Respectful Insolence

No, no, no! Fifteen times, no!

A couple of weeks ago, I noted a new trend among the antivaccine glitterati, or maybe I should refer to it as a new trope. That particular trope is to refer to anyone who has the temerity to stand up for science, support vaccines, and criticize antivaccinationists like the crew at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism or the moms full of the arrogance of ignorance over at The (Not-So) Thinking Moms’ Revolution as “bullies.” Part and parcel of this trope is to try to portray aggressively countering the antivaccine misinformation that flows from such sources in a seemingly unending stream as the brutal bullying of unfortunate mothers of the victims of “vaccine injury” who are only trying to bring The Truth About Vaccines to the world and, in their view, prevent other mothers from making their children autistic by—gasp!—actually vaccinating them according to the CDC-recommended schedule.

Well, they’re at it again.

I had meant to get around to this post, but news about Stanislaw Burzynski (about whom there very likely will very soon be more blogging soon, given that his response appears to be hitting the interwebs) and the irresistible target that is Deepak Chopra distracted me as much as a squirrel distracts Dug the Dog. No problem. There was plenty of time, and I’m back to it now. After all, a juicy target like Laura Hayes’ epic piece of arrogant ignorance on AoA entitled Dear Emily Willingham, Dorit Reiss, Christopher Hickie and other Vaccine Bullies is just too tasty a morsel to resist.

First off, I must confess to a bit of disappointment. What do I mean? Well, it’s hard not to be disappointed that I wasn’t included in the list of “vaccine bullies.” Come on, Ms. Hayes! Who’s the biggest, baddest, most obnoxious “vaccine bully” of all? With all due respect and admiration Emily Willingham, Dorit Reiss, and Christopher Hickle, who are obviously thorns enough in the side of AoA that they have their very own attack post directed at them, thus earning my respect, I can’t help but point out that they are nowhere near as—shall we say?—Insolent as this particular “vaccine bully.” In fact, I should have a T-shirt made that says “Vaccine Bully,” or maybe I’ll contact Surly Amy and ask her to make a “Vaccine Bully” Surly, as a companion piece to the “Vaccine Gestapo” Surly that I still occasionally wear, especially to skeptics events.

But on to the fun. Basically, Ms. Hayes asks this question:

Do you believe anyone has the right to be exempt from vaccines? Does the Constitution protect the individual’s right to refuse a vaccine?

What about under these circumstances?

She then lists 15 different circumstances. I was half tempted to simply respond with no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and leave it at that. Then I thought that perhaps I could simply say that it doesn’t matter if you “believe” in a Constitutional right to refuse vaccines, because adults already have the right to refuse vaccines, as they have the right to refuse pretty much any medical intervention. It’s children we’re talking about here, though, not adults. So the question is actually whether parents have the right to refuse vaccines for their children, and the answer to that question is already known. The Supreme Court gave the only opinion that matters, and that’s that philosophical and religious exemptions from vaccination for children are not required.

This is, however, Orac we’re talking about. I don’t roll that way.

Ms. Hayes then starts listing conditions:

  1. If one child in a family experienced one or more adverse reactions to one or more vaccines, would you be okay with that parent exempting that child and his/her siblings from any future vaccines?
  2. If a parent had one or more adverse reactions to one or more vaccines, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?
  3. If a parent witnessed a close relative (e.g. nephew, niece, first cousin, etc.) have one or more adverse reactions to one or more vaccines, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?
  4. If a parent has had a child die from a vaccine(s), would you be okay with that parent exempting their remaining and/or future children from vaccines?
  5. If a parent witnessed a friend’s or neighbor’s child having one or more adverse reactions to one or more vaccines, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

All of this, of course, is irrelevant to whether a child is likely to suffer another “adverse reaction.” In particular, it’s irrelevant if a friend’s or neighbor’s child has a reaction, it has no bearing on whether a parent’s child will have a reaction. While it’s understandable why a parent might be frightened if she saw (or, more commonly, was told about) an adverse reaction to vaccination, it has no bearing on whether there is a “right” to refuse vaccines. It would likely call for more understanding and reassurance, but if that fails, neither the child nor the children with whom that child will come into contact, should be endangered because of fear. Of course, in many states it’s a moot point, anyway, because they permit philosophical exemptions to vaccination. Such a parent already has a “right” to refuse vaccination for her child, as misguided as such policies might be. I support school vaccine mandates. Parents can refuse to vaccinate their children, but if they do their children shouldn’t be allowed to endanger other children in public spaces where children are in close proximity, like schools and

In addition, for most medical purposes of taking a family history, nephews, nieces, cousins, and the like are not really considered “close relatives.” Many of the rest of the 15 questions are variations on the same theme. Hayes asks if it matters if the parents’ siblings, the child’s grandparents, and various other relations had a “vaccine reaction,” then should the parents have the “right” to refuse vaccines? The same answer applies. As for first degree relatives like parents or siblings, I’d rely on the physician and science-based medicine to determine whether vaccination is medically contraindicated. If vaccination is medically contraindicated, then the child should be given a medical exemption. If it’s not, then the school vaccine mandate should continue to apply.

This brings us to religion, of course:

  1. If a parent believes that vaccines are an abomination to God, whom they believe to be the Creator of them and their children, and whom they worship above all else, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?
  2. If a parent believes that sacrificing children and/or harming children is against their personal religious beliefs (it is a fact that vaccines have the power to both harm and kill), would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

Again, it doesn’t matter what I think. The Supreme Court has already answered the question. Personally, I don’t like the privileging of religion above everything else as a reason to permit deviations from public safety like vaccine exemptions. Personally, I tend to think that either both philosophical and religious exemptions should be banned or they both should be allowed, and I’d tend to prefer the former. To do otherwise simply perpetuates the privilege of irrational religious beliefs in the law and public life.

This leads to #14, which was so hilariously off-base that Ms. Hayes almost owes me a new keyboard, as I was drinking tea at the time I was reading her little screed. Fortunately, I had just swallowed my drink and didn’t spew it all over my laptop. I suggest that, if you’re drinking anything right now, you do the same before you read this:

If a parent has independently researched vaccines, possibly to a level that exceeds that of any healthcare practitioner they might see, and is confident that they have reached the best decision for their family, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

I’m sorry, but if you say something that stupid, you’re going to be criticized for it. Ms. Hayes seems to think that a parent, no doubt like her, can actually “independently research vaccines” to a “level that exceeds that of any healthcare practitioner” she might see. (Emphasis mine.) If there’s any sentence that epitomizes the arrogance of ignorance, in which someone thinks that University of Google knowledge trumps scientific knowledge and practical experience gained over years of advanced study, it’s Ms. Larson’s gem above. It’s simply spectacular, particularly because Ms. Hayes then proclaims that the vaccine schedule is “completely untested.” Oh, really? Completely untested? That’s simply nonsense. She might claim that it hasn’t been tested enough, although she’d be wrong, but to claim it is “completely untested” is ludicrous.

She also brings up the tired old antivaccine ploy of claiming that there has never been a study comparing the outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, which is also an exaggeration, as there have been such studies. The problem with doing such studies, however, is that there are—fortunately—relatively few incompletely unvaccinated children, which means most such studies involve looking at children who received all the recommended vaccinations versus children who received only some of their vaccinations. That is an inherent difficulty in doing this sort of research, and a randomized controlled trial of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children is completely unethical because it would leave one group vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. None of this stops her from citing “informal surveys and assessments” that, according to her, show that unvaccinated children are healthier. These “studies” are generally complete crap. One was an Internet survey by a German homeopath. Another was an incompetently administered phone survey commissioned by the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism.

My amusement at Laura Hayes’ arrogance of ignorance aside, her post is only the most recent and arguably overwrought example of the new antivaccine technique of demonization. It’s becoming a drumbeat, “Help, help, I’m being repressed!” It’s also a particularly hypocritical and cynical ploy, given how willing antivaccine warriors are to harass their critics online, poison their Google reputation, and even try to get them fired from their jobs.

Comments

  1. #1 Renate
    November 14, 2013

    I suppose teachers are bullies too, if they learn children something new, while they believed things where different. And parents are bullies if they tell their children Santa Claus doesn’t exist or they are not the center of the universe.

  2. #2 Julian Frost
    November 14, 2013

    “Independently researched vaccines”:
    v. phrase meaning “went on to Google and actively sought out claims that support antivaccination talking points”.
    Her self-absorption is so complete it’s a wonder she doesn’t become a black hole.

  3. #3 Pris
    The Dark Side of the Force
    November 14, 2013

    Wow. That is one of the most stunning displays of the Dunning-Kruger effect I’ve ever seen.

    I actually had genuine vaccine reactions. Dephteria-Tetanus gives me a largish swelling around the injection site that is hot to the touch and really painful. A reaction like that is perfectly normal, completely harmless and beats getting the actual disease any day.

    Last years flu shot gave me itchy red skin around the injection site and it twinged a bit when I lifted my arm above should height one day after the shot. All perfectly normal and harmless. Way better than getting the flu.

    Haven’t managed to get my flu shot yet this year. Maybe I’ll be lucky next week.

  4. #4 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    “Rights.” This is not a right. A privelege, maybe, which comes limitations to things one can do if they choose to indulge. As an adult, I am priveleged to legally be able to imbibe alcohol, however upon reaching a certain limit I am probited from doing certain things that may endanger others, such as driving. How is this different? Of course, that means states would have to get off their a$$es and actually make meaningful requirements without check-boxes for school, jobs, etc. As far as I’m concerned, it is your privelege to be amongst the rest of society, we all have certain responsibilities to the community in turn and if you opt for the “privelege” of endangering public health by not vaccinating, then get out.

    Of course, that wasn’t her actual argument, and whether or not she realizes it, she’s going into the “children = property” thing. I have a good friend who’s a little crazy but in the good way, who imagined a world where parents had that right, but then when the children were legal adults, the were presented with the argument from both sides (even though we both know there’s only one correct size), and if they decided the parents risked their life, they won a monetary award from their parents’ bank account. Again, not really feasible, but…what do these kids think? I’d be pissed off. Shoot, I am pissed off about things my mother opted not to do for me now that I’m grown and understand the science (not vaccinating, I was fully covered). How are children who are on the spectrum going to react when they are adults and realize what was done to them and how they were referred to as broken, soulless, damaged, injured, etc, etc? I look at McCarthy’s poor son and what she did (and continues to do, she was ranting about HBOT treatments somewhere a while back) to him…that’s how serial killers are made. This rant does nothing but support the notion that this little crusade has very little to do with the children, it has to do with the parents.

    And where are all these kids “dying” from vaccines?

  5. #5 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    And I just realized I misspelled “privilege” throughout that entire thing. Can I place a request ticket for edit abilities? :P

  6. #6 The Smith of Lie
    November 14, 2013

    If a parent has independently researched vaccines, possibly to a level that exceeds that of any healthcare practitioner they might see, and is confident that they have reached the best decision for their family, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

    Why, I am pretty sure that none of the healthcare practitioners had done the exhausting reaserch with the help of most trustworthy of the sources – Age of Autism. Therefore, the argument that parent’s research exceeds that halthcare practitioners is perfectly valid!

  7. #7 Kat
    November 14, 2013

    I think we need to work on promoting scientific literacy to the general public. A more scientifically literate public would likely realize the irrationality behind these fears, and perhaps be able to spot the fear mongering tactics of anti-vaccininationsts for what they really are. One can dream…

  8. #8 palindrom
    November 14, 2013

    Pris @3 — This year’s flu vaccine gave me chills at 12 hours and mild malaise lasting about a day.

    Again, sure beats the real flu …

  9. #9 Ashley
    November 14, 2013

    I find myself heartened by the bully approach. It shows me that they have very few tools left to defend their indefensible position. That and Pharma Shill charges against other pro-vax parents sound desperate to the merely vaccine-hesitant. There have been many vaccine-hesitant parents who told me they went ahead and vaccinated their kids because of nonsense like this. So let them have at it, I say. The more conspiratorial and put-upon they sound, the more certain I am that we’re winning this thing.

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    November 14, 2013

    Well, Jon Stewart is a “bully” for reminding people of Michele Bachmann’s ignorance about vaccines. At least, AoA thinks so (remember, Bachmann asserted that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation).

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/11/jon-stewart-vaccine-bully-say-it-aint-so.html

    Only in antivax fairyland could people who censor opposing opinions, foment grotesque cartoon characterizations of their opponents and try to harass them at work portray themselves as victims of bullies.

    I had my annual flu shot yesterday (just one, unfortunately of the hospitals I work at requires it of all employees and physicians). I requested the version with extra mercury but sadly, I was told that Employee Health only uses individual doses, no thimerosal-rich multidose vials. I had to have a tunafish sandwich to get my RDA for mercury (at least there was plenty of aluminum, antifreeze and aborted fetal tissue in the shot, yum).

  11. #11 Byron Berry
    www.arcpointlabs.com/
    November 14, 2013

    Vaccines are such a benefit for society and for people to ignore the fact that adverse reactions can occur is just silly. They’ve been around since we stepped foot on this planet–allergic reactions and stupidity. Thanks for the information about misinformation!

  12. #12 Dorit
    November 14, 2013

    “it’s hard not to be disappointed that I wasn’t included in the list of “vaccine bullies.” ”
    Orac, that’s probably because the list of “bullies” was comprised of the people who responded and refuted anti-vaccine claims on an article by Emily Willingham on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/11/04/could-california-law-to-boost-vaccine-uptake-end-up-reducing-it/?utm_source=alertsnewcomment&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20131114 – which is the first place where Ms. Hayes put her complaints up (and actually got a response, one that did not seem to please her). I am sure that if she was compiling an independent list you would top it.

    She has since come back to explain that – as an observing party noted – she has a right not to vaccinate, implying, exactly as he’s saying, that children are property (though she vehemently denied that later).

    The word “callous” is now added to “bully” for this purpose.

  13. #13 Dorit
    November 14, 2013

    AnObservingParty, in about 25 states, if a child is seriously harmed by a parent’s decision not to vaccinate, there is a potential tort suit by the child. Other states would bar that through parental immunity. Most children wouldn’t sue, but the option is there.

  14. #14 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    @ Dorit, we were aware of that in our musings. We expanded that to include having the option immediately present, and the awarded monies would be consistently absolute, because the science is there, there’s nothing really to prove. That’s why it’s not really feasible. Would love it though. Sometimes I really am curious how many of these “warriors” would change their tune if there was a fee to pay.

  15. #15 Lawrence
    November 14, 2013

    At the end of the day, I wonder how many of these children are going to know (or remember) that they weren’t vaccinated – so that when they hit the age at which some of these diseases can be outright dangerous for adults, they get blindsided….only people they’ll be able to blame is their parents….interesting to see how those conversations go.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    Orac, you are the Dean of Vaccine Bullies. I’d call you their Great Dark Lord- but you’re not really dark. More white-ish.

    I read this the other day and thought that they are attempting to associate supporters of evidence they dislike ( vaccines work!) with perpetrators of a much-maligned childhood/adolescent trend ( bullying): similarly, I’ve recently heard alt media types refer to SBM practictioners/supporters as ‘sociopaths’ or ‘psychopaths’.

    Which tells me that they are indeed- as we say in the trade- *reaching*. They haven’t got much.

    There are other signs and indicators:
    Jake and Company work over material from 7 years ago in order to bash Blaxill.
    TMR resorts to recipes and tales of their first day as an autism parent, revolutionary warrior and/or facebook fear monger.

    AND Warrior meres Habakus and MacNeil, who teamed up to run ‘Nurture Parenting’ blog have ventured stalwartly beyond the limiting confines of anti-vacciniana to rebel against most standard, practical notions concerning the raising of children.

    PLUS- they inaugerated their own new internet radio show, “Fearless Parent”, @ PRN. It will be archived for our entertainment. Oh joy.

    I think that Blaxill and the Canary Party have been savvy enough( as communicators- not educators) to realise that vaccines and autism shouldn’t be the entire focus of their combined wrath: there’s a larger target audience of parents with other fears and other issues. They may slowly merge with general alt med with its focus upon natural health and healing,”clean” food, green living, health freedom, environmentalism, anti-corporatism** all of which have a larger pool of fish for ther angling.

    ** which is hilarious because some of these creatures have their own well-compensated corporations/ business empires and live in ostentatious wealth whilst regaling their marks with tales of how “the elites’ lord it over the 99%.
    Someone needs to create an illustrated index of the palaces that woo has built.

  17. #17 Calli Arcale
    November 14, 2013

    If a parent believes that sacrificing children and/or harming children is against their personal religious beliefs (it is a fact that vaccines have the power to both harm and kill), would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

    Two major problems with this argument that I didn’t see mentioned above (other than the obvious that vaccines actually *help* kids and leaving them unvaccinated can sacrifice them on the altar of one’s personal prejudice):

    1) Seriously, does she think it requires a *religion* to tell you it’s wrong to hurt or sacrifice a child? What kind of a sociopath is she if she wasn’t able to come to that conclusion her own?

    2) If she wants to go down this path, where a religious shield can be used against vaccines, then she must also accept the reverse of her question. “If a parent believes that sacrificing children and/or harming children is required> by their personal religious beliefs, would you be okay with that parent deliberately harming the child?”

    Religious shield laws are, in my opinion, an affront to the First Amendment, because they put government in the position of endorsing a religion by allowing that religion to decide if an action was lawful or criminal. And there is a very real slippery slope here that the fundies never seem to notice. How many of these fundies would be okay with recognizing sharia law in a US courtroom? How many would acquit Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, because his act of mass murder was motivated by religious imperative? That *is* on the same spectrum. It actually is.

    If a person has a legitimate reason not to be vaccinated, then they need to depend on herd immunity. If they just don’t *want* to be vaccinated, then I think it is fair to exclude them from certain activities where disease transmission is more like, such as school. But barring children from school is a terrible thing, a violation of their rights, so I think the threshold for allowing a child to skip the vaccinations required for entering school should be high. There has to be a *legitimate* reason, not just “Bobby’s sister’s niece was vaccinated and is autistics today”. And for those without the means to pay, there needs to be a reasonably accessible program for free vaccination. Preferably one right at the school itself, but I know few regions can afford that many vaccination clinics these days.

  18. #18 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    November 14, 2013

    Dah! Sorry about the bad italics tag closure.

  19. #19 Dorit
    November 14, 2013

    AnObservingParty: there are several other ways to put a fee on this.

  20. #20 Gary Bucher
    www.arcpointlabs.com/des_moines
    November 14, 2013

    Vaccines help so many people out compared to the number of people who experience reactive symptoms! Shame on people for bringing such a benefit down.

  21. #21 Helianthus
    November 14, 2013

    @Cali Arcale

    Seriously, does she think it requires a *religion* to tell you it’s wrong

    A lot of people do actually believe this, that you cannot have morals or ethics unless you believe in a god of some sort.
    I have mixed feelings about this proposition. On one hand, I cannot deny that my upbringing was influenced by the christian part of my country’s culture, and it is still giving some backbone to my sense of ethics.
    On the other hand, if one never acquire his own moral compass, and always need a grow-up (if only an invisible sky father) to tell him right from wrong, what does it say about one’s maturity? Back in the real world, it seems to me that people, adult and children alike, rely more on common sense and empathy than on prayers to determine right from wrong.

    Apologies for the derail, back on topic. This “wrong to sacrifice children” is an old gambit: better to let passively 10 children suffer or die “by the Will of God” rather than hurt one child – and save the other 9.
    Funny how your moral perspective changes once you realize that to do nothing is already to do something…

  22. #22 Calli Arcale
    November 14, 2013

    OFFTOPIC: Sorry for the interruption, but for a Whovian this is of paramount importance. There is a prequel now out for the 50th anniversary, called “The Night of the Doctor”, and it’s on YouTube. It’s under seven minutes, but it changed my day completely! Orac, you must watch this, if you have not already! There are some lovely little surprises in there for classic Whovians — and some rather sinister things as well.

    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/the-night-of-the-doctor-prequel-to-the-50th/

  23. #23 Helianthus
    November 14, 2013

    Damn, blockquote fail, too.

  24. #24 PartTimeSkeptic
    November 14, 2013

    Orac, don’t feel bad about being left off the list of Vaccine Bullies. The commenters haven’t forgotten about you.

