UPDATE: Sun-Times endorsement of autism quackfest remains online even after editor claims it was “incorrect”

See the bottom of this post for an update on the Sun-Times‘s “proud support” of AutismOne.

On Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times published a fawning, credulous Q&A with Jenny McCarthy, who has been more responsible than anyone in the country for advancing the spurious idea that there’s a connection between vaccines and autism.

The hook was the annual Generation Rescue/AutismOne quack-fest that’s held in Chicago each spring. This year, as in years past, the conference is featuring Mark and David Geier, a father/son team who peddle sham autism “treatments,” including injected children with massive doses of the drug used to chemically castrate sex offenders, and Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor who first advanced the notion that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine could be linked to autism. (The Geiers are under investigation for their practices, and Mark Geier has had his medical license suspended in multiple states; Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license several years ago after the U.K.’s General Medical Council found he displayed a “callous disregard for the distress and pain” of children he was experimenting on.)

As painful as the Q&A was, what was most offensive about the story was its concluding line:

The Sun-Times proudly supports Generation Rescue and Autism One^.

I wasn’t the only person who noticed this. Jim Romenesko, perhaps the savviest observer of the media landscape for the past decade and a half, picked up on it as well. He emailed Jim Kirk, a former media columnist who is now the top editor at the Sun-Times:

Back when you were the Chicago Tribune media columnist, you would have needled the Sun-Times for doing this; now you’re the guy who’s ultimately responsible for it.

Come on, Jim, you can do better than this.

Yesterday, Kirk responded. Anyone hoping for a mea culpa is going to be sorely disappointed:

[T]he wording used to describe the Sun-Times’ involvement was incorrect. It should have read that the Sun-Times is a media sponsor of the event, nothing more. The article should not have stated or suggested that the newspaper supports — or doesn’t support — a particular cause.

Unfortunately, Kirk’s message, like the Sun-Times‘s coverage, does not seem to be grounded in the real world: Kirk sent his email yesterday, on May 16. As of today (May 17) at noon, the piece remains on the Sun-Times site with this ending:

What’s especially odd about this is that other revisions have been made to the piece in the last two days. For instance, on Tuesday, I called out the Sun-Times for writing that the event was “free”; in reality, there’s a $25 “processing and materials” fee. As of late yesterday, the Sun-Times had changed its description of the event to read, “Admission free; processing and materials $25.”

Kirk also told Romenesko that “a plan has been in the works to transition the Cause & Event column from a community affairs freelancer to an editor.”

This doesn’t make much sense, either: The author of the piece is not a “community affairs freelancer.” It is, as Romenesko noted, someone named Alisa M. Alexander, who happens to be the public relations VP of Wrapports, the company that owns the Sun-Times.

So what’s going on? Does Kirk have so little power that he doesn’t have the authority to make corrections to a website he’s supposedly in charge of? Is the Wrapports PR team dictating what appears in the pages of the Sun-Times? I’ve reached out to Kirk for some explanation of what’s going on over there; I’ll obviously report back if/when I hear from him. If there are any other Sun-Times staffers who have any insight into the situation, drop me a line — I’m happy to talk to you off the record.

UPDATE, May 21, 7pm: It looks like the Sun-Times has followed through on what Kirk said the paper should have done in the first place: When I checked the article today, the “proudly supports” language had been changed to read, “The Sun-Times is a media sponsor of the event.”

^ May 29, 2012, 6:15 pm: Per reader Narad’s comment in this post, I un-sicced the Sun-Times‘s spelling of AutismOne as “Autism One”; he makes an interesting point. I’m not sure what the ultimate spelling should be, but certainly it seems there’s a legitimate case for spelling it as two words.

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81 Responses to UPDATE: Sun-Times endorsement of autism quackfest remains online even after editor claims it was “incorrect”

  1. Eileen says:

    Seth, please sign our petition on Change.org to demand that the Chicago Sun-Times provide equal space for parents who advocate autism acceptance and evidence-based practices.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-chicago-sun-times-for-the-article-on-jenny-mccarthy-provide-space-for-parents-who-support-autism-acceptance-to-respond

  2. Autism One is amazing.

    Seriously… it is like coming home. Being in a place where there is so much information and encouragement and people (both professionals and parents) with a driving passion to find things that will make your child’s life better is like coming into the sunlight after having the crap beat out of you in a tornado.

    You sit next to a mom, start chatting, figure out your child has a problem that hers used to have… “Does he also have X symptom? Have you had him tested for Y? Because Dr. M is speaking on that in two hours. Here is my phone number and email… if you think this might be what is happening with him, call me and I will get you a copy of Research Paper W, and you should call Professor T at University P. If he does have it, call me, I host a weekly conference call of parents dealing with it and they can offer tips on what worked when they did intervention Q, and what side effect L looked like in their child so you know what to be careful of.”

    And then you do it and he has it and you treat it and when he wakes up at 2 am with strange behavior K, and you can’t your pediatrician on the phone, and Seth Mnookin is comfey in his bed and of no help… but that mom who was a stranger to you when you sat down is happy to take your call and let you know that, “Yes… 2 am Behavior K is something that we see often… it only lasts about three nights, no worries, call the doc in the morning.” or “No… I have not heard that from anyone, might wanna stay up and keep an eye on it,” or “Beth’s son did that, and thirty minutes later he had a massive seizure. You might want to get to the ER.”

    Or should I call you at 2am to get your advice Seth? What with you being so invested in my child’s health and functioning.

    Hey… while I have you… Chandler as of late has been giggling in class a lot more, and it started at the same time that he got a mild rash on his back. Any thoughts on what that might be? Because my pediatrician never has answers to questions like this. Or should I just accept it because looking for a solution is anti-science and means I hate my child and don’t accept him for who he is? Could you tutor him on the stuff he is missing in Social Studies because he can’t stop thinking about how hilarious Phineas and Ferb are?

    Oh… wait… I am going to Autism One in three days. There will be about 3,000 people there who will have ideas on what might be going on with him, have medical, dietary, and educational ideas on how to help him, and will be happy to call me for the next month to see how he is progressing.

    But Seth Mnookin says I should not go because Jenny McCarthy likes to be naked. Gosh… tough call… find cutting edge solutions to make my beautiful baby happy, healthy, functional, social and educated from people who spend all day every day thinking about how to help kids like mine; or be in the same building with someone who is slutty. What to do, what to do…..

    The things that that community has done for my son… well I cannot put into words how grateful I am for what people have risked and sacrificed and spent on our child and those like him. I have one doctor who spent 4 hours with me doing a detailed history, he guy is a fricking Columbo, and never charged me a dime. To be with people who could not give a crap what the world thinks of them, that they just want to see my baby healed and happy and living his best life… It is like walking into a hotel full of love and wisdom. And kids (and adults) can be as weird and difficult as they possibly can be, and instead of judgment and crass bitchiness like you put out… they are surrounded with understanding and affection and two dozen people with in year shot who drop what they are doing to figure out how to help (not jerks who declare them “disruptive” and have them escorted out of the building)… Seth… you are so clueless!!!

    Seth… you truly have no idea how wrong, destructive and awful your writing is to children like mine. Chandler was severe when we started, and now he is happy, verbal and mainstreamed in a 4th grade classroom with an aid. Your opposition to biomedical treatment for children with autoimmune disorders, mito disorders, chronic viral and bacterial infections, and who have been poisoned (all of which resulted in neurological regression) is the avocation of child abuse and neglect! It is a joke. It is pathetic. It is cruel.

