View Full Version : "House Committee to Probe Federal Response to Autism" Article


Unmanagable
11-29-12, 01:36 AM
http://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/advocacy-news/house-committee-probe-federal-response-autism


WASHINGTON, DC (November 28, 2012) -- The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the federal response to autism, its first in a decade. The committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), will hear from panels of government experts, as well as advocates, including Autism Speaks Co-founder Bob Wright.

The 2 pm (EST) hearing will be aired on C-SPAN.



Since the committee's last hearing in 2002, the prevalence of autism has skyrocketed to 1 in 88, including 1 in 54 boys, according to the most recent estimate issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2012. The lifetime cost of caring for a single individual with autism was recently estimated to be as high as $2.3 million. The annual cost to the nation has been pegged at $137 billion.

Unmanagable
12-21-12, 04:09 PM
For anyone interested, here's an article that highlights the specific questions asked, and the answers that were given at the congressional hearing on 11/29/2012:
http://canaryparty.net/index.php/the-news/123-congress-slams-nih-cdc-reps-for-evading-vaccineautism-evidence


Dr. Alan Guttmacher, a medical geneticist from the National Institutes of Health, defended his highly-criticized Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Both Guttmacher and Boyle testified that autism has no known cause or cure, and their only offerings of help were statistical tracking, detection tools, and behavioral therapies.

Outgoing Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) stated that autism has more than one cause, but “the one we’re talking about today is mercury in vaccination and the environment.” He played a video from the University of Calgary showing destruction of brain neurons after low-level mercury exposure (here), and wondered how anybody from the CDC can watch and say that mercury doesn’t have an impact on neurodevelopment. Rep. Burton said that shortly after his grandson got nine vaccines in one day, the boy began banging his head against the wall and lost continence.


This is the video from the University of Calgary that Rep. Dan Burton refers to above:

Published 11/28/2012:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcij3uPsYUQ&feature=youtu.be


Published on Nov 28, 2012
Recent studies have many scientist asking the question, "Just how dangerous is Mercury, (Thimerosal) for your brain?" This short educational film from the University of Calgary will put any suspicions to rest. The film shows, (in vivid detail) exactly what happens to brain cells when they're exposed to Mercury, (or Thimerosal, as added to flu vaccines) making it easy to understand why mercury has been linked to a host of permanent harmful reactions, such as; autism, heart disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility and more. "Thimerosalm" (Ethylmercury) is a trademarked name, given to a mercury based compound, used as a preservative in the manufacturing of vaccines since the early 1930's. Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin, that's been shown in laboratory studies to permanently damage brain cells upon contact, causing the dendrites to recoil from the contaminated areas leading to a gap in the neuro network. The studies on the use of thimerosal, also describe tubular necrosis and nervous system injury, including obtundation, coma and death. As a result of these findings, Russia has banned thimerosal from childrens vaccines in 1980. Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have also banned the preservative.

* http://www.whale.to/a/simpsonwood_meeting.html (http://www.whale.to/a/simpsonwood_meeting.html)

* http://vaers.hhs.gov/index (http://vaers.hhs.gov/index)

* http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/ (http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/)

* http://www.ageofautism.com/ (http://www.ageofautism.com/)

* http://www.generationrescue.org/ (http://www.generationrescue.org/)

* http://vactruth.com/ (http://vactruth.com/)

* http://www.fluscam.com/ (http://www.fluscam.com/)

* http://www.medicalvoices.org/ (http://www.medicalvoices.org/)

* http://www.whale.to/vaccines.html (http://www.whale.to/vaccines.html)

* http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/medical/swine_flu.htm (http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/medical/swine_flu.htm)

* http://www.safeminds.org/ (http://www.safeminds.org/)

* http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/index2.html (http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/index2.html)

* http://drtenpenny.com/default.aspx (http://drtenpenny.com/default.aspx)

* http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/flu.htm (http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/flu.htm)