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    @ Helianthus:

    You might enjoy having a look at wikipedia articles on Lawrence Kohlberg and his stages of moral judgment.

  26. #26 Chris HIckie
    November 14, 2013

    There is a whooping cough outbreak in the neighborhoods surrounding my practice. I’ve been counter posting to the anti-vaccine posts on the local community forum (which alas, is not publicly viewable). The “victim” mentality of the anti-vaccine people when challenged with actual data and research is quite a sad thing to behold. I really don’t hold out much hope of changing their minds, but I do hope that any “on-the-fence” parents make the right choice and immunize.

  27. #27 Chris HIckie
    November 14, 2013

    Oh, yeah…here’s a link to the outbreak: http://azstarnet.com/news/science/health-med-fit/kids-skipping-shots-increases-threat-of-dangerous-outbreak/article_a9d00658-3365-5ba6-9cd8-0ea5e70d8d2b.html. There was another new case late yesterday at another previously pertussis free school, too.

  28. #28 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 14, 2013

    If a parent believes that sacrificing children and/or harming children is against their personal religious beliefs (it is a fact that vaccines have the power to both harm and kill), would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

    This makes about as much sense as “If a parent believes that it’s bad for a plane to crash, would you be okay with them yanking the pilot out of her seat and trying to fly the plane themselves?”

  29. #29 Krebiozen
    November 14, 2013

    Telling someone who thinks their Google University research means they know better than the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (not to mention all the other similar bodies in various other countries) that they are spouting dangerous nonsense is bullying? It strikes me as more of a social duty.

    This reminds me of that libertarian who was recently trying to convince us that Americans are living under a tyranny. It’s an insult to those unfortunate people who really are the victims of bullies, or who live under tyrannical governments.

  30. #30 Krebiozen
    November 14, 2013

    Chris Hickie,

    There is a whooping cough outbreak in the neighborhoods surrounding my practice.

    There’s another measles outbreak in Wales currently. It seems we badly need more doctors like you over here too.

  31. #31 Dorit
    November 14, 2013

    By the way, here is our own Dr. Chris Hickie speaking up in defense of children left vulnerable to whooping cough: http://azstarnet.com/news/science/health-med-fit/article_6ff60712-d957-5e61-860e-4b6ea32629d0.html

  32. #32 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    Hilarity rules! They ( see Mikey, Alex Jones et al) tell us about living in tyrannical police states, how everyone is ‘spied upon’, that their freedoms are being impinged upon…..
    which they BROADCAST over the internet, rant about in films and preach publicly from the lectern.

    Which instantly DISproves their whole point.

    -btw- we need more doctors like Chris Hickie everywhere.

  33. #33 coco
    November 14, 2013

    Just popping in to say that I would proudly buy and wear a “vaccine bully” T-shirt. That is all.

  34. #34 Tamara Griesel
    Wisconsin
    November 14, 2013

    I was also struck by the “adverse reaction” allowance. My daughter (2) had an adverse reaction to DPT similar to that described by another commenter (silver dollar sized red welt at the injection site that lasted a few days and was tender to the touch. My reaction was not “Oh no, no more DPT for you! I’ll just ignore the dozen or so children in our family tree lost to diphtheria in the late 19th century.” It was, hmm, let’s write this in the baby book and remember to treat the injection site with ice and give her some Benadryl when she gets her next booster.

  35. #35 lilady
    November 14, 2013

    Laura Hayes showed up on Emily Willingham’s blog with her dumbass list of medical (and er, moral/religious) contraindications to childhood vaccines. I provided the health care professional wannabe with an up-to-date list of medical contraindications/precautions for each of the Recommended Childhood Vaccines:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/vac-admin/contraindications-vacc.htm

    How desperate-for-filler must the editors of AoA be…to publish Hayes’ inane list?

    CIA Parker showed up, to tell her “story” about her infant’s reaction to birth dose of Hepatitis B vaccine, where Parker determined that her baby had an “encephalitic cry” which caused autistic encephalopathy. She never brought her infant to a hospital Emergency Room to be evaluated and to be treated for this potentially deadly encephalitis.

    Parker also claims that her MS was caused by a Td booster that she received in college.

    Twyla Ramos, who had nothing to add to the dialogue, accused Professor Reiss of being “callous to the vaccine-injured and their families”. I keep asking her to show us any of Professor Reiss’ comments to justify her vicious personal attack that is unsubstantiated and unwarranted.

  36. #36 Chris HIckie
    November 14, 2013

    What about a “bully for vaccines!” tshirt?

  37. #37 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    @ lilady, CIA was the person on those comments that infuriated me the most, with her “without my permission at midnight” nonsense. How many of them use the “the doctor did it without my persmission!” argument? All they want is absolution (from what, I don’t know) and someone to blame. But none of it is for the children. It’s for themselves.

  38. #38 imr90
    Springfield, MA
    November 14, 2013

    I fear that the legitimate concern over bullying is morphing into a full-blown moral panic. It now appears that some people think that to win an argument they only have to hurl the word ‘bully’ and the discussion is over. Perhaps we need a corollary to Godwin’s Law for that.

    A) As an internet discussion progresses the probability of someone accusing the other of bullying approaches 1.
    B) The first one to accuse the other of bullying loses the argument.
    - Berger’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law

  39. #39 coco
    November 14, 2013

    O

  40. #40 Chris HIckie
    November 14, 2013

    AoA has an “article” on “Vaccine Injury Exposed in Not A Coincidence Gardasil Video From Canary Party”

    For some reason this makes me think of the facebook page “Terrorists have two eyes, Pandas have two eyes. Coincidence? I think not. ”
    (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Terrorists-have-two-eyes-Pandas-have-two-eyes-Coincidence-I-think-not/214205703582)

  41. #41 coco
    November 14, 2013

    While I’m still thinking about it, I really think that Laura missed some obvious additional exemption conditions. I mean, my parents’ dog once had a very adverse reaction to the leptospirosis vaccine. That should’ve been enough to secure a blanket vaccine exemption for me, all of my relatives, anyone who has ever met us, and anyone who knows the dog, right? Oh, and anyone who reads this comment, too, since now you know. You’re welcome.

    Also, what if a friend of a friend of a friend knows of someone who once heard a story about a vaccine-injured child? Whither their rights? Surely the law of infinitesimal doses somehow applies here (the greater the social distance from the source the more concentrated and legitimate the fear? Greater minds that me will need to work out the details).

  42. #42 sirhcton
    November 14, 2013

    I see that Ms. Hayes left out “What if a parent’s brother-in-law’s third cousin’s twice removed heard from her neighbor’s grandmother about a co-worker’s reading about a report of a vaccine reaction?” Wasn’t she thinking clearly? How could she have neglected this strong line of evidence?

  43. #43 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    I know everyone is joking, but goddammit, this is actually the way these people think. There are humans who find these lines of thought logical. Now I’m sad.

  44. #44 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 14, 2013

    I fear that the legitimate concern over bullying is morphing into a full-blown moral panic. It now appears that some people think that to win an argument they only have to hurl the word ‘bully’ and the discussion is over.

    Exactly. The vaccine-causation/anti-vaxx crowd makes a habit of co-opting whatever medical or social meme is available at the moment to shut down conversation or make whatever goofy point they’re trying to make. A child was compensated in vaccine court for an encephalopathy aggravating a mitochondrial disorder – suddenly all of their children have “mito disorders”. Another was compensated for ADEM – suddenly their children suffered encephalopathy. Now bullying, particularly of special needs children is getting attention – you know the drill folks.

  45. #45 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  46. #46 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  47. #47 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  48. #48 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  49. #49 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  50. #50 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  51. #51 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  52. #52 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  53. #53 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  54. #54 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  55. #55 Pareidolius
    November 14, 2013

    Pertussis in Arizona, measles in Wales. And speaking of Wales, that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything from our Elburto of late? I hope she’s okay.

  56. #56 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    @ An Observing Party:

    “All they want is absolution ( from what I don’t know)”

    They believe/ have been”taught” that vaccines cause autism. If their child has an ASD, they therefore believe that they were instrumental in the causation of said ASD BECAUSE they took the child to the doctor- they are thus an accomplice to the murderous deed.

    Why do you think that they cast invective on and blame doctors,manufacturers and governmental officals complicit in vaccination /- to feel less guilty themselves! Many a confessional post includes,”I trusted them!” They were betrayed!

    Just another lovely facet of the legacy of AJW- rising VPD rates and angry, confused, self-blaming parents.
    AND viscous-but low-grade- rhetoric for all of us to … er..
    enjoy ( I think).

  57. #57 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    That should be VICIOUS – as in Sid.

  58. #58 herr doktor bimler
    November 14, 2013

    3. If a parent witnessed a close relative (e.g. nephew, niece, first cousin, etc.) have one or more adverse reactions to one or more vaccines, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?

    If a close relative reacted badly to some vaccine and therefore could not receive it, I’d take that as another reason for vaccinating those who could, for the sake of the relative. Am I missing something?

  59. #59 lilady
    November 14, 2013

    Actually, Twyla Ramos claimed that VAERS reports are not investigated. I replied that they are…except the most implausible such as deaths from motor vehicle accidents, drownings or gun shot wounds to the head, weeks or months after a vaccine is administered.

    Here’s another post from Parker, on Steven Salsberg’s Forbes blog…

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2013/09/23/cashing-in-on-fears-of-autism/

    ciaparker2 ciaparker2 1 month ago

    It would be much more sensible to say no to both the test and the vaccines. The most the test could do would be to show if there are genetic factors which predispose the child to reacting to vaccines. My baby reacted to the hep-B vax at birth with encephalitis, got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, caught pertussis anyway at 8 months (and gave it to me), recovered fine, started saying two words, both were wiped out forever as soon as she got the DTaP booster at 18 months, and she was diagnosed with autism at 20 months. I reacted to a tetanus booster with both arms being paralyzed the same day, brachial plexus neuropathy, and went on to develop MS. I reacted to the DPT at 3 months with days of screaming, presumably encephalitis, and grew up with Asperger’s. My father reacted to a flu shot with losing his voice for a month and paralysis for the last three years of his life. My nephew reacted to vaccines with Asperger’s, and my cousin’s daughter also reacted and is institutionalized for autism. No one in my family in earlier generations had autism. It is usually caused by vaccines, either through brain damage caused by vaccine encephalitis or by toxicity from vaccine ingredients like mercury or aluminum (mercury is still in many flu shots). So I know without spending $800 that it would be a bad idea for any of us to get shots, it’s just too bad I didn’t realize soon enough. Is it safe for everyone without these factors to get vaccines? I wouldn’t bank on it, but I guess we’d need to ruin a lot more lives to get data for the study on it.

    And, my reply to Parker

    lilady lilady 2 weeks ago

    Wow Parker, it seems that your family has had an unusual run of bad luck with vaccines causing all sorts of disorders in your family.

    You never disappoint, do you? You never brought your child to a hospital emergency room for a physician to make the diagnosis of “vaccine-induced encephalitis”.

    What kind of parent are you to ignore what you claim to be an “encephalitic cry” and then make up the diagnosis of encephalitis in hindsight, after your child was diagnosed with autism?

  60. #60 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    @ Denice

    I understand that’s what they say, but I still don’t understand how they get there if they’re looking for total absolution. Even blaming others, with their reasoning (or lack there of) they’re still culpable for not knowing ahead of time (unless they lie and say the doc illegally did it without their permission, as Hayes did). It just seems, to me at least, that the people SO desperate to not feel guilty would just accept that no one is guilty, because how can they not feel guilty for even going to the doctor? Does that make sense? I can’t think that crazy.

    And again, it’s all about them. Let’s focus on the past and what was taken from me, rather than focusing on the child’s future. As Skeptical Raptor’s blog pointed out, what other child-safety-advocating do they do?

  61. #61 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    @ Pareidolius:

    She’s not in Wales but in NE England- and I think I actually know where quite precisely- and I also wonder how she is doing.

  62. #62 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    @ Lilady, I’m calling BS on all that. I would have just responded with “pics or it didn’t happen.” Wow. Or maybe there is a higher power who just hates that woman’s lineage.

  63. #63 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    Honest question: would a doc give a booster including pertussis to an infant who had had lab-confirmed pertussis? They have TD boosters…

    Still calling shenanigans on her entire narrative.

  64. #64 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    @ An ObservingParty:

    I doubt that we can call what they do, say or feel *reasonable*
    But how they attribute causation probably makes them feel better** so they do it

    I shouldn’t say this but I feel that they might better spend their time seeking counselling rather than giving parents advice, arguing with reality-based people, instructing professionals in the scientific method and advising governments about guaranteeing public health but that’s just me.
    It makes them feel better about themselves.

    ** who am I channeling now, herr doktor?

  65. #65 lilady
    November 14, 2013

    @ AnObservingParty:

    An answer to your honest question.

    http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_diph.asp

    Should further doses of pertussis vaccine be given to an infant or child who has had culture-proven pertussis?

    Immunity to pertussis following infection is not life-long. Persons with a history of pertussis should continue to receive pertussis-containing vaccines according to the recommended schedule. (Note: This answer is based upon recommendations of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases.)

  66. #66 kruuth
    November 14, 2013

    “If a parent has independently researched vaccines, possibly to a level that exceeds that of any healthcare practitioner they might see, and is confident that they have reached the best decision for their family, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?”

    God. I just showed my pop this. His response:

    “If they researched vaccines to a higher level than any practitioner then they wouldn’t be refusing them”

  67. #67 tenpenny quack
    November 14, 2013

    “A couple of weeks ago, I noted a new trend among the antivaccine glitterati, or maybe I should refer to it as a new trope. That particular trope is to refer to anyone who has the temerity to stand up for science, … as“bullies.””
    see
    Public mobbing: a phenomenon and its features
    Brian Martin and Florencia Peña
    http://www.rutlandmanor.com/uploads/5/6/3/1/5631556/professormartinpm120703.pdf

    Prof. Martin has been publicising this actively since it was published

  68. #68 Ausduck
    the zone
    November 14, 2013

    I’ve been called a bully by the anti-vax AVN for several years now, it seems to be the refutation to the correction of their absurd assertions and misinformation. I think I even made it for a time on the bully list compiled by a PhD candidate who is ‘researching’ public health politics on vaccination and is staunchly anti-vax, particularly with regards to Gardasil.
    Seems like the big players in anti-vax don’t like us ‘bullies’ who report them to the authorities when they break the rules ;)

    One of my younger sisters had an anaphylactic reaction to the old ‘Triple A’ vaccine as a child, and as such is not vaccinated for pertussis, diptheria and tetanus. She was hesitant when she had her own kids, but with good information, support and monitoring from her GP/Community Family Health Nurse I can happily say all 5 of my nephews and nieces are fully vaccinated. And she’s a bit of a crunchy mum lol – yes, those with common sense do exist!

  69. #69 Calli Arcale
    November 14, 2013

    The whole “my baby got encephalitis though I never took him to an ER” thing drives me bonkers. I had meningitis and encephalitis when I was four. And my grandmother had West Nile Virus encephalitis a few years ago and was hospitalized. This is not a trivial disease. This is not a weird cry. This is a near death situation. Someone who believes their child has encephalitis and does not take them to the ER is, in my opinion, guilty of medical negligence.

    Of course, the birth does of hepatitis vaccine is given in the hospital, so presumably the baby was already in the hospital — but if the child had encephalitis, the staff would certainly have noticed and have refused to discharge the infant until they were fully recovered, so again, this isn’t just something you know from a special cry. Why isn’t she talking about the horrible long hospital stay, the IV antibiotics, spinal tap, the incredibly high fever, the terror of wondering if the child would survive?

    My guess? Because it didn’t happen. I could be wrong, but her story sounds more like hypochondria than encephalitis.

  70. #70 janet
    where it gets dark too darn early
    November 14, 2013

    @#68
    Munchausen by proxy? I swear I had veterinary clients that had this (like I’m qualified to diagnose it!)

  71. #71 lilady
    November 14, 2013

    @ Janet: Not Munchausen By Proxy…because Parker would have been taking her baby back and forth to the doctor/hospital frequently.

    Parker, apparently believes if she repeats the “story” often enough someone will actually believe her. It’s called making sh!t up.

  72. #72 Krebiozen
    November 14, 2013

    AnObservingParty,

    Still calling shenanigans on her entire narrative.

    I think it’s consistent with actual events seen through the perceptual filters of a True Believer. We all edit our perceptions to some extent, but when someone has a belief in which they have a lot of emotional investment, black can appear white and vice versa.

    I think most of these people honestly believe that vaccines are a menace, and that somehow those who disagree with them are blinkered, brainwashed or simply unwilling to even consider the possibility that they may be wrong.

    I also think it’s fair to say that most people who argue with anti-vaxxers have seriously considered the possibility that the antivaxxers might be right. I certainly have, but the longer and harder I look at the evidence, the more it seems to point to the benefits of vaccines hugely outweighing any possible risks. This isn’t even an area where there is a legitimate debate, where there is insufficient evidence to point conclusively in one direction or another.

    I occasionally muse on why my father (a general practitioner) decided not to vaccinate me against smallpox in the UK in the early 60s. I wish I had thought to ask him before he died, but that preceded my interest in vaccination. Some of you will find my musings interesting, and I don’t remember sharing them here before so…

    The smallpox vaccine in the 50s to the 70s carried substantial risks, it sickened many and caused several deaths every year in the UK (PDF). A Professor Dick argued in the BMJ in 1971 that it was time to end routine vaccination:

    Between 1951 and 1970 there were about 100 deaths from smallpox vaccination in England and Wales, about half of them from neurological complications; one can only guess at the number of individuals with residual brain damage attributable to vaccination.

    Reading this, my father’s decision makes a little more sense, though I am a little perturbed to read that there was an outbreak of smallpox in England in the year of my birth, which killed seven people. The reason such a dangerous vaccine was in routine use was because the risks were more than balanced by the benefits. A letter in reply to the previously cited paper puts it well (sadly the PDF cuts off the name of the author):

    Professor Dick did not perhaps stress that the excellent measures which have controlled outbreaks in Britain in the past-namely, “prevention of importation, isolation and tracing of cases, and vaccination and surveillance of probable contacts” are rendered more difficult to achieve today in an era of fast air travel from every part of the world, including no fewer than 23 countries in which a total of no fewer than 31,000 cases of smallpox were reported last year. The standards of certification and control in some at least of these countries leave much to be desired. The risk of importation of smallpox is therefore greater than ever. It seems to me foolhardy in these circumstances to abandon a measure which would prevent the fatalities which occurred in the past.

    In contrast to the present, that was a situation where there was a legitimate debate to be had about vaccination. From Professor Dick’s paper:

    Since 1935, when smallpox ceased to be endemic in the United Kingdom, all cases have arisen from importations, and between 1951 and 1970 there were 13 importations giving rise to 103 cases and 37 deaths.

    The benefits of a vaccine that killed almost three times as many people as died from the disease it protected against were still considered to outweigh the risks, because of the number of people who would have died if routine vaccination had not been in place. Routine vaccination against smallpox continued in the UK until 1980, when the World Health Assembly declared wild smallpox eradicated.

    The comparison with the present day is interesting, to me at least, with the risks of both vaccine ADRs and disease sequelae both being far lower than 40-some years ago, but the benefits of vaccines even more clearly outweighing any risks.

  73. #73 meg
    Sydney
    November 14, 2013

    @Lawrence #15

    I suspect you’re right. Anecdote time:
    A couple of months ago, my flatmate was diagnosed with mumps. Her mother is certain she was vaccinated, but hasn’t kept the records. Her mother was also certain that she’d already had it as a kid.
    The local Health Dept rang once her doc reported it. She was quarantined for 10 days (drove her mad) and I had to be tested/have antibodies checked. My doc, being a wonderful and thorough GP, checked all the MMR ones. My measles and rubella were fine. . . no mumps antibodies. And I had a 1yr old bday party that weekend. Again, my mother hadn’t kept my vaccine records after I left home – no need, I got everything, she said. But I’m one of 10 kids, so I don’t really trust her memory there. . .
    I got the MMR 1st shot straight away. (didn’t even feel the thing). And kept away from all babies at the party. I didn’t get it, probably because I had a rotten cold during the incubation period, and she was avoiding ME! But my doc had to look up the incubation period, so rare is it these days. We still don’t know where she got it from.
    And this is the annoying thing – for whatever reason, our immunisation didn’t take. And someone else’s decision which they think is all about them, has kept her off work for more sick days then she had (had to take annual leave), meant I couldn’t hold my niece at her 1st bday, and kept us on edge for a few weeks while she recovered, and I monitored myself for signs of the disease. It’s not about them.
    But I’m preaching to the choir, aren’t I?

