E-Newsletter January 2008 #1 - Happy New Year!

Here is your update on TACA (Talk About Curing Autism). If you are new to our site... WELCOME! This newsletter is produced two to four times each month.

We are an autism education and support group. We want to make this e-newsletter informative for you. As always, email your thoughts and/or questions so we can improve it.

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.

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.

In this edition:

1. TACA -- A look back at an amazing year - 2007 Accomplishments
2. TACA announces Marriage & Family Counseling in Los Angeles
3. TACA Group Meetings
4. Jenny McCarthy – TACA Spokesperson - In the News
5. General News
  1. Three Presidential candidates have an “Autism Policy”
  2. IDEA Fairness Restoration Act
  3. Santa & Star Wars?
  5. What’s Autism Speaks up to?
6. Vaccine News
  1. Trump: Autism linked to child vaccinations
  2. More from David Kirby
  3. More from Dan Olmsted
  4. Rep. Dan Burton Addresses the House of Representatives – Says Mercury
    in Vaccines Causes Autism, More Info
  5. Deirdre Speaks on New Jersey & Related Articles
  6. Autism: To Vaccinate Or Not to Vaccinate
  7. Merck Recalls Over 1 million Vaccines
7. Frequently Valued Information (FVI)
8. Upcoming TACA Fun Activities
9. Video & Audio Links
10. Vendor Announcements
11. Books & Web Sites
12. TACA Volunteer Opportunities
13. Conferences, Workshops & Seminars
14. Personal Note: Life After Jenny McCarthy

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1 A look back at an amazing year: 2007 Accomplishments

Besides almost tripling TACA membership (now just over 6,000 families), TACA has more than doubled its fundraising in 2007 over the previous year.

For a quick view of our efforts & impact, please see the two latest videos of our largest events:

4th Annual Picnic

Ante up for Autism (Go to Watch Movie of Highlights)

2007 Accomplishments include:

  1. TACA was founded in November 2000 with 10 Orange County, California families meeting in the Ackerman living room. In September 2007, TACA went national, hiring part-time regional managers who are parents or grandparents of children with autism in six areas of the country to provide support to families reaching out for help.  In 2006, TACA served 2,200 families; in 2007, TACA served 6,000 families. 

  2. Actress and New York Times best-selling author Jenny McCarthy becomes a TACA mom!  Jenny volunteered to serve as TACA celebrity spokesperson and spread a huge amount of autism awareness and hope through a publicity tour for her book Louder than Words:  A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism with appearances on Oprah, The View, Larry King Live, and 20/20.

  3. The first TACA e-newsletter was sent in January 2002. In 2007 we added almost 4,000 subscribers, bringing the total distribution list to more than 6,800 autism parents and professionals.

  4. Continued to provide 95% of program services at no cost to families. Information on TACA programs and mission.

  5. TACA coordinators handled 300 phone calls and 3,500 e-mails per month from families across the country looking for support.

  6. Held more than 100 education and support group meetings, including three New Parent seminars helping almost 150 families as they began their autism journey.

  7. Distributed almost 2,000 free Autism Journey Parent Guides to families at TACA meetings. This is double the number distributed in 2006. 

  8. Held our largest ever TACA medical conference, with more than 400 people attending.

  9. TACA was prominently featured in three Orange County Register articles.  Over two dozen articles featured TACA in 2007.  

  10. TACA published two printed newsletters which were distributed to more than 10,000 people.

  11. TACA partnered with Pediatric Partners in Florida for Dr. Jerry Kartzinel to see more than 50 Southern California families. Through our California Medical Fund, TACA provided 10 medical treatment scholarships to children affected by autism who otherwise would have been unable to afford treatment.

  12. The TACA website was visited by more than 600,000 individuals looking for autism support and information. 

  13. Almost 500 books were added to libraries in TACA locations for families to utilize at no cost.

  14. Provided over 75 mentor introductions for new families to obtain support and guidance from an experienced TACA family. TACA mentors traveled to five national conferences (Autism One, two DAN! Conferences, USAA Conference and the National Autism Association Conference). 

  15. Through the Families in Crisis Fund, TACA provided financial assistance to 20 families in crisis to help with emergency needs. Twenty-nine additional families were provided with information to access existing programs outside of TACA to help solve crises. TACA also adopted 20 families over the holidays.

  16. TACA held three marriage and family counseling groups in Orange County with each including 10 people over eight weeks. In a post-group survey, participants consistently felt that attending the group improved their marital relationships.

  17. TACA held two social skills groups, each for 10 high functioning or Asperger’s teens and provided mandatory simultaneous parent support. Groups worked on social skills, life skills and each participant walked away with at least one friend. Three months post group, the participants are still getting together and maintaining friendships.

  18. TACA signed on to be part of the Autism Collaboration, a group of organizations that have joined to coordinate research in a united effort – www.autism.org

  19. Lisa Ackerman participated in American Academy of Pediatrics meeting held in October 2007 with the goal of soliciting the AAP’s support and encouragement of biomedical treatments in autism.

  20. Increased fundraising efforts by more than 200% in 2007 vs. 2006, from diverse funding sources that can be replicated annually.

  21. TACA was the beneficiary of 18 special events – two were sponsored by TACA and the remainder were developed and managed by others in the autism community.

  22. Received grants from Boeing Employees Community Fund, the S. Mark Taper Foundation, Ingram Micro, and Pacific Life Foundation.

  23. Organized Vaccines and Autism, Is There a Connection? A Thoughtful Debate with David Kirby & Arthur Allen

  24. Continued relationship with Jack FM radio which resulted in frequent radio spots featuring Jenny McCarthy and Lisa Ackerman on autism and TACA around Southern California, and held a concert benefiting TACA which raised $36,000.

  25. TACA 4th annual family picnic was our largest ever, with more than 1,900 in attendance and almost $90,000 raised. 

  26. Held the first Ante Up for Autism gala and poker tournament in Newport Beach, California, hosted by Jenny McCarthy. This spectacular evening raised more than $370,000.

All of this was accomplished with 10 part time staffers, 100% volunteer board andspokesperson as well as over 185 amazing volunteers who had big hearts to help TACA & the families we serve.

In 2008 – we expect much bigger things for the TACA mission, our families and for autism. A special note of thanks to Jenny McCarthy for making this year the biggest year for TACA.  Also a special note to Lance Armstrong for believing in our mission, and Kimberly and Ted Jones Jr. for their amazing support.

You had a big part in this. You all should be very proud. I am honored and feel blessed. Working with TACA families feeds my soul and is something that I love to do.

Lisa – Jeff’s mom
TACA Executive Director


P.S. Special thanks to the Cornish family for Family of the Year for TACA Spirit!!

 2 TACA Marriage & Family Counseling Groups Now Forming

Families who have children with autism face serious and ongoing challenges for organizing family resources (time, finances, and education.) These challenges can exhaust couples, putting incredible stress on marriages. Divorce rates have soared to 85% during the first five years after diagnosis.

The group will meet weekly for six weeks to discuss how to better care for yourselves and your marriage so you can be effective loving parents. Learn how to reduce stress and increase your coping skills.


Los Angeles Group – begins January 24, 2008

The Los Angeles Group office location is at 864 So. Robertson, LA (between Wilshire and Olympic) and will meet for six weeks on Friday Evenings, 7:00 - 8:30.

Please call Tom Brauner, PhD  310-200-1953 or  Susan Gonzales 310-770-5009 for more information and to register.

L.A. Group will be funded by TACA.

Couples will be asked for a commitment to attend the six weeks of sessions and to complete questionnaires prior to and after the completion of sessions.

Each couple will meet prior to first session with group leaders to discuss their goals.

Important notes:

First come, first serve - please sign up as soon as possible before availability is gone.

Thank you to our TACA friends, Susan Gonzales & Tom Brauner, for making this much needed program happen!

No-shows on the first date of counseling will lose their spot in the program to the first people on the wait list.

No changes on meeting dates or times can be made - sorry. Please check your schedule before committing to this program.

Special thanks to TACA's anonymous sponsor for helping us start this important program.

You must be a TACA member and have a child with autism to apply for this program.

Couples are required to attend together to qualify.

Note:  How do we choose which area to provide these services? By TACA members letting us know there is a need! As we receive emails and notes of requests, we plan by responses where we will go next.

3 TACA Has Eight California Meeting Locations
Inland Empire - Riverside                                                                                 

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego

San Fernando Valley

Sonoma County - Santa Rosa

South Bay - Torrance

Visalia (Tulare County/San Joaquin Valley)

 4 Jenny McCarthy – TACA Spokesperson – in the News




By Dan Olmsted

Poor Time Magazine -- they ended up with dour Russian President Putin staring out from the cover this week like the Grinch who stole Christmas. And a lot of people didn't even think he should be Person of the Year.

We had no such problem with our pick for the individual who did the most for the autism community this year -- no one is likely to call Jenny McCarthy dour, or disagree with our choice. A bunch of S words suit her to a T -- sunny, sexy, smart, silly in the right way at the right time, but most of all serious as a heart attack about autism and recovering her son, Evan.

And she was most certainly "Louder Than Words," the title of her book about "A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism." She managed to create a multimedia extravaganza, with Oprah and Larry King listening respectfully as she did the previously unthinkable -- blame autism on vaccines, in detail and at length, in front of a national audience. Of course, not even she was immune from the self-censorship plaguing the mainstream press -- People Magazine put her on the cover but never mentioned the V Word in its profile of Evan's steady recovery; and though the Chicago Tribune aired her concerns about immunizations, the Baltimore Sun sanitized away those references, the better not to worry its readers' pretty little heads. But it was too little too late.

And that was Jenny's fundamental contribution -- to put the issue out there in a way that, finally, could not be suppressed or simply swatted away. Yes, she was the center of attention, but exactly why is that a problem? She used the spotlight to put the focus back on treatment, on hope, on teamwork, on the relentless rise of autism -- and on the sheer lunacy of the public health establishment's Messiah complex about vaccines (and much else). Jenny was not going to join the hallelujah chorus. You almost have to pity the CDC (well, not really) after her hilarious call to them in the middle of her talk at the National Autism Association meeting in Atlanta.

