Respectful Insolence

Say it ain’t so, Amy Farrah Fowler!

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Like many geeks, I enjoy The Big Bang Theory. I know, I know, you’re shocked to hear that, but it’s true. I’ve seen nearly every episode since the first season. Over the last couple of seasons, the male-centric show has been considerably improved by its move towards more of an ensemble cast that includes two new female characters: Bernadette Rostenkowski, played by Melissa Rauch, who is Howard’s girlfriend, and Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Mayim Bialik, who is Sheldon’s girlfriend. Both characters are smart and in many ways as geeky as the guys, but in a different way.

Oddly enough, I still remember Bialik from the 1990s, when she played Blossom in the sitcom called, well, Blossom. A few years ago, before Bialik joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory, I was quite impressed to learn that Bialik had pursued a career in neuroscience and had obtained a PhD. Such an achievement is indeed impressive and bespeaks a keen scientific mind. Or so I thought. I’m not sure why she apparently didn’t do much with her PhD and instead returned to acting, playing a neuroscientist instead of actually working as one, but in general I was glad she did, because she has been hilarious thus far in The Big Bang Theory as a neuroscientist foil to Sheldon’s physicist ego.

Unfortunately (in this case at least), actors aren’t their characters, and even more unfortunately Bialik isn’t anything like Amy Farrah Fowler, at least when it comes to science. Whereas Amy Farrah Fowler is scientific to the point of having difficulty functioning in “normal” society, Bialik, I just learned from commenter yesterday, is heavily into the woo. How heavily? Well, it should tell you a lot that she’s a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network. What is the Holistic Moms Network? Actually, the name should say it all to you. Picture the sort of organization that would name itself the Holistic Moms Network, turn it up to 11, and then multiply it by another 11, and you have an idea. The Holistic Moms Network is a cesspit of “natural” parenting, where “natural” apparently means embracing every form of “natural” woo known to humans.

Don’t believe me? Just one look at its advisory board should tell you all you need to know. For instance, there’s Dr. Lauren Feder, who bills herself as specializing in “primary care medicine, pediatrics and homeopathy” and has been a frequent contributor to that bastion of quackery and antivaccine looniness, Mothering Magazine, where she recommended homeopathic remedies to treat whooping cough. It doesn’t get much quackier than that. But Feder is just the beginning. Also on the Holistic Moms advisory board is the grand dame of the antivaccine movement herself, the woman who arguably more than anyone else is responsible for starting the most recent iteration of the antivaccine movement in the U.S. Yes, I’m talking about Barbara Loe Fisher, the founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a bastion of antivaccine propaganda since the 1980s. She’s not the only antivaccine activist on the advisory board, though. There’s also Peggy O’Mara, publisher of Mothering Magazine and Sherri Tenpenny, who is described right on the Holistic Moms website as, “one of America’s most knowledgeable and outspoken physicians, warning against the negative impact of vaccines on health.” Then there’s Dr. Lawrence Rosen, “integrative” pediatrician who appeared at the NVIC “vaccine safety conference” back in 2009 with Barbara Loe Fisher and Andrew Wakefield. In fact, Barbara Loe Fisher, Sherri Tenpenny, and Lauren Feder are featured very prominently on the Holistic Moms Network page on vaccination.

But that’s not all. If there’s one more thing that should tell you all you need to know about the Holistic Moms Network approach to science-based medicine, then take a look at its sponsors: Boiron (manufacturer of the homeopathic remedy for flu known as Oscillococcinum), the Center for Homeopathic Education (and I bet it is homeopathic too), the National Center for Homeopathy, and a whole bunch of other purveyors of woo and quackery.

The other thing about the Holistic Moms Network is that it’s also very, very heavily into “natural” childbirth, otherwise known as home birth, and Bialik is totally down with that, even to the point of thinking that women should have to suffer because it’s more “natural”:

Birth is intense; squeezing a baby out of your body is a challenge, no matter what your “pain tolerance.” However, our culture medicates routinely for a variety of “normal” emotional experiences (encouraging medication for people in the early stages of grief comes to mind), and medicating for the emotions of birth is no exception. The vocalizing and emotional experience that is commonly referred to as “complaining,” “screaming,” or “suffering” is a normal part of labor. Birth is not neat and fast and quiet: it’s gritty and primal. But it’s nothing to fear unless you also think we ought to fear women crying when they are sad or laughing when they are happy. There are numerous effective pain-management techniques to use in labor. I used self-hypnosis for both of my natural labors as well as showers and baths, massage, homeopathy, and the greatest power of all: the power of my mind to force out the notion that pain with purpose – labor — is something to fear.

So, ladies, suffer! It’s “natural.” And, remember, just like The Secret, wishing makes it so! Or, if all else fails, use homeopathy. You’ll get the same results.

Also “natural,” apparently, is not vaccinating her children:

Reader N.S. remembers reading about your contemplating whether or not to vaccinate the kids. What decision did you reach?

We are a non-vaccinating family, but I make no claims about people’s individual decisions. We based ours on research and discussions with our pediatrician, and we’ve been happy with that decision, but obviously there’s a lot of controversy about it.

No, actually, there isn’t. At least, there isn’t a scientific controversy about vaccines. Unfortunately, even with her PhD in neuroscience, Mayim Bialik is apparently incapable of of figuring that out. It just goes to show that understanding in one area of science doesn’t necessarily translate into an understanding in another. Certainly the research skills she learned to obtain her PhD in neuroscience did not translate to doing research about vaccines. One can’t help but note that Bialik is more accurate than she probably knows when she answers a reader question about what she’s doing with her PhD these day by saying, “…for the most part I use my scientific background to be called Dr. Mom in this house.” Obviously.

She’s also a big fan of antivaccine apologist Dr. Jay Gordon and antivaccine pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears. She completely gushes about them on her Facebook page because Dr. Jay apparently wrote the foreword to her book on attachment parenting entitled Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way and Dr. Sears wrote a blurb for her.

Bialik is, not surprisingly, also an extremely crunchy vegan. (I know, not all vegans are woos, but there is a high correlation.) That, however, doesn’t really bug me much, except that her extreme crunchiness and “natural parenting” apparently extend to not providing her children with services from which they could benefit. For instance, about a year ago she wrote a post entitled Why I don’t force my kids to say ‘please’… or walk on schedule in which she almost bragged about her approach to parenting:

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. By current conventional standards both of my sons qualified for speech, occupational and physical therapy and I gave them none. Both walked at a ripe 17 months, my older son did not speak sentences until well after 3, my younger son, age 2, communicates exceedingly well with signs and gestures but has not uttered a two-word phrase or even an “appropriately” formed word. My boys were physically very cautious, shunning jumping, running, and even climbing long after their peers mastered them; and my younger son did not roll over unassisted until, wait for it: the day he turned one. He apparently has a weak set of core muscles that he now compensates for beautifully, without anyone noticing but me and my husband.

So why didn’t I send my children for assessment and therapy? For the same reason that I don’t tell them to say “please” or “thank you.” Confused yet? Don’t be. Barring outstanding medical concerns, I believe in letting children progress in their own way and pace, modeling behavior while respecting the innate development of a child as an autonomous and purposeful creature. I believe that children, like adults (and perhaps better than most adults?), generally know what works for them.

Notice how the naturalistic fallacy that apparently drives Bialik to eschew vaccines for her children and pain relief other than homeopathy and mind games during childbirth for herself is also leading her to impose on her own children her idea that children somehow magically know how to be raised properly and at their own pace when, by her own admission, they could clearly use help and would probably benefit from speech, occupational, and physical therapy. By Bialik’s own admission, her children are developmentally delayed, but she is not willing to give them the extra help they appear to need. (At least she can’t blame vaccines for her children’s developmental delay.) Instead, she views offering that help to them as “forcing” them to develop at some sort of “unnatural” pace for them:

Although the “delays” my sons displayed can be markers for autism, autism-spectrum disorders or developmental delays, I trust my intuition and I trust our pediatrician. My husband and I knew there was nothing wrong with our older son, and I know there is nothing wrong with his little doppelganger. By the standards of whoever decided kids should do what when, my sons are truly “behind,” and I have been accused of being neglectful and selfish for not getting them therapy.

We have no daycare, pre-school or kindergarten standards to meet (we homeschool), no one to impress (we choose friends who support independent thinking or share it themselves) and we have nothing to be ashamed of (our parents have learned to back off and watch the results; thankfully, our boys have not disappointed them yet). My kids are fine. You may not think so, but you get to raise your kids and I get to raise mine.

Because, apparently, her “mommy instinct” tells her her kids are fine even though there are many indications that they are not. She might be right. After all, many children who are developmentally delayed ultimately “catch up.” However, it’s quite probable that she’s wrong and that her children are having problems that they don’t necessarily have to have because she “believes” they are just fine. To her, their developmental delay is nothing more than the dogmatic judgment of pediatricians who apparently just made up these standards out of whole cloth and/or are the results of arbitrary judgments of pre-school, kindergarten, and school officials. Consistent with her desire not to “force” her children to develop “faster” than is “natural,” she also has a whole list of things she doesn’t want to “force” her children to do, including sharing, being polite, or excelling at anything, all of which she disparages as “just creating children who are monkeys, imitating behavior without independently experiencing it or really understanding it.” Or she could be raising two massively spoiled kids. She claims she “sets boundaries” but then denies using many of the most common strategies to enforce those boundaries.

I realize that attachment parenting of the type advocated by Dr. Sears and our very own Dr. Jay Gordon is all the rage these days, but I have a tendency to take the criticisms seriously, particularly the lack of empiric evidence that supports the concept as being superior to other forms of parenting. Attachment parenting might work for some parents, but it’s incredibly demanding and strikes me as going too far, as obsessive even.

While a case for attachment parenting might be made, there is no doubt that Bialik subscribes to a lot of non-science-based ideas in that she is clearly antivaccine, lives a crunchy faux “natural” lifestyle, and believes in homeopathy. How a PhD scientist can believe in homeopathy remains, of course, beyond me. One wonders if they didn’t teach her Avagadro’s number in undergraduate college or even in graduate school. Be that as it may, unfortunately Mayim Bialik is proof positive that even advanced education in science doesn’t always inoculate one from quackery. Even leaving aside the question of whether there is anything to attachment parenting, there’s more than enough evidence that Bialik’s prone to magical thinking, to put it kindly.

Sadly, I won’t be able to watch Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory in the same way again. Part of the appeal of her character was that, given her PhD in neuroscience, there was the impression that Mayim Bialik was actually a bit like the character she plays. I know that Amy Farrah Fowler is a character that Mayim Bialik happens to be very good at bringing to life in an entertaining fashion and nothing more, but even so it’s going to be hard to forget the woo that lies behind the neuroscientist, both fictional and real.

Comments

  1. #1 The Carrot of Enlightenment
    February 21, 2012

    Yoga, or ‘survival knowledge’ as it is alternatively known, can be taught to a switched on aspirant in a year or two.

    However, the teacher wants the aspirant to work for him for 20 year or more as payment for sharing this knowledge. Luckily, the aspirant has heard about the teacher’s ability to ‘harvest the big spiritual fruits’ and so is willing to chase the dangling carrot of enlightenment, under expert direction, for a very long time.

    Woo, or ‘expert direction’ is just ‘filler’. None of it works, unless you are that teacher ;)

    I would still rather take my chances with 2 years of good yoga plus 20 years of useless woo, than to take my chances with 20 years straight of western medicine, Orac-style.

    To find out more, google ‘Crazy Wisdom’.

  2. #2 Chris
    February 21, 2012

    It is not difficult for me to not watch the character of Ms. Fowler. Despite multiple attempts I have not been able to watch any episode of The Big Bang Theory all the way through without getting very annoyed. I don’t know why, but it is just not my cup of tea.

    I only knew about Bialik from this article:
    http://www.themompetition.com/2011/03/why-i-dont-force-my-kids-to-do-stuff.html

    It is called satire, kids. Learn to recognize it, it could save you from permanent embarrassment.

  3. #3 nastylittlehorse
    February 21, 2012

    So it’s probably for the best that she’s gone back to acting rather than pursuing a scientific career any further?

    I guess BBT becomes a bit like watching “My Name is Earl”, I lost most of the enjoyment from watchiong it when I found out that the lead actor is a scientologist.

  4. #4 Phil
    February 21, 2012

    I am so disappointed. I thought she was a scientifically trained rational thinker.

  5. #5 Craig Thomas
    February 21, 2012

    That is *very* disappointing.

    Her approach to parenting is basically neglect.
    One of mine figured out how to use sentences at 14 months, but the next one down required about 3 years of speech therapy and then a year of special teaching to get her reading – she was reading everything backwards for some reason. She’s a very bright girl, but her brain was doing something very odd.

    Without this early expert attention, she would be a dunce in class and a dyslexic. She would not “progressed in her own way at her own pace”, she would have ended up in serious academic difficulty.

    I always assume people like Bialik, who have demonstrated some sort of advanced intelligence, eventually have a “Doh!” moment and realise what idiots they’ve been.
    I’m afraid there could be an ego thing that prevents this moment from ever arriving.

    There’s a scientist in my family (well, there are several)….who is a climate denier. And showing no signs of having his “Doh!” moment yet.

  6. #6 Hudge
    February 21, 2012

    Oh, now TBBT s tainted for me.
    I had never heard anything about the “Holistic Moms Network” …and it’s quite disturbing.
    It’s really disappointing because for some reason I actually had the impression that she really was a bit like her role in TBBT. I’ll never understand how someone who has studied sciences can develop such views.

    However, I think that the mention that she is “not surprisingly, also an extremely crunchy vegan” was quite unnecessary. I’m a vegan too, I’m a scientist and I strongly oppose pseudo-science, “alternative-medicine” etc.
    It’s really weird that no one ever writes/says something like “person x believes in pseudo-scientific-theory y and is not a vegan.”

  7. #7 Lawrence
    February 21, 2012

    Given what happened to my wife during her first child-birth experience with bad “pain-manangement, botched epidural” – which required some pretty serious intervention to finally deliver, then comparing that to her second experience, with very effective pain management, and despite having a baby that was 1/3 larger in size (9 lb vs. 6 lb) the experience was way less traumatic, the baby was fine, and my wife was able to walk out of the hospital under her own power.

    Modern medicine is where is it for a reason – it works, it is effective, and without it, people tend to die, a lot.

  8. #8 Kayla
    February 21, 2012

    Why do we continue to think that ‘famous’ people; actors, singers, athletes, etc. are examples of anything other than what they are famous for? I enjoy the BBT, I enjoy the performance that Bialik gives. I haven’t noticed any of her parenting views being offered up in the context of the BBT,so I don’t entirely understand why her personal choices are all that relevant. She is clearly not the only person interested in these issues, or the only person to make such decisions about her children. Do I agree with them? Not at all. But I am not her friend, nor do I know her personally. I do enjoy the job she does professionally, and that’s all I expect from her. I liken this to the comment above re scientologists. If I had to stop watching every movie, play, or tv show because one of the actors was a scientologist, or only lived by my own moral values, or even my own scientific reasoning, I think I might have very little left to watch.

    While I don’t have a problem with investigating questionable groups promoting questionable scientific findings, I do have an issue with ‘news’ prosecuting individuals and trying to liken things that aren’t related. Maybe a better question is, why should anyone think an actress (regardless of her PhD- which I don’t believe was in parenting), has the answer or is any way an authority on these issues? If you want to critique her views under her public parenting profile, then surely her involvement in the BBT is barely relevant aside from a footnote to comment on why people should know her, and leave it at that?

  9. #9 Orac
    February 21, 2012

    @Kayla

    The reason for my dismay is that Mayim Bialik is using her celebrity to support and raise funds for an organization that preaches medical ideas that are demonstrably dangerous to children, such as antivaccine views and alternative medicine. If she were living her crunchy, “holistic,” vaccine-free lifestyle and not promoting it, I’d be disappointed but probably wouldn’t care that much. She’s not. She’s a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network, an organization as quacky as any I’ve ever seen, and she’s using her celebrity to promote her woo ideas in a book. (Does anyone doubt that she’ll discuss her views on vaccines, homeopathy, etc., in the book, along with attachment parenting?) So, yes, normally I don’t care much if the actor is anything like the role. This time I do because the actor is using her celebrity from the role to promote quackery.

  10. #10 Hey Zeus is my Homeboy
    February 21, 2012

    “If I had to stop watching every movie, play, or tv show because one of the actors was a scientologist, or only lived by my own moral values, or even my own scientific reasoning, I think I might have very little left to watch.”

    Oh Noes!!!1111111!!! There’s always either pR0n or My Little Pony, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0ekVWbTxkU

  11. #11 Lawrence
    February 21, 2012

    Of course, I find the new “My Little Ponies” to be profoundly creepy as well…..

  12. #12 JPGK
    February 21, 2012

    “Consistent with her desire not to “force” her children to develop “faster” than is “natural,” she also has a whole list of things she doesn’t want to “force” her children to do, including sharing, being polite, or excelling at anything, all of which she disparages as “just creating children who are monkeys, imitating behavior without independently experiencing it or really understanding it.”

    What’s funny is that without proper socialization (you know, raising a child to be a person instead of a monkey) that’s exactly what they’ll grow to be: a mostly-hairless, upright (maybe), angry little monkey. Unless she wants to raise a feral child, that is…

  13. #13 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 21, 2012

    One of the first things I learned as a parent is that kids need to be taught basically everything. And they get better with practice.

    And even if there are some physical things that will develop, saying please and thank you is completely a learned activity

  14. #14 James M
    February 21, 2012
  15. #15 Anj
    February 21, 2012

    @12 MM,M

    I have found that teaching children to use the phrases “Excuse me.” “Thank you” and “Please” correctly work wonders with their perceived social skills. Using those even with people they do not like at the moment is especially good practice.

    I’m thinking of my own two delightful darlings. Interrupting a spat and forcing them to use each others’ names instead of “stupid head” and using complete sentences is a great way of emphasizing that politeness is not just for people you like. In fact, good manners are often most useful when you are upset since it gives you something safe to say.

  16. #16 damigiana
    February 21, 2012

    I am a bit disappointed in your conflating natural childbirth with home birth, and seeing it mixed with both with antivaccine and antiscience nonsense (although I guess the mixing was not of your doing, and possibly not even the conflating).

    Natural means with no major medical intervention: no analgesia, no full-time monitor, freedom to give birth in a position chosen for the mother’s comfort, no episiotomy. At best in a location where, should the need arise, the full force of today’s medicine can quickly help mother and child (from an episiotomy+vacuum delivery to an emergency c-section; sh*t happens).

    Many childbirths need medication, but I have personally witnessed (20 years ago) hospitals routinely performing episiotomies on all nulliparae, and (ten years ago) hospitals refusing vaginal births for twin deliveries, or allowing them only with a pitocin drip. Some areas of the world have c-section rates of at or above fifty percent.

    Imho in some hospitals scientific evidence and patients’ well-being is trumped by routine procedures and legal worries. I feel sometimes doctors are co-responsible when patients turn to woo.

    PS I’m totally in favor of mothers choosing any kind of analgesia and/or elective c-sections, so long as it’s a free, informed choice. By information I mean e.g. data on the ACOG or AAP websites, not woo-providers.

  17. #17 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 21, 2012

    Orac @8 – the other problem is that Bialic isn’t just your random empty-headed actor or model (like Jenny). She does a PhD, and so that gives her an air of authority. Irrespective of the fact that her phD makes her no more of an authority than I am, but that won’t stop the Woomeisters from trumpeting it as much as possible.

  18. #18 Anj
    February 21, 2012

    Ouch. Okay, I just read her TODAYMoms article and cringed and cringed.

    Both my children worked through the Help Me Grow program. Both my children did three years of special ed preschool. I found both programs to be enormously helpful and valuable for a variety of reasons. One was because just caring for two high needs toddlers was exhausting, and having other services provide the therapies they needed and the peer social interactions was great. I’m a huge fan of the IEP process. Being able to see strengths and weaknesses help everyone understand strategies to take advantage of the former and improve the latter.

    Having more people watching, evaluating and thinking about a child’s progress is valuable and keeps our family from cocooning ourselves into a warm, cozy, comfortable world where our subjective world view is the only one that matters. Plus, it allows our family to access the many services available to us and our children.

    PhD in neuroscience..! Damn woman, can I have your education since you aren’t using it?

  19. #19 novalox
    February 21, 2012

    @Lawrence

    It isn’t all that bad. At least it is better than previous seasons(generations).

  20. #20 Cynical Pediatrician
    February 21, 2012

    “I believe that children, like adults (and perhaps better than most adults?), generally know what works for them.”

    Sorry, Blossom, but most kids (if given their way) would eat nothing but chicken nuggets and root beer, spend all night watching horror films, go to bed sometime around midnight, wake up at 10am, play 4 hours of Xbox, and never bathe, go to school, or generally do anything that didn’t provide immediate gratification. Hmmm…sounds like many teenagers and slacker adults too…
    It may work in the short term, but generally fails as an effective long-term strategy.

    On a more serious note, there can be consequences to not addressing developmental delays early. Particularly with speech delays, children who can’t make themselves understood often become frustrated and resort to more physical means of expression. Considering that speech therapy has very little downside, parental refusal to address significant delay is more consistent with laziness, delusion, or neglect, as opposed to a coherent and well-thought out philosophy.

