October 24, 2014

Please Stop Redefining Autism to Suit Your Own Agenda

So over at TMR, The Eagle wrote a piece on the heat that she has been subject to because she used the word “recovery” in relation to her son's autism.

“I always grew up believing the F-word was something we didn’t say. But it turns out that in the autism world, the R word is definitely the bad word.
It’s all raising its ugly head as I am releasing my book, which has a tag line of “A son’s recovery.” Whoa!
“How dare you insinuate your son doesn’t have autism anymore? Just because he’s functioning, doesn’t mean the autism isn’t there.”
“You can’t ever recover from autism. No matter how well you’re doing, you’re always autistic.”
These are just a few snippets from people who don’t know me or my son, or our story, but have literally judged the book by its cover.”

I think a huge part of the problem is that people have redefined "autism" to mean what they want it to mean, then project that onto what other people are talking about.

So let's review what “Autism” actually is.

"Autism" is a group of behavioral symptoms which include impaired communication, impaired social interaction, and stereotyped behaviors.  Feel free to review the full DSM IV criteria here.

You need those BEHAVIORS to get an autism diagnosis.  Conversely, if you no longer have those behaviors, then according to the definition, you can no longer be diagnosed with "Autism."

But when parents or those with the diagnosis begin to redefine it as an experiential state, or spiritual condition or a state of mind or an "identity," and then foist that definition on others, then the madness begins. They can insist that even when the behaviors are gone the autism is still there... but it is just their opinion and something that does not fit the actual definition of autism.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for those who wish to expand on their experiences as a person who has an autism diagnosis.  God knows how helpful it has been to me to hear from communicative adults with an autism diagnosis on what their experience is in giving me ideas on what might be going on inside my son's mind, but those do not define autism.

Nor do my son's experiences define “autism.”  Nor to his physical maladies that are tied to autism define autism.  Because the definition of autism includes none of these things... no experiential descriptions, no medical conditions, no biomarkers nothing other than OBSERVABLE BEHAVIORS.  It is narrow, and crappy and inadequate in so, so many ways, but it is what it is.  ONLY a description of behaviors.   And those who want to go beyond that description need to either lobby that the description be changed to include those experiential, spiritual and medical phenomena, or make up their own term to describe the version of “autism” that they are talking about, so it does not get confused with other types of “autism” or foisted upon people who don't actually have the type of “autism” that they are describing.

And while families and individuals might be guilty of redefining the condition and then asserting that others should then be subject to their redefinition, the medical profession is the worst.  Because it is the job of science to actually be systematic and exact in the language that they are using to describe conditions, diseases and disorders.

If I hear that “autism starts in the womb” one more time, I am going to... I don't know... retreat to my back yard and start blowing bubbles all day long in a catatonic starefest.

When you show me that a fetus can have impaired eye contact or trouble speaking or difficulty in forming friendships while still in utero, then you can say that you think “autism” starts in the womb.  I'd even grant you a conversation based on the idea that “autism” starts in the womb if you could show me some ultrasounds with the unborn flapping a bit or trying to spin.  But as it stands... autism cannot be diagnosed in the womb because the behaviors are not there and AUTISM is strictly a behavioral diagnosis.

From NPR:

“Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb
The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.
Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.
Organization of the cortex begins in the second trimester of pregnancy. "So something must have gone wrong at or before that time," says Eric Courchesne, an author of the paper and director of the Autism Center of Excellence at the University of California, San Diego.”

So many assumptions and leaps there... but this is what my mind immediately jumps to...


It would even be very helpful to families like mine if it did, because then we could check some brains out and see if they have these actual physical anomalies and know whether or not our children had “Autism” defined by those terms and if not, we could know that our children didn't have “Autism” and move on to other areas to look for answers,

But it doesn't... because autism is ONLY BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS.

And... oh yeah... They only looked at 11 brains and only 10 of them had the cortical changes mentioned so no... you can't define “autism” to include cortical changes.  Just like you can't define it to have GI distress, because not all kids with and 'autism' diagnosis have GI problems and just like you can't define it as a vaccine injury because some kids with autism are unvaccinated and just like you can't define it as “Rain Man Syndrome because not all these kids have super powers, or define it as “seeing the world in a different way” and on and on and on.

Repeating... Autism is a crappy, narrow, barely useful diagnosis based on 70 year old, outdated information and ONLY on... say it with me.... OBSERVABLE BEHAVIORS!

Put 20 kids with an “Autism” diagnosis in a room and you are going to get 20 different sets of associated medical conditions, educational struggles and (insert almost everything else about a child)

We need to stop thinking of Autism as a disorder.. it isn't.  It is a symptom set.  It is like a fever, and caused by many different things.  Do I need to even insert the list in here?

So if Evan McCarthy lost his Autism diagnosis because he no longer fits the symptoms, and has graduated to “weird,” stop saying he still has autism or that he never had it in the first place.  He had the symptoms to qualify for a diagnosis, and then later he didn't.  You don't get to redefine “Autism” to suit your agenda.

