Home > Science > It’s Time to Change the Conversation

It’s Time to Change the Conversation

Autism Speaks recently declined an invitation to participate in a Dr. Oz show. In reviewing the pre-taping materials, it was clear that the program’s major focus was again on the vaccine debate, a debate that has been addressed multiple times, without resolution, and more importantly, a debate that prevents other equally important topics surrounding autism from being discussed. Last month, in a letter to the editor published by The New York Times, Autism Speaks’ Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., said it is time now to focus our attention on the future and on the real problem: We still need answers to too many questions regarding causes and treatments for autism and we need to address the generation of a half million adolescents with autism who are about to enter adulthood without adequate supports.

Autism Speaks has consistently stated that children should be vaccinated to protect public health and the health of the individual child, and has urged families to develop a trusting and collaborative relationship with their pediatrician on all health matters including vaccination. While the Dr Oz show certainly makes for “Good TV,” this was not the televised conversation in which Autism Speaks believed it could make its most valued contribution on the science of autism. When “Good TV” presents “Good Science,” it makes an incredible difference for the families who struggle with autism and this is where we hope to be involved in the future.

In the short five years since Autism Speaks was formed, we have committed over $160 million in research on causes and treatments. In 2010, we analyzed the outcomes of the first 107 separate research grants funded by Autism Speaks and found that 82% of those completed studies resulted in 146 novel findings. We’ve “home grown” over 150 new scientists who are now committing their careers to the field of autism research. And even more impressive, for every dollar Autism Speaks committed to seed these innovative research projects, 10 dollars of additional research funding was leveraged in new grants from the federal government and other funding agencies.

Far beyond the research directly funded by Autism Speaks, there is new information and hope to share with parents. Effective diagnostics can identify infants at risk for autism as young as one-year old. We have learned that validated behavioral therapies can offer the best possible outcomes, particularly when started early, with such significantly increased cognitive, language and social skills, that in some cases, it may be possible for the child to no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. The study of a wide range of treatments, including complementary and alternative therapies, will help parents find those that are truly effective to help them deal with medical conditions that so often are found in people with autism, from gastrointestinal to sleep disorders. Through Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, doctors are currently developing the gold-standard best practices for the treatment of the whole child with autism, which can be shared with practitioners in every town.

Autism Speaks sent a statement to Dr. Oz letting him know that we are eager to participate in a future program that focuses on how science offers hope for families. We encourage Dr. Oz and others in the media to feature the broader range of important issues facing families struggling with autism. These issues include:

·     The role of a multiple environmental factors that are potentially contributing to the increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence

·     New insights into the underlying biology of ASD that are leading to novel treatments

·     Ways we can address the medical conditions that impact the everyday lives of people with ASD, and

·     Programs that are being developed to help adolescents with ASD successfully transition to becoming happy and fulfilled adults.

Autism Speaks will always welcome the opportunity to talk about the scientific breakthroughs that are within our reach, and how by pulling together, we can advocate to increase research funding, end insurance discrimination, and create better services and support for people with ASD of all ages.

  1. Julie
    February 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I have to wonder about whether or not there is a financial element regarding the subject matter of vaccination on Dr. Oz’s show. It is not my intention to demean Dr. Oz or his show, because I believe he offers a valuable service to the public. But whenever vaccination or drug treatment is the focus of a program, and knowing that the pharmaceutical industry spends huge amounts of money on advertising and lobbying, I have to wonder if his show is financially supported by the industry in some way, and has some say in the format of the show. Does anyone have any information on this? I am concerned that we are being misdirected in health issues due to advertising and lobbying by the drug companies.

    • Ross Coe
      February 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      I’ll tell you about financial gains related to Dr Oz. He own 150,000 option shares in pharmaceutical maker Siga Technologies. He’s on their board of govenors. He lends his credentials to a marketing platform called Realage that works for most big pharma companies. Oz is an insider. He’s not objective. His show was momopolized by his experts. There was no Town Hall debate. You need two sides for that. Inviting Autism Speaks, a group that is pro-vaccine does not equal balance either. This was a pro-listen to the perpetrators Town Hall.

    • mandy
      February 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      The show was actually very one-sided AGAINST vaccinations. So much so that the pro-vax doctors that participated wrote follow-up statements on how disappointed they were in the conduct/content of the show. Also, the exact reason AS chose not to participate. Please, get your information correct, before throwing around inaccurate statements. It just muddies the water when “REAL” information is posted.

  2. Erin
    February 17, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Thank you for wanting to take a different approach. Children need their vaccinations, not only for themselves, but for the other children and adults they come into contact with. Autism is here, now what! That should be the subject of the show. When you have such a large number of children showing signs, it needs to be addressed now.
    I don’t feel that vaccinations are responsible. I don’t know what is responsible, but I have three children all very close in age and all have had the same vaccinations, and my middle child is the one who shows signs of having a mild case of the disorder. He is three and is in special education preschool. Having help now, seems to have improved on a lot of things. I’ve also found his strong points and worked with those to help the weak points.
    So Thank you for telling the Dr Oz show that your not interested in talking about the cause, but the what can we do now.

    • February 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Yes, I am in agreement with you. As I feel vaccinations are not the cause, they might have played a role in setting off the pre-disposition. Regardless, I also have a beautiful son challenged with Autism and am focused on “what’s next”.
      Autism Speaks published an amazing article just before the holidays connecting Autism with what’s called a mitochondrial dysfunction. This only caught my attention because the company that I work with had recently launched a nutritional supplement that is specific to supporting and rejuvenating our mitochondria. I immediately got in touch with our lead scientist, Dr. Joe Chang, to find out if this supplement would be beneficial and safe for Colt. Today, Colt has been on ageLOC Vitality for 75 days. I can proudly say “we have our son back!” After day #2 his eye to eye contact was back and his journey only gets better. the flapping of his arms has disappeared, tippy toe walking has lessened, he engages in real conversations, he is playing with other children on the playground … he is PRESENT. We still have a lot of work to do catching him up with his gross motor skills, but instead of prompting him Colt is participating in his own life and understands that he has Autism and he wants it to go away …
      Colt is 8 years old. We have been working with specialists and educators since he was 16 months old … this window is specific to the introduction of this supplement and it is consistent. I would love to share his journal with you. Actually, I would love to have Autism Speaks Publish it …
      If you are interested, please send me your e-mail as it is quite lengthy but an amazing read.
      God Bless

        February 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        please send me more information about the ageLOC Vitality. Thank you in advance. =)

      • Donna
        February 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

        Please send me the journal article regarding ageLOC Vitality. Thanks

      • Stephanie Lambdin
        February 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

        Merlyn and Donna,

        Please send me your email address as Colt’s journal is quite lengthy. If you don’t wish to post it here you can send a note to:

        God Bless,

      • M. Williams
        February 24, 2011 at 1:23 am

        I need help, my son is showing signs of autism. He is aggressive and has repetitive behavior. He does not respond to his name and flaps his hand all the time. He has a routine behavior also.

        thank you,

    • Ross Coe
      February 21, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      Why do people keep saying a person needs to be vaccinated to protect those already vaccinated? If you or your child are, you should have no need to fear. Only unvaccinated are in danger. But then again people who think this way have not done their research, thats why they talk nonsense.

      • mandy
        February 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

        8 of the 9 children who died from whooping cough in CA last year where too young to have been vaccinated for it. while Whooping cough rates in CA are higher than they have been since 1955.

        Making the assumption; if you were vax for it, you wouldn’t have it to pass to someone, those children died bc the people that gave them whooping cough were not vaccinated. This is commonly referred to as “herd immunity”.

  3. michele t. williams
    February 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I just wanted to say that I have two children, both whom have had the same vaccines and only my younger one ended up w/Asperger’s, along with a multiple array of other problems, so I don’t believe the vaccines are what caused his disorder. I am still wondering and confused on how he ended up with disorder and my older son did not. I also believe that we are still far away from figuring out what the true reason is for children getting this and a cure. I would love to be a part of any kind of advocacy or debate in the near coming future. Thank you.

    Michele Williams

  4. Melissa
    February 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I would just like to say that when my 3yr. girl was born we knew right away there was something wrong with her. She is the youngest of 6 kids. There is no other child in our home with any form of Autism. I never belived it was due to vaccines.

    • Christie
      February 18, 2011 at 10:07 am

      That is your experience. I had a normal child, very healthy, no shots. Age 3 I decided to immunize. Guess what happened???? Yours is the minority.

      • KD
        February 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

        Actually, the vast majority are not regressive cases :) Maybe hers is the minority of the circles you have participated in, but on a broader scale, there are far more kids like ours, who we know 100% for sure were not negatively effected by life-saving vaccines. :)

      • Unperfectmama
        February 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm

        I have to say of my THREE children..two (which were fully vaccinated until 4) are on spectrum. One is more severe than other, my only neurotypical child is the one we stopped vaccinating at 4 mo old…he’s fine…heaalthier than other two and Autism-free. Ooh and there are THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of other parents who have the same result. Normal developing children who regressed into Autism around MMRs.

    • Kim
      February 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

      My three year old daughter, Emerson, also has autism and is non-verbal. It was evident to me as young as 11 months old, although her pediatrician could not yet see it. She was diagnosed at 19 months. I also have a typical daughter only 11 months older. I can’t help but to think because I had literally just gone through one typical child’s milestones and development, it was very clear to me something was “off” with Emerson very early. Since you have six kids, and tons of experience with knowing what typical development looks like, you too must have been able to see very subtle signs very early; where first time moms or parents with children spaced further apart may not been able to yet pick up on. I do not believe we are the minority. And I also believe the mother’s that observed a regression in their children after the MMR. I’m just not sure if there is a percentage of some of those cases that their beautiful children were showing subtle signs earlier, that even a pedi could have missed if not looking for it, and it wasn’t until the coincidental age that the autism manifested completely. But like I said before, I don’t agree we’re the minority but because the vaccine debate has taken center stage for so long, our voices haven’t been heard by our own community we didn’t help their cause. I hope the time has finally come that the focus really will expand now, instead over reinterating an already failed hypothesis.

      • Kevin
        February 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm

        Oh good, Kim, I’m glad to know that you have concluded that it is a failed hypothesis. Since they start vaccinating our children from the first few hours they are born, why are you so sure that your child wasn’t reacting negatively to those shots? Is it possible that some children have different capacities to handle all of these early assaults on their immune systems? I started noticing signs of autism before the MMR shot, and I wish to God we would have stopped then. We have a history of autoimmune disease in our family, and I believe there is a strong possibility that my son was damaged by vaccines. I don’t know for sure, just like neither you nor anyone else in this world knows for sure that vaccines aren’t at least part of the issue with the explosion of Autism. Until someone does the science that asks the right questions, not this BS they try to pass off as science that has been done, my kids will never again get another vaccination. Good luck and God bless.

