Autism Speaks has stepped up to the plate with its support for this important conference and by reporting it on their official blog site. But Autism Speaks can, and should, do more. No one can question the demonstrated ability of Autism Speaks to raise media attention for autism disorders. Autism Speaks should use its ability to break through the fog of mainstream media understanding of autism disorders and convince institutions like CNN, CBC, NY Times, Newseek, and all the major television networks to start understanding the environmental component of autism.
The Offit Offensive, with its focus on personally discrediting anyone who questions possible vaccine autism connections, has dominated mainstream media discussion of any environmental component of autism. That offensive has not worked and may have been counter productive. Regardless, the vaccine issue is only one component of possible environmental contributors to autism disorder increases as the conference highlights. It is time that mainstream media began to demonstrate awareness of this reality. No one is better able to help the mainstream media understand the full scope of environmental issues and autism disorders than Autism Speaks. I hope Autism Speaks dedicates more of its impressive resources to doing exactly that.