Autism is a Crisis Requiring Urgent Solutions across the Spectrum

January 17, 2017

The other day, I shared a blog regarding the current autism rates to my personal Facebook page. I shared it because I find it infuriating that we are still in a place where we are downplaying both the numbers and rapidly increasing rates and dismissing the thought that this is anything we need to be concerned about. I posted this blog that broke down the facts, and added the following personal comment:

“They have tried to say that autism rates have leveled off or not increased but this blog explains very simply that it’s just not the case.  And the rates of developmentally disabled children . . . well, let’s just say the crisis is here.”

I didn’t give much thought to it, and frankly as seems to be the case when we mention anything about autism, the response was pretty much silence (reinforcing the frustration that originally led to the above statement) from anyone outside our community. But a day later I received the following comment. I won’t share who it came from, but here is the screenshot, minus the name.

I am not Facebook friends with this person.  In fact, I have no idea how this person came to find my post, nor does it matter.  In this person’s eyes, I had insulted them.  I needed to remedy that, and yet I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond as I stand by my statement. So I did my best to respond from the heart as I wrote the following:

“I am calling autism a crisis. You are not a crisis. I am sure you are a wonderful, amazing person. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t care that the world is ignoring all the things we need to address (hence why we have a crisis) such as appropriate medical care, dismal life-expectancy rates, very high rates of abuse, those incapable of communicating or caring for themselves, education and employment, social challenges, economic impact, high rates of depression and suicides, long-term care and housing for those who need it, as well as the issues outside of daily life such as how our world finds a way to cover the costs of care, or how we deal with schools that already can’t handle the number of children with different learning needs, or how we deal with pressing issues such as what we do when we won’t have enough people to serve in our military.

“We do have a crisis, but the crisis is not the people we love. It’s the world that hasn’t realized that we need to put people with autism as a priority. I don’t know you, but the fact that you are communicating on social media alone puts you in a category very different than many with autism. I hope that you will consider that autism is a spectrum and that it does us all good to think about what the lives of those who find themselves on the other side of the spectrum also look like. We need to work to address the needs of all.”

Looking back, I am not sure that I was kind enough, or relayed exactly why I wrote what I did. I know that there is much more to be said as I know the extremes so many of you are dealing with and know that these words don’t communicate even a small amount of your reality, and yet I also know that for someone like my brave friend who questioned me, that maybe something in what I said rings true in his/her world. And that’s the problem. It is HARD to relay all the things we face and the hundreds of things we need to work on, without the world understanding that we need urgency. We needed it years ago. The fact remains that wherever people fall on the spectrum, they are lacking what they need in this world, and that screams we have a CRISIS. But it should not ever feel as an attack on someone who is trying to navigate this mess–not the families and definitely not those with a diagnosis.

My daughter will be celebrating her birthday in a few hours.  Her life is likely very similar to my poster’s life. It’s not the life she once had where our world was addressing severe needs and a number of medical issues. A decade later it looks more like a teenager struggling to navigate a very complex world that isn’t very kind or understanding. Neither is easy, and both ends of the spectrum deserve better. I don’t have the answer as to how we celebrate the successes of those who are thriving and also communicate to the world that it isn’t a realistic view of what is happening for most. I have no clue how we both focus on employment/underemployment and those who cannot use the bathroom themselves. I don’t know that suicide is any more or less of a concern than elopement or drownings because it is all urgent. It all matters. Every single one of our loved ones matter.

The crisis is that the number of needs cannot continue to grow while we continue to have zero solutions. And we cannot address any of the issues, if we cannot have a real conversation. We have to find a way to lead with kindness and also speak the truth. For my daughter and all our children, I pray that happens.

Happy 15th Birthday to my beautiful daughter! There is nothing we won’t do to make this world a better place for you.  XOXOXOXO

~ Crush

For more by Crush, click here

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29 Responses to Autism is a Crisis Requiring Urgent Solutions across the Spectrum

  1. Twilah Hiari says:

    I see several root causes for these disputes. First, autism is a psychiatric diagnosis based on the observation of clusters of behaviors. Psychiatric/behavioral diagnoses necessarily lack specificity and empirical quantification or proof, and the diagnosis of autism is perhaps the most extreme example of the shortcomings of behaviorally based diagnoses.