      • AB
        February 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

        I have always found the “they must have missed subtle signs” comments especially irksome because it implies that regressive autism does not exist. When babies go from early on milestones, talking, and healthy to loss of language, social interest, and bowel disorders within a matter of weeks that is not the same trajectory as infantile autism. Will the day ever arrive when parents of those with regular autism advocate for the medical needs of children with regressive autism the same way we advocate for your kids to get insurance benefits and aba? Please stop treating children with regressive autism like a marginalized minority within a minority.

      • Rosita
        April 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

        I am the mother of 6 children. My youngest son is 11 years old and has autism. I noticed a change in him at the age of 3 after taking a series of baby shots. I often talked to his doctor about his behavior and she said that all children learn at a different rate. I truly believe that the baby shots caused it.

    • Steve
      February 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      When my child had his 15-month vaccines, I knew something terrible had went wrong. I knew nothing about autism – just knew the vaccinations had damaged him. It was only later did I find out the same thing was happening to millions of other children.

  5. Katie Wright
    February 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I can understand the desire not to get bogged down in the vaccination debate.

    AS rightfully expends a great deal on studying early intervention and possible prevention of ASD. That important and valuable work.

    However, parents who saw their children regress after vaccination view fewer vaccines or the spacing of vaccines as a crucial PREVENTATIVE measure against the possibly of ASD. Listen, we are not going to be able to change our genes anytime soon- all we can do is lessen our exposures to risk factors. If you have a family history of Parkinsons, mito/metabolic disorders, thyroid disease your child is at a much higher risk for adverse vaccine reactions. We need to study this in order to prevent unnecessary regressions.

    We also need to study adverse vaccine reactions and regression in order to create treatment interventions for these children. Too many parents only have the internet as a medical guide because so few doctors can help our kids and so little research on the subject exists.

    Maybe this Oz show is not the right forum for AS to discuss this issue, but the issue isn’t going away until regressions stop.

    • Sarah
      February 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Katie –

      I agree with you 100%, but disagree with you 100% on the timing on any vaccination research (at the moment).

      I really do not believe this witch hunt isn’t about the “anti-vaccination” movement (and the kicker is no one is anti-vaccination – I am very much in the “slowing down, spreading out, green the vaccination” movement – but am not “anti-vaccine”). I think the witch hunt is really about the terror that the psychiatrist camp has about losing any ground/sharing the research granting pie with anyone other than themselves (think any medical treatment you’d like to imagine outside of pharmaceuticals/aba) . AND, about industry of all sorts (think any pollution that comes to mind) who do not like regulation and are more concerned with their stock holders’ profit margins and this year’s balance sheet.

      • Sarah
        February 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

        Katie, I read your post closer.

        I wholeheartedly agree with studying the regression children and their medical profile to create treatments right now. However, it would be research funding suicide to tie it to vaccination damage. They (university scientists) can only feel free to investigate regression children and treatments to help them only if they do not tie it to “vaccination damage.” Proof is the priority, then treatment protocols, only then will politics follow.

        Only when you-know-what (and I’m not even saying the condition) is “proven” in our asd children can we even dream of investigating a link with vaccinations/regression.

        My child had MANY regressions – and not all were from vaccinations. Though, the most startling and horrifying certainly was from a vaccination.

        Proving that the condition is statistically significant in itself is a MAJOR uphill battle. Many doctors who investigate the condition do not want to touch asd with a ten-foot pole and if you say “vaccination damage” it is a one hundred foot pole. Furthermore, the genetics types will only acknowledge the “genetic” disease.

        We have a very long haul to hoe. Step by step.

    • February 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm


      YES, I will say “AMEN” to what you posted. I just posted an earlier response to Erin. Please take a moment and read our findings (# 3 in the line-up) My beautiful 8 year old is challenged with Autism and as you mentioned, we, too, witnessed his regression after the MMR shot … am I blaming vaccines? No. Did my husband and I take precaution with our second child … absolutely!
      Recently a study was published connecting autism with mitochondrial dysfunction … my husband and I have our son on a nutritional supplement that is specific to supporting and rejuvenating our mitochondria (the batteries of our cells). Colt is now “PRESENT” … we are beyond hopeful and I thank Autism Speaks for sharing that study and changing our world!
      God Bless,

      • Noreen
        February 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm

        @ Stephanie – Curious as to what supplement that is? Brand please. Thanx.

    • EV
      March 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

      Katie, you are 100% right. There is no research out there to say with certainty that vaccines are not some way responsible. I know, I am a scientist. What is even more telling that the genetic studies are identifying genes that are playing an important role in oxidative stress that we know that vaccine components can cause. My question is why AS does not have autoimmune specialists, immunologists, biochemists with background in oxidative stress on its board?

  6. Mary Luce
    February 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Thank you. AMEN.

  7. February 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

    maybe it is the vaccines, maybe it isnt, maybe you should have taken part in the DR.OZ discussion,s to throw your imput out there. vaccines such as MMR could play a role, we don,t know this just yet but deal with the issues one step at a time. Autism is something that has never been given the attention that is due. So backing away from the issues is just a step backwards. Step up, be heard, work together on your ideas and findings and lets put an end to this debilatating desease!

    • Ren
      February 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      “Vaccines such as MMR could play a role, we don’t know this just yet but deal with the issues one step at a time.” Sorry to tell you this, Dennis, but the issue of MMR and autism is settled. Dr. Wakefield committed fraud in his “study”. Subsequent studies all over the known world failed to replicate his findings. Thimerosal? That was removed from childhood vaccinations (except multi-dose influenza vaccine) and the rates of autism continue to climb. Basically everything that could be studied about vaccines and autism has been studies, with zero, nothing, zilch evidence that they are a cause and effect type of thing. I’m sorry, Dennis, but how much more time and money do you suggest we throw at something that just isn’t there?

      • Kevin
        February 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        Ren, please point me to the study that has looked at fully vaccinated vs. partially vaccinated vs unvaccinated populations. I’ve been trying to find it, but I can’t seem to. Oh wait, that’s because it hasn’t been done. Alternatively, please point me to the study that has looked into the safety of the current CDC vaccination schedule in its entirety, as administered. I maybe missing it, but I haven’t seen that science done either.

    • Noreen
      February 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      Yes, we need answers and finding the different causes or risks is essential. Please show me 3 comprehensive vaccinated vs. unvaccinated studies. I know from watching my three kids, the one with the vaccine reaction, is the one with Autism.

  8. rachel
    February 17, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Autism Speaks should of been on Dr. Oz to clearly state the intentions of this organization, one of the largest in the world and could not swallow any pride and stand up for our children, personally I was very dissapointed that no one from AS could be on the show regardless of the topic, personally I did not find the show to be about Vaccines, that will always come up in topic as others have so many views on it.

  9. February 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I agree and am pleased that Autism Speaks is choosing to focus on the future of those living with autism and the science to help provide treatments. We NEED it! The vaccine issue remains of great debate amongst many parents, but we need this research to be done and we need an organization like Autism Speaks to put it’s focus into finding causes and treatments without getting caught up in too many other areas.
    I don’t know if the vaccines caused my daughter’s autism or made it worse. I only know that shortly after her 18 mo. shots is when she fell heavily into autism and all her words were gone. However, we chose not to vaccinate my son and he started to show signs around 13 mo and he, too, was diagnosed with autism. My daughter seems more affected than my son, but it’s hard to say whether it was lack of vaccines, the early intervention, or that they are just two totally different kids. But I would rather put my energy toward helping them where they are now as who they are now. Having said that, I still choose not to vaccinate my son and feel like it’s the right decision. I still have to fight the doctors every step of the way. I do wish that we could trust doctors more and the vaccines more. But there is a reason why we don’t. One size does not fit all with vaccines and with that schedule. I do believe in some cases they may have been a cause. My hope is that someday we will have an answer to why my kids and so many other kids are living with this disorder and learn the best ways to help them live a productive and happy life in a community that understands and accepts them.

    • February 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      I just posted a reply to Erin. As of now it is #3 in the line up. Please read my thoughts and experience with a new nutritional supplement that my husband and I have been taking, but also intoroduced to our son. All I can say is we are very hopeful and God Bless.


      • Ren
        February 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

        Nice spam, Stephanie!

  10. shel spectrum
    February 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    autism speaks you need to zip it up and shut up with their cure and anti vax propaganda,
    i have autism so do my kids and I am ashamed to have you speak for people like me.
    you do not speak for autism you speak for your own profit,Most people with autism want NO affiliation with you,you are a joke among the real autism community

  11. tamtamsuzette
    February 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    My son is 15 years old is now only being diagnosed with high functioning Autism. I have went through so many senerios in my head. The doctor (which my son can still recall) talked me into letting him get shots all at one time which was tramatic. My son blames his new diagnosis on that event but they are too many signs before. Although I regret my decision It was not the shots he did not regress or change from that event nor from the months that he went through. He was advanced is so many things and regressed at other as time went on but everything has been consistant so the theory of shots I do not believe. Although I donot believe in getting the new meds or new shots available due to other reasons but not a link to autism.

  12. shel spectrum
    February 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    the link to autism has been disproved many times no on has ever been able to replicate it i would bet even fakefield himself could not get the samer result again
    you can read thew whole investigation here
    wakefield had paid chidren for there blood at his sons birthday party, did unecassaary treatments such has lumber punctures .add connections with the vaccines that would have made him lots of money shown callous disregard for his proffesion,children and there parents.

  13. wendy
    February 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    well they shudda had the WHOLE show on the subject!!!
    I still say it was the vaccine! and I will fight that issue til the end!
    I am wondering what the common age is of the children who DO have it?
    There IS a common factor for the cause out there….WHAT IS IT?

    • Lambert Muis
      February 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      A large factor for the more frequent diagnosis of autism in children is the quite simple fact that there´s a whole slew more awareness in our days than, say, 15 years ago. Autism has gained a lot more attention from several sources over the past two decades, and a lot of knowledge about it has been gathered as well. So of course a lot more doctors and psychiatrists are willing and/or able to actually diagnose it.

      Sometimes, there isn’t a big bad evil-doer behind something. Unless you call attention an evil-doer.

  14. shel spectrum
  15. shel spectrum
    February 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    there is a common factor when traits are seen and that age is the same has vax’s.
    people can blame what they choose if that makes them feel better.
    vaccine damage is not autism it is vaccine damage

  16. Myghin
    February 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    If there were proof that some children got autism from some vaccines the entire medical and pharmaceutical communities would both come crashing to a halt with all of the law suits and I believe that’s why there are so few studies into the debate. No one wants to be found guilty of poisoning all those poor innocent babies. I hope that karma will indeed prevail!!!

  17. shel spectrum
    February 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    LOL the only conspiracy was andrew wakefields plot to make a lot of money out of a vccine his only reason for breaking the story (which noone approved him to do) was to make money LOL
    autism has been around a lot longer than vaccines have

    • Unperfectmama
      February 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      What proof do you have? Vaccines created late 1700s-early 1800s…

  18. shel spectrum
    February 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm
  19. Ren
    February 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Let’s do some simple math. Oseltamivir is about $53 for a full course to help you get through the flu. The flu vaccine is at most about $25 for one dose. Now, if Big Pharma is pulling the strings of people who “push” vaccines, they’re obviously pushing the cheaper product. On the other hand, what if Big Pharma was pulling the strings of anti-vaxers so that there are more people with flu who get prescription Oseltamivir for twice the cost of a vaccine or black market antivirals for much more?
    Sounds to me like we’re chasing the wrong money.

