This morning after CCD, it was easy for me to tell when my husband got home with the girls.  I was sipping my coffee in the living room and the front window was open.  I heard a car pull up, but wasn’t sure at first if it was a neighbor.  Then I heard screeching and shouting and unintelligible insults.  I heard The Mister grunt in pain.  One of the girls lashed out at him.

Princess Number One snuggled on the couch, put her earphones on, and escaped into some music.

Princesses Two and Three continued screeching and I could hear their echoes throughout the neighborhood.  They came pounding up the stairs into the house with The Mister ordering one of them to their room.  I think it was Number Three.  It was confusing.  I just know one of them kicked him.

It was determined that there was much brattiness from the time they got in the car to be picked up and the rest is history.   Gracie apparently wanted a pony.  My Little Pain In The Freaking Ass Pony, of course.  She wouldn’t accept that “not until your birthday” was the response.  I decided that the arguing over it was done, and explained to her that she got her answer and if she wasn’t happy with it that was all right but her behavior and language were not.  She became more disrespectful to The Mister and it was her turn to sit on the stairs for a time out since Number Three was already in their room.

Yeah, she locked herself in the bathroom.  We just waited her out.

She ended up in her room on her own, and I could hear the two of them plotting against me.  When their time out was over, I just let them stay there to bond since most of their fighting earlier was with each other.  When Gracie came downstairs repeatedly to insult me, I explained that her words were hurtful and that’s why she was put in time out in the first place.  After an hour, I told her that she had hurt my feelings and if she felt badly she needed to think about the words she had been using, think the words she planned to use before they came out of her mouth, and change her attitude.  I wouldn’t be letting her treat me badly or get rewarded for it.  She put herself back upstairs, grumbling the whole time about how mean I was to say such terrible things to her.

When it came lunch time, I kicked the three of the girls out of the house to get fresh air.  Gracie came back in after a while because the sun was too bright.  She kept finding things to talk to me about and inform me about.  I took that as reaching out, since earlier her communication was mainly shouting and screeching and insults.  I let her help me make dinner… pasta with homemade sauce.  I let her help me make dessert too… apple crisp.

And then something completely unexpected happened.  I was in the kitchen stirring the pasta in the pot, and I heard Gracie on the stairs calling to me.

“I am sorry.  I am sorry for the words I said.  I was unkind.  I said hurtful things.  I am sorry for hurting your feelings.  I love you.  Please forgive me.”

I didn’t script one word of that for her, and no one else did either.  She wouldn’t let me hug her, but she let me come to her and kiss her hand.

“Thank you, sweetheart, for the most beautiful apology I ever heard.  I am so very proud of you.  Will you come taste test the pasta?”

And so she did.  I let her have the first serving of pasta and later the first serving of apple crisp.

Aw, man… I’m crying again.   I’m crying because she gets it.

The clouds were weird and kind of pretty on the way home today.  Some were dark and scary, some were big and puffy and white.  Some were thin and wispy.  It was like every type of non-damaging cloud was represented in the sky this evening, and I had the joy of being able to view it while being stuck in traffic.  It got more diverse the further I got embedded in the traffic.  This photo was taken when I was still stuck on the entrance ramp.  As you can see, it’s real clouds and not digital-air wave clouds or whatever “the cloud” is that Microsoft has going on.  I’ve used “the cloud” and I still don’t know what that’s all about.  I may or may not even have books in the the cloud.

Oh… wait.  Nature.  In rush hour traffic.

Stuck On Sisson Avenue Entrance Rt I-84 E 9/13/13

If you know or you suspect that a child is in danger of being abused or worse, you have a duty to protect that child.  Abuse should never, never be considered a private family matter.  It should never be kept secret.  It is far better to report what you suspect and be wrong, than to be right and find out later that you should have made a report and didn’t but the child suffered for it.  If you feel that you may need the help for yourself and your own child, please know that THERE IS NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP.  THERE IS HELP OUT THERE FOR YOU.  You just have to know where to find it.

One resource I’d like you to check out is the American Humane Association (click here).  Here is some information from them below on how to report suspected child abuse, and I have highlighted the 24/7 hotline in red:

How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment

Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect. Reporting abuse or neglect can protect a child and get help for a family—it may even save a child’s life. In some States, any person who suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report. To see how your State addresses this issue, read the Information Gateway publication, Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Child Welfare Information Gateway is not a hotline for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, and it is not equipped to accept reports of this nature. Information Gateway is not equipped to offer crisis counseling. As a service of the Children’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Information Gateway does not have the authority to intervene or advise in personal situations.

Childhelp® is a national organization that provides crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotlineexternal link is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous. Contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

If you need help with personal or family situations, you may wish to visit our resources on Where to Find Help.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or if you are a child who is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so professionals can assess the situation. Many States have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse or neglect. To find out where to call, consult the Information Gateway publication, State Child Abuse Reporting Numbers.