If I might be so bold as to recommend a course of action... I consider the optimal response to, “My son lost his autism diagnosis!” to be:

“Yay!  I am so excited for you that he is doing so well!  Congratulations!  Please let us know what worked for him or any advise he has so that we can see if it might be something to help other kids who are diagnosed with autism!”

Because I seriously cannot believe in this day and age that anyone is still under the illusion that “Autism” is one thing.  It is junk like this in 2014 that makes me want to get on board with those who want to dump the obsolete “Autism” label all together.

September 30, 2014

One of Our Moms Needs Help

Some of you may know autism mom, Melanie Baldwin, a founder of The Thinking Moms' Revolution and subject of Jessica's Lioness Arising blog post.

Melanie is a mom who is battling cancer for the third time.  She also has a son with profound autism.  The cost of caring for a child with autism is astronomical, but coupled with the cost of battling cancer, it's insurmountable unless they have help.

If you'd like to help, Melanie's Give Forward page can be found here.  

Thanks for reading, and please share!

September 2, 2014

My Op Ed in the Portland Press Herald on the Real Reasons for the Growing Vaccine Refusal

So in July, I was interviewd for an hour for an article on vaccine refusal in the Portland Press Herald.  I long story short, they did a hatchet job on me.  So I wrote an op ed response, and they actually printed it.

Please visit and comment.

"Maine Voices: Breakdown in accountability at heart of decline in vaccinations
Opposition to the current U.S. vaccination program is based on its failures, denial and bad law and policy.


BRUNSWICK — I was interviewed for an Aug. 9 front-page article by Joe Lawlor, titled “More Maine families are skipping or delaying childhood vaccines.” What was published was a complete misrepresentation of the interview I gave him.

As I told Mr. Lawlor, I’m neither anti-vaccine nor opposed to vaccination, and I vaccinated my children. My opposition is to the current U.S. vaccine program, which has become corrupted by bad law and policy, the failure to disclose known risks to families, the failure to pre-screen children who are showing symptoms that they are at risk for vaccine reactions and the denial of vaccine injury cases – rather than the proper recognition, diagnoses and treatment of vaccine-injured children.

In 1986, Congress gave liability protection to all vaccine interests – pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, doctors, nurses, etc. – so no one in this country can sue for vaccine injuries or deaths. As a result of this disregard of Americans’ Seventh Amendment rights, a vaccine injury case hasn’t been brought before a jury in almost 30 years, there is no longer accountability in vaccine safety and the vaccine program has fallen into massive corruption.

The effectiveness of vaccines is overstated, safety claims made are overstated and parents no longer get accurate risk information. Instead, vaccine consumers are offered a single sheet of information in the doctor’s office that leaves out almost all of the side effects listed on the vaccine package insert, on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Vaccine Injury Table and the disorders that HHS has concluded can be caused by a given vaccine.

Doctors are not trained on federal guidelines for vaccine injury, nor are they required to know the side effects listed on the vaccine package insert. Therefore, few physicians know how to recognize adverse reactions in their patients. As a result, such cases are usually ignored or misdiagnosed and are rarely properly medically assessed, and patients can become victims of medical neglect for a lifetime.

Further, the vaccine schedule has tripled since 1986, so a child born today will receive more doses of vaccine by the time he’s 6 months old than I did by the time I went to college. There is almost no long-term safety testing of vaccines, and no safety testing of the overloaded schedule as a whole.

This breakdown in the U.S. vaccine program’s accountability to consumers is at the heart of the country’s decline in vaccinations, because when parents take the time to look into physicians’ safety claims, they find they’re being given incorrect and biased information.

Case in point: The claim that the vaccine-autism controversy began as the result of one debunked study is utter misinformation. In fact, more than 80 research papers demonstrate the associations between vaccines and autism, and the mechanisms by which vaccines can cause autism.

When Mr. Lawlor asked me why I believed my son was vaccine-injured, I directed him to the HHS Vaccine Injury Compensation Table and walked him through the symptoms of pertussis-vaccine-induced “encephalopathy,” the medical term for brain damage, which my son exhibited following his 18-month shots:

 Decreased or absent response to environment (responds, if at all, only to loud voice or painful stimuli).

 Decreased or absent eye contact (does not fix gaze upon family members or other individuals).

 Inconsistent or absent responses to external stimuli (does not recognize familiar people or things).

My son’s case is not unusual. Because few doctors have ever read the federal vaccine injury table, children exhibiting symptoms of vaccine-induced brain damage are often diagnosed with “autism” without ever being evaluated for this vaccine reaction.

The Press Herald has published a follow-up article and an editorial that make clear its agenda is to not investigate and report the facts on this issue, but to coerce families who have safety concerns into vaccinating according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended schedule – against their better judgment, by removing their legal right to exercise informed consent in medicine.

