E-News April 2006

Here is your update on the TACA (TALK ABOUT CURING AUTISM) Group for April 2006 - #1. As always, email your thoughts and/or questions. I want to make this e-newsletter informative for you. Let me know your thoughts on how I can improve it.

If this email is NEW to you and you don't recognize the name... WELCOME! These emails happen two to four times a month for the Southern California autism support group called TACA. As always, contact us with your thoughts and/or questions. I want to make this e-newsletter informative for you. Let me know your thoughts on how I can improve it.

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides general information of interest to the autism community. The information comes from a variety of sources and TACA does not independently verify any of it. The views expressed herein are not necessarily TACA’s. We focus on parent information and support, parent mentoring, dietary intervention, the latest in medical research, special education law, reviews of the latest treatments, and many other topics relating to Autism. Our main goal is to build our community so we can connect, share and support each other.

In This Month's Edition of TACA e-news:

Upcoming TACA Costa Mesa schedule & other TACA meeting schedule info
General News:
  A) Autism 'Epidemic' in Schools Called Illusory and some important rebuttals to this “new study”
  B) March 30 Press Conference in D.C. – TWO ARTICLES
  C) THREE New Installments in the AGE OF AUTISM by Dan Olmsted
  D) The High Cost of Autism - Bill Would Force Private Insurers To Pay For Intense Therapy For Children
  E) Legislation would help autistic students
  F) CAPO Unified Leadership Under Investigation
Vaccine News
  A) The Sting of Thimerosal in Autism
  B) Vaccine-autism link firmed up
  C) Two Articles Regarding: Congressional Leaders Finally Speak Out About Thimerosal & Mercury In Vaccines
  D) Thimerosal Update: The CDC's Scarlet Letter
  E) Chiron Recalls, Withdraws Measles Vaccine
  F) No To Mercury In Vaccines – Washington Becomes 7th State to Ban It
TACA Committees – want to be involved?
TACA Surveys due – we want to hear from you
Vendor Announcements
Books & Web Sites
Fun Activities
Personal Note

1 Upcoming TACA Costa Mesa Meeting Schedule:
April 8, 2006: Attorney Bonnie Yates

Orange County Regional Center & an important update for all parents who have children on the spectrum (for all ages and anyone who is a current or past consumer of the O.C. Regional Center)
Time: 1-4pm
Costs: FREE RSVP Required:  NO – just come on down! 

April 29, 2006:

Autism & Medical Breakthrough Seminar featuring Dr Jerry Kartzinel & David Kirby


Time:  10 am – 3 pm
Location:  Vineyard Newport Church
COSTS AND REGISTRATION REQUIRED – for more information please see: http://www.tacanow.com/conference_Autism_Breakthroughs_April2006.htm
To register go to http://www.tacanow.com/shop.htm .

May 6, 2006:



Time:  1-4 pm
Location:  Vineyard Newport Church
Costs: FAMILY PRICE $28 per person OR $45 per couple
RSVP Required: YES.  You can register ONLINE
For more information or registration via mail – please see parent_seminar
NOTE: Scholarship opportunities are available.
please contact us to inquire

May 13, 2006:

TACA Meeting – SOCIAL SKILLS – Presented by Autism Spectrum Consultants, Jessica Postil MORE DETAILS COMING SOON!


Time:  1-4 pm
Costs: FREE RSVP Required:  NO – just come on down!

June 10, 2006:

“Autistic-Spectrum Disorders & Medical Treatments – Presentation by Dr. Kurt Woeller  - Successful Strategies for Treating Your Child – One DAN! Doctor’s Perspective”


Dr. Woeller will discuss the importance of implementing a series of steps to help children biomedically, as well as discuss more in detail specifics to popular treatments, i.e. detoxification, Methyl-B12, testing considerations, pitfalls of treatment, etc
Time:  1-4 pm
Costs: FREE RSVP Required:  NO – just come on down!

All Meetings at The Vineyard: 102 E. Baker, Costa Mesa, CA [click here to find a meeting]

(Please do not contact the church for meeting details. They have graciously offered use of their facility, but are not affiliated with TACA.) And remember, we are still a non-faith based group!

405 FWY South, Exit Bristol
Right on Bristol
Left on Baker
Go under FREEWAY.
The Vineyard Church is on the corner just after the freeway - turn left onto the freeway access road,
make FIRST right into the Vineyard's parking lot.


  TACA Has 7 California Meeting Locations:
Costa Mesa:
West Hills:
  • Meets: Typically meets the 1st Sunday of each month
  • Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
  • Location: Jumping Genius – 22750 Roscoe Blvd West Hills, CA
    (the corner of Roscoe Blvd & Fallbrook Ave)
  • info: Please contact Moira Giammetteo or Cathy Beier
  • Child care: This is not offered at this time, sorry. Because of liability insurance limitations of the donated facility there are no exceptions to this policy, we are sorry.
    • May 7, 2006 - Starting the biomedical journey Presented by: Lisa Ackerman
      Biomedical treatments for autism spectrum disorders can be a confusing addition to traditional therapies. This seminar will cover:
        • Why you should consider biomedical treatments
        • How to start
        • What to look for
        • What is available as an option
        • How are these treatments paid for
      This seminar will be presented by a parent – not a doctor – in hopes of providing some suggestions and insight for other parents with children on the spectrum.
San Diego:
  • Meets: 4th Tuesday evening
  • Time: 6:30- 8:00 p.m.
  • Info: Becky Estepp
  • Location: NEW LOCATION AS OF April 2005:
    Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church
    17010 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92128 - Rooms 22 A&B
    • April 25-- San Diego Hyperbarics  - "The Benefits Of HBOT for Children With ASD"
    • May 23--Maria Genter – Marriage & Family Therapists- "Effective Communication Skills With Your Spouse" & "How to Support Neurotypical Siblings"
    • June 27--Jaime Pineda, Ph.D. - "New Data On Neurofeedback and Autism"
  • Meets: 3rd Saturday
  • Time: 1:30–4:30 p.m.
  • For more information, please contact NEW CONTACT TAMI DUNCAN

    Please note: TACA Corona has a NEW LOCATION as of January 2006. Meeting Location:  Peppermint Ridge - 825 Magnolia Avenue, Corona CA  92879

  • Date

    Speaker Name




    Lisa Ackerman – TACA Founder

    Who Pays for WHAT??? Often deciphering the resources available to families with special needs children can be overwhelming, confusing and extremely frustrating.


    Provided from a parent’s perspective - this seminar focuses on California based resources and will cover:
    o Who pays for services before age 3
    o Who pays for services after age 3
    o What does a diagnosis qualify your child for?
    o Funding discussions include: state & federal resources, regional center, school district, health insurance and alternative funding available to families.


    Katherine Bowman Speech and Language Pathologist



  • Meets: 3rd Monday of each month
  • Location: Whole Foods Market on PCH in Torrance
  • Time: 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
  • For more info: Contact us
  • SPECIAL NOTE: This group tends to be an advanced group with biomedical discussions. If you are a newly diagnosed family, you may wish to attend other locations for your first meeting.
    • April 17, 2006 – 6:30-7:00 p.m. -- Diet, Supplement, Chelation Q & A
      7:00-9:00: Christy Bowers, Speech Pathologist -- see her bio at fwspeech.com
  • Meets: 3rd Wednesday of month
  • Time: 6 p.m. "Happy Hour" with GFCF snacks and coffee 6:30-8:30 p.m. Speaker
  • Location: Kaweah Delta Multi-Service Center Auditorium, 402 W. Acequia, Visalia
  • Information: Please contact Lynne Arnold
    • April 19, 2006 – speaker to be announced
Santa Rosa:
  • Meets: (typically) 2nd Tuesday of each month
  • Location: Swain Center - 795 Farmers Lane, Suite 27
    Santa Rosa, CA
  • Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
  • For more info: Cathy Ference
  • Special thanks to Dave Stillman for getting TACA Santa Rosa off the ground and running!
    • April 11, 2006 – speaker to be determined

  TACA Calendar Quick View
APRIL 2006
West Hills Meeting
: Starting the biomedical journey





Costa Mesa Meeting: Attorney Bonnie Yates


Santa Rosa Meeting



Corona Meeting


Torrance Meeting

Visalia Meeting
Future Horizons Autism / Asperger's 2006

The Listening Center Complimentary Open House & Information Seminar


Thoughtful House Medical Seminar


San Diego Meeting
: The Benefits Of HBOT

Monthly Pump It Up nights in Huntington Beach

Best Practices in Autism Treatment

Autism & Medical Breakthrough Seminar
MAY 2006




West Hills Meeting: Starting the biomedical journey

Santa Rosa Meeting




Torrance Meeting
Visalia Meeting


Corona Meeting

San Diego Meeting
: Marriage & Family Therapists





2 General News

AUTISM RALLY In D.C. on April 6 – Missed it?
Listen to it on AUTISM ONE RADIO www.autismone.org
And see the full page ad


New Internal Documents Reveal Deception by the Centers for Disease Control About Vaccines' Role in Autism, Says Generation Rescue

WASHINGTON, April 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Generation Rescue, a national organization of parents of autistic children, today launched a Web site (http://www.PutChildrenFirst.org) and full- page ad detailing newly-released internal documents about the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) efforts to minimize or cover up the connection between child vaccines and autism. Many parents and scientists believe that autism and other developmental disorders are caused by the toxic metal mercury, a key ingredient in a vaccine preservative called Thimerosal.

Other nonprofits that support the ad include the National Autism Association, Autism One, NoMercury, Moms Against Mercury and A-CHAMP. Tomorrow autism organizations and parents will participate in the Mercury Generation March, a rally in Washington, D.C., to demand answers. This controversy has been recently fueled by high-profile figures publicly calling for similar answers from the CDC, such as Senators Joe Lieberman (D- CT) and John Kerry (D-MA); Representatives Dave Weldon (R-FL), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Dan Burton (R-IN); Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; and radio and television host Don Imus of MSNBC.

The CDC is the agency responsible for the National Immunization Program. In the 1990s, the CDC's dramatic increases to the number of immunizations nearly tripled the amount of mercury injected into children-as much 125 times higher than federal safety standards.

Rates of autism also greatly increased during this period. The CDC estimates that more than 1 in 166 children are diagnosed with autism, up from 1 in 10,000 in the 1970s. According to the CDC, autism is a life-long disorder that is not treatable.

"Autism is a devastating disorder that affects millions of families," said J.B. Handley, one of Generation Rescue's founding parents and father of an autistic son. "To help children with autism and to prevent others from acquiring it, we need the CDC to stand up for our children. Sadly, the CDC would rather protect its own skin than our kids."

The full-page advertisement running in tomorrow's USA Today delivers a similarly blunt message: "If you caused a 6,000% increase in autism, wouldn't you try to cover it up, too?" To view the ad, visit: http://www.PutChildrenFirst.org.

Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), parents of autistic children acquired numerous emails, memos, transcripts and reports from the CDC, Food and Drug Administration, Institute of Medicine, and U.S. Congress. Some findings from documents never before released include:

-- A private email and spreadsheet from a CDC epidemiologist showing an extremely high correlation between autism and mercury received through vaccines, with the researcher writing that the correlation "just won't go away."

-- A CDC contract for $190 million to a lobbying firm to maintain the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which prevents access to the data through the Freedom of Information Act.

-- Emails from the CDC "frantically" searching for evidence to exonerate Thimerosal. Even though a Danish researcher highlights serious flaws in a Denmark study, the data is used.

-- A secret memo summarizing the cover up and a statement of charges recently shared with the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee and recommending Senate Hearings.

Previous FOIA discoveries include:

-- After a revelation that children were receiving up to 125 times the safe level of mercury, a private FDA memo worried that the CDC and FDA looked "asleep at the switch."

-- Transcripts of an emergency meeting held by the CDC for health officials that reveal statements like, "the number of dose-related relationships 1/8between Thimerosal and autism 3/8 are linear and statistically significant" and the need to keep the CDC data out of "less responsible hands."

-- Transcripts from committee proceedings of the Institute of Medicine, where members note that the CDC, who paid for their study, "wants us to declare these things are pretty safe on a population basis."

"This mountain of internal documents proves that the CDC knew that its ambitious vaccine schedule in the 1990s created America's autism epidemic," said Handley. "Every day the CDC denies that mercury from vaccines causes autism is another day proper treatment is ignored for the more than one million American children who could be treated."

