David Kirby On ‘Meet The Press’

4 Aug

David Kirby will be appearing on a US show ‘Meet The Press’ soon. There is already a ‘mobilisation’ from within the anti-thimerosal/mercury group to bombard the show’s feedback page with questions for his opponent from the IOM. I’d suggest that anyone who has some questions they’d like David Kirby to answer also post their messge. The address is here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/

Here’s what I submitted. I’m not sure how much weight a UK parent will carry though.

Mr Russert,

I understand the the author David Kirby will be a guest on your show in regard specifically to his book ‘Evidence of Harm’.

I should also mention that I am the UK parent of a classically autistic dughter of 5 years.

I’ve developed a very deep suspicion of David Kirby, his motives and the consequences of his book since its publication.

You may or may not know that the official website that supports the book (evidenceofharm.com) had its domain bought and administered at one time by the single-issue anti-mercury group SafeMinds. When this was noticed, control of the domain was quickly switched over to Mr Kirby. You should further know that the designer of the website itself is Wendy Fournier who is the President of the NAA, another anti-mercury activist. I often debate the issue of mercury in vaccines with Kirby’s supporters who claim that official studies that support the safety of thimerosal are paid for by shills with compromised impartiality. I’d like to know if David Kirby shares this view and if he does, how that stacks up against his own clear non-impartiality.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an open letter penned by another parent who like me, does not believe our childrens autism was caused by thimerosal or any other vaccine. It concerns the behaviour of certain people who promote David Kirby’s book on an email form that Kirby himself is a member of. You can find the letter here: http://www.neurodiversity.com/evidence_of_venom.html

David Kirby will no doubt make reference to the ‘autism epidemic’ but this epidemic almost certainly does not exist. New research states there probably is no ‘epidemic’ see: http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/fombonne-prevalence.html

You might also be interested in this site where David Kirby can be shown to have ‘flubbed’ on his intepretation of the latest autism figures: http://citizencain.blogspot.com/2005/07/kirby-flubs-autism-data.html

Kirby will also no doubt on Mercury’s undoubted role as a toxin. I’d be keen to discover what his thoughts are on the use of Warfarin in medicine.

In closing Mr Russert, I suspect you’re going to get a lot of comments from parents keen for you to praise Kirby and flame his opponent. I urge you not to do that. The whole issue of thimerosal in vaccines has been subject to some very bad science which has been repeated by Kirby. Ask to see his sources for studies he quotes and then do a simple check for the on the validity of those sources. They frequently don’t stand up to close scrutiny.

Autism is a serious matter for parents, serious enough to depend on decent science – please don’t go down the route of thinking that Kirby speaks for all, or even the majority, of parents of autistics because he doesn’t.

Thanks for your time.

74 Responses to “David Kirby On ‘Meet The Press’”

  1. Kev August 10, 2005 at 08:26 #

    Mike: show me where I’ve defended Mercury. What I’m saying is that thimerosal doesn’t cause autism. If you believe otehrwise then cite your evidence.

    If Dr Buttar is onto something then why doesn’t he submit for peer review? As I say, he’d reach more kids with a legit medicine. Don’t you wonder why he doesn’t? Or can’t?

  2. mike August 10, 2005 at 14:02 #

    Kev, I don’t know for sure. I am sure he is under scrutiny from various government agencies. I don’t believe he is a greedy doctor taking people for a ride. Do you doubt his motives, being he has a autistic / mercury poisoned child?
    I believe he is looking to get it right without being demonized like all the other doctors looking for answers. Again, I do not trust the FDA, CDC and IOM. After all, they approved thimerisol after all the info they had on it! I am not a doctor, but my gut and research tells me that the diagnosis of autism in many cases is mercury poisoning. There is a crossover in some of the symptoms. Kev, do you think mercury can causes neurological disorders when injected into babies at high levels? Do you believe there are similar symptoms in autism and mercury poisoning?