It was typical of her breezy unselfconsciousness that she told the audience she didn't even know the CDC was in Atlanta when she arrived that morning. But she had wasted no time showing up at their door with a camera crew demanding to know why vaccines are still full of all kinds of creepy stuff. Come to think of it, isn't that what dour old Time Magazine and the august network news departments and the sober New York Times should have been doing all along? How sad for them that a former Playmate of the Year, now our Person of the Year, had the brains and initiative to beat them to it.

It's likely that the ripples from the splash Jenny McCarthy made this year will keep spreading in ways that are entirely unpredictable but of benefit to everyone working on this common cause.

So good for Jenny. Very, very good.

Autism treatment gaining acceptance

The Times-Union

PONTE VEDRA BEACH - The clinic is easy to miss, just a squat, unassuming modular on Palm Valley Road. Parents who have traveled thousands of miles to see these physicians often wonder: Could this really be it?

In the tiny waiting room, there's no sign of a receptionist, or even a little sliding-glass window. The walls are hand-painted with zoo animals, and the floor is packed with toys. It feels more like a house overcrowded for the holidays than a sterile, efficient doctor's office, which Julie Buckley and Jerry Kartzinel say is exactly the point.

The partners and pioneers in a biomedical treatment for autism are digging out from an avalanche of calls after one of their patients' parents, actress Jenny McCarthy, went public with a memoir of her family's life after her son's autism diagnosis. The two, especially Kartzinel, have been speakers for years on the topic and draw patients from around the world.

Clearly, though, there's more to this than star power. The approach appears to be gaining traction - or, perhaps, acceptance - with some traditional physicians and pediatricians, despite its controversial affiliation with those who believe vaccines cause autism.

Perhaps it's because they believe the science behind the treatment. More likely, though, it's because their patients' parents do.

Whatever the reason, Buckley thinks the mainstream research establishment, such as Tom Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is listening. Buckley and Kartzinel were invited to the conference sponsored by CARD, the Center on Autism and Related Disabilities. And, she said, the American Academy of Pediatrics finally sent a representative to a Defeat Autism Now!conference.

"It's a step in the right direction," Buckley said.

Defeat Autism Now, or DAN, is the term that describes the regimen used by doctors such as Buckley and Kartzinel and involves a range of treatments tailored to each child. They include a wheat-free, dairy-free diet, vitamin supplements and, for some, chelation (chemicals that remove metals from the body) and time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. They test for trace metals such as mercury and aluminum, do biochemical analyses of mineral levels in the blood, and test for allergies, among other things.

It takes time, and money, from the monthly expense of supplements to thousands of dollars for more involved treatments that rely on equipment and medicine. Insurance coverage is hard to come by.

"It depends on what the kids present with," Kartzinel said. "We take histories, and that's how we learn what they need."

Even before this fall, their waiting list was more than a year long and their patient list stretched from coast to coast - and beyond.

Then came McCarthy's appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, detailing the treatment she believes brought her son out of the depths of the disorder, which usually appears before age 2 or 3.

Call volume spiked; the waiting list doubled.

Kartzinel wrote the preface to McCarthy's book and appeared with her on Larry King Live, part of a high-profile media blitz that reached fever pitch after the segment on Oprah.

Kartzinel embraced the method in its infancy; he introduced Buckley after her daughter was diagnosed with autism.

There's no proof - hard, solid, double-blind repeated studies proof - that the DAN! approach works. In fact, studies haven't found much in the way of conclusive evidence about almost any autism treatment. What researchers do know is that parents are seeking out these so-called "alternative" treatments in droves. And individual success stories are becoming the driving force in the direction of research and treatment for autism.

A 2005 study found that more than a quarter of parents of autistic children reported using special diets for their children, and nearly half reported using vitamin supplements. An ongoing study on the effectiveness of chelation reported that one in 12 autistic children may already undergo the chemical process used to remove mercury and other metals from the body. The study is not yet complete.

'The V-word'

There's a reason all this is so controversial, why acceptance has been hard to come by.

Kartzinel calls it "the V-word."

That's because mere mention of vaccines is enough to cleave an instant chasm between parents who believe childhood immunizations are the source of their child's affliction and those who don't. Whether in casual conversation, blogs or support groups, the divide is filled with bitter rhetoric - arguments as toxic as the mercury that one side, including Buckley and Kartzinel, believes broke their children.

No large-scale study has ever found a link between vaccines and autism. There's no groundswell of research that points to a cause or treatment for autism, a complex disorder that most scientists believe has both environmental and genetic underpinnings.

The idea is that one or more genes are susceptible to one - or many -hazards in the environment.

It's just that no one knows precisely what they are, said Charles Williams, a University of Florida pediatrician and geneticist and consultant to the CARD program in Jacksonville. "[There is] truly something in our culture or our environment that makes it more risky today than 30 years ago," he said, something that makes the disorder all the more perplexing.

Williams believes that a surge in genetic and environmental research could result in huge advances in treatment over the next two to five years. There are also clinical trials testing the type of treatments used by doctors such as Kartzinel and Buckley, from antibiotics to chelation to anti-psychotic drugs to hyperbaric oxygen therapy to supplementation of vitamins B, C and zinc. The National Institute of Mental Health is set to conclude a four-year study into the wheat-free, dairy-free diet in 2008 and also will report that year on a 130-patient study on mercury chelation.

Right now, though, families have to stumble through a maze of approaches after getting an autism diagnosis. And because children often receive a cornucopia of different treatments, it can be difficult to figure out which therapy is working.

"Someone told me once, If you're not thoroughly confused by all the treatments, you don't understand them," Williams said. "There's no prescriptive way."

In the maze

Rebecca and Richard Rose know the confusion - and the alienation. They knew their pediatrician didn't approve when they brought their 4-year-old son, Johnathan, to Buckley - although he didn't tell them explicitly not to do it.

They say they've seen changes in John, who is on the diet. He also attends a private day care that uses Applied Behavioral Analysis and caters to children with autism, where about half are on the same diet. His vocal abilities and behavior have improved, Rebecca Rose said.

"I thank God we've been stuck in her path," she said.

So does Jennifer Duke, who is both traditional physician and parent of an autistic child. Most DAN! doctors have been touched by the disorder in some personal way.

Her 12-year-old son has Asperger's, a disorder on the autism spectrum. After years of difficulty and a misdiagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Duke found Buckley and

Kartzinel. Eventually, she and her partner sought training from the two as DAN! doctors.

She has added that to her family practice in Macon, Ga., and recommends her pediatric patients split up vaccines into individual portions or delay them, instead of to giving them all at once.

A traditionally trained physician, she was skeptical at first.

"My first blush was, these are people who are conspiracy theorists, the-government-is-trying-to-poison-us people," she said.

Even now, Duke admits she's not yet completely "out of the closet. I want to just do it and let the results speak for themselves."

deirdre.conner@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4504

Autism treatments

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that as many as one in 150 8-year-olds may have autism. But treatments vary as wildly as the children on the autism spectrum. And unlike chemotherapy for cancer or antipsychotics for schizophrenia, few of the regimens are backed by years of solid research. Only Applied Behavior Analysis and its offshoots have gained broad acceptance from researchers. The American Society for Autism recommends that parents keep in mind that scientific studies are often difficult to do because each individual on the autism spectrum is different. Research into all of these treatments is ongoing.

  • Gluten (wheat)-free, casein (dairy)-free diet
  • Chelation
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), a comprehensive approach with services ranging from speech therapy to a specialized teaching system
  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
  • Speech/language/occupational therapy
  • Pivotal Response Treatment/Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), an intense therapy that rewards good behavior and ignores negative behavior
  • Floortime, a form of therapeutic play that encourages interaction
  • Social Stories, a program that builds social skills by explaining situations that may be difficult or confusing
  • Sensory Integration, a therapy that uses touch, smell, sight or sound experiences to help with over- or under-sensitivity
  • Relationship Development Integration (RDI), a therapy that aims to build up a person's ability to develop relationships and manage emotions
  • Anti-fungals/probiotics
  • Vitamins/minerals
  • Secretin
  • Melatonin
  • Psychotropic medications, such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and stimulants
  • Immunoglobulin injections

Source: Autism Society of America, Research Autism, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, National Institute of Mental Health

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com


Jenny McCarthy (1 of 2): Take the Crap Out of Vaccines

Jenny McCarthy (2 of 2): Healing Autism

The Wharton interview – The CDC Responds to the very good Atlanta NBC 11 Alive pieces on Jenny
5 General News
Article A Four Presidential Candidates have an Autism Policy

It is wonderful to see Presidential candidates view Autism as an important issue affecting many families. We are currently aware of four candidates with stated Autism policies. As we receive more information from other candidates, it will be shared via the TACA eNews.

Barack Obama

John Edwards

Hillary Clinton

John McCain

Article B IDEA Fairness Restoration Act

In an effort to support the bipartisan IDEA Fairness Restoration Act, introduced  by Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Pete Sessions, Monday is being set aside as National Call Congress Day.  The bill, H.R. 4188, would restore Congress' original intent- that parents who prevail in IDEA due process or court cases can  recover their expert witness costs.  Without the legislation, many parents cannot afford expert witness fees, which can run into the thousands of dollars.

Whether you are a parent, advocate, clinician, attorney, family member or friend, you have the ability to make a difference.  Please contact your Congressperson and ask them to support the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act.  This can be done by phone or email, in the following ways:

1.  Find out who your representative is.  If unsure, go to www.house.gov and use the locator in the upper left corner.

2.  Call 202-224-3121 and ask for your Congressional Representative's Office. Then, ask for the education aide and tell them you would like to support bill H.R. 4188,the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act.  If no one answers, you may leave a voicemail message.

3. Send an email to your Congressional Representative by going to http://www.house.gov/writerep locating your Congressperson, and asking them to support bill H.R. 4188, the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act. This email form will be sent directly to their office.


* Parents prevail in IDEA cases only when they show that the school district provided an education so inferior that it failed its legal obligations.  Otherwise, they do not prevail and can recover nothing.  While prevailing parents can recover their attorneys' fees, they cannot recover their expert witness costs, as a result of the Supreme Court's 2006 decision in Arlington Central School District v. Murphy. The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act would override the Supreme Court's decision and make the system more fair for parents of children with disabilities.

* In 1986, Congress amended the IDEA to allow parents to recover their attorneys’ fees when they prevail in due process.  Congress intended this to include expert witness fees.  Congress knew that parents have much less money than school districts and many cannot afford expert witness fees.  The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act would simply restore Congress' intent.

