The "Greatest Story Never Told" is Now Revealed
Sep 19, 2012

It’s hard to deny that some people are easily influenced by anecdotal evidence.  This may be why some people fall victim to the enormous amounts of misinformation that exists on anti-vaccination websites.  And why stories of alleged vaccine damage are so effective at scaring parents into making decisions to not vaccinate their children.
Vaccine critics would like you to believe that there are countless cases of serious injuries and long-term health problems that result because of vaccines.  In a nutshell, they want you to doubt the safety of vaccines, despite the overwhelming evidence that has been examined and published for all to see.  Heck, they’ll even post a link to a YouTube video to prove it.
On occasion this has made me stop to think.  If there are so many people being damaged by vaccines – as they claim there are – why is it that “in real life” where I have come to know literally thousands of people, I have never met a single person who has suffered from a serious vaccine injury?  Sore arm? Yes.  Serious or permanent injury? No!

  • Is it just that I’ve been unusually lucky?  (Naw, I’m pretty sure that luck doesn’t have much to do with it. ) 
  • Could it be that I’ve never lived where vaccine injuries have occurred?  (Not likely. I’ve lived in a dozen different places in my life and if injury happen as often as we’re led to believe, then I would have expected to hear about it somewhere along the way.)   
  • Is it because immunizations are not likely to come up in casual conversation? (Doubt it.  As a Shot@Life champion vaccines do come up in my casual conversations quite a bit, that’s why I consider myself an advocate.)

Now I’m not suggesting that no one has ever suffered side effects from vaccines. There are certainly times when there have been verifiable evidence of side effects that range from minor to more severe.  But severe side effects are extremely rare and a great deal of time and effort go into establishing vaccine safety.  Unfortunately, some people do not consider this when they fall victim to the hyped up stories that suggest an abundance of vaccine injuries.
People really need to stop and think.  How do they imagine the safety data is determined for inclusion on the Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS)?  Do people think it’s just a random guess?
No.  Measurable scientific data exists as a result of methodical testing, extensive evaluations and specific documentation.  That data is then shared with the public through the required Vaccine Information Sheet which provides details of the documented risks of the vaccine.  However, we can’t stop there.  In order for people to be able to thoroughly evaluate their choice as to whether it is best to vaccinate or not, they also need to be aware of the risks associated with the disease that the vaccine is intended to prevent.
That is precisely why vaccine advocates share their own stories.  Stories of the unfortunate children who have suffered or died from vaccine preventable diseases.  While the anti-vaccine crowd argues that these stories are irrelevant, their value is in reminding people of the dangers of the various diseases that will become more prevalent if we choose not to vaccinate.
As we go out and encourage others to protect our community immunity, there is something that we must all remember.  Immunizations are happening all the time.  And the reason we don’t hear about it is because, as one “Humble Mom” so eloquently explains in her recent Moms Who Vax blog post, it’s a non-story.

When my son was two days old, he received his first hepatitis B shot. Nothing happened.
When my son was one month old, he received a second hepatitis B shot. Nothing happened.
When he was two months old, he received the rotavirus vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine, and Pentacel, a shot that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus
influenzae b, and polio. Nothing happened, and nothing happened at four months when he received another dose of each.

It’s well documented that an overwhelming majority of children are getting vaccinated as recommended.  And “nothing” is happening.  Nothing bad that is.
But as this “Humble Mom” explains, the truth is that plenty is happening.

Earlier I said “nothing happened” but that just isn’t true. Behind the scenes, my son’s body was mounting antibodies to the antigens in the vaccines, a response that, should he
ever be exposed to the actual disease, will help protect him.

I absolutely loved this Moms Who Vax post because it reminds us of the obvious.  When we are bombarded by sensational stories that only wish to portray vaccines as evil and dangerous, we must remember that vaccinations are given to nearly every child.  And nothing out of the ordinary happens.  Vaccines are safe.  Vaccines work.  END OF (non) STORY.   

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121 responses to “The "Greatest Story Never Told" is Now Revealed”

  1. Sally Linda says:

    As always, excellent blog.

  2. Sharon says:

    Love having all these related links in one place, attached to the issue. Thanks

  3. lilady says:

    Excellent article. For all those who *insist* that the safety of vaccine is not monitored intently through VAERS reports and through the Vaccine Safety Datalink…I submit this article about the prelicensing testing of Rotashield vaccine, strict monitoring for safety once the Rotashield vaccine was licensed, August 1998…and the quick actions of the vaccine manufacturer and the CDC, when it was determined that an uptick in the incidence of intussusception, was attributable to having received the vaccine. Within 9 months of licensing, an advisory was issued to physicians to stop administering the vaccine. Within 14 months of licensing, October 1999, the Rotashield vaccine was withdrawn from the marketplace.
    Since 1999, when Rotashield was withdrawn, two vaccines have been developed to protect infants against rotavirus gastroenteritis. The safety of both vaccines, as is the safety of every other vaccine is monitored through reports from the VAERS database AND data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink
    The VAERS data base has become somewhat contaminated with various VAERS reports being filed at the urging of the notorious anti-vaccine organizations. It is a passive surveillance system, not an active surveillance system…such as the active vaccine safety surveillance data that is entered into the Vaccine Safety Datalink database.
    “The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project is a collaborative effort between CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and 10 managed care organizations (MCOs). The VSD project was established in 1990 to monitor immunization safety and address the gaps in scientific knowledge about rare and serious events following immunization.
    The VSD project includes a large linked database that uses administrative data sources at each MCO. Each participating site gathers data on vaccination (vaccine type, date of vaccination, concurrent vaccinations), medical outcomes (outpatient visits, inpatient visits, urgent care visits), birth data, and census data.
    The VSD project allows for planned immunization safety studies as well as timely investigations of hypotheses that arise from review of medical literature, reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), changes in immunization schedules, or the introduction of new vaccines.”
    I’m proud that I am pro-vax. I made certain that both of my children received timely and complete immunizations of all the Recommended Childhood Vaccines. My daughter never had any severe reactions to any of the vaccines. My son never had any severe reactions to any of the vaccines…and the immunizations he received enabled my profoundly, multiply disabled son who was immune compromised to survive his impairments, for 28 years. He died peacefully in his sleep and the cause of his death was NOT a vaccine.

  4. Lawrence says:

    @Mr M – please do outline the parameters of a study that would pass the various ethics protocols, and also be double-blind at the same time……..

  5. Karen says:

    I really like how you have framed this, putting all the evidence together with the Moms Who Vax post. I absolutely love this post!

  6. Lawrence says:

    @Mr M – then please explain how the Tuskegee Study was perfectly ethical, in your mind….

  7. lilady says:

    So many comments from the trolls, making so many unsubstantiated allegations with torturous skewing of data and made-up *factoidS*… WITH NARY A CITATION FROM A FIRST TIER PEER-REVIEWED SCIENCE/MEDICAL JOURNAL.
    Time to put up or shut up.

  8. Lawrence says:

    @Mr M – if you want such a study, why don’t you persuade GR or AoA to fund it, design it & see about getting it approved?
    Then you’ll need to find a couple of million families that don’t mind being part of a double-blind experiment with vaccines, where no one knows who gets the vaccines & the placebos.
    They you’ll need to figure out the protocols for when there is an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases…..since you won’t know who is protected and who isn’t.
    And since the population studies that have been done don’t show any increased risk of autism in vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals, you can explain to the parents who suffer the consequences of VPDs that it was all worth it, especially when the results don’t show what you want them to show.

  9. Lawrence says:

    @m – 20 years ago, those kids would have been diagnosed as “mentally handicapped” and not mainstreamed. Though we were getting better at recognizing the spectrum back then, just not as good as today.

  10. Chris says:

    Mr. Michaels new sock puppet:

    . In the ’70s, it was one in ten thousand, it’s still that low in Scandinavia, where they vaccinate much less than we do.

    Citation needed. You should know by now what constitutes a proper citation, and it does not involve random anecdotes.
    I was told my son was not autistic, but this was in 1991, before the DSM IV. He had seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease, which may or may not be associated with his severe speech disorder, his tics, his repetitive motions and stimming behaviors. I was told when he started special ed. preschool in 1991 that just fifteen years earlier he would have been put in an institution.
    That is because in the 1970s kids with special needs were denied entrance into public schools.

