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Autism and Dr. Bernie Rimland: Harmful Exposures and Susceptible Children

Posted Jul 01 2013 12:00am
Dr. Rimland On July 14, 2003, Dr. Bernard Rimland , the man who changed the paradigm of autism, from the archaic and psychiatric, refrigerator families to instead children, who regressed into a medically treatable neurobehavioral illness -- wrote these words
July 14, 2003

Director, Autism Research Institute
Editor, Autism Research Review International
Founder, Autism Society of America


The vaccine manufacturers, the Center for Disease Control, the FDA, and the various medical associations have failed miserably in their duty to protect our children. Rather than acknowledge their role in  creating the immense, catastrophic rise in autism, these organizations have resorted to denial and obfuscation. They stand to lose their credibility, and billions of dollars in liability suits will soon reach the courts.

As a full-time professional research scientist for 50 years, and as a researcher in the field of autism for 45 years, I have been shocked and chagrined by the medical establishment's ongoing efforts to trivialize the solid and compelling evidence that faulty vaccination policies are the root cause of the epidemic. There are many consistent  lines of evidence implicating vaccines, and no even marginally plausible alternative hypotheses.

As the number of childhood vaccines has increased 700%, from 3 in the `70s to 22 in 2000, the prevalence of autism has also showed a parallel increase of 700%.

 Late onset autism, (starting in the 2nd year), was almost unheard of  in the `50s, `60s, and `70s; today such cases outnumber early onset cases 5 to 1, the increase paralleling the increase in required vaccines.

Thousands of parents report - and demonstrate with home videos -- that their children were normal and responsive until suffering an adverse vaccine reaction. (The Autism Research Institute has been tracking such autism-related vaccination reactions since 1967.)

Mercury, one of the most toxic substances known, is used as a preservative in many vaccines. Some infants have had 125 times the maximum allowable limit of mercury injected directly into their bloodstreams, in one day, in vaccines. (People vary enormously in their sensitivity to mercury, because certain genes predispose to mercury sensitivity. The highly-touted New
England Journal of Medicine  Danish study failed to mention the very convenient fact that none of the Danish children had prior exposure to mercury, since Denmark, unlike the U.S. had, banned mercury from childhood vaccines in 1992, the year before the birth year of the children in the study.)

There are numerous scientific studies showing large differences in clinical laboratory measures of blood, urine and biopsies which compare autistic children with normal controls. Such findings, pointing directly to vaccines as the cause of the group differences, are conveniently overlooked by those attempting to conceal the strong connection between the autism epidemic and excessive use of unsafe vaccines.

The truth must - and will - emerge. It is long overdue.

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D.
Director, Autism Research Institute
Editor, Autism Research Review International
Founder, Autism Society of America

I received that statement in an email from Dr. Rimland.  I had never met him personally but he had read a post from me as many of us, parents, were in yahoo groups back in the late 90's and into the new millennium. We were searching for answers on how to help our very sick kids who had been diagnosed with the DSM word – AUTISM.  I had shared how my daughter, Megan, born in 1993, had begun to speak and then gradually stopped before her 2nd birthday.  She also had many illnesses and behavioral changes: throwing up, diarrhea, rashes, fevers, banging her head, no eye contact, appeared deaf, happy to sad, outgoing to shy, began obsessive behaviors and then  -- was gone – but to the doctors - it was simply an autism diagnosis.

She became a crying child who treated us like strangers – all of this after vaccine, after vaccine, but then horribly after her MMR vaccine.  Her sensory system was on overload and she kept her fingers in her ears constantly to dull the noises of the world.   We were to eventually find out that Meg had some GI issues that I thought would be easy to fix and get her back to the happy child she had been.  Testing showed that Meg had in her stool, excessive Candida - yeast overgrowth; an intestinal protozoan parasite infection, Giardia lamblia; and another parasite infection, Blastocystis hominis. It would take 18 months to see any improvement in her health, but little did I know that those infections and many more to come would be the horror of Megan’s autism diagnosis, as well as its epicenter. She was soon to become a victim to constant Strep and Clostridial infections   accompanied by bizarre behaviors. Her immune system became worse and worse – seizures appeared at age sixteen and then an autoimmune diagnosis at eighteen. Autism for us was not a gift of super skills or deficit social issues but a life and death tightrope, as infections and a sick immune system ruled Meg’s world.

Bernie Rimland called me one evening in that July of 2003 and asked if I would attach his statement to any letters/emails that I might send out regarding Megan.  I was grateful for that call and told him I would gladly help spread his statement. I thanked him for all that he had done and was continuing to do for so many ill children. Bernie died three years later but not before he made it clear that his research and contact with thousands of families showed that there was a connection to vaccinations and autism.

In 2002, a year before the above Rimland statement was born, this comprehensive article from Dr. Rimland and Dr. Woody McGinnis was published.  Many connections that we now see more clearly today, in 2013, were brought to light by these two observant researchers over ten years ago: 

"Vaccines and Autism"   

Laboratory medicine> september 2002> number 9> volume 33
Bernard Rimland, PhD, Woody McGinnis, MD
Autism Research Institute, San Diego, CA

"This paper examines the autistic immune profile and the possible role of vaccines in autism.”

