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Two New Studies on Autism's Causes

By September 13, 2010

Two new studies, both announced today, point away from vaccines and toward genetic anomalies as potential causes of autism.

The first study, conducted by the CDC and announced through Reuters, was specifically focused on the question of whether children exposed to mercury in utero or through vaccines are more likely than other children to develop autism spectrum disorders.  The answer, according to the study, is a definitive "no:" "It shows kids who had been exposed as babies to high levels of the preservative -- through vaccines they received or their mothers received while pregnant -- were no more likely to develop autism, including two distinct subtypes of the condition."  In fact, an unexplained data point suggests that children who received mercury-bearing vaccines were actually LESS likely than others to develop autism.

The second study, conducted by an international team of researchers, describes a genetically-linked "misfold" in neural protein as a possible cause of autism.  According to Newswise: "...misfolding of a protein called neuroligin-3, due to gene mutations, results in trafficking deficiencies that may lead to abnormal communications between neurons.  Genetic misfolding of neuroligins is thought to prevent normal formation and function of neuronal synapses. The gene mutation has been documented in patients with autism."  This study, which relates to earlier research into brain proteins, is interesting - but may not be of any immediate practical use to families.  Says one researcher: "We may be able to find a treatment to fix a cell in culture, but to rescue function in vivo may not be feasible with the same strategy."

September 13, 2010 at 11:18 am
(1) vsheehan says:

Well I thought at first that they did a global study with to many kids to find our little statistical anomaly but I was wrong. Read the article and saw they compared ASD kids to typical kids. I always feared that the MMR booster I got year and half before I had my son may have caused issues but this study does put that fear to rest. Before the discussion starts let me say Peace and Prosperity for all and lets keep it civil.

September 13, 2010 at 11:58 am
(2) barbaraj says:

Yep, put it all to rest! In a study following vaccinated children with autism, vs vaccinated children without autism, the statistics show “what”?
What I find most unpleasant, and I haven’t read it (yet), but “feel” it coming, is that children with more thimerosal may have less autism. Nothing to suggest parents may “stop” vaccinating when symptoms emerge, allowing for their children to have “less” of that protective thimerosal. Interesting, perhaps it’s time for a more militant approach, letting the “government” run with this garbage has gone too far.

September 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm
(3) AutismNewsBeat says:

Most of today’s 3-5 year olds have never had a TCV. And yet the autism rate hasn’t decline. Go figure.

September 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm
(4) Twyla says:

The latest official stats are for children who were 8 years old a few years ago. Where are you getting stats for 3-5 year olds? Nowhere — your statement is without any evidence.

Morover, there are still vaccines containing thimerosal, and increasing environmental mercury, and increasing numbers of vaccines containing many ingredients which capable of overstimulating susceptible immune systems causing neuroinflammation and gastrointestinal inflammation.

September 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm
(5) barbaraj says:

Neuroligin-deficient mutants of C. elegans have sensory processing deficits and are hypersensitive to oxidative stress and mercury toxicityJW Hunter, GP Mullen, JR McManus, JM … – Disease Models & …, 2010 – dmm.biologists.org
… studies have shown that mutations in the human genes encoding neuroligin 3 and neuroligin …

anyone feel like reading…I will later…just business as usual..

September 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm
(6) Anne McElroy Dachel says:

Lisa Jo,
I’m trying to figure this out. Friday September 10, 2010 you wrote about the award given to Hannah Poling because nine vaccines given on a single doctor’s visit made her autistic.
http://autism.about.com/b/2010/09/10/poling-family-to-receive-1-5-million-from-vaccine-court.htm Poling Family to Receive $1.5 Million from Vaccine Court

Today, Monday, Sept 13, 2010, you’re telling us about a new study from the people who run the vaccine program that shows vaccines with mercury don’t cause autism, in fact it sounds like they prevent autism. http://autism.about.com/b/2010/09/13/two-new-studies-on-autisms-causes.htm

In March, 2008, Terry Poling was quoted in TIME Magazine saying,
‘That was just too many vaccines. I didn’t find out for several months that they had thimerosal, which contains mercury, a powerful neurotoxin. Had I known, I never would have allowed it to be injected into my child.’ http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1721109,00.html

So which is it? Do vaccines with a known neurotoxin that was never tested or approved by the FDA cause autism, as in the case of Hannah Poling or not?

Anne Dachel
Media editor: Age of Autism

September 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm
(7) Anne McElroy Dachel says:

Many of us in the autism community could have predicted that the CDC would have a new study showing it’s safe to inject mercury into children.
Tomorrow, Sept 14, The Age of Autism by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill is scheduled to be released.

The cover states clearly, “Mercury, Medicine, and a Manmade Epidemic.” I wrote about it on the autism blog, Age of Autism,
The Nightmare and the Dream http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/09/the-nightmare-and-the-dream-a-review-of-the-age-of-autism.html

This book shows without a doubt: Mercury exposure is destroying our health. Regardless of how many studies officials concoct, they can’t make a known neurotoxin safe.

Anne Dachel
Media editor: Age of Autism

September 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm
(8) Whtie&Nerdy says:

Hi Ms Dachel,
1 of 2

Here is what the CDC actually says about vaccines causing autism:
You have completely misrepresented their views.

Here is an actual flu vaccine insert:

The vaccine is recommended for some pregnant women. The Safeminds link you provided is illiterate, innumerate, and can’t pass middle-school science class. They are not a reliable source of information.
Here are the Poling concession and the damages award:
The case is about encephalopathy not autism. The claim that the award was for autism is a total misrepresentation of the case–an error that the court and the Polings have corrected years ago but continues to be asserted by those that claim vaccines cause autism.


September 13, 2010 at 8:56 pm
(9) white&Nerdy says:

2 of 2
Here is the actual Pediatrics paper:

Your comments are a classic ad hominem attack, neither ethical, logical or factually correct. The authors include academics and health insurance companies.

When you claim that the data shows that thimerosal prevents autism you simply demonstrate that you don’t understand the data. If you can’t understand hypothesis testing or sampling then you can’t possibly understand vaccine safety data.

The FDA’s job is clearly described on its website. You might want to learn what there role is before commenting on it.

News flash: Ms Poling isn’t a toxicologist. The claims that the thimerosal in vaccines is a neurotoxin or these bizarre complaints about injecting mercury not being safe simply demonstrates your failure to understand the subject. The courts ridicule these arguments both because they are so incredibly wrong and because these obvious errors have been corrected over and over again.

My 2cents: there is massive denial on the part of those that claim vaccines cause autism.


September 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm
(10) Anne McElroy Dachel says:

Mark Blaxill, one of the authors of “The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Manmade Epidemic,” told me this about the latest CDC mercury study,

“We’ve known for years that they were doing this study. I’m not the least bit surprised that they’ve released the findings on the day before our book release, In fact, I predicted it. The fact that it comes out in Pediatrics, the journal with the lowest standards for vaccine safety analysis is even less surprising. And the fact that another study that was sponsored and managed by the CDC (which has consistently demonstrated its willingness to fix autism data to support its policies), would return a negative result should make us all deeply skeptical.
“Merck’s new President, former CDC Director Julie Gerberding who had oversight of this work during her tenure, no doubt is smiling.”