    Autism is almost a useless word, because it describes so many different behavioral symptoms that have a plethora of causes, some known, some less known, most poorly understood, some hotly debated.

    Something else that has to be considered in this conversation is that the enormous spectrum of behaviors we’re calling autism do have one thing in common-they affect the way one perceives and interacts with the world. Since that’s the case, it can’t accurately be compared to most other medical conditions. That’s why many people with autism prefer to be called autistic, rather than people with autism. Because autism is so absolutely central to our experience of everything. It can’t easily be extracted or compartmentalized as medical conditions that don’t affect the brain can be. All humans use their brains to experience the world and reflect on selfhood, so conditions affecting the brain are necessarily and inherently different. If you understand this perspective, one can see how saying something like increased rates of developmental disabilities is a crisis translates quite easily to autistic people being crises.

    I’m 42 years old and have a diagnosis of autism. I don’t really care if people call me autistic or a person with autism. I call myself autistic for simplicity’s sake, all while recognizing the inherent shortcomings in the diagnosis as I’ve outlined above. Another part of my flexibility with this is, I didn’t grow up with the diagnosis, so I’m not as attached to it as some younger folks are.

    I also know that what we’re calling autism isn’t fixed, but changeable. I was either born this way or became autistic very shortly after birth. But then I was injured by pharmaceuticals at age 38 and my experience of so-called autism changed profoundly. I plummeted from what the psych folks call level 1 to level 3.

    I think what we’re calling autism in younger people is very different from what many older (non-injured) autistics experience. We’re seeing hordes of vaccine damaged neurotypical children, and those children are being called autistic. It isn’t the same condition that those of us born this way experience. I know no one at TMR chose for the autism label to be applied this way, they’re just scrambling to help their kids within a context they didn’t create. But the fact is it’s incredibly problematic that vaccine injury is being conflated with congenital brain differences. I absolutely agree that vaccine and pharmaceutically injured children and adults can and should be healed.

    But congenital brain differences should be respected and left alone. I don’t agree with everything a commenter above said, but I do agree that most NT people are obsessed with conformity. NT social rules are arbitrary, capricious, emotionally-based guidelines that have been canonized based on informal social compacts among the majority. It’s incredibly tedious to have one’s benign differences policed for no better reason than NT tradition and comfort. But I also think many older autistics fail to see that what we’re calling autism these days isn’t a congenital brain difference that should just be accepted. Injured children that look nothing like old school autistics sometimes exhibit profoundly problematic behavior–behaviors that fall way outside of acceptable differences.

  2. Bob Wood says:

    If you want to open a channel to the reality of what your children will become, do it. Make a space here for input from the individuals who have lived the furfure your children will become.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      As I told you, we have run blogs by autistic adults before, and I specifically offered you a chance to give your input.

  3. Renee says:

    Wow. This blog is so insulting. I suggest the author get to know some adult autistics and become friends. Your heart will surely change.

  4. Sak says:

    Thank you for writing this informed and heartfelt post. I, too, struggle with how the US can be downplaying this terrible epidemic, even as it gets worse, and why we persist in ignoring the underlying causes of it: neurological ‘symptoms’ from inflammation and immunological and detox impairment. While those of us who are working on healing our kids rarely have time to contemplate–much less author posts or advocate–how to raise awareness of both the true causes and enormous costs of this epidemic, please know that we are out here and we are grateful for your voice!

  5. Bob Wood says:

    “These people were told to institutionalise their children, that there was no hope. Sometimes they’re wrong.” An NT couple found that an NT doctor was more wrong than they were. Hallelujah ! Until you grasp that the Autism industry is almost always wrong as they make their living essentially by feeding parent’s addiction to conformity and relieving their impatience for that conformity drug, most of you will continue to oppose the reality of those of us who have spent our lifetimes experiencing something perpetually beyond you reach, neuro diversity.

