Sharyl Attkisson blogs the Hannah Poling settlement

10 Sep

I had forgotten Sharyl Attkisson. She is a reporter for CBS news who has covered vaccines in the past, but has been silent on the issue for the past year or more.

Her recent piece shows exactly the sort of reporting that frustrated me in the past: Family to Receive $1.5M in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award

In that piece she links to her piece from 2008 on the Hannah Poling case: Vaccine Case: An Exception Or A Precedent?

Here’s a quote from that earlier piece:

While the Poling case is the first of its kind to become public, a CBS News investigation uncovered at least nine other cases as far back as 1990, where records show the court ordered the government compensated families whose children developed autism or autistic-like symptoms in children including toddlers who had been called “very smart” and “impressed” doctors with their “intelligence and curiosity” … until their vaccinations.

They were children just like Hannah Poling.

What’s still being debated is whether the Poling case is an exception … or a precedent.

So, which is it? Were there children “just like Hannah Poling” or is this the “First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award”?

Actually, it is neither. This isn’t the first vaccine court award involving autism, and the other cases are not “just like Hannah Poling”.

For real information on the other nine cases, read Kathleen Seidel’s piece on Neurodiversity.com. Few, professional or amateur, can compare the the thoroughness of Kathleen Seidel. For example, one case (the first I read involving autism from the vaccine court) is Suel v. HHS. Young David Suel had tuberous sclerosis, a condition known to be associated with autism and epilepsy. Epilepsy occurs in about 60 to 90% of individuals with TS. Autism occurs in about 25-50%. David Suel’s case was declared to be a “table injury” wherein the seizures began within a set period after his DPT vaccination. What is notable about that is the table for DPT was later changed–when it was shown that DPT was not responsible for inducing seizure disorders. In other words, had David Suel been vaccinated, or just filed, after the change in the table, he likely would not have been awarded damages.

“They were children just like Hannah Poling”? Is tuberous sclerosis just like mitochondrial disease? (answer: not even close).

Shall we go on? In her recent piece, Ms. Attkisson states:

In 2002, Hannah’s parents filed an autism claim in federal vaccine court. Five years later, the government settled the case before trial and had it sealed

Not accurate. The court did not “settle” the case in 2007. They conceded the case, and they were in the process of completing the settlement when someone leaked the information to the press. The government did not “seal” the case–it is standard procedure to keep this information confidential until the settlement is completed.

But that doesn’t make a good story, does it?

Ms. Attkisson goes on:

In acknowledging Hannah’s injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn’t “cause” her autism, but “resulted” in it. It’s unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder. All other autism “test cases” have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court.

Mito-autism was a big thing for a while there. David Kirby took the story and ran with it–making a lot of mistakes along the way and propagating a lot of misinformation. It is unknown how many other children have similar disorders–but the researchers who studied cases like Hannah Poling have stated that cases such as hers are “rare”.

“All other autism “test cases” have been defeated at trial”.

What is conspicuous about the other “test cases” is that in none of them was it argued that the children were like Hannah Poling–i.e. the attorneys did not argue that a mechanism of autism through mitochondrial dysfunction aggravated by vaccines existed. In fact, one child named as a test case was pulled from that slot in order to argue that mitochondrial based case. The expert report filed for that child (since pulled from the Omnibus website) did not argue mitochondrial disorder or dysfunction at that time. In other words, the idea of a mitochondrial disorder being linked to autism was so alien from the cases being made by the attorneys for the families in the Omnibus that this child had to argue the case separately.

It is often pointed out that many autistics may have mitochondrial dysfunction. This is based largely on studies out of Portugal. It is left implied, and it is often believed that mitochondrial dysfunction means vaccine injury in these cases. This was the impression that David Kirby put forth and it was clearly wrong. First, mitochondrial disorders are a very broad spectrum. The type that Hannah Poling has is not the same as those detected in most autistics. Second, most reports of mitochondrial disorders and autism, including the Portugal studies, do not involve regression. Third, even amongst those children reported by the groups that identified Hannah Poling, regression was often idiopathic or followed fever clearly independent of vaccination.

I do not expect Ms. Attkisson to present the following (quality) information, so I will repeat it here:

Here are the answers to some questions posted to mitochondrial medicine experts and their answers:

When asked, to respond to the position: ‘‘I view the risk of vaccination in known metabolic disease patients to generally be outweighed by the risk of the infectious diseases being vaccinated against”

63.2% strongly agreed
31.1% agreed
0.9% disagreed
and 0.9% strongly disagreed.

Asked about the opinion that the risk of vaccination in metabolic disease was ‘‘greater than the risk of the infectious diseases being vaccinated against”

52.9% strongly disagreed
40% disagreed
3.5% agreed
and none strongly agreed

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98 Responses to “Sharyl Attkisson blogs the Hannah Poling settlement”

  1. AutismNewsBeat September 11, 2010 at 15:57 #

    “Do you know any adult who had a pt, ot, and behavioural therapist when they were a kid?”

    I was born when Richard Nixon was only the vice president and yes, I can remember special needs classmates.

  2. RickK September 11, 2010 at 19:00 #

    Robert, do you know what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is? Can you describe how the definition of autism spectrum disorders has changed over the years? Have you ever looked at graphs of the rise in autism diagnosis compared to the changes in the DSM definitions of autism?

    Are you aware of the studies that show rates of ASD among adults?

    Do you know about the statistics comparing the rise in ASD diagnosis with equal and offsetting drops in diagnosis of other types of learning disabilities?

    And for the record – *I* would have been classed as ASD if today’s standards were applied 40 years ago. And our school district had a special school with a full complement of kids with learning disorders, many of whom would have been classified as ASD using today’s guidelines.