* Twenty-one years later, that reality still has not changed.  Approximately 36% of children with disabilities live in families earning less than $25,000 a year; over 2/3 earn less than $50,000 a year.  Few parents can afford the thousands of dollars needed to pay qualified medical, educational, and technical experts. 

While parents often must hire expert witnesses to testify, school districts can use therapists, psychologists, and other expert witnesses on their payroll, or hire outside experts with taxpayer dollars.

* Congress included in the IDEA the right to a due process hearing because it recognized that parents needed an independent dispute resolution process to enforce their children's rights to a free appropriate public education.  Most parents turn to due process and litigation as a last resort.  In 2003, the GAO reported that there were only 5 hearings per 10,000 special education students.  Figures are similar today.  Parents should not be deprived of their right to due process for lack of resources.

* Approximately 7 million children with disabilities are currently covered by the IDEA.  H.R. 4188, the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act, simply protects their rights.

Thanks to COPAA.org for providing us the above information

Article C Santa vs. Darth Vader? It's no contest ...
Sunday, December 23, 2007

From Star Wars characters to train rides, Orange County residents celebrated the final weekend before Christmas.


The Orange County Register 

Who's more popular at Christmastime in Orange County: Santa Claus or Darth Vader?

Darth Vader, by a long shot.

That was the case Saturday in Irvine, where autistic children and their parents celebrated the holidays at California Integrative Hyperbaric Center. The guests of honor were St. Nick, of course, and the 501st Legion, an organization of hobbyists who dress up in Star Wars costumes for promotional and charitable events.

"It's great to see these kids happy," said Chris Romines, 40, of Cypress, who wore the enigmatic black mask, cape and breastplate of the universe's primary antagonist. "But between the kids and the adults, we don't know who's having more fun."

Several participants dressed as stormtroopers, one woman was Anakin Skywalker, and a few kids wore furry little Ewok costumes. Gus Aguilera, 37, of Anaheim, donned a scary-looking Tusken raider outfit he fashioned himself.

"It's for a good cause, and it makes the kids smile," said Aguilera, a graphic designer. "We're spreading joy, I guess."

The swarm of children around the Star Wars characters outnumbered the smaller group waiting to sit on Santa's lap and take pictures with him. Ben Pace, 11, played with an R2-D2 robot and tried to figure out how he operated.

"I like to see what's inside mechanical things," said the Newport Coast boy who has autism. "I like to take apart objects and things."

The California Integrative Hyperbaric Center treats autistic children and people with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, migraines and other conditions. The center utilizes walk-in tanks that infuse patients with high levels of oxygen – much higher doses than what's available in the air.

Article D What Did the CDC Know and When Did They Know It?


With the recent announcement of the "largest ever" study to investigate the causes of autism, run through Kaiser Permanente (the HMO that lost vaccine safety data implicating thimerosal in harming children) and led by Lisa Croen (the epidemiologist who first attempted to deny the autism epidemic with faulty data), sometimes you just want to shake your head and wonder, what on earth is going on down in Atlanta?

Continue reading »

Article E What’s Autism Speaks up to?

Latest grants funded by Autism Speaks  http://www.autismspeaks.org/press/science_funded_december_2007.php

It is strongly urged that if you have a child or know a child affected by autism that you review what the largest private funder of research is doing.

This is where the money is going.


By J.B. Handley

As a child living in Tokyo, I remember my fascination in seeing a copy of a black market World Book Encyclopedia my Dad bought in Beijing, with the pages where Taiwan should have been left completely blank. Just white paper in the middle of the book, as if the country did not even exist.

Go to the website of Autism Speaks, and you encounter a similar phenomenon.

It is as if the world of DAN!, SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, TACA, and recovered children never happened. "Mercury and Autism" receives a single mention, shrouded in pseudo-science babble and qualified statements. Helpful for a parent with questions? Not in the least.

The parallels between Autism Speaks and China don't stop there. A quick review of their now-public Form 990 reveals that of the $13.98 million in fellowship awards given in 2006, a full $2.3 million was allocated to a single project at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, a nonprofit organization run by the Chair of Autism Speaks' Scientific Advisory Committee, Gary Goldstein. This represents an incomprehensible conflict of interest, dwarfs all other awards made in 2006 by a factor of 10-20x, and would never be permitted in an ethically-minded public company. (It is also worth noting that Dr. Goldstein's compensation from Kennedy Krieger in 2006 was $873,400 – a princely sum for a non-profit CEO.) As in China, cronyism appears to be alive and well at Autism Speaks.

Autism Speaks is also more than happy to rip-off one of the most widely used words in our community – "biomedical" – and use it for their own propaganda purposes, like in this sentence from their 2006 annual report:

"Autism Speaks is committed to aggressively funding biomedical research that will uncover the causes of autism."

At first blush, you'd think Autism Speaks was finally recognizing Taiwan, when in fact they are using OUR word to mean ALL funded research, including genetic research (which is where almost all their money went in 2006).

As perhaps one saving grace, Autism Speaks does still have some democracy in their ranks. It's their walks. In 2006, walks represented almost 50% of their total revenue. Clearly, there are parents organizing and participating in the walks of Autism Speaks who still believe in what Autism Speaks stands for. I don't know these parents, I've never met anyone who walked for Autism Speaks, so I will pose a simple question: Do you know what you are walking for?

So, here I sit, a proud citizen of our Taiwan, a world where the truth about the risks of vaccines is well-known, and stories of recovered children abound. We've been joined in this great country by Autism's highest profile leading-ladies: Jenny McCarthy, Deirdre Imus, and Katie Wright. Our Taiwan is thriving, our ranks growing, our mission clear, our future certain, and, most importantly, our children recovering.

J.B. Handley is the co-founder of Generation Rescue. Mr. Handley and the other officers of Generation Rescue are volunteers and have never received any income from autism and never will.

6 Vaccine News
Article A Donald Trump’s thoughts on Autism & Vaccine Connection

Trump: Autism linked to child vaccinations

The Donald is no stranger to strong opinions, whether he's trading barbed comments on network television with Rosie O'Donnell or dispatching the latest contestant on The Apprentice.

In an interview with Palm Beach Politics, Donald Trump offered a controversial opinion on a new topic: autism. The New York-Palm Beach real estate mogul is no doctor, but he said he thinks the rising prevalence of autism is related to vaccinations given to children at a young age.

Autism now affects 1 in 150 children, a sharp increase from a few decades ago.

But whether vaccinations have anything to do with it is passionately debated, and many dismiss the notion as a conspiracy theory.

"When I was growing up, autism wasn't really a factor," Trump said. "And now all of a sudden, it's an epidemic. Everybody has their theory. My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We've giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children."

He made the comments following a press conference at his Mar-A-Lago estate announcing a fundraising and lobbying push by Autism Speaks to get the brain disorder covered under private insurance policies.

Amid Mar-A-Lago's perfectly trimmed lawns and blossoming bougainvillea bushes, the press conference was held in typical Trump style: in a gold-trimmed ballroom, as moneyed guests at his waterfront compound splashed in an adjacent pool.

Here's more of what Trump had to say about autism and vaccinations:

"When a little baby that weighs 20 pounds and 30 pounds gets pumped with 10 and 20 shots at one time, with one injection that's a giant injection, I personally think that has something to do with it. Now there's a group that agrees with that and there's a group that doesn't agree with that."

Referring to his and his wife Melania's 22-month-old son Baron, Trump continued: "What we've done with Baron, we've taken him on a very slow process. He gets one shot at a time then we wait a few months and give him another shot, the old-fashioned way. But today they pump the children with so much at a very young age. We do it on a very, very conservative level."

ARTICLE B The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Anything But Over


Exactly five years ago, I began research for my book Evidence of Harm, which looked into the possible link between mercury, vaccines and the tsunami of autism that now overwhelms our education system.

Along the way, I have encountered many people -- in the government, in medical circles, in the media, on the Internet - who are furious at my attempts to shed light on this controversy, and utterly contemptuous of parents, doctors and anyone else who supports research into the hypothesized link between autism and vaccines.

Many of these people, incredibly, still insist that autism is purely a genetic disorder with no known "cause" and probably no cure. They blithely claim that autism has always been with us, in the same epidemic numbers we see today, (If you're the parent of a young boy in New Jersey, by the way, you now face 1-in-60 odds of a diagnosis), we just never noticed, or else counted those kids as "quirky," or possibly retarded.

Even officials at the CDC, who traced an e-coli outbreak to a single patch of California spinach within months, cannot say if autism is actually on the increase or not.

Some experts, however, are beginning to understand that autism is clearly on the rise and, thus, must have an environmental component, coupled with a genetic underpinning. But they insist that vaccines or their ingredients (ie, mercury, live measles virus, aluminum) have nothing to do with the epidemic.

They really, really want this vexing vaccine chatter to cease. But it won't.

Buried beneath the usual tumultuous headlines of recent days were three tidbits of news that clearly underscore why this raging, sometimes vitriolic debate is not ending any time soon. In fact, all three reveal significant cracks in the federal government's hitherto impenetrable fortress of denial of any vaccine-autism link whatsoever:

1) The CDC granted nearly $6 million for investigators at five major research centers to study 2,700 children over the next five years, in what the Contra Costa Times called "the largest-ever U.S. study aimed at solving one of the most perplexing mysteries of modern times: the cause of autism."

Lisa Croen, the study's principal investigator in California, told the paper that, "What's become very clear is that autism results from a combination of having a genetic predisposition or genetic susceptibility, plus the added extra exposures from environmental factors or other kinds of lifestyle factors."

Among the "factors" to be studied are family history, events during pregnancy, maternal medications, parental occupation, ambient pollution around the house, and "a child's vaccination history," the paper reported.

Oddly, the study will not look at the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. According to the FDA and the Institute of Medicine, the last batches of thimerosal containing vaccines for infants and immune-globulin given to pregnant women expired in late 2003 (except for the flu shot, which is still given to infants and pregnant women).

The new study will only study children born from September 2003 to August, 2005.
But the question remains, and I think it's legitimate: If an association between vaccines and autism has been completely "ruled out," then why are we spending taxpayer dollars to study autistic children's vaccination history?

2) The Department of Health and Human Services announced the formation of a new federal panel, the "Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee," which will help set public and private research priorities into the cause and treatment of autism, as mandated by the recently passed Combating Autism Act.