Anne Dachel Media editor: Age of Autism

September 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm
(11) AutismNewsBeat says:

I’m not the least bit surprised that they’ve released the findings on the day before our book release, In fact, I predicted it.

Because as we all know correlation is just another word for causation.

September 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm
(12) White&Nerdy says:

Hi Ms Dachel,

The publication chronology is right in the paper. The paper’s publication date was determined before the book’s publication date was publically disclosed.

No one should be surprised that Mr. Blaxill’s responds to data with conspiracy theories or that his comments are demonstrably untrue.

And while I especially enjoyed his attacks on the journal and his claims that the CDC consistently engages in fraud, the ugly truth is that Mr. Baxill’s failure as a amateur scientist was amply demonstrated at the IOM meetings.

He hasn’t gotten any better. Consider this most recent entry:

Putting aside his failure to understand the basic biology, he makes this remarkable statement:

“They found that thimerosal at the same concentrations received in human infants had clearly measurable effects on opioid receptor development in the infant rats.”

Which is an obvious basic counting error–the rats were massively over-dosed. Remarkably none of the people commenting followed the biology or the math.

But then, this is exactly typical of the quality standards at AoA.


September 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm
(13) Midwest Dad says:

This book shows without a doubt: Regardless of how much evidence indicates that we’re wrong, we’ll continue to insist that we’re right.

September 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm
(14) autism says:

Anne – your first comment actually made me smile, because if I KNEW which it was I would not be writing the blog I write!

To answer your question directly, I think it is perfectly possible that every one of these statements could be true and that they are not mutually exclusive:

1. Some autism is the result of brain anomalies which develop as the result of genetic mutations;
2. Some autism is the result of toxic injuries to an individual with underlying vulnerabilities;
3. The number of people who develop autism as a result of vaccinations is very small, but those people do exist;
4. The federal government and large corporations don’t always tell the truth;
5. Individuals with an axe to grind or something to gain/lose don’t always tell the truth;
4. Mercury is a toxin and we should do our best to eliminate exposure.

These are not mutually exclusive ideas, and the idea that ALL autism is caused by X, can be cured by Y, and looks like Z makes no sense at all to me.


September 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(15) barbaraj says:

No one “really” believes a study of vaccinated vs vaccinated can offer results, do they? Of course I could dig up 25 boys on my block that do not have autism that were vaccinated during the same time frame as the five boys that do have autism. My son who had his vaccine schedule STOPPED, had far less mercury than any of those 25 that do not have autism. Clearly because I stopped. What are we trying to prove here?

September 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm
(16) autism says:

All I can say is that many people from groups like GenRescue and Safe Minds have been asking for just such a study for many years. Now, such a study has been done.

Is it accurate? Well done? Definitive?

I guess that’s a question that will be answered differently by different people.


September 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm
(17) Anne McElroy Dachel says:

Thank you for your comment. The problem here is that even if you believe only a very small number of children become autistic because of their vaccinations, how do you know it won’t be your child? That’s one heck of a gamble.

For years the CDC has denied vaccines could in any way cause autism. Now it seems they can. Mercury is the second deadliest element on earth and it’s in horrendous levels in almost all the flu shots given. Pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy are advised to get this vaccine, despite the fact that the vaccine makers state in their package insert that it’s never been tested on pregnant women and isn’t recommended for them. http://www.safeminds.org/about/documents/SM%20Flu%20Brochure%202009-2010.pdf

It seems our CDC cares more about the well-being of the vaccine makers than the health and safety of our children.

Anne Dachel Media editor: Age of Autism

September 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm
(18) autism says:

Anne – I believe that the CDC has removed thimerosal from almost all vaccines at this point, and parents can request thimerosal-free vaccines when there’s a choice.

As a result, the risk of mercury poisoning from vaccines seems very slight indeed. And of course vaccines do protect us from potentially fatal diseases. There is, of course, always the possibility that vaccinations (or aspirin or peanuts or bees, etc.) could set off a reaction in any given child.


October 31, 2010 at 11:48 am
(19) christine says:

Aspirin Peanuts or Bees do not cause autism during an allergic reaction, so why the comparison?????????

September 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm
(20) Sandy-2000 says:

Actually, in the Poling thread previously, it was nicely pointed out the MMR was the culprit per court records, which never contained Thimerosal.

Isn’t it odd how the news releases article and timing? Not sure that Lisa had anything to do with it or what those studies has to do with the Poling case. It was very clear a pre existing condition worsened after vaccine, not the cause of the condition. That’s why the case won. No where is it implied a study showed proof of anything in the Poling case and in fact I believe no real testimony was even required when a case is settled. Besides that, the Poling case is an individual case and in no way speaks for anyone, everyone or anything else other than that single child. That case is of no comparison to any study.

One thing about studies is that maybe it wouldn’t pertain to ones child or situation, but that doesn’t make the study useless. Neither study resulted in anything as ‘safe’. It reported ‘less likely’ and toxin exposure just doesn’t come in the form of a vaccine, either. Thimerosal and other forms of ‘stuff’ is in things we use on a daily bases, what we eat and breathe. Pesticides is a real interesting thing I’d like to see a study on, especially in the USA which prides itself on weedless.
When doors are always slammed on studies, the doors are being closed on area’s that should be looked at.

September 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm
(21) popcares says:

Public health officials can end this increasingly bitter debate regarding vaccines and autism very easily..all they have to do is open their data to independent, scientifically credible researchers so they can either affirm or deny CDC results of ANY studies already done.

Unfortunately, there is NO independent oversight of the CDC to assure they are not manipulating exclusively held data to reach predetermined conclusion to support their own vested interests.

Anyone who thinks our government would never deliberately mislead the people probably believes Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” are there .. we just haven’t found them yet.

September 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm
(22) autismnewsbeat says:

pop, many of those suspect studies have been carried out in other countries that are free to ignore the shadowy machinations of our CDC.

September 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm
(23) Sandy-2000 says:

Mercury in a vapor form and inhaled (not injected) is the second deadliest element.
That of course isn’t what is in vaccines and of course it isn’t in almost all flu vaccines, either. Almost sounded pretty good though. Any pregnant woman or child can get a flu jab Thimerosal free and could have for years.
When people make those comments, they assume the public or an average parent wont know these things or take it at face value, but the media has made that easier for everyone. It’s a good thing the flu vaccines is a choice, and everyone has a right to make that vaccine choice and it’s a good thing so many years back they removed or greatly reduced the use of Thimerosal, as they should had (seemed someone cared) but those autism rates never yet decreased. As a matter of fact, wasn’t the same Krieger Institute that did that 2004 study??

September 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm
(24) John M says:

Just to be different I think that Hg is a bit of a red herring and that the protein folding error could well be the “culprit.” The idea that working at the FoldIt! project might accidentally result in a cure makes my blood run cold, though.

Could it be that ASM is just genetic drift and that the advance of civilization itself has opened up niches that can be usefully filled by single-minded people, even if they lack social skills? Might WW II have created autism hot-spots at places like Santa Fe NM, Newton MA, Palo Alto CA and Peenemünde?