  74. #74 lilady
    November 14, 2013

    A frequent poster here, recalled being vaccinated against smallpox (1947), in a Brooklyn firehouse because of an imported case of the disease in New York City. IIRC, she had not received the recommended childhood vaccine because it was just before she entered kindergarten:

    http://www.virology.ws/2009/12/22/smallpox-in-new-york-city-1947/

    My daughter was born in 1970 and the following year when she was due for her smallpox vaccine, I had a discussion with her pediatrician, because there were some doctors who had not provided the vaccine, anticipating that the CDC would be removing smallpox vaccine from the Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule. (It was removed later that year and my daughter’s 1970 birth cohort, was the last birth cohort to receive smallpox vaccine as part of the CDC Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule.

    May, 1971 I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Europe. We were required to get smallpox vaccine (at a regional department of health clinic).

    During the run up to the (totally bogus) Bush II WMDs scare, I was one of a few nurses from the County health department who volunteered to go to our State capital to receive smallpox vaccine, which was administered by CDC staff. I had the opportunity to meet an older physician who was involved in the worldwide smallpox eradication campaign, who provided the vaccine during “ring vaccinations” in India. We returned to our County after the vaccine “took” to set up two smallpox vaccine clinics, where we vaccinated a select few doctors and nurses from area hospitals in our County catchment area.

    http://www.who.int/csr/disease/smallpox/en/

  75. #75 AnObservingParty
    November 14, 2013

    Thanks lilady…I knew 7ish years, but was curious about an infant who had it diagnosed, would they wait and not do the 4th and 5th until boosters later in life.

    @Kreb, it is very consistent with other stories, and if she changed her narrative, that too would be consistent. They tend to not be able to keep their stories straight. I still, however, think there may be some…embellishing, on her part.

    Fun anecdote time, since someone mentioned their mumps not taking: I had lost my naturally-obtained chicken pox immunity by age 27, found out when titres were drawn to get my job. Better believe I got that shot, eff if I was gonna get chicken pox again from an immunocompromised shingles patient. I like to tell “life-immunity” people that story. I know it’s just an anecdote, but they value those so much.

  76. #76 Narad
    November 14, 2013

    A letter in reply to the previously cited paper puts it well (sadly the PDF cuts off the name of the author)

    It’s W. H. Crichton (both pages of the PDF).

  77. #77 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    Today’s histrionic narratives by anti-vaccinationists perhaps may be owe their inception to earlier factual, *rare* adverse events associated with the smallpox vaccine ( see Krebiozen above) and even rarer ones associated with the Urabe strain c. 1990.

    Somewhere ( in Bath, actually) another physicians’ son may have overheard his parents’ concern about the first of these dangers and later, perhaps as a student he heard about the second . AJW knew that parents worried about vaccines doing harm to their children- the rest is history.

    -btw- I wouldn’t be surprised either if he learned how a major research fraud, Sir Cyril Burt, got caught with his hand in the till – late 1970s- by having ‘ too perfect’ coeffiicients of correlation. We’re contemporaries and I certainly learned that from one of my mentors. No fraud here however.

  78. #78 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2013

    I should clarify: he didn’t really get caught as he had the good sense to die first.

  79. #79 Vicki
    November 14, 2013

    ObservingParty @74:

    The lifelong-immunity people on chicken pox include the New York City Department of Health: when I went in to get a different vaccine a few years ago, they asked me if I’d been born in the United States. I said yes and asked why. The nurse told me that they assume that anyone born in the U.S. before 1980 was immune to chicken pox. (I assume that if I had then said something like “well, I was born here, but I grew up overseas” she would have either offered me a chicken pox vaccine or asked more questions.) The vaccines she specifically asked if I’d had were MMR and DTaP.

  80. #80 Helen
    Melbourne
    November 14, 2013

    I think the “bullies” trope is copied from the Free Thought Blogs / Atheism+ “elevatorgate” stoush. People who downplay the need for a change in behaviour at conferences and in the STEM world generally coined the hashtag #FTbullies to describe Atheism + / anti-harassment bloggers in the FT blogs.
    It seems quite a lot of op-ed writers have taken this and run with it, too – people who disagree with them are “bullies” or “trolls”, no matter how belligerent they are themselves.
    Bullying used to be a word with specific meaning. Calling people who call out bad behaviour in a movement or disagree with you “bullies” is obviously projection!

  81. #81 Old Rockin' Dave
    On point...
    November 14, 2013

    I have an autism spectrum condition. I grew up in an era when there was little tolerance for anyone who was different in any noticeable way. I know bullying, having been on the receiving end of plenty of it. Defending science and the health of children against fools and idiots is not bullying, and the people claiming to have been bullied in this way are pissing all over those of us who actually have been. They can go to hell.
    Or, to put it another way”
    “Orac, I knew bullying. I grew up with bullying, and Doctor, you’re no bully.”

  82. #82 Greg
    November 14, 2013

    Well, here we go again! I see you drug dealers still have not repented for your sins. And seriously — who is writing your scripts? What’s with all your pseudonyms? ‘Krutth’, ‘coco’, ‘ten penny quack’ are you guys actually real people?

    Anyway, I see ORD is also here. ORD, I miss you! I think we had a little misunderstanding during our last outing. Maybe you will stick around and we can straighten things out.

    Kreb, I am also hoping that we can continue our exchanges. It seems though that pertaining to our last engagements about the Danish study, AoAers were not at all impressed with your rudeness towards me. I am afraid Kreb I will have to agree — you definitely should work on being more polite when speaking to people….(hee hee hee).

    Anyway guys, I want to get right into our program — (again Orac, please understand that these snooze-fest blogs are serving no other purpose than providing an effective sleep-aid alternative — I feel compelled to provide some entertainment)…..

    Guys, the Poling case got me reflecting on a few things. I am hoping that you will weigh in on the matter. First, what really is the difference between ‘autism’ and ‘autism-like’?

  83. #83 mho
    November 15, 2013

    @Helen
    thanks for the great new-to-me vocabulary word–stoush

  84. #84 Militant Agnostic
    November 15, 2013

    When I got my flu shot a couple of says ago, I asked the pharmacist if she remembered to put the New World Order Mind Control Chip in it, she responded with “Oh, you are one the keen ones.” followed by “You’re not supposed to know about that.”

    It must be galling for Orac to be left off of a list of ‘bullies” that includes one of his minions.

  85. #85 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 15, 2013

    The benefits of a vaccine that killed almost three times as many people as died from the disease it protected against were still considered to outweigh the risks, because of the number of people who would have died if routine vaccination had not been in place.

    This.

  86. #86 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    Narad,

    It’s W. H. Crichton (both pages of the PDF).

    Thanks. I think it’s interesting that Dr. Crichton made the mistake of giving his own personal experience too much weight, here:

    Smallpox vaccination carried out at the appropriate age under strict aseptic conditions, preferably by the single scratch method, with instruments reserved solely for the purpose, and the wound covered by an aseptic dressing until the scab falls off, is invariably safe and successful. I have never known it to be otherwise.

    Since the risk of death after smallpox vaccination was, according to Prof. Dick, somewhere in the region of 0.3 per 100,000, of course Dr. Crichton had “never known it to be otherwise”. It’s odd to see this error made by a vaccine advocate when today we are so used to seeing it made by those opposed to vaccination in regard to the occurrence and severity of VPDs. Dr. Jay springs to mind in this regard.

  87. #87 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    BTW, OT but of historical interest, I notice that there is a (completely unrelated) letter from Patrick Steptoe, who pioneered IVF a few years later, on the first page of the PDF Narad is referring to.

  88. #88 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    Julian,

    This.

    I think it does bear being pointed out repeatedly, since so many antivaxxers appear to find it so difficult to grasp.

    It’s the same reason I wear a seat belt*, even though hurtling head-first through the windshield after a collision is so much rarer than it used to be. I would still wear one even if ‘trapped in a burning vehicle by a jammed seat belt’ and ‘ribs broken by a seat belt’ incidents greatly outnumbered ‘hurtling head-first through the windshield’ incidents**.

    * That and the law, of course.
    ** I know it’s not a perfect analogy, but it makes the point.

  89. #89 AnObservingParty
    November 15, 2013

    2Vicki, The lifelong-immunity people on chicken pox include the New York City Department of Health: when I went in to get a different vaccine a few years ago,

    In general, yes, as do most hospitals, schools, etc. My hospital takes it a step further and takes titres for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, and varicella zoster as a precaution no matter how old you are; our patients are immunocompromised so there has to be a guarantee. My point was, varicella zoster is one of the ones that is presumed to provide lifelong immunity in those who caught it, but even that is not 100%, so I use it for those who rail that ALL VPDs provide lifelong immunity if wild-type is caught. And, unfortunately, while usually true, blanket statements for the public like that lead to the misunderstanding. Nothing is ever 100%, especially with a complex system.

  90. #90 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 15, 2013

    Krebiozen, the seatbelt analogy is an excellent one to me. Three years ago I was in a car crash on the highway. My car was totalled, but my only injuries were a bruised face, broken nose and cracked ribs. The last was due to me wearing a seatbelt. Had I not been wearing it, my injuries would have been far more severe.
    My brother in law is an ex-policeman. Many years ago, he attended an accident scene. The victim was an ex-teacher of ours. He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and went through the windscreen at high speed.
    They pretty much had to scrape him off the road.

  91. #91 Greg
    November 15, 2013

    Holy Geez!

    Orac still hasn’t posted my last comment. Hey Orac, I saw you in those videos on the ‘why we fight’ thread. Just as I thought — your body language said everything. I saw a timid, nerdy fellow, who shows every sign of being unsure of himself. It fits perfectly the perception that I formed of you. Anyone that would threaten so many times to ban me, but who still hasn’t done it had to be a wimp. Hey Orac, why don’t you run along now and be that good little shill, who is appearing to be the so ‘objective’ that he will tolerate everything and anyone at RI and post my comments.

  92. #92 palindrom
    November 15, 2013

    Re seatbelts: There was a remarkable case in our area a few years ago in which a woman lost control on a bridge and landed upside down in an icy stream. Other drivers managed to get her kids out of the car pretty quickly, but had a very hard time getting her out and she was trapped underwater for quite a while. When they did finally extricate her, they were sure she’d be dead but worked on her anyway, and she sputtered back to life with no apparent damage.

    She’d been saved by the mammalian diving reflext!

    A few months later there was some kerluffle in the local paper’s letters section about mandatory seat belt laws, and the ususal argument about “what if I’m trapped underwater?” came up. She wrote in, pointing out that she’d had that exact (rare) experience, BUT that if she hadn’t been belted in, she’d surely have broken her neck when the car fell upside down into the water from some height. It made her harder to rescue, but it saved her life. Smart woman.

  93. #93 Greg
    November 15, 2013

    Anyway ‘Gang’, now that I have succeeded in obliging Orac, I really want your takes: Now, autism is defined by how it shows itself behaviorally. Yet, Hannah Poling who behaves autisticly is said to be ‘autistic-like’, and it is implied that she does not have true autism.

    Guys, it truly boggles my mind the nonsense that you spew. Is it not reasonable to conclude that the ‘autism-like’ term is just a convenient ‘cover your ass’ term that is used when courts are forced to concede that vaccines do cause autism?

  94. #94 Curious
    November 15, 2013

    Has a study ever been done of people who are naturally immune to a given contagion? Aren’t there always some people who don’t get infected even in the midst of an epidemic? Shouldn’t the health of those people be studied to see if there’s anything that’s fundamentally different about their immune systems?

  95. #95 Lawrence
    November 15, 2013

    @Curious – and how would you tell, exactly? You don’t know if a person didn’t get sick because they weren’t exposed or the other plethora of reasons that could have occurred….plus, you’d pretty much need to test everyone for titers and of course, filter out the large number of people who were already vaccinated.

    Not an easy proposition at all.

  96. #96 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 15, 2013

    Now that Orac has published Greg’s dribble:

    AoAers were not at all impressed with your rudeness towards me.

    We’re even less impressed with your obnoxiousness towards us. Did you have a point?

    [W]hat really is the difference between ‘autism’ and ‘autism-like’?

    Well, “tantamount’ and “similar” are synonyms for “like”. Hannah Poling had “autism-like symptoms” but not autism. She didn’t meet the criteria for a diagnosis, but had symptoms similar to those in autistics.

  97. #97 Julian Frost
    November 15, 2013

    Anyone that would threaten so many times to ban me, but who still hasn’t done it had to be a wimp.

    Orac threatened you with banning TWICE. Once for associating me with sonderkommandos, the other time for putting Elburto’s real name in a comment.

  98. #98 Julian Frost
    November 15, 2013

    Is it not reasonable to conclude that the ‘autism-like’ term is just a convenient ‘cover your ass’ term that is used when courts are forced to concede that vaccines do cause autism?

    It is indeed “not reasonable” to conclude that. A person with a sore throat and hoarse voice from cheering at a rugby match has some of the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection, but is unlikely to have a URT Infection. Understand?

  99. #99 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 15, 2013

    Someone who under the influence of certain drugs or rapid thermal shock could be described as having deathlike symptoms – no perceptible breathing or heartbeat, skin cold to the touch, etc. I personally would rather have deathlike symptoms than actual death.

  100. #101 TBruce
    November 15, 2013

    I see you drug dealers still have not repented for your sins.

    I saw a timid, nerdy fellow, who shows every sign of being unsure of himself.

    Hey Orac, why don’t you run along now and be that good little shill

    Speaking of bullies…

  101. #102 Greg
    November 15, 2013

    So Julian and MOB, following along your lines of thinking, given that the vast majority of autistics are not examined for their bio-markers for autism, they are determined to be autistics solely on their behaviour, is it not fair to say that we don’t know whether they are truly ‘autistic’ or ‘autistic-like’?

  102. #103 Gray Falcon
    November 15, 2013

    For those who just arrived, here’s the thread in which Greg shows his true colors:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/06/20/i-dont-make-assumptions-about-vaccines-and-peoples-motives/
    Note that he attempts to lie about statements he made earlier Among other things, in post #425, he declares: “Protest all you want, but indeed nearly 50% of autistics has IQs in the mentally retarded range.” Then, when called out on his hate speech, he tried to lie about what he said, when it was clearly visible for anyone to see. There’s a reason everything he posts is automatically moderated.

  103. […] Continue reading here […]

  104. #105 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    November 15, 2013

    Greg:

    It fits perfectly the perception that I formed of you.

    Why are you surprised? When you are closed-minded, everything you see will conform to your expectations somehow. Or, to put it another way, suitably for the Doctor’s golden anniversary coming up:

    “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: they don’t alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views, which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

    Meanwhile, as to your question about the difference between “autism” and “autism-like”, it’s really not complicated. “Autism-like” means symptoms that are seen in autism but which are not sufficient for a diagnosis of autism. For instance, you can have depressive symptoms without having clinical depression. It’s like that. You can have autistic symptoms but not qualify for the actual diagnosis of autism.

    is it not fair to say that we don’t know whether they are truly ‘autistic’ or ‘autistic-like’?

    No, it is not. “Autistic” has a formal definition; either someone meets it or they don’t. Autistics and non-autistics can have autistic-like symptoms. Austistics obviously have more of them, which is why they qualify for the diagnosis.

  105. #106 Malakyp
    November 15, 2013

    Surely the law of infinitesimal doses somehow applies here (the greater the social distance from the source the more concentrated and legitimate the fear?

    @coco: Obviously, it’s homeopathic. The more remote you are from an actual adverse reaction to vaccination, the more important it is that you avoid them!

  106. #107 Politicalguineapig
    November 15, 2013

    AOP: what other child-safety-advocating do they do?

    Every so often they run a ‘wandering’ announcement, but usually as a prelude to whining. I have long since come to the conclusion that most of them don’t really care about their kids, and would be happy if their child (ren) died.

    Of course they deplore murder, but it quickly devolves into denouncing the agencies that weren’t monitoring the parents and child 24/7. But if agencies were monitoring parents of autistic children 24/7 , they’d whine about that..so there’s really no way to win..

    It’s really just sad; these kids are basically being punished for being autistic. And there’s no way to make the parents see sense.

    ORD: I hear you. I only went through one year of bullying, but it was enough to make me wish these smug suburbanites would just sew up their mouths rather than whining about how reality is ‘bullying’ them.

  107. #108 Greg
    November 15, 2013

    @Calli

    So you are suggesting that I am being overly presumptous assuming Orac to be a wimp. Ok, let’s settle the matter and ask Orac directly if he is a wimp:

    Orac, growing up were you teased, bullied and called a wimp and a nerd by your peers? Did they steal your lunch money? (hee hee hee).

    Also Calli, your spew about ‘autism’ and ‘autism-like’ is truly incredible. Now autism is define solely by its outward behavioural signs. Still, you maintain that someone can fit the full criteria of being autistic but they might only be ‘autistic-like’. Calli, I think what you are saying is kinda BS-like. Wait one second let be check back and see if it’s truly, completely BS……….

    Calli I am back: It is indeed truly, completely BS!

  108. #109 Shay
    a red county in a blue state
    November 15, 2013

    The bullying trope is just a variation on the old “if you disagree with me, particularly in writing, you are tromping on my First Amendment rights” that is so famliar to the American political landscape.

    Like AOA’ers who have never experienced actual bullying, these Constitution-invoking martyrs haven’t read the damn thing since high school civics.

  109. #110 Gray Falcon
    November 15, 2013

    Greg, Orac isn’t letting you post because he’s weak. He’s letting you post because every time you do so, you severely weaken the anti-vaccine talking points.

  110. #111 Johanna
    November 15, 2013

    *sigh* I give. Where does one find that script to block a specific user’s comments on WP sites?

  111. #112 AdamG
    November 15, 2013

    Greg, could you describe in your own words how you think the standard autism diagnostic process works? In other words, if I suspect my child has autism, what needs to happen in order to receive a formal diagnosis?

  112. #113 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 15, 2013

    So Julian and MOB, following along your lines of thinking, given that the vast majority of autistics are not examined for their bio-markers for autism, they are determined to be autistics solely on their behaviour, is it not fair to say that we don’t know whether they are truly ‘autistic’ or ‘autistic-like’?

    For someone who claims to work with autistic children, you sure are clueless when it comes to autism and diagnoses. There aren’t many “biomarkers” of autism as of yet so how can that yield any substantial information? You were given some excellent analogies for the differences between autism and autism-like but apparently you don’t have the capacity to have rendered that thought on your own and just keep digging a deeper hole. You sad little troll.

  113. #114 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 15, 2013

    Well, Gregger, I don’t recall the details of what you euphemistically call our “misunderstanding”, but I do recall finding you offensive, and based on your postings on this thread, I would say you have only dialed it back slightly.
    Now, what could be the difference between “autistic” and “autistic-like”? I can answer that, having observed a substantial number of people for signs and symptoms well-known to me. I do have an ASC (C for condition; I refuse to call it a disorder.) and I am sensitive to its possible presence around me. Others I have known did not have one; some showed some traits that did not rise to a diagnosis. Still, someone not discerning, or educated by the Pre-School of Google, might see one or two behaviors and conclude that they did.
    Someone whose manifestations were all mild of not seen consistently could fairly have it described as “autistic-like”.
    Cyclothymia could fairly be counted as like bipolar disorder without rising to the full criteria. Or let’s use another example: Many people will exhibit “flu-like symptoms”, but comparatively few will actually have influenza.
    You didn’t need us to explain it to you. I have no doubt your mental capacity would have permitted you to figure this out on your own, had you allowed yourself to apply it. Instead, in your need to score your points regardless of fact or logic, you did not.

  114. #115 Denice Walter
    November 15, 2013

    TBruce is correct.
    Here’s what we have.