* http://experimentalvaccines.org/2012/11/16/flu-vaccines-contain-mercury/ (http://experimentalvaccines.org/2012/11/16/flu-vaccines-contain-mercury/)

mrs. dobbs
12-22-12, 03:46 AM
Thanks for this. I don't know anything about Darell Issa or Dan Burton, or their voting records... but initiating a look into this is good. Even though thimerosal isn't in vaccines here, I am still waiting to vaccinate, if at all because of possible encephalopathy caused by the vaccines... and aluminum. Anyway, it's like the polio and DDT link denial, isn't it? Sigh, the NIH.

Fortune
12-22-12, 04:57 AM
I found it extremely disappointing that the hearings focused almost entirely on the rather discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. There are many issues facing autistic people and their families, including the fact that the vast majority of funds go toward research and very little goes toward support for autistic people, especially adults.

This does not mean that vaccines are 100% safe or that vaccine injury never occurs: It does.

This article on Medical News Today summarizes known information (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/233438.php).

Another article about the same study as the previous link. (http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/QUA-270215/MMR-Vaccine-Does-Not-Cause-Autism-Says-IOM)

Another page that discusses the lack of evidence for a vaccination-autism link (http://www.parents.com/health/autism/vaccines/health-update-more-proof-that-vaccines-dont-cause-autism/).

Forbes weighs in on the hearings. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/12/03/congress-holds-an-anti-vaccination-hearing/)

Psychology Today covers the state of research linking vaccines and autism in 2009. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rationally-speaking/200906/vaccines-do-not-cause-autism)

Per the CDC, thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines administered in childhood. (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/)

This particular topic has been of significant interest to me for the past five years (since early 2008) and I have try to keep up to date on the state of research regarding autism epidemiology and etiology, and I just haven't seen anything to support the idea that autism is caused by vaccines. I do not believe the lack of such evidence is a matter of conspiracy or bias, but the way things are.

I personally showed my first signs of autism before I was vaccinated with anything, and more than a year before the MMR vaccine was introduced (that is, before my first birthday).

It worries me that the congressional hearing focused on fomenting fear and distrust about vaccinations, and doubt about validated medical treatments that rarely have harmful side effects. The FUD caused by such claims leads to more parents worrying about the effects vaccines might have on their children, leading to an overall reduction in herd immunity as the number of children vaccinated decreases, and increasing chance of diseases such as smallpox, polio, or whooping cough gaining a foothold among people vulnerable to such things.

For one example, my nephew in law has a transplanted liver. He cannot receive vaccines due to his compromised immune system (thanks to anti-rejection medications). My grandnephew and his son therefore cannot receive a full battery of vaccinations. If most other children get their vaccinations, he probably won't be at significantly greater risk. But if other children do not get their vaccinations, and one of them gets sick, he can be exposed. There's always the risk he will get sick too, but the more people around him who are immunised, the lower that chance is.

Vaccines greatly reduce disease, disability, and death worldwide. (http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/2/07-040089/en/)

What would happen if we stopped vaccinations. (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm)

This page is a bit melodramatic, but it makes a point. (http://antivaccinebodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html)

I think it's obvious where I stand on this issue. I am aware others may not agree with me. Mostly, I just ask people to look at the available data - not just the data that supports the theory that vaccines cause autism, but the data that counters that theory.

As for the hearing, there are a host of issues facing autistic children, autistic adults, and their families. Unfortunately, these issues were not seriously discussed. Ari Ne'eman of ASAN and Michael John Carley of GRASP did not have a lot of time to address these needs directly, given that the majority of attention was focused on vaccines.

You can read their statements at this link. (http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/full-us-congress-autism-pandemic-hearingsts/)

Fortune
12-22-12, 05:02 AM
And just to be clear, I do not think poorly of anyone who wants to be careful and informed about what gets injected into (or otherwise administered to) their children. That, I think, is responsible parenting. By all means, learn as much as possible.