Among those named to the panel by HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt were Lyn Redwood, president of the Coalition for Safe Minds (and chief protagonist in my book), and a leading advocate of the mercury-vaccine-autism connection, and Lee Grossman, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America, another staunch supporter of the hypothesis.

Which again begs the question: If the debate over vaccines and autism is over, then why did the Feds appoint two people to this important new panel who will relentlessly push for more taxpayer dollars going into research of vaccines and autism?

3) Lawyers for the US Justice Department and HHS are conceding an autism case that was to be tried in the so-called federal "Vaccine Court," (officially known as the Autism Omnibus Proceedings of the US Court of Federal Claims), according to papers filed on the court's on-line docket.

Nearly 5,000 autism cases are pending in Vaccine Court, though a small number of "test cases" are being tried, in which attorneys for the families attempt to link the symptoms of autism to thimerosal and/or the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (or MMR, which never contained mercury). It was a pending test case that the government conceded.

According to my source, however, the government is NOT conceding that mercury or vaccines cause autism. "In this case, the DOJ conceded that vaccines significantly aggravated a child's pre-existing autistic symptoms," my source said, "but the autism itself was caused by a congenital mitochondrial disorder that is entirely genetic."

And, the source noted, "By conceding 'significant aggravation,' I think DOJ is trying to avoid ever having this case go to hearing on the underlying causation issue."

In other words, this was likely going to be a slam-dunk, and the Feds knew it. Rather than risk having the case become a "test" for thousands of other claims, it looks like the DOJ opted to fold and pay out damages to the family, without actually admitting that vaccines can cause autism.

This entirely unreported event raises several interesting questions, I think. To begin with, if the federal government has conceded that vaccines can cause "significant aggravation" to the (even preexisting) autism symptoms of even just one child, shouldn't the public be notified?

And if the government has conceded that this child would be better off today had he or she not been vaccinated -- in other words, that vaccines made the symptoms of autism go from bad to worse - couldn't it be possible that vaccines might also, say, make symptoms go from mild to bad?

And if the government concedes that vaccines aggravated the symptoms of autism in at least one child, shouldn't parents of children with the disorder be informed of this, and shouldn't they be allowed to opt out of future vaccinations, on medical grounds, if they wish?

And if the government concedes that vaccines can aggravate the symptoms of autism, then shouldn't that same government also earmark funds to research how and why that occurs?

And of course, why on earth would parents concede that there is "no evidence of an association between vaccines and autism," when the government has just conceded that there was an (albeit not causal) association?

Finally, to all those who are going to post comments about the autism rates in California not coming down, following the removal of thimerosal from most vaccines: You are right. The most likely explanation is that thimerosal was not responsible for the autism epidemic. But that does not mean that it never harmed a single child.

And keep in mind that, of the record 1000+ additional autism cases recorded in California last quarter, some 75% of them were children who were six years of age or older, and thus born well within the "thimerosal generation." There is evidence that many factors could conceivably be keeping the California numbers higher than the national average, including aggressive early intervention and outreach to low-income families, increased immigration from countries that still use thimerosal (and immigrant children who are routinely re-immunized upon arrival) and migration of families from less progressive U.S. states eager for California's relative public largesse.

And remember that the CDC, wisely, does not conduct autism prevalence studies on children until they reach the age of 8, to account for any late stragglers entering the database. If thimerosal did not come out of vaccines entirely until 2003, then it won't be until 2011 before kids in that birth cohort are studied by the CDC, so vindicating thimerosal entirely might still be a tad premature.

All that said, thimerosal may well not be a factor in a single case of autism. But what if one day, we discovered it had caused, say, one percent of all cases? With estimates of autism as high as 1.5 million in the country, that would mean 15,000 Americans who were ravaged by thimerosal (not to mention everyone overseas).

But if thimerosal is vindicated, or shown to be a very minor player, then what about other vaccine ingredients? And what about the rather crowded vaccine schedule we now impose upon families of young children? And what about reports of unvaccinated children in Illinois, California and Oregon who appear to have significantly lower rates of autism? Shouldn't we throw some research dollars into studying them?

You can answer that, no, we shouldn't, because the vaccine-autism debate is over.

But I am willing to wager that it has only just begun.

Article C More from Dan Olmsted – The Age of Autism:  he’s back!

How I Got Interested in Autism: The Same Sad Refrain

By Dan Olmsted

Sooner or later many people ask me why I'm interested in the autism epidemic, and the short answer is the same one David Kirby gives -- it's a great story. The longer answer has to do with a memorial gathering I'm attending tonight for a woman who jumped to her death from the observation tower of a national park.

This was a vibrant woman from Maryland who had gone to South Africa to coach athletes. She took two -- count 'em, two -- malaria pills recommended by the CDC and went completely psychotic.

Continue reading »

Why Age of Autism Exists -- Exhibit A: Merck and Reuters

By Dan Olmsted

If you want to know why those concerned about autism deserve an alternative to the mainstream media, look no further than the announcement today that the CEO of Reuters Group PLC, Thomas Glocer, has joined the board of Merck. Many of us who believe autism is an environmental illness -- and vaccines likely play an unacknowledged role -- have long commented on the seeming sheepishness of Big Media. When you look at the amount of pharma advertising propping up the newsweeklies and the evening news, and notice how credulous their coverage of this issue is, it's hard not to suspect the worst.

Now we KNOW the worst. Reuters is best known as a financial news service, but it covers a wide range of topics, including health. According to the company, Reuters is "the largest provider of medical and healthcare news in the world." Merck, of course, is one of the largest providers of prescription drugs in the world -- some of them quite controversial. A settlement over Vioxx recently cost the company several billion dollars.

Continue reading »

NOTE:  TACA is very proud to be one of the sponsors to see Dan Olmsted’s work continue. DAN! has posted many more articles on www.ageofautism.org

Article D Rep. Dan Burton Addresses the House of Representatives – Says Mercury in Vaccines Causes Autism, More Info

Cites New Research Showing Mercury Causes Autism

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Send a Message to Asking Congress to Hold Hearings on Vaccines and Autism

Rep. Dan Burton Addresses Congress on Mercury
Cites New Evidence Showing Mercury Connection to Autism

Rep. Burton's Letter to Vaccine Court and DeSoto Study

BLOOD LEVELS OF MERCURY ARE RELATED TO DIAGNOSIS OF AUTISM -- (House of Representatives - December 11, 2007)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Madam Speaker, it's late at night here in the Capitol, and most of my colleagues are in their offices or have gone home. But I want to talk about an issue that's very, very important that we've been talking about now for the last 8 years.

I was chairman of the Government Reform Committee for 6 years, and during that time, my grandson became autistic; and we checked to find out what was the cause, trying to find out, because my daughter and her husband were just extremely upset about it, as we were as grandparents. And we found that he had received nine shots in one day, seven of which had a product called thimerosal, a preservative, in it. And the thimerosal was 50 percent ethylmercury. And so I decided to have hearings to try to find out if the ethylmercury in those vaccines had anything to do with the autistic problem my grandson had. And we found, by having many, many hearings over a 4-year period, we found that scientists from all over the world and leading doctors and educators here that work with autistic children, that the mercury in the vaccines did contribute to the autistic epidemic that we had.

We used to have one in 10,000 children that were diagnosed as being autistic. One in 10,000. Today the Centers for Disease Control will tell you it's one out of 150. It's an absolute epidemic in this country. And we have been fighting and fighting and fighting to make sure that those families who have been damaged and those children who have been damaged by autism get some kind of compensation. And that's why, and I think in 1986 we passed what was called the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund, and it took some of the money from the pharmaceutical companies when they sold their vaccine products to put into this fund to take care of people who are damaged by vaccines. And one of the reasons we did that was because of the issue of autism, although at that time I didn't know much about it.

In any event, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund has about $3 billion in it, and the people who's children have been adversely affected by mercury and have autism have not been able to get anything out of that. They have to go through a process and see a special master, and he has to judge whether or not the information that he has and the information they have lead them to believe that the mercury in the vaccines caused autism. And so far the special masters have not been able to ascertain, according to them, that the mercury in the vaccines does cause autism.

Well, last week, 2 years ago, let's see, 4 years ago there was a report, 2004, that said that there was definitely no connection between the mercury and the vaccinations and the children getting autism. Well, this past November, just last month, two doctors, Dr. Catherine DeSoto and Dr. Robert T. Hitlan, both very renowned doctors across this country, they have Ph.D.s in medicine, they wrote an article in the Journal of Child Neurology. And you can't discount this. What they're saying is fact. I want to read to you the summary of what they said. They said: ``The question of what is leading to the apparent increase in autism is of great importance. Like the link between aspirin and heart attack, even a small effect can have a major health implication. If there is any link between autism and mercury, it is absolutely crucial that the first reports of the question are not falsely stated and that no link occurs.''

Now, get this: ``We have reanalyzed the data set forth originally reported in 2004 and have found that the original P value was in error and that a significant relation does exist between the blood levels of mercury and diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. Moreover, the hair sample analysis results offer some support for the idea that persons with autism may be less efficient and more variable at eliminating mercury from the blood.''

The fact of the matter is the mercury in the vaccines causes autism. It's not the only cause of autism. But now we have scientific evidence by two leading doctors in the Journal of Child Neurology that says without doubt, the mercury in the vaccines does cause autism, is a major contributing factor.

Well, I've written, contacted Congressman Kucinich, who's chairman of the subcommittee that deals with this in the Capitol, and I've also contacted the special masters that decide these cases and have urged them to re-evaluate all of these cases where people who have autistic children have found that the mercury in the vaccines may have been a major cause.

Now we know that it is a cause of autism, and those people who have suffered, and those kids who have suffered need to be compensated out of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund.

So I'd like to say to my colleagues, I hope you will join me in making sure that the information I just read gets out to everybody. These kids are going to live to be 50, 60, 70 years old, and unless there's some help for them, they're going to be a real burden on the taxpayers and on society. We have an obligation to make sure they're taken care of.

I hope all of my colleagues will read this statement tonight and help us to change the attitude of our health agencies and the special masters dealing with this problem.

In November 2007, the well-respected scientific journal, the Journal of Child Neurology, published an article authored by Drs. M. Catherine DeSoto and Robert T. Hiltlan (PhDs), detailing their findings on the relationship between mercury and autism spectrum disorders. The article was entitled ``Blood Levels of Mercury are Related to Diagnosis of Autism: A Reanalysis of an Important Data Set.''