The parents of Generation Rescue have helped heal their children through individualized medical treatments that remove mercury and treat the damages it causes young bodies. Generation Rescue's 300 families also serve as "Rescue Angels" and have helped 7,500 other families looking for advice on treating autism.

"The worst part about the CDC's deception is that parents are not hearing about real, medical treatments that can heal their children," said Lisa Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue. "In the last year alone, we have seen the inspiring improvements treatments can bring to our three-year-old son Jamie. He is talking more than ever, socializing and even has a best friend- all things doctors rule out for autistic children."

Thousands of children are recovering from autism through the Defeat Autism Now! Protocol-safe medical treatments that remove the mercury and other toxic metals and live viruses that vaccines inject into children. Mercury, the second most toxic element after plutonium, is 500 to 1,000 times more toxic than lead. The heavy metal burrows into the cells of the brain and other organs and can lead to serious central nervous system damage and neurological disorders.

"The symptoms of early infant mercury poisoning and autism are virtually identical," said Dr. Boyd Haley, chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky. "Furthermore, research indicates that autistic children genetically have a harder time excreting mercury from their bodies and that many of their biomedical problems could be caused by mercury."

"In a time when pregnant women are told not to eat fish because it might contain mercury, why in the world are we still injecting mercury into our children's bloodstream through vaccines?" asked Kevin Barry, President of Generation Rescue. "We are completely mystified about why the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics are fighting state laws trying to ban mercury in vaccines."

Generation Rescue is calling on Congress to recall vaccines with Thimerosal, ban it nationwide, and support Congresswoman Maloney's new bill to study the differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

The Age of Autism: Mercury ban opposed

By Dan Olmsted

Representatives of 22 medical organizations have written to all members of Congress opposing efforts to ban the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from vaccines.

"Our organizations respectfully wish to state our opposition to all legislative efforts at the federal and state levels to restrict access to vaccines containing thimerosal, an ethylmercury-based preservative," said the letter dated April 3 from "Multiple National Organizations that Support Safe and Effective Vaccines."

The groups said that banning the preservative in vaccines for children and pregnant women -- as several states have done and legislation in Congress proposes -- would "perpetuate false and misleading information that vaccines are not safe. Parents may see the banning of thimerosal as an admission that vaccine safety oversight is inadequate."

In fact, the letter said, "There has been considerable research on this issue since the 1999 precautionary statement of the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics and there is no documented scientific evidence that ethylmercury in the form of thimerosal in the doses administered in vaccines causes any risk to health."

The letter also cited concerns that bans could trigger "ongoing vaccine shortages or inability to deliver care. ... Limit the nation's inability to quickly administer influenza vaccine in the U.S. when a pandemic strikes. ... Lead to increased costs for vaccines. ... Add more complexity to our present vaccine delivery system. ... Profoundly affect global immunization programs, as do many U.S. vaccine policy decision."

At issue are concerns raised by parents and some scientists that increasing exposure to thimerosal in childhood vaccines during the 1990s may have triggered a huge rise in autism diagnoses. In 1999 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others recommended manufacturers phase out thimerosal as soon as possible to limit exposure.

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies said it found no connection and that future research should go to "more promising" areas.

Yet concerns have persisted, in part because some flu vaccines still contain thimerosal, and the CDC has recommended the vaccines for all pregnant women and for children ages 6 months to 5 years.

Those concerns have prompted several states -- including New York, Illinois, California, Iowa, Delaware and most recently Washington state -- to enact bans over the opposition of the CDC and state medical associations.

At the same time, pressure has mounted for more studies of potential health problems of thimerosal and vaccines in general. Last week U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said she will introduce a bill this month to force the federal government to study the autism rate in never-vaccinated American children.

In a letter to Congressional health policy staff that accompanied the groups' statement opposing a thimerosal ban, Diane C. Peterson of the Immunization Action Coalition said: "As you may be aware, recent media attention has been given to the role of thimerosal in vaccines and the development of autism. The 22 national organizations that have signed this letter, as well as many others, stand behind the enormous amount of scientific evidence that shows no link exists between thimerosal in vaccines and the development of autism.

"Please oppose all anti-thimerosal legislative proposals and help further (the) nation's work in protecting children and adults against vaccine-preventable diseases."

The signers include representatives of the following groups:

Ambulatory Pediatric Association; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Physician Assistants; American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; American College of Preventive Medicine; American Liver Foundation; American Medical Directors Association; American Pharmacists Association; Association of Immunization Program Managers; Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; Every Child by Two; Hepatitis B Foundation; Hepatitis Foundation International; Immunization Action Coalition; Infectious Diseases Society of America; National Coalition on Adult Immunization; National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases; Pediatric Infectious Disease Society; Society for Adolescent Medicine; Society of Teachers of Family Medicine; Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

E-mail: dolmsted@upi.com


2. Article A: Autism 'Epidemic' in Schools Called Illusory & Some Rebuttals to this “new study”

By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

An apparent increase over the past decade in the prevalence of children labeled as autistic in special education programs may be a phantom conjured by diagnostic substitution, according to an investigator here.

"My research indicates that the increase in the number of kids with an autism label in special education is strongly associated with a declining usage of the mental retardation and learning disabilities labels in special education during the same period," said Paul T. Shattuck Ph.D., MSSW, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Wisconsin

"Many of the children now being counted in the autism category would probably have been counted in the mental retardation or learning disabilities categories if they were being labeled 10 years ago instead of today," Dr. Shattuck added. He outlined his case for the rise in autism being due largely to diagnostic substitution in the April issue of Pediatrics.

His findings suggested that those who seek evidence of an increased incidence and prevalence of autism can't rely on special education's trends to support their claims, "because states don't all use a standard definition of autism, and there is considerable variability in classification of children into special education programs," Dr. Shattuck wrote.

He designed his study to determine whether the increase in the administrative prevalence of autism (i.e., prevalence as reported by various educational systems versus population-based surveillance) was accompanied by decreases in other diagnostic categories.

To do this, he conducted multiple analyses using data on children classified as having autism in special education programs beginning in 1994, after a new autism-reporting category mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was implemented in all but two states (those two, Massachusetts and Iowa, were excluded from the analysis).

He also drew on data published by the U.S. Department of Education on annual state-by-state counts of children ages six to 11 with disabilities in special education from 1984 to 2003.

He found that the average administrative prevalence of autism among children increased from 0.6 per 1,000 to 3.1 per 1,000 from 1994 to 2003.

During the same period, however, in all but five states the prevalence of mental retardation declined by 2.8 per 1,000, and the prevalence of learning disabilities dropped by 8.3 per 1,000. The declines in these two categories occurred despite the fact that from 1984 to 1993 there had been a level or gradual upward trend in each of the categories.

Additionally, the quality of the data was questionable, as suggested by the fact that "changes in the special education prevalence of autism varied tremendously among states despite a common federal mandate to create a separate special education reporting category for children with autism," Dr. Shattuck wrote.

Of note was the fact that as of 2003, the special education prevalence of autism was within the range of recent population-based estimates in only 17 states.

"The mean administrative prevalence of autism in U.S. special education among children ages six to 11 in 1994 was only 0.6 per 1,000, less than one-fifth of the lowest CDC estimate from Atlanta (based on surveillance data from 1996)," he commented. "Therefore, special education counts of children with autism in the early 1990s were dramatic underestimates of population prevalence and really had nowhere to go but up."

Dr. Shattuck also noted that some critics have used California as an example to refute the diagnostic substitution hypothesis, because in that state's social services system the increase in the prevalence of autism has not been accompanied by a change in the prevalence of mental retardation.

" California's special education and state service trends seem to mirror one another, thereby suggesting that California's experience has not been typical of the rest of the country," he wrote. "This finding does not minimize or invalidate what may actually be a very troubling pattern of change in California that merits additional study and intervention. However, the implications for national policy are clear: California's changes are unique and should not be the foundation for nationwide policy responses."

Catherine Lord, Ph.D., an authority on autism at the University of Michigan's Center for Human Growth and Development, who was not involved in the study, commented that it "highlights the need to consider the immediate implications for children's lives of the lag between scientific findings regarding the diagnosis and prevalence of autism, and state and school system policies."

Editors note: Please do not confuse Paul Shattuck (above) with Dr. Paul Shattock from the U.K. who has been a great friend to autism. I would also like to suggest Paul Shattuck leave his home and go to the store, the neighbor schools, the parks and just open his eyes to see the rise in autism.

Rebuttal #1 – Safe Minds - AUTISM COMMUNITY CALLS NEW STUDY IN JOURNAL PEDIATRICS MISLEADING, DECLARES AUTISM EPIDEMIC REAL -- Department of Education Data Inadequate to Determine Prevalence Over Time

A study appearing in the April 2006 edition of Pediatrics titled “Diagnostic Substitution and Changing Autism Prevalence” is being questioned by the autism community. The report, authored by Dr. Paul Shattuck, uses US Department of Education data to support the hypothesis that real autism rates have not increased over the last two decades, and that reported increases are a function of reclassification of students from learning disabilities and mental retardation categories. This theory has been rejected in a number of scientific studies. The autism community would like to see scientific studies based on more valid databases in order to determine accurate prevalence trends.

The autism parent organizations including SafeMinds, National Autism Association, A-CHAMP, and Generation Rescue see this latest article as part of a phenomenon of epidemic denial that inhibits open scientific investigation of autism’s causes and blocks allocation of needed resources into autism. The groups note that the prevalence of autism now far exceeds other high profile disorders such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and juvenile diabetes. They request that autism be recognized as a national emergency and that unbiased epidemiological studies be conducted that count both older and younger people with autism to see if the increases are real.

The paper’s use of Department of Education data to conclude no epidemic exists is troubling. The study author himself said that the data set is inconsistent and is subject to administrative and policy changes by the states. He notes that 28 of the 48 states included in the analysis do not support his theory of reclassification as a reason for autism increases. “Each state has its own rules and the autism rates by state vary greatly, so aggregating the state-level data to a US average is not good statistical practice,” explained Mark Blaxill of SafeMinds. “Other, more reliable data sets, like the California Department of Developmental Disabilities, do show a real increase in autism.”

Autism groups voiced support for the commentary by Dr. Craig Newschaffer that accompanies the Shattuck article in Pediatrics. This commentary makes a number of valid points regarding Dr. Shattuck’s approach and conclusions. The autism groups note that the hypothesis of reclassification, or “diagnostic substitution”, has been examined and rejected in several scientific papers as a likely major factor in reported autism increases. One study was authored by Dr. Newschaffer. A study by Robert Byrd and a study by Blaxill, Baskin and Spitzer have also ruled out diagnostic substitution.

For more information about the Shattuck study and autism prevalence please see the following links.

Pediatrics, Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics April 2006 Article: The Contribution of Diagnostic Substitution to the Growing Administrative Prevalence of Autism in U.S. Special Education, Paul T. Shattuck, Ph.D.. The April 2006 issue of Pediatrics was not available online at time of publication, but should be available soon here .

Pediatrics, April 2006 Commentary: Investigating Diagnostic Substitution and Autism Prevalence Trends, Craig J. Newschaffer, Ph.D. The April 2006 issue of Pediatrics was not available online at time of publication, but should be available soon here .

Pediatrics, April 2006, Commentary: Diagnostic Substitution and the Changing Autism Prevalence, Paul T. Shattuck, Ph.D. The April 2006 issue of Pediatrics was not available online at time of publication, but should be available soon here .

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders April 2003, Commentary: Blaxill, Baskin & Spitzer on Croen et al (2002), The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders April 2003, Response: A Response to Blaxill, Baskin & Spitzer on Croen et al (2002), The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California, Lisa A. Croen and Judith K. Gether

Public Health Reports, Nov-Dec 2004, What's Going On? The Question of Time Trends in Autism, Mark Blaxill, MBA

The Epidemic of Autism in California: Report to the Legislature of the Principal Findings from the Epidemiology of Autism in California: A Comprehensive Pilot Study, October 17, 2002, Robert S. Byrd, M.D., M.P.H., et al

Pediatrics, March 2005, National Autism Prevalence Trends from United States Special Education Data, Craig J. Newschaffer, Matthew D. Falb and James G. Gurney

Fighting Autism website for more information on Department of Education data.