    Robert, do you have any actual knowledge at all to support your strong opinions?

  3. Karen Delaney September 11, 2010 at 19:06 #

    So much to say and so many have already said it and said it better….I am a mom, the mom of an ASD 13 year old boy who is somewhere between moderately and severely impacted by autism. This discussion has been wonderful and insightful and for a change full of facts and good strong reasoning. M
    My comment would be that “autism” is really no longer a disorder but rather a symptom. A person whose opinion and knowledge I respect greatly says that in California ADD and ADHD are now being included under the autism umbrella. The diagnosis is being watered down and diluted by the inclusion of so many disorders that I don’t think we have a “true” autism any longer. We now have “features of autism” that the Polings relied so heavily on…what is autism? I think that perhaps the science world needs to back up and start making some good venn diagrams and charting the course of these behaviors and I believe that they will find that there are many (hundreds even?) disorders that are being called autism…so lets go back and define autism again perhaps then we will learn that there are many diagnoses all with their own causation….
    My own perspective – I knew my son was autistic about 45 minutes after birth – oh how he screamed, oh how he hated to be touched, sounds and lights were like electrical bolts to him and although no one else could make eye contact with my little baby boy – he looked me in the eye and he read my soul like no other. And he’s a fraternal twin – same in vitro environ, same exposures to toxins, same loving and holding and cuddling and the same vial of vaccine at the same exact time!

  4. Robert September 11, 2010 at 22:25 #

    Chris,

    I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, but if your son made it all the way through high school without anyone suggesting that he needed help then he’s not the typical autistic kid. In my experience with autistic kids which include my son, my niece, 3 separate neighbors in my condo complex, and various children we see when coming or going from my son’s various therapy appointments, you spend 10 minutes with one of these kids and realize that they have enormous deficits to overcome if they want to lead fulfilled lives. You’re very lucky that your son was so mild that he was in his late teens before anyone even suggested he might have a disability.

    RickK,

    When you were a kid, did your parents ever wonder if you’d ever say “I love you” or have any type of meaningful relationship or even a real friend? Were you at that special school for all the children with learning disabilities? As for evidence, there’s absolutely no evidence supporting your theory that there are reductions in enough other conditions now being called ASD to make up for the rise in ASD rates. You’ll never come up with enough diagnosed conditions back then to show that they were 1 in 100 30 years ago and 1 in 20000 today. If there really were 1 in 100 kids 30 years ago that would qualify as ASD by today’s standards, the majority of those kids were not being diagnosed with anything.

    If you really were like the moderately autistic kid of today, then power to you for just outgrowing it or whatever you had to do to overcome the many deficits you were faced with as a child. In fact, I’d welcome your opinion on which therapies (if any) are most beneficial for a child struggling with ASD, since you were faced with that dilemma (and surely had much less help than a child today would get) and seemingly managed to overcome it.

    If my father were to take the quiz they give to adults to see if they can qualify them as one of the 1 in 100 adults with ASD, he would probably show up as aspbergers. But if I ask people in my family if they ever thought something was wrong with my dad back when they were younger, nobody was looking at my dad when he was a kid the way they look at my son. My son has love all around him, but we all acknowledge that his brain doesn’t work the way it should, and I couldn’t imagine a doctor of 30 years ago looking at my son (or just about any of the other autistic kids I know) and telling me there’s nothing wrong.

    I would also expect that any pediatric pt/ot/slp with 30 years experience could probably each tell us when they had their “Aha!” moment when they finally realized the mysterious unknown condition that the majority of their patients were affected with finally had a name.

    • Sullivan September 12, 2010 at 16:26 #

      As for evidence, there’s absolutely no evidence supporting your theory that there are reductions in enough other conditions now being called ASD to make up for the rise in ASD rates. You’ll never come up with enough diagnosed conditions back then to show that they were 1 in 100 30 years ago and 1 in 20000 today.

      Yes, in fact, there is. Bearman’s group at Columbia has analyzed the data available from the California Department of Developmental Services and combined it with birth record data from California. One of his findings is that about 26% the children currently being given services under the label autism would have been given the label of mental retardation in the 1980’s and before. He has attributed about 50% of the increase to identifiable factors and he isn’t done yet.

      By the way, 1 in 20,000? That isn’t what the prevalence of autism was in 1980.

      Also, keep in mind that autism as defined in 1980 was different than it is today. The expansion of the diagnosis criteria did have a big effect.

  5. Karen Delaney September 12, 2010 at 17:29 #

    The CBS article was destructive though – a friend, who I consider to be intelligent and educated, posted on facebook in all caps that IT’S OFFICIAL – VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM. Because of the article and the media’s slant it will be even harder for people to accept anything else.

  6. Chris September 12, 2010 at 19:19 #

    Robert:

    but if your son made it all the way through high school without anyone suggesting that he needed help then he’s not the typical autistic kid.

    Reading comprehension fail.

    I said:

    she also added he would lose services if he was labeled as autistic. It was much better that he got the services he needed, not those based on a label.

    What part of “lose services” did you fail to understand?

    He started in the special education program when the was three years old. He had already been getting private speech therapy for a year, but he still had absolutely no speech (though he could mostly communicate with sign language). He had almost four years of intensive private speech therapy from age four to eight, then some more in middle school. He did not really start speaking until he was almost four, and his speech is still hard to understand.

    He had OT/PT therapy from age three to about third grade at the school. He had speech/language therapy at the school from age three until he was in 8th grade. Even though he started to be in mainstream classes in 1st grade, he always had specialized reading/writing instruction in school. In middle school and high school he was in special ed. classes for both Language Arts and Social Studies (along with a special life skills class his last year of high school). He now gets disability services at the community college.

