragedy, The Autism War reminds us how a handful of dedicated citizens armed with convincing evidence can prevail over a complacent majority and overwhelming odds.

Vaccine Safety

Guide to Vaccination from Vaccine Choice Canada

Baby girlWe invite you to read this document from Vaccine Choice Canada.  As I approach my oldest daughter's 20th birthday, I think back to the dearth of safety information I had access to while pregnant. I researched cribs, car seats, teething toys, foods - you name it. It never occurred to me to research vaccine safety.  After all, what doctor would give my baby something unsafe?   Today's parents have the luxury and the curse of access to info I never did.  They have to make choices, fight battles, wrestle with their ingrained beliefs and forge a path for their newborns.  Ignorance might be bliss - but a lifetime of vaccine injury is anything but. I learned the hard way.  Looking back, I know that Kim Stagliano circa 1994 would never have really listened to anyone who told me that vaccines could cause severe, life changing injury.  We face that same push-back today. It's unthinkable. Impossible.  Vaccines don't cause autism. Except when they do.  Kim

The introduction from this handbook reads as follows (read the full document here):

Congratulations on the creation of new life! This is an exciting and wonderful time. We wish you well on your journey of parenthood.

We trust you have come to this information because of your desire to know more and to make the best possible choice for the health of your new born child. We commend you on your commitment to making an informed decision and on your willingness to fully embrace the responsibility of parenthood.

We believe the decision of whether to vaccinate your new born child is one of the most difficult decisions you will be asked to make as a parent. We wish this decision wasn’t so difficult. Unfortunately it is. The politicized nature of the vaccine debate and the lack of balanced reporting in the media make it difficult for parents to have access to sufficient information to make an informed choice.

Continue reading "Guide to Vaccination from Vaccine Choice Canada" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: More Blame on Mom

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 9, 2014, CBS News: Preeclampsia during pregnancy raises autism risk by Jessica Firger

Dec 9, 2014, The Federalist: How Big Government Has Exacerbated The Controversy Over Vaccines|

Dec 8, 2014, ABC News: Whooping Cough Back With a Vengeance in California

Dec 8, 2014, Logan (UT) Herald Journal: Utah Department of Health urges immunization

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: More Blame on Mom" »

Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted

Midweek Mashup: Our Mission

MashupBy Dan Olmsted

A monumental catastrophe is unfolding in doctor's offices and public health clinics across this country every day, and it is called the Childhood Immunization Schedule. It is responsible for the autism epidemic, and much else that is unhealthy for our children, our country, and our world. A greatly reduced and more selective and safety-focused vaccine schedule could put the brakes on that epidemic -- today, family by family and child by child, while we also work for reform and recognition of vaccine injury on political, legal, and journalism fronts.

Our mission at Age of Autism is to end the Age of Autism -- meaning, the autism epidemic -- not to end vaccination as a medical practice. I've never said otherwise, and if people find this a disqualifying point of view, I'm truly sorry to lose their confidence but I have to be straightforward and consistent. Other groups and some of our valued writers and readers do have that mission, and we respect and interact with them all the time, publish their posts, and put their perspectives in our book (Vaccines 2.0, out next month, co-written with Mark Blaxill). There is room for different but allied approaches and tactics to attacking this catastrophe, and it is much better to collaborate and affirm each other than to splinter our small activist coalition over issues where we have far -- far! -- more in common that anything mainstream public health is asserting.

Let's remember first principles, as put forward by the late great Bernie Rimland, who I feel privileged to call a personal hero: "The autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause. ... There are many consistent lines of evidence implicating vaccines, and no even marginally plausible alternative hypotheses."

Note that phrase: Excessive vaccinations. 

To argue that the excessive, bloated vaccine schedule caused the post-1988 autism epidemic, as I do, you are basically stipulating that the much less aggressive vaccine schedule pre-1988 was not causing it, as problematic as it may still have been in the particulars. Hence, promoting a lesser, later, lighter vaccine schedule -- and the right to choose it, without resistance -- is one reasonable way to try to end the epidemic, among many other necessary steps. One reason the Amish have little to no autism is not because they never ever vaccinate -- although many do not -- but because they are light years from the metronomic well-baby shot schedule that is causing mayhem for the rest of us (most don't have health insurance, for one thing). How many home-birthed, midwife-attended Amish babies do you really think get the hep B shot within hours of coming into the world? Precious few, I'd say.

Mercury in vaccines has caused autism since the 1930s, as I think we have shown conclusively (thank you, Teresa Conrick!), and bad vaccines like the DPT have done damage as well, but the epidemic rate of autism today, now, this minute, is directly due to the post-1986 vaccine act feeding frenzy by the pharmaceutical companies and complicit captured regulators and pediatric practices. It needs to be stopped.

At least, that is my opinion, based on my own research, experience, and professional training. This may seem like stating the obvious to all of us -- that the current schedule is causing the current epidemic, but it is still a minority and beleaguered point of view that we fight every day to demonstrate.