  21. #21 nastylittlehorse
    February 21, 2012

    @7 Kayla

    “If I had to stop watching every movie, play, or tv show because one of the actors was a scientologist, or only lived by my own moral values, or even my own scientific reasoning, I think I might have very little left to watch.”

    You might indeed. Problem?

    There are two things at play here for me though – Firstly I now know she’s a kook, and will be thinking that if I see her on tv again. Secondly I don’t really wish to support people that do stuff I disagree with. I know my own viewership is of minimal value and consequence, but it falls in line with my attempts to not buy products from companies with what I consider to be questionable ethics. I know a personal boycott won’t achieve much, but at least I’m not part of the problem.

  22. #22 Alexis
    February 21, 2012

    I’ve known this for a while. Articles also use her PhD as a way of boosting her credibility. IIRC, Jay Gordon is her ped.

  23. #23 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2012

    @ Hudge:

    You see, I think that many of us have heard veganism trumpetted alongside woo so frequently that we may sometimes- unfortunately- associate them. I realise that there are sane vegans and vegetarians who are perfectly reasonable: a former president wants to avoid another by-pass or cathetherisation; it’s a traditional way of eating in their family ( esp lacto-vegetarians from India); a key weight control method. I asked a young hipster about his vegetarianism – it wasn’t political or health-oriented but fuelled by his love of animals. “Even chickens?”, I asked “Even chickens”.

    Woo often imparts a nearly magical role to phyto-nutrients and raw vegetable energy: it is the life force encapsulated within the plant. Perhaps they free associate the ancient connection concerning observation of plants “dying” ( winter) then being miraculously “resurrected” with the coming of spring -like the dead and dying g-ds who re-appear re-energised and re-animated. They want a piece of that action. Let the magic of photosynthesis empower your life! Purity forbids the eating of *dead* carcasses! These ideas flow un-impeded throughout the woo-esphere.

  24. #24 Cynical Pediatrician
    February 21, 2012

    Kayla @7: “If I had to stop watching every movie, play, or tv show because one of the actors was a scientologist, or only lived by my own moral values, or even my own scientific reasoning, I think I might have very little left to watch.”

    You say this as if it’s a bad thing.

    I don’t think my life has been adversely affected since I’ve stopped watching anything new from Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.

  25. #25 Medivh
    February 21, 2012

    One bone to pick: while Bialik’s version of home birth is total crap, home birth in general doesn’t imply free of pain meds. Nor is there an implication of heightened danger, if done correctly.

    Bialik recommends dangerous practices in the link you’ve given, and a hospital birth is certainly easier in terms of how much organisation has to go into the process for the soon-to-be mother. But this doesn’t mean that a hospital birth is safer. Indeed, research coming out of the Nordic countries implies that a properly planned home birth is safer than a properly planned hospital birth, due to lower stress levels in the mother, and lower infection rates. Improperly planned births tend to go better in hospitals, for obvious reasons.

    TL;DR: a stopped clock is right twice a day, and some woo has a kernel of truth, apparently. Home births aren’t half as dangerous (when planned) as most people believe.

  26. #26 lilady
    February 21, 2012

    Bialik is heavily into woo and her opinions/child-rearing techniques do have an impact on her “audience”. There is something “special” about celebrity moms (Jenny McCarthy) who step into the science arena…and Bialik is even more “special” because she is far more intelligent and far more educated than McCarthy. Her dissertation “Hypothalamic Secretions and Obsessive Compulsion Disorder in Adolescents with Prader Willi-Syndrome” and her involvement with this rare genetic syndrome, give her more credentials than the usual “celebrity mom”:

    http://fpwr.org/scientific-advisory-board

    So, we have a celebrity mom, whose young children seem to have some developmental delays and yet she steadfastly refuses to have them properly evaluated for therapies. And, she provides no guidelines for them…in spite of her professional knowledge of developmentally disabled children and in spite of her knowledge of normal-vs-abnormal behavioral development.

  27. #27 rork
    February 21, 2012

    About her education Orac wrote: “It just goes to show that understanding in one area of science doesn’t necessarily translate into an understanding in another.”

    It’s worse than that. The PhD by itself does not guarantee intelligence or an understanding of anything (though I admit I expect someone with suma from Harvard medical school to be sorta smart in some ways). If you haven’t had occasion to realize this, consider yourself lucky.

  28. #28 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 21, 2012

    But this doesn’t mean that a hospital birth is safer.

    Although it is. Your entire post is a bunch of caveats, and boils down to “When the birth goes ok, then homebirth is as safe as a hospital birth”

    Which is tautology.

    OTOH, if you look at outcomes considering comparable risk factors, you find that homebirths have a 2-3 times higher mortality rate, even for low-risk births.

    You should go over to Amy Tutuer’s blog

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/

    and make those claims.

  29. #29 Orac
    February 21, 2012

    Jay Gordon is her ped.

    Is he? Or does she just know him somehow from being involved with the Holistic Moms Network?

  30. #30 AllieP
    February 21, 2012

    “the power of my mind to force out the notion that pain with purpose – labor — is something to fear.”

    Funny. I used the power of my mind to force out the notion that pain in labor actually HAD a purpose. Put it this way: you don’t need the fire alarm blaring if you can see the flames. I knew I was in labor, so give me the epidural so I can concentrate on pushing out the baby.

    The problem with Bialik is the same problem as with McCarthy. She is using her celebrity to push dangerous woo, PhD or no. (This is the problem with saying McCarthy is a “playboy bunny” — I don’t care if Bialik is a phD in neuroscience, she clearly isn’t thinking about her own children’s neurologic development!)

    I don’t care what celebrities privately believe, but when they become board members of “Holistic Mom” networks or write articles about how some babies aren’t “meant” to survive — well, you’ve lost me, Big Bang Theory.

  31. #31 Dangerous Bacon
    February 21, 2012

    Since they’re so heavily into homeopathy, shouldn’t the website for the Holistic Moms Network feature a totally blank screen?

    The more invisible the message, the more powerful it is…

  32. #32 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 21, 2012

    Is he? Or does she just know him somehow from being involved with the Holistic Moms Network?

    We know that her ped does not vaccinate, that Jay Gordon is the Pediatrician to the Stars, she is out in SoCal (her PhD is even from UCLA, so she never left) and that he wrote a Forward for her book.

    I know that Jay can’t confirm it or anything, but I think it is a reasonable assessment that, yeah, he’s her ped.

  33. #33 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2012

    @ nastylittlehorse:

    about not supporting awful people and companies…
    I have tried so hard to do this *however* here’s where I got stuck: I have mutual funds that frequently own some really despicable companies – if you made up a list of horrible US and UK companies, I can assure you that I probably own several of them this way. This puts me in a quandary- I hate the companies but they usually make money. It’s not always easy to get rid of these things and when you buy a new one, you wind up in the same place. I know about so-called ethical investing. My practicality usually outweighs my idealism. But it bothers me that I actually own something created by Rupert M! ( Never say his full name- he may materialise on your doorstep-and who wants that!)

    @ Minions and shills:

    While we’re on the topic of toxic momism- @ AoA today- Anne Dachel seems rather upset that brain scans may discern very early indicators of autism. As I’ve stated before, this growing body of evidence will stick in their craws as much as the predicted DSM-5 changes and the continuing downward spiral of AJW ( soon to be seen at Long Beach, CA).

  34. #34 harold
    February 21, 2012

    I’ll be the pathologist playing amateur psychologist, and point out that she has some major stress factors in her life.

    Childhood acting careers (she was a child actress before her first show) seem, based on the anecdotal but dramatic evidence available to us all, to be associated with coping difficulties beyond childhood. It’s fairly easy to speculate that excessive but entirely conditional positive feedback and intense work demands are tough on children.

    Obviously we don’t know if one or either of her children is developmentally delayed, nor did I catch whether she joined Holistic Moms before or after the birth of either child. I will note that “celebrity” parents have high social status and expectations, but based on work (however critics among us may perceive the artistic value of the work). Perhaps, in this atmosphere, there is a tendency for children’s problems that would be stressful to any family to be especially hard to deal with. “Modern medicine couldn’t fix my child’s problems so I emotionally reject modern medicine” seems to be an underlying theme in many cases of science rejection.

    Lastly, there is simple social pressure. Readers here are probably aware of how much torment it often causes creationists to choose between accepting reality, and being rejected by their former community if they do so, versus social acceptance coupled with intense cognitive dissonance. While the entertainment community, in these crazy times, is a relative bastion of reality-centric thinking (that’s relative), it’s still a community that is low in scientific awareness and high in a tendency to accept charismatic fallacies about health and medicine.

  35. #35 Calli Arcale
    February 21, 2012

    Oh my lord. She’s a teacher’s nightmare — the parent who thinks the world needs to adapt to her children, and not the other way around. That may work in the short term, but she won’t be around to adapt the world them forever. Even ignoring the obvious signs of developmental delay, it’s clear she doesn’t believe in challenging her children; I wonder how long it will be before they learn how to read. Or if they’ll learn to read. I don’t think she’s doing them any favors this way.

    Not being able to roll over before age 1 is pretty serious. She seems only concerned with him doing it when he’s ready; she has no concern about any underlying defects that could have caused this unusual delay, and obviously no worry about how the impairment could endanger him. (Being unable to roll over is actually a bad thing; it means he has no way of escaping if, say, a cushion falls over on him. His only protection is the attention span of his caregivers. Maybe she’s arrogant enough to think that’s enough, and that if she’s looking out for him, he doesn’t need to do so himself.) He could have muscle problems, he could’ve been weak due to a vitamin deficiency, he could have an undiagnosed metabolic disorder, he could have neurological deficits….. Yet she has no concern about any of that. He’s her kid, ergo he’s fine.

  36. #36 Orac
    February 21, 2012

    She’s a teacher’s nightmare — the parent who thinks the world needs to adapt to her children, and not the other way around.

    Fortunately for teachers, she’s home schooling:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/15/mayim.bialik.big.bang.theory/index.html

    She’s also into Waldorf philosophy:

    http://jewishhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/01/interview-with-jewish-homeschooling-mom.html

  37. #37 Dan
    February 21, 2012

    I agree with Hudge. I am a vegan for mainly ethical reasons, and I have no stomach for woo and pseudoscience. There doesn’t appear to be any need to bring up her dietary choices, unless it’s something she’s foisting upon her children and causing them to be malnourished. Which she could be, but that would be more relevant than her own veganism.

  38. #38 LAB
    February 21, 2012

    I also love the show and her character, so this is all very depressing. Not surprising, but depressing.

    The Waldorf thing just adds insult to injury. Rudolph Steiner was a “clairvoyant” who believed children shouldn’t learn to read until they’d gotten all their adult teeth. He thought the sun was a planet, rejected the idea that the heart pumped blood, believed in a planet called Vulcan. He started his own religion, Anthroposophy (which bubbles under in every Waldorf school, whether parents are told this or not), that is similar to Scientology in many ways. Hubbard either stole from Steiner, or they both stole from the same common source. Waldorf schools have faceless dolls–the children are supposed to use their own imagination to see a face on the doll. I’m sure Bialik would agree that it would be “unnatural” to force a child to see someone else’s idea of a face.

  39. #39 Jen
    February 21, 2012

    Perhaps after much consideration, she with the keen scientific mind and PhD in neuroscience, has actually made the correct decision for her children.

  40. #40 Moderation
    February 21, 2012

    @Medivh
    No need to get completely OT with homebirth, but to clarify your point the most recent studies you are referencing indicate that morbidity and mortality rates for homebirth are much higher for the first deliveries, but about equal for subsequent deliveries. These studies were also with midwives with much higher training standards than in most states in the US. I’ll post the references when I get home and can pull them up.

  41. #41 Mu
    February 21, 2012

    Lets wish her a long and successful acting career so that she
    a) does not have to return to science
    b) has money to pay for her kids treatments later one
    c) leave them enough money to make up for the lack of education and social skills in later life
    I add her to my Tom Cruise file so.

  42. #42 Anj
    February 21, 2012

    Sigh.

    “unschoolers”

    How do you know what kids are interested in if you don’t expose them to it? Plus, if by “child led” you mean that the kids can tell the adults what to do, count me out.

  43. #43 plutosdad
    February 21, 2012

    @23 Medivh home births have a far higher rate of death for both the baby and the mother.
    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2012/02/two-new-studies-show-increased-risk-of.html

  44. #44 Moderate Mom
    February 21, 2012

    I was very much amused a few weeks ago when Sheldon make a crack about people who believe in homeopathy, with Bialik sitting right there on the couch during the scene. Wonder what she thought about that line.

  45. #45 Orac
    February 21, 2012

    I hadn’t thought of that. Sheldon is making fun of homeopathy fairly frequently…

    Oh, well. That’s why they call it “acting.”

  46. #46 JoyMorris
    February 21, 2012

    Could a mother’s vegan diet during pregnancy be responsible for delayed development in her child?

  47. #47 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2012

    @ harold:
    - not an amateur – but I agree with you mostly. While the entertainment industry may be reality centric about AGW and environmental concerns *and* against creationism and restrictive social mores, I do believe that the woo doth flow profusely and luxuriantly. Like the sap in springtime.

    Here’s what perturbs me to no end: women often have real social, aa well as earning, power in this industry. And there they go spouting support for woo – I read Vogue and interviews frequently show high-level nonsense about health, especially when it’s appearance-related . While I have some sympathy that perhaps these women- like many people who study liberal arts or the arts- just never received a decent background in science, maybe it’s not entirely their own fault. *But* can’t they have the good sense to not carry on about topics wherein they have no expertise? That’s a basic adult skill that most people should develop around adolescence – does fame interfere with the development of self-appraisal? Performance involves self-criticism and gauging the audience’s reaction to your work.

  48. #48 Edith Prickly
    February 21, 2012

    Well, that’s disappointing. What always strikes me about “attachment parenting” and related philosophies is that for all the fuss they make about it being child-centred, it’s really about turning the kids into extensions of Mommy’s ego. Look at the way Bialik dismisses valid concerns about her sons’ development by saying, in essence, if mommy doesn’t think the boys have a problem, then there’s no problem. That approach is not going to serve them well as they get older.

    I want to raise a confident, loving child too, but to me that means teaching him basic courtesy (we started with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ as soon as he began to talk) and helping him develop the ability to interact sociably with peers and people outside the family so he doesn’t need me hanging over him all the time. There is something weirdly obsessive about attachment parenting, at least as it’s being practiced by her.

  49. #49 Dianne
    February 21, 2012

    Indeed, research coming out of the Nordic countries implies that a properly planned home birth is safer than a properly planned hospital birth, due to lower stress levels in the mother, and lower infection rates.

    Citation, please. All the work I’ve seen so far, in the US, Australia, Europe, and Canada, has consistently shown an increased risk. I’m perfectly prepared to admit that I haven’t read every last bit of the literature and might have missed something. Though I’d find the result you’re claiming surprising.

  50. #50 Todd W.
    February 21, 2012

    Oh dear, oh dear. Orac, you’ve been outed…umm…again. What ever shall you do? Clearly, the jig is up. You’ll now have to pack up shop and call it a day, unlike all the numerous other times that people have outed you.

  51. #51 Calli Arcale
    February 21, 2012

    Orac: I doubt her kids will be homeschooled forever. She’s a PhD; she presumably has a certain amount of respect for university education at least. Then again, at the rate their going, one wonders if they’ll even qualify for their GED. It seems more like unschooling than homeschooling (and unschooling is an actual movement that some people are consciously adopting, as opposed to non-schooling via neglect; I find it baffling, myself).

    re: homebirth:
    I wouldn’t be surprised if homebirth rates for second births are better than homebirth rates for first births; those for whom it went wrong the first time aren’t likely to try again (or be encouraged to do so by midwives; most midwives select only low-risk cases).

    James M — are you seriously *that* lacking in a real argument?

  52. #52 Stephen
    February 21, 2012

    At least Sheldon, and it seems the writers, come down against homeopathy. Wonder what Mayim though of this scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFIvM13uLPw

  53. #53 Sid Offit
    February 21, 2012

    I know how you feel, Orac. When I discovered Leonard Nimoy was just pretending to be a Vulcan, I was crushed.

  54. #54 Orac
    February 21, 2012

    Oh dear, oh dear. Orac, you’ve been outed…umm…again. What ever shall you do? Clearly, the jig is up. You’ll now have to pack up shop and call it a day, unlike all the numerous other times that people have outed you.

    Obviously, I must immediately flee from the cold, harsh light of day.

    Or just keep on keeping’ on, the same way I’ve been doing for nearly seven years since the first time someone “outed” me. James M isn’t too bright, is he? Or her?

    In any case, it’s rather amusing to see James M whining about my supposedly “attacking” people under the “cloak of anonymity” when he himself is too cowardly to use his own name himself!

  55. #55 JohnV
    February 21, 2012

    Its worse than that Sid, I just learned from LAB’s comment #36 that Vulcan doesn’t even exist :o

  56. #56 Lawrence
    February 21, 2012

    Again, for whatever reason, anti-vaccinationists cannot seem to grasp that people can look at the evidence and come to a conclusion different then their own, it always has to come back to the Pharma-shill gambit.

    If all of these people were really being paid off, there wouldn’t be any profit left for the companies. It goes back to the idea of the “perfect conspiracy” that would take so much effort to actually enforce, that nothing would ever get done.

  57. #57 BA
    February 21, 2012

    Equating neuroscience with science is a mistake (we should already know equating Psychology with science is an even larger mistake). Certainly a goodly percentage of neuroscientists are scientists, without question. That said, there are many who are avid dualists way out of touch with science. You can easily get your Ph.D. with one of those.

  58. #58 LAB
    February 21, 2012

    @53 JohnV

    No! Vulcan does exist, and in many different forms. Rudolph Steiner said so.

    https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/vulcan

  59. #59 kitty
    February 21, 2012

    She sounds like a complete nightmare.

    My mother (a doctor) used to do the routine immunisations, growth, hearing and vision checks for the local education board. This meant an annual visit to every school.

    She HATED going to the local Steiner school.The kids were generally horribly behaved special snowflakes and the parents treated simple hearing and sight tests as some sort of terrible tortures that were being unnecessarily inflicted on their children. She considered it a good visit if she wasn’t bitten, kicked or punched by a child, or verbally assaulted by a parent.

    I’m sad for Bialik- I can’t imagine what raising non verbal toddlers must be like, but it must be very frustrating at times. My 2.5 year old daughter sings and chats constantly and is just the best fun to be around. Sometimes I wish she was a little less verbal (like when she told her paediatrician that he could use his stethoscope to listen to her chest, and that she had nipples on her chest- did he have nipples too?) but I don’t think I would trade.

  60. #60 Roadstergal
    February 21, 2012

    Count me in the group that never did get into The Big Bang Theory. (The show – I’m all right with the theory.) I only heard of Mayim Bialik from one of many puns in Garfunkel and Oats’s “Handjob (Blandjob, Idon’tunderstandjob).” At least now I don’t have to feel bad about not getting into it.

    Now I’m waiting to hear about whatever woo Seth McFarlane is into that will ruin Family Guy for me. *bracing*

    (Also count me in as a non-woo vegetarian. Like so many things in life, it’s the few vocal ones ruining it for the rest of us.)

  61. #62 Liz Ditz
    February 21, 2012

    I’m not going to beat around the bush here. By current conventional standards both of my sons qualified for speech, occupational and physical therapy and I gave them none.

    This, to me, borders on child abuse. Today from the Kennedy Kreiger institute (in reference to a ground-breaking study on ethnic differences in the presentation of developmental delays (emphasis added):

    http://www.kennedykrieger.org/overview/news/research-discussion-autism-expert-dr-rebecca-landa

    We can’t be complacent about kids who are late talkers. If a child isn’t developing communication milestones on time, we have to look more closely and more deeply at the reasons why. For example, we need to look to see how development is unfolding in things that contribute to communication development, such as motor skills, play, smiling at people, initiating engagement, and more. Delays in communication development are a signal for parents, grandparents, daycare workers, aunts and uncles to open the door and take a deeper look at a child.

    This woman’s neglect of her children’s developmental needs should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. If her pediatrician was complicit in the neglect, he too should be condemned.

  62. #63 Dianne
    February 21, 2012

    People leave academia for all sorts of reasons, of course, but I can’t help but wonder whether Bialik is an actress because she couldn’t find a post-doc after finishing her neurology degree.

    In any case, a degree in neurobiology doesn’t give you any special insight into the immune system. And, as any number of posts by Orac about doctors of dubious scientific abilities show, a doctoral degree is no guarantee of ability to think skeptically.

  63. #64 Dianne
    February 21, 2012

    Sid @51: That comment was actually kind of funny! Careful. We may be corrupting you. Next thing you know, you’ll be just another regular making snide comments about homeopathy and acknowledging that vaccines have a purpose other than increasing Lord Draconis’ empire.

  64. #65 Ema Nymton
    February 21, 2012

    This won’t bother my enjoyment of TBBT. I still like My Name is Earl. I enjoyed Captain America and Julie & Julia despite Stanley Tucci being in each. I like to watch the occasional Frasier rerun.

    An actor being a fucking moron doesn’t really have much to do with a performance being enjoyable or not. Acting, quite honestly, really doesn’t require much in the way of intelligence or logic.

  65. #66 Beamup
    February 21, 2012

    IMO the biggest problem with TBBT is the way it portrays perfectly reasonable and logical behaviors as somehow weird.

  66. #67 Sid Offit
    February 21, 2012

    Vulcan was only destroyed in an alternate reality. : )

  67. #68 JGC
    February 21, 2012

    …my younger son, age 2, communicates exceedingly well with signs and gestures but has not uttered a two-word phrase or even an “appropriately” formed word.