    Today is his 22nd birthday, and he is still quite disabled (and there seem to be some psyche issues that have developed since he was 16 years old). So, yes, he is an adult who received OT/PT, speech/language therapy and psyche counseling.

    If he had been put into the Asperger’s Class he would have lost services, especially since many of the Asperger kids function at a higher level than he does. Do you understand now?

  7. RickK September 12, 2010 at 19:35 #

    Robert, I’ve lost your plot. As far as I can tell, you don’t actually know how many kids in the community 40 years ago suffered from symptoms that would now be classified as on the ASD spectrum. You’re not responding to the actual studies of such data – like the California data mentioned above, or the British study of adult autism prevalence.

    So let’s summarize: there is certainly a significant rise in the diagnosis of ASD. What constitutes “autism” has changed over the years. There is much evidence to indicate that in fact the rise in actual prevalence is much smaller than the rise in diagnosis, and it is fair to question whether there is a rise in actual prevalence at all.

    Changes in vaccination rates have not changed rates of autism.

    Changes in vaccination rates HAVE changed the prevalence of whooping cough, measles, HIB and hepatitis – and children have become sick and several have died as a result.

    Huge epidemiological studies show no link whatsoever between vaccines and autism.

    Many individual cases of supposed “vaccine induced autism” have been shown to be nonsense, including Jenny McCarthy’s (considering that her story changes with every interview).

    Hannah Poling’s mitochondrial disorder was triggered by a fever which was triggered by a reaction to a vaccine, but could have just as easily been triggered by something else.

    If vaccines were regularly causing autism, we’d see it in the statistics, and more of these cases would actually hold up.

    And finally – this entire subject, with all its emotion and money and energy and effort is a complete waste of time and is distracting people from what is REALLY important:

    1) FINDING THE TRUE CAUSE OF AUTISM; and
    2) STOPPING DEATHS FROM PREVENTABLE DISEASES.

    I wonder in the end how many young lives Sharyl Attkisson’s slanted reporting will cost.

  8. Robert September 12, 2010 at 22:10 #

    RickK,

    Questioning whether there is an actual rise in prevalence at all and stating unequivocally that “Do you know about the statistics comparing the rise in ASD diagnosis with equal and offsetting drops in diagnosis of other types of learning disabilities” are two very different things. As Sullivan mentioned, even the most compelling data currently accounts for only half of the increase in diagnosis. We’re all questioning whether there is an actual rise in prevalence, because we don’t have unequivocal proof one way or another.

    As for the British survey, it was a quiz they gave to adults, and as I mentioned in a previous post my father would probably be considered as one of the 1 in 100 adults they found (in a very small sample group). My father was not remotely what my son or Chris’ son are like.

    You even said you’d be one of those 1 in 100 adults. Does Chris’s son’s story remind you of your childhood? It reminds me of my son’s childhood, so far. It reminds me of the other autistic children I know. My point is that you can’t find 1 in 100 adults out there who have stories like that. How many people reading this directly know a family with an autistic child? And how many of those people directly know an adult that resembles Chris’ son’s story?

    I’m not asking you to share your stories. Just think about the question.

    As for the vaccines, as the article mentioned, there have already been 9 other cases where the gov’t paid out families of typical kids who started showing signs of autism after a round of shots. Whether or not the vaccines played any role, the gov’t is still choosing to compensate them after hearing their stories. It doesn’t “prove” anything except that ‘coincidence’ is starting to wear thin as a medical explanation for something that too many parents are witnessing.

    Chris,

    Yes, I do understand now. Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. Chris September 12, 2010 at 23:43 #

    Robert, there were several other children in his preschool that were like him who were also not diagnosed with autism, because it was before 1994. Actually, according to my son’s preschool teacher they created that particular program because kids who ended up in the deaf/hard of hearing program who could not speak, but could hear. What happened in 1994?

  10. CS September 13, 2010 at 01:04 #

    There are so many things about this case/story that I don’t understand.

    Why does the autism community and the press continue to state this is the first case when Misty Hiatt came forward and said her daughter Madison was compensated? Why has that case not been in the press?

    As for the Poling case itself – why was it this fever that was determined to cause the injury? The child had a history of repeated ear infections with fever. If there was a potential of injury from fever, what made it this specific fever?

    Why is there repeated reference to the child’s mitochondrial disorder being aggravated. The child’s history is stated as healthy and normal up to the vaccines. Aren’t children with mitochondrial disorder ill? Isn’t one of the flags of mitochondrial disorder a regression after normal development? The child was diagnosed with this disorder because of genetic testing that showed her mother had the same disorder but was not effected. Wasn’t the mother – a nurse required to have the same vaccination? At her age, didn’t the mother have the actual childhood diseases?

    Why is one of the authors of the paper Dr Zimmerman. Dr Zimmerman has frequently made statements discounting the connection between autism and vaccination. Why did he come forward as an expert in this case?

    What exactly is this genetic disorder that caused her to regress into whatever after vaccination. It is always stated as mitochondial disorder – but what mitochondrial disorder and from what gene was this mitochondrial disorder considered an underlying disease that had yet to be seen by a doctor or nurse parent?

  11. Robert September 13, 2010 at 04:32 #

    Chris,

    You’re son’s preschool teacher’s comment says volumes. Of course they had to create a new program for these kids. What they had previously implemented wasn’t working because there started to become so many of these kids like your son that they had to change the way they do things. Otherwise, why wouldn’t this program have existed from the start if as many as 1 in 100 kids required it?