    • Unperfectmama
      February 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      You know how I treat the flu?
      Fluids, rest, chicken noodle soup and none of that is from “pharma”.

  20. Stephanie Lambdin
    February 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Ren :Nice spam, Stephanie!


    I am not meaning to spam and I am sorry that you feel this way. I am thoroughly and truthfully excited. My son is challenged with Autism … he falls smack in the middle of the Autistic spectrum … what should I say or not say? This supplement is helping and has changed our daily reality.

    God Bless,


  21. February 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    If AS had decided to stop talking about vaccines, then the conversation and advances in our understanding of how vaccine induced encephalopathy will continue to go on with out them.

    Did you even listen to the audience on the OZ show today? Parents know that vaccines can cause autism. If AS chooses to stay in denial or cow tows to their pharma donors to become a fake research charity like Autism Science Foundation, then they will continue to slip into irrelevance as parents wake up to the fact that you serve the whims of your corporate donors above you stated goal of finding the causes and treatments for autism.

    You can’t fool people forever.

  22. Renee Ekbladh
    February 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I watched the Dr. Oz show today. The show was not just about whether or not vaccines are the cause of autism. It was merely one segment and they gave all sides of the argument. I think Autism Speaks missed a good opportunity to share what it does, what it is about and the vastness of the spectrum.

    • Noreen
      February 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      Yes, Autism Speaks is being too political *YUCK* Get the word out and if you want to keep it neutral, do so. (Don’t go either way) The main thing is Awareness right? It appears that Autism Speaks could do with some salary reductions as well (capping). We’re not here to be rich, we’re here to help the little man and get him supports. Think how many social programs for kids could take place with $600,000 a year!

  23. Mia
    February 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I was more insulted when he claim maybe parents over 35 shouldn’t have kids.Or dismissal of more important issues affecting adults.

  24. Cynthia Palms
    February 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    AS missed a grand opportunity to participate in a most important discussion. Very questionable behavior on the part of AS. Very questionable. Very disappointing… really, actually disgusting… Irresponsible.

    • Ross Coe
      February 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      Reading sites like this show how the public knowledge is in complete disarray. People calling their children by labels, people with useless opinions, lack of facts, heads in the sand. Thinking the crucifixion of Wakefield means vaccines are not dangerous and unnatural. You make dividing and conquering public opinion easy for the perpetrators. Dr Oz did a great diservice with his show, because it maintained the status quo..confusion and bickering which keeps the focus off vaccines. He orchastrated a phony Town Hall, it wasn’t a debate, it was regurgitation of the same old same same old. Most of you fell for it…again.

      • Kevin
        February 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

        Couldn’t agree more Ross. A select few parents were given any voice at all (despite the fact that you could hear them in the background trying to make their opinions known), and I’m sure they were prescreened to ensure that their opinions were suitable for public consumption. Another thing that convinced me that this whole thing was a sham was that they cut off the conversation with 15 minutes left in the show, as if the debate had somehow been settled.

  25. rachel
    February 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I am tired of the debate, please I need help now not 10 years from now. My son is 11 and he is a big kid. He pushed me down the stairs, hit, punch, what ever he can do when he gets into his tantrum. We need more teachers, schools, camps that does not cost $3,700 for him to go to for a week. More resourse when he does become an adult.

    • February 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm


      I know what you are going through. My son is only 8 years old, but he is a tall boy and his tantrums scared me. Scared me for him and myself. I remember pulling my husband aside crying … not knowing what Colt would be like in 10 years time standing at 6’2″ … at that point I wanted to try anything and everything. Please e-mail me at stephsstuff@hotmail.com … we have Colt on a very simple nutritional supplement (76 days today) and we have our son back. I was accused earlier of spam … this is not spam, this is something that is working for my son who falls smack in the middle of the Autistic Spectrum and I know that if it is a missing piece of the puzzle for Colt … it will be the answer for many more families.

      God Bless,


  26. another dad
    February 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Vaccines caused my son’s autism. TO remove a cause from science for a portion of affected children is horrible. Shame on you autism speaks.

    If you don’t think vaccines played a role – I believe you
    If you do – speak up

    We need to look into ALL CAUSES for ALL KIDS. Popular or not.

    • My2Boys
      February 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      @Another Dad, I agree with you. I think it is irresponsible to invalidate any cause from science over a portion of affected children. It is ridiculous. All potential causes deserve equal consideration and non one theory has to be proven to cause autism in EVERY case to be a valid trigger. I have 2 children, both of them are on the autism spectrum and both of them are completely different from the other. My first born developed normally up until his 1st birthday. We will never know what caused his regression, it did not occur around a time he received vaccinations. I don’t think I will ever know. He is 10 now, his journey has been crazy and inconsistent he has gone from PDD-NOS to Moderate/Severe Autism with Global Delays to finally High Functioning Autism (no global delays at all).
      My youngest son developed normally until 8 months old. He received the flu vaccine and went into anaphylactic shock. He was in the hospital for 3 days. Regardless of any scientific study, that is our truth. While in the hospital he began stimming and would not make eye contact, neither of which was present before the vaccine. He also developed a seizure disorder and a severe allergy to egg (flu vaccine is incubated inside chicken eggs). The doctors were in agreement about the seizures and the egg allergy resulting from the vaccine. They were not so agreeable about the stimming and no eye contact. They insisted that it was “too vague” to include in their report to the CDC. 6 months later my youngest was diagnosed with autism disorder.
      My experiences with autism have been very different with each child. I cannot pretend to know why each of my children suffer from the same disorder but present with different symptoms. My opinion is that there are several layers of factors that make autism different from child to child. Did a vaccine cause my first son’s diagnosis? No, I don’t believe so. Did a vaccine cause my 2nd son’s diagnosis? Yes it did.
      There are so many possibilities and you are right, every single one of them deserve equal consideration. I don’t think any good can come from an organization like AS playing politics or taking money from pharmaceutical companies. That is a fast track to lose all credibility. Back before AS swallowed up Cure Autism Now, CAN stayed wisely away from big pharma influence. It is shame that they are gone.

  27. Holly Riley
    February 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    In light of the cases of Baily Banks and Hannah Poling, it seems absurd to me that AS would decline the opportunity to hit the first item on their agenda and look at: “The role of a multiple environmental factors that are potentially contributing to the increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence.” Vaccines are one of those environmental factors. That is science. By failing to look at vaccines, AS reveals that their agenda is indeed politically driven not scientifically based as they claim. By failing to look at vaccines, AS is failing the autism community.

  28. concerned parent
    February 17, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Does this mean Dawson no longer stands by her own words?:

    “Recent studies point to a key role of the immune system in the biology of ASD, raising questions about the effects of the significant immune challenges associated with vaccinations, particularly when delivered in combination and early in life.”

    “We believe that the question of whether immunization is associated with an increased risk for ASD is of extremely high priority.”
    “Still other studies point toward subgroups of children with ASD with genetic vulnerabilities than can amplify the adverse effects of environmental exposures, including vaccinations, on brain development and function”

    “There is a need to describe the nature and prevalence of vaccine adverse events in children with metabolic disorders and assess risk factors for these events.”

    “Many fundamental questions have not been addressed, such as whether the use of combination vaccines confers increased risk for adverse events and whether there are subgroups in the general population that are more vulnerable to serious adverse effects of vaccines, including ASD.”

    “Research has shown that children with metabolic disorders, including mitochondrial disorders, may experience neurological decline when physiologically challenged. There have been reports of metabolic crisis after receiving vaccinations”

    “Children with metabolic diseases are at higher risk of health complications from diseases that are prevented by immunizations”

  29. Michael Giammatteo
    February 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    The original blog post called the vaccine issue “a debate that has been addressed multiple times, without resolution”. As the largest (and richest) autism advocacy & research organization, my hope is that you would be taking the lead in resolving this issue in a manner that ALL parents of children on the spectrum could embrace – through unbiased science. Instead you are choosing to distance yourself from the single most controversial topic we face.

    Forgive me for feeling that this is a political decision. Is this topic so hot that you will risk your funding by “getting involved”?

  30. Holly
    February 17, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    It’s so frustrating and disheartening when you have a child who needs help- help that you as a parent cannot give and you are forced to sit back and watch the powers that be engage in political BS.
    I watched the Dr. Oz show today. What can I say? I suppose any mainstream attention is good. I wasn’t surprised that Autism Speaks was not there, although I think many others were. They addmitted that thier own agenda was not being met, so they declined to show up and fight for the word of the thousands of parents that have relied on them for support for years. Shame on them.   

    My point is EVERYONE has a hidden agenda, and it’s up to parents to scrutinize everything they are told. I noticed Dr. Oz the TV Host pointed out several times that he wanted to get to the cause- he sighted the increase of diagnoses since 1980- I couldn’t help but wonder HIS agenda. Most suspect was the 2 “Pediatricians” playing devils advocate- like the one who didn’t raise his hand when asked about thier faith in Vaccines. Do they really think we are that stupid? Apparently we are. 

    I personally believe his stats from 1980 to now increasing as he says are extremely careless and unscientific. Smoke & Mirrors. They’ll never own up to the cause, it would mean that big oil, big industry would have to dedicate billions to clean up their acts, and truth be told- I don’t think it would matter. At this point, at this stage of the game the damage is irreversable. The entire planets ecosystems have been ravaged and every organism is being effected. We are victims of our own progress & greed. The way we were meant to live has been sacrificed for technology and convenience and now the species is paying for it. It’s painfully obvious.

    What I have begun doing is letting go of the anger- the GUILT- and begun to make my boy’s life as promising as I can. I stopped reading the blogs, the conspiracy nuts, the what ifs and the propaganda. I live as healthy and stress-free a life as humanly possible. I have accepted my Son for who he is and stopped wishing him into a person who doesn’t exsist. There is nobody to blame, there is nobody who can reverse this. Your children are intelligent & perceptive. Please stop conveying to them that you aren’t happy with who they are- you may be surprised at the result.

    • Mia
      February 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Yes, none of the ped doctors or researchers mentioned the lasso of diagnosis enlarged to include HFs,Pdd-Nos and that dx is malleable.That lids may be diagnosis is tweaked later on. Psychiatry is indeed hit and miss with the best of experts imagine with the ones with no experience. Just look how many times the dx changed in the Dsm from infantile schizophrenia,psychoses, intellectual retardation in the 1950s.Just look at the Temple Grandin film.

      • Mia
        February 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

        I meant that the Kids may diagnosed differently in their childhood is not uncommon.