If you’re not sure if you’re a mandated reporter for abuse, here is the clarifying list:

  • Social workers
  • Teachers, principals, and other school personnel
  • Physicians, nurses, and other health-care workers
  • Counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals
  • Child care providers
  • Medical examiners or coroners
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Some other professions frequently mandated across the States
    include commercial film or photograph processors (in 12 States,
    Guam, and Puerto Rico), substance abuse counselors (in 14
    States), and probation or parole officers (in 17 States).2
    employees, and volunteers at entities that provide organized
    activities for children, such as camps, day camps, youth centers,
    and recreation centers, are required to report in 11 States.3
    Seven States and the District of Columbia include domestic
    violence workers on the list of mandated reporters, while seven
    States and the District of Columbia include animal control
    or humane officers.4
    Court-appointed special advocates are mandatory reporters in 10 States.5Members of the clergy now
    are required to report in 27 States and Guam.6
    Four States now have designated as mandatory reporters
    faculty, administrators, athletics staff, and other employees and
    volunteers at institutions of higher learning, including public and
    private colleges and universities and vocational and technical
    schools.7In approximately 18 States and Puerto Rico, any person who
    suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report. Of
    these 18 States, 16 States and Puerto Rico specify certain
    professionals who must report but also require all persons to
    report suspected abuse or neglect, regardless of profession.8
    New Jersey and Wyoming require all persons to report without
    specifying any professions. In all other States, territories, and the
    District of Columbia, any person is permitted to report. These
    voluntary reporters of abuse are often referred to as “permissive
  • To find statute information for a
    particular State, go to

SOURCE: https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.pdf#Page=2&view=Fit

Please click this link because it’s very informational.  It’s from childwelfare.gov:

Identification of Child Abuse & Neglect

Next, what do you actually “do” if you suspect abuse?

Children need us to be their voice.  We can’t be afraid to be wrong.  It’s all right to be wrong.  I would far rather call and be wrong and hurt the adult’s feelings than hold back and do nothing because “I don’t know what happened that day.”  And if you’re the one who needs help… if you’re afraid you might harm a child you love… please ask for help.  Beg for help until you get it.  Please.

… Recovering in a manner that is nothing short of a miracle.  And SHE is the focus of this blog entry.  Issy is important.  Issy is special.  Issy is the one that needs support, along with her father.  Issy is the one that deserves prayers.

In a situation that could have already ended tragically, this sweet girl is showing strength and improvement day by day.  Her father, Matt Stapleton, posted on the Team Issy Facebook page on Sunday with this amazing, incredible update:

…On Friday, after three days in the ICU, she was still unresponsive and had confirmed brain damage. After not seeing any changes in her condition, it was decided Friday evening to remove Isabelle from the ventilator. She responded by breathing on her own for the rest of the evening. The following morning, she awoke from her four day “coma-like” state asking questions, making requests, and quite incredibly, showing signs of the amazing young woman she is. For three days, she was hooked up to machines and showed very little progress. Fast forward 24 hours and we are out of the critical unit, completely independent, and beginning discussions about the extent of her brain damage. She has smiled and is now walking and talking. It is nothing short of a miracle. While she still has several obstacles to overcome, we are extremely hopeful with this unbelievable turn of events. … [go to FB to see the full update]

If you’ve watched the news or are in the Autism Community then you’re likely aware of who Issy Stapleton and her father are.  Issy is a beautiful 14 year old autistic girl that was in a coma for several days when it was unclear if she would survive or come out of the coma.  The coma is due to carbon monoxide poisoning .  Issy has suffered brain damage due to the carbon monoxide poisoning which unfortunately was not an accident, but a murder-suicide attempt by her own mother.  Issy still has a long road ahead of her, but luckily she has a loving father and family who are there with her every step of the way.  A father who adores her.  Lissy is resilient.  She’s SMILING in spite of what she’s been through.  She’s responsive.  She has been able to make requests and show her personality when Friday, she was in an unresponsive coma.  She’s out of the critical care unit as of Monday, September 9th 2013.  This is joyous news and truly miraculous.

Lissy is alive and smiling.  She’s alive and her family is happy that she’s alive.

WARNING:  What I talk about next may be a trigger for some because it does involve discussing attempted child murder.

I also feel like I need to address the fact that the woman that gave birth to her recovered well enough from her own carbon monoxide poisoning to be in jail on charges of attempted murder, being held without bail.  It pains me to even admit that I occasionally used to read her blog.  I won’t share the link because I don’t believe she deserves any further attention, and there’s absolutely no excuse, explanation, understanding for what she did.  There’s no one to blame except for her.   Period, full stop, nothing anyone can say to get me to empathize with her.  This is one topic that I AM closed minded about.  If you believe differently, I honest to God don’t want to hear it.

There has been discussion around the internet about Safe Haven laws for situations such as Lissy’s except for the fact that only one of her parents to end both her daughter’s and her own life as a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  She did this on her own… Matt Stapleton by all reports was surprised at his wife’s actions, concerned by a message she had left him that prompted him to go search for them.  This is a woman whose husband is a school principal and knows the school system.  Do I even need to point out the implications of putting a special needs autistic child into the state foster system at 14 years old?