    Christine, I am sorry you encountered a bad chelation doctor.
    There are money grubbing, bad doctors everywhere. I suggest looking for another one even if you have to travel. I have spoke to people in NY traveling to NC to see Dr. Buttar. They are very well educated on bio medical and chelation. They are convinced that the TD DPMS is very effective. They said ” It’s the prescription, not the doctor that is improving things. Their child has made exceptional progress and has convinced many non beleivers that chelation works. The people persuaded were the educators that work with the child 5 days a week. Does Thimerisol cause autism? If it does, our government agencies will deny it, don’t you think? I am not going to post hundreds of pages on this blog, but we all know where to find the evidence and reports. As David Kirby said on meet the press, no one knows for certain until more testing is done. At least the chelation / DAN Drs. are being proactive. They will be recognized 20 years from now as moving the search for a cure and/or treatment forward more than any local general pediatrician or government beauracrat. Camille, your “pathetic” diagnosis does not stand up in the face of science. You don’t have the answers camille, but are willing to bash any scientist or doctor working on this! No one cares about a popularity contest in terms of your 92% figure. If you want site numbers: It is my opinion that 92% of parents are not proactive or independent thinkers! The other 8% are people on this web site on both sides of the issue. I can say with certainty 92% of parents of autistic / mercury poisoned kids have not researched this on their own. They believe whatever they are told by pediatricians. Mabey they are lazy or don’t care. I will admit there are valid arguements on both sides. Again, why can’t parents obtain the exact ingredients of what was injected into their kids? Camile, how can you know all the science without knowing the exact make up of the vaccines? Some one please answer this question.

  3. Christine August 10, 2005 at 14:07 #

    kev…you are obviously ignoring MY point. There is already at least a partial connection in that mercury is a neurotoxin and autism is a neurological disorder. DUH. To say that a neurotoxin could not possbily be at all related to causing aneurological disorder is absolutely silly. Just what do you think the end result would be after a toxic metal like this eats away at brain cells? It’s going to cause some sort of damage to the brain. DUH. May not be autism in every case, that would be where,imo, other genetic or environmental factors contributed. What commonalities does a zoo have with any medical condition?

    The Dr. used DMSA yes, as a start. We also used a variety of supplements. Gosh I can’t remember them all: Super Nu Thera mega vitamins,Co-Q10, fish oil, glutathione lotion, minerals, a couple ofothers I can’t remember.It’s been a year and a half. He started out with DMSA to remove the toxins from the body. Then he would either add or replace ( I can’t remember) alpha lipoic acid which would help to remove the toxins from the brain. Many of the supplements in particular the minerals were to help replace what was taken from the body during chelation…..One thing I will never forget.We had done several rounds of chelation and the first few monthly tests that we did (by collecting urine all day to see what toxins were being pulled out) were starting to show fewer and fewer toxins werebeing removed. (which is why i wanted to movetothe next step of adding alpha lipoic acid). Anyway, since levels of mercury removal had then tapered off…I decided to do an experiement. I had a can oftuna and mixed it in with mac and cheese for lunch. That was a Saturday. We took his urine collection in that Monday and got hismonthly blood draw…mercury was in the elevated range for the first time in weeks. It had been quite a long time since I’d given him tuna and it was my last. The only fish we eatnowis cod…well we’ll eat shrimp, Jacob doesn’t like it anyway…but we’ll get our EFA’s and such from supplements.

  4. Kev August 10, 2005 at 16:45 #

    “There is already at least a partial connection in that mercury is a neurotoxin and autism is a neurological disorder. DUH. To say that a neurotoxin could not possbily be at all related to causing aneurological disorder is absolutely silly. Just what do you think the end result would be after a toxic metal like this eats away at brain cells? It’s going to cause some sort of damage to the brain. DUH. May not be autism in every case, that would be where,imo, other genetic or environmental factors contributed. What commonalities does a zoo have with any medical condition?”

    Autism is a developmental disorder first and foremost Christine. To say that a neurotoxin *might not be* related to a neurological condition is not silly, its just the way that things stand right now. I don’t believe I said that ‘a neurotoxin could not possbily be at all related to causing aneurological disorder’, what I said was that there’s no causative link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

    The Zoo example is supposed to be stupid – there’s no way Zoo’s can cause autism. But lets imagine that 100 kids all went to the Zoo the day before they were diagnosed. We’d now have a very strong link between Zoo’s and autism. Does that mean that going to the Zoo causes autism? Of course not. This is why we can’t say that mercury causes autism. We might suspect it might and we can say that there’s a link but we cannot say that that link is causative. Yes, we know Mercury is a toxin but Warfarin is also a toxin and just like Mercury is fatally toxic.