Parents are not declining vaccines because of Jenny McCarthy or because of a 15-year-old British research paper. Parents are justifiably hesitant because the vaccine program has become overly aggressive, dosing is one-size-fits-all, promoters don’t disclose true risks to patients and program managers are not taking responsibility for helping the countless children and adults who have serious adverse vaccine reactions. Parents like me found out the hard way that once your child suffers a vaccine injury, you are on your own.

— Special to the Press Herald"

July 24, 2014

Invisible Threat: Ugh.

I've been gone for a long time doing Health Choice and media work... please forgive... blah blah blah...

So tonight I was down in Portland for some business meetings, and after the first Scott and I walked two blocks to Starbucks for a coffee.  I was at the table when he brought my drink and dropped a piece of paper in front of me.  "Look what I found on their bulletin board."

It was a flier for the new "hit" vaccine propaganda piece, "Invisible Threat."  (Since when to people who are in a film, review the film? Oh wait... HHS owns patents on the vaccines it licenses and recommends... forgot who I was dealing with.)

Watch the trailer below and be terrified that your child will die of disease if you don't vaccinate.

Invisible Threat Trailer from CHSTV Videos on Vimeo.

It is, of course the same old, same old, but with a twist this time.  This was not done by the vaccine lobby, this was done by unbiased high school students!

So I was all... "UGH... too bad I can't go, cause we gotta meeting.  And it starts in 12 minutes."

Then Scott was all, "Just drop me off and go, you don't even need to be at this meeting."  So I did that.

And there was a good reason to go... because I know a bit of the back story for this film.

You see I have a beloved friend and advocacy partner named Becky Estepp.  You all know Becky, she has been a regular on Fox News Channel, and lots of local San Diego area news pieces for years.  If you want to talk a parent in Southern California who can discuss the problems with the vaccine program, and its relationship to the autism epidemic, Becky is your go to gal.

Four years ago, she got a phone call from a high school boy from CHSTV, an awkward sophomore, who said they were making a documentary, and had some questions.  Becky had a long conversation with him, but could tell some of the things she was trying to teach him were a bit over his head.  Then she never heard from anyone on the film again.

Cut to this year when she sees the trailer for "Invisible Threat," and realized THIS was the project she was interviewed for. A totally biased piece, allegedly done by teenagers, that was a bit difficult to believe was done by teenagers.  Why did they not interview her for the actual film?  Great question... I wondered too!

We also wondered, "Kids made this?  Really?"  From my estimation, yes they did.  But it seems pretty obvious that they were lead around by the nose on what what and how to "investigate."  In fact we were told at the outset that one of the kids parents worked for Scholastic and "helped" the kids.  I am sure that Rotary "helped" too.  Also apparently the Gates Foundation, "helped"... so....

Fortunately there was a parking space right by the building and I whipped into my chair with one minute to spare before they started.  A very attractive lady from Vax Maine Kids (I think) explained that these kid had done two award winning documentaries, and were approached by The Rotary Club to do a pro-vaccine documentary.  The kids, of course, turned them down because they wouldn't do something like that, but then agreed to make one on their own terms where they would investigate the issues and then make their movie on what they had learned. (Yes they took the money.)

(P.S. Don't take your medical advice from Play Boy Bunnies, take it from teenagers?)

She explained that this was the first time the film had been shown in New England (Really?  They picked Portland, Maine?) and later explained that one of the reasons that it has not been widely distributed is because the children received death threats after the movie, just like poor Paul Offit (who we have asked for some documentation on these threats, a police report, anything, because, you know... if that shit is really happening, then NOT OK, and we would shame such people into oblivion for it... cause we are kinda sick of being called "baby killers" and being threatened with Child Protective Services as well.)

But apparently the death threats to children are not really a problem as they will be releasing the film broadly on August 1.  Not super clear.  I guess that arrests have been made and the problem is solved?

Of course my cynical self imagines the conversation:
"Well we premiered the film last spring, three days before the beginning of "Autism Awareness Month" to take headlines away from the vaccine injury problem, so aren't people gonna be all. "WHAAA?" if we don't release it until August, just in time for the back to school vaccine push?"
"Um... just tell them there were death threats so we had to hold off the release."  
I text all this to Becky and she is not convinced.  "Don't you think that if that really happened it would be all over San Diego TV?"  Becky makes great points (and is also very physically fit.)

Vax Maine Kids did say that they wanted open and respectful dialog on vaccines issues.  Well they have never contacted me or any of my loud mouth friends in Maine to have this open discussion, but I'll take her word for it that she means it for that event.

