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Dachel Media Review:Thimerosal, Chile, Landrigan

Posted Feb 01 2014 12:00am

Online news By Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.

Feb 17, 2014, Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette: Autism after 22

Feb 16, 2014, Sunday (UK) Times: Measles legacy of disgraced doctor

Feb 15, 2014, Santiago (Chile) Times: Special report: Vaccine law a battle between science and society

Feb 14. 2014, AutismDailyNewcast: Research on chimpanzees gives new insight into autism spectrum disorders

Feb 14, 2014, Fox News: Number of chemicals linked to autism and other disorders doubled in past 7 years, study shows

Feb 14, 2014, Toronto Star: Doctors fear kids' brain disorders tied to industrial chemicals

Feb 14, 2014. Salt Lake City Tribune: Utah autism treatment coverage bill clears first hurdle

Feb 14. 2014, Columbia (SC) State: New definition prompts almost 1,000 to seek autism-related services from SC

Feb 14, 2014, Salt Lake City Tribune: Utah couple’s dilemma: Sell house or skip autism therapy for sons?

Feb 13, 2014, KDLT-TV Sioux Falls, SD: Autism Bill To Help Cover Cost Of Therapy (VIDEO)

Feb 13, 2014, KWGN-TV Denver, CO: Conference to raise awareness of autism

Feb 13, 2014, WJAC-TV Dubois, PA:  Program to help GPS track autistic children

Feb 13, 2014, WEAR-TV Pensacola, FL: Firefighters trained on dealing with Autistic children in dangerous situations

Feb 13, 2014, Georgetown (University) Voice: In an ideal world, there would be a vaccination against ignorance

Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette

. . . With the number of autism cases climbing, Massachusetts - a state respected for its comprehensive response to different capabilities and learning styles during the school years - is unprepared to assist the many autistic adults expected to need help with housing, self-care and other basics for decades.

Parents facing the age-22 divide are finding to their alarm that money for services is absent or tight. Just when they might have been aiming for some degree of independence for their loved one through concerted, joint effort - they are more on their own than before.

Michael E. Moloney, CEO of Horace Mann Educational Associates in Franklin, said at a recent autism summit in Worcester that "the adult system, unequivocally, is not ready" for the tide of autistic children aging into adulthood.

It can take a decade or two for space in an appropriate group home to open up, parents and advocates say. Some parents who are legal guardians for their children end up serving as their housing and care provider for many years, which does not always meet the autistic adult's best interest in the present, let alone the future.

No one ever asks why this is happening.

Notice the line:

"No one sees or reads about autism without puzzlement."

So where's the panic over the numbers, the cost, and the failure of officials to do anything about autism?

"It can take a decade or two for space in an appropriate group home to open up."

So what's going to happen down the road when large numbers of parents die or are too elderly to care for these children?

Will autistic adults simply end up on the street?

I posted two comments which haven't appeared.

Sunday (UK) Times

THE legacy of the discredited research by MMR scare doctor Andrew Wakefield has been exposed by a map showing spikes in cases of preventable childhood diseases in areas across the globe where anti-vaccine campaigners are active.

Laurie Garrett, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, who assembled the data for the interactive map, said there was growing evidence that "Wakefieldism" had become a worldwide phenomenon.

"Our data suggests that where Wakefield's message has caught on, measles follows," she said.

Many academics across Europe, America and Australasia believe that Wakefield's widely dismissed claims that the combined triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) increases the risk of autism contributed to some outbreaks of preventable diseases.

Wakefield created a storm in 1988 when The Lancet medical journal published his research. His results could not be replicated, but thousands of parents boycotted the MMR jab before The Sunday Times uncovered anomalies in his work, including undisclosed financial conflicts.

In 2010, he was struck off by the General Medical Council. It said he had behaved "dishonestly and irresponsibly". The Lancet withdrew his article.

Wakefield continues to argue that the MMR jab is unsafe, although experts on autism say that the condition is genetic. Anti-vaccine campaigners use his discredited research to argue that all vaccines are dangerous. . . .

It's amazing what researchers will devote their time to. While no one is interested in doing a simple comparison study of fully-vaccinated and never vaccinated children so we'd have proof that never-vaccinated kids share the same rate of autism as vaccinated ones, this "think tank" tries to link measles outbreaks to parents not vaccinating.

'Wakefieldism' is a red herring. It's meant to deflect attention away from an epidemic of autism that no one in authority can reasonably explain and instead pretend that measles outbreaks are a worldwide crisis. They even provide a map to really make their point.