Rebuttal #2

National Autism Association Points Out Possible Conflicts of Interest in New Study Denying Epidemic Rise in Autism Rates

New research relying on evolving diagnostic criteria to explain huge autism numbers fails to mention author’s potential conflicts

Nixa , MO -  A study published today in Pediatrics, “The Contribution of Diagnostic Substitution to the Growing Administrative Prevalence of Autism in US Special Education,” suggests that autism diagnoses haven’t actually risen over the past two decades, despite growing and credible scientific evidence to the contrary.  In addition to the study’s weak methods and erroneous conclusions, questions have now arisen over possible failure to disclose conflicts of interest and recent findings that data from previous autism projects with which current study author Paul Shattuck has been associated were fabricated. 

Although he was not personally implicated, Dr. Shattuck’s former research partner, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin’s Waisman Center, was recently disciplined by the Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity for scientific misconduct due to fabrication of data. Dr. Shattuck and others published several articles and delivered scientific presentations using data from the project in question. “We need to know the ramifications of the falsified information,” said Ann Brasher, NAA Vice President. “The autism community demands that the University of Wisconsin clearly identify all published documents that potentially contain false information.”

Additionally, Pediatrics failed to disclose a potential or actual conflict of interest.  Although the article states that Dr. Shattuck has indicated he has no financial relationships relevant to the article, NAA has learned that he was a Merck Scholar Pre-doctoral Trainee from 1999-2003, and in 2003-2004 he successfully applied for $530,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Given the rocky history of the CDC and the autism community, failing to mention the author’s ties to this agency is a glaring omission that requires an explanation,” commented NAA board chair Claire Bothwell.  “Clearly, the CDC has a vested interest in deflecting attention from the possibility that children injured by mercury-containing vaccines ended up with autism diagnoses which fueled autism rates off the charts.  It can’t come as a surprise to the Pediatrics board that any autism researcher’s relationship with the CDC is certainly noteworthy and should have been disclosed to readers.  It’s unclear at this time whether the failure to disclose is on the part of the researcher or the journal, but these issues must be resolved.”

For more information, go to www.nationalautism.org

Rebuttal #3 – From ASA

Study Denouncing Autism Epidemic Misses the Mark; ASA Calls for Studies Benefiting Families Now

BETHESDA, Md., April 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Autism Society of America (ASA), the oldest and largest grassroots organization serving the entire autism community, in response to a study by Dr. Paul Shattuck appearing in next week's edition of Pediatrics titled "Diagnostic Substitution and Changing Autism Prevalence," says the study takes the focus away from the real issue: autism is affecting millions of people and families who need help today.

"We need to move away from a dialogue about prevalence," said ASA President & CEO Lee Grossman. "Whether it's one in 166 children or one in 1,166 being diagnosed with autism, each and every one of those affected today and in the future must be helped."

According to the study, the rise in number of autism diagnoses is not evidence of an epidemic, but shows that schools are diagnosing autism more often. Shattuck claims that autism rates have not increased over the last two decades, and children identified by U.S. school special education programs as mentally retarded or learning disabled have declined with the rise in autism cases between 1994 and 2003, suggesting a diagnostic substitution. Shattuck says there may be unknown environmental triggers behind autism, and his research suggests the past decade's rise in autism cases is a result of poor labeling.

ASA Board of Directors Chair Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., said that "in 30 years of working in the autism community, certain realities have become increasingly clear. More individuals are receiving a diagnosis on the spectrum. The needs of these individuals and their families continue to grow. And finally, the lack of options and resources place an incredible stress on all and threaten the future of these individuals. Any study that diverts our focus or that diminishes the perception of this need hurts us all. I know of no family who has enough resources for their child, nor any adult who has all the supports he or she needs."

Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Ph.D., co-chair of ASA's Panel of Professional Advisors, noted that "the findings of Dr. Shattuck's study do not support the conclusion that there is or is not an autism epidemic. If we read more into this study than the findings support, we will be doing a disservice to the significant number of individuals with autism and their families who aren't mere statistics in a study, but rather, real people with real needs." Jim Ball, Ed.D., co-chair of ASA's Panel of Professional Advisors, added that regardless of Shattuck's study findings, more and more people are being diagnosed with autism and the focus must be on the services agenda.

"The fact remains that the numbers of those with autism have reached epidemic proportions, and we need to address this now," continued Grossman. "Let's put research into interventions, education and services for individuals with autism, not into a dispute about whether autism is being better labeled versus an epidemic."


The Autism Society of America (ASA) is the leading voice and resource of the entire autism community in education, advocacy, services, research and support. The ASA is committed to meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. ASA accomplishes its mission through close collaboration with a successful network of 200 chapters, and hundreds of thousands of members and supporters.

Contact: Kate Ranta of the Autism Society of America, 301-657-0881 ext. 120 or kranta@autism-society.org

2. Article B: March 30 Press Conference in D.C. – TWO ARTICLES


The self-described "wait a second" crowd is getting bigger. So named by parents and advocates of autistic children who believe the Institute of Medicine (IoM) has erred in ruling out a link between a vaccine ingredient and autism, it has the ear of a growing number of lawmakers who agree more research is needed to resolve whether there is a link. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., is the latest member of Congress to spotlight the issue, saying Thursday she will introduce a bill in late April requiring a study comparing children who have received vaccines with the ingredient, the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal, to those who are unvaccinated..

Maloney said such a study is needed because of stories written by United Press International editor Dan Olmsted reporting no cases of autism in unvaccinated Amish children and in some 30,000 children seen over the years by doctors in a Chicago-area HMO that does not vaccinate children. "To date, no autism study of note" has used a control group to compare children exposed to thimerosal in vaccines to unvaccinated children, she said.

However, IoM President Harvey Fineberg has defended the institute's review of data on the link as thorough, saying it's time to focus research on other possible causes of autism.

Other lawmakers also recently called for additional research. In a Feb. 22 letter, Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, reminded the new director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at the National Institutes of Health about report language in the fiscal 2006 Health and Human Services spending bill (PL 109-149) urging research on a possible thimerosal-autism link.

The report language said that conferees on the measure believe that a database maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could be helpful in resolving the issue. But because of skepticism on the part of parents "concerned with vaccine safety" about CDC's credibility on the issue, NIEHS not CDC should lead a study examining the Vaccine Safety Datalink database, the senators said in their letter, also signed by six House members.

Meanwhile, the number of co-sponsors on a bill introduced by Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., to bar the marketing of mercury-containing vaccines to children and pregnant women has grown to 72, with the number of

Republican and Democratic sponsors virtually the same. According to HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson, thimerosal has been removed from all children's vaccines other than for flu. Parents can request thimerosal-free versions, Pearson said.

Focus on a Best Seller

Helping to fuel the growing questions about the IoM's May 18, 2004, study is "Evidence of Harm," a New York Times best seller whose author David Kirby appeared with Maloney at a Washington press briefing Thursday. Kirby noted arguments by parents of autistic children that the IoM report relied on broad epidemiological studies rather than on biological research examining the impact of thimerosal at the cellular level.

Four of the five epidemiological studies examined the use of thimerosal in Europe, where lower doses of thimerosal were used in vaccines, Kirby said. And the IoM review did not examine subsets of children who for genetic reasons might be particularly vulnerable to neurological damage caused by mercury, Kirby added.

There has been growing biological evidence that "in a small subset of children with a certain genetic predisposition, they are unable to properly process the mercury they were exposed to," Kirby told TV newsman Tim Russert in an August 7, 2005, appearance on "Meet the Press." At Thursday's briefing, Kirby highlighted NIEHS-funded study results released March 21 linking thimerosal to cellular changes that could weaken the immune system in mice. It's important to examine tissues and animal models, not just epidemiology, Kirby said.

The IoM's View

IoM spokeswoman Christine Stencel said Thursday that while there have been additional biological studies, "they provide hints, they provide clues, of what should be explored further, but they do not necessarily equate to what is happening in the human body."

Fineberg told Russert on the "Meet the Press" broadcast that Kirby's emphasis on biological data was unwarranted. "When you're trying to assess a specific association, there are biological studies that are relevant, and there are epidemiological studies that are relevant. All of these studies are not equally valid," Fineberg said. The IoM committee that prepared the study "went through very carefully and assessed each of those studies representing its strengths and weaknesses." The epidemiological studies "were carried out in the United States, in Great Britain, in Denmark and Sweden," Fineberg said. "These studies covered hundreds of thousands of individuals, children, in these populations. They compared systematically in different ways whether you received vaccine with no thimerosal, with some thimerosal, with more thimerosal, and they looked at the relationship of those experiences with the development of autism. Uniformly, the best of those studies all show no association between receiving vaccine of different amounts with thimerosal or without and the development of autism."

Fineberg said "other avenues of research looking at other possible causes today are much more promising ways to spend our precious resources" trying to identify the causes of autism.

ASA Participates in Press Conference on Mercury and Autism
Thursday, March 30, 2006
By: Kate Ranta

ASA President & CEO Lee Grossman Discusses Autism Epidemic in America

BETHESDA, MD—March 30, 2006—The Autism Society of America (ASA)--along with Evidence of Harm author David Kirby, UPI journalist Dan Olmsted and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)--participated today in a press conference in Washington, D.C., on vaccines, mercury and autism. ASA President & CEO Lee Grossman briefed attendees, which included several media outlets, on the staggering numbers of those with autism in this country, the ever-growing numbers of children being diagnosed and the economic impact autism will have on America in the future.

"Autism is one of the most important health, social and economic crises in this country," Grossman said. "With over 60 new cases being diagnosed per day, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S. Currently, the annual cost to provide services to the autism community is $60-90 billion, but apparently only about 10% of costs are being met by the government agencies; unfortunately, the other 90% either comes directly out of parents' pockets, or services are not being provided. We estimate an enormous rise in the cost of autism to nearly $300-400 billion in coming years."

Grossman also outlined four key messages: 1) autism is treatable, 2) individuals with autism are recovering, 3) we need a shift in thinking about the importance of services and interventions for those with autism, and 4) individuals with autism deserve to receive appropriate services across the lifespan. He pointed out that autism is a lifelong condition--that most individuals live a normal life expectancy--yet the adult population with autism is terribly underserved. "With 1 in 166 children today being diagnosed with autism, we are going to see a tsunami effect of adults coming into a service sector that is grossly unable to serve of needs even of those today," he said, calling for more funding for adult services.

As for ASA's position on mercury and autism, Grossman made it clear that ASA supports greater funding for research into a connection, specifically clinically-based research rather than epidemiological. "ASA also believes that those injured by vaccines must be fairly compensated and receive appropriate services," he said. "We support legislation that removes thimerosal from vaccines, and were the first to support Rep. Weldon's bill calling for its removal."

Grossman noted that ASA is currently seeking answers through a $100,000 grant from the John Merck Fund to raise awareness about the broad range of environmental contributors to autism spectrum disorders. Given the increase in prevalence of autism and its implications, this project will focus on the possibility that neurotoxicants and other environmental health concerns are culprits in damaging the gene construct and triggering the symptoms known as autism, and raising awareness on this issue.


2. Article C: THREE New Installments in the AGE OF AUTISM by Dan Olmsted
The Age of Autism: Mercury creeps back in

By Dan Olmsted
UPI Senior Editor

WASHINGTON , March 17 (UPI) -- New calculations suggest children today can be exposed to more than half the mercury that was in vaccines in the 1990s, even though manufacturers began phasing it out in 1999.

Adjusted for a child's body weight at the time of the shots, there's virtually no reduction at all, according to this analysis.

The source: Flu vaccines, which have been recommended for millions more kids over 6 months old and pregnant women in the past few years. Most of those shots still contain the mercury-based preservative called thimerosal that some fear is behind a huge rise in autism diagnoses.

"It's been under the radar and it's allowed health officials to say, 'We've taken it out of all the childhood vaccines,'" said Dr. David Ayoub, an Illinois anti-thimerosal activist who put the data together along with Maryland researchers David Geier and Dr. Mark Geier.

"They don't consider influenza one of the mandated childhood vaccines yet," Ayoub said. But because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends flu shots for all pregnant women and all children between 6 months and age 5, doctors routinely give them.

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics urged in 1999 that manufacturers remove thimerosal from childhood vaccines amid concerns over mercury exposure from shots including hepatitis B and the diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus combination shot.

"Because any potential risk is of concern, the Public Health Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agree that thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible," they said in a joint statement at the time.

Since then, however, the CDC has significantly broadened its flu-shot recommendations. And the "coverage" rate -- the percent of those who actually get the recommended shots -- is rising as well.

The thrust of the numbers compiled by Ayoub and the Geiers: By 5, children exposed to an all-thimerosal schedule of flu shots would get 53 percent of the mercury the same kids got from all shots in 1999, they concluded.