"Vaccinations may be one of the triggers for autism. Substantial data demonstrate immune abnormality in many autistic children consistent with impaired resistance to infection, activation of inflammatory response, and autoimmunity. Impaired resistance may predispose to vaccine injury in autism."

"Impaired resistance to infection and autoimmune diathesis may provide fertile ground for vaccine injury, and these conditions may exist prior to both vaccination and the onset of autism.....Intravenous immunoglobulin treatments have benefited autistic children both with and without IgG subclass deficiency, perhaps by countering infections or autoimmune processes.4"

"We postulate that thimerosal in vaccines may cause direct neurotoxic, immunodepressive, and autoimmune injury resulting in either early-onset or regressed autism. Further, we submit that
MMR (usually at 15 months) may result in chronic infection of the gut by vaccinial measles, and trigger regressed autism.....Autoimmune injury to both gut and brain is suggested in autism."

"Either the poor immunity seen in children with more severe recognized reactions to vaccines is an antecedent marker for such reactions, or immune impairment follows vaccination. Neither possibility is comforting when we know that immune impairment of autistic children exists after vaccination."

"The profile of immune depression in mercury exposure parallels specific abnormalities in many autistic children... We hypothesize that increased risk of chronic measles infection complicating MMR in a subgroup of children with common variable immunodeficiency or selective deficits, particularly if these immune deficits are superimposed on subclinical nutritional deficiencies or other vulnerabilities. Recognition of such a vaccine-injured subset of children would be more difficult if the infection is latent, or in the case of a neurobehavioral syndrome such as autism, outside the brain"...

"In many respects, the autistic immune profile fits the diagnostic category of common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)... Autism may very well be nature's way of demonstrating a subgroup of CVID children vulnerable to vaccine injury. Current official vaccination guidelines do not exclude CVID children from usual vaccination, but we think this needs refinement. We call for well-funded prospective studies by individuals without conflicts of interest to determine immune, autoimmune, gastrointestinal, and long-term neurobehavioral effects of vaccination, particularly in relation to immune, gut, and nutritional status before and after vaccination..."

"Development of screening methods for deferral of vaccines in at-risk children is a worthy goal."

"Long-term prospective studies of the behavioral and neurodevelopmental effects of vaccination do not exist."

There has been more research since 2003 on the neurodevelopmental effects of vaccination. I'll list some here and appreciate anymore papers, studies, articles, thoughts and opinions any of you can add that reflect what Bernie Rimland questioned regarding vaccines, autism, regression and immune abnormalities.  Those questions would be – What are the subtle and acute mechanisms that can cause kids to regress into autism?  Can we develop screening methods to determine which babies should not be vaccinated?  Which immune treatments will help children diagnosed with autism?  Can regression be stopped before an autism diagnosis? 

Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1–9 years

"This study found statistically significant evidence to suggest that boys in United States who were vaccinated with the triple series Hepatitis B vaccine, during the time period in which vaccines were manufactured with thimerosal, were more susceptible to developmental disability than were unvaccinated boys."


"Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period."

Home Videos Show Autism Starts Later in Some  

"Home videos of children's birthday parties may validate what many parents of autistic children have suspected in retrospect: Children who seemed normal in their first year of life may regress and develop symptoms of autism by their second birthday...."Once again, this study provides an important lesson that parents are good reporters on what is happening with their children,"

Italian Court Rules MMR Vaccine Caused Autism: US Media Blacks Out Story

Valentino Bocca was given the MMR vaccine when he was 15 months old in 2004. The family has stated that immediately after the jab their son began showing signs of serious discomfort. The Bocca family decided to act and took the case to court. Judges determined the vaccine did cause the autism after new evidence was presented and awarded the Bocca family 174,000 euro (£140,000) after the Italian Health Ministry conceded the MMR vaccine caused autism in their nine-year-old son Valentino. After the ruling, Italian lawyers began examining around 100 similar cases which they believe could lead to more families pursuing court cases”

Developmental Regression and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Child With Autism

"Within 48 hours after immunizations to diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; Haemophilus influenzae B; measles, mumps, and rubella; polio; and varicella (Varivax), the patient developed a fever to 38.9°C, inconsolable crying, irritability, and lethargy and refused to walk. Four days later, the patient was waking up multiple times in the night, having episodes of opistho-tonus, and could no longer normally climb stairs. Instead, she crawled up and down the stairs. Low-grade intermittent fever was noted for the next 12 days. Ten days following immunization, the patient developed a generalized erythematous macular rash beginning in the abdomen. The patient’s pediatrician diagnosed this as due to varicella vaccination. For 3 months, the patient was irritable and increasingly less responsive verbally, after which the patient’s family noted clear autistic behaviors, such as spinning, gaze avoidance, disrupted sleep/wake cycle, and perseveration on specific television programs. All expressive language was lost by 22 months."

"The results of this study suggest that ethylmercury is a mitochondrial toxin in human astrocytes. We believe that this finding is important, particularly since the number of diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated are rapidly increasing."

" Vaccines, in several reports were found to be temporally followed by a new onset of autoimmune diseases. The same mechanisms that act in infectious invasion of the host, apply equally to the host response to vaccination."

Thank you, Dr. Rimland for your pioneering investigations, research and passion in helping so many children.  We will continue blazing your trail.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

Posted by Age of Autism at July 15, 2013 at 5:45 AM in Teresa Conrick Permalink

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