Monday, February 26, 2007

Big Women and Babies

Vaccine Committee Whitewashed Toxic Vaccine Component, Says National Autism Association (NAA)

ATLANTA, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ --
Excert from this article that gets me hopping mad...

"While most routine childhood vaccines are currently available in mercury- free or reduced mercury versions, the majority of flu shots still contain 25 micrograms of mercury, an amount considered unsafe under government agency guidelines for anyone weighing less than 550 lbs. The CDC now recommends flu shots for pregnant women and children ages six months through five years. "It's obvious this committee's ties to the drug companies are dictating what will come to light regarding the use of mercury in vaccines," said Claire Bothwell, NAA board chair. "When it comes to discussing thimerosal, it's hard to tell where the pharmaceutical industry leaves off and where the CDC begins. The blurring of these lines is not in the best interests of public health." National Autism Association

I may have FELT that heavy when pregnant. But that being said, I've never met a 550 pound woman before. Have you?

Genes verses the Environment. You got to be kidding!

ABC Reports New Autism Study Finds Genetics, Not Toxins, to Blame for Rise in Cases
But network failed to remind viewers it gave Robert Kennedy a soapbox about mercury as cause for disease.

By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute

A new study by the Autism Genome Project (AGP) chalks up the disease’s primary cause to genetics, not environmental pollution, ABC’s Bill Blakemore reported on the February 18 “World News.” But in 2005, media outlets including ABC showcased an environmental activist fingering mercury as the culprit. “Today’s study pinpoints the probable culprit: not just one, but many genes and abnormalities,” Blakemore told his evening newscast audience. “The evidence suggests that autism is over 90 percent caused by genes,” said Dr. Joseph BuxBaum of the AGP in a sound bite aired during Blakemore’s report. But back in 2005, ABC and other media outlets latched onto environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s assertion that mercury in vaccines was to blame for the trend of rising autism cases. As the Business & Media Institute (BMI) reported in the summer of 2005, CBS, The New York Times, and ABC all paid heed to Kennedy’s claims, even though many scientists disputed it, and Kennedy himself lacks the medical or scientific credentials to have argued a link between mercury and autism. Indeed, the June 22, 2005, “World News Tonight” devoted a four-minute segment to a story it would later report was completely untrue. Anchor Charles Gibson gave air time to Kennedy, but documented evidence that overwhelmingly contradicted the environmental lawyer’s claims. “The researchers say this study shows environmental toxins are not, as some argue, a major cause of autism,” ABC’s Blakemore noted in his February 18 story, but without mentioning the attention his network paid to Kennedy and his role in furthering the mercury scare. BMI also noted at the time that CBS “Evening News” and The New York Times also advanced Kennedy’s claims as one side of a medical debate, even though they noted the scientific evidence weighed heavily against Kennedy.

Another great example of slanted, inaccurate reporting. When will the media realize what damage they do when they print a headline like that? That toxins aren't to blame? It's almost idiotic and certainly laughable. And how about that 90% number, not backed by anything, a guess. Dangerous dangerous dangerous! This disorder is still unexplained fully, and they can make an assessement like that? Do they realize how confusing this is to the general public? I think they do. The jury is still out on what genes, what toxins, what blend of what that causes a unique blend of ASD for each person with this disability.

Don't get me wrong, I don't belong to the mercury faction of the Autism Community. However, I do believe mercury is one of the culprits to some outlined by those factions. However, as I seem to repeat myself, it's just not one thing that causes all Autism. How could it be?

How many parents will just read that headline and pop open another can of food filled with metals, preservatives and additives? How many parents will breathe a sigh of relief and lay down this year's gallons of pesticides, vaccinate without doing their homework, and buy home products filled with endocrine disrupters and other toxins? How many parents will turn their back on reports about our environment since hey, it doesn't contribute at all to ASD disorders? A pregnant mom may get all her testing done for Down Syndrome and other major disorders and think she's home free of ADHD, developmental delays, and Autism?

This type of "reporting" does nothing to raise awareness about Autism and the genetic and environmental causes/triggers. It only sells ratings.