Ayoub then calculated cumulative weight-adjusted mercury exposures at less than 5 years of age. That shows kids getting 36.34 micrograms of mercury per kilogram of body weight in 1999 -- and 33.2 from the influenza vaccine recommendations in 2006, or only about 10 percent less.

Of course, a lot has happened since 1999. Chiefly, the independent, prestigious Institute of Medicine ruled out thimerosal, and vaccines in general, as a cause of autism and said it wasn't worth the research money to keep exploring.

On the other hand, a University of Washington researcher showed twice as much ethyl mercury that comes from thimerosal gets trapped in the brain as does methyl mercury that comes from fish and pollution, and it stays there indefinitely. And the CDC study most often invoked to show that thimerosal isn't linked to autism was later pronounced a "neutral study" by its principal author, meaning more research is needed.

Plus, the autism rate has started to drop in California since thimerosal was removed. Finally, as we've pointed out, the CDC continues to research whether thimerosal causes autism -- that hasn't been "ruled out," nor has any other cause, a spokesman told us earlier this year.


The Age of Autism: Pay no attention
By Dan Olmsted

There's a Steely Dan album called Pretzel Logic that could be the theme song of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it struggles with concerns over vaccines and autism.

At least in our view, it is a bit twisted -- logically speaking – to simultaneously spend taxpayer money to keep studying whether a mercury preservative causes autism, yet recommend that pregnant women and children get vaccines containing that preservative. Especially so when alternatives are available that are free of the preservative, called thimerosal.

It is puzzling to urge, as the CDC did in 1999, that thimerosal ought to be phased out as soon as possible from all childhood vaccines used in the United States -- yet successfully fight efforts this year by state legislatures to codify a ban.

It is peculiar to issue an "Autism Alarm," as the CDC did in 2004 – then publish a 72-page annual report in 2005 that mentions the perils of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, cryptosporidiosis, leprosy and the four people "killed by rabies transmitted through transplanted organs or tissues in 2004," yet never use the word autism, not once. (Check it out at www.cdc.gov/cdc.pdf)

Perhaps the oddest, though subtlest, anomaly is the seeming resistance by the CDC to the idea that the autism rate might be declining.

Our last column reported a new study that suggests it could well be. The study's authors are firmly convinced a drop in autism cases in two separate government databases -- one run by the CDC, the other by the state of California -- proves thimerosal is the big culprit in autism. That's a step we're not ready to take, to the consternation of some in the anti-thimerosal movement.

But wouldn't even tentative signs of a decrease, for whatever conceivable reason, be welcome and hopeful?

Instead, the CDC seems keen to clobber any suggestion that autism might be declining. In Thursday's Boston-area Herald News Tribune, reporter Jon Brodkin quotes Dr. Robert Davis, director of the immunization safety group at the CDC, as saying: "I don't think this study can really be taken to provide any evidence one way or another."

Davis also said one of the databases the study authors used -- the CDC's own Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System -- is unreliable because anyone can report any health problem as a possible vaccine side effect.

Fair enough, but new cases in that database seem to be declining in tandem with new cases in California's special education system. And those California numbers are widely regarded as the most reliable count of full-syndrome, professionally diagnosed autism cases in the United States. P.S.: The most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Education also dropped.

But so what, say the CDC and others who are on record (and, let's face it, on the line) backing thimerosal to the hilt and asserting there is no connection between vaccines and autism.

"The Department of Education numbers are skewed, another official said, because the DOE did not make autism a separate diagnosis until the 1990s," Brodkin reported. "That led to an artificial increase because children who previously had different diagnoses were then considered autistic, said Dr. Marie McCormick, a Harvard professor who chaired an Institute of Medicine committee that dismissed any link between vaccines and autism."

What's intriguing is how all this dovetails with comments made last summer by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, at a press conference in Washington set up to defend vaccine safety. Here is the question she was asked: "Can you address the ... California study that basically showed that there was an increase in autism in direct relation to the 1990s when the series of vaccines were increased, and now since thimerosal has been taken out there is a slight decrease in autistic cases?"

Responded Gerberding:

"The California study, as you know, is an ongoing study and they are addressing the estimates of autism prevalence on a quarterly basis, sort of like the stock market bounces around a little bit. The most recent reading from that study is in fact that the rates are increasing, they have not shown a decline."

That's one way to look at it. Here's another, from reporter Thomas Maugh II in The Los Angeles Times on July 13: "The number of newly diagnosed cases of autism in California, which had been skyrocketing for more than a decade, has leveled off and may even be declining, according to new data compiled by the state Department of Developmental Services."

Some parents who listened in on Gerberding's comments did not like comparing the autism rate to the stock market. But the bigger issue is the odd, official resistance to the idea that any autism rate anywhere in the United States might be going down, however slightly, however inconclusively, however briefly.

So the VAERS data don't count, the California numbers are bouncing, the Department of Education stats are unreliable. Is any of this starting to sound like, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?" And do we all remember who said that?

E-mail: dolmsted@upi.com


The Age of Autism: Hot potato on the Hill

By Dan Olmsted
UPI Senior Editor

The newly proposed legislation to study the autism rate in never-vaccinated American kids could settle the debate over vaccines and autism once and for all. Does that mean it will never happen?

This week U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., stepped out front on the issue. She announced at a briefing at the National Press Club that she is drafting legislation to mandate that the federal government find the answer to that question.

Notice the word "mandate" -- as in "direct," which is the language the bill uses. As in, quit making excuses and just do it.

Bureaucrats and lobbyists and "experts" sometimes forget that the power in this country resides with the people, who express their will through their elected representatives. This may sound rather grand, but the point is that legislators are not some "special interest" who must be humored while the permanent ruling class goes on its merry way.

That's why putting a bill before the Congress -- which Maloney says she will do by the end of April after getting as much public comment as possible -- could be a bigger threat than people realize.

After all, as Maloney said this week, "Maybe someone in the medical establishment will show me why this study is a bad idea, but they haven't done it yet."

Maloney, who credits this column with the idea to look at the never-vaccinated, also critiqued the studies that supposedly have ruled out any link between vaccines -- particularly the mercury-based preservative thimerosal -- and autism.

"The one major government study to date, the Institute of Medicine's 2004 review, has been met with skepticism from a lot of people," she said. "There are serious questions about the data set and methodology.

"Meanwhile, there is new biological evidence published in top journals, and from major U.S. universities, to support the mercury-autism hypothesis. Just last week we saw the study out of UC Davis, which found that thimerosal disrupts normal biological signals within cells, causes inflammation and even cell death.

"In short," the congresswoman concluded, "I believe that there are still more questions than answers. But answers are what we desperately need."

Surely everyone's in favor of answers, aren't they? Well, no, they're not. Already, doubts are being raised about whether there are enough never-vaccinated kids to do such a study (there are); whether it's worth doing (it is); and what the results would really show (well, let's find out).

In fact, if the feds hadn't been contentedly dozing for the last decade as the autism rate inexplicably soared, we'd already have our answer.

Back in 2002 a woman named Sandy Gottstein, who does not even have an affected child, came all the way from Anchorage, Alaska, to raise this issue at a congressional hearing.

"My question is, is the National Institutes of Health ever planning on doing a study using the only proper control group, that is, never-vaccinated children?" Gottstein asked.

Dr. Steve Foote of NIH responded: "I am not aware of a proposed study to use a suitably constructed group of never-vaccinated children. ... Now CDC would be more likely perhaps to be aware of such an opportunity."

Responded Dr. Melinda Wharton of the CDC: "The difficulty with doing such a study in the United States, of course, is that a very small portion of children have never received any vaccines, and these children probably differ in other ways from vaccinated children. So performing such a study would, in fact, be quite difficult."

Another futile effort is recounted in David Kirby's book, "Evidence of Harm," which recounts parents' compelling stories that their children's regressive autism was triggered by vaccine reactions.

The book -- just out in paperback and winner of this year's prize from the prestigious Investigative Reporters and Editors -- describes how in 2004 Lyn Redwood of the advocacy group SafeMinds sent a list of proposed studies to Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla.

Weldon, a strong advocate of banning thimerosal, sent the list on to Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Redwood's proposal No. 1: "An investigation into the rates of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations (e.g., Amish, Christian Scientists.)"

Last year this column set out to test that theory among the Amish, in an unvaccinated subset of homeschooled kids and in a large medical practice in Chicago with thousands of never-vaccinated children. In this admittedly unscientific and anecdotal reporting, we didn't find very many kids with autism.

That's certainly not conclusive, but we did conclude there are plenty of never-vaccinated kids in this country, and not all of them are riding around in buggies and reading by candlelight. The total number of appropriate "controls" -- reasonably typical never-vaccinated kids -- is well into the tens of thousands, at least.

Nor is the issue pro-vaccines vs. no vaccines, as some who oppose such a study are subtly suggesting. It's safety vs. complacency.

After all, the CDC switched to an inactivated polio vaccine in 2000 when it became clear that the live polio virus was causing a handful of polio cases each year. And kids today are still protected from polio -- only now with zero chance of actually contracting it from the vaccine.

Switching to a safer vaccine did not cause a collapse in public confidence in childhood immunizations -- probably quite the contrary.

Expect to hear all kinds of excuses, including that one, from the powers that be as to why such a conclusive study couldn't, shouldn't and really mustn't be done. Then ask yourself, Why?


E-mail: dolmsted@upi.com


2. Article D: The High Cost of Autism Bill Would Force Private Insurers To Pay For Intense Therapy For Children

Four-year-old Winston Ridley can read.

When he was 20 months old, a doctor told Winston's mother that her son was a vegetable and would never be a contributing member of society.

Winston has autism. But thanks to treatment known as applied behavioral analysis, experts say, Winston has a chance to be a normal little boy and to grow into a fully functioning man.

Nearly 100 S.C. lawmakers are supporting a bill that would allow other children with autism to receive the same kind of treatment.

But the bill - with more than 80 co-sponsors in the House and another

16 in the Senate - is far from a sure thing. Insurers say the proposal would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and could hurt all S.C. residents.

Insurers say the higher costs would be passed along to consumers, making insurance too expensive for some as more mandatory coverages are added. They also say the measure would help only a slice of those who need it because it would not apply to at least 70 percent of the state's autism patients.

The legislation, proposed by Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland, would require insurers to cover treatment for autism and other conditions known as pervasive developmental disorders.

Committees in the House and Senate will consider the proposal in the next few weeks.

And - despite the fact that the bill would not help her son because of the type of insurance they have - Winston's mother will be there to tell legislators why it's so important: It's making her son better.

"This is my only shot," Marcella Ridley said of the therapy. "This is the only chance he's going to have."

Pay Now, Pay Later

The treatment is expensive. It can cost up to $100,000 annually and generally lasts up to five years.

Insurance companies do not cover the cost, and few S.C. families earn enough to pay for the treatment.

Marcella Ridley and a group of other parents of children with autism have spent weeks and thousands of dollars trying to convince lawmakers of the bills' merit. They have told lawmakers:

. The therapy works. Studies show nearly half of children who get at least 40 hours of therapy a week can be mainstreamed into first grade on time. Another 40 percent make substantial progress but still need treatment; the rest made minimal gains.

. It saves the state money. An autistic child who receives no treatment or not enough treatment almost always ends up institutionalized as an adult. That can cost the state up to $4 million per patient, studies have shown.

Seventeen other states have mandated some level of care for children with autism.

Making A Difference

The bills - sponsored by Ballentine and Sen. Ray Cleary, R-Georgetown, and based on an Indiana law - are straightforward: They require insurance companies to cover autism and autism-related disorders.

An estimated 2,000 S.C. children under age 18 have autism, according to the state government. The great majority are eligible for at least some care through Medicaid.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the state paid more than $20 million for autism care in fiscal year 2005.

But Medicaid does not provide the levels of intensive, one-on-one treatment that autism specialists recommend. Plus, supporters of the legislation say, some of the money is delivered through Department of Education programs that fall far short of the treatments that have proven to be most effective.

Talk of broader coverage, however, is raising concerns from insurance companies and business organizations. They say:

. The proposal costs too much. It would lead to higher premiums because insurers would pass higher costs on to employers and the insured.

This could cause smaller companies to stop offering insurance or to raise employee premiums to levels that make it too expensive.