    You will use your tools of invalidation like, “You’re at the ‘high functioning’ end of the spectrum and have lead a charmed life, and therefore cannot know the trials of parents on the other end”. And you will say things like this not knowing that I spent years as a single foster parent to a nonverbal, couldn’t dress himself, meals were a real challenge, etc. young child back in the 1970’s when there were no services and benefits like today. He returned to his mother speaking and eventually mainstreamed.

    And like that “high functioning” invalidation, we have all heard directly, but most often indirectly, how you know-it-all NTs dismiss our experiences and the resulting insights we have because we are “disordered/mentally ill/pathological” with inappropriate results from our processing dysfunction.”. Realize that to us you are just conformity addicts and we cannot feed your addiction so we spectrum adults are of no value. You try to force your kids into your addiction even though they can never feed your habit either, so you blog and write book to one another. We have answers and you have very little that your children can truly use, except maybe finding an NT more wrong than you.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Where, tell me WHERE, ANYONE said that people who don’t agree with us, spectrum adults or otherwise, are “of no value”? Where is it even IMPLIED? Absolutely NOWHERE on this site. I even EXPLICITLY asked you to write something for us. Personally, I don’t think ANYONE is “of no value,” period, but certainly not people that I ask to write for this site.

      I am thrilled to know that you were a foster parent to a young child with autism who returned to his mother speaking. And I stand corrected. I will try not to make further assumptions. I read everything I could find on autism in the 1970s, and I know that was anything but a common occurrence. Again, I say that your experience could be helpful to many parents. But it would be really nice if you stopped putting words in their mouths and making insulting assumptions of your own, like these parents are nothing but “conformity addicts” and “have very little that their children can truly use” simply because they are concerned about their children’s welfare.

    • Ruth says:

      Ummmm, your foster child sounds high functioning. Was he/she in diapers? Screaming in pain? Drooling? Banging his or her head on the wall? Throwing feces? Any of those problems something you fixed to mainstream him or her?

  6. Bob Wood says:

    ProfessorTMR, “You think that it is “largely misplaced” because you occupy a position at the extreme edge of the spectrum and your long life and ability to function outweigh for you any of the difficulties you may have had to face.”

    Wow, thank you for expressing so clearly the condescension based on complete ignorance of someone’s experience that we face from types like you every day.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Okay, let’s assume that I am guilty of condescension “based on complete ignorance of someone’s experience,” despite the fact that I frequently converse with adults who have autism, not all of whom agree with you about the “large misplacement” of concern, by the way. I am certainly guilty of making an assumption about you based on our past contact, and I apologize for that. We can remedy that right now by getting more information.

      How much do you know about the experience of children like Crush’s daughter, children with autism so severe that medical professionals told their parents they might as well have their children institutionalized immediately because they would never speak, never be able to go to the bathroom on their own, never be able to read or write, and certainly never able to sit in a classroom? Have you spoken to adults who had severe autism but either no longer have any diagnosis at all or who can now at least do their own advocating? Have you asked them about their experiences as children? Have you spoken to parents of children with severe autism and heard their concerns with an open heart? Or have you, as is often the case, insisted that they didn’t have real autism (despite being diagnosed by professionals according to the narrower criteria of Kanner’s original description of “autism” at a time when most professionals never saw a single case)? Or that the parents didn’t love their children if they sought to enable them to connect more comfortably with the world around them? Or do you dismiss their concerns out of hand with the idea they were simply neuro typicals “being hopeless addicts to conformity”?

  7. Bob Wood says:

    “… we need to put people with autism as a priority.” Nor exactly. It is said, “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” (Alexander den Heijer) The crisis is in the environment. Each time well meaning “supporters” of the spectrum community focus on their fellow human’s and their diversity instead of on how toxic the cultural environment is for neuro diverse individuals, an obstacle is created for neuro diverse people.

    “My daughter will be celebrating her birthday in a few hours. Her life is likely very similar to my poster’s life.” Again, focusing on the naturally diverse people and this time categorizing those diverse individuals into some hypothetical “similar” group that we spectrum people always come to understand is the pathology group.