    Dr Kanner’s paper in the 1960s that introduced “autism” as we know it today (or at least until it was expanded) described 11 kids with remarkable similarities in behaviour. In the 1960’s, the prevalence was 5 cases in 10,000. So he would have conceivably had to see over 20,000 kids in order to find these 11. By today’s standards, assuming 1 in 150, he would have seen 133 children that qualify as ASD. He only found 11 that he could group together as having these striking similarities.

    Could you imagine that these were all these kids who were clearly impaired (as most kids with asd are), but he somehow only found 11 that he thought were suffering from the same disorder.

  12. Robert September 13, 2010 at 04:45 #

    CS,

    Mitochondrial disorders often go unnoticed with no symptoms. Unless you’re going to start randomly giving people muscle biopsies, you’re often not going to know its there. As for her mother, I’m sure she was up to date on her vaccinations, but I’m pretty sure she never had 9 in one day.

  13. John Gilmore September 13, 2010 at 04:46 #

    Don’t you people have jobs?

  14. Chris September 13, 2010 at 05:23 #

    John Gilmore, are you forced to work on the weekends? Hate to point it out to you, but it is only 9:17pm on a Sunday evening for me. It has something to do with the planet being almost shaped like a sphere.

    Robert, you really have to work on your reading comprehension. The only reason these kids got sent to the deaf and hard of hearing program was because it was after 1975. Before then, any child with any defect was denied an education (look up the origins of the American “Individual with Disabilities Education Act”).

    Because before 1975 kids with any disability were denied access to public education in the USA. Kids who were hard of hearing were either left at home or sent to institutions (where education was hit or miss, but abuse was known to often happen!). Even in the 1960s deaf kids were institutionalized as mentally deficit due to lack of language (or as one deaf comedian put it: “And they though I was stupid!”… she had first been diagnosed as mentally retarded, but then it was “corrected” to deafness). It took much longer for kids with not so obvious disabilities.

    You really need to read up on the history of the disabled and education. It seems you are jumping to conclusions that are not supported by the evidence.

  15. Barbara September 13, 2010 at 08:25 #

    Robert, Kanner’s paper was in 1943. He chose 11 of the cases to write about. He did a follow-up in 1972 in which he said he’d seen 96 cases. Hans Asperger wrote about 4 children in 1944, but claimed some years later that he had treated several hundred. One of the adults he wrote about in his 1944 paper had been going to the hospital and under observation for ‘over 20 years’.

  16. Dawn September 13, 2010 at 16:40 #

    Let’s go back to the 1960’s when I started school. Kids who were verbal but had control issues were placed in regular classes where they terrorized their teachers and classmates like one kid who was in school with me from K-6. Or, like my second cousin, was never sent to school because he was “not retarded, but SO NAUGHTY” (he was finally institutionalized at age 16 where he died many years later).

    And kids who were just “weird” or odd, had speech issues but were verbal were bullied, ignored and abused by their classmates but now would probably be considered Aspergers syndrome now. (One boy who lived across the street from me was considered very weird; he’d read his father’s calculus books and done all the problems by the time he was 8; even his brother and sister thought he was weird, but his mother just said that he was just like his father)

    I also clearly recall a kid in high school (late 1970’s)who was deaf and non-verbal, who had been in “special ed (aka retarded kid)classes” until she was finally diagnosed as profoundly deaf. Once she was correctly diagnosed, she got an education and went to Gallaudet University.

    So yeah, it’s taken the medical profession a while to identify the children with developmental delays and get them treated properly. But how much of that is due to societal mores? You didn’t admit to a disturbed child, you put them away or hid them.

  17. CS September 13, 2010 at 17:49 #

    Poling made a statement in an open letter some time ago that there is a difference in mitochondrial disease and mitochondrial dysfunction. He said after treating Hannah with a mito cocktail she no longer shows any markers or symptoms of her mitochondrial disease. No markers?? Now, Poling is saying that thimerosal was one of their theories in Hannah’s case and that thimerosal is known to damage mitochondria. Can it be assumed that they took the position not that the mitochondria disease was aggravated, but that the mitochondria itself was under a temporary dysfunction from the vaccination. What the court ruled is not what Poling has stated as their case. He has said she no longer has the disease but is left with autism or whatever brain injury. So, what makes this child so different? I believe it is the genetic finding on both mother and daughter. However, where is it documented that this genetic finding is connected to mitochondria disease or malfunction?

    I think was is unique about this case is that the father was once the chief resident of neurology at Johns Hopkins and some experts were willing in this case to testify to the point that one of several theories were accepted. I don’t know if those same experts who are not normally courtroom experts would be so willing for other cases.

  18. InTheTrenches September 13, 2010 at 19:00 #

    Thank you to all you experts on autism. For the vast majority of you your knowledge of autism and the link to vaccines is what has been spoon fed to you by the media. Regardless of how the Polings had to frame the argument to win this decision, it is apparent that her autistic symptons were DIRECTLY correlated to the vaccines administered.

    This is not a fluke situation. As a parent of an autistic child, the similarities to our child’s sudden loss of language and emergence of stimming and self stimulatory behavior after his 18 month vaccines is eery. The link is not as simple as toxins and preservatives in the vaccine. The impact on the gut, where yeast and even dairy proteins act as opiates on the brain for autistic children is overlooked by most of the sheep, i mean people, on this website.

    Unless you have first hand experience with specific children, pre and post vaccine, who have developed autism, you are not qualified to opine on this subject. The simple fact is our children are facing an onslaught of toxic pollutants that dwarfs anything we’ve been exposed to. Our government is either ill equiped to handle the situation, or worse, they are complicit in it due to the staggering amount of money flowing through our food and medical systems.

