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Tuesday, May 10, 2021 Reader Supported
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New Study: Substantial Number of Children Compensated for Vaccine Injury Also Have Autism
From Age of Autism.
Numbers puzzle Investigators and Families of Vaccine-Injured Children Released Study Revealing Clear Vaccine-Autism Link Based on Government’s Own Data
Report Demands Immediate Congressional Action
Washington, DC - Directors of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA), parents and vaccine-injured children held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to release a study linking vaccine injury to autism. (To view the full study online, please click here. )
Dr. Sarah Bridges, mother of a son compensated for vaccine injury who has autism
For over 20 years, the federal government has publicly denied a vaccine-autism link, while at the same time its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has been awarding damages for vaccine injury to children with brain damage, seizures and autism. Coming out just after the prevalence study of autism in South Korea, this investigation, based on public, verifiable government data, breaks new ground in the controversial vaccine-autism debate.
The investigation found that a substantial number of children compensated for vaccine injury also have autism. The government has asserted that it “does not track” autism among the vaccine-injured. Based on this preliminary investigation, the evidence suggests that autism is at least three times more prevalent among vaccine-injured children than among children in the general population.
EBCALA board member and law enforcement professional Louis Conte said, “Government officials call autism a ‘national health emergency.’ Congress needs to find out what the VICP administrators knew about this vaccine-autism association and when they knew it. Why was this important association hidden in plain sight?"
In 1986, Congress created the VICP under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (1986 Law). This Program has original jurisdiction for children’s claims of vaccine injury. Because almost all children receive multiple vaccinations for daycare and school, it is critically important that the Program provides fundamental fairness, due process and transparency.
This empirical investigation, published in a peer-reviewed law journal, examines claims that the VICP compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage and seizures. The VICP has compensated approximately 2,500 claims of vaccine injury since the inception of the program. This study found 83 cases of acknowledged vaccine-induced brain damage that include autism, a disorder that affects social interaction, language and behavior. In 21 published cases of the Court of Federal Claims, which administers the VICP, the Court stated that the petitioners had autism or described autism unambiguously. In 62 remaining cases, the authors identified settlement agreements where Health and Human Services (HHS) compensated children with vaccine-induced brain damage, who also have autism or an autism spectrum disorder.
Parents reported the existence of autism in telephone interviews and supplied supplemental materials including medical diagnoses, school records, and completed, standard autism screening questionnaires to verify their reports. In 39 of the 83 cases, or 47% of the cases of vaccine injury reviewed, there is confirmation of autism or autism spectrum disorder beyond parental report.
This finding of autism in compensated cases of vaccine injury is significant. U.S. government spokespeople have been asserting no vaccine-autism link for more than a decade. This finding calls into question the decisions of the Court of Federal Claims in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding in 2009 and 2010 and the statement of Health and Human Services on its website that “HHS has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination."
Using publicly available information, the investigation shows that the VICP has been compensating cases of vaccine-induced brain damage associated with autism for more than twenty years. This investigation suggests that officials at HHS, the Department of Justice and the Court of Federal Claims may have been aware of this association but failed to publicly disclose it.
The study calls on Congress to thoroughly investigate the VICP, including a medical investigation of compensated claims of vaccine injury.
Dr. Sarah Bridges, mother of a son compensated for vaccine injury who has autism, said, “This study shows a significant connection between vaccine injury and autism. It’s time for our government to treat this issue like the emergency it is and stop sweeping this issue under the rug. No more children should have to suffer what my son did. America’s children deserve better."
To view the full study online, please click here.
Fox News Reports: Probe to Reveal Link Between Vaccine Settlements and Autism
Investigators and families of vaccine-injured children to unveil report detailing clear vaccine-autism link based on government’s own data. Report demands immediate congressional action.
A group is set to unveil information linking vaccine-injury and autism in children.
The "Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy" plans to reveal its findings at a press conference tomorrow at the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, DC.
The group claims a large number of kids compensated by the government's "Vaccine Injury Compensation Program" also have autism.
They say the autism rate among vaccine-injured children is three times higher than the general population.
The Elizabeth Birt Center is calling on Congress to investigate the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
• • •
Research Uncovers Raised Rate of Autism South Korea
By Claudia Wallis NY Times.
An ambitious six-year effort to gauge the rate of childhood autism in a middle-class South Korean city has yielded a figure that stunned experts and is likely to influence the way the disorder’s prevalence is measured around the world, scientists reported on Monday.
The figure, 2.6 percent of all children aged 7 to 12 in the Ilsan district of the city of Goyang, is more than twice the rate usually reported in the developed world. Even that rate, about 1 percent, has been climbing rapidly in recent years — from 0.6 percent in the United States in 2007, for example.