    Isn’t such speech delay at this age one of the early indicators for potential autism? But how could this be, when they’re a non-vacinating family…

  68. #69 Rose-Marie Drake
    February 21, 2012

    With a group of leukemia & lymphoma patients, I recently got to tour a lab that has made ground breaking discoveries that have saved our lives. I asked the lab director, an MD PhD, why doesn’t our culture put these scientists working at the bench on a pedestal? Why do we worship actors?

    I think Ricky Gervais comments after the Golden Globes sums up my feelings: “I was poking fun at a room full of people who pretend to be someone else all day,” he said. “It wasn’t a room full of wounded soldiers. These are Hollywood actors.”

  69. #70 lilady
    February 21, 2012

    Hey Alexis, you provided a great link to that interview. Yes, she sure did state that Dr. Jay is the pediatrician for her children.

    We have a new “lingo” that we have to learn: AP=Attached Parenting, EB=Extended Breastfeeding…but Unschooling is not the same as Homeschooling. Her book “Beyond the Sling” says it all…she just does not want to separate herself from her children and allow them to have the experience of peer interaction, a traditional education or any guidelines to refer to, while they are growing up.

    It’s all so vague about “signals” in lieu of potty training and the cotton diapers instead of Pampers, non-verbal cues and mommy/daddy intuition. She justifies not vaccinating and the other nonsense…because she has an advanced degree in neuroscience, she has done “research” and it is the way children were raised 200 years ago.

  70. #71 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2012

    Dialogue idea for the show ( based on Orac’s character sketch, I haven’t seen it, unfortunately)

    Sheldon- wonders if Simon Baron-Cohen’s hypothesis about the children of hyper-systematisers ( scientists, engineers) being more likely to have ASDs would have anything to do with their future children…

    Amy- concurs that there is definitely a chance of this happening because as, “We ALL know, ASDs have a strong genetic component and have *absolutely* nothing to do with vaccines despite all of that stupid fear-mongering based on crappy, fraudulent research”. Ms B says this with conviction while shaking her head.

  71. #72 Darwy
    February 21, 2012

    Ugh, just… ugh.

    I can’t imagine ignoring the fact that your child cannot roll over at 1 year old unaided, or that you have toddlers that are non-verbal.

    That’s just wrong on so many levels – and to say that you know they probably could use therapy but don’t give it to them.. that’s damn criminal.

  72. #73 Autismum
    February 21, 2012

    “Certainly a goodly percentage of neuroscientists are scientists, without question. That said, there are many who are avid dualists way out of touch with science. You can easily get your Ph.D. with one of those.”

    Amen.

  73. #74 Karl Withakay
    February 21, 2012

    +1 for Liz Ditz saying what I did not feel comfortable to say. I was hoping she would chime in.

    I found Mayim Bialik’s comments about her childrens’ development some of the most disturbing things I have read in some time. The feelings invoked by those statements make it difficult to come up with good words to adequately express my thoughts on the matter. The feelings I have about Bailiks’ beliefs pale in comparison to the feelings of concern, sympathy, and empathy I have for her children in their development, and I sincerely hope those concerns will prove unfounded in the course of time.

    What’s the harm in fantastical beliefs? Look no further for the potential of harm to the most vulnerable part of our population.

  74. #75 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 21, 2012

    Imagine, someone with scientific or medical training creating a mass media (or Internet) character and using that celebrity to promote his ideas.

    Sounds like Orac to me.

    This is a great post and even greater set of comments.

    Best,

    Jay

  75. #76 Karl Withakay
    February 21, 2012

    “So why didn’t I send my children for assessment and therapy? For the same reason that I don’t tell them to say “please” or “thank you.” [...] I believe in letting children progress in their own way and pace, modeling behavior while respecting the innate development of a child as an autonomous and purposeful creature. I believe that children, like adults (and perhaps better than most adults?), generally know what works for them”

    What planet does she live on again? I find it hard to believe she will still have this same attitude when her children reach 3 years old. The wild west/libertarian child rearing approach seems like a disaster in the waiting to me. I wince when I imagine her children interacting with other children. Again, I hope I’m grossly mistaken.

    “My husband and I knew there was nothing wrong with our older son, and I know there is nothing wrong with his little doppelganger.”

    This type of denial is fairly typical reaction of parents of children with delayed or abnormal development. Wishful thinking and assertion doesn’t make it so. The next step, if and when the children’s developmental issues can no longer be ignored or denied is to assign blame to an outside source. (Jenny McCarthy first took the detour to the idea that her son didn’t have a problem but was gifted as a crystal child and she and an indigo mom before moving on to blame vaccines) Parents naturally don’t want to think of their children’s problems as their fault, even if it’s their genes, and so they often seek to externalize the cause and thus the fault. Seeing as Bailik’s children are not vaccinated, I wonder where she might assign blame. It’ll be toxins somehow, I bet you.

    “I have been accused of being neglectful and selfish for not getting them therapy. ”

    Perhaps, but I accuse her of being ignorant and deluding herself as to the reality of what’s likely going on with her children. I wouldn’t say she’s selfish for not getting them therapy, not directly at lest. I’d say she’s being unconsciously selfish and neglectful for refusing to admit her children probably have a problem and need help.

    Is she on Facebook or twitter? I wonder how she’d react if she found Orac’s post.

  76. #77 Lawrence
    February 21, 2012

    @Dr. Jay – if a toddler was brought into your practice showing those same developmental delays (i.e. not a celebrity child) would you recommend therapy?

  77. #78 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 21, 2012

    I am one who thinks that too many parents are way too fixated on developmental milestones, no doubt. Every child is different and develops as they will.

    That being said, there are ranges in which behaviors can be expected. Some of them, like walking are helped immensely with practice. And so if you don’t practice, its not a surprise that would be delayed. Does it matter that they don’t walk until 17 mos? Not rely.

    But rolling over is a different story. Rolling over should be a natural result for an active child, and doesn’t need to be taught. Put a child on their stomach they will want to flip to the more comfortable side (or vice versa). A 1 year old content to liee quietly and not motivated to explore? That’s highly unusual. And while unusual is not always a problem, it certainly can be indicative of issues.

    So while I am not a parent who obsesses over developmental miestones, there are limits, especially for natural functions. It’s one thing for a 2 year old to not know their shapes or colors (learnedf b) its different if they aren’t vocalizing regularly. It could be a sign of a hearing problem, for example.

  78. #79 Narad
    February 21, 2012

    Is she on Facebook or twitter?

    Yes.

    I wonder how she’d react if she found Orac’s post.

    Not at all, I’d venture.

  79. #80 OttawaAlison
    February 21, 2012

    My daughter was an early talker in the sense she started saying bye bye with the wave at 7 months, she started signing at 8 months, she even noticed if I put something new up on the fridge at 9 months, but as she got into her toddler years though she had a large vocabulary, she wasnt regularly putting words together and her speech sounded a lot younger than her peers. By three I got her speech assessed. We learned she had an expression delay as well as some concepts though in other areas she was at the head of the pack (non-verbal). We did a year of speech therapy and worked on her using words (she did the communicating through gestures thing with singular words). By 4 she was caught up, but I have no regrets putting her in speech therapy so I could learn ways to help her.

    We had late walkers too in my family but they all have issues with balance as adults, I wonder if earlier interventions could have helped them (my mom and 2 of my brothers).

  80. #81 OttawaAlison
    February 21, 2012

    I found out about her parenting beliefs 1.5 years ago and eventually got over her woo stuff and just enjoy her performance on the show. I actually do like some of her writing on other subjects like Israel and body image, but yes I do completely disagree with her on vaccination, homebirth and parenting by intuition only.

  81. #82 Chrissy
    February 21, 2012

    Another tragically hip “alternative” celebrity mom. I can’t decide if its more negligent to deny your children vaccines, or fail to take seriously their developmental red flags.

  82. #83 Michelle
    February 21, 2012

    I’ll say it: it’s child neglect in my book. When my husband and I became concerned about our older daughter’s development (at about 20 months of age), we began lining therapy up for her even before a final diagnosis. She had about 30 words–all nouns–and the only thing she could do with them was label things. She would look at board books for hours (no exaggeration) and could name “juice,” “milk,” etc. but could not communicate one bit. If she wanted juice, she couldn’t point to it or lead me to it, nevermind using the word to get what she wanted. She cried and we had to figure out what she wanted.

    Within one week of starting speech, OT and ABA she was using basic signs and then signing with words for emphasis. I think she figured that when she signed “more” and said “more” very loudly several times, that she would get what she wanted that much faster. She did 30-40 weeks of intensive therapy as a toddler, and then preschool and more therapy. By kindergarten she was completely mainstreamed.

    She still has autism, but today is a straight-A 7th grader who just won her school’s spelling and geography bees and had a part in the school play. She recently scored 28 on the ACT and is going to Davidson College this summer to take a 3-week class in immunology and diseases through the Duke TIP program. She’s wanted to be a doctor since she was five. She is not an athlete but has done gymnastics and dance to work on her gross motor skills.

    My husband and I are terribly proud of her–she has worked very hard and so have the people who’ve helped her overcome some of her challenges. She’s a bright, funny, super curious kid who has a real shot at going to med school and living on her own. She plans to go into research because, as she says, “my social skills aren’t the greatest.” She’s exceedingly polite, and those manners help to smooth over some of her more awkward social exchanges.

    I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been for her to not be able to communicate, when she has always had so much to say. Our only regret is that we didn’t figure out how delayed she was months earlier.

    Ms. Bialik is doing her children no favors.

  83. #84 harold
    February 21, 2012

    Denice Walter –

    While I have some sympathy that perhaps these women- like many people who study liberal arts or the arts- just never received a decent background in science, maybe it’s not entirely their own fault. *But* can’t they have the good sense to not carry on about topics wherein they have no expertise?

    I’ll continue in a psychological vein here – I think there are two things going on –

    1) Actors (at least the ones that can act) tend to be relatively uneducated, highly intelligent (yes, this is true), and both empathetic and yet also with traits that I’ll describe as “narcissistic” for lack of a better word (high desire for conditional positive regard/underlying insecurity).

    2) They don’t, as a group, tend to fall for the most obvious or most hateful cons. Not very many of them send their money to creationist televangelists or make big donations to Rick Santorum PACs.

    But “alternative health” stuff and related “spirituality” stuff can be a very, very high level and sophisticated deception. Its proponents can be superficially intelligent-seeming, superficially sincere-seeming, take credit for things that are obviously true (exercise and nutrition are good for you), portray themselves as progressive crusaders for the downtrodden, provide wish fulfillment “spirituality”, sense and superficially allay deep fears and insecurities, accurately point out actual common imperfections in mainstream medicine delivery, and seemingly discredit their critics. Sadly, these guys are good.

    Another thought – I wonder how other former child actors raise their kids? Because a lot of this looks like a reaction to her own memories of intensive demands and approval made conditional on performance. She’s doing the “exact opposite” to her kids, of what she remembers not liking having done to her, perhaps. Unfortunately, one extreme is likely to be as bad as the other.

  84. #85 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 21, 2012

    Imagine, someone with scientific or medical training creating a mass media (or Internet) character and using that celebrity to promote his ideas.

    Sounds like Orac to me.

    Jay, Jay, Jay. We are of course well aware that you view the Brady Bunch as a source of medical knowledge.

    It may therefore come as a surprise to you that there is actually a difference between using a persona, fictional or real, to promote ideas that are well-founded in evidence, and using such a persona to promote BS. It may further surprise you that the big difference is not in which persona is fictional or non-fictional, but in which is publicizing realistic information and which is spouting idiocy. Here, let me draw up the possibilities, since you will, I’m sure, have trouble following this, and be tempted to change the subject to breastfeeding:

    Fictional persona, realistic information: Good
    Real persona, realistic information: Good
    Fictional persona, spewing BS: Bad
    Real persona, spewing BS: Bad

    Now I know you’ll be shocked and upset at that last category – no, wait. I don’t know if you’ve caught up, yet. Let me explain, then: Orac, the Plexiglass box of blinking lights, is in the first category. You, the pediatrician who under his real name claims that measles is symbiotic with humans, are in that last category. Sorry to be the one to break the news, but you’re a disgrace.

  85. #86 Liz Ditz
    February 21, 2012

    From Mayim Bialik’s post at Kveller Is This Extreme Parenting? Feb 23 2011

    So, big deal that my kids are very “late” talkers and walkers and we decided (with our pediatrician) to not have them get therapy. I am not negligent for doing things you don’t agree with. I am simply listening to my intuition, doing research, and really enjoying the ride.

    I am not quite sure, but it appears from what Bialik has posted, her younger son has significant difficulty with articulation. I am not a speech language pathologist, but I cannot imagine why is it is “honoring the child” to delay intervention or to deny the child a work-up from a speech-language pathologist.

    The “attachment parenting” style means that the infant and toddler may also be attached to the parent most of the time, so some of the cognitive hazard of “being unable to roll over” might have been mitigated.

    I still find it appalling.

  86. #87 brian
    February 21, 2012

    Jay Gordon–

    Nice of you to drop by.

    You gave Andrew Wakefield your unwavering support. How do you feel about that now?

  87. #88 Chris from Europe
    February 21, 2012

    Don’t you learn about the Avogadro constant in school?

  88. #89 Chris
    February 21, 2012

    Yes, we do learn about Avogadro constant in school. That doesn’t mean that those who claim that homeopathy works understand what it is. It is often mistaken for “herbal medicine.”

    Still, there are actual medical doctors who become homeopaths, like Peter Fisher.

  89. #90 Anj
    February 21, 2012

    Well, I didn’t want to jump all over the woman for neglecting her children’s needs – but…

    Since you all have, I will join in.

    Those poor kids. What will they do when their mother isn’t around? I spend time worrying about my kids overcoming their various problems and being able to function in the every day world that isn’t going to change to make things easier for them. I spend time working on social skills, so they won’t be left out or picked on. I spend time working on behavioral skills, so they can practice self calming techniques instead of lashing out in frustration.

    Sure, I will understand what their triggers are, what their reactions mean, what my one child means when he leaves out 20% of the words in a sentence. This doesn’t mean anyone else will. My kids have had a ton of practice of working with people who aren’t Mommy. It’s good for them.

  90. #91 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 21, 2012

    I am not an expert in infant development, so I’m willing to cut Ms. Bialik some slack in how she raises her children. I’ve certainly heard some people I consider to be otherwise sensible state that the various milestones and timelines are not etched in silicon, that children develop at different rates, and that you shouldn’t obsess about whether your child is on schedule. I have an issue with the politeness thing, but perhaps that’s my own prejudice.
    Likewise, she’s not the only woman who has experienced childbirth without the benefits of drugs and, hey, it’s her body.
    Not to say she should not be criticized for those practices she advocates that are clearly at odds with known science.

  91. #92 Amy (T)
    February 21, 2012

    I can’t believe you left out her acting on Curb Your Enthusiasm; even better than TBBT! I don’t know why, but I was sort of under the impression some of her naturalistic beliefs stem from her religious beliefs? On another note, extreme attachment parenting essentially always leads to spoiled children, it’s training them to be just that.

    as for what Kayla @7 said, I agree. It’s not just actors, but plenty of writers, artists, etc. buy into some woo too. We couldn’t enjoy anything without coming across woo, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the art, we should just appreciate people like Orac point out those promoting these dangers, and use that to determine how we’ll support them.

  92. #93 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 21, 2012

    Meph – there are certainly ranges in developmental milestones, and parents do get overly concerned. However, failure to roll over by 1 is well-outside an even generous range. No, it might not be a problem, but is certainly grounds for concern. There could be an underlying problem, and if so you will want to get started on helping. It might not be a problem, but if not there is nothing lost.

    Serious developmental delay like she is describing needs to be looked into to rule out an underlying cause, and “mommy intuition” is not sufficient.

  93. #94 Narad
    February 21, 2012

    I don’t know why, but I was sort of under the impression some of her naturalistic beliefs stem from her religious beliefs?

    It’s hard for me to see how an enthusiastic embrace of Judaism (her ambitious undergraduate concentrations appear to have included Hebrew and Jewish studies) logically leads to not vaccinating. V’nishmartem m’od l’nafshoteikhem is a mitzvat asseh.

  94. #95 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2012

    @ Mephistopheles O’Brien:

    Sometimes when people face family illness – or in this case- the possibility of disability, they may forestall the inevitable by turning a blind eye: a form of denying that there even is a problem. For example, a child** with mental health problems will be tolerated- adjustments will be made by the family to adapt to the child- (rather than the other way around, which will eventually enable the child to learn how to fit in with society) *until* something happens outside the home- someone at school will notice, a doctor will intervene, the police, etc. When there is minimal contact with the outside world, perhaps only through *paid* assistants ( who may not want to speak up) things might go on for a longer period. I hope that in this case, their doctor will counsel the family towards evaluation *if* necessary.

    ** it could also be an increasingly debilitated elder.

  95. #96 Valerie
    February 21, 2012

    Oh, please. First veganism was tied to woo, and then cloth diapers instead of Pampers was used in a string of pseudo-science. Can commenters stick with the statements in the article and not bring in subjects that they find personally unsupportable?

  96. #97 Amy (T)
    February 21, 2012

    I did not say Judaism leads to ant-vax, nor do I believe it (or Christianity) does. But there are plenty of people who use their faith to claim in natural beliefs, for they believe natural is god’s (or whatever diety they choose) way of life. I was under the impression, from some reading on her or something, I don’t remember why, that this was her belief (that her personal belief leads to natural fallacy, as it does for many people). Please don’t confuse me suggesting her personal religious beliefs leads to her personal natural lifestyle (which I thought she’s implied herself, but as I said, I don’t remember where, so I very well could be wrong) with a suggestion that an embrace of religion, of any kind (generally speaking, as there are sects that do promote a natural lifestyle), leads to natural lifestyle or anti-vax. That is not what I said.

  97. #98 Amy (T)
    February 21, 2012

    Btw, my comment 95 was at Narad 92.

  98. #99 Roger Kulp
    February 21, 2012

    Calli Arcal,LizDitz,lilady,Cynical Pediatrician,et al

    After all, many children who are developmentally delayed ultimately “catch up.”

    ORAC,I’m calling you out on this.

    There are far too many of us,from the Baby Boom,and Gen X generations,who were born with autism,and other serious developmental delays,before many of the current advances in therapy were made,who prove this statement wrong.It is really too bad there are not more of us out there,where we can be seen,even as YouTube videos,to drive home the point that these more of these kids do not “catch up”,than those who do.This often is a myth,one that ORAC here seems to buy into,as well.This disappoints me almost as much as Amy Farrah Fowler disappoints you.

    Yes I do realize you are a cancer surgeon,not a specialist in child development,but I sort of expect anyone who finished medical school to know better than to say such things.

    Fowler seems to have the same mindset that all antivax parents do,their kid is perfect,and can’t have any genetic issues that would cause autism,or developmental delays.It doesn’t take a PhD in neuroscience to look at a family medical history,where you might have histories of mental retardation,or schizophrenia,and realize there might be a genetic problem with your kids.This may not always be the case,but often it is.

    Lilady you hit the nail on the head,these people have the goal of setting medicine,and treatment of the developmentally disabled back hundreds of years,even if they do not come out and say it.They may as well be calling for a return of Bedlam,as treatment for the “feeble minded”.

    I wonder if she’s a germ theory denialist,too.

  99. #100 Narad
    February 21, 2012

    I was under the impression, from some reading on her or something, I don’t remember why, that this was her belief (that her personal belief leads to natural fallacy, as it does for many people). Please don’t confuse me suggesting her personal religious beliefs leads to her personal natural lifestyle (which I thought she’s implied herself, but as I said, I don’t remember where, so I very well could be wrong) with a suggestion that an embrace of religion, of any kind (generally speaking, as there are sects that do promote a natural lifestyle), leads to natural lifestyle or anti-vax. That is not what I said.

    OK, then I’m not getting quite what you said, or what you’re saying here. My statement was only that not vaccinating is difficult to reconcile with Judaism, which would appear to be very much her personal religious perspective. Is not vaccinating part of “personal natural lifestyle”?

  100. #101 cs30109
    February 21, 2012

    Bialik does not appear to have any publications whatsoever in neuroscience, according to a Pub Med search. Wikipedia cites only her thesis, nothing published in an actual journal.

    With this record it’s no surprise she returned to acting. No way could she get a job in science.

  101. #102 palindrom
    February 21, 2012

    Michelle @81 — That’s a wonderful story. I’m so glad her problems were not more debilitating, and I’m sure you’re to be commended for recognizing and acting on her issues as early as you did. Not all parents would be so clear-sighted, it seems.

  102. #103 lilady
    February 21, 2012

    @ Roger Kulp: You may have misinterpreted Orac’s remark…he said many…not most…”children who are developmentally delayed ultimately “catch up”.

    I know many children who have have shown some signs of developmental delays..in receptive or expressive language, speech, and fine or gross motor lags and many…not most…ultimately “catch up”.

    There are some alarm bells that I am hearing with parents who “unschool”, parents who won’t allow their children space to explore relationships with their peers and parents who do not acknowledge that their children should be evaluated for developmental delays. Furthermore, children who have no guidance, no “rules” and no gentle discipline will never learn how to grow up with increasing independence and maturity.