    ‘Stop healing children! I declare it unscience and disallow it! Quick… get a petition out there to say we disapprove of making children healthier! Don’t even TALK about new possibilities for children with autism! Put them in a closet and ACCEPT that they will stay sick, unhappy, aggressive, disconnected, confused, obsessed, anxious, afraid and stressed out beyond measure! To do otherwise is anti-science and means you hate children with autism!’

    SHUT UP SETH! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!

    Autism One is freaking awesome. And strange how you don’t mention that professors from Harvard also come, and that the keynote address is being given by a Nobel Prize winner.

    People’s children are sick and seizing and drowning and being assaulted in school, but Seth is on the story.. on the difference between “Free” and “A $25.00 processing fee?! for like two hundred hours of lectures on ALL topics autism… that is being streamed for free online?” Someone get this man a Pulitzer.

    Mr. Mnookin… Go away and leave our kids alone. You clearly could not give a rodent’s hiney, about our children, you have already declared parents like me who want to make their own vaccine decisions, “Total Assholes.” We have registered your opinion. Now just stop talking.

    Your journalistic carpet bagging is pitiful and transparent. If you were looking for a safe career move, you should realize that you came late to the party and this is a poor long term investment. If you had been making these claims like Orac in 2004, people might have listened, but biomed is now mainstream. The strange little club of people who want to let children with gut issues continue to suffer in them is coming apart quickly. Where I was mocked for taking gluten out of my son’s diet eight years ago, there is now gluten free everything in every food seller in this country. And half my neighbors are gluten free to treat their own autoimmune issues!

    And you did hear your friend Kurt Anderson’s interview with Walter Zardnoy where he did not get the answer to the vaccine/autism question that he was quite expecting… didn’t you? http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2012/04/dr-walter-zahorodny-believes-vaccines.html

    “Kurt Andersen (Seth Mnookin’s friend): “I guess we know what they (the causes of autism) aren’t, for instance childhood vaccines. Right?”

    Dr. Zahorodny: “Vaccines don’t play a significant role in autism increasing. Some small number of children probably do have autism because of an adverse vaccine reaction, but they don’t make for the overall rise.””

    If you have trouble discerning what he was saying… his answer to the yes or no question on whether vaccines can cause autism was YES! If you sit quietly and listen to which way the wind is blowing… that is happening a lot these days. But I don’t know if you can hear it over the sound of you and your friends screaming “SCIENCE!!” at the top of your lungs.

    The open secret it out. Vaccines can cause autoimmune reactions that cause brain inflammation that cause brain damage that cause “autism”! Addressing that autoimmunity and other factors allows the brain to heal. Addressing mito issues allow the brain to be powered. Addressing blood flow issues allows the brain to be oxygenated. Addressing GI issues allows the brain to be fed. Put it all together and the brain gets healthier and works better. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! It can be explained to the man on the street in 15 minutes. Everyone gets it now.

    There is a reason that you are having to stomp your feet at every new media piece on vaccines, autism or biomed… because people are becoming educated, they know how much damage is being done, they know the vaccine program and the toxic assault on babies is not sustainable, that autism is a rising disaster, and that pretending that Off it is not completely absurd in his claims is not longer an option. AND YOUR BULLYING DOES NOT WORK ANY MORE, because people care more about children than they do about being in your stupid faux science club!

    Have you not noticed how your world/fans/meetings/book sales are getting smaller and smaller, as ours are getting bigger and bigger?

    You have stepped into the end of a dying paradigm. Best career move you could make now is to go write another book about baseball or move on to an in-depth exploration of the evolution of classic American Blues into Rap in the information age.

    Or go ahead and stick around until the party is completely over. Just make sure you turn out the lights when you leave.

    • Thomas says:

      “Autism One is amazing.

      Seriously… it is like coming home. Being in a place where there is so much information and encouragement and people (both professionals and parents) with a driving passion to find things that will make your child’s life better is like coming into the sunlight after having the crap beat out of you in a tornado. ”

      Why does Autism One exclude anyone who has awkward questions from attending this wonderful event? Why do the pro-children blogs like this one welcome your opinions, even when they are as mature as the following:

      “SHUT UP SETH! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!”

    • WhiteandNerdy says:

      Of course one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientists to see that the vaccines cause autism movement is just a healthcare scam.

      Anyone with the integrity to listen to Dr. Zahorodny’s actually words will hear that he explicitly rejects the idea that vaccines and/or thimerosal cause autism. His view is contrary to yours, but one would never know that from your selective quoting.

      It takes much less than 15mins to point out that you have grossly misrepresented the autoimmune/inflammatory aspects of autism. But after many years of your error being corrected over and over….we have reached the point where the only possible explanation is that you just don’t care what the truth is.

      And you failed to post that a number of prominent biomed docs/testing labs are in court facing fraud charges.

      This is one of the reasons that we have justice systems: to protect children when their parents won’t do so.

      Pathetic—but that is the situation with the anti-vaccs.

      W&N

  3. Seth Mnookin is a Journalistic Carpetbagger Who Should Shut The Hell Up.

    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2012/05/seth-mnookin-is-journalistic.html

    • WhiteandNerdy says:

      Yawn,

      Adventuresinautism–unable to articulate an argument that stands up to middle-school science–is reduced to name calling.

      No surprise, what the anti-vaccs lack in reason they more than make-up for in unethical conduct.

      Most of the world Ms Taylor is laughing…

      W&N

      • Yawn. Nice. Children seizing, drowning, dying, being abused, shoved into horrible facilities, being electrocuted, bullied, raped, can’t get medical care, banging heads against walls, walking into traffic… and all you have is a yawn. What kind of a low life yawns at what is happening all around him?

        What is your name again? Who are you exactly? And why should I care what a serial anon thinks? Yes please Mr. No Name… lecture me about ethics.

        • WhiteandNerdy says:

          Anyone paying a tiny bit of attention to the actually facts, will notice that a number of examples have already been posted here where you were either unable to follow the basic English meaning of the words–or outright lying.

          Of course your errors have been pointed out over and over….guess that answers the question.

          Doesn’t really matter: one can’t be functionally literate and have basic integrity and believe adenturesinautism.

          W&N

          • Twyla says:

            W&N, your comments are tiresomely repetitive, and devoid of any substance.

          • WhiteandNerdy says:

            Twyla,

            What you really object to is that I keep posting links so readers can fact-check.

            Surprise: the anti-vaccs are intellectually and morally batting zero.

            What you find very tiresome is the truth. Too bad.

            W&N

          • Twyla says:

            Nope, W&N, I’m never tired of the truth, but you do not present the truth nor facts – just slurs, distortions, and untruths..

          • WhiteandNerdy says:

            Gosh Twyla,

            You/Ginger are the literally arguing below that non-autism is autism. And your failure to get the basic English meaning of the words correct has been pointed out to you over and over for many years…

            I think that what makes you really mad is the obvious contrast.

            I post the Banks ruling–you have to know that this is the honest way to proceed, allowing readers to see the facts for themselves.

            Adventuresinautism did NOT post the Banks ruling. Not only are the statements there untrue, but they have chosen to act in such a way as to make it more difficult for readers to learn the facts.