    Consider that this “crisis” is just neuro typicals doing what they always do. Being hopeless addicts to conformity, they compulsively seek out finer and finer levels of nonconforming difference to feed their addiction and the number escalate. They focus on fixing the plant an not the environment. Thank you for your support, but it is largely misplaced.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      You think that it is “largely misplaced” because you occupy a position at the extreme edge of the spectrum and your long life and ability to function outweigh for you any of the difficulties you may have had to face. That is simply not the case for everyone on the spectrum, or even most people on the spectrum. As we’ve discussed before, people with autism have an average life expectancy of 36. That is not due to “neuro typicals” being “hopeless addicts to conformity.” That is due to the fact that life is DIFFICULT when you can’t do basic things like speak, use a bathroom, or sit in a classroom. Nor is it due to people like Crush “focusing on the plant and not the environment.” It seems that you have missed it, but MUCH of this website is ABOUT “fixing the environment” in order to make life safer and easier for everyone, but ESPECIALLY for those who find it difficult to function in the environment the way things are.

      • Sammy says:

        Life expectancy is 36????
        Are you out of your mind?
        Please present data to establish ridiculously sensationalised claims such as this.
        There is a reason this is classed as a spectrum, and the majority of people on it will live well past your morbid generalisation and are far more capable of functioning than you seem to give them credit for.
        We are not sick – society is – and we know it.
        Perhaps this ridiculous life expectancy will be the outcome for the generation of children who are being medicated, shocked, trained and shamed by their completely ignorant NT parents it seems.
        But for those of us who escaped that, our life expectancy is just fine thank you very much.
        Read Jacob Barnetts story. His parents were told he was so hopelessly autistic he’d never tie his shoelaces, or speak, or be able to function on his own. His mother chose to take him home and create a safe space where he could be whoever he wanted to be.
        At 10, he was officially a college student. At 13, he became a published physicist. Watch his TED talk – “Forget Everything You Know” – read about him. This is the possibility for every autistic child if people would only listen, and understand.
        He was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism, if he’d been medicated and force fed the ridiculous modicums of modern society he’d probably still be sitting in a corner incapable of doing anything for himself.
        Your ridiculous expectations of those on the spectrum to conform to what is an inherently sick society is so biased and judgemental, and yet you pass yourself off as empathetic to our needs? It has to be some kind of joke right?
        Neurotypical members of society that you seem to want us to be more like are out there eating Tide laundry pods, and you think we’re the one’s with the problem.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        I really wish I were out of my mind, but it’s true:

        “Results. During the study period, 1367 deaths (1043 males and 324 females) in individuals with autism were recorded in the United States. The mean age at death for individuals with autism was 36.2 years (SD = 20.9 years), compared with 72.0 years (SD = 19.2 years) for the general population. Of the deaths in individuals with autism, 381 (27.9%) were attributed to injury (PMR = 2.93; 95% CI = 2.64, 3.24), with suffocation (n = 90; PMR = 31.93; 95% CI = 25.69, 39.24) being the leading cause of injury mortality, followed by asphyxiation (n = 78; PMR = 13.50; 95% CI = 10.68, 16.85) and drowning (n = 74; PMR = 39.89; 95% CI = 31.34, 50.06).

        Conclusions. Individuals with autism appear to be at substantially heightened risk for death from injury.”

        Here is an article on the subject:

        “For children and young teens with this developmental disability, the numbers are more striking: They are 40 times more likely to die from injury than the general child population, researchers said. Drowning is the most common fatal injury among children with autism.
        People diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, which causes challenges with social skills and communication, die at an average age of just 36, noted the researchers. For the general population, life expectancy is 72.

        “Two motives drove Dr. Guohua Li, senior author of the study and founding director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University, to research the relationship between autism and injury.

        “‘First, the prevalence of autism has been increasing,’ Li said, noting that there are an estimated 3.5 million people living with autism in the US, including about 500,000 children under the age of 15. ‘Second, there is anecdotal evidence that people with autism are at higher risk of injury.’

        “Actual research to provide hard evidence, though, has been difficult to find.”

        Just because you don’t want something to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t. I suspect that you are not among the 49% of people with autism who “wander” from safe settings to settings that are far less safe, and so this is unlikely to apply to you, but you might want to spare a little bit of compassion for those it is true for.