    First of all, how can Greg presume to know all about Orac? Or is this merely a ruse to get him involved in an endless, unproductive conversation? I read Orac as speaking carefully for an audience who is not as well-versed in the relevant issues as he is, thus, needing to continuously translate his thoughts into simpler language for their benefit. I am familiar with this process. Believe me.

    Secondly, I’m beginning to doubt that the creature has an actual degree in anything- let alone psychology- because people who have that background would surely know how diagnoses are made and upon what they are based. CLUE: if we are discussing problems in how a person BEHAVES- which -btw- includes communication- we might look to differences in ………….( fill in the blank). Even undergraduate courses examine the difficulties of diagnosis for psychological issues and historical changes in DSMs. His position is similar to that of woo-meisters who crow that there are no blood or imaging tests for mental illness.

    Next, through the good graces of Krebiozen, Antaeus and Julian- amongst many others- he has received first-rate tutoring in several areas – including statistics, the scientific method, critical thinking and issues relevant to ASDs. He should demand his money back from the degree mill where he acquired his diploma and send some of it to them or make a donation to the JREF. Some people just can’t learn.

    Then, he flits over to AoA and b!tches about the rudeboys @ RI. He rubs shoulders with their ‘experts’ who know nothing about that which they speak-
    and yes, I mean their editors, contributors and commenters. Where have any of them the ability to criticise scientific papers- MBAs,”writers”, brave, warrior mothers and lord-knows-what else? I have seen enough of Conrick’s pathetic attempts to re-imagine physiology alongside Blaxsted’s blasted ‘Tales of Mercury’ to become disastrously ill. They haven’t a clue about their topics. Anyone can posture and proclaim themself proficient in anything- doesn’t mean that they are. These are chosen by him as role-models and
    thought leaders. This makes his ability to evaluate others’ level of expertise abundantly clear.

    AND whilst we are all accused of rolling in pharma money, I would advise him having a look at AJW’s palace, as pictured at Brian Deer’s website. No pharma dough there. Woo-meisters live awfully posh- wonder why that is.: I’ve got a little list of these places: he’snot the only one.

    Lastly, altho’ there’s much more:
    I’m not speaking to Greg, I’m speaking about him. He’s wasting our time.There are lurkers and others who truly want to learn- they’re worth our efforts.

  115. #116 Chris HIckie
    November 15, 2013

    Greg–you need to back off the sildenafil abuse before you completely succumb to cerebral hypoperfusion injury.

  116. #117 Greg
    November 15, 2013

    Still no word back from Orac about whether he is a wimp. Anyway, in keeping with the Poling case I wanted to address another matter. Here is an excerpt passed on from AoA:

    Excerpt from letter by Dr. Andrew Zimmerman discussing Hannah Poling:

    “The developing brain is especially vulnerable to mitochondrial dysfunction because of its high metabolic energy demands and may be critically injured by marginal energy supplied by mitochondria under conditions of stress, such as infections and immune stimulation. Such cellular metabolic injuries in the brain during early childhood typically evolve over time as the child develops and may express themselves as the child grows. An analogy to this situation is birth injury followed by cerebral palsy (CP). Patients with CP may develop epilepsy months or years after the brain insult, but the original insult is still the cause of the epilepsy. The child may improve and make progress developmentally, but then later develops epilepsy or other neurological impairments (e.g., learning disorders). Thus, the time delay between vaccination, encephalopathy, and seizure onset does not preclude a causal relationship.

    The following are my opinions regarding Hannah Poling:

    1. The cause for regressive encephalopathy in Hannah at age 19 months was underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, exacerbated by vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic energy reserves. This acute expenditure of metabolic reserves led to permanent irreversible brain injury. Thus, if not for this event, Hannah may have led a normal full productive life. Presently, I predict Hannah will have a normal lifespan but with significant lifelong disability.

    2. Epilepsy is the result of the original brain injury in Hannah. Its appearance was delayed but was part of the same pathogenesis that led to autistic encephalopathy….”

    http://www.autismone.org/sites/default/files/hazelhurst.pdf

    Ok Guys, so if Dr. Zimmerman states that autism from vaccine insults may take a while to manifest itself does this not speaks to my point that the Danish study (or any study for that matter) should have been more focussed on obtaining a sample of kids that were old enough that autism could have been detected in them?

    Kreb, perhaps you are the right person to answer this question. ‘ Kreb come out and PLAYY!! ….Kreb come out and PLAYY…cling…cling..cling’. Actually, Narad does it better.

  117. #118 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 15, 2013

    @Greg

    In that particular letter you excerpted, Dr. Zimmerman never states that “autism from vaccine insults” may take a while to manifest. The only time he mentions autism is saying that “abrupt behavioral arrest” was attributed to autism, but could have been “complex partial seizures”.

  118. #119 Stuartg
    November 15, 2013

    “Autism from vaccine insults may take a while to manifest”

    True, longer than anybody’s lifetime….

  119. #120 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 15, 2013

    If someone has an underlying mitochondrial disorder that causes significant harm if the person gets a fever, wouldn’t that person be running a pretty significant risk every time he/she/it gets sick with, say, influenza?

  120. #121 Calli Arcale
    November 15, 2013

    Greg:

    Surely you cannot be this obtuse. Surely it is just an act on your part.

    So you are suggesting that I am being overly presumptous assuming Orac to be a wimp.

    No. I am saying that you are perceiving what you choose to perceive. You appear to be a very closed-minded individual, because you modify your perception of things based on whether or not they fit your preconceptions. You believe Orac to be a wimp, so when you see him in video, that is what you perceive. You see what you expect to see, because you do not permit yourself to see anything else.

    Exhibit two:

    Also Calli, your spew about ‘autism’ and ‘autism-like’ is truly incredible. Now autism is define solely by its outward behavioural signs. Still, you maintain that someone can fit the full criteria of being autistic but they might only be ‘autistic-like’.

    That is not at all what I said. I said that one can have autistic-like symptoms without qualifying for the diagnosis. If you fit the full criteria, you are not merely “autistic-like”, you are autistic.

    Yet you do not perceive that in my post. You read it entirely wrong, because you perceived what you expected to perceive — something that would reinforce your position that the distinction is meaningless. Yet that is not at all what I said, and several other people have also made the distinction clear to you. It’s not rocket science, Greg, and I do not believe you are stupid. Therefore, the reason you fail to understand is merely because you do not allow yourself to.

  121. #122 lilady
    November 15, 2013

    Time to put the ignorant attention-seeking Troll in the “Ignore Comments Section”, now.

    It worked with Thingy and The Troll will drift on back to AoA, where his comments are appreciated.

  122. #123 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    Johanna,

    Where does one find that script to block a specific user’s comments on WP sites?

    I see Greg is back. There’s a good explanation here, and in neighboring comments.

  123. #124 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    So, Greg’s Dunning-Kruger is leading him to refute DSM now. I’m sure his diagnostic skills rival his abilities with statistics..Remember, he has a history of provoking a response with his nasty, puerile comments, and then when he gets one he runs to Mommy AoA for sympathy, complaining that those nasty RI people were so rude to him. Personally I could not care less what those AoA idiots think. They have proved themselves dishonest over and over again. Greg didn’t even have the honesty or integrity to point out to AoA the very serious errors in Gilmore’s critique of Madsen’s study. He actually repeated one of those errors. He really isn’t even worth the effort I have expended writing this. I won’t be wasting any more.

  124. #125 Elizabella
    November 15, 2013

    Dude, you’re not humble, and are most definitely a bully. Personally, I’ll give a pass to a surgeon on the humility thing, sick amounts of education, sick amounts of responsibility. Overbearing ego is kind of a necessary part of the job. I’m a masters level engineer that ran a 60 million dollar company. I’m familiar with this. And really, bullying moms with kids with autism. Weak. How about putting that compendium of knowledge to work and think about the larger medical issue. There is something interesting in the vaccine story group, parents do notice behavior out of the ordinary. Credible parents. Swift changes. The more appropriate question is, what does that experience tell us in the medical mystery? Old school autism, in its many forms, was an insidious onset. Old school autism (when autism was a rare creature) was diagnosed around 18 months as that was the common, round number, point at which you could say, why, yes, enough obvious behaviors to call a duck a duck. Old school autism often was attributed to old school diseases that happened in utero or as babies. When rubella would sweep through the nation, some babies and fetuses would be diagnosed as “rubella autistics”. Practices have changed considerably in 50 years, and quite frankly, there is a tragic autism epidemic. Aspergers and autism is everywhere at my kid’s STEM school. They’re weird little kids. And believe me, in engineering, I know geeky weird. It doesn’t look like this. I remember lots of different illnesses manifesting in my classmates and their families. Down’s, schizophrenia, anglemans, Williams, but not a single autistic. Or quite frankly even an aspie. Maybe there were a few in the fringey druggies, hiding in plain site. But certainly not the ridiculous numbers I see now. Acetaminophen, pitocin, other variables. Instead of waiting for some authority to interpret the ‘truth’ for you and waiting for it to be delivered to you in the form of a NEJM article. Yes, I know, the torch and pitchfork folk are railing against your orthodoxy, but it is because they are in pain. It is a really societal problem we all share. So free your mind, what are the root causes here? And then think of the limitations in getting those theories proven.

  125. #126 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    For the lurkers. From my notes on Hannah Poling, it seems clear to me that her “autism-like” symptoms are not autism, since encephalopathy due to her underlying mitochondrial disorder caused them. According to an article by her father, Hannah Poling scored 33 on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), consistent with mild autism (a minimum score of 30 is the cutoff for a diagnosis of autism on the mild end of the autism spectrum), but for other reasons she does not meet the DSM IV criteria for autism. According to DSM IV:

    When a Mental Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition or a Substance-Induced Disorder is responsible for the symptoms, it preempts the diagnosis of the corresponding primary disorder with the same symptoms (e.g., Cocaine-Induced Mood Disorder preempts Major Depressive Disorder). p6

    A Mental Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition is characterized by the presence of mental symptoms that are judged to be the direct physiological consequence of a general medical condition. The term general medical condition refers to conditions that are coded on Axis III and that are listed outside the “Mental Disorders” chapter of ICD. (See Appendix G for a condensed list of these conditions.) p181

    348.3 Encephalopathy, unspecified p868 Appendix G

    Axis III refers to General Medical Conditions, and ICD refers to Impulse Control Disorders. It does seem clear that Hannah Poling’s condition is the direct physiological consequence of a general medical condition, encephalopathy, which is listed in Appendix G of DSM IV. Therefore, according to DSM IV Hannah Poling does not have autism.

    Also, it seems very unlikely that vaccines caused the encephalopathy that led to her autism-like symptoms; The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation stated:

    There are no scientific studies documenting that childhood vaccinations cause mitochondrial diseases or worsen mitochondrial disease symptoms. In the absence of scientific evidence, the UMDF cannot confirm any association between mitochondrial diseases and vaccines.

    So if it wasn’t caused by vaccines and it isn’t autism, I fail to see what relevance Hannah Poling’s tragic case has to autism in general.

  126. #127 Denice Walter
    November 15, 2013

    If you take a quick look at the DSMIV criteria for autism ( I’m not going to get into detail), you’ll find three basic areas of concern-
    -social interaction
    -communication
    -stereotyped/ repetitive interests or activities

    Each one contains several examples of problems- ( lessened eye contact, less speech,decrease in sharing, ritualised actions, preoccupation with parts of objects, etc) observed in people with autism.

    For a diagnosis of autism, the person needs to exhibit several of these deficits/ differences across more than one area.

    For example ( non-client related), a person with schizophrenia may be unable to undertstand why others behave as they do, may have rituals and may make no effort to communicate with others. I personally know someone who might fulfill the criteria but has not been labelled as autistic BECAUSE he’s already diagnosed as having schizophrenia.

    Human abilities can be social as well as purely cognitive. SMI can affect both types as can OTHER conditions. A person with a developmental disability may have some of the symptoms of autism. Encephalopathy has been mentioned above.

    Thus there are many combinational possibilities even amongst people without any formal diagnosis- who are so-called ‘normal’- everyone has met the scholarly but socially inept person as well as the social butterfly who understands what everyone wants/needs but fails at academic pursuits.

    Some of the skills labelled as ‘social’ also develop alongside cognition (altho’ there doesn’t have to be one-to-one correspondence) and require a certain cognitive level in order to attain the skill (e.g. taking the role of the other/ understanding that other people don’t have the same views or needs as yourself) Two year olds can’t do this. It’s easy to see how developmental problems might affect skills like these.

  127. #128 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 15, 2013

    Y’know, whenever the whole “autism” vs. “autism-like symptoms” thing comes up, I’m reminded of when I had polio…or polio-like symptoms. I mean, they’re the same thing, right?

  128. #129 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    Todd,
    I hope your polio cleared up OK. I have occasional bouts myself, often after exercise, curiously.

    You reminded me of how polite those AoA people are, the ones that were horrified that I suggested Greg is an idiot, while they publish articles with titles like ‘Dr. David Gorski’s Unique Brand of Moronism’ (I won’t link to it). Hypocrites.

  129. #130 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 15, 2013

    After reading about diseases like anthrax, I think I’d rather have the flu than flu-like symptoms. Flu-like symptoms could be almost anything, most of them deadly.

  130. #131 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 15, 2013

    Wow – malaria, acute HIV infection, herpes, hepatitis C, Lyme disease, rabies, myocarditis, Q fever, dengue fever, or poliomyelitis.

  131. #132 Jeff1971
    November 15, 2013

    The relevance of the Poling case, I think, is that it shows how generous the vaccine compensation system is: making awards even if a child fits the criteria for a table injury, without any need to prove that a vaccine caused it.

    Which is probably why the Polings are feeling a little shifty at present. Presumably the father has come in for criticism from his colleagues who understand these things, and the family now want to make out how responsible and truth-telling they are.

  132. #133 Calli Arcale
    November 15, 2013

    Elizabella:

    Aspergers and autism is everywhere at my kid’s STEM school.

    I don’t doubt it. For one thing, STEM attracts more of those people. (I’m an engineer too. It’s pretty obvious in the field. You may not have noticed, but I certainly have.) For another, until relatively recently, not only did STEM schools not exist, but mainstreamed special ed kids were extremely rare to nonexistent. IDEA was passed into law in 1975; prior to that, only 20% of all developmentally disabled kids got an education, and most states explicitly barred developmentally disabled kids altogether. So of course they weren’t in school. They weren’t *allowed* to be in school. That condition didn’t immediately change in 1975; it wasn’t until 1990 that things started to really change for the developmentally disabled. When I was in school, autistic kids and kids with Down’s Syndrome weren’t in the classroom. They were in the “special” classroom. You didn’t see them, you didn’t know them, you didn’t even know how many of them there were. That’s completely changed since then. There are still special classrooms for those kids that simply can’t handle the normal classroom, but the days of just shoving them off to the side and forgetting about them are over.

    So of course there seem to be so many more autistics in your daughter’s school than there were in your memory of elementary school! When you and I were kids, they weren’t *allowed* in our classrooms. And we were worse for that, I think. I look at the kids in my autistic daughter’s school, and I see how they are being taught to accept these kids as they are instead of dehumanizing them as weirdos.

    Which, incidentally, I notice that you do in your post. You call them “weird little kids”, who you say aren’t “geeky weird”, which apparently is an okay kind of weird. You allow that maybe in the past there were “a few in the fringey druggies”. Fringy druggies??? Good grief. It’s no wonder you never noticed the autistics before. Even if you did meet one, you would’ve assumed they were drug addicts. And you say *Orac* is the one bullying the mothers of autistic kids? You’re the one saying awful things about their kids.

    Incidentally, you mention Pitocin and acetominophen as if they are possible explanations for autism. But acetominophen has in use since the 19th Century. And Pitocin is oxytocin; it’s been a part of labor and delivery for millions of years, possibly since our distant Jurassic ancestors or even further. The use of supplemental pitocin to hasten labor and/or control bleeding after birth; it’s been used for quite a long time, though not as long as acetominophen. In any case, if it causes autism, we should’ve seen this supposed epidemic much earlier.

    , hiding in plain site. But certainly not the ridiculous numbers I see now. Acetaminophen, pitocin, other variables. Instead of waiting for some authority to interpret the ‘truth’ for you and waiting for it to be delivered to you in the form of a NEJM article. Yes, I know, the torch and pitchfork folk are railing against your orthodoxy, but it is because they are in pain. It is a really societal problem we all share. So free your mind, what are the root causes here? And then think of the limitations in getting those theories proven.

  133. #134 LIz Ditz
    staring at the moonrise
    November 15, 2013

    Calli, thank you so much for your measured response to Elizabella’s ignorant, ugly rant. I wanted to throw things.

    and UGH Gr#g is back. I can’t scroll past his ignorant bilgewash fast enough.

  134. #135 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    Elizabella,

    So free your mind, what are the root causes here? And then think of the limitations in getting those theories proven.

    Firstly, it seems to me that increased awareness and widened diagnostic criteria are very probably sufficient to explain the increased numbers of autism diagnoses we see. Calli has explained why we may not have been as aware of autistic individuals some years ago. Studies looking at autistic adults, and the reduction in the numbers of children diagnosed with intellectual impairment suggest that the numbers of autistic individuals is stable. Looking for “root causes” for a phenomenon that does not exist is pointless.

    Secondly, what theories do you have in mind? It seems increasingly clear that autism starts in the uterus – you mentioned congenital rubella syndrome yourself. Numerous disparate observations point in that direction. I have not seen any plausible theories that would explain how vaccines (or acetaminophen and pitocin for that matter) could possibly cause autism years later.

    The ideas I see that claim that the increasing number of vaccines in the schedule “overwhelm the immune system” make no sense to me. Before MMR, for example, almost every child suffered measles, mumps and rubella, which puts an enormously greater strain on their immune systems than a couple of vaccine shots. If an overworked immune system leads to autism, it should have been widespread before vaccination and antibiotics, and still should be in the developing world, but it wasn’t and isn’t.

    Observations of some poorly understood immune system abnormalities in some people with autism, elevated cytokine levels for example, are tortured into supporting the idea that vaccines cause autism, when these abnormalities are almost certainly the result of the same processes that lead to autism, not the cause.

    Half-baked hypotheses about mercury, aluminum and other toxins are not only extremely implausible, since we understand the toxicology of these substances very well, and they only cause problems in chronic doses several orders of magnitude greater than those received acutely from vaccines, but the epidemiological evidence strongly suggests they don’t cause any problems.

    There is no shortage of alarmist misinformation regarding vaccines and autism, of varying immediate plausibility to those who know little about the subject. Further research reveals the inaccuracies, distortions and outright lies that the antivaccine movement relies upon to put its case. You sound like an intelligent person; please don’t get taken in by this nonsense.

  135. #136 Denice Walter
    November 15, 2013

    I’m really not up to it today BUT I shall briefly add to Calli-
    in the olden days, children who would now be called ‘autistic’ were frequently called something else( schisophrenic or mentally retarded). Many were institutionalised. Diagnostic substitution accounts for much of the so-called increase. The DSM changes do also.

    Also if you follow AoA, according to the gospel of Blaxsted, autism itself didn’t exist prior to Kanner. But it did, even Freud referred to indiviuals who were probably autistic -unable to communicate and who didn’t form attachments to others. Indeed his early stages revolve around the concept of attachment or its failure.

  136. #137 Narad
    November 15, 2013
    Where does one find that script to block a specific user’s comments on WP sites?

    I see Greg is back. There’s a good explanation here, and in neighboring comments.

    BTW, it’s not too late (in that comments still seem to be open) for anyone who finds this useful to let Mr. Devore know that his volunteered time isn’t going to waste.

  137. #138 Narad
    November 15, 2013

    @Calli

    It’s not rocket science, Greg, and I do not believe you are stupid.

    Given the “person-years” escapade, at very least, I’m not with you on that one.

  138. #139 Vicki
    November 15, 2013

    Curious asked @94:

    Has a study ever been done of people who are naturally immune to a given contagion? Aren’t there always some people who don’t get infected even in the midst of an epidemic? Shouldn’t the health of those people be studied to see if there’s anything that’s fundamentally different about their immune systems?

    To do such a study, you would first have to know for certain which of the people who hadn’t shown symptoms had been exposed to the contagion.