. Benefits would be limited. Private insurers cover less than one-third of families with autistic children. The rest get coverage not addressed by the bills - through Medicare, some federal employee plans or large companies that find it cheaper to act as their own insurer - or have no health insurance.

Insurance companies "would like to help these parents, these unfortunate few parents that have children with autism," said Larry Marchant, an industry lobbyist. "But we also have an obligation to try and keep (the cost of) health care as low as we can.

"We don't want a situation where hard-working men and women in this state who can barely afford health insurance have to take on this mandate that everyone agrees would cause a huge cost increase in the market."

+ Read more: http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/14189191.htm

NOTE: If you have an interest in getting health insurance to cover treatments for autism in your state, contact Bob Krakow of A-CHAMP at rkrakow@earthlink.net -LS.


2. Article E: Legislation would help autistic students

Students and parents to receive the most up-to-date tools available

By Stephanie Bertholdo bertholdo@theacorn.com
Fran Pavley, Assembly member for the 41st District, said she will author legislation to create a statewide clearing house on issues regarding autism.

If passed, Assembly Bill 2513, or the California Autism Information and Professional Development Center, will operate under the state Department of Education. The center would ensure that the most current research and training is available to parents, public and private schools, regional support centers and other people or groups focusing on children with autism.

"The legislation will improve instruction for students with autism by providing parents and educators with up-to-date research and teaching methods," Pavley said.

Terilyn Finders, a Las Virgenes Unified School District Board of Education member, initiated the legislation in response to the dramatic rise in autism among California children.

Autism is not a rare disorder. In fact, autism is the fastest growing section of special education in California and the nation, according to the information sheet provided by Pavley's office.

Between 1998 and 2002, the number of students receiving special education services in California nearly doubled, from 10,360 to 20,377, according to the fact sheet distributed by Pavley's office to garner support for the legislation.

In 2004, an additional 4,427 students were added to the state's special education school rosters, representing an 18 percent increase in one year alone. Pavley notes the 2004 figure follows three years of rapid increases- 18, 20 and 25 percent-in school-aged children diagnosed with a special education need.

Pavley believes these numbers could actually be higher since the state currently has two reporting systems, the Department of Developmental Services and the California Department of Education.

Currently, California law requires that every child with special needs is eligible to receive educational instruction and services that address their condition at no cost to parents.

The new law goes further and specifically helps children with autism. Information will be shared, and the disseminated data will be research-based, current and considered the "best practice" by autism researchers, educators and other established professionals with expertise in this field.

Support for the legislation is growing. The California Association of Suburban School Districts and the Association of California School Administrators support the idea. Three local unified school districts-Las Virgenes, Los Angeles and Long Beach-officially support the measure.

Finders previously said that establishing a clearinghouse on autism would be an efficient use of time and money for all schools.

Finders championed the legislation when she became aware of the inequities between school districts on how children with autism are being served. After attending a workshop in Compton, she became convinced that children are falling through the cracks of the state school system, often because parents didn't speak English and didn't understand their rights. In economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, she said, some children have not been properly diagnosed with the disorder, or if diagnosed, they may not have been properly assessed, which would prohibit them from receiving proper treatment.

"The goal is to ensure that California provides the best instruction possible to children affected by autism," Pavley said.


2. Article F: CUSD Leadership Under Investigation

Orange County District Attorney Reviewing Evidence of Alleged Illegal Acts

 An investigation into allegations of illegal activities at the Capistrano Unified School District has been commenced.   The Orange County District Attorney’s office is leading the investigation.

 This past summer, residents throughout South Orange County sought to recall the entire school board based upon allegations of corruption and gross fiscal mismanagement.  More than 177,000 petition signatures seeking to remove the Trustees from office were delivered to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

Susan Schroeder, spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office confirmed the District Attorney has assigned a Deputy District Attorney to the case.  Schroeder also stated, “We are reviewing the evidence and witness statements.”       

 CUSD is led by Superintendent James A. Fleming, as well as seven elected Trustees (John Casabianca, Marlene Draper, Crystal Kochendorfer, Sheila Benecke, Sheila Henness, Duane Stiff and Mike Darnold).

On December 22, 2005, the Registrar announced it would not certify the recall claiming that not enough valid signatures from registered voters had been turned in.  Recall leaders are now questioning that decision.

 Thomas Russell, spokesperson for the CUSD Recall Committee, the organization that led the unprecedented recall campaign, was gratified and hopeful, “We hope that commencement of the District Attorney’s investigation brings us one step closer to restoring honesty, integrity and accountability into our public school system.” 

 Russell continued,  “The recall campaign uncovered compelling evidence of corruption at CUSD.   As a result, many citizens called upon law enforcement authorities to commence a full and complete investigation.  We believe those CUSD officials that have misled our community and violated the law must be removed from office, held accountable and brought to justice.”

Local elected officials had strong reactions to the commencement of the District Attorney’s investigation.

 Tony Beall, Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor Pro Tem , declared, “I believe a culture of corruption exists within the ranks of the CUSD leadership.  I urge the District Attorney to aggressively investigate all evidence of illegal activities and to vigorously enforce all the laws that may have been violated.”

 Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Frank Ury also reacted to the news.  “The arrogant treatment of parents and children by the leadership of CUSD has deeply troubled me over the past few years.  It is unacceptable for the CUSD Trustees to cut millions of dollars from school programs at the same time they are building themselves a $52 Million administration building.” Ury continued, “I look forward to the D.A.’s investigation to finally get some real answers for the residents of Mission Viejo.” 

James V. Lacy, Dana Point City Councilmember stated, "This is really a sad day for education in South Orange County.  The Trustees are due a presumption of innocence, but if the District Attorney's corruption investigation reveals any avarice at all in their Boardroom, big changes are going to be necessary to win back the confidence of parents, teachers, and the kids." 

 Rancho Santa Margarita City Councilman Gary Thompson stated that, “Based on my first hand experience and dealings with this district since we became a city, I can’t say I am surprised.  It is unfortunate that the people who have suffered the most from their mismanagement of public funds have been the children.”

Mission Viejo City Councilmember John Paul Ledesma said, “I am very concerned about the CUSD Trustees use of taxpayer dollars – from the 1999 bond measure to the $52 million dollar administration building!  If there is an investigation of other issues I trust that the District Attorney’s office will do a thorough job.”

 CUSD is one of the largest school districts in the State of California.  Founded in 1965, the district serves seven cities and several unincorporated areas in South Orange County, including, Dana Point, San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Wagon Wheel, Las Flores and Ladera Ranch.  Approximately 50,000 children are enrolled in CUSD public schools.

To learn more about these important issues, please visit our website at www.cusdrecall.com


3 Vaccine News

3. Article A: The Sting of Thimerosal in Autism

By James Ottar Grundvig
Special to The Epoch Times
- April 01, 2006

(The Epoch Times)

In the summer of 1980, I worked with a former New York City homicide detective on a construction crew. He had patrolled and survived the drug-infested streets of the South Bronx for two decades. But I remember him not for his toughness, but for something I will never forget: he was hyper-allergic to bees.

A bee sting was more of a death sentence to that ex-policeman than a knife or gunshot wound. If he didn't get immediate medical care after being stung, he would suffocate from the hives that closed his throat and blew up his skin like a strawberry.

I recall that story every day when I see my six-year-old autistic son struggle to make out a word, fail to use the laptop glidepad with his fingers, or stay focused for long stretches of time. Most people do not have life-threatening reactions to the venom in a bee's stinger; so too, most people do not have the immune reactions such as produced autism in my son. But the differences between the rare few whose immune systems are susceptible to bee stings and the children of the autism epidemic are as night and day.

For instance, people who have the genetic flaw that makes them defenseless against bees are numbers that grow at a constant rate with the population.

That, however, cannot be said of the vaccine-thimerosal-autism triangle that began in 1929, when the population of autistic spectrum disorder children (ASD) was zero. Fourteen years after the introduction of thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative then under the trade name Merthiolate) by the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, Leo Kanner at John Hopkins Medical Center diagnosed the peculiar behavior associated with autism in eleven kids for the first time. That was 1943. The following year in Switzerland, Hans Asperger identified another subgroup of high-functioning autistic children with Asperger's Syndrome.

Coincidence? Hardly. The circumstantial evidence between the timeline of thimerosal's introduction in vaccines and children having the disorder fourteen years later, and then further amplified by the parallel rise in the quantity of vaccines given and the explosion of the autism epidemic makes it overwhelming. Thimerosal and autism throughout the past century go hand and hand.

For the thirty years after autism was identified, it grew at the constant rate of 1-in-10,000 babies born. Although more prevalent than individuals who were allergic to bee stings, the number of autistic infants only grew if the population did. So when my generation had one or two vaccines in the 1960's, the rate of children having autism stayed the same. That would change, however, not from an increase in population, but due to the growing number of vaccines given to babies, most of which contained thimerosal.

In 1978, the CDC added the triple shot MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) to the growing baby immunization program. Although MMR as a "live-cell" vaccine does not contain thimerosal—because the mercury-based preservative as an antibacterial agent would kill the deactivated virus in the vaccine and thus render it impotent—it started a frightening, irreversible, and detrimental trend: Doctors began giving more vaccines, at younger ages, for many diseases to which babies wouldn't be exposed until later in life (hepatitis B), with the new vaccination protocols all blessed and sanctioned by the CDC. None of the new baby vaccines was backed by a single study on its individual safety; nor was a single study done on the safety of the multiple vaccinations now given.

By the 1980s, my nieces and nephews received 8-9 vaccines when the U.S. resident population was 236 million people. By 1978, the rate of autism had increased four times, going from the previous rate of 1-in-10,000 to 1-in-2,500. Over the next ten years, the autism rate would climb again to 1-in-1,000 in 1991, when the DTP triple shot and hepatitis B were added to the vaccine chart, both of which contained thimerosal.

By the end of 2000, the year when my son was born, the rate mushroomed yet again to 1-in-250. Not only did the population of ASD children grow, so did the total number of vaccines given to babies, including my son, from about ten in 1990 to 22 vaccines or more today. The result of this ill-advised, force-fed mandate has been catastrophic. The rate of children born with ASD has increased again to 1-in-166, or 1-in-150 in many parts of California, Florida, and New Jersey.

In short, the occurrence of autism has increased at a rate of 1,700% over the past twenty years or more than 6,000% over the past thirty years. Meanwhile, the U.S. population during the past twenty years has grown from 236 to 300 million people, or at the rate of 21%. Still, the U.S. government, which has allowed to this very day the continued use of mercury (in infant flu shots) and thereby sanctioned the poisoning of infant's bodies, doesn't get the one underlying fact about autism: ASD children have disastrous reactions to thimerosal.

Once they are contaminated, they cannot excrete heavy metals out of the system.

Like the bee sting that could topple a Goliath or a hardnosed NYPD detective, no amount of thimerosal, no matter how minute, would ever be safe in the bodies of infants predisposed to autism. Trace amounts in susceptible newborns can damage a nervous system at once vulnerable and beginning to develop. But unlike bee stings, there is no serum or medication to reverse the poison. That's because thimerosal is even more insidious—it is a neurotoxin embedded in the brains, organs and tissues in its heavy metals form.

So if the rape of a child is against the law, then why isn't poisoning babies a crime? If an individual chose to poison another person with ricin, rat poison, anthrax, or even mercury from a thermometer, that individual would be sent to jail. So why is the use of thimerosal in 2006 not banned as a toxin in babies?

To answer this question and to see why the immunization mandates were imposed that caused the recent explosion in autism rates, one needs to understand the incestuous relationship between the agencies and institutions that should be protecting our children: the FDA, CDC, and the big pharmaceutical companies. The key to that relationship is greed.

By shielding big pharmaceutical companies from prosecution, by preserving the continued use of thimerosal in vaccines, by passing the financial liability from the perpetrators to the victims and their states, the U.S. Government, from the CDC and the FDA to Congress and the White House, have failed an entire generation of children.

The ugly truth about autism—it's here to stay.


3. Article B: Vaccine-autism link firmed up

Disease declines since removal of a mercury-based preservative from many vaccines

By Michael Arnold Glueck – ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

A new study shows that autism is probably linked after all to the use of a mercury-based preservative in childhood vaccines.

This writer has previously commented on a suspected mercury-autism link and takes some solace in the hope that this new information will clarify the causes of autism, which afflicts many of our children and grandchildren.

An article in the March 10 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS.org) shows that since mercury was removed from the vaccines, an alarming increase in reported rates of autism and other neurological disorders in children not only stopped, but actually dropped by as much as 35 percent.