  11. Chris says:

    But often not before 1975 nationally. Some states may have had some before, but it was very common to send them off to places like Willowbrook.
    Perhaps, Mr. Michaels, you can “Mr. M” and “M” to provide a citation to his claims. Otherwise, ask him to stop sounding too much like you.

  12. Chris says:

    Mr. Michaels, who is “Lars”?
    And as the page linked to above says:

    Before the enactment of Public Law 94-142, the fate of many individuals with disabilities was likely to be dim. Too many individuals lived in state institutions for persons with mental retardation or mental illness. In 1967, for example, state institutions were homes for almost 200,000 persons with significant disabilities. Many of these restrictive settings provided only minimal food, clothing, and shelter. Too often, persons with disabilities, such as Allan, were merely accommodated rather than assessed, educated, and rehabilitated.

    Are you now going to deny history?
    Also “Scandinavia” is not one country. It has been noted that some of them had different vaccine levels in Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story. Where it says, emphasis added:

    Higher vaccine coverage in Norway, Portugal, Hungary, and the USA corresponded to a pertussis incidence ten to 100 times smaller than in each country’s respective lower-protected neighbour—ie, Sweden, Spain, Greece, and Canada (figure 4).

    So Mr. M, M, Mr. Michaels, do please provide a citation for your claims.

  13. Chris says:

    Mr. Michaels, who is “Lars”?

  14. Deb F says:

    I am a mother of a child with ASD. He has been his unique self since birth. He has been fully immunised. Nothing Happened. My brother and sister, neighbours, cousins, workmates and friends vaccinated all their children. Nothing Happened. My 24 weeker preemie twins with chronic lung disease got fully vaccinated. Something Really Important Happened. They didn’t die of pertussis. My uncle was born before the advent of the MMR vaccine. He got measles, then meningitis, then encephalitis and now, in his fifties, still has the mental capacity of a three-year old. He will die in an institution as his parents are now too elderly to change his nappies. A friend’s child suffers shingles regularly, despite buckets of homeopathic and naturopathic treatments, after being forcibly exposed to chicken pox by his misinformed mother. You like anecdotal evidence instead of scientific fact? Have it by the truckful.

  15. lilady says:

    @ Lawrence: And, 36 years ago, when my multiply profoundly handicapped child who had pronounced autistic-like behaviors, would have/or could have, been diagnosed as being on the
    Autism Spectrum. Amazing, isn’t it, that the incidence of mental retardation has decreased considerably…corresponding to the incidence of diagnoses of autism/ASDs increasing?
    Could that happen Lawrence, because of diagnostic substitution and the broadening of the DSM IV ASD diagnostic criteria? How about the decreases in ADD and ADHD because parents want to have their kids diagnosed with ASDs…the disorder de jour?
    @ m: When was the last time you ever visited the back wards of “developmental centers’…formerly known as “schools for the feeble-minded”. Have you ever visited any of those facilities? I have. Have you ever seen inside a group home where kids and adult diagnosed with severe and profound degrees of mental retardation reside? Get outside of your protective shell to see these group homes where all those people with severe and profound intellectual impairments reside…see that they ALL HAVE autistic like behaviors.

  16. Nicole says:

    I’d love to know where M. got the info that Scandinavia vaccinates much less than we do because according to the WHO, they have much higher vaccination rates than we do.

  17. Lara Lohne says:

    Why was my name brought up in a comment on a post I haven’t even commented on yet?
    m. whoever you are socking for, I didn’t ever suggest that Joe’s son wasn’t developing normally and didn’t regress, because that happens in many cases of autism. My own son was meeting many of his developmental milestones, early in fact for most of them. He also had regression, gradual, though the realization of how much he regressed was a sudden realization, but he didn’t change over night. There were subtle things I knew were not normal and I attribute it to having raised 5 neurotypical children before him, so I knew what normal was. However, the genes that would determine that Joe’s son has autism were there before birth, and nothing triggered it other then he reached the stage of development when it becomes more obvious, when the brain refuses or is unable to develop the pathways necessary at that particular age, or possible it happened due to excessive pathway pruning which has also been found in autistic brains and is also regulated by signals from genes. Vaccines did not do it, that’s all there is to that. I know I can’t persuade him of this, because it’s easier for him to believe his son can be cured. I prefer to accept the reality of my son’s condition and enjoy him for the unique individual that he is, and allow him to be who he is, and help him work through the challenges he faces, because I want him to have the best life possible, not be in and out of various different biomed treatment facilities attempting to find that one magic pill that will make his shell of autism crack open. I am aware enough to know that just doesn’t happen, but ever person with autism will progress, even without treatments and therapies, because autism is developmental delay, not stasis.

  18. Lara Lohne says:

    Steve, you just proved how ignorant you really are regarding autism by saying, ” It is amazing how easy it is to manipulate a purely behavioral based ‘disease’ like autism and then claim that it’s been around for ages.” because autism is not purely behavioral, it isn’t even mostly behavioral. But currently behavioral observations are the only way currently available to diagnose it. It is social impairment, language impairment, sensory processing impairment and generally everything you see, hear, taste and smell being processed in a brain that can bounce the same information around in an autistic brain 100Xs and overwhelm the person experiencing it. It is this frustration at ineffectual communication, sensory overload, being in confusing and sensory painful situations that cause the behavior because that is what their brain tells them to do to deal with what is coming in. With therapy and time the basic impulses that result in the behavior are overcome and they learn how to deal with it better, or rather in a more socially acceptable way so people like you don’t have to feel uncomfortable. You have just totally showed your true colors. You think autistic children are badly behaved. Be careful because Karma just may bless you with an autistic child, then you will know what the rest of us are already aware of.
    I just was alerted to an awesome website: Check it out, tell me what you think!

  19. Christine Vara says:

    We apologize that this comment thread may be difficult to follow. Numerous comments have been removed. We would like to take a moment to remind all our participants to please refrain from personal attacks, vulgar and abusive language and offensive terms. We have been very lenient in our interpretation of these rules, however due to the repeated offenses of some participants, we have had to exercise our right to prohibit people from participating on this blog. We still hope to be able to facilitate an ongoing dialogue about vaccine issues, but we must insist that everyone be respectful of one another. Thank you.

  20. Nathan says:

    I am applauding. Of course, we all want people from all sides of the issue to participate in the comments, but with the amount of derogatory namecalling, games with multiple identities, and insults to the disabled that these particular few people have employed, I think the action it is completely justified. Here’s to respectful and beneficial conversation and debate in the weeks ahead.

  21. Squirrel says:

    Here’s a current overview of childhood vaccines by a professor at the leading children’s hospital in my city:

  22. Joe says:

    @Deb F
    Those are nice stories, but none of those stories change my story or help my son. He was injured by a vaccine and it triggered Autism. The point is….vaccines are not safe for everybody.

  23. Nathan says:

    Vaccines are not safe for everybody, but they are safe for the vast, vast majority and are safer than the alternative. And you have not provided objective evidence that autism is one of the reasons that vaccines are not safe for everybody. Nor that if it were, that it would outweigh the risks presented in Squirrel’s post.

  24. lilady says:

    Joe. I presume you reside in the United States or some other country that has a civil court for parents to bring a claim for vaccine-associated injury. Have you in fact, filed a claim in the Vaccine Court in the United States or any civil court for the damages you claim for your child?

  25. Joe says:

    You say vaccines are safe for the vast, vast majority, but the problem with that statement is that I personally know too many people that believe they or their children were injured by a vaccine, and these are people I know or knew before my friends in the Autism world, so it doesn’t seem so rare any more.

  26. Gray Falcon says:

    Joe :
    You say vaccines are safe for the vast, vast majority, but the problem with that statement is that I personally know too many people that believe they or their children were injured by a vaccine, and these are people I know or knew before my friends in the Autism world, so it doesn’t seem so rare any more.

    In the middle ages, someone could find several people who believed they or their children were harmed when a witch put a hex on them. Does that justify witch-hunting?