Largest U.S. Dairy Shuns Milk From Clones

Largest U.S. dairy shuns milk from clones
Fri Feb 23, 3:07 PM ET
The largest U.S. dairy processor and distributor said even if food products from cloned animals become a reality, it will not sell milk from animals that have been cloned because of ongoing consumer concerns. Dean Foods Co. said late on Thursday that several surveys have shown their U.S. customers are not interested in buying milk or milk products that come from cloned animals. "Our decision not to accept this milk is based on meeting our consumers' expectations," the company said in a statement. "We see no consumer benefit from this technology." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tentatively ruled late last year that milk and meat from some cloned animals are safe to eat, bringing the controversial technology closer to American grocery carts. Dean said if the FDA approves the sale of milk from clones it will work with its dairy farmers to ensure the milk they supply to the company does not come from those animals. Proponents have touted cloned animals as safe and hope the technology will create animals that produce more milk, better meat and are more disease-resistant. Opinion polls, however, show consumers are more wary. A survey by the International Food Information Council found that more than half of consumers were unlikely to buy food made from cloned animals, no matter what the government says. Cloning animals involves taking the nuclei of cells from adults and fusing them into egg cells that are implanted into a surrogate mother. Hundreds of livestock animals already have been cloned, but producers and the nascent industry have voluntarily agreed not to sell any foods from these animals until the FDA decision is finalized.
Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited

Again, the FDA is picking and choosing what they test and what they don't test for us, the American public. CRAZY! Personally, the scary thing is that if this indeed happens, these providers may not be required to label this meat which leaves Joe consumer with no choices. The sad thing, is that all of these resources are going to cloned meat that promotes our current inefficient disease promoting industrialized farming methods. These methods are what needs changing!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Parents Doing Therapy, Is It Effective?

Parent Implemented Early Intervention For Young Children With Autism
Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review.

McConachie H, . Diggle T.
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, School of Clinical Medical Sciences,
Child Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK.

Background Recent estimates concerning the prevalence of autism
spectrum disorder (ASD) suggest that at least one in 200 children is
affected. This group of children and families have important service needs.
The involvement of parents in implementing intervention strategies designed
to help their autistic children has long been accepted as helpful. The
potential benefits are increased skills and reduced stress for parents as
well as children.

This research review focused on interventions for children aged 1-6
years, and was carried out using systematic methodology: a comprehensive
search of psychological, educational and biomedical databases, as well as
bibliographies and reference lists of key articles, contact with experts in
the field, and hand search of key journals. Only studies which involved a
concurrent element of control were included.

The review found very few studies that had adequate research design
from which to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of parent-implemented
early intervention. Both randomized and controlled studies tended to suggest
that parent training leads to improved child communicative behaviour,
increased maternal knowledge of autism, enhanced maternal communication
style and parent child interaction, and reduced maternal depression.

It seems that parent training can successfully contribute to
intervention for young children with ASD. However, the review highlights the
need for improved research in this area.
PMID: 17286734 [PubMed - in process]

In my own experience, the kids that are doing well have parents that carryover their child's therapy goals at home. Many parents become proficient at certain therapies by reading materials on the subject. Some get training, even degrees later on. For PubMed and other links to clnical journals and media, go to my Resource page.

Friday, February 09, 2007

CDC numbers for Autism 1 in 150

February 9, 2007

Autism More Prevalent Than Estimated
New CDC Data Find
1 in 150 Children Have
Forms of the Disorder
February 9, 2007; Page B4

WASHINGTON -- The first large study of autism rates among U.S. children showed about one in 150 have the disorder, a higher rate than previous estimates.

The new data on autism spectrum disorders, which include autism, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders, is the first set of data from a network set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to track the prevalence of autism, the rates of which appeared to be increasing based on the number of parents seeking services for their children.

The CDC's research looked at medical and school records of children who were 8 years old in 2000 or 2002 to determine whether they had been diagnosed with autism and when. Autism is characterized as impairments in social interaction, communication and unusual behavior and interests. The cause of the disorder isn't known, and there is no cure, although medication and therapy can improve symptoms.
For full WSJ article, click here.

This study says it includes PDDs and Aspergers, a first. But not the entire spectrum. I'd love to see ADD, ADHD, and other sister disorders included to get a real picture of what the typical American classroom looks like.

Funny, Leo has never been counted before since his actual diagnosis is PDD-NOS. It used to aggravate me so much that one had to conform to a certain criteria in order to be taken seriously. I'm hoping other researchers in the future will carefully address the whole of an issue, rather than a part, if they can.