  103. #104 Orac
    February 21, 2012

    It is really too bad there are not more of us out there,where we can be seen,even as YouTube videos,to drive home the point that these more of these kids do not “catch up”,than those who do. This often is a myth,one that ORAC here seems to buy into,as well.This disappoints me almost as much as Amy Farrah Fowler disappoints you.

    First, I didn’t say that “most” such children “catch up.” I said that a lot of them do. Second, are you aware of studies suggesting that as many as 20% of children with ASD diagnoses go on to lose their diagnoses as they develop?

  104. #105 Denice Walter
    February 21, 2012

    @ harold (# 82):
    “Sadly, these guys are good.”
    Oh, I know. Since I survey their miserable…. *informational websites* and *alternative media*, I know only too well.
    Not only do they sell natural life styles/ spirituality but libertarian politics and bizarre so-called economics. The best I heard ( at the market lows of March ’09) “Sell all of your stocks! Buy gold!” Sell low, buy high! ( Lord, those last 4 words were even hard to type!)

  105. #106 ChrisKid
    February 21, 2012

    Karl Withakay @74 “Seeing as Bailik’s children are not vaccinated, I wonder where she might assign blame. It’ll be toxins somehow, I bet you.”

    I’d be willing to bet that Ms Bialik was herself vaccinated, and that might be where the blame will go.

  106. #107 Dangerous Bacon
    February 22, 2012

    Karl Withakay @74 “Seeing as Bailik’s children are not vaccinated, I wonder where she might assign blame. It’ll be toxins somehow, I bet you.”

    Well, she has banished Dem Ebil Toxins. From the same interview linked to previously:

    “We have eliminated pretty much all the toxic chemicals or products in our house, that’s a big one

    What I want to know about is the Pampers Conspiracy – the one she references in the interview, talking about how Pampers wants to keep kids in diapers till age 3 or beyond (some study she says Pampers funded, while assuring us she is not a conspiracy theorist).

    Maybe we’ll hear more about it in her parenting book – the one for which Jay Gordon is writing the foreword.

    Bialik is just the latest celebrity Warrior Mom in Gordon’s Legion of Crackpottery.

  107. #108 DLC
    February 22, 2012

    :::sigh ::: the end of another brain-crush. Amy Farrah Fowler is fun to watch, and imagine having coffee with her and talking. but . . . to find that the person behind the character is such a woo-head just takes the fun out of it.

  108. #109 Noadi
    February 22, 2012

    Consistent with her desire not to “force” her children to develop “faster” than is “natural,” she also has a whole list of things she doesn’t want to “force” her children to do, including sharing, being polite, or excelling at anything, all of which she disparages as “just creating children who are monkeys, imitating behavior without independently experiencing it or really understanding it.”

    I would call it preparing your children to be adults and function in wider society. Sometimes I think people just don’t understand that they aren’t just raising children they are raising future adults who will be interacting with the wider world.

  109. #110 M.
    February 22, 2012

    No one yet here has said it so I’ll say it and I’m just going to hope that eventually people are going to get it and we can put this whole Attachment Parenting thing behind us.

    Attachment Parenting ruins kids, and it ruins parents. It’s just ruinous generally. It’s a horrible theory based on misinterpreted research and it’s physically, developmentally, and emotionally crippling for parents who “practice” it and the kids who are victim to it.

    Mayim Bialik is a genius, there’s no denying that looking at the evidence. She’s high verbal and articulate and writes well. She’s been trained in dance and voice. She was a quick wit and a talented actress well before even her Blossom years (Beaches, anyone?) Then she went on to a Ph.D. Et cetera.

    So what happened to her kids? I don’t doubt that there are underlying issues there that time will uncover. Otherwise I have seen enough of what Mayim has described about her parenting style to be convinced that she is responsible for not just ignoring or dismissing these problems, or failing to seek help, but in fact amplifying and exacerbating them.

    Attachment parenting, when taken to a certain extreme, creates an ugly child. No need to reach. No unfulfilled desire. No means to take initiative. No toolkit for dealing with struggle. No ability to occupy themselves. No perceived ego separation from parent. No patience for not getting what they want, right when they want it. Few friends outside the home, all members of other families doing what you do (your echo chamber). Sometimes an inadequate diet foolishly supplemented with too-frequent breastfeeding well into toddlerhood or even preschool age.

    The type of situations that most parents would believe (and have seen) are good for their kids are eschewed by the AP set. Leave you kid in the middle of the floor to reach for toys just out of reach, possibly to roll over first by accident, then on purpose? Not likely. Not often. Not if they don’t love it at first. The slightest protest at being put down and back into the sling with them.

    Date night for mom and dad? No way. You can’t entrust your kid in anyone else’s care. Besides, who has money for date night? You’d never put your child in some daycare corral to be “raised by someone else,” so obviously you (mom) quit your job no matter how much you liked it or how much you needed the money. You have a new job now and it involves never putting your kid down for a second.

    Putting a kid in a crib? You mean that thing that looks like a jail? Nuh uh. Baby sleeps in the “family bed” with you, and you’re topless, for easy access to your breast all night long. Your back is shot and you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months (and this is SOOOOOO funny! http://crappypictures.com/2011/06/what-it-is-like-to-not-sleep-at-night-illustrated-with-crappy-pictures.html). Your husband doesn’t like it? Too bad. Dangers of taking a baby into an adult bed? Those warning aren’t for you. They’re for other people. People who smoke. People who bottle feed. Suffocation in bed never happens to a breastfed baby, oh no. Plus, you can’t put a kid in a crib in another room. If they need you, they’d have to cry, and that would flood their brain with stress hormones and cause brain damage. Sleep deprivation and interruption also cause brain damage, and you’re subjecting yourself and your toddler to that, but oh well?

    Waiting patiently while your toddler tries to put together a sentence to ask for what they want? But, why would you want to do that? Your job is to anticipate and meet all your child’s needs. Letting them feel a little frustration at using the language is antithetical to your primary role as caretaker of special snowflake’s widdle peewings.

    All I know is that Mayim Bialik is not the first attachment parent I’ve seen who’s bragged about a late to walk, late to talk baby. It’s a badge of honor in that community, a sign that you’re so well attached that your baby never developed a need to do anything for herself. Meanwhile, where are you, parent? Do you have an identity outside your kids? Do you have anything to talk about besides them? You likely don’t. And upon realizing that, you double down. With nothing else left to focus on, think about, or do, all that’s left is becoming more and more codependent with your child.

  110. #111 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    M, I only have one problem with your assessment. Attachment parenting was not based on “shoddy research.”. It was based on NO research. REmember that AP was asserted whole coth by Bob Sears. He went on an AP kick after his 4th child or so was born with special needs, and needed constant care like AP. They did it and he decided that everyone should be doing that with all their kids, regardless of their actual needs.

    Make no mistake, AP is not about the needs of the children, it is about the needs of the mother. They are doing it because makes them feel in control, and in the worst cases (like this one) makes them feel superior to us poor saps who don’t do near as much foer our kids (how many books are written about the “just trying to get through the make it up by the seat of my pants parenting style?)

  111. #112 Michelle
    February 22, 2012

    Palindrom@100:

    I’m still astonished at how effective these therapies were, and when done well, look like “play.” My daughters (I have another one with autism) had fun with their therapists, and I got a third-person objective appraisal of what their strengths and weaknesses were. When my older daughter was diagnosed at Yale with autism at 22 months, her receptive and language skills were below those of a one-year old.

    One year later, when she was reevaluated, she had made 20 months worth of gains. I know that not every child will respond this way, but I know plenty of families who did the same thing we did and had comparable results. And the kids and families were happier for it, if that makes a difference to the AP crowd.

  112. #113 AllieP
    February 22, 2012

    Michelle @81, I hope your daughter enjoys her summer at Duke. I did TIP as a teen and I loved it. It was so much fun to be surrounded by lots of other kids who were “nerdy” and loved classes.

  113. #114 Dominica Strong
    February 22, 2012

    Ok, so I’m new to this term “woo” I studied Molecular Bio in college, but woo isn’t something I’m familiar with, the term that is, but I deducted what it refers to. Anyway, if it’s what I think it is I hate woo…

    However, I also hate when people get smacked on. Now I don’t agree with Ms. Balik’s style of child rearing, It’s scary, I do think some comments and assumptions of the blog author’s were a bunch of smack.

    So, ladies, suffer! It’s “natural.” And, remember, just like The Secret, wishing makes it so! Or, if all else fails, use homeopathy. You’ll get the same results.”

    I have to say it’s not a good thing that our western culture is more prescriptive than preventative. Pain is not always a bad thing or neccessarily suffering, and introducing foreign chemicals into your system should not be the first choice if pain is something that can be tolerated. I dunno I’m still young, and learning but I just try and limit what meds I put in my body, not woo, just realizing that my body is a complex biochemical machine and what ever substance I put in it interacts with the substances that are naturally there in ways I’m only beginning to understand. So if I was to give birth, ouch, I would opt for natural…UNLESS something serious is going on (and that’s where medicine should come in when there’s a problem, and pain is not a problem for everyone. I can handle pain), if not I don’t mind being in pain as long as that pain isn’t indicating something more serious than the fact my vagina is being ripped from the size of a dime hole to the size of watermelon one…like I said I can HANDLE pain. Some women can’t. So for them the pain is a problem and should be addressed however they want, it’s not woo, just preference.

    Also her words “and the greatest power of all: the power of my mind to force out the notion that pain with purpose – labor — is something to fear.”

    That’s totes (short for totally) NOT the secret, nor is it wishing the pain away. I mean come on…seriously!?! Have you NEVER psyched yourself out before embarking on something??? Oh yeah getting pumped before a big game if you’re an athlete, or calming yourself prior to a stage performance if you’re an actor, or listening to gangster rap before an olympic swim meet if you’re Michael Phelps…that’s sooo wishing the pain away. NOPE that’s getting ready to conqure whatever you’re up against. It hurts to swim fast, climb tall rocks, forget a line on stage, and to get tackled on the field, but if you fear those things you’re gonna be so scared you’re just gonna fumble and suck it up anway cause your body’s all pumped with adrenaline and you’re all shaking and crap. DUH. Sorry if I’m not more eloquent for you, but getting your head in the game goes across all boards…even childbirth is not woo, it’s what people do. HECK, I’m only 21 and I’m psyching myself out for that painful day I have kids now…why? Cause I know that’s how much its gonna suck, and it’s gonna suck more if my head’s not ready. Plus doctor’s don’t always give you pain meds even you BEG for them during labor. Why? Epidurals numb the crap outta your lower body…then you can’t push, I was in the room with a friend when she got told that…real talk. She had to grin and bear it. In fact I might stab myself in a few minutes to build up a tolerance to pain and do it every so often to prepare…kidding…sorta.

    On to the next one…

    “No, actually, there isn’t. At least, there isn’t a scientific controversy about vaccines. Unfortunately, even with her PhD in neuroscience, Mayim Bialik is apparently incapable of of figuring that out.”

    Whoa…did I miss something. I am only a kid in college. But didn’t vaccines given to infants born during 1989-2001 have mercury in them? Isn’t mercury bad? If not, then why they take it out in ’01? And if it isn’t a controversy…shouldn’t it be? Oh yeah, and I’m not gonna lie, I was FREAKED out when I got my flu-shot this year when I had to consent to being given a vaccine that has contains mercury or traces of it. Honestly I don’t know why I got it, cause I was freaked…but my mom (And obviously we can’t listen to those…what was I thinking?) made me…’rents pay the bills.

    WAIT, what about Helen Ratajczak’s article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology, “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review.” CBS news in May 2011 reported: “Ratajczak did what nobody else apparently has bothered to do: she reviewed the body of published science since autism was first described in 1943. Not just one theory suggested by research such as the role of MMR shots, or the mercury preservative thimerosal; but all of them.” (including the fact that vaccines contain human DNA)

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20049118-10391695.html

    So I guess that’s not science…that’s woo…and you’re right it’s not controversy if no one else bothers to look at anything as extensively as Ratajczak has; and everyone knows when you’re extensively researching something alone, you’re just a crazy person WOOing yourself in a mirror…see what I did there.

    BUT wait…you have to read the whole CBS news article…omg…its like this Ratajczak is arguing with this guy from some college called the Universtiy of Pennslyvania, Dr. Strom who served with the Institute of Medicine. He like totally knew about the mercury in vaccines but like totes didn’t know about the human DNA that’s put in vaccines…so yeah like he tried to like dismiss Ms. Ratajczak’s work…but like then he was like “Oh…DNA…yeah I didn’t know about the DNA” Then when CBS news asked the CDC to comment on disproving the links between Autism and vaccines the CDC was all like “comprehensive review by CDC…would take quite a bit of time.” so I was like “ooooooh snap! Controversy!” But what’s drama to me is not drama to everyone else…I mean I got hyped up when NOVA called out the History Channel.

    So that’s all that bothered me…otherwise…I don’t really care about this Neuroscientist actress or that the way she raises her kids is a bit odd…except that I’m totes jeals (tottally jealous) that she’s on TV.

  114. #115 Mu
    February 22, 2012

    So Dr. Jay, are you fulfilling your mandatory reporting requirements under CA P.C.11165.2 for neglect? Or would you call a non-verbal toddler of that age “thriving” and not requiring of intervention?

  115. #116 Dianne
    February 22, 2012

    My kiddo was a slow reader in kindergarten and first grade. A year of waiting for her to improve “at her own pace” didn’t help any, but getting her evaluated for dyslexia and then engaging in 6 months of therapy for dyslexia did. She now reads at above grade level. I’m glad we intervened when we did, because it gets harder to fix later on.

  116. #117 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    I’m glad we intervened when we did, because it gets harder to fix later on.

    Sure. It’s no big deal to do an assessment early on. Maybe there’s not an issue, and if not, you go on. But maybe there is? As I said, delayed speech could be an indication of a hearing problem that you’d want to address. Far better to be proactive and get on it early.

  117. #118 Terrie
    February 22, 2012

    The ironic thing about AP is that it claims to be based on the attachment cycle, but it actually short-circuits that cycle. The theory behind the attachment cycle is that an infant experiences distress or frustration, which is relieved by the care giver. Through this repeated experience, the infant learns trust, that communicating distress will have a consistent result, associates the caregiver with safety, and that negative experiences are temporary. But in AP, the parent tries to anticipate and avoid frustration or distress, cutting off the cycle, so the child doesn’t learn those lessons as quickly or at all.

  118. #119 Epinephrine
    February 22, 2012

    @Dianne

    Indeed, research coming out of the Nordic countries implies that a properly planned home birth is safer than a properly planned hospital birth, due to lower stress levels in the mother, and lower infection rates.

    Citation, please. All the work I’ve seen so far, in the US, Australia, Europe, and Canada, has consistently shown an increased risk. I’m perfectly prepared to admit that I haven’t read every last bit of the literature and might have missed something. Though I’d find the result you’re claiming surprising.

    Have you read Outcomes Associated with Planned Home and Planned Hospital Births in Low-Risk Women Attended by Midwives in Ontario, Canada, 2003–2006: A Retrospective Cohort Study? It’s well done, with a large sample for such studies, and is based on fairly recent data, in a province with midwifery that is well integrated into the health system. Care is taken to ensure that the comparison is with low risk planned hospital births.

  119. #120 Jarred C
    February 22, 2012

    Early assessment is wonderful. My wife didn’t get assessed/diagnosed for her dyslexia until after her first year in college. She always hated reading, and never really knew why. High school was such a joke that even with poor reading and writing skills, she still got a 4.0. Her freshman year in college was when it really showed; she started doing very poorly in her classes. After she was diagnosed with dyslexia and she learned techniques to compensate for it, her grades improved immediately. Six years after diagnoses, she still has a tough time reading more than a few paragraphs (it’s easier if she tracks the words and lines with a piece of paper or a finger), and her writing skills are still very poor. But on the bright side, she’s an excellent chemist.

  120. #121 M
    February 22, 2012

    @109 Marry Me. Thanks for clarifying. Though I don’t actually believe that AP is based on “shoddy” parenting, you are right that it came from Dr. Sears’ own experience and was fleshed out over the course of making a buck on it by selling a book.

    At this point, however, it’s gospel in the AP community to parrot this badly misinterpreted research that Sears used to bolster the argument. There was research done on kinds with attachment problems and they found that, to no one’s surprise, early abuse and neglect are highly correlated. On deeper look, it was extended periods of ignoring crying, not meeting needs, not giving enough attention, not holding young babies enough / at all, too much time in car seats and swings, etc. Brain studies found stress-related damage, others found that crying “floods the brain with stress hormones” and he sloppily put those two concepts together.

    Sears then took that research and, in a classic error, assumed that if neglect=bad and unattached, then the opposite of neglect would=good and attached. And from there to his untested conclusion. Never let the kid cry, never put the kid down, eschew a stroller because the kid needs to be attached to your at all times, don’t let them feel any frustration, and never ever do any sleep training because that can involve some crying. Breastfeeding is best because neglected kids are usually bottle-fed, never mind the confounding factors there. And so on.

    @115 Terry, well said also.

  121. #122 Chris
    February 22, 2012

    MM,M:

    REmember that AP was asserted whole coth by Bob Sears.

    I think you mean Bob’s dad, William Sears. Someone my family doctor called a bit nuts over twenty years ago.

  122. #123 Todd W.
    February 22, 2012

    @Marry Me, Mindy

    I had the same initial thought when I read the bit about the delayed language. I don’t know the exact stats on it, but my impression is that delays in language are often indicative of hearing problems. At least, that’s something to rule out before other things, barring co-occurring symptoms.

    Another thought on the late development of self-turning. Could this, perhaps, be due to having little opportunity to attempt, e.g., by being held constantly and never (or rarely) set on the ground? Could this lead to underdevelopment of the muscle strength required to accomplish?

  123. #124 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    At least, that’s something to rule out before other things, barring co-occurring symptoms

    Exactly. It might not be (hearing problems), but you need to test that to rule it out. If it is hearing problems, you can deal with it. If not hearing problems, you are no worse off.

    Another thought on the late development of self-turning. Could this, perhaps, be due to having little opportunity to attempt, e.g., by being held constantly and never (or rarely) set on the ground? Could this lead to underdevelopment of the muscle strength required to accomplish?

    No doubt, being carried in a sling all day every day provides little opportunity for physical activity.

  124. #125 Medivh
    February 22, 2012

    @26, “Marry me, mindy”:

    Your entire post is a bunch of caveats, and boils down to “When the birth goes ok, then homebirth is as safe as a hospital birth”

    Which is tautology.

    Your second paragraph would be why you need to learn reading comprehension. I said home births tend to do better when planned, not when everything goes well.

    @26,41:

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/

    Is there some memo I missed? Are we doing argument from authority now? Plutosdad, I’m reading the article that you linked directly and it seems that Dr. Tutuer has some problems with skepticism. For a start, she seems to think that including all hospital births in a study between hospitals, birthing centres and homes is somehow overestimating the infant fatality rate in hospitals. And that’s just in the linked article.

    The long and short of her other posts tells me that Dr. Tuteur seems to rely on “just knowing” as much as Dr. Bialik does.

    @47, Dianne:

    Citation, please. All the work I’ve seen so far, in the US, Australia, Europe, and Canada, has consistently shown an increased risk.

    Admittedly, I was speaking from memory. When I went digging, the one cite I found was De Jonge, et al, “Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a
    nationwide cohort of 529 688 low-risk planned
    home and hospital births”, published in BJOG in 2009.

    Unfortunatly for me, Moderation @36 tells me that I should expect that Nordic studies aren’t relevant elsewhere, because of more stringent standards for midwives in these countries. Which is fair enough, but tells me more that we need to train midwives better, not that we need to abandon home birth.

  125. #126 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    For a start, she seems to think that including all hospital births in a study between hospitals, birthing centres and homes is somehow overestimating the infant fatality rate in hospitals.

    She doesn’t say that at all.

    She does say that including all hospital births means that you are including high risk births, and therefore is an overestimate of the incident rates for low-risk births. Which it does. By definition.

    The only way you can make these numbers comparable is if you assume that the extent of high risk deliveries in birthing centers and homebirths is just the same as it is in the hospital, which indicates that they are not restricted to low-risk births, as you insist they should be.

  126. #127 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    Medivh – btw, the de Jonge study had some apparent methodology problems, which were addressed in a subsequent article (van der Kooy). You know what was found? Homebirth in the Netherlands is more dangerous than the hospital.

    Here’s a summary

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-dutch-study-raises-troubling.html

    Here’s a key quote from the paper: “Our conclusions apparently contradict those of De Jonge et al … Our principal approach (natural prospective approach) compares neonatal mortality in the actual populations delivering at home compared with the hospital, whereas the approach of De Jonge et al compares neonatal mortality in a hypothetical group resembling our perfect guideline approach population.”

  127. #128 sirhcton
    February 22, 2012

    For Dominica Strong:

    Your comment covers a lot of territory. You can find a lot of background and (sometimes) detailed information about vaccines and other medical issues by checking out more of this site and another, Science-Based Medicine (SBM), where Orac’s great “friend” often contributes.

  128. #129 MI Dawn
    February 22, 2012

    @Dominica Strong: Please tell me you’re kidding, or a sock puppet. You “freaked out” about a flu vaccine with mercury – did you do any reading about thimerosol at all? It’s in minute amounts, used in multi-dose vials. At this point, it’s been out of your body for months as you excrete it in a very short time. And, the release generally has more to do with allergy risk (some people are allergic to it) and CYA risk if you’re pregnant.