So the film begins, and it is all the same tropes.  It's all Wakefield's fault.  Your body is crawling with a bazillion creatures out to kill you.  Mothers of children who have died of "vaccine preventable" illnesses are beautiful and worthy of your compassion.  Mothers of children who believe vaccines cause their child's autism are into hippy dippy crap like rubbing oils on their kids and moving their limbs around to heal them.  The docs that treat their kids are unattractive quacks.  The docs that say vaccines are totally safe are attractive and established and should have angelic music behind them when they speak.  Paul Offit is the super smartest and objective guy ever and he thinks moms like me who write critical things on the internet about the vaccine program are "evil."  (Also, profiteers... which is hilarious and forces me to stifle a laugh.) MMR induced encephalitis is one in one million. (Wait... I thought vaccine injury in general was one in a million?)  And finally, VACCINES ARE SAFE, VACCINES SAVE LIVES, VACCINE REACTIONS ARE RARE, AND VACCINATION IS THE RIGHT CHOICE.

Apologies that this post is a bit of a mess.. wrote it at 3am.  I forgot the BEST part of the movie.  Parents who don't vaccinate are made analagus to THE TALIBAN!!

Yes... because every country on earth vaccinates... "except for one, THE TALIBAN!"  Then they point out that Talibanians killed polio vaccine workers.  They fail to point out that it was after the CIA used a fake vaccine campaign to harvest the DNA from Afgahan locals to find out if Osama Bin Lahadeen and family were in the area, which caused haters of The Great Satan to stop participating in vax programs and even attack them.  Because they assumed they were CIA.

Ergo, according to the NYT the CIA is runing vaccine uptake.

Also you are a Talabanian.

But this "documentary" is totally unbiased.***

So by the end of the film I think my blood pressure was 1000/1000.  I don't know why I let my self get so upset about this crap anymore... again... the New England premier and there were 20 people in the room.  And then they called the panelists (and moderator and projectionist) to the front of the room... And then there were 13 audience members... including me. (And from the chit chat at the end... clearly they were almost all friends of the panel/people working on vaccine uptake.)

So I did a little self-talk to calm myself down, which worked a little.  (Damn... I should not have had coffee before I went there.)  So I decided I would not talk, but if I did it would just be some mild questions at the very end.  Just to see where they really were on this stuff.

The panel was a very sweet gray haired older mother in a matronly dress who had lost her teen age son to meningitis, three pediatricians (two female and one male, now come to think of it, I can't remember if the second female was a doc... she didn't say much... might have been a professional advocate), and a former Maine epidemiologist.  One of the pediatricians was from my town, and is well known for publishing the most bone headed vaccines rah rah rah junk in our state via the Bangor Daily News.

Wait... I actually looked the event up.  Here is the panel:
"The public is invited to this free showing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at the Portland Public Library. A panel discussion will follow the film. The expert panel will include: Larry Losey, M.D., of Brunswick Pediatrics, Laura Blaisdell, M.D., MPH, of Intermed Pediatrics and Researcher at Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation, Jeri Greenwell, parent and Maine advocate for the National Meningitis Association; Emily Rines, MPH, CHES Community Impact Director at United Way of Greater Portland, and Stephen Sears, M.D., MPH, Chief of Staff, VA Maine Healthcare Systems and former Maine State Epidemiologist."
The first question was from Vax Maine Kids pretty lady (I really should look up her name, but I don't wanna.  Also she had a great skirt on.) It was about social media.  (Here we go..) How did the internet, etc impact their efforts on vaccine uptake.  Then I had to sit through that, "Oh the horrible internet, blah blah blah conspiracies, yadda yadda, misinformation, The End." discussion.  I refrained from shouting that it was the 21st century and every document ever published (Unless it is covered under National Security... and even a lot of those that are covered under National Security) is on the damn internet, and that poo pooing internet information is now exactly equal to saying, "Don't read books.  Or anything printed.  Or hand written." any time before 1987.

None of them said that they had ever learned anything from the critics of the vaccine program.

(Crap... I just looked at the Vax Maine Kids web site.  I really should not have done that.  Did you know that, "the mercury in the preservative Thimerosal has never been shown to harm children or cause autism?"  Wow!  Not even once!)

It should come as no surprise that reasonableness on the issue was inversely proportional to the age of the panelist.

Small ray of light came from Dr. Blaisdell, who opened with, and repeated often, that she wants open dialog with parents, and does not want to push parents.  But later was discouraged that she repeated the absurdity that, "Aluminum is necessary for human life to function," (No.. it really isn't , its a neurotoxin ); she mocked the use of the word "toxins" (even making air quotes when she said it) telling people in that give me a break, condescending tone, "Please don't listen to people who talk to you about "toxins." (I guess she wants the field of Toxicology to shut down?), and claimed that the Jacobson v. Mass SCOTUS ruling said that states can force people to vaccinate (Clearly the woman has neither read it nor met Mary Holland.)