But experts said the findings did not mean that the actual numbers of children with autism were rising, simply that the study was more comprehensive than previous ones.
“This is a very impressive study,” said Lisa Croen, director of the autism research program at Kaiser-Permanente Northern California, who was not connected with the new report. “They did a careful job and in a part of the world where autism has not been well documented in the past."
For the study, which is being published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers from the Yale Child Study Center, George Washington University and other leading institutions sought to screen every child aged 7 to 12 in Ilsan, a community of 488,590, about the size of Staten Island.
By contrast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and most other research groups measure autism prevalence by examining and verifying records of existing cases kept by health care and special education agencies. That approach may leave out many children whose parents and schools have never sought a diagnosis.
In recent years scientists have come to see autism as a spectrum of disorders that can include profound social disconnection and mental retardation, but also milder forms, like Asperger’s syndrome, that are pervasive and potentially disabling but that often go undiagnosed.
“From the get-go we had the feeling that we would find a higher prevalence than other studies because we were looking at an understudied population: children in regular schools,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Young-Shin Kim, a child psychiatrist and epidemiologist at the Yale Child Study Center.
South Korea was chosen not only because autism prevalence had not been measured there, but also because its national health care system, universal education and homogeneous population made it a promising region for a planned series of studies that will also look at genetic and environmental factors in autism.
The study, which was largely financed by the research and advocacy group Autism Speaks, raises the question of whether a similarly high prevalence would be found in the United States if all children were screened.
Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of developmental disabilities at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the C.D.C., acknowledged that her agency’s records-based approach probably missed some autistic children — especially among the poor, among racial minorities and “potentially among girls” — and said the agency was interested in taking part in a population-based approach like the Korean study.
“We believe this will be a way to get as complete an estimate of A.S.D. prevalence as possible,” she said in an e-mail, using the abbreviation for autism spectrum disorder.
Most cases of autism spectrum disorder in the Korean study, the researchers said, turned up among children in regular schools who had no record of receiving special education or mental health services. A third were found among a “high-probability group” of 294 children who were attending special-education schools or were listed on a registry of disabled children.
The children in that high-probability group were similar in many ways to children with autism in the United States and elsewhere. Fifty-nine percent were intellectually disabled, or mentally retarded; more than two-thirds had full-blown autism, as opposed to milder forms like Asperger’s; and boys outnumbered girls five to one.
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• • •
50 R.I. Women Join Largest-Ever Clinical Trial, Following Children From The Womb To Age 21
By Felice J. Freyer Rhode Island news
More than 50 Providence County women have agreed to open their lives to science, and 1,000 more are expected to eventually join them by participating in the largest clinical trial ever conducted.
The National Children’s Study will gather information about the genes, environments and experiences of 100,000 children around the country, starting from before birth until the child is 21. The goal is to understand what makes children healthy and what makes them ill -- what causes birth defects, asthma, obesity, diabetes, autism and other common problems.
“We expect that the study will change the course of children’s health for generations to come,” said Stephen L. Buka, the principal investigator of the Providence County branch of the study, at a “kickoff” event Monday at Women & Infants Hospital. The hospital and Brown University have received $14.1 million from the National Institutes of Health for the first five years of the Providence County study.
The National Children’s Study is considered the largest ever because of the number of people it intends to enroll -- but also because of the breadth of the information to be collected, including everything from the mother’s placenta to household dust.
“For years, we’ve had this great debate about, is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are?” said Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, who came to Providence for Monday’s event.
“I think, by now, we’ve pretty much all come to the conclusion that it’s neither. It’s both. It is nature and nurture … But we need to figure out what is this interplay between nature and nurture."
The study, Guttmacher said, “will look at genetics and how a wide range of environmental factors — things like air, water, soil, noise, diet, but also families, schools, neighborhoods and access to health care — how they affect children’s health and development."
First authorized in 2000, the study began recruitment in seven counties in 2007, enrolling some 2,750 women, who have so far given birth to 700 babies. The study had cost $608 million by the end of 2010 and needs its funding renewed by Congress each year.
When recruitment started, researchers went door to door in the targeted areas looking for pregnant women and asking them to participate -- to answer questions and provide samples for 21 long years. But in those first seven counties (Providence was not among them), finding participants proved exceedingly time-consuming.
Under fire for high costs and low yield, the study leaders regrouped and focused on testing better ways to recruit participants. Thirty research centers were divided into three groups, each trying out a different method.
Brown University and Women & Infants are in the group using “provider-based recruitment strategy,” looking for participants at the medical offices where they receive prenatal care. This approach makes sense in a compact, diverse state, where the majority of births take place at Women & Infants and 40 percent of doctors are affiliated with Brown.
The staff at the participating offices check to see whether a pregnant patient lives in one of the neighborhoods where recruitment is taking place (selected for statistical balance). If so, a research assistant approaches the woman, explains the study and asks if she’d like to learn more.