            Pretty simple.

            W&N: factually correct and providing the means for readers to verify the facts.

            Adventuresinautism: not truthful and not providing the means for readers to verify the facts.

            W&N

  4. Eileen says:

    Ginger,

    All of appreciate the support and camaraderie of other parents of kids on the spectrum. No one is disputing that. And that feeling of acceptance and belonging can be found in many autism communities, not just AutismOne. The primary difference is how we view autism and our children. I do not see my children as sick or soulness – you will remember the line from Louder Than Words – “the loss of soul in his eyes” – and Ms. McCarthy does, as it seems do many of those at AutsimOne. And many of the presenters have advocated for things that can harm kids – like the Geiers with their Lupron. We all want to help our kids, but at the cost of their health, both mental and physical. And the constant descriptions of those with autism as damaged and injured does more than harm than help in the world outside of autism. It does not engender respect for those with autism, nor does it make their lives sound worthy or complete.
    And we are allowed to disagree without warranting the kind of angry attacks you display here.

    • mama2esb says:

      My 8-year-old son has Asperger’s, and I think it makes him a better person. Because of this high-functioning autism, he’s likely the most honest, creative, sensitive child I know. He’s not “souless” or “damaged,” he’s brilliant! We have lots of therapy in place to help him function in the more “normal” aspects of society, but there is no other way I would “change” him. And I am certainly not going to try unsanctioned and dangerous treatments that Autism One and Generation Rescue say to do to “cure” him. I love my baby the way he is, and he is going to be something great someday because he has autism, even if you people in the anti-vaccine and have to cure my kid of autism movement think otherwise!

  5. Twyla says:

    Thank you so much, Ginger, for responding to Seth Mnookin with such eloquence. You are right on the mark.

    And thank you, Chicago Sun Times, for a good article to counterbalance the trash published in the Chicago Tribune.

    • WhiteandNerdy says:

      Nice to see Twyla that have completely given up on even the pretense of caring about the truth.

      Good news: any one paying a tiny bit of attention can’t help but notice that what you posted isn’t true: telling someone to “shut the hell up” clearly isn’t an eloquent posting.

      Similarly anyone that bothers to listen to Dr. Zahorodny’s actually words will hear that he explicitly rejects the idea that vaccines and/or thimerosal cause autism.

      But then that is the point: once one gets rid of all the personal attacks and falsehoods, the anti-vaccs are left with basically nothing.

      Better news: one would have to be remarkably stupid to believe adventuresinautism.

      W&N

    • Ken says:

      Twyla, if you don’t like what the Chicago Tribune publishes, then why don’t your pals just ban its reporters from the AutismOne conference?

      Oh, wait. They already do that. Never mind.

  6. Jenny says:

    Have you bothered to read the science that you are calling quackery?
    There are respected doctors and researchers who present on evidence based medicine for topics like seizures and metabolic issues.
    My son is autistic but he also has epilepsy and other comorbid conditions that have been diagnosed by mainstream doctors.
    Should I neglect his health?
    You, Seth, are an ignorant fool.
    And Eileen, I am so happy to hear that your son isn’t sick. But mine is.

    • Eileen says:

      I don’t have a son, but two daughters who have made enormous progress through inclusive education, healthy eating, opportunities to learn and grow, and lots of unconditional love. And the sickness you describe may well be more in your perspective. I know parents of children, with autism and without, whose kids have food allergies and gastrointestinal issues, but they do not view them as just “sick” nor “damaged” nor “injured.” Have you any idea how you have much you have hurt the way the rest of the world views our children? Do you even care?

    • Jenny, everyone was hoping that you left the autism conversation. What made you jump back in?

  7. Thomas says:

    “You, Seth, are an ignorant fool.”

    And yet he lets your comments appear here, while the Autism One people expel anyone who ask any awkward questions at their sales pitches.

  8. Eileen,

    “I do not see my children as sick or soul less.”

    First… and with all due respect, you don’t honestly think that Jenny or me see our children as “soul less” do you? It was a metaphor! Of course our children have souls!

    If I said, “my child got the Pertussis vaccine and turned into a zombie,” I would not mean he was an ACTUAL zombie. Both are merely descriptions of dramatic shifts in affect and functioning. I would hope that you would give other autism parents the basic benefit of the doubt that they love and value their kids, rather than claiming that their use of common literary devices suggest that they think their babies are “Children of the Corn.”

    And second… whether or not you “see your child as sick” is irrelevant. Either your child IS sick or he IS NOT. Does your child have symptoms of physical illness? Does he have normal bowel movements, healthy skin texture, good muscle tone, appropriate sleep patterns, etc? If so, great! Then your child may not be sick. But if he has seizures, then he is sick. If his labs are off, then he is sick. If he has a white coat on his tongue, then he is sick. If his cheeks are bright red like he came in from the cold, always… then he is sick.

    But frankly, if you don’t “see your children as sick,” and unbeknownst to you they actually are, then that kind of sucks for them, doesn’t it?

    I have to be direct with you here Eileen… You infer that somehow you are a better parent than me for seeing your child as healthy, when I see my son as physically and medically in need? When my child IS actually medically in need? That is messed up.

    You suggest that because I look for medical issues in my son with medical symptoms, including the symptoms of DTaP encephalopathy, autoimmunity and mito dysfunction, which all have neurological impacts, that I don’t “accept” my son??! Eileen, that is totally fucked up.

    “My girls have made amazing progress through love, education, encouragement, and acceptance.” Wonderful! But my son, because I believe he is vaccine injured (because he meets the VICP diagnostic criteria for vaccine encephalopathy) and because I treat him medically for that injury (and he improves physically AND neurologically as a result), I must not love, educate, encourage or accept” my child? You really think that?

    And this is just egregious: “In the future, please consult an autistic person or real parent…” Jenny McCarthy is not a REAL PARENT?! Am I a “real parent” Eileen? Does attending AutismOne revoke ones qualifications as a “real parent?” Where is this “real parent” credentialing received… I want to see if I can apply.

    Eileen, I am sure that you feel that you are somehow providing a service to those with an autism diagnosis in advocating as you are, and I am sure that the high value you seem to place on people with autism is VERY encouraging to some, but you have got to understand how horrible that kind of treatment is to parents like me.

    You equate emerging medical treatment with parental hatred of children. Do you think that will encourage doctors to properly explore, diagnose and treat children like my son? Do you think that will help our family be treated well in our community? Or do you only care about how “real” autism families with “real parents” like you are treated?

    “You don’t torture them with unproven and dangerous treatments in a futile effort to turn them into the child you wanted.” Really Eileen? Feeding my child organic cucumbers and making him watch “Nemo” in a hyperbaric chamber is “torture”? Blood draws to track his lead toxicity akin to being stretched on a rack? Making him take vitamins in the same category as waterboarding? Seriously?!

    Tell me, where in my community do you see parents calling those who choose not to use biomed, “not real parents” or criticizing them for failing to properly access their potential medical needs? No where. Because as much as I wish all parents would undertake such exploration, we understand that your children are under your purview and you love them and make the best decisions as you understand them for your child. I think that they are wrong, but frankly, that is none of my damn business unless you either ask my advice, or start abusing your child.