I had been such a good girl and held my tongue, but apparently I got to the "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills" moment because after Losey said the 25th awful thing (I don't even remember what it was, but I did learn from him that if I didn't like my ruling in the VICP that I could go to civil court and sue the vaccine maker.  He had never heard of Bruesewitz v. Wyeth) I let out a snort that I am sure sounded like an angry horse, and my hand involuntarily shot up (Insert joke about how there is probably a vaccine for that.)

(Seriously... ten years of this crap and they STILL can't get basic information about the real problems right?  They are STILL repeating this garbage? JB Handley made the point many years ago, if peds have not bothered to learn by now, it is their own fault.  They shouldn't be coddled any more.)

The only other audience participation up to that point had been a mom who had of course vaccinated her kids, and wanted to know if Maine's philosophical exemption was making it harder to get kids vaccinated and meet public health goals.  Blaisdell made the point that she didn't know, because detailed records are not kept, and not getting the Hep B is not a problem like not getting the Measles vaccine, but opt out rates are higher in states with those exemptions.  Losey, to his credit, recognized that getting rid of the exemption was impossible in the current climate, as the bills being considered in Augusta are all to loosen their hold on pushing parents to vaccinate, and, for at least now anyway, not gonna happen.

So this is toward the end of the panel discussion, and I just unloaded on them.  And not gracefully either.  The angry, talking 60 miles an hour Ginge burst out of me.  I explained that I was the mother of a vaccine injured child and... blah blah insert my creds here... and watching the movie (that they had all extolled) was hard for me because it contained so much that was false and incomplete and sucky.  (I didn't really say sucky.)

I don't even remember all I said, but I took them on/correct them on many of the things they said.  I do remember saying, in that give me a break, condescending tone, "Do you really think the decline in vaccine uptake is because of one British study that came out 15 years ago."  But the big points that I made where that the film addressed NONE of the reasons that we don't participate in the vaccine program any more, that I was going to go ahead and do a point by point take down of the film when it comes out in wide release, and that this does not even address (because they never address it) the real root of the problem, which is the vaccine injury liability they all have.  Which assures that they will never have to be put under oath to testify and be cross examined on all the stupid things they say. (No I didn't say that last part either.)

So Dr. Blaisdell addressed me very nicely/handled me, and asked me questions, so I was like.. "Fuck it... I am just going to keep talking as long as they will let me," which was a while.  But then she brought it around with a "well what would you recommend for us" giving me a final say... again, good, but totally handling me.

"How could I choose just one thing!" my brain screamed.

So I choose two.  Stop attacking "those people on the internet and listen to them/learn from the professionals/stop calling us anti-vaccine" and "realize that because of the vaccine injury and death liability protection you have, that you live in a bubble, with no accountability for what you say and do, that you get to believe whatever you want to believe about vaccines."

Oh... also they called me "passionate" a lot, which is a polite/dismissive way of noting that I am a super angry woman.  Which I am.

"Oppression makes a wise man mad."

And then I shut up.

And then their tone changed.  They were more balanced, they addressed me directly, and in the wrap up question, they suddenly acknowledged that safety is a problem, that they need to do more to avoid vaccine reactions, and parents like me must be engaged.

Of course we know what people really want, because they actually DO the things that are important to them.

So on the way out I made sure to sign the registry with my contact info, since engaging parents and learning how to avoid vaccine injury is important.  So I'm sure they will call, right?  I am sure my phone will be ringing off the hook tomorrow with questions like, "What are these eighty plus studies you mentioned about vaccine induce autism and their mechanisms?  What are the ways you think vaccine reactions can be avoided?  Where is this information from federal officials on vaccine injuries?  What was that you said about aluminum and the vaccine schedule not being safety tested?"

I think I will clear my schedule tomorrow.  And perhaps Friday in case they want to have lunch and look at my research.

And then I can spend the day surfing facebook because they won't call me.  Or anyone else like me.  Because they never do.  Because they don't have to.  The threat to them for harming children with their mis information and bad practices is not an "invisible threat" it is a non existent threat.

They get to do and believe whatever they want.  The only consequence is the occasional crazy mom showing up to rant at them.


Check below!  A doc that does what she says she wants... you know... words and actions!  Wow.

Second time evah a doc has actually followed up with me on stuff.  The first was like five years ago, a med student wrote me and said, "I disagree with everthing you say, but I do have one question."  That one question turned into years of conversations long into the beginning of his practice.


As my regular readers know, last week I suffered and massive brain hemmorage and died after attending a screening "Invisible Threat" a propeganda film made by HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS on the vaccine debate.

Well today, following a touching and heartfelt funeral (seriously guys, I had no idea how insanely you loved me... I was moved) They had to dig me up and readmit me to the emergency room, where I died again, after reading the follow up email I received from the Maine Health Department.

They said if I filled out a survey on the film they would send me my CME credits in two weeks.  FRIGGING CME CREDITS!!!

My next funeral will be held this Saturday at my house.  Bring chocolate chip cookies.