    This is a precedent setter like it or now. The ever growing body of evidence, suppressed by lawyers of big food and big pharma, is only beginning to become known. This case represents the proverbial tip of the iceburg.

  19. Kev September 13, 2010 at 19:06 #

    ‘In the trenches’ – just about everyone who comments or writes posts on this blog including me, the owner is either parent of an autistic child or an autistic adult or both.

    Your comment is specious and basically says that unless we have a vaccine injured child and that injury resulted in autism we are not able to opine. Since this has never happened, ever, this blog would be extremely quiet.

  20. lilandtedsmum September 13, 2010 at 19:22 #

    “In the trenches”
    I’m no “expert on autism”. like you I am a parent of an autistic child. Like most parents I would say that I know my daughter better than most…but just because my daughter happens to be autistic and happens to have been vaccinated – it does not make me an expert on either. Therefore, when it comes to autism and the matter of vaccines, I prefer to listen to the experts. That’s why I look to peer reviewed science. Peer reviewed science that has never been able to prove a link between vaccines and autism.

    Also, “The impact on the gut, where yeast and even dairy proteins act as opiates on the brain for autistic children”

    According to who? On what are you basing that claim?

  21. Chris September 13, 2010 at 20:50 #

    So, “In the Trenches”, a child who suffered seizures from an actual disease doesn’t count? Wow, that is just so much special pleading!

    (and Miss Poling could have been just as easily injured by a disease, it is just that it was within certain days of her MMR vaccine)

  22. Science Mom September 13, 2010 at 21:25 #

    Thank you to all you experts on autism. For the vast majority of you your knowledge of autism and the link to vaccines is what has been spoon fed to you by the media.

    I think you are being very presumptuous to think that those of us commenting have derived our information from the media. Particularly when we are often critical of media slant on the vaccine-autism manufactroversy.

    Regardless of how the Polings had to frame the argument to win this decision, it is apparent that her autistic symptons were DIRECTLY correlated to the vaccines administered.

    The Poling’s didn’t have to ‘frame’ their argument, they needed to demonstrate, via medical records, that Hannah, more likely than not, was injured by vaccines. She did not get vaccines and become autistic. She has a verified, genetic mitochondrial disorder and acquired an encephalopathy as a result, or at least the preponderance, of vaccination. This pattern holds true for all other neurological disorders that have been compensated by the NVICP, i.e. physical disorders and/or (unidentified) underlying conditions preceded the neuropathology.

    This is not a fluke situation. As a parent of an autistic child, the similarities to our child’s sudden loss of language and emergence of stimming and self stimulatory behavior after his 18 month vaccines is eery.

    Are you saying that your child had a diagnosed encephalopathy that preceded autism or are you just hitching your wagon to the Poling’s situation?

    The link is not as simple as toxins and preservatives in the vaccine. The impact on the gut, where yeast and even dairy proteins act as opiates on the brain for autistic children is overlooked by most of the sheep, i mean people, on this website.

    We’re the sheep yet it is you who are clinging to that soggy old discredited hypothesis by Wakefield? Numerous studies have been conducted that have refuted that ridiculous claim. Surely you have seen them.

    Unless you have first hand experience with specific children, pre and post vaccine, who have developed autism, you are not qualified to opine on this subject.

    Bullshit! Do you think that every autism researcher is the parent of an autistic child? Do you understand that merely being a parent of an autistic child does not qualify you as an expert or even adequately knowledgeable in the field of ASDs? That exclusionary, even elitist attitude is a piss poor one, particularly where awareness and acceptance are concerned.

    This is a precedent setter like it or now. The ever growing body of evidence, suppressed by lawyers of big food and big pharma, is only beginning to become known. This case represents the proverbial tip of the iceburg.

    No, the Poling case does not set any precedent except for the amount of the award. There have been a handful of cases prior to hers. And newsflash, none of the OAP test cases prevailed.

    • Sullivan September 14, 2010 at 04:06 #

      Unless you have first hand experience with specific children, pre and post vaccine, who have developed autism, you are not qualified to opine on this subject.

      To which Science Mom replied:

      Bullshit! Do you think that every autism researcher is the parent of an autistic child?

      Like, say, Andrew Wakefield? I guess he is not allowed to opine on the subject. Dan Olmsted? Ditto. David Kirby, same thing.

      I guess what she meant is that one is not allowed to disagree, not that one is not allowed to opine.

  23. Karen Delaney September 13, 2010 at 21:39 #

    what is the draw for the vaccine injury people to continue in this quest when science is repeatedly proven the lack of correlation? I wish I could understand it – I don’t. Everyone uses the same line “I saw it with my own eyes” but if you question 10 people at the scene of a car accident you get 10 different scenarios. They claim that the US government, the CDC and “big pharma” all lie yet when Wakefield was proven to have lied and when Poling has in essence lied by not reporting his bias during research; these people are labeled heroes and warriors? They complain the big pharma is making big bucks with vaccines so therefore won’t allow any statistics against vaccines to see the light of day….how much money to the Dan! protocol people make? how about Kirmann labs? I would like some statistics on that as well….
    for some reason there is a wall that isn’t coming down despite the evidence and the science and that wall does not help my son or the thousands of other kids affected. I would like to quit wasting research money on this issue and move forward into tangible effective treatments..

  24. Robert September 13, 2010 at 21:50 #

    Roger,

    First of all, its nice to find one of the adults claiming to be on the spectrum who is willing to comment. And it seems you agree that there truly is an increase in the disorder over the last 30-40 years. Is that correct?