      • Unperfectmama
        February 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        Did you not watch they did say that SOME of the increase in #s is due to wider range of the spectrum to include Pdd-Nos and Asperger’s.

  31. Stephanie Lambdin
    February 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Noreen :@ Stephanie – Curious as to what supplement that is? Brand please. Thanx.

    ageLOC Vitality from Nu Skin Enterprises. And just to add another wow … Colt had his annual physical today. Even his physician was amazed at his incresible progress.


  32. February 18, 2011 at 12:43 am

    No. It’s not time to change the conversation. I guess you think you have things all figured out. Your novel studies happen to be telling us what we already know, thank you very much. We’ve known early intervention is the key many years before you existed and just about every parent here can tell you we knew something was wrong by 6 months to a year or the day something changed, usually right after a vaccine or illness when it’s a sudden change. Behavioral therapy has also been the go to therapy since well before AS. So thanks for trying to take credit for all of that. I guess Lovaas doesn’t exist in your world. We also know a lot already about how to help our kids’ medical issues – what we need is mainstream acceptance and support to continue that area of study. So while you’re spending your money trying to figure out what we already know, the rest of us will keep discussion going that actually is useful – like what is happening to our children?

    I’m also quite tired of hearing each individual person say how vaccines had nothing to do with their child’s autism. Sure, it may be true. I don’t claim to have the answer. And if it is true – that’s great. There are plenty of typical kids that aren’t affected by vaccines, either – it’s unrealistic to expect that ASD kids aren’t in that mix, too. But what about those of us that did? Do we not get a voice because you feel it had nothing to do with your child? Or what about your children’s children? Wouldn’t you want to know if they have a risk of vaccine damage?

    The mentality of medicine as a science hasn’t changed much in the hundreds of year of its existence. It takes too long to get the medical community to wake up. If they don’t understand something, it must not exist. There was a time they gave women with PMS lobotomies, too. If you think that mentality has changed and we’ve somehow evolved beyond that, you’d be wrong. We make the same mistakes, only now we have shiny new technology with which to make those mistakes and be bullheaded stubborn in our desire to be right. The focus should be on the truth, not who’s right or wrong and we aren’t going to get there by letting Big Pharma do their own studies to show how their products are perfectly safe.

    Drugs are put out all the time that aren’t safe – and they know it, both the companies and the FDA. Thank you, Vioxx, a shining example of how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    There are too many cases of “it didn’t happen to me so it must not be true” going around and it doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t help get an answer. The same is true for those raising their hands saying, “I had my kid when I was 20 so it’s not age.” Stop dismissing things simply because it didn’t happen to you because there’s still time.

    AS might be satisfied with the so-called studies that say vaccines are safe, but I’m not and neither are many other parents of children so obviously affected by them.

    Occam’s Razor, people. It’s not that difficult of a concept.

    I’m not one of those people that think vaccines are the smoking gun. With so many different kids with such unique issues, causation is not going to be the same for everyone. Treatments on my viral kid don’t work as well with a PANDAS kid or a gut kid or a metals kid or combination kids. I’m one of those people that believe there’s a fully-automatic machine gun shooting many different bullets and I don’t think trying to find them is as much of a waste of time as you apparently do. Yeah. Thanks for that, too. Thanks for caring about our kids so much that the getting a *real* answer just isn’t that important to you. My grandkids thank you, too.

    I don’t deny that AS has made an impact. Some of it is even good, sort of. If you think you got insurance to cover ABA, well, I guess you sorta did but it’s funny how parents are still being denied by insurance in states that supposedly now have insurance coverage. But I guess you can still pat yourself on the back for that. But don’t you wonder why you have so many autism families that refuse to give you a dime? And doesn’t that matter to you?

    If this sounds like I’m angry, it’s because I am. You start your blog by saying, “We still need answers to too many questions regarding causes and treatments…” and then dismiss any such conversation on just that. Wonderful work. Keep up the good job. It’s doing wonders for you, really.

  33. February 18, 2011 at 6:38 am

    While Dr. Oz is not the critical mass movement generator it presents itself as by ANY means, it does seem that this opportunity could have still been used. The debate on the merits of such an appearance by A.S. on the show are largely illustrative of the fact that at the VERY LEAST much debate is still open. Getting the word out of the existence of the Autism Speaks presence, and driven more interest / awareness and financial support would have served as a far better benefit than avoiding the show all together.

  34. Amy
    February 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Good! NONE of us want you “speaking” for us anyways! The movement to take your posh little office space and you posh little salaries away from you is in the works. You do NOTHING for the autism community except put your name out there to get donations. Awareness is done… how about helping? oh yeah, that would mean the fund would have to go elsewhere besides your park avenue office space and your nice little bonuses. WE WOULD ALL BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU ANYWAYS… and you did a great job of showing your ass yesterday with not showing up at all to at least BE there…. so BE GONE! DONATE LOCALLY! AUTISM SPEAKS DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME!

  35. Elizabeth Kaplan
    February 18, 2011 at 9:25 am

    It would be beneficial to focus on what we can do for our children NOW rather than what may have occured in the past. I would appreciate Dr. Oz focusing on the GF/CF diet which has helped so many children on the specrum.

    • Unperfectmama
      February 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      Obviously you didn’t watch the show. Not only was it brought up, but it was ONE thing everyone agreed on that helped Autistic children.

  36. Christie
    February 18, 2011 at 9:57 am


    • peggy schrabeck
      February 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      one or both of you(parents) need to be tested for autism/aspergers, most studies now show that if a child is diagnosed chances are it is in the family as is in everyone I know.

      • My2Boys
        February 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

        I have to disagree with you, Peggy. My husband and I have been tested at length and neither of us or our extended families have ASD, but our children do. I was, however, diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder. It is dangerous to try and make blanket assumptions, none of us can pretend to have the answers.More than anything, I wish we did.

  37. peggy schrabeck
    February 18, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I am so happy to hear that they declined the interview!!!!The truth in the case of austism is more difficult to accept then to just believe “the vaccine did it”. The genetic factor has so many in a panic looking for other answers. Most of t…he time when a child is diagnosed, one or both parents are found to be on the spectrum, so that direction is to scary, but remember error does not become Truth because it is widely accepted; neither does the Truth become error, even when it stands alone! The vaccine debate will eventually die just the world was thought to be flat.

    • Unperfectmama
      February 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      No, nah. nada. zip. Neither my husband nor I are on spectrum. In fact, my daughter at the time wasn’t even diagnosed on spectrum, only my son…now let me tell you HOW he got Autism.
      Ok first thing’s first.
      I don’t NEED a study to know what happened right in front of my eyes. My son was developing: crusing furniture, eating, drinking, talking, laughing, smiling, had eye contact, ect….got his shots then became this uncontrollable crying, screaming, headbanging, arm flapping, losing skills such as walking, talking, eating, drinking. He lost 10 lbs in less than a month, VERY dangerous for a 15 mo old child who weighed 30 lbs to begin with. He’s SIX now and still can’t speak intelligibly, just got potty trained, has fits, meltdowns, hates “loud” sounds, strong smells, or anything more than a few things in his diet he’ll eat and most are all bland foods as his tastebuds can’t handle seasoned foods anymore. This happened OVERNIGHT from MMRs and I don’t care what anyone says. My youngest son was forced vaccinations at birth, 2m and 4m by drs who told me it was ILLEGAL (which is a lie) to not get them and HE REACTED EVERY TIME. At his 4 mo shots his doc FINALLY admitted my son was “going downhill very fast and was beginning to show traits of Autism that resembled his brother”. I did what ANY parent would do, I jerked my baby up and RAN out of there and swore that he’d never get another one again. He’s three now and developing on schedule and has PASSED his brother in MANY areas already.
      I’m tired of people asking for proof, for studies, for evidence. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s because I’m sick and tire of doing it, especially for lazy people who will NOT put in any effort themselves.
      Look at what I have done and — and others have done — YOU prove me/us wrong. YOU need to be on the defensive with the poisons coming through that needle in the Name of “health and disease prevention.” We who have personally witnessed vaccines reactions are tired of your arguments. We know what 100% healthy, vaccine-free children and adults look like.
      YOU who defend vaccinating are worried about the “anti-vaccine” movement because of its coming impact on the drug-based, expensive, “disease-care” system. Who will fill the waiting rooms of pediatrician offices if there are no sick children because they are vaccine-free? Who will need the billion dollar drug business if they are healthy, vaccine free, and have a vitamin D level at 80iu/ml?
      nd if you think AUTISM is the ONLY thing caused by vaccines, I guarantee you are wrong. But will the govt or pharmacutical companies ever admit this? No, because there’s billions to be made by vaccinations, then treating those adverse reactions to them…think about it!
      Besides who says in a year, maybe 2 or 10… they won’t come back and say… oops, and prove that hey there is actually a link!!
      How many things/drugs have been approved and then pulled to be reformulated because they cause some type of disease??
      They can put anything they want in these vaccinations, and we have no clue… we just take their word for it!!
      The truth is hidden inside these sick, hurting children, where only scopes and biopsies can find it.
      Would society be pushing back so hard if the measles lesions were external rather than internal, thus being impossible to ignore?

      Now seriously, how much longer and how much more research does this community have to do to get our point across? Is it not obvious yet? How many more screaming parents do we need to get to prove this? Seriously, do we all have to make copies of our kids scope reports and paste them on the front doors of the AAP, NIH, CDC, EPA, NIMH, AMA, etc.

  38. Tammy
    February 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    If one should wish to address environmental factors, then one would want to be responsible enough to consider what is being injected into our children. If merely being in the presense of certain chemicals and toxins is enough to flush our children’s immune systems down the toilet, surely injecting them with these very things could be suspect. Doctors advise parents not to give their children eggs before 1 yr of age due to the risk of allergic reaction yet in the same breath, will state that its time for the baby’s flu vaccine…a vaccine cultured on eggs. So, no, it’s not time to change the conversation just yet.

    • Unperfectmama
      February 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm


  39. Katie Wright
    February 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Peggy maybe you are experienced w/ aspergers but in the cases of autism, there is no family history of the disorder. There is is a family history of autoimmune diseases, creating a powerful environmental vulnerability. I think it is unhelpful and incorrect to label all parents as being on the spectrum.
    Peggy just because you have not experienced something does not mean it did not happen. It did not happen to you, which is great but I have a typically functioning child and then I didn’t. That is what is scary. I had a healthy child now I have a child who is chronically ill. In our case over vaccination lead to complete disaster, obviously not w/ you. We do not have the right to tell others we know their child best.

  40. Christine Robinette
    February 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Where were you guys when Dr. Oz had a special & you refused to make a showing??? My 2 little grandchildren both are afflicted & I try to stay in the loop. They are 3 & 5 , a boy & a girl from the same family, they are really struggling & having a difficult time with all the agencies involved. I was very disappointed in your no show.