  27. Joe says:

    Ok…let’s just say they are more then beliefs then. My cousin’s father-in-law (who was an MD) is now paralyzed from a Flu shot. That is just one example and I didn’t bring up specifics before, because it is anecdotal….but you made me be more specific.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @Joe, there is a big difference between belief and evidence that shows what you believe is more then belief. There are many people who believe the moon is made of cheese and the Earth is flat (yes, even now with photographic evidence to the contrary) but their belief doesn’t change the reality that the Earth is a big ball and the moon is made of rock, dust and I believe they found ice as well. When evidence is found to prove a belief is false, is it wise to continue to cling to that belief?
      I completely understand where you are and the need to blame something, I get that. It can be devastating news to hear your child has autism. I remember the pain and the tears when I realized what my son had even before he began evaluations and I worked through a lot of that before the diagnosis came down so when he did get his diagnosis, it didn’t crush me, but filled me with resolve to do everything I could for my son.
      When I first learned about the vaccine autism link, it was in 2010 through conversations with a co-worker. My son had already been diagnosed but a lot of the pain and denial aspects of it were there. I must admit that it was really easy to jump on vaccines as the culprit, after all I had worn the anti-vaccine hat before and it was very familiar. However, I didn’t allow myself to be pulled under, the research I had done prior regarding vaccines has taught me to question everything, particularly when the topic is emotionally charged, like both autism and vaccines are for me. So I went home and went online and read the claims, read the stories, read the studies and the evidence and what it was about vaccines that was being blamed. The MMR seemed to be the biggest one, my son hadn’t had that prior to his symptoms, thimerosal in vaccines had been removed 5 years prior to my son’s birth so that wasn’t it, and the too many too soon thing just didn’t make any sense because if that was to blame, I think many more children would develop autism, because many more children are vaccinated then not (not to mention the vast, years long investigations done showing no real correlation between receiving vaccines, not receiving vaccines and the incidence of autism). And it didn’t fit in my son either because he had no reaction to the vaccines he had received early on, was developing normally from what I could tell, had some challenges which we just attributed to being strong willed, but he sat up early, was crawling and cruising early, started walking at 8 months old and talking at 9 months old. He had 5 distinct words by his first birthday and we believe there were 4 other words he used that we couldn’t understand. Then just after his first birthday, things changed, not suddenly, it was a gradual change. So gradual that it wasn’t until I took a step back and really assessed his progress that I realized he had lost his language skills, and had developed many other worrying behaviors. He was a different baby from his first birthday to his second. And he had no vaccines during that time period, not since he was 6 months of age.
      Shortly after learning all of this about vaccines, the news about Wakefield came out, that his autism/MMR study was a fraud and his license to practice medicine was stripped from him. I thought, well, that’s the end of that, now the truth is known, people will stop blaming vaccines and we can start looking for ways to better the lives of those who have autism now, rather then focusing so much on what causes it. Not exactly, I had forgotten how relentless the anti-vaccine movement can be, denying science is at the core, convincing themselves that it’s an elaborate cover up and conspiracy, because without conspiracies, there is no way the anti-vaccine stance could stay afloat. Too much science shows us it is just wrong. If you had been in my shoes, and your son had not received vaccines between 6 months and 2 years when his symptoms were obvious, do you think you would still blame vaccines for it? Try to think about that for a few minutes and see where it gets you. If you aren’t able to place yourself in my shoes, you really aren’t able to think about this objectively, and your mind isn’t as open as you believe it to be.

  28. Gray Falcon says:

    Joe :
    Ok…let’s just say they are more then beliefs then. My cousin’s father-in-law (who was an MD) is now paralyzed from a Flu shot. That is just one example and I didn’t bring up specifics before, because it is anecdotal….but you made me be more specific.

    Was your brother-in-law the only human being to receive a flu shot?

  29. Joe says:

    He’s not my borther-in-law and no he wasn’t the only one, and this brings us back to the original point, you say vaccines injuries are very rare and I say they are not the rare any more, when I personally know many that have been injured or affetced by them.

  30. Gray Falcon says:

    Joe, I need evidence, not just speculation. Do you have any proof the flu shot was at fault, or are you just saying “It happened after the shot, so it must have been the shot.”? That is not much different than “It happened after that old lady looked at him, so she must have given him the evil eye.”

  31. Joe says:

    Yes – the flu shot was confirmed to be the culperit in his paralysis. Why so hard to believe? You said yourself that vaccines do cause injuries. What, to other people but not this guy?

  32. Gray Falcon says:

    Joe :
    Yes – the flu shot was confirmed to be the culperit in his paralysis. Why so hard to believe? You said yourself that vaccines do cause injuries. What, to other people but not this guy?

    Vaccine injuries are very rare, so I need confirmation from medical reports to be certain. I’d ask for the reports, but that would breach confidentiality. I’ll simply give you the benefit of the doubt for now. Now, let’s talk numbers. How often do vaccine injuries occur? How often do injuries from disease occur? Which is more likely? Which decision has the lowest odds of injury? One cannot avoid risk entirely, that is a law of reality.

  33. Joe says:

    I wasn’t comparing vaccine injuries to disease. I was stating the fact that vaccine injuries are not as rare as you say they are. That is my whole premise….vaccines are not safe for everybody and injuries are not as rare as people think. People need to know the truth so they can make their own educated decisions. If they want to risk injury by getting a vaccine because they believe getting the disease is worse…..that’s fine with me, but let’s not tell people the risks are almost impossible and then when something happens, they are surprised and upset about it. Full disclosure is all that I ask.

  34. Joe says:

    I have read your story a few times and sympathize with you. However, your story is not my story, it is completely different. And like you, I don’t feel the need to blame anything. I am very happy and content; my son is probably about 95% recovered and is still doing better every single day! He is amazing and sweet and just perfect. My dog in this fight is all about education for future parents and accountability with the vaccine makers. It’s not about my son anymore; it’s about making sure parents educate themselves with real information that may help their kids. If people want to inject themselves or their kids, that is fine by me and no judgments. I just want them to be aware that vaccines are not safe for everybody.

  35. Melody RN says:

    This was a great post Christine, and full of useful links and sources of information. One can see that it defintely took time and effort. As for the Humble Mom blog, I loved it because it’s true and real life. Like you said, it’s not sensational, so we aren’t going to see this blasted and shared on everyone’s facebook news feed. But it should be because new parent’s will find this encouraging. I know I’ll be sharing both posts!

  36. AutismMomWV says:

    I am not a troll. I am a mother of seriously Merck vax injured child. My doctors will not stick a vax or flu shot in any of them or me because we are a liability to their insurance and have reactions that many people are experiencing. Please realize that I rather be doing ANYTHING other than educating people about what has happened to our family and can never be fixed. I only ask for compassion and for people to protect themselves by reading before they trust anyone to stick anything in your child. I pray another family does not have to go through what mine does every day.

  37. LL says:

    Vaccines may trigger latent infection, including Lyme disease passed in utero. As the incidence of Lyme disease continues to skyrocket, there may indeed be more people harmed as vaccines affect immune response. So it may never have happened to you? Don’t be so sure a future vaccine (H1N1) or flu shot won’t shove your immune system over a cliff, as it has to many, many people.

  38. Joe says:

    My son’s lab work shows the possibility of strains of Lyme disease as well but we haven’t gone down that road yet. Do you have a good resource to learn more about it?

  39. Lawrence says:

    @Joe – oh god, not the Lyme people again…..I’ve had Lyme three times, all separate tick bites, separated by years & dealt with promptly & completely by antibiotics.
    For everyone else, can anyone explain exactly what biological mechanisms in vaccines are supposedly responsible for – well now, everything under the sun?
    Our immune system is constantly being assaulted by antigens by the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands – how exactly is the very small number of antigens in a vaccine supposed to “push your immune system off a cliff?”
    The human race would have been dead a long time ago if our immune system was as weak as you people seem to think it is…..