Thank goodness there was nobody around to cure David Shulman (1912–2004)!

September 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm
(25) Sandy-2000 says:

The idea of tweaking a cell or genes after the person is alive or otherwise kind of freaks me out. That could end up causing more genetic issues than of doing any good for the person. That of course has to involve at some point the Pharma industry.
Speaking of World Wars, Agent Orange has thought to have connections to a few things including autism. Many exposure grand parents and great great grand parents could had altered the genetics down the way from their exposure, when no one knew what was toxic or not. Autism could even be the result of the strive to create that perfect person, of which resulted in the exact opposite, or that of people who are very good at many things, just not social skills.

September 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm
(26) DanK says:

I asked Socrates and he said: I only know that I know nothing and that thimerosal is safe.

September 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm
(27) C. S. Wyatt says:

There was no “winning” in the Poling case, it was a settlement. That settlement is paid indirectly through the NVICP, so the choice to settle was made by the HRSA / HHS of the United States, not the vaccine manufacturers. It was a choice based on the notion that, though doctors violated protocols, it would be nearly impossible to prove or disprove causation. Often, very often, settling a case is easier.

However, NVICP is a special creature in our legal system. It begins with the presumption of cause which is not the norm in most U.S. legal structures. You begin with the vaccine as “cause” by default. This leaves the NVICP, as directed by the law creating the “vaccine court,” with the mandate to settle most cases that fit within the table for compensation:


There is no way, none, to prove or not, that a fever was caused by the vaccine. However, the legal mandate of the NVICP is to assume the vaccine contributed and settle the case.

As for the newer studies, they may or may not lead to changes in the table. In several instances, settlements made in the past would no longer be awarded due to such updates. These have been discussed in the legal literature at length, and I believe several bloggers have commented on the nine “autism” cases that reflect shifting table criteria.

I’ve settled legal cases in the past, as a business owner. It is something you do to avoid a great deal of hassle. If you are starting with the assumption of guilt, and the government pays the settlement anyway, why not settle? That’s a logical thing to do. The problem is that settlements are assumed to imply guilt or causation, when they happen to be expedient under the law as currently crafted.

If anything, science is ahead of the NVICP tables.

September 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm
(28) barbaraj says:

Funny that the journal made this study “FREE”

Please read it, please! There is no value to this at all, it proves absolutely nothing. Someone said, it’s what we’ve been waiting for, NO, we’ve been waiting for a study comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated, not a study showing miniscule differences in amounts of thimerosal and some voilla. Like saying I had a teaspoon of poison and you had a teaspoon and a drop, why am I sick and you are not. We know that perhaps 60% of kids could be exposed and not have ASD, however, they did remove 7 from the control group which could only have the effect of raising the rate of autism, and no other purpose at all. This gave me a headache, someone point out any conceiveable value that I may have missed, PLEASE! This study would have received an F in high school science, and certainly this journal was desperate to print something to time with the aoa book. The motive shows!


September 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm
(29) barbaraj says:

ANB, I’ve been waiting for information on the birth year 2005 and up, could you point me toward where you found it?

I would like to know, as well, if anyone is practicing policing, checking the ingredients of available shots, I would like to think a trace is a trace, but given the lengths that it appears the cdc has gone today, I now would like proof.

September 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm
(30) AutismNewsBeat says:

“Trace” means that the mercury cannot be measured by traditional means, but it is still assumed to be present. Everything has a trace of mercury – drinking water, bread, breast milk, artichokes – you name it.

Thimerosal has been absent from schedule childhood vaccines since 2002.

September 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(31) AutismNewsBeat says:

Why is it funny that the AAP study is free?

September 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm
(32) barbaraj says:

Yes Pop, like the Danish study that allowed a two million dollar disappearance. ..all bought and paid for by our cdc..the tentacles are long reaching…

I challenge anyone to read this study and find the value, if you find it ,please point it out to dumb little ole me…

September 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm
(33) DanK says:

I accept the challenge, I found one sentence in the whole study, which is almost OK:
Given that a large-scale prospective randomized trial is not ethically feasible, no single study can definitively establish or disprove the hypothesis that thimerosal exposure increases the risk of ASDs.

September 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm
(34) white&Nerdy says:

OK back at you,

I challenge you to find anyone that understands the paper that honestly agrees that thimerosal causes vaccines.


PS the Aarhus statement is still available. I find the continued character assassination–not to mention untrue–attacks on Dr. Thorsen unconscionable. But then you never actually read the document did you?
And you have never studied statistics have you?

September 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm
(35) Sandy-2000 says:

A study of unvaccinated compared to vaccinated really wont be of much value, either. It still wont come up with results of the vaccinated population, why the majority is not effected.

Does anyone realize why those 7 children were excluded?

There’s certainly no product function of attempting to convince anyone why or why not this or any study isn’t valid. Either one finds it useful, or they do not.

The where abouts of 2 million bucks doesn’t make a study years prior invalid, either.

September 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm
(36) barbaraj says:

Ha!! Dan’s the winner!

and Sandy, they wanted no one in the control group to have autism, so they excluded the seven that did..
I live near an old closed steel mill neighborhood, where asbestos was used , many , many were exposed, and some are suffering from mesothelioma, of course they were all at risk, but only a percentage of them came down with this horrific disease…so should we compare those that are ill against the exposed ones that are not ill, should we say three breaths couldn’t have made them sick , it would take five…this study on thimerosal falls into the “STUPID” category!
I did find your interest in weed free today interesting ,Sandy. Many years ago, some “bright” person thought that because phenoxy herbicides did such a great job disrupting energy production, they did a small experiment using it as a diet drug, all died…it was like the engine that couldn’t turn off..the energy consumption ..mitochondrial disorder..killed them.

September 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm
(37) Sandy-2000 says:

Barbaraj~ you might want to research the test SCQ and research why that cut off at 15 is there before making statements incinuating the study itself did that for a reason or motive.
I wouldn’t use the word ‘stupid’ either about any study. Just because you clearly don’t understand the study or agree with it doesn’t make it stupid. 7 controls removed hardly would make an impact with a study that large.

September 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(38) Twyla says:

C.S. Wyatt, the Poling case was not a settlement. It was a concession. There is a big difference.

September 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm
(39) Twyla says:

ANB said, “Most of today’s 3-5 year olds have never had a TCV. And yet the autism rate hasn’t decline. Go figure.” Very interesting, ANB. Please show us your source for the autism rate among 3 to 5 year olds.

BTW, I don’t know anyone who is claiming that thimerosal in vaccines is the only cause of autism. And, many kids these days do receive flu shots containing full preservative doses of thimerosal, as well as other vaccine with “trace” amounts.

September 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm
(40) Sandy-2000 says:

Unless there’s some statistics about that flu vaccine, all that is, is an assumption and a large assumption of which jab each child get’s.

As for the Poling case, it is off topic to any study.

September 13, 2010 at 10:20 pm
(41) C. S. Wyatt says:


The NVICP settlements are all called “concessions.” The specific terms used are: conceded settlements, litigative risk conceded settlements, and entitlement decisions.

