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Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of California’s Mind Institute in Davis, was one of the few scientists willing to read Kennedy’s manuscript. “It’s a mixed bag,” she said to me over the phone. She believed that Kennedy had stacked the book with too many problematic studies that he cites as evidence of thimerosal’s contribution to neurodevelopmental disorders. “But it is not true that there is a body of scientific evidence that has put this question to rest, as the CDC asserts.” In fact, on a possible connection between autism and thimerosal, she said, “I think the question still remains to be answered.”

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Jul 27, 2014, 05:58 PM (1 replies)

As reported by WaPo article controversial chapters were DELETED from the book so title is misleading


Robert Kennedy Jr.’s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril
By Keith Kloor July 18


Some of the most controversial sections — the chapters connecting autism to thimerosal — Kennedy took out at the last minute, though there are still references to a link to autism. Hyman convinced him that such claims were too combustible and would distract from the book’s core argument, that “the evidence suggesting a link between thimerosal and a large percentage of neurodevelopment disorders … mandates action.”


AND, THREE ALLIES unnamed in the paragraph that first references them? Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Martha Herbert (extrapolating from quotes in article) and Lyn Redwood (stated in her account above).


Robert Kennedy Jr.’s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril
By Keith Kloor July 18

Sen. Barbara Mikulski listened impassively as Robert Kennedy Jr. made his case. He had to talk over the din in the marbled hallway just outside the Senate chambers, where he was huddled with Mikulski, two of her aides and three allies of his who had come to Washington for this April meeting.


The Maryland Democrat turned from Kennedy without a word. “I want to hear what you have to say,” Mikulski said, looking up at the lean man standing next to her. Mark Hyman, a physician and best-selling author, is Kennedy’s chief collaborator on a then-unpublished book titled “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,” which is scheduled to come out next week. The book argues that ethylmercury — a component of thimerosal — is harmful to human health. (Not so in trace amounts, scientific authorities have concluded.)

“The bottom line,” Hyman said to Mikulski: “We shouldn’t be injecting a neurotoxin into pregnant women and children.” Thimerosal should be taken out of the flu vaccine, Hyman and Kennedy argued.


Kennedy, fit at 60, insists he doesn’t want to fan these fears. All six of his children — ages 13 to 29 — have been fully vaccinated, he says. But he disputes the consensus opinion that trace amounts of thimerosal are no cause for concern. Some researchers are sympathetic to this view.

“We know from the biological literature that extremely low doses [of mercury] are harmful,” says Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist and autism researcher at Harvard University. “To me, it’s a no-brainer. Why would you put a neurotoxin in vaccines?”

Herbert accompanied Kennedy and Hyman in Washington. The discourse on vaccination is so highly charged that “you can’t say anything without immediately being labeled,” she says. “This is the most delicate issue I’ve ever dealt with in my life.”


Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Jul 27, 2014, 05:56 PM (0 replies)

Important overview.

Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego and professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology UC San Diego:

Naviaux said the findings fit neatly with the idea that autism is caused by a multitude of interconnected factors: “Twenty percent of the known factors associated with autism are genetic, but most are not. It’s wrong to think of genes and the environment as separate and independent factors. Genes and environmental factors interact. The net result of this interaction is metabolism.”
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jul 25, 2014, 01:42 PM (0 replies)

Feds Clarify Obligations To Kids With Autism

Source: By MICHELLE DIAMENT July 17, 2014

Disability Scoop

In what advocates are calling a major win, federal officials are for the first time telling states that Medicaid coverage must include treatments like applied behavior analysis for children with autism.

Medicaid programs nationwide must offer “medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services” to kids with autism, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told states in a bulletin this month. That includes everything from speech and occupational therapy to personal care services and medical equipment, the agency said.

The services must be included in what’s known as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program, or EPSDT, a package of offerings that every state is required to provide children under age 21 who qualify for Medicaid.

The move comes in response to an increasing number of inquiries in recent years from states facing legal action for denying services to Medicaid beneficiaries with autism, Melissa Harris, director of the Division of Benefits and Coverage at CMS, told members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee recently.

Read more: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/07/17/feds-clarify-kids-autism/19519/
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jul 18, 2014, 03:44 PM (1 replies)

That's fine, confirm it. Skepticism is great as long as it doesn't end there, agreed?

Please see minute 1:45 of this 2012 interview with Dr. Walter Zahorodny of UMDNJ (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) where he addresses the question of severity. Isn't there an obligation to critically evaluate the actual research before dismissing it?


Published on Apr 2, 2012

A new study has found that rates of autism have increased among children. Autism Study Investigator Walter Zahorodny, of UMDNJ, called it "a health crisis" because of the number of children and families affected. He sat down with NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider to discuss and explain the new findings.


State with one of highest rates of autism turns out to be in normal range

March 26, 2013
by Mary Jo Layton in Autism spectrum disorders

When New Jersey reported one of the nation's highest rates of autism last year - doubling in six years to one in 49 children - researchers described it as "beyond an emergency." But a federal study released this past week indicated that the high rate appears to be the norm nationally. Autism spectrum disorder now affects one in every 50 children, well above the one in 88 previously reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The good news is that the increase in autism isn't special to New Jersey," said Walter Zahorodny, an autism researcher at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "The bad news is that it's a significant increase and it's registering everywhere."