    Once you’ve done that, you would need to eliminate the situations where a large number of people were exposed but didn’t report symptoms. For example, there’s the 2009 H1N1 outbreal: one of the first clusters of cases in the United States was in a New York City high school. The department of health investigated, and about 35% of students and 10% of staff reported an influenza-like illness; two students were hospitalized. (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0906089) So, do we investigate the 65% of students who did not show symptoms to see what’s unusual about them? The following flu season, they were estimating that about a million New Yorkers (more than ten percent) had been infected with that virus and were now immune, and that most of them didn’t know it, because they hadn’t noticed symptoms.

    But in order to figure out whether there was something “fundamentally different” about the immune systems of people who were immune to certain contagions, you’d need to identify people who were immune to a bunch of unrelated infections. Are people who didn’t catch H1N1 more likely–or less likely–to be resistant to chicken pox, norovirus, or HIV? How about malaria and pertussis (which are non-viral infections)?

    As a friend of mine likes to say, It’s Always More Complicated. Also, I am neither a doctor nor an epidemiologist, and will defer to the experts here if any of them want to chew on this further.

  139. #140 Narad
    November 15, 2013

    Y’know, whenever the whole “autism” vs. “autism-like symptoms” thing comes up, I’m reminded of when I had polio…or polio-like symptoms. I mean, they’re the same thing, right?

    So much so that the poor mother of one member of the AoA commentariat has had it twice.

  140. #141 Narad
    November 15, 2013

    Axis III refers to General Medical Conditions, and ICD refers to Impulse Control Disorders.

    My DSM-IV is also still packed, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the ICD being referred to.

  141. #142 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    Weren’t some prostitutes somewhere found to have natural HIV immunity? I’m sure I read about some work on a vaccine being based on it.

    I still think someone should figure out a way of creating a virus that infects memory cells and induces immunity to every known infection by splicing in the appropriate DNA sequence. Perhaps I should patent the idea.

  142. #143 Greg
    November 15, 2013

    Ok drug-dealers,

    I don’t want to entertain this ‘autism’, ‘autism-like’ topic anymore, because quite frankly I find it to be a load of BS. I do put up with a lot of your crap, but quite frankly this takes the cake. Anyway, it’s been a long day, and I must take the wife out to see ‘Enough Said’. I saw it already and consider it truly an awesome movie. Denice, I think it would be right up your creek.

    Tomorrow, I want to continue with the mitochondrial dysfunction topic and its relationship with autism.

    @Lilady

    “Time to put the ignorant attention-seeking Troll in the “Ignore Comments Section”, now.”

    At the risk of upsetting the ‘watch-me-mace-a-perfect-stranger-who-walks-up-to-me-for-direction-because-I-mistook-him-for-a-stalker’ Khani-types, I must ask a question: What is your sex? I am seriously starting to suspect that you are a dude — and probably in drag as the librarian-type.

    @ORD
    Glad that you are back. Curios though about your psuedonym. When I think of an ‘old rocker’, I have this image of a slightly balding, scraggly, laid-back, long haired musician. Yet, you come across as the academic type. So Dave are you the ‘old rocker’ type?

  143. #144 Krebiozen
    November 15, 2013

    My DSM-IV is also still packed, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the ICD being referred to.

    These are my notes from a couple of years ago, and you’re correct,it’s an error. ICD refers to the ‘International Classification of Diseases’. I believe the point stands, that if autistic symptoms are judged to be the direct physiological consequence of a general medical condition, then the diagnosis should be ‘Mental Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition’, not autism.

  144. #145 AdamG
    November 15, 2013

    There is something interesting in the vaccine story group, parents do notice behavior out of the ordinary. Credible parents. Swift changes.

    How do you know this is true? How many stories are sufficient to qualify as ‘something interesting?’ How soon after vaccination qualifies as ‘swift?’ Or, the real question…what evidence would convince you that these stories, given the fallibility of human memory, are unreliable?

  145. #146 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 15, 2013

    @ Krebiozen, yes I remember the same and I believe that was sex-workers in Thailand: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1539443/
    Not specific to what I just stated but the premise of individual’s immunity being examined for vaccine development as you stated.

  146. #147 Gray Falcon
    November 15, 2013

    Just so you know, we aren’t arguing that parents aren’t credible, we’re arguing that they aren’t infallible.

  147. #148 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 15, 2013

    Did you know that Thanksgiving is one of, if not the, worst day of the year for traffic fatalities? And what’s the one thing that nearly all those people did before getting into their cars that most people don’t do much of on any other day? You already know: they all ate turkey just a short time before the accident.
    There’s all the proof you need – the toxins in the turkey obviously cause fatal car accidents.

  148. #149 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 15, 2013

    Did you know that Thanksgiving is one of, if not the, worst day of the year for traffic fatalities? And what’s the one thing that nearly all those people did before getting into their cars that most people don’t do much of on any other day? You already know: they all ate turkey just a short time before the accident.
    There’s all the proof you need – the toxins in the turkey obviously cause fatal car accidents.

  149. #150 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 15, 2013

    Sorry for the double post – the site told me to try again.

  150. #151 herr doktor bimler
    November 16, 2013

    bullying moms with kids with autism

    I know! And the worst part of Orac’s bullying behaviour is the way he forces people to read his unfavourable opinions of them…
    What? He doesn’t do that? Then it’s NOT FECKIN’ BULLYING.

  151. #152 Jeff1971
    November 16, 2013

    Some of the parents aren’t infallible. Some of them aren’t credible. Some of them are liars.

    When was there ever a lawsuit where one or both parties didn’t lie?

  152. #153 AnObservingParty
    November 16, 2013

    @ Denice But it did, even Freud referred to indiviuals who were probably autistic -unable to communicate and who didn’t form attachments to others

    Don’t forget literary characters such as Sherlock Holmes; some lit scholars are hypothesizing Doyle based him on some higher-functioning acquaintances of his. Or frequent historical stories of “fairies stealing children.” A different name doesn’t indicate a different condition.

  153. #154 AnObservingParty
    November 16, 2013

    @ Vicki @ Curious
    How about malaria

    There are people with natural resistances to malaria; those who are heterozygous for the sickle-cell gene (HbAS rather than HbAA or HbSS) don’t show manifest the phenotype of full sickle-cell, but have an increased fitness and survival rate when infected with the malaria parasite. The hybrid fitness has kept the S-allele in the population, despite the decreased fitness of those with sickle-cell disease outside of malaria infection because of hemoglobin and RBCs and things outside of microevolution I studied. It’s why sickle-cell is predominantly found in those in malaria-endemic regions or whose ancestry is from those regions.

    But resistance to specific contagions goes well beyond simply looking at the immune system….I can’t even imagine how they would encompass all the variables that have an affect.

  154. #155 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 16, 2013

    There is something interesting in the vaccine story group, parents do notice behavior out of the ordinary. Credible parents. Swift changes.

    Elizabella, you say you have a background in engineering. I’m sure you would consider it a grave mistake if one of your engineers used a tool that had never been calibrated to try and make a crucial measurement.

    But you are doing the science equivalent of just that. You are saying “This is a phenomenon the ‘vaccine story group’ observes; it therefore must be a phenomenon caused by vaccines” without ever asking “is this phenomenon also observed by parents who don’t blame vaccines? Do they also perceive what seems to be an abrupt and rapid regression?”

    Your background in engineering should also tell you not to regard a reading you get as extremely precise, if it’s not made with an extremely precise instrument. Well, parental recollections are not an extremely precise instrument – human memory is extremely prone to errors, and parental memory is not an exception.

    You may feel it’s insulting that we are not treating parents as “credible” enough. The crux of the matter, however, is not whether recognizing parental recollection to be flawed is insulting, it’s whether it’s correct. If you study what science knows about human memory, you know that simply asking a question such as “what time did the ambulance arrive?” can make people include in their memories an ambulance that was not there in reality. That’s a pretty huge alteration in memory; by comparison, it would be a minor alteration to misremember a long period elapsed between a child’s vaccination and the first autistic symptoms recognized by the parents.

    It would be special pleading to suggest that, even though the majority of people can make great mistakes in how they remember things, parents could never do so. Even if we granted that special pleading, however, it would still be wrong. Over and over again in VICP cases, we see parents coming in, asserting from their own memories that their child never showed any autistic symptoms until just after the vaccination – and then the actual records show that the children were brought in because the parents were worried about those same symptoms, well before the vaccination.

    I can very much understand your frustration. In your mind, the parents are coming forward with excellent evidence, and it’s not getting heard because it goes against the “orthodoxy”. But think of your own field of expertise. Think of all the ways in which an untrained person might come to you and say “Damn your orthodoxy; it’s obvious to me that this is excellent engineering!” not because it actually is excellent engineering, but because they don’t know the full difference between “what a layman attempting engineering does” and “what a trained engineer does.”

  155. #156 lilady
    November 16, 2013

    Meanwhile, Dan Olmsted’s Weekly Wrap Up informs us that he is preparing another (s)hit piece about Orac…and Dorit Reiss. He chooses for special recognition CIA Parker, because Parker debated Dorit online about vaccines for school admission, on the SOP blog. This should be good. :-)

    Dr. Chris posted a comment back at Dan.

  156. #157 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    November 16, 2013

    Inherited resistance to the HIV virus has been studied, and at least one allele has been identified:

    http://genetics.thetech.org/original_news/news13

    In this case, the effect is due to a change from the majority type that renders the import of virus into the cell less likely. It’s apparently not fully protective, but very protective, and heterozygosity can result in partial immunity.

    I’m glad to see that the regulars here are holding off from feeding the troll. I understand the desire to protect the readership who are not regular contributors from what you see as misinformation. Might I suggest that the troll is his/her own worst enemy in the sense of coating each posting in rhetorical flourishes which would cause almost anybody except a hard core anti-vaccine person to cringe. The clue to trolling, as I mentioned long ago, is the fact that this person waits a while, and then comes back with the same misrepresentations that were the subject of careful rebuttal in previous threads. You see the same approach in the anti-Obama rants in other kinds of blogs.

    By the way, the personal attack on Orac is not, in my view, simply a projection by the troll. It’s just malicious trolling, coated with a thin veneer of pseudo-gallantry. Any rational look at the videos lends no credence whatsoever to the attack. It may be that the troll once had issues of his/her own, because most of us, after a certain age, have gotten beyond playground jibes.

    By the way, some internet discussion sites provide the capability of sending personal messages between registered users. If I want to send a private comment to somebody on the Mac forum, I can do so. I’ve received half a dozen or so messages over the past few years from people on the forum, and we don’t reveal our real identities unless we choose to do so. It might be a useful device here, although the troll content is obviously higher, but an opt in choice would solve that problem.

  157. #158 Narad
    November 16, 2013

    He chooses for special recognition CIA Parker, because Parker debated Dorit online about vaccines for school admission, on the SOP blog.

    How many different names did she require?

  158. #159 Lawrence
    November 16, 2013

    @Narad – more than a few…..

    Also, breaking news out of Princeton, this could be bad….

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/16/health/princeton-meningitis-outbreak/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

  159. #160 herr doktor bimler
    November 16, 2013

    Also if you follow AoA, according to the gospel of Blaxsted, autism itself didn’t exist prior to Kanner. But it did, even Freud referred to indiviuals who were probably autistic

    There’s an entire industry of finding odd characters from history and retrospectively diagnosing them with autism or Aspergers — Blaxsted somehow manages to ignore it existence.
    Some of the claims are laughably flimsy, and rest on equating ‘oddness’ and eccentricity with autism, as if there could be no other way to depart from the cognitive norm. But the cases from the Idiot-Savant literature are quite convincing… not to mention Ludwig Wittgenstein.

  160. #161 lilady
    November 16, 2013

    Hmmm…I was in error when I stated that CIA Parker and Dorit Reiss debated vaccine school entrance requirements on the SOP blog; it actually was on Emily Willingham’s Forbes blog. Here, Parker brings on the crazy about her own diagnosis of her daughter’s ” vaccine-induced encephalopathy” (after her child was diagnosed with autism).

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/11/04/could-california-law-to-boost-vaccine-uptake-end-up-reducing-it/

    Scroll on down to see Twyla Ramos’ comments about Dorit’s “callous disregard toward the ‘vaccine-injured’ and their families”.

  161. #162 AnObservingParty
    November 16, 2013

    callous disregard

    Eff that phrase. In my book, as soon as someone uses it–and I have had people use it in actual, real-life conversations–in my mind they automatically lose all credibility and subsequently lose the argument. One time someone was actually surprised that I knew where it came from. It deserves it’s own Godwin-like-law. It labels one a CRANK.

  162. #163 Greg
    November 16, 2013

    @Bob G
    “I’m glad to see that the regulars here are holding off from feeding the troll. I understand the desire to protect the readership who are not regular contributors from what you see as misinformation.”

    You do realize that you went on with a full-length, detailed, wordy assessment of my ‘practice’, despite advocating others to ignore me? (hee hee hee)

    Guys, in fairness, from day-one I recommended the ‘ignoring’ option to you. I pointed out though that should you do so, it runs the risk of my comments going unchallenged. Guys, I really don’t know how much more helpful I can be. (hee hee hee)

    Anyway, let’s move on with the discussion of Dr. Zimmerman’s assessment of the Poling case:

    First, Dr. Zimmerman details how vaccine can cause autism:

    “The developing brain is especially vulnerable to mitochondrial dysfunction because of its high metabolic energy demands and may be critically injured by marginal energy supplied by mitochondria under conditions of
    stress, such as infections and immune stimulation”

    Second, Dr. Zimmerman makes clear that the damage may present itself in a gradual, delayed way:

    “Thus, the time delay between vaccination, encephalopathy, and seizure onset does not preclude a causal relationship.”

    Third, Dr. Zimmerman makes it explicitly clear he believes Hannah Poling’s brain injury or autism was a result of vaccine injury.

    “The cause for regressive encephalopathy in Hannah at age 19 months was underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, exacerbated by vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic energy reserves. This acute expenditure of metabolic reserves led to permanent irreversible brain injury. Thus, if not for this event, Hannah may have led a normal full productive life.”

    Again, I ask the following questions: If autism after vaccines can show itself in a slow, gradual way, what is the point of conducting vaccine safety studies that examine vaccine reactions over only weeks or months? Also, what is the point of doing vaccine/autism studies that will include a significant portion of kids who are too young for autism to be detected in them?

  163. #164 Greg
    November 16, 2013

    “Meanwhile, Dan Olmsted’s Weekly Wrap Up informs us that he is preparing another (s)hit piece about Orac…and Dorit Reiss. He chooses for special recognition CIA Parker, because Parker debated Dorit online about vaccines for school admission, on the SOP blog. This should be good.”

    Guys, seriously let me offer my impartial take on whether the anti-vaxxers are truly winning the PR war:

    Again, my kids are not autistic, but I consider what if I were a parent who believes that vaccines damaged my child — what choices would I have? Well, I could visit RI to listen to Orac berate, and insult me, or I could visit AoA where I will find sympathy and understanding. Guys, it’s simply no contest.

    On top of things guys, these blogs are truly boring. Now there are times that I am obviously hamming it up when I say this, but sincerely, they are indeed boring. No matter how ambitious, they always fall back to the ground with a big, resounding THUD!

    Really, I don’t know how you can improve the situation because you have one serious thing going against you: That’s the truth — vaccines do cause autism.

    I suppose you could post fake stories about the harms of VPDs and not vaccinating your child. Actually, you are doing this already, but the problem is that they are indeed ‘fake’ stories and no one is taking them seriously.
    Another option -albeit an over-the-top one — is for someone like Orac to show himself as truly concern about the plight of autistics to the extent that maybe he mentors an autistic youth. Yet, this ploy, again, might be too transparent, and not likely to fool anyone.

    I don’t know guys. I think you really have your work cut out for you.

  164. #165 lilady
    November 16, 2013

    “Callous Disregard” was the phrase that the GMC panel used in their decision to erase Wakefield from the medical register…

    http://www.gmc-uk.org/Wakefield_SPM_and_SANCTION.pdf_32595267.pdf

    “…Dr Wakefield caused blood to be taken from a group of children for research purposes at a birthday party, which the Panel found to be an inappropriate social setting. He behaved unethically in failing to seek Ethics Committee approval; he showed callous disregard for any distress or pain the children might suffer, and he paid the children £5 reward for giving their blood. He then described the episode in humorous terms at a public presentation and expressed an intention to repeat his conduct. When giving evidence to the Panel, Dr Wakefield expressed some regret regarding his remarks. The Panel was concerned at Dr Wakefield’s apparent lack of serious consideration to the relevant ethical issues and the abuse of his position of trust as a medical practitioner with regard to his conduct in causing the blood to be taken. The Panel concluded that his conduct brought the medical profession into disrepute…”

  165. #166 Alain
    November 17, 2013

    Offtopic: new blog posts, 2 recents and the latest one made tonight:

    http://www.securivm.ca/2013/11/the-voice.html

    Any comments?

    Alain

  166. #167 AnObservingParty
    November 17, 2013

    Yes, lilady, but it has been co-opted by his followers. Nobody uses that phrase and refers to the investigation. They use the phrase because it was the title of his book. KWIM?

  167. #168 Krebiozen
    November 17, 2013

    AnObservingParty,

    One time someone was actually surprised that I knew where it came from. It deserves it’s own Godwin-like-law. It labels one a CRANK.

    Huh? I have used it on several occasions when arguing with Wakefield supporters as, like the GMC, I think it describes his behavior very nicely . I don’t understand why that would label me a crank.

  168. #169 Krebiozen
    November 17, 2013

    AnObservingParty,

    Yes, lilady, but it has been co-opted by his followers. Nobody uses that phrase and refers to the investigation.

    Then it’s time to reclaim it and to remind people where it comes from and what it refers to. Wakefield and his followers should be deeply ashamed that the GMC described his behavior in such damning terms. Only a pompous egotist like Wakefield could attempt to turn such a shameful description into a self-promoting catchphrase.

  169. #170 AnObservingParty
    November 17, 2013

    @ Kreb

    That’s what I meant, the only times I hear it are when it’s been twisted into a defense, rather than its original usage, as CIA Parker or Twyla or whichever one did on Emily Willingham’s blog. That’s why I’ve come to hate it.

  170. #171 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2013

    @ Lawrence:

    And wouldn’t you know that Mike Adams already fear mongers about the vaccine?
    PLUS he offers students free merchandise in exchange for a vaccination release form.
    Would you expect any less from Mikey?

  171. #172 Krebiozen
    November 17, 2013

    In the unlikely event that anyone is tempted to believe delusional suggestions that anti-vaccine propagandists are winning the PR war, I suggest checking current vaccine uptake in the US (my emphasis):

    Vaccination coverage remained near or above the national Healthy
    People 2020 target for ≥1 doses of MMR (90.8%), ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (92.8%), ≥3 doses of HepB (89.7%), and ≥1 doses of varicella vaccine (90.2%).

    Coverage increased from 68.6% in 2011 to 71.6% in 2012 for the birth dose of HepB.

    Coverage was below the Healthy People 2020 target and either decreased or remained stable relative to 2011 for ≥4 doses of DTaP (82.5%), the full series of Hib (80.9%), and ≥4 doses of PCV (81.9%).

    Coverage also remained stable relative to 2011 and below the Healthy People 2020 targets of 85% and 80%, respectively, for ≥2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine (HepA) (53.0%), and rotavirus vaccine (68.6%).

    The percentage of children who had not received any vaccinations remained less than 1.0%.

    So it seems American parents are not impressed by increasingly feeble and desperate attempts by some to spread lies and misinformation about vaccination. Even where uptake did not increase it remained greater than 80%. The increase in uptake of the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth from 68.6% to 71.6% in just a year is particularly impressive given the rabid attacks on it by AoA and others. At that rate the disease might be eradicated in the USA within a few decades.

    Vaccine advocates cannot afford to be complacent – the price of freedom from VPDs is eternal vigilance – but we are clearly winning, in the US at least.

  172. #173 Janet
    On the couch with a cup of tea
    November 17, 2013

    I’m just getting to follow up on this thread, so sorry if I’m chiming in late.
    In reading the comments from our visitor, I wonder why it thinks we would take ANYTHING seriously that was written by someone apparently compelled to put “hee hee hee” as a parenthetical addition to really stupid statements? To me that indicates the writer knows the comments are laughable. If only they weren’t so sad…..