"One spike was in Swansea, where 1,200 people caught measles in 2012-13. Ian Millington, a local doctors' leader told a Welsh assembly inquiry that they had fought a "losing battle" to persuade parents to have their children vaccinated with MMR. Some had been asked 15 times."

There's no acknowledgement that parents are frightened of a debilitating condition with no known cause or cure that wasn't around just 25 years ago. Periodically the media has to bring out the Lancet/BMJ story as proof of no link. They trivialize and simplify the issue so that it in no way relates to what's happening in the real world.

I'd like to see a map showing where the vaccine schedule is the most inflated, the rate of autism is the highest.

Santiago (Chile) Times

This week, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich met with his successor in the incoming cabinet , Helia Molina, and identifed the most immediate issues facing public health in Chile. In the shortlist, Mañalich named the so-called Thimerosal Law and the future of the nation's vaccine strategy.

On Jan. 15, by 85 votes in favor to five abstentions, the Chamber of Deputies outlawed the use of vaccines containing thimerosal for children under eight, pregnant women and the elderly, claiming the mercury-based antiseptic agent may cause autism and neurological damage. This marked a successful end to a four year legislative campaign against the chemical, spearheaded by Party for Democracy (PPD) Dep. Cristina Girardi. Then, a fortnight later, President Sebastián Piñera torpedoed the Thimerosal Law with a presidential veto. . . .

While health services in many countries opt out of the use of thimerosal, if the bill is successful Chile will become the first country in the world to pass a law banning the compound.

Since its inception the legislation has been harshly criticized: vehemently opposed to the bill, Mañalich accused parliamentarians of launching a "terror campaign" against the vaccines; scientists have lamented hyperbole and scaremongering in the media; authors of the legislation are accused of shady research and spouting pseudoscience and critics have prompted rumors of ulterior motives within a government they claim favors cost-cutting over the health of a nation. . . .

In April that year, news broadcaster Mega ran a story in which two women, Cecilia Diaz and Carmen Gloria Chaigneau, claimed their previously healthy children had developed autism as a result of mercury contained in vaccines. Four months later, a group of parents unsuccessfully sued the Chilean state on similar grounds. The debate was further fueled when the media widely publicized that vaccines containing thimerosal were discontinued by health services in several developed nations as far back as the early 1990s. . . .

As long as autism is not seen as a problem, this debate will never end. No one opposed to the ban is concerned about autism here.

No one.

The head of the autism organization, Autismo Chile, says that autism is genetic.

The story has a toxicologist saying that thimerosal HASN'T BEEN SHOWN TO BE TOXIC.

Wakefield's work is cited, even though it has nothing to do with this issue.

Notice the bias in the title of the piece. The inference is made that all the science is on one side and misinformed parents are on the other. It's on a par with the New York Times.

AutismDailyNewscast

Researchers from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University have been studying animals for years. This time research on our close cousins, the chimpanzees has yielded insight into autism. The scientists found that following gaze or looking in a pointed direction, both examples of joint attention, is quite heritable. This implies that there is a genetic basis to such social communication skills. The research published in Scientific Reports was lead by Larry Young and Bill Hopkins. Young's previous study on the vasopressin receptor gene's significance in social bonds and remembering people done on male mice played a significant role in designing this study. The team found that as many as two-thirds the chimpanzees were missing the RS3 element that is necessary for human social bonding and about 1/3rd chimps showed human-like sequences of the genes. Those with the human-like gene showed higher receptive joint attention and socially involved. The study proves the genetic basis of autism spectrum disorders and opens a new road towards better diagnosis and treatment for helping those with ASDs.

It is essential that those in charge of covering up the autism epidemic continue the myth that autism is somehow a genetic disorder. The AutismDailyNewscast is a blog from the UK with daily busywork on autism.

Stories from the last two days--this piece below . . . in the UK Times and the Santiago Times . . .all called autism a genetic disorder.

This of course has been recently challenged by articles appearing all over the world announcing research by Dr. Philippe Grandjean from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, They claim there's "a global 'silent epidemic' of brain development disorders" caused by ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS.

Experts can't seem to agree on anything.

Fox News

The number of industrial chemicals with known links to neurodevelopmental disabilities like autism has more than doubled in the past seven years, according to new research published in The Lancet Neurology.

As rates of autism and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increase worldwide, researchers believe widespread exposure to these chemicals among children may be contributing to a “silent epidemic” of people with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Based on an analysis of previous studies, researchers added six new toxins to a list of chemicals believed to pose a threat to the brains of fetuses and young children: manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

While chemicals like manganese and fluoride, common in drinking water, are rarely found in high enough concentrations in the U.S. to pose a health threat, other chemicals on the list are much more pervasive.

