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April 2: Autism Awareness Day


Henry

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Comedy Central is presenting its second "Night of too Many Stars" autism benefit, hosted by Jon Stewart on April 13th.

I've known a young man with autism for some years, now, and I'm horrified about how some of the kids treat him in school. There's simply not enough awareness about how it can effect people. He is extremely intelligent, but has trouble in social situations, and is picked on, at times. On top of that, both of his parents have died, so I'm concerned about what will happen to him.

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My 5 year old son is a high functioning Autistic. He was diagnosed at 2. We knew something was wrong when we got to his 2nd birthday and he had yet to say a word. Not even babble.

After lots of doctor visits, diagnosis, different drugs, and 3 years of pre school he will start "regular" Kindergarden next year. He has made huge progress, but he lags in certain areas. For example in testing he just did, in some areas he tested on the level of a 7 year old, but others only on a 3 year olds level.

He has out of control case of ADHD, which is common for Autistic kids.

They took the mercury preservative out of the vaccinations in 2001, so anyone that tells you in the increase in the rate is due to that, is pushing a political agenda against big pharma (RFK Jr).

1 in 166 is the overall rate, for boys it is 1 in 90. My wife and I have met through therapy sessions etc many families with Autistic children and it is HEAVILY weighted to boys. Girls are more rare. No idea why.

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i just saw a special on tv the other night about an autistic lady who couldnt speak but they gave her a keyboard and she learned to type.

she finished a 4 year college degree but it also showed where she had her autistic moments and would stare at the sink and play with the water with some spoons she always carried around.

it was odd to hear her words about what it was like being autistic and physically unable to communicate or show emotions

Temple Grandin's story might interest you. She's one of the most successful autistic people ever - she's a professor at Colorado State and has been an advocate for both animal welfare and autism awareness. Heck, she's accomplished more than most people, autistic or not.

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Comedy Central is presenting its second "Night of too Many Stars" autism benefit, hosted by Jon Stewart on April 13th.

I've known a young man with autism for some years, now, and I'm horrified about how some of the kids treat him in school. There's simply not enough awareness about how it can effect people. He is extremely intelligent, but has trouble in social situations, and is picked on, at times. On top of that, both of his parents have died, so I'm concerned about what will happen to him.

Thanks for posting about the benefit on the 13th...I'll definitely set my DVR for it.

It's a shame that kids can be so cruel...sometimes without even realizing it. I work with children with autism & I talk to my own 2 boys about my students (nothing specific to any one student...just general things regarding autism). I hope by educating them they will be kinder and more understanding to any kids they meet at school who have autism. Maybe they can be good role models for the other kids. I also take opportunities as they present themselves to educate the regular ed kids in the schools that I work.

Your friend will be in my thoughts & prayers...he's been through a lot & I hope everything works out for the best for him.

Amy

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Thanks for posting about the benefit on the 13th...I'll definitely set my DVR for it.

It's a shame that kids can be so cruel...sometimes without even realizing it. I work with children with autism & I talk to my own 2 boys about my students (nothing specific to any one student...just general things regarding autism). I hope by educating them they will be kinder and more understanding to any kids they meet at school who have autism. Maybe they can be good role models for the other kids. I also take opportunities as they present themselves to educate the regular ed kids in the schools that I work.

Often, kids will lash out at people they don't understand. Education and awareness goes a long way in raising their level of understanding, and that ultimately is the key to more acceptance/better treatment among peers. Your work goes a long way in making that happen.

Your friend will be in my thoughts & prayers...he's been through a lot & I hope everything works out for the best for him.

Amy

He still has people around him that care about him, siblings, family friends, etc., and he's tough, and smart, so I think he'll be fine. I appreciate your thoughtfullness.

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Thanks for letting me know that today was Autism Awareness Day...