The terms are defined and used according to the 2008 meeting of the NVICP members:

“The majority of cases, however, are to be compensated by settlement. By settlement, the NVICP board means litigative risk concession settlements. That is where the petitioners maintain that they are entitled to compensation and the Government maintains that they are not. However, the parties agree that the case should be settled without resorting to a decision through litigation.”

It is a legal term. Once again, we see how language specific to a field causes confusion.

Absolutely frustrating when trying to explain the rhetorics of law or science.

September 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm
(42) barbaraj says:

W&N no, I do not see within that study that thimerosal caused autism, I do not see within that same study that thimerosal doesn’t cause autism. I see nothing.
There was a slight insinuation pointing toward one group that additional thimerosal was somewhat protective. We’ve read this before, clearly children that exhibited symptoms and dropped off of the schedule do not have thimerosal exposures equal to those that maintained the schedule.
Better yet, let’s grab some old and new stockpiles and have an independent researcher measure the amounts of thimerosal, add to that the chance in a five dose vial of getting more or less, dependent on something as simple as “shaking it up”. Without the variables defined, this study is empty and useless.

September 14, 2010 at 2:16 am
(43) Twyla says:

re: “This study, which relates to earlier research into brain proteins, is interesting – but may not be of any immediate practical use to families. ” What do you mean? This is of trememdous practical significance! Families just need to fold their genes more carefully, not all sloppy and “donkeydarn” as my neighbors used to say (derivation: short for “don’t give a darn”, I believe).

September 14, 2010 at 2:24 am
(44) Twyla says:

Sandy said, “Actually, in the Poling thread previously, it was nicely pointed out the MMR was the culprit per court records, which never contained Thimerosal.” Actually, she received a bunch of vaccines at the same time, two of which contained thimerosal, and had previously received vaccines containing thimerosal throughout her infancy as was the norm at the time. Thimerosal could well have played a role, and mercury is known to affect mitochondria.

September 14, 2010 at 2:48 am
(45) Twyla says:

Oops, correction — I meant that they just need to fold the proteins more carefully. Typo in my joke…

September 14, 2010 at 3:07 am
(46) Twyla says:

C.S. Wyatt, I appreciate your polite amicable tone when you voice a differing opinion. You are an example of how disagreement does not have to be scornful or hostile.

From some minutes of an ACCV meeting found at

* Petitions adjudicated means that final judgment has been entered on the petition and it is ready for payment.

* Final judgment means that the U.S. Court of Claims enters a decision on the petition awarding or denying compensation.

* Compensable means that a petitioner’s claim is found to be compensable and can be achieved several different ways. A claim can be conceded by the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as meeting the Table requirements or the standards for actual causation, or the petition can be heard by the Office of Special Masters and a decision awarding compensation is issued, or the case can be settled and compensation is awarded that way.

* Concession means that HHS has determined that the petitioner has met the standards for a Table claim or petitioner has proven causation-in-fact.

* Settlement means that the petition has been resolved by the mutual agreement of both parties.

* Decision means that a decision is entered after a Special Master hears the evidence (or rules on the record without a hearing) and issues a decision on the merits of the petition.

* Non-compensable or Dismissed means that the petition has been dismissed by the Court.

Sometimes law suits are settled with no-fault settlements where neither side admits that an injury occurred, or that the cause was as alleged, but both sides decide that it is in their best interests to agree on a settlement amount and move on. But “Concession” in the vaccine context means more than that. The HHS has actually conceded that “the petitioner has met the standards for a Table claim or petitioner has proven causation-in-fact.”

September 14, 2010 at 3:10 am
(47) Twyla says:

P.S. to my last comment in case it’s not obvious — the last paragraph beginning with “Somtimes…” is me speaking, no longer the excerpt from the glossary in the ACCV minutes.

September 14, 2010 at 3:29 am
(48) Twyla says:

Regarding the thimerosal study, I am skeptical for various reasons. I will need to read it thoroughly. Lisa said, “All I can say is that many people from groups like GenRescue and Safe Minds have been asking for just such a study for many years. Now, such a study has been done. ” Actually, for years people have been asking for a study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

Thimerosal is only one of the vaccine ingredients which may be disrupting developing immune systems. And, what ages were these children? Did those who received less thimerosal receive more vaccines? It is difficult for an epi study to tease out the various factors.

And vaccines are only one of the sources of mercury. A study in Texas showed higher rates of autism in areas with higher levels of environmental mercury from power plants. A study in CA, OR, and WA showed higher rates of autism in rainier areas, while other studies have documented that mercury from the coal burning power plants in China wafts over the Pacific ocean and rains down on the west coast.

There actually have been studies similar to this one about thimerosal before, beginning with the Verstraten study which initially showed a correlation between autism and mercury:
“the number of dose related relationships [between mercury and autism] are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant.” – Dr. William Weil, American Academy of Pediatrics. Simpsonwood, GA, June 7, 2000

Until Verstraten & friends massaged and revised the data for a few generations, and then “lost” the original data.

September 14, 2010 at 3:42 am
(49) Twyla says:

Although not ready to do a thorough review of the thimerosal study, I am quite ready to disparage the Rueters article.

“Concerns about a link between vaccines and autism were first raised more than a decade ago by British physician Andrew Wakefield.” This is an oft repeated fallacy. Dr. Wakefield responded to others’ concerns. He was certainly not the first to raise concerns about vaccines and autism. He did not spark a scare; his paper would not have had “legs” were it not for the many parents reporting vaccine reactions and autism. Plus, he wrote about the MMR, which does not contain thimerosal.

For some of the early musings about thimerosal in vaccines, see:
Chapter I: pre-1999
There’s Mercury in Vaccines?

This Reuters article just repeats all the pat reassurances. “We have no idea what causes autism, must be genes, we just know for sure that it’s not vaccines, and we know that it’s o.k. to inject mercury into your baby — perfectly fine!” (Not an exact quote.)

If autism is a spectrum with various etiologies, it is hard to rule out any single factor with an epidemiological study such as this one.

P.S. DanK, you’re on a roll!

September 14, 2010 at 4:10 am
(50) DanK says:

This study is intended to fill a gap in Thompson’s 2007 study – Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years. But why did they eliminate autism from Thompson’s 2007 study? What result was expected if the autism is investigated by the same method? Just ask Verstraeten. He knows and many others too.

September 14, 2010 at 6:31 am
(51) Sandy-2000 says:

One, Wakefield’s 1998 study had nothing to do with Thimerosal to begin with and it really wasn’t about autism either (in Wakefield’s own words). That’s not what his theory was based on. Also, the information from Put Children First site is dated Sept 1999, talks about 1998 but without a month one can determine which came first. The Merck 1991 memo isn’t even dated. Wakefield’s study is what it was and yes, in the magnitude that followed, he was the first to create the scare.

And finally, the Poling case proves nothing except towards that case. As much as anyone wants to make it mean more than that, it doesn’t. One cant hold that case in front of any vaccine study. It’s inappropriate, disrespectful for that child, and one child means nothing to the whole population.
From AOA itself some years back:
“DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii).”
Maybe look up the 42 U.S.C.