When you have two parents in the home and one is feeling “battle fatigued” and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (oh, have I been there) then communication with your spouse and others in your support network is imperative. SHE HAD THAT.  She didn’t call 911.  She didn’t call a suicide hotline.  She didn’t call her psychiatrist.  And rather than viewing this as the system failing her with a temporary setback, she stewed on the those issues for a couple of days and she deliberately chose her actions.  Actions which clearly stated,

“My way or no way at all.”

No, I can not identify with that at all.  I can not empathize with that at all.  Not when it comes to parenting, and not when it comes to parenting and advocating for an autistic child.

And so Issy deserves to be known for how amazing she is.  Not for the burden her mother had to carry in her advocacy.  Issy deserves to be known for her strength and her smiles and her love for her family.  She deserves to have it known that her father has been fighting for her since he found her, that he’s been by her side praying and asking for prayers from everyone he knows and those he doesn’t.  I wonder if he realizes just how many lives his daughter has touched.

I pray every day that she continues to improve and gain strength.  I pray that whatever brain damage she has, it’s minimal.  I pray that her community rallies around her and her father.  Amen.

Severe Autism to the merest touch of Autism ie. Broad Autism Phenotype

Severe Autism to the merest touch of Autism ie. Broad Autism Phenotype

I’ve never kept it a secret from my daughter that she has Autism.  When she cried because “her brain doesn’t work the way she wants it to” sometimes; when she started to notice that some things are easier for her sisters and cousins and friends than for her; when she started to notice that her little sister was taking on a care-taking role with her very early on and was reaching many milestones at the same time or earlier; when she noticed that not all of the children in her classes required pull out time or a paraprofessional (she prefers the term teacher’s aid)… I didn’t hide the reason why.  Even from a young age she was begging me for answers; even when she had trouble formulating sentences, she needed to know why.

I have always presented it in a very positive way for her in spite of her difficulties.  I have explained why there are certain foods she shouldn’t have (it’s easier for her to think and concentrate and makes her feelings feel better).  I have explained that her Autism helps her think differently and creatively, and that there are very wonderful ways of thinking and very wonderful ideas that she has that I never would have imagined because my brain is “only typical” compared to hers.  I let her watch the movie Temple Grandin.  She connected with it.

We have more good days than bad, lately, but I think it’s because I don’t hyperfocus on what she can’t do anymore.  I fully accept her Autism, which means I accept HER.  She used to tell me that she hated her brain and her Autism and wanted to be just like her sisters and friends but now? She wants to be herself.  I saw her the night before school at the school picnic and a gaggle of her classmates came in.  This huge group of 5th grade girls saw Gracie and they all squealed, “GRACIE! YOU’RE HERE!”  She smiled and waved and said hi to them in her sweet, gentle way and I couldn’t help but get teary eyed.  The girls surrounded her and they all took turns asking her permission for a hug, telling her they missed her.  She actually gave them all permission for hugs.  She was in her glory.

Oh fluff, I’m crying right now retelling that story.

Don’t get wrong here.  We have some really bad moments.  Thankfully some of the “bad” times are just momentary and I’m thankful.  She’s having an easier time lately getting herself under control.  I think it scares her when she can’t control it.  We have bad half days.  We have bad days.  Weeks.  Months.  But my darling girl… she accepts herself and knowing what’s going on in her own brain helps her self-correct.  She knows to accept help when I offer… and I know to back off if she refuses.  She has learned to figure out her own warning signs and ask for help in holding them off.  She asks to help satisfy her sensory diet.  I was never sure she would get to that point.

She is accepting of herself, and realizes that her Autism is part of what makes her such a special young lady.  Being autistic is just like saying her hair is blonde, her eyes are blue, she loves strawberries, and she’s lactose intolerant.  If only others were so accepting and unafraid.  When the majority of autistics are not severe, when the spectrum is so wide that the majority isn’t even noticeable enough to require diagnosis, I wonder why so many are fearful and hateful and choose to remain uneducated.

I see her and other children she’s grown up around in school that have Autism and I see little people.  Future artists and engineers and technicians and actors.  I see the gift that they are.  I don’t see brain injuries  nor a disease because they’re not injured or diseased.  They are gifts.  They are treasures.  They have a disorder because they think differently in a world where most people don’t think the same way they do.  Oh well.  We can’t make the world change for them, but we can’t expect them to change for the world either.  Instead, I choose to prepare my daughter to cope with that world without having to change who she is.

It took me a long, long time to view my daughter’s Classic Autism, high functioning as it may be for her (and let’s face it, our family unit), as a gift.  It was difficult to see an end to the days that were endless struggles over everything.  I mean… everything.  When she didn’t know what was wrong and I didn’t know how to fix it.  Then I stopped looking for “why” it happened and I stopped asking God.  His answer to me was, “Why not.”  I had to be the mother she needs, and not the mother I wanted to be.   I’m a control freak and I had to let go.  I had to accept that things can be untidy and still turn out all right.  I had to trust in “not knowing” and even though I still worry and control what I can, it’s getting a little easier to let go.