  40. lilady says:

    LL..and Joe: Got any citations from first tier peer reviewed medical journals, for your claims about Lyme disease being a chronic infection or being implicated in causing autism?
    Just how does that work LL?
    How does the bacterium B. burdorferi where the reservoirs of that bacterium are the white-footed mouse, voles and moles, infect people and pets with that bacterium? What is the vector that transmits the disease from the reservoirs to mammals, including humans?
    What a coincidence that you both mention Lyme Disease. I actually met the scientists who first investigated the disease (Dr. Allan Steere and Raymond Dattweiler) as well as the foremost doctors who treat Lyme disease (Dr. John Halperin and Dr. Sunil Sood) while attending “Grand Rounds” meetings at hospitals.
    @ Lawrence: The many LLMDs (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors) who formerly were treating “chronic” Lyme disease, have now “branched out”…they are now DAN! doctors.

  41. Chris says:


    I am a mother of seriously Merck vax injured child. My doctors will not stick a vax or flu shot in any of them or me because we are a liability to their insurance and have reactions that many people are experiencing.

    I hope you the best of luck with your NVICP claim. Is it listed at the US Courts Vaccine Court rulings?

  42. Nathan says:

    @Nathan You say vaccines are safe for the vast, vast majority, but the problem with that statement is that I personally know too many people that believe they or their children were injured by a vaccine, and these are people I know or knew before my friends in the Autism world, so it doesn’t seem so rare any more.

    And my problem with that statement is that 1.) what “seems” to be, as has been discussed above, is not the same as what actually is. And 2.) your expereince is limited and bias, as all of our experiences are. Even if it is true that you know someone who was paralyzed by a flu shot, this has no actual bearing on how rare such an event is. My experience contrasts with yours – how do we determine who’s experience better reflects the reality of vaccine safety?
    This is just for personal curiosity, but what method of “confirmation” was used to determine that an influenza vaccine caused the paralysis you are claiming? I am assuming (correct me if I am wrong here) that we are talking about Guillan Barre here, as it is the only form of paralysis I could find in the literature that has been linked to influenza vaccine. GB can be caused by a huge variety of things, incluing common viruses. But my understanding is that no test can actually determine what caused the GB, just educated guessing based on the timing of onset of symptoms, and this guess can always be wrong.

    I just want them to be aware that vaccines are not safe for everybody.

    But that is not all you want, because we are all in agreement about that. What you really want is for people to believe that vaccines are unsafe for far more people than the science indicates they are unsafe for. And you are using very subjective means as your evidence.

  43. Joe says:

    Nathan…… “But that is not all you want, because we are all in agreement about that. What you really want is for people to believe that vaccines are unsafe for far more people than the science indicates they are unsafe for. And you are using very subjective means as your evidence.”
    I do agree with the part that vaccines are not safe for far more people then you would have us believe.

  44. Gray Falcon says:

    So, where is your evidence, Joe? Human lives are at stake. Human. Lives. This is not a place for speculation.

  45. Lawrence says:

    @Joe – you do realize there are various surveillance programs in place to monitor adverse reactions, right? And the most comprehensive study of vaccine reactions (taking the bulk of available literature and data points for the past three decades) found the most severe reactions to be so rare as to make their connection to vaccines tenuous at best (1 in 10 million or more).
    Given all the evidence available, you have a better chance of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning than you have of suffering a severe vaccine reaction.
    That is fact, not fiction – not conjecture, but the truth of it. You can claim all you want, but the evidence, population studies, etc don’t back you up, not even a little bit.
    And you also realize that the diagnosis of developmentally challenged has gone down at almost the exact same rate as the diagnoses of autism has risen? We aren’t seeing more autism, we are just much better at classifying it.
    40 or 50 years ago (and earlier), many autistic individuals would have been diagnosed as developmentally delayed (or the most horrid of words used to described those individuals)., not autistic…..think about that for a second when you try to claim that there are more autistics today.

  46. lilady says:

    Lawrence…I don’t want to push a comment into moderation by mentioning M.R….The R word is used as a pejorative word…as in “What are you R’ed” M.R. is the proper clinical phrase…further classified as Mild MR, Moderate MR, Severe MR. or Profound MR.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lilady, I find it interesting that the scale for MR is exactly the same as the scale for autistic disorder. Not counting the other disorders that also fall under the ASD label, just specifically autistic disorder, or classic autism. The same scale exists, mild, moderate, severe and profound. Hmm…

  47. Lawrence says:

    @lilady – I realized that after two attempts got stuck in moderation. I hate using that word in any context, but it is very true that while one set of diagnoses has gone down, the other has gone up.
    And for people who don’t think autism existed before it was “named,” we knew about a lot of diseases, a long time ago, but had different names for them – didn’t mean they didn’t exist, we just didn’t have the understanding that we have today.
    “Consumption” for example – or the wasting disease….it was either TB or perhaps in many cases, it was Cancer – but a bunch of different things fell under the same name, because we just didn’t know the differences.
    “Of Mice & Men” – what do you think the clinical diagnosis for the “slow” character might have been today? Was he autistic, did it fall under another category? Who knows, but it is certainly possible.
    If we had the ability to go back 100 years with the tools and understanding that we have today, you would be able to recognize many individuals that fit into that broad category of “slow” or worse, were actually just autistic. Seriously, again, this is common sense people – stop living under the vaccine-autism rock and think for a change.

  48. End Censorship says:

    Lawrence asked me about personal attack examples specifically on the other post, but I would like to point out something here. I will answer your direct question when I have time to sift through the hundreds or thousands of comments, but I only came on to have a quick read. Not really to comment. Christine has said that people were banned for violating the rules. In fact, she specifically said “We would like to take a moment to remind all our participants to please refrain from personal attacks, vulgar and abusive language and offensive terms” in comment 180 on the pertussis post.
    I suspect that this is merely an excuse to ban people who disagree with either her or the majority of commenters on here. Here is why I am asking the question:

    lilady :
    Lawrence…I don’t want to push a comment into moderation by mentioning M.R….The R word is used as a pejorative word…as in “What are you R’ed” M.R. is the proper clinical phrase…further classified as Mild MR, Moderate MR, Severe MR. or Profound MR.

    Lara Lohne :
    @lilady, I find it interesting that the scale for MR is exactly the same as the scale for autistic disorder. Not counting the other disorders that also fall under the ASD label, just specifically autistic disorder, or classic autism. The same scale exists, mild, moderate, severe and profound. Hmm…

    Here we have two people who comment quite a bit on here. They both have determined that a certain word is a violation of the rules because it is pejorative (vulgar), so they have still persisted in using the word by just using initials instead. There are a couple of things wrong here. Using the word is obviously a violation. The system is somehow programmed to stop this word from being published because it is a violation so these posts should be removed and the offenders either warned or banned.
    On top of that, the word that they are using is completely off topic. On that basis, the same should apply. The comments should be removed and the offenders warned or banned.
    I have asked Christine my question because I smell a double standard. She has still not said anything.

  49. Lawrence says:

    @End Censorship – actually, you are incorrect. Mentioning that particular word automatically sends a comment into moderation. In the context of the conversation, it is completely accurate to mention that what would have been considered one thing years ago, is now considered something completely different today.
    It is all about context – in this case, the use in completely in context, as opposed to those that would use it to describe an individual in the discussion (a pejorative), which would be in violation of policy.

  50. lilady says:

    Lawrence: Here is the Wikipedia entry which provides how the various degrees of MR are properly used within the clinical area, on chart notes and in the various editions, including the current edition, of the DSM. I take great offense when the phrase is just in other contexts.
    See my comment directed at the persistent one. He is now in my “Ignore Category”.

  51. lilady says:

    Oops I cannot link to that Wikipedia entry. But see for yourself how it is correctly used in the clinical area, on chart notes and in all entries of the DSM editions

  52. lilady says:

    By the way Lawrence, I’ve had that discussion with Christine, when I discussed (in context) and on topic, my son’s many developmental disabilities including MR-Profound.