September 14, 2010 at 11:05 am
(52) Cindy says:

I have an honest question. Based on my reading of the description of this study, it looks like they compared the timing and amount of thimerosal administered to each of the groups, those with ASD and those who are NT. But it seems as though all the children (and/or their mothers) had been exposed to some level of thimerosal. Is this accurate? If so, how does this disprove a thimerosal/autism link? Couldn’t this just as easily prove that only those with a genetic predisposition were injured by thimerosal? Were there any controls who had received NO amount of thimerosal?

September 14, 2010 at 11:35 am
(53) barbaraj says:

Cindy , no I didn’t see any child in any group that did not receive thimerosal.
What “could or should” be studied would be just that, a group of unexposed against a group of exposed.

If for example the administration of any amount, even the so called “trace” that’s currently in vaccines, sets off a series of events leading to autism in susceptible individuals, this fact should be uncovered and remedied to protect all of these children. This WILL NOT be addressed, it’s a simple idea, clearly the smallest of studies vac’d vs unvac’d could prove this. No one has ever suggested that it’s a medical certainty that dosage amounts of thimerosal account for autism, perhaps large amounts are safe in children who can tolerate them and detoxify properly, and traces are dangerous for those that can not . The pure logic in this is not addressed, leading one to believe “these STUPID” studies are cover ups and pharm propaganda pieces.

September 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm
(54) C. S. Wyatt says:


Yes, the 09 minutes differ from the 07 and 08 minutes on the definitions. It is typical, and annoying, that gov’t boards and regulators cannot remain consistent. That said, even the 09 you cite reads:

* Concession means that HHS has determined that the petitioner has met the standards for a Table claim or petitioner has proven causation-in-fact.

A Table claim does not mean there is certainty, only probability. A Table claim is not an admission of cause, but a “concession” that cause is possible.

Again, I think this is particularly frustrating for people outside the fields. It leads to misunderstandings and recriminations as the scientists, researchers, and legal specialists all talk past each other in different “languages” — each group thinking the other is either hiding something or ignorant.

Too often, the scientists show no appreciation for how confusing their studies are or how absurdly arbitrary some of the tables and protocols can be. Setting standards is never 100% and we should explain that constantly.

The problem is, people want doctors and scientists to be perfect. The vaccine tables are an admission that perfection is impossible in researching cause and effect.

That’s also a problem for any study of vaccines — science is rarely certain, but always about probabilities. The legal standard for proof in the NVICP is lower than the scientific standard, so no amount of research is likely to resolve much in terms of public perceptions.

The Poling case, and others, would be subject to the standards, Table, and language used pre-2007.

I’m not saying the languages of law and science are ideal. If anything, they make reading the journal articles and the legal cases a challenge even for those of us specializing in research and public policy.

Even reading the two studies, the language is poorly constructed and confusing — and I should be able to parse these articles. Instead, I want to edit them for readability.

September 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm
(55) passionlessDrone says:

Hi Cindy –

But it seems as though all the children (and/or their mothers) had been exposed to some level of thimerosal. Is this accurate?

That is not accurate If you look at Table 2 in the paper, you will see that all time categories have children that were exposed to zero thimerosal. These timeframes include prenatal exposure.

- pD

September 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm
(56) Sandy-2000 says:

“the so called “trace” that’s currently in vaccines, sets off a series of events leading to autism in susceptible individuals, this fact should be uncovered and remedied to protect all of these children.”

There’s no evidence a trace or the amount in vaccines at the age group within this study causes autism in any people. They removed Thimerosal due to the possible risk (better safe than sorry) but rates of autism never dropped- now it’s being suggested a trace amount might be the risk? That sounds like a cover-up to make Thimerosal a cause no matter what.

September 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm
(57) Twyla says:

But were all babies exposed at some point? Can you tell whether there were some babies who were not exposed at any time? And if so, how many with and without autism?

September 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm
(58) Sandy-2000 says:

C. S. Wyatt~ you’re very helpful in explaining that and helping others to understand it’s meaning through all the confusion.

September 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm
(59) C. S. Wyatt says:

I notice the word “definitive” in several stories, and in the main blog entry. That seems rather bold for any scientific claim and bothers me. The researchers themselves aren’t definitive on several points:

>> Noting that increased ethylmercury exposure in the two longer postnatal periods actually appeared to decrease the risk of three autism spectrum disorder outcomes, DeStefano and colleagues wrote that they were “not aware of a biological mechanism that would lead to this result.”

This goes back to most of the science being based on statistical evidence, with a great deal of uncertainty. Epidemiology is not able to put children in clean rooms for a decade and control all variables. It is a statistical modeling discipline.

I do not believe vaccines cause autism, but that would be expressed better as: statistical evidence leads me to conclude it is unlikely the vast majority of “autism” cases are vaccine-related, with such cases as statistical outliers.

I might say, “Celery is good for you” but I actually know someone with an allergic reaction. Statistically, celery is safe 99.99% of the time, but there will be that one outlier. But, people react to risks in strange ways. Statistical realities rarely enter our perceptions of risk, so we report science in generalities to shape public opinion and avoid confusion.

September 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(60) barbaraj says:

Just as a “mom” I will explain this..
Noting that increased ethylmercury exposure in the two longer postnatal periods actually appeared to decrease the risk of three autism spectrum disorder outcomes, DeStefano and colleagues wrote that they were “not aware of a biological mechanism that would lead to this result.”

When our children become seriously ill, or react violently following vaccines we stop them . Those children that do not react, continue on , with the dosage apparently causing them no harm. There ,as yet, is no explainable biological mechanism for the “harm” but there is a logical explanation for the statistics. My ASD child has far fewer vaccines than his healthy brother. My six year old with asthma, articulation problems, and eczema had only ONE round of shots before onset of these conditions, and I waited until he was 2 !/2 thinking I would dodge the asd bullet but got hit with three others. My soon to be 3 yr old, has no shots, no allergies, no speech difficulties . Yep, I have my own little study going with the last four, I have an older child that developed “bowel issues” after his measle shot, and now is diagnosed crohn’s, a daughter who developed kawasaki after her first measle vaccine, and neutropenia after her second. The guilt I feel is immeasurable, I had all of my information right here and just “wasn’t” certain enough to fight off the pediatricians pushing. I’m certain now!

September 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm
(61) Stuart Duncan says:

wow, you guys want a study, then you don’t want a study. I’m becoming more and more convinced that no study done anywhere by anyone of any type will ever convince anyone of anything ever.

Let’s just all fight some more and listen to which ever doctor of the day says what we want to hear.

What a huge waste.

The more and more this goes on, the more I’m inclined to agree with Allison Singer.. that these studies and all this research money and time is nothing more than more ammo to fight some more amongst ourselves for no real purpose and towards no real end.

We’re a bunch’a arm chair physicians and scientists all with the power of google guiding us towards becoming cavemen once again as we we try to sound all intelligent but are actually just grunting at each other with no understanding of what each other says.

September 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(62) Sandy-2000 says:

The thing is, any study could bring us closer to finding answers, for everyone. It’s one thing to find major flaws in any given study, or find a study of a small sample not as informational as say a larger study, even Wakefield’s study had interesting aspects. But to disregard any study is simply closing doors.