“Chlorpyrifos is an organic pesticide … 10 years ago it was banned for household use, but it is still extensively used in agriculture and can be found in lots of fruits and vegetables,” study co-author Dr. Philip Landrigan, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told FoxNews.com.

And the list gets scarier: Tetrachloroethylene, which has been linked to deficient neurological function and increased risk of psychiatric diagnosis, is a common solvent used in dry cleaning. Another chemical on the list, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, is a type of flame retardant frequently found in couches. And while the pesticide DDT is now banned in the U.S. due to human health risks, it’s still found in imported fruits and vegetables, as well as in soil and water throughout the country.

These six chemicals have been added to a list of five other neurointoxicants – lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene – first identified by Landrigan and his co-author, Dr. Phillipe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health, in 2006.

The perfect guy for the study...Philip Landrigan ....toxins, yes---vaccines, no.

Injected toxins are safe....

In 2010, Landrigan said....

"Indirect evidence for an environmental contribution to autism comes from studies demonstrating the sensitivity of the developing brain to external exposures such as lead, ethyl alcohol and methyl mercury. But the most powerful proof-of-concept evidence derives from studies specifically linking autism to exposures in early pregnancy - thalidomide, misoprostol, and valproic acid; maternal rubella infection; and the organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos. There is no credible evidence that vaccines cause autism."

Toronto Star

Two prominent medical researchers are calling for global restrictions on industrial chemicals so as to protect children from "a global, silent pandemic" of brain disorders, among them ADHD and autism.

"Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviours, truncating future achievements and damaging societies," the scientists warn in a review published Friday in The Lancet Neurology. . . .

Here's more American research published first in Canada. Philip Landrigan may be alarmed about toxic chemicals and autism....BUT INJECTING MERCURY, ALUMINUM AND FORMALDEHYDE INTO BABIES AND SMALL CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN IS NO PROBLEM, ACCORDING TO HIM.

INJECTED TOXINS ARE SAFE. I call this "SELECTIVE TOXICITY.

Salt Lake City Tribune

Angst over health insurers refusing basic medical care to autistic kids trumped ideology on Friday with a committee's endorsement of SB57.

SB57 would add Utah to the list of 34 states that require insurers to pay for autism treatment. It cleared the Senate Business and Labor Committee 6-1, despite concerns that it could raise insurance rates for employers, including the state of Utah. . . .

But faced with growing ire over coverage denials, insurers were hard-pressed to mount a persuasive argument Friday.

Utah families spoke of having to dip into retirement savings, sell homes and file bankruptcy to pay for treatment.

If Utah legislators are not moved by the suffering of countless children, maybe they should add up the $$$$ for lifetime care cost if they continue to DO NOTHING to address autism in Utah.

Columbia (SC) State

State officials have seen a 14 percent jump in the number of people seeking help for autism because of a change in the official definition of the disorder.

The American Psychiatric Association updated its definition of autism in the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to include Asperger syndrome and some cases of pervasive developmental disorder. That new definition made a new population eligible to receive services from the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

"It's a very good thing because these people are the ones who have kind of fallen through the cracks," said Kim Thomas, president of the Autism Society of South Carolina. "It gives them hope that there can be services for them."

Statewide, more than 6,500 people have applied for autism-related services from the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Of those, about 920 are eligible because of the new definition for autism, said Lois Park-Mole, a department spokeswoman.

But not all of them are receiving services.

That is because the department has huge waiting lists for most of its programs. One program that includes autistic children - the pervasive developmental disorder program - has 902 children in the program and another 1,241 on its waiting list.

Doesn't this sound like a good thing?

Maybe everyone can get a diagnosis, be on a waiting list, and then no one will notice the children everywhere.

Salt Lake City Tribune

Andrea Griggs was grateful to hear the words, "Your child has autism."

"We were relieved to finally have the answers we had been seeking for so long. We were relieved to finally know what we needed to do to help Jaxon achieve his potential," said the Murray mother of four.

But a diagnosis of autism, the Griggses soon learned, is a double-edged sword that can be used by health insurers to sever medical benefits, which can be financially devastating for families. To pay for the expensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy Jaxon needed, the Griggses had to sell their home.

A state lottery for services?

No state requirement for insurance coverage?

With an autism rate of one in every 47 CHILDREN, Utah can't fool around.

When will someone ask where all these children are coming from?

We'd better get back to the days before all the better diagnosing when parents didn't have to lose their homes because they had an autistic child.

What happened to autistic children 25 and 30 years ago, before ABA? Where are they now?

No one ever asks.

I'm unable to post a comment here.