    Yes, you can “psyche” yourself up for childbirth. As a midwife, I used to tell my clients it’s a marathon race. Long, tiring, and they can do it. But not everyone DOES finish a marathon. Some need medications. Some need surgery. Some breeze right through labor. Some have labors from hell. Mental preparation helps but it doesn’t prevent all things. Sometimes pain means “this is muscle stretching” and sometime pain means “OMFG something is very wrong” and you need to know which is which.

    You seem to be an intelligent woman, so please, drop the ‘Valley Girl’ persona and write complete, legible sentences. We’re happy to educate, here. We’ll give you links to research. We’ll admit when we are wrong. But we won’t accept illogical thinking.

    Attachment parenting: I did a version of that. I DID carry my kids a lot; a stroller was too much hassle sometimes, and the baby sling I got was a bonus. Free hands and able to carry baby/toddler. But they also were put down, allowed to cry, given bottles (horrors!), punished when bad and who learned to self-comfort if mommy or daddy couldn’t get there that very second. I now have 2 independent adult children.

    (Funny note: my spellcheck doesn’t like thimerosol and wants to change it to Merthiolate! Ah, the days of painting yourself red with the little glass stick….)

  129. #130 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    Attachment parenting: I did a version of that.

    So did I, apparently, and I didn’t even know it. See, by having our second baby sleep in our room with us (not in the same bed or anything) we were doing “attachment parenting.” Although the reason we did it is because we were too friggin tired to walk down the hallway, and besides we didn’t want his crying to wake up his older brother. But apparently that still counts as “attachment parenting.” Who knew?

  130. #131 Calli Arcale
    February 22, 2012

    Roger Kulp:

    Yes, many children who are developmentally delayed do catch up enough to function independently as adults, with no one realizing what their diagnosis was. They may even no longer meet the criteria for that diagnosis. But please don’t take that to mean I was suggesting this is to be expected in every case.

    Kids are smarter than we give them credit for — even developmentally delayed kids — and the brain is an extraordinary machine for learning. A kid who qualifies for an autism diagnosis at 4 might have worked out ways to get along with the world by age 18, entirely on his own, but that is not to say his condition will be ideal, nor that this is the typical outcome. It will happen often enough to furnish anecdotes that the woomeisters can use, but most of the time, the kids who do progress enough to appear normal do so only with a great deal of help. “Unschooling” these kids is liable to be disastrous.

    I strongly suspect that my eldest daughter will progress to the point where she is indistinguishable from normal folks, to all but those who know her very well. My brother did. But this has been with tremendous support and help. She’s on medication, she’s under psychiatric care, and she is getting superb help from the special ed team at our local public school. I have no doubt she would be doing much worse otherwise.

    Actually, talking of my eldest, I’d like to take a moment to express how proud I am of her. Today, she had her final vision therapy assessment, to quantitatively measure the progress she had made and determine whether or not they could release her from further therapy. She passed with flying colors! The improvement was really dramatic. Last summer, if you waved your finger in front of her and asked her to track it visually, her performance was a -1 on a four point scale. That is to say, absolutely no succcess at all — her eyes were almost never where the finger was, and if they were, it appeared to be by accident. Today, she scored a 4, flawlessly tracking without any apparent effort. The only symptom we’d seen was an increasing resistance to advancing her reading level, and a particular hatred for chapter books or anything else with moderately dense text. (This paragraph? Would’ve been anathema.) But two weeks ago, the school tested her at a grade 5 reading level (she’s in grade 3, and in a special ed classroom besides), and she’s gone from hating writing to loving it. The problem actually wasn’t autism — it was difficultly properly pointing her eyes, maintaining focus, converging properly, etc. No anatomical or neurological problems; just something that needed training. Most people learn it on their own, but sometimes people don’t catch on as quickly. We could’ve waited a year, seen if she’d outgrow it by figuring it all out on her own (many do) — but by doing the therapy, we’ve not only guaranteed her success, we’ve accelerated it.

    I’m so proud of her. It was very hard work, but it worked. It’s been very good for her, and she seems to be doing better all over the place; it’s surprising how dramatic the difference can be. Bottom line: if your child isn’t meeting milestones, it might not be anything to worry about, but you can’t know that unless you *check*. And if you find that something *is* wrong, fixing it earlier will be better than fixing it later. I wonder how many kids being raised via AP have undiagnosed hearing or vision problems; there isn’t much occasion to notice the problems in that parenting style. My first clue there was something wrong with my eldest came from others; I had no idea, mainly because I had no basis for comparison.

  131. #132 Dianne
    February 22, 2012

    @117: I hadn’t seen it before, thanks for pointing it out. It’s kind of a small study given that they’re looking for differences in an event that occurs in fewer than 1 per 1000 cases. I’d also be interested in seeing a comparison that included results for OBs treating women with the same diagnostic criteria for comparison.

  132. #133 Karl Withakay
    February 22, 2012

    Dominica Strong

    “Whoa…did I miss something. I am only a kid in college. But didn’t vaccines given to infants born during 1989-2001 have mercury in them? Isn’t mercury bad?”

    Yes, you did miss MANY things. I’ll just deal with a small few of them: Routine vaccines given to children did previously have the mercury containing preservative thiomersal in them. It was removed in the absence of scientific evidence when the vaccine scare came along as a practice of the precautionary principal. As decent data became available, it turns out that removal was unnecessary. Since the removal of thimerosal from the childhood vaccine schedule has nothing to convince antivaxers that thrimerosal does not cause autism, we can’t even say that at least it put an end to the idea that vaccines causes autism. What we can say is that the removal has helped highlight the antivaxers crankery.

    Additionally, there are numerous forms of mercury. The form that used to be used in childhood vaccines and still used in multi-dose flu vaccines, is ethyl mercury. It is easily excreted and less toxic than methyl mercury, which is what you find in tuna. Further, the dose makes the poison, and the amount of mercury in vaccines was and is relatively minuscule, far less than the amount of mercury ingested when you eat a can of tuna. There’s really no reason to fear or worry about thimerosal in your flu vaccine.

  133. #134 Sauceress
    February 22, 2012

    Dominica Strong

    WAIT, what about Helen Ratajczak’s article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology, “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review.”

    its like this Ratajczak is arguing with this guy from some college called the Universtiy of Pennslyvania, Dr. Strom who served with the Institute of Medicine. He like totally knew about the mercury in vaccines but like totes didn’t know about the human DNA that’s put in vaccines…so yeah like he tried to like dismiss Ms. Ratajczak’s work

    So yeah…like have you totally read Ms. Ratajczak’s ?
    Coz you know…we like totally sussed it out 12 months ago.

    And yeah…we totally saw what a pile of crap it was…you know? But hey with your…you know…totally molec bio background and all..you could suss out that post and then get back to us. Yeah that’d be totally cool.

  134. #135 Dominica Strong
    February 22, 2012

    @ 126 MI Dawn

    First I am not advocating for or against any of Bialik’s or the author’s views on vaccines, chidbirth, or childrearing. Mainly I felt like some of things that were said were not fair to Bialik and just out right dismissive. I didn’t like vaccines were just written off as non-controversial and that her comment on birth was some sort of wishful thinking.

    Second I have a right to freak out, or at least be concerned. And I did do reading on thimerosol, and while yes it is mainly posted for those who have an allergy to mercury, doesn’t mean I didn’t want to stop and second guess my choice to get the shot. I don’t recall being tested for a mercury allergy so who knows I might have been, so I paused, and wrote Freaked out for dramatic effect. Besides those with autism may have had an allergy or genetic predisposition to being sensitive to mercury. A reaction which could cause encephalitis…damage which may lead to autism. While this all just theory, it’s still based on logical thinking. Which is why scienctists like Ratajczak are extensively investigating not only the effects of thimersosol but also the effects of other components of vaccines and the possible links to autism spectrum disorders.

    So NO I am not a sock puppet. My aim was to bring up the fact that vaccinations are at least in disscussion in the scientific and medical community, if not a controversy on some levels. I wasn’t taking sides as I have been vaccinated for things and so far haven’t made a choice to stop in the future. Just pointing out it is a valid scientific issue that is being actively and logically researched.

    I think in my comment I made the argument that some women may opt for painkillers or whatever they feel is best for them. In fact I wrote: “Some women can’t. So for them the pain is a problem and should be addressed however they want, it’s not woo, just preference.”

    However, for myself painkillers during birth is something I wouldn’t choose. I hope to have a natural birth in a hospital if I do have children, as long as there is nothing needing extra medical attention during my pregnancy and labor I hope to have/need no medication. Also I do know which pain in my body is indication of something wrong vs something ordinary. I didn’t say mental preparation is a cure all, and I think that is what Bialik was also saying. But as with anything its a step that can be taken. What I didn’t like was how it was assumed she was going for the Secret or “wishing” away the pain.

    Thirdly, my casual writing style is not for everyone. However, as a writer of my own blog I do tend to take liberties online that I do not take in other settings. I write professionally. In the past for a local magazine and currently on a sci-fi series. But when I’m not working I like to have fun and write in whatever voice comes through in my head at the time. Again that’s not for everyone…but you don’t have to read the whole thing…you can stop at anytime.

    Lastly, I have links and research of my own that I also do not mind sharing. Autism, vaccines, genetics, child rearing, learning disorders are all subjects I’m well versed in, as I have a personal story which fuels my interest in them. I didn’t go into any of that in my above comment, because again, that wasn’t my point. My issue was with the dismissive tone used the two sections indicated in my above comment and the fact that Bialik’s comments on the pain of childbirth and non-vaccination could have been reacted to differently instead of immediately just seen as “woo” or whatever you wanna call it. I also said I could care less how she raises her kids…I didn’t even touch the attachment parenting thing…and don’t want to.

  135. #136 Dominica Strong
    February 22, 2012

    @Sauceress 130

    Hey…what’s up? Anyway I’m back to you. Thanks for the link. But I think you sorta missed my point. I was NOT taking up any sides on an issue. I was only pointing out that it was said there’s not a lot of controversy on the issue of vaccination. While for many people and parents there is. The fact that its still being talked about in any and many circles and there are opposite camps means that there is some sort of disscussion or controversy. That was my point. Even if you post a bunch of evidence showing how safe or non-safe vaccines are on this site, a scientific journal, or anywhere else doesn’t negate the fact the someone somewhere whether its Ms. Ratajczak or Dr. Who is working on it and that it is a relevant topic of conversation.

    That…Like….was…totes….MY POINT. Sorry if I take creative license to write in whatever voice I choose at whatever moment it strikes me. I’m young I’m not settled in to one style of writing and its fun to write in different characters whenever I can. Since I work as a writer, I enjoy it.

  136. #137 Dominica Strong
    February 22, 2012

    @ 126 MI Dawn

    First I am not advocating for or against any of Bialik’s or the author’s views on vaccines, chidbirth, or childrearing. Mainly I felt like some of things that were said were not fair to Bialik and just out right dismissive. I didn’t like vaccines were just written off as non-controversial and that her comment on birth was some sort of wishful thinking.

    Second I have a right to freak out, or at least be concerned. And I did do reading on thimerosol, and while yes it is mainly posted for those who have an allergy to mercury, doesn’t mean I didn’t want to stop and second guess my choice to get the shot. I don’t recall being tested for a mercury allergy so who knows I might have been, so I paused, and wrote Freaked out for dramatic effect. Besides those with autism may have had an allergy or genetic predisposition to being sensitive to mercury. A reaction which could cause encephalitis…damage which may lead to autism. While this all just theory, it’s still based on logical thinking. Which is why scienctists like Ratajczak are extensively investigating not only the effects of thimersosol but also the effects of other components of vaccines and the possible links to autism spectrum disorders.

    So NO I am not a sock puppet. My aim was to bring up the fact that vaccinations are at least in disscussion in the scientific and medical community, if not a controversy on some levels. I wasn’t taking sides as I have been vaccinated for things and so far haven’t made a choice to stop in the future. Just pointing out it is a valid scientific issue that is being actively and logically researched.

    I think in my comment I made the argument that some women may opt for painkillers or whatever they feel is best for them. In fact I wrote: “Some women can’t. So for them the pain is a problem and should be addressed however they want, it’s not woo, just preference.”

    However, for myself painkillers during birth is something I wouldn’t choose. I hope to have a natural birth in a hospital if I do have children, as long as there is nothing needing extra medical attention during my pregnancy and labor I hope to have/need no medication. Also I do know which pain in my body is indication of something wrong vs something ordinary. I didn’t say mental preparation is a cure all, and I think that is what Bialik was also saying. But as with anything its a step that can be taken. What I didn’t like was how it was assumed she was going for the Secret or “wishing” away the pain.

    Thirdly, my casual writing style is not for everyone. However, as a writer of my own blog I do tend to take liberties online that I do not take in other settings. I write professionally. In the past for a local magazine and currently on a sci-fi series. But when I’m not working I like to have fun and write in whatever voice comes through in my head at the time. Again that’s not for everyone…but you don’t have to read the whole thing…you can stop at anytime.

    Lastly, I have links and research of my own that I also do not mind sharing. Autism, vaccines, genetics, child rearing, learning disorders are all subjects I’m well versed in, as I have a personal story which fuels my interest in them. I didn’t go into any of that in my above comment, because again, that wasn’t my point. My issue was with the dismissive tone used the two sections indicated in my above comment and the fact that Bialik’s comments on the pain of childbirth and non-vaccination could have been reacted to differently instead of immediately just seen as “woo” or whatever you wanna call it. I also said I could care less how she raises her kids…I didn’t even touch the attachment parenting thing…and don’t want to.

  137. #138 Narad
    February 22, 2012

    Even if you post a bunch of evidence showing how safe or non-safe vaccines are on this site, a scientific journal, or anywhere else doesn’t negate the fact the someone somewhere whether its Ms. Ratajczak or Dr. Who is working on it and that it is a relevant topic of conversation.

    Youre…like…totes missing the deets of the convo.

  138. #139 lilady
    February 22, 2012

    @ Dominica Strong: Why would you be worrying about a flu vaccine when you are not pregnant? Why would you be worrying about a flu vaccine…even if you are pregnant? Why don’t you educate yourself on the recommendations for flu vaccine during pregnancy (that have been in place since 2004)?

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/qa_vacpregnant.htm

    If you have any questions after reading the link I provided, just post them here…we will be happy to provide you with additional information.

  139. #140 Chris
    February 22, 2012

    Dominica Strong:

    That…Like….was…totes….MY POINT. Sorry if I take creative license to write in whatever voice I choose at whatever moment it strikes me. I’m young I’m not settled in to one style of writing and its fun to write in different characters whenever I can. Since I work as a writer, I enjoy it.

    You enjoy looking illiterate and ignorant. Good luck with that.

    What you should do with something like Ratajczak’s paper is take note it claimed to have reviewed the literature. Except, she only picked certain ones and totally missed several more relevant papers like (a tactic called “cherry picking):

    Pediatrics. 2010 Aug;126(2):263-9. Epub 2010 Jul 19.
    Lack of association between acellular pertussis vaccine and seizures in early childhood.

    Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.
    On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.

    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 May;29(5):397-400.
    Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study.

    Pediatrics, February 2009, Vol. 123(2):475-82
    Neuropsychological Performance 10 years after Immunization in Infancy with Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines

    PLoS ONE 2008; 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
    Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.

    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.
    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.

    For someone who claims to have be studying science, you need to practice “how to critically read a scientific paper.” Do not rely on news reports.

    Check who is writing the paper. Do they have the relevant credentials? Would you believe a medical paper written by a graduate student in biochemistry or someone who has a Masters in Business Administration? Where did that person get their degree? Did they go to a large research university or a diploma mill? Have they published several papers in the same subject, and how were they received? Is the journal a relevant one for that paper? What is the journal’s impact factor?

    Of course that is just a start. Andrew Wakefield still got his very poor case series published in The Lancet. And he is not the only one. That is why there is this: http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/

  140. #141 Sauceress
    February 22, 2012

    Hey…what’s up?

    Well not much by looks of it. I was looking forward to your educated opinion, and possibly even some discussion, of the statements made by Ms. Ratajczak regarding the human DNA in vaccines and homologous recombination in the vaccine recipients.

    To wit:

    [Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes--A review.
    Journal of Immunotoxicology,2011; 8(1): 68–79
    p70]
    The human DNA from the vaccine can be randomly inserted into the recipient’s genes by homologous recombination,a process that occurs spontaneously only within a species. Hot spots for DNA insertion are found on the X chromosome in eight autism-associated genes involved in nerve cell synapse formation, central nervous system development, and mitochondrial function (Deisher, 2010). This could provide some explanation of why autism is predominantly a disease of boys. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that residual human DNA in some vaccines might cause autism.

    I am curious to hear someone who has studied molecular biology explain how these “residual human DNA” (fragments?) transverse, firstly the cell membrane and then the nuclear membrane?

    I was also wondering if you could explain to me the mechanism of homologous recombination which results in the human DNA from the vaccine being randomly inserted into the recipient’s genes?

    If I remember correctly, homologous recombination and cell transformation were/are covered in relative depth in first year? Even first semester maybe?

  141. #142 IOrr
    February 22, 2012

    Wow….you feel pretty strongly about this. It’s really too bad you haven’t a clue. I was as skeptical as anyone 20+ years ago, until I was introduced to homeopathy by my doctor. She didn’t push it, she just gave me the choice to try it. Now, my kids use it with their families, since they experienced the benefits as they were growing up and they trust it because it works. I can count on one hand the times my family of eight has needed antibiotics in the past 20 years. I consider this a blessing, since overuse of antibiotics can cause other serious problems. I don’t get why you feel the need to slam someone who believes differently than you, especially when you don’t know what they’re dealing with on a day to day basis. Perhaps she does this because her kids struggle, rather than her kids struggle because of her parenting methods. I don’t know much about Bailik’s situation, but I know Jenny McCarthy has spent so much time and money trying to find ways to help her child, instead of just accepting that there is nothing to be done. Good for her! Personally, I admire that! It makes perfect scientific sense to me to change one’s diet and use supplements when tests have shown allergies and nutritional deficiencies. Yet, people want to label her as extreme. Now that’s just plain crazy! In one of the posts above, it sounded to me like Bailik is teaching her kids by example, not just letting them figure things out on their own. That makes sense to me too….when I said “please” and “thank you,” my kids picked up on it quite well without having to nag, “what do you say?” Two of my daughters have chosen home birth, home schooling and homeopathy. Their kids are healthy, bright, inquisitive, polite, responsible, helpful, well socialized, wonderful individuals. I don’t really see them lacking in any area of their lives. I don’t think it’s for everyone, because sadly, many grownups don’t have the patience for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or dangerous. Are there scary people out there? Can something be carried to the extreme? Sure! But there are scary, extreme people on both sides of the fence. The so-called “woo” people don’t have a corner on that market. What scares me more is watching friends who have health issues taking drugs on top of drugs, trying to counteract the side effects of other drugs. Or people who have kids with chronic infections who practically live on antibiotics. There comes a point where they stop working and then what’s to be done? There’s a place for both allopathic and naturopathic treatment in this world and they need to be used with wisdom. All or nothing thinking is really just destructive….and so is spewing hatred for things you don’t know about. Just because you can’t wrap your brain around the science of homeopathy doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

  142. #143 Beamup
    February 22, 2012

    @ Dominica:

    Are you familiar with the term “manufactroversy?” It refers to a situation where there is no actual uncertainty or question about the truth, but certain parties use lies and misinformation to produce the appearance of an actual controversy. This is exactly what the antivax brigade is engaged in.

    @ IOrr:

    Come back when you’ve reviewed the copious evidence that homeopathy does not and cannot have any effect other than placebo. “Personal experience” is a grossly unreliable gauge to such things.

  143. #144 sirhcton
    February 22, 2012

    “. . . I choose at whatever moment it strikes me. I’m young I’m not settled in to one style of writing and its fun to write in different characters whenever I can. Since I work as a writer, I enjoy it.”

    You may enjoy different voices and styles; your readers may not. If you want to be understood, especially for important topics, clarity should be near the top of the list. This may limit an abundance of modern or non-standard vernacular.

    As for there being a controversy about vaccines, I’ll leave the determination of its nature and extent as an exercise for the student. (My earlier post suggesting such study seems to be held up in moderation).

  144. #145 Indigo_Fire
    February 22, 2012

    @Dominica Strong

    Vaccination is only controversial amongst a small subset of the population. 99% of scientists, doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, etc. will tell you that vaccines are some of the safest and most effective medical interventions currently used, and the data almost unequivocally supports that.

    The ones who are against vaccination are generally either frauds, quacks, or people who just don’t know how to correctly interpret scientific data (or they’re some combination of all three), and the most vehement antivaccine supporters are actually a pretty small number who just happen to shout really, really loudly.

    So saying that vaccination is controversial is sort of like saying that there’s controversy over whether the moon landing was real or faked: there’s absolutely no logical reason to believe that it was faked and most people consider the theory absolutely laughable, but there’s a very small and vocal minority who insist upon it and try to inflate their opinion into something that seems important or influential even though it’s absolutely not.

  145. #146 MartinM
    February 22, 2012

    Just because you can’t wrap your brain around the science of homeopathy doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

    I quite agree. The fact that the ‘science’ of homeopathy requires us to throw out pretty much all of physics, combined with the fact that there’s no empirical evidence that homeopathy does a damn thing, is what means it isn’t valid.

  146. #147 AdamG
    February 22, 2012

    @ lOrr

    “Just because you can’t wrap your brain around the science of homeopathy doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.”