This was my reply:

Ms. Lawson,
After attending this event, I was stunned to get this email.
Let me get this straight... you are giving CME credits to medical professionals for watching a movie made by high school students?  Not medical professionals... minors.  We are talking about children.
Emphasizing... their highest qualification is that they graduated from Jr. High School.
It was FILLED with inaccuracies, partial information and compared people who don't vaccinate to the Taliban, but this is to be used for guidance in how to provide medical care?
How exactly does this qualify as advancing a medical education?  How are they qualified to teach medical professionals?
I await you response,
Ginger Taylor
UPDATE again...

So despite leaving two messages for Dr. Blaisdel in the last three weeks, no response from her.

But you know what I just noticed?  Paul Offit is listed as the "Science Technical Adviser" on the film.  But don't worry... just because the vaccine industry's defacto salesperson, who has made millions off his own vaccine patent is the guy providing them technical science advice, does NOT mean that this is unbiased.

Just to emphasize... Offit is in the movie, he is the guy who shaped the movie, and he also reviewed the movie.  JOURNALISM!!!

April 17, 2014

I Refuse To Be Enlisted Into The "Mommy Wars"

So the attack on vaccine resistant parents in the media this "autism awareness month" has been nothing like any of us has ever seen before.  Even Paul Offit has taken a departure from his oh so laid back and wise doctor act to get nasty on us.  Pharma needs not only for parents to be ok with the current recommended schedule, but to be open to the open ended vaccine schedule that will include the 200 or so vaccines they have in their development pipeline.  They do not want to come to terms with the fact that their market has reached it saturation point and it is all downhill from here for their vaccine profits.

So because they could not sell us, and because they could not bully us, they have now taken the tack of getting us to bully us.  As Meghan at LivingWhole.org so succinctly put it in her piece The Hate Debate, "...whether or not we vaccinate is now part of the “Mommy Wars.”  Setting mother against mother, to bully them into violating their evolutionary and God given instincts on how to protect their child, to do what Pharma says instead.
" As if mothers didn’t have enough things to be divided over, you’ve made it so that wherever we go be it daycares, schools, or playgroups we are ridiculed, judged, shunned, and our children as a whole are blamed for the re-emergence of diseases that never left and for spreading diseases they’ve never had. You made this a “Mommy War” issue when you somehow insinuated that a woman isn’t a good mother unless she vaccinates her child. You made this a mommy issue when I had to kneel down and explain to my three-year-old child why she was being discriminated against. You made this a mommy issue when you supported and promoted the following hateful belief system:

 “[On the topic of vaccines.] We owe it to our children–all of our children–to speak out against this dangerous and misguided parenting choice before more are infected with horrifying diseases that were extinguished decades ago. Choosing not to vaccinate is not yet another anodyne trend in personal parenting. It’s not a quirk; it’s a menace—and a growing one at that.” – Bethany via the Federalist Papers

 You know what makes a good mother, one who actually educates herself, questions what is put into her child’s body and makes an informed decision (whether she chooses to vaccinate or not). Call me a menace, call me a misguided parent, and blame me for spreading “horrifying diseases” that are actually neither horrifying nor extinguished. If it makes you feel better to fuel fire and spread hate than by all means proceed, as it doesn’t make your side of the movement look very good. I will neither hate nor discriminate against a mother’s decision on the issue of vaccination. No, I will not be part of the hate debate."

So I am here to say that I refuse to participate in the "Mommy Wars."  It would be very easy for me to judge parents who are not treating their child's "autism" medically, but I have no right.  Just as no one else has the right to judge me for my vaccine decisions.  

So if you see a child being physically abused by their parents, or cases of neglect where they are not being fed, clothed, housed and placed under the care of a health care provider, then please call child protective services and express your concern.  But if you just don't agree with a parents medical choices, especially because some crap mass media outlet dripping in pharma ads has tried to turn you into the vaccine patrol, time to take a deep breath, deprogram yourself, and stand down.

I support autism families who choose not to do biomed.  It is hard for me, it is not my choice, it is not what I want for their children, but I KNOW that it is not my decision to make for that child.  It is theirs.  And I have NO INTENTION on making their life harder, or even making them feel pressured, to do something that they are not comfortable with. 

I am horrified that any mother could write the things that I am seeing online to the effect of, "if they don't vaccinate they should have their kids taken away from them."  That is just flat out evil.  How any mother could wish that on another is horrifying.  I started my career in child protective services as a case worker, and even the abusive and neglectful parents... I was still rooting for them to get their crap together and be able to parent their children again.  It only happened in one of my cases in two years, but it still makes my cry when I think about that mother who was able to step up and be there for her daughter again.

I don't ever want to see a family ripped apart because of their medical choices.  And I don't want to make people feel bad for their earnest decisions.

