SAR                      "Healing Autism:

Schafer Autism Report         No Finer a Cause on the Planet"


Wednesday, May 28, 2020                                                        Vol. 12 No. 79




Doctors Seek Earlier Diagnosis for Autism



Nate Tseglin is Going Home

Outrage Over Behavior of Florida Teacher

Autistic Teen/Church Update

Aussie Mums Put Autism Issues On The Table



New Tool to Manage Your Child's Vaccine Schedule

Chemicals Polluting Kids



Jenny McCarthy & Jim Carrey Host the Historic Green Our Vaccines March and Rally in Washington DC on June 4



Wakefield: Advances In Medical Science Demand Ongoing Scrutiny



Plea For Support Of Autism Bill






Doctors Seek Earlier Diagnosis for Autism


      Seattle -- When her toddler son seemed not to notice a door slamming nearby during his checkup, Jo James thought nothing of it. Her husband, a Microsoft manager, also has an uncanny ability to block out his surroundings.

      A check of Ben's hearing after a nurse's prompt found nothing amiss. It wasn't until two years and one perceptive Montessori teacher later that his parents finally learned the cause of Ben's obliviousness: autism.

      "He didn't mix terribly well socially," Jo James, of Sammamish, Wash., recalled ruefully. "But then, what 2-{-year-old boy does?"

      Autism typically isn't diagnosed until after age 2. Yet it may be detectable even in infancy _ before a baby is old enough to display telltale traits such as social ineptitude and compulsive preoccupations. Pioneering research at the University of Washington during the 1990s, for example, found that trained observers can spot, with remarkable accuracy, kids who were later diagnosed with autism by viewing videos of their first birthdays.

      Now University of Washington researchers are aiming to decipher those early clues in hopes of short-circuiting autism before it becomes full-blown.

      In January, they began an $11.3 million trial to identify latent signs of autism in infants for intensive behavioral therapy. It is the nation's first attempt to test a hypothesis that early intervention may actually prevent autism in high-risk infants by rewiring their brains.

      "We know the brain has a lot of potential to respond" to the right stimulation, said Sara Webb, a research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the principal investigator for the study at University of Washington Autism Center.

      The goal is "to teach parents to give the child that missing piece that he's not getting on his own."


Skeptical Parents

      The study's very premise _ that autism may not be destiny _ has stirred unease and skepticism among some parents. They also fret that it may rekindle the discredited notion that autism is triggered by detached and unloving mothers.

      "I object to the message that if parents don't rush out like headless chickens before the child is X age, they've lost them," said Lisa Rudy, a mother and autism advocate from Falmouth, Mass.

      The implication is that "if only the mother spent more time bonding with the infant, that child will never develop autism," Rudy added.

      But University of Washington researchers say they're not laying any blame on parenting. The goal is akin to averting diabetes through vigilance in a person with a family history of the disease, said Annette Estes, associate director of the Autism Center and a study investigator.

      "If you are at risk for diabetes, you look for signs," Estes said. With autism, the genetic "risk factors are present at birth. What we are doing is heightening the parents' awareness."

      Though some parents report concerns early on, tiny babies by definition don't have autism. That's because they can't manifest such diagnostic symptoms as language deficits and repetitive rituals.

      Yet researchers suspect that babies exhibit subtle clues that precede overt symptoms. For instance, healthy babies react visibly to changes in a person's expression, such as switching from cooing to a sad face. A baby who doesn't seem to register the change may warrant watching, Estes said.

      "At 6 months, a baby has a limited repertoire of signs" of autism, she said. "The question is `What are the real early signs?'"


How Study Will Proceed

      To answer that, researchers will track 200 infant siblings, 6 months or younger, of kids with autism. The disorder's strong hereditary nature means that 10 or more of those babies will develop autism themselves. The odds for a typical American child are a little greater than 1 in 200.

      The infants in the study will be randomly separated into two groups. Mothers in one group will be coached on engaging with their babies. Later, the children will receive up to 25 hours a week of a type of developmental intervention called the Denver Model that uses play to teach appropriate behaviors.

      The other group will be monitored but not given treatment. All children will undergo regular brain imaging to measure brain activity during tasks.