Authors and independent researchers David A. Geier Mark R. Geier analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and the California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) for their study, "Early Downward Trends in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Following Removal of
Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines."

From 1989 to 2003, there was an explosion of autism. The incidence of autism (and other related disorders) went from about 1 in 2,500 U.S. children to 1in 166. There are more than 500,000 autistic children in the United States.

In California, reported autism rates peaked in May 2003. If that trend had continued, the rate would have skyrocketed by the beginning of 2006. But, in fact, the Geiers report that the number actually went down – with a real decrease of 22 percent.

This analysis directly contradicts 2004 recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which examined vaccine-safety data from the CDC's National Immunization Program. The IOM, not willing to either rule out or corroborate a relationship between mercury and autism, soft-pedaled its findings.

Geier and Geier wrote: "The IOM stated that the evidence favored rejection of a causal relationship between Thimerosal (mercury-based) and autism, that such a relationship was not biologically plausible and that no further studies should be conducted to evaluate it."

As more and more vaccines were added since 1889 to the mandatory schedule of vaccines for children, the dose of the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal rose, so that the cumulative dose injected into babies exceeded the toxic threshold set by many government agencies. Mercury is known to damage nerve cells in very low

The Iowa Legislature banned Thimerosal from the state after it documented a 700-fold increase in cases in Iowa. California followed suit, and 32 states are considering doing so.

Up until about 1989 preschool children were given three vaccines: polio, DPT, MMR). By 1999 the CDC recommended a total of 22 vaccines before the first grade, including hepatitis B, which is given to newborns within 24 hours of birth. Many of these vaccines contained mercury. In the 1990s approximately 40 million children were injected with vaccines containing mercury. The cumulative amount of mercury in the total recommended vaccinations would be 187 times the EPA daily exposure limit.

In 1999, on the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S. Public Health Service, Thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines as a "precautionary" measure – i.e., without admitting to any causal link between Thimerosal and autism.

While now out of many childhood vaccines, Thimerosal is still routinely added to some formulations of flu (influenza) vaccine administered to U.S. infants, as well as to several other vaccines (e.g., tetanus-diphtheria and monovalent tetanus) administered to older children and adults.

Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), said, "Concerns about mercury and sushi have gotten a lot more play in the press than mercury and autism.

"Though epidemiological findings are always problematic to interpret, we have the equivalent of a 'challenge/dechallenge' experiment. Autism rates, as measured by two independent government databases, went up as mercury dose increased and are going down as mercury dose decreases," Orient said.

Unfortunately, we may be imprudently undertaking a "rechallenge" phase by mandating Thimerosal-containing influenza vaccine for children. As a consequence, assessing the safety of Thimerosal-containing vaccines remains a matter of significant importance.

Until there is solid scientific evidence to the contrary, parents would be wise to avoid all mercury-containing vaccines. When we make decisions regarding the future health of our children and grandchildren – and the well-being of our families – why take any risk?

About the author
The Newport Beach physician writes on medical-legal issues and is a Visiting Fellow in Economics and Citizenship at the International Trade Education Foundation of the Washington International Trade Council.


3. Article C: Congressional Leaders Finally Speak Out About Thimerosal and Mercury In Vaccines

"Many of us in Congress are concerned about the possibility of an association between autism and thimerosal in vaccines." From 2/22/06 Congressional letter to NIEHS


In a groundbreaking move, the U.S. Congress has enacted legislation aimed at investigating the association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. In an effort to represent the interests of our children the A-CHAMP's (Advocates for Children’s Health affected by Mercury Poisoning) legislative team worked with Congress to pass this unprecedented legislation. The aim of the legislation is to create independent research into the Vaccine Safety Datalink _ the secret government database that may hold the key to the vaccine-autism controversy.

In December 2005, Senator Joseph Lieberman ( Connecticut) listened to the concerns of parents and troubling questions brought to him by A-CHAMP. In response Senator Lieberman consulted with his colleagues, and obtained support for the following language to be included in the Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill:

To the National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences

The conference agreement includes $647,608,000 for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as proposed by the House instead of $667,372,000 as proposed by the Senate.

The conferees urge NIEHS to work with CDC and expert independent researchers on research that could identify or rule out any association between thimerosal exposure in pediatric vaccines and increased rates of autism. The conferees believe that the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a CDC-constructed database that follows 7 million immunized children from 1990 to present, could be helpful in the research, especially regarding pre-2001 VSD data and post- 2000 VSD data, since thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines in 2001. The conferees urge NIEHS and CDC to organize a workshop by May 2006 to explore the research possibilities and scientific feasibility of such a study and report back to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees soon after.


To ensure that the intent of Congress is followed, a bi-partisan letter sent by Congressional leaders in the House and Senate was sent to David Schwartz, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Among other very strong statements the letter says the following:

"If the federal government is going to have a study whose results will be broadly accepted, such a study cannot be led by the CDC."

Independent research is important because the management of the CDC itself may be called into question should a thimerosal-autism link be established.

The rest of the letter is just as good. Read it for your self. Read the entire letter at


Vaccines the subject of new Congressional investigation

By Jon Brodkin/ Daily News Staff
Friday, March 17, 2006

Congress has asked for a new investigation into a potential link between mercury-containing vaccines and autism, as some lawmakers claim the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has inadequately researched the topic.

    "If the federal government is going to have a study whose results will be broadly accepted, such a study cannot be led by the CDC," Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and seven other members of Congress wrote in a letter to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

    A budget appropriation approved by Congress urges the NIEHS to examine the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a CDC database that follows 7 million immunized children from 1990 to the present.

    Some lawmakers believe a new review of this database may show a link between autism and thimerosal -- a vaccine preservative containing mercury.

    A local parent who said he believes his two autistic children were harmed by vaccines applauded Congress for requesting a new investigation. The parent, Jared Hansen of Framingham, said he thinks the CDC is reluctant to expose dangers of thimerosal because the agency is responsible for ensuring public acceptance of its vaccination program.

    "They've proven far more willing to overstate the risks of disease and understate the danger of vaccination," Hansen said. "No one in their right mind can say that giving mercury intravenously is a smart thing to do."

    Autism rates soared during the 1990s when thimerosal was most heavily used in childhood vaccines. Levels of mercury injected into infants were 120 times greater than federal safety limits for oral ingestion of mercury, congressmen wrote to the NIEHS.

    Government officials asked manufacturers in 1999 to remove the mercury-based preservative from vaccines, but it is still used in flu and tetanus shots.

    CDC's research on the Vaccine Safety Datalink is flawed, Lieberman and his colleagues wrote, because it "was based on data collected prior to the removal of thimerosal and failed to explicitly compare the outcome of children who received thimerosal-containing vaccines with those who did not."

    The CDC refused to comment on the criticism of its research.

    But Dr. Marie McCormick, a Harvard professor who chaired an Institute of Medicine committee in 2004, said the group ran several analyses of the CDC data and found no link between thimerosal and autism.

    "Nothing you could do changed the results," McCormick said. "The results of the...study have been replicated in England. They found no association between thimerosal and other neurodevelopmental disorders."

    In the letter to NIEHS, members of Congress criticized the IOM for relying heavily on European data, even though American children were exposed to mercury at levels 75 percent greater than in Europe.

    The letter was not signed by any Massachusetts congressmen. But U.S. Rep. Martin Meehan, D-5th, said he agrees with its content and would have signed on had he been aware it was being written.

    "Mercury is known as a brain poison and in the 1990s a greater number of children were being exposed to mercury (in vaccines)," Meehan said. "I think this is a serious public health concern and we need more research."

    A spokeswoman for the NIEHS could not be reached for comment.

    (Jon Brodkin can be reached at 508-626-4424 or jbrodkin@cnc.com.)


3. Article D:

Thimerosal Update: The CDC's Scarlet Letter

By Bobbie Manning in Mothering Magazine.

March is roaring in like a lion for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as the controversy surrounding the autism thimerosal debate is capturing the attention of the media in a flurry of news stories:

On March 1, a new peer-reviewed study published by Association of American Physicians and Surgeons found autism rates declining following the removal from thimerosal (mercury) from childhood vaccines. The study was widely reported and was even picked up and reported by radio commentator icon, Paul Harvey, _the link between mercury & autism has been confirmed."

Prepublication copy of the article is posted at www.JPandS.org which includes links to the VAERS and CDDS databases.

Also on March 1, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. jumped back into the thimerosal controversy with an article disclosing newly obtained letters written in

1999 between vaccine manufacturer SmithKline Beecham (SKB) and CDC Director Jeffrey Kaplan. In the documents SKB offers to supply mercury-free DtaP vaccines for the entire U.S. pediatric population through 2000. In response, Director Kaplan does not accept the manufacturers offer and states, the CDC will _continue to provide States with a choice among currently licensed brands of DtaP vaccine_. Basically saying, thanks but no thanks.

Recognizing the failure of the CDC to make child safety a priority, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. joined with parent advocacy organization, A-CHAMP (Advocates for Children’s Health affected by Mercury Poisoning) in calling for a senate hearing to investigate CDC's failure to remove mercury from vaccines when they had the opportunity and responsibility to do so. Kennedy’s article, the documents and A-CHAMP joint press release are available at http://www.a-champ.org/cdcmercuryremoval.html In a press release, the National Autism Association (NAA) called for an investigation and released information accusing the CDC of violating The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws in order to obtain the confidential school records of autistic children, for a secret autism study. NAA reported, _A former employee of the Arkansas school district informed the child’s family of the secret gathering of information after the fact, indicating that school personnel had been expressly forbidden to inform parents of the study, or that confidential records had been accessed and re-typed._ For more information, go to www.nationalautism.org

The CDC's reputation took another hit with back-to-back articles challenging CDC credibility.

Following up on a series of stories on autism, reporter Jon Brodkin, disclosed in a front page article that in the early 1990_s, long before thimerosal was on anyone’s radar, before parents were questioning thimerosal's safety, before there were any law suits filed, public health officials were already seeing reports of autism following vaccination in the government owned Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

In an article posted on the Huffington blog, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. took issue with the CDC’s flu vaccination recommendation that would include children from 2 to 5 years old. Kennedy’s article points out there are not enough mercury-free vaccines to cover the 17 million children that fall into this recommendation and that CDC is not asking companies to provide more mercury-free flu vaccines even though they have the ability to do so.

Kennedy states, "Sanofi has said that the company was prepared to double production of thimerosal-free children's flu vaccine, but that there were no requests from CDC or the State Health Departments that it do so._ The Kennedy article highlighted a reverse in policy to limit the amount of mercury given to infants and children.

All of these news reports come on the heels of an organized campaign by public health agencies aimed at stopping the legislative efforts to ban thimerosal at the state level. In Colorado, Maryland, Ohio and Washington opponents to the thimerosal legislation mounted aggressive campaigns to influence state legislators against the bills. Among those actively working to defeat the thimerosal bills are the States Department of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, physician groups and CDC officials. Parents and concerned citizens have been critical of the fact that these same agencies advocated for the removal of thimerosal in 1999, but are now mounting a vigorous defense for its continued use. The Colorado Health Committee killed the legislation with a 6-1 vote. Maryland and Ohio are still pending. Washington’s legislation just passed and it now awaits the Governor’s signature.

In conjunction with the Defeat Autism Now! Conference, parents and activists will hold a rally/ protest on Capital Hill on Thursday, April 6th. Details for The Mercury Generation March are available at www.themercurygenerationmarch.org


3. Article E:

Chiron Recalls, Withdraws Measles Vaccine

Mar 16, 12:10 PM (ET)

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (AP) - The biotech company linked to recent flu shot shortages said Thursday that it was recalling and withdrawing a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine it supplies to developing countries and Italy because of a higher rate of adverse effects than similar vaccines.

Chiron Corp. (CHIR) said about 5 million doses of the Morupar vaccine were distributed to developing countries in 2005, and about 450,000 doses were distributed in Italy.

The company said the side-effects included fever, allergic reactions and glandular swelling, which occurred just after inoculation.

Chiron said in a statement the reactions do not indicate any long-term risk and that the recall and withdrawal were a precaution.

The recall does not affect its other vaccines, Chiron said.

Emeryville-based Chiron set off a public health panic in 2004 when it failed to deliver half the nation's expected 100 million flu shots after British regulators discovered contaminated vaccine at its Liverpool, England, manufacturing plant.