  173. #174 lilady
    November 17, 2013

    AnObservingParty: Here, on Brian Deer’s website are the video and audio tapes of Wakefield discussing paying children at his son’s birthday party, for vials of their blood. He made these statements during a presentation at The Mind Institute, Sacramento Callifornia.

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/birthday-blood.htm

    “…The video above, screened on US and UK television following its disclosure by Deer, samples the following remarks about how Wakefield bought blood from children, some as young as four years old, at his son’s birthday party. We see the doctor entertaining parents with how he says the kids cried, fainted and vomited. Hilarious.

    Andrew Wakefield: “So we take sera from the blood and we look for measles antibodies, rubella is controlled, mumps and cytomegalovirus, again, common viral averages — 22 affected children, children with autistic enterocolitis; 32 healthy controls.

    “Again for those who’ve heard the story, you can put your hands over and you can take time out here, but this is again my son’s birthday party, 32 healthy controls. And you line them up – with parental informed consent, of course. They all get paid £5, which doesn’t translate into many dollars I’m afraid.

    “But, and, they put their arms out and they have the blood taken. All entirely voluntary. [laughter]. “And when we did this at that party, two children fainted, one threw up over his mother [laughter].

    “One child, who’s my son’s best friend, Ollie, he put his arm out, very bold, had the tourniquet put on, and then went very pale and sort of … wait till next year. He was nine at the time, and his four-year-old sister came up, stuck her arm out, had the blood taken, took her five pounds and went off.

    “And (NAME) burst into tears. Ruined his birthday party. But people said to me, Andrew, look, you know, you can’t do this, people, children won’t come back to you. [laughter]. I said you’re wrong, I said: ‘Listen, we live in a market economy. Next year they’ll want ten pounds!’”

    The conduct Wakefield describes here, and his manner of recounting it, was denounced in May 2010 by a fitness to practise panel of the UK General Medical Council as showing “callous disregard for any distress or pain” to the children. Erasing Wakefield from the UK medical register, ending his career in medicine, the panel said with regard to this extraordinary incident:

    “Dr Wakefield caused blood to be taken from a group of children for research purposes at a birthday party, which the Panel found to be an inappropriate social setting. He behaved unethically in failing to seek Ethics Committee approval; he showed callous disregard for any distress or pain the children might suffer, and he paid the children £5 reward for giving their blood. He then described the episode in humorous terms at a public presentation and expressed an intention to repeat his conduct. When giving evidence to the Panel, Dr Wakefield expressed some regret regarding his remarks. The Panel was concerned at Dr Wakefield’s apparent lack of serious consideration to the relevant ethical issues and the abuse of his position of trust as a medical practitioner with regard to his conduct in causing the blood to be taken. The Panel concluded that his conduct brought the medical profession into disrepute.

    “Dr Wakefield defended the ethical basis for the taking of blood at a birthday party contrary to the experts who gave evidence to the Panel and who strongly condemned this action. The Panel determined that his conduct fell seriously short of the standards expected of a doctor and was a breach of the trust which the public is entitled to have in members of the medical profession. It concluded that this behaviour amounted to serious professional misconduct.”

    Wakefield is an amoral heartless bastard, who is revered by everyone (the so-called journalists and their groupies), at AoA.

  174. #175 lilady
    November 17, 2013

    I’ve “engaged” many of the AoA groupies and a few of the parents of children who were in Wakefield’s “study”, on science blogs.

    I ask them why none of the parents of the children in that “study”, who now claim they are devoted to Wakefield, came forward to testify on his behalf at the GMC Fitness-To-Practice hearing. They never reply to my questions. It seems to me that those parents failed to testify, after consulting with legal counsel.

    Can you say P.E.R.J.U.R.Y, AnObservingParty? :-)

  175. #176 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2013

    @ Krebiozen:

    Perhaps we have to accept that there will always be an unruly crowd of naysayers, luddites and contrarians to crap up the works. And we can *work around* them-and talk around them- just like we walk around horse manure or dog droppings on the street.

    Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of leading someone- who is very bright but didn’t study much life science- around fabulous exhibits of very early life forms preserved as fossils. It was so frigging amazing- stuff billions of years old- 3500 millions to be exact- and then later multicelluar organisms- sponges et al, proceeding up the ladder of evolution up to jellyfish and cephalopods….shades of PZ!

    At any rate, despite accumulating evidence over the decades, much more than a century- we STILL have YECs who try to ‘splain how none of the evidence *counts*- radiocarbon dating is not real, Everything is either Piltdowned or tarted up to look like evoluton is true. Or so they say despite the fact that the record actually IS written in stone.

    The anti-vaccine movement is in a similar quandary as are these anti-evolutionists:
    because more data keeps appearing
    AND with VPDs, it’s easy to see how people can be harmed directly as a result of an illness. Anti-vaccinationists call ‘herd immunity’ a myth but people suffer when it drops below a certain point. We can count them.

    I envision that famous graph ( seen @ Brian Deer’s) that nicely illustrates how AJW’s reconstructed reality adversely affected uptake of the MMR and how uptake then rebounded when he was ‘discovered’ to be the fraud that he is. It looks like a droopy ‘V’. Down then up. And ODDLY enough, that graph also predicts what happens in people’s lives- measles waxes and wanes. And we can predict EXACTLY where people are vulnerable to escalations in VPDs because of the numbers. Eventually that will sink in to most people, just as evolution did.

    In the mean time, let them scoff all they will: their contorted manoeuvrings will only convince a tiny- but very vocal- minority.There will always be contrarians who believe that they have simple answers to complex problems- that they are the much-awaited messiah who will lead us out of our present day triibulations in this vale of tears. It may be a mild form of delusion. I won’t venture anything about its significant in natural selection either- I’m sure you can guess,

    As a side note- anti-vax sources are highly insulated from reality and incestuously restricted to their own co-mingled ertritus ( I could probably draw a lovely flow chart) More realistic people don’t normally restrict their acquisition of information as they do.

  176. #177 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2013

    that would be DETRITUS

  177. #178 lilady
    November 17, 2013
  178. #179 Julian Frost
    November 17, 2013

    As was pointed out in comment #118, Dr Zimmerman did not mention autism except tangentially. Greg’s claim in #163 that:

    Dr. Zimmerman details how vaccine can cause autism

    is a lie.

  179. #180 AnObservingParty
    November 17, 2013

    I’ve read the reports, Lilady, I know the original usage. Maybe it’s because I fit with too many at my job–anecdotes! Heh–but I rarely hear the word coming from skeptical, pro-SBM types any more. It’s used to describe the conspiracies and kick-backs and everything else they scream is wrong with vaccination programs, and they all clearly got it from the title of that nefarious book, as I’m sure that’s where the posted on Emily’s blog picked it up. I doubt any of them has actually read Deer’s reports, or the GMC conclusion, but I’m sure they’ve read Wakefield’s defense of it. Perhaps I should rephrase…whenever someone uses that phrase to argue against vaccination, they are labeled a crank. But Kreb is right…we need to take back the phrase. It’s been subverted.

  180. #181 AnObservingParty
    November 17, 2013

    @ Denice

    As a side note- anti-vax sources are highly insulated from reality and incestuously restricted to their own co-mingled ertritus ( I could probably draw a lovely flow chart) More realistic people don’t normally restrict their acquisition of information as they do.

    They seem to be, unfortunately, nothing less than a cult.

  181. #182 brian
    November 17, 2013

    They seem to be, unfortunately, nothing less than a cult.

    They seem to be nothing more than a cult.

  182. #183 Krebiozen
    November 17, 2013

    Having had my interest in the Poling case repiqued by our adorable little interloper, I came across a document from the Vaccine Court about Hannah Poling. I found her history of particular interest:

    December 1998 uneventful birth.

    December 1998 – March 1999 vaccinated with HepB, IPV, Hib and DTaP “without incident”.

    July 1999 – January 2000 frequent severe ear infections (bilateral otitis media) treated with PE tubes in January 2000 (a PE tube is a little tube that relieves pressure that builds up behind the eardrum – they used to be called grommets IIRC).

    December 1999 – March 1999 routine vaccinations refused by mother because of these ear infections.

    July 2000 child “spoke well” and was “alert and active”. DTaP, Hib, MMR, Varivax and IPV vaccinations given to catch up on vaccination refused earlier. Two days after these vaccinations the child developed fever, lethargy, irritability and crying that lasted for ten days. Diagnosed with post-varicella vaccination rash diagnosed by nurse-practitioner.

    September 2000 fever, nasal discharge, reduced appetite, pulling at left ear.

    November 2000 – bilateral PE tubes (again), continued diarrhea, vomiting, diminished energy, fever.

    December 2000 first reports of concerns about language development and social skills.

    December 2000 obstructed PE tube replaced.

    February 2001 Dr. Zimmerman diagnosed “regressive encephalopathy with features consistent with an autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development”.

    May 2001 Dr. Kelley diagnosed “an etiologically unexplained metabolic disorder that appear[ed] to be a common cause of developmental regression.” He noted that children with these metabolic profiles develop normally until sometime between the first and second year of life when their metabolic disorder becomes apparent, at which time they developmentally regress.

    October 2001 Dr. Schoffner diagnosed “oxidative phosphorylation disease”.

    February 2004 Mitochondrial DNA point analysis revealed a single nucleotide change in the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (T2387C).

    How anyone could conclude, “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty”, that Hannah’s problems had anything at all to do with her vaccinations is beyond me. Not only did she display no reactions to her vaccinations in 1998-1999 but she suffered frequent and severe ear infections from July 1999 onward. Yet Dr. Zimmerman concluded that:

    The cause for regressive encephalopathy in Hannah at age 19 months was underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, exacerbated by vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic energy reserves. This acute expenditure of metabolic reserves led to permanent irreversible brain injury. Thus, if not for this event, Hannah may have led a normal, full, productive life.

    Why would vaccination reactions have, “exceeded metabolic energy reserves”, when 18 months of continual bilateral otitis media, requiring two PE tube insertions and one replacement of an obstructed and infected PE tube did not?

  183. #184 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2013

    AnObservingParty:

    Their ‘cult’ has a highly restricted membership and acceptable information is tightly circumscribed – it circulates quickly and is quoted by a small number of sources who then resonant across cyberspace.

    As an internet experiment:
    I find that a new anti-vaccine Meisterwerk was both aired and posted two days ago- “A New Flu Season of Pain, Profit and Politics” by Null and Gale ( @ prn.fm).

    I will peer into my crystal ball and predict:
    within a few days, we’ll be hearing its echoes. It’ll be mentioned(or linked) by the usual suspects or their lackeys. Soon it will be viewed as a classic argument against flu vaccines.

    If you look closely ( @ its references) you’ll both antivaxxers and supposedly respectable sources ( T.Jefferson and P.Doshi- both have been discussed at RI). The article also touches upon how they ‘splain-away data that doesn’t fit their *idee fixee*: it’s not *independent*; it’s tied to compromised institutions ( and -btw- reality) Can’t have that.

  184. #185 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 17, 2013

    Why would vaccination reactions have, “exceeded metabolic energy reserves”, when 18 months of continual bilateral otitis media, requiring two PE tube insertions and one replacement of an obstructed and infected PE tube did not?

    Because there’s no anti-PE tube cult that will descend on anyone with the temerity to mention them in print and pick the flesh off his bones?

  185. #186 lilady
    November 17, 2013

    See my post on the other thread. AoA has pulled down Rolf Hazelhurst’s “briefing” in preparation for the December 4th Congressional hearing video from their website, with this notification…

    Rolf Hazlehurst On VICP at Congressional Briefing

    Video from last week’s Congressional briefing on the vaccine injury compensation program. Read Dan Olmsted’s Weekly Wrap from Saturday to learn more. Thank you to everyone who is engaging in the hearings.

    We are having some issues with the video. We apologize.

    IMO, Rolf Hazlehurst is “having some issues with the video”…he’s worried about his Tennessee law license.

    Hazlehurst was bothering Terry and Jon Poling for quite a while before the last (November, 2012) sham Congressional hearing:

    http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/how-the-zimmerman-report-affects-us-all/

    “terry poling says:
    December 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Dear Thinking Mom Readers,

    I just wanted to add that Rolf Hazlehurst has a lot of “facts” (as he calls them) about my daughter completely and totally wrong. In addition, as an attorney, he should know that while people may expect that he would “spin” the facts the way he wants people or they way he “sees them”, as an officer of the court, he is not allowed to release records to the public without the permission of parties concerned. After the way he has treated my family in person and in writing, and the false way that he is trying to portray others, he has likely made it impossible for anyone to get help.”

    And…

    “terry poling says:
    December 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Lisa,

    Please tell your reader’s that I am not trying to be vague or ambigious. Without writing a novel, it would be impossible to explain the details involved and it often seems that it leads to more confusion rather than less. There are numerous issues however, here are two:

    1. Hannah was never the 4th test case. It is inappropriate for many reasons to say more on this issue.

    2. Hannah’s case was conceded by the government without ANY expert reports, including Zimmerman. After the concession, Zimmerman wrote a report regarding the relationship between the seizures and the vaccine injury. At no time did Zimmerman express an opinion on the relationship between thimerosal in vaccines and autism in our daughter’s case.

    I am sorry not to say more. I hope this clears rather than clouds ambiguity.”

    AoA managed to pull down Hazelhurst’s “briefing” video from their website and from YouTube….but we have the three pdf documents on the TMR blog, when the Polings were using David Kirby to promote their child’s “vaccine-injury”.

    How high would Hannah’s fever been, if she actually contracted the diseases that she was immunized against?

  186. #187 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 17, 2013

    Sorry I forgot my <captain obvious></captain obvious> tags up in there.

  187. #188 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2013

    But lilady, the intermittently appearing-then-disappearing Hazlehurst video has given Jake something to write about!

    -btw- Readers who may have taken their anti-vax message more seriously might get turned off by the in-fighting and position-jostling amongst them- it shows what they’re like on a personal level.

    Thanks again Jake, for helping out SBM – even though it was inadvertently.

  188. #189 Greg
    November 17, 2013

    Re Poling case, I did read Jake’s blog in which he made it clear that Zimmerman’s report on the cause of Hannah’s autism came after the ruling in the case. Initially after reading Mrs. Poling rebuttal of Hazelhurst’s account, I did not take from it that Zimmerman’s report came after ruling. I was reading her as suggesting that Zimmerman was never called upon by the court to weigh in on Hannah’s condition, so it’s irrelevant whether he made his assessment at the time of the ruling.

    If indeed Zimmerman’s report came after the ruling, then I can understand why she would have a ‘beef’ with Hazelhurt’s congressional briefing, and I do apologize for being one of the commenters at AoA that rebuked her for her stance.

    Still guys, in strict respect of the vaccine-autism debate, and setting aside all other matters, I could care less whether Zimmerman’s report came at the time of the ruling, or after. What I understand is that we have a top-notch, expert neurologist — the same expert who essential squashed the Omnibus claimants’ case — now reversing his position and claiming that vaccines can cause regressive encephalopathy and leading to autism.

    Mrs Poling mentioned that Zimmerman never expressed an opinion about thimerosal in vaccines causing her daughter’s autism. Mrs Poling, if you are listening, I too doubt whether thimerosal in vaccines is contributing to the autism explosion. I have made it clear on numerous occasions that I believe it is the cumulative toxic load of vaccines that is causing autism. And, by all accounts, Dr. Zimmerman in the excerpts that I have provided is indeed, explicitly, claiming that vaccines contributed to your daughter’s autism.

    So again, I don’t care whether Dr. Zimmerman’s report came a day after the Omnibus ruling. In fact, I could care less if it came just yesterday. What we have is a leading neurologist who at one time disputed the link, doing the opposite and admitting to it. How then can any pro-vaxxer, with a straight face, tell a parent who watched vaccines destroy their child that there is no link?

    Moving on guys, I still have not obtain your takes on given Dr. Zimmerman’s position that vaccines can cause autism in a slow, gradual way, whether it’s wise to conduct vaccine safety studies where adverse reactions are measured over mere weeks or months. Or, whether it makes sense to study kids who are too young for autism to be detected in them. Again, I am really interested in your takes.

    Also, we’re told that mitochondrial dysfunction is an extreme rare condition, yet others have pointed out that 1 in 50 kids have genes that predisposes them to this dysfunction. Is it not fair then to say then that the condition is not so rare after all?

  189. #190 Greg
    November 17, 2013

    @189, ‘have not obtained…’

  190. #191 Greg
    November 17, 2013

    @Kreb

    “Why would vaccination reactions have, “exceeded metabolic energy reserves”, when 18 months of continual bilateral otitis media, requiring two PE tube insertions and one replacement of an obstructed and infected PE tube did not?”

    Actually Kreb, thanks for asking — let me offer my layperson assessment: The given assumption is that all infections can potentially cause autism, yet we know in the past there were no autism (yeah –yeah–no one saw headbanging, hand flapping, and so on –give it a break — there were none). What this points to is that vaccination pose a novel threat to the immune system. It could be the mode in which toxins are delivered directly into the bloodstream and bypassing other barriers, or it could be the result of priming effect of repeated vaccination.

  191. #192 Alain
    November 17, 2013

    Greg,

    Do you have a direct link to the Zimmerman statement that he changed opinion and as such, I don’t want a link to autism investigated because there are no link given there. I want the actual statements of Zimmerman.

    Alain

  192. #193 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    Also, breaking news out of Princeton, this could be bad….

    Not to worry, “Dr.” Tenpenny is on it. (She has previously done this.)

  193. #194 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    ^ (H/T Dorit)

  194. #195 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    Re Poling case, I did read Jake’s blog in which he made it clear that Zimmerman’s report on the cause of Hannah’s autism came after the ruling in the case…. If indeed Zimmerman’s report came after the ruling….

    There wasn’t a Poling ruling, you halfwit. You weren’t able to figure this out from the explicit comments of her mother, to whom you bizarrely pretend to issue some sort of freakish communiqué here?

    (Disclaimer: Fired up an old non-killfile-installed machine while waiting with irritation on something in the oven.)

  195. #196 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    I seem to have blown the main Tenpenny link above. It’s here.

  196. #197 lilady
    November 18, 2013

    What a mindless twit Tenpenny is…there’s nothing on her site about meningitis type B that is accurate.

    As if…Terry Poling would ever respond to The Troll.

  197. #198 The Smith of Lie
    November 18, 2013

    yet we know in the past there were no autism

    Ok, since we are now discussing with such tools, let me counter with my own yet we know. Yet we know vaccines do not cuase autism (yes, yes, there are mothers who say their children were healthy, yes, yes – give it a break, they don’t).

  198. #199 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 18, 2013

    we know in the past there were no autism (yeah –yeah–no one saw headbanging, hand flapping, and so on –give it a break — there were none).

    So because there was no description and/or definition of autism it didn’t exist? Seriously? Do you have any idea of how stupid you sound? Tourette’s Syndrome was defined in 1885. It was first described in 1825; it is thought that Samuel Johnson had it; and a priest with tics is mentioned in the book “Malleus Maleficarum”, which was written in the 15th century.
    Quite a few historical figures are believed to have been autistic. Just because a condition wasn’t described doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

  199. #200 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    See my post on the other thread. AoA has pulled down Rolf Hazelhurst’s “briefing” in preparation for the December 4th Congressional hearing video from their website, with this notification…
    [...]
    We are having some issues with the video. We apologize.

    I could believe this on purely technical grounds.*

    * Rkprcg sbe gur cneg jurer obgu gur guvegl-fvk zrt fgernzvat naq nhtug-cbvag-frira tvt zbi irefvbaf ner fgvyy cresrpgyl npprffvoyr sebz t–tyr qbpf, gung vf.

  200. #201 herr doktor bimler
    November 18, 2013

    we know in the past there were no autism (yeah –yeah–no one saw headbanging, hand flapping, and so on –give it a break — there were none).

    What a surprise, the literature on idiot savants — going back to Rush’s report in 1789 — is replete with exactly such descriptions. Our man Down, of Down’s Syndrome fame, described autism in 1887 as a form of ‘developmental retardation’.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677584/

  201. #202 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    As if…Terry Poling would ever respond to The Troll.