To summarize the article, Drs. DeSoto and Hiltlan reanalyzed a data set the subject of a 2004 study that found no relationship between mercury and autism. By reexamining the data set, Drs. DeSoto and Hiltlan determined that the conclusions of the 2004 study were wrong, and that a relation does exist between the blood levels of mercury and diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. As Drs. DeSoto and Hiltlan noted in their article, there has been a marked increase in the diagnosis of autism in this country over the last 20 years. In fact we have gone from an autism rate of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150. So, answering the question of what is (and is not) a possible contributing cause of autism is crucial, not only to the millions of American families currently affected by autism but to future generations.

We simply cannot dismiss or downplay scientific research, which has the potential to unlock the mysteries surrounding what is causing our Nation's autism crisis. We owe it to the thousands of families living with autism to follow the science wherever it may lead.

That's why in late November, I wrote to the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy, Representative Dennis Kucinich; and the Special Masters assigned to the Congressionally-created Office of Vaccine Program within the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alerting them to the findings in Drs. DeSoto and Hiltlan's latest research.

Specifically, I asked the Special Masters to take Drs. DeSoto and Hiltlan's latest findings into consideration as they carry out their mandate of managing and adjudicating childhood vaccine claims. I asked Chairman Kucinich to hold a hearing on the environmental risks of mercury in childhood vaccines before the 110th Congress ends.

Given the high stakes involved, scientific reports discussing a connection between blood mercury levels and autism deserve serious consideration and review by the medical and scientific community.

During my tenure as Chairman of the House Committee on Government and Reform, I spent 6 years researching and hearing testimony from the autism advocacy and scientific communities about the autism epidemic sweeping our country. Over and over again, questions of causation, namely the use of thimerosal--the mercury-based vaccine preservative--in childhood vaccines were raised.

Here's what I learned:

A number of credible national and international scientists testified before the Committee that mercury in vaccines is a contributing factor in developing neurological disorders, including, but not limited to, modest declines in intelligent quotient, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. And the body of evidence to support that conclusion gets larger everyday.

Experience tells us that, as with any other epidemic, while there may be underlying genetic susceptibilities, there usually is also some type of environmental trigger as well--be it exposure to a virus, fungus, heavy metal, or pollutant. There has never, to the best of my knowledge, been a purely genetic epidemic.

Genetics alone cannot explain how we went from 1 in 10,000 children with autism spectrum disorders 20 years ago to 1 in 150 today. The increase happened far too quickly for a genetic shift.

As mercury is a known bio-accumulative neurotoxin, it is biologically plausible that it is a contributing factor to our Nation's autism epidemic.

Autism has no cure, and while it is a life-changing condition, it is not a life-threatening disease. This means that the autistic children of today will be the autistic adults and autistic seniors, 20, 30, 50, even 70 years from now. Our Nation is ill prepared to deal with the complex educational, financial, housing, and health care challenges posed by a generation of autistic individuals.

My only grandson is autistic, so this is an issue that is very close to my heart; and for the last several years I have fought hard to raise awareness of this disease, and increase research into the causes of autism, as well as new treatments for those suffering with autism.

As a Nation, I believe, we have a collective responsibility to do everything we can to not only stop the further spread of this disease but to help the millions of children, adults and families afflicted with it.

Merck Recalls 1.2 Million Doses of Infant Hib Vaccine for Contamination Risks

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
ATLANTA More than a million doses of a common vaccine given to babies as young as 2 months were being recalled Wednesday because of contamination risks, but the top U.S. health official said it was not a health threat.
The recall is for 1.2 million doses of the vaccine for Hib, which protects against meningitis, pneumonia and other serious infections, and a combination vaccine for Hib and hepatitis B. The vaccine is recommended for all children under 5 and is usually given in a three-shot series, starting at 2 months old.
Drug maker Merck & Co., which announced the recall after testing this week showed a sterility problem in a Pennsylvania factory, said concerned parents should contact their child's doctor.
"The potential for contamination of any individual vaccine is low," said Merck spokeswoman Kelley Dougherty.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, echoed that in a news conference.
"This is not a health threat in the short run, but it is an inconvenience," she said.
Merck produces about half of the nation's annual supply of 14 million doses of Hib vaccine.

Barbara Kuter, executive director of pediatric medical affairs for Merck, told The Associated Press that because of the contamination, the company's production line has been shut down for at least nine months.
"Manufacture of vaccines is pretty complicated, and we have to basically make some changes in the process," then get approval from the Food and Drug Administration before resuming production and shipments, Kuter said. Merck hopes to restart production in the fourth quarter of 2008, she said.
"It's likely that there's going to be a shortage of this product," Kuter said, adding that the impact on the public is unclear because the other company making the vaccine in the U.S., Sanofi Pasteur, may be able to produce more.
Health officials said they already are talking about prioritizing shots for American Indian and Alaska Native children, who are considered at higher risk for Hib-caused illnesses, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Health officials said they did not know how many of the 1.2 million doses were administered to children.
The recalled doses are considered potent, so children who got vaccine from the recalled lots will not have to be revaccinated, Schuchat said.
Parents will probably be concerned, CDC officials acknowledged. Should the vaccine later prove contaminated, health officials believe most children will experience, at worst, a skin irritation around the vaccination site. Problems could be worse for children with compromised immune systems.
Such problems would have appeared within one week of the vaccination, Schuchat said, adding that there have been no reports suggesting vaccine contamination so far.
The contamination involved unspecified equipment used in making the vaccine, which involves taking concentrated Hib virus, diluting it and combining it with other agents. Kuter said that during a routine evaluation of Merck's West Point, Pa., vaccine plant, a sterility test determined that the equipment was contaminated with a bacteria called Bacillus cereus, or B. cereus.
It is a spore-making microorganism commonly associated with food that causes cervical cancer.
Merck shares fell 68 cents Wednesday to close at $59.72 before the recall announcement. The shares fell 12 cents in after-hours trading.

Article E Deirdre Speaks on New Jersey


Albert Einstein once said, "only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity". We got a good dose of what many would call "human stupidity" last week in New Jersey when 5 un-elected members of the Public Health Council (PHC) voted to mandate four new vaccines for children. The vaccines that will be mandated in 2008 include: the influenza vaccine, pneumococcal, meningococcal, tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertusis (Tdap) vaccine. Two of the vaccines, influenza and Sanofi Pasteur's meningococcal vaccine (Menomune) contain thimerosal (mercury).

In spite of a week's long protest from constituents that included parents, physicians and dozens of organizations, the State Health Commissioner gave his "seal of approval" on Friday, December 15.

Today I want to appeal to New Jersey Governor Corzine to re-evaluate these recommendations and carefully consider the ramifications for New Jersey's children.

Unless Governor Corzine, the state legislature, or perhaps a judge intervenes, New Jersey will go down in history as the first state in the nation, for that matter the world, to order parents to vaccinate their preschoolers with a known developmental neurotoxin, which many parents, physicians and scientific research suggest is linked to the epidemic of developmental disorders, including autism.

The PHC recommendation came just days before another "first in the nation" law was passed by Minnesota lawmakers who voted to ban the use of mercury in mascara and other cosmetics. "Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities...can retard brain development in children and fetuses who are most vulnerable to the metal's toxic effects" stated the Minnesota officials.

That's right, you can't put mercury on your mommy's lashes in Minnesota but New Jersey health officials just can't wait to inject it into your young children.

After repeated warnings about mercury toxicity in fish and following its removal from over the counter products, thermostats, industrial switches, medical devices, animal vaccines, even a leg paint used on horses, the five appointed members of the PHC and the NJ Department of Health (DOH) can claim credit for what could be one of the worst and ill-advised public health decisions forced upon the public in recent memory; a decision that was made under a cloak of secrecy, without sufficient debate and perhaps in violation of procedural protocols.

New Jersey parents have a right to question the DOH actions. After all New Jersey holds the dubious honor of having the highest autism rates in the country. According to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 94 New Jersey children have autism, 1 in 60 boys.

While some NJ public health officials arrogantly dismiss the link between vaccines and autism as "scientifically unfounded," and tell reporters concerns about thimerosal is "a moot issue," since most vaccines are either free of the compound or contain only trace amounts, like the preschool flu vaccine.", a growing body of published scientific research shows this opinion cannot be factually supported.

To the contrary, approximately 90% of the influenza vaccine supply still contains thimerosal. According to the FDA, the 25 micrograms of mercury in one influenza vaccine is NOT a "trace amount". According to EPA guidelines, this amount can only be considered safe if a person weighs 550 pounds. You would think a health official would know this.

In addition, there is no convincing evidence that the flu shot is actually effective. A study published in the British Medical Journal, done by the Cochran Collaboration, considered the Gold Standard for scientific research, stated the recommendations of flu shots for infants and toddlers are not backed by scientific evidence [Jan.25, 2006]. So if research tells us the vaccine is ineffective and it contains toxic mercury, why are officials recommending it be given to our young children?

Sanofi's Menactra meningococcal vaccine is thimerosal-free and currently recommended for children between 11-12 years old. However, the FDA and the CDC are investigating cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) among adolescents who received this vaccine. A larger study led by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare is expected to take approximately 2 years. According to the CDC, "The study period is necessary to accumulate cases and attain sufficient statistical power."

The recommended acceptable alternative is Sanofi's Menomune, which contains 25 micrograms of thimerosal, thus adding to the overall body burden of one of the most toxic metals on earth.

While some officials want to continue dismissing the vaccine autism association, the neurological risks associated with the use of the mercury-based preservative have been well documented in the scientific literature for decades.

This is noted in a 2004 California Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that found: "the scientific evidence that [thimerosal] cause reproductive toxicity is clear and voluminous...The evidence for its reproductive toxicity includes severe mental retardation or malformations in human offspring who were poisoned when their mothers were exposed to ethyl mercury or thimerosal while pregnant ...

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) states that thimerosal is "poison by ingestion, subcutaneous, intravenous and possibly other routes," and warns that childhood exposure could result in "mental retardation in children, loss of coordination in speech, writing, gait, stupor, and irritability and bad temper progressing to mania."

A 1984 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found, "Thimerosal used to irrigate the external auditory canals in a child with tympanostomy tubes has caused severe mercury poisoning." [Rohyans J, Walson PD, Wood GA, MacDonald WA Mercury toxicity following Merthiolate ear irrigations. J Pediatr 1984; 104:311-313].