I respectfully disagree with what is often part and parcel of the no-vaccines-ever argument -- that the polio and smallpox vaccines didn't really end those epidemics. I base this again on research of my own and with my colleague Mark Blaxill on these topics -- particularly polio (although the epidemic was man-made -- another story). So because I think these statements are simply incorrect, and that it is a historical fact that these vaccines did end serious diseases, I don't see these as winning arguments to make to concerned parents. To my mind it is therefore hard to convince new parents that there simply is no case for any vaccination, ever, and never will be, end of story, thanks for listening, go and sin no more. Those who want to make the case that smallpox and polio vaccines were worthless need to hold themselves to a higher standard of rigor than just the received wisdom that polio was "reclassified" out of existence or that the determined and well-documented vaccine onslaught on smallpox really had nothing to do with wiping it out. This does not make me pro- (or anti-) vaccine, just someone trying to assess facts objectively.

So on the polio vaccine, as I mentioned in my last column, I would say, yes, it worked. But also that you as a new parent should think about whether your child really needs it in this day and age, and if you are looking to cut back, consider putting your red pencil through that one, at least for now. This is why we have to stick to our journalistic guns -- if we are convinced that the polio vaccine did work, we can't simply say otherwise or keep quiet . But we can still help parents reassess the need for mass polio vaccination in the United States in 2014.

This is where I have put my efforts for more than a decade -- discovering and demonstrating that the bloated and largely untested vaccine program we have today, including ingredients like thimerosal and blunders like combined live virus vaccines at age 1, is the driving force behind the autism epidemic and its many, many attendant health problems. So, it logically follows, at least to me, that anything that dials back on the cumulative hit and the worst and most demonstrably dangerous and useless offenders in the current schedule, and empowers parental concern and choice, including the choice not to vaccinate at all -- as our book does -- furthers our mission.

A widespread revolt against current vaccination policy, including an unchallenged right not to vaccinate at all, and the development of a safer and saner vaccine schedule, is simply a more attainable and sustainable goal (it's already happening!) than a revolt against vaccination as a public health tool under any circumstances, ever, buttressed by claims that vaccines have never, ever worked. Again, there is room for people pushing on all these fronts, and we welcome and work with them as allies.

A final point: Neither in our upcoming book nor anywhere else are we "recommending" vaccines. Parents don't need us to "recommend." They need a context for looking at safer vaccine choices -- including no vaccines -- that only they can make. 

I look forward to continuing the conversation and can't wait for our book to be part of it!


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Current Affairs

The Twelve Days of Skyhorse Publishing Callous Disregard

12 days of Skyhorse
We owe a debt of gratitude to Tony Lyons, Publisher at Skyhorse Publishing in New York. His committment to books about autism is..... well - why don't we let him tell you himself.  (Thank you to The Thinking Moms' Revolution for the video.)

We will feature one Skyhorse book each day for the next 12 days. Consider it a literary Advent Calendar or a Menorah with twelve lights...

CallousCallous Disregard by Dr. Andrew Wakefield

As Andrew Wakefield states in his prologue, “If autism does not affect your family now, it will. If something does not change—and change soon—this is almost a mathematical certainty. This book affects you also. It is not a parochial look at a trivial medical spat in the United Kingdom, but dispatches from the battlefront in a major confrontation—a struggle against compromise in medicine, corruption of science, and a real and present threat to children in the interests of policy and profit. It is a story of how ‘the system’ deals with dissent among its doctors and scientists.”

In the pursuit of possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, Wakefield lost his job in London’s Royal Free Hospital, his country of birth, his career, and his medical license. A recent General Medical Council ruling stated that he was “dishonest, irresponsible and showed callous disregard for the distress and pain of children.” Maligned by the medical establishment and mainstream media, Wakefield endeavors to set the record straight in Callous Disregard. While explaining what really happened, he calls out the organizations and individuals that are acting not for the sake of children affected by autism, but in their own self-interests.

Current Affairs, Kent Heckenlively

PLAGUE - Why the Pediatric AIDS Unit at the University of California, San Francisco is Responsible for this Book

Kent Book PlagueBy Kent Heckenlively

A retrovirus in autism?  You mean, like HIV?  That autism might be a non-fatal form of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)?

Let me explain how I came to co-author the book, PLAGUE: One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases, with Dr. Judy Mikvoits.

On October 8, 2009 Dr. Mikovits appeared on a show called Nevada Newsmakers to talk about her recent publication in the journal Science showing an association between a recently discovered retrovirus, XMRV, and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (more accurately myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS).  In the interview she also talked about the possible implications for autism, as they had been finding evidence of the retrovirus in these children as well. 

Mikovits said, There's always the hypothesis that my child was fine, then they got sick, and then they got autism.  Interestingly, on that note, if I might speculate a little bit.  This might explain why vaccines lead to autism in some children because these viruses live and divide and grow in the lyphocytes, the immune response cells, the B and T cells.  So when you give a vaccine you send your B and T cells into overdrive.  That's it's job.

Well, if you're harboring one virus, and you replicate it a whole bunch, you've now broken the balance between the immune response and the virus.  So you could have had the underlying virus and them amplified it with the vaccine and then set off the disease, such that your immune system could no longer control the infections and create an immune deficiency.

Okay, that got my attention.

I didn't know much about retroviruses at the time so I called the UCSF Pediatric AIDS unit and got their press representative.  I sketched out the basic idea of the theory, that kids with autism might have an HIV-like retrovirus and that explained their autism.  I didn't even mention the "V" word.

But the press representative did. 

Continue reading "PLAGUE - Why the Pediatric AIDS Unit at the University of California, San Francisco is Responsible for this Book" »

Dachel Media Update: Vax Questions Never Epidemic Questions

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 8, 2014, Washington Post: Arguing with anti-vaxers: Maybe not a good idea

Dec 5, 2014, Jewish Journal: Measles makes a comeback

Dec 4, 2014, Longview (TX) News-Journal: Longview doctor: No need to resist childhood vaccines


Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Vax Questions Never Epidemic Questions" »

Teresa Conrick

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Damaged Microbiome in Autism

MicrobiomeNote: This post is part of an on-going series by Teresa Conrick. You can read more about the Microbiome in our "Exclusives" pull down menu.

By Teresa Conrick

On August 29th, 1931, Vivian Murdock was born in Maryland.  She was to become Case 6, Virginia S. , the eldest diagnosed of those unique childrenas reported by Dr. Leo Kanner in his famous paper from 1943  .  He changed her name and birthday as he knew her father, Dr. Harry Murdock, a fellow psychiatrist, and presumably wanted to keep the family anonymous.

Viv TC

Here is her Social Security death notice:

Vivian Murdock:

SSN: 214-82-4465

Last Residence:  21838  Marion Station, Somerset

Maryland, United States of America

Born:  29 Aug 1931

Died:  Jan 1987

State (Year) SSN issued:  Maryland (1975)

On April 14th, 2012, I “found” Virginia S. after years of searching.  Her life of institutionalization Meg Santasince 1936 was horrific and compelled me to keep up my search through volumes of documents.  Virginia S. was my Titanic, a monumental and historic tragedy of both mind and body that had clues to MAN as the culprit.  I needed to find her and thought of it as a rescue mission.  I have a daughter, like Virginia S., who has been nonverbal since regression into an autism diagnosis after her vaccinations.  State mental hospitals and institutions were the options for autism in the days of Kanner and since. In present day, we now see that the majority of cases involve REGRESSION,   with increasing numbers of parents reporting VACCINATION as the cause. I have always been intrigued by the fact that Virginia S. was born in Baltimore right when, “The city health department reported in 1931 that 'during the year the Department began the distribution of diphtheria toxoid on a large scale. ’  ” These would have been the first well-baby vaccines containing mercury.  Her family and the other seven discovered so far from those Kanner 11, each had a history of mercury exposure. Both mercury   and vaccination  can alter the microbiome. NOTE: Antibiotics were not yet in use when those first eleven children were identified.

Since 1938, when Kanner first met those children, autism has become an epidemic and a top fear for expecting parents.  Some may try to paint autism as an increasing diagnosed disability, where each individual needs to be treated with dignity.  I agree with that but we need to also add that autism is increasing due to environmental, not genetic factors and that for most, autism is a DISEASE, with true, medical markers.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the social, language and perseverative behaviors of autism are a consequence of a microbiome that is sick and that in turn affects the brain:

A new and growing area of research is finding that the bugs, especially the ones in our guts, play a critical role in human health and the development of our immune system.

Scientists say that a host of health problems, including autism, cancer, obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, Crohn's disease, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, seem to appear when the human microbial community gets out of whack.

And this one:

Similarly, a 2013 study from Mazmanian’s lab found that a mouse model with some features of autism had much lower levels of a common gut bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis than did normal mice3. The animals were also stressed, antisocial and had gastrointestinal symptoms often seen in autism. Feeding B. fragilis to the mice reversed the symptoms. The group also found that the mice with these symptoms had higher levels of a bacterial metabolite called 4-ethylphenylsulphate (4EPS) in their blood, and that injecting that chemical into normal mice caused the same behavioural problems..

…. 4-ethylphenylsulfate, was 46 times as abundant in the mice with autism symptoms as in normal mice  .

Or this:

ASD is a collection of neurodevelopmental changes in children where they exhibit complex behavioral changes in their abilities in social interaction and communication, as well as presence of behaviors similar to obsessive–compulsive disorder, including repetitive and narrow interests. While the disease impacts the brain, gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly described in children with ASD (234, 235), and studies have identified the presence of inflammatory infiltrate and histopathology in biopsies of children with ASD, including increased numbers of cytotoxic T cells, CD19+ B-cells, and increased enteric IgG1/4 (236, 237). Possibly related to these GIT immune changes and dysfunction, some studies have demonstrated an altered composition of intestinal microbiota in young children with ASD compared to healthy control children with typical neurological function (238–242)……

….. When identifying a role for the microbiota in ASD, rather than making predictions based on taxonomic sequence data, recent studies have been studying the metabolite secretions of gut microbes and the impact of these microbiotas on host serum metabolites. A potential mechanism behind ASD symptoms could be neuro-active metabolites mediated by or produced by the microbiota, which could disseminate systemically and penetrate the blood–brain barrier.

So, we see more and more research implicating the microbiome in autism and the clues keep also hinting towards vaccines.  Here we read “infections” yet those “first days, months, and years of life” are inundated with vaccinations.

Continue reading "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Damaged Microbiome in Autism" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: From Seclusion Rooms to "Calming" Rooms

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.  The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.

Designing a world for autism..."calming rooms"

Take a quick look at Google News stories on "autism" during the last 24 hours, and you'll find ones like this:

USA Today: Kids with autism head to BWI for a 'flight' to ease

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: From Seclusion Rooms to "Calming" Rooms" »

Kim Stagliano, Vaccine Safety

If The Flu Shot Were on Craig's List


MDV seeks GSBWBHAMF for relationship. Could get serious and last a lifetime. Available to hook up anywhere, school, Church, grocery store, community center, drug store, mass merchant store, hospital or walk in medical center. No experience necessary, I'll do all the work. Must appreciate high fail rate, possibility of flu like symptoms for up to several weeks and a bolus dose of neurotoxic mercury.  On the plus side, you might be so injured as to receive compensation from the United States Government. Take a chance. Let me roll up your sleeve tonight, Call (666) 637-2079.

By Kim Stagliano

New outlets reported last week that the flu shot is a poor match for the current viruses.   Fox News pointed out the some experts are questioning the CDC's forecasting:

CDC sent an advisory to doctors noting that one component of this year's flu vaccine was only partially protective against the predominant flu virus, known as influenza A (H3N2), which has mutated since the current flu shots were made....

"No one really knows what is going on here with the flu strains and the match using the current methods," said Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert from the University of Minnesota.

In a 2011 paper, Osterholm found flu shots only protected about 59 percent of the population. "For all we know, this vaccine may work as well as it does every other year."

Dr. Richard Zimmerman of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, however, said that, while not perfect, the methods offer "a reasonable proxy" for what will happen.

Can you imagine any other product failing to perform so badly and yet being pushed, in some cases virtually forced, on Americans like the flu vaccine?  If this were a car, heck, a a child's toy...  it would be banned for abject failure. 

The war on flu is akin to the American war on drugs. We know it's not working, we know it's creating problems, we know the return on investment in terms of actual health is dismal but we keep hammering away with "Just Say No."  Someone has a good return on investment though - that's American healthcare.

Continue reading "If The Flu Shot Were on Craig's List " »

Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted

Best of AofA: Tics and Toxins Just Before Mystery Illnesses Hit Leroy NY, School Built New Playing Fields

Leroy welcomeNote: Throughout the month we are reprising some of our series. Below is the 3rd part of Dan Olmsted's Tics and Toxins series from 2012, which followed an outbreak of illness among high school aged females in LeRoy, NY.

By Dan Olmsted

LEROY, N.Y., January 30 -- New playing fields, including one for girls' softball, were completed the year before the outbreak of tics and other ailments began afflicting girls at Leroy Junior/Senior High School.

Aerial photographs compiled by the Genesee County assessments office clearly show the construction in progress in 2009, here:

Leroy 2009 AgeofAutism

The 2010 photo shows the completed fields, here:

  Leroy 2010

The smaller field to the immediate left of the school is the girls' softball field, according to a former student at the school. All but one of the students affected so far are girls. There are unconfirmed reports that one boy was also stricken.

School officials said earlier this month that two reports they commissioned of indoor air quality and mold had ruled out any environmental cause. New York Health Department officials concurred and a spokesman told me last week, "The school is safe." Most of the girls were diagnosed at a Buffalo neurological clinic with "conversion disorder," in which psychological stress or trauma is supposedly converted into physical symptoms that clusters of people can display at the same time.

But parents and the girls themselves have rejected that diagnosis, and other theories have been advanced; school officials now say they are ordering another round of tests. I reported last week that the first testing did not include any outside areas of the school grounds, except for reviewing school pesticide logs. Because those logs were in order, environmental factors outside the school building were ruled out. State health officials also say no infectious agent was involved.

But in any investigation of a new illness, the question of what's new in the environment -- from medicines a person is taking, to places they have been, to changes in where and how they live -- needs to be ruled out first.

Building ballfields within the past two years certainly qualifies as new. That could hypothetically create new risks, either from stirring up toxins such as pesticides on the site, or importing materials such as fill or sod that was previously contaminated. New attention has been given to a railroad derailment several miles away in 1970 that spilled both cyanide and TCE, a highly toxic manufacturing agent. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich has suggested that the school site was contaminated by runoff from that incident, or that dirt from that area was used to construct the school in the early 2000s.

Continue reading "Best of AofA: Tics and Toxins Just Before Mystery Illnesses Hit Leroy NY, School Built New Playing Fields" »

Cathy Jameson

Adding Insult to (Vaccine) Injury

Ronan 1By Cathy Jameson

Adding insult to injury…vaccine injury that is. 

If you’ve followed our story, you know that my son, Ronan, was vaccine injured several years ago.  I fully accept that I didn’t know everything that I should have known about vaccines when Ronan was a baby.  Had I known more then, I do believe that his life would be a lot different now. 

What is life like for Ronan now? 

Ronan is almost 12 years old and is non-verbal.  He is in diapers.  He cannot take care of himself.  He is prone to wander.  He has seizures.  And he has regressive autism.  I know that I cannot erase what happened to Ronan.  I know that I should keep my eyes focused on the future instead.  But because of what happened to Ronan all those years ago, and how what happened to him continues to affect him and his future, ignoring the past is not possible. 

Before I catch you up on the latest insult we’re dealing with, a few words about vaccine injury and why it’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

Vaccine injury and adverse effects from vaccinations are nothing new.  It’s just that that information isn’t broadcasted as much as it should be.  Vaccine side effects include, but are not limited to: 

Swelling at injection site






Sudden Infant Death Syndrome




Guillaine-Barre Syndrome

Brain swelling



Cardiac arrest









Upper respiratory tract infection





Pretty scary list, huh?

Continue reading "Adding Insult to (Vaccine) Injury" »

Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: The Bullies Within

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Dan Olmsted

Among the too-small group actively working to end the damage caused by the current vaccine schedule, some spend their time trying to make that group smaller still. If you believe, say, that the main task is to get mercury out of the flu shot; or that promoting a more selective schedule could significantly reduce morbidity and mortality; or that preserving choice is the heart of the matter – well, you risk being run out of Autism Town if that doesn't happen to be their agenda du jour.

It’s their way or the highway, preferably underneath a Mack truck -- a Mack truck that backs over you (and your little dog, too) several times.  

I know people who have been slapped down hard by our own side because they said they might consider even one vaccine for their child out of the 16 now recommended by the CDC. One? Heresy! Or because they said that thimerosal in the flu shot is an outrage, but they are not taking a position on vaccines in general – or, God forbid, that they even support them. Smite them with thy staves, ye righteous ones! 

Different approaches and priorities can lead to disagreements within activist communities, and that’s fine. There’s room for that within the broad coalition that believes autism is a man-made, vaccine-driven epidemic, and may the best tactics and strategies prevail. But these people descend like Hitchcock’s screeching birds at the least sign of ideological impurity. This week AOA got an e-mail from someone who likes to call themselves “Censored” because we don’t publish every nasty thing they say – I call that Editing. In fact, I got so tired of them (see why below) that now I won’t print anything they write, which is my prerogative because I'm the Editor and that’s what I do – I Edit. Let them create their own blog and ban me!

Last week when I announced our successful matching fundraising campaign and thanked the community, Censored snickered: “If your community support is as strong as you claim, you'd have no need to censor dissenting views within the community. You'd have the confidence to post them. But it's doubtful AoA can withstand or even survive criticism. So you eliminate it.” And then comes the threat: “That won’t be possible on Amazon.”

Censored Comment

Say what? Well, Mark Blaxill and I have a book coming out next month called Vaccines 2.0 (it went to press Friday – yay!) that is subtitled, “A Careful Parent’s Guide To Making Safe Vaccine Choices For Your Family.” We labored on this for over a year, and we developed our own Reward-Risk Rating for each vaccine; parents can refer to it as they make their own choices – note well, their own choices. And their choice might be not vaccinating at all, an option to which we give considerable and respectful attention. The book opens and closes, in fact, with a father who decided not to vaccinate his daughter.

No matter. Censored is already foaming at the mouth to start trashing our book on Amazon without our hateful censorship – sight unseen, of course. “I hope your safety claims and recommendations are well supported,” they wrote. “It's hard to imagine how any infant vaccine can be justified based on a risk vs. benefit analysis.” So we are on notice that a book that by any reasonable standard is exceptionally hard on vaccines will be under attack from our own side for its ideological impurity. Oh, great.

And, oh, the injustice – we chose not to publish this comment on AOA! I mean, does cluttering up a comment thread with obscure threats regarding a book not yet published that is deeply embedded in the autism activism community further any useful mission? Uh, no. Intent is everything, and over time people reveal what they are really all about. A few months back they sent an e-mail saying we at AOA “promote an agenda that will not end the [autism] epidemic ASAP - but will prolong it. … Hope you can wash off the blood on your hands.”

Perhaps you see why I'd had enough. Blood on our hands? Yikes, that’s what the other side says. Those who choose to harass and insult others within our small, striving community just because they  disagree can go elsewhere and post to their merry little hearts’ content – and they can expect me to call them out for what they are: Bullies.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Peds Respecting Parental Choice

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 3, 2014, Pasadena, CA 89.3 KPCC: Doctors bend vaccination schedule for shot-wary parents

People tend to think there are two camps in the fight over vaccinations: Those who are pro-vaccines, and those who are opposed to them.

But there's a large group of parents in the middle: They want to vaccinate their children, but on a schedule different from the one recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some cases their doctors are accommodating them, just to ensure that the children will eventually get all of the required immunizations.  

Santa Monica pediatrician Dr. Marcy Hardart says about one out of every five families she sees asks to delay the vaccination schedule.

"'It seems like it's too much too soon,'" Hardart says parents tell her.  "'Can't we start later?'" she says they ask. "'Do we have to do all of them at once? Can we spread them out?'"

It's a predicament for pediatricians like Hardart. They fully support the CDC's recommended vaccination schedule (which is also backed by the American Academies of Pediatrics and Family Physicians). But because they want to see kids fully vaccinated, more and more doctors are complying with families' requests, and bending the recommended vaccination schedule. . . .

The CDC schedule recommends babies receive six vaccinations when they're two months old.

But Brentwood pediatrician Dr. Samina Taha says the vast majority of the families she sees don't want their children to get that many shots at one time. . . .

While the typical pediatrician may not recognize anything is wrong with the explosion in children who can't learn, can't behave and can't communicate like typical kids (along with the ones with diabetes, seizure disorder, bowel disease, asthma and allergies) parents are scared.  We have the most vaccinated kids on the planet and some of the sickest and most disabled.  Doctors simply close their eyes to the reality that countless kids start out perfectly healthy and then fall apart. 

The article doesn't say, but I suspect that the parents who are the most concerned about schedule are the ones with the most education and the ones who've taken the time to investigate this issue for themselves.  It's a simple fact that so much information is available online.  There are sites like the National Vaccine Information Center.

Try Googling "vaccines side effects."  Look at what comes up: Mercola, Generation Rescue, and a PBS interview with Dr. Bob Sears!

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Peds Respecting Parental Choice" »

Anne Dachel

Dr. Stephanie Seneff: Senior MIT Research Scientist, on Vaccine Safety.

Stephanie-seneffBy Anne Dachel

For those who would think that all we need to do is remove the mercury or separate the MMR into three vaccines, senior MIT researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff makes it clear that the vaccine issue is much more complicated than thimerosal and live viruses. 

I first learned about Dr. Seneff last summer when I read the story, Warning: Half of all Children Will Have Autism by 2025 

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, research scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), made a dire prediction earlier this month during an event sponsored by the Groton Wellness organization. She said, "At today's rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic."

Seneff was leading a presentation that showed a strong correlation between the increased use of Roundup starting in the early 1990's and the rising number of autism diagnoses over the past three decades. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 children were diagnosed with autism. The current rate is 1 in 68, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

We are now quite used to the stunning increases in the autism rate, announced every couple of years, usually just before the media reporting frenzy during April, Autism Awareness Month, when we annually light the world up in blue and pretend that a debilitating disorder when no known cause or cure is something to celebrate.  Each and every increase is accompanied by some official solemnly assuring us that they're not sure if THIS INCREASE really means more children have autism.  No one ever questions the numbers or the willingness of everyone--the medical community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and mainstream news outlets--to leave autism as some curious puzzle we just can't figure out yet.  There is never a demand for answers.  Never any alarm. 

When I read Dr. Seneff's prediction, I was stunned.  How much worse could things get?  This was certainly something that officials and doctors couldn't ignore. 

Incredibly Seneff's autism forecast didn't make the network news nor was there a New York Times headline: MIT Professor Warns 50 Percent of Children With Autism by 2025. 

There were autism websites that reported on the announcement, along with a story in Psychology Today called,  Autism Apocalypse by 2025?--What would happen if the prediction by MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff came true?  

This piece was by Amy S.F. Lutz who seemed to understand that this was, in her words, "a truly terrifying forecast."  Lutz noted that Seneff's background is electrical engineering and computer science, not medicine.  According to Lutz, the fact that Seneff is "still actively arguing that vaccines cause autism, a theory that has been repeatedly discredited through multiple studies published in peer reviewed journals" also lessened her credibility.  

Continue reading "Dr. Stephanie Seneff: Senior MIT Research Scientist, on Vaccine Safety." »

Current Affairs, Kent Heckenlively

PLAGUE - Understanding the Enemy

Kent Book PlagueBy Kent Heckenlively

I spent last weekend reading Sharyl Attkisson's wonderful new book, Stonewalled - My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harrassment in Obama's Washington and I couldn't help but hear echoes of the plight of Dr. Judy Mikovits that we detailed in our book, PLAGUE.

To hear Attkisson tell it, there has been a gradual erosion, not just of our civil liberties, but of the media appetite to challenge powerful entities.  These entities could be a rich corporate sponsor who pays for advertising on the station or a federal government which seems to grow not just more powerful, but also more unaccountable.  It makes me think that those of us in the autism and ME/CFS communities are simply a part of a much larger story, and that our efforts should be centered around finding similar groups which have been marginalized because it served certain corporate or governmental interests.

I want to quote from a section near the end of Attkisson's book and a conversation she had with one of her long-time friends in journalism, David Kirby (author of Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy) about what has been happening over the past several years.

"I couldn't wait," says Kirby, speaking of Obama being elected president in 2008.

A "new era" was being ushered in.  At last the GOP was out, and a new era of transparency was about to begin.  He was the real deal, a Constitutional scholar who understood the fundamental importance of basic freedoms - the right to information and accountability, for example - to our democracy and its vaunted promise of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Then I tried to get information out of this new gang.

The first six months of 2009 was a daily lesson in rejection, frustration, and anger.  I could not get any information out of anyone - not the USDA, not the EPA, and certainly not the White House.  FOIA requests, the few that were actually fulfilled, came back with up to 90% of the text "redacted," blacked out like an angry child had taken an extra-wide Sharpie to the pages.

Attkisson goes onto report Kirby's disillusionment with trying to investigate important stories, which eventually caused him to realize he needed to write his own book about the subject.

The most shocking thing I found in researching Dr. Mikovits' story was the violation of the most basic standards of science and open investigation by forces that were opposed to her work.  It was just like Kirby getting a document from the government that had 90% of the text "redacted."  How is that transparency?  And in the way Dr. Mikovits was treated by many of the most powerful people in research I found myself asking, how is this science?

Continue reading "PLAGUE - Understanding the Enemy" »

Teresa Conrick

The Microbiome & Autism Series By Teresa Conrick: Part 2 "Does Mercury Modulate The Microbioeme?""

MicrobiomeNote: We're sharing this series throughout the month. All roads lead to... the gut, which could explain how a certain  British GI doctor became part of  the autism causation maelstrom.

By Teresa Conrick

It’s a hot topic, the MICROBIOME, defined as: "the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space." I keep reading more and more research connecting the microbiome and autism.

It goes something like this, according to the research below- Mercury exposure, both environmental and via flu vaccination in a pregnant woman, can cause negative ramifications in her baby’s microbiome. The same is true for postnatal infants exposed to Thimerosal. The landscape of that microbiome loses helpful bacteria and instead we see more pathogens. The downstream effects - chronic infections, altered development of the nervous system, molecular mimicry, neuropsychiatric symptoms (tics, obsessive compulsive behaviors, perseveration and repetitive behaviors), and neurologic inflammation. Mitochondrial dysfunction, a more prevalent condition in many diagnosed with autism, seems to be part of this picture as well. Vaccines and their effect on the microbiome are also examined. Each of these studies is a puzzle piece, connecting these facts. The picture is becoming clearer:

An Immune Dysfunction of the Body Affecting the Brain

Although the study suggested that gut bacteria could affect neurologic inflammation, how that might happen remains unclear. For the most part, Mazmanian says, the microorganisms that colonize the human gut don’t leave the intestine, but the immune cells that contact them do. He explains that, although 70% of the immune cells in the body at any one time can be found in the intestine, they circulate throughout the body, and the microbiota of the gut environment help determine how immune cells will behave elsewhere ……..Other researchers have suggested a link between the gut–brain axis and neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, depression, and eating disorders. The gut contains microorganisms that share a structural similarity with the neuropeptides involved in regulating behavior, mood, and emotion—a phenomenon known as molecular mimicry. The body can’t tell the difference between the structure of these mimics and its own cells, so antibodies could end up attacking both, potentially altering the physiology of the gut–brain axis.12

The human gut harbors a complex community of microbes that profoundly influence many aspects of growth and development, including development of the nervous system. Advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing methods have led to rapidly expanding knowledge about this gut microbiome.

Continue reading "The Microbiome & Autism Series By Teresa Conrick: Part 2 "Does Mercury Modulate The Microbioeme?""" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: Crime and Autism/Asperger's

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 4, 2014, NewsMax:Flu Shot May Not Be Very Effective This Season: CDC

Dec 3, 2014, Fox News: Autism research: 4 things we learned in 2014

Dec 3, 2014, Report: More Pennsylvania kids with autism getting caught up in the criminal justice system

Dec 3, 2014, Wall Street Journal: The Measles Outbreak Coming Near You  

Dec 3, 2014, Dr. Paul A. Offit Helps Doctors Educate Parents on Vaccine Safety

Dec 2, 2014, Vaccine Court Cases: Attorneys Win, Families Suffer

Nov 25, 2014, My Fox Twin Cities: Nurse questions integrity of U of M drug researchers

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: Crime and Autism/Asperger's" »

Current Affairs

ABLE Bill Passes House in DC: Eases Financial Burdens For Disabled

CapitolFrom NewsObserver:

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill introduced by Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., that would allow parents of severely disabled children to save for their long-term care through tax-favored savings accounts similar to 529 accounts used for college savings.

Now the measure, called the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, will go to the Senate, where it has 75 sponsors, including Burr and Casey.

Burr and Casey first introduced the measure in 2009 and it has stalled since then, even though it has had a lot of bipartisan support. Burr’s office issued a copy of a Politico story that reported that the bill has few opponents now and it’s possible it will pass both chambers before the end of the year.

Burr, the state’s senior Republican senator from Winston-Salem, said in a statement: “I am incredibly pleased that the House passed the ABLE Act this evening. Families of individuals with disabilities often face overwhelming financial burdens associated with the expensive costs of healthcare, education, housing and transportation.

“The ABLE Act will make it easier for parents of disabled individuals to invest in their child’s future, thereby opening the door to a world of opportunities,” he added. “I am confident the Senate will swiftly pass the ABLE Act”

Read more here.

Read more here:
Dan Olmsted, Dan Olmsted , Tics & Toxins Series

AofA Series Tics and Toxins: Leroy School Site has History of Health, Water, Building Woes

Sick-buildingNote: We are running some of our series throughout the month. Here is the second post (Jan 2012) in the Tics and Toxins series by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill.

By Dan Olmsted

The school where 12 girls developed tics attributed to "conversion disorder" has a history of water and structural problems, and an outbreak of rashes and sores occurred among students playing sports on land where the school is now sitting, according to a student who went there.

 "When we first started we couldn't go to gym class because the floor kept sinking and cracking," said the student, who attended the new LeRoy Junior/Senior High School in 2005, its first year of operation. She was one of several people who described the site as a "swamp." 

One year, students had to start a week late because of flooding inside the building, she said.

Before the current school -- which goes from eighth to twelfth grades -- was built, the site was used for student playing fields; the school itself was at another location. The new building sits directly atop those playing fields.

In the 1970s, students using those fields suffered from open sores that would not heal and rashes, said the former student, whose mother also went there and recalled the incident. The soil was tested, the cause was found, the students were treated and recovered. She did not know what the tests had shown.

This student expressed surprise that two consultant reports commissioned by the district, which found no problems with indoor air quality or toxins in the school building, stated: "No history of building water damage or site contamination was found."

Continue reading "AofA Series Tics and Toxins: Leroy School Site has History of Health, Water, Building Woes" »

Anne Dachel

Dachel Media Update: MRI Might Be Able to Diagnose Autism

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.

Dec 2, 2014, TIME: MRI Brain Scans Can Predict Autism With 97% Accuracy

Continue reading "Dachel Media Update: MRI Might Be Able to Diagnose Autism" »

Vaccine Safety

Book Review: Vaccine Nation: America's Changing Relationship with Immunization

Vaccine nationElena Conis, Vaccine Nation: America’s Changing Relationship with Immunization (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014, $27.50, 353 pp.)

Jonathan Rose
On November 8 the on-line magazine Salon published an excerpt from this book, under the heading “Jenny McCarthy’s new war on science: Vaccines, autism and the media’s shame”.  The headline, however, bore no resemblance to the actual book, leading one to suspect the editors of Salon had not read it to the end.  When they do, they may realize, to their dismay, that in promoting this book, they scored an own goal.  For if their objective is to persuade readers to stop asking questions about vaccines, Vaccine Nation will have (happily) the opposite effect.
Elena Conis is a young historian of science at Emory University.  Her Vaccine Nation is a remarkably insightful first book, which is already causing a splash.  Another excerpt has been published in the Atlantic. In the book review section of Nature magazine, Vaccine Nation was rated one of “the week's best science picks”, and the Times Higher Education Supplement called it “a fine social history of an ongoing story”.  Prof. Conis clearly isn’t an “anti-vaxxer”, but she has produced a strikingly honest, fair-minded, and informed chronicle of the vaccine controversy in the United States.  She illuminates issues that others have obfuscated, and she opens up discussions that some have tried to shut down.  She understands that vaccine policy is determined not solely by objective science, but also by politics, profits, prejudices, and bureaucratic imperatives. She neither endorses nor condemns vaccine resistance: her aim is to understand the larger causes behind this growing movement.  But anyone who reads this book with an unprejudiced mind is likely to conclude that the skeptics had good reason to be skeptical.  
For those who say there is no scientific debate about vaccination, Prof. Conis shows that there has always been a debate.  She scotches the myth, repeatedly reinforced in newspaper stories, that nobody thought to question vaccines before Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy. Vaccine skepticism was rampant in both America and Britain a century ago, faded out (but never entirely disappeared) in the 1950s and 1960s, and then came surging back owing to a number of converging factors. After Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) raised public concerns about environmental toxins, first in pesticides and then in a host of consumer products, questions were inevitably asked about toxins in vaccines.  Starting with the volume Our Bodies Ourselves (1971), feminists charged that the male medical establishment didn’t listen to female patients and were not honest about the risks associated with many drugs and contraceptives.  Not all “Warrior Moms” were radical feminists, but they viewed vaccines and vaccine manufacturers with the same kind of fierce distrust.  The “natural childrearing” movement took off with the launch of Mothering magazine (1976), where vaccination was sharply debated in letters to the editor.  The wisdom of mass inoculation was seriously challenged in widely-read books by philosopher Ivan Illich (Medical Nemesis, 1976) and physician Robert Mendelsohn (Confessions of a Medical Heretic, 1979).  Then there was 1976 swine flu immunization fiasco and, in the 1980s, shocking revelations about tragic reactions to the DPT shot. One FDA bureaucrat frankly dismissed the idea of informed consent to the DPT: “If we told parents there was a risk of brain damage, there’s no question what their response would be.”  (121)  All that set in motion a broad grassroots movement for what Conis calls “the democratization of vaccine knowledge.”  (126)  And it all happened long before Dr. Wakefield and Ms. McCarthy got involved.  

Continue reading "Book Review: Vaccine Nation: America's Changing Relationship with Immunization" »