  53. lama says:

    The R condition mentioned here has always existed, but autism hasn’t. They are not the same. Most autistic people have normal intelligence, but it is locked away so that they cannot access it the way most people can. Symptoms like echolalia, pronoun reversal, hand flapping, toe walking, obsession with lining things up, are common characteristics of autism, but not of the other condition. Autistic people are often normal in some academic areas, like math, while being very challenged in the use of language and social relations. This uneven development is not characteristic of the other condition. It does not benefit anyone to confuse the two conditions.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lama, all of these symptoms existed centuries ago, but the clinical term autism, or autistic disorder did not exist until the1940s. It has only been in a little before the past decade that the exact clinical presentations of the various disorders and functionality levels that make up the autism spectrum have been defined as they are today. There are many, many adults who previously were considered socially awkward, weird, just not able to fit in, slow or as having severe learning disorders, that are now, as adults being found to fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. Since autism is a life long, from birth disorder, these were people, who as children were overlooked because when they were children, the clinical characterization for autism, was the non-verbal, rocking back and forth in a diaper all your life, form, but we know today that is not always the case. Prior to the disorder being given a name by Leo Kanner in 1943, anyone who exhibited these same symptoms was lumped in with individuals who were MR or insane, both which are significantly different from each other, but that was all that was known then. Thankfully science and medicine do progress.
      Just as Lawrence pointed out, many diseases we know by one name today, a century or more ago were called something else. TB was consumption, malaria was called ague or shaking sickness and was thought to be from breathing ‘bad air’, meningitis was called brain fever and pertussis, or whooping cough, used to be called chin cough. They are the same diseases that we know today, just by a different name. The same is true of ASDs and autistic disorder. There are many children, today and of past generations, that are so mildly autistic that they get completely over looked by pediatricians during normal well baby visits and it’s not until they have entered elementary school that it’s found there is a challenge. Those with Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism are among those. I am certain, going through school, I knew of people in my classes that would have been classified as HFA or AS had the diagnostic criteria and awareness been the same back then as it is today. In fact I did know a couple of people who had been diagnosed with autism. One was a little boy with classic autism and was non verbal. He had been adopted by my older sister’s best friend’s mom, and another was a 24 year old man my fiance at the time was rooming with, (this was about 1989 though). All these disorders were always with us, they were just lumped in with other disorders and the sufferers were locked away so people didn’t have to see them.
      I know institutionalizing children with disabilities was common practice, sometimes against the will of the child’s parent. My older brother was born in 1966 and has cerebral palsy. My mom wouldn’t allow him to ride the bus to or from school because she was terrified they would cart him off to an asylum and she’d never see him again. My mom had some very obvious issues about certain things, but there had to have been something behind her fear. Children, like my brother, typically didn’t exist in public schools. Those who had an obvious disability were put into special schools or in severe to profound cases, put away all together. The fact that people refuse to believe this happened, is dangerous, because it’s one denial step before putting them all back in institutions again and for me, that’s a sincerely scary thought.
      (BTW, if anyone is interested, there is a list of old disease names and what they are today found on rootsweb web site. I won’t put the link so my comment doesn’t go into moderation.)

  54. Lawrence says:

    @lama – before there was an “official” autism diagnosis, what would someone had been called (say in the 19th or early 20th Century) who exhibited those symptoms?

  55. Lawrence says:

    @lama – also, you do realize as well that autism is an entire spectrum of symptoms, not one single affliction, right? Just like in the old days, when everyone who was considered abnormal was pretty much given one classification & shut away in institutions….
    We’ve gotten a lot better today at recognizing developmental delay – hence the rise in autism as a diagnosis & less of everything else. Nothing has changed, we’ve just see things differently today than we did in past decades.

  56. lama says:

    I agree with Steve. Autism was unheard of before 1940.

  57. Lawrence says:

    @lama – really? Please to provide some citations for that claim of yours…here are some of mine:
    From the early 1900s, autism has referred to a range of psychological conditions. But where did the term come from, and how has knowledge about autism changed? Read on to learn about the history and the current understanding of this challenging condition.
    Where Did the Term “Autism” Come From?
    The word “autism,” which has been in use for about 100 years, comes from the Greek word “autos,” meaning “self.” The term describes conditions in which a person is removed from social interaction — hence, an isolated self.
    Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term. He started using it around 1911 to refer to one group of symptoms of schizophrenia.
    In the 1940s, researchers in the United States began to use the term “autism” to describe children with emotional or social problems. Leo Kanner, a doctor from Johns Hopkins University, used it to describe the withdrawn behavior of several children he studied. At about the same time, Hans Asperger, a scientist in Germany, identified a similar condition that’s now called Asperger’s syndrome.
    Autism and schizophrenia remained linked in many researchers’ minds until the 1960s. It was only then that medical professionals began to have a separate understanding of autism in children.
    (I usually loathe to quote Wikipedia, but the citations for this article are excellent).
    People on the spectrum have always been around – again, we can diagnose them much better. And tell me, what percentage of the 1 in 88 figure people throw around are mild vs. severe?

  58. Lawrence says:

    @lama – do you also believe that diseases or syndromes don’t exist until we give them a name?
    Cancer, for example, has existed pretty much as long as animals have been on this planet – but before people knew what it was, did it exist?

  59. Lawrence says:

    @lama – here is another good one:
    European folktales of fairies and Changlings – autism?

  60. Lawrence says:

    Both of my kids are up to date on their vaccines – we’ve followed the schedule, spoken with our pediatrician (made a few adjustments – added a shot or subtracted a shot, depending on what was needed to stay current), and yet to have any reaction whatsoever beyond a bit of fuss….I put my n=1 anecdote against anyone else’s any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    If you aren’t having conversations with your pediatrician – listening to them & have them address your questions and concerns, you are doing it wrong. GoogleU is no substitution for real research, discussions with your doctor, and basing decisions on facts – not superstition.
    Parents forget that their kids will grow up & go to school with larger and larger groups of kids – get exposed to more and more pathogens, then potentially travel to areas where vaccine rates are low & infectious diseases common – eventually, this will become a huge problem – something that could have been solved when they were much younger – instead, the will potentially be getting these diseases at an age where they can be much worse.
    That’s never a good thing, ever!

  61. lama says:

    I was interested in your post, could you tell us how your child and others in your family were damaged by vaccines? Which ones were they, and when and at what age were they given? What were the reactions? Has the damage been permanent? I’m not a troll either, and I hope you’ll see this and answer.

  62. lama says:

    I looked up the history of autism. In 1935 Dr. Kanner published a comprehensive diagnostics textbook Child Psychiatry for children’s disorders. For the first time, every known childhood disorder was described, and Dr. Kanner had seen most of them. Nothing remotely resembling autism appeared in it. Then he started seeing the first autistic children, eleven of them, all born in the 1930s, within eight years of each other. The children displayed symptoms that we now think of as typical of autism, symptoms that had never been seen before, reversal of pronouns, slow development of language, lack of interest in dealing with other people, in some cases phenomenal memory in very young children, obsession with spinning objects. Dr. Kanner used the term “autistic” for the first time in 1943 to describe these children who had an innate inability to form affective contact with people in the ordinary way.

  63. Chris says:

    Lama, have you already read my book suggestion?

  64. Lawrence says:

    @lama – did you even bother to read our responses? We’ve show that your information is out-dated and incorrect.
    Care to revise your opinion?
    @Chris – why do I we’ve met this particular person before?

  65. Chris says:

    I have no idea if Lala is someone who has posted before. Though it is someone who does not provide a reference to where he/she is reading this “history” of autism.

  66. Chris says:

    Sorry, I meant Lama.

  67. lama says:

    Have you read the original article? “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact,”
    Leo Kanner, in: Nervous Child 2:217-50, 1943.
    “Since 1938, there have come to our attention a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far, that each case merits – and, I hope, will eventually receive – a detailed consideration of its fascinating peculiarities. “

  68. Chris says:

    lama, where is that available online?
    And have you read the book I suggested?

  69. Chris says:

    lama, have you read the update on one of the children Kanner saw: Autism’s First Child?

  70. Lawrence says:

    @lara – yes, relying on a single source article, when subsequent research shows that source to be incorrect is a sign of a major lack of awareness.