  41. Stephanie Lambdin
    February 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    MERLYN BENDER :please send me more information about the ageLOC Vitality. Thank you in advance. =)


    Please send me your e-mail. Thanks

  42. Geri Dawson, Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks
    February 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    It’s clear that some of our families support our decision not to participate in the Oz show, and others do not. Regardless of your opinion, I want to assure you that Autism Speaks is continuing to aggressively research the causes of autism and casting a wide net in doing so, as well as continuing our efforts in driving awareness and advocacy. We are interested in moving the conversation forward and providing concrete answers for families, not adding more confusion by speculating. We are focusing our energy and resources into understanding all of the causes of autism by studying a wide range of environmental risk factors. Autism Speaks is funding a study that explores whether children with autistic regression have specific medical and/or genetic conditions that might make them more vulnerable to immune challenges, including vaccination. We are funding many studies that explore the interaction between genetics and environmental risk factors. This is only part of Autism Speaks’ research funding, however. Equally important are the studies we are funding on interventions and treatments that can help people with autism spectrum disorders, throughout the life span. Our focus is not on the debate – it’s on the solution.

    • another dad
      February 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm


      Respectfully I disagree. You frame the conversation by being a part of it.
      You were quiet when you should have spoken.

      Further, there is a percentage of families that feel strongly that their children regressed after vaccines. Since Autism Speaks is the largest private funder of research you should be part of all discussions – popular ones and unpopular ones. You left this group out by themselves and as a parent I don’t appreciate it.

    • Mia
      February 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you because the show left me so sad with mob hysteria of Dan conferences. His eugenic part.Maybe a Cardiologist shouldn’t get emotional on something he may be ignorant on.

    • Anne McElroy Dachel
      February 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Dear Dr. Dawson,

      As a writer for Age of Autism and an active member of the autism community, I respectfully ask why Autism Speaks does not call for the one study that could settle this issue. Why has there never been an official study comparing the autism rate in fully vaccinated kids and never vaccinated kids? With so many parents not vaccinating today, the study group is out there. If one percent of never of never vaccinated children also have autism, we could finally change the conversation. Why aren’t you promoting such a study?
      Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

    • Maurine Meleck
      February 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Sadly, the debate and the answers to the debate are part of the solution. Just like the song, ” you can’t have one without the other.”
      Maurine Meleck SC

  43. Lucy Gratz
    February 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I wholeheartedly support the choice you made re the show appearance. As always the most sensational topics get the most exposure when frankly there are other significant issues as well to highlight. How about the future of where all these autistic children are going to be when they are adults, and how few jobs and job support opportunities there are for them. I am facing that in a 1-2 years with my daughter and I don’t see a society that opens its doors to the majority of them and says -oh well just put them on disability SSI if you can even get that. they turn everyone down who has a semblance of ability and you have to appeal. Where is the society that would rather employ them with a paycheck. many can work full time but there are no job support programs for them if they have high function. If they are less than high function sometimes there are more programs but not many for true independent living. It’s time talk show people looked at that, not just sensational ideas of how children might have received their disability. Let’s get on the shpow to discuss this

    • Mia
      February 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      But that’s not sexy often for angry parents. I am one of those adults left in oblivion.these angry parents who think know everything in my experience do not treat us with respect. I wonder when their kids become older and they jaded with the theories of the day, spent thousands to autism cottage industry, only then will they think of their children’s future as adults. Maybe find them Valuable members of society.Accept them and love them inspite of cures and corrects their quirks.

  44. christine
    February 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I am highly disappointed at AS for not participating. The show reaches lots of everyday people. Why not get the message out as much as possible. The show was not only about the vaccine debate. The show featured families and what they endure on a daily basis. it also had many medical doctors and researchers who gave opposing points of view. The show featured 3 potential causes of Autism and Dr. Oz specifically said this is only 3 of the many potential causes. Every day that goes by without a cause being identified hundreds more are affected and our country is not even properly educating or taking care of those affected right now.

    I am of the view that we should green our vaccinations and spread them out. People don’t believe the “studies” proving that a single vaccine here and there is safe translates into it being ok to jam 4-5 shots into our babies on a single day as safe for everyone. And because as one doctor on the show pointed that of the 20 something studies “proving” that vaccines are safe, 18 were funded and had conflict of interest with big pharma. You aren’t going to find what you are not looking for.

  45. Melissa Cruz-Skaggs
    February 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I think all those affected by Autism need to calm down and open up their minds. After reading all the anti-vaccine vs. pro-vaccine posts and I believe this and I believe that; it still doesn’t change a dang thing! It’s still the fastest growing childhood disorder and there’s no stopping it! If you don’t know someone on the spectrum, you will! I know families affected by it our passionate in their beliefs but research is constantly updated and we all should update our minds. For those that say “now what” exactly not what? What about all the red-tape families have to go through to get their children services? Now that’s something to get passionate about!

  46. Jeanie
    February 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I am so very grateful that they did not agree to go to dr oz and just bring up old hash. My son has accually gone from a moderate autism to what might change to very high functioning :) He was diagnosed at 4 with pdd. Now he is in 4th grade and is on a 504 instead of an IEP! I am truelly grateful for all the help and intervention he has gotten. Without all of that he would not be where he is today. I hope that this can also help my daughter 5 who has other disabilities. I am encouraged and I hope that things in the community continue to go well. Go Autism SPeaks!

  47. Richard Fauth
    February 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    In an effort to not launch personal attacks my comments are itemized by blog # rather than name.

    #1-why would any industry conspire to protect the small profit margin from products that are no longer patent protected and therefore competitively opver mature when discovering something new would yield orders of magnitude higher profits?

    #2Thank you very much-you get an A.

    #3 Really? Who do i call to get into the line forming for this product. I am happy you believe you helped your son. ! Am also ectstatic that you found a scientist who has cured autism-Will somebody please call Jenny Mcarthy and let her know someone is stealing her action?

    #4 I can supply you with many names of folks capable of curing heavy wallet syndrome.

    #5 Thank you- I wish i could tell you what to do-I cant. I can however, tell you what not to do-we should chat. You also get an A.

    #6 Thank you-you also get an A

    #7 No according to Scientifc reasearch- vaccines do not cause Autism therefore if Autism was caused by vaccines in your child yours is so far in the minority no statisitical proof of it can even be ascertained. As for what you believe….. that is a different story- as proved here and on blogs just like it for over 12 years.

    #8 Awesome! If only parents would push harder for research that looks at all statistically relevant riskfactors and insists on research that combines the best science and ignores the worst-we might get somewhere.

    #9 Absolutely-it is highly likely that the guy next door and his weed killer, conspired with the supefund site, who conspired with the government, who conspired with big pahrma to cause autism. Please read no 1 above. Then go stand directly behind your automobile, usually on the right side and look down where the biggest conspirator of them all is located then knock on your own door and ask yourself why.

    #10 Usually one hoes rows. I was unaware that the genetic types excluded all of you and your children. Last i read each and every cell of your body contained 3 billion base pairs of chemicals in a double stranded helix caled DNA. Along this strand are approximately 20,000 genes (or more correctly aleles) over a hundred of which have variants that statically been shown to have some small association to autism. A hundred mutations occur in each and every one of us. Genes encode proteins-proteins make cells: cells make body parts including neurons and their synapsis. Autism is a disease of the synapse-or at least deceased children and adult with autisms brains say so. If science did not study genes there would not be any genetic diseases-all children with autism would simply have autism. I wonder how many of the genes in your childs body have the mutations associated with Autism. What is incredibly sad is that you may never know because funding needed to make that one last push to make sequencing of Autism supect genes an affordable reality was spent defending Andrew Wakefield.

    #11 Mitochondrial disease is real and doctors can diagnose it. But parents who do not believe in genetics will not likely recieve such a diagnoses because usually genetic testing is involved.

    #12 Me too. I am also wondering why nobody else ever heard of it.

    #13 And amen to you too.

    #14 Please pay attention…..

    #15 Thank you – If i wasn’t married id kiss you.

    #16 I grow weary and so does #15

    #33 Well Dr. wakefield continues to fool you- for going on twelve years.
    Oops-Is this the same blog we were on in 2004? oh shoot i thought we were changing the converesation.

    Oops-Is this the same blog we were on in 2004? oh shoot i thoght we were changing the converesation.

    • Debbie Voss
      February 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

      @ Richard, what does all that even mean? Autism Speaks should be ashamed of themselves. There are NO studies that say vaccines are safe when given in combination and the vaccine courts even admitted that Hannah Poling ended up autistic, BECAUSE of her vaccines. She received 9 in one visit. Do not insult parents.

      • Richard Fauth
        February 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm

        It is not my intention to insult parents. Unfortunately the behavior of parents who have made it so incredibly difficult for the Medical Industry to help us desrve more than insults. I am sorry that one child’s conditioned may have been worsened by Vaccines-as was determined by a court in a sealed document you do not have any idea what says. There are plenty of studies which failed to find Vaccines did not cause Autism.
        How many kids who died from all of the things you Vaccine Causes Autism supporters can you name? From Chelation? From not getting Vaccines? A coworker of mines 1 your old died two weeks ago from Mitachondrial Disease-the same disease Hannah Poling has-the child was never Vaccinated.

    • BILL
      February 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Global vaccine revenue “grew by a healthful sixteen % very last yr, when revenue shot as much as $22.1 billion, healthcare marketplace study publisher Kalorama facts reported Friday,” in accordance for the linked Press. Kalorama can also be forecasting revenue “will rise at a compound yearly charge of 9.7 % through the upcoming 5 many years,” (Johnson, 8/14).


      • Richard Fauth
        February 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

        Your Business acumen is almost as bad as your common sense. Revenue is not profit. 22 Billion Globally will not dent the cost of risk added by the actions of parents hell bent on keeping the Pharmaceutical industry from helping our kids. Yahoo was projected to have a 900% growth rate back in 1999. Howd that work out?

    • Bill
      February 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Richard..it is not your intention to insult parents? Funny..you are so smug. I know the difference between revenue and profit margin. Since it seems you have all the answers we will all bow to Richard. You apparantly think you know more about science and business that the rest of us. The pharmacuetical industry is helping our kids? Glad you think so. Do you have any original thoughts or do you just like to comment to parents who have had their children and lives turned upside down by regressive autism post vaccination?

      • Richard Fauth
        February 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        Yes i have lots of original thoughts. Sorry you think im smug-i thought that was Autism diva’s job-but she gave up on you guys a long time ago. I do know a lot more about science and business than a lot of you-am i supposed to appologize? My life and my child’s life was turned upside down by Regressive Autism-pre vaccination. The actions of parents matter. So far those actions have resulted in unvaccinated children dying. Those actions have resulted in parents chelating kids who have then died. Those actions have resulted in no Scientist anywhere who will touch your arguments with a ten foot pole. If i gotta be smug to keep you and the rest from keeping the entire medical and scientific community from touching all kids with a ten foot pole-then im going to be smug.

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm


      No offense taken. I am simply sharing my son’s story … a miracle unfolding.