The findings released this past week by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and the CDC are spurring debate: While experts attribute the increase to better reporting, it also suggests that the disorder is being diagnosed more frequently in children with milder symptoms.

According to the study, 1 million children nationally are diagnosed with autism, a complex disorder that affects brain development and a person's ability to communicate, learn and form relationships.

"The feeling all along wasn't that New Jersey has more cases of autism - New Jersey was just more rigorous in ascertaining the incidence," said Dr. Joseph Holahan, medical director of the child development center at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson. "It's still one of the most common serious developmental disorders we see."


"We still think one in 50 is an underestimate," said Michael Rosanoff, associate director for public health research and scientific review for the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

The real issue is we need to meet the demands of this public health crisis," said Rosanoff said. "This should be a wake-up call."



Timely help for those on autism spectrum

by Sara Mendez
October 30, 2013

Autism spectrum disorders are a set of complex developmental disorders associated with the well-known challenges of social and communication difficulties.

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest’s entry into this arena, with its trained clinicians, is timely. According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012, one in 49 children in New Jersey has an ASD, a rate of double the number of cases over the prior study in 2007." New Jersey records the second most prevalent rate among 14 states tested nationwide.

According to the study, 80 percent of these cases have been diagnosed as “severe.” The average age of diagnosis in New Jersey is just over three years. As a result of this troubling growth in diagnoses, multiple interventions and approaches to working with children diagnosed with ASD have been developed. Each child with ASD is unique, so intervention plans can be tailored to address such individual needs.



Paul G. King
October 31, 2013

Regarding the NJ 1 in 49 rate, given the sex ratio (Male to female) reported, it is obvious that those children with lesser levels of damage are being disproprotionately missed.

Hopefully, because NJ is one of the states with 2 “independent” sources of diagnosed individuals with some overlap between the sets, the NJ public health officials can be encouraged to perform the appropriate statistical adjustment for underascertainment and correct the 1 in 49 number for that under counting.

Were this to be done, it i likely that the underascertainment-corrected rate for children with an ASD diagnosis in NJ would probably be closer to 1 in 25 than it is to the reported raw records’ level of 1 in 49.

NJ, Oregon... here's a striking and lucid comment you will read once and never forget.



January 28, 2014 3:10 pm


Let us look at my state alone. 25 years agao there were SIX children in Oregon known to have Autism and receiving services, special education, therapies. Now, let’s say there was a sudden recognition that autism might be an under-diagnosed – under-recognized disorder that might be affecting some of our children that we were labeling as something else. They often refer to this as “diagnostic substitution”. I would expect that number of SIX children to go up some, let’s say a few percentage points. How about to 50 kids in Oregon with Autism. I still would find that jump alarming, wouldn’t you. And let’s say this newfound awareness swept in some kids with NO previous diagnosis before….”increased awareness”, I would gladly and generously give you another 50 children, though again alarming, so now we would have 100 kids in the state of Oregon, diagnosed with Autism and receiving services.

Now i have to admit that even this gives me pause as i personally do not believe that 25 years ago, 50 years ago that parents, teachers, daycare providers, sunday school teachers simply didn’t notice or recognized the distinct aspects of autism and report that they had children that didn’t simply have retardation or other obvious developmental delays but children who toe-walked, flapped their hands, screeched, smeared feces, couldn’t talk, couldn’t sit still in class, had to have one-on-one educational paras shadow them throughout their day, were prone to elopement, self-injury, lashing out at others, were not just socially awkward but seemed to find it painful to interact with other children and/or adults. I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around the idea that these things would have been missed and that schools should not be going broke and screaming about the costs of these record numbers of children if we simply called them something else, because no matter what we called them, the schools would still have had to deal with them, spend on them, etc. No these number are new and costing billions of dollars, so it simply cannot be diagnostic substituion. Plus the numbers of all other disabilities have held steady in my state based on population percentages.

So, the question is George, what is the number today vs. the SIX children known over 20 years ago. Taking into account the possible 100 I have given you as possible if it is simply better diagnosis, recognition, or diagnostic substitution. Well it is over 8,000, yes approaching 9,000….over EIGHT THOUSAND children in Oregon now diagnosed with Autism and receiving services, special education, therapies, etc. Over 8,000 children who will not likely go to college, join the military, get a job, get married, get a driver’s license, who will need care or supervision for the rest of their lives. Over 8,000 children in one small state alone, that didn’t exist a little over 20 years ago, but do now, who will cost us even more billions to house, feed, assist, care for…well, for a lifetime. These are not simply socially awkward people with quirks, those we used to call geeks. These are children with a profound and devastating developmental disorder, not easily overlooked or missed.

I hope you will rethink your theory!
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Jul 8, 2014, 10:48 PM (0 replies)

Related to this post although not specifically to the thread.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Jul 8, 2014, 12:32 PM (0 replies)
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