    What do I want to know? Well, if you truly were similar to my son or Chris’ son, and have managed to largely overcome your disability, do you have any small pieces of advice for a parent of an ASD kid? I.e. some insight into what’s really going on inside the head of a child who doesn’t understand how to communicate? Did you just outgrow some of your more severe deficits or was there a particular method that you credit for your ability to communicate effectively?

    As for your assumption that I must be antivaccine, no I’m not. Abandoning all vaccines would be a step backwards. And I also don’t believe that all autistic individuals have been vaccine injured. However, many individuals (autistic or not) ARE being vaccine injured, and I have a big problem with an industry that’s using ‘coincidence’ to explain the thousands upon thousands of cases where parents claim that their child has spontaneously regressed after a round of shots, and have the home videos to prove it.

    To me the poling case is a bit of an exception since Hannah did have this rare underlying disorder, but as for the majority of cases where a parent claims their child has vanished after a round of shots, I’m not ok with the explanation that the parents must all be blind, or biased, or crazy, or brainwashed, or whatever other reason is being attributed to their belief that their child became a different person after one of their shots. It’s not so far off from the medical industry’s initial view towards autism that it was the result of “Refrigerator Mothers”.

    Karen,

    If you showed these 10 people a videotape of the car crash, do you think they would still disagree on what they saw?

  25. CS September 13, 2010 at 22:10 #

    Dear In The Trenches,

    I have an autistic child who regressed after 12 month vaccinations. I have a letter from a neurologist stating her autism may be the result of an autoimmune reaction to her MMR. A lawsuit was filed many years ago. I won’t comment on the results of that filing. I believe my daughter experienced a vaccine injury.

    Thank you for giving me credibility among these people.

    I have been reading and infrequently commenting on this website for several years. I find many of the articles helpful.

    Many years ago I approached my pediatrician and told him I wanted no further vaccinations for my children. We reviewed medical histories and discussed risks. He agreed to medical waivers of vaccination. I am afraid the possibility of that happening to day is minimal because the idea of vaccine injury has been hijacked by a movement that relies on desperate arguments.

    I chose not to be part of the Omnibus because I do not believe my child has a persistant measled virus in the gut. Nor do I believe my child has mercury stuck in the brain. I am not alone in this. The government conceded the Poling case for issues outside the theories of the Omnibus positions.

    The victory in the Poling case that vaccine injury cases will be researched more thoroughly. Docs who specialize in mitochondrial disorders will not rely on DAN to do their work. I have taken my child to a neurologist specializing in mitochondrial disorders for 9 years. Since the Poling case made news it now takes over a year to get an appointment with this doctor. I’m glad many of these cases are now getting the medical attention they may truly need rather than gluten free diets, hyperbaric chambers and Rx for chelators.

    On a final note, over the years none of the frequent writers on this website have criticezed my position on vaccine injury.

  26. Morphix September 14, 2010 at 01:42 #

    Robert,

    I hear your understanding, your instinct. Science has yet to evolve these capacities.
    As a guide to the root of the disharmony portrayed here, please take my thoughts to tear at. I have no autistic child, no scientific role. No authority to declare truth.
    The definition of autism is not fixed as a scientific condition, and indeed as a developmental disorder in a complex development phase it is likely to have numerous possible causation or contributors. This is now borne out by the classification of autism as a symptomatic diagnosis only. i.e. it is not the disease but rather the result of the disease. this situation gives rise to the media mis handling and the legal posturing. Further, the issue of vaccination will likely be a major contributor to the the statistical rise in autism, as likely the survivors as a result of vaccination are genetically i) sensitive to the disease being vaccinated against, and therefore also sensitive to the vaccine.ii)but as a result of vaccine induced herd immunity, now surviving to reproductive maturity. The gender demographic illustrates classic Mendelian recessive expression. Of course this theory leave humanity with a problem which is unthinkable, which perhaps illustrates why humanity(and funded science) cannot accept the round earth hypothesis, without the politically acceptable medicine being palatable.(Eugenics). Love = Life = Faith.

  27. RickK September 14, 2010 at 01:44 #

    We’ve already discussed the rate of ASD diagnosis is around 1% of the population.

    Kids receive a lot of vaccines. And 1% of the population is a lot of kids who show signs of autism.

    Now let’s do some math. These are really rough numbers, just to illustrate a point. Please check my calcs and assumptions.

    Let’s say autism is typically detected between 1 year and 5 years old. That’s 4 years or ~200 weeks. Let’s say during that same 4-year period most children receive 15 vaccines. That means that 7.5% of parents of autistic children will first notice the symptoms of autism within one week of their vaccinations. Now let’s say there are 20 million kids ages 1 to 5, and 1% of those show signs of autism – that’s 200,000 children.

    So, if vaccination has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with autism, then 7.5% of 200,000, or 15,000 children will first show signs of autism within a week of their vaccinations, and 2100 of those will show signs on the day of vaccination JUST BY RANDOM CHANCE.

    Jenny McCarthy blames the vaccines, and her son didn’t show signs of autism for weeks or months after the vaccines.

    I don’t blame parents for thinking the vaccines did it. A parent whose child showed signs of autism right after a vaccine would of course think that, especially after listening to liars like Wakefield and shrill one-issue crazy people like McCarthy and Kirby.

    That’s why the big statistics matter more than the anecdotes. However painful your experience is, however much you want to blame the vaccines, however CERTAIN you are, you MUST pay attention to the statistics. Because what your child needs is a cure, what the world needs is a cure, and parents of autistic children should care passionately about ensuring that resources are spent chasing the REAL answers.

    Finally, do you know what is NOT random chance? The holes left it your family tree – the tiny holes left by babies and children who never grew up because of diphtheria, tetanus, polio, influenza and whooping cough.