September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm
(63) barbaraj says:

I don’t think so Stuart, I believe we just expect excellence in medicine and these shabby offerings are crap. Sure we want a study, and that study is to be totally unvaccinated children vs vaccinated children with the outcome of asd measured , then the case would be closed, over, done. Why can’t they give us that, why instead do we have baby A..non vaccinated ( at 2 months) baby B vaccinated at (2 mo), baby A vaccinated at 2 1/2 months, and on until at some point baby A becomes the unvaccinated of the study case at ages one to two months, and his ASD is counted among a group of similar babies that were at one point in time , be it only two months, unvaccinated. This is the garbage that is showing up in several recent studies.

September 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm
(64) Sandy-2000 says:

Depending on those results, who funded the study, I doubt it’d end there or ever will anytime soon. Might be sort of difficult to find unvaccinated children as well but even then, it wont tell you the why’s of why it happened or didn’t happen relating to ASD only, which is what these studies are about, not other medical conditions. You’d need a few more studies to tackle that answer.

September 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm
(65) barbaraj says:

What concerns me is at this rate we may never find answers. We know the contraindications have grown for dispensing dtap, without thimerosal, and we ,as parents, have likely been told, “oh that doesn’t count, or I think it’s okay” and our kid gets the shot. I had a seizure after an old fashioned dtp, should my children ever have had this vaccine? a nebulous..”mention this to your pediatrician ” has never changed anything, why mention if they don’t know the course of action to follow in these cases..is it important or not? They don’t know.
Another “bothered by” point is “shake well before using”, what if the nurse didn’t read it, and my child got all five doses of active ingredient, or all five doses of thimerosal, will any study after the fact give up clues to this possibility. I can see that with a shot schedule of 36 ,in 100 children, 3600 shots, that one may not have been “shaken well”.
Beyond the possibilities there are so many known and real problems that have been publicized with vaccines, why does anyone consider them as “likely not the cause of autism”.

September 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm
(66) C. S. Wyatt says:

I was diagnosed within a few days of birth as mentally retarded and that was changed before six months to brain trauma.

I clearly had not received *any* vaccinations at the time of these evolving labels. My mother began physical therapy and mental stimulation exercises well before the six month mark.

This was in the 1960s.

And, as far as I can tell, the traits associated with both ADHD and HFA/AS seem to run in our family, along with other demonstrably genetic issues.

At least some of us are evidence of autism sans vaccination.

But, then again, I’ve read that I don’t exist on some blogs. One person even wrote, “I’ve never met an autistic who was diagnosed before vaccination.” I’ll admit, the phrase “autism” wasn’t used — but that’s a historical issue.

September 15, 2010 at 1:29 am
(67) Twyla says:

Just finished listening to an interesting interview with Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted about their new book “The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Manmade Epidemic” with Teri Arranga at:


September 15, 2010 at 7:03 am
(68) Sandy-2000 says:

You just have to love another book for sale. Interesting title. Maybe Lisa can review it.

barbaraj when it comes to many illnesses, answers are hard to come by and it never happens fast enough. there has been much evidence publicized with vaccines that don’t cause autism that gives everyone the right to have the opinion vaccines are less likely to cause autism.

C.S Wyatt- it’s interesting most meet the autism criteria (just looking at autism) regardless of what cause is thought to be.

September 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm
(69) tim gallien says:

No Amish people have autism or childhood epilepsy among other issues associated with vaccines. Mercury literally dissolves synapses, thus creating a chemical lobotomy. So, of coarse their behavior is “better”, they have no faculty to do anything. These are a couple of examples among hundreds.

Who benefits? The government does not work for the people, they work for banks and corporations. This is a Eugenics policy to dumb down and dehumanize the masses.


You all can argue and make intellectual points all day long. You don’t see the sword coming. It is extremely obvious when your eyes are opened. The government sponsors these studies, and understand this, the government always gets what it pays for, one way or another.

When we say there is mercury in vaccines, they say, your a conspiracy theorist and crazy.
When the knowledge of mercury and Thomerisol go mainstream, they say that it is good for you.
when the knowledge of its affects go mainstream, they just change the name, like from high fructose corn syrup, to corn sugar. Or when calling a tomato a tomato, you must understand that it may be GMO unless it says otherwise.


September 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm
(70) autism says:

Tim, where are you getting these “facts” about the Amish – or about people with mercury poisoning? This is incorrect information, wrapped around a couple of tiny specks of fact (yes, there was mercury in vaccines, and yes, corn syrup is a health issue). Please check your information with reliable sources.

September 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm
(71) C. S. Wyatt says:

I have written extensively on the Amish, autism, seizures, vaccination rates, etc. However, the myths continue no matter what we write, state, or prove beyond a reasonable doubt:


The above is only the most recent scribbling on my blog regarding the Amish. It isn’t as detailed as a formal piece — simply a frustrated response to the recurring myths.

September 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm
(72) AutismNewsBeat says:

The Amish have autism, and they vaccinate. You have been hoodwinked by a UPI reporter named Dan Olmsted who fabricated a story back in 2005. Olmsted claimed he scoured the hills of Lancaster County, but somehow he overlooked the cryptically named Clinic for Special Children which treats children who present with signs and symptom of autism. The clinic also holds a weekly vaccination clinic.

Undaunted, Olmsted wrote a book which claims there was no autism until 1930. It was released yesterday, and is currently being ignored by the news and entertainment media. So there is a God.

September 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm
(73) Sandy-2000 says:

The Amish, due to how they marry and the blood-line going waaaaay back, have many genetic disorders and some that are life-threatening. The difference between the Amish is they believe those things are Gods will, and do not seek medical aide. So one can assume the Amish do not have many disorder’s, or autism but it’s simply not true. They have recently in some states reported they vaccinate as well. Amish often go into town, and were exposed to meases germs and so on. Autism and childhood epilepsy have also been around prior to vaccines. These things just didn’t spring up once vaccines came into use.

September 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm
(74) barbaraj says:

While some Amish do vaccinate, according to Noonan MD a Lancaster physician, autism among the PA Amish is rare. To undo this unwelcomed information a group headed to another medical center headed by a Dr. Strauss, they quickly noted and shared the information that the amish vaccinate and that yes they have autism. What was left out of this was that the autism among the Amish was connected directly to fragile X and Retts, and there was NO idiopathic autism, children with normal IQ and autism ,among their patients either. Half of this information was used to discount the original survey , and when only half is made available the truth is lost and it becomes a lie.
There will be those that point toward different sects that vaccinate more readily but the truth , from what you see, hear, read and believe should be yours to hold onto Tim. It’s notable, after this weeks released study, that there are great lengths being taken to take our “truth” from us. Is it a conspiracy to destroy our children, no, I don’t believe this. What I do believe is simply no one wants to be responsible for the harm that’s been caused, it’s nothing more imo than a huge “cya” effort. JMO

September 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm
(75) autism says:

I’m sure there’s plenty of CYA going on at all levels relative to autism. But on the subject of which populations have “zero” levels of autism, etc., I’m really don’t think we have the facts available.