    We can’t take anything for granted. Just because there seems to be (or even is) a link with mercury that doesn’t mean mercury caused autism. I’m having a debate with people on another board about the differences between the diagnosis for autism and the diagnosis for mercury poisoning. Out of 18 symptoms for mercury poisoning, there is one, maybe two that can be said to be similar (not the same) as mercury poisoning. It just doesn’t add up.

    Points to note: I’m not saying there’s no environmental trigger (as oppose to cause). I’d even go as far as to say that Mercury may be that trigger for some autistics. The things that I contend is that its not the thimerosal in vaccines that are that trigger and that mercury *is* autism (i.e. the Generation Rescue belief).

    The science just isn’t there Christine.

  5. Theodora August 10, 2005 at 16:52 #

    There is no reason on earth to think that if you could get the possibly imaginary mercury out of a child’s brain that it would do any good.

    The studies done with lead poisoning show that chelating the child doesn’t change the brain damage.

    It’s far more likely that IF there is an environmental contributor that it is something that is impacting the child when the child is the size of your little finger.

    You have to see what research is saying about the parts of the brain involved in autism.

    Brain damage is random, mercury causes kidney damage and peripheral nerve damage NOT just damage to the parts of the brain that are affected in autism.

    If you can’t draw a line between mercury and the more tightly packed cortical minicolumns seen in autism (so far) then why don’t you move on to something that CAN cause that?

    What aobut the fact that as a population more parents of autistic kids are “broad auitsm phenotype”? The genes causing autism may affect serotonin, GABA and the development of the cerebellum and the brain stem as well as head size. Did your child have a growth spurt in his head size that was higher than normal, are you sure that it happened because of mercury, and if it did, why on earth would you think that taking the mercury out is going to entirely rewire the brain?

    The brain is not THAT flexible.

    If you compare “brain damage” from mercury to “getting hit in the head with a baseball bat”, that will give you and idea of how brain damage is random. Do you think that all kids getting hit in the head will become autistic?

    No, that’s silly. Because autism is very specific. “Brain damage” affects people in many ways.

    As far as I know, no one is looking to see if mercury is actually in the brains of autistic kids, or if it has done anything unusual to their brains. Mercury poisoined kids have smaller brains, as I understand it, scientists find smaller brains in autistics who have known genetic disorders like Angelman’s that can cause autistic behavior, but usually they find much larger heads.

    What scientists see is not random mercury damage in the brains of autististics, but genetically controlled development starting at conception or a few weeks later (like with the kids who were autistic because of thalidomide or valproic acid exposure).

    If you want to go by the Hornig mouse study, it proves that overdosing a baby with mercury does not cause autism. It causes peripheral nerve damage and a larger hippocampus, not found in autism, so far as has been shown up to now.

    There are only so many deceased autistic children who have had their brains donated to science, but there are some. You need to find out what has been found in those brains before you believe that they show any signs of mercury poisoning.

    Why is it that only in the US does anyone think mercury is a major cause of autism.

    Why is everyone letting pesiticides and flame retardants off the hook? Why won’t anyone talk about alcohol or reproductive technologies like IVF as a cause of an autism increase? Because everyone got stuck on mercury because of the opinions of less than a dozen parents who happened to have a whole bunch of money behind them and were too dumb to think that it might NOT be the mercury.

    Prenatal alcohol exposure is a much more likely cause of an autism increase, but no one cares to say that. Prenatal stress on the moms is a good guess, too. I would say that stress has risen over the years.

    I think that the doctor in Kansas is a creep, but that’s just my opinion.

    Chrisitine, what lab did the doctor use? Do you know that people are not supposed to look for heavy metals if the person has been “provoked” with a chelator? It’s a technique used by quacks to give artificially high heavy metal readings. People are supposed to be tested before the chelator is used, and everything said about autistic kids holding the mercury deep in their “tissues” was just invented to keep the parents coming with the money.