    I just laughed hard enough to get my whole lab to stare at me. Thanks for that.

    Mind sharing with us some of the ‘science of homeopathy’ that you understand so well but that we can’t ‘wrap our brains around?’ I’m always interested in learning.

  147. #148 Indigo_Fire
    February 22, 2012

    @Dominica

    I have a comment in moderation that says pretty much the same thing as Beamup, but not nearly as concisely. Curse my tendency to ramble!

    Anyway Dominica, I’ll also add a bit of advice to you as a fellow undergrad. Although I understand the desire to explore different writing styles, you have to be careful of the contexts in which you do that. This is a site concerned with scientific issues and many of the commenters are scientists or health professionals who are used to writing in a scientific manner (i.e. with brevity, clarity, and a lack of slang). Writing here in the style you’ve chosen is just not going to be terribly well received, and it’s going to make it much harder for anyone here to take your opinion seriously.

  148. #149 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 22, 2012

    I was as skeptical as anyone 20+ years ago, until I was introduced to homeopathy by my doctor.

    You say this (“I was as skeptical as anyone…”) as if it makes you sound dispassionate or something. But all it tells me is that, while you may have been a skeptic, you were a pretty stupid skeptic if all it took to change your mind was a single-sided, non-blinded test.

    Falling so easily for such claptrap does not make me impressed with your skeptical skills

    (I am the same with the people say, “I used to be an atheist but then I saw the light” and trot out something stupid like Pascal’s Wager; I’m like, really? You think something as lame as Pascal’s Wager is a good enough reason to believe in God? You go ahead and stay a theist, then, because I don’t want people thinking that atheists are this idiotic)

  149. #150 lilady
    February 22, 2012

    Dominica: If you have finished reading the link I provided about flu immunization during pregnancy…and you still are “impressed” with Ms. Ratajczak’s compilation of vaccines studies, you might try reading this link:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/the_resident_anti-vaccine_reporter_at_cb.php

    And, this link:

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/04/homologous_recombinaltion_tini.php

  150. #151 herr doktor bimler
    February 22, 2012

    WAIT, what about Helen Ratajczak’s article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology, “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review.” [...] it’s not controversy if no one else bothers to look at anything as extensively as Ratajczak has

    What about it? Have you read it? More to the point, have you read the two systematic rebuttals also published in subsequent issues of the Journal of Immunotoxicology? I think they’re at least as relevant as Ratajczak’s original review.

  151. #152 MI Dawn
    February 22, 2012

    @Marry Me, Mindy: Curse you! Now I have to clean my monitor screen. Being I have a warped sense of humor, I really laughed at your last sentence (and I was snacking on veggies and ranch dressing…)

  152. #153 Sauceress
    February 22, 2012

    Just because you can’t wrap your brain around the science of homeopathy doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

    On the contrary my dear, most here are well versed in both the theoretical and the experimental science of Homeopathy.

  153. #154 Chemmomo
    February 22, 2012

    IOrr

    Just because you can’t wrap your brain around the science of homeopathy doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

    If there were any science behind homeopathy, I’d be willing to try to wrap my brain around it. On that note, could you name just one physical property of matter than is strengthened upon dilution?

    As for

    people who have kids with chronic infections who practically live on antibiotics.

    You’ve got some stats on that, right? What percentage of kids growing up today are taking an antibiotic more often than they’re not?

  154. #155 lilady
    February 22, 2012

    “Wow….you feel pretty strongly about this. It’s really too bad you haven’t a clue. I was as skeptical as anyone 20+ years ago, until I was introduced to homeopathy by my doctor. She didn’t push it, she just gave me the choice to try it. Now, my kids use it with their families, since they experienced the benefits as they were growing up and they trust it because it works. I can count on one hand the times my family of eight has needed antibiotics in the past 20 years.”

    Tell that to these parents:

    http://www.immunize.org/reports/report077.pdf

    Or, tell that to these parents:

    http://www.immunize.org/reports/report046.pdf

    You do understand, don’t you, that antibiotics are only prescribed for bacterial diseases…some of which are prevented by vaccines administered to prevent invasive HIB and Meningicoccal diseases.

    BTW…I am not “clueless”. I worked as a public health nurse and (unfortunately) investigated cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, some of which were due to credulous parents who believed in homeopathy in lieu of the Recommended Childhood Immunizations.

  155. #156 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 22, 2012

    “@Dr. Jay – if a toddler was brought into your practice showing those same developmental delays (i.e. not a celebrity child) would you recommend therapy?”

    I would recommend evaluation and therapy of late walking and talking for any child in my practice. The ultimate decision is the parents’ unless the child is endangered.

    “You gave Andrew Wakefield your unwavering support. How do you feel about that now?”

    I have removed references to Dr. Wakefield’s work from my website. I don’t believe that a study that small should have ever been given the promotion and credence that the Lancet afforded it. I also believe I was hasty and too persistent in using his findings as part of my reasons for disliking certain vaccines and the vaccine schedule. His research should have led to further more extensive study of the issues he uncovered. I respect his standing up for what he believes is correct and I support his conclusion that vaccines are connected to the increase in autism in children. But, the study was too small and the methodology–by his own admission–left the conclusions open to great criticism.

  156. #157 Dominica Strong
    February 22, 2012

    @ Chris138

    While I accept my tone in my first comment wasn’t well received, it didn’t equal ignorant and illiterate. And I’ll admit using a more youthful and nonchalant voice wasn’t best choice, now that’s over. And I’ll even thank Indigo_Fire for their comment.

    Also no I’m not pregnant…but reading mercury made me look twice. I think I have that right to look twice…did I get the vaccine, yes. I said that earlier. Did I look twice…yeah, did I get the shot, yes, but did I leave and tell everyone don’t get a flu shot, no. So, I’m lost as to why it’s such a bad thing that reading mercury unsettled me for a moment.

    Again, I wasn’t defending Ratajczak’s paper or anything in it. And again, my point was addressing this blog’s post and how it’s comments seemed dismissive/mocking of Bialik’s statements, and so I also initially wrote my first comment in a tone that was mocking as well.

    Maybe I should be more clear. Bialik hold’s a PhD, and apparently more was or is expected of her based on her educational background. That’s fine. What I was meant was equating what she said about mind over matter to being wishful or similar to the Secret came off to me as condescending (as have some of the responses to my comment…) I may be sensitive and overly so. I got the same feeling when vaccines were brought up as a non issue. Manufactroversy, which is not apparent to everyone, everywhere (I’m sure that’s intentional) even highly educated parents.

    So, simply put, I was addressing, a tone that came off as condescending and dismissive. There is a gap, between truth and the media. What can cause a sensation is often pushed regardless of how supported it is in actuality. Correcting is something this site is great at. Referring to CBS’s site was to show how this is in the public’s eye, and I wasn’t advocating Ratajczak’s paper or what’s contained in it as fact or fiction.

    I like this site, but I’ve never commented before, and I thought my first comment was focused on such a small part that it wouldn’t even be read. If anything I expected someone to write who cares we’re condescending! My first comment was long, verbose, and I regret circumventing my main point.

  157. #158 sirhcton
    February 22, 2012

    Jay Gordon:

    I have removed references to Dr. Wakefield’s work from my website. I don’t believe that a study that small should have ever been given the promotion and credence that the Lancet afforded it. I also believe I was hasty and too persistent in using his findings as part of my reasons for disliking certain vaccines and the vaccine schedule. His research should have led to further more extensive study of the issues he uncovered. I respect his standing up for what he believes is correct and I support his conclusion that vaccines are connected to the increase in autism in children. But, the study was too small and the methodology–by his own admission–left the conclusions open to great criticism.

    Let me fix that for you.

    “I was willing to use anything to support my wrong beliefs, but I removed some of the evidence. Andy was right, but all his evidence was wrong. Can we please forget my past stupidity, that I continue so spout?”

  158. #159 Dominica Strong
    February 22, 2012

    @Sauceress 139

    Actually a lot is up. I can discuss homologous recombination and cell transformation with you all night if you like, I’m in a comp lab so I gotta log off, but I think my comments link to my blog so you can leave your email address there privately if you want, and I’ll send it right over. However, I never said I agreed with anything in Ratajczak’s paper, so I don’t see the point. Unless it’s to prove my intelligence or education to you which is also pointless, but could be fun, and good for a review. :)

  159. #160 herr doktor bimler
    February 22, 2012

    @ Dominica Strong:
    Again, I wasn’t defending Ratajczak’s paper or anything in it.
    Sorry about the undiplomatic response. My screen persona took your screen persona too seriously.

  160. #161 Michael Simpson
    February 22, 2012

    Dominica, using a few words in random order does not make you intelligent or educated, it just means you’re really good at the worthless university of google educational system. Right now, your education and intelligence is rather suspect.

  161. #162 dedicated lurker
    February 22, 2012

    Terrie, that’s not attachment theory at all. It’s a variation on it expressed by pseudoscientists. More information here.

  162. #163 Ren
    February 22, 2012

    Dr. Jay,

    His research should have led to further more extensive study of the issues he uncovered.

    Did I miss something? Have there not been other studies that tried to replicate his findings and didn’t? Or have I – yet again – gone over to some alternate reality?

    Also…

    I support his conclusion that vaccines are connected to the increase in autism in children.

    So you support the conclusion of a “study that small” with questionable conclusions?

    I’m going to go drink some coffee, take some aspirin, try to stop the bleeding from my nose, and then come back and re-read your comment because, clearly, I missed something in the way of credible evidence for your beliefs.

  163. #164 Dominica strong
    February 22, 2012

    @156 Michael simpson I don’t see how any thing I wrote was random, and nope sorry google isn’t my source, but I’ll give you the same opportunity I gave Sauceress, you can ask me questions before you make a personal attack, and I have my own short bio on my blog if you click my name above, since this space isn’t about me. You can take a look, question, and judge away.

    @herr doktor bimler thanks, I think I also took things too seriously

    Can

  164. #165 Chris
    February 22, 2012

    Dominica, you would have had a better reception if you had actually lurked on this site a bit more. You will have noticed the general level of grammar that is expected to be taken seriously. If you had read some other threads you will that there many drive by comments that come off as illogical and with very bad grammar.

    Also, if you had used the handy dandy search box in the upper left part of this page you would have seen how Ratajczak’s paper was received here. The reason we did not understand that you were not defending it was because your point was not clear. That will be something you need to work on.

    Before you continue to criticize our tone, go back and read more of the articles. I hope you stay around and learn a bit. But if you wish to just be a tone troll, you are welcome to leave.

  165. #166 brian
    February 22, 2012

    Jay Gordon wrote: “I respect [Wakefield's] standing up for what he believes is correct and I support his conclusion that vaccines are connected to the increase in autism in children.”

    Since Wakefield’s beliefs were informed by pathetically weak and unsubstantiated evidence and perhaps influenced by payment of the equivalent of about three-quarters of a million dollars plus about a million more to a company that he founded, and Wakefield’s conclusion is similarly unsupported, your continuing support for “his conclusion” seems to be a desperate attempt to avoid facing your responsiblity for misinforming the public and endangering your patients and the children of parents who learned of your misinformed beliefs via your website or your media efforts. When are you going to admit that you screwed up, and attempt to atone for your egregious errors?

  166. #167 Denice Walter
    February 22, 2012

    @ brian:

    I sincerely doubt that you will be hearing any such admissions: I know quite a few people who invest in the market and loudly proclaim their wins but never mention their losses- however, there are some really awful people around, like me, who mentally calculate their tab and then ask sweetly: “How are those futures going?”
    Unlike those who give professional advice, the only ones these investors hurt are themselves.

  167. #168 Todd W.
    February 22, 2012

    @Jay Gordon

    Still waiting to learn what you would recommend to prevent outbreaks like the one currently growing in Indiana. Why so coy?

  168. #169 lilady
    February 22, 2012

    @ Todd W: Oh dear, what would Dr. Jay do to prevent an outbreak of measles…after the Index Case exposed his other unimmunized patients, in his office waiting room? How about reporting the measles case to the California Health Department? Note the (!) next to “Measles” on the reportable disease list that requires immediate notification to the Health Department…and the penalties for a physician for non-compliance.

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/Documents/Reportable_Diseases_Conditions.pdf

    See the complete Measles Case Report Form (page 2) “VACCINATION/MEDICAL HISTORY”

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/forms/CtrldForms/cdph8345.pdf

    I think Dr. Jay would be sh** out of luck, once the health department audited his patients’ immunization records.

  169. #170 Huh?
    February 22, 2012

    “I support his conclusion that vaccines are connected to the increase in autism in children.”

    If there is a causal link between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the UK in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there is a change in incidence or a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

    - Wakefield et al.

    Pay close attention, because yes, it’s finally going to happen – Dr. Jay MD will now provide scientific evidence that there is an intrinsic “increase in autism in children”.

    Following that, he’ll carefully explain the situation in his home base (California) where it’s painfully obvious that vaccines must be connected to a dramatic decline in specific learning disabilities (a decline larger than the increase in autism!).

  170. #171 lilady
    February 22, 2012

    “I have removed references to Dr. Wakefield’s work from my website. I don’t believe that a study that small should have ever been given the promotion and credence that the Lancet afforded it….”

    Big deal, Dr. Jay. Let’s say I’m underwhelmed when you still have this on your website:

    Feb 23, 2010
    MMR Vaccination, An Important Notice from February 2006

    “I no longer give or recommend the MMR vaccine. I think that the risks exceed the benefits. Obviously, discuss this with your doctor but please know that the CDC declared rubella officially eradicated in the U.S. in 2005, measles remains a rare disease in America (30-40 cases/year) and mumps is also not very common.

    Mumps can cause decreased fertility in teenage boys who get the illness and suffer testicular infection, but this is a very rare occurrence.

    All three of these viruses continue to be associated with severe life-threatening complications in other countries, but the vaccine—including the “split” vaccines—enough risk to outweigh the benefit for healthy North American or European children.”

  171. #172 TBruce
    February 23, 2012

    Obviously, discuss this with your doctor but please know that the CDC declared rubella officially eradicated in the U.S. in 2005, measles remains a rare disease in America (30-40 cases/year) and mumps is also not very common.

    Unspoken Addendum: …however, I, for one, am doing what I can to change this situation.

  172. #173 lilady
    February 23, 2012

    @ TBruce:

    Dr. Jay is still pandering to his celeb moms and still hawking his video on his website and other websites:

    http://childcaremedia.com/welllovedbaby/store-2

    Try watching the 3 minute video for Dr. Jay’s “Third Point of View” about vaccines…what he calls “the judicious use of vaccines”. Listen to his comments about the Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule, “…it is unscientific and just a little bit ugly”.

    And, watch and listen to his comments about vaccines causing autism.

  173. #174 Kasey
    February 23, 2012

    As a mom of a child with an ASD, I’m really bothered that she doesn’t do anything for her children’s obvious delays. It can make a HUGE difference to start therapy early. I wish we’d started 6 months earlier. She’ll regret it one day. I hope all of her kids do ‘catch up’ for their own sake. I don’t know if my son will ever ‘catch up’, but I know he wouldn’t be where he is if we’d left him alone to do what he wanted.

  174. #175 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terra Base DIA
    February 23, 2012

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————-

    Miss Flinders! That will be quite enough! Your little charade with the Shills and Minions has been a diversion from more pressing tasks, please return to the matter driver calibration project at once. Your attention to detail is essential if we are to get them online before the grand opening of this facility. I did appreciate your pseudonym however. Now get back to work. Totes . . .really.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca DZ V7iHL
    Commander, Terrabase DIA, Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra

    00100101001111

    ——————————-MESSAGE ENDS

  175. #176 Militant Agnostic
    February 23, 2012

    Jay Gordon

    I respect [Wakefield's] standing up for what he believes is correct could make him an assload of money and I support his conclusion that vaccines are connected to the artifact of diagnostic substitution that looks like an increase in autism in children.

    FTFY, you ethically challenged dolt. Nice to see that you respect fabricating data and failing to disclose conflicts of interest. Keep digging Dr. Jay, although the tarsands called and want their bucketwheel excavators back. It is good to see you are doing something to combat AGW.

  176. #177 Militant Agnostic
    February 23, 2012

    Dominica

    Actually a lot is up. I can discuss homologous recombination and cell transformation with you all night if you like, I’m in a comp lab so I gotta log off, but I think my comments link to my blog so you can leave your email address there privately if you want, and I’ll send it right over.

    Ah, but can you discuss homologous recombilation tiniker all night?

    @Lord Draconis and the matter driver project delays.

    That would explain why a Ford GT has not materialized in my driveway yet. However, I do appreciate the blackc helicopter escort* that have provided.

    *Eat your heart out Ms. Denice (I’m an 8, I’m so great) Walter.

  177. #178 Beamup
    February 23, 2012

    When Dr. Jay doesn’t care enough about his own patients to protect them from deadly diseases, it’s hardly surprising that he doesn’t care about lies and fraud either.

    A man who commits gross malpractice every single day and BRAGS about it is unlikely to have any other ethical scruples either.

  178. #179 Esther
    February 23, 2012

    I wrote (though did not reference) the Wikipedia criticism of AP that it lacks a convincing body of research to support it. Mind, it wouldn’t be for lack of trying. There have been quite a few interesting attempts, even some by AP true-believer Ph.Ds, to make such a case, but they inevitably fall into one or both traps of 1) conflating attachment parenting with attachment theory or 2) applying research carried out on children/animals with absent, negligent or abusive parents (complete non-response or malignant response to a child’s distress) to mainstream parenting practices (very partial, developmentally appropriate non-responsiveness). When you delve into the practices of NFL (Natural Family Living, which is what Mayim subscribes to) the justifications get even less science-based and downright bizarre, and as you pointed out, heavily mired in the naturalistic fallacy.

    And while Mayim Bialik is a very good actress, I agree that knowing her biases and parenting habits makes it more difficult for me to enjoy her character on TBBT (though there are aspects of Amy’s character I identify with).

  179. #180 Terrie
    February 23, 2012

    @dedicated lurker. My point was not about the validity of the idea of the attachment cycle, but the fact that AP violates the very thing it claims to be based on. That’s a totally separate issue from the concept of attachment therapy, which you referenced.

  180. #181 lilady
    February 23, 2012

    Most esteemed and venerated Lord Draconis…I am in receipt of your lovely *gifts*. The Prada purse arrived just in time for me to take it to the next Pharma Shill Conference and the Proof Krugerrands are securely tucked away in the Cayman Islands bank vault.

    Eat your heart out Militant Agnostic…the RI ladies only ask for small and precious filthy lucre.

  181. #182 DW
    February 23, 2012

    @ Militant Agnostic:

    You should realise that you were on the short list for my spring get-together in the BVI and now I’m not so sure.
    -btw- black helicopters are so 2005. Now we relish the more discrete black vans provided by that German company. And I wouldn’t be expecting that Ford anytime soon.

    Sincerely,
    DW

  182. #183 Rachael
    February 23, 2012

    So, now I know what’s wrong with all you guys, you have a little bit of book sense, but absolutely no common sense is a way of describing many of you know-it-all personalities; who in actuality really know nothing. We have a distorted picture of true intelligence now-a-days because our current measures of intelligence are limited to just one dimension (technical intelligence) and ignores important areas of intelligence like wisdom, common sense, social skills and practical knowledge. Common sense usually produces the right answers in the social domain; something you supposed know-it-alls are completely lacking in. Otherwise, you would be able to see that a one size vaccine schedule does not fit all.

    “Intelligent people with high levels of technical ability are seen (by the majority of the rest of the population) as having foolish ideas and behaviours outside the realm of their professional expertise. In short, it has often been observed that high IQ types are lacking in ‘common sense’ – and especially when it comes to dealing with other human beings.”

    Clever Sillies – Why the high IQ lack common sense

    http://medicalhypotheses.blogspot.com/2009/11/clever-sillies-why-high-iq-lack-common.html

  183. #184 FORMER anti-vaxer
    February 23, 2012

    @108

    I agree with you re: Attachment Parenting (although I am cool with co-sleeping, as it is a cultural norm for me)… too bad I didn’t realize how destructive a practice AP can be until after I was outnumbered by my children :() I have since regained my bearings and practice what I like to call “Real World Parenting”.

    AP, in all of its superficial, hover-parenting glory, has become trendy. At its core, AP encompasses giving too much while expecting too little. I weep for this generation.

  184. #185 Greenwhat
    February 23, 2012

    @ Comment #105 – re: Pampers Conspiracy. I am a non-attachment, meat- eating and non-woo parent who chose to use cloth diapers. I looked into it, and felt this was a better choice for environmental and economic reasons (if you are going to use cloth, however, a
    lot of the advantages click in only when you cold-water wash and line dry – not an option for everyone.)
    Now, if you are using cloth, there are quite a few advantages to getting your kid out of diapers as quickly as possible. If you are a company making disposable diapers, there are a lot of advantages to keeping kids in them as long as possible.
    I don’t think there is any big, bad conspiracy, I just think there has been a gradual normalistion of older children using diapers. These days you will see TV ads for Pampers showing kids who look to be 3 or 4 years old. The sizes you can buy are larger. There are lots of new product lines like “pull-ups”, designed to look more like normal underwear, but still fulfill the role of a diaper. I’m sure the “normal” age for toilet training in the 1950s (as recommended in parenting books) was younger than the age seen as “normal” today.

