Autism

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Autism

Three years ago, the influenza season was a really big deal. The reason, of course, is that the 2009-2010 flu season was dominated by fears of the H1N1 strain, so much so that it was a rare flu season that there were two recommended vaccines, one for the originally expected strains of flu and one…

Beauty and the antivaccine beast

The last couple of days have been very busy, as you might have guessed from my brief (for me) post on Tuesday and my—shall we say?—appropriation of a post to use for yesterday. Today’s going to be the same, but for more pleasant reasons than having had to go out to dinner with a visiting…

Does anyone “recover” from autism?

Way back in the day, when I was a newbie at countering the mass of hysterical pseudoscience that is the antivaccine movement, particularly the myth that vaccines cause autism, a blogger by the ‘nym of Prometheus taught me that autism and autism spectrum disorders (particularly by antivaccinationists and believers in the quackery known as “autism…

I sense another disturbance in the antivaccine Force. Yes, I realize that it was just a couple of days ago that I sensed a previous disturbance rippling through the antivaccine Force. That’s when antivaccinationists brought David Kirby out of mothballs from whatever journalistic slime pit he’s currently residing in to use every trick at his…

Some post-holiday antivaccine “science”

I hope that you and yours are having a fantastic holiday season thus far. Yesterday, we had a great family gathering, after which I settled down to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special; all in all, a most excellent Christmas Day. Unfortunately, towards the later part of the day, someone out there sent me an…

I certainly don’t even try to keep secret my opinion of Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the measles back to the UK, thanks to his bad science, for which he was well-paid by trial lawyers and his falsification of data and scientific fraud. Since 1998, when Wakefield first…

The false idea that vaccines somehow cause or contribute to autism has been a common theme on this blog, and I’ve spent considerable verbiage discussing why anyone would think that vaccines are in any way associated with autism when the science is quite clear that they are not. If there’s one thing I’ve been consistent…

Fundraising for antivaccine research

If there’s one thing that antivaccine cranks tell us that has a grain of truth in it, it’s to be wary of pharmaceutical companies and their influence. Their mission is, of course, to make profits, and sometimes the search for profits can lead them to do things that are less than savory. Of course, antivaccine…

Whenever I blog about atrocities against science like the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), I’m frequently asked how just such an edifice designed to promote pseudoscience could have come to be as a full-fledged center in the National Institutes of Health. The answer is simple and boils down to woo-loving legislators. In…

I’m having a hard time keeping myself from laughing uproariously. I’m talking gut-wrenching belly laughs, the kind that are so intense that you have trouble catching your breath between paroxysms of laughter, the kind that threaten to force the contents of your stomach to go the wrong way, up and out. What, you may ask,…

It’s feast or famine in the ol’ blogging world, and right now it’s such a feast that I can’t decide what to blog about. For instance, there are at least two studies and a letter that I wouldn’t mind blogging about just in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine alone. Then…

Fear and loathing and vaccines

As hard as it is for me to believe when I look back at it, I’ve been writing about the antivaccine movement now for more than seven years here on this blog and combatting it online for at least a decade now. I like to think that over the years my response has evolved somewhat.…

In common colloquial usage, there is a term known as “gaydar.” Basically, it’s the ability some people claim to have that allows them to identify people who are gay. Whether gaydar actually exists or not, I don’t know, but I claim to have an ability that’s similar. That ability is the ability to sniff out…

Houston, we have a problem. Oh, wait. I’m not talking about Stanislaw Burzynski this time. But we do still have a problem, and it’s a problem that resembles the Burzynski problem I recently discussed. Specifically, it’s a problem of unethical clinical trials somehow winning approval from institutional review boards (IRBs). In academia, IRBs are basically…

Alternative medicine as religion

Over the years, I’ve often likened non-science-based medical belief systems to religion. It’s not a hard argument to make. Religion involves believing in things that can’t be proven scientifically; indeed, religion makes a virtue out of ignoring the evidence and accepting various beliefs on faith alone. Similarly, alternative medicine frequently tells you that you have…

I tell ya, sometimes I think you guys think I’m a journalist or a 24 hour news source. I’m not, of course. I’m just a humble blogger, and I do what I can within the constraints of my every day “real life.” What? I have a real life? You mean I’m not really a supercomputer…

Dying of cancer can be a horrible way to go, but as a cancer specialist I sometimes forget that there are diseases that are equally, if not more, horrible. One that always comes to mind is amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a motor neuron disease whose clinical…

Many are the forms of quackery to which autistic children are subjected to. It’s amazing just how many dubious and dangerous treatments (dubbed “biomedical treatments” or “autism biomed”) parents will try in an effort to “recover” their children. Perhaps the most shocking of this quackery that I’ve recently covered is something called “miracle mineral solution”…

Like so many other skeptics, I just returned from TAM, which, despite all the conflict and drama surrounding it this year, actually turned out to be a highly enjoyable experience for myself and most people I talked to. As I’ve been doing the last few years, I joined up with Steve Novella and other proponents…

Here we go again… Yes, I’m off to The Amazing Meeting, a.k.a. TAM, where I’ll commune with a bunch of fellow skeptics, help do a workshop on science-based medicine, and participate in a panel discussion of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine.” Things have been so crazy the last couple of weeks that it turns out…

Remember Luc Montagnier? Sure, you do. He’s the Nobel Laureate whose identification of the virus that causes AIDS garnered him plaudits, laurels, and, of course, the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Unfortunately, since winning the Nobel Prize, from a scientific standpoint, Montagnier’s been on a downward spiral. Sadly, it didn’t take long after his Nobel acceptance…

No matter how you slice it, I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time. it’s been over seven years now. It’s been even longer than that, though, because before that cold gray Saturday afternoon in September when I started farting around with Blogger and ended giving birth to the first iteration of Respectful Insolence,…

The clip above says it all with respect to “miracle mineral solution” (a.k.a. MMS). Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in. And, as Yoda would probably put it, back in I am one more time. (How’s that for mixing movie allusions?) Let’s recap. MMS is bleach. Specifically, it is a 28%…

Here we go again. Remember how last week I said I wouldn’t write about the Miracle Mineral Solution (abbreviated MMS) again for a while? I lied. Well, actually, I didn’t. At the time I wrote that, I really did mean to give it a rest for a while, and for a while at least I…

Best retort ever?

I have to hand it to Autismum. Remember the Open Letter to Kerri Rivera she wrote, the one criticizing her for using bleach (Miracle Mineral Solution, often referred to as MMS) to try to “cure” autism? I referred to it yesterday when I pointed out how the pro-MMS apologists were striking back at their critics.…