Amtram
12-22-12, 05:11 PM
For anyone who thinks despite mountains of evidence that there is a link between vaccines and autism, stop by Respectful Insolence (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/) or Science-Based Medicine (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/) and see what the truth of this is. Or, if you want a full history of how this misconception came to be, and came to be completely debunked by actual science, Brian Deer (http://briandeer.com/mmr-lancet.htm) chronicled the Wakefield debacle from beginning to end.

Unmanagable
12-22-12, 05:25 PM
I appreciate the links that have more info., but I had to laugh at the "Respectful Insolence" link. I didn't get past the derogatory tone of the blog to read the truth.
Respectful arrogance, huh? Not so much.

Dizfriz
12-22-12, 05:39 PM
Anyway, it's like the polio and DDT link denial, isn't it? Sigh, the NIH.

I had not heard of this before. I looked it up and the only places I saw it discussed was on the outlier sites such as Natural news. Many of them had a Web of Trust (WOT) red rating which is not good for creditability.

Do you have any more substantial information? Mostly I am curious and thought that much of what I saw could be correlative/causation confusion.

Dizfriz

Amtram
12-22-12, 05:50 PM
I appreciate the links that have more info., but I had to laugh at the "Respectful Insolence" link. I didn't get past the derogatory tone of the blog to read the truth.
Respectful arrogance, huh? Not so much.

He's a research oncologist in a university hospital, and has been covering pseudoscience and alternative medicine long enough to have become a bit jaded. His information is spot on, though.

Unmanagable
12-22-12, 06:19 PM
I'm not attempting to discredit his work, but the delivery style of the info turns my brain off before having a chance to dig in.

mrs. dobbs
12-23-12, 02:41 AM
Do you have any more substantial information? Mostly I am curious and thought that much of what I saw could be correlative/causation confusion.


What would you consider substantial information or a credible source?

Amtram
12-23-12, 10:55 AM
Actual peer-reviewed, published research is preferred to articles on websites that sell products and services.

mrs. dobbs
12-23-12, 03:46 PM
Dizfriz & Amtram, I will keep that in mind when discussing the link between polio and DDT in the future, that you are interested in more information on the topic coming from sources you feel secure with... which I hope is ok that I save for another time in another thread because I just realized that this is the Aspergers/Autism Spectrum/PDD forum.

In the meantime, you both seem pretty good at finding information from sources that you trust. Happy hunting! :p

LJM896
12-23-12, 04:14 PM
It's interesting. Though I do like that many leaders in the field are starting to say that autism is being over diagnosed. They used to not diagnose it till over a certain age (I want to say 5, but do not quote me on that). Now they are doing screenings as young as 6 months. Now I know sometimes autistic children present early symptoms, but that is way too young to start diagnosing. Just googling autistic symptoms in toddlers will pull up a variety of "symptoms" that many young children do who grow up and do not have autism.

Rebelyell
12-23-12, 04:25 PM
I just hope all these events that unfortunately have happened as of lately dont ,make all the progress and inroads mental health has come and send it back to the stone age.I mean how many times Ive seen it with my 2 eyes and ears,ya mention depression and the stupid nts are like watch out ,dont **** him off he might come in shooting etc.THis makes me very angry and dejected and exasperated with these types of people,I talked to my counselor about this, how these are such ignorant comments where most people who are depressed dont have the energy or want to engage others w anger and or are withdrawn etc.She agreed w me.

Lunacie
12-23-12, 07:42 PM
It's interesting. Though I do like that many leaders in the field are starting to say that autism is being over diagnosed. They used to not diagnose it till over a certain age (I want to say 5, but do not quote me on that). Now they are doing screenings as young as 6 months.

Now I know sometimes autistic children present early symptoms, but that is way too young to start diagnosing. Just googling autistic symptoms in toddlers will pull up a variety of "symptoms" that many young children do who grow up and do not have autism.