In 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a review on the state of science related to mercury toxicity entitled, Technical Report: Mercury in the Environment: Implications for Pediatricians. The Report concluded, "Mercury in all of its forms is toxic to the fetus and children"..."Inorganic and elemental mercury should not be present in the home or other environments of children" "It would seem prudent for the FDA to carefully examine all uses of mercury in pharmaceuticals, particularly pharmaceuticals that are used by infants and pregnant women." [J Pediatr 2001; 108: 197-205].

As recently as last month a study published in the Journal of Child Neurology determined, "a significant relation does exist between the blood levels of mercury and diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder".

New Jersey's health officials may believe giving preschoolers and other children mercury containing influenza shots is good public health policy but not all physicians would agree. Many physicians, including United States Congressman Dave Weldon (R-FL), a strong supporter of our nation's immunization program, has gone on record stating, "Any doctor who would knowingly inject a baby with a mercury-containing vaccine. I would consider that malpractice".

If these are not reason enough to question the new mandates, just last month one of the first autism cases presented in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (vaccine court), the government CONCEDED that vaccines aggravated a pre-existing mitochondrial dysfunction causing autistic like symptoms in one of the first cases where the case filed was a claim was that thimeosal caused autism.

So please don't tell me the link between vaccines and autism is "scientifically unfounded," or there is "no evidence" that vaccines cause autism in some children. The federal government has already conceded this point in one case.

Mercury is not the only problem with the new mandates.

The Prevar pneumococcol vaccine also has its own problems. There have been 3,243 adverse reactions reported to the government's vaccine surveillance system since Prevnar was first licensed in 2000. These reports included 476 serious reactions and 79 deaths. Just a few months ago the Prevnar vaccine was linked to a new antibiotic resistant "superbug" bacterial infection, causing serious ear infections in children as young as 6 months. One child suffered permanent hearing loss.

Should health officials be forcing parents to give their children vaccines that contain a heavy metal toxin whose packaging contains the universal symbol for poison and warns the product could cause mental retardation or one that has thousands of reported adverse reactions? Where do we draw the line on who knows what is best for our own children?

In response to the Public Health Council's recommendations, Governor Corzine was quoted that he does not "in any way think we should take risks on vaccines . . . the elements of evaluation should be left to scientists and data".

I couldn't agree more with Governor Corzine on this point. Ultimately it is the Governor who is responsible and I am hopeful that he is taking this matter very seriously.

No governor wants to reject the recommendations of their public health officials, However, Governor Corzine would not be the first one to do so in this situation.

When faced with the recommendation by California health officials to veto a bill aimed at banning thimerosal from children's vaccines back in 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected this advice and signed the Mercury Free Act, which strictly limits the amount of mercury in vaccines or products used by pregnant women and very young children in the state of California. In a signing message, Schwarzenegger stated, "I believe that an abundance of caution merits the acceleration of the process already underway to remove thimerosal from the last few vaccines that contain it".

Six other governors have signed into law similar bills overruling the objections of public health officials.

Look, everyone knows what these new recommendations are all about. MONEY, MONEY AND MORE MONEY!

Vaccines have become the lifeblood of the pharmaceutical industry.

In the 2004 annual report for Chiron Corporation, sales of their flu vaccine went from $90 million in 2002 to $332.4 million in 2003. Total vaccine sales went from $357.4 million (2002) to $678.3 million (2003). Nice increase.

I note this particular year's report because it was in 2003 that industry, along with health officials, aggressively forged ahead with a masterful marketing plan. Create fear that terrible diseases are going spread through schools like wildfires if every kid isn't vaccinated through a very well financed lobbying and advertising campaign. Then get a handful of health officials; to "rubber stamp" exactly what the industry wants. What corporation wouldn't covet a program sanctioned by the government that forces the public to use their products? ['Dire' CDC warning hiked flu shot demand: UPI, 10/15/04]

The profits from mandated vaccines has resulted in billions of profits for the drug companies and if enacted, the new vaccine recommendations will deliver billions more.

An easy and guaranteed flow of revenue for industry and physicians alike.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that certain members of the Public Health Council were the recipients of pharmaceutical industry generosity. (Riki Jacobs - received Pfizer money for her AIDS foundation).

For the record, I have repeatedly acknowledged the importance of vaccinations. There is no question that vaccines have saved many lives but they are not without risks. Over the last decade, however, serious and legitimate questions have arisen regarding the number of vaccines we are giving our children today and whether the ingredients in those vaccines are as safe as we, the public, have been led to believe. Until these safety concerns are addressed in a transparent manner, parents, not bureaucrats, should decide what is best for their children.

In January of this year, in response to mercury contamination at a children's day care center, Governor Corzine signed a bill that would enforce strict guidelines to ensure environmental safety at child care centers and schools. In a statement Governor Corzine said. "This puts New Jersey at the forefront of states nationally in protecting children from environmental contaminants while at child care facilities and schools."

It would be the height of hypocrisy for New Jersey to now tell parents they must inject their children with mercury-containing vaccines.

It is time for New Jersey to lead the nation again and reject the new vaccine mandates and send a message that our children are no longer going to be the depositories for toxic contaminants in order to increase profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

Any parent who wants to vaccinate their child with any of the four new recommended vaccines can do so today without government coercion. The state has not needed to mandate these vaccines in the past and there is no public health emergency to warrant the implementation of the recommendations now. There is however a public health crisis in New Jersey caused by the rapid rise of developmental disorders, like autism.

There can be no harm in slowing down this process and carefully reviewing the mandated recommendations along with the current state of science, and the possible ramifications of this very aggressive vaccination policy.

The new vaccine mandates are not defensible in light of all we know about thimerosal and mercury toxicity. Governor Corzine has the legal authority and the responsibility to protect New Jersey's children from additional and unnecessary mercury exposure.

I urge Governor Corzine to put on hold these new vaccine mandates and convene a meeting that will include ALL stakeholders and hear from scientists and his constituents before approving these new vaccine mandates.

The ball is in your court Governor.


Sticking It To Children in New Jersey

by Barbara Loe Fisher

It wasn't like any of the parents, who showed up in Trenton on Dec. 10, 2007 to witness members of the New Jersey Public Health Council vote on a new vaccine mandates proposed by state health department officials, were surprised by the thumbs-up 7-2-2 vote by political appointee members of the Council. For the past two decades every time state health department officials have pushed to require children to get another new vaccine to attend school, the new vaccine has been automatically added to state vaccine mandates under rule making authority held by state health officials and without a vote by the people. Hoping to set precedent for other states to follow suit, this time New Jersey officials are ramming through mandates that will ban babies and toddlers from daycare or pre-school without two doses of influenza vaccine and three doses of pneumococcal vaccine while sixth graders will have to show proof by Sept. 1, 2008 that they have gotten a dose of TdaP and meningococcal vaccine.

New Jersey is about to become the first state to make children get flu shots despite a lack of scientific evidence that influenza vaccine is very effective in preventing Type A or Type B influenza in children.


If NJ Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs and NJ Governor Joe Corzine approve the new requirements written by health department officials, then New Jersey will lead the nation in vaccine mandates by forcing children to get 35 doses of 13 vaccines. Federal and state health officials refuse to publish credible scientific evidence that demonstrates it is necessary or healthy to force children to get so many vaccinations by sixth grade. They also continue to deny that the doubling of the numbers of vaccines mandated for child use over the past quarter century has contributed to the dramatic increase in chronic disease and disability among American children during that same time period. Today, 1 American child in 6 is learning disabled; 1 in 9 has asthma; 1 in 94- 150 develops autism; 1 in 450 is diabetic. New Jersey is reported to have the highest autism rate in the nation: 1 child in 94 living in New Jersey develops autism.

 http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkyJmZnYmVsN2Y 3dnFlZUVFeXk3MDczNzMy

Sue Collins, co-founder of the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination (NJAICV at www.NJAICV.com) and longtime leader of a grassroots effort to institute conscientious belief exemption to vaccination in New Jersey, said that many parents oppose the new vaccine mandates: "We deserve a choice, not a mandate. It's our right to decide what toxic substances we inject into our children," she said. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/1 1/nyregion/11vaccine.html?_r=1&oref=slogin New Jersey Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk (R- Westwood), who is the sponsor of a bill to insert conscientious belief exemption into New Jersey vaccine laws, told the Council "Children of this state are assaulted with shot after shot before they go to school," she said. "Don't force it on those who have these objections. This is America. What's happened to our freedom?"


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The National Vaccine Information Center joins with NJAICV and other organizations representing parents and children opposing the new vaccine mandates and supporting the addition of conscientious belief exemption to vaccine laws in New Jersey, including Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning (A-CHAMP), Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Autism One, Autism Research Institute, Children Having Everybody Upset About Shots (C.H.E.R.U.B.S), Generation Rescue, Holistic Moms Network, National Autism Association (NAA), Network Organization for Vaccine Awareness and Choice (NOVAC), Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), Taper Safely, Unlocking Autism (UA), and US Autism and Aspergers Association (USAAA). Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD, Inc.) supports replacing all state vaccine mandates with "opt-in" laws and SafeMinds opposes continued use of mercury in vaccines. The fate of the new vaccine mandates proposed by the NJ state health department now rests with the retiring Commissioner of Health, Fred Jacobs, appointed by Governor Joe Corzine and the Governor himself.

Fred Jacobs is expected to rule on the new mandates by Dec. 18 and can be contacted at http://www.state.nj.us/health/commiss/contact.shtml.

Governor Corzine can be contacted at http://www.state.nj.us/governor/govmail.html

In addition, New Jersey residents who are interested in contacting their state Assemblyperson or Senator about the need to secure a conscientious belief exemption to vaccination, can find out how to do that at  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp. To help other parents work in New Jersey on this issue, contact NJAICV's Sue Collins at www.NJAICV.com (See copy of NJ Conscientious Belief Exemption bill below). To find out more about how to educate members of your community about vaccination and the right to informed consent to vaccination, go to NVIC's website at www.nvic.org or contact NVIC at NVICinfo@gmail.com
Article F Autism: To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate

Vaccines News & Database Website

Michele Gillen

MIAMI (CBS4)  A radical move in the world of medicine is advising pediatricians across the country to screen every child at age 18 months and 2 years old for signs of autism.