Let go and let God.  But also, let Gracie.

And then today, I stumbled on this and it made me cry.  A young woman attending college and happens to have Autism.

My name is Shaina Barnett. I am 22 years old and a student at a community college in my area with high-functioning autism. I was diagnosed when I was only a toddler, in 1994. The funny thing was, I wasn’t truly aware of being different until I started asking myself why I could not somehow click into the crowd of kids in my classes. I was about 8 years old or so when my mother gave me the talk of autism. She said it was a gift I was given from God and with it, if used correctly, I can do wonders, move mountains, maybe even change the world. Of course, at the time I did not believe her. I just wanted to be able to play with the other children and share their experiences without being ridiculed or told of my faults. Middle school was such a nightmare. Other students knew I was different, but they used it as a weapon to break me. They pulled cruel pranks on me and called me hurtful names. Being a teenager at the time is hard enough, even without having autism. My safe haven was drawing comics, writing stories and poetry, and singing. Years went by and I felt I began to grow and blossom into a young lady. But I could not have done it without my high school mentor who was also my beloved homeroom teacher. We still remain very close. Being in and out of social skills programs gave me tools to be able to talk among my peers, however, I advanced past the expected curriculum. When I attended a Jewish summer camp, it greatly build my self-esteem and helped me grow to be the adult I am. I’m proud to have such positive experiences. I thank my superhero of a mom for being my support and my rock. She was right all along. I don’t think of my autism as a curse; if anything, it is my superpower, a power that not even DC Comics or Stan Lee could come up with. I have been BLESSED.

Shaina Barnett
Van Nuys, CA

SOURCE:  Autism: The Unexpected Journey (click here)

Major brain structures implicated in autism.

Major brain structures implicated in autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are probably hundreds of blog posts and articles and thousands upon thousands of Facebook posts regarding this specific article and reblogging it dragging it up as if it’s new and shiny and a huge blow to the medical community and Pro-Vaccination Supporters:  Courts quietly confirm MMR Vaccine causes Autism (source is “Whiteout”    click here).  It’s very misleading and the article ignores facts, as usual.  But this article and dozens like it are being spread around as gospel truth without fact checking.  I suppose what’s understandable is that most people that fall for what’s in that article is because they don’t really follow through and find out the facts.  People rely on those they trust to interpret these things for them.  They rely on assumptions that what they’re reading is true and correct and unbiased.  That it’s factual.  That it can be proven.  Scientifically, even.

The “court” that is referred to in the Whiteout article and ruled against vaccines for causing an injury was the Italian court.  Court rulings, especially from the Italian court, do not equal science.  No court ruling, if we’re being accurate, equals science especially if it’s not the specially set up Vaccine Court.  The judgment from the Italian court wasn’t based in scientific fact or forensics, but they’re not typically known for that.  Hell, they like to retry people who were already found innocent in their own court system if their prosecutor didn’t like the result so that he has another chance to try to prove them guilty (Amanda Knox).  They even found six scientists guilty and gave very severe sentences to all six of them for failing to predict an earthquake (2009 earthquake).  EVEN THOUGH it’s beyond the ability of ANY modern scientist to predict an earthquake.  An Italian court ordered a father to pay his 32 year old employed, professional daughter that still lived with him her allowance and since he had stopped paying her, and he was forced to pay over €12,000 in arrears plus reinstate a €350-a-month allowance.  My point is to take the original article for what it’s worth, which is less than nothing.

Additionally, the claim by the petitioner was  originally that Ryan Mojabi had Autism as a result of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, but the Secretary of Health and Human Services did believe that he had Encephalopathy as result of the MMR vaccine.  Also, they ruled only that compensation is appropriate under their rules.

Regarding whether the MMR actually causes Encephalopathy ie. Enchephalitis ie. disorder of the brain:

…In the section Post-Marketing Reports, encephalitis (infection of the brain) was added to reflect the receipt of reports following ProQuad vaccination. Previously, this adverse reaction was listed under adverse events seen after MMR or varicella vaccination. Encephalitis has been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of MMR vaccine. Post-marketing surveillance of more than 400 million doses distributed worldwide (1978 to 2003) indicates that encephalitis is rarely reported after MMR vaccination. In no case has it been shown conclusively that encephalitis was caused by a vaccine virus infection of the central nervous system. There was no proven causal relationship between ProQuad and any of the reported cases that prompted the change in the label…

SOURCE: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm070425.htm

It sounds scary but even in cases where someone contracted Encephalitis/Encephalopathy after receiving the MMR vaccine, it can’t be considered a causal link.  One huge reason why is because Autism and Encephalitis are not the same aka Encephalitis is not Autism.  It may share some similarities but it is not Autism.  Encephalitis does not lead to or cause Autism.  Secondly, someone contracting a disease after they receive the vaccination against it is not proof that the vaccination caused the disease.  Other contributing factors are ignored.  Thirdly, someone showing symptoms of a disorder after receiving a vaccination is not, again, not proof that the vaccination caused the disorder.  Many times the signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder NATURALLY do not begin to show persistently until the same time certain vaccines are routinely given.  In someone who already has ASD in their genetic code, it’s possible that vaccines could be one of the environmental triggers, sure.  That’s being researched by reputable scientists.  We saw a dramatic increase in symptoms and massive regressions when we moved house at the age of 18 months.  At the same time, we tried to take away the pacifier and and encourage moving out of the crib to a toddler bed.