      In the University of Washington researchers' view, autism is both congenital and perhaps avoidable.

+ Read more:


• • •




Nate Tseglin is Going Home


      By Ginger Taylor.


      Nate Tseglin, who was taken from his family by Child Protective Services more than a year ago for scratching his neck and arms, and has spent the time since then being forcibly drugged into oblivion and into a seizure disorder, is finally going home.

      Today the judge released him. He and his family will begin to travel on a long road of physical and emotional healing from this abuse of the system. Pray for Nate and his family, especially pray that the physical harm that his incarceration has wrought on him can be undone.


      For the history of the Nate Tseglin case, see "Child Abuse By The Government" in the OC Register .


• • •


Outrage Over Behavior of Florida Teacher


      The teacher says it wasn't abuse, but hundreds of parents are joining forces to get teacher Wendy Portillo fired for her Survivor-like tactics in the classroom towards a 5-year-old boy.

      Teachers at Morningside Elementary alerted Melissa Barton this year that her 5-year-old son Alex Barton suffers from a high-functioning form of Autism called Asperger's Syndrome.

      Alex is often disciplined in his kindergarten class for disrupting behavior, but his mother says, eating his paper homework, or humming for 20 seconds at a time are symptoms of his disability, and last week the teacher went too far in removing him from class, then allowing students to vote if he was allowed back in.

      Barton says, "She (teacher) told me this is her way of correcting his behavior. So she stands my little 5-year-old boy up in front of all of his peers and individually asks each child to tell Alex what we don't like about him, and in his words it was 'tell Alex what we hate about him.'"

      Barton tells us her son was very sad and traumatized by the incident.  "Disability or not you have no right to do this to a child, any child," his mother said as if she were talking to Mrs. Portillo, "Do you understand this is a child? a 5 year-old child, who already has enough in this world against him."

      Alex Barton has not returned to class since last Thursday's vote.  Alex's mother said the hardest part for Alex was watching his only friend vote against him,"The child must have felt threatened or coerced into saying 'Yeah he needs to go,' and then he went on to say 'Alex eats his shoestrings' and 'Yes he's annoying,' and this is Alex's only friend in the world."  Alex was voted out of the class 14-to-2.

      The district last week could not comment because of the active investigation, but released a statement saying, "Ms. Portillo has been reassigned outside of the classroom at the district offices until any further action may be determined."

      "It's a little boy who is completly defenseless and to have every person in his classroom stand up and talk about the negative," Barton begins to tear up, and adds, "But then to have an entire world of people who are talking about the positive. It's amazing to see."

      The file on Wendy Portillo shows "Good" to "excellent" evaluations in her 12 years teaching for the district. Her personnel file shows she is trained and certified to teach special needs children.

+ To watch our raw video interview with Alex's mother, click here:


• • •


Autistic Teen/Church Update


      Bertha, Minn. AP - The mother of an autistic teen banned from attending mass says parents of other autistic children are helping her fight a restraining order.

      Carol Race has been attending a different church after a court ordered her not to bring her 13-year-old son Adam to church in Bertha, which is in Todd County. Race says parents of other autistic children have volunteered to sit in her customary pew while she fights the restraining order.

      Race also says she plans to meet soon with church officials to see if a compromise can be reached. In court documents, the Rev. Daniel Walz wrote that Adam's behavior was disruptive and dangerous. Those who advocate for developmentally disabled children have expressed concern over the church's action.


• • •


Aussie Mums Put Autism Issues On The Table


      By Matthew Rufus


      To call them super mums wouldn't be wide of the mark.

      As parents of children with autism — a disorder which impairs a person's ability to relate to the world around them — their kids are prone to the kinds of unruly behaviour that would keep the most vigilant of adults on their toes.

      Gathered around a park bench in Springwood recently to talk about the issues at the forefront of Autism Awareness Month, the group of local mums tell tales of wild tantrums, spates of spitting and food being eaten off floors.

      "Our houses are all pretty well child-proofed because our kids can be very destructive or aggressive," said Dee Conlon, from Bullaburra, mother of six-year-old Ethan.

      Complicating matters is the question mark that hangs over the effectiveness of available treatments for the lifelong disorder. Designed to temper autism's spectrum of developmental disabilities, it's a merry-go-round of costly medications, diets and therapist visits for parents to find what does and doesn't work for their child.