      God Bless,


      • Richard Fauth
        February 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

        It was not my intention to insult you personally. If you believe that a supplement that yor child is taking helps im ok with you doing so provided safety has been determined in a resonable and rational way-most have not. Im ok with you sharing your secret recipe with others-provided some eficaccy has been demonstrated. Unfortunately the standard of resonable and rational has not been met for the vast majority of supplements. So if i, or anyone else, suggests that you try say bath salts-are you ok with it?

      • Kevin
        February 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

        Richard, it’s so comforting to know that I can have your approval for the treatments and therapies that I try to help my son, and I’ll be double careful to meet your standards. Good grief, the arrogance of your response to Stephanie is unbelievable. If I need your approval to do anything or share anything with others that is or is not working, I’ll let you know, but here’s a little advice for you, don’t hold your breath while you wait.

  48. Mary Luce
    February 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Richard, I agree. However, I doubt Wakefield’s true believers will listen. They have not listened to the myriads of studies involving thousands and thousands of children that have repeatedly found no link between MMR and/or thimerosol and autism. Yet they listen to a proven fraud. I too had a son who regressed. He is severely to moderately autistic. Through many hours of ABA every day, my 4 yr old now speaks, is almost independent in the bathroom, eat with a fork and spoon, and follows verbal instructions. He has a very long way to go, but I will never give up on him. Instead of focusing so much energy on the dead-end vaccine argument, which only whips up hysteria resulting in children dying from preventable diseases like Hib,pertussis and measles, we should be focusing on helping our children. For those of you convinced of the big pharma conspiracy, note that the “little pharma” sales of supplements grosses more than 400% the total grosses for vaccine sales. Autism is a big business for snake oil salesmen.

    • Richard Fauth
      February 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you Mary. What you and I want is for Parents to focus on is getting somwhere that helps our kids. What many of these other Parents want is to find someone to blame even when that someone is blameless. Worse, they have made the risk associated with helping our kids even higher than it would be otherwise. It is very difficult to run drug trials on children or on adults without legal capacity. The risks are enormous-Who would take the risk of developing a treatment for autism- when doing so guarantees they will be sued and Slandered no matter the outcome? That is what these parents are proving.

  49. Richard Fauth
    February 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I cant keep it up 68 is too many-and most are saying the same thing over and over and have been for 12 years.

    A few more-I cant resist.

    #65-Thank you for your perspective in this post and your previous-it is telling.

    #49-Thank you for your considerable effort in the post. It is apparent that you have thought long and hard on this subject and i commend you for doing so.
    There are, however, some points that you have made that i feel the need to comment:

    Paragraph 1-Most parents know who Lovass is and while help for asd’s have been gleaned from this important work it isn’t and shouldn’t be the end of the story-it is interesting that you now have included AS as a willing participant along with all of the others in the never ending conspiracy theories. I am am as frustrated as you that much of what AS does hasn’t really made the difference they would like or have others believe. However, i fail to see how continuing to study mercury, vaccines, thimerosol as a component of AS etiology will be any more effective than it already has been-which is none. If you or anybody else believes that your child’s ASD is as a result of Mitochondrial disease or dysfunction then it would be far more fruitfull to push for research that investigates Mitochondrial disease- its causes and its potential treatments. Mitochondrial disease and dysfunction is associated with Autism and research should continue to be done as a part of research into Autism. Effectiveness isnt likely when those who can help are attacked when they answer an important question because it doesn’t fit with a theory-particularly one that started with a charlaten. The conversation needs to change to one of credibility and effectiveness.

    Paragraph 2 Im tired too. My child regressed, my child was diagnosed with an ASD. Five minutes after the DX-he recieved the MMR vaccine. That was in September of 2004. He recieved the shots because his Parents and his Doctors knew then that the study implicating Vaccines and ASD’s was not true. More then six years later that reality continues to be ignored by profiteers and their supporters. Meanwhile the vast resources taken by these profiteers is not available for use by researchers who have made discoveries that would impart a seachange in our abilty to get effective pharmeceuticals to our children. Sorry to be so trite-but i have met the enemy and it is us.

    Paragraph 3,4,- More of the same conspiracies-see my comment on post #1. I took VIOX-im not dead and i do not have heart problems. It is the industry and the FDA who, when Science indicated a problem with the product, acted. It would have been far better if they had acted sooner. It is simply the Yin and the Yang-too cautious an approach slows down discovery while too reckless an approach yeilds problems. Lobotomies were used for all kinds of things “back in the day”. We cant rewrite history. We can impact the present and the future. Parents are Chelating their kids and kids have died as a result. Parents are not Vaccinating their kids-and kids have died as a result. Parents are buying oxygen chambers and kids have died as a result. Parents are taking their kids to third world counties for injections of substances which they believe are stem cells or are actully stem cells and either the kids get sicker or nothing happens. Parents feed their kids all kinds of substances in which no reasonable or rational science has been conducted on safety or effectiveness.

    Paragraph 7- Now you did it-you said something smart-I think. “The simpleist solution is the best solution”-Ocamm’s Razor or at least the most accepted version of what Occam said. So how does this get into your thinking? Kids get Vaccines on a schedule that unquestionably coincides with the same schedule in which ASD symptoms emerge. That is the simple explanation for why so many parents believe Vaccines cause Autism. Or do you prefer “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”. We can’t stop digging but we can dig in a better spot when nothing is found.

    paragraph7&8If your comment about Occam is to try to get people to look past the simple solution-we are on the same page. it certainly isnt simple. Multiple things are likely going on-or we woiuld already have found the solution. I dont get why AS’s actions upset you here.

    Your final points are also baffling-your mad-so are the rest of us. So what’s next? Where is the end game. Where is the strategy that gets us to the end game? I’m picking on you because you are smart-and have tenacity thats good-It is my sincere hope that you find a way to channel your abilities into something helpfull for your child, yourself and the rest of us. I believe the opportunities for that are there-but so are the dangers of being part of the problem. Life is about choices-at least for those of us without a debilitating problem like an ASD. I hope you choose to be a part of the solution.

  50. Anne McElroy Dachel
    February 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    It’s hard to understand Autism Speaks’ attitude. It sounds like they’re tired of the vaccine debate. AS may have invested millions of dollars in research over the last five years, but I’ve yet to see any breakthroughs. Experts still throw up their hands over autism’s cause, treatment and the possibility of a cure. No one has a clue how to prevent autism. The Dr. Oz Show gave us only two other possibilities for the cause of autism. One was older parents and the other was living too near a freeway while pregnant. Neither one makes much sense given the sudden explosion in autism everywhere.

    Dr. Oz put autism in the spotlight as a national health crisis. This is something no U.S. health official has ever done. The word CRISIS has never been used by anyone from the CDC or the AAP when speaking about autism. We’ve had several decades of top experts claiming that all the autism is just better diagnosing by doctors and no real increase at all. We cannot continue to hide our heads in the sand as the tidal wave of dependent adults with autism crashes over this country.

    AS may want to ignore the vaccine controversy but it’s never going away. There are now thousands and thousands of parents who will never stop talking about how their children were normally developing and healthy until they received certain routine vaccinations. Doctors call this a coincidence. But they have no explanation for what happens to these children either.

    In truth, if AS wanted to end this issue right now, they have the position and the money for call for the one study that could that. Where is the simple comparison study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children for autism? One percent of U.S. kids now have autism. If one percent of never vaccinated children do too, the proof would be there for all to see. With so many parents now too afraid to have their children vaccinated, the study group is out there. We seriously need to ask why this study is never done.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  51. February 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Autism Speaks has been trying to change the conversation since its inception – it would do far better to listen parents. Not all of them have the same experience but many do, and it is just too inconvenient. At least, this is tantamount to an admission of what the conversation really is.

    It is, incidentally, pitiful to see correspondent spinning the line that there is no money in vaccines when (1) immense resources are even now going into developing them (2) there is the potential for product liability (if not immediately in the US) if it was admitted what these things are doing irrespective of their cost. Some of the new vaccines like Gardasil are also extremely costly.

  52. AutisticLiving
    February 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Changing the conversation is a euphemism for avoiding the topic. Really. Why do you people even bother? Autism Speaks has yet to make a positive difference in the life of ANYONE with autism.

    -You fund fruitless research, seemingly with the goal of getting the focus off of vaccines.

    -Your “assistance” with insurance legislation stops at the first three letters of the word. You’ve done more to harm the autism community when it comes to insurance than you’ve done to help it.

    -Your salaries are absolutely OUT OF CONTROL.

    -The head dolt in charge behind the scenes, Peter Bell, used to work for BIG PHARM in MARKETING. Are you serious?

    -You have funded next to no research when it comes to vaccines, in spite of the parents and the continued tsunami of anecdotal evidence.

    Change the conversation? To what? How we’re going to shut Autism Speaks down using the R.I.C.O. statute?

    Seriously. Autism Speaks might look impressive to corporate sponsors and the parents of children with a new dx, but anyone who has been around a while and understands the difference between their shoe and a television remote knows what’s happening.

  53. Unperfectmama
    February 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oooh I DID see the show and he didn’t JUST cover vaccines. They mentioned many other possible causes and basically said “We need answers”. That’s what parents of children affected by Autism has been screaming for years…

    Autism is such a wide spectrum I wouldn’t doubt that it’s a COMBINATION of things…however, you can’t deny that Autism IS climbing along side the # of vaccines increasing…Vaccines are the root of most of our health problems that are on the rise, and IDC what any “study” shows because they’re backed by Pharmacutical companies who are not going to admit that they are toxic because they’ll lose billions. First they get ya with vaccine then they have to treat the disorders it causes…EASY MONEY.

  54. bensmyson
    February 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    “…82% of those completed studies resulted in 146 novel findings.”

    When is it you intend to share those findings with the rest of us?

  55. Maurine Meleck
    February 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Vaccines cause autism. There is only one thing children all over this country have and had in common for the last 20 years or so and it’s not freeways or old dads. Yep, it’s vaccines. You can talk about other environmental factors (all 800,000 of them) until your vocal chords turn purple but the 1 in 68 boys have but one thing in common-Yep, it’s vaccines. There is no doubt that another commonality is a predisposition not to be able to excrete toxins as the average child. So, like my good friend Anne asks, “Where is that vaccinated vs unvaccinated study. We wouldn’t be having this cinversation if it were done.
    Are we gonna wait until the numbers reach 1 in25 before we stop talking about awareness, freeways, tv, old parents, blue skies and the vaccine question has been answered. Yes, nobody says services for those afflicted now aren’t important, but if we don’t stop the epidemic now we’ll need more services than are listed in the phone book. Mauine Meleck, SC

  56. Steven
    February 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Not to change the subject, but… Did anyone else think that Dr. Bob Sears looked like he could be a long lost brother of Patrick McKenna (Harold Green from The Red Green Show)?
    Wow… the resemblance is eerie…

  57. February 20, 2011 at 4:37 am

    What cannot, of course, be justified is the sinking of ever more funds into the vain pursuit of autism genes. As against looking for environmental triggers and irritants it has virtually no practical use, and while it has been sucking up the big money for decades it have absolutely zilch prospect of achieving anything – except employment for hundreds of researchers.