    We give you the benefit of the doubt that you love your child and are acting in what you earnestly believe are their best interests, knowing full well that we don’t know the details of your children’s story, needs or medical picture, so we have no room to judge. It would be great if you offered us that same grace and support rather than penning ugly petition letters that make it clear how much better you think you are than me and my ilk.

    Shame on you for treating our families with such disgust and disregard.

    Jenny McCarthy is a real mom. I am a real mom. I am a kick ass mom at that. My sons are awesome. Make sure you take a hop by my site where I posted videos of him, my little “torture” victim, and see if you look at him and think, “my god! What has she done to this poor child! Call CPS, he is clearly scarred for life!” I fight for my children and I fight for as many other children as I am able to. My son is doing great, he is valued, he has more soul that Seth Mnookin and has done amazing on his biomed plan for the last eight years, WITH NO SIDE EFFECTS.

    Please stop diminishing families like mine. We don’t do it to families like yours.

    Please remove that ugly and offensive petition.

    • WhiteandNerdy says:

      The real point is that if you invested .0000001% of the effort you spent as an anti-vaccs in looking for the facts you would see that everything you have argued/posted is a complete crook.

      It is completely trivial–requiring only high-school math skill and integrity–to see how the entire autism epidemic is a fabrication, and how the anti-vaccs actively try and hide this fact.

      Similarly it is complete trivial to see how they actively deceive parents with bogus tests and treatment.

      All one has to do is to care enough to look.

      W&N

      • You know what… your in-depth critical analysis of all I have written over the last eight years has changed my mind. I retract everything I ever wrote.

        In these four sentences you have blown me out of the water. I am going to go cancel my plane tickets to Autism One, get my chapter pulled from the paperback version of Vaccine Epidemic coming out in the fall, and go feed my son twinkies injected with the MMR.

        Thank you for helping me see the light.

        • WhiteandNerdy says:

          I have over many years provided you examples where you could fact-check the anti-vaccs.

          Every single time the anti-vaccs were wrong and every single time you didn’t care and simply continued knowingly posting falsehood.

          Just par for the anti-vacc course….

          I have over many years provided you examples where you could fact-check the anti-vaccs.

          Every single time the anti-vaccs were wrong and every single time you didn’t care and simply continued knowingly posting falsehood.

          Just par for the anti-vacc course….

          But hey, not to worry….you have lots and lots of name calling on your side

          W&N

          W&N

  9. Sorry.. some of those “he”s should be “she”s.

  10. Two last comments:

    “And the constant descriptions of those with autism as damaged and injured does more than harm than help in the world outside of autism. It does not engender respect for those with autism, nor does it make their lives sound worthy or complete.”

    Hogwash. Either someone is vaccine injured or has sustained brain damage, or they haven’t. I had a neurologically typical child, he got the DTaP vaccine, displayed the symptoms of Pertussis Vaccine Encephalopathy as defined by Federal Health Authorities, and was diagnosed with “Autism”. As “encephalopathy” is the medical term for “brain damage” he is therefor, brain damaged.

    Denying his injury harms him. It prevents him from getting proper medical treatment.

    Further his value, how he is “seen” by other, whether or not he is of worth or worthy of respect or his life “sounds incomplete” has exactly jack shit to do with the nature of his “autism”.

    My son is valuable PERIOD. He is worthy PERIOD. He is to be respected PERIOD, EXCLAMATION POINT! How he got to where he currently is makes no difference in any of this. I don’t care if his “autism” was caused by genes or vaccines or aliens or sharks with fricking laser beams on their heads. People with autism are valuable because they are people, and all people are valuable.

    If you have two people with severe mental retardation, one has Downs and the other was hit by a drunk driver the night he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School, which one is of greater value, more worthy of respect or has a life that is more complete?

    Neither!

    Don’t tell me my vaccine injured son is some how pitiful and your non vaccine injured daughters are majestic princesses!

    Causation has ZERO TO DO WITH VALUE. That argument is dumb, and it is a trap. ALL of our loved ones with “autism” are to be loved, valued, supported and fought for REGARDLESS of causation and REGARDLESS of functioning level.

    And we make causal statements on the grounds of science and evidence, not PR.

    “And we are allowed to disagree without warranting the kind of angry attacks you display here.”

    I have not launched an attack on you. I have launched one on Mnookin. Because he is horrible at what he does, because he lies and because he so damn destructive, arrogant and wrong.

    • WhiteandNerdy says:

      Big old yawn.

      Even if you choose to ruthlessly censor it, the data showing that autism starts in utero is overwhelming. Just like the fact that anti-vaccs actively try and deceive parents into believing that the autism started after vaccination is a matter of public record.

      Speaking of lying:
      http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2009/05/contradictory-rulings-in-vaccine-court.html

      Here is the Banks ruling:
      http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Abell.BANKS.02-0738V.pdf

      Notice: “non-autistic developmental delay”
      adventuresinautism flat out lied when it offered this as an example where the court had ruled that vaccination caused autism.

      Here is the Poling case:
      http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/CAMPBELLSMITH.%20DOE77082710.pdf

      Notice: encephalopathy, not autism.
      adventuresinautism flat out lied when it offered this as an example where the court had ruled that vaccination caused autism.

      We can keep going line-by-line through adventuresinautism, but the bottom line is that it isn’t just a collection of anti-vacc falsehoods and outright lies….the fact it that the site can only be described as blithering idiocy.

      Too bad some parents simply don’t seem to care.

      W&N

      • Twyla says:

        From the Bailey Banks case:
        Neurologist, Frank Berenson, M.D. describes Bailey Banks as having defining characteristics of autism as listed in the DSM-IV such as: “speech delays, and social interactive difficulties (e.g., poor eye contact and biting)” and “However, he added that “[s]ocially there continues to be difficulty. His eye contact is variable. He has limited to no imaginary pretend play.”

        Bailey’s pediatrician on 20 May 2004 wrote that he had “autism”. Later he changed this to “pervasive developmental delay” which is actually the broader category under which autism falls. Many doctors use PDD and autism interchangeably, and there is not a clear line between the two.

        Treating neurologist Dr. Ivan Lopez said that Bailey did not qualify for a diagnosis of autism for autism “because over here we can find a specific reason for his condition and this is not just coming up with no reason.” “Dr. Lopez distinguishes autism as a more generalized condition without a known etiology, and contrasted it to Bailey’s condition, which he says is clearly attributable to demyelination based on neuroimaging evidence.” “Speaking more directly, Dr. Lopez stated that ‘Bailey does not have autism because he has a reason for his deficits.’” So, if the timely MRI had not been done and the evidence of demyelination was not apparent, then according to this way of thinking he would qualify as autistic. In this case, a cause for autism could never be found, because if you found a cause then it would not be autism.

        “Dr. John MacDonald is a pediatric neurologist and has been board certified in neurology with special competence in child neurology since 1980… Regarding the medical records that indicated that Bailey was or is autistic, Dr. MacDonald said, ‘I think he falls into that autistic spectrum pervasive developmental disorder category, and that seems to be fairly consistent.’ Tr. at 84. He noted, however, that a majority of people ‘use these terms somewhat interchangeably.’ Id.”