With other autism moms, I listen like a friend, if I have something that might help them with what they are struggling with, I usually say something like, "I know of some new medical interventions that might help with his aggression/tummy trouble/attentional issues/etc, so lemme know if you are interested in exploring any of them," and then I leave it at that.  And if they never bring anything up, I don't either.  If they don't want to talk about their aggressive vaccine choioces, then I don't either.  And I support them in their parenting.

Are you a mommy?  Then I support you and want you to have the best chance at raising your little ones that you know better than anyone. 

I am not going to participate in the "Mommy Wars."

January 30, 2014

Annual Birthday Fundraiser

As today is my 29th... I mean 34th birthday, I will celebrate me by focusing on me. 

If my work has been of service to you this past year, I hope you will consider putting a little birthday gift in the tip jar.

Thank you for being my community and my support.  

December 29, 2013

New Years To Do: Opt Out of Your State Vaccine Database

Today the Washington Post printed a story entitled, "2013 is the year that proved your ‘paranoid’ friend right."  So now that we are all on the same page that the US government is completely run amok, is all up in in everyone's business, and that those of us who trusted that it would look out for our own good (rather than the corporate $$$ interests of their donors or their own profit and power) were naive babies... and that none of the three branches give a crap that you don't like what they are doing... let's look forward to how to avoid the next thing that they are gonna do to piss people off.  That right now... of course... we are called crazy for considering might become a possibility.

THE COMING VACCINE PUSH!  (who are we kidding... they are constantly pushing...)

Paul Offit, Pharma Face for Vaccines, of course, has been telegraphing this for years.  Pharma goes, "what completely insane thing do we wanna do that we know we will never get away with?"  Then they tell Offit to write about that thing, then they get their blogdoggies to push that thing, cause God Offit said the thing, then five years later, they are actually pushing the thing out in the open like it is totally sane and people in positions of power to make that thing happen are all... "well yeah... we should do that thing!  People have been talking about it for years!"  (As they cash the Pharma check.)

We are in the middle of such a thing now.  Three years ago Offit was quoted in The Lancet suggesting that parents must complete an education program (to of course tell them what a bad choice they are making) before having the right to opt out of vaccinating their children.
“Offit suggests one way to raise vaccination rates is to make it harder for people not to get themselves or their children vaccinated. This could mean, for example, attending educational classes that teach the public what the safety profiles of different vaccines are, before they are allowed to opt out of vaccination. “You have to convince people that a choice not to get a vaccine is not a risk-free choice; it’s just a choice to take a different risk.”
Jump ahead two years, and what do you know...  a pediatrician in the legislature, backed by AAP and every Pharma whore ever... introduces AB2109 in California, requiring that parents must complete an education program (to of course tell them what a bad choice they are making) before having the right to opt out of vaccinating their children.  Apparently they had been lobbying for it quietly for at least a year, so by the time it came up for a vote, parents were too late to get legislators on their side.

One year later... what's that Paul Offit?  You are teaching an online education program to tell parents what a bad choice they are making if they opt out of vaccinating?  YOU DON'T SAY?!  Wow... who saw that coming!

How long before these all merge and you have to take Offit's propeganda course before you are ALLOWED to make decisions on what goes into your own body or the bodies of your children in your state/school system/medical practice/profession?  Stay tuned to find out.

So let's stop being niave and pretending these things happen organically, rather than being planned in marketing boardrooms years in advance.

On to state vaccine registries.

While no one was noticing... all fifty states set up databases of who has and has not been vaccinated with what.  And yes you and your kids are probably in there.

"Ginger, that's crazy!  We have medical privacy... surely that would violate our privacy rights!"

"Wake up and smell the 1984," I say.

Here is the CDC's master list of all the state databases: CDC Immunization Information Systems (IIS)

Here is my state's information on the program:  ImmPact:  Maine Immunization Information System

Here is what the program is for:
Intent:  The Immunization Information System is intended to be a repository for accurate and up to date immunization records for all persons born, residing, or receiving vaccine in the State of Maine. The primary purpose of the system is to collect data related to vaccine administration, and to promote effective and cost efficient prevention of vaccine preventable diseases.
Note the language, "all persons."  That is me and us and everyone here.

Here is how the program works:
4.         Establishment Of The Immunization Information System:

            A.        All children born in Maine and registered in the Electronic Birth Certificate system shall have their demographic data entered into the Immunization Information System (hereinafter referred to as the “IIS”).

            B.         The Department may use any birth record, Medicaid record, school record, or immunization record for the purposes of obtaining an individual’s Immunization and Demographic Information and entering that Information into the IIS.

            C.         An Immunization Provider who administers immunizations with vaccines provided by the Department shall record or report all immunizations administered directly into the Immunization Information System, or through other methods as approved by the Department, within five (5) working days of administering the immunization.