  58. Joy Stincic
    February 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Are all of you aware that Katie Wright, two-time poster on this very debate, is the DAUGHTER of the AS founders, the MOTHER of the very child that generated this organization? And she says that her child was vaccine-injured, but the very lucrative machine her parents created has chosen to ignore this and, thus, alienate her? So how could AS be about anything more than money, if it can split a family apart?

    Also, even though AS declined to be a part of the show, wasn’t Alison Singer, their previous “mouthpiece”, still able to represent them and express their position?

    There is a movement that has already started among parents of children on the spectrum. They’re fed up with not seeing any returns on their hard-earned money going to AS for the prevention of autism to future generations, and they’re organizing their own walks locally, with proceeds staying in their communities. Recently in South Florida, the first Dan Marino walk was held and raised $500,000, a drop in the bucket compared to the upcoming AS walks but, as word spreads and people stop blindly drinking the AS kool-aid, I bet next year’s proceeds will be even higher.

  59. February 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I wouldn’t like to comment on Katie Wright’s relations with her parents. To do them justice when they visited the UK a couple of years ago they spoke openly about the vaccine issue to the press, making comments that the Guardian and the Telegraph would not usually publish but did. So, it was unusual for the British media and also unusual for the Wrights. Why are they so reticent about it on home territory, and why do the big guys so seldom speak out (and if they do it is only once)? There seem to be class rules. And I guess the message is that if you fail to observe them you are out. But please observe this is an issue of social control, not science (and vaccine damage is not to br mentioned in polite circles ie “It’s time to change the conversation”).

  60. Steve
    February 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    If you want to change the conversation, try participating in it,

  61. February 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    It is not possible for me to condemn or applaud the decision of AS to boycott the Dr Oz show because I don’t have all the information (programme plan for example) upon which their decision was based. However I can understand it. Given the make-up of the team one could envisage a Jerry Springer situation arising. I watched the show (from England on You-Tube) and thought it was pretty good – apart from the rather childish interpretation of some of the research results. I also thought that the AS decision was treated seriously and may even have affected the final content of the show. However, one must accept that it is currently neither possible nor appropriate to have a programme about causation of autism without discussing vaccines. The difficulty comes when all other debate is stifled by this one hugely important issue. Under the circumstances and the limited time available, I though Dr Oz’s contribution to the overall discussion was well worth the effort.

  62. mikies
    February 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    It is so telling how Autism Speaks is willing to throw children under the bus, to remain politically “vaccination, Merck,Pfizer,Sanovi Pasteur, Novartis, Baxter, Glaxo Smith Kline, Lederle, Gates, Brian Deer,correct.” Follow the money. Autism Speaks will be included in the Karma well-earned by Pharma. Follow the money.

  63. Janice
    February 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    If a Mom tells me her child’s regression was caused by vaccines, I believe her. If a Mom tells me her child’s regression was not caused by vaccines, I believe her. Nobody has and nobody can prove either of these mothers wrong. But I want both of them to get their kids better.

    • another dad
      February 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Janice – fabulous comment and true. Someday autism(s) will have different names and causes. For my son’s autism was caused by vaccines.

  64. cynthia parker
    February 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Come on guys, the conversation hasn’t even begun. My daughter was given the hep-B vaccine at one day old (though I’d told the pediatrician I didn’t want her to have it), she screamed day and night from the day she came home at three days old, I rocked her in my arms ALL night long, night after night after night, it was vaccine-induced encephalitis, she’s autistic now.
    There are still a LOT of things to talk about, why has no vax/unvax study been done? Why is there no autism among the Amish, who don’t get vaccinated? Why did autism rates go through the ceiling when the hep-B vaccine at birth was started in 1991? why were tens of thousand of children developing normally until they got the MMR, and then plummeted into autism. It’s the mercury, the aluminum, the formaldehyde, the MMR, the measles vaccine, too many too soon, a myriad of factors interacting with many different genes, some of them flawed, every different panoply of genes has a different tipping point. Both my arms were paralyzed for two days after getting a tetanus booster. Was it the tetanus component, the pertussis? Was it that I got smallpox and typhoid shots at the same time (in 1976), and that tipped me into temporary paralysis? Did that cause the MS I have now? This dee-dashed conversation is JUST getting started! When I was a child in the ’60s, there were no autistic children anywhere, no one had them, no one talked about them even in whispers. It’s different now, there were four autistic children in my daughter’s school last year, there are seven this year. They are legion, and anyone can spot them, it doesn’t take an expert. Every time they add a new shot to the schedule, the upward line of soaring autism rates tips to a new vertiginous diagonal. It’s great to try to help the millions of walking wounded flooding our schools and our homes, but give me a break. Let’s get out the mine-sweeper, let’s identify which children should not be vaccinated period, which might be able to get a few without danger (maybe). Let’s get out the facts as they are presently known and let parents make the very tough call for themselves, and let’s stop making chldren walk through the mine field of dangerous vaccines. Putting your head in the sand will not save a single child.

  65. February 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

    It’s time to change the conversation??? Really??? Has Autism Speaks ever really taken an active role in “the conversation” to begin with?? I mean, it’s great that you’ve raised millions and millions of dollars, and spent millions and millions, but what have your results been? Have you cured autism? Have you pinpointed the cause? No. No, nothing has changed. But you don’t want to have a conversation about immunizations. Perhaps we SHOULD have conversations about any of the myriad causes until the actual cause is found. If you dont’ know what the cause is, then how can you say definitively what the cause ISN’T? And by the way, how much does Geraldine Dawson get paid?? For how many years will millions of dollars be poured into research that provides no results?

  66. BILL
    February 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    How can we simply “change the conversation” when so many families share the same story? Health baby..meeting milestones..then regression begins? I think every parent who has a child who regressed into “autism” would really like to see the US Gov’t(NIH/CDC) along with AS do a vaccinated vs unvaccinated study to set the record straight. Once an independent study(not funded by pharma vaccine manufacturers) proves this then we can “change the conversation”. AS you can’t just put your head in the sand and hope all the parents whose children regressed into autism diagnosis while being vaccinated with quantities of vaccines never before seen in the history of mankind are just going to sit idly by. There are way too many of us. We will be heard even if AS chooses to ignore us and our voices. Something happened to our kids post vaccination. PERIOD.

  67. Sarad
    February 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Dr. Dawson,
    The longer you avoid doing a Vax vs. Unvaxed study the more doubt you create within the community. Because of this avoidance, you can only blame yourself for lowered vaccination rates. This is the ONLY study that parents have continuously called for. You will never be able to “change the conversation” when you have yet to participate in it. It’s clear that AS is not an organization that has the stakeholder’s interest at heart. That is why my family no longer participates in your Walk.

  68. February 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Richard Fauth :

    How many kids who died from all of the things you Vaccine Causes Autism supporters can you name? From Chelation?

    You know, the worst part is when people start talking about things they have no clue about. Here’s a thought. Why don’t *you* tell us how many kids have died from chelation in autism therapy? Because I don’t know of any. Only 1 child has died and it was tragic, it was also not because of chelation but because he was given the wrong drug – human error. I suppose we should all stop seeing doctors, then? Mistakes happen everyday in mainstream medicine, our kids are perfect examples. I know a woman that went in for a lung transplant and had the wrong lung removed. I don’t hear anyone screaming that lung transplants are killing people.

    I’m really not interested in arguing with you, my only goal here is to let you know that you’re only being part of the problem for *everyone* when you spread the lies about chelation when the truth is so easy to find. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06018/639721.stm I’m all for a chelation debate and discussing its pros and cons but if you plan to have an argument against chelation, try basing it on facts.

    Just another case of making something fit what you want to believe from something completely untrue.

    • Richard Fauth
      February 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      Deaths Associated with Hypocalcemia from Chelation Therapy — Texas, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, 2003–2005

      Chelating agents bind lead in soft tissues and are used in the treatment of lead poisoning to enhance urinary and biliary excretion of lead, thus decreasing total lead levels in the body (1). During the past 30 years, environmental and dietary exposures to lead have decreased substantially, resulting in a considerable decrease in population blood lead levels (BLLs) (2) and a corresponding decrease in the number of patients requiring chelation therapy. Chelating agents also increase excretion of other heavy metals and minerals, such as zinc and, in certain cases, calcium (1). This report describes three deaths associated with chelation-therapy–related hypocalcemia that resulted in cardiac arrest. Several drugs are used in the treatment of lead poisoning, including edetate disodium calcium (CaEDTA), dimercaperol (British anti-Lewisite), D-penicillamine, and meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer). Health-care providers who are unfamiliar with chelating agents and are considering this treatment for lead poisoning should consult an expert in the chemotherapy of lead poisoning. Hospital pharmacies should evaluate whether continued stocking of Na2EDTA is necessary, given the established risk for hypocalcemia, the availability of less toxic alternatives, and an ongoing safety review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Health-care providers and pharmacists should ensure that Na2EDTA is not administered to children during chelation therapy.

      Chelating agents, especially those intended for use in children, should be effective in reducing lead and other heavy metals from the body without producing substantial adverse effects on levels of critical serum electrolytes, such as calcium. The only agent recommended for intravenous (IV) chelation therapy for children is CaEDTA (1). However, hospital formularies usually stock multiple chelation agents. One such agent, Na2EDTA, was formerly used for treatment of hypercalcemia, but its use has become infrequent because of concerns regarding nephrotoxicity and because of the availability of less toxic alternatives (3). Furthermore, Na2EDTA contains a warning stating, “The use of this drug in any particular patient is recommended only when the severity of the clinical condition justifies the aggressive measures associated with this type of therapy.” According to the package insert, Na2EDTA is “indicated in selected patients for the emergency treatment of hypercalcemia and for the control of ventricular arrhythmias associated with digitalis toxicity.” According to FDA and CDC, the safety and effectiveness of Na2EDTA in pediatric patients has not been established, and its use is not recommended because it induces hypocalcemia and possibly fatal tetany (1).

      In 2005, the Texas Department of Health childhood lead poisoning surveillance program reported a death attributable to chelation-associated hypocalcemia to CDC. Subsequently, CDC queried state and local lead-surveillance programs regarding chelation-related fatalities; additional deaths were identified in Pennsylvania and Oregon.

      Case Reports

      Texas. In February 2005, a girl aged 2 years who was tested for blood lead during routine health surveillance had a capillary BLL of 47 µg/dL. A venous BLL of 48 µg/dL obtained 12 days later confirmed the elevated BLL. A complete blood count and iron study conducted concurrently revealed low serum iron levels and borderline anemia. On February 28, 2005, the girl was admitted to a local medical center for combined oral and IV chelation therapy.