      "Some (children) will have really severe behavioural problems, will be put on medication and suddenly they start to improve . . . and function a lot better," said Hazelbrook's Sarah Kelly, whose 10-year-old son Caius has moderate autism.

      "Others never improve — they don't toilet train or ever say a word. You never know."

      With a cloud of uncertainty surrounding their child's road to improvement, Dee said it is essential for parents to have a shoulder to lean on, particularly after the initial diagnosis.

      "When a child has just been diagnosed parents are in shock. They really need support," she said.

+ Read more:


• • •




New Tool to Manage Your Child's Vaccine Schedule


By Nancy Shute US News.  



      Children often miss getting recommended vaccines on schedule, leaving parents and pediatricians scratching their heads as to how to catch up. A new Internet scheduling tool from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is designed to make that chore a little easier.

      It took me about 10 seconds to download the tool on my desktop, then click to bring up the scheduler and type in my daughter's name and birth date. The parent or pediatrician adds in which shots the child already has received, and the scheduling software (designed by a professor and graduate student at Georgia Tech), weighs the complex and often conflicting rules for each immunization, and then cranks out a nifty, printable color-coded chart showing how much space to leave between catch-up doses, as well as regular shots.

      Parents who want to space out their child's shots further apart than the usual well-baby visits will also find the chart-maker to be a handy tool, although that's probably not quite what the CDC had in mind.

      Looking at the chart I'd made, I could see that my daughter is facing a raft of scheduled shots at her next doctor's visit, including her second measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), which, because it contains weakened live viruses, can cause side effects like fever or a rash, and in rare cases, seizures. Those reactions are less common now that the vaccine is no longer bundled with the varicella vaccine. But some parents are concerned that infants are getting too many shots—the 2008 Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedules, recommended by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, suggests 26 doses of vaccines before age 2, to protect against 15 contagious diseases, from polio to hepatitis B.

      Others worry that vaccines may be implicated in causing autism, a theory currently on trial in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. The federal government removed one of the original plaintiffs in that trial, Hannah Poling, after agreeing with her parents' contention that vaccines exacerbated a mitochondrial disease the girl had, triggering autismlike symptoms. Most scientists think there's no connection between autism and the MMR vaccine or the preservative thimerosal, but the whole question of possible environmental causes for autism needs more research, as my colleague Dr. Bernadine Healy has recently pointed out.

      Bob Sears, a pediatrician and son of pediatrician William Sears, of "attachment parenting" fame, notes that spacing out vaccines is more of a hassle for parents—more doctors visits, more insurance co-pays. But he thinks spacing them out may help decrease the risk of side effects, and also makes it easier figure out which vaccine may be causing side effects if a child does have them. There's scant scientific evidence for that, but parents do have quite a bit of flexibility: For instance, the first MMR shot can be given any time between 12 and 18 months, according to the CDC, and the third polio shot between 6 and 18 months.

      Whichever way you decide to manage your child's shots, this new scheduling tool can make the daunting task of keeping track of childhood immunizations a little bit easier. Given that it's now prime time for getting immunizations up to date for school in the fall, any help is welcome news indeed.


• • •


Chemicals Polluting Kids


      Tampa Bay's 10 (CBS)


      St. Petersburg, Florida—A non-profit, consumer advocacy group is pushing to pass the "Kids-Safe Chemical Act."

      The Environmental Working Group says the pollution in people has been linked to a variety of diseases including cancer and infertility and birth defects. Current law does not force chemical companies to prove a chemical is safe before it ends up in children's toys and products.

      To learn more about the "Kids-Safe Chemical Act" from the EWG, read below. They've also included a link to let Congress hear your voice.


      Environmental Working Group:


      The nation's toxic chemical regulatory law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is in drastic need of reform. Passed in 1976 and never amended since, TSCA is widely regarded as the weakest of all major environmental laws on the books today.

      When passed, TSCA declared safe some 62,000 chemicals already on the market, even though there were little or no data to support this policy. Since that time another 20,000 chemicals have been put into commerce in the United States, also with little or no data to support their safety.