Last fall, Chiron Corp. again said it wouldn't be shipping as many flu shots as it initially had hoped, saying production delays and decreased output occurred after it made repairs at its Liverpool plant.

Chiron has said it delivered 13 million flu vaccine shots in 2005, well below the 18 million to 26 million doses it had initially planned to make.

Chiron said it will work closely with the World Health Organization to conduct a risk-benefit analysis to see if the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine should be re-released in limited quantities.

The recall prompted the company to lower its fourth-quarter results by 3 cents per share.

The company revised its earnings to $138 million, or 68 cents per share, from $144 million, or 71 cents a share, for the fourth-quarter, and to $180 million, or 94 cents per share, from $187 million, or 97 cents a share, for the year. Chiron reported results in late January.

The Morupar vaccine booked $10 million in sales for 2005. Chiron wrote off about $6 million of Morupar inventory for 2005 and recorded $1.7 million of reserves for anticipated product returns.

Shares of Chiron fell 6 cents to $45.64 in midday trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market.

The Federal Trade Commission has approved the company's acceptance of a $45-per-share buyout offer from Swiss drug maker Novartis AG. (NVS)

Novartis already owns 44 percent of Chiron and has offered $5.1 billion in cash for the rest of the stock. The two companies hope to close the deal in the first half of this year, but four shareholders owning a combined 17.5 percent of the company oppose the deal as too cheap.

One of those shareholders, ValueAct Capital, said Wednesday it will call for the ouster of Chiron Chief Executive Howard Pien if he backs Novartis' bid and the shareholders turn it down.

"If Howard Pien is going 'on the road' to argue for the appropriateness of the Novartis offer, we can only conclude that our confidence in him has been betrayed, and that he has chosen not to accept responsibility for maximizing shareholder value," ValueAct partner G. Mason Morfit wrote in a letter to Pien and the Chiron board.


3. Article F:

No To Mercury In Vaccines – Washington Becomes 7th State to Ban It

By Kathie Durbin, Columbian


For Mary Ann Newell, Monday brought a sweet reward.

The tireless anti-mercury activist from Vancouver traveled to Olympia at the invitation of Gov. Chris Gregoire to witness the signing of a bill that will bar vaccines containing more than trace amounts of mercury for pregnant women and children younger than 3.

On July 1, 2007, when the bill takes effect, Washington will join at least six other states that have similar laws on the books.

"It's amazing that a few people really can make a difference," said Newell, a regular in Olympia during the past two sessions as the measure worked its way through the Legislature. "I'm so proud we have done this. But it's just a start."

Also attending Monday's bill-signing were Garry and Maria Lund of Vancouver and their 7-year-old son, Kyle. Garry Lund, a design engineer at Hewlett-Packard Co. in Vancouver, said his son developed a severe form of autism after receiving vaccines containing thimerosal, a preservative that contains about 50 percent organic mercury. Kyle underwent treatment to remove mercury from his system and now exhibits only mild symptoms of autism, Lund said.

Though science hasn't established a conclusive link between thimerosal and autism, parents such as Lund are convinced it exists. He told Kyle's story to a Senate committee last year when he testified against injecting small children with mercury.

"I just want to thank (Gregoire) for protecting our children," Lund said Monday. "That's what it comes down to. If we're going to do vaccinations, I want them to be safe."

It's been 10 years since Newell went public with her own mercury horror story. In the mid-1990s, she began experiencing mysterious and painful symptoms: Her teeth and tongue hurt, the right side of her face hurt, her taste was impaired and she had too much saliva.

The dentists and medical specialists she visited refused to take her symptoms seriously. At last she found a dentist who helped her solve the mystery of her aching mouth: her gold crowns were coming into contact with the mercury in her fillings and producing a galvanic reaction that felt like an electrical current.

"I felt like I was being electrocuted," she recalled. Tests of her hair, blood and urine confirmed mercury poisoning. She spent $7,700 having

11 of her mercury-laden amalgam fillings removed and replaced with a nonmercury composite.

"The morning after the fillings were removed, my tongue didn't hurt, I could sleep on the side of my face and my excess saliva went away," she recalled. Newell later underwent chelation therapy to remove mercury from her body.

Sometime during her ordeal, her sister gave her an article from Mothering Magazine entitled "A Mouth Full of Mercury." She began reading up on amalgam fillings, which contain 50 percent mercury. A growing number of consumers refuse to let dentists put amalgam fillings in their teeth because they fear mercury will leach into their bodies. The American Dental Association says amalgam fillings are safe.

In 1998, while researching the health hazards of mercury, Newell learned that many of the vaccines given to small children contained the preservative thimerosal, which is half mercury. As she studied the issue further, she found out that the number of thimerosal-containing vaccines given to children had increased dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s. In the late 1990s, doctors and educators began recording a startling increase in the number of young children diagnosed with autism.

She was outraged. Her husband said, "Quit singing to the choir." So she did.

Newell joined forces with the Mercury Awareness Team, led by Ann Clifton of Olympia and Christy Diemond of Woodinville, which was lobbying for a bill to get mercury out of childhood vaccines. She wrote letters to newspapers (37 to The Columbian alone since 1996), buttonholed lawmakers, even persuaded her Republican precinct caucus to support a resolution calling for an informed-consent law on mercury fillings.

+ Read more:
+ http://www.columbian.com/news/localNews/03282006news16366.cfm


4. TACA – Want to get involved? Join a new committee!

TACA is recruiting members for two new committees -- the Parent Advisory Committee and the TACA Fundraising Committee.

TACA Parent Advisory Committee will meet twice a year to review TACA's mission and programs to ensure we are meeting objectives and the needs of the communities. The committee will evaluate current programs and make recommendations to the Board for new programs. This committee will also be responsible for helping review and process applications for a new program, to be launched later this year, called Families in Crisis.

Committee Qualifications: 1) Must have a family member with autism 2) Be willing to commit the time needed for committee meetings and assigned tasks 3) Have regular attendance at TACA meetings (at least 3 per year) and most importantly, 4) really want to help our children and families!

If you are interested in serving on the Parent Advisory Committee, please contact Lisa Ackerman.

TACA Fundraising Committee will meet four times per year and works to raise the funds that supports TACA's missions. The committee will help develop and evaluate the fundraising plan, support fundraising events, help identify prospects, and assist us in creative ways to secure donations that will enable us to do as much as we possibly can for families dealing with autism in California.

Committee Qualifications: 1) Must be enthusiastic!!! 2) Be willing to commit the time needed for committee meetings and assigned tasks 3) Have regular attendance at TACA meetings (at least 3 per year) and most importantly, 4) really want to help our children and families!

If you are interested in serving on the Fundraising Committee, please contact Violette Prentice

We want to hear from our members as to how we can better serve them. Please let us know if you are interested! Thank you!


5. TACA Surveys due!

In order to provide the seven TACA meeting locations with topics our members want to hear more about, we do annual surveys of interest.

We would like to hear from you. If you would like to participate in this survey you can in two ways:

    • at TACA meeting locations, you can pick up a survey form
    • Email us for your own survey form to fill out and mail back to TACA.

Thanks for helping us provide relevant and important meeting topics for our members!


6. Vendor Announcements


I'm very excited to let you know I've reopened the store at a new location. We are located in Los Alamitos on the border of Seal Beach. This store carries many of the gluten free, casein free items our kids need.

Store info:
Los Alamitos Nutrition
4292 Katella Ave.
Los Alamitos Ca 90720

EXTREME SPORTS CAMP – A summer camp experience for Autism Athletes

For many teens and preteens, summer is a time to immerse themselves in rigorous sports activities which challenge the mind and body. Now, children and teens with autism can have the same opportunities.

Extreme Sports Camp is an overnight summer camp in Aspen, Colorado, where older children with autism spectrum disorders can safely engage in sustained physical activities and find personal growth through a supportive, individualized, and adaptive program of recreational sports.

Registration is open now!
Camp Dates & Activity Schedule

  • Session I: June 11-17 Travel camp – water skiing on Lake Powell with houseboat
  • Session II: July 9-15 Specialty camp – dance, gymnastics, plus other sports
  • Session III: July 30-August 5 Specialty camp – rock climbing, ropes course, plus other sports
  • Session IV: August 6-12 General (all sports)
  • Session V: August 13-19 General (all sports)
  • Session VI: August 20-26 General (all sports)

Additionally, Extreme Sports Camp is looking for Junior & Adult Counselors for Summer 2006.

Please visit our website for complete information and camper/counselor enrollment forms. We look forward to seeing you in Aspen Colorado!

Elizabeth Miller
Executive Director
email: info@extremesportscamp.org
phone: 970-920-3695
web: http://extremesportscamp.org

The 2006 Lanterman Act “printable pdf” edition is now available on the DDS Home Page (link, below). Please note that DDS is not printing the Lanterman Act booklets this year. We hope to make hard copies available in 2007, however. For those of you that utilize “searches” of the Lanterman Act, the search function now works with the Lanterman Act pdf.

Please feel free to distribute this information to co-workers and constituents. Special thanks to DDS Information Systems for putting this on the Home Page so quickly.

Thank you.

2006 Lanterman Act ( PDF)  (216 pages/620 KB)
This is a print ready, searchable Adobe PDF document complete with footnotes prepared by the California Legislative Counsel . It includes both the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act and the California Early Intervention Services Act and incorporate changes to these acts as of January 1, 2006.

  • Note: Due to budget limitations, DDS will not be printing the Lanterman Act booklet this year.


Dr. Rochelle Neally is offering a complimentary 2-week study for any parents interested in having their autistic children try chiropractic therapy.  She is offering 2 weeks of care for free if they can commit to bringing them 3 times a week or 6 times and she can use their information for a short study on autism and chiropractic.  You can contact her at (562) 480-7795 if you are interested in participating in the study or if you have more questions regarding the study.

Dr. Neally is located in the Long Beach area.

Note:  Dr. Neally has spoken at several of our meetings.  She is also a DAN! Doctor and follows the DAN! protocol.  I have received good reports from parents who have taken their children to see Dr. Neally.


7. Books & Web sites


Evidence of Harm
by David Kirby -




Author David Kirby is cited for “careful and meticulous reporting” in his book on thimerosal and autism

NEW YORK , March 28, 2006 – “Evidence of Harm – Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic” ( St. Martin’s Press – Paperback edition March, 2006) has been awarded the “Investigative Reporters and Editors 2005 Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting in a Book,” the organization announced today.

“I am honored to be recognized by such a prestigious jury of my peers,” Kirby said. “I hope this award will inspire other investigative writers to follow their leads and their hunches, and to report on all controversial topics that warrant a closer look. Thankfully, freedom of the press survives in America.”

In their comments, award judges – comprised of some of the most experienced investigative journalists in the country – noted that, “Kirby told the story of stonewalling, denial and cover-up by federal regulators, medical groups and the pharmaceutical industry.” And, they added, “He documents covert efforts by some of those same powerful forces - along with the U.S. Congress - to grant blanket immunity for drug companies that put mercury in vaccines.”

“Like so many scientific controversies involving complex science and big business, the topic is controversial. Kirby's careful and meticulous reporting is exemplary in its balance, accuracy and documentation,” the judges said.

IRE, founded in 1975, is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to training and supporting journalists who pursue investigative stories and operates the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, a joint program of IRE and the Missouri School of Journalism. IRE Awards will be presented during the Saturday, June 17, luncheon at the 2006 IRE Annual Conference in Fort Worth. More information on IRE and the awards can be found at http://www.ire.org/contest/05winners.html.

“Evidence of Harm” is also a finalist for the The New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism . The winner will be announced at a special luncheon at the Library on May 10, 2006.


Living Your Best Life with Asperger's Syndrome - How a Young Boy and His Mother Deal with the Challenges & Joys of Being Eleven, Brilliant and Socially Absent, authored by Karra Barber is out April 1, 2006.  Karra facilitates a monthly ASD parent support group in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Often, she arranges guest speakers (free) to discuss topics relevant to those on the autistic spectrum. All other parent resource information is listed on her ASD web site www.AspergersResource.org

About The Book Effectively accommodating the social and academic needs of children on the autistic spectrum is an important task in every school. This book is a practical guide to benefit parents, teachers, Local Education Authorities and international autism organizations. Each chapter provides a summary followed by anecdotal stories that illustrate a point, describing how a young boy navigates his way through the social challenges that he faces every day.