  71. lama says:

    I ordered the book you mentioned from Amazon, Chris, I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve read it. I know that one of the first children, Donald Triplett, recovered from autism when his parents had him treated with gold salts. And one of the girls, Bridget Muncie, had a sad life in an institution, where she lived and died. I’d have to look it up to see what is known about the ultimate outcomes for the others, if it’s available to the public. I’ll look at the article on Autism’s First Child when I have time, which is not right now. I found the Kanner article online, I’ll post a link to it when I have time.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lama, autism is a neurological condition that one cannot just recover from. Therapy can assist in rewiring the brain to allow for better functionality, and if enough progress is made one can lose the diagnosis of autism, but they don’t really recover. In those cases, it is more of a retraining and learning how to cope then anything else. That is why it can be hard to diagnose an adult with an ASD, because they have lived with it for so long, and have developed their own coping mechanisms, and in many cases mental or emotional disorders also, that it takes someone who is familiar with those mechanisms and other disorders that are commonly developed in adults never diagnosed with ASD as children to be able to see past the outer disorders and at the core of the issues which is ASD. Your information sources are very out of date.

  72. Lara Lohne says:

    Chris, thank you for sharing that link! I can honestly say this gave me a lot of comfort. I like the idea of my son being able to drive and spending his old age playing golf. Of course, he’s only 5 so that’s still a long way off, but his care, after I’m gone has been a worry in the back of my mind. I’m still reading it, but it is great to know, my son can be OK.

  73. lama says:
    This is a link to the article, I”m not sure it’s the complete article, I’ll compare it to another one, but it includes a description of Donald Triplett, the boy who substantially recovered and is the same as the one in Autism’s First Child. He developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when he was nearly fourteen, almost ten years after his parents had sought advice on his autism from Dr. Kanner. He was near death with a high fever and swollen joints, his parents took him to the Mayo Clinic, which couldn’t figure out the problem, then to the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, where he was treated with gold salts for several months. Gold salts were the standard treatment for JRA, and are still FDA approved. Donald’s arthritis disappeared except for one fused knuckle. But in addition, the most severe symptoms of his autism almost disappeared at that time, and his brother later said he became much more social, that it was the most amazing response to the medicine he could have imagined.
    Dr. Kanner when he examined him many years later, in 1971, thought that his recovery was because of the kindness of the farm couple he had been sent to live with, and didn’t mention the gold salt treatment he had undergone over several months.
    It would have to be left to people reading the article Autism’s First Child to decide whether they think that Donald recovered from his autism or not. You can read the description of his behavior as a young child in the linked article above. He never married, he had a stutter, lack of eye contact, but got a B.A. degree at a college, worked as a bank teller, was a member of several clubs, played golf, and traveled the world. His family and he himself believed that it was the gold salts that helped him recover as much as he did.

  74. Angela says:

    If vaccines work so damn well, then why are you all so friggen petrified of people that aren’t vaccinated?

  75. Gray Falcon says:

    Angela :
    If vaccines work so damn well, then why are you all so friggen petrified of people that aren’t vaccinated?

    If driving sober worked so well, why are you so afraid of drunk drivers? A good solution does not have to be a perfect one.

  76. Chris says:


    . I know that one of the first children, Donald Triplett, recovered from autism when his parents had him treated with gold salts.

    Oh, really? Give me a reference that is not written by Olmsted and Blaxill. It was not mentioned in The Atlantic, and nor does it have any biological viability.

  77. Chris says:


    If vaccines work so damn well, then why are you all so friggen petrified of people that aren’t vaccinated?

    Well, it is mostly because there are the creatures that we are quite fond of: babies. Angela, can you please tell us how to protect babies from measles before they are old enough to get an MMR?

  78. Chris says:

    So, Angela, do you think that it is okay to let kids with cancer get sick with pertussis, chicken pox, measles and mumps? Their treatments depress their immune systems.

  79. Gray Falcon says:

    Angela :

    Gray Falcon :
    If driving sober worked so well, why are you so afraid of drunk drivers? A good solution does not have to be a perfect one.

    That doesn’t even make any sense you turd.

    It’s called an analogy. Look it up.

  80. lilady says:

    Angela stated…
    “If vaccines work so damn well, then why are you all so friggen petrified of people that aren’t vaccinated?”
    I sense we are dealing with a sock puppet here…might even be a sockie of a male poster who has recently been banned, again, from this site. Please ignore.

  81. Chris says:

    Actually, it does not sound like him at all.

  82. Nathan says:

    “If vaccines work so damn well, then why are you all so friggen petrified of people that aren’t vaccinated?”

    Who said I friggen was? Wanting children to be vaccinated, and wanting them to not die of friggen vaccine preventable disease, nor pass on friggen vaccine preventable disease to the immunocompromised and other high-friggen-risk individuals does not equate to friggen petrification.

  83. Chris says:

    Now the question is why is Angela so “friggen petrified” of vaccines. Are her fears legitimate, or are they from reading lots of misinformation?

  84. Nathan says:

    No friggen idea.

  85. Nathan says:

    But the capacity of antivaxers to overdramatize the position of vaccine advocates never fails to elicit a chuckle.

  86. Lara Lohne says:

    Angela :
    If vaccines work so damn well, then why are you all so friggen petrified of people that aren’t vaccinated?

    Since I grew up in an anti-vaccine family, there are many vaccines that I didn’t receive and am unable to get now because my medical coverage only covers them for children, not adults. I cannot get polio vaccine, meningitis vaccine, Hib and many other vaccines that are routine for children. All my children are vaccinated so I am not as concerned for them, but I am very concerned for myself should I happen to cross paths with a child who is not vaccinated and is contagious with one of the diseases I cannot be vaccinated for. I am current with MMR and with TDaP, I’ve had chicken pox, mumps and pertussis once that left me permanently damaged and not as healthy since as I was before I got sick. Should one of these diseases find its way to me, I don’t believe I would fare very well since my health is already compromised from my bout with pertussis.
    I am concerned, but I wouldn’t say petrified, that’s quite a stretch actually. But perhaps that will give you a little insight into it a bit. I am in a similar situation of those too young for vaccination, have medical contraindications for vaccination or are immunocompromised for various different reasons. Are you not concerned for these people? If they could be vaccinated, they would be, but since they can’t they have to depend on the people around them being vaccinated to keep them protected. If there is a pocket of unvaccinated children around someone who is unvaccinated for whatever reason that may be, and measles or pertussis or meningitis takes hold in that pocket, what is there to stop the person who cannot be vaccinated from getting the disease also?

  87. Lawrence says:

    @Lara – I love it when we get another person here in favor of “reasonable discourse.”

  88. lama says:

    I read the article you posted the link to on Donald Triplett, and I googled more information about him. I read an article on LeftBrainRightBrain about him as well as others. Even LBRB did not deny that he had had gold salts treatment, as I mentioned last night. Donald’s brother was the one who told reporters about the treatment, which he said had magically improved his symptoms of autism as well as juvenile arthritis. I read last night that none of the other children of the first cohort had a positive outcome, so it would seem that the gold salts treatment may well be responsible for Donald’s improvement.
    Regardless of what you believe the cause of his illness was, or the extent or cause of his partial recovery, it would seem that gold salts should be explored as a treatment for autism. I read last night that gold salts (still approved by the FDA) have some negative side effects, and that there are methods of chelation now considered safer. I think all these methods of treating autism merit further investigation.

  89. lilady says:

    What are the medical indications (conditions/disorders), to use chelation treatments? Did I miss something here?

  90. lama says:
    This is a link to an article about gold salts and the conditions it has been used for. Apparently they cured Donald Triplett’s juvenile arthritis, and he went on to lead an active, almost normal life. His family thought they greatly improved his autism as well.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lama, you forget one major truth regarding autism; it is not developmental stasis, and physical pain can exacerbate autistic behaviors. It is quite possible that the gold salts relieved his physical discomfort, and therefore the behaviors that were the result of being in pain subsided. That does not mean they did anything for his autism at all. Just like a GFCF diet will not do anything for autism, but if a child has sensitivities to those foods and eating them cause them pain, then remove the source of pain and the behaviors may decrease. Either way you look at it, it is not recovery from autism, the autism is still there and still as pronounced as it always was. The behaviors has chilled because whatever was causing them discomfort to the point of distraction is gone, therefore the behaviors which allowed them to deal with the excess pain from the co-morbid condition will also disappear. You are confusing correlation with causation in the worst possible way because you don’t understand autism and how it affects every aspect of life for the individual who has it.