  185. #186 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 23, 2012

    If I ran this site, I’d be embarrassed at the persistent ad hominem attacks and the low level of discourse. I’m waiting for someone here to call me a poophead. (Go ahead, make my day.)

    I remember a time when these posters were the exception rather than the rule.

    Jay

  186. #187 Liz Ditz
    February 23, 2012

    Dominica Strong,

    I suggest that you make yourself familiar with Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion. It will save you from sounding like a fool.

    I also suggest that you learn how the grown-ups do it: when a person makes public statements that are nonsensical or frankly harmful to children (as Bialik has done), adults should criticize those statements, even in harsh terms.

    Some of the commenters here have children with developmental disabilities or challenges. Some of the commenters here are people with developmental disabilities such as autism.

    What Bialik is doing to her children is neglectful and actively harming her children.

    As to Bialik’s rejection of vaccination and active promotion of anti-vaccine lies and misinformation….well some of the commenters here have (a) expertise in immunology and vaccinology and (b) public health.

    Anti-vaccine misinformation is a disservice to public health. Vaccine rejectionism is a blow to social justice, as the burden of illness from vaccine-preventable disease falls more heavily on the poor and the marginalized.

  187. #188 Todd W.
    February 23, 2012

    @Jay Gordon

    Okay, poophead. There, happy? Now, if you’re quite done whining about how mean people are, are you ready to answer a very simple question I asked you several days ago?

    How would you recommend preventing a measles outbreak from occurring like is currently happening in Indiana (now up to 15 cases)?

  188. #189 JGC
    February 23, 2012

    Rachel @181

    Common sense usually produces the right answers in the social domain; something you supposed know-it-alls are completely lacking in.

    Common sense, on the other hand, often produces the wrong answers in other domains, such as the natural sciences. Consider what it tells us about the sun orbiting the earth versus the earth orbiting the sun, or the etiology of ulcers(stress vs. h. pylori).

    Otherwise, you would be able to see that a one size vaccine schedule does not fit all.

    Why not? The routine ‘one size fits all’ schedule incorporates exceptions which addresses those individuals who for specific identifiable reasons are not viable candidates for immunization, and I’m aware of no credible or compelling evidence which suggests the schedule is inappropriate for otherwise healthy individuals. Can you offer anything other than an unsupported assertion “It’s just common sense!” which supports your claim that it’s not?

  189. #190 Beamup
    February 23, 2012

    If I ran this site, I’d be embarrassed at the persistent ad hominem attacks

    Not a single ad hominem has been sent your way. “You cozy up to fraudsters therefore you’re wrong” would be an ad hominem. “You consistently espouse grossly wrong and extremely dangerous positions, therefore you’re a fool” is just a reasonable conclusion. And describing your activities as negligence and malpractice are simple facts.

    and the low level of discourse.

    Given that it’s already been firmly established how laughably wrong you are, and you refuse to credibly defend any of your positions, there isn’t anything more to say than observing just how clueless you are.

  190. #191 LW
    February 23, 2012

    Rachael @181 :

    Common sense usually produces the right answers in the social domain; something you supposed know-it-alls are completely lacking in. Otherwise, you would be able to see that a one size vaccine schedule does not fit all.

    It may have escaped your notice, but immunology isn’t in the social domain.

    Also, let us suppose that common sense tells you that the recommended vaccine schedule doesn’t fit *this child*. Okay, what does your common sense tell you is the correct schedule for *this child*? Did your common sense help you out there? What about that child, and the one over there, and the next fifty that come through your pediatric practice? What basis are you going to give for each and every one of your recommendations? “It’s common sense?”

  191. #192 lilady
    February 23, 2012

    (I guess the “real” Dr. Jay has been posting his inanities)

    Todd W…he is incapable of answering your question, without “violating” his principles based on “mommy and daddy intuition”, his “Third Point of View” regarding vaccines and his belief that that the Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule “…is unscientific and just a little bit ugly”.

    Dr Jay…if I ran your website, I would be downright embarrassed that I fell so short of the pediatric vaccines Standards of Care.

  192. #193 madder
    February 23, 2012

    For anyone new to Dr. Jay and his views, this is recommended reading, and I would like to reiterate my response to him.

    Dr. Jay, do you still believe that your subjective experience is more valuable than real data?

  193. #194 madder
    February 23, 2012

    Rats: something went bonk in the link to Dr. Jay’s comment. Here it is.

  194. #195 Rachael
    February 23, 2012

    LW: Common sense would suggest that, if we are giving our children more than five dozen vaccinations from day of birth to age 18, we are over-vaccinating our children. Yet, authorities continue to insist that “more is better” when it comes to vaccines without providing adequate scientific evidence to justify that assumption.

    They don’t take into account that some people are genetically more susceptible to cancer, colds, flues and infectious diseases than others (suppressed immunity). Some are more genetically susceptible to inflammatory conditions, allergies and autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (over-active immune response). One size does not fit all in any other area of medicine except vaccinations. Universal vaccination recommendations don’t take into account that we are not all one and the same.

    We are not cookie cut-outs of each other. We are individuals who all react differently to medications (including vaccinations) and we ‘present’ differently with different illnesses. Their blindness to these facts are hard to understand.

  195. #196 Denice Walter
    February 23, 2012

    @ Rachael:

    Oh where to begin? While I’m not about to produce an Oracian length article:
    you are talking about stereotypes- e.g. ” all smarties are nerdy”- that are just as unlikely in real life as that outfit Ms Bialik is wearing ( photo above). Real psychologists measure intelligence in all of its variability- verbal, quantitative, social et al and combinational possibilities thereof. We find that there is not a simple one-to-one correspondence( + or -) between general cognition and social cognition; they seem to take place in slightly different areas of the brain: we need separate measures *and* both cognitive and social development are areas of study and research. There are socially adept smart people and people with lower cognitive abilities who haven’t a clue about person perception, reciprocity or recursive thought _and_ all of the gradations in between these extremes.

    Purely anecdotally, I seem to be related to ( and find myself *involved* with) a large number of un-nerdy smart people- most of them shockingly good with numbers and rather sharp dressers as well. Scary, isn’t it?

    And, -btw- quoting ‘Medical Hypotheses’ won’t earn you any points around RI.

  196. #197 Stu
    February 23, 2012

    On that note, could you name just one physical property of matter than is strengthened upon dilution?

    Well derp, the wateriness of course. Sheesh. That should be totes obvious, amirite?

  197. #198 Stu
    February 23, 2012

    If I ran this site, I’d be embarrassed at the persistent ad hominem attacks and the low level of discourse. I’m waiting for someone here to call me a poophead. (Go ahead, make my day.) I remember a time when these posters were the exception rather than the rule.

    Red herring. Strawman. Prevaricating. Projection. Begging the question. Ad hominem.

    Good job, Jay! Two more for bingo!

  198. #199 Liz Ditz
    February 23, 2012

    Rachael wrote,

    Common sense would suggest that, if we are giving our children more than five dozen vaccinations from day of birth to age 18, we are over-vaccinating our children.

    Au contraire! Common sense would suggest that protecting children from birth to age 18 from falling ill with Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB), Pneumococcal, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (chicken pox), Hepatitis A, Meningococcal, or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a good thing.

    And advances in immunology and vaccinology have suggested that, say, adding a second dose of the MMR vaccine improves a child’s resistance to the disease. Making the pertussis vaccine safer by making it with an acellular formulation also entails requiring additional doses of the vaccine to achieve the required level of immunity.

  199. #200 Rachael
    February 23, 2012

    Liz Ditz:

    * Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease caused by promiscuous homo/heterosexual conduct as well as commonly sex-related IV drug use and

    * 90-95 percent of adults will clear the virus on their own,

    * Hepatitis B vaccination-induced protective antibodies “may” last for up to 15 years, but appear to fall off over time,

    * is an experiment being performed on babies, the conclusion of this experiment will take years to evaluate.

    Why are be vaccinating babies for hepatitis B within 12 hours of birth for a disease that is not highly contagious, except in high risk populations, and is not in epidemic form in the United States? Where’s the common sense in this?

  200. #201 LW
    February 23, 2012

    Rachael, you did not answer my question. How does your common sense tell you what vaccination schedule to use in each child that comes before you?

    I suspect your answer is, “common sense tells me never to vaccinate any child for any disease”, but that’s a one-size-fits-all solution, so you can’t say that.

    So what do you say? What does your common sense tell you about children with asthma? Or juvenile diabetes? Or mitochondrial disorders? No fair looking up the research, by the way, as that would be relying on a bunch of nerds with no social skills, not your vaunted common sense.

  201. #202 Bogeymama
    February 23, 2012

    Having errors on this computer submitting comments, so short version:

    Mayim was ambushed on an episode of “What Not To Wear”. She was clearly uncomfortable, only wanted clothes that would accomodate her baby sling. She was a good sport about it though.

  202. #203 eeny
    February 23, 2012

    Sorry your complaints fall on deaf ears.

    ANY celebrity who isn’t a Scientologist these days is ok in my book.

  203. #204 brian
    February 23, 2012

    Why are be vaccinating babies for hepatitis B within 12 hours of birth for a disease that is not highly contagious, except in high risk populations, and is not in epidemic form in the United States? Where’s the common sense in this?

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/120/1/189.full

  204. #205 Shay
    February 23, 2012

    Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease caused by promiscuous homo/heterosexual conduct as well as commonly sex-related IV drug use

    Well, not entirely. An estimated one third of the 1.25 million Americans infected with chronic active HBV acquired their infections before the age of five.

  205. #206 Oops
    February 23, 2012

    Hoping Brian realised the link he posted was for Hepatitis A, much different than HepB schnookums.

    Whoooops. Quick google searches are never anyones friend!

  206. #207 Dangerous Bacon
    February 23, 2012

    Jay Gordon: “If I ran this site, I’d be embarrassed at the persistent ad hominem attacks and the low level of discourse. I’m waiting for someone here to call me a poophead. (Go ahead, make my day.)

    “I remember a time when these posters were the exception rather than the rule.”

    I remember when you routinely made use of ad hominem attacks here (insulting the intelligence of your critics, intimating that they were pharma shills etc.). Nowadays you seem to have mostly cut that out, preferring instead to do random drive-bys to scold, to avoid substantive discussion and to post heavily edited snippets that you think support your antivax beliefs*.

    *for instance, linking to a summary of a newly published Cochrane review on the MMR vaccine to highlight its statements about limited safety studies – while neglecting to mention that the review authors concluded that on both safety and efficacy grounds, continued use of the MMR vaccine is medically justified. It’s in the full report, which should be available to you. I suggest you read it.

  207. #208 Liz Ditz
    February 23, 2012

    Rachael, you are misinformed about Hepatitis B. From the website PKids (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases — a site I highly recommend, by the way), the text Hepatitis B Virus: Kids Can Infect Kids by Eric Mast, M.D., M.P.H

    Many people believe that young kids in the United States don’t become infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) except through perinatal transmission, when HBV infected moms pass it to their newborn children. However, several studies have documented high rates of early childhood HBV transmission among kids born in the United States to moms who are not infected with HBV.

    The data indicate that the highest risk of early childhood transmission is among kids born to moms who immigrated to the United States from countries where HBV infection is highly endemic (e.g., Southeast Asia, China), but in fact the majority of early childhood HBV infections occur among African American and white children.

    It’s estimated that 33,000 kids (10 years of age and younger) born to moms who are not infected with HBV were infected each year prior to implementation of routine childhood hepatitis B vaccination. In addition, an estimated 12,000 kids born to HBV infected moms were infected each year before implementation of immunization programs to prevent perinatal HBV infections.

    In household settings, non-sexual transmission of HBV occurs primarily from child to child, and young kids are at highest risk of infection. We’re not sure exactly how transmission occurs, but frequent contact of non-intact skin or mucous membranes with blood-containing secretions including, perhaps, saliva, are the most likely means of transmission. HBV remains infectious at mild temperatures for extended periods and can be found on and transmitted through sharing of inanimate objects such as wash towels or toothbrushes.

    Without vaccination, kids do infect kids.

    Dr. Mast is Chief of the Prevention Branch, Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (proposed), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    You may also be interested in reading Joseph Albietz, MD’s essay on why the US instituted the birth dose of hepatitis B. You might learn someting.

    I think it may be most helpful to examine why we vaccinate against Hepatitis B the way we do in the US, how most countries in the world approach the problem, and finally examine the reason why eight European countries do not universally vaccinate against HBV.

    [big snip, but I urge you to read the whole thing]

    Since its launch in 1991, we have seen a steady decrease in Hepatitis B infections. Hep B incidence in the US fell from 10.7/100,000 in 1983 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2004. (25,916 total cases down to 6212 cases). Though it’s true other factors have been contributing to HBV’s decline, most notably the public education campaign aimed at curbing the spread of HIV, this doesn’t account for the pattern of HBV decline across age groups. There has been a 95% drop in HBV in people under 15 years of age, 87% in ages 15-24, 71% from 25-44, and 51% decrease in people over 45 years old. This is precisely what you would expect from a pediatric vaccination campaign.

    Using a cost effective and exceptionally low-risk intervention of universal Hep B vaccination the US is well on its way to control, if not elimination, of HBV.

    I live in an area of the US with an exceptionally high incidence of HepB, because of population demographics. I fully support the birth dose strategy.

  208. #209 Chris
    February 23, 2012

    Rachael:

    * Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease caused by promiscuous homo/heterosexual conduct as well as commonly sex-related IV drug use and

    Where did you get this information? Perhaps this might help: Hepatitis B Virus: Kids Can Infect Kids

    It says:

    In household settings, non-sexual transmission of HBV occurs primarily from child to child, and young kids are at highest risk of infection. We’re not sure exactly how transmission occurs, but frequent contact of non-intact skin or mucous membranes with blood-containing secretions including, perhaps, saliva, are the most likely means of transmission. HBV remains infectious at mild temperatures for extended periods and can be found on and transmitted through sharing of inanimate objects such as wash towels or toothbrushes.

    From the About page of that site:

    PKIDs (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases) started in 1996 when some parents couldn’t find babysitters, playmates, or even many relatives willing to spend time with their children. Fear and ignorance of hepatitis B and C and HIV make people do such things.

  209. #210 Rachael
    February 23, 2012

    Brand new one day old babies are routinely injected with the hepatitis B vaccine in US hospitals, yet it can be very dangerous and is completely unnecessary. Hepatitis B is a disease spread most often by unprotected sex and infected drug needles neither of which the average newborn will participate in. The disease is about as hard to catch as the HIV virus yet no where near as dangerous. 90-95% of all hepatitis B cases completely recover after a few weeks of symptoms such as headache, nausea and fatigue. The disease is far from deadly and the people who are at risk of getting hepatitis B are IV drug users, prostitutes and other adults with multiple unprotected sexual encounter, prisoners, and babies born to infected mothers. Pregnant women are tested during pregnancy and unless they are positive carriers of the hepatitis B virus, their newborn should not have to receive this vaccination. Yet since 2002 this shot has been added to the recommended immunization schedule and many US hospitals give it to newborn babies before they even leave go home. Common reactions to the hepatitis B vaccine among those who can communicate include headache, nausea, fever and fatigue oddly the same symptoms as the hard to catch disease. As for more serious side effects, the Hepatitis B vaccine has also been reported to cause a variety of immune and neurological health problems. There have been persistent reports of the vaccine being related to sudden infant death syndrome which is most likely to occur at 2 months, 4 month and 6 months exactly the same time as the hepatitis B vaccine series is often given. Other reports indicate such adverse reactions such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, and multiple sclerosis as well as immune system dysfunction including chronic arthritis. Some speculations have also come about insisting on a connecting with Autism and the hepatitis B vaccine as well as several more on the recommended immunization schedule.

  210. #211 Phoenix Woman
    February 23, 2012

    Does anyone else here read Bialik’s inane comments and is forcibly reminded of Jenny McCarthy’s “indigo child” phase, when she tried to pretend her child’s developmental issues were in fact a sign of his Christlike greatness?

    Think about it. In both Bialik’s and McCarthy’s cases, we’re seeing a parent who, when first confronted with obvious developmental problems in their child, tries to do a dipsy-doodle of a rationalization, pretending that the problems are in fact good things.

    Eventually, McCarthy was no longer able to pretend that her child had issues, but instead of addressing those issues rationally and actually getting her child treatment and training of the kinds that made commenter Michelle’s daughter grow up to be a wonderful young lady, she wasted precious months and years of her son’s childhood trying to “cure” him of autism. What will Bialik do when she’s no longer able to pretend that her children are “Indigo Kids”? Or has she given up her brain to Jay Gordon so completely that she’d feed her kids arsenic on his say-so?

  211. #212 brian
    February 23, 2012

    @203

    Just so. However, that wasn’t a failure of Google-fu, but simply the result of clicking on the wrong link from my list of hepatitis references. This is better:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5416a1.htm

  212. #213 KathyH
    February 24, 2012

    Good grief, what Mayim Bialik is doing is not Attachment Parenting. It is just bad parenting, pure and simple. I am a strong advocate and practitioner of Attachment Parenting and, I can assure you, my parenting is nothing like hers.

  213. #214 Militant Agnostic
    February 24, 2012

    Phoenix Woman @209

    Does anyone else here read Bialik’s inane comments and is forcibly reminded of Jenny McCarthy’s “indigo child” phase, when she tried to pretend her child’s developmental issues were in fact a sign of his Christlike greatness?

    Yes, see Karlwithakay @74

    Phoenix Woman @209

    Or has she given up her brain to Jay Gordon so completely that she’d feed her kids arsenic on his say-so?

    I think it goes in the other direction – more a case Jay Gordon pandering to her whackaloonity. I am wondering if malnutrition is playing a role in her kids problems. Although it is very unnatural, a vegan diet can be healthy if done rationally, but veganism combined with whackaloonity could easily result in deficiencies. Whether this is the case with her prenatally or for her kids or not, she may have a nagging suspicion that she is responsible for their developmental delays, especially given the altie tendency to blame everything on diet and “toxins”. This would be a strong incentive for denial.

  214. #215 Julian Frost
    February 24, 2012

    Rachael @208:

    Brand new one day old babies are routinely injected with the hepatitis B vaccine in US hospitals, yet it can be very dangerous and is completely unnecessary. Hepatitis B is a disease spread most often by unprotected sex and infected drug needles neither of which the average newborn will participate in. The disease is about as hard to catch as the HIV virus yet no where near as dangerous.

    Please Read Liz Ditz’s comments @206 and Chris’s comments @207. You are wrong.

    90-95% of all hepatitis B cases completely recover after a few weeks of symptoms such as headache, nausea and fatigue. The disease is far from deadly…

    So there’s a 5-10% chance that a hepB infection will end with serious consequences like liver cancer, cirrhosis, or liver failure needing a transplant? I’ll take my chances with the vaxx, thanks.

    As for more serious side effects, the Hepatitis B vaccine has also been reported to cause a variety of immune and neurological health problems. There have been persistent reports of the vaccine being related to sudden infant death syndrome which is most likely to occur at 2 months, 4 month and 6 months exactly the same time as the hepatitis B vaccine series is often given. Other reports indicate such adverse reactions such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, and multiple sclerosis as well as immune system dysfunction including chronic arthritis. Some speculations have also come about insisting on a connecting with Autism and the hepatitis B vaccine as well as several more on the recommended immunization schedule.

    Citations please. And not from whale.to.

  215. #216 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 24, 2012

    Brand new one day old babies are routinely injected with the hepatitis B vaccine in US hospitals, yet it can be very dangerous and is completely unnecessary. Hepatitis B is a disease spread most often by unprotected sex and infected drug needles neither of which the average newborn will participate in.

    See, when people present their beliefs, and their beliefs turn out to be wrong, smart people learn from that. They don’t just repeat their false beliefs over again with even fewer paragraph breaks, as you have done here.

  216. #217 LW
    February 24, 2012

    Rachael, when copying and pasting an entire block from another source, it is customary to credit the original source. So, “your” paragraph @208 is copied from here.

  217. #218 Giliell
    February 24, 2012

    I’m not going to beat around the bush here. By current conventional standards both of my sons qualified for speech, occupational and physical therapy and I gave them none.

    Holy shit that’s child abuse.
    I’m the last person who wants to stuff children into boxes. I had three years of “fight” with my ped until she agreed to stuff the weight-growth chart where the sun doesn’t shine because my daughter is just skinny as hell.
    And why did she agree to do that?
    Because I have a normally developed child in every other aspect who isn’t sick more than other children and who isn’t lagging behind other children.
    Yes, children are different, and they develop at different speeds. As a casual observer you pretty soon find out that most children don’t develop all their skills at the same constant speed.
    Most kids develop one set of skills early and lag behind in another set. The early talker who can’t be bothered to move their butt, the wild rascal who’ll just get along shouting “eehhhh” in different voices.
    That’s ok and they mostly catch up by the time they’re 3-4.
    But if children are lagging behind in every single aspect of development that’s a reason to worry.
    I pity those children. They are raised as little princes who’ll have their shoes tied by mummy at age 20.
    And one day they’ll go out into a world that just treats them like people, and what’s worse, like the mal-adjusted, impolite, self-centred, thoroughly unlikable little assholes their parents raised them to be.

  218. #219 Liz Ditz
    February 24, 2012

    Rachael at 208′s source was a hysterical, unsourced article from Dec. 2006. That’s right, 5 years and two months ago.

    From PubMed:

    A 2006 report found There is no evidence of an association between hepatitis B vaccines and the sudden infant death syndrome. A 2009 report on demonstrated benefit of universal infant vaccination program.

