It is no secret that I don’t appreciate the humor or the pseudoscience at the Age of Autism blog. Frankly, the pseudoscience is worse than the humor as it is so damaging to the autism communities. But, both are an embarrassment.
So, you can imagine my reaction to their recent post “Pass the Maalox: An AoA Thanksgiving Nightmare“. If you haven’t seen it, someone spent her Thanksgiving holiday with photoshop making a picture of the favorite people to hate look like they are eating a baby.
You know the reaction they wanted: outrage. You know the one they actually get: a heavy sigh. As in, “Oh, well, here we go again with AoA’s embarrassing approach to autism blogging”
Why blog it? Because it is a good introduction to what I’ve wanted to write since the recent articles at the Chicago Tribune. (if you haven’t read them, do. email them to all those well meaning people who keep sending you links to miracle cure websites. They are here and here ).
What is the message I wanted to write? Simple. To all the Age of Autism readership: people like the Tribune writers, Tom Insel, Paul Offit and others are not your enemy. These people are not standing in your way.
Your lack of good science is what is standing in your way.
Unfortunately, that isn’t likely going to change. You flat out stated that Autism is just a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning. You were wrong, but you can’t admit it. You bet everything on the idea that mercury and/or the MMR vaccine caused an epidemic of autism. You were wrong, but you can’t admit it.
The “nightmare” you are living is of your own doing. You created a false model of autism. It isn’t the fault of the many (MANY) observers who tell you you are wrong.
Your lawyers and “scientists” put together the best story they could in the vaccine court–the Autism Omnibus Proceeding. They claimed that MMR or thimerosal caused autism, and set out to prove it. They failed.
You really should read the expert reports submitted for the Autism Omnibus Proceeding. The people who wrote these reports aren’t your enemy. The facts they report are the enemy of the house of cards you built.
Reports from the Cedillo trial
Reports from the Dwyer trial
Report of Bennett Leventhal, child psychiatrist
Reports form the Hazelhurst Trial
Report of Thomas MacDonald, immunologist.
News Reports demonstrating misuse and misunderstanding of autism science
You folks at the Age of Autism would like to pretend that there are a few people standing in the way of the “obvious” conclusions that mercury and the MMR vaccine caused an autism “epidemic” and that alternative medicine offers a cure.
You are wrong on every count. It isn’t a few people. It is almost everyone who looks at the “data” you have to offer. It isn’t just epidemiology, either. The mechanisms you present are just not supported by any real science. Your problem isn’t that there are people in your way. The problem is that your “data” is junk. Sorry, there is no nicer way to put it. There is no hard evidence for an epidemic. If there is a real increase in real autism incidence, you guys are actually standing in the way of finding the real causes. As to the “cure” offered by alternative medicine, that’s my thanksgiving nightmare: the idea that some “alternative” doctor from the Age of Autism stable is treating my child with poorly conceived “therapies” based on the same junk science you folks promote.
That sends shivers up this autism parent’s spine.