Who has been going door to door among the Amish to determine precisely what levels of idiopathic autism occur in that population (testing everyone to determine whether they WOULD have received an autism dx had they gone to a typical school or clinic)?

I’m afraid we’re doing an awful lot of guessing and sharing of links in the case of the Amish… and I believe the same is the case when bloggers write about the Minnesota Somalians and other groups who have “zero” autism and “zero” vaccinations.

IMO, while there are grains of truth in almost every perspective, we’re still operating in the dark on many of these points.


September 15, 2010 at 10:19 pm
(76) ANB says:

Idiopathic autism appears to be largely undiagnosed in Amish society. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Also, the Amish do vaccinate, so if they are relatively autism free, are you ready to admit that either vaccines prevent autism, or that there is no association?

September 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm
(77) DanK says:

How can we reasonably say that vaccines don’t cause autism or that vaccines don’t contribute to autism or the newest that vaccines don’t result in autism, when we don’t know what does cause autism! The fact is that child can even die from the vaccine, then how can one exclude a less severe health problem. Sometimes vaccines cause autism – this is the fact, and one day that fact will be scientifically proven.
Many vaccine components have been documented as health damaging. I don’t think so – but let say: it is not thimerosal the problem, you win, mercury is safe indeed! But I don’t even care, is it thimerosal or aluminium or some pig/monkey virus or formaldehide or……… Whatever it is – sometimes cause autism!
The only question is how often vaccines cause autism or how often vaccines contribute to autism or how often vaccines result in autism. Choose your favorite diction…

September 15, 2010 at 10:13 pm
(78) AutismNewsBeat says:

DanK, you need to familiarize yourself with the “process of elimination.”

September 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm
(79) barbaraj says:

DanK, I agree with you, I believe I have enough information to back up my position, however, I believe until it’s universally understood we should keep the debate alive. Of course there are others that take an opposite position that can say the same. What’s interesting to me this week, and “it’s a how did I miss this moment”, is the romanticizing that’s going on among new age types. It’s not really autism it’s the blossoming of the indigo /chrystal children. I’m off and reading now, trying to understand “just why” this is the answer for some. Are parents of today, slightly autistic themselves, were we not as unscathed as we think we are?

September 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm
(80) barbaraj says:

ANB I didn’t overlook that clinic, it’s the one run by Strauss and he is the doctor ,as well, that admitted the cases of autism treated in his clinic were related to fragile X and Rett’s, he said, while the younger Amish are starting to vaccinate, ( he vaccinates these disabled children) he has not seen one case of regressive autism (which he called ) idiopathic autism with children of normal IQ.) IMO this is what he says it is, all of his autism patients have known risks for autism. Many of the PA Amish continue not to vaccinate, I don’t take my unvaccinated child when I go to buy their pies, because they do on occasion have outbreaks of “preventable disease”. This does make me a bit selfish, but living in an area of over 95% compliance I enjoy the “herd”. There are as well a few young Amish that have cocaine habits, probably more than have been vaccinated.

Most importantly, something that Dr.Strauss “overlooked” amazing as that may seem, there is a lot of MR in Lancaster in that old order, one out of two hundred are born , because of interbreeding, with glutaric aciduria which after exposure to an illness DOES leave them mentally retarded, not to be confused with autistism. He knew this, that’s why he said he’s seen no “idiopathic” autism. Keep leaving out the information, it builds into a lie, again on the part of those that dispense the information. He didn’t “overlook” this, the reporter that shared the info had it editted down.

September 16, 2010 at 12:11 am
(81) Twyla says:

Off the topic of this article, but in response to one of ANB’s comments, here is Mark Blaxill’s article about Dan Olmsted’s coverage of the Amish:

September 16, 2010 at 12:16 am
(82) Twyla says:

Here is SafeMinds’ response to the thimerosal paper:

September 16, 2010 at 1:01 am
(83) Twyla says:

There is an exciting study currently underway comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated monkeys.
See http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/09/primates-progress-disturbing-findings-from-a-study-of-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-primates.html

September 16, 2010 at 6:46 am
(84) Sandy-2000 says:

The primate study was removed from the journal, was it not? And wasn’t it that removal from that journal that led to Wakefield’s name removed from his studies? Didn’t that study have like 20 some monkeys as well? Did they find another medical journal to publish it?

September 16, 2010 at 8:44 am
(85) ANB says:

IIRC, the monkey study was rejected by a real journal. It ended up in “Autism Insights”, an online “pay-to-play” journal started a month or two earlier. The editorial board in made up of Wakefield’s buddies.

bj, there’s a good reason Strauss doesn’t see idiopathic autism – his clinic only treats children who need treatment. If there are kids with plain old garden variety autism, they are most likely absorbed into the community, going to school, working on the farm, and mainstreamed into Amish life.

Again, let’s say the Amish are immune to Autism. We know they vaccinate. Dr. Strauss was adamant on that point when we spoke. In fact, there is nothing in Amish doctrine that specifically proscribes vaccines. So tell us, are the Amish autism free because they vaccinate? Or is it that vaccines don’t cause autism?

Two other possibilities strike me as more likely: that the Amish have idiopathic autism, but those kids are largely undiagnosed; or that something in the Amish gene pool excludes ASDs. I’m going with the former. Are we to take the word of a UPI reporter who missed the Clinic for Special Children that the Amish are autism free? Olmsted is not a diagnostician, and he freely admits that. And contra to Mark “not a doctor” Blaxill, not all ASDs are easy to spot.

The claim that autism is unknown amongst the Amish is just another baseless urban myth repeated ad nauseum by the faith-based anti-vaccine community. Please stop.

September 16, 2010 at 11:15 am
(86) barbaraj says:

The old closed order has mitochondrial disease.
One in two hundred children born are born with glutaric aciduria.
If they have been studied closely enough to determine the effects of interbreeding, can we really believe that there is an unseen, hidden group of children with idiopathic autism.
Dr. Strauss has not see these children, you suggest they aren’t ill enough to be taken to a doctor that cares for these disabled . Dr.Strauss runs the clinic providing health care for this group and he vaccinates ,evidentally heavily, within only “it”.
The other clinic, sees well children, they do not vaccinate, they have not seen autism. So unless we uncover a third spcialty clinic for idiopathic autism , I’m sticking to my belief, no one has seen it in a medical practice, it does not exist.
What does exist, is a count, and the count of genetic “autism with mr” within that community is approx. 1:250. Hardly immune , they are blasted with the worst.
These are interesting facts, why should we “stop”. I’m not nauseated. I remain curious to find the truth.

September 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm
(87) Twyla says:

Sandy, this is not the same as the Wakefield et al study of children in the Lancet, which was the subjectof the GMC hearings.

A paper about this monkey study titled ““Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight” was accepted for publication by the journal Neurotoxicology who actually did pre-publish it online, but then withdrew it. It had successfully passed through peer review, but was quashed by the journal’s corporate owner Elsevir. See:

September 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm
(88) ANB says:

bj, how would you explain the absence of idiopathic autism in a community that vaccinates its children?