            D.        All Patients will be informed during an initial immunization encounter with an Immunization Provider of the inclusion of their immunization record and demographic information into the IIS, and will be provided with the opportunity to opt-out of the IIS. All Patients will automatically have their immunization and demographic information maintained in the IIS, unless a Patient states in writing on a form prescribed by the Department, that he or she wants to opt out of the IIS.
Note that they are supposed to tell you this ahead of time, and that if you don't want in, you have to opt out. (Hey Mainers... do you even know about this database?)

Here is the bit on confidentiality:

5.         Confidentiality Of The Immunization Information System

            A.        Identifying information contained in the IIS shall only be disclosed to Authorized Users and the individual that it identifies, except in the case of an authorized exchange (as specified in Section 10-C), or in the event of a public health emergency, as defined by statute.

            B.         Authorized Users must sign a user agreement in a form prescribed by the Department that sets forth the terms for using the IIS. Any such Agreement shall include a confidentiality clause, as well as provisions related to penalties for unauthorized disclosure.

            C.         Authorized Users shall not disclose information from the IIS about an individual except to another Authorized User when allowed by these rules, or by state and federal laws addressing patient confidentiality.
Isn't that Adorable?!  (Must have been written before 2012.)

You can read all the rules here.

Who cares if they know exactly what vaccines you and your kids have had?  Well this is where a little clause in the Obamacare law can make things relevant to your interests (emphasis mine):
H.R. 3590 An Act Entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 
Subtitle C-Creating Healthier Communities, 
section 4204,  Immunizations, 
(b):Demonstration Program To Improve Immunization Coverage-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall establish a demonstration program to award grants to States to improve the provision of recommended immunizations for children, adolescents, and adults through the use of evidence-based, population-based interventions for high-risk populations.
‘(2) STATE PLAN- To be eligible for a grant under paragraph (1), a State shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a State plan that describes the interventions to be implemented under the grant and how such interventions match with local needs and capabilities, as determined through consultation with local authorities.
‘(3) USE OF FUNDS- Funds received under a grant under this subsection shall be used to implement interventions that are recommended by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (as established by the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or other evidence-based interventions, including--
‘(A) providing immunization reminders or recalls for target populations of clients, patients, and consumers;
‘(B) educating targeted populations and health care providers concerning immunizations in combination with one or more other interventions;
‘(C) reducing out-of-pocket costs for families for vaccines and their administration;
‘(D) carrying out immunization-promoting strategies for participants or clients of public programs, including assessments of immunization status, referrals to health care providers, education, provision of on-site immunizations, or incentives for immunization;
‘(E) providing for home visits that promote immunization through education, assessments of need, referrals, provision of immunizations, or other services;
‘(F) providing reminders or recalls for immunization providers;
‘(G) conducting assessments of, and providing feedback to, immunization providers;
‘(H) any combination of one or more interventions described in this paragraph; or
‘(I) immunization information systems to allow all States to have electronic databases for immunization records.

States will be given money to come to your house and give your children their "recommended" vaccines.  (One bully school system already tried it, took a local news crew along to film it, and they both were sued for it. Video here.)

You know what states love?  Money.
Federal Government: "Hey State....  Wanna million dollars to count the number of dots on all the backs of all the salmon in your state?"

State:  "Sure... why not

Federal Government: "What about ten million for a door to door vaccination program?"

State:  "Hell, yeah!"

The only thing preventing all states from asking for this cash for door to door vaccination?  The fear of doors slammed in faces and angry voters calling to yell at the Governor VaxALot.

But I am sure there will be a campaign on the way to get people to accept that too.

So in the mean time.  Contact your state IIS and get your names off the database.


Some have asked about how to opt out.  Check with your state.  Here is how to do it in Maine:

6.         Individual’s Right To Opt Out Of The Immunization Information System             A.        Any individual may choose to be excluded from the IIS, thereby limiting future access to his or her Immunization Records and Demographic Information from the IIS, by submitting a signed and witnessed document to his or her Immunization Provider on a form prescribed by the Department. The Department’s form shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:                         (1)        the Patient’s name;                         (2)        the Patient’s address;                         (3)        the Patient’s date of birth;                         (4)        the Patient’s signature;                         (5)        the Witness’s signature                         (6)        the Patient’s reason for the requested exclusion; and                         (7)        the Department address.             B.         The Patient is responsible for notifying any Immunization Provider at each encounter of the decision to be excluded from the IIS. No Immunization Provider or health plan shall be liable for entering a previously excluded Patient into the Registry if that Patient did not provide that Immunization Provider or health plan with written notice of the exclusion. This rule does not relieve the excluded Patient from the obligation to comply with current immunization requirements set forth in State Law.             C.         Upon being notified that a Patient wants to be excluded from the IIS, the Immunization Provider is responsible for opting out that Patient from the IIS, and continues to be responsible for the maintenance of appropriate immunization record keeping for the Patient.             D.        In the event that an individual does not have an Immunization Provider, that Patient shall notify the Department directly in writing on the prescribed form of his or her decision to be excluded from the IIS.