  91. lilady says:

    Your Wikipedia link has nothing to do with “chelation”.
    Here, since you are fond of using Wikipedia as a source..
    Main article: Thiomersal controversy
    Based on the discredited[23] hypothesis that mercury poisoning may trigger the symptoms of autism,[24] chelation therapy is widely used by alternative therapists to treat autism, with some surveys suggesting 2–8% of children with autism have had the therapy.[25] Parents either have a doctor use a treatment for lead poisoning, or buy unregulated supplements.[25] Aspies For Freedom, an autistic rights organization, considers this use of chelation therapy unethical and potentially dangerous.[26] There is strong epidemiological evidence that refutes links between environmental triggers, in particular thiomersal-containing vaccines, and the onset of autistic symptoms.[23][27][28][29] There is no scientific support for chelation therapy as a treatment for autism.[14][30]
    Chelation therapy can be hazardous when used inappropriately. In August 2005, chelation therapy conducted by an ACAM member killed a 5-year-old boy with autism;[17] a 3-year-old
    nonautistic girl died in February 2005, and a nonautistic adult died in August 2003. These deaths were due to cardiac arrest caused by hypocalcemia during chelation therapy. In two of the cases hypocalcemia appears to have been caused by the administration of Na2EDTA (Disodium EDTA) and in the third case the type of EDTA was unknown.[41] Only the 3-year-old girl had been medically assessed and found to have an elevated blood lead level and resulting low iron levels and anemia, a proper medical cause for chelation therapy to be conducted.[42] According to protocol, EDTA should not be used in the treatment of children.[43] More than 30 deaths have been recorded in association with IV-administered disodium EDTA since the 1970s.[17]”

  92. Chris says:


    His family thought they greatly improved his autism as well.

    Citation that is not written by Olmsted or Blaxill, please. Because having had kids go through puberty in my house, I am more inclined to go with his age causing developmental progress.

  93. Lawrence says:

    @lilady – talk about barbaric “medical” practices – put this up there with MMS / Bleaching autism away & chemical castration with Lupron……and the anti-vaccine cranks call regular doctors such awful things – if regular MDs did anything like this, they’d be drawn & quartered by the public….yet somehow this biomed crazies get away with it.

  94. Lara Lohne says:

    I really don’t understand why a parent would subject their child to a treatment that is highly dangerous and meant to be a last result treatment for severe heavy metal toxicity. Especially when there is no concrete evidence that children with autism have higher levels of heavy medal then neurotypical children do. My guess is the levels of metals in these children would be the same as a child without autism, possibly even lower due to self restrictive diets, but since the child without autism has ‘no reasons to get chelation’ their levels have not ever been tested and compared to those of a child with autism.
    There’s a thought actually, … Now if is was true that heavy metals are responsible for autism development, I would guess that this would be the best course of action to take for testing that hypothesis. Compare heavy metal levels in a group of autistic children versus a group of non-autistic children. Either levels will be the same, or I believe actually, levels will be significantly lower in autistic children due to self restrictive diets, because many children with autism are not able to cope with certain textures, so many foods that a neurotypical child may eat, an autistic won’t, or can’t. My son, for example, cannot eat fish. He has tried, but every time he tried to take a bite, the texture makes him gag.
    I’m uncertain what other foods have been found to contain heavy metals that could contribute to heavy metal toxicity other then certain types of fish. Does anyone else know? Would this comparing heavy metal levels between autistic and non-autistic children be viable in any sense at all? The big question is, what if autistic children are found to not have higher levels then normal children, what then will these chelating parents claim is the need for their child to under go such a dangerous procedure?

  95. lilady says:

    The most common medical indication for chelation therapy for children is for elevated blood levels of lead:
    There are absolutely no valid studies that autistic children have *toxic* levels of heavy metals and no valid studies that chelation therapies *treat/cure/recover* children diagnosed with ASDs.

  96. Lawrence says:

    @lilady – have these parents ever considered that by chelating children that don’t need it, they are actually stripping away vital minerals that are required for continued good health (and heck, being able to live)?
    How do these parents believe that “mercury” somehow replicates in their child’s body? The trace amounts of thimersol that exist in the very few vaccines using it today (again, the MMR never had it) isn’t any near as much as these parent’s claim they are “chelating” out of their children – so where is the rest of it supposed to be coming from?
    Don’t they realize they are leeching out various minerals from their kids bones, for example?
    Absolutely horrible, with no scientific evidence that it works (outside of massive heavy metal poisoning).

  97. lama says:

    Since Donald T. substantially recovered from autism at the same time as he received treatment with gold salts for severe arthritis, while it is possible that it was due to natural maturation at adolescence, I don’t think the possiblity that it was due to the gold salts should be dismissed out of hand. I cannot find any evidence that any of the others of Kanner’s first cohort of eleven autistic children born in the ’30s experienced any comparable improvement either at adolescence or later.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lama, as I pointed out in a previous post, “physical pain can exacerbate autistic behaviors.” Remove the source of physical pain and the autistic behaviors will lesson. This is not a recovery from autism, but the removal of pain allows the person with autism to refocus on other things besides the overwhelming pain and the stimming and behavioral traits they used before to deal with the pain. This, again, is not recovery from autism, just alleviating pain which will lessen autistic behavior.
      There is not any biomedical treatment that will cure or help a person recover from autism. Therapies such as ABA, occupational therapy, speech therapy and the like, actually do help a person to rewire their brain to better deal with the dysfunction in autism, or allow them to become more functional in some cases to lose the diagnosis of autism. Biomedical treatments could only hope to alleviate co-morbid conditions that may contribute to autistic traits being more prominent, but they can’t cure autism, since autism is a difference in brain structure and functioning.

  98. Chris says:

    Lama, I am still waiting citations on Donald T that do not involve Olmsted and Blaxill. Though the removal of pain is one way to explain the changes. It in no way makes giving children another salt made with a heavy metal, gold, as a viable treatment for autism.

  99. lama says:

    Donald was apparently not harmed by the treatment, and it was FDA-approved. Could parents not be informed of the possible risks and decide whether or not they wanted the treatment to be tried on their child? We went to the birthday party of an autistic boy yesterday, just turned ten, who has had an hour and a half of ABA therapy four times a week for many years, and has not been helped much, if at all. His grandfather told me very sadly that they have finally had to accept that he may never be able to live independently. Is it not possible that many people would be willing to accept whatever slight risk might be involved in a study on gold salts in much the same way that they are expected to accept the slight risk of vaccination? That would be the only way to find out if it might offer hope to a large number of hopeless parents.
    The data on Donald as an autistic child are in Dr. Kanner’s article of 1943, and the Atlantic article which you furnished a link to described him as a remarkably recovered adult. Not even LBRB disputed his having been treated with gold salts at the clinic I mentioned. Would it not be reasonable to design a study to see if gold salt treatment helped autism or not?

  100. lama says:

    I saw an article in the paper yesterday saying that Micah Mazurek in a first of its kind study had found that many children with autism also have gastrointestinal problems. It said it was published in Abnormal Child Psychology. Do you know how this differs from Dr. Wakefield’s autistic enterocolitis?

  101. Chris says:


    The data on Donald as an autistic child are in Dr. Kanner’s article of 1943, and the Atlantic article which you furnished a link to described him as a remarkably recovered adult.

    All of which I have read. None of them mention the gold salts treatment, which is what I am asking you about. And LBRB disputed the role of the arthritis treatment with the symptoms of autism. So, again, you are asked to provide a citation to the relationship between his gold salts treatment and autism that does not involve Olmsted and Blaxill.
    And we cannot answer your question in your next comment without some kind of references or links. Especially since there have been many studies of children with autism and gastrointestinal issues like Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.

  102. Lawrence says:

    @lama – here’s ultimately the problem. You are latching on to something that occurred more than 50 years ago, in one single instance, and trying to pitch it as some kind of “cure-all” for autism….that isn’t how Science works. You need to be able to replicate the results & show real benefits.
    Everything else is quackery at best, child abuse at worst.

  103. lama says:

    But would it not be good to do a study on it and see what happened? Then they’d be able to see if the results with Donald could be replicated or not? That’s not how science works?

  104. Chris says:

    No. Because, as you yourself noted, the gold salts treatment for arthritis is not benign. It does have side effects. Plus as noted in this article:

    This rather slim reed of evidence is made even slimmer by the fact that gold therapy has continued in used to the present time. Gold therapy is used in severe cases of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) often enough that at least a few autistic children with JRA must have been treated with gold.