        “Only later on was a diagnosis given, and that diagnosis was merely descriptive, not etiological: that of PDD, which is the condition both parties acknowledge that Bailey currently experiences. Even Dr. Lopez’s treating diagnosis focuses on PDD as the continuing diagnosis, even while ascribing its development as ‘probably secondary to an episode of acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis that [Bailey] had at 18 months of age after this vaccine.’”

        “To bolster the Court’s current gathered knowledge that ‘PDD is more descriptive than it is an actual diagnosis’ (Tr. at 64), Petitioner references the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 4th ed., filed in part as Pet. Ex. 49:
        “The clinician using [that manual] should therefore consider that individuals sharing a diagnosis are likely to be heterogeneous even in regard to the defining features of the diagnosis and that boundary cases will be difficult to diagnose in any but a probabilistic fashion….Nonclinical decision makers should also be cautioned that a diagnosis does not carry any necessary implications regarding the causes of the individual’s mental disorder or associated impairments. Inclusion of a disorder in the Classification…does not require that there be knowledge about its etiology.”

        “Both Petitioner and Respondent vouch for the credibility of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, referenced supra, and that source is very forthright in describing its own limitations in describing PDD with both accuracy and precision. The Court does not accept the quibble posited by Respondent, and follows the caveat stated by the authors, who acknowledge the heterogeneity found in the general classification PDD. The same authors are quick to note that PDD carries no assumed etiology, and that Petitioner’s theory of causation makes equal and greater logical sense than any other etiology that is apparent from the medical records.”

        Bailey Banks is and was autistic. Those who argued for him in court avoided that diagnosis because the vaccine court is far more likely to rule against a claimant who has the “autism” label than if the focus is on the underlying medical cause.

        You cannot draw a line between encephalopathy and autism because encephalopathy just means disease or injury of the brain. You cannot draw a line between encephalitis and autism, because encephalitis just means inflammation of the brain, and inflammation has been found in the brains and nervous systems of people with autism.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155

        Hannah poling was diagnosed with “regressive encephalopathy with features consistent with an autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development.”
        http://www.autismpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=Etiology_of_Autism/Vaccine_Damage/CHILD_v._HHS
        If you have the features of autism, you have autism. That is how autism is defined, not by blood tests or x-rays or genetic profiles. It is defined (in summary) by impaired social skills and communication and narrow interests/perseveration.

        Ginger Taylor is not a liar and she is not trying to deceive anyone.

        • WhiteandNerdy says:

          We can all read.

          The adenturesinautism link is very clear: courts ruled that vaccines cause autism.

          In the Banks case the court was clear: ” non-autistic developmental delay”.

          And for anyone that bothers to read the first two pages, the court was very, very clear. The Banks ruling was about a “sub-threshold” condition with “some but not all features of autism”.

          Not only is the claim that a court ruled that vaccination caused autism a flat-out lie, but it is predicated on parents being too stupid to figure out that a “non-autism” ruling isn’t a ruling for autism.

          Poling case: as you point out the case was about encephalopathy not autism. Once again the anti-vaccs flat-out lie about the case.

          The anti-vaccs continue to just make things up as they go with nonsense like you can’t draw a line between autism and encephalopathy.

          Even the most trivial attempt at fact-checking demonstrates that obvious and important differences in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis between autism and encephalopathy. Again, no matter how many times the facts are pointed out the anti-vaccs just will not tell the truth.

          And again with respect to inflammation, you continue to confuse etiology and pathology of autism. Another standard anti-vacc error that they just will not correct.

          Bottom line: the anti-vaccs simply can’t not “win” in the scientific, medical, legal worlds because basically everything argue isn’t true.

          If the anti-vaccs fool you once shame on them, if they fool you 10,000 consecutive times then the only possible conclusion is that you just don’t care.

          W&N

          • Twyla says:

            W&N, if you can read, then why do you say that “the claim that a court ruled that vaccination caused autism a flat-out lie”? It is obvious from the decision that Bailey was diagnosed with autism by some doctors, that his treating neurologist said that the reason why he was not calling it autism was because they knew the cause, that PDD is not even really a diagnosis but the broader category that includes autism, that many doctors use the terms “PDD” and “autism” interchangeably, and that Bailey Banks is described as having the primary characteristics which define autism such as impairments in language, social interaction, and pretend play. Maybe they meant “PDD-NOS”, which is on the autism spectrum, rather than “PDD” which is the category including autism. Fact is, he was enrolled in a program for autistic children. All this quibbling over definitions is a smoke screen. Call it vaccine-induced encephalopathy if you prefer. This is what is affecting thousands of children today.

            The court found that, ” Furthermore, Bailey’s ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his developmental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD.”
            As Bob Krakow said, “There’s a growing conviction that if you have a autistic client who has also been diagnosed with encephalopathy/encephalitis or seizure disorder, you are better off not mentioning the word ‘autism’ if you want to win the case.”
            See the discussion here:
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-and-david-kirby/vaccine-court-autism-deba_b_169673.html

            W&N, I generally try not to argue with you because it is kind of like doing combat with a hydra, the mythical serpent-like Greek monster which grew back multiple heads whenever one was cut off. I fully anticipate multiple verbose nonsensical comments but I simply don’t have time to respond to all of them.

            The bottom line is that Ginger is not lying. Her interpretation of this case is shared by many. Rather than calling anyone who disagrees with you a liar, you should just stick to making your arguments.

          • WhiteandNerdy says:

            Twyla,

            This is really, really easy.

            Adventuresinautism: ” we heard that the same court said that MMR caused Baily Banks autism.”

            Fact: the ruling was for ” Non-autistic developmental delay;”
            Fact: adventuresinautism chose not to post the actual ruling for readers to verify the truth

            You telling us that he also was diagnosised with autism is a clear attempt at distraction from the actually issue: what was the court ruling?

            And the fact that the anti-vaccs have systematically lied about the Banks case has been pointed out to you many times over many years.

            It is also a fact that you actively choose to ignore the anti-vacc misconduct.

            E.g., here is a huge Whopper from adventuresinautism:
            http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2011/02/scotus-rules-if-you-are-injured-by.html

            ” The Supreme Court has just ruled that if you are injured by a vaccine, you have no right to sue anyone for it.”

            Of course anyone with the tiniest spark of intelligence would go the Supreme Court site and read the actual ruling:
            http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf

            Page 6 of the PDF: all US families can sue for vaccine injuries.
            Look at that: adventuresinautism is caught lying again.

            And anyone paying attention can’t help but notice the anti-vaccs posting very often this same lie.

            And you have to know why they continue to lie about this. Parents have sued in US Civil courts claiming that vaccines caused autism and the fact that the anti-vaccs are a complete con has been clearly exposed by the courts.

            Here is one example that I have provided to you before:
            http://www.astarcourts.net/Blackwell_v._Wyeth_408_Md._575.pdf

            All the vaccines cause autism arguments were ruled junk science, and the court details how the anti-vaccs literally make up data to support their POV.

            Clearly the anti-vaccs continue to lie about this because it is a healthcare scam. They know that basically everything advocated by adventuresinautism, ageofautism, etc, etc isn’t true–they just don’t care.