    • Sullivan September 14, 2010 at 02:09 #

      RickK,

      you are assuming that there is a clear first day for onset of autism symptoms. I think that is not generally the case.

  28. RickK September 14, 2010 at 01:56 #

    Morphix is concerned that: “survivors as a result of vaccination are genetically i) sensitive to the disease being vaccinated against, and therefore also sensitive to the vaccine”

    That is complete and utter nonsense. All a vaccine does is teach your own immune system how to recognize another among the thousands of dangerous proteins it is already trained to recognize. Think of a vaccine as a type of mugshot shown to your immune system so it will recognize the bad guy when it sees him.

    Immune systems are NOT weakened by vaccination. Vaccines don’t cause your immune system to AVOID the disease. Vaccines ensure that your immune system is EXPOSED to the disease. Vaccines strengthen the immune system.

    Morphix – your assumption appears to be that vaccines do in fact contribute to autism – is that based on hype, or data?

  29. RickK September 14, 2010 at 04:22 #

    Sullivan said: “you are assuming that there is a clear first day for onset of autism symptoms. I think that is not generally the case.”

    OK – then how can people be so sure it is the vaccines?

    • Sullivan September 14, 2010 at 05:15 #

      RickK,

      there was a discussion along these lines recently on Skeptico. Sometimes people say that the onset of symptoms were sudden. Sometimes they say that it wasn’t sudden and that, in fact, it is quite rare for it to be sudden. Sometimes the same person makes both arguments at different times. Such was the case of the founder of Generation Rescue:

      http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2010/02/the-two-jb-handleys.html

      Either way, it is still vaccines, or so the argument goes. I won’t try to defend how they can be so sure.

  30. Roger Kulp September 14, 2010 at 06:14 #

    Let me address several points here:

    “1.Karen Delaney
    September 11th, 2010
    19:06:48

    My comment would be that “autism” is really no longer a disorder but rather a symptom. A person whose opinion and knowledge I respect greatly says that in California ADD and ADHD are now being included under the autism umbrella. The diagnosis is being watered down and diluted by the inclusion of so many disorders that I don’t think we have a “true” autism any longer. We now have “features of autism” that the Polings relied so heavily on…what is autism? ”

    This is a point I keep making at various places all over the web, bulls**t diagnosis is a phrase I like to use.”Autism” as a diagnosis,is only useful,if your child needs it for school purposes,or to get an approval for SSI,or disability.I believe everybody who has a diagnosis on the spectrum,especially if they have complicated histories,and multiple disabilities,should look for purely genetic diagnoses.I would like to see the designation of autism as a medical,or psychiatric diagnosis completely done away with,and replaced with dozens of unique genetic/autoimmune/ metabolic disorders instead.

    “Autism” is as vague a diagnosis as “seizure disorder”,one reason you have this DAN!/biomed woo,that doesn’t address the cause of the problems.

    2.”RickK
    September 14th, 2010
    01:44:44

    We’ve already discussed the rate of ASD diagnosis is around 1% of Let’s say autism is typically detected between 1 year and 5 years old. That’s 4 years or ~200 weeks. Let’s say during that same 4-year period most children receive 15 vaccines. That means that 7.5% of parents of autistic children will first notice the symptoms of autism within one week of their vaccinations. Now let’s say there are 20 million kids ages 1 to 5, and 1% of those show signs of autism – that’s 200,000 children.

    So, if vaccination has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with autism, then 7.5% of 200,000, or 15,000 children will first show signs of autism within a week of their vaccinations, and 2100 of those will show signs on the day of vaccination JUST BY RANDOM CHANCE. ”

    It’s called de novo mutations,or deletions.They are found all the time in genetics.Here

    http://www.touchneurology.com/files/article_pdfs/durand%5B1%5D.pdf

    is another study that should have been front page news,about de novo deletions,and mutations of chromosome 22q13,in autism,from 2008,that should have been all over the news and blogosphere.

    If you read the Omnibus Autism Proceedings transcripts,especially the 183 page Hastings-Cedillo one,

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/vaccine_files/Hastings-Cedillo.pdf

    which blows away any credibility the lab that analyzed Wakefield’s specimens had,you will see how a real medical/ developmental expert disproves a parent’s story,their child was normal before their vaccines.These children were not normal before their vaccines.Many parents do not want to admit to themselves their “perfect” child was born with something genetically wrong,so blaming vaccines can be not only denial,but a coping mechanism.

    3.CS,if you read this,I would like to know if your child really does have a mito disorder,if so could you tell me which one,do you have the same problems with fever/infection triggering infection?If so,how do you protect your child from this?I know all too well how autoimmune problems can go hand in glove with metabolic disease,and many lifelong problems can result from childhood infections.I would have been saved from years of pain and suffering,had the strep A,and chicken pox vaccines been available when I was a child.I have had another painful flare of autoimmune endocarditis.I was diagnosed at twenty,and it is one of the results of having rheumatic fever at the age of eight.If your neurologist,is anything like my metabolic specialist,they require pages of genetic test results before you can be seen.They don’t do screening.

    4.”What do I want to know? Well, if you truly were similar to my son or Chris’ son, and have managed to largely overcome your disability, do you have any small pieces of advice for a parent of an ASD kid? I.e. some insight into what’s really going on inside the head of a child who doesn’t understand how to communicate? Did you just outgrow some of your more severe deficits or was there a particular method that you credit for your ability to communicate effectively?”

    Two words treatment,and decades of work.When I started first grade,I was not toilet trained,I stripped naked and ran around the school.When I wasn’t doing that I sat an spun,when I wasn’t doing that I was wandering aimlessly (eloping).I was verbal,but severely developmentally delayed.It wasn’t until I was about twelve,that I caught up with the developmental level of a six year old.For many years,I lived in sort of an unpleasant “neurological limbo”,only partially aware of myelf,and my surroundings.