There are many causes of Encephalitis.  The claimants ended up revising their claim to (paraphrasing) saying that the MMR caused Encephalopathy/Encephalitis that led to Autism.   However, in an U.S. court it’s very unlikely that they would have won.

Oh wait… more facts.  I love facts.

The The Encephalitis Society that’s based in the UK has a brilliant fact sheet about Encephalitis (go ahead, click here).  They clearly state their view on MMR vaccination:

Measles infection and encephalitis
Measles causes encephalitis in around 1 in 1,000 children. Measles encephalitis
caused the death of Roald Dahl’s daughter Olivia in 1962. He became an ardent
supporter of measles vaccination as a result of the tragic loss of his daughter. He wrote
a letter to parents encouraging them to get their children vaccinated (see copy of letter
attached). He dedicated James and the Giant Peach and the BFG to Olivia.
Other countries such as Italy and Ireland have had epidemics of measles in recent
years because not enough children have had the MMR vaccine. As a result, children
have developed encephalitis and children have died from measles in those countries.
Measles is also the cause of a disease called Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis
(SSPE). This is a rare condition that can develop some years after natural measles
infection. The average time between someone having measles to the fi rst symptoms of
SSPE is around 8 years. It is a degenerative neurological condition which progressively
destroys nerve cells in the brain almost always leading to mental deterioration and death.
Children are especially at risk of SSPE if they are very young when they catch measles. It
affects around 1 in 8,000 children who are infected when they are under 2 years old.
SSPE is not caused by the MMR vaccine. Measles vaccine and MMR vaccine directly
protect against SSPE.
Since the introduction of measles vaccine in the 1960s, the numbers of people
diagnosed with SSPE has decreased dramatically, and the death rate from SSPE is
expected to fall even further if measles remains under control.

Mumps infection and encephalitis
Mumps virus frequently infects the central nervous system. Before the MMR vaccine
was introduced mumps used to be the most common cause of admission to hospital
with meningitis or encephalitis, occurring in 1 in 200-5,000 children. It also causes
deafness. MMR vaccine has had a dramatic impact and hardly any children are
admitted to hospital with mumps these days. Outbreaks of mumps have occurred in
the last few years in older children and young adults who were too old to have received
the two doses of MMR vaccine recommended before going to school.

Rubella virus and encephalitis
Rubella virus causes severe brain injury in children if their mother is infected in early
pregnancy. The brain injury is caused by meningo-encephalitis, part of the “congenital
rubella syndrome”. Rubella virus can also cause a progressive “pan-encephalitis” later
in life in children who were infected in the womb and survived but remain chronically
infected. Before MMR was introduced cases of congenital rubella still occurred in the UK. We could not
control the infection when we only gave the vaccine to teenage girls because the rubella virus
continued to circulate in younger children, teenage boys and young men. The small percentage
of mothers who were not protected fully by rubella vaccine caught rubella, often from their own
children or their partner. The only way to be sure of protecting unborn babies is to stop the rubella
virus circulating in the whole community. Now this has happened, and it is one of the great
successes of MMR vaccine.
Few young mothers will have any personal experience of the effects of rubella today, which were
well known in the past. Agatha Christie illustrated it very well in her murder mystery story, The
Mirror Cracked from Side to Side. An actress murders the person she finds gave her rubella years
before when she was pregnant with her only child, who was born severely brain injured.
Charities such as Sense are campaigning to help restore MMR vaccination coverage to previous
levels (http://www.sense.org.uk/publications/allpubs/rubella/mmrmp.htm)

MMR vaccine
MMR vaccine is a very effective way to prevent measles, mumps and rubella. All three of these
infections are important causes of encephalitis, and before MMR vaccine was introduced all three
infections were common in the UK
There is a wide range of authoritative information available on the good safety record of MMR
vaccine (see http://www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk/). The vaccine is unequivocally safer than letting
children catch the diseases. 

Useful and reliable websites

The fact is that United States Vaccine Courts have not ruled in favor of claims that vaccines cause Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The reason is because there is no factual, scientific link.  There was no “black out” in U.S. media regarding the Italian court ruling because no one really takes the Italian court seriously except to ask, “What the ever-loving fuck were they thinking?”