KDLT-TV Sioux Falls, SD:

Children with cancer receive treatment, children with diabetes get insulin. So why is it becoming difficult for children with autism to get the help they need? That’s the question South Dakota State Representatives were faced with Thursday.

Several parents and therapists were in Pierre speaking with legislators about House Bill 1257. If passed as is, the measure will require insurance companies to cover all therapies for autistic individuals.

Robyn Stemper, mother of autistic child said, "A year ago, she would just bang her head on the wall and she would have a constant bruise on her forehead, we didn't go out much because it was just too overwhelming for her."

The cost of therapy is nothing compared to the cost of adult care.

And it is simply the humane thing to do for a child banging her head and unable to talk.

KWGN-TV Denver, CO

One in 85 children and adults in Colorado is diagnosed with autism, meaning they have problems communicating and focusing. The Future Horizons Autism/Asperger's Conference (Friday) will provide information for parents that can help them cope, enhance their child's learning, and inspire them as well.

I'd like to ask the person who wrote this: "HOW MANY ADULTS WITH AUTISM DO YOU KNOW?" 
Notice the line "They have problems with communicating and focusing." So the child banging his head on the wall---is that a problem with communicating or focusing?

Merely calling for awareness of a condition that is disabling a generation of children, that no one can explain, that no one wants to prevent, that no one wants to cure--is right out of the Twilight Zone.

My comment: It's not accurate to say that "one in 85 children and adults in Colorado is diagnosed with autism."

The autism rate, currently one in every 88 or one in every 50 in the U.S., (depending on which official study you care to believe) only applies to children. No one has ever found a comparable rate among adults--especially adults with classic autism, whose symptoms are easily recognized.

A once rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child. This should be a national health emergency. We should be moving mountains to find out what's causing this. We need to stop the epidemic.

WJAC-TV Dubois, PA

Parents of children who have autism are no different from other parents in wanting one thing: To keep their children safe. Parents with autistic children admit, it can sometimes be harder for them, and a big challenge is keeping their kids from wandering off.

The federal government recently released money to help parents of autistic children get GPS trackers to put on their children. Individually, they cost between $80 and $130, but adding up data plan costs, it can be expensive.

Parents said it's a good start, but it's still not enough.

The issue is real for people like Stacy Hanzely, of DuBois. She is the mother of five children and two of them are identical twin boys who have autism and Down syndrome. Hanzely said she has had her children wander away despite taking precautions.

"We have fenced in our backyard, we have door alarms on," she said. "Even with those barriers, they left." . . .

Another way autism is changing our perceptions of childhood. We're told half of children with ASD wander off--but the example isn't a 3 year old, it's a 14 year old. Yes, autism means that lots of teens have to be watched like toddlers. Does that bother anyone?

WEAR-TV Pensacola FL

Pensacola firefighters are being trained on how to deal with children with Autism who can present unique challenges in life-threatening situations.

When firefighters are dealing with a person with Autism at a house fire, one of the biggest challenges is often getting that person out of the house.

Bill Cannata, Trainer: "The home is the safety and what they know and they may not leave."
Bill Cannata says children with Autism sometimes become aggressive when they're outside of their comfort zone.

And extreme action may be necessary.
Bill Cannata, Trainer: "You physically have to grab them, right. You can wrap them in the blankets. And we give 'em just different techniques on how to do that."  . . .

The former firefighter is the father of a child with Autism. . . .

Pensacola Police Sergeant Jimmy Donohoe is also the father of a child with Autism.
He and Cannata train First Responders throughout the country. . . .

Firefighter Stefon Andrews says the training will not only help him with his job, but also with his personal life.

Andrews has a ten year-old cousin with Autism.

Firefighters are being trained to deal with autistic children. "One of the biggest challenges is often getting that person out of the house."

How come firefighters weren't getting this training 20 and 30 and 50 years ago?

Were kids with autism dying in fires because no one knew how to get them out of the house?

(And three people in the story had affected relatives. No surprise.)

Georgetown (University) Voice

Those who uphold the danger of vaccines are as hazardous to society as any criminal. Jenny McCarthy is a pandering fraud, using her celebrity and the platform of daytime media to frighten a population who sees her as an informed authority. Her main source of authority is a thoroughly debunked study authored by a doctor who claimed that he linked the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to autism. He rightfully had his medical license revoked and is never allowed to practice medicine again.

The Georgetown Voice is a weekly, student-run newsmagazine providing Georgetown University with news, commentary, arts, humor, and sports as well as long-form journalism.

It's sad that the next generation of journalists is well on their way to the level of failure we see everyday in the media.

I posted comments. 

Posted by Age of Autism at February 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM in Anne Dachel Permalink

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