September 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(89) barbaraj says:

This needs more research, so far I’ve only seen reference to Dr.Strauss’ patients, the already disabled, being vaccinated. I may add, in conversation, anecdotally, it seems the amish agreed to allow polio vaccine in because of their history of outbreaks, we know that polio vaccine never contained thimerosal, ( well at least not within the last 30 yrs). The research needed should uncover the kinds and amounts of vaccines that actually have been given within that community, it’s not up for guessing. Just off the top of my head, I can not imagine any ONE of these people allowing a hepb birth shot or a medical group suggesting one .

In my own opinion there is no idiopathic autism, idiopathic again imo describes the unwillingness of a “certain” group to admit to vaccine induced autism. Again, where is the research?

September 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm
(90) Sandy-2000 says:

Although I rarely do, I went to AOA and the monkey study article led me to links of Wakefield’s study and how it was removed from the medical journal. There is mention of another study, I found no link but apparent copied info but it is hardly new. Kris Turlejski stated that some known features in autism might contribute to “exaggerated reaction to some factors that are harmless to other children”. And “poorly understood differences in genetic makeup of some children” (within the autism spectrum) is given emphasis.” Sounds to me it’s a genetic study and how vaccines may impact it.

This is the 16 male primate study

September 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm
(91) barbaraj says:

ANB, I moved away from Lancaster in my reading and hit upon Ohio. We should not believe that “vaccinated amish = fully vaccinated” is the message I’m getting. If it’s true, that 50% of the younger Amish in Ohio are vaccinated, while a bit of truth, it doesn’t tell us the few vaccines accepted, nor the late age of introduction, again, we can not compare a child with a polio vaccine to an average child with 33+ vaccines. So far I’ve seen no mention of the Amish following the cdc immunization schedule.
We need a study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated, nothing short will give us appropriate answers.

September 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm
(92) Teacher says:

Mr. Reibel is easily confused. He mistakes “some amish vaccinate” to mean that “all amish vaccinate.” Strange that someone who claims to be a journalist confuses something like that so readily. Also, his ability to argue by assertion is second to none.

In recent years, the Amish have increased their uptake of vaccines, but at the time of Mr. Olmsted’s article, the rate of vaccination among the Amish was relatively low.

There are several peer-reviewed articles that express concerns from the doctors and scientists about the low vaccination rates of the Amish. These articles show up as late as 2007. Here are a few examples:



Oh, I’m sure that Mr. Reibel will try to tap-dance around these facts. He will point you to the survey that shows that the amish have a relatively high vaccination rate, but keep in mind that it was:

a) a survey, which is prone to misinterpretation and bias. Yoder and Dworkin, I believe?

b) one community.

But, to Mr. Reibel, this is concrete proof that since one amish community did a survey that says they vaccinate, then it must therefore mean that all amish vaccinate.

September 17, 2010 at 1:17 am
(93) Another parent says:

Sorry- this is not meant to be rude.
But does it bother anyone else that the press and our government keep saying that they know for sure vaccines DO NOT cause autism then in the next breathe they say the don’t know what does and it’s a mystery!??
Pardon me – but don’t you need to know what does before you rule something out?
It makes no sense.

September 17, 2010 at 4:34 am
(94) DanK says:

Another parent – good point !
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Which came first in my child, autism or vaccine?
Our goverment positions:
1. autism came first
2. look at the first point
(3). (if you are still not satisfied and you think that vaccines came first) you should know: it could be dinosaurus or star dust but never any vaccine…

September 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(95) AutismNewsBeat says:

“… don’t you need to know what does before you rule something out? It makes no sense.”

Four words: The Process of Elimination. Ask your auto mechanic how he diagnosis a problem with your automobile. If your car doesn’t start, he might check the battery first. If the battery is fully charged, then he can safely assume the problem is not in the battery, even though he still doesn’t know the reason why your car won’t start.

That’s how it is with autism. Medical science eliminated vaccines as a cause years ago. We also know it’s not caused by bad parenting, TV or sunspots. Best available evidence points to a genetic component for most cases.

Hope this helps.

September 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm
(96) C. S. Wyatt says:

No amount of research evidence will matter. None. That’s simply the way this debate has evolved for many people.

Consider the ultra-Orthodox in Israel (my maternal heritage is Jewish):

The ultra-Orthodox refusal to be vaccinated is connected to a traditional rejection of Zionism. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, many refused to cooperate with its institutions, including the National Insurance Institute. Vaccinations were seen as government policy and boycotted.

In any case, the ultra-Orthodox public largely believes that everything is in God’s hands. Yet, they have autism cases. And these really try the families, which believe illnesses are a message from G-d.



September 18, 2010 at 2:22 am
(97) Twyla says:

It sounds like some ultraorthadox jews in Israel do vaccinate. For example, “Over the years, the ultra-Orthodox boycott of many state institutions has weakened and today Mea Shearim residents have become ardent HMO members and most of them even vaccinate their children. However, pockets of resistance to vaccination remain… ”

I wonder what is the incidence of autism among unvaccinated members of this community. If there are some unvaccinated children with autism, that would only show that vaccines don’t cause all autism, not that vaccines never cause autism.

September 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm
(98) Twyla says:

re: “Medical science eliminated vaccines as a cause years ago.” That’s not true. Just an unsubstantiated statement.

September 18, 2010 at 3:29 am
(99) DanK says:

I asked Socrates again and he said: I only know that I know nothing and that thimerosal is safe. If you don’t belive me just ask ANB. People like him knows very well how to use the process of elimination. They succesfully eliminated even Hippocrates. “First, do no harm!” – who cares about this anymore.

September 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm
(100) ANB says:

I was going to eliminate your relevance to the debate, but I’m years late.

September 19, 2010 at 9:16 pm
(101) Mario says:

Lies, Lies and nothing but the lies.
Do not trust the government vaccine maker companies CDC and others.
You have your brain use your common sence. Stay away from VACCINES!!! Look at the Amish people

September 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm
(102) ANB says:

What about the Amish people, Mario?

September 20, 2010 at 1:41 am
(103) Twyla says:

Hmmm, I clicked on “reply” to an earlier comment to post my last comment, but now it is at the end, and I no longer see any “reply” buttons. Odd.

September 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm
(104) ANB says:

I blame the drug companies that advertise in the NY Times. ; -)

September 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm
(105) Twyla says:

ANB Are you saying that the drug companies are making the “reply” buttons appear and disappear? OK, sounds good — we’ll blame it on them.

September 21, 2010 at 8:47 am
(106) ANB says:

Glad to be of service.

September 21, 2010 at 11:06 am
(107) Twyla says:

Now the “Reply” buttons are back, and my comment is back with the comment I was responding to. Mysterious changes.

November 12, 2010 at 3:44 am
(108) hedda hugo says:

good afternoon! :) i am a student from ADZU in the Philippines. i am conducting a research study about autism. the research study wants to know about the coping mechanisms/styles used by parents when they knew about the case of their child and used in handling their child/children which has an autism case. also, i want to know about the different interventions of parents towards their child which is experiencing autism. i am very sorry for the disturbance, i just lack references for my study. i hope you could help me. thank you very much. :)

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