Check this out:

After considering the record as a whole, I hold that petitioners have failed to
establish by preponderant evidence that Colten’s condition was caused or significantly
aggravated by a vaccine or any component thereof. The evidence presented was both
voluminous and extraordinarily complex. After careful consideration of all of the
evidence, it was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were
speculative and unpersuasive. Respondent’s experts were far more qualified, better
supported by the weight of scientific research and authority, and simply more
persuasive on nearly every point in contention. Because of pervasive quality control
problems at a now-defunct laboratory that tested a key piece of evidence, petitioners
could not reliably demonstrate the presence of a persistent measles virus in Colten’s
central nervous system. Petitioners failed to establish that measles virus can cause

autism or that it did so in Colten. They failed to demonstrate that amount of
ethylmercury in TCVs causes immune system suppression or dysregulation. They
failed to show that Colten’s immune system was dysregulated. Although Colten’s
condition markedly improved between his diagnosis and the hearing, the experimental
treatments he received cannot be logically or scientifically linked to the theories of
causation. Given the advice that petitioners received from a treating physician, Colten’s
parents brought this action in good faith and upon a reasonable basis. However, they
have failed to demonstrate vaccine causation of Colten’s condition by a preponderance
of the evidence. Therefore, I deny their petition for compensation.

No. 01-162V

The decision made on the above-quoted court case has in fact been upheld since the 2009 ruling when appeals were processed and heard.

Here are additional U.S. Court Federal Rulings: http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/node/5026:

  1. Court Rulingas Dont Confirm Autism-Vaccine Link – Forbes.
  2. The General Medical Council to Andrew Wakefield: “The panel is satisfied that your conduct was irresponsible and dishonest” « Science-Based Medicine.
  3. Washington Post Article Regarding U.S. Federal Rulings
  4. Washington Post Article Regarding the Debunking of Wakefield’s Hoax
  5. Neurologica: Summary of the Court Ruling That MMR Vaccine Doesn’t Cause Autism
  6. The worst of times for antivaccine believers: Yet another study fails to show any link between the MMR vaccine and autism « Science-Based Medicine.
  7. One Thing We Know About Autism: Vaccines Arent to Blame (via National Geographic).
  8. The Hannah Poling case and the rebranding of autism by antivaccinationists as a mitochondrial disorder (worth noting with this one: Hannah Poling’s mother SHARES THE SAME GENETIC MITOCHONDRIAL DISORDER THEY SUED FOR « Science-Based Medicine.
  9. ‘The MMR-autism theory? There’s nothing in it’ Michael Fitzpatrick talks to Stephen Bustin, whose devastating testimony in a US court demolished the last shred of evidence against vaccines.| Dr Michael Fitzpatrick | spiked.
  10. Statistics Reports Directly from the Health Resources and Services Administration
  11. The Health Resources and Services Administration Vaccine Table (every parent and person who receives vaccinations should have this) AND the revision here 

In each of the U.S. court cases and rulings above, when appeals were heard, they were still denied as being unfounded.  However, this is very interesting to note in the Cedillo case, and I think it’s wonderfully compassionate because of the decision by the Vaccine Court:

….. “After studying the extensive evidence in this case for many months, I am convinced that the reports and advice given to the Cedillos by Dr. Krigsman and some other physicians, advising the Cedillos that there is a causal connection between Michelle’s MMR vaccination and her chronic conditions, have been very wrong. Unfortunately, the Cedillos have been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgmentNevertheless, I can understand why the Cedillos found such reports and advice to be believable under the circumstances. 
I conclude that the Cedillos filed this Program claim in good faith….

HASTINGS, Special Master.

This is an action in which the petitioners, Michael and Theresa Cedillo, seek an award under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (see 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-10 et seq.2) on account of several conditions, including autism and chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, which afflict their1On October 30, 2008, petitioners filed a notice waiving their 14-day “waiting period” pursuant to Vaccine Rule 18(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-12(d)(4)(B). Accordingly, this document will be made available to the public immediately, as petitioners have requested.

2The applicable statutory provisions defining the Program are found at 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-10 et seq. (2000). Herein after, for ease of citation, all “§” references will be to 42 U.S.C. (2000). I will also sometimes refer to the act of Congress that created the Program as the “Vaccine Act.”  Daughter, Michelle Cedillo. I conclude that the petitioners have not demonstrated that they aren’t entitled to an award on Michelle’s behalf. I will set forth the reasons for that conclusion in detailbelow. However, at this point I will briefly summarize the reasons for my conclusion. The petitioners in this case have advanced a causation theory that has several parts, including
contentions (1) that thimerosal-containing vaccines can cause immune dysfunction, (2) that the MMR vaccine can cause autism, and (3) that the MMR vaccine can cause chronic gastrointestinal dysfunction. However, as to each of those issues, I concluded that the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the petitioners’ contentions. The expert witnesses presented by the respondent were far better qualified, far more experienced, and far more persuasive than the petitioners’ experts, concerning most of the key points. The numerous medical studies concerning these issues, performed by medical scientists worldwide, have come down strongly against the petitioners’ contentions. Considering all of the evidence, I found that the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that thimerosal-containing vaccines can contribute to causing immune dysfunction, or that the MMR vaccine can contribute to causing either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction. I further conclude that while Michelle Cedillo has tragically suffered from autism and other severe conditions, the petitioners have also failed to demonstrate that her vaccinations played any role at all in causing those problems.” 