Most mental disorders are composed of symptoms that everyone does, but
in the person with the disorder, the symptoms cause impairment in their
everyday activities.

If one suspects that a child isn't developing quite like other kids, it's best
to have the child seen by a childhood developmental specialist, who can
tell whether the behavior is typical or not.

The sooner this is done, the sooner intervention therapies can be started
and the better the prognosis for the child. The diagnosis or label is only i
important to people like the insurance companies who decide whether to
pay for those therapies, and later when the child starts school.

Autistic babies and toddlers clearly are not meeting certain developmental
milestones or displaying certain characteristic behaviors, and better to be
helped sooner than later.

This is the perspective of a grandmother with a now 11 year old autistic
granddaughter who wasn't diagnosed and helped until she was nearly 6.

LJM896
12-23-12, 08:32 PM
Most mental disorders are composed of symptoms that everyone does, but
in the person with the disorder, the symptoms cause impairment in their
everyday activities.

If one suspects that a child isn't developing quite like other kids, it's best
to have the child seen by a childhood developmental specialist, who can
tell whether the behavior is typical or not.

The sooner this is done, the sooner intervention therapies can be started
and the better the prognosis for the child. The diagnosis or label is only i
important to people like the insurance companies who decide whether to
pay for those therapies, and later when the child starts school.

Autistic babies and toddlers clearly are not meeting certain developmental
milestones or displaying certain characteristic behaviors, and better to be
helped sooner than later.

This is the perspective of a grandmother with a now 11 year old autistic
granddaughter who wasn't diagnosed and helped until she was nearly 6.

I agree with you in the fact that early intervention is best. And my perspective is coming from one of a stepmom with 2 autistic stepchildren,one of whom lives with us full time and one who did until she moved out (of age).

However, many "signs" as I said that are thrown around are if child does "x" they are automatically autistic. There is such a wide range of behaviors, particularly under the age of 2, and a wide range of when is fine to meet them without indicating autism.

Anyone with concerns should obviously discuss it with a doctor or someone else qualified, but literally it is turning into wide spread mania. Things like "my 8 week old is not smiling yet, they must be autistic." As I said, so many milestones are reached at a wide variety of ages, which is exactly why they used to be against giving children the diagnosis of being on the autistic spectrum so early. The worry that has begun blatantly obvious IS happening is that it leads to an over diagnosis. This used to be common with adhd as well. When I was a child so many kids were diagnosed with adhd at a young age when they were simply exhibiting age appropriate behaviors- for example, imaging a 2 year old boy who can't sit still. He must have adhd! Obviously, we are aware this assumption is simply false.

Lunacie
12-23-12, 09:07 PM
I agree with you in the fact that early intervention is best. And my perspective is coming from one of a stepmom with 2 autistic stepchildren,one of whom lives with us full time and one who did until she moved out (of age).

However, many "signs" as I said that are thrown around are if child does "x" they are automatically autistic. There is such a wide range of behaviors, particularly under the age of 2, and a wide range of when is fine to meet them without indicating autism.

Anyone with concerns should obviously discuss it with a doctor or someone else qualified, but literally it is turning into wide spread mania. Things like "my 8 week old is not smiling yet, they must be autistic." As I said, so many milestones are reached at a wide variety of ages, which is exactly why they used to be against giving children the diagnosis of being on the autistic spectrum so early. The worry that has begun blatantly obvious IS happening is that it leads to an over diagnosis. This used to be common with adhd as well. When I was a child so many kids were diagnosed with adhd at a young age when they were simply exhibiting age appropriate behaviors- for example, imaging a 2 year old boy who can't sit still. He must have adhd! Obviously, we are aware this assumption is simply false.

That is not something I'm seeing. Perhaps we move in different circles.

Also, ADHD was not, and is not, over-diagnosed. Mis-diagnosed, yes.

Do I wish doctors were better at figuring out which kids need to be seen
by someone who understands mental disorders, heck yes.