This has worked well, Buka says. Of those asked, three-quarters agreed to be contacted with more information. Since November, the team has recruited about 50 women, and 17 babies have been born into the study.
Dr. Robert E. Berry, director of the outpatient service at Women & Infants, which has helped recruit participants, is enthusiastic about the study.
“We really don’t know why significantly obese people are obese,” Berry said. “We really don’t know why some people get asthma and others don’t. This study is going to look at everything we can think of that might affect it. … The amount of data by itself is going to challenge our assumptions. I think asthma is related to air quality. How do I know it’s not related to their culture … or toxins in their soil?"
The goal, for this pilot phase in Providence, is to recruit 100 pregnant women by the end of this year, as well as 50 women who are trying to get pregnant — to learn about the conditions of a woman’s life around the time she gets pregnant.
+ Read more.
• • •
Public Invited to UCSD Conference On Autism Research
By Janet Lavelle signonsandiego.com
The public is invited to an all-day conference Wednesday on the latest research and information about autism, hosted by UC San Diego.
The event is geared toward parents and health care providers, and precedes a large three-day scientific meeting of autism researchers from around the world. A number of those researchers will be speaking Wednesday.
The International Meeting for Autism Research, set for Thursday through Saturday, is an annual conference for scientists to exchange and disseminate their latest research on autism and related disorders.
Wednesday’s community conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Price Center on the UCSD campus. Registration is $40; tickets can be purchased in advance or on Wednesday at the Price Center Box Office. More information is online. The program includes four keynote speakers and a choice of eight breakout sessions.
Speakers are: Dr. Catherine Lord, director of the Autism and Communications Center at the University of Michigan; Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, director of the UCLA PEERS Program and director of The Help Group-UCLA Autism Research Alliance; Dr. Brett Abrahams of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York; Dr. George Singer, professor of special education at UC Santa Barbara.
Breakout sessions with scientific experts will cover topics such as early symptoms of autism, raising children with autism, addressing key impairments of school-age learners, prenatal causes and early brain development in autism.
• • •
Utah Autism Rate Doubled Between '02 And '08, Data Shows
It was the "mother of all meltdowns" and Laura Anderson has the bruises to prove it. But it is anyone's guess as to what caused her 14-year-old autistic son to throw a fit earlier this week.
She thinks it could have been the chicken nuggets. They weren't his favorite brand. Then again, it could have been a slight change in his normal routine or even the recent changes in the weather.
"It's our life," Anderson said. "It's what I'm used to and I have nothing else to compare it to."
She is not alone in her struggle, as nearly 10,000 children in the state of Utah have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes autism, Asberger's and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
With the newly implemented Utah Registry of Autism and Developmental Disorders, researchers have found that autism numbers in Utah are on the rise — in fact, they doubled between 2002 and 2008, making it a one in 77 chance that an 8-year-old child in Utah is autistic.
Nationwide, 1 in 111 children were diagnosed with autism in 2006, according to the latest information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are going into 15 years of having the autism classification (in schools) and we see no sign of it leveling off," said Jocelyn Taylor, an education specialist with the Utah State Office of Education.
Of the 150 babies born each day in Utah, new research reveals that at least two are at risk of developing an ASD, up from the 2002 rate of one in every 154 babies born being diagnosed later in life, according to the University of Utah study, which was published this week in the online Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
"The individuals that have autism spectrum disorders and their families have extremely complex social, emotional, educational, medical and therapeutic needs so it is a very complex situation and it isn't something that can fit nicely into a box," said Dr. Harper Randall, medical director for children with special health care needs at the Utah Department of Health.
She said further research as well as funding is necessary to understand autism better.
Recent heightened awareness of the disorder has contributed to the increase in prevalence, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric's guidance for autism screenings to be done at 18-month and 24-month wellness checks. But experts believe there is still more autism and the new research points them in the direction of finding out why and how it is likely caused.
Early diagnosis and referral is important "because that's where we're going to improve outcomes," Randall said.
The U. is one of 14 sites working with the CDC to collect more relevant 2010 data, but so far, U. researcher and lead author of the study, Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman, said the numbers are concerning, as "we thought we'd see a plateau."
+ Read more.
• • •
Body Of Young Child Found In River Near Laval
Terrebonne, Que., police can't confirm if body is that of Adam Benhamama
Adam Benhamama disappeared from a Laval, Que., neighbourhood in early April. (Laval Police)
The body of a small child between three and five years of age has been found in the Mille-Îles River on the north side of Laval near Terrebonne, Que.
Terrebonne police spokesman Sylvain Theoret could not say whether the body was that of Adam Benhamama, the three-year-old autistic boy believed to have fallen in the Mille-Îles River in April.