  6. Christine August 10, 2005 at 18:32 #

    >>I’d even go as far as to say that Mercury may be that trigger for some autistics. The things that I contend is that its not the thimerosal in vaccines that are that trigger and that mercury is autism (i.e. the Generation Rescue belief).>I think that the doctor in Kansas is a creep, but that’s just my opinion.>Prenatal alcohol exposure is a much more likely cause of an autism increase, but no one cares to say that. Prenatal stress on the moms is a good guess, too. I would say that stress has risen over the years.>Why is everyone letting pesiticides and flame retardants off the hook? Why won’t anyone talk about alcohol or reproductive technologies like IVF as a cause of an autism increase? >Did your child have a growth spurt in his head size that was higher than normal, are you sure that it happened because of mercury, and if it did, why on earth would you think that taking the mercury out is going to entirely rewire the brain?>Chrisitine, what lab did the doctor use? Do you know that people are not supposed to look for heavy metals if the person has been “provoked” with a chelator? It’s a technique used by quacks to give artificially high heavy metal readings. People are supposed to be tested before the chelator is used,

  7. Christine August 10, 2005 at 18:40 #

    that’s weird…I was responding to a few of the comments on various posts….Only quotes from the posts came up on my last post,but not my replies…I wonder what I did? No time to retype it now…gotta go get lunch and run errands…maybe i will later

  8. Bonnie Ventura August 10, 2005 at 22:35 #

    Hi Christine, in response to your question about why you’re not meeting a large number of newly diagnosed adult autistics, some of us do not want a formal diagnosis because of concerns about discrimination, in addition to political reasons (a minority group should not be defined by a medical diagnosis).

    There are four aspies in my family who are unofficially diagnosed (by teachers, counselors, etc.) and therefore do not appear in the official statistics.

  9. mike August 11, 2005 at 13:43 #

    There is no reason on earth to think that if you could get the possibly imaginary mercury out of a child’s brain that it would do any good.

    Theodora, Your comment makes no sense. It is not imaginary! Having a neurotoxin like mercury removed from a developing brain or body will make it more likely the brain
    can develope. We know that mercury/thimerisol kills brain cells. How can you say it would do no good?

    I really think you are short sighted and ignorant by stating all
    doctors doing chelation are in this for the money only. Many are reputable doctors with autistic/mercury poisoned children. Your comments seem very misleading. I would like to know if there is a web site showing deceased autistic children brain studies. This will answer many questions. If they were given high levels of thimerisol in their vaccines and
    an autopsy shows no mercury trapped in fat cells in the brain and /or body I will admit your side has been correct all along. One of the keys to solving this is to find out exactly what was in the vaccines. Why can’t we get that info? No one on this blog will answer it. The CDC, FDA, IOM, AAP and congress is silent on this. Don’t you find this disturbing as we write on this blog trying to figure this out? Theodora, I am sure there are some unethical chelation doctors. They should be dealt with severely i.e. assets seized, life in prison, stoned to death by parents trying chelation, ect. I beleive most are working on this for answers and a cure. I ask you to explain “provoked” with a chelator. Is this DAN protocol? There are many questions to be answered and our government health agencies and lobbies in the US are doing all they can to delay, decline and deny. Why do you think they are doing this?

  10. Kev August 11, 2005 at 13:53 #

    “Theodora, Your comment makes no sense. It is not imaginary! Having a neurotoxin like mercury removed from a developing brain or body will make it more likely the brain
    can develope”

    But not recover. Mercury poisoning causes physical damage to the brain. If children are *recovering* as parents claim then how does Chelation – which only removes metals, it can’t reverse metal damage – ‘recover’ these kids?

    “I really think you are short sighted and ignorant by stating all doctors doing chelation are in this for the money only.”

    Who stated that? I’m sure some are in it for the prestige too.

    “Don’t you find this disturbing as we write on this blog trying to figure this out? ”

    No. The only people qualified to test a scientific hypothesis are scientists. All the scientific tests done so far indicate no causative link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

    Question for you Mike: aside from the autopsy data (which I think would be next to impossible to get in enough numbers to indicate a prevailing trend) what would be enough to change your mind?