    I hate to say it,but it wasn’t until the last year or so,that I not only came out of his,but got my eloping,head banging,and severe stimming under control.I did this by treating my underlying medical problems.My eloping,for example,was due to dementia like episodes,caused by high homocysteines,and low folate in the brain.I had it in a mild form all my life in between episodes.And yes,I was hit by cars,a number of times while eloping.Your mind basically turns off,like a light,and you have no concept of what you are doing.I have taken a lot of heat from ND aspie types on the web,for saying eloping is dangerous, and deadly,that you can die from it.In recent months,my motor planning,and motor apraxia has improved.As you treat these,the language starts to improve,and the verbal apraxias go away.I still have all of my learning disabilities,though.They don’t go away.The brain can’t be completely rewired.

    This all gets back to what I was saying,you need to find the underlying cause of all of it,and treat it.Like Hanna Poling,a lot of my problems are due to metabolic disease,but you need to try to find the underlying cause of your child’s autism,and treat it,if you can.This may be difficult,and may take going through many doctors before you find the right one.I’m sorry I have nothing better to offer you,any more than I am going to sit here and say autism has enriched my life,or helped me do stuff.It hasn’t.It,and all the other brain garbage that gos with it,have only given me life of hardship and struggle,on top of my illnesses.
    I still have all the social deficits,and sensory problems.

  31. lilandtedsmum September 14, 2010 at 07:47 #

    Roger Kulp,

    I have found your comments on this thread fascinating. I am not scientifically minded at all so please bear with me….

    Firstly, my daughter has a diagnosis of classic autism. She was vaccinated, do I believe that had anything to do with her autism? No. So on that point we agree.

    She was showing signs of being autistic well before 18 months. At 7 months, I was so disturbed by her head rolling and rhythmic banging of her head against the cot that I took video footage and took it to a paediatrician. I was told that it was a habit and hse would grow out of it. I always observed that Lily was very different from her peers even as a baby. However, she was reaching her physical milestones ok. It wasn’t until her peers begain to babble, then talk and then socialise that the differences became so clear that the medical profession could no longer ignore them. I think it’s the speech and the social aspect that stare most parents in the face. Most children begin to develop these skills from 18 months onwards. I think that this is the reason that many paretns are tricked into feeling that the mmr vaccine was the cause of their childs autism – the timings happen to clash with when the autism becomes much more apparent.

    The paediatrician said that I must have been very perceptive to have seen it in my daughter so early but I don’t think so. To me the differences were glaringly obvious. Like you, I think that for many parents the truth that their child is not perfect and that it may be genetic, makes them feel uncomfortable for a whole host of feelings. To me this is selfish. So it’s uncomfortable – deal with it and focus on what’s best for your child.

    When my daughter was diagnosed with autism the paediatrician mentioned that he would like to take some blood samples so that he could test for underlying genetic conditions which could cause autistic like symptoms. She was tested and they found nothing.

    My daughter like you stims, she bolts “elopes”. she has sensory issues, she too strips naked, until very recently she seemed completely unaware of her peers, let alone able to socially interact. With lots of early years intervention she is now just becoming aware of her peers. Although verbal, her speech development is delayed as is her comprehension and she is developmentally delayed.

    Your description of yourself above as a child reminds me very much of my daughter. However, when they tested for underlying genetic issues they found nothing. Does this mean that there are none? I don’t think that science knows enough yet to say. From my understanding, and please correct me if I’m wrong, science has only proven direct links with genetic causes for a very small number of autism cases. So surely we are much too early on for you to be arguing that my daughter’s diagnosis is a “bullshit” diagnosis. Isn’t it likely that there could be a genetic cause and that it just hasn’t been found yet?

    There is so much work yet to be done in this area. If we were to go along with your argument now and do away with the psych and medical diagnosis where would that leave children like my daughter who have all the symptoms of classic autism but who do not test positive for any of the currently known and understood genetic causes?

  32. Robert September 14, 2010 at 09:15 #

    Roger,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It sounds like the last year has been kinder to you than the years before that, and I hope the trend continues for you. I also hope you have a loving family to lean on. You should share your story more often.

    It’s unfortunate that the medical industry is still largely ingoring the notion that we need to treat the underlying conditions. As you say, it may take many doctors before finding
    one who’s willing to look deeper. It would be wonderful if the medical industry would offer some sort of treatment options aside from therapy that actually aim to remediate the deficits. And seeing how far you’ve come in the last year, you should feel hopeful that you’ve found the right doctors to help you keep battling your underlying metabolic issues. Not to mention proud of yourself for accomplishing what you have.

    Can I bother you for a bit more advice? We’re seeing a geneticist next month, but we don’t really know what type of testing they plan on doing. My son’s pretty young (almost 3), but he’s been behind on all his gross motor milestones right from the start. He has fine motor delays and some sensory issues as well, in addition to his PDD diagnosis. So we’ve suspected some sort of metabolic disorder as well, but whatever screeing tests were done by our ped and the neurologist, everything’s come back negative. Next step would be to do a muscle biopsy if we choose to.

    Can you let me know what you would try and demand that the geneticist look for when testing my son? i.e. would ‘metabolic
    disease’ be an accurate enough description, or would there be a few different conditions you’d ask them to look for. I’m sorry if I’m asking too much of you. I’ve never talked with someone who’s been down the road you have. Your comments have really been helpful.

  33. lilady November 4, 2012 at 21:25 #

    Spammer alert above.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 4, 2012 at 23:32 #

      Thanks for the alert!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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