Regarding the Hazelhurst decision:

Hazlehurst decision:

The published articles on which petitioners rely most particularly are the Wakefield series of articles and the 2002 Uhlmann article (the judge here is referring to Wakefield’s hoaxed article in the Lancet). These articles were addressed in Section III.C.1 and Section III.C.4.e, above, and were determined to be scientifically unreliable. Dr. MacDonald testified about the problems identified by the scientific community with
each of the articles in the series of publications by Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues. See Hazlehurst Tr. at 629A-638. Dr. Bustin, Dr. Chadwick, Dr. Griffin, and Dr. Ward also testified about the published findings and the practices at the Unigenetics lab where similar findings were made; they addressed in detail the questionable test results reported,
the irregularities in laboratory test procedures, and the inability of accredited laboratories to replicate the positive measles findings. See Section III.C.4.g and Section III.C.4.e, above.

Dr. Corbier’s opinion regarding the role that vaccines play in causing autism is premised, in part, on studies that have reported a finding of measles virus in the tissues taken from the gut of autistic children. See id. at 327A. Dr. Corbier admitted during his testimony that if there were no evidence of persistent measles virus, his current position of vaccine-related causation would be “lessen[ed].” Id. at 416A

Because the linchpin of petitioners’ theory, the finding of persistent measles virus in the biopsied tissue taken from the gastrointestinal lining of autistic children, is glaringly unreliable, the basis for Dr. Corbier’s opinion that the MMR vaccine was causally related to Yates’ autism and his gastrointestinal symptoms is critically flawed and scientifically
untenable. Petitioners have failed to prove that their theory of vaccine-related causation is biologically plausible as required by the first prong of Althen. Nor have petitioners demonstrated that the unsupported links of their proposed causal chain cohere to establish a logical sequence of cause and effect as required by the second prong of Althen. Having failed to satisfy their evidentiary burden, petitioners cannot prevail on their vaccine claim.

Accordingly, the undersigned need not reach or consider any alternative theories of causation.

V. Conclusion
The Hazlehursts’ experience as parents of an autistic child, as described during the evidentiary hearing in this case, has been a very difficult one. The undersigned is moved as a person and as a parent by the Hazlehursts’ account and again extends to the Hazlehursts very sincere sympathy for the challenges they face with Yates. The undersigned’s charge, however, does not permit decision making on the basis of sentiment but rather requires a careful legal analysis of the evidence.

The parties have submitted a wealth of evidence and have presented the testimony of a number of experts who have extensive clinical and research experience in the particular areas of interest in this case. Having carefully and fully considered the evidence, the undersigned concludes that the combination of the thimerosal-containing vaccines and the MMR vaccine are not causal factors in the development of autism and
therefore, could not have contributed to the development of Yates’ autism. The weight of the presented evidence that is scientifically reliable and methodologically sound does not
support petitioners’ claim. Petitioners have failed to establish entitlement to compensation under the Vaccine Act. Absent the filing of a timely motion for review, the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment accordingly.

So.  You’ll also hear that bowel disorders, which are statistically high in people that have Autism and other neurological disorder, are “linked to vaccines.”  Remember that this claim comes from Andrew Wakefield.  When he first claimed this his peers worldwide rejected his hypothesis and his findings as fraudulent immediately.  Do you want to know why it’s common for there to be bowel disorders in autistics? Because when the baby is still developing and the cells are forming, the cells that will become the brain and the cells that will become the bowels ARE RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER and there’s a possibility that some of those cells were initially shared.  That also explains food sensitivities and allergies that are common in autistics.  The biological basis for this is factual, not supposed or guessed at.  I think I’ve written about this before.  And because I love to point out how Wakefield is a jackass that can’t be trusted:

The General Medical Council stated this in their actual report against Wakefield:

In reaching its decision, the Panel notes that the project reported in the Lancet paper was established with the purpose to investigate a postulated new syndrome and yet the Lancet paper did not describe this fact at all. Because you drafted and wrote the final version of the paper, and omitted correct information about the purpose of the study or the patient population, the Panel is satisfied that your conduct was irresponsible and dishonest.

The Panel is satisfied that your conduct at paragraph 32.a would be considered by ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people to be dishonest.

The General Medical Council found Andrew Wakefield UNFIT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE due to his fraudulent claims.  He was stripped of his license to practice.  It only took 20 years but it happened in 2010  and it was a glorious day for Autism Advocacy.  Why? It was acknowledged in the scientific community publicly that he intentionally produced fraudulent results.  There is actual proof of this.