  11. mike August 11, 2005 at 22:19 #

    kev, I could easily change my mind If:
    Our US government health agencies were not so evasive
    about answering direct questions.

    If they mandated the parents of ASD kids be given the details on the vaccines and what exactly was injected into them.

    The CDC, FDA, IOM and AAP admitted “We Screwed Up Big Time” We gave these kids vaccines/neurotoxins at levels far
    above our own thresholds.

    The pharma lobby bankrolling many congressional leaders from both major parties. Most on this site beleive the vast majority of our congress in both parties would not bite the hands that feed them.

    The scientific testing was completed using the exact vaccine data. Not hiding it legally because of their lawyers.

    The tests on both sides are not conclusive. There is a ton of data on both sides. We all know how easy it is to push and pull numbers to get a desired result. Kev, I am not a Doctor, are you? As I see it, The chelation removes the metals, many of the pathways open up, nerves can function, brain cells can now reproduce at a more rapid rate. It all sounds very logical to me, Especially when when there is a track record of success. The bottom line is why not chelation if it improves these kids. The innovators of the world always get criticized.
    Kev, do you or will you ever admit it if chelation and methylation proves to work? Some one else mentioned the autopsy data. I want to see it. We would know for certain if there was mercury trapped in the brain. Here we go again, direct simple question. I am looking for answers kev. What would change your mind?

  12. Kev August 11, 2005 at 22:43 #

    So if they told you whats was in vaccines and they admitted that they’d given kids too much thimerosal then you’d change your mind about thimerosal causing autism? I don’t really get how that works.

    “There is a ton of data on both sides. We all know how easy it is to push and pull numbers to get a desired result”

    No, there isn’t a ton of data on both sides of the chelation issue. As far as chelation ‘curing’ autism goes there’s no data at all. The reason there’s no data is that the practitioners of chelation as an autism cure seem strangely reluctant to put it through scientific testing. If it works then putting it through scientific testing will legitimise it and the whole thing will be open to a vastly increased amount of people – why would Chelationists stand in the way of more children being cured do you think?

    “Kev, I am not a Doctor, are you? As I see it, The chelation removes the metals, many of the pathways open up, nerves can function, brain cells can now reproduce at a more rapid rate. It all sounds very logical to me, Especially when when there is a track record of success.”

    No I’m not a Doctor and nor am I a scientist but what I _do_ know something about is autism. For autism to be reversed by chelation this would mean that autism would have to be metal poisoning of some kind. Something for which there is no evidence for and something for which there is lots of evidence against. Further, chelators cannot reverse damage. Any child who had been autistic/poisoned would only be able to progress from the point that they were chelated. Chelation doesn’t result in brain renewal.

    “Kev, do you or will you ever admit it if chelation and methylation proves to work? Some one else mentioned the autopsy data. I want to see it. We would know for certain if there was mercury trapped in the brain.”

    I’ll be happy to admit it instantly. The minute that Rashid Buttars TD DMPS appears in a scientific journal following peer review and replication as a cure for autism then I’ll post my error immediately.

    “Here we go again, direct simple question. I am looking for answers kev. What would change your mind?”

    Regarding what? And what do you mean ‘here we go again’? You haven’t asked me this question before.

    There are three main questions that underpin this whole debate.

    1) Is there an autism epidemic? I say ‘no’. There’s an increase in numbers but no massive increase in prevalence.

    2) Has thimerosal in vaccines caused this rise? I say ‘no’. There’s no scientific data to support this idea and lots to refute it. There’s also corroborating data to back up the idea that the increase in numbers is mostly down to a widening of the diagnostic criteria coupled with vastly better detection and diagnostic methods.

    3) Does chelation cure/reverse autism? I say ‘no’. There’s no evidence to support this and chelationers seem oddly reluctant to let their products come under the scrutiny of peer review.

    So as to what it would take for me to change my mind on these:

    In each case just one single Journal published, peer reviewed study backing the assertion in question. I would want each study to be replicated by others and peer reviewed at least once but that would pretty much do me.

  13. Erik Nanstiel August 12, 2005 at 15:09 #

    Kevin, if anyone says that chelation is a “cure” for autism, it’s like saying removing a bullet “cures” a gunshot wound. Which is absurd. Most of us “curebies” won’t call it a cure. Just part of the therapy.