            W&N

  11. DIANA says:

    Biomed works. Thank goodness I didn’t listen to our mainstream pediatrician. He had long lost all credibility as my fully vaccinated kids were so sick all the time. He missed completely that my kids bowels were impacted. But, to his credit, he gave me his ‘underhanded approval’ to continue biomed because ‘you can’t argue with results’

    (Hint hint to the former (?) drug addict)

  12. Eileen says:

    Have you seen the comments of the people who signed the petition? I am not removing their comments or feelings, or the petition. And forgive me if I missed the subtlety of the metaphor, but that is why I quoted it exactly – it say that the soul have left me, that he was not the complete person he once was. I cannot understand how you don’t see the correlation between phrases or “metaphors” like that and the way our kids are treated in the world by government policies, teachers, medical personnel, etc. You cannot call our kids damaged human beings, who are injured and soulless and then call it a metaphor and walk away from the damage it causes.
    I don’t tell other parents what to do; as someone who is part of the community I leave that up to parents. My kids take plenty of vitamins, and I have no issue with the GFCF diet for those people it helps because it doesn’t harm anyone. However, I will speak out when I know something is not good for kids. Lupron is not intended to treat autism; chelation can be dangerous by attaching to healthy brain tissue, or releasing dormant and benign mercury in the system and causing damage; IVIG therapy can transfer diseases and is intended for cancer patients; and hyperbaric oxygen chambers can cause brain damage if too much oxygen is delivered. Not to mention there is no clinical proof that any of this works, and it costs a fortune. Yet in her book, Jenny and her doctor actually recommend parents take out a second mortgage on their house to do it. That is not fair, and I will speak out about it. You are free to do as you choose, but I am also free to disagree.
    We all want to help our kids. I just won’t risk their health to do it because I know they are full of love and worth, autism or not.

  13. Eileen says:

    I am not going to comment further, if I can help it. This is America – we can disagree and all advocate in our own ways. Please don’t tell me that I do not have the right to express my feelings. You have your conference, and I have no objection to that. I just object to a newspaper endorsing it because it does not represent many of us in the autism community.

  14. WhiteandNerdy says:

    Mr. Mnookin,

    Sometimes it is easy to predict the future.

    1). You will continue to get vulgar, hate-filled responses like Ginger’s.

    2). Almost all parents can see the fact that adenturesinautism, ageofautism etc, etc arguments are complete BS.

    3). The real victims? People like Chandler who have had 8 years of “biomed” treatments. And after all her efforts, Ginger still just can’t string together sufficient intellectual capital to see that her son’s development is entirely normal.

    Pathetic job of parenting, but there you go…..

    W&N

  15. Eileen says:

    Ginger et all,
    Please forgive my typos…and please notice that I tried to stay civil and you dropped f-bombs at me and were full of sarcasm and contempt. You nastily and sardonically refer to my daughters as “majestic princesses.” Really? You felt the need to mock my children???
    There are people in the autism community who disagree with you, how you view autism and how you recommend helping kids with autism. How do you think autistic adults feel when they hear Ms. McCarthy’s comments about the loss of soul? You can’t just angrily spout off expletives and “metaphors’ and then expect people not to become upset. Autism is a sensitive subject for all of us. Maybe it’s time for your team to become more sensitive to the feelings of everyone involved.
    And I do believe with every fiber of my being that when you view your child as sick and damaged, and put him or her through every experimental treatment around, they feel that they are not okay as they are. Trying to help them feel better with stomach issues and seizures is fine (my younger daughter has seizures by the way), but trying to eradicate autism is different because I believe it is an intrinsic part of who they are. Trying to help them cope with the harder parts of autism is fine; hating autism is not because it is a part of who a person is. That is just how I see it, and I have a right to express what I feel.

  16. DIANA says:

    What? The one who could care less about children’s suffering wants people to care about her feelings? Please. Autism is a made up word to mask the FACT that these kids are medically ill. They get well and lose the diagmosis. It is not ‘normal development’. Recovered kids tell their friends that they were vaccine injured. Kids who dont do biomed dont recover. Some parents coddle the condition for fear they will lose disability checks and some are willing to take a second mortgage ro heal their kids so that their kids can become taxpayers. Insurance pays for nothing useful, in fact it was what got us into the mess in the first place. There are no studies on the entire shot schedule, we are to believe all tgose untested shots are safe but chelation is dangerous? Dangerous to what? Continued blind compliance?

  17. Eileen says:

    Diana, you are so nasty. My girls have made exactly the same progress you describe as “recovery” through education, maturation, chances to participate fully in school and life, and lots of love. If I had done what you prescribe, I might think it was the “therapies,” but I would be wrong. If anything, all those missed days of school, and the emotional and physical trauma of IV’s, the side effects of chelation, and the risks of oxygen chambers would have slowed their progress and potentially created more problems.
    Why are you all so mean when people just object to the description of “loss of soul” and the cult-like insistence you have that everyone do exactly as you do? And if we question the safety of those practices, you call us names and swear at us? Once again, I learn the lesson that there is no civility on your side. What do you think all that anger does to your child and your life? All I ever get from the Generation Rescue people is bullying and name calling. I don’t call that community. The irony is long ago I went to your crew for help and when I asked reasonable questions I was berated and insulted. Not a good way to get new recruits. I educated myself and I disagree. Why can’t you just let that be?

  18. DIANA says:

    So long as my kids dont have to support yours, I don’t care what you do so long as your kids aren’t in pain. And, for the record, no missing of school is rewuired to implement biomed. And, my son wanted to get IVs because he said ‘it really makes me feel better.’ He is indistinguishable from peers, has always been mainstrramed, and frequently scores highest on tests and other school assignments. Lately he begs me to adopt other ‘autistic’ kids ‘so you can fix them, too, Mom’. No lack of empathy there. You could learn from him….

  19. Eileen says:

    Diana, you should really stop posting because you are just coming off nastier and nastier with every post. “As long as my kids don’t have to support yours.” ????? Really? You must understand that even those on your team admit not everyone with “recover” with any therapy. Dr. Kartzinel in the book he wrote with Ms. McCarthy estimates 30% of the kids he treats make no progress. Are you resentful of government programs that help those kids? How about those with Down’s Syndrome? What an absolutely hateful thing to so.
    I would imagine right about now the people at Generation Rescue are cringing at your comments. Comments like those are what fuel petitions like mine.

  20. Eileen says:

    You give the impression that if a child remains significantly autistic, the parent has failed. Do you realize what that kind of remark does to parents who are trying so hard to gain acceptance for their children? The kind of discimination and judgment it invites? And if you know the cure to autism, why are there still kids of those on your “team” who remain autistic?

    Wow, I will just never get over your remark that you resent your higher functioning child, who potentially will be able to work and live a normal life, supporting children and adults who cannot do so.

    Jenny, if you are still reading this, do you see the problem now?

  21. DIANA says:

    70% DO show improvement, why wouldnt one want to investigate biomed when the odds are in your favor?

    Why are you the only one who is entitled to an opinion? And what makes you think anyone would associate me with Generation Rescue? My opinions are my own.

    And, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. What happens when ‘autism’ affects one in three adults. (Extrapolating the recent increases in incidence shows children born today have an incidence of 1in 29.) There’s a pretty good chance people will be indifferent to a lot more than the ‘feelings’ of those autistic adults.

    Shooting the messenger doesn’t chamge the facts.

  22. Thomas says:

    Diana: Thank you for demonstrating that Ginger’s smug assurance that no one in the antivax community ever attacks non-biomedical parents for their choices is a lie. You have been very helpful.