Hmmm… how do I know this?  I don’t know…. maybe I have more proof such as this:  The General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Panel Hearing 28 January 2010: Andrew Jeremy Wakefield: It lays out very clearly the fraudulence and how it was determined.  It’s very, very thorough.  He is called dishonest, misleading, and irresponsible by a council of his peers.  It was found that he lied to an Ethics Committee about his findings and how he obtained them.  He even gave the few “clinical” subjects he had experimental drugs of his own that weren’t approved for trial.  The General Medical Council applies the standards of the Criminal Justice System.  That means that they rely on proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  They can not apply the standards of the Civil Justice System.  Remember…. these are medical professionals in a medical hearing poring over every single shred of Wakefield’s recorded actions, words, “studies,” and anything else he provided himself.

All of that said, I do not deny that vaccines can cause injuries.  I know it happens.  There is a VERY GOOD REASON FOR VACCINE COURT TO EXIST.  There is a VERY GOOD REASON AND RESOURCE IN THE VACCINE TABLE.  I know that vaccines can affect the nervous system.  Most sensitivity reactions and allergic reactions are temporary, thank God.  When those reactions do happen, it makes perfect sense to never give that person the same vaccine as a booster later on and question the safety of vaccines and their specific ingredients as triggers for that specific person and their family members.  My own mother can’t have the egg-based vaccines due to a serious egg allergy.   She can’t have the annual shot in the arm for influenza.  I have friends that are so immune compromised that they can’t have the vaccines at all due to the risks of their disorders.  So I weigh the risks.  I weigh statistics.

My efforts here are about debunking the harmful beliefs and harmful spreading of lies that vaccines cause Autism.  It perpetuates the idea that Autism is an injury, and therefore horrible something to discriminate against.  Let me state this clearly.  Autism is not brain damage.  AUTISM IS NOT BRAIN DAMAGE.  Ask some adult autistics and see how they feel about that.  You might be shocked at their opinion of the Vaccine Denialism movement.

I know I’ve said this before: As secure as I am in my choice to vaccinate my family as a very safe and very sound judgment call FOR US… I do have moments of doubt.  They’re fleeting and maybe once every couple of years.  Sort of like any other parenting decision my husband and I make.  It’s hard to feel like an adequate parent when you have a child with Autism.  I do often wonder if I’m the mother she needs.  But I see so much improvement in her with each passing year.  I remember the complications in my pregnancy and delivery.  I remember how my doctor was hesitant to intervene so that we could see if the delivery complications would resolve themselves.  I remember hearing she had a murmur and tiny hole in her heart that resolved itself, but we still have to check it every well child visit.  We still made sure that all of our children, even before having an autistic child, were on the delayed vaccination schedule because that’s just how we roll and we found a pediatrician who automatically followed the recommended delayed schedule.  From birth she NEVER hit any of her physical milestones and at birth (in fact in utero) showed immediate signs of Sensory Processing Disorder.  The nurses and pediatrician noticed, as did I.  But I didn’t realize what the SPD would mean.  Throughout her babyhood, she was always in the extremely late end of typical in achieving milestones.  We did have her neurologically tested but it was inconclusive.  She didn’t walk until she was a week or two away from turning 2 years old.  And yet when we had her evaluated then…. it was within normal limits.

So I guess the purpose of this post is to ACTUALLY educate people.  Fear tactics only use partial truths to try to boost their arguments, and that’s simply not right.  It’s downright dangerous.  Make decisions, even if you’re still uncomfortable vaccinating in the end, having read fact instead of fear-based propaganda.  Weigh the risks… because there ARE risks.  In other words if your instincts tell you not to do something? If your gut says, “We shouldn’t vaccinate.” then that’s splendid reason enough not to do it if you have support from your pediatrician and your own primary care physician.  You don’t need my approval.  I won’t pass judgment.  Truly I won’t.  I might judge if your decision was based on advice from Jenny McCarthy, though.  ;-)  I don’t really care one way or the other because my family IS vaccinated.   That means I’ve given my family the protection that I felt was safe.

What I care about is being truly informed and educated rather than relying on partial truths and twisting them around to fit an agenda.  But the suggestion that Autism and other neurological disorders are caused by vaccines doesn’t make sense.  There has never been evidence supporting the claim that vaccines cause Mitochondrial Disease or Autistic Disorders or Encephalopathy.  Autism is mitochondrial ie. genetic and there is more and more overwhelming proof of this coming out year after year, day after day.  It’s so easy to find.  So, so so easy.  It’s not hard to understand the information when you find it.

Relating to fear-mongeringand the dangers :

FibroCENTRIC logoI’d like to introduce my newborn baby… she’s shiny, purple, and live.  As her personality becomes apparent, she might also change slightly in appearance but the twinkle in my eye has finally become reality.  Please check her out.

FibroCENTRIC • Index page.

This is my brand new Fibromyalgia support community.  It’s a semi-private board.  Most posts are open to the public for reading, but only registered members can post.  There are sections of the board that are completely private.  Come to the board for more details.  :-)

It does not have a pre-existing base on Facebook but shortly will have one set up intended for members of the FibroCENTRIC community to gather in case there are board outages and/or as a place for people who may hear about the community but can’t find our url right away.  It will be a place to “touch base” but the community itself will be the link I’ve provided here in this post.


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