    It’s absolutely necessary to get it out…but there’s a lot of “healing” to do afterward. Older children still have to contend with how their brains developed abnormally when they still had the toxic burden and gut issues. The older they are, the more difficult it is for their brain to begin developing the areas that wouldn’t develop earlier.

    that’s why EARLY intervention is so important with the biomedical treatments. After the age of 7 (perhaps older), it seems, the chances of recovery are much lower. THAT’s when autism is no longer just a developmental disorder… but an “alternative” set of wiring upstairs. I’ve seen nothing to make me believe that adult autistics would benefit from biomedical treatment.

    But I’ve seen children get better. And it’s wonderful!

    Have a nice day.

  14. Kev August 12, 2005 at 16:47 #

    And whats the exact mechanism for that recovery Erik? In what percentage of children who undertake chelation is it successful? How does Chelation reverse metal poisoning in autistics? What other developmental factors have you definitvely ruled out?

  15. mike August 12, 2005 at 18:18 #

    Kev,

    This blog is a waste of time. You would never be convinced against any of your points. Autism is an epedemic. Ask the schools and speech therapists if there is overcrowding. There is so much information on the chelation questions you ask. It is so obvious you have not researched this. You have an agenda. You are not looking for answers. Erik don’t waste your time with this idiot. If he researched chelation he would know that it is not defined as “exact mechanism” He will not admit that some very intelligent engineers, doctors, toxicologists, scientists and parents could have any valid points based on science. He will not admit a government cover up. He has not read David Kirbys book and research the corresponding footnotes or he would respond to many of the facts. He will not give credit to any bio-medical approaches involving these kids were talking about. Erik, stay with the DAN conferences, bio-medical and anything else that helps you. I am open minded to this complex issue. We can disagree while trying to find answers. Many on this site will not give an ounce of credit to the people searching for cures and doing research that has helped these kids. Kev, you don’t have an ASD child, do you? If you did, you would be looking for answers and based on the facts. You would want to know exactly what was in the vaccines. You would not depend on the US health agencies to come up with a cure. The private sector of our economy does this based on supply and demand. There is a lot of demand for answers. However the US health agencies are doing everything in their power to keep the lid on this and surpress information.

  16. Kev August 12, 2005 at 22:45 #

    Mike,

    Why is it with you lot that whenever reason fails you have to stoop to personal insult?

    In my daughters school (and yes, she is autistic thanks very much) she is the only one in a school, of over 300 pupils. Her speech therapist who has a caseload covring an entire town says that the amount of autistics on her books has increased a little over the last 6 years but not very much.

    All the science supports the idea that there is no epidemic – I can point you to sources if you’d like.

    I didn’t say there wasn’t any information on Chelation I said there was no data. If you believe there is, feel free to show it to me.

    You say I won’t accept answers based on facts. I say thats *all* I accept answers based on.

  17. Erik Nanstiel August 13, 2005 at 16:35 #

    I’m grateful that your daughter’s school is devoid of children with autism (except for yours).

    Where I live, however, autism is rampant. My daughter has 13 autistic classmates in a school with about 200 kids.

    Talking with parents in support grops throughout the nearby suburbs…the numbers are very similar. Heck, everytime I go to the supermarket… I end up having conversations with people who know an autistic, or have a child themselves. I even see them quite often in public.

    YOU may or may not have an epidemic in your corner of the UK, but here in the states, depending on where you live…it’s all around you. And our school systems are financially strapped to cope!

  18. Kev August 13, 2005 at 16:57 #

    It may or may not be ‘all around you’ Erik but that doesn’t make it an epidemic. Nor does it equate to a rise in prevalence.

    I can think of at least five studies that state better diagnosis and more awareness of autism accounts for the rise in the US alone. Does it not strike you as strange that this so-called ‘epidemic’ first began to be noticed around the same time the diagnostic criteria was vastly widened? And that due to that widening criteria awareness of both what autism is and its many differeing presentations also grew?