    What, you mean after his previous attempt at communication with her, in which he dismissed her frivolous remarks about people misstating facts and suggesting that her family, despite wishes in certain quarters, is not a Monopoly token that’s going to cough up rent for Marvin Gardens, with this?

    What does it say about us as a race if we are not prepared to put the health and safety of our most sacred resource –our kids– ahead of our ‘private concerns’? Truly sad!

    Posted by: Greg | November 12, 2013 at 07:52 AM.

    It defies belief that he’s not on speed-dial after that insight, for goodness’ sake.

  202. #203 lilady
    November 18, 2013

    I’ve been slumming over at AoA and other crank websites for the past few hours. As of 3:30 AM EST, Hazelhurst’s video is still not posted.

    Does The Troll know that Terry Poling is an attorney…and a nurse?

  203. #204 Jeff1971
    November 18, 2013

    Olmsted has done this kind of thing before, including removing material for “technical” reasons. He’s a deeply dishonest man.

  204. #205 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    As of 3:30 AM EST, Hazelhurst’s video is still not posted.

    Was I too subtle before?

  205. #206 Julian Frost
    November 18, 2013

    What I understand is that we have a top-notch, expert neurologist — the same expert who essential squashed the Omnibus claimants’ case — now reversing his position and claiming that vaccines can cause regressive encephalopathy and leading to autism.

    You have misunderstood. As has been pointed out to you, Zimmerman only mentioned autism tangentially. Like the proverbial square peg in a round hole, you are attempting to force Zimmerman’s words into something he never said.

  206. #207 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 18, 2013

    With reference to Greg, I will simply note that for MONTHS now, I have been offering a Lurker Challenge in response to his drivellings. Anyone who thinks his ramblings contain any shred of a point that actually deserves to be addressed need only speak up, and I at the very least will consider myself obligated to give the best response I can.

    Not once has anyone taken up that challenge. The obvious implication is that not even other antivaxxers think Greg’s nonsense is worth mining for the tiny shreds of sense that MIGHT be in there in some fantasy world.

  207. #208 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    Narad,

    Is there a rot13 converter on mac? bonus point if it come from macports.org?

    Thanks
    Al

  208. #209 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    Julian Frost (Good morning to everyone btw),

    Do you have a link to the actual statements by Zimmerman?

    Thanks
    Alain

  209. #210 Julian Frost
    November 18, 2013

    Alain, No I don’t. I was referring to Todd W.’s comments @ #118.
    Todd, do you perhaps have a link to Zimmerman’s comments?

  210. #211 Krebiozen
    November 18, 2013
  211. #212 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    Thanks Krebiozen,

    I read the documents and derived some key points, namely, regressive autism caused by mitochondrial disorder which is bound to affect the energy level of the brain and result in lower metabolism in the brain.

    Regressive autism of unknown aetiology. In that case, we don’t know if there’s a lower metabolism in the brain or not.

    Autism, not regressive. There’s many fMRI studies detailing higher activation in autism as compared to control thus, it’s incredibly unlikely that there’s a lower metabolism because, the higher oxygen consumption mean a higher metabolism that the mitochondria can process.

    Are the AoA gang purporting that we all have a lower metabolism and the result we get from fMRI scanners manipulated results? A scanner can’t lie, can it?

    Alain

  212. #213 lilady
    November 18, 2013

    @ Narad…Did I miss something?

    What does that code mean at the end of your comment @ 200?

  213. #214 Greg
    November 18, 2013

    @Bob G

    Do you see how all-powerful I am? Try as the may, they just can’t ignore me. Again folks, if you can’t take the pressure, I suggest that you leave me alone on this thread to educate the undecided lurkers about the harms of vaccines. After all, I was here first (hee hee hee).

    I am having a real blast playing in this big-little ‘sandbox of life’.

    @Narad

    Yes I said ‘ruling’, but I am well aware that the Poling case was conceded.

    @Kreb

    You mentioned how the uptake of certain vaccines was at a high, yet I think there is a little bit more to the story: How many parents feel that vaccines do cause autism? Actually, it’s a quarter of the population. How many parents have skipped one or more of their kids’ vaccines? Actually, that is 1 in 10. Is the exemption rates not increasing across the nation? When the half-a-million autistic kids come of age in the next 10 years, and start impacting society on all levels, how do you think this will help with the growing cynicism towards vaccines? How long do you expect to get extra mileage from the better diagnosis argument?

    @VCADODers
    We discussed Dr. Zimmerman’s position that vaccines can cause slow, delayed brain damage and it would make more sense to conduct vaccine safety studies looking into reactions over years, or studying kids who are old enough that autism can be detected in them.

    We also considered that mitochondrial dysfunction may not be so rare after all, with 1 in 50 kids having genes that predisposes them to this condition. (Where did I also hear of that 1 in 50 number —HHMMM?)

    Finally, I want your takes on whether with the talk of vaccine adjuvants capable of altering genes, whether mitochondrial dysfunction may not be an entirely inherited condition after all, and it may be the result of vaccine injury.

  214. #215 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    @ Narad…Did I miss something?

    What does that code mean at the end of your comment @ 200?

    The videos never were “taken down”; AoA wasn’t hosting them. They were both (streaming and the 1.7 GB version that I mentioned before) being living at Google Docs and Drive (respectively), and they’re both sitting right where they were before. See?

  215. #216 Politicalguineapig
    November 18, 2013

    Narad: What, you mean after his previous attempt at communication with her, in which he dismissed her frivolous remarks about people misstating facts and suggesting that her family, despite wishes in certain quarters, is not a Monopoly token that’s going to cough up rent for Marvin Gardens, with this?

    If Poling and her husband didn’t want to be used by the anti-vaccine movement, then why did they file suit? They must have known that the anti-vax movement would pounce on bait like that.

  216. #217 Politicalguineapig
    November 18, 2013

    Also, oxytocin, like the gut-brain hypothesis is a modern invention and should be considered a suspect notion.

  217. #218 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    If Poling and her husband didn’t want to be used by the anti-vaccine movement, then why did they file suit?

    This question might be more facially honest if you just phrased it as “then why did they succeed in reaching a settlement?” It would make about as much sense as attempting to time-travel motives 13 years into the past.

  218. #219 Jeff1971
    November 18, 2013

    Maybe they filed suit because they wanted the money.

  219. #220 Lawrence
    November 18, 2013

    Actually, I believe the Polings were acting in the best interest of their child. They prevailed, but the results of the case are being twisted by the anti-vax movement for their own agenda….

  220. #221 Denice Walter
    November 18, 2013

    @ Jeff1971;

    Well, money is certainly part of the issue: I think Mark et al want also to be PROVEN correct publicly in their assertations that they’ve been harmed by vaccines. Perhaps to put an end to the ( well-deserved) ridicule to which they’ve been subjected.

    At any rate, around the sites that I frequent it’s said that the Polings were compensated because of _vaccine injury_ ; others want a piece of the action for themselves.

    However Jake will have no part of the hearing – he won’t show.
    I think that he requires nothing less than the government admitting that it wantonly poisoned infants with mercury AND a Nobel for his efforts in uncovering the deed and its cover-up.

  221. #222 lilady
    November 18, 2013

    @ Narad # 215: Thanks for the link to the video…and the explanation. Don’t forget about my level of (in)competence when it comes to computer technology. :-)

  222. #223 Krebiozen
    November 18, 2013

    @PGP #217,

    Also, oxytocin, like the gut-brain hypothesis is a modern invention and should be considered a suspect notion.

    Citation? Oxytocin may be a recent discovery, but I don’t think its role in emotional bonding is particularly controversial.

    I’m also not sure what you mean by “the gut-brain hypothesis”. There is an extensive network of neurons in our gut that has been described as a second brain. I don’t think that’s particularly controversial either, though some claims about it might be.

  223. #224 MI Dawn
    November 18, 2013

    @PGP: not sure how old you think oxytocin (Pitocin) is, but it’s been used for many decades… so, unlike the gut-brain hypothesis, if it had any effect, it would have been notice long before now…

    (I can personally vouch for nearly 35 years of its use, and by second hand, go back another 20+….)

  224. #225 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    @Alain:

    Is there a rot13 converter on mac? bonus point if it come from macports.org?

    Don’t get me started on Macports and its ilk. If I had wanted half a dozen copies of Python and unknown Perls scattered around, I think I’d remember that desire.

    You can do it from any normal shell:

    /Users/narad> which tr
    /usr/bin/tr
    /Users/narad> tr ‘A-Za-z’ ‘N-ZA-Mn-za-m’ <

  225. #226 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    Grumble.

    /Users/narad> tr ‘A-Za-z’ ‘N-ZA-Mn-za-m’ << “”
    ? The quick brown fox
    ? ^D Gur dhvpx oebja sbk
    /Users/narad>

  226. #227 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    Citation? Oxytocin may be a recent discovery, but I don’t think its role in emotional bonding is particularly controversial.

    I’m also not sure what you mean by “the gut-brain hypothesis”.

    I took both of these to refer to autism causation/mechanism claims. This AoA entry manages to combine them, after a fashion.

  227. #228 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 18, 2013

    I should point out that Googling “rot13 converter” will return a number of services…

  228. #229 Bill Price
    November 18, 2013

    Narad, #225,226– I use the Leetkey addon to Firefox, myself. Then, it’s just a matter of (a) select the text; (b) rightclick; (c) select LeetKey from the dropdown; select Text Transformers → ROT13; and (d) do whatever with the results where the selected text was. That’s because I’m lazy — getting the text into terminal window, and remembering the Unix incantation is too much exercise for casual ROT13ing.

  229. #230 Chris HIckie
    November 18, 2013

    rot13.com works well.

    I was going to do it on geocaching.com, but it’s time for dinner.

  230. #231 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    Don’t get me started on Macports and its ilk

    Okay.

    if(‘good automated *nix utilities build infrastructure’ === exist) then {
    echo ‘Can you recommend something please?’;
    }
    else
    {
    echo ‘Shrug…’;
    }

    /* let see if that cause a script injection hole into scienceblogs */

    Alain

  231. #232 Greg
    November 18, 2013

    @214 I asked:

    “Finally, I want your takes on whether with the talk of vaccine adjuvants capable of altering genes, whether mitochondrial dysfunction may not be an entirely inherited condition after all, and it may be the result of vaccine injury.”

    @211 Kreb, you provided a link to the Hannah Poling medical report and it states….

    “Such mitochondrial dysfunction may arise from multiple genetic or epigenetic causes. Genetic causes include mutation in nuclear or mitochondrial DNA. Epigenetic causes include environmental toxins, infections, and various pharmaceuticals.”

    Clearly then, the report is stating that vaccination can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction. Also, considering the genetic factor of mutated genes, are we to believe that these mutations are totally an inherited condition, or again, can vaccines be implicated in the process? If yes, this would amount to a double whammy of vaccines potentially causing mitochondrial dysfunction.

  232. #233 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    @Alain:

    I’ve used Fink and Macports* out of laziness, but my general persuasion is that if I need something compiled, it’s just as well that I do it myself. At least then I know what’s going on, particularly if I’d rather have something statically linked.

    ‘Homebrew’ seems to be the new kid on the block, and I could swear that I heard about another one a couple of months ago, but the closest thing to a “package manager” I’m willing to put up with at this point is tlmgr for (La)TeX stuff.

    And it goes without saying that the last thing you want is more than one package manager skulking around.

    * And I-Installer for binaries, which is long EOL, with Rudix floating around now.

  233. #234 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    I should specify what I need at the moment:

    1-: Maxima (Done with macports)
    2-: R (Need gcc which doesn’t compile)
    3-: Recent Apache with mod_php and mod_mono
    4-: mono, F#, C#, MonoDevelop
    5-: !Mysql (covered by mariadb)
    6-: PostgreSQL (might use this instead of mysql)

    When I get my job, I’ll be saving up money for a 16-core mac pro fully loaded and will likely run the same stack.

    Alain

  234. #235 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    2-: R (Need gcc which doesn’t compile)

    You’re trying to compile gcc, or R?

  235. #236 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    gcc.

    R need it for its extension but then it dawned on me that I could hop to cran.r-project.org and download an installer.

    Alain

  236. #237 Politicalguineapig
    November 18, 2013

    Lawrence: Actually, I believe the Polings were acting in the best interest of their child. They prevailed, but the results of the case are being twisted by the anti-vax movement for their own agenda….

    Anyone who refers to a child as ‘damaged’ can’t possibly act in the best interests of that child. And I believe Hannah’s father was a doctor and her mother was a nurse- they had to have been aware of the anti-vaccine movement. I can’t sympathize with people who throw red meat to the hyenas of the anti-vax movement. (I’d say wolves, but I happen to like wolves.)

  237. #238 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    You can’t use the (I presume) llvm-gcc-4.2 that comes with Xcode?

  238. #239 Politicalguineapig
    November 18, 2013

    Kreb and MI Dawn: I’m most familiar with oxytocin as a way to slutshame; you know, the ‘you bond forever with sexual partners so keep shut until you’re married’ bullshite. Therefore, since the messengers are untrustworthy, I tend to regard the message itself as suspect- plus, I’m sure you’re aware of my views on romance and pair-bonding (basically, they’re poison pills.)
    The gut-brain hypothesis is another case of shady messengers; since I’ve only ever heard of it around Age of Autism it probably isn’t of any scientific validity.
    In case you’re wondering, there are certain people (a certain rep from Minnesota, most Texas politicians, anyone from Age of Autism) who just can’t tell the truth; if they said the sky was blue, I’d need six reliable witnesses, a fact-check and a spectrum scanner to verify that the sky was, in fact, blue.

  239. #240 Alain
    November 18, 2013

    Xcode 5.0 (on mavericks) use llvm’s clang 3.3 (for licensing reason, clang’s a better compiler than gcc 4.2 and later version of gcc are gpl 3 which apple hate). The reason I was installing gcc was because R from macports required gcc in its build script. If I where compiling it myself, I’d use clang.

    Alain

  240. #241 Chris,
    November 18, 2013

    Colored me very confused.

  241. #242 Narad
    November 18, 2013

    Anyone who refers to a child as ‘damaged’ can’t possibly act in the best interests of that child. And I believe Hannah’s father was a doctor and her mother was a nurse- they had to have been aware of the anti-vaccine movement.

    Right, so doctor-nurse parents aren’t allowed to seek compensation from the VICP, and you personally also have some sort of iron-clad, keyword-based, predictive mental-modeling skills. Gotcha.

    I can’t sympathize with people who throw red meat to the hyenas of the anti-vax movement. (I’d say wolves, but I happen to like wolves.)

    FTFY.

  242. #243 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 19, 2013

    Politicalguineapig, I really dislike it when people presume to tell me what I am or am not thinking. By the same token, I’m not very impressed by your attempts to read the Polings’ minds. Hannah Poling had a genuine problem and the Polings were compensated. That the anti-vaxxers misquote, distort and lie about her condition is hardly the fault of her parents.

  243. #244 herr doktor bimler
    November 19, 2013

    people who throw red meat to the hyenas of the anti-vax movement.

    Hey, leave hyenas out of it. They may not be particularly admirable or sympathetic, but Evolution has more important things to do than worry about creating edifying bestiary-style parables for human behaviour.

  244. #245 Krebiozen
    November 19, 2013

    PGP,

    I’m most familiar with oxytocin as a way to slutshame; you know, the ‘you bond forever with sexual partners so keep shut until you’re married’ bullshite.

    That might actually be true for mongamous prairie voles, but in humans? I’m very sceptical. There is plenty of evidence it does have some effects on emotional bonding, independent of efforts to use them to support various moral causes.

    The gut-brain hypothesis is another case of shady messengers; since I’ve only ever heard of it around Age of Autism it probably isn’t of any scientific validity.

    If you’re referring to this as a cause of autism, I agree entirely. The term ‘gut-brain hypothesis’ is sometimes used in other contexts too, referring to the idea that there is communication between the brain and the gut that leads to functional gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, for example.

  245. #246 Greg
    November 19, 2013

    OMG — is Narad and PGP actually disagreeing. Is judgement day here? Are we seeing fire and brimstone? Will there be earthquakes, volcanoes, oceans rising? Could it be — a dissension in RI’s echo chamber?

  246. #247 Greg
    November 19, 2013

    @PGP

    “I’m sure you’re aware of my views on romance and pair-bonding (basically, they’re poison pills.)”

    Actually PGP, I am not aware of your views on romance and pair-bonding. ‘Poison pills’ — what gives? Reflecting on other personalities here at RI, I completely overlooked you. Would you like to open up a little about yourself? Maybe I can help you overcome your obvious jaded views.

  247. #248 Greg
    November 19, 2013

    “I’m most familiar with oxytocin as a way to slutshame”

    What is PGP talking about? Anyone?

  248. #249 Denice Walter
    November 19, 2013

    @ PGP:

    Just because advocates use biological concepts for political or social engineering purposes doesn’t mean that the substances they refer to don’t exist or have any effects. There’s research about oxytocin, you know.

    Remember that biology is not destiny but it’s also not nothing. Life is complex. So is society.

    In other antivax news ( and the other side of the bias coin)-

    Julie O. ( AoA) carps about the powers-that-be blaming the “white, suburban” mothers who rebel against their Authoritah.

    The most interesting thing about the post- which comes off totally as expected ( if you read TMR, Nurture Parenting or hear Fearless Parent)- is that they allow our own Chris Hickie to comment. Then they all chime in- I wonder if they’ll allow him to retort?

    -btw- I was thinking about Dr Chris when I listened to a tape of Null’s latest Talkback ( this past Sunday @ PRN, last 15 minutes or so) in which he detailed how he responded to a doctor who attacked his views after a showing of his latest anti-vax film- or course we only have his ( and his accomplice’s) word on how the interaction proceeded BUT the rant was a model of woo backlash to reason. It included such gems as “I’m a researcher”, “Doctors do as they’re told” and “What about Vioxx?”

  249. #250 Narad
    November 19, 2013

    I’m most familiar with oxytocin as a way to slutshame; you know, the ‘you bond forever with sexual partners so keep shut until you’re married’ bullshite. Therefore, since the messengers are untrustworthy….

    If you can’t see the logical problem here, you’re in no position to be complaining about crappy messengers.

  250. #251 Calli Arcale
    November 19, 2013

    Greg:

    Actually PGP, I am not aware of your views on romance and pair-bonding. ‘Poison pills’ — what gives? Reflecting on other personalities here at RI, I completely overlooked you. Would you like to open up a little about yourself? Maybe I can help you overcome your obvious jaded views.

    *gets popcorn*

  251. #252 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 19, 2013

    Kreb and MI Dawn: I’m most familiar with oxytocin as a way to slutshame; you know, the ‘you bond forever with sexual partners so keep shut until you’re married’ bullshite.

    Apparently we don’t travel in even remotely the same circles because I’ve never heard oxytocin referred to in this way. And the more I try to think about the phrase in quotes the less I understand what it’s supposed to mean. I’m befuddled.

  252. #253 lilady
    November 19, 2013

    I just read Julie’s AoA post on “white educated women” and Dr. Chris’ comment.

    Does this mean that Dr. Chris is not impressed with those white educated women’s mommy intuition to not vaccinate?

    Speaking about mommy intuition…I wonder why Dr. Jay hasn’t posted on RI or on SBM lately.

  253. #254 Lawrence
    November 19, 2013

    @PGP – yes, I’ve never heard of it used or referred to in that manner either….there is always a problem with abuse (and in some communities, it is very, very had)….but perhaps you are going a bit overboard in the narrative….

  254. #255 Denice Walter
    November 19, 2013

    @ Mephistopheles:

    I’ve actually heard some variants upon this theme-
    women’s bodies( including hormones) are created to serve particular purposes, it’s all in the lord’s plan, those who deviate from from the norm are accursed etc I can see how she got angered by strident proselytisation..
    Again I can’t imagine a substanial proportion of the population *believing* in this but then I live in one of gthe last untainted refuges for liberals.

  255. #256 Politicalguineapig
    November 19, 2013

    Greg: This is the one and only time I respond about personal stuff, so listen up, blackheart. Narad and I actually disagree quite a lot on non-medical stuff. I used to haunt political blogs, which is where I first heard of oxytocin. They were very useful in keeping track of your Saint Michelle.