      The human race is now polluted with hundreds of industrial chemicals with little or no understanding of the consequences. Babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies when they enter the world. Testing by Environmental Working Group has identified 455 chemicals in people, and again, no one has any idea if these exposures are safe.

      We are at a tipping point, where the pollution in people is increasingly associated with a range of serious diseases and conditions from childhood cancer, to autism, ADHD, learning deficits, infertility, and birth defects. Yet even as our knowledge about the link between chemical exposure and human disease grows, the government has almost no authority to protect people from even the most hazardous chemicals on the market. This pollution of people is the direct result of a law that does not require chemicals to be proven safe to get on the market or stay on the market.

      Under TSCA, EPA does not have the authority to demand information it needs to evaulate a chemical's risk and neither manufacturers nor the EPA are required to prove a chemical's safety as a condition of use.

      The Kid-Safe Chemical Act will change all this through a fundamental overhaul of our nation's chemical regulatory law. Specifically, the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act: # requires that industrial chemicals be safe for infants, kids and other vulnerable groups; requires that new chemicals be safety tested before they are sold; requires chemical manufacturers to test and prove that the 62,000 chemicals already on the market that have never been tested are safe in order for them to remain in commerce; requires EPA to review "priority" chemicals, those which are found in people, on an expedited schedule; requires regular biomonitoring to determine what chemicals are in people and in what amounts; requires regular updates of health and safety data and provides EPA with clear authority to request additional information and tests; provides incentives for manufacturers to further reduce health hazards; requires EPA to promote safer alternatives and alternatives to animal testing; protects state and local rights; and requires that this information be publicly available.

      Through the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act we can give our children a safer and healthier future.


• • •




Jenny McCarthy & Jim Carrey Host the Historic Green Our Vaccines March and Rally in Washington DC on June 4 Tuesday May 27, 4:24 pm ET


      Families Join Together at Capitol Building to March for Safer Vaccines PRNewswire  - Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey will lead the Green Our Vaccines march, rally and press conference on Wednesday June, 4th at the Capitol Building, West Capitol Grounds in Washington, DC. The sponsored event has been organized by Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), Generation Rescue, Healing Every Autistic Life, and Moms Against Mercury.

      McCarthy, author of the best-selling book "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism," and Carrey have joined forces with national advocacy organizations in the battle to eliminate toxins from children's vaccines and to encourage national health agencies to reassess mandatory vaccine schedules. While they do support immunization, like many parents and experts in the medical community, McCarthy, Carrey and their many allies feel that children are receiving too many vaccines, too soon, many of which are toxic. Their goal is to demand a safer vaccine supply and schedule for children.

      "This day will go down in history as a time when parents' voices and their message to change the vaccine program was finally heard and acted upon," said Jenny McCarthy.

      Families from across the U.S. are already committed to marching for safe vaccines and the numbers are growing. "Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey are heroes to hundreds of thousands of families who love a person with autism and for all families who want safe vaccines that are toxin free. Their desire to help and be a vocal instrument of change are warranted and greatly appreciated," said Lisa Ackerman, TACA Executive Director.

      Participants will gather at 9 am at the Capitol Building, West Capitol Grounds. The march will promptly begin at 10 am with a Press Conference immediately following.


• • •




Wakefield: Advances In Medical Science Demand Ongoing Scrutiny


      By Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield


      Do vaccines cause autism?

      According to the former head of the National Institutes of Health, the question remains unanswered.

      George Bernard Shaw once said that science never solves a problem without creating ten more. For every advance in medical science, in particular for vaccines given to healthy children, there must be ongoing scrutiny to look for those inevitable problems. This is a duty of modern science.

      However, in a recent interview on CBS News, Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National Institutes of Health and member of the Institute of Medicine, acknowledged that public health officials have failed to fulfill that duty when it comes to the problem of autism.

      Regarding the possibility that vaccines might contribute to autism, Dr. Healy acknowledged that many of her colleagues "don't want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people." Dr. Healy said that the government has been too quick to dismiss the concerns of these families without studying affected children.

      Many others share this concern. Along with the many universities and research institutions that have published research investigating the safety of vaccines, she now joins all three presidential hopefuls, as well as many hundreds of thousands of parents worldwide, in insisting on an honest examination of this theory.