    Occams razor Erik. What explanation is the simplest (and therefore best)? That a huge widening of criteria and awareness led to more recognition of autism or that something that had been used in vaccines with no problem for 60 years suddenly started causing autism?

    I’ll give you a clue: one of those theories has multilple scientific studies to back it up. The other one has none whatsoever.

  19. Prometheus August 19, 2005 at 05:18 #

    I can’t speak to the UK, but here in the US, children with disabilities – especially “mental” or “emotional” disabilities – could be legally excluded from public schools until 1975. After 1975, disabled children were allowed to attend public schools, but it wasn’t until 1992 or so that the public schools were required to do anything with them other than let them in the door. Many were “warehoused” in “Special Education” classrooms. That’s why many teachers and students did not see the numbers of disabled children they see now.

    Here’s a sort of terrible irony for your contemplation: the public elementary school I attended for my first years of school was racially integrated (by court order) in 1967. But it didn’t allow a disabled student to cross its threshold until 1975 and they didn’t have mentally disabled children in the regular classrooms until 1993.

    Prometheus

  20. Sotek August 21, 2005 at 11:00 #

    As for adult autistics/aspies/etc being underdiagnosed…

    The /only/ reason I got a diagnosis (Asperger’s, diagnosed when I was ~16), was because of my sister. (9 years younger than me, and dual-diagnosis of autism and mental retardation)

    In first grade, I was diagnosed ADD, because I preferred to read novels (300+ pages, often) instead of paying attention in class.

    My sister’s diagnosis was incredibly obvious; mine was not. But when my mother was asked about the various ‘early warning signs’ with respect to my sister … every time, the answer was “No, but my son did.”

    So. Why did I get the Asperger’s diagnosis? Because my parents wanted to be sure they were doing the right thing in taking me off Ritalin prior to sending me to college, and having informed themselves on the subject of autism in the year or two after my sister was diagnosed, thought I probably was on the spectrum.

    So I went to see a psychologist who was trained in ASD. And was, in fact, diagnosed with Asperger’s.

    I now would most likely NOT be diagnosed. Why? Because I’ve /learned/. I make eye contact now. I can read some facial expressions (due to lots of practice). I’m married. I’m probably more socially adept than the average member of my ‘peer group’ now; of course, my peer group consists of computer programmers, so that doesn’t say very much about me.

    But in the hypothetical situation that I had just entered first grade (at the proper age)… I’d be diagnosed correctly right off the bat, more likely than not.

    So where’s the epidemic? Where’s the hopelessness?
    Where’s the BRAIN DAMAGE?

    How can mercury possibly be responsible for me?
    I’m on the spectrum. If it’s responsible for any significant proportion of us … then it should at least make some level of sense.

    You don’t get into college, let alone graduate, with brain damage. But you can when you’re on the spectrum. So how does it make sense to claim that a neurotoxin is the cause?

    And how is it anything but harmful to divert research away from avenues that have not been explored, into this horribly implausible (yet tested ANYWAY… and contradicted) blind alley?

    How is it a good idea to claim that we shouldn’t have preservatives in vaccines? Have you even contemplated what a badly preserved vaccine would do? Are you aware of WHY Thimerosal was in vaccines in the first place?

    Indeed, have you even contemplated how many people would have to be in on a “pro-mercury” conspiracy? AND how ineffective it must be, if Kirby and the Geiers and all the rest are allowed to speak unsilenced, let alone buy 2 million-dollar-homes?

  21. Christine,

    “kev…you are obviously ignoring MY point. There is already at least a partial connection in that mercury is a neurotoxin and autism is a neurological disorder.”

    Actually, more and more studies are failing to find that autism is a “neurobiological disorder”; I think of one at Johns Hopkins University a couple of years ago, and another one very recently at the University of Helsinki. I know the Helisnki researcher, and she’s a neurologist. She’d know if it definitely was what you believe, and she found that the evidence was lacking.

  22. Christine September 1, 2005 at 13:57 #

    “Actually, more and more studies are failing to find that autism is a “neurobiological disorder”

    You changed what I said. I said autism was a NEUROlogical disorder. You changed that to a neuroBIOlogical disorder.

  23. Kev September 21, 2005 at 20:21 #

    http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/wp/?p=287

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