Coincidentally, today my wife and I brought our 2 month old son in to have his first round of vaccination shots. We had been worried about it for quite some time and have spoken to several Drs. and nurses about our concern. Especially after the recent Atlanta case where the girl had the mitochondrial disease that was exacerbated after the vaccinations she received.

It's amazing how the answers and advice we received covered the whole gamut:

...from a Dr. who when we told him our concerns about Autism and asked his thoughts about a modified vaccination schedule, he scoffed at the idea and proceeded to get on his soapbox and tell us about all of the irresponsible people out there who refused to have their kids vaccinated and left the rest of the population at such extreme risk...he later apologized for getting so worked up and said he had had a long and stressful day...

...to the Dr. who ensured us that the a practice did everything they could to protect and ensure the welfare of its patients. She re-assured us that the girl from Atlanta had already been diagnosed with the mitochondrial disease (from her mother) and that if our boy had other health concerns that would be exacerbated by the vaccines, they would've told us about it.

There were various answers from other nurse practitioners and health professionals that all pretty much said the same thing, only they came in different packages, some more tactful and empathetic than others (all these answers came from the same practice).

My wife and I are first time parents and obviously just want to protect our son and do what's best for him. We aren't healthcare professionals and read as much on the internet as anyone else. We thoroughly agree that vaccinations are a necessity...but can't disregard the rise in autism cases as well as some of the stories that are related.

It's not just a case in black and white...because there is no clear cut answer to anything yet and there is constant research trying to find the answer, the factions aren't limited to "VACCINES" or "NO VACCINES" and people need to have more sensitivity those who question.

I commend you for being proactive, not necessarily for vaccines specifically but just for that type of approach overall in dealing with your child's health, in trying to learn information and discuss your concerns and questions with your pediatrician's office. I had a friend a few months ago who isn't anti-vaccine by any stretch of the imagination and was simply a mother with some concerns who tried to ask her pediatrician some questions about vaccines. She wasn't permitted to discuss anything, was told that the practice was pro-vaccine, was asked if she was getting the scheduled shots that day or not for her son, and was eventually told her visit was being changed to a sick visit (or whatever, changed from a shots visit). And she came in planning to get the shots, she just wanted to discuss some things with her pediatrician. Needless to say, she switched doctors and now has a pediatrician who is willing to converse with her about concerns for her child's health. Strange concept, huh? Ironically, after the Poling case recently, Sanjay Gupta on CNN recommended for concerned parents to discuss any vaccine questions with their pediatricians.

By the way, all of what that second doctor said is innaccurate, assuming she stated it as your post indicates. The girl had not been diagnosed with any mitochondrial issues prior to her decline following the immunizations. You can read the chain of events correlating to her symptoms, immunization dates, and diagnoses at the following link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/the-vaccineautism-court-_b_88558.html

Additionally, her sentiment that "if our boy had other health concerns that would be exacerbated by the vaccines, they would've told us about it" underscores one of the major problems with vaccine safety. There is extremely little research conducted to identify more susceptible individuals or subsets. The only individuals that are typically specified as vaccines being contraindicated for are those who are allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine itself (an egg allergy for the flu vaccine, for example) or if a person has already had an adverse reaction the vaccine. However, as I said, there is extremely little research conducted to determine those with certain genetics that may leave them more predisposed to vaccine-related injuries, those with certain medical conditions, those whose bodies are more impaired in handling detoxification, those whose immune systems may be compromised, etc.

And I agree with your last point, and it's unfortunate that many take such a polarizing stance on vaccines on either side of the issue. I've read a ton of studies, articles, anecdotal information and accounts, video and audio conferences from researchers and doctors, etc. over the past couple years, and I really don't see how anyone can say with any strong conviction that vaccines are solely responsible for autism (or at least the vast majority of cases) or that vaccines are not attributable at all in a causal or contributatory role to autism in at least a fair share of ASD diagnoses, let alone any cases period. I think a large influence on the latter view is the rigid stance the AAP, CDC, etc. have maintained over the years, which is unfortunate as these agencies are often littered with employees with conflicts of interest and disregard a lot of scientific research, not to mention anecdotal accounts, for health issues across the board in addition to the aforementioned vaccine concerns.