Pump it up is back for 2006: Back by popular demand
Monthly Pump It Up nights in Huntington Beach


Bring your kids to a TACA Pump It Up party each month through August and possibly beyond!!!! All jumpers, including parents assisting, must wear socks. No socks, no jump. Socks are available for purchase if you forget them!!! This is a great time to see your TACA friends and meet new ones! Feel free to bring friends!


Fourth Wednesday of every month

• April 26, 2006        6:00-8:00 pm
• May 24, 2006        6:00-8:00 pm 
• June 28, 2006       6:00-8:00 pm          
• July 26, 2006        6:00-8:00 pm   
• August 23, 2006    6:00-8:00 pm

    How Much: The cost is $6.00 per child. No charge for adults.


Pump It Up of Huntington Beach
16531 Gothard Suite C
Huntington Beach 92647
The NW corner of Gothard and Heil - Look for small signs in front of the “HB Business Center” office park. Drive around back to #C.


Please RSVP by the Monday before each party to
Barbara Cornish at barbara.cornish@Intel.com or (714) 897-3460 or
Susan Tombrello at suso903tomb@verizon.net or (714) 841-3076.

NOTE: Want a similar function in your area??
Please Contact us to volunteer, help organize and manage these for your community!


Who: Middle School children and younger with special needs
When: April 15, 2006 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Where: Mile Square Park across from the Recreation Center
Cost: FREE
Two slow-paced egg hunts ( 11:15 and 11:45)
One Easter egg hunt especially for wheelchairs
Bounce Houses
Face Painting
Pictures with the Easter Bunny
Games and Prizes

Presented as a Girl Scout Silver Award Project for our community
in coordination with the Fountain Valley Recreation Center.

Be sure to visit our website at http://fvgstroops.tripod.com/specialegghunt/

Registration must be received prior to the Easter Egg Hunt.

Child’s Name _________________________________ Age __________________

Parent’s Name _______________________________ Phone _________________

Child’s Disability _______________________________ Zip Code _____________

Child’s Limitations ___________________________________________________

Email Address _______________________________________________________

The above information will not be shared.

Please return registration to: 8571 Shadow Lane, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 or
email to: fvgsspecialegghunt@yahoo.com or leave message at: 714-775-8511


9. Conferences


Hello Parents and friends!

As you may have heard, we are having not one, but four distinguished lectures this month at Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Headquarters for Autism Awareness Month!

All of them will be at 5:00 PM each Wednesday of the month.  They are free and open to the public!

Feel free to come to one or all of them.

 Three presentations will be given by our Research and Development team, and one will be by an ABA expert from a local Regional Center.

The schedule is as follows:

  • April 5 th:  Dr. Jonathan Tarbox:  Positive Behavior Change
  • April 12 th:  Dr. Adel Najdowski:  Feeding Habits of Children with Autism
  • April 19 th:  Dr. John Youngbauer: The Role of Regional Center
  • April 26 th:  Dr. Rachel Tarbox:  Effective Treatments for Challenging Behaviors

Feel free to invite anyone who may be interested.  Let me know if you have any questions.

If attending, please RSVP to me with the dates you can come. 

Thank you.

Sally Case
Marketing Coordinator
CARD Headquarters
19019 Ventura Boulevard Suite 300
Tarzana , CA 91356
(818) 345-2345 ext. 270

  • Speaker: Dr. Tony Attwood
  • Topic: Encouraging Social Understanding and Emotion Management
  • When: April 19, 2006
  • Where: Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim - South, 11767 Harbor Boulevard,
    Garden Grove, CA 92840, 714-539-3300
  • Event Sponsor: Call Future Horizons, 1-800-489-0727 for further information.
  • Information from Sponsor: 
  • Further details are not yet available for this conference.

The Listening Center Invites you to a Complimentary Open House and Information Seminar on Thursday, April 20th, 2006 at 6:00 PM

2850 Mesa Verde Drive, Suite O
Costa Mesa , CA 92626

5:45 - Registration
6:00 - Presentation by Dr. Deb Swain

  • * The Tomatis Method Program Overview
  • * Advanced Therapies; now offering Interactive Metronome
  • * New research findings on the Tomatis Method
  • * Update on the U.C. DAVIS M.I.N.D. Institute Tomatis research study
  • * Environmental Modification for Auditory Processing weaknesses

For more information please call 714-979-1160 or visit www.thelisteningcenter.net

Best Practices in Autism Treatment

Keynote address by Dr. Robert Hendren, Executive Director of the UC Davis MIND Institute as well as Rick Rollens, Co-founder of FEAT & the MIND Institute. Attendees will learn from world renowned autism experts: Robert Koegel, Ph.D. ,Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., Deborah L. Ross-Swain, Ed.D.,CCC, Ilene S. Schwartz, Ph.D., Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., Martha Herbert, MD, Ph.D. Kara Dodds, MS., CCC, SLP, Robert Putnum, Ph.D., BCBA, Michael Fabrizio, MA., BCBA and more.
Apr 27 - Apr 30 San Jose 2 or 4-day fees.

San Jose Marriott, 301 S. Market Street - Janet Lishman www.autismeducation.netsupport@autismeducation.net 408-558-9404



Presented by:
Valeria Isaac, OTR/L
Sunayna Agrawal, MA, OTR/L

This course is designed for parents of children with special sensory needs, and teachers concerned with facilitating growth and development through sensory-based activities.

The course will cover basic concepts of Occupational Therapy in the Pediatric field and Sensory Integration Theory, including suggested activities to assist children with special sensory needs function in the school setting.

9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Knob Hill Community Center
320 Knob Hill
Redondo Beach, Ca 90277



FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2006 , 8:am to 5:00pm
at the Newport Beach Radisson Hotel
4545 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92660


Research has shown that people who have anti-social behavior many times exhibit brain dysfunction leading to extreme “dyslogic.”  Many exhibit a lack of insight and foresight, a lack of empathy for animals and people, a low anger threshold, poor abstract thinking and social skills, a lack of fear and remorse, impulsivity, and an inability to realize the consequences of their actions or to learn from experience.1

The more we learn about the brain dysfunction that underlies much delinquency and criminality, the more successful we will be in truly rehabilitating offenders and preventing “at risk” children from turning to lives of crime.1   This seminar is concerned with aggression, conduct disorder, anti-social behavior, delinquency, impulsivity, violence and psychopathy as well as learning disabilities and the role that behavioral nutrition plays in the remediation of these types of behavior.


Anti-social behavior is of concern to:

  • parents, teachers, school administrators,
  • mental health workers, and
  • judges, lawyers, police, probation officers, justice system personnel


William Walsh, Ph.D. biochemist, Executive Director of the Pfeiffer Treatment
Center, a non-profit medical center dedicated to the research and treatment of
biochemical imbalances, Warrenville, Ill.

Jeremy Kaslow, M.D., allergist , specialist in learning disabilities and autism,
private practice, Santa Ana, CA.

Stephen Shoenthaler, Ph.D., Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice, California
State University, Stanislaus, CA

Registration fee:  $40 includes continental breakfast and lunch.  Early registration is advised. Limited seating. For information:  949-646-0133, or 714-717-0021, or fax 949-642-7685 or oclda@comcast.net

RDI: Going to the Heart of Autism 2-Day Workshop

Dr. Steve Gutstein dramatically illustrates the Relationship Development Intervention Program (RDI) via audience participation & hours of video taken from actual intervention sessions.
Jun 9 - Jun 10 Sacramento 9am-4pm; $275 by May 26 TBA - Kristin Adiska www.rdiconnect.comadiska@rdiconnect.com 866-378-6405 x 119

California State University, Fullerton in collaboration with Orange County Office of Education, Learning Disabilities Association of California,
Council for Learning Disabilities, Student CEC, Student TASH

Presents: 1st Annual Special/General Education Collaborative

Monday, June 19, 2006, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Dr. Lou Brown, Keynote Speaker Topics 6/19/06 “Inclusive Schooling and Post-School Outcomes”

6/20/06 “The Quest For Ordinary Life: Preparing Individuals With Disabilities To Function Productively In The Real World”

Afternoon Break-out Session Topics Include:
No Child Left Behind
Best Practices in Orange County
Parent/District Collaboration
Post School Outcomes in Orange County

Four Points Sheraton
1500 South Raymond Avenue, Fullerton, California 92831, Phone (714) 635-9000

REGISTRATION INFORMATION- Fees include: Continental breakfasts and lunches.

Early Bird (postmarked 5/1/06) Students & families: $25/day, $50/2 days Teachers, service providers: $50/day, $80/2 days Administrators, IHE faculty: $65/day, $100/2 days

Regular advanced (postmarked after 5/31/06) Students & families: $30/day, $55/2 days Teachers, service providers: $60/day, $90/2 days Administrators, IHE faculty: $75/day, $115/2 days

Day of conference
Students & families: $50/day Teachers, service providers: $80/day Administrators, IHS faculty: $100/day

Questions: E-mail jweiner@fullerton.edu Fax (714) 278-3110

The Links Which Bind Us
ADHD + AUTISM + LD + Special Education Laws and Advocacy

For Parents and Professionals Who Live or Work with Children Who Learn and Behave Differently

Ontario Airport Marriott

3rd Annual Summer Symposium Series

August 18-19, 2006


PO Box 1114 Claremont, CA 91711

FOR MORE INFORMATION (909)621-1494 PVLDA@aol.com


10. Personal Note:

First things first, I want to wish my two babies HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Both Lauren and Jeff celebrate their birthdays two days apart in early April, and even though there are 14 years separating them, they are so close. I love them so much!

Second: Testosterone – I have been to most of the TACA locations or am about to be, and I have to tell you: I love seeing the men at the ALL THE TACA meetings!! I love seeing men involved with their children. We truly love seeing the dads so involved at meetings and TACA activities! Keep it up, guys!

And finally:

April is Autism Awareness month and to get you in the mood we are launching TACA’s 2 nd Annual Friends and Family campaign. We will be rolling this campaign out from April through June to help educate individuals about autism, build awareness and community, and for TACA to help raise much needed funds.

Last year I asked you to go a little bit further – to reach out to your extended community and to raise autism awareness and funds to help TACA continue to fulfill its mission of improving the quality of life for families living with autism.

You all came through amazingly when I called, and we raised $35,000!! That campaign alone allowed us to hold six New Parent Seminars and distribute 750 Autism Journey Guides. What a difference your help made for new families struggling with the autism diagnosis.

This year our community has grown even more – and TACA's costs for providing services have grown as well. It is our goal to continue to provide TACA's programs and services free to all families. But I need some help to make this happen.

Many of our family, friends and colleagues often ask us, "How can I help?" They have seen us go without sleep for weeks at a time, struggle with finding appropriate services for our children, heard us talk about the stress to our families, worry about our children's health, and cry about what the future holds for our beautiful children. I know how that feels, because I have done it so many times about Jeff. For years, I did not know how to respond when my family and friends asked . . . and I didn't ask them for help . . . because I didn't know how.

We have never charged membership dues at TACA, knowing that there is a huge community we have built, and that that extended family wants to help. This is how the TACA Family & Friends campaign was born. It is a way for you to reach out to your circle and tell them exactly how they can help your family and other families like yours.

YOU have a tremendous ability to help TACA and families with autism through your extended network. Not only do we need them to understand what autism is all about, we also need them to know that TACA is there to help families like yours and mine.

I'm asking you to come through for us again this year – maybe stretching yourself a little further outside of your comfort zone, extending your circle just a little bit. If we are all able to do that, together, I know that we can raise $50,000 that will allow TACA to continue its current programs and add additional services needed in the community.

Please help TACA assist not only your family, but the many families entering the autism journey. TACA adds between 10 and 40 new families each month. They need our help and strength so they can get off to the right start. Thank you for sharing your time and your passion – for taking some valuable minutes away from your child/family and help with this very important campaign.

If you are interested in receiving your Friends & Family campaign package – we will provide them at TACA meetings or you can request one to be mailed to you. Please email me for more information.

Hugs, thanks, and BE SAFE
Lisa A Jeff's mom

And Editor: Kim Palmer (thanks Kim!)


Web Page for TACA Group: www.tacanow.com
check it out and let us know your thoughts

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides general information of interest to the autism community. The information comes from a variety of sources and TACA does not independently verify any of it. The views expressed herein are not necessarily TACA’s. TACA does not engage in lobbying or other political activities.IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE THESE EMAILS, just respond and I will be happy to remove you from the list.

P.S. TACA e-news is now sent to 2,356 people!
(This number represents families – 95%, and the rest are professionals.)