        And I’m sorry but there’s no evidence that because ONE autistic person was in college at 10 means that it is a possibility for EVERY autistic person, just as the fact that there are neurotypical people who have done it doesn’t mean that it is a possibility for every neurotypical person.

        By the way, no one here advocates for medication or force feeding “the ridiculous modicums of modern society.” In fact, we would fully support Jacob Barent’s parents’ approach and know a number of people whose children have terrific lives now because their parents completely rejected what they were told by medical professionals, people like our writer Crush.

      • CRUSH says:

        My daughter was not medicated. She was not trained. She was not shocked. She was raised in a loving home. We never treated her as anything other than the beautiful amazing child she was/is. We surrounded her in things she loved,and she has/had the freedom to grow into whomever she was.

        All the love in the world did not stop her from screaming sixteen hours a day, or throwing herself into walls. The hugs, smiles and encouragement didn’t stop the gi issues, nor the seizures (yes many people with autism are medically ill). No amount of pride in who she is, stopped her from trying to run into traffic or make her stop pounding her head into the ground. Leaving her alone was no an option for safety reasons nor medical reasons. We didn’t dream of college, not because she isn’t intelligent (she is!!!) but because academically she was not reaching basic skills of an 18 month old. 12 month skills don’t equal college, employment, social media posts, or TED talks. (And yes we all know that there are some folks who are perfectly happy and fine and doing well…but that doesnt equal ignoring those who aren’t.)

        Please feel free to explain to me why, you wouldn’t want better than that life for her? Because I don’t get it. I personally want everyone to be okay. I want the abuse rates to fall, to never hear another child die from a seizure or drown because they eloped. I want jobs for those who want them and medical care for those who need it. I want acceptance for those of you who want it and answers for many of us who medically desperately need it. The idea that anyone opposes trying to help others is baffling.

        This isn’t a matter of being diverse, this was a child, my child, who had no ability to express her diversity.
        And she is far from alone.

        What did happen was we loved her no matter what. And she has become an amazing self advocate, who understands that just because she may not face certain challenges, others do and they deserve every opportunity to have a healthy happy life just as she did. She can now express what it is like to struggle for friends or tell me how frustrating it is for the movie playing in her brain to not be able to stop or when she feels anxious/confused or a seizure coming on. So yes, whatever label you want to put her in…she still faces challenges that shouldn’t be ignored. BOTH ends of the spectrum.

        She is not what society would say is NT, and that matters none to me. I loved her when she was severe enough for them to tell me to institutionalize and I love her the same now on the other side of the spectrum. If you are reading this blog and not seeing it as a call to love everyone, and to help those in need…you aren’t reading it as it was written. This is no call to do away with anyone or not love them, quite the opposite. It’s a call to address the issues that exist and not ignore others just because your life isn’t impacted or impacted in the same way. Lets not look for deeper meaning that just isn’t there.

      • Sammy says:

        Frankly this data is dangerously close to propaganda. As a 51 year old autistic adult I find it flat out insulting. The sample sizes were miniscule, the hypothesis almost laughable, and studies like this highly questionable. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to google a “scientific study” that matches their prejudice rather comfortably. What is far more difficult is to open your mind to the possibility that for the vast majority of individuals on the spectrum, their biggest issue is nothing within themselves, its the limitations, expectations, medications, therapies and non stop constant projection that they are somehow “broken” that is the root cause of most of these so called pathological issues. There are child psychiatrists prescribing Prozac to 4 year olds, do not ask me to have any respect for a branch of medicine that treats symptoms, pushes pharma for profit, and is largely ignorant to the real needs of people on the spectrum.
        I am horrified by the number of NT parents marginalising their own children, projecting their own insecurities and anxieties, any wonder so many commit suicide, they’re deemed broken, unfit, incapable, and yes some do need high levels of care, but so very many dont. Your assumption that the hundreds of thousands of us who fit this criteria are not actually out there is quite frankly exclusionary and dangerous. You talk about individuals on the spectrum as if we were all incapable of functioning in society without the assistance of some misguided NT. If anything, I have thrived in my life when I have avoided them, and their opinions, ideas and ideals.
        If there was more balance, perhaps I could stomach some of this, but its so one sided, so misguided I almost can’t believe what I’m reading. I’ve never seen anything like this written about us before, I guess largely because I choose to read the classic novels of our world, rather than the incredibly biased ramblings of internet “experts”. Please, if you’re going to talk about us – then you don’t do it without us. The only “expert” on autism in any conversation, is the person who has it, and if they can’t communicate with the NTs in their world – perhaps that was, and never should have been – their problem.
        I didn’t realise there was such a need for us to advocate, I had no idea until recently there was this much ignorance out there and frankly its horrifying. There will come a day when this kind of thing is seen as reprehensible as gay conversion therapy – I can only hope that day arrives sooner, rather than later.
        This has been exhausting, and likely a complete waste of my time, and I’m sure you’ll fly back in with expert rebuttal. Perhaps you should use that razor sharp intellect to truly listen. I would never assume to know/understand the experiences of a gay person, or a black person, because I am neither, and yet the arrogance of those who are not on the spectrum to assume to understand, well frankly, it’s staggering, and now I need some time to download it all.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        I don’t know what to say here. I’m well aware that it “doesn’t take a rocket scientist to google a ‘scientific study’ that matches their prejudice rather comfortably.” I’m also aware that there is a possibility that the methodology of this particular study was completely or somewhat invalid, and I’m certainly willing to read what you consider to be a better one. However, I personally know a LOT of people whose autistic children have “wandered,” “bolted,” “run away,” or whatever else you’d like to call it, and were known to be attracted to water or traffic, and many others whose children are at high risk due to seizure disorders, severe gastrointestinal disorders, mitochondrial disorders, and immune disorders. It saddens me that those people appear to be invisible to you. Perhaps it’s because they often cannot advocate for themselves, or they do not often appear in public, or perhaps it’s that they are underrepresented in your birth cohort. You want us to understand your issues, which is of course understandable, but to discuss “autism” without taking into account the experience of those most severely affected by it is just as bad as not taking into account those who are lease severely affected by it, those who by your reckoning do not need high levels of care.

        You should know that there is absolutely ZERO support on this site for child psychiatrists who prescribe Prozac to children, much less 4-year-old children. In fact, it would be hard to find a site less supportive of “pushing pharma for profit.”

        Nor, by recognizing the fact that there are hundreds of thousands (and the number is growing rapidly) of people with autism who DO need a lot of care is there any inherent assumption that there are not hundreds of thousands of people with autism who do not need a high level of care. Those people DO, however, need services, just as Crush described, services that are in exceedingly short supply in some states. I have a number of friends whose adult children are on frighteningly long wait lists for help with education, housing, and employment.

        Obviously, we’re not talking about you without you. You are here expressing your opinion, and many other adults with autism have done so as well. We have even run blogs written by adults with autism.

      • Sammy says:

        These people were told to institutionalise their children, that there was no hope. Sometimes they’re wrong.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        I’m sorry. I mustn’t have made it clear that I think that any medical professional who makes the claim that “there is no hope” is ALWAYS wrong.

    • CRUSH says:

      I think you may have read into this more of what you want to see, than what actually is there. But as I stated it is hard, if not impossible, to address autism, without someone feeling their view or experience is not addressed. And if that is the case for you, I am sorry. In the limited space of what is a very large range of issues, I did my best. I tried to drive home that large numbers of the issues are environmental, and come from the lack of understanding in the world. I tried to make clear that everyone is different and their needs are different. You may need nothing more than to be accepted as who you are, but others may need 24/7 care. That’s very challenging to encompass in one blog and to make clear that addressing those needs has nothing to do with loving someone. Try rereading it, with an open heart and without looking for an agenda and I think you will find someone who just loves and believes in people. As for my reference to my daughter and the poster, all I meant was my daughter is now capable of posting on social media, expressing her own opinions, and being courageous enough to do so. Whoever he or she was that posted on my page, they are pretty cool in my book. As are you for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Lana says:

    I think you did a great job.