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Joe, the vaccines that you and I got when we were younger contained thimerasol but the FDA has actually done a good job in eliminating thimerasol from vaccinations. Since 2001, I believe vaccinations no longer contained thimerasol or mercury...

Thimerosal is currently and has been for years in the majority of flu vaccines, which are on the CDC recommended schedule for children annually from 6 months to 59 months (I think the recommendation was recently expanded to kids up to 18 years). The only state that actually mandates them is now good old Jersey, with the requirements to take effect this fall. However, they've been on the recommended schedule for several years for children, initially for those deemed high-risk and then as the standard vaccine recommendation for all children. Thimerosal is also still in some other vaccines such as some Hep-B and Tetanus shots though I have no idea how frequently the thimerosal versions are administered vs. the others and likewise, what the case was for the past several years.

The current thimerosal content of vaccines can be viewed from the multiple tables on this site: http://www.fda.gov/Cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm Take the Engerix Hep-B, for example. It appears that there are 2 pediatric versions, one which is thimerosal-free and the other which isn't. I don't know how many of each are currently produced and administered, but from these tables, it seems that both exist for childhood immunizations. Additionally, it appears that the thimerosal-free version was just created in 2007 so I'd expect that the thimerosal-containing version was the only Engerix version being produced and likewise administered to kids prior to 2007.

Additionally, any unused stocks of vaccines were not recalled after the requested discontinuance of thimerosal: (from http://www.autism-help.org/thimerosal-vaccination-autism.htm)

"[announced in 2002] The USA Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) state that: although thiomersal was to be discontinued in some paediatric vaccines, they would not be recalling any unused stocks, as there is no proof that low doses of thiomersal is dangerous, and that the change was purely cautionary."

The onset of symptoms is simply coincedental with the time frame that typical childhood vaccines are administered. I'm sure to parents of autistic children the anecdotal evidence seems apparent, but that's a far cry from establishing anything related to vaccination as a verified "trigger" mechanism.

In many, if not most of these cases with a strong temporal link, the onset of the autistic symptoms and developmental regression is preceded/accompanied by an immediate reaction to the vaccinations, frequently manifesting in a fever. I'd contend that the opposite of what you're saying is true, and there is very little research conducted and scientific basis for dismissing vaccines as a causal/contributory role when symptoms and health conditions present following vaccinations.

(from http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21774793-421,00.html)

Take, for example from the above link, a number of adverse reactions from schools in Australia including a paralysis case immediately following Gardasil vaccinations. And the statements that "Health authorities have denied the cases are directly related to the immunisation" and "Five were taken to the Monash Medical Centre, but hospital staff ruled out vaccine complications." I'm curious as to what exactly is the science behind these determinations? What testing was conducted to confirm this, and what was the analytical process used in each case to assess the situation and determine that the vaccine was not a causal or contributing factor?

If you are prescribed a medication, take that medication, and soon afterwards develop a symptom, the medication is pretty much always suspected to be the most likely culprit, with the exception of known symptoms of previously-existing conditions (ie. the person has weekly migraines) or other blatant factors (the person drank a gallon of Draino). Why are vaccines viewed differently, in fact, the entire opposite end of the spectrum in most cases, as vaccines are summarily dismissed off the bat without any real investigation?

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By the way, if anyone wants to know a little bit more information about some things being looked into for the treatment of autism, the article written by Jill Neimark for Discovery Magazine a year ago should serve as a good introduction: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/apr/autism-it2019s-not-just-in-the-head

I don't know if the article was posted on this board in the past as it is a year old, but if memory serves me correctly, the article is a decent overview of treatments and analyses of autistic children in terms of the manifestation of autism within a child's body (doesn't delve deep into examining causation factors though it does touch upon them).

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