    The rest? Nah, you don’t get to hear that. I don’t indulge in emotions around bullies.

  256. #257 palindrom
    November 19, 2013

    Is it possible that oxytocin and oxycontin are being confused here? I’ve never heard of oxytocin abuse being ‘very, very bad’ in some communities. Inducing labor isn’t generally percieived as a fabulous rush …

  257. #258 Krebiozen
    November 19, 2013

    palindrom,
    I may be taking you a little too seriously here but…

    Is it possible that oxytocin and oxycontin are being confused here?

    Nope. Some of these hormones have secondary effects on consciousness and mood as well as their primary hormonal effects. For example the closely related vasopressin (aka anti-diuretic hormone ADH) has effects on alertness and memory. I used to buy it as a nasal spray years ago as a sort of ‘smart drug’ – it certainly seemed to instantly clear my mind and make studying easier, especially after using alcohol and, allegedly, other substances. That may sound odd but I found it useful to be able to go out, have a few drinks with some friends, then clear my head and study when I got home.

    “Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security”, so its release after orgasm and childbirth is supposed to have effects on emotional bonding.

    The abuse referred to is of imposing moral values on people based on the biological effects of these hormones e.g. it’s ‘natural’ to emotionally bond with a sexual partner, therefore monogamy is natural, therefore the Bible is literally true, therefore burn the witch (or something like that).

  258. #259 Calli Arcale
    November 19, 2013

    palindrom — no, ti’s oxytocin being discussed, not oxycontin. (Though you do remind me of this lovely story years back about some burglars who broke into a veterinary clinic and stole oxytocin, presumably thinking it was oxycontin.)

    Oxytocin is, like many hormones, multi-function. It induces labor, but it also is involved in the milk let-down reflex and in orgasm. It seems to have some connection to the ability to form social bonds, though exactly how that works is very much unclear. Not that that has stopped anyone from taking that idea and stampeding with it. For instance, there is a claim that autism might be an oxytocin deficiency, or the result of too much or too little oxytocin earlier in life. In particular, some of the blame-doctors-for-autism crowd have shifted from vaccines to blaming induction of labor. And as alluded to above by PGP and others, there have been some particularly odious claims that actually manage to go even further afield of the evidence by implying that women who are not in “traditional” gender roles might be denying themselves the benefits of oxytocin — basically, it’s one way to confirm their prejudice of non-traditional women as grumpy old windbags, while reinforcing their belief in traditional gender roles, without the bother of having to think about it very much. I don’t think this is very commonplace; most people who object to non-traditional gender roles don’t feel the need for a biological argument. But some do.

  259. #260 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    November 19, 2013

    Heh; I should’ve known Krebiozen would explain it better. ;-)

  260. #261 janet
    at work
    November 19, 2013

    janet <—–grumpy old windbag
    :)

  261. #262 greg
    November 19, 2013

    Things are starting to come into focus. First there were those who got all testy about me asking Chris about her sex. Then others pointed out that my SNL spoof touched on lesbianism. Now we have PGP touching on gender issues.

    Are there matters here that need to be discussed? Look- I have complex views on many issues. Still, I am only here to take you guys to task for pushing poisons on innocent, defenseless kids

  262. #263 palindrom
    November 19, 2013

    Calli and Krebiozen — thanks to both of you for taking the time to explain that! My wife is in the OB field, and all I’d heard about oxytocin was that it was used to induce labor.

    I too had heard the story about the confused burglars. Priceless!

    A little along those lines, an oldish joke relates the apocryphal story of a briefing in the Bush White House in which W is informed that Cheney has angina. “That can’t be true!” exclaims Bush. “Men do not have anginas!”

    But then, he’s informed that Cheney has “acute angina”, and he gets even more confused.

  263. #264 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 19, 2013

    @Julian Frost

    Sorry for getting back to you late (and maybe someone else already responded), but the link to the letter from Zimmerman is in Greg’s post upthread, at #117. Buried in the pages (and pages and pages) of Hazelhurst’s presentation is the letter from Zimmerman to which Greg referred.

  264. #265 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 19, 2013

    To those fortunate enough not to have been exposed to the Men’s Rights Movement and other attempts to keep women in their place, oxytocin plays a prominent part in their misuse of Evolutionary Psychology. (Is there a legitimate use?)

    It’s one of the many hormone-based just-so stories that explain the natural barefoot-and-pregnant state of women and why their fuzzy pink ladybrains couldn’t possibly have anything to contribute to the discussion when Dudes are Dudifying their full Dudeliness on a problem.

    IOW: “There, there, now—Dudes are talking, wiminz are slaves to their hormones; it’s evolution! Nothing can be done about it! Now go make me a sammich!”

  265. #266 herr doktor bimler
    November 19, 2013

    one of the many hormone-based just-so stories that explain the natural barefoot-and-pregnant state of women and why their fuzzy pink ladybrains couldn’t possibly have anything to contribute to the discussion

    This did not stop MRA / Evo-psychists from arguing that wimmenz need additional oxytocin from sperm to keep them happy.

  266. #267 Denice Walter
    November 19, 2013

    I would have guessed that Krebiozen would know all about the relationship between cognition and various substances. Not all of my familiarity is due to book larning.

    My friend John, was totally brilliant but felt he needed assistance prior to exams: he, gay and moderately thin, asked a doctor for meds to lose weight. The doctor says he really doesn’t need to lose any weight so he shoots back without missing a beat- ” But I’m supposed to model for a new designer!” He got the meds. He also enlisted the aid of (( shudder)) nicotine.

    I have experimented with different combinations myself and have found that alcohol, caffeine and sinus de-congestants really helped my writing. I do actually have sinus problems.

  267. #268 Alain
    November 19, 2013

    The videos never were “taken down”; AoA wasn’t hosting them. They were both (streaming and the 1.7 GB version that I mentioned before) being living at Google Docs and Drive (respectively), and they’re both sitting right where they were before.

    Thanks Narad :D

    Now it’s up on youtoob:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hox1gAou5Q

    Enjoy :D

    Alain

  268. #269 Krebiozen
    November 19, 2013

    Calli,

    Heh; I should’ve known Krebiozen would explain it better.

    Au contraire, I think between us we we covered it very nicely – I omitted the autism link.

  269. #270 Krebiozen
    November 19, 2013

    Denice,
    Vasopressin doesn’t have stimulant effects like amphetamines (or pseudoephedrine or caffeine for that matter), it doesn’t feel like taking a drug at all. It simply clears the brain of any fog; some of this may be a placebo effect, of course, but the science appears to support my subjective experience, in regard to improved retention of learned material anyway.

    Since it’s a natural hormone, and the doses in a nasal spray are quite small, it seems unlikely it could be harmful. Funnily enough at the time I was using it I shared a house with a nurse who suffered from diabetes insipidus which is treated with vasopressin, and we both stored our vasopressin sprays in the same fridge. He told me had never noticed its psychoactive effects; it is that subtle*.

    I can’t resist relating an amusing anecdote – back when I was using vasopressin, the 20-something-year-old son of some friends of mine stayed at my home one weekend during a music festival taking place locally. When he returned from an afternoon of drinking and indulging in (no doubt) various other substances, he remembered that I had told him my vasopressin spray could instantly sober a person up. I assume he didn’t believe me, because he insisted on giving it a try, and was quite upset that the altered state he had spent so much time and money achieving was dissipated in an instant. “What’s the point of a drug that sobers you up?” he asked.

    * This was a Scottish nurse who didn’t drink, by the way, astonishing but true.

  270. #271 Krebiozen
    November 19, 2013

    I did say that using vasopressin is probably harmless, but I feel obliged to add that I meant occasional use in small doses. It has been linked to seizures, hyponatremia and death when used in large doses for long periods.

  271. #272 Denice Walter
    November 19, 2013

    Kreb, we both have interesting friends.

  272. #273 lilady
    November 19, 2013

    So the thread has devolved to anecdotes, eh?

    Oxytocin and Prolactin are the hormones responsible for milk letting down. Hearing your infant cry causes your milk to letdown.

    http://breastfeeding.about.com/od/CommonProblems/a/The-Let-down-Reflex.htm

    So there I was, out for dinner with dear hubby and a group of friends at a very large seafood restaurant. I had breastfed my daughter just before we departed home and left an ample supple of breast milk in the refrigerator and freezer, for my mother to feed her.

    Who could have predicted that someone brought an infant into that restaurant? Who knew that hearing that infant cry, would cause my milk to letdown?

    Embarrassing? Yes, at first. Then we all started laughing, as the milk poured out of my breasts, soaked the nursing pads and my bra and ran down the front of my blouse…all because another infant was crying.

  273. #274 Narad
    November 19, 2013

    Thanks Narad :D

    Now it’s up on youtoob

    I hope you didn’t have to bother reencoding it.* But anyway, somebody’s got a lot of f*cking nerve.

    Addendum, November 19, 2013: Despite Age of Autism removing the video, it remains online after all. A commenter here [viz., Jake's place] has posted the link. It has not been posted on Age of Autism.

    * Oh, wait, I didn’t mention where the full file lives, now did I? No doubt Jake’s sleufmmenter Sarah would be able to cough this up in short order.

  274. #275 herr doktor bimler
    November 20, 2013

    I used to buy [vasopressin] as a nasal spray years ago as a sort of ‘smart drug’

    In popular culture at least, that was a feature of 1990s post-humanism — Bruce Sterling and Warren Ellis thought they were totally cutting edge when they wrote characters in (respectively) ‘Schizmatrix’ and ‘Lazarus Churchyard’, using vasopressin for just that purpose.
    Clearly both are modelled on Krebiozen.

  275. #276 skeptiquette
    USA
    November 21, 2013

    Hi Krebozien

    Firstly, it seems to me that increased awareness and widened diagnostic criteria are very probably sufficient to explain the increased numbers of autism diagnoses we see. Calli has explained why we may not have been as aware of autistic individuals some years ago. Studies looking at autistic adults, and the reduction in the numbers of children diagnosed with intellectual impairment suggest that the numbers of autistic individuals is stable. Looking for “root causes” for a phenomenon that does not exist is pointless.

    I would be interested on your take of the following article:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111102/pdf/479022a.pdf

    It seems like a balanced article and captures some of the thoughts that I have had when reading various debates over the increasing prevalence of autism.

    Specifically, what do you think of Bearman’s work on the subject?

    And what evidence plays the strongest in your disagreement with:

    “But many researchers now say that at least part of the rise in autism is real and caused by something in the environment. Rather than quibbling over recounts they are focusing on finding the causes.”

    (if this is even accurate, which I am unsure of since there is no reference)

    This last bit is something that has always permeated my thinking on the subject. Basically, we know that there is a fairly high incidence of autism and that some of these autistics suffer quality of life issues (I realize some don’t and would never want to change anything for the world, which is perfectly fine. I am also not saying anyone is damaged or less of a human being.) and that looking for root causes may help alleviate or prevent some of the more severe and debilitating cases of autism. I am curious, since the consensus science points towards a multifactorial etiology of autism implicating both genes and environment, whether you support research which explores environmental contribution to autism?

    Thanks for your time.

    Skeptiquette

  276. #277 Denice Walter
    November 21, 2013

    @ Skeptiquette:
    If you don’t mind my take
    ( I seem to have lost my earlier response so I’ll be briefer)

    I think that EVENTUALLY we’ll see a picture emerge like that for schizophrenia – altho’ not exactly the same environmental causes BUT very early enivromental causes- pre- and peri- natal ( see schizophrenia.com/ causation).

    Already we’ve explored ideas along these lines for autism: parental age, mother’s obesity, urban enviroment, early and late term delivery, mother’s lack of particular nutrients during pregnancy etc.

    I wouldn’t be surprised by a model that included genetics plus events that occured during gestation and perhaps complications during birth. NOT vaccines and antibiotics given to the child at age 12 months.

  277. #278 skeptiquette
    November 21, 2013

    As usual your take is always appreciated, Denice.

    I agree with you that the picture that is emerging for many neuro-disorders is consistent with what has been seen in Schizophrenia– A Genetic, environmental and developmental model of etiology that starts in utero.

    However, I’m curious (not convinced) about how post natal development could play into this model. Seeing how the core symptoms of Autism are defined by behaviors that develop postnatally –speech deficits, social interaction deficits, limited interest in activities– I am cautious to preclude any post natal contribution.

  278. #279 Denice Walter
    November 21, 2013

    @ skeptiquette:

    Often the neurological *physical* bases necessary for acquiring and developing these skills – in speech, social interaction, general and social cognition- are indeed what is affected pre- and peri-natally – including the genetic influences ‘unfolding’. The effects aren’t always immediately apparentt since month old infants don’t speech or socialise with adults or peers.

    Here’s a more extreme example:
    children appear to be developing normally or nearly so BUT-
    during adloescence and early adulthood, they begin to behave differently, have odd ideas, lose academic and daily living skills and report troubling symptoms. Of course, I’m talking about schizophrenia.

    In earlier days, differing theories hypothesised causation as occuring post- natally or even close in time to the perceived first symptoms- perhaps disappointment in love, parental or instructional pressures or the well-known ‘schizophrenogenic mother’s” actions or erraticism in childhood caused the illness.

    HOWEVER we know now that genetics play an important role as do very early environmental events ( e.g. mother having an infection during preganancy, birth difficulties) and that early indicators of the condition may be observed: videos of children show differences in motion, school records show differences in achievement and LDs may have been diagnosed prior to the diagnosis of a SMI. There is also a whole list of social indicators which may predict later SMI.

    Similarly, there are also very early indicators of ASD diagnosis at a later age: patterns of gaze, head size, intra-facial proportions, brain and brain wave differences, less reaching out to caregivers etc. These occur prior to the time period when autism is usually first suspected.

  279. #280 Denice Walter
    November 21, 2013

    That should be SPEAK

  280. #281 Krebiozen
    November 21, 2013

    skeptiquette,

    I would be interested on your take of the following article:

    I am familiar with that article, but I’m not convinced by its arguments that actual prevalence of autism and ASDs is rising. Studies such as this one in the UK, which unexpectedly found an unexpectedly high prevalence of autism among adults, suggest to me that if prevalence is increasing, it is at a rate far lower than the increase in diagnoses suggests.

    Models looking at diagnostic substitution can account for a large portion of the rise, and I think that the reduced stigma associated with a diagnosis of an ASD as compared with “mental retardation” (for example) easily accounts for the rest, though that is hard to prove.

    Of course we should look for environmental causes of ASDs, though the great majority of the evidence seems to me to point to these being prenatal, and we shouldn’t close the door on postnatal causes either, though vaccines seem vanishingly unlikely as an important cause except perhaps in rare cases.

    However, I think it is very important to be sure we are seeing an effect before we start looking for a cause – if we restrict our search for environmental factors to those to which mothers and children have had increased exposure i.e. if we accept the idea that prevalence is really increasing, we may miss something important that is constant or even perhaps decreasing.

  281. #282 Krebiozen
    November 21, 2013

    I meant to address this specifically:

    Specifically, what do you think of Bearman’s work on the subject?

    I think it looks solid, and makes sense to me. So far he has accounted for more than 50% of the increase in diagnoses – more than 25% is accounted for by a reduction in MR diagnoses alone – and he expects to be able to account for the remainder.

    This more recent study also co-authored by Bearman, found cohort effects consistent with increasing social awareness of autism.

  282. #283 skeptiquette
    Middle America
    November 27, 2013

    Denice-

    You opined that eventually we may see a picture (of autism etiology) emerge like that for schizophrenia and went into a bit more detail in a second response to me.

    However, I think you have a misconception of what is known now WRT schizophrenia. The picture that is emerging is that of a two-hit hypothesis, which postulates that an early life (in utero or early childhood) stressor or immune event coupled with a genetic predisposition can prime the nervous system and result in either abnormal development before clinical diagnoses OR normal development with a later life event (during adolescence) triggering the onset of schizophrenia.

    This quote from a recent paper sums it up more clearly:

    What is emerging is a picture of schizophrenia as a dynamic bio-logical disorder. The two-hit hypothesis emphasizes that an insult during the prenatal or early life stages may prime the nervous system to develop either: (1) abnormally, such that functioning is noticeably disordered even before individuals are diagnosed with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder or (2) normally, but is primed such that a second event later in life (such puberty or later life immune attack or a significant life stressor) disrupts neurological processes. What is also emerging is that abnormalities in glutamate signaling and microglial activity may be inherently intertwined in this process.

    Inflammation and the two-hit hypothesis of schizophrenia. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 2013 Article In Press.

    What evidence or research is most convincing to the idea that autism is genetically and/or prenatally determined and that there is no post natal contribution?

    Remember, I don’t hold the idea that a prenatal and post natal contributions are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, I think the most plausible idea right now is that of the “small nudges” hypothesis, which postulates that many small genetic and environmental factors (pre-natal and early in post natal development) nudge the individual towards an autism phenotype.

  283. #284 Sarah A
    November 27, 2013

    I’m not an expert on autism, but I found this article particularly convincing as evidence that whatever causes of autism aren’t genetic must act early in pregnancy. Among other things, they review the literature on teratogens which are known to cause autism only in the first 8 weeks post conception. The same teratogens will cause other birth defects, but not autism, if the mother is exposed later in gestation.

  284. #285 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2013

    Skeptiquette:

    You miss the entire point:

    both situations (1 and 2 as described ) involve an underlying condition- ” an insult during the pre-natal or early life stages may prime the nervous system to develop” in either of those two ways- in other words, schizophrenia doesn’t just appear out of nowhere but has to be set up early.

    During adolescence/ puberty many changes occur neurologically.

  285. #286 skeptiquette
    November 27, 2013

    Denice:

    Yep, you’re right I did miss your entire point above… Sorry about that and thanks for pointing that out.

    I also don’t think that it just appears out of nowhere, like I said there is likely a G X E interaction that STARTS in utero.

    What I was trying to clarify is that sometimes a G xE interaction in utero is not sufficient, but requires a further insult post natally to actually trigger schizophrenia.

    As a hypothetical example, take a set of twins that have a predisposition genetically towards schizophrenia and also had an immune insult during a developmentally sensitive time frame pre natally (they are both primed in other words). Then, let’s say these two twins are given up for adoption and one twin goes into a loving caring home where there is a very low stress level, whereas the other goes onto a home that turns out to be a high stress situation. During puberty, another developmentally sensitive time frame, the child in the high stress home continues to experience an extremely high load of stress, while the other twin does not.

    Is it possible for the low stress twin to show no signs of schizophrenia, and the high stress twin to develop full blown schizophrenia?

    I would venture to say yes, but would be interested in your response.

    BTW, are there any twin studies like this that you are aware of?

  286. #287 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2013

    @ skeptiquette:

    Altho’ i can’t cover the entire subject here- OBVIOUSLY….
    a good start might be looking at causal factors @ schizophrenia.com – see section about stress.

    Also the work of Fuller Torrey on heritability/ twins and SMI using data from places like Denmark.

  287. #288 skeptiquette
    November 28, 2013

    @ Denice

    I didn’t expect you to cover the entire subject, obviously, it’s a blog not a dissertation. A single sentence would probably have been sufficient.

    Thanks for the website and the other reference, I’ll take a look.

  288. #289 Krebiozen
    November 28, 2013

    skeptiquette,

    What evidence or research is most convincing to the idea that [...] there is no post natal contribution?

    I think you are asking the wrong question. I think it is more useful to look at what evidence there is for a post-natal contribution to the etiology of autism. The evidence I am aware of is consistent with the idea that autism is determined prenatally, but that environmental factors may have an effect on its course.

    There is the increase in apparent incidence of autism, of course, but as we have discussed it seems entirely possible that this can be entirely explained by changes in definition, wider awareness and a greater willingness to accept or even seek a diagnosis.

    We often see people trying to find possible ways in which autism could be caused by environmental factors (usually meaning vaccines), and because it is difficult to prove a negative it is difficult to offer definitive evidence that this cannot be true. I think we need to step back, look at the research into autism and the epidemiological studies that have been done and see where they are pointing. When we do so, I think it is clear that almost everything is pointing towards a genetic cause which may be influenced by pre-natal environmental factors, and little if anything is pointing to post-natal effects.

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