Theoret said someone walking near the river called officers Tuesday morning.
Adam Benhamama disappeared from a Laval, Que., neighbourhood in early April.Adam Benhamama disappeared from a Laval, Que., neighbourhood in early April. (Laval Police)"We got a call at about 11:12 this morning from someone walking on the side of the river that saw a child that was on the side there, and we came on the scene, and what we can say is it looks like a small child, from three to five years old," said Theoret.
Theoret said the body was found several kilometres downstream from where Benhamama is suspected to have fallen in the water.
Terrebonne police are working with Laval police to see if the body is indeed that of the young boy.
Police spent three days in early April looking for Benhamama, who was recently diagnosed with a mild form of autism and had difficulty hearing and speaking.
• • •
Autistic Palm Desert Teen Earns Black Belt
By Greg Lee, News Channel 3
Palm Desert, Calif. - Autism is a development disorder that affects about 48 million people around the world. April is Autism Awareness month with ogals to improve the lives of all affected by autism through education, advocacy, services, research and support.
Jessica McCartney is a Palm Desert teen living with autism. She was diagnosed with the disorder when she was three years old, sending shock waves through her family. "When we first found out, it was like a crushing blow," said Jessica's mother Traci. "You think, 'I'll have to take care of her for the rest of her life', I mean that was my first thought. But, I was okay with that, because she's like an angel to me, she always has been."
The early years were difficult for Jessica, her sister Caitlyn explains, "Quiet, she stayed to herself, she wouldn't talk very much, she would be less focused."
This was the case until Jessica enrolled in karate at age ten. She immediately developed a deep passion for the sport. "I love being with sensei and working with other kids," said McCartney. "I also want to help other kids who are going to join karate."
Red Dragon Karate's Sensei Deanna Bivens had challenges working with Jessica, but over time they overcame them and became stronger, because of them. "Through those bumps and through the communication, I started figuring out how she understands things," said Bivens. "Once we did, sky's the limit, she did really well."
Jessica recently earned the highest distinction in karate, the black belt. A feat that only an elite group have accomplished. "It's pretty extraordinary because there's only a few qualified people that can do it," said Bivens. "And in the martial arts, there's only 5% that get to black belt."
+ Read more.
• • •
Bakersfield High School Students Win Presidential Environmental Award
Autistic Students Educate Local Schools on Solar Energy
EPA Press Gov press release.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored the Bakersfield, Calif., Independence High School Falcon Autistic Solar Team (FAST) with this year’s President’s Environmental Youth Award in recognition for promoting environmental awareness.
FAST members are special needs students who travel to neighboring schools to promote the benefits and uses of sunlight as a power source. The team uses model solar-powered cars, a house, and a Ferris wheel to demonstrate various uses of solar energy. In addition, these presentations provide an opportunity for these autistic students to work on socialization and science skills while advancing environmental goals.
“These winners have made protecting our environment an everyday commitment,” said Steven John, Director of EPA’s Los Angeles Office. “Their enthusiasm and dedication to the education of green energy to other students is an inspiration for future generation of environmental leaders"
The FAST members include Royce Fenwick, Kayley Donovan, Erik Mahar, Michael Galarza, Jason Mora, and Jose Rodriguez. The team was sponsored by Independence High School teachers Kevin Crosby and Tim Horton.
+ Read more.
• • •
Jazz Prodigy Performs At Charity Concert
San Diego, CA
COMPASS Family Center proudly presents world-renowned jazz pianist Matt Savage in concert at the Birch North Park Theatre on June 4th, 2011 at 2:00 pm. Mr. Savage will be accompanied by Bob Magnusson on bass and Duncan Moore on Drums. A VIP reception will follow at 4:00pm including refreshments, appetizers, and the opportunity to meet Mr. Savage. All proceeds benefit the COMPASS Family Center: a non-profit organization providing family-centered support for those caring for a child or adult with special needs.
Mr. Savage was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at age 3 and labeled a jazz prodigy at age 8. Now 18, Mr. Savage has performed with a wealth of jazz talents and made appearances on many prestigious stages from NPR to late-night television.
Mr. Magnusson and Mr. Moore both boast extensive histories in the music industry as well as being local performers and teachers. For more information about these talented performers and an exciting video on Mr. Savage, please visit .
General admission tickets are $25, and VIP seating and/or VIP reception are $50-$75. Tickets are available by phone at (619) 446-6926 and online at under “News And Events.” Please call for student discounts and group rates.
The COMPASS Family Center, founded by Moises Baron, is a San Diego non-profit organization that provides family-centered supports for those caring for a child or adult with special needs. Services include special education advocacy, family guidance, social skills and counseling. If you or your company would like to be involved, please contact COMPASS associate director Sharna Langlais at (619) 446-6929 or via the website listed.
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