    Though, if you choose, you can find those children with both JRA and autism that have been treated with gold salts and examine those outcomes. There is no reason to subject children without JRA with a treatment using a salt from a heavy metal, gold, based on one unverified sixty year old case report.

  105. lama says:

    From Leon Eisenberg, researcher at Johns Hopkins, in “The Autistic Child in Adolescence,” the American Journal of Psychiatry, 1956, 112, 607-12. “Donald, at 14, developed an undiagnosed illness manifested by fever, chills, and joint pains. He became bedridden and developed joint contractures. On the basis of a tentative diagnosis of Still’s disease, he was placed empirically on gold therapy with marked improvement. After 18 months, he was once again ambulatory. He emerged with little residual deficit from a second episode of arthritis two years later. The clinical improvement in his behavior, first observed during his rural placement, was accelerated during and after his illness and convalescence at home.”
    That’s some verification of the boy’s having received gold salts treatment, and the improvement in his behavior after it. I’m not strongly promoting the therapy, but in a world of so little to help kids with autism normalize enough to be independent when they’re grown, I think this and similar treatments bear looking at, and offering to families.

  106. Lawrence says:

    @lama – good luck with that. I hope you are able to secure funding (perhaps approach AoA & Generation Rescue – they seem to have plenty of money) and getting any study passed through IRB.
    I don’t understand why these advocates won’t put their money where their mouth is & just expect everyone else to do their work for them……

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lama, why is it so hard for you to understand that an autistic with a co-morbid condition that is painful, when treated for that co-morbid condition will improve in their autistic behaviors, but are not recovered from autism? The pain they had been suffering with is just allayed so they aren’t overwhelmed by it and are able to come out of their inner world a little bit. If the co-morbid condition’s pain came back, their old autistic behaviors would return, as evidenced in the article you quoted: “The clinical improvement in his behavior, first observed during his rural placement, was accelerated during and after his illness and convalescence at home.” He improved during and after treatment, because the pain was removed. If there is not a chronic, painful, co-morbid condition in the autistic individual, there isn’t any biomedical treatment that will help autistic behavior. Only can behavioral therapies be beneficial.
      Even such research as is available for GFCF diets only show that they are beneficial to autistic behaviors in those who have sensitivities to these foods which cause bowel pain. I have observed myself, when my own son is sick or hurting, his behavior degrades, but when he is well it diminishes. He is still autistic though and he has no co-morbid conditions that would require treatment. Please also keep in mind there are many levels of functionality in ASD and autistic disorder. There are some who are high functioning, some are lower functioning, some are severely or profoundly autistic, will be nonverbal all their life and incapable of living independently. Obviously for some behavioral therapy may not be helpful, but for the greater majority it will be.
      I have a friend who has an adult son who is profoundly autistic with SIB and has epilepsy co-morbidly. When his seizures are bad or uncontrolled, his autistic behaviors are much more pronounced. They have gone through his life trying many different treatments for his seizures, they found he is allergic to Haldol and while depacote actually decreases the seizures, the side effects they cause increase his SIB. They have finally found something that has significantly lessened his seizure activity, he is also on a nicotine patch which keeps his serotonin levels more even throughout the day. He goes to music and animal therapy daily and has regular hydrotherapy at home. Since he is an adult, there aren’t really any kind of services available for him, so these therapies are paid for by the family, and even though he will never speak, never be potty trained, always be mostly convalescent, his family has noticed him being more affectionate and more social after they started his therapy sessions. My friend wishes that she knew then everything she knows now because she feels with the proper epilepsy treatment and the proper therapy, her son may have been able to progress further then he has. Here’s the moral of the story: when his seizures were not controlled or controllable, his autistic behaviors was worse. When they were finally able to appropriately treat his seizures, his autistic behavior lessened and he began to progress in small degrees. It was not treating his autism though, it was treating a painful and scary co-morbid condition that helped him to improve on the autism therapies he is receiving.
      Do you get it now? Not one autistic person is like the next. Some have co-morbid conditions, some do not. Each of those co-morbid conditions have different treatments, if the co-morbid condition is treated, autistic behaviors may diminish and autism therapies will then be beneficial. If there is no co-morbid condition, there is no reason for a biomed treatment, just the typical autism therapies.

  107. Chris says:

    I also remembered what Lara said: the reduction of pain is probably a better explanation for improvements in behavior. Remember, arthritis is very painful, and kids do not act like they typically do when they are in pain.
    One weekend my soon to go to preschool was very cranky. She complained about her arm. On Monday I took her into the doctor, who told us she had Nursemaid’s Elbow (which I suspect she got when she slid off the back of a fluffy sofa). The doctor popped the elbow back, and she was back to normal.
    There would be a marked improvement in any child if the pain they are experiencing is removed. This includes gastrointestinal distress, migraines and obviously arthritis.
    Thanks for the other reference. It looks like he had an illness that triggered the JRA, too bad that disease could not have been prevented, or that there were no antibiotics for a strep infection (which is associated with rheumatic fever).

  108. lama says:

    You are forgetting that when Dr. Kanner first examined Donald Triplett, he was a young child, and not in any apparent pain. He treated words as a sort of magic spell: if he wanted to get out of his crib after a nap, he’d say to his mother, whom he called Boo, to say what she always said, and say to her: Boo say ‘Don, do you want to get down?’ and after she got him out of the crib he’d urge her to say what always came next, and say ‘Now say All right.’ When he stumbled, he’d say You did not fall down, instead of using I (reversal of pronouns). He named each of his watercolor bottles for one of the five Dionne quintuplets. The word yes only meant that he wanted his father to put him on his shoulders. He was completely solitary, and never talked to or played with an orphan his parents brought out to interact with him, nor did he play with anyone else. He had no co-morbid condition at this time of his life. Those who read my previous posts would have known this.
    In other words, at this time in his early childhood, he was autistic, but did not yet have the painful arthritis. He was nearly fourteen, ten years later, when he developed the arthritis, and was treated with the gold salts, and both the autism and the arthritis improved.

    • Lara Lohne says:

      @lama, reversal of pronouns is very common in young children with autism, as is echolalia, social isolation, idiosyncratic speech and stereotyped behavior, all common, in fact necessary for a diagnosis of autism. My own son does all of these, he is 5 and a half. Here’s the clincher there, autism is developmental delay, not stasis. That being the case, he may have progressed, but the pain from his arthritis, as well as the illness he suffered prior to it, masked the progress he had made. It is still only correlation. And you cannot claim a result when the study group is just one person. One could also say sometime during this period he may have eaten a potato. Maybe that recovered him from autism. See how ridiculous that sounds? He didn’t recover, he progressed. The pain he suffered resulted in heightened autistic behaviors due to over stimulation. When the pain was relieved his autistic symptoms lessened but did not go away completely. This is a very common theme in autistics who have painful co-morbid conditions. Lessening in their autistic behavior is not recovery from autism, it is relief from their pain and that is all there is to it. You are grasping at straws with this whole gold salts thing, it recovered him from JRA, not from autism.

  109. lilady says:

    lama: The young man you reference was treated for *tentative diagnosis of Stills disease* more than 50 years ago. Do you realize how many blood tests it takes to diagnose a specific type of arthritis…that were not available when the doctors made that *tentative diagnosis of Stills disease*?
    Do you realize how many different types of arthritis have been identified…each with their own profile and each caused by different factors, including the auto-immune Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus arthritis and some time arthritis caused by infectious diseases?
    You’re looking from a distance at one autistic young man who may or may not have had Stills disease (a type of arthritis), who received gold salts treatments for perhaps a type of arthritis and attributing the gold salts treatments for his co-morbid (unknown) condition and you are stating that based on this one study n=1, that we should subject autistic kids to gold salts treatments.
    Gold treatments/gold compounds have proved useful for some very resistant-to-treatment arthritic conditions. It is *believed* that injections and oral gold treatments are anti-inflammatories:
    Where did you ever hear the autism is an inflammation…and not a neurological disorder?
    There has to be some prior plausibility beforehand that gold treatments would be a viable treatment for autism. There isn’t.

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