  23. Eileen says:

    I am pretty much done with this. I didn’t say 70% improved; I said according to Dr. Kartzinel 30% showed no improvement. That doesn’t mean I believe his statistics about the other 70%, nor does it mean that they improved because of the biomed. As I stated my girls made exactly the kind of progress he calls “recovery” over time with education, patience, chances to engage in life, and lots of unconditional love. Why must you twist everything I say?

  24. DIANA says:

    Such hypocrisy. Twist everything I say and accuse me of attacking and cursing and name calling. Why am I not terribly surprised.

    At least there was a tacit admission that the ‘avoid healing them through biomed’ approach doesnt result in the same caliber of recovery that biomed yields.
    Which is understandable, a medically sick kid needs more than unconditional love and special ed to heal.

    • Billy says:

      “Some parents coddle the condition for fear they will lose disability checks”

      Wow. In the antivax world I guess that claiming that the only reason that parents are choosing to forgo biomedical “treatments” is so they can get disability checks is not an attack.

  25. Eileen says:

    Last comment – you did call me names and accused me of lacking empathy, and you said vulgar things about my children and others as well, as did Ginger. There was no tacit admission of anything. You seem so angry, and I know better than to argue with someone so angry. If everything is working out so well for folks on your side, why are you always so quick to hit below the belt and attack?

  26. DIANA says:

    I’m not angry. Incredulous perhaps but not angry. You can’t particularly point out where I did all those things you allege, for obvious reasons.

    I noticed you ignored the elephant in the room, too. How will society function when all these autistic kids are autistic adult wards of the state?

    • Ken says:

      You are begging the question, since there are no data to indicate an autism epidemic. If there is no epidemic, then the percentage of autistic adults will stay the same. That’s something else that has been pointed out to you again and again. We can only assume that you don’t care about real evidence.

      • ISIS says:

        No one said epidemic, nice red herring. In any event, the recently-released four year old data shows a prevalence of 1 in 88. Extrapolating to kids born today, the rate is 1 in 29. How is society going to function with such high numbers of people who can’t support themselves and who require so much care? The question has been asked three times now, but people have only chimed in to try to sell their books and/or reassure one other that those of us who have ‘responders’ are really just in a cult and our kids would have magically gotten better anyway.

        And, I know the word ‘epidemic’ is typically saved for those instances where a handful of fully-vaccinated kids get a ‘vaccine-preventable’ disease, but let’s call a spade a spade. Heck, even the miscreants at Autism Speaks say there is an epidemic. “With the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers now showing that 1 in 88 children in the United States are being diagnosed with autism – nearly a doubling of the prevalence since the CDC began tracking these numbers – autism can now officially be declared an epidemic in the United States.” http://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2012/03/29/1-88-we-need-strategy

        So, what are we going to do when all these ‘autistic’ children become adults? The incidence of ‘autism’ is going up, that is undeniable.

        • Ken Reibel says:

          “The incidence of ‘autism’ is going up, that is undeniable.”

          What’s undeniable is that you don’t know the difference between incidence and prevalence.

      • Twyla says:

        Ken, the CDC’s own statistics show an increase from 1 in 150 among 8-year-olds in year 2000, to 1 in 88 among 8-year-olds in 2008. Multiple sources show a huge increase in autism, including school statistics and state agency statistics. As you know, a UC Davis study found that only a fraction of this increase can be explained away by factors such as better diagnosis. The increase is real.

        1ep·i·dem·ic adj \ˌep-ə-ˈdem-ik\

        Definition of EPIDEMIC

        1: affecting or tending to affect an atypically large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time —compare endemic, sporadic

        2: of, relating to, or constituting an epidemic

        from Merriam-Webster

        • Ken Reibel says:

          The CDC’s own statistics come from school records. In the last ADDM survey, conducted in 2008, 21% of the children identified with an ASD had no previously known diagnosis. Think about that, Twyla: one in five children identified as autistic were either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. And yet Jenny’s angry mob keeps telling us that autism is easy to spot.

          This is the part where you change the subject.

        • Ren says:

          Actually, Twyla, you might want to consult a textbook on epidemiology to define epidemic for you, not a dictionary. Further, you may want to actually study the subject. An epidemic is the occurrence of a disease or condition occurring at levels higher-than-expected for a population for a unit of time, e.g. year. Because we don’t know what to expect — what is baseline — we can’t really be out and about throwing terms like “epidemic”, especially if you’re not an epidemiologist.

  27. Thank you Seth for this post, and Eileen for your petition. As far as the comment thread goes: There is little merit in arguing with self-appointed cult leaders. We’re not going to get through to them — Jenny McCarthy’s entire industry and her followers’ entire belief systems would collapse if they stopped telling the world that their children are broken, or that autism is an epidemic & disease. We can only work towards real change by positive role modeling for people who have questions about autism rather than those who are trying to sell false answers, by including autistic people in autism conversations, and by trying to reach people before they fall for such dangerous misinformation.

    One thing you can do to work towards real change? Buy a copy of the new book Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, and share it with someone who needs support — whether in general, or with developing critical thinking skills re: evaluating autism approaches in general. Ask your library to stock a copy. Give a copy to your pediatrician, or your district’s superintendent or special ed director. Use our mission statement to explain why (see http://www.thinkingautismguide.com. And remember that, as a Thinking Person, you are never alone when it comes to countering dangerous autism misinformation.

  28. Wow. Just wow. Ms. Taylor wrote over 1,600 words in that comments, self-appointing herself as the spokesperson for all the parents of autistic children everywhere at all times. I am yet to read anywhere from Mr. Mnookin or others about throwing autistic children in the closet. I have also not found anything in any scientific source whereby a rash has any effect on behavior. But, you know what? Those long rants seem to me like they’re therapy for Ms. Taylor, like she has no real outlet for her anger. I’ve read her stuff. Same anger. Same sadness. Her blog is an echo chamber, so she needs to come take over this one and derail the comments section to get some discussion going. Thing is, she’s not willing to listen. She never really has shown any will to listen. She sees threats and personal attacks from everywhere at all times. Sad. Sad. Sad.

  29. qwerty says:

    Jenny,
    Do tell, is your education in immunology, epidemiology, infectious diseases and statistics the result of Google searches as well? I’ve read the studies from the ‘respected’ scientists you speak of. I have a feeling that you and I have very different definitions of what constitutes respected science. You seem to think that respected science is absolutely anything that supports your misguided views.

    Ginger,
    You truly are a nasty person. You may be a fantastic mother, I wouldn’t know, but your writing is filled with hate. I seriously doubt you walk away from the keyboard a happy and loving person. Oh, and by the way, trumpeting Nobel Prize winning Luc Montagnier’s attendance at AutismOne might score you points with other pseudo-science-loving parents, but it really shows how superficial your understanding of biomedical science is.

  30. STJ says:

    Reading Seth makes me sick. Reading Ginger’s rebuttals at least makes me feel better. Until they get deleted. I totally agree- Seth- leave these families and their children alone. Until it happens to YOU, you won’t get it. The refusal to believe that one size does not fit all is just ludicrous. Too bad there’s not a vaccine for big pharma liars.

    • Thomas says:

      “Reading Ginger’s rebuttals at least makes me feel better. Until they get deleted.”