  219. #220 Liz Ditz
    February 24, 2012

    Hepatitis B vaccine as a causal autism factor was run up the flagpole by the “autism is too vaccine injury” crowd. It didn’t fly. Discussion in the comments at Science-Based Medicine (with links).

  220. #221 TBruce
    February 24, 2012

    There have been persistent reports of the vaccine being related to sudden infant death syndrome which is most likely to occur at 2 months, 4 month and 6 months exactly the same time as the hepatitis B vaccine series is often given.

    SIDS most commonly occurs between the ages of 2 weeks to 12 months, not “at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months”. It also occured over this age range long before the Hep B vaccine was ever invented or used. BTW, the incidence of SIDS has plummeted in the past few years. It’s thought to be due to the practice of discouraging placing babies on their stomachs to sleep, however, maybe it’s because Hep B vaccines are now routinely given to newborns. Just sayin’.

    I have some working professional knowledge of this area, so It was easy for me to see how much hogwash was in that single sentence. I expect the rest of that cut’n’paste will be just as truthful.

  221. #222 lilady
    February 24, 2012

    ***Can anyone explain this from Dr. Jay’s website:

    Dr. Jay Gordon’s Twitter Updates
    No public Twitter messages.

    I went to Jay’s Twitter page and he has no “public Twitter messages” since February 20th.

    ***I need to know because Jay’s twitter updates are one of my sources for Jay-Woo.

  222. #223 Todd W.
    February 25, 2012

    @lilady

    He’s tweeting again. This time engaging in ad hominem against the author of an article on Esquire blogs, saying that “Pierce is a non-medical author writing about medicine. Not impressive at all.”

  223. #224 lilady
    February 25, 2012

    Well, I’m impressed with Pierce’s article and totally unimpressed with Jay’s tweet.

    I think Jay’s constant tweets are preemptive strikes against any study, any doctor and any journalist, that describes the impact of anti-vax doctors, anti-vax bloggers and anti-vax parents who do not immunize their children.

  224. #225 Medivh
    February 26, 2012

    @124/125:

    The only way you can make these numbers comparable is if you assume that the extent of high risk deliveries in birthing centers and homebirths is just the same as it is in the hospital, which indicates that they are not restricted to low-risk births, as you insist they should be.

    What is your problem with reading comp? I said that home births are safer in low-risk situations. Then I said that for some reason, Dr. Tuteur thinks that home births should be compared to only low-risk hospital births. I do assume that there are idiots who home birth when it’s contrary to survival – i.e. in high-risk situations. It’s Dr. Tuteur who seems to think that comparing apples to apples is bad.

    Medivh – btw, the de Jonge study had some apparent methodology problems, which were addressed in a subsequent article (van der Kooy). You know what was found? Homebirth in the Netherlands is more dangerous than the hospital.

    Here’s a summary

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-dutch-study-raises-troubling.html

    Here’s a key quote from the paper: “Our conclusions apparently contradict those of De Jonge et al …

    Bypassing Dr. Tuteur as being counterskeptical, I went for the paper in question. I got no further than the abstract of van der Kooy(2011) when I found this:

    CONCLUSION: Home birth, under routine conditions, is generally not associated with increased intrapartum and early neonatal death, yet in subgroups, additional risk cannot be excluded.

    Did you bother to read the paper, or are you just reading Dr. Tuteur’s unskeptical summary? I’d like to know so I know where the cherry picking came from.

  225. #226 Giliell
    February 26, 2012

    What is your problem with reading comp? I said that home births are safer in low-risk situations. Then I said that for some reason, Dr. Tuteur thinks that home births should be compared to only low-risk hospital births. I do assume that there are idiots who home birth when it’s contrary to survival – i.e. in high-risk situations. It’s Dr. Tuteur who seems to think that comparing apples to apples is bad.

    No, she said she was surprised that they excluded a group of patients where the midwife-home-birth-patients probably got sub-standard care.
    Because that kind of is important: Not only to see if low-risk births are safe at home, but also to find out if caregivers actually place patients in the right group.
    It’s all fine and dandy to say that a woman who turned out to be a high-risk patient should never have tried home-birth, but if that woman never knew, she couldn’t make the right decision.
    Great to see that if results seem to shed a bad light on home-birth you are absolutely willing to throw the women under the bus and blankly assume that they were the ones who made the bad decission

    Most pregnant women are neither OB/Gyns nor midwives. They can’t evaluate their risk correctly, so they rely on their midwives and OB/Gyns.
    Therefore I find the question how often they missjudge whether a pregnancy is low or high risk to be very relevant.
    Obviously, the consequences of such an error are going to be much bigger in a home-birth where you can’t just cut the woman open and get that baby out there in 10 min than in a hospital.
    BTW, I have a friend who gave birth under the “wonderfull Dutch system of homebirths” (Note that women in the Netherlands seem to come to the conclusion that it is a bad idea, the numbers are decreasing). She was young, a foreigner, so she just trusted what people told her.
    Well, due to unprevisited complications and lack of monitoring during the home-birth she now has a special needs child. She would have much preferred a shitty hospital experience and a healthy baby.

  226. #227 Kathy with a K
    February 26, 2012

    That is so disappointing. :(

    (PS- You rock!)

  227. #228 Medivh
    February 27, 2012

    @224, Giliel:

    No, she said she was surprised that they excluded a group of patients where the midwife-home-birth-patients probably got sub-standard care.

    You’re reading the vague analysis of the second study. I didn’t get that far – she says, in her vague analysis of the first study:

    This study actually substantially underestimates the risk of these serious complications at homebirth because it compares homebirth to all risk hospital birth instead of low risk hospital birth.

    It’s all fine and dandy to say that a woman who turned out to be a high-risk patient should never have tried home-birth, but if that woman never knew, she couldn’t make the right decision. Great to see that if results seem to shed a bad light on home-birth you are absolutely willing to throw the women under the bus and blankly assume that they were the ones who made the bad decission

    Nice to see you grant the assumption of good faith in an argument. But at least you’ve got good reading comp and have a valid interpretation of what I wrote. I assure you, however, that I do believe that bad decisions about medical situations made in ignorance, like those of your friend, are not the fault of the patient.

    That said, my anecdotes tell me that women who home birth in countries where this is not the norm tend, like all people who go against norms, to know more about those norms than other laypeople. And indeed some professionals. I acknowledge taht anecdotes are not evidence, however – which is why I’m sticking with van der Kooy(2011) and de Jonge(2009).

  228. #229 Calli Arcale
    February 27, 2012

    That said, my anecdotes tell me that women who home birth in countries where this is not the norm tend, like all people who go against norms, to know more about those norms than other laypeople.

    I dunno; listening to antivaxxers lately, and listening to Dr Jay, I’m not so sure that people going against the norm generally know more about the norm than other laypeople. They might, but my anecdotes tell me that the predictive value of this is poor at best.

  229. #230 Giliell
    February 28, 2012

    That said, my anecdotes tell me that women who home birth in countries where this is not the norm tend, like all people who go against norms, to know more about those norms than other laypeople. And indeed some professionals.

    Ah, well, but my annecdotes say…
    In that case it would seem to be better to be ignorant and trust in people who actually have an education in such matters than to play Dr. Google who graduated from Wikipedia University with a PhD from Natural News.
    Problem is your source. If all you know about vaccines comes from Andrew Wakefield, you’re doing it wrong.
    And no, 9 months of reading desperately whatever you can find on the subject don’t make you an expert.
    Many people have no clue how to interprete statistics, risks, statistical revalence, confunders and so on. Many people don’t understand that if you have a 1 in a million chance of a dead baby that if it hits you, you have, indeed, a dead baby.

  230. #231 Medivh
    February 28, 2012

    @227, Calli Arcale:

    I dunno; listening to antivaxxers lately, and listening to Dr Jay, I’m not so sure that people going against the norm generally know more about the norm than other laypeople.

    A fair point, but only one. Feminists tend to be arguing against the status quo and generally know more about social theory and group psych than other laypeople. Atheists and religion. Childless couples and the pros/cons of child raising. I can go on. Finding a decent divider between the woos and actually knowledgable people is hard, admittedly. Not even the search for knowledge divides the woos from the groups on this list – all of them search, it’s just that the woos find the wrong things.

    I guess the defining factor is proper skepticism – meaning the willingness to be wrong.

    @228, Giliell: Nice appeal to consequences. Want to actually bother with an argument next time? By the way, who’s claiming patients are to blame for failures of home births now? “9 months of reading desperately” indeed… you don’t perhaps think that there are women who make sure they know what they’re getting into before they get pregnant?

  231. #232 Calli Arcale
    February 28, 2012

    Medivh — it may depend on who one happens to meet in life. You may have run into a better class of mold-breaker than I have. ;-) It doesn’t take many run-ins with Apollo hoax proponents to reassess one’s opinion of people with unconventional ideas….

    I like what you say about proper skepticism. That is probably the main difference.

  232. #233 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 28, 2012

    @228, Giliell: Nice appeal to consequences. Want to actually bother with an argument next time?

    You don’t actually understand what the appeal to consequences fallacy is, do you? I’ll give you a hint: saying “We should not do X, because the consequences are bad” is not an example. An example would be “if it were true that X, that would be bad for us; therefore X isn’t true.” I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I wasn’t in it before, but now I’m just disgusted with you. Don’t try to illuminate someone else’s “fallacies” if you haven’t taken the time to learn what fallacies are or even five seconds to think it through yourself.

  233. #234 Composer99
    February 28, 2012

    It doesn’t take many run-ins with Apollo hoax proponents to reassess one’s opinion of people with unconventional ideas

  234. #235 Giliell
    February 28, 2012

    By the way, who’s claiming patients are to blame for failures of home births now?

    Well, I don’t know, still you?

    “9 months of reading desperately” indeed… you don’t perhaps think that there are women who make sure they know what they’re getting into before they get pregnant?

    You mean they study medicine and specialize in gynaecology just for that?
    Those women rely on “experts” the same way those ordinary lesser women do, only that they believe the wrong people.
    Cause and effect aren’t that easy to tell apart.
    But clearly there’s one side who tells them that they can “empower” themselves, that they’ve got “intuition”, that the risks are small, when their target audience actually understands very little about the things discussed.
    And yeah, most people prefer to think of themselves as rather intelligent and capable.
    Understanding and admitting that you’re not the expert isn’t something that comes easy to most people so the NCB crowd has a good appeal to them.

  235. #236 Krebiozen
    February 28, 2012

    Many people don’t understand that if you have a 1 in a million chance of a dead baby that if it hits you, you have, indeed, a dead baby.

    Unfortunately, and I have no wish to worry any parents-to-be unnecessarily, the odds are considerably worse than that. In the UK in 2008 there were 8.2 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and 7.6 perinatal deaths per thousand births. I make that a 1 in 12,000 chance of the mother dying and a 1 in 130 chance of the baby dying. I think other developed countries have similar stats. I find it hard to understand why anyone would do something that risky without taking every possible precaution. I think we should make greater efforts to make hospital births as comfortable and pleasant a process as possible so that home births cease to be an attractive option.

  236. #237 Krebiozen
    February 28, 2012

    Relative risk is somewhat of an obsession of mine, so I can’t help but mention that compared to a parachute jump, giving birth is about 6 times more dangerous for the mother, and about 800 times more dangerous for the baby. Obviously a newborn baby is unlikely to be making a parachute jump, but this does support the old saying that being born is by far the most dangerous thing that ever happens to most of us.

  237. #238 Giliell
    February 28, 2012

    @Krebiozen
    I didn’t want to imply that the odds were actually one in a million.
    It was, I admit, just a number I threw out because people simply don’t understand that whatever the probability of an event is, it hits you with 1 or 0, not with 0,000001.
    I once tried to explain that, if antibiotics reduce the risk of a baby contracting strep B during birth from 2% to 0,5% it is a decrease by 75%. The other woman kept arguing that it’s only 1,5% and therefore not worth it *sigh*

  238. #239 Marry Me, Mindy
    February 28, 2012

    Kreb – here’s what I call Pablo’s Scenario

    An expectant couple goes to a party on her due date. She isn’t drinking, but he is, and drinks enough to make him legally drunk. She goes into labor, and they jump in the car to drive 8 miles to the hospital. She is in labor, so he drives.

    Two things:
    1) She is more than 50 times more likely to die while giving birth to the child than she is to die in a car accident, and
    2) The baby is more than 10 times more likely to die during childbirth than the father is to get in an accident OR even get a DUI (assuming he would be arrested for DUI).

    As you said, being born is the most dangerous thing that happens to us – and that even applies to drunk drivers (the ultimate cost of drunk driving comes not because it is so dangerous, but because it is SO FRIGGIN PREVALENT – the US DOT estimates that there are 27000 drunken miles driven for every DUI, and there are 3 times as many DUIs are there are accidents)

  239. #240 Krebiozen
    February 28, 2012

    Giliell,

    I didn’t want to imply that the odds were actually one in a million.

    I know, I got your point, just wanted to add mine too :-)

    Marry Me Mindy,
    Good point. Humans are lousy at estimating relative risks without using some stats and math. Even lousier when drunk though.

  240. #241 hmblview
    February 28, 2012

    The incredibly tiny subset of parents who have unlimited resources will inevitably have the most whacked-out views about things. Educated or not.

    Those of us who work in the regular world and raise our kids in the mainstream can little afford to cope with a preventable disease or handle the emotional and financial burden of a child who can’t/won’t function by society’s quirky and yes, restrictive rules.

    Mayim Bialik will likely have the resources to fix any of the problems that might arise from her ankle-biters’ not being vaccinated, or developing a nutrient deficiency, or being diagnosed with a developmental delay. That isn’t true for the vast majority of moms. And yet, every day another holistic-mom-wanna-be will buy into whatever arrogance the Celebrity of the Week is selling.

  241. #242 furtivezoog
    March 6, 2012

    Orac, In this article, Bialik states that Dr Jay Gordon is, indeed, her family’s pediatrician.

    http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2012/03/05/a-mother-to-mother-conversation-with-mayim-bialik/

    *Who are your influences as far as parenting goes?*

    I admire Dr. [William] Sears and Martha Sears a lot, also for their
    functioning in a conventional world as proponents of attachment
    parenting. Our pediatrician, Dr. [Jay] Gordon is a huge influence for
    us, and then personally I mentioned my La Leche League leader, Shawn
    Crane who is also sort of my everything mentor and parenting expert
    extraordinaire. But I feel like the real people that kind of make it
    happen are my girlfriends, Nancy and Denise.

    *What was it like to work with the Sears’ and Dr. Gordon?*

    What’s impressed me kind of in this whole book journey has not only been
    the support on the professional side, from API and the Sears’ and from
    Dr. Gordon, also a really really positive, healthy general notion that
    we’re all working toward something good and trying to empower parents to
    make decisions that are good for them and for their kids. And I think
    that’s actually been honestly surprising. I’ve been shocked at the lack
    of ego that I’ve run into and I’d like to think that it’s indicative of
    the attachment parenting philosophy at work in adults.
    < \blockquote>

  242. #243 Moonpie Nobot
    March 16, 2012

    I am dyslexic. It was caught early and now I only struggle on days when I am super tired or terribly sick. Because my mom took the time to work with me early on and get me the help I needed I am a happier adult than I would be had I been allowed to advance at my own pace.

  243. #244 KathyH
    May 5, 2012

    The kind of parenting Mayin is preaching, the not teaching your children to say please and not worrying about developmental delays, has nothing to do with attachment parenting. Neither does vaccination. I practice attachment parenting and my children are vaccinated. The first Dr Sears, William, the one who coined the phrase attachment parenting, is pro vax. I am an educator and I understand child development and would never allow my children to fall behind without seeking help. My first child has gone thru a number of therapies for minor issues. What Mayin practices is extreme unconditional parenting, not attachment parenting. She may also practice attachment parenting in there somewhere, but everything you wrote about above has nothing to do with attachment parenting.

    Please visit the attachment parenting international website to learn more.

    http://www.attachmentparenting.org/

    Please stop being disrespectful to attachment parenting just because a few crazies have taken it overboard.

  244. #245 Narad
    May 5, 2012

    I don’t know that laying claim to purity of historical usage is really going to go that far. (Bialik was on “Science Friday” yesterday, by the by; I didn’t follow it particularly closely, as it seemed to be filler, but the assertion that vaccination is unrelated to “attachment parenting” was also made. Along with “once a scientist, always a scientist.”)

  245. #246 Lawrence
    May 5, 2012

    @Kathy H – I would take issue with Dr. Sears being “pro-vax” since he actively counsels his patients to keep their vax-status from their neighbors & mooch off of “herd immunity” as much as possible.

  246. #247 Chris
    May 5, 2012

    Lawrence, wrong Dr. Sears.

  247. #248 Creatrix
    May 7, 2012

    I can accept her choice to experience the pain of childbirth. When done correctly, I admire vegans. The choice of cloth over pampers is an ecologically responsible choice, IMO. Although her I attention to what seems like signs that her children need therapy on earns me, I am neither a parent nor a pediatrician, so I’ll leave the commentary on that to wiser commentators. I do wonder how attachment parenting might keep children from learning self-reliance and problem solving skills: mommy is always there to fix everything. I have no problem with extended breastfeeding. While I get that she chooses not to teach her children basic manners and recognize that is her decision, I hope she isn’t surprised other parents choose not to be burdened by her little miscreants at birthday parties and the like. Basically, all of these are choices that I can accept, if not agree with. (I secretly suspect, though, that she is raising little Amy Farrah Fowler boys, destined for lives of awkward loneliness.)

    Failure to vaccinate, however, is not. How anyone with a PhD in any kind of science can fail to understand herd immunity is beyond me, and it’s simply morally reprehensible that a highly educated parent such as Dr. Bialik could choose to jeopardize countless immunocompromised children and adults – not to mention per-vaccine infants – because of slavish adherence to quackery.

  248. #249 Creatrix
    May 7, 2012

    I apologize for the re-post, but i had so many typos that had to for clarity! (i blame autocorrect for many!)

    I can accept her choice to experience the pain of childbirth. When done correctly, Vegan eating is probably quite healthy. The choice of cloth over pampers is an ecologically responsible choice, IMO. Although her inattention to what seems like signs that her children need therapy baffles me, but I am neither a parent nor a pediatrician, so I’ll leave the commentary on that to wiser commentators. I do wonder how attachment parenting might keep children from learning self-reliance and problem solving skills: mommy is always there to fix everything. I have no problem with extended breastfeeding. While I get that she chooses not to teach her children basic manners and recognize that is her decision, I hope she isn’t surprised when other parents choose not to be burdened by her little miscreants at birthday parties and the like. Basically, all of these are choices that I can accept, if not agree with. (I secretly suspect, though, that she is raising little Amy Farrah Fowler boys, destined for lives of awkward loneliness.)

    Failure to vaccinate, however, is not. How anyone with a PhD in any kind of science can fail to understand herd immunity is beyond me, and it’s simply morally reprehensible that a highly educated parent such as Dr. Bialik could choose to jeopardize countless immunocompromised children and adults – not to mention per-vaccine infants – because of slavish adherence to quackery.

    (Also, does this AP business remind anyone else of the fat people in the floaty chairs from Wall-E?)

  249. #250 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 11, 2012

    Report from the Great White North: the current edition of Time magazine has stirred up controversy here, and not only because of the cover photo. It’s shoved the crackpot ideas of Bob Sears into the mainstream, and not all of it puts Dr. Sears’ ideas in very favourable light.

    I haven’t read the story yet but if someone has, does it mention Sears’s anti-vax policies?

  250. #251 janerella
    May 12, 2012

    @Marc and Lawrence : To reiterate Chris’ comment:

    Dr William Sears (73) = Attachment parenting guru, pro vax

    Dr Bob Sears = Vocal public anti-vax advocate, son of Dr William Sears

    Sorry to snark, but we need to keep the facts straight in these discussions.

  251. #252 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    I looked at the time.com website and the only article that seems to be on a Dr. Sears is about the William, Bob’s dad. It only has a snippet, so I have no idea what it is about.

    Twenty plus years ago my family doctor did say that while Dr. William Sears was a bit nutty, but his idea of the baby sling could be useful. With child #2 the sling was a life saver, because I could carry him around and get dinner made. That boy was definitely a lap baby, but that turned around when his terrible twos started when he was 18 months old and lasted until he was seven years old. He was the first of the three to get a job (just before 10th grade!), which he still has to pay his rent as he goes to college (lifeguard/swim teacher).

  252. #253 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Janarella,

    Thanks for setting the record straight. I am aware there is a bunch of Dr. Sears working out of the same clinic.

    I guess what confused me is that Orac’s piece on Mayim Bialik mentions Dr. Bob Sears, so I assumed he was continuing on in his dad’s footsteps with the Attached Parenthood thing.

    So dad is pro-vac and son is anti-vac.* That must create a bit of tension around the office…

    *Although he won’t admit it. He pushes a modified schedule, but I presume only to his patients as a compromise who still insist on some vaccinations after he tries to scare them off.

  253. #254 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    Remember that that William Sears has lots of kids, several who became doctors. Some are sane and adhere to reality, then there is “Robert” who adheres to the most profitable ideas.

  254. #255 lilady
    May 12, 2012

    @ Marc: Here’s a commentary on the Time Magaine article on Dr. William Sears…it doesn’t mention vaccines at all:

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/11/dr-manny-attachment-parenting-isnt-all-that-bad/

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