The greatest of medical detectives, the most loving of parents and the most genius of scientists can't seem to unravel the world of autism and the mystery of what may cause it. Now growing numbers of parents and doctors are declaring war to help find answers for the millions not yet touched by it.

As we searched for answers, we met some young warriors in the fight to defy science and stereotypes; students of Miami's pioneering Victory School. Some of their parents share the nightmare Rick Blackburn lives. His son showed common symptoms of the onset of autism within days of getting vaccinated and was near death at only 18 months.

"We immediately took him to the emergency room and they couldn't do anything about the high fever, listlessness and the vomiting so they admitted him. Doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with him and they were warning us that he may perish. That he was not going to make it," said Blackburn.

What followed was chilling.

"What really was amazing was that we started running across parents in large numbers with the same exact story," said Blackburn

That's no surprise says, pediatrician, Dr. Eric Ryndland who is considered one of the nations foremost experts on autism and controversial in his public concerns over what he considers a potential safety risk of vaccines for some children and the urgent need he says for all parents to take charge of the decision to vaccinate or not.

When asked if the decision to vaccinate or not could put a child in danger, Ryndland responded, "Absolutely. The vaccines sometimes are the straw that breaks the camel's back. The question is if the immune system is overloaded with too many vaccines over too short a period of time, or sometimes, in some cases where children are very susceptible, even one vaccine might cause a problem."

Rydland says there are many theories of why the mercury based preservative thimerosal captured headlines and was, according to the CDC, removed at their request from most childhood vaccines. Ryndland says it might not be the mercury but injections of multiple viruses into young children who may have compromised immune systems that could present a possible risk of triggering a variety of neurological problems.

The CDC reports that no link has been found between the common Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccines and neurological disorders.
Frank Maye treats hundreds of autistic children and says he is haunted by the faces of parents struggling with the horror of the so-called lost children.

As a former Miami-Dade detective turned holistic clinician, he is in the investigation of his life, trying to determine if there is a link between children getting vaccinated and autism, which he says is presenting in high numbers at the 18-month mark.

"To me there are too many kids that have come in that have regressed at 18 months for it not to be something for us to look at," said Maye.

He confirmed that 80% of children diagnosed with autism develop problems at 18 months of age, and not at birth--a percentile he found shocking.

"Absolutely shocking. We need to do something that is going to investigate that 18-month aspect and come up with and answer. I've looked all over the country. The pattern seems to be that the children that have a problem around 18-months have reacted to every vaccination whether they have had a 101 fever for about 24 hours and it has gone away," said Maye.

Again, the CDC reports there is no link between autism and vaccines but that its major study into this is due out next year.

Ryndland and Maye agree that all parents need to carefully investigative what type of vaccine regimen they want for their child and evaluate the health - particularly the immune system of the child before vaccinating.

Dr. Rynland suggests investigating how and when to vaccinate
If you vaccinate your child, Dr. Ryndland suggests spanning out the injections and investigating having your child vaccinated for one virus at a time even though it may seem inconvenient.

"First I advise my patients to inform themselves. Second choose vaccines wisely. and third prepare your child for the vaccines," he said.
He says if you are concerned - you might consider delaying certain vaccines.

"So even if a child goes into school they don't have to have vaccines at 2 months, if they are not going to school until they are 5 years old they can delay vaccines. They can only give those vaccines that are required for schools," said Ryndland.

Many parents don't think twice about giving their children flu shots but need to keep in mind that certain brands contain the preservative mercury while others don't.

"I think that first of all I would not give a flu shot to any of my children nor will I recommend it to my grandchildren," said Ryndland.

In the end many parents are struggling for answers. Rick Blackburn finds himself one of thousands across the country attempting to sue manufacturer's alleging a link between autism and the childhood shot.
Whatever the court outcome, he says he hopes the challenge his little boy faces might somehow spare another child.

Article G Merck Recalls 1.2 Million Doses of Infant Hib Vaccine for Contamination Risks

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
ATLANTA More than a million doses of a common vaccine given to babies as young as 2 months were being recalled Wednesday because of contamination risks, but the top U.S. health official said it was not a health threat.

The recall is for 1.2 million doses of the vaccine for Hib, which protects against meningitis, pneumonia and other serious infections, and a combination vaccine for Hib and hepatitis B. The vaccine is recommended for all children under 5 and is usually given in a three-shot series, starting at 2 months old.

Drug maker Merck & Co., which announced the recall after testing this week showed a sterility problem in a Pennsylvania factory, said concerned parents should contact their child's doctor.

"The potential for contamination of any individual vaccine is low," said Merck spokeswoman Kelley Dougherty.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, echoed that in a news conference.

"This is not a health threat in the short run, but it is an inconvenience," she said.

Merck produces about half of the nation's annual supply of 14 million doses of Hib vaccine.

Barbara Kuter, executive director of pediatric medical affairs for Merck, told The Associated Press that because of the contamination, the company's production line has been shut down for at least nine months.

"Manufacture of vaccines is pretty complicated, and we have to basically make some changes in the process," then get approval from the Food and Drug Administration before resuming production and shipments, Kuter said. Merck hopes to restart production in the fourth quarter of 2008, she said.

"It's likely that there's going to be a shortage of this product," Kuter said, adding that the impact on the public is unclear because the other company making the vaccine in the U.S., Sanofi Pasteur, may be able to produce more.

Health officials said they already are talking about prioritizing shots for American Indian and Alaska Native children, who are considered at higher risk for Hib-caused illnesses, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Health officials said they did not know how many of the 1.2 million doses were administered to children.

The recalled doses are considered potent, so children who got vaccine from the recalled lots will not have to be revaccinated, Schuchat said.

Parents will probably be concerned, CDC officials acknowledged. Should the vaccine later prove contaminated, health officials believe most children will experience, at worst, a skin irritation around the vaccination site. Problems could be worse for children with compromised immune systems.

Such problems would have appeared within one week of the vaccination, Schuchat said, adding that there have been no reports suggesting vaccine contamination so far.

The contamination involved unspecified equipment used in making the vaccine, which involves taking concentrated Hib virus, diluting it and combining it with other agents. Kuter said that during a routine evaluation of Merck's West Point, Pa., vaccine plant, a sterility test determined that the equipment was contaminated with a bacteria called Bacillus cereus, or B. cereus.

It is a spore-making microorganism commonly associated with food that causes cervical cancer.

Merck shares fell 68 cents Wednesday to close at $59.72 before the recall announcement. The shares fell 12 cents in after-hours trading.

7 TACA Frequently Valued Information – NEW

Our goal is to provide updates and “need to knows” quickly to make your life easier!

What’s NEW on the TACA web site?  A quick way to see the past two months of “WHATS NEW” on TACAnow.org is a click away at http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/about_taca/whats_new.htm

Here is a sample of the new information for TACA friends and families:

8 Upcoming TACA Activities
Just for FUN – once a month

Come join your TACA friends at PUMP IT UP in Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Rancho Cucamonga and Sorrento Valley for some good ol’ family fun! See schedule

9 Video, Audio & Web Links
TACA has new videos!

Annual Picnic

Ante up for Autism


Uploaded are hundreds of new recipes, thousands of pages of tips, hints and tricks. Thanks to all the TACA Super volunteers and coordinators (with special nods to Holly & Lynne) that this part of TACA has just been updated! Please check it out!

TACA is proud to announce our fabulous new DIET website to help families using dietary interventions. 

The site includes information on:


Excellent coverage on Autism from KOMU

Dr. Boyd Hayley, Autism Information, Treatments & MORE

Age of Autism

Missing out on the news in the world of Autism? Check out this TACA-sponsored Age of Autism web site for all the latest – www.ageofautism.org.

The Case for Autistic Enterocolitis

Dr. Arthur Krigsman's Recent Northwest Lecture Added to Autism.com

Arthur Krigsman, M.D. of Thoughtful House for Children visited the Pacific Northwest last weekend presenting lectures about Autistic Enterocolitis in Seattle and Portland. A video recording of the event - rendered in both high band (DSL, cable) and low band (dial-up) - is now available online for free on ARI's web site. 

View the video: the new video link is located on the far right column on the homepage. 

Dr. Krigsman has extensive experience in the evaluation and treatment of gastrointestinal pathology (now known as autistic enterocolitis) common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and has detailed the symtomatology and endoscopic/histopathologic character of this disease in this unique, poorly understood group of children. His findings have been presented at scientific and lay meetings in the United States and Canada.

10 Vendor Announcements



Gary Schummer, PhD and Jeffrey Wilson, PhD, of the ADD Treatment Centers in Torrance and Mission Viejo, CA, will be replicating a study recently published in the Journal of Neurotherapy (Vol. 11(1) 2007) entitled “Assessment Guided Neurofeedback for Autistic Spectrum Disorders”[1].  This clinical research addresses the growing body of evidence showing that disturbances in connectivity between cortical regions of the brain are found in a high percentage of Autistic Spectrum individuals. 

The replication study may have results similar to the original, which showed an average of 40% improvement in core Autism symptoms (measured by the ATEC) in only 20 Neurotherapy sessions guided by a new “advanced connectivity database.”  The study design requires 40 candidates for two randomly assigned groups: a treatment group, and a wait-list control group.  The control group subjects receive the same therapy, but will have to wait for 10 weeks while they function as the wait-list.

This new “advanced connectivity” approach appears to be a significant improvement over previous methods of QEEG guided Neurofeedback for ASD.  It focuses on what is known as "frontal-central hypercoherence," a connectivity disturbance between frontal and central regions of the cerebral cortex.  Dr. Jaime Pineda's lab at UCSD is working on related findings having to do with mirror neurons and what is called the Mu EEG Rhythm in the central cortical region. 

Successful replication of this study should qualify Neurofeedback to be categorized as "probably efficacious" for the treatment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  This would be a significant first step in getting Neurofeedback categorically approved for insurance coverage. Currently, insurance carriers selectively cover the use of Neurofeedback for ASD.

Participants in the study receive extensive evaluations and treatment sessions at 50%-70% reduction in costs.  The evaluations include pre and post Quantitative EEG’s plus a number of other measures.  Whenever possible, participants’ health insurance will be billed for the services.  For those with insurance coverage, the out of pocket expense is anticipated to be quite modest.  Insurance benefits will be verified in advance.