      Faced with an epidemic of developmental disorders in children and increasing evidence of a link with childhood vaccines, Dr. Healy reiterated the position taken by parents and doctors for many years: that there may be a subset of children who, for genetic or other reasons, are susceptible to developing autism following vaccination.

      Like many others, Dr. Healy had initially dismissed the vaccine-autism link based on a 'superficial' understanding of the evidence gleaned from newspapers. However, as she looked deeper into the science, she realized that no study exists that demonstrates that our current recommended vaccine schedule is safe. She supports the kinds of studies that doctors and scientists at Thoughtful House Center for Children have advocated from the outset – meticulous investigations of affected children, and detailed testing of the childhood vaccine schedule in an appropriate animal model. She also endorsed strategies such as modifying the vaccine schedule in the vulnerable children to reduce the risk of complications, should this subset of children be identified.

      Amazingly, animal safety testing has been applied to individual vaccines, but it has never been used to assess the real-world risks—that is, the cumulative effect of what is now as many as 38 vaccines in the recommended schedule before the age of 5 years.

      Far too often doctors and researchers have been unfairly criticized for asking the very questions Dr. Healy is articulating. We and others in the autism community hope that Dr. Healy's revelation will go far deeper than the expression of an individual's opinion in a matter of public debate. It could be the tipping point for many in the public health community who have remained silent. We do not yet have the scientific answers, but as Dr. Healy confirms, we should not live in fear of asking the right questions.

      The stakes are too high. If, after adequate studies, no link is found, then public confidence will be restored and the debate will be put to rest. If a link is established, then we can focus on identifying the subset of children that are vulnerable and be able to save them. It is the responsibility of the public health community and physicians to develop a safe vaccination schedule that protects everyone, without exception.

      Andrew J. Wakefield is executive director of Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin.


• • •




Plea For Support Of Autism Bill


      I would like to urge all of your readers in Louisiana to contact their representatives and ask them not only to vote for HB958 (the autism bill) but also to co-sponsor the bill as well. The bill will mandate that insurance companies pay for treatment for autistic children. Currently, no treatment is covered for these kids.

      The fear is that insurance premiums will rise drastically, but the numbers show otherwise. The cost will go up less than what you spend on a Value Meal at McDonald’s. But the average cost of caring for one autistic child during the child’s lifetime is more than $3 million, a cost that will affect taxpayers, I assure you.

      I am the mother of two autistic sons, and I can personally attest to the desperate need for this legislation. Recently, WAFB-TV did a story on my family. We have lost our home trying to pay for our sons’ medical expenses. What many people don’t understand is that many of these kids face myriad medical illnesses that require multiple medications, doctor appointments and even special diets. These include migraines, asthma, allergies and even seizures.

      The cost of caring for these things has prohibited us from paying for the intensive treatments that could give our sons a stable life and an independent future. Since the story aired on WAFB, south Louisiana has embraced my family, and we could not be more grateful. The response has been overwhelming, and I can never repay the kindness that has been shown to us.

      But that being said (and genuinely felt), unfortunately, we are not alone. Many other families in our state and across the country are facing the same. All we want is what every other parent wants: happy, healthy children who can care for themselves and have independent lives once we’re gone.

      Please help us get HB958 passed! Please contact your representatives today! The bill is being heard in the House today, so time is of the essence. And thank you all from the bottom of my heart for caring about my family and about autism!

      - Hillary Toucey, real estate agent, Denham Springs



Re: Thimerosal Increases Risk of Neurotoxicity: Paper


      DUH! The scientific community actually needs studies to prove that mercury is neurotoxic?  I've written a book on this that will be in print July 1, 2008. I have an offer that will be made public at the same time for a certain "group" of individuals to take a thimerosal/aluminum containing vaccine body calibrated to the equivalent of a six pound baby. Let's see how many takers we have! The reward is $250,000.

      I am sick of the government cover-up and all the bullshit propaganda that has been fed to the American public. And, I am not even a parent of an autistic child! Enough is enough. If these vaccines are really that safe and effective, then prove it! I have $250,000 to the first person in line. To hell with greening the vaccines, eradicate them!

      -Todd M. Elsner, D.C.