  9. Brad says:

    It sounds like you, the autistic poster, have been influenced by the teachings of Autism Speaks and the like. Your heart and soul is to be treasured as with any human. Autism is a cooked up term to describe mainly brain injury. Brain injury is a crisis for any individual. When the numbers reach high levels, then it is a crisis for the civilization. I am sorry for any level of injury and am pleased that you are as high functioning as you are. I find it ironic, the term Autism Speaks, when many autistic are nonverbal. Now that is a crisis. Best of luck to you, my friend. ~brad

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      From what I have seen, few autism self-advocates think that Autism Speaks aligns with their feelings on the subject. In fact, I have often seen the opinion that Autism Speaks scares people into thinking that autism is bad so they can raise money.

      I don’t want to speak for Bob, who is a self-advocate who comments here sometimes, but I got the impression from our past conversation that he does not believe that autism is a “brain injury” in anyone. He thinks that it is reflective of “natural diversity.” Personally, I think there may well be an element of “natural diversity” for people who appear to have a strong genetic component, often those who are at the “high-functioning” end of the spectrum, but it is clear that when you read the science and you talk to parents of children with regressive autism, and especially when you talk to those whose children have recovered like Crush’s daughter, that many come by their autism through injury. Instead of recovering children after that injury occurs, it would be so much more efficient, not to mention cost-effective (in terms of money, time, effort, and potential) to prevent it altogether.

      • Bob Wood says:

        “come by their autism through injury”

        This deserves elaboration.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        It’s elaborated everywhere on our website, but you can start with the fact that investigators contacted approximately 200 of over 1300 families who were compensated for devastating vaccine-induced brain injuries. Of those 200 families, approximately 40% volunteered that their children had autism. If those brain injuries had nothing to do with the development of their autism, then the rate of autism should be approximately the same in the brain-injured group as it is in the general population. It’s not, not even close. At the time that the investigators did their research, autism was present in approximately 1.5% of then 12-year-olds. At the time most of the various cases were compensated, it was far less than that.

      • Aknemnos says:

        Professor, it seems that article was done in 2011. 1.5% is about 1 in 68. However the idea that 40% of vaccine injured individuals (of 200 families that number is relatively small resulting in ~80 autistic individuals) could point to a number of numerous things.
        1. A popular myth.
        2. That autistic people are more susceptible to injury.
        3. The chance of mathematics wherein you can expect at least 77 American children to start showing signs of autism within 24 hours of vaccine in a day. In other words, 77 children will show signs of being autistic, and may seem to be related to vaccine injury, by chance, and raise number of cases of “vaccine injury” being cause of autism.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        Yes, the article was done in 2011 when the reported rate was 1 in 68, but the majority of the cases were compensated far earlier.

        1. The majority of families were compensated long before the vaccine-autism connection was well-known or “popular,” whether it is a “myth” or not. Once the “myth” became “popular” and many families had petitioned the NVICP, the Omnibus Autism Proceeding was established and adjucation of autism cases ceased.
        2. Except that those families reported tremendous change in their children’s behavior AFTER the vaccine injury. It is likely that at least certain segments of the autistic population ARE more susceptible to injury, but that does not mean that the autism was not a result of injury in the first place.
        3. Where on earth did you get that statistic? And the number is useless without a timeframe attached: 77 an hour, 77 a week, 77 a year, 77 a century? I’m sorry, but this one smacks of reaching for straws. According to many self-advocates I’ve spoken to, there is no such thing as regressive autism. “Autism is genetic,” and “It was there all along.” If that’s the case, then why would a child “start to show signs of autism” immediately after a vaccine given at 19 months, or 27 months, or 38 months, or even 29 years, as was the case for Eric Gladen, the producer of the documentary Trace Amounts?

        Why is it so impossible to believe that autism simply was not there UNTIL the injury happened? Check out Hannah Poling’s history. Her father is a neurologist, and her mother is a nurse. She developed autism immediately after nine vaccines (a fairly typical cocktail for today’s infants and toddlers) given at the age of 19 months.

        We know that the immune system is intimately tied to the neurological system. You cannot repeatedly and strongly stimulate the immune system (causing inflammation) without generating downstream neurological effects (including, shockingly, inflammation), and you certainly can’t do it with toxic ingredients such as mercury and aluminum that many people’s bodies cannot get rid of.

  10. Andrea Mercier says:

    Thanks for bringing that up on social media and explaining yourself. I think that you did a great job.

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