      If you really believed that Seth deleted all opposing views, you wouldn’t waste your time posting here, would you? That fact that Ginger took the effort to write thousands of words here shows that she knows that Seth is honest and open than she is.

  31. Peter Doyle says:

    Let’s all bow and listen to the HEROIN Addict Seth. Thanks for spreading more hate. Your a very sad misguided person.

    • Chris says:

      Be sure to go up to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr and ask him about his former heroin habit. I am sure he will appreciate that you thought of him during this trying time.

  32. Mr. Doyle,
    Just like AoA and Generation Rescue listen to RFK Jr., also a recovering heroin addict? The hypocrisy of the antivaccine crowd is tremendous.

  33. ISIS, do all autistics require ’round the clock care. Are they all that helpless that you think they will crush society because of their needs? I see Jake Crosby going to and from DC to harass scientists with no problems. He writes pretty good fantasy stories, too. And there are plenty of other people with autism who are even better adapted than him. Please tell us, how many of those 1 in 88 are helpless? And how does that compare to the prevalence of other disabilities?

  34. Frustrated... says:

    This was a piece on whether or not the Sun-Times endorsed Autism One. Like every other blog post that mentions vaccines/anti-vaccines.etc. it turned into a nasty free for all..where people sling mud..or self promote their books. Same story different day. Nothing changes.

  35. DIANA says:

    No, thats the part that illustrates that Ken doesn’t know the difference between incidence and prevalence. Both are high wrt so called ‘autism’

    • Ren says:

      Nope. Incidence is the number of new cases per unit of time divided by the population at risk. Prevalence is the number of existing cases per unit of time divided by the total population. Doing a little math will tell you why your statement is incorrect and why 1 in 88 is a measure of prevalence and not incidence.

  36. Trishinspace says:

    Why are people so freaked out about any of those numbers? Who cares if 1 out of 2 people on the planet are autistic? It’s not like we’re talking about the black plague and wiping out human existence. Stop looking at your children and other autistic people as if they are going to kill you…you’re safe and the world is safe and the human race shall go on…at least until a meteor takes us all out. Having autistic people in our population isn’t a bad thing and you shouldn’t want to rid the world of a portion of the population based on a genetic marker…that’s genocide and pretty friggin sick. Lighten up, love more and stop acting like your world is ending.

  37. Angelina says:

    You know, it’s really sad that people just can’t agree to disagree. My kids ARE biomed responders and have lost their diagnosis. I am NOT an idiot, I am not in or the head of a cult, I can read and understand science above middle school, I am college educated, I can THINK for myself. The bottom line is this: There are some people that are waiting to see what the science says. There are some people that believe that the current science is the qualivlent to Scott paper. I was a parent that was not willing to rely totally on science to guide me in my treatment options. I wanted the labs-they were ordered by my doctor- and not bogus labs (as it was indicated earlier in this thread somewhere). My kids were very vitamin deficient, my kids were suffering from many undiagnosed food allergies, gut dybiosis, and other things that I need not get into here. I wanted answers and I got them. If another parent doesn’t want labs ,doesn’t care to do biomed, or doesn’t want to read for themselves, call me crazy but I simply don’t care. I also don’t want anyone caring what I do either. So what if the Sun Times supports whoever? What do you care ? Whether the numbers are real, imagined, or the whole epidemic is inflated / not inflated people should have options for treating their kids. If people want to get together to share great information, bad information, basket weave, or pray I am not concerned with them and am certainly NOT threatned by it. All I know about our situation was that there was something medically wrong and as I treated it, the diagnosis was gone. Step by step, symptom by symptom, NOT with magical fairy dust which has also been implied earlier in the comments. I worked my tail off for what I got in return. If someone else doesn’t want to, thats on them and their kids. Advocating or not advocating for these things needs to be left up to the parents and ONLY THE PARENTS. If you are not a parent of an autistic child then yes, shut up. Let the rest of us do WHATEVER it is we need to do. When some asks me what I did I tell them. I don’t give a rat’s butt what they do after that. I don’t need Mr. Mnookin to think for me or Jenny Mccarthy. Please stop implying that every person who tries biomed is some wandering, illiterate,drooling fool that is up praying a rosary every night for their kid to be “normal”. You can love and accept your kids and still want them physically well. You can try an “unapproved” treatment for something and not be a regular Russian roulette player. There are some peole who are scared of biomed, I don’t think or say they are total cowards. I call don’t call them out on what they do or don’t do. What they do is THEIR BUSINESS. This is still America and you bet there is money to made on BOTH sides of this issue, so everyone needs to read EVERYTHING and think for themselves!!!!!!!!

    • Matt Carey says:

      You miss an important point: we can make good or bad decisions for ourselves. “Informed consent” for our children is a huge responsibility.

      “If people want to get together to share great information, bad information, basket weave, or pray I am not concerned with them and am certainly NOT threatned by it.”

      Who says that people who raise the alarms about bad medicine are “threatened” by it? Or “scared” by it as you also assert? I question whether you actually understand the people you are responding to.

      I am not threatened by people who sell faux autism treatments. They will not harm me or mine.

      I have enough empathy to feel sickened by the thought of children driven to vomiting and diarrhea by being forced to drink bleach (a “therapy” promoted at AutismOne this year).

      Some very smart people have been taken in by medical charlatans. In fact, the bad guys shape their pitch present themselves as an option for smart, thinking people who want an “alternative”.

      • Angelina says:

        Seriously though, I mean isn’t that their problem or their kids problems? For me (and I mean this is only for ME) I never chose to do something controversial like say chealtion. I know people that did it and know people that didn’t. I don’t really care. There is a risk with EVERY SINGLE MEDICAL INTERVENTION. People need to know what they are doing and the risks they are taking (as best that they can) and do whatever they need to do for themselves and their families. There are people who feel the exact same way about the other side of this issue. Like you said, no harm will come to me and mine so….and that is my point. No one really knows anything. I just happen to feel that splitting hairs over the fee at a meeting that doesn’t affect your life might seem a indicative of someone feeling threatned. This is just my opinion of course, but isn’t that why we are all here- to share? I understand who I am responding to (believe me I do) I just so happen to have a passion for letting others do their thing. No harm came to my children from the interventions that I have used. If it did (and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone) It would be my problem. Thank you though for being polite and not attacking me personally-it really is appreciated.

        • Matt Carey says:

          ” If it did (and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone) It would be my problem.”

          Respectfully, it would be your child’s problem.

          ” No one really knows anything. ”

          First I don’t agree with this. But, apparently you don’t either as you are taking advice from people who claim to know things about how to treat autism.

          “Like you said, no harm will come to me and mine so….and that is my point.”

          Not what I said. Perhaps you could refrain from putting words in my mouth.

          While you are very clear that you don’t care, I do.

          I care about Tariq Nadama.
          http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2007/07/the-dan-treatment-of-tariq-nadama/

          I care about Katie McCarron
          http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2006/06/katie-mccarron/

          I care about Jude Jordan.

          I don’t accept your idea that I should remain silent.

    • Finding the Truth says:

      ” I am NOT an idiot, I am not in or the head of a cult, I can read and understand science above middle school, I am college educated, I can THINK for myself”

      Which is why you enjoy an event where no opposing views are allowed.

      • Angelina says:

        Lol, I wasn’t there. Again, I read and think for MYSELF!!!!! I don’t care what they say at Autism one I do what I do.

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