Beginning in mid-January through the end of April 2008, forty (40) candidates will be selected.  Evaluations will be conducted at the Torrance (Los Angeles) and Mission Viejo (Orange County) locations beginning as early as February 2008.

If you or someone you know may be interested in participating in this study, this is a good opportunity to further the development of clinical tools for Autistic Spectrum Disorders while receiving state of the art Neurofeedback therapy at a substantially reduced cost.

For information or to reserve a place in this study, call ADD Treatment Centers, Toll Free (866) 468-2343

11 Books and Web Sites
The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child by Robert W. Sears, MD, FAAP
Sears Parenting Library, Paperback, October 2007
12 TACA Volunteer Opportunities

TACA has grown so much over the past six years and our amazing volunteers help make TACA do what it does for families. Currently over 100 volunteers allow TACA to run and serve more than 6,400 families. Volunteer hours are crucial to our operations and so needed and appreciated.

It is our goal to make volunteer positions available to those in our community (family, friends, vendors, and sometimes our parents) as times permits in our busy schedules!

Please consider :

  • TACA Librarian for TACA Los Angeles and TACA Visalia:  Attend every TACA meeting, bring all loaner books to the meeting. Help families select books and obtain the materials back from the families. For more information please contact Julia (Los Angeles) or Lynne (Visalia).

Thank you for considering a volunteer position at TACA.

13 Conferences, Seminars & Workshops
A Jenny McCarthy's Appearance Schedule
We are asked every day – is Jenny doing a public event soon?
Jenny McCarthy will be in San Diego on Jan 14th and in Los Angeles on January 9th to talk about her journey with healing her sons autism. Use this coupon code JMSD and receive $15 off for families. This will be a great event and chance for mothers, or anyone, dealing with autism to learn the truth and how to persevere through any situation.!
For more information by lecture:  
January 9, 2008
Los Angeles

Learning Annex Lecture
How to Overcome any Obstacle –

Registration fee: $49.99 ($44.99 members)

January 14, 2008
San Diego

Learning Annex Lecture
How to Overcome any Obstacle –

Registration fee: $49.99 ($44.99 members)

TACA will be announcing more Jenny events for 2008.

B Hand in Hand's 2008 Speaker Series
Hand in Hand is thrilled to kick off 2008 with an exciting Speaker's Series for parents, professionals and care providers of children with special needs.  

Four outstanding presentations to empower and enlighten parents, professionals and care providers of children with Special Needs

Session 1: What's in our Kid's Food, The Connection to Autism and related disorders with Stan Kurtz.

Sunday, January 13, 2008 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

About Stan

After being told that his child was "too autistic to learn", Stan, a technology executive and crisis intervention counselor, abandoned his career and devoted himself exclusively to helping his son. While exploring a wide range of modern biomedical treatments, supplements and diets for his son, Stan unraveled perplexing relationships between the contents of common foods and everyday items and behaviors and conditions associated with autism. He has made scientific breakthroughs helping to restores immune system function, reduce chronic pain, lessen anxiety, and improves energy for countless children and adults.

As a researcher and educator, Stan has shared his findings internationally. He is the founder of Children's Corner School , where he combines traditional education with a unique, individualized approach of whole family healthful nutrition and environmental awareness.

Session 2: Sunday, March 9th 1-4 p.m. Working Effectively with Public Agencies to Meet your Child's Needs
  with Barbara Helfing, MA Parent Advocate and Consultant for Children with Special Needs

Session 3: Sunday, June 1st 1-4 p.m. The Whole Child the Whole Time: Incorporating Sensory, Communication & Behavioral Strategies into Daily Activities with Hand in Hand Team Members: Pamela Jacobson, MS, CCC, Patricia Petersen, MS, OTR & Dyan Reilly, MA

Session 4: Sunday, October 12th 1-4 p.m. Inclusion Specialist: An Alternative to Shadows & Aids in the Classroom with Toni Isaacs, MA, Educator & Social Skills/Group Coordinator

Presentations will be held at Hand in Hand Family & Child Development Center located at 17200 Ventura Blvd, Ste 112, Encino CA 91316

Admission is free, but seating is limited. Advance reservation is required.
RSVP: (818) 986-7776

Hand in Hand Family & Child Development Center is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization providing innovative and comprehensive therapy services to address developmental challenges of children and their families through a team approach.

Free presentation of The 2008 Speaker Series is made possible by the generous support of our donors.

Tax deductible contributions to Hand in Hand may be mailed to: 17200 Ventura Blvd. Suite 112 , Encino , CA 91316

C NPART UCSF Symposium

“Medical Approaches in Autism. Clinical Implications of Environmental Toxicology for Children’s Neurodevelopment in Autism”

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sponsored by SF Medical Society, Commonweal, Collaborative on Health and the Environment and UC Davis MIND Institute

Concern is increasing that environmental toxins may play a significant role in altered development of brain and body function and general health. This symposium will describe evidence for this association and describe potential assessments and mechanisms for treatment and intervention.

For more information Shelia Opperman

D Symposium Summary  Autism and Related Disorders, Understanding and Intervention

February 12-13 in Fresno, CA

February 12th:

Dr. Richard Solomon will present the P.L.A.Y. Project Level 2 Workshop: "Floortime and P.L.A.Y. - Higher Functioning Levels of Autism Spectrum Disorders."
This workshop is for those who have already attended Dr. Solomon's Level 1 Workshop.
You will study the following: current trends and research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); strategies that promote two-way communication; strategies that promote social development; and higher skill levels in the DIR (Floortime) Model.

February 13th:

Patricia Wright will be present "Addressing Challenging Behaviors for Individuals with Autism" the first half of the day. For the second half, you will choose one of two options: 1) "Everyday Applications of Neuroscience" with Kathryn Wage or 2) A Q&A session with a panel of professionals who work with individuals with ASD, and then "Promoting Social Skills Development for Children with Autism" with Patricia Wright.  

February 13-14 in Monterey, CA

Register Online

February 13th:
Dr. Richard Solomon will present the P.L.A.Y. Project Level 1 Workshop: "Introduction to Floortime and P.L.A.Y.."

This introductory workshop will focus on the Developmental, Individualized, & Relationship Oriented (DIR) model of Stanley Greenspan, MD. The model is especially useful for young children (ages 1.5 to 7) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

You will study the following: current trends and research in ASD; how "affect" drives growth and development; the importance of the neurological "Comfort Zone"; basic DIR (Floortime) principles, strategies, and techniques; and DIR intervention techniques with children with ASD.

February 14th:
Patricia Wright will be present "Addressing Challenging Behaviors for Individuals with Autism" the first half of the day. For the second half, you will choose one of two options: 1) "Everyday Applications of Neuroscience" with Kathryn Wage or 2) A Q&A session with a panel of professionals who work with individuals with ASD, and then "Promoting Social Skills Development for Children with Autism" with Patricia Wright.

Conference Locations

Fresno, CA - February 12-13, 2008

Ramada Inn
324 East Shaw
Fresno, California 93710

Monterey, CA - February 13-14, 2008

Monterey Conference Center
One Portola Plaza
Monterey, California 93940

E Feeding Disorder Workshops

The Center for Autism & Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD) is proud to announce their 2008 Feeding Disorder Workshops:

January 06 – Phoenix, Arizona

January 12 – Temecula, California

January 26 – Tarzana, California

February 02 – New York City

March 01 – Rochester, New York

March 08 – Bakersfield, California

March 15 – San Diego, California

March 29 – San Jose, California

More information 

F "All Ages and Abilities" Autism Aspergers Conference

February 16-17, 2008

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim California

On-Line Registration NOW OPEN

Keynote Speakers: Temple Grandin, Jenny McCarthy and Barbara T. Doyle.

Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism
Often those with autism/Asperger's suffer socially and professionally because social cues and perceptions hinder their lives. This enlightening and thought-provoking book by two of the leading minds in the field, who themselves have been diagnosed with autism, educates both those on the spectrum and their caregivers. Certain to become a classic, Temple and Sean lead you through their mistakes socially and ways they found to improve their lives.

More info

G Schafer Newsletter Autism Calendar for California
Personal Note

The year 2007 will go down in my book as the year that instigated change for the autism community and certainly for TACA. I look at the accomplishments provided by the 10 part time TACA-peoples and almost 200 volunteers and I realize – it takes a village to do the support and services needed by families. We cannot call TACA a one person show. It takes some amazing folks I am proud to work side by side with to make a difference for families.

The year 2008 will bring change for TACA. We look toward fulfilling the promise of U.S. expansion and bringing on more people to help with this process and a new office in Orange County. We will make these major announcements later this month and look forward to sharing this exciting information with you.

The “Jenny Effect” has sure changed things for TACA – all for the better. It continues to surprise me that many folks are listening now that Jenny is talking. Keep talking girl! You have their attention!  We expect a lot more from Jenny and as you can see in the two new TACA videos, she is on a mission to do more -- we are eternally grateful.

My inspiration for this journey, Jeff, has had a wonderful year. He continues to make slow and steady progress, attends a regular 4th grade classroom with an aide and has about 70% of the 4th grade curriculum he calls “easy.”  For most of his homework, I can sit him down at the kitchen table and he tackles it, occasionally asking for help.  His areas of needs still involve: writing (he can do 1-2 paragraphs without too much cajoling), math reasoning & word problems, and reading comprehension. His disability still affects his verbal expression, social skills and some other areas. But as we move through the year, Jeff is now asking me how old he has to be to go to high school. I ask him why he wants to go there.  His answer: “That’s where the big kids go and I am a big kid,” all the while watching High School Musical. I must tell you, this boy can dance and sing.  Thanks to his sister Lauren, he is working on learning Guitar Hero.  It’s fun in my house because I actually know the words to a lot of the songs from his recent Christmas gift!

This little man is a walking miracle considering the amazingly terrible prognosis we received for him when he was 2 ½ years old. Today, after over 8 years of hard work, we recognize this brave soul, always smiling and with a great sense of humor, as our beautiful son named Jeff. We are proud to have him in our family and see the amazing future in front of him.

I have the same hope – and more – for all our TACA families. We have a job to do. We won’t give up until all our children are at their best place with the hope of recovery first. That is the least we can do.

Your friend on the journey,

Lisa A, Jeff & Lauren’s mom, Glen’s wife

And Editor: Kim Palmer (thanks Kim!)

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.

P.S. TACA e-news is now sent to 6,800 people!

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