1 in 150? How about 1 in 79 for boys in Utah? How about 1 in 6 babies will have a developmental disorder or delay?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Funny Things Leo Says

While doing homework, Leo says, "Did you know you don't need the bottom of a pencil sharpener? You can still use it. It's only for the scraps. The top part is the most important."

During a discussion about a friend in class that has behavior issues, Leo protectively said to me "Gary's issues are private. It doesn't matter what they are. He's my friend." Good for him!

We've been listening to a new music station in the kitchen. He noticed before anyone else that they were repeating a song, and how many times. The irony, noticing when somebody ELSE repeats!

Self Control is one of Leo's "things he's working on". Specifically, monitoring his thoughts so he doesn't say them out loud at the wrong time. He'll blurt out the answer while everyone else raises their hands. So one day he and his sister were talking about the intercom and the announcements at school. Leo confessed that sometimes they make mistakes, so he'll quietly correct the name to himself.

I picked Leo up at a play date recently. Sydney immediately ran out into the woods to join the boys while I was having a chat with the mom. It was dusk, and they "got lost". Leo came to Sydney's rescue by holding her hand when she was nervous AND carried her over a stream because she was too afraid to jump over it like the boys did.

Over a weekend with nothing to do, Leo found a flashlight and started looking in dark places like the whole in the kitchen where the tennis balls always goes. He spent about a half hour doing this. A far cry from the old days when he'd stare into a flash light and he'd stim like crazy over them in general. I recall the days when we just couldn't have them in the house!

I like sitting in between my Dad and my sister at the movies (between was the spelling word for writing homework)

Our holiday card had several photos of the kids, one being a picture of Leo's face but he was in the bath. When the card was complimented by a friend, he said the photo on the new years card was so embarrassing because of the bath. It never even occured to me that it would. He's growing up!

"Sydney, she's just ASSHOLE!"

After a play date, Leo said "I didn't have fun with Cameron today, it was so frustrating." It didn't seem like a match to me (different interests). I was glad he felt the same way!

Fun With Stats: California Autism Numbers for '06

California Reports: Autism Epidemic Rages On - 2006 Record Year

From California autism advocate Rick Rollens.

According to information recently released by the California
Department of Developmental Services (DDS) during calendar year 2006,
California added 3,385 new cases of professionally diagnosed, full syndrome
autism to it's developmental services system...the most new cases ever added
to the system in a one year period, and a 16% increase over calendar year
2005. Also, DDS reports that an all time record number of new intakes
came into the system during one quarter in the 38 year history of
California's DD system during the fourth quarter of 2006 (October through
December) when 956 new cases entered the system. The previous record was
(Keep in mind, that all of the data reported by DDS, ONLY includes
persons with professionally diagnosed full syndrome DSM IV autism, and DOES
NOT include persons with PDD, NOS, Asperger's Syndrome or any other autism
spectrum disorder.) California is now averaging over 9 new cases of full
syndrome autism entering California's DD system a day, seven days a week.
78% of the autism population in the system is under the age of 18,
with 84% under the age of 22 years old.
We currently have 1,223 more 3 to 5 year olds in the system then we
have for ALL ages from 22 years old to 62 years old and beyond.
20 years ago in 1987 there were 2,273 persons with autism in
California's system. Today, 20 years later, there are 32,809.
By the end of 2002, 39% of all new intakes were full syndrome autism
cases. Four years later at the end of 2006, autism now accounts for 64% of
all new intakes. Therefore, today over 6 out of 10 persons entering
California's DD system have full syndrome autism, and less then four persons
entering the system have mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy
Below is a chart comparing the age distribution of the autism
population for the four year period between 12/02 and 12/06 with percentage
comparisons broken down by age group as the part of the whole for 12/02 and
12/06, and the percentage increase by age group between 12/02 and 12/06:


3-5 year olds 4039 *(20%) 3-5 year olds 6348 (19%) ** 36%

6-9 year olds 5884 (29%) 6-9 year olds 8782 (27%) 33%

10-13 year olds 3733 (18%) 10-13 year olds 6312 (19%) 41%

14-17 year olds 1825 (9%) 14-17 year olds 4108 (13%) 56%

18-21 year olds 1118 (5%) 18-21 year olds 2102 (6%) 47%

22 to 62 & older 3762 (18%) 22 to 62 & older 5125 (16%) 27%

TOTAL: 20,377 TOTAL: 32,809


Here's a shot out to the Schafer Report. They compile media such as this every day which saves us parents so much time. They are the best!