      The patient’s blood electrolytes at admission were within normal limits. Initial medication orders included IV Na2EDTA and oral succimer (an agent primarily used for treatment of lead poisoning). The medication order subsequently was corrected by the pediatric resident to IV CaEDTA. At 4:00 p.m. on the day of admission, the patient received her first dose of IV CaEDTA (300 mg in 100 mL normal saline at 25 mL/hr). At 4:35 p.m., she was administered 200 mg of oral succimer. Her vital signs remained normal throughout the night. At 4:00 a.m. the next day, a dose of IV Na2EDTA (instead of IV CaEDTA) was administered. An hour later, the patient’s serum calcium had decreased to 5.2 mg/dL (normal value for pediatric patients: 8.5–10.5 mg/dL). At 7:05 a.m., the child’s mother noticed that the child was limp and not breathing. Bedside procedures did not restore a normal cardiac rhythm, and a cardiac resuscitation code was called at 7:25 a.m. The child had no palpable pulse or audible heartbeat. Repeat laboratory values for serum drawn at 7:55 a.m. indicated that the serum calcium level was 45 µg/dL (1). The effectiveness of chelation therapy in improving renal or nervous system symptoms of chronic mercury toxicity has not been established. Nonetheless, certain health-care practitioners have used chelation therapy for autism in the belief that mercury or other heavy metals are producing the symptoms (8). Other practitioners have recommended chelation therapy for treatment of coronary artery disease, hoping to eliminate calcified atherosclerotic plaques that can lead to coronary artery occlusions and myocardial infarctions. These off-label uses of chelation therapy are not supported by accepted scientific evidence. The Institute of Medicine found no scientific evidence that chelation is an effective therapy for autism spectrum disorder (8). Because limited consistent data exist on the use of chelation therapy to treat coronary artery disease, a clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of chelation therapy is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health.*

      Deaths associated with lead poisoning are rare (9), and childhood deaths caused by cardiac arrest associated with chelation therapy have not been documented previously (9). As BLLs among children in the United States continue to decline (2), fewer children require chelation therapy. Primary care providers should consult experts in the chemotherapy of lead before using chelation drug therapy. If such an expert is not available, primary care providers should contact state or local childhood lead poisoning prevention programs or the Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch of the National Center for Environmental Health, CDC.

      CDC and its state and local partners will continue to educate health-care providers and pharmacists to ensure that Na2EDTA is never administered to children during chelation therapy. CDC recommends that hospital pharmacies evaluate the need to keep Na2EDTA in their formularies. Case reports of cardiac arrest or symptoms of hypocalcemia during chelation therapy should be reported to the CDC Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (770-488-3300) or to MedWatch, the FDA adverse event reporting system, at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.


      This report is based, in part, on contributions by M Markowitz, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York; SI Fisch, MD, Valley Baptist Hospital, Harlingen, Texas; and E Strimlan, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Office of the Coroner.


      CDC. Preventing lead poisoning in young children: a statement by the Centers for Disease Control. Atlanta, GA: CDC; 1985.
      CDC. Blood lead levels—United States, 1999–2002. MMWR 2005;54:513–6.
      Wedeen RP, Batuman V, Landy E. The safety of the EDTA lead-mobilization test. Environ Res 1983;30:58–62.
      Lesar TS, Briceland L, Stein DS. Factors related to errors in medication prescribing. JAMA 1997;277:312–7.
      Chisolm, JJ Jr. The use of chelating agents in the treatment of acute and chronic lead intoxication in childhood. J Pediatri 1968;73:1–38.
      Aposhian HV, Aposhian MM. meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid: chemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of an orally effective metal chelating agent. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 1990;20:279–306.
      Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta, GA: US Department Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; 1999.
      Institute of Medicine. Immunization safety review: vaccines and autism. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2004.
      Kaufmann RB, Staes CJ, Matte TD. Deaths related to lead poisoning in the United States, 1979–1998. Environ Res 2003;91:78–84.

      * Additional information is available at http://nccam.nih.gov/news/2002/chelation/pressrelease.htm.

      Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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      Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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      Department of Health
      and Human Services

  69. Richard Fauth
    February 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Why the NIH Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) Should Be Abandoned
    Kimball C. Atwood, IV, MD, Anesthesiologist; Assistant Clinical Professor; Associate Editor, Elizabeth Woeckner, AB, MA, President, Robert S. Baratz, MD, DDS, PhD, Medical Director; Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine; President, and Wallace I. Sampson, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine (Emeritus); Senior Attending Physician and formerly Chief of Medical Oncology; Editor-in-Chief

    the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) was begun in 2003 and is expected to be completed in 2009. It is a trial of office-based, intravenous disodium ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (Na2EDTA) as a treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD). A few case series in the 1950s and early 1960s had found Na2EDTA to be ineffective for CAD or peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Nevertheless, a few hundred physicians, almost all of whom advocate other dubious treatments, continued to peddle chelation as an office treatment. They claim that chelation dramatically improves symptoms and prolongs life in 80% to 90% of patients. In response, academics performed 4 controlled trials during the 1990s. None favored chelation, but chelationists repudiated those findings.We have investigated the method and the trial. We present our findings in 4 parts: history, origin and nature of the TACT, state of the evidence, and risks. We present evidence that chelationists and their organization, the American College for Advancement in Medicine, used political connections to pressure the NIH to fund the TACT. The TACT protocols justified the trial by misrepresenting case series and by ignoring evidence of risks. The trial employs nearly 100 unfit co-investigators. It conflates disodium EDTA and another, somewhat safer drug. It lacks precautions necessary to minimize risks. The consent form reflects those shortcomings and fails to disclose apparent proprietary interests. The trial’s outcome will be unreliable and almost certainly equivocal, thus defeating its stated purpose.We conclude that the TACT is unethical, dangerous, pointless, and wasteful. It should be abandoned.

    Executive Summary

    IntroductionI. A Brief History of EDTA Chelation for Cardiovascular DiseaseII. The Genesis of the TACTIII. State of the EvidenceThe Risks for Na2EDTA Chelation and SupplementsDiscussionConclusionReferencesExecutive SummaryThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) is sponsoring a $30 million, 5-year, phase 3 Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) for coronary artery disease (CAD). It was begun in 2003, but after 3 years only half of the planned 2000 subjects had been recruited. The trial involves the intravenous (IV) administration of the chelating agent disodium ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA), for which there was a brief enthusiasm among academics during the 1950s. That enthusiasm ended abruptly in 1963 with the publication of a disconfirming case series. Nevertheless, a tiny but strident group of physicians has continued to administer IV “chelation therapy” in their offices, claiming that it dramatically improves symptoms and prolongs life in 80% to 90% of patients with CAD or peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Chelationists also prescribe high doses of both IV and oral vitamin and mineral “supplements,” asserting that these are necessary additions to the regimen. Unless otherwise stated, in this article “chelation” refers to IV infusions of disodium EDTA given with such supplements.In response to chelationists’ claims, between 1990 and 2001 academics conducted a series of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), studying a total of nearly 300 subjects. They found no evidence that chelation is superior to placebo for the treatment of CAD or PVD. Chelationists repudiated each of these studies.We investigated the social and the scientific histories of chelation therapy beginning in the 1950s. We examined TACT protocols and consent forms, which, in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the NIH provided to us with curious redactions. We examined the existing RCTs and the numerous case series cited by the TACT protocols. We examined evidence for risks, including information that is not in the standard medical literature. We examined various hypotheses that advocates have offered to explain how chelation “works.”We present our findings in 4 parts. First, we provide a brief history of the use of disodium EDTA as a treatment for CAD. Next, we describe the origin and nature of the TACT. Next, we discuss the evidence for chelation as a treatment for CAD and for atherosclerosis in general, and place it in the context of other proposed treatments that have been ineffective after an initial period of enthusiasm. Finally, we discuss the risks. For each topic, we contrast our findings with relevant statements in the TACT literature, to the extent that such statements exist.

  70. Richard Fauth
    February 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    •Since the mid-1970s, court documents and newspapers have reported at least 30 deaths associated with IV disodium EDTA, most of it administered by ACAM members. Nevertheless, not one death is mentioned in TACT literature, and the ACAM has long maintained that “millions of infusions have been administered over the last 30+ years, without any deaths being noted, when used in accordance with established guidelines.” There is ample evidence of chelation morbidity, ranging from annoying side effects to life-threatening complications. An ACAM “Fellow” who belittles such risks has identified himself as a member of the TACT Data and Safety Monitoring Board.

  71. Marsha Williams
    February 24, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Marsha Williams :
    I need help, my son is showing signs of autism. I need help to cope with his disorder.
    thank you,

  72. Jeannie Brown
    February 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    M. Williams :I need help, my son is showing signs of autism. He is aggressive and has repetitive behavior. He does not respond to his name and flaps his hand all the time. He has a routine behavior also.
    thank you,

    Ms. Williams

    Please get him into a developmental pediatrician immediately. I am a behavior therapist for children with Autism and I can tell you this; EARLY intervention is the KEY. Call your doctor!

    • February 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm


      Yes, Please take Jeannie Brown’s advise. My son was showing similar signs at 13 months of age and we were able to get him in an amazing program thru Easter Seals. Colt has had incredible successes and early intervention is KEY!

      And, of course, you have probably read Colt’s phenomenal progress with the Vitality supplement. I’m not pushing, I’m simply sharing our son’s story.

      God Bless,

  73. February 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Richard Fauth :It was not my intention to insult you personally. If you believe that a supplement that yor child is taking helps im ok with you doing so provided safety has been determined in a resonable and rational way-most have not. Im ok with you sharing your secret recipe with others-provided some eficaccy has been demonstrated. Unfortunately the standard of resonable and rational has not been met for the vast majority of supplements. So if i, or anyone else, suggests that you try say bath salts-are you ok with it?


    I can say with confidence that this nutritional supplement ( Vitality ) has been the vehicle for Colt’s significant improvement. We have been thoroughly engaged in our son’s life starting him in Easter Seals’ early intervention program when he was 16 months of age. We have also tried the GF/CF diet for 1 1/2 years with not much success. 82 days ago, Colt started taking Vitality. His world has opened up! I am not making any medical claims. I am sharing Colt’s story. Vitality is, for all intensive purposes, “food”. And, yes, I checked with our lead scientist to see if Vitality would be safe for our son as it is recommended for adults. All of our children are different. We are blessed that Colt does not have any known allergies nor is he taking any medications.
    Why we even started Colt on the Vitality is because of a wonderful study that was published connecting Autism with a mitochondrial dysfunction. And what I knew about this supplement is that it is specific to supporting and rejuvenating our mitochondria.

    I would be more than happy to share Colt’s journal with you along with the ageLOC Vitality information and dysfunctional mitochondria study.

    If Colt’s story can help just one other child …. a success in my book.

    God Bless,



  74. February 9, 2012 at 4:29 am

    I really love reading your comments guys.I learn a lot from you.

    Thank you so much


    Day Traders

  1. February 17, 2011 at 11:45 am
  2. February 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm
  3. February 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm
  4. February 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm
  5. March 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm
  6. March 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm
  7. April 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